Thomas à Kempis's Quotes

’Tis certainly much easier for a man to restrain himself from talking at all, than to enter into discourse without saying more than becomes him. ~Thomas à Kempis

’Tis rashness to conclude affairs in a lost condition because some crosses have baulked your expectations. ~Thomas à Kempis

“If the Lord tarry, yet wait for Him,” for He “will surely come” and heal thee. ~Thomas à Kempis

All men commend patience, though few be willing to practise it. ~Thomas à Kempis

Be not angry that you cannot make others what you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself what you wish to be. ~Thomas à Kempis

Constantly choose rather to want less than to have more. ~Thomas à Kempis

Faith is required at thy hands, and a sincere life, not loftiness of intellect or inquiry into the deep mysteries of God. ~Thomas à Kempis

Few spirits are made better by the pain and languor of sickness; as few great pilgrims become eminent saints. ~Thomas à Kempis

Fire trieth iron, and temptation a just man. ~Thomas à Kempis

First keep thyself in peace, and then thou shalt be able to keep peace among others. ~Thomas à Kempis

Flatter not the rich; neither do thou appear willingly before the great. ~Thomas à Kempis

For as a ship without a helm is tossed to and fro by the waves so the man who is careless and forsaketh his purpose is many ways tempted. ~Thomas à Kempis

Go whither thou wilt, thou shalt find no rest but in humble subjection to the government of a superior. ~Thomas à Kempis

God deceiveth thee not. ~Thomas à Kempis

God is able to do more than man can understand. ~Thomas à Kempis

God is always ready to strengthen those who strive lawfully. ~Thomas à Kempis

Grace is a light superior to Nature, which should direct and preside over it. ~Thomas à Kempis

Grace pays its respects to true intrinsic worth, not to the mere signs and trappings of it, which often only show where it ought to be, not where it really is. ~Thomas à Kempis

Happy he that can abandon everything by which his conscience is defiled or burdened. ~Thomas à Kempis

He doeth much that doeth a thing well. ~Thomas à Kempis

He doeth well that serveth the common good rather than his own will. ~Thomas à Kempis

He is truly great who is great in charity. ~Thomas à Kempis

He rideth easily enough whom the grace of God carrieth. ~Thomas à Kempis

He that hath gained an entire conquest over himself will find no mighty difficulties to subdue all other opposition. ~Thomas à Kempis

He that is discontented and troubled is tossed with divers suspicions; he is neither quiet himself, nor suffereth others to be quiet. ~Thomas à Kempis

He that is well-ordered and disposed within himself careth not for the strange and perverse behaviour of men. ~Thomas à Kempis

He that purposes to be happy by the affection or acquaintance of the best, the greatest man alive, will always find his mind unsettled and perplexed. ~Thomas à Kempis

He who loves with purity considers not the gift of the lover, but the love of the giver. ~Thomas à Kempis

Homo fervidus et diligens ad omnia paratur—The man who is earnest and diligent is prepared for all things. ~Thomas à Kempis

How foolish and absurd, nay, how hurtful and destructive a vice is ambition, which, by undue pursuit of honour, robs us of true honour! ~Thomas à Kempis

How should he be easy who makes other men’s cares his own? ~Thomas à Kempis

How should thy virtue be above the shocks and shakings of temptation, when even the angels kept not their first estate, and man in Paradise so soon fell from innocence? ~Thomas à Kempis

Humility is a virtue of so general, so exceeding good influence, that we can scarce purchase it too dear. ~Thomas à Kempis

If all be well within,… the impertinent censures of busy, envious men will make no very deep impression. ~Thomas à Kempis

If thou bear the cross cheerfully, it will bear thee. ~Thomas à Kempis

If thou canst let others alone in their matters, they likewise will not hinder thee in thine. ~Thomas à Kempis

If thou cast away one cross, without doubt thou shalt find another, and that perhaps more heavy. ~Thomas à Kempis

If thou wouldst profit by thy reading, read humbly, simply, honestly, and not desiring to win a character for learning. ~Thomas à Kempis

If we bear what we must bear with murmuring and grudging, we do but gall our shoulders with the yoke, and render that a heavy unprofitable load which might be fruitful and glorious. ~Thomas à Kempis

If we cast off one burden, we are immediately pursued and oppressed by another. ~Thomas à Kempis

If we fail to conquer smaller difficulties, what will become of us when assaulted by greater? ~Thomas à Kempis

If we would endeavour like brave men to stand in the battle, surely we should feel the assistance from Heaven. ~Thomas à Kempis

If your mind and its affections be pure, and sincere, and moderate, nothing shall have the power to enslave you. ~Thomas à Kempis

Impertinent and lavish talking is in itself a very vicious habit. ~Thomas à Kempis

