Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
Matthew Arnold
  Criticism is a disinterested endeavour to learn and propagate the best that is known and thought in the world.  1
  Culture is a study of perfection.  2
  Culture is the passion for sweetness and light, and (what is more) the passion for them prevail.  3
  Genius is mainly an affair of energy.  4
  Greatness is a spiritual condition worthy to excite love, interest, and admiration; and the outward proof of greatness is that we excite love, interest, and admiration.  5
  It is matter of the commonest remark how a timid man who is in love will show courage, or an indolent man will show diligence.  6
  Poetry interprets in two ways: by expressing with magical felicity the physiognomy and movements of the outer world; and by expressing with inward conviction the ideas and laws of the inward.  7
  Powerful attachment will give a man spirit and confidence which he could by no means call up or command of himself; and in this mood he can do wonders which would not be possible to him without it.  8
  Sects of men are apt to be shut up in sectarian ideas of their own, and to be less open to new general ideas than the main body of men.  9
  Sin is not a monster to be mused on, but an impotence to be got rid of.  10
  Tasks in hours of insight willed, / In hours of gloom must be fulfilled.  11
  The kings of modern thought are dumb.  12
  The way, truth, and life have been found in Christianity, and will not now be found outside of it.  13
  Thinking about sin, beyond what is indispensable for the firm effort to get rid of it, is waste of energy and waste of time.  14
  Thought and science follow their own law of development; they are slowly elaborated in the growth and forward pressure of humanity, in what Shakespeare calls … The prophetic soul / Of the wide world dreaming on things to come.  15
  To popular religion, the real kingdom of God is the New Jerusalem with its jaspers and emeralds; righteousness and peace and joy are only the kingdom of God figuratively.  16
  Wherever there is cupidity, there the blessing of the Gospel cannot rest. The actual poor, therefore, may altogether fail to be objects of that blessing, the actual rich may be the objects of it in the highest degree.  17
  Without poetry our science will appear incomplete, and most of what now passes with us for religion and philosophy will be replaced by poetry.  18
  Without some strong motive to the contrary, men united by the pursuit of a clearly defined common aim of irresistible attractiveness naturally coalesce; and since they coalesce naturally, they are clearly right in coalescing and find their advantage in it.  19

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