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[ Also see Character Churches Confession Conscience Reform Religion Remorse Repentance ]

In regard of our deliverance past, and our danger present and to come, let us look up to God, and every man reform his own ways.
      - Francis Bacon

Force is no remedy.
      - John Bright

I'll have no more beggars. Fools shall have wealth, and the learned shall live by his wits. I'll have no more bankrupts.
      - George Chapman

Public reformers had need first practice on their own hearts that which they purpose to try on others.
      - Charles I

Attempts at reform, when they fail, strengthen despotism; as he that struggles, tightens those cords he does not succeed in breaking.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Charles Fox said that restorations were the most bloody of all revolutions; and he might have added that reformations are the best mode of preventing the necessity of either.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

He that has energy enough in his constitution to root out a vice should go a little further, and try to plant a virtue in its place; otherwise he will have his labor to renew. A strong soil that has produced weeds may be made to produce wheat with far less difficulty than it would cost to make it produce nothing.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

Reform is a good replete with paradox; it is a cathartic which our political quacks, like our medical, recommend to others, but will not take themselves; it is admired by all who cannot effect it, and abused by all who can; it is thought pregnant with danger, for all time that is present, but would have been extremely profitable for that which is past, and will be highly salutary for that which is to come.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

But 'tis the talent of our English nation,
  Still to be plotting some new reformation.
      - John Dryden, Prologue to Sophonisba (l. 9)

Many hope that the tree will be felled who hope to gather chips by the fall.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

He bought a Bible of the new translation,
  And in his life he show'd great reformation;
    He walked mannerly and talked meekly;
      He heard three lectures and two sermons weekly;
        He vow'd to show all companions unruly,
          And in this speech he used no oath but "truly;"
            And zealously to keep the Sabbath's rest.
      - Sir John Harington (Harrington),
        Of a Precise Tailor

It is easier to enrich ourselves with a thousand virtues than to correct ourselves of a single fault.
      - Jean de la Bruyere

The discontent with the existing order of things pervaded the atmosphere, wherever the conditions were favorable, long before Columbus, seeking the back door of Asia, found himself knocking at the front door of America.
      - James Russell Lowell

What lasting progress was ever made in social reformation, except when every step was insured by appeals to the understanding and the will?
      - William Matthews

Long is the way
  And hard, that out of hell leads up to light.
      - John Milton, Paradise Lost
         (bk. II, l. 432)

It is my great desire to reform my subjects, and yet I am ashamed to confess that I am unable to reform myself.
      - Peter I (Peter the Great)

Reform is a work of time; a national taste, however wrong it may be, cannot be totally changed at once.
      - Sir Joshua Reynolds

Men and nations can only be reformed in their youth; they become incorrigible as they grow old.
      - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Conscious remorse and anguish must be felt, to curb desire, to break the stubborn will, and work a second nature in the soul.
      - Nicholas Rowe

Like bright metal on a sullen ground, my reformation, glittering over my fault, shall show more goodly and attract more eyes than that which hath no foil to set it off.
      - William Shakespeare

Sin, that amends, is but patched with virtue.
      - William Shakespeare

So, when this loose behavior I throw off
  And pay the debt I never promised,
    By how much better than my word I am,
      By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
        And, like bright metal on a sullen ground,
          My reformation, glitt'ring o'er my fault,
            Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
              Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
      - William Shakespeare,
        King Henry the Fourth, Part I
         (Prince Henry at I, ii)

Never was such a sudden scholar made;
  Never came reformation in a flood
    With such a heady currance scouring faults;
      Nor never Hydra-headed willfulness
        So soon did lose his seat--ant all at once--
          As in this king.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Life of King Henry the Fifth
         (Canterbury at I, i)

Necessity reforms the poor, and satiety reforms the rich.
      - Tacitus (Caius Cornelius Tacitus)

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Last Revised: 2018 December 9

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