Hackney Road
September 17th, 1858
My dear Alexander and Andrea

Permit me to congratulate you on your happy marriage, which I trust you will both live many years to enjoy. It is, when linked with congenial spirits,a happy and holy state. I have been married now nearly 40 years - 25 October 1818 - and I can truly say that though my course has been marked with great reverses, especially in the earlier part thereof, I derive my chief source of happiness from my marriage with your dear Mother, an educated, pious and true hearted woman. My consolation in adversity, my joy in prosperity.

I trust you will have and enjoy prosperity, and let me recommend to you as its basis the love and fear of God - Gratitude to the Divine Being for all our blessings is the sure foundation for continued well being and having chosen a place of residence let me confine [advise?] you to stop there and not by the Yankee love of change every now and then upset all by flitting to another place. To keep money is far more difficult than to get it. "Brag is [a] good Dog, but Holdfast is a better."

So far for temporal things, which are good because they are essential to real comfort, - but those who live for another world - who live in the sight of God as one of his family, and look up to Him in integrity of heart, and the Father of the universal family of Man and look to His approval of their actions as the foundation of real happiness will be happy in any circumstances, short of destitution - will deserve prosperity and though not exempt from care will find happiness. God bless you, my dear children and make you real comforts to each other.

A letter from each of you will ever be esteemed a pleasure - written in confidence of friendship & of love. I should like to see in your future letters a picture of home - home enjoyments and domestic happiness. Walter will always keep us well up in state matters and I trust the late difficulties (that is the word, is it not) will open to him the way of returning to that intellectual sphere which seems to be his peculiar home. In other words, I hope he will contrive to get once more into Journalism in which I think he will prosper more than in the jog-trot matters of trade and commerce.

For you, I trust that some appropriate sphere will be found - but I live too far away to be competent to suggest or advise. But I should like to see all my children before I pass away from the stage of life and if I do not see them it would be an additional comfort if their residence here were permanent. A far better place to bring up children than with you, but still providence must guide the course of events and I trust you will keep a lookout to control them for your own desires if they should be like to mine.

God bless you, my dear children, and make you happy and bring you in his providence here for once if not forever is the fervent prayer of

Your affectionate Father
James Murray
Mr. A. Murray