Wednesday, 30 July 2008


'Once upon a time, a very long time ago now, about last Friday...'
AA Milne, Winnie the Pooh, p.2.


'But Laurence can't really love Aslan more than Jesus, even if feels that is what he is doing. For the things he loves Aslan for doing or saying are simply the things Jesus really did and said. So that when Laurence thinks he is loving Aslan, he is really loving Jesus: and perhaps loving Him more than he ever did before.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.603.


'I don't think that I ever got much from reading things about Him. Perhaps, in a queer way, I got most from reading the Apocryphal Gospels ... For there you find things attributed to Him that couldn't be true. You even find wise & beautiful sayings which nevertheless just don't ring true. And have you noticed - reading the true sayings in the real Gospels - how hardly one of them cd. have been guessed in advance?'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.584.

Monday, 21 July 2008


'Yes, I know one doesn't even want to be cured of one's pride because it gives pleasure. But the pleasure of pride is like the pleasure of scratching. If there is an itch one does want to scratch: but it is so much nicer to have neither the itch nor the scratch. As long as we have the itch of self-regard we shall want the pleasure of self-approval: but the happiest moments are those when we forget our precious selves and have neither, but have everything else (God, our fellow human-beings, animals, the garden & the sky) instead.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.429.


'I have now perceived (what I always suspected from memories of our childhood) that the way to a child's heart is quite simple: treat them with seriousness & ordinary civility - they ask no more. What they can't stand (quite rightly) is the common adult assumption that everything they say shd. be twisted into a kind of jocularity.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.390.


'You see, I don't think that age matters so much as people think. Parts of me are still 12 and I think other parts were already 50 when I was 12 ...'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.362.


'The two things one must NOT do are (a) To believe, on the strength of Scripture or on any other evidence, that God is any way evil. (In Him is no darkness at all.) (b) To wipe off the slate any passage which seems to show that He is. Behind that apparently shocking passage, be sure, there lurks some great truth which you don't understand. If one ever does come to understand it, one will see that [He] is good and just and gracious in ways we never dreamed of.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.356.


'... Adjectives which are a direct command to the reader to feel a certain emotion are no use. In vain we tell him that a thing was horrible, beautiful or mysterious. We must so present it that he exclaims horrible! beautiful! or mysterious!'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.344.

Sunday, 20 July 2008


'I am rather sick of the modern assumption that, for all events, 'WE', the people, are never responsible: it is always our rulers, or ancestors, or parents, or education, or anybody but precious 'US', WE are apparently perfect and blameless. Don't you believe it!'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.333.


'... Christian teachers in secular schools may, I sometimes think, do more good precisely because they are not allowed to give religious instruction in class. At least I think that, as a child, I shd. have been very allured and impressed by the discovery - which must be made when questions are asked - that the teacher believed firmly in a whole mass of things he wasn't allowed to teach! Let them give us the charm of mystery if they please.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.332.

Saturday, 19 July 2008


'As long as one knows one is proud one is safe from the worse form of pride.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.191.


'When people object, as you do, that if Jesus was God as well as Man, then He had an unfair advantage which deprives Him for them of all value, it seems to me as if a man struggling in the water shd refuse a rope thrown him by another who had one foot on the bank, saying "Oh but you have an unfair advantage"; it is because of that advantage that He can help.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.143.


'Or say there are two kinds of love: we love wise & kind & beautiful people because we need them, but we love (or try to love) stupid & disagreeable people because they need us. This second kind of love is the more divine, because that is how God loves us: not because we are lovable but because He is love, not because He needs to receive but because He delights to give.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.119.


'He gnashed a teeth or two. He was a red-headed chap, and my experience of the red-headed is that you can always expect high blood pressure from them in times of stress. The first Queen Elizabeth had red hair, and look what she did to Mary Queen of Scots.'
PG Wodehouse, Aunts Aren't Gentlemen, p.8.

