What is The Nitchie Service League?

May 15th

The Sabbath – a cool day and overcast but I have no Sabbath-like feeling or rest in my heart. This irritated pride makes me feel wretched and unhappy. My thoughts wander to home friends this morning, how pleasant it would be to see one of my sisters. When in New York they visited me frequently – but almost without exception other friends and acquaintances were either with them or would come in and so I could not enjoy their visits as I would like to have done. Both my visits home have been hurried and far too exciting for my enjoyment. I trust my next will be far different, else it will be anything but a pleasure. How much I shall enjoy a quiet home and the pleasant visiting of friends. I was particularly unfortunate about seeing my sister – two sisters Julia and Sophia several times came from a long distance to see me but those days I was surrounded by other friends, strangers to them, and so the visits ended in a most unsatisfactory manner – particularly with regard to my sweet sister Julia, she being much more deaf than I am cannot at all enjoy general conversation. She must sit close by and talk to but one person, otherwise it is little or no pleasure. It is about the same thing with regard to sister Lizzie. We are an unfortunate family as far as regard to the important sense of hearing – no less than five being so affected – and sister Margarette was deaf a long time before her death. Lovely, beautiful sister Margarette, it was a very sad trial to you, one so formed by nature to adorn society in every respect – a mind full of intellect and most highly cultivated and a form and face of no ordinary beauty. That face of thine was the most spiritual in its beauty of any I ever beheld and so many very many others thought so too. Though I knew thou wert happy, beloved sister, yet on my own account I used ever to mourn for thee – thou wert to me a great loss. Yet greatly as thou felt that sad trial I would give the world if I could but feel resigned as thou did. Sometimes I think a feeling of resignation is stealing over my rebellious heart, but thus far I have not found it to stand the test of trial. God grant that it may come. It is one of those trials that cannot be helped and must, to say the least, be endured. May I then not only feel resigned but may I also feel thankful to my heavenly father for doing what seemed to Him best. Oh what a delightful, what a truly happy feeling that must be when one can ever give thanks instead of tormenting themselves with present seeming evils and fancied ones to come. How very often I try to reason with myself on this subject. I know the good and evil of these states but I cannot feel I would fear and feel no evil but the very thoughts (and they will come) that my darling Willie may perhaps inherit this deafness that afflicts me. This is a sad picture of the human heart but a very true one and thus I fear it will feel till it is thoroughly changed. Will that time ever come? God in His great mercy grant that it may, for I feel myself utterly unable to help myself.

Our trade wind continues and we will probably make about two hundred miles. The latter part of a long voyage is the most disagreeable part. I suppose it is because we think much of the coming change and a feeling of restlessness takes the place of a former quiet.

Poor Colin Campbell has been quite unwell lately – from my heart I pity him. He looks very sad and for the last two or three days he has been troubled with a noise in his ears and deafness. Williams thinks it is merely owing to disordered stomach. I hope so. Some two or three years ago he tells me he was affected the same way.