Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/174

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154
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

question of Sunday) have felt His help all sufficient ; and it has been, except for my own sin and weakness, but one long blessed revelation of His love, of the meaning of prayer and sacraments. It was not about them that I feel as if I wanted any more help than I have ; seldom now (tho' most deeply when I feel it at all) about home-life ; for we have learnt a good deal now about where we have been wrong about it ; it is principally about the application of principles to other social questions ; it is all very well for people to tell me not to trouble myself about them, but they are involved in every action of daily life. Earnest thought, life itself, and some words of your own and others, for whom I have a great respect, have led me to convictions which, as I say, would lead me to actions differing widely from yours, and, I suppose, proceeding from some difference in principle. Sometimes I act for a little while on my own convictions, and am very happy, till the recollection of how wrong I was, and how sure I was about other things which you have taught me, principally by advising my giving up a course of action and adopting another, or some partial failure, make me think I am arrogant and self-willed ; and yet when I take the other course I am oppressed with a sense of neglected duties, fear of my own honesty, and confusion about how far I ought to trust people, and you specially. This produces inconsistency in action; tho', on the whole, I adopt the latter course for the questions relating principally to work at the College ; I feel my position there implies very complete obedience. When I can see you (but that is so seldom now), I so try (indeed I try always) to understand the grounds on which you act ; and I own myself fairly puzzled. It was to this I referred.