Monday, April 29, 2013

Last Words are Lasting Words: Final Words from a Father to his Son (Before 1798)

I am fortunate to have my lineage  on my father's side clearly  documented to the 17th century in Holland. My family arrived in the Colonies shortly after the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.

I was not raised with any spiritual heritage, but apparently there is much spiritual life in my family's roots. I have found that my family has Dutch Reformed background as well as Quaker roots. My Great-Great Grandfather (and namesake) went to a Wesleyan Seminary, and eventually became a lawyer and senator. So I guess I am sort of a spiritual mut.

His father, David Cole Jr., was a lieutenant in the Revolutionary war and wrote these last words to his eldest son.
Unto my wife and children whom I so dearly love I leave you these few lines that you may meditate sometime upon. In the first place I desire you to keep holy the sabbath day. Live in fear of God as if each day was to be your last, for our life is but an inch or two of time, therefore take my advice begin to serve the Lord in your young days before the evil days come. I desire you to live in brotherly and sisterly love among one another. Be kind unto your mother, let her not suffer nor cross her in her old age. My son David be kind to your little brother. Be not cross to him for that child lays close to my heart, he is your younger brother. I beg you to see that he gets good learning, likewise your two sisters so as to read and write. If he goes to a trade you and my friend Bodine see that he is not abused. I wish you to have care for him as he is a child. I love, God knows, you all and would fein stay some longer time with you, but the will of God must be done. We have not limited time here on earth but when death comes we must away. And death is the certain doom of all sooner or later and blessed are they that have God for a friend in that hour, my dear child. It is a melancholy thing to think, even to think to die without an interest in Christ. Therefore, as a dying father, take my advice and call on the Lord in your young days–it is the best time. Delays often prove dangerous for we are not sure of old age.
–David Cole Jr.
I'm indebted to my distant cousin Claudette Cole Johnson who sent this to me.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wonderful words ... and all the more precious from a family member.