He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down…All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does.Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough.Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know.She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
In Him we have . . . the forgiveness of sins . . . —Ephesians 1:7Beware of the pleasant view of the fatherhood of God: God is so kind and loving that of course He will forgive us. That thought, based solely on emotion, cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. The only basis on which God can forgive us is the tremendous tragedy of the Cross of Christ. To base our forgiveness on any other ground is unconscious blasphemy. The only ground on which God can forgive our sin and reinstate us to His favor is through the Cross of Christ. There is no other way! Forgiveness, which is so easy for us to accept, cost the agony at Calvary. We should never take the forgiveness of sin, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and our sanctification in simple faith, and then forget the enormous cost to God that made all of this ours.Forgiveness is the divine miracle of grace. The cost to God was the Cross of Christ. To forgive sin, while remaining a holy God, this price had to be paid. Never accept a view of the fatherhood of God if it blots out the atonement. The revealed truth of God is that without the atonement He cannot forgive— He would contradict His nature if He did. The only way we can be forgiven is by being brought back to God through the atonement of the Cross. God’s forgiveness is possible only in the supernatural realm.Compared with the miracle of the forgiveness of sin, the experience of sanctification is small. Sanctification is simply the wonderful expression or evidence of the forgiveness of sins in a human life. But the thing that awakens the deepest fountain of gratitude in a human being is that God has forgiven his sin. Paul never got away from this. Once you realize all that it cost God to forgive you, you will be held as in a vise, constrained by the love of God.
We, according to the Scriptures, plainly believe that Christ hath, by his righteousness, merited for us grace and glory; that we are blessed with all spiritual blessings, in, through, and for him; that he is made unto us righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; that he hath procure for us, and that God for his sake bestoweth on us, every grace in this life that maketh us differ from others, and all that glory we hope for in that which is to come; he procured for us remission of all our sins, an actual reconciliation with God, faith, and obedience.
Secondly, the proper counsel and intention of God in sending his Son into the world to die was, that thereby he might confirm and ratify the new covenant to his elect, and purchase for them all the good things which are contained in the tenure of that covenant, - to wit, grace and glory; that by his death he might bring many (yet some certain) children to glory, obtaining for them that were given unto him by his Father (that is, his whole church) reconciliation with God, remission of sins, faith, righteousness, sanctification, and life eternal.
Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It's our faith that he experienced everything- absolutely everything. Sometimes we don't think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don't experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows that moment when the brakes locked and the car started to skid. He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced the gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced Napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level, he understands the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, "And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." (Matthew 28:20) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two-year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He's been there. He's been lower than all that. He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save his people in their imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief.You know that people who live above a certain latitude and experience very long winter nights can become depressed and even suicidal, because something in our bodies requires whole spectrum light for a certain number of hours a day. Our spiritual requirement for light is just as desperate and as deep as our physical need for light. Jesus is the light of the world. We know that this world is a dark place sometimes, but we need not walk in darkness. The people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, and the people who walk in darkness can have a bright companion. We need him, and He is ready to come to us, if we'll open the door and let him.
But how does the Atonement motivate, invite, and draw all men unto the Savior? What causes this gravitational pull-- this spiritual tug? There is a certain compelling power that flows from righteous suffering-- not indiscriminate suffering, not needless suffering, but righteous, voluntary suffering for another. Such suffering for another is the highest and purest form of motivation we can offer to those we love. Contemplate that for a moment: How does one change the attitude or the course of conduct of a loved one whose every step seems bent on destruction? If example fails to influence, words of kindness go unheeded, and the powers of logic are dismissed as chaff before the wind, then where does one turn...In the words of the missionary evangelist, E. Stanley Jones, suffering has "an intesnse moral appeal." Jones once asked Mahatma Gandhi as he sat on a cot in an open courtyard of Yervavda jail, "'Isn't your fasting a species of coercion?' 'Yes,' he said very slowly, 'the same kind of coercion which Jesus exercises upon you from the cross.'" As Jones reflected upon that sobering rejoinder, he said: "I was silent. It was so obviously true that I am silent again every time I think of it. He was prfoundly right. The years have clarified it. And I now see it for what it is: a very morally potent and redenptive power if used rightly. But it has to be used rightly.
