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I hope you have been going on with your French. I should have written you a much longer letter had it not been that I expect so soon to see you personally. In the mean time believe, that I remain, my dear Sister,
Your most affectionate Brother.
In these letters the feelings of nature are expressed in a very interesting manner. The letter to his brother contains some very delicate touches, and manifests much tact and discrimination, as well as great ingenuousness and deep concern for the salvation of his soul. May his prayers and expostulations not be in vain!
The two following, though the last is without date, appear to have been written during this
St. Andrew's, March 13, 1825.
My dear Friend;
This is Sabbath evening, and it is now pretty late, yet I cannot think of letting my father go without writing by him. I have had but little experience in the feelings of the afflicted, but yet I can remember how the receipt of a letter from a friend, or any such little incident, would sometimes mitigate, in a degree, the pains of disease, by chequering the dull and tedious hours of confinement. And, if in this way I can have any hope of ministering to your comfort, it were surely most ungrateful of me to let slip, through negligence, a single opportunity of doing so. My father tells me that you are still very poorly; but you know, from experience, far better than I can tell you,
that every affliction works for the good of them that love God. You must have a satisfaction in feeling that every trial through which God has carried you, has been an additional proof of his love to you, and of your interest in a Saviour! A satisfaction which that individual, whose religion (like mine) has been all in the sunshine of prosperity, cannot enjoy. I have not yet proceeded far on the voyage of life, and hitherto all has been smooth and prosperous; but I sometimes look forward with dread foreboding to the many tempests which I may have to encounter on life's rough sea, and to the many waves of trouble and distress which roll between me and that peaceful shore, where "billows never beat, nor tempests roar.' And at such times I could envy the case of that bark, which, like yours, has long been tossed by many a tempest, but which has weathered them all, and is just about to drop anchor in the peaceful haven. But I feel that this is a sinful feeling, and proceeds from weakness of faith. It is doubting His word, who has said, "when thou walkest through the fire it shall not burn thee; and through the waters, they shall not overflow thee." I am sorry that I am obliged here to conclude abruptly, as my time is gone. May the Lord support you in all your trials!
Your very affectionate and much obliged friend.
My very dear friend;
I cannot think of leaving you, as we parted last night, without some expression of what I feel at your often repeated kindness which has entailed upon me a debt of gratitude which I can never discharge. All that I am, and all that I have, are devoted, I trust, to the service of God; and the
only way that I can ever repay the kindness of christian friends is by redoubling my ardor in the great cause for which we all live, and for which we all die. If this shall be the effect of your generosity, it will produce to you a double reward, and to me a double benefit. You will not only enjoy the thought that you have gained the lasting gratitude and good wishes of a fellow-pilgrim in this world, but when this world, and all the things that are therein, shall be burnt up, you will be rewarded a thousand-fold as having contributed, in some degree, through that unworthy individual, to promote the interests of a cause, the noblest that ever occupied the thoughts of men or of angels; I had almost said, of God himself.
And if your kindness prove to me, as I trust it will, a stimulus to greater exertion in the cause to which I am devoted, that will be an infinitely greater benefit than all the advantages it may directly confer. Thus may the Lord make your kindness a double blessing both to the giver and to the receiver. And to his name be all the thanks and all the glory.
I remain your much obliged friend and brother in the Lord.
The two preceding letters would do credit to any pen as specimens of natural and unaffected epistolary correspondence; while the sentiments they contain, and the spirit which they breathe, would not be unworthy of the most mature christian. The fears respecting the future, which he so beautifully expresses, were never realized. His tender bark was indeed ill fitted to encounter
the storms and perils of this world; and therefore Infinite Goodness brought it speedily to "the land of glory and repose." His amiable and long afflicted correspondent still remains behind. Not a few, dear to the writer of these memoirs, besides John Urquhart, has she seen safely sheltered before herself, whose departed spirits, will welcome her's into "the everlasting habitations,' when the period of her release shall come. May the God whom she has long served, and who has sustained her "in deaths oft," be with her to the end of her journey! And, as she has been “a succorer of many, and of myself also," may her reward at last be exceeding great!
Dr. Chalmers' class seems to have occupied the principal share in his attention during this winter; and in moral philosophy and political economy, he appears to have made great proficiency. Besides his notes of the Professor's lectures, and the papers which he wrote on the various subjects which were assigned, or voluntarily undertaken, he composed a Synopsis, or Analysis of Smith's Wealth of Nations, the favorite class book of Dr. Chalmers, and which has contributed more to produce correct views of society, and of the science which is now so popular, than any production of the age. My young friend read this work evidently with great care; and though he must have generally admired it, and agreed in its statements and reasonings, he did not blindly adopt them. The following paper will evince that he could think for himself, and discover even in the able work of that most profound thinker, positions that are not altogether tenable.
DISTINCTION BETWEEN PRODUCTIVE AND UNPRODUCTIVE LABOR.
THAT there is some distinction between what Dr. Smith calls productive, and what he terms unproductive labor, we think every one allow; and that it consists in this, that the former produces something which the latter does not produce, it must, we think, be as readily admitted. The question comes to be, "What is the something?" If all that Dr. Smith means by this distinction be, that the one produces something which is tangible, while the produce of the other is something too ethereal and too evanescent to be laid hold of, we perfectly agree with him. We think his distinction a very just, but at the same time a very useless one; and, in our opinion, he might as well have amused us by a farther subdivision of labor, according as its produce was hard or soft, liquid or solid. But this is not Dr. Smith's meaning; and, on appealing to his definition we find, that he founds this distinction on the supposition, that "the one sort of labor adds to the value of the subject on which it is bestowed; and that the other has no such effect; that the one produces a value, the other does not." The distinction seems now to turn on the meaning of the word