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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Hosea Ballou
 
  A careless and blasphemous use of the name of the Divine Being is not only sinful, but it is also prima facie evidence of vulgar associations.  1
  A chaste and lucid style is indicative of the same personal traits in the author.  2
  A good simile is the sunshine of wisdom.  3
  A mother’s love, in a degree, sanctifies the most worthless offspring.  4
  A religion which requires persecution to sustain it is of the devil’s propagation.  5
  A single bad habit will mar an otherwise faultless character, as an ink-drop soileth the pure white page.  6
  A true religious instinct never deprived man of one single joy; mournful faces and a sombre aspect are the conventional affectations of the weak-minded.  7
  A wise Providence consoles our present afflictions by joys borrowed from the future.  8
  All our possessions are as nothing compared to health, strength, and a clear conscience.  9
  Annihilation, as regards matter, is simply impossible.  10
  As “unkindness has no remedy at law,” let its avoidance be with you a point of honor.  11
  As the sun’s rays will irradiate even the murky pool, and make its stagnant waters to shine like silver, so doth God’s goodness and tender mercy, towards the greatest sinner, and the blackest heart, make his own image visible there!  12
  Attempt to teach the young but little at a time; this will be easier to impart, easier to receive, and surer to be retained.  13
  Be circumspect in your dealings, and let the seed you plant be the offspring of prudence and care; thus fruit follows the fair blossom, as honor follows a good life.  14
  Be more careful of your conscience than of your estate. The latter can be bought and sold; the former never.  15
  Between the humble and contrite heart and the majesty of heaven there are no barriers; the only password is prayer.  16
  Brevity and conciseness are the parents of conviction. The leaden bullet is more fatal than when multiplied into shot.  17
  Death comes to us, under many conditions, with all the welcome serenity of sleep.  18
  Disease is the retribution of outraged Nature.  19
  Doubt that creed which you cannot reduce to practice.  20
 
 
  Duty itself is supreme delight when love is the inducement and labor. By such a principle the ignorant are enlightened, the hard-hearted softened, the disobedient reformed, and the faithful encouraged.  21
  Education commences at the mother’s knee, and every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends toward the formation of character. Let parents bear this ever in mind.  22
  Embark in no enterprise which you cannot submit to the test of prayer.  23
  Energy, even like the biblical grain of mustard-seed, will remove mountains.  24
  Envy may justly be called “the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity;” it is the most acid fruit that grows on the stock of sin, a fluid so subtle that nothing but the fire of divine love can purge it from the soul.  25
  Error is always more busy than truth.  26
  Exaggeration is a blood relation to falsehood and nearly as blamable.  27
  Experience is retrospect knowledge.  28
  Faith, in order to be genuine and of any real value, must be the offspring of that divine love which Jesus manifested when He prayed for His enemies on the cross.  29
  Falsehood is cowardice.  30
  Few things in this world trouble people more than poverty, or the fear of poverty; and indeed it is a sore affliction; but, like all other ills that flesh is heir to, it has its antidote, its reliable remedy. The judicious application of industry, prudence, and temperance is a certain cure.  31
  Folly is like the growth of weeds, always luxurious and spontaneous; wisdom, like flowers, requires cultivation.  32
  God’s glowing covenant.  33
  Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul; and the heart of man knoweth none more fragrant.  34
  Has not God borne with you these many years? Be ye tolerant to others.  35
  Hatred is self-punishment.  36
  Honest and courageous people have very little to say about either their courage or their honesty. The sun has no need to boast of his brightness, nor the moon of her effulgence.  37
  How can there be pride in a contrite heart? Humility is the earliest fruit of religion.  38
  How quickly a truly benevolent act is repaid by the consciousness of having done it!  39
  How white are the fair robes of charity, as she walketh amid the lowly habitations of the poor!  40
  Humanity, in the aggregate, is progressing, and philanthropy looks forward hopefully.  41
  Hypocrisy is oftenest clothed in the garb of religion.  42
  I have somewhere read that conscience not only sits as witness and judge within our bosoms, but also forms the prison of punishment.  43
