The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 929 pages of information about The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss.

  My friends! oh, daily one by one
    I’ve seen them drop away;
  Unheeding all the tears and prayers
    That vainly bade them stay. 
  And here I hang alone, alone—­
    While life is fleeing fast;
  And sadly sigh that I am left
    The last, the last, the last.

  Farewell, then, thou my little world
    My home upon the tree,
  A sweet retreat, a quiet home
    Thou mayst no longer be;
  The willow trees stand weeping nigh,
    The sky is overcast,
  The autumn winds moan sadly by,
    And say, the last—­the last!

[10] “Dear Lizzy is in her little school.  Her pupils love her dearly.  She will have about thirty in the summer.”—­Letter of Mrs. Payson, March 28, 1839.

[11] Three years later Elizabeth thus referred to this period in the life of her friend:—­“During the time in which she was seeking the Saviour with all her heart, I was much with her and had an opportunity to see every variety of feeling as she daily set the whole before me.  The affection thus acquired is, I believe, never lost.  If I live forever, I shall not lose the impressions which I then received—­the deep anxiety I felt lest she should finally come short of salvation, and then the happiness of having her lost in contemplation of the character of Him whom she had so often declared it impossible to love.”

[12] Old friends of her father also became much interested in her.  Among them was Simon Greenleaf, the eminent writer on the law of evidence, and Judge Story’s successor at Harvard.  On removing to Cambridge, in 1833, he gave her with his autograph a little volume entitled, “Hours for Heaven; a small but choice selection of prayers, from eminent Divines of the Church of England,” which long continued to be one of her books of devotion.

[13] See the touching memorial of her, “Light on the Dark River,” prepared by her early friend, Mrs. Lawrence.

CHAPTER II.

THE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST.

1840-1841.

I.

A Memorable Experience.  Letters to her Cousin.  Goes to Richmond as a Teacher.  Mr. Persico’s School.  Letters.

Miss Payson was now in her twenty-first year, a period which she always looked back to as a turning-point in her spiritual history.  The domestic influences that encompassed her childhood, her early associations, and the books of devotion which she read, all conspired to imbue her with an earnest sense of divine things, and while yet a young girl, as we have seen, she publicly devoted herself to the service of her God and Saviour.  For several years her piety, if marked by no special features, was still regarded by her young friends, and by all who knew her, as of a decided character.  But during the general religious interest in the winter of 1837-8, even while absorbed in solicitude for others,

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The Life and Letters of Elizabeth Prentiss from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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