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


Sin is essentially a departure from God.


Sin is disease, deformity, and weakness.


It is not the back, but the heart, that must bleed for sin.


Death from sin no power can separate.


Sin is a state of mind, not an outward act.


Sin will pluck on sin.


Sin and her shadow, death.


Sin let loose speaks punishment at hand.


To step aside is human!


Sin is ashamed of sin.


Every man has his devilish minutes.


So many laws argue so many sins.


Pain is the outcome of sin.


Some sins do bear their privilege on earth.


Age whitens hairs, but not sin.

J. Petit-Senn.

’T is the will that makes the action good or ill.


Every sin provokes its punishment.

A. Bronson Alcott.

Fears of sinning let in thoughts of sin.


And love the sin for the dear sinner’s sake.


Few love to hear the sins they love to act.


But the trail of the serpent is over them all.


Secret sins commonly lie nearest the heart.

Thomas Brooks.

Pride and conceit were the original sin of man.

Le Sage.

Nothing emboldens sin so much as mercy.


Sin is free, or you cannot make sin out of it.

Joseph Cook.

Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin.


O sin, what hast thou done to this fair earth!


Sin writes histories; goodness is silent.


Sin, every day, takes out a patent for some new invention.

E. P. Whipple.

Poverty and wealth are comparative sins.

Victor Hugo.

There is the seed of all sins—of the vilest and worst of sins—in the best of men.

Thomas Brooks.

Nature has no promise for society, least of all, any remedy for sin.

Horace Bushnell.

  • O, ’tis the cunning livery of hell,
  • The damned’st body to invest and cover
  • In princely guards.
  • Shakespeare.

    God hath yoked to guilt her pale tormentor, misery.


    Sin is the only thing in the world which never had an infancy, that knew no minority.


    Where is the thief who cannot find bad when he hunts for it?

    St. Augustine.

    Vice is attended with temporary felicity, piety with eternal joy.


    He that hath slight thoughts of sin never had great thoughts of God.

    Rev. Dr. Owen.

    Other men’s sins are before our eyes, our own are behind our back.


  • Sin hath broke the world’s sweet peace—unstrung
  • Th’ harmonious chords to which the angels sung.
  • Dana.

    I could not live in peace if I put the shadow of a wilful sin between myself and God.

    George Eliot.

    Sin may be clasped so close, we cannot see its face.


    The greater part of mankind are angry with the sinner and not with the sin.


  • I am a man
  • More sinned against than sinning.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O, what authority and show of truth
  • Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
  • Shakespeare.

    Suffer anything from man, rather than sin against God.

    Sir Henry Vane.

  • See sin in state, majestically drunk;
  • Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk.
  • Pope.

  • How shall I lose the sin yet keep the sense,
  • And love th’ offender, yet detest the offence?
  • Pope.

  • In Adam’s fall—
  • We sinned all.
  • From the New England Primer.

  • Law can discover sin, but not remove,
  • Save by those shadowy expiations weak.
  • Milton.

    Every sin deserveth God’s wrath and curse, both in this life and that which is to come.

    Westminster Catechism.

    Be not familiar with the idea of wrong, for sin in fancy mothers many an ugly fact.

    Theodore Parker.

    How immense appear to us the sins that we have not committed!

    Madame Necker.

    There are sins of omission as well as those of commission.

    Mme. Deluzy.

    Sin is not taken out of man, as Eve was out of Adam, by putting him to sleep.

    Wendell Phillips.

    It is not alone what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.


    Where lives the man that hath not tried how mirth can into folly glide, and folly into sin?

    Sir Walter Scott.

    A great sin is a course of wickedness abridged into one act.


    Angels for the good man’s sin wept to record, and blushed to give it in.


    Sin is the fruitful parent of distempers, and ill lives occasion good physicians.


  • He is no man on whom perfections wait,
  • That, knowing sin within, will touch the gate.
  • Shakespeare.

    Yes, every sin is a mistake, and the epitaph for the sinner is, “Thou fool.”

    Alexander Maclaren.

    He that avoideth not small faults, by little and little falleth into greater.

    Thomas à Kempis.

    Besides the guilt of sin and the power of sin, there is the stain of sin.

    Nathaniel Culverwell.

    O, what authority and show of truth can cunning sin cover itself withal!


    A man does not necessarily sin who does that which our reason and our conscience condemn.

    J. G. Holland.

  • Drudgery and knowledge are of a kin,
  • And both descended from one parent sin.
  • Butler.

