Selections from G.K.Chesterton

 

THE FALLACY OF FREEDOM

LIBERTY

THE SERVILE STATE

THE SIN OF PROHIBITION

AUTOMATIC EVIL

THE TYRANNICAL SCEPTIC

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

SKY SIGNS

THE MONSTROSITY

THE NECESSITY OF LUXURY

THE CLUB

THE BIG THING AND THE SMALL

‘WORKING OUT THE BRUTE’

NEUROSIS

THE BATTLE

THE DECORATION

SURPRISE

THE LITTLE THINGS

‘MERE PARADOX’

THE HIPPOPOTAMUS AND THE CROCODILE

CHANGE AND DECAY

A LOCAL HABITATION

SACRAMENT OR MAGIC

THE CONCRETE AND THE ABSTRACT

THE LIGHT AND THE HEAT

A NOTE ON COMPARATIVE RELIGION

ASSIMILATION AND REJECTION

THE WINTER FEAST

THE THREE GIFTS

THE SPRING IN THE SOUL

THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST

THE DIVINE COMEDY

THE DRAGON

 

 

THE FALLACY OF FREEDOM


Anarchism, appeals to absolute liberty, renunciation of limitations as such — all this is incurably futile and childish, because it will not face a fundamental logical fact. This fact is that there is no such thing as a condition of complete emancipation, unless we can speak of a condition of nonentity. What we call emancipation is always and of necessity simply the free choice of the soul between one set of limitations and another. If I have a piece of chalk in my hand, I can make either a circle or a square; that is the sacred thing called liberty. But I cannot make a thing that is both a circle and a square. I cannot make an unlimited square. I cannot draw an emancipated circle. If I wish to make anything at all, I must abide by the limitations and principles of the thing I make. . . . And any man who makes anything whatever, if it be with a piece of chalk, is doing exactly what a man does when he marries or enlists in an army. He is courageously selling himself into a splendid slavery. And, of course, in moral matters it is the same; there is no lawlessness, there is only a free choice between limitations.

Daily News, December 21st, 1905

LIBERTY


One of the truisms which I was taught from infancy and have only learned in extreme old age is this; that the life of a commonwealth is its liberty. This very word liberty is old-fashioned. You have hardly heard it seriously mentioned as an ideal since the days of Byron and Miss Jane Porter. Now the reason why people in that time talked about liberty was quite simple; it was that they had some. They had tasted, they had even drunk, the dreadful wine....

I am more and more convinced that we have to ask again the old question, ‘Is this a free country?’ It is still a very rich country; it will always, I think, be a great country; it is everywhere a humorous and in some patches a happy country; and anyhow, it is my country and that is enough for me. But it is not a free country. For some time past it has been losing, first slowly but now rapidly, the last vestiges of that particular thing called freedom.

Loyalty is the heart of the commonwealth; but liberty is its lungs. You find out the necessity of liberty as you find out the necessity of air — by not having enough of it and gasping.

Daily News, March 18th, 1911

THE SERVILE STATE


When you break the big laws, you do not get liberty; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.

Daily News, July 29th 1905

 

THE SIN OF PROHIBITION


Today a criticism of Prohibition cannot be an attack; it can only be an autopsy. ... Prohibition has fallen down dead of its own crawling corruption; of the foul humours that infected its own body; and not by any adequate attack from without. It was, if ever there was one, a thing that failed because it had been tried; that found its doom because it had its chance; that was a practical failure because it was a practical fact; that was ruined, not by being frustrated but by being fulfilled; and came to its unnatural end because it had run its natural course. Prohibition died because it was deserted by Prohibitionists; even more than because it was always derided by sensible men and by men with a sense of history and civilization. It is true that there are still various legal entanglements, twisted and re-twisted by the unthinkable fanatics at the feverish moment of their power; but hardly anybody pretends that Prohibition is morally tenable or tolerable today, and indeed it is only a question of whether it is a repealed law or a dead letter. And as the autopsy may well be more elaborate and complete than the attack, I should like to point out especially that the poison that is present in the remains, the poison of which the victim undoubtedly died, is in fact a poison of a certain spiritual sort which is the worst enemy of life.

That poison is sin. And Prohibition perished because the spirit within it is sinful and has the quality of all the sins that destroy the soul. We pay the Prohibitionists far too high a compliment when we call them over-righteous or self-righteous or even Pharisaical. The evil was not really in any exaggeration of ethical seriousness; in the sense, for instance, in which the old Puritan might really be rather unbalanced in his horror at harlotry and the brazen profession of prostitution; or a sensitive person might go a little mad from the mere shock of encountering some madness of moral perversion. The evil of the thing lay much deeper, because it was not a narrowing of the moral sense; it was a violent dislocation and uprooting of the moral sense. The common conscience of sane people is a thing which I and others continue to call the voice of God; but anyhow it is the voice of Man. It is the healthy response of the universal human mind to certain ideas and it does not really differ very widely in its deliberate and conscious decisions; though of course it is modified by particular perils, particular duties of the moment, and the rest. Now if you take a normal person, a nice child, a reasonably trained man, a human being not falling short of the fulness of human nature, you will find that such a person knows that certain decisions are unjust, certain actions cruel, certain risks ordinary, certain matters a man’s own business, and so on. Only by perverting his conscience, only by making his mind crooked, can you induce him to believe that drinking beer is some thing like assassination or betrayal. And by the time that you have succeeded, you have ruined his moral sense. It is no longer a spontaneous spiritual thing; it is no longer a natural thing that can smell evil; it is only capable of repeating a dead, distorted lesson like something imposed by a mesmerist. That mesmerist is not a moralist. He is, in the most emphatic sense, an immoralist. He corrupts the conscience of the young.

Far too little attention has been paid to this point of very practical psychology. You wreck the tribunal of truth when you bribe or bully it into pronouncing the innocent guilty, just as you do when you similarly induce it to pronounce the guilty innocent. As it is with an innocent man, so it is with an innocent practice. You have to destroy all innocence to make anyone detest an innocent practice. By the time that you have persuaded a nice and normal child that it is wicked to fetch his poor old father a glass of ale, you have so bewildered the mind that it may end by saying it is not wicked to put prussic acid in the ale. The logical, mathematical, intellectually inevitable effect of doing this is a general loosening of all morality. It is also the actual effect; and there is the actual state of modern America to prove it. Begin with a heresy in morals, whether it be a negative or a permission, and it will ‘bid in the worst and wildest licence that could follow on the loosest permission. And if anyone doubts this psychological fact, which is also a theological truth, then let him explain the howling nightmare and hell of nonsense and anarchy that has actually followed in the track of the Prohibition Law.

