3 Minute Theologian

Words about God and Life for the Attention Deficit Generation

Author: Justin Lewis-Anthony (page 1 of 43)

Dydactylos on philosophy

His philosophy was a mixture of three famous schools—the Cynics, the Stoics and the Epicureans—and summed up all three of them in his famous phrase, “You can’t trust any bugger further than you can throw him, and there’s nothing you can do about it, so let’s have a drink.”

Terry Pratchett, Small Gods 1992

Fear no more…

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun, 
Nor the furious winter’s rages; 
Thou thy worldly task hast done, 
Home art gone, and ta’en thy wages: 
Golden lads and girls all must, 
As chimney-sweepers, come to dust. 

Fear no more the frown o’ the great; 
Thou art past the tyrant’s stroke; 
Care no more to clothe and eat; 
To thee the reed is as the oak: 
The scepter, learning, physic, must 
All follow this, and come to dust. 

Fear no more the lightning flash, 
Nor the all-dreaded thunder stone; 
Fear not slander, censure rash; 
Thou hast finished joy and moan: 
All lovers young, all lovers must 
Consign to thee, and come to dust. 

No exorciser harm thee! 
Nor no witchcraft charm thee! 
Ghost unlaid forbear thee! 
Nothing ill come near thee! 
Quiet consummation have; 
And renownèd be thy grave!

The Weathercock

Now it is not the office of the Church of Christ to be a weathercock, but to witness to the stable, eternal background in front of which these figures cross the stage, and so to preserve and maintain precisely those elements of the truth which are in most danger of being lost. For this reason, it rarely happens that the Church can “co-operate” with a popular movement; more often it is compelled to protest against its onesidedness. If we consider at what periods the Church has been most true to itself, and has conferred the greatest benefits on humanity, we shall find that they have been times when Churchmen have not been afraid to be “in the right with two or three.” Like certain ministers of state, the Church has always done well in opposition, and badly in office.

William Ralph Inge, The Church and the Age (London: Longmans, Green, 1912).

Judas reading Calvin

A predestined minion

The doctrine of predestination, says the XVIIth Article, is ‘full of sweet, pleasant and unspeakable comfort to godly persons’. But what of ungodly persons? Inside the original experience no such question arises. There are no generalizations. We are not building a system. When we begin to do so, very troublesome problems and very dark solutions will appear. But these horrors, so familiar to the modem reader (and especially to the modem reader of fiction), are only by-products of the new theology. They are astonishingly absent from the thought of the first Protestants.

(I am speaking, of course, about initial doubts of election. Despair after apostasy …is another matter and was no Protestant novelty. When Judas hanged himself he had not been reading Calvin.)

C. S. Lewis, ‘New Learning and New Ignorance’, in English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama: The Completion of the Clark Lectures, Oxford History of English Literature 3 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1954), p. 34.

Why Calvinists can’t be poets (and vice versa)?

…there is a fundamental sense in which a Protestant theology of grace poses a problem for poets. This is especially so in Calvin’s development of sola gratia, where the insistence on the total depravity of fallen humanity prevents human action from earning God’s gifts of salvation and sanctification. Human agency is thoroughly impotent in this regard, and apart from the direct intervention of God himself, all human actions are vitiated by sin. As Calvin’s Institutes articulate this notion, “only damnable things come forth from man’s corrupted nature.” [2.3.289] Thus all human actions seem either to be sinful, because they are the product of a totally depraved human nature, or not really human at all, since any “good” action can only be the direct result of God’s agency. This theology places the religious poet on the horns of a similar dilemma. On the one hand, it is surely the calling of the Christian poet to write Christian poetry; on the other, if faithful poetry is just a mark of an already complete saving act of God, what can the poet add to that act by writing? Does it not even risk blasphemy to try and write “in excess” of the command of God?

Shaun Ross, ‘Sacrifices of Thanksgiving: The Eucharist in “The Temple”’, George Herbert Journal 40, no. 1 (Fall  /Spring 2017 2016): p. 4.

Why is writing so damn hard…?

