A sound mind in a sound body, is a short, but full description of a happy state in this world: he that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be little the better for anything else.
Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.
So difficult it is to show the various meanings and imperfections of words when we have nothing else but words to do it with.
All mankind being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions.
I esteem it above all things necessary to distinguish exactly the business of civil government from that of religion and to settle the just bounds that lie between the one and the other.
Understanding like the eye; whilst it makes us see and perceive all things, takes no notice of itself; and it requires art and pains to set it at a distance and make it its own subject.
We are all a sort of chameleons, that still take a tincture from things near us: nor is it to be wondered at in children, who better understand what they see, than what they hear.
Man is not permitted without censure to follow his own thoughts in the search of truth, when they lead him ever so little out of the common road.
The rising unto place is laborious, and by pains men come to greater pains; and it is sometimes base, and by indignities men come to dignities.
'Tis true that governments cannot be supported without great charge, and it is fit everyone who enjoys a share of protection should pay out of his estate his proportion of the maintenance of it.
Methinks Sir Robert should have carried his Monarchical Power one step higher and satisfied the World, that Princes might eat their Subjects too.
Those are not at all to be tolerated who deny the being of God. Promises, covenants, and oaths, which are the bonds of human society, can have no hold upon an atheist. The taking away of God, though but even in thought, dissolves all.
So that, in effect, religion, which should most distinguish us from beasts, and ought most peculiarly to elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts themselves.
He that will have his son have respect for him and his orders, must himself have a great reverence for his son.
A criminal who, having renounced reason ... hath, by the unjust violence and slaughter he hath committed upon one, declared war against all mankind, and therefore may be destroyed as a lion or tiger, one of those wild savage beasts with whom men can have no society nor security.
The only thing we are naturally afraid of is pain, or loss of pleasure. And because these are not annexed to any shape, colour, or size of visible objects, we are frighted of none of them, till either we have felt pain from them, or have notions put into us that they will do us harm.
Knowledge being to be had only of visible and certain truth, error is not a fault of our knowledge, but a mistake of our judgment, giving assent to that which is not true.
Beating is the worst, and therefore the last means to be us'd in the correction of children, and that only in the cases of extremity, after all gently ways have been try'd, and proved unsuccessful; which, if well observ'd, there will very seldom be any need of blows.
A king is a mortal god on earth, unto whom the living God hath lent his own name as a great honour; but withal told him, he should die like a man, lest he should be proud, and flatter himself that God hath with his name imparted unto him his nature also.
Faith is the assent to any proposition not made out by the deduction of reason but upon the credit of the proposer.
I do not say this, that I think there should be no difference of opinions in conversation, nor opposition in men's discourses... 'Tis not the owning one's dissent from another, that I speak against, but the manner of doing it.
Truth certainly would do well enough, if she were once left to shift for herself...She is not taught by laws, nor has she any need of force, to procure her entrance into the minds of men.
For it will be very difficult to persuade men of sense that he who with dry eyes and satisfaction of mind can deliver his brother to the executioner to be burnt alive, does sincerely and heartily concern himself to save that brother from the flames of hell in the world to come.
Power to do good is the true and lawful act of aspiring; for good thoughts (though God accept them), yet towards men are little better than good dreams, except they be put in act; and that cannot be without power and place, as the vantage and commanding ground.
Mathematical proofs, like diamonds, are hard and clear, and will be touched with nothing but strict reasoning.
As it is in the body, so it is in the mind; practice makes it what it is, and most even of those excellencies, what are looked on as natural endowments, will be found, when examined into more narrowly, to be the product of exercise, and to be raised to that pitch, only by repeated actions.
For though the law of nature be plain and intelligible to all rational creatures; yet men, being biased by their interest, as well as ignorant for want of study of it, are not apt to allow of it as a law binding to them in the application of it to their particular cases.
Who hath a prospect of the different state of perfect happiness or misery that attends all men after this life, depending on their behavior, the measures of good and evil that govern his choice are mightily changed.
He that in the ordinary affairs of life would admit of nothing but direct plain demonstration would be sure of nothing in this world but of perishing quickly.
