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


Eternity, thou pleasing, dreadful thought!


Eternity forbids thee to forget.


God has given to us eternal life; and this life is in His Son.

1 John v. 11.

Who can speak of eternity without a solecism, or think thereof without an ecstasy?

Sir T. Browne.

All that live must die, passing through nature to eternity.


Let me dream that love goes with us to the shore unknown.

Mrs. Hemans.

This narrow isthmus ’twixt two boundless seas.


  • That golden key,
  • That opes the palace of eternity.
  • Milton.

    If we stretch our thoughts as far as they can reach, eternity is still before us.

    J. Edmondson.

    Can eternity belong to me, poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour?


    The thought of eternity consoles for the shortness of life.


    Beyond is all abyss, eternity, whose end no eye can reach.


    What a sublime doctrine it is, that goodness cherished now is eternal life already entered on!

    W. E. Channing.

  • But felt through all this fleshly dresse
  • Bright shootes of everlastingnesse.
  • Henry Vaughan.

    All great men find eternity affirmed in the very promise of their faculties.


    Eternity looks grander and kinder if Time grow meaner and more hostile.


    “Time restores all things.” Wrong! Time restores many things, but eternity restores all.

    Joseph Roux.

    The youth of the soul is everlasting, and eternity is youth.


    Darkness, that here surrounds our purblind understanding, will vanish at the dawning of eternal day.


    Yes, I live in God, and shall eternally. It is His hand upholds me now; and death will be but an uplifting of me into His bosom.

    Wm. Mountford.

    If people would but provide for eternity with the same solicitude and real care as they do for this life, they could not fail of heaven.


    Eternity doth wear upon her face the veil of time. They only see the veil, and thus they know not what they stand so near!

    Alexander Smith.

    O, if we could tear aside the veil, and see but for one hour what it signifies to be a soul in the power of an endless life, what a revelation would it be!

    Horace Bushnell.

    This is eternal life; a life of everlasting love, showing itself in everlasting good works; and whosoever lives that life, he lives the life of God, and hath eternal life.

    Charles Kingsley.

    Eternal life does not depend upon our perfection; but because it does depend upon the grace of Christ and the love of the Spirit, that love shall prompt us to emulate perfection.

    William Adams.

  • Sure there is none but fears a future state;
  • And when the most obdurate swear they do not,
  • Their trembling hearts belie their boasting tongues.
  • Dryden.

  • In time there is no present,
  • In eternity no future,
  • In eternity no past.
  • Tennyson.

  • ’Tis the divinity that stirs within us;
  • ’Tis Heaven itself that points out an hereafter,
  • And intimates eternity to man.
  • Addison.

  • Eternity! How know we but we stand
  • On the precipitous and crumbling verge
  • Of Time e’en now, Eternity below?
  • Abraham Coles.

    Nothing is eternal but that which is done for God and others. That which is done for self dies.


    Eternity has no gray hairs! The flowers fade, the heart withers, man grows old and dies, the world lies down in the sepulchre of ages, but time writes no wrinkles on the brow of eternity.

    Bishop Heber.

  • Oh! in that future let us think
  • To hold each heart the heart that shares;
  • With them the immortal waters drink,
  • And, soul in soul, grow deathless theirs!
  • Byron.

    The more we can be raised above the petty vexations and pleasures of this world into the eternal life to come, the more shall we be prepared to enter into that eternal life whenever God shall please to call us hence.

    Dean Stanley.

  • O, that a man might know
  • The end of this day’s business, ere it come,
  • But it sufficeth that the day will end;
  • And then the end is known.
  • Shakespeare.

    Yes, what I am to be everlastingly, I am growing to be now—now in this present time so little thought of, this time which the sun rises and sets in, and the clock strikes in, and I wake and sleep in.

    Wm. Mountford.

    Eternity is the divine treasure-house and hope is the window, by means of which mortals are permitted to see, as through a glass darkly, the things which God is preparing.


