Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Piety

"Sentiment and principle are often mistaken for each other, though, in fact, they widely differ. Sentiment is the virtue of ideas; principle the virtue of action. Sentiment has its seat in the had; principle, in the heart. Sentiment suggest fine harangues and subtle distinctions; principle conceives just notions, and performs good actions in consequence of them. Sentiment refines away the simplicity of truth, and the plainness of piety; and "gives us virtue in words, and vice in deeds."" - Hugh Blair

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"He who does reverence to his own sect, while disparaging the sects of others wholly from attachment to his own, with intent to enhance the glory of his own sect, in reality by such conduct inflicts the severest injury on his own sect. Concord therefore is meritorious, to wit, hearkening and hearkening willingly to the Law of Piety, as accepted by other people." - Edicts of Ashoka NULL

"Piety and morality are but the same spirit differently manifested. Piety is religion with its face toward God; morality is religion with its face toward the world." - Tyron Edwards

"Our piety must be weak and imperfect if it do not conquer our fear of death." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"True piety hath in it nothing weak, nothing sad, nothing constrained. It enlarges the heart; it is simple, free and attractive." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"Life was not given for indolent contemplation and study of self, nor for brooding over emotions of piety: actions and actions only determine the worth." - Immanual Hermann Fichte

"Though the noblest disposition you inherit, And your character with piety is pack'd, All such qualities have very little merit unaccompanied by Tact." - Harry Graham, Fully Jocelyn Henry Clive 'Harry' Graham

"Wonder, connected with principle of rational curiosity, is the source of all knowledge and discovery, and it is a principle even of piety; but wonder which ends in wonder, and is satisfied with wonder, is the quality of an idiot." - Samuel Horsley

"Marriage is the strictest tie of perpetual friendship, and there can be no friendship without confidence, and no confidence without integrity; and he must expect to be wretched, who pays to beauty, riches, or politeness that regard which only virtue and piety can claim." -

"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." -

"Among the many strong servilities mistaken for piety, one of the least lovely is that which hopes to flatter God by despising the world and vilifying human nature." - George Henry Lewes

"To be forbearing to all - that is love; to be relentless toward self - that is wisdom; to be content with what one has - that is riches; to be discontented with what one is - that is piety." - Nikita Ivanovich Panin

"Temperance is corporal piety; it is the preservation of divine order in the body." - Theodore Parker

"Fear arises from impotence of mind, and therefore is of no service to reason nor is pity, although it seems to present an appearance of piety." -

"Not only is freedom of thought and speech compatible with piety and the peace of the State, but it cannot be withheld without destroying at the same time both the peace of the State and piety itself." -

"When one has this intelligent self-love is commanded to love his neighbor as himself, what else is enjoined than that he shall do all in his power to commend to him the love of God? This is the worship of God, this is true religion, this right piety, this the service due to God only." - Saint Augustine, aka Augustine of Hippo, St. Austin, Bishop of Hippo NULL

"A contemplative life has more the appearance of a life of piety than any other; but it is the divine plan to bring faith into activity and exercise." - Richard Cecil

"Neither piety, nor liberty can long flourish in a community where the education of youth is neglected." - Albert Cooper, fully Albert Glen Cooper

"Not alone to know, but to act according to thy knowledge, is thy destination, proclaims the voice of thy inmost soul. Not for indolent contemplation and study of thyself, nor for brooding over emotions of piety - no, for action was existence given thee; thy actions, and thy actions alone, determine thy worth." -

"Holiness is religious principle put into motion. It is the love of God sent forth into circulation, on the feet, and with the hands of love to men. It is faith gone to work. It is charity coined into actions, and devotion breathing benediction on human suffering, while it goes up in intercession to the Father of all piety." - Frederick Dan Huntington

"The Evil Will is more powerful when wrapped in the prayer-shawl of piety." - Salmon Oliver Levinson

"True piety is this: to be able to survey all things with a mind of peace." - Lucretius, fully Titus Lucretius Carus NULL

"As a social and as a personal force, religion has become a dependent variable. It does not originate; it reacts. It does not denounce; it adapts. It does not set forth new models of conduct and sensibility; it imitates. Its rhetoric is without deep appeal; the worship it organizes is without piety. It has become less a revitalization of the spirit in permanent tension with the world than a respectable distraction from the sourness of life." - C. Wright Mills, fully Charles Wright Mills

