quotes B
babies banking baptism Baptists beards beauty betrayal bias Bible bigotry birds blasphemy blindness blonde boasting body books boredom brevity bribery Britain Bunyan


Baby: Nine months interest on a small deposit.

A baby is an alimentary canal with a loud voice at one end and no responsibility at the other. -- Ronald Knox


By means of the banking system the distribution of capital as a special business, a social function, is taken out of the hands of the private capitalists and usurers. But at the same time, banking and credit become the most effective means of driving capitalist production beyond its own limits and one of the most effective vehicles of crises and swindle.
Karl Marx, "Capital", vol. 3.


The only problem with baptists is that they aren't held under the water long enough.

The offspring of believers are born holy, because their children, while yet in the womb, before they breathe the vital air, have been adopted into the covenant of eternal life. Nor are they brought into the church by baptism on any other ground than because they belonged to the body of the Church before they were born.
[Interim Adultero&endash;&endash;germanum: cui adiecta est vera Christianae Pacificationis et Ecclesiae Reformandae Ratio. Per Joann. Calvinum. Corpus Reformatorum, vol. 35, 619, cited by Schenck, The Presbyterian Doctrine of Children in the Covenant: An Historical Study of the Significance of Infant Baptism in the Presbyterian Church in America, Yale Univ. Press, 1940, p. 13.]

Our children, before they are born, God declares that he adopts for his own when he promisesd that he will be a God to us, and our seed after us. In this promise their salvation is included. Calvin's Institutes (4.xv.20)

...we maintain that children who happen to depart this life before an opportunity of immersing them in water, ar not excluded from the kingdom of heaven. ...it follows, that the children of believers are not baptised, in order that though formerly aliens from the Church, they may then, for the first time, become children of God, but rather are received into the Church, by a formal sign, because, in virtue of the promise, they previously belonged to the body of Christ. Hence, if, in omitting the sign, there is neither sloth, nor contempt, nor negligence, we are safe from all danger. Calvin's Institutes (4.xv.22)

The children of believers are baptized not in order that they who were previously strangers to the church may then for the first time become children of God, but rather that, because by the blessing of the promise they already belonged to the body of Christ, they are received into the church with this solemn sign J Calvin Institutes, IV, xv, 22

These darts are aimed more at God than at us. For it is very clear from many testimonies of Scripture that circumcision was also a sign of repentance. Then Paul calls it the seal of the righteousness of faith....For although infants, at the very moment they were circumcised, did not comprehend with their understanding what that sign meant, they were truly circumcised to the mortification of their corrupt and defiled nature, a mortification that they would afterward practice in mature years. To sum up, this objection can be solved without difficulty: infants are baptized into future repentance and faith, and even though these have not yet been formed in them, the seed of both lies hidden within them by the secret working of the Spirit.
J Calvin Institutes, IV, xvi, 20

And though, in adults, the receiving of the sign ought to follow the understanding of its meaning, yet, as will shortly be explained, a different rule must be followed with children. No other conclusion can be drawn from a passage in Peter, on which they strongly found. He says, that baptism is "not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God by the resurrection of Jesus Christ" (1 Pet. 3:21). From this they contend that nothing is left for pÊdobaptism, which becomes mere empty smoke, as being altogether at variance with the meaning of baptism. But the delusion which misleads them is, that they would always have the thing to precede the sign in the order of time. For the truth of circumcision consisted in the same answer of a good conscience; but if the truth must necessarily have preceded, infants would never have been circumcised by the command of God. But he himself, showing that the answer of a good conscience forms the truth of circumcision, and, at the same time, commanding infants to be circumcised, plainly intimates that, in their case, circumcision had reference to the future. Wherefore, nothing more of present effect is to be required in pÊdobaptism, than to confirm and sanction the covenant which the Lord has made with them. The other part of the meaning of the sacrament will follow at the time which God himself has provided. John Calvin, Insitutes of the Christian Religion, IV,16,21

The anabaptists pretend that children, not as yet having reason, ought not to receive baptism. I answer: That reason in no way contributes to faith. Nay, in that children are destitute of reason, they are all the more fit and proper recipients of baptism. For reason is the greatest enemy that faith has: it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the Divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God. If God can communicate the Holy Ghost to grown persons, he can, a fortiori, communicate it to young children. Faith comes of the Word of God, when this is heard; little children hear that Word when they receive baptism, and therewith they receive also faith.
Martin Luther (1483-1546), Table Talk CCCLIII [1569] .

Some one sent to know whether it was permissible to use warm water in baptism? The Doctor replied: "Tell the blockhead that water, warm or cold, is water. Martin Luther (1483-1546), Table Talk CCCLIV[1569].


QUESTION: How do you keep a Baptist from drinking all your beer when you go fishing with him?
ANSWER: Go fishing with TWO Baptists.