It had never really progressed, it had simply fallen apart into a series of fragments. And out of two years’ work that was all that he had to show — just fragments, incomplete in themselves and impossible to join together. On every one of those sheets of paper there was some hacked scrap of verse which had been written and rewritten and rewritten over intervals of months. There were not five hundred lines that you could say were definitely finished. And he had lost the power to add to it any longer; he could only tinker with this passage or that, groping now here, now there, in its confusion. It was no longer a thing that he created, it was merely a nightmare with which he struggled. For the rest, in two whole years he had produced nothing except a handful of short poems — perhaps a score in all. It was so rarely that he could attain the peace of mind in which poetry, or prose for that matter, has got to be written. The times when he ‘could not’ work grew commoner and commoner. Of all types of human being, only the artist takes it upon him to say that he ‘cannot’ work.

Gordon’s agony, in George Orwell’s Keep the Aspidistra Flying, 1936

(HT @poetrypotion for the reminder)

Advice to a young man

Ignore everything your father says to you now. He’s an idiot. But be prepared to be amazed about how much sense he’s talking in five years’ time. (It’s not that you’ve grown up enough to understand what he’s saying: he will have learnt a lot).

Learn to lay bricks. This is a good and necessary skill. It’s not just useful for doing DIY around a house. It’ll teach you something about the dignity and rewards of labour.

Never believe a single word or image in an advert. They don’t want you to be happier, taller, sexier, more successful in work or love. They just want to sell you things. (It’s your money they’re after, not your welfare).

Go easy on “stuff”. You’ll have to carry everything you ever bought and wasted with you in the next life, so make it easier on your dead self.

Read at least one book a year which you disagree with.


Never say that you aren’t ready to settle down or grow up. Guy Gibson won a VC for the Dambusters Raid in 1943, and had to write the condolence letters to the families of 53 killed airmen before he had breakfast next day. He was 23. Growing up is one of the pleasures of life. Don’t postpone it.

The only way you’ll have a life is by learning to give it away: to others in service, to one other in love. Live your life for yourself and it will crumble to dust in your hands. Live your life for others and it will never be taken away from you.

Ignore cool. “Cool” is a lie told to make us despise other people. Cultivate “warmth”. Engage with people, especially those left out by the cool ones.

If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain about the way the country is run.

If you don’t volunteer in some way, you have no right to complain about the way the country is going to the dogs.

Life isn’t cheap. Life is expensive, and has always been costly. It’s death that’s cheap: cheap to get and cheap to impose on others. Your life is valuable only as much as you value the lives of others.

A music festival is 100,000 people confusing dysentery with a good time. The best experiences come in small groups. If it’s hard to do theology after Auschwitz, it’s harder to do Glastonbury after Nuremberg.

Look forward to friendships that have lasted forty years. Experiences shared and stories told and retold are the way we know we are human.

“FOMO” and “YOLO”: two more lies. Fear Of Missing Out is the real reason lurking beneath You Only Live Once justifications. Decide what is important to you and your family (however you want to define that) and do that. Don’t let other people try to sell you experiences.

Look for God and happiness in the small things, the small things that last.

There is more truth in a pair of boots that have been polished and patched for 20 years than in this year’s “must have”, “must buy” fashions.

Decide what your favourite meal is, and learn to cook it.

Change your mind every six months, and learn to cook the new meal.

Make sure the cooking involves washing dirt off ingredients: it’s not real food if you use scissors to prepare it rather than a peeler.

Eat something you have grown yourself every week, even if it’s just mustard and cress in a sandwich.

Oh, and bake your own bread.

Does it mean nothing to you? 4

Oh God! I don’t believe it! They’re back again! In the middle hours of the night, when all respectable, God-fearing people should be in bed with the door locked and windows closed, and only bandits, graverobbers and Romans are out and about, there’s a mutter of whispering and shuffling on the staircase outside my bedroom window. It takes me a bleary-eared couple of heartbeats to work out that those are Galilean accents, and I recognize one for sure: Big-Lump, the super-spy who’d come with the Galilean Rabbi on Thursday afternoon. My heart sinks. I had hoped to have seen the last of them when they left my furnished dining room on Thursday night, and even though Judas, the only decent one in the whole party, never showed up on Friday to pay the account, I would rather take the financial hit than deal with that lot again.

