Quotations about   forgiveness

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Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to one single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain victims of its consequences forever, not unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice who lacked the magic formula to break the spell.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
The Human Condition, Part 5, ch. 33 (1958)
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Added on 29-Jul-22 | Last updated 29-Jul-22
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Satan’s greatest sin, his greatest mistake, wasn’t pride or rebelling against God. His greatest mistake was believing that God would not forgive him if he asked for forgiveness. His sin wasn’t just pride — it was self-pity. I think in some ways every single person, human, vampire, whatever, has a choice to make: to be full of rage about what happens to you or to reconcile with it, to strive for the most honorable existence you can despite the odds. Do you believe in a God who understands and forgives or one who doesn’t? What it comes down to is, this is between you and God, and you’ll have to work that out for yourself.

Carrie Vaughn
Carrie Vaughn (b. 1973) American writer
Kitty and the Midnight Hour, ch. 1 (2005)
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Added on 27-Jul-22 | Last updated 27-Jul-22
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Humility makes us charitable toward our neighbor. Nothing will make us so generous and merciful to the faults of others as seeing our own faults.

François Fénelon (1651-1715) French theologian, poet, writer [François de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon]
Letter, Undated [tr. Edmonson / Helms]
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In Robert J. Edmonson, Hal M. Helms (eds.), The Complete Fénelon, Part 2, ch. 8 (2008). Alternate translations:

Nothing will make us so charitable and tender to the faults of others as by self-examination thoroughly to know our own.
[Source (1895)]

Humility renders us charitable towards our neighbor; nothing will make us so tender and indulgent to the faults of others as a view of our own.
[tr. Metcalf (1853)]

Added on 20-May-22 | Last updated 13-Jun-22
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Insofar as I may be heard by anything, which may or may not care what I say, I ask, if it matters, that you be forgiven for anything you may have done or failed to do which requires forgiveness. Conversely, if not forgiveness but something else may be required to insure any possible benefit for which you may be eligible after the destruction of your body, I ask that this, whatever it may be, be granted or withheld, as the case may be, in such a manner as to insure your receiving said benefit. I ask this in my capacity as your elected intermediary between yourself and that which may not be yourself, but which may have an interest in the matter of your receiving as much as it is possible for you to receive of this thing, and which may in some way be influenced by this ceremony. Amen.

Roger Zelazny (1937-1995) American writer
“Agnostic’s Prayer,” Creatures of Light and Darkness (1969)
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Used by a character to shrive a person about to commit a public suicide. Also called the "Possibly Proper Death Litany."
Added on 11-May-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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I once met a man who had forgiven an injury. I hope some day to meet the man who has forgiven an insult.

Charles Buxton (1823-1871) English brewer, philanthropist, writer, politician
Notes of Thought, #458 (1873)
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Added on 2-Mar-22 | Last updated 2-Mar-22
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Once a woman has forgiven her man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.

Marlene Dietrich (1901-1992) German-American actress, singer
Marlene Dietrich’s ABC, “Forgiveness” (1962)
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Added on 21-Jan-22 | Last updated 21-Jan-22
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To describe someone as a “criminal” is both to mark that person with a terrifying permanent character trait and simultaneously to place the person outside the circle of “us.” They are criminals. We make mistakes.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, ch. 7 (2018)
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Added on 21-Oct-21 | Last updated 21-Oct-21
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Christ died for our sins. Dare we make his martyrdom meaningless by not committing them?

Jules Feiffer (b. 1929) American cartoonist, authork, satirist
Little Murders, Act 1 (1967)
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Motto of "The First Existential Church."
Added on 1-Apr-21 | Last updated 1-Apr-21
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Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury.

Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-1880) American clergyman
Living Words (1860)
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Added on 25-Sep-20 | Last updated 25-Sep-20
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But since it is no more in a Man’s Power to think than to look like another, methinks all that should be expected from me is to keep my Mind open to Conviction, to hear patiently and examine attentively whatever is offered me for that end; and if after all I continue in the same Errors, I believe your usual Charity will induce you rather to pity and excuse than blame me.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to Josiah and Abiah Franklin (13 Apr 1738)
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Added on 24-Sep-20 | Last updated 24-Sep-20
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Man’s greatest blunder has been in trying to make peace with the skies instead of making peace with his neighbors.

Elbert Hubbard (1856-1915) American writer, businessman, philosopher
In The Philistine (Sep 1910)
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Reprinted in The Philosophy of Elbert Hubbard, "Epigrams" (1916) [ed. Hoyle].
Added on 31-Aug-20 | Last updated 31-Aug-20
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It is not murder which is forgiven but the killer, his person as it appears in circumstances and intentions. The trouble with the Nazi criminals was precisely that they renounced voluntarily all personal qualities, as if nobody were left to be either punished or forgiven. They protested time and again that they had never done anything out of their own initiative, that they had no intentions whatsoever, good or bad, and that they only obeyed orders.

