Here you will find some of the best thoughts, best expressed, by some of our best thinkers. By means of such friends, we too may begin to think more clearly and speak more convincingly about what is true. 

Blaise Pascal   For an excellent dose of Pascal read Pansees.

Two extremes: to exclude reason, to admit reason only

The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.

The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.

Man’s sensitivity to the little things and insensitivity to the greatest are the signs of a strange disorder.

The last function of reason is to recognize that there are an infinity of things which surpass it.

Knowing God without knowing our own wretchedness makes for pride. Knowing our own wretchedness without knowing God makes for despair. Knowing Jesus Christ strikes the balance because he shows us both God and our own wretchedness.

A trifle consoles us, for a trifle distresses us.

It was not, then, right that He [God] should appear in a manner manifestly divine, and completely capable of convincing all men; but it was also not right that He should come in so hidden a manner that He could not be known by those who should sincerely seek Him. He has willed to make himself quite recognizable by those; and thus, willing to appear openly to those who seek Him with all their heart, and to be hidden from those who flee from Him with all their heart, He so regulates the knowledge of Himself that He has given signs of Himself, visible to those who seek Him, and not to those who seek Him not. There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition. 

 Soren Kierkegaard   To read Kierkaard, start with Provocations, a good sampler, or take up Purity of Heart Is To Will One Thing.

It is so hard to believe because it is so hard to obey.

Wherever there is a crowd there is untruth.

To be a mere observer is actually sin.

Purity of heart is to will one thing.

The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.

People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.

Once you label me, you negate me.

The crowd is indeed untruth. Christ was crucified because he would have nothing to do with the crowd (even though he addressed himself to all). He did not want to form a party, an interest group, a mass movement, but wanted to be what he was, the truth, which is related to the single individual.

Where am I? Who am I? How did I come to be here? What is this thing called the world? How did I come into the world? Why was I not consulted? And If I am compelled to take part in it, Where is the director? I want to see him.

It happened that a fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was just a jest and applauded. He repeated his warning, they shouted even louder. So I think the world will come to an end amid general applause from all the wits, who believe that it is a joke.

I should like the clergy to have is a tenfold increase in salary. I am afraid that neither the world nor the clergy would understand this punishment.

G. K. Chesterton  His Orthodoxy is a fine kick in the head. Superb!

Just going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in your garage makes you a car.

Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all.  

Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.

There are no uninteresting things, only uninterested people. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we.

The fairy tale utterance always is, ‘You may live in a palace of gold if you do not say the word cow’; or ‘You may live happily with the King’s daughter if you do not show her an onion.’ The vision always hangs on a veto. All the dizzy and colossal things conceded depend upon one small thing withheld. All the wild and whirling things that are let loose depend on one thing that is forbidden.

Here, again in short, Christianity got over the difficulty of combining furious opposites, by keeping them both, and keeping them both furious. The Church was positive on both points. One can hardly think too little of one’s self. One can hardly think too much of one’s soul.

William Shakespeare  The bard — everything is a verbal entree, so fine, so energizing, so supreme. This is language!  The Taming of the Shrew and King Lear at at the San  Diego Festival Stage this summer. Both good!

Action is eloquence; the eyes of the ignorant are more learned than their ears.

Coriolanus,Act 3, Scene 2

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

 Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

How poor are they who have not patience! What wound did ever heal but by degrees.

Othello, Act  II, Scene III

 To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth Act 5, scene 5


Sweet are the uses of adversity which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, wears yet a precious jewel in his head. And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

As You Like It, Act II, Scene I

How bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man’s eyes!

As You Like It  Act V, Scene II

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

Romeo and Juliet   Act II, Scene II

Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

Measure For Measure,  Act I, Scene IV

Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.

Henry IV, Part II, Act III, Scene I

Men at some time are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene II

Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end, will come when it will come.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene II

There ‘s daggers in men’s smiles.

MacBeth, Act II, Scene III

Fair is foul, and foul is fair.

 MacBeth, Act I, Scene I

Nothing almost sees miracles but misery.

King Lear Act II, Scene II

Nothing will come of nothing.

King Lear, Act I, Scene I

…that glib and oily art/ To speak and purpose not…

King Lear, Act I, Scene I

Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.

 Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene V

“The course of true love never did run smooth.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act I, Scene I

Ben Franklin Our first American was the master of the short, witty line.

A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.

As we must account for every idle word, so must we account for every idle silence.

To find out a girl’s faults, praise her to her girl friends.

He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals.

Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.

Love your enemies for they will tell you your faults.

Oscar Wilde Wit incarnate.

A gentleman is one who never hurts anyone’s feelings unintentionally.

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That’s his.

A man can’t be too careful in his choice of enemies.

Do you really think it is weakness that yields to temptation? I tell you that there are terrible temptations which it requires strength, strength and courage to yield to.

To lose one parent may be regarded as misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness.

Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing.

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.

A man’s face is his autobiography. A woman’s face is her work of fiction.

A man who moralizes is usually a hypocrite, and a woman who moralizes is usually plain.

He hadn’t a single redeeming vice.

America had often been discovered before Columbus, but it had always been hushed up.

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.

Mark Twain

Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of eighty and gradually approach eighteen.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

Concerning the difference between man and the jackass: some observers hold that there isn’t any. But this wrongs the jackass.

There has been only one Christian. They caught him and crucified him–early.

Total abstinence is so excellent a thing that it cannot be carried to too great an extent. In my passion for it I even carry it so far as to totally abstain from total abstinence itself.

There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man’s notion that he less savage than the other savages.

Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please.

In the first place God made idiots. This was for practice. Then He made school boards.

Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.

  1. Laurel says:

    Loved your quotations, especially Shakespeare’s! I’m here in Stratford right now, very fitting that I would find myself on this page. Love ya!

  2. rperkin4 says:

    “The knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.” I would add a couple of words: “The knowledge of God [in itself] . . .”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s