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The old and new humility.

[T]he old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder.  But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which will make him stop working altogether. G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, quoted in The Quotable Chesterton, p....

posted on: Jan 15, 2011 | author: Alan Burrow

Humility, a practical virtue.

Humility is so practical a virtue that men think it must be a vice.  Humility is so successful that it is mistaken for pride.  It is mistaken for it all the more easily because it generally goes with a certain simple love of splendour . . . .  In a word, the failure of this virtue actually lies in its success; it is too successful as an investment to be believed in as a virtue.  Humility is not merely too good for this world; it is too practical for this world; I had almost said it is too worldly for this world. G.K. Chesterton, Heretics, quoted in The Quotable Chesterton, p....

posted on: Jan 14, 2011 | author: Alan Burrow

It is always the secure who are humble.

[T]he essence of Christianity was in a literal sense the New Testament — a covenant with God which opened to men a clear deliverance.  They thought themselves secure; . . . they believed themselves rich with an irrevocable benediction which set them above the stars; and immediately they discovered humility.  It was only another example of the . . . immutable paradox.  It is always the secure who are humble. G.K. Chesterton, The Defendant, “In Defense of Humility,” para. 4. Also quoted in The Quotable Chesterton, p....

posted on: Jan 13, 2011 | author: Alan Burrow