[p.1] Phila. 12 Mo. 16th. 1861.
My dear R,
When I parted from you the day of our meeting I took my way home tearfully but glad, for the language of my grateful soul was was brought low and [illegible] me. I had been so poorly in body and so anxious about my beloved brother who is about in [illegible] and very ill that I feared I should not be able to lecture, but I cast my [illegible] on the Lord and was [illegible] [illegible]llously sustained. O let me praise him!
Our Heavenly Father, dear Rebecca, is helping you and your dear sister to do a good work - [p. 2] may his blessing rest upon you never grow weary nor faint in your minds. Very precious are those [monthly?] faith [illegible]rings to me and very precious must they be to those poor needy mothers whose wants both temporal and spiritual you labor to effectively to supply.
I am very glad that you have Leticia [Brass?] in the school, her heart is the work. May the great Teacher of Nazareth be her Teacher.
Dear R, I had anticipated great pleasure in spending a few days with you at Christmas, but I shall not be able to come. Last week I received a letter from my absent brother, who still [p. 3] continues extremely ill. He has the fever of the country accompanied with Dysentery. Ill, and without [mercy?] above among strangers!!
I have been cast down into the very depths of sorrow and anxiety, and yet, my mind has been so impressed with the following text that drew my attention an [sic] opening my little book of “Promises of Scripture” that I believe God my Heavenly Father will spare his life “I have seen his ways and will heal him; I will lead him also and restore comfort unto him and to his mourners.” Faith is hard put to it, but I must, I will trust, the [p. 4] weak miserable creature I seem to myself. I am scarcely able to attend to my school duties. How indeed, I can understand what the Psalmist meant when he Said “All thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.”
In this time of deep trial and proving very sweet to me has been the sympathy of some of my scholars. One little girl writes thus.
“My dear Teacher,
I am sorry to see you look so sad. I hope you are not sick, but if your brother is sick God knows what is best for us, we [p. 5] always have something to trouble us in this world. Sometimes our faces look pleasant, but no pleasure knows what trouble is at heart. Without trouble we cannot get to heaven. There is a very pretty passage of Scripture which says “I cried unto the Lord with my voice, with my voice unto the Lord I did make my supplication. I poured out my complaint before him, I showed before him my trouble.”
Another one says, “Let not your hearts be troubled, ye believe in God, believe also in me.”
Your affectionate scholar,
So you may see dear R, how my kind Heavenly Father strengthens and helps, me when I am brought low.
[p. 6] I thought perhaps this might encourage you to persevere in sowing good seed its [illegible]ing to the great His handman.
With much love to your sister I am very Affectionately yours.
Sean Ryan will see that I am not fit to mind.