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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 ]

Conscience is a judge in every man's breast, which none can cheat or corrupt, and perhaps the only incorrupt thing about him; yet, inflexible and honest as this judge is (however polluted the bench on which he sits), no man can, in my opinion, enjoy any applause which is not there adjudged to be his due.
      - Henry Fielding

The good or evil we confer on others very often, I believe, recoils on ourselves; for as men of a benign disposition enjoy their own acts of beneficence equally with those to whom they are done, so there are scarce any natures so entirely diabolical as to be capable of doing injuries without paying themselves some pangs for the ruin which they bring on their fellow-creatures.
      - Henry Fielding

The only incorruptible thing about us.
      - Henry Fielding

A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
      - Benjamin Franklin

A guilty conscience is like a whirlpool, drawing in all to itself which would otherwise pass by.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

A wounded conscience is able to unparadise paradise itself.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Be fearful only of thyself; and stand in awe of none more than thine own conscience. There is a Cato in every man; a severe censor of his manners. And he that reverences this judge will seldom do anything he need repent of.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

If thou wouldst be informed what God has written concerning thee in Heaven look into thin own bosom, and see what graces He hath there in thee.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Oh the difference of divers men in the tenderness of their consciences! Some are scarcely touched with a wound while others are wounded with a touch therein.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Alas, that we should be so unwilling to listen to the still and holy yearnings of the heart! A god whispers quite softly in our breast, softly yet audibly; telling us what we ought to seek and what to shun.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The man who acts never has any conscience; no one has any conscience but the man who thinks.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Two souls, alas! reside within my breast, and each withdraws from and repels its brother.
  [Ger., Zwei Seelen wohnen, ach! in meiner Brust,
    Die eine will sich von der andern trennen.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust
         (I, 2, 307)

The sweetest cordial we receive at last,
  Is conscience of our virtuous actions past.
      - William Goffe (Gough)

Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not strength to prevent, it seldom has justice enough to accuse.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, Vicar of Wakefield
         (ch. XIII)

As the stag which the huntsman has hit flies through bush and brake, over stock and stone, thereby exhausting his strength but not expelling the deadly bullet from his body; so does experience show that they who have troubled consciences run from place to place, but carry with them wherever they go their dangerous wounds.
      - Gotthold (pseudonym of Christian Scriver)

He fears not dying--'tis a deeper fear,--
  The thunder-peal cries to his conscience--"Hear"!
    The rushing winds from memory lift the veil,
      And in each flash his sins, like spectres pale,
        Freed, from their dark abode, his guilty breast,
          Shriek in his startled ear--"Death is not rest"!
      - Mrs. Sarah Josepha (Buell) Hale

Be what it may, let the first whisper of the internal monitor be listened to as an oracle, as the still small voice which Elijah heard when he wrapped his face in his mantle, recognizing it to be the voice of God.
      - Robert Hall

In matters of conscience first thoughts are best; in matters of prudence last thoughts are best.
      - Robert Hall

Conscience, that vicegerent of God in the human heart, whose "still small voice" the loudest revelry cannot drown.
      - William Henry Harrison

What other dungeon is so dark as one's own heart? What jailer so inexorable as one's self?
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne

No infallible oracle out of the breast.
      - Frederic Henry Hedge

I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.
      - Lillian Hellman

He that hath a blind conscience which sees nothing, a dead conscience which feels nothing, and a dumb conscience which says nothing, is in as miserable a condition as a man can be on this side of hell.
      - Patrick Henry

Not all the glory, all the praise,
  That decks the hero's prosperous days,
    The shout of men, the laurel crown,
      The pealing anthems of renown,
        May conscience' dreadful sentence drown.
      - Margaret Holford (a/k/a Margaret Hodson)

What a strange thing an old dead sin laid away in a secret drawer of the soul is? Must it some time or other be moistened with tears, until it comes to life again, and begins to stir in our consciousness, as the dry wheat-animaleule, looking like a grain of dust, becomes alive if it is wet with a drop of water?
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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