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Letter to Miss Sarah Lee, Salisbury, Connecticut, from her brother, Jonathan Lee, Hartford, Connecticut 1811

... It would however have been gratifying in addition to this, to have heard something concerning the Conference of females. Jonathan Lee, Divinity College Connecticut. 1811


Divinity College Dec. 18th 1811.

My Dear Sarah,

Your letter of the 7th inst. came to hand on the 16th & within six days after it’s date at the Post-Office in Salisbury. I am glad to realize your promise of a letter, & rejoice to learn by it that our family continues to enjoy Providential smiles. It is with much pleasure that I find Elisha had so safe & speedy a return after I separated from him; since the rains which came on that day had given me some solicitude concerning him. The other information which you have communicated is also of interest. It would however have been gratifying in addition to this, to have heard something concerning the Conference of females, which had been instituted in Salisbury before I left home, together with any other information of a religious nature which respected that place & the vicinity.

As to the state of this Institution, I have but little to write. The present Junior Class which comprises all the new members consists of sixteen students. Our whole number is forty one. Mr. Gallaudet, a late tutor at Y. College is now in town, with a view to learn the state of the Seminary. He has it in contemplation to join the School, but has not yet come to a decision. Brother Gould from Sharon & Woodbridge from Northampton, who were not professors of religion when they came, & without a hope, after an anxious solicitude, appear to have experienced a change of views, & we hope it is a saving one.

What you have written me respecting your own state of mind does not indeed afford me that pleasure, which, you seem desirous to give. But my private gratification is not to be bro’t into the account. In what relation do you stand to Christ in the grand enquiry. It seems that you think much of religion & of professing it; but my dear Sarah, you ought to ask your heart daily “Do I love & practice the duties of religion”. Our Lord commands his followers to let their light shine before men; but how can this be done in silence & obscurity? Can those who love one another avoid all communion & intercourse? Can those who in truth love Christ refuse to improve those seasons & ordinances which he has appointed as the most precious means of increasing the faith & love of believers? Will any one who loves the Christian brotherhood, have no desire to join their society & mingle in their devotion? Ought any one to expect his path will be more plain the longer her stays away from the fountain of light? A well founded hope is that which prompts to compliance with all Christs’ commands? Remember the solemn interrogatory, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If Baal be God serve him, but if the Lord be God serve him?” Perfect love casteth out fear, & if you have a holy love implanted it will by increasing overcome doubts & fears; but without this they will continue to predominate. That doubt & fear which prevents us from doing any duty is certainly a sin. I beg you to strive to enter in at the strait gate – build only on the Rock; & follow on to know the Lord.

Your aff. brother Jona. Lee

(written along right side of opposite page)
P. S. I am well situated as to my studies, tho there is no alteration in the state of my eyes. I shall expect another letter from you the next month if not sooner. J. L.

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Submitter: Phillip F. Schlee E- mail: schlee@ksu.edu

Notes: Letter to Miss Sarah Lee, Salisbury, Connecticut, (politeness of Mr. Gallaudet), from her brother, Jona[than] Lee, Divinity College, Hartford, [Connecticut], December 18, 1811. From the Phillip F. Schlee Collection.

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