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


Morality is the vestibule of religion.


Morality is the object of government.


Women are the guardians of morality.

Prince de Ligne.

What can laws do without morals?


By the very constitution of our nature, moral evil is its own cure.


Ten men have failed from defect in morals where one has failed from defect in intellect.

Horace Mann.

Good manners are a part of good morals.


Know that morality is a curb, not a spur.


There are many religions, but there is only one morality.


There is nothing which strengthens faith more than the observance of morality.


The health of a community is an almost unfailing index of its morals.

James Martineau.

Morality will be very difficult for the man who does not pray.

Hugh R. Haweis.

Morality must always precede and accompany religion, and yet religion is much more than morality.

Henry Ward Beecher.

Moral supremacy is the only one that leaves monuments, and not ruins, behind it.


Morality is good, and is accepted of God, as far as it goes; but the difficulty is, it does not go far enough.

Henry Ward Beecher.

The moral influence of woman over man is almost always salutary.

J. Stuart Mill.

I have no two separate moral standards for the sex.

Caroline H. Dall.

If we are told a man is religious, we still ask what are his morals.


To give a man a full knowledge of true morality, I would send him to no other book than the New Testament.


All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.


Moral virtues are so many sweet flowers strewed over a dead corpse, which hide the loathsomeness of it, but inspire not life into it.


Morality is character and conduct, such as is required by the circle or community in which the man’s life happens to be placed.

Henry Ward Beecher.

Morality, when vigorously alive, sees farther than intellect, and provides unconsciously for intellectual difficulties.


It is generally a feminine eye that first detects the moral deficiencies hidden under the “dear deceit” of beauty.

George Eliot.

The true grandeur of humanity is in moral elevation, sustained, enlightened, and decorated by the intellect of man.

Charles Sumner.

Morality may exist in an atheist without any religion, and in a theist with a religion quite unspiritual.

Frances Power Cobbe.

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.


In moral action divine law helpeth exceedingly the law of reason to guide life, but in the supernatural it alone guideth.


Morality is the fruit of religion: to desire the former without the latter is to desire an orange without an orange-tree.

Joseph Roux.

The system of morality to be gathered from the ancient sages falls very short of that delivered in the gospel.


Morality rests upon a sense of obligation; and obligation has no meaning except as implying a divine command, without which it would cease to be.

J. A. Froude.

Morality without religion is only a kind of dead reckoning,—an endeavor to find our place on a cloudy sea by measuring the distance we have run, but without any observation of the heavenly bodies.


The ideal of morality has no more dangerous rival than the ideal of highest strength, of most powerful life. It is the maximum of the savage.


The moral law is written on the tablets of eternity. For every false word or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, for lust or vanity, the price has to be paid at last.


Whatever may be the laws and customs of a country, women always give the tone to morals. Whether slaves or free, they reign, because their empire is that of the affections.


Beautiful it is, and a gleam from the same eternal pole-star visible amid the destinies of men, that all talent, all intellect, is in the first place moral. What a world were this otherwise!


It is a notable circumstance that mothers who are themselves open to severe comments as to their moral character, are generally most solicitous as to the virtuous behavior of their daughters.


Moral principles require reasoning and discourse to discover the certainty of their truths; they lie not open as natural characters engraven on the mind.


  • I find the doctors and the sages
  • Have differ’d in all climes and ages,
  • And two in fifty scarce agree
  • On what is pure morality.
  • Moore.

    In cases of doubtful morality, it is usual to say, Is there any harm in doing this? This question may sometimes be best answered by asking ourselves another: Is there any harm in letting it alone?


    Infinite toil would not enable you to sweep away a mist; but, by ascending a little, you may often overlook it altogether. So it is with our moral improvement, we wrestle fiercely with a vicious habit, which could have no hold upon us if we ascended into a higher moral atmosphere.


    Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.


    If we are told a man is religious we still ask what are his morals? But if we hear at first that he has honest morals, and is a man of natural justice and good temper, we seldom think of the other question, whether he be religious and devout.


    We are come too late, by several thousand years, to say anything new in morality. The finest and most beautiful thoughts concerning manners have been carried away before our times, and nothing is left for us but to glean after the ancients, and the most ingenious of the moderns.

    La Bruyère.

    Everywhere the tendency has been to separate religion from morality, to set them in opposition even. But a religion without morality is a superstition and a curse; and anything like an adequate and complete morality without religion is impossible. The only salvation for man is in the union of the two as Christianity unites them.

    Mark Hopkins.

    The morality of an action depends upon the motive from which we act. If I fling half a crown to a beggar with intention to break his head, and he picks it up and buys victuals with it, the physical effect is good; but with respect to me, the action is very wrong.


    All systems of morality are fine. The gospel alone has exhibited a complete assemblage of the principles of morality, divested of all absurdity. It is not composed, like your creed, of a few common-place sentences put into bad verse. Do you wish to see that which is really sublime? Repeat the Lord’s Prayer.

    Napoleon Bonaparte.

    The system of morality which Socrates made it the business of his life to teach was raised upon the firm basis of religion. The first principles of virtuous conduct which are common to all mankind are, according to this excellent moralist, laws of God; and the conclusive argument by which he supports this opinion is, that no man departs from these principles with impunity.


    Socrates taught that true felicity is not to be derived from external possessions, but from wisdom, which consists in the knowledge and practice of virtue; that the cultivation of virtuous manners is necessarily attended with pleasure as well as profit; that the honest man alone is happy; and that it is absurd to attempt to separate things which are in nature so closely united as virtue and interest.


    In that fearful loneliness of spirit, when those who should have been his friends and counsellors only frown upon his misgivings.***and everything seems wrapped in hideous uncertainty, I know but one way in which a man may come forth from his agony scathless: it is by holding fast to those things which are certain still—the grand, simple landmarks of morality. In the darkest hour through which a human soul can pass, whatever else is doubtful, this at least is certain. If there be no God and no future state, yet even then it is better to be generous than selfish, better to be chaste than licentious, better to be true than false, better to be brave than to be a coward. Blessed beyond all earthly blessedness is the man who in the tempestuous darkness of the soul has dared to hold fast to these venerable landmarks.

    Frederick W. Robertson.

    Every age and every nation has certain characteristic vices, which prevail almost universally, which scarcely any person scruples to avow, and which even rigid moralists but faintly censure. Succeeding generations change the fashion of their morals with the fashion of their hats and their coaches; take some other kind of wickedness under their patronage, and wonder at the depravity of their ancestors.