Classic and contemporary excerpts.

Only A Mist

No man can say, “I have had a fine life,” because a life is something that one does not have, that one does not possess.… [Hans Christian] Andersen wept when his native town greeted him with cheers: “How happy my parents would have been,” he said.

Simone de Beauvoir in

The Coming of Age

The Unforgiving End

Lust in final form spends everything

To purchase headstones.

All passions die in graveyards.

Calvin Miller in

A Symphony in Sand


I used to gather up [my husband] Fred’s faults with the fervor of a child picking berries. I had a whole shelf of overflowing baskets before the concept of forgiveness fell heavily upon me. To be spiritual I plucked out a few of Fred’s faults and forgave them, but I didn’t want to clear the whole shelf. Where would I go for future reference material?

Florence Littauer in After

Every Wedding Comes a Marriage

Liberated Beliefs

If Jesus Christ were to come today, people would not even crucify him. They would ask him to dinner, and hear what he had to say, and make fun of it.

Thomas Carlyle, quoted by

D. A. Wilson in

Carlyle at His Zenith

The Light Of The World

I believe in Christianity as I believe the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else.

C. S. Lewis in

The Weight of Glory

The Love Of Money …

We have created an affluence that has permeated every working sector of the United States. [On the strength of that security,] we have been able to sweep away standards that have been in place for a millennium.

Tom Wolfe in a 1988

commencement address at Harvard

The God-Shaped Void

So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.

Feodor Dostoevski in The Brothers Karamazov

Beyond Idle Chatter

Talking and eloquence are not the same: to speak, and to speak well, are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks.

Ben Jonson in Discoveries Made upon Men and Matter

What Are We Writing?

A Christian is a loving letter. Love is basic to being Christian. If we love not, we are not. This is not sentimentality or effusive feelings, but good old basic love that reaches out to heal the hurt of the world. Love’s simplicity is its attraction; its transforming power is its glory. Love is practical, yet transcendent; earthly, yet heavenly. Love is the essence of the divine Author and permeates the whole of life.

Richard L. Baxter in

Reasons to Be Glad

Overcoming Intolerance

Never let us think evil of men who do not see as we do. From the bottom of our hearts let us pity them, and let us take them by the hand and spend time and thought over them, and try to lead them to the true light.

Henry Drummond in

Listening to the Giants

(ed. Warren W. Wiersbe)

Great Therapy

Karl Menninger, the [late] psychiatrist, was asked what someone should do who feels on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His advice? “Lock your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need and do something for him.”

Quoted by Bruce Larson in

A Call to Holy Living

The uncaring generation

The targed of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but than it bothers him less and less.

Václav Havel, in a letter found by Robert Royal; quoted by Martin Marty in Context (June 1, 1990).

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.