“I trust that I am God’s child...”
~ 1840 ~
Jessamine County Kentucky
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Stampless folded letter sheet.
Circular Black postmark:
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       Samuel Barnett Esqr
       Washington county

Nicholasville, July 28th ‘40

My dear father,
  I received your last letter on Saturday. I am glad to hear that you are all in health, and that you have got your little house finished. As for myself, I have reason to be thankful that I enjoy perfect health.
  In your letter you reiterated your objection to my contemplated mission to the Cherokees. But you stopped short and left it to myself to decide whether or not I should go, at the same time advising me to look to God for his direction. I have endeavoured to do so; and have concluded to go. I think that by so doing I can serve God better & most benefit my fellow men. By engaging in a missionary life, I will feel myself bound to honour and obey and serve him; to let my light shine in an special manner. I feel that in engaging in this mission I am giving myself away to him and by the strongest ties binding myself to glorify him in my body and spirit, which are his. I may meet, indeed I expect to meet with toils and dangers; but my reward is in heaven. As for giving up the honours of the world, through his assisting grace, I intend to do that, whether I become a missionary or not. I may have some wrong motives for going but I hope and trust that I have some good ones. I hope that God will sanctify me and make me an instrument in his hands of doing good. The harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few. God calls on his church for labourers. I am young and unencumbered with the things of the world. I have some acquirements. If it is the duty of any one to go to the benighted and uninstructed, is it not my duty? I have therefore offered myself as a candidate for the Cherokee school. I wrote to the Editors of the Western Christian Advocate of Cincinnati on Saturday. They will write to brother Harrell And I suppose that I will know all about it in the course of four or five weeks. I think I shall start about the middle of October.
  I wrote to Dr. Brown on the subject of missions. He wrote to the secretary of the American Board of Foreign missions in New York. From this letter gentleman (M Lowrie) I received a few weeks ago, a communication informing me of a situation in lake Michigan amongst the Chippewa Indians. This was a very desirable situation. But inasmuch as it was under the control of the Presbyterian body and I am a member of the Methodist church I thought it advisable to choose the place amongst the Cherokees. It is within the bounds of the Arkansas conference. The compensation that will be allowed to me will be the same as that of the traveling preachers.
  And now my father let me say this. I know that God has told me to honour you, as my parent. The thought of doing what was contrary to your wish made me hesitate in making my determination. But you gave leave to decide for myself. I thought that your objections were not valid. I thought that I could serve God better by becoming a missionary. I have there fore done so. You have taken pains to raise me to educate me; I have consecrated to God all my talents, my acquirements for ever. What more could you ask. I trust that I am God’s child, and I trust that you may bless God that he has been so kind as to snatch me from destruction & make me willing to be his; that he did not permit me to throw a way those acquirements on which you had bestowed so much pains.
  My session will be out in about three or four weeks. (on the 23rd of August) If I go to Arkansas I shall start as soon as I can collect my money. I am not able at present to remit the ten dollars that I borrowed from you. As soon as I can I will.
  I have not received a copy of the Examiner for nearly two months. I do not know what is the matter.
  The election takes place here on next Monday Tuesday & Wednesday. There is great excitement on the subject.
  Give my love and respects to all the friends; to Mrs. & W. Holland. You may tell John and Martha that I would like to hear from them both, and that I often pray God to convert them.
I remain your affectionate son
Wm G Barnett
Samuel Barnett Esqr
Transcription: © Melanie Hamilton 2005

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