Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Hosea Ballou

American Universalist Clergyman and Theological Writer

"All our possessions are as nothing compared to health, strength, and a clear conscience."

"Be more careful of your conscience than of your estate. The latter can be bought and sold; the former never."

"Between the humble and contrite heart and the majesty of heaven there are no barriers; the only password is prayer."

"Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken in the hearing of little children tends toward the formation of character. Let parents always bear this in mind."

"Embark in no enterprise which you cannot submit to the test of prayer."

"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul; and the heart of man knoweth none more fragrant."

"How can there be pride in a contrite heart? Humility is the earliest fruit of religion."

"Hatred is self-punishment."

"Envy may justly be called “the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity;” it is the most acid fruit that grows on the stock of sin, an fluid so subtle that nothing but the fire of divine love can purge it from the soul."

"It is in sickness that we most feel the need of that sympathy which shows how much we are dependent upon one another for our comfort, and even necessities. Thus disease, opening our eyes to the realities of life, is an indirect blessing."

"It is better to be the builder of our own name than to be indebted by descent for the proudest gifts known to the books of heraldry."

"If we are at peace with God and our own conscience, what enemy among men need we fear?"

"It is very questionable, in my mind, how far we have the right to judge one of another, since there is born within every man the germs of both virtue and vice. The development of one or the other is contingent upon circumstances."

"Moderation is the key of lasting enjoyment."

"Self-respect is the best of all."

"Rage is mental imbecility."

"The severest punishment suffered by a sensitive mind, for injury inflicted upon another, is the consciousness of having done it."

"A religion which requires persecution to sustain it is of the devil's propagation."

"There is nothing that needs to be said in an unkind manner."

"Servility is disgusting to a truly noble character, and engenders only contempt."

"Suspicion is far more apt to be wrong than right; oftener unjust than just. It is no friend to virtue, and always an enemy to happiness."

"A true religious instinct never deprived man of one single joy; mournful faces and a sombre aspect are the conventional affectations of the weak-minded."

"There is no possible excuse for a guarded lie. Enthusiastic and impulsive people will sometimes falsify thoughtlessly, but equivocation is malice prepense."

"Education commences at the mother's knee, and every word spoken within the hearing of little children tends towards the formation of character."

"As unkindness has no remedy at law, let its avoidance be with you a point of honor."

"Experience is retrospect knowledge."

"Falsehood is cowardice."

"Error is always more busy than truth."

"Few things in this world trouble people more than poverty, or the fear of poverty; and indeed it is a sore affliction; but, like all other ills that flesh is heir to, it has its antidote, its reliable remedy. The judicious application of industry, prudence, and temperance is a certain cure."

"If our Creator has so bountifully provided for our existence here, which is but momentary, and for our temporal wants, which will soon be forgotten, how much more must He have done for our enjoyment in the everlasting world!"

"It is in sickness that we most feel the need of that sympathy which shows how much we are dependent one upon another for our comfort, an even necessities. Thus, disease, opening our dyes to the realities of life, is an indirect blessing."

"If gratitude is due from children to their earthly parent, how much more is the gratitude of the great family of men due to our Father in heaven."

"It is vain to trust in wrong; it is like erecting a building upon a frail foundation, and which will directly be sure to topple over."

"Never let your zeal outrun your charity. The former is but human; the latter is divine."

"Lay silently the injuries you receive upon the altar of oblivion."

"Of all the ingenious mistakes into which erring man has fallen, perhaps none have been so pernicious in their consequences, or have brought so many; evils into the world, as the popular opinion that the way of the transgressor is pleasant and easy."

"None but the guilty know the withering pains of repentance."

"Lenity has almost always wisdom and justice on its side."

"Preaching is of much avail, but practice is far more effective. A godly life is the strongest argument you can offer to the skeptic. No reproof or denunciation is so potent as the silent influence of a good example."

"Suspicion is far more apt to be wrong than right is oftener unjust than just. It is no friend to virtue, and always an enemy to happiness."

"That kind of discipline whose pungent severity is in the manifestations of paternal love, compassion, and tenderness is the most sure of its object."

"The act of divine worship is the inestimable privilege of man, the only created being who bows in humility and adoration."

"The eye is the inlet to the soul, and it is well to beware of him whose visual organs avoid your honest regard."

"The greatest truths are the simplest."

"The law of heaven is love."

"Theories are always very thin and insubstantial, experience only is tangible."

"The experience of others adds to our knowledge, but not to our wisdom; that is dearer-bought."

"There is one inevitable criterion of judgment touching religious faith in doctrinal matters. Can you reduce it to practice? If not, have none of it."

"Too many people embrace religion from the same motives that they take a companion in wedlock, not from true love of the person, but because of a large dowry."

"To talk of luck and chance only shows how little we really know of the laws which govern cause and effect."