John Locke Quotes

“Reading furnishes the mind only with materials of knowledge; it is thinking that makes what we read ours.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“The only defense against the world is a thorough knowledge of it.”
― John Locke

 

 

“We are like chameleons, we take our hue and the color of our moral character, from those who are around us.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves poison the fountain.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Education begins the gentleman, but reading, good company and reflection must finish him.”
― John Locke

 

 

“To love truth for truth’s sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“Revolt is the right of the people”
― John Locke

 

 

“No man’s knowledge here can go beyond his experience.”
― John Locke

 

 

“There is frequently more to be learned from the unexpected questions of a child than the discourses of men.”
― John Locke

 

 

“So that, in effect, religion, which should most distinguish us from beasts, and ought most peculiarly to elevate us, as rational creatures, above brutes, is that wherein men often appear most irrational, and more senseless than beasts themselves.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its Author, salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter. It is all pure, all sincere; nothing too much; nothing wanting!”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“To prejudge other men’s notions before we have looked into them is not to show their darkness but to put out our own eyes.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“The great question which, in all ages, has disturbed mankind, and brought on them the greatest part of their mischiefs … has been, not whether be power in the world, nor whence it came, but who should have it.”
― John Locke

 

 

“All wealth is the product of labor.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“Our Business here is not to know all things, but those which concern our conduct.”
― Locke John

 

 

 

“For where is the man that has incontestable evidence of the truth of all that he holds, or of the falsehood of all he condemns; or can say that he has examined to the bottom all his own, or other men’s opinions? The necessity of believing without knowledge, nay often upon very slight grounds, in this fleeting state of action and blindness we are in, should make us more busy and careful to inform ourselves than constrain others.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“The acts of the mind, wherein it exerts its power over simple ideas, are chiefly these three: 1. Combining several simple ideas into one compound one, and thus all complex ideas are made. 2. The second is bringing two ideas, whether simple or complex, together, and setting them by one another so as to take a view of them at once, without uniting them into one, by which it gets all its ideas of relations. 3. The third is separating them from all other ideas that accompany them in their real existence: this is called abstraction, and thus all its general ideas are made.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“A sound mind in a sound body, is a short, but full description of a Happy state in this World: he that has these two, has little more to wish for; and he that wants either of them, will be little better for anything else.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“Reverie is when ideas float in our mind without reflection or regard of the understanding.”
― John Locke

 

 

“But what if he neglect the care of his soul? I answer: What if he neglect the care of his health or of his estate, which things are nearlier related to the government of the magistrate than the other? Will the magistrate provide by an express law that such a one shall not become poor or sick? Laws provide, as much as is possible, that the goods and health of subjects be not injured by the fraud and violence of others; they do not guard them from the negligence or ill-husbandry of the possessors themselves. No man can be forced to be rich or healthful whether he will or no. Nay, God Himself will not save men against their wills.”
― John Locke

 

 

“One unerring mark of the love of truth is not entertaining any proposition with greater assurance than the proofs it is built upon will warrant.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Men being, as has been said, by nature, all free, equal and independent, no one can be put out of this estate, and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Few men think, yet all will have opinions. Hence men’s opinions are superficial and confused.”
― John Locke

 

 

“I pretend not to teach, but to inquire; and therefore cannot but confess here again,–that external and internal sensation are the only passages I can find of knowledge to the understanding. These alone, as far as I can discover, are the windows by which light is let into this DARK ROOM. For, methinks, the understanding is not much unlike a closet wholly shut from light, with only some little openings left, to let in external visible resemblances, or ideas of things without: which, would they but stay there, and lie so orderly as to be found upon occasion, it would very much resemble the understanding of a man, in reference to all objects of sight, and the ideas of them.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Whosoever will list himself under the banner of Christ, must, in the first place and above all things, make war upon his own lusts and vices. It is in vain for any man to usurp the name of Christian, without holiness of life, purity of manners, benignity and meekness of spirit.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues.”
― John Locke

 

 

“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”
― John Locke

 

“Nothing is in the intellect that was not first in the senses.”
― John Locke

 

 

“There are a thousand ways to Wealth, but only one way to Heaven.”
― John Locke

 

