Reference > Quotations > C.N. Douglas, comp. > Forty Thousand Quotations > Primary Author Index
C.N. Douglas, comp.  Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical.  1917.
  A little bitter mingled in our cup leaves no relish of the sweet.  1
  A man may live long, and die at last in ignorance of many truths, which his mind was capable of knowing, and that with certainty.  2
  A sound mind in a sound body is a short but full description of a happy state in this world.  3
  Affectation endeavors to correct natural defects, and has always the laudable aim of pleasing, though it always misses it.  4
  Affectation in any part of our carriage is lighting up a candle to see our defects, and never fails to make us taken notice of, either as wanting sense or sincerity.  5
  Affectation is an awkward and forced Imitation of what should be genuine and easy, wanting the Beauty that accompanies what is natural.  6
  All sects, as far as reason will help them, gladly use it; when it fails them, they cry out it is a matter of faith, and above reason.  7
  All virtue lies in a power of denying our own desires where reason does not authorize them.  8
  All wealth is the product of labor.  9
  Anger is uneasiness or discomposure of the mind upon the receipt of any injury, with a present purpose of revenge.  10
  As there is a partiality to opinions, which is apt to mislead the understanding, so there is also a partiality to studies, which is prejudicial to knowledge.  11
  As to cards and dice, I think the safest and best way is never to learn to play upon them, and so to be incapacitated for those dangerous temptations and encroaching wasters of time.  12
  Beauty or unbecomingness is of more force to draw or deter invitation than any discourses which can be made to them.  13
  Children generally hate to be idle; all the care then is that their busy humor should be constantly employed in something of use to them.  14
  Conscience is merely our own judgment of the moral rectitude or turpitude of our own actions.  15
  Curiosity in children Nature has provided to remove the ignorance they were born with.  16
  Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company, and education must finish him.  17
  Every one is forward to complain of the prejudices that mislead other men and parties, as if he were free, and had none of his own. This being objected on all sides, it is agreed that it is a fault and a hindrance to knowledge. What now is the cure? No other but this, that every man should let alone others’ prejudices and examine his own.  18
  Every sect, as far as reason will help them, gladly use it; when it fails them, they cry out it is a matter of faith, and above reason.  19
  Experience: in that all our knowledge is founded; and from that it ultimately derives itself. Our observation employed either about external or sensible objects or about the internal operations of our minds, perceived and reflected on by ourselves, is that which supplies our understandings with all the materials of thinking.  20
  Fashion is, for the most part, nothing but the ostentation of riches.  21
  Figured and metaphorical expressions do well to illustrate more abstruse and unfamiliar ideas, which the mind is not yet thoroughly accustomed to.  22
  Firmness or stiffness of the mind is not from adherence to truth, but submission to prejudice.  23
  Folly consists in the drawing of false conclusions from just principles, by which it is distinguished from madness, which draws just conclusions from false principles.  24
  Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.  25
  Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society, and made by the legislative power vested in it; a liberty to follow my own will in all things, when the rule prescribes not, and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, unknown, arbitrary will of another man.  26
  From the very first instances of perception, some things are grateful and others unwelcome to us; some things we incline to, and others we fly.  27
  Gardening, or husbandry, and working in wood, are healthy recreations.  28
  General observations drawn from particulars are the jewels of knowledge, comprehending great store in a little room.  29
  Gentleness is far more successful in all its enterprises than violence; indeed, violence generally frustrates its own purpose, while gentleness scarcely ever fails.  30
  God has scattered several degrees of pleasure and pain in all the things that environ and affect us, and blended them together in almost all our thoughts.  31
  God having designed man for a sociable creature, furnished him with language, which was to be the great instrument and cementer of society.  32
  Good qualities are the substantial riches of the mind; but it is good breeding that sets them off to advantage.  33
  Happiness and misery are the names of two extremes, the utmost bounds whereof we know not.  34
  He must be little skilled in the world who thinks that men’s talking much or little shall hold proportion only to their knowledge.  35
  He that from childhood has made rising betimes familiar to him will not waste the best part of his life in drowsiness.  36