In all straits the good behave themselves with meekness and patience. ~Thomas à Kempis

Is a man one whit the better because he is grown great in other men’s esteem? ~Thomas à Kempis

Is common opinion the standard of merit? ~Thomas à Kempis

It exalteth a man from earthly things to love those that are heavenly. ~Thomas à Kempis

It is an argument of great wisdom to do nothing rashly, nor to be obstinate and inflexible in our opinions. ~Thomas à Kempis

It is better to be affected with a true penitent sorrow for sin than to be able to resolve the most difficult cases about it. ~Thomas à Kempis

It is better to cleanse ourselves of our sins now, than to reserve them to be cleansed at some future time. ~Thomas à Kempis

It is harder work to resist vices and passions, than to toil in bodily labours. ~Thomas à Kempis

It is much safer to obey than to govern. ~Thomas à Kempis

It is of some consequence for a man to forego his own inclinations, even in matters of no great importance. ~Thomas à Kempis

It is proper and beneficial sometimes to be left to thyself. ~Thomas à Kempis

Keep company with the humble, with the devout, and with the virtuous; and confer with them of things that edify. ~Thomas à Kempis

Keep thy mind always at its own disposal. ~Thomas à Kempis

Lay not thine heart open to every one, but treat of thy affairs with the wise and such as fear God. ~Thomas à Kempis

Lean not upon a broken reed, which will not only let thee fall, but pierce thy arm too. ~Thomas à Kempis

Leave the great ones of the world to manage their own concerns, and keep your eyes and observations at home. ~Thomas à Kempis

Let go desire, and thou shalt lay hold on peace. ~Thomas à Kempis

Let go quarrel and contention, nor embroil thyself in trouble and differences by being over-solicitous in thy own defence. ~Thomas à Kempis

Let it not be grievous to thee to humble and submit thyself to the capricious humours of men with whom thou conversest in this world, but rather … endure patiently whatever they shall, but should not, do to thee. ~Thomas à Kempis

Let not the remembrance of thy former trials discourage thee. ~Thomas à Kempis

Let the thing we do be what it will, it is the principle upon which we do it that must recommend it. ~Thomas à Kempis

Let vain men pursue vanity; leave them to their own methods. ~Thomas à Kempis

Love is eternally awake, never tired with labour, nor oppressed with affliction, nor discouraged by fear. ~Thomas à Kempis

Love is swift, sincere, pious, pleasant, gentle, strong, patient, faithful, prudent, long-suffering, manly, and never seeking her own. ~Thomas à Kempis

Man’s own judgment is the proper rule and measure of his actions. ~Thomas à Kempis

Many deceive themselves, imagining to find happiness in change. ~Thomas à Kempis

Many men involve themselves deeper in temptations by being too solicitous to decline them. ~Thomas à Kempis

Melius est peccata cavere quam mortem fugere—It is better to avoid sin than to fly from death. ~Thomas à Kempis

Men are much more prone (the greater is the pity) both to speak and believe ill than well of their neighbours. ~Thomas à Kempis

Men might live quiet and easy enough, if they would be careful not to give themselves trouble, and forbear meddling with what other people do and say, in which they are in no way concerned. ~Thomas à Kempis

Men who form their judgment upon sense often err. ~Thomas à Kempis

Mistake not, man; the devil never sleeps. ~Thomas à Kempis

Mortality is beset on every side with crosses, and exposed to suffering every moment. ~Thomas à Kempis

Nature builds upon a false bottom, seeks herself what she values in others, and is oftentimes deceived and disappointed. Grace reposes her whole hope and love in God, and is never mistaken, never deluded by false expectations. ~Thomas à Kempis

Nemo impetrare potest a papa bullam nunquam moriendi—No man can ever obtain from the Pope a dispensation from death. ~Thomas à Kempis

No conflict is so severe as his who labours to subdue himself. ~Thomas à Kempis

No man doth safely appear abroad but he who can abide at home. ~Thomas à Kempis

No man doth safely rule but he that hath learned gladly to obey. ~Thomas à Kempis

No man doth safely speak but he who is glad to hold his peace. ~Thomas à Kempis

No man is so happy as never to give offence. ~Thomas à Kempis

No man is so sufficient as never to need assistance. ~Thomas à Kempis

No man is without his load of trouble. ~Thomas à Kempis

No one is qualified to converse in public who is not highly contented without such conversation. ~Thomas à Kempis

No one is qualified to entertain, or receive entertainment from others, who cannot entertain himself alone with satisfaction. ~Thomas à Kempis

No order or profession of men is so sacred, no place so remote or solitary, but that temptations and troubles will find them out and intrude upon them. ~Thomas à Kempis

