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Moby Dick: or, the White Whale eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 623 pages of information about Moby Dick.
ship at Joppa.  But God is everywhere; Tarshish he never reached.  As we have seen, God came upon him in the whale, and swallowed him down to living gulfs of doom, and with swift slantings tore him along ‘into the midst of the seas,’ where the eddying depths sucked him ten thousand fathoms down, and ’the weeds were wrapped about his head,’ and all the watery world of woe bowled over him.  Yet even then beyond the reach of any plummet—­’out of the belly of hell’—­when the whale grounded upon the ocean’s utmost bones, even then, God heard the engulphed, repenting prophet when he cried.  Then God spake unto the fish; and from the shuddering cold and blackness of the sea, the whale came breeching up towards the warm and pleasant sun, and all the delights of air and earth; and ‘vomited out Jonah upon the dry land;’ when the word of the Lord came a second time; and Jonah, bruised and beaten—­his ears, like two sea-shells, still multitudinously murmuring of the ocean—­ Jonah did the Almighty’s bidding.  And what was that, shipmates?  To preach the Truth to the face of Falsehood!  That was it!

“This, shipmates, this is that other lesson; and woe to that pilot of the living God who slights it.  Woe to him whom this world charms from Gospel duty!  Woe to him who seeks to pour oil upon the waters when God has brewed them into a gale!  Woe to him who seeks to please rather than to appal!  Woe to him whose good name is more to him than goodness!  Woe to him who, in this world, courts not dishonor!  Woe to him who would not be true, even though to be false were salvation!  Yea, woe to him who as the great Pilot Paul has it, while preaching to others is himself a castaway!

He drooped and fell away from himself for a moment; then lifting his face to them again, showed a deep joy in his eyes, as he cried out with a heavenly enthusiasm,—­“But oh! shipmates! on the starboard hand of every woe, there is a sure delight; and higher the top of that delight, than the bottom of the woe is deep.  Is not the main-truck higher than the kelson is low?  Delight is to him—­a far, far upward, and inward delight—­ who against the proud gods and commodores of this earth, ever stands forth his own inexorable self.  Delight is to him whose strong arms yet support him, when the ship of this base treacherous world has gone down beneath him.  Delight is to him, who gives no quarter in the truth, and kills, burns, and destroys all sin though he pluck it out from under the robes of Senators and Judges.  Delight,—­top-gallant delight is to him, who acknowledges no law or lord, but the Lord his God, and is only a patriot to heaven.  Delight is to him, whom all the waves of the billows of the seas of the boisterous mob can never shake from this sure Keel of the Ages.  And eternal delight and deliciousness will be his, who coming to lay him down, can say with his final breath—­O Father!—­ chiefly known to me by Thy rod—­mortal or immortal, here I die.  I have striven to be Thine, more than to be this world’s, or mine own.  Yet this is nothing:  I leave eternity to Thee; for what is man that he should live out the lifetime of his God?”

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