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Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Submit your testimonial. There are no testimonials yet, would you like to submit yours? Your Testimonial. The moving story of a fascinating, gifted and godly woman, author of the popular novel Stepping Heavenward. Add to wishlist. Testimonials Submit your testimonial There are no testimonials yet, would you like to submit yours? Stearns had sent for me to come right out, thinking she was dying. I knew nothing about the trains, always trusting to Mr. Prentiss about that, but in five minutes I was off, and on reaching the depot found I had lost a train by ten minutes, and that there wouldn't be another for an hour.
Then I had leisure to remember that Mr. Somehow I felt very blue, but at last concluded to get rid of a part of the time by hunting up some dinner at a restaurant. When I at last got to Newark, I found that Mrs. Stearns' disease had suddenly developed several unfavorable symptoms.
She had made up her mind that all hope was over, had taken leave of her family, and now wanted to bid me good-bye. She held my hands fast in both hers, begging me to talk. On my return, as I got out of the stage near the corner of our street, whom should my weary eyes light on but my dear good man, just got home from Dorset; how surprised and delighted we were to meet so unexpectedly!
We have just heard of the death in Switzerland of Mr. Prentiss' successor at New Bedford, classmate of one of my brothers, and some one has sent a plaintive, sweet little dying song written at Florence by him. Now I am too fagged to say another word. What a resource they are! They do instead of crying for me. And how many I get every week that are loving and pleasant! What do you think of this? I hope it will make you laugh--a lady told me she never confessed her sins aloud in prayer lest Satan should find out her weak points and tempt her more effectually! And I want to ask you if you ever offer to pray with people?
I never do, and yet there are cases when nothing else seems to answer. Oh, how many questions of duty come up every hour, and how many reasons we have every hour to be ashamed of ourselves! Now Monday has come, a lowering, forbidding day, yet all is sunshine in my soul, and I hope that may make my home light to my beloved ones, and even reach you, wherever you are. I am going to run out to see how Mrs.
Stearns is. Our plan is for me to make arrangements to stay with her, if I can be of any use or comfort. I literally love the house of mourning better than the house of feasting. All my long, long years of suffering and sorrow make sorrow-stricken homes homelike, and I can not but feel, because I know it from experience, that Christ loves to be in such homes.
So you may congratulate me, dear, if I may be permitted to go where He goes. Think of that, dear, when you remember how I loved you in Mrs. Can you realise that your Lord and Saviour loves you infinitely more? I confess that such conceptions are hard to attain Can't you do M S up in your next letter, and send her to me on approbation?
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Instead of being satisfied that I've got you, I want her and everybody else who is really good, to fill up some of the empty rooms in my heart. This is a rambling, scrambling letter, but I don't care, and don't believe you do. Well, good-bye; thank your stars that this bit of paper hasn't got any arms and can't hug you! Leonard, New York, Dec. I forgot to tell you, how the verses in my Daily Food, on the day of your dear husband's death, seem meant for you: "Thou art my refuge and portion.
He takes but what He gave. The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. I have had this little book thirty-three years, it has travelled with me wherever I have been, and it has been indeed my song in the house of my pilgrimage. This has been our communion Sunday, and I have been very glad of the rest and peace it has afforded, for I have done little during the last ten days but fly from one scene of sorrow to another, from here to Newark and from Newark to Brooklyn So I have alternated between the two dying beds; yesterday Jennie P.
What a terrible sight it is! They use chloroform, and that has a very marked effect, controlling all violence in a few seconds. Whether the poor child came out of that attack alive I do not know; I had no doubt she was dying till just before I came away, when she appeared easier, though still unconscious. The family seem nearly frantic, and the sisters are so upset by witnessing these turns, that I shall feel that I must be there all I can. I am in cruel doubt which household to go to, but hope God will direct.
Prentiss is a good deal withered and worn by his sister's state; he had never, by any means, ceased to hope, and he is much afflicted. She and Jennie may live a week or more, or go at any moment. In my long hours of silent musing and prayer, as I go from place to place, I think often of you. I think one reason why we do not get all the love and faith we sigh for is that we try to force them to come to us, instead of realising that they must be God's free gifts, to be won by prayer And now Mr.
