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friends of the
To the numerous
5. Joshua Lee, Esquire,
in particular, as one whose regard for the deceased
was only equalled by the regard of the deceased for him:
The following letters were all sent in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninetynine. This is the only date they bear. The Editor deemed it proper to omit a few very minute passages into which the writer had dropped, perhaps from his not suspecting, or his not remembering that they were to meet the public eye. Some who were unacquainted with the deceased may think that more ought to have been suppressed: but they who knew him will
readily and gladly indulge him in a little amplitude and particularity while relating his own story to one who would naturally feel interested in the detail of the whole.
MY VERY DEAR FRIEND,
You have taken frequent occasion to testify your disposition to preserve our long established friendship. It commenced by the good providence of God; it has hitherto been preserved inviolate; it has been attended with reciprocal advantages; it has given you the claims of a son, and produced in me the tender sensibility of a parent, never offended, but always made happy by a consistent, uniform, and endearing conduct. I have no secret that I would wish to conceal from yon; there is no instance in which I can oblige you, but I am ready to attend to it. You have requested to see my life extended to this period, drawn out by my own hand; and I have only waited for a fair opportunity to gratify you. Use as you please what I communicate. I am too inconsiderable to attract the attention of the public. Every man is a history to himself. I review my own life with humiliation and self-abhorrence for sins, in my younger years, committed against the Lord; but my humiliation is not limited to that period. I would wish it to be, in part, the closing act of my days. I have obtained mercy, and gratitude is highly due to the God of my life. I have been the subject of his providential goodness; hitherto has the Lord helped me. Select friends, as well as yourself, may be entertained by the recital of the divine conduct, and if any may be excited by it under similar circumstances, either in youth or 'riper years, to trust in the Lord, I shall esteem the end of its being communicated answered.