Clive Staples Lewis Quotes

'Good English' is whatever educated people talk; so that what is good in one place or time would not be so in another.... - Clive Staples Lewis

'Good English' is whatever educated people talk; so that what is good in one place or time would not be so in another.
— Clive Staples Lewis

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A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.

Clive Staples Lewis

A man who is eating or lying with his wife or preparing to go to sleep in humility, thankfulness and temperance, is, by Christian standards, in an infinitely higher state than one who is listening to Bach or reading Plato in a state of pride.

Clive Staples Lewis

A young man who wishes to remain a sound atheist cannot be too careful of his reading.

Clive Staples Lewis

Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives.

Clive Staples Lewis

Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither.

Clive Staples Lewis

Always prefer the plain direct word to the long, vague one. Don't implement promises, but keep them.

Clive Staples Lewis

Always try to use the language so as to make quite clear what you mean and make sure your sentence couldn't mean anything else.

Clive Staples Lewis

An explanation of cause is not a justification by reason.

Clive Staples Lewis

Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable.

Clive Staples Lewis

Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.

Clive Staples Lewis

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

Clive Staples Lewis

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

Clive Staples Lewis

Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.

Clive Staples Lewis

Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.

Clive Staples Lewis

Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities.

Clive Staples Lewis

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

Clive Staples Lewis

Everyone has noticed how hard it is to turn our thoughts to God when everything is going well with us... While what we call 'our own life' remains agreeable, we will not surrender it to Him. What, then, can God do in our interests but make 'our own life' less agreeable to us, and take away the plausible sources of false happiness?

Clive Staples Lewis

Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.

Clive Staples Lewis

Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.

Clive Staples Lewis

Failures, repeated failures, are finger posts on the road to achievement. One fails forward toward success.

Clive Staples Lewis

Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.

Clive Staples Lewis

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

Clive Staples Lewis

Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.

Clive Staples Lewis

How incessant and great are the ills with which a prolonged old age is replete.

Clive Staples Lewis

Humans are amphibians - half spirit and half animal. As spirits they belong to the eternal world, but as animals they inhabit time.

Clive Staples Lewis

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.

Clive Staples Lewis

I gave in, and admitted that God was God.

Clive Staples Lewis

I sometimes wander whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.

Clive Staples Lewis

I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for joy.

Clive Staples Lewis

I'm tall, fat, rather bald, red-faced, double-chinned, black-haired, have a deep voice, and wear glasses for reading.

Clive Staples Lewis

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

Clive Staples Lewis

If the whole universe has no meaning, we should never have found out that it has no meaning: just as, if there were no light in the universe and therefore no creatures with eyes, we should never know it was dark. Dark would be without meaning.

Clive Staples Lewis

If we cut up beasts simply because they cannot prevent us and because we are backing our own side in the struggle for existence, it is only logical to cut up imbeciles, criminals, enemies, or capitalists for the same reasons.

Clive Staples Lewis

If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end; if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin, and in the end, despair.

Clive Staples Lewis

If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were precisely those who thought most of the next. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this.

Clive Staples Lewis

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

Clive Staples Lewis

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

Clive Staples Lewis

It's so much easier to pray for a bore than to go and see one.

Clive Staples Lewis

Joy is the serious business of Heaven.

Clive Staples Lewis

Let's pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.

Clive Staples Lewis

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.

Clive Staples Lewis

Long before history began we men have got together apart from the women and done things. We had time.

Clive Staples Lewis

Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ, and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in.

Clive Staples Lewis

Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.

Clive Staples Lewis

Miracles do not, in fact, break the laws of nature.

Clive Staples Lewis

No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.

Clive Staples Lewis

Nothing is more dangerous to one's own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate.

Clive Staples Lewis

Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.

Clive Staples Lewis

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.

Clive Staples Lewis

'Good English' is whatever educated people talk; so that what is good in one place or time would not be so in another.

Clive Staples Lewis