Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Charity

"The best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; and the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression." - Archibald Alison

"There is no unmixed good in human affairs; the best principles, if pushed to excess, degenerate into fatal vices. Generosity is nearly allied to extravagance; charity itself may lead to ruin; the sternness of justice is but one step removed from the severity of oppression. It is the same in the political world; the tranquillity of despotism resembles the stagnation of the Dead Sea; the fever of innovation the tempests of the ocean It would seem as if, at particular periods, from causes inscrutable to human wisdom, a universal frenzy seizes mankind; reason, experience, prudence, are alike blinded; and the very classes who are to perish in the storm are the first to raise its fury." - Archibald Alison

"Through every mortal sin which is contrary to God’s commandments, an obstacle is placed to the outpouring of charity, since from the very fact that a man chooses to prefer sin to God’s friendship, which requires that we should follow His will, it follows that the habit of charity is lost at once through one mortal sin." -

"The best thing to give your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity." -

"The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity." - Clara Lucas Balfour

"In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity." - Richard Baxter

"Nothing leads more directly to the breach of charity, and to the injury and molestation of our fellow-creatures than the indulgence of an ill temper." - Hugh Blair

"The spirit of the world has four kinds of spirits diametrically opposed to charity - resentment, aversion, jealousy, and indifference." -

"The only perfection I know of is a hearty love of god, and to love one’s neighbour as oneself. Charity is the only virtue which rightly unites us to God and man. Such union is our final aim and end, and all the rest is mere delusion." - Jean-Pierre Camus de Pontcarré

"Give work rather than alms to the poor. The former drives out indolence, the latter industry. There are two kinds of charity, remedial and preventative. The former is often injurious in its tendency; the latter is always praiseworthy and beneficial." - Tyron Edwards

"Where there is plenty, charity is a duty, not a courtesy." - Owen Feltham

"Though we may sometimes unintentionally bestow our beneficence on the unworthy, it does not take from the merit of the act. For charity doth not adopt the vices of its objects." - Henry Fielding

"Charity that is both the means and the end, the only way by which we can reach that perfection which is, after all, but Charity itself... Just as the soul is the life of the body, so charity is the life of the soul." - Bishop of Geneva NULL

"Neutrality in things good or evil is both odious and prejudicial; but in matters of an indifferent nature is safe and commendable. Herein taking of parts maketh sides, and breaketh unity. In an unjust cause of separation, he that favoreth both parts may perhaps have least love of either side, but hath most charity in himself." - Robert Hall

"Be charitable in your thoughts, in your speech and in your actions. Be charitable in your judgments, in your attitudes and in your prayers. Think charitably of your friends, your neighbors, your relatives and even your enemies. And if there be those whom you can help in a material way, do so in a quiet, friendly, neighborly way, as if it were the most command and everyday experience for you. Tongues of men and angels, gifts of prophecy and all mysteries and all knowledge are as nothing without charity." - Patrick Joseph Hayes

"All ills spring from some vice, either in ourselves or others; and even many of our diseases proceed from the same origin. Remove the vices, and the ills follow. You must only take care to remove all the vices. If you remove part, you may render the matter worse. By banishing vicious luxury, without curing sloth and an indifference to others, you only diminish industry in the state, and add nothing to men’s charity or their generosity." - David Hume

"Charity... unlike the lower forms of love, is not an emotion. It begins as an act of the will and is consummated as a purely spiritual awareness, a unitive love-knowledge of the essence of its object." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"Our present economic, social and international arrangements are based, in large measure, upon organized lovelessness. We begin by lacking charity towards nature." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The human species... capacity for good is infinite, since they can, they desire, make room within themselves for divine Reality. But at the same time their capacity for evil is, not indeed infinite (since evil is always ultimately self-destructive and therefore temporary), but uniquely great. Hell is total separation from God, and the devil is the will to that separation... To be diabolic on the grand scale, one must, like Milton’s Satan, exhibit in a high degree all the moral virtues, except only charity and wisdom." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The present moment is the only aperture through which the soul can pass out of time into eternity, through which grace can pass out of eternity into the soul, and through which charity can pass from one soul in time to another soul in time." - Aldous Leonard Huxley

"The highest flights of charity, devotion, trust, patience, bravery to which the wings of human nature have spread themselves have been flown for religious ideals." - William James

"The whole future is doubtless determined; but since we know not what it is, nor what is foreseen or resolved, we must do our duty, according to the reason that God has given us and according to the rules that he has prescribed for us; and thereafter we must have a quiet mind, and leave to God himself the care for the outcome. For he will never fail to do that which shall be the best, not only in general but also in particular, for those who have true confidence in him, that is, a confidence composed of true piety, a lively faith and fervent charity, by virtue of which we will, as far as in us lies, neglect nothing appertaining to our duty and his service." -

"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphans - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." - Abraham Lincoln

"Prejudice is the conjurer of imaginary wrongs, strangling truth, overpowering reason, making strongmen weak and weak men weaker. God give us the large-hearted charity which "beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things," which "thinketh no evil."" - John Macduff

