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How glad I shall be to see your face once more, after 50 long a separation; and how glad I am already that we are to be brought together in this pleasant way! With affectionate remembrance. yours always,
HENRY W. LONGFELLOW.
Letter to an early Classmate on the Death of Longfellow. MY DEAR FRIEND AND CLASSMATE:
I ought to have thanked you earlier for your kind attention in sending me the account of the Portland celebra. tion of our dear Longfellow's birth-day. Mrs. Cheever as well as myself was deeply interested in it, and greatly obliged to you for it; but now how sad and painful the intelligence of his death!
It will bring a flood of tender associations and memories of scenes, conversations, studies, walks, friendships, to mind; and the circle so long ago, of which he was quite the central spirit and attraction-so gentle, genial, refined, and in the youthful budding of that great poetical genius, which since then, for more than fifty years, has been gradually blossoming to perfection, till its flowers and fragrance, its tenderness and beauty, are filling the world.
His death seems to us sudden, and fills us with sadness and grief; but how wonderfully ripe and perfect, and abundant in beautiful and precious fruits, the volumes of his genius, through so many years of rich and varied study and culture, travel and leisure, teaching and learning, with lessons of wisdom and love, out of the heart, for all races and households.
Well, our dear and admired and universally honored and beloved youthful classm:te can no more speak to us on earth! May we be permitterl, through God's infinite mercy and grace in Christ Jesus, to meet him in heaven, and with him sing the song of Moses and the Lamb! We talked at our fiftieth anniversary celebration of the goodness of God in sparing so many of the Class so long, and of the uncertainty of longer life to any of the number then greeting each other; and now the loveliest reigning star in that sacred meeting is gone from our sight, in the light of eternity. Methinks the melody and tender pathos of his MORITURI poem, at our semi-centennial gathering, comes back to us now, as from a golden harp on the other side, and tells us every one, “ Be ye ready for your setting and your rising again in eternal glory, in Him who is the Resurrection and the Life." God grant that we may indeed be ready. And do we not feel more deeply, now that Longfellow is gone, that every new day of our own life, is an infinitely precious added gift from God for prayer and praise, and the Life Everlasting? It is indeed so, and makes us mindful again of the Poet's early lesson :
“Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not its goal.
Was not spoken of the soul.
Is our destined end or way,
Find us belier than 10-day !" Who can do that but by Grace Divine, which may God in tender mercy grant us every day!
With kindest regards to you all, most affectionately your friend and classmate,
G. B. C.
Extract from a letter received from Rev. Elias Bond,
Missionary for many years, of the American Board, in
the Sandwich Islands.* The book of your brother I prize very highly, as affording me another glimpse of its author at his best. Age does not seem to tell on him. The old fire and the old power have in no wise abated. I have just been reading ihe volume, and have received great benefit therefrom. Forty years ago I read Gaussen's Theopneusty, and thought the theory of Verbal Inspiration was safe and sure. Of late years, however, so many of our leading men have apparently yielded that ground, or at least held it in uncertainty, that my thoughts as to inspiration have been in a most unpleasant state of doubt-unrest. Now, thank God, I find myself back again on the old ground, securely anchored, I think, forever. If we can't make a stand on the ground of Verbal Inspiration, I despair of finding any rest for the sole of my foot in anything.
If the Sacred Scriptures are full of blemishes, alas for us poor, forlorn children! We are of all men most miser
* This letter was written in behalf of the book entitled "God's Time Piece for Man's Eternity," a most gratifying proof of the need of such a volume.
able. With most affectionate regards from your loving Brother in Christ,
ELIAS BOND. Extract of Letter from Mrs. Cheever to Dr. Cheever.
I hope your message to the Ninevites will do good, and cause them to cry mightily unto God, for who can tell if " He will repent, and turn away His fierce anger, and the country perish not”? “God is a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness."
Letter to Dr. Cheever, from Mr. Neil Smith, of Aberdeen.
