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17/12/2010 / Test All Things

A Letter To Mrs Pinnell – May 11th, 1863

My dear afflicted Friend, Mrs. Pinnell,

I desire to sympathize both with yourself and your bereaved children in the great and irreparable loss which you have sustained in the removal of your beloved and lamented husband, and their most tender, thoughtful and affectionate father. Nor should I have delayed to write to you immediately on the receipt of the distressing intelligence, had I not been so very unwell as to be prohibited from exertion of mind or body. I have been suffering under inflammation of the chest, which has been very obstinate, and though, I trust, now giving way, yet still not removed.

How well I remember poor dear Mr. Pinnell coming with yourself and dear John, then a babe, to Newington House in 1835. Then it was that I first came really to know and value him, though it was not my first introduction to him; and ever since that period I have been pleased to renew my acquaintance, and I hope, I may add, real, sincere, Christian friendship with him. He was not a man who talked much; but in all he said there was a sincerity which much commended itself to my conscience and won my affections. Indeed, I do not know that we ever had the slightest difference or coolness, though from circumstances we did not see much of one another. For many years he used to come to Abingdon with the late Mr. Godwin to hear me on my annual visit; and when he could not do so, as of late years, I have been privileged to renew our friendly communion by visiting him at his own house. I was fully purposing to do the same this year, if health and strength allowed; and had fixed in my own mind the very time, which was to be at the expiration of my London engagement. But, alas! his lamented decease has concurred, with my illness, to defeat my plans. How deeply will you and your family miss his wise and affectionate counsel and protection. But I trust that the Lord will appear on your behalf and theirs. The anxiety of sorrow which he sustained through poor John’s illness and death, humanly speaking, brought him to his end. Dr. C. told me that Mr. S’s. heavy trial was doubtless the cause of his affliction and death. So poor Mr. P. almost seems to have lost his life with his beloved son’s.

I have only just left myself room to sympathize with your daughters and sons. May the Lord be a father to them and a husband to you.

Yours very affectionately,
J. C. P.

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