Saturday, February 2, 2013

1863 January 27 University of Virginia

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                        McGuffey Wm H recd Jany 30

                         U of Va Jan 27th
Gen J.H. Cocke
                           My dear Friend
                                                    Yesterday your grandson
called to say he had heard from you & that you were all
well-  I  hope the servant reached home safely and
that you recd my letter by  him - We have nothing of
special interest here at the U of VA -- We, on the Lawn
are all well - tho' there is some smallpox in the
neighborhood - but not near
      In my last letter I invited your attention to
the 1st chapter of 1st Peter - which seems to me rich
in encouragement to patience in under trials and perseverance
in duties - The Apostle writes to the strangers scattered
abroad - and christians are scattered in this world, far
from home and far from each other - But they are elect
of God -  sanctified - obedient - sprinkled with the blood
of Jesus Christ, and have cause to bless God for the relation
of children - for the hope of a resurrection - for the certainty of
an inheritance in Heaven, and for the preserving power of
God which will keep them thro faith unto salvation -
   Christians have ground of rejoicing, even in heaviness when
they reflect that their trials are needful as a trial proof of their faith,
that it may be found more precious than gold - found unto praise
and honor and glory - even their own glory - which they will ascribe to
Jesus Christ at his appearing - yes! - When God shall crown the
Christian, in the last time - how with the redeemed soul rejoice to
cast his crown at the feet of the Redeemer - and ascribe to him
all the honor and praise and glory of his salvation - !
  We walk by faith in Jesus Christ - Whom having not seen
we love, and believing on him even here, in this world of sorrow
in anticipation of the salvation of our souls,we rejoice with
joy unspeakable and full of glory - The christian has his sorrows
but our sorrows are better than the worlds joys -- Oh! how
great is the salvation of our souls - Prophets foretold it -
The Spirit of Christ testified beforehand his sufferings by which
it was purchased - The prophets searched diligently respecting it and even

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[several holes in paper partially obscure first line]
angels desire to look [upon?] it [that?] [they?] may learn more of the
justice and mercy of God in the salvation of sinful men
How sad then that men will so neglect it - Let us pray that their eyes may be opened! -
In view, then, of the ineffable dignity and holiness and perfect
happiness of that destiny that which is before us, and secured in Heaven for us
let us gird up the loins of our mind - that is, let us be
energetic in all our duties - let us be sober in our estimate of
all things earthly - let hope constantly animate us to the end - even
in the darkest hour - for Christ will bring us grace - Let us be
obedient - as children - because it is our father that comm-
-ands - let us fashion our characters not recording to the desires
of the flesh - but as is the holy will of God - let forth work by love
and purify the our hearts - let us be pure in all our motives, words &
      in all manner of conversation
actions ^ - And let us remember that tho' God is our father, yet
he will require holiness in his children, for He judgeth according
to every man's work - Let us therefore pass the time of our sojourn
sojourning here in reverential fear - lest a promise being kept
us of entering into it we may be any means - (our own unfaith-
fulness) we should so come short of that rest--
    Let us think of the worth of our souls, for which Christ
poured out his precious blood - as of a lamb without blem-
                                                                 before the foundation of the world
ish and without spot - slain for us - foreordained for us - ^
Let us remember that
^ none but those whose hearts or souls are purified by obeying
the truth are capable of unfeigned love of the brethren, as brethren
None but such can fully understand that immortal bond
                                                                     to God and to
by which all true children of God are united ^ to one another
  The Jew was bound to every other Jew as the common offspring of
Abraham - but every christian is bound to every other christian
of what ever name by this common relation to God - being born
again not of corruptible seed - (like the natural and fleshly
relation of Jew to Jew and of all Jews to the Patriarch-) but of
incorruptible seed - by the word of God that liveth and ab
-ideth for ever - This bond is not like the falling flower of grass
but, like the word of god, it endureth forever - not only in
this world but in the next - you my dear General, may go before
         we are both
me, but if ^  the true children of God, you will be there awaiting me
till my summons come, to join you in that world of bliss - Amen
                       Ever yours - W H McGuffey --
P.S. My wife desires her kindest regards to you & yours - especially to Mrs Brent

[William H. McGuffey, professor of moral philosophy at the University of Virginia. At this time the 80 year old Cocke, the last surviving member of the original Board of Visitors, has lost both of his wives and four of his six children.  "Mrs. Brent" was Sally Cocke Brent, his youngest child]

MSS 640

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