Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Nathanael Emmons, also Nathaniel Emmons

American Theologian

"Regardless of circumstances, each man lives in a world of his own making."

"Great objects form great minds."

"Habit is either the best of servants or the worst of masters."

"One principal reason why men are so often useless is, that they divide and shift their attention among a multiplicity of objects and pursuits."

"Reading should be in proportion to thinking, and thinking in proportion to reading."

"Real holiness has love for its essence, humility for its clothing, the good of others as its employment, and the honor of God as its end."

"The highest graces of music flow from the feelings of the heart."

"The weakest spot in every man is where he thinks himself to be the wisest."

"Make no display of your talents or attainments; for every one will clearly see, admire, and acknowledge them, so long as you cover them with the beautiful veil of modesty."

"How vast is eternity It will swallow up all the human race it will collect all the intelligent universe it will open scenes and prospects wide enough, great enough, and various enough to fix the attention, and absorb the minds of all intelligent beings forever."

"Just definitions either prevent or put an end to disputes."

"I could never think well of a man's intellectual or moral character, if he was habitually unfaithful to his appointments."

"Don't despair of a student if he has one clear idea."

"Death stamps the characters and conditions of men for eternity. - As death finds them in this world, so will they be in the next."

"False zeal may rise as high as true, and indeed much higher; because it is extremely apt to estimate its object above its intrinsic and comparative importance. Besides, when a totally selfish heart is awakened into zeal, there is nothing in it to stem the tide of affections, which all unite and harmonize in the ardent pursuit of a selfish end. True zeal is a strong, steady, uniform, benevolent affection; but false zeal is a strong, desultory, boisterous, selfish passion."

"Be short in all religious exercises. Better leave the people longing than loathing."

"Any fact is better established by two or three good testimonies, than by a thousand arguments."

"He devoted all his time to his strong doctrinal sermons, but very little of his time to parochial cares."

"He is a learned man that understands one subject; a very learned man who understands two."

"If a man really has an idea he can communicate it; and if he has a clear one, he will communicate it clearly."

"In moral lessons the understanding must be addressed before the conscience, and the conscience before the heart, if we would make the deepest impressions."

"In reasoning upon moral subjects, we have great occasion for candor, in order to compare circumstances, and weigh arguments with impartiality."

"Insanity destroys reason, but not wit."

"It is a very serious duty, perhaps of all duties the most serious, to look into one's own character and conduct, and accurately read one's own heart. It is virtually looking into eternity, and all its vast and solemn realities, which must appear delightful or awful, according as the heart appears to be conformed or not conformed to God."

"It is easy to learn something about everything, but difficult to learn everything about anything."

"It is very easy to preach, but very hard to preach well. - No other profession demands half so much mental labor as the clerical."

"Moral conduct includes everything in which men are active and for which they are accountable. They are active in their desires, their affections, their designs, their intentions, and in everything they say and do of choice; and for all these things they are accountable to God."

"Obedience to God is the most infallible evidence of sincere and supreme love to him."

"Selfishness is the root and source of all natural and moral evils."

"Steady, patient, persevering thinking, will generally surmount every obstacle in the search after truth."

"Style is only the frame to hold our thoughts. It is like the sash of a window, if heavy it will obscure the light. The object is to have as little sash as will hold the light, that we may not think of the former, but have the latter."

"Style should be like window-glass, perfectly transparent, and with very little sash."

"Submission to God is the only balm that can heal the wounds he gives."

"The gospel in all its doctrines and duties appears infinitely superior to any human composition. - It has no mark of human ignorance, imperfection, or sinfulness, but bears the signature of divine wisdom, authority, and importance, and is most worthy of the supreme attention and regard of all intelligent creatures."

"The more men have multiplied the forms of religion, the more vital Godliness has declined."

"The work of redemption is the most glorious of all the works of God; it will forever remain the grand mirror to reflect the brightest beams of the divine glory."

"There is no vice in nature more debasing and destructive to men than intemperance. It robs them of their reason, reputation, and interest. It renders them unfit for human society. It degrades them below the beasts that perish, and justly exposes them to universal odium and contempt."

"There is not a single spot between Christianity and atheism on which a man can firmly fix his foot."

"There is not so much difference in men's ideas of elementary truth, as is generally thought. A greater difference lies in their power of reasoning from these truths."

"To reason correctly from a false principle, is the perfection of sophistry."

"To reason justly from a false principle is the perfection of sophistry, which it is more difficult to expose than to refute false reasoning, - The proper way to expose its errors is to show that just and conclusive reasonings have been built on some false or absurd principle."

"Vice is the bane of a republic, and saps the foundations of liberty. - If our industry, economy, temperance, justice, and public faith, are once extinguished by the opposite vices, our boasted constitution which is built on the pillars of virtue, must necessarily fall."

"We are apt to overlook the hand and heart of God in our afflictions, and to consider them as mere accidents, and unavoidable evils. This view makes them absolute and positive evils, which admit of no remedy or relief. If we view our troubles and trials aside from the divine design and agency in them, we cannot be comforted."

"We ought to judge of preachers, not only from what they do say, but from what they do not say."

"You ask if we shall know our friends in heaven. - Do you suppose we are greater fools there than here?"