Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"A guilty conscience is a hell on earth, and points to one beyond." - Francis Beaumont

"No evil is intolerable but a guilty conscience." - William Ellery Channing

"The guilty think all talk is of themselves." - Geoffrey Chaucer

"When a miser contents himself with giving nothing, and saving what he has got, and is in others respects guilty of no injustice, he is, perhaps, of all bad men the least injurious to society; the evil he does is properly nothing more than the omission of the good he might do. If, of all the vices, avarice is the most generally detested, it is the effect of an avidity common to all men; it is because men hate those from whom they can expect nothing. The greedy misers rail at sordid misers." - Claude-Adrien Helvétius

"When you descant on the faults of others, consider whether you be not guilty of the same. To gain knowledge of ourselves, the best way is to convert the imperfections of others into a mirror for discovering our own." - Henry Home, Lord Kames

"A man guilty of poverty easily believes himself suspected." -

"Guilt is a poor, helpless, dependent being. Without the alliance of able, diligent, and let me add, fortunate fraud, it is inevitably undone. If the guilty culprit be obstinately silent, it forms a deadly presumption against him; if he speaks, talking tends only to his discovery, and his very defense often furnishes the materials for his conviction." -

""Every fault of the mind becomes more conspicuous and more guilty in proportion to the rank of the offender" - Persons in high station are not only answerable for their own conduct, but for the example they may hold out to others. This, joined to their advantages of education, aggravates their vices and loads them with a greater share of responsibility." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"No guilty man is ever acquitted at the bar of his own conscience." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"He who slayeth one man is as guilty as if he killed the whole human race. And he who saveth a soul accomplisheth a deed as meritorious as if he head saved all humanity." -

"Reason is God's gift, but so are the passions. Reason is as guilty as passion." -

"The highest of characters, in my estimation, is his who is as ready to pardon the moral errors of mankind as if he were every day guilty of some himself; and at the same time as cautious of committing a fault as if he never forgave one." - Pliny the Younger, full name Casus Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo NULL

"He who helps the guilty shares the crime." - Publius Syrus

"The guilty fear the law, the guiltless Fortune." - Publius Syrus

"A good conscience fears no witnesses, but a guilty conscience is solicitous even in solitude. If we do nothing but what is honest, let all the world know it; but if otherwise, what does it signify to have nobody else know it so long as I know it myself? Miserable is he who slights that witness!" -

"Nobody becomes guilty by fate." -

"Was ever any wicked man free from the stings of a guilty conscience?" - John Tillotson, Archbishop of Canterbury

"The guilty mind debases the great image that it wears and levels us with brutes." - William Havard

"He who puts a friend to public shame is as guilty as a murderer." -

"He that voluntarily continues in ignorance, is guilty of all the crimes which ignorance produces." -

"The mind is guilty of adultery even if it merely pictures to itself a vision of carnal pleasure." - Lactantius, fully Lucius Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius NULL

"From the body of one guilty deed a thousand ghostly fears and haunting thoughts proceed." - William Wordsworth

"Sin is an affair of the will. It is not “a vestige of our animal inheritance.” That trivial notion comes from an unexamined, too-quickly swallowed doctrine of evolution. Why blame the brute creation? No self-respecting wolf would be guilty of our modern wars." - George Arthur Buttrick

"To heal quickly, avoid negative influences. There are negative people and influences in our lives. Simple rule: will this person make me feel better. Don’t feel guilty for protecting yourself." - Allan J Hamilton

"What the world needs is a sense of ultimate embarrassment. Modern man has the power and the wealth to overcome poverty and disease, but he has no wisdom to overcome suspicion. We are guilty of misunderstanding the meaning of existence; we are guilty of distorting our goals and misrepresenting our souls. We are better than our assertions, more intricate, more profound than our theories maintain." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." -

"He who is guilty is the one that has much to say." - Ashanti Proverbs

"I must practice unlimited forgiveness because, if I did not, I should be wanting in veracity to myself, for it would be acting as if I myself were not guilty in the same way as the other has been guilty towards me." - Albert Schweitzer

"Ah! It is well for the unfortunate to be resigned, but for the guilty there is no peace." - Mary Shelley, née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin

"Guilt is thus intimately related to possibility or potentiality. When the "call of conscience" is heard (that is, the call that brings one back to facing one's "authentic" (mode of being), one is always "guilty" and guilty to the extent that one has failed to fulfill authentic possibility." - Irvin David Yalom

"The existential concept of guilt adds something even more important than the broadening of the scope of "accountability." Most simply put: one is guilty not only through transgressions against another or against some moral or social code, but one may be guilty of transgression against oneself." - Irvin David Yalom

"I can feel guilty about the past, apprehensive about the future, but only in the present can I act. The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness." - Abraham Harold Maslow

"Thank God, men that are greatly guilty are never wise." - Edmund Burke

"Power, in whatever hands, is rarely guilty of too strict limitations on itself." - Edmund Burke

"A guilty conscience needs no accuser." - English Proverbs

"The most effective way to silence our guilty conscience is to convince ourselves and others that those we have sinned against are indeed depraved creatures, deserving every punishment, even extermination. We cannot pity those we have wronged, nor can we be indifferent toward them. We must hate and persecute them or else leave the door open to self-contempt." - Eric Hoffer

"None but the guilty know the withering pains of repentance." - Hosea Ballou

"In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilt if he only thinks of doing so." - Immanuel Kant

"In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of another. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so." - Immanuel Kant

"Not sharp revenge, nor hell itself can find a fiercer torment than a guilty mind." - John Dryden

"When a man has been guilty of any vice or folly, I think the best atonement he can make for it is to warn others not to fall into the like." - Joseph Addison

"We cannot be guilty of a great act of uncharitableness than to interpret the afflictions which befall our neighbors, as punishment and judgments." - Joseph Addison

"Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all too frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism - The right to criticize. The right to hold unpopular beliefs. The right to protest. The right of independent thought. The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know someone who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us does not? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in. The American people are sick and tired of being afraid to speak their minds lest they be politically smeared as Communists or Fascists by their opponents. Freedom of speech is not what is used to be in America. It has been so abused by some that it is not exercised by others. The American people are sick and tired of seeing innocent people smeared and guilty people whitewashed." - Margaret Chase Smith

"An innocent truth can never stand in need of a guilty lie." - Philip Massinger

"To spare the guilty is to injure the innocent." -

"He declares himself guilty who justifies himself before accusation." - Thomas Fuller

"A guilty conscience is like a whirlpool, drawing in all to itself which would otherwise pass by." - Thomas Fuller

"A guilty Conscience never thinketh it self safe." - Thomas Fuller

"Complacency makes one as guilty as those who destroy the Earth." - Tom Brown, Jr.