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From The Works of the Rt. Rev. Charles C. Grafton (Volume 7),
edited by B. Talbot Rogers, New York: Longmans, Green, 1914, pp.
176-184


LETTERS TO A GODDAUGHTER

PROVIDENCE, August 20th, 190

MY DEAR GODCHILD:

I don't know when you are going to tackle Milton. Your saying that it was on your reading list made me remember I did it many years ago.

I cannot remember much about it. It was one of Macaulay's earliest articles. He wrote it when quite a young man, and it might be called for him a young man's production. He was forming his style. He is fond of antitheses. It makes his thought go off with a snap. It is rather overdone in his earlier articles. Like all great or popular writers he had imitators, just as the great and ponderous Dr. Johnson had. He wrote long-balanced Latinized sentences just the opposite of the modern English style.

Macaulay was a strong partisan and politician. In his essay on Hallam he argued in favor of writing history to defend your own side. Hallam was a very fair and judicious writer. He wrote like a judge. He is not so interesting. Macaulay is picturesque, graphic, and holds one's attention. But he wrote for a purpose. He was what in England was called a Whig in politics, disliked the Stuarts and the Church, and exalted William of Orange.

I read in a tip of him, that he was rather ashamed, but perhaps that is too strong a word, at the way when he wrote his Milton essay, he made such a labored attack on Charles I. He went out of his way to do it as he did.

Charles I. had been brought up with notions of kingly authority, which have now under England's modern Constitutional Government passed away. His Sons, Charles II. and James, I don't respect. But their father was a good man and a martyr.

There had to come a struggle in England for an independent parliamentary Government, and the doing away of the power the King had. Cromwell was the person who led England out of its old feudal condition. Politically we may say that Cromwell represented the idea of popular government which had to come.

In Religion, he and the Puritans were fanatical, and we Churchmen think all wrong.

So here endeth our talk on Milton, or rather this Essay.

Of modern English of to-day in the Church, Canon Newbolt and Dean Paget write the best idiomatic English. Canon Farrar is too exuberantly garish; he writes as if he had dipped his pen into the sunset instead of the inkstand. Liddon was the most vigorous, clear, and forceful, etc.

But then you are not reading sermons except your loving Godfather's, who daily remembers you.

C. C. FOND DU LAC.


PROVIDENCE, THE CONVENT, November 4

MY VERY DEAR GODDAUGHTER:

Your lovely letter was a bright surprise. It was like a little ray of sunshine that comes dancing into the room.

I think little people can be of much help to older ones if they will try. Old folks like to be considered just as young folks like to be amused.

I was thinking about you a few days before your letter came. It shows how thoughts of others seem to spring up just about at the same time. Maybe some good angel gives us a hint that some friend is thinking of us. I don't know how they give such hints. Perhaps they pull some door bell inside of us and say, "Why, there is your little goddaughter; what can you do for her?" I was looking over a picture book and I thought you might like to have it for a Sunday book. Sunday is the Queen day of the week. It is the most beautiful day, and when we don't have to work or study. It is a day when we want to sing and tell God how good He is, and how happy we are, and how we want to make others good and happy too. So I thought you might like to add another book to your Sunday store. All the pictures are not equally interesting. Mother knows all about them, and so does dear Papa.

Give my love to Charley. I suppose he has grown a good deal, and is just beginning to learn how he can be a help to other persons.

Your affectionate Uncle,
C. C. FOND DU LAC.


BISHOP'S HOUSE,
FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN, June 3, 1905

MY DEAR GODDAUGHTER:

All America rises up to bid you welcome home. Being a loyal American I unite. Cheers and the Band.

Having some special claims to send a greeting I do not unite with any one in sending my greeting.

I do it independently on my own accord, with which no one has a right to interfere.

You are welcome back to America and may go where you please, and think as you please, and nearly do everything as you please, except, as I have found, eat what you please. The reasons for this need not be entered in this discourse.

It is a pity we cannot preach about it from the pulpit. The only place where this is done is the chapel of the Health Resort. There, after prayer and reading the scriptures and a hymn, the doctors would give little talks on subjects, at which sometimes the men were present and sometimes not.

It was all very instructive and edifying. I mean "eddyfying" in the right sense and not in Mrs. Eddy's sense.

So I welcome you back to the free, enlightened, prosperous America, where those who have some money and know how to keep and not waste it, can live fairly useful and comfortable lives. We are of course, it is death to say otherwise, in advance of all other countries on the earth, with the exception of the Japs. They are not such hypocrites as we are, our intellectual superiors in warfare, and can vie us out of sight. But all of this is not in the line of welcome nor what I would say in a sermon, but only in the way of letting off steam and giving a screaming whistle, on your arrival.

