C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Live to explain thy doctrine by thy life.


The question is not whether a doctrine is beautiful, but whether it is true.

Guesses at Truth.

All sects seem to me to be right in what they assert, and wrong in what they deny.


Every one cleaves to the doctrine he has happened upon, as to a rock against which he has been thrown by tempest.


Doctrine is nothing but the skin of truth set up and stuffed.


How absurd to try to make two men think alike on matters of religion, when I cannot make two timepieces agree!

Charles V.

  • Go put your creed into your deed
  • Nor speak with double tongue.
  • Emerson.

    “Orthodoxy, my Lord,” said Bishop Warburton, in a whisper—“orthodoxy is my doxy—heterodoxy is another man’s doxy.”

    Joseph Priestly.

    Doctrine is something that is taught. Applied to religion it is something that God teaches.

    Joseph Shipps.

    He knew how to weaken his divinity, on occasion, as well as an old housewife to weaken her tea, lest it should keep people awake.

    O. W. Holmes.

    The Athanasian creed is the most splendid ecclesiastical lyric ever poured forth by the genius of man.

    Benj. Disraeli.

    Logic has its use and metaphysics has its use, but neither of them is of much help in the making of a creed.


    That doctrine which rectifies the conscience, purifies the heart and produces love to God and men is necessarily true.


    In religion as in politics it so happens that we have less charity for those who believe half our creed, than for those who deny the whole of it.


    I move for a creed for all our denominations made out of Scripture quotations, pure and simple. That would be impregnable against infidelity and Appolyonic assault. That would be beyond human criticism. Let us make it simpler and plainer for people to get into the Kingdom of God.


    Religion, as embodied in the character and conduct of its disciples, cannot survive, without doctrinal purity. In the absence of this element, religious feeling inevitably decays; while even religious necessity becomes a thing of naught.

    J. McC. Holmes.

    Doctrine is the framework of life; it is the skeleton of truth, to be clothed and rounded out by the living graces of a holy life. It is only the lean creature whose bones become offensive.

    A. J. Gordon.

    Go on your knees before God. Bring all your idols; bring self-will, and pride, and every evil lust before Him, and give them up. Devote yourself, heart and soul, to His will; and see if you do not “know of the doctrine.”

    H. W. Beecher.

    The question is not whether a doctrine is beautiful, but whether it is true. When we want to go to a place, we don’t ask whether the road leads through a pretty country, but whether it is the right road, the road pointed out by authority, the turnpike-road.


    Don’t turn your back upon your doctrinal doubts and difficulties. Go up to them and examine them. Perhaps the ghastly object which looks to you in the twilight like a sheeted ghost may prove to be no more than a table-cloth banging upon a hedge.

    A. H. Boyd.

  • Shall I ask the brave soldier, who fights by my side
  • In the cause of mankind, if our creeds agree?
  • Shall I give up the friend I have valued and tried,
  • If he kneel not before the same altar with me?
  • From the heretic girl of my soul should I fly,
  • To seek somewhere else a more orthodox kiss?
  • No! perish the hearts, and the laws that try
  • Truth, valor, or love, by a standard like this!
  • Moore.

    As those wines which flow from the first treading of the grape are sweeter and better than those forced out by the press, which gives them the roughness of the husk and stone, so are those doctrines best and sweetest which flow from a gentle crush of the scriptures, and are not wrung into controversies and commonplaces.


  • And after hearing what our Church can say,
  • If still our reason runs another way,
  • That private reason, ’tis more just to curb,
  • Than by disputes the public peace disturb;
  • For points obscure are of small use to learn,
  • But common quiet is mankind’s concern.
  • Dryden.

    We are not called on to believe this or that doctrine which may be proposed to us till we can do so from honest conviction. But we are called on to trust—to trust ourselves to God, being sure that He will lead us right—to keep close to Him—and to trust the promises which He whispers through our conscience; this we can do, and we ought to do.

    J. C. Shairp.