March 28, 1860
Frances Rolleston, as many people today, drove herself until exhausted. Why people do this is one question (FR thought it was part of her poetic disposition), but the question under consideration today is, How does one recover?
Here is what FR did:
"I know what over-work is, but it is not every one can sleep as I do ten hours after it, besides a short sleep after dinner. My other lulling soporific of strong six-shilling green tea, I am sure you cannot take--but both together have wonderfully set me up this evening."
FR was nearing 79 when she wrote this to a much younger woman.
Between March 17 and 25, 1863, FR wrote several letters to her friend A. B. Wood, all of which focused on the death of friends and loved ones. The letters give a good view of how evangelical Christians view death. Here are a few excerpts:
"Think of the harmonies of heaven, which I believe our friend is hearing how, as the sound of a waterfall always there, always ready when the attention is called to it, accompanying the glorious vision and exquisite new words,--while our Lord in person will be there."
"O do not doubt it, do not think of her in the dark grave, the temporary hiding-place of the dissolving body, but there beyond that blue sky and brightening sunlight of spring."
"Death came by sin, and sadly we all feel it, not the sin of the individual but of the fallen race,--the redeemed race, of whom our blessed Lord took flesh, the flesh in and by which to suffer; wonderful mystery! but magnificent in its awfulness to us."
"How sweet are His [Christ's] recorded words to us! How increasingly sweet will be those we have yet to hear through a happy eternity; and your dear friend is now hearing them!"
"In her last illness she said with wonderful earnestness, 'Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly,' and, at that moment she was with Him. She seemed to pass through the gate of death, but it was life to her."
"They see Him as He is, oh far more glorious than our brightest imaginings; they will hear Him speak, and say higher and more glorious things than our weak earthly natures could endure or comprehend. To know more of Him will be our employment, we shall need no others; to 'see Him as He is' will sufficiently employ all our faculties."
March 13, 1846
The word that springs to mind after reading the following lines from FR, is philology, which means "historical linguistics," coming from Greek roots meaning love of learning. If she was anything, FR was a lover of knowledge, especially the meanings of words and names. I find it beautiful how she traces language back to God.
Here are some excerpts from a letter written 169 years ago today to her good friend The Reverend W. J. Irons:
"You would all save yourselves a great deal of trouble if you would use words in their radical* sense—to develope is to unveil, to uncover, as a seed from the husk, a doctrine, from en veloping mysteries, &c.
"Our idea is from ido to know, Semitic, what God knows and causes us to know, and truth is what God troweth.
"God, the source of knowledge, communicates ideas to man, the recipient of it. The idea must exist before it can be developed."
This opened up a new thought for me. I had always assumed that when we develop an idea, we are adding to it, growing it. But now I see that the word develop itself is a reminder that all knowledge already exists; we only discover what is hidden there; we de envelop it.
FR uses radical in its first meaning of root.
March 6th, 1862
I have been low all day, feeling loss of memory and dulness of brain—but look at the weather! I hope it is only that.
There's nothing new about mood being affected by weather. Frances Rolleston felt it, as attested to by this letter. But her next line showed that her mood did not depend on the weather:
I look at my "3 Parts" with thankfulness—done so far.
She referred here to her book, Mazzaroth: the Constellations, which after many years of preparation was ready for publication. Thankfulness was her attitude. Thankfulness does not depend on weather or mood. It is a choice. FR made it a continual choice and a permanent attitude.