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[Valedictory to Faculty, President and Class, May 20th 1858]

Instability and change, fearful as real, seem to be written upon universal nature, experienced in human effort, and seen and felt in the vicissitudes of life- This old scarred and chaotic earth, upon which we live, has passed through many a geological convulsion, and we have no reason to conclude that even at her present age or state she is freed from fearful apprehensions of future plutonic fires, outbursting floods, upheaving continents, or oceans settling down, such as have begun and ended many a cycle in her long past, nay, she sometimes groans and moves from beneath in awful intiation that she is not secure even now from future [deleted] future [added] wreck.--

Human achievements and greatness too are subject alike to the same great laws:

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Antagonistic forces and influences are ever at work to modify and shape [deleted] fix [added] the destinies of the nations. The rude hand that shapes touches their glory and it withers, lays hold on their monuments and they crumble, snatches crowns and sceptres from Kings and Princes and in a few instances has even blotted out the very name of their country from the catalogue of nations- and so still the genius of that spirit outrides defeat, and is commissioned from above, exercises the functions of general Superintendent, even amid the minor affairs of men and such circumstances as now surround and sadden life's young hopes-

Long and anxiously have we anticipated this day- this hour, fraught wth so much eventfulness and full of so much mmeaning
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and importance to us- impatiently we awaited it arrival, and thought we often realized that all was passed, but not so; the scenes which wre in imagination then, have become living realities now and we can and do, both see and feel them- Yes the eventful day- the day of destiny, perhaps to some of [added] us, has fully come, and I stand here as the humble organ of my class to give expression to what our full heart feels on this parting occasion-

And to you first my beloved instructors I turn with a tearful heart and a few words- As instructors you have been dilligent [sic] [diligent] and faithful in our behalf; when we were careless, inconsiderate and desponding, tender has been your solicitude, gentle and kind your warnings and admonitions, encouraging and consoling
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your counsels; thou hast not only directed our erring feet [added] into the way, but hast gone therein and both by precept and example hath encouraged and led us on; and it is for these offices of kindness so well filled that we to day bless thee with our farewell words- and bid thee- Still "rouse to thy work of high & holy love;" praying as we leave you, that- "The good begun by thee may onward flow in many a branching stream and wider grow; The seed that in these few and fleeting hours Thy hands unsparing and unwearied have sown may deck thy grave with amaranthine flowers And gild thee fruits divine in heaven's immortal bowers." Farewell farewell

And now to you, our honored and beloved President, we turn our hearts with our eyes, bathed in unseen but felt tears- and before we go hence, would with gratitude
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and confession acknowledge the thousand obligations under which thou hast place us to thee- Judicious and prudent yet faithful has been your administration- parental and kind your guardianship and earnest and anxious your calls and counsels, as a minister of Christ, to us, to secure the abiding presence of one gentle and unreproaching friend, whose voice is ever in alliance with goodness and virtue, and (is) able to smooth misfortune and reclaim from folly- Here, you have tried to encourage us to identify ourselves with the happiness of that nature to which our immortality belongs. Here, you have struggled to lay the foundation of an early and permanent piety in our hearts; [added] and amid the magnificent systems of material signs in which we reside
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you have placed in our hands, and recommended its dilligent [sic] [diligent] use, the mighty key- The Holy Bible- which can unlock and interpret them all- Here, thou hast taught us to look upon the universe which we inhabit, not as the abode only of human fares or human sorrows [deleted] joys, but as the temple of the living God, in which praise is due, and where service is to be performed-

But alas! painful thought, a few brief hours more, and all these things live only in memory- but [deleted] Aye [added] it is so, , and it avails naught, to "lengthen these sweet, sad moments out," since the "word that hath been and must now be, the sound that makes us linger" must be spoken,

Then Farewell Beloved President-
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Now turns my soul to you, my dearly beloved Class-mates, as it hath ne'er done before; and as it may be the last time forever, my thoughts stagger, and [deleted] words fail to express and my lips to utter what "the heart feels most."- "This is our last fond meeting, our last farewell;- the world is wide and we must dwell apart." But before my spirit gives thee now its last fond greeting, let us once more retrospect to-gether a few of the scenes, where memory loves to dwell, and over which she will in years to come "fondly brood with wiser care"- Many of us have taken sweet counsel and held holy communion together, in private walks and secret meditations- sweet associations cluster about recitation room and study hall- but oh! how
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more sweet and hallowed the remembrances that come up from the prayer and classroom- But these, all these must be left now, and the word of instruction, prayer and praise fall upon other ears-

But before we part (and) to [added] return to our homes and the friends of our youth, permit me as your affectionate friend and classmate to assure you- "Diverse though our paths in life may be, Each is sent some mission to fulfill; And fellow-workers still we may be, If we seek to do our Master's will."

