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but not like a mushroom, in a single night: it
I am your affectionate.
Play 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 ex- ' pect 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 hrst, and till you are used to these changes. By the time you are as old as I am now, you will not wonder 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 unsatisfying in the present world, or we should be contented 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. i .
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; and 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 be 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 livile closer together: Your paper looks like a half-furnished room. I want a good long letter; } care not what it is about, so that you write easily. You read sometimes ; cannot you find something in your books to fell me of? You walk sometimes, and without doubt Ibok about you. Take notice of any thing that strikes your eye ; make some reflection or observation upon it, and the 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 á long letter, especially front pou, because I love you a great deal. Adieu, the Lord bless you, is the prayer of
· LETTER XVI.
May 19, 1983. My dear Child, FF 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. If 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 like. wise, if I was sure that the Lord had set' his seal of love upon your heart, and thereby marked you for his own. If he has not done bis already, I hope he will. If he has not yet