The story of Christopher Love, a man who lost his life for his convictions (while others of his colleagues were released) and a wife who was left with young children and no husband will touch you on a deeper level than most soaps series. You are struck by their deep love for each other, and how that love had been augmented by their love for God.
On the 15th July 1651, the day he was expected to be executed from the Tower of London, Christopher Love wrote to his wife Mary:
“My Dearest Beloved, “
[Audio here]I am now going to my long home, yet I must write a word before I go hence and shall be seen no more. It is to beg thee to be comforted in my gain and not to be troubled in they loss. Labour to suppress thy inward fears now that thou art under outward sorrows. As thy outward sufferings abound, let they consolations in Christ also abound. I know thou art a woman of a sorrowful spirit. My time is short; I have but a few words of counsel to give thee, and then I shall leave thee to God who careth for thee and thine.
1. While thou art under desertions, labour rather to strengthen and clear up they evidences for Heaven than question them
2. Remember a faith of adherence or reliance on the Lord Jesus brings thee to Heaven, though thou want the faith of evidence or assurance.
3. Labour to find that (and more also) in God which thou hast lost in the creature.
4. Spend not thy days in heaviness for my death. If there were knowledge of things below or sorrow in heaven, I should grieve to think my beloved should mourn on earth.
5. Lie under a soul-searching ministry. I know thou art not a spongy hearer, sucking in foul water as well as fair. God hath given thee a good understanding, to be able to discern things that differ. As the mouth tastes meat, they ear trieth words.
6. Be conversant in Christian meetings and much in the exercises of mortification, in fasting and prayers, yet have respect to the weakness of they body and they present condition.
7. Have a care of thyself and babes. God will take care of thee and them.
I can write no more; farewell my dear, farewell, farewell. My dear, I be thee to be satisfied. My heart is greatly comforted in God. I can quietly submit to the good pleasure of His will, and I hope thou dost so also. I am delivered by the determinate counsel of God; the will of the Lord be done. Read for thy comfort when I am dead and gone, Jeremiah 49:11 and the beginning of 12; Isaiah 9:6-8; Psalm 5:6 and 146:9; 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 and Hebrews 12:6-7 These are the last words written by thy dying yet comforted husband.
Christopher Love was a brilliant young Welsh preacher and a rising star in the world of Puritan ministry. But in 1651, a nervous English government beheaded him on a charge of treason for involvement in a plan to raise money that might advance the restoration of the monarchy. “He died,” wrote Richard Baxter, “with as great alacrity and fearless quietness and freedom of speech, as if he had but gone to bed.”
Love had five children, one of whom was born after his death.
I’ve read all of Christopher and Mary’s letters. Hers to him are just as touching. They reveal a deep piety almost altogether unknown in these days (or as Whitefield called them – these dregs of time).
I plan to read her letters to him soon. Oh how profound their love was for God and each other. How enlightening and intoxicating.
I’ve made an audio recording of this letter.
Nothing fancy or dramatic, just my silly old voice 🙂
You can find that and other audio recordings (I’m currently working on making public domain audio mp3 recordings of various reformed works) here:
(the Christopher Love letter is toward the bottom)
hey marnen, you ve got a good radio voice…i have put a link to your audio file too!
Hah. I must disagree with you. I have a face for radio and a voice for silent film!
Pingback: our Bridegroom, our Maker | audience of One