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Quotes by Thomas Paine

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Thomas Paine. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine (born Thomas Pain; February 9, 1737 [O.S. January 29, 1736] – June 8, 1809) was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, political theorist, and revolutionary. He authored Common Sense (1776) and The American Crisis (1776–1783), the two most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution, and helped inspire the patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain. His ideas reflected Enlightenment-era ideals of transnational human rights. Historian Saul K. Padover described him as "a corsetmaker by trade, a journalist by profession, and a propagandist by inclination".

Born in Thetford, Norfolk, Paine emigrated to the British American colonies in 1774 with the help of Benjamin Franklin, arriving just in time to participate in the American Revolution. Virtually every rebel read (or listened to a reading of) his 47-page pamphlet Common Sense, proportionally the all-time best-selling American title, which catalysed the rebellious demand for independence from Great Britain. The American Crisis was a pro-revolutionary pamphlet series. Paine lived in France for most of the 1790s, becoming deeply involved in the French Revolution. He wrote Rights of Man (1791), in part a defence of the French Revolution against its critics. His attacks on Anglo-Irish conservative writer Edmund Burke led to a trial and conviction in absentia in England in 1792 for the crime of seditious libel.

The British government of William Pitt the Younger, worried by the possibility that the French Revolution might spread to England, had begun suppressing works that espoused radical philosophies. Paine's work, which advocated the right of the people to overthrow their government, was duly targeted, with a writ for his arrest issued in early 1792. Paine fled to France in September where, despite not being able to speak French, he was quickly elected to the French National Convention. The Girondins regarded him as an ally; consequently, the Montagnards, especially Maximilien Robespierre, regarded him as an enemy.

In December 1793, he was arrested and was taken to Luxembourg Prison in Paris. While in prison, he continued to work on The Age of Reason (1793–1794). James Monroe, a future President of the United States, used his diplomatic connections to get Paine released in November 1794. Paine became notorious because of his pamphlets and attacks on his former allies, who he felt had betrayed him. In The Age of Reason he advocated deism, promoted reason and free thought, and argued against institutionalized religion in general and Christian doctrine in particular. In 1796, he published a bitter open letter to George Washington, whom he denounced as an incompetent general and a hypocrite. He published the pamphlet Agrarian Justice (1797), discussing the origins of property and introduced the concept of a guaranteed minimum income through a one-time inheritance tax on landowners. In 1802, he returned to the U.S. When he died on June 8, 1809, only six people attended his funeral, as he had been ostracized for his ridicule of Christianity and attacks on the nation's leaders.

Quote: I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of shallow focus photography of orange flower
Photo Credit: Rafael Zamora

I prefer peace. But if trouble must come, let it come in my time, so that my children can live in peace.


Quote: Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of silhouette of three people up on mountain cliff
Photo Credit: Karl Magnuson

Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.


Quote: The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of red rose in close up photography
Photo Credit: Michael C

The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.


Quote: He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.


Quote: We have it in our power to change the world over. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

We have it in our power to change the world over.


Quote: Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the ages and generations which preceded it. The vanity of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Every age and generation must be as free to act for itself in all cases as the ages and generations which preceded it. The vanity of governing beyond the grave is the most ridiculous and insolent of all tyrannies.


Quote: Not in numbers but in unity that our great strength lies. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Not in numbers but in unity that our great strength lies.




Quote: The accumulation of great wealth is, in many instances, the effect of paying too little for the labor that produced it, the consequence of which is that the working people perish in old age and the employer abounds in affluence. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The accumulation of great wealth is, in many instances, the effect of paying too little for the labor that produced it, the consequence of which is that the working people perish in old age and the employer abounds in affluence.


Quote: A world of little cares is continually arising, which busy or affluent life knows nothing of, to open the first door to distress. Hunger is not among the postponable wants; and a day, even a few hours, in such a condition is often the crisis of a life of ruin. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

A world of little cares is continually arising, which busy or affluent life knows nothing of, to open the first door to distress. Hunger is not among the postponable wants; and a day, even a few hours, in such a condition is often the crisis of a life of ruin.


Quote: Common sense will tell us, that
the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others, the
most improper to defend us. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Common sense will tell us, that
the power which hath endeavoured to subdue us, is of all others, the
most improper to defend us.


Quote: Death is not the monarch for the dead, but of the dying. The moment he obtains a conquest he loses a subject. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Death is not the monarch for the dead, but of the dying. The moment he obtains a conquest he loses a subject.




Quote: The animals to whom nature has given the faculty we call cunning know always when to use it, and use it wisely; but when man descends to cunning he blunders and betrays. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The animals to whom nature has given the faculty we call cunning know always when to use it, and use it wisely; but when man descends to cunning he blunders and betrays.


Quote: There are stages in the business of serious life in which to assume is cruel, but to deceive is to destroy; and it is of little consequence, in the conclusion, whether men deceive themselves, or submit, by a kind of mutual consent, to the impositions of each other. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

There are stages in the business of serious life in which to assume is cruel, but to deceive is to destroy; and it is of little consequence, in the conclusion, whether men deceive themselves, or submit, by a kind of mutual consent, to the impositions of each other.


