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William Edward Hartpole Lecky
By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Routine shortens and variety lengthens time, and it is therefore in the power of men to do something to regulate its pace. A life with many landmarks, a life which is much subdivided when those subdivisions are not of the same kind, and when new and diverse interests, impressions, and labours follow each other in swift and distinct successions, seems the most long.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

[Middleton] contended that the religious leaders of the fourth century had admitted, eulogised, and habitually acted upon principles that were diametrically opposed, not simply to the aspirations of a transcendent sanctity, but to the dictates of the most common honesty. He showed that they had applauded falsehood, that they had practised the most wholesale forgery, that they had habitually and grossly falsified history, that they had adopted to the fullest extent the system of pious frauds, and that they continually employed them to stimulate the devotion of the people.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The unweary, unostentatious, and inglorious crusade of England against slavery may probably be regarded as among the three or four perfectly virtuous pages comprised in the history of nations.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Passions weaken, but habits strengthen, with age, and it is the great task of youth to set the current of habit and to form the tastes which are most productive of happiness in life.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Whenever the clergy were at the elbow of the civil arm, no matter whether they were Catholic or Protestant, persecution was the result.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The Augustinian doctrine of the damnation of unbaptized infants and the Calvinistic doctrine of reprobation . . . surpass in atrocity any tenets that have ever been admitted into any pagan creed.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

When it began, Christianity was regarded as a system entirely beyond the range and scope of human reason; it was impious to question; it was impious to examine; it was impious to discriminate. On the other hand, it was visibly instinct with the supernatural. Miracles of every order and degree of magnitude were flashing forth incessantly from all its parts.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The doctrine of a material hell in its effect was to chill and deaden the sympathies, predispose men to inflict suffering, and to retard the march of civilization.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Pleasures that are in themselves innocent lose their power of pleasing if they become the sole or main object of pursuit.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Making every allowance for the errors of the most extreme fallibility, the history of Catholicism would on this hypothesis represent an amount of imposture probably unequaled in the annals of the human race.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The simple record of these three short years of active life has done more to regenerate and soften mankind than all the discourses of philosophers and all the exhortations of moralists.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Faith always presented to the mind the idea of an abnormal intellectual condition, of the subversion or suspension of the critical faculties. It sometimes comprised more than this, but it always included this. It was the opposite of doubt and of the spirit of doubt. What irreverent men called credulity, reverent men called faith; and although one word was more respectful than the other, yet the two words were with most men strictly synonymous.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

There are some poisons which, before they kill men, allay pain and diffuse a soothing sensation through the frame. We may recognize the hour of enjoyment they procure, but we must not separate it from the price at which it was purchased.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Fierce invectives against women form a conspicuous and grotesque portion of the writings of the Church fathers.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Spain and southern Italy, in which Catholicism has most deeply implanted its roots, are even now, probably beyond all other countries in Europe, those in which inhumanity to animals is most wanton and unrebuked.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Almost all Europe, for many centuries, was inundated with blood, which was shed at the direct instigation or with the full approval of the ecclesiastical authorities.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

There is no possible line of conduct which has at some time and place been condemned, and which has not at some other time and place been enjoined as a duty.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Highly graduate taxation realizes most completely the supreme danger of democracy, creating a state of things in which one class imposes on another burdens which it is not asked to share, and impels the State into vast schemes of extravagance, under the belief that the whole costs will be thrown upon others.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The period of Catholic ascendancy was on the whole one of the most deplorable in the history of the human mind. . . . The spirit that shrinks from enquiry as sinful and deems a state of doubt a state of guilt, is the most enduring disease that can afflict the mind of man. Not till the education of Europe passed from the monasteries to the universities, not till Mohammedan science, and classical free thought, and industrial independence broke the sceptre of the Church, did the intellectual revival of Europe begin.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

One of the most important lessons that experience teaches is that, on the whole, success depends more upon character than upon either intellect or fortune.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

When the Church obtained the direction of the civil power, she soon modified or abandoned the tolerant maxims she had formerly inculcated; and, in the course of a few years, restrictive laws were enacted, both against the Jews and against the heretics.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Nothing, indeed, could be more unlike the tone of the [Patristic] Fathers, than the cold, passionless, and prudential theology of the eighteenth century; a theology which regarded Christianity as an admirable auxiliary to the police force, and a principle of decorum and of cohesion in society, but which carefully banished from it all enthusiasm, veiled or attenuated all its mysteries, and virtually reduced it to an authoritative system of moral philosophy.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The moral duty to be expected in different ages is not a unity of standard, or of acts, but a unity of tendency ... At one time the benevolent affections embrace merely the family, soon the circle expanding includes first a class, then a nation, then a coalition of nations, then all humanity and finally, its influence is felt in the dealings of man with the animal world.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

All history shows that, in exact proportion as nations advance in civilisation, the accounts of miracles taking place among them become rarer and rarer, until at last they entirely cease.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The contraction of theological influence has been at once the best measure, and the essential condition of intellectual advance.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The animal world being altogether external to the scheme of redemption, was regarded as beyond the range of duty, and the belief that we have any kind of obligation to its members has never been inculcated - has never, I believe, been even admitted - by Catholic theologians.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

When men have appreciated the countless differences which the exercise of that judgment must necessarily produce, when they have estimated the intrinsic fallibility of their reason, and the degree in which it is distorted by the will, when, above all, they have acquired that love of truth which a constant appeal to private judgment at last produces, they will never dream that guilt can be associated with an honest conclusion, or that one class of arguments should be stifled by authority.

By Anonym 15 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

The morals of men are more governed by their pursuits than by their opinions. A type of virtue is first formed by circumstances, and men afterwards make it the model upon which their theories are framed.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

On the Continent, every attempt to substitute a lighter punishment for death was fiercely denounced as a direct violation of the Divine law. Indeed, some persons went so far as to question the lawfulness of strangling the witch before she was burnt. Her crime, they said, was treason against the Almighty, and therefore to punish it by any but the most agonizing deaths was an act of disrespect to Him. Besides, the penalty in the Levitical code was stoning, and stoning had been pronounced by the Jewish theologians to be a still more painful death than the stake.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

I venture to maintain that there are multitudes to whom the necessity of discharging the duties of a butcher would be so inexpressibly painful and revolting, that if they could obtain a flesh diet on no other condition, they would relinquish it forever.

By Anonym 14 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

It had been boldly predicted by some of the early Christians that the conversion of the world would lead to the establishment of perpetual peace. In looking back, with our present experience, we are driven to the melancholy conclusion that, instead of diminishing the number of wars, ecclesiastical influence has actually and very seriously increased it.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Abortion... was probably regarded by the average Roman of the later days of Paganism much as Englishmen in the last century regarded convivial excesses, as certainly wrong, but so venial as scarcely to deserve censure.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

Anxiety and Ennui are the Scylla and Charybdis on which the bark of human happiness is most often wrecked.

By Anonym 13 Sep

William Edward Hartpole Lecky

All over Europe the organs that represent dogmatic interests are in permanent opposition to the progressive tendencies around them, and are rapidly sinking into contempt. In every country in which a strong political life is manifested, the secularisation of politics is the consequence. Each stage of that movement has been initiated and effected by those who are most indifferent to dogmatic theology, and each has been opposed by those who are most occupied with theology.