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that you may be able to improve it by praying for yourself and for me. Time is short, and every real and imaginary idol will soon be taken away; and then let us seriously consider what will Be Left: or, as the Prophet asks, What will ye do in the end thereoff
MY DEAREST LOVETHough you have two letters of mine unanswered, and though I have nothing to say, yet I will take a few moments, which ought to be embraced for R.Ecollection, to write to you. So that you will do well to recollect, that this letter comes neither from a sense of duty, nor a matter of business—but from a pure desire of pleasing you: and you will recollect, that I would rather preach two Sermons, than write one letter. And now what shall I say?---I think what I began with is the best subject—-RECoLLECTION. Martha--Martha---thou art careful and troubled about many things; but one thing is NEEDFUL ; and that one, needful as it is, will be forgotten, if we do not set aside a portion of our time for the purpose. I feel that all I know and all I teach, will do nothing for my own soul, if I spend my time, as most people do, in business or company—even the BEST company. My soul starves to death in the best company; and God is often lost in prayers and ordinances. Enter into thy chamber, said he, and shut thy door about thee! Some words in Scripture are very emphatical. Shut thy door means much : it means—shut out, not only nonsense, but business—not only the company abroad, but the company at home: It means-—let thy poor soul have a little rest and refreshment; and God have opportunity to speak to thee in a small still voice, or he will speak in thunder. You and I, my Love, ought to understand this, who have heard the loud voice so often, in so many ways. I am persuaded the Lord would have spoken more softly, if we would have
shut the door: nor do I believe the children would have fallen into the fire nor out of the window, in the mean time. Let us, I say, think of this: for who can tell what the next loud call may say? It has called for our children already, and it may next call for us.
But I will not press this subject, for I recollect your spirits are weak. However, go into thy chamber, and shut the doorand pray for me, that, after I have preached so often to this people, I may not be left to undo in private, what I am labouring to do in public.
Be sure, while I ask you never to forget me in your prayers, that you are never forgotten in mine—such as they are (and which I often fear are more calculated to affront God than please him:) but pray I must, and I KNow that I do not pray in vain, nor can you—
MY DEAR LOVE--
I KNow you will be most happy to hear that my health keeps improving. You know I am subject, at the best (especially after studying hard) to feel sinkings and distressing depressions, that are quite foreign to my natural animation: but I know nothing of them, since I have been out of town. This is a complete argument, that I am better for coming. This help to my spirits is also increased, by the satisfaction I have in my mind, at all times, that it was the will of God I should come This a beautiful place, and has fine air: but as for study, which I promised myself in so still a place and with such a good library, it is impossible. My determinations are as strong as most men's, as you know: and, if I lived constantLY here, I would put them in full execution, whatever was the consequence; but, for a sojourner of two or three weeks, he has but one part or project, and that is to be packing up, and getting off as fast as he can for his poor soul's sake.
Every thing I see every where tends to prove and fix me in my religious views and principles. I see but one difficulty, and that is to determine whether careless men are more fools or madmen. Verily, that, which is done, says the Psalmist, on earth, God doth it himself: and, verily, that, which he doth, he doth by the Gospel; for where it is not in influence, there is nothing but tearing up the bowels of the earth to cast in the face of heaven. Collieries and Founderies, with the tremendous blasts which they force into them day and night, resemble nothing but Hell; and the men in EveRY respect suit the place, which at night makes the country seem on fire for miles round. The horrid yells they make when an operation takes place, joined to the roaring of the flames and engines, is up to any thing in poetry or imagination; and, therefore, as You must understand, met my mind and detained my attention, when the Ladies and some of the Gentlemen were glad to retire. But the worst is, in these scenes and in the chambers of the most delicate work, all—all is wickedness— boys and girls—men and women, mixed and half-naked— corrupt and corrupting. This is a moral stench, as well as a natural one; and I have lived to deplore a great manufactory on many solid grounds. Yet have I plainly discovered some dirty greasy angels—men whose black faces beam with heavenly light. Had I seen these assume wings, and become white as snow, and mount toward heaven, I should not have felt that half so great an act of power had been put forth.
The Lord clothe you with his Divine Power I will pray earnestly for you: but remember it is our joint work; and it shall prevail, till we shall need to pray no more, and I no more remain your affectionate Husband, but your fellow-Heir, and Brother, in everlasting life.
MY DEAR LOVE
PLEASING is a nice art: it requires nice pencilling: daubing wont do. Shade after shade—neither one thing nor another,
but EveRY THING makes a picture. A man must neither be contented, when his wife is absent, nor discontented. His family must be in peace, that his wife may be happy: but she is very unhappy, if it is Woe betide her, if her servants are well and peaceable, and her children well and asleep—Husband contented with his lot, &c. &c.! Unfortunately for you, this is the case, and you are much to be pitied---but let this be your consolation, that there are unhappier women on earth. To be serious—what I wrote respecting our quietism was to make You quiet, happy, and satisfied: it was to make you enjoy better your present moment. We are not so well without you as you seem to think. I can assure you that whatever be the case of servants—or children, who are too young to distinguish between their right hand and left, and to whom friends and enemies are the same--I can assure you, with the greatest truth, that, with you, I have often wished to share some of my most pleasant moments---and that ought to suffice a wife.
MY DEAR LOVE--I Don’t know if there is not something absurd, in my writing you a letter, which perhaps you will not receive many hours before I should see you myself: but, as I did not write, as I intended, on Friday, I thought you might be uneasy if the post did not deliver one on Monday. I have rode 66 miles to-day; and am too much tired for any company except yours; for that would contribute, at this moment, to my rest, as well as pleasure. Indeed you have become too necessary to me, and sometimes occupy my mind in too vivid a degree; and perhaps it is expedient that this should be abated, and ought to be—
Well—I have said this, to let you see I am capable of meeting your ideas, more than (from the interference of clogs and impediments) some are ready to suppose. However, affliction has made me, under divine influence, a much soft ER creature than heretofore; and I think others will perceive it, as well as you.
I am sensibly alive to your regard and affection toward me, which has been only too great; and demands a return, which the quantity of bone put into my frame is too apt to prevent me from properly making: this must be my excuse to my sweet wife when I grieve her.
The subject of self-denial has much occupied my mind of late. It is a matter that cannot be too often considered, that real happiness, health, order, peace, and beauty depend on selfDENIAL. If nature, in its wild state and wishes and indulgent sensualities, is to be humoured, a dose of poison is brewing---a scourge for the fool's back is preparing--like drunkards, who sit down in good humour to tipple, but soon proceed to black eyes.
“No man e'er found a happy life by chance,
Even the kingdom of heaten suffereth violence, and the violent only take it by force. So that perfect peace must be won by perpetual war-—and the health of the spirit by the DEATH of THE FLESH. There are, indeed, some who pretend to have discovered a cheaper way of obtaining these things; but I never yet met with one who could show his bargain: so that I have fresh evidence of my old maxim---That religion will cost us something, but the want of it infinitely more. I say, however, these things, as much to call my own mind to recollection as yours. And we cannot assist one another too much in this way
MY DEAREST LOVE--- Little James Street. We are all led more by our feelings than our judgments, and sometimes even than our duty: and therefore I gratify mine in writing to you, when I should be otherwise employed; and, even though I think it probable I shall deliver the letter myself tomorrow morning—but I have suffered much last night on your account, or rather on my own. Dr. U. said some things last