The Biblical writers not only had no knowledge of these things, but they had a perverted concept of life and the universe. Their concept was that man was a victim of blood pollution and his only salvation was by a blood atonement.I remember once seeing a small pamphlet entitled, 'What the Bible Teaches about Morality.' On opening the little booklet, it was discovered to be nothing but blank pages! Another such pamphlet might very appropriately be published entitled, 'What the Bible Reveals about Disease, Medicine and Health,' and blank pages should be used for all the Bible contains about these vital subjects.On the contrary, these benefits have been denounced by the believers in the Bible, and by the representatives of the Bible's deity as being contrary to 'God's Plan.' Does not the Bible plainly state that only by the sweat of his brow is man to labor for the bread he eats? Here is the exact Biblical quotation: 'In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread...' and why? Only because he sought knowledge.And does not the Bible God place a curse upon man for the knowledge that has been such a solace and benefit to him? Here is another exact Biblical quotation: '... cursed be the ground for thy sake; in pain thou shalt eat of it all the days of thy life.'The Bible is a lie.It is a fake and a fraud.I denounce this book and its God. I hold it in utter detestation.Every man and woman who has contributed to the relief of the pain and suffering of humanity has been an infidel to the Bible God! Every new invention, every new discovery for the benefit of man violates these Biblical edicts!I say, seek knowledge—defy this tyrant God—it is your only salvation.
The seriousness of throwing over hell whilst still clinging to the Atonement is obvious. If there is no punishment for sin there can be no self-forgiveness for it. If Christ paid our score, and if there is no hell and therefore no chance of our getting into trouble by forgetting the obligation, then we can be as wicked as we like with impunity inside the secular law, even from self-reproach, which becomes mere ingratitude to the Savior. On the other hand, if Christ did not pay our score, it still stands against us; and such debts make us extremely uncomfortable. The drive of evolution, which we call conscience and honor, seizes on such slips, and shames us to the dust for being so low in the scale as to be capable of them. The 'saved' thief experiences an ecstatic happiness which can never come to the honest atheist: he is tempted to steal again to repeat the glorious sensation. But if the atheist steals he has no such happiness. He is a thief and knows that he is a thief. Nothing can rub that off him. He may try to sooth his shame by some sort of restitution or equivalent act of benevolence; but that does not alter the fact that he did steal; and his conscience will not be easy until he has conquered his will to steal and changed himself into an honest man...Now though the state of the believers in the atonement may thus be the happier, it is most certainly not more desirable from the point of view of the community. The fact that a believer is happier than a sceptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality of happiness, and by no means a necessity of life. Whether Socrates got as much happiness out of life as Wesley is an unanswerable question; but a nation of Socrateses would be much safer and happier than a nation of Wesleys; and its individuals would be higher in the evolutionary scale. At all events it is in the Socratic man and not in the Wesleyan that our hope lies now.Consequently, even if it were mentally possible for all of us to believe in the Atonement, we should have to cry off it, as we evidently have a right to do. Every man to whom salvation is offered has an inalienable natural right to say 'No, thank you: I prefer to retain my full moral responsibility: it is not good for me to be able to load a scapegoat with my sins: I should be less careful how I committed them if I knew they would cost me nothing.'
The priest rose to take up the crucifix; at that, she strained her neck forward like someone who is thirsty, and, pressing her lips to the body of the Man-God, she laid upon it with all her expiring strength the most passionate kiss of love she had ever given. Then he recited the Miserateur and the Indulgentiam, dipped his right thumb in the oil, and began he unctions: first on the eyes, which had so coveted all earthly splendors; then on the nostrils, greedy for mild breezes and the smells of love; then on the mouth, which had opened to utter lies, which had moaned with pride and cried out in lust; then on the hands, which had delighted in the touch of smooth material; and lastly on the soles of the feet, once so quick when she hastened to satiate her desires and which now would never walk again.
