English Writer, Clergyman and Collector
Charles Caleb Colton
English Writer, Clergyman and Collector
There is no cruelty so inexorable and unrelenting as that which proceeds from a bigoted and presumptuous supposition of doing service to God. The victim of the fanatical persecutor will find that the stronger the motives he can urge for mercy are, the weaker will be his chance for obtaining it, for the merit of his destruction will be supposed to rise in value in proportion as it is effected at the expense of every feeling both of justice and of humanity.
There is this difference between happiness and wisdom, that he that thinks himself the happiest man, really is so; but he who thinks himself the wisest, is generally the greatest fool.
There is a difference between the two temporal blessings - health and money; money is the most envied, but the least enjoyed; health is the most enjoyed, but the least envied; and this superiority of the latter is still more obvious when we reflect that the poorest man would not part with health for money, but the richest would gladly part with all his money for health.
There is a diabolical trio existing in the natural man, implacable, inextinguishable, co-operative and consentaneous, pride, envy, and hate; pride that makes us fancy we deserve all the goods that others possess; envy that some should be admired while we are overlooked; and hate, because all that is bestowed on others, diminishes the sum we think due to ourselves.
There are three modes of bearing the ills of life; by indifference, which is the most common; by philosophy, which is the most ostentatious; and by religion, which is the most effectual.
There are two things that declare, as with a voice from heaven, that he that fills that eternal throne must be on side of virtue, and that which he befriends must finally prosper and prevail. The first is that the bad are never completely happy and at ease, although possessed of everything that this world can bestow; and that the good are never completely miserable, although deprived of everything that this world can take away. The second is that we are so framed and constituted that the most vicious cannot but pay a secret though unwilling homage to virtue, inasmuch as the worst men cannot bring themselves thoroughly to esteem a bad man, although he may be their dearest friend, nor can they thoroughly despise a good man, although he may be their bitterest enemy.
There are three kinds of praise - that which we yield, that which we lend, and that which we pay. We yield it to the powerful from fear, we lend it to the weak from interest, and we pay it to the deserving from gratitude.
There are only two things in which the false professors of all religions have agreed - to persecute all other sects and to plunder their own.
There are no two things so much talked of, and so seldom seen, as virtue and the funds.
There are circumstances of peculiar difficulty and danger, where a mediocrity of talent is the most fatal quality that a man can possibly possess. Had Charles the first, and Louis the Sixteenth, been more wise or more weak, more firm or more yielding, in either case they had both of them saved their heads.
The young fancy that their follies are mistaken by the old for happiness; and the old fancy that their gravity is mistaken by the young for wisdom.
The worst thing that can be said of the most powerful is that they can take your life; but the same thing can be said of the most weak.
The wisest man may be wiser today than he was yesterday, and tomorrow than he is today. Total freedom from change would imply total freedom from error; but this is the prerogative of Omniscience alone.
The two most precious things on this side the grave are our reputation and our life. But it is to be lamented that the most contemptible whisper may deprive us of the one, and the weakest weapon of the other.
The upright, if he suffer calumny to move him, fears the tongue of man more than the eye of God.
The true motives of our actions, like the real pipes of an organ, are usually concealed; but the gilded and hollow pretext is pompously placed in the front for show.
The sun should not set upon our anger, neither should he rise upon our confidence. We should forgive freely but forget rarely. I will not be revenged, and this I owe to my enemy; but I will remember, and this I owe to myself.
The soundest argument will produce no more conviction in an empty head than the most superficial declamation; a feather and a guinea fall with equal velocity in a vacuum.
The seeds of repentance are sown in youth by pleasure, but the harvest is reaped in age by pain.
The slightest sorrow for sin is sufficient if it produce amendment, and the greatest insufficient if it do not.
The seat of perfect contentment is in the head; for every individual is thoroughly satisfied with his own proportion of brains.
The proud man places himself at a distance from other men; seen through that distance, others perhaps appear little to him; but he forgets that this very distance causes him to appear equally little to others.
The reason why great men meet with so little pity or attachment in adversity, would seem to be this: the friends of a great man were made by his fortune, his enemies by himself, and revenge is a much more punctual paymaster than gratitude.