A beard is an asset more often than not. It gives strength to a face more often than not. Women are aroused by a beard. - Anon quoted in L, Dunklind and J Foley, the Guinness Book of Beards and Moustaches

Like all other excellent things except mushrooms, the beard does not spring up in a single night. - A magazine writer in the 1890s quoted in L Dunklind and J Foley, The Guinness Book of Beards and Moustaches

"Beard Shaving and the Common Use of the Razor; an Unnatural, Irrational, Unmanly, Ungodly and Fatal Fashion among Christians"
"Shaving , a break of the Sabbath and a Hindrance to the Spread of the Gospel' - 19th century book titles quoted in "My Bearded Friend", Keith Stewart

Facial hair on men is also a powerful symbol. It represents nonconformity, masculinity and unruliness. - Erica Jong

We have now for many centuries triumphed over nature to the extent of making certain secondary characteristics of the male (such as the beard) disagreeable to nearly all the females--and there is more in that than you might suppose. --Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) _The Screwtape Letters_ [1942], "Letter 20"

You know it's hard to hear what a bearded man is saying. He can't speak above a whisker.~Herman J Mankeiwicz, in R.E.Drennan, Wit's End

Kissing a fella with a beard is like a picnic. You don't mind going through a little brush to get there. Minnie Pearl (1912 &endash; 1996)

Of the seven dwarves only Dopey had a shaven face This should tell us something about the custom of shaving. ~Tom Robbins, Skinny Legs and All (1990)

He that hath a beard is more than a youth, and he that hath no beard is less than a man.
William Shakespeare. Much Ado about Nothing. Act ii. Sc. 1.

A beard covers a multitude of chins - GJW


Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.1Sam. 16:7

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. - Prov. 31:30

Beauty is to the soul as food is to the body. It fills a need in us that nothing else can fill. -- Frederick Buechner

I cannot spare the luxury of believing that all things beautiful are what they seem. - Fitz-Greene Halleck (1790 &endash; 11867)

A thing of beauty is a joy forever;
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness.
John Keats 1795-1821 Endymion. Book i.

Some women are not beautiful--they only look as though they were.- Karl Kraus

People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within. - Elizabeth Kubler-Ross (1926 &endash; )

The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety. -- Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)

Euclid alone has looked on beeaty bare.-- Edna St Vincent Millay, The harp-Weaver (1923), 4, sonnet 22.

Beauty is excrescence, superabundance, random ebullience, and sheer delightful waste to be enjoyed in its own right.
Donald Culross Peattie, An Almanac for Moderns

Nothing is more beautiful than cheerfulness in an old face. --Johann Richter [Jean Paul] (1763-1825) _Titan_ [1803]

Beware of pretty faces that you find,
A pretty face can hide an evil mind.
Johnny Rivers _Secret Agent Man_ [1966]

Remember that the most beautiful things in the world are the most useless; peacocks and lilies, for example. -- John Ruskin, The Stones of Venice

What a strange illusion it is to suppose that beauty is goodness.--Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)

She was at the beauty shop for two hours. That was only for the estimate.- Henty Youngman


He that hath a Gospel
To loose upon Mankind,
Though he serve it utterly--
Body, soul and mind--
Though he go to Calvary
Daily for its gain--
It is His Disciple
Shall make his labour vain. 

He that hath a Gospel
For all earth to own--
Though he etch it on the steel,
Or carve it on the stone--Not to be misdoubted
Through the after-days--
It is His Disciple
Shall read it many ways.

It is His Disciple
(Ere Those Bones are dust )
Who shall change the Charter,
Who shall split the Trust--
Amplify distinctions,
Rationalize the Claim;
Preaching that the Master
Would have done the same.

It is His Disciple
Who shall tell us how
Much the Master would have scrapped
Had he lived till now--
What he would have modified
Of what he said before.
It is His Disciple
Shall do this and more....

He that hath a Gospel
Whereby Heaven is won
( Carpenter, or cameleer,
Or Maya's dreaming son ),
Many swords shell pierce Him,
Mingling blood with gall;
But His Own Disciple
Shall wound Him worst of all!
The Disciple "The Church that Was at Antioch" From "Limits and Renewals" (1932) Rudyard Kipling


Two quite opposite qualities equally bias our minds - habit and novelty. La Bruyere.



Either the Bible will keep you away from sin, or sin will keep you away from the Bible!

Before you complain, read the Book.

Why is it that we can't get a child to read the Bible at home, but when in prison they will!

