C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
The childhood of immortality.
Life is a shuttle.
Life’s but a walking shadow.
Life is the gift of God, and is divine.
Life is good, but not life in itself.
In the midst of life we are in death.
Life is but a day at most.
Life hath quicksands; life hath snares.
Making their lives a prayer.
Life is but thought.
Man lives only to shiver and perspire.
Life is as serious a thing as death.
Life hath more awe than death.
Whose life is a bubble, and in length a span.
He lives long that lives well.
Our lives are but our marches to the grave.
The cradle and the tomb, alas! so nigh.
A man’s life’s no more than to say, One!
That life is long which answers life’s great end.
O God, how lovely still is life!
Life and religion are one, or neither is any thing.
For life lives only in success.
Life is the offspring of death.
Man is an organ of life, and God alone is life.
May you live all the days of your life.
Knowledge, love, power,—there is the complete life.
Life is a dream and death an awakening.
Life is short, art long.
The grand question of life is, Is my name written in heaven?
Life is a tragedy.
That man lives twice that lives the first life well.
Christian life consists in faith and charity.
My life is one demd horrid grind.
And he that lives to live forever never fears dying.
Live virtuously, my lord, and you cannot die too soon, nor live too long.
Life itself is a bubble and a scepticism, and a sleep within a sleep.
The web of our life is of a mingled yarn, good and ill together.
What shadows we are, and what shadows we pursue!
Let those who thoughtfully consider the brevity of life remember the length of eternity.
The end of life is to be like unto God; and the soul following God will be like unto Him.
Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experiment uncertain, and judgment difficult.
Life is an art in which too many remain only dilettantes.
There is nothing at all in life except what we put there.
While we are reasoning concerning life, life is gone.
The truest end of life is to know the life that never ends.
Life in itself is neither good nor evil, it is the scene of good or evil, as you make it.
Life is a problem; mortal man was made to solve the solemn problem, right or wrong.
Life, like the water of the seas, freshens only when it ascends towards heaven.
Every man’s life is a fairy-tale, written by God’s fingers.
Long life is denied us; therefore let us do something to show that we have lived.
There is no human life so poor and small as not to hold many a divine possibility.
Life is before you,—not earthly life alone, but life—a thread running interminably through the warp of eternity.
Human life is everywhere a state in which much is to be endured, and little enjoyed.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink life to the lees.
Life is a comedy to him who thinks and a tragedy to him who feels.
Life is a kind of sleep: old men sleep longest, nor begin to wake but when they are to die.
Life, however short, is made still shorter by waste of time.
Life is a pure flame, and we live by an invisible sun within us.
Life is a crucible. We are thrown into it and tried.
This body is not a home, but an inn; and that only for a short time.
The earnestness of life is the only passport to the satisfaction of life.
God is the poet; men are but the actors. The great dramas of earth were written in heaven.
Our bodies are but the anvils of pain and disease, and our minds the hives of unnumbered cares.
We make provisions for this life as if it were never to have an end, and for the other life as though it were never to have a beginning.
For life in general, there is but one decree: youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age a regret.
He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best; and he whose heart beats the quickest lives the longest.
Life at the greatest and best is but a froward child, that must be humored and coaxed a little till it falls asleep, and then all the care is over.
Life is like a game of whist. I don’t enjoy the game much; but I like to play my cards well, and see what will be the end of it.
For we are but of yesterday, and know nothing, because our days upon earth are a shadow.
Oft in my way have I stood still, though but a casual passenger, so much I felt the awfulness of life.
Life, as we call it, is nothing but the edge of the boundless ocean of existence where it comes upon soundings.
To make good use of life, one should have in youth the experience of advanced years, and in old age the vigor of youth.
Plunge boldly into the thick of life! each lives it, not to many is it known; and seize it where you will, it is interesting.
Yet through all, we know this tangled skein is in the hands of One who sees the end from the beginning; He shall yet unravel all.
Life is a malady in which sleep soothes us every sixteen hours; it is a palliation; death is the remedy.
The vanity of human life is like a river, constantly passing away, and yet constantly coming on.
Pray for and work for fullness of life above everything; full red blood in the body; full honesty and truth in the mind; and the fullness of a grateful love for the Saviour in your heart.
Let the current of your being set towards God, then your life will be filled and calmed by one master-passion which unites and stills the soul.
Life is rather a state of embryo,—a preparation for life. A man is not completely born until he has passed through death.
