Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
J. G. Holland
        Heaven is not gained by a single bound,
But we build the ladder by which we rise
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies;
And we mount to its summit round by round.
        What is the little one thinking about?
Very wonderful things, no doubt;
        Unwritten history!
        Unfathomed mystery!
Yet he laughs and cries, and eats and drinks,
And chuckles and crows, and nods and winks,
As if his head were as full of kinks
And curious riddles as any sphinx!
  A fit of anger is as fatal to dignity as a dose of arsenic is to life.  3
  A man does not necessarily sin who does that which our reason and our conscience condemn.  4
  A man in whom religion is an inspiration, who has surrendered his being to its power, who drinks it, breathes it, bathes in it, cannot speak otherwise than religiously.  5
  A man who does not learn to live while he is getting a living is a poorer man after his wealth is won than he was before.  6
  A man who feels that his religion is a slavery has not begun to comprehend the real nature of religion.  7
  A man who in the struggles of life has no home to retire to, in fact or in memory, is without life’s best rewards and life’s best defences.  8
  A nation is a thing that lives and acts like a man, and men are the particles of which it is composed.  9
  A noble deed is a step towards heaven.  10
  A woman in love is a very poor judge of character.  11
  A young man rarely gets a better vision of himself than that which is reflected from a true woman’s eyes; for God Himself sits behind them.  12
  All that has been done to weaken the foundation of an implicit faith in the Bible, as a whole, has been at the expense of the sense of religious obligation, and at the cost of human happiness.  13
  All things unrevealed belong to the kingdom of mystery.  14
  All who become men of power reach their estate by the same self-mastery, the same self-adjustment to circumstances, the same voluntary exercise and discipline of their faculties, and the same working of their life up to and into their high ideals of life.  15
  Almost everywhere men have become the particular things which their particular work has made them.  16
  And when, in the evening of life, the golden clouds rest sweetly and invitingly upon the golden mountains, and the light of heaven streams down through the gathering mists of death, I wish you a peaceful and abundant entrance into that world of blessedness, where the great riddle of life will be unfolded to you in the quick consciousness of a soul redeemed and purified.  17
  Aspiration, worthy ambition, desires for higher good for good ends, all these indicate a soul that recognizes the beckoning hand of the good Father, who would call us homeward toward Himself.  18
  Assertion of truths known and felt, promulgation of truth from the high platform of truth itself, declaration of faith by the mouth of moral conviction—this is the New Testament method, and the true one.  19
  Blessed is that man who knows his own distaff and has found his own spindle.  20
  Character lives in a man, reputation outside of him.  21
  Childhood may do without a grand purpose, but manhood cannot.  22
  Communion is the law of growth, and homes only thrive when they sustain relations with each other.  23
  Cost is the father and compensation is the mother of progress.  24
  Doubtless the world is wicked enough; but it will not be improved by the extension of a spirit which self-righteously sees more to reform outside of itself than in itself.  25
  Every man who becomes heartily and understandingly a channel of the Divine beneficence is enriched through every league of his life. Perennial satisfaction springs around and within him with perennial verdure. Flowers of gratitude and gladness bloom all along his pathway, and the melodious gurgle of the blessings he bears is echoed back by the melodious waves of the recipient streams.  26
  Every man who strikes blows for power, for influence, for institutions, for the right, must be just as good an anvil as he is a hammer.  27
  Every man’s powers have relation to some kind of work; and whenever he finds that kind of work which he can do best—that to which his powers are best adapted—he finds that which will give him the best development, and that by which he can best build up, or make, his manhood.  28
  Everything good in a man thrives best when properly recognized.  29
  Faith draws the poison from every grief, takes the sting from every loss, and quenches the fire of every pain; and only faith can do it.  30
  Fashion is aristocratic-autocratic.  31
  Fashion is not public opinion, or the result of embodiment of public opinion. It may be that public opinion will condemn the shape of a bonnet, as it may venture to do always, and with the certainty of being right nine times in ten: but fashion will place it upon the head of every woman in America; and, were it literally a crown of thorns, she would smile contentedly beneath the imposition.  32
  Fiction is most powerful when it contains most truth; and there is little truth we get so true as that which we find in fiction.  33
  God be thanked that there are some in the world to whose hearts the barnacles will not cling.  34
  God gave every man individuality of constitution, and a chance for achieving individuality of character. He puts special instruments into every man’s hands by which to make himself and achieve his mission.  35
  God gives every bird its food, but He does not throw it into the nest. He does not unearth the good that the earth contains, but He puts it in our way, and gives us the means of getting it ourselves.  36
