C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


Sceptics are yet the most credulous.


Sceptics are generally ready to believe anything, provided it is sufficiently improbable.

Von Knebel.

Human knowledge is the parent of doubt.


Freethinkers are generally those who never think at all.


Scepticism is a barren coast, without a harbor or lighthouse.


It is men of faith, not sceptics, who have made the world aware that they were in it.


The sceptic only stumbles at matter of fact.

Von Knebel.

Improbability is the food upon which scepticism is nourished.


It is ever the improbable that the sceptic is the most ready to give ear to.


I will listen to any one’s convictions; but, pray, keep your doubts to yourself.


An atheist is more reclaimable than a papist, as ignorance is sooner cured than superstition.


I know not any crime so great that a man could contrive to commit as poisoning the sources of eternal truth.

Dr. Johnson.

Scepticism has never founded empires, established principles, or changed the world’s heart. The great doers in history have always been men of faith.


The sceptic, when he plunges into the depths of infidelity, like the miser who leaps from the shipwreck, will find that the treasures which he bears about him will only sink him deeper in the abyss.


I would rather dwell in the dim fog of superstition than in air rarefied to nothing by the air-pump of unbelief; in which the panting breast expires, vainly and convulsively gasping for breath.


Scepticism commonly takes up the room left by defect of imagination, and is the very quality of mind most likely to seek for sensual proof of supersensual things. If one came from the dead it could not believe; and yet it longs for such a witness, and will put up with a very dubious one.


  • This a sacred rule we find
  • Among the nicest of mankind,
  • (Which never might exception brook
  • From Hobbes even down to Bolingbroke,)
  • To doubt of facts, however true,
  • Unless they know the causes too.
  • Churchill.

  • Let no presuming impious railer tax
  • Creative Wisdom, as if aught was formed
  • In vain, or not for admirable ends,
  • Shall little haughty ignorance pronounce
  • His works unwise, of which the smallest part
  • Exceed the narrow vision of her mind?
  • Thomson.

    As a man of pleasure, by a vain attempt to be more happy than any man can be, is often more miserable than most men are, so the sceptic, in a vain attempt to be wise beyond what is permitted to man, plunges into a darkness more deplorable, and a blindness more incurable than that of the common herd, whom he despises, and would fain instruct.


  • Oh! lives there, Heaven! beneath thy dread expanse,
  • One hopeless, dark idolater of chance,
  • Content to feed with pleasures unrefin’d,
  • The lukewarm passions of a lowly mind;
  • Who mouldering earthward, ’reft of every trust,
  • In joyless union wedded to the dust,
  • Could all his parting energy dismiss,
  • And call this barren world sufficient, bliss?
  • Campbell.