Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Jeremy Taylor

English Bishop

"A great fear... is the parent of superstition; but a discreet and well-guided fear produced religion."

"Great knowledge, if it be without vanity, is the most sever bridle of the tongue... Every beam of reason and ray of knowledge checks the dissolution of the tongue."

"Idleness is the burial of a living man."

"Habits are the daughters of action, but then they nurse their mother, and produce daughters after her image, but far more beautiful and prosperous. "

"If anger proceeds from a great cause, it turns to fury; if from a small cause, it is peevishness; and so is always either terrible or ridiculous."

"If men knew what felicity dwells in the cottage of a godly man, how sound he sleeps, how quiet his rest, how composed his mind, how free from care, how easy his position, how moist his mouth, how joyful his heart, they would never admire the noises, the diseases, the throngs of passions, and the violence of unnatural appetites that fill the house of the luxurious and the heart of the ambitious."

"It is a little learning, and but a little, which makes men conclude hastily. Experience and humility teach modesty and fear."

"It is a great point of wisdom to hide ignorance, as to discover knowledge. To be proud of learning is the greatest ignorance."

"Men of the noblest dispositions think themselves happiest when others share their happiness with them."

"Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error to an afflicted truth."

"No man can be provident of his time, who is not prudent in the choice of his company."

"Nothing is intolerable that is necessary."

"Solitude is a good school, but the world is the best theater; the institution is best there, but the practice here; the wilderness hath the advantage of discipline, and society opportunities of perfection."

"Temperance is reason’s girdle and passions’ bridle, the strength of the soul and the foundation of virtue."

"Right intention is to the actions of a man what the soul is to the body, or the root to the tree."

"A good wife is heaven’s last, best gift to man - his gem of many virtues, his casket of jewels; her voice is sweet music, her smiles his brightest day, her kiss the guardian of his innocence, her arms the pale of his safety, her industry his surest wealth, her economy his safest steward, her lips his faithful counselors, her bosom the softest pillow of his care."

"Enjoy the blessings of this day, if God sends them; and the evils bear patiently and sweetly; for only this day is ours; we are dead to yesterday, and not born to-morrow."

"A religion without mystery must be a religion without God. In dwelling on divine mysteries, keep thy heart humble, thy thoughts reverent, thy soul holy. Let not philosophy be ashamed to be confuted, nor logic to be confounded, nor reason to be surpassed. What thou canst not prove, approve; what thou canst not comprehend, believe; what thou canst believe, admire and love and obey. so shall thine ignorance be satisfied in thy faith, and thy doubt be swallowed up in thy reverence, and thy faith be as influential as sight. Put out thing own candle, and then shalt thou see clearly the sun of righteousness."

"Curiosity is the direct incontinency of the spirit. Know therefore at the door before you enter upon your neighbor’s privacy; and remember that there is no difference between entering into his house and looking into it."

"Faith is a certain image of eternity. All things are present to it - things past, and things to come; it converses with angels, and antedates the hymns of glory. Every man that hath this grace is as certain there are glories for him, if he perseveres in duty, as if he had heard and sung thanksgiving song for the blessed sentence of doomsday."

"He that does as well in private between God and his own soul as in public, hath given himself a testimony that his purposes are full of honesty, nobleness, and integrity."

"Every man rejoices twice when he has a partner of his joy; a friend shares my sorrow and makes it but a moiety, but he swells my joy and makes it double."

"Great knowledge, if it be without vanity, is the most severe bridle of the tongue. For so have I heard that all the noises and prating of the pool, the croaking of frogs and toads, is hushed and appeased upon the instant of bringing upon them the light of a candle or torch. Every beam of reason and ray of knowledge checks the dissolutions of the tongue."

"Make use of time, if thou valuest eternity. Yesterday cannot be recalled; to-morrow cannot be assured; to-day only is thine, which, if thou procrastinatest, thou losest; which loss is lost forever."

"Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit; and our wandering thoughts in prayer are but the neglects of meditation and recessions from that duty; according as we neglect meditation, so are our prayers imperfect, meditation being the soul of prayer and the intention of our spirit."

"It is not the eye, that sees the beauty of the heaven, nor the ear, that hears the sweetness of music or the glad tidings of a prosperous accident, but the soul, that perceives all the relishes of sensual and intellectual perfections; and the more noble and excellent the soul is, the greater and more savory are its perceptions."

"If these little sparks of holy fire which I have thus heaped up together do not give life to your prepared and already enkindled spirit, yet they will sometimes help to entertain a thought, to actuate a passion, to employ and hallow a fancy."

"Lust is a captivity of the reason and an enraging of the passions. It hinders business and distracts counsel. It sins against the body and weakens the soul."

"Knowledge comes by eyes always open and working hands, and there is no knowledge that is not power."

"The best theology is rather a divine life than a divine knowledge."

"The devil does not tempt people whom he finds suitably employed."

"The Lord's Prayer is short and mysterious, and, like the treasures of the Spirit, full of wisdom and latent senses: it is not improper to draw forth those excellencies which are intended and signified by every petition, that by so excellent an authority we may know what is lawful to beg of God."

"The sublimity of wisdom is to do those things living which are to be desired when dying."

"There is no greater unreasonableness in the world than in the designs of ambition; for it makes the present certainly miserable, unsatisfactory, troublesome, and discontented, for the uncertain acquisition of an honor which nothing can secure; and, besides a thousand possibilities of miscarrying, it relies upon no greater certainty than our life; and when we are dead all the world sees who was the fool."

"No man can hinder our private addresses to God; every man can build a chapel in his breast, himself the priest, his heart the sacrifice, and the earth he treads on, the alter."

"Nothing does so establish the mind amidst the rollings and turbulence of present things, as a look above them and a look beyond them - above them, to the sweet and beautiful end to which, by that hand will be brought."

"Some men choose to be miserable that they may be rich."

"Observe thyself as thy greatest enemy would do, so shalt thou be thy greatest friend."

"What can be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth could come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster? To see rare effects, and no cause; a motion, without a mover; a circle, without a centre; a time, without an eternity; a second, without a first: these are things so against philosophy and natural reason, that he must be a beast in understanding who can believe in them. The thing formed, says that nothing formed it; and that which is made, is, while that which made it is not! This folly is infinite!"

"When we pray for any virtue, we should cultivate the virtue as well as pray for it; the form of your prayers should be the rule of your life."

"War mends but few, and spoils multitudes; it legitimates rapine and authorizes murder; and these crimes must be ministered to by their lesser relatives, by covetousness and anger and pride and revenge, and heats of blood, and wilder liberty, and all the evil that can be supposed to come from or run to such cursed causes of mischief."

"A longing after sensual pleasures is a dissolution of the spirit of a man."

"God will have no man pressed with another’s inconveniences in matters spiritual and intellectual – no man’s salvati8on to depend on another; and every tooth that eats sour grapes shall be set on edge for itself, and for none else."

"He that would pray with effect must live with care and piety."

"In sickness the soul begins to dress herself for immortality."

"Covetousness makes a man miserable, because riches are not means to make a man happy."

"Love is the greatest thing that God can give us; for Himself is love; and it is the greatest thing we can give to God."

"Humility is the most excellent natural cure for anger in the world, for he, that by daily considering his own infirmities and failings, makes the error of his servant or neighbor to be his own case, and remembers that he daily needs God’s pardon and his brother’s charity, will not be apt to rage at the levities, or misfortunes, or indiscretions of another."

"This day only is ours, we are dead to yesterday, and we are not yet born to the morrow. But if we look abroad and brings into one day's thoughts the evil of many, certain and uncertain, what will be and what will never be, our load will be as intolerable as it is unreasonable."

"No man can complain that his calling takes him off from religion; his calling itself, and his very worldly employment in honest trades and offices, is a serving of God."