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It is fit for a man to know his own abilities and weaknesses, and not think himself obliged to imitate all that he thinks fit to praise.
Self-denial is a kind of holy association with God; and, by making you his partner, interests you in all his happiness.
To forego the pleasures of sense, and undergo the hardships that attend a holy life, is such a kind of mercenariness as none but a resigned believing soul is likely to be guilty of; if fear itself, and even the fear of hell, may be one justifiable motive of mens actions.
He gives us in this life an earnest of expected joys that out-values and transcends all those momentary pleasures it requires us to forsake.
Philosophy would solidly be established, if men would more carefully distinguish those things that they know from those that they ignore.
As rivers, when they overflow, drown those grounds, and ruin those husbandmen, which, whilst they flowed calmly betwixt their banks, they fertilized and enriched; so our passions, when they grow exorbitant and unruly, destroy those virtues to which they may be very serviceable whilst they keep within their bounds.
An ancient musician informed me, that there were some famous lutes that attained not their full seasoning and best resonance till they were about fourscore years old.
The dimness of our intellectual eyes Aristotle fitly compares to those of an owl at noonday.
There is scarce anything that nature has made, or that men do suffer, whence the devout reflector cannot take an occasion of an aspiring meditation.
Love doth seldom suffer itself to be confined by other matches than those of its own making.
This sublime love, being, by an intimate conjunction with its object, thoroughly refined from all base dross of selfishness and interest, nobly begets a perfect submission of our wills to the will of God.
Since a few minutes can turn the healthiest bodies into breathless carcasses, and put those very things which we had principally relied on into the hands of our enemies, it were little less than madness to repose a distrustless trust in these transitory possessions or treacherous advantages which we enjoy but by so fickle a tenure. No; we must never venture to wander far from God upon the presumption that death is far enough from us; but rather, in the very height of our jollity, we should endeavour to remember that they who feast themselves to-day may, themselves, prove feasts for the worms to-morrow.
Divers things we agree to be knowledge, which yet are so uneasy to be satisfactorily understood by our imperfect intellects, that let them be delivered in the clearest expressions, the notions themselves will yet appear obscure.
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