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.

We go to town on the ninth of this month.  Mr. Prentiss has been gone some time, and has entered upon his new duties with great delight.  I must confess that if I were going to choose my work in life, I could think of nothing more congenial than to train young Christians.  It has come over me lately that all those whom he now instructs, have more or less of the new life in them.  I am sorry, however, to add that some young theological friends of mine deny this.  They say that many young men preparing for the ministry give no other sign of piety.  Young people judge hastily and severely.  As soon as I get over my first hurry, after reaching home, I hope you will come and see me....  You speak of my experience on my sick-bed as a precious one.  To tell you the truth, it does not seem so to me; I mean, nothing extraordinary.  Not to want to go, if invited, would be a contradiction to most of my life.  But as I was not invited I realise that I am needed here; and I am afraid it was selfish to be so delighted to go, horribly selfish.

* * * * *

III.

Change of Home and Life in New York.  A Book about Robbie.  Her Sympathy with young People.  “I have in me Two different Natures.”  What Dr. De Witt said at the Grave of his Wife.  The Way to meet little Trials.  Faults in Prayer-Meetings.  How special Theories of the Christian Life are formed.  Sudden Illness of Prof.  Smith.  Publication of Golden Hours.  How it was received.

Her return from Dorset brought with it a new order of life.  The transfer of her husband to a theological chair was almost as great a change to her as to him.  In ceasing to be a pastor’s wife she gave up a position, which for more than a quarter of a century had been to her a spring of constant joy, and which, notwithstanding its cares, she regarded as one of the most favored on earth.  While in the parsonage, too, she was in the midst of her friends; the removal to Sixty-first street left the most of them at a distance; and distance in New York is no slight hindrance to the full enjoyment of social intimacy and fellowship.  Several weeks after the return to town were devoted to the congenial task of fitting-up and adorning the new home.  Then for the first time in many years she found herself at leisure; and one of its earliest fruits was a selection of stray religious verses for publication; which, however, soon gave way to a volume of her own.  She was able also to give special attention to her favorite religious reading.

The sharp trials and suffering of the previous years showed their effect in deepened spiritual convictions, humility and tenderness of feeling, but not in repressing her natural playfulness.  At times her spirits were still buoyant with fun and laughter.  An extract from a letter to her youngest daughter, who with her sister was on a visit at Portland, will give a glimpse of this gay mood.  Such mishaps as she recounts are liable to occur in the best-regulated households, especially on a change of servants; but they were rare in her experience and so the more amused her: 

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