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Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it. ~ Genesis
I loved to excuse my soul and to accuse something else inside me (I knew not what) but which was not I. But, assuredly, it was I, and it was my impiety that had divided me against myself. That sin then was all the more incurable because I did not deem myself a sinner. ~ Augustine
Sins which would terrify us if they were peculiar to ourselves alone cease to frighten us when they are shared. The sinner sleeps soundly when he finds himself surrounded by a multitude, as though God were obliged to spare him. ~ Pierre Nicole
Old sin makes new shame. ~ Havelok the Dane
Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense. ~ Robert A. Heinlein
Sin is essentially a departure from God. ~ Martin Luther
Yes, every sin is a mistake, and the epitaph for the sinner is, "Thou fool." ~ Alexander Maclaren

In a religious context, sin is the act of transgression against divine law.

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  • All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation.
    • W. H. Auden, A Certain World : A Commonplace Book (1970).
  • For it still seemed to me “that it is not we who sin, but some other nature sinned in us.” And it gratified my pride to be beyond blame, and when I did anything wrong not to have to confess that I had done wrong. … I loved to excuse my soul and to accuse something else inside me (I knew not what) but which was not I. But, assuredly, it was I, and it was my impiety that had divided me against myself. That sin then was all the more incurable because I did not deem myself a sinner.


  • It is the older generation who foster in a child an early and most unnecessary sense of guilt, of sinfulness and of wrongdoing. So much emphasis is laid upon petty little things that are not really wrong, but are annoying to the parent or teacher, that a true sense of wrong (which is the recognition of failure to preserve right relations with the group) gets overlaid and is not recognized for what it is. The many small and petty sins, imposed upon the children by the constant reiteration of "No", by the use of the word "naughty", and based largely on parental failure to understand and occupy the child, are of no real moment. If these aspects of the child's life are rightly handled, then the truly wrong things, the infringements upon the rights of others, . . . the hurting or damaging of others in order to achieve personal gain, will emerge in right perspective and at the right time.
  • That is the true definition of sin; when knowing right you do the lower, ah, then you sin. Where there is no knowledge, sin is not present.
    • Annie Besant, The immediate future: Lectures delivered in Queen's Hall, London, 1911, p. 32
  • I have committed the worst sin of all
    That a man can commit.
    I have not been Happy.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, "Remorse" [El remordimiento], as translated in Jorge Luis Borges : Conversations (1998) by Richard Burgin, p. 140.
    • Paraphrased variant: I have committed the worst sin that can be committed. I have not been happy.
  • By our sinful falls — the powers of the soul are weakened; the strength of grace is decayed; our evidences for heaven are blotted; fears and doubts in the soul are raised (will God once more pardon this scarlet sin, and show mercy to this wretched soul?); the corruptions in the heart are more advantaged and confirmed; and the conscience of a man after falls is the more enraged or the more benumbed.
  • So as you may see in Daniel and his companions, that would rather choose to burn, and be cast to the lions—than they would bow to the idol which Nebuchadnezzar had set up. When this 'slight offense', in the world's account, and a hot fiery furnace stood in competition, that they must either fall into sin, or be cast into the fiery furnace—such was their tenderness of the honor and glory of God, and their hatred and indignation against sin, that they would rather burn than sin!
    • Thomas Brooks (1608-1680), Precious Remedies Against Satan's Devices (1652).
  • Compound for sins they are inclin'd to,
    By damning those they have no mind to.


  • For every sin, I'll have to pay. I've come to work, I've come to play. I think I'll find another way. It's not my time to go.




