Monday, September 17, 2012

The Devil and me we can't agree


     "As he sat now in that unlovely place, he felt sick of his surroundings and unnaturally restive.   The day had been a trying one for him.  In the morning he had gone West on some money-collecting errand, one which his soul loathed, performed only as an exercise in resignation.  It was a bitter experience for him to pass along Piccadilly in his shabby uniform, the badge in his eyes of most people of half-crazy weakness.  He had passed restaurants and eating-houses, and his hunger pained him, for at home he lived on the barest.  He had seen crowds of well-dressed men and women, some of whom he dimly recognized, who had no time even to glance at the insignificant wayfarer.  Old ungodly longings after luxury had come to disturb him.  He had striven to banish them from his mind, and had muttered to himself many texts of Scripture and spoken many catchword prayers, for the fiend was hard to exorcise."


     "For a little he sat in his chair looking straight before him.  It would be impossible to put down in words the peculiar hardness of his struggle.  For he had to fight with his memory and his inclinations, both of which are to a certain extent independent of the will;  and he did this not by sheer strength of resolution, but by fixing his thought upon an abstraction and attempting to clothe it in warm, loveable attributes.  He thought upon the countless mercies of God toward him, as his creed showed them; and so strong was the man that in a little he had gotten the victory."

From:   John Buchan:  “A Captain Of Salvation,” published in The Yellow Book, 1896.

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