Thomas Paine Quotations - Uncited

Paine called himself a Theophilantropist, a lover of Deity, Man, and Nature.  For Paine, the basis of philosophy was constancy in an aim to create “a universal society” for unconditionally expanding human potential and reverence for the Divine.  The royal road for Paine was through reasoning, derived from universal principles derived from Nature and applicable to each and all, many times inspired and en-lightened by “thunder-bolts coming into the mind”.   These thoughts activate conscience and can be tested and honed in the sacrificial fires of self-chosen duties and for “reasoning together” in order to upholding a res publica of liberty and justice.

Quotations from Paine:

  1. “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.”
  2. The duty of plain and simple and consists of two points.  His duty to God, which every man must feel; and with respect to his neighbor, to do as he would be done by.”
  3. “It is only by exercise of reason, that man can discover God.  Take away that reason, and he would be incapable of understanding anything...”
  4. “Reason obeys itself and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”
  5. “There are two distinct classes of what are called Thoughts; those that we produce in ourselves by reflection and the act of thinking, and those that bolt into the mind of their own accord.  I have always made it a rule to treat those voluntary visitors with civility, taking care to examine, as well as I was able, if they were worth entertaining; and it is from them that I have acquired almost all the knowledge I have.”
  6. “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”
  7. “These are the times that try men’s souls.  The summer solider 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.”
  8. “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 principles unto death.”
  9. “I call upon not 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…Let it be told to the future world, that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive, that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet and repulse it.”
  10. “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 everything its value.”
  11. “Society is produced by our wants and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices.  The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions.  The first is a patron, the last a punisher…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 evil…”
  12. “Though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity any part of it; neither did the Creator of the earth open a land-office, from whence the first title deeds should issue….Personal property is the effect of society and it is as impossible for an individual to acquire private property without the aid of society, as it is for him to make the land originally...All accumulation, therefore, of personal property, beyond what a man’s own hands produce, is derived to him by living in society; and he owes on every principle of justice, of gratitude, and civilization, a part of that accumulation back again to society from whence the whole came.  Inequality... encourages one part of mankind insolence.”
  13. “Human nature of itself is not vicious.”
  14. “My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”