Short pithy quotes from Hannah More

(1745 1833)

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Prayer is not eloquence, but earnestness.

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A corrupt practice may be abolished but a soiled imagination is not easily cleansed.

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Affliction is the school in which great virtues are acquired and in which great characters are formed.

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All men desire the gifts of God but few desire God Himself.

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Eternity is a depth which . . .
  no geometry can measure,
  no arithmetic calculate,
  no imagination conceive,
  and no rhetoric describe.

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Luxury and dissipation as soft and gentle as their approaches are, and as silently as they throw their silken chains about the heart enslave it more than the most active and turbulent vices!

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The ingenuity of self-deception is inexhaustible!

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If I wished to punish my enemy I would make him hate somebody!

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There is one single fact that one may oppose to all the wit and argument of infidelity namely, that no man ever repented of being a Christian on his deathbed.

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Pride never sleeps it is always awake. An intemperate man is sometimes sober but a proud man is never humble.

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Anger is a violent act while envy is a constant habit.
No one can be always angry but he may be always envious.

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Those who lack nothing are apt to forget how many there are who lack everything.

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Expectation quickens desire. Possession deadens it.

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We live in an age which must be amused!

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After all that corrupt poets, and more corrupt philosophers, have told us of the blandishments of pleasure, and of its tendency to soften the temper and humanize the affections it is certain, that nothing hardens the heart like excessive and unbounded luxury.

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Going to the theater, like getting drunk is a sin that carries its own punishment with it.

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It is the large aggregate of small things perpetually occurring which robs me of all my time.

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Our merciful Father has no pleasure in the sufferings of His children. He chastens them in love. He never inflicts a stroke He could safely spare. He inflicts it to purify as well as to punish, to caution as well as to cure, to improve as well as to chastise.

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When we read of Christian martyrs we imagine that we could be one.
When we come to act we cannot even bear a provoking word.

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Idleness among children, as among men is the root of all evil, and leads to no other evil more certain than ill temper.

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Indeed, I have, alas! outlived almost every one of my contemporaries.
One pays dear for living long.

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The present education of females is not very favorable to domestic happiness. For my own part, I call education, not that which smothers a woman with academic accomplishments but that which tends to consolidate a firm and regular system of character; that which tends to form a friend, a companion, a mother and a wife.

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There is scarcely any fault in another which offends us more than vanity though perhaps there is none that really injures us so little.

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It is an excellent sign, that after the cares and labors of the day you can return to your pious exercises and meditations with undiminished attention.

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Nothing raises the price of a blessing like its removal; whereas its continuance should have taught us its value.

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There are three requisitions to the proper enjoyment of earthly blessings:
  a thankful reflection on the goodness of the Giver,
  a deep sense of our unworthiness,
  a recollection of the uncertainty of long possessing them.
The first would make us grateful them.
The second would make us humble them.
The third would make us moderate.

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He who has wasted money may by diligence, hope to fetch it back again. But no repentance or industry can ever bring back one wasted hour!

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What ascends up in prayer descends to us again in blessings. It is like the rain which just now fell, and which had been drawn up from the ground in vapors to the clouds before it descended from them to the earth in that refreshing shower.

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It is a sober truth that people who live only to amuse themselves, work harder at the task than most people do in earning their daily bread.

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Commending a right thing is a cheap substitute for doing it.
We are too apt to satisfy ourselves with simply commending good things.

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We do not really know how to forgive others until we know what it is to be forgiven by God.

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It is a part of Christianity to convert every natural talent to a holy use.

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Affliction is a sort of moral gymnasium in which the disciples of Christ are trained to robust exercise, hardy exertion, and severe conflict.

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Troubles rather fix, than unsettle the Christian just as tempests only serve to root the oak faster; while an inward canker will gradually rot and decay it.

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A faint endeavor, ends in a sure defeat.

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The constant habit of perusing devout books is so indispensable, that it has been termed the oil of the lamp of prayer. Too much reading, however, and too little meditation may produce the effect of a lamp inverted; which is extinguished by the very excess of that oil, whose property is to feed it.

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My plan of instruction is extremely simple and limited. My object is to train up the lower classes in habits of industry and piety.

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The artful insult, whose envenomed dart scarcely wounds the hearing while it stabs the heart.

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Silence is one of the great arts of conversation. There is an eloquence in silence.

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Our infinite obligations to God do not fill our hearts, half as much as a petty uneasiness of our own. Nor do His infinite perfections fill our hearts half as much as our smallest wants.

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Proportion and propriety are among the best secrets of domestic wisdom.

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People talk as if the act of death made a complete change in the nature, as well as in the condition of man. Death is the vehicle to another state of being but it possesses no power to qualify us for that state. In conveying us to a new world death does not give us a new heart.

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He who cannot find time to study his Bible will one day find he has time to be sick.
He who has no time to pray must find time to die.
He who can find no time to reflect is most likely to find time to sin.
He who cannot find time for repentance will find an eternity in which repentance will be of no avail.
He who cannot find time to work for others may find an eternity in which to suffer for himself.