452) G. K. Chesterton Quotations


Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936) was an English journalist and author.  He wrote over 100 books and over 4000 newspaper columns and articles.  He was an adult convert to Christianity, a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and an ardent defender of the faith.  For more about Chesterton go to:   www.chesterton.org


A strange fanaticism fills our time:  the fanatical hatred of morality, especially of Christian morality.

These are the days when a Christian is expected to praise every creed but his own.

Don’t ever take a fence down unless you know the reason why it was put up.

There are those who hate Christianity and call their hatred an all-embracing love for all religions.

Beware of no man more than yourself; we carry our own worst enemy within us.

The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.

When men have come to the edge of a precipice, it is the lover of life that has the spirit to leap backwards, and only the pessimist who continues to believe in progress.

The soldier fights not because he hates what is ahead of him, but because he loves what is behind him.

Art, like morality, consists in drawing the line somewhere.

Religion has sometimes failed to right what was wrong, but it never descended to declaring that everything was right.

Religious liberty is supposed to mean that everybody is free to discuss religion.  In practice it means that hardly anybody is allowed to mention it.
Without authority there is no liberty.  Freedom is doomed to destruction at every turn, unless there is a recognized right to freedom.  And if there are rights, there is an authority to which we appeal for them.
It is assumed that the skeptic has no bias; whereas he has a very obvious bias in favor of skepticism.
There is not really any courage at all in attacking antiquated (traditional) things, any more than in offering to fight one’s grandmother.  The really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers.  The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past.

There are only two kinds of people:  those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don’t know it.


A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.


No man who worships education has got the best out of education…  Without a gentle contempt for education no man’s education is complete…   Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.


It is of the new things that men tire… of fashions and proposals and improvements and change.  It is the old things that startle and intoxicate.  It is the old things that are young.


Even mere existence, reduced to its most primary limits, is extraordinary enough to be exciting.  Anything is magnificent as compared with nothing…  Men spoke much in my boyhood of ruined men of genius; and it was common to say that many a man was a Great Might-Have-Been.  To me it is a more solid and startling fact that any man in the street is a Great Might-Not-Have-Been.
As long as we go on cursing the system, the system will be perfectly safe.
We should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.
Psalm 139:23-24  —  Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. 
Romans 12:3  —  For by the grace given me I say to every one of you:  Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. 
Proverbs 23:17-18 —  Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord.   There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. 
    Almighty God, whose people have known both the Wilderness and the Promised Land, grant us grace to see beyond our present distress, and to give you hearty thanks for your unfailing mercies, above all for the gift of life itself.  Strengthen us, we pray, that neither drought, nor storm, nor any other despoiler of our fields and flocks may tempt us to cast aside our trust in you; but sow the seed of your Word in our hearts, that, with lively faith and love, we may discover your gracious providence even in the sorrows and troubles of this mortal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
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