Rousseau's contemporary and philosophical rival Voltaire was critical of Emile as a whole, but admired the section in the book which had led to it being banned(the section titled 'Profession of Faith of the Savoyard Vicar'). According to Voltaire, Emile is
a hodgepodge of a silly wet nurse in four volumes, with forty pages against Christianity, among the boldest ever known...He says as many hurtful things against the philosophers as against Jesus Christ, but the philosophers will be more indulgent than the priests.
However, Voltaire went on to endorse the Profession of Faith section and called it "fifty good pages...it is regrettable that they should have been written by...such a knave." 
The German scholar Goethe wrote in 1787 that "Emile and its sentiments had a universal influence on the cultivated mind."