You must take this letter as a great proof of my love to you, though it does not say much, for I am bewildered by the scenes through which I am passing, and hardly fit therefore to write. What I do not say I truly feel, real, deep, constant sympathy with you in your sorrow and loneliness.
May God bless you in it. Its eastern portion lies in a deep-cut valley along the western slope of the Green Mountain range, on the line of the Bennington and Rutland railroad. Its western part--the valley in which Mrs. Prentiss passed her summers--is separated from East Dorset by Mt.
Aeolus, Owl's Head, and a succession of maple-crested hills, all belonging to the Taconic system of rocks, which contains the rich marble, slate, and limestone quarries of Western Vermont. In the north this range sweeps round toward the Equinox range, enclosing the beautiful and fertile upland region called The Hollow. Dorset belonged to the so-called New Hampshire Grants, and was organised into a township shortly before the Revolutionary War. Its first settlers were largely from Connecticut and Massachusetts.
They were a hardy, intelligent, liberty-loving race, and impressed upon the town a moral and religious character, which remains to this day. Arthur Bronson, of New York. A life of Mrs. Prentiss would scarcely be complete without a grateful mention of this devoted friend and true Christian lady. She was the centre of a wide family circle, to all of whose members, both young and old, she was greatly endeared by the beauty and excellence of her character.
She died shortly after Mrs. Every cent I have I think should be given them. My father's church and everything associated with my youth, gone forever! I can't think of anything else. McCurdy died at her home in New York in December, A few sentences from a brief address at the funeral by her old pastor will not be here out of place.
Its leading traits were as simple and clear as daylight, while its cheering effect upon those who came under its influence was like that of sunshine. She was not only very happy herself--enjoying life to the last in her home and her friends--but she was gifted with a disposition and power to make others happy such as falls to the lot of only a select few of the race. Her domestic and church ties brought her into relations of intimate acquaintance and friendship with some of the best men of her times.
I will venture to mention two of them: her uncle, the late Theodore Frelinghuysen, one of the noblest men our country has produced, eminent alike as statesman, scholar, and Christian philanthropist; and the sainted Thomas H. Skinner, her former pastor. Her sick-room--if sick-room is the proper name--in which, during the last seventeen years, she passed so much of her time, was tinged with no sort of gloom; it seemed to have two doors, one of them opening into the world, through which her family and friends passed in and out, learning lessons of patience and love and sweet contentment: the other opening heavenward, and ever ajar to admit the messenger of her Lord, in whatever watch he should come to summon her home.
How many pleasant and hallowed memories lead back to that room! Von Mrs. Deutsche autorisirte Ausgabe. Von Marie Morgenstern. Itzchoe, Asa Cummings, D. Death of Mrs. Her Character. Dangerous Illness of Prof. Death at the Parsonage. A Visit to Vassar College.
Getting ready for General Assembly. Prentiss, wife of the Rev. Jonathan F. Stearns, D. The preceding pages show what strong ties bound Mrs. Prentiss to this beloved sister. Their friendship dated back thirty years; it was cemented by common joys and common sorrows in some of their deepest experiences of life; and it had been kept fresh and sweet by frequent intercourse and correspondence. Stearns was a woman of uncommon attractions and energy of character. She impressed herself strongly upon all who came within the sphere of her influence; the hearts of her husband's people, as well as his own and those of her children, trusted in her; and the whole community where she dwelt mourned her loss.
She had been especially endeared to her brother Seargent, with whom she spent several winters in the South prior to her marriage. Her influence over him, at a critical period of his life, was alike potent and happy; their relation to each other was, in truth, full of the elements of romance; and some of his letters to her are exquisite effusions of fraternal confidence and affection. It has been my only motive to exertion; without it I should long since have thrown myself away.
Even now, when, as is frequently the case, I feel perfectly reckless both of life and fortune, and look with contempt upon them both, the recollection that there are two or three hearts that beat for me with real affection, even though far away--comes over me as the music of David did over the dark spirit of Saul.
I still feel that I have something worth living for.
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For years her letters helped to cherish and deepen this feeling. He thus refers to one of them: I can not tell how much I thank you for it. I cried like a child while reading it, and even now the tears stand in my eyes, as I think of its expressions of affection, sympathy, and good sense I wish you were here now--oh, how I do wish it! But you will come next fall, won't you? But my candle burns low, and it is past the witching hour of night. Whether sleeping or waking, God bless you and our dear mother, and all of you. My love loads this last line. To Mrs. Prentiss and her husband, the death of Mrs.
