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quotations about conscience

Conscience quote

Labour to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.


A peace above all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience.


If you snub Conscience a few times she will cut your acquaintance.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

Wicked men by specious errors and intoxicating pleasure contrive to lull conscience into a slumber; but when it wakes, its voice is louder than thunder, and its strokes keener than flashes of lightning.

JOHN THORNTON, Maxims and Directions for Youth

Conscience therefore is a high and awful power; it is solo Deo minor, next and immediately under God, our judge.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

Conscience is the perfect interpreter of life.

KARL BARTH, The Word of God and the Word of Man

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale,
And every tale condemns me for a villain.


I cannot and will not cut my conscience to suit this year's fashions.

LILLIAN HELLMAN, letter to House Committee on Un-American Activities, May 19, 1952

Conscience is the inner voice that warns us somebody may be looking.

H.L. MENCKEN, A Mencken Chrestomathy

Conscience is a coward, and those faults it has not strength enough to prevent it seldom has justice enough to accuse.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH, The Vicar of Wakefield

Conscience ... seldom comes to a man's aid while he is in the zenith of health and revelling in pomp and luxury upon illgotten spoils. It is generally the last act of his life, and it comes too late to be of much service to others here, or to himself hereafter.

GEORGE WASHINGTON, letter to John P. Posey, Aug. 7, 1782

Conscience quote

Conscience doth make cowards of us all.


Scourges, racks, and flames, can inflict no pains to be compared with the stings and tortures of a guilty conscience.

JOHN THORNTON, Maxims and Directions for Youth

Our consciences are not all of the same pattern.

GEORGE ELIOT, Daniel Deronda

A man's conscience can tell him his situation better than seven watchmen in a lofty tower.

BEN SIRA, Sirach 37:14

If one's conscience be dead as a stone, it is as heavy too.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

There are not anywhere else so many ways of trickery, so many false lights, so many veils, so many guises, so many illusive deceits, as are practiced in every man's conscience in respect to his motives, thoughts, feelings, conduct, and character.

HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Conscience is the magnet of the soul. It has a divine polarity. Amid the tempests of passion, in the dark hours of trial, that only lie just this side of despair, when a host of fierce temptations beleaguer, then consult this Divine Monitor; and though its tiny needle may tremble amid the attractions of earth, yet, if uncorrupted, its polestar will be the throne of God.


Let every man be free to act from his own conscience; but let him remember that other people have consciences too; and let not his liberty be so expansive that in its indulgence it jars and crashes against the liberty of others.

E. H. CHAPIN, Living Words

Each man's soul is a menagerie where Conscience, the animal-tamer, lives with a collection of wild beasts.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

Conscience is extinct among us, but it is said to still linger among the more savage tribes of Africa: proof that there is a pressing need for more missionaries.

ABRAHAM MILLER, Unmoral Maxims

Conscience is an exact recorder, that writes every man's history; an inward witness, that will sooner or later speak the whole truth; an impartial judge, whose sentence will acquit or condemn.

JOHN THORNTON, Maxims and Directions for Youth

If we neglect conscience, most evils are possible.


My conscience is crosswired with my sweat glands, but there's a short in the system and I break out over things I didn't do, which only makes me look more suspect.

DAVID SEDARIS, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

Conscience is the most sacred of all property.

JAMES MADISON, The National Gazette, Mar. 29, 1792

Conscience, the organ of feeling which dominates us and of the opinions which rule us, is presumptuous in the strong, timid in the weak and unfortunate, uneasy in the undecided.


We never do anything so secretly, but that it is in the presence of two witnesses: God, and our own conscience.

BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE, Moral and Religious Aphorisms

Many men carry their conscience like a drawn sword, cutting this way and that, in the world, but sheathe it, and keep it very soft and quiet, when it is turned within, thinking that a sword should not be allowed to cut its own scabbard.


Storms in the Conscience will always lodge clouds in the countenance.

WELLINS CALCOTT, Thoughts Moral and Divine

Conscience after an evil act is like pulling stockings over muddy boots.

AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought

Consciences keep silence more often than they should, that's why laws were created.

JOSÉ SARAMAGO, All the Names

Browse Conscience Quotes II

Read William McEwen's essay: On Peace of Conscience


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