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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Robert Hall
 
  A hard and unfeeling manner of the threatenings of the Word of God is not only barbarous and inhuman, but calculated, by inspiring disgust, to rob them of all their efficacy.  1
  A religion without its mysteries is a temple without a God.  2
  All attempts to urge men forward, even in the right path, beyond the measure of their light, are impracticable; and unlawful, if they were practicable; augment their light, conciliate their affections, and they will follow of their own accord.  3
  Be what it may, let the first whisper of the internal monitor be listened to as an oracle, as the still small voice which Elijah heard when he wrapped his face in his mantle, recognizing it to be the voice of God.  4
  Beware of fixing habits in a child.  5
  By great and sublime virtues are meant those which are called into action on great and trying occasions, which demand the sacrifice of the dearest interests and prospects of human life, and sometimes of life itself; the virtues, in a word, which, by their rarity and splendor, draw admiration, and have rendered illustrious the character of patriots, martyrs, and confessors.  6
  Call things by their right names.  *  *  *  Glass of brandy and water! That is the current, but not the appropriate, name; ask for a glass of liquid fire and distilled damnation.  7
  Cant is not the vehicle, but the substitute of thought.  8
  Corrupt as men are, they are yet so much the creatures of reflection, and so strongly addicted to sentiments of right and wrong, that their attachment to a public cause can rarely be secured, or their animosity be kept alive, unless their understandings are engaged by some appearance of truth and rectitude.  9
  Distinguished merit will ever rise to oppression, and will draw lustre from reproach. The vapors which gather round the rising sun, and follow him in his course, seldom fail at the close of it to form a magnificent theatre for his reception, and to invest with variegated tints and with a softened effulgence the luminary which they cannot hide.  10
  Enthusiasm is an evil much less to be dreaded than superstition. Superstition is the disease of nations; enthusiasm that of individuals: the former grows inveterate by time; the latter is cured by it.  11
  Eternity invests every state, whether of bliss or of suffering, with a mysterious and awful importance; entirely its own. It gives that weight and moment to whatever it attaches, compared to which all interests that know a period fade into absolute insignificance.  12
  Faith is a practical habit, which, like every other, is strengthened and increased by continual exercise. It is nourished by meditation, by prayer, and the devout perusal of the Scriptures; and the light which it diffuses becomes stronger and clearer by an uninterrupted converse with its object, and a faithful compliance with its dictates.  13
  Fame must necessarily be the portion of but few.  14
  Fanaticism is an inflamed state of the passions; and nothing that is violent will last long. The vicissitudes of the world and the business of life are admirably adapted to abate the excesses of religious enthusiasm.  15
  Fanaticism is such an overwhelming impression of the ideas relating to the future world as disqualifies for the duties of life.  16
  Few sects have derived their sentiments purely from sacred oracles, but are the emanations of distinguished leaders.  17
  Genius may dazzle, eloquence may persuade, reason may convince; but to render popular cold and comfortless sophistry, unaided by these powers, is a hopeless attempt.  18
  Heaven is attracting to itself whatever is congenial to its nature, is enriching itself by the spoils of earth, and collecting within its capacious bosom whatever is pure, permanent and divine.  19
  His [Burke’s] imperial fancy has laid all nature under tribute, and has collected riches from every scene of the creation and every walk of art.  20
 
