Whatever parent gives his children good instruction, and sets them at the same time a bad example, may be considered as bringing them food in one hand, and poison in the other.
Preaching is of much avail, but practise is far more effective.—A godly life is the strongest argument you can offer to the skeptic.—No reproof or denunciation is so potent as the silent influence of a good example.
Example has more followers than reason.—We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and approximate to the characters we most admire.—A generous habit of thought and action carries with it an incalculable influence.
Example is the school of mankind; they will learn at no other.
Example is more forcible than precept.—People look at my six days in the week to see what I mean on the seventh.
Precept is instruction written in the sand.—The tide flows over it, and the record is gone.—Example is graven on the rock, and the lesson is not soon lost.
Our lives, by acts exemplary, not only win ourselves good names, but do to others give matter for virtuous deeds, by which we live.
Not the cry, but the flight of the wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.
Be a pattern to others, and then all will go well; for as a whole city is infected by the licentious passions and vices of great men, so it is likewise reformed by their moderation.
No man is so insignificant as to be sure his example can do no hurt.
One watch set right will do to set many by; one that goes wrong may be the means of misleading a whole neighborhood; and the same may be said of example.
Of all commentaries upon the Scriptures, good examples are the best and the liveliest.
Example is a dangerous lure; where the wasp got through, the gnat sticks fast.
None preaches better than the ant, and she says nothing.
Though "the words of the wise be as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies," yet their examples are the hammer to drive them in to take the deeper hold. A father that whipped his son for swearing, and swore himself whilst he whipped him, did more harm by his example than good by his correction.
You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
People seldom improve when they have no model but themselves to copy after.
The innocence of the intention abates nothing of the mischief of the example.
I am satisfied that we are less convinced by what we hear than by what we see.
We can do more good by being good, than in any other way.
Every great example takes hold of us with the authority of a miracle, and says to us, "If ye had but faith, ye, also, could do the same things."
We are all of us more or less echoes, repeating involuntarily the virtues, the defects, the movements, and the characters of those among whom we live.
Examples of vicious courses, practised in a domestic circle, corrupt more readily and more deeply, when we behold them in persons of authority.
So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.
A wise and good man will turn examples of all sorts to his own advantage. The good he will make his patterns, and strive to equal or excel them. The bad he will by all means avoid.
Nothing is so infectious as example.
The pulpit teaches to be honest, the marketplace trains to overreaching and fraud—Teaching has not a tithe of the efficacy of example and training.
No life can be pure in its purpose, and strong in its strife, and all life not be purer and stronger thereby.
There is no part of history which seems capable of either more instruction or entertainment, than that which offers to us the lives of great and virtuous men who have made an eminent figure on the public stage of the world. In these we see what the annals of a whole age can afford that is worthy of notice; and in the wide field of universal history gather all its flowers, and possess ourselves of all that is good in it.
There are bad examples that are worse than crimes; and more states have perished from the violation of morality than from the violation of law.
The first great gift we can bestow on others is a good example.
Thou canst not rebuke in children what they see practised in thee.—Till reason be ripe, examples direct more than precepts.—Such as is thy behavior before thy children's faces, such is theirs behind thy back.
The conscience of children is formed by the influences that surround them; their notions of good and evil are the result of the moral atmosphere they breathe.
Nothing is so contagious as example.—Never was any considerable good or evil done without producing its like.— We imitate good actions through emulation; and bad ones through the evil of our nature, which shame conceals, but example sets at liberty.
Men trust rather to their eyes than to their ears.—The effect of precepts is, therefore, slow and tedious, while that of examples is summary and effectual.
Noble examples stir us up to noble actions, and the very history of large and public souls inspires a man with generous thoughts.
A world of mischief may be done by a single example of avarice or luxury.—One voluptuous palate makes many more.
It is certain, that either wise bearing or ignorant carriage is caught, as men take diseases one of another; therefore, let them take heed of their company.
It is a good divine that follows his own instructions. I can easier teach twenty men what were good to be done, than to be one of twenty to follow mine own teaching.
Alexander received more bravery of mind by the pattern of Achilles, than by hearing the definition of fortitude.
Example teaches better than precept. It is the best modeler of the character of men and women. To set a lofty example is the richest bequest a man can leave behind him.
Live with wolves, and you will learn to howl.
Much more gracious and profitable is doctrine by ensample, than by rule.
There is a transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously, when we walk uprightly.
My advice is to consult the lives of other men, as one would a looking-glass, and from thence fetch examples for imitation.