Burrsville [Ohio], Tues. noon. May 28
My dear Brother,
Mrs. Burr hopes to take me to your house next Friday forenoon. If Mr. B. [Burr] should on that day, go out of town with his horse in another direction, it is our purpose to come on Saturday, if the weather & other circumstances do not forbid.
While I deeply sympathize with you in your infirmities & sufferings, I regard your continuance on earth a favor to our world. Those who have been called & justified in accordance with God’s plan of saving sinners “are the salt of the earth.” Therefore, our world is better for there being in it. When too feeble for continuous that is protracted prayers, you may perhaps sometimes need the prayers of one good man, “Bless my posterity, so long as trees grow & rivers run.” You can pray, “Save the souls of my children, & of their descendants for Christ’s sake,” uttering this prayer from the heart many times in the day, & many times in the night, would not be vain repetition.
For yourself, perhaps you can say as the late Rev. Dr. Goodell said in a letter in 18[6?]7 from Constantinople that he repeated as his own prayer many times in the day & often many times in the night,
“I’m a poor sinner, just
nothing at all,
But Jesus Christ is my
All in all.”
When you may not be able to repeat the whole of the Lord’s prayer, you may lift up your soul to God, in the expressions, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Or more briefly you may say, “Father glorify thy name,” or simply “ Thy will be done.”
Stephen adapted the prayer of our Lord in its spirit. Jesus said, “Father into thy hands I commit my spirit. The words of Stephen were, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” A single that offered up to God in accordance with his will, & in dependence of his mercy thru’ the gift of his Son, has proved to be prevailing prayer. One who had never prayed before his last hour said from his heart “Lord remember me,” & his soul was saved.
Much love to Marcus & to Caroline, to Edward & to Jack on his return. In love, your sister,
Z.P. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] Sept. 1, 1854
Mother’s letter was received in due time, bringing the comfortable news that you were still in your usual health, as also many thoughts and suggestions wh. [which] I highly value. I was pleased to receive that fragment of Elliot’s letter, it so truly, so sweetly, expresses the proper feeling for every Christian in circumstances of trial. The times through which we have passed have tested Christians’ hopes, and the result in general has not been so comforting as we would have expected, perhaps. There was but little of peaceful, hopeful, quiet rest in the hope of the glory that is to be revealed. Christians like others seemed to have a feeling that nothing but a promise of life and health could give them peace. God’s promise “I will never leave nor forsake thee,” did not sustain them, and of Christ’s declaration “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” we might have asked the question “Believest thou this?” for the number of those who derived any thing like stable comfort from it was very small. And yet there were some who did. Of the 46 who have died out of our village there were members of the Methodist Church, one of the Baptist, and one (an English lady) had never united with any church here, but < an> had long been a professor of religion, and died in the triumph of faith. Still another on her death had made such a profession of penitence and faith that we indulge a good degree of hope for her, thus making six of whose views we have some considerable knowledge. Many of the rest sank into the grave as they had lived, with no hope, or a delusive one.
But I was thinking of the sustaining power of the Christian’s hope. If it is ever to be “an anchor to his soul,” if it ever is to help and comfort him during his stay here it seems as if it should at such a time. In my own case I felt that it did sustain me. I unhesitatingly went everywhere that it seemed best to go. About half of those who died were either Catholics or Germans that spoke a language unknown to me, and I did not visit them. Every where else as far as my strength permitted I went, and felt that I went under God’s gracious protection and with his promise, not that my body should be spared, but that even if it died it would live again, while my soul should, even in the interval, be <the> permitted to be with my Savior. But there were only a few who felt so – very few indeed.
As you will see by a paper I send the cholera seems now to have left us. There is but little sickness in the place. The weather, however, is astonishingly hot. Day by day the sun pours down his scorching beams until it seems difficult longer to endure them. Every body exclaims “I never knew it like this before!,” though this is no very good proof that such is the fact, so forgetful are we of the past. This is certain, however, that the season is unusually hot and is fast becoming very dry. In one thing we are favored, and that is that our winds are from favorable quarters, principally from the North, East, and West, rather than the South. All these winds are regarded as healthy while the latter is not so.
