Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Edwin Hubbell Chapin

American Unitarian Clergy

"Bigotry dwarfs the soul but shutting out the truth."

"Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity."

"Courage is always greatest when blended with meekness; intellectual ability is most admirable when it sparkles in the setting of a modest self-distrust; and never does the human soul appear so strong as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury."

"Goodness consists not in the outward things we do, but in the inward things we are. To be good is the great thing."

"Home is the seminary of all other institutions."

"How often a new affection makes a new man! The sordid, cowering soul turns heroic. The frivolous girl becomes the steadfast martyr of patience and ministration, transfigured by deathless love. The career of bounding impulses turns into an anthem of sacred deeds."

"Humility is not a weak and timid quality; it must be carefully distinguished from a groveling spirit. There is such a thing as an honest pride and self-respect. Though we may be servants of all, we should be servile to none."

"Impatience never commanded success."

"Is there anything so wretched as to look at a man of fine abilities doing nothing?"

"Life, whether in this world or any other, is the sum of our attainment, our experience, our character. The conditions are secondary. In what other world shall we be more surely than we are here?"

"Man was sent into the world to be a growing and exhaustless force. The world was spread out around him to be seized and conquered. Realms of infinite truth burst open above him, inviting him to tread those shining coasts which Newton dropped his plummet, and Herschel sailed, a Columbus of the skies."

"Morality is the vestibule of religion."

"Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it foregoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury."

"No more important duty can be urged upon those who are entering the great theater of life than simple loyalty to their best convictions."

"No piled-up wealth, no social station, no throne, reaches as high as that spiritual plane upon which every human being stands by virtue of his humanity."

"Not in the achievement, but in the endurance of the human soul, does it show its divine grandeur and its alliance with the infinite God."

"Objects close to the eye shut out much larger objects on the horizon; and splendors born only of the earth eclipse the stars. So a man sometimes covers up the entire disc of eternity with a dollar and quenches transcendent glories with a little shining dust."

"Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy. The charlatan is verbose and assumptive; the Pharisee is ostentatious, because he is a hypocrite. Pride is the master sin of the Devil; and the Devil is the father of lies."

"Skepticism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world's heart. The great doers in history have always been men of faith."

"Some people habitually wear sadness, like a garment, and think it a becoming grace. God loves a cheerful worshipper."

"Some souls are ennobled and elevated by seeming misfortunes, which then become blessings in disguise."

"The angels may have wider spheres of action, may have nobler forms of duty; but right with them and with us is one and the same thing."

"The best answer to all objections urged against prayer is that fact that man cannot help praying; for we may be sure that which is so spontaneous and ineradicable in human nature has its fitting objects and methods in the arrangement of a boundless Providence."

"The child’s grief throbs against the round of its little heart as heavily as the man’s sorrow; and the one finds as much delight in his kite or drum as the other in striking the springs of enterprise or soaring on the wings of fame."

"The deepest life of nature is silent and obscure; so often the elements that move and mould society are the results of the sister’s counsel and the mother’s prayer."

"The essence of justice is mercy. Making a child suffer for wrong-doing is merciful to the child. There is no mercy in letting a child have its own will, plunging headlong to destruction wit the bits in its mouth. There is no mercy to society nor to the criminal if the wrong is not repressed and the right vindicated. We injure the culprit who comes up to take his proper doom at the bar of justice, if we do not make him feel that he has done a wrong thing. We may deliver his body from the prison, but not at the expense of justice nor to his own injury."

"The golden age is not in the past, but in the future: not in the origin of human experience, but in its consummate flower: not opening in Eden, but out from Gethsemane."

"The more we sympathize with excellence, the more we go out of self, the more we love, the broader and deeper is our personality."

"The temptation is not here, where you are reading about it or praying about it. It is down in your shop among bales and boxes, ten-penny nails, and sand-paper."

"There are interests by the sacrifice of which peace is too dearly purchased. One should never be at peace to the shame of his own soul - to the violation of his integrity or of his allegiance to God."

"There have been men who could play delightful music on one string of the violin, but there never was a man who could produce the harmonies of heaven in his soul by a one-stringed virtue."

"There is no mean work save that which is sordidly selfish; there is no irreligious work save that which is morally wrong; while in every sphere of life “the post of honor is the post of duty.”"

"This is the essential evil of vice; it debases a man."

"This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity."

"Through all God’s works there runs a beautiful harmony. The remotest truth in His ;universe is linked to that which lies nearest the throne."

"Whatever touches the nerves of motive, whatever shifts man’s moral position, is mightier than steam or caloric or lightning."

"At the bottom of a good deal of bravery that appears in the world there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they cannot face public opinion."

"Death is not an end, but a transition crisis. All the forms of decay are but masks of regeneration - the secret alembics of vitality."

"Each things lives according to its kind; the heart by love, the intellect by truth, the higher nature of man by intimate communion with God."

"Events are only the shells of ideas; and often it is the fluent thought of ages that is crystallized in a moment by the stroke of a pen or the point of a bayonet."

"Every action of our lives touches in some chord that will vibrate in eternity."

"Fashion is the science of appearances, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be."

"Into what boundless life does education admit us. Every truth gained through it expands a moment of time into illimitable being - positively enlarges our existence, and endows us with qualities which time cannot weaken or destroy."

"Neutral men are the devil's allies."

"Poetry is the utterance of deep and heart felt truth. The true poet is very near the oracle."

"The best men are not those who have waited for chances but who have taken them; besieged the chance; conquered the chance; and made chance the servitor."

"The creed of the true saint is to make the best of life, and make the most of it."

"The most fearful characteristic of vice is its irresistible fascination - the ease with which it sweeps away resolution, and wins a man to forget his momentary outlook, and his throb of penitence, in the embrace of indulgence."

"There is no happiness in life, and there is no misery, like that growing out of the dispositions which consecrate or desecrate a home."

"There is no tariff so injurious as that with which sectarian bigotry guards its commodities. It dwarfs the soul by shutting out truths from other continents of thought, and checks the circulation of its own."