Wm.Hamilton to A. Shields 1853 dated at Browncastle.
I am just set down to write you another Letter, perhaps the Last that ever I may address to you, yet we know not. I am able to write a little yet, though I have seen the snows of 72 years and my head white with Age. Can there be either honowr or profit in a long live? This lies upon circumstances. If yow or I pass owr lives in this world unimproved and leave no Memento behind us, of owr pious Walk and holy deportment and nothing left to charachterize owr conduct, then all will be burried with owr bodies & nothing left to Memoralize our names to after generations. Then our lives must have been a nonentity good for nothing and our very names is burried in oblivion. Qwit different from the name of the reighteous, for they shall be had in Everlasting rememberance. I have now to tell yow what we are doing and what is our concern. Yowr sister Hillen and my partner in Life is just with me toddling over the hill of time, only one year youngor than I am but healthy. Althowgh not very Strong, rather breathless and lossing her sight considerably. I have just thowght that I need not speak any thing abowt owr circumstances and the events that is happening in our locality, for James Anderson and wife [Mary, dau. of Thomas Morton] will tell you more than I can write. Althowgh I did not wish to let this opportunity pass unimproved. Yet I cannot tell yow the news as expressly as you shall have them, however I do not wish to send you a blank sheet, for white paper we never pay the carriage.
What a wonderfull blessing is it for yow and me that we can sit at the cheek of our ingle and talk with each other four thousand miles distant and communicate our minds to each other in a profitable manner. It raises a lively Emotion in my heart to talk with you at so great a distance by Writting.
I have often thought that we may be separated from our friends and relations on earth for a while but death to Christians will bring about a wonderful aera in passing throwgh the Shaddow of death and our Spirits owr thinking parts enrolled among the living in Jerwsalem. And become the inhabitants of that Mansion that is prepared for us. There will be no division of sentiments there. We will see the Glory of the lowely and meek Galilean shining with Splendor throwgh all that land. There we will meet to part no more. No tears there to bedimn the Eye. No Sorrow to overcloud the heart; no Sin to defile the Soul, nor death to separate friends: but where sin shall cease and death shall rage no more. And we shall know even as we are known: we shall be made compleatly happy in knowledge, and will be amongst that number who rejoices over a repenting sinner. A repenting world: a knowledge of the state of the church is realized in heaven! Yes, to an individual one sinner that repenteth… . When yow and I here is joining in the Melody of Angels and Saints. Will the reporting Angel not carry the tidings to the Mansions in Heaven? O, Yes! Our voices will be heard on high; we are now waiting owr appointed time when God shall call us hence. And meeting around clad with garments of celestial bwty, and our feet no longer deliled with Sin, we shall tread its radiant courts, making the arches of heaven to sing with the songs of the redeemed. The Golden Gates will be shining bright; the Christal pavement, the Sea of Glass, and the tree of Life, and the Living Waters Springing from the throne of God will be displayed unto us, and all the faithful followers of Jesus. Many has entered in since the first old testament Saint, and many will enter in before the Last of the new; what will hinder you and me?
What doth hinder us? We may and will say it neither be life or death, angels, principalities, nor powers, things present nor things to come, nor height nor deep, nor any other creature shall be able to prevent us from entereing into that blest abode. What eye hath not seen, nor ear heard or tongue or pen describe the happiness of the people and the Glory of that land, when there will be enough in our conuntenances to reflect the image of him who is seated on the throne of Glory which mortal eye cannot behold –Yes! from him who stilled the waves of Galilee.
Now let us speak upon another theme: the Resurrection Morning, when the whole world is gathered into one, and divided into two classes. Which of them wowld you and I wish to join: solemn, indeed–clothed or naked, happy or Miserable — when our bodies is decayed and Mouldered in the clay, owr prayer is, “O Sister spirit come and carry me away… . Answered. “Glad will my Spirit be to Spend Eternity with thee… .