  • 1. Wealth without work.
2. Pleasure without conscience.
3. Knowledge without character.
4. Commerce without morality.
5. Science without humanity.
6. Worship without sacrifice.
7. Politics without principle.
  • One may have to choose between communal sin and individual crucifixion, as Christ did; but there is absolutely no sin forced upon the individual.
    • George Howard Gibson, The Social Gospel, November 1898, p. 7
  • It coucheth at the door of thy heart, yet it depends upon thee whether thou shalt be master over it, or it shall be master over thee.
    • Louis Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews (1909)


  • Old sinne makes newe shame.
  • "What is the Unpardonable Sin?" asked the lime-burner; and then he shrank farther from his companion, trembling lest his question should be answered. "It is a sin that grew within my own breast," replied Ethan Brand, standing erect with a pride that distinguishes all enthusiasts of his stamp. "A sin that grew nowhere else! The sin of an intellect that triumphed over the sense of brotherhood with man and reverence for God, and sacrificed everything to its own mighty claims!
  • A boor cannot be sin-fearing, an ignoramus cannot be pious, a bashful one cannot learn, a short-tempered person cannot teach, nor does anyone who does much business grow wise.
  • The aim of the law is not to punish sins, but is to prevent certain external results.


When a man severs himself from evil, he gains an exact understanding of all the sins he has committed against God; for he does not see his sins unless he severs himself from them with a feeling of revulsion. ~ Saint Isaiah the Solitary
  • ¿O cuál es más de culpar,
    Aunque cualquiera mal haga:
    La que peca por la paga,
    O el que paga por pecar?
    • When each is guilty of sin,
      Which is the most to blame:
      She who sins for payment,
      Or he who pays for the sin?
    • Juana Inés de la Cruz fragment from "Letra de Hombres Necios Que Acusáis", translated from the Spanish by Muriel Kittel in The Defiant Muse: Hispanic Feminist Poems (1986)
  • A handful of sand, thrown into the sea, is what sinning is, when compared to God’s Providence and mercy. Just like an abundant source of water is not impeded by a handful of dust, so is the Creator’s mercy not defeated by the sins of His creations.
  • When a man severs himself from evil, he gains an exact understanding of all the sins he has committed against God; for he does not see his sins unless he severs himself from them with a feeling of revulsion.


  • It is proclaimed that there is forgiveness of sins, but no one says, “It is impossible.” Scarcely anyone turns away offended and says, “It is impossible”; even less does anyone say it in wonder or as the one says it who would like it to be true but does not dare to believe it, the one who still does not want to let go of it but unhappily loves this pronouncement that he does not dare to believe; even less is it said by one who just believes it, one whose repentance is mitigated into a quiet sorrow that in turn is transfigured into a blessed joy, the one who therefore, expressing his unspeakable gratitude to God, refreshes his soul by repeating, “It is impossible!” Oh, blessed refreshment, that the one who was brought close to despair because it was impossible now believes it, blessedly believes it, but in his soul’s wonder continues to say, “It is impossible!”
  • The one who by nature is depressed – how the depressed person looks upon everything as alien and unimportant, how in a certain sense, just as the air can be too light to breathe – for him everything is too light, because his mind is heavy; but this is not sorrow over his sin. The one who year after year with dreadful zest for life piled crime upon crime, most of whose time was spent in sinning – until he stood there annihilated and everything became unimportant to him; but sorrow over his sin there was not – there were sins enough, but sorrow over his sin there was not. On the whole, there is one thing that is altogether common; you can find it in all and in everyone, in yourself just as I find it in myself: sin and sins; there is one thing that is more rare: sorrow over one’s sin. Yet I have seen, and perhaps you also, the one who unconditionally sorrowed over only one thing, over his sin.
    • Søren Kierkegaard, An Upbuilding Discourse Dec 20, 1850 (En opbyggelig Tale) The Woman Who Was a Sinner. Luke 7:37ff. From Without Authority p. 145-160 Hong translation 1997 p. 151
  • A Christian will consider a tyrannical person bossing a city brutally a lesser evil than a whole city lynching one man. In the first case there is one sinner and thousands of sufferers, in the latter case thousands of sinners and one sufferer. The materialist will look at the problem the other way round. He is never interested in sin, but as a humanitarian only in suffering. His final logical conclusion is euthanasia and the sacrifice of individuals to the whim of the masses.


