Reference > Quotations > S. Austin Allibone, comp. > Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
S. Austin Allibone, comp.  Prose Quotations from Socrates to Macaulay.  1880.
 
Dr. Isaac Watts
 
  In matters of human prudence, we shall find the greatest advantage by making wise observations on our conduct.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  1
 
  If you would convince a person of his mistakes, accost him not upon that subject when his spirit is ruffled.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  2
 
  The word Analysis signifies the general and particular heads of a discourse, with their mutual connections, both co-ordinate and subordinate, drawn out into one or more tables.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  3
 
  To be angry about trifles is mean and childish; to rage and be furious is brutish; and to maintain perpetual wrath is akin to the practice and temper of devils; but to prevent and suppress rising resentment is wise and glorious, is manly and divine.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  4
 
  Academical disputation gives vigour and briskness to the mind thus exercised, and relieves the languor of private study and meditation.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  5
 
  By putting every argument, on one side and the other, into the balance, we must form a judgment which side preponderates.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  6
 
  We should dwell upon the arguments, and impress the motives of persuasion upon our own hearts, till we feel the force of them.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  7
 
  Let not the proof of any position depend on the positions that follow, but always on those which precede.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  8
 
  A disputant, when he finds that his adversary is too hard for him, with slyness turns the discourse.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  9
 
  Affect not little shifts and subterfuges to avoid the force of an argument.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  10
 
  If the opponent sees victory to incline to his side, let him show the force of his argument, without too importunate and petulant demands of an answer.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  11
 
  There is not much difficulty in confining the mind to contemplate what we have a great desire to know.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  12
 
  Ten thousand things there are which we believe merely upon the authority or credit of those who have spoken or written of them.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  13
 
  There is in Shaftesbury’s works a lively pertness and a parade of literature; but it is hard that we should be bound to admire the reveries.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  14
 
  In Job and the Psalms we shall find more sublime ideas, more elevated language, than in any of the heathen versifiers of Greece or Rome.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  15
 
 
 
  Unhappy those who hunt for a party, and scrape together out of every author all those things only which favour their own tenets.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  16
 
  He that considers and inquires into the reason of things is counted a foe to received doctrines.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  17
 
  We ought to bring our minds free, unbiassed, and teachable, to learn our religion from the word of God.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  18
 
  Our fathers had a just value for regularity and system: then folios and quartos were the fashionable size, as volumes in octavo are now.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  19
 
  There is so much virtue in eight volumes of Spectators, such a reverence of things sacred, so many valuable remarks for our conduct in life, that they are not improper to lie in parlours or summer-houses, to entertain our thoughts in any moments of leisure.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  20
 
  In common discourse we denominate persons and things according to the major part of their character: he is to be called a wise man who has but few follies.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  21
 
  Free converse with persons of different sects will enlarge our charity towards others, and incline us to receive them into all the degrees of unity and affection which the word of God requires.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  22
 
  Perhaps there was nothing ever done in all past ages, and which was not a public fact, so well attested as the resurrection of Christ.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  23
 
  Ranking all things under general and special heads renders the nature or uses of a thing more easy to be found out, when we seek in what rank of being it lies.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  24
 
  They show their learning uselessly, and make a long periphrasis on every word of the book they explain.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  25
 
  He that writes well in verse will often send his thoughts in search through all the treasure of words that express any one idea in the same language, that so he may comport with the measures of the rhyme, or with his own most beautiful and vivid sentiments of the thing he describes.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  26
 
  There is not much difficulty in confining the mind to contemplate what we have a great desire to know.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  27
 
  Conceive of things clearly and distinctly, in their own nature; conceive of things completely, in all their parts; conceive of things comprehensively, in all their properties and relations; conceive of things extensively, in all their kinds; conceive of things orderly, or in a proper method.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  28
 
  Disputation carries away the mind from that calm and sedate temper which is so necessary to contemplate truth.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  29
 
  Young students, by a constant habit of disputing, grow impudent and audacious, proud and disdainful.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  30
 
  A spirit of contradiction is so pedantic and hateful that a man should watch against every instance of it.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  31
 
  A person of a whiffing and unsteady turn of mind cannot keep close to a point of controversy, but wanders from it perpetually.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  32
 
