As in title. 'Illuc sine Dei gratia vadam' doesn't seem quite right.

The phrase derives from 16th century reformer John Bradford's comment as he watched a group of prisoners being led to execution. The essence of the meaning is that it's all up to God what happens — and indeed he himself ended up being burned at the stake.

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    The English word “there” is ambiguous, it can mean illic or illuc. In this expression, I have always interpreted it to mean illic. The speaker points to a miscreant being led to the gallows; not to the gallows itself. – Sebastian Koppehel Nov 8 '20 at 23:39
  • Thanks! I edited the details into your question. You can always edit your own posts to polish them. – Joonas Ilmavirta Nov 9 '20 at 8:58

The English phrase was popularised by Foxe's Book of Martyrs, sp. John Bradford. The Latin is good, perhaps a little ponderous, except that 'sine' is probably a typo for 'sinon.'

"Huc et illuc," Hither and thither, used by Cicero. Illuc In that diection.

Sinon Dei gratia, If not for the Grace of God.

Vadam could be a future indicative "I shall be going;" but is probably present subjunctive, hypothetical, "I may be going."

The conjugation of vado is given at //latin.cactus2000.de
Google 'sinon Dei gratia' for several other examples of the phrase.

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    Indeed, the present subjunctive "I might go" was intended. I had proposed the preposition 'sine' = without. But 'sinon' as an adverb would be fine, although I have only come across it as two separate words. – Frank Turlough Nov 8 '20 at 20:00
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    I would have thought that the verb should be imperfect subjunctive, because the statement is basically a contrafactual condition, isn't it? I it weren't for the grace of God, I would be going there too. Then again, I freely admit that I haven't a clue how contrafactual conditions are done in Ecclesiastical Latin. – cnread Nov 8 '20 at 20:24

Or, as Sir Winston Churchill once said of his rival Sir Stafford Cripps, "There, but for the grace of God, goes God."

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