Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects, in Two Volumes

J. Williams, 1779 - 571 ˹

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˹ 122 - A miracle is a violation of the laws of nature ; and as a firm and unalterable experience has established these laws, the proof against a miracle, from the very nature of the fact, is as entire as any argument from experience can possibly be imagined.
˹ 88 - It is universally acknowledged, that there is a great uniformity among the actions of men, in all nations and ages, and that human nature remains still the same in its principles and operations.
˹ 59 - Here, then, is a kind of preestablished harmony between the course of nature and the succession of our ideas ; and though the powers and forces by which the former is governed, be wholly unknown to us, yet our thoughts and conceptions have still, we find, gone on in the same train with the other works of nature.
˹ 77 - We are got into fairy land long ere we have reached the last steps of our theory ; and there we have no reason to trust our common methods of argument, or to think that our usual analogies and probabilities have any authority.
˹ 29 - All reasonings concerning matter of fact seem to be founded on the relation of cause and effect. By means of that relation alone we can go beyond the evidence of our memory and senses. If you were to ask a man why he believes any matter of fact which is absent, for instance, that his friend is in the country or in France, he would give you a reason, and this reason would be some other fact: as a letter received from him or the knowledge of his former resolutions and promises.
˹ 448 - Stock, stone, or other homely pedigree, In his defence his servants are as bold As if he had been born of beaten gold. The Jewish Rabbins, though their enemies, In this conclude them honest men and wise ; For 'twas their duty, all the learned think, T" espouse his cause by whom they eat and drink.
˹ 39 - We have said that all arguments concerning existence are founded on the relation of cause and effect ; that our knowledge of that relation is derived entirely from experience ; and that all our experimental conclusions proceed upon the supposition, that the future will be conformable to the past.
˹ 139 - To make this more evident, let us examine those miracles, related in scripture; and not to lose ourselves in too wide a field, let us confine ourselves to such as we find in the Pentateuch, which we shall examine...
˹ 236 - The common situation of society is a medium amidst all these extremes. We are naturally partial to ourselves and to our friends ; but are capable of learning the advantage resulting from a more equitable conduct. Few enjoyments are given us from the open and liberal hand of nature ; but by art, labour, and industry, we can extract them in great abundance. Hence the ideas of property become necessary in all civil society: Hence justice derives its usefulness to the public : And hence alone arises...
˹ 67 - Complex ideas may, perhaps, be well known by definition, which is nothing but an enumeration of those parts or simple ideas that compose them.