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1835.10.24 - Elizabeth Huntington to Frederic Dan Huntington, Oct. 24th, 1835

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Elm Valley Oct. 24th 1835 Saturday evening

My dear Frederic,

It is more than a week since I have written, and half that time since I received yours; I need hardly tell you, that I was much gratified by the perusal. The promptness with which you answered me, was pleasing on two accounts; both in the first place, it afforded me an opportunity of witnessing your talent at writing letters, and in the second place, it was a mark of filial atten-tion and regard which always gives joy to a parent's heart. The child who is ever desirous of doing the will of his earthly parents, is hopefully in the way to do, or rather is already doing, the will of his Father in Heaven. Religion you know, insists not in doing great things, but in doing everything to the glory of God. A supreme regard to his approbation and acceptance, is essential to a holy heart. There is much said about conversion, and getting a hope; I pray there may not be many indulging false hopes, which will fail them when God shall take away the soul. Our Saviour told his disciples, that "whosoever would do the will of his father in heaven, the same was his brother and sister and mother." He declared also, that they "who have done good, shall come forth, to the resurrection of life, and they who have done evil to the resurrection of condemnation." [1] "Blessed are they who do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in thru' the gates, into the city." [2] Pray the Holy Spirit prepare us to keep the coming sabbath in such a manner, as to advance us on our way to this heavenly city.-- Sabbath evening - Mr. Thausen's text this afternoon was in the 16th Psalm 8th verse. "I have set the Lord always before me." He illustrated by many familiar examples, the variety of motives which influ-ence the human mind, and expounded his hearers, to make the glory of God, the will of this all righteous One, the governing motive in all their conduct.-- In the morning he addressed parents and masters, from this text, fathers provoke not your children to anger-- Ephesians Philippians 3d-21st.-- remonstrated against a harsh fault finding method of treating children, and recommended decision, but gentleness of manner.-- How solemn [page break] is the tho't [sic], that for the improvement of another sabbath, we must give account in the day of judgment. yet if you can say with Peter, "Lord thou knoweth all things, thou knowest that I love thee,"[3] we shall not dread the final account. Two of our loved ones [4] have entered the world of spirits; and I love to look forward to the period, when again united under the captain of our salvation, we shall serve him without weariness, and never, never sin. I love to think of the dear departed, as even now perfected, not lying in a long sleep, the spirit and the flesh alike inanimate; but fresh vigorous, immortal, even drinking full draughts of the pure river of the water of life. I delight to look back upon the loveliness of their characters tho' [sic] it costs a pang when I remember their sufferings. This however is the way to heaven. Our Saviour says, thro' [sic] much tribulation you shall enter into the kingdom. And of the redeemed in heaven it is said there are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lord. And who can say that the disappointments and privations and sicknesses of your departed brother and sister, were not instrumental in preparing them for their early removal. Tuesday evening. Your brothers and sister have gone to singing school, your father is reading the Gazette in the sitting room, where Bethia is employed with her needle, and Miss Paige with her book, Elizabeth sits by the fire and may possibly be drowsing by this time. Susan[5] and Ben are paring apples, and mother is in her room writing to Frederic; but as it is rather chilly, she will join the family circle, and finish the letter there. Your father has been in the woods today with Ben, pre-paring a load of wood for Mr. Bascom, I believe, which will probably be carried out tomorrow. Theodore has been harrowing on the hill, and grinding (^... sweet) apples at the mill today, so it is likely in a day or two, we shall have the pleasure of boiling down the cider, for apple-sauce, which you know is a very important accompaniament [sic] at our table. I believe the Huntington's [sic] are as remarkable for their partiality to apple sauce, as the Porters are for their fondness for butter.

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You are aware I suppose, that Theodore has become headman at Elm Valley, Theophilus having resigned the office, to take the exclusive management and care of the land which they own in company. The business seems to proceed in the old way, and no change is apparent, excepting that Theodore is up some time before Theophilus in the morning, and takes upon himself the jobs about the house. Edward came over yesterday morning just as we had done breakfast, but not too late to have a bowl of baked apples and milk. He had business at the mills, and returned to dinner. Your father and brothers attended town meeting and voted for Mr. Everett governor as did all the town beside. Capt. Bill Smith and Simeon Dickinson were chosen to represent the town in General Court, leaving out Mr. Stockbridge. Theophilus spent last evening in soliciting subscriptions for the Temperance Banner, at the Mills, did not have much success; the people there have become less ardent in the cause, than they were two or three years since. I am quite desirous to hear how you were pleased with the religious meeting, the evening after we called on you. Could there be harmony of feeling, such meetings would be very pleasant, and im-proving, if conducted with proper solemnity. If your studies do not press very hard, I hope you have some useful reading to occupy your leisure time[6]. You know Whiting made a list of the books he read, while in college, and it was really surprising, to find how much he accomplished [7]. He lived fast. He was rapidly ripening for the sublime employments of the spiritual world. Let us ever, daily and constantly, fix the eye of faith, upon those animating prospects, which are presented to us in the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by fighting the good fight of faith, become followers of them who thru' faith and patience are inheriting the promises. With much love your mother E.

[written sideways in margin] We shall expect you next week.

1 John 5:29

2 Revelation 22:14

3 John 21:15-19.

4 John Whiting and Catherine

5 Born in 1827, Susan was the young niece of Elizabeth by her brother Charles' second marriage (Five College Finding Aid).

6 This letter was written to Frederic during his first semester studying at Amherst College. He graduated as valedictorian of his class in 1839 (Five College Finding Aid).

7 A nickname of John Whiting Huntington. He attended Harvard College from 1829-1832, but died before graduating (Five College Finding Aid). Elizabeth alludes to his death earlier in the letter; her additional reference to looking over his writings here suggests that he's been on her mind.

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