C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
Thought alone is eternal.
Thoughts rule the world.
Thought is silence.
Thought is free.
Thought is the seed of action.
Thought is invisible nature.
As he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Our thoughts are heard in heaven!
Great thoughts proceed from the heart.
Second thoughts, they say, are best.
Thinking nurseth thinking.
Thoughts are winged.
Learning without thought is labor lost.
Impromptu thoughts are mental wild-flowers.
Great thoughts ensure musical expression.
Those thoughts that wander through eternity.
A thought often makes us hotter than a fire.
Our century is a brutal thinker.
Make your best thoughts into action.
A woman’s thought runs before her actions.
Thought will not work except in silence.
Thoughts that breathe and words that burn.
Their own second and sober thoughts.
Thought is parent of the dead.
In solitude all great thoughts are born.
Those who think must govern those that toil.
Great thoughts reduced to practice become great acts.
Thought takes man out of servitude into freedom.
Thought once awakened does not again slumber.
The mind grows by what it feeds on.
Our best thoughts come from others.
He that never thinks never can be wise.
A delicate thought is a flower of the mind.
Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts.
Thought is the measure of life.
Still are the thoughts to memory dear.
The ancestor of every action is a thought.
My thoughts and I were of another world.
Labor is life; thought is light.
Every thought was once a poem.
Nurture your minds with great thoughts.
The dome of thought, the palace of the soul.
All our dignity lies in our thoughts.
Strange thoughts beget strange deeds.
Thought discovered is the more possessed.
First thoughts are not always the best.
The value of a thought cannot be told.
Sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts.
My thoughts are whirled like a potter’s wheel.
The material of thought re-acts upon the thought itself.
Thought is the wind, knowledge the sail, and mankind the vessel.
Many men’s thoughts are not acorns, but merely pebbles.
Men possessed with an idea cannot be reasoned with.
In the quick forge and working house of thought.
Thought precedes the will to think, and error lives ere reason can be born.
The power of thought—the magic of the mind.
Everywhere that a great soul gives utterance to its thoughts, there also is a Golgotha.
What the Puritans gave the world was not thought, but action.
Earnest men never think in vain, though their thoughts may be errors.
Through aisles of long-drawn centuries my spirit walks in thought.
One thought cannot awake without awakening others.
It is godlike to unloose the spirit, and forget yourself in thought.
Chamfort makes me laugh and think at the same time; that is true wit.
One can see him [Thiers] think through his skin.
Man thinks, and at once becomes the master of the beings that do not think.
The man of thought strikes deepest strikes safest.
Reflection increases the vigor of the mind, as exercise does the strength of the body.
It Is fine to stand upon some lofty mountain thought, and feel the spirit stretch into a view.
A moment’s thought is passion’s passing knell.
To live thy better, let thy worst thoughts die.
One does not see his thought distinctly till it is reflected in the image of another’s.
Slow seems their speed whose thoughts before them run.
In matters of conscience first thoughts are best; in matters of prudence last thoughts are best.
They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts.
If you are not a thinking man, to what purpose are you a man at all?
God put in man thought; society, action; nature, revery.
Growing thought makes growing revelation.
Faster than spring-time showers comes thought on thought.
High-erected thoughts, seated in a heart of courtesy.
A single grateful thought towards heaven is the most perfect prayer.
One thought settles a life, an immortality.
In the interchange of thought use no coin but gold and silver.
Those flimsy webs that break as soon as wrought, attain not to the dignity of thought.
Ours is the age of thought; hearts are stronger than swords.
I and my bosom must debate awhile, and then I would no other company.
One thought includes all thought, in the sense that a grain of sand includes the universe.
Most men think indistinctly, and therefore cannot speak with exactness.
Thoughts shut up want air, and spoil like bales unopened to the sun.
Thought is the property of him who can entertain it, and of him who can adequately place it.
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
Our thoughts are ours, their ends none of our own.
To dazzle let the vain design; to raise the thought, and touch the heart, be thine.
Mind is the great lever of all things; human thought is the process by which human ends are alternately answered.
Among mortals second thoughts are the wisest.
Thought is valuable in proportion as it is generative.
There is a wide difference between the original thinker and the merely learned man.
Thoughts are but dreams till their effects be tried.
Bad thoughts quickly ripen into bad actions.
Clearness is the ornament of profound thought.
Constant thought will overflow in words unconsciously.
Thought is always troublesome to him who lives without his own approbation.
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts bring sad thoughts to the mind.
The busiest of living agents are certain dead men’s thoughts.
Speech is external thought, and thought internal speech.
