Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
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S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Bishop John Wilkins
 
  It was the custom of those former ages, in their over-much gratitude, to advance the first authors of any useful discovery among the number of their gods.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  1
 
  It is considerable that some urns have had inscriptions on them expressing that the lamps were burning.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  2
 
  Nothing is properly his duty but what is really his interest.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  3
 
  I call that physical certainty which doth depend upon the evidence of sense, which is the first and highest kind of evidence of which human nature is capable.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  4
 
  By indubitable certainty I mean that which doth not admit of any reasonable cause of doubting, which is the only certainty of which most things are capable.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  5
 
  When we meet with all the indications and evidences of such a thing as the thing is capable of, supposing it to be true, it must needs be very irrational to make any doubt.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  6
 
  I appeal to the common judgment of mankind whether the human nature be not so framed as to acquiesce in such a moral certainty as the nature of things is capable of; and if it were otherwise, whether that reason which belongs to us would not prove a burden and a torment to us, rather than a privilege, by keeping us in a continual suspense, and thereby rendering our conditions perpetually restless and unquiet.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  7
 
  Because that which is necessary to beget certainty in the mind, namely impartial consideration, is in a man’s power, therefore the belief or disbelief of those things is a proper subject for rewards and punishments.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  8
 
  There is a mixed kind of evidence relating both to the senses and understanding, depending upon our own observation and repeated trials of the issues and events of actions or things, called experience.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  9
 
  A present good may reasonably be parted with upon a probable expectation of a future good which is more excellent.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  10
 
  As that which hath a fitness to promote the welfare of man, considered as a sensitive being, is styled natural good; so that which hath a fitness to promote the welfare of man as a rational, voluntary, and free agent, is styled moral good; and the contrary to it, moral evil.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  11
 
  The greater congruity or incongruity there is in anything to the reason of mankind, and the greater tendency it hath to promote or hinder the perfection of man’s nature, so much greater degrees hath it of moral good or evil; to which we ought to proportion our inclination or aversion.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  12
 
  The state or condition by which the nature of anything is advanced to the utmost perfection of which it is capable, according to its rank or kind, is called the chief end or happiness of such a thing.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  13
 
  From the nature of things, I am morally certain that a mind free from passion and prejudice is more fit to pass a true judgment than one biassed by affection and interest.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  14
 
  These artificial experiments are but so many essays whereby men attempt to restore themselves from the first general curse inflicted on their labours.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  15
 
 
 
  Though the Jews were but a small nation, and confined to a narrow compass in the world, yet the first rise of letters and languages is truly to be ascribed to them.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  16
 
  I call that natural religion which men might know, and should be obliged to know, by the mere principles of reason, improved by consideration and experience, without the help of revelation.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  17
 
  Time wears out the fictions of opinion, and doth by degrees discover and unmask that fallacy of ungrounded persuasions; but confirms the dictates and sentiments of nature.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  18
 
  It would be altogether vain and improper in matters belonging to an orator to pretend to strict demonstration.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  19
 
  I do not say that the principles of religion are merely probable; I have before asserted them to be morally certain: and that to a man who is careful to preserve his mind free from prejudice, and to consider, they will appear unquestionable, and the deductions from them demonstrable.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  20
 
  Aristotle doth affirm that the true nature of riches doth consist in the contented use and enjoyment of the things we have, rather than in the possession of them.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  21
 
  By understanding I mean that faculty whereby we are enabled to apprehend the objects of knowledge, generals as well as particulars, absent things as well as present, and to judge of their truth or falsehood, good or evil.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  22
 
  To say that we cannot tell whether we have liberty, because we do not understand the matter of volition, is all one as to say that we cannot tell whether we see or hear, because we do not understand the manner of sensation.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  23
 
  ’Tis scarce possible for any man to be so strangely infatuated, so wholly lost to common reason, as to believe that vicious courses, despising of religion, walking contrary to God, can be the means to entitle him to this future happiness.
Bishop John Wilkins.    
  24
 
  Mathematics, in its latitude, is usually divided into pure and mixed: and though the pure do handle only abstract quantity in general, as geometry, arithmetic; yet that which is mixed doth consider the quality of some particular determinate subject: so astronomy handles the quantity of heavenly motions; music, of sounds; and mechanics, of weights and measures.
Bishop John Wilkins: Mathematical Magic.    
  25
 
 
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