Great Throughts Treasury

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


"Greed is the root of all sin." - Isaac Aboab de Fonesca

"Rejoice in adversity even more than in prosperity, for suffering brings forgiveness of sin." - Rabbi Akiva, fully Rebbe Akiva ben Yosef NULL

"A man does not sin by commission only, but often by omission." - Marcus Aurelius, Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus

"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 recompense of virtue is virtue, and sin, sin." - Simeon ben Azai, sometimes Ben Azai

"It is no sin to be tempted; the wickedness lies in being overcome." - Honoré de Balzac

"Nothing is irredeemably ugly but sin." - Honoré de Balzac

"Sin is never at a stay; if we do not retreat from it, we shall advance in it; and the farther on we go, the more we have to come back." - Isaac Barrow

"Use sin as it will use you; spare it not, for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the whole world. Use it, therefore, as a murderer should be used; kill it before it kills you; and though it brings you to the grave, as it did your head, it shall not be able to keep you there. You love not death; love not the cause of death." - Richard Baxter

"All the sin that has darkened human life an saddened human history began in believing in a falsehood." - John Albert Broadus

"Nothing humbles and breaks the heart of a sinner like mercy and love. Souls that converse much with sin and wrath, may be much terrified; but souls that converse much with grace and mercy, will be much; humbled." - Thomas Brooks

"One leak will sink a ship; and one sin will destroy a sinner." - John Bunyan

"Respectable sin is, in principle, the mother of all basest crime. Follow it to the bitter end, and there is ignominy as well as guilt eternal." - Horace Bushnell

"The very heart and root of sin is in an independent spirit. We erect the idol self; and not only wish others to worship, but worship ourselves." - Richard Cecil

"Take away the motive, and you take away the sin." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"True wisdom comes from the overcoming of suffering and sin. All true wisdom is therefore touched with sadness." - Whittaker Chambers, born Jay Vivian Chambers, aka Jay David Whittaker Chambers

"Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy. The charlatan is verbose and assumptive; the Pharisee is ostentatious, because he is a hypocrite. Pride is the master sin of the Devil; and the Devil is the father of lies." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"Cruelty is perhaps the worst kind of sin. Intellectual cruelty is certainly the worst kind of cruelty." - G. K. Chesterton, fully Gilbert Keith Chesterton

"Fears of sinning let in thoughts of sin." - George Crabbe

"Ceremonies in themselves are not sin; but whoever supposes that he can attain to life either by baptism or by partaking of bread is still in superstition." - Hans Denk

"Our hearts must not only be broken with sorrow, but be broken from sin, to constitute repentance." - Orville Dewey

"There is no heart without remorse, no life without some misfortune, no one but what is something stained with sin." -

"In our obsession with original sin, we have forgotten Original Innocence." -

"Wisdom is the ability to do good and abandon sin." - Yonah ben Abraham Gerondi, known as Yonah of Gerona and Rabbenu Yonah

"Sin writes history; goodness is silent." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"If we devoted as much energy to getting away from sin as we do to getting away with sin, how much nobler we would become." - Sidney Greenberg

"Idleness leads first to boredom, then to sin." - Aaron Ha-Levi

"It is not sin that kills the soul, but impenitence." - Robert Hall

"No hell will frighten men away from sin; no dread of prospective misery; only goodness can cast hell out of any man, and set up the kingdom of heaven within." - Hugh Reginald Haweis

"Sorrow is sin’s echo, and as the echo answers the voice best where there are broken walls and ruined buildings to return it, so is sorrow when reverberated by a broken ruined heart." - Philip Henry

"To forgive sin is not an act of injustice, though the punishment have been threatened. Even amongst men, though the promise of good bind the promiser; yet threats, that is to say, promises of evil, bind them not; much less shall they bind God, who is infinitely more merciful than men." - Thomas Hobbes

"We are saved from nothing if we are not saved from sin. Little sins are pioneers of hell. The backslider begins with what he foolishly considers trifling with little sins. There are no little sins." - Jeremiah Brown Howell

"There’ll be no night in Heav’n, In that blest world above; No anxious toil, no weary hours; For labor there is love. There’ll be no sorrow there, There’ll be no sorrow there, In Heav’n above, where all is love, There’ll be no sorrow there. There’ll be no grief in Heav’n, For life is one glad day, And tears are those of former things Which all have passed way. There’ll be no sin in Heav’n; Behold that blessèd throng, All holy in their spotless robes, All holy in their song." - Frederick Dan Huntington

"It is easier to acknowledge one's sin than one's fault." - Baruch Benedict Jeiteles

"The very inclination to sin entails penalties." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"The biggest sin is sitting on your ass." - Florynce R. Kennedy

"From obedience and submission spring all other virtues, as all sin does form self-opinion." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"Inquiry is a duty, and error in research is not a sin." - Benjamin ben Moses, or Benjamin Nahawandi or Benyamin ben Moshe al-Nahawendi

"It is a mistake to base one’s hopes for happiness upon the enforcement of security and equality. In principle, both desires are insatiable... No individual or society is secure in a world of emergent probability and sin... To exercise liberty is to take risks, to embrace uncertainties." - Michael Novak

"The desire of one man to live on the fruits of another's labor is the original sin of the world." - John O'Brien

"He that hath slight thought of sin never had great thoughts of God." - John Jason Owen

"If you would be free from sin, fly temptation: he that does not endeavor to avoid the one cannot expect Providence to protect him from the other. If the first sparks of ill were quenched, there would be no flame, for how can he kill, that dares not be angry; or be an adulterer in act, who does not transgress in thought; or be perjured, that fears an oath; or defraud, that does not allow himself to covet?" - Thomas W. Palmer

"The twin concepts of sin and vindictive punishment seem to be at the root of much that is most vigorous, both in religion and politics." -

"I always say beauty is only sin deep." -

"Sin is a state of mind, not an outward act." - William Sewell, also credited to J.M. Sewell

"The principle of self-interest rightly understood produces no great acts of self-sacrificed, but it suggest daily small acts of self-denial. By itself it cannot suffice to make a man virtuous; but it disciplines a number of person sin habits of regularity, temperance, moderation, foresight, self-command; and if it does not lead men straight to virtue by the will, it gradually draws them in that direction by their habits. If the principle of interest rightly understood were to sway the whole moral world, extraordinary virtues would doubtless be more rare; but I think that gross depravity would then also be less common. The principle of interest rightly understood perhaps prevents men from rising far above the level of mankind, but a great number of other men, who were falling far below it, are caught and restrained by it." -

"The absolute demonstration of man’s mastery of fate and command of all condition - the victory of man - all men in this racial man, this elder brother of mankind in his triumph over sin, fear and death! But one thing had remained in my mind as necessary to prove to the mass of men to-day man’s absolute supremacy over death in all its forms as an attribute of his oneness with God, with Eternal Life, Perfect Love, Perfect Justice, Omniscience and Omnipotence." - Paul Tyner