 

“No peace and security among mankind—let alone common friendship—can ever exist as long as people think that governments get their authority from God and that religion is to be propagated by force of arms.”
― John Locke

 

 

“In transgressing the law of nature, the offender declares himself to live by another rule than that of reason and common equity” Ch.2, 8”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“What worries you masters you.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“As usurpation is the exercise of power, which another hath a right to; so tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right, which no body can have a right to. And this is making use of the power any one has in his hands, not for the good of those who are under it, but for his own private separate advantage. When the governor, however intitled, makes not the law, but his will, the rule; and his commands and actions are not directed to the preservation of the properties of his people, but the satisfaction of his own ambition, revenge, covetousness, or any other irregular passion.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“This makes it Lawful for a Man to Kill a Thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther then by the use of Force, so to get him in his Power, as to take away his Money, or what he pleases from him.: because using force, where he has no Right, to get me into his Power, let his pretense be what it will, I have no reason to purpose that he, who would take away my Liberty, would not when he had me in his Power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is Lawful for me to treat him, as one who has put himself into a State of War with me, I.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a State of War, and is Aggressor in it.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Personal Identity depends on Consciousness not on Substance”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“For the civil government can give no new right to the church, nor the church to the civil government. So that, whether the magistrate join himself to any church, or separate from it, the church remains always as it was before — a free and voluntary society. It neither requires the power of the sword by the magistrate’s coming to it, nor does it lose the right of instruction and excommunication by his going from it. This is the fundamental and immutable right of a spontaneous society — that it has power to remove any of its members who transgress the rules of its institution; but it cannot, by the accession of any new members, acquire any right of jurisdiction over those that are not joined with it.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“He that will not set himself proudly at the top of all things, but will consider the immensity of this fabric, and the great variety that is to be found in this little and inconsiderable part of it which he has to do with, may be apt to think that, in other mansions of it, there may be other and different intelligent beings, of whose faculties he has as little knowledge or apprehension as a worm shut up in one drawer of a cabinet hath of the senses or understanding of a man; such variety and excellency being suitable to the wisdom and power of the Maker. — 1690”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“The most precious of all possessions is power over ourselves.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“For it will be very difficult to persuade men of sense that he who with dry eyes and satisfaction of mind can deliver his brother to the executioner to be burnt alive, does sincerely and heartily concern himself to save that brother from the flames of hell in the world to come.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“It is ambition enough to be employed as an under-labourer in clearing the ground a little, and removing some of the rubbish which lies in the way to knowledge.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“[M]an is not permitted without censure to follow his own thoughts in the search of truth, when they lead him ever so little out of the common road.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“The power of the legislative, being derived from the people by a positive voluntary grant and institution, can be no other than what that positive grant conveyed, which being only to make laws, and not to make legislators, the legislative can have no power to transfer their authority of making laws, and place it in other hands.”
― John Locke

 

 

“It is therefore worthwhile, to search out the bounds between opinion and knowledge; and examine by what measures, in things, whereof we have no certain knowledge, we ought to regulate our assent, and moderate our persuasions.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“Now, I appeal to the consciences of those who persecute, wound, torture, and kill other men on the excuse of ‘religion’, whether they do this in a spirit of friendship and kindness.”
― John Locke

 

 

“Who are we to tell anyone what they can or can’t do?”
― John Locke

 

 

 

“Though if infidels were to be converted by force, if those that are either blind or obstinate were to be drawn off from their errors by armed soldiers, we know very well that it was much more easy for Him to do it with armies of heavenly legions than for any son of the Church, how potent soever, with all his dragoons.”
― John Locke

 

 

 

 

“The understanding, like the eye, whilst it makes us see and perceive all other things, takes no notice of itself: and it requires art and pains to set it at a distance and make it its own object….

If by this inquiry into the nature of the understanding, I can discover the powers thereof; how far they reach; to what things they are in any degree proportionate; and where they fail us, I suppose it may be of use to prevail with the busy mind of man to be more cautious in meddling with things exceeding its comprehension; to stop when it is at the utmost extent of its tether; and to sit down in a quiet ignorance of those things which, upon examination, are found to be beyond the reach of our capacities.”
― John Locke

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