The book has a prologue and an epilogue. The main text between consists of three parts entitled ‘The angel of death’, ‘The valley of weeping’ and ‘The path to glory’. There is also an appendix. The sub-title of this book, ‘Spiritual journeys of mourning parents’, really sums up the book’s content.
The author briefly outlines the loss of his own son, who was only 55 days old when he died, and describes the grief and pain surrounding that sad time. He tells how the faith of the family was tried, and how they found grace and strength to carry on.
The book then goes on as a ‘compendium of the experience of men and women such as Calvin, Luther, Bunyan and Wesley’s sister. These are among many who experienced the same tribulation and have set down their inmost thoughts and expressed their heartache’ –– and yet who found the true source of comfort in the ‘Father of mercies’. There is a chapter addressed specifically to children and a story by J. C. Ryle.
Interspersed throughout the historical accounts of the sad trials in the lives of these faithful servants of God, the author uses poetry to express grief but patient submission to God’s will.
James Bruce tells us of two letters he and his wife received and what an encouragement they were. He says we ought to write ‘a comforting note now and then to encourage others around us who seem to be hurting under the weight of life’s distresses. Both letters mention prayer. We should never forget the importance of intercessory prayer. Prayer is the first step along the road that leads from grief to glory’.