Quotes by William Ellery Channing

“The best books for a man are not always those which the wise recommend, but often those which meet the peculiar wants, the natural thirst of his mind, and therefore awaken interest and rivet thought.”

“The mind, in proportion as it is cut off from free communication with nature, with revelation, with God, with itself, loses its life, just as the body droops when debarred from the air and the cheering light from heaven.”

“Nothing which has entered into our experience is ever lost.”

“Faith is love taking the form of aspiration.”

“The office of government is not to confer happiness, but to give men the opportunity to work out happiness for themselves.”

“Great minds are to make others great. Their superiority is to be used, not to break the multitude to intellectual vassalage, not to establish over them a spiritual tyranny, but to rouse them from lethargy, and to aid them to judge for themselves.”

“How easy to be amiable in the midst of happiness and success.”

“The home is the chief school of human virtues.”

“The great hope of society is in individual character.”

“God is another name for human intelligence raised above all error and imperfection, and extended to all possible truth.”

“No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent.”

“It is not the quantity but the quality of knowledge which determines the mind's dignity.”

“Every mind was made for growth, for knowledge, and its nature is sinned against when it is doomed to ignorance.”

“Life has a higher end, than to be amused.”

“The world is governed by opinion.”

“We smile at the ignorance of the savage who cuts down the tree in order to reach its fruit but the same blunder is made by every person who is over eager and impatient in the pursuit of pleasure.”

Click here to go back to main page.

Learn more about William Ellery Channing.