" The world is my country and to do good is my religion.''
“As several of my colleagues, and others of my fellow
citizens of France, have given me the example of making
their voluntary and individual profession of faith, I also will
make mine; and I do this with all that sincerity and frankness
with which the mind of man communicates with itself
I believe in one God, and no more, and I hope for happiness
beyond this life.
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.
But, lest it should be supposed that I believe many other
things in addition to these, I shall, in the progress of this
work, declare the things I do not believe, and my reasons
for not believing them.” Page 1
“I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish
church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the
Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any other
church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish,
Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human
inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and
monopolize power and profit.
I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who
believe otherwise ; they have the same right to their belief
as I have to mine. But it is necessary to the happiness of
man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does
not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in
professing to believe what one does not believe.
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may
so express it, that mental lying has produced in society.
When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the
chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief
to things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for
the commission of every other crime. He takes up the
trade of a priest for the sake of gain, and in order to qualify
himself for that trade, he begins with a perjury. Can
we conceive anything more destructive to morality than
Soon after I had published the pamphlet,
" Common Sense," in America, I saw the exceeding probability that a revolution in the system of government would be followed
by a revolution in the system of religion.” Page 2
THE AGE OF REASON
Archive.org / The Age of Reason