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There but for ...

Posted by ESC on June 16, 2000

In Reply to: There but for the grace of God go I posted by David Grace on June 16, 2000

: "There but for the grace of God go I" seems like a very quotable phrase, but I've never found it in
: Bartlett's or any other source. Anybody know who said it or under what circumstances? Thanks.

: I'm a newbie at this, so do I have to check back here, or does any response go directly to my email?

Sometimes the response is posted. Sometimes it's posted and e-mailed. Just depends on the poster.
THERE BUT FOR THE GRACE OF GOD GO I - "On seeing several criminals being led to the scaffold in the 16th century, English Protestant martyr John Bradford remarked, 'There but for the grace of God, goes John Bradford.' His words, without his name, are still very common ones today for expressing one's blessings compared to the fate of another. Bradford was later burned at the stake as a heretic." From the "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson, Facts on File, New York, 1997.