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ple (ret and fume, are angry and impatient ; but others who are in the Lord's school, and desirous of being taught by him, get good by these things, and sometimes find more pleasure in yielding to his appointment, though contrary to their own wills, than they would have done if all had happened just to their wish.
I wish my dear child to think much of the Lord's governing providence. It extends to the minutest concerns.
He rules and manages all things : but in so secret a way, that most people think he does nothing, when, in reality, he does all. He appointed the time of your coming into the world; and the day and hour of your coming from Highgate to us, depends upon him likewise : nor can you come in safety one step of the road without his protection and care over you. It may now seem a small mat. ter to you and to me, whether
you came home last Sunday, or are to come home next Sunday: but we know not what different consequences may depend upon the day: we know not what hidden danger you might escape by staying at Highgate last Sunday. The Lord knows all things; he foresees every possible consequence, and often what we call disappointments, are mercies from him to save us from harm.
If I could teach you a lesson which as yet I have but poorly learned myself, I would put you in a way that you should never be disappointed. This would be the case if you could always form a right judgement of this world, and all things in it. If you go to a blackberry-bush to look for grapes, you must be disappointed ; but then you must thank yourself, for you are big enough to know that grapes never grow upon brambles. So if you expect much pleasure here, you will not find it ; but you ought not to say you are disappointed, because the Scripture warned you beforehand to look for crosses, trials, and balks, every day. If you expect such things, you will not be disappointed when they happen.
I am your very affectionate,
October 15, 1782.
My dear Child,
lately corrected a mistake I had made. I thought you were but twelve years old last birthday; but I read in a blank leaf of the great Bible, that my child was born June 22, 1769 ; consequently you are now in your fourteenth year. Therefore to keep pace with my ideas and wishes, you ought to be a whole year more advanced in improvements of every kind than you are, a whole year wiser. Some things which I might think very tolerable in my child, supposing she was but twelve years old, will seem but rather so so, when I know she is thirteen ; and some things of another sort will be quite unsuitable at the age of thirteen, which might be more excusable if you were but twelve. You see, my dear child, you must stir your stumps, and use double di. ligence to fetch up this year, which we have somehow lost out of the account. You have a
year less for improvement, and are a year nearer to the time in which you will begin to appear like a young woman than I expected, I know not but I should have been pleased to find that I had made a mistake on the other side, and that you were a year younger than I had supposed you. As it is, I shall hope the best; I do not complain of you. As I love you dearly, so I have much comfort in you : and I trust you will pray to the Lord for yourself, as I do for you, that he may give you grace and wisdom and blessing; then I know you will do well. But sometimes when I consider what a world you are growing up into, and what snares and dangers young people are exposed to, with little experience to help them, I have some painful feelings for you. The other day I was at Deptford, and saw a ship launched: she slipped easily into the water; the people on board shouted; the ship looked clean and gay, she was fresh painted, and her colours flying. But I looked at her with a sort of pity :-"Poor ship,” I thought, “ you are now in port and in safety: but ere long you must go to sea.
Who can tell what storms you may meet with hereafter, and to what hazards you may be exposed; how weather-beaten
you may be before you return to port again, or whether
you may return at all!" thoughts turned from the ship to my child. It seemed an emblem of your present state: you are now as it were in a safe harbour ; but by and by you must launch out into the world, which may well be compared to a tempestuous sea. I could even now almost weep at the resemblance; but I take courage ; my hopes are greater than my fears.
fears. I know there is an infallible Pilot, who has the winds and the waves at his command. There is hardly a day passes in which I do not entreat him to take charge of you. Under his care I know you will be safe; he can guide you unhurt amidst the storms, and rocks, and dangers, by which you might otherwise suffer, and bring you at last to the haven of eternal rest. I hope you will seek him while you are young, and I am sure he. will be the friend of them that seek him sincerely; then you will be happy, and I shall · rejoice. Nothing will satisfy me but this ; though I should live to see you settled to the greatest advantage in temporal matters, except you love him, and live in his fear and favour, you would appear to me quite miserable. I think it would go near to break my