When our bodies is thus awakened and the Emotions of the heart begins to Swell then will this be heard from the Awakened body “Come, O Come thow Sister Spirit and Carry me away; come thow inhabiter of Holiness, thow citizen of heaven, thow, thow delight of Angels, thow rediemed of Jesus, thow who has realized blessedness; Come thow and Unite in holiness, in purity and love, and carry me to the new Jerusalem, to the abode of bliss. Long ist it since we was separated by sin and death; wnite us again in love and peace.” We enjoy two component parts, sowl and body: owr bodies is called the temple of the Living God. We owght to realize purity and holiness, althowgh we was created from the dwst of the earth, we owght to imitate every imitable perfection of our Glorious Rediemer — Bwt owr Sowls comes from God… . Our Souls is a part of the Divine Nature; owr very thowghts tells ws so. How qwickly is owr thoughts transported from Earth to Heaven. And from sea to sea; invisible idea: how Wonderful. Deepest of Misteries, a living Sowl yet unperceived. No chain can bind it, nor no tomb enclose it. When the Angel of Death releases it, it retires from the world, for the World knows it no more. It claims kindred in another land, perhaps with those whom death parted from us not long ago. Will these be they who are attendants with the Saviour to administer to us, in owr entrance into the kingdom of heaven? How Joyful will the Meeting be, unspeakable, beyond the idea of Man to conceive.
When the Meeting of friends is attended with Joy unspeakable…what will the Meeting of Sowl and body be? Who have been coheirs of the Sufferings, troubles, trials and difficulties of the life that is past, and now to be united to the Life of Joy that is to come, of this we can have no idea, for an inhabitant of Heaven to become united with the rottenness of the grave… . What can we say, it is the Lord’s work… and it is Marvelous in owr eyes… were yow and I to stand disinterested and view the righteous rising from only one church yard, with the Joys and blessings that will be pronounced on the head of their great Redeemer, and the unity of Soul and body… what, think you, would be the feelings of owr hearts? I think we would be lost in wonder, love, and praise; I think we would be silent… .
You and I has seen many a death bed attended with sorrow, Grief and Woe, by those who were interested, And eye witnesses to the scene that is parting from their society in this world. It is possible that we will be Witness to their Meeting of Love never to part more in the Land of Glory. May you and I contrast the Grief with the Joy, if the grief was great, the Joy will be unspeakable… .
Dear Mother, Where you be, read these few Lines and Send them to yowr Neighbours, which I have collected for you. O! Mothers, I must tell you, there is no Position in the world, accompanied with higher responsibilities than the one you occupy. The Children under your care will in a very short time become the heirs of the Celestial world of Glory, or Denisons of the abodes of the Lost. They are now entrusted to your care and keeping. God is saying to yow at this moment, take this child and nurse it for me and I will give thee thy wages. Not only to train them up for this temporal life, but to train them up in my fear; God has created them and given to them an Undying Existence, and Committed them to yow to train wp for immortality, because he has ransomed them by the precious blood of his well beloved Son. And now he calls yow, and throwgh yow to them, to hear and yowr souls shall live. To yow he has commited the delightfull task of making known the finished work of Jesus, both for your selves and for your Children. O, remember your little children and look upon their little hands that soon will wave the palms of Glory, or be wrung in unutterable Anguish where there worm dieth not. Look on their little busy feet that soon they will either tread the Golden Streets of the new Jerusalem or walk the plains of burning pain of unending woe. Look on the Soft expression of that Glorious Window, the Eye, and remember that those very Eyes shall either behold the King in his bewty, and that Glorious land that lieth a very far off, that Gloriows inheritance which is prepared for the Saints of the Most high God, or be lifted up in Woe where their is weeping and Wailing.
