natural, physical, or material world and its phenomena
For personifications of nature, see the page Mother Nature; note that there may invariably be some overlap between that page and this.
The man who follows nature and not vain opinions is independent in allthings. For in reference to what is enough for nature every possession is riches, but in reference to unlimiteddesires even the greatest wealth is not riches but poverty. ~ Epicurus
Nature, in the broadest sense, is the natural, physical, or material world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. Although humans are part of nature, human activity is often understood as a separate category from other natural phenomena.
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The capacity to contemplate . . . the harmonious elegance in Nature’s manifestations, is one of the most satisfactory experiences of which man is capable. . . . Looking at something infinitely greater than our consciousselves makes all our daily troubles appear to shrink by comparison. There is an equanimity and a peace of mind which can be achieved only through contact with the sublime.
~ Dr. Hans Seyle
If there's a power above us, (and that there is all nature cries aloud
Through all her works) he must delight in virtue.
Joseph Addison, Cato, A Tragedy (1713), Act V, scene 1.
A world that has been thoroughly permeated by the structures of the social order, a world that so overpowers every individual that scarcely any option remains but to accept it on its own terms ... reproduces itself incessantly and disastrously. What people have forced upon them by a boundless apparatus, which they themselves constitute and which they are locked into, virtually eliminates all natural elements and becomes “nature” to them.
Theodor Adorno, “Why still philosophy?” Critical Models (1998), p. 12
Nature means Necessity.
Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), Dedication.
The course of Nature seems a course of Death,
And nothingness the whole substantial thing.
Philip James Bailey, Festus (1813), scene Water and Wood.
It was something new, but that doesn’t mean it was something outside Nature. It’s just something outside our understanding.
Harry Bates, The Triggered Dimension,​Science-Fiction Plus (December 1953), p. 48
Rich with the spoils of nature.
Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici (1642), Part XIII.
There are no grotesques in nature; not anything framed to fill up empty cantons, and unnecessary spaces.
Sir Thomas Browne, Religio Medici (1642), Part XV.
Nature knows nothing about right and wrong, good and evil, pleasure and pain; she simply acts. She creates a beautiful woman, and places a cancer on her cheek. She may create an idealist, and kill him with a germ. She creates a fine mind, and then burdens it with a deformed body. And she will create a fine body, apparently for no use whatever. She may destroy the most wonderful life when its work has just commenced. She may scatter tubercular germs broadcast throughout the world. She seemingly works with no method, plan or purpose. She knows no mercy nor goodness. Nothing is so cruel and abandoned as Nature. To call her tender or charitable is a travesty upon words and a stultification of intellect. No one can suggest these obvious facts without being told that he is not competent to judge Nature and the God behind Nature. If we must not judge God as evil, then we cannot judge God as good. In all the other affairs of life, man never hesitates to classify and judge, but when it comes to passing on life, and the responsibility of life, he is told that it must be good, although the opinion beggars reason and intelligence and is a denial of both. Emotionally, I shall no doubt act as others do to the last moment of my existence. With my last breath I shall probably try to draw another, but, intellectually, I am satisfied that life is a serious burden, which no thinking, humane person would wantonly inflict on some one else.
Clarence Darrow, The Story of My Life (1931)
One's ideas must be as broad as Nature if they are to interpret Nature.
Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet (1887), Part 1, Chapter 5.
Success has attended the efforts of mathematical physicists in so large a number of cases that, however marvellous it may appear, we can scarcely escape the conclusion that nature must be rational and susceptible to mathematical law. ...were this not the case, prevision would be impossible and science non-existent.
A. D'Abro, The Evolution of Scientific Thought from Newton to Einstein (1927) Forward
How Strange that Nature does not knock, and yet does not intrude!
Emily Dickinson, Letter to Mrs. J.S. Cooper.
The belief that we can manage the Earth and improve on Nature is probably the ultimate expression of human conceit, but it has deep roots in the past and is almost universal.
Rene J. Dubos, (1901-1982), The Wooing of the Earth (1980).
There is an enormous variety of things that we never dreamed of, like... black holes, pulsars, quasars, all these unbelievably active goings-on in the universe... [I]n Aristotle's time the universe... was supposed to be quiescent, it was supposed to be perfect and peaceful, and nothing ever happened in the celestial sphere; and that remained true... throughout all of the revolutions... It remained the general view of astronomers... through Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and everybody else... until just the last 30 years, and now we know it's not like that at all. In fact the universe is full of violent events, and fantastic strong gravitational fields, and collapsed objects, and huge outpourings of energy. ...The things we understand least are the quasars... the most violent and... energetic objects in the universe, and they're totally... mysterious... and... they're rather frequent; and nobody ever dreamed that they existed... [E]ven after they were found it took a long time before people took them seriously. Nature's imagination is always richer than ours.
"Freeman Dyson: In praise of diversity" (Aug 30, 2016) VPRO, A Glorious Accident(5 of 7) 1:19:19.
Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable.  Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion.  To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.
Albert Einstein, Response to atheist Alfred Kerr in the winter of 1927, who after deriding ideas of God and religion at a dinner party in the home of the publisher Samuel Fischer, had queried him "I hear that you are supposed to be deeply religious" as quoted in The Diary of a Cosmopolitan (1971) by H. G. Kessler, p. 157 London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
Die Natur verbirgt ihr Geheimnis durch die Erhabenheit ihres Wesens, aber nicht durch List.
Nature hides her secret because of her essential loftiness, but not by means of ruse.
Albert Einstein, as quoted in Subtle is the Lord — The Science and the Life of Albert Einstein (1982) by Abraham Pais
Der Glaube an eine vom wahrnehmenden Subjekt unabhängige Außenwelt liegt aller Naturwissenschaft zugrunde.
The belief in an external world independent of the perceiving subject is the basis of all natural science.
