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Robert Burns, the famous poet, occasionally had times of serious reflection of the state of his soul. He recorded one of those times when he compared himself to the review of his past life. He wrote that he was like a lonely man walking amidst the ruins of a vast and noble temple. The walls were strewn about and the pillars were cast askew. The elaborate marble floors were cracked and between the cracks and around the whole building were choking, horrific weeds. He was in great alarm because he saw this as the picture of his own life.

In a very troubled state of mind, he sought out one of the popular ministers in his city. When he told him of his dream and how troubled he was about it, the society minister laughed and told him not to worry with such matters. All is well, so he said! He urged him to continue to dance at the balls, drown himself in the bowls of wine, and fly from these phantoms of his soul into the arms of pleasure. It was pleasant but fatal advice for Burns because he followed it and the "lusts of other things" entering into his heart choked out the Word.

(From a sermon by Philip Harrelson, The Keeper of the Vineyard, 5/14/2012)

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