  • Alas! alas! how plague-spot like will sin
    Spread over the wrung heart it enters in!
  • It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon, and to recognize the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.
    • Abraham Lincoln, Proclamation for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer (30 March 1863)


  • Thine angry threatening toward sinners is importable, but thy merciful promise is unmeasurable and unsearchable; for thou art the most high Lord, of great compassion, longsuffering, very merciful, and repentest of the evils of men...Thine infinite mercies hast appointed repentance unto sinners, that they may be saved...Be not condemn me to the lower parts of the earth. Therefore I will praise thee for ever all the days of my life: for all the powers of the heavens do praise thee, and thine is the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
    • Prayer of Manasseh
  • Affectation hides three times as many virtues as charity does sins.
  • On the determinist hypothesis an omnipotent God could have prevented all sin by creating us with better natures and in more favourable surroundings. … Hence we should not be responsible for our sins to God.
  • 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.
  • Law can discover sin, but not remove,
    Save by those shadowy expiations weak.
  • But the trail of the serpent is over them all.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), Paradise and the Peri, line 206.
  • As long as you will have a feeling of shame, you will not lightly commit sins.
    • Moses, Legends of the Jews (1913), Volume II: Moses Chosen as Intermediator.


  • Sins which would terrify us if they were peculiar to ourselves alone cease to frighten us when they are shared. The sinner sleeps soundly when he finds himself surrounded by a multitude, as though God were obliged to spare him.
    • Pierre Nicole, L'esprit de M. Nicole, ou: Instructions sur les vérités de la religion, p. 461, as translated in The Bourgeois: Catholicism vs. Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France (1968), p. 94


  • Every being which is endowed with reason, and transgresses its statutes and limitations, is undoubtedly involved in sin.
    • Origen, On First Principles, Book 1, ch. 5
  • Be killing sin or it will be killing you.


  • If it were possible to have a life absolutely free from every feeling of sin, what a terrifying vacuum it would be!
  • It is neither wrongful nor sinful to discriminate against sin.
  • How shall I lose the sin yet keep the sense,
    And love th' offender, yet detest the offence?
  • See sin in state, majestically drunk;
    Proud as a peeress, prouder as a punk.
  • “And that’s what your holy men discuss, is it?”
    “Not usually. There is a very interesting debate raging at the moment about the nature of sin, for example.”
    “And what do they think? Against it, are they?”
    “It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black and white issue. There are so many shades of gray.”
    “There’s no grays, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”
    “It’s a lot more complicated than that—”
    “No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”
    ”Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes—”
    ”But they starts with thinking about people as things…”


  • It is a sin to write this.  It is a sin to think words no others think and to put them down upon a paper no others are to see.  It is base and evil.  It is as if we were speaking alone to no ears but our own.  And we know well that there is no transgression blacker than to do or think alone.  We have broken the laws.  The laws say that men may not write unless the Council of Vocations bid them so.  May we be forgiven!

    But this is not the only sin upon us.  We have committed a greater crime, and for this crime there is no name.  What punishment awaits us if it be discovered we know not, for no such crime has come in the memory of men and there are no laws to provide for it.

