Hugo on Voltaire and in passing on Christ

I had somehow come to know of the shortest verse in the Bible. It is only much much later that I have learnt of the rejoinder.

The shortest verse in the King James Version of the Bible is only two words long. Here, in its intense entirety, is the Gospel According to St. John, 11:35: “Jesus wept.” Victor Hugo, taken with the image of the tearful Christ, elaborated in 1878: “Jesus wept; Voltaire smiled. Of that divine tear and of that human smile is composed the sweetness of the present civilization.” It is said that nowhere in the New Testament does Jesus smile.

John Robert Colombo in the preface to Worlds in Small. One of course must be careful not to read that Voltaire smiled because Jesus wept.

And so for day 362

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