No, not even faith, or hope, or any other virtue, is accepted by God without charity and grace. ~Thomas à Kempis

Nobody can continue easy in his own mind who does not endeavour to become least of all and servant of all. ~Thomas à Kempis

None so wise but the advice of others may, at some time or other, be useful and necessary for him. ~Thomas à Kempis

Nor can either thy own resentment of misfortunes within, or the violence of any calamity without, give thee sufficient grounds, from the terrible face thy present circumstances wear, to pronounce that all hope of escape and better days are past. ~Thomas à Kempis

Nothing is more common than to express exceeding zeal in amending our neighbours,… while at the same time we neglect the beginning at home. ~Thomas à Kempis

Observe this short but certain aphorism, “Forsake all, and thou shalt find all.” ~Thomas à Kempis

Occasions do not make a man frail, but they show what he is. ~Thomas à Kempis

Oh! the dulness and the hardness of the heart of man, which contemplates only the present, and does not rather provide for the future. ~Thomas à Kempis

Order all thy actions, so as readily and meekly to comply with the commands of thy superiors, the desires of thy equals, the requests of thy inferiors; so to do for all what thou lawfully mayest. ~Thomas à Kempis

Our charity indeed should be universal, and extend to all mankind; but it is by no means convenient that our friendships and familiarities should do so too. ~Thomas à Kempis

Out of sight out of mind. ~Thomas à Kempis

Pass no rash censure upon other people’s words or actions. ~Thomas à Kempis

Praise is indeed the consequence and encouragement of virtue; but it is sometimes so unseasonably applied as to become its bane and corruption too. ~Thomas à Kempis

Private affection bereaves us easily of a right judgment. ~Thomas à Kempis

Purity and simplicity are the two wings with which man soars above the earth and all temporary nature. Simplicity is in the intention, purity in the affection; simplicity turns to God; purity unites with and enjoys Him. ~Thomas à Kempis

Quicken yourself up to duty by the remembrance of your station, who you are, and what you have obliged yourself to be. ~Thomas à Kempis

Quicquid agas, prudenter agas, et respice finem—Whatever you do, do it with intelligence, and keep the end in view. ~Thomas à Kempis

Quit thyself manfully; banish impatience and distrust. ~Thomas à Kempis

Regard not much who is for thee or who against thee; but give all thy care to this, that God be with thee in everything thou doest. ~Thomas à Kempis

Remember that the time once yours can never be so again. ~Thomas à Kempis

Remember thy prerogative is to govern, and not to serve, the things of this world. ~Thomas à Kempis

Repose and happiness is what thou covetest, but these are only to be obtained by labour. ~Thomas à Kempis

Rest and undisturbed content have now no place on earth, nor can the greatest affluence of worldly good procure them,… they are peculiar to the love and fruition of God alone. ~Thomas à Kempis

Run here or there, thou wilt find no rest, but in humble subjection to the government of a superior. ~Thomas à Kempis

Scruples, temptations, and fears, and cutting perplexities of heart, are frequently the lot of the most excellent persons. ~Thomas à Kempis

Seek one good, one end, so zealously, that nothing else may come into competition or partnership with it. ~Thomas à Kempis

Simplicity is in the intention, purity in the affection; simplicity turns to God, purity unites with and enjoys him. ~Thomas à Kempis

Slander and detraction can have no influence, can make no impression, upon the righteous Judge above. None to thy prejudice, but a sad and fatal one to their own. ~Thomas à Kempis

Speak not peace to thyself when beset on every side with numerous and restless enemies. ~Thomas à Kempis

Stain (blemish) not thy innocence by too deep resentment, nor take off from the brightness of thy crown by anger and impatience and eagerness to right thyself. ~Thomas à Kempis

Stand up bravely to afflictions, and quit thyself like a man. ~Thomas à Kempis

Study to be quiet; contain yourself within your own business, and let the prying, censorious, the vain and intriguing world follow their own devices. ~Thomas à Kempis

Such as every one is inwardly, so he judgeth outwardly. ~Thomas à Kempis

Suffer no hour to slide by without its due improvement. ~Thomas à Kempis

That intention which fixes upon God as its only end will keep men steady in their purposes, and deliver them from being the jest and scorn of fortune. ~Thomas à Kempis

That learning which thou gettest by thy own observation and experience is far beyond that which thou gettest by precept; as the knowledge of a traveller exceeds that which is got by reading. ~Thomas à Kempis

The acknowledgment of our weakness is the first step towards repairing our loss. ~Thomas à Kempis

The beginning of all temptations and wickedness is the fickleness of our own minds and want of trust in God. ~Thomas à Kempis

