Edwin Hubbel Chapin

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The best may slip, and even the most cautious fall; but he is more than human who errors not at all.
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Edwin Hubbel Chapin (December 29, 1814 - December 26, 1880) was a Universalist minister who became famed as an orator in the 1840s.


Living Words (1869)

  • I know a good many people, I think, who are bigots, and who know they are bigots, and are sorry for it, bat they dare not be anything else.
    • P. 125.
  • A great many men — some comparatively small men now — if put in the right position, would be Luthers and Columbuses.
    • P. 165.
  • There is no tariff so injurious as that with which sectarian bigotry guards its commodities. It dwarfs the soul by shutting out truths from other continents of thought, and checks the circulation of its own.
    • P. 231.


  • An aged Christian, with the snow of time upon his head, may remind us that those points of earth are whitest which are nearest to heaven.
  • At the bottom of not a little of the bravery that appears in the world, there lurks a miserable cowardice. Men will face powder and steel because they have not the courage to face public opinion.
  • Bigotry dwarfs the soul by shutting out the truth.
  • Do not judge from mere appearances; for the lift laughter that bubbles on the lip often mantles over the depths of sadness, and the serious look may be the sober veil that covers a divine peace and joy. The bosom can ache beneath diamond brooches; and many a blithe heart dances under coarse wool.
  • Every action in our lives touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.
  • Fashion is the science of appearances, and it inspires one with the desire to seem rather than to be.
  • Gaiety is often the reckless ripple over depths of despair.
  • Neutral men are the devil's allies.
  • Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury.
  • No more duty can be urged upon those who are entering the great theater of life than simple loyalty to their best convictions.
  • Not in achievement, but in endurance, of the human soul, does it show its divine grandeur and its alliance with the infinite.
  • Ostentation is the signal flag of hypocrisy.
  • Poetry is the utterance of deep and heart-felt truth - the true poet is very near the oracle.
  • Pride is the master sin of the devil, and the devil is the father of lies.
  • Profaneness is a brutal vice. He who indulges in it is no gentleman.
  • The bosom can ache beneath diamond brooches; and many a blithe heart dances under coarse wool.
  • The creed of a true saint is to make the best of life, and to make the most of it.
  • The downright fanatic is nearer to the heart of things than the cool and slippery disputant.
  • The essence of justice is mercy.
  • There are interests by the sacrifice of which peace is too dearly purchased. One should never be at peace to the shame of his own soul — to the violation of his integrity or of his allegiance to God.
  • This is the essential evil of vice, that it debases man.
  • Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link into the great chain of order.
  • Tribulation will not hurt you, unless as it too often does; it hardens you and makes you sour, narrow and skeptical.
  • Whatever touches the nerves of motive, whatever shifts man's moral position, is mightier than steam, or calorie, or lightening.

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