John Donne's Devotions
by John Donne
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This volume of John Donne's
writings begins with a biography of John Donne's life, as
told by Donne's writer friend, Izaak Walton. Walton gives
readers a close look at Donne's past, which was plagued
with the loss of many close family members. This
biographical information helps readers to make better
sense of the somber devotions contained in this volume. In his
upon Emergent Occasions, Donne concentrates on the miserable
of man and the inevitability of death. The devotions are all structured
the same, each beginning with a meditation followed by an expostulation
and a prayer. These devotions serve as a preview for Donne's "Death's
Duel Sermon," written near his death in 1631 as his funeral sermon.
While "Death's Duel" paints a grave picture of earthly life tormented by
pain and death, it hopes for a bright future in God's love through
Christ's resurrection and ascension. Praised for his literary talent,
Donna provides Christians with an introspective look at the nature of
morality. It is from the great works in this collection that we find the
origin of well-known phrases "For whom the bell tolls" and "No man is an
CCEL Staff Writer