Just as the Holy Spirit came upon the womb of Mary, so He came upon the brain of a Moses, a David, an Isaiah, a Paul, a John and the rest of the writers of the divine library. The power of the Highest overshadowed them, therefore that holy thing which was born of their minds is called the Holy Bible, the word of God. The writing of Luke will, of course, have the vocabulary of Luke and the work of Paul will bear the stamp of Paul s mind. However, this is only in the same manner that the Lord Jesus might have had eyes like his mother s or hair that was the same color and texture as hers. He did not inherit her sins because the Holy Spirit has come upon her. If we ask, how could this be, the answer is God says so. And the writings of men of the Book did not inherit the errors of their carnal minds because their writings were conceived by the Holy Spirit and born out of their personalities without partaking of their fallen nature. If we ask, how could this be, again the answer is God says so. -- DONALD GREY BARNHOUSE, The Invisible War

Oh, ye infidel philosophers, teach me how to find joy in sorrow, strength in weakness, and light in darkest days; how to bear buffeting and scorn; how to welcome death, and to pass through it inot the sphere of life, and this not for me only, but for the whole world that groans and travails in pain; and till you can do this, speak not to be of a better revelation than the Bible.-- Henry Ward Beecher

Both read the Bible day and night
But thou read'st black where I read white
Wm Blake, The Everlasting Gospel. (1818)

Someone quoting the hackneyed sarcasm that "between Protestantism and Romanism thre is but a paper wall," the reply was, "True, but the whole Bible is printed on it." -- Paul Bonchard

The evidence for our New Testament writings is ever so much greater than the evidence for many writings of classical authors, the authenticity of which no-one dreams of questioning. And if the New Testament were a collection of secular writings, their authenticity would generally be regarded as beyond all doubt. It is a curious fact that historians have often been much readier to trust the New Testament than have many theologians.
F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are They Reliable? [1949], p. 15

Either the Bible will keep you away from sin, or sin will keep you away from the Bible I am convinced that a downgrading in priority of . . . prayer and biblical meditation is a major cause of weakness in many Christian communities. . . . Bible study demands pondering deeply on a short passage, like a cow chewing her cud. It is better to read a little and ponder a lot than to read a lot and ponder a little. Denis Parsons Burkitt (1911-1993)

Come to the Bible, not to study the history of God's divine action, but to be its object; not to learn what it has achieved throughout the centuries and still does, but simply to be the subject of its operation.... Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)

Any number of people assume that the Bible says that Eve ate an apple, or that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. Yet the Bible never says a word about whales or apples. In the former case it refers to a fish, which might imply any sort of sea-monster; and in the second, to the essential experience of fruition, or tasting the fruit of the tree, which is obviously more general and even more mystical . . . The things that look silly now are the first rationalistic explanations rather than the first religious or primitive outlines. If those original images had been left in their own natural mystery of dark fruition or dim monsters of the deep, nobody would have quarrelled with them half so much . . . But it is unfair to turn round and blame the Bible because of all these legends and jokes and journalistic allusions, which are read into the Bible by people who have not read the Bible.
G K Chesterton {"The Bible and the Sceptics," The Illustrated London News, 20 April 1929}

Thousands, careless of the damning sin,
Kiss the book's outside who ne'er look within.
William Cowper

You all have by you a large treasure of divine knowledge, in that you have the Bible in your hands; therefore be not contented in possessing but little of this treasure. God hath spoken much to you in the Scripture; labour to understand as much of what he saith as you can. God hath made you all reasonable creatures; therefore let not the noble faculty of reason or understanding lie neglected. Content not yourselves with having so much knowledge as is thrown in your way, and as you receive in some sense unavoidably by the frequent inculcation of divine truth in the preaching of the word, of which you are obliged to be hearers, or as you accidentally gain in conversation; but let it be very much your business to search for it, and that with the same diligence and labour with which men are wont to dig in mines of silver and gold.-- JONATHAN EDWARDS

Be assiduous in reading the Holy Scriptures. This is the fountain whence all knowledge in divinity must be derived. Therefore let not this treasure lie by you neglected..-- Jonathan Edwards

it be a certain truth, that none can understand [the prophets' and apostles'] writings aright, without the same Spirit by which they were written.
The Journal of George Fox (1624-1691)

All the wonders of the Greek civilization heaped together are less wonderful than the single book of Psalms. Greece had all that this world could give her; but the flowers of Paradise blossomed in Palestine alone. --Gladstone, _Place of Ancient Greece_, 1865

We are frequently advised to read the Bible with our own personal needs in mind, and to look for answers to our own private questions. That is good, as far as it goes... But better still is the advice to study the Bible objectively, ... without regard, first of all, to our own subjective needs. Let the great passages fix themselves in our memory. Let them stay there permanently, like bright beacons, launching their powerful shafts of light upon life's problems -- our own and everyone's -- as they illumine, now one, now another dark area of human life. Following such a method, we discover that the Bible does "speak to our condition" and meet our needs, not just occasionally or when some emergency arises, but continually.- Frederick C. Grant:

