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BENJAMIN STILLINGFLEET
English naturalist and writer
(1702 - 1771)

A story should, to please, at least seem true,
  Be apropos, well told, concise, and new:
    And whenso'er it deviates from these rules,
      The wise will sleep, and leave applause to fools.
      - [Story Telling]

Astrological prayers seem to me to be built on as good reason as the predictions.
      - [Astrology]

Error is but the shadow of the truth.
      - [Error]

Kircher lays it down as a certain principle, that there never was any people so rude which did not acknowledge and worship one supreme Deity.
      - [God]

Nothing enlarges the gulf of atheism more than the wide passage that lies between the faith and lives of men pretending to teach Christianity.
      - [Atheism]

Peace and wickedness are far asunder.
      - [Wickedness]

Philosophers and common heathen believed one God, to whom all things were referred; but under this God they worshipped many inferior and subservient gods.
      - [Idolatry]

Prayer among men is supposed a means to change the person to whom we pray; but prayer to God doth not change him, but fits us to receive the things prayed for.
      - [Prayer]

See how the skilful lover spreads his toils.
      - [Courtship]

Sincerity and honesty carry one through many difficulties which all the arts he can invent would never help him through.
      - [Sincerity]

Spite of all the fools that pride has made,
  'Tis not on man a useless burthen laid;
    Pride has ennobled some, and some disgraced;
      It hurts not in itself, but as 'tis placed;
        When right, its views know none but virtue's bound;
          When wrong, it scarcely looks one inch around.
      - [Pride]

'Tis good nature only wins the heart
  It moulds the body to an easy grace
    And brightens every feature of the face;
      It smoothes th' unpolish'd tongue with eloquence
        And adds persuasion to the finest sense.
      - [Good Nature]

Each moss,
  Each shell, each drawling insect, holds a rank
    Important in the plan of Him who fram'd
      This scale of beings; holds a rack which, lost
        Would break the chain, and leave behind a gap
          Which Nature's self would rue.
      - Miscellaneous Tracts relating to Natural History
         (p. 127) [Creation]


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