Have you by any chance an edition of St. Ignatius's treatise against the Gnostics?" he asked in a low clear voice. The young assistant looked gravely back. "Not for sale, I'm afraid," he said. "Nor, if it comes to that, the Gnostic treatises against St. Ignatius." "Quite," Anthony answered.
The Church expected the Second Coming of Christ immediately. The converts had known a first coming. And then? And then! That was the trouble - the then. He had come, and they adored and believed, they communicated and practiced, and waited. The then lasted, and there seemed to be no farther equivalent Now. Time became the individual and catholic problem. The Church had to become as universal and as durable - as time.
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The Church expected the Second Coming of Christ immediately, and no doubt this was so in the ordinary literal sense. But it was certainly expected also in another sense. The converts in all the cities of Asia and (soon) of Europe where the small groups were founded had known, in their conversion, one way or another, a first coming of their Redeemer. And then? And then! That was the consequent task and trouble - the then. He had come, and they adored and believed, they communicated and practiced, and waited for his further exhibition of himself. The then lasted, and there seemed to be no farther equivalent Now. Time became the individual and catholic problem. The Church had to become as catholic - as universal and as durable - as time.
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The image of a wood has appeared often enough in English verse. It has indeed appeared so often that it has gathered a good deal of verse into itself; so that it has become a great forest where, with long leagues of changing green between them, strange episodes of poetry have taken place. Thus in one part there are lovers of a midsummer night, or by day a duke and his followers, and in another men behind branches so that the wood seems moving, and in another a girl separated from her two lordly young brothers, and in another a poet listening to a nightingale but rather dreaming richly of the grand art than there exploring it, and there are other inhabitants, belonging even more closely to the wood, dryads, fairies, an enchanter's rout. The forest itself has different names in different tongues- Westermain, Arden, Birnam, Broceliande; and in places there are separate trees named, such as that on the outskirts against which a young Northern poet saw a spectral wanderer leaning, or, in the unexplored centre of which only rumours reach even poetry, Igdrasil of one myth, or the Trees of Knowledge and Life of another. So that indeed the whole earth seems to become this one enormous forest, and our longest and most stable civilizations are only clearings in the midst of it.
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It's said that the shuffling of the cards is the earth, and the pattering of the cards is the rain, and the beating of the cards is the wind, and the pointing of the cards is the fire. That's of the four suits. But the Greater Trumps, it's said, are the meaning of all process and the measure of the everlasting dance.
I got both hands on her throat and there was nothing inside me but the black madness of that desire to kill her, to close my hands until she turned purple and lay still and there'd be an end to her forever. Let them send me to the chair. Let 'em burn me. All they could do was kill me.
The beginning of Christendom, is, strictly, at a point out of time. A metphysical trigonometry finds it among the spiritual Secrets, at the meeting of two heavenward lines, one drawn from Bethany along the Ascent of the Messias, the other from Jerusalem against the Descent of the Paraclete. That measurement, the measurement of eternity in operation, of the bright cloud and the rushing wind, is, in effect, theology.
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"Nought usually comes at the beginning," Ralph said. "Not necessarily," said Sibyl. "It might come anywhere. Nought isn't a number at all. It's the opposite of number." Nancy looked up from the cards. "Got you, aunt," she said. "What about ten? Nought's a number there - it's part of ten." "Well, if you say that any mathematical arrangement of one and nought really makes ten - " Sibyl smiled. "Can it possibly be more than a way of representing ten?"
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