  When the state of the controversy is plainly determined, it must not be altered by another disputant in the course of the disputation.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  33
 
  It is to diffuse a light over the understanding, in our enquiries after truth, and not to furnish the tongue with debate and controversy.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  34
 
  What we obtain by conversation is oftentimes lost again as soon as the company breaks up, or, at least, when the day vanishes.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  35
 
  What we obtain by conversation soon vanishes unless we note down what remarkables we have found.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  36
 
  Let useful observations be at least some part of the subject of your conversation.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  37
 
  Many a man thinks admirably well, who has a poor utterance; while others have a charming manner of speech, but their thoughts are trifling.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  38
 
  Conversation with foreigners enlarges our minds, and sets them free from many prejudices we are ready to imbibe concerning them.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  39
 
  Researches into the springs of natural bodies and their motions should awaken us to admiration at the wondrous wisdom of our Creator in all the works of nature.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  40
 
  Some persons, from the secret stimulations of vanity or envy, despise a valuable book, and throw contempt upon it by wholesale.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  41
 
  Let there be no wilful perversion of another’s meaning; no sudden seizure of a lapsed syllable to play upon it.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  42
 
  Another sort of judges will decide in favour of an author, or will pronounce him a mere blunderer, according to the company they have kept.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  43
 
  Every critic has his own hypothesis: if the common text be not favourable to his opinion, a various lection shall be made authentic.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  44
 
  They will endeavour to diminish the honour of the best treatise rather than suffer the little mistakes of the author to pass unexposed.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  45
 
  If the remarker would but once try to outshine the author by writing a better book on the same subject, he would soon be convinced of his own insufficiency.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  46
 
  Such parts of writing as are stupid or silly, false or mistaken, should become subjects of occasional criticism.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  47
 
  Show your critical learning in the etymology of terms, the synonymous and the paronymous or kindred names.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  48
 
  Custom has an ascendency over the understanding.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  49
 
  There is a respect due to mankind which should incline even the wisest of men to follow innocent customs.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  50
 
  A soul inspired with the warmest aspirations after celestial beatitudes keeps its powers attentive.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  51
 
  The dogmatist is sure of everything, and the sceptic believes nothing.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  52
 
  A dogmatical spirit inclines a man to be censorious of his neighbours. Every one of his opinions appears to him written, as it were, with sunbeams, and he grows angry that his neighbours do not see it in the same light. He is tempted to disdain his correspondents as men of low and dark understandings, because they do not believe what he does.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  53
 
  A dogmatic in religion is not a great way off from a bigot, and is in high danger of growing up to be a bloody persecutor.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  54
 
  Religion or virtue, in a large sense, includes duty to God and our neighbour; but, in a proper sense, virtue signifies duty towards men, and religion duty to God.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  55
 
  To pursue and persevere in virtue, with regard to themselves; in justice and goodness, with regard to their neighbours; and piety towards God.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  56
 
  In learning anything, as little as possible should be proposed to the mind at first.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  57
 
  As simple ideas are opposed to complex, and single ideas to compound, so propositions are distinguished: the English tongue has some advantage above the learned languages, which have no usual word to distinguish single from simple.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  58
 
  How ready is envy to mingle with the notices which we take of other persons!
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  59
 
  Propositions which extend only to the present life are small compared with those that have influence upon our everlasting concernments.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  60
 
  Let not the proof of any position depend on the positions which follow, but always on those which go before.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  61
 
  When a point hath been well examined, and our own judgment settled, after a large survey of the merits of the cause, it would be a weakness to continue fluttering.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  62
 
  Ask our rhapsodist, If you have nothing but the excellence and loveliness of virtue to preach, and no future rewards or punishments, how many vicious wretches will you ever reclaim?
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  63
 
  The bright genius is ready to be so forward as often betrays him into great errors in judgment without a continual bridle on the tongue.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  64
 
  Learn good-humour, never to oppose without just reason: abate some degree of pride and moroseness.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  65
 
  That is an ample and capacious mind which takes in vast and sublime ideas without pain.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  66
 
  A soul inspired with the warmest aspirations after celestial beatitude keeps its powers attentive.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  67
 
