A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
How we cite our quotes:
Every word of it was for him. Against his sin, foul and secret, the whole wrath of God was aimed. The preacher's knife had probed deeply into his disclosed conscience and he felt now that his soul was festering in sin. Yes, the preacher was right. God's turn had come. Like a beast in its lair his soul had lain down in its own filth but the blasts of the angel's trumpet had driven him forth from the darkness of sin into the light. The words of doom cried by the angel shattered in an instant his presumptuous peace. (3.2.13)
This is the definite end of Stephen’s uneasy period of debauchery. He says that it’s the preacher’s knife that stabs him, but it’s actually his own intense guilt, honed sharp after being left to its own devices for some months, that really kicks into action.