|Stewart, Frances to Wilson, Mary, 1828
|Revisiting Our Forest Home_The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]
|Douro Township, Newcsatle District, Upper Canada
|1828: June 3
To Mrs. [Mary] Wilson, Maryville, Belfast, Ireland
Douro 3d June 1828
My ever dear Cousin
I don't know how long it is since I last wrote to you but 1 think it seems a great while. For many many months the Ministerial changes have sadly
interfered with my enclosing privileges & have been the cause of my not
writing to my dear friends. But my thoughts were still at liberty & I think
if possible have been with you oftener than ever for you are connected
with every thing that occupies my mind. About six weeks ago your last
precious letter reached us, a sad one it was & caused us many tears but
my dear dear friends tho we must weep, we also rejoice. That dear Soul
has gone to Everlasting Glory. What a scene of trial & affliction has she
been taken from. Oh what an inconceivable scene she is now witnessing.
What an example she had left!! She has gone to that Saviour who
came for her, to that God who gave his beloved Son for her & føru$, yes
forus, vile & weak & miserable as we are. He died for us & even for me
tho I am the most unworthy of all creatures.... Oh may His holy Spirit
Enter my heart, purify & strengthen it, for without Him what a mass of
confusion & wretchedness it contains. Thank God, of late He has given
me a much clearer view of the state of my own heart than I ever before
had. I always loved or thought I loved Him, but I loved myself too much.
I never really, felt my total insufficiency till lately. May He still continue to open my eyes, to give me that entire love for him & dependence on Him which will lead me to call upon Him & to pray "without ceasing"
& to study His_Word.... I could write sheets & volumes, my darling &
Beloved friends. I know you feel & understand what I feel & I can write to you with more freedom & tell you the state of my mind better than to
almost anyone else.
I owe much to you my best & dearest Mrs. Wilson. The great Director
of all things employed you & my own dear Mother Mrs. Stewart as the
means of first opening my eyes & directing my thoughts where they
ought to be. I was very unhappy & awfully sinful some time ago. I set my
heart too much on my friends in this world & pined for them & wickedly
thought I never would have enjoyment without their society. How
Mercifully He dealt with me in whose hands I am. He gave me his Grace
to feel that I valued them too much. I forgot Him, my best friend. He
made me to feel the insufficiency of worldly comfort in trials. He did try
me & proved to me that His word & grace can alone support & instruct
& that friends tho sweet company are but secondary comfort, that their
advice sometimes leads one into doubts, but "His help is True." I am here
separated from you all & often often have been placed in very trying situations & I found my foolish heart regretting those friends from whom I
could procure advice. At last I felt the power of His free Grace & Mercy
& flew to Him to shew me my way.... What would I not give to see you & talk to you. If He sees fit He will permit it.... I do hope He may permit us to meet but I don't see that it would at present be our duty to return home. You know Toms affairs have been placed in the care & management of Mr. J. Darling. We cannot see the results it may bring us, an independence & restore our family to some of the property they lost. At present we could not live at home independently. Here we can & have overcome our worst difficulties. We are very comfortable now & have great blessings. Our farm is doing better. Our children are becoming useful & their minds opening. My dear Tom enjoys good health this year. No ague has appeared yet. May the
Lord incline the heart of my dear Tom to that Wisdom which never faileth
& may He preserve him by being overcome by the thoughts & cares
of this life. Your letters do him much good, more than any other persons,
for he loves you so dearly. So do we all....
Tell me something of Betty Taylor. Is she good or bad or at service.
We had a letter lately from poor dear John & Anna. I am glad they are improving in health. I say nothing of the Indians as I wrote so much
about them to Anna Mathias. You can hear all from her. Forgive this letter
all about my own thoughts. You asked me to write my thoughts.
Last Saturday it was 6 years since we saw you at White Abbey.