Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Jeremy Taylor
 
  In every action reflect upon the end; and in your undertaking it consider why you do it.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  1
 
  It is not much business that distracts any man; but the want of purity, constancy, and tendency towards God.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  2
 
  All is well as long as the sun shines and the fair breath of heaven gently wafts us to our own purposes. But if you will try the excellency and feel the work of faith, place the man in a persecution; let him ride in a storm; let his bones be broken with sorrow, and his eyelids loosed with sickness; let his bread be dipped with tears, and all the daughters of music be brought low; let us come to sit upon the margin of our grave, and let a tyrant lean hard upon our fortunes and dwell upon our wrong; let the storm arise, and the keels toss till the cordage crack, or that all our hopes bulge under us, and descend into the hollowness of sad misfortunes.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  3
 
  When a storm of sad mischance beats upon our spirits, turn it into advantage, to serve religion or prudence.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  4
 
  Sad accidents, and a state of affliction, is a school of virtue: it corrects levity, and interrupts the confidence of sinning.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  5
 
  That which thou dost not understand when thou readest, thou shalt understand in the day of thy visitation. For many secrets of religion are not perceived till they be felt, and are not felt but in the day of a great calamity.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  6
 
  Old women, and men too,… seek, as it were, by Medea’s charms, to recoct their corps, as she Æson’s, from feeble deformities to sprightly handsomeness.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  7
 
  Ambition is full of distractions; it teems with stratagems, and is swelled with expectations as with a tympany. It sleeps sometimes as the wind in a storm, still and quiet for a minute, that it may burst out into an impetuous blast till the cordage of his heart-strings crack.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  8
 
  There is no greater unreasonableness in the world than in the designs of ambition; for it makes the present certainly miserable, unsatisfied, troublesome, and discontented, for the uncertain acquisition of an honour which nothing can secure; and, besides a thousand possibilities of miscarrying, it relies upon no greater certainty than our life: and when we are dead all the world sees who was the fool.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  9
 
  He that boasts of his ancestors, the founders and raisers of a family, doth confess that he hath less virtue.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  10
 
  Anger is like the waves of a troubled sea; when it is corrected with a soft reply, as with a little strand, it retires, and leaves nothing behind but froth and shells—no permanent mischief.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  11
 
  The anger of an enemy represents our faults or admonishes us of our duty with more heartiness than the kindness of a friend.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  12
 
  He whose life seems fair, yet if all his errors and follies were articled against him the man would seem vicious and miserable.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  13
 
  God is pleased with no music below so much as in the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows, of supported orphans, of rejoicing, and comforted, and thankful persons. This part of our communication does the work of God and of our neighbours, and bears us to heaven in streams made by the overflowing of our brother’s comfort.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  14
 
  Let the women of noble birth and great fortunes visit poor cottages and relieve their necessities.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  15
 
 
 
  It is no great matter to live lovingly with good-natured and meek persons; but he that can do so with the froward and precise, he only hath true charity.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  16
 
  All those instances of charity which usually endear each other, sweetness of conversation, affability, frequent admonition, all signification of love, tenderness, care, and watchfulness, must be expressed towards children.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  17
 
  Christ gave us his spirit to enable us to suffer injuries, and made that the parts of suffering evils should be the matter of three or four Christian graces,—of patience, of fortitude, of longanimity, and perseverance.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  18
 
  No man can be provident of his time, who is not prudent in the choice of his company.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  19
 
  He that confesses his sin, and prays for pardon, hath punished his fault: and then there is nothing left to be done by the offended party but to return to charity.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  20
 
  There is a great measure of discretion to be used in the performance of confession, so that you neither omit it when your own heart may tell you that there is something amiss, nor overscrupulously pursue it when you are not conscious to yourself of notable failings.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  21
 
  Be not confident and affirmative in an uncertain matter, but report things modestly and temperately, according to the degree of that persuasion which is or ought to be begotten by the efficacy of the authority or the reason inducing thee.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  22
 
  He that puts his confidence in God only is neither overjoyed in any great good things of this life, nor sorrowful for a little thing.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  23
 
  God is present in the consciences of good and bad: he is there a remembrancer to call our actions to mind, and a witness to bring them to judgment.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  24
 
  To secure a contented spirit, measure your desires by your fortunes, and not your fortunes by your desires.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  25
 
