You can't undo anything you've already done, but you can face up to it. You can tell the truth. You can seek forgiveness. And then let God do the rest.

— Tertullian

The most valuable Tertullian quotes that are easy to memorize and remember

The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.


We worship unity in trinity, and trinity in unity;

neither confounding the person nor dividing the substance. There is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost; but the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.


Prayer cleanses from sin, drives away temptations, stamps out persecutions, comforts the fainthearted, gives new strength to the courageous, brings travellers safely home, calms the waves, confounds robbers, feeds the poor, overrules the rich, lifts up the fallen, supports those who are falling, sustains those who stand firm.


Hope is patience with the lamp lit.


Arguments about Scripture achieve nothing but a stomachache and a headache.


The Law found more than it lost when Christ said, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven’ (Matthew 5:44-45). This most important commandment summarizes in a word the universal discipline of patience, since it does not allow us to do evil even to people who deserve it.


If the Tiber rises too high, or the Nile too low, the remedy is always feeding Christians to the lions.


You can judge the quality of their faith from the way they behave.

Discipline is an index to doctrine.


Where our work is, there let our joy be.


You cannot parcel out freedom in pieces because freedom is all or nothing.


Now we allow that life begins with conception, because we contend that the soul also begins from conception; life taking its commencement at the same moment and place that the soul does.


Every soul, then, by reason of its birth, has its nature in Adam until it is born again in Christ; moreover, it is unclean all the while that it remains without this regeneration; and because unclean, it is actively sinful, and suffuses even the flesh (by reason of their conjunction) with its own shame.


About Tertullian

Quotes 109 sayings
Nationality Roman
Profession Author
Birthday October 16

The Son of God died; it is by all means to be believed because it is absurd. And he was buried and rose again; the fact is certain, because it is impossible.


God the Father's a deep root; the Son's the shoot that breaks into the world; the Spirit spreads the beauty & fragrance


There are still preserved among Christians traces of that Holy Spirit that appeared in the form of a dove. They expel evil spirits, perform many cures, and foresee certain events.


The Lord's Prayer "is truly the summary of the whole gospel.

" "Since the Lord...after handling over the practice of prayer, said elsewhere, 'Ask and you will receive,' and since everyone has petitions which are peculiar to his circumstances, the regular and appropriate prayer (the Lord's Prayer) is said first, as the foundation of further desires.


Woman, thou shouldst ever be clothed in rags and in mourning, appearing only as a penitent, drowned in tears, and expiating thus the sin of having caused the fall of the human race. Woman thou art the gate of the devil. It is thou who hast corrupted those whom Satan dare not attack face to face.


The entire fruit is already present in the seed.


He who lives only to benefit himself confers on the world a benefit when he dies.


It is a fundamental human right, a privilege of nature, that every man should worship according to his own convictions. One man's religion neither harms nor helps another man. It is assuredly no part of religion to compel religion, to which free will and not force should lead us.


See how these Christians love one another.


Indeed it is better to postpone, lest either we complete too little by hurrying, or wander too long in completing it.


Prevention of birth is premature murder, and it makes no difference whether it is a life already born that one snatches away or a life that is coming to birth.


Thus the connection of the Father in the Son, and of the Son in the Paraclete, produces three coherent Persons, who are yet distinct One from Another. These three are one [thing], not one [Person], as it is said, 'I and my Father are One,' in respect of unity of substance not singularity of number.


Let women paint their eyes with tints of chastity, insert into their ears the word of God, tie the yoke of Christ around their necks, and adorn their whole persons with the silk of sanctity and the damask of devotion.


The angels as the guardians of men are set over men as instructors and monitors.

This shows the relationship that is to exist between them. Man's attitude is to be one of obedience and subjection. He is to follow the lead of the angels, and consequently some reverence is already implied in the very relationship that exists between man and angel.


What has Athens to do with Jerusalem.


It is our care for the helpless, our practice of loving kindness, that brands us in the eyes of those who oppose us.


The usual complaint is, 'I have no other way of earning a living.

' The harsh reply can be, 'Do you have to live?'


The state of faith allows no mention of impossibility.


The whole fruit is already present in the seed.


Nothing that is God's is obtainable by money.


But now inquiry is being made concerning these issues.

First, can any believer enlist in the military? Second, can any soldier, even those of the rank and file or lesser grades who neither engage in pagan sacrifices nor capital punishment, be admitted into the church? No on both counts.


It is not permitted for a woman to speak in the church, nor is it permitted for her to teach, nor to baptize, nor to offer [the eucharist], nor to claim for herself a share in any masculine function- not to mention any priestly office.


The first reaction to truth is hatred.


Indeed heresies are themselves instigated by philosophy


[Hermogenes] despises God's law in his painting, maintains repeated marriages [almost certainly a reference to remarrying after divorce or perhaps even widowhood, which Tertullian, who became a Montanist, opposed], alleges the law of God in defense of lust [likely same reference], and yet despises it in respect of his art.


The more you mow us down, the more numerous we grow; the blood of Christians is seed.


The pleasure of those who injure you lies in your pain.

Therefore they will suffer if you take away their pleasure by not feeling pain.


Out of the frying pan, into the fire.


Two kinds of blindness are easily combined so that those who do not see really appear to see what is not.


Woman is a temple built over a sewer.


A holy woman may be beautiful by the gift of nature, but she must not give occasion to lust. If beauty be hers, so far from setting it off she ought rather to obscure it.


Prevention of birth is a precipitation of murder.


To forbid birth is only quicker murder.


Against Him those women sin who torment their skin with potions, stain their cheeks with rouge and extend the line of their eyes with black coloring. Doubtless they are dissatisfied with God's plastic skill. In their own persons they convict and censure the Artificer of all things.


What is nobler than to tread under foot the gods of the nations, to exorcise evil spirits, to perform cures, to seek divine revelations, and to live to God? These are the pleasures - these are the spectacles - that befit Christian men.


Discipline is an index to doctrine.


Fear is the foundation of safety.

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