    • Ayn Rand, Equality 7-2521's opening lines in chap. I of Anthem (New York, N. Y.: New American Library, 1995; orig. 1938, 1946), p. 17.
  • To feel oneself so tiny, so fragile, so inherently losable, was at first spiritually crushing. But, by the same token, this realisation was also strangely liberating: if an individual human existence meant so little, if one’s actions were so cosmically irrelevant, then the notion of some absolute moral framework made about as much sense as the universal ether. Measured against the infinite, therefore, people were no more capable of meaningful sin—or meaningful good—than ants, or dust.
    Worlds barely registered sin. Suns hardly deigned to notice it. On the scale of solar systems and galaxies, it meant nothing at all. It was like some obscure subatomic force that simply petered out on those scales.
  • If you are going to sin, sin against God, not the bureaucracy. God will forgive you but the bureaucracy won't.
  • Lying to oneself is the most terrible sin. It injures the consciousness and leads to so-called death of the spirit.
  • And now, what is the greatest sin of the church? The fact that during the centuries the church has inculcated into its adherents a sense of irresponsibility. From childhood people have been taught that a person can commit the worst crimes and yet (if he goes to confession and the priest grants forgiveness) be relieved of all burden. This process of shedding sins for a fee can go on and on, save that progressively perhaps the sinner is charged higher and higher fees. Why not sin, when forgiveness can be bought with coin? How many churches have been built and founded on the tears of orphans! Precisely for the erection of the great cathedrals, from what sources has the money most often come? How many candles, lit in front of the Sacred Images, were placed there by the hands of traitors? Verily, as it is said, "Great would be the venality of Christ if He were ready to conceal treachery for a candle! Such candles are abominations.
  • "And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. But I say unto you, that Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist." (St. Matthew 17:10–13.) Furthermore: And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, "Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" (St. John 9:1-2.) Did not these questions of the disciples reveal that they knew of the law of Karma and that Christ also did not reject it?
  • What lack of comprehension in the prayer "I, undeserving priest, by the power given to me by God, now forgive thy sins"! Yes, the forgiveness granted to the repentant sinner in exchange for his money is the greatest crime. The bribery of Divinity with gold—is it not worse than the worst forms of fetishism? This dreadful question must be discussed from every angle. Verily, this hideous ulcer is spread all over the world, in all religions. Thus, in Tibet, there is a gang of robbers called gollocks, who believe in lamaism, a religion just as distant from the Covenants of Buddha as our church is from the Teaching of Christ. These gollocks go to Lhassa annually on pilgrimage to pray for the forgiveness of their crimes. On this particular journey they abstain from robbing the helpless population because they hope to be received by the high priests of their sect. But after receiving full forgiveness for their crimes upon payment of money, they give full freedom to debauchery and return to their practices of robbery, with even more violence, whenever they can. Has not their guilt been taken from them, and may they not purify themselves again the following year? It is only a question of a fee!
  • Recently, the Catholic Church renewed the ancient practice of granting indulgences. And now Catholics need not even bother to make pilgrimage to Rome or elsewhere to do penance for their sins! All that is necessary is to send a certain sum for an indulgence, and thus the remittance of a fee will permit entrance into Heaven. Undoubtedly there must be a scale of prices for these indulgences, as sins vary so much. Verily, through correct estimating, a fortune might be made! Alas, can nothing put a stop to this? Are we not returning speedily to the darkness of medievalism?
  • It is essential to point out one of the chief evils of modern religious instruction, i.e., the instilling into the human consciousness a sense of irresponsibility. Precisely, a degenerating church, during the centuries, instilled into the consciousness of its flock an animal sense of irresponsibility. From childhood, people are allowed to believe that they may commit most terrible crimes because the priest, by the power given to him, can free the person of sin through confession and remission. Then, after this liberation, what is there to prevent the erring one from again committing the same sins and once more receiving remission, for perhaps a yet higher fee?
  • Indeed, by instilling into the minds of children the idea that the church, as a powerful intercessor, can for a tear of repentance and a fee give passage to the erring through the Gates of Paradise, the church commits the greatest sin. By removing from man the sense of responsibility, the church shuts him off from his Divine Origin. The church has discredited the great concept of Divine Justice. Losing the understanding of responsibility and justice, man will inevitably begin his involution, for those who fail to follow the cosmic laws are destined to deterioration.
  • Just think! Only in the sixth century A.D. was the dogma of Reincarnation rejected by the Second Council of Constantinople! Thus the contrivances of greedy and petty minds were stratified and become dogma for the following generations which did not yet dare to think independently... And there are so many affirmations in the Gospel about Reincarnation, actually in the words of Christ himself. The Fathers of the Church committed great sin by eliminating this law of the Highest Justice from the consciousness of the flocks entrusted to them.
    • Helena Roerich in Letters of Helena Roerich II, Agni Yoga (7 October 1935)
  • Sin is geographical.
    • Bertrand Russell, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell: A fresh look at empiricism, 1927-42 (G. Allen & Unwin, 1996), p. 283.


