Only the soul that with an overwhelming impulse and a perfect trust gives itself up forever to the life of other men, finds the delight and peace which such complete self-surrender has to give.
Benevolence is not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth. It is a business with men as they are, and with human life as drawn by the rough hand of experience. It is a duty which you must perform at the call of principle; though there be no voice of eloquence to give splendor to your exertions, and no music of poetry to lead your willing footsteps through the bowers of enchantment. It is not the impulse of high and ecstatic emotion. It is an exertion of principle. :You must go to the poor man’s cottage, though no verdure flourish around it, the gentleness of its murmurs. If you look for the romantic simplicity of fiction you will be disappointed; but it is your duty to persevere in spite of every discouragement. Benevolence is not merely a feeling but a principle; not a dream of rapture for the fancy to indulge in, but a business for the hand to execute.
A first impulse was never a crime.
The first impulse of conscience is apt to be right; the first impulse of appetite or passion is generally wrong. We should be faithful to the former, but suspicious of the latter.
Do you know what real poverty is? It is never to have a big thought or a generous impulse.
Since the generality of persons act from impulse, much more than form principle, men are neither so good nor so bad as we are apt to think them.
Everyone has to think to be polite; the first impulse is to be impolite.
Nothing can oppose or retard the impulse of passion... Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
Fear of life is one form or other is the great thing to exorcise; but it isn’t reason that will ever do it. Impulse without reason is enough, and reason without impulse is a poor makeshift. I take it that no man is educated who has never dallied with the thought of suicide.
One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar.
The musician we may think of as being exceedingly quick to beauty, drawn in a very rapture to it: somewhat slow to stir of his own impulse, he answers at once to the outer stimulus: as the timid are sensitive to noise so he to tones and the beauty they convey; all that offends against unison or harmony in melodies and rhythms repels him; he longs for measure and shapely pattern.
The desire to serve others is the highest impulse of the human heart and the rewards of such service are beyond measure. If you wish to taste this, then just do it. Just take one step... You will see that the tyranny of self-concern, worry, and trivial pursuits can be released from your life with that single step. It doesn't really matter what you do, it only matters that you do it.
What do you call Love, Hate, Charity, Revenge, Humanity, Magnanimity, Forgiveness? Different results of the one Master Impulse: the necessity of securing one's self-approval.
Man is a creature of impulse, emotion, action rather than reason. Reason is a very late development in the world of living creatures, most of whom, as far as we know, get along admirably in daily life without it.
God hides some ideal in every human soul. At some time in our life we feel a trembling, fearful longing to do some good thing. Life finds its noblest spring of excellence in this hidden impulse to do our best.
I can't tell if a straw ever saved a drowning man, but I know that a mere glance is enough to make despair pause. For in truth we who are creatures of impulse are creatures of despair.
An animal's first impulse is self-preservation.
The benefit of proverbs, or maxims, is that they separate those who act on principle from those who act on impulse; and they lead to promptness and decision in acting. Their value deepens on four things; do they embody correct principles; are they on important subjects; what is the extent, and what is the ease of their application?
What is so wonderful about great literature is that it transforms the man who reads it towards the condition of the man who wrote, and brings to birth in us also the creative impulse.
Send your audience away with a desire for, and an impulse toward spiritual improvement, or your preaching will be a failure.