Has anyone notice the very strange fact that, before and apart from any moral or even simply compassionate reaction, it seems to us that nothing stains as blood does? When two men who have had a fist-fight in the street finally separate and we see their bloodstained faces we are always disconcerted. Rather than producing in us the sympathetic response which another’s pain generally causes, the sight creates a disgust which is extremely intense and of a very special nature. Not only do those faces seem repugnantly stained, but the filth goes beyond physical limits and becomes, at the same time, moral. The blood has not only stained the faces but it has soiled them — that is to say, it has debased and in a way degraded them. . . A white rag stained with blood is not only repugnant, it seems violated, its humble textile material dishonored. It is the frightening mystery of blood!
~ Jose Ortega y Gasset. in Meditations on Hunting. Translated by Howard B. Wescott NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1972. Pages 104-105.
The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is their natural manure.
~ Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Col. William S. Smith, 1787
Blood is the price of victory.
~ Karl von Clausewitz, in On War
What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
What can make me whole again? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
Oh, precious is the flow, That makes me white as snow,
No other fount I know, Nothing but the blood of Jesus!
~ Robert Lowry (1876)