Our experience hitherto justifies us in trusting that nature is the realization of the simplest that is mathematically conceivable.  I am convinced that purely mathematical construction enables us to find those concepts and those lawlike connections between them that provide the key to the understanding of natural phenomena.  Useful mathematical concepts may well be suggested by experience, but in no way can they be derived from it.  Experience naturally remains the sole criterion of the usefulness of a mathematical construction for physics.  But the actual creative principle lies in mathematics.  Thus, in a certain sense, I take it to be true that pure thought can grasp the real, as the ancients had dreamed.
Albert Einstein, from On the Method of Theoretical Physics, p. 183. The Herbert Spencer Lecture, delivered at Oxford (10 June 1933). Quoted in Einstein's Philosophy of Science.
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe", a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.  Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.  Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
Albert Einstein, Letter of 1950, as quoted in The New York Times (29 March 1972) and The New York Post (28 November 1972).  However, The New Quotable Einstein by Alice Calaprice (Princeton University Press, 2005: ISBN 0691120749, p. 206, has a different and presumably more accurate version of this letter, which she dates to February 12, 1950 and describes as "a letter to a distraught father who had lost his young son and had asked Einstein for some comforting words":
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space.  He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.  The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion.  Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.
Letter transcript and photograph
To think with fear of the end of one's life is pretty general with human beings.  It is one of the means nature uses to conserve the life of the species.  Approached rationally that fear is the most unjustified of all fears, for there is no risk of any accidents to one who is dead or not yet born.  In short, the fear is stupid but it cannot be helped.
Albert Einstein, Letter to Eileen Danniheisser (1953), quoted in Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel by Banesh Hoffman (1973), p. 261.  The exact date, or the name of his correspondent, is not given in the snippet of the book available online, but the quote appears after the letter to the Queen of Belgium from 12 January 1953, and is prefaced by "Nine months later, in words that recall the beliefs of an early atomic speculator, the Roman poet Lucretius, Einstein had written to an inquirer", followed by the quote.  The name "Eileen Danniheisser" is given in Time: Volume 144, where it is mentioned in the snippets here and here that she had written Einstein "about her obsessive thoughts of death as a child".
Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas.  One seeks the most general ideas of operation which will bring together in simple, logical and unified form the largest possible circle of formal relationships.  In this effort toward logical beauty spiritual formulas are discovered necessary for the deeper penetration into the laws of nature.
Albert Einstein, Obituary for Emmy Noether (1935)|Obituary for Emmy Noether (1935).
Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift.
Albert Einstein, Ideas and Opinions, Essay to Leo Baeck (1953).
Never before have I lived through a storm like the one this night.  …  The sea has a look of indescribable grandeur, especially when the sun falls on it.  One feels as if one is dissolved and merged into Nature.  Even more than usual, one feels the insignificance of the individual, and it makes one happy.
Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein: The Human Side (1979) by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann, p. 23 - Entry in a travel diary (10 December 1931) discussing a storm at sea.
I have never imputed to Nature a purpose or a goal, or anything that could be understood as anthropomorphic. What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of "humility." This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism.
Albert Einstein, Albert Einstein: The Human Side (1979) by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffmann, p. 39 - draft of a German reply to a letter sent to him in 1954 or 1955 (also not known if this reply was sent).
The whole of nature is life.
Albert Einstein, Einstein and the Poet by William Hermanns (1983), second conversation, 1943, p. 64.
Wait a minute! I am not a mystic. Trying to find out the laws of nature has nothing to do with mysticism, though in the face of creation I feel very humble. It is as if a spirit is manifest infinitely superior to man's spirit. Through my pursuit in science I have known cosmic religious feelings. But I don't care to be called a mystic.
Albert Einstein, Einstein and the Poet by William Hermanns (1983), fourth conversation, 1954, p. 117.
The man who follows nature and not vain opinions is independent in all things. For in reference to what is enough for nature every possession is riches, but in reference to unlimited desires even the greatest wealth is not riches but poverty.
Epicurus, Fragment 45
Al right. I already see you turning off. I can see you say you don't understand me. You can't understand that it could be chance. "I don't like it!" Tough! I don't like it either, but that's the way it is! Ok? I don't understand it either. ..."It must be that Nature knows that it's going to go up or down." No, it must not be that nature knows! We are not to tell Nature what she's gotta be! That's what we found out. Every time we take a guess as how she's got to be, and go and measure... She's clever. She's always got better imagination than we have, and she finds a cleverer way to do it than we have thought of. And in this particular case, the clever way to do it is by probability, by odds.
Richard Feynman, Lecture 1. "Photons: Corpuscles of Light" (1979) Sir Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures, University of Auckland.
All nature wears one universal grin.
Henry Fielding, 'Tom Thumb the Great (1730).
Laughing at mankind is rather weary rot, I think. We shall never meet with anyone nicer. Nature, whom I used to be keen on, is too unfair. She evokes plenty of high & exhausting feelings, and offers nothing in return.
E. M. Forster, Selected Letters: Letter 57, to Arthur Cole (7 July 1905).
We speak erroneously of “artificial” materials, “synthetics”, and so forth. The basis for this erroneous terminology is the notion that Nature has made certain things which we call natural, and everything else is “man-made”, ergo artificial. But what one learns in chemistry is that Nature wrote all the rules of structuring; man does not invent chemical structuring rules; he only discovers the rules. All the chemist can do is find out what Nature permits, and any substances that are thus developed or discovered are inherently natural. It is very important to remember that.
Buckminster Fuller, "The Comprehensive Man", Ideas and Integrities: A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure (1963), 75-76.
I am not insensible to natural beauty, but my emotional joys center on the improbable yet sometimes wondrous works of that tiny and accidental evolutionary twig called Homo sapiens. And I find, among these works, nothing more noble than the history of our struggle to understand nature — a majestic entity of such vast spatial and temporal scope that she cannot care much for a little mammalian afterthought with a curious evolutionary invention, even if that invention has, for the first time in some four billion years of life on earth, produced recursion as a creature reflects back upon its own production and evolution. Thus, I love nature primarily for the puzzles and intellectual delights that she offers to the first organ capable of such curious contemplation.