We received a letter from Marcus a few days since. I enclose it so you. For the first time it is possible that the boys may make a little, though not enough to render it best that they should tarry for it. Marcus, I infer, still intends to return as soon as the season is over. We are all, as well as usual, unless we except Willie, and perhaps he is, though we fear not. This chief hope is that his bodily system may get a more complete development and this very warm weather seems to operate the other way, making him less strong and healthy. His fits, though no more numerous than formerly, seem to be somewhat more violent. At the same time he grows in all that is lovely most rapidly. If he does any thing wrong and is rebuked for it, he ordinarily desists at once and expresses a wish to kiss his rebuker. Can it be that he who said “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings, thou hast perfected praise,” has thus early taught him to feel with David (he cannot say it) “let the righteous smite me, it shall be a kindness and let him reprove me, it shall be an excellent oil?” At the same time he does not seem now to grow rapidly <in any> in any thing but sweetness and music. He scarcely speaks a word, though he sings with surprising sweetness, and accuracy. We feel that God is preparing him for service in heaven rather than on earth, but whichsoever it may be our prayer is that he may be well prepared.
I am very sorry to hear of sister Elizabeth’s misfortunes. Hers too is a life of sorrow and disappointment, though not unmingled with joy, I trust. I suppose it is still time that through much tribulation we must enter the k. of God. May we all be prepared to achieve as seeing Him who is invisible.
Your aff son
Hamilton [California] May 12/1854
I thought to have written you a long letter before this time but I have a very sore hand which has delayed me very much & but for M.’s [Marcus] timely arrival I should have found it necessary to hired some one to do my work. The trouble as far as I know is an eruption on the back of my hand similar to biles yet they are not biles.
M. [Marcus] has told you something of my situation &c. & as I hope to write more definite soon I will add no more now. As for M.’s [Marcus] prospects we can say nothing just now but will soon know something more particular he came here very unexpectedly. Though not strong, he seems pretty well & I think will soon be pretty smart.
Your letter was dated Feb. 26 Caroline’s mailed at Flem. [Flemington, New Jersey] March 18 John’s same date & Joel’s Feb. 2 The only letters from friends at home written since last Nov.
M. [Marcus] has dated his letter Marysvil[le] [California] though written here & I suppose is just as well & perhaps better I as often send my letters there to be mailed as to Hamilton [California].
Excuse me from writing more now. I will write to C. [Caroline] or John next mail
Your affectionate Son
Marysville [California] May 10 1854
I received your letters dated July 24 and Aug 28 one month ago and did intend to answer it by the last mail but it happened so that I could not
I am now with Daniel. I came here yesterday. He is quite pleasantly situated for a married man leading a bachelor life in California. He has seven cows now and expects three more every day. He rents them for one half the butter and cheese that they make. As yet he makes nothing but butter.
Now for myself I have nothing very interesting to write in fact. I don’t know what to write. My health is tolerable good at present and for the coming summer. I have no definite plan of operation. I may stay here with Daniel and get more cows and make some cheese. How do you make [runnet from green bags?].
I learn from Daniel that there is a chance in this neighborhood to buy a team of oxen and pay for it in hauling lumber. But the terms that Daniel says that the team is to be sold are pretty close on the buyer I think. Any how I think it most likely that I shall stay in this neighborhood what time I stay in this country.
In your letter I have a very good sermon. Sermons are a thing that I hardly ever hear here and the one you wrote I hardly believe that there is one in ten that has studied theology three years that could equal it.
In your letter were a few lines from Caroline I am very much obliged to her for them.
I received a letter from Joel about a week ago dated Feb 2.
I wrote a letter to John a month ago and should be received about this time.
I can think of nothing more to write.
Much love to Abby and Eddie,
Your affectionate son
Lockport, Ill. [Illinois] Dec. 4, 1854.
