Below is a letter that WallBuilders recently came across from Benjamin Rush to Elisha Boudinot, the brother of Founding Father Elias Boudinot. Benjamin Rush is writing a letter of condolence for the loss of Elisha’s wife. Notice the specifically religious content in this letter.




Philad. September 8th. 1797.

My dear Sir:

Permit me to join in the general sympathy your late bereavement has excited in the breasts of all your friends. “Is Dr. Mather still in the land of the living” said one of his friends who inquired after him at his door in his last illness. “No (said the aged saint who overheard the inquiry) he is in the land of the dead, but he is going to the land of the living.” Yes – my dear friend, we live among the dead; and in a valley of human bones. Every newspaper we pick up is an obituary of departed friends, or fellow citizens. At the present awful moment, the passing hearse, the shut up houses, and the silent streets of our city, all proclaim that we are made of the dust, & that we are doomed to return to it. But let us not complain as those who have no hope. The grave shall ere long be robbed of its prey. Even Hell itself shall give up its prisoners. The Conquests & Grace of Jesus Christ extend to the utmost limits of fire & misery, & all all shall in due time be made to partake of the benefits of this infinite Atonement. Your late excellent consort will I doubt not be among the first fruits of his glorious resurrection. Let those considerations comfort you under your present affliction. My dear Mrs. Rush shares deeply in your grief, and joins with me in respectful & affectionate [comforts] to your aged and afflicted parents Mr. & Mrs. Smith. She joins likewise in love to all the children with my Dr Sir your sincere friend.

Benjm Rush

PS: The fever increases, but it is confined chiefly to one part of the city. I have hitherto been preserved, except from a light attack of it, which confined me but one day. “Brethren pray for us.” – Mrs. Bradford continues to mend but slowly.