Orthodoxy is the Bourbon of the world of thought. It learns not, neither can it forget.
’T is a base abandonment of reason to resign our right of thought.
Great thoughts, like great deeds, need no trumpet.
High erected thoughts seated in the heart of courtesy.
There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.
The rich are too indolent, the poor too weak, to bear the insupportable fatigue of thinking.
Every thought which genius and piety throw into the world, alters the world.
A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times.
A thought embodied and embrained in fit words walks the earth a living being.
Knocks at our hearts, and finds our thoughts at home.
Every day a little life, a blank to be inscribed with gentle thoughts.
Man is but a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed.
The three foundations of thought: Perspicuity, amplitude and justness. The three ornaments of thought: Clearness, correctness and novelty.
Speech is the vestment of thought, and expression its armor.
His bold brow bears but the scars of mind, the thoughts of years, not their decrepitude.
Every man has some peculiar train of thought which he falls back upon when he is alone. This, to a great degree, moulds the man.
Fully to understand a grand and beautiful thought requires, perhaps, as much time as to conceive it.
Thoughts perhaps, which, like field-mice of the soul, leap under the feet and stick like adders.
It is the hardest thing in the world to be a good thinker without being a good self-examiner.
There is no thought in any mind, but it quickly tends to convert itself into a power, and organizes a huge instrumentality of means.
There are few who have at once thought and capacity for action. Thought expands, but lames; action animates, but narrows.
His thoughts are like mummies, embalmed in spices and wrapped about with curious envelopments; but, within, those thoughts themselves are kings.
Many thoughts are so dependent upon the language in which they are clothed that they would lose half their beauty if otherwise expressed.
If ill thoughts at any time enter into the mind of a good man, he doth not roll them under his tongue as a sweet morsel.
A single thought is that which it is from other thoughts as a wave of the sea takes its form and shape from the waves which precede and follow it.
Thinking is creating with God, as thinking is writing with the ready writer; and worlds are only leaves turned over in the process of composition, about his throne.
Acquire a government over your ideas, that they may come down when they are called, and depart when they are bidden.
Thought means life, since those who do not think do not live in any high or real sense. Thinking makes the man.
Who, with tame cowardice familiar grown, would hear my thoughts, but fear to speak their own.
Give thy thoughts no tongue, nor any unproportioned thought his act. Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
It is strange that thought should depend upon the stomach, and still that men with the best stomachs are not always the best thinkers.
With thought, with the ideal, is immortal hilarity, the rose of joy. Round it all the muses sing.
Those recesses of the inner life, which the God who made us keeps from every eye but His own.
Only those thoughts which the most profound earnestness has produced and perfected take a cheerful form.
He who would govern his actions by the laws of virtue must regulate his thoughts by those of reason.
Man is a thinking being, whether he will or no; all he can do is to turn his thoughts to best way.
The walls of rude minds are scrawled all over with facts, with thoughts. They shall one day bring a lantern and read the inscriptions.
Thought is the slave of life, and life time’s fool; and time, that takes survey of all the world, must have a stop.
Those who have finished by making all others think with them, have usually been those who began by daring to think with themselves.
What a man thinks in his spirit in the world, that he does after his departure from the world when be becomes a spirit.
What would be the state of the highway of life, if we did not drive our thought-sprinklers through them, with valve open, sometimes.
Thought is the first faculty of man; to express it is one of his first desires; to spread it, his dearest privilege.
Thought is the property of him who can entertain it, and of him who can adequately place it.
Thought can never be compared with action, but when it awakens in us the image of truth.
I scarcely understand my own intent, but, silkworm-like, so long within have wrought, that I am lost in my own web of thought.
A vivid thought brings the power to paint it; and in proportion to the depth of its source is the force of its projection.
Mark this well, ye proud men of action! Ye are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.
Ah! as you say, we should slip over many thoughts and act as though we did not perceive them.
Sometimes a dark thought crossed my fancy, like the sullen bat that flies athwart the melancholy moon at eve.
The greatest events of an age are its best thoughts. It is the nature of thought to find its way into action.
Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their author’s minds, ages ago.
Thought on thought pressed o’er his soul, like those ocean waves, which tore thee, distant America, from the three continents.
Beautiful thoughts flit across the brain, like butterflies in the sun’s rays, and are as difficult to capture.
If the thought is slow to come, a glass of good wine encourages it; and when it does come, a glass of good wine rewards it.
Our brains are seventy year clocks. The Angel of Life winds them up once for all, then closes the case, and gives the key into the hands of the Angel of the Resurrection.
