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of Major Frothingham at least one year. “ His mind was so completely abstracted from business by his theological studies,” that it was thought advisable for him not to con. tinue in the store. In fact, bis whole soul was so absorbed in preparation for the active service of his Heavenly Master, " that he could not be reconciled to a mercantile life. He gave up his worldly prospects in this place, with a determination to prepare himself for the ministry. He had no property, but trusted there would be some way provided for him to accomplish" an object “so much desired.”
In the midst of his numerous engagements, he did not forget his only brother from whom he was separated, but, as is evident from his correspondence, he continually watched over me, with all the anxious solicitude, and all the tenderness and affection of a parent. He carefully noticed the gradual unfoldings of my mind and heart, and led me on step by step, until I was enabled to have my name enrolled among the people of God. And this exercise was not only beneficial to myself, but it no doubt was the means of much benefit to his own soul, in enabling him to bring himself more completely under the discipline of the Gospel.
The following extracts from his correspondence with me, not only display his talent in accommodating his admonitions to a younger capacity, but they also show that his treasure and heart were beyond the grave.
In his affectionate counsel, he keeps prominently in view the improvement of my time, talents, and opportunities ; avoiding bad company,-reading the Bible,-keeping the Sabbath,-attending the Sanctuary,-private prayer, and preparation for death. September 10th, 1809, he writes“ Placed at a distance from you, it only remains for me to converse with you by letter, or the language of others. This scarcely comports with the extreme solicitude I feel for your welfare ; but it may be for the good of us both. We are in the hands of Him who can do with us as he pleases, and can bring us good from any situation or circumstances he sees fit.”—“Be careful, my brother; avoid bad company. Avoid those who would corrupt and lead you astray, more than you would deadly poison. If they attempt to laugh at you, and draw you with them, let them alone, pity them, go on and do right yourself, and then all who are good, will respect and love you; you will feel better satisfied with yourself, your own heart will tell you you have done right, and when you grow older, you can look back on past days without that regret and pain that you would otherwise feel. Let me ask you one serious question ; ask yourself the same; you know what death is, and what is the consequence : Suppose you had been placed in the situation of uncle Mann, would you have been prepared to die ?-Prepare yourself, I entreat you, for awful indeed are the consequences, if you are not prepared.”
“ Whenever you are at a loss for company, rather than go with those who will injure you, retire to your books, improve yourself in solid knowledge. At suitable times go to your aunt Mann's and other proper places, or walk alone,
your father. You will but do as your brother has done in part before you, that is, when he has done as he ought to have done, and when he has not, he has repented of it, you may depend upon it. You now possess uncommon advantages. You have a parent with you who will assist you by his counsel, and will do for you as he thinks best for your good. I need not tell you to respect him, Thomas;you will you do—undoubtedly. You have valuable friends -you have the Gospel preached to you-you have access to the Bible, in which, my dear brother, I now request you to read one chapter every day. The same I have requested of your cousin Milton, and as you are my brother, I will request you to read two verses more ; and in reading them, think of your affectionate brother at Rensselaer-Benjamin
Allen, jr., who can only advise you at a distance, and pray for you, which he does sincerely, often, and fervently.Write, I am anxious to hear from you."
“September 5th. “ It appears almost needless for me to request you to conduct yourself aright; you must be yourself sensible of the necessity of it to your happiness, and the satisfaction of others. You know, that unless you do well, you cannot obtain the lasting esteem of the wise and good ; and without improving your mind you cannot be so useful in the world, nor be so much respected. Be attentive, therefore, my dear brother, to your books; be attentive to the good advice of your friends; read your Bible ; attend strictly on the Sabbath, shun bad company as you would poison, or it will ruin you; read the letter I wrote you some time ago at home,-farewell.”
September 15th, he writes,—"Dear Brother: Don't be discouraged”_" I hope yet, by your endeavours to improve yourself, to see you a useful citizen, and a good Christian. With what a pleasing pride shall I behold my brother rising to respectability," and displaying “a good example to others, by his moral and religious conduct. Obey the dictates of religion--of your Bible, my brother-it is the only means of securing happiness. What else supports your aunt Mann ?-Now is your precious time ; lay a good foundation of virtue and solid knowledge, and, if life continues, the latter years of your parent may be solaced”—“ while society will do you honour, and a glorious reward await you at the end of
your course. My prayers you constantly have.
Your affectionate brother." D 2
“September 26th. - Dear Brother,
“Did you know how much pleasure the prospect of your improvement affords me, I believe you would exert yourself more and more, scarcely suffering an idle moment. Husband
your time-I beg of you use it well; not only will you be better in consequence, but a strict account will be required. Be with your aunt and cousins as much as you can; treat them affectionately ; treat aunt as your mother, she has been a mother to us, and you will greatly alleviate the anxiety of your affectionate brother."
“ October 22d,” he writes, “ Dear Brother,-
“How great is the advantage you enjoy, in being able to attend meeting every Sabbath, while here we are liable to be without, one out of four. To-day I suppose there will be none.
Great is the satisfaction arising from a proper and orderly attendance upon divine worship. Happy are we, my dear brother, in having been brought up in the habit of it. Extremely favoured are we in having been born, and living in a country where the Gospel is known and preached, and its inestimable advantages may be enjoyed.” “And what a delightful pleasure do they afford. Let, my dear Thomas, let others seek their pleasures elsewhere, if they please ; but do you, but let us, ask humbly, fervently, and piously for assistance, that we may be enabled to seek the pleasures of religion, the joys of true, of pure, of everlasting happiness. Oh, my brother, if you knew how much I have been enabled to enjoy and to rejoice, bad and undeserving as I am, you would, I believe, try to join me, or rather you would take the Bible for your counsellor, and your gracious God as your best friend. However, to him I pray; in his hands I leave you. May he graciously have mercy on us both, and enable us to meet in heaven.” “Here I sit in my pleasant little room writing to you, while you are probably at meeting, or just going, to enjoy and improve by the service of the afternoon. Well, my brother, may you be enabled to do well, to do right. I mean, especially, may you be preserved through the temp. tations of youth that surround you ; be supported and strengthened through life and in death, and finally be removed to everlasting happiness. “I have been to see a young man who is supposed to be near his end; you see, my brother, the young may die as well as the old.” “ Adieu, write often, your affectionate brother.”
“ November 7th. “Dear Brother,
66 That life is uncertain, as you say you see. rise in the morning, we know not that we shall see the evening. Time passes on with hasty wing, and stops not for us to prepare ourselves. Let us then be prepared. Let us look to” God “for that assistance which he will readily, upon proper application, afford us. Make your peace with your God, and you may truly see thousands fall on your right hand and on your left, and you know no fear. An Omnipotent Being supports you, orders all your lot; in fact, he does that in every situation, but when you are peculiarly his, he has promised that he will cause all things to work together for your good.” “Continue constant in the practice of your duty, avoid bad company, read your Bible, keep the Sabbath, pray, try to improve yourself; thus will you gain the favour of your Maker, and the love of all good men."
6 November 16th.
“ My Brother : Where were you in the afternoon of Sunday? I hope you are not going on as once, viz. staying away