True Temperance Quarterly, May, 1933

 

AUTOMATIC EVIL


A sophistry may affect the mind, but an obscenity must affect the mind; it is a violence. It may do one of two things equally direct and instinctive; it may shock purity or it may inflame impurity. But in both cases the process is brutal and irrational. A picture or a sentence which shocks sensibility or sharpens sensuality does not offer itself for discussion. It is no more open to argument than a squeaking slate pencil is open to argument, or the choking smell of ether is open to argument. The human victim is drugged — or he is sick.

Therefore (without carrying the parallel, of course, to any lengths of literalism), I think we may speak of indecorum as an assault. In the matter of violations of traditional public decency (however plausibly defended) I am entirely with the Puritans. The ordinary argument that sex can be treated calmly and freely like anything else is the most loathsome cant in this canting epoch. The parallels from other crimes are insolently fallacious. A man reading about a burglary is not any more likely to commit a burglary. A man who has seen a pocket picked is not in the least likely to become a pickpocket. But there is one evil which, by its hold on the imagination (the creative and reproductive part of man), can reproduce itself even by report. We have a right to protect ourselves and especially our top-heavy and groping children against startling and uncivilized appeals to this instinct. Heretics have a legal claim to persuade human souls to err and sin like human souls; they have no business to make them jump like monkeys on a stick. I have no more right to give an unwilling citizen a sexual shock than to give him an electric shock. I have no more right to come behind him and inflame his passions than to come behind him and inflame his coattails....

The appeal to animal appetite may succeed by its very familiarity. Indecency is not wild and lawless. The danger of indecency is exactly that it is tame, dull, direct, inevitable; a mere law in the members. It is automatic evil. Pride makes a man a devil; but lust makes him a machine.

Daily News, February 19th 1910

 

THE TYRANNICAL SCEPTIC


It is a total error to suppose that the possession of convictions — of hard, strong, unquenchable convictions — makes a man bigoted. It is quite the other way. The most bigoted people in the world are the people who have not got any convictions at all. It may seem an extreme or fanciful statement, but it is really true that there are no subjects in the world on which men are so noisy, so aggressive, so violent and angry even unto slaying, as the subjects about which they do not care. ... Men have said that the ground of bigotry is ignorance, but more is true than that: the ground of bigotry is indifference. There is one figure who has dominated history and been the oppressor of all religions, good and bad; all philosophies, true and false. He is the tyrannical sceptic — and his name is Pilate.

Black and White, March 7th, 1903

 

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME


The earnest Freethinkers need not worry themselves so much about the persecutions of the past. Before the Liberal idea is dead or triumphant, we shall see wars and persecutions the like of which the world has never seen. They need not reserve their tears for the victims of Bonner or Claverhouse. They may weep for them selves and for their children.

Daily News, February 18th, 1905

 

SKY SIGNS

The next great heresy is going to be simply an attack on morality; and especially on sexual morality. And it is coming, not from a few Socialists surviving from the Fabian Society, but from the living exultant energy of the rich resolved to enjoy themselves at last, with neither Popery nor Puritanism nor Socialism to hold them back. .... The roots of the new heresy, God knows, are as deep as nature itself, whose flower is the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eye and the pride of life. I say that the man who cannot see this cannot see the signs of the times; cannot see even the sky- signs in the street that are the new sort of signs in heaven. The madness of- tomorrow is not in Moscow but Manhattan — but most of what was in Broadway is already in Piccadilly.

 

THE MONSTROSITY


When a dead body is rotting, it does not diminish; it swells. Ignorance of this elementary truth is at the back of nearly all our political blindness. When we speak of a decaying people or a dying institution, we always have somehow the notion of their dwindling; of sparser and sparser tribes gathering on their mountains, of meaner and meaner buildings arising in their skies. But it is not so that social bodies really rot. They rot like physical bodies, being horribly distended from within by revolting gases demanding egress. Institutions, like corpses, grow larger and larger as they grow more and more shapeless. A dying monarchy is always one that has too much power, not too little; a dying religion always interferes more than it ought, not less. Our own country is really in this state of swollen decay, and the test of it is this: that every function of the State has grown more formless and more vast. Every power, public and private, has been stretched long past all sane definition and we live under a government of entangled exaggerations. It is a government that has all the practical effects of anarchy. Indeed, it is something worse than chaos; a warring polytheism. It is a conflict of incalculable autocracies, under any of which at the moment we may fall.

Daily News, March 11th, 1911

POLITICS AND DISCONTENT


Europe at present exhibits a concentration upon politics which is partly the unfortunate result of our loss of religion, partly the just and needful result of our social inequality and iniquity. These causes, however, will not remain in operation for ever. Religion is returning from her exile; it is more likely that the future will be crazily and corruptly superstitious, than that it will be merely rationalist... . On the other hand, our attempts to right the extreme imbalance of wealth must soon have some issue; something will be done to lessen the perpetual torture of incompetent compassion; some scheme will be substituted for our malevolent anarchy, if it be only one of benevolent servitude. And as these two special unrests about the universe and the State settle down into more silent and enduring systems, there will emerge more and more those primary and archaic truths which the dust of these two con flicts has veiled. The secondary questions relatively solved, we shall find ourselves all the more in the presence of the primary questions of man.

For at present we all, tend to one mistake; we tend to make politics too important. We tend to forget how huge a part of a man’s life is the same under a Sultan and a Senate, under Nero or St Louis. Daybreak is a never-ending glory, getting out of bed is a never-ending nuisance; food and friends will be welcomed: work and strangers must be accepted and endured: birds will go bedwards and children won’t, to the end of the last evening. And the worst danger is that in our modern revolt against intolerable accidents we may have unsettled those things that alone make daily life tolerable. . . . There is danger that the social reformer may silently and occultly develop some of the madness of the millionaire whom he denounces. He may find that he has learnt how to build playgrounds, but forgotten how to play. He may agitate for peace and quiet, but only propagate his own mental agitation. In his long fight to get a slave a half-holiday he may an deny those ancient and natural ‘things, the zest of being, the divinity of man, the sacredness of simple things, the health and humour of the earth, which alone make a half-holiday even half a holiday or a slave even half a man.

