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C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
Theodore Parker
  All men desire to be immortal.  1
  All men need something to poetize and idealize their life a little—something which they value for more than its use, and which is a symbol of their emancipation from the mere materialism and drudgery of daily life.  2
  As society advances the standard of poverty rises.  3
  Be not familiar with the idea of wrong, for sin in fancy mothers many an ugly fact.  4
  Covetous men need money least, yet most affect it; and prodigals, who need it most, do least regard it.  5
  Democracy means not “I am as good as you are,” but “You are as good as I am.”  6
  Did the mass of men know the actual selfishness and injustice of their rulers, not a government would stand a year. The world would foment with revolution.  7
  Disappointment is often the salt of life.  8
  Every man has at times in his mind the ideal of what he should be, but is not. This ideal may be high and complete, or it may be quite low and insufficient; yet, in all men that really seek to improve, it is better than the actual character. Perhaps no one is so satisfied with himself that he never wishes to be wiser, better, and more holy.  9
  Every rose is an autograph from the hand of the Almighty God on this world about us. He has inscribed His thoughts in these marvelous hieroglyphics which sense and science have been these many thousand years seeking to understand.  10
  For a thousand years no king in Christendom has shown such greatness or given so high a type of manly virtue.  11
  Genius is the father of a heavenly line, but the mortal mother, that is industry.  12
  Gratitude is a nice touch of beauty added last of all to the countenance, giving a classic beauty, an angelic loveliness, to the character.  13
  Greatness is its own torment.  14
  He prays best who, not asking God to do man’s work, prays penitence, prays resolutions, and then prays deeds—thus supplicating with heart and head and hands.  15
  Humanity is the Son of God.  16
  I am conscious of eternal life.  17
  I believe in the admission of women to the full rights of citizenship and share in government, on the express grounds that few women keep house so badly or with such wastefulness as chancellors of the exchequer keep the state.  18
  I look through the grave into heaven.  19
  In all the world there is nothing so remarkable as a great man, nothing so rare, nothing which so well repays study.  20
  In this country every one gets a mouthful of education, but scarcely any one a full meal.  21
  Intellect is stronger than cannon.  22
  It is vain to trust in wrong; as much of evil, so much of loss is the formula of human history.  23
  It is very sad for a man to make himself servant to a thing, his manhood all taken out of him by the hydraulic pressure of excessive business. I should not like to be merely a great doctor, a great lawyer, a great minister, a great politician—I should like to be also something of a man.  24
  It seems strange that a butterfly’s wing should be woven up so thin and gauzy in the monstrous loom of nature, and be so delicately tipped with fire from such a gross hand, and rainbowed all over in such a storm of thunderous elements. The marvel is that such great forces do such nice work.  25
  Justice is the idea of God, the ideal of man, the rule of conduct writ in the nature of mankind.  26
  Let men laugh when you sacrifice desire to duty, if they will. You have time and eternity to rejoice in.  27
  Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle, and we knew that victory for mankind depended upon our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world.  28
  Love is the piety of the affections.  29
  Love of truth will bless the lover all his days; yet when he brings her home, his fair-faced bride, she comes empty-handed to his door, herself her only dower.  30
  Magnificent promises are always to be suspected.  31
  Man is the highest product of his own history. The discoverer finds nothing so grand or tall as himself, nothing so valuable to him. The greatest star is at the small end of the telescope,—the star that is looking, not looked after nor looked at.  32
  Man is the jewel of God, who has created this material world to keep his treasure in.  33
  Mankind never loses any good thing, physical, intellectual, or moral, till it finds a better, and then the loss is a gain. No steps backward is the rule of human history. What is gained by one man is invested in all men, and is a permanent investment for all time.  34
  Marriages are best of dissimilar material.  35
  Measure slavery by the golden rule, and where is it?  *  *  *  It stands in the way of that automatic instinct of progress which is eternal in the human race and irresistible in human history.  36
  Nature is God’s Old Testament.  37
