Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
Bishop Hall
  A good man is kinder to his enemy than bad men are to their friends.  1
  Ambition is torment enough for an enemy; for it affords as much discontentment in enjoying as in want, making men like poisoned rats, which, when they have tasted of their bane, cannot rest till they drink, and then can much less rest till they die.  2
  As the most generous vine, if it is not pruned, runs out into many superfluous stems, and grows at last weak and fruitless; so doth the best man, if he be not cut short of his desires and pruned with afflictions. If it be painful to bleed, it is worse to wither. Let me be pruned, that I may grow, rather than be cut up to burn.  3
  As you see in a pair of bellows, there is a forced breath without life, so in those that are puffed up with the wind of ostentation, there may be charitable words without works.  4
  Christian society is like a bundle of sticks laid together, whereof one kindles another. Solitary men have fewest provocations to evil, but, again, fewest incitations to good. So much as doing good is better than not doing evil will I account Christian goodfellowship better than an hermitish and melancholy solitariness.  5
  Death borders upon our birth; and our cradle stands in our grave.  6
  Death did not first strike Adam, the first sinful man, nor Cain, the first hypocrite, but Abel, the innocent and righteous. The first soul that met with death, overcame death; the first soul that parted from earth went to heaven. Death argues not displeasure, because he whom God loved best dies first, and the murderer is punished with living.  7
  Even the best things ill used become evils; and, contrarily, the worst things used well prove good.  8
  Fond fool! six feet shall serve for all thy store, and he that cares for most shall find no more.  9
  For every bad there might be a worse; and when one breaks his leg, let him be thankful it was not his neck.  10
  Garments that have once one rent in them are subject to be torn on every nail, and glasses that are once cracked are soon broken; such is man’s good name once tainted with just reproach.  11
  God loves to see his creatures happy; our lawful delight is His; they know not God that think to please Him with making themselves miserable. The idolaters thought it a fit service for Baal to cut and lance themselves; never any holy man looked for thanks from the true God by wronging himself.  12
  Good prayers never come creeping home. I am sure I shall receive either what I ask or what I should ask.  13
  Gospel ministers should not only be like dials on watches, or mile-stones upon the road, but like clocks and larums, to sound the alarm to sinners. Aaron wore bells as well as pomegranates, and the prophets were commanded to lift up their voice like a trumpet. A sleeping sentinel may be the loss of the city.  14
  He that taketh his own cares upon himself loads himself in vain with an uneasy burden. I will cast all my cares on God; He hath bidden me; they cannot burden Him.  15
  Heaven hath many tongues to talk of it, more eyes to behold it, but few hearts that rightly affect it.  16
  His tongue, like the tail of Samson’s foxes, carries firebrands, and is enough to set the whole field of the world on a flame. Himself begins table-talk of his neighbor at another’s board, to whom he bears the first news, and abjures him to conceal the reporter; whose choleric answer he returns to his first host, enlarged with a second edition; so as it used to be done in the fight of unwilling mastiffs, he claps each on the side apart, and provokes them to an eager conflict.  17
  How apt nature is, even in those who profess an eminence in holiness, to raise and maintain animosities against those whose calling or person they pretend to find cause to dislike!  18
  How easy it is for men to be swollen with admiration of their own strength and glory, and to be lifted up so high as to lose sight both of the ground whence they rose, and the hand that advanced them.  19
  I never love those salamanders that are never well but when they are in the fire of contentions. I will rather suffer a thousand wrongs than offer one. I have always found that to strive with a superior is injurious; with an equal, doubtful; with an inferior, sordid and base; with any, full of unquietness.  20
  If religion might be judged of, according to men’s intentions, there would scarcely be any idolatry in the world.  21
  In due season he betakes himself to his rest; he (the Christian) presumes not to alter the ordinance of day and night, nor dare confound, where distinctions are made by his Maker.  22
  Infidelity and faith look both through the perspective glass, but at contrary ends. Infidelity looks through the wrong end of the glass; and, therefore, sees those objects near which are afar off, and makes great things little—diminishing the greatest spiritual blessings, and removing far from us threatened evils. Faith looks at the right end, and brings the blessings that are far off in time close to our eye, and multiplies God’s mercies, which, in a distance, lost their greatness.  23
  It is a shame for the tongue to cast itself upon the uncertain pardon of other’s ears.  24
  It is no small commendation to manage a little well. He is a good waggoner that can turn in a little room. To live well in abundance is the praise to the estate, is the praise not of the person. I will study more how to give a good account of my little, than how to make it more.  25
  It is not he that reads most, but he that meditates most on Divine truth, that will prove the choicest, wisest, strongest Christian.  26
  It is not sin that kills the soul, but impenitence.  27
  Let your words be few and digested; it is a shame for the tongue to cry the heart mercy, much more to cast itself upon the uncertain pardon of others’ ears.  28
  Moderation is the silken string running through the pearl chain of all virtues.  29
  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.  30
