MILTON, John Quotes
(1608-1674), English poet
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth unseen, both when we sleep and when we wake.
Why need a man forestall his date of grief, and run to meet that he would most avoid?
A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believes things, only on the authority of others without other reason, then, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes heresy.
There are no songs comparable to the songs of Zion; no orations equal to those of the prophets; and no politics like those which the Scriptures teach.
Books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a certain potency of life in them, to be as active as the soul whose progen they are; they preserve, as in a vial, the purest efficacy and extraction of the living intellect that bred them.
A good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose for a life beyond.
As well almost kill a man, as kill a good book; for the life of the one is but a few short years, while that of the other may be for ages.—Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself; kills as it were, the image of God.
Childhood shows the man, as morning shows the day.
Confidence imparts a wondrous inspiration to its possessor.—It bears him on in security, either to meet no danger, or to find matter of glorious trial.
There is no learned man but will confess he hath much profited by reading controversies; his senses awakened, his judgment sharpened, and the truth which he holds more firmly established. In logic they teach that contraries laid together more evidently appear; and controversy being permitted, falsehood will appear more false, and truth more true.
In those vernal seasons of the year when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth.
Death is the golden key that opens the palace of eternity.
All arts acknowledge that then only we know certainly, when we can define; for definition is that which refines the pure essence of things from the circumstance.
Stars of the morning—dew-drops— which the sun impearls on every leaf and flower.
Now came still evening on, and twilight gray had in her sober livery all things clad.
Faithful found among the faithless, his loyalty he kept, his love, his zeal, nor number, nor example with him wrought to swerve from truth, or change his constant mind.
Who overcomes by force, hath overcome but half his foe.
Swinish gluttony ne'er looks to heaven amid his gorgeous feast, but with besotted, base ingratitude, crams and blasphemes his feeder.
Goodness thinks no ill where no ill seems.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.
Satan was the first that practised falsehood under saintly show.
Hypocrisy, the only evil that walks invisible, except to God alone.
The spirit of man, which God inspired, cannot together perish with this corporeal clod.
Jealousy is the injured lover's hell.
A crown, golden in show, is but a wreath of thorns; brings danger, troubles, cares, and sleepless nights, to him who wears a regal diadem.
To know that which before us lies in daily life, is the prime wisdom; what is more is fume, or emptiness, or fond impertinence, and renders us, in things that most concern, unpracticed and unprepared.
The end of all learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love and imitate him.
Even this vein of laughing, as I could produce out of grave authors, hath oftentimes a strong and sinewy force in teaching and comforting.
Laws can discover sin, but not remove it.
The end of learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge to love him, and to imitate him, as we may the nearest, by possessing our souls of true virtue.
Give me the liberty to know, to think to believe, and to utter freely, according to conscience, above all other liberties.
Where liberty dwells, there is my country.
Nor love thy life, nor hate; but what thou livest, live well; how long or short permit to heaven.
Hail! holy light, offspring of heaven, first born!
Before the sun, before the heavens thou wert, and at the voice of God, as with a mantle didst invest the rising world of waters dark and deep won from the void and formless infinite.
Mutual love, the crown of all our bliss.
Capricious, wanton, bold, and brutal lust is meanly selfish; when resisted, cruel; and, like the blast of pestilential winds, taints the sweet bloom of nature's fairest forms.
Short is the course of every lawless pleasure; grief, like a shade, on all its footsteps waits, scarce visible in joy's meridian height; but downward as its blaze declining speeds, the dwarfish shadow to a giant spreads.
When lust, by unchaste looks, loose gestures, and foul talk, but most by lewd and lavish acts of sin, lets in defilement to the inward parts, the soul grows clotted by contagion, embodies and imbrutes till she quite lose the divine property of her first being.
Hail wedded love, mysterious law, true source of human offspring, sole propriety in Paradise of all things common else. By thee adulterous lust was driven from men among the bestial herds to range; by thee founded in reason, loyal, just, and pure, relations dear, and all the charities of father, son, and brother first were known.
Midnight brought on the dusky hour, friendliest to sleep and silence.
The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, and a hell of heaven.
License they mean, when they cry liberty.
Sweet is the breath of morn; her rising sweet with charm of earliest birds.
In contemplation of created things, by steps we may ascend to God.
And with necessity, the tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds.
Evil news rides post, while good news bates.