Friday, 18 July 2008


'Your worse days are never so bad that you are beyond the reach of God's grace. And your best days are never so good that you are beyond the need of God's grace.'
Jerry Bridges in Andrew Farmer, The Rich Single Life, p.25.


'Prize the advantages you enjoy: know the value of them. Esteem them as highly when you have them, as others do when they have lost them. Pray constantly and fervently for this very thing: that God would teach you to set a due value on them. And let it be a matter of daily thanksgiving to God, that he has made you a partaker of these benefits. Indeed, the more full and explicit you are herein, the more sensible you will be of the cause you have to be thankful; the more lively conviction you will have of the greatness of the blessing.'
John Wesley in Andrew Farmer, The Rich Single Life, p.11.

Thursday, 17 July 2008


'Precious Bible! what a treasure
Does the Word of God afford!
All I want for life or pleasure
Food and medicine, shield and sword;
Let the world account me poor
Christ and this, I need no more.'
John Newton in Christoper Ash, Bible Delight, p.87.

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


'I really think that in our days it is the 'undogmatic' & 'liberal' people who call themselves Christians that are the most arrogant & intolerant. I expect justice & even courtesy from many Atheists ... from Modernists, I have come to take bitterness and rancour as a matter of course.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.112.

Monday, 14 July 2008


'I'm glad you liked 'The Lion'. A number of mothers, and still more, schoolmistresses, have decided that it is likely to frighten children, so it is not selling very well. But the real children like it, and I am astonished how some very young ones seem to understand it. I think it frightens some adults, but very few children ...'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.93.


'I do get that sudden feeling that the whole thing is hocus pocus and it now worries me hardly at all. Surely the mechanism is quite simple? Sceptical, incredulous, materialistic ruts have been deeply engraved in out thought, perhaps even in our physical brains by all our earlier lives. At the slightest jerk our thought will flow down those old ruts. And notice when these jerks come. Usually at the precise moment when we might receive Grace. And if you were a devil would you not give the jerk just at these moments? I think that all Christians have found that he is v. active near the altar or on the eve of conversion: worldly anxieties, physical discomforts, lascivious fancies, doubt, are often poured in at such junctures ... But Grace is not frustrated. One gets more by pressing steadily on through these interruptions than on occasions when it all goes smoothly ...'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.93.


'It is hard on God really. To how few of us He dare send happiness becuase He knows we will forget Him if He gave us any sort of nice things for the moment ... '
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.93.


'Indeed the best thing about happiness itself is that it liberates you from thinking about happiness - as the greatest pleasure that money can give us is to make it unecessary to think about money.'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.93.

Sunday, 13 July 2008


' ... Equality of Opportunity in practice means ruthless Competition during those very years which, I can't help feeling, nature meant to be free and frolicsome. Can it be good, from the age of 10 to the age of 23, to be always preparing for an exam, and always knowing that your whole worldly future depends on it: and not only knowing it, but perpetually reminded of it by your parents and masters? Is this the way to breed a nation of people in psychological, moral, and spiritual health? (N.B. Boys are now taught to regard Ambition as a virtue. I think we shall find that up to the XVIIIth Century, and back into Pagan times, all moralists regarded it as a vice and dealt with it accordingly).'
CS Lewis in Walter Hooper (Ed.), The Collected Letters of CS Lewis Vol III, p.17.


'And so this quality of the Bible draws us wonderfully into relationship. I read it. I want to grasp it, to gain insight, to understand. But I cannot do that simply by sitting there with it in front of me, studying it. It is his book, and the key to unlock it is in his hands. And therefore my desire to understand it leads me to the Keeper of the key. The very nature of the Bible draws me into loving dependence upon him.'
Christopher Ash, Bible Delight, p. 53.

Saturday, 12 July 2008


'Piglet looked up, and looked away again. And he felt so Foolish and Uncomfortable that he had almost decided to run away to Sea and be a Sailor, when suddenly he saw something.'
AA Milne, The House at Pooh Corner, p.50.

