Monday, November 15, 2010

Thou God Seest Me

A selection from a letter written by William B. Sprague (1795-1876), pastor for 40 years of the Second Presbyterian Church in Albany, New York. He wrote a series of letters to his daughter after his wife and her mother died. The letters contain counsel from a loving father who desired for his daughter to become a godly woman. No date is given for this letter.

… let me counsel you to cherish a deep sense of the constant presence of God, and of your accountableness to him for every part of your conduct. An habitual impression of this kind will make you comparatively indifferent, both to the censures and applauses of mortals, and will lead you to regard every other question as unimportant, in comparison with the simple question of duty. And the consequence of this cannot fail to be, that you will judge carefully and honestly of what is right, and will act with unyielding decision. No matter what temptations may spread themselves before you to divert you from the path of duty, the reflection, "Thou, God, seest me" [Gen. 16:13], brought home to your understanding and conscience, will insure you the victory over them. This is something distinct from natural inflexibility of character: it is independence of mind, based on religious principle; and it is this especially which I urge you to cultivate.

Letters on Practical Subjects to a Daughter, by William B. Sprague, New York, 1831, pp. 90-91.

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