Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.

Francis Atterbury

English Bishop

"A good character when established should not be rested in as an end, but only employed as a means of doing still further good."

"Affliction is a school of virtue: it corrects levity, and interrupts the confidence of sinning."

"Few consider how much we are indebted to government, because few can represent how wretched mankind would be without it."

"It is impossible to have a lively hope in another life, and yet be deeply immersed in the enjoyments of this."

"Few, without the hope of another life, would think it worth their while to live above the allurements of sense."

"Affliction is a school of virtue; it corrects levity, and interrupts the confidence of sinning. "

"Though it be not in our power to make affliction no affliction, yet it is in our power to take off the edge of it, by a steady view of those divine joys prepared for us in another state."

"Our part is to choose out the most deserving objects, and the most likely to answer the ends of our charity, and, when this is done, all is done that lies in our power: the rest must be left to Providence."

"What we employ in charitable uses during our lives is given away from ourselves: what we bequeath at our death is given from others only, as our nearest relations."

"The smallest act of charity shall stand us in great stead."

"The sacred function can never be hurt by their sayings, if not first reproached by our doings."

"Those that place their hope in another world have, in a great measure, conquered dread of death, and unreasonable love of life."

"Nothing can be reckoned good or bad to us in this life, any farther than it indisposes us for the enjoyments of another."

"The works of nature will bear a thousand views and reviews: the more frequently and narrowly we look into them, the more occasion we shall have to admire their beauty."

"A good character, when established, should not be rested in as an end, but only employed as a means of doing still farther good."

"A good man not only forbears those gratifications which are forbidden by reason and religion, but even restrains himself in unforbidden instances."

"A just and wise magistrate is a blessing as extensive as the community to which he belongs; a blessing which includes all other blessings whatsoever that relate to this life."

"A remembrance of the good use he had made of prosperity contributed to support his mind under the heavy weight of adversity which then lay upon him."

"A sturdy, hardened sinner shall advance to the utmost pitch of impiety, with less reluctance than he took the first step while his conscience was yet vigilant and tender."

"A very prosperous people, flushed with great victories and successes, are seldom so pious, so humble, so just, or so provident as to perpetuate their happiness."

"Age makes us most fondly hug and retain the good things of this life, when we have the least prospect of enjoying them."

"By teaching them how to carry themselves in their relations of husbands and wives, parents and children, they have, without question, adorned the gospel, glorified God, and benefited man, much more than they could have done in the devoutest and strictest celibacy."

"Even the wisdom of God hath not suggested more pressing motives, more powerful incentives to charity, than these, that we shall be judged by it at the last dreadful day."

"From mere success nothing can be concluded in favor of any nation upon whom it is bestowed."

"He had such a gentle method of reproving their faults that they were not so much afraid as ashamed to repeat them."

"He who performs his duty in a station of great power must needs incur the utter enmity of many, and the high displeasure of more."

"Hospitality sometimes degenerates into profuseness, and ends in madness and folly."

"If God be infinitely holy, just, and good, He must take delight in those creatures that resemble Him most in these perfections."

"It is little the sign of a wise or good man, to suffer temperance to be transgressed in order to purchase the repute of a generous entertainer."

"It is the duty of every one to strive to gain and deserve a good reputation."

"Luther deters me from solitariness; but he does not mean from a sober solitude that rallies our scattered strengths and prepares us against any new encounter from without."

"Make the true use of those afflictions which his hand, mercifully severe, hath been pleased to lay upon thee."

"Shall we repine at a little misplaced charity, we who could no way foresee the effect,—when an all-knowing, all-wise Being showers down every day his benefits on the unthankful and undeserving?"

"Should we grieve over a little misplaced charity, when an all knowing, all wise Being showers down every day his benefits on the unthankful and undeserving?"

"The characters of men placed in lower stations of life are more useful, as being imitable by greater numbers."

"The greater absurdities are, the more strongly they evince the falsity of that supposition from whence they flow."

"The practice of all ages and all countries hath been to do honour to those who are invested with public authority."

"The priesthood hath in all nations, and all religions, been held highly venerable."

"The temptations of prosperity insinuate themselves after a gentle, but very powerful manner; so that we are but little aware of them and less able to withstand them."

"The things of another world being distant, operate but faintly upon us: to remedy this inconvenience, we must frequently revolve their certainty and importance."

"There is a variety in tempers of good men."

"They who are not induced to believe and live as they ought by those discoveries which God hath made in Scriptures would stand out against any evidence whatever, even that of a messenger sent express from the other world."

"Though fanaticism drinks at many founts, its predisposing cause is mostly the subject of an invisible futurity."