  It conduces much to our content, if we pass by those things which happen to our trouble, and consider that which is prosperous; that by the representation of the better, the worse may be blotted out.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  26
 
  Entertain no long discourse with any but, if you can, bring in something to season it with religion.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  27
 
  The great endearments of prudent and temperate speech.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  28
 
  At doomsday, when the terrors are universal, besides that it is in itself so much greater, because it can affright the whole world, it is also made greater by communication and a sorrowful influence; grief being then strongly infectious when there is no variety of state, but an entire kingdom of fear; and amazement is the king of all our passions, and all the world its subjects. And that shriek must needs be terrible when millions of men and women, at the same instant, shall fearfully cry out, and the noise shall mingle with the trumpet of the archangel, with the thunders of the dying and groaning heavens, and the crack of the dissolving world, when the whole fabric of nature shall shake into dissolution and eternal ashes!
Jeremy Taylor.    
  29
 
  How shall I be able to suffer that God should redargue me at doomsday, and the angels reproach my lukewarmness?
Jeremy Taylor.    
  30
 
  It must needs be a fearful exprobation of our unworthiness when the Judge himself shall bear witness against us.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  31
 
  Take away but the pomps of death, the disguises and solemn bugbears, and the actings by candlelight, and proper and fantastic ceremonies, the minstrels and the noise-makers, the women and the weepers, the swoonings and the shriekings, the nurses and the physicians, the dark room and the ministers, the kindred and the watches, and then to die is easy, ready, and quitted from its troublesome circumstances. It is the same harmless thing that a poor shepherd suffered yesterday, or a maid-servant to-day; and at the same time in which you die, in that very night a thousand creatures die with you, some wise men and many fools; and the wisdom of the first will not quit him, and the folly of the latter does not make him unable to die.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  32
 
  For the death of the righteous is like the descending of ripe and wholesome fruits from a pleasant and florid tree. Our senses entire, our limbs unbroken, without horrid tortures; after provision made for our children, with a blessing entailed upon posterity, in the presence of our friends, our dearest relatives closing our eyes and binding our feet, leaving a good name behind us.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  33
 
  As the hope of salvation is a good disposition towards it, so is despair a certain consignment to eternal ruin.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  34
 
  It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his helper is omnipotent.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  35
 
  In retirement make frequent colloquies or short discoursings between God and thy own soul.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  36
 
  To reprove discontent, the ancients feigned that in hell stood a man twisting a rope of hay; and still he twisted on, suffering an ass to eat up all that was finished.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  37
 
  We are not solicitous of the opinion and censures of men, but only that we do our duty.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  38
 
  All our duty is set down in our prayers, because in all our duty we beg the divine assistance, and remember that you are bound to do all those duties for the doing of which you have prayed for the divine assistance.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  39
 
  Nor provided our duty be secured, for the degrees and instruments every man is permitted to himself.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  40
 
  Men are miserable if their education hath been so undisciplined as to leave them unfurnished of skill to spend their time; but most miserable if such misgovernment and unskilfulness make them fall into vicious company.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  41
 
  It is a huge folly rather to grieve for the good of others than to rejoice for that good which God hath given us of our own.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  42
 
  The truly virtuous do not easily credit evil that is told them of their neighbours; for if others may do amiss, then may these also speak amiss: man is frail, and prone to evil, and therefore may soon fail in words.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  43
 
  The faith of many men seems a duty so weak and indifferent, is so often untwisted by violence, or ravelled and entangled in weak discourses!
Jeremy Taylor.    
  44
 
  Faith believes the revelations of God; hope expects his promises; charity loves his excellencies and mercies.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  45
 
  If he pay thee to the utmost farthing, thou hast forgiven nothing: it is merchandise, and not forgiveness, to restore him that does as much as you can require.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  46
 
  We ourselves make our fortunes good or bad; and when God lets loose a tyrant upon us, or a sickness, if we fear to die, or know not to be patient, the calamity sits heavy upon us.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  47
 
  A good man is the best friend, and therefore soonest to be chosen, longest to be retained, and indeed never to be parted with, unless he ceases to be that for which he was chosen.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  48
 
  Consider the rules of friendship, lest justice turn into unmercifulness.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  49
 
  He that doth a base thing in zeal for his friend, burns the golden thread that ties their hearts together.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  50
 
