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Letter XVI

LETTER XVI.

May 19, 1783. My Dear Child,

IF your sensibility drops a tear or two when you

are informed that your aunt C is removed from

this world of sin and sorrow, I have no objection ; but I do not wish you to shed many, nor is there just cause for it. If we could see her now, she would surely say, " Weep not for me, I am happy I" Yes, she knew and loved the Lord ; she lived in his faith and fear, and died in his peace and favour ; and now she is before the throne. She had her share of trials in this life, but they are all over jiow : she fought the good fight, and the Lord made her more than conqueror. Now she has received the conqueror's crown, and is singing the conqueror's song. Methinks, dearly as I love-you, I could bear to part with you likewise, if I was sure that the Lord had set his seal of love upon your heart, and thereby marked you for his own. If he has not done this already, I hope he will. If he has not yet taken full possession of your heart, I hope you are sensible that he is standing, as it were, at the door, -and knocking, waiting to be gracious to you. The door of the heart is not easily opened. The love of sin, of self, and the world, are so-many boits, which are too strong for us to remove by our own power ; yet he can open it easily (because all things are easy to him), and, by a sweet constraint of love, force himself an entrance. 1 hope you are willing that he should do this ; and that you are not willing to do any thing on your part that may grieve him, and cause him to withdraw and leave you to yourself.. You cannot do much: you can, indeed, do nothing spiritually of yourself. Yet there is something for you to do; you are to wait, and pray- and long for his blessing; you are to read his word, and to endeavour to make it the rule of your conduct, so far as you understand it; you are to attend to his voice in your conscience, and not wilfully allow yourself in what you know to be wrong. This is the path in ■which my heart's desire and prayer is that you may walk at present; and then in due time the promise shall be fulfilled to you which says, " Then shall " you know, if you follow on to know the Lord : Hosea vi. 3.

You may believe we had some weeping at home upon this occasion. But the Lord is very good.—

Vol. II. D

Your mamma has been supported, and is pretty well.

I long to see you, and especially now, that we may read Mr. Gray's Elegy together. I hope we shall be permitted to be with you on the famous exhibition day, and I please myself with the thought, that you will appear to advantage. I wish, for your own sake, you could get the better of that trepidation and hurry which discomposes you when the eyes of company are upon you ; but it is a fault on the right side, and much better than a bold, pert, self-confident carriage, which is very disgusting in some young people ; but there is a medium which I wish you to aim at.

I am your affectionate.