The nations which have put mankind most in their debt have been small states - Israel, Athens, Florence, Elizabethan England.
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.
He that recalls the attention of mankind to any part of learning which time has left behind it, may be truly said to advance the literature of his own age.
It is the care of a very great part of mankind to conceal their indigence from the rest. They support themselves by temporary expedients, and every day is lost in contriving for tomorrow.
If scientific discovery has not been an unalloyed blessing, if it has conferred on mankind the power not only to create but also to annihilate, it has at the same time provided humanity with a supreme challenge and a supreme testing.
We have the power to make this the best generation of mankind in the history of the world - or make it the last.
It can be said without qualification that music expresses all the various shadings of life's moods and the greatest portion of life's experiences. There is perhaps no more adequate tool than music to relate mankind to life.
There is not one grain the universe, either too much or too little, nothing to be added, nothing to be spared; nor so much as any one particle of it, that mankind may not be either the better or the worse for according as it is applied.
Creation destroys as it goes, throws down one tree for the rise of another. But ideal mankind would abolish death, multiply itself million upon million, rear up city upon city, save every parasite alive, until the accumulation of mere existence is swollen to a horror.
The works of nature and the works of revelation display religion to mankind in characters so large and visible that those who are not quite blind may in them see and read the first principles and most necessary parts of it, and from thence penetrate into those infinite depths filled with the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Let us do our duty in our shop or our kitchen, the market, the street, the office, the school, the home, just as faithfully as if we stood in the front rank of some great battle and we knew that victory for mankind depended upon our bravery, strength, and skill. When we do that the humblest of us will be serving in that great army which achieves the welfare of the world.
Know then thyself, presume not God to scan; the proper study of Mankind is Man.
What the world needs is a fusion of the sciences and the humanities. The humanities express the symbolic, poetic and prophetic qualities of the human spirit. Without them we would not be conscious of our history; we would lose our aspirations and the graces of expression that move men's hearts. The sciences express the creative urge in man to construct a universe which is comprehensible in terms of the human intellect. Without them, mankind would find itself bewildered in a world of natural forces beyond comprehension, victims of ignorance, superstition and fear.
It is easier to know mankind in general than man individually.
Love decentralizes, truth universalizes: he who speaks addresses all mankind, he who loves incarnates all mankind in himself.
They must know but little of mankind who imagine that, having once been seduced by luxury, they can ever renounce it.
Those things on which philosophy has set its seal are beyond the reach of injury; no age will discard them or lessen their force, each succeeding century will add somewhat to the respect in which they are held; for we look upon what is near us with jealous eyes, but we admire what is further off with less prejudice. The wise man’s life, therefore, includes much; he is not hedged in by the same limits which confine others; he alone is exempt from the laws by which mankind is governed; all ages serve him like a god. If any time be past he recalls it by his memory, if it be present he uses it, if it be future he anticipates it; his life is a long one because he concentrates all times into it.
The greatest curse that can be entailed on mankind is a state of war. All the atrocious crimes committed in years of peace, all that is spent in peace by the secret corruptions, or by the thoughtless extravagance of nations, are mere trifles compared with the gigantic evils which stalk over this world in a state of war. God is forgotten in war; every principle of Christianity is trampled upon.
There is a higher form of patriotism than nationalism, and that higher form is not limited by the boundaries of one's country; but by a duty to mankind to safeguard the trust of civilization.