Stephen Jay Gould, Prologue, in Bully for Brontosaurus (1991).
Perhaps I am just a hopeless rationalist, but isn't fascination as comforting as solace? Isn't nature immeasurably more interesting for its complexities and its lack of conformity to our hopes? Isn't curiosity as wondrously and fundamentally human as compassion?
Stephen Jay Gould, "Tires to sandals", in Eight Little Piggies (1993).
The true beauty of nature is her amplitude; she exists neither for nor because of us, and possesses a staying power that all our nuclear arsenals cannot threaten (much as we can easily destroy our puny selves).
Stephen Jay Gould, Bully for Brontosaurus (1991), Prologue.
Every operation in nature is in the shortest, best ordered, briefest, and best possible way.
Robert Grossteste De iride published in Beiträge zur Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, IX (1912) pp.74-75 as quoted in Carl B. Boyer, The Rainbow: From Myth to Mathematics (1959)
History shows again and again
How nature points out the folly of man
Robert Groser, Blue Oyster Cult, Godzilla, Spectres, (1977)
In the course of evolution nature has gone to endless trouble to see that every individual is unlike every other individual. ... Physically and mentally, each one of us is unique. Any culture which, in the interests of efficiency or in the name of some political or religious dogma, seeks to standardize the human individual, commits an outrage against man’s biological nature.
Aldous Huxley, Brave New World Revisited (1958), Chapter 3, p. 21
Mary said: Will matter then be destroyed or not?
The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots.
For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone.
Jesus attributed by Mary, Berlin Codex, Gospel of Mary, Chapter 4 [1]
Peter said: What is the sin of the world?
The Savior said: there is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.
That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.
Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.
Jesus, attributed by Mary, in the Berlin Codex, Gospel of Mary, Chapter 4 [2]
Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in its whole body.
Jesus, attributed by Mary, in the Berlin Codex, Gospel of Mary, Chapter 4 [3]
Be of good courage, and if you are discouraged be encouraged in the presence of the different forms of nature.
Jesus, attributed by Mary, in the Berlin Codex, Gospel of Mary, Chapter 4 [4]
Mountains are earth's undecaying monuments.
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Notch of the White Mountains (1868).
Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque revenit.
Nature is today more than ever conceived as a mere tool of man. It is the object of total exploitation that has no aim set by reason, and therefore no limit. Man’s boundless imperialism is never satisfied. The dominion of the human race over the earth has no parallel in those epochs of natural history in which other animal species represented the highest forms of organic development. Their appetites were limited by the necessities of their physical existence. Indeed, man’s avidity to extend his power in two infinities, the microcosm and the universe, does not arise directly from his own nature, but from the structure of society. Just as attacks of imperialistic nations on the rest of the world must be explained on the basis of their internal struggles rather than in terms of their so-called national character, so the totalitarian attack of the human race on anything that it excludes from itself derives from interhuman relationships rather than from innate human qualities. The warfare among men in war and in peace is the key to the insatiability of the species and to its ensuing practical attitudes, as well as to the categories and methods of scientific intelligence in which nature appears increasingly under the aspect of its most effective exploitation.
Max Horkheimer, Eclipse of Reason (1947), pp. 108-109.
In the name of Nature the enlightened Holbach calls for the defense of one’s country not only against external enemies but against internal tyrants. But what does he mean by “Nature"? There is nothing outside her; she is one and all at once. Man shall discover her laws, admire her inexhaustible energy, use his discoveries for his own happiness, and resign himself to his ignorance of her last, her ultimate causes which are impenetrable. With his whole being man belongs to her. The abstract entity which, according to such materialists, forms the basis of right conduct is as indeterminate as the Deus absconditus of the Protestants, and the promise of happiness in this world is as problematical as bliss in the next, which is extremely uncertain. The naturalistic doctrine agrees with the theological doctrine it opposes in identifying what is most permanent and powerful with what is most exalted and worthy of love — as if this were a matter of course.
Max Horkheimer, “Theism and Atheism” (1963), in Critique of Instrumental Reason (1974).
I think we should be snorkeling and swimming on reefs. Because I think people only develop a passion for protecting things if they know what is at risk. I would hardly be one to say that we shouldn’t go near them. That said, its important to manage tourism properly. If you have a lot of people going onto reefs, stepping on reefs, collecting things from reefs, breaking corals off, or throwing anchors on top of reefs, that’s not good. It’s important to properly manage the numbers of people and their behavior when they’re in water. It’s also important to make sure that the hotels that support that tourism have good water treatment for the sewage that they release, and that they aren’t also feeding this large population of visitors critically important reef fish. That is ecologically sound tourism. But you can’t just let it develop willy-nilly. It has to be managed carefully. Otherwise, you end up with lots of people and not much reef.
Nancy Knowlton in Nancy Knowlton (September 2008)
Progress celebrates Pyrrhic victories over nature.
Karl Kraus, Half Truths and One-and-a-Half Truths, p. 122
The famous balance of nature is the most extraordinary of all cybernetic systems. Left to itself, it is always self-regulated.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970), Saturday Review (8 June 1963).
The Wilderness and the idea of wilderness is one of the permanent homes of the human spirit.
Joseph Wood Krutch (1893-1970), Today and All Its Yesterdays (1958).
A childish feeling, I admit, but, when we retire from the conventions of society and draw close to nature, we involuntarily become children: each attribute acquired by experience falls away from the soul, which becomes anew such as it was once and will surely be again.
Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time.
In simple hearts the feeling for the beauty and grandeur of nature is a hundred-fold stronger and more vivid than in us, ecstatic composers of narratives in words and on paper.
Mikhail Lermontov, A Hero of Our Time
A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people, and its laws. The territory is the only part which is of certain durability. "One generation passeth away and another generation cometh, but the earth abideth forever."
