Ernest Renan
Quotations


To be free in an age like ours, one must be in a position of authority. That in itself would be enough to make me ambitious.

I can die when I wish to: that is my elixir of life.

To conceive the good, in fact, is not sufficient; it must be made to succeed among men. To accomplish this less pure paths must be followed.

As a rule, all heroism is due to a lack of reflection, and thus it is necessary to maintain a mass of imbeciles. If they once understand themselves the ruling men will be lost.

Never has any one been less a priest than Jesus, never a greater enemy of forms, which stifle religion under the pretext of protecting it. By this we are all his disciples and his successors; by this he has laid the eternal foundation-stone of true religion; and if religion is essential to humanity, he has by this deserved the Divine rank the world has accorded him.

He whom God has touched will always be a being apart: he is, whatever he may do, a stranger among men; he is marked by a sign.

In morals, truth is but little prized when it is a mere sentiment, and only attains its full value when realized in the world as fact.

You may take great comfort from the fact that suffering inwardly for the sake of truth proves abundantly that one loves it and marks one out as being of the elect.



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