The convictions of duty, the calls of heaven and the claims of humanity- (now) [added] urge to tear away the tendrils of our affections from these green retreats, walks and halls and each other
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upon which we have so long leaned as "the olive and the vine," and go forth as voyagers upon life's uncertain sea- But before we go, Dear Classmates, before we enter our barks for life- let's tear loose "hope's anchor from the sands of time" and fasten it [added] (to) in eternal moorings within the vail of providence, where it shall never rust nor its cables fail- Then let falsehood, malice or envy rage- Misfortunes, afflictions and trials come- the world in furious hate ply her powers [deleted] energies [added] and spring temptation's powers and threaten to prostrate us- nay, let ocean forget her bed, the winds their hills to toss and drown our tiny sail- yet, moored on the Rock of Ages, the Soul's great Sea shall be calm and her skies be clear- and "with joys unmeasured as
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as Eternity,
We'll ply on seas of glass our golden oars And pluck immortal fruits along the shore,"
And soon beyond the clouds, beyond the stars, beyond this mortal vision, shall we come [deleted] meet [added] again in immortal triumph; and crowned with everlasting honors strike ??the [deleted] up earth's rapturous chorus on heaven's harps and sing once again,
"Oh! the hope, the glorious hope,
The hope through Jesus given,
The hope when days and years are past past [added]
We all shall meet again in heaven

Or thus if you like
Oh! tis the hope, the glorious hope
The hope through Jesus given
The hope when [deleted] now [added] days and years are past
That's brought us all safe home to heaven."

Now farewell Dear Classmates till that blissful hope be realized and we all meet again in endless reunion in happy heaven-- Mollie Houston

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Now My Dearest, My precious Mollie, I have fulfilled your request- and though very hastily and by guess, I sincerely hope it will not disappoint you.

My Dear One, you know I have yet to learn how to refuse you, if I know it ever- no, no. I never will; if you ask anything of your own; shall I say, Dear Young, he will never turn you away- Isn't so My Dear?-

Mollie permit me to write you just a few lines to fill out this sheet- I am now out of College and free for the first time in my life from such sedentary restraints- I left Oxford on the 3d of [deleted] inst.-visited the Gen-Conference in Nashville and remained 6 days, a pretty regular attendant upon their [deleted] its [added] sittings. Our case as you already know is before the Board and Bps for their decision and direction- their meeting however will not be held until toward the close of the Conference- and therefore we will not be able to know their decision nor our
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destiny until after the Conf is approved, perhaps- Will you please Mollie write me a few lines and send them in Mellies' letter, and let me know your mind on those subjects I mentioned, particularly the Write me how you like this Valedict- &c- please send me a Catalogue with your class criticised &c- I shall visit your commencement if nothing prevents- and shall expect you to accompany me to mine- Mellie & Ranse are coming to spend the day with me to day. Coming to cheer a , Oh! I wish my Dear Mollie was here to enjoy their visit and stay with me- her own Young- Be patient dear one- the time will soon com when [added]

You still feel willing to go anywhere, so you My Mollie; even willing to stay at home and labor here in our own Country, in our own state or to go far away in "heathen lands to dwell" if the Lord wills it, do you My precious One? Bless the Lord I believe thou art willing-

My Mollie, I never wanted to see you so bad in all my life before- and I must here, make [deleted] in justice to my own pure love for you and the confidence you repose in my sincerity, tell you that it is my desire and wish, and I do hope it will be yours also, to consummate our engagement just as soon as we can- and in view of this, I have been looking forward to the opportunity which I think will be afforded to have it done in Oxford on Thursday morning after my Graduation- just one week, it will be, after yours- Now, Mollie, I am serious in this request, and hope you will regard it as an expression coming from the very bottom of my soul's affections- which are all intertwined with thine own- Please, don't refuse me; (this time)- My Mollie, I would say much more on this subject, even if I had to get another sheet, but I fear, as I feel so simple and earnest and even [added] childish, in my great love for you, that you might be disposed to smile at me, and then turn me away- but I do hope My Mollie will not.

Will you please Mollie write me a few lines and send them in Mellies' letter, and let me know your mind on those subjects I mentioned, partiularly the Write me how you like this Valedict- &c- please send me a Catalogue with your class criticised &c- I shall visit your commencement if nothing prevents- and shall expect you to accompany me to mine-- Mellie & are coming to spend the day with me to day. Coming to cheer a , Oh! I wish my Dear Mollie was here to enjoy their visit and stay with me-- her own Young-- Be patient dear one-- the time will soon com when [added]

Mollie I am Your own devoted Young forever-

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Macon Georgia
May 22 '57

Miss Mollie Houston
W. F. College

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