I am happy to be able to report to you again that we all <continue> are in pretty good health, and that we have met with nothing particularly unfavorable since I last wrote you. We are somewhat encouraged with reference to Willie, who for a few days past, has had his fits in a modified form, and not so frequently as formerly. His general health is very good – he grows very fast, and is fleshy. He does not talk very much as yet, but is learning rapidly. His musical powers develop more rapidly than any thing else but he seems to be sufficiently bright in all particulars.
As to medicines for his relief, it seems probable that we shall never be able to secure any. We have prescriptions made every day <from> by persons who profess to have been similarly afflicted, or to have had friends who were. Some of these prescriptions are curious enough. One woman says a string of beads made of Lima beans and worn on the neck will cure, another says that a like string of the rattles of the rattlesnake, has cured her son. While yet another says, that a prescription given by an Indian Doctor cured her brother wh. [which] Prescription was to cut off the head of a mud turtle, and let his blood run into brandy, and give the mixture. Yet another, (a Mr. Savage, brother of the Rev. Mr. Savage, who is, or has been, Agent of the Tract Society in Ct. [Connecticut]) says that an Indian Doctor prescribed for his daughter Camphor dropped upon sugar, some six or eight drops every morning, and that it was successful, though he thinks the fits had injured both constitution and mind before they tried it. We know the daughter, and though she is not very bright, and is weak in constitution, yet her capacity is very respectable, and her character very lovely. Mr. Savage resides in a neighboring town about six miles from us. Yet another person, (a lady who represents herself as having been a sufferer) says that black Cohosh is a cure. (The article is one found in the ships but I know nothing of its origin or character.) Besides this we have had Peony root prescribed, and various other articles that I will not stop to mention. We have tried the Peony root, the spirits of camphor dropped on Sugar, & are now trying the Cohosh though we have recently learned that the lady who recommended it did not have epileptic fits nor fits of another kind. From all this however we derive this comfort; that as some persons have had fits, (perhaps epileptic, & perhaps not) and recovered from them, we may hope that Willie will recover. In medicine we have very little reliance, but in that vigor of constitution wh. [which] he now seems to be gaining we have much.
When I last wrote I had the Jaundice somewhat severely. I have now recovered from it, several pounds lighter in flesh, but not otherwise affected. My recovery has been rapid, much more so than those acquainted with the disease judged possible. I took no medicine except the Homeopathic. Whether my rapid recovery is due to its operation or not I cannot say, but think I should resort to it again if I had an attack.
We received a letter from Marcus, dated Hamilton California, Oct. 18, last Wednesday Nov. 29. He intimates that his intention to return was providentially frustrated. If he had secured all the money due him, he should probably have taken passage in the Yankee Blade, and perhaps have gone to the bottom of the sea, or reached shore without friends or means.
The dairy during the summer furnished him a support, i.e. his food, medicine & [ . . .] about $30 more. It was his expectation [ . . .] he and Daniel, with James Allen, would together work a mine about 18 miles north of Hamilton. He was then working for $40 a month near Hamilton, though temporarily laid aside, by poisoned feet.
The last news from John arrived Dec. 1, and was dated Nov. 4, at Padua in Italy. He was well and apparently improving his time to good purpose. Our village paper has not been issued for the two past weeks in consequence of the illness of the publisher, and some other difficulties. It will be a good deal behind hand in publishing John’s letters. I think there is a marked improvement in his communications, and though many deficiencies appear, yet they are so much better than the first that I feel encouraged. Meager as the first and second were, I put in a good part of them on my own responsibility, being unwilling that such a mere skeleton should appear in print. I took care, however, not to modify facts. The succeeding letters were published almost as he wrote them, as <he> in future they will be.
Your aff. Son,
Austinburg, O. [Ohio] May 28, 1856
My dear Brother & Sister,
Phelps & Elizabeth have each of them invited Jack & his wife to meet you at their homes. Will you write directly, & let me know when you expect to start from home. Not that I expect to see you but I like to think of you as you are.