  The spirit of manifestation will but upbraid you in the shame and horror of a sad eternity, if you have not the spirit of absignation.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  51
 
  Enjoy the present, whatsoever it be, and be not solicitous about the future.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  52
 
  God brings good out of evil; and therefore it were but reason we should trust God to govern his own world.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  53
 
  Let us always bear about us such impressions of reverence, and fear of God, that we may humble ourselves before his almightiness, and express that infinite distance between his infiniteness and our weaknesses.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  54
 
  Certain it is, that as nothing can better do it, so there is nothing greater for which God made our tongues, next to reciting his praises, than to minister comfort to a weary soul. And what greater measure can we have than that we should bring joy to our brother, who with his dreary eyes looks to heaven and round about, and cannot find so much rest as to lay his eyelids close together—than that thy tongue should be tuned with heavenly accents, and make the weary soul to listen for light and ease; and when he perceives that there is such a thing in the world, and in the order of things, as comfort and joy, to begin to break out from his sorrows at the door of sighs and tears, and by little and little melt into showers and refreshment? This is glory to thy voice, and employment fit for the brightest angel…. So is the heart of a sorrowful man under the discourses of a wise comforter: he breaks from the despairs of the grave, and the fetters and chains of sorrow; he blesses God, and he blesses thee, and he feels his life returning: for to be miserable is death, but nothing is life but to be comforted, and God is pleased with no music from below so much as in the thanksgiving songs of relieved widows, of supported orphans, of rejoicing, and comforted, and thankful persons.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  55
 
  Every degree of recession from the state of grace Christ first put us in is a recession from our hopes.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  56
 
  Gather together into your spirit, and its treasure-house the memory, not only all the promises of God, but also the former senses of the divine favours.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  57
 
  The more tender our spirits are made by religion the more easy we are to let in grief, if the cause be grief.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  58
 
  Though the man can run from many hours of his sadness, yet he must return to it again, and when he sits among his neighbours he remembers the objection that lies in his bosom, and he sighs deeply.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  59
 
  It will appear how impertinent that grief was which served no end of life.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  60
 
  No rules can make amiability; our minds and apprehensions make that; and so is our felicity.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  61
 
  Think of heaven with hearty purposes and peremptory designs to get thither.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  62
 
  He that creates to himself thousands of little hopes, uncertain in the promise, fallible in the event, and depending upon a thousand circumstances, often fails his expectations.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  63
 
  Humility consists not in wearing mean clothes, and going softly and submissly, but in mean opinion of thyself.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  64
 
  Humility is like a tree, whose root when it sets deepest in the earth rises higher, and spreads fairer, and stands surer, and lasts longer, and every step of its descent is like a rib of iron.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  65
 
  All the world, all that we ate, and all that we have, our bodies and our souls, our actions and our sufferings, our conditions at home, our accidents abroad, our many sins, and our seldom virtues, are so many arguments to make our souls dwell low in the deep valley of humility.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  66
 
  Whoever is a hypocrite in his religion mocks God, presenting to him the outside, and reserving the inward for his enemy.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  67
 
  An idle person is like one that is dead; unconcerned in the changes and necessities of the world.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  68
 
  So long as idleness is quite shut out from our lives, all the sins of wantonness, softness, and effeminacy are prevented; and there is but little room for temptation.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  69
 
  It is impossible to make people understand their ignorance, for it requires knowledge to perceive it; and therefore he that can perceive it, hath it not.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  70
 
  The consideration of the divine omnipotence and infinite wisdom, and our own ignorance, are great instruments of silencing the murmurs of infidelity.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  71
 
  Some will never believe a proposition in divinity if anything can be said against it: they will be credulous in all affairs of life, but impenetrable by a sermon of the gospel.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  72
 
  Drunkenness calls off the watchmen from their towers; and then all evils that proceed from a loose heart, an untied tongue, and a dissolute spirit, we put upon its account.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  73
 
  Nothing is so great an enemy to tranquillity, and a contented spirit, as the amazement and confusions of unreadiness and inconsideration.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  74
 
  Abstain from dissolute laughter, uncomely jests, loud talking and jeering, which, in civil account, are called indecencies and incivilities.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  75
 
  If we are not extremely foolish, thankless, or senseless, a great joy is more apt to cure sorrow than a great trouble is.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  76
 
