By Andrew Bonar
GLASGOW, 14th Jan. 1863.
MY DEAR MR. WILSON,
--I have been hearing tidings of your state of health that are not very pleasant.
Will you, if convenient, drop me a few lines letting me know? For you know Paul, had he been in our day, would have sent Tychicus 'to let us know' his affairs and how he was 'doing.' I have often been led to muse on the number of sick labourers mentioned in the Epistles, -- Epaphroditus, Timothy, Trophimus, Gaius, --all of them unhealed, though companions of men who healed others, and though able probably themselves to work miracles. There must be much blessing conveyed in this way not only to the afflicted one himself, but to his flock. What sermons will they thus be made to hear! 'Cease ye from man.' 'God liveth.' 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.' Be of good cheer, brother, the Master has laid His own hand on you. He has done it too at the best time, no doubt. O for grace to live for such a Master and for none else!
When you get access and are remembering your friends, will you think on me and ask some gift? If you are to get a time of honour by being sent up the hill as one of the 'Aaron and Hur' company, think of some of us who pray little, and with little faith.--Yours truly in the Lord,
ANDREW A. BONAR.
(EXTRACT FROM LETTER TO REV. DR. J. H. WILSON ON THE DEATH OF HIS AUNT)
. . . . You will be saying 'The post has come from the Celestial City,' and the contents of the letter are just such as Christiana found in hers. 'Hail! good woman, I bring thee tidings that the Master calls for thee to stand in His presence in clothes of immortality!' And do you remember that while part of the household wept, Mr. Greatheart and Mr. Valiant-for-Truth played upon the well-tuned cymbal and harp for joy that she had gone to be with the King? In process of time (if the Lord delay His coming to us) the post will sound his horn at our chamber door, saying, 'I am come to tell thee that thy Master hath need of thee, and that, in a very little time, thou must behold His face in brightness!'
Meanwhile, let us 'occupy.' --With kindest regards and sympathy,
believe me, yours truly in Him who doeth all things well,
ANDREW A. BONAR.
GLASGOW, 14th Febry. 1891.
MY DEAR DR. WILSON,
--I thought you might perhaps give an old minister who needs a colleague rest from extra work! But I cannot refuse to be with you; it is always a pleasant time, for 'iron sharpeneth iron.' And then I make reprisals on you, as in time past. . . Is not the 'joy in heaven' communicated by the Shepherd to the 'friends and neighbours '--that is, Christ the Shepherd is rejoicing, and invites angels and redeemed ones to share with Him.
When you are addressing the students and professors at Aberdeen do you not think the subject of personal visitation should be pressed on them? How much professors could do if they had the heart for face-to-face dealing with the students, and what a lesson it would be to their students for after-years! I am persuaded that if our young ministers gave themselves more really to this kind of work--dealing with the individuals of their people in visitation, and doing this from year to year, it would have two results: (1) It would cure some of them of their vague intellectual preaching, and bring them back to the simple gospel; (2) It would go far to keep up the liveliness of spiritual life in their elders and Christian people.
But this is Saturday! so good-bye. - Peace be with with you and yours, dear brother,
ANDREW A. BONAR.