25 Inspirational Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

by Josh Wiley · Print Print · Email Email

Christian quotes are so uplifting and do a great job of making us reflect on life and God. Ralph Waldo Emerson is one of those that has many famous Christian quotes. Here is list of twenty five of my favorite and popular quotes from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Featured Ralph Waldo Emerson Quote
““What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes on Life

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

“To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.”

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

“Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

“It is not the length of life, but the depth.”

“Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.”

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

Love Quotes By Ralph Waldo Emerson

“He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.”

“Love, and you shall be loved.”

“Give all to love.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson About Faith

“All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.”

“The faith that stands on authority is not faith. ”

“Faith and love are apt to be spasmodic in the best minds. Men live the brink of mysteries and harmonies into which they never enter, and with their hands on the door-latch they die outside.”

Other Famous Ralph Waldo Emerson Quotes

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.”

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

“Always do what you are afraid to do.”

“Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”

Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”

“Whatever you do, you need courage. Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”

Prayer Quotes From Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Prayer that craves a particular commodity—anything less than all good, is vicious. Prayer is the contemplation of the facts of life from the highest point of view. It is the soliloquy of a beholding and jubilant soul. It is the spirit of God pronouncing his works good. But prayer as a means to effect a private end is theft and meanness. It supposes dualism and not unity in nature and consciousness. As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg.”

“Another sort of false prayers are our regrets. Discontent is the way of self-reliance: it is infirmity of will. Regret calamities, if you can thereby help the sufferer; if not, attend your own work, and already the evil begins to be repaired.”

“Is not prayer a study of truth, a sally of the soul into the unfound infinite? No man ever prayed heartily without learning something.”

What is your favorite quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson? Add it to the comments.

Photo By: Marie Haggarty


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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam Williams November 6, 2011 at 5:45 pm

“Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think.”


Ramon Richter May 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

“There are all degrees of proficiency in knowledge of the world. It is sufficient, to our present purpose, to indicate three. One class to live to the utility of the symbol; esteeming health and wealth a final good. Another class live above this mark to the beauty of the symbol; as the poet, and artist, and the naturalist, and man of science. A third class live above the beauty of the symbol to the beauty of the thing signified; these are wise men. The first class have common sense; the second taste; and the third spiritual perception. Once in a long time, a man traverses the whole scale, and sees and enjoys the symbol solidly; then also has a clear eye for its beauty; and lastly, whilst he pitches his tent on this sacred volcanic isle of nature, does not offer to build houses and barns theron, reverencing the splendor of the God which he sees bursting through each chink and cranny.”


Chris Burdett August 20, 2013 at 4:25 am

My favourite quote of Ralph Waldo Emerson is:

Integrity is when you decide to integrate your heart’s value with your daily action.

I like this as many people see honesty as being integrity, but integrity is so much more. And by the way it only includes honesty if honesty is something you value and then you live that.
To know what integrity is to you, write down your values (as many as you can) and then live them out in your daily action.


Anil G March 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm

Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the greatest anti-Christian Americans in history http://www.forerunner.com/forerunner/X0285_Hijacking_American_L.html

Atheists like him do still hear from God – in their conscience – and therefore do recognise the truth, but they will often change it slightly, just enough to miss the target.

Emerson evidently did not know his Creator personally, however much he appreciated His creation. To follow Emerson is to follow humanism and disobedience to God.


Pamela Rose Williams August 14, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Hello Anil G, I would not suggest that we should “follow” any man. Emerson’s relationship with the Lord is just that — his relationship with the Lord. We cannot say whether or not he is a Christian. I do know that there came a time in his life that he doubted God but we do not know his true status at the time of his death.


Anil G August 14, 2014 at 4:13 pm

Thanks for your reply, Pamela. Not only is it essential that we do not follow any man, since following man is not only foolish but is denigrating God, but we must also make sure that we do not laud principles or concepts that are actually at their core, contrary to the Bible.


Jacob August 14, 2014 at 6:56 am

From what Emerson work does quote below originate?

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”


Pamela Rose Williams August 14, 2014 at 2:26 pm

Hello Jacob, I cite:

Selected writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Emerson, Ralph Waldo, and William H. Gilman. Signet Classic. 2003


leonard chepkwony February 24, 2015 at 1:58 am

I am leonard and a practising christian. I am interested with your encouragements. Kindly keep me posted and especially thru your newsletter.


Samuel O. Laraiyetan June 9, 2015 at 12:00 pm

I appreciate the quality of you qoutations. I am a christian author with 3 books to my credit. I want to send my latest book HOSTAGE IN THE CHURCH TO YOU. Kindly send your email. I am a freelance preacher willing to take the gospel to every nook and cranny of the universe. We also solicite for sponsors for prison ministry which is our core mandate.


Jack Wellman June 9, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Thank you Mr. Laraiyetan.


suresh chand mali June 13, 2015 at 1:12 am

I likes your following quote:-
“The best path to have a friend is to be one” “The only way to have a friend is to be one”. because this was received from my wife in our early days, but still I could not get its complete/partially meaning & she also doesn’t have more explanation about it.
Yours one friend
Suresh Chand Mali. 13.06.2015


AMIT KUMAR TIWARI June 14, 2016 at 12:49 am

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”


Timothy J Engleman December 14, 2016 at 11:18 pm

Some men see things as they are and say why? I dream of things that never were and say why not?


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