Why, when I went out to walk off my wayward fancies, did I confront the very sort of incident (my unfortunate genius had surely beckoned it from afar to vex me) likely to irritate them further? A party of men were coming down the street. They were leading a fine race-horse; a handsome beast, but badly hurt somewhere, in the circus, and useless. They were taking him to slaughter; and I think the animal knew it: he cast such looks, as if of mad appeal, to those who passed him, as he went among the strangers to whom his former owner had committed him, to die, in his beauty and pride, for just that one mischance or fault; although the morning air was still so animating, and pleasant to snuff. I could have fancied a human soul in the creature, swelling against its luck. And I had come across the incident just when it would figure to me as the very symbol of our poor humanity, in its capacities for pain, its wretched accidents, and those imperfect sympathies, which can never quite identify us with one another; the very power of utterance and appeal to others seeming to fail us, in proportion as our sorrows come home to ourselves, are really our own. We are constructed for suffering! What proofs of it does but one day afford, if we care to note them, as we go--a whole long chaplet of sorrowful mysteries! Sunt lacrimae rerum et mentem mortalia tangunt.
You might say it is the problem of evil except that shorthand phrase seems inadequate. Pater wants us to confront it at a level where our usual defences won't work. He wants us to confront the presence of evil at where it cannot be explained as a consequence of sin. Close your eyes and imagine that horse. You can do it can't you. That sort of evil is happening right now.
And I think he is right. For the Hebrew Bible evil is a deep problem. It's not just sin but evil in the very nature of things. A certain natural kindness embedded right into existence.