Stearns was an irreparable loss. It took out of their life one of its greatest earthly blessings. The new year opened with another painful shock--the sudden and dangerous illness of her husband's bosom friend, Henry Boynton Smith. Smith was to have made one of the addresses at the funeral of Mrs.
Stearns; but instead of doing so, he was obliged to take to his bed, and, soon afterwards, to flee for his life beyond the sea.
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To this affliction the reader is indebted for the letters to Mrs. Smith, contained in this chapter. On the 16th of February another niece of her husband, a sweet child of seventeen, was brought to the parsonage very ill and died there before the close of the month. Her letters will show how she was affected by these troubles. Leonard, New York, Jan. No wonder you grow sadder as time passes and the beloved one comes not, and comes not. I wish I could help you bear your burden, but all I can do is to be sorry for you.
The peaceable fruits of sorrow do not ripen at once; there is a long time of weariness and heaviness while this process is going on; but I do not, will not doubt, that you will taste these fruits, and find them very sweet. One of the hard things about bereavement is the physical prostration and listlessness which make it next to impossible to pray, and quite impossible to feel the least interest in anything. We must bear this as a part of the pain, believing that it will not last forever, for nothing but God's goodness does. How I wish you were near us, and that we could meet and talk and pray together over all that has saddened our lives, and made heaven such a blessed reality!
There is not much to tell about the last hours of our dear sister. She had rallied a good deal, and they all thought she was getting well; but the day after Christmas typhoid symptoms began to set in. I saw her on the Monday following, found her greatly depressed, and did not stay long. On Saturday morning, we got a dispatch we should have received early on New Year's day, saying she was sinking.
We hurried out, found her flushed and bright, but near her end, having no pulse at either wrist, and her hands and feet cold. She had had a distressing day and night, but now seemed perfectly easy; knew us, gave us a glad welcome, reminded me that I had promised to go with her to the end, and kissed us heartily. Every time we went near her she gave us such a glad smile that it was hard to believe she was going so soon. She talked incessantly, with no signs of debility, but it was the restlessness of approaching death. At three in the afternoon they all came into the room, as they always did at that hour.
She said a few things, and evidently began to lose her sight, for as Lewis was about to leave the room, she said, "Good-night, L. We told her no, and then Mr. I forgot to say that after her eyes were fixed, hearing Mr. I never saw an easier death, nor such a bright face up to the very last.
One of the doctors coming in, in the morning, was apparently overcome by the extraordinary smile she gave him, for he turned away immediately without a word, and left the house. I staid, as they wished me to do, till Monday night, when I came home quite used up. Your sorrow, and the sorrow at Brooklyn, and now this one, have come one after another until it seemed as if there was no end to it; such is life, and we must bear it patiently, knowing the end will be the more joyful for all that saddened the way.
I shall always let you know if anything of special interest occurs in the church or among ourselves. After loving you so many years, I am not likely to forget you now. The addresses at Mrs. He joins me in love to you. Do write often. Warner, New York, Feb.
Smith had given her up. In the midst of my sorrow for the poor mother, I thought of myself. How could I, who had not been allowed to invite Miss Lyman here, undertake this terrible care? You know what a fearful disease it is--how many convulsions they have; but you don't know the harm it did me just seeing poor Jennie P.
Yesterday I tried hard to let God manage it, but I know I wished He would manage it so as to spare me; it takes so little to pull me down, and so little to destroy my health. But I wasn't in a good frame, couldn't write a Percy for the Observer, got a letter from some house down town, asking me to write them Susy books, got a London Daily News containing a nice notice of Little Lou, but nought consoled me.
After dinner came two of the Prentiss sisters to say that Dr. Of course I would. They then told me that Dr. Smith had said his brother's case was perfectly hopeless. This upset me. My feet turned into ice and my head into a ball of fire.
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As soon as they left, I had the spare room arranged, and then went out and walked till dark to cool off my head, but to so little purpose that I had a bad night; the news about Prof. Prentiss was appalled, too. I had to make this a day of rest--not daring to work after such a night. Got up at seven or so, took my bath, rung the bell for prayers at twenty minutes of eight.