The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
The early and the latter part of human life are the best, or, at least, the most worthy of respect; the one is the age of innocence, the other of reason.
We sleep, but the loom of life never stops; and the pattern which was weaving when the sun went down is weaving when it comes up to-morrow.
Life is constantly weighing us in very sensitive scales, and telling every one of us precisely what his real weight is to the last grain of dust.
God help us! it is a foolish little thing, this human life, at the best; and it is half ridiculous and half pitiful to see what importance we ascribe to it, and to its little ornaments and distinctions.
Coleridge cried, “O God, how glorious it is to live!” Renan asks, “O God, when will it be worth while to live?” In Nature we echo the poet; in the world we echo the thinker.
My notions about life are much the same as they are about travelling; there is a good deal of amusement on the road, but, after all, one wants to be at rest.
They who are most weary of life, and yet are most unwilling to die, are such who have lived to no purpose,—who have rather breathed than lived.
No man lives without jostling and being jostled; in all ways he has to elbow himself through the world, giving and receiving offence.
The nearest approximation to an understanding of life is to feel it—to realize it to the full—to be a profound and inscrutable mystery.
What is life? A gulf of troubled waters, where the soul, like a vexed bark, is tossed upon the waves of pain and pleasure by the wavering breath of passions.
This span of life was lent for lofty duties, not for selfishness; not to be wiled away for aimless dreams, but to improve ourselves, and serve mankind.
Each thing lives according to its kind; the heart by love, the intellect by truth, the higher nature of man by intimate communion with God.
A few years hence and he will be beneath the sod; but those cliffs will stand, as now, facing the ocean, incessantly lashed by its waves, yet unshaken, immovable; and other eyes will gaze on them for their brief day of life, and then they, too, will close.
If we were to live here always, with no other care than how to feed, clothe, and house ourselves, life would be a very sorry business. It is immeasurably heightened by the solemnity of death.
Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles and kindness, and small obligations given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.
There is no life so humble that, if it be true and genuinely human and obedient to God, it may not hope to shed some of His light. There is no life so meager that the greatest and wisest of us can afford to despise it. We cannot know at what moment it may flash forth with the life of God.
Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing, and the overtaking and possessing of a wish discovers the folly of the chase.
Life is a mission. Every other definition of life is false, and leads all who accept it astray. Religion, science, philosophy, though still at variance upon many points, all agree in this, that every existence is an aim.
I am convinced that there is no man that knows life well, and remembers all the incidents of his past experience who would accept it again; we are certainly here to punish precedent sins.
Life, which all creatures love and strive to keep,—wonderful, dear and pleasant unto each, even to the meanest,—yea, a boon to all where pity is; for pity makes the world soft to the weak and noble for the strong.
We have two lives: the soul of man is like the rolling world, one half in day, the other dipt in night; the one has music and the flying cloud, the other silence and the wakeful stars.
He lives long that lives well, and time misspent is not lived, but lost. Besides, God is better than His promise, if He takes from him a long lease, and gives him a freehold of greater value.
You and I are now nearly in middle age, and have not yet become soured and shrivelled with the wear and tear of life. Let us pray to be delivered from that condition where life and Nature have no fresh, sweet sensations for us.
Life, whether in this world or any other, is the sum of our attainment, our experience, our character. The conditions are secondary. In what other world shall we be more surely than we are here?
A man is thirty years old before he has any settled thoughts of his fortune; it is not completed before fifty, he falls a-building in his old age, and dies by the time his house is in a condition to be painted and glazed.
How mysterious is this human life, with all its diversities of contrast and compensation; this web of checkered destinies; this sphere of manifold allotment, where man lives in his greatness and grossness, a little lower than the angels, a little higher than the brutes.
There are three modes of bearing the ills of life; by indifference, which is most common; by philosophy, which is most ostentatious; and by religion, which is the most effectual.
Though we seem grieved at the shortness of life in general, we are wishing every period of it at an end. The minor longs to be at age, then to be a man of business, then to make up an estate, then to arrive at honors, then to retire.
Life is what we are alive to. It is not length, but breadth. To be alive only to appetite, pleasure, pride, money-making, and not to goodness and kindness, purity and love, history, poetry, music, flowers, stars, God and eternal hopes, it is to be all but dead.
There appears to exist a greater desire to live long than to live well! Measure by man’s desires, he cannot live long enough; measure by his good deeds, and he has not lived long enough; measure by his evil deeds, and he has lived too long.
