My dear young friend,
How wonderful the news! Your leeches must indeed be skillful to know that the
baby will be a boy. Another son! I am honored to know that one of his names will
be Isaac. It is a blessing in a time of trial.
I will not conceal it from you, my young friend. The doctors hold out little
hope that I will run my course much longer. I cannot hear it – my hearing is
not what it was – but they tell me that the sounds of my heart are those of a
man who will not live long.
It does not pain me to know that I am dying. Most of my good friends have
departed long ago; I am a relic of a bygone age. My grandchildren and my
great-grandchildren are now my delights. They are young; they will mourn but go
on, as they should.
Now I have the privilege of dying as a Christian . Before the advent of our
Lord this would have been a misery. Even the holiest of men feared to die. Now
that death is conquered by our Lord and Savior; it is no longer ours to fear,
but to embrace. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord –
how I long for release!
It has pleased my Lord to give me a long life in which to train myself to
this end. It is normal for man to fear death; but the Holy Spirit within and the
church without agree: I have nothing to fear. Long have I anticipated this time;
I am ready, at last. Perhaps this is why he allowed such long life; that I was
not ready in my younger days.
Would that you were here with me! I fear for your time. Have you ever seen
the glory of a Christian dying? It is a magnificent sight. I hope to present all
my family with such glory, that they may know the firm confidence I have in my
Lord and Savior.
It is likely I shall not be able to write again. I have instructed my servant
to advise you of all things needful, but I feel in my body the weakness of my
heart. I was young; I am old and soon will be with the Lord. Do not weep for me;
I go to my reward, and gracious is He who gives that reward. May your end be as
sweet, and your life be kept in His.
With the blessings of God, I remain,
Isaac the alchemist