ABERDEEN, Sept. 10, 1862. MY DEAR DR. Cheever:
I cannot tell you how often I have thought of dropping you a line, and as often that thief Procrastination, coupled with a morbid aversion to writing, has prevailed to put it off for a day or two. And now I can hardly think of the time that has elapsed since you left us, without shame at my long delay. I assure you, however, very truly, that we have not forgotten you and your excellent partner, but often think and speak of you; and all the more, considering the fearful times your country has been passing through since you left us. Would to God your people had listened to your honest and faithful counsel! Had they done so, and flung from them the guilt and degradation of slavery, I do not at all doubt very much if the misery would have been averted; and even after the great secession, had the North taken up the high and only safe ground of Abolition at all hazards, I believe matters would have been very different to-day. Had your wise coursel been followed, the North would have had the voice an] synipathies of Europe, and very emphatically, of Britain. But when the friends of the North are met (as they always are) by the reply, that the negro, or taint of negro blood, is as much a degraded thing in the eyes of the North as of the South, it is difficult to reply, because facts show that this is really too much the case. The declaration of the President to the Free Blacks, the other day, we fear speaks the prevailing sentiments of the North. Since you left us, we have had some liberated (or rather runaway) slaves here, whom I was very glad to meet, and was happy to welcome to my table and such support as I could afford. One of them, in particular, was a man whom any family might have been glad to see; they were welcomed by many, and in associating with them I presume no one dreamt that he was doing a condescending act, or exhibiting an act of humility. Now, we cannot understand how it should be different with you, and even with Christian men among you. We know well that all are not of the same mind, and that you have a few likeminded with yourself. But, alas! I fear they are but a few against many. The feeling in your country against us seems to be very strong, the aversion very deep; but I hope not very general. I do trust there are not very many Cassius Clays among you, more for their own sake than for ours. At all events, many prayers, both in public and private, ascend up from Britain, that our good and gracious Father may soon send you peace. We do couple with this, prayer for the abolition of Slavery, that root of bitterness which has been the source of trouble to your land. And all the more are we led thus to pray, because we firmly believe that unless slavery fall, though you had peace to-morrow, it would be only adjourning the evil day, and that the evil would be only adjourned, not averted.
Well, you and those who have fought with you have strong consolation, None of the guilt lies with you, and none of the blood is upon you. And, thank God, you are fighting a battle which is sure to win. You are on the Lord's side, and He will bring forth your righteousness as the light and your judgment as the noon-day.
Mrs. Smith has received Mrs. Cheever's letter, and will soon reply. We both would be very glad indeed to see you both again. Believe me, my dear friend, very truly yours,
'Neil SMITH. Letter from Mr. Spaulding to Dr. Cheever.
New York, Jan. 4, 1886. DEAR BROTHER CHEEVER :
My hand was hardly cool from your warm grasp on Saturday evening. when Dr. Booth invited me to take a “ Voyage to the Celestial Country." My traps were soon on board, and we were booming down the bay for the open sea, under the command of G. B. C. Not, however, without some misgivings. Can a splendid commander of land forces successfully control the forces of the sea ? Does he practically know the difference between a marlinespike and a handspike, bobstays and stays-tackle, a weather-bit and a weather-board ? Can he box the compass, box the helmsman who fails to make a straight wake, and box the most savage cyclone that ever swept the decks of a sea clipper ;-can he? My fears rose with the rising wind.
Father Eastburn, on the quarter-deck of his Mariner's Craft in Philadelphia, had once failed. Exhorting all hands to come to Christ, he said, “Come forward, my lads, and splice the main-brace" (take a glass of grog). A man in a pea-jacket, on board a steamer going out of New York, begging money of the passengers, failed. He was handed over to my generosity. How long have you been a sailor? "Mor’n than 20 years ?" Been all over the world? “Mor'n that." Ever wrecked ? “ Five times, zur, and e'en a'most drowned too.” Where is the main-top-sail in a full-rigged ship? “ The main-top-sail, zur?" Yes, the maintop-sail. “Why, zur, any fool knows that—at the top of the main-mast, sure.” Fellow-passengers, under this peajacket is a fraud: no sailor there. He don't know that the first above the main-sail is the main-top-sail, the next the main-top-gallant sail and the next the sky-sail. He is bogus, and deserves a bastinado. Real sailors seldom beg. And then I once failed myself, anchoring a ship’mid ocean! And why should not Commander G. B. C. fail? We had scarcely run three knots when he ordered on the topgallant-royals and sky-sails, got out the studding-sails, and put the good ship in the best trim for ploughing the deep. My fears vanished like the morning fog before the rising sun: in a moment I was as much assured as Daniel, stroking the beards and combing the locks of the lions in the den. And then, owing to some mistake in the reckoning, getting out of a terrible storm, up the river of the land of Self-conceit, and back safely to sea again;. after having given, through those accomplished sailors Peter and John, the ballooning sky-flyers such a terrible foreand aft raking, why should I not feel the utmost confidence in the skill of my Commander, and bespeak a safe and charming “Voyage to the Celestial Country"?
I pause to shake out the white signal of good-bye and hearty thanks; and with best hopes of a spanking breeze, no more misgivings, no sea-sickness, and to return with the ship laden with gratitude to the gunwale for the good accomplished.
To the esteemed Commander, and his no less esteemed