When a comparison is made of the variant readings of the New Testament with those of other books which have survived from antiquity, the results are little short of astounding. For instance, although there are some 200,000 "errors" among the New Testament manuscripts, these appear in only about 10,000 places, and only about one-sixtieth rise above the level of trivialities. Westcott and Hort, Ezra Abbot, Philip Schaff, and A. T. Robertson have carefully evaluated the evidence and have concluded that the New Testament text is over 99 per cent pure. In the light of the fact that there are over 5,000 Greek manuscripts, some 9,000 versions and translations, the evidence for the integrity of the New Testament is beyond question. ... Norman L. Geisler & William E. Nix, From God to Us

I am very sorry to know and hear how unreverently that most precious jewel, the Word of God, is disputed, rhymed, sung and jangled in every ale-house and tavern, contrary to the true meaning and doctrine of the same.- Henry VIII speaks to Parliament on the translation of the Bible into English: 24 December 1545.

Shallows where a lamb could wade and depths where an elephant could drown~Matthew Henry, Commentaries.

Bibles laid open, millions of surprises. --.George Herbert. 1593-1632. Sin.

Once we truly grasp the message of the New Testament, it is impossible to read the Old Testament again without seeing Christ on every page, in every story, foreshadowed or anticipated in every event and narrative. The Bible must be read as a whole, beginning with Genesis and ending with Revelation, letting promise and fulfillment guide our expectations for what we will find there. MICHAEL HORTON, We Believe

That book [Bible], sir, is the rock on which our republic rests. - attr to Andrew Jackson (1767-1845)In "The New Webster's Dictionary of Quotations and Famous Phrases,"by Donald Bolander, 1987.

A man who is well-grounded in the testimonies of the Scripture is the bulwark of the Church. --. Jerome

The book which is read most, is read by few, compared with those that read it not; and of those few, the greater part peruse it with dispositions that very little favour their own improvement. -- Samuel Johnson: Adventurer #137 (not written about the Bible, but it fits)

A single line in the Bible has consoled me more than all the books I ever read besides. --Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)

I have no rest, but in a nook, with the Book.... Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471)

When people stop reading the Bible and Shakespeare they cut themselve off from an enormous number of figures of speech used in the English language. Growing up without these models, they never develop the habit of using simile and metaphor themselves. Eventually they develop a fear and loathing of all such literary conventions and a conviction that anyone who uses them is beign somehow "insincere." No wonder ringing political oratory is dead. No candidate would dare. -- Florence King, _National Review_, July 23, 2001

The Bible is the only book that has been written not just by human characters inside the story but also by the divine author of the story. Its perspective is double, that of the characters and that of the author, or that of the human authors and that of the divine author. Like Christ - the word of God in person - the Bible, the word of God in writing, is the Word of God in words of men. It has both a human nature and a divine nature. PETER KREEFT, God s Love

In most parts of the Bible, everything is implicitly or explicitly introduced with "Thus saith the Lord". It is... not merely a sacred book but a book so remorselessly and continuously sacred that it does not invite -- it excludes or repels -- the merely aesthetic approach. You can read it as literature only by a tour de force... It demands incessantly to be taken on its own terms: it will not continue to give literary delight very long, except to those who go to it for something quite different. I predict that it will in the future be read, as it always has been read, almost exclusively by Christians. ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), They Asked for a Paper

We must sometimes get away from the Authorized Version, if for no other reason, simply because it is so beautiful and so solemn. Beauty exalts, but beauty also lulls. Early associations endear, but they also confuse. Through that beautiful solemnity, the transporting or horrifying realities of which the Book tells may come to us blunted and disarmed, and we may only sigh with tranquil veneration when we ought to be burning with shame, or struck dumb with terror, or carried out of ourselves by ravishing hopes and adorations. ... C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), God in the Dock

There is not a word in the Bible which is extra cruem, which can be understood without reference to the cross.

The Bible is the cradle wherein Christ is laid. Martin Luther

For some years now I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant. --Luther's Tabletalk No.1877

The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold of me --Martin Luther

One of the many divine qualities of the Bible is that it does not yield its secrets to the irreverent and the censorious.~ James I. Packer

The greatest proof that the Bible is inspired is that it has stood so much bad preaching A.T. Robertson

I am verily persuaded that the Lord has more Truth yet to break forth out of His holy Word. For my part, I cannot sufficiently bewail the Condition of the Reformed Churches, who are come to a Period in Religion and will go at present no farther than the instruments of their Reformation. The Lutheran can't be drawn to go beyond what Luther saw; and the Calvinists, you see, stick fast where they were left by that great man of God, who yet saw not all things... I beseech you, remember, 'tis an Article of your Church Covenant, that you be ready to receive whatever Truth shall be made known to you from the written Word of God.... John Robinson [1620]

