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Hannah Robbins Gilman1823-01-01Benjamin Ives GilmanI have many times attempted to write to my dear Afflicted husband, & have laid aside the pen in an agony too great for utterance. And now how shall I begin, and what shall I say. O that it were in my power to give you the consolation I so much need myself. I had recd your letter with information that the most amiable and dutiful of children, the best of sons had arrived and was indisposed. But Alas I was not prepared for the fatal stroke. My kind Brothers & friends assured me it was nothing but a cold and the fatigues of a long passage -- and my next letter would undoubtedly give me the happy information of the health and happiness of our son. But now my child is gone -- gone forever from my view. -- The cold grave has received him, and we never more shall behold the support of our declining days. I feel as the Patriarch did when he in anguish said would God I had died for thee O my son, my son. But is there not a voice to us in this Providence -- saying Be ye also ready? We now now see the uncertainty of life & all its enjoyments. O my beloved husband let me lead you to that blessed saviour, who is ever ready to hear our prayers to grant us pardon & peace, and enable us to say in strong faith Thy will be done. Apply to him I entreet you, in whom my soul most sweetly rests, that you may receive grace to improve this severe dispensation of his Providence-- 436 --aright. May it convince us how precarious are all our comforts: & the necessity of being prepared for every event. We have, within the last two years, met with Afflictions of various kinds, which we thought severe. But what were they in comparison to this. I have often in my petitions to my heavenly father said -- strip me of all my temporal comforts -- but spare O spare my husband -- spare our children. For wise reasons, an Infinitely holy being has seen best to take from us one of our greatest comforts. This is a mysterious providence. He cannot err -- his ways are perfect, the Judge of all the earth will do right. Shall we receive good, and shall we not receive evil at the hands of our God? Let us in humble gratitude, adore him for the mercies he has left us, let us be grateful that our dear departed child was spared so long -- that he was sufferd to breathe his life out sweetly in the arms of his brother. Mercies my love, are mixd with all our Afflictions, let us be still, and know that our father who has chastened us, is our merciful friend and our God. And O may he bind up your broken heart and lead you to the rock that is higher than we. I have recd a kind Affectionate & consoling letter from dear Benjn -- & with it a paper from you. Yesterday I recd a letter from Robert announcing his brothers safe arrival in Philadelphia, for which I shall ever possess a grateful heart. Poor Chandler had recd no inteligence of his departed Brother until a letter from Mr Chambers arrived with the heart-rending news that he was no more. I understand he was confined to his bed -- so nervous that the least noise would cause him to start, as if his whole frame was convulsed. Doctr Parrish -- & many of our friends visited him -- and his friend Wm Morgan scarcely left him. Feeling most sensibly for him in his lonely situation I wrote to him as soon as I was able to hold the pen. Eliza & Arthur are overwhelmd in grief. Arthur has had a touch of dysentary, but with the blessing of heaven & his uncles assistance, he has recoverd. Now my dear husband all my anxiety is for you. I want to commence my Journey now to Cincinnati. But my Brothers & children think that my body and mind are too weak to encounter it. I have requested Eliza & she has written-- 437 --to Benjn to ask his advice on this subject. and I hope he will think it best for me to come to you now. &c