Quotes by Thomas Paine

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Thomas Paine (Thetford, England, 29 January 1737 - 8 June 1809, New York City, USA) was a pamphleteer, revolutionary, radical intellectual, and deist. Born in Great Britain, he lived in America, having migrated to the American ... more

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Reputation is what men and women think of us. Character is what God and the angels know of us.

That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.
I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 'Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death.
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 always a vice.
Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.
The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection.
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.
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value.
The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
Society in every state is a blessing, but Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.
We have it in our power to begin the world over again.
The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value.
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.
It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.
Every religion is good that teaches man to be good; and I know of none that instructs him to be bad.
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
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.
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.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.
We fight not to enslave, but to set a country free, and to make room upon the earth for honest men to live in.
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery, for slavery consists in being subject to the will of another, and he that has not a vote in the election of representatives is in this case.
When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.
Titles are but nicknames, and every nickname is a title.
When we are planning for posterity, we ought to remember that virtue is not hereditary.
Suspicion is the companion of mean souls, and the bane of all good society.
He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind as to subscribe his professional belief to things he does not believe he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
Human nature is not of itself vicious.
The final event to himself has been, that as he rose like a rocket, he fell like the stick.
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.
Everything that is right or natural pleads for separation. The blood of the slain, the weeping voice of nature cries, 'Tis time to part.
These are the times that try men's souls.
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.
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 -- our inferior one varies with the place.
My own mind is my own church.
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.
A bad cause will never be supported by bad means and bad men.
It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by ;degrees, the consequences will be the same.
If there must be trouble let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
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.
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.
These are the times that try mens souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.
Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
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.
I love the man that can smile in trouble, that can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. 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.
Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.