Zitate von James Anthony Froude

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James Anthony Froude

Geburtstag: 23. April 1818
Todesdatum: 20. Oktober 1894
Andere Namen:James Froude

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James Anthony Froude war ein britischer Historiker, Romancier und Herausgeber des Fraser’s Magazine. Er gehörte wegen seiner Werke zu den bekanntesten und aufgrund seiner polemischen Neigungen zu den umstrittensten englischen Historikern seiner Epoche. Er war der Bruder des anglikanischen Klerikers Hurrell Froude und des Hydrodynamikforschers William Froude .

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Zitate James Anthony Froude

„Who shall say that those poor peasants were not acting in the spirit we most venerate, most adore; that theirs was not the true heart language which we cannot choose but love?“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Who shall say that those poor peasants were not acting in the spirit we most venerate, most adore; that theirs was not the true heart language which we cannot choose but love? And what has been their reward? They have sent down their name to be the by-word of all after ages; the worst reproach of the worst men — a name convertible with atheism and devil-worship. Letter IV

„The absolute worth of goodness is seen as distinct from power; such beings as these demon gods could not he the highest beings.“

— 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

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„Now, to a single-minded man, who is either brave enough or reckless enough to surrender himself wholly to one idea, and look neither right nor left, but only forward, what earthly consequences may follow is not material.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Now, to a single-minded man, who is either brave enough or reckless enough to surrender himself wholly to one idea, and look neither right nor left, but only forward, what earthly consequences may follow is not material. Persecution strengthens him; and so he is sure he is right, whether his course end in a prison or on a throne is no matter at all. But men of this calibre are uncommon in any age or in any country — very uncommon in this age and this country. Confessions Of A Sceptic

„Say not, say not, it is but a choice which they have made; and an immortality of glory in heaven shall reward them for what they have sacrificed on earth. It may be so; but they do not ask for it. They are what they are from the Divine power which is in them, and you would never hear their complainings if the grave was the gate of annihilation.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Once in our lives we have all to choose. More or less we have all felt once the same emotions. We have not always been what the professions make of us. Nature made us men, and she surrenders not her children without a struggle. I will go back to my story now with but this one word, that it is these sons of genius, and the fate they meet with, which is to me the one sole evidence that there is more in "this huge state" than what is seen, and that in very truth the soul of man is not a thing which comes and goes, is builded and decays like the elemental frame in which it is set to dwell, but a very living force, a very energy of God's organic Will, which rules and moulds this universe. For what are they? Say not, say not, it is but a choice which they have made; and an immortality of glory in heaven shall reward them for what they have sacrificed on earth. It may be so; but they do not ask for it. They are what they are from the Divine power which is in them, and you would never hear their complainings if the grave was the gate of annihilation. Confessions Of A Sceptic

„Oh! what a frightful business is this modern society; the race for wealth — wealth. I am ashamed to write the word. Wealth means well-being, weal, the opposite of woe. And is that money? or can money buy it?“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Oh! what a frightful business is this modern society; the race for wealth — wealth. I am ashamed to write the word. Wealth means well-being, weal, the opposite of woe. And is that money? or can money buy it? We boast much of the purity of our faith, of the sins of idolatry among the Romanists, and we send missionaries to the poor unenlightened heathens, to bring them out of their darkness into our light, our glorious light; but oh! if you may measure the fearfulness of an idol by the blood which stains its sacrifice, by the multitude of its victims, where in all the world, in the fetish of the poor negro, in the hideous car of Indian Juggernaut, can you find a monster whose worship is polluted by such enormity as this English one of money! Letter VII

„In the strength of my own soul, for myself, at least, I would say boldly, rather let me bear the consequences of my own acts myself, even if it be eternal vengeance, and God requires it, than allow the shadow of my sin to fall upon the innocent.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: To suppose that by our disobedience we have taken something away from God, in the loss of which He suffers, for which He requires satisfaction, and that this satisfaction has been made to Him by the cross sacrifice (as if doing wrong were incurring a debt to Him, which somehow must be paid, though it matters not by whom), is so infinitely derogatory to His majesty, to every idea which I can form of His nature, that to believe it in any such sense as this confounds and overwhelms me. In the strength of my own soul, for myself, at least, I would say boldly, rather let me bear the consequences of my own acts myself, even if it be eternal vengeance, and God requires it, than allow the shadow of my sin to fall upon the innocent. Letter X

