"Not very bad, thank you, Mr. Drake. But, bad or not, it is always a friendly devil," answered the little man.
"I am surprised to hear you express yourself so, Mr. Polwarth," said the minister, a hint of rebuke in his voice at the characterization.
The little man laughed a quiet, huskily melodious, merry laugh.
"I am not original in the idea, and scarcely so in my way of expressing it. I found it in the second letter to the Corinthians last night, and my heart has been full of it ever since."
"I am at a loss to understand you, Mr. Polwarth," said the minister, shaking his head.
"I beg your pardon. In the passage I refer to, St. Paul says, 'There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.' Am I not right in speaking of such a demon as a friendly one? He was a gift from God."
--from The Lady's Confession by George MacDonald