Home  »  Fruits of Solitude  »  Compleat Virtue

William Penn. (1644–1718). Fruits of Solitude.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.

Part I

Compleat Virtue

442. Content not thy self that thou art Virtuous in the general: For one Link being wanting, the Chain is defective.

443. Perhaps thou art rather Innocent than Virtuous, and owest more to thy Constitution, than thy Religion.

444. Innocent, is not to be Guilty: But Virtuous is to overcome our evil Inclinations.

445. If thou hast not conquer’d thy self in that which is thy own particular Weakness, thou hast no Title to Virtue, tho’ thou art free of other Men’s.

446. For a Covetous Man to inveigh against Prodigality, an Atheist against Idolatry, a Tyrant against Rebellion, or a Lyer against Forgery, and a Drunkard against Intemperance, is for the Pot to call the Kettle black.

447. Such Reproof would have but little Success; because it would carry but little Authority with it.

448. If thou wouldest conquer thy Weakness, thou must never gratify it.

449. No Man is compelled to Evil; his Consent only makes it his.

450. ’T is no Sin to be tempted, but to be overcome.

451. What Man in his right Mind, would conspire his own hurt? Men are beside themselves, when they transgress their Convictions.

452. If thou would’st not Sin, don’t Desire; and if thou would’st not Lust, don’t Embrace the Temptation: No, not look at it, nor think of it.

453. Thou would’st take much Pains to save thy Body: Take some, prithee, to save thy Soul.