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Thus far respecting literature: but, let me again and again remind you, that, great as that is, both that and every thing else are but dung and dross to the excellency of the knowledge of Christ. Upon that, all for time and eternity hangs! Pray therefore, my Dear Child, to the Holy Spirit, to give you this life and light in your heart. I have sent you a sermon I have published to the children of St. John's-—I wish you to read it carefully
MY DEAR ISRAEL– Feb. 1802.
You R Mama received your letter at the time I was at
said to you. The truth is, my Dear, that your mind is greatly
, who is daily getting
worse; but then what is that to her?—She has fought the good
fight; and is only waiting a little longer for her crown of glory.— WOL. I. I
See what a blessed thing it is, to be ready to meet what we all Must meet. A king is a beggar, compared to a Christian.
Present my kindest regards to Mr. . Be careful to keep up your character with that excellent man and friend. Be also assured that I remain,
Your very affectionate Father,
MY DEAR BOYNothing can lie nearer my heart than your welfare; and nothing rejoices me so much as to observe your mind take a solid turn, and think of the things that belong to your peace.
I hope you have recovered from your childish habits, and are joining in my design of building yourself up for life. I shall rejoice to assist you, but I cannot do it if you do not work at school, and serve yourself—
MY DEAR ISRAELWe received your letter; and should have sent you word, had you not written, about coming home.
You know I am very particular about keeping time; and have always seen proper to oppose that vagrant custom of leaving school before it is ended, or going after it begins. But there are some cases which make it as PROPER to break a general rule of expedience, as at other times to keep it; and, therefore, as I wish to see you before I set out on my journey to I wish Mr. — to permit you to come home on the 13th.
I hope you will be careful to conduct yourself with great industry and propriety, while you are at school. Never complain that
your employment is arduous; since I have observed that constant employment, not only stretches the powers, but that, next to the grace of God, it is the best prevention of vice. Beg of God to give you his blessing, and depend upon my prayers meeting yours, Who remain, &c.
MY DEAR ISRAEL– I was glad to hear from you, though no particular business occurred; especially as you could send me an account of your being trusted with the care of others. You may see yourself, what I could not help remarking, that, as people rise in character, every body owns it. A little while ago you were so boyish, that I could not trust you to yourself at —— but was forced to limit you to the view of my window. Now you can be trusted with the care of others; and from a bad rank-and-file, have become a captain. May you go forward, my Dear Child, in the best progress, till you become an IsrAel, indeed, that is a Prince prevailing with God. I must just mention here, that it must give me always great pleasure to afford you any gratification that is not inconsistent with my plan and views; and, though I am obliged to object to your proposal of going to — yet my reasons are strong; and I know that the credit you will give me for their being solid will satisfy you. Both your Mama and myself were much gratified with your dutiful and just remarks on your past life. Indeed, most of us must reflect in the same way, when we reflect justly. But you are young, and I hope and pray that you may begin early to turn away from sin and vanity to the living God---then, of course, you will be closely united to us in this and a better world. The moment this divine principle, which we call GRACE, begins to work like leaven in the mass, it will refine and exalt, till
the subject rises, not only above his fellows, but above himself. He climbs an eminence, and sees a prospect which sublimes his character; or as the Scriptures express it, it grows night and day, though a man knoweth not how, nor to what he is advancing.
There are some surprising instances of it already in this dark and long neglected place. More, I trust, will be added; and, whenever one appears, it is evidently the Lord's doing, and marwellous in the discerning eye.
Your Mama and Sisters unite in love—God bless you, my Dear. Forget not to pray to Him for his grace, in which I will join you,
MY DEA R CHILDWHETHER you hear from us soon or late, you may always depend upon it you are not forgotten or neglected by us. You have given us additional reasons for wishing to communicate with you; and I assure you that both your Mama and myself think and speak of you with great satisfaction at all times. You see, my Dear, the happiness that always attends right conduct; and, as you live, you will see this more and more. Now, my Dear, let us find that you are making a progress in well doing— that you are daily cultivating Mr.
's good opinion. You have this encouragement to attempt it, not only that you will be sure to succeed, if you really try; but, also, that the good opinion of so worthy and pious a man will always be an honour to you. Above all, my Dear, let it never be off your mind, that the blessing of the Lord, only maketh truly rich. His good will is happiness in this world, and in that which is to come. Seek, and Ayou shall find--knock, and it shall be opened. If all the world were your friends and HE Not, you must be a miserable wretch,
now and eternally. Therefore seek the Lord while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. Your Mama will write soon. In the mean time, she prays that God may bless and pre
serve you, in which I heartily join, who - - Remain, &c. &c.
MY DEAR CHI LD--I Received your two epistles, which prove you are very important or very importunate. Know, also, that if I wrote the LATTER END of this week instead of the BEGINNING, it would be in full time to settle whether you should come home a day sooner or later than usual. I humbly conceive, therefore, there has been no delay; though much business has pressed on my part.
I should also remind you, that you should never depart from school, in that idle and slabbering manner, in which some scholars, (I mean blockheads) are permitted to do, who think of running from the post of honour and improvement to a Christmas fire and plumb-pudding; but that, instead of this, you should stand the last at your post—or, like an intelligent traveller on a mountain, catch the last glimpse of the prospect, and slightest beam of the parting day. *
Then, on the sun of science setting, you retire to your friends at home: who, in such CIRCUMsTANCEs, must hail your approach. May you thus finish this stage of your life with reputation, and continue to bring comfort to your Parents and respect and happiness to yourself!
MY DEAR CHILD– I HAVE been thinking about the occasion of your letter; but I cannot advise you to be confirmed, before you have a more serious sense of religion than I have yet perceived in you.