And anyway, who said that innkeepers have to be insurrectionists as well? I keep rooms in which Passovers may be eaten—hospitality for pilgrims is my business. I didn’t set out to be a base for every bandit in Judea to plot and regroup. I thought, on Thursday night, that they were just a bunch of stuck-up and slightly thick provincials. The usual crowd to make money from. And then, after what happened on Friday I realise that this lot are dangerous. “We’re leaving to continue our worship somewhere else,” said the high-handed Rabbi to me. “We don’t want to be disturbed.” Well he did me a favour according to all accounts. Temple guards and Roman soldiers arrested them in their prayer meeting, and the drippy Galilean was taken off to Caiaphas’s house. Can you imagine the complaints from the neighbours if the soldiers had come here? “Oi! It’s the night before Passover! Can’t you keep the noise down?” “Sorry, sorry,” I’d’ve had to shout back. “Not my fault I rented rooms to revolutionaries”!

Thaddeus told me that the Rabbi had been executed on Friday. Pincer movement between the High Priest and the Governor. Don’t like seeing anyone getting killed by the Romans, even a stuck-up sneak like that Galilean, but I like bodies in the street even less. I remember the last insurrection. Not pleasant, I can tell you, and if the death of one (or two!) Galilean rabbis means we don’t have to live through all that again, well— it’s a price worth paying.

But now they’re back! I stick my head out of the window and look at them milling pathetically around in the courtyard below. “What do you think you’re doing?” I hiss. “Go away!”

“We’ve got nowhere else to go to,” says one, not Big-Lump, who I can see standing to one side, arms wrapped around himself, staring into space.

“Not my problem. Go away!”

“Please! We need somewhere to rest. We’ve been on the move for two days.”

I’m about to swear at them when I see shutters beginning to move on the other side of the squares. Which is worse: neighbours or Galileans? Hard choice, but without really knowing why, I go downstairs and lift the bolt from the door, and let them in.

“Quickly” I hiss. “Before the neighbours hear.”

“Thank you, thank you,” they all mutter. Their gratitude makes me cringe more than the drunken arrogance of two days ago.

“Yes, yes, quickly. Inside.”

I take them upstairs, back into the large dining room I had hired to them for the Passover. Hired, but not been paid for. “You can stay here for the moment,” I say. “But I want to be paid for the dinner. Judas was supposed to pay me on Friday. Where is he?” There’s an embarrassed pause, and the one who spoke to me outside answers.

“Judas is dead. Killed himself. Buried in the potter’s field.” I sigh.

“With or without his money?”

Another pause: “Without. The temple priests took the money back from him.”

“Temple priests? Why did they have his money? My money? No, don’t tell me. I think it’s safer for me to know as little about you lot as possible. Two of you dead in two days. What do you reckon your chances of survival are?” At this Big-Lump shakes himself out of his stupor.

“Survival? Not good. Not good at all. We will not survive. We don’t deserve to survive.” Another pause.

“Well,” says I, business-like. “I’m glad to see the party mood continuing. You can stay the day. Then I want you out at night-fall, and I suggest you get out of the city then. You can usually get through the Dung Gate before the curfew sets in. But that’s your problem.” There’s no response from them, but they all just collapse on the cushions on the floor. They look as if they have slept since Thursday night. Well, trouble-making is a tiring business. And if I sound unsympathetic, then that’s because I am.

There’s peace and quiet for a few hours, but I can hear, before the city’s cockerels begin their usual cry, feet running to the foot of the staircase. There’s a thump, thump, thump on the door—not strong or insistent enough to a soldier’s demand to be let in—and then the door opens and there’s a hurried, babbling conversation. I make out a“I don’t believe it!” and I sympathise.

“I know what you mean, legate. I let you back in on the condition you keep your heads down, and before the sun is up, you’re drawing the attention of the whole neighbourhood to my inn. I don’t believe it, indeed.”

As I’m getting my robe on, more furious whispering and the door bangs shut, and I hear feet running away from the inn: three or four people this time.

By the time I get to upper room all the provincials are awake and huddled in gossipy debate. I look out the one who took the lead in the night.

“What is it now?!” I don’t mind showing my irritation.

He looks at me, and shakes his head. “It’s the women. They’ve come back with some kind of cock and bull story about Jesus.”

“Jesus?” I ask.

“The rabbi.” Funny. I had never heard his name before then.

“What about him? Still dead, is he?”

“That’s just it,” he says, half-way between smiling and crying. “The women went to his tomb this morning, to finish off the funeral rites. They didn’t have time on Friday, what with Sabbath beginning, and the storm, and the Roman soldiers. They say,”—  he put emphasis on ‘say’— “that when they got to the tomb, the stone was rolled away, and the body gone.”

