Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Dear sir, | I am. | Yours, GK Chesterton

"The answer to the question, 'What is Wrong?' is, or should be, 'I am wrong.' Until a man can give that answer his idealism is only a hobby."

     G. K. Chesterton, in response to a 14 August 1905 letter from "A Heretic" entitled "What Is Wrong?," Daily news (London), 16 August 1905, as quoted by Steven Bullivant, who credits an @SosTheRope, in "Continuing the hunt for a fabled GK Chesterton quote," The Catholic herald, 17 December 2019.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

The hand as well as the eye

"providence means not that by which God idly observes [(otiosus speculetur)] from heaven what takes place on earth, but that by which, as keeper of the keys, he governs all events.  Thus it pertains no less to his hands than to his eyes [(veluti clavum tenens, eventus omnes moderatur.  Ita non minus ad manus quam ad oculos pertinent)]."

     John Calvin, Institutes I.xvi.4, trans. Battles (who, unlike Beveridge below, reads clavem (claves) for clavum, rudder, helm, or (under "nail") "symbol of immovable firmness"; cf. patron de nauire (skipper/(ship)master/coxswain of [a] boat) in Calvin's French, below) =CO 2, 147.  Thus Beveridge:  "the providence we mean is not one by which the Deity, sitting idly in heaven, looks on at what is taking place in the world, but one by which he, as it were, holds the helm, and overrules all events.  Hence his providence extends not less to the hand than to the eye."  From p. 75 of the French edition published in Geneva in 1560 (note the additional line at the end):
la prouidence de Dieu . . . ne signifie pas qu’estant oisif au ciel il specule ce qui se fait en terre:  mais plustost qu’il est cóme vn patron de nauire, qui tient le gouuernail pour adresser tous euenemés. ainsi ce mot s’estend tant à sa main qu’à ses yeux:  c’est à dire que non seulement il voit, mais aussi ordonne ce qu’il veut estre fait.