Because the Bible is a command word, it is not designed nor does it seek to satisfy our curiosity, but rather to declare God's purpose and law, and to command our faith in and obdience thereto. The command word of a sovereign God can only be an infallible word, and a law word. The Bible does not seek a rational man's assent, because this rational man is a myth. It speaks to a fallen and depraved man whose need is the word of life, and the way of life, Jesus Christ, and the law of that life and person. R.J Rushdoony, Systematic Theology, Vol. 1, p. 25. C

Men today do not, perhaps, burn the Bible, nor does the Roman Catholic Church any longer put it on the Index, as it once did. But men destroy it in the form of exegesis: they destroy it in the way they deal with it. They destroy it by not reading it as written in normal, literary form, by ignoring its historical-grammatical exegesis, by changing the Bible's own perspective of itself as propositional revelation in space and time, in history.... Francis Schaeffer, Death in the City [1969]

Some people like to read so many [Bible] chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather lay my soul asoak in half a dozen verses all day than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up in your very soul, till it saturates your heart! --Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-1892) _Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit_, Volume 27 [1881]

If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy who drives the plough to know more of the scriptures than you do. - William Tyndale (1492-1536) in argument with a scholar.

If criticism has made such discoveries as to necessitate the abandonment of the doctrine of plenary inspiration, it is not enough to say that we are compelled to abandon only a "particular theory of inspiration..." We must go on to say that that "particular theory of inspiration" is the theory of the apostles and of the Lord, and that in abandoning it we are abandoning them.... B. B. Warfield (1851-1921), The Inspiration and Authority of the Bible [1948]

If we abide by the principles taught in the Bible, our country will go on prospering and to prosper; but if we and our posterity neglect its instructions and authority, no man can tell how sudden a catastrophe may overwhelm us, and bury all our glory in profound obscurity. -- Webster

I am a creature of a day. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God. I want to know one thing: the way to heaven. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. He has written it down in a book. Oh, give me that book! At any price give me the book of God. Let me be a man of one book.

We search the world for truth;
We cull the good, the pure, the beautiful,
From all old flower fields of the soul;
And weary seekers of the best,
We come back laden from our quest,
To find that all the sages said,
Is in the Book our mothers read.
-John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892)_Mariam_

This Bible is for the government of the people, by the people and for the people.-- --John Wycliffe (?1330-1384) in The Lion Christian Quotation Collection, 1997


In America today, the only respectable form of bigotry is bigotry directed at religious people.- William Bennett, quoted in John Bolt, A Free Church, A Holy Nation: Abraham Kuyper's American Public Theology, Eeerdmans, 2001

Anti-clericalism and non-belief have their bigots just as orthodoxy does. ~ Julien Green, Journal (July 23, 1945)


Sparrowhawks, Ma'am. --Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852) (attrib. remark to Q. Victoria on how to remove birds from the newly built Crystal Palace)


Blasphemy itself could not survive religion; if anyone doubts that let him try to blaspheme Odin .
G. K. Chesterton, in Geoffrey Hughes, "Swearing" (1991), p. 37.


It is not miserable to be blind; it is miserable to be incapable of enduring blindness.-John Milton


A blonde woman is quite often chased.

She was a blonde. The kind of blonde that would make a bishop kick in a stained glass window. -- Raymond Chandler

She was a suicide blonde, dyed by her own hand. -- Raymond Chandler

A chaste woman ought not to dye her hair yellow.~Menander 342-291 BC


The one sole thing in myself in which I glory is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory. Catherine of Genoa

You must stir it and strump it
And blow your own trumpet
Or - trust me - you haven't a chance.
Gilbert & Sullivan (Pirates of Penzance)

Mobile phones are the only subject on which men boast about who's got the smallest. --Neil Kinnock  


I inhabit a week, frail, decayed tenement; battered by the winds and broken in on by the storms, and, from all I can learn, the landlord does not intend to repair. -- John Quincy Adams

Man has held three views of his body. First there is that of those ascetic Pagans who called it the prison or the "tomb" of the soul, and of Christians like Fisher to whom it was a "sack of dung", food for worms, filthy, shameful, a source of nothing but temptation to bad men and humiliation to good ones. Then there are the Neo-Pagans (they seldom know Greek), the nudist and the sufferers from Dark Gods, to whom the body is glorious. But thirdly we have the view which St. Francis expressed by calling his body, "Brother Ass". All three may be---I am not sure--defensible; but give me St. Francis for my money. "Ass" is exquisitely right because no one in his senses can either rever or hate a donkey. It is a useful, sturdy, lazy, obstinate, patient, lovable and infuriating beast; deserving now the stick and now a carrot; both pathetically and absurdly beautiful. So the body. There's no living with it till we recognise that one of its functions in our lives is to play the part of buffoon. Until some theory has sophisticated them, every man, woman and child in the world knows this. The fact that we have bodies is the oldest joke there is....The highest does not stand without the lowest. There is indeed at certain moments a high poetry in the flesh itself; but also, by your leave, an irreducible element of obstinate and ludicrous unpoetry. If it does not make itself felt on one occasion, it will on another. Far better to plant it foresquare within the drama of Eros as comic relief than pretend you haven't noticed it. -- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves


Too many books, not enough time

Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. -- Francis Bacon. 1561-1626. Of Studies.