Quote: As my object was not myself, I set out with the determination, and happily with the disposition, of not being moved by praise or censure, friendship or calumny, nor of being drawn from my purpose by any personal altercation; and the man who cannot do this, is not fit for a public character. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote: As my object was not myself, I set out with the determination, and happily with the disposition, of not being moved by praise or censure, friendship or calumny, nor of being drawn from my purpose by any personal altercation; and the man who cannot do this, is not fit for a public character.- black text on quotes background

As my object was not myself, I set out with the determination, and happily with the disposition, of not being moved by praise or censure, friendship or calumny, nor of being drawn from my purpose by any personal altercation; and the man who cannot do this, is not fit for a public character.


Quote: To reason with goverments, as they have existed for ages, is to argue with brutes. It is only from the nations themselves that reforms can be expected. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

To reason with goverments, as they have existed for ages, is to argue with brutes. It is only from the nations themselves that reforms can be expected.


Quote: When an objection cannot be made formidable, there is some policy in trying to make it frightful; and to substitute the yell and the war-whoop, in the place of reason, argument and good order. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

When an objection cannot be made formidable, there is some policy in trying to make it frightful; and to substitute the yell and the war-whoop, in the place of reason, argument and good order.


Quote: The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The trade of governing has always been monopolized by the most ignorant and the most rascally individuals of mankind.


Quote: It is the object only of war that makes it honorable. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is the object only of war that makes it honorable.


Quote: Everything wonderful in appearance has been ascribed to angels, to devils, or to saints. Everything ancient has some legendary tale annexed to it. The common operations of nature have not escaped their practice of corrupting everything. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Everything wonderful in appearance has been ascribed to angels, to devils, or to saints. Everything ancient has some legendary tale annexed to it. The common operations of nature have not escaped their practice of corrupting everything.


Quote: What is called a republic, is not any particular form of government ... it is naturally opposed to the word monarchy, which means arbitrary power. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

What is called a republic, is not any particular form of government ... it is naturally opposed to the word monarchy, which means arbitrary power.


Quote: It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent maxims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mistakes. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is from our enemies that we often gain excellent maxims, and are frequently surprised into reason by their mistakes.


Quote: The danger to which the success of revolutions is most exposed, is that of attempting them before the principles on which they proceed, and the advantages to result from them, are sufficiently seen and understood. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The danger to which the success of revolutions is most exposed, is that of attempting them before the principles on which they proceed, and the advantages to result from them, are sufficiently seen and understood.


Quote: From the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

From the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom.




Quote: Ignorance is of a peculiar nature; once dispelled, it is impossible to reestablish it. It is not originally a thing of itself, but is only the absence of knowledge; and though man may be kept ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Ignorance is of a peculiar nature; once dispelled, it is impossible to reestablish it. It is not originally a thing of itself, but is only the absence of knowledge; and though man may be kept ignorant, he cannot be made ignorant.


Quote: The duty of a true Patriot is to protect his country from its government. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The duty of a true Patriot is to protect his country from its government.


Quote: I die content, I die for the liberty of my country. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I die content, I die for the liberty of my country.


Quote: Priests and conjurors are of the same trade. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Priests and conjurors are of the same trade.


Quote: When it is revealed to me, I will believe it to be revelation; but it is not and cannot be incumbent upon me to believe it to be revelation before; neither is it proper that I should take the word of man as the word of God, and put man in the place of God. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

When it is revealed to me, I will believe it to be revelation; but it is not and cannot be incumbent upon me to believe it to be revelation before; neither is it proper that I should take the word of man as the word of God, and put man in the place of God.


Quote: The right of voting for representatives , is the primary right by which other rights are protected. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The right of voting for representatives , is the primary right by which other rights are protected.


Quote: When all other rights are taken away, the right of rebellion is made perfect. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

When all other rights are taken away, the right of rebellion is made perfect.


Quote: The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The end of all political associations is the preservation of the natural and imprescriptible rights of man; and these rights are liberty, property, security, and resistance of oppression.




Quote: I am sensible that he who means to do mankind a real service must set down with the determination of putting up, and bearing with all their faults, follies, prejudices and mistakes until he can convince them that he is right. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I am sensible that he who means to do mankind a real service must set down with the determination of putting up, and bearing with all their faults, follies, prejudices and mistakes until he can convince them that he is right.


Quote: Public credit is suspicion asleep. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Public credit is suspicion asleep.


Quote: Suspicion and persecution are weeds of the same dunghill, and flourish best together. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Suspicion and persecution are weeds of the same dunghill, and flourish best together.


Quote: He is not affected by the reality of distress touching his heart, but by the showy resemblance of it striking his imagination. He pities the plumage, but forgets the dying bird. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

He is not affected by the reality of distress touching his heart, but by the showy resemblance of it striking his imagination. He pities the plumage, but forgets the dying bird.




Quote: Titles do not count with posterity. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Titles do not count with posterity.


Quote: We have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest truest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

We have every opportunity and every encouragement before us, to form the noblest truest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again.




Quote: Let the world see that this nation can bear prosperity; and that her honest virtue in time of peace is equal to her bravest valor in time of war. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Let the world see that this nation can bear prosperity; and that her honest virtue in time of peace is equal to her bravest valor in time of war.


Quote: Oppression is often the consequence, but seldom or never the means of riches; and tho' avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Oppression is often the consequence, but seldom or never the means of riches; and tho' avarice will preserve a man from being necessitously poor, it generally makes him too timorous to be wealthy.


