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Letter IX

LETTER IX.

My Df.au Child,

MRS. — died on the Fast-day, and was

buried yesterday. I had often visited her during her illness, and was at her funeral. She was well a few months ago, but a consumption soon brought her down to the grave. But, though she was young, she was not sorry to leave such a poor world as this. I always found her happy and cheerful, though her illness was very painful. She suffered much by cold sweats; but she said, a few days before her death, that it would be worth lying a thousand years in a cold stoeat, for one hour's such happiness as she then felt. " O !" she said, " if this be dying, what a plea" sant thing dying is." I think my dear child has told me, that you are often terrified at the thoughts of

death: now if you seek the Lord, as Mrs. .

did, while youiare young, then whenever you come to die, you will find that death has nothing terrible in it to them that love the Lord Jesus Christ. He has disarmed death, and taken away its sting ; and he has promised to meet his people and receive them to himself, when they are about to leave this world, and every thing they loved in it, behind them. You have the same advantages that Mrs.. — . had ; like her you are placed under the care of those who wish well to your soul ; the Scriptures, which made her wise to salvation, are put into your hand likewise, and you also have the opportunity of hearing the Gospel. She was exhorted and encouraged from a child to pray to the Lord for his grace ; and so are you. I hope you will do as she did; and the Lord, who was gracious to her, will be gracious to you : for he has promised that none who seek iiim, shall seek him in vain. Your conscience tells you that you are a sinner, and that makes you afraid ; but when the Lord gives you fai,th, you will see and understand, that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin, then you will love him ; and when you love him, you will find it easy and pleasant to serve him ; and then you will long to see him who died for you : and as it is impossible to see him in this world, you will be glad that you are not to stay here always ; you will be willing to die that you may be with him where he is. In the mean time, I hope you will pray to him, and wait for his time to reveal himself to you ; endeavouring to avoid whatever you know to be wrong and displeasing to him ; and sometimes, I hope, you will feel your heart soft and tender, and serious thoughts and desires rising in your mind; when you do, then think, " Now is the Lord calling me 1" and say as Samuel did, " Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth. He #es not call with an audible voice, bat he speaks to the heart in a way not to be described by words. When we are grieved and ashamed for our sins : when we are affected with what we read and hear of him, of his love, his sufferings, and his death ; when we see and feel that nothing but his favour can make us happy j then we may be sure the Lord is near.

I believe you have too much sense and honesty to make a profession of religion, further than your heart is really engaged, in order to please your fellow-creatures. But, on the other hand, I would not have you backward to open your mind to me on religious subjects. I know you are not without convictions, and though all convictions are not right, yet true religion always begins with convictions.— We must know we are sick, before we can prize a physician. If I live to see you a partaker of the grace of God, one of the chief desires of my heart will be gratified ; this would please me more than to have your weight in gold, and therefore you may be sure I often pray for you.

I am your affectionate.