At the end of life thoughts hitherto impossible come to the collected mind, like good spirits which let themselves down from the shining heights of the past.
“Give me,” said Herder to his son, as he lay in the parched weariness of his last illness,—“give me a great thought, that I may quicken myself with it.”
Our dispositions will be suitable to that which we most frequently think on; for the soul is, as it were, tinged with the colour and complexion of its own thoughts.
A nation may be in a tumult to-day for a thought which the timid Erasmus placidly penned in his study more than two centuries ago.
Whatever that be which thinks, which understands, which wills, which acts, it is something celestial and divine, and upon that account must necessarily be eternal.
A man by tumbling his thoughts, and forming them into expressions, gives them a new fermentation, which works them into a finer body.
There are very few original thinkers in the world, or ever have been; the greatest part of those who are called philosophers have adopted the opinions of some who went before them.
Who can mistake great thoughts? They seize upon the mind; arrest and search and shake it; bow the tall soul as by wind; rush over it like rivers over reeds.
Good thoughts are blessed guests, and should be heartily welcomed, well fed, and much sought after. Like rose leaves, they give out a sweet smell if laid up in the jar of memory.
For thought, all bodiless, will soar above; and thus her Maker’s image can display,—a boon nor time nor place nor death shall snatch away.
Thoughts must come naturally, like wild-flowers; they cannot be forced in a hot-bed, even although aided by the leaf-mould of your past.
Thoughts there are, that need no embodying, no form, no expression. It is enough to hint at them vaguely; a word, and they are heard and seen.
Thoughts! what are they? They are my constant friends, who, when harsh fate its dull brow bends, uncloud me with a smiling ray, and in the depth of midnight force a day.
The more we examine the mechanism of thought, the more we shall see that the automatic, unconscious action of the mind enters largely into all its processes.
Men’s thoughts and opinions are in a great degree vassals of him who invents a new phrase or re-applies an old epithet. The thought or feeling a thousand times repeated becomes his at last who utters it best.
The highest thoughts are those which are least dependent on language, and the dignity of any composition and praise to which it is entitled are in exact proportion to its dependency of language or expression.
A very sea of thought; neither calm nor clear, if you will, yet wherein the toughest pearl-diver may dive to his utmost depth, and return not only with sea-wreck but with true orients.
Thoughts come maimed and plucked of plumage from the lips, which, from the pen, in the silence of your own leisure and study, would be born with far more beauty.
We should round every day of stirring action with an evening of thought. We learn nothing of our experience except we muse upon it.
O guard thy roving thoughts with jealous care, for speech is but the dial-plate of thought; and every fool reads plainly in thy words what is the hour of thy thought.
It is only by labor that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labor can be made happy; and the two cannot be separated with impunity.
There is a thread in our thoughts as there is a pulse in our feelings; he who can hold the one knows how to think, and he who can move the other knows how to feel.
Alas, we make a ladder of our thoughts, where angels step, but sleep ourselves at the foot; our high resolves look down upon our slumbering acts.
The thinker requires exactly the same light as the painter, clear, without direct sunshine, or blinding rejection, and, where possible, from above.
It is curious to note the old sea-margins of human thought! Each subsiding century reveals some new mystery; we build where monsters used to hide themselves.
By virtue of the Deity thought renews itself inexhaustibly every day, and the thing whereon it shines, though it were dust and sand, is a new subject with countless relations.
Liberty of thinking, and of expressing our thoughts, is always fatal to priestly power, and to those pious frauds on which it is commonly founded.
Thoughts come into our minds by avenues which we never left open, and thoughts go out of our minds through avenues which we never voluntarily opened.
A thought is often original, though you have uttered it a hundred times. It has come to you over a new route, by a new and express train of association.
It is because we underrate thought, because we do not see what a great element it is in religious life, that there is so little of practical and consistent religion among us.
Ingenious philosophers tell you, perhaps, that the great work of the steam-engine is to create leisure for mankind. Do not believe them; it only creates a vacuum for eager thought to rush in.
A man would do well to carry a pencil in his pocket, and write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable, and should be secured, because they seldom return.
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts; therefore guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
Flowing water is at once a picture and a music, which causes to flow at the same time from my brain, like a limpid and murmuring rivulet, sweet thoughts, charming reveries, and melancholy remembrances.
Unless a man can link his written thoughts with the everlasting wants of men, so that they shall draw from them as from wells, there is no more immortality to the thoughts and feelings of the soul than to the muscles and the bones.
It may be said that it is with our thoughts as with our flowers. Those whose expression is simple carry their seed with them; those that are double by their richness and pomp charm the mind, but produce nothing.