Quote: For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever, and tho' himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his cotemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote: For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever, and tho' himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his cotemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them.- black text on quotes background

For all men being originally equals, no one by birth could have the right to set up his own family in perpetual preference to all others forever, and tho' himself might deserve some decent degree of honours of his cotemporaries, yet his descendants might be far too unworthy to inherit them.


Quote: The error of those who reason by precedents drawn from antiquity, respecting the rights of man, is that they do not go far enough into antiquity. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The error of those who reason by precedents drawn from antiquity, respecting the rights of man, is that they do not go far enough into antiquity.


Quote: And when we view a flag, which to the eye is beautiful, and to contemplate its rise and origin inspires a sensation of sublime delight, our national honor must unite with our interests to prevent injury to the one, or insult to the other. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

And when we view a flag, which to the eye is beautiful, and to contemplate its rise and origin inspires a sensation of sublime delight, our national honor must unite with our interests to prevent injury to the one, or insult to the other.




Quote: The times that tried men's souls are over-and the greatest and completest revolution the world ever knew, gloriously and happily accomplished. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The times that tried men's souls are over-and the greatest and completest revolution the world ever knew, gloriously and happily accomplished.


Quote: I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state; up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I call not upon a few, but upon all: not on this state or that state, but on every state; up and help us; lay your shoulders to the wheel; better have too much force than too little, when so great an object is at stake.


Quote: The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The Sun never shined on a cause of greater worth.


Quote: For what is the amount of all his prayers, but an attempt to make the Almighty change his mind, and act otherwise than he does? It is as if he were to say -- thou knowest not so well as I. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

For what is the amount of all his prayers, but an attempt to make the Almighty change his mind, and act otherwise than he does? It is as if he were to say -- thou knowest not so well as I.


Quote: And this manner of speaking of the Almighty, as one would speak of a man, is consistent with nothing but the stupidity of the Bible. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

And this manner of speaking of the Almighty, as one would speak of a man, is consistent with nothing but the stupidity of the Bible.


Quote: Wrong cannot have a legal descendant. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Wrong cannot have a legal descendant.


Quote: And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

And as a man, who is attached to a prostitute, is unfitted to choose or judge of a wife, so any prepossession in favour of a rotten constitution of government will disable us from discerning a good one.


Quote: The individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

The individuals themselves, each in his own personal and sovereign right, entered into a compact with each other to produce a government: and this is the only mode in which governments have a right to arise, and the only principle on which they have a right to exist.


Quote: Our present condition is, Legislation without law; wisdom without a plan; a constitution without a name; and, what is strangely astonishing, perfect independence contending for dependence. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Our present condition is, Legislation without law; wisdom without a plan; a constitution without a name; and, what is strangely astonishing, perfect independence contending for dependence.


Quote: Prosecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly-marked feature of all law-religious, or religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Prosecution is not an original feature in any religion; but it is always the strongly-marked feature of all law-religious, or religions established by law. Take away the law-establishment, and every religion re-assumes its original benignity.


Quote: A government on the principles on which constitutional governments arising out of society are established, cannot have the right of altering itself. If it had, it would be arbitrary. It might make itself what it pleased; and wherever such a right is set up, it shows there is no constitution. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote: A government on the principles on which constitutional governments arising out of society are established, cannot have the right of altering itself. If it had, it would be arbitrary. It might make itself what it pleased; and wherever such a right is set up, it shows there is no constitution.- black text on quotes background

A government on the principles on which constitutional governments arising out of society are established, cannot have the right of altering itself. If it had, it would be arbitrary. It might make itself what it pleased; and wherever such a right is set up, it shows there is no constitution.


Quote: They may be all comprehended under three heads -- 1st, Superstition; 2d, Power; 3d, the common interests of society, and the common rights of man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

They may be all comprehended under three heads -- 1st, Superstition; 2d, Power; 3d, the common interests of society, and the common rights of man.


Quote: Credulity is not a crime, but it becomes criminal by resisting conviction. It is strangling in the womb of the conscience the efforts it makes to ascertain the truth. We should never force belief upon ourselves in anything. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Credulity is not a crime, but it becomes criminal by resisting conviction. It is strangling in the womb of the conscience the efforts it makes to ascertain the truth. We should never force belief upon ourselves in anything.


Quote: The New Testament rests itself for credulity and testimony on what are called prophecies in the Old Testament, of the person called Jesus Christ; and if there are no such things as prophecies of any such person in the Old Testament, the New Testament. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The New Testament rests itself for credulity and testimony on what are called prophecies in the Old Testament, of the person called Jesus Christ; and if there are no such things as prophecies of any such person in the Old Testament, the New Testament.


Quote: It is painful to behold a man employing his talents to corrupt himself. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is painful to behold a man employing his talents to corrupt himself.


Quote: Call to mind the sentiments which nature has engraved on the heart of every citizen, and which take a new force when they are solemnly recognised by all:-For a nation to love liberty, it is sufficient that she knows it; and to be free, it is sufficient that she wills it. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

Call to mind the sentiments which nature has engraved on the heart of every citizen, and which take a new force when they are solemnly recognised by all:-For a nation to love liberty, it is sufficient that she knows it; and to be free, it is sufficient that she wills it.


Quote: Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Immediate necessity makes many things convenient, which if continued would grow into oppressions. Expedience and right are different things.


