I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.Martin Luther: 1521 Speech in defence of his doctrines at the Diet of Worms, 18 Apr.
Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen.Martin Luther: Statement in defense of his writings at the Diet of Worms (19 April 1521), quoted in Martin Luther by Martin Brecht
But a meek humble Man of modest Sense, Who, Preaching Peace, does practice Continence; Whose pious life’s a proof he does believe, Mysterious Truths, which no Man can conceive. If upon Earth there dwell such God-like Men, I'll here Recant my Paradox to them; Adore those Shrines of Virtue, homage pay, And, with the rabble world, their Laws obey. If such there are, yet grant me This at least, Man differs more from Man, than Man from Beast.wilmot, john, 2nd earl of rochester: ll. 212-221 (A Satire Against Mankind (1679))
Government by inquisition has never been good. However, since January 1979, our country has been under the yoke of inquisitorial power. Five centuries after the Spanish Inquisition, Iran is living under the terror of a new Torquemada who is more pitiless and more sinister than its predecessor. In fact the Inquisition tribunals did not sentence men to be executed unless they were known to be heretics. They had the opportunity to recant and to repent; and they would call witnesses, which the Iranian Torquemada does not allow. The tribunals are said to be Islamic. But the truth cannot be overlooked, and genuine Islamic law insists on the right of an accused man to defend himself. Islam is never served by hatred, vengeance and murder, but by justice, goodness, forgiveness and high moral standards. This explosion of hatred, supposedly "in the name of God", is an insult to God and to our religion. And this insult, I repeat, unfortunately threatens to do great harm to Islam, just as the Inquisition did great harm to Catholicism.muhammad reza pahlavi: Page 209 (The Shah's Story (1980))
The Scripture saith, The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God; it is not said, The fool hath thought in his heart; so as he rather saith it by rote to himself, as that he would have, than that he can thoroughly believe it, or be persuaded of it; for none deny there is a God, but those for whom it maketh that there were no God. It appeareth in nothing more that atheism is rather in the lip than in the heart of man by this, that atheists will ever be talking of that their opinion, as if they fainted in it within themselves, and would be glad to be strengthened by the consent of others; nay more, you shall have atheists strive to get disciples, as it fareth with other sects; and, which is most of all, you shall have of them that will suffer for atheism, and not recant; whereas, if they did truly think that there were no such thing as God, why should they trouble themselves?Sir Francis Bacon, Essays (1625), 16, "Of Atheism"
Ease would recant Vows made in pain, as violent and void.John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667; 1674), Book IV, line 96.