To put it another way: the greatest evil perpetrated is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Some Questions of Moral Philosophy,” Lecture (1965-66)
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Reprinted in Responsibility and Judgment (2003).
Added on 18-Aug-20 | Last updated 18-Aug-20
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It is only hypocrites who cannot forgive hypocrisy, whereas those who search for truth are too conscious of the maze to be hard on others.

E. M. Forster (1879-1970) English novelist, essayist, critic, librettist [Edward Morgan Forster]
“Albergo Empedocle” (1903)
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Added on 22-Apr-20 | Last updated 22-Apr-20
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There is no use talking as if forgiveness were easy. We all know the old joke, “You’ve given up smoking once; I’ve given it up a dozen times.” In the same way I could say of a certain man, “Have I forgiven him for what he did that day? I’ve forgiven him more times than I can count.” For we find that the work of forgiveness has to be done over and over again. We forgive, we mortify our resentment; a week later some chain of thought carries us back to the original offence and we discover the old resentment blazing away as if nothing had been done about it at all. We need to forgive our brother seventy times seven not only for 490 offences but for one offence.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Reflections on the Psalms, ch. 3 “The Cursings” (1958)
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Added on 29-Jan-20 | Last updated 17-May-22
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Here lie I, Martin Elginbrodde:
Hae mercy o’ my soul, Lord God;
As I wad do, were I Lord God,
And ye were Martin Elginbrodde.

George MacDonald (1824-1905) Scottish novelist, poet
David Elginbrod, ch. 13 (1863)
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Added on 6-Jan-20 | Last updated 6-Jan-20
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Successful marriage: The union of two good forgivers.

Robert Quillen (1887-1948) American journalist and humorist
(Attributed)

Quoted in Column Review in 1935.
Added on 26-Jan-19 | Last updated 26-Jan-19
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Marriage is three parts love and seven parts forgiveness of sins.

Langdon Mitchell (1862-1935) American playwright
The New York Idea (1907)
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Added on 12-Sep-18 | Last updated 12-Sep-18
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I ask you not to hate people who treat you badly. … This is easier to write than it is to live but there are ignorant people. Only a few are truly malicious. Hate is a poison. It can spread through your system. Forgive them if you can. Forget them if you must.

Rita Mae Brown (b. 1944) American author, playwright
Interview in OutSmart magazine (Jan 1998)
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Added on 20-Nov-17 | Last updated 20-Nov-17
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For my own part, I consider the best and most finished type of man to be the person who is always ready to make allowances for others, on the ground that never a day passes without his being in fault himself, yet who keeps as clear of faults as if he never pardoned them in others.

[Atque ego optimum et emendatissimum existimo, qui ceteris ita ignoscit, tamquam ipse cotidie peccet, ita peccatis abstinet tamquam nemini ignoscat.]

Pliny the Younger (c. 61-c. 113) Roman politician, writer [Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus]
Epistles [Epistulae], Book 8, Letter 22 “To Geminus” [tr. J.B.Firth (1900)]
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Alt. trans.: "The highest of characters, in my estimation, is his, who is as ready to pardon the moral errors of mankind, as if he were every day guilty of some himself; and at the same time as cautious of committing a fault as if he never forgave one."
Added on 22-Aug-17 | Last updated 22-Aug-17
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Forgiveness does not mean ignoring what has been done or putting a false label on an evil act. It means, rather, that the evil act no longer remains as a barrier to the relationship. Forgiveness is a catalyst creating the atmosphere necessary for a fresh start and a new beginning. It is the lifting of a burden or the canceling of a debt. The words “I will forgive you, but I’ll never forget what you have done” never explain the real nature of forgiveness. Certainly one can never forget, if that means erasing it totally for his mind. But when we forgive, we forget in the sense that the evil deed is no longer a mental block impeding a new relationship. Likewise, we can never say, “I will forgive you, but I won’t have anything further to do with you.” Forgiveness means reconciliation, a coming together again. Without this, no man can love his enemies. The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Loving Your Enemies,” Sermon, Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery (25 Dec 1957)
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Not to be confused with a similarly-named sermon preached on 17 November of the same year. This sermon was reprinted in Strength to Love (1963)
Added on 21-Jul-17 | Last updated 31-Jul-17
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As I walked out the door toward my freedom, I knew that if I did not leave all the anger, hatred, and bitterness behind, that I would still be in prison.

Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) South African revolutionary, politician, statesman
(Attributed)

On his release from 27 years behind bars. Quoted by Hillary Clinton from a conversation she had with him.
Added on 16-May-17 | Last updated 23-May-17
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Don’t threaten a child; either punish or forgive him.

The Talmud (AD 200-500) Collection of Jewish rabbinical writings
Passage
Added on 14-Feb-17 | Last updated 14-Feb-17
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We must meet hate with love. We must meet physical force with soul force. There is still a voice crying out through the vista of time, saying: “Love your enemies , bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you.” Then, and only then, can you matriculate into the university of eternal life. That same voice cries out in terms lifted to cosmic proportions: “He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword.” And history is replete with the bleached bones of nations that failed to follow this command. We must follow nonviolence and love.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Give Us the Ballot,” Speech, Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, Washington, DC (1957)
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We believe that God forgives us our sins; but also that He will not do so unless we forgive other people their sins against us. There is no doubt about the second part of this statement. It is in the Lord’s Prayer; was emphatically stated by our Lord. If you don’t forgive you will not be forgiven. No part of His teaching is clearer, and there are no exceptions to it. He doesn’t say that we are to forgive other people’s sins provided they are not too frightful, or provided there are extenuating circumstances, or anything of that sort. We are to forgive them all, however spiteful, however mean, however often they are repeated. If we don’t, we shall be forgiven none of our own.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“On Forgiveness”
Added on 25-Oct-16 | Last updated 25-Oct-16
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When it comes to a question of our forgiving other people, it is partly the same and partly different. It is the same because, here also, forgiving does not mean excusing. Many people seem to think it does. They think that if you ask them to forgive someone who has cheated or bullied them you are trying to make out that there was really no cheating or no bullying. But if that were so, there would be nothing to forgive. They keep on replying, “But I tell you the man broke a most solemn promise.” Exactly: that is precisely what you have to forgive. (This doesn’t mean that you must necessarily believe his next promise. It does mean that you must make every effort to kill every taste of resentment in your own heart — every wish to humiliate or hurt him or to pay him out.) The difference between this situation and the one in which you are asking God’s forgiveness is this. In our own case we accept excuses too easily; in other people’s we do not accept them easily enough.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
“On Forgiveness”
Added on 18-Oct-16 | Last updated 18-Oct-16
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We do not quite forgive a giver. The hand that feeds us is in some danger of being bitten.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Gifts,” Essays: Second Series (1844)
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“Do unto others …” is a good rule of thumb. I live by that. Forgiveness is probably the greatest virtue there is. But that’s exactly what it is -­‐ a virtue. Not just a Christian virtue. No one owns being good. I’m good. I just don’t believe I’ll be rewarded for it in heaven. My reward is here and now. It’s knowing that I try to do the right thing. That I lived a good life. And that’s where spirituality really lost its way. When it became a stick to beat people with. “Do this or you’ll burn in hell.”

You won’t burn in hell. But be nice anyway.

Ricky Gervais (b. 1961) English comedian, actor, director, writer
“Why I’m an Atheist,” Wall Street Journal (19 Dec 2010)
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Added on 4-Aug-16 | Last updated 4-Aug-16
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You’re supposed to look at that figure of Christ on the cross and think, “How could a man suffer like that and forgive?” Not, “Romans are pussies — he still has his eyes.”

William "Bill" Maher (b. 1956) American comedian, political commentator, critic, television host.
Real Time with Bill Maher, “New Rules” (13 May 2011)

Discussing Christians who support torturing terrorists.
Added on 1-Jun-16 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
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His voice was soft,
His manner mild.
He seldom laughed,
But he often smiled.
He’d seen how civilized men behave.
He never forgot and he never forgave,
Not Sweeney,
Not Sweeney Todd,
The demon barber of Fleet Street.

Stephen Sondheim (1930-2021) American composer and lyricist
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979) [with Hugh Wheeler]
Added on 29-Apr-16 | Last updated 29-Apr-16
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The folly which we might have ourselves committed is the one which we are least ready to pardon in another.

Joseph Roux
Joseph Roux (1834-1886) French Catholic priest
Meditations of a Parish Priest: Thoughts, Part 4, #85 (1886)
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Added on 28-Mar-16 | Last updated 28-Mar-16
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Understanding everything makes one very indulgent.

[Tout comprendre rend très-indulgent.]