On Tuesday May 20, just three months after calling at Cleveland [Ohio] [T … S…]. I left there, passed Tues. & Wed. night at Mr. Raphael Marshall’s in Painesville [Ohio], then in Mr. M’s [Marshall] carriage in company with Mr. & Mrs. Corbin I came to Mr. Burton’s. This week I go to Kingsville [Ohio], stay with Mrs. Betsy (Dowd) Gillett till next week, then return to Cleveland [Ohio], consult further with my physician there, Dr. Cushing; perhaps have my throat cauterized as it has already been three times with nitrate of silver = [lunar caustic?] & take a new start. I seem to be pretty well a part of the day, but my strength don’t last & I must rest often & long. It is better I keep in open air much, when dry & mild, & if I gain strength as I may, perhaps I shall sympathize still further with some, who are serving the cause of education, before I return<ing> to N. Eng. [New England], may not see home before July, probably I shall not visit Connecticut before autumn.
My throat & breathing organs are susceptible & diseased, & the mucous coat about my lungs; but probably <not> the lungs have not disease fixed upon them. I cough but little now. Cod Liver Oil has sustained & strengthened me wonderfully. Cauterizing my throat & larynx has seemed to have a good effect. My object must be to promote my general health.
Mr. Burton has a cold and tender lungs confining him to his house for several days. His family well. Mary Burton has something of the loveliness of her sister Mary.
Have the goodness to send this to Mr. & Mrs. Phillips, as I cannot write them now.
A young lady in good health is to be my traveling companion after first week in June.
Mr. & Mrs. Corbin take Louisa Marshall home with them next week, or week after.
How is your son John? What news from Daniel & Marcus?
In sisterly love,
Z.P. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
I write at Marguretts, 2 ½ mi. from her father’s.
Write me care Prof St. John Cleveland, Ohio.
[p.s. written down side of page is illegible]
[Addressed to:] Dea. [Deacon] Elijah Grant
Gainesville, Sumpter Co. Ala [Alabama]
April 2, 1857
Dea. [Deacon] & Mrs. Grant,
My dear Brother & Sister,
I was wonderfully refreshed and strengthened by the peculiar genial atmosphere of the “Indian Summer” after my arrival at Tuscaloosa [Alabama], October 11. From the first of December through the winter months, I suffered from various symptoms. In the coldest weather, (meaning once down to 4° above zero,) my breathing organs were quite embarrassed, showing that they would not well sustain a northern winter. The two weeks of vacation at Christmas, I was most mostly confined to my room, & also that cold week from Jan. 17 to 24. Besides this time, & a few other additional days, I have taken charge of the opening exercises in Mrs. Stafford’s school of 100 pupils, for half an hour. Tues. Wed. & Thr. Mornings. This has sometimes been all I could do. Till Dec. 18, I was at Mrs. Stafford’s. Then I went to Mrs. Maxwell’s, & have not again been to Mrs. Stafford’s because I could not well endure what I could not help feeling & doing, where so many young ladies were accessible, & needed so much done for them. They board 20 more or less.
Early in March I accompanied Mr. & Mrs. Maxwell to Mobile [Alabama]. After resting there through a long rain, we took boat, by “the inner passage” (inside the islands) & over a part of Lake Pontchartrain to New Orleans [Louisiana], 180 mil [miles] that Paris of the U.S. The Cathedral, the Battle Ground of Jan. 8, 1815, “The Levee” several miles in length, a place of immense business; the peculiar site of the city; “The Cemeteries” in wh. [which] all their dead are entombed above ground, (because the crust of the earth over the water is not thick enough to dig a grave) -- & were well worth seeing. Fortunes there are made & lost by variations in price of produce almost in a day. One man, a Scotchman McMahan deals only in lard. Sometimes he has bought & sold 200,000 pounds in a day, on wh. [which] his commission was $2000. One firm of Spaniards, has during the last 25 years accumulated a fortune of $400,000 dollars, by dealing only in Spanish Cigars. This one firm, and Capt. McConnel, who is continually passing to & from Havanna, trade with this Scotchman, Mr. McMahan; & from these alone he makes enough to support his family, & his office or place of business.
