Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Witness

"When about to commit a base deed, respect thyself, though there is no witness." - Austonius, fully Decimus Magnus Ausonius

"They truly mourn, that mourn without a witness." - Joseph L. Baron

"History is the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instructor of the present, and monitor to the future." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"The sense of duty is the fountain of human rights. In other words, the same inward principle which teaches the former bears witness to the latter Duties and rights must stand and fall together." - William Ellery Channing

"Inside the souls of wealthy men bleak famine lives while minds of stature struggle trapped in starving bodies. How then can man distinguish man, what test can he use? The test of wealth? That measure means poverty of mind; of poverty? The pauper owns one thing, the sickness of his condition, a compelling teacher of evil; by nerve in war? Yet who, when a spear is cast across his face, will stand to witness his companion’s courage? We can only toss our judgments random on the wind." - Euripedes NULL

"Our whole life should speak forth our thankfulness; every condition and place we are in should be a witness to our thankfulness. This will make the times and places we live in better for us. When we ourselves are monuments of God’s mercy, it is fit we should be patterns of His praises, and leave monuments to others. We should think it given to us to do something better than to live in. We live not to live: our life is not the end of itself, but the praise of the giver." - Richard Sibbes

"Time presupposes a view of time. It is, therefore, not like a river, not a flowing substance. The fact that the metaphor based on this comparison has persisted from the time of Heraclitus to our own day is explained by our surreptitiously putting into the river a witness of its course." - Maurice Merleau-Ponty

"Men in excess of happiness or misery are equally inclined to severity. Witness conquerors and monks! It is mediocrity alone, and a mixture of prosperous and adverse fortune that inspire us with lenity and pity." - Baron de Montesquieu, fully Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"In the commission of evil, fear no man so much as thyself. Another is but one witness against thee; thou art a thousand. Another thou mayst avoid, thyself thou canst not. Wickedness is its own punishment." - Francis Quarles

"In the commission of evil, fear no man so much as thyself; another is but one witness against thee, thou art a thousand; another thou mayest avoid, thyself thou canst not. Wickedness is its own punishment." - Francis Quarles

"A good conscience fears no witnesses, but a guilty conscience is solicitous even in solitude. If we do nothing but what is honest, let all the world know it; but if otherwise, what does it signify to have nobody else know it so long as I know it myself? Miserable is he who slights that witness!" -

"The hypocrite's crime is that he bears false witness against himself. What makes it so plausible to assume that hypocrisy is the vice of vices is that integrity can indeed exist under the cover of all vices except this one." - Lionel Trilling

"For this cause he came into the world; that he might be a witness to the truth; a living, unimpeachable witness of the truth that shall make us free - the truth of man’s religion (reunion) with God, through absolute spiritual self consciousness - with God - with the Eternal, Omnipotent and Omniscient Source and Fountain of Life, “in whom we live and move and have our being,” without whom we are not!" - Paul Tyner

"By the one same act man both serves and worships God, for worship regards the excellence of God, to Whom reverence is due: while service regards the subjection of man who, by his condition, is under an obligation of showing reverence to God. To these two belong all acts ascribed to religion, because, by them all, man bears witness to the Divine excellence and to his own subjection to God, either by offering something to God, or by assuming something Divine." -

"Art itself is essentially ethical; because every true work of art must have a beauty and grandeur cannot be comprehended by the beholder except through the moral sentiment. The eye is only a witness; it is not a judge. The mind judges what the eye reports to it; therefore, whatever elevates the moral sentiment to the contemplation of beauty and grandeur is in itself ethical." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton, fully Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, Lord Lytton

"For historians ought to be precise, truthful, and quite unprejudiced, and neither interest nor fear, hatred nor affection, should cause them to swerve from the path of truth, whose mother is history, the rival of time, the depository of great actions, the witness of what is past, the example and instruction of the present, the monitor of the future." - Miguel de Cervantes, fully Miguel de Cervantes Saaversa

"Journalism allows it's readers to witness history. Fiction gives its readers an opportunity to live it." - John Hersey, fully John Richard Hersey

"The guns and the bombs, the rockets and the warships, are all symbols of human failure. They are necessary symbols. They protect what we cherish. But they are witness to human folly." - Lyndon Johnson, fully Lyndon Baines Johnson, aka LBJ

"What, then, is the nature of the reality that we believe in evidentially? Transiency is the main reality. We appear to live in an ever-perishing world. It seems that our life is confined to a single instant at a time. We see everything passing away - for ever, as we say, without having the slightest idea of what we mean by this expression. Where does everything go - for ever? Where do our lives go? Certainly they are not contained in a space of three dimensions. We witness, apparently, events, people, and things disappearing into total extinction, into an absolute nothingness, as the result of passing-time. This is the reality of appearances as registered by our senses. There goes with it a particular understanding of life." - Maurice Nicoll

"Prayer is nothing you do; prayer is someone you are. Prayer is not about doing, but about being. Prayer is about being alone in God's presence. Prayer is being so alone that God is the only witness to your existence. The secret of prayer is God affirming your life." - William Stringfellow

"The hypocrite’s crime is that he bears false witness against himself." -

"For conscience, instead of allowing us to stifle our perceptions, and sleep on without interruption, acts as an inward witness and monitor, reminds us of what we owe to God, points out the distinction of good and evil, and thereby convicts us of departure from duty." -

"Tradition is the witness of the Spirit; the Spirit’s unceasing revelation and preaching of good tidings… It is, primarily, the principle of growth and regeneration." - Georges Florovsky, fully Georges Vasilievich Florovsky

