"Whoever considers morality the main objective of human existence, seems to me like a person who defines the purpose of a clock asnot going wrong. The first objective for a clock, is, however, that it does run; not going wrong is an additional regulative function. If not a watch's greatest accomplishment were not going wrong, unwound watches might be the best."
"I prize the purity of his character as highly as I do that of hers. As a moral being, whatever it is morally wrong for her to do,it is morally wrong for him to do. The fallacious doctrine of male and female virtues has well nigh ruined all that is morally great and lovely in his character: he has been quite as deep a sufferer by it as woman, though mostly in different respects and by other processes."
"... this nation is rotten at the heart, and ... nothing but the most tremendous blows with the sledge-hammer of abolition truth, could ever have broken the false rest which we had taken up for ourselves on the very brink of ruin."
"When human beings are regarded as moral beings, sex, instead of being enthroned upon the summit, administering upon rights and responsibilities, sinks into insignificance and nothingness. My doctrine then is, that whatever it is morally right for man to do, it is morally right for woman to do. Our duties originate, not from difference of sex, but from the diversity of our relations in life, the various gifts and talents committed to our care, and the different eras in which we live."
"Human beings have rights, because they are moral beings: the rights of all men grow out of their moral nature; and as all men havethe same moral nature, they have essentially the same rights. These rights may be wrested from the slave, but they cannot be alienated: his title to himself is as perfect now, as is that of Lyman Beecher: it is stamped on his moral being, and is, like it, imperishable."
"Only let the North exert as much moral influence over the South, as the South has exerted demoralizing influence over the North, and slavery would die amid the flame of Christian remonstrance, and faithful rebuke, and holy indignation."
"More than the changing of institutions we need the development of a national conscience, and the upbuilding of national character.Men may boast of the aristocracy of blood, may glory in the aristocracy of talent, and be proud of the aristocracy of wealth, but there is one aristocracy which must ever outrank them all, and that is the aristocracy of character; and it is the women of a country who help to mold its character, and to influence if not determine its destiny; and in the political future of our nation woman will not have done what she could if she does not endeavor to have our republic stand foremost among the nations of the earth, wearing sobriety as a crown and righteousness as a garment and a girdle."
"An action is an aim of the subject, and it is his agency too which executes this aim: unless the subject were in this way even inthe most disinterested action, i.e. unless he had an interest in it, there would be no action at all.... Impulse and passion are the very life- blood of all action: they are needed if the agent is really to be in his aim and the execution thereof. The morality concerns the content of the aim, which as such is the universal, an inactive thing, that finds it actualizing in the agent."
"Washington will ever be a city for extracurricular romance and undercover trysts, partly because of the high moral standards demanded of the politician by his constituency, and also because it is a town where women are more easily tolerated if they dabble with politicians rather than politics."
"However great an evil immorality may be, we must not forget that it is not without its beneficial consequences. It is only throughextremes that men can arrive at the middle path of wisdom and virtue."
"The end of all moral speculations is to teach us our duty; and, by proper representations of the deformity of vice and beauty of virtue, beget correspondent habits, and engage us to avoid the one, and embrace the other."
"All morality depends upon our sentiments; and when any action or quality of the mind pleases us after a certain manner we say it is virtuous; and when the neglect or nonperformance of it displeases us after a like manner, we say that we lie under an obligation to perform it."
"If morality had naturally no influence on human passions and actions, it were in vain to take such pains to inculcate it; and nothing would be more fruitless than that multitude of rules and precepts with which all moralists abound."
"The proper office of religion is to regulate the heart of men, humanize their conduct, infuse the spirit of temperance, order, andobedience; and as its operation is silent, and only enforces the motives of morality and justice, it is in danger of being overlooked, and confounded with these other motives."
"Said an opponent to me after my last protest was sent in, what party would you vote for, if you could? Neither. I would have a moral sentiment party. I would know the private character of my candidate, would know also whether he takes care of his own property--whether he had failed in business--if so, whether he had paid back every dollar of debt as fast as he had earned them. Yes, every candidate should be examined morally, and if it be found that he has not been true to the monitions of conscience in one direction, he cannot or will not be in another ..."