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The Altar Fire

by Arthur Christopher Benson

Why should we wish to conceal the fact that we have suffered, that we suffer, that we are likely to suffer to the end? There are abundance of people in like case; the very confession of the fact may help others to endure, because one of the darkest miseries of suffering is the horrible sense of isolation that it brings. And if this book casts the least ray upon the sad problem--a ray of the light that I have learned to recognise is truly there--I shall be more than content. There is no morbidity in suffering, or in confessing that one suffers. Morbidity only begins when one acquiesces in suffering as being incurable and inevitable; and the motive of this book is to show that it is at once curative and curable, a very tender part of a wholly loving and Fatherly design.

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