A church is an association of people who share a particular belief system, particularly used in Christianity. The Christian concept "Church" (Greek εκκλησία — ekklesia, ref. Strong's Concordance — 1577) is mentioned in the New Testament, of the 114 occurrences. The Greek term εκκλησία — ekklesia, which literally means a "convocation", was a governmental and political term, used to denote a national assembly.
- Alphabetized by author or source
- 'Where God hath a temple, the devil will have a chapel.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section IV. Memb. 1. Subsec. I.
- "What is a church?" Let Truth and reason speak,
They would reply, "The faithful, pure and meek,
From Christian folds, the one selected race,
Of all professions, and in every place."
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter II, line 1.
- What is a church?—Our honest sexton tells,
'Tis a tall building, with a tower and bells.
- George Crabbe, The Borough (1810), Letter II, line 11.
- The Lord showed me, so that I did see clearly, that he did not dwell in these temples which men had commanded and set up, but in people's hearts … his people were his temple, and he dwelt in them.
- George Fox, Journal (1694)
- The nere to the churche, the ferther from God.
- The nearer to the church, the farther from God.
- John Heywood Proverbs (1546) Part I, chapter 9.
- And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.
- Jesus as quoted in Mt 16:18, Revised Standard Version, English translation from Koine Greek, though the original saying may have been in the Aramaic language which was spoken widely in Palestine at that time. The analysis of this passage has been disputed between Rome Catholic and other denominations.
- Why should I spend half my Sunday hearing about how I'm going to Hell?
- Not even the church is so powerfully equipped to serve the public psychologically as is the motion picture company.
- William Moulton Marston as quoted in Henry W. Levy's, "Professor to Cure Scenarios with Wrong Emotional Content: Dabbled in Movies While at Harvard; Now Sought By Hollywood with Offer of Favorable Contract", New York University News January 1929; The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014) by Jill Lepore, p. 137.
- Είς μίαν, αγίαν, καθολικήν καί αποστολικήν Έκκλησίαν.
- Wir haben also als Missverständnis: […] eine kirchliche Ordnung, mit Priesterschaft, Theologie, Cultus, Sakramenten; kurz, alles das, was Jesus von Nazareth bekämpft hatte. (Original: German)
- We therefore have a misunderstanding: [...] a church order with priesthood, theology, cult and sacraments; shortly, everything Jesus of Nazareth fought against.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Nachlass, KSA 13: 11.
- Who builds a church to God, and not to Fame,
Will never mark the marble with his Name.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle III, line 285.
- If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him?
If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future?
If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers?
If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him?
If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses?
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism (1811)
- There is no family in America without a clock, and consequently there is no fair pretext for the usual Sunday medley of dreadful sounds that issues from our steeples.
- "I was afraid of a united Church; it makes a mighty power, the mightiest conceivable, and then when it by and by gets into selfish hands, as it is always bound to do, it means death to human liberty, and paralysis to human thought"
- The church is always trying to get other people to reform; it might not be a bad idea to reform itself a little, by way of example.
- Mark Twain, A tramp aboard (1880).
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 117-119.
- The nearer the church, the further from God.
- Bishop Andrews, Sermon on the Nativity before James I (1622). Proverb quoted by Fuller, Worthies, II. 5. (Ed. 1811).
- To Kerke the narre, from God more farre.
- As quoted by Spenser, 'Shepherd's Calendar (July, 1579). Douse Manuscript, 52. 15 (1450). See Murray, N.E.D. Used by Swift, Legion Club. Note. Heywood, Proverbs. Given also in Ray as French. Known to Germans and Italians.
- Where Christ erecteth his church, the divell in the same church-yarde will have his chappell.
- George Bancroft, Anti-Puritan Sermon (Feb. 9, 1588). Martin Luther, Von den Conciliis und Kirchen, Werke, 23. 378. (Ed. 1826). Melbancke, Philotimus. Sig. E. 1. Charles Aleyn, Historie of that Wise and Fortunate Prince Henrie (1638), p. 136. Dr. John Dove, The Conversion of Salomon. Attributed to Erasmus by Franz Horn, Die Poesie und Beredsamkeit der Deutschen, Book I, p. 35. (1822). William Roe, Christian Liberty (1662), p. 2.
