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1769.03.18 — Elizabeth Porter Phelps to Penelope Williams, March 18, 1769

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1769.03.18 — Elizabeth Porter Phelps to Penelope Williams, March 18, 1769


Elizabeth Porter, who is in her twenties, writes to her friend Penelope Williams. In the letter, Elizabeth Porter laments her sins but states that she will go to Church to atone for them. The letter is written on two separate days, Wednesday and Saturday. In the Saturday portion, Elizabeth speaks of an affliction that had occurred to her friend, Penelope, and thanks God for his ability to heal her; otherwise, his mercy.


Elizabeth Porter Phelps


Porter-Phelps-Huntington Family Papers (Box 5, Folder 16)
University of Massachusetts Special Collections and University Archives




Public domain





Oh my dear friend March. 18. 1769. Wednesday. Eve.
What a load lies upon my heart? a load of sin & Guilt. How dare I Live in sin any longer? what must be my portion to all Eternity if I now should be called out of time. Is It not eno’ to frighten me to think of it? Im stupid I’ve certainly got to die & how soon I know not. Oh tis a dreadful Life to Live in continual fear of Death: But blessed be God there is one that has Conquered that last enemy even Christ our Lord through whom all true Christians may meet Death with chearfulness since then their troubles will be at a final period. oh happy state, thrice happy souls who make choice of God for their portion, Christ for their Redeemer, the holy Spirit for their Sanctifier & director. oh this flattering deluding world how it steals our hearts from God.-
oh my dear I hate my self because I dont hate my self no more. never had one more reason to abhor themselves yet few are so in Love with themselves. I’m sure I’ve nothing that I Love my own heart for, all is depravity, all is wrong, mind & will are bent the wrong way; it terifies me when I think of my way of Living: the Righteous Judge will ‘ere long call me to an account, & what one can I give, oh terror horror & a moments must then seize my now stupid heart: Now is the accepted time, now & –
oh for mercy now to be a wakend while tis called to day while there is hope, & for the holy spirit to be powerd out upon me. Shall I once more ask your prayers for me for deliverance from sins power & punishment. When Death will be sent to part

us from each other we know not, nor which of us must meet that king of terror! we know not, yet this we know twill not be long before we must Die & bid a final fare-well to all earthly things; & a welcome joyful fare-well too if we may but go to be with Christ; which must ever be the prayer of your own
Betty Porter

altho it be jest night yet I cant let the day pass without writing one word. -
Oh my dear can it ever be passed unregarded by me while I Live? mithinks it cant, the distresses of this day twelve-months was to great to be easily forgot indeed so foolish was last night that I felt different from common; but I hope nothing remarkable happened, the by reason of the storm [indecipherable] town. - O that the remembrance of Gods [indecipherable] heart to Love him. I know the affliction was great but my dearest friend the mercy was exceeding great: never to be forgot by me (I hope) who experienced it unspeakably [indecipherable] - What o my dear must have been my case if my dearest part had been taken away? but never never can we thank God eno’ that he plucked you away in the last moment as it were. It seem’d as if he was about to consume me, but oh his tender mercy spared you. -
But my dear friend farewel. I hope to be at the house of God tomorrow there we’ll once more join our thank-offering praying for a right improvement of all both mercies and afflictions. ohmy dear dont forget I am your faithful friend
E. Porter.