Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Abstinence

"Half the vices which the world condemns most loudly have seeds of good in them and require moderate use rather than total abstinence." - Samuel Butler

"All sin is a form of lying...Total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"Bad books are like intoxicating drinks; they furnish neither nourishment, nor medicine. Both improperly excite; the one the mind; the other by body. The desire for each increases by being fed. Both ruin; one the intellect; the other the health; and together, the soul. The safeguard against each is the same - total abstinence from all that intoxicates either body or mind." - Tyron Edwards

"No doubt solitude is wholesome, but so is abstinence after a surfeit. The true life of man is in society." - William Gilmore Simms

"It is not abstinence from pleasures that is best, but mastery over them without being worsted." - Aristippus NULL

"All capital... is nothing but spare subsistence. It is the superfluous part of a man’s income - that which he is content not to consume, or can easily be persuaded to forego for the present for the sake of some future advantage. Thus capital has been called “the reward of abstinence.”" - George Bernard Shaw

"The only way for a rich man to be healthy is by exercise and abstinence, to live as if he were poor." - William Temple, fully Sir William Temple, 1st Baronet

"One who causes himself pain by abstinence from something he desires is called a sinner." - Talmud or The Talmud NULL

"Use, do not abuse; neither abstinence nor excess ever renders a man happy." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Refrain to-night, and that shall lend a kind of easiness to the next abstinence; the next more easy; for use almost can change the stamp of nature." -

"Gossip is an expression of a restless mind; but merely to be silent does not indicate a tranquil mind, Tranquillity does not come into being with abstinence or denial; it comes with the understanding of what is. To understand what is needs swift awareness, for what is is not static." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals [animal food]." - Leo Tolstoy, aka Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy or Tolstoi

"And joy is everywhere; It is in the Earth's green covering of grass; In the blue serenity of the Sky; In the reckless exuberance of Spring; In the severe abstinence of grey Winter; In the Living flesh that animates our bodily frame; In the perfect poise of the Human figure, noble and upright; In Living; In the exercise of all our powers; In the acquisition of Knowledge; In fighting evils... Joy is there Everywhere." -

"Conscience and reputation are two things. Conscience is due to yourself, reputation to your neighbor." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"To pious and peaceable persons [Augustine] gives this advice: that they should correct in mercy whatever they can; that what they cannot, they should patiently bear, and affectionately lament, till God either reform and correct it, or, at the harvest, root up the tares and sift out the chaff. All pious persons should study to fortify themselves with these counsels, lest, while they consider themselves as valiant and strenuous defenders of righteousness, they depart from the Kingdom of Heaven, which is the only Kingdom of righteousness. For since it is the will of God that the communion of his church should be maintained in this external society, those who, from an aversion of wicked men, destroy the token of that society, enter on a course in which they are in great danger of falling from the communion of the saints. ." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"The pious mind distinguishes between what is written with reference to the deity and with reference to the flesh, and thus avoids sacrilege." - Saint Ambrose, born Aurelius Ambrosius NULL

"In order to merit, it is enough to know that our merits do not suffice for us." - Saint Bernard of Clairvaux NULL

"Feeding the hungry is a greater work than raising the dead." - John Chrysostom, fully Saint John Chrysostom

"Gregory: Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention? Holmes: To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time. Gregory: The dog did nothing in the night-time. Holmes: That was the curious incident" - Arthur Conan Doyle, fully Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle

"The pious mind distinguishes between what is written with reference to the deity and with reference to the flesh, and thus avoids sacrilege." - Ambrose, aka Saint Ambrose, fully Aurelius Ambrosius NULL

"Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it." - Thomas Jefferson

"The general psychosomatic disease of civilized humanity is "orgastic impotence" the inability to achieve total orgasm, caused by the anxieties implicit in our antisexual religions and patriarchal institutions." - Wilhelm Reich

"Use, do not abuse; the wise man arrange things so. I flee Epictetus and Petronius alike. Neither abstinence nor excess ever renders man happy." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"Verses which do not teach men new and moving truths do not deserve to be read." - Voltaire, pen name of François-Marie Arouet NULL

"The road to truth is the effort of the heart, not the mind." - Elif Safak