The only guide to a man is his conscience; the only shield to his memory is the rectitude and sincerity of his actions. It is very imprudent to walk through life without this shield, because we are often mocked by the failure of our hopes and the upsetting of our calculations; but with this shield, however the fates may play, we march always in the ranks of honour.
The crown and glory of life is character. It is the noblest possession of a man, constituting a rank in itself, and estate in the general good will; dignifying every station, and exacting every position in society. It exercises a greater power than wealth and secures all the honor without the jealousies of fame. It carries with it an influence which always tells; for it is the result of proved honor, rectitude and consistency - qualities which, perhaps more than any others, command the general confidence and respect of mankind.
It is no certain evidence, that because the conscience feels the weight of sin, the heart is humbled on account of it; that because the conscience approves of the rectitude of the Divine justice, the heart bows to the Divine sovereignty.
One’s true happiness depends more upon one’s own judgment of one’s self, or a consciousness of rectitude in action and intention, and the approbation of those few, who judge impartially, than upon the applause of the unthinking, undiscerning multitude, who are apt to cry Hosanna today, and tomorrow, Crucify him.
Is there then no reward for living a life of rectitude and uprightness? There is, indeed. We are rewarded not for our good deeds but by our good deeds. The reward for doing good is becoming a better human being. The greatest compensation for any good deed is simply to have done it.
Never do a thing concerning the rectitude of which you are in doubt.
Every man is a missionary, now and forever, for good or for evil, whether he intends or designs it or not. He may be a blot, radiating his dark influence outward to the very circumference of society; or he may be a blessing, spreading benediction over the length and breadth of the world: but a blank he cannot be. There are no moral blanks; there are no neutral characters. We are either the sower that sows and corrupts, or the light that splendidly illuminates, and the salt that silently operates; but being dead or alive, every man speaks.