There are only two kinds of men: the righteous who think they are sinners and the sinners who think they are righteous.
We never live, but we hope to live; and as we are always arranging to be happy, it must be that we never are so.
I would prefer an intelligent hell to a stupid paradise.
If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.
The heart has reasons, which reason does not know.
The heart has reasons, which reason does not know. We know the truth not only by the reason, but by the heart.
Faith certainly tells us what the senses do not, but not the contrary of what they see; it is above, not against them.
Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.
Justice and truth are too such subtle points that our tools are too blunt to touch them accurately.
All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.
The least movement is of importance to all nature. The entire ocean is affected by a pebble.
When we are in love we seem to ourselves quite different from what we were before.
Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere.
Faith is different from proof; the latter is human, the former is a Gift from God.
Beauty is a harmonious relation between something in our nature and the quality of the object which delights us.
Those who do not hate their own selfishness and regard themselves as more important than the rest of the world are blind because the truth lies elsewhere.
Contradiction is a bad sign of truth; several things which are certain are contradicted; several things which are false pass without contradiction. Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the want of contradiction a sign of truth.
There is a certain standard of grace and beauty which consists in a certain relation between our nature and the thing which pleases us.
There is a certain standard of grace and beauty which consists in a certain relation between our nature, such as it is, weak or strong, and the thing which pleases us. Whatever is formed according to this standard pleases us, be it house, song, discourse, verse, prose, woman, birds, rivers, trees, room, dress, and so on. Whatever is not made according to this standard displeases those who have good taste.
Distraction is the only thing that consoles us for miseries and yet it is itself the greatest of our miseries.
The sensibility of man to trifles, and his insensibility to great things, indicates a strange inversion.
Our notion of symmetry is derived from the human face. Hence, we demand symmetry horizontally and in breath only, not vertically nor in depth.
The arithmetical machine produces effects that approach nearer to thought than all the actions of animals. But it does nothing that would enable us to attribute will to it, as to the animals.
The Stoics say, Retire within yourselves; it is there you will find your rest. And that is not true. Others say, Go out of yourselves; seek happiness in amusement. And this is not true. Illness comes. Happiness is neither without us nor within us. It is in God, both without us and within us.
When I have occasionally set myself to consider the different distractions of men, the pains and perils to which they expose themselves I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber.
There is enough light for those who only desire to see, and enough obscurity for those who have a contrary disposition.
If we regulate our conduct according to our own convictions, we may safely disregard the praise or censure of others.
Nothing is so important to man as his own state; nothing is so formidable to him as eternity. And thus it is unnatural that thereshould be men indifferent to the loss of their existence and to the perils of everlasting suffering.
God only pours out his light into the mind after having subdued the rebellion of the will by an altogether heavenly gentleness which charms and wins it.
Happiness can be found neither in ourselves nor in external things, but in God and in ourselves as united to him.
There are two types of mind ... the mathematical, and what might be called the intuitive. The former arrives at its views slowly, but they are firm and rigid; the latter is endowed with greater flexibility and applies itself simultaneously to the diverse lovable parts of that which it loves.
Jesus was in a garden, not of delight as the first Adam, in which he destroyed himself and the whole human race, but in one of agony, in which he saved himself and the whole human race.
No man ever believes with a true and saving faith unless God inclines his heart; and no man when God does incline his heart can refrain from believing.
The more intelligence one has, the more people one finds original. Commonplace people see no difference between men.
Muhammad established a religion by putting his enemies to death; Jesus Christ by commanding his followers to lay down their lives.
One must know oneself. If this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life, and there is nothing better.
What a Chimera is man! What a novelty, a monster, a chaos, a contradiction, a prodigy! Judge of all things, an imbecile worm; depository of truth, and sewer of error and doubt; the glory and refuse of the universe.
The statements of atheists ought to be perfectly clear of doubt. Now it is not perfectly clear that the soul is material.
It is not only old and early impressions that deceive us; the charms of novelty have the same power.
To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity.
To go beyond the bounds of moderation is to outrage humanity. The greatness of the human soul is shown by knowing how to keep within proper bounds. There are two equally dangerous extremes- to shut reason out, and not to let nothing in.
People are generally better persuaded by the reasons which they have themselves discovered than by those which have come into the mind of others.
We are so presumptuous that we should like to be known all over the world, even by people who will only come when we are no more. Such is our vanity that the good opinion of half a dozen of the people around us gives us pleasure and satisfaction.
The stream is always purer at its source.
The stream is always purer at its source.
Fr., Les choses valent toujours mieux dans leur source.
There are only three types of people; those who have found God and serve him; those who have not found God and seek him, and those who live not seeking, or finding him. The first are rational and happy; the second unhappy and rational, and the third foolish and unhappy.
To make a man a saint, it must indeed be by grace; and whoever doubts this does not know what a saint is, or a man.
Men are so completely fools by necessity that he is but a fool in a higher strain of folly who does not confess his foolishness.
Parents fear the destruction of natural affection in their children. What is this natural principle so liable to decay? Habit is a second nature, which destroys the first. Why is not custom nature? I suspect that this nature itself is but a first custom, as custom is a second nature.
The whole title by which you possess your property, is not a title of nature but of a human institution.
Vanity is so secure in the heart of man that everyone wants to be admired: even I who write this, and you who read this.
The Christian religion teaches me two points-that there is a God whom men can know, and that their nature is so corrupt that they are unworthy of Him.
Is it courage in a dying man to go, in weakness and in agony, to affront an almighty and eternal God?
I would inquire of reasonable persons whether this principle: Matter is naturally wholly incapable of thought, and this other: I think, therefore I am, are in fact the same in the mind of
Descartes, and in that of St. Augustine, who said the same thing twelve hundred years before.
Religion is so great a thing that it is right that those who will not take the trouble to seek it if it be obscure, should be deprived of it.
Montaigne is wrong in declaring that custom ought to be followed simply because it is custom, and not because it is reasonable or just.
The principles of pleasure are not firm and stable. They are different in all mankind, and variable in every particular with such a diversity that there is no man more different from
another than from himself at different times.
The imagination enlarges little objects so as to fill our souls with a fantastic estimate; and, with rash insolence, it belittles the great to its own measure, as when talking of God.
Man is nothing but insincerity, falsehood, and hypocrisy, both in regard to himself and in regard to others. He does not wish that he should be told the truth, he shuns saying it to others; and all these moods, so inconsistent with justice and reason, have their roots in his heart.
Nature imitates herself. A grain thrown into good ground brings forth fruit; a principle thrown into a good mind brings forth fruit. Everything is created and conducted by the same Master-the root, the branch, the fruits-the principles, the consequences.
You gave me health that I might serve you; and so often I failed to use my good health in your service. Now you send me sickness in order to correct me Grant that, having ignored the things of spirit when my body was vigorous, I may now enjoy spiritual sweetness while my body groans with pain.
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