„To be enthusiastic about doing much with human nature is a foolish business indeed; and, throwing himself into his work as he was doing, and expecting so much from it, would not the tide ebb as strongly as it was flowing? It is a rash game this setting our hearts on any future beyond what we have our own selves control over.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: To be enthusiastic about doing much with human nature is a foolish business indeed; and, throwing himself into his work as he was doing, and expecting so much from it, would not the tide ebb as strongly as it was flowing? It is a rash game this setting our hearts on any future beyond what we have our own selves control over. Things do not walk as we settle with ourselves they ought to walk, and to hope is almost the correlative of to be disappointed. Arthur's first summary

„The first state of mankind is the unreflecting state. The nature is undeveloped, looking neither before nor after; it acts on the impulse of the moment, and is troubled with no weary retrospect, nor with any notions of a remote future which present conduct can affect; and knowing neither good nor evil, better or worse, it does simply what it desires, and is happy in it. It is the state analogous to the early childhood of each of us, and is represented in the common theory of Paradise — the state of innocence.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Our instinct has outrun our theory in this matter; for while we still insist upon free will and sin, we make allowance for individuals who have gone wrong, on the very ground of provocation, of temptation, of bad education, of infirm character. By and by philosophy will follow, and so at last we may hope for a true theory of morals. It is curious to watch, in the history of religious beliefs, the gradual elimination of this monster of moral evil. The first state of mankind is the unreflecting state. The nature is undeveloped, looking neither before nor after; it acts on the impulse of the moment, and is troubled with no weary retrospect, nor with any notions of a remote future which present conduct can affect; and knowing neither good nor evil, better or worse, it does simply what it desires, and is happy in it. It is the state analogous to the early childhood of each of us, and is represented in the common theory of Paradise — the state of innocence. Fragments of Markham's notes

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„The success is various, as the faculties and conditions which God has given are various; but the spectre which haunted the conscience is gone. Our failures are errors, not crimes — nature's discipline with which God teaches us; and as little violations of His law, or rendering us guilty in His eyes, as the artist's early blunders, or even ultimate and entire failures, are laying store of guilt on him.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Finally rises philosophy, which, after a few monstrous efforts from Calvin to Leibnitz to reconcile contradictions and form a theodice, comes out boldly in Spinozism to declare the impossibility of the existence of a power antagonistic to God; and defining the perfection of man's nature, as the condition under which it has fullest action and freest enjoyment of all its powers, sets this as a moral ideal hefore us, toward which we shall train our moral efforts as the artist trains his artistic efforts towards his ideal. The success is various, as the faculties and conditions which God has given are various; but the spectre which haunted the conscience is gone. Our failures are errors, not crimes — nature's discipline with which God teaches us; and as little violations of His law, or rendering us guilty in His eyes, as the artist's early blunders, or even ultimate and entire failures, are laying store of guilt on him. Fragments of Markham's notes

„You will never have perfect men, Plato says, till you have perfect circumstances.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: You will never have perfect men, Plato says, till you have perfect circumstances. Perhaps a true saying! — but, till the philosopher is born who can tell us what circumstances are perfect, a sufficiently speculative one. At any rate, one finds strange enough results — often the very best coming up out of conditions the most unpromising. Such a bundle of odd contradictions we human beings are, that perhaps full as many repellent as attracting influences are acquired, before we can give our hearts to what is right. Confessions Of A Sceptic

„I would not so dishonour God as to lend my voice to perpetuate all the mad and foolish things which men have dared to say of Him.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: I would not so dishonour God as to lend my voice to perpetuate all the mad and foolish things which men have dared to say of Him. I believe that we may find in the Bible the highest and purest religion..... most of all in the history of Him in whose name we all are called. His religion — not the Christian religion, but the religion of Christ — the poor man's gospel; the message of forgiveness, of reconciliation, of love; and, oh, how gladly would I spend my life, in season and out of season, in preaching this! But I must have no hell terrors, none of these fear doctrines; they were not in the early creeds, God knows whether they were ever in the early gospels, or ever passed His lips. He went down to hell, but it was to break the chains, not to bind them. Letter II