"I believe the ultimate meaning of existence is to be a religious witness." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all religions agree (for all forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, or bear false witness) and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, which are totally unconnected with morality." - Thomas Jefferson

"The whole history of religious enthusiasm bears witness that the highest sanctity often runs on the very borderlines of sanity." -

"The only living life is in the past and future . . . the present is an interlude . . . strange interlude in which we call on past and future to bear witness we are living." -

"God lives and is observable in the whole of history. Every deed bears witness of him, every moment proclaims his name but especially do we find it in the connecting line that runs through history." - Leopole von Ranke

"We witness... by being a community of reconciliation, a forgiving community of the forgiven." - Desmond Tutu, fully Desmond Mpilo Tutu

"Life is a process, a seamless garment, and there is a universal nexus connecting all phenomena so that every part pulsates sensitively to every other part. The truth is inexpressibly deeper than a harmony-between-parts relationship, but this can only be experienced mystically. Pragmatically, on the plane of our sensory experiencing, love is the witness of the unseen yet ever potent law of unity. The root of all sins is to be blind to this fundamental fact regarding the inner nature of the universe. If love rules us, no sins can be committed. En passant we may say that the doctrine of karma is a phenomenal expression of the organic unity of the universe. The individual cannot gain at the cost of the whole. Pain and suffering check us when harmony is disturbed. Love restores harmony and registers through us a deep compassion which dissolves our separative carapaces and releases our energies for impersonal service." - Arthur W Osborn

"Life is a process, a seamless garment, and there is a universal nexus connecting all phenomena so that every part pulsates sensitively to every other part. The truth is inexpressibly deeper than a harmony-between-parts relationship, but this can only be experienced mystically. Pragmatically, on the plane of our sensory experiencing, love is the witness of the unseen yet ever potent law of unity. The root of all sins is to be blind to this fundamental fact regarding the inner nature of the universe. IF love rules us, no sins can be committed. En passant we may say that the doctrine of karma is a phenomenal expression of the organic unity of the universe. The individual cannot gain at the cost of the whole. Pain and suffering check us when harmony is disturbed. Love restores harmony and registers through us a deep compassion which dissolves our separative carapaces and releases our energies for impersonal service." - Arthur W Osborn

"What we witness is inherent potentiality emerging during a time process called Becoming." - Arthur W Osborn

"How blest would our age be if it could witness a religion freed from all the trammels of superstition!" -

"No matter what our achievements might be, we think well of ourselves only in rare moments. We need people to bear witness against our inner judge, who keeps book on our shortcomings and transgressions. We need people to convince us that we are not as bad as we think we are." - Eric Hoffer

"Life without a friend is death without a witness." - George Herbert

"I am metaphor embracing reality, and reality revealing the singleness of the spirit; and a witness confirming the deeds of the gods." - Kahlil Gibran

"At the sight of beauty love always awakes; at the appeal of holiness the divine witness within us at once responds." - Paul Sabatier

"Wherever a man commits a crime, God finds a witness... Every secret crime has its reporter." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"There is no witness so terrible - no accuser so powerful as conscience which dwells within us." - Sophocles NULL

"The joy of a good man is the witness of a good conscience; have a good conscience and thou shalt ever have gladness." - Thomas Kempis, aka Thomas à Kempis, Thomas von Kempen, Thomas Haemerkken or Hammerlein or Hemerken or Hämerken

"The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. An evil soul, producing holy witness, is like a villain with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple, rotten at the heart." -

"How blest would our age be if it could witness a religion freed from all the trammels of superstition!" -

"The only living life is in the past and future... the present is an interlude... interlude in which we call on past and future to bear witness we are living." - Eugene O'Neill, fully Eugene Gladstone O'Neill

"The witness is frequent and insistent that God is inherently relational and personal. So God cannot be either received or understood apart from our being personal and realtional as well. That most emphatically excludes the detached intellect as a way of knowing God. It excludes programmatic work as a way of knowing God. It excludes cultivation of the ecstatic and visionary as a way of knowing God. God is not an abstract idea that can be mastered, not an impersonal force that can be used, not a private experience that can be indulged." - Eugene Peterson

"The hypocrite’s crime is that he bears false witness against himself." - Hannah Arendt

"And this is the strangest of all paradoxes of the human adventure; we live inside all experience, but we are permitted to bear witness only to the outside. Such is the riddle of life and the story of the passing of our days." - Howard Therman

"The moment you become identified with your suffering you want to discard it, you want to get rid of it, it is so painful. But if you are a witness then suffering loses all thorns, all stings. Then there is suffering, and you are a witness to it. You are just a mirror; it has nothing to do with you. Happiness comes and goes, unhappiness comes and goes, it is a passing show; you are just there, a mirror reflecting it. Life comes and goes, death comes and goes; the mirror is not affected by either. The mirror reflects but remains unaffected; the mirror is not imprinted by either." - Osho, born Chandra Mohan Jain, also known as Acharya Rajneesh and Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh NULL

"For conscience, instead of allowing us to stifle our perceptions, and sleep on without interruption, acts as an inward witness and monitor, reminds us of what we owe to God, points out the distinction of good and evil, and thereby convicts us of departure from duty. " - John Calvin

"For us in the West, it is more important that a new worldly form should emerge from true nature and witness to Being...than that the ego should dissolve in true nature and in Being." - Karlfried Graf Von Dürckheim, fully Karl Friedrich Alfred Heinrich Ferdinand Maria Graf Eckbrecht von Dürckheim-Montmartin