  He that has complex ideas, without particular names for them, would be in no better case than a book-seller who had volumes that lay unbound and without titles, which he could make known to others only by showing the loose sheets.  37
  He that takes away reason to make way for revelation puts out the light of both, and does much the same as if he would persuade a man to put out his eyes, the better to receive the remote light of an invisible star by a telescope.  38
  He that will make a good use of any part of his life must allow a large portion of it to recreation.  39
  Hope is that pleasure of the mind which every one finds in himself upon the thought of a probable future enjoyment of a thing which is apt to delight him.  40
  However slow the progress of mankind may be, or however imperceptible the gain in a single generation, the advancement is evident enough in the long run. There was a time when the most part of the inhabitants of Britain would have been as much startled at questioning the truth of the doctrine of transubstantiation as they would in this age at the most sceptical doubts on the being of a God.  41
  I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.  42
  I would not have children much beaten for their faults, because I would not have them think bodily pain the greatest punishment.  43
  If an ingenuous detestation of falsehood be but carefully and early instilled, that is the true and genuine method to obviate dishonesty.  44
  If authors cannot be prevailed upon to keep close to truth and instruction, by unvaried terms, and plain, unsophisticated argument, yet it concerns readers not to be imposed on.  45
  If men were weaned from their sauntering humor, wherein they let a good part of their lives run uselessly away, they would acquire skill in hundreds of things.  46
  If punishment reaches not the mind and makes not the will supple, it hardens the offender.  47
  If there remains an eternity to us after the short revolution of time we so swiftly run over here, ’tis clear that all the happiness that can be imagined in this fleeting state is not valuable in respect of the future.  48
  If we will rightly estimate what we call good and evil, we shall find it lies much in comparison.  49
  Ill patterns are sure to be followed more than odd rules.  50
  Improbability is the food upon which scepticism is nourished.  51
  In morality there are books enough written both by ancient and modern philosophers, but the morality of the Gospel doth so exceed them all that to give a man a full knowledge of true morality I shall send him to no other book than the New Testament.  52
  In this retirement of the mind from the senses, it retains a yet more incoherent manner of thinking, which we call dreaming.  53
  Intelligible discourses are spoiled by too much subtlety in nice divisions.  54
  Is it worth the name of freedom to be at liberty to play the fool?  55
  It carries too great an imputation of ignorance, lightness or folly for men to quit and renounce their former tenets presently upon the offer of an argument which they cannot immediately answer.  56
  It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter: it is all pure, all sincere, nothing too much, nothing wanting.  57
  It is a wrong use of my understanding to make it the rule and measure of another man’s—a use which it is neither fit for nor capable of.  58
  It is difficult to instruct children because of their natural inattention; the true mode, of course, is to first make our modes interesting to them.  59
  It is looked upon as insolence for a man to adhere to his own opinion against the current stream of antiquity.  60
  It is not possible now to keep a young gentleman from vice by a total ignorance of it, unless you will all his life mew him up in a closet and never let him go into company.  61
  It is quite as easy to give our children musical and pleasing names as those that are harsh and difficult; and it will be found by the owners, when they have grown to knowledge, that there is much in a name.  62
  Judging is balancing an account, and determining on which side the odds lie.  63
  Knowing is seeing.  *  *  *  Until we ourselves see it with our own eyes, and perceive it by our own understandings, we are as much in the dark and as void of knowledge as before, let us believe any learned author as much as we will.  64
  Knowledge being to be had only of visible and certain truth, error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment, giving assent to that which is not true.  65
  Let them have ever so learned lectures of breeding, that which will most influence their carriage will be the company they converse with, and the fashion of those about them.  66
  Memory is the power to revive again our minds those ideas which after imprinting have disappeared, or have been laid aside out of sight.  67
  Moral principles require reasoning and discourse to discover the certainty of their truths; they lie not open as natural characters engraven on the mind.  68
  Nobody was ever so cunning as to conceal their being so; and everybody is shy and distrustful of crafty men.  69