  Histories engage the soul by sensible occurrences, as also voyages, travels, and accounts of countries.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  68
 
  History is necessary to divines.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  69
 
  He is particularly pleased with Livy for his manner of telling a story, and with Sallust for his entering into eternal principles of action.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  70
 
  Hope thinks nothing difficult; despair tells us that difficulty is insurmountable.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  71
 
  The notion of a humorist is one that is greatly pleased, or greatly displeased, with little things; his actions seldom directed by the reason and nature of things.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  72
 
  The form under which these things appear to the mind, or the result of our apprehensions, is called an idea.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  73
 
  Those inward representations of spirit, thought, love, and hatred, are pure and mental ideas, belonging to the mind, and carry nothing of shape or sense in them.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  74
 
  If a book has no Index or good Table of Contents, ’tis very useful to make one as you are reading it.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  75
  (Note.—The Index-maker, however, must not carry his laudable desire to be exhaustive and literal to the extent which caused an avaricious and vigilant compiler to base the entr
S. A. A.)    
  76
 
  When general observations are drawn from so many particulars as to become certain and indubitable, these are jewels of knowledge.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  77
 
  Deists are effectually beaten in all their combats at the weapons of men, that is, reason and arguments; and they would now attack our religion with the talents of a vile animal, that is, grin and grimace.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  78
 
  The Lacedæmonians trained up their children to hate drunkenness by bringing a drunken man into their company, and showing them what a beast he made of himself.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  79
 
  There are a multitude of human actions which have so many complicated circumstances, aspects, and situations, with regard to time and place, persons and things, that it is impossible for any one to pass a right judgment concerning them without entering into most of these circumstances.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  80
 
  A desire leaning to either side biasses the judgment strangely: by indifference for everything but truth you will be excited to examine.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  81
 
  Judgment is that whereby we join ideas together by affirmation or negation.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  82
 
  In matters of equity between man and man our Saviour has taught us to put my neighbour in the place of myself, and myself in the place of my neighbour.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  83
 
  Do not think that the knowledge of any particular subject cannot be improved, merely because it has lain without improvement.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  84
 
  If the mind apply itself first to easier subjects, and things near akin to what is already known; and then advance to the more remote and knotty parts of knowledge by slow degrees, it will be able, in this manner, to cope with great difficulties, and prevail over them with amazing and happy success.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  85
 
  Ample souls among mankind have arrived at that prodigious extent of knowledge which renders them the glory of the nation where they live.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  86
 
  What an unspeakable happiness would it be to a man engaged in the pursuit of knowledge, if he had but a power of stamping his best sentiments upon his memory in indelible characters!
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  87
 
  Virtue and vice, sin and holiness, and the conformation of our hearts and lives to the duties of true religion and morality, are things of more consequence than the furniture of the understanding.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  88
 
  An acquaintance with the various tongues is nothing but a relief against the mischiefs which the building of Babel introduced.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  89
 
  Divine law, simply moral, commandeth or prohibiteth actions good or evil in respect of their inward nature and quality.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  90
 
  After a man has studied the general principles of the law, reading the reports of adjudged cases, collected by men of great sagacity, will richly improve his mind towards acquiring this desirable amplitude and extent of thought.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  91
 
  There are many subtile impertinencies learnt in the schools, and many painful trifles even among the mathematical theorems and problems.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  92
 
  As much as systematical learning is decried by some vain triflers of the age, it is the happiest way to furnish the mind with knowledge.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  93
 
  The brain being well furnished with various traces, signatures, and images, will have a rich treasure always ready to be offered to the soul.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  94
 
  Logic is to teach us the right use of our reason, or intellectual powers.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  95
 
  Logic helps us to strip off the outward disguise of things, and to behold and judge of them in their own nature.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  96
 
  It was a saying among the ancients, Truth lies in a well; and, to carry on this metaphor, we may justly say that logic does supply us with steps, whereby we may go down to reach the water.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  97
 
  Men have endeavoured to transform logic into a kind of mechanism, and to teach boys to syllogize, or frame arguments and refute them, without real knowledge.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  98
 
  The sense of these propositions is very plain, though logicians might squabble a whole day whether they should rank themselves under negative or affirmative.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  99
 
