- Time! Time! Time! - we must not impugn the Scripture Chronology, but we must interpret it in accordance with whatever shall appear on fair enquiry to be the truth for there cannot be two truths. And really there is scope enough: for the lives of the Patriarchs may as reasonably be extended to 5000 or 50000 years apiece as the days of Creation to as many thousand millions of years.
- Man is constituted as a speculative being; he contemplates the world, and the objects around him, not with a passive indifferent eye, but as a system disposed with order and design.
- To the natural philosopher there is no natural object unimportant or trifling.
- Accustomed to trace the operation of general causes, and the exemplification of general laws, in circumstances where the uninformed and unenquiring eye perceives neither novelty nor beauty, he walks in the midst of wonders.
- We must never forget that it is principles not phenomena,-laws, not insulated, independent facts, which are the object and the inquiry of the natural philosopher.
- All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truths that come on high and are contained in the sacred writings.
- Music and dancing (the more the pity) have become so closely associated with ideas of riot and debauchery among the less cultivated classes, that a taste for them, for their own sakes, can hardly be said to exist, and before they can be recommended as innocent or safe amusements, a very great change of ideas must take place.
- Self-respect is the cornerstone of all virtue.
- What is there in Paradise Lost to elevate and astonish like Herschel or Somerville?
- As an astronomer in the true sense of the term, Sir John Herschel stood before all his contemporaries. Nay, he stood almost alone.
- Richard Anthony Proctor, Astronomical Essays (1872), 'Sir John Herschel', p.1