G.K. Chesterton was born on this date in 1874.


  1. G.K. Chesterton says

    After one moment when I bowed my head
    And the whole world turned over and came upright,
    And I came out where the old road shone white,
    I walked the ways and heard what all men said,
    Forests of tongues, like autumn leaves unshed,
    Being not unlovable but strange and light;
    Old riddles and new creeds, not in despite
    But softly, as men smile about the dead.

    The sages have a hundred maps to give
    That trace their crawling cosmos like a tree,
    They rattle reason out through many a sieve
    That stores the sand and lets the gold go free:
    And all these things are less than dust to me
    Because my name is Lazarus and I live.

  2. James Sauer says

    I’ve got a problem with Chesterton. The problem is that I think he is a wonderful, wise, witty, and pious man; after reading his works, I never leave the page without feeling edified. Then what’s the problem? Perhaps, the problem, if it is a problem, isn’t in Chesterton, but in me. For I am a Protestant; but not just any Protestant. I am an American Evangelical Protestant. But there’s more. I am a Conservative, Capitalistic, Bible thumping American Evangelical Protestant. And hold on to your seats folks, just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse; I must confess, I am also a Calvinist. We all have our crosses to bear. Anyone who is familiar with the writings of Chesterton will see the great irony in my situation.
    I can only ask you not to blame me for this state of affairs, I didn’t choose to be elected; it was irresistible grace. I was predestined for Presbyterianism. But since I have received this unmerited favor of God, I might as well enjoy it. I can only thank my Sovereign Maker for his predestination. Not only did he choose me to be among his chosen people, but he also destined me to be among that other elect who have had the privilege of meeting through literature the great mind and good heart of Gilbert Keith Chesterton. No doubt the ever volitional Chesterton would have pointed out that predestination had nothing to do with all this; he would have argued that I chose to pick his books up of my own free will. But I think he is wrong on this matter: I must respond that it is all of God, as all grace is.

  3. Hilaire Belloc says

    He approached the Catholic Church gradually but by a direct road. He first saw the city from afar off, then approached it with interest and at last entered. Few of the great conversions in our history have been so deliberate or so mature. It will be for posterity to judge the magnitude of the event. We are too near it to see it in scale. It may be that England will soon lose what fragment it retains of the Creed which made Europe, and by the survival of which may Europe survive. It may be just the other way: England may be passing through a crisis and turning point in this matter and may be destined to recover by some unexpected return of fate the influence which brought the nation into being and against which the nation has come to stand in so extreme an opposition.

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