But Renan was apt to allow his emotions to ride him. Another dazzling contrast, which has recently exercised another dextrous Frenchman, is Siena with her Saint Catherine and her Sodoma who betrayed her Saint Catherine, as great a force politically as she was spiritually, and Sodoma, who painted her like a Danae with love-glazed eyes fainting before the apparition of the Crucified Seraph.
Is it not gross disloyalty to Truth to insist, as we do in our versions of the Christian Scriptures, upon translating as "crucify" or "crucified" four different words, not one of which referred to anything necessarily in the shape of a cross?
Remembered how once in Egypt a foolhardy friend of mine had ascended the Second Pyramid alone, and become thus crucified upon its shining cap, where he remained for a whole half hour with four hundred feet of space beneath him.
The truth of this having been ascertained by the archbishop, he had it taken down, and got made from it a smaller cross, only two spans long, on which was fixed a crucified Jesus of ivory, and the whole surrounded by a golden glory; the rest of the cross being distributed to the churches and persons of quality.
S. Chiara's shrine was hung round with her relics; and among these the heart extracted from her body was suspended. Upon it, apparently wrought into the very substance of the mummied flesh, were impressed a figure of the crucified Christ, the scourge, and the five stigmata.
It is the Testament; or the Last Will and Command to the world of one Jesus Christ, who was crucified on account of His Divinity more than eighteen hundred years ago. I mention the fact, in case any of you have forgotten it!
Who would help him in his distress? The Altringhams were still in Scotland, and he knew well that, though Lady Altringham was fond of him, and though Lord Altringham liked him, there was no assistance to be had there of the kind that he needed. His dearly intimate distinguished friends in Norfolk, with whom he had been always "George," would not care if they heard that he had been crucified.
The crucifixion of Christ, then, is part of the great kosmic sacrifice, and the allegorical representation of this in the physical Mysteries, and the sacred symbol of the crucified man in space, became materialised into an actual death by crucifixion, and a crucifix bearing a dying human form; then this story, now the story of a man, was attached to the Divine Teacher, Jesus, and became the story of His physical death, while the birth from a Virgin, the danger-encircled infancy, the resurrection and ascension, became also incidents in His human life.
These are images as well as the others, and more blasphemous still, seeing that they have in no way the appearance of the crucified Saviour; and He Himself has said, `Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God' and that I am sure you would have taught the natives to do, for your own people do the same; and so, to prevent you or others from thus offending God, they must be put overboard with the rest of your idols."
The image of the crucified Saviour was carried before, but turned away from the eternally condemned sinner, for whom salvation was no longer available. His mortal body belonged to the material fire, his immortal soul to the flames of bell.