Monday, May 18, 2009



There is no action of man in this life which is not the beginning of so long a chain of consequences, as that no human providence is high enough to give us a prospect to the end.—Thomas of Malmesbury.

Man is an animal that cannot long be left in safety without occupation ; the growth of his fallow nature is apt to run into weeds.—Hillard.

Wouldst thou know the lawfulness of the action which thou desirest to undertake, let thy devotion recommend it to Divine blessing: if it be lawful, thou shalt perceive thy heart encouraged by thy prayer; if unlawful, thou shalt find thy prayer discouraged by thy heart. That action is not warrantable which either blushes to beg a blessing, or, having succeeded, dares not present a thiinksgiving.—Quarles.

Action hangs, as it were, "dissolved" in speech, in thoughts whereof speech is the shadow; and precipitates itself therefrom. The kind of speech in a man betokens the kind of action you will get from him.—Carlylc.

Speak out in acts; the time for words has passed, and deeds alone suffice.— Whittier.

To do an evil action is base; to do a good action, without incurring danger, is common enough; but it is the part of a good man to do great and noble deeds, though lie risks everything.—/ 'iutarcA.

A contemplative life has more the appearance of a life of piety than any other ; but it is the Divine plan to bring faith into activity and exercise.—Cecil.

All pur actions take their lines from the complexion of the heart; as landscapes their variety from light.— W. T. Bacon.

Not alone to know, but to act according to thy knowledge, is thy destination, — proclaims the voice of my inmost soul. Not for indolent contemplation and study of thyself, nor for brooding over emotions of piety, — no, for action was existence given thcc; thy actions, and thy actions alone, determine thy worth.— Fichte.

The only true method of action in this world is to be in it, but not of it.—Madame Swetchine.

Man, being essentially active, must find in activity his joy, as well as his beauty and glory; and labor, like everything else that is good, is its own reward.— W hippie.

The only things in which we can be said to have any property are our actions. Our thoughts may be bad, yet produce no poison; they may be good, yet produce no fruit. Our riches may be taken away by misfortune, our reputation by malice, our spirits by calamity, our health by disease, our friends by death. But our actions must follow us beyond the grave; with respect to them alone, we cannot say that we shall curry nothing with us when we die, neither that we shall go naked out of the world.— Colton.

Idlers cannot even find time to be idle, or the industrious to be at leisure. We must be always doing or suffering.—Zimmermann.

Unselfish and noble acts arc the most radiant epochs in the biographv of souls. When wrought in earliest youth, they lie in the memory of age like the coral islands, green and sunny, amidst the melancholy waste of ocean.— Rev. Dr. Thomas.

Life is a short day; but it is a working-day. Activity may lead to evil; but inactivity cannot be led to good.—Hannah ifofe.

Allowing the performance of an honorable action to be attended with labor, the labor is soon over, but the honor is immortal; whereas, should even pleasure wait on the commission of what is dishonorable, the pleasure is soon gone, but the dishonor is eternal.—John Stewart.

Our actions are like the terminations of verses, which we rhyme as we please.—


I have lived to know that the secret of happiness is never to allow your energies to stagnate.—Adam Clarke.

Be not too tame neither, bnt let your own discretion be your tutor; suit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature.—Shakespeare.

All power appears only in transition. Permanent power is stuff.—NovaJis.

Act! the wise are known by their actions; fame and immortality are ever their attendants. Mark with deeds the vanishing traces of swift- rolling time. Let us make happy the circle around us, — be useful as much as we may. For that fills up with soft rapture, that dissolves the dark clouds of the day!—Salts.

Be great in act, as you have been in thought.

Indolence is a delightful but distressing Btate; we must be doing something to be happy. Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human frame.—Hazlitt.

It behooves the high for their own sake to do things worthily.—Ben Jonson.

It is hard to personate and act a part long;

for where Truth is not at the bottom, Nature

will always be endeavoring to return, and will

peep out and betray herself one time or other.—


Strong reasons make strong actions.—


The Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions arc weighed.—/.'.'..'..

Man is born for action; he ought to do something. Work, at each step, awakens a sleeping force and roots out error. Who does nothing, knows nothing. Rise ! to work ! If thy knowledge is real, employ it; wrestle with nature ; test the strength of thy theories ; see if j they will support the trial; act!—Aloysius.

Our actions are our own ; their consequences belong to Heaven.—P. Francis.

"There is nothing so terrible as activity without insight," says Goethe. " I would open every one of Argus's hundred eyes before I used one of Briareus's hundred hands," says Lord Bacon. "Look before you leap," says John Smith, all over the world.— Whipple.

