Last month, my church hosted a Theology Summit and hosted several great teachers including:

  • Dr. Jason Allen, President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Bob Thune, Lead Pastor, Coram Deo, Omaha, NE
  • Dr. J.T. Bridges, Asst. Professor of Philosophy, Southern Evangelical Seminary
  • Dr. Todd Daly, Associate Professor of Theology & Ethics, Urbana Seminary
  • Dr. Rick Holland, Senior Pastor, Mission Road Bible Church, Prairie Village, KS
  • Dr. Thomas Niehof, Adjunct Professor, Cornerstone School of Theology
  • Paul Sabino, Lead Pastor, Candeo Church, Cedar Falls, IA

All of the speakers were amazing and if you’re actually interested in listening to their messages, I would invite you to visit CornerstoneLife.com to either watch or listen to their messages.

One of the sessions that stirred me the most was taught by Dr. Rock Holland who spoke about God’s providence and sovereignty. What gripped me the most was that he ended his message by reading a letter composed by Mary Love, the wife of a Puritan preacher, Christopher Love. According to Wikipedia (where ALL things are true, right?), Love was executed in 1651 “by the government, after it was discovered that he had been in correspondence with the exiled Stuart court. He went to his death as a hero and martyr of the Presbyterian faction which had petitioned in vain for his pardon.”

On the eve of his execution, Mary Love penned these words to her husband. And after reading this aloud by Dr. Holland, you could hear a pin drop in the room. I found myself envious of Mary Love’s faith and hope in Jesus and that’s why this letter is worth sharing with you today.

July 14, 1651

Before I write a word further, I beseech thee to think not that it is thy wife but a friend now that writes to thee. I hope thou hast freely given up thy wife and children to God, who hath said in Jeremiah 49:11, “Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widow trust in me.” Thy Maker will be my husband, and a Father to thy children. O that the Lord would keep thee from having one troubled thought for thy relations. I desire freely to give thee up into thy Father’s hands, and not only look upon it as a crown of glory for thee to die for Christ, but as an honor to me that I should have a husband to leave for Christ.

I dare not speak to thee, nor have a thought within my own heart of my own unspeakable loss, but wholly keep my eye fixed upon thy inexpressible and inconceivable gain. Thou leavest but a sinful, mortal wife to be everlastingly married to the Lord of glory. Thou leavest but children, brothers, and sisters to go to the Lord Jesus, thy eldest Brother. Thou leavest friends on earth to go to the enjoyment of saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory. Thou dost but leave earth for heaven and changest a prison for a palace. And if natural affections should begin to arise, I hope that the spirit of grace that is within thee will quell them, knowing that all things here below are but dung and dross in comparison of those things that are above. I know thou keepest thine eye fixed on the hope of glory, which makes thy feet trample on the loss of earth.

My dear, I know God hath not only prepared glory for thee, and thee for it, but I am persuaded that He will sweeten the way for thee to come to the enjoyment of it. When thou art putting thy clothes on that morning, O think, “I am now putting on my wedding garments to go to be married to my everlasting Redeemer.”

When the messenger of death comes to thee, let him not seem dreadful to thee, but look on him as a messenger that brings thee tidings of eternal life. When thou goest up the scaffold, think (as thou saidst to me) that it is but thy fiery chariot to carry thee up to thy Father’s house.

And when thy layest thy precious head down to recieve thy Father’s stroke, remember what thou saidst to me: Though thy head was severed from thy body, yet in a moment thy soul should be united to thy Head, the Lord Jesus, in heaven. And though it may seem something bitter, that by the hands of men we are parted a little sooner than otherwise we might have been, yet let us consider that it is the decree and will of our Father, and it will not be long ere we shall enjoy one another in heaven again.

Let us comfort one another with these sayings. Be comforted, my dear heart. It is but a little stroke and thou shalt be there where the weary shall be at rest and the wicked shall cease from troubling. Remember that thou mayest eat thy dinner with bitter herbs, yet thou shalt have a sweet supper with Christ that night. My dear, by what I write unto thee, I do not hereby undertake to teach thee; for these comforts I have received from the Lord by thee. I will write no more, nor trouble thee any further, but commit thee into the arms of God with whom ere long thee and I shall be.

Farewell, my dear. I shall never see thy face more till we both behold the face of the Lord Jesus at that great day.

~Mary Love

I pray that this blog post and letter would encourage you in your faith. And I wish you a blessed weekend!

Erik Carlson, is the founder of Lighten Up Gear and Bald Tees. By day, he manages the digital marketing efforts of a large manufacturing brand. By night, he’s dreaming up shirt designs, playing the guitar and singing. And 24/7/365 he’s following Christ and loving on his wife and 3 children.

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