O! Mothers, this is your time to prepare their sowls for future Glory. Can yow look and think and delay bwt another Moment of leading the way and engrafting into your children the knowledge of God and abrighter world beyond this… O tell them the trwth concerning Jesus of Nazarath who was once a babe and was cradled in a manger like them in their craddle. When you wash your Children in the Morning, Lead them to the fountain that is open for Sin and uncleaness. When you cloth them in robes of cleanness, tell them of the robes of another world. The long white robes of the redeemer’s reighteousness that is without Spot, and when you feed them with our necessary food, tell them likewise of the bread of life that never perisheth nor decayeth. Yea, God commands yow and entreats yow to come and bring all your children with yow to Jesus. O, Mothers! remember their Eternall All depends in a great Measure upon yow. O, Come to Jesus with them, for it is not left to yowr own option to bring them or leave them behind, for you are bound to do it at the peril of your own Souls, and yow cannot rob Jesus of tha deathless Spirit and be gwiltless. Do not think it too soon to bring your Children to the Lord, bwt devote them to their creator from their infantile Moments, and then lead their minds to the knowledge of God, to the blessed hope of a glorious immortality.
May we and ours meet with yow and yours in the Kingdom of God’s dear Son, bwt while we are here and spared with our little ones, Let us show them the Lovingkindness of the Lord every Morning and his faithfulness every night. Let your doctrine drop as the rain, and your speach be distilled as the dwe, as the small rain upon the herb, and as the Showers upon the grass; tell them daily of the God that made them and the saviour that redeems them. And tell them how Glad the Saviowr is to receive Children for the is alwways Saying, Suffer Little Children to come unto me, and forbid them not for off such is the kingdom of heaven… . And teach them daily the patern which the Lord gave of prayer: Our father which art in heaven… . Is it not delightful to hear little children listening to this tale of love, whose compassion is beyond compare? O, Parents! teach them to cry, My Father, thow art the gwide of my yowth; thus bear up the minds of your Children in the light of the Everlasting Gospel, showing them all the promises given from the Mowth of the tender hearted Jehovah in the records of the Gospel of peace till the Light of love daun forth upon their Souls and enable them to Embrace the Everlasting Sunshine of Eternal day, and the reconciled countenance of Jehovah, where no clowd can intervene bwt sing and say in triwmph: I know that my redeemer lives;
What Comfort this Sweet Sentence gives. He lives again who once was dead, He lives, my Everlasting head – He lives, triumphant from the grave – He lives, Eternally to Save. Now may yow and I take the bible for owr gwide and Jesws for owr head, And in Unity of Minds may we sail throwgh this Sea of life with him at owr right hand that stilld the waves of Galilee till we arrive on that Land of rest when we shall have no more need to cross this land of tears, nor the Valey of the Shaddow of death. No destructive winds nor restless waves, no scorching sun nor sweating brow but unto that rest that remaineth for the people of God… . Now friends, I have only one page more to write and mostly done by coal fire light;
May Jesus sweetly soothe, and gently dry
My throbbing heart and streaming Eye,
and still unchanging watch beside
my painfull hours, my dying bed,
and point to realm of cloudless day,
And wipe my latest tears away… .
After I had almost done with writting this letter, I thowght that it could produce nothing interesting, nor nothing new from owr locality but it is in this and such like that Hellen and I put by owr time reading and Writing till our change come. We are taking no care for the world bwt just what pleases ourselves. She sometimes spins a little and I weave a stocking, and reads the newspapers twice a week.
Our brother James & Christie is in Drumlock parish of Glasgow, and doing very well: they have a good farm, but they have lost two dawghters since yow left,Anna and Christie, and Wm the Oldest Son is very delicate. And for us we have Anny [Mair?] in Greenfield [at Lanfine] with 5 children, Johny in Hairshaw with 3 and Wm. in Browncastle with 6 and mostly reached manhood. And we are stoping in a howse beside them, and Alexander in Canada West, near Brentford not very far from Torronto; and they have 6 children last time we heard from them bowt a year ago. And Meadowfoot [John Young] he is just stepping abowt and diverting himself with Alex’rs children, 5 of them, 4 dawghters and a son. And Meadowfoot dawghters, Betty is in The Hill, Lanfern [Lanfine]; Christie is in Parkhiston [Parkerstown]; Jean’s in Greenfield; and Agness in The Thorn, Kilbryde; Marrion is in Hesperlaw parish of Hamilton.
Compliments from all arownd ws.
Wishing yow Comforts here and Happiness hereafter,