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and is now sat down at the right hand of God," where he rules over all, for the good of his people, who shall soon follow him, and be made partakers in his blessedness.
Give my love to my dear sister, and Agnes, and all the young ones.
Farewel! I am ever, your affectionate sister,
TO MRS. MARSHALL.
Mount Harmony, May 21, 1802.
My dear Sister,
I HAVE just received my brother's letter and Sorry, sorry am I to find my dear brother in such a broken state of health. I say, I am sorry-flesh and blood are so : for no affliction for the present is joyous, but grievous; and I love my dear brother with a very tender affection. But there is a better principle which says, "The will of the Lord be done-Good is the will of the Lord." The Lord hath said, "I will bring you into the wilderness, and there will I plead with you-I will bring you within the bond of my covenant, and ye shall be mine, saith the Lord." O how good! I desire to bless God for all my mercies; but in my present view, (next to the gift of his Son, and eternal life,) my afflictions have proved the greatest. So it may prove with my dear brother. You have seen a good deal of affliction in your family: but a little time will show you that you could not have been well without it. I have had my share appointed me by my own Father. I felt it at the time bitter yet even then not altogether so.
for my mourning days have been my best days through life; even they are most comfortable proofs of our Father's love; Of all my blessings, stands this the highest that my heart has bled.' I bless God that my dear children are all in his covenant; that all comes to them from a Father's hand, through the channel of the covenant. I experience the same kind of exercise with regard to your family; you are both of the seed of the righteous-the children of many prayers. Rest in the Lord, my dear sister and brother: receive all as coming directly from him.
Love to your dear children. May the Lord himself educate them for his own kingdom.
A Letter from Viscountess Glenorchy to Mrs. Graham, alluded to in her Life, page 24.
Barnton, December 27, 1781.
I RECEIVED your letter last week, and also one some time ago from Mrs. Walker, in which she desired me to
send you my sentiments upon the alteration you had made,
and still thought of making, upon your plan.
I have since endeavoured to consider, with all the attention of which I am at present capable, the arguments that may be brought on both sides of the question; and with regard to the first point, viz, the practisings, I will frankly own, that, could you send your young ladies to one where girls only are admitted, I should more readily yield my opinion of the matter to those Christians who have advised you to it. But, as I learn that it is a promiscuous dance of boys and girls, I must, in conscience, say that I look upon such a meeting as equally pernicious in its effects upon the minds of young people, as balls and pnblic assemblies on persons of riper years. When you mentioned the subject to me first, I thought it had been a practising of girls only; else should then have given you my sentiments fully upon the head.
As to the reading of plays, or any part of them, to your young people, I must own, it does not appear to me to be expedient: it may be productive of bad consequences, and the good arising from it, is (at most) uncertain. It is, no doubt, very desirable to enlarge young people's minds, and improve their taste, as well as their persons: but such
is the state of things in this world, that, to attain this, to the degree wished for by every person of refined taste, some things must be sacrificed of much greater value-for example, a girl cannot acquire the smart, polished air of a person of fashion, without imbibing too much of the spirit of the world. Vanity and emulation must be awakened and cultivated in the heart, before she will apply herself with diligence to outward accomplishments; neither can her mind and taste be much improved in polite literature, without losing its relish for simple truth. I grant you, there are a few Christians in the world, who have acquired the outward accomplishments of it; and have by grace, been enabled to turn these to good account; who, like the Israelites, having spoiled the Egyptians, have made use of their jewels in adorning the tabernacle: but this can never serve as an argument on your side of the question. If the Lord sees fit to manifest his power and grace, by plucking a brand from the burning; this is no reason why children should be initiated into the ways of sin and folly, in hopes that some time or other He will bring them out. We are never to do evil, that good may come; and this brings the question to a short issue.
Do you think it lawful for Christians to attend public places, or to spend their time in reading plays? Do you think these things tend, either immediately or remotely, to promote the glory of God? If you do not, I cannot see how you, as a Christian, can have any hand in introducing young ladies to the one, or in giving them a taste for the other.
This, dear Madam, is my view of the matter: but I do not wish you to walk by my light. I believe that all the children of God are taught by him, and ought to follow the dictates of their own consciences: I therefore pretend
not to advise you, but shall endeavour to pray that the great unerring Counsellor may give you divine wisdom to be your teacher, to lead you into all truth, and keep you from every thing inconsistent with his holy will.
I have met with so many interruptions since I began this letter, that I fear it is hardly intelligible. I shall be sorry if I have said any thing that gives you uneasiness: your spirits seem low, and your business not going so well as could be wished: perhaps I ought rather to have employed my pen in the way of consolation and encouragement, than by throwing in a matter of perplexity.-Sure I am, I do not mean to add affliction to the afflicted; but, rather have been impelled, from a regard to truth, to write my real sentiments, as you desired.
Your friend and humble servant,