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[Letter from Young John Allen to Mollie Houston, February 14, 1857]

"Don't view this with critic's eye
But pass its imperfections by."


Feb. 14 1857

My Dearest Mollie,

Not more joyfullydid Ahab [deleted] the words of the Old Prophet fall upon the ears of Ahab, announcing "a sound of abundance of rain", after the long drought of three years, than those [deleted] did [added] thosewhich announced for me thy letter this morning. With "hope" as my Prophet and "patience" for my servant, I had long been tarrying on Mt Carmel gazing far down upon the Mediterranean. Often, yea more than seventimes had "patience" clambered to the heights of the Mt. and returned with sad countenance; but the Old Prophet, "hope"—eternal hope", still [deleted] once more arousing himself as for a desperate effort, pierced the veil by faith, and saw the cloud,
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the timid cloud arise; and bidding "patience" again retrace her steps to the height [deleted] summit [added] of the torturous peak, on tiptoe with eager gaze, too, she something spied, -which while she hurried down in joyful haste to tell, fast and faster grew till all the sky was darkened with the truth and King and Prophet and servant all rejoiced that indeed "a sound of abundance of rain" had come, and that not only they, but the scanty herds, the perishing flocks, andexhausted, languid nature herself had heard the sound thereof and had arisen from her sepulchre of death and had come forth with bounding life currents and heart of healthful [deleted] and full pulse to meet the God of showers [deleted] rain [added] as he descended in blessings upon her head. Yes, Dearest, you have but to read the account of Elijah and his servant upon Mt. Carmel, and you [deleted] to [added] have a true picture of me (old wretched Ahab)
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as I passed the last two weeks—1st Kings 18th Chap.

But I must not tarry longer on this subject, for I fear I have already wearied your patience; Suffice it however in this place to state, that you are perfectly pardonable; for your excuse is certainly a most acceptable as well as valid one, —but on the other hand let me beg of you to pardon my great impatience of spirit and anxiety of mind, which you see I had, (though only partially manifested,) if the above illustration is not too incredible for your faith.

Your correspondence, Dearest, is one of the happiest privileges I enjoy; it is the source to me [added] of many a blessing; to me, [deleted] It comforts, cheers, animates the drooping spirit, revives the heart wearied with tasks and burdened with cares, shines upon the pathway of duty with an encouraging and tranquil radiance, that seems to say, Ho! Pilgrim, courage, onward press, this is not thy goal, not thy rest.
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then, how soon I remember the words, "That in the Catalogue which fate reserves for a generous manhood, there is no such word as fail," and old energies arouse, new efforts spring into being, and the spirit thus [added] fired and energized leaps forth from its lethargy into active life and with zeal rejoices again to enter the race of joy and usefulness— those are some of the happy results which thy letters effect for me; and far greater than these might I mention. I will add, though, that, I find nothing else so indispensable to my cheerfulness, my enjoyments, my very life as the assurance which [deleted] and encouragements which are granted me through thy correspondence.— Surely I must be, ought to be, am happy, as some have ventured to say, blessed with such a Dear, congenial, faithful, "spirit-mate", as Mrs Amelia would have it.

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Feb. 18th 57

With the preceding preliminary and rather excursory, if not at times, extravagant remarks, I will now proceed, or at least so endeavor, to answer your letter, so full of tenderness and affection, of sweet simplicity and generous confidence; But as you see, I can not write it all at once. I will as I have leisure at noon and night, employ it all with thee and write then a little and now a little, and thus after awhile perhaps I can fulfill a responsive sheet; I merely make the above statement that you may be the better prepared to pardon the disconnected and limping sentences that I may be able under such circumstances to throw together.

I am happy to hear, Dear Mollie, that you are so well pleased with your comparatively new situation; that you have formed so high an opinion and
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estimate of your instructors; [deleted] and that among your new acquaintances, the students, you have found some choice, valuable and sweet girls, in whom [deleted] you can confide, and with whom you can now and then spend a "happy moment's time." Many intimate friendships, I always thought were not desirable, or if desirable at least not advisable, and so following as well [added] my own inclination as the desire to act "prudently," wherever I have been, I never would seek, nor form but few, and the same I would recommend to you Dearest,—although my experience reaches only to one side of the question, yet [added] observation will testify that it is the safest and happiest in its results. Then Dear Mollie, though you find but few among the many, in whom you can trust as bosom friends, prize, cherish and love them for they will make you happy when the friendships and professions
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of the "many" shall have waxed cold and their disguises have fallen off.

