|HOLYOKE SEM., Feb. 17th, 1857.
My own dearest John, -- Your letter has been a blessing to me, has filled me with joy. So do all your letters, but this evening the joy I feel is not of the common kind. Oh, I thank you for telling me about your experience last Sabbath. It is one of the chiefest charms of love that it has no heart secrets -- that the sacred joys of the heart can all be shared with one who will rejoice in them equally with ourselves. You have already begun to realize the blessedness of your life-work. How it will gladden our souls to be assured that we are not laboring in vain in the Lord! When you are a settled minister how will you be strengthened by expressions of an earnest interest in the truths you preach!
We shall not have [sinning?] led happiness but I do believe we shall be very happy if God spares our lives and gives us a home -- and work to do. I love to think of the relation we shall sustain to a people. It seems to me I shall love any people that choose you for their Shepherd. I wonder if we shall find as many difficulties & vexations as we are warned to prepare for? I cannot picture to myself anything but the perfection of earthly bliss in a home among "our people" with you, my Dearest.
It was a ray of sunshine into my heart, your last sentence in wh. you speak of the bright day to which you hope time will soon bring you. Love -- I try to think that it will be so -- but thinking only widens the stream that divides to-day from that "bright day".
In seven weeks I shall have finished all my studies here but three. In twenty two weeks my school days will be ended. I am happy. I enjoy more than I anticipated and I expected not a little enjoyment -- but still I look forward to next August as a month that I shall hail with a glad heart.
Lu* fears I shall not realize my anticipations. But so far I have found the reality more than the anticipation. I can recall scarcely an instance of disappointment. Perhaps it is because I have such reasonable expectations of things, that there is no room for disappointment. But I am not willing to believe that I am more reasonable than a thousand others -- but I do believe that there is not one in a thousand that has so much occasion for thankfulness, so rich a treasure, so priceless a jewel in their heart as is in mine.
I love to have you tell me that your love for me grows day by day. I believe that our love will be endlessly progressive. My heart is all your and there is such joy in the thought as I would not lose for the world. I have sometimes wondered if you experience the same constant peace that I do. It is delightful.
I will answer your question about my hours for sleep which in my last letter was forgotten. I have seven hours and a half, only, and I find it sufficient, though at home I used to think I needed eight or nine. I presume your close stove does have the effect you suggested. I hope your next study will be warmed by an open fire.
Lu. expects to go home next week. I am glad of it for it will do me good to see anybody that has seen you. I hope this dull weather and muddy roads will be at an end soon.
Your own Louisa
*Mr. Greene's sister, a classmate.