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Harvest Moon.
Nature is a revelation of God; Art a revelation of mankind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882).
The modern scientific counterpart to belief in God is the belief in the universe as an organism: this disgusts me. This is to make what is quite rare and extremely derivative, the organic, which we perceive only on the surface of the earth, into something essential, universal, and eternal! This is still an anthropomorphizing of nature!
Friedrich Nietzsche, Kritische Studienausgabe 9,11 [201].
He’d heard it said: Nature was the original and greatest sorcerer or sorceress of all.
Andrew J. Offutt, Last Quest in Andrew J. Offutt (ed.) Swords Against Darkness II, p. 275
There's nothing that tastes of death more than the summer sun, the powerful light, exuberant nature. You sniff the air and listen to the woods and know that the plants and animals don't give a damn about you. Everything lives and consumes itself. Nature is death...
Cesare Pavese, The Devil in the Hills.
Green is Nature's favourite colour.
Graham D Priest (1939-) in Poems.
We might have a chance now to rebuild it all with what we have left. We might have learned that we can exist only as a part of nature, not apart from nature.
Jane Roberts in The Rebellers, p. 155.
It is in man's heart that the life of nature's spectacle exists; to see it, one must feel it.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile (1762).
The more you observe nature, the more you perceive that there is tremendous organization in all things. It is an intelligence so great that just by observing natural phenomena I come to the conclusion that a Creator exists.
Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites.
William Ruckelshaus, first EPA Administrator, (1970-1973 and 1983-1985), Business Week (18 June 1990).
Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty.
John Ruskin, (1819-1900).
Nature ... is what is acting in us, as the sea is what rises in every little wave; but it passes through us, and cry out as we may, it will move on. Our privilege is to have perceived it as it moves. Our dignity is not in what we do, but in what we understand.
George Santayana, The Genteel Tradition in American Philosophy (1967), p. 50
A man's natural rights are his own, against the whole world; and any infringement of them is equally a crime, whether committed by one man, or by millions; whether committed by one man, calling himself a robber, (or by any other name indicating his true character,) or by millions, calling themselves a government.
Lysander Spooner, No Treason No. I (1867), page 7
Honesty, justice, natural law, is usually a very plain and simple matter, easily understood by common minds.  Those who desire to know what it is, in any particular case, seldom have to go far to find it.
Lysander Spooner, Natural Law; or The Science of Justice (1882), Chapter I, Section IV, page 8.
Children learn the fundamental principles of natural law at a very early age.  Thus they very early understand that one child must not, without just cause, strike or otherwise hurt, another; that one child must not assume any arbitrary control or domination over another; that one child must not, either by force, deceit, or stealth, obtain possession of anything that belongs to another; that if one child commits any of these wrongs against another, it is not only the right of the injured child to resist, and, if need be, punish the wrongdoer, and compel him to make reparation, but that it is also the right, and the moral duty, of all other children, and all other persons, to assist the injured party in defending his rights, and redressing his wrongs.  These are fundamental principles of natural law, which govern the most important transactions of man with man.  Yet children learn them earlier than they learn that three and three are six, or five and five ten.  Their childish plays, even, could not be carried on without a constant regard to them; and it is equally impossible for persons of any age to live together in peace on any other conditions.
Lysander Spooner, Natural Law; or The Science of Justice (1882), Chapter I, Section IV, page 9.
If justice be not a natural principle, it is no principle at all.  If it be not a natural principle, there is no such thing as justice.  If it be not a natural principle, all that men have ever said or written about it, from time immemorial, has been said and written about that which had no existence.  If it be not a natural principle, all the appeals for justice that have ever been heard, and all the struggles for justice that have ever been witnessed, have been appeals and struggles for a mere fantasy, a vagary of the imagination, and not for a reality.
If justice be not a natural principle, then there is no such thing as injustice; and all the crimes of which the world has been the scene, have been no crimes at all; but only simple events, like the falling of the rain, or the setting of the sun; events of which the victims had no more reason to complain than they had to complain of the running of the streams, or the growth of vegetation.
If justice be not a natural principle, governments (so-called) have no more right or reason to take cognizance of it, or to pretend or profess to take cognizance of it, than they have to take cognizance, or to pretend or profess to take cognizance, of any other nonentity; and all their professions of establishing justice, or of maintaining justice, or of rewarding justice, are simply the mere gibberish of fools, or the frauds of imposters.
But if justice be a natural principle, then it is necessarily an immutable one; and can no more be changed—by any power inferior to that which established it—than can the law of gravitation, the laws of light, the principles of mathematics, or any other natural law or principle whatever; and all attempts or assumptions, on the part of any man or body of men—whether calling themselves governments, or by any other name—to set up their own commands, wills, pleasure, or discretion, in the place of justice, as a rule of conduct for any human being, are as much an absurdity, an usurpation, and a tyranny, as would be their attempts to set up their own commands, wills, pleasure, or discretion in the place of any and all the physical, mental, and moral laws of the universe.
If there be any such principle as justice, it is, of necessity, a natural principle; and, as such, it is a matter of science, to be learned and applied like any other science.  And to talk of either adding to, or taking from, it, by legislation, is just as false, absurd, and ridiculous as it would be to talk of adding to, or taking from, mathematics, chemistry, or any other science, by legislation.
Lysander Spooner, Natural Law; or The Science of Justice (1882), Chapter II, Sections I–II, pages 11–12.
If there be such a principle as justice, or natural law, it is the principle, or law, that tells us what rights were given to every human being at his birth; what rights are, therefore, inherent in him as a human being, necessarily remain with him during life; and, however capable of being trampled upon, are incapable of being blotted out, extinguished, annihilated, or separated or eliminated from his nature as a human being, or deprived of their inherent authority or obligation.
