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[Letter from Young John Allen to George Gilman Smith, Jr.]
Sept. 28 1880
My dear George,
Your letter of Aug. 3d reached me the 16th inst. By the same mail I rc'd also an envelope duly paid and post marked but nothing in it -- whatever it covered having been lost out on the way. Perhaps it was your Infant's Life of Jesus as it did not come to hand.
You need not [added] be afraid of "strict justice" in the matter of correspondence. I had rather receive a letter when due than expect it and be disappointed. One regular correspondent is worth a dozen coldly irregular ones. 'Tis the heart to heart that is so agreeable -- cheering helpful. Write on therefore, without hesitation, freely, at length when you can -- any how promptly.View image of page
You have no grouds to complain of a want of growth in grace. With such surroundings as you have -- so many revivals -- so many sympathising brethern and every facility to cultivate to the highest degree the gifts and grace you have I cannot see how you can keep from the fulness of the riches of grace and love. Here we are as so many red
hot balls suspended in an artic atmosphere and the constant tendency is to cool down, down, down to the freezing atmosphere
and a stunted growth. Missionaries ought to be companions with Christ -- for he alone, for the most part, is left to them -- and happy is that man who while
he makes it his meat and his drink to do the will of God can find himself always in communion and sympathy with the Saviour. My ideal of what a Missionary
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should be is a very high one and I cannot say that I shall come up to it. I never read the N.T. but a strong sense of infiniti short coming takes hold on me. I am not troubled as you have been -- nor as I allow myself to be confused by others who pray [unclear] about perfection, sanctification etc. Still I know that I do not measure up to the mind of Christ. To me what seems of the utmost importance is the life of Christ in the soul -- call it what you will, define it how you may -- without that no spasmodic ecstacies or hallucinations of emotion are worth [deleted] avail anything. They mock and deceive us, and when we cry peace peace there is no peace. Religion means more than joy and should embrace the whole of life with all its vicissitudes and do or suffer even as Christ and for his sake.
I think we often err both here and at home in our preaching on the subject. God is presented to us in the Bible
the world unto himself in and through Christ and when our whole hearts and lives are brought into subjection to him we have peace -- ever perfect love which contest
out fear, and such a state of mind is comparible with every phase of life through which duty calls us. We may not be always rejoicing but we can be always loving, truthful and void of fear. We rely too much on emotion or other tangible evidences and too little on faith. Oh! for more holy boldness in the Christian life -- a strong faith and a course creation
without reason. Oh! that we could all say, with me to live is Christ -- his cause is my cause and the life I now live is one of identitficaiton with his in its
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single aim and purpose!
But I am writing an essay not a letter. Pardon me if over zealous on this subject and in my views. It is good sometimes to hold communion with each other and I love to talk with you my brother.
How you must have enjoyed your vacation in the mountains. Our Summer was as oppressively hot as yours and I felt some inconvenience for about a week but there were no mountains to which I could flee. I generally do my hardest work in the hottest weather -- first, I feel more like working then; second, by working hard I am hardly conscious of the state of the weather.
I repeat what I said about your capacity for work -- it is immense and should shame many of us into greater effort and dilligence. But you
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are [added] a born annalist. Among the first things I remember of you is what I may call your penchant for journalizing. You used to read us from a scrap of paper a history of the day's doings -- your doings at Oxford -- even in the sophomore class. As Confucius would say -- the bent [unclear] of the boy is confirmed in the man and now you can't help it. Success to you in your Magnum Opus - a life of Bp Asbury.
I have read your little book -- From Darkness & Light with great satisfaction. Some of these days it may appear in a new dress and be found extensively useful in our Missionary labors.
But my dear brother you must allow me to enter a protest against your working so hard and so gratuitously
. You should manage such things to have a margin of profit. The
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laborer is not at liberty to ignore his hire - and [deleted] You are too generous and are embarrassing yourself more than is fit or necessary. I am solicitous on this point lest you invoke you usefulness. You should be just as well as generous - to your own family as well as to others. Remember the household. You are not at liberty to do too much. Financial embarrassment has crippled and spoiled many an, otherwise, useful life. Be [gap 1 word illegible] of a percentage on all your literary labors. I do not mean this to inculcate [unclear] greed of gain, but it is well in every respect. You will be more deliberate in your work -- do it [added] better work [deleted] and accomplish more good -- than by dusting [unclear] it off as a gratuity at your own cost. I speak as much [gap 1 word paper fold] wise man -- hence Vert-Sap [unclear] I must [unclear] now close. Write soon again. Tell me [gap 1 word paper fold] the news - "Personals" desirable [unclear] . Love to the [added] [gap 2 word paper fold] and the [deleted] family.
Ever Yours, [unclear]Young J. Allen