"Those who misrepresent the normal experiences of life, who decry being controversial, who shun risk, are the enemies of the American way of life, whatever the piety of the vocal professions and the patriotic flavor of their platitudes." - Henry Merritt Wriston

"Piety… respects the little – the little man, the little task, the little duty. Through the little, religion meets the greatness that lies behind." - Leo Baeck

"The world is full of paradox. For example, [in Buddhism] though no notion of a creator is entertained, great stress is laid upon the need for faith and piety. By faith is meant not trust in a benevolent diety avid for love, praise and obedience, but conviction that beyond the seeming reality misreported by our senses which is inherently unsatisfactory, lies a mystery which, when intuitively unsatisfactory, lies a mystery which, when intuitively perceived, will give our lives undreamed-of meaning and endow the most insignificant object with holiness and beauty." - John Blofeld, fully John Eaton Calthorpe Blofeld

"Visible worship is not condemned, but God is leased by invisible piety." - Desiderius Erasmus Roterodamus, sometimes known as Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam

"Piety is not an end, but a means: a means of attaining the highest culture through the purest tranquility of soul." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"He that would pray with effect must live with care and piety." - Jeremy Taylor

"Piety requires us to honour truth above our friends." - Aristotle NULL

"Not only is freedom of thought and speech compatible with piety and the peace of the State, but it cannot be withheld without destroying at the same time both the peace of the State and piety itself." -

"Vice is attended with temporary felicity, piety with eternal joy." - Bayard Rustin

"There are three degrees of filial piety. The highest is being a credit to our parents, the second is not disgracing them; the lowest is being able simply to support them." - Confucius, aka Kong Qiu, Zhongni, K'ung Fu-tzu or Kong Fuzi NULL

"We are surrounded by motives to piety and devotion, if we would but mind them... When we see good men rewarded, it confirms our hope; and when evil men are punished, it excites our fear." - Daniel Wilson

"Religious persecution may shield itself under the guides of a mistaken and over-zealous piety." - Edmund Burke

"My atheism, like that of Spinoza, is true piety towards the universe and denies only gods fashioned by men in their own image, to be servants of their human interests." - George Santayana

"How strangely high endeavors may be blessed, where piety and valor jointly go." - John Dryden

"Faith is never identical with piety." - Karl Barth

"I am speaking of religion as belief colored with emotion, an elemental sense of piety or reverence for life summing up man's certainty as to what is right and noble." - Lin Yutang

"Every thought which genius and piety throw into the world alters the world." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It is impossible for the mind which is not totally destitute of piety to behold the piety to behold the sublime, the awful, the amazing works of creation and providence - the heavens with their luminaries, the mountains, the ocean, the storm, the earthquake, the volcano, the circuit of the seasons, and the revolutions of empires - without marking them all the mighty hand of god, and feeling strong emotions of reverence toward the Author of these stupendous works." - Timothy Dwight, fully Timothy Dwight IV

"Piety is unity, and the final proof that we have really found God is that all the discordant elements in our life fall into place and we are at peace." - William Adams Brown

"Belief must be something different from a mixture of opinions about God and the world, and of precepts for one life or for two. Piety cannot be an instinct craving for a mess of metaphysical and ethical crumbs." - Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher

"Heroism is the brilliant triumph of the soul over the flesh—that is to say, over fear: fear of poverty, of suffering, of calumny, of sickness, of isolation, and of death. There is no serious piety without heroism. Heroism is the dazzling and glorious concentrat" - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"Not alone to know, but to act according to thy knowledge, is thy destination, proclaims the voice of thy inmost soul. Not for indolent contemplation and study of thyself, nor for brooding over emotions of piety - no, for action was existence given thee; thy actions, and thy actions alone, determine thy worth. " - Immanual Hermann Fichte

"Time is short, your obligations are infinite. Are your houses regulated, your children instructed, the afflicted relieved, the poor visited, the work of piety accomplished?" - Jean Baptiste Massillon

"All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. You know that every Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. Remember, one day you will appear before Allah and answer for your deeds. So beware, do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone." - Muhammad, also spelled Mohammad, Mohammed or Mahomet, full name Muhammad Ibn `Abd Allāh Ibn `Abd al-Muttalib NULL

"It is impossible to approve in Catholic publications a style inspired by unsound novelty which seems to deride the piety of the faithful and dwells on the introduction of a new order of Christian life, on new directions of the Church, on new aspirations of the modern soul, on a new social vocation of the clergy, on a new Christian civilization, and many other things of the same kind." - Pope Leo XIII, born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci NULL