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[289] a sign for itself, to evil imaginations indulged, to the taint and burden of some secret sin, or to some disease and exaggeration of the conscience, growing out of bodily infirmity, rather than to any purpose on the part of our Heavenly Father to perplex and mislead His children. The sun does not shine the less because one side of our planet is in darkness. To borrow the words of Augustine: ‘Thou, Lord, forsakest nothing thou hast made. Thou alone art near to those even who remove far from thee. Let them turn and seek thee, for not as they have forsaken their Creator hast thou forsaken thy creation.’ It is only by holding fast the thought of Infinite Goodness, and interpreting doubtful Scripture and inward spiritual experience by the light of that central idea, that we can altogether escape the dreadful conclusion of Pascal, that revelation has been given us in dubious cipher, contradictory and mystical, in order that some, through miraculous aid, may understand it to their salvation, and others be mystified by it to their eternal loss.

I might mention other points of probable divergence between reader and writer, and indicate more particularly my own doubtful pause and hesitancy over some of these pages. But it is impossible for me to make one to whom I am so deeply indebted an offender for a word or a Scriptural rendering. On the grave and awful themes which she discusses, I have little to say in the way of controversy. I would listen, rather than criticise. The utterances of pious souls, in all ages, are to me often like fountains in a thirsty land, strengthening

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