De Profundis - Out of the Depths

"He that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption." Galatians 6:8

    No one can sin and get away with it. The results
of sin are not only inescapable, they are extremely bitter. Sin may
look like a harmless kitty but it eventually devours like a
pitiless lion.

    The supposed glamour of sin receives wide
coverage. We seldom hear the other side. Few leave behind a description
of their downfall and subsequent misery.

    One of Ireland's most brilliant authors did. This
man began to dabble in unnatural vice. One thing led to another until
he became embroiled in lawsuits and finally landed in prison, where he
wrote the following:

    "The gods had given me almost everything. I had
genius, a distinguished name, high social position, brilliancy,
intellectual daring: I made art a philosophy, and philosophy an art: I
altered the minds of men and the colour of things: There was nothing I
said or did that did not make people wonder ... I treated Art as the
supreme reality, and life as a mere mode of fiction: I awoke the
imagination of my century so that it created myth and legend around me:
I summoned up all systems in a phrase, and all existence in an epigram.

    "Along with these things, I had things that
were different. I let myself be lured into long spells of senseless and
sensual ease. I amused myself with being a flaneur, a dandy, a man of
fashion. I surrounded myself with the smaller natures and the meaner
minds. I became the spendthrift of my own genius, and to waste an
eternal youth gave me a curious joy. Tired of being on the heights I
deliberately went to the depths in search for new sensations. What the
paradox was to me in the sphere of thought, perversity became to me in
the sphere of passion. Desire, at the end, was a malady, or a madness,
or both. I grew careless of the lives of others. I took pleasure where
it pleased me and passed on. I forgot that every little action of the
common day makes or unmakes character, and that therefore what one has
done in the secret chamber one has some day to cry aloud on the
housetops... I ended in horrible disgrace."