Ecclesiastical Polity. Book I. Of Law there can be no less acknowledged, than that her seat is the bosom of God, her voice the harmony of the world : all things in heaven and earth do her honiage, the very least as feeling her care, and the greatest as not exempted from her power.


1561 - 1626.

Law Tracts. Preface.

I hold every man a debtor to his profession ; from the which as men of course do seek to receive countenance and profit, so ought they of duty to endeavor themselves by way of amends to be a help and ornament thereunto.

De Heresibus. Knowledge is power. - Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.

Dedication to the Essays. 9th ed. 1625. Come home to men's business and bosoms.

On Truth. No pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage-ground of truth.

Letter of Expostulation to Coke. When you wander, as you often delight to do, you wander indeed, and give never such satisfaction as the curious time requires. This is not caused by any natural defect, but first for want of election, when you have a large and fruitful mind, (which) should not so much labor what to speak, as to find what to leave unspoken. Rich soils are often to be weeded.


1548 - 1634.

Third Institute. p. 162. For a man's house is his castle, et domus sua cuique tutissimum refugium.*

Semayne's Case, 5 Reports, 91. The house of every one is to him as his castle and fortress, as well for his defence against injury and violence, as for his repose.

* Quoted from the Pandects, Lib. IV. Tit. De in Jus vocando.


1581 - 1654.

Table Talk. Fri

Friends. Old friends are best. King James used to call for his old shoes; they were easiest for his feet.

Judgments. Commonly we say a judgment falls upon a man for something in him we cannot abide.

Power. Syllables govern the world.


1723 - 1780.

Commentaries. Vol. I.


418. The royal navy of England hath ever been its greatest defence and ornament; it is its ancient and natural strength, — the floating bulwark of our island.

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Coggs vs. Bernard, 2 Ld. Raym. 912. Let us consider the reason of the case. For nothing is law that is not reason.


1717 - 1797.

From Coxe's Memoirs of Walpole. Vol. IV. p. 369.

Flowery oratory he despised. He ascribed to the interested views of themselves or their relatives, the declarations of pretended patriots, of whom he said, All those men have their price.*



On the French Revolution.

The cheap defence of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise, is gone.

Vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.

You had that action and counteraction, which in the natural and in the political world, from the reciprocal struggle of discordant powers, draws out the harmony of the universe.f

* The political axiom, “ All men have their price,” is commonly ascribed to Walpole. † Mr. Breen, in his “Modern English Literature,” says: This Thoughts on the Present Discontents. When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice, in a contemptible struggle.

First Letter on a Regicide Peace. All those instances to be found in history, whether real or fabulous, of a doubtful public spirit, at wnich morality is perplexed, reason is staggered, and from which affrighted nature recoils, are their chosen and almost sole examples for the instruction of youth.


1720 – 1808.

Sermons. Vol. II. p. 287. In this awfully stupendous manner, at which reason stands aghast, and faith herself is half confounded, was the grace of God to man at length manifested.

remarkable thought Alison the historian has turned to good account; it occurs so often in his disquisitions, that he seems to have made it the staple of all wisdom and the basis of every truth.”

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