Front Page Titles (by Subject) JAY TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781)
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JAY TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON. - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 1 (1763-1781) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 1 (1763-1781).
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JAY TO ROBERT R. LIVINGSTON.
Philadelphia, 16th February, 1779.
Your favour of the third instant came to hand this morning. The satisfaction my letter afforded you flatters as well as pleases me. It argues a remembrance of former times; for which, and other reasons, I shall give you no more opportunities of joining the assembly of angels in rejoicing over penitent mortals. Not that I mean, on the one hand, to enter the state of reprobation and become a hardened sinner, or, on the other, enlist with those saints who slip not with their foot.
This letter, written on the very day I received yours, will become evidence of my having gone through the whole process of amendment. Divines, you know, describe it as consisting of conviction, contrition, and conversion. Whether I shall persevere or not is a subject on which time will utter the surest prophecies.
The complexions of resignation, of soft complaint, and joyless sensibility, are so blended in your letter, that, if anonymous, one would suppose it written by a wayworn traveller through this vale of tears, who, journeying towards his distant haven through sultry and dreary paths, at length lays his languid limbs under some friendly shade, and permits the effusions of his soul to escape in words. My friend, a mind unbraced and nerves relaxed are not fit company for each other. It was not a man whom the poet tells us pined in thought, and sat like patience on a monument smiling at grief. In such rugged times as these other sensations are to be cherished. Rural scenes, domestic bliss, and the charming group of pleasures found in the train of peace, fly at the approach of war, and are seldom to be found in fields stained with blood, or habitations polluted by outrage and desolation. I admire your sensibility, nor would I wish to see less milk in your veins; you would be less amiable. In my opinion, however, your reasoning is not quite just. I think a man’s happiness requires that he should condescend to keep himself free from fleas and wasps, as well as from thieves and robbers.
When the present session of your Legislature is ended, take a ride and see us. You will find many here happy to see you. I have something, though not very interesting, to say to you on the subject of politics, but as it is now very late, and I have been writing letters constantly since dinner, I am really too much fatigued to proceed. Make my compliments to Mrs. Livingston, who I presume is with you. Adieu.
I am, your friend,