Memorable Sayings of Mr. Hobbes in his Books and at the Table.

en! quam modice habitat Philosophia

Vera & Viva Effigies THOMAE HOBBES Malmesburiensis. Aetat. suae. 92. obiit 4. Decē 1679.

Malmsburiensis Obît, decurso Lumine vitae,
Qui genus humanum Ingenio Superavit, & omnes
Praestrinxit Stellas, exortus uti Aethereus Sol.

THE Love of the knowledg of Causes draws a man from the Consideration of the Ef­fect, to seek the Cause, and again the Cause of that Cause, till of necessity he must come to this thought at last, That there is some Cause, whereof there is no former Cause, but is Eternal, which is God; so that it is impossible to make any profound en­quiry into Natural Causes, without believing there is one Eternal God.

If any man think this World without a mind, I shall think him without a mind.

Nothing is Law, where there are not manifest signs that it proceedeth from the will of the So­veraign.

To be slow in the belief of Miracles, is not a contempt of Divine Power, but a just circum­spection that our Reason be not over-reacht.

All Devotion ought to be grounded upon Reason, and Truth, else it is Will-worship, and the Sacrifice of Fools.

The Doctrine of Original sin, ought to be cautiously handled, lest when the Bowl wanders from the Jack, the Biass, not the hand that delivers it, be blamed.

So ought the Doctrine of Imputed Righteousness, lest a man with a Silken Stockin on a Gouty Leg think himself well and at ease.

The Credulous choose rather not to doubt, than not to err.

Distance of time impresseth false Images of things upon the mind, as well as distance of place. Most of the Valuable Opinions of mankind, if you search them in their Originals, being like an Aegyptian Temple, with a magnificent Portico, much Sculpture, and Picture; but if you be ad­mitted into the Penetralia, to see the God, you will find but an Ape, or an Asses Head, Fancy or Folly.

My Noble Friend my Lord Herbert of Cherbury, had no mean unworthy thought of God when he said, he was like the Sun, that always shined unto mankind with the same light.

The Absurd Opinions, and Evil Lives of the Clergy make them contemptible.

All the changes of Religion in the World may be attributed to one and the same Cause, unpleasing Priests, and those not only among Catholicks, but even in that Church that hath presumed most upon Reformation.

Men are easily drawn to believe any thing, from such men as have gotten credit with them, and can with Gentleness, and Dexterity, take hold of their Fear, and Ignorance.

Whatsoever Power Ecclesiasticks take upon themselves (in any place where they are subject to the State) in their own right, although they call it Gods right, it is but Usurpation.

'Tis strange that men, never having spoken with God Almighty, nor knowing one more than another what he hath said, when the Laws and Preacher disagree, should so keenly follow the Minister, for the most part an Ignorant, though a ready tongued Scholar, rather than the Laws, that were made by the King, with the Peers, and Commons of the Land.

The Papacy is the Ghost of the deceased Roman Empire, sitting crowned upon the Grave thereof.

The Pope is a Shittle-Cock, kept up by the Differences of Princes.

The name of Fulmen Excommunicationis [that is the Thunderbolt of Excommunication] procee­ded from an imagination of the Bishop of Rome that first used it, that he was King of Kings, as the Heathen made Jupiter King of the Gods, and assigned him a Thunderbolt, wherewith to subdue and punish.

Excommunication is a Sword that hath no other edge but what is given to it by the Opinion of him against whom it is used.

The Roman Clergy are a Confederacy of Deceivers, that to obtain dominion over other men, en­deavour by Mystery and Nonsence to extinguish in them both the light of Nature and the Gospel.

Priest-Craft is a sort of Legerdemain, and the Roman Priests are to the rest of mankind, as the Juglers in a Fair to the rest of the People there, and must have mony given them before they will play their Tricks.

The Papal Ecclesiasticks in their Receipts, accept the mony that the Laicks do; but when they are to make any payment it is in Indulgences, Masses and Canonizations.

