« PreviousContinue »
commencing the career of life ; a criminal connexion with the dissolute of the other sex, and with gamesters. Indeed, it is hardly possible to have any other than a criminal connexion with either. Those degrading passions, either combined or singular, have brought many a promising youth to destruction. But Oh, my dear, young friend, if you have the smallest value for the respectable family, of which you are at present a meritorious member, if you have any
value for health, or for property,
“ The lewd embraces of the wanton dame,
“Rot in your boncs, and canker in your name. Believe me, or rather believe the wisest man, or men, that have ever written, this is the certain road to destruction,
It is, in my opinion, possible to go through life with more pleasure, and less sorrow, than people in general suppose. Shun vicious company ; meddle not with other people's concerns; study to be quiet, and mind your own business; bear, and forbear; render not railing for railing. Let these excellent, these divine maxims, ever live in your heart, and direct your conduct, and whether you are thrown among friends or enemies, you will be beloved and respected.
These are friendly admonitions, they are not words of course ; they are dictated not so much by a sense of duty, 'as by sincere affection. I love you, and therefore I feel for you ; I love your connexions, and I am, therefore, interested in you; I know the world, and it is therefore I tremble for one, for whom I so tenderly feel, and who is just preparing to encounter its dangers. You do not want sense, but I pray you trust not too much to that; you are blest with a good disposition, do not, however, rest your hopes on this consideration ; you are nearly related to the Preserver of men, attend to, and depend upon him, and you will never fail.
That your way may be made prosperous, that you may be preserved from every evil, and returned. home in safety, and with an unblemished character, is the fervent prayer of, my dear, young friend, your truly affectionate, &c. &c.
To a young man.
THANK you unfeignedly for your last favour. O, that you might continue in that frame of mind, in which this sweet epistle describes you! And do you, indeed, wish to hear again the voice of the good Shepherd? Yes, I know that you do ; you cannot choose, but sigh to listen to the words of grace and truth, for they are sweeter to the soul of the sinner, than honey to the taste, or the softest strains of music to the ear. Indeed, my poor fellow, I do, from my soul, pity you. I am confident, no satisfaction can possibly be obtained, from the society with which you are accustomed to associate. Were you under an absolute necessity always to mingle in such company, I should calculate upon hearing you exclaim, Woe is me, for I am constrained to dwell in the tents of Kedar. And if the conversation of Pharisees, and pretended Christians, is so tedious to you, what must be the company
profane persons, to whom we are told you are attaching yourself? William, my heart bleeds for you, the circle of which you are so fond will lead you as far in the road to destruction, as the faithfulness of God our Saviour can suffer you to proceed. I well know your temper; your disposition is affectionate and generous; you would gladly administer good things, even to the evil and unthankful, and God forbid, I should presume to give you a motive, which may have a tendency to prevent your following the steps of your divine Master. But indeed you cannot benefit those you misname your friends ; you cannot essentially benefit either them or yourself, and you will greatly injure your dear, innocent family; and what I am persuaded will have more weight with you, and with every one who loves our Lord Jesus, you will plant a dagger in the calumniated cause of
Redeemer. Reflect, deluded young man, and may reflection produce reformation. Let the profane scoffer, and the malignant bigot, let the practices of those characters, be equally objects of detestation. Separate yourself from them, I beseech you, and let them know,
VOL. II. 48
that you are determined to commence a true son of liberty, and that, although you will be ready to do them, upon every occasion, as much good as may consist with your duty to your Saviour, God, to your family, and to yourself; yet, that you will no longer continue the associate of their upwarrantable excesses. Fly, fly from them, as you would from the poison of the serpent. God hath given you a tender, faithful companion, lovely and promising infants ; do not upon any occasion sacrifice to the adversary, to the accuser of the brethren, what belongs to your Saviour, and to them. You see, I not only prove my friendship, by being thus plain, but I evince my sentiments of your attachment to me; were I not sure of my influence, I should not thus presume.
