Sunday, April 5, 2015

Weekends with Chesterton: the Passion and Resurrection

…And if there be any sound that can produce a silence, we may surely be
silent about the end and the extremity; when a cry was driven out of
that darkness in words dreadfully distinct and dreadfully
unintelligible, which man shall never understand in all the eternity they
have purchased for him; and for one annihilating instant an abyss that is not
for our thoughts had opened even in the unity of the absolute;
and God had been forsaken of God.

They took the body down from the cross and one of the few rich men among
the first Christians obtained permission to bury it in a rock tomb in his
garden; the Romans setting a military guard lest there should be some riot
and attempt to recover the body. There was once more a natural symbolism
in these natural proceedings; it was well that the tomb should be sealed with
all the secrecy of ancient eastern sepulture and guarded by the authority of
the Caesars. For in that second cavern the whole of that great and glorious
humanity which we call antiquity was gathered up and covered over; and in
that place it was buried. It was the end of a very great thing
called human history; the history that was merely human.
The mythologies and the philosophies were buried there, the gods and the
heroes and the sages. In the great Roman phrase, they had lived. But as they
could only live, so they could only die;
and they were dead.

On the third day the friends of Christ coming at daybreak to the place found
the grave empty and the stone rolled away. In varying ways they realised the
new wonder; but even they hardly realised that the world had died in the
night. What they were looking at was the first day of a new
creation, with a new heaven and a new earth; and in a
semblance of the gardener God walked again in the garden, in the cool not of
the evening but the dawn.
The Everlasting Man

1 comment: