Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Joseph Glanvill

English Writer, Philosopher and Clergyman

"Justice is but the distributing to everything according to the requirements of its nature."

"Obstinacy in opinions holds the dogmatist in the chains of error, without hope of emancipation."

"The belief of our Reason is an Exercise of Faith, and Faith is an Act of Reason. "

"That though we are certain of many things, yet that Certainty is no absolute Infallibility, there still remains the possibility of our being mistaken in all matters of humane Belief and Inquiry. "

"Those the impiety of whose lives makes them regret a deity, and secretly wish there were none, will greedily listen to atheistical notions."

"Another account of the shortness of our reason, and easiness of deception, is the forwardness of our understanding’s assent to slightly examined conclusions."

"The most improved spirits are frequently caught in the entanglements of a tenacious imagination."

"What is early received into any considerable strength of impress grows into our tender natures, and therefore is of difficult remove."

"The most pompous seeming knowledge that is built on the unexamined prejudices of sense, stands not."

"Striking at the root of pedantry and opinionative assurance would be no hindrance to the world’s improvement."

"Advantage obtained by industry directed by philosophy can never be expected from drudging ignorance."

"Truths hang together in a chain of mutual dependence; you cannot draw one link without attracting others."

"We come into the world, and know not how: we live in it in a state of self-nescience, and go hence again, and are as ignorant of our recess."

"Did we but compare the miserable scantiness of our capacities with the vast profundity of things, truth and modesty would teach us wary language."

"And for mathematical science, he that doubts their certainty hath need of a dose of hellebore."

"And if we are ignorant of the most obvious things about us, and the most considerable within our selves, 'tis then no wonder that we know not the constitution and powers of the creatures, to whom we are such strangers."

"And the will therein lieth, which dieth not. Who knoweth the mysteries of the will, with its vigor? For God is but a great will pervading all things by nature of its intentness, Man doth not yield himself to the angels, nor unto death utterly, save only through the weakness of his feeble will."

"It is the great beauty of true religion that it shall be universal, and a departure in any instance from universality is a corruption of religion itself."

"Religion consists not in knowing many things but in practicing the few plain things we know."

"That though we are certain of many things, yet that Certainty is no absolute Infallibility, there still remains the possibility of our being mistaken in all matters of humane Belief and Inquiry."

"The ignorant Looker-on can't imagine what the Limner means by those seemingly rude Lines and Scrawls, which he intends for the Rudiments of a Picture, and the Figures of Mathematick Operation are Nonsense, and Dashes at a Venture, to one uninstructed in Mechanicks. We are in the Dark to one another's Purposes and Intendments; and there are a thousand Intrigues in our little Matters, which will not presently confess their Design, even to sagacious Inquisitors"

"They that never peeped beyond the common belief in which their easy understandings were at first indoctrinated are strongly assured of the truth of their receptions."

"Time, as a river, hath brought down to us what is more light and superficial, while things more solid and substantial have been immersed."

"We are in the Dark to one another's Purposes and Intendments, and there are a thousand Intrigues in our little Matters, which will not presently confess their Design, even to sagacious Inquisitors."

"It may not be impossible, but that our Faculties may be so construed, as always to deceive us in the things we judge most certain and assured."

"While all complain of our ignorance and error, everyone exempts himself."