  I will be a slave to no habit; therefore farewell tobacco.  44
  Idleness is emptiness; the tree in which the sap is stagnant, remains fruitless.  45
  If gratitude is due from children to their earthly parents, how much more is the gratitude of the great family of man due to our Father in heaven!  46
  If our Creator has so bountifully provided for our existence here, which is but momentary, and for our temporal wants, which will soon be forgotten, how much more must He have done for our enjoyment in the everlasting world!  47
  If we are at peace with God and our own conscience, what enemy among men need we fear?  48
  It is a glorious occupation, vivifying and self-sustaining in its nature, to struggle with ignorance, and discover to the inquiring minds of the masses the clear cerulean blue of heavenly truth.  49
  It is better to be the builder of our own name than to be indebted by descent for the proudest gifts known to the books of heraldry.  50
  It is but a step from companionship to slavery when one associates with vice.  51
  It is in sickness that we most feel the need of that sympathy which shows how much we are dependent one upon another for our comfort, and even necessities. Thus disease, opening our eyes to the realities of life, is an indirect blessing.  52
  It is my humble prayer that I may be of some use in my day and generation.  53
  It is the goodly outside that sin puts on which tempteth to destruction. It has been said that sin is like the bee, with honey in its mouth, but a sting in its tail.  54
  It is the nature of intellect to strive to improve in intellectual power.  55
  It is vain to trust in wrong; it is like erecting a building upon a frail foundation, and which will directly be sure to topple over.  56
  It is what we give up, not what we lay up, that adds to our lasting store.  57
  Lay silently the injuries you receive upon the altar of oblivion.  58
  Lenity has almost always wisdom and justice on its side.  59
  Liberality should be tempered with judgment, not with profuseness.  60
  Man, being not only a religious, but also a social being, requires for the promotion of his rational happiness religious institutions, which, while they give a proper direction to devotion, at the same time make a wise, and profitable improvement of his social feelings.  61
  Ministers who threaten death and destruction employ weapons of weakness. Argument and kindness are alone effectual, flavored by the principles of Divine love.  62
  Moderation is the key-note of lasting enjoyment.  63
  Most people who commit a sin count on some personal benefit to be derived therefrom, but profanity has not even this excuse.  64
  Mystery and innocence are not akin.  65
  Never let your zeal outrun your charity. The former is but human; the latter is divine.  66
  No outward change need trouble him who is inwardly serene.  67
  No reproof or denunciation is so potent as the silent influence of a good example.  68
  None but the guilty know the withering pains of repentance.  69
  Not the least misfortune in a prominent falsehood is the fact that tradition is apt to repeat it for truth.  70
  O sin, how you paint your face! how you flatter us poor mortals on to death! You never appear to the sinner in your true character; you make fair promises, but you never fulfil one; your tongue is smoother than oil, but the poison of asps is under your lip!  71
  Obedience and resignation are our personal offerings upon the altar of duty.  72
  Obedience sums up our entire duty.  73
  Obedience, as it regards the social relations, the rules of society, and the laws of nature and nature’s God, should commence at the cradle and end only at the tomb.  74
  Of all the ingenious mistakes into which erring man has fallen, perhaps none have been so pernicious in their consequences, or have brought so many evils into the world, as the popular opinion that the way of the transgressor is pleasant and easy.  75
  Our blessings are the least heeded, because the most common events of life.  76
  Positive in proportion to their ignorance.  77
  Preaching is of much avail, but practice is far more effective. A godly life is the strongest argument that you can offer to the skeptic.  78
  Pretension almost always overdoes the original, and hence exposes itself.  79
  Prosperity is very liable to bring pride among the other goods with which it endows an individual; it is then that prosperity costs too dear.  80
  Prosperity often presages adversity.  81
  Prosperity seems to be scarcely safe, unless it be mixed with a little adversity.  82
  Purity in person and in morals is true godliness.  83
  Rage is mental imbecility.  84
  Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit!  85
