Homesick Children

I’m not sure what one ought to tell his homesick child, but I do know what Jonathan Edwards said to his daughter Esther after she had moved away and then fallen ill.  Edwards (as we all have come to expect) offers profound wisdom to his daughter which is, at the same time, a soft correction and very strong consolation.

“I am glad to see some of the contents of your letter to your Mother…that you have been enabled to make a free-will offering of yourself to God’s service, and that you have experienced some inward divine consolations under your affliction, by the extreme weakness and distressing pains you have been the subject of.  For these you ought to be thankful, and also for that unwearied kindness and tender care of your companion, which you speak of.  I would not have you think that any strange thing has happened to you in this affliction: ‘Tis according to the course of things in this world, that after the world’s smiles, some great affliction soon comes.  God has now given you early and seasonable warning not at all to depend on worldly prosperity….  Labour while you live, to serve God and do what good you can, and endeavor to improve every dispensation to God’s glory and your own spiritual good, and be content to do and bear all that God calls you to in this wilderness, and never expect to find this world any thing better than a wilderness” (Quoted in Ian Murray, Jonathan Edwards: A New Biography, 402).

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