Obedience

A man's true greatness lies in the consciousness of an honest purpose in life, founded on a just estimate of himself and everything else, on frequent self-examinations, and a steady obedience to the rule which he knows to be right, without troubling himself about what others may think or say, or whether they do or do not that which he thinks and says and does.

There are many seasons in a man’s life - and the more exalted and responsible his position, the more frequently do these seasons recur - when the voice of duty and the dictates of feeling are opposed to each other; and it is only the weak and the wicked who yield that obedience to the selfish impulses of the heart which is due to reason and honor.

Public opinion is a permeating influence, and it exacts obedience to itself; it requires us to think other men's thoughts, to speak other men's words, to follow other men's habits.

Obedience to duty means resistance to self.

Obedience completes itself in understanding.

In the wildest anarchy of man’s insurgent appetites and sins there is still a reclaiming voice, a voice which, even when in practice disregarded, it is impossible not to own; and to which, at the very moment that we refuse our obedience, we find that we cannot refuse the homage of what ourselves do feel and acknowledge to be the best, the highest principles of our nature.

Of all ennobling sentiments, patriotism may be the most easily manipulated. On the one hand, it gives powerful expression to what is best in a nation’s character: a commitment to principle, a willingness to sacrifice, a devotion to the community by the choice of the individual. But among its toxic fruits are intolerance, belligerence and blind obedience, perhaps because it blooms most luxuriantly during times of war.

The virtue of Paganism was strength; the virtue of Christianity is obedience.

Deliverance is out of time into eternity, and is achieved by obedience and docility to the eternal Nature of Things. We have been given free will, in order that we may will our self-will out of existence and so come to live continuously in a “state of grace.” All our actions must be directed, in the last analysis, to making ourselves passive in relation to the activity and the being of divine Reality. We are, as it were, aeolian harps, endowed with the power either to expose themselves to the wind of the Spirit or to shut themselves away from it.

Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

Involuntary obedience corrupts the soul.

From obedience and submission spring all other virtues, as all sin does form self-opinion.

Obedience is yielded more readily to one who commands gently.

Scripture does not teach philosophy, but merely obedience, and... all it contains has been adapted to the understanding and established opinions of the multitude.

Obedience is the primary and irremissible motive and the foundation of all morality.

Man have long begun to suspect that civilization's repression of our primitive impulses has somehow warped what are potentially the most productive forces in human nature. We are increasingly disturbed by the thought that society's passion for obedience and conformity may have overreached itself, causing us to lose in individual happiness perhaps as much as we have gained in group activity.

Love naturally reverses the idea of obedience, and causes the struggle between any; two who truly love each other to be, not who shall command, but who shall yield.

Religion, in its purity, is not so much a pursuit as a temper; or rather it is a temper, leading to the pursuit of all that is high and holy. Its foundation is faith; its action, works; its tempter, holiness; its aim, obedience to God in improvement of self and benevolence to men.

Religion is more like a response to a friend than it is like obedience to an expert.

Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God.