Saturday, 29 March 2008


‘When Sam awoke, he found that he was lying on some soft bed, but over him gently swayed wide beechen boughs, and through their young leaves sunlight glimmered, green and gold. All the air was full of a sweet mingled scent.
He remembered that smell: the fragrance of Ithilien. “Bless me!” he mused. “How long have I been asleep?”…
Full memory flooded back, and Sam cried aloud: “It wasn’t a dream! Then where are we?”
And a voice spoke softly behind: “In the land of Ithilien, and in the keeping of the King; and he awaits you.” With that Gandalf stood before him, robed in white, his beard now gleaming like pure snow in the twinkling on the leafy sunlight. “Well Master Samwise, how do you feel?” he said.
But Sam lay back, and started with open mouth, and for a moment, between bewilderment and great joy, he could not answer. At last has gasped: “Gandalf! I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What’s happened to the world?”
“A great shadow has departed,” said Gandalf, and then he laughed and the sound was like music, or water in a parched land; and as he listened the thought came to Sam that he had not heard laughter, the pure sound of merriment, for days upon days without count. It fell upon his ears like the echo of all the joys he had ever known. But he himself burst into tears. Then as sweet rain will pass down a wind of spring and the sun will shine out the clearer, his tears ceased, and his laughter welled up, and laughing he sprang from his bed.
“How do I feel?” he cried. “Well I don’t know how to say it. I feel, I feel” – he waved his arms in the air – “I feel like spring after winter, and sun on the leaves; and like trumpets and harps and all the songs I have ever heard!”’
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, p.988.

Friday, 28 March 2008


'Grace is only possible in a universe governed by an absolute person. Impersonal forces, like gravity and electromagnetism, treat everybody equally, according to the sheer force of whatever laws they obey. If you place your hand on a live wire, you will receive a shock, whether you are righteous or wicked. The live wire does not make a loving decision to give some people a free gift of electrical-shock immunity. So impersonalist systems tend to be universalistic - to say that everyone will be saved in some way or other, or, as secular impersonalisms, that we shall all be equally destroyed by natural forces. Christianity is not universalistic, for according to Scripture humn beings are ultimately in the hands of a thoroughly personal God. He decides, for his own reasons and personal affections, who will be saved and who will be lost.'

Thursday, 27 March 2008


'I should rather like to attend your Greek class, for it is a perpetual puzzle to me how New Testament Greek got the reputation of being easy.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol. II, p.136.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008


'I think one may be quite rid of the old haunting suspicion - which raises its head in every temptation - that there is something else that God - some other country ... into which He forbids us to trespass - some kind of delight wh. He "doesn't appreciate" or just chooses to forbid, but which wd. be real delight if only we were allowed to get it. The thing just isn't there . Whatever we desire is either what God is trying to give us as quickly as He can, or else a false picture of what He is trying to give us - a false picture wh. would not attract us for a moment if we saw the real thing.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters Vol. II, p. 124.