by Reginald Heber (1783–1826)
’Tis not to go to church to-day,
To look devout, and seem to pray,
And ere to-morrow’s sun go down,
Be dealing scandal through the town.
Not every sanctimonious face,
Denotes the certain reign of grace;
A phiz, that seems to scowl at sin,
Oft veils hypocrisy within.
’Tis not to mark out duty’s walk,
Or of our own good deeds to talk;
And then to practice secret crime,
And to misspend and waste our time.
’Tis not for sects or creeds to fight,
And call our zeal the rule of right;
When all we wish is, at the best,
To see our church excel the rest...
It grieves to hear an ill report,
And scorns with human woes to sport;
Of others’ deeds it speaks no ill,
But tells of good or else is still...
“I believe the purpose of all major religious traditions is not to construct big temples on the outside, but to create temples of goodness and compassion inside, in our hearts.” ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, c.1996
“I don’t never have any trouble in regulating my own conduct, but to keep other folks’ straight is what bothers me.” ~Josh Billings (1818–1885)
“Many of us believe that wrongs aren’t wrong if it’s done by nice people like ourselves.” ~Jason Rainbow, c.1979
“Our moral theorists seem never content with the normal. Why must it always be a contest between fornication, obesity and laziness, and celibacy, fasting and hard labor?” ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)
“A great deal of what passes for current Christianity consists in denouncing other people’s vices and faults.” ~Henry Williams, Bishop of Carlisle, c.1928
“You would do well to trouble less about the actions of others, and to take a little more pains with your own. One ought to look a long time into one’s self before thinking of condemning others...” ~Molière, c.1666