Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"The sacred commandments were given for the sake of righteousness, to arouse pious thoughts and to form character." - Apocrypha NULL

"The voice of the Devil. All Bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following errors: 1. That man has two real existing principles; vis; a body and a soul. 2. That energy, called evil, is alone from body, and that reason, called good, is alone from the soul. 3. That God will torment man in eternity for the following energies. But the following contraries to these are true: 1. Man has no body distinct from his soul; for that called body is a portion of soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of the soul in this age. 2. Energy is the only life, and is from the body; and reason is bound or outward circumference of energy. 3. Energy is eternal delight." - William Blake

"There is only one Duty. It is to realize the divinity within... our most sacred life purpose, the most honored ground of existence, and everything else must be made to subserve it." - Paul Brunton, born Hermann Hirsch, wrote under various pseudonyms including Brunton Paul, Raphael Meriden and Raphael Delmonte

"The great duty of God’s children is to love one another. This duty on earth takes the name and form of the law of humanity. We are to recognize all men as brethren, no matter where born, or under what sky, or institution or religion they may live. Every man belongs to the race, and owes a duty to mankind... Men cannot, by combining themselves into narrower or larger societies, sever the sacred, blessed bond which joins them to their kind... The law of humanity must reign; over the assertion of all human rights." - William Ellery Channing

"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." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"Let us pity the wicked man; for it is very sad to seek happiness where it does not exist. Let our compassion express itself in efforts to bring him gently back to sacred principle, and if he persist, let us pity him the more for a blindness so fatal to himself." - François Ignace Dunod De Charnage

"I venerate the man whose heart is warm, whose hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life, coincident, exhibit lucid proof that he is honest in the sacred cause." - William Cowper

"Deceivers are the most dangerous members of society. They trifle with the best affections of our nature, and violate the most sacred obligations." - George Crabbe

"We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable; that all men are created equal and independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent and inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." - Thomas Jefferson

"Love is the purification of the heart from self; it strengthens and ennobles the character; gives higher motive and nobler aim to every action of life, and makes both man and woman strong, noble, and courageous. The power to love truly and devotedly is the nobles gift with which a human being can be endowed; but it is a sacred fire that must not be burned to idols." - Maria Jane Jewsbury

"Conscience is a sacred sanctuary where God alone may enter as judge." - Abbé Hugo Felicite de Lamennais

"Liberty and equality - lovely and sacred words!" - Guiseppe Mazzini

"The meaning of life has something to do with realizing that our essence is perfect love, then going on to live our lives upon that truth, experiencing each day as a miracle and every act as sacred." - Kenneth Ring

"Nothing is in itself absolutely sacred, or profane, or unclean, apart from the mind, but only relatively thereto." -

"When you see ordinary situations with extraordinary insight it is like discovering a jewel in rubbish. If work becomes part of your spiritual practice, then your regular, daily problems cease to be only problems and become a source of inspiration. Nothing is rejected as ordinary and nothing is taken as being particularly sacred, but all the substance and material available in life-situations is used." -

"Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission." - Arnold Bennett, fully Enoch Thomas Arnold Bennett

"The trouble with the sacred Individual is that he has no significance, except as he can acquire it from others, from the social whole." - Bernard Augustine DeVoto

"The Zen ways and arts draw a bridge from real artistic creation in painting, architecture, poetry) to artistic skills like flower arrangement and gardening, and ultimately to all of everyday life. The religious is found in the everyday, the sacred in the profane; indeed the everyday is religious, the profane is sacred." - Heinrich Dumoulin

"O liberty, parent of happiness, a celestial born when the first man became a living soul; his sacred genius thou." - Edward Dyer, fully Sir Edward Dyer

"The narrow way, the way of holiness, not only leads to life, but it is life. Walking there, serene are our days, peaceful our nights, happy - high above the disorders and miseries of a wretched world - shall be our hourly communion with God; happy - full of assurance, of calm and sacred triumph, shall be our dying hour." - Richard Fuller

"Divine love is a sacred flower, which in its early bud is happiness, and in its full bloom is heaven." - Eleanor Brown, fully Nora Eleanor Louisa Hervey Brown

"The grave is a sacred workshop of nature! a chamber for the figure of the body; death and life dwell here together as man and wife. They are one body, they are in union; God has joined them together, and what God hath joined together let no man put asunder." - Theodore Gottlieb von Hippel the Younger

"Play is a sacred thing, a divine ordinance, for developing in the child a harmonious and healthy organism, and preparing that organism for the commencement of the work of life." -

"Make a rule, and pray to God to help you to keep it, never, if possible, to lie down at night without being able to say: "I have made one human being at least a little wiser, or a little happier, or at least a little better this day."" - Charles Kingsley

"Thought is not sacred, thought is a material process. This is where our difficulty lies. Thought is a movement in time." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

"A wise man will select his books, for he would not wish to class them all under the sacred name of friends. Some can be accepted only as acquaintances. The best books of all kinds are taken to the heart, and cherished as his most precious possessions. Others to be chatted with for a time, to spend a few pleasant hours with and laid aside, but not forgotten." - James Alfred Langford

