Art may make a suit of clothes but nature must produce a man.
History is the discovering of the constant and universal principles of human nature.
Where ambition can cover its enterprises, even to the person himself, under the appearance of principle, it is the most incurable and inflexible of passions.
When men are most sure and arrogant they are commonly most mistaken, giving views to passion without that proper deliberation which alone can secure them from the grossest absurdities
Beauty is no quality in things themselves: it exists merely in the mind which contemplates them
Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence
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
He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances
Custom is the great guide to human life
A purpose, an intention, a design, strikes everywhere the careless, the most stupid thinker
Everything in the world is purchased by labor
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
The many instances of forged miracles, and prophecies, and supernatural events, which, in all ages, have either been detected by contrary evidence, or which detect themselves by their absurdity, prove sufficiently the strong propensity of mankind to
Avarice, the spur of industry
But I would still reply, that the knavery and folly of men are such common phenomena, that I should rather believe the most extraordinary events to arise from their concurrence, than admit of so signal a violation of the laws of nature
It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once.
The sweetest and most inoffensive path of life leads through the avenues of science and learning; and whoever can either remove any obstruction in this way, or open up any new prospect, ought, so far, to be esteemed a benefactor to mankind
I may venture to affirm the rest of mankind, that they are nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed each other with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual flux and movement.
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
Any person seasoned with a just sense of the imperfections of natural reason, will fly to revealed truth with the greatest avidity
Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous
Be a philosopher but, amid all your philosophy be still a man
Nothing is more surprising than the easiness with which the many are governed by the few.
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.