Así que desandaría el camino que había recorrido, recorrería hacia atrás todo lo que había avanzado, cruzando marisma resecas y lóbregas, sobrepasando al sargento feroz en el puente, atravesaría el pueblo bombardeado, seguiría a lo largo de la cinta de la carretera los kilómetros de onduladas tierras de labranza, buscando el camino a la izquierda en el lindero del pueblo, enfrente de la zapatería, y tres kilómetros más allá saltaría la alambrada de púas y cruzaría los bosques y los campos hasta la estancia de una noche en la granja de los hermanos, y al día siguiente, a la amarilla luz de la mañana, siguiendo el balanceo de pequeños valles y arroyuelos y enjambres de abejas y tomaría el sendero en cuesta que llevaba a la triste casona junto al ferrocarril. Y el árbol. Recoger del barro los andrajos de ropa quemada y rayada, los jirones del pijama y luego descolgarle, al pobre chico pálido, y hacerle un entierro decente. Un chico guapo.
Un racconto era diretto e semplice, non ammetteva alcuna intrusione tra lei e il lettore - nessun intermediario con le proprie personali ambizioni e incompetenze, nessuna urgenza di tempo, nessun limite alle risorse disponibili. In un racconto bastava desiderare, e poi mettere per iscritto il desiderio, e potevi crearti un mondo; in un dramma invece ti toccava fare con quello che avevi a disposizione: niente cavalli, niente strade di un villaggio, niente mare. Niente sipario. Sembrava talmente ovvio, adeso che era troppo tardi: il racconto era una sorta di telepatia. Attraverso la trascrizione di segni sulla pagina, lei era in grado di trasferire pensieri e sentimenti dalla sua mente a quella del lettore. Era un processo magico, tanto comune che nessuno si soffermava a rifletterci. Leggere una frase coincideva con il comprenderla; come nel caso del gesto di piegare un dito, tra il prima e il dopo non c'era nulla. Non esisteva intervallo che precedesse la comprensione dei segni. Vedevi la parola castello ed eccolo là, in lontananza, circondato da frondosi boschi estivi, immerso nell'aria dolce e azzurrina tagliata dal filo di fumo che sale dalla bottega del fabbro, con una strada di ciottoli che sparisce serpeggiando nell'ombra verde.
Az első gondolatot mindig egy második követi, egyik rejtély szüli a másikat: vajon ugyanannyira élő-e mindenki más, mint ő maga? A nővére például számít-e önmagának, ugyanolyan fontos-e önmaga számára, mint Briony? Ceciliának lenni, az vajon ugyanolyan élettől pezsgő állapot-e, mint Brionynak lenni? Van-e nővérének is hullámtörés mögé rejtett titkos, igazi énje, és tölt-e vele időt, gondolkozik-e rajta, arca elé tartva egyik kinyújtott ujját? Van-e mindenkinek, apját, Bettyt, Hardmant is beleértve? Ha igen, akkor a világ, a társadalmi világ elviselhetetlenül bonyolult, kétmilliárd hang szól benne, és mindenkinek egyformán fontosak a gondolatai, mindenki egyformán ragaszkodhat foggal-körömmel az élethez, miközben egyedülállónak hiszi önmagát, pedig senki sem az. Az ember akár bele is fulladhat a jelentéktelenségbe.
A nessuno importerà quali individui siano stati modificati per costruire un romanzo. Lo so, c’è sempre un certo tipo di lettore che si sentirà in dovere di chiedere: Ma che cosa è successo veramente? La risposta è semplice: gli amanti sopravvivono, felici. Finché resterà anche una sola copia, un unico dattiloscritto della mia stesura finale, la mia Arabella dall'animo sincero e il suo principe-dottore sopravviveranno per amarsi. Il problema in questi cinquantanove anni è stato un altro: come può una scrittrice espiare le proprie colpe quando il suo potere assoluto di decidere dei destini altrui la rende simile a Dio? Non esiste nessuno, nessuna entità superiore a cui possa fare appello, per riconciliarsi, per ottenere il perdono. Non c’è nulla al di fuori di lei. È la sua fantasia a sancire i limiti e i termini della storia. Non c’è espiazione per Dio, né per il romanziere, nemmeno se fossero atei. È sempre stato un compito impossibile, ed è proprio questo il punto. Si risolve tutto nel tentativo. [...] Mi piace pensare che non sia debolezza né desiderio di fuga, ma un ultimo gesto di cortesia, una presa di posizione contro la dimenticanza e l'angoscia, permettere ai miei amanti di sopravvivere e vederli riuniti alla fine. Ho regalato loro la felicità, ma non sono stata tanto opportunista da consentire che mi perdonassero, non proprio, non ancora.