On the other hand, if there be no such principle as justice, or natural law, then every human being came into the world utterly destitute of rights; and coming into the world destitute of rights, he must necessarily forever remain so.  For if no one brings any rights with him into the world, clearly no one can ever have any rights of his own, or give any to another.  And the consequence would be that mankind could never have any rights; and for them to talk of any such things as their rights, would be to talk of things that never had, never will have, and never can have any existence.
Lysander Spooner, Natural Law; or The Science of Justice (1882), Chapter II, Section IV, pages 12–13.
If there be in nature such a principle as justice, it is necessarily the only political principle there ever was, or ever will be.  All the other so-called political principles, which men are in the habit of inventing, are not principles at all.  They are either the mere conceits of simpletons, who imagine they have discovered something better than truth, and justice, and universal law; or they are mere devices and pretences, to which selfish and knavish men resort as means to get fame, and power, and money.
Lysander Spooner, Natural Law; or The Science of Justice (1882), Chapter II, Section VIII, page 15.
Myriads of rivulets hurrying through the lawn,
The moan of doves in immemorial elms,
And murmuring of innumerable bees.
Alfred Tennyson, The Princess (1847), Canto VII, line 205.
Who trusted God was love indeed
And love Creation's final law —
Tho' Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shriek'd against his creed —
Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H. (1849), Canto 56.
I care not, Fortune, what you me deny;
You cannot rob me of free Nature's grace,
You cannot shut the windows of the sky,
Through which Aurora shows her brightening face;
You cannot bar my constant feet to trace
The woods and lawns, by living stream, at eve.
James Thomson, Castle of Indolence (1748), Canto II, Stanza 3.
O nature! * * *
Enrich me with the knowledge of thy works;
Snatch me to Heaven.
James Thomson, The Seasons, Autumn (1730), line 1,352.
Rocks rich in gems, and Mountains big with mines,
That on the high Equator, ridgy, rise,
Whence many a bursting Stream auriferous plays.
James Thomson, The Seasons, Summer (1727), line 646.
Qu’est-ce que la tolérance? c’est l’apanage de l’humanité. Nous sommes tous pétris de faiblesses et d’erreurs; pardonnons-nous réciproquement nos sottises, c’est la première loi de la nature.
What is tolerance?  It is the consequence of humanity.  We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly—that is the first law of nature.
Voltaire, "Tolerance," Dictionnaire philosophique portatif (1764).
Calvin: That's the problem with nature. Something's always stinging you or oozing mucus on you. Let's go watch TV.
Bill Watterson, Something under the bed is drooling (1988).
Capitalism has brought about the emancipation of collective humanity with respect to nature. But this collective humanity has itself taken on with respect to the individual the oppressive function formerly exercised by nature.
Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1972), p. 140
To be in direct contact with nature and not with men is the only discipline. To be dependent on an alien will is to be a slave. This, however, is the fate of all men. The slave is dependent on the master and the master on the slave. This is a situation which makes us either servile or tyrannical or both at once (omnia serviliter pro dominatione). On the contrary, when we are face to face with inert nature our only resource is to think.
Simone Weil, Gravity and Grace (1972), p. 141
The deepest, the intelligible, part of the nature of man is that part which does not take refuge in causality, but which chooses in freedom the good or the bad.
Otto Weininger, Sex and Character (1906), p. 158
Adapt or perish, now as ever, is Nature's inexorable imperative.
H.G. Wells (1866-1946), Mind at the End of Its Tether, 1945.
The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly—that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one’s self. Of course, they are charitable. They feed the hungry and clothe the beggar. But their own souls starve, and are naked.
Oscar Wilde, Lord Henry to Dorian, The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 2, pp. 28-29
Thus, brought before the tribunal of ethics, the cosmos stands condemned. The conscience of man must revolt against the gross immorality of nature.
George C. Williams, “Huxley's Evolution and Ethics in Sociobiological Perspective” (1988).
To be whole. To be complete. Wildness reminds us what it means to be human, what we are connected to rather than what we are separate from.
Terry Tempest Williams, testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Forest & Public Lands Management regarding the Utah Public Lands Management Act of 1995 (Washington, D.C., 13 July 1995), published in Red: Passion and Patience in the Desert (2001), page 75.
Nature seems to be based on very deep ideas and principles, of which we currently understand only a little.
Edward Witten, (August 25, 2020)"An Interview with Edward Witten (conducted by Federico Galbiati". Young Scientists Journal.
Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), The Tables Turned (1798).
Nature never did betray
The Heart that Loved her.
William Wordsworth, (1770-1850), Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey (1798).
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations
Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 544-48.
No one finds fault with defects which are the result of nature.
Aristotle, Ethics, III. 5.
Nature's great law, and law of all men's minds?—
To its own impulse every creature stirs;
Live by thy light, and earth will live by hers!
Matthew Arnold, Religious Isolation, Stanza 4.
At the close of the day, when the hamlet is still,
And mortals the sweets of forgetfulness prove,
When nought but the torrent is heard on the hill,
And nought but the nightingale's song in the grove.
James Beattie, The Hermit.
I trust in Nature for the stable laws
Of beauty and utility. Spring shall plant
And Autumn garner to the end of time.
I trust in God—the right shall be the right
And other than the wrong, while he endures;
I trust in my own soul, that can perceive
The outward and the inward, Nature's good
And God's.
Robert Browning, A Soul's Tragedy, Act I.
Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings.
William Cullen Bryant, Thanatopsis.
To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language.
William Cullen Bryant, Thanatopsis.
See one promontory (said Socrates of old), one mountain, one sea, one river, and see all.
Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part I, Section 2. Memb. 4. Subsec. 7.
I am a part of all you see
In Nature: part of all you feel:
I am the impact of the bee
Upon the blossom; in the tree
I am the sap — that shall reveal
The leaf, the bloom — that flows and flutes
Up from the darkness through its roots.
Madison Cawein, Penetralia.
Nature vicarye of the Almighty Lord.
Geoffrey Chaucer, Parlement of Foules, line 379.
