Monday, August 14, 2006

Beyond the Deep Magic

Lewis, C.S. The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. Collier Books. 1970. Chapters XIII and XV. begining on page 138.

Keywords: Narnia, traitor, atonement, sacrifice, propitiation, Easter, Good Friday, grace

"You have a traitor there, Aslan," said the Witch. Of course everyone present knew that she meant Edmund...

"Well," said Aslan. "His offense was not against you."

"Have you forgotten the Deep Magic?" asked the Witch.

"Let us say I have forgotten it," answered Aslan gravely, "Tell us of this Deep Magic."

"Tell you?" said the Witch, her voice growing suddenly shriller. "Tell you what is written on that very Table of Stone which stands beside us?...You at least know the magic which the Emperor put into Narnia at the very beginning. You know that every traitor belongs to me as my lawful prey and that for every treachery I have a right to a kill." ...

"And so," continued the Witch, "that human creature is mine. His life is forfeit to me. His blood is my property." ...

"Oh Aslan!" whispered Susan in the Lion’s ear, "can’t we--I mean, you won’t, will you? Can’t we do something about the Deep Magic? Isn’t there something you can work against it?"

"Work against the Emperor’s magic? said Aslan turning to her with something like a frown on his face. And nobody ever made that suggestion to him again...


"But what does it all mean?" asked Susan when they were somewhat calmer.

"It means," said Aslan, "that though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back only to the dawn of Time. But if she could have looked a little farther back into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards..."

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