Ends

The effect of power and publicity on all men is the aggravation of self, a sort of tumor that ends by killing the victim’s sympathies.

Freedom often means little more than the effective coordination of humanity in the achievement of economic ends.

Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.

Unlimited power corrupts the possessor; and this I know, that, where law ends, there tyranny begins.

Freedom does not consist in the dream of independence from natural laws, but in the knowledge of these laws, and in the possibility this gives or systematically making them work towards definite ends. This holds good in relation both to the laws of external nature and to those which govern the bodily and mental existence of men themselves - two classes of laws which we can separate from each other at most only in thought but not in reality. Freedom of the will therefore means nothing but the capacity to make decisions with knowledge of the subject.

The constant desire of pleasing, which is the peculiar quality of some, may be called the happiest of all desires in this, that it scarcely ever fails of attaining its ends, when not disgraced by affection.

Ultimately there can be no freedom for self unless it is vouchsafed for others; there can be no security where there is fear, and democratic society presupposes confidence and candor in the relations of men with one another and eager collaboration for the larger ends of life instead of the pursuit of petty, selfish or vainglorious aims.

Whatever is begun in anger ends in shame.

Infidelity and faith look both through the perspective glass, but at contrary ends. Infidelity looks through the wrong end of the glass; and, therefore, sees those objects near which are afar off, and makes great things little - diminishing the greatest spiritual blessings, and removing far from us threatened evils. Faith looks at the right end, and brings the blessings that are far off in time close to our eye, and multiplies God’s mercies, which, in a distance, lost their greatness.

Anger begins with madness, and ends with regret.

The awakening of our best sympathies, the cultivation of our best and purest tastes, strengthening the desire to be useful and good, and directing youthful ambition to unselfish ends, such are the objects of true education.

Wonder, connected with principle of rational curiosity, is the source of all knowledge and discovery, and it is a principle even of piety; but wonder which ends in wonder, and is satisfied with wonder, is the quality of an idiot.

Consumption, celebrity and the quest for perfection in this world are all subject to the law of diminishing returns: each successive acquisition and achievement will mean less than the one before. Diminishing returns are finally leading to diminished expectations about the promise of finding happiness without caring for our souls. Perhaps we are now ready to reject the hucksters of materialisms that have lured us down so many dead ends, and start again on the road that will lead us back to God.

Custom is the great guide of human life. It is that principle alone which renders our experience useful to us, and makes us expect, for the future, a similar train of events with those which have appeared I the past. Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. We should never know how to adjust means to ends, or to employ our natural powers in the production of any effect. There would be an end at once of all action, as well as of the chief part of speculation.

Mortifications have their reward in a state of consciousness that corresponds, on a lower level, to spiritual beatitude. The artist - and the philosopher and the man of science are also artists - knows the bliss of aesthetic contemplation, discovery and non-attached possession. The goods of the intellect, the emotions and the imagination are real goods; but they are not the final good, and when we treat them as ends in themselves, we fall into idolatry. Mortification of will, desire and action is not enough; there must also be mortification in the fields of knowing, thinking feeling and fancying.

The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.

In morals, what begins in fear usually ends in wickedness; in religion, what begins in fear usually ends in fanaticism. Fear, either as a principle or a motive, is the beginning of all evil.

Where necessity ends, curiosity begins; and no sooner are we supplied with everything that nature can command that we sit down to contrive artificial appetites.

Wealth is the mans, and the people are the ends. All our material riches will avail us little if we do not use them to expand the opportunities of our people.

Education is not a process that continues for some years and then ends. Education has only one sovereign purpose: to prepare one for more education. All else is subsidiary to this. Education should create hungers - spiritual, moral, and aesthetic hungers for value... The gift of education will be a heart that is whole.