New York, Jan. 7, 1870
I have had some really sweet days, shut up with my dear little boy. He is better, and I am comparatively at leisure again, and so happy in meditating on the character of my Saviour, and in the sense of His nearness, that I ache, and have had to beg Him to give me no more, but to carry this joy to you and to Miss K. and to two friends, who, languishing on dying beds, need it so much. If I could shed tears I should not have to tell you this, and indeed it is nothing new; but one must have vent in some way. And this reminds me to explain to you why to three dear Christian friends I now and then send verses; they are my tears of joy or sorrow, and when I feel most deeply it is a relief to versify, and a pleasure to open my heart to those who feel as I do. I have been in print ever since I was sixteen years old, and admiration is an old story; I care very little for it; but I do crave and value sympathy with those who love Christ. And it is such a new thing to open my heart thus! I have written any number of verses that no human being has ever seen, because they came from the very bottom of my heart.
I wish I could put into words all the blessed thoughts I had last week about God’s dear will: it was a week of such sweet content with the work He gave me to do; naturally I hate nursing, and losing the air makes me feel unwell; but what can’t God do with us? I love, dearly, to have a Master. I fancy that those who have strong wills, are the ones to enjoy God’s sovereignty most. I wonder if you realize what a very happy creature I am? and how much too good God is to me? I don’t see how He can heap such mercies on a poor sinner; but that only shows how little I know Him. But then, I am learning to know Him, and shall go on doing it forever and ever; and so will you.
I am not sure that it is best for us, once safe and secure on the Rock of Ages, to ask ourselves too closely what this and that experience may signify. Is it not better to be thinking of the Rock, not of the feet that stand upon it? It seems to me that we ought to be unconscious of ourselves, and that the nearer we get to Christ, the more we shall be taken up with Him. We shall be like a sick man who, after he gets well, forgets all the old symptoms he used to think so much of, and stops feeling his pulse, and just enjoys his health, only pointing out his physician to all who are diseased. You will see that this is in answer to a portion of your letter, in which you say Miss K. interprets to you certain experiences. If I am wrong I am willing to be set right; perhaps I have not said clearly what I meant to say. I certainly mean no criticism on you or her, but am only thinking aloud and querying.