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Saturday ; but it slipped my memory till it was too late to send it. We hope shortly to hear from you again, at least by a letter to your ---, as I believe she has not had a letter from you since you left her, and seems to be in expectation of one.
Mr. --, with whom you are well acquainted, is very ill indeed, it is feared dangerously so; but of all the calamities with which I am at present acquainted, the greatest is that of Mr. --, who has lost another son, in the same unhappy manner as he did the former. The body was found yesterday morning about 8 o'clock, close by the pier, when it was conveyed home to the distressed father, whose feelings must be exquisitely painful, beyond our conception. There are none surely, who can hear of the circumstance, but must sympathize with such a bereaved parent. · All the painful feelings we experience in our bodies, the distresses and heart-breaking
afflictions of our relations and acquaintances, are all the consequences and effects of sin ; for, had there been no sin, we know there could have been no sorrow. But, since man has been born to sin, he has also been “ born to sorrow as the sparks fly upward.” How foolish then is it, my love, to place our hearts on any thing here! The uncertainty of all human enjoyments proves their vanity. Nothing more so ; yet, from the cradle to the grave, man is in pursuit of some supposed good; but all created things, conspire with one voice to say, it is not to be found in ‘me.' According to the word of God, they are “ broken cisterns,” which we are daily hewing out to ourselves, forsaking him, “ the Fountain of living waters,” the Source of all real happiness. In him we live and move, and have our being : from him we receive all our true enjoyments, and to him (if we look aright) we must look for all we hope for through time and to eternity. The
LORD, in infinite mercy grant, my dear boy, that you and I, and all who are near and dear to us, may be the partakers of that bliss which is substantial and unfading, and of which it hath not entered into the heart of man to form any adequate conception.
I bless God your dear and are quite well. Pray present our respects to , and believe me, my dear boy, Your truly affectionate mother,
Margate, Oct. 22, 1800.
· The receipt of your kind and affectionate letter, my dear boy, afforded us real pleasure, as it always does, to hear of your welfare: and I sincerely hope that this may find you as well in all respects as I wish you. Health of body and vigour of spirits, are blessings, for the which we can never be sufficiently thankful. But I must tell you, there are blessings to be enjoyed, which as far surpass these, as the sun in its meridian height does the twinkling star. I mean the blessings connected with a religious life. Without these, however persons may talk of happiness, their inmost souls are utter strangers to it. How, I ask, how can mortal man be happy, when unreconciled in heart and life to that God, to whom he must one day give an account of every sinful thought, word and deed? And on whom he is dependent for eternal happiness or wretchedness ? If any one hopes for happiness in such a state of alienation from GOD, it is but an index of the ignorance of his mind. My dear -, may it be your case, to seek true comfort where it is to be found ! “ Wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness, “ and all her paths are peace.” You are urged to this from many considerations, both of precept and example, and from the late instance of mortality, which perhaps has
come to your knowledge. I mean the death of — 's youngest boy. We are often witnessing this, that death is no respecter of persons. The infant babe and the hoary head are alike to him. There are some of all ages in eternity; and there is no truth so certain, and which it requires less argument to prove, than this, that we are mortal dying creatures ; and yet men live as though they thought they were never to die! What a melancholy thing, to be, for aught we know, on the very verge of an eternal world, and yet regardless of our situation! But. seeing, my dear boy, that these are truths which none can deny, I intreat you
• Let thoughts like these possess your breast
Consent to sin, for God is there.'
I have the pleasure to inform you, that your dear , and all the family are well : and that this may be your case as well as that