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CONSCIENCE
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[ Also see Character Confession Contentment Depravity Guilt Honor Integrity Principles Reform Reformation Regret Remorse Repentance Right Self-examination Self-respect Shame Soul Virtue Voice ]

The Past lives o'er again,
  In its effects, and to the guilty spirit
    The ever-frowning Present is its image.
      - Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Remorse
         (act I, sc. 2)

Conscience and covetousness are never to be reconciled; like fire and water they always destroy each other, according to the predominancy of the element.
      - Jeremy Collier

Remorse of conscience is like an old wound; a man is in no condition to fight under such circumstances. The pain abates his vigor and takes up too much of his attention.
      - Jeremy Collier

The breast of a good man is a little heaven commencing on earth; where the Deity sits enthroned with unrivaled influence, every subjugated passion, "like the wind and storm, fulfilling his word."
      - Charles Caleb Colton

To be satisfied with the acquittal of the world, though accompanied with the secret condemnation of conscience, this is the mark of a little mind; but it requires a soul of no common stamp to be satisfied with its own acquittal, and to despise the condemnation of the world.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

We should have all our communications with men, as in the presence of God; and with God, as in the presence of men.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Our secret thoughts are rarely heard except in secret. No man knows what conscience is until he understands what solitude can teach him concerning it.
      - Joseph Cook

The Unknown is an ocean. What is conscience? The compass of the Unknown.
      - Joseph Cook

Be mine that silent calm repast,
  A conscience cheerful to the last:
    That tree which bears immortal fruit,
      Without a canker at the root;
        That friend which never fails the just,
          When other friends desert their trust.
      - Nathaniel Cotton

The still small voice is wanted.
      - William Cowper, Task (bk. V, l. 687)

Oh, Conscience! Conscience! man's most faithful friend,
  Him canst thou comfort, ease, relieve, defend;
    But if he will thy friendly checks forego,
      Thou art, oh! woe for me, his deadliest foe!
      - George Crabbe, Struggles of Conscience
         (last lines)

A good conscience is the best looking-glass of heaven.
      - Ralph Cudworth

Conscience, that boon companion who sets a man free under the strong breastplate of innocence, that bids him on and fear not.
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri")

O faithful conscience, delicately pure, how doth a little failing wound thee sore!
  [It., O dignitosa coscienza e netta,
    Come t' e picciol fallo amaro morso.]
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"), Purgatorio
         (III, 8)

So may heaven's grace clear away the foam from the conscience, that the river of thy thoughts may roll limpid thenceforth,
  [It., Se toso grazia risolva le schiume
    Di vostra conscienza, si che chiaro
      Per essa scenda della mente il fiume.]
      - Dante ("Dante Alighieri"), Purgatorio
         (XIII, 88)

Heed the still, small voice that so seldom leads us wrong, and never into folly.
      - Madame Marie Anne du Deffand

A good conscience is a port which is landlocked on every side, where no winds can possibly invade. There a man may not only see his own image, but that of his Maker, clearly reflected from the undisturbed waters.
      - John Dryden

Here, here it lies; a lump of lead by day;
  And in my short distracted nightly slumbers,
    The hag that rides my dreams.
      - John Dryden

I must leave you to the satisfaction of your own conscience, which, though a silent panegyric, is yet the best.
      - John Dryden

Rules of society are nothing, one's conscience is the umpire.
      - Mme. Armandine Lucile Dupon Dudevant (used pseudonym George Sand)

A man who sells his conscience for his interest, will sell it for his pleasure. A man who will betray his country, will betray his friend.
      - Maria Edgeworth

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.
      - Albert Einstein

Conscience is harder than our enemies,
  Knows more, accuses with more nicety.
      - George Eliot (pseudonym of Mary Ann Evans Cross)

The most reckless sinner against his own conscience has always in the background the consolation that he will go on in this course only this time, or only so long, but that at such a time he will amend. We may be assured that we do not stand clear with our own consciences so long as we determine or project, or even hold it possible, at some future time to alter our course of action.
      - Johann Gottlieb Fichte

A good conscience is never lawless in the worst regulated state, and will provide those laws for itself which the neglect of legislators had forgotten to supply.
      - Henry Fielding


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