An Appeal to the Youth


Somerville, Mass., Sept. 6, 1859

My Dear Son Henry,

We received your letter, and were very glad to hear from you. You must write oftener. Send us a letter at Topsham. Think of everything you have left there and wish us to bring, and we will try to do so. AY 44.2

We hope you are well and happy. Be a good, steady boy. If you only fear God and love him, our happiness will be complete. You can be a noble boy. Love truthfulness and honesty. These are sacred treasures. Do not lay them aside for a moment. You may be tempted and often tried, but, my dear boy, it is at such a time when these lovely treasures shine, and are highly prized. Cling closely to these precious traits, whatever you may be called to suffer. Let truthfulness and honesty ever live in your heart. Never, through fear of punishment, sacrifice these noble traits. The Lord will help you, Henry, to do right. I believe it is your purpose to do right, and please your parents. AY 44.3

You may see little dishonest acts in other boys, but do not think for a moment of imitating them. Learn to despise such things. Do not condescend to mean talk, or to mean acts. Shun the company of those who do evil, as you would a deadly poison; for they will corrupt every one who associates with them. Ever have your young mind lifted up—elevated above the low, evil habits of those who have no fear of God before them. You can have correct thoughts, correct ways, and can form a good, pure character. AY 45.1

Our dear children are our treasures, and oh, how anxious we are that they should meet the approbation of God. In his strength you can reform, but never in your own strength. You can give the Lord your heart, and ask him to forgive your sins, and if you move with sincerity he will accept you and make you white and clean in his own precious blood. We, your parents, pray much for you, that you may be a consistent, true Christian. We know that our Saviour is coming, and will take the good and holy, the honest and pure, to dwell with him forever in a holy heaven, where all is beauty, harmony, joy, and glory. I want you to remember that Jesus suffered, groaned, and died for you, that his blood might cleanse you from sin. But there is a work for you to do. May the Lord clearly open to your young mind the plan of salvation, and lead you to give yourself unreservedly to Jesus as his, to serve him continually. Come to him, dear boy; love him because he first loved you; love him for his lovely character; love him because he loved you well enough to die for you. AY 45.2

Henry, as soon as you were born we prayed that you might be a Christian boy. We believe that you have felt some of the influence of the Spirit of God upon your heart; but we want its sweet influence to abide upon you, and the impressions lasting, your course steady, and you to daily receive grace to resist temptation. AY 46.1

I must close. Do right because you love to. Preserve these letters I write to you, and read them often, and if you should be left without a mother's care, they will be a help to you. AY 47.1

Your affectionate Mother.