    Let guilty men remember their black deeds do lean on crutches made of slender reeds.

    John Webster.

    If we desire to judge justly, we must persuade ourselves that none of us is without sin.


    It is the sin which we have not committed which seems the most monstrous.


  • The knowledge of my sin
  • Is half-repentance.
  • Bayard Taylor.

    There is no harder work in the world than sin.


    I have learned what a sin is against an infinite imperishable being, such as is the soul of man.


    Sin spoils the spirit’s delicacy, and unwillingness deadens its susceptibility.

    Charles H. Parkhurst.

    The fact is that sin is the most unmanly thing in God’s world. You never were made for sin and selfishness. You were made for love and obedience.

    J. G. Holland.

  • Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall;
  • Some run from breaks of ice, and answer none:
  • And some condemned for a fault alone.
  • Shakespeare.

    Our sins, like to our shadows when our day is in its glory, scarce appeared; towards our evening how great and monstrous they are!


    My sin is the black spot which my bad act makes, seen against the disk of the Sun of Righteousness. Hence religion and sin come and go together.

    Charles H. Parkhurst.

    As sins proceed they ever multiply, and like figures in arithmetic, the last stands for more than all that wept before it.

    Sir Thomas Browne.

    Evil courses can yield pleasure no longer than while thought and reflection can be kept off.


  • Foul deeds will rise,
  • Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.
  • Shakespeare.

    Men scanning the surface count the wicked happy; they see not the frightful dreams that crowd a bad man’s pillow.


    Sin is never at a stay; if we do not retreat from it, we shall advance in it; and the farther on we go, the more we have to come back.


    Not only commission makes a sin. A man is guilty of all those sins he hateth not. If I cannot avoid all, yet I will hate all.

    Bishop Hall.

    If we did not first take great pains to corrupt our nature, our nature would never corrupt us.


    There is a vast difference between sins of infirmity and those of presumption, as vast as between inadvertency and deliberation.


    Sin is the insurrection and rebellion of the heart against God; it turns from Him, and turns against Him; it takes up arms against God.

    Richard Alleine.

    No sin is small. It is a sin against an infinite God, and may have consequences immeasurable. No grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch.

    Jeremy Taylor.

    I learn the depth to which I have sunk from the length of the chain let down to up-draw me. I ascertain the mightiness of the ruin by examining the machinery for restoration.

    Henry Melvill.

    There is no immunity from the consequences of sin; punishment is swift and sure to one and all.

    Hosea Ballou.

    Cast out thy Jonah—every sleeping and secure sin that brings a tempest upon thy ship, vexation to thy spirit.


    He who has it in his power to commit sin, is less inclined to do so. The very idea of being able, weakens the desire.


    We are all sinful. Therefore whatever we blame in another we shall find in our own bosoms.


    A man cannot practise sin and be a good citizen. Burke says very truly: “Whatever disunites man from God disunites man from man.”


    If ye do well, to your own behoof will ye do it; and if ye do evil, against yourselves will ye do it.


    When thou art preparing to commit a sin, think not that thou wilt conceal it; there is a God that forbids crimes to be hidden.


    God made sin possible just as he made all lying wonders possible, but he never made it a fact, never set anything in his plan to harmonize with it. Therefore it enters the world as a forbidden fact against everything that God has ordained.

    Horace Bushnell.

    Confess thee freely of thy sin; for to deny each article with oath, cannot remove nor choke the strong conception that I do groan withal.


    Never let any man imagine that he can pursue a good end by evil means, without sinning against his own soul! Any other issue is doubtful; the evil effect on himself is certain.


    Sin is dark and loves the dark, still hides from itself in gloom, and in the darkest hell is still itself the darkest hell and the severest woe.


    The wicked are wicked, no doubt, and they go astray and they fall, and they come by their deserts; but who can tell the mischief which the very virtuous do?


  • Thou wilt not chronicle our sand-like sins;
  • For sin is small, and mean, and barren. Good
  • Only is great, and generous, and fruitful.
  • Number the mountains, not the sands, O God!
  • Bailey.

  • Earnest toil and strong endeavour
  • Of a spirit which within
  • Wrestles with familiar evil
  • And besetting sin.
  • Whittier.

  • Know’st thou not all germs of evil
  • In thy heart await their time?
  • Not thyself, but God’s restraining,
  • Stays their growth of crime.
  • Whittier.

  • Think not for wrongs like these unscourged to live;
  • Long may ye sin, and long may Heaven forgive;
  • But when ye least expect, in sorrow’s day,
  • Vengeance shall fall more heavy for delay.
  • Churchill.

