I could well believe that it is God's intention, since we have refused milder remedies, to compel us<br/>into unity, by persecution even and hardship. Satan is without a doubt nothing else than a hammer in the<br/>hand of a benevolent and severe God. For all, either willingly or unwillingly, do the will of God:<br/>Judas and Satan as tools or instruments, John and Peter as sons.
Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? <br/>For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back. All my life the god<br/>of the Mountain has been wooing me. Oh, look up once at least before the end<br/>and wish me joy. I am going to my lover. Do you not see now?
If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable:<br/>think of it as a place for correction and it's not so bad. Imagine a set of people all living in the same<br/>building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel <br/>might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was<br/>really surprisingly comfortable. So that what seems the ugly doctrine is one that comforts and strengthens you in the end. The people who try to hold an optimistic view of this world would become<br/>pessimists: the people who hold a pretty stern view of it become optimistic
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that<br/>people often say about Him: I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral<br/>teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we<br/>must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus<br/>said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic--on a<br/>level with the man who says he is a poached egg--or else he would be the<br/>Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the<br/>Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a<br/>fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His<br/>feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising<br/>nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open <br/>to us. He did not intend to.
I believe in political equality. But there are two opposite reasons for being a democrat. You may think all men so good that they deserve a share in the government of the commonwealth, and so wise that the commonwealth needs their advice. That is, in my opinion, the false, romantic doctrine of democracy. On the other hand, you may believe fallen men to be so wicked that not one of them can be trusted with any irresponsible power over his fellows. That I believe to be the true ground of democracy. I do not believe that God created an egalitarian world. I believe the authority of parent over child, husband over wife, learned over simple to have been as much a part of the original plan as the authority of man over beast. I believe that if we had not fallen, patriarchal monarchy would be the sole lawful government. But since we have learned sin, we have found, as Lord Acton says, that all power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The only remedy has been to take away the powers and substitute a legal fiction of equality. The authority of father and husband has been rightly abolished on the legal plane, not because this authority is in itself bad (on the contrary, it is, I hold, divine in origin), but because fathers and husbands are bad. Theocracy has been rightly abolished not because it is bad that learned priests should govern ignorant laymen, but because priests are wicked men like the rest of us. Even the authority of man over beast has had to be interfered with because it is constantly abused.
I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road. A sum can be put right: but only by going back til you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot 'develop' into good. Time does not heal it. The spell must be unwound, bit by bit, 'with backward mutters of dissevering power' --or else not.