  Though the terms of propositions may be complex, yet, where the composition of the argument is plain, the complexion does not belong to the syllogistic form of it.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  100
 
  Where the respondent limits or distinguishes any proposition, the opponent must prove his own proposition according to that member of the distinction in which the respondent denied it.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  101
 
  The word abstraction signifies a withdrawing some part of an idea from other parts of it; by which means such abstracted ideas are formed as neither represent anything corporeal or spiritual; that is, anything peculiar or proper to mind or body.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  102
 
  Abstract terms signify the mode or quality of a being, without any regard to the subject in which it is; as whiteness, roundness, length, breadth, wisdom, mortality, life, death.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  103
 
  Lovers are in rapture at the name of their fair idol; they lavish out all their incense upon that shrine, and cannot bear the thought of admitting a blemish therein.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  104
 
  When I hear my neighbour speak that which is not true, and I say to him, This is not true, or, This is false, I only convey to him the naked idea of his error: this is the primary idea: but if I say, It is a lie, the word lie carries also a secondary idea; for it implies both the falsehood of the speech and my reproach and censure of the speaker.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  105
 
  That very substance which last week was grazing in the field, waving in the milk-pail, or growing in the garden, is now become part of the man.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  106
 
  Now we deal much in essays, and unreasonably despise mathematical learning, whereas our fathers had a great value for regularity and system.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  107
 
  Some have dimensions of length, breadth, and depth, and have also a power of resistance, or exclude everything of the same kind from being in the same place: this is the proper character of matter or body.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  108
 
  Though reading and conversation may furnish us with many ideas of men and things, yet it is our own meditation must form our judgment.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  109
 
  We must learn to be deaf and regardless of other things besides the present subject of our meditation.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  110
 
  ’Tis memory alone that enriches the mind by preserving what our labour and industry daily collect.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  111
 
  Use your memory; you will sensibly experience a gradual improvement while you take care not to overload it.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  112
 
  Use the most proper methods to retain the ideas you have acquired; for the mind is ready to let many of them slip, unless some pains be taken to fix them upon the memory.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  113
 
  To impose on a child to get by heart a long scroll of phrases without any ideas is a practice fitter for a jackdaw than for anything that wears the shape of man.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  114
 
  A mind which is ever crowding its memory with things which it learns, may cramp the invention itself.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  115
 
  The case is with the memorial possessions of the greatest part of mankind: a few useful things mixed with many trifles fill up their memories.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  116
 
  The ample mind keeps the several objects all within sight and present to the soul.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  117
 
  When general observations are drawn from so many particulars as to become certain and indubitable, these are jewels of knowledge.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  118
 
  Poesy and oratory omit things not essential, and insert little beautiful digressions, in order to place everything in the most affecting light.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  119
 
  Those who speak in public are better heard when they discourse by a lively genius and ready memory than when they read all they would communicate to their hearers.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  120
 
  If a picture is daubed with many glaring colours, the vulgar eye admires it; whereas he judges very contemptuously of some admirable design sketched out only with a black pencil, though by the hand of Raphael.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  121
 
  The word passion signifies the receiving any action, in a large philosophical sense; in a more limited philosophical sense, it signifies any of the affections of human nature; as love, fear, joy, sorrow: but the common people confine it only to anger.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  122
 
  Dress up virtue in all the beauties of oratory, and you will find the wild passions of men too violent to be restrained by such mild and silken language.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  123
 
  Happy souls! who keep such a sacred dominion over their inferior and animal powers, that the sensitive tumults never rise to disturb the superior and better operations of the reasoning mind.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  124
 
  This rule of casting away all our former prejudicate opinions is not proposed to any of us to be practised at once as subjects or Christians, but merely as philosophers.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  125
 
  Medicine is justly distributed into prophylactic, or the art of preserving health, and therapeutic, or the art of restoring it.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  126
 
  If sensible pleasure or real grandeur be our end, we shall proceed apace to real misery.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  127
 
  How many thousands pronounce boldly on the affairs of the public whom God nor men never qualified for such judgment!
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  128
 
  Their business is to address all the ranks of mankind, and persuade them to pursue and persevere in virtue with regard to themselves, in justice and goodness with regard to their neighbours, and piety towards God.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  129
 
