« AnteriorContinuar »
never hear them from the lips of that dear compassionate Saviour, who once said with great tenderness, Suffer little children to come unto me.' You remember what I have said to you about coming to Christ. It means to be sorry for your sins, because God is offended by them, to love him, to do what he commands you, to pray to him to forgive you, and to make you a good and holy child, and to give your soul to Christ, that he may save you forever. If you come to Christ in this way, you will not hear those awful words from his lips; but he will say to you, 'Come thou blessed of my Father!' How happy this would make your parents, who pray daily for you, and M., and T., and E., that you may all be good children, be children of God, and be prepared to be very useful in this world, and go to heaven when you die. I hope you do not forget to read the chapter in the New Testament with me every day. Mark, 10th chapter, is the portion for to-day."
“ Canal Boat Ontario, between Rochester and Utica. “ My dear son E.,
“ Your letter was received by me at Buffalo, when I had not heard from home for more than three weeks. I was very glad to hear from you, and the different members of our beloved family. I had just returned from Ohio, and had sailed almost four hundred miles on lake Erie, in a steam-boat. If you could have travelled with me, how delighted you would have been to see the great wheat fields, from which our fine flour comes ; to see towns as large as Andover, where all was one wide wilderness a few years ago; to sail on the beautiful and wide lake Erie, and still more, to see where the waters of the great Niagara fall one hundred and fifty feet over the rocks which run across it. I hope you may yet see these fine objects. If you should be a good scholar, and obtain a good education so that you might be useful, and especially if you should be a good man, and preach the gospel, you might come into this great western country and accomplish much good. You must remember that if you are very diligent and study well, you can learn enough while you are young to fit you to be useful to a great many people. I am pleased to hear that you are doing well at the academy, and have been a kind and good boy at home. It is near your vacation I suppose. Be careful, my son, to behave well, and to improve your time through the vacation. Vacation is a period when good boys sometimes do very bad things. I enclose a letter to your sister M., which you will oblige me by delivering in safety. It contains some flowers which I placked for her from the rocks of Niagara, with some pretty poetry which I met with. I have a sprig of cedar, and some little crystals which I intend to give you and T. when I go home.
“I have been thinking about the dog you wish to buy at Mrs. T.'s, and I must tell you about a dog which I had when I was young. He ran away one night, and got into bad company, and helped kill some sheep, with other dogs, and for this, he had to be killed himself. Then I cried, and was very sorry that I had ever owned a dog. I give you my advice, my son, never to own a dog. Besides, five dollars are a good deal of money, and if you will, you can do great good with it, much more good than by buying a dog."
“ Albany, N. Y. “My dear little M.,
“When I was at the falls of Niagara, I thought of you, and plucked a few flowers from the brow of a rock, lying one hundred and fifty feet above the gulf into which the river Niagara falls perpendicularly, with a noise like distant thunder, and with such dashing and foaming as you never saw. A great mist rises from the falling water, pray, who do it sincerely and in dependence upon Christ. I hope you will pray for your dear brothers and little sister, and also for me every day.”
The following letters show that his filial and fraternal attachments were not diminished by time or distance of place.
“ Andover, January 18, 1819. “My dear Father,
• Immediately after receiving your last letter, I sat down, and with mingled emotions of joy and sorrow, expressed my warmest sympathy in your afflictions. I hope the same gracious God who spared you in the hour of danger, has already healed your broken bones, and restored you to the enjoyment of health. But I am not a little apprehensive that your former disorder may come upon you with increased violence, in consequence of the internal wounds which you have received. I hope, should this be the fact, you will immediately inform me. I feel conscientiously bound to do every thing in my power to comfort and support your declining years, and if you, or any of the family should be seriously ill, I should consider it my duty to break away from every other engagement, and visit you. I shall therefore. expect to be always informed at an early period, of every accident or sickness in the family; although I am at some distance from you, my heart is with you, and not a day passes, but I think of you tenderly. May the God of Israel abide with you, and bless you all, evermore.”
“ Salem, March 23, 1820. “My very dear Father,
“I was sorry to learn that you have had another attack of your old disorder. I know you must have been suffering most severe pain in consequence, and
this has an almost certain effect upon your nervous system, and to depress your spirits. What comfort can you have at such seasons, but in the assurance that it is God, your covenant God and Father, who inflicts every pang you feel. And he is good. He doth not willingly afflict nor grieve the children of men; but when he chastises us, it is invariably that we may be partakers of his holi
Thus it was with Job, and with David, and thus it must be with every saint. It is, dear father, only through great tribulation that we can any of us enter into heaven. Much dross must be purged away before the gold is sufficiently refined and purified for the use of the heavenly Artist. Many and wonderful have been the vicissitudes of your life, but I doubt not when you look back, you can say in view of what God has done, 'Oh, my mercies, my mercies.' It would seem almost enough to hush every murmuring thought, when we are in ever so great afflictions, that our deserts would have consigned us to hell long ago, but for God's mercy, and that even our precious Saviour, who had no sin, suffered more pain for us, than we are appointed of God to suffer for ourselves in this world. I know you have trials, and often such as are severe. But are they not such as God frequently sends upon his children? I do believe that all you suffer, God sends upon you as upon a son, whom he desires to purify more and more, that ere long you may ready for that glorious world where sin, and sorrow, and pain never come. Let me humbly and earnestly request you to think much of God's government. He it is 'who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.' Only let this dwell upon your mind, and your own experience will testify how powerful it is in allaying our sorrows and reconciling us to our allotments. It is God who sends pain upon you. It is God who determined the kind of disease by which you should be afflicted. It is God
who has fixed the bounds of your habitation, who gave you children and points out their respective allotments. It is God who has separated you from a son who loves you most tenderly, and can never think of you but with gratitude and prayer. It is God who stations you at Somers, and me at Salem. And it is the same God who does all things well. We shall see it to be so by and by. Let us believe it now, and have the comfort of it.
What if we are separated on earth? It is only I trust that we may meet with the greater joy in heaven to separate no more. Soon, I trust, we shall be there, and then how trifling will appear all the lesser concerns of this lower world. Comfort your heart' then with these things. God will do all things well.
• What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.' Think of what you have experienced in days and years that are past, and what you sometimes think you experience now. And would God have given you so much mercy, and so much enjoyment in religion, if he had intended to destroy you?'
“I have written this letter to you, my dear father, because I feel most tenderly for you. My whole soul sympathizes in your trials, and loves to administer, if it be but one drop of consolation to your heart, to cheer your mind, to enliven your spirits, and to sweeten your enjoyment in God. I think that every other desire of my heart is swallowed up in this, that you may be ready to dwell with Christ above. I sometimes think your sorrows and pains will not last much longer. But God has appointed the time of your departure from this sinful world, and may his grace sustain and comfort you with heavenly joys."
“ Salem, December 3, 1821. “My dear and respected Father,
“ I have just received S.'s letter, dated November 26, from which I learn that since the cold weather commenced,