I die adoring God, loving my friends, not hating my enemies, and detesting superstition.
Religion was instituted to make us happy in this life and in the other. What must we do to be happy in the life to come? Be just.
Woe to the makers of literal translations, who by rendering every word weaken the meaning! It is indeed by so doing that we can say the letter kills and the spirit gives life.
Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.
Anyone who seeks to destroy the passions instead of controlling them is trying to play the angel.
Let us work without theorizing, tis the only way to make life endurable.
The husband who decides to surprise his wife is often very much surprised himself.
Time, which alone makes the reputation of men, ends by making their defects respectable.
The true triumph of reason is that it enables us to get along with those who do not possess it.
Prejudices are what fools use for reason.
The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice.
Ice-cream is exquisite - what a pity it isn't illegal.
Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.
The multitude of books is making us ignorant.
What then do you call your soul? What idea have you of it? You cannot of yourselves, without revelation, admit the existence within you of anything but a power unknown to you of feeling and thinking.
We cannot wish for that we know not.
There are truths which are not for all men, nor for all times.
Let the punishments of criminals be useful. A hanged man is good for nothing; a man condemned to public works still serves the country, and is a living lesson.
Wherever there is a settled society, religion is necessary; the laws cover manifest crimes, and religion covers secret crimes.
The truths of religion are never so well understood as by those who have lost the power of reason.
Governments need to have both shepherds and butchers.
It is not known precisely where angels dwell whether in the air, the void, or the planets. It has not been God's pleasure that we should be informed of their abode.
Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.
Each player must accept the cards life deals him or her: but once they are in hand, he or she alone must decide how to play the cards in order to win the game.
History should be written as philosophy.
Men hate the individual whom they call avaricious only because nothing can be gained from him.
To the wicked, everything serves as pretext.
The ancients recommended us to sacrifice to the Graces, but Milton sacrificed to the Devil.
Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.
Men use thought only as authority for their injustice, and employ speech only to conceal their thoughts.
It is dangerous to be right in matters on which the established authorities are wrong.
What a heavy burden is a name that has become too famous.
Very learned women are to be found, in the same manner as female warriors; but they are seldom or ever inventors.
The superfluous, a very necessary thing.
Such is the feebleness of humanity, such is its perversity, that doubtless it is better for it to be subject to all possible superstitions, as long as they are not murderous, than to live without religion.
When men do not have healthy notions of the Divinity, false ideas supplant them, just as in bad times one uses counterfeit money when there is no good money.
God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best.
We must cultivate our own garden. When man was put in the garden of Eden he was put there so that he should work, which proves that man was not born to rest.
I have lived eighty years of life and know nothing for it, but to be resigned and tell myself that flies are born to be eaten by spiders and man to be devoured by sorrow.
In the case of news, we should always wait for the sacrament of confirmation.
It is not love that should be depicted as blind, but self-love.
To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth.
We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.
Weakness on both sides is, as we know, the motto of all quarrels.
My life is a struggle.
It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it.
He was a great patriot, a humanitarian, a loyal friend; provided, of course, he really is dead.
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.
We must distinguish between speaking to deceive and being silent to be reserved.
This self-love is the instrument of our preservation; it resembles the provision for the perpetuity of mankind: it is necessary, it is dear to us, it gives us pleasure, and we must conceal it.