W0665 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her friend D.C.R. Durgin
Apr 11 1833
To: Margarette B. (Lerned) McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Sandbornton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
Truly dear friend,
I need not assure you of the pleasure I experienced on the receival of your very kind and affectionate letter; it was the breathings of a heart whose affections spring from the pure source of unsullied piety and virtue, and of one whose affections does [sic] not seem to be placed on this vain world for permanent happiness, but in pure and undefiled religion, the only thing in which true happiness is to be found. It gives me great pleasure to be assured of that friendship and interest I so highly value; which I hope will ever continue unbroken; & should it be our destiny always to be widely separated in this world, may time and distance increase rather than diminish our affections.
How much happiness my dear friend can be imparted by means of the pen, & how thankful we ought to be, that we have the power of transmitting our thoughts & feelings, joys and sorrows to each other; without this power how much more painful would be a separation from our friends. 'Tis absence makes us estimate our friends according to their true value. When you left Sandbornton & did not just call on me before you left, my feelings were very much wrought up, & was much disappointed; but have thought since that I was glad that you did not, for the parting scene would have been a very painful one to me, had I known it at the present time; but I can truly say, it was the most painful scene I ever experienced; (which continued for some weeks, and in a great measure till now). With friends with whom I had been no longer acquainted, indeed, I never had a great reason to be so strongly attached to true friends as to you & husband. Yes, when I reflect upon the past, and consider with what deep feelings of care & anxiety has he stood over my bedside, watching every motion, when perhaps sometimes scarcely a ray of hope was entertained by him of my recovery, and at other times, hope beamed up bright that I was recovering; but think, and ever shall that he was the means used by our Heavenly Father, for the preservation of my life, & think I can say, for tolerable good health, although I know that my case has been rather an obstinate one. Medicine has not had so good an effect as was wished, although I can safely say, that I think his medicine has at last had a good effect. Although I have not been totally exempt from sickness since you left, I was taken sick the first of Jan'y and had quite severe, but short sickness, was obliged to have a physician a number of times, but not without much reluctance. I was so child like, that I thought if I could have Dr. McQuestin [sic] it would make my bed of sickness much easier. But that blest privilege was denied me, and had to submit however unpleasant; but hope keeps my spirits up, were it not for hope, we could not endure the separation of friends, but it is this that whispers "we shall meet again," which in a measure soothes our overwhelming spirits.
You spoke in your letter of a very pious young lady, visiting you, & of her humility and meekness; it really appears that she has much grace, and realizes the worth of immortal souls, as that the souls of the heathen are as precious as those more enlightened, and without doubt she will one day reap her great rewards for her labours. Oh may the time soon come, when pure & undefiled religion shall every where prevail, when every heart shall receive the saviour; and all nations shall know our God to be the only true God and Jesus Christ the Saviour of the world.
To-day has been our yearly fast day, (it now being evening) and have been trying to give myself anew to God, but find my heart is full of sin and unrighteousness. My unprofitable life has been spared one year longer, and what progress have I made towards the kingdom of Heaven? I am afraid my progress has been very small, if any; but without doubt yours has been great, knowing your steadfastness in the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ. My mind is still much clouded, arising from doubts, fears, and unbelief and my own sinful heart; but at times think I do feel some enjoyment in Religion.
You wrote that you thought that there was the most enjoyment to come out from the world, and I believe it to be the duty of every Christian; and have long felt it my duty; and had thought much upon it; that day which I received your heart cheering letter, and when I read your thoughts much upon it, seem to give me new strength to persevere; but come again to examine my own heart, I do feel as if I could go forward in the performance of so great a duty, I think I have not that evidence of my acceptance with God, that I want in order to perform it, and do really hope you will not forget me at the throne of grace. I think there is in general to [sic] much conformity to this world, we ought to be more crucified to it, I had myself. Without doubt you and husband enjoy much of the presence of God, I am heartily glad to hear of your good health and prosperity and hope it ever continue [sic]. Give much love and good wishes to your husband, who will ever be held in remembrance by me. Mother and family sends [sic] much love. Do write the first opportunity, if we never meet here on earth may the friendship of earth be perfected in heaven.
I expect to go to Portland soon do write me there do not wait for a private opportunity, I shall expect one soon. While I am at Portland I shall have no Mrs. McAllister to after [sic] you and do really hope you will write for I shall want to hear of your prosperity and health &c. very much.
[Written up left side of page:] The Dr'.s friend Susan [?] Lowell Factory.
[Envelope wrapper:] Mrs. Margaret B. McQuestin [sic], Brockport, N.Y.
1 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.