“Gone? Gone where?”

“They don’t know. They just came back here to tell us, and Simon Peter and John have gone to check.”

“Very wise, legate. Sounds like a typical woman’s story to me. Wrong tomb, wrong grave yard, wrong body. Wrong everything. Unless… You haven’t already nicked the body, have you? I won’t have graverobbers in my inn!”

“Not us! We couldn’t have anyway. The Governor put a guard on the tomb. We’d never have got passed the soldiers.”

“Soldiers! So where are they now then?”

“I have no idea, but I tell you, unless I see it for myself, I’m not going to believe it. Too much has happened this week for me to get my hopes up.”

Just as he is speaking Big-Lump arrives back, with the Handsome one in tow. They’re out of breath. Big-Lump has woken out of his stupor then.

“They’re right,” he says. “No body there. No guards. Just the grave clothes folded neatly in the corner.”

“And…?” says the one I was speaking to.

“And what, Thomas.”

“Didn’t you look for the Master’s body? Where’s it gone?”

“I have no idea, Thomas. All I can say is that it isn’t there.”

“Peter! You are hopeless! That is no answer.”

All I think is that I am glad the revolution isn’t dependent on this lot. They can’t even keep track of their Master’s body. As the argument develops between the group, some following Thomas and not believing a word of it, others following Peter and John thinking that something, anything, has happened, a woman slowly slips into the room, and stands there. I’m the only one to notice her, at first, but gradually the argument quietens down. She is red in the face, and obviously moved in some way, and equally obviously, trying to keep her emotions under control.

Peter finally notices that everyone else has shut up, and turns to the woman. “Mary. You’re back.”

She catches her breath, and then it all come out. “Peter. He’s alive. I have seen him, almost touched him. He spoke my name. He tells me to tell you all that he is ascending to his Father.”

All this in a room of absolute stillness. She finishes and the silence continues for a moment, and then pandemonium.


“Don’t be ridiculous!”

“He’s dead, Mary. I saw his body on the tree!”

“There were spears, and nails. Of course, he’s dead!”

“A woman’s witness! What’s that worth!”

In all this, I notice something strange. Mary doesn’t attempt to argue or explain. She doesn’t find more words to describe what happened. She doesn’t join in. She just stands there, as sure as she would’ve been if she had told them that the sun had risen that morning. They could disagree all they liked, but the sun would still have risen, and its light would still be in the sky.

Despite myself, I’m getting involved. I don’t say anything. Rather, I find myself caring. Perhaps this woman is right. Perhaps the Galilean rabbi is alive, risen from the tomb. What would that mean if he has? What would that mean for me? For Jerusalem? What would that mean for the world? As I think these thoughts, such unexpected ideas, I find myself overwhelmed with excitement, no, not excitement, a joy like a meal with good friends and the birth of a child and the wonder of dawn and the songs of a high day in the Temple, all rolled into one. This means everything, I think. If only it were true. If only it wasn’t just a story told by a woman.

And as I think that, the noise of arguing men fades away, and the room grows warm, like the heat of a summer’s morning burning off the dew, and a sweet breeze blows through the stuffy and scruffy upper room, and he stands in the middle of the swirling group, and as I fall to my knees, the light and joy disarms me and all I hear is his voice, saying, promising, bringing: “Peace.”

Does it mean nothing to you? 3

“It’s a dirty job”, they usually say. But then they add, “and I’m glad it’s not me that has to do it.” And without a hint of gratitude. No: “and I’m glad that somebody does it”, or even: “and I’m glad that you do it, Bartholomew.” I mean, I don’t expect much in this world, and I know that I live in hard times in a hard land, but just occasionally, it would be good if a little word of thanks could fall like refreshing rain onto my path.

Of course, I know all the reasons why I get ignored in this way. Everybody dies, and no one wants to be reminded of it. Everyone, in the long run, is dead, and nobody wants the long run to be shortened. It’s funny, it’s as if being reminded of death, or coming into contact with death will somehow shorten their lifespan. “That’s not the case,” a Rabbi once told me, with a scarf wrapped around his face in case he forgot to keep away from me. “Being near the dead does not shorten our lives—it just shortens our useful lives. Coming into contact with the dead is a good thing, when we are performing the duties required of us towards our mother and father. But even then, it means that we become ritually impure, and are thus unable to worship God in the way he requires. Cleansing ourselves of such impurity takes times, and that is time away from the study of God’s word, away from worshipping God in synagogue and Temple, away from sacrifice. Life is too short to miss out on the important things.” And then he threw a copper coin at me, and told me to go away in most unrabbinical language.