Quote: Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing.


Quote: In free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

In free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.


Quote: I have furnished myself with a Bible and Testament; and I can say also that I have found them to be much worse books than I had conceived. If I have erred in any thing, in the former part of the Age of Reason, it has been by speaking better of some parts than they deserved. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

I have furnished myself with a Bible and Testament; and I can say also that I have found them to be much worse books than I had conceived. If I have erred in any thing, in the former part of the Age of Reason, it has been by speaking better of some parts than they deserved.


Quote: I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of humans; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I believe in one God, and no more; and I hope for happiness beyond this life. I believe in the equality of humans; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow creatures happy.


Quote: It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is only by the exercise of reason that man can discover God.


Quote: If the present generation, or any other, are disposed to be slaves, it does not lessen the right of the succeeding generation to be free: wrongs cannot have a legal descent. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

If the present generation, or any other, are disposed to be slaves, it does not lessen the right of the succeeding generation to be free: wrongs cannot have a legal descent.


Quote: There is a natural firmness in some minds, which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

There is a natural firmness in some minds, which cannot be unlocked by trifles, but which, when unlocked, discovers a cabinet of fortitude.


Quote: For the fate of Charles the first, hath only made kings more subtle -- not more just. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

For the fate of Charles the first, hath only made kings more subtle -- not more just.


Quote: I die in perfect composure and resignation to the will of my Creator, God. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I die in perfect composure and resignation to the will of my Creator, God.


Quote: Wisdom degenerates in governments as governments increase in age. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Wisdom degenerates in governments as governments increase in age.


Quote: In Deism our reason and our belief are happily united. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

In Deism our reason and our belief are happily united.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

In Deism our reason and our belief become happily united. The wonderful structure of the universe, and everything we behold in the system of the creation, prove to us, far better than books can do, the existence of a God, and at the same time proclaim His attributes.




Quote: The creation is the Bible of the Deist. He there reads, in the handwriting of the Creator himself, the certainty of His existence and the immutability of His power, and all other Bibles and Testaments are to him forgeries. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The creation is the Bible of the Deist. He there reads, in the handwriting of the Creator himself, the certainty of His existence and the immutability of His power, and all other Bibles and Testaments are to him forgeries.


Quote: If any generation of men ever possessed the right of dictating the mode by which the world should be governed for ever, it was the first generation that existed; and if that generation did it not, no succeeding generation can show any authority for doing it, nor can set any up. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

If any generation of men ever possessed the right of dictating the mode by which the world should be governed for ever, it was the first generation that existed; and if that generation did it not, no succeeding generation can show any authority for doing it, nor can set any up.


Quote: In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

In reviewing the history of the English Government, its wars and its taxes, a bystander, not blinded by prejudice nor warped by interest, would declare that taxes were not raised to carry on wars, but that wars were raised to carry on taxes.


Quote: I fear not, I see not reason for fear. In the end we will be the victors. For though at times the flame of liberty may cease to shine, the ember will never expire. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I fear not, I see not reason for fear. In the end we will be the victors. For though at times the flame of liberty may cease to shine, the ember will never expire.


Quote: The New Testament, they tell us, is founded upon the prophecies of the Old; if so, it must follow the fate of its foundation. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The New Testament, they tell us, is founded upon the prophecies of the Old; if so, it must follow the fate of its foundation.


Quote: The Almighty implanted in us these inextinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes. They are the guardians of His image in our heart. They distinguish us from the herd of common animals. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The Almighty implanted in us these inextinguishable feelings for good and wise purposes. They are the guardians of His image in our heart. They distinguish us from the herd of common animals.


Quote: It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences human invention; it is only the application of them that is human. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is a fraud of the Christian system to call the sciences human invention; it is only the application of them that is human.


Quote: THE WORD OF GOD IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD: And it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

THE WORD OF GOD IS THE CREATION WE BEHOLD: And it is in this word, which no human invention can counterfeit or alter, that God speaketh universally to man.


Quote: Yet this is trash that the Church imposes upon the world as the Word of God; this is the collection of lies and contradictions called the Holy Bible! This is the rubbish called Revealed Religion! by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Yet this is trash that the Church imposes upon the world as the Word of God; this is the collection of lies and contradictions called the Holy Bible! This is the rubbish called Revealed Religion!


Quote: I disbelieve all holy men and holy books. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I disbelieve all holy men and holy books.


Quote: It is far better that we admitted a thousand devils to roam at large than that we permitted one such imposter and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God and have credit among us. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is far better that we admitted a thousand devils to roam at large than that we permitted one such imposter and monster as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, and the Bible prophets, to come with the pretended word of God and have credit among us.


Quote: Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and to repulse it.






Quote: Calumny is a vice of curious constitution; trying to kill it keeps it alive; leave it to itself and it will die a natural death. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Calumny is a vice of curious constitution; trying to kill it keeps it alive; leave it to itself and it will die a natural death.


Quote: Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. Freedom and security. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. Freedom and security.




Quote: The story of Eve and the serpent, and of Noah and his ark, drops to a level with the Arabian Tales, without the merit of being entertaining, and the account of men living to eight and nine hundred years becomes as fabulous as the immortality of the giants of the Mythology. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

The story of Eve and the serpent, and of Noah and his ark, drops to a level with the Arabian Tales, without the merit of being entertaining, and the account of men living to eight and nine hundred years becomes as fabulous as the immortality of the giants of the Mythology.


