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EXTRACTS FROM HIS CORRESPONDENCE DURING 1813-14.
In order to throw further light on the history of my brother's movements, sentiments, and feelings, I present extracts from his correspondence with myself, during the period already considered.
The following was addressed to me while I was at Eliza. bethtown, New-Jersey. The Lord was visiting that region with the blessed outpourings of his Holy Spirit at the time.
“New-YORK, February 9th, 1813. « Beloved Brother:
“I am thankful that you are comfortably and happily situated. Especially am I thankful that you are in a place where our Heavenly Father is pouring out his influence. Now you may see, and I hope feel, the blessed effects of that unction which is from on high, and which gives a foretaste of the joys of eternity. Mr. W. has a request to make of you : viz. that you will collect all the circumstances you can respecting the revival, and communicate them by letter as soon as may be. Never mind postage. I shall expect a letter from you at least once a week. Be much in prayer, my brother; and may Heaven bless you.” He again writes
“February 11th. “My feelings better speak my satisfaction respecting your happy situation, than my tongue can. My feelings praise the Almighty Father of our mercies for thus direct. ing you to a spot of earth, where his Spirit is pouring out so abundantly. May be prepare you for great and lasting
usefulness. To glorify our Heavenly Father is the noblest work of rational existence.”
“ Mr. M.Dowell in times past has been remarkably attentive to catechising the young, and now we see how he is rewarded: Those very youth are becoming stars in his crown, which will irradiate for ever.”
“ May your prayers and your praises be called forth as from the tongue of an Apostle, by attending that excellent Society to which you have joined yourself. May God bless you
in it, and it in you." “ Thomas, I have a charge and a request for you. I trust you have by this time lighted up in your breast an ardent desire to serve and to glorify your Heavenly Father : Thus may you do it. Mr. W. has a son nine or ten years old, a smart boy, apparently, who now is exposed to bad example, and comparatively growing up in ignorance by being in the office with the bad boys. I have persuaded his father to send him to Elizabethtown, and more, he has concluded to send him thence to college; and who knows but Providence may, after that, think proper to call him into the ministry ? Much, under Heaven, depends on proper instruction and example now. His father will give me considerable direction of him. Now, Thomas, I wish him to be with you. Are you willing to take charge of him as a younger brother: take him to Church, catechise him, or have him catechised with Mr. M ́Dowell's young folks, and take pains to instil into his mind good principles; learn him to pray, &c., and inspire him with a thirst for learning? If he goes, he will be placed under your immediate care, and remain at E. a length of time. I know the answer your heart will give, therefore I merely request you to write me by return of mail, what Mr. N. will charge for boarding a boy ten years old, and what the tuition in the English School will be.”
By the above, we still see my brother bursting forth from the multiplicity of his engagements, into new paths of doing good ; and endeavouring also to enlist in the same benevolent work all those over whom he has influence. The Lord be praised for his example.
“February 15th. “Do you not recognize the finger of Providence in directing you to E.! May you find your graces revived, and your heart encouraged so much, as to go on your way rejoicing! Remember the crown before you, and the glory of serving your Heavenly Father--the only thing which is worth living for. Go on, my brother, prepare yourself for extensive usefulness, and you will make the heart of your brother to leap for joy."
“ As to your attending the Societies at present, I think, while the Spirit from above is pouring out so abundantly, you ought to be found in the way as much as possible. Neglect not your studies, but remember, while gathering fruit from the tree of knowledge, not to forget the tree of life. And now, especially, attend to the latter; for such an opportunity as now you have, is but seldom enjoyed. You will prepare yourself for the ministry more by being in the midst of lively Christians than by studying the classics. Avail yourself, then, of your present opportunities. Pray in the Societies if called on; read, too ; take as active a part as is proper. Heaven bless you.”
“ You can engage Mr. N. to take the little boy I spoke of. You will take the charge ” of him.
“ February 24th. “I am satisfied, my dear brother, you do not squander what little money Providence allots you.”
“ You do not say how much Latin you master in a day, or how good progress you make. Remember it is not the number of lines, but the manner in which you get them which increases your stock of learning : Better get five lines well, than fifty lines badly."
“ Mr. Allen's plan for improving you in composition, I admire. You speak of drunkenness, your division is a good one, but would it not be best to add among its bad effects the influence of example on the young especially ?"
“I am rejoiced, and I hope thankful for the advantages of your
situation. Never did Providence, in a more marked manner, provide for your spiritual welfare, than it has in this instance."
“ The prayers of your young men, I fervently hope, may be mingled for a long time to come. Much good results from such societies : and praying breath was never spent in vain."
Happy am I to hear of the Sunday Morning Meeting at Mr. N.'s. Truly the Lord Almighty is at Elizabethtown. My brother, remember that such refreshing does not always last, and be careful therefore to improve it. May it leave you much, oh very much, farther on in the spiritual path, than it found you.”
“We had an indulgence of the Sacrament, on Sunday, at Dr. Mason's.
Pray for Mr. M‘Dowell, and for the cause : Great must be his labour, but rich is his reward."
“ Dr. Romeyn, to whom I showed part of your letter this morning, was highly gratified with your situation, and said you had abundant cause for thankfulness.”
“One charge I must give you. Take at least one good long walk every day. This is of more consequence than you now may think, both as it affects your present studies and your future usefulness. Many commit a slow suicide by neglecting exercise. It is a duty you owe yourself, the Church, and your Maker: for want of exercise causes a dig. ordered body -an “enfeebled mind.”
“ Henry, I expect, will go to-day. May he prove a star
in your crown of rejoicing: for I trust, and hope, you may be made the means of bringing him to the desired haven. “ With prayers for your growth in grace.”
“ March 27th. “ Dear Thomas :-My long silence has been owing to absence. Yesterday I returned from Hudson, after being gone three weeks. Our father and friends, I found very well. All send love to you. My soul rejoices at the joy you experience in the Christian's path. Seek the continued smiles of your Heavenly Father's countenance, and you will be happy. Short is our pilgrimage below. Let it be an active one. Let our constant prayer be, Father, suf. fer us to glorify thee. Let us be watchful over our hearts, checking the first tendency to evil, for from the heart all evil actions grow. Remember to be humble.”—“ Your proceedings with Henry, I am thankful for ; may they be blessed to his eternal welfare. He is an invaluable deposit. May you be the happy means of training him up to great use. fulness.”_“I am glad you are about speaking. You should seek frequent opportunities for improving yourself in that, as well as in other important accomplishments. Habits once confirmed are hard to be conquered. And above all, a speaker in public should cultivate easy and graceful delivery. Nothing can ever enter the affections that stumbles at the threshold.”—“Be careful of your health. Do not study too late, and be sure to exercise enough !!!"
Happy is the man who trusts in the Lord.” “How great, truly, must be the joy in Heaven, over one hundred and fifty repenting sinners.” I presume the above expression was called forth by my informing him of that number who were anxiously inquiring.
“ Your plan of taking notes from Mr. M.Dowell's sermons, is a very good one. My dear brother, adieu. Remember the place of safety is always the foot of the throne of grace."