A Letter on Sunday, 13 July, 1828

After enjoying a few hours sleep, morning came and Sunday once more greeted us with its beauty. Rode much during the day, and attended to several patients and one new one. As I came home this evening I saw the lovely diamond that was shining in my mind of more than ordinary warmth, and passed some few words, but I believe without being discovered or at least I did not intend to be seen internally. I returned to my room full of thoughts, and wrote the following epistle for the sole purpose of endeavoring to discover if there was a secret passion lurking agreeable to my own feeling before I ventured on to much.

Eternal friend,

Having a few moments of leisure time, freed from the disquietude produced by pain and illness, I feel disposed to write a few lines to you, originating from observation and mature reflection. I have long studied human nature, viewed both in the sunshine and in the shade. Therefore believing that these observations will not be detrimental or unacceptable, I shall proceed with pleasure, Years have rolled into eternity since I have viewed the conduct of my fellow creatures with diligent attention for the purpose of becoming acquainted with the motives that induce them to choose any particular object or to follow any particular course of conduct. And in doing this my own mind has not escaped the most careful scrutiny. This last forms the basis from which to judge or at least the most essential point in forming a correct judgement. We should endeavor to become acquainted with ourselves, to know our own disposition, to note the great variety of ideas that pass in our own imagination during certain periods when objects are presented that excite our attention. And as we often fail in our wishes or do not gain the point which desire sought after, we should endeavor to learn the cause of this failure and then receive profit from sad, thought beneficial, experience, so that when we are again aroused to action by some other or a similar excitement we should act with more caution and consequently with a greater degree of certainty. But, Sophia, this important point is by all and too often disregarded, we are apt to proceed on in rebellion against the lessons of experience, in the same blind and dangerous road without once reflecting. Here we act improper and wrong ourselves. You, my friend, have just reached the place where dangers are numerous and of various kinds. Your youth and inexperience have not yet taught you the danger of that tempestuous sea on which you have just embarked. At the present moment no dark clouds obscure that peaceful horizon which surrounds you. The aqueous surface is unruffled; it reflects not as the faithful mirror objects in their true form; yet, my friend, below this apparently placid surface the danger lies concealed and without the most diligent caution attends every word which proceeds from you. Disgrace and sorrow will overwhelm when danger escaped your notice. Sophia, your life has been once continual scene of pleasure. You have roved in the path thus far in innocent amusement. To your now peaceful mind sorrow is a stranger. The deceitful form of the world has not yet contacted your sensibility or produced in your mind that degrading dissimulation so often to be met with in the course of life.

Your respectability now devolves on yourself, and on you at this period of your existence, in a greater measure depends your future happiness. The morning sun has awoke you to behold nature in all her loveliness, dressed in the white robe of innocence, all deformity is endeavored to be concealed from your view, being yourself innocent and free from crime, you place more or less confidence in the veracity of others. In this I would advise you to be cautious. Remember that danger is often near at hand, when everything appears the most pleasant. Beware of men's pretensions; prove them before you place too much reliance. The beams of the morning have viewed you recumbent on the lap of peace and its meridian splendor continues the same unabated beatitude to you and when the sun descends below the western horizon and night's sable curtain overspreads the earth, the balmy arms of refreshing sleep, laid on the pillow of undisturbed repose are your constant attendants. No lost or absent friends disturb your mind; friends you have many and I have none. All my acquaintances are far distant. No deviation from the path of virtue has ever marred your felicity, and I hope it will be your greatest care to preserve it unsullied. You are under the guidance of the best of friends, your amiable Mother, whose anxiety for your welfare should increase your endeavor to smooth the path of declining years, and obey her advice. Now, Henrietta, permit me to say a few words on friendship. It is a dear word and much abused. It ought to be held sacred by all who pretend to be actuated by it, but alas, too often, instead of being really what it imports, is made the most dangerous enemy we have to encounter for in its deceitful form it seeks only to deceive. But when pure and unpretended it is productive of the greatest pleasure we can enjoy. It is the bond of that union which will last when age has swept our youthful form far from our possession. It is that which time is unable to diminish or lessen its value when pure that we so much desire it. What is life destitute of friendship? A blank, Henrietta. How often do those who are considered worthy and respectable use this pretended friendship for no other purpose than to gratify their own fancy of passions, and what is the consequence to the person who shall repose confidence in the mere pretender? Guilt, shame, and remorse follows. Friendship is the foundation on which respect is placed; therefore, that individual who betrays your confidence is incapable of being your friend, which is confidence; it is a firm reliance placed on the goodness and the declarations of others. If then, Sophia, you see an individual showing a great degree of regard for you when you are present, and in your absence, indulgence is given to others, that person is not worthy of your esteem, because genuine respect is the same, present or absent. Such a person will leave you to gratify his interest or sacrifice your virtue at the expense of your respectability. Receive these few lines as coming from one who wishes to see you employed in the peaceful path of virtue; one who wishes you peace and happiness through life. Reflect and consider well before you proceed too far.