C. C. FOND DU LAC.


BISHOP'S HOUSE, FOND DU LAC, WISCONSIN, July 5, 1905

MY DEAR GODDAUGHTER:

It was very pleasant to get a letter from you. It seemed full of all the enthusiasm your sojourn abroad had inspired. Seeing all you saw with your eyes you must have had a bright, happy time. Being at Rome is like having a large part of the world's history before you as a great picture book. I am glad you saw the Pope. I don't think your seeing him will do him any harm. You have not an evil eye, but a very good, kindly one. The Pope has a great palace to live in and beautiful gardens, and is surrounded with all the state and etiquette of an earthly king as he claims to be. I never could see why a Bishop should have a Court just like a King. But there are a great many persons in the Church and out of it who like the show and state. I think the Pope would gain more if he gave up his claim to temporal sovereignty and gave himself just to spiritual concerns. I think it would look more like Christianity we read of in the gospels. Our Lord told the Apostles that the princes of this world in their greatness exercised authority and power, but said, "It shall not be so among you." The Bishop of Rome as a Christian Bishop we all much respect. But as connected with the papacy and all it involves, the pomp and power of the Pope seems a rather cowardly thing. Rome makes some converts among snobbily disposed persons, by its glare and glitter, just as some birds are caught or entrapped by broken pieces of shining glass.

Now take good care of your dear self. You had seven great gifts when you were confirmed. They are in you, and you must learn how to use them. There was "the gift of wisdom," by which we know God. We may have some knowledge of Him by our natural powers. But He can illuminate and so dispose our power as to know Him better. "The Spirit of understanding" enlightens us to understand about the Church and Sacraments. " The Spirit of Counsel" guides us in making good decisions as to what is right and what it is best to do. "The spirit of Ghostly strength" makes us strong to do our duty, overcome obstacles, and keeps us calm and from being nervous. "The spirit of knowledge" is a spirit of discretion. It keeps us to be evenly balanced, to keep the golden mean. It considers carefully what ought to be done, and what is the right thing. It does not judge of persons or things superficially. It does not go upon its impressions or conditions or feelings. It is a very discerning, useful spirit.

Then there is the spirit of "True Godliness." Both words worth thinking a bit about. "True," not put on, not outside, not sham, "Godliness" real Goodness and which alone makes life all bright and sunshiny and happy within. Lastly, there is the "Fear of the Lord" which makes us avoid neglect of His service, gives Him the Honor due him, helps us to Reverence and love His worship, and make his life as if surrounded by His Angels and by a wall of fire that keeps us from all evil and harm.

With my love and all bright blessing,
C. C. FOND DU LAC.


Answer to a Question about Attending a Concert in Holy Week

MY DEAR DAUGHTER IN CHRIST:

Possibly some others asked you the question about the concert, and that you may say what I feel, I send you this.

Would you, if your mother died yesterday and was lying in her coffin, go to Thomas' concert to-day? If we had been one of the women at the crucifixion, what would we have done to-day?

In order that we may be one of the real mourners we must put ourselves in sympathy with them, and enter as fully as we can into that grief.

Yours in Christ,
C. C. G.


April 18, 1911

MY DEAR GODDAUGHTER:

It is indeed sad, very sad, and how much you and the boys and dear Father must feel it. Nothing that we can do can stop the great heartache, but we can try to submit to our Heavenly Father's Will, and as we know Mother does so, our mutual submission tends to unite us more closely together. It's a great comfort to think we may offer the Holy Sacrifice for the rest and peace and advancing felicity of her soul. When our Blessed Lord's tears fell for His friend Lazarus, He knew what human sorrow is, and He will in His own way, and through His dear Sacrament of Love, comfort us. It is not often realized that through the Sacrament we have a means of communication with those that are gone. For as they are with Him, and we receive Him, our prayers, our acts of submission and love, pass through Him to them. They know we must grieve, but our act of submission carries joy to their hearts.

The loss is a great call, as you realize, to new duties. You have now laid upon you new responsibilities. You must be, of course, as you are, of great help and support to your dear Father. You must, in a way, take Mother's place to the boys. Try to draw them more and more into your confidence, encourage them to come to you both in regard to their troubles, trials, and pleasures. As a sister, you may have more influence with them than you know, to guide them, to keep them in the right path and govern themselves by right principles.

And that you may do this, pray for our Lord's strength and wisdom, for the strength that comes to us through obedience and love.

May Christ be in you the invincible Victor against worldliness, sin, and all temptations. The blessed indwelling power of righteousness, the transforming power, comes from His life. May He glorify you inwardly, and lift you up into a strong and beautiful life, which will unfold at last in the dear Heaven that is to come.

Your loving Godfather,
C. C. FOND DU LAC.


July 11, 1912

MY DEARLY BELOVED GODDAUGHTER:

My heart goes traveling around Europe with you, as you are gathering up beautiful thoughts and lessons of wisdom. The old world is a great picture book, and a great record of the struggles and failures of mankind. How I would like to talk matters and especially Church matters over with you. History, to me, is the great struggle between the good and the evil. You have your own dear part in it to play and are doing it, I believe, well. In the midst of the great whirl of earthly affairs there is one supreme, beautiful, ennobling figure of Christ; take Him more and more fully for your own Saviour and Guide. May your religion be a personal union to a Personal Lord. The radiance from our blessed Lord fills our lives with a beauty and joy and peace nothing else can give.

I am slowly getting better, and hope to be about before very long. But I have suffered a great deal, and have nurses still to take care of me.

Your loving Godpapa,
C. C. FOND DU LAC.


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