It may seem that the possibility of forgiveness matters only on the assumption that there is, in fact, a God -- that without the lawgiver, there would be no law, and therefore nothing to be forgiven. The actual state of affairs is more dreadful, for the Furies of conscience do not wait upon our assumptions. One who acknowledges the Furies but denies the God who appointed them -- who supposes that there can be a law without a lawgiver -- must suppose that forgiveness is both necessary and impossible. That which is not personal cannot forgive; morality “by itself” has a heart of rock. And so although grace would be unthinkable, the ache for it would keen on, like a cry in a deserted street.