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1831.10.03 - Elizabeth Huntington to John Huntington, Oct. 3rd, 1831


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Hadley Oct. 3rd 1831.

Dear Whiting [1],

Your letters, one to William and the other to Theodore, came to hand Saturday night. Till I read what you wrote to William [refuting] your eager desire for College honours [2], I had no idea of the disappointment you must have felt in not winning the prize [3]. I had hoped that the example and instruction of our blessed Lord, at whose [fast] you have professed to have been sitting, had been more influential over you. I am really surprized [sic] and I can hardly believe that what you said [4] was in earnest. If you have not yet learned the emptiness and insufficiency and absolute vanity of worldly hopes and prospects, take one more look at our dear Catharine's grave. Her death, in my estimation has "stained the pride of all glory". [5] Any dear child, let it not plead in vain to you. I beg of you from this time to [use] up this inordinate ambition and determine "to glory in nothing but the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ"[6] and may you be able to say, "by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world". [7] If you are sincerely desirous of serving your maker, and promoting the virtues and happiness of beings, do you not think that you may as reasonably hope for the divine blessing without this worldly distinction as with it? Remember where it is written "We have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of men." [8] Study to "know how to be abased [9], be willing to take the lowest place" [10] and esteem it an unspeakable privilege if even in the [Lumblast?] nation you can honour your Lord and Master. I hope I have said nothing to wound your feelings; this weak wavering mind of mine is a poor guide; may the Lord direct you, and keep you in his own right way. Your uncle [11] left home for Boston last Thursday with Marianne [12]. Yesterday your father preached at [Leucrit?], and Theophilus and Theodore went out with him in the wagon, the new one. Mary and Frederic and I went to Northampton and heard Mr. [Heones] [13]. His text in the morning was in John, That all men should honour the Son even as they honour the father. in [sic] the afternoon his sermon was upon the parable of the unjust steward. The society [14] were to have a meeting today, with reference to giving him a call. I hope you will remember them at the throne of grace. If it is a duty to pray the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest, it is equally a duty to pray that their labours may be blessed. I received a letter from William last week. shall endeavour to send it on to you shortly. $20 was sent by [Gibbard] Smith [15], last week to be left for you at [Hastings's] Cambridge [post] [16]. Tuesday noon. I have little to add. we [sic] are hoping to hear by Smith [17]. death [sic] is making ravages among us. the [sic] widow [Coft] [18] was buried yesterday. let [sic] us be ready for we know not when the Son of man [cometh]. many [sic] are sick with fever.

In haste as ever your affectionate mother. EWH

Thro' the goodness of God we are all in comfortable health. your letter to Charles was forwarded. Let us know when you want supplies and of what kind. We are quite [pleased] at your success in getting a school [19]

[1] Nickname for John Whiting Huntington, the sixth child of Dan and Elizabeth Huntington.

[2] John Whiting Huntington attended Harvard at this time. It is unclear what honors this refers to.

[3] It is unclear which prize Whiting did not receive.

[4] It would be nice to know what he said, but the letters seem unavailable.

[5] From King James Bible verse Isaiah 23:9.

[6] From King James Bible verse Galatians 6:14.

[7] From King James Bible verse Galatians 6:14.

[8] From King James Bible verse 2 Corinthians 4:7.

[9] From Oxford English Dictionary, abased means: "made in lower rank, humbled"

[10] The first half of the quote may come from Philippians 4:12. It is unclear where the second half of the quote references.

[11] Likely (Moses) Charles Porter Phelps, Elizabeth Whiting Phelps Huntington's brother. (Moses) Charles practiced law in Boston.

[12] Possibly (Moses) Charles's wife?

[13] Possibly the town minister, but it is unclear what his name is and where he is preaching.

[14] What society?

[15] Who is this?

[16] Where is this and what is its significance?

[17] Who is this?

[18] Who is this?

[19] What school is she referring to?

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