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After breakfast heard H. Prayed for poor Mrs. Smith and a good many weary souls, and felt a little bit better. Then went down to Randolph's at the request of a lady, who wanted him to sell some books she had got up for a benevolent object. He said he'd take twelve. Then to the Smiths, burdened with my sad secret. Got home tired and depressed. Tried to get to sleep and couldn't, tried to read and couldn't. One of the first things they said took my worst burden off my back; the whole story about Prof. Smith was a dream! Can you conceive my relief?
We had dinner. Eva ate more than she had done for a long time. We had a long talk with her mother after dinner; then I went up to the sick-room and stayed an hour or so; then had a call; then ran out to carry a book to a widowed lady, that I hoped would comfort her; then home, and with Eva till tea-time. Then had some comfort in laying all these cares and interests in those loving Arms that are always so ready to take them in. I enjoy praying in the morning best, however--perhaps because less tired; but sometimes I think it is owing to a sort of night-preparation for it; I mean, in the wakeful times of night and early morning.
There are three rooms that can be thrown together, and they were bright and fragrant with flowers, most of which the young men sent me afterwards, exquisite things. I had a precious talk with Dr. Abbot, one of whose feet, to say the least, is already on the topmost round. I only wish he was a woman. The church was open, and we all went in and listened to some fine music. Coming out I said to a gentleman who approached me, "How is little baby? I had mistaken my man! We got home at eleven P. I have things to say, but there is so much going on that I shall defraud you of them--aren't you glad?
Have you read the "Gates Ajar"? I have, with real pain. I do not think you will be so shocked at it as I am, but hope you don't like it. It is full of talent, but has next to no Christ in it, and my heaven is full of Him. I have finished Faber. How queer he is with his 3's and 5's and 6's and 7's! I feel all done up into little sums in addition, and that's about all I know of myself--he's bewildered me so.
There are fine things in it, and I took the liberty of making a wee cross against some of them, which you can rub out. Miss L. Henry B. I had a dreadful fright on the day you reached Southampton. Moore sent up a cable dispatch announcing the fact, and as it came directed to both of us, and I supposed it to be from you, I thought some terrible thing had happened. I paraded down to M. So we got all the news there was, and longed for more. I hope the worst is now over. I have just got home from a visit of four days and nights to Miss Lyman. I enjoyed it exceedingly, and wish I could tell you all about it, but can't in a letter.
Otherwise she is better than last summer. I never saw her when at work before, and perhaps she always appears so. We had two or three good rousing laughs, however, and that did us both good. I did not know she was so fond of flowers; she buys them and keeps loads of them about her parlors, library, and bedroom. What a world it is there! I only wish she was happier in her work, but perhaps if we could get behind the scenes, we should find all human workers have their sorrows and misgivings and faintings.
According to her I had an "inquiry meeting" once or twice; believe it if you can and dare. It was certainly very pleasant to get into such an intelligent Christian atmosphere, and on the whole I've got rather converted to Vassar. I have been greatly delighted with a present of one of my father's cuff- buttons which I well remember , and a lock of his hair I haven't got anything more to say. Oh, Mrs. What a jolly old lady she is!
Of course, anybody could believe in perfection who was as fat and well as she! Now that Mrs. We have had a good deal to sadden us this winter, beginning with your sorrow, which was also ours; and Eva P. She was here about a fortnight, and the first week came down to her meals, though she kept in her room the rest of the time. On Tuesday night of the second week she was at the tea-table, and played a duet with A. Soon after she was taken with distress for breath, and was never in bed again, but sat nearly double in a chair, with one of us supporting her head.
It was agonizing suffering to witness, and the care of her was more laborious than anyone can conceive, who did not witness or participate in it. We had at last to have six on hand to relieve each other. She died on Saturday, after four terrible days and nights. We knew she would die here when they first proposed her coming, but did not like to refuse her last desire, and are very glad we had the privilege of ministering to her last wants For you I desire but one thing--a full possession of Christ.
Let us turn away our eyes from everything that does not directly exalt Him in our affections; we are poor without Him, no matter what our worldly advantages are; rich with Him when stripped of all besides. Still I know you are passing through deep waters, and at times must well nigh sink.
