A few quotations from A Chesterton Calendar:

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting.  It has been found difficult, and left untried.

It is constantly assumed, especially in our Tolstoian tendencies, that when the lion lies down with the lamb the lion becomes lamb-like. But that is a brutal annexation and imperialism on the part of the lamb.  That is simply the lamb absorbing the lion instead of the lion eating the lamb.  The real problem is — Can the lion lie down with the lamb and still retain his royal ferocity?  That is the problem the Church attempted; that is the miracle she achieved.

There is no fear that a modern king will attempt to override the constitution; it is more likely that he will ignore the constitution and work behind its back.  He will take no advantage of his kingly power; it is more likely that he will take advantage of his kingly powerlessness — of the fact that he is free from criticism and publicity.  For the King is the most private person of our time.  It will not be necessary for anyone to fight against the proposal of a censorship of the Press.  We do not need a censorship of the Press.  We have a censorship by the Press.

Since it is lawful to pray for the coming of the Kingdom, it is lawful also to pray for the coming of the revolution that shall restore the Kingdom.  It is lawful to hope to hear the wind of Heaven in the trees.  It is lawful to pray “Thine anger come on earth as it is in Heaven”.

Our civilization has decided, and very justly decided, that determining the guilt or innocence of men is a thing too important to be trusted to trained men.  If it wishes for light upon that awful matter, it asks men who know no more of the law than I know, but who can feel the things that I felt in the jury-box.  When it wants a library catalogued, or the solar system discovered, or any trifle of that kind, it uses up its specialists.  But when it wishes anything done that is really serious, it collects twelve of the ordinary men standing around.  The same thing was done, if I remember right, by the Founder of Christianity.

You say your civilization will include all talents.  Will it?  Do you really mean to say that at the moment when the Esquimaux has learnt to vote for a County Council, you will have learnt to spear a walrus?

Blasphemy is an artistic effect, because blasphemy depends on a philosophical conviction.  Blasphemy depends upon belief, and is fading with it.  If anyone doubts this, let him sit down seriously and try to think blasphemous thoughts about Thor.  I think his family will find him at the end of the day in a state of some exhaustion.

Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it.

Thus ends the first half of Chesterton’s annual writings.  More another time.

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