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[Letter from Young John Allen, September 07, 1854]
Sept 7th 1854
Miss Mary Houston: Dearest Mary:
Not unlike thee, too, can I gladly say, that since I know, believe, I feel thee true, I blush not, fear not ot own that I do love thee, Yes, Dearest, by those fond glances so often meeting into mine have I oftimes read that in thy heart was a something set that contained and proved the verity of those fond smiles and purity & sincerity of those eyes [deleted] - [added] glances of blue, I can now declare that I do verily realize the th [deleted] truth that my affections growing, like the Ivy to the Quercus (oak) are ever twining with their tendril's Soft embrace deeper and closer the fibres of thy thrilling responsive heart. Yet unlike the Oak, cold and unaffectionate to the Ivy, and which leaves it to the Ivy to weave its own affectionate embrace, methinks thee, Yes meknows thee to be unlike to the Quercus for I feel that thy affections reciprocally are twining, too, around my heart while I [deleted] mine may be linking themselves to thine. 'Twas not My Love, till since I have been acquaint with & so deeply, truly lover [deleted] d thee that I knew the poverty of Language, and inadequacy of words to express the Love-responding Soul-sincere emotions of a "stricken" heart, ah! Vainly may we seek and turn the compiled pages of Webster's Vocabulary to find a word expressive of the heart's inward commotion at a time such as this, And as vainly toil from Some Poet to borrow sentiments to speak out ours in. Yea all is vain at such a time, nothing save the gushing's forth of the heart's own deep feeling can satiate a Lover's impatient breast.
Mollie, oft have I told thee I loved thee, nor need I again Speak it but to ease and calm the wild pulse of a heart that beats ever true for thee & thee alone.
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I would not flatter thee, My Dear, but I wish to be true and plain, and so indeed I wish you to be with me, Man [added] y hearts as you know Mollie are fascinated, and allured by flattery, fiction, and "flimsy romance" that are left to pine away in grief, and to fade, faint and die, therefore I would be plain & true and tell thee that my heart is thine and my lifetime plighted love.
Yes, My dear, I can susceptibly feel that the bond that binds our united, pledged hearts, coaxes them inseparably in Union, stronger, when I know that thou didst feel and keep those sacred pledges, Yes indeed Mollie a change has been brought, and not an invisible one, but one that has been perceived by many, who have made frequent remarks concerni [added] ng it and wondered at they why; You will have to Dear Mollie, suffer many persecutions, and probably some may attempt to deride [unclear] you out, and make you abandon the cross of Christ and the pleasure and privilege of being assignated a follower of the meek & Lowly Jesus who died the inhuman & ignominious death of the Cross that we might live, Yes My dear, many trials and temptations are spread and contrived by Satan and his advocates to allure from the faith of virtue & Righteousness those who would Lay up their treasures in Heaven,
But listen not to them, for remember that they too are accountable mortals, and would barter away thine immortal Soul too like they had their own and when at last they came to see their awful, fearful doom, would cry out for help when none would come to their rescue; oh! Yes, dear, Remember that they can cause thee to slight God and barter away thy soul, but they can never restore it back to thee, Yes think Beloved of thy Soul's precious immortal worth.View image of page
Yes, Mary Continue as then hast now begun, and true happiness shall be thine; It is with me, too, Mollie as thou hast said, I love at the evening's twilight hour when all nature is calming into silent, deep repose, Yes I love like the evening songster to pour forth my heart's sincere gratitude & prayer to God, before retiring, Mollie, this verse from, a hymn suited to closet worship, ever since I chance to find it has ever expressed the feelings of my heart, and which while at College and since at home I have ever faithfully tried to live out, and I here subjoin it that my heart too mayst recognize it,
I love to steal awhile away,
From every cum'bring care,
And spend the hours of setting day,
For humble, grateful prayer."
Yes, My Dear, those lines I've often repeated when retiring to the forest, there to pour out my heart before God in humble devotion, and oft Dear Mollie have I tried to pray for thee, in sincerity and feel that to some degree my poor feeble petition has been heard, My Dear remember me when ascending thy petitions at a rich throne of grace, and may the Love of God grow and [deleted] in our hearts and strengthen them in belief & faith in Christ.
Oh! I rejoice that thou can'st say there's a reality in the Religion of Christ, and I feel a deeper spirit of devotion to God than I ever felt before, to know that my Congenial spirit, my true & only love is devoted to God & his service, Yes, My Love, thou must know that I do love thee more & most, when I know that Religion is thy wise choice, Dear, I have chosen to devote my life, time, & talents to God & his service. And Oh! How strengthened & encouraged I feel, that thou wilt pledge thy heart with me to break down & tear asunder
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The wilds and fortifications of the Wicked one;
I, too, dear Mary was left an Orphan, my Father having died before I was born and my Mother in about 2 weeks after, So you see, Love that an orphan indeed have I been, But Oh! when deprived as we have been though many troubles and sorrows may lower and cloud the horizon of our Youth. Yet there is a Just Father in Heaven who cares for his mortals here and it is my dear through his kind providence that we have been enabled to behold this day's propects and to look away through the storm could of our past life and behold the bow of his omnipotence that bids us cheer up and climb by faith Jacob's ladder till we reach his sacred preserved promises kept in reserve for us. Oh! may the Love of God & the Cross of Christ ever inspire us to press forward to win the prize in Christ.
Dear Mollie I will call tomorrow evening and what we cannot here write we may perchance get an opportunity to talk, I'll give you my 'Type [unclear] ' tomorrow & you must be sure & give me yours.
Pardon brevity and all blunders occurring in this, and believe me sincerely your true and devoted Friend & Lover
A. Y. J. W. Allen
I could write much more but it is growing late now and I hope tomorrow to read those tender looks & fond glances personally present and not by imagination.
Unchanged Ad eternum,