Quotations by Clarke, James F.


A politician, for example, is a man who thinks of the next election; while the statesman thinks of the next generation.

James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) American theologian and author
“Wanted, a Statesman!”, Old and New Magazine (Dec 1870)
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Often paraphrased: "A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation."
Added on 19-Sep-14 | Last updated 19-Sep-14
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The difficulty about a politician, no matter how honest and well-intentioned he may be, is always this: that the matter of absolute importance in his mind, to which everything else must yield, is to carry the next election for his party.

James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) American theologian and author
“Wanted, a Statesman!”, Old and New Magazine (Dec 1870)
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Added on 26-Sep-14 | Last updated 26-Sep-14
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The statesman values principles more than measures, and measures more than party. I am afraid the politician reverses this rule, valuing his party most, measures next, and principles least.

James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) American theologian and author
“Wanted, a Statesman!”, Old and New Magazine (Dec 1870)
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Added on 3-Oct-14 | Last updated 3-Oct-14
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Let us not torment each other because we are not all alike, but believe that God knew best what He was doing in making us so different. So will the best harmony come out of seeming discords, the best affection out of differences, the best life out of struggle, and the best work will be done when each does his own work, and lets every one else do and be what God made him for.

James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) American theologian and author
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Added on 17-Oct-14 | Last updated 17-Oct-14
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We must be something in order to do something, but we must also do something in order to be something. The best rule, I think, is this: If we find it hard to do good, then let us try to be good. If, on the other hand, we find it hard to be good, then let us try to do good. Being leads to doing, doing leads to being. Yet below both as their common root is faith, — faith in God, in man, in ourselves, in the eternal superiority of right over wrong, truth over error, good over evil, love over all selfishness and all sin.

James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) American theologian and author
(Attributed)

Quoted in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Added on 24-Oct-14 | Last updated 24-Oct-14
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Your past sins shall be forgiven if you begin now to do right, for that is repentance.

James Freeman Clarke (1810-1888) American theologian and author
Self-Culture: Physical, Intellectual, Moral, and Spiritual, ch. 21 (1880)
Added on 4-Jun-13 | Last updated 4-Jun-13
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