Quote: I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered; and the easier repaired when disordered. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I draw my idea of the form of government from a principle in nature, which no art can overturn, viz. that the more simple any thing is, the less liable it is to be disordered; and the easier repaired when disordered.




Quote: The American constitutions were to liberty, what a grammar is to language: they define its parts of speech, and practically construct them into syntax. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The American constitutions were to liberty, what a grammar is to language: they define its parts of speech, and practically construct them into syntax.


Quote: Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another. It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote: Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another. It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man.- black text on quotes background

Rights are not gifts from one man to another, nor from one class of men to another. It is impossible to discover any origin of rights otherwise than in the origin of man; it consequently follows that rights appertain to man in right of his existence, and must therefore be equal to every man.


Quote: The duty of man is not a wilderness of turnpike gates, through which he is to pass by tickets from one to the other. It is plain and simple, and consists but of two points -- his duty God, which every man must feel; and, with respect to his neighbor, to do as he would be done by. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

The duty of man is not a wilderness of turnpike gates, through which he is to pass by tickets from one to the other. It is plain and simple, and consists but of two points -- his duty God, which every man must feel; and, with respect to his neighbor, to do as he would be done by.


Quote: It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what he does not believe.


Quote: Yet it is folly to argue against determined hardness; eloquence may strike the ear, and the language of sorrow draw forth the tear of compassion, but nothing can reach the heart that is steeled with prejudice. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Yet it is folly to argue against determined hardness; eloquence may strike the ear, and the language of sorrow draw forth the tear of compassion, but nothing can reach the heart that is steeled with prejudice.




Quote: No country can be called free which is governed by an absolute power; and it matters not whether it be an absolute royal power or an absolute legislative power, as the consequences will be the same to the people. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

No country can be called free which is governed by an absolute power; and it matters not whether it be an absolute royal power or an absolute legislative power, as the consequences will be the same to the people.






Quote: On this question of war, three things are to be considered. First, the right of declaring it: secondly, the expense of supporting it: thirdly, the mode of conducting it after it is declared. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

On this question of war, three things are to be considered. First, the right of declaring it: secondly, the expense of supporting it: thirdly, the mode of conducting it after it is declared.


Quote: The mind, in discovering truths, acts in the same manner as it acts through the eye in discovering objects; when once any object has been seen, it is impossible to put the mind back to the same condition it was in before it saw it. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The mind, in discovering truths, acts in the same manner as it acts through the eye in discovering objects; when once any object has been seen, it is impossible to put the mind back to the same condition it was in before it saw it.


Quote: Titles are like a magicians wand which circumscribe human facility and prevent us from living the lives of man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Titles are like a magicians wand which circumscribe human facility and prevent us from living the lives of man.


Quote: Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange believe that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies.


Quote: It was needless, after this, to say that all was vanity and vexation of spirit; for it is impossible to derive happiness from the company of those whom we deprive of happiness. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It was needless, after this, to say that all was vanity and vexation of spirit; for it is impossible to derive happiness from the company of those whom we deprive of happiness.


Quote: It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It matters not where you live, or what rank of life you hold, the evil or the blessing will reach you all.


Quote: Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Not a place upon earth might be so happy as America. Her situation is remote from all the wrangling world, and she has nothing to do but to trade with them.




Quote: Each government accuses the other of perfidy, intrigue and ambition, as a means of heating the imagination of their respective nations, and incensing them to hostilities. Man is not the enemy of man, but through the medium of a false system of government. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Each government accuses the other of perfidy, intrigue and ambition, as a means of heating the imagination of their respective nations, and incensing them to hostilities. Man is not the enemy of man, but through the medium of a false system of government.


Quote: No nation ought to be without a debt. A national debt is a national bond; and when it bears no interest, is in no case a grievance. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

No nation ought to be without a debt. A national debt is a national bond; and when it bears no interest, is in no case a grievance.


Quote: The idea of hereditary legislators is as inconsistent as that of hereditary judges, or hereditary juries; and as absurd as an hereditary mathematician, or an hereditary wise man; and as ridiculous as an hereditary poet-laureat. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The idea of hereditary legislators is as inconsistent as that of hereditary judges, or hereditary juries; and as absurd as an hereditary mathematician, or an hereditary wise man; and as ridiculous as an hereditary poet-laureat.


Quote: One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

One of the strongest natural proofs of the folly of hereditary right in kings, is, that nature disapproves it, otherwise, she would not so frequently turn it into ridicule by giving mankind an ass for a lion.


Quote: Virtue is not hereditary. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Virtue is not hereditary.


Quote: The intimacy which is contracted in infancy, and friendship which is formed in misfortune, are, of all others, the most lasting and unalterable. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The intimacy which is contracted in infancy, and friendship which is formed in misfortune, are, of all others, the most lasting and unalterable.


Quote: We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.


Quote: These are the times that try men's souls. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

These are the times that try men's souls.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.


Quote: I have spoken of Jonah, and of the story of him and the whale. -- A fit story for ridicule, if it was written to be believed; or of laughter, if it was intended to try what credulity could swallow; for, if it could swallow Jonah and the whale it could swallow anything. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

I have spoken of Jonah, and of the story of him and the whale. -- A fit story for ridicule, if it was written to be believed; or of laughter, if it was intended to try what credulity could swallow; for, if it could swallow Jonah and the whale it could swallow anything.