  • And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
    • Samuel in Book I Samuel 15:22-23
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Do not say, “I have sinned and nothing has happened!” For the Lord bides his time. Do not be so sure of pardon when you are heaping sin upon sin.
    Do not say, “His compassion is great! He will forgive the vast number of my sins!” For with him is mercy but also anger; his fury will be poured out on sinners.
    • Ben Sirach, Wisdom of Sirach 5 : 3-6
  • What is brighter than the sun? Yet it disappears. Man is no more than flesh and blood, yet he thinks of doing evil. While the sun surveys the stars in the lofty sky, human beings remain dust and ashes.
    • Ben Sirach, Wisdom of Sirach 17 : 31-32
  • In all your actions remember your last end and you will never sin.
    • Ben Sirach, Wisdom of Sirach
  • Do not say, “It was God who made me sin.” God does not cause what he hates. Do not say, “He made me do wrong,” for he has nothing to do with a sinner. The Lord hates all evil and those who fear him hate it as well...When he created man in the beginning, he left him free to make his own decisions. If you wish, you can keep the commandments and it is in your power to remain faithful. He has set fire and water before you; you stretch out your hand to whichever you prefer. Life and death are set before man: whichever a man prefers will be given him.
    • Ben Sirach, Wisdom of Sirach
  • On the one hand, there is the type of sinner whom, in present-day language, we would call ‘oppressor.’ Their basic sin consists in oppressing, placing intolerable burdens on others, acting unjustly and so on. On the other hand, there are those who sin ‘from weakness’ or those ‘legally considered sinners’ according to the dominant religious view.

    Jesus takes a very different approach to each group. He offers salvation to all, and makes demands of all, but in a very different way. He directly demands a radical conversion of the first group, an active cessation from oppressing. For these, the coming of the Kingdom is above all a radical need to stop being oppressors.

  • It lies not in man's right nor in man's power truly to justify the guilty. This is a miracle reserved for the Lord alone. God, the infinitely just Sovereign, knows that there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not, and therefore, in the infinite sovereignty of His divine nature and in the splendor of His ineffable love, He undertakes the task, not so much of justifying the just as of justifying the ungodly. God has devised ways and means of making the ungodly man to stand justly accepted before Him: He has set up a system by which with perfect justice He can treat the guilty as if he had been all his life free from offence, yea, can treat him as if he were wholly free from sin. He justifieth the ungodly.


  • When I look back upon my life
    It's always with a sense of shame
    I've always been the one to blame
    For everything I long to do
    No matter where or when or who
    Has one thing in common too;
    It's a — it's a — it's a — it's a sin!
  • When there is rust on the mirror, it is not possible that a man’s face be seen in the mirror; so also when there is sin in a man, such a man cannot behold God.
  • I don't like the word sin. It implies that I am being judged and found guilty. I can understand that. Over the centuries, many erroneous views and interpretations have accumulated around words such as sin, due to ignorance, misunderstanding, or a desire to control, but they contain an essential core of truth. If you are unable to look beyond such interpretations and so cannot recognize the reality to which the word points, then don't use it. Don't get stuck on the level of words... you can talk or think about God continuously for the rest of your life, but does that mean you know or have even glimpsed the reality to which the word points?... if a word doesn't work for you anymore, then drop it and replace it with one that does work. If you don't like the word sin, then call it unconsciousness or insanity. That may get you closer to the truth, the reality behind the word, than a long-misused word like sin, and leaves little room for guilt.


