Category Archives: History

Spurgeon on War

“I wish that Christian men would insist more and more on the unrighteousness of war, believing that Christianity means no sword, no cannon, no bloodshed, and that, if a nation is driven to fight in its own defence, Christianity stands by to weep and to intervene as soon as possible, and not to join in the cruel shouts which celebrate an enemy’s slaughter.”

— Charles Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry, Chapter 5: “A New Departure”

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Gregory of Nazianzus on Jesus

“As man he was baptized, but he absolved sins as God; he needed no purifying rites himself–his purpose was to hallow water. As man he was put to the test, but as God he came through victorious–yes, bids us be of good cheer, because he has conquered the world. He hungered–yet he fed thousands. He is indeed ‘living, heavenly bread.’ He thirsted–yet he exclaimed: ‘Whosoever thirsts, let him come to me and drink.’ Indeed he promised that believers would become fountains. He was tired–yet he is the ‘rest’ of the weary and the burdened. He was overcome by heavy sleep–yet he goes lightly over the sea, rebukes winds, and relieves the drowning Peter. He pays tax–yet uses a fish to do it; indeed he is emperor over those who demand the tax. He is called a ‘Samaritan, demonically possessed’–but he rescues the man who came down from Jerusalem and fell among thieves. Yes, he is recognized by demons, drives out demons, drowns deep a legion of spirits, and sees the prince of demons falling like lightning. He is stoned, yet not hit; he prays, yet he hears prayer. He weeps, yet he puts an end to weeping. He asks where Lazarus is laid–he was man; yet he raises Lazarus–he was God. He is sold, and cheap was the price–thirty pieces of silver; yet he buys back the world at the mighty cost of his own blood. A sheep, he is led to the slaughter–yet he shepherds Israel and now the whole world as well. A lamb, he is dumb–yet he is ‘Word,’ proclaimed by ‘the voice of one crying in the wilderness.’ He is weakened, wounded–yet he cures every disease and every weakness. He is brought up to the tree and nailed to it–yet by the tree of life he restores us. Yes, he saves even a thief crucified with him; he wraps all the visible world in darkness. He is given vinegar to drink, gall to eat–and who is he? Why, one who turned water into wine, who took away the taste of bitterness, who is all sweetness and desire. He surrenders his life, yet he has power to take it again. Yes, the veil is rent, for things of heaven are being revealed, rocks split, and dead men have an earlier awakening. He dies, but he vivifies and by death destroys death. He is buried, yet he rises again. He goes down to Hades, yet he leads souls up, ascends to heaven, and will come to judge quick and dead, and to probe discussions like these. If the first set of expressions starts you going astray, the second set takes your error away.”

– St. Gregory of Nazianzus, On God and Christ: The Five Theological Orations and Two Letters to Cledonius, The Third Theological Oration (Oration 29)

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Ronald Reagan on Government by Consent

“We are a nation that has a government–not the other way around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our Government has no power except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.”

— Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address, 20 January 1981

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February 22, 2009 · 5:04 pm

Ronald Reagan on Government

“In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem. From time to time, we have been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. But if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else?”

— Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address, 20 January 1981

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February 22, 2009 · 5:01 pm

George Washington on National Debt

“As a very important source of strength and security, cherish public credit. One method of preserving it is, to use it as sparingly as possible; avoiding occasions of expense by cultivating peace, but remembering also that timely disbursements to prepare for danger frequently prevent much greater disbursements to repel it; avoiding likewise the accumulation of debt, not only by shunning occasions of expense, but by vigorous exertions in time of peace to discharge the debts, which unavoidable wars may have occasioned, not ungenerously throwing upon posterity the burthen, which we ourselves ought to bear.”

— George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796

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February 16, 2009 · 12:15 pm

E.H. Gombrich on History

“What I have always loved best about the history of the world is that it is true. That all the extraordinary things we read were no less real than you and I are today. What is more, what did happen is often far more exciting and amazing than anything we could invent.”

— E.H. Gombrich, A Little History of the World, chapter 35

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July 8, 2007 · 7:28 pm

Thomas Jefferson on History

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.”

— Thomas Jefferson, Letter to John Norvell, 14 June 1807

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July 6, 2007 · 1:28 pm