J. W. Taylor on the fleeting nature of talent

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
Talent is another flower which is often suddenly blasted. The poor paralytic looks upon you with a vacant eye; his mind, which was formerly busied with all that is engaging, and useful, and expanding, is now a blank.

Sir Isaac Newton, before his death, could not comprehend the meaning of one of his own axioms. The witty and accomplished Dean Swift died a lunatic. Humbling, yet true, is the saying, that much learning is often allied to madness. It is but a thin partition which frequently separates betwixt the workings of genius, and the eccentricities of an imbecile mind. ...

For the reference, see J. W. Taylor on the fleeting nature of talent.


Puritan Board Junior
Sproul in a lecture on Luther said there is a thin line between genius and madness. A highly intelligent individual prone to some maddening behaviors.

Anyone able to explain just why this concept holds true? Intelligence and madness always coming so close?

Indeed, with increased knowledge is increased sorrow.


Puritan Board Sophomore
I once heard someone, I forget whom, note that there's a terrible price to pay for writing a truly great novel. If you look over the history of literature, the observation tends to hold true.
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Jack K

Puritan Board Professor
Makes me think of Ecclesiastes 2:15-17. "Then I said in my heart, 'What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?' And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind."
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