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 Adams

English Clergyman and Reputed Preacher, called "The Shakespeare of the Puritans" by Robert Southey

"An ounce of discretion is worth a pound of learning."

"Conscience is God’s deputy in the soul."

"Death is as near to the young as to the old; here is all the difference: death stands behind the young man’s back, before the old man’s face."

"He that taught them all their tricks kept one to himself."

"He who reforms himself, has done much toward reforming others; and one reason why the world is not reformed, is, because each would have others make a beginning, and never thinks of himself doing it."

"No coming to heaven with dry eyes."

"Prevention is so much better than healing."

"A drunkard is the annoyance of modesty; the trouble of civility; the spoil of wealth; the distraction of reason. He is the brewer's agent; the tavern and ale­house benefactor; the beggar's companion; the constable's trouble; his wife's woe; his children's sorrow; his neighbor's scoff; his own shame. In short he is a tub of swill, a spirit of unrest, a thing below a beast, and a monster of a man."

"A man may be so bold of his predestination, that he forget his conversation."

"Beauty is like an almanack: if it last a year it is well."

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

"Blessed be God, I not only begin praying when I kneel down, but I do not leave off praying when I rise up."

"Contention is like fire, for both burn so long as there is any exhaustible matter to contend within.—Only herein it transcends fire, for fire begets not matter, but consumes it; debates beget matter, but consume it not."

"Good deeds are such things that no man is saved for them, nor without them."

"Grace comes into the soul, as the morning sun into the world; first a dawning; then a light; and at last the sun in his full and excellent brightness."

"He who sends the storm steers the vessel."

"It is the office of faith to believe what we do not see, and it shall be the reward of faith to see what we do believe."

"Let us be sure that our delights exclude not the presence of God: we may please ourselves so long as we do not displease Him."

"Passion costs me too much to bestow it on every trifle."

"Pride thrust Nebuchadnezzar out of men's society, Saul out of his kingdom, Adam out of paradise, Haman out of court, and Lucifer out of heaven."

"Self-righteousness is the devil's masterpiece to make us think well of ourselves."

"Sins are so remitted, as if they had never been committed."

"The ambitious climbs up high and perilous stairs, and never cares how to come down; the desire of rising hath swallowed up his fear of a fall."

"The covetous man pines in plenty, like Tantalus up to the chin in water, and yet thirsty."

"The devil is no idle spirit, but a vagrant, runagate walker, that never rests in one place.—The motive, cause, and main intention of his walking is to ruin man."

"The eye is the pulse of the soul; as physicians judge the heart by the pulse, so we by the eye."