There .is danger in that modern phrase ‘divine discontent’. There is truth in it also, of course; but it is only truth of a special and secondary kind. Much of the quarrel between Christianity and the world has been due to this fact; that there are generally two truths, as it were, at any given moment, the ingenious, paradoxical truth suitable to some moment of revolt or reaction, and the ancient underlying truism which is nevertheless true all the time. It is sometimes worth while to point out that black is not so black as it is painted; but black is still black, and not white. So with the merits of content and discontent. It is true that in certain acute and painful crises of oppression or disgrace, discontent is a duty, and shame should call us like a trumpet. But it is not true that man should look at life with an eye of discontent, however high-minded. It is not true that .in his primary, naked relation to the world, in his relation to sex, to pain, to comradeship, to the grave or to the weather, man ought to make discontent his ideal; it is black lunacy. Half his poor little hopes of happiness hang on his thinking a small house pretty, a plain wife charming, a lame foot not unbearable, and bad cards not so bad. The voice of the special rebels and prophets, recommending discontent, should, as I have said, sound now and then suddenly, like a trumpet. But the voices of the saints and sages, recommending contentment, should sound unceasingly, like the sea.

T. P.’s Weekly, Christmas Number, 1910

 

AGAINST DIVINE DISCONTENT


I remember hearing a good deal about divine discontent from my early youth; indeed, rather specially in my early youth. For I was born towards the end of the Victorian age, which many writers, strangely enough, imagine to have been a time of conservative placidity and of people content with their stations in life. As a fact, it was exactly the opposite. It was the period during which two modern ideas came into the world and fought; a true idea that we must raise the economic as well as the political status of the poor; and a fake idea that every man must raise his own economic status, even if he kills everybody else and ultimately himself as well. To both of these different things the more earnest Victorians gave the name of ‘divine discontent’. But the mistake of the earnest Victorians was that they tried to make a new morality without having studied any really good philosophy. The thing became rhetoric and sentiment, a thing of words; and they got even the words mixed, as in this case.

For the truth is that the one thoroughly bad sort of discontent is divine discontent. We can all sympathize with human discontent. For human discontent means discontent with inhuman conditions. But divine discontent must really mean discontent with divine conditions. And curiously enough, that is exactly what it did mean in the older and wiser theologies and philosophies, where it was rightly branded as the source of all our woe. I am astonished that this simple truth has not been more simply seen. Thus, Mr Bernard Shaw once wrote a little book on the Bible; full of rather crude criticisms, I think, about the Fall and the Flood and the fear of the devil and all the rest. He judges them, of course, in the light of his familiar evolutionary fancy, that the Creator progresses as well as the Creation; indeed, it looks as if the Creation really creates the Creator. I have noted that the moderns lack philosophy. But I do dislike seeing a very clever man so clumsily missing the point; and in the matter of the Bible, the Fall and the Devil and so on, he does entirely miss the point. He tries to apply to such things the general sentiment of revolt which he feels as a Socialist and which any man may quite reasonably feel as a social reformer. But revolt or righteous indignation of that sort is always a discontent with bad conditions. The whole point of the spiritual revolt, dealt with in the Bible, is that it is always a revolt against good conditions.

I am not now bothering about Mr Shaw’s belief in the Bible. But I repeat that there is such a thing as seeing the point; and this is the point of the old moralities about the rebel angels or the rebellion of Adam, The point of the story of Satan is not that he revolted against being in hell, but that he revolted against being in heaven. The point about Adam is not that he was discontented with the conditions of the earth, but that he was discontented with the conditions of the earthly paradise. That is a totally different idea (and I will add a much deeper idea) than the obvious reasonableness of revolt against gross tyranny. And until it is understood once more, people will go on being discontented even with contentment. The rich will be even more discontented than the poor. They will explain that theirs is a divine discontent; and divine discontent is the very devil. You will observe that I use the term in a serious theological sense.

New York American, December 15th, 1932

RELIGION AND REVOLUTION


It has always seemed to me that the problem of religion arises most vividly after the problem of politics or economics has been solved. When we have satisfied men about the problem of their living, we shall then be instantly challenged to satisfy them about the problem of their life. Indeed, their depression will not be finally dealt with till we also satisfy them about the problem of their death. Getting rid of the fear of starvation is not getting rid of the fear of death. And how far men feel themselves under the shadow of death, how near death seems to them in the span. of their brief life, depends on all sorts of other matters connected with mood or creed or individual condition; but cannot possibly depend on the mere fact of their economic safety. Monks have a small and secure economic support, and feel one way about death; maniacs in asylums have a small and secure economic support, and feel quite another way about it. But those who fear death most and feel most the mutability of things and find their pleasures most poisoned by pessimism are often the most wealthy and luxurious people in the world. They quite frequently fear death, but they not infrequently hate life; and jump off liners or blow out their brains with revolvers. All this realm of reality is not concerned with prosperity, but with happiness. And when an economic revolution, whether reasonable or unreasonable, has given them prosperity, we have still to consider how to give them, happiness.

I have always done my best to claim for men this purely economic justice, though I would rather they had it with liberty in the Distributist way than with slavery in the Bolshevist way. But I never thought that filling their stomachs would stop all the movements of their minds. And their n still have to deal with two very terrible enemies of man, the one classed as a mere mood and the other as a cosmic conclusion; their names are Boredom and Despair.

New York American, April 1st, 1933

 

THE EVIL DAY


I think the time has come when I should say something in favour of Imperialism and Socialism, and it also happens by a delightful coincidence that I have actually thought of something favourable to say.

Anyone who wishes to do justice either to Imperialism or to Socialism should sharply remember the epoch in which they arose, I mean, of course, arose in this country, and recently. They are both as old as human error. Sparta was Socialistic and Babylon was Imperialist ... Now the great thing to be said for these two great exaggerations or heresies (and every heresy is a truth taught out of proportion) is that they were both rebellions against the age in which I was born. The society against which they raised their voices was a very intellectual and artistic society. I have felt its atmosphere and I truly think that if they had been silent, the very stones would have cried out.

