desire to perform an action that one may enjoy immediately or in the short term but will probably later regret for various reasons
Temptation is that feeling of attraction to something which looks appealing to an individual.
- Why comes temptation but for man to meet
And master and make crouch beneath his foot,
And so be pedestaled in triumph?
- Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book (1868-69), The Pope, line 1,185.
- I may not here omit those two main plagues, and common dotages of human kind, wine and women, which have infatuated and besotted myriads of people: they go commonly together.
- Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I, Section II. Memb. 3. Subsect, XIII.
- Our founders were insightful students of human nature. They feared the abuse of power because they understood that every human being has not only "better angels" in his nature, but also an innate vulnerability to temptation — especially the temptation to abuse power over others.
- But Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.
- Alexander Pope, Moral Essays (1731-35), Epistle III, line 351.
- Bell, book and candle shall not drive me back,
When gold and silver becks me to come on.
- How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
Makes ill deeds done!
- Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light.
- The suprahuman temptation will pile up over a person; like the sheep mountain that makes the hiker despair, so the suprahuman temptation will frighten the sufferer, transform him into a creeping thing in comparison with the size of the temptation. Just as a force of nature mocks human effort, so suprahuman temptation, haughtily swaggering, will be proud, like mockery at the poor sufferer. But, God be praised, there is no suprahuman temptation; there is only a mendacious fable invented by a pusillanimous or a crafty person who wants to shove guilt away from himself, to minimize his guilt by magnifying the temptation, to justifying himself by making it suprahuman. Scripture says the very opposite; it not only says that there is no suprahuman temptation, but in another place where it is speaking of the horror of which the anticipation would make people faint, it says to the believers, “When this happens, raise your heads.” (1 Cor 10.13, Luke 21.28)
- Soren Kierkegaard Upbuilding Discourses in Various Spirits, Hong p. 302-303 (1847)
- I am that way going to temptation,
Where prayers cross.
- Most dangerous
Is that temptation that doth goad us on
To sin in loving virtue.
- To beguile many and be beguil'd by one.
- Know'st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Would tempt unto a close exploit of death?
- Sometimes we are devils to ourselves,
When we will tempt the frailty of our powers,
Presuming on their changeful potency.
- With that power I should have power too great and terrible. And over me the Ring would gain a power still greater and more deadly....Do not tempt me! For I do not wish to become like the Dark Lord himself. Yet the way of the Ring to my heart is by pity, pity for weakness and the desire of strength to do good. Do not tempt me! I dare not take it, not even to keep it safe, unused. The wish to wield it would be too great for my strength. I shall have such need of it. Great perils lie before me.
- I can resist everything except temptation.
- Oscar Wilde , Lady Windermere's Fan (1892), Act I
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 784-85.
- What's done we partly may compute,
But know not what's resisted.
- Robert Burns, Address to Unco Guid, Stanza 8.
- So you tell yourself you are pretty fine clay
To have tricked temptation and turned it away,
But wait, my friend, for a different day;
Wait till you want to want to!
- Edmund Vance Cooke, Desire.
- The devil tempts us not—'tis we tempt him,
Reckoning his skill with opportunity.
- George Eliot, Felix Holt, Chapter XLVII.
- Entbehren sollst du! sollst entbehren.
- Many a dangerous temptation comes to us in fine gay colours, that are but skin-deep.
- Matthew Henry, Commentaries, Genesis, III.
- Temptations hurt not, though they have accesse;
Satan o'ercomes none but by willingnesse.
- Robert Herrick, Hesperides (1648), Temptations.
- Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life.
- James. I. 12.
- Honest bread is very well—it's the butter that makes the temptation.
- Douglas Jerrold, The Catspaw.
- Get thee behind me, Satan.
- Matthew, XVI. 23.
- Let a man be but in earnest in praying against a temptation as the tempter is in pressing it, and he needs not proceed by a surer measure.
- Bishop Robert South, Volume VI, Sermon 10.
- Could'st thou boast, O child of weakness!
O'er the sons of wrong and strife,
Were their strong temptations planted
In thy path of life?
- John Greenleaf Whittier, What the Voice Said.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)Edit
- Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
- When you have overcome one temptation, you must he ready to enter the lists with another. As distrust, in some sense, is the mother of safety, so security is the gate of danger. A man had need to fear this most of all, that he fears not at all.
- Thomas Brooks, p. 532.
- Temptations, when we meet them at first, are as the lion that roared upon Samson; but if we overcome them, the next time we see them we shall find a nest of honey within them.
- John Bunyan, p. 577.
- On this earth all is temptation. Crosses tempt us by irritating our pride, and prosperity by flattering it. Our life is a continual combat, but one in which Jesus Christ fights for us. We must pass on unmoved, while temptations rage around us, as the traveler, overtaken by a storm, simply wraps his cloak more closely about him, and pushes on more vigorously toward his destined home.
- François Fénelon, p. 577.
- The realization of God's presence is the one sovereign remedy against temptation.
- François Fénelon, p. 577.
- When tempted, the shortest and surest way is to act like a little child at the breast; when we show it a frightful monster, it shrinks back and buries its face in its mother's bosom, that it may no longer behold it.
- François Fénelon, p. 578.
- Christian! thou knowest thou earriest gunpowder about thee. Desire them that carry fire to keep at a distance. It is a dangerous crisis, when a proud heart meets with flattering lips.
- John Flavel, p. 578.
- In the hour of my distress,
When temptations me oppress,
And when I my sins confess,
Sweet Spirit, comfort me.
- Robert Herrick, p. 577.
- We often wonder that certain men and women are left by God to the commission of sins that shock us. We wonder how, under the temptation of a single hour, they fall from the very heights of virtue and of honor into sin and shame. The fact is that there are no such falls as these, or there are next to none. These men and women are those who have dallied with temptation — have exposed themselves to the influence of it, and have been weakened and corrupted by it.
- Josiah Gilbert Holland, p. 577.
- Occasions of adversity best discover how great virtue or strength each one hath. For occasions do not make a man frail, but they show what he is.
- Thomas à Kempis, p. 578.