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[Letter from Young John Allen to Mollie Houston, November 01, 1856]

[Note: NB
Pardon this torn sheet at the first it occurred through carelessness ]
E.C. Oxford Ga. Nov. 1, 1856

My Beloved One

I do not deem it necessary, this evening, to vindicate the long silence and delay which I have indulged, by any lengthened apologies or excuses, since I know the one who has so long exercised her generous heart and forgiving spirit towards me in all such cases of non-punctuality and seeming negligence, besides in many other errors and ways, will in this case also, not only look upon what has been done, what really is the case now, my having delayed, [added] but will also regard the causes which have combined and conspired to produce such results. 1st My "indisposition"; having been
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tormented with a severe cold, cough and headache, either of which is bad enough, but when all are leagued and besieging at once such a poor weak frame and brain as mine you know it is far from pleasant, very incapacitating for any duty and distracting as to any concern; and want of a suitable time is the 2d and last reason why I've delayed— and I emphasize suitable because it is not at any time and under any circumstances that I fan write a letter to you— My Dearest "Mary." This then will briefly account for all the anxiety and suspense which, I surely have caused you, for I know you expected a quick response from me, since
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you know, to be punctual, is my motto in all things, the principle, the life-habit whose influence is to modify and control my actions, and which I trust is even now almost indispensable. But if thy spirits are depressed, or like some injured dove you sigh and droop alone, because thy "spirit mate" is far away and no cheerful tidings from his retreat greet thine ears. Oh! revive now and let this prove the balm for injured innocence, the sweet restoration of that cheerful smile, and happy spirit again.

I do not design, as you said, to write much this evening, and Oh! My Dear, do pardon me for such disconnections and such aberrations of mind and sentiments as are [added] in this.
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But [added] since "brevity" has proven itself so beautifully the "soul" and "consciseness" the strength and beauty of your letter, I desire to follow your example nowand emulate the virtues of your happy and perspicuous style; therefore I shall bevery andvery brief, for I have no news to write, no revelations to make, no discoveries, no adventures, no wonderful exploits, no party excursions, no—— Shah; what is it that I do have that I can relate—ah! woful echo answers, what!— What, shall I write then Dearest Mollie? Were I to retrospect the past, it would all be sadness to
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thee, we would have to gaze upon a dark back ground indeed—its scenes are all embittered to thee, the cheerful smile once so eloquently playing upon the cheek and in the [added] sparkling eyes of Loved ones has ceased to cheer thee; that bright, sunny garden whose verdure and violets once bloomed in fragrance and sweetness, has been rudely invaded and its flowers been stolen from us, leaving, only [unclear] what th [deleted] upon our minds more strongly confirmed the sweet sentiments of the Poet, "You may crush the vase if you The scent of the rose will linger round it still", That forest and grove in which so ??? [unclear] we have retreated, when all around us was sunshine and
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song, bird and flower has almost ceased to invite our rambling footsteps thither, and soon- perhaps, (don't be sad Dearest) now we'll have to leave it, to see it, nor enter it any more forever. Are not then these retrospections sad ones to thee, My Mollie Dearest. But if we contemplate the present, how is it then?— Oh! I cannot tell. If we turn to the future and calculate; what shall meet us then? Shall we see hope and fear in doubtful conflict poised, shall we see misgivings, forebodings of ill throng in our pathway, shall clouds obscure and foes enlist and wrath
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thus "help each other on each other's crosses bear." I have not time, Dear One, to say much on it, but I know you agree with me and I know you are willing, yea even desirous to do all you can for our Blessed Savior and his Cause and will make almost any Sacrifice in order to glorify "Our Father which art in Heaven." Then, Dear one, as the Lord has so mercifully heard and answered your prayers in the conversion of your Dear Sisters, and thus given you assurance that he loves you and will still hear you if faithful and fervent in your supplications
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asking what you need—and then converting them too (he has now) given you great encouragement to pray and great strength and help through them to help you on to Heaven. Since he has done all these things Dear One, and man [added] y others "whereof you are glad," are you not (now) willing to set up and consecrate an altar of prayer (aided by your Sisters) among them, and there morning and evening, and evening in particular, pay your vows and consecrate your life, time, talents, soul and body all, all to God. Yes Dear One I know you are. And Mollie
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pardon me if I do wrong in thus suggesting such a thing to you—but let me suggest that it would be of more than infinite worth to you, both individually and to your Sisters who compose the family thus to take up your cross as a meek, and humble follower of our Lord and lead the way to usefulness and to [added] God by a pious, devoted and influential example in the social circle at home—around the Sacred hearth stone of the holy and consecrated spot hallowed by so many tearful recollections and memories of past days when the circle was indeed complete
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and our joys were full. Take up the cross then Dear One, and follow Jesus "through evil as well as good repast" fearing no danger nor harm— for when God is on our side who can prevail against us. Say as the Psalmist "As for me and my house we will serve the Lord," let others say what they may, let them "Stretch their arms like seas And grasp in all the shore [unclear] "

But as for you Dear One, Say "Lord grant me the visits of thy face—
And I desire no more" and thus determined, and [deleted] let [added] your purpose be settled and fixed and your Soul
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engage to drive us from our purpose- shall "some unknown dread, some indescribable apprehension" drive us back and force us to retreat, or shall we [added] see abov [unclear] [deleted] hope, the sheet anchor of the soul, fast anchored by the throne of God, our pathway radiant with smiles and the presence of Immanuel, our sky bight with the meridian glories of the Sun of righteousness? if so— we shall— then, let foes, and hell their denunciations and wrath disgorge— we shall fear no evil— for we have a refuge near, a secure hiding place from every ill. May God grant that, so it may be, to our poor trembling Souls

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My Dear Mollie, I thank God that I yet can praise Him "who is the health of my countenance my exceeding great reward." I love to feel just as I feel now while penning these lines to thee; my bless God, He is always dear to my poor soul in comforts in peace and consolations. I do want to be entirely His. And praise the Lord, that such desires such inclinations do live in my bosom.

My Dearest, God loves to bless us when we pray, and I tell you He often comforts my heart and ministers to me in secret prayer— 'tis then I love to pray for the one, that lives
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in my heart, that has given my poor soul so much encouragement, and who to day I know p [unclear] [deleted] is on her way to heaven with me, and whose soul daily ascends for me in prayer. Bless, God oh! My Soul for such a friend. Yes eternal praises be to His name forever, that He has given me such a sweet Comforter, such a sweet companion here.

My Dearest "Mary" I have many many things which I would like to write you but I cannot now, for I must conclude.

Your Paper I have ordered to be changed, and perhaps you have received it for this week.

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You may prepare, Mollie, to visit the Conference with me this winter as I shall expect you to go with me— please go, now Dearest, do not disappoint me. I promise that it shall prove a happy as well as interesting time with us.

Please now, do forgive the imperfections of this harem scarem letter and write me back immediately, on the very day you get this, if possible for I will be over anxious to hear from you. Give my love to Mellie and Bexa

and still believe me thine only and thine faithfully Young Allen

Give me all the news with you both temporal and spirtiual, please


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[Note: Nov. 1 '56]

Miss Mollie Houston
Grantville

Georgia


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