GK Chesterton Quotes

“In truth, there are only two kinds of people; those who accept dogma and know it, and those who accept dogma and don’t know it.”

“The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid.” 

“Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of ‘touching’ a man’s heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it.”

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

“The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.”

GK Chesterton

“Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die…A soldier surrounded by enemies, if he is to cut his way out, needs to combine a strong desire for living with a strange carelessness about dying. He must not merely cling to life, for then he will be a coward, and will not escape. He must not merely wait for death, for then he will be a suicide, and will not escape. He must seek his life in a spirit of furious indifference to it; he must desire life like water and yet drink death like wine. No philosopher, I fancy, has ever expressed this romantic riddle with adequate lucidity, and I certainly have not done so. But Christianity has done more: it has marked the limits of it in the awful graves of the suicide and the hero, showing the distance between him who dies for the sake of living and him who dies for the sake of dying.” 

“If I did not believe in God, I should still want my doctor, my lawyer and my banker to do so.”

“The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”

“Children are innocent and love justice, while most adults are wicked and prefer mercy.”


11 thoughts on “GK Chesterton Quotes

    • Agreed! Although somewhat lazy on my part – since I didn’t actually write anything – I felt like a post containing nothing but Chesterton quotes would adequately speak for itself. 🙂

  1. MATT since you mention being “lazy,” something you are far from by the way, here is a longer but rather appropriate quote both for this post and our lives in general…

    “It is customary to complain of the bustle and strenuousness of our epoch. But in truth the chief mark of our epoch is a profound laziness and fatigue; and the fact is that the real laziness is the cause of the apparent bustle. Take one quite external case; the streets are noisy with taxicabs and motorcars; but this is not due to human activity but to human repose. There would be less bustle if there were more activity, if people were simply walking about. Our world would be more silent if it were more strenuous. And this which is true of the apparent physical bustle is true also of the apparent bustle of the intellect. Most of the machinery of modern language is labour-saving machinery; and it saves mental labour very much more than it ought. Scientific phrases are used like scientific wheels and piston-rods to make swifter and smoother yet the path of the comfortable. Long words go rattling by us like long railway trains. We know they are carrying thousands who are too tired or too indolent to walk and think for themselves. It is a good exercise to try for once in a way to express any opinion one holds in words of one syllable. If you say “The social utility of the indeterminate sentence is recognized by all criminologists as a part of our sociological evolution towards a more humane and scientific view of punishment,” you can go on talking like that for hours with hardly a movement of the gray matter inside your skull. But if you begin “I wish Jones to go to gaol and Brown to say when Jones shall come out,” you will discover, with a thrill of horror, that you are obliged to think. The long words are not the hard words, it is the short words that are hard. There is much more metaphysical subtlety in the word “damn” than in the word “degeneration.”

    From “Orthodoxy” by GK Chesterton

    Conclusion (Richard speaking now)–Chesterton would have loved blogging but hated Google. Blessed night.

  2. Pingback: GK Chesterton Quotes | Well Spent Journey « Wanda's World

  3. “If I did not believe in God, I should still want my doctor, my lawyer and my banker to do so.”

    Interesting point. Unfortunately my impression is that lawyers and God keep little company together nowadays, to the point where, when I mentioned that a lawyer I had just met was an atheist, a Christian classmate of mine had this (very sarcastic) response:

    “You can’t expect me to believe that there is an atheist attorney. Impossible.”

    • Brings to mind an episode in church a while back. The pastor was speaking about how wonderful life in heaven will be with no pain, no suffering, etc. Then he went on to say there would be no lawyers in heaven.

      At which point one of the few saved-by-faith lawyers in the congregation, said just a little too loud, “wait, what???” And left the pastor spluttering about how he meant there would be no NEED for lawyers in heaven.

      I don’t really remember anything else about that sermon. But, really, there was no possibility of recovering from the guffaws that followed.

  4. Pingback: Book Review: “Orthodoxy” | Well Spent Journey

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