Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

John Milton

English Poet, Prose Writer

"[Repentance] The golden key that opens the palace of eternity."

"A grateful mind by owning owest not, but still pays, at once indebted and discharged."

"A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believes things, only on the authority of other without other reason, then, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes heresy."

"Hard are the ways of truth, and rough to walk."

"By unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk, but most by lewd and lavish act of sin, let in defilement to the inward parts, the soul grows clotted by contagion, imbodies, and imbrues, till she quite loose the divine property of her first being."

"He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires and fears is more than a king."

"I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat."

"It is not miserable to be blind; it is miserable to be incapable of enduring blindness."

"In contemplation of created things, by steps we may ascent to God."

"Jealousy is the injured lover's hell."

"Law can discover sin, but not remove it."

"Opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making."

"Ofttimes nothing profits more than self-esteem, grounded on just and right well managed."

"Love refines the thoughts, and heart enlarges, hath his seat in reason, and is judicious, is the scale by which to heavenly love thou mayest ascend."

"Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth unseen, both when we sleep and when we wake."

"Prudence is that virtue by which we discern what is proper to be done under the various circumstances of time and place."

"Take heed lest passion sway thy judgment to do aught, which else free will would not admit."

"Sense of pleasure we may well spare out of life perhaps, and not repine, but pain is perfect misery, the worst of evils, and excessive, overturns all patience."

"Superstition is but the fear of belief, religion is the confidence and trust. The greatest burden in the world is superstition, not only of ceremonies in the church, but of imaginary and scarecrow sins at home."

"Suffering for truth's sake is fortitude to the highest victory, and to the faithful death the gate of life."

"The best apology against false accusers is silence."

"The end... of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith, makes up the highest perfection."

"There is nothing that makes men rich and strong but that which they carry inside of them. True wealth is of the heart, not of the hand."

"They also serve who only stand and wait."

"The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love Him, and to imitate Him, as we may the nearest, by possessing our souls of true virtue."

"The very essence of truth is plainness and brightness; the darkness an crookedness is our own. the wisdom of god created understanding, fit and proportionable to truth, the object and end of it, as the ye to the thing visible. If our understanding have a film of ignorance over it, or be blear with gazing on other false glitterings, what is that to truth?"

"Those evils I deserve, yet despair not of His final pardon whose ear is ever open and his eye gracious to readmit the supplicant."

"This is servitude, to serve the unwise."

"To be still searching what we know not by what we know, still closing up truth to truth as we find it (for all her body is homogeneal and proportional), this is a golden rule in theology as well as in arithmetic, and makes up the best harmony in a Church; not the forced and outward union of cold and neutral, and inwardly divided minds."

"To be weak is miserable, doing or suffering."

"Unbelief is blind."

"To know that which lies before us lies in daily life is the prime of wisdom."

"What is strength without a double share of wisdom? Vast, unwieldy, burdensome; proudly secure, yet liable to fall by weakest subtleties; not made to rule, but to subserve where wisdom bears command."

"Virtue that wavers is not virtue, but vice revolted from itself, and after a while returning. the actions of just and pious men do not darken in their middle course."

"Where shame is, there is fear."

"Who overcomes by force hath overcome but half his foe."

"Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, many opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making."

"Who can enjoy alone, or all enjoying, what contentment find?"

"Zeal and duty... on occasion’s forelock watchful wait."

"Why need a man forestall his date of grief, and run to meet that he would most avoid?"

"A good book is the precious life-blood of a master-spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond."

"All arts acknowledge that then only we know certainly, when we can define; for definition is that which refines the pure essence of things from the circumstance."

"As good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book kills reason itself."

"Beauty is God’s handwriting, a wayside sacrament."

"But to know that which before us lies in daily life, is the prime wisdom."

"Danger will wink on opportunity."

"By steps we may ascend to God."

"Chance governs all."

"Dim sadness did not spare that time celestial visages; yet mixed with pity, violated not their bliss."

"Death form sin now power can separate."