Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Quote LXXI: On Education, The Consumation Of

"The start of learning, thus, lies in reading, but its consummation lies in meditation."

Hugh of St. Victor

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Quote #70: on controling one's emotions

"Do not give in too much to feelings. A overly sensitive heart is an unhappy possession on this shaky earth."

- Goethe (1749-1832), German philosopher and writer.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Quote #69: on human improvement

"Beavers build houses; but they build them in nowise differently, or better now, than they did, five thousand years ago. Ants, and honey-bees, provide food for winter; but just in the same way they did, when Solomon referred the sluggard to them as patterns of prudence. Man is not the only animal who labors; but he is the only one who improves his workmanship."

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), American statesman and president.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"No morn ever dawned more favorable than ours did; and no day was ever more clouded than the present! Wisdom and good examples are necessary at this time to rescue the political machine from the impending storm."

- George Washington, letter to James Madison, 1786

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Quote #67: on the importance of tomorrow

"Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday."

- John Wayne (1907-1979), American actor and cultural icon.

Quote #66: on justice and leadership

Sage advice from the pre-Christian Jewish tradition on the need for those charged with leadership in the community to seek both justice and holiness:
Love justice, you rulers of the earth; set your mind upon the Lord in the right way, and seek him in singleness of heart; for he is to be found by those who trust him without question, and he makes himself known to those who never doubt him. Dishonest thinking cuts people off from God, and if fools like liberties with his power he shows them up for what they are. Wisdom will not enter a shifty soul, nor make her home in a body that is mortgaged to sin. This holy spirit of discipline will shun falsehood; she cannot stay in the presence of unreason, and will withdraw at the approach of injustice.
- Wisdom of Solomon 1.1-5 (circa 2nd century B.C.) (Revised English Bible translation).

The Love of Law and Liberty

"Law and liberty cannot rationally become the objects of our love, unless they become the objects of our knowledge."
- James Wilson, Of the Study of the Law in the United States, 1790

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quote #64: on standing armies

I've cross posted this quote over at my own blog:

Keep within the requisite limits a standing military force, always remembering that an armed and trained militia is the firmest bulwark of republics - that without standing armies their liberty can never be in danger, nor with large ones safe.
- James Madison (1751-1836), American Founding Father and 4th President of the United States.

Quote #63: on emotions

"All the knowledge I possess everyone else can acquire, but my heart is all my own."

- Goethe (1749-1832), German philosopher and writer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quote #62: on good government

"A good government implies two things; first, fidelity to the objects of the government; secondly, a knowledge of the means, by which those objects can be best attained."

- Jospeh Story (1779-1845), Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Quote #61: on Christian citizenship in the face of a hostile secular regime

A little bit of rhetorical overkill, but the sentiment is sound and in the tradition of St. Paul:

A Christian in an enemy to no one, much less to the emperor; he knows the emperor was raised up by God; therefore, a Christian honors him, reveres him, favors him, and hope for his preservation along with all the empire as long as the world lasts. In fact, the world will last only as long as the empire. We honor the emperor to the degree permitted to us and necessary for him, as a man who is second only to God, who is protected by God, and who is therefore inferior only to God.
- Tertullian (160-220 A.D.), early Christian apologist, Ad Scapulaum 2.

Quote LX

"People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven't what they want that they really don't want it."

-Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

Quote LIX

"A precedent embalms a principle."

-Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Quote LVIII: The Pursuit of Truth

"The life of study is austere and imposes grave obligations. It pays, it pays richly; but it exacts an initial outlay that few are capable of. The athletes of the mind, like those of the playing field, must be prepared for privations, long training, a sometimes superhuman tenacity. We must give ourselves from the heart, if truth is to give itself to us. Truth serves only its slaves."

- A. G. Sertillanges from The Intellectual Life: Its Spirit, Conditions, Methods

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Quote #57: on goodness and beauty

"Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked."

- St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430), Christian bishop and Church Father.

Quote LVI

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."

-Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

Quote #55: Loss of Liberty

"No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders."

- Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775

Monday, September 7, 2009

Quote #54: on the flawed nature of human decision-making

"Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion, or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute."

- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 B.C. - 7 A.D.), Roman statesman and philosopher.

Quote #53: The Purpose of Education

"Education is for the purpose of teaching men to know their true condition, to understand what freedom is and at what price it is bought, and to comprehend the meaning of civilization."

- Calvin Coolidge

Quote #52

"The American Republic will endure until the day congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."

-Alexis de Toucqueville (1805-1859) from Democracy in America (Vol.II)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Quote #51: why a republic is greater than an empire

Building on Jake's theme of exploring the nature of republics, here's a great quote by one of the great orators of the American political tradition:

"Behold a republic standing erect while empires all around are bowed beneath the weight of their own armaments -- a republic whose flag is loved while other flags are only feared."

- William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925), American statesman and three-time Democratic Party nominee for the presidency.

Quote #50

Here it is. The Fiftieth Quote. I thought this one was an appropriate reminder of what we still have in America despite everything that is going wrong today.

"Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat - the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words."

-John Wayne as Davy Crockett in The Alamo (1960)

Quote No. XLVIII

"A distinctive feature of the modern world is its passion for the present and fascination with the future at the expense of the past. Progress, choice, change, novelty, and the myth of newer-the-truer and latest-is-the-greatest reign unchallenged, while ideas and convictions from earlier times are boxed up in the cob-webbed attic of nostalgia and irrelevance."

-Os Guinness

Quote #47: on the Lord's advent

From the Old Testament reading assigned for today in the Roman Catholic lectionary:

"Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; he will come and save you. Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing; for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the glowing sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water: in the habitation of jackals, where they lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes."

- Isaiah 35.4-7 (American Standard Version).

Quote #46: on redemption

"Wherein is it possible for us, wicked and impious creatures, to be justified, except in the only Son of God? O sweet reconciliation! O untraceable ministry! O unlooked-for blessing! that the wickedness of many should be hidden in one godly and righteous man, and the righteousness of one justify a host of sinners!"

- St. Justin Martyr (100 - 165 A.D.), early Christian theologian, Roman philosopher and martyr for the faith.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Quote No. XLIX

"From the early and the ancient Chinese down to the classical, medieval, and renaissance eras, a rich body of teaching on rulers and the requirements for ruling flourished. Leadership did not simply happen. It was thought through, taught, and cultivated."

-Os Guinness

Quote XLV

"Anyone who can appease a man's conscience can take his freedom away from him."

-The Cigarette Smoking Man (X-Files)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Quote XLIV

"Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it."


Quote #43: on virtue in a republic

"Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure(and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments." -- Charles Carroll of Carollton, American founding father (1737-1832).

And welcome back to regular posting, Jake!

Quote XLII

"History will never accept difficulties as an excuse."

-John F. Kennedy (1917-1963)

St. Augustine (by Sandro Botticelli)

St. Ignatius Loyola (by Francisco Zurbaran)

Benjamin Rush (by Charles Willson Peale)

Patrick Henry at the Virginia House of Burgesses (by Henry Rothermel)

Edmund Burke (by Sir Joshua Reynolds)

Samuel Adams (by John Singleton Copley)

Alexander Hamilton (by John Trumbull)