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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
 
Thomas à Kempis
 
  A wise and good man will turn examples of all sorts to his own advantage. The good he will make his patterns, and strive to equal or excel them. The bad he will by all means avoid.  1
  All men are frail; but thou shouldst reckon none so frail as thyself.  2
  All the glory and beauty of Christ are manifested within, and there He delights to dwell; His visits there are frequent, His condescension amazing, His conversation sweet, His comforts refreshing; and the peace that He brings passeth all understanding.  3
  And when he is out of sight, quickly also is he out of mind.  4
  At the least bear patiently, if thou canst not joyfully.  5
  Blessed is the pilgrim, who in every place, and at all times of this his banishment in the body, calling upon the holy name of Jesus, calleth to mind his native heavenly land, where his blessed Master, the King of saints and angels, waiteth to receive him. Blessed is the pilgrim who seeketh not an abiding place unto himself in this world; but longeth to be dissolved, and be with Christ in heaven.  6
  Constantly choose rather to want less, than to have more.  7
  Few spirits are made better by the pain and languor of sickness; as few great pilgrims become eminent saints.  8
  For these attacks do not contribute to make us frail but rather show us to be what we are.  9
  God deceiveth thee not.  10
  God is able to do more than man can understand.  11
  Happy is the man who renounces everything which may bring a stain or burden upon his conscience.  12
  He is truly great that is great in charity. He is truly great that is little in himself, and maketh no account, of any height of honor. And he is truly learned that doeth the will of God, and forsaketh his own will.  13
  He is truly great that is little in himself, and that maketh no account of any height of honors.  14
  He that avoideth not small faults, by little and little falleth into greater.  15
  He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver.  16
  If thou canst not make thyself such an one as thou wouldst, how canst thou expect to have another in all things to thy liking?  17
  If thou desire to profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faithfulness; nor even desire the repute of learning.  18
  If thou hadst simplicity and purity, thou wouldst be able to comprehend all things without error, and behold them without danger. The pure heart safely pervades not only heaven, but hell.  19
  If thou wilt receive profit, read with humility, simplicity, and faith; and seek not at any time the fame of being learned.  20
 
 
  In judging of others, a man laboreth in vain,—often erreth and easily sinneth; but in judging and examining himself, he always laboreth fruitfully.  21
  It is better to be affected with a true penitent sorrow for sin than to be able to resolve the most difficult cases about it.  22
  It is thy duty oftentimes to do what thou wouldst not; thy duty, too, to leave undone that thou wouldst do.  23
  It thou seek rest in this life, how wilt thou then attain to the everlasting rest? Dispose not thyself for much rest, but for great patience. Seek true peace—not in earth, but in heaven; not in men, nor in any other creature, but in God alone.  24
  Let not your peace rest in the utterances of men, for whether they put a good or bad construction on your conduct does not make you other than you are.  25
  No conflict is so severe as his who labors to subdue himself.  26
  Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they show what he is.  27
  Of two evils, the less is always to be chosen.  28
  Our dependence upon God ought to be so entire and absolute that we should never think it necessary, in any kind of distress, to have recourse to human consolations.  29
  Our own opinion of ourselves should be lower than that formed by others, for we have a better chance at our imperfections.  30
  Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature. Simplicity is in the intention, purity in the affection; simplicity turns to God; purity unites with and enjoys him.  31
  Set not thyself to attain much rest, but much patience.  32
  So fixed are our spirits in slothfulness and cold indifference that we seldom overcome so much as one evil habit.  33
  That learning which thou gettest by thy own observation and experience, is far beyond that which thou gettest by precept; as the knowledge of a traveler exceeds that which is got by reading.  34
  There is no creature so small and abject, that it representeth not the goodness of God.  35
  Those who love with purity consider not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver.  36
  Thou wilt enjoy tranquillity if thy heart condemn thee not.  37
  Thy peace shall be in much patience.  38
  Truly at the day of judgment we shall not be examined as to what we have read, but as to what we have done; not as to how well we have spoken, but as to how religiously we have lived.  39
  Whoever would fully and feelingly understand the words of Christ, must endeavor to conform his life wholly to the life of Christ.  40
  Without the way, there is no going; without the truth, there is no knowing; without the life, there is no living.  41
 
 
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