Letter V


November 1, 1780. My Dear Child,

I CONGRATULATE you that you are now within a month of December, when you will begin to count the days, and to see the vacation peeping over the head of a short interval. I may congratulate your mamma, and myself likewise (provided you come to us improved as we wish you), for we long to see you, and have done so every day since you left us.

Your mamma is often indisposed, but seldom very ill, at least not long together ; but both she and I have many feelings with which we were not acquamted when we were young like you. The advantages of youth and health are seldom rightly known at the right time. It is indeed a mercy if, when we are growing old, we have some proper sense of the folly and vanity we indulged in early life, and can be ashamed as we ought, to think how many opportunities we neglected; how many talents we misimproved. Yet repentance cannot recall the day that is past. It is my frequent prayer that you may be wiser than I was at your time of life ; that yoii may have grace to remember your Creator and Redeemer while you are yet young. Depend upon it, my dear, whenever you really know the Lord, you will be sorry you did not know him sooner; whenever you experience that pleasure which is only to be found in loving and serving him, you will wish you had loved and served him (if possible) from your very cradle.

I have no news to tell you ; but one thing I can assure you, which though you have often heard, I hope the repetition will be always pleasing to you, I mean, that I am your very affectionate friend, and feel for you as if I was really and truly your father.