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Does it mean nothing to you? 2

Apparently, it’s a holiday. Although, to be honest, most days seem to be a holiday here. And not the sort of decent, joyful, singing-in-the-street sort of holidays we’re used to back home. Here the holidays go on for days at a time, and everyone stays indoors, only emerging to look stroppy and bad-tempered and ready for a fight. Too much religion and not enough wine. Something to do with their miserable mountain god, I suppose.

Anyway, I hate holidays in Judea. Holiday for the Jews, double overtime for the soldiers. You never know when the empty streets will suddenly fill, for no apparent reason, with crowds looking to roll-over a legionary. There are forty crosses on a roadside in Galilee which I filled after the last holiday: I know I told the legates it had been an insurrection, and it probably was, but in my book, as soon as a sword or a club or a rock was lifted towards a Roman, I don’t care what the motivation is. I’ve been a centurion for long enough to know that Pax Romana is not concerned with fine distinctions, and neither is the Governor.

But now here I am, in the capital, for the longest and worst holiday of the year. Appropriate, I suppose, for this is the smallest and worst capital in the Empire. Stuck high up on a desert mountain, where water is short and the air is thin, and nights are freezing cold. The olives are wizened and the wine is worse. All in all, I almost prefer being in Britannia. And the crowds!

The whole of Judea is here, and swarms of people from all over the Empire, pouring into the tiny city as if their lives depend on it. And for such a strange religion as well: a cruel and capricious and changeable god (only one!), who makes demand after demand on his people, and never allows them anything in exchange. Such an exclusive god as well. I’m a well-brought up Roman citizen, and I’m perfectly prepared to offer libations at the altar of Mithras and Zoroaster and Toutatis and Lud. But when I arrived in Jerusalem I was told, in no uncertain terms, that I am NOT to go to the Temple, and I am NOT to attempt to pay respects to the Jewish god: “a jealous god” they call him. Psycho, more like.

And now dumped into mopping up duties. Mopping up after another religious-political mess up. A man who claims (or doesn’t claim) to be a holy man; claims (or doesn’t claim) to be a prophet; claims (or doesn’t claim) to be a political leader; claims (or doesn’t claim) to be a rival King to Caesar. Honestly the story isn’t straight, and I don’t think it ever will get straight. Any little respect I might have had for the Jewish religious leaders, and the little respect I have for legates and governors has long gone. The naked pursuit of private agendas is one thing: how else did Pax Romana get to be Pax Romana without it being imposed so decisively? What really annoys me is the incompetence shown by the priests and the Governor. This trouble-maker could’ve been arrested long before the holiday, or he could’ve been “disappeared” until after the crowds dispersed. But a public trial and a public execution on the day before the holiday when the city was at its most volatile? … well! If you want a problem solved, best call the Legion VI Ferrata!

The execution spot, just outside the city walls, is prepared. Golgotha, the Jews called it (barbarous tongue): Calvary to civilized folk. We’ve had executions there regularly, the last three days ago, and the bodies have been taken down this morning. There are four crosses ready, although we’re only going to need three: one for the Galilean political, and two for ordinary criminals— robbers? bandits? something like that. The next problem to sort out is getting to the execution ground. The streets between the Governor’s palace, the Antonia, and the nearest gate to Calvary are narrow, and bound to be crowded. Short swords might be needed, but clubs will be more effective for close-up work. Better make sure that the detail are issued with them. I’ll pick up the execution party (party! Great name for it!) at the Antonia, and lead them through. Should I ride? No, that’s foolhardy in these streets. I’ll have more control on foot. Easier to get to miscreants at their level.

The robbers are not pleased to see me: one swears, one cries. The “political” says nothing, and just stands there. Is he too dazed to know what is going on? His face and back are certainly streaked with blood and bruising. Let’s see when I order them to shoulder the cross-bars. Hmm… he’s looking around him, like he’s examining the guards who will accompany him to Calvary. He knows what’s going on. More than that: he thinks he’s in control. He’ll learn soon enough.