"Life is not so much sweet as sacred... We are all sacred." - John Mason, fully Babalorisha John Mason

"The ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr." -

"A good war makes sacred any cause." -

"The family is more sacred than the state." - Pope Pius XI, born Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti NULL

"Justice is that which is most primitive in the human soul, most fundamental in society, most sacred among ideas, and what the masses demand today with most ardor. It is the essence of religions and at the same time the form of reason, the secret object of faith, and the beginning, middle and end of knowledge. What can be imagined more universal, more strong, more complete than justice?" - Pierre-Joseph Proudhon

"Small crimes always precede great crimes. Whoever has been able to transgress the limits set by law may afterwards violate the most sacred rights; crime, like virtue, has its degrees, and never have we seen timid innocence pass suddenly to extreme licentiousness." - Jean Racine, baptismal name Jean-Baptiste Racine

"Only in the sacredness of inward silence does the soul truly meet the secret, hiding God. The strength of resolve, which afterward shapes life, and mixes itself with action, is the fruit of those sacred, solitary moments. There is a divine depth in silence. We meet God alone." -

"The question is, whether, like the Divine Child I the temple, we are turning knowledge into wisdom, and whether, understanding more of the mysteries of life, we are feeling more of its sacred law; and whether, having left behind the priests and the scribes and the doctors and the fathers, we are about our Father’s business, and becoming wise to God." -

"Every political society is composed of other smaller societies of different kinds, each of which has its interests and its rules of conduct: but those societies which everybody perceives, because they have an external and authorized form, are not the only ones that actually exist in the State... Unhappily personal interest is always found in inverse ratio to duty, and increases in proportion as the association grows narrower, and the engagement less sacred; which irrefragably proves that the most general will always the most just also, and that the voice of the people is in fact the voice of God." - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

"Comment is free, but facts are sacred." - C. P. Scott, fully Charles Prestwich Scott

"Not what a man does, but how he does it, is profane or sacred." - Heymann Steinthal. alternatively Hermann Steinthal

"If any thing is sacred, the human body is sacred." - Walt Whitman, fully Walter "Walt" Whitman

"Suffering was a curse from which man fled, not it becomes a purification of the soul, a sacred trial sent by Eternal Love, a divine dispensation meant to sanctify and ennoble us, an acceptable aid to faith, a strange initiation into happiness." - Henri Frédéric Amiel

"The natural world is the larger sacred community to which we belong. To be alienated from this community is to become destitute in all that makes us human." - Thomas Berry

"Ideas have consequences. If human life is not sacred, it is expendable. It we are mere brutes, then we can be bred for better pedigree like any dog… The eugenic idea is that we do not want to allow “defective stock” to be bred. Today we abort millions of children, often on the basis of a “high risk” of some disorder." - Joe Boot

"As the artist creates patterns in a vain effort to catch a beauty which escapes him, because it is behind his thought and never realized in what he sees, so the love of God beckons and draws the soul of man, though he has never heard the sacred Name." - Martin D’Arcy, fully Fr. Martin Cyril D'Arcy

"THERE is a soul above the soul of each, A mightier soul, which yet to each belongs: There is a sound made of all human speech, And numerous as the concourse of all songs: And in that soul lives each, in each that soul, Though all the ages are its lifetime vast; Each soul that dies, in its most sacred whole Receiveth life that shall forever last. And thus forever with a wider span Humanity o’erarches time and death; Man can elect the universal man, And live in life that ends not with his breath: And gather glory that increase still Till Time his glass with Death’s last dust shall fill. " - R. W. Dixon, fully Richard Watson Dixon

"Religion is a private matter. Religious thought, to have any kind of integrity at all, must be the most private, tremblingly sacred kind of awareness we have. When religious terminology is bandied about, it loses its religious character and becomes entirely political and coercive." - E. L. Doctorow, fully Edgar Lawrence Doctorow

"You positively owe no loyalty to anyone or anything but your own soul – and that is the most sacred loyalty you could have. Your loyalty is due to God, through your own spiritual development." - Emmet Fox

"How does time become holy? It becomes holy when a part of it is given to others, when we share and care and listen. Time is sanctified when we use it – to forgive and ask forgiveness; to remember things too long forgotten and to forget things too long remembered; to reclaim sacred things too casually abandoned and to abandon shabby things too highly cherished; to remember that life’s most crucial question is – how are we using time?" - Sidney Greenberg

"Some of the most sacred promises are made without words in the silent sanctuary of the soul." - Sidney Greenberg

"To glorify God is to be engaged in a concrete spirituality that refuses to draw marked distinctions between sacred and secular, contemplation and deed, theology and ethics." - John Douglas Hall

"The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth of information, but to face sacred moments... Spiritual life begins to decay when we fail to sense the grandeur of what is eternal in time... Judaism is a religion of time aiming at the sanctification of time." - Abraham Joshua Heschel