Vassar College Digital Library

Houts, Annie | to John Houts, Dec. 1866:

Abstract
VC 1869
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Details
Identifier
vassar:24429,,Box 70,VCL_Letters_Houts_Annie_1869_008
Date
December 16, 1866
Type
Extent
1 item
Rights
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: VCLLettersHoutsAnnie1869008001
Vassar College. Dec. 16, 1866.
My own dear Brother,
Your letter was received last Monday, and was
the occasion of much serious and some sad thought, especially the question,
"Is it a living faith or a dead acquiescence"? But that reflection has
occasioned good results: for I do honestly and earnestly, at this very moment,
feel more certain that I have a love for fcnd living faith in Christ in my heart;
and that I have a stronger desire and purpose, than ever before, to make that
love the guiding star of my life, and to grow more and more each day into a
nearer resemblance and closer communion with our loved Saviour. I do not
say this merely to satisfy you, nor is it a sudden outburst of religious fervor
or seaU but it is my firm conviction, and it is my intention to live up to this
conviction; and it is my most earnest prayer to the kind Father, that he will
nourish and strengthen within me this germ of holiness, until it shall become
a mighty tree, whose fruits, however humble they may be, may yet give
nourishment and life to some of the children of this world. I do not mean to
be presumptuous, and assert that I am firmly settled and grounded in the
faith, so that nothing can shake me, for poor human nature is so weak, that I
know not how soon some unlooked-for temptation might assail me in some
particularly available point .

 


: VCLLettersHoutsAnnie1869008002
and the weakness of my boasted strength be
revealed. But yet, if I only keep firmly hold of the one idea that Christ is the
"Rock of our Salvation" the strength of our strength, we need have no fears
as to our remaining firm under any trial. But still, I think the great danger
Dec* 16, 1866 - 2
of falling back is not when the great trials comes for then we are apt to be
aroused from our lethargy and say, "What does this mean"? "This muSt
come from God"; but the difficulty seems to me in bringing our Christianity
to bear upon the minute details of daily life. To my mind, the man or woman
who is shedding the light of the gospel on his or her daily life, not ostenta-
tiously but "doing whatever their hand findeth to do, heartily as to the Lord",
is as true, if not a truer Christian, than the one who, In some startling
emergency, performs some truly heroic, noble deed. Not that I would under-
rate the latter. It is grand, it is glorious, it is inspiring. But the other seems
to me more likely to be underrated, and it does not seem to me to require the
same fortitude and patient continuance in well-doing to, for instance, die a
martyr, and thus in one act gloriously declare one*s love for God, as it does
to live the life of a Florence Nightingale, or even one in more ordinary life,
always denying oneself, always "bearing one another's burdens, and so ful-
filling the law of Christ". I have sometimes thought this was especially so,
where one did not seem particularly "called" for any one thing, and in common
life the majority are such. The wheels of life go round and round in the same
track day after day and the scenes

 


: VCLLettersHoutsAnnie1869008003
through which we pass vary so little that
we are apt to forget that God's is the guiding hand, and that, "wheresoever
the Spirit listeth, it goeth." How little real belief there Is in that one doctrine
of God's providences. If we really and fully believed it we would spare our-
selves much worrying and anxious care for the cares of this world. To how many
Nov. 15, 1874 - 3
will the Saviour's remark to Martha apply, "Martha, thou art careful and
troubled about many things; but one thing is needful"• There is only one
thing that is more difficult than living a true Christian life; and that is,
attempting to live without Christ in our hearts. And this reminds me of a
remark of our Bible-teacher. In speaking of Christ's miracles, he said,
"But these healings of diseases of the body are nothing, in comparison to
those he works In regenerating a human soul; and further, the greatest
miracle Cod caa perform, is wrought when a man or woman lives seven
days of a perfectly holy sanctified life, i.e. lives seven days of a life in
that manner." But to return to what I was saying; living without Christ is
either an unthinking, hastening rush through life's scenes, or the dogmatic,
obstinate refusal to see of the fafidel or atheist, much more of the former
than of the latteri indeed I think four fifths of the people, who are not
Christians, are so because they do not think. The child of God will have as
many and it may be more trials and vexations to trouble him than the ungodly
man, but he has aa "elder brother" who aever fails to aid him, and if hs only
puts his trust in Him, he caa do all things through Christ which strengthened
him". I want to make my religion influence

 


: VCLLettersHoutsAnnie1869008004
me, in every act of my life. The
religion that merely makes oae have a solemn countenance and general
appearance of gloom Sunday, and allows him to commit all manner of evil
deeds during the week is not the kind I wish to gain. But, on the contrary,
that kind which, in the language of a minister who preached for us a Sunday
Dec. 16, 1866 * 4
or two ago, "shimmers in the closet, sparkles in the prayer-meeting and
radiates through the whole life." Pray lor me, my dear brother that I may
have more ol the pure Christianity ol our sainted mother. I leel that I have
made this quite long enough already, though X hope it may not be tedious.
We have had some very cold weather this week, and the result was, good
skating Friday and Saturday, Xwas out a little while Sat. marning and
enjoyed it. Today we have had a heavy snow-storm. Vacation commences
on Friday next. I shall remain here. The girls who came with me will
remain also. I heard from Carlos Friday: he spoke ol having visited you.
How X wish X could have been with you. I received Lucy's and Ella's cards.
I hope you will write to me soon again. Letters will be very acceptable to
me in vacation. Give very much love to Mary lor me. Tell her I will write
to her belore very long. Just give Robbie a good spanking and many, many
kisses lor me. The dear little lellow. How I would love to see himi X sup-
pose he talks and walks by this time, does'nt he? I hope you will keep a
current record ol all his smart sayings and send them to me. X must bid
you good-night. With much love and a prayer lor your temporal and eternal
wellare. Your Sister
Annie M. Glidden.
,Annie (Glidden) Houts, '69,