Twisting Necks to Suit Collars

Soon they will be twisting necks to suit clean collars, and hacking feet to fit new boots. It never seems to strike them that the body is more than [clothing]; that the Sabbath was made for man; that all institutions shall be judged and damned by whether they have fitted the normal flesh and spirit.

Abundance of Colors

We are not like children who have lost their paintbox and are left alone with a gray lead-pencil. We are like children who have mixed all the colors in the paintbox together and lost the paper of instructions. Even then (I do not deny) one has some fun.nNow this abundance of colors and loss of color scheme is a perfect parable of all that is wrong with our modern ideals.

The Heresy of Precedent

Now this is the attitude which I attack. It is the huge heresy of Precedent. It is the view that because we have got into a mess we must grow messier to suit it; that because we have taken a wrong turn some time ago we must go forward and not backwards; that because we have lost our way we must lose our map also; and because we have missed our ideal, we must forget it.


Both men and women ought to face more fully the things they do or cause to be done; face them or leave off doing them.


Seemingly from the dawn of man all nations have had governments; and all nations have been ashamed of them.

The Coming Strength

A Christian community is… a healing community not because wounds are cured and pains are alleviated, but because wounds and pains become openings or occasions for a new vision. Mutual confession then becomes a mutual deepening of hope, and sharing weakness becomes a reminder to one and all of the coming strength.

Which Garden

When do I resign myself to suffering and disease and when do I pray confidently for the removal of a thorn lodged in my flesh? In a given encounter with pain, into which garden is the Savior leading me: the Garden of Gethsemane or the garden which surrounds the empty tomb?

Give His Best

In short, [man] must give “his best”; and what a small part of a man “his best” is! His second and third best are often much better. If he is the first violin he must fiddle for life; he must not remember that he is a fine fourth bagpipe, a fair fifteenth billiard-cue, a foil, a fountain-pen, a hand at whist, a gun, and an image of God.

The Aim of War

The aim of civil war, like the aim of all war, is peace.


This [specialization] is the huge modern heresy of altering the human soul to fit its conditions, instead of altering human conditions to fit the human soul. If [soap factories] are really inconsistent with brotherhood, so much the worst for manufacturing soap, not for brotherhood. If civilization really cannot get on without democracy, so much the worse for civilization, not for democracy. Certainly, it would be far better to go back to village communes, if they really are communes. Certainly it would be better to do without soap rather than to do without society. Certainly, we would sacrifice all our wires, wheels, systems, specialties, physical science and frenzied finance for one half-hour of happiness such as has often come to us with comrades in a common tavern. I do not say the sacrifice will be necessary; I only say it will be easy.

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