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From Hell to Heaven
Chapter 98 - The dramatist inquires about Jesus. Dawning of self-knowledge.
1. The dramatist looks troubled, saying hesitantly: “Yep, - hm, yep – a thousand devils in one! This actually is an accursed tale! Indeed, that’s where the dog is buried! Not much wrong with natural law number one, but number two – my most obedient servant! – There you are damned right of course! – And as for bliss over here; well, God be with us! Hunger, thirst, anger on every side, shame and complete uncovering of all sins committed in the world – and that in front of those before whom one would hide one’s weaknesses forever! And one meets up with all the riff-raff who embarrass one the most! Is not this pure devil’s stuff! Was not I outwardly always a righteous man in the world, because only a few persons in my confidence and no other soul knew of my hidden pleasures. Here, however, they all are piled up – those with whom I stood in highest regard, like Max Olaf, yonder Baron and my beloved one, and others. Besides these however, also my male and especially my female acquaintances with whom unfortunately I had my fun! And these very commoners get cheeky precisely here, trumpeting one’s weaknesses about just where one truly wants it least – whereupon those former friends who held me in greatest esteem cut ever longer faces. It is the kind of joy for which one would like to call upon mountains to fall upon one! Indeed, it is a most damned tale!
2. “Since I have now had this miserable conversation with you, let me in on what there is to yonder purported Saviour Jesus! What kind of being is h? Is it possible to trade intelligent words with him? Is h capable of setting one of our ilk down upon greener pastures? And is he somehow connected with the great God supernaturally? Because, you know, I cannot assume that perhaps he …? No, I am not able to enounce it! You know what I mean! – Max Olaf indeed, a while back, boasted of the fullness of the Godhead precisely within this Jesus, but what intelligent spirit can accept that? Oblige me with a few clues about it, my friend!”
3. Says Robert: “My dear friend Patheticus! Here I can presently say no more than: go over there yourself, to be convicted!”
4. Says the Patheticus: “Yes, that would be alright for sure! But think of my reputation, and then that entire unsympathetic crowd – unpleasant circumstances! Especially the much beautified Larkfield woman and my wife, and my orderly, Franz, and Max Olaf; and that crudest Mariandl and others! Then, from Adam down to Paul – the most peculiar crowd of spirits in history! Well, these would cut strange faces at one of our ilk! – I don’t object talking to Him, but that other bunch, verily – these would give their tongues sufficient free reign to make our kind burst with shame and rage!”
5. Says Robert: “Well, dear friend, you will indeed have to ready yourself for quite radical humiliation, without which things might eternally not get better with you, but only worse! Summon the courage and make all your weakness known to the Lord Jesus yourself! Gather up faith in Him, together with true love for Him and He could overlook a few things for you! But the more you regard your own honorability, the more humiliated you shall be in front of everybody. Because my the real God and Lord Jesus b ever so good towards those approaching Him with contrite heart – H is that much more severe towards those who put His goodness, longsuffering, patience and love to lengthy and ignominious test!
6. “He is still waiting kindly for you, but His patience may be running out, after which the old biblical adage applies: ‘terrible it is to fall into the hands of the living God’. Whence I say, there is not much time for you to lose! Fornicators and adulterers shall not inherit the kingdom of God! – Great is His goodness, and exceeding His grace and mercy; but He spares no life with His judgement. There He is inexorable! Hence consider where you stand before Him – the Almighty, and what you have to do! For no messenger shall b sent to you after me!”
7. Says the Patheticus: “Well, it won’t be that terrible – provided there is some notion of humanitarianism over here! But should your God Jesus, together with His apostles and yourself be still more inexorable than the pagan underworld judges, then of course all joking is over and one would have to comply with every one of your wishes! It is of course a quandary, but what can the individual do against a general, concerted power? So, are you serious about my having to go over to your would-be God Jesus?”
8. Says Robert: “Absolutely, or you are utterly lost!”
9. Says the dramatist: “Oh my desperate straits! Oh for the cursed devil! This shall be fun, compared to which a Roman purgatory is but a dirty trick!
10. “No friend, I can’t go! Because only now do I realise what a crude and stupid wretch of a sinner I am. Now its all the same – Jesus or not, God or not! But I truly am a filthy beast before all people, and it would be sheer folly for me to dare to go over to that company! I still don’t understand how I suddenly so distinctly realise my wrong; it is however how I see it!
11. “Oh my poor Emma – what were you to me – a pure angel even in your just rage! And what was I to you? A filthy devil, without love or gratitude or even respect! No, friend, the more I think about it the more it transpires that I have been even right to this moment a most miserable rogue! I cannot possibly go near that company, because of their most screaming righteousness. No, mine was such a dear woman, and I could find contentment with the basest whores! Oh you God-accursed swine-flesh, now the food of worms! To satisfy your buck-lust, I could bold away from an angel, to run after every pig’s devil! This thought is now killing me!
12. “Oh humans of my ilk, let go of your wicked flesh-devils! You shall like myself soon stand before our judges, and these shall open up your hearts! No God shall judge you – your own heart shall judge and curs you, and that rightfully so! For you qualified yourself through your devilries! Hence let go of your immense blindness, or you are lost through yourselves! – Brother, depart from me, for I am the grossest of sinners; tell me to take possession of the pigs!”
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