Fear, if it be not immoderate, puts a guard about us that does watch and defend us; but credulity keeps us naked, and lays us open to all the sly assaults of ill-intending men: it was a virtue when man was in his innocence; but since his fall, it abuses those that own it.
Perfection is immutable. But for things imperfect, change is the way to perfect them. It gets the name of willfulness when it will not admit of a lawful change to the better. Therefore constancy without knowledge cannot be always good. In things ill it is not virtue, but an absolute vice.
Surely, if we considered detraction to be bred of envy, nested only in deficient minds, we should find that the applauding of virtue would win us far more honor than the seeking slyly to disparage it. That would show we loved what we commended, while this tells the world we grudge at what we want in ourselves.
Courage is a virtue only so far as it is directed by prudence.
Simplicity is the straightforwardness of a soul which refuses itself any reaction with regard to itself or its deeds. This virtue differs from and surpasses sincerity. We see many people who are sincere without being simple. They do not wish to be taken for other than what they are; but they are always fearing lest they should be taken for what they are not.
Sordid and infamous sensuality , the most dreadful evil that issued from the box of Pandora, corrupts every heart, and eradicates every virtue.
The best general means to insure the profitable employment of our time is to accustom ourselves to living in continual dependence upon the Spirit of God and His law, receiving, every instant, whatever He is pleased to bestow; consulting Him in every action, and having recourse to Him in our weaker moments when virtue seems to fail.
All bow to virtue and then walk away.
Gratitude is the virtue most deified and most deserted. It is the ornament of rhetoric and the libel of practical life.
The first virtue of all really great men is that they are sincere. They eradicate hypocrisy from their hearts. They bravely unveil their weaknesses, their doubts, their defects. They are courageous. They boldly ride a-tilt against prejudices. They love their fellow-men profoundly. They are generous. They allow their hearts to expand. They have compassion for all forms of suffering. Pity is the very foundation-stone of Genius.
Hast thou virtue? acquire also the graces and beauties of virtue.
Strict punctuality is a cheap virtue.
To be proud of virtue is to poison yourself with the antidote.
Virtue alone is sufficient to make a man great, glorious, and happy.
There is perhaps no phenomenon which contains so much destructive feeling as "moral indignation," which permits envy or hate to be acted out under the guise of virtue.
The encouragement of industry and frugality among the poor, by visits at their own inhabitations; the relief of real distress, whether arising from sickness or other causes; and the prevention.
Reform must come from within, not from without. You cannot legislate for virtue.
Virtue alone is true nobility.
The habit of virtue cannot be formed in the closet; good habits are formed by acts of reason in a persevering struggle with temptation.
Servility is to devotion what hypocrisy is to virtue.