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18/12/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mrs Tanner – September 15th, 1862

My dear Friend, Mrs. Tanner,

I desire very sincerely to sympathize with you and your family in the heavy trial through which you are all now passing, in the severe illness which it has pleased the Lord to lay upon my dear friend Mr. Tanner. I truly hope that the persuasion which you have that he will be still spared to yourself, his family, and the church, will be realized; but after so severe and prolonged an attack, recovery, if the Lord be graciously pleased to grant it, must be slow. I am sure that he has the desires and prayers of all who know him in the Lord, that he may be spared. Prayer is a powerful weapon in the hands of the Lord’s family, and thus we hope that it may please the Lord to hear prayer on his and your behalf, and to spare his valuable life.

We felt it very kind in Mary giving us so accurate and detailed an account, keeping back nothing, and yet at the same time giving us some good ground of hope that he might still be raised up from his bed of sickness and affliction. There seems now some reason why you should have been lately so much favored. The Lord saw the trial which was coming upon you, and He therefore prepared you for it. I am sure that you must need all the faith that He may have given you, and all the support which may be granted for both body and soul. It must indeed be a most anxious time with you all, and you no doubt see now the mercy of your son’s return. Thus you see mercy mingled with judgment, and strength and support graciously given when most needed. We all have to learn that it is through much tribulation that we must enter the kingdom. Trial after trial, like wave after wave, rolls over the family of God; and the more that the Lord favors and blesses them in His grace, the deeper and heavier for the most part do their trials become. The day of adversity is ever set against the day of prosperity; and wisely so, that we may learn our dependence upon the Lord and know more of His goodness and grace.

I shall be very anxious to have fresh news how your dear husband really is. May the gracious Lord of His infinite mercy spare my dear friend’s life, support and bless his soul under the affliction, and comfort and support your heart. My love to him if he can receive the message. Two years ago, just at this time, I was under your kind and hospitable roof. Had it been this year, what an additional load it would have been to your mind. How wisely, how kindly does the Lord dispose all events!

Believe me to be, my dear Friend,
Yours with much sympathy and affection,
J. C. P.

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