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viour is knocking at the door of your heart. I doubt not but
think and feel, yet there is more meaning in your expressions, than either you or I can fully · comprehend. You are, as you say, a sinner; a young sinner, and yet a great sinner. It is not your case alone, we are all born in sin; but to be sensible that you are a sinner, is a mercy afforded but to few children at your age. May the Lord keep the persuasion alive in your heart. But the word sinner includes so much, that a whole long life will hardly suffice to give you a full sense of it. Thus much I hope you know already, that a sinner needs a Saviour; and that Jesus is the Saviour of all sin. ners that seek him. I commend you to liim; if he has taught you a little, he will teach you
Put yourself simply into his hand, and wait patiently his time; he works powerfully, but for the most part gently and gradually. You know the sun does not break upon us all at once in the dark night; there is first a glimmering dawn in the sky, which gives us notice that he is coming, and prepares us for his appearance. By degrees that faint light grows brighter; we see clearer and farther; it becomes broad day, and after that the sun rises.
Your part is to pray to him, to hear his word, and to listen with attention when you hear it preached. I trust you will find your light increase, and difficulties abate: I wish you to be as cheerful and easy as possible. Cheerfulness is no sin, nor is there any grace in a solemn cast of countenance. On the other hand, I would not have you light or giddy with levity; it will hurt your own spirit, and hinder you from the pursuit of what in
serious moments you most desire. I know your natural spirits are change able; sometimes they are highly volatile: I would have you correct them by thinking you are a sinner. Sometimes you are grave enough; but if
you feel uneasy, then try to think what, a Saviour you read of. Be sure you do not in , dulge a hard thought of him, as though he were severe, and stern, and ready to take advantage of you. Form your ideas of him from the accounts the evangelists give you, that he was meek and lowly when upon earth, full of compassion and gentleness, ready to pity, to heal, to help, and to teach all who come to him; and they will tell you that he had in particular a great love for children. He tells you so himself. You read how he took them in his arms, put his hands on them, and blessed them.
When you think of this, shake off gloomy thoughts, speak to him in your heart, and say, Lord bless me too.
One of the best methods of keeping free from uneasy, troublesome thoughts, at least of lessening them, is to be always employed; strive and pray against indolence, look upon it as a hurtful, yea, a sinful thing. Read in English and French, write and work. Your mamma and I will be both willing you should diversify these employments as may be most agreeable to your own inclination; but we wish not to see you
idle. Now is the time of life for you to acquire useful knowledge, that you may make yourself agreeable, and that you may be useful and qualified to fill up that station in the world which the Lord may allot you. I will gladly assist you as much as I can, in what falls under my department; but you know I have but little time. God has given you a good capacity, and therefore the less assistance will be necessary, if you are not wanting to yourself. You may depend on our doing what we can to make you happy. If we seem to cross your wishes sonetimes, or not to comply with your desire, you may be sure we have some reason for it.
You shall go
out with us, as often as we think it will be proper and right; and we shall not leave
you at home for our own pleasure, but because it would not be good for you to be very much abroad. We expect and hope you will be ruled by a hint or a word; and then you will find us studious in contriving how to make every thing as agreeable as possible to you. Because you desired a letter soon, I have written thus much, although I had other things to do, and it is preaching morning. I shall hope for a letter from you very much! The Lord
I am, my dear child,
Your affectionate father.
October 17, 1784. My dear Child, I
the first letter; in future you must not expect me to write but in answer to your's. We wish to hear soon that you are well, and that you like your situation. I do not wish you to like any place so well as home: upon one account you ought not; for it is impossible any persons should ever love you so well as your mamma and I do ; and therefore you are bound to love us dearly, and that will make you love home; and the more you love home, the more diligent you will be in the improvement of your time at school. For your return to us must in a great measure depend upon yourself; it is no pleasure to us to send you abroad. I thought for a day or two the house looked awkward without you, and I miss you a little every day still; but we are forced to part with you for your own good. I cannot bear the thoughts of your growing up like a tall weed ; I want you to appear