(Part of the Collection, Kersey's Essays)

Jesse Kersey

Taken From  A Narrative of the Early Life, Travels, and Gospel Labors of Jessey Kersey, Late of Chester County, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia: T. Ellwood Chapman, 1851, pages 282-283.

This Document is on The Quaker Writings Home Page.

Best Viewed in Any Browser. Lynx Tested.

Dear Hannah:

In writing thee this letter, I am under the feelings of a father, and attended with the recollection that I am addressing an only and last remain of a very interesting company of eleven children. Thou may very reasonably believe when thou reflects upon my time of life, that I consider this communication as one of the last demonstrations of parental regard and love for thee. I shall therefore write in perfect agreement with the feelings of my heart. In the first place, I will remark that much of thy time so far in live has been spent under trials and real afflictions. But remember that troubles arise not out of the dust, nor do troubles and afflictions come out of the ground. Thou may charge them to causes that have been out of thy control; but remember that this is not the case throughout, and so far as any of them may be chargeable to thyself learn I entreat thee by the things thou hast suffered. The disposition to charge others is nothing new in the world. It began early with the human race, and has continued ever since, and it is the way by which many seem to expect an acquittal from all their faults. But I would advise thee, as an experienced father, not to take this course, but let all thy troubles be charged to their just causes, and this will be the best way to get rid of them properly or to overcome them. In discharging our duty faithfully there is always a happy reward; and hence it was said, say ye to the righteous it shall go well with him, for the reward of his hands shall be given; but say ye to the wicked that it shall go ill with him, for he shall receive the fruit of his own doings. So that the fact is that all our doings receive [P. 283] their own reward, whether they be good or evil. As thou must be aware of this fact, I here close all remarks of this kind. And now, Hannah, I wish thee to understand that I have no confidence in that kind of passage through life that leans upon public acts of charity. To be a christian and really to enjoy the evidence of divine favor we must remember that they that become the disciples of Jesus Christ lead a life of self denial, and take up the cross daily. This is the doctrine that we profess; this sublime doctrine, ah how it would ornament the Society if it were constantly in practice. Every passion in nature in that case would be subdued; all pride and self importance would be conquered, and we should be known by all our conduct and conversation to be the followers of the blessed Jesus. Our hearts would be clothed with the covering of humility, and that love of one another which would demonstrate that we had passed from death to life.