This dark period began vaguely about 1870; that end of the great Liberal epoch, the year when Paris fell and when Dickens died. It spreads equally vaguely up to the retirement of Gladstone and the abandonment of Home Rule, the last Liberal crusade that was unmistakably Liberal and unmistakably dangerous. All that period was filled with emptiness. Oscar Wilde was justly its greatest man; because he alone could really do levity on a large scale. Its products include many men whom I count as my best friends — myself among others. But I can hardly think of one of them who would not have been both better and happier if he had been .born in any other period from the Stone Age to the Reign of Terror. For almost all other ages have set one enthusiasm against another; but of this brief and black age only can it be said that it sneered at enthusiasm simply for being enthusiastic. All men had dreaded the lightning because it was destruction; but these disdained the lightning because it was the light.

Daily News, June 26th, 1909

 

THE NECESSITY OF LUXURY


The great number of abuses peculiar to our present social state work back to that one great heresy which is the perversion of Darwin; I mean the heresy that man is an animal first and a spirit afterwards. The truth is that man is an animal and a spirit simultaneously, and his spiritual life is no more a luxury than his physical; except in the sense that he cannot rationally explain why he denies either of them. A humane and civilized happiness is one of man’s needs, not merely one of his pleasures. Luxury is itself a necessity. Man does not live by bread alone but, at the very lowest level of thought, by bread and butter. All arguments about the treatment of the poor which are based on the idea that we can make them first contented animals and then go on to their souls, are false down to the root. By giving a man just enough air, just enough oatmeal, just enough exercise, just enough cocoa, you can not make him a contented beast; but only a discontented man.... We shall never really get any further with our plans for the relief of distress until we have sufficient humility and sense of humour to leave off talking about what people need and bestow more attention on what they want.

The Open Review, July, 1906

 

THE CLUB


Mankind is not a tribe of animals to which we owe compassion. Mankind is a club to which we owe our subscription.

Daily News, April 10th, 1906

 

THE BIG THING AND THE SMALL


Sanity does not consist in seeing things; madmen see things more clearly than other people. Sanity consists in seeing the big things big and the small things small. A man can have this sense of pro portion even if he is wrong. ... Here is one case. Human society is the big and certain thing; pre-human evolution is the small and fanciful thing. To talk of ‘humanity’s’ place in evolution is to be foolish and topsy-turvy. We do not know there was any evolution in the sense that we know that there is humanity. Some men hold that they are the children of apes; some that they are the children of Adam or of Wrath or of Mumbo-Jumbo.

These are creeds. But all men know that they are men; all men know that they belong to a positive human society, with rules of justice and mercy, and that they cannot even conceive themselves belonging to anything else. We belong to a club which is so old that nobody knows anything about its origin. We only know that in this club alone we can get our meals; in this club alone we can meet our friends; in this club alone we can sleep or argue or organize or pray. This club holds endless debates about everything — stars, boots, biology, sacraments, Alps, origins. Among the many minor things our human club discusses (for the fun of the thing) is how the club itself arose. The question is all the more interesting because nobody can answer it; the origins are in the fog of the utterly forgotten. Still, it is amusing to guess, and this guess or that guess is fashionable at any given time. At one time the club accepts the view that it was founded by a Mr Adam. At another time it records a vote that it was probably an affiliated branch of the Monkey’s Club. But these discussions of the forgotten origins are meant to amuse the club. No one ever dreamt of their being allowed to destroy it. Yet they would certainly destroy the Human Club if once they meant that we were to be rude to the members or stingy to the waiters. This is the strongest instance I know of the big thing against the small; that Humanity is the huge house that I live in, while Evolution is the small but interesting animal which has quite recently asked to be domesticated in it.

Daily News, September 19th 1908

 

‘WORKING OUT THE BRUTE’


The worst result of popular evolutionism has been this. It has substituted the Beast for the Devil. It has made us think that our enemy is what they call our ‘lower nature’, which means our mere lusts and appetites, things entirely innocent in themselves. The most typical moderns have joined in this. Tennyson, for instance, spoke of moral improvement as ‘moving upward, working out the brute’. But was he right? Why should we work out the brute? I no more desire, as such, to work out the brute from my self than to work out the brute from between the shafts of a hansom cab. The hansom cab. The brute in me and the brute in the cab must both be kept in order. The brute in me and the brute in the cab have both very obvious uses. The thing that is wrong in us is not, as evolutionists say, the brute. The thing wrong in us is the devil, the austere, intellectual virgin devil of the medieval story. He will suffer for evil. He will perform heroic acts for evil...

Pigs are not corrupted with the Higher Imperialism. Tigers have no spiritual pride. Whales never sneer. Crocodiles are not (despite a pleasing legend) in the least hypocritical. On examining their exterior, it is difficult to understand why anyone ever gave them credit for so vivacious and ingenious a quality. The worst sins of all are the purely human sins. You may move upwards, working out the brute, and not work them out in the least. Nay, you may work them in. The less beastly you grow, the more bad you may grow.

Daily News, February 3rd, 1906

 

NEUROSIS


According to [a modern critic], it is morbid to confess your sins. I should say that the morbid thing is not to confess them. The morbid thing is to conceal your sins and let them eat your heart out, which is the happy state of most people in highly civilized communities.

Daily News, January i8th, 1908

THE BATTLE


The true secret and hope of human life is something much more dark and beautiful than it would be if suffering were a mark of sin. A mere scheme of rewards and punishments would be some thing much meaner and more mechanical than this exasperating and inspiring life of ours. An automatic scheme of ‘Karma’ or ‘reaping what we sow’ would be just as gross and material as sowing beans or reaping barley. It might satisfy mechanicians or monists or theosophists or cautious financiers, but not brave men. It is no paradox to say that the one thing that would make suffering intolerable would be the thought that it was systematically inflicted upon sinners. The one thing that would make our agony infamous would be the idea that it was deserved. On the other hand, the doctrine which makes it most endurable is exactly the opposite doctrine, that life is a battle in which the best put their bodies in the front, in which God sends only his holiest into the hail of the arrows of hell. In the book of Job is foreshadowed that better doctrine, full of a dark chivalry, that he that bore the worst that man can suffer was the best that bore the form of man.

The Speaker, September 9 1905

THE DECORATION


The Book of Job is better worth hearing than any modern philosophical conversation in the whole modern philosophical world. It is more philosophical. It is much more witty and humorous. It is, as that word is really meant, much more modern. From it the modern Agnostic may for the first time learn Agnosticism: a sane and sacred and manly ignorance. From it the modern Christian may with astonishment learn Christianity; learn, that is, that suffering may be a strange honour and not a vulgar punishment; that the King may be conferring a decoration when he pins the man on the cross, as much as when he pins the cross on the man.

