William Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa

English Theologian, Philosopher

Author Quotes

Whatever improvement we make in ourselves, we are thereby sure to meliorate our future condition.

Whilst politicians are disputing about monarchies, aristocracies, and republics, Christianity is alike applicable, useful, and friendly to them all.

Education, in the more extensive sense of the word, may comprehend every preparation that is made in our youth for the sequel of our lives.

Manners are minor morals.

The law of honour is a system of rules constructed by people of fashion, and calculated to facilitate their intercourse with one another.

To novelty, to acuteness of sensation, to hope, to ardor of pursuit, succeeds what is, in no inconsiderable degree, an equivalent for them all, “perception of ease.” Herein is the exact difference between the young and the old. The young are not happy but when enjoying pleasure; the old are happy when free from pain. And this constitution suits with the degrees of animal power which they respectively possess. The vigor of youth has to be stimulated to action by impatience of rest; whilst to the imbecility of age, quietness and repose become positive gratifications. In one important step the advantage is with the old. A state of ease is, generally speaking, more attainable than a state of pleasure. A constitution, therefore, which can enjoy ease is preferable to that which can taste only pleasure. This same perception of ease oftentimes renders old age a condition of great comfort, especially when riding at its anchor after a busy or tempestuous life.

Eternity is a negative idea clothed with a positive name. - It supposes, in that to which it is applied, a present existence, and is the negation of a beginning or an end of that existence.

Natural liberty is the right of common upon a waste; civil liberty is the safe, exclusive, unmolested enjoyment of a cultivated enclosure.

The maxims of natural justice are few and evident.

True fortitude of understanding consists in not suffering what we do know to be disturbed by what we do not know.

Extremists are seldom just.

Of all views under which human life has ever been considered, the most reasonable, in my judgment, is that which regards it as a state of probation.

The opposites of apparent chance are constancy and sensible interposition.

What is public history but a register of the successes and disappointments, the vices, the follies, and the quarrels, of those who engage in contention for power?

General infidelity is the hardest soil which the propagators of a new religion can have to work upon.

Of the origin of evil no universal solution has been discovered; I mean, no solution which reaches all cases of complaint.

The propagation of Christianity, in the manner and under the circumstances in which it was propagated, is an unique in the history of the species.

What we are doing is satisfying the American public. That's our job. I always say we have to give most of the people what they want most of the time. That's what they expect from us.

God has been pleased to prescribe limits to his power and to work out his ends within these limits.

One great cause of our insensibility to the goodness of our Creator is the very extensiveness of His bounty.

The slave-trade is inimical to every improvement in the morals and civil condition of the Africans.

Health and sickness, enjoyment and suffering, riches and poverty, knowledge and ignorance, power and subjection, liberty and bondage, civilization and barbarity, have all their offices and duties: all serve for the formation of character.

One very common error misleads the opinion of mankind, that authority is pleasant, and submission painful. In the general course of human affairs the very reverse of this is nearer to the truth. - Command is anxiety; obedience is ease.

The West Indian slave is placed for life in subjection to a dominion and system of laws the most merciless and tyrannical that ever were tolerated upon the face of the earth.

How many bitter thoughts does the innocent man avoid! Serenity and cheerfulness are his portion. Hope is continually pouring its balm into his soul. His heart is at rest, whilst others are goaded and tortured by the stings of a wounded conscience, the remonstrances and risings up of principles which they cannot forget; perpetually teased by returning temptations, perpetually lamenting defeated resolutions.

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Paley, Archdeacon of Saragossa
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English Theologian, Philosopher