  It is a fault in a multitude of preachers that they utterly neglect method in their harangues.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  130
 
  Discourses for the pulpit should be cast into a plain method, and the reasons ranged under the words, first, secondly, and thirdly; however they may be now fancied to sound unpolite or unfashionable.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  131
 
  He considers what is the natural tendency of such a virtue, or such a vice: he is well apprised that the representations of some of these things may convince the understanding, some may terrify the conscience, some may allure the slothful, and some encourage the desponding mind.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  132
 
  The eyes of a man in the jaundice make yellow observations on everything; and the soul tinctured with any passion diffuses a false colour over the appearance of things.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  133
 
  Without a prudent determination in matters before us, we shall be plunged into perpetual errors.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  134
 
  Some persons of bright parts have narrow remembrance; for, having riches of their own, they are not solicitous to borrow.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  135
 
  How many excellent reasonings are framed in the mind of a man of wisdom and study in a length of years!
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  136
 
  Every one who will not ask for the conduct of God in the study of religion, has just reason to fear he shall be left of God, and given up a prey to a thousand prejudices, that he shall be consigned over to the follies of his own heart.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  137
 
  He who pretends to the learned professions, if he doth not arise to be a critic himself in philological matters, should frequently converse with dictionaries, paraphrasts, commentators, or other critics, which may relieve any difficulties.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  138
 
  Once a day, especially in the early years of life and study, call yourselves to an account what new ideas, what new proposition or truth, you have gained.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  139
 
  It was the sacred rule among the Pythagoreans that they should every evening thrice run over the actions and affairs of the day.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  140
 
  The fondness we have for self, and the relation which other things have to ourselves, furnishes another long rank of prejudices.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  141
 
  Our sex, our kindred, our houses, and our very names, we are ready to mingle with ourselves, and cannot bear to have others think meanly of them.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  142
 
  A hermit who has been shut up in his cell in a college has contracted a sort of mould and rust upon his soul.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  143
 
  When a false argument puts on the appearance of a true one, then it is properly called a sophism or “fallacy.”
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  144
 
  Little tricks of sophistry, by sliding in or leaving out such words as entirely change the question, should be abandoned by all fair disputants.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  145
 
  As we learn what belongs to the body by the evidence of sense, so we learn what belongs to the soul by an inward consciousness which may be called a sort of internal feeling.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  146
 
  It is a vast hindrance to the enrichment of our understandings if we spend too much of our time among infinites and unsearchables.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  147
 
  When we know cogitation is the prime attribute of a spirit, we infer its immateriality, and thence its immortality.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  148
 
  Study detains the mind by the perpetual occurrence of something new, which may gratefully strike the imagination.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  149
 
  When two or three sciences are pursued at the same time, if one of them be dry, as logic, let another be more entertaining, to secure the mind from weariness.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  150
 
  Every scholar should acquaint himself with a superficial scheme of all the sciences, yet there is no necessity for every man of learning to enter into their difficulties and deep recesses.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  151
 
  Those who contemplate only the fragments or pieces of science dispersed in short unconnected discourses can never survey an entire body of truth, but must always view it as deformed and dismembered.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  152
 
  Now we deal much in essays, and unreasonably despise systematic learning; whereas our fathers had a just value for regularity and systems.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  153
 
  Let your method be plain, that your hearers may run through it without embarrassment, and take a clear view of the whole.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  154
 
  Some have a violent and turgid manner of talking and thinking: they are always in extremes, and pronounce concerning everything in the superlative.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  155
 
  Some men give more light and knowledge by the bare stating of the question with perspicuity and justness, than others by talking of it in gross confusion for whole hours together.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  156
 
  The child taught to believe any occurrence a good or evil omen, or any day of the week lucky, hath a wide inroad made upon the soundness of his understanding.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  157
 
  Synthetic method is that which begins with the parts, and leads onward to the knowledge of the whole: it begins with the most simple principles and general truths, and proceeds by degrees to that which is drawn from them, or compounded of them; and therefore it is called the method of composition.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  158
 
  Talking over the things which you have read with your companions fixes them upon the mind.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  159
 