  • Too curious man! why dost thou seek to know
  • Events, which, good or ill, foreknown, are woe!
  • Th’ all-seeing power, that made thee mortal, gave
  • Thee every thing a mortal state should have.
  • Dryden.

    It is a high, solemn, almost awful thought for every individual man, that his earthly influence, which has a commencement, will never, through all ages, have an end.


    He that will often put eternity and the world before him, and who will dare to look steadfastly at both of them, will find that the more often he contemplates them, the former will grow greater, and the latter less.


    If there remains an eternity to us after the short revolution of time we so swiftly run over here, ’tis clear that all the happiness that can be imagined in this fleeting state is not valuable in respect of the future.


    Certainly the highest and dearest concerns of a temporal life are infinitely less valuable than those of an eternal; and consequently ought, without any demur at all, to be sacrificed to them, whenever they come in competition.


    There is, I know not how, in the minds of men, a certain presage, as it were, of a future existence; and this takes the deepest root, and is most discoverable, in the greatest geniuses and most exalted souls.


    Sow the seeds of life—humbleness, pure-heartedness, love; and in the long eternity which lies before the soul, every minutest grain will come up again with an increase of thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.

    F. W. Robertson.

    In the life to come, at the first ray of its light our true characters, purified but preserving their identity, will more fully expand, and the result of the infinite diversity will be a complete unity.

    Madame de Gasparin.

    Eternity invests every state, whether of bliss or of suffering, with a mysterious and awful importance; entirely its own. It gives that weight and moment to whatever it attaches, compared to which all interests that know a period fade into absolute insignificance.

    Robert Hall.

    “What is eternity?” was a question once asked at the deaf and dumb institution at Paris, and the beautiful and striking answer was given by one of the pupils, “The lifetime of the Almighty.”

    John Bate.

  • Eternity, thou pleasing dreadful Thought!
  • Thro’ what variety of untry’d beings,
  • Thro’ what new scenes and changes must we pass?
  • The wide, the unbounded Prospect lies before me;
  • But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.
  • Addison.

    None can comprehend eternity but the eternal God. Eternity is an ocean, whereof we shall never see the shore; it is a deep, where we can find no bottom; a labyrinth from whence we cannot extricate ourselves and where we shall ever lose the door.


    Eternity is a negative idea clothed with a positive name. It supposes in that to which it is applied a present existence, and is the negation of a beginning or of an end of that existence.


    Consider and act with reference to the true ends of existence. This world is but the vestibule of an immortal life. Every action of our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.


    Upon laying a weight in one of the scales, inscribed eternity, though I threw in that of time, prosperity, affliction, wealth, and poverty, which seemed very ponderous, they were not able to stir the opposite balance.


    When at eve, at the bounding of the landscape, the heavens appear to recline so slowly on the earth, imagination pictures beyond the horizon an asylum of hope—a native land of love; and nature seems silently to repeat that man is immortal.

    Madame de Staël.

  • The time will come when every change shall cease,
  • This quick revolving wheel shall rest in peace:
  • No summer then shall glow, nor winter freeze;
  • Nothing shall be to come, and nothing past,
  • But an eternal now shall ever last.
  • Petrarch.

    It is only Jesus Christ who has thrown light on life and immortality through the gospel; and because He has done so, and has enabled us by His atoning death and intercession to make the most of this discovery, His gospel is, for all who will, a power of God unto salvation.

    H. P. Liddon.

    Every natural longing has its natural satisfaction. If we thirst, God has created liquid to gratify thirst. If we are susceptible of attachment, there are beings to gratify that love. If we thirst for life and love eternal, it is likely there are an eternal life and an eternal love to satisfy that craving.

    F. W. Robertson.

    Life everywhere is in vast and endless variety. So it is with life eternal, that gift of God, constituting, in its length and breadth and height and depth, the reward of the righteous. The penitent, dying thief is not going into heaven like the triumphant, dying Paul.