I am sorry however to hear that the very ones who ought to be your most intimate and devoted friends are among the "many" whose tratorous [sic] lips and false pretensions are so much to be shunned and despised; yet Dearest, like the thorn which annoyed and vexed Paul, these things amy be intended by a designing Providence to work out happy and glorious results for us. We ought always [deleted] to remember that the "thornis always linked with the sweets fo the rose"— but by no means are theyjustifiable to continue in sin that grace may the much more abound in your behalf. God forbid, says the great Apostle in Romans 6thC. 1st-2nd.

Well, Dearest, I have had some experience also in a situation very similar to what your present one is,
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I have had all sorts and dispositions of chums, from [added] the mild, inoffensive, good natured, peaceable, quiet, charitable religious and happy, to the wild, reckless, wretched, inconsiderate, passionate and irreligious hard heart, stubborn and flinty and abandoned to wretchedness and sin, and therefore, though I am not [added] the better off by it having been so, yet I am the better prepared to appreciate your very unenviable position and to sympathize with you in your seeming misfortune, in having been thus placed— but would you have a sovereign antidote against all such influences and dispositions and tempers which might be sinful in their tendency, unholy and uncharitable in their character, growing out of your present circumstances, then would I recommend to you a sure and prevailing remedy, which will
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not only prevent the risings of such things in the future, but will even eradicate all that has, (if any,) sprung up heretofore. It is a medicine which I find to be pleasant in every respect.

I found [deleted] It is designed to affect the heart more particularly, and in nearly all its diseases proves a healing balm. Will you try it, My Dearest Mollie? Yes I know you will, and incorporate it as I have done in the list of Antidotes which are so much needed at times by the student to counteract the poisonous influences and unwholesome prejudices which are so apt to insinuate themselves into our fam [sic] and our lives. Then here it is, in a few and simple words. "That I may be kept from speaking or thinking amiss of my Christian friends, associates, or even my foes" those who may be my secret oppressers, enemies, despisers or persecutors, "I will daily for them."

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Adopt that, Dearest, as one of your principal rules in the governing your heart and regulating the sometimes "unruly member," and let what come then will, you can still be cheerful and delight yourself in the holy will of God, do your duty and be happy. Let not your present embarrassments deter you in the least from your duties, Dearest, but patiently and perseveringly endure all for the cause of your Dear Savior, and it will not be long before your meekness, and humble reliance upon Providence, your reverence for his word and your trust and hope therein, exemplified and enforced by your actions, will awe them into silence and ultimately perhaps bring them to "consider." I have said thus much about this and them here, anticipating the obstacle of which you spoke to
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be one not so much [deleted] prejudiced to your common worldly or sensual pleasures and enjoyments as to those of a more spiritual and holy character; therefore you must pardon me if I have been rather over tedious, which doubtless you can justly say.

Tis now —"Night"— again, and I have a few more minutes to employ in communion with thee, and as it is usual to put off the best for the last, I now propose to close this rather lengthy communication with what I may say, in reply to your request, on that most important subject, which I am so glad to hear you say, has not been neglected nor forgotten by you, but on the other hand, is eliciting more & more serious investigation every day, more earnestness, a [deleted] more "hungering and thirsting after entire holiness of heart, after [added] righteousness, after Perfection—Sanctification.


