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.
 
Robert Boyle
 
  The furnace of affliction refines us from earthly drossiness, and softens us for the impression of God’s own stamp.
Robert Boyle.    
  1
 
  Female beauties are as fickle in their faces as their minds; though casualties should spare them, age brings in a necessity of decay; leaving doters upon red and white perplexed by incertainty both of the continuance of their mistress’s kindness and her beauty, both of which are necessary to the amorist’s joy and quiet.
Robert Boyle.    
  2
 
  Exalt your passion by directing and settling it upon an object the due contemplation of whose loveliness may cure perfectly all hurts received from mortal beauty.
Robert Boyle.    
  3
 
  Our Saviour would love at no less rate than death; and from the supereminent height of glory, stooped and debased himself to the sufferance of the extremest of indignities, and sunk himself to the bottom of abjectedness, to exalt our condition to the contrary extreme.
Robert Boyle.    
  4
 
  He that condescended so far, and stooped so low, to invite and bring us to heaven, will not refuse us a gracious reception there.
Robert Boyle.    
  5
 
  Let there be an admiration of those divine attributes and prerogatives for whose manifesting he was pleased to construct this vast fabric.
Robert Boyle.    
  6
 
  God may rationally be supposed to have framed so great and admirable an automaton as the world, for several ends and purposes.
Robert Boyle.    
  7
 
  I think myself obliged, whatever my private apprehensions may be of the success, to do my duty, and leave events to their disposer.
Robert Boyle.    
  8
 
  Darkness that here surrounded our purblind understanding will vanish at the dawning of eternal day.
Robert Boyle.    
  9
 
  The nature of eternity is such that though our joys after some centuries of years may seem to have grown older by having been enjoyed so many ages, yet will they really continue new.
Robert Boyle.    
  10
 
  By giving man a free will he allows man that highest satisfaction and privilege of co-operating to his own felicity.
Robert Boyle.    
  11
 
  All the loveliness imparted to the creature is lent it to give us enlarged conceptions of that vast confluence and immensity that exuberates in God.
Robert Boyle.    
  12
 
  Such immense power, such unsearchable wisdom, and such exuberant goodness, as may justly ravish us to an amazement, rather than a base admiration.
Robert Boyle.    
  13
 
  You owe little less for what you are not, than for what you are, to that discriminating mercy to which alone you owe your exemption from miseries.
Robert Boyle.    
  14
 
  As to the freeness or unmeritedness of God’s love, we need but consider that we so little could at first deserve his love, that he loved us even before we had a being.
Robert Boyle.    
  15
 
 
 
  This ocean of felicity is so shoreless and bottomless that all the saints and angels cannot exhaust it.
Robert Boyle.    
  16
 
  The joys of heaven are like the stars, which by reason of our remoteness appear extremely little.
Robert Boyle.    
  17
 
  To whet our longings for fruitive or experimental knowledge, it is reserved among the prerogatives of being in heaven, to know how happy we shall be when there.
Robert Boyle.    
  18
 
  The ravished soul, being shown such game, would break those leashes that tie her to the body.
Robert Boyle.    
  19
 
  It is as impossible for an aggregation of finites to comprehend or exhaust one infinite as it is for the greater number of mathematic points to amount to or constitute a body.
Robert Boyle.    
  20
 
  Unalloyed satisfactions are joys too heavenly to fall to many men’s shares on earth.
Robert Boyle.    
  21
 
  Divers things we agree to be knowledge, which yet are so uneasy to be satisfactorily understood by our imperfect intellects, that let them be delivered in the clearest expressions, the notions themselves will yet appear obscure.
Robert Boyle.    
  22
 
  Since a few minutes can turn the healthiest bodies into breathless carcasses, and put those very things which we had principally relied on into the hands of our enemies, it were little less than madness to repose a distrustless trust in these transitory possessions or treacherous advantages which we enjoy but by so fickle a tenure. No; we must never venture to wander far from God upon the presumption that death is far enough from us; but rather, in the very height of our jollity, we should endeavour to remember that they who feast themselves to-day may, themselves, prove feasts for the worms to-morrow.
Robert Boyle.    
  23
 
  This sublime love, being, by an intimate conjunction with its object, thoroughly refined from all base dross of selfishness and interest, nobly begets a perfect submission of our wills to the will of God.
Robert Boyle.    
  24
 
  Love doth seldom suffer itself to be confined by other matches than those of its own making.
Robert Boyle.    
  25
 
  For though I am no such an enemy to matrimony as some (for want of understanding the raillery I have sometimes used in ordinary discourse) are pleased to think me, and would not refuse you my advice (though I would not so readily give you my example) to turn votary to Hymen; yet I have observed so few happy matches, and so many unfortunate ones, and have so rarely seen men love their wives at the rate they did whilst they were their mistresses, that I wonder not that legislators thought it necessary to make marriages indissoluble, to make them lasting. And I cannot fitlier compare marriage than to a lottery; for in both he that ventures may succeed and may miss; and if he draw a prize he hath a rich return of his revenue: but in both lotteries there is a pretty store of blanks for every prize.
Robert Boyle.    
  26
 
