Famous Quotations


"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Gen. 1:1

“In the beginning was the Word.”  Jn. 1:1


First Semester Focus Quotes




1. "Everything should be made as simple as possible,

     but not simpler." 

                                    Albert Einstein (1879-1955)


2. "You write to help yourself think better, then

      think to help yourself write better."

                        Joseph Williams, Style: Ten Lessons (2000)


3. "The structure of every sentence is a lesson in logic.

                         John Stuart Mill (1773-1836)


4. "Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire"

                        W. B. Yeats (1865-1939)


5. "If you want to study writing, read Dickens"

                        Shelby Foote (1916-2005)


6. "Thinking means connecting things, and stops if

      they cannot be connected."

                        G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)


7. "Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature,

     but he is a thinking reed."

                        Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)


8. "There are no boring subjects, only disinterested minds.”

                        G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)


9. "The essential structure of the ordinary [English] sentence...
      is a noble thing"

                        Winston Churchill (1874-1965)  


10. "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”

                        Lord Acton (1834-1902)


11. "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

                        Isaac Newton (1643-1727)


12. "Life is either a great adventure, or it is nothing"

                        Helen Keller (1880-1968)


13. "If our deepest desires cannot be satisfied in this world,

      then we must have been made for another world."

                        C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)


14. "To err is human; to forgive, divine."

                        Alexander Pope (1688-1744)


15. "When we read our own writing, we all think it clearly expresses

      what we mean, because when we read it, we are only reminding

      ourselves of what we had in mind when we wrote it."

                        Joseph Williams, Style: Ten Lessons (2000)


16. “He [Churchill] mobilized the English language, and sent it

       into battle.”

                        Edward Murrow (1908-1965)



Other Inspirational Quotations

"Have something to say, and say it as clearly as you can.  That
  is the only secret of style."

                        Matthew Arnold (1822-1888)

"I have never had a thought which I could not set down in words,

with ever more distinctiveness than that which I conceived it.
                       Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)


"Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely, and go on
  till you come to the end; then stop."

                         Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)


"All's well that ends well."

                                    William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


"In the end is my beginning."

           T. S. Eliot (1888-1965)

"Like as the waves make towards the pebbled shore, so do our
  minutes hasten to their end."

                        William Shakespeare, Sonnet LX

“People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough
 men stand ready to do violence on their behalf”  
                         George Orwell


"If everything is going well, you have obviously overlooked something."


"A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds."
                        Sir Francis Bacon


"Let each become all that he was created capable of being."
                        Thomas Carlyle

"We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glowworm."
                        Winston Churchill


"Never let schooling interfere with your education"
                        Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"I mean to suggest that without a transcendent and honorable purpose,
 schooling must reach its finish, and the sooner we are done with it, the
                        Neil Postman, The End of Education (A. Knopf, 1996)


"An education which is not religious is atheistic; there is no middle way. 
  If you give to children an account of the world from which God is left out,
  you are teaching them to understand the world without reference to God.
  If he is then introduced, he is an excrescence.  He becomes an appendix
  to his own creation."

                        William Temple (1881-1944) (Archbishop of Canterbury)

The most singular accomplishment of Western history was... the conviction
 that there are transcendent values beyond the power of the state to grant
 or to modify" 
                        U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (1987)

"If you can't write it down, then you don't understand it."



"Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions."

                        G. K. Chesterton (1874-1936)


“Truth cannot be sacrificed at the altar of pretended tolerance.  Real
  tolerance is deference to all ideas, not indifference to the truth."
                        Ravi Zacharias


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred."
                        Jacques Barzun, From Dawn to Decadence

“Respect People, Inspect Ideas.”
                        David Noebel (founder of Summit Ministries)


"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.  An inconvenience
  is only an adventure wrongly considered."

                        G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

"Joking is undignified; that is why it is so good for one’s soul.”  [It helps to
  keep us humble.]

                        G.K. Chesterton, Alarms & Discursions

“Laughing unfreezes pride and unwinds secrecy; It makes men forget
 themselves in the presence of something greater than themselves”

                        G. K. Chesterton, The Common Man (1950)

"The men who really believe in themselves are all in lunatic asylums." 
                        G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy: Chap. 2: The Maniac

"The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason...
 Curing a madman is not arguing with a philosopher; it is casting out a devil."
                        G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap. 2: The Maniac

"Materialists and madmen never have doubts."
                        G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap. 2: The Maniac

"How much larger your life would be in your self could become smaller in it."
                        G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap. 2: The Maniac

"Every man who will not have softening of the heart must at last have
 softening of the brain"
                        G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap. 3 "The Suicide of Thought."


"There is no logical connection between flying and laying eggs."

                        G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap. 4: "The Ethics of Elfland"


"One may understand the cosmos, but never the ego; the self
  is more distant than any star."
                         G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap.4: "The Ethics of Elfland"

"There is, therefore, about all complete conviction a kind of huge helplessness."
                        G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap.6: "The Paradoxes of Christianity"


"It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls,
 only one at which one stands."
                         G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap.6: "The Paradoxes of Christianity"


“The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves very lightly.” 
                         G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Chap. 7: “The Eternal Revolution”


"If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness,
 you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction,
 and it's not so bad."