  Remember, when incited to slander, that it is only he among you who is without sin that may cast the first stone.  86
  Reproof, especially as it relates to children, administered in all gentleness, will render the culprit not afraid, but ashamed to repeat the offence.  87
  Self-respect is the best of all.  88
  Servility is disgusting to a truly noble character, and engenders only contempt.  89
  Some clergymen make a motto, instead of a theme, of their texts.  90
  Suspicion is far more apt to be wrong than right; oftener unjust than just. It is no friend to virtue, and always an enemy to happiness.  91
  Tears of joy, like summer raindrops, are pierced by sunbeams.  92
  That alone can be called true refinement which elevates the soul of man, purifying the manners by improving the intellect.  93
  That kind of discipline whose pungent severity is in the manifestations of paternal love, compassion, and tenderness is the most sure of its object.  94
  The act of divine worship is the inestimable privilege of man, the only created being who bows in humility and adoration.  95
  The cloudy weather melts at length into beauty, and the brightest smiles of the heart are born of its tears.  96
  The experience of others adds to our knowledge, but not to our wisdom; that is dearer-bought.  97
  The eye is the inlet to the soul, and it is well to beware of him whose visual organs avoid your honest regard.  98
  The goodness of God to mankind is no less evinced in the chastisement with which He corrects His children than in the smiles of His providence; for the Lord will not cast off forever, but though He cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.  99
  The greatest truths are the simplest.  100
  The heavens and the earth, the woods and the wayside, teem with instruction and knowledge to the curious and thoughtful.  101
  The illumined record of celestial truth.  102
  The law of heaven is love.  103
  The only infallible judge.  104
  The oppression of any people for opinion’s sake has rarely had any other effect than to fix those opinions deeper, and render them more important.  105
  The severest punishment suffered by a sensitive mind, for injury inflicted upon another, is the consciousness of having done it.  106
  Theories are very thin and unsubstantial: experience only is tangible.  107
  Theory, from whatever source, is not perfect until it is reduced to practice.  108
  There is no better rule to try a doctrine by than the question, Is it merciful, or is it unmerciful? If its character is that of mercy, it has the image of Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life.  109
  There is no doubt that religious fanatics have done more to prejudice the cause they affect to advocate than have its opponents.  110
  There is no immunity from the consequences of sin; punishment is swift and sure to one and all.  111
  There is no possible excuse for a guarded lie. Enthusiastic and impulsive people will sometimes falsify thoughtlessly, but equivocation is malice prepense.  112
  There is nothing that needs to be said in an unkind manner.  113
  There is one court whose “findings” are incontrovertible, and whose sessions are held in the chambers of our own breast.  114
  There is one inevitable criterion of judgment touching religious faith in doctrinal matters. Can you reduce it to practice? If not, have none of it.  115
  Those who commit injustice bear the greatest burden.  116
  Thy attributes, how endearing! how parental! all loving, all forgiving.  117
  To talk of luck and chance only shows how little we really know of the laws which govern cause and effect.  118
  Too many people embrace religion from the same motives that they take a companion in wedlock, not from true love of the person, but because of a large dowry.  119
  True charity is spontaneous and finds its own occasion; it is never the offspring of importunity, nor of emulation.  120
  True repentance also involves reform.  121
  True sympathy is putting ourselves in another’s place; and we are moved in proportion to the reality of our imagination.  122
  Unless we find repose within ourselves, it is vain to seek it elsewhere.  123
  We must not only read the Scriptures, but we must make their rules of life our own.  124
  Weary the path that does not challenge reason. Doubt is an incentive to truth, and patient inquiry leadeth the way.  125
  Wisdom consists not no much in seeing as in foreseeing.  126
  With regard to manner, be careful to speak in a soft, tender, kind and loving way. Even when you have occasion to rebuke, be careful to do it with manifest kindness. The effect will be incalculably better.  127
  You cannot judge by outward appearances; the soul is only transparent to its Maker.  128
 
 
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