Over the summer I read JC Lamont‘s Prophecy of the Heir, and not included in my review and author interview is mention that my absolute favorite thing about this book is how Lamont unapologetically, yet with the prowess of an apologist, answers the problem of the harshness of judgment. In the review, I do mention that Michael’s loyalty to the Prince is challenged mainly by his doubts surrounding why Elohim would bring judgment upon humans (the mud race), or at least not save them from the consequences of their choices. The relationship between Michael and the Prince is forged in the crucible of this conflict. Most of my favorite POTH quotes surround how Lamont handles this delicate issue. So, below, I want to provide some background to those relevant favorites.
“One cannot pardon those who do not wish to be pardoned.” –The Prince, p.45
It is after Lucifer has led the rebellion in Shamayim, and the Prince is explaining to Michael that all who followed Lucifer are no longer the same, but have become Shaityrim. Michael is mourning the loss of his friends, including his best friend, and his mentor. He asks the Prince, “Is there no chance of pardon?”
“I will pardon any who wish to be pardoned.” –The King, p.83
Michael has asked the Prince, “If you care for them, …why do you not intervene?” The Prince warns him “an intervention would be devastating,” and Michael replies that “the condition of Mortal-earthis devastating.” Later, the Prince discusses the condition with the King, whose words are taken nearly straight from the Bible. When the Prince hears these words, his grip tightens on his Father’s hand, and the King responds with, “I will pardon any who wish to be pardoned.” The Prince whispers, “I know.”
“Has he not offered them both pardon and life? It is they who have rejected him, not he who has rejected them.” –Mauriel, p.85
The above circumstances send Michael storming in to confront the Prince. Michael argues, “Annihilation is not what I meant by intervention.” The Prince reminds him of his warning that intervention would be devastating, and Michael is ready to defect. Michael withdraws to solitude for a century as Noach constructs the ship that will save his family and many animals. He is surveying Gaia one last time for any other souls that can be saved from the coming destruction, finding no one. Mauriel engages him about the source of his despair. “‘If Elohim does not intervene,’ she said, gazing at the Gaia, ‘how many more will be born and live in darkness, to the end of their days, only to die in their treason?’” In the middle of their back-and-forth, she says the quote beginning this paragraph, and when Michael responds, “And soon they will be dead,” she replies, “‘Ay, a breath sooner than anticipated. But Michael…They are already dead.’”
“If I destroy all who commit treason, I am a dictator. If I prevent them from committing treason, I am a manipulator who withholds from them the right to choose. And if I do nothing, in the hopes that they turn from treason and seek truth, I am accused of allowing suffering and not being of love. So pray tell…what course of action could I take that would please you?” –The Prince, p.324
Shaitan has incited Daeved to authorize the census rather than trust King Elyon. The Destroyer is carrying out the resulting plague and Michael has orders not to protect them. Gavriel tries to reason with Michael about why King Elyon would do this, but Michael’s despair turns to rage, and he flies on his pegasus back to Shamayim to confront the Prince, demanding to know why the Prince does not stop Shaitan’s influence. The quote provided is the Prince’s reply.
My favorite moment in the whole story happens next. I will quote it in its entirety:
Michael averted his eyes, and the Prince strode back to the pergola.
Though Michael’s rage subsided, one thought remained. Is this all just a game?
The Prince snatched up his parchment and threw it at him. “Ay, Michael,” he said. “It’s naught but a game!”
Michael caught the scroll in surprise. He hesitated, then unraveled it and read.
Elyon, Elyon, my king, my lord
Deliver me from this sword
Why have you forsaken me
In your eyes, forsaken me
In your thoughts, in your heart,
In your wrath, forsaken me
In their hatred, dark and fierce,
They mock, scorn and abase
My hands and feet, they pierce
My bones, they wrench from place
You lay me in the dust
Desert me as death calls
Yet in you, will I trust
Into your hands, my spirit falls
He strode back across the garden, but when he reached the vines, the Prince called out to him.
“Do not let your love for mortals kill you–that is not your path.”