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Written by W.M. Mitchell   

APRIL 1884

Dear Children:—Week after week, and month after month, we are thinking about you, and we hope you have not for gotten us while we are toiling for your good; and so we now come again on our monthly visit with a letter to several thousand young readers.

Though we have seen but few of this large and interesting class of readers, yet we feel much interest for them, and if our ability to instruct and benefit them was equal to our desires for their good, our young readers certainly would be greatly benefited, interested and assisted in every sense of the word. But many years ago we found out something of our very limited ability, and since we have been writing to children through the GOSPEL MESSENGER our want of adaptation to such a work has been very sensibly felt. More than year ago one of our young preaching brethren had the faithful kindness to tell us that we were less adapted to writing letters to children than any writing be had ever known us to undertake; and while we feel thankful to the young brother for telling us, we feel still more thankful to God that be enabled us to feel and know this long before the young brother had discovered it. And we feel bound to thank God, also, that though we do not claim any very great ability nor adaptation to write to children, yet we have a conscience void of oft toward God and man that what we have written will do neither young nor old any harm, nor lead them astray.

Among our widespread correspondence there are hundreds of poor children who have hut few books to read, nor scarcely any opportunity of obtaining an education sufficient to enable them to meet successfully the stern reality of this mortal life; and as the monthly visits of the MESSENGER to them are somewhat like getting a new book each month it stirs them up to read, and if there should be no other benefit it will improve their reading, and keep them from reading some foolish thing that would, perhaps, be hurtful to them.

We are glad to know that several of our young readers are much interested and greatly appreciate these feeble letters to them. Occasionally some of them write us nice little letters, and we would gladly reply to them by private letter but we have not time nor health to do this. But we will here give a short extract from one or two of these letters. One little boy says:

 “I have read all the letters you have written to children, and I do like them very much, and, in fact, I like all of the MESSENGER; and so it has been on my mind to write you. Father and mother say they like it, and are going to continue taking it as long as they are able to pay for it. They are both Baptists, and I hear them say they love to hear from all the Christian people in different parts of the world. I am so glad you thought of writing to children, for I am but a child myself, and this is the first time I ever tried to write a letter to anybody. Please excuse my bad writing.

“Your little friend,    A. D. W.”

The above short letter from a little boy, though but his first effort of the kind, will be remembered by him as long as he lives, and we hope it is the first buddings of an interesting and useful life.

But before closing this letter we wish, also, to tell you the substance of what one little daughter has written us. She said she “had been reading the MESSENGER, till she did not feel like she was writing to a stranger when she was writing to us.” This precious daughter had written us once before and sent us some new subscribers, and we had sent her a New Testament, which she delighted much to read. But now, thanks be unto God, she is enabled to write us in her last letter not only as a little friend, but as a beloved and precious little sister in Christ. Though young, the Lord had been teaching her that she was a poor, helpless sinner, and caused her to cry unto him for mercy, and he heard her cries and brought her to know Jesus in the forgiveness of her sins, and wrought in her such a spirit of love to God and his people that she has been baptized, and is now a happy young member with Primitive Baptists.—M.

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.