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a great relief to my mind, that I have such steady and tried friends to leave the charge of them upon. Miss G. B. has promised to take J-, and it is my desire, that the others, and the infant yet unborn, if it survive, be sent to my father, where I will leave them to be disposed of, and provided for, by that God who has fed me all my life; their heavenly Father, who has commanded me to leave my fatherless children upon him, who will preserve them alive, and whose promise I have, that he will never leave them, nor forsake them.
Mr. Reid will not be less kind to the offspring of his friend, when they have lost, than when they were under, a mother's protection. May the blessing of the widow and the fatherless follow him wherever he
God recompense him a thousand fold in blessings spiritual and temporal. Let Diana* be sent with my children; if there be an infant you know a nurse must be found for it, whatever it cost. As for Susan,* I am at a loss what to do with her : my heart tells me that I have no right to entail slavery upon her and her offspring ; I know that I shall be blamed, but I am about to be called to account by a higher power than any in this world for my conduct, and I dare not allow her to be sold. I therefore leave it to herself, either to remain here, or if it be her desire, to accompany the children. I beg Mr. Reid will be kind enough to allow her a passage with the rest.
And now, my dear friend, as the greatest happiness I can wish you, may that God whom I have chosen as my own portion, be yours also : may he, by his outward providence, and by the inward operations of his Spirit on your heart, lead you to himself, and convince you of the truth. But O, my dear friend, shut not your eyes and ears against conviction: you are not satisfied that the Bible is indeed the word of God. Is it not worth inquiring into? What would you think of a man, who had a large fortune, and the whole depending on proving some certain facts, who yet would not be at the pains to inform himself? Are the interests of this world of such import- k! ance, which in a few fleeting years we must leave, and > have done with for ever? And is our final state in the next, which is to fix us in happiness or misery through the endless days of eternity, not worth a thought? Think, then, and seriously ask, What if it be so! What, if this be, indeed, the word of God, given by inspiration for the rule of both our faith and manners, by which we are to be judged! What, if this same God, who so kindly reveals his will to men, has with it given the clearest evidences and strongest proofs that it is his own word! Think, I say, my dear friend, if it should be so, what they deserve, who either reject or neglect it, without taking the trouble to inform themselves, so as to be convinced, that it either is, or is not, of divine authority! How many great, learned, and wise men, have sifted these evidences with the greatest care, and the deeper they entered into the search, the more clear they appeared. Even those whose lives are entirely contrary to it, and whose interest it is to wish it false, cannot deny. As to the various explanations of it—it is every one's duty to read for himself; and although there may be some parts of it too deep for our capacity, and many parts which cannot be understood without an exact knowledge of ancient history; yet the simple truths of the gospel, what we are to believe concerning God, and what duties he requires of us, and what he forbids, are equally plain and easy. If we can only once
* The two Indian girls mentioned in the Life of Mrs. Graham.
be satisfied that it is indeed the word of God, set ourselves to study it with an unprejudiced mind, with a sincere desire to know the truth, and be led by it, with earnest prayer, that the same Spirit which inspired the writers, would make it plain to our hearts and understandings, that God himself would teach us its true meaning, and save us from error! we shall, I venture to say, be taught all necessary knowledge, and be led in the way to eternal life: we have God's promise that it shall be so. “ If any man will do my will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God."
Forgive me, my dear friend ; the subject appears to me so important, that I know not how to have done. I love you with a sineere friendship; I love your soul, and am deeply interested in its eternal happiness. Once more I commit you to that God who only can lead you to himself and to true happiness: and that you may know the truth of this from deep experience, to the eternal joy and peace and safety of your immortal soul, is the last prayer of your affectionate friend, who hopes to meet and rejoice with you in our Redeemer's kingdom.
EXTRACTS OF LETTERS TO P
Chiefly written when she was in Affliction.
February 10, 1797. My ever dear Friend,
The desire of writing you a long letter has occasioned a shameful delay on my part. One thing I
can assure you of—you have been much on my mind, and the subject of all our prayers.
Tears of joy ran down my cheeks, when J- told me the state of your mind; and I thank our good and gracious God for opening your eyes to see the vanity of this world, the corruption of your own heart, your need of the atoning blood, and a better righteousness than your own. Hail, my sister in Jesus! Flesh and blood have not taught you this, but your Father who is in heaven: the work is his, evidently his; and being begun, he will carry it on, and finish it too. Commit your soul, then, into his hands: he
came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance;" his errand to our world was to seek and to save the lost. Trusting in his mercy, through Christ, your soul is as safe as his word is true; for none perish that trust in him, “ Trust in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not to thine own understanding;" be not discouraged because of deadness, darkness, wandering, want of love, want of spirituality, want of any kind; who told you of these evils and wants ? The Sun of Righteousness shining into your soul, has shown you many of the evils there; but the half you know not yet. The more you learn of the holiness and purity of the divine nature, and spirituality of the divine law, the more you will be dissatisfied with every thing yours. Even a holy Apostle said " In me, (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; so that the things that I would I do not, and the things that I would not, that I do. Yet it is not I” (not my new nature) “ but sin that dwelleth in me; for to will is present with me, but how to perform that which is good, I find not.”
If this was the case with the Apostle, who sealed his testimony with his life, is it strange that you and I should have hearts full of all abominable things? These realities are cause of deep humility before God, but none of despair or doubt; all are guilty and vile alike, the whole head is sick, and the whole heart unsound; therefore we need Christ to atone for our sin, to cover our naked souls with his imputed righteousness, and to be Surety for us: to sanctify us by his Spirit, and prepare us for the purchased inheritance. O try to rest in him: believe it, you are complete in him : give over, my dear friend, poring and diving into your own heart and frames, and try to trust in an almighty Saviour, to save you from foes without, and foes within. Read Romaine's Walk and Life of Faith: he himself attained to a high degree of holiness, by getting out of himself, and trusting, resting, believing, from day to day, for grace, for every duty as it occurred. The promise runs, “ As thy day so shall thy strength be."
I cannot, at this distance, and knowing nothing of the state of things in your neighbourhood, offer you any advice with respect to outward means; but, if you know any truly pious spiritual minister, I should think it your duty to lay open your mind to him. You may find in books matter as good as any man living can speak; but it is the Lord's appointed way, and he often honours his servants, his ministers, by making them messengers
and comfort to his children.” any sick? Let them call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over them.” See how the Christians of old associated with one another! I am, now, doubly yours, &c.