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certain, you will act for them to the best of your judgment. It is a great relief to my mind that I have such steady and tried friends to leave the charge of them upon. Miss G- B. has promised to take J—, and it is my desire that the others, and the infant yet unborn, if it survive, be sent to my father, where I will leave them to be disposed of, and provided for by that God who has fed me all my life; by their heavenly Father who has commanded me to leave my fatherless children upon him, that he will preserve them alive, and whose promise I have, that he will never leave them nor forsake them.
Mr. Reid will not be less kind to the offspring of his friend, when they have lost, than when they were under, a mother's protection. May the blessing of the widow and the fatherless follow him wherever he goes, and may God recompense him a thousand fold in blessings spiritual and temporal. Let Diana* be sent with my children; if there be an infant, you know a nurse must be found for it, whatever it cost. As for Susan*, I am at a loss what to do with her, my heart tells me I have no right to entail slavery upon her and her offspring ; I know I shall be blamed, but I am about to be called to account by a higher power than any in this world, for my conduct, and I dare not allow her to be sold. I therefore leave it to herself either to remain here, or if it be her desire, to accompany the children. I beg Mr. Reid will be kind enough to allow her a passage with the rest.
And now, my dear friend, as the greatest happiness I can wish you, may that God whom I have chosen as my own portion, be yours also ; may he by his outward providence and by the inward operations of his
* The two lodian girls mentioned in the life of Mrs. Graham.
Spirit on your heart lead you to himself and convince you of the truth. But O my dear riend, shut not your eyes and ears against conviction: you are not satisfied that the Bible is indeed the word of God. Is it not worth inquiring into ? What would you think of a man who had a large fortune, and the whole depending on proving some certain facts, and yet would not be at the pains to inform himself? Are the interests of this world of such importance, which, in a few fleeting years we must leave, and have for ever done with ? and our final state in the next, which is to fix us in happiness or misery through the endless days of eternity, not worth a thought! Think then, and seriously ask what if it be so! What if this be indeed the word of God given by inspiration as is said, for the rule of both our faith and manners, and by that we are to be judged; that this same God, who so kindly reveals his will to men, has with it given the clearest evidences and strongest proofs that it is his own word. Think, I say, my dear friend, if it should be so, what they deserve, who either reject or neglect it, without taking the trouble to inform themselves, or be convinced that it either is or is not of divine authority! How many great, learned, and wise men, have sifted these evidences with the greatest care, and the deeper they entered into the search, the more clear they appeared; yea, even those whose lives are entirely contrary to it, and whose interest it is to wish it false, cannot deny. As to the various explanations of it—it is every one's duty to read for himself, and although there may be some parts of it too deep for every capacity, and which may perhaps require a knowledge of the history of the times to understand, yet the simple truths of the gospel, what we are to believe concerning God, and what duties he re
quires of us, and what he forbids, are equally plaio and easy. If we can only once be satisfied, that it is indeed the word of God, set ourselves to study it with an unprejudiced mind, with a sincere desire to know the truth, and be led by it, with earnest prayer, that the same spirit which inspired the writers, would make it plain to our hearts and understandings, that God himself would teach us its true meaning, and save us from error: such a one, I will venture to say, will be taught all necessary knowledge, will be led in the way to eternal life, and not suffered to err: we have God's promise that it shall be so. If any man will do my will he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God.
Forgive me, my dear friend; the subject appears to me so important, that I know not how to have done. I love you with a true, and sincere friendship; I love your soul, and am deeply interested in its eternal happiness. Once more I commit you to that God, who only can lead you to himself, and to true happiness, and that you may know the truth of this from deep experience, to the eternal joy, peace and safety of your immortal soul, is the last prayer of your affectionate friend, who hopes to meet and rejoice with you in our Redeemer's kingdom.
February 10, 1797. MY EVER DEAR FRIEND,
THE desire of writing you a long letter has occasioned a shameful delay on my part. One thing I can assure you of, you have been much on my mind, and the subject of all our prayers.
Tears of joy ran down my cheeks, when J— told me the state of your mind, and I thank our good and gracious God for opening your eyes to see the emptiness, the vanity of this world, the corruption of your own heart, your need of the atoning blood, and a better righteousness than your own. Hail, my sister in Jesus! flesh and blood hath not taught you this, but your Father who is in heaven; the work is his, evidently his; and being begun, he will carry it on, and finish it too. Commit your soul then into his hand; he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance ; his errand to our world was to seek and to save the lost. Trusting in his mercy, through Christ, your soul is as safe as his word is true, for none perish that trust in him. Trust in the Lord with all thine hcart, and
lcan not to thine own understanding ; be not discouraged, because of deadness, darkness, wandering, want of love, want of spirituality, want of any kind; who told you of these evils and wants ? the sun of righteousness shining into your soul has shown you many of the evils there, but the half you know not yet. The more you learn of the holiness and purity of the divine nature, and spirituality of his law, the more you will be dissatisfied with every thing yours. Even a holy Apostle said-in me (that is, in my flesh or natural mind) dwelleth no yoou thing. The flesh or natural mind lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, so that the things that I would I do not, and the things what I would not that I do. Yet it is not I (not my new nature) but sin that dwelleth in me; for to will is prosent with me, but how to perform that which is good I find not.
If this was the case with the Apostle, who sealed his testimony with his life, is it strange that you and I should have hearts full of all abominable things. These realities are cause of deep humility before God, but none of despair or doubt, all are guilty and vile alike, the whole head is sick, and the whole heart upsound; therefore we need a whole Christ, to atone for our sin, to cover our naked souls with his imputed righteousness, and to be surety for us ; to sanctify us by his Spirit, and prepare us for the purchased inheritance. O try to rest in him : believe it, you are complete in him; give over, my dear friend, poring and diving into your own heart and frames, and try to trust in an almighty Saviour, to save you from foes without and foes within. Read Romaine's walk and life of Faith : he himself attained to a high degree of holiness, by getting out of himself, and trusting, resting, believing