Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes


"Christianity is most admirably adapted to the training of slaves, to the perpetuation of a slave society; in short, to the very conditions confronting us to-day... The rulers of the earth have realized long ago what potent poison inheres in the Christian religion. That is the reason they foster it; that is why they leave nothing undone to instill it into the blood of the people. They know only too well that the subtleness of the Christian teachings is a more powerful protection against rebellion and discontent than the club or the gun." - Emma Goldman

"Free love? As if love is anything but free! Man has bought brains, but all the millions in the world have failed to buy love. Man has subdued bodies, but all the power on earth has been unable to subdue love. Man has conquered whole nations, but all his armies could not conquer love. Man has chained and fettered the spirit, but he has been utterly helpless before love. High on a throne, with all the splendor and pomp his gold can command, man is yet poor and desolate, if love passes him by. And if it stays, the poorest hovel is radiant with warmth, with life and color. Thus love has the magic power to make of a beggar a king. Yes, love is free; it can dwell in no other atmosphere. In freedom it gives itself unreservedly, abundantly, completely. All the laws on the statutes, all the courts in the universe, cannot tear it from the soil, once love has taken root." - Emma Goldman

"It is not possible that you could ever find yourself anywhere where God was not fully present, fully active, able and willing to set you free." - Emmet Fox

"A little fire is quickly trodden out." - English Proverbs

"O friend unseen, unborn, unknown, Student of our sweet English tongue, I never indulge in poetics - Unless I am down with rheumatics." - Ennius, fully Quintus Ennius NULL

"The pleasure of making things beautiful or useful involves your feelings as well as your thinking. When your original sketch evolves into a tangible, three-dimensional object, your heart is anxiously following the process of your work. And the love involved in making it is conveyed to those for whom you made it." - Eva Zeisel

"Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what." - Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

"Everyone is guilty at one time or another of throwing out questions that beg to be ignored, but mothers seem to have a market on the supply. Do you want a spanking or do you want to go to bed? Don't you want to save some of the pizza for your brother? Wasn't there any change?" - Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

"Never underestimate what it takes to watch someone you love in pain." - Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

"There was a time when the one singular thing that held a marriage together was the threat of getting the kids." - Erma Bombeck, fully Erma Louise Bombeck, born Erma Fiste

"For all organisms, then, opposing and obliterating power is evil – it threatens to stop experience. But men are truly sorry creatures because they have made death conscious. They can see evil in anything that wounds them, causes ill health, or even deprives them of pleasure. Consciousness means too that they have to be preoccupied with evil even in the absence of any immediate danger; their lives become a meditation on evil and a planned venture for controlling it and forestalling it." - Ernest Becker

"Not everyone is as honest as Freud was when he said that he cured the miseries of the neurotic only to open him up to the normal misery of life." - Ernest Becker

""Excellence," besought Kai Lung, not without misgivings, "how many warriors, each having some actual existence, are there in your never-failing band?" "For all purposes save those of attack and defence there are fifteen score of the best and bravest, as their pay-sheets well attest," was the confident response. "In a strictly literal sense, however, there are no more than can be seen on a mist-enshrouded day with a resolutely closed eye."" - Ernest Bramah, born Ernest Brammah Smith

"And that was the end of the beginning of that" - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"How simple the writing of literature would be if it were only necessary to write in another way what has been well written. It is because we have had such great writers in the past that a writer is driven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him." - Ernest Hemingway, fully Ernest Miller Hemingway

"When forces of oppression come to maintain themselves in power against established law, peace is considered already broken." - Che Guevara, fully Ernesto “Che” Guevara

"The value of the life of these lower savages is like that of the anthropoid apes, or very little higher. All recent travelers who have carefully observed them in their native lands, and studied their bodily structure and psychic life, agree in this opinion." - Ernst Haeckel, full name Ernst Heinrich Phillip August Haeckel

"The law of attraction is most understood when you see yourself as a magnet getting more and more of the way you FEEL." - Ester and Jerry Hicks