  • The greatest error is to call a man a weak and miserable sinner. Every time a person thinks in this mistaken manner, he rivets one more link in the chain of avidya that binds him, adds one more layer to the “self-hypnotism” that lies heavy over his mind.
    • Swami Vivekananda, Quoted by M.M. Thomas, The Acknowledged Christ of Indian Renaissance, Second Edition, Madras 1976, p. 125. Quoted from Goel, S. R. (1996). History of Hindu-Christian encounters, AD 304 to 1996. Chapter 13 ISBN 9788185990354


  • Past sins, if you repent of them, whiten you. They made a great psalmist out of David, a faithful believer out of the prostitute Rahab, a zealous apostle out of the persecutor Saul. I have been a loved preacher and writer with a particular vocation. My sermons and books would not have had the same quality without my past of anarchy, vice, and violent atheism.
The Bible in Wikisource
  • And the Lord said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
    • Variant translation: Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.
    • Genesis 4:6-7 (KJV)
  • My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.
  • Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.
  • As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
  • Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
  • That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned.
  • Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
    • Paul of Tarsus, Romans 7:25 NIV
    • Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me. So with my mind I serve the Law of God, although my selfish desires make me serve the law of sin.
    • Variant of Romans 7:25 in the Contemporary English Version
    • I am thankful to God for the freedom that comes through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One! So on the one hand, I devotedly serve God’s law with my mind; but on the other hand, with my flesh, I serve the principle of sin.
    • Variant of Romans 7:25 in the The Voice
  • For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • Romans 6:23 NIV
    • Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.
    • Variant of Romans 6:23 in The Message
  • Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.
  • ... to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.
  • ... he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
  • For in God's sight are (all) his servants, (namely), those who say: 'Our Lord, we have indeed believed: forgive us, then, our sins ("dhunub"), and save us from the agony of the Fire.'
    •  Quran 3: 15–16
  • If you avoid great sins (kaba’ir or dhanb) which are forbidden you, We will remit from you your evil deeds (sayyi’a)
    • Quran 4: 31
  • They will ask thee about wine and maysir. Say, ‘In both of them there is great sin (ithm) and also some uses for men, but their sin is greater than their usefulness.
    • Quran 2: 168/173
  • He who associates with God has surely forged a great sin
    • Quran 4: 53/50
  • God forgiveth not (the sin of) joining other gods to Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins that this: one who joins other gods with God hath strayed far, far away.
    • Quran 4:116

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 720-12.
  • I waive the quantum o' the sin,
    The hazard of concealing:
    But, och! it hardens a' within,
    And petrifies the feeling!
  • But, sad as angels for the good man's sin,
    Weep to record, and blush to give it in.
  • Sin let loose speaks punishment at hand.
  • 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.
  • 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 (1860), Book VI, Chapter XIV.
  • O Lord and Master of my life, give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity, lust for power and idle talk, but give to me, Thy servant, a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love. O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to condemn my brother: for blessed art Thou to the ages of ages. Amen. O God, cleanse me, a sinner.
    • Ephrem the Syrian "Prayer of Ephrem" as translated in The Lenten Triodion (1978) by Mother Mary and Archimandrite Kallistos Ware, p. 69
      • Variant translation: O Lord and Master of my life, give me not a spirit of sloth, vain curiosity, lust for power and idle talk, but give to me, your servant, a spirit of soberness, humility, patience and love. O Lord and King, grant me to see my own faults and not to condemn my brother: for you are blessed for ever and ever. Amen. O God, cleanse me, a sinner.
        • As translated in Who's Holding the Umbrella (1984) by William E. Yaeger, p. 70
  • 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.
  • One should next proceed to the Vaitarani capable of destroying every sin.
    • Mahabharata, Book 3: Vana Parva: Tirta Yatra Parva: Section LXXXV
  • Nor custom, nor example, nor vast numbers
    Of such as do offend, make less the sin.
  • 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. Pœnam culpa secunda ferat.
    • Indulgent gods, grant me to sin once with impunity. That is sufficient. Let a second offence bear its punishment.
    • Ovid, Amorum (16 BC), Book 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 (16 BC), 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.
    • Phaedrus, Fables, III. Epilogue. 34.
  • Aliena vitia in oculis habemus; a tergo nostra sunt.
    • Other men's sins are before our eyes; our own behind our backs.
    • Seneca the Younger, 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 the Younger, 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 the Younger, De Ira, III. 26.
  • Sin is a state of mind, not an outward act.
  • 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.
  • To abstain from sin when a man cannot sin is to be forsaken by sin, not to forsake it.
    • Jeremy Taylor, Works, Volume 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!