Quote: The Bill of Rights should contain the general principles of natural and civil liberty. It should be to a community what the eternal laws and obligations of morality are to the conscience. It should be unalterable by any human power. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The Bill of Rights should contain the general principles of natural and civil liberty. It should be to a community what the eternal laws and obligations of morality are to the conscience. It should be unalterable by any human power.


Quote: To be nobly wrong is more manly than to be meanly right. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

To be nobly wrong is more manly than to be meanly right.


Quote: If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy ... to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank; if these things be libellous ... let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote: If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy ... to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank; if these things be libellous ... let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb.- black text on quotes background

If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy ... to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank; if these things be libellous ... let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

If, to expose the fraud and imposition of monarchy ... to promote universal peace, civilization, and commerce, and to break the chains of political superstition, and raise degraded man to his proper rank; if these things be libellous ... let the name of libeller be engraved on my tomb."

Letter Addressed To The Addressers On The Late Proclamation, 1792 (Paine's response to the charge of "seditious libel" brought against him after the publication of The Rights of Man).


Quote: The graceful pride of truth knows no extremes, and preserves, in every latitude of life, the right-angled character of man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The graceful pride of truth knows no extremes, and preserves, in every latitude of life, the right-angled character of man.


Quote: The story of Jesus Christ appearing after he was dead is the story of an apparition, such as timid imaginations can always create in vision, and credulity believe. Stories of this kind had been told of the assassination of Julius Caesar. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The story of Jesus Christ appearing after he was dead is the story of an apparition, such as timid imaginations can always create in vision, and credulity believe. Stories of this kind had been told of the assassination of Julius Caesar.


Quote: Those words, temperate and moderate, are words either of political cowardice, or of cunning, or seduction. A thing, moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper, is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Those words, temperate and moderate, are words either of political cowardice, or of cunning, or seduction. A thing, moderately good is not so good as it ought to be. Moderation in temper, is always a virtue; but moderation in principle, is a species of vice.




Quote: We hold the moral obligation of providing for old age, helpless infancy, and poverty is far superior to that of supplying the invented wants of courtly extravagance. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

We hold the moral obligation of providing for old age, helpless infancy, and poverty is far superior to that of supplying the invented wants of courtly extravagance.


Quote: What more does man want to know than that the hand or power that made these things is divine, is omnipotent? Let him believe this with the force it is impossible to repel, if he permits his reason to act, and his rule of moral life will follow of course. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

What more does man want to know than that the hand or power that made these things is divine, is omnipotent? Let him believe this with the force it is impossible to repel, if he permits his reason to act, and his rule of moral life will follow of course.


Quote: All men can understand what representation is; and that it must necessarily include a variety of knowledge and talents. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

All men can understand what representation is; and that it must necessarily include a variety of knowledge and talents.


Quote: He, who survives his reputation, lives out of despite himself, like a man listening to his own reproach. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

He, who survives his reputation, lives out of despite himself, like a man listening to his own reproach.


Quote: Peace, which costs nothing, is attended with infinitely more advantage than any victory with all its expence. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Peace, which costs nothing, is attended with infinitely more advantage than any victory with all its expence.


Quote: I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.


Quote: The essential psychological requirement of a free society is the willingness on the part of the individual to accept responsibility for his life. -- Edith Packer

When the government fears the people, it is liberty. When the people fear the government, it is tyranny. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

The essential psychological requirement of a free society is the willingness on the part of the individual to accept responsibility for his life. -- Edith Packer

When the government fears the people, it is liberty. When the people fear the government, it is tyranny.


Quote: That which is right will become popular, and that which is wrong, though by mistake it may obtain the cry or fashion of the day, will soon lose the power of delusion, and sink into disesteem. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

That which is right will become popular, and that which is wrong, though by mistake it may obtain the cry or fashion of the day, will soon lose the power of delusion, and sink into disesteem.




Quote: There now remain only a few books, which they call books of the lesser prophets; and as I have already shown that the greater are impostors, it would be cowardice to disturb the repose of the little ones. Let them sleep, then, in the arms of their nurses, the priests, and both be forgotten together. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote: There now remain only a few books, which they call books of the lesser prophets; and as I have already shown that the greater are impostors, it would be cowardice to disturb the repose of the little ones. Let them sleep, then, in the arms of their nurses, the priests, and both be forgotten together.- black text on quotes background

There now remain only a few books, which they call books of the lesser prophets; and as I have already shown that the greater are impostors, it would be cowardice to disturb the repose of the little ones. Let them sleep, then, in the arms of their nurses, the priests, and both be forgotten together.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

There now remain only a few books, which they call books of the lesser prophets; and as I have already shown that the greater are impostors, it would be cowardice to disturb the repose of the little ones. Let them sleep, then, in the arms of their nurses, the priests, and both be forgotten together.

I have now gone through the Bible, as a man would go through a wood with an axe on his shoulder, and fell trees. Here they lie; and the priests, if they can, may replant them. They may, perhaps, stick them in the ground, but they will never make them grow.




Quote: Kill the king but spare the man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Kill the king but spare the man.


