January-September 1856

The Collected Letters, Volume 31


TC TO CHARLES BUTLER ; 20 August 1856; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18560820-TC-CBU-01; CL 31: 184


[ca. 20 August 1856]

Alas, I can too well understand what a blank of utter sorrow and desolation that sad loss must have left in your household, and in the heart of everybody there. Your one son, and such a son, cut off in the flower of his days; so many high hopes for himself and others, suddenly abolished forever!1 It is hard for flesh and blood—and yet it must be borne; there is no relief from this; and all wisdom of all ages bids us say, “good is the will of the Lord,”2 though that is hard to do.

You do well not to slacken in your labors: to keep doing so long as the day is, the duty of the day. I know no other remedy so sure of ultimately helping in all sorrow whatsoever. Let us work while it is called to-day.3 In a very little while we too shall follow into the silent kingdom the loved ones that have already gone; and one divine eternity will hold us all again, as God may have appointed for them and for us. Surely He will have appointed Well!4 I will say no more on this sad subject; upon which you feel at present all speech to be mostly only idle.