Wednesday, March 22, 2017

"The Puritan and the Manichee"

THE Puritan and the Manichee have the same attitude towards the universe; their creeds work out to the same moral and social practice. But there is one doctrinal difference between them, for while the Manichee believes in an evil principle which works side by side with, and is equal to, the principle of good in the universe, the Puritan, proceeding from Calvin and, therefore, only admitting one will in the universe, makes both evil and good combine in the same awful God who permits and, in a sense, wills evil and, particularly, the sufferings of man.

~Hilaire Belloc: Characters of the Reformation; Ch. 20, Oliver Cromwell.

"Calvin opened the door to the domination of the mind by money"

● CALVIN himself would have said with learning, sincerity, and zeal that the glory of God was the only object worthy of human activity, but as he divorced such activity from the power of saving the individual soul, what could there remain save the pursuit of riches?

● IN denying the efficacy of good deeds and of the human will, of abnegations, in leaving on one side as useless all the doctrine and tradition of Holy Poverty, Calvin opened the door to the domination of the mind by money.

~Hilaire Belloc: The Crisis of Civilization.

John Calvin

Friday, March 17, 2017

Saint Patrick

"WE know that among the marks of holiness is the working of miracles. Ireland is the greatest miracle any saint ever worked. It is a miracle and a nexus of miracles. Among other miracles it is a nation raised from the dead."

~Hilaire Belloc: St. Patrick.
Read the complete essay here.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

"The breakdown of Christendom"

“CULTURES spring from religions; ultimately the vital force which maintains any culture is its philosophy, its attitude toward the universe; the decay of a religion involves the decay of the culture corresponding to it—we see that most clearly in the breakdown of Christendom today.”

~Hilaire Belloc: The Great Heresies.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


The north-cast wind has come from Norroway, 
Roaring he came above the white waves' tips! 
The foam of the loud sea was on his lips, 
And all his hair was salt with falling spray. 
Over the keen light of northern day 
He cast his snow cloud's terrible eclipse; 
Beyond our banks he suddenly struck the ships, 
And left them labouring on his landward way. 

The certain course that to my strength belongs 
Drives him with gathering purpose and control 
Until across Vendean flats he sees 
Ocean, the eldest of his enemies. 
Then wheels he for him, glorying in goal 
And gives him challenge, bellowing battle songs. 

~Hilaire Belloc

Sailing Vessels in a Strong Wind, by Hendrick Maertensz Sorgh.
Oil on canvas, 1660; The Hermitage, St. Petersburg (Russia).

Monday, February 27, 2017

“The Catholic Church"

“The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine, but for unbelievers, here is proof of its divinity, that no merely human institution run with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.”

~Hilaire Belloc (source unknown)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

"The essence of heresy"

“THE denial of a scheme wholesale is not heresy, and has not the creative power of a heresy. It is of the essence of heresy that it leaves standing a great part of the structure it attacks. On this account it can appeal to believers and continues to affect their lives through deflecting them from their original characters. Wherefore it is said of heresies that “they survive by the truth they retain.”

~Hilaire Belloc: from The Great Heresies.  

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