Be Not Righteous Over Much

Moderation is the moral gauge, the moral regulator, and should be president of the debating society of the passions, propensities, sentiments and virtues. Moderation is to the heart what reason is to the head. Moderation is just precisely that hair line, erroneously said to be invisible, that divides the right from the wrong, good from evil, and virtue from vice. For see: courage is a good thing, but carried beyond the bounds of moderation it becomes rashness–which is a bad thing. Cautiousness is also good, but beyond moderation it becomes cowardice–which is bad. Liberality on the other side of the line of moderation is prodigality. Even religion, piety, which is most excellent, stretched beyond the line of moderation becomes fanaticism, superstition–which is anything but worship and honor to the Creator. I can quote Scripture for that, “Be not righteous over much.”

– Deserted Wife, E.D.E.N. Southworth

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