Our acts make or mar us, — we are the children of our own deeds.—Victor Hugo.

Remember that in all miseries lamenting becomes fools, and action, wise folk.—

Sir P. Sidney.

A stirring dwarf we do allowance give before a sleeping giant.—Shakespeare.

Action is the highest perfection and drawing forth of the utmost power, vigor, and activity of man's nature.—South.

Better that we should err in action than wholly refuse to perform. The storm is so much better than the calm, as it declares the presence of a living principle. Stagnation is something \ro*se than death. It is corruption


The flighty purpose~~neyer is o'ertook unless the deed go with it.—Shakespeare.

Let us, if we must have great actions, make our own so. All action is of infinite elasticity, and the least admits of being inflated with celestial air, until it eclipses the sun and moon.—Emerson.

Activity is the presence of function, — chai- actcr is the record of function.—Greenough.

No man should be so much taken up in the search of truth, as thereby to neglect the more necessary duties of active lite; for after all is done, it is action only that gives a true value and commendation to virtue.—Cicero.

Active natures are rarely melancholy. Activity and melancholy are incompatible.—Bovee.

Do not be afraid because the community teems with excitement. Silence and death are dreadful. The rush of life, the vigor of earnest men, the conflict of realities, invigorate, cleanse, and establish the truth.—Beecher,

Action is eloquence, and the eyes of the ignorant more learned than their ears.—


The activity of the young is like that of rail cars in motion, — they tear along with noise and turmoil, and leave peace behind them. The quietest nooks, invaded by them, lose their quietude as they pass, and recover it only on their departure. "Time's best gift to us is serenity.— Bovee.

Celerity is never more admired than by th'e negligent.—Shakespeare.

It is good policy to strike while the iron is hot; it is still better to adopt Cromwell's procedure, and make the iron hot by striking. The master-spirit who can rule the storm is great, but he is much greater who can both raise and rule it.—E. L. Magoon.

How slow the time to the warm soul, that, in the very instant it forms, would execute a great design!—Thomson.

Let's take the instant by the forward top ; for we are old, and on our quickest decrees, the inaudible and noiseless foot of time steals, ert we can effect them.—Shakespeare.

Hast thoii not Greek enough to understand thus much: the end of man is an action and not a thought, though it were of the noblest.—


Deliberate with caution, but act with decision; and yield with graciousness, or oppose with firmness.—Cotton.

The keen spirit seizes the prompt occasion; makes the thought start into instant action, and at once plans and performs, resolves and executes !—Hannah More.

The firefly only shines when on the wing; so is it with the mind; when once we rest, we darken.—Bailey.

Words are good, but there is something better. The best is not to be explained by words. The spirit in which we act is the chief matter. Action can only be understood and represented by the spirit. No one knows what he is doing while he is acting rightly, but of what is wrong we are always conscious.—Goethe.

It is vain to expect any advantage from our profession of the truth, if we be not sincerely just and honest in our actions.—

Archbishop Sharpe.

Men's actions to futurity appear but as the events to which they are conjoined do give them consequence.—Joanna Baillie.

Thought ajid theory must precede all action that moves to salutarv purposes. Yet action is nobler iu itself than cither thought or theory.—


Every event that a man would master must be mounted on the run, nnd no man ever caught the reins of a thought except as it galloped by him.—Holmes.

Toil, feel, think, hope. A man is sure to dream enough before he dies without making arrangements for the purpose.—Sterling.

There is no word or action but may be taken with two hands, — either with the right hand of charitable construction, or the sinister interpretation of malice and suspicion; and all things do succeed as they are taken. To construe an evil action well is but a pleasing and profitable deceit to myself; but to mis- umstrue a good thing is a treble wrong, — to myself, the action, and the author.—Bishop Hall.

What a man knows should find its expression in what he does. The value of superior knowledge is chiefly in that it leads to a performing manhood.—Bovee.

Actions rare and sudden do commonly proceed from fierce necessity, or else from some oblique design, which is ashamed to show itself in the public road.—Sir W. Davenant.

The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.—Pascal,

Act well at the moment, and you have performed a good action to all eternity.—Lavater.

Just in proportion as a man becomes good, divine, Chnstlike, he passes out of the region of theorizing, of system-building, and hireling service, into the region of beneficent activities. It is well to think well. It is divine to act well.—Horace Mann.

Life is an outward occupation, an actual work, in all ranks, and all situations.—

Wilhelm von Humboldt.

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