« ПредишнаНапред »
taken full possession of your heart, I hope you are sensible that he is standing, as it were, at the door, and knocking, waiting to be gracious to you. The door of the heart is not easily opened. The love of sin, of self, and the world, are so many bolts, which are too strong for us to remove by our own power ; yet he can open it easily because all things are easy to him), and, by a sweet constraint of love, force him. self an entrance. I hope you are willing that he should do this ; and that you are not willing to do any thing on your part that may grieve him, and cause him to withdraw and leave
you to yourself. You cannot do much : you can, indeed, do nothing spiritually of yourself. Yet there is something for you to do; you are to wait, and pray, and long for his blessing; you are to read his word, and to endeavour to make it the rule of your conduct, so far as you understand it; you are to attend to his voice in your conscience, and not wilfully allow
your self in what you know to be wrong. This is the path in which my heart's desire and prayer is that you may walk at present; and then in due time the promise shall be fulfilled to you
“ Then shall you know, if you “ follow on to know the Lord;" Hosea, vi. 3.
You may believe we had some weeping at home upon this occasion. But the Lord is very good. Your mamma has been supported, and is pretty well.
I long to see you, and especially now, that we may read Mr. Gray's Elegy together. I hope we shall be permitted to be with you on the famous exhibition day, and I please myself with the thought, that you will appear to advantage. I wish, for your own sake, you could get the better of that trepidation and hurry which discomposes you when the eyes of company are upon you; but it is a fault on the right side, and much better than a bold, pert, selfconfident carriage, which is very disgusting in some young people; but there is a medium which I wish you to aim at.
I am your affectionate,
June 11, 1783. My dear Child, I THANK you for your last letter, which
pleased me and your mammu very much. We thought it well written, and well expressed. Take as mnch eure as you please how you write, and use as little study as you please, what to write. When you are surrounded with the beauties of nature, you need not puzale yourself with thinking what to say first : but set down first what first occurs to your mind: when you have written that, something else will offer. Try to write just what you think, and write as often and as largely as your many important businesses will allow; for nothing but practice will give you a habit of writing easily: and practice will do it. We could fill up as large a sheet as you, with repeating how much we love you; I hope and believe there is no love lost on either side. Love will make you desirous to please and oblige us, and love will prompt us to do every
thing in our power to oblige and please you; and so I hope we shall go on loving and pleasing as long as we live.
We often think of Monday se’nnight, when we hope to come and see your exhibition. I promise myself that your part will do you credit, and give us satisfaction. I could like to come over and read the Elegy with you once more; but I know I shall not be able, and I believe it will not be necessary. I doubt not but you will do it very well, especially if you can get the better of your diffidence and trepidation. But I had much rather see you a little timid, than see you assuming and affected, as some young people are. I could wish you to have just so much feeling when you begin, as might intimate a respect for the company; and then that you should enter into the spirit of the poem, so as in a manner to forget every body present, till you have done. There is a great beauty in the cadence and melody of the verse, if you can hit it off without overdoing it. If you understand and can feel the subject, you will express it properly.
I hope the Elegy will likewise lead some profitable reflections for your own use, and which may excite your thankfulness to the Lord. To him you owe your capacity, and to him likewise you are indebted for the advantages you have of cultivation. It is possible, that among
the children we meet half naked in the streets, there may be some who might have been amiable and admired in life, if they had been favoured with the helps which the good providence of God has afforded you. But they grow up, poor things, in ignorance and wickedness, after the example of those among whom they live. And though you would not have been like these, yet it is probable you would not have been, as you now may, and I hope will be, if the Lord had not sent you to us, Though you were deprived of your own parents when you were very young, perhaps no child, in such a case, has had less cause to feel the loss; because the Lord not only made us willing to take care of you, but gave us, immediately on our receiving you, a tender affection for you, you
had been our own; and from that time your welfare has been a very principal object with us.
You have been guarded against the follies and vanities which might otherwise have taken an early possession of your mind; and you have been acquainted with the means of grace, and the blessed Gos