  There is scarce anything that nature has made, or that men do suffer, whence the devout reflector cannot take an occasion of an aspiring meditation.
Robert Boyle.    
  27
 
  The dimness of our intellectual eyes Aristotle fitly compares to those of an owl at noonday.
Robert Boyle.    
  28
 
  An ancient musician informed me, that there were some famous lutes that attained not their full seasoning and best resonance till they were about fourscore years old.
Robert Boyle.    
  29
 
  Nature sometimes means the Author of Nature, or Natura naturans; as, Nature hath made man partly corporeal and partly immaterial. For Nature, in this sense, may be used the word “Creator.” Nature sometimes means that on whose account a thing is what it is and is called; as when we define the nature of an angle. For nature, in this sense, may be used, essence or quality. Nature sometimes means what belongs to a living creature at its nativity, or accrues to it at its birth; as when we say, a man is noble by nature; a child is naturally forward. This may be expressed by saying, the man was born so, the thing was generated such. Nature sometimes means an internal principle of locomotion; as we say, the stone falls, or the flame rises, by nature. For this we may say, that the motion up or down is spontaneous, or produced by its proper cause. Nature sometimes means the established course of things corporeal; as, nature makes the night succeed the day. This may be termed established order, or settled course. Nature sometimes means the aggregate of the powers belonging to a body, especially a living one; as when physicians say that nature is strong, or nature left to herself will do the cure. For this may be used, constitution, temperament, or structure of the body. Nature is put likewise for the system of the corporeal works of God; as, there is no phœnix or chimera in nature. For nature, thus applied, we may use, the world, or the universe. Nature is sometimes, indeed, taken for a kind of semi-duty. In this sense it is better not to use it at all.
Robert Boyle.    
  30
 
  As rivers, when they overflow, drown those grounds, and ruin those husbandmen, which, whilst they flowed calmly betwixt their banks, they fertilized and enriched; so our passions, when they grow exorbitant and unruly, destroy those virtues to which they may be very serviceable whilst they keep within their bounds.
Robert Boyle.    
  31
 
  Philosophy would solidly be established, if men would more carefully distinguish those things that they know from those that they ignore.
Robert Boyle.    
  32
 
  He gives us in this life an earnest of expected joys that out-values and transcends all those momentary pleasures it requires us to forsake.
Robert Boyle.    
  33
 
  To forego the pleasures of sense, and undergo the hardships that attend a holy life, is such a kind of mercenariness as none but a resigned believing soul is likely to be guilty of; if fear itself, and even the fear of hell, may be one justifiable motive of men’s actions.
Robert Boyle.    
  34
 
  Self-denial is a kind of holy association with God; and, by making you his partner, interests you in all his happiness.
Robert Boyle.    
  35
 
  It is fit for a man to know his own abilities and weaknesses, and not think himself obliged to imitate all that he thinks fit to praise.
Robert Boyle.    
  36
 
  I must not step into too spruce a style for serious matters; and yet I approve not the dull insipid way of writing practised by many chymists.
Robert Boyle.    
  37
 
  Rare qualities may sometimes be prerogatives without being advantages; and though a needless ostentation of one’s excellencies may be more glorious, a modest concealment of them is usually more safe; and an unseasonable disclosure of flashes of wit may sometimes do a man no other service than to direct his adversaries how they may do him a mischief.
Robert Boyle.    
  38
 
  I look upon experimental truths as matters of great concernment to mankind.
Robert Boyle.    
  39
 
  These courtiers of applause deny themselves things convenient to flaunt it out; being frequently enough vain to immolate their own desires to their vanity.
Robert Boyle.    
  40
 
  The least unhappy persons do, in so fickle and so tempestuous a sea as this world, meet with many more either cross winds or stormy gusts than prosperous gales.
Robert Boyle.    
  41
 
  The having turned many to righteousness shall confer a starlike and immortal brightness.
Robert Boyle.    
  42
 
  It is very possible (to add that upon the bye) that after the light of the moon has (according to what I have lately noted) represented to our contemplator the qualifications of a preacher, it may also put him in mind of the duty of a hearer.
Robert Boyle: Occas. Med.    
  43
 
  It is not strange to me, that persons of the fairer sex should like, in all things about them, that handsomeness for which they find themselves most liked.
Robert Boyle: On Colours.    
  44
 
  It is not oftentimes so much what the Scripture says, as what some men persuade others it says, that makes it seem obscure; and that, as to some other passages, that are so indeed (since it is the abstruseness of what is taught in them that makes them almost inevitably so), it is little less saucy, upon such a score, to find fault with the style of the Scripture, than to do so with the Author for making us but men.
Robert Boyle: On the Scriptures.    
  45
 
  The last property which qualifies God for the fittest object of our love is the advantageousness of his to us, both in the present and the future life.
Robert Boyle: Seraphic Love.    
  46
 
 
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