Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, provides an example of the religious uses of this favorite Swinburnean landscape situation:
Reflect a moment, man. Where art thou standing now?
"Lo, on a narrow neck of land,
'Twixt two unbounded seas I stand;
An inch of time, a moment's space,
May lodge me in yon heavenly place,
Or shut me up in hell."
I recollect standing on the seashore once, upon a narrow neck of land, thoughtless that the tide might come up. The tides kept continually washing up on either side, and, wrapped in thoughts, I still stood there, until at last there was the greatest difficulty in getting on shore. You and I stand each day on a narrow neck, and there is one wave coming up there; see, how near it is to your foot; and lo! another follows at every tick of the clock ("The Bible," Sermons, 1.38).
Print version published 1980; web version 1998