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WILLIAM ELLERY CHANNING
American writer and orator
(1780 - 1842)
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A beautiful literature springs from the depth and fulness of intellectual and moral life, from an energy of thought and feeling, to which nothing, as we believe, ministers so largely as enlightened religion.
      - [Literature]

A friend gives himself to his beloved, and the higher his excellence the richer the gift.
      - [Friends]

A friend is he who sets his heart upon us, is happy with us and delights in us; does for us what we want, is willing and fully engaged to do all he can for us, on whom we can rely in all cases.
      - [Friends]

A general loftiness of sentiment, independence of men, consciousness of good intentions, self-oblivion in great objects, clear views of futurity; thoughts of the blessed companionship of saints and angels, trust in God as the friend of truth and virtue,--these are the states of mind in which I should live.
      - [Sentiment]

A man in earnest finds means, or, if he cannot find, creates them-.
      - [Earnestness]

A man may quarrel with himself alone; that is, by controverting his better instincts and knowledge when brought face to face with temptation.
      - [Quarrels]

A religion giving dark views of God, and infusing superstitious fear of innocent enjoyment, instead of aiding sober habits, will, by making men abject and sad, impair their moral force, and prepare them for intemperance as a refuge from depression or despair.
      - [Religion]

A theology at war with the laws of physical nature would be a battle of no doubtful issue. The laws of our spiritual nature give still less chance of success to the system which would thwart or stay them.
      - [Theology]

A true friend embraces our objects as his own. We feel another mind bent on the same end, enjoying it, ensuring it, reflecting it, and delighting in our devotion to it.
      - [Friends]

A true friend will appear such in leaving us to act according to our intimate conviction,--will cherish this nobleness of sentiment, will never wish to substitute his power for our own.
      - [Friends]

All noble enthusiasms pass through a feverish stage and grow wiser and more serene.
      - [Enthusiasm]

All that a man does outwardly is but the expression and completion of his inward thought. To work effectually, he must think clearly; to act nobly, he must think nobly. Intellectual force is a principal element of the soul's life, and should be proposed by every man as the principal end of his being.
      - [Thought]

All virtue lies in individual action, in inward energy, in self-determination. The best books have most beauty.
      - [Virtue]

Be true to your own highest convictions.
      - [Ideality]

Beauty is an all-pervading presence. It unfolds to the numberless flowers of the spring; it waves in the branches of the trees and the green blades of grass; it haunts the depths of the earth and the sea, and gleams out in the hues of the shell and the precious stone. And not only these minute objects, but the ocean, the mountains, the clouds, the heavens, the stars, the rising and setting sun, all overflow with beauty.
      - [Beauty]

Books are the true levellers. They give to all who faithfully use them the society, the spiritual presence, of the best and greatest of our race.
      - [Books]

Christianity is indeed peculiarly fitted to the more improved stages of society, to the more delicate sensibilities of refined minds, and especially to that dissatisfaction with the present state which always grows with the growth of our moral powers and affections.
      - [Christianity]

Compassionate Saviour! We welcome Thee to our world. We welcome Thee to our hearts. We bless Thee for the Divine goodness Thou hast brought from heaven; for the souls Thou hast warmed with love to man, and lifted up in love to God; for the efforts of divine philanthropy which Thou hast inspired; and for that hope of a pure celestial life, through which Thy disciples triumph over death.
      - [Christ (Saviour)]

Contempt of all outward things, which come in competition with duty, fulfills the ideal of human greatness. This conviction, that readiness to sacrifice life's highest material good and life itself, is essential to the elevation of human nature, is no illusion of ardent youth, nor outburst of blind enthusiasm. It does not yield to growing wisdom. It is confirmed by all experience. It is sanctioned by conscience--that universal and eternal lawgiver whose chief dictate is, that every thing must be yielded up for the right.
      - [Self-sacrifice]

Courage, considered in itself or without reference to its causes, is no virtue, and deserves no esteem. It is found in the best and the worst, and is to be judged according to the qualities from which it springs and with which it is conjoined.
      - [Courage]

Error soon passes away unless upheld by restraint on thought. History tells us (and the lesson is invaluable) that the physical force which has put down free inquiry has been the main bulwark of the superstitions and illusions of past ages.
      - [Error]

Even in evil, that dark cloud which hangs over the creation, we discern rays of light and hope, and gradually come to see in suffering and temptation proofs and instruments of the sublimest purposes of wisdom and love.
      - [Evil : Excess]

Every human being has a work to carry on within, duties to perform abroad, influences to exert, which are peculiarly his, and which no conscience but his own can teach.
      - [Responsibility]

Every man is a volume if you know how to read him.
      - [Books]

Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge; and its nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance.
      - [Intellect]


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