He used to cite Themistius often, [in his Consular Oration to Jovinian.] The flattering Bishops do not Worship God, but the Imperial Purple. And a Greek sentence [in English thus] A wise mans satisfaction, is to have a Treasure of hope with the Gods, or else not to fear them at all.

Fear and Hope arising from Ignorance of the Causes of Things, are for the most part ground­less and violent, and in all matters, touching which a man hath great Hope, or great Fear, he is easily deceived; which is the Reason that the Planters of false Religions, do so industriously keep all true Science from them they intend to impose upon.

There is no Doctrine which tendeth to the advancement of the Power Ecclesiastical, or to the reverence, or profit of the Clergy, but the contradiction thereof is by the Church of Rome made Heresie, and punished with Death.

I have been bitterly excepted against by the Ecclesiasticks, for making the Civil Power too large; by the Sectaries, for taking away Liberty of Conscience; by the Lawyers, for setting Soveraign Princes above the Laws, wherewith I am not much moved: For these men in doing this, do but their own business.

There is nothing but Infinite Power that is not to fear.

Every man is bound by nature, as much as in him lyeth, to protect in War the Authority by which he is himself protected in time of Peace.

Ambitious men wade through other mens blood to their own Power.

Evil Government is like a Tempest, may throw down here and there a Fruitful Tree, but Civil War, or Anarchy, like a Deluge, would sweep away all before them.

A Prince ought to remember that nothing hath been more the agreement of mankind in all Ages, and in all Nations, than this, To change their Government, for the Opressions and Corruptions in it.

The Majestas Imperii, and the Salus Populi, are always quarrelling, there wants a Deus Terminus in the World to set out the bounds of Dominion, and Obedience so clearly, as the passions of Prince or People, dare not adventure to leap over.

Drinking a Glass of Wine, he said, 'tis with Truth as it is with excellent Wine, the Drawer, (the Priest) is not to fill out the dregs with the purer Liquor. And after another Glass, speaking of Government, he cited the Arcadia. Princes are to remember whom they Govern, Men, Rational Creatures, who soon scorn at Follies, and repine at Injuries. Adding of his own, that it was an unparallel'd Arrogance, and Fanaticism in any one man to believe, that God from Eternity had ap­pointed all Creatures for his Pleasure, Men for his Ambition, the Women for his Lust. And that the Doctrine of Preces and Lachrymae, ought to be discreetly handled, least the people believe, they made themselves Slaves, when they became Christians; and lest Princes should so far mistake, as to believe their Subjects made up of Knees and Eyes, and no Hands.

It is impossible without Letters for any man to become either excellently wise, or [unless his me­mory be hurt by Disease or ill Constitution of Organs] excellently foolish: For words are wise mens Counters, they do but reckon by them; but they are the mony of Fools, that value them by the Authority of an Aristotle, a Cicero, or a Thomas.

Such Opinions as are taken upon Credit of Antiquity, are not truly the Judgment of those that cite them; but words that pass (like gaping) from mouth to mouth.

Wealth, like Women, is to be used, not loved (Platonickly.)

Speaking of the Lawyers; he used to jeer them with Gothofred, Inter Laudem, & Placentiam non Ve­ronam versus ambulare solet Vlpianus; and with Erasmus, Doctum Genus, hominum indoctorum.

Opinion, Armed with power, passes for Reason, Law, and Religion.

It cannot be proved that the Obedience which springs from the scorn of injustice is less accepta­ble to God, than that which proceeds from the fear of reward or hope of benefit.

That which gives to human actions the relish of Justice, is a certain nobleness or gallantness of Courage, (rarely found) by which a man scorns to be beholden for the contentment of his life, to fraud or breach of promise.

Death, is a Leap into the Dark.

Quid Prodest Garrulis Philosophis, de immortalitate Animorum, de Fortitudine, tam multa praedicare, deindè: minimo in periculo pallescere.

Et prope stans dictat Mors mihi ne metue.

When he was dying, he called for his Chair (in which he dyed) saying, Oportet Philosophum Seden­tem mori.

Si quis morte obitâ sensus Tellure sub imâ est
Hobbesii gaudent manes; Nec grandior umbra
Ambulat Elysium. —

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