"So we must try to distinguish between two questions that are often confused in this discussion. Is the existence of God a truth demonstrable by natural reason, so that it is knowable and known with certitude? Without a doubt the answer to this first question is “yes.” The second question is whether everyone can consider his natural reason infallible in its effort to demonstrate rationally the existence of God? The merciless criticism of the proofs of St. Augustine, St. Anselm, Descartes, Malebranche and many others are timely reminders of the need for modesty. Are we keener philosophers than they? That is the whole question. Modesty is not skepticism. So we should not be afraid to let our mind pursue the proof of GodÂ’s existence until we reach the greatest possible certitude, but we should keep intact our faith in the word that reveals this truth to the most simple folk as well as to the most learned. Here it is well to meditate on the very complex and nuanced passage in ST 2-2.2.4: “Is it necessary to believe what can be proved by natural reason?” The answer is in the affirmative: “We must accept by faith not only what is above reason but also what can be known by reason.”" - Étienne Gilson, fully Étienne Henry Gilson

"I would no more teach children military training than teach them arson, robbery, or assassination." - Eugene V. Debs, fully Eugene Victor Debs

"We see by these instances what homage the world has formerly paid to beards; and that a barber was not then allowed to make those depredations on the faces of the learned which have been permitted him of late years." - Eustace Budgell

"The desecration of women indicated the failure of human beings to honor and protect life and that this failing would, if we did not correct it, be the end of us all." -

"Percussion is the most adaptable family of instruments. The biggest challenge is to project percussion in a lyrical way." - Evelyn Glennie, fully Evelyn Elizabeth Ann Glennie

"The thing about playing percussion is that you can create all these emotions that can be sometimes beautiful, sometimes really ugly, or sometimes sweet, sometimes as big as King Kong and so on. And so there can be a real riot out there, or it can be so refined." - Evelyn Glennie, fully Evelyn Elizabeth Ann Glennie

"Tonight I will speak to you about our beloved republic and the inspired agents whom God raised up to establish the foundation upon which our liberty rests. . . . I speak to you as members of the “household of faith,” the Lord’s true church, and remind you of your solemn charge to uphold, sustain, and defend the kingdom of God. The destiny of America was divinely decreed. The events that established our great nation were foreknown to God and revealed to prophets of old. As in an enacted drama, the players who came on the scene were rehearsed and selected for their parts. Their talent, abilities, capacities, and weaknesses were known before they were born." - Ezra Taft Benson

"You must keep your honor. You cannot yet speak officially for the country, but you can become informed. You can speak your mind. You may think you can do little about the national economy or the actions of our government and the moral weakness all about us, but we must all remember that the Lord has placed great responsibilities upon the elders of Israel in the preservation of our Constitution." - Ezra Taft Benson

"The truth is that fullness of soul can sometimes overflow in utter vapidity of language, for none of us can ever express the exact measure of his needs or his thoughts or his sorrows; and human speech is like a cracked kettle on which we tap crude rhythms for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the stars." - Gustave Flaubert

"What stops me from taking myself seriously, even though I am essentially a serious person, is that I find myself extremely ridiculous, not in the sense of the small-scale ridiculousness of slap-stick comedy, but rather in the sense of ridiculousness that seems intrinsic to human life and that manifests itself in the simplest actions and the most extraordinary gestures." - Gustave Flaubert

"If women believed in their husbands they would be a good deal happier and also a good deal more foolish." - H. L. Mencken, fully Henry Louis Mencken

"Water past will not turn the mill." -

"What shall I say when it is better to say nothing?" -

"Life implies constant activity, and the vital principle was accordingly regarded as something essentially active, constantly controlling and therefore interfering with physical tendencies towards disintegration of organic structure, and building up new organic structure in the process of nutrition and reproduction." - J. B. S. Haldane, fully John Burdon Sanderson Haldane

"The future will be no primrose path. It will have its own problems. Some will be the secular problems of the past, giant flowers of evil blossoming at last to their own destruction. Others will be wholly new." - J. B. S. Haldane, fully John Burdon Sanderson Haldane

"Do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends." - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

"FRODO: I can't recall the taste of food, nor the sound of water, nor the touch of grass. I'm naked in the dark. There's nothing--no veil between me and the wheel of fire. I can see him with my waking eyes. SAM: Then let us be rid of it, once and for all. I can't carry the ring for you, but I can carry you! Come on!" - J. R. R. Tolkien, fully John Ronald Reuel Tolkien