  Gossip is always a personal confession either of malice or imbecility, and the young should not only shun it, but by the most thorough culture relieve themselves from all temptation to indulge in it. It is a low, frivolous, and too often a dirty business. There are country neighborhoods in which it rages, like a pest. Churches are split in pieces by it. Neighbors are made enemies by it for life. In many persons it degenerates into a chronic disease, which is practically incurable. Let the young cure it while they may.  37
  Home, in one form or another, is the great object of life.  38
  How long must the church live before it will learn that strength is won by action, and success by work, and that all this immeasurable feeding without action and work is a positive damage to it—that it is the procurer of spiritual obesity, gout, and debility.  39
  Humanity is constitutionally lazy.  40
  I have got my spindle and my distaff ready—my pen and mind—never doubting for an instant that God will send me flax.  41
  I have learned that to do one’s next duty is to take a step toward all that is worth possessing.  42
  I know of but one garment which the fashionable social life of this country borrows of Christianity; it is that ample garment of charity which covers a multitude of sins—particularly fashionable sins.  43
  Ideals are the world’s masters.  44
  Idleness is the sepulchre of a living man.  45
  If we will measure other people’s corn in our own bushel, let us first take it to the Divine standard, and have it sealed.  46
  If you want learning, you must work for it.  47
  Immortality—twin sister of Eternity.  48
  In the homes of America are born the children of America; and from them go out into American life, American men and women. They go out with the stamp of these homes upon them; and only as these homes are what they should be, will they be what they should be.  49
  It is better to be a self-made man,—filled up according to God’s original pattern,—than to be half a man, made after some other man’s pattern.  50
  It is only rogues who feel the restraints of law.  51
  It is the great harmonizer of the human faculties, overstrained and made inharmonious by labor. It is the agency that keeps alive and in healthy activity the faculties and sympathies which work fails to use or helps to repress. It is the conservator of moral, mental, and physical health.  52
  It is the life in literature that acts upon life.  53
  Labor in all its variety, corporeal and mental, is the instituted means for the methodical development of all our powers under the direction and control of will.  54
  Laws are the very bulwarks of liberty. They define every man’s rights, and stand between and defend the individual liberties of all men.  55
  Life is before you,—not earthly life alone, but life—a thread running interminably through the warp of eternity.  56
  Life was intended to be so adjusted that the body should be the servant of the soul, and always subordinate to the soul.  57
  Man’s record upon this wild world is the record of work, and of work alone.  58
  Many men and women spend their lives in unsuccessful attempts to spin the flax God sends them upon a wheel they can never use.  59
  Music was a thing of the soul; a rose-lipped shell that murmured of the eternal sea; a strange bird singing the songs of another shore.  60
  My idea of the Christian religion is, that it is an inspiration and its vital consequences—an inspiration and a life—God’s life breathed into a man and breathed through a man—the highest inspiration and the highest life of every soul which it inhabits; and, furthermore, that the soul which it inhabits can have no high issue which is not essentially religious.  61
  Nature is the master of talent; genius is the master of nature.  62
  No genuine observer can decide otherwise than that the homes of a nation are the bulwarks of personal and national safety and thrift.  63
  No nation can be destroyed while it possesses a good home life.  64
  No one can disgrace us but ourselves.  65
  Of all the scamps society knows, the traditional good fellow is the most despicable.  66
  Open your hands, ye whose hands are full! The world is waiting for you! The whole machinery of the Divine beneficence is clogged by your hard hearts and rigid fingers. Give and spend, and be sure that God will send; for only in giving and spending do you fulfill the object of His sending.  67
  Patience, persistence, and power to do are only acquired by work.  68
  Perfect love holds the secret of the world’s perfect liberty.  69
  Play is a sacred thing, a divine ordinance, for developing in the child a harmonious and healthy organism, and preparing that organism for the commencement of the work of life.  70
  Play may not have so high a place in the divine economy, but is has as legitimate a place as prayer.  71
  Posts of honor are evermore posts of danger and of care.  72
  Preceptive wisdom that has not been vivified by life has in itself no affinity for life.  73
  Responsibility walks hand in hand with capacity and power.  74
  Scholarship, save by accident, is never the measure of a man’s power.  75
  Sorrows when shared are less burdensome, though joys divided are increased.  76
  The cry of the soul is for freedom. It longs for liberty, from the date of its first conscious moments.  77
  The Empress of France had but to change the position of a ribbon to set all the ribbons in Christendom to rustling. A single word from her convulsed the whalebone market of the world.  78
  The fact is that sin is the most unmanly thing in God’s world. You never were made for sin and selfishness. You were made for love and obedience.  79
