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Conscience is ... the God dwelling in us.

BENJAMIN WHICHCOTE, Moral and Religious Aphorisms

Conscience was chiefly fear of society, or fear of oneself.

D. H. LAWRENCE, Lady Chatterley's Lover

Conscience is the only clue which will eternally guide a man clear of all doubts and inconsistencies.

THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to George Washington, May 10, 1789

A lot of people mistake a short memory for a clear conscience.

DOUG LARSON, attributed, Look at the Bees

I will place within them as a guide
My umpire Conscience, whom if they will hear,
Light after light well us'd they shall attain,
And to the end persisting, safe arrive.

JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost

There is only one good. And that is to act according to the dictates of one's conscience.


What we call conscience, in many instances, is only a wholesome fear of the constable.

CHRISTIAN NESTELL BOVEE, Intuitions and Summaries of Thought

The wounds of conscience always leave a scar.

PUBLILIUS SYRUS, The Moral Sayings of Publilius Syrus

I'd fired conscience months back, but it was still hanging around, miserable, unshaven, nowhere else to go.

GLEN DUNCAN, Talulla Rising

Conscience is the internal perception of the rejection of a particular wish operating within us.

SIGMUND FREUD, Totem and Taboo

There is one thing alone that stands the brunt of life throughout its course: a quiet conscience.

EURIPIDES, Hippolytus

When conscience acquits, who shall condemn?

SAMUEL RICHARDSON, Sir Charles Grandison

Judge not according to the orthodox standard of a system religious, philosophical, political, but according as things promote, or fail to promote the delicacy, integrity, and authority of Conscience.

LORD ACTON, postscript of letter to Mandell Creighton, Apr. 5, 1887

A good conscience is to the soul what health is to the body; it preserves a constant ease and serenity within us, and more than countervails all the calamities and afflictions which can possibly befall us.

JOSEPH ADDISON, The Guardian, Aug. 15, 1713

Conscience is what? It is putting together a moral act and a moral ideal, and measuring the act by the ideal. It is putting this moral act which you do alongside the eternal laws of God, and seeing how it stands by those laws of God.

LYMAN ABBOTT, Problems of Life: Selections from the Writings of Rev. Lyman Abbott

You kin wash your hands but not your conscience.

KEN ALSTAD, Savvy Sayin's

Justice is a temporary thing that must at last come to an end; but the conscience is eternal and will never die.


Nearly everybody yields up his conscience, his practical judgment, into the keeping of others.

LORD ACTON, letter to Mary Gladstone, June 1, 1880

I am not conscious of any harm that I have done or wished to any mortal. I bear no malice to any being. To my enemies, if any I have, I am willing to afford assistance; therefore towards man I maintain a conscience void of offense.

ABIGAIL ADAMS, letter to John Adams, April 19, 1764

Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience.

HARPER LEE, To Kill a Mockingbird

Back to Conscience Quotes

Read James Vila Blake's essay: Of Conscience


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