Quote: The Book of Job and the 19th Psalm, which even the Church admits to be more ancient than the chronological order in which they stand in the book called the Bible, are theological orations conformable to the original system of theology. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The Book of Job and the 19th Psalm, which even the Church admits to be more ancient than the chronological order in which they stand in the book called the Bible, are theological orations conformable to the original system of theology.


Quote: Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Small islands, not capable of protecting themselves, are the proper objects for kingdoms to take under their care; but there is something absurd, in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.


Quote: There is something absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

There is something absurd in supposing a continent to be perpetually governed by an island.


Quote: The artificial noble shrinks into a dwarf before the noble of nature; and in the few instances (for there are some in all countries) in whom nature, as by a miracle, has survived in aristocracy, those men despise it. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The artificial noble shrinks into a dwarf before the noble of nature; and in the few instances (for there are some in all countries) in whom nature, as by a miracle, has survived in aristocracy, those men despise it.


Quote: Government is best which governs least. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Government is best which governs least.


Quote: From such beginnings of governments, what could be expected, but a continual system of war and extortion? by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

From such beginnings of governments, what could be expected, but a continual system of war and extortion?


Quote: The true greatness of a nation is founded on principles of humanity. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The true greatness of a nation is founded on principles of humanity.


Quote: The Bible: a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalise mankind. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The Bible: a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalise mankind.


Quote: It is a faculty of the human mind to become what it contemplates, and to act in unison with its object. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is a faculty of the human mind to become what it contemplates, and to act in unison with its object.


Quote: Human language is local and changeable, and is therefore incapable of being used as the means of unchangeable and universal information. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Human language is local and changeable, and is therefore incapable of being used as the means of unchangeable and universal information.


Quote: Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is 'Americans.' by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Our citizenship in the United States is our national character. Our citizenship in any particular state is only our local distinction. By the latter we are known at home, by the former to the world. Our great title is 'Americans.'


Quote: It is not because a part of the government is elective, that makes it less a despotism, if the persons so elected, possess afterwards, as a parliament, unlimited powers. Election, in this case, becomes separated from representation, and the candidates are candidates for despotism. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote: It is not because a part of the government is elective, that makes it less a despotism, if the persons so elected, possess afterwards, as a parliament, unlimited powers. Election, in this case, becomes separated from representation, and the candidates are candidates for despotism.- black text on quotes background

It is not because a part of the government is elective, that makes it less a despotism, if the persons so elected, possess afterwards, as a parliament, unlimited powers. Election, in this case, becomes separated from representation, and the candidates are candidates for despotism.




Quote: How strangely is antiquity treated! To answer some purposes it is spoken of as the times of darkness and ignorance, and to answer others, it is put for the light of the world. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

How strangely is antiquity treated! To answer some purposes it is spoken of as the times of darkness and ignorance, and to answer others, it is put for the light of the world.


Quote: With respect to the books of the New Testament, particularly such parts as tell us of the resurrection and ascension of Christ, any person who could tell a story of an apparition, or of a man's walking, could have made such books; for the story is most wretchedly told. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of Thomas Paine quote; white text on black background

With respect to the books of the New Testament, particularly such parts as tell us of the resurrection and ascension of Christ, any person who could tell a story of an apparition, or of a man's walking, could have made such books; for the story is most wretchedly told.


Quote: Mystery is the antagonist of truth. It is a fog of human invention, that obscures truth, and represents it in distortion. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Mystery is the antagonist of truth. It is a fog of human invention, that obscures truth, and represents it in distortion.


Quote: There exists in man a mass of sense lying in a dormant state, and which, unless something excites it to action, will descend with him, in that condition,to the grave. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

There exists in man a mass of sense lying in a dormant state, and which, unless something excites it to action, will descend with him, in that condition,to the grave.


Quote: There is existing in man, a mass of sense lying in a dormant state. The construction of government ought to be such as to bring forward, by a quiet and regular operation, all that extent of capacity. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

There is existing in man, a mass of sense lying in a dormant state. The construction of government ought to be such as to bring forward, by a quiet and regular operation, all that extent of capacity.


Quote: I would not dare so dishonor my Creator's name by attaching it to this filthy book. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I would not dare so dishonor my Creator's name by attaching it to this filthy book.




Quote: The obscene and vulgar stories in the Bible are as repugnant to our ideas of the purity of a Divine Being, as the horrid cruelties and murders it ascribes to Him are repugnant to our ideas of His justice. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The obscene and vulgar stories in the Bible are as repugnant to our ideas of the purity of a Divine Being, as the horrid cruelties and murders it ascribes to Him are repugnant to our ideas of His justice.


Quote: Arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Arms, like laws, discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe and preserve order.




Quote: The story of the whale swallowing Jonah, though a whale is large enough to do it, borders greatly on the marvelous; but it would have approached nearer to the idea of a miracle if Jonah had swallowed the whale. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The story of the whale swallowing Jonah, though a whale is large enough to do it, borders greatly on the marvelous; but it would have approached nearer to the idea of a miracle if Jonah had swallowed the whale.


Quote: Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built on the ruins of the bowers of paradise.


Quote: And as to you, Sir, treacherous in private friendship and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever had any. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

And as to you, Sir, treacherous in private friendship and a hypocrite in public life, the world will be puzzled to decide whether you are an apostate or an impostor; whether you have abandoned good principles, or whether you ever had any.


