Frases de James Anthony Froude

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James Anthony Froude

Data de nascimento: 23. Abril 1818
Data de falecimento: 20. Outubro 1894
Outros nomes:James Froude

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James Anthony Froude foi um controverso historiador, novelista e biógrafo inglês. Após sua participação no Movimento de Oxford, de caráter anglo-católico, Froude decidiu virar clérigo, mas dúvidas em relação às doutrinas da Igreja Anglicana, como especifica em seu polêmico romance de 1849 The Nemesis of Faith, o fizeram desistir de uma carreira religiosa. Decidiu então virar historiador, se tornando um dos mais conhecidos de seu tempo a partir da publicação de History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada.

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„The Mahometans say their Koran was written by God. The Hindoos say the Vedas were; we say the Bible was, and we are but interested witnesses in deciding absolutely and exclusively for ourselves.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: The Mahometans say their Koran was written by God. The Hindoos say the Vedas were; we say the Bible was, and we are but interested witnesses in deciding absolutely and exclusively for ourselves. If it be immeasurably the highest of the three, it is because it is not the most divine but the most human. It does not differ from them in kind; and it seems to me that in ascribing it to God we are doing a double dishonour; to ourselves for want of faith in our soul's strength, and to God in making Him responsible for our weakness. There is nothing in it but what men might have written; much, oh much, which it would drive me mad to think any but men, and most mistaken men, had written. Yet still, as a whole, it is by far the noblest collection of sacred books in the world; the outpouring of the mind of a people in whom a larger share of God's spirit was for many centuries working than in any other of mankind, or who at least most clearly caught and carried home to themselves the idea of the direct and immediate dependence of the world upon Him. It is so good that as men looked at it they said this is too good for man: nothing but the inspiration of God could have given this. Likely enough men should say so; but what might be admired as a metaphor became petrified into a doctrine, and perhaps the world has never witnessed any more grotesque idol-worship than what has resulted from it in modern Bibliolatry. And yet they say we are not Christians, we cannot be religious teachers, nay, we are without religion, we are infidels, unless we believe with them. We have not yet found the liberty with which Christ has made us free. Infidels, Arthur! Ah, it is a hard word! The only infidelity I know is to distrust God, to distrust his care of us, his love for us. And yet that word! How words cling to us, and like an accursed spell force us to become what they say we have become. Letter III

„Say not they have their reward on earth in the calm satisfaction of noble desires, nobly gratified, in the sense of great works greatly done; that too may be, but neither do they ask for that. They alone never remember themselves; they know no end but to do the will which beats in their hearts' deep pulses.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Say not they have their reward on earth in the calm satisfaction of noble desires, nobly gratified, in the sense of great works greatly done; that too may be, but neither do they ask for that. They alone never remember themselves; they know no end but to do the will which beats in their hearts' deep pulses. Ay, but for these, these few martyred heroes, it might be after all that the earth was but a huge loss-and-profit ledger book; or a toy machine some great angel had invented for the amusement of his nursery; and the storm and the sunshine but the tears and the smiles of laughter in which he and his baby cherubs dressed their faces over the grave and solemn airs of slow-paced respectability. Yes, genius alone is the Redeemer; it bears our sorrows, it is crowned with thorns for us; the children of genius are the church militant, the army of the human race. Genius is the life, the law of mankind, itself perishing, that others may take possession and enjoy. Religion, freedom, science, law, the arts, mechanical or heautiful, all which gives respectability a chance, have heen moulded out by the toil and the sweat and the blood of the faithful; who, knowing no enjoyment, were content to he the servants of their own born slaves, and wrought out the happiness of the world which despised and disowned them. Confessions Of A Sceptic

„Fling away your soul once for all, your own small self; if you will find it again.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Fling away your soul once for all, your own small self; if you will find it again. Count not even on immortality. Confessions Of A Sceptic

„It is alike self-contradictory and contrary to experience, that a man of two goods should choose the lesser, knowing it at the time to be the lesser.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: It is alike self-contradictory and contrary to experience, that a man of two goods should choose the lesser, knowing it at the time to be the lesser. Observe, I say, at the time of action. We are complex, and therefore, in our natural state, inconsistent, beings, and the opinion of this hour need not be the opinion of the next. It may be different before the temptation appear; it may return to be different after the temptation is passed; the nearness or distance of objects may alter their relative magnitude, or appetite or passion may obscure the reflecting power, and give a temporary impulsive force to a particular side of our nature. But, uniformly, given a particular condition of a man's nature, and given a number of possible courses, his action is as necessarily determined into the course best corresponding to that condition, as a bar of steel suspended between two magnets is determined towards the most powerful. It may go reluctantly, for it will still feel the attraction of the weaker magnet, but it will still obey the strongest, and must obey. What we call knowing a man's character, is knowing how he will act in such and such conditions. The better we know him the more surely we can prophesy. If we know him perfectly, we are certain. Fragments of Markham's notes

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„It is an old remark, that as men are, such they paint their gods“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: It is an old remark, that as men are, such they paint their gods; and as in themselves the passionate, or demonic nature, long preponderated, so the gods they worshipped were demons like themselves, jealous, capricious, exacting, revengeful, the figures which fill the old mythologies, and appear partly in the Old Testament. They feared them as they feared the powerful of their own race, and sought to propitiate them by similar offerings and services. Go on, and now we find ourselves on a third stage; but now fast rising into a clearing atmosphere. The absolute worth of goodness is seen as distinct from power; such beings as these demon gods could not he the highest beings. Good and evil could not coexist in one Supreme; absolutely different in nature, they could not have a common origin; the moral world is bipolar, and we have dualism, the two principles, coeternal, coequal. By and by, again, the horizon widens. The ultimate identity of might and right glimmers out feebly in the Zenda Vesta as the stars come out above the mountains when we climb out of the mist of the valleys. The evil spirit is no longer the absolute independent Ahriman; but Ahriman and Ormuzd are but each a dependent spirit; and an awful formless, boundless figure, the eternal, the illimitable, looms out from the abyss behind them, presently to degrade still farther the falling Ahriman into a mere permitted Satan, finally to be destroyed. Fragments of Markham's notes

„Minds vary in sensitiveness and in self-power, as bodies do in susceptibility of attraction and repulsion.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Minds vary in sensitiveness and in self-power, as bodies do in susceptibility of attraction and repulsion. When, when shall we learn that they are governed by laws as inexorable as physical laws, and that a man can as easily refuse to obey what has power over him as a steel atom can resist the magnet? Confessions Of A Sceptic

„Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself. Oceana, or, England and Her Colonies (1886) [C. Scribner's Sons, 1972, 396 pages], p. 67

„She confessed her witchcraft — so tried, she would have confessed to the seven deadly sins — and then she was burned, recalling her confession, and with her last breath protesting her innocence.
It is due to the intelligence of the time to admit that after this her guilt was doubted, and such vicarious means of extorting confession do not seem to have been tried again.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: It remains a lesson to all time, that goodness, though the indispensable adjunct to knowledge, is no substitute for it; that when conscience undertakes to dictate beyond its province, the result is only the more monstrous. It is well that we should look this matter in the face; and as particular stories leave more impression than general statements, I will mention one, perfectly well authenticated, which I take from the official report of the proceedings:—Towards the end of 1593 there was trouble in the family of the Earl of Orkney. His brother laid a plot to murder him, and was said to have sought the help of a 'notorious witch' called Alison Balfour http://www.orkneyjar.com/folklore/witchcraft/balfour.htm. When Alison Balfour's life was looked into, no evidence could be found connecting her either with the particular offence or with witchcraft in general; but it was enough in these matters to be accused. She swore she was innocent; but her guilt was only held to be aggravated by perjury. She was tortured again and again. Her legs were put in the caschilaws — an iron frame which was gradually heated till it burned into the flesh — but no confession could be wrung from her. The caschilaws failed utterly, and something else had to be tried. She had a husband, a son, and a daughter, a child seven years old. As her own sufferings did not work upon her, she might be touched, perhaps, by the sufferings of those who were dear to her. They were brought into court, and placed at her side; and the husband first was placed in the 'lang irons' — some accursed instrument; I know not what. Still the devil did not yield. She bore this; and her son was next operated on. The boy's legs were set in 'the boot,' — the iron boot you may have heard of. The wedges were driven in, which, when forced home, crushed the very bone and marrow. Fifty-seven mallet strokes were delivered upon the wedges. Yet this, too, failed. There was no confession yet. So, last of all, the little daughter was taken. There was a machine called the piniwinkies — a kind of thumbscrew, which brought blood from under the finger nails, with a pain successfully terrible. These things were applied to the poor child's hands, and the mother's constancy broke down, and she said she would admit anything they wished. She confessed her witchcraft — so tried, she would have confessed to the seven deadly sins — and then she was burned, recalling her confession, and with her last breath protesting her innocence. It is due to the intelligence of the time to admit that after this her guilt was doubted, and such vicarious means of extorting confession do not seem to have been tried again. Yet the men who inflicted these tortures would have borne them all themselves sooner than have done any act which they consciously knew to be wrong. They did not know that the instincts of humanity were more sacred than the logic of theology, and in fighting against the devil they were themselves doing the devil's work. We should not attempt to apologise for these things, still less to forget them. No martyrs ever suffered to instil into mankind a more wholesome lesson — more wholesome, or one more hard to learn. The more conscientious men are, the more difficult it is for them to understand that in their most cherished convictions, when they pass beyond the limits where the wise and good of all sorts agree, they may be the victims of mere delusion. Yet, after all, and happily, such cases were but few, and affected but lightly the general condition of the people.

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