  Nature is man’s religious book, with lessons for every day.  38
  Never violate the sacredness of your individual self-respect. Be true to your own mind and conscience, your heart and your soul; so only can you be true to God.  39
  No man is so great as mankind.  40
  No virtue fades out of mankind. Not over-hopeful by inborn temperament, cautious by long experience, I yet never despair of human virtue.  41
  Outward judgment often fails, inward justice never.  42
  Politics is the science of exigencies.  43
  Pride is both a virtue and a vice.  44
  Religion gives a man courage.  *  *  *  I mean the higher moral courage which can look danger in the face unawed and undismayed; the courage that can encounter loss of ease, of wealth, of friends, of your own good name; the courage that can face a world full of howling and of scorn—ay, of loathing and of hate; can see all this with a smile, and, suffering it all, can still toil on, conscious of the result, yet fearless still.  45
  Religion without joy,—it is no religion.  46
  Remorse is the pain of sin.  47
  Science is the natural ally of religion.  48
  Self-denial is indispensable to a strong character, and the loftiest kind thereof comes only of a religious stock,—from consciousness of obligation and dependence upon God.  49
  Silence is a figure of speech, unanswerable, short, cold, but terribly severe.  50
  Such a large sweet fruit is a complete marriage, that it needs a very long summer to ripen in and then a long winter to mellow and season it.  51
  Temperance is corporeal piety; it is the preservation of divine order in the body.  52
  That which is called liberality is frequently nothing more than the vanity of giving.  53
  The books which help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is by easy reading: but a great book that comes from a great thinker—it is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and with beauty.  54
  The coat of the buffalo never pinches under the arm, never puckers at the shoulders; it is always the same, yet never old fashioned nor out of date.  55
  The diamond which shines in the Saviour’s crown shall burn in unquenched beauty at last on the forehead of every human soul.  56
  The duty of labor is written on a man’s body: in the stout muscle of the arm, and the delicate machinery of the hand.  57
  The earnestness of life is the only passport to the satisfaction of life.  58
  The educators of the common people.  59
  The great basis of the Christian faith is compassion; do not dismiss that from your hearts, neither will your Maker.  60
  The great man is to be the servant of mankind, not they of him.  61
  The joy of heaven will begin as soon as we attain the character of heaven, and do its duties.  62
  The lottery of honest labor, drawn by Time, is the only one whose prizes are worth taking up and carrying home.  63
  The miser, poor fool, not only starves his body, but also his own soul.  64
  The most useful is the greatest.  65
  The union of men in large masses is indispensable to the development and rapid growth of the higher faculties of men. Cities have always been the fireplaces of civilization whence light and heat radiated out into the dark cold world.  66
  The use of great men is to serve the little men, to take care of the human race, and act as practical interpreters of justice and truth.  67
  The whole sum and substance of human history may be reduced to this maxim: that when man departs from the divine means of reaching the divine end, he suffers harm and loss.  68
  There is no college for the conscience.  69
  There is what I call the American idea.  *  *  *  This idea demands, as the proximate organization thereof, a democracy—that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course, a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God; for shortness’ sake I will call it the idea of Freedom.  70
  There never was a great truth but it was reverenced; never a great institution, nor a great man, that did not, sooner or later, receive the reverence of mankind.  71
  Wealth and want equally harden the human heart, as frost and fire are both alien to the human flesh. Famine and gluttony alike drive nature away from the heart of man.  72
  What a joy is there in a good book, writ by some great master of thought, who breaks into beauty as in summer the meadow into grass and dandelions and violets, with geraniums and manifold sweetness.  73
  What sad faces one always sees in the asylums for orphans! It is more fatal to neglect the heart than the head.  74
  What succeeds we keep, and it becomes the habit of mankind.  75
  Who escapes a duty avoids a gain.  76
  Wit has its place in debate; in controversy it is a legitimate weapon, offensive and defensive.  77
  You may not, cannot, appropriate beauty. It is the wealth of the eye, and a cat may gaze upon a king.  78

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