Dawn of All eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 262 pages of information about Dawn of All.
or evil, the world was as it was; that Christian civilization had taken the form which he perceived round him, and that to struggle against it was as futile, from a mental point of view, as to resent the physical laws of the universe.  Nothing followed upon such resistance except intense discomfort to oneself.  It might be insupportably unjust that one could not fly without wings, yet the fact remained.  It might be intolerably unchristian that a tonsured clerk should be put to death for heresy, yet he was put to death, and not a soul, it seemed (not even the victim himself) resented it.  Dom Adrian’s protest had been not against the execution of heretics, but against the statement that he was a heretic.  But he had refused to submit to a decision which he acknowledged as authoritative, and found no fault therefore with the consequence of such refusal.  The condemnation, he granted, was perfectly legal and therefore extrinsically lust; and it was the penalty he had to pay for an individualism which the responsible authorities of the State regarded as dangerous to the conditions on which society rested.  And the rest was the business of the State, not of the Church.

The scheme then was beginning to grow clear to this man’s indignant eyes.  Even the “repression” of the Socialists fitted in, logically and inexorably.  And he began to understand a little more what Dom Adrian had meant.  There stood indeed, imminent over the world (whether ideally or actually was another question) a tremendous Figure that was already even more Judge than Saviour—­a Personality that already had the Power and reigned; one to whose feet all the world crept in silence, who spoke ordinarily and normally through His Vicar on earth, who was represented on this or that plane by that court or the other; one who was literally a King of kings; to whose model all must be conformed; to whose final judgment every creature might appeal if he would but face that death through which alone that appeal might be conveyed.  Such was the scheme which this priest began to discern; and he saw how the explanation of all that bewildered him lay within it.  Yet none the less he resented it; none the less he failed to recognize in it that Christianity he seemed once to have known, long ago.  Outwardly he conformed and submitted.  Inwardly he was a rebel.

He sat on silent for a few minutes when his friend had left him, gradually recovering balance.  He knew his own peril well enough, but he was not yet certain enough of his own standpoint—­and perhaps not courageous enough—­to risk all by declaring it.  He felt helpless and powerless—­like a child in a new school—­before the tremendous forces in whose presence he found himself.  For the present, at least, he knew that he must obey. . . .

(II)

“You will be astonished at Ireland,” said Father Jervis a few hours later, as they sat together in the little lighted cabin on their way across England.  “You know, of course, the general outlines?”

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Dawn of All from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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