Not without art, but yet to Nature true.
Charles Churchill, The Rosciad (1761), line 699.
Ab interitu naturam abhorrere.
Meliora sunt ea quæ natura quam illa quæ arte perfecta sunt.
All argument will vanish before one touch of nature.
George Colman the Younger, Poor Gentleman, Act V. 1.
Nature, exerting an unwearied power,
Forms, opens, and gives scent to every flower;
Spreads the fresh verdure of the field, and leads
The dancing Naiads through the dewy meads.
William Cowper, Table Talk, line 690.
Nor rural sights alone, but rural sounds,
Exhilarate the spirit, and restore
The tone of languid Nature.
William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book I. The Sofa, line 187.
What is bred in the bone will not come out of the flesh.
Quoted by DeFoe, Further Adventures of Robinson Crusoe.
Chassez le naturel, il revient au galop.
Whate'er he did, was done with so much ease,
In him alone 't was natural to please.
John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 27.
By viewing nature, nature's handmaid, art,
Makes mighty things from small beginnings grow;
Thus fishes first to shipping did impart,
Their tail the rudder, and their head the prow.
John Dryden, Annus Mirabilis, Stanza 155.
For Art may err, but Nature cannot miss.
John Dryden, Fables, The Cock and the Fox, line 452.
Out of the book of Nature's learned breast.
Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, Divine Weekes and Workes, Second Week (1584), Fourth Day, Book II, line 566.
Ever charming, ever new,
When will the landscape tire the view?
John Dyer, Grongar Hill, line 102.
Nature is a mutable cloud which is always and never the same.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essays, First Series. History.
By fate, not option, frugal Nature gave
One scent to hyson and to wall-flower,
One sound to pine-groves and to water-falls,
One aspect to the desert and the lake.
It was her stern necessity: all things
Are of one pattern made; bird, beast, and flower,
Song, picture, form, space, thought, and character
Deceive us, seeming to be many things,
And are but one.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Xenophones.
Nature seems to wear one universal grin.
Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb the Great (1730), Act I, scene 1.
As distant prospects please us, but when near
We find but desert rocks and fleeting air.
Samuel Garth, The Dispensary (1699), Canto III, line 27.
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art.
Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village (1770), line 253.
E'en from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
E'en in our ashes live their wonted fires.
Thomas Gray, Elegy in a Country Churchyard, Stanza 23.
What Nature has writ with her lusty wit
Is worded so wisely and kindly
That whoever has dipped in her manuscript
Must up and follow her blindly.
Now the summer prime is her blithest rhyme
In the being and the seeming,
And they that have heard the overword
Know life's a dream worth dreaming.
William Ernest Henley, Echoes, XXXIII.
That undefined and mingled hum,
Voice of the desert never dumb!
James Hogg, Verses to Lady Anne Scott.
Naturam expellas furca, tamen usque recurrit.
Nunquam aliud Natura aliud Sapientia dicit.
No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer's day
Robs not one light seed from the feather'd grass,
But where the dead leaf fell, there did it rest.
John Keats, Hyperion (1818-19), Book I, line 7.
O what a glory doth this world put on
For him who, with a fervent heart, goes forth
Under the bright and glorious sky, and looks
On duties well performed, and days well spent!
For him the wind, ay, and the yellow leaves,
Shall have a voice, and give him eloquent teachings.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Autumn, line 30.
And Nature, the old nurse, took
The child upon her knee,
Saying: Here is a story-book
Thy Father has written for thee.

Come, wander with me, she said,
Into regions yet untrod;
And read what is still unread
In the manuscripts of God.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Fiftieth Birthday of Agassiz.
The natural alone is permanent.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Kavanagh: A Tale (1849), Chapter XIII.
So Nature deals with us, and takes away
Our playthings one by one, and by the hand
Leads us to rest so gently, that we go,
Scarce knowing if we wish to go or stay,
Being too full of sleep to understand
How far the unknown transcends the what we know.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Nature, line 9.
No tears
Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Sunrise on the Hills, line 35.
Nature with folded hands seemed there,
Kneeling at her evening prayer!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Voices of the Night, Prelude, Stanza 11.
I'm what I seem; not any dyer gave,
But nature dyed this colour that I have.
Martial, Epigrams (c. 80-104 AD), Book XIV, Epigram 133. Translation by Wright.
O maternal earth which rocks the fallen leaf to sleep!
E. L. Masters, Spoon River Anthology, Washington McNeely.
But on and up, where Nature's heart
Beats strong amid the hills.
Richard Monckton Milnes (Lord Houghton)—Tragedy of the Lac de Gaube, Stanza 2.
Beldam Nature.
John Milton, At a Vacation Exercise in the College, 1. 48.
Wherefore did Nature pour her bounties forth
With such a full and unwithdrawing hand,
Covering the earth with odours, fruits, and flocks,
Thronging the seas with spawn innumerable,
But all to please and sate the curious taste?
John Milton, Comus (1637), line 710.
And live like Nature's bastards, not her sons.
John Milton, Comus (1637), line 727.
Into this wild abyss,
The womb of Nature and perhaps her grave.
John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book II, line 910.
Thus with the year
Seasons return, but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair
Presented with a universal blank
Of Nature's works to me expunged and rased,
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book III, line 40.
And liquid lapse of murmuring streams.
John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book VIII, line 263.
Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part;
Do thou but thine!
John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book VIII, line 561.
Let us a little permit Nature to take her own way; she better understands her own affairs than we.
Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Experience.
And not from Nature up to Nature's God,
But down from Nature's God look Nature through.
Robert Montgomery, Luther, A Landscape of Domestic Life.
There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet.
Thomas Moore, The Meeting of the Waters.
And we, with Nature's heart in tune,
Concerted harmonies.
William Motherwell, Jeannie Morrison.
Eye Nature's walks, shoot folly as it flies,
And catch the manners living as they rise.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 13.
