This letter was written by a man named Sanderson to his sister, Wealthy (Sanderson) Shed (1807-1834) — the first wife of North Bergan Post Master, Milo Warn Shed (1808-1887). As foretold in this letter, Wealthy died on 19 January 1834. After Wealthy’s death, Milo married Abigail Phelps (1811-1897). Wealthy and Milo’s daughter, Helen Maria Shed (1832-1915), is mentioned in this letter. She married William Osborn.
Addressed to Milo Warn Shed, P. M. [Post Master], North Bergen, Genesee County, New York
Tully, [Onondaga County] New York
25th November 1833
I received your letter bearing date November 18, 1833 and can assure you that it was with mingled emotions of joy and sorrow. We arrived safe home the Saturday after leaving you. The journey was very fatiguing to me, but after a week’s rest was enabled to work some and two weeks past have done my work alone. We are all enjoying good health now.
As your cup is full to overflowing of sorrow, I will not pain you to peruse more with regard to our family. And what can I say to you in this time of your affliction? If the friends of God, there is much to comfort you if not comparatively little. While you are afflicted, complain not at the dealings of God with you. Though you have every reason to fear that the tenderest of cords is soon to be severed, remember that God takes only that which he gives. There may be clouds and darkness around the throne, yet justice and judgement are the habitation thereof. To those that love God, afflictions will work out for them a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, the scriptures assure us.
Suffer me to tell you that the most painful separation I ever experienced was when I parted with Wealthy last. I felt that it was the last time I ever should see her again in this world. When I parted with her 2 years ago, it was truly painful, but Oh! the struggle I have had in giving her up since I last parted with her was greater than any other I have ever been called to experience. I feel now that I can give her up cheerfully to my Savior and O, it is an unspeakable joy that while I do it as I trust I may have the full assurance that my loss will be her gain. The feelings of soul I have when here alone while thinking that this is the house where Welthy give up herself in the hands of her Savior as I trust. I say the feelings I have I cannot express.
Dear Sister Wealthy, it is my prayer to God that your hope in Christ may be as an anchor to your soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil, whether the forerunner is for us entered even Jesus. Cast yourself by faith into the arms of Jesus for He is all you need in an hour of trial or death. There is that in Christ which is suited to inspire the mind with the highest admiration and to fill it with unspeakable delight. “To the saint, he is not like a root out of dry ground, but the chief of ten thousand” — “altogether lovely,” — “the son of righteousness” the apostle says to you that believe he is precious.
Julia said tonight when I told her we had a letter from Bergen and that Aunt Wealthy was no better but feared she would soon die, I hope she said that she will live with Jesus. Again I say trust in Jesus and give up that dear little Helen to your Heavenly Father who has promised to be a God to you and your seed. Farewell dearest sister. If you soon leave time for eternity, O may you be transformed into the image of Christ and be admitted to behold the full glories of the Lamb in that temple not made with hands eternal in the hands. WS MB mother JB
Dear W. Should Helen live, she shall have the united prayers of her Uncle and Aunt who love her dearly. That she with her dear mother through the blood Jesus may be prepared to sing the song of redeeming love with the innumerable company of holy beings that surround the throne of God and the Lamb. The time is short, the moment near, when we shall dwell above, and be forever happy there, with Jesus whom we love. Jesus on thy dear faithful brest may I resign my breath, And in fond embraces, love M. Shed “The bitterness of death!” This is from your brother, J. Sanderson
This is all the paper we had in the house. Receive this as from your brother and sister to all, M. W. Shed. Write soon. My prayer is that your afflictions may be sanctified to your eternal good.
What I do say to one, I do say to all. I feel it is hard parting with her, but mourn not too much for her but mourn over your own sins and repent of them and embrace Christ and be prepared to follow her. This is the prayer of your son and brother, — J. Sanderson