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Sunday, 15 June, 1828

Sunday, though a peaceful day for those who look to you for an opportunity of entering the sanctuary of God with a mind free from the cares of business, all seem to participate in this peaceful inaction. The fervid Christian holds closer communion with his God and examines his own mind to see if all be right. The man of worldly inclination sits composed and calculates his increase of wealth the past week and matures his plans for future operation; and the hard laborer rest his weary limbs and thinks of the coming week. So to all you give a share of your goodness. All participate of the blessings you confer and I employ today in thinking of home and friends, and exclaim, Oh, could I but hail your peaceful presence with the same feelings of rapture I could have done a few days ago. How pleasantly would the moments glide away; smooth and placid would the diurnal revolutions appear to me. My path would be more agreeable than the fragrant odors wafted on the gales of lovely Spring now gleaming with all their blossoms. I have visited the sick and afflicted today and endeavored to relieve distress, and am happy to say my little patient, visited on the first instant, is convalescent and can walk about. Business is the best antidote for a discontented mind and I would recommend it in the strongest manner; occupation, whenever the mind is not at ease. It is good for strength of body and mind and tends to keep both within a more agreeable circumference. On my return, I again fell into reflection on the subject mentioned yesterday, caused by the reception of a letter from a friend. My road was pleasantly shaded with woodlands, filled with the natural inhabitants all chanting in harmonious and discordant melody to Him who sees a Sparrow fall. Your situation would seem to be free from trouble, yet here are moments when you are overwhelmed with fear. Perfectly innocent, yet you have enemies and such too that will destroy your existence at every opportunity. So the most complete freedom from armies does not free from enemies. So it is with intelligent man. He is the friend and enemy of his own species and the friend and enemy of all living creatures. That I have enemies does not disturb in the least, but to think I do not possess a friend throws the mind into a vortex of despair. Are the ties of friendship so soon to be forgotten; has oblivion cast her gloomy veil over that mind in so few days and obliterated every thought and every endearing moment that we have spent with confidence? Is all to be forgotten, neglected, spurned, and despised? Is nothing to be made permanent and durable except by every day's renewal? No, it is impossible that so good and benevolent an individual can erase all from the entablature of memory. It must, it will remain. But I leave the further recital. Now below the western hills the sun disappears and the cool, refreshing shades of evening invite to walk, and here are many that enjoy the privilege. The distant grove can now listen to the voice of the constancy, can hear minds speak in unison, responding each to the other, roving with sweet raptures of anticipated felicity, the distant period seems almost present, the mind overflows in prospects of enjoyment. And in many instances, each one has his choice, for whom none could exchange, none so good, so kind, so lovely or beautiful, no other would cause the moments to glide away so pleasantly; each bosom throbs with pleasure, present and in expectation, with hands converse and with eyes relate the ecstasy of bliss. Here is nothing that disturbs. Every tree, every hill and dale is naught, but the most fragrant flowers spread in great profusion, no thorns are here to wound. It would be almost profanation to attempt to disturb the felicity. But may it not be said these are dangerous moments, the mind is too often in these hours of transport too easy deluded and led astray in unforbidden pleasures. Here are prepared the materials of lasting and severe remorse. It is in these perambulations that easy virtue dies by the smooth and artful hand of vice; it is often at this time and in such moments that respectability receives its final would; it is now that innocence falls a sacrifice to the weapons of false flattery. Here also are told in pretended sincerity the base and deceptive falsehoods. Vows of eternal constancy are here made and the groves called in witness; promises are made and vows broken. All more on in regular succession. Virtue unyielding may be found here. Happiness, before untasted, may be enjoyed and pain unfelt before be the consequence.