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In his Remarkable Passages of the Life and Death of Mr. John Semple, minister of Carsphairn in Galloway, Patrick Walker tells how 'that night after his wife died, he spent the whole ensuing night in prayer and meditation in his garden. The next morning, one of his elders coming to see him, and lamenting his great loss and want of rest, he replied: "I declare I have not, all night, had one thought of the death of my wife, I have been so taken up in meditating on heavenly things. I have been this night on the banks of Ulai, plucking an apple here and there."'
Even in a palace life may be lived well.
See M. Arnold's Sonnet, 'Worldly Place'.
As I gazed out into vacancy, the grey masses began to move, to wave to and fro; it seemed as if the wind swept heavy veils away, and suddenly there lay disclosed right before me a sheet of cold, dark northern sea. A rock rose out of it, snow-covered, and carrying on its crags long icicles, which hung down to the sinister-looking water. On the top of the rock sat a huge polar bear; his paws were holding the carcass of the last animal he had found in this wilderness, and he looked triumphantly around as if to say, 'Now am I sole lord of the world '. But already the black waters moved and gurgled, and out of them arose the shining body and the huge fins of a snake-like monster; his walrus head carried a real mane, and from his mouth hung seaweed and the remnants of some small fish the last he had found in the sea. His glassy, greenish eyes stared about, and they also seemed to say, 'Now am I quite alone, master of the world '. But suddenly the huge white bear and the sea monster caught sight of each other; the enormous fins beat the waves, the cruel paws clawed at the rock. Both were yet gorged with food, but already they were measuring one another with angry looks like future adversaries. They had devastated the whole world, and now they met in this desolate waste for the ultimate fight.... I believe that for a moment the clouds which ever surround us had lifted, allowing me to catch a glimpse of the history of the world; which often is a history of wild beasts.
From The Letters Which Never Reached Him.
Compare the closing paragraphs of Victor Hugo's Shakespeare.
Reference. VIII. 19. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xv. No. 888.
Great position often invests men with a second sight whose visions they lock up in silence, content with the work of the day.
There's many a good bit of work done with a sad heart.
George Eliot's Adam Bede.
References. IX. 1-13. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xlviii.. No. 2802. IX. 1-19. Ibid. vol. iii. No. 154.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Daniel 8". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany