It is better to deny God, than to defy God.
Sometimes our weakness is considered strength, and we take delight in borrowed greatness.
To profess to be a lover of God and then to be dishonest to God, to the world and to himself, is unparalleled hypocrisy. Difficulties give us the opportunity to prove our greatness by overcoming them.
The use of this feigned history hath been to give some shadow of satisfaction to the mind of man in those points wherein the nature of things doth deny it, the world being in proportion inferior to the soul; by reason whereof there is, agreeable to the spirit of man, a more ample greatness, a more exact goodness, and a more absolute variety, than can be found in the nature of things. Therefore, because the acts or events of true history have not that magnitude which satisfieth the mind of man, poesy feigneth acts and events greater and more heroical: because true history propoundeth the successes and issues of actions not so agreeable to the merits of virtue and vice, therefore poesy feigns them more just in retribution, and more according to revealed providence: because true history representeth actions and events more ordinary, and less interchanged, therefore poesy endueth them with more rareness, and more unexpected and alternative variations: so as it appeareth that poesy serveth and conferreth to magnanimity, morality, and to delectation. And therefore it was ever thought to have some participation of divineness, because it doth raise and erect the mind, by submitting the shows of things to the desires of the mind; whereas reason doth buckle and bow the mind into the nature of things.
It is yet a higher speech of his than the other, It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god.
Now the activity of the practical virtues is exhibited in political or military affairs, but the actions concerned with these seem to be unleisurely. Warlike actions are completely so (for no one chooses to be at war, or provokes war, for the sake of being at war; any one would seem absolutely murderous if he were to make enemies of his friends in order to bring about battle and slaughter); but the action of the statesman is also unleisurely, and-apart from the political action itself-aims at despotic power and honours, or at all events happiness, for him and his fellow citizens-a happiness different from political action, and evidently sought as being different. So if among virtuous actions political and military actions are distinguished by nobility and greatness, and these are unleisurely and aim at an end and are not desirable for their own sake, but the activity of reason, which is contemplative, seems both to be superior in serious worth and to aim at no end beyond itself, and to have its pleasure proper to itself (and this augments the activity), and the self-sufficiency, leisureliness, unweariedness (so far as this is possible for man), and all the other attributes ascribed to the supremely happy man are evidently those connected with this activity, it follows that this will be the complete happiness of man, if it be allowed a complete term of life.
I do not regret my youth and its beliefs. Up to now, I have wasted my time to live. Youth is the true force, but it is too rarely lucid. Sometimes it has a triumphant liking for what is now, and the pugnacious broadside of paradox may please it. But there is a degree in innovation which they who have not lived very much cannot attain. And yet who knows if the stern greatness of present events will not have educated and aged the generation which to-day forms humanity's effective frontier? Whatever our hope may be, if we did not place it in youth, where should we place it?
It is important, therefore, to hold fast to this: that poetry is at bottom a criticism of life; that the greatness of a poet lies in his powerful and beautiful application of ideas to life to the question: How to live.
Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of possessing greatness is that we excite love, interest, and admiration.
I look for a particular kind of sentence, perhaps more often the awkward than the beautiful. A broke-back sentence is interesting. Any sentence that begins with the phrase, It is not clear that... is clearly clumsy but preparing itself for greatness of a kind. A way of backing into a storyof getting past the readers hardwon armor.
The ways of the Lord are not comfortable, but we were not created for comfort, but for greatness, for good.
To be truly alive is to be transformed from within, open to the energy of God's love. In accepting the power of the Holy Spirit you can also transform your families, communities and nations. Set free the gifts! Let wisdom, courage, awe and reverence be the marks of greatness!
I saw you then not only as the symbol of your people and its greatness, but as the voice of the invincible and uncompromising conscience of the human race at a time of danger to the dignity of man, created in the image of God. It was not only the liberties and the honor of your own people that you saved.
Our language is the product of extraordinary thought and philosophical greatness. There is a lifetime and more of study here, which would turn our impoverishing certitudes into humanizing doubts.
It was Africa distilled up through six thousand feet like the strong and refined essence of a continent... The views were immensely wide everything that you saw made for greatness and freedom, and unequalled nobility.
Greatness is nothing unless it be lasting.
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.