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Zeal is fervor or tireless devotion for a person, cause, or ideal and determination in its furtherance.


  • Zealous, yet modest; innocent, though free;
    Patient of toil; serene amidst alarms;
    Inflexible in faith; invincible in arms.
  • ZEAL, n. A certain nervous disorder afflicting the young and inexperienced. A passion that goeth before a sprawl.
  • For zeal's a dreadful termagant,
    That teaches saints to tear and cant.
  • It is only through a burning zeal for the salvation of the lost — a zeal glowing in the heart, and flashing out in the look and action and utterance — that the confidence of unbelief can be overcome, and the heedless travelers of the broad way won to the path of life and happiness. Love is the most potent logic; interest and sympathy are the most subduing eloquence.
    • The Christian at Work, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 625.
  • I remember a passage in Goldsmith's "Vicar of Wakefield," which he was afterwards fool enough to expunge: "I do not love a man who is zealous for nothing."
  • A zealous soul without meekness is like a ship in a storm, in danger of wrecks. A meek soul without zeal, is like a ship in a calm, that moves not so fast as it ought.
    • John M. Mason, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 625.
  • A Spirit, zealous, as he seemed, to know
    More of the Almighty's works, and chiefly Man,
    God's latest image.
  • But his zeal
    None seconded, as out of season judged,
    Or singular and rash.
  • Zeal is that pure and heavenly flame,
    The fire of love supplies ;
    While that which often bears the name,
    Is self in a disguise

    True zeal is merciful and mild,
    Can pity and forbear ;
    The false is headstrong, fierce and wild,
    And breathes revenge and war.

    • John Newton, Olney Hymns, Hymn 70 : True and False Zeal
  • It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you.
  • I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
  • It is a coal from God's altar must kindle our fire; and without fire, true fire, no acceptable sacrifice.
    • William Penn, reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), p. 625.
  • Zeal then, not charity, became the guide.
  • I have more zeal than wit.
    • Alexander Pope, Imitations of Horace (1733 to 1738), Book II. Satire VI, line 56.
  • Poets heap virtues, painters gems, at will,
    And show their zeal, and hide their want of skill.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 925.
  • There is no greater sign of a general decay of virtue in a nation, than a want of zeal in its inhabitants for the good of their country.
  • Awake, my soul! stretch every nerve,
    And press with vigour on;
    A heavenly race demands thy zeal,
    And an immortal crown.
  • Zeal is very blind, or badly regulated, when it encroaches upon the rights of others.
  • My hat is in the ring.
  • Der Freunde Eifer ist's, der mich
    Zu Grunde richtet, nicht der Hass der Feinde.
    • The zeal of friends it is that razes me,
      And not the hate of enemies.
    • Friedrich von Schiller, Wallenstein's Tod III:18, last lines.
  • We do that in our zeal our calmer moment would be afraid to answer.
  • If I had obeyed God, as I have obeyed him,
    He would not have punished me.
    • Swamwra to the Governor of Basra when deposed by the Caliph (675). See Ibnu'l Athir, Volume III, p. 412. (Ed. Tomberg).
  • Terms ill defined, and forms misunderstood,
    And customs, when their reasons are unknown,
    Have stirred up many zealous souls
    To fight against imaginary giants.
  • Press bravely onward!—not in vain
    Your generous trust in human kind;
    The good which bloodshed could not gain
    Your peaceful zeal shall find.

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