- Oh! St. Patrick was a gentleman
Who came of decent people;
He built a church in Dublin town,
And on it put a steeple.
- Henry Bennett, St. Patrick Was a Gentleman.
- Pour soutenir tes droits, que le ciel autorise,
Abîme tout plutôt; c'est l'esprit de l'Église.
- To support those of your rights authorized by Heaven, destroy everything rather than yield; that is the spirit of the Church.
- Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux, Lutrin, Chant I. 185.
- An instinctive taste teaches men to build their churches in flat countries with spire steeples, which, as they cannot be referred to any other object, point as with silent finger to the sky and stars.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Friend.
- Whenever God erects a house of prayer
The devil always builds a chapel there;
And 'twill be found, upon examination,
The latter has the largest congregation.
- Daniel Defoe, True Born Englishman, Part I, line 1. Note in first Edition says it is an English proverb. Omitted in later editions.
- God never had a church but there, men say,
The devil a chapel hath raised by some wiles,
I doubted of this saw, till on a day
I westward spied great Edinburgh's Saint Giles.
- William Drummond of Hawthornden, Posthumous Poems, A Proverb.
- Die Kirch' allein, meine lieben Frauen,
Kann ungerechtes Gut verdauen.
- It is common for those that are farthest from God, to boast themselves most of their being near to the Church.
- Matthew Henry, Commentaries, Jeremiah VII.
- No sooner is a temple built to God but the devil builds a chapel hard by.
- George Herbert, Jacula Prudentum (1651).
- When once thy foot enters the church, be bare.
God is more there than thou: for thou art there
Only by his permission. Then beware,
And make thyself all reverence and fear.
- George Herbert, The Temple, The Church Porch.
- Well has the name of Pontifex been given
Unto the Church's head, as the chief builder
And architect of the invisible bridge
That leads from earth to heaven.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Golden Legend, V.
- In that temple of silence and reconciliation where the enmities of twenty generations lie buried, in the Great Abbey, which has during many ages afforded a quiet resting-place to those whose minds and bodies have been shattered by the contentions of the Great Hall.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, Warren Hastings.
- A beggarly people,
A church and no steeple.
- Attributed to Malone by Swift. See Prior's Life (1860). 381. Of St. Ann's Church, Dublin.
- It was founded upon a rock.
- Matthew, VII. 25.
- As like a church and an ale-house, God and the devell, they manie times dwell neere to ether.
- There can be no church in which the demon will not have his chapel.
- Cardinal Paleotti, according to �. H. Digby, Compitum, Volume II, p. 297.
- Non est de pastu ovium quæstio, sed de lana.
- It is not about the pasture of the sheep, but about their wool.
- Pope Pius II.
- No silver saints, by dying misers giv'n,
Here brib'd the rage of ill-requited heav'n;
But such plain roofs as Piety could raise,
And only vocal with the Maker's praise.
- Alexander Pope, Eloisa to Abelard, line 137.
- I never weary of great churches. It is my favourite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral.
- Robert Louis Stevenson, Inland Voyage.
- Boni pastoris est tondere pecus non deglubere.
- A good shepherd shears his flock, not flays them.
- Suetonius. Attributed by him to Tiberius Cæsar, Life 32.
- The itch of disputation will break out
Into a scab of error.
- Rowland Watkyns, The new Illiterate late Teachers.
- See the Gospel Church secure,
And founded on a Rock!
All her promises are sure;
Her bulwarks who can shock?
Count her every precious shrine;
Tell, to after-ages tell,
Fortified by power divine,
The Church can never fail.
- Charles Wesley, Scriptural, Psalm XLVIII, Stanza 9.
- Disputandi pruritus ecclesiarum scabies.
- The itch of disputing is the scab of the churches.
- Sir Henry Wotton, A Panegyric to King Charles. (Inscribed on his tomb).