"To me it seems that liberty and virtue were made for each other. If any man wish to enslave his country, nothing is a fitter preparative than vice; and nothing leads to vice so surely as irreligion."
"To me it seems the man can see neither deep nor far, who is not sensible of his own misery, sinfulness, and dependence; who doth not perceive, that this present world is not designed or adapted to make rational souls happy; who would not be glad of getting into a better state, and who would not be overjoyed to find, that the road leading thither was the love of God and man, the practising every virtue, the living reasonably while we are here upon earth, proportioning our esteem to the value of things, and so using this world as not to abuse it, for this is what Christianity requires."
"It seems, Euphranor..., that there is nothing so singularly absurd as we are apt to think, in the belief of mysteries; and that a man need not renounce his reason to maintain his religion. But if this were true, how comes it to pass, that, in proportion as men abound in knowledge, they dwindle in faith?"
"If ... we admit a divinity, why not divine worship? and if worship, why not religion to teach this worship? and if a religion, why not the Christian, if a better cannot be assigned, and it be already established by the laws of our country, and handed down to us from our forefathers?"
"Nothing can be plainer, than that the motions, changes, decays, and dissolutions, which we hourly see befall natural bodies (and which is what we mean by the course of nature), cannot possibly affect an active, simple, uncompounded substance: such a being therefore is indissoluble by the force of nature, that is to say, the soul of man is naturally immortal."
"That food nourishes, sleep refreshes, and fire warms us; that to sow in the seed-time is the way to reap in the harvest, and, in general, that to obtain such or such ends, such or such means are conducive, all this we know, not by discovering any necessary connexion between our ideas, but only by the observation of the settled laws of nature, without which we should be all in uncertainty and confusion, and a grown man no more know how to manage himself in the affairs of life than an infant just born."
"Casting an eye on the education of children, from whence I can make a judgment of my own, I observe they are instructed in religious matters before they can reason about them, and consequently that all such instruction is nothing else but filling the tender mind of a child with prejudices."
"Atheism..., that bugbear of women and fools, is the very top and perfection of free-thinking. It is the grand arcanum to which a true genius naturally riseth, by a certain climax or gradation of thought, and without which he can never possess his soul in absolute liberty and repose."
"The love of truth, virtue, and the happiness of mankind are specious pretexts, but not the inward principles that set divines at work; else why should they affect to abuse human reason, to disparage natural religion, to traduce the philosophers as they universally do?"
"That the discovery of this great truth, which lies so near and obvious to the mind, should be attained to by the reason of so veryfew, is a sad instance of the stupidity and inattention of men, who, though they are surrounded with such clear manifestations of the Deity, are yet so little affected by them, that they seem as it were blinded with excess of light."
"All those who write either explicitly or by insinuation against the dignity, freedom, and immortality of the human soul, may so far forth be justly said to unhinge the principles of morality, and destroy the means of making men reasonably virtuous."
"A man needs no arguments to make him discern and approve what is beautiful: it strikes at first sight, and attracts without a reason. And as this beauty is found in the shape and form of corporeal things, so also is there analogous to it a beauty of another kind, an order, a symmetry, and comeliness in the moral world. And as the eye perceiveth the one, so the mind doth by a certain interior sense perceive the other, which sense, talent, or faculty, is ever quickest and purest in the noblest minds."