  Princes in judgment, and their delegate judges, must judge the causes of all persons uprightly and impartially, without any personal consideration.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  77
 
  In judgments between rich and poor, consider not what the poor man needs, but what is his own.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  78
 
  No obligation to justice does force a man to be cruel, or to use the sharpest sentence. A just man does justice to every man and to every thing; and then, if he be also wise, he knows there is a debt of mercy and compassion due to the infirmities of man’s nature; and that is to be paid: and he that is cruel and ungentle to a sinning person, and does the worst to him, dies in his debt and is unjust. Pity, and forbearance, and long-sufferance, and fair interpretation, and excusing our brother, and taking in the best sense, and passing the gentlest sentences, are as certainly our duty, and owing to every person that does offend and can repent, as calling to account can be owing to the law, and are first to be paid; and he that does not so is an unjust person.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  79
 
  Laughing, if loud, ends in a deep sigh; and all pleasures have a sting in the tail, though they carry beauty on the face.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  80
 
  A good law without execution is like an unperformed promise.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  81
 
  As long as law is obligatory, so long our obedience is due.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  82
 
  To be proud of learning is the greatest ignorance.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  83
 
  Here thou art but a stranger travelling to thy country; it is therefore a huge folly to be afflicted because thou hast a less convenient inn to lodge in by the way.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  84
 
  Propound to thyself a constant rule of living, which, though it may not be fit to observe scrupulously, lest it become a snare to thy conscience or endanger thy health, yet let not thy rule be broken.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  85
 
  He lived according to nature; the other by ill customs, and measures taken by other men’s eyes and tongues.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  86
 
  Pirates have fair winds and a calm sea when the just and peaceful merchant-man hath them.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  87
 
  There can but two things create love, perfection and usefulness; to which answer on our part, 1. Admiration, and 2. Desire: and both these are centred in love.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  88
 
  Consider the immensity of the divine love, expressed in all the emanations of his providence; in his creation, in his consecration of us.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  89
 
  The experience of those profitable emanations from God most commonly are the first motive of our love; but when we once have tasted his goodness we love the spring for its own excellency; passing from considering ourselves to an union with God.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  90
 
  The love of God makes a man chaste without the laborious acts of fasting and exterior disciplines: he reaches at glory without any other arms than those of love.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  91
 
  Some married persons, even in their marriage, do better please God than some virgins in their state of virginity: they, by giving great examples of conjugal affection, by preserving their faith unbroken, and by educating children in the fear of God, please God in a higher degree than those virgins whose piety is not answerable to their opportunities.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  92
 
  Meditate till you make some act of piety upon the occasion of what you meditate: either get some new arguments against a sin or some new encouragements to virtue.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  93
 
  Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit; and our wandering thoughts in prayer are but the neglects of meditation and recessions from that duty; and according as we neglect meditation so are our prayers imperfect,—meditation being the soul of prayer and the intention of our spirit.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  94
 
  Religion is no friend to laziness and stupidity, or to supine and sottish despondencies of mind.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  95
 
  The love of money is a vertiginous pool, sucking all into it to destroy it. It is troubled and uneven, giddy and unsafe, serving no end but its own, and that also in a restless and uneasy motion. But the love of God is a holy fountain, limpid and pure, sweet and salutary, lasting and eternal. The love of God spends itself upon Him, to receive again the reflections of grace and benediction: the love of money spends all its desires upon itself, to purchase nothing but unsatisfying instruments of exchange or supernumerary provisions, and ends in dissatisfaction, emptiness of spirit, and a bitter curse.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  96
 
  To be impatient at the death of a person concerning whom it was certain he must die, is to mourn, because thy friend was not born an angel.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  97
 
  Parents must give good example and reverent deportment in the face of their children. And all those instances of charity which usually endear each other—sweetness of conversation, affability, frequent admonition—all significations of love and tenderness, care and watchfulness, must be expressed towards children; that they may look upon their parents as their friends and patrons, their defence and sanctuary, their treasure and their guide.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  98
 
  From inordinate love, and vain fear, comes all unquietness of spirit, and distraction of our senses.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  99
 
  Impatience turns an ague into a fever, a fever to the plague, fear into despair, anger into rage, loss into madness, and sorrow to amazement.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  100
 
