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change of mind, to be fitted for the enjoyment and employment of heaven? Every thing else, my dear child, is less than nothing, and vanity; -less, did I say? Infinitely worse! O could we ask, I will not say death-beds, (for many die insensible of the worth of the soul,) but ask lost souls, they can tell:-and then ask glorified souls, what it is to be saved?
66 The church of Christ has had a severe loss in Mr.'s death. Amidst the gloom I please myself with the thought, that young ones shall be raised up in their room. And oh! if my dear children should be some of that number, what joy, what ecstasy!
"God bless you, my dear child, with every new-covenant blessing! I need not name them. Pray for them, and I doubt not you shall be a partaker of them.
"Believe me, your affectionate mother,
In a letter dated February 13th, 1807, she mentions the approaching death of the venerated friend of their family, the Rev. John Newton; and speaks to her son upon the same subject of his entering the sacred ministry, with much of the assurance of faith.
At the critical and important period of her son's commencing college residence, she writes with a tenderness of affection, and a solidity of judgment, worthy of a Lois or Eunice.
October 21st, 1808.
Now, my dear child, let me again remind you of the important situation you are looking to. Its importance and responsibility, I cannot-I am not able to describe, but must refer you to the thirty-third chapter of Ezekiel, and St. Paul's epistles to Timothy and Titus. I wish you often to read them, that your mind may be well stored with the ideas, what a faithful minister should be; and that you may be excited to much prayer, that you may be such
"I hope and doubt not, but you perfectly understand me, when I speak diminutively respecting learning; it is only in a comparative way. It should not be the first object; only secondary. When learning is sanctified to the cross, then I like it. Paul's determination I wish to be yours, To know nothing comparatively, but Jesus Christ and him crucified; and elsewhere, Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.
"Far be it from me to wish you to omit any opportunity of increasing your knowledge, in every thing that has a tendency to render you useful in life. I only wish it not to become a snare, which it has been to many; nor to endanger your health in the pursuit of it. I hope you will avoid making many acquaintances; it is more easy to form them, than to shake them off when disagreeable. And may the good Lord, to whom I commend you, give you understanding in all things! E. N."
It was the constant hope of his mother, though she lived not to see her desire accomplished, that he should become a minister. In another letter, dated July 13, 1810, she remarks; "Mr. preached here last night from the words, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. May that be your theme, if you are so far honoured as to be admitted into the ministry."
On occasion of her son's marriage, shortly after the death of his much-loved brother Benjamin, she thus writes to her children.
Though, from melancholy events well
known, I have not been able to show that attention I wished, yet you have my best wishes and prayers, that your union may be as happy and as profitable, as your late dear brother's; and, if consistent with infinite wisdom, of much longer duration. I hope you both entered into it with the fear of God; and in his holy fear may you continue to walk. It may seem unseasonable to remind you, that time is short; but I do not know when it can be more seasonable, than when setting out in life with expectations raised, and hopes sanguine, to make a pause, and inquire, 'How may I best fill up this short space of time to promote the glory of God, and the welfare of my fellow creatures?' Many duties, new to you both, are connected with the situation you have entered into. But you know who has said, If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth
liberally; and it shall be given. To that fountain I hope you will both have recourse; and then you will not greatly err.
"I am, your ever affectionate mother,
At a later period, his mother, now fast tending to the grave, but not yet blessed to see clear evidences of her son's conversion, addressed one more parental charge to him; found (as the introductory sentence implies that it would be) among her papers after her decease.
My dear Cornelius,
"As this will be the last letter you will receive from me, (it not being to be delivered till after my decease,) I hope you will receive it as dictated by the affection of a mother who loves you. The purport is to remind you of what you have so frequently heard,-of the great importance of making your calling and election sure. O, my dear child, do not rest satisfied till you have ascertained your interest in that great salvation, without which you must perish everlastingly. You have seen the uncertainty of life by the death of your two amiable brothers. O may you follow them so far as they followed Christ; then you will, ere long, partake of that felicity they are in the enjoyment of. As a small legacy, I beg you to accept of my ever dear and honoured friend's Works, for whom you know I had such love and veneration. I also beg Susan
to accept Mr. Jay's Works: others I should have preferred, but I know she had Mr. Cecil's, and other valuable authors. Accept, my dear child, my thanks and gratitude for all your kind attentions to me. You have been a dutiful child; and I hope, if your dear boy lives, (whom I pray God to bless!) that you may receive from him all the kindness you have shown to me. Remember, he is a sacred deposit: be sure, if he is spared, to train him up for God. You have had great afflictions; O that the time may speedily arrive when you will have cause to say, It was good for me that I was afflicted. I would say more, but I am weary. Again I repeat, be earnest at a throne of grace for an interest in Jesus. It is the dying request of her who is now
"Your affectionate mother,
"Sabbath Morning, September 27th, 1818."
This venerable parent died December 5th, 1818, in the seventy-sixth year of her age.