Interest makes some people blind and others quick-sided. We promise according to our hopes, and perform according to our fears. Virtues are lost in interest, as rivers are swallowed up in the sea.

To be being fully alive, the future is not ominous but a promise; it surrounds the present like a halo.

Women never really command until they have given their promise to obey; and they are never in more danger of being made slaves than when the men are at their feet.

I can promise to be sincere, but I cannot promise to be impartial.

The grand difficulty is to feel the reality of both worlds, so as to give each its due place in our thoughts and feelings, to keep our mind’s eye and our heart’s eye ever fixed on the land of promise, without looking away from the road along which we are to travel toward it.

Belief and unbelief never follow men’s commands. Faith is a gift from God which man can neither give nor take away by promise of rewards or menaces of torture.

To forgive sin is not an act of injustice, though the punishment have been threatened. Even amongst men, though the promise of good bind the promiser; yet threats, that is to say, promises of evil, bind them not; much less shall they bind God, who is infinitely more merciful than men.

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.

We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world’s condemnation, a mother still loves on and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy.

It is a curious paradox that aversion of future harm seems more important than the promise of future benefit. That was not always true. Those who are unwilling to invent in the future haven’t earned one.

The smallest actual good is better than the most magnificent promise of impossibilities.

He who is most slow in making a promise is the most faithful in its performance.

Beauty is nothing other than the promise of happiness.

Sincerity is to speak as we think, to do as we pretend and profess, to perform and make good what we promise, and really to be what we would seem and appear to be.

Evening is the delight of virtuous age; it seems an emblem of the tranquil close of busy life - serene, placid, and mild, with the impress of its great Creator stamped upon it; it spreads its quiet wings over the grave, and seems to promise that all shall be peace beyond it.

To keep from gravitating toward genocidal conflict, we must stop demanding perpetual progress. For quiet nonpolitical reasons, governments and politicians cannot achieve the paradise they habitually promise. Political leaders who continue to dangle before their constituents enticing carrots that are becoming unattainable hasten the erosion of faith in political processes. Circumstances have ceased to be what they were when the once-New World’s myth of limitlessness made sense.

Music is a prophecy of what life is to be; the rainbow of promise translated out of seeing into hearing.

When is a man actually sick? He is sick only when his mind is empty of belief and his life is empty of promise.

The pleasures of the world are deceitful; they promise more than they give. They trouble us in seeking them, they do not satisfy us when possessing them and they make us despair in losing them.

In the book of nature, where every emotional, mental and spiritual quality of humanity may find its correspondence and illustrations, flowers represent good affections. As the flower precedes the fruit, and gives notice of its coming, so good thoughts, affections and intentions precede and give promise of deeds in love to others.