War, even in the best state of an army, with all the alleviations of courtesy and honor, with all the correctives of morality and religion, is nevertheless so great an evil, that to engage in it without a clear necessity is a crime of the blackest dye. When the necessity is clear, it then becomes a crime to shrink from it.
Nothing is comparable to the pleasure of an active and prevailing thought—a thought prevailing over the difficulty and obscurity of the object, and refreshing the soul with new discoveries and images of things; and thereby extending the bounds of apprehension, and as it were enlarging the territories of reason.
Repentance hath a purifying power, and every tear is of a cleansing virtue; but these penitential clouds must be still kept dropping; one shower will not suffice; for repentance is not one single action but a course.
Topics: Tears, Repentance
Seldom shall we see in cities, courts, and rich families, where men live plentifully, and eat and drink freely, that perfect health and athletic soundness and vigor of constitution which are commonly seen in the country, where nature is the cook, and necessity the caterer, and where they have no other doctor but the sun and fresh air.
I know no blessing so small as to be reasonably expected without prayer, nor any so great but may be attained by it.
The true one of youth’s love, proving a faithful help-meet in those years when the dream of life is over, and we live in its realities.
Abstinence is the great strengthener and clearer of reason.
The covetous person lives as if the world were made altogether for him, and not he for the world; to take in everything and part with nothing.
He that governs well, leads the blind; put he that teaches, gives him eyes; and it is glorious to be a sub-worker to grace, in freeing it from some of the inconveniences of original sin.
Order is the sanity of the mind, the health of the body, the peace of the city, the security of the state.—As the beams to a house, as the bones to the body, so is order to all things.
Topics: Organization, Order
There is no security in a good disposition if the support of good principles, that is to say, of religion—of Christian faith, be wanting.—It may be soured by misfortune, corrupted by wealth, blighted by neediness, and lose all its original brightness, if destitute of that support.
While actions are always to be judged by the immutable standard of right and wrong, the judgments we pass upon men must be qualified by considerations of age, country, station, and other accidental circumstances; and it will then be found that he who is most charitable in his judgment is generally the least unjust.
Topics: Charity, Judgment
He that despairs measures Providence by his own little contracted model and limits infinite power to finite apprehensions.
The march of intellect is proceeding at quick time; and if its progress be not accompanied by a corresponding improvement in morals and religion, the faster it proceeds, with the more violence will you be hurried down the road to ruin.
Truth makes the face of that person shine who speaks and owns it.
Jeer not at others upon any occasion. If they be foolish, God hath denied them understanding; if they be vicious, you ought to pity, not revile them; if deformed, God framed their bodies; and will you scorn his workmanship? Are you wiser than your Creator? If poor, poverty was designed for a motive to charity, not to contempt; you cannot see what riches they have within.
Innocence is like polished armor; it adorns and defends.
Speech was given to the ordinary sort of men, whereby to communicate their mind; but to wise men, whereby to conceal it.
How black and base a vice ingratitude is, may be seen in those vices with which it is always in combination, pride and hard-heartedness, or want of compassion.
No man’s religion ever survives his morals.
Prodigality is the devil’s steward and purse-bearer, ministering to all sorts of vice; and it is hard, if not impossible, for a prodigal person to be guilty of no other vice but prodigality. For men generally are prodigal because they are first intemperate, luxurious, or ambitious. And these, we know, are vices too costly to be kept and maintained at an easy rate; they must have large pensions, and be fed with both hands, though the man that feeds them starves for his pains.
Contempt naturally implies a man’s esteeming himself greater than the person whom he contemns.—He, therefore, that slights and contemns an affront, is properly superior to it.—Socrates, being kicked by an ass, did not think it a revenge proper for him to kick the ass again.
The mind of a proud man is like a mushroom, which starts up in a night: his business is first to forget himself, and then his friends.
The creator made us to be the image of his own eternity, and in the desire for immortality we feel we have sure proof of our capacity for it.
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