Preface by Charles Williams to The Passion of Christ

                THE PASSION OF CHRIST
                            BEING THE
        GOSPEL AND NARRATIVE OF THE PASSION
        WITH SHORT PASSAGES TAKEN FROM THE
          SAINTS AND DOCTORS OF THE CHURCH

                                                 Chosen By
                                    
CHARLES WILLIAMS


                                             
PREFACE

  There are, not doubt, many good and useful books for devotional reading and recollection of the Passion during Lent—and not only during Lent.  It has, however, been felt that there is also need for such a book as this—a book composed of an account of the Passion taken from the Gospels and accompanied by comments from some of the greater teachers and saints of the Christian Church.  These comments are meant for meditation; they are sources of power, as their speakers and writers were.  None of them is difficult at first reading, but the more time that is given to them the more vitality they seem to possess.

  It will be easy for any reader to complain that the range of authors is limited or that the choice might be improved.  Something further could indeed be provided if the need arose; this must serve as a beginning.  Nothing (outside of the spirit) can be more desirable than that we should receive a knowledge of the great tradition of Christian comment; the riches of it are too little known.  It is to this that we should return; the sayings are there.  Sometimes, however, they are included in writings which, owing to a change in style, have become tedious to us.  What follows is not offered as a substitution for more prolonged or careful reading, but as an immediate beginning.  This is what has been said by great masters; what more they said we can find.

  For this reason no attempt has been made to include modern writers as such, with a very few exceptions, important as they may prove to be.

  A few blank pages have been supplied at the end of the book that the reader, if he wishes, may be able to supplement the extracts from his own reading.

  My thanks are due to Messrs. George Bell for the passages from Coventry Patmore; to Messrs. Johnathan Cape, Ltd., for the passage from The Book of Margery Kempe; Messrs. Burns, Oates, & Washbourne, and the English Dominican Fathers, for permission to include the passages from the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas; to Messrs. Dent & Sons and Miss Underhill, for the extract from John of Ruysbroeck; to Messrs. Methuen fro the several passages from the Lady Julian of Norwich; to the S.P.C.K. for the one extract from Ramón Lull and the three from Doctrine in the Church of England.  Two or three passages marked Anonymous are taken for their special purposes from a modern writer, a friend of my own, who does not wish his name to appear; and those from Thomas Storey and Sara Grubb were found in Miss Doris N. Dalgleish's book People called Quakers.

                                                              C. W.


 
                                    CONTENTS

I. THE AGONY AND THE ARREST                     ASH WEDNESDAY

II. THE TRIAL BEFORE CAIAPHAS                         MARCH 12TH

III. THE TRIALS BEFORE PILATE AND HEROD        MARCH 19TH

IV. THE SCOURGING AND THE CONDEMNATION    MARCH 26TH

V. THE CRUCIFIXION                                              APRIL 2ND

VI. THE PIERCING AND THE BURIAL                        APRIL 9TH

VII. THE RESURRECTION                                EASTER SUNDAY