William Gadsby's Letters (Complete)

Only Gone Before

My dear Friends in the glorious Head of the Church,—Your kind letter came to hand, with the tidings of the death of our dear brother Martin. Well; all his storms are over, ours cannot last long, and each one leaves the number less. Our blessed Lord will not let us have one trouble too many; no, nor let them be too boisterous or last too long; and he will see to it that all shall work together for good. Our dear covenant God cannot make any mistakes, nor suffer anything to do his blood-bought family any real harm. From self and self-dependence he will deliver us, although flesh and blood will often sigh and groan, yea, and kick and rebel, too, under and at the method his blessed Majesty takes to wean us from self and cause us to lean wholly upon and trust wholly in him. But he does not spare the rod for our fleshly crying, and he is sure in the end to make us kiss both the rod and the hand which has appointed it. A faithful God do us harm? Impossible! No, no; he will never suffer his faithfulness to fail, nor the tenderness of his all-compassionate heart either. A few more hot fires and deep waters, and we shall be with our dear brother Martin; yes, and with our dear loving Three-One God; never, never to part again, nor to experience one more storm. O the blessedness of that glorious truth, “The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; for the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory;” “Thy sun shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended.” May the Lord enable you both, and me also, to live daily under the enjoyment of this glorious truth, “Thy God thy glory!” Here is real, unsullied glory; no sin, no filth to accompany it. No, no; at all times the same. Thy God in covenant love, at all times and under all circumstances; thy glory for ever and ever.

Well, thanks be to God, though our dear brother Martin has got the start of us, and has arrived first where God is all in all, we are in the King’s high road and under his own eye; yea, and are his special charge; so that we shall not be long before we join the happy throng, and unite in singing, “Glory to God in the highest!”

“More happy, but not more secure, The glorified spirits in heaven.”

Give my love to your minister, to the church, and to friends at large. O the blessedness of being one in and one with Christ! This is a union that can never be dissolved.—Manchester, August 8, 1831.