Seas roll to waft me, suns to light me rise;
My footstool Earth, my canopy the skies.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 139.
All are but parts of one stupendous whole,
Whose body Nature is, and God the soul;
That chang'd thro' all, and yet in all the same,
Great in the earth as in th' ethereal frame;
Warms in the sun, refreshes in the breeze,
Glows in the stars, and blossoms in the trees;
Lives thro' all life, extends thro' all extent,
Spreads undivided, operates unspent;
Breathes in our soul, informs our mortal part,
As full, as perfect, in a hair as heart.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 267.
See plastic Nature working to this end,
The single atoms each to other tend,
Attract, attracted to, the next in place
Form'd and impell'd its neighbor to embrace.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle III, line 9.
Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through Nature up to Nature's God.
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle IV, line 331. (Verbatim from Bolingbroke—Letters to Pope, according to Warton).
Ut natura dedit, sic omnis recta figura.
Naturæ sequitur semina quisque suæ.
Natura abhorret vacuum.
Modern readers find several of Aristotle’s views deeply repugnant. The two most obvious are his views on slavery and his views on the intellectual and political capacity of women. Unsurprisingly, these are connected. The relation of master to inferior—of the male head of household to wife and slaves—is a basic and natural human relationship.
Alan Ryan, On Politics: A History of Political Thought: From Herodotus to the Present (2012), Ch. 3 : Aristotle: Politics Is Not Philosophy
Der Schein soll nie die Wirklichkeit erreichen
Und siegt Natur, so muss die Kunst entweichen.
Some touch of Nature's genial glow.
Walter Scott, Lord of the Isles, Canto III, Stanza 14.
Oh, Brignall banks are wild and fair,
And Greta woods are green,
And you may gather garlands there
Would grace a summer queen.
Walter Scott, Rokeby, Canto III, Stanza 16.
In Nature's infinite book of secrecy
A little I can read.
William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra (1600s), Act I, scene 2, line 9.
How hard it is to hide the sparks of Nature!
William Shakespeare, Cymbeline (1611), Act III, scene 3, line 79.
To hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to Nature; to shew virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet (1600-02), Act III, scene 2, line 24.
Diseased Nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions.
William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part I (c. 1597), Act III, scene 1, line 27.
And Nature does require
Her times of preservation, which perforce
I, her frail son, amongst my brethren mortal,
Must give my tendance to.
William Shakespeare, Henry VIII (c. 1613), Act III, scene 2, line 147.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida (c. 1602), Act III, scene 3, line 175.
How sometimes Nature will betray its folly,
Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
To harder bosoms!
William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale (c. 1610-11), Act I, scene 2, line 151.
Yet nature is made better by no mean
But nature makes that mean: so, over that art
Which, you say, adds to nature, is an art
That nature makes.
William Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale (c. 1610-11), Act IV, scene 4, line 89.
My banks they are furnish'd with bees,
Whose murmur invites one to sleep;
My grottoes are shaded with trees,
And my hills are white over with sheep.
William Shenstone, A Pastoral Ballad, Part II. Hope.
Certainly nothing is unnatural that is not physically impossible.
Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Critic, Act II, scene 1.
Yet neither spinnes, nor cards, ne cares nor fretts,
But to her mother Nature all her care she letts.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book II, Canto VI.
For all that Nature by her mother-wit
Could frame in earth.
Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (1589-96), Book IV, Canto X, Stanza 21.
What more felicitie can fall to creature
Than to enjoy delight with libertie,
And to be lord of all the workes of Nature,
To raine in th' aire from earth to highest skie,
To feed on flowres and weeds of glorious feature.
Edmund Spenser, The Fate of the Butterfly, line 209.
Once, when the days were ages,
And the old Earth was young,
The high gods and the sages
From Nature's golden pages
Her open secrets wrung.
Richard Henry Stoddard, Brahma's Answer.
A voice of greeting from the wind was sent;
The mists enfolded me with soft white arms;
The birds did sing to lap me in content,
The rivers wove their charms,—
And every little daisy in the grass
Did look up in my face, and smile to see me pass!
Richard Henry Stoddard, Hymn to the Beautiful, Stanza 4.
In the world's audience hall, the simple blade of grass sits on the same carpet with the sunbeams, and the stars of midnight.
Rabindranath Tagore, Gardener, 74.
Nothing in Nature is unbeautiful.
Alfred Tennyson, Lover's Tale, line 348.
Nature is always wise in every part.
Edward Thurlow, 1st Baron Thurlow, Select Poems, The Harvest Moon.
Talk not of temples, there is one
Built without hands, to mankind given;
Its lamps are the meridian sun
And all the stars of heaven,
Its walls are the cerulean sky,
Its floor the earth so green and fair,
The dome its vast immensity
All Nature worships there!
David Vedder, Temple of Nature.
La Nature a toujours été en cux plus forte que l'education.
And recognizes ever and anon
The breeze of Nature stirring in his soul.
William Wordsworth, The Excursion (1814), Book IV.
Ah, what a warning for a thoughtless man,
Could field or grove, could any spot of earth,
Show to his eye an image of the pangs
Which it hath witnessed; render back an echo
Of the sad steps by which it hath been trod!
William Wordsworth, The Excursion (1814), Book VI.
The streams with softest sound are flowing,
The grass you almost hear it growing,
You hear it now, if e'er you can.
William Wordsworth, The Idiot Boy, Stanza 57.
Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her.
William Wordsworth, Lines Composed Above Tintern Abbey.
As in the eye of Nature he has lived,
So in the eye of Nature let him die!
William Wordsworth, The Old Cumberland Beggar, Last Lines.
The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.
William Wordsworth, Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower.
Nature's old felicities.
William Wordsworth, The Trosachs.
Such blessings Nature pours,
O'erstock'd mankind enjoy but half her stores.
In distant wilds, by human eyes unseen,
She rears her flowers, and spreads her velvet green;
Pure gurgling rills the lonely desert trace
And waste their music on the savage race.
