New York, May 1, 1870
I could write forever on the subject of Christian charity, but I must say that in the case you refer to, I think you accuse yourself unduly.
We are not to part company with our common sense because we want to clasp hands with the Love that thinketh no evil, and we can not help seeing that there are few, if any, on earth without beams in their eyes and foibles and sins in their lives. The fact that your friend repented and confessed his sin, entitled him to your forgiving love, but not to the ignoring of the fact that he was guilty…. Temptations come sometimes in swarms, like bees, and running away does no good, and fighting only exasperates them. The only help must come from Him who understands and can control the whole swarm.
You ask for my prayers, and I ask for yours. I long ago formed the habit of praying at night individually, if possible, for all who had come to me through the day, or whom I had visited; but you contrive to get a much larger share than that. I love to think of your future holiness and usefulness as even in the very least linked to my prayers. Oh, I ought to know how to pray a great deal better than I do, for forty years ago, save one, I this day publicly dedicated myself to Christ. I write to you because I like to do so, recognizing no difference between writing and talking. When no better work comes to me, I am glad to give the little pleasure I can, in notes and letters. He who knows how poor we are, how little we have to give, does not disdain even a note like this, since it is written in love to Him and to one of His own dear ones.