The better you understand yourself, the less cause you will find to love yourself. ~Thomas à Kempis

The chancre of a man’s self is a very laborious undertaking. ~Thomas à Kempis

The enemy is more easily repulsed if we never suffer him to get within us, but, upon the very first approach, draw up our forces and fight him without the gate. ~Thomas à Kempis

The highest in God’s esteem are meanest in their own. ~Thomas à Kempis

The joy of a peaceful conscience is sown in tears. ~Thomas à Kempis

The kingdom of God does not lie in elegance of speech or fineness of parts, but in innocence of life and good works. ~Thomas à Kempis

The loftier the building the deeper must the foundation be laid. ~Thomas à Kempis

The Lord bestoweth his blessings where he findeth the vessels empty. ~Thomas à Kempis

The nobler the virtue is, the more eager and generous resolution do thou express of attaining to it. ~Thomas à Kempis

The opinions of men are as many and as different as their persons; the greatest diligence and most prudent conduct can never please them all. ~Thomas à Kempis

The true original ground of all disquiet is within. ~Thomas à Kempis

The way to heaven is set with briars and thorns; and they who arrive at the kingdom travel over craggy rocks and comfortless deserts. ~Thomas à Kempis

The wealth of both the Indies cannot redeem one single opportunity which you have once let slip. ~Thomas à Kempis

There can come no harm of supposing every other man better than yourself; but the supposing any man worse than yourself may be attended with very ill consequences. ~Thomas à Kempis

They who accuse and blacken thee wrongfully are much the greatest sufferers by their own malice and injustice. ~Thomas à Kempis

They who sustain their cross shall likewise be sustained by it in return. ~Thomas à Kempis

Things fasten upon thee only according as the degree of thy own love and inclination for them gives opportunity and advantage. ~Thomas à Kempis

Thou art ignorant of what thou art, and much more ignorant of what is fit for thee. ~Thomas à Kempis

Thou canst not be entirely free till thou hast attained to such a mastery as entirely to subdue and deny thyself. ~Thomas à Kempis

Thou must learn to break thine own will in many things if thou wilt have peace and concord with others. ~Thomas à Kempis

Though peace be in every man’s wishes, yet the qualifications and predispositions necessary for procuring and preserving it are the care of very few. ~Thomas à Kempis

To be ill thought of is sometimes for thy good,… if thou seek not thy own glory, but His that sent thee, the affliction will not be very grievous to be borne. ~Thomas à Kempis

To be provoked with every slanderous word argues a littleness of soul, a want of due regard to God. ~Thomas à Kempis

Too many instances there are of daring men, who by presuming to sound the deep things of religion, have cavilled and argued themselves out of all religion. ~Thomas à Kempis

True quietness of heart is gotten by resisting our passions, not by obeying them. ~Thomas à Kempis

Upon every occasion, be sure to make a conscience of what you do or say. ~Thomas à Kempis

We are all best affected to them who are of the same opinion as ourselves. ~Thomas à Kempis

We are all frail; but esteem none more frail than thyself. ~Thomas à Kempis

We know not oftentimes what we are able to do, but temptations shows us what we are. ~Thomas à Kempis

We must not suppose ourselves always to have conquered a temptation when we have fled from it. ~Thomas à Kempis

We must sometimes cease to adhere to our own opinion for the sake of peace. ~Thomas à Kempis

We should be sparing in our intimacies; because it so very often happens that the more perfectly men are understood, the less they are esteemed. ~Thomas à Kempis

We take a pleasure in being severe upon others, but cannot endure to hear of our own faults. ~Thomas à Kempis

We will have others severely corrected, and will not be corrected ourselves. ~Thomas à Kempis

What are words but empty sounds, that break and scatter in the air, and make no real impression? ~Thomas à Kempis

What is more at ease, more abstracted from the world, than a true single-hearted honesty? ~Thomas à Kempis

When you find yourselves tempted, be sure to ask advice; and when you see another so, deal with him gently. ~Thomas à Kempis

Whensoever a man desireth anything inordinately, he is presently disquieted in himself. ~Thomas à Kempis

Wheresoever a man seeketh his own, there he falleth from love. ~Thomas à Kempis

Who hath a greater combat than he that laboureth to overcome himself? ~Thomas à Kempis

Why should thy satisfaction be placed upon a thing which makes thee not one whit the better or the worse? ~Thomas à Kempis

Without the way there is no going; without the truth, no knowing; without the life, no living. ~Thomas à Kempis

Would we but quit ourselves like men, and resolutely stand our ground, we should not fail of succours from above. ~Thomas à Kempis

Your own soul is the thing you ought to look after. ~Thomas à Kempis

Your own words and actions are the only things you will be called to account for. ~Thomas à Kempis

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