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but not like a mushroom, in a single night: it has been years in growing, and had you watched it every day, you would hardly have perceived that it grew at all. May I not hope that there is at least a little seed of a gracious desire already put in your heart! If so, may the Lord, who alone could plant it, water it. with his blessing, and cause it to increase ; if not, it is my daily prayer, that it may be so ; and I hope it is your prayer for yousself. I pray that you may live and die with the righteous; it is said of them, They have hope in their death; and that when they see him approach, they shall say, “O death, where is thy sting!" • Your mamma and I love you dearly, and hope we shall always have reason to love you more
I am your affectionate.
May 12, 1783. T HAVE just now received my child's short
and sweet letter; and, having nothing to prevent me, I begin my answer to it immediately.
The snow does not often cover the ground in the neighbourhood of London so late as the 8th of May ; but it has been so sometimes. One reason you were surprised at the sight is, because you are young, and this is the first instance, perhaps, in the few years you have been able to take notice. You will meet with many other things, as you grow up, which will surprise you for the like reason: for want of experience, you will not expect them. We expect flowers on the ground in May, and not snow: so those pleasures, the prospects of wbich present themselves to your mind and appear at a distance as beautiful as we usually conceive a May morning to be, when we talk of it in winter, will not always answer expectation. When the time comes, something which you did not think of, unseasonable as snow in May, will come with it, and you will be surprised and disappointed; especially at first, and till you are used to these changes. By the time you are as old as I am now, you will not won. der so much ; and I hope, long before that, the Lord will teach you to profit by such things. It is necessary we should find all to be uncertain and unisatisfying in the present world, or we should be coutented with it, and not think of a better. One reason why young people are but seldom serious is, because the world
appears so pleasing and so promising. They expect roses without thorns, and May without snow. The Lord make you wise by times, that you may remember and seek him now in the days of your youth, before the evil days come (for come they will), when you will find no pleasure in them.
Such days are come very early to Miss B****. I wish, if it were practicable, that all the misses in all the schools in London could see her. What are the pleasure and gaiety which the most are thinking of, now to her! shut up as she is, in the bloom of life, unable to move herself, and with pain her constant companion day and night! I have been much af: fected with looking at her; but I believe I shall not see her long. Within these three days she has been much worse. I was with her twice yesterday, and I have been with her again this morning. The doctors think she cannot live many days ; andi she thinks so too. I am glad to find that she is not unwilling to die. H her affliction has been sanctified to lead her heart to the Lord, then, instead of greatly pitying her, we shall rejoice in her bes half. It is better to be sick or lame, or full of pain, and seeking after him, than to live what is commonly deemed a happy life without God in the world.
Cannot you contrive to put your lines in a little closer together! Your paper looks like a half-furnished room. I want a good long letter; I care not what it is about, so that you write easily. You read sometimes ; cannot you find something in your books to tell me #f? You walk sometimes, and without doubt look about you. Take notice of any thing that strikes your eye ; make some reflection or observation upon it, and then put up your thoughts very safely in a corner of your inemory, that you may
send them to me the next time you write. I love a long letter, especially from you, because I love you a great deal. Adieu, the Lord bless you, is the prayer of
May 19, 1983. My dear Child, If your sensibility drops a tear or two when
you are informed that your aunt C**** is removed from this world of sin and sorrow, I have no objection ; but I do not wish you to shed many, nor is there just cause for it. we could see her now, she would surely say, “ Weep not for me, I am happy !" Yes, she knew and loved the Lord ; she lived in his faith vand fear, and died in his peace and favour; and now she is before the throne. She had her share of trials in this life, but they are all over now: she fought the good fight, and the Lord made her more than conqueror. Now she has received the conqueror's crown, and is singing the conqueror's song. Methinks, dearly as I love you, I could bear to part with you likewise, if I was sure that the Lord had set' his seal of love upon your beart, and thereby marked
for his own. If he has not done bis already, I hope he will. If he has not yet