Pierre Nicole

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Sins which would terrify us if they were peculiar to ourselves alone cease to frighten us when they are shared. The sinner sleeps soundly when he finds himself surrounded by a multitude, as though God were obliged to spare him.

Pierre Nicole (19 October 162516 November 1695) was one of the most distinguished of the French Jansenists.

Quotes[edit]

  • The soul which stops at creatures delays the course of the voyage by which it moves toward God; and by desiring to enjoy them, it proportionately deprives itself of the enjoyment of God.
    • Essais de Morale (1753), XII, 301, in The Bourgeois: Catholicism vs. Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France (1927) as translated by Mary Ilford (1968), p. 118
  • Jesus ... never laughed. Nothing has ever equaled the seriousness of his life; it is clear that pleasure, recreation, anything that could divert the mind, had no part in it. The life of Jesus was utterly taut, wholly caught up in God and in the woes of men, and he gave to nature only what he could not have refused it without destroying it.
    • Essais de Morale (1753), XIII, 390, in The Bourgeois: Catholicism vs. Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France (1927) as translated by Mary Ilford (1968), p. 118
  • Sins which would terrify us if they were peculiar to ourselves alone cease to frighten us when they are shared. The sinner sleeps soundly when he finds himself surrounded by a multitude, as though God were obliged to spare him.
    • L'esprit de M. Nicole, ou: Instructions sur les vérités de la religion, p. 461, in The Bourgeois: Catholicism vs. Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century France (1968), p. 94
  • Not only do we have no real right to the things of the world, because belonging always essentially to God they can never belong to creatures; but we are also limited by the laws of God in the use of those possessions; for it must not be imagined that God gives them to us so that we may dispose of them as we wish. He is too just to have made such an unequal distribution. These goods being the means destined by his Providence for the subsistence of men, he gives to some more than they need only so that they may distribute it to others. A rich man, in so far as he is rich, is thus no more than steward of God's good things.

External links[edit]

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