“The city of Christ, which, although as yet a stranger upon earth, had countless hosts of citizens, did not make war upon its godless persecutors for the sake of temporal security, but preferred to win eternal salvation by abstaining from war. They were bound, imprisoned, beaten, tortured, burned, torn in pieces, massacred, and yet they multiplied. It was not given to them to fight for their eternal salvation except by despising their temporal salvation for their Savior’s sake.”
— Augustine, The City of God, XXII.6
Be comforted; it is not from yourself that you must expect it, but on the contrary you must expect it by expecting nothing from yourself.
— Blaise Pascal, Pensees, 202 (517)
When the business man rebukes the idealism of his office-boy, it is commonly in some such speech as this: “Ah, yes, when one is young, one has these ideals in the abstract and these castles in the air; but in middle age they all break up like clouds, and one comes down to a belief in practical politics, to using the machinery one has and getting on with the world as it is.” Thus, at least, venerable and philanthropic old men now in their honoured graves used to talk to me when I was a boy. But since then I have grown up and have discovered that these philanthropic old men were telling lies. What has really happened is exactly the opposite of what they said would happen. They said that I should lose my ideals and begin to believe in the methods of practical politicians. Now, I have not lost my ideals in the least; my faith in fundamentals is exactly what it always was. What I have lost is my old childlike faith in practical politics. I am still as much concerned as ever about the Battle of Armageddon; but I am not so much concerned about the General Election. As a babe I leapt up on my mother’s knee at the mere mention of it. No; the vision is always solid and reliable. The vision is always a fact. It is the reality that is often a fraud …
G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy
“Voting, we might even say, is the next to last refuge of the politically impotent. The last refuge is, of course, giving your opinion to a pollster, who will get a version of it through a desiccated question, and then will submerge it in a Niagara of similar opinions, and convert them into – what else? – another piece of news. Thus, we have here a great loop of impotence: the news elicits from you a variety of opinions about which you can do nothing except to offer them as more news, about which you can do nothing.”
— Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death
“Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex.”
— Frank Zappa
“It is my duty to distrust mine own ability, that I may have reliance on Him that is stronger than all.”
— Mr. Great-heart in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 2
Today we launch a new category of posts on Pilgrimagination: Quotable Quotes. Here is the first of what will hopefully prove to be many more to come:
Human life, I have come to feel, in all its public or collective manifestations, is only theater, and mostly cheap melodrama at that … There is nothing serious under the sun except love; of fellow mortals and of God.