„Long devotions are a weariness to healthy children.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: Long devotions are a weariness to healthy children. If, unhappily, they have been made unhealthy — if they have been taught to look into themselves, and made to imagine themselves miserable and fallen, and every moment exciting God's anger, and so need these long devotions — their premature sensibility will exhaust itself over comparative trifles; and, by and by, when the real occasion comes, they will find that, like people who talk of common things in superlatives, their imagination will have wasted what will then be really needed. Their present state will explain to themselves the unreality of their former state; but the heart will have used out its power, and thoughts, which have been made unreal, by an unreal use of them, will be unreal still, and for ever. Confessions Of A Sceptic

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„That the consequence of his guilt should he transferred from him to one who is innocent (although that innocent one he himself willing to accept it), whatever else it be, is not justice. We are mocking the word when we call it such.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: I will be candid. I believe God is a just God, rewarding and punishing us exactly as we act well or ill. I believe that such reward and punishment follow necessarily from His will as revealed in natural law, as well as in the Bible. I believe that as the highest justice is the highest mercy, so He is a merciful God. That the guilty should suffer the measure of penalty which their guilt has incurred, is justice. What we call mercy is not the remission of this, but rather the remission of the extremity of the sentence attached to the act, when we find something in the nature of the causes which led to the act which lightens the moral guilt of the agent. That each should have his exact due is Just — is the best for himself. That the consequence of his guilt should he transferred from him to one who is innocent (although that innocent one he himself willing to accept it), whatever else it be, is not justice. We are mocking the word when we call it such. If I am to use the word justice in any sense at all which human feeling attaches to it, then to permit such transfer is but infinitely deepening the wrong, and seconding the first fault by greater injustice. I am speaking only of the doctrine of the atonement in its human aspect, and as we are to learn anything from it of the divine nature or of human duty. Letter X

„People canvass up and down the value and utility of Christianity, and none of them seem to see that it was the common channel towards which all the great streams of thought in the old world were tending, and that in some form or other when they came to unite it must have been.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: People canvass up and down the value and utility of Christianity, and none of them seem to see that it was the common channel towards which all the great streams of thought in the old world were tending, and that in some form or other when they came to unite it must have been. That it crystallized round a particular person may have been an accident; but in its essence, as soon as the widening intercourse of the nations forced the Jewish mind into contact with the Indian and the Persian and the Grecian, such a religion was absolutely inevitable. It was the development of Judaism in being the fulfilment of the sacrificial theory, and the last and purest conception of a personal God lying close above the world, watching, guiding, directing, interfering. Its object was no longer the narrow one of the temporal interests of a small people. The chrysalis had burst its shell, and the presiding care extended to all mankind, caring not now for bodies only but for souls. It was the development of Parsism in settling finally the vast question of the double principle, the position of the evil spirit, his history, and the method of his defeat; while Zoroaster's doctrine of a future state was now for the first time explained and justified; and his invisible world of angels and spirits, and the hierarchies of the seven heavens, were brought in subjection to the same one God of the Jews. Fragments of Markham's notes

„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.“

— 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.

„Unfortunately the wrong man was generally assassinated. The true criminal was an absentee, and his agent was shot instead of him.“

— James Anthony Froude
Context: The landlord may become a direct oppressor. He may care nothing for the people, and have no object but to squeeze the most that he can out of them fairly or unfairly. The Russian government has been called despotism tempered with assassination. In Ireland landlordism was tempered by assassination. Unfortunately the wrong man was generally assassinated. The true criminal was an absentee, and his agent was shot instead of him. A noble lord living in England, two of whose agents had lost their lives already in his service, ordered the next to post a notice in his Barony that he intended to persevere in what he was doing, and if the tenants thought they would intimidate him by shooting his agents, they would find themselves mistaken. "On the Uses of a Landed Gentry" address in Edinburgh (6 November 1876), published in Short Studies on Great Subjects, Vol. III (1893), p. 406

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