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December 2007

from Christopher Love

Christopher Love was born in Cardiff in 1618. He has been described as ‘a brilliant young Welsh preacher and a rising star in the world of Puritan ministry’. On 22 August 1651, at the age of 33, he was executed on Tower Hill in London. These choice gleanings are taken from some of the letters which Christopher Love wrote to his wife Mary from his imprisonment. He addressed her in such affectionate ways as ‘My dearest beloved’, ‘More dear to me than ever’, ‘My dearest delight on earth’, and ‘My most gracious beloved’. (Mary’s letters to Christopher are also exceedingly choice).

‘I am now going to my long home, yet I must write thee 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 thy loss’.

‘Be comforted concerning thy husband, who may more honour God in his death than in his life. The will of the Lord be done; he is fully satisfied with the hand of God. Though there is but little between him and death, he knows there is but little between him and heaven, and that ravisheth his heart … I have had more comfort from thy gracious letters than from all the counsel I have had from any else in the world’.

‘I am now going from a prison to a palace. I have finished my work, I am now to receive my wages. I am now going to heaven where are two of my children, and leaving thee on earth where are three of my children. Those two above need not my care, but the three below need thine. It comforts me to think two of my children are in the bosom of Abraham and three of them will be in the arms and care of so tender a godly mother’.

‘Farewell, dear love, and again I say, farewell. The Lord Jesus be with your spirit, the Maker of heaven and earth be a husband to you; and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ be a Father to your children’.

These final gleanings are taken from the words he spoke to the crowds from the scaffold.

‘Beloved, I am this day making a double exchange. I am changing a pulpit for a scaffold and a scaffold for a throne; and I might add a third: I am changing this numerous multitude on Tower Hill, for the innumerable company of saints and angels in heaven, the holy hill of Zion.; and I am changing a guard of soldiers for a guard of angels which will receive and carry me into Abraham’s bosom’.

‘I am going to my long home and you are going to your short homes; but, I will tell you, I shall be at home before you. I shall be at my Father’s house before you will be at your own houses’.