Germaine de Staël (1766-1817) Swiss-French writer, woman of letters, critic, salonist [Anne Louise Germaine de Staël-Holstein, Madame de Staël, Madame Necker]
Corinne, Book 18, ch. 5 (1807)
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The brave only know how to forgive; it is the most refined and generous pitch of virtue human nature can arrive at. Cowards have done good and kind actions, cowards have even fought, nay some times, even conquered; but a coward never forgave. It is not in his nature; the power of doing it flows only from a strength and greatness of soul, conscious of its own force and security, and above the little temptations of resenting every fruitless attempt to interrupt its happiness.

Laurence Sterne (1713-1786) Anglo-Irish novelist, Anglican clergyman
Sermon 12, “Joseph’s History Considered”
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Added on 15-Jan-16 | Last updated 15-Jan-16
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Use every man after his desert, and who should ‘scape whipping?

Shakespeare - whipping - wist_info

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Hamlet, Act 2, sc. 2, l. 555ff [Hamlet] (c. 1600)
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Added on 23-Nov-15 | Last updated 27-Jun-22
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Every man of action has a strong dose of egotism, pride, hardness, and cunning. But all those things will be forgiven him, indeed, they will be regarded as high qualities, if he can make of them the means to achieve great ends.

Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) French statesman and soldier
The Edge of the Sword, “Of Prestige” (2) (1934) [tr. Hopkins (1960)]
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You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him of whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England. I did not then see what is now the most shining and obvious thing; the Divine humility which will accept a convert even on such terms. The Prodigal Son at least walked home on his own feet. But who can duly adore that Love which will open the high gates to a prodigal who is brought in kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance of escape? The words compelle intrare, compel them to come in, have been so abused by wicked men that we shudder at them; but, properly understood, they plumb the depth of the Divine mercy. The hardness of God is kinder than the softness of men, and His compulsion is our liberation.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Surprised by Joy, ch. 14 (1955)
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Individuals sometimes forgive, but bodies and societies never do.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (17 Feb 1754)
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There is nothing in the world that renders a man more unlike to a saint, and more like to Satan — than to argue from God’s mercy to sinful liberty; from divine goodness to licentiousness.

Thomas Brooks (1608-1680) English Puritan divine, writer
Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices (1652)
Added on 26-Nov-14 | Last updated 26-Nov-14
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Hatred is a banquet until you recognize you are the main course.

Herbert Benson (b. 1935) American doctor, cardiologist, mind-body researcher
In “Forgive and your health won’t forget,” Christian Science Monitor (19 Dec 2002)
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Added on 8-Sep-14 | Last updated 8-Sep-14
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Not forgiving is like drinking rat poison and then waiting for the rat to die.

Anne Lamott (b. 1954) American novelist and non-fiction writer
Traveling Mercies, ch. 3 (1999)

On Facebook (31 Jan 2013) she further wrote:

When I first got sober in '86, I first heard someone say that harboring resentment is like drinking rat poison, and waiting for the rat to die. Resenting someone is about not forgiving them -- thinking that they have done something to you so damaging or disgusting that the are beyond the pale; so therefore you are choosing to be toxic for the rest of your life, rather than to work and pray for the healing. You are willing to go through life not metabolizing the rat poison, so that this person should know what a morally repellent person you believe them to be. But the most horrible thing is that half the time, they aren't even AWARE of what it is you think they did to you. So it's a complete waste of your precious bile. When I am willing to have clogged bile ducts, because of a person who hardly thinks of me, or has no idea that he behaved like a total asshat, then I'm the crazy one.

See also Fisher.
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Be careful of your word, even in keeping the most trifling appointment. But do not blame another for a failure of that kind till you have heard his excuse.

James Burgh (1714-1775) British politician and writer
The Dignity of Human Nature, Sec. 5 “Miscellaneous Thoughts on Prudence in Conversation” (1754)
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Added on 10-Jul-14 | Last updated 10-Jul-14
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He who has injured thee was either stronger or weaker than thee. If weaker, spare him; if stronger, spare thyself.

Seneca the Younger (c. 4 BC-AD 65) Roman statesman, philosopher, playwright [Lucius Annaeus Seneca]
Moral Essays, “On Anger [De ira],” 3
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The essence of true religious teaching is that one should serve and befriend all. … It is easy enough to be friendly with one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.

Mohandas Gandhi (1869-1948) Indian philosopher and nationalist [Mahatma Gandhi]
In Harijan (11 May 1947)
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Justice does not belong to the Christian way of life and there is no mention of it in Christ’s teaching. Rejoice with the joyous and weep with those who weep; for this is the sign of limpid purity. Suffer with those who are ill and mourn with sinners; with those who repent, rejoice. Be a partaker in the sufferings of all men. Rebuke no one, revile no one, not even men who live very wickedly. Spread your cloak over the man who is falling and cover him. And if you cannot take upon yourself his sins and receive his chastisement in his stead, then at least patiently suffer his shame and do not disgrace him.

