A Letter


June 8, 1780. My Dear Madam,

THOUGH I write to both when I write to one, ir seems time to drop a word expressly to you, that I may keep you in my debt, and maintain a hope of hearing from you again.

I sympathize with my friends at ———, under the afflictive dispensations with which the Lord has been pleased to visit the town. He has a merciful design even when he inflicts, and I hope the rod will be sanctified to those who were too negligent under the public means of grace. I am not sorry for Mrs.

H 's death, as you say she died in the Lord, for

she had but little prospect of temporal comfort. The death of Mrs.. affected me more on account of

her husband and family, to whom I hoped she would have been a comfort and a blessing. But we are sure the Lord does all things wisely and well. The moment in which he calls his people home, is precisely the best and fittest season. Let us pray (and we shall not pray in vain) for strength proportioned to our day, then we have only to wait with patience, our time likewise will shortly come. The bright, important hour of dismission from this state of trial is already upon the wing towards us, and every pulse brings it nearer. Thea every wound will be healed, and every desirable desire be satisfied.

I believe you must now take the will for the deed, and give me credit for what I would have said or written if I could. Mrs. came in and engross

ed the time 1 had allotted for your letter. I knew not how to grudge it her; she had wished to spend an hour with me; her conversation I think was from the heart, and I believe the interruption was right. If it should abridge the pleasure I proposed in writing to you, I must make myself amends some other time.

Mrs. N has some degree of the head-ache

to-day. But her complaints of that kind are neither so frequent, nor so violent as when at . His

mercies to us are great, and renewed every morning.

1 have still a quarter of an hour for you ; but now, when opportunity presents, a subject is not at hand, and I have no time to ruminate. I will tell you a piece of old news. The Lord God is a sun and shield, and both in one. His light is a defence ; his protection is cheering; a shield so long, and so broad, as to intercept and receive every arrow with which the quiver of divine justice was stored, and which would have otherwise transfixed your heart and mine; a shield so strong that nothing now can pierce it, and so appositely placed that no evil can reach us, except it first makes its way through our shield. And what a sun is this shield! when it breaks forth it changes winter into summer, and midnight into day, in an instant; a sun whose beams can not only scatter clouds, but the walls which sin and Satan are aiming to build in order to hide it from our view.

Public affairs begin to look more pleasing just when they were most desperate. Affairs in America are in a more favourable train. A peace with Spain supposed upon the tapis. I should hope for some halcyon days after the storm but for the awful insensibility which

reigns at home. But if the Lord revives his people, we may hope he will hear their prayers.

Mr. bids fair to be as unpopular in the

course of another month as any of his opponents have been. This is a changeable world. The ins and the outs, being fastened upon the same rolling wheel, have each their turn to be uppermost. Really, one is tempted to smile and constrained to weep in the same breath. The Lord bless you and keep you.

I am, for self and partner,

Most affectionately yours.