Malcolm Muggeridge

Quotes

  1. Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus: The Man Who Lives
    • “Earthly authority displays itself in giving orders, in magnificent apparel, in hordes of servitors, in sycophantic addresses; the authority of Jesus disposes of is, by contrast, spiritual, and expresses itself in serving, not being served, in seeking to be the least instead of the greatest, the last instead of the first, in finding wisdom in the innocence of children and truth in the foolishness of men rather than in those who pass for being sagacious and experienced in the world’s ways. When we want to adulate men, we say they are godlike; but when God became Man, it was in the lineaments of the least of men.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, Jesus: The Man Who Lives
      Link
  2. Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
    • “The early Christians had the great advantage of believing that the world would soon come to an end. That was a sort of miracle in their favour because it prevented them occupying their minds with irrelevant matters.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Stalin knew that to get the Russian people to fight to the end with their backs to the wall, he needed something more than Marxist materialism. (…) What he did do was a characteristic Stalinist thing, he fetched the patriarch (of the Russian Orthodox Church) and one or two other prelates from the labour camp where they were languishing and brought them to the Kremlin and set them up in business again. It’s one of those very significant incidents that tends to get forgotten.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “In the present situation of the overt Russian Orthodox Church in the U.S.S.R., which has the bishops and patriarchs and metropolitans, the leadership has to make concessions to the Soviet government. On the other hand, through making those concessions, certain churches in Moscow and Leningrad and Kiev remain open. Beautiful services are made available, the very beautiful words of the Gospels are read aloud. In these matters you have to weigh the relative advantages and disadvantages. You can’t take a definitive position about it. The solace of those services is so great, the importance of those words being kept alive and in circulation is so important, that the sacrifices, the compromises that are made must be accepted. But it’s a very difficult equation to work out. It’s the equation with which our Lord himself left us, that we must render unto God the things that are God’s and unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. He neglected to tell us what proportion we owed, so that of course people like myself can hope to get by with offering Caesar very little. […] The cleverness of that reply was of course that it didn’t specify exactly how much was due to Caesar and how much to God. He left us to work out.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Previous civilizations have been overthrown from without by the incursion of barbarian hordes. Christendom has dreamed up its own dissolution in the minds of its own intellectual elite. Our barbarians are home products, indoctrinated at the public expense, urged on by the media systematically stage by stage, dismantling Christendom, depreciating and deprecating all its values.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Christendom has also retreated from freedom. In the much talk today about human rights, we forget that our human rights are derived from the Christian faith. In Christian terms every single human being, whoever he or she may be, sick or well, clever or foolish, beautiful or ugly, every single human being is loved of his Creator, who has, as the Gospels tell us, counted the hairs of his head.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “There can never be a lasting civilization any more than there can be a lasting spring or lasting happiness in an individual life, or lasting stability in a society. (…) The world is full of the debris of past civilizations (…). This applies also to utopias of every kind, whatever their ideology may be, from the garden of Eden onwards. Such dreams of lasting felicity have cropped up and no doubt always will, but their realization is impossible for the simple reason that a fallen creature like man, though capable of conceiving perfection and aspiring after it, is in himself and in his works forever imperfect. Thus he’s fated to exist in the no man’s land between the perfection he can conceive and the imperfection that characterizes his own nature and everything he does.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Another area of the moral and spiritual decline of Christendom is the abandonment of Christian mores. The movement away from Christian moral standards has not meant moving to an alternative humanistic system of moral standards as was anticipated, but moving into a moral vacuum, especially in the areas of eroticism.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Twentieth-century man has created his own fantasies through science (…). What fantastic achievements have thereby been made possible in the way of moving faster, growing richer, communicating more rapidly, mastering illnesses, and altogether overcoming the hazards of our earthly existence. But all the achievements have led to a true nature of our being: in other words, an alienation from God. If it were possible to live without God, it would not be worth living at all.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “The strange and mysterious and highly amusing thing is that probably you would have very great difficulty in finding a single Marxist in the U.S.S.R. You would only find Marxists among left-wing Jesuits in the faculties of universities in the West, which is one of God’s little jokes.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Religious enthusiasm among students is now an embarrassment; belief in the authority of the Bible and the deity of Jesus Christ is treated as naivety to be enlightened rather than life to be nourished. Scholars in the arts, letters, and sciences who show signs of Christian devotion are likely to be shrugged off as simplistic and eccentric.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “People think of faith as being something that you don’t really believe, a device in helping you believe simply it. Of course that is quite wrong. As Pascal says, faith is a gift of God. It is different from the proof of it. It is the kind of faith God himself places in the heart, of which the proof is often the instrument…
      He says of it, too, that it is the heart which is aware of God, and not reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not be reason.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “[Pascal] was the first and perhaps is still the most effective voice to be raised in warning of the consequences of the enthronement of the human ego in contradistinction to the cross, symbolizing the ego’s immolation. How beautiful it all seemed at the time of the Enlightenment, that man triumphant would bring to pass that earthly paradise whose groves of academe would ensure the realization forever of peace, plenty, and beatitude in practice. But what a nightmare of wars, famines, and folly was to result therefrom.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Stalin made one fatal error: he neglected to suppress the works of Tolstoy. […] If you scoured the literature of the centuries of Christendom for the books that might most help an oppressed people in relation to our Lord and the Christian faith, you could find nothing better than the short stories and the later novels of Tolstoy. The efforts of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberation, the Voice of America, and the Oversees Service of the BBC, all put together, wouldn’t equal one single short story of Tolstoy in keeping alive in the hearts of human beings the knowledge of the love of God.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “God has mercifully made the fantasies – the pursuit of power, of sensual satisfaction, of money, of learning, of celebrity, of happiness – so preposterously unrewarding that we are forced to turn to him for help and for mercy. We seek wealth and find we’ve accumulated worthless pieces of paper. We seek security and find we’ve acquired the means to blow ourselves and our little earth to smithereens. We seek carnal indulgence only to find ourselves involved in the prevailing erotomania. Looking for freedom, we infallibly fall into the servitude of self-gratification or, collectively, of a Gulag Archipelago.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “I once had occasion to conduct an interview with a Soviet writer (Anatoli Kusnyetsov). (…) He made a remark which is one of the most extraordinary remarks anyone has ever made to me and has echoed in my mind more often than I can say. He said to me this: that if in this world you are confronted with absolute power, power unmitigated, unrestrained, extending to every area of human life – if you are confronted with power in those terms, you are driven to realise that the only possible response to it is not some alternative power arrangement, more humane, more enlightened. The only possible response to absolute power is the absolute love which our Lord brought into the world. (…) I can see, though we in the West have not experienced this absolute power, that there would be something futile and ridiculous even in the attempt to meet such tyranny with some alternative propaganda or ideology. As between Caesar at his most absolute and God at his most remote, there is only Christ. And that was what this man said.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Now we see Christendom likewise sinking. But the true point is this: that Christ’s kingdom remains. Indeed, it can be seen more clearly and appreciated more sharply by contrast with the darkness and depravity of the contemporary scene. (…) A wonderful sign (…) is the amazing renewal of the Christian faith in its purest possible form in, of all places, the countries that have been most drastically subjected to the oppression and brainwashing and general influence of the first overtly atheistic and materialistic regime to exist on earth. (…) Soviet citizens had no access to the Gospels, few religious services available, no literature of the mystics, no devotional works, no religious music, and an education brutally atheistic and secular.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “[The U.S.S.R. was] a government which had dedicated itself totally to destroying not just Christian faith, but every sort of transcendental belief, every tiny flicker of a transcendental idea (sixty years of that in operation). […] So contrary to what might be expected, this fantastic steamroller trying to destroy every trace of Christian faith has failed. All the efforts of the most powerful government that’s ever existed in the world, in the sense of taking to itself the most power over its citizenry, have been unable to shape these people into the sort of citizens it wants them to be. Of all the signs of our times, this is the one that should rejoice the heart of any Christian most, and for that matter of anyone who loves the true creativity of our mortal existence.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “The best example of the incarnate presence of Christ to withstand worldly power is Solzhenitsyn, the most distinguished contemporary Russian writer. […] He realized that we can be free only if we are free in our souls; that a man in a prison camp who has learned to be free inside himself is freer than the freest man, whether in the so-called free world of the West or in the ideological Marxist world of the East.One chapter in his second Gulag book is called ‘The Ascent’. In that chapter he describes this process of illumination in a classic document of what it means to be liberated, to be free through Christ. St. Paul called it ‘the glorious freedom of the children of God’, the only authentic freedom that exists in this mortal life.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Most of the great universities of the West were founded with the conviction that theology is the queen of the disciplines. (…) Now, in the latter part of the twentieth century, that tradition has almost disappeared.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “It is one of the fantasies of the twentieth century that believers are credulous people, sentimental people, and that you have to be a materialist and a scientist and a humanist to have a skeptical mind. But of course exactly the opposite is true. It is believers who can be astringent and skeptical, whereas people who believe seriously that this universe exists only in order to provide a theatre for man must take man with deadly seriousness. I believe myself that the age we are living in now will go down in history as one of the most credulous ever. How could anyone look at television advertisements without reaching that conclusion?”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “Christendom is something quite different from Christianity, being the administrative or power structure, based on the Christian religion and constructed by men. (…) The founder of Christianity was, of course, Christ. The founder of Christendom I suppose could be named as the Emperor Constantine.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
    • “I’ve always thought that the Cold War when it was on was one of the most bizarre wars in history because wherever you had the Americans, they created Communists and wherever you had the Communists they created anti-Communists. So that really the Cold War became the question of whether the Americans would create more Communists than the Russians would create anti-Communists. At the present moment the Americans are doing rather well.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
      Link
  3. Malcolm Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society
    • “So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over–a weary, battered old brontosaurus–and became extinct.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society
      Link
  4. Malcolm Muggeridge, Time and Eternity: Uncollected Writings
    • “Men are as liable to pursue their own ruin as their own advantage. In”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, Time and Eternity: Uncollected Writings
      Link
  5. Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time vol. 2 The infernal grove
    • “[T]he whole character of secret Intelligence … is that nothing should ever be done simply if there are devious ways of doing it.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time vol. 2 The infernal grove
      Link
  6. Malcolm Muggeridge, The Green Stick
    • “Learning from experience means, in practice, learning from suffering; the only schoolmaster. Everyone knows that this is so, even though they try to persuade themselves and their fellows otherwise. Only so is it possible to understand how it came about that, through all the Christian centuries, people have been prepared to accept the Cross, ostensibly a symbol of suffering, as the true image and guarantee of their creator’s love and concern for them. To climb the highest, stoniest mountain to set it on its peak, to carry it to the remotest, darkest, most forbidding corners of the earth; to build great cathedrals to glorify it; to find in it the inspiration for the most sublime achievements and noblest lives over the last two thousand years.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The Green Stick
      Link
    • “Austerity has always made me happy, and its opposite, miserable. I find it strange that, knowing this, I should so often have inflicted upon myself the nausea of over-indulgence, and had to fight off the black dogs of satiety. Human beings, as Pascal points out, are peculiar in that they avidly pursue ends they know will bring them no satisfaction; gorge themselves with food which cannot nourish and with pleasures which cannot please. I am a prize example.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The Green Stick
      Link
  7. “I have never forgotten these visitors, or ceased to marvel at them, at how they have gone on from strength to strength, continuing to lighten our darkness, and to guide, counsel and instruct us; on occasion, momentarily abashed, but always ready to pick themselves up, put on their cardboard helmets, mount Rosinante, and go galloping off on yet another foray on behalf of the down-trodden and oppressed. They are unquestionably one of the wonders of the age, and I shall treasure till I die as a blessed memory the spectacle of them travelling with radiant optimism through a famished countryside, wandering in happy bands about squalid, over-crowded towns, listening with unshakeable faith to the fatuous patter of carefully trained and indoctrinated guides, repeating like schoolchildren a multiplication table, the bogus statistics and mindless slogans endlessly intoned to them. There, I would think, an earnest office-holder in some local branch of the League of Nations Union, there a godly Quaker who once had tea with Gandhi, there an inveigher against the Means Test and the Blasphemy Laws, there a staunch upholder of free speech and human rights, there an indomitable preventer of cruelty to animals; there scarred and worthy veterans of a hundred battles for truth, freedom and justice–all, all chanting the praises of Stalin and his Dictatorship of the Proletariat. It was as though a vegetarian society had come out with a passionate plea for cannibalism, or Hitler had been nominated posthumously for the Nobel Peace Prize.”
    ― Malcolm Muggeridge
    Link
  8. Empire
    • “We look back on history, and what do we see? Empires rising and falling; revolutions and counter-revolutions succeeding one another; wealth accumulating and wealth dispersed; one nation dominant and then another. As Shakespeare’s King Lear puts it, “the rise and fall of great ones that ebb and flow with the moon.” In one lifetime I’ve seen my fellow countrymen ruling over a quarter of the world, and the great majority of them convinced – in the words of what is still a favorite song – that God has made them mighty and will make them mightier yet. I’ve heard a crazed Austrian announce the establishment of a German Reich that was to last for a thousand years; an Italian clown report that the calendar will begin again with his assumption of power; a murderous Georgian brigand in the Kremlin acclaimed by the intellectual elite as wiser than Solomon, more enlightened than Ashoka, more humane than Marcus Aurelius. I’ve seen America wealthier than all the rest of the world put together; and with the superiority of weaponry that would have enabled Americans, had they so wished, to outdo an Alexander or a Julius Caesar in the range and scale of conquest. All in one little lifetime – gone with the wind: England now part of an island off the coast of Europe, threatened with further dismemberment; Hitler and Mussolini seen as buffoons; Stalin a sinister name in the regime he helped to found and dominated totally for three decades; Americans haunted by fears of running out of the precious fluid that keeps their motorways roaring and the smog settling, by memories of a disastrous military campaign in Vietnam, and the windmills of Watergate. Can this really be what life is about – this worldwide soap opera going on from century to century, from era to era, as old discarded sets and props litter the earth? Surely not. Was it to provide a location for so repetitive and ribald a production as this that the universe was created and man, or homo sapiens as he likes to call himself – heaven knows why – came into existence? I can’t believe it. If this were all, then the cynics, the hedonists, and the suicides are right: the most we can hope for from life is amusement, gratification of our senses, and death. But it is not all.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  9.  Crowds
    • “Jesus himself, even in his obscurity, dreaded the gathering of crowds, and where possible avoided them. Everything in Christianity that matters is from individual to individual; collectivities belong to the Devil, and so easily respond to his persuasion. The Devil is a demagogue and sloganeer; Jesus was, and is, concerned with individual souls, with the Living Word. What he gives us is truth carried on the wings of love, not slogans carried on the thrust of power.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  10. Organization
    • “Organized religion kills the living beauty of God.”
      Link
  11.  God
    • “If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  12. Malcolm Muggeridge, The Very Best of Malcolm Muggeridge
    • “Never forget,” a Stranger said to me once in the lobby of the Midland Hotel in Manchester, “that only dead fish swim with the stream.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge, The Very Best of Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  13.  Faith
    • “In the end, coming to faith remains for all a sense of homecoming, of picking up the threads of a lost life, of responding to a bell that had long been ringing, of taking a place at a table that had long been vacant.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  14.  Evolution
    • “I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  15.  Life
    • Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.
  16. Value
    • “Christianity . . . sees the necessity for man to have spiritual values and it shows him how to get at those through physical sacraments.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  17.  Transitioning
    • “For us humans, everything is permanent – until it changes, as we are immortal until we die”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  18. Pursuit
    • “It is only possible to succeed at second-rate pursuits – like becoming a millionaire or a prime minister, winning a war, seducing beautiful women, flying through the stratosphere or landing on the moon.First-rate pursuits – involving, as they must, trying to understand what life is about and trying to convey that understanding – inevitably result in a sense of failure. A Napoleon, a Churchill, a Roosevelt can feel themselves to be successful, but never a Socrates, a Pascal, a Blake.Understanding is forever unattainable. Therein lies the inevitability of failure in embarking upon its quest, which is none the less the only one worthy of serious attention.”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
      Link
  19.  Parable
    • Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.
  20. Lies
    • People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to.
  21. Fulfillment
    • The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.
  22. Materialism
    • Sex is the mysticism of materialism and the only possible religion in a materialistic society.
  23. Darkness
    • There is no such thing as darkness; only a failure to see.
  24. Grace
    • Few men of action have been able to make a graceful exit at the appropriate time.
  25. Humor
    • Bad humor is an evasion of reality; good humor is an acceptance of it.
  26. News
    • “All new news is old news happening to new people”
      ― Malcolm Muggeridge
  27. “As I see it, the only pleasure of living is that every joke should be made, every thought expressed, every line of investigation, irrespective of its direction, pursued to the uttermost limits that human ingenuity, courage and understanding can take it. The moment that limits are set… then the flavor is gone.”
    ― Malcolm Muggeridge
    Link

 

Videos

  1. Ravi Zacharias
    • The Supremacy of Christ | Malcolm Muggeridge | All in One Lifetime: All Gone with the Wind
      • Profile
        • Jesus among other gods – Number 1 – The Supremacy of Christ – Empires rising and falling – Passing of Empires – Speech by Ravi Zacharias (1946-2020)
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel:- David A.
          Date Published:- 2014-January-4th
          Link
  2. Malcolm Muggeridge
    • Malcolm Muggeridge, on equality, brotherly love, and unity
      • Profile
        • Malcolm Muggeridge explains that the way we often talk about equality ironically increases tension between people.
      • Videos
        • Video #1
          Channel:- Matthew Brenner
          Date Published:- 2015-September-23rd
          Link

 

Dedicated

Dedicated to the great Ravi Zacharias; he made the work of so many good thinkers available to us simple-minded.

 

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