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...the most placid and perfect of all the orthodoxies of men. . . . I approach you with the reverence and the courage due to a bench of bishops."
The _Clarion_ controversy was, as we have seen, in 1903 and 1904, when Chesterton was approaching thirty. Others of those I have mentioned came later. But I don't think any or even all of them fully explain the depth and richness of _Orthodoxy_.
_Philosophy is either eternal or it is not philosophy. . . .A cosmic philosophy is not constructed to fit a man; a cosmic philosophy is constructed to fit a cosmos. A man can no more possess a private religion than he can possess a private sun and moon._.
_Introduction to the Book of Job_.
BECAUSE _Orthodoxy_ is supremely Chesterton's own history of his mind more must be said of it than of his other published works. For "This book is the life of a man. And a man is his mind." The Notebook shows him thinking and feeling in his youth exactly on the lines that he recalls--but they were only lines--in fact an outline. The richness of life was needed, the richness of thought, to turn the outline into the masterpiece. No man, not even... Chesterton, Gilbert K.
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