I came up the Tombigbee to this place to visit some ladies of Ipswich [Massachusetts] memory. A line from Tuscaloosa [Alabama] mentions the death of Prof. Tuomey of the University of Ala. [Alabama], who taught in Mrs. Stafford’s school. He was distinguished for his great attainments as a naturalist. Mrs. S. [Stafford] depended on him to teach Chemistry, mineralogy, Geology, Botany, & Conchology. He was born & bred in Ireland, & he had a large <of> supply of Irish wit, & good judgment in using it. – a very interesting man—adhering to the R. [Roman] Catholic form of religion, tho [though] worshipping with his wife in the Episcopal Church. His family, including two lovely daughters as all his children, I suppose must be left destitute of pecuniary means.
Next week I expect to return to Tuscaloosa [Alabama]. This excursion has done me good. Tho [though] yesterday and today, I am trying total abstinence, excepting gruel, & mostly lying by to get rid of some ailments. I have written with great rapidity, that I may send this to your son John.
Have you succeeded in gaining some statistics of our ancestors of the Grant family? I want a list of all you have, sometime. Perhaps I can have it thro’ [through] John.
Probably I shall not leave Tuscaloosa [Alabama] before the first of May. Tho [though] my movements must be regulated by my company of wh. [which] I have now no knowledge.
Remember me kindly to each of your children & to inquiring friends. Your aff’te [affectionate] sister
Z.P. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Cousin John, I should like to have you send this to your brother Phelps’s wife & request her to forward it. I think of her & hers with much affection, & I cannot write them.
Flemington [New Jersey], March 23, 1861
I did not see much that interested me until I got to New York, As we approached the city the lighted windows looked like rows of stars at even distances from each other.
I did not expect to see the streets paved, I had always thought that only the sidewalks were paved; neither did I expect to see so many railroad tracks in the city.
In [P.T.] Barnum’s Museum I saw so many things that I hardly know where to begin or where to end. But I saw all of Mr. Adams’ bears. I saw the great sea lion, and a seal, and all sorts of fishes, and every other thing imaginable. I saw a play acted which I liked very much. I do not know what was the name of the play but in it there was a funny old man who pretended to have traveled a great deal. He told his lady love something about his travels. Among other things he spoke of meeting a saucy woman and he called her Miss Vinegar.
At Newark I saw Mr. Lincoln [Abraham Lincoln] while he was passing from one depot to the other in an open barouche drawn by four white horses. It seemed that he had nothing to do but sit in his carriage and touch <and> his hat and bow first on one side and then on the other.
I had a better visit at Uncle John’s than I expected to have. I went to the Episcopal Church when I was there but I never thought that there were such funny services in any Protestant Church.
There is an observatory on the top of Uncle William’s house, and we can see all Flemington [New Jersey] from it, and more too.
I like to stay here very much. Aunt Mary asks me to stay here and learn to write and read. She says it would be worth more than a hundred dollars to me if I could be a good and fast writer, and she thinks that I might become so by practice. And she thinks it would be worth as much more if I could get rid of what she calls the dreadful habit of drawing my words when I read. But mother thinks that Aunt Mary is not well enough to have the trouble of me and I don’t believe she will let me stay. I would like to be here and I would like to go home too. I was glad to have Grandmother write to me. Mother thinks that Uncle Marcus’ letter is first rate because it tells some particulars.
Your aff. [affectionate] Grandson
Newburyport [Massachusetts], Feb 20, 1863
My dear Brother,
Your letter was gratefully received on the evening of the 16th. I rejoice to hear that your family & your friends generally are enjoying physical health. Still more do I rejoice, that so many of the branches in your neighborhood are enjoying a season of refreshing from the presence of the Lord. I would not only desire that converts may be multiplied as drops of the morning dew, but, I would also desire, that believers may be baptized anew by the Holy Ghost.