But your loving Saviour will not let you sink, and He never loved you so well as He does now. How often I long to fly to you in your lonely hours! But I can not, and so I turn these longings into prayers. I hope you pray for me, too. You could not give me anything I should value so much, and it is a great comfort to me to know that you love me. I care more to be loved than to be admired, don't you? I hope that by next winter you may feel that you can come and see us; I want to see you, not merely to write to you and get answers.
I send you a picture of our nest at Dorset. Why don't you follow my example and dress in sackcloth and ashes? I wonder if you are sitting by an open window, as I am, and roasting at that? I had a drive with A. I have been to an auction and got cheated, as I might have known I should; and the other day I had my pocket picked. As to "Gates Ajar," most people are enchanted with it; but Miss Lyman regards it as I do, and so do some other elect ladies. I have just written to see if she will come down and get a little rest, now the weather is so fine.
I have looked through and read parts of "Patience Strong's Outings"--an ugly title, and a transcendental style, but beautiful in conception, and taken off the stilts, in execution. I do not like the cant of Unitarians any better than they like ours, but I like what is elevating in any sect. I have had a present of a lot of table-linen, towels, etc.
I wonder how soon you go back to Northampton? How queer it must be to be able to float round! It is a pity you could not float to New York, and get a good hugging from this old woman. We expect ministers here in May at general assembly I ought to have spelt it with a big G and a big A.
My dear child, what makes you get blue? I don't much believe in any blue devils save those that live in the body and send sallies into the mind. Perhaps I should, though, if I had not a husband and children to look after; how little one can judge for another! How she earned her Sleep. Writing for young Converts about speaking the Truth.
Meeting of the General Assembly in the Church of the Covenant. This year was one of the busiest of her life; and it were hard to say which was busiest, her body or mind; her hand, heart, or brain. This relentless activity was caused in part by the increasing difficulty of obtaining sleep.
Incessant work seemed to be, in her case, a sort of substitute for natural rest and a solace for the loss of it. She alludes to this constant struggle with insomnia in a letter to Miss Warner, dated May 9th: If you knew the whole story you would not envy my power of driving about so much. You can lie down and sleep when you please; I must earn my sleep by hard work, which uses up so much time that I wonder I ever accomplish anything. I believe that God arranges our various burdens and fits them to our backs, and that He sets off a loss against a gain, so that while some seem more favored than others, the mere aspect deceives.
I have to make it my steady object throughout each day, so to spend time and strength as to obtain sleep enough to carry me through the next; it is thus I have acquired the habit of taking a large amount of exercise, which keeps me out of doors when I am longing to be at work within.
Stepping Heavenward (version 2)
I think I know what joy in God means, though perhaps I only begin to know; but I am a weak creature; I fall into snares and get entangled--not nearly so often as I used to do, but still do get into them. I have a perfect horror of them; the thought of having anything come between God and my soul makes me so restless and uneasy that I hardly know which way to turn. I have been very much absorbed of late in various interests, and am sure they have contrived to occupy me too much; pressing cares do sometimes, and oh, how ashamed I am!
Do write for young inquirers, if your heart prompts you to do it. I don't know what to think of your suggestion that in writing for young converts I should impress it upon them to speak the truth. It seems to me just like telling them not to commit murder; and that would be absurd. Do Christians cheat and tell lies? I can't endure subterfuges, misrepresentation, and the like; the whole foundation looks wrong when people indulge themselves in them, and to say to a Christian, "I hope you are truthful," is to my mind as if I should say to him, "I hope you wash your face and hands every day.
Smith, New York, May 24, We are now in the midst of General Assembly. Stearns is here, and we have sprinklings of ministers to dine and to tea at all sorts of odd hours I can't help loving what is Christlike in people, whether I like their natural characters or not; after all, what else is there in the world worth much love? My Katy seems to be ploughing her way with more or less success, and making friends and foes.
You, who helped me fashion her, would be interested in the letters I get from wives, showing that the want of demonstration in men is a wide-spread evil, under which women do groan being burdened. We are having delightful weather for the meetings. Yesterday morning Dr. John Hall preached in our church, and it was crammed full to Overflowing We are all glad. He and I have got quite acquainted of late and talk most learnedly together. Did I tell you I have translated a German dramatic poem in five acts? Miss Anna Nevins says I have done it extremely well.
I don't know about that, but my whole soul got into it somehow, and I did not know whether I was in the body or out of it for two or three weeks.