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Quotes by G. K.

Chesterton
5
Government has become ungovernable;
that is, it cannot leave off governing.
Law has become lawless; that is, it
cannot see where laws should stop.

The chief feature of our time


is the meekness of the mob and the madness
of the government.
Tradition does not mean a dead town; it does not
mean that the living are dead but that the dead
are alive. It means that it still matters what
Penn did two hundred years ago or what
Franklin did a hundred years ago;

I never could feel in New York that it mattered


what anybody did an hour ago.
The reformer is always right
about what's wrong.
However, he's often wrong
about what is right.
Christendom has had a series of
revolutions and in each one of them
Christianity has died. Christianity has
died many times and risen again;
for it had a God who knew the way
out of the grave.
Humor can get in under the
door while seriousness is
still fumbling at the handle.
As regards moral courage,
then, it is not so much
that the public schools
support it feebly,
as that they suppress it firmly.
If a man would make his
world large, he must be
always making himself small.
Man must have just enough
faith in himself to have
adventures, and just enough
doubt of himself to enjoy them.
The blank page is God's way
of letting us know how hard
it is to be God.
The believers in miracles accept
them (rightly or wrongly) because
they have evidence for them. The
disbelievers in miracles deny them
(rightly or wrongly) because they
have a doctrine against them.
I felt in my bones; first, that this world does
not explain itself. It may be a miracle with a
supernatural explanation; it may be a
conjuring trick, with a natural explanation.
But the explanation of the conjuring trick, if
it is to satisfy me, will have to be better

than the natural explanations I have heard.


Individually, men may present a more or less
rational appearance, eating, sleeping, and
scheming. But humanity as a whole is
changeful, mystical, fickle, delightful. Men
are men, but Man is a woman.
The simplest truth about man is that he is
a very strange being; almost in the sense of
being a stranger on the earth. In all
sobriety, he has much more of the external
appearance of one bringing alien habits
from another land than of a mere growth
of this one.
Truth can
understand error,
but error cannot
understand truth.
The weakness of all Utopias is this, that they
take the greatest difficulty of man and assume
it to be overcome, and then give an elaborate
account of the overcoming of the smaller ones.
They first assume that no man will want
more than his share, and then are very
ingenious in explaining whether his share will
be delivered by motor-car or balloon..
There is only one thing that that
it requires real courage to say,
and that is a truism.
Real mystics don't hide mysteries, they
reveal them. They set a thing up in broad
daylight, and when you've seen it, it's
still a mystery. But the mystagogues
hide a thing in darkness and secrecy, and
when you find it, it's a platitude.
It is quite easy to see why a legend is treated,
and ought to be treated, more respectfully
than a book of history.
The legend is generally made by the majority
of people in the village, who are sane.
The book is generally written by
the one man in the village who is mad.