  Passionate words or blows from the tutor fill the child’s mind with terror and affrightment, which immediately takes it wholly up and leaves no room for other impressions.  70
  Persuasive, yet denying eyes, all eloquent with language of their own.  71
  Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking makes what we read ours.  72
  Repentance does not consist in one single act of sorrow, though that, being the first and leading act, gives denomination to the whole; but in doing works meet for repentance, in a sincere obedience to the law of Christ for the remainder of our lives.  73
  Revery is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.  74
  Riches do not consist in having more gold and silver, but in having more in proportion than our neighbors.  75
  Some persons depress their own minds, despond at the first difficulty; and conclude that making any progress in knowledge, farther than serves their ordinary business, is above their capacities.  76
  Sophistry is only fit to make men more conceited in their ignorance.  77
  Strong conceit, like a new principle, carries all easily with it, when yet above common-sense.  78
  The best way to come to truth being to examine things as really they are, and not to conclude they are, as we fancy of ourselves, or have been taught by others to imagine.  79
  The custom of frequent reflection will keep their minds from running adrift, and call their thoughts home from useless unattentive roving.  80
  The distinguishing characters of the face and the lineaments of the body grow more plain and visible with time and age; but the peculiar physiognomy of the mind is most discernible in children.  81
  The dread of evil is a much more forcible principle of human actions than the prospect of good.  82
  The great art to learn much is to undertake a little at a time.  83
  The improvement of the understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver and make out that knowledge to others.  84
  The least and most imperceptible impressions received in our infancy have consequences very important, and of a long duration. It is with these first impressions, as with a river whose waters we can easily turn, by different canals, in quite opposite courses, so that from the insensible direction the stream receives at its source, it takes different directions, and at last arrives at places far distant from each other; and with the same facility we may, I think, turn the minds of children to what direction we please.  85
  The only fence against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.  86
  The power of perception is that which we call the understanding.  87
  The wisdom and goodness of the Maker plainly appears in the parts of this stupendous fabric, and the several degrees and ranks of creatures in it.  88
  The works of nature and the works of revelation display religion to mankind in characters so large and visible that those who are not quite blind may in them see and read the first principles and most necessary parts of it, and from thence penetrate into those infinite depths filled with the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.  89
  There seems to be a constant decay of all our ideas; even of those which are struck deepest, and in minds the most retentive, so that if they be not sometimes renewed by repeated exercises of the senses, or reflection on those kinds of objects which at first occasioned them, the print wears out, and at last there remains nothing to be seen.  90
  They left a great deal for the industry and sagacity of after ages.  91
  To be rational is so glorious a thing that two-legged creatures generally content themselves with the title.  92
  To give a man a full knowledge of true morality, I would send him to no other book than the New Testament.  93
  To love truth for truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.  94
  True fortitude I take to be the quiet possession of a man’s self, and an undisturbed doing his duty, whatever evil besets or danger lies in his way.  95
  Truth, whether in or out of fashion, is the measure of knowledge and the business of the understanding; whatsoever is besides that, however authorized by consent or recommended by rarity, is nothing but ignorance or something worse.  96
  Virtue and talents, though allowed their due consideration, yet are not enough to procure a man a welcome wherever he comes. Nobody contents himself with rough diamonds, or wears them so. When polished and set, then they give a lustre.  97
  We are taught to clothe our minds, as we do our bodies, after the fashion in vogue; and it is accounted fantastical, or something worse, not to do so.  98
  Whatsoever the mind perceives of itself, or is the immediate object of perception, thought, or understanding, that I call an idea.  99
  Wit consists in assembling, and putting together with quickness, ideas in which can be found resemblance and congruity, by which to make up pleasant pictures and agreeable visions in the fancy.  100
  Without the notion and allowance of spirits, our philosophy will be lame and defective in one main part of it.  101

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