Many places in this country are visited by the influences of the Spirit; but as yet, there is nothing marked among the religious societies in this town, with the exception perhaps of one of the Methodist churches.
I am myself greatly surprised at what I hear & see of poverty in this place. After much has been done by individual effect, & through the Howard Benevolent Society, & the Washington Total Abstinence Society, it was ascertained that many families were suffering for the want of comfortable food. Contributions were made, & it was advertised that soup would be delivered three times during the week before last, at 12 o’clock to such as needed aid. The applicants were much more numerous than was expected. Last week it was delivered daily. On Friday the number of families supplied was 112, embracing 551 individuals. It was said, that some applied who ought not, but after examination into the condition of those who were recipients of this public bounty, the number of families supplied last Saturday was 120. The population is a little over 7,000. Business has revived here since the manufacturing of cotton has employed so much capital & occupied so many persons, but some of the mills have stopped, & others have dismissed many of their hands. Mechanics do not find it easy to get employment, & many have little or nothing to do. One morning last week a gentleman on inquiring at the market whether the seller could send some fresh fish to his house, was answered by a respectable mechanic that he would like to carry it. On the gentleman’s putting two cents into his hand, he remarked, that was all the money, which he had earned for a week. This mechanic, (ship carpenter,) had a wife & children dependent on his earnings. Many others are in similar circumstances. A great variety of wants are expressed by those, who come to us personally for aid.
Your son Joel passed two or three days with us the latter part of January. He is very well situated at Andover [Massachusetts], & he is pleased with his situation.
Our family are well except our older daughter. Disease seems to be making advances on her system, & we fear it may prove fatal. From the nature of her complaint, it seems plain, that she cannot have health for some time to come
Rev. Wm. Richards of the Sandwich Islands visited us, before he left our country for England in steamer Caledonia. His son James, & indeed all of us, valued his visit very highly.
I feel very much for Lucius, in his reverses. I hope he will keep a conscience void of offence both toward God & toward man.
Mr. Bannister writes with me in affectionate regards to yourself & Mrs. Grant, & to each of your children, also to Mr. Lucius Griswold & his wife, & to Uncle & Aunt Cowles & their family.
Your affectionate sister,
Z.P.G. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Company & other engagements prevented my writing either on Friday or Saturday of Last Week.
How are Mr. & Mrs. Pettibone this winter?
How are my good friends Mr. & Mrs. Marsh of Winchester? You did not mention Winchester among the places receiving showers of divine grace.
[Addressed to:] Mr. Elijah Grant
Ct. [Connecticut] Flemington, N.J. [New Jersey]
March 20, 1865
As I have a short vacation now I thought I would improve the opportunity to write you.
In the first place I will tell you about my studies. I study Arithmetic and Latin. I have been nearly through my Arithmetic and have commenced it again.
I supposed you were glad to sell the old stags at the price which which you got for them.
Abbie is down here. She was not able to stay at South Hadley [Massachusetts].
The principal [of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary] Miss Hopkins died a few days since.
I suppose<d> you are having a fine time this winter with no one but Grandfather, grandmother and Maria<h>.
How many weeks of sleighing have you had this winter.
Please write soon to
Your aff. [affectionate] nephew
My dear Grandmother,
I am here in Flemington for a time now. I cannot tell exactly how long. I am a great deal better than I was when I left the Seminary [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary], though I was then better than I had been before. Indeed I am pretty well now. I am teaching the children, have a regular little school up here in my room every <day> morning.
Miss Chapin <who> is to be married some time before long, and Miss Hopkins the associate principal, died since I left the Seminary [Mount Holyoke Female Seminary]. She was a very lovely woman and they feel truly afflicted. I received a letter from Auntie Burton a few weeks ago, which was a good kind one, as hers always are.
I am very sorry to hear that you are worse than usual. We had heard nothing about it until father wrote.
With love to all and a great deal for yourself. I am
Your aff. [affectionate] granddaughter
Abbie E. Grant.