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man. -- Francis Bacon. 1561-1626. Of Studies.

He has only half learned the art of reading who has not added to it the even more refined accomplishments of skipping and skimming.A. J. Balfour (1848-1930)

Where is human nature so weak as in a bookstore? --Henry Ward Beecher

Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house. --Henry Ward Beecher

Thank God for books! And yet thank God that the great realm of truth lies yet outside of books, too vast to be mastered by types or imprisoned in libraries. ~ Henry Ward Beecher, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887)

The covers of this book are too far apart. --Ambrose Bierce

I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges

The mere brute pleasure of reading - the sort of pleasure a cow must have in grazing. ~G.K. Chesterton

A room without books is like a body without a soul. Marcus Tullius -- Cicero (106-43 BC).

We propose to burn the academic libraries, because Theology is only fanaticism, History is lies, Philosophy is dreams, and Science is unnecessary. The Commune of Marseilles

Books are the ever burning lamps of accumulated wisdom. -- George Curtis

I cannot believe that a person who has ever known the love of God can relish a secular novel. - Charles Finney

I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead. &emdash;Samuel Goldwyn

Good writing makes the truth shine out - Hadith

Steal not this book, my honest friend,
For fear the gallows should be your end,
And when you die the Lord will say,
And where's the book you stole away?
Richard Hooker (1554-1600)

The final measure of the greatness of all peoples is the amount and standard of the literature and all they have produced. The world does not know that a people is great until that people produces great literature and art. James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) "The Book of Negro Poetry," preface, 1931

You can never be wise unless you love reading ~ Samuel Johnson to Francis Barber quoted in Robert de Maria Jr, Samuel Johnson and the Life of Reading (1997)

The love of books is a love which requires neither justification, apology, or defense. -- J. A. Langford, "The Praise of Books" (1880).

No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.

The love of learning, the sequestered nooks,
And all the sweet of books.
Henry W. Longfellow. 1807-1882. Morituri Salutamus.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. -- Groucho Marx

For him that stealeth a book from this library, let it change into a serpent in his hand and rend him. Let him be struck by palsy and all his members blasted. Let him languish in pain, crying aloud for mercy, and let there be no surcease for his agony until he sinks into dissolution. Let book-worms gnaw his entrails in token of the worm that dieth not, and when at last he goeth to his final punishment, let the flames of hell consume for ever and aye.
The Librarian at the Monastery of San Pedro, Barcelona

No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. -- Lady M. W. Montague

This novel is not to be tossed lightly aside, but to be hurled with great force. -- Dorothy Parker

Books . . . are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development. -- Dorothy L. Sayers (1893-1957) In "The Beacon Book of Quotations by Women," by Rosalie Maggio, 1994.

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents. - Arthur Schopenhauer, 1788 - 1860

Be careful of reading health books, you might die of a misprint. -- Mark Twain

The world is coming to an end!
Repent and return those library books!
verax@mindspring.com (Serenleono)'s t-shirt

We will set a torch to all libraries; we need no more than the History of the Revolution and of the laws. -- Bertrand Barere de Vieuzac

Beware that you are not swallowed up in books! An ounce of love is worth a pound of knowledge.
John Wesley (1703-1791) In "The Speaker's Electronic Reference Collection," AApex Software, 1994.

To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations&emdash;such is a pleasure beyond compare.-- Kenko Yoshida


Marx, Darwin and Freud are the three most crashing bores of the Western World. Simplistic popularization of their ideas has thrust our world into a mental straitjacket from which we can only escape by the most anarchic violence. - William Golding (1911-1993) : Belief and Creativity, lecture, 11 Apr, 1980.