  • Anger and just rebuke, and judgment given,
  • That brought into this world a world of woe,
  • Sin and her shadow Death, and Misery,
  • Death’s harbinger.
  • Milton.

    Let him that sows the serpent’s teeth not hope to reap a joyous harvest. Every crime has, in the moment of its perpetration, its own avenging angel,—dark misgivings at the inmost heart.


  • Man-like is it to fall into sin,
  • Fiend-like is it to dwell therein,
  • Christ-like is it for sin to grieve,
  • God-like is it all sin to leave.
  • Friedrich von Logau.

  • Come, now again, thy woes impart,
  • Tell all thy sorrows, all thy sin,
  • We cannot heal the throbbing heart
  • Till we discern the wounds within.
  • Crabbe.

    The sin that now rises to memory as your bosom sin, let this first of all be withstood and mastered. Oppose it instantly by a detestation of it, by a firm will to conquer it, by reflection, by reason, and by prayer.

    W. E. Channing.

    Every single gross act of sin is much the same thing to the conscience that a great blow or fall is to the head; it stuns and bereaves it of all use of its senses for a time.


    Although a man has so well purged his mind that nothing can trouble or deceive him any more, yet he reached his present innocence through sin.


    I am in process of bringing all my sins to light for the purpose of getting rid of them. We never know how rich we are until we break up housekeeping!


    No man can be stark naught at once. Let us stop the progress of sin in our soul at the first stage, for the farther it goes the faster it will increase.


    There are some sins which are more justly to be denominated surprises than infidelities. To such the world should be lenient, as, doubtless, Heaven is forgiving.


    It should console us for the fact that sin has not totally disappeared from the world, that the saints are not wholly deprived of employment.


    He that falls into sin is a man, that grieves at it is a saint, that boasteth of it is a devil; yet some glory in that shame, counting the stains of sin the best complexion of their souls.


    If thou wouldst conquer thy weakness, thou must never gratify it. No man is compelled to evil: his consent only makes it his. It is no sin to be tempted, but to be overcome.

    William Penn.

    It is the goodly outside that sin puts on which tempteth to destruction. It has been said that sin is like the bee, with honey in its mouth, but a sting in its tail.

    Hosea Ballou.

    A sturdy, hardened sinner shall advance to the utmost pitch of impiety, with less reluctance than he took the first step while his conscience was yet vigilant and tender.


    The greatest penalty of evil-doing is to grow into the likeness of bad men, and, growing like them, to fly from the conversation of the good, and be cut off from them, and cleave to and follow after the company of the bad.


    The whole sum and substance of human history may be reduced to this maxim: that when man departs from the divine means of reaching the divine end, he suffers harm and loss.

    Theodore Parker.

  • They say sin touches not a man so near
  • As shame a woman; yet he too should be
  • Part of the penance, being more deep than she
  • Set in the sin.
  • Swinburne.

  • Though some of you with Pilate wash your hands
  • Showing an outward pity; yet you Pilates
  • Have here deliver’d me to my sour cross,
  • And water cannot wash away your sin.
  • Shakespeare.

    Sin first is pleasing, then it grows easy, then delightful, then frequent, then habitual, then confirmed; then the man is impenitent, then he is obstinate, then he is resolved never to repent, and then he is ruined.


    Many afflictions will not cloud and obstruct peace of mind so much as one sin: therefore, if you would walk cheerfully, be most careful to walk holily. All the winds about the earth make not an earthquake, but only that within.

    Archbishop Leighton.

    Were the visage of sin seen at a full light, undressed and unpainted, it were impossible, while it so appeared, that any one soul could be in love with it, but would rather flee from it as hideous and abominable.


  • Robes and furr’d gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
  • And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
  • Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw doth pierce it.
  • Shakespeare.

    Remember that every guilty compliance with the humors of the world, every sinful indulgence of our own passions, is laying up cares and fears or the hour of darkness; and that the remembrance of ill-spent time will strew our sick-bed with thorns, and rack our sinking spirits with despair.

    Bishop Heber.

    St. Augustine used to say that, but for God’s grace, he should have been capable of committing any crime; and it is when we feel this sincerely, that we are most likely to be really improving, and best able to give assistance to others without moral loss to ourselves.

    H. P. Liddon.

  • ’Tis fearful building upon any sin;
  • One mischief enter’d, brings another in:
  • The second pulls a third, the third draws more.
  • And they for all the rest set ope the door:
  • Till custom take away the judging sense,
  • That to offend we think it no offence.
  • Smith.