Tuesday, 8 July 2008


'Sometimes I consider myself there as a stone before a carver, whereof he is to make a statue; presenting myself thus to God, I desire Him to form His perfect image in my soul, and make me entirely like Himself.'
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, p.21.


'We must know before we can love. In order to know God, we must often think of Him; and when we come to love Him, we shall then also think of Him often, for our hearts will be with our treasure.'
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, p. 32.


'I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has committed all sorts of crimes against his King; touched with a sensible regret, I confess to him all my wickedness, I ask his forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands that He may do what he pleases with me. The King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite.'
Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God, p.21.


'"What I did not know - I was a young man - is that there are two kinds of love. The kind that starts off big and slowly wears away, that seems you can never use it up and then one day it is finished. And the kind that you don't notice at first, but which adds a little bit to itself every day, like an oyster makes a pearl, grain by grain, a jewel from the sand."'
Monica Ali, Brick Lane, p. 430.


' ... running away from bees is like running away from sorrows. You bring them with you.'
David Thomson, Woodbrook, p.133.


'When two people meet and take to each other, they start gradually to uncover one another's past, and the slower the process the deeper the friendship becomes. It is like falling in love, without the torment, and although you do not find each other layer by layer in the archaeologists' way, you see after months or years a whole being who contains his past and present merged with the lives of his forebears. You see the whole of him and he sees you, the present surface always near and the layers of the past melted into one.'
David Thomson, Woodbrook, p.10.


'Wilberforce's pursuit of a broad and uplifting vision of society elevates him far above the general rank of politicians. But the fact that he managed to live according to his own principles, and constantly reflect his own beliefs in his own character, is his crowning glory. It may be easier to disdain money and give much of it away if you inherit a large amout of it, but few people born in that position actually do so. It is easy to think that a Member of Parliament can resist all temptations of seeking high office if he has a great cause as an alternative, but it is still a rare event. Wilberforce exercised a genuine and remarkable self-discipline, and managed to do so while maintaining an optimistic and vivacious disposition. His conduct as a husband, father or elected representative is hard to fault. His generosity to those who came to him in need of help became an outstanding example of the virtues he called for in others. He showed how a political career can be conducted differently, pursuing long-term objectives deeply rooted in certain principles, strengthened in his indifference to holding power by his understanding of its transitory nature. As a result, he defied the axiom that political careers necessarily end in failure, going to the grave fulfilled by the knowledge of what he had helped to do, while those politicians to whom power alone is important decline in their old age into bitterness and despair.'
William Hague, William Hague, p.515.


'He kindled at the very sight of books.'
J Hartford quoted in William Hague, William Wilberforce, 205.


'I recall an abiding sense of religious responsibility, a self-sacrificing energy and works of mercy, an Evangelistic zeal, an aloofness from the world, and a level of saintliness in daily life as I do not expect again to see realised on earth. Everything down to the minutest detail of action and speech were considered with reference to eternity.'
GWE Russell quoted in William Hague, William Wilberforce, p.93.


'My grand objection to the religious system still held by many who declare them orthodox Churchmen ... is, that it tends to render Xtianity so much a system of prohibitions rather than privilege and hopes, and thus the injunction to rejoice so strongly enforced in the New Testament is practically neglected, and Religion is made to wear a forbidding and gloomy air and not one of peace and hope and joy.'
William Wilberforce quoted in William Hague, William Wilberforce, p. 100.


'"Aslan," said Lucy, "you're bigger."
"That is because you are older, little one," answered he.
"Not because you are?"
"I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger."'
CS Lewis, Prince Caspian, p.124.


'Lucy shuddered and nodded. When they had sat down she said: "Such a horrible idea has come into my head, Su."
"What's that?"
"Wouldn't it be dreadful if some day, in our own world, at home, men started going wild inside, like the animals here, and still looked like men, so that you'd never know which were which?"'
CS Lewis, Prince Caspian, p.107.