Random Quote #85 topic: voltaire-dict, Philosophical Dictionary by Voltaire, 1694-1778
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_THEIST_

The theist is a man firmly persuaded of the existence of a Supreme Being
as good as He is powerful, who has formed all beings with extension,
vegetating, sentient and reflecting; who perpetuates their species, who
punishes crimes without cruelty, and rewards virtuous actions with
kindness.

The theist does not know how God punishes, how he protects, how he
pardons, for he is not reckless enough to flatter himself that he knows
how God acts, but he knows that God acts and that He is just.
Difficulties against Providence do not shake him in his faith, because
they are merely great difficulties, and not proofs. He submits to this
Providence, although he perceives but a few effects and a few signs of
this Providence: and, judging of the things he does not see by the
things he sees, he considers that this Providence reaches all places and
all centuries.

Reconciled in this principle with the rest of the universe, he does not
embrace any of the sects, all of which contradict each other; his
religion is the most ancient and the most widespread; for the simple
worship of a God has preceded all the systems of the world. He speaks a
language that all peoples understand, while they do not understand one
another. He has brothers from Pekin to Cayenne, and he counts all wise
men as his brethren. He believes that religion does not consist either
in the opinions of an unintelligible metaphysic, or in vain display, but
in worship and justice. The doing of good, there is his service; being
submissive to God, there is his doctrine. The Mahometan cries to
him--"Have a care if you do not make the pilgrimage to Mecca!" "Woe unto
you," says a Recollet, "if you do not make a journey to Notre-Dame de
Lorette!" He laughs at Lorette and at Mecca; but he succours the needy
and defends the oppressed.



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