The following letter from P.H. Mell’s mother to her then fifteen-year-old son was printed in the latest issue of The Founders Journal in a tremendous article on the life and ministry of the great Baptist statesman. It is, in my opinion, a beautiful picture of what Christian parenting looks like…a picture that desperately needs to be recovered in the Church today.
My Dear Boy:
It is high time that you and I should communicate frequently and intimately and confidentially. If this is not to be expected by the time you have arrived at fifteen when is it to be looked for? On one account I have more anxiety, even dread on your behalf than for any of my children. Earnestly as I wish a son of mine to be a minister yet I tremble at the idea of educating and devoting a son to the sacred profession without previously satisfactory evidence that his own soul was right with God…My heart burns to see you in every sense of the word a true Christian…You should exercise a jealousy over yourself lest the trifles of this world should deaden your feelings about the grand questions: what are the chances of my salvation – what have I done – what must I do to be saved?…remember they that are Christ’s have crucified their affections and lusts – crucify yours.
[C. Ben Mitchell, “The Life and Labors of Patrick Hues Mell.” The Founders Journal, 76 (Spring 2009), p.17-18.]