Little John Booth of Stamford

At the Church of St John the Baptist, Stamford, is a rather moving wall memorial to a little boy:


Died February 4 1799 Aged 7 Years. To Him a length of Days in mercy God denied

Who never gave his Parents pain but when he died

One can feel Mr and Mrs Booth’s pain, not just in the expense of the marble, but the sentiment they had written upon it. I suspect that grief’s tears have clouded somewhat his parents’ vision; Master John, for all his virtues, was still made in Adam’s fallen image, and if he caused his parents no pain, he might have directed it at his nanny, instead. Nevertheless, we should take their word for it. He was a good lad. Yet there is also a hint of anger here; John’s death sentenced his doting parents to years’ worth of pain. If only he had outlived them!

When Adam ‘died’ in Eden, the heart of God must have winced with the intensity of grief, pain, anger and disappointment. Thankfully, God could revive Adam’s progeny by means of the Lord Jesus Christ, restoring us to life and hope. And if the Booths believed the gospel, reunited they now are. For Adam’s life to be restored; Christ’s was forfeit. Twice wounded was the Father’s heart.