"The example of Alexander's chastity has not made so many continent as that is his drunkenness has made intemperate. It is not shameful not to be as virtuous as he, and it seems excusable to be no more vicious."
"Discourses on humility are a source of pride in the vain and of humility in the humble. So those on scepticism cause believers to affirm. Few men speak humbly of humility, chastely of chastity, few doubtingly of scepticism."
"Our senses perceive no extreme. Too much sound deafens us; too much light dazzles us; too great distance or proximity hinders our view. Too great length and too great brevity of discourse tends to obscurity; too much truth is paralyzing.... In short, extremes are for us as though they were not, and we are not within their notice. They escape us, or we them."
"All great amusements are dangerous to the Christian life; but among all those which the world has invented there is none more to be feared than the theater. It is a representation of the passions so natural and so delicate that it excites them and gives birth to them in our hearts, and, above all, to that of love."
"The exterior must be joined to the interior to obtain anything from God, that is to say, we must kneel, pray with the lips, and so on, in order that proud man, who would not submit himself to God, may be now subject to the creature."
"There are only three kinds of people: those who serve God, having found him; others who are occupied in seeking him, not having found him; while the remainder live without seeking him and without having found him. The first are reasonable and happy; the last are foolish and unhappy; those between are unhappy and unreasonable."
"Scepticism is true; for after all, men before Jesus Christ did not know where they were, nor whether they were great or small. And those who have said the one or the other, knew nothing about it, and guessed without reason and by chance. They also erred always in excluding the one or the other."
"Those to whom God has imparted religion by feeling of the heart are very fortunate and are rightly convinced. But to those who do not have it, we can give it only by reasoning, waiting for God to give it by feeling of the heart--without which faith is only human and useless for salvation."
"We do not weary of eating and sleeping every day, for hunger and sleepiness recur. Without that we should weary of them. So, without the hunger for spiritual things, we weary of them. Hunger after righteousness--the eighth beatitude."
"The conduct of God who disposes all things kindly, is to put religion into the mind by reason, and into the heart by grace. But to attempt to put it into the mind and heart by force and threats is not to put religion there, but terror."