 
  However some may affect to dislike controversy, it can never be of ultimate disadvantage to the interests of truth or the happiness of mankind.  21
  If an uninterested spectator, after a careful perusal of the New Testament, were asked what he conceived to be its distinguishing characteristic, he would reply, without hesitation, “That wonderful spirit of philanthropy by which it is distinguished.” It is a perpetual commentary on that sublime aphorism, “God is love.”  22
  If ever Christianity appears in its power, it is when it erects its trophies upon the tomb; when it takes up its votaries where the world leaves them; and fills the breast with immortal hope in dying moments.  23
  If knowledge is power, patience is powerful.  24
  If we look back upon the usual course of our feelings, we shall find that we are more influenced by the frequent recurrence of objects than by their weight and importance; and that habit has more force in forming our characters than our opinions have. The mind naturally takes its tone and complexion from what it habitually contemplates.  25
  In all our reasonings concerning men we must lay it down as a maxim, that the greater part are moulded by circumstances.  26
  In matters of conscience first thoughts are best; in matters of prudence last thoughts are best.  27
  In the power of fixing the attention lies the most precious of the intellectual habits.  28
  It is an inherent and inseparable inconvenience in persecution that it knows not where to stop.  29
  It is difficult to account for a practice which gratifies no passion and promotes no interest.  30
  Mankind are apt to be strongly prejudiced in favor of whatever is countenanced by antiquity, enforced by authority, and recommended by custom.  31
  Method, we are aware, is an essential ingredient in every discourse designed for the instruction of mankind; but it ought never to force itself on the attention as an object—never appear to be an end instead of an instrument; or beget a suspicion of the sentiments being introduced for the sake of the method, not the method for the sentiments.  32
  Milton is the most sublime, and Homer the most picturesque.  33
  Of all the species of literary composition, perhaps biography is the most delightful. The attention concentrated on one individual gives a unity to the materials of which it is composed, which is wanting in general history.  34
  Of an accountable creature, duty is the concern of every moment, since he is every moment pleasing or displeasing God.  35
  Patriotism is a blind and irrational impulse unless it is founded on a knowledge of the blessings we are called to secure and the privileges we propose to defend.  36
  Recollect for your encouragement the reward that awaits the faithful minister.  37
  Religion is the final centre of repose; the goal to which all things tend; apart from which man is a shadow, his very existence a riddle, and the stupendous scenes of nature which surround him as unmeaning as the leaves which the sibyl scattered in the wind.  38
  Settle it, therefore, in your minds, as a maxim never to be effaced or forgotten, that atheism is an inhuman, bloody, ferocious system, equally hostile to every useful restraint, and to every virtuous affection; that leaving nothing above us to excite awe, nor round us to awaken tenderness, it wages war with heaven and earth: its first object is to dethrone God, its next to destroy man.  39
  Some men have a Sunday soul, which they screw on in due time, and take off again every Monday morning.  40
  Striking manners are bad manners.  41
  Swearing is properly a superfluity of naughtiness, and can only be considered as a sort of pepper-corn rent, in acknowledgment of the devil’s right of superiority.  42
  Talent of the highest order, and such as is calculated to command admiration, may exist apart from wisdom.  43
  The Bible is the treasure of the poor, the solace of the sick, and the support of the dying; and while other books may amuse and instruct in a leisure hour, it is the peculiar triumph of that book to create light in the midst of darkness, to alleviate the sorrow which admits of no other alleviation, to direct a beam of hope to the heart which no other topic of consolation can reach; while guilt, despair, and death vanish at the touch of its holy inspiration.  44
  The efficacy of good examples in the formation of public opinion is incalculable. Though men justify their conduct by reasons, and sometimes bring the very rules of virtue to the touchstone of abstraction, yet they principally act from example.  45
  The faith to which the Scriptures attach such momentous consequences and ascribe such glorious exploits is a practical habit, which, like every other, is strengthened and increased by continual exercise.  46
  The fame of Locke is visibly on the decline; the speculations of Malebranche are scarcely heard of in France; and Kant, the greatest metaphysical name on the Continent, sways a doubtful sceptre amidst a host of opponents.  47
  The friendship of high and sanctified spirits loses nothing by death but its alloy; failings disappear, and the virtues of those whose “faces we shall behold no more” appear greater and more sacred when beheld through the shades of the sepulchre.  48
  The opportunities of making great sacrifices for the good of mankind are of rare occurrence; and he who remains inactive till it is in his power to confer signal benefits or yield important services is in imminent danger of incurring the doom of the slothful servant.  49
  The sacrifice of Christ has rendered it just for Him to forgive sin; and whenever we are led to repent of and to forsake it, even the righteousness of God is declared in the pardon of it.  50
  The superabundance of phrases appropriated by some pious authors to the subject of religion, and never applied to any other purpose, has not only the effect of disgusting persons of taste, but of obscuring religion itself.  51
  The wheels of nature are not to roll backward; everything presses on toward Eternity; from the birth: of Time an impetuous current has set in, which bears all the sons of men toward that interminable ocean. Meanwhile heaven is attracting to itself whatever is congenial to its nature, is enriching itself by the spoils of earth, and collecting within its capacious bosom, whatever is pure, permanent and divine.  52
  There is no worm of the earth, no spire of grass, no leaf, no twig, wherein we see not the footsteps of a Deity.  53
  Think not that guilt requires the burning torches of the furies to agitate and torment it. Their own frauds, their crimes, their remembrances of the past, their terrors of the future,—these are the domestic furies that are ever present to the mind of the impious.  54
  Vices are seldom single.  55
  We are inclined to think that the study of the classics is, on the whole, advantageous to public morals, by inspiring an elegance of sentiments and an elevation of soul which we should in vain seek for elsewhere.  56
  We are to seek wisdom and understanding only in the length of days.  57
  We should be more anxious that our afflictions should benefit us than that they should be speedily removed from us.  58
  What delight will it afford to renew the sweet counsel we have taken together, to recount the toils, the combats, and the labor of the way, and to approach, not the house, but the throne of God, in company, in order to join in the symphonies of heavenly voices, and lose ourselves amidst the splendors and fruitions of the beatific vision.  59
  What is friendship in virtuous minds but the concentration of benevolent emotions heightened by respect, and increased by exercise on one or more objects?  60
  What other book besides the Bible could be heard in public assemblies from year to year, with an attention that never tires, and an interest that never cloys?  61
  Wisdom and truth, the offspring of the sky, are immortal; while cunning and deception, the meteors of the earth, after glittering for a moment, must pass away.  62
  Your employment is that of the Son of God; it makes no great appearance before men, but it will finally arise in majesty to overshadow all created glory.  63
 
 
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