May 8th 1798
my dear Madam
The repeated deaths in our Families and those with which we are closely connected during the period of one year; is a circumstance full of afflictive consideration to us who survive. We have not only followd <
the> to the Grave the Aged who fully ripe have been gatherd to the Great congregation but fine promising youth just entering & enterd upon the active scenes of Life have been Summond to a State I presume of far superieur Bliss. all of them—amiable, promissing & virtuous youth, upon whom their Friends and their parents had placd their hopes and their expectations, that when according to the order of nature they should quit the Stage, these would be matured to succeed and fill their places. but the ways of Heaven are not as our way’s.
Why should we grieve—when grieving we must bear
And take with guilt, what guiltless we might share.
It becomes us then to be silent, and adore the hand which strikes our comforts dead. To be insensible to our loss is not required of us by Him who made & knows our Frame, and whom we are told in holy writ wept at the loss of a Friend, to mourn is the State of humanity—but we have comfort in this that we mourn not as those who have no hope—tho our dear young Friend have gone before us: we have a rational hope from their lives and conversation, that <
favor-duties> the period of their duties were compleat, < that their times & as shorter>what tho short their date!
Virtue, not rolling Suns, the mind matures;
That life is long which answers Life’s great End”
Whilst I sympathize with you in the recent loss of one endeard to you by every amiable virtue whom with a parents care you had nurtured & cherished and who promised richly to Reward your kindness—it opens afresh those wounds within my heart which are yet scarcly closed from the graves of Mary & Charles. To these within a few weeks are added the virtuous Mrs. Gill, the Amiable & accomplished mrs Quincy, the highly esteemed & respected Dr Clark, the Lovely & promissing child of Mr. Smith, and your patient submissive virtuous and amiable Neice whom we all mourn
May that being who doth not afflict willingly, support sustain & comfort you, and that holy Religion which we profess and believe<
had lead into a full confidence> “justify the Ways of God to Man”
My Kind and affectionate regard to <
his> one in whom I have ever found a Father Brother and Friend. Long may his usefull Life be preserved to you and to his & your truly affectionate
MHi: Adams Papers.