« PreviousContinue »
pensation, to that divine maxim, “ It is more blessed to give, than to receive."
You have not said a word too much about your children. Loving the mother as we do, we cannot feel indifferent towards her children, who, we know, must be very near and dear to her heart. You have reason to be thankful that you could say so much in their favour. All their other promising qualities, and improvements, it is hoped, will in due time, be crowned by the grace of God. This, you know, is not yours to give. With a view to this, however, you may, and surely you will, continue to teach them, to pray for them, and to set before them, an instructive, engaging example. And while thus studying to bring up for the Lord, those dear children which he has given you, and which you have in baptism, already in the most solemn manner de. voted to him; you may, according to his word, with humble confidence hope, that he will establish his covenant with them, as the seed of his people, and be their God, as he has been the God of their parents, and in like manner bless them, make them a blessing in this world, and prepare them for being for ever blessed with all the redeemed and the sanctified, in his presence, in the world of glory.
The last interview, for a few short days, of our friend, the Rev. Mr. J. with his family and friends, must have afforded a kind of melancholy satisfaction, to him and to them. With the event, it is hoped, he is perfectly satisfied; and his afflicted widow, I trust, will find, to her unspeakable consolation, that the Lord, is the God and husband of the widow, and the Father of the fatherless. You, no doubt, must well know how to feel for her, and to pray for her.
If you know what pleasure you would feel in seeing us at Farmington, you may judge how highly we would be gratified in seeing you there ; for on that occasion, your feelings would, I am sure, be fully reciprocated by ours; excepting so far as your heart may be larger and more benevolent than ours. The prospect ing you in the course of next summer, our hearts would most fondly cherish : but whether we shall in this case realize our wishes, I am afraid to say, our expectations, depends entirely on His will, in whose bands are all our times; and his will be done! “ Invited," as I know we are “by sincerity and love,” could you real. ly believe, that we would find it “ hard work,” for us to put up with your “ plain way of life," as you call it ! As I am a Northern man, by birth and education ; and as my wife is in like manner an old English woman, we are of eourse both familiarized to manners, and modes of living generally, similar to those which prevail in New England. And after all that I have seen and experienced, during a residence of nearly eighteen years in Charleston, I am still inclined to think, that the best servants we erer have, are hands, and our left;" at least where health, habit, and climate, will allow us to employ these to the best advantage. From what you must have observed of the advantages and disadvantages connected with the numbers of that sort of servants, usually belonging to families in this country, you could, I suppose, inform your good brother, from whose letter to you, you have favoured us with a valuable extract, that if he were living in Carolina, he would find more Canaanites in the land, than he has hitherto been aware of, in Connecticut, or Vermont. But so it is generally ordered, in the wise
" right providence of God, that conveniencies and inconveniencies are blended often in remarkable proportion to each other, in most situations in this world. A large proportion of the class of people alluded to, seem to be in very close alliance and correspondence, with the enemy in our hearts, and often excite very troublesome commotions there, not easily controlled, or quelled. Yet many of them are certainly very comfortable and useful helps ; at least in this clinate ; and many of them, I trust, are now worthy fellow-citizens with the saints, and will be happy inhabitants, with all who are redeemed out of every nation, of the heavenly Canaan. Yet, I begin to suspect, that if we should be permitted to make you a visit, we would feel ourselves rather in an awkward situation at Farmington ; not from the circumstance which you allege ; but from a cause entirely of a different nature. The truth is, your partiality seems to have prompted you to say, so much about our little kindnesses shewn to you, and your own manner of expressing your grateful, and friendly sentiments and feelings, seems to have gone so far, in conciliating for us the favourable opinion, and good will, of your friends around you, that we can now scarcely calculate on any other result, from a personal acquaintance with them, than a mortifying disappointment on their part, as they must soon perceive, that, after all they have heard of us, we are indeed very poor creatures, rather standing in need of their compassion and prayers, than having a claim to any high degree of their regards and attentions. Still, however, it might be good for us, to be thus humbled among you ; although the circumstance might not be pleasing to our self-love, of which we have more than enough, in whatever else we may be deficient. How highly would this self-love of ours, and I would hope, some better principles in our hearts, be gratified, if, instead of visiting you at Farmington, we could have you added, permanently, to the circle of our friends in Charleston ! But it seems to be otherwise ordered, and I doubt not for your advantage. If infinite wisdom and love, have chosen and appointed our lot, it must be not only right in itself, but, in all respects, best for us. My dear Jane will, I expect, write to you again ere long; and to her pen
I leave the historical details, which you might wish to receive, respecting friends, and affairs here. She has lately suffered a good deal from a pain in her ear, but is now, through mercy, better. This, I believe, she felt some times while
and you may perhaps recollect, that it used to make her feel and look very grave; and thus, to one of her nat. urally lively disposition, it seemed to have a good tendency, and desirable effect. After all, and with all her infirmities, she possesses, as you know, many valuable qualities, and is to me a dear girl, as she is a most affectionate wife, and friend; and next to her husband, I doubt whether there is any person in the world, whom she loves better than yourself. Let us be remembered, to friends, as before. Write soon again, and as often as you can; and assure yourself of the most cordial es. teem, and love, of your sincere friend,
you were with
ISAAC S. KEITH.
RESPECTED GENTLEMEN, AND ESTEEMED FRIENDS,
I HAVE been honored with your very kind and highly valued letter, under date the 22d September, inclosing a vote of your church, in F. which they bad been pleased to adopt and to commit to your care, for the purpose of conveying to me, “their grateful sense and acknowledgment of my friendly attentions to Mrs. W. a sister of said church, in her afficted and mourning state, during her residence in my family.”
This vote of the church, and the sentiments corresponding with the spirit of it, expressed in your letter which covered it, are truly gratifying to my feelings; while they are, at the same time, adapted deeply to bumble
me, under a consciousness that I am by no means entitled to such a very respectful and honorable notice of those little services, which I had attempted to render to one of the dear family of our blessed Lord, and a very worthy sister, indeed, of your church, which his wise and good providence had placed for a short time in my family. To receive a stranger, of her amiable character, and in her very affilicting circumstances, mourning under the recent and heavy loss of her best mortal friend, and earthly support, to such accommoda