Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chesterton: Drink

Jesus Christ also made wine, not a medicine, but a sacrament. But Omar makes it, not a sacrament, but a medicine. He feasts because life is not joyful; he revels because he is not glad. "Drink," he says. "for you know not whence you come nor why. Drink, for you know not when you go nor where. Drink, because the stars are cruel and the world as idle as a humming-top. Drink, because there is nothing worth trusting, nothing worth fighting for. Drink, because all things are lapsed in a base quality and an evil peace." So he stands offering us the cup in his hand. And at the high altar of Christianity stands another figure, in whose hand also is the cup of the vine. "Drink," he says, "for the whole world is as red as this wine, with the crimson of the love and the wrath of God. Drink, for the trumpets are blowing for battle and this is the stirrup-cup. Drink, for this is my blood of the new testament that is shed for you. Drink, for I know of whence you come and why. Drink, for I know of when you go and where."

- G.K. Chesterton, Heretics


Matt said...

For the reader: The figure of Omar is taken from a translation of the Persian "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" by Edward Fitzgerald in 1859. In this quote by Chesterton, Omar stands for the "cult of the pessimistic pleasure-seeker."

Norah said...

Awesome. I will never look at wine in quite the same way again!

Matt said...

Glad you liked the quote Norah, Chesterton has quite a way with words.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Matt I love so much of GK's stuff. Last week my son in-law sent me some quotes from him with the comment that he and Luther were cut from the same cloth. I agree as far as their way with words.
Pastor Ron