Prudence

It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.

Let human prudence say what it likes and reason as it pleases, it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquillity by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity.

Wisdom is the highest virtue, and it has in it four other virtues; of which one is prudence, another temperance, the third fortitude, the fourth justice.

Medieval churchmen… held that faith, hope and love are the fundamental Christian virtues and that the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, temperance, fortitude) are needed to express faith, hope and love in all the varying circumstances of life in the world.

Education should be constructed on two bases: morality and prudence. Morality in order to assist virtue, and prudence in order to defend you against the vices of others. In tipping the scales toward morality, you merely produce dupes and martyrs. In tipping it the other way, you produce egotistical schemers.

Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well.

Courage is a virtue only so far as it is directed by prudence.

If things are ever to move upward, someone must be ready to take the first step, and assume the risk of it. No one who is not willing to try charity, to try nonresistance as the saint is always willing, can tell whether these methods will or will not succeed. When they do succeed, they are far more powerfully successful than force or worldly prudence. Force destroys enemies; and the best that can be said of prudence is that it keeps what we already have in safety. But nonresistance, when successful, turns enemies into friends; and charity regenerates its objects.

Frugality may be termed the daughter of prudence, the sister of temperance, and the parent of liberty. Those that are extravagant will quickly become poor, and poverty will enforce dependence and invite corruption.

The peace of God is peace within ourselves. The unrest of human life comes largely from our being torn asunder by contending impulses. Conscience pulls this way, passion that. Desire says, “Do this”; reason, judgment, prudence say “It is your peril if you do!” One desire fights against another. And so the man is rent asunder. There must be the harmonizing of all the being if there is to be real rest of spirit.

Men of sense often learn from their enemies. Prudence is the best safeguard. This principle cannot be leaned from a friend, but an enemy extorts it immediately. It is from their foes, not their friends, that cities learn the lesson of building high walls and ships of war. And this lesson saves their children, their homes, and their properties.

Prudence and love are inconsistent; in proportion as the last increases, the other decreases.

Vices are ingredients of virtues just as poisons are ingredients of remedies. Prudence mixes and tempers them and uses them effectively against life's ills.

There is a courageous wisdom; there is also a false reptile prudence, the result, not of caution, but of fear.

There is a courageous wisdom; there is also a false, reptile prudence, the result not of caution, but of fear.

Zeal without prudence is frenzy.

The beginning and the greatest good is prudence. Wherefore prudence is a more precious thing even than philosophy; for from prudence are spring all the other virtues, and it teaches us that it is not possible to live pleasantly without living prudently and honorably and justly, nor, again, to live a life of prudence, honor and justice without living pleasantly. For the virtues are by nature bound up with the pleasant life, and the pleasant life is inseparable from them.

The greatest good is prudence; wherefore prudence is a more precious thing even than philosophy; from it spring all the other virtues.

It is a work of prudence to prevent injury, and of a great mind, when done, not to revenge it. He that hath revenge in his power, and does not use it, is the great man; it is for low and vulgar spirits to transport themselves with vengeance. To endure injuries with a brave mind is one half the conquest.

Prudence is very inclined to preserve what one possesses, but courage alone knows how to acquire.