The streets are tumultuous, but there doesn’t seem to be any resistance. In fact, the crowds are out to jeer at the prisoners. That’s unusual. Jews don’t normally take against the subjects of Roman justice like this. A man could be a rapist and a murderer, but if he was being killed by Roman law, then he immediately turns into a hero for the crowds. But I know enough Aramaic to recognise an insult when I hear one. Ugh! And the air is filled with curses and spit. “Watch it, you! Improve your aim if you don’t want to end up on a cross!”. Better keep a close eye on the political. No reaction. He’s staggering under the weight of the cross bar, banging its outstretched ends into walls and corners and people. But he’s not answering back. His eyes are focussed on the man ahead of him. Sometimes he’s looking into the crowd, like he’s looking for someone in particular. He’s not going to find them, not in this mob. They are always disappointed. No rescue crew coming. He still hasn’t said a word, though. Nice quiet prisoner.

There’s space to breathe outside the city walls, and the air is fresher. Fresh enough for a rain storm? Dammit. I wish I’d brought my long winter cloak. I’m going to get soaked through on this exposed hill waiting for the prisoners to die. I’m going to get a brazier and break their legs after four hours if they aren’t dead by then. No point in prolonging my inconvenience.

Strip the prisoners naked, throw them to the ground, lay them upon their cross bars in front of the uprights we’ve already fixed into the ground. Arms stretched out. Legionaries! Get those nails in! Hope the cross-bars haven’t been used too many times before. Sometimes it’s hard for the nails to grip in stained and splintered wood as they go through the prisoners’ wrists. Two of the three cry out. Ah! A grimace of pain from the political! Still alive then, and not drugged out his suffering by some friendly supporter. Thread the ropes through the hooks on the back of the cross bars and over more hooks on the tops of the stake. Drag the prisoners upright. Pull them to the tops of the stakes. No, I don’t care if their bodies dangle in the air for a bit whilst you get things sorted, legionary! You’ve made sure their arms are tied to the cross bar as well? I don’t want them dying of suffocation too quickly. That always happens if it’s just nails. The people need to see Roman justice, and that takes time.

All three prisoners make it to the cross alive. Practice and professionalism! Final nails into the feet! Push their legs up into a crouch. Just enough purchase to lift their bodies up when they feel their lungs being crushed. Longer to die, and longer to bring the message home to the people about Roman justice.

One last job for the political. Get me a ladder against the political’s cross. Climbing up, I can see the crowds, a decent, and safe distance away. Hand me the titulus. No, that wooden board. A last nail to fix it above the political’s head. “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”. So that’s his name. Some Jewish VIPs shout at me as I climb down the ladder: “You can’t put that up there!” “Speak to Pilate.” “But, he’s not our king!” “Speak to Pilate.” “Put ‘He said he was king of the Jews’”. “Speak to Pilate. And don’t speak to me again.” This last with my hand on my sword. They shut up.

Not for long though. They turn their attention to the political. Abuse and curses and religious language, I suppose, though I have no idea what most of it means. They must really hate him. The political says nothing for a long while. The screaming continues until one of the robbers joins in as well. Even on a cross you can find someone worse off than yourself. Eventually the political opens his mouth. Finally! “Father, forgive”! In barely a whisper. It stops the abuse for the moment. Everyone looks slightly bemused, as if surprised to find themselves where they are, in a boneyard, screaming at dying men.

The sky’s clouded over. The storm is coming. Good job I ordered that brazier. Three of the lads are playing dice in its warmth. The crowds have thinned now, sensibly enough. The political isn’t going anywhere. Two people remain, standing as close to the cordon of soldiers as they dare. The political is speaking to them, a man and an older woman. Something about looking after each other. You should’ve thought about your will before you got into trouble, sonny.

One of the robbers has already died. The other is close to it. A hour inside my timetable. Good job too, because it’s now as dark as pitch, and the rain is lashing down. Only the political is still going, pushing himself up on his nailed feet, stretching towards the heavens. “I have finished…” (true enough, sonny). “Father, into your hands, I commit my spirit.” And then the political shudders, and dies.

That’s odd. What’s was that all about? Have I missed something in all the events of the day. Perhaps, all in all, this man really was righteous? Even so, righteous or not, he’s dead.

Thank the gods that was over. Mopping up successfully accomplished. Time to get the body down before sunset. Let the relatives have him, and then we can forget all about him. I wonder if the water is hot in the barrack bath house?

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