Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/371

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MEANING OF BAPTISMAL PROMISES

woman, she would remember them. Many a father has listened to them, asking for strength to bring up his child, so that she shall live as she ought. Many loving friends have stood by and prayed for the child, for her own sake, for the sake of the parents who love her, and for the sake of the great God who loves her even more. And the little girl has grown up, and lived her life, and had her history. And the same beautiful old words have been prayed for others; and, whether they have remembered them, and lived as if they were true, or whether they have fallen away, still the memory of the words has always borne witness to those who loved the children, that they really did belong to God, and that they had no business to be mean or cowardly or untruthful or anything bad. If the children forgot all this, and did wrong, still there was hope that they would return and be good some day; for that they were under God's own care, and that He wanted to gather them under His wings.

We, who were all together that day, asked for you, my child, that you might have courage to do right. We know God means that courage for you, that He will give it to you. Remember this all your life long; and remember too, the love which gathered round you as a child.

I send you a few words, more precious than any pearls; for they contain the wish of a great and good man for his little girl. They are very much like what we might have said to you; only that they are set in a sweet, solemn, and lovely way, which will make you remember them better.

Take them, dear, as the expression of what all who love you would say; and let them ring in your ears in the coming years. I, your loving god-