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Though sin may be in the Christian, yet it hath no more dominion over him; he hath an unfeigned respect to all God's commandments, making conscience even of little sins and little duties.
  • Sin is the insurrection and rebellion of the heart against God; it turns from Him, and turns against Him; it takes up arms against God.
  • Presumption has many forms; and it is worth considering, whether a great and good Being would most disapprove the presumption which expected too much from His goodness, or the presumption which dared positively to disbelieve His promise.
  • The slave who digs in the mine or labors at the oar can rejoice at the prospect of laying down his burden together with his life; but to the slave of guilt there arises no hope from death. On the contrary, he is obliged to look forward with constant terror to this most certain of all events, as the conclusion of all his hopes, and the commencement of his greatest miseries.
  • There is the seed of all sins — of the vilest and worst of sins — in the best of men.
  • Sin works by no set methods. It has a way of ruin for every man, that is original and proper only to himself. Suffice it to say that, as long as you are in and under its power, you can never tell what you are in danger of. This one thing you may have as a truth eternally fixed, that respectable sin is, in principle, the mother of all basest crime. Follow it on to the bitter end, and there is ignominy eternal.
  • Sin, without strong restraints, would pull God from His throne, make the world the minion of its lusts, and all beings bow down and worship.
  • Sin is an awful fact. It beggars description. Like the shirt of Nessus, it burns one alive. As that poisoned garment ate away the muscles of the victim in his vain attempt to rid himself of it, so sin will destroy the power of him who becomes its victim. Eternal death is eternal sin; sin through all the ages.
  • To please ourselves with a notion of gospel liberty, while we have not a gospel principle of holiness within to free us from the power of sin, is nothing else but to gild over our bonds and fetters, and to fancy ourselves the inmates of a golden cage. There is a straitness, slavery, and narrowness in sin; sin crowds and crumples up our souls which, if they were freely spread abroad, would. be as wide and as broad as the whole universe. No man is truly free, but he that has his will enlarged to the extent of God's own will, by loving whatever God loves, and nothing else.
  • Misery follows sin; sin itself is misery; and the soul that sinneth dies of course, without any means taken to put that soul to death; though Divine interference would be indispensable to prevent the consequences following the cause.
  • Sin! Sin! Thou art a hateful and horrible thing, that abominable thing which God hates. And what wonder? Thou hast insulted His holy majesty; thou hast bereaved Him of beloved children; thou hast crucified the Son of His infinite love; thou hast vexed His gracious Spirit; thou hast defied His power; thou hast despised His grace; and in the body and blood of Jesus, as if that were a common thing, thou hast trodden under foot His matchless mercy. Surely, brethren, the wonder of wonders is, that sin is not that abominable thing which we also hate.
  • Remember that every guilty compliance with the humors of the world, every sinful indulgence of our own passions, is laying up cares and fears for the hour of darkness; and that the remembrance of ill-spent time will strew our sick-bed with thorns, and rack our sinking spirits with despair.
  • He that avoideth not small faults, by little and little falleth into greater.
  • St. Augustine used to say that, but for God's grace, he should have been capable of committing any crime; and it is when we feel this sincerely, that we are most likely to be really improving, and best able to give assistance to others without moral loss to ourselves.
  • I learn the depth to which I have sunk from the length of the chain let down to up-draw me. I ascertain the mightiness of the ruin by examining the machinery for restoration.