Your friend, 

Geo. F. Wilson

 

H.S. Hauser

In presenting the above letter, I am actuated by no bad motives. It has its origin in a little partiality, founded on a mere idea of things kindred in the feelings, and a wish to form a more intimate acquaintance with one individual, where confidence could be placed, and the youthful purity of Miss Hauser induced me to imagine, if it could be obtained was the most safe deposit of confidence, on which I could rely. Such were the motives and such the commencement of intimacy, the result of which time will develop. The following letter was written June, the 4th, and by accident was overlooked at the proper place. It was written to a very aged Divine who had once presided for many years over the Moravian Church of this place, but could not speak English and desired I should write him a letter. He could not hear sufficiently well to make conversation agreeable even if he could have spoken the English language.

4, June, 1828

Reverend  Sir,

Please receive these few lines as a small tribute of respect due to that character which in the performance of the duties, incumbent on you, in the station you hold deserve. The high esteem in which you are held is strong evidence that the obligations, which we all are under to God and our fellow creatures, have been in every respect satisfaction by you discharged, and that you have been an ornament to that much abused name, Christianity. Think not, dear sir, that these words are spoken by the dictates of a base flatterer, merely (if it were possible) to elate your fancy or draw from you one sentiment of praise in my favor. They are conclusions drawn from what I have seen and the language of every one in this place with whom I have conversed. The different languages in which we communicate our ideas are obstacles which deprive us of the greatest pleasures we enjoy, conversation. Deprive us of this and you deprive us of one of life's sweetest enjoyments. It is in the circle of conversation that we can extend our information, revisit ages that are passed away; here we can become acquainted with all that has transpired in past years. Youth is the season of expectation; it is then we are full of ambitions, forming plans as we think, calculated to ensure the accomplishment of our wishes. In these moments of anticipation we too often disregard the caution given us by those who have seen and learned from experience or observation, the uncertainty of human calculation, and this is one reason why I should be pleased to converse with you, that I might now in the early period of life gather the wisdom of age and you whose mind has been stored with useful knowledge, joined with many years of experience and observation, are prepared to afford. It is that kind of information all ought to have who are just entering on the devious and tempestuous sea of responsible life, in which many for the want of a good polot are lost. I am now separated from those who would rejoice to impart the pure parental information required. My venerated aged Father and Mother are far from me and it is probable I shall never see them more. The cold and silent tomb will enclse them before I shall see my native soil where my childhood was spent in innocent amusement; these moments are fled forever. Thus deprived of friends, the source of confidence and pleasure, I hope, surrounded as I am by strangers, that I may be following the path of rectitude, which has ever been my endeavor, to prove myself worthy of respect and confidence, of every individual with whom I may become acquainted. Reverend Sir, permit me to commiserate you on the derangement of one of the most useful organs belonging to the system, and which in some measure renders easy conversation disagreeable and is an obstruction to the pleasures of verbal ideas. The ear is the most complicated organ in the body; consequently, when disease, the most difficult to be affected by the application of our art, particularly so when structure is attracted. But though we are here deprived of conversation and all its pleasures, I hope when the last great trump shall call us hence, we may rise reanimated and be permitted to enter the gates of eternal and undisturbed repose in the presence of that Saviour who died for all, here in those regions of undisturbed repose in the presence of that Saviour who died for all, here in those regions of felicity nothing will interrupt our joys. May God still continue to open the effulgent beams of his perfection to your mind and enable you to direct the wanderer to the gates of Heaven.

Your most Obedient,

Geo. F. Wilson

Rev. Pfoal