  Instructors should not only be skilful in those sciences which they teach, but have skill in the method of teaching, and patience in the practice.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  160
 
  Theology would truly enlarge the mind were it studied with that freedom and that sacred charity which it teaches; let this, therefore, always stand chief.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  161
 
  Acquire a government over your ideas, that they may come when they are called, and depart when they are bidden.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  162
 
  Nothing tends so much to enlarge the mind as travelling, that is, making a visit to other towns, cities, or countries, besides those in which we were born and educated.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  163
 
  Not only the investigation of truth, but the communication of it also, is often practised in such a method as neither agrees precisely to synthetic or analytic.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  164
 
  Recollect, every day, the things seen, heard, or read, which make any addition to your understanding.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  165
 
  Vice or virtue chiefly imply the relation of our actions to men in this world: sin and holiness rather imply their relation to God and the other world.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  166
 
  Religion or virtue, in a large sense, includes duty to God and our neighbour; but in a proper sense, virtue signifies duty towards men, and religion duty to God.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  167
 
  If the meaning of a word could be learned by its derivation or etymology, yet the original derivation of words is oftentimes very dark.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  168
 
  Here is our great infelicity, that, when single words signify complex ideas, one word can never distinctly manifest all the parts of a complex idea.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  169
 
  When a word has been used in two or three senses, and has made a great inroad for error, drop one or two of those senses, and leave it only one remaining, and affix the other senses or ideas to other words.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  170
 
  There appears in our age a pride and petulancy in youth, zealous to cast off the sentiments of their fathers and teachers.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  171
 
  A line of the golden verses of the Pythagoreans recurring on the memory hath often guarded youth from a temptation to vice.
Dr. Isaac Watts.    
  172
 
  While we are arguing with others, in order to convince them, how graceful a thing is it, when we have the power of the argument on our own side, to keep ourselves from insult and triumph! how engaging a behaviour toward our opponent, when we seem to part as though we were equal in the debate, while it is evident to all the company that the truth lies wholly on our side!  173
  Yet I will own there are seasons when the obstinate and the assuming disputant should be made to feel the force of an argument by displaying it in its victorious and triumphant colours. But this is seldom to be practised so as to insult the opposite party, except in cases where they have shown a haughty and insufferable insolence. Some persons perhaps can hardly be taught humility without being severely humbled; and yet where there is need of this chastisement I had rather any other hand should be employed in it than mine.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Christian Morality.    
  174
 
  When a warm and imprudent talker adorns some common character with excessive praises, and carries it up to the stars, the moderate man puts in a cautious word, and thinks it is sufficient to raise it half so high. Or when he hears a vast and unreasonable load of accusation and infamy thrown upon some lesser mistakes in life, the moderate man puts in a soft word of excuse, lightens the burden of reproach, and relieves the good name of the sufferer from being pressed to death.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Christian Morality.    
  175
 
  But what a lovely sight is it to behold a person burdened with many sorrows, and perhaps his flesh upon him has pain and anguish, while his soul mourns within him: yet his passions are calm, he possesses his spirit in patience, he takes kindly all the relief that his friends attempt to afford him, nor does he give them any grief or uneasiness but what they feel through the force of mere sympathy and compassion! Thus, even in the midst of calamities, he knits the hearts of his friends faster to himself, and lays greater obligations upon their love by so lovely and divine a conduct under the weight of his heavy sorrows.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Christian Morality.    
  176
 
  Prudence is a lovely quality. This teaches us to speak every word, and perform every action of life, at a proper time, in the proper place, and toward the proper person. It is prudence that distinguishes our various behaviour toward our fellow-creatures, according to their different ranks and degrees among mankind, or the different relations in which we stand to them. It is a very desirable excellency to know when it is proper to speak, and when it is best to keep silence; at what seasons, and in what company, we should awaken our zeal, and exert our active powers; or when we should hide ourselves, or put a bridle upon our lips, and sit still, and hear.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Christian Morality.    
  177
 
