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Although I have written in a direct way only to yourself, yet it bas not been without a view to those who mourn with
you ; in the hope that those whose hearts have been prepared by grace, may find that the consolations of God are not small with them; and with the solicitous desire, that the hearts of all may be ibus prepared for partaking, according to their respective measure of suffering under this great affliction, of those divine consolations, which to believers are made to abound through Jesus Christ, as their sorrows have abounded.
“ Now the Lord of peace himself, give you peace always, by all means ! The Lord be with you all !"
With great esteem, and affectionate sympathy, I am sincerely your friend,
MY DEAR FRIEND,
Your favour, under dates, the 7th and 8th inst. I received yesterday by B. and as usual, I write in return, with haste, as well as a mind occupied with various objects of attention. But as B. sails again for Beaufort, this afternoon, I am unwilling to let slip the opportunity, without dropping a few lines ; they may turn out to be pages, to a friend whose correspondence I highly value, and with whose sentiments and feelings, my own seem to harmonize, on the most important and interesting subjects, and in all the vicis
situdes of joy and sorrow, to which this mortal life is subjected.
Your letter is chiefly filled, with a truly affecting account of an event, at once afilicting and consolatory, in an uncommon degree! For the early death of such a lovely woman, and excellent christian ; who that knew any thing of her worthy and amiable character, and especially that bad the opportunity of enjoying much of her pleasing, improving society and conversation, can forbear to mourn, deeply and tenderly to mourn, that she no longer lives, to adorn the profession of the gospel, to gladden the respectable social circles in which she moved, and to be the joy and solace of her family, connexions, and friends! Yet who that raises the strong and stedfast eye of faith, to the bright and heavenly prospect, and beholds her happy spirit, now united to the innumerable and glorious throng of the redeemed, of the spirits of the just made perfect, in, boliness and bliss, can refuse to be consoled with the consideration, that their painful loss is her great gain ; that for her, it is unspeakably better to be with her Lord her Saviour and her God, than it would have been to continue in the body, in a world of imperfection, sin, femptation, and trial! Blessed be God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that christians on earth are not left to sorrow, for the dearest and the most beloved christian friends departed to heaven, as those who have no hope !
How little do friends generally, when they meet, realize the solemn idea, that this may be the last time of seeing each other's faces in the land of the living ! The last time, I think, of our seeing the desirable friend, now no more with us, was at our house, where
she spent about two hours of a forenoon; and seldom indeed, if ever, have I enjoyed a more pleasant season, of that duration, with any person with whom I had not previously had the pleasure of a long and intimate acquaintance. Mrs, W. was with us at the same time : and as she was herself, an ornament of her sex, and of her christian profession, and a very good judge of the qualities, natural, acquired, and inspired, which constitute a character, most worthy of esteem and affection, she expressed herself very much pleased indeed, with Miss B. and we all united in the sentiment, that such an assemblage of youth, beauty, intelligence, sweetness of disposition, easy and engaging manners, and genuine, lively piety, is rarely to be found. Her lovely image must long live in the recollection, and her memory must be long endeared, to the hearts of her friends; and especially of those who best knew her worth, and loved her most. May the little company of the Redeemer's disciples and friends, who are travelling in the narrow way to life, and who no longer enjoy the pleasing, animating company of this desirable fellow traveller on the road, be excited to shake off sloth, and with redoubled diligence follow her, as she followed Christ, and press forward to that immortal crown, and everlasting rest, to which she has gone before them ; having been peculiarly and eminently favoured, in be. ing so early called to realize the promises, and the work of grace, fulfilled and completed in glory. And may the bereaved parent, husband, sisters, connexions, and friends, whose hearts most deeply feel the dispena sation of a wise and holy Providence, which has called her so soon to heaven, and left them to mourn her loss on earth, and turned their short lived satisfactions, and
vainly anticipated joys, in this dear object of their affec tions, into lasting tears and sorrows, find, that the saviour, in whom she trusted and triumphed, is better to them, than tbe dearest of creatures can possibly be ; is a friend indeed, who will never leave them nor forsake them; and who is able effectually to comfort those who mourn, and ready to make his grace sufficient for them, and his strength perfect in their weakness; and so to bless them, even by this great affliction, that they shall know, that it is indeed good for them, that tbey have been thus afflicted. To his compassion, and supporting, and sanctifying grace, I commend all who are sharers in this affliction; and they will allow me, I trust, to take at least an humble part with them in their sorrows, with the desire, and in the hope, that as is their day of trial, so will their strength from him be found ; that all their sorrows hare abounded, their consolations also, shall by him be made fo abound; and that through the teaching of his word and spirit, they may effectually learn the various lessons of heav. enly wisdom, which this providence is adapted to impress most deeply upon their hearts !
On the deeply interesting subject of war, which at this period 80 seriously occupies the public mind, I can bardly say, whether my hopes or apprehensions, respecting it, preponderate. When I think how obviously it is the interest, in almost every point of view, of G. B. and the U. S. to maintain and cultivate peace, and harmony, and a fair and equitable commercial intercourse ; it would seem, that if the governments of the two nations, are influenced by the principles of an enlightened and honest policy, they may yet meet on friendly ground; and such reparation may yet be made, for the insult lately offered to our national Inde
pendence, sovereignty and honor, as may prevent the horrors and calamities of war. But when again I think of the unworthy returns, which, as a people, we have made to the God of our mercies, for all his distinguishing favours to our country; and particularly bow ungratefully and criminally we have abused the manifold and long continued blessings of peace; I cannot but fear, that the time may be near at hand, when the Lord may proceed to visit for these things, and to a. venge himself of such a nation as this, by some heavjer judgments, than those which have already been abroad in our land! The scourge of war, we have certainly deserved to feel, if not by our conduct to. wards the government, with whom we are in danger of being involved in a quarrel, which I think we have not justly provoked ; yet, at least, by our offences against the great Governor of nations, who has a right to employ what sword, or rod, he may choose, for inflicting upon us the merited chastisement for our gins, Your sincere friends,
JANE AND IBA AC 8. KEITH,
TO DR. B.,
CHARLESTON, SEPTEMBER 1, 1807.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
When I begin to write to you, I generally intend to write but a little. What becomes of my purposes, in this case, let the long scrawls which you often receive from me, testify, In one respect, indeed,