If this life is unhappy, it is a burden to us, which it is difficult to bear; if it is in every respect happy, it is dreadful to be deprived of it; so that in either case the result is the same, for we must exist in anxiety and apprehension.
Life is short—while we speak it flies; enjoy, then, the present, and forget the future; such is the moral of ancient poetry, a graceful and a wise moral,—indulged beneath a southern sky, and all deserving the phrase applied to it,—“the philosophy of the garden.”
The deeper men go into life, the deeper is their conviction that this life is not all. It is an “unfinished symphony.” A day may round out an insect’s life, and a bird or a beast needs no to-morrow. Not so with him who knows that he is related to God and has felt “the power of an endless life.”
This world is not a platform where you will hear Thalberg-piano-playing. It is a piano manufactory, where are dust and shavings and boards, and saws and files and rasps and sandpapers. The perfect instrument and the music will be hereafter.
Think of “living”! Thy life, wert thou the “pitifullest of all the sons of earth,” is no idle dream, but a solemn reality. It is thy own; it is all thou hast to front eternity with. Work, then, even as He has done, and does, “like a star, unhasting, yet unresting.”
When I reflect upon what I have seen, what I have heard, what I have done, I can hardly persuade myself that all that frivolous hurry and bustle and pleasure of the world had any reality; and I look on what has passed as one of those wild dreams which opium occasions, and I by no means wish to repeat the nauseous dose for the sake of the fugitive illusion.
No man can promise himself even fifty years of life, but any man may, if he please, live in the proportion of fifty years in forty,—let him rise early, that he may have the day before him, and let him make the most of the day, by determining to expend it on two sorts of acquaintances only—those by whom something may be got, and those from whom something may be learned.
Life consists not of a series of illustrious actions or elegant enjoyments. The greater part of our time passes in compliance with necessities, in the performance of daily duties, in the removal of small inconveniences, in the procurement of petty pleasures; and we are well or ill at ease, as the main stream of life glides on smoothly, or is ruffled by small obstacles and frequent interruption.
To live is not merely to breathe, it is to act; it is to make use of our organs, senses, faculties, of all those part of ourselves which give us the feeling of existence. The man who has lived longest is not the man who has counted most years, but he who has enjoyed life most. Such a one was buried a hundred years old, but he was dead from his birth. He would have gained by dying young; at least he would have lived till that time.
Our brains are seventy-year clocks. The angel of life winds them up at once for all, then closes the cases, and gives the key into the hand of the angel of resurrection. “Tic-tac, tic-tac!” go the wheels of thought; our will cannot stop them; madness only makes them go faster. Death alone can break into the case, and, seizing the ever-swinging pendulum which we call the heart, silence at last the clicking of the terrible escapement we have carried so long beneath, our aching foreheads.
We talk of human life as a journey, but how variously is that journey performed! There are those who come forth girt, and shod, and mantled, to walk on velvet lawns and smooth terraces, where every gale is arrested and every beam is tempered. There are others who walk on the Alpine paths of life, against driving misery, and through stormy sorrows over sharp afflictions; walk with bare feet and naked breast, jaded, mangled, and chilled.
A minute analysis of life at once destroys that splendor which dazzles the imagination. Whatsoever grandeur can display, or luxury enjoy, is procured by offices of which the mind shrinks from the contemplation. All the delicacies of the table may be traced back to the shambles and the dunghill; all magnificence of building was hewn from the quarry, and all the pomp of ornament dug from among the damps and darkness of the mine.
Beneath me flows the Rhine, and, like the stream of time, it flows amid the ruins of the past. I see myself therein, and know that I am old. Thou, too, shalt be old. Be wise in season. Like the stream of thy life runs the stream beneath us. Down from the distant Alps, out into the wide world, it bursts away, like a youth from the house of his fathers. Broad-breasted and strong, and with earnest endeavors, like manhood, it makes itself a way through these difficult mountain-passes. And at length in old age, it falters, and its steps are weary and slow, and it sinks into the sand, and through its grave passes into the great ocean, which is its eternity.
And thus does life goes on, until death accomplishes the catastrophe in silence, takes the worn frame within his hand, and, as if it were a dried-up scroll, crumbles it in his grasp to ashes. The monuments of kingdoms, too, shall disappear. Still the globe shall move; still the stars shall burn; still the sun shall paint its colors on the day, and its colors on the year. What, then, is the individual, or what even is the race in the sublime recurrings of Time? Years, centuries, cycles, are nothing to these. The sun that measures out the ages of our planet is not a second-hand on the great dial of the universe.