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Now Dearest, you wish to know how to proceed; And by that I understand, if you will allow me to draw inferences, -though I am satisfied in this instance perfectly- that you "believe," as we sometimes ask a penitent, that there is such a thing as a "holiness of heart," "Christian Perfection," Entire Sanctification (to be attained to, and realized in this present life) [deleted] that you believe such a state is attainable and can be obtained even by you according to the blessed promises [deleted] of our Dear Savior. "Blessed are those which do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled;" that you, after having satisfied yourself that there is such a blessing, and that it can be attained and enjoyed in this present life, are now willing and ready to use any means, make any sacrifices, to become [deleted] an humble follower of our Lord all your days, "through evil as well as through good report,"
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that you are willing to be number'd with the outcasts, abandoned and persecuted, for his name's sake; to have your name even a [deleted] become a byword and reproach among [added] the world; that you are willing, yea desirous to become crucified unto the world and have it crucified unto you; to leave all, home, friends, Sisters, dearest Ones, kindred, associates, companions even Country itself to spend your life, even a voluntary exile, amid the depravity of Pagan Superstitionists or Heathen Idolatries; Yes, Dearest Mollie, I understand from your "request" that you are willing, yes anxious to "do", or "suffer", or "become" any of the above humiliations if the Glory of the Lord can only be promoted and his blessed kingdom advanced by you in any manner. Well now, Dearest, if you are willing to "do" and "suffer" the above,
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which I know you are, because your words and your actions, which have never deceived me, both testify to the earnestness and truthfulness of your inquiries into the way of Holiness, there are [added] a few conditions, which yours [deleted] in accordance to your belief, "that there is such a state, and that that state is attainable &c here," that you must comply with and fulfill, in order that you may begin to employ the means which are in your power &c, these conditions, some of them at least, are that you manifest your desires after Perfection and the earnestness of your intentions, and more than all by [deleted] your willingness to have the blessing bestowed upon you, by your actions and the earnest groanings of your heart, unto God continually, besieging the throne of his Mercy by day and night in continued supplication, prayers and tears, &c. These are some of the conditions that
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that [sic] you must comply with in order to prove your willingness to receive it [added] ; but, Dearest, there are others, also, which are equally important, that you may prove (also) your willingness to make any sacrifice, which might be necessary on your part to secure that inestimable blessing—which (blessing can be defined no more truly than in the brief words of our Dear Savior's [deleted] when he said "Father thy will be done not mine," that is the true definition of true "Christian Perfection" and when Dear Mollie, you arrive at that place or point in your experience when under any circumstances of adversity or prosperity, joy or sorrow, griefs, trials, misfortunes or peace, happiness, of [gap 1 word strikethrough] [deleted] &c when you can say from the very bottom of your heart, "Lord thy will, not mine be done", then you have gained the triumph and the joy is yours,— that is, the "all in all" of Sanctification, believe
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me, My Dearest, because it is the very essence of the Spirit of Christ, himself, who hath left us that model of His [deleted] Perfection, that high and holy standard of holiness unto which, through his own amazing condescension, Love and Mercy, he hath opened up a way for our approach, and thereby made what would otherwise have been forever inimitable and inaccessible by us, plain and easy.

But to return,—now Mollie, after a considerable digression, which I trust however will prove beneficial to us both—we will (again) notice the second condition with which you must comply, "that of making any sacrifice necessary;—

Now, Dearest, you must examine your heart thoroughly, spare not; & though it be painful to probe its secret depths, search it, and try it, view it in the light of the Holy Spirit; try the strength of its attachment to the cause of God, test its sincerity, and
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prove it, whether it be willing to make a full and entire surrender of itself; to make a life and eternity consecration, of all it holds dear, values [deleted] or estimates [added] or is in disguise connected with it in time or eternity. Whether (itis) [added] willing to consecrate for once and always unto the Lord.

"Your soul and body's powers,
Your memory, mind and will,
All you know and all you feel,
All you think or speak or do;"
All your freedom, friends and fame,
Your loved Sisters, health and name,
And can adopt now [deleted] the language of the Pious Chas Wesley and say— "From this moment, Lord, live or die,
I came, to serve my God alone."

And if it can answer an affirmative to all these, then Dearest, all is right.

Now Mollie, we have examined all the conditions except one I believe, and that
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too has partially, if not wholy been incorporated in the last, —and all of them [deleted] though perhaps they are all so confused that it will prove quite a task to (decipher) unravel [added] their tanglements and trace out their true meaning. Since there may be some difficulty in understanding them I will try to place them in a more tangible and plainer —form— The 1st condition is—That you manifest an earnest desire and willingness on your part to receive the blessing. 2d That you be willing to make any sacrifice or consecration which the Lord may see best in his wisdom to require. 3d- Which is to a great extent contained in the second, that you be willing to resign yourself entirely into the hands of the Lord and give up to his directions and his will altogether.

The above are the conditions, Dearest, of which I have been in somewhat a bungling maner [sic] speaking, and with
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which you are required to comply.