Quote: Evils, like poisons, have their uses, and there are diseases which no other remedy can reach. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Evils, like poisons, have their uses, and there are diseases which no other remedy can reach.


Quote: Compassion, the fairest associate of the heart. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Compassion, the fairest associate of the heart.


Quote: To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not.


Quote: That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of Nations is as shocking as it is true. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of Nations is as shocking as it is true.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true; but when those who are concerned in the government of a country, make it their study to sow discord and cultivate predjudices between nations, it becomes the more unpardonable.


Quote: Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Whatever is my right as a man is also the right of another; and it becomes my duty to guarantee as well as to possess.


Quote: Human nature is not of itself vicious. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Human nature is not of itself vicious.


Quote: The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The study of theology, as it stands in the Christian churches, is the study of nothing.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The study of theology, as it stands in Christian churches, is the study of nothing; it is founded on nothing; it rests on no principles; it proceeds by no authorities; it has no data; it can demonstrate nothing; and it admits of no conclusion.


Quote: Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness.


Quote: What is it the Bible teaches us? -- raping, cruelty, and murder. What is it the New Testament teaches us? -- to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married, and the belief of this debauchery is called faith. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

What is it the Bible teaches us? -- raping, cruelty, and murder. What is it the New Testament teaches us? -- to believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married, and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.


Quote: Men should not petition for rights, but take them. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Men should not petition for rights, but take them.


Quote: As to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

As to the book called the bible, it is blasphemy to call it the Word of God. It is a book of lies and contradictions and a history of bad times and bad men.


Quote: A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.


Quote: It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is the duty of every true Deist to vindicate the moral justice of God against the evils of the Bible.


Quote: A Democracy is the most vile form of government there is! by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

A Democracy is the most vile form of government there is!


Quote: Commerce diminishes the spirit, both of patriotism and military defence. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Commerce diminishes the spirit, both of patriotism and military defence.


Quote: Youth is the seed time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Youth is the seed time of good habits, as well in nations as in individuals.


Quote: To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.


Quote: My country is wherever liberty lives. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

My country is wherever liberty lives.


Quote: Where knowledge is a duty, ignorance is a crime. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Where knowledge is a duty, ignorance is a crime.


Quote: The balance of power is the scale of peace. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The balance of power is the scale of peace.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The balance of power is the scale of peace. The same balance would be preserved were all the world not destitute of arms, for all would be alike; but since some will not, others dare not lay them aside ... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them ... the weak will become prey to the strong.


Quote: Man must go back to nature for information. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Man must go back to nature for information.


Quote: The cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf.


Quote: Let it then be heard, and let man learn to feel that the true greatness of a nation is founded on principles of humanity, and not on conquest. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Let it then be heard, and let man learn to feel that the true greatness of a nation is founded on principles of humanity, and not on conquest.


Quote: I believe in the same manner at this moment; and I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I believe in the same manner at this moment; and I moreover believe, that any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be a true system.


Quote: Let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarcy, that in America the law is King. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Let a crown be placed thereon, by which the world may know, that so far as we approve of monarcy, that in America the law is King. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be King; and there ought to be no other.


Quote: Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Independence is my happiness, and I view things as they are, without regard to place or person; my country is the world, and my religion is to do good.


Quote: It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is from the Bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder; for the belief of a cruel God makes a cruel man.


Quote: The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress and grow.


Quote: He who dares not offend cannot be honest. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

He who dares not offend cannot be honest.


Quote: When my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

When my country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.


Quote: The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark.


Quote: My country is the world, and my religion is to do good. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.


Quote: 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

'Tis the business of little minds to shrink; but he whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves his conduct, will pursue his principles unto death.


Quote: My mind is my own church. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

My mind is my own church.


Quote: It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.


Quote: What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as freedom should not be highly rated.


Quote: Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles; he can only discover them. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles; he can only discover them.


Quote: All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.


Quote: Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.


Quote: That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

That God cannot lie, is no advantage to your argument, because it is no proof that priests can not, or that the Bible does not.


Quote: Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Any system of religion that has anything in it that shocks the mind of a child, cannot be true.


Quote: It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

It is an affront to treat falsehood with complaisance.


Quote: Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Those who want to reap the benefits of this great nation must bear the fatigue of supporting it.


Quote: I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

I believe in the equality of man; and I believe that religious duties consist in doing justice, loving mercy, and endeavoring to make our fellow-creatures happy.


Quote: The abilities of man must fall short on one side or the other, like too scanty a blanket when you are abed. If you pull it upon your shoulders, your feet are left bare; if you thrust it down to your feet, your shoulders are uncovered. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The abilities of man must fall short on one side or the other, like too scanty a blanket when you are abed. If you pull it upon your shoulders, your feet are left bare; if you thrust it down to your feet, your shoulders are uncovered.


Quote: The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.


Quote: To establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

To establish any mode to abolish war, however advantageous it might be to Nations, would be to take from such Government the most lucrative of its branches.


Quote: Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.


Quote: Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.


Quote: Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.


Quote: But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

But such is the irresistable nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants is the liberty of appearing.


Quote: There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

There are matters in the Bible, said to be done by the express commandment of God, that are shocking to humanity and to every idea we have of moral justice.


Quote: Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.


Quote: We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

We can only reason from what is; we can reason on actualities, but not on possibilities.


Quote: Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one. by author Thomas Paine overlaid on photo of photo of author Thomas Paine with quote

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