"Tell me." said a heathen philosopher to a Christian, "where is God."—"First tell me," said the other, "where he is not."
What can escape the eye of God, all seeing, or deceive his heart, omniscient!
They also serve who only stand and wait.
Stirred up with high hopes of living to be brave men and worthy patriots, dear to God, and famous to all ages.
Peace hath her victories, no less renowned than war.
Deep versed in books, and shallow in himself.
For belief or practice in religion no man ought to be punished or molested by any outward force whatever.
I argue not against heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot of heart or hope, but still bear up, and steer right onward.
What is the people but a herd confused, a miscellaneous rabble, who extol things vulgar, and well weigh'd, scarce worth the praise? they praise and they admire they know not what, and know not whom, but as one leads the other.
Evil into the mind of God or man, may come and go, and yet, if unapproved, still without sin.
Deep versed in books, but shallow in himself.
And now, without redemption, all mankind must have been lost, adjudged to death and hell by doom severe.
Long is the way and hard, that out of hell leads up to light.
The golden key that opens the palace of eternity.
Revenge, at first, though sweet, bitter, are long, back on itself recoils.
It is written, that the coat of our Saviour was without seam; whence some would infer, that there should be no division in the church of Christ. It should be so indeed; yet seams in the same cloth neither hurt the garment, nor misbecome it; and not only seams, but schisms will be while men are fallible.
Oftentimes nothing profits more than self-esteem, grounded on what is just and right.
He who reigns within himself and rules his passions, desires and fears is more than a king.
The pious and just honoring of ourselves may be thought the fountain-head from whence every laudable and worthy enterprise issues forth.
For contemplation he, and valor formed; for softness she, and sweet attractive grace; he for God only, she for God in him.
Smiles from reason flow, to brute denied, and are of love the food.
Solitude is sometimes best society, and short retirement urges sweet return.
The evening star, love's harbinger, appeared.
What is strength without a double share of wisdom? Vast, unwieldy, burthensome, proudly secure, yet liable to fall by weakest subtleties; strength's not made to rule, but to subserve, where wisdom bears command.
But peace! I must not quarrel with the will of highest dispensation, which, haply, hath ends above my reach to know.
The golden sun, in splendor likest heaven, dispenses light from far; days, months, and years, toward his all-cheering lamp turn their swift motions, or are turned by his magnetic beam that warms the universe.
Superstition is but the fear of belief, religion is the confidence and trust.
If thou well observe the rule of not too much, by temperance taught, in what thou eatest and drinkest, seeking from thence due nourishment, not gluttonous delight, till many years over thy head return, so mayst thou live, till, like ripe fruit, thou drop into thy mother's lap, or be with ease gathered, not harshly plucked, in death mature.
Hours have wings and fly up to the author of time and carry news of our usage. All our prayers cannot entreat one of them either to return or slacken its pace. The misspents of every minute are a new record against us in heaven. Sure if we thought thus we would dismiss them with better reports, and not suffer them to fly away empty, or laden with dangerous intelligence. How happy is it when they carry up not only the message but the fruits of good, and stay with the Ancient of Days to speak for us before his glorious throne.
Twilight gray hath in her sober livery all things clad.
And with necessity, the tyrant's plea, excused his devilish deeds.
Who overcomes by force hath overcome but half his foe.
I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary. The virtue that knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not a pure.
They also serve who only stand and wait.
To be weak is miserable, doing or suffering.
Weakness is thy excuse, and I believe it; weakness to resist Philistian gold, what murderer, what traitor, parricide, incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it? All wickedness is weakness.
If weakness may excuse, what murderer, what traitor, parricide, incestuous, sacrilegious, but may plead it? All wickedness is weakness; that plea, therefore, with God or man will gain thee no remission.
Sole partner, and sole part of all my joys, dearer thyself than all.
The wife when danger or dishonor lurks, safest and seemliest by her husband stays, who guards her, or with her the worst endures.
God made thee perfect, not immutable! and good he made thee, but to persevere he left it in thy power; ordained thy will by nature free, not overruled by fate inextricable, or strict necessity.
If the will, which is the law of our nature, were withdrawn from our memory, fancy, understanding, and reason, no other hell for a spiritual being could equal what we should then feel from the anarchy of our powers. It would be conscious madness—a horrid thought!
To know that which before us lies in daily life is the prime wisdom.
Zeal and duty are not slow; but on occasion's firelock watchful wait.