Illustrated London News, February 10th, 1906

 

SURPRISE


Of one thing I am certain, that the age needs, first and foremost to be startled; to be taught the nature of wonder.

Black and White, February 14th, 1903

 

THE LITTLE THINGS


Sir Thomas Browne was an exalted mystic [whose mysticism] owed much to his literary style. Style, in his sense, did not merely mean sound, but an attempt to give some twist of wit or symbol ism to every clause or parenthesis; when he went over his work again, he did not merely polish brass, he fitted in gold. This habit of working with a magnifying glass, this turning and twisting of minor words, is the true parent of mysticism; for the mystic is not a man who reverences large things so much as a man who reverences small ones, who reduces himself to a point, without parts or magnitude, so that to him the grass is really a forest and the grasshopper a dragon. Little things please great minds.

The Speaker, December 15th, 1900

 

‘MERE PARADOX’


The simplest and commonest of all the causes which lead to the charge of ‘mere paradox’ being slung about as it is, is one fundamental assumption. Everybody takes it for granted that universal and ordinary arrangements, historic institutions, daily habits are reasonable. They are good, they are sensible, they are holy and splendid often enough, but they are not reasonable. They are themselves paradoxes; paradox is built into the very foundations of human affairs.

Black and White, February r 1903

 

THE HIPPOPOTAMUS AND THE CROCODILE


There is one central conception of the book of Job which literally makes it immortal, which will make it survive our modern time and our modern philosophies, as it has survived many better times and many better philosophies. That is the conception that the universe, if it is to be admired, is to be admired for its strangeness and not for its rationality, for its splendid unreason and not for its reason. Job’s friends attempt to comfort him with philosophical optimism, like the intellectuals of the eighteenth century. Job tries to com fort himself with philosophical pessimism, like the intellectuals of the nineteenth century. But God comforts Job with indecipherable mystery, and for the first time Job is comforted. Eliphaz gives one answer, Job gives another answer, and the question still remains an open wound. God simply refuses to answer, and somehow the question is answered. Job flings at God one riddle, God flings back at Job a hundred riddles, and Job is at peace. He is comforted with conundrums. For the grand and enduring idea in the poem, as suggested above, is that if we are to be reconciled to this great cosmic experience, it must be as something divinely strange and divinely violent, a quest or a conspiracy or some sacred joke. The last chapters of the colossal monologue of the Almighty are devoted, in a style superficially queer enough, to the detailed description of two monsters. Behemoth and Leviathan may or may not be the hippopotamus and the crocodile. But whatever they are, they are evidently embodiments of the enormous absurdity of nature. They typify that cosmic trait which anyone may see in the Zoological Gardens, the folly of the Lord which is wisdom. And in connection with one of them, God is made to utter a splendid satire upon the prim and orderly piety of the vulgar optimist. ‘Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? Wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?’ That is the main message of the book of Job. What ever this cosmic monster may be, a good animal or a bad animal, he is at least a wild animal and not a tame animal. It is a wild world and not a tame world.

The Speaker, September 9 1905

CHANGE AND DECAY


All this talk about optimism and pessimism is itself a dismal fall from the old talk about right and wrong. Our fathers said that a nation had sinned and suffered, like a man. We say it has decayed, like a cheese.

Illustrated London News, July 10th, 1920

 

A LOCAL HABITATION


It is not enough for a religion to include everything. It must include everything and something over. That is, it must include everything and include something as well. It must answer that deep and mysterious human demand for something as distinct from the demand for everything, even if the nature of that demand be too deep to be easily defined in logic. It will never cease to be described in poetry. We might almost say that all poetry is a description of it. Even when you have only natural religion, you will still have supernatural poetry. And it will be poetic because it is particular, not because it is general. The new priest may proclaim, ‘The sea is God, the land is God and the sky is God; but yet there are not three Gods, but one God’. But even if the old priest be silenced, the old poet will always answer, ‘God is in a cave; God is in a stable; God is disguised and hidden. I alone’ know where he is; he is herding the cattle of Admetus, he is pouring out the wine of Cana.’ The new republic may make the philosophical declaration, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all trees are evolved equal and endowed with the dignity of creative evolution.’ But if in the silence that follows we overhear the poor nurse or the peasant mother telling fairy tales to the children, she will always be saying, ‘And in the seventh garden beyond the seventh gate was the tree with the golden apples’; or ‘They sailed and sailed until they came to an island, and on the island was a meadow, and in the meadow the tree of life’..

Now if this particularism always stubbornly recurs even in poetry, how can it be left out of philosophy? What is the meaning of this incurable itch to give to airy nothing, or still more airy everything, a local habitation and a name? Why is it always some thing at once odd and objective, a precious fruit or a flying cup or a buried key, that symbolizes the mystery of the world? Why should not the world symbolize the world? Why should not a sphere sufficiently symbolize universalism, so that the faithful might be found adoring a plum-pudding or a cannon-ball? Why should not a spiral sufficiently represent progress, and the pious bow down before a corkscrew? In practice we know that it would be impossible to dissociate a Christmas pudding from the sacramental specialism of Christmas; and the worship of the corkscrew, that hieratic serpent, would probably be traced to the mysteries of Dionysius. In a word, why are all mysteries concerned with the notion of finding a particular thing in a particular place? If we are to find the real meaning of every element in mythology, what is the real meaning of that element in it? I can see only one possible answer that satisfies the new more serious and sympathetic study of religion, even among sceptics, and that is that there really is something to which all these fancies are what forgeries are to a signature; that if the soul could be satisfied with the truth, it would find it a tale as particular, as positive and as personal; that the light which we follow first as a wide white star actually narrows as we draw nearer to it, till we find that the trailing meteor is something like a light in a window or a candle in a room.

New Witness, July 15th, I921

 

SACRAMENT OR MAGIC


Whenever men really believe that they can get to the spiritual, they always employ the material. When the purpose is good, it is bread and wine; when the purpose is evil, it is eye of newt and toe of frog.

