Discourses on morality and reflection on human nature, are the best means we can make use of to improve our minds, gain a true knowledge of ourselves, and recover our souls out of the vice, ignorance, and prejudice which naturally cleave to them.
Some would divorce morality from religion; but religion is the root without which morality would die.
There is no true and abiding morality that is not founded in religion.
Morality without religion has no roots.—It becomes a thing of custom, changeable, transient, and optional.
Every young man would do well to remember that all successful business stands on the foundation of morality.
Nothing really immoral is ever permanently popular.—There does not exist in the literature of the world a single popular book that is immoral, two centuries after it is produced; for in the heart of nations the false does not live so long, and the true is ethical to the end of time.
The divorcement of morals and piety is characteristic of all pagan religions.
Morality, taken as apart from religion, is but another name for decency in sin. It is just that negative species of virtue which consists in not doing what is scandalously depraved and wicked. But there is no heart of holy principle in it, any more than there is in the grosser sin.
Morality is the vestibule of religion.
Piety and morality are but the same spirit differently manifested.—Piety is religion with its face toward God; morality is religion with its face toward the world.
There can be no high civility without a deep morality.
In matters of prudence last thoughts are best; in matters of morality, first thoughts.
Atheistic morality is not impossible, but it will never answer our purpose.—The morality that holds the great masses of sinewy people together must be very firmly rooted in an honest, downright personal faith and fear.
All moral obligation resolves itself into the obligation of conformity to the will of God.
Religion without morality is a superstition and a curse, and morality without religion is impossible.—The only salvation for man is in the union of the two as Christianity unites them.
I have never found a thorough, pervading, enduring morality but in those who feared God.
The Christian religion is the only one that puts morality on its proper, and the right basis, viz: the fear and love of God.
The morality of an action depends upon the motive from which we act. If I fling half a crown to a beggar with intention to break his head, and he picks it up and buys victuals with it, the physical effect is good; but with respect to me, the action is very wrong.
To give a man a full knowledge of true morality, I would send him to no other book than the New Testament.
Morality without religion is only a kind of dead-reckoning—an endeavor to find our place on a cloudy sea by measuring the distance we have run, but without any observation of the heavenly bodies.
Men are not made religious by performing certain actions which are externally good, but they must first have righteous principles, and then they will not fail to perform virtuous actions.
I restrict myself within bounds in saying, that, so far as I have observed in this life, ten men have failed from defect in morals where one has failed from defect in intellect.
Morality, distinguished from and independent of Christian faith, is nothing; but Christian morality is of the very essence; it is the true fruit, the sure testimony, the faithful companion, the glory and perfection, yea, the very life and soul of true Christian faith. Let us beware, that we do not confound things so different as worldly and Christian morality; as the works of the natural man and those of the disciples of Christ.
Christian morality assumes to itself no merit—it sets up no arrogant claim to God's favor—it pretends not to "open the gates of heaven"; it is only the handmaid in conducting the Christian believer in his road toward them.
Where social improvements originate with the clergy, and where they bear a just share of the toil, the condition of morals and manners cannot be very much depressed.
Learn what a people glory in, and you may learn much of both the theory and practice of their morals.
The health of a community, is an almost unfailing index of its morals.
The morality of the gospel is the noblest gift ever bestowed by God on man.
The highest morality, if not inspired and vitalized by religion, is but as the marble statue, or the silent corpse, to the living and perfect man.
They that cry down moral honesty, cry down that which is a great part of my religion, my duty toward God, and my duty toward man. What care I to see a man run after a sermon, if he cozens and cheats as soon as he comes home. On the other side, morality must not be without religion; for if so, it may change, as I see convenience. Religion must govern it. He that has not religion to govern his morality, is no better than my mastiff dog; so long as you stroke him, and please him, he will play with you as finely as may be; he is a very good moral mastiff; but if you hurt him, he will fly in your face, and tear out your throat.
The only morality that is clear in its source, pure in its precepts, and efficacious in its influence, is the morality of the gospel.—All else, at last, is but idolatry—the worship of something of man's own creation, and that, imperfect and feeble like himself, and wholly insufficient to give him support and strength.
Morality without religion is a tree without roots; a stream without any spring to feed it; a house built on the sand; a pleasant place to live in till the heavens grow dark, and the storm begins to beat.
The great mistake of my life has been that I tried to be moral without faith in Jesus; but I have learned that true morality can only keep pace with trust in Christ as my Saviour.
There is no religion without morality, and no morality without religion.
The true grandeur of humanity is in moral elevation, sustained, enlightened and decorated by the intellect of man.
In Christianity there can be no divorce of religion from morality.—Justification and sanctification are forever united.—The heathen notion of religion as something apart from moral life, is forever thrust out of sight by the Gospel.
All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God.
Morality is religion in practice; religion is morality in principle.
Let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.
Heat water to the highest degree, you cannot make wine of it; it is water still; so, let morality be raised to the highest, it is nature still; it is old Adam put in a better dress.
We deny the doctrine of the ancient Epicureans, that pleasure is the supreme good; of Hobbes, that moral rules are only the work of men's mutual fear; of Paley, that what is expedient is right, and that there is no difference among pleasures except their intensity and duration; and of Bentham, that the rules of human action are to be obtained by counting up the pleasures which actions produce.—And we maintain wiith Plato, that reason has a natural and rightful authority over desire and affection; with Butler, that there is a difference of kind in our principles of action; and with the general voice of mankind, that we must do what is right at whatever cost of pain and loss.—What we ought to do, that we should do, and that we must do, though it bring pain and loss.—And why? Because it is right.
Morality does not make a Christian, yet no man can bo a Christian without it.
They talk of morals, O, thou bleeding lamb! the grand morality is love to thee!