  • He that hath slight thoughts of sin, never had great thoughts of God.
  • God, save us from ourselves! We carry within us the elements of hell if we but choose to make them such. Ahaz, Judas, Nero, Borgia, Herod, all were once prattling infants in happy mother's arms.
  • No sin is small. It is a sin against an infinite God, and may have consequences immeasurable. No grain of sand is small in the mechanism of a watch.
  • The fact is that sin is the most unmanly thing in God's world. You never were made for sin and selfishness. You were made for love and obedience.
  • There are burdens which are bad and blameworthy, and these it is our duty at once to cast away. Such a burden is the evil conscience, from which the true deliverance is the cross of Christ; such a burden is the easily besetting sin, from which the sanctifying Spirit sets free the vigilant and prayerful Christian.
  • Yes, every sin is a mistake, and the epitaph for the sinner is, "Thou fool."
  • Every burning tear, every harrowing fear, every festering grief, every corroding care, every shooting pain, every piercing remorse; the sighs and moans of lazar-houses reeking with putrefaction and death; the shrieks and wails and clanking chains in hospitals swarming with maniacs; and the curses and blasphemies of dungeons where guilt rots and raves — these, all these, are but feeble reverberations of those dismal truths, " Sin reigns unto death." " Death hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned."
  • That is the bitterest of all, — to wear the yoke of our own wrong-doing.
  • And O when the whirlwind of passion is raging,
    When sin in our hearts its wild warfare is waging,
    Then send down Thy grace, Thy redeemed to cherish;
    Rebuke the destroyer; "Save, Lord, or we perish."
  • Secret sins commonly lie nearest the heart.
  • The sin that now rises to memory as your bosom sin, let this f1rst of all be withstood and mastered. Oppose it instantly by a detestation of it, by a firm will to conquer it, by reflection, by reason, and by prayer.
  • Though the scorpion be little, yet will it sting a lion to death; and so will the least sin the sinner, unless pardoned by the blood of Christ.
  • Nature has no promise for society, least of all, any remedy for sin.
  • You cannot stay the shell in its flight; after it has left the mortar, it goes on to its mark, and there explodes, dealing destruction all around. Just as little can you stay the consequences of a sin after it has been committed. You may repent of it, you may even be forgiven for it, but still it goes on its deadly and desolating way. It has passed entirely beyond your reach; once done, it cannot be undone.
  • Sin is to be overcome, not so much by maintaining a direct opposition to it, as by cultivating opposite principles. Would you kill the weeds in your garden, plant it with good seed; if the ground be well occupied, there will be less need of the labor of the hoe. If a man wished to quench fire, he might fight it with his hands till he was burnt to death; the only way is to apply an opposite element.
  • The deliberate and habitual practice of any form of dishonesty or immorality is impossible to one who follows Christ.
  • A believer is far more apt to be burdened with a sense of sin, and to feel the fear of it in his own character than an unbeliever; because if we are carried along the stream we fear nothing, and it is only when we strive against it, that its progress and power are discernible.
  • If, in proportion as our minds are enlarged, our hearts purified, and our consciences cultivated, our abhorrence of wrong and aversion to it increases, what must be the moral indignation of the infinite and holy God against wrong-doers?
  • As for our own faults, it would take a large slate to hold the account of them; but, thank God, we know where to take them, and how to get the better of them.
  • When a sinner has any just sense of his condition, as alienated from a holy God, he will not be apt to think of the unpardonable sin.
  • Sin on more.
    • A misprint from the Bible published in 1712. (John 8:11).

See also


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