Surely life, if it be not long, is tedious, since we are forced to call in the assistance of so many trifles to rid us of our time, of that time which never can return. Samuel Johnson (Boswell: Life of Johnson)

A dull country magistrate gave Johnson a long tedious account of his exercising his criminal jurisdiction, the result of which was his having sentenced four convicts to transportation. Johnson, in an agony of impatience to get rid of such a companion, exclaimed, "I heartily wish, Sir, that I were a fifth.- James Boswell: Life of Johnson


The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do. &emdash;Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Brevity is the soull of wit. - Ws Hamlet ac2,sc2,li70

Brevity is the soul of lingerie


Many curry favor with a ruler, and everyone is the friend of a man who gives gifts. --The Bible, Proverbs 19:6 NIV

Presents, believe me, seduce both men and gods. --Ovid [Publius Ovidius Naso] (43 B.C.-18 A.D.) _The Art of Love_



The Welsh kept the sabbath, and anything else they could lay hands on, the Scots prayed on their knees, and preyed on their neighbors. The Irish were never sure what they wanted, but were always willing to fight for it. And the English proclaimed themselves to be a self made people, thus relieving the Almighty of a burdensome responsibility.

'Tis Liberty that crowns Britannia's Isle,
And makes her barren rocks and her bleak mountains smile.
Others with towering piles may please the sight,
And in their proud aspiring domes delight;
A nicer touch to the stretch'd canvas give,
Or teach their animated rocks to live:
'Tis Britain's care to watch o'er Europe's fate,
And hold in balance each contending state,
To threaten bold presumptuous kings with war,
And answer her afflicted neighbours' pray'r.
Joseph Addision, _Letter from Italy to the Right Honorable Lord Halifax_, 1701

Here as in no other country, the teachings of Holy Writ are venerated...Here, as in no other empire in the world, there breathes a passionate love of freedom, a burning hatred of tyrant wrong. --Hermann Adler, dedication to memorial of Jewish soldiers killed in the Boer War, 1905

Britain opened its doors to all comers, but extended a warm embrace to no-one. - Rosemary Ashton, Little Germany - Exile and Asylum in Victorian Engalnd, p 243.

But now, it is not as a woman descended from noble ancestry, but as one of the people that I am avenging lost freedom, my scourged body, the outraged chastity of my daughters. Roman lust has gone so far that not our very person, nor even age or virginity, are left unpolluted. But heaven is on the side of a righteous vengeance; a legion which dared to fight has perished; the rest are hiding themselves in their camp, or are thinking anxiously of flight. They will not sustain even the din and the shout of so many thousands, much less our charge and our blows. If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die. This is a woman's resolve; as for men, they may live and be slaves. -- Boadicea, queen of the Iceni, in Tacitus' _Annals_, Book XIV

This island is made mainly of coal and surrounded by fish. Only an organizing genius could produce a shortage of coal and fish at the same time. - Aneurin Bevan (1897 &endash; 1960)

God save our gracious Queen,
Long live our noble Queen,
God save the Queen!
Send her victorious,
Happy and Glorious,
Long to reign over us;
God save the Queen!

O Lord our God arise,
Scatter her enemies
And make them fall;
Confound their politics,
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix,
Oh, save us all

Thy choicest gifts in store
On her be pleased to pour;
Long may she reign;
May she defend our laws,
And ever give us cause
To sing with heart and voice,
God save the Queen!

Not in this land alone,
But be God's mercies known,
From shore to shore!
Lord make the nations see,
That men should brothers be,
And form one family,
The wide world over

From every latent foe,
From the assassins blow,
God save the Queen!
O'er her thine arm extend,
For Britain's sake defend,
Our mother, prince, and friend,
God save the Queen!
attr. to Henry Carey, 1740

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us. Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. but if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the light of perverted science. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Empire and Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, "This was their finest hour."
Excerpt of Speech given by Winston Churchill to the House of Commons as the The Battle of Britain Begins, 18 June 1940

This is a Christian country. Not in the sense that it has an established religion - although in England it has. Not in the sense that we might wish it to be so - it is not this newspaper's role to prescribe such matters of conscience for readers. This is a Christian country simply in the unanswerable sense that most of its citizens think of themselves as Christians. Earlier this month, in a report on the 2001 census, it was revealed that 42 million people in Britain - some 72% of the entire population - stated their religion as Christian. Enter what caveats you like about the figures - that this profession of Christianity may be mostly nominal, that the followers of other faiths must not be excluded, that the profession of any religion, or none, should be a purely private matter - but they are striking none the less. At the very least, they show that the church provides an extensive institutional and collective bond for many more people than we might otherwise imagine in what is often seen as an atomised and secular society.-Guardian editorial:

Love her or hate her, Margaret Thatcher is the defining figure in British politics, even more so now than when she was in office. It is impossible to understand New Labour except in terms of her achievements....
Margaret Thatcher made it necessary and possible for Tony Blair and Philip Gould to create New Labour. Her election victories prove that she had a deep understanding of the mood of the British public in the late 1970s and 1980s, and it became obvious to the left that unless it embraced that understanding, it would be doomed to perpetual election defeat.
Specifically, she understood that the British public were dissatisfied with an economy that failed to create prosperity and reward enterprise, and with public services (and public industries) dominated by producers and of scandalously poor quality. The results of her reforms were so spectacular and popular that it is amazing that it took Labour four election defeats to accept how much it needed to change....
Ever since Tony Blair began to recognise the achievement of Margaret Thatcher, he has never looked back.....
After the Thatcher period, however, the dragons had been slain, leaving the Conservatives with less purpose, making it possible for the British public to elect a seemingly benign and pleasant centre-left government....
The current Conservatives need to understand Britain just as clearly as did Margaret Thatcher if they are ever to aspire to government again.
Tessa Keswick. The Guardian. Tuesday April 20, 1999