  It is too much untwisted by the doctors, and (like philosophy) made intricate by explications, and difficult by the aperture and dissolution of distinctions.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  101
 
  Look upon pleasures not upon that side that is next the sun, or where they look beauteously; that is as they come towards you to be enjoyed; for then they paint and smile, and dress themselves up in tinsel, and glass gems, and counterfeit imagery.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  102
 
  He that spends his time in sports is like him whose garment is all made of fringes, and his meat nothing but sauces: they are healthless, chargeable, and useless.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  103
 
  We think poverty to be infinitely desirable before the torments of covetousness.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  104
 
  When thou receivest praise, take it indifferently, and return it to God, the giver of the gift, or blesser of the action.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  105
 
  Prayer is the peace of our spirit, the stillness of our thoughts, the evenness of recollection, the seat of meditation, the rest of our cares, and the calm of our tempest: prayer is the issue of a quiet mind, of untroubled thoughts; it is the daughter of charity, and the sister of meekness; and he that prays to God with an angry, that is, with a troubled and discomposed, spirit, is like him that retires into a battle to meditate, and sets up his closet in the out-quarters of an army, and chooses a frontier-garrison to be wise in.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  106
 
  Do not omit thy prayers for want of a good oratory: for he that prayeth on God’s account cares not what he suffers, so he be the friend of Christ; nor where nor when he prays, so he may do it frequently, fervently, and acceptably.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  107
 
  There is no greater argument in the world of our spiritual weakness, and the falseness of our hearts in matters of religion, than the backwardness most men have always, and all men sometimes, to say their prayers; so weary of their length, so glad when they are done, so ready to find an excuse, so apt to lose an opportunity. Yet it is no labour, no trouble, they are thus anxious to avoid, but the begging a blessing and receiving it: honouring our God, and by so doing honouring ourselves too.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  108
 
  Mental prayer, when our spirits wander, is like a watch standing still because the spring is down: wind it up again, and it goes on regularly. But in vocal prayer, if the words run on and the spirit wanders, the clock strikes false, the hand points not to the right hour, because something is in disorder, and the striking is nothing but noise. In mental prayer we confess God’s omniscience, in vocal prayer we call angels to witness. In the first, our spirits rejoice in God; in the second, the angels rejoice in us. Mental prayer is the best remedy against lightness and indifferency of affections, but vocal prayer is the aptest instrument of communion. That is more angelical, but yet is fittest for the state of separation and glory; this is but human, but it is apter for our present constitution. They have their distinct proprieties, and may be used according to several accidents, occasions, or dispositions.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  109
 
  When you lie down, close your eyes with a short prayer, commit yourself into the hands of your faithful creator; and when you have done, trust him with yourself, as you must do when you are dying.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  110
 
  Sermons are not like curious inquiries after new-nothings, but pursuances of old truths.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  111
 
  Prosperities can only be enjoyed by them who fear not at all to lose them.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  112
 
  He that creates us and daily feeds, he that entreats us to be happy, with an importunity so passionate as if not we, but himself, were to receive the favour.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  113
 
  If these little sparks of holy fire which I have thus heaped up together do not give life to your prepared and already enkindled spirit, yet they will sometimes help to entertain a thought, to actuate a passion, to employ and hallow a fancy.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  114
 
  Let not your recreations be lavish spenders of your time, but choose such as are healthful, recreative, and apt to refresh you: but at no hand dwell upon them.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  115
 
  A good man will go a little out of his road to reduce the wandering traveller; but, if he will not return, it will be an unreasonable compliance to go along with him to the end of his wandering.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  116
 
  Many believe the article of remission of sins, but they believe it without the condition of repentance, or the fruits of holy life. We believe the article otherwise than God intended it.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  117
 
  Begin every day to repent; not that thou shouldst ever defer it; but all that is past ought to seem little to thee, seeing it is so in itself. Begin the next day with the same zeal, fear, and humility, as if thou hadst never begun before.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  118
 
  Have you wept for your sin so that you were indeed sorrowful in your spirit? Are you so sorrowful that you hate it? Do you so hate it that you have left it?
Jeremy Taylor.    
  119
 
