Phila. 9th mo. 19th. 60.
Yes, with heart felt [sic] gratitude I accept thy valuable gift. The life of Stephen Grelet [Grellet] must be a treasure to the Christian pilgrim.
Thanks to my Heavenly Father’s tender love and sweet remembrance, it came a birthday gift. Today I am fifty four years old! To how little purpose have I lived!! For more than thirty years I have been teaching others, yet how little have I learned myself of the great Teacher of Nazareth. ‘Tis past meridian, my face is towards [p. 2] the setting sun. What have I gathered for life’s evening? What for this world? What for the next? For this life there is (seemingly) nothing but poverty, contempt, trial! For the next I have, O, glorious thought, hope in Christ!! Then oh my soul,
“Then trim thy light,
And get thy jewels all reset;
‘’Tis past meridian, but still bright
And lacks some hours to sunset yet.’
At fifty four,
Be strong and true;
Scour off thy rust and shine anew.
‘Tis yet high day thy staff resume,
And fight fresh battles for the truth;
For what is age but youth’s full bloom
[p. 3] A riper more transcendent youth!
A [underlined] wedge of gold [/underlined] is [underlined] never [/underlined] old;
Streams broader grow as downward rolled.
Keep thy locks wet with morning dew,
And freely let thy graces flow;
For life well spent is ever new,
And [underlined] years anointed younger grow. [/underlined]
So work away;
Be young for aye;
From sunset breaking into day.”
I am much interested in your school and rejoice to hear that it is prospering. I pray that the Divine blessing may rest upon it.
I have a large school and many lazy children. I feel so poor and ignorant, so barren and empty, that I tremble when the hour [p. 4] for school arrives. While I was in the country I prayed often “Anoint me anew for the work I humbly believe thou hast given me to do.” I sometimes think this state is in answer to my petition. Dost thou not think it may be?
My heart often turns to thee in tender love but I do not write for fear of tasking thee. I have written thy name and mine in the books thou hast so kindly sent, may they be found written in the “Lamb’s book of Life”,
S. M. Douglass.