    Of all the ingenious mistakes into which erring man has fallen, perhaps none have been so pernicious in their consequences, or have brought so many evils into the world, as the popular opinion that the way of the transgressor is pleasant and easy.

    Hosea Ballou.

    O sin, how you paint your face! how you flatter us poor mortals on to death! You never appear to the sinner in your true character; you make fair promises, but you never fulfil one; your tongue is smoother than oil, but the poison of asps is under your lip!

    Hosea Ballou.

    Some voluntary castaways there will always be, whom no fostering kindness and no parental care can preserve from self-destruction; but if any are lost for want of care and culture, there is a sin of omission in the society to which they belong.


    An Italian proverb says, “In men every mortal sin is venial; in woman every venial sin is mortal.” And a German axiom, that “There are only two good women in the world: one of them is dead, and the other is not to be found.”

    G. A. Sala.

    A few sensual and voluptuous persons may for a season eclipse this native light of the soul, but can never so wholly smother and extinguish it but that, at some lucid intervals, it will recover itself again, and shine forth to the conviction of their conscience.


    Sin is a basilisk whose eyes are full of venom. If the eye of thy soul see her first, it reflects her own poison and kills her; if she see thy soul, unseen, or seen too late, with her poison, she kills thee: since therefore thou canst not escape thy sin, let not thy sin escape thy observation.


    Take steadily some one sin, which seems to stand out before thee, to root it out, by God’s grace, and every fibre of it. Purpose strongly, by the grace and strength of God, wholly to sacrifice this sin or sinful inclination to the love of God, to spare it not, until thou leave of it none remaining, neither root nor branch.

    E. B. Pusey.

    Every man has a paradise around him until he sins, and the angel of an accusing conscience drives him from his Eden. And even then there are holy hours, when this angel sleeps, and man comes back, and with the innocent eyes of a child looks into his lost paradise again.


    You cannot stay the shell in its flight; after it has left the mortar, it goes on to its mark, and there explodes, dealing destruction all around. Just as little can you stay the consequences of a sin after it has been committed. You may repent of it, you may even be forgiven for it, but still it goes on its deadly and desolating way. It has passed entirely beyond your reach; once done, it cannot be undone.

    Wm. M. Taylor.

  • Her rash hand in evil hour
  • Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck’d, she eat;
  • Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
  • Sighing through all her works gave signs of woe
  • That all was lost.
  • Milton.

    Use sin as it will use you; spare it not, for it will not spare you; it is your murderer, and the murderer of the whole world. Use it, therefore, as a murderer should be used; kill it before it kills you; and though it brings you to the grave, as it did your head, it shall not be able to keep you there. You love not death; love not the cause of death.


  • From love of grace,
  • Lay not that flatt’ring unction to your soul,
  • That not your trespass, but my madness speaks:
  • It will but skin and film the ulc’rous place;
  • Whilst rank corruption, mining all within,
  • Infects unseen; confess yourself to heav’n;
  • Repent what’s past, avoid what is to come;
  • And do not spread the compost on the weeds
  • To make them ranker.
  • Shakespeare.

  • O the dangerous siege
  • Sin lays about us! And the tyranny
  • He exercises when he hath expung’d,
  • Like to the horror of a winter’s thunder,
  • Mix’d with a gushing storm; that suffers nothing
  • To stir abroad on earth, but their own rages,
  • Is sin, when it hath gather’d head above us:
  • No roof, no shelter can secure us so,
  • But he will drown our cheeks in fear or woe.
  • Chapman.

    Sin! Sin! Thou art a hateful and horrible thing, that abominable thing which God hates. And what wonder? Thou hast insulted His holy majesty; thou hast bereaved Him of beloved children; thou hast crucified the Son of His infinite love; thou hast vexed His gracious Spirit; thou hast defied His power; thou hast despised His grace; and in the body and blood of Jesus, as if that were a common thing, thou hast trodden under foot His matchless mercy. Surely, brethren, the wonder of wonders is, that sin is not that abominable thing which we also hate.

    Thomas Guthrie.

    We are saved from nothing if we are not saved from sin. Little sins are pioneers of hell. The backslider begins with what he foolishly considers trifling with little sins. There are no little sins. There was a time when all the evil that has existed in the world was comprehended in one sinful thought of our first parent; and all the now evil is the numerous and horrid progeny of one little sin.