Hoyt & Roberts, comps. Hoyt’s New Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations. 1922.


I waive the quantum o’ the sin,
The hazard of concealing:
But, och! it hardens a’ within,
And petrifies the feeling!
Burns—Epistle to a Young Friend.

Compound for sins they are inclin’d to,
By damning those they have no mind to.
Butler—Hudibras. Pt. I. Canto I. L. 215.

But, sad as angels for the good man’s sin,
Weep to record, and blush to give it in.
Campbell—Pleasures of Hope. Pt. II. L. 357.

Sin let loose speaks punishment at hand.
Cowper—Expostulation. L. 160.

Come, now again, thy woes impart,
Tell all thy sorrows, all thy sin;
We cannot heal the throbbing heart
Till we discern the wounds within.
Crabbe—Hell of Justice. Pt. II.

I couldn’t live in peace if I put the shadow of a wilful sin between myself and God.
George Eliot—The Mill on the Floss. Bk. VI. Ch. XIV.

He that falls into sin is a man; that grieves at it, is a saint; that boasteth of it, is a devil.
Fuller—Holy State. Of Self-Praising. (1642).

Das Uebel macht eine Geschichte und das Gute keine.
Sin writes histories, goodness is silent.
Goethe. See Riemer—Mittheilungen über Goethe. II. 9. 1810.

Man-like is it to fall into sin,
Fiend-like is it to dwell therein,
Christ-like is it for sin to grieve,
God-like is it all sin to leave.
Friedrich von Logau—Sinngedichte. Sin. See Longfellow’s trans. Poetic Aphorisms.

Dens propitius esto mihi peccatori.
God be merciful to me a sinner.
Luke. XVIII. 13. Vulgate.

Nor custom, nor example, nor vast numbers
Of such as do offend, make less the sin.
Massinger—The Picture. Act IV. Sc. 2.

Her rash hand in evil hour
Forth reaching to the fruit, she pluck’d, she eat;
Earth felt the wound, and Nature from her seat
Sighing through all her works gave signs of woe
That all was lost.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. IX. L. 780.

Law can discover sin, but not remove,
Save by those shadowy expiations weak.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. XII. L. 290.

So many laws argues so many sins.
Milton—Paradise Lost. Bk. XII. L. 283.

But the trail of the serpent is over them all.
Moore—Lalla Rookh. Paradise and the Peri. L. 206.

In Adam’s fall—
We sinned all.
New England Primer. (1814).

Young Timothy
Learnt sin to fly.
New England Primer. (1777).

Di faciles, peccasse semel concedite tuto:
Id satis est. P࡬nam culpa secunda ferat.
Indulgent gods, grant me to sin once with impunity. That is sufficient. Let a second offence bear its punishment.
Ovid—Amorum. Bk. II. 14. 43.

Cui peccare licet peccat minus. Ipsa potestas
Semina nequitiæ languidiora facit.
He who has it in his power to commit sin, is less inclined to do so. The very idea of being able, weakens the desire.
Ovid—Amorum. III. 4. 9.

Si quoties homines peccant sua fulmina mittat
Jupiter, exiguo tempore inermis erit.
If Jupiter hurled his thunderbolt as often as men sinned, he would soon be out of thunderbolts.
Ovid—Tristium. II. 33.

Palam mutire plebeio piaculum est.
It is a sin for a plebeian to grumble in public.
Phædrus—Fables. III. Epilogue. 34.

How shall I lose the sin yet keep the sense,
And love th’ offender, yet detest the offence?
Pope—Eloise to Abelard. L. 191.

See sin in state, majestically drunk;
Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk.
Pope—Moral Essays. Ep. II. L. 69.

My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
Proverbs. I. 10.

The way of transgressors is hard.
Proverbs. XIII. 15.

The wages of sin is death.
Romans. VI. 23.

Aliena vitia in oculis habemus; a tergo nostra sunt.
Other men’s sins are before our eyes; our own behind our backs.
Seneca—De Ira. II. 28.

Magna pars hominum est, quæ non peccatis irascitur sed peccantibus.
The greater part of mankind are angry with the sinner and not with the sin.
Seneca—Da Ira. II. 28.

Omnes mali sumus. Quidquid itaque in alio reprehenditur, id unusquisque in suo sinu inveniet.
We are all sinful. Therefore whatever we blame in another we shall find in our own bosoms.
Seneca—De Ira. III. 26.

Sin is a state of mind, not an outward act.
Sewell—Passing Thoughts on Religion. Wilful Sin.

The oldest sins the newest kind of ways?
Henry IV. Pt. II. Act IV. Sc. 5. L. 126.

It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
Henry VI. Pt. II. Act V. Sc. 1. L. 182.

Some sins do bear their privilege on earth.
King John. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 261.

I am a man
More sinn’d against than sinning.
King Lear. Act III. Sc. 2. L. 58.

Robes and furr’d gowns hide all. Plate sin with gold,
And the strong lance of justice hurtless breaks;
Arm it in rags, a pigmy’s straw doth pierce it.
King Lear. Act IV. Sc. 6. L. 169.

Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall;
Some run from breaks of ice, and answer none:
And some condemned for a fault alone.
Measure for Measure. Act II. Sc. 1. L. 38.

O, fie, fie, fie!
Thy sin’s not accidental, but a trade.
Measure for Measure. Act III. Sc. 1. L. 148.

O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!
Much Ado About Nothing. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 36.

Few love to hear the sins they love to act.
Pericles. Act I. Sc. 1. L. 92.

Though some of you with Pilate wash your hands
Showing an outward pity; yet you Pilates
Have here deliver’d me to my sour cross,
And water cannot wash away your sin.
Richard II. Act IV. Sc. 1. L. 239.

They say sin touches not a man so near
As shame a woman; yet he too should be
Part of the penance, being more deep than she
Set in the sin.
Swinburne—Tristram of Lyonesse. Sailing of the Swallow. L. 360.

To abstain from sin when a man cannot sin is to be forsaken by sin, not to forsake it.
Jeremy Taylor—Works. Vol. VII. P. 206. Eden’s Ed. Rendering of St. Augustine—Sermon CCXCIII De Pœnitentibus.

Nec tibi celandi spes sit peccare paranti;
Est deus, occultos spes qui vetat esse dolos.
When thou art preparing to commit a sin, think not that thou wilt conceal it; there is a God that forbids crimes to be hidden.
Tibullus—Carmina. I. 9. 23.

But he who never sins can little boast
Compared to him who goes and sins no more!
N. P. Willis—The Lady Jane. Canto II. St. 44.