Now Dear Mollie, just proceed in that way and see what ever [deleted] is in the way—and remove it immediately. Test your willingness first, and see if you desire it above all things else, and if you find you do, why then do not delay as to the other conditions; but since you desire it above all else; ask yourself how it must be obtained; and when you learn that it must be by a thorough, entire and unreserved consecration of all you have and are to God, your tempers, dispositions thoughts &c, and that you cannot fully comply with the second without the [deleted] performing the 3d, why then comply with it too in all haste, delay not, but resign alllife, time, talents &c, to him and lay yourself humbly at the feet of Jesus and there wait the words of Your Blessed Jesus—Your Friend & Savior.
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But now, Mollie don't forget that there is no merit whatsoever in any thing of works that you can devise or use, and that this blessing comes just like justification by faith alone in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is able to cleanse and purify and make holy. Faith is what you must use, Dearest, all the time. Place all you are and have upon the Altar of entire consecration and there abide by faith, in prayer, till you receive the answer to your petitions, yes an assurance that your consecration has been accepted and your soul admitted into the sunshine of perfect love—never, never retrace your steps, but having vowed, like good old Jephtha pay your vows. I am so glad that you are fully determined in the matter that you will seek until the "promised blessing" is secured.

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Oh! that the Lord may set your soul free, even before this come [sic] to you.

My Prayer is every day that we may both be entirely sanctified and made holy and acceptable, that the spirit of the Lord may take up its abiding place in our hearts and rule there alone. Dearest Mollie, I do desire that above everything else, and I do bless and praise the Lord that he has permitted me to enjoy such a rich abundance of his mercies, such a depth of his love, such an unceasing flow of joys [deleted] and peace as has been mine very nearly every day since the 10th day of November. I want us to rejoice and praise God together in our hearts and in the labor of our hands, be steadfast, persevering and bold to claim the promises which are ours thus Dearest, and we shall be permitted to live and serve our God "with joyful hearts & free."

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Morning 19th

Your letter, Dearest, did not reach me until Tuesday morning. I however according as it requested, had kept your birth day, as a day of fasting and prayer, prayer, especially, that you might realize the triumph of faith, and the fulness of the joy which ever fills the Soul of a Christian at rest in Christ and abounding in the Love of Perfection.

It proved, Mollie, a happy day indeed to my soul, and one long to be remembered for its blessings, and benefits. I hope, Dearest, for I prayed for it, that you too enjoyed much of the presence and joy of the Lord in your Soul, and that you were much strenghened and confirmed and encouraged to— "Set out anew, your journey to pursue,
And after Glory run
."

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That you are now better prepared, by examination and prayer to devote yourself to the service of the Lord, (And) that whether you live or whether you die you may be entirely the Lord's. Be encouraged, My Dearest Mollie, the promise is yours, claim it, the blessings are yours too, appropriate them and be happy.

There are many other things Mollie about which I thought I would speak a few words, but I must I reckon pass over them now, and reserve them for the next times. I wish I did have time sufficient to allow me to mention them, but I will have [added] not now, —but enjoin it upon you particularly to immediately reply to this and then I will give them to you at length. Remember now, Dearest, I shall take it as a test of your anxiety and willingness
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to hear from (—), whether you write soon or delay. I heard from Matt., the other day, but I suppose you have heard since I have. She began her school on your birth day&c.

I wrote to Mellie as I told you I was going to. I could not comply Mollie Dearest, with all your requests particularly the Val [unclear] .Please write me what kind of books you would prefer, and what kind of a Society is yours—I mean Secret or Literary.

Are you acquainted with Misses Lundy, Mollie Rylander, Mollie Butts, a small girl,? there are several others I thought I would ask you about but I have forgotten their names.

Be sure now, My Dearest, and do not delay if you have to do as I have done in order to write this, for I will be more than anxious to hear from you before I do, any way, even if you write immediately.

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Mollie, what do [sic] think about taking music lessons, do you think [sic] would be a valuable appropriation of your time? that is the time spent at it?

I believe if I were you I would take lessons during your my [added] course there, it is true it would not do you much good in the extensive sense that it might others, who would wish to add a new charm to their beauties, or greater fascination to their loveliness, by such flourishes and flashes in Society, but it would sweeten life to some extent; for music hath its charms, and they soften down our coarser natures &c &c— but I have not time now to descant on that. You must learn to sing Dearest, if you have to take lessons only for that. I am going to learn too, we have two splendid teachers here now and I have entered as a subscriber, vocal music only. I am going to make an effort to learn, please cooperate with me.

Write now very soon Mollie, please.

Thine and thine only forever.

Young J. Allen

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