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TEMPTATION
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[ Also see Crime Desire Devil Example Guilt Indifference Lust Opportunity Passion Vice Wickedness ]

On this earth all is temptation. Crosses tempt us by irritating our pride, and prosperity by flattering it. Our life is a continual combat, but one in which Jesus Christ fights for us. We must pass on unmoved, while temptations rage around us, as the traveler, overtaken by a storm, simply wraps his cloak more closely about him, and pushes on more vigorously toward his destined home.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

Temptations are a file which rub off much of the rust of self-confidence.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

The realization of God's presence is the one sovereign remedy against temptation.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

When tempted, the shortest and surest way is to act like a little child at the breast; when we show it a frightful monster, it shrinks back and buries its face in its mother's bosom, that it may no longer behold it.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

When I cannot be forced, I am fooled out of my integrity. He cannot constrain if I do not consent. If I do but keep possession, all the posse of hell cannot violently eject me; but I cowardly surrender to his summons. Thus there needs no more to be my undoing but myself.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

Every bird has its decoy, and every man is led and misled in his own peculiar way.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Great possessions and great want of them are both strong temptations.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We are surrounded by abysses, but the greatest of all depths is in our own heart, and an irresistible leaning leads us there. Draw thyself from thyself!
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thou shalt abstain,
  Renounce, refrain.
    [Ger., Entbehren sollst du! sollst entbehren.]
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust (I, 4)

The devil is very near at hand to those who, like monarchs, are accountable to none but God for their actions.
      - Gustavus II (Gustavus Adolphus) ("Lion of the North" and "Snow King")

The difference between those whom the world esteems as good and those whom it condemns as bad, is in many cases little else than that the former have been better sheltered from temptation.
      - Augustus William Hare

We like slipping, but not falling: our real desire is to be tempted enough.
      - Augustus William Hare

Many a dangerous temptation comes to us in fine gay colours, that are but skin-deep.
      - Matthew (Mathew) Henry, Commentaries
         (Genesis, III)

In the hour of my distress,
  When temptations me oppress,
    And when I my sins confess,
      Sweet Spirit, comfort me.
      - Robert Herrick

Temptations hurt not, though they have accesse;
  Satan o'ercomes none but by willingnesse.
      - Robert Herrick, Hesperides-Temptations

A vacant mind invites dangerous inmates, as a deserted mansion tempts wandering outcasts to enter and take up their abode in its desolate apartments.
      - George Stillman Hillard

We often wonder that certain men and women are left by God to the commission of sins that shock us. We wonder how, under the temptation of a single hour, they fall from the very heights of virtue and of honor into sin and shame. The fact is that there are no such falls as these, or there are next to none. These men and women are those who have dallied with temptation--have exposed themselves to the influence of it, and have been weakened and corrupted by it.
      - Josiah Gilbert Holland (used pseudonym Timothy Titcomb)

Honest bread is very well--it's the butter that makes the temptation.
      - Douglas William Jerrold, The Catspaw

Humanly speaking, there is a certain degree of temptation which will overcome any virtue. Now, in so far as you approach temptation to a man, you do him an injury, and if he is overcome, you share his guilt.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

In so far as you approach temptation to a man, you do him an injury; and if he is overcome, you share his guilt.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Man's chief merit consists in resisting the impulses of his nature.
      - Samuel Johnson (a/k/a Dr. Johnson) ("The Great Cham of Literature")

Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they show what he is.
      - Thomas a Kempis

Love cries victory when the tears of a woman become the sole defence of her virtue.
      - Jean de la Fontaine

One learns more metaphysics from a single temptation than from all the philosophers.
      - James Russell Lowell

There are temptations which strong exercise best enables us to resist.
      - Sir John Lubbock, Lord Avebury


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