He that makes use of another's fancy or necessity to sell ribbons or cloth dearer to him than to another man at the same time, cheats him.
Freedom of men under government is to have a standing rule to live by, common to every one of that society and made by the legislative power vested in it and not to be subject to the inconstant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man.
The thoughts that come often unsought, and, as it were, drop into the mind, are commonly the most valuable of any we have.
If we will disbelieve everything, because we cannot certainly know all things, we shall do much what as wisely as he who would not use his legs, but sit still and perish, because he had no wings to fly.
Children have as much mind to show that they are free, that their own good actions come from themselves, that they are absolute and independent, as any of the proudest of you grown men, think of them as you please.
The least and most imperceptible impressions received in our infancy have consequences very important and of long duration.
He that judges without informing himself to the utmost that he is capable, cannot acquit himself of judging amiss.
In short, herein seems to lie the difference between idiots and madmen, that madmen put wrong ideas together, and so make wrong propositions, but argue and reason right from them: but idiots make very few or no propositions, and reason scarce at all.
The inclination to goodness is imprinted deeply in the nature of man; insomuch, that if it issue not towards men, it will take unto other living creatures; as it is seen in the Turks, cruel people, who, nevertheless, are kind to beasts, and give alms to dogs and birds.
Whosoever will list himself under the banner of Christ, must, in the first place and above all things, make war upon his own lusts and vices. It is in vain for any man to usurp the name of Christian, without holiness of life, purity of manners, benignity and meekness of spirit.
In transgressing the law of nature, the offender declares himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity.
Moral laws are set as a curb and restraint to these exorbitant desires, which they cannot be but by rewards and punishments, that will over-balance the satisfaction any one shall propose to himself in the breach of the law.
When ideas float in our mind, without any reflection or regard of the understanding, it is that which the French call reverie.
Virtue is everywhere that which is thought praiseworthy; and nothing else but that which has the allowance of public esteem is called virtue.
Whenever legislators endeavor to take away and destroy the property of the people, or to reduce them to slavery under arbitrary power, they put themselves into a state of war with the people, who are thereupon absolved from any further obedience.
Inuring children gently to suffer some degrees of pain without shrinking, is a way to gain firmness to their minds, and lay a foundation for courage and resolution in the future part of their lives.
When the sacredness of property is talked of, it should be remembered that any such sacredness does not belong in the same degree to landed property.
I thought that I had no time for faith nor time to pray, then I saw an armless man saying his Rosary with his feet.
As usurpation is the exercise of power which another has a right to, so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which nobody can have a right to.
As usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.
It is therefore worthwhile, to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things, whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions.
If any one shall claim a power to lay and levy taxes on the people by his own authority and without such consent of the people, he thereby invades the fundamental law of property, and subverts the end of government.
Since the great foundation of fear is pain, the way to harden and fortify children against fear and danger is to accustom them to suffer pain.
That which is static and repetitive is boring. That which is dynamic and random is confusing. In between lies art.
Curiosity in children, is but an appetite for knowledge. The great reason why children abandon themselves wholly to silly pursuits and trifle away their time insipidly is, because they find their curiosity balked, and their inquiries neglected.
Anger is uneasiness or discomposure of the mind upon the receipt of any injury, with a present purpose of revenge.
All men are liable to error; and most men are, in many points, by passion or interest, under temptation to it.
The improvement of understanding is for two ends: first, our own increase of knowledge; secondly, to enable us to deliver that knowledge to others.
We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.
We should have a great fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are, the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
I attribute the little I know to my not having been ashamed to ask for information, and to my rule of conversing with all descriptions of men on those topics that form their own peculiar professions and pursuits.
New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.
The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure.
Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.
To prejudge other men's notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes.
An excellent man, like precious metal, is in every way invariable; A villain, like the beams of a balance, is always varying, upwards and downwards.
There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.
Our incomes are like our shoes; if too small, they gall and pinch us; but if too large, they cause us to stumble and to trip.
Quotes by John Locke are featured in: