To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.
Gilbert Keith Chesterton
But when ﬁrst the two black dragons sprang out of the fog upon the small clerk, they had merely the eﬀect of all miracles – they changed the universe. He discovered the fact that all romantics know – that adventures happen on dull days, and not on sunny ones. When the cord of monotony is stretched most tight, it it breaks with a sound like song.
Children are grateful when Santa Claus puts in their stockings gifts of toys or sweets. Could I not be grateful to Santa Claus when he put in my stockings the gift of two miraculous legs? We thank people for birthday presents of cigars and slippers. Can I thank no one for the birthday present of birth?
But nearly all of the people I have ever met in this western society in which I live would agree to the general proposition that we need this life of practical romance; the combination of something that is strange with something that is secure.
Christianity got over the difficulty of combining furious opposites, by keeping them both, and keeping them both furious. The church was positive on both points. One can hardly think too little of one's self. One can hardly think too much of one's soul.
Modern masters of science are much impressed with the need of beginning all inquiry with a fact. The ancient masters of religion were quite equally impressed with that necessity. They began with the fact of sin—a fact as practical as potatoes.