  A pure and simple revenge does in no way restore man towards the felicity which the injury did interrupt. For revenge is but doing a simple evil, and does not, in its formality, imply reparation; for the mere repeating of our own right is permitted to them that will do it by charitable instruments. All the evils of human felicity are secured without revenge, for without it we are permitted to restore ourselves; and therefore it is against natural reason to do an evil that no way co-operates the proper and perfective end of human nature. And he is a miserable person whose good is the evil of his neighbour; and he that revenges, in many cases, does worse than he that did the injury; in all cases as bad.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  120
 
  For the matter of your confession, let it be severe and serious; but yet so that it may be without any inordinate anxiety, and unnecessary scruples, which only entangle the soul.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  121
 
  Let us take care that we sleep not without such a recollection of the actions of the day as may represent anything that is remarkable as matter of sorrow or thanksgiving.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  122
 
  Plato told to Dion that of all things in the world he should beware of that folly by which most men please themselves and despise a better judgment.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  123
 
  While thou art well thou mayest do much good; but when thou art sick thou canst not tell what thou shalt be able to do: it is not very much or very good. Few men mend with sickness, as there are but few who by travel and a wandering life become devout.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  124
 
  I have seen the little purls of a spring sweat through the bottom of a bank, and intenerate the stubborn pavement, till it hath made it fit for the impression of a child’s foot; and it was despised, like the descending pearls of a misty morning, till it had opened its way and made a stream large enough to carry away the ruins of the undermined strand, and to invade the neighbouring gardens: but then the despised drops were grown into an artificial river, and an intolerable mischief. So are the first entrances of sin stopped with the antidotes of a hearty prayer, and checked into sobriety by the eye of a reverend man, or the counsels of a single sermon: but when such beginnings are neglected, and our religion hath not in it so much philosophy as to think anything evil as long as we can endure it, they grow up to ulcers and pestilential evils; they destroy the soul by their abode, who at their first entrance might have been killed with the pressure of a little finger. He that hath passed many stages of a good life, to prevent his being tempted to a single sin, must be very careful that he never entertain his spirit with the remembrances of his past sin, nor amuse it with the fantastic apprehensions of the present. When the Israelites fancied the sapidness and relish of the flesh-pots, they longed to taste and to return.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  125
 
  He that does as well in private between God and his own soul, as in public, hath given himself a testimony that his purposes are full of honesty, nobleness, and integrity.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  126
 
  No man can make another man to be his slave unless he hath first enslaved himself to life and death, to pleasure or pain, to hope or fear: command those passions, and you are freer than the Parthian king.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  127
 
  Spend not your time in that which profits not: for your labour and your health, your time and your studies, are very valuable; and it is a thousand pities to see a diligent and hopeful person spend himself in gathering cockle-shells and little pebbles, in telling sands upon the shores, and making garlands of useless daisies. Study that which is profitable, that which will make you useful to churches and commonwealths, that which will make you desirable and wise. Only I shall add this to you, that in learning there are variety of things as well as in religion: there is mint and cummin, and there are the weighty things of the law; so there are studies more and less useful, and everything that is useful will be required in its time: and I may in this also use the words of our blessed Saviour, “These things ought you to look after, and not to leave the other unregarded.” But your great care is to be in the things of God and of religion, in holiness and true wisdom, remembering the saying of Origen, “That the knowledge that arises from goodness is something that is more certain and more divine than all demonstration,” than all other learnings of the world.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  128
 
  Every inordination of religion that is not in defect is properly called superstition.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  129
 
  Every man rejoices twice when he has a partner of his joy; a friend shares my sorrow and makes it but a moiety; but he swells my joy and makes it double. For so two channels divide the river, and lessen it into rivulets, and make it fordable, and apt to be drunk up by the first revels of the Sirian star; but two torches do not divide but increase the flame: and though my tears are the sooner dried up when they run on my friend’s cheeks in the furrows of compassion, yet when my flame hath kindled his lamp we unite the glories and make them radiant, like the golden candlesticks that burn before the throne of God, because they shine by numbers, by unions, and confederations of light and joy.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  130
 
  The greatest talkers in the days of peace have been the most pusillanimous in the day of temptation.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  131
 
  In time of temptation be not busy to dispute, but rely upon the conclusion, and throw yourself upon God, and contend not with him but in prayer.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  132
 
  The privative blessings—the blessings of immunity, safeguard, liberty, and integrity—which we enjoy deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  133
 
