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.

After services at the house, we walked to the church, which we entered through a double file of uncovered students.  One of the most touching things about the service was the sight of four students standing in charge of the remains, two at the head and two at the foot of the coffin.  His poor folks came in crowds, with their hands full of flowers to be cast into his grave.  My brother said he never saw so many men shed tears at a funeral, and I am sure I never did; some sobbing as convulsively as women.  I could not help asking myself when my heart was swelling so with pain, whether love paid.  Love is sweet when all goes well, but oh how fearfully exacting it is when separation comes!  How many tithes it takes of all we have and are!

A worthy young woman in our church has been driven into hysterics by reading “Holiness through Faith.”  I went to see her as soon as I got home from W. yesterday, but she was asleep under the influence of an opiate.  There is no doubt that too much self-scrutiny is pernicious, especially to weak-minded, ignorant young people.  It was said of Prof.  Hopkins that he would have been a mystic but for his love to souls, and I am afraid these new doctrines tend too much to the seeking for peace and joy, too little to seeking the salvation of the careless and worldly.  But I hesitate to criticise any class of good people, feeling that those who live in most habitual communion with God receive light directly and constantly from on high; and of that communion we can not seek too much. [10]

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IV.

Christian Parents to expect Piety in their Children.  Perfection.  “People make too much Parade of their Troubles.”  “Higher Life” Doctrines.  Letter to Mrs. Washburn.  Last Visit to Williamstown.

Early in June she went to Dorset.  The summer, like that of 1871, was shadowed by anxiety and inward conflict; but her care-worn thoughts were greatly soothed by her rural occupations, by visits from young friends, and by the ever-fresh charms of nature around her.

To a Christian Friend, Dorset, June 9, 1872.

I was obliged to give up my much-desired visit to you.  We went on to the funeral of Prof.  Hopkins, and that took three days out of the busy time just before coming here.  I particularly wanted you to know at the time that my three younger children united with the church on Sunday last, but had not a moment in which to write you.  It was a touching sight to our people.  Mr. P. looked down on his children so lovingly, and kissed them when the covenant had been read.  He said —–­’s face was so full of soul that he could not help it, and his heart yearned over them all.  Someone said there was not a dry eye in the house.  I felt not elated, not cast down, but at peace.  I think it plain that Christian parents are to expect piety in their children, and expect it early. 

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