The following is the conclusion to G.K. Chesterton’s head spinning ramble “Orthodoxy”. It is a passionate and articulate demonstration of the veracity of the Christian faith. He finishes with the following:
Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian. And as I close this chaotic volume I open again the strange small book from which all Christianity came; and I am again haunted by a kind of confirmation. The tremendous figure which fills the Gospels towers in this respect, as in every other, above all the thinkers who ever thought themselves tall. His pathos was natural, almost casual. The Stoics, ancient and modern, were proud of concealing their tears. He never concealed His tears; He showed them plainly on His open face at any daily sight, such as the far sight of His native city. Yet He concealed something.
Solemn supermen and imperial diplomatists are proud of restraining their anger. He never restrained His anger. He flung furniture down the front steps of the Temple, and asked men how they expected to escape the damnation of Hell. Yet He restrained something. I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.
Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) . Orthodoxy (pp. 163-164). Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.
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Today I have collected a few tantalising quotes from G.K. Chesterton’s book “Orthodoxy“. Once again, it is available on Kindle and it is free. I hope the following tempt to you to read the book and follow his arguments for faith. Although some of his references to people of his day (excepting well known authors and historical figures) do not connect with the modern reader, his humour and the flow of his thinking are a joy. Best of all, it is an antidote to modernism and post-modernism. The quotes come from Chapter 2, The Maniac and Chapter 3 The Suicide of Thought
The poet only asks to get his head into the heavens. It is the logician who seeks to get the heavens into his head. And it is his head that splits.
The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.
Mysticism keeps men sane. As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery you create morbidity. The ordinary man has always been sane because the ordinary man has always been a mystic.
The whole secret of mysticism is this: that man can understand everything by the help of what he does not understand. The morbid logician seeks to make everything lucid, and succeeds in making everything mysterious. The mystic allows one thing to be mysterious, and everything else becomes lucid.
It is vain for eloquent atheists to talk of the great truths that will be revealed if once we see free thought begin. We have seen it end. It has no more questions to ask; it has questioned itself. You cannot call up any wilder vision than a city in which men ask themselves if they have any selves. You cannot fancy a more sceptical world than that in which men doubt if there is a world. It might certainly have reached its bankruptcy more quickly and cleanly if it had not been feebly hampered by the application of indefensible laws of blasphemy or by the absurd pretence that modern England is Christian. But it would have reached the bankruptcy anyhow. Militant atheists are still unjustly persecuted; but rather because they are an old minority than because they are a new one. Free thought has exhausted its own freedom.
Chesterton, G. K. (Gilbert Keith) (1994-05-01). Orthodoxy Public Domain Books. Kindle Edition.