  At opening your eyes, enter upon the day with thanksgiving for the preservation of you the last night, with the glorification of God for the works of creation.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  134
 
  No man can be provident of his time that is not provident in the choice of his company; and if one of the speakers be vain, tedious, and trifling, he that hears and he that answers are equal losers of their time.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  135
 
  All men resolved upon this, that, though they had not yet hit upon the right, yet some way must be thought upon to reconcile differences in opinion; thinking so long as this variety should last, Christ’s kingdom was not advanced, and the work of the gospel went on but slowly. Few men, in the mean time, considered, that so long as men had such variety of principles, such several constitutions, educations, tempers, and distempers, hopes, interests, and weaknesses, degrees of light and degrees of understanding, it was impossible all should be of one mind. And what is impossible to be done, is not necessary it should be done.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  136
 
  All our tragedies are of kings and princes.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  137
 
  Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error before an afflicted truth.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  138
 
  Obedience is a complicated act of virtue, and many graces are exercised in one act of obedience. It is an act of humility, of mortification and self-denial, of charity to God, of care of the public, of order and charity to ourselves. It is a great instance of a victory over the most refractory passions.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  139
 
  Secure their religion, season their younger years with prudent and pious principles.
Jeremy Taylor.    
  140
 
  He is a good man who grieves rather for him that injures him than for his own suffering; who prays for him who wrongs him, forgiving all his faults; who sooner shows mercy than anger; who offers violence to his appetite in all things; endeavouring to subdue the flesh to the spirit. This is an excellent abbreviature of the whole duty of a Christian.
Jeremy Taylor: Guide to Devotion.    
  141
 
  No man truly knoweth himself but he groweth daily more contemptible in his own eyes.
Jeremy Taylor: Guide to Devotion.    
  142
 
  When the clock strikes, or however else you shall measure the day, it is good to say a short ejaculation every hour, that the parts and returns of devotion may be the measure of your time: and do so also in all the breaches of thy sleep; that those spaces which have in them no direct business of the world may be filled with religion.
Jeremy Taylor: Holy Living: Care of our Time.    
  143
 
  In the morning, when you awake, accustom yourself to think first upon God, or something in order to his service; and at night also, let him close thine eyes: and let your sleep be necessary and healthful, not idle and expensive of time, beyond the needs and conveniences of nature; and sometimes be curious to see the preparation which the sun makes when he is coming forth from his chambers of the east.
Jeremy Taylor: Holy Living: Care of our Time.    
  144
 
  Husbands must give to their wives love, maintenance, duty, and the sweetnesses of conversation; and wives must pay to them all they have or can, with the interest of obedience and reverence: and they must be complicated in affections and interest, that there be no distinction between them of mine and thine.
Jeremy Taylor: Holy Living: Rules for Married Persons.    
  145
 
  Advocates must deal plainly with their clients, and tell the true state of their case.
Jeremy Taylor: Rule and Exercise of Holy Living.    
  146
 
  A wise man shall overrule his stars, and have a greater influence upon his own content than all the constellations and planets of the firmament.
Jeremy Taylor: Rule of Holy Living.    
  147
 
  Let the measure of your affirmation or denial be the understanding of your contractor; for he that deceives the buyer or the seller by speaking what is true in a sense not understood by the other, is a thief.
Jeremy Taylor: Rule of Holy Living.    
  148
 
  He that is envious or angry at a virtue that is not his own, at the perfection and excellency of his neighbour, is not covetous of the virtue, but of its reward and reputation; and then his intentions are polluted.
Jeremy Taylor: Rule of Holy Living.    
  149
 
  To be perpetually longing and impatiently desirous of anything, so that a man cannot abstain from it, is to lose a man’s liberty, and to become a servant of meat and drink, or smoke.
Jeremy Taylor: Rule of Holy Living.    
  150
 
  In making laws, princes must have regard to the public dispositions, to the affections and disaffections of the people, and must not introduce a law with public scandal and displeasure.
Jeremy Taylor: Rule of Holy Living.    
  151
 
  The negative precepts of men may cease by many instruments: by contrary customs; by public disrelish; by long omission: but the negative precepts of God never can cease but when they are expressly abrogated by the same authority.
Jeremy Taylor: Rule of Holy Living.    
  152
 
