The surest method of arriving at a knowledge of God's eternal purposes about us is to be found in the right use of the present moment. Each hour comes with some little faggot of God's will fastened upon its back.
If you adorn yourself with the highest virtue, the whole world will follow you.
No man can expect to find a friend without faults; nor can he propose himself to be so to another. Without reciprocal mildness and temperance there can be no continuance of friendship. Every man will have something to do for his friend, and something to bear with in him. The sober man only can do the first; and for the latter, patience is requisite. It is better for a man to depend on himself than to be annoyed with either a madman or a fool.
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.
Knowledge will not be acquired without pains and application. It is troublesome and deep digging for pure waters; but when once you come to the spring, they rise up and meet you.
Faults will turn to good, provided we use them to our own humiliation, without slackening in the effort to correct ourselves. Discouragement serves no possible purpose; it is simply the despair of wounded self-love. The real way of profiting by the humiliation of one’s own faults is to face them in their true hideousness, without ceasing to hope in God, while hoping nothing from self.
It is only in beholding and loving God that we can learn forgetfulness of self, measure duly the nothingness which has dazzled us, and accustom ourselves thankfully to decrease beneath that great Majesty which absorbs all things. Love God and you will be humble; love God and you will throw off the love of self; love God and you will love all that He gives you to love for love of Him.
Nothing will make us so charitable and tender to the faults of others as by self-examination thoroughly to know our own.
Time is given us that we may take care for eternity; and eternity will not be too long to regret the loss of our time if we have misspent it.
Our system of thought and opinion, is often the only history of our heart. Men do not so much will according to their reason, as reason according to their will.
What sort of philosophy one chooses depends, therefore, on what sort of man one is; for a philosophical system is not a dead piece of furniture that we can reject or accept as we wish; it is rather a thing animated by the soul of the person who holds it. A person indolent by nature or dulled and distorted by mental servitude, learned luxury, and vanity will never raise himself to the level of idealism.
A good conscience is never lawless in the worst regulated state, and will provide those laws for itself which the neglect of legislators had forgotten to supply.
Let no man be sorry he has done good, because others concerned with him have done evil! If a man has acted right, he has done well, though alone; if wrong, the sanction of all mankind will not justify him.
Perhaps the summary of good-breeding may be reduced to this rule. “Behave unto all men as you would they should behave to you.” This will most certainly oblige us to treat all mankind with the utmost civility and respect, there being nothing that we desire more than to be treated so by them.
Too keen an eye for pattern will find it anywhere.
Now besides life, knowledge, play, aesthetic experience, friendship, practical reasonableness, and religion, there are countless objectives and forms of good. But I suggest that these other objectives and forms of good will be found, on analysis, to be way or combinations of ways of pursuing (not always sensibly) and realizing (not always successfully) one of the seven basic forms of good, or some combination of them.
Do people love truth? On the contrary, mankind has employed its subtlest ingenuity and intelligence in efforts to evade or conceal it... Do human beings love justice? The sordid travesties in our courts year after year suggest that they love justice only for themselves. Do they love peace? Can anyone seriously ask the question? Do they love freedom? Only for those who share their views. Love of peace, freedom, justice, truth - this is a myth that has been created by the folk mind, and if the artist does not look behind the myth to the reality, he will indeed wander amid the phantoms which he creates.
I give it as my deliberate and solemn conviction that the individual who is habitually tardy in meeting an appointment will never be respected or successful in life.
Premature success gives one an almost mystical conception of destiny as opposed to will power - at its worst the Napoleonic delusion.
They that know God will be humble; they that know themselves cannot be proud.