  The faculties of our souls differ as widely as the features of our faces and the forms of our frame.  80
  The faculty of self-help is that which distinguished man from animals; that it is the Godlike element, or holds within itself the Godlike element, of his constitution.  81
  The gentleman is solid mahogany; the fashionable man is only veneer.  82
  The great soul that sits on the throne of the universe is not, never was, and never will be, in a hurry.  83
  The hammer and the anvil are the two hemispheres of every true reformer’s character.  84
  The heart is wiser than the intellect.  85
  The idle man stands outside of God’s plan, outside of the ordained scheme of things; and the truest self-respect, the noblest independence, and the most genuine dignity, are not to be found there.  86
  The man who loves home best, and loves it most unselfishly, loves his country best.  87
  The mind grows by what it feeds on.  88
  The moment that law is destroyed, liberty is lost, and men, left free to enter upon the domains of each other, destroy each other’s rights, and invade the field of each other’s liberty.  89
  The most precious possession that ever comes to a man in this world is a woman’s heart.  90
  The pleasant converse of the fireside, the simple songs of home, the words of encouragement as I bend over my school-tasks, the kiss as I lie down to rest, the patient bearing with the freaks of my restless nature, the gentle counsels mingled with reproofs and approvals, the sympathy that meets and assuages every sorrow, and sweetens every little success—all these return to me amid the responsibilities which press upon me now, and I feel as if I had once lived in heaven, and, straying, had lost my way.  91
  The proverbs of a nation, furnish the index to its spirit, and the results of its civilization.  92
  The soul, like the body, lives by what it feeds on.  93
  The sweetest type of heaven is home—nay, heaven is the home for whose acquisition we are to strive the most strongly. Home, in one form and another, is the great object of life. It stands at the end of every day’s labor, and beckons us to its bosom; and life would be cheerless and meaningless, did we not discern across the river that divides us from the life beyond, glimpses of the pleasant mansions prepared for us.  94
  The temple of art is built of words. Painting and sculpture and music are but the blazon of its windows, borrowing all their significance from the light, and suggestive only of the temple’s use.  95
  The theological systems of men and schools of men are determined always by the character of their ideal of Christ, the central fact of the Christian system.  96
  There are no twin souls in God’s universe.  97
  There is a contemptibly quiet path for all those who are afraid of the blows and clamor of opposing forces. There is no honorable fighting for a man who is not ready to forget that he has a head to be battered and a name to be bespattered. Truth wants no champion who is not as ready to be struck as to strike for her.  98
  There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting.  99
  There is no point where art so nearly touches nature as when it appears in the form of words.  100
  There is no royal road to anything. One thing at a time, all things in succession. That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.  101
  There is no truth which personal vice will not distort.  102
  There is no well-doing, no Godlike doing, that is not patient doing.  103
  There is nothing more precious to a man than his will; there is nothing which he relinquishes with so much reluctance.  104
  There is really nothing left to a genuine idle man, who possesses any considerable degree of vital power, but sin.  105
  To labor rightly and earnestly is to walk in the golden track that leads to God. It is to adopt the regimen of manhood and womanhood. It is to come into sympathy with the great struggle of humanity toward perfection. It is to adopt the fellowship of all the great and good the world has ever known.  106
  Wants keep pace with wealth always.  107
  We live in the future. Even the happiness of the present is made up mostly of that delightful discontent which the hope of better things inspires.  108
  We often wonder that certain men and women are left by God to the commission of sins that shock us. We wonder how, under the temptation of a single hour, they fall from the very heights of virtue and of honor into sin and shame. The fact is that there are no such falls as these, or there are next to none. These men and women are those who have dallied with temptation—have exposed themselves to the influence of it, and have been weakened and corrupted by it.  109
  We work and that is godlike.  110
  Wealth is the least trustworthy of anchors.  111
  Whatever of true glory has been won by any nation of the earth; whatever great advance has been made by any nation in that which constitutes a high Christian civilization, has been always at the cost of sacrifice; has cost the price marked upon it in God’s inventory of national good.  112
  Why will you be always sallying out to break lances with other people’s wind-mills, when your own is not capable of grinding corn for the horse you ride?  113
  Work for immortality if you will: then wait for it.  114
  Work is the means of living, but it is not living.  115
  Work was made for man, and not man, for work. Work is man’s servant, both in its results to the worker and the world. Man is not work’s servant, save as an almost universal perversion has made him such.  116

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.