"Thus it is well to seem merciful, faithful, humane, sincere, religious, and also to be so; but you must have the mind so disposed that when it is needful to be otherwise you may be able to change to the opposite qualities. And it must be understood that a prince, and especially a new prince, cannot observe all those things which are considered good in men, being often obliged, in order to maintain the state, to act against faith, against charity, against humanity, and against religion." -

"Every good act is charity. Your smiling in your brother's face, is charity; an exhortation of your fellow-man to virtuous deeds, is equal to alms-giving; your putting a wanderer in the right road, is charity; your removing stones, and thorns, and other obstructions from the road, is charity; your giving water to the thirsty, is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter, is the good he does in this world to his fellow-man. When he dies, people will say, "What property has he left behind him?" but the angels will ask, "What good deeds has he sent before him."" -

"In necessary things, unity; in doubtful things, liberty; in all things, charity." - Philipp Malanchthon, born Philipp Schwartzerdt

"Judge thyself with a judgment of sincerity, and thou wilt judge others with a judgment of charity." - James Madison Mason

"Judge thyself with the judgment of sincerity, and thou wilt judge others with the judgment of charity." - John M. Mason, fully John Mitchell Mason

"Charity is never lost: it may meet with ingratitude, or be of no service to those on whom it was bestowed, yet it ever does a work of beauty and grace upon the heart of the giver." - Thomas Middleton

"Every duty brings its peculiar delight, every denial its appropriate compensation, every thought its recompense, every love its elysium, every cross its crown; pay goes with performance as effect with cause. Meanness overreaches itself; vice vitiates whoever indulges it; the wicked wrong their own souls; generosity greatens; virtue exalts; charity transfigures; and holiness is the essence of angelhood. God does not require us to live on credit; he pays us what we earn as we earn it, good or evil, heaven or hell, according to our choice." - Arundell Charles St. John-Mildmay

"The meed of charity is in its measure of kindness." - Eleazar ben Pedat

"Charity degrades those who receive it and hardens those who dispense it." -

"The best creed we can have is charity toward the creeds of others." -

"That charity alone endures which flows from a sense of duty and a hope in God. this is the charity that treads in secret those paths of misery from which all but the lowest of human wretches have fled; this is that charity which no labor can weary, no ingratitude detach, no horror disgust; that toils, that pardons, that suffers; that is seen by no man, and honored by no man, but, like the great laws of Nature, does the work of God in silence, and looks to a future and better world for its reward." - Sydney Smith

"That charity is bad which takes from independence its proper pride, from mendacity its salutary shame." - Robert Southey

"He who has never denied himself for the sake of giving, has but glanced at the joys of charity." - Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

"Charity begins at home." -

"Charity should be the habit of our estimates; kindness of our feelings; benevolence of our affections; cheerfulness of our social intercourse; generosity of our living; improvement of our progress; prayer of our desires; fidelity of our sex-examination; being and doing good of our entire life." - John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury

"What do you call Love, Hate, Charity, Revenge, Humanity, Magnanimity, Forgiveness? Different results of the one Master Impulse: the necessity of securing one's self-approval." - Mark Twain, pen name of Samuel Langhorne Clemens

"I will this day try to live a simple, sincere, and serene life; repelling promptly every thought of discontent, anxiety, discouragement, impurity, and self-seeking; cultivating cheerfulness, magnanimity, charity, and the habit of holy silence; exercising economy in expenditure, carefulness in conversation, diligence in appointed service, fidelity to every trust, and a childlike trust in God." - John H. Vincent, fully John Heyl Vincent

"It is not good to speak of evil of all whom we know bad; it is worse to judge evil of any who may prove good. To speak ill upon knowledge shows a want of charity; to speak ill upon suspicion shows a want of honesty. I will not speak so bad as I know of many; I will not speak worse than I know of any. To know evil of others and not speak it, is sometimes discretion; to speak evils of others and not know it, is always dishonesty. He may be evil himself who speaks good of others upon knowledge, but he can never be good himself who speaks evil of others upon suspicion." - Arthur Warwick

"Courtesy, like charity, should begin at home." - P. C. Wren, fully Percival Christopher Wren

"Charity and good-nature give a sanction to the most common actions; and pride and ill-nature make our best virtues despicable." - William Wycherley

"Whereas speaking distracts, silence and work collect the thoughts and strengthen the spirit. As soon therefore as a person understand what has been said to him for his good, there is no further need to hear or to discuss; but to set himself in earnest to practice what he has learnt with silence and attention, in humility, charity and contempt of self." -

"It is especially important to express your feelings of joy when giving charity to a poor person. Show the person you are glad to be able to help him out. Showing displeasure giving charity erases the merit of giving." - Yorah Daiah

"Charity is a magnet with more power to attract the divine influence than any other precept." -

"The whole secret of remaining young in spite of years, and even of gray hairs, is to cherish enthusiasm in oneself, by poetry, by contemplation, by charity, - that is, in fewer words, the maintenance of harmony in the soul. When everything is in its right place within us, we ourselves are in its right place within us, we ourselves are in equilibrium with the whole work of God. Deep and grave enthusiasm for the eternal beauty and the eternal order, reason touched with emotion and a serene tenderness of heart - these surely are the foundations of wisdom." -

"Charity is equal to all the other precepts put together." - Babylonian Talmud