Quotations by Selden, John


We measure the excellency of other men by some excellency we conceive to be in ourselves.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk (1689)
Added on 8-Dec-14 | Last updated 8-Dec-14
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Scrutamini scripturas (Let us look at the scriptures). These two words have undone the world.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Bible, Scripture” (1686)
Added on 22-Sep-08 | Last updated 22-Sep-08
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A glorious Church is like a magnificent feast; there is all the variety that may be, but every one chooses out a dish or two that he likes, and lets the rest alone: how glorious soever the Church is, every one chooses out of it his own religion, by which he governs himself, and lets the rest alone.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Church” (1686)
Added on 26-Jun-08 | Last updated 26-Jun-08
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To preach long, loud, and Damnation, is the way to be cried up. We love a man that damns us, and we run after him again to save us.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Damnation” (1686)
Added on 29-Jan-09 | Last updated 29-Jan-09
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Humility is a virtue all preach, none practise, and yet everybody is content to hear. The master thinks it good doctrine for his servant, the laity for the clergy, and the clergy for the laity.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Humility” (1686)
Added on 28-May-08 | Last updated 28-May-08
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‘Tis not the drinking that is to be blamed, but the excess.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Humility” (1686)
Added on 7-Nov-08 | Last updated 7-Nov-08
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Commonly we say a judgment falls upon a man for something in him we cannot abide.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Judgments” (1686)
Added on 7-Jan-09 | Last updated 7-Jan-09
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Ignorance of the law excuses no man; not that all men know the law, but because it is an excuse every man will plead, and no man can tell how to confute him.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Law” (1686)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Of all actions of a man’s life, his marriage does least concern other people, yet of all actions of our life ‘tis most meddled with by other people.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Marriage” (1686).
Added on 24-Oct-08 | Last updated 24-Oct-08
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While you are upon the earth, enjoy the good things that are here (to the end that they were given), and be not melancholy, and wish yourself in Heaven.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Pleasure” (1686)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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Prayer should be short, without giving God Almighty reasons why he should grant this, or that; he knows best what is good for us.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, “Prayer” (1686)
Added on 14-Oct-08 | Last updated 14-Oct-08
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‘Twas an unhappy division that has been made betwixt faith and works; though in my intellect I may divide them just as in the candle, I know there is both heat and light; but yet put out the candle, and they are both gone: one remains not without the other.

John Selden (1584-1654) English jurist, antiquary, politician, Orientalist
Table Talk, ch. 42 “Faith and Works” (1686)

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Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 1-Feb-04
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