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[ Also see Absolution Charity Clemency Grace Kindness Magnanimity Mercy Pardon Reconciliation Redemption Resentment Revenge Understanding ]

Nothing inspires forgiveness quite like revenge.
      - Scott Adams

How sure we are of our own forgiveness from God. How certain we are that we are made in His image, when we forgive heartily and out of hand one who has wronged us. Sentimentally we may feel, and lightly we may say, "To err is human, to forgive divine;" but we never taste the nobility and divinity of forgiving till we forgive and know the victory of forgiveness over our sense of being wronged, over mortified pride and wounded sensibilities. Here we are in living touch with Him who treats us as though nothing had happened--who turns His back upon the past, and bids us journey with Him into goodness and gladness, into newness of life.
      - Maltbie Davenport Babcock

They who forgive most shall be most forgiven.
      - Philip James Bailey

No woman allows her lover to descend from his pedestal. Even a god is not forgiven the slightest pettiness.
      - Honore de Balzac

When women love us they forgive everything.
      - Honore de Balzac

"I can forgive, but I cannot forget," is only another way of saying "I will not forgive." A forgiveness ought to be like a cancelled note, torn in two and burned up, so that it never can be shown against the man.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

There is an ugly kind of forgiveness in this world,--a kind of hedgehog forgiveness, shot out like quills. Men take one who has offended, and set him down before the blowpipe of their indignation, and scorch him, and burn his fault into him; and when they have kneaded him sufficiently with their fiery fists, then--they forgive him.
      - Henry Ward Beecher

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
      - Bible, Matthew (ch. VI, v. 14-15)

The gospel comes to the sinner at once with nothing short of complete forgiveness as the starting-point of all his efforts to be holy. It does not say, "Go and sin no more, and I will not condemn thee." It says at once, "Neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more."
      - Horatius Bonar, D.D.

Write thy wrongs in ashes.
      - Sir Thomas Browne

Good, to forgive;
  Best to forget.
      - Robert Browning, La Saisiaz--Prologue

Life, that ever needs forgiveness, has, for its first duty, to forgive.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

More bounteous run rivers when the ice that locked their flow melts into their waters. And when fine natures relent, their kindness is swelled by the thaw.
      - Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton

To have the power to forgive,
  Is empire and prerogative,
    And 'tis in crowns a nobler gem,
      To grant a pardon than condemn.
      - Samuel Butler (1)

That curse shall be--forgiveness!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron)

The fairest action of our human life
  Is scorning to revenge an injury;
    For who forgives without a further strife,
      His adversary's heart to him doth tie:
        And 'tis a firmer conquest, truly said,
          To win the heart than overthrow the head.
      - Lady Elizabeth Carew (Cary or Carey),
        Chorus from "Maxiam"

It is necessary to repent for years in order to efface a fault in the eyes of men; a single tear suffices with God.
      - Francois August Rene de Chateaubriand, Vicomte de Chateaubriand

The sun should not set upon our anger, neither should he rise upon our confidence. We should forgive freely, but forget rarely. I will not be revenged, and this I owe to my enemy; but I will remember, and this I owe to myself.
      - Charles Caleb Colton

He who forgives readily only invites offense.
  [Fr., Qui pardonne aisement invite a l'offenser.]
      - Pierre Corneille, Cinna (IV, 4)

We read that we ought to forgive our enemies; but we do not read that we ought to forgive our friends.
      - attributed to Cosmus (Cosimo de Medici) ("Cosimo I") ("Cosimo the Great"),
        by Bacon in "Apothegms", No. 206

Alas! if my best Friend, who laid down His life for me, were to remember all the instances in which I have neglected Him, and to plead them against me in judgment, where should I hide my guilty head in the day of recompense? I will pray, therefore, for blessings on my friends, even though they cease to be so, and upon my enemies, though they continue such.
      - William Cowper

It is easier to forgive an enemy than a friend.
      - Dorothee DeLuzy

May I tell you why it seems to me a good thing for us to remember wrong that has been done us? That we may forgive it.
      - Charles Dickens

Once a woman has forgiven a man, she must not reheat his sins for breakfast.
      - Marlene Dietrich

Thou whom avenging pow'rs obey,
  Cancel my debt (too great to pay)
    Before the sad accounting day.
      - Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon,
        On the Day of Judgment (st. 11)

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