To be a philosophical sceptic is, in a man of letters, the first and most essential to being a sound, believing Christian.
History is the discovering of the constant and universal principles of human nature.
Eloquence, at its highest pitch, leaves little room for reason or reflection, but addresses itself entirely to the desires and affections, captivating the willing hearers, and subduing their understanding.
It is a just political maxim, that every man must be supposed a knave.
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
I have written on all sorts of subjects... yet I have no enemies; except indeed all the Whigs, all the Tories, and all the Christians.
The Christian religion not only was at first attended with miracles, but even at this day cannot be believed by any reasonable person without one.
The chief benefit, which results from philosophy, arises in an indirect manner, and proceeds more from its secret, insensible influence, than from its immediate application.
Human Nature is the only science of man; and yet has been hitherto the most neglected.
The life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster.
Nothing endears so much a friend as sorrow for his death. The pleasure of his company has not so powerful an influence.
Heaven and hell suppose two distinct species of men, the good and the bad. But the greatest part of mankind float betwixt vice and virtue.
There ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexibl eof passions.
Belief is nothing but a more vivid, lively, forcible, firm, steady conception of an object, than what the imagination alone is ever able to attain.
Philosophy would render us entirely Pyrrhonian, were not nature too strong for it.
It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.
There is a very remarkable inclination in human nature to bestow on external objects the same emotions which it observes in itself, and to find every where those ideas which are most present to it.
Beauty, whether moral or natural, is felt, more properly than perceived.
A man acquainted with history may, in some respect, be said to have lived from the beginning of the world, and to have been making continual additions to his stock of knowledge in every century.
The advantages found in history seem to be of three kinds, as it amuses the fancy, as it improves the understanding, and as it strengthens virtue.
Avarice, the spur of industry, is so obstinate a passion, and works its way through so many real dangers and difficulties, that it is not likely to be scared by an imaginary danger, which is so small that it scarcely admits of calculation.
Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.
That the sun will not rise tomorrow is no less intelligible a proposition, and implies no more contradiction, than the affirmation, that it will rise.
Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty.
Scholastic learning and polemical divinity retarded the growth of all true knowledge.
To hate, to love, to think, to feel, to see; all this is nothing but to perceive.
Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.
No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind, that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish.
The heights of popularity and patriotism are still the beaten road to power and tyranny.
He is happy whom circumstances suit his temper; but he Is more excellent who suits his temper to any circumstance.
It's when we start working together that the real healing takes place... it's when we start spilling our sweat, and not our blood.
This avidity alone, of acquiring goods and possessions for ourselves and our nearest friends, is insatiable, perpetual, universal, and directly destructive of society.
Every wise, just, and mild government, by rendering the condition of its subjects easy and secure, will always abound most in people, as well as in commodities and riches.
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
There is not to be found, in all history, any miracle attested by a sufficient number of men, of such unquestioned good sense, education and learning, as to secure us against all delusion in themselves.
A propensity to hope and joy is real riches; one to fear and sorrow real poverty.
Character is the result of a system of stereotyped principals.
Beauty is no quality in things themselves. It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them.
Be a philosopher but, amid all your philosophy be still a man.