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‘ [22] should I esteem myself, though blessed but with bread and water! I should count these but small afflictions, and should bear them as little burdens.

A wounded spirit who can bear!

He looked with envy, as he wandered through the country, upon the birds in the trees, the hares in the preserves, and the fishes in the streams. They were happy in their brief existence, and their death was but a sleep. He felt himself alienated from God, a discord in the harmonies of the universe. The very rooks which fluttered around the old church spire seemed more worthy of the Creator's love and care than himself. A vision of the infernal fire, like that glimpse of hell which was afforded to Christian by the Shepherds, was continually before him, with its ‘rumbling noise, and the cry of some tormented, and the scent of brimstone.’ Whithersoever he went, the glare of it scorched him, and its dreadful sound was in his ears. His vivid but disturbed imagination lent new terrors to the awful figures by which the sacred writers conveyed the idea of future retribution to the Oriental mind. Bunyan's World of Woe, if it lacked the colossal architecture and solemn vastness of Milton's Pandemonium, was more clearly defined; its agonies were within the pale of human comprehension; its victims were men and women, with the same keen sense of corporeal suffering which they possessed in life; and who, to use his own terrible description, had ‘all the loathed variety of hell to grapple with; fire unquenchable, a lake of choking brimstone, eternal chains, darkness more black than night, the everlasting ’

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John Bunyan (1)
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