    Herrick Johnson.

    Let us be adventurers for another world. It is at least a fair and noble chance; and there is nothing in this worth our thoughts or our passions. If we should be disappointed, we are still no worse than the rest of our fellow-mortals; and if we succeed in our expectations we are eternally happy.


  • Eternity, thou awful Gulph of Time,
  • This wide creation on thy surface floats.
  • Of life—of death—what is, or what shall be,
  • I nothing know. The world is all a dream,
  • The consciousness of something that exists,
  • Yet is not what it seems. Then what am I?
  • Death must unfold the mystery!
  • Dowe.

    The disappointed man turns his thoughts toward a state of existence where his wiser desires may be fixed with the certainty of faith; the successful man feels that the objects which he has ardently pursued fail to satisfy the cravings of an immortal spirit; the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, that he may save his soul alive.


    You reap what you sow—not something else, but that. An act of love makes the soul more loving. A deed of humbleness deepens humbleness. The thing reaped is the very thing sown, multiplied a hundred fold. You have sown a seed of life, you reap life everlasting.

    F. W. Robertson.

    Our imagination so magnifies this present existence, by the power of continual reflection on it, and so attenuates eternity, by not thinking of it at all, that we reduce an eternity to nothingness, and expand a mere nothing to an eternity; and this habit is so inveterately rooted in us that all the force of reason cannot induce us to lay it aside.


  • The vaulted void of purple sky
  • That everywhere extends,
  • That stretches from the dazzled eye,
  • In space that never ends;
  • A morning whose uprisen sun
  • No setting e’er shall see;
  • A day that comes without a noon
  • Such is eternity.
  • Clare.

    Beyond the grave! As the vision rises how this side dwindles into nothing—a speck—a moment—and its glory and pomp shrink into the trinkets and baubles that amuse an infant for a day. Only those things, in the glory of this light, which lay hold of immortality, seem to have any value.

    Bishop R. S. Foster.

  • Those spacious regions where our fancies roam,
  • Pain’d by the past, expecting ills to come,
  • In some dread moment, by the fates assign’d,
  • Shall pass away, nor leave a rack behind;
  • And Time’s revolving wheels shall lose at last
  • The speed that spins the future and the past:
  • And, sovereign of an undisputed throne,
  • Awful eternity shall reign alone.
  • Petrarch.

  • The longest time that man may live,
  • The lapse of generations of his race,
  • The continent entire of time itself,
  • Bears not proportion to Eternity;
  • Huge as a fraction of a grain of dew
  • Co-measured with the broad, unbounded ocean!
  • There is the time of man—his proper time,
  • Looking at which this life is but a gust,
  • A puff of breath, that’s scarcely felt ere gone!
  • Sheridan Knowles.

    Alas! what is man? whether he be deprived of that light which is from on high, or whether he discard it; a frail and trembling creature, standing on time, that bleak and narrow isthmus between two eternities, he sees nothing but impenetrable darkness on the one hand, and doubt, distrust, and conjecture still more perplexing on the other. Most gladly would he take an observation as to whence he has come, or whither he is going. Alas, he has not the means; his telescope is too dim, his compass too wavering, his plummet too short. Nor is that little spot, his present state, one whit more intelligible, since it may prove a quicksand that may sink in a moment from his feet; it can afford him no certain reckoning as to that immeasurable ocean that he may have traversed, or that still more formidable one that he must.


    Yes, my brethren, Christ will reign—must reign. O what a grand, glorious destiny awaits us who are saved! I stand in the presence of a scheme that I have neither power to comprehend nor to delineate. I tell you, when the end shall come, and God Almighty shall gather into His kingdom the souls and bodies of men saved upon the earth, they will reach the pinnacle of eternal life in all its splendor! Happy, happy will be the day when you and I, by God’s grace, stand in full proportion on the granite platform of an eternal, happy immortality.

    Bishop Daggett.