Care Mrs. C.C. Chrisman
Westchester, Pa. [Pennsylvania] Jan. 29, 1866
My dear Brother,
A letter written by Mr. Phillips on Fri the 26th, mailed the 27th, has brot [brought] me tidings of you & yours. The closing scenes of life bring with them sadness to surviving friends. But to the believer, Christ has “abolished death” (Tim [Timothy] 1:10) he saith to him, “Because I live, ye shall live also.” In the removal from you of your best in friends the companion of your youth, I trust you will recognize the fulfillment of our Savior’s promise, Jn [John] 14:3 – “I will come again & receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also.” It is his will, & his prayer, “that they also whom the [Earth?] has has given him be with him where he is, that they may behold his glory.” & (Jn. [John] 17:24.) Having laid down his life to purchase them, having loved them with an everlasting love, & their having been partakers of eternal life, since they by faith on being born again became partakers of the eternal life which God has given us which life is in his Son as the Fountain & in the believer as united to this Fountain it is his joy to put them in possession of their inheritance, reserved for them at the close of their earthly pilgrimage. – This dear fiend lived here by faith upon the Son of God, & she endured unto the end. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.” Can we not comfort on another in the conclusive evidence we have that she has already entered in to the rest of & will ever be with our Lord.
After her mortal part shall be consigned, “dust to dust,” then will be a desolation in your house, exceeding what you felt while her body lay before you, cold as marble. Do not, my dear brother, allow yourself to regard death as a grim tyrant, a monster, watching for his prey, as the heathens do; but rather think of both soul & body as having been bought by our Redeemer with a price, & each as having their habitation, whether in this world or another, appointed by Him, & cared for by Him as long as each shall exist. Let not the room in which she breathed her last have melancholy associations but recognize <that> it as the place where Jesus came to take one of his own, came in love, & in the fulfillment of his own precious promise. There he came, only a little while before he will come again & take you also. In view of the past your heart will perhaps say, “Even so, Father for so it seemed good in thy sight. “The Lord gave & the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” In view of the future, considering that our great High Priest hath by one offering perfected forever them that are sanctified, (or justified), you may say “Come Lord Jesus.” One Apostle <tells> in speaking to the saints says, The father hath made us meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. Another says He is able to keep you from falling & to present you before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Shall we not choose that unto Him that loved us, & washed us from our sins in his own blood there shall be glory forever & ever.
Your son Joel, away at Dr. Well’s Bluff in Arkansas, will weep & rejoice for you & himself, tho [though] he cannot be with you. You and each bereaved one, can go & tell Jesus. Assure each of your own family & home hold of my deep & tender sympathy, Let us one & all seek to have this event a means of sanctification to ourselves & others, The Lord be with you, my brother, Z.P. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Dr. King of Carlisle who preached here yesterday, said that Jesus Christ had purchased our souls by his atonement Jn. [John] 1:29. Those who accept his offer, he will receive to himself. Those who reject it he will cast off.
[Addressed to:] Dea. [Deacon] Elijah Grant
Newburyport. [Massachusetts] Sept. 3, 1866
My dear Brother,
I was glad to hear of you by our cousin Rev. Henry Cowles, whom I saw last week at Ipswich. Inquiries often arise in [?] that’s concerning you. By something of that resting in the Rock, Christ Jesus, which may be while we are at home in the body, the remainder of your life may be comfortable in measure. By often in the day & night lifting up the brief sincere prayer for your children & their descendants, “O God, save their immortal souls for Jesus’ sake,” your life may be a blessing on all your posterity, & countless others to the end of time. By your quiet patient endurance, too, you may glorify our Father in heaven & so let your light shine, that others around you may be led to glorify him also. – As for me the constant teaching & power of the Holy Spirit, & the manifestation of God in Christ.
