Dec. 16th (1881) Read my essay tonight at Bible Class entitled “Fixed Principles” illustrated by the story of Ruth. All seemed to enjoy it. Mrs. Proctor was there and everything was all I could desire except that Mrs. Bichenos who had tried to come but thought she would not be able to did not get.

I regretted her absence and in reaching home found she called in for me a few minutes after I started and finding I had gone she returned home. Why oh why was I not led to turn and call in for her? Why not to return and post a letter I had left on the table instead of sending a message about it by the first man I met and find it still unposted on my return? I know why. ‘Tis just to show me earth is but earth still. That “Here the gold of joy, is never free from base alloy”. Never do I know unmixed pleasure; at the happiest seasons there is always a fly in the ointment. This seems to be God’s way with me, doubtless, to keep me humble at his feet; diligent in his work. Were it not for this disappointment now I should be thinking my particular portion on earth something akin to Heaven. And perhaps feeling a little vain at being commended at the class. Our God knows what is best; one day we shall thank him for the shadows as well as the sunshine..”

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