Weallas, or Welshman, was one of the Old English words for slave; which showed where the Anglo-Saxons got their slaves.
R Lacey and D Danziger, The Year 1000, Little, Brown and Co,GB, 1999, p46.

In particular, our symbols are permeated by a religious tradition. It used to be said "there ain't no black in the Union Jack". Well, there ain't no Crescent neither. Nor, for that matter, no Star of David nor any religious symbol, but the Cross. - Oliver Letwin MP  E pluribus unum - agreeing to differ http://www.conservatives.com/news/article.cfm?obj_id=58240

A whole troop of foreigners would not be able to withstand a single Celt if he called his wife to his assistance. The wife is even more formidable. She is usually very strong, and with blue eyes; in rage her neck veins swell, she gnashes her teeth, and brandishes her snow-white robust arms. She begins to strike blows mingled with kicks, as if they were so many missles sent from the string of a catapault. - Ammianus Marcellinus, Celtic Women

Though the island of Great Britain exhibits but a small spot upon the map of the globe, it makes a splendid appearance in the history of mankind, and for a long space has been signally under the protection of God and a seat of peace, liberty and truth.- John Newton (1725-1807), sermon, quoted in Andrew Thomson, Margaret Thatcher: The Woman Within, pp 68-69

Social dealings in private life are filled with fear, especially in Britain. People take pains not to wear their heart on their sleeves for daws to peck at. As far as they can, they keep their emotions to themselves. The will behave in exactly the same way to you whether they like or dislike you, provided they have no motive of self-interest for making up to you. They are stiff and shy and unspontaneous. They wear an armour designed to conceal the frightened child within. The result is that social intercourse becomes boring, that friendships have little life in them, and that love is only a pale shadow of what it might be.
Bertrand Russell, Life Without Fear New Hopes for a Changing World (1951)

The British are made up of four races:
- The Welsh, who pray on their knees and their neighbors;
- The Scots, who keep the Sabbath and anything else they can lay their hands on;
- The Irish, who don't know what they want but are willing to die for it;
- And the English, who consider themselves a race of self-made men, thereby relieving the Almighty of a dreadful responsibility. -- George Bernard Shaw

Britannia will never again wield the unrivalled power she enjoyed at her imperial apogee, but the Britannic inheritance endures, to one degree or another, in many of the key regional players in the world today &emdash; Australia, India, South Africa &emdash; and in dozens of island statelets from the Caribbean to the Pacific. If China ever takes its place as an advanced nation, it will be because the People's Republic learns more from British Hong Kong than Hong Kong learns from the Little Red Book. And of course the dominant power of our time derives its political character from 18th-century British subjects who took English ideas a little further than the mother country was willing to go. -- Mark Steyn, "Only Bush can save Europe", _The Spectator_, April 17, 2004

Who the first inhabitants of Britain were, whether natives or immigrants, remains obscure; one must remember we are dealing with barbarians.- Tacitus, AD 98:

Shine, mighty God, on Britain shine,
With beams of heav'nly grace;
Reveal thy power through all our coasts,
And show thy smiling face.

Amidst our isle, exalted high,
Do thou our glory stand,
And, like a wall of guardian fire,
Surround the fav'rite land.

When shall thy name, from shore to shore,
Sound all the earth abroad;
And distant nations know and love
Their Saviour and their God?

Sing to the Lord, ye distant lands,
Sing loud with solemn voice;
While British tongues exalt his praise,
And British hearts rejoice.

He, the great Lord, the sovereign Judge,
That sits enthroned above,
Wisely commands the worlds he made
In justice and in love.

Earth shall obey her Maker's will,
And yield a full increase;
Our God will crown his chosen isle
With fruitfulness and peace.

God the Redeemer scatters round
His choicest favors here,
While the creation's utmost bound
Shall see, adore, and fear.
Isaac Watts, PSALM 67, The nation's prosperity, and the church's increase.

I don't know what effect these men will have on the enemy, but by God, they frighten me.--Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852)(attrib.)

[of the British army, 1831] Ours is composed of the scum of the earth. --Arthur Wellesley (1769-1852)


With Paine's The Rights of Man, The Pilgrim's Progress is one of the foundation documents of the working class movement. - E P Thompson, The making of the English Working Class

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