  Not only commission makes a sin. A man is guilty of all those sins he hateth not. If I cannot avoid all, yet I will hate all.  31
  Now you say, alas! Christianity is hard; I grant it; but gainful and happy. I contemn the difficulty when I respect the advantage. The greatest labors that have answerable requitals are less than the least that have no regard. Believe me, when I look to the reward, I would not have the work easier. It is a good Master whom we serve, who not only pays, but gives; not after the proportion of our earnings, but of His own mercy.  32
  Our body is a well-set clock, which keeps good time; but if it be too much or indiscreetly tampered with, the alarum runs out before the hour.  33
  Our good purposes foreslowed are become our tormentors upon our deathbed.  34
  Recreation is intended to the mind as whetting is to the scythe, to sharpen the edge of it, which otherwise would grow dull and blunt,—as good no scythe as no edge.  35
  Revenge commonly hurts both the offerer and sufferer; as we see in a foolish bee, which in her anger invenometh the flesh and loseth her sting, and so lives a drone ever after.  36
  Rich people who are covetous are like the cypress-tree,—they may appear well, but are fruitless; so rich persons have the means to be generous, yet some are not so, but they should consider they are only trustees for what they possess, and should show their wealth to be more in doing good than merely in having it.  37
  Seldom ever was any knowledge given to keep, but to impart; the grace of this rich jewel is lost in concealment.  38
  Society is the atmosphere of souls; and we necessarily imbibe from it something which is either infectious or healthful.  39
  Sorrows, because they are lingering guests, I will entertain but moderately, knowing that the more they are made of, the longer they will continue; and for pleasures, because they stay not, and do but call to drink at my door, I will use them as passengers with slight respect. He is his own best friend that makes least of both of them.  40
  Surely he is not a fool that hath unwise thoughts, but he that utters them.  41
  Surely the mischief of hypocrisy can never be enough inveighed against. When religion is in request, it is the chief malady of the church, and numbers die of it; though because it is a subtle and inward evil, it be little perceived. It is to be feared there are many sick of it, that look well and comely in God’s outward worship, and they may pass well in good weather, in times of peace; but days of adversity are days of trial.  42
  That which the French proverb hath of sickness is true of all evils, that they come on horseback, and go away on foot; we have often seen a sudden fall or one meal’s surfeit hath stuck by many to their graves; whereas pleasures come like oxen, slow and heavily, and go away like post-horses, upon the spur.  43
  The best ground untilled, soonest runs out into rank weeds. A man of knowledge that is negligent or uncorrected, cannot but grow wild and godless.  44
  The ear and the eye are the mind’s receivers; but the tongue is only busy in expending the treasures received. If, therefore, the revenues of the mind be uttered as fast or faster than they are received, it must needs be bare, and can never lay up for purchase.  45
  The malcontent is neither well, full nor fasting; and though he abounds with complaints, yet nothing dislikes him but the present; for what he condemns while it was, once passed, he magnifies and strives to recall it out of the jaw of time. What he hath he seeth not, his eyes are so taken up with what he wants; and what he sees he careth not for, because he cares so much for that which is not.  46
  The proud man hath no God; the envious man no neighbor; the angry man hath not himself.  47
  There is many a rich stone laid up in the bowels of the earth, many a fair pearl laid up in the bosom of the sea, that never was seen nor never shall be.  48
  There is no word or action but may be taken with two hands,—either with the right hand of charitable construction, or the sinister interpretation of malice and suspicion; and all things do succeed as they are taken. To construe an evil action well is but a pleasing and profitable deceit to myself; but to misconstrue a good thing is a treble wrong,—to myself, the action, and the author.  49
  There would not be so many open mouths if there were not so many open ears.  50
  This field is so spacious that it were easy for a man to lose himself in it; and if I should spend all my pilgrimage in this walk, my time would sooner end than my way.  51
  Those that dare lose a day are dangerously prodigal; those that dare misspend it, desperate.  52
  Those who give not till they die show that they would not then if they could keep it any longer.  53
  Tranquillity consisteth in a steadiness of the mind; and how can that vessel that is beaten upon by contrary waves and winds, and tottereth to either part, be said to keep a steady course? Resolution is the only mother of security.  54
  Try to be of some use to others.  55
  Vices are seldom single.  56
  Virtues go ever in troops; they go so thick, that sometimes some are hid in the crowd; which yet are, but appear not.  57
  We are often infinitely mistaken, and take the falsest measures, when we envy the happiness of rich and great men; we know not the inward canker that eats out all their joy and delight, and makes them really much more miserable than ourselves.  58
  What I have done is worthy of nothing but silence and forgetfulness, but what God has done for me is worthy of everlasting and thankful memory.  59
  Words are as they are taken, and things are as they are used. There are even cursed blessings.  60
  Worldly ambition is founded on pride or envy, but emulation, or laudable ambition, is actually founded in humility; for it evidently implies that we have a low opinion of our present attainments, and think it necessary to be advanced.  61

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