The following is an excerpt from the book ‘The Defendant‘ by an author who is described as ‘one of the deepest and most lucid thinkers that England has ever produced.’1
G. K. Chesterton (born A.D. 1874, R.I.P. A.D. 1936) is that writer and thinker and here are some of his words to ponder:
In our time the blasphemies are threadbare.
Pessimism is now patently, as it always was essentially, more commonplace than piety.
Profanity is now more than an affectation — it is a convention.
The curse against God is Exercise One in the primer of minor poetry.
It was not, assuredly, for such babyish solemnities that our imaginary prophet was stoned in the morning of the world…
we shall feel it is more probable that he was stoned for saying that the grass was green and that the birds sang in spring;
for the mission of all prophets from the beginning has been not so much the pointing out of heavens or hells as primarily pointing out the earth.
Religion has had to provide the longest and strangest telescope — the telescope through which we could see the star upon which we dwelt. For the mind and eyes of the average man, this world is as lost as Eden and as sunk as Atlantis.
This is the great fall, the fall by which the fish forget the sea, the ox forgets the meadow, the clerk forgets the city.
It is strange that many truly spiritual men, such as General Gordon, have actually spent some hours speculating upon the precise location of the Garden of Eden.
Most probably we are in Eden still.
It is only our eyes that have changed.
1. G.K. Chesterton: A Prophet for the 21st Century by Aidan Mackey with an Introduction by Dale Ahlquist, p. 14
- Chesterton on the Religion of Irreligion and the Church of Contraception (insightscoop.typepad.com)
- Chesterton and the Donkey (apologus.wordpress.com)