I am lucky enough to have in my personal library a book entitled ‘The Mourner’s Friend or Sighs of Sympathy For Those Who Sorrow’. It is a collection of prose and verse compiled to give comfort to the grieving. Edited by J.B. Syme, published in 1852 by S.A. Howland in Worcester, Mass, USA; its contents are predominantly by American authors. My copy of the book has some water damage, ageing paper, and precarious binding, so before it deteriorates my project to preserve the words of the authors will find its way here on the MOLAM blog.
Gratitude in Affliction
I would offer my tribute of gratitude to God for the blessedness and the power of the bright and cheering views of religion, which we are permitted to cherish in the period of deep and trying sorrow. The thought of God as the Father, the kind Father, the heavenly Father, has been unspeakably dear and sustaining. Not a doubt of his love has been permitted to darken my mind ; not a harsh tone have I heard in his voice. His countenance has still seemed gracious and benign.
And then, these precious thoughts of immortality, how dear they are to the soul yearning for peace and support. Like God’s own angels they come, shedding celestial fragrance from their wings. Like Good’s own angels they come, and raise for a moment the evil which shuts the departed from our bodily sight, and permit us to have a glimpse of the brightness of the better world, and to catch, “in fragments wild, sweet echoes of unearthly melodies.”
O, this faith in immortality ! who shall estimate its value ? “The gold and the crystal cannot equal it, and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold.” It is strength in weakness; it is peace in sadness; it is light in darkness; it is life in death. Thanks to Jesus for the bright revelation ! Thanks to his Father, and our Father, for sustaining, undoubting faith in that revelation.
– Mrs. J.R. Lowell