The eternal silence of these infinite spaces fills me with dread.
When I consider the small span of my life absorbed in the eternity of all time, or the small part of space which I can touch or see engulfed by the infinite immensity of spaces that I know not and that know me not, I am frightened and astonished to see myself here instead of there... now instead of then.
Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction a sign of truth.
We are generally the better persuaded by the reasons we discover ourselves than by those given to us by others.
One must know oneself, if this does not serve to discover truth, it at least serves as a rule of life and there is nothing better.
I have made this letter long because i have not the time to make it shorter.
We know truth, not only by reason, but also by the heart.
Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.
The heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of.
We think very little of time present; we anticipate the future, as being too slow, and with a view to hasten it onward, we recall the past to stay it as too swiftly gone. We are so thoughtless, that we thus wander through the hours which are not here, regardless only of the moment that is actually our own.
Let us weigh the gain and the loss, in wagering that God is. Consider these alternatives: if you win, you win all, if you lose you lose nothing. Do not hesitate, then, to wager that he is.
By a peculiar prerogative, not only each individual is making daily advances in the sciences, and may makes advances in morality, but all mankind together are making a continual progress in proportion as the universe grows older; so that the whole human race, during the course of so many ages, may be considered as one man, who never ceases to live and learn.
Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction.
Clarity of mind means clarity of passion, too; this is why a great and clear mind loves ardently and sees distinctly what it loves.
The Knowledge of God is very far from the love of Him.
I have made this [letter] longer, because I have not had the time to make it shorter.
I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man's being unable to sit still in a room.
Kind words do not cost much. They never blister the tongue or lips. They make other people good-natured. They also produce their own image on men's souls, and a beautiful image it is.
Truth is so obscure in these times and falsehood so established that unless one loves the truth, he cannot know it.
Animals do not admire each other. A horse does not admire its companion.
If all men knew what each said of the other, there would not be four friends in the world.
People are usually more convinced by reasons they discovered themselves than by those found by others.