Great Throughts Treasury

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

Thomas Adam

English Church of England Clergyman and Religious Writer

"Esteeming others merely for their agreement with us in religion, opinion, and manner of living is only a less offensive kind of self-adoration."

"Reckon any matter of trial to thee among thy gains."

"Beauty is like an almanac; if it lasts a year, it is well."

"Passion costs too much to bestow it upon every trifle."

"God never makes any man what he should be, without first making him know what he is."

"Humility is knowing that we are not humble."

"I want humility; for what? To be admired. My pride will hardly let me believe this, though I fear it is the truth."

"If I bring my pride with me to the work of God, it will feed as sweetly upon it as upon any other distinction, and in the end fatally blast it."

"If I were to live to the world's end, and do all the good that man can do, I must still cry, " Mercy!" Why then should I be unwilling or afraid to die this moment, with a sense of God's pardoning love, when I can have no other claim to salvation if I were to live forever?"

"Man would be intolerable to himself, and look out every way for help, if it was not for his pride."

"My great controversy is with myself, and I am resolved to have none with others till I have put things upon a better footing at home."

"One reason the world is not reformed, is, because every man would have others make a beginning, and never thinks of himself."

"Pride is seeing the defects of others, and overlooking our own. Humility is seeing, feeling, and lamenting sin in ourselves; not only past, but present sin; not only actual sin, but the root of it in an evil nature, and all sin without disguise or extenuation, in all its guilt and malignity."

"The covetous man is like a camel with a great hunch on his back; heaven's gate must be made higher and broader, or he will hardly get in."

"The truly humble man is humble in secret; it is a pain to him to have his humility seen and observed; and whenever he has occasion to confess his defects, it is for no other end but to take shame to himself."

"The way to be humble is to look upwards to God. If we think greatly of his majesty, purity, and infinity of all excellence, it will give us such a striking view of our vileness and absolute unworthiness, that we shall think it hardly possible for any to be lower than ourselves."

"We can take reproof patiently from a book, but not from a tongue. The book hurts not our pride, the living reprover does; and we cannot bear to have our faults seen by others."

"We cannot keep thieves from looking in at our windows, but we need not give them entertainment with open doors."

"When I return to a better temper, after having been under the impressions of black melancholy; that is, from being morose, sullen, discontented, impatient, quarrelsome; I cannot help saying, what a beast and a devil I was; meaning that I am no longer. An open confession of this kind, is looked upon as a mark of great ingenuousness, when, in truth, it is nothing but self-deception, counterfeit humility, and a stratagem to reinstate myself in my own good opinion, or in the esteem of others. The style of the confession should run in the present tense, ‘I am, I am, I am;’ for the nature is the same, though at present it may be smoothed over with a handsome appearance, as a filthy puddle is always the same, though it does not always smell alike."

"When I see others astonishingly blind to their failings, I suppose it to be my own case, and should think that man my friend who helps to open my eyes."

"Whenever I spy a fault in another, I am determined to look for two in myself, and they will not be far to seek.”"