The character of the minister moved me the most. I actually cried as I read the few pages that described his pain. How he struggled with his sin and how he felt that, physically harming himself, would purify him. This was a common practice among priests and ministers at that time. Even Martin Luther physically harmed himself thinking this would purify him, before God showed him that His grace is sufficient.
A.W. Tozer in his book, The Pursuit of God, talks about this here:
"Faith is the least self-reguarding of the virtues. It is by its very nature scarcely conscious of its own existence. Like the eye which sees everything in front of it and never sees itself, faith is occupied with the Object upon which it rests and pays no attention to itself at all. While we are looking at God we do not see ourselves--blessed riddance.
The man who struggled to purify himself and has had nothing but repeated failures will experience real relief when he stops tinkering with his soul and looks away to the perfect One. While he looks at Christ the very things he has so long been trying to do will be getting done within him. It will be God working in him to will and to do."