"Every nation ... have their refinements and grossiertes.... There is a balance ... of good and bad every where; and nothing but the knowing it is so can emancipate one half of the world from the prepossessions which it holds against the other--that [was] the advantage of travel ... it taught us mutual toleration; and mutual toleration ... taught us mutual love."
"Conversation is a traffick; and if you enter into it, without some stock of knowledge, to ballance the account perpetually betwixt you,--the trade drops at once: and this is the reason ... why travellers have so little [good] conversation with natives,--owing to their [the natives'] suspicion ... that there is nothing to be extracted from the conversation ... worth the trouble of their bad language."
"Sweet pliability of man's spirit, that can at once surrender itself to illusions, which cheat expectation and sorrow of their weary moments!--long--long since had ye number'd out my days, had I not trod so great a part of them upon this enchanted ground."
"But there is nothing unmixt in this world; and some of the gravest of our divines have carried it so far as to affirm, that enjoyment itself was attended even with a sigh--and that the greatest they knew of, terminated in a general way, in little better than a convulsion."
"I know as well as any one, [the devil] is an adversary, whom if we resist, he will fly from us--but I seldom resist him at all; from a terror, that though I may conquer, I may still get a hurt in the combat--so ... instead of thinking to make him fly, I generally fly myself."
"Ye whose clay-cold heads and luke-warm hearts can argue down or mask your passions--tell me, what trespass is it that man should have them?... If nature has so wove her web of kindness, that some threads of love and desire are entangled with the piece--must the whole web be rent in drawing them out?"
"The common consolation which some good christian or other, is hourly administering to himself,--that he thanks God his mind does not misgive him; and that, consequently, he has a good conscience, because he has a quiet one,--is fallacious."
"My father was a gentleman of many virtues,--but he had a strong spice of that in his temper which might, or might not, add to thenumber.--'Tis known by the name of perseverance in a good cause,--and of obstinacy in a bad one."
"There are a thousand unnoticed openings ... which let a penetrating eye at once into a man's soul; and I maintain ... that a man of sense does not lay down his hat in coming into a room,--or take it up in going out of it, but something escapes, which discovers him."
"Surely, 'tis one step towards acting well, to think worthily of our nature; and as in common life, the way to make a man honest, is, to suppose him so ... so here, to set some value upon ourselves, enables us to support the character ... of generosity and virtue."
"The truth and regularity of a character is not, in justice, to be looked upon as broken, from any one single act or omission whichmay seem a contradiction to it:Mthe best of men appear sometimes to be strange compounds of contradictory qualities."
"We often think ourselves inconsistent creatures, when we are the furthest from it, and all the variety of shapes and contradictoryappearances we put on, are in truth but so many different attempts to gratify the same governing appetite."
"As, therefore, we can have no dependence upon morality without religion;Mso, on the other hand, there is nothing better to be expected from religion without morality;Mnevertheless, 'tis no prodigy to see a man whose real moral character stands very low, who yet entertains the highest notion of himself, in the light of a religious man."
"First, whenever a man talks loudly against religion, always suspect that it is not his reason, but his passions, which have got the better of his creed. A bad life and a good belief are disagreeable and troublesome neighbours, and where they separate, depend upon it, 'tis for no other cause but quietness' sake."
"My father was serious; he was all uniformity; he was systematical, and, like all systematick reasoners, he would move both heaven and earth, and twist and torture every thing in nature to support his hypothesis."