Dr. John Donne was watching the caretaker digging a grave in the churchyard, when the workman’s shovel accidentally threw up a skull. The Dr. took the skull in his hands to engage in serious meditation; and on looking at it, he found a headless nail sticking into the temple of the skull. The Dr. secretly drew it out, and wrapped into the corner of his handkerchief.
He then asked the grave-digger if he knew whose skull it was.
He said he did very well know. He declared that it belonged to a man who had been given to drink, who one morning, years earlier, was found dead in his bed after a night of drunkenness.
The Dr. asked: “Had he a wife?”
“Yes, a good one, only her neighbors have wondered about her since she married again, only a day after her husband was buried.”
This was enough for the Dr. Soon, he visited this woman, asked her a number of personal questions, then suddenly opened his handkerchief, and cried: “Woman, do you know this nail?” She was struck with horror, instantly admitted that she’d murdered her husband, and was afterwards tried and executed.
— The European Magazine and London Review, 1820, Volume 77, p. 405.
“. . . be sure your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23b).
“Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions . . . Against You, You only I have sinned, and done what is evil in Your sight” (Psalm 51:1, 4).