chapter  XIX
Mr. Greene’s Eggs and Crosses
Pages 12

The harshness of Mr. Graham Greene's Christianity is that the unforgivable sins are the most tempting, and however unreasonable God may be. On the world of natural generation is stuck, incongruous, the heraldic device of God. Mr. Greene's is interested in pain, without God. Scobie's situation would have been tolerable if the egg had no cross; his wife uses the pledge of God's love to torment him, since one cannot take it out of His hands without wounding Him. A good man should not be treated as Scobie is. But all this lurks under the surface of the argument; the egg is not allowed to speak out against the Cross. Bendrix is not a Scobie but the hero Mr. Greene has needed: a natural man who sees God as a natural man would, as unscrupulous rival, corrupter of human happiness, spoiler of the egg; and a novelist who hates Him as a superior technician.