When we know our own strength, we shall the better know what to undertake with hopes of success; and when we have well surveyed the powers of our own minds, and made some estimate what we may expect from them, we shall not be inclined either to sit still, and not set our thoughts on work at all, in despair of knowing any thing; nor, on the other side, question every thing, and declaim all knowledge, because some things are not to be understood.
We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
There are very few lovers of truth, for truth’s sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so.
The understanding, like the eye, whilst it makes us see and perceive all other things, takes no notice of itself; and it requires art and pains to set it at a distance and make it its own object.
The necessity of believing without knowledge, nay, often upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than constrain others.
The greatest part of mankind who are given up to labor, and enslaved to the necessity of their mean condition; whose lives are worn out only in the provisions for living.
Religion, which should most distinguish us from the beasts, and ought most particularly elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts themselves.