No, it is not possible that an angel from heaven can direct you more advantageously, than 'to make your Bible, your constant companion. Look, I beseech, you for counsel and support, to him who giveth to all men liberally, and who upbraideth not. Our travels through this wilderness will by and by end; there is a rest which remaineth; we shall shortly reach our native skies. I thank
your caution. I am indeed a minister of the reconciliation ; God forbid that any consideration should ever induce me to surrender that, which was committed to my charge. Let us be, while we continue in this wilderness, companions in the gospel, When your leisure will permit, of an evening, open yonr writing desk, take your Bible, and search diligently in your grand treasury, and when you meet with any new discovery, transcribe it from this sacred volume, and send it forward to me. It may be highly beneficial to me, and through me to others. In this way your voice
may be heard through these United States. But I will not add, you will again charge me with sermonizing, instead of letter writing. Remember me to Mary, and to the sweet babes, and, my dear William, be assured that I am, with cordial affec, tian, your ever faithful friend, &c. &c.
To the same.
I send you, my dear William, a poem, which I think will please you, and I snatch a moment, although upon a journey, which I am on the wing to prosecute, to tell you that I feel for you very sensibly. I behold you still carelessly walking in very slippery places, and I do most earnestly beseech you, to look well to your feet. God all gracious preserve you, from the power of your spiritual foe. I think you have tasted that the Lord is gracious. I think you will never be able to forget those evangelical truths, of which you first caught a glimpse in Pagee's wigwam. Téll me, William, do you not think one hour past in such heavenly enjoyments, is worth an age of forbidden pleasure's. Pleasures, did I say, ah how falsely named, of what misnomery is this bad, this deceived world, guilty! I know you are greatly embar
ed, I know you are ready to ask, what shall I do? Ah! be advised, be advised by a heavenly teacher, and this is the matter of his counsel. If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth liberally, and upbraideth not. You cannot but remember our last conversation, I have often 'revolved it in my mind, and I am still of opinion, you cannot do better, than pursue
the plan we then considered. May God almighty give you strength to pursue his pleasure, in all things. My love to Mary, and the lovely ina fants. It will please me to hear frequently from you, for be assured you will always be near, and dear, to the heart of your ever faithful; &c. &c. &c.
To a Lady.
my amiable correspondent retains the same benigt disposition toward me, which in defiance of painful indisposition, dictated the letter before me, she will be at no loss to account for my long silence, she will not attribute to me either ingratitude, or neglect, but friendship, directed by candour, will become a powerful pleader in my favour.
Emboldened by this hope, however presumtuous it may appear, I set down, at this late period, to render you my unfeigned thanks for this last, as well as for every other favour. How soothing to a person, who has so many opportunities of estimating the value of friends, by their loss, is the language of this consolatory epistle. I have often, in the words of Doctor Young, spoken of friends, as my chief treasure, and like other misers possessed of treasure, I enjoy it with fear and trembling. Repeated assurances, therefore, of esteem, friendship and respect, are, to a mind susceptible as mine, a rich and necessary solace.
You cannot, my dear lady, be under obligations to me, I know to what you advert, but are we not equally obliged to our_faithful Creator, our merciful Redeemer, for giving us the teaching of his spirit; that we may know the things that are bestowed upon us, by the God who made us? God has freely given life to the world in his Son, our Saviour. But the adversary blinds the understanding of individuals, that he may keep them in misery, and under his power, as long as he is able ; which will be until death and hell shall deliver up the dead, which are in them, and he, and his delusions, are cast into the lake of fire.
Suffer me then, my dear Madam, to repeat, are we not equally obliged to our heavenly Father, who having hidden from the wise and prudent, the things that make for their peace, hath, according to his sovereign pleasure, revealed them to us. Not unto us then, not unto us, but unto his name be all the glory. You are so kind as to express solicitude respecting my health. I am not well, I