C. S. Lewis: My prayer when I die

My prayer is that when I die, all of hell rejoices that I am out of the fight.

Attr. to C. S. Lewis.

  1. It doesn’t sound like Lewis to me (several friends agree on that point).
  2. Lots of Google hits attribute it to CSL, but all from notorious quote aggregation sites that never give citations.
  3. The saying does not appear in the CSL compilation on Wikiquote at all.
  4. The saying does not return one hit on Google Books–that is to say, it turns up lots of books, but with the words scattered around in them. There aren’t any where the words turn up as a single quotation. That’s very, very unusual. Fauxtations tend to find their way into print pretty quickly, so nothing in books suggests to me that this fauxtation is of very recent invention. Bear in mind that I’ve determined before that essentially the whole C. S. Lewis oeuvre is on Google Books, so if GB can’t find it, I can be pretty confident it doesn’t exist.
  5. I checked with my CSL-savvy friends and they can’t find it either. One of them did find a website attributing it to Charles T. Studd, also known as C. T. Studd. I verified with Google Books that the quotation, slightly modified as “I pray that when I die, all of hell will rejoice that I am out of the fight,” appears in Ministry Is…: How to Serve Jesus with Passion and Confidence, as noted on the above Web site. The book gives a footnote, which I can see in Google Books. It says that the source is Grubb, C.T. Studd, 13. That book exists, but I can’t find a Google Books previewable edition. At this point, however, I am confident it’s a good attribution.

    I note that Studd is better known as “C.T. Studd,” which would follow right after “C.S. Lewis” if someone alphabetized a list by first names or initials. Is it possible that someone saw a partial result on Google and accidentally attached the quotation to the wrong name?

Verdict: fauxtation.

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