Reference > Quotations > James Wood, comp. > Dictionary of Quotations
James Wood, comp.  Dictionary of Quotations.  1899.
  Every established religion was once a heresy.  1
  Every great reform which has been effected has consisted, not in doing something new, but in undoing something old.  2
  For one person who can think, there are at least a hundred who can observe. An accurate observer is, no doubt, rare; but an accurate thinker is far rarer.  3
  Formerly the richest countries were those in which Nature was most bountiful; now the richest countries are those in which man is most active.  4
  If one age believes too much, it is but a natural reaction that another age should believe too little.  5
  In every great epoch there is some one idea at work which is more powerful than any other, and which shapes the events of the time and determines their ultimate issues.  6
  In practical life, the wisest and soundest men avoid speculation.  7
  Knowledge is not an inert and passive principle, which comes to us whether we will or no; but it must be sought before it can be won; it is the product of great labour, and therefore of great sacrifice.  8
  Literature is representative of intellect, which is progressive; government is representative of order, which is stationary.  9
  Men who begin by losing their independence will end by losing their energy.  10
  Practice aims at what is immediate; speculation at what is remote. In practical life, the wisest and soundest men avoid speculation, and ensure success, because, by limiting their range, they increase the tenacity with which they grasp events, while in speculative life the course is exactly the reverse, since in that department the greater the range the greater the command.  11
  Real knowledge consists not in an acquaintance with facts, which only makes a pedant, but in the use of facts, which makes a philosopher.  12
  The aim of the legislator should be, not truth, but expediency.  13
  The faculty of art is to change events; the faculty of science is to foresee them. The phenomena with which we deal are controlled by art; they are predicted by science.  14
  The only progress which is really effective depends, not upon the bounty of Nature, but upon the energy of man.  15
  They who crouch to those who are above them, always trample on those who are below them.  16
  They who do not feel the darkness will never look for the light.  17
  To seek to change opinions by laws is worse than futile.  18
  To simplify complications is, in all branches of knowledge, the first essential of success.  19
  We hear constantly of what Nature is doing, but we rarely hear of what man is thinking. We want ideas, and we get more facts.  20
  Whatever theologians may choose to assert, it is certain that mankind at large has far more virtue than vice.  21
  Women cannot see so far as men can, but what they do see they see quicker.  22

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