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<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - Flanders by Daniel Defoe

The word eternity represented itself with all its incomprehensible
additions, and I had such extended notions of it, that I know
not how to express them. Among the rest, how vile, how gross,
how absurd did every pleasant thing look!--I mean, that we
had counted pleasant before--especially when I reflected that
these sordid trifles were the things for which we forfeited
eternal felicity.

With these reflections came, of mere course, severe reproaches
of my own mind for my wretched behaviour in my past life;
that I had forfeited all hope of any happiness in the eternity
that I was just going to enter into, and on the contrary was
entitled to all that was miserable, or had been conceived of
misery; and all this with the frightful addition of its being
also eternal.

I am not capable of reading lectures of instruction to anybody,
but I relate this in the very manner in which things then
appeared to me, as far as I am able, but infinitely short of the
lively impressions which they made on my soul at that time;
indeed, those impressions are not to be explained by words,
or if they are, I am not mistress of words enough to express
them. It must be the work of every sober reader to make just
reflections on them, as their own circumstances may direct;
and, without question, this is what every one at some time or
other may feel something of; I mean, a clearer sight into things
to come than they had here, and a dark view of their own
concern in them.

But I go back to my own case. The minister pressed me to
tell him, as far as I though convenient, in what state I found
myself as to the sight I had of things beyond life. He told me
he did not come as ordinary of the place, whose business it
is to extort confessions from prisoners, for private ends, or
for the further detecting of other offenders; that his business
was to move me to such freedom of discourse as might serve
to disburthen my own mind, and furnish him to administer
comfort to me as far as was in his power; and assured me,
that whatever I said to him should remain with him, and be
as much a secret as if it was known only to God and myself;
and that he desired to know nothing of me, but as above to
qualify him to apply proper advice and assistance to me, and
to pray to God for me.

This honest, friendly way of treating me unlocked all the
<- Previous | First | Next -> Digital Library - Flanders by Daniel Defoe

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