November 8, 2010


. . . for they impart to us the Knowledge and Assurance of Things much more worthy our Attention, than all which this World can offer to our Acceptance. Of Things which Heaven itself hath condescended to reveal to us, and to the smallest Knowledge of which the highest human wit unassisted could never ascend. I began now to think all the Time I had spent with the best Heathen Writers, was little more than Labour lost: for however pleasant and delightful their Lessons may be, or however adequate to the right Regulation of our Conduct with Respect to this World only, yet when compared with the Glory revealed in Scripture, their highest Documents will appear as trifling, and of as little Consequence as the Rules by which Children regulate their childish little Games and Pastime. True it is, that Philosophy makes us wiser, but Christianity makes us better Men. Philosophy elevates and steels the Mind, Christianity softens and sweetens it. The Former makes us the Object of human Admiration, the Latter of Divine Love. That insures us a temporal, but this an eternal Happiness.

Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, VIII xiii
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