Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Robert South, fully Bishop Robert South

English Theologian and Author, Bishop known for his combative preaching

"Temperance is a virtue which casts the truest lustre upon the person it is lodged in, and has the most general influence upon all other particular virtues of any that the soul of man is capable of; indeed so general, that there is hardly any noble quality or endowment of the mind, but must own temperance either for its parent or its nurse; it is the greatest strengthener and clearer of reason, and the best preparer of it for religion, the sister of prudence, and the handmaid to devotion."

"A good inclination is but the first rude draught of virtue; but the finishing strokes are from the will, which, if well-disposed, will by degrees perfect; if ill-disposed, will by the super-induction of ill habits quickly deface."

"A man never outlives his conscience, and that, for this cause only, he cannot outlive himself."

"Excess is not the only thing which breaks men in their health, and in the comfortab?e enjoyment of themselves; but many are brought into a very ill and languishing habit of body by mere sloth; and sloth is in itself both a great sin, and the cause of many more."

"Faith must be not only living, but lively, too; it must be brightened and stirred up by a particular exercise of those virtues specifically requisite to a due performance of duty."

"Guilt upon conscience, like rust upon iron, both defiles and consumes it, gnawing and creeping into it, as that does which at last eats out the very heart and substance of the metal."

"Certainly the highest and dearest concerns of a temporal life are infinitely less valuable than those of an eternal; and consequently ought, without any demur at all, to be sacrificed to them, whenever they come in competition."

"Defeat should never be a source of discouragement, but rather a fresh stimulus."

"Excess is not the only thing that breaks up both health and enjoyment; many are brought into a very ill and languishing habit of body by mere sloth, which is both a great sin, and the cause of many more."

"Every man living shall assuredly meet with an hour of temptation, a certain critical hour, which shall more especially true what mettle his heart is made of."

"He that tears away a man's good name tears his flesh from his bones, and by letting him live gives him only a cruel opportunity of feeling his misery, of burying his better part and surviving himself."

"How inevitably does an immoderate laughter end in a sigh!"

"If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives."

"In all worldly things that a man pursues with the greatest eagerness and intention of mind, he finds not half the pleasure in the actual possession of them as he proposed to himself in the expectation."

"Nature itself, after it has done an injury, will ever be suspicious; and no man can love the person he suspects."

"No man's religion ever survives his morals."

"No wringing of the hands and knocking the breast, or wishing one?s self unborn; all which are but the ceremonies of sorrow, the pomp and ostentation of an effeminate grief, which speak not so much the greatness of the misery as the smallness of the mind."

"Seldom shall we see in cities, courts, and rich families, where men live plentifully, and eat and drink freely, that perfect health and athletic soundness and vigor of constitution which are commonly seen in the country, where nature is the cook and necessity the caterer, and where they have no other doctor but the sun and fresh air."

"Passion is the drunkenness of the mind."

"Nothing is comparable to the pleasure of an active and prevailing thought - a thought prevailing over the difficulty and obscurity of the object, and refreshing the soul with new discoveries and images of things; and thereby extending the bounds of apprehension, and as it were enlarging the territories of reason."

"Society is built upon trust, and trust upon confidence in one another's integrity."

"The shortest and surest way to prove a work possible is strenuously to set about it; and no wonder if that proves it possible that for the most part makes it so."

"Society is built on trust."

"The image of God was no less resplendent in man?s practical understanding, namely that storehouse of the soul in which are treasured up the rules of action and the seeds of morality."

"The soul and spirit that animates and keeps up society is mutual trust."

"The torment of suspense is very great; and as soon as the wavering, perplexed mind begins to determine, be the determination which way soever, it will find itself at ease."

"There never was any heart truly great and generous that was not also tender and compassionate."

"When the tongue is the weapon, a man may strike where he cannot reach; and a word shall do execution both further and deeper than the mightiest blow."