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If someone were to expound that godliness is to belong to childhood in the temporal sense and thus dwindle and die with the years as childhood does, is to be a happy frame of mind that cannot be preserved but only recollected; if someone were to expound that repentance as a weakness of old age accompanies the decline of one's powers, when the senses are dulled, when sleep no longer strengthens but increases lethargy-this would be ungodliness and foolishness.
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate! O any thing, of nothing first create! O heavy lightness, serious vanity, Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms, Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is! This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Sleep teaching was actually prohibited in England. There was something called liberalism. Parliament, if you know what that was, passed a law against it. The records survive. Speeches about liberty of the subject. Liberty to be inefficient and miserable. Freedom to be a round peg in a square hole.
We are constituted a good deal like chickens, which, taken from the hen, and put in a basket of cotton in the chimney-corner, willoften peep till they die, nevertheless; but if you put in a book, or anything heavy, which will press down the cotton, and feel like the hen, they go to sleep directly.
I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, and when we reached the zoo I did. Yet I had not exactly spent the journey in thought. Nor in great emotion. Emotional is perhaps the last word we can apply to some of the most important events. It was more like when a man, after a long sleep, still lying motionless in bed, becomes aware that he is now awake.
I was a coward. I used to be haunted by the fear of thieves, ghosts and serpents. I did not dare to stir out of doors at night. Darkness was a terror to me. It was almost impossible for me to sleep in the dark, as I would imagine ghosts coming from one direction, thieves from another and serpents from a third. I could not therefore bear to sleep without a light in the room.
We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another, and no sunrise finds us where left by sunset. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of that tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind to be scattered.