Andrew Bonar

TO HIS SISTER-IN-LAW, MRS. HORATIUS BONAR, KELSO

GLASGOW, 28th Oct. 1864.
MY DEAR JANE,
—Perhaps you and Horace will excuse me for not writing sooner. It requires something to raise me before I can at present take up the pen. The bewilderment is passing away—all appears too real now, but the loneliness, when will that pass away? I know 'He doth not willingly afflict,' —I have felt that—for, though the Lord saw that He must send the stroke, He has not failed, when it was over, to relieve the wound by many means. I am sure many have prayed for me. I have got many most helpful letters of sympathy, all which are sufficient to assure me that the Elder Brother's heart feels for me in infinite love.
Tell Horace I have tried to glean something in his fields, The Night of Weeping-. But oh! Jane, when I look back on the sixteen years of happy, happy home-life, and when I take up some letter or paper or anything else that recalls past days of peace and most helpful affection, all I can say is, that the Lord who so filled my cup, and then in a moment dashed it to the ground, must be dealing in fatherly love, and must be doing even this in the depths of His compassion for me. 'It is the Lord.'
Let us live with all our might for the Lord. My dear Isabella could not bid me farewell—was it meant as if to intimate 'no need of farewell, the time of separation is so short.' Do not forget my motherless children. How she cared for them! I never knew one who was more led to tell the Lord all little cares and difficulties, and more habitually made conscience of little things in the family. Mrs. Grant and her daughter have been most useful and kind to us. . . .
We are looking forward to the baptism [of the motherless baby] on Sabbath eight days.
—Your affectionate brother,
ANDREW A. BONAR


GLASGOW, 22nd June 1870.
MY DEAR JANE,
—I can quite sympathise with your sadness when the flowers in the garden recall Kitty and her cheerful, happy ways. The very beauty and bloom help to deepen the melancholy feeling which weighs down the soul as you remember the absent one whose presence was sunshine, and for whom the garden seemed to blossom. But it is written, 'Our light afflictions, which are but for a moment, work out for us—glory, while we look not at the things that are seen, but at the things which are unseen.' May I not adopt the language of John, and say, 'I heard a voice from heaven saying, there is present rest for the aching heart in beholding the Lamb slain, and holding fellowship with Him.'. . .
Kindest love to all.
—Your affectionate brother,
ANDREW A. BONAR.

Transcribed from Reminiscences of Andrew A.Bonar D.D. first published
LONDON, HODDER AND STOUGHTON,
27 Paternoster Row
1895
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July 2001