Illustrated London News, September 22nd, 1906

 

THE CONCRETE AND THE ABSTRACT


Thinkers of [a certain] school have a tendency to believe that the concrete is the symbol of the abstract. The truth, the truth at the root of all mysticism, is quite the other way. The abstract is the symbol of the concrete. This may possibly seem at first sight a paradox; but it is a purely transcendental truth. We see a green tree. It is the green tree that we cannot understand; it is the green tree which we fear; it is the green tree which we worship. Then, because there are so many green trees, so many men, so many elephants, so many butterflies, so many daisies, so many animalculae, we coin a general term ‘Life’. And then the mystic comes and says that a green tree symbolizes life. It is not so. Life symbolizes a green tree. Just in so far as we get into the abstract, we get away from the reality, we get away from the mystery, we get away from the tree. And this is the reason that so many transcendental discourses are merely blank and tedious to us, because they have to do with Truth and Beauty and the Destiny of the Soul and all the great faint, jaded symbols of the reality. And this is why poetry is so interesting to us, because it has to do with sides, with woods, with battles, with temples, with women and with wine, with the ultimate miracles which no philosopher could create. The difference between the concrete and the abstract is the difference between the country and the town. God made the concrete, but man made the abstract. A truthful man is a miracle, but the truth is a commonplace. -

The Speaker, May 31st, 1902

 

THE LIGHT AND THE HEAT


The Jews, with their wonderful instinct for practical religion, swore that he who looked upon Jehovah died; but in a large number of transcendental schools and sages the sentence of death has been commuted to a doom of gibbering idiocy. To the Buddhists was given a conception of God of extraordinary intellectual purity; but in growing familiar with the featureless splendour, they have lost their heads; they babble; they say that everything is nothing and nothing is everything, that black is white because white is black. We fancy that the frightful universal negatives at which they have at last arrived, are really little more than the final mental collapse of men trying always to find an abstraction big enough for all things. ‘I have said what I understood not, things too great for me that I know not. I will put my hand upon my mouth.’ Job was a wise man. ... Buddhism stands for a simplification of the mind and a reliance on the most indestructible ideas; Christianity stands for a simplification of the heart and a reliance on the most indestructible sentiments. The greater Christian insistence upon personal deity and immortality is not, we fancy, the cause so much as the effect of this essential trend towards an ancient passion and pathos as the power that most nearly rends the veil from the nature of things. Both creeds grope after the same secret sun, but Buddhism dreams of its light and Christianity of its heat. Buddhism seeks after God with the largest conception it can find, the all-producing and all-absorbing One; Christianity seeks after God with the most elementary passion it can find — the craving for a father, the hunger that is as old as the hills. It turns the whole cry of a lost universe into the cry of a lost child.

The Speaker, November 17th, 1900

 

A NOTE ON COMPARATIVE RELIGION


Christianity is not a religion; it is a Church. There may be a Moslem religion; but it would not come natural to anybody to talk about the Moslem Church. There may be a Buddhist religion; but nobody would call it the Buddhist Church. ... I say that the very idea of a Catholic Church is sui generis, apart from claims to embody it. I am not now talking about the comparison with Christian heresies, but of the comparison with heathen religions. It does indeed illustrate the incongruous and incomparable assortment of rival religions that one of them does actually belong to this other category. One of the heathen religions really is a Christian heresy. The more we know of the great Moslem movement, the more we see that it was really a post-Christian revision, or subsequent simplification rather like the Arian movement. Of the other things that we call Eastern religions many existed before Christianity, and almost any might have existed without Christianity. I take it as certain that Islam would never have existed without Christianity. I take it to be as clear as that Calvinism or Lollardism or Lutheranism would never have existed without Christianity. Nor was the Moslem movement in the modern sense anti-Christian. It gave to Christ as high a moral position as is given Him by most Unitarians, and indeed a more supernatural status than is given by some Broad Churchmen. To do Mahomet justice, his main attack was against the idolatries of Asia....

Now we might apply this principle of differentiation to each of the rival religions in turn. Each of them is not only in a different category from the Catholic Church, but in a different category from the others. Islam, if it is to go into a class at all, ought not to go into a class of Islam, Christianity, Confucianism and Brahminism, but rather into a class of Islam, Manicheeism, Pelagianism and Protestantism. In the same way, Buddha ought not really to go into a class of Buddha, Christ, Mahomet and the rest; but rather into some such class as Buddha, Pythagoras, Plato and so on. He belongs to that class of philosophical mystics for whom what we commonly call religion was really only symbolical, and the main matter was a metaphysical unification. He may have had some of the virtues of a saint, but he was in reality a sage. He may have been what we call an idealist; he was also something very like a pessimist. But anyhow he was not a Church and did not found a Church. To consider what he did found, we should have to go back to the foundations in Brahminism; and when we do so, we find that this in turn is not another variation of the same thing, but an utterly different sort of thing with variations of its own. It is rather an old popular mythology, like our own old pagan mythology. At the back of it Brahminism is probably nature-worship, and Buddhism is certainly the very opposite of nature-worship. It would be true to call it an iconoclasm directed to destroy the idol called nature.

Finally, it is fairly clear that Confucianism is not a religion, unless the English public-school system is a religion or the Kultur of imperial Germany was a religion. In a sense they may be so described, since everything rests on a conscious or unconscious religion, or negation of religion. But nobody would call any of them a Church; and nobody can compare them with a Church calling itself dogmatic and divine. All these disparate things, of which one is an imitation and another a doubt and another a book - of etiquette, have nothing in common except that they are none of them Churches; and that they are all examples of the various things in which man might be expected to experiment in the absence of a Church....

It is a simple and historical fact about the Catholic Church that its character is as extraordinary as its claim. It is not merely the only thing that deserves a particular kind of service; it is the only thing that asks for it. It is quite possible to be a pagan and hate the Church; it is equally possible to be a pessimist and hate the universe. But there is one Church exactly as there is one universe; and no wise man will wander about looking for another.

Blackfriars, March, 1923

 

ASSIMILATION AND REJECTION


The instant it is said that we should take the good things from every atmosphere or system, an immediate question springs to the lips. But what about the bad things? ... A religion should not only be instinctively absorbent of whatever is consonant with its ideal; it should be instinctively resistant to anything that is against that ideal. Men look to a faith to purge them of all native poisons as well as to develop all native functions and pleasures. A Church should have drainage as well as ventilation. It should drive bad smells out as well as let good smells in; it should not only cast out devils, but keep them out.

Daily News, March 19th, 1910

 

THE WINTER FEAST


It is the greatest glory of the Christian tradition that it has incorporated so many Pagan traditions. But it is most glorious of all, to my mind, when they are popular traditions. And the best and most obvious example is the way in which Christianity did incorporate, in so far as it did incorporate, the old human and heathen conception of the Winter Feast....