  How glorious and how dreadful is the difference between the death of a saint and that of a sinner, a soul that is in Christ and a soul that has no interest in him! The death of every sinner has all that real evil and terror in it which it appears to an eye of sense; but a convinced sinner beholds it yet a thousand times more dreadful. When conscience is awakened upon the borders of the grave, it beholds death in its utmost horror, as the curse of the broken law, as the accomplishment of the threatenings of an angry God. A guilty conscience looks on death with all its formidable attendants round it, and espies an endless train of sorrows coming after it. Such a wretch beholds death riding towards him on a pale horse, and hell following at his heels, without all relief or remedy, without a Saviour, and without hope.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Death a Blessing to the Saints.    
  178
 
  If we would fix in the memory the discourses we hear, or what we design to speak, let us abstract them into brief compends, and review them often.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Improvement of the Mind.    
  179
 
  As a man may be eating all day, and for want of digestion is never nourished, so these endless readers may cram themselves in vain with intellectual food.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Improvement of the Mind.    
  180
 
  The will of our Maker, whether discovered by reason or revelation, carries the highest authority with it; a conformity or non-conformity to it determine their actions to be morally good or evil.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  181
 
  God will one time or another make a difference between the good and the evil. But there is little or no difference made in this world; therefore there must be another world wherein this difference shall be made.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  182
 
  The original of sensible and spiritual ideas may be owing to sensation and reflection; the recollection and fresh excitation of them to other occasions.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  183
 
  Those are adequate ideas which perfectly represent their archetypes or objects. Inadequate are but a partial or incomplete representation of those archetypes to which they are referred.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  184
 
  Acquaint yourselves with things ancient and modern, natural, civil, and religious, domestic and national, things of your own and foreign countries, and, above all, be well acquainted with God and yourselves; learn animal nature and the workings of your own spirits.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  185
 
  An accidental mode, or an accident, is such a mode as is not necessary to the being of a thing; for the subject may be without it and yet remain of the same nature that it was before; or it is that mode which may be separated or abolished from its subject.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  186
 
  The topics of ontology, or metaphysic, are cause, effect, action, passion, identity, opposition, subject, adjunct, and sign.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  187
 
  If we arise to the world of spirits, our knowledge of them must be amazingly imperfect, when there is not the least grain of sand but has too many difficulties belonging to it for the wisest philosopher to answer.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  188
 
  There are things in the world of spirits wherein our ideas are very dark and confused; such as their union with animal nature, the way of their acting on material beings, and their way of converse with each other.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  189
 
  The calmest and serenest hours of life, when the passions of nature are all silent, and the mind enjoys its most perfect composure.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Logic.    
  190
 
  As it is the very nature of sin to bring disorder into the creation of God, so its natural consequences are pernicious to the sinful creature! Every act of wilful sin tends to deface the moral image of God in the soul, and ruin the best part of his workmanship. It warps the mind aside from its chief good, and turns the heart away from God and all that is holy. Sin forms itself in the heart into an evil principle and habit of disobedience: one sin makes way for another, and increases the wretched trade of sinning. A frequent breaking the restraints of law and conscience not only strengthens the inclination to vice, but it enfeebles the voice and power of conscience to withhold us from sin: it sets man a-running in the paths of intemperance and malice, folly and madness, down to perdition and misery. It many times brings painful diseases upon the body, and it is the spring of dreadful sorrows in the soul. All these are the natural consequences of sin.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Of the Moral Law, and the Evil of Sin.    
  191
 
  The notions and sentiments of others’ judgments, as well as of our own memory, makes our property: it does, as it were, concoct our intellectual food, and turns it into a part of ourselves.
Dr. Isaac Watts: On the Mind.    
  192
 
  Since there are many virtues and duties which belong only to this present life, “let us lose no opportunity for the practice of them; for the next day, or the next hour, may put it forever out of our power to practise them.” Eternity is a long duration indeed, but it will never afford us one season for visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry, or for charity and meekness towards those who injure us: eternity itself will never give us one opportunity for the pious labours of love toward the conversion of sinful acquaintance and relatives. Oh, let us not suffer this precious lamp of life to burn in vain, or weeks, and days, and hours, to slide away unemployed and useless. Let us remember, that while we are here, we work for a long hereafter: that we think, and speak, and act, with regard to an eternal state, and that in time we live for eternity.
Dr. Isaac Watts: Privilege of the Living above the Dead.    
  193
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors