Quotes on Convictions
The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page
Home | Topical Guide | Search the Site


Other related topics at:
Virtue and Vice

216. Burke, Edmund; Convictions; Sophistry
Of a person [Burke] who differed from him in politicks, he said, "In private life he is a very honest gentleman; but I will not allow him to be so in publick life. People may be honest, though they are doing wrong; that is between their Maker and them. But we, who are suffering by their pernicious conduct, are to destroy them. We are sure that [Burke] acts from interest. We know what his genuine principles were. They who allow their passions to confound the distinctions between right and wrong, are criminal. They may be convinced; but they have not come honestly by their conviction."
Boswell: Life

742. Convictions; Religious Conversion
"That conversion will always be suspected that apparently concurs with interest. He that never finds his error till it hinders his progress towards wealth or honour, will not be thought to love truth only for herself. Yet it may easily happen that information may come at a commodious time; and as truth and interest are not by any fatal necessity at variance, that one may by accident introduce the other. When opinions are struggling into popularity, the arguments by which they are opposed or defended become more known; and he that changes his profession would perhaps have changed it before, with the like opportunities of instruction. This was the then state of Popery [soon after the ascension of King James]; every artifice was used to show it in its fairest form; and it must be owned to be a religion of external appearance sufficiently attractive."
Johnson: Dryden (Lives of the Poets)

1,025. Conversion; Politics
"He that changes his party by his humour is not more virtuous than he that changes it by his interest; he loves himself rather than truth."
Johnson: Milton (Lives of the Poets)

The Samuel Johnson Sound Bite Page
Back to Top
Home | Topical Guide | Search the SiteThis image is only to register visitors
who come through cached search engine pages.