submit to His will and be cheerful

In the following excerpt Jane Mecom, Benjamin Franklin’s sister, writing from Rhode Island where she had sought refuge from the troubles in Boston, chides her daughter, Jane Collas, for not looking on the bright side of things. It is truly amazing that Mecom can be so accepting of the sadness and misfortune she endured and yet recommend being cheerful.

Warwick, May 16, 1778You say you will endeavour to correct all your faults. It is not among the least that you suffer yourself to look always on the dark side of God’s Providence towards you. … you have a long time experienced every distress this miserable world could inflict on you. … I never informed you of half I met with, but you know enough to see a vast disproportion between what I have had to undergo and what you have met with. If the loss of near and dear relations is an affliction, I have buried the best of parents, all my sisters and brethren except one [Benjamin Franklin], how many of my children and in what circumstances you know, and some small remembrance of my difficulties before your father’s death and after, you must have, which, if I had done as you do, might have sunk me into despair, but I have always tried to recollect the mercies afforded me and the blessings I still enjoy and endeavour to be thankful, which is a method you must take, if you mean to make the best improvement of your sufferings, for it cannot be acceptable to the Divine Being to have us always repining and take no notice of his mercies when we receive so many more than we deserve, Let us submit to His will and be cheerful.

The excerpt is from The Letters of Benjamin Franklin and Jane Mecom edited by Carl Van Doren (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1950), page 180.

posted September 13th, 2012 by Janet, CATEGORIES: Daily life, Death, Mecom, Jane, Religion


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