                        C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

“We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.”

                        C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)

 "I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not
  only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else."
                        C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)


 "The one created thing which we cannot look at is the one thing
   in the light of which we look at everything."

                        G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

“There is no neutral ground in the universe: every square inch, every
 split second, is claimed by God and counter-claimed by Satan.”
                        C. S. Lewis (1898-1963): “Christianity and Culture”


"If no set of moral ideas were truer or better than any other, there would

 be no sense in preferring civilised morality to savage morallity, or

 Christian morality to Nazi morality.  In fact, of course, we all do

 believe that some moralities are better than others." 
                        C. S. Lewis, "Some Objections," Mere Christianity    


"Believing things on authority only means believing them because you

 have been told them by someone you think trustworthy.  Ninety-nine

 per cent of the things you believe are believed on authority... Every

 historical event in the world is believed on authority.  None of us has

 seen the Norman Conquest or the defeat of the Armada."
                        C. S. Lewis, "The Practical Conclusion," Mere Christianity     


"If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the

 present world were just those who thought most of the next... It is since

 Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have

 become so ineffective in this.  Aim at Heaven and you will get earth

 "thrown in": aim at earth and you will get neither... In the same way, we

 shall never save civilisation as long as civilisation is our main object.  We

 must learn to want something else even more."
                        C. S. Lewis, "Hope," Mere Christianity    


"If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out

 that is has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe

 and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark."
                        C. S. Lewis, "Rival Conceptions of God," Mere Christianity    


"As St. Paul points out, Christ never meant that we were to remain

 children in intelligence: on the contrary, He told us to be not only "as

 harmless as doves," but also "as wise as serpents."  He wants a

 child's heart, but a grown-up's head."
                        C. S. Lewis, "The Cardinal Virtues," Mere Christianity     

"Remember that all worlds draw to an end and that noble death is a treasure
 which no one is too poor to buy." 
                        C. S. Lewis (1898-1963):The Last Battle.
                        Message from Roonwit the Centaur, conveyed
                           to King Tirian by Farsight, the Eagle (Chap. 8)

“It seems, then,” said Tirian, “that the stable seen from within and the stable
 seen from without are two different places.”  “Yes,” said Digory.  “Its inside
 is bigger than its outside.”  “Yes,” said Queen Lucy.  “In our world too, a
 stable once had something inside it that was bigger than our whole world.”
                        C. S. Lewis (1898-1963):The Last Battle (Chap. 13)

"The Christian and the Materialist hold different beliefs about the universe.
 They can't both be right. The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply
 doesn't fit the real universe. Consequently, with the best will in the world, he
 will be helping his fellow creatures to their destruction."
                        C. S. Lewis  Chapter 12 in Part I of God in the Dock:
                          Essays on Theology and Ethics:  "Man or Rabbit?"

 “Tradition does not mean that the living are dead but that the dead are alive."
                        G. K.Chesterton


"Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living."

                        Jaroslav Pelikan


"A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big
 enough to take from you everything you have."

                                    Gerald Ford (1913-2006): Presidential address
                        to a joint session of Congress (Aug. 12, 1974)


”The atheist can’t find God for the same reason that a thief can’t find a policeman.”

"War is horrible, but slavery is worse." 
                        Winston Churchill, The Wilderness Years (7 Jan. 1939)

"Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream."
                        Malcolm Muggeridge (1903-1990)


"Man is the only animal that blushes.  Or needs to."
                        Mark Twain (1897)


"I'd rather be a could-be if I cannot be an are; because a could-be is a maybe who
  is reaching for a star.  I'd rather be a has-been than a might-have-been by far;
  for a might-have-been has never been, but a has-been was once an are." 
                        Milton Berle (1908-2002)

“One loving heart sets another on fire.”
                         Augustine (354-430)


“You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours.”
                        Yogi Berra (b. 1925)


In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die. 
                        Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos (1949)


"It is fatal to let people suppose that Christianity is only a mode of feeling; it is vitally necessary to insist that it is first and foremost a rational explanation of the universe." 
                        Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos (1949)


"The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man--and the dogma is the drama ... The plot pivots upon a single character, and the whole action is the answer to a single central problem: 'What think ye of Christ?'... He was emphatically not a dull m an in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either." 
                        Dorothy Sayers, Creed or Chaos (1949)

“The two foundation facts of human enlightenment: number one, there is a God;
  number two,  you are not He."


"If there is not joy in religion, you have got a leak in your religion."  "I pity anyone who can't

 laugh.  There must be something wrong with their religion or their lives.  The devil can't laugh."
                         Billy Sunday (d. 1935)


"There would have been no Bach had there been no Luther."
                        Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)


“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will,
  in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW, deserves
  the love and thanks of man and woman.”
                        Thomas Paine (1737-1809)


“If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”
                        Lewis Carroll (1832-1898)