That you may be sustained under all your privations & sufferings, be accepted in the Beloved, & have the light of God’s countenance is the desire & prayer of your affectionate sister,
Z.P. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Newburyport [Massachusetts], Feb. 26, 1867
My dear Brother,
It is a fact of tender interest, that I am permitted to write this address. Caroline’s letter, received yesterday, leads me to think of you as near the time when Jesus will receive you to himself, cleansed by his blood, bathed in his righteousness, a trophy of divine grace. The salvation of your soul, saved from your sins, will be the means of making known to angels, the manifold wisdom of God. (Eph. [Ephesians] 3:10.) Looking unto Jesus, may be our daily motto while we continue at home in the body. May we not on earth, commence the song of heaven, “Unto him that loved us, & washed us from our sins in his own blood, -- to him be glory & dominion forever & ever.”
Yesterday I met with some remarks of C.H. Mackintosh, a Scotchman still living, so adapted to my own wants, that I will transcribe a few sentences for you.
“God has taken us up just as we are. He can never make any fresh discovery to cause an alteration in the character & measure of his love. (Jn [John] 13:1. Having loved his own wh. [which] were in the world, he loved them unto the end. Jn. [John] 15:11. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.) God knew all about us. – the very worst, when he manifested his love to us in the gift of his son. He knew what was needed, & he provided it. He knew what was due, & he paid it. He knew what was to be wrought, & he wrought it. His own requirements had to be met, & he met them. It is all his own work. Hence we find him saying to Israel (Ex [Exodus] 6:7.8) ‘I will bring you in.’ – ‘I will take you to me.’ – ‘I will give you the land.’ – ‘I am Jehovah.’ – It was all what he would do founded upon what he was. Until this great truth is fully laid hold of until it enters into the soul in the power of the Holy Ghost, there cannot be settled peace.”
My dear brother letting go of every hold you may sink down with the weight of all your infirmities, & all your sins into the arms of Jesus. He is watching, -- that he may do all that for you, & work all that in you, which you need. Is it your choice, that he should have all the glory of your salvation? -- & the glory of the salvation of all your descendents to all your kindred – of all whose bodies & souls he had bought with a price?
“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” may be our daily prayer. – thro [through] our Father which art in heaven, Save my children, my grand children, & my kindred, for Christs sake.
In sisterly love, yours,
Z.P. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]
Newburyport [Massachusetts], Aug. 27. 1867.
My dear Friends at Millbrook,
The Lord be with you, all & each of you personally. When teachable, we may expect the teachings & power of the Holy Spirit, to attend the providences, that we recognize from the hand of our heavenly Father.
Mrs. [Jemshu?] Grant, the widow of James, since 1826, died at the residence of her daughter, Mrs. Wm. [T.?] Parker June 9, in the 78th year of her age. And now that your father has gone, no one of my brothers or sisters, or their companions is remaining. Your father had long been the only person living that had loved me ever since I was born. This world seems to grow poorer, & heaven richer in loved ones. I would heed the lessons from the Great Teacher & profit by them.
That my own & only brother should have with him in his last days, sons, sons wives, grandsons, all respectful, filial, tender towards him; & this, to with most of them as It must in obedience to our heavenly Father, having a choice to do his will shows the wealth of our heavenly Father is love & applies us.
Dear Abbies letter written at 7 am. Last Saturday came to me at 10 a.m. yesterday. (Mon.) Joel’s telegram from Winsted [Connecticut], Mon. reached me at 10 ½. Mon. morn & his letter, written Sat. eve stating that his father died that afternoon at 5 o’clock, has this moment, Tues. 10 a.m., arrived. The Lord be praised for his favors general & special to the dear departed one & to you all, to us all. What a blessing that sleep towards the last instead of [ . . .] agony, & is it precious to see that expression of “perfect peace” on his countenance, as he sleeps in death. How thrilling must have been his welcome by Jesus as one of his purchased ones, & how satisfying [to] see this Jesus as he is, & to be conformed to his image. To be received by Him whence he is to be forever with him, safe from sin, form evil from even the fear of evil, what must it be, Forever safe! Is all this only just before us? See the hymn, “My God, my portion & my love.”
The Lord bless you each one. In sympathy & present in spirit tenderly yours,
Z.P. Banister [Zilpah Polly Grant Banister]