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I think you are in general willing to oblige her, and I am persuaded a little care and resolution on your part, would soon make it easy and familiar to you to follow the example she sets you, as well as the advice she gives you. I hope therefore, for her sake, for mine, for the sake of your governess, and especially for your own sake, you will endeavour to be notable. It was a grief to me that
time was so unavoidably taken up, that I could spare but little to converse with you; but we agreed, you know, to make it up by letters. It is now your turn to write, and I shall be glad of a long letter from you soon, in which I wish you
to open your mind, to tell me what you think, feel, hope, fear, or desire, with the same freedom as if you were writing to one of your school-fellows.
The Lord bless you, my dear child, and give you to increase in wisdom and grace, as you increase in years. Always think of me as
Your very affectionate father.
November 1, 1780. My dear Child,
CONGRATULATE you that you are now I
within a month of December, when you will begin to count the days, and see the vacation peeping over the head of a short interval. I may congratulate your mamma, and myself likewise (provided you come to us improved as we wish you), for we long to see you, and have done so every day since you
Your mamma is often indisposed, but seldom very ill, at least not long together; but both she and I have many feelings with which we were not acquainted when we were young like you. The advantages of youth and health are seldom rightly known at the right time. It is indeed a mercy if, when we are growing old, we have some proper sense of the folly and vanity we indulged in early life, and can be ashamed as we ought, to think how many opportunities we neglected, how many talents we misimproved. Yet repentance cannot recall the day that is past. It is my frequent prayer that you may be wiser than I was at your time of life;
that you may have grace to remember your Creator and Redeemer while you are yet young. Depend upon it, my dear, whenever you really know the Lord, you will be sorry you
did not know him sooner; whenever you experience that pleasure which is only to be found in loving and serving him, you will wish you had loved and served him (if possible) from your very cradle..
I have no news to tell you; but one thing I can assure you, which though you have often heard, I hope the repetition will be always pleasing to you, I mean, that I am your very affectionate friend, and feel for you as if I was really and truly your father.
January 10, 1731. My dear Child,
friends abroad, that my time is so much taken up, they must not expect me to write to them ; and
I have offered to begin a new correspondence with you, though you are in the same house with me. I would have you take notice, and I believe you will, of this, among many other circumstances by which, as occasions offer, I take a pleasure in showing you that I dearly love you, and long to contribute every thing in my power to your improvement and to your satisfaction; and I persuade myself the hope I form of a suitable return of love and attention from you, will not be disappointed. The Lord, in his good providence, gave you to me, as a gift, and committed you to me as a trust; at the same time, he gave me a great love for you: and whatever we do for those we love, we do with pleasure..
I thank you for your letter of yesterday. It encourages me to hope that the gracious Sa.
viour is knocking at the door of your heart. I doubt not but you write what you think and feel, yet there is more meaning in your expressions, than either you or I can fully comprehend. You are, as you say, a sinner ; a young sinner, and yet a great sinner. It is not your case alone, we are all born in sin; but to be sensible that you are a sinner, is a mercy afforded but to few children at your age. May the Lord keep the persuasion alive in your heart. But the word sinner includes so much, that a whole long life will hardly suffice to give you a full sense of it. Thus much I hope you know already, that a sinner needs a Sa, viour; and that Jesus is the Saviour of all sin. ners that seek hím. I commend you to him ; if he has taught you a little, he will teach you more. Put yourself simply into his hand, and wait patiently his time; he works powerfully, but for the most part gently and gradually. You know the sun does not break upon us all at once in the dark night; there is first a glimmering dawn in the sky, which gives us notice that he is coming, and prepares us for his appearance. By degrees that faint light grows brighter; we see clearer and farther; it becomes broad day, and after that the sun rises.