The Common Things

Most common things will be found to be highly complicated. Some men of science do indeed get over the difficulty by dealing only with the easy part of it: thus, they will call first love the instinct of sex, and the awe of death the instinct of self-preservation. But this is only getting over the difficulty of describing a peacock [plume] by calling it blue. There is blue in it… The materialists analyze the easy part, deny the hard part, and go home to their tea.

Living Tomorrow

For an aristocracy is always progressive; it is a form of going the pace. Their parties grow later and later at night; for they are trying to live tomorrow.

New Ideals

In the modern world we are primarily confronted with the extraordinary spectacle of people turning to new ideals because the have not tried the old. Men have not got tired of Christianity; they have never found enough Christianity to get tired of. Men have not wearied of political justice; they have wearied of waiting for it.

The Christian Ideal

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.

The Ultimate Sanity of Man

The Christian religion has specially uttered the ultimate sanity of Man, says Scripture, who shall judge the incarnate and human truth. Our lives and laws are not judged by divine superiority, but simply by human perfection. It is man, says Aristotle, who is the measure. It is the Son of Man, says Scripture, who shall judge the quick and the dead.

Chicken and the Egg

The egg only exists to produce the chicken. But the chicken does not exist only in order to produce another egg. He may also exist to amuse himself, to praise God, and even to suggest ideas to a French dramatist . Being a conscious life, he is, or may be, valuable in himself.

Politics

You politicians are none the worse for a few inconvenient ideals.

Democracy

The Declaration of Independence dogmatically bases all rights on the fact that God created all men equal; and it is right; for if they were not created equal, they were certainly evolved unequal. There is no basis for democracy except in a dogma about the divine origin of man.

Religion

Religion is not the church a man goes to but the cosmos he lives in.

Drink

Jesus Christ also made wine, not a medicine, but a sacrament. But [the non-Christian] makes it, not a sacrament, but a medicine. He feasts because life is not joyful; he revels because he is not glad.nn”Drink”, he says, “for you know not whence you come nor why. Drink, for you know not when you go nor where. Drink, because the stars are cruel and the world as idle as a humming-top. Drink, because there is nothing worth trusting, nothing worth fighting for. Drink, because all things are lapsed in a base equality and an evil peace.” So he stands offering us the cup in his hand.nnAnd at the high altar of Christianity stands another figure, in whose hand also is the cup of the vine. “Drink” he says “for the whole world is as red as this wine, with the crimson of the love and wrath of God. Drink, for the trumpets are blowing for battle and this is the stirrup-cup. Drink, for this is my blood of the new testament that is shed for you. Drink, for I know of whence you come and why. Drink, for I know of when you go and where.”

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