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TO MY INFANT CHILDREN.
THERE was one to whom, naturally and most gladly, I would have submitted these pages for her opinion, and especially some of them, for her advice; but, in the prime of life, it has seemed meet to Infinite Wisdom, that she should go before us, to a brighter and a better world. Bereaved as you have been, and at such a tender age, of such a Parent, on this side the grave you will never know the amount of the loss you have sustained ; a loss so great, that I know but of One, and that One above, who is able, to you, to supply her place. Though, without doubt, I shall be regarded as a partial witness, yet it would be very easy to give you some idea of her character, in the words of others, on whom no such suspicion could rest. One of these, who could estimate as correctly as a frequent visitor and friend generally can, after al. luding to the character of her mind and dispositions, her piety and conversational powers, in a style which I must not repeat, has said " All the virtues and graces which endear a friend, much more a wife, were united in her, in a higher perfection, than I had ever seen them exhibited in any other person.
She then gave those delightful manifestations of a sanctified heart, which showed that she was preparing for the holy and immortal state of the blessed, to which her spirit is gone gone to mingle with congenial associates, with the great company of redeemed and celestial friends."
Her unusual disinterestedness of spirit—her cheerful and even temper—her prudence and condescending manners,- I trust each of you will inherit. This, however, is a subject on which, though modesty and propriety did not forbid, I must not, need not, cannot dwell. When once you are able to read her own handwriting, and that of others addressed to her, you will be able to form some bet.
ter idea respecting One who loved you so tenderly, and so longed for your adoption into the Family of God. To you therefore, young though you be, her memory will, I hope, in future life, prove eminently precious and valuable.
Although, my beloved Children, it must necessarily be a few years, at least, before any of you can understand the whole of these pages, yet then, if spared by a kind and indulgent Providence, I trust you will read them for my sake, and look up for one to guide you through all the adventures of an untried world. Then, too, it may not the less interest you to know, that the composition of them tended, in some degree, to occupy and sustain the mind, during the solitary hours of your most affectionate
Since this was written, about eighteen months ago, although your two Sisters have been called to join their Parent and their Sister in the skies, yet written as it was, under the weight and pressure of such responsibility, I could not think of altering the style of address. Had I done so, by and bye you may come to understand, that the word any, in the second last sentence, would have been changed to either. But still you will not forget that interesting poem, in which the little Welsh girl said—“ Nay, but we are ser n.” Broken as the circle has been, include your Parents, and still continue to say, “ Nay, but we are seven ;" or, what is far better —rest upon the infallible assurance of Him, who never will deceive you, nay, who never can : who, if you trust in Him, will “ never leave you nor forsake you ;” and, in the end, far more than compensate for every loss you can sustain below.-1 Thessalonians iv. 1418.