History of French Literature in the Eighteenth Century

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T. and T. Clark, 1854 - French literature - 484 pages
 

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Page 330 - The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother; the...
Page 244 - The negroes prefer a glass necklace to that of gold, which polite nations so highly value; can there be a greater proof of their wanting common sense? It is impossible for us to suppose these creatures to be men, because allowing them to be men, a suspicion would follow, that we ourselves are not Christians.
Page 250 - In order to raise an attachment to religion, it is necessary that it should inculcate pure morals. Men who are knaves by retail are extremely honest in the gross: they love morality. And were I not treating of so grave a subject, I should say that this appears remarkably evident in our theatres: we are sure of pleasing the people by sentiments avowed by morality; we are sure of shocking them by those it disapproves.
Page 83 - ... instructions of the Gospel, by those of philosophers ; and it was with this view that God permitted the heathen professors to examine, in their schools, several questions, and establish several principles, which are nearly allied to religion ; and to engage the attention of mankind by the brilliancy of their disputations. It is well known that the philosophers inculcate, in every part of their writings, the existence of a God, the necessity of a Providence that presides over the government of...
Page 249 - ... it should consist in depriving people of the advantages conferred by religion in expelling them out of the temples, in a temporary or perpetual exclusion from the society of the faithful, in shunning their presence, in execrations, comminations, and conjurations. In things that prejudice the tranquillity or security of the state, secret actions are subject to human jurisdiction. But in those which offend the Deity, where there is no public act, there can be no criminal matter, the whole passes...
Page 389 - From the surface of the earth ¥ soon raised my thoughts to all the beings of Nature, to the universal system of things, to the incomprehensible Being who enters into all. Then, as my mind was lost in this immensity, I did not think, I did not reason, I did not philosophize.
Page 249 - The mischief arises from a notion which some people have entertained of revenging the cause of ,the Deity. But we must honour the Deity and leave him to avenge his own cause. And, indeed, were we to be directed by such a notion, where would be the end of punishments? If human laws are to avenge the cause of an infinite Being, they will be directed by his infinity, and not by the weakness, ignorance, and caprice of man.
Page 245 - that the emperor of Japan caused all the Christians in his dominions to be burnt by a slow fire. But he will answer, we treat you who do not believe like us, as you yourselves treat those who do not believe like you : you can only complain of your weakness, which has hindered you from exterminating us, and which has enabled us to exterminate you. " But it must be confessed, that you are much more cruel than this emperor. You put us to death, who believe only what you believe, because we do not believe...
Page 246 - If Heaven has had so great a love for you as to make you see the truth, you have received a singular favor; but is it for children who have received the inheritance of their father to hate those who have not? "If you have this truth, hide it not from us by the manner in which you propose it. The characteristic of truth is its triumph over hearts and minds, and not that impotency which you confess when you would force us to receive it by tortures. "If you were wise, you would not put us to death for...
Page 204 - Never were any principles more worthy of human nature, and more proper to form the good man, than those of the Stoics ; and if I could for a moment cease to think that I am a Christian, I should not be able to hinder myself from ranking the destruction of the sect of Zeno among the misfortunes that have befallen the human race.

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