Voltaire's Victory

by Bernard R. DeRemer

Voltaire (1694-1778), actually Jean Francois Marie Abouet, the famous French philosopher, got into much trouble because of his biting tongue and satirical verse. A native of Paris, he spent most of his life elsewhere, including London, Berlin, and Geneva.

He is generally considered a deist, though some quibble at the definition on technicalities.

His bitterness against the Roman Catholic Church spread to all organized religion, and he denounced the supernatural.

This seems to conflict with a popular quote attributed to him: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

The author of more than 70 works became ill, took an overdose of opium, and died in delirium at age 84.

Once he had thundered that within 25 years (some accounts say 100) the Bible and Christianity would be forgotten. Ironically, 40 years after his death, the Bible and other Christian literature were being printed in his very home!

Another account, which I could not readily substantiate, said that once an entire set of his works as sold at auction for a trifle, while that day an ancient Bible manuscript brought a huge sum.

Forever, O Lord, Thy Word is settled in heaven” (Ps. 119:89).