  No man is fervent and zealous as he ought, but he that prefers religion before business, charity before his own ease, the relief of his brother before money, heaven before secular regards, and God before his friend or interest. Which rule is not to be understood absolutely, and in particular instances, but always generally; and when it descends to particulars it must be in proportion to circumstances, and by their proper measures.
Jeremy Taylor: Twenty-five Sermons Preached at Golden Grove: XIII., Of Lukewarmness and Zeal.    
  153
 
  The state of marriage fills up the numbers of the elect, and hath in it the labour of love, and the delicacies of friendship, the blessing of society, and the union of hands and hearts; it hath in it less of beauty, but more of safety, than the single life; it hath more care, but less danger; it is more merry, and more sad; it is fuller of sorrows, and fuller of joys; it lies under more burdens, but is supported by all the strengths of love and charity, and those burdens are delightful. Marriage is the mother of the world, and preserves kingdoms, and fills cities, churches, and heaven itself.
Jeremy Taylor: Twenty-five Sermons Preached at Golden Grove: XVII., The Marriage Ring.    
  154
 
  Man and wife are equally concerned to avoid all offences of each other in the beginning of their conversation: every little thing can blast an infant blossom; and the breath of the south can shake the little rings of the vine when first they begin to curl like the locks of a new-weaned boy; but when by age and consolidation they stiffen into the hardness of a stem, and have, by the warm embraces of the sun and the kisses of heaven, brought forth their clusters, they can endure the storms of the north, and the loud noises of a tempest, and yet never be broken: so are the early unions of an unfixed marriage: watchful and observant, jealous and busy, inquisitive and careful, and apt to take alarm at every unkind word…. After the hearts of the man and the wife are endeared and hardened by a mutual confidence, and experience longer than artifice and pretence can last, there are a great many remembrances, and some things present, that dash all little unkindnesses in pieces.
Jeremy Taylor: Twenty-five Sermons Preached at Golden Grove: XVII., The Marriage Ring.    
  155
 
  Life or death, felicity or a lasting sorrow, are in the power of marriage. A woman indeed ventures most, for she hath no sanctuary to retire to from an evil husband: she must dwell upon her sorrow, and hatch the eggs which her own folly or infelicity hath produced; and she is more under it, because her tormentor hath a warrant of prerogative, and the woman may complain to God as subjects do of tyrant princes, but otherwise she hath no appeal in the causes of unkindness. And though the man can run from many hours of his sadness, yet he must return to it again, and when he sits among his neighbours, he remembers the objection that lies in his bosom, and he sighs deeply.
Jeremy Taylor: Twenty-five Sermons Preached at Golden Grove: XVII., The Marriage Ring.    
  156
 
  Marcus Aurelius said, that a wise man ought often to admonish his wife, to reprove her seldom, but never to lay his hands upon her…. “Etiam vipera virus ob nuptiarum venerationem evomit,” “The viper casts all his poison when he marries his female.”… He is worse than a viper who for the reverence of this sacred union will not abstain from such a poisonous bitterness…. No man can tell but he that loves his children, how many delicious accents make a man’s heart dance in the pretty conversation of those dear pledges; their childishness, their stammering, their little angers, their innocence, their imperfections, their necessities, are so many little emanations of joy and comfort to him that delights in their persons and society; but he that loves not his wife and children feeds a lioness at home and broods a nest of sorrows.
Jeremy Taylor: Twenty-five Sermons preached at Golden Grove: XVIII., The Marriage.    
  157
 
  Fearful it is to consider that sin does not only drive us into calamity, but it makes us also impatient, and embitters our spirit in the sufferance: it cries aloud for vengeance, and so torments men before the time even with such fearful outcries, and horrid alarms, that their hell begins before the fire is kindled. It hinders our prayers, and consequently makes us hopeless and helpless. It perpetually affrights the conscience, unless by its frequent stripes it brings a callousness and an insensible damnation upon it. It makes us to lose all that which Christ purchased for us,—all the blessings of his providence, the comforts of his Spirit, the aids of his grace, the light of his countenance, the hopes of his glory.
Jeremy Taylor: Twenty-five Sermons Preached at Golden Grove: XXII., Apples of Sodom.    
  158
 
  God delights in the ministries of his own choice, and the methods of grace, in the economy of heaven, and the dispensations of eternal happiness.
Jeremy Taylor: Worthy Communicant.    
  159
 
 
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