Casual thoughts are sometimes of great value. One of these may prove the key to open for us a yet unknown apartment in the palace of truth, or a yet unexplored tract in the paradise of sentiment that environs it.
Though an inheritance of acres may be bequeathed, an inheritance of knowledge and wisdom cannot. The wealthy man may pay others for doing his work for him; but it is impossible to get his thinking done for him by another, or to purchase any kind of self-culture.
Such as are thy habitual thoughts, such also will be the character of thy mind; for the soul is dyed by the thoughts. Dye it then with a continuous series of such thoughts as these: that where a man can live, there he can also live well.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought; it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of him who draws the carriage.
We should manage our thoughts as shepherds do their flowers in making a garland: first, select the choicest, and then dispose them in the most proper places, that every one may reflect a part of its color and brightness on the next.
We may divide thinkers into those who think for themselves and those who think through others; the latter are the rule, the former the exception. Only the light which we have kindled in ourselves can illuminate others.
The key to every man is his thought. Sturdy and defying though he look, he has a helm which he obeys, which in the idea after which all his facts are classified. He can only be reformed by showing him a new idea which commands his own.
When the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet, then all things are at risk. There is not a piece of science, but its flank may be turned to-morrow; there is not any literary reputation, nor the so-called eternal names of fame, that may not be revised and condemned.
I can readily conceive of a man without hands or feet; and I could conceive of him without a head, if experience had not taught me that by this he thinks. Thought, then, is the essence of man, and without this we cannot conceive of him.
Before men we stand as opaque bee-hives. They can see the thoughts go in and out of us; but what work they do inside of a man they cannot tell. Before God we are as glass bee-hives, and all that our thoughts are doing within us he perfectly sees and understands.
The only thought in the world that is worth anything is free thought. To free thought we owe all past progress and all hope for the future. Since when has any one made it appear that shackled thought could get on better than that which is free? Brains are a great misfortune if one is never to use them.
Thinking leads man to knowledge. He may see and hear, and read and learn, as much as he please; he will never know any of it, except that which he has thought over, that which by thinking he has made the property of his mind. Is it then saying too much if I say, that man by thinking only becomes truly man? Take away thought from man’s life, and what remains?
I imagine that thinking is the great desideratum of the present age; and the cause of whatever is done amiss may justly be reckoned the general neglect of education in those who need it most, the people of fashion. What can be expected where those who have the most influence have the least sense, and those who are sure to be followed set the worst examples?
Thought is the seed of action; but action is as much its second form as thought is its first. It rises in thought, to the end that it may be uttered and acted. The more profound the thought, the more burdensome. Always in proportion to the depth of its sense does it knock importunately at the gates of the soul, to be spoken, to be done.
It is by thought that has aroused my intellect from its slumbers, which has “given lustre to virtue, and dignity to truth,” or by those examples which have inflamed my soul with the love of goodness, and not by means of sculptured marble, that I hold communion with Shakespeare and Milton, with Johnson and Burke, with Howard and Wilberforce.
A thinking man is the worst enemy the Prince of Darkness can have; every time such a one announces himself, I doubt not there runs a shudder through the nether empire; and new emissaries are trained with new tactics, to, if possible, entrap him, and hoodwink and handcuff him.
Nothing is comparable to the pleasure of an active and prevailing thought,—a thought prevailing over the difficulty and obscurity of the object, and refreshing the soul with new discoveries and images of things; and thereby extending the bounds of apprehension, and as it were enlarging the territories of reason.
Thought engenders thought. Place one idea on paper, another will follow it, and still another, until you have written a page; you cannot fathom your mind. There is a well of thought there which has no bottom; the more you draw from it, the more clear and fruitful it will be.
All that a man does outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward thought. To work effectually, he must think clearly; to act nobly, he must think nobly. Intellectual force is a principal element of the soul’s life, and should be proposed by every man as the principal end of his being.
The more we examine the mechanism of thought, the more we shall see that the automatic, unconscious action of the mind enters largely into all its processes. Our definite ideas are stepping-stones; how we get from one to the other, we do not know; something carries us; we do not take the step.
Many of the finest and most interesting emotions perish forever, because too complex and fugitive for expression. Of all things relating to man, his feelings are perhaps the most evanescent, the greater part dying in the moment of their birth. But while emotions perish, thought blended in diction is immortal.
The habit of reflecting gives an inner life, which all that we see animates and embellishes. In this disposition of the soul everything becomes an object of thought. If the young botanist trembles with joy at the sight of a new plant, the moral botanist joys no less to see germinate around him truths with a much superior prize to that of an unknown flower.