There is a perfectly natural parallel between a religion that defies the world and a ritual that defies the weather. Heathenism in the sense of hedonism, the concentration of the mind on pure pleasure as such, would chiefly concentrate on the conception of a Summer Feast. But in winter even a rich man receives some faint hint of the problem of a poor man; he may avoid being hungry, but he cannot always avoid being cold. To choose that moment of common freezing for the assertion of common fraternity is, in its own intrinsic nature, a foreshadowing of what we call the Christian idea. It involves the suggestion that joy comes from within and not from without. It involves the suggestion that peril and the potentiality of pain are themselves a ground for gratitude and rejoicing. It involves the suggestion that even when we are merely Pagans, we are not merely Pantheists. We are not merely nature worshippers; because a man smiles when nature frowns. It has always involved, under varying limitations in varying societies, the idea of hospitality, especially hospitality to the stranger and generally to the poor. Of course there are perfectly natural reasons for wanting to drink wine or warm ourselves at the fire in winter; but that is not an answer, except to those who have the ill-informed prejudice that Christianity must be opposed to things merely because they are natural. The point is in making a point of it; the special interest is in the special occasion, in the fact that during the Winter Feast, whether Pagan or Christian, there always was in some degree the idea of extending the enjoyment to others, of passing round the wine or seating the wanderer by the hearth. It is no controversial point against the Christians that they felt they could take up and continue such traditions among the Pagans; it only shows that the Christians knew a Christian thing when they saw it.

The real history of Christmas is very relevant to the real crisis of Christendom. We live in a terrible time of war and rumour of war; with a barbaric danger of the real reaction that goes back, not to the old form, but to the old formlessness. International idealism in its effort to hold the world together in a peace that can resist wars and revolutions, is admittedly weakened and often disappointed. I should say simply that it does not go deep enough. Christianity could draw life out of the depths of Paganism; but mere Modernism cannot draw on the depths of either. Charity is too much of a manufactured article and too little of a natural product. The League of Nations is too new to be natural. The modern materialistic humanitarianism is too young to be vigorous. If we really wish to make vivid the horrors of destruction and mere disciplined murder, we must see them more simply as attacks on the hearth and the human family. If we want to talk about poverty, we must talk about it as the hunger of a human being, a pain as positive as toothache; and not as the fall in wages or the failure of imports or even the lowering of the economic standard of living. We must say first of the beggar, not that there is insufficient housing accommodation but that he has nowhere to lay his head. We must say first of the human family, not that there are no jobs for them in the factory, but that there is no room for them in the inn. That is, we must talk of the human family in language as plain and practical and positive as that in which mystics used to talk of the Holy Family. We must learn again to use the naked words that describe a natural thing, and dispense for a moment with all those sociological polysyllables with which an artificial society has learned to talk of it as an artificial thing. Then we shall draw on the driving force of many thousand years, and call up a real humanitarianism out of the depths of humanity.

G. K.’s Weekly, January 2nd, 1936

 

THE THREE GIFTS


There were three things prefigured and promised by the gifts in the cave of Bethlehem concerning the Child who received them; that He should be crowned like a King: that He should be worshipped like a God; and that He should die like a man. And these things would sound like Eastern flattery, were it not for the third.

G. K.’s Weekly, December 12th, 1931

 

THE SPRING IN THE SOUL


Easter which opens on earth the gateway of the Spring, has been for all our race and culture the season of Resurrection. But in diseased conditions like our own there has come to be a standing quarrel between two schools about the order of the two ideas. Christians and all inhabiters of the ancient culture feel that Spring is the symbol of Easter. Materialists, notably all sorts of atheist anthropologists, hold that Easter was only a symbol of spring. Professors of folklore insisted that primitive men (with whom they seemed to be on very intimate terms) had made up a rather unnatural masquerade of myth, merely to cover the natural facts of experience. By the time that common sense began to pluck up courage to question what were called the Conclusions of Science, it became apparent that there were a good many questions which science could not answer, and a good many points on which her conclusions were anything but conclusive. Why should anyone want to cover up ordinary facts with an extraordinary story? Why should anybody think he could keep the grass a secret by the invention of a grass-god? And why could not primitive man be primitive enough to leave plain facts as they were? Was it not much more natural to imagine flowers or foliage as ornaments for a god or hero than to imagine a hollow idol invented only to stand between men and flowers? Is it not more sane to say that the visible renewal of the earth gives hints or signs to those who already believe in heaven? But whatever mysteries were accepted by the ancient pagans have become mere mystifications in the minds of the modern Pantheists. I imagine no man’s mind was ever in so complete a muddle as the mind of the great poet Shelley when he wrote the famous line, ‘If winter comes, can spring be far behind?’

To begin with, the more chilly are in the habit of reminding the poet that when Winter comes, Spring is at least a quarter of the year behind. But it will also strike the natural man (as distinct from that most unnatural man whom we call the nature-worship per) that it would be just as easy to turn the phrase from optimism to pessimism by taking another section of the year. It would be quite as sensible to say, ‘If summer comes, can autumn be far behind?’ And it is probably within the range of the intelligence, even of a pantheist surveying the whole universe, to foresee that Winter will not only come, but will certainly come again. There is nothing but nonsense, therefore, in all pretences that the mere round of Nature itself is the source of our highest hopes or could by itself have evolved all that is meant by Resurrection. It is the soul that has received an unspeakable secret from heaven which it can only express in images of the earth, and naturally expresses in terms of the temporary resurrections of the earth. In other words, it uses Spring as a symbol of Easter; not Easter as a symbol of Spring. Anyone who will compare the beautiful lines of Shelley with some equally beautiful lines in one of Mr Belloc’s sonnets will measure the difference made by a philosophy that happens to make sense.

For as you pass, the natural life of things
Proclaims the Resurrection; as you pass,
Remembered summer shines along the grass
And something in me of the immortal sings.

Here the poet does not talk as if next spring would last for ever; on the contrary, he talks of last summer that is already dead. But he can sing over both because of something in him different which does not die.

