Quotes by Thomas Paine


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. 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 his principles unto death.
– Thomas Paine
A bad cause will never be supported by bad means and bad men.
– Thomas Paine
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.
– Thomas Paine
An army of principles can penetrate where an army of soldiers cannot.
– Thomas Paine
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
– Thomas Paine
Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
– Thomas Paine
Character is much easier kept than recovered.
– Thomas Paine
Every science has for its basis a system of principles as fixed and unalterable as those by which the universe is regulated and governed. Man cannot make principles; he can only discover them.
– Thomas Paine
From such beginnings of governments, what could be expected, but a continual system of war and extortion?
– Thomas Paine
He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself.
– Thomas Paine
Human nature is not of itself vicious.
– Thomas Paine
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.
– Thomas Paine
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 church that I know of. My own mind is my own church.
– Thomas Paine
If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.
– Thomas Paine
If we do not hang together, we shall surely hang separately.
– Thomas Paine
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 he does not believe.
– Thomas Paine
It is not a field of a few acres of ground, but a cause, that we are defending, and whether we defeat the enemy in one battle, or by degrees, the consequences will be the same.
– Thomas Paine
It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.
– Thomas Paine
Lead, follow, or get out of the way.
– Thomas Paine
My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.
– Thomas Paine