Quotes on Courage, Truth, and Wisdom We Should Not Forget

C.S. Lewis 2223
C.S. Lewis

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky.” — C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)

“Real valor consists not of being insensible to danger, but in being prompt to confront and disarm it.” —Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832)

“If we take the generally accepted definition of bravery as a quality which knows not fear, I have never seen a brave man. All men are frightened. The more intelligent they are, the more they are frightened. The courageous man is the man who forces himself, in spite of his fears, to carry on.” —General George S. Patton, United States Army (1885-1945)

“Where courage is not, no other virtue can survive except by accident.” —Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

“Courage consists not in hazarding without fear but being resolutely minded in a just cause.” —Plutarch, Greek/Roman historian, biographer, philosopher, and essayist (46-120)

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear—not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward, it is not a compliment to say it is brave.” --Mark Twain (1835-1910)

“At a time when liberty is under attack, decency under assault, the family is under siege, and life itself is threatened, the good will arise in truth; they will arise in truth with the very essence and substance of their lives; they will arise in truth though they face opposition by fierce subverters; they will arise in truth never shying from the Standard of Truth, never shirking from the Author of Truth.’ —Henry Laurens, South Carolina Revolutionary War patriot (1724-1792). Henry Laurens was President of the Continental Congress from late 1777 to late 1778.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” —Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, ‘O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O King. But if not, be it known to you O King, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image you have set up.” —Daniel 3:16-18 ESV

“For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you.. ’Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” —Isaiah 43:13 ESV

“The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” —Proverbs 29:25

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” —2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” —Psalm 46:1 NIV


Courage is necessary to Truth.  Without courage truth may be for a time stymied, but only until its inevitable revelation and triumph inspired and appointed by the God of all Truth.   

“Truth crushed to the earth shall rise again; the eternal years of God are hers.” —William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

“An honest man’s the noblest work of God.” —Alexander Pope (1688-1744)

“Wisdom is found only in truth.” —Johann Goethe ((1749-1832)

“Those who have no concern for their ancestors will by simple application of the same rule, have none for their descendants.” —Richard Weaver, preeminent conservative scholar, born in Weaverville, NC. (1910-1963)

“Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.” —Aldous Huxley (1894-1963)

Aldous Huxley was the author of Brave New World (1932), The Enemies of Freedom (1958),  and 48 other books. Brave New World is comparable to George Orwell’s, 1984, in its warning of the potential growth of nightmarish totalitarian government in democracies through drugs, powerful media, concentrated government power, and propaganda. A 30-minute interview of Huxley by Mike Wallace in 1958 can be found on the internet. It is amazingly prescient of conditions in America, Canada, and much of the European Union in 2023.

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth. ”—William Faulkner (1897-1962)

“Thinking something does not make it true. Wanting something does not make it real. ”—Michelle Hodkin, American author

“The truth is this: The march of Providence is so slow and our desires so impatient, the work of progress so immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is history that teaches us to hope. —Robert E. Lee, near the end of his life. (1807-1870)


“God is in the facts of history as truly as He is the march of the seasons, the revolutions of planets, or the architecture of the worlds.” —John Lanham (1924-2007)

“Nothing is too large or small to escape God’s governing hand. The spider building its web in the corner and Napoleon marching his army across Europe are both under God’s control.” —Jerry Bridges

“There are ultimately no loose ends in God’s world.” —D. A. Carson, Canadian theologian

“When God ordains anything to come to pass, His purpose in doing so is altogether and absolutely good.”—R. C. Sproul (1939-2017)

“When God intends great mercy for His people, the first thing He does is set them a-praying.” —Matthew Henry (1662-1714)

“The world little dreams the things that are wrought by prayer.” —Alfred, Lord, Tennyson (1809-1892)

“Whatever may be conceded to influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” —George Washington (1732-1799)

“I am the way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” —Jesus Christ, John 14:6

The United States, Canada, and much of Western Civilization are facing existential threats to their survival largely molded by their own hands. Underlying their compounding economic, monetary, social, public safety, national security, and political problems is a disregard for truth, and this is multiplying chaos and dysfunction in the culture of domestic life, government, and foreign policy. Some are blaming all our problems on the “Axis of Evil,” but we need to clean up our own act, before we can see clearly the character and motivation of those we have had a part in demonizing, before we bring down the unspeakable horrors of  full-scale modern war on most of the world. 

“…first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”—Matthew 7:5 NIV

The practice of demonizing enemies, competitors, and opponents is widespread in American political elections and foreign policy, especially as practiced for decades through the CIA. Demonizing as a foreign policy and intelligence practice is extremely dangerous to government decision makers, including especially Congress, as well as American voters. 

I believe the Ninth Commandment, in Exodus 20:16,  against bearing false witness, should certainly apply to politics, journalism, and foreign policy. Otherwise we are flirting with colossal disaster.

In summary, I will quote Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who suffered many years under brutal Soviet tyranny but raised a courageous voice for truth and counsel for wisdom.

“More than half a century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of older people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia:”

“Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.” --Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), London speech  on May 10, 1983.

Finally, Scripture has a promise which should accompany our prayers on these matters:

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

—2 Chronicles 7:13-14

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