In this Spring more than all the other Springs, in this Easter more than all other Easters, we have to face the awful exaltation of that truth. I mean the truth that Resurrection is of faith and not of any false analogy from the senses or the seasons. Three things at least, peculiar to the present time, prevent us from identifying that hope with a revival or riot of vegetation. First, the beautiful condition to which a few centuries of progress have reduced half the landscapes of the land. Remembered summer does not shine along the grass in Pudsey or Wigan, because there is no grass to shine. The natural life of things does not proclaim the Resurrection in Sheffield and Huddersfield, because the life of things is not natural. It is only the supernatural life that dares to proclaim it there. Poets cannot describe the town landscapes as changing with the spring. They cannot say that in the spring a brighter scarlet glows in the suburban pillar-box, or in the spring the wanton policeman gets himself another crest or even another helmet. It is only human hopefulness that can see any hope in the human institution of the pillar-box; and only by a great act of faith do we affirm that policemen shall rise again from the dead. Nature cannot help us now, even as a symbol; for industrialism has destroyed the natural, but it cannot destroy the supernatural.

Second, we shall not fall into the pantheist fallacy of Shelley because it is only too likely that Nature, in the sense of immediate material resourses, will take on a sterner aspect in later and darker days; the days in which nature-worshippers become devil-worshippers. Merely natural optimists will become very unnatural pessimists— and it will be quite natural.

Lastly, the very task before us is enough to prove that things begin in the mind and that the spirit must blow its trumpet before any resurrection. For we are trying to bring back a Spring that as yet only exists in the spirit; to create grass and green things which must exist in a dream before they can exist in a landscape; the growth of which will be a miracle in the sense of something turn ing back the whole trend and movement of the earth. A Revolution is a mild thing compared with a Resurrection; and nothing less can raise us from the dead.

G. K.’s Weekly, March 26th, 1932

 

THE PERSON OF JESUS CHRIST


Chesterton had been invited to reply to an article in The Hibbert Journal, which had challenged our Lord’s divinity and attributed human fallibility and error, to His teaching. He begins by saying that he intends to speak of ‘the actual Jesus as He appears in the New Testament; not as He appears to a believer, but as He appears to anybody; as He appeared to me when I was an agnostic; as He appeared and still appears to pagans when they first read about Him.’ If, therefore, he says, I speak of Him in this article with something that even sounds like levity, let it be understood that l am speaking for the sake of argument of a hypothetical human Jesus in the Syrian documents and not of that divine personality in whom I believe.’

‘Now, the thing that strikes me most about [the critic] is that he is wrong on the facts. He is especially wrong on the primary fact of what sort of person the Jesus of the Gospels appears to be. The whole of [his] contention is ultimately this; that when we look, so to speak, through the four windows of the Evangelists at this mysterious figure, we can see there a recognizable Jew of the first century, with the traceable limitations of such a man. Now this is exactly what we do not see. If we must put the thing profanely and without sympathy, what we see is this: an extraordinary being who would certainly have seemed as mad in one century as another, who makes a vague and vast claim to divinity, who constantly contradicts himself, who imposes impossible commands, who where he seems wrong to us would certainly have seemed quite as wrong to anybody else, who where he seems right to us is often in tune with matters not ancient but modern, such, for instance, as the adoration of children. For some of his utterances men might fairly call him a maniac; for others, men long centuries afterwards might justly call him a prophet. But what nobody can possibly call him is a Galilean of the time of Tiberius. That was not how he appeared to his own family who tried to lock him up as a lunatic. That is not how he appeared to his own nation, who lynched him, still shuddering at his earth-shaking blasphemies. The impression produced on sceptics, ancient and modern, is not that of limits, but rather of a dangerous absence of limits; a certain shapelessness and mystery of which one cannot say how far it will go. . . . The thing to say about Jesus, if you do not like Him, is that He was a megalomaniac like Nero or a mystagogue like Cagliostro. But whether or no He was small, it is plain that the Gospels are too small for Him. Whether or no He is large, He is too large for the stage....

If I take it for granted (as most modern people do) that Jesus of Nazareth was one of the ordinary teachers of men, then I find Him splendid and suggestive indeed, but full of riddles and outrageous demands, by no means so workable and everyday an adviser as many heathens and many Jesuits. But if I put myself hypothetically into the other attitude, the case becomes curiously arresting and even thrilling. If I say ‘Suppose the Divine did really walk and talk upon the earth, what should we be likely to think of it?’ — then the foundations of my mind are moved. So far as I can form any conjecture, I think we should see in such a being exactly the perplexities that we see in the central figure of the Gospels: I think he would seem to us extreme and violent; because he would see some further development in virtue which would be for us untried. I think he would seem to us to contradict himself; because, looking down on life like a map, he would see a connection between things which to us are disconnected. I think, how ever, that he would always ring true to our own sense of right, but ring (so to speak) too loud and too clear. He would be too good but never too bad for us: ‘Be ye perfect.’ I think would be, in the nature of things, some tragic collision between him and the humanity he had created, culminating in something that would be at once a crime and an expiation. I think he would be blamed as a hard prophet for dragging down the haughty, and blamed also as a weak sentimentalist for loving the things that cling in corners, children or beggars. I think, in short, that he would give us a sensation that he was turning all our standards upside down, and yet also a sensation that he had undeniably put them the right way up. So, if I had been a Greek sage or an Arab poet before Christ, I should have figured to myself, in a dream, what would actually happen if this earth bore secretly the father of gods and men. In the abstract, it may be that it is still only a dream. Between those who think it is a dream and those who do not, is to be waged the great war of our future in which all these frivolities will be forgotten.

Hibbert Journal, July, 1909

 

THE DIVINE COMEDY


At the beginning and at the end of all life, learned and ignorant, there is the abiding truth that in the inmost theatre of the soul of man, with a scenery of bottomless infinities and appalling abstractions, there is always going forward one ancient mystery play in which there are only two characters.

The Speaker, February 9th 1901

 

THE DRAGON


The following is the last sentence of Chesterton’s first published essay; it appeared in the first number of The Debater, the journal of the famous J.D.C. at St Paul’s School. In spite of its schoolboy rhetoric, it expresses something of which Chester ton’s whole literary career was, in a very real sense, a fulfilment.

Reader, when you or I meet him [the dragon], under whatever disguise, and perhaps rescue a few captives from his black cavern, may we bear a brave lance and a spotless shield through the crashing mêlée of life’s narrow lists and may our wearied swords have struck fiercely on the painted crests of Imposture and Injustice when the Dark Herald comes to lead us to the pavilion of the King.

The Debater, March—April, 1891