Let no man despise the oracles of books! A book is a dead man, a sort of mummy, embowelled and embalmed, but that once had flesh and motion and a boundless variety of determinations and actions.
Occupation - pressing occupation that will not be said nay - is a sovereign remedy for grief.
Everything in the world is conducted by gradual process. This seems to be the great principle of harmony in the universe.
As the true object of education is not to render the pupil the mere copy of his preceptor, it is rather to be rejoiced in, than lamented, that various reading should lead him into new trains of thinking.
There is reverence that we owe to everything in human shape.
The real or supposed rights of man are of two kinds, active and passive; the right in certain cases to do as we list; and the right we possess to the forbearance or assistance of other men.
There is nothing that human imagination can figure brilliant and enviable that human genius and skill do not aspire to realize.
A world of derived beings, an immense, wide creation, requires an extended scale with various ranks and orders of existence.
Above all we should not forget that government is an evil, a usurpation upon the private judgement and individual conscience of mankind.
The four principal oral instructors to whom I feel my mind indebted for improvement were Joseph Fawcet, Thomas Holcroft, George Dyson, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
The admission of one man, either hereditarily or for life only, into the place of chief of a country, is an evidence of the infirmity of man. Nature has set up no difference between a king and other men; a king, therefore, is purely the creation of our own hands.
There is a class of persons whose souls are essentially non-conductors to the electricity of sentiment, and whose minds seem to be filled with their own train of thinking, convictions, and purposes to the exclusion of everything else.
Study with desire is real activity; without desire it is but the semblance and mockery of activity.
What can be more clear and sound in explanation, than the love of a parent to his child?
There are so many ways in which the heart of man conceals itself from man!
We have, all of us, our duties. Every action of our lives, and every word that we utter, will either conduce to or detract from the discharge of our duty.
The love of independence and dislike of unjust treatment is the source of a thousand virtues.
Was ever a great discovery prosecuted or an important benefit conferred upon the human race by him who was incapable of standing and thinking and feeling alone?
No man knows the value of innocence and integrity but he who has lost them.
Government, as it was forced upon mankind by their vices, so has it commonly been the creature of their ignorance and mistake.
Government was intended to suppress injustice, but its effect has been to embody and perpetuate it.
While my mother lived, I always felt to a certain degree as if I had somebody who was my superior and who exercised a mysterious protection over me. I belonged to something - I hung to something - there is nothing that has so much reverence and religion in it as affection to parents.
Great changes cannot take place in the minds of generations of men without a corresponding change in their external symbols. There must be a harmony between the inner and the outward condition of human beings, and the progress of the one must keep pace with the progress of the other.
Invisible things are the only realities; invisible things alone are the things that shall remain.
We cannot, any of us, do all the things of which mankind stand in need; we must have fellow-labourers.
What are gold and jewels and precious utensils? Mere dross and dirt. The human face and the human heart, reciprocations of kindness and love, and all the nameless sympathies of our nature - these are the only objects worth being attached to.
In contemplation and reverie, one thought introduces another perpetually; and it is by similarity, or the hooking of one upon the other, that the process of thinking is carried on.
Let us not, in the eagerness of our haste to educate, forget all the ends of education.
My temper is of a recluse and contemplative cast; had it been otherwise, I should, perhaps, on some former occasions, have entered into the active concerns of the world and not have been connected with it merely as a writer of books.
I know nothing worth the living for but usefulness and the service of my fellow-creatures. The only object I pursue is to increase, as far as lies in my power, the quantity of their knowledge and goodness and happiness.
It is necessary for him who would endure existence with patience that he should conceive himself to be something - that he should be persuaded he is not a cipher in the muster-roll of man.
A just and a brave man acts fearlessly and with explicitness; he does not shun, but court, the scrutiny of mankind; he lives in the face of day, and the whole world confesses the clearness of his spirit and the rectitude of his conduct.
There is scarcely an instant that passes over our heads that may not have its freight of infamy. How ought we to watch over our thoughts, that we may not so much as imagine any enormity!
Perhaps the majority of human beings never think of standing by themselves, and choosing their own employments, till the sentence has been regularly promulgated to them, 'It is time for you to take care of yourself.'
We cannot do justice to the deeds of former times if we do not in some degree remove ourselves from the circumstances in which we stand and substitute those by which the real actors were surrounded.
Revolutions are the produce of passion, not of sober and tranquil reason.
The execution of any thing considerable implies in the first place previous persevering meditation.
Social man regards all those by whom he is surrounded as enemies, or beings who may become such. He is ever on his guard lest his plain speaking should be willfully perverted, or should assume a meaning he never thought of, through the animosity or prejudice of the individual that hears him.
Men who do not contend in earnest can have little warmth and fervor in what they undertake, and are more than half prepared to betray the cause, in the vindication of which they have engaged their services.
The soul of man is one of those subtle and evanescent substances that, as long as they remain still, the organ of sight does not remark; it must become agitated to become visible.
Every man has a certain sphere of discretion which he has a right to expect shall not be infringed by his neighbours. This right flows from the very nature of man.
Since it is one of the great attributes of our species to be susceptible of improvement and capable of experiencing the most beneficial changes, for this reason what are vulgarly called 'venerable establishments' will often range themselves in opposition to the best interests of the community.
Love conquers all difficulties, surmounts all obstacles, and effects what to any other power would be impossible.
Religion is the most important of all things: the great point of discrimination that divides the man from the brute. It is our special prerogative that we can converse with that which we cannot see and believe in that the existence of which is reported to us by none of our senses.
During my academical life, and from this time forward, I was indefatigable in my search after truth. I read all the authors of greatest repute, for and against the Trinity, original sin, and the most disputed doctrines, but I was not yet of an understanding sufficiently ripe for impartial decision, and all my inquiries terminated in Calvinism.
When the calamity we feared is already arrived, or when the expectation of it is so certain as to shut out hope, there seems to be a principle within us by which we look with misanthropic composure on the state to which we are reduced, and the heart sullenly contracts and accommodates itself to what it most abhorred.