LETTER TO HIS DAUGHTER, HANNAH (1 OF 2)
(Part of the Collection, Kersey's Essays)
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.
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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