[Letter] 1817 Oct. 31, [to] [Robert C. Foster, Jr.] / R[obert] C. Foster : a machine readable transcription of an image
Foster, Robert C.
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October 31, 1817
This document is a letter written by Robert C. Foster to his son, Robert C. Foster, Jr., on October 31, 1817. Foster writes the letter to his son on his birthday, and gives him advice on what to do with his life now that he is 21 years old. He advises him not to drink, gamble, or associate with 'loose' women, to be religious, watch his money, study hard, be fair to others in business, and to how to choose a suitable wife.
On tomorrow you will be twenty one Years of Age, on to morrow you enter the Bank, And Steer for yourself, a vast Ocean lies before you, whether you are to have a prosperous Sale [Sail], or whether the Bellows of Adversity, are to beat heavily upon you, God only Knows, my prayers to the Almighty since you, came into life, has been (and I expect will be untill [until] my Eyes are closed in Death) that you may have a pleasant Voice, that you may Safely reach the desired Haven, of temporal and everlasting rest, I feel my Son, prompted by law, and duty, to drop you a few lines on the Subject of yr. [your] Jubile [Jubilee], which if attended to, will be of Vital importance to you, as you are traversing the Stormy deep, I am sure you will reclam [reclaim] them, as flowing from the Breast of the most fond, and affectionate of Fathers, one who has ever studied your happiness, and done all in his power to promote it, and where or how, shall I begin, the [unclear: feat ] is so great, and the Object so numerous, I know not which to take up first, I pray the Eternal God, to influence my heart, and direct my pen, to the most Importand [Important] considerations, and that they may reach your inmost heart, and produce the desired Impressions,
First of all I [unclear: seriously ] recommend to you (as I have ever done) the Religion of Jesus Christ, the possession
of which, is the only thing, that can afford real happiness in time, or in Eternity, Read the Scriptures, and Study to understand them. and ask of God daily and fervently to effect that change in your Soul, which in Theology is termd. [termed] the new Birth, Remember what Christ said to Nichodemes [Nichodemus], you must be born again, O my Son, there is a Heaven, of exquisite Joy, and there is a Hell, of excrutiating [excruciating] pain, just before us, the partition the breath of our Bodies, the transition. may be effected in a moment, and what will profit a man, to gain the whole world, and loose his own Soul, seek first then the Kingdom of God. and his Righteousness, and all things [unclear: else ] needfull [needful] shall be added unto us, think not that you are too young, and that Religion will deprive you, of earthly happiness, such Ideas are only Stratagems of Satan, for if ever you have the love, and grace of God, implanted in yr. [your] Heart you would not part with it, for ten thousand worlds, O my Robert, my heart is full of this Subject. and I could write for hours upon it, but I am admonished that the limits of this Letter will not afford me that pleasure, O the shortness of time, and yet how much depends upon it, for as our Character, really are, in this world. so will they be in the Next,
they that do justice. love Mercy. and walk humbly before their God in this life. shall reign with him in glory in the world to come, Never my Son, forget the Goden [Golden] rule, it is laconic & portable. and may be ready for any emergency, do unto others as you would they should do unto you, always reflect before you speak, regard the feeling of others, & avoid giving offence to any, let your intimate associates be few, and cautiously selected, avoid the company of the [unclear: licencious ] and profane, keep at a distance from the Gambler & Gross drinker, they are contempable [contempible] companions for a decent Man, be utterly Deaf, to all insenuations [insinuations] when they turn towards women, of Easy Virtue Alass [Alas] how many young men, have been ruined by Monsters in female Shape, read if you please the 6 & 7th Chapter of Proverbs on that Subject a noble lesson to youth, avoid extravagance and learn to economise [economize] in early life, if ever you expect to be eminent apply closely to hard study, and mix but modestly with the world. transact all your business closely & correctly. leave nothing to be done to morrow which should be done to day. a strict observance of the rules herein laid down
will lead you to usefulness. to eminence and to happiness
On the subject of Matrimony I would advise you, early in life, to make choice of Some worthy girl, as the partner of yr. [your] Joy & Servous [service], be careful that she is of good family. strong mind, sweet temperd [tempered], good Constitution and Knowing how to carry the Key and make a pudding and one that you love most ardently. and if she should happen to combine with the above quallifications [qualifications] a little property. it will be no meterial [material] Objection, all debts you have necessarily contracted anticedent [antecedent] to this day. I will settle, and now I have filld [filled] my sheet, I commit you to God and the power of his [unclear: hand ] may yr [your] life be useful and yr [your] Death happy is my prayer for Christs [Christ's] Sake