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APHORISMS the incarnation of the religion of a people. If Christianity goes, then the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you cannot put on a new culture ready-made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many years of barbarism.

T.S. Eliot

Man is now thinking out a Bible for himself, framing a religion in harmony with the development of liberal thought; constructing a worship on the principles of taste and culture; shaping a God to suit the expanding aspirations of the age.

Horatius Bonar, Scottish Presbyterian minister and hymnwriter (1800-1880)

Do not let evil into your heart, or else it will make its home there.

Agatha Christie

A smile is a curve that sets a lot of things straight.


(This was) in spite of the numbers of lunatics then at large, each interpreting scripture according to his own darkness and agreeing only in condemning delight.

John Masefield, So Long to Learn, P.176

On the re-establishment of civilization and culture:

Man will re-create the arts, or die. In any re-creation of the arts, there is a re-establishment of the idea of holiness, of the brightness that endures, of the truth that blesses, of the peace that burns away all self.
In the day of that brightness, truth and peace, folly will begin to wither: the new toys will seem dust in the hand, the fire in the heart, reality.

John Masefield, So Long to Learn, P. 237

In the arts, the physical man wishes to see only action. The man of more refinement wishes to feel. The educated man wishes to reflect. But the spiritual man wishes to be inspired to pray.

From an early Victorian family magazine

If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear as it is, infinite.

William Blake

Superstition is the religion of feeble minds.

Edmund Burke

Standing, as I do, in the view of God and eternity I realize that patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone.

Edith Cavell, spoken before her execution by firing squad in 1915

God made the country, and man made the town.

William Cowper

The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.

Lord Grey of Falloden, 3 August 1914

But all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.

Dame Julian of Norwich

The Puritan hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.

Lord Macaulay

If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

Sir Isaac Newton

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.

Edward John Phelps

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Even if you do win the rat race, you are still a rat.

Robert Mitchell, Edgbaston

If art has any purpose, then it must be a way of apprehending the reality of God through His visible and tangible creations.

George Rose (Suffolk artist, +1956)

'If you never do anything wrong, you will always do everything right'.

The servant of God Tatiana.

If parents can employ doctors to kill their unwanted children in the womb, it will not be long before children will be able to employ doctors to kill their unwanted parents.

Bernard Smith, 1985.

The heresies we should fear are those which can be confused with orthodoxy.

from The Theologians by Jorge Luis Borges
Argentine author with an English grandmother

God so loved the world that He did not send a committee.


Peace does not follow the munitions train; it follows in the wake of the Prince of Peace.

Gipsy Smith, First World War chaplain

For ever by the soul only
The nations shall be great and free.


The biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.


To be happy is to be content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion. To be worthy, not respectable; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages with open heart. To bear all cheerfully, to do bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual unbidden and unconscious come up through the common.

W.H. Channing

Youth is not a time of life - it is a state of mind. No-one grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. You are as young as your faith and as old as your doubt, as young as your hope and as old as your despair.


Everybody wants to go to Paradise, but nobody wants to die.

M. Seamouth

Beneath these green trees, rising to the skies
The planter of them, Isaac Greentree, lies,
The day shall come when these green trees shall fall,
And Isaac Greentree rise above them all.

Epitaph by the grave of Isaac Greentree (d.1702) in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, Harrow-on-the-Hill

Problems are opportunities.


Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

David Steel

A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.

George Orwell

It’s only the boring who are bored.

W. Somerset Maugham

We are tomorrow’s past.

Mary Webb

Buying what you don’t need leads to needing what you can’t buy.

Hilaire Belloc

An optimist is one who laughs to forget. A pessimist is one who forgets to laugh.


When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

Winston Churchill

To err is human, but to really foul things up requires a computer.


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