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Augusta County: Ellen Martin to Thomas Smiley, April 28, 1861

Ellen Martin admonishes her nephew to prepare for the afterlife by accepting Jesus Christ. She also mentions that community members plan to send food and clothes to the soldiers.

Thomas Smiley

April 28.61

Augusta County

My Dear Nephew

It is seldom I employ the sacred hours of the Sabbath in writing letters But as this may be the only opportunity I shall have of writing to you I feel as if I cannot let it pass I was not at Church to day Sister was, she told me Mr Junkin preached particularly to those who are daily expecting a call to the scene of war His subject was "Prepare to meet thy God" How important the admonition to us all, But it is more It is a command And the very command implies that there is an important preparation necessary And now Dear Thomas permit me to enquire whether you have made this preparation or not Meet God you must, whether prepared or unprepared And how soon you know not, Death may summons you to his presence But God has often met you, Both by his providence and by his Spirit, I cannot believe you have lived to be almost nineteen without often feeling the gentle wooings of Gods Spirit Have you yielded to His gentle entreaties or have you said to him go thy way for this time. Beware; O Beware how you bid Gods Spirit depart from you God says "My son give me thy heart" Do not be surprised that I am anxious about your souls salvation and I am not the only one that feels deep solicitude for you Your dear Mother said to me the

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The night you left home If I only had good evidence of Thomas being a true Christian It would make parting much easier Her language expressed the very feelings of my own heart towards you My daily prayer is for your souls salvation And I feel assured that your parents and other friends are praying almost without ceasing for you We all know your path is beset with temtations and dangers such as you were a stranger to at home and this fact has awakened a deeper solicitude in the hearts of your friends for your souls salvation and can you be indifferent yourself I hope you are not But I have no evidence that you are not careless about this important matter Just take Christ at his word He has said "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life and he that believeth not the Son Shall not see life but the wrath of God abideth on him" Do you ask what faith is Simply believing the love God has to you But you will perhaps say I can neither repent nor believe of myself I know you cannot But Christ is exalted a prince and a Saviour to grant repentance and remission of sins and He has promised the Holy Spirit to them that ask him Your Mother has headach to day Your Uncle James was not able to go to church to day Try and write a little every day if you have leisure

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Monday morning Some of the people are sending eatables to their friends and we would like to send you something if we could Tell us how you are situated How you sleep whether you have tents to sleep in and what you get to eat and what you would like to have sent to you

and now before I bid you farewell permit me once more to entreat you to come to Jesus, and make an unreserved consecration of yourself to him, He will receive you if you do Remember you cannot do without Christ you must have a better righteousness than your own Come to Christ and he will clothe you with his righteousness He is his peoples righteousness Sister Ann sends her love to you May God in infinite mercy preserve you from all harm and in due time bring you home in peace and safety is the prayer of your affectionate Aunt


E Martin

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