Edward Young, Love of Fame (1725-28), Satire V, line 232.
Nothing in Nature, much less conscious being,
Was e'er created solely for itself.
Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 711.
The course of nature governs all!
The course of nature is the heart of God.
The miracles thou call'st for, this attest;
For say, could nature nature's course control?
But, miracles apart, who sees Him not?
Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IX, line 1,280.
All things are impermanent in nature.
Vimalakirti Sutra, Chapter I, as translated by Burton Watson, Columbia University Press, 2000, ISBN: 0231106572.
Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)
Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
Every object in nature is impressed with God's footsteps, and every day repeats the wonders of creation. There is not an object, be it pebble or pearl, weed or rose, the flower-spangled sward beneath, or the star-spangled sky above, not a worm or an angel, a drop of water or a boundless ocean, in which intelligence may not discern, and piety adore, the providence of Him who took our nature that He might save our souls.
Thomas Guthrie, p. 427.
If we can hear the voice of God in all sounds, see the sweep of His will in all motions, catch hints of His taste in all beauty, follow the reach of His imagination in all heights and distances, and trace the delicate ministry of His love in all the little graces and utilities that spring and blossom about us as thick as the grass, we shall tread God's world with reverent feet as if it were a temple. The pure and solemn eyes of the indwelling soul will look forth upon us from every thing which His hands have made. Nature will be to us, not some dark tissue of cloth of mystery flowing from some unseen loom, but a vesture of light in which God has enrobed Himself; and with worshipful fingers we shall rejoice to touch even the hem of His garment.
J. H. Ecob, p. 428.
When I consider the multitude of associated forces which are diffused through nature — when I think of that calm balancing of their energies which enables those most powerful in themselves, most destructive to the world's creatures and economy, to dwell associated together and be made subservient to the wants of creation, I rise from the contemplation more than ever impressed with the wisdom, the beneficence, and grandeur, beyond our language to express, of the Great Disposer of us all.
Michael Faraday, p. 428.
We might almost accuse nature of falsehood. One sees himself behind a mirror when nothing is there. A straight pole leaning in a pool is bent to appearance. The sun seems to rise and set, but moves not at all. We see it before it rises and after it sets. These and numberless other cases might be adduced to prove the deceitfulness of nature. Nay, they prove rather that education policy is the law of our being, and that here, as elsewhere, he who would not be self-deceived, must study nature's laws, must become educated.
D.J. Pratt, p. 428.
Vast chain of being! which from God began,
Natures ethereal, human, angel, man,
Beast, bird, fish, insect, what no eye can see,
No glass can reach, from infinite to Thee,
From Thee to nothing.
Alexander Pope, p. 429.
I hold that we have a very imperfect knowledge of the works of nature till we view them as works of God,— not only as works of mechanism, but works of intelligence, not only as under laws, but under a Lawgiver, wise and good.
James McCosh, p. 429.
So distinguished by a Divine wisdom, power, and goodness, are God's works of creation and providence, that all nature, by the gentle voices of her skies and streams, of her fields and forests, as well as by the roar of breakers, the crash of thunder, the rumbling earthquake, the fiery volcano, and the destroying hurricane, echoes the closing sentences of this angel hymn, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, the whole earth is full of His glory!
Thomas Guthrie, p. 429.
There's nothing bright above, below,
From flowers that bloom, to stars that glow,
But in its light my soul can see
Some feature of Thy Deity.
Thomas Moore, p. 429.
All things and all acts and this whole wonderful universe proclaim to us the Lord our Father, Christ our love, Christ our hope, our portion, and our joy. Oh, brethren, if you would know the meaning of the world, read Christ in it. If you would see the beauty of earth, take it for a prophet of something higher than itself.
Alexander Maclaren, p. 429.
These, as they change, Almighty Father! these
Are but the varied God. The rolling year
Is full of Thee. Forth in the pleasing Spring
Thy beauty walks, Thy tenderness and love.
James Thomson, p. 430.
It is well to be in places where man is little, and God is great,— where what he sees all around him has the same look as it had a thousand years ago, and will have the same, in all likelihood, when he has been a thousand years in his grave. It abates and rectifies a man, if he is worth the process.
Sydney Smith, p. 430.
The best thing is to go from nature's God down to nature; and if you once get to nature's God, and believe Him, and love Him, it is surprising how easy it is to hear music in the waves, and songs in the wild whisperings of the winds; to see God everywhere in the stones, in the rocks, in the rippling brooks, and hear Him everywhere, in the lowing of cattle, in the rolling of thunder, and in the fury of tempests. Get Christ first, put Him in the right place, and you will find Him to be the wisdom of God in your own experience.
Charles Spurgeon, p. 430.
Only let us love God, and then nature will compass us about like a cloud of Divine witnesses; and all influences from the earth, and things on the earth, will be ministers of God to do us good. Only let there be God within us, and then every thing outside us will become a godlike help.
William Mountford, p. 430.
The very voices of the night, sounding like the moan of the tempest, may turn out to be the disguised yet tender voices of God, calling away from all earthly footsteps, to mount with greater singleness of eye and ardor of aim the alone ladder of safety and peace — upward, onward, heavenward, homeward.
John Rose Macduff, p. 431.
God is infinite; and the laws of nature, like nature itself, are finite. These methods of working, therefore, — which correspond to the physical element in us, — do not exhaust His agency. There is a boundless residue of disengaged energy beyond.
James Martineau, p. 431.
Call nature the grand revelation! Is it more to go to nature and know it than to know God? Are there deeper depths in nature, higher sublimities, thoughts more captivating and glorious? In the mineral and vegetable shapes are there finer themes than in the life of Jesus? In the storms and glorious pilings of the clouds, are there manifestations of greatness and beauty more impressive than in the tragic sceneries of the cross? Nature is the realm of things, the supernatural is the realm of powers.
Horace Bushnell, p. 431.
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