St. Isaac of Nineveh (d. c. 700) Assyrian bishop and theologian [a.k.a. Isaac the Assyrian, Abba Isaac, Isaac of Syria, Isaac Syrus]
Ascetical Homilies
Added on 9-Dec-13 | Last updated 9-Dec-13
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A part of kindness consists in loving people more than they deserve.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
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The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity.

Clara Lucas Balfour (1808-1878) English novelist, lecturer, temperance campaigner
Sunbeams for All Seasons: Counsels, Cautions, and Precepts (1861 ed.)
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Men hate more steadily than they love; and if I have said something to hurt a man once, I shall not get the better of this by saying many things to please him.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
In James Boswell, Life of Samuel Johnson, “September 15, 1777” (1791)
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It is incumbent on those only who accept of great charges, to risk themselves on great occasions, when the safety of the nation, or some of it’s very high interests are at stake. An officer is bound to obey orders: yet he would be a bad one who should do it in cases for which they were not intended, and which involved the most important consequences. The line of discrimination between cases may be difficult; but the good officer is bound to draw it at his own peril, & throw himself on the justice of his country and the rectitude of his motives.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to John B. Colvin (20 Sep 1810)
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The great principles of right and wrong are legible to every reader; to pursue them requires not the aid of many counsellors. The whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. Only aim to do your duty, and mankind will give you credit where you fail.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
“A Summary View of the Rights of British America” (1774)
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Addressed to King George III.
Added on 7-Jun-12 | Last updated 8-Aug-22
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The wonderful thing about God’s love is that maybe we are going to be surprised at the people we find in Heaven that we didn’t expect, and possibly we’ll be surprised at those we’d thought would be there and aren’t. God has a particularly soft spot for sinners. Remember, Jesus says there is greater joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine needing no repentance. Ultimately it all hinges on one thing: our response to the divine invitation. There is hope for us all. God’s standards are quite low.

Desmond Tutu (1931-2021) South African cleric, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Nobel Laureate
Interview with Gyles Brandreth, Sunday Times (15 Apr 2001)
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Often paraphrased (possibly the version printed in the Sunday Times): "We may be surprised at the people we find in heaven. God has a soft spot for sinners. His standards are quite low."
Added on 21-Nov-11 | Last updated 26-Dec-21
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You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 5:43-45

See Matthew 22:36-40.
Added on 1-Aug-11 | Last updated 18-Dec-15
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As an atheist, I believe that all life is unspeakably precious, because it’s only here for a brief moment, a flare against the dark, and then it’s gone forever. No afterlives, no second chances, no backsies. So there can be nothing crueler than the abuse, destruction or wanton taking of a life. It is a crime no less than burning the Mona Lisa, for there is always just one of each.

So I cannot forgive. Which makes the notion of writing a character who CAN forgive momentarily attractive … because it allows me to explore in great detail something of which I am utterly incapable.

J. Michael (Joe) Straczynski (b. 1954) American screenwriter, producer, author [a/k/a "JMS"]
rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5, “JMS on Compuserve: Gesthemane Questions” (4 Dec 1995)
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Added on 5-Feb-10 | Last updated 17-Jul-20
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Pray for thy Enemy, for if thou beest a good Man thyself, thou canst not but rejoice to see thy worst Enemy become a good Man, too.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 878 (1725)
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Added on 16-Dec-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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Bear patiently with the Defects of others, and labor to amend thy own.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Introductio ad Prudentiam, # 389 (1725)
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Added on 17-Aug-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
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Of course God will forgive me; that’s his job.

[Bien sûr, il me pardonnera; c’est son métier.]

Heinrich Heine (1797-1856) German poet and critic
Last Words (1856)

Quoted in German in Alfred Meißner, "Heinrich Heine. Erinnerungen," Letzte Worte auf dem Totenbett (1856). Quoted in Bros. Goncourt (ed.) Journal (23 Feb 1863). Quoted in French in Sigmund Freud, The Joke and Its Relation to the Unconscious (1905) [tr. J Crick (2003)].

Alt trans.: "Why, of course, he will forgive me; that's his business. [Gott wird mir verzeihen, das ist sein Beruf.]

See Catherine the Great.
Added on 10-Jun-09 | Last updated 25-Oct-17
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They say that God says to me, “Forgive your enemies.” I say, “I do”; but he says, “I will damn mine.” God should be consistent. If he wants me to forgive my enemies he should forgive his.

Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899) American lawyer, agnostic, orator
“Orthodoxy” (1884)
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Added on 23-Oct-08 | Last updated 2-Feb-16
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