„It is true that to one who was a rustic and a soldier the political proceedings of the capital were strange and incongruous: he spoke as ill as he commanded well, and displayed a far firmer bearing in the presence of the lances and swords of the enemy than in presence of the applause or hisses of the multitude; but his inclinations were of little moment. The hopes of which he was the object constrained him.“

Vol. 3, translated by W.P.Dickson
on Gaius Marius
The History of Rome - Volume 3

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Theodor Mommsen2
storico, numismatico e giurista tedesco 1817 - 1903

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„It was hard to accept that he, who was the hub of this known universe, would cease to exist, but it was an inevitability and he did not shun it. He only hoped that he would meet it with the same magnificent indifference with which she who had been his mother met it. Because it was there, he felt, that the immortality he had not seen was hidden.“

—  James Jones, libro From Here to Eternity

From Here to Eternity (1951)
Contesto: "A deathbed promise is the most sacred one there is," she hawked at him from the lungs that were almost, but not quite, filled up yet, "and I want you to make me this promise on my deathbed: Promise me you wont never hurt nobody unless its absolute a must, unless you jist have to do it."
"I promise you," he vowed to her, still waiting for the angels to appear. "Are you afraid?" he said.
"Give me your hand on it, boy. It is a deathbed promise, and you'll never break it."
"Yes maam," he said, giving her his hand, drawing it back quickly, afraid to touch the death he saw in her, unable to find anything beautiful or edifying or spiritually uplifting in this return to God. He watched a while longer for signs of immortality. No angels came, however, there was no earthquake, no cataclysm, and it was not until he had thought it over often this first death that he had had a part in that he discovered the single uplifting thing about it, that being the fact that in this last great period of fear her thought had been upon his future, rather than her own. He wondered often after that about his own death, how it would come, how it would feel, what it would be like to know that this breath, now, was the last one. It was hard to accept that he, who was the hub of this known universe, would cease to exist, but it was an inevitability and he did not shun it. He only hoped that he would meet it with the same magnificent indifference with which she who had been his mother met it. Because it was there, he felt, that the immortality he had not seen was hidden.

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„He who has a false hope, has not that sight of his own corruptions which the saint has.“

—  Jonathan Edwards Christian preacher, philosopher, and theologian 1703 - 1758

Jonathan Edwards, A Treatise Concerning Religious Affections (1746), PART II : Showing What Are No Certain Signs That Religious Affections Are Truly Gracious, Or That They Are Not, Ch. 11: Nothing can be certainly known of the nature of Religious Affections, that they much dispose persons with their mouths to praise and glorify God. <!-- (1831 edition), p. 194, also in Complete Christian Classics (1999), Vol. 1, p. 365 -->
Contesto: !-- He who has a false hope, has not that sight of his own corruptions which the saint has. A true Christian has ten times more to do with his heart and its corruptions, than a hypocrite: and the sins of his heart and practice, appear to him in their blackness; they look dreadful; and it often appears a very mysterious thing, that any grace can be consistent with such corruption, or should be in such a heart. But a false hope hides corruption, covers it all over, and the hypocrite looks clean and bright in his own eyes.
--> There are two sorts of hypocrites: one that are deceived with their outward morality and external religion; many of which are professed Arminians, in the doctrine of justification: and the other, are those that are deceived with false discoveries and elevations; which often cry down works, and men's own righteousness, and talk much of free grace; but at the same time make a righteousness of their discoveries, and of their humiliation, and exalt themselves to heaven with them. These two kinds of hypocrites, Mr. Shepard, in his Exposition of the Parable of the Ten Virgins, distinguishes by the names of legal and evangelical hypocrites; and often speaks of the latter as the worst. And it is evident that the latter are commonly by far the most confident in their hope, and with the most difficulty brought off from it: I have scarcely known the instance of such a one, in my life, that has been undeceived.

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„Does God then forsake just those who serve Him best? Well, He who served Him best of all said, near His tortured death, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” When God becomes man, that Man, of all others, is least comforted by God, at His greatest need. There is a mystery here which, even if I had the power, I might not have the courage to explore. Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.“

—  Clive Staples Lewis Christian apologist, novelist, and Medievalist 1898 - 1963

The Efficacy of Prayer (1958)
Contesto: Prayer is not a machine. It is not magic. It is not advice offered to God. Our act, when we pray, must not, any more than all our other acts, be separated from the continuous act of God Himself, in which alone all finite causes operate. It would be even worse to think of those who get what they pray for as a sort of court favorites, people who have influence with the throne. The refused prayer of Christ in Gethsemane is answer enough to that. And I dare not leave out the hard saying which I once heard from an experienced Christian: “I have seen many striking answers to prayer and more than one that I thought miraculous. But they usually come at the beginning: before conversion, or soon after it. As the Christian life proceeds, they tend to be rarer. The refusals, too, are not only more frequent; they become more unmistakable, more emphatic.” Does God then forsake just those who serve Him best? Well, He who served Him best of all said, near His tortured death, “Why hast thou forsaken me?” When God becomes man, that Man, of all others, is least comforted by God, at His greatest need. There is a mystery here which, even if I had the power, I might not have the courage to explore. Meanwhile, little people like you and me, if our prayers are sometimes granted, beyond all hope and probability, had better not draw hasty conclusions to our own advantage. If we were stronger, we might be less tenderly treated. If we were braver, we might be sent, with far less help, to defend far more desperate posts in the great battle.

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