Tag: comonplace book

Chesterton: More Humane in Order to Contain More of Humanity

Thought-provoking words from Chesterton:

If the capitalists are allowed to erect their constructive capitalist community, I speak quite seriously when I say that I think Prison will become an almost universal experience. It will not necessarily be a cruel or shameful experience: on these points (I concede certainly for the present purpose of debate) it may be a vastly improved experience. The conditions in the prison, very possibly, will be made more humane. But the prison will be made more humane only in order to contain more of humanity.

-G.K. Chesterton, Utopia of Userers, Section 3: The Evolution of Prison

This is totally unrelated to what Chesterton had in mind, but alas, my thoughts carry me away: You might say the same thing about worldliness and worldly culture, which is a sort of prison if you think about it. It puts on the appearance of being humane in order to attract more humans. It wants to look civilized so it can bring in more civilians. It puts on the appearance of rescuing them from barbarism, or one of a hundred other conditions, only to lock them up in its political-correctness.

Mind Your Work More Than Your Wages (Thomas Brooks)

If you would, Christians, attain unto assurance, then you must mind your work more than your wages; you must be better at obeying than disputing; at doing, at walking, than at talking and wrangling. Assurance is the heavenly wages which Christ gives, not to loiterers, but to holy laborers. Though no man merits assurance by his obedience, yet God usually crowns obedience with assurance.

-Thomas Brooks, Works of Thomas Brooks, Vol. 2, pp. 413-414 (Heaven on Earth, ch. 5).

Note: I don’t necessarily agree with this as a primary means of gaining assurance, but I certainly think it is wise counsel in general. The idea of ‘minding your work more than your wages’ is quite helpful in general, but we must have an eye toward the promises of God in Christ if we are to rightly mind our work to begin with (though I think this is Brooks’ assumption).

Poets are, for Chaucer, not people who receive fame, but people who give it – C.S. Lewis

Here’s one for the commonplace book. John Piper shared this yesterday. I haven’t been able to track down the original location of the quote yet, though it looks like a likely source would be Lewis’ allegory of love:

Poets are, for Chaucer, not people who receive fame, but people who give it.