“For this God is our God for ever and ever! He will be our guide even unto death!” Psalm 48:14

August 6, 1785

My dear wife,

The Lord has preserved us through a long course of years, and in different situations, from various calamities which have overtaken others. Our obligations to thankfulness are singular and numerous.

Tell our niece Eliza that I love her very dearly. She would soon be well if I could make her so. But she is in better hands than mine! I have a comfortable hope that her illness has been, and will be, sanctified to an end far more desirable than health or life itself. Therefore I leave her to the wise and merciful direction of the Lord, who loves her better than I can.

May the Lord bless this little separation to quicken us to mutual prayer, and to lead us to a thankful review of the mercy and goodness which have followed us through the many years we have been united.

How many changes have we seen! Under how many trials have we been supported! How many deliverances have we known! How many comforts have we enjoyed! Especially, what great advantages have we possessed, in knowing those things which pertain to our everlasting peace!

The years we have passed together will return no more. The afflictions are gone, the pleasures likewise are gone forever. The longer we live, such pleasures as this world can afford will, more and more, lose their power of pleasing. Only our love, I trust, will exist and flourish to the end of life–yes, beyond it! It will always be a truth that the Lord, in giving you to me, gave me the best temporal desire of my heart. But the shadows of the evening advance. Old age is creeping in upon us and the days are approaching when we shall have no pleasure, but what we can derive from the good Word of God, and the consolations of his Holy Spirit. These, if we are favored with them, will sufficiently compensate for the abatement, or the loss, of all the rest. The streams may run dry, but the fountain of living waters will always flow! May His presence be near our hearts and then all will be well.

– John

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