Quotations by religious liberals

These are quotations by Unitarians, Universalists and people regarded by Unitarian-Universalists as part of their tradition.

If you find me in error in one point, you should not on that account condemn me in all, for according to this there is no mortal who would not be burned a thousand times over …
    ==Michael Servetus (1511-1553)

Whom God enlightened by His spirit must not be silent and must not hide the truth.
    ==Francis David (1510-1579)

If I win, I will defend to the death your right to be wrong.
    ==Francis David (1510-1579)

We need not think alike to love alike
    ==Francis David (1510-1579)

Truth is compared in scripture to a streaming fountain; if her waters flow not in a perpetual progression, they sicken into a muddy pool of conformity and tradition.
    ==John Milton (1608-1664)

Every sect, as far as reason will take them, make use of it gladly; and when it fails them, they cry out, “It is a matter of faith, and above reason.”
    ==John Locke (1632-1704)

He that takes away reason, to make way for revelation, puts out the light of both, and does much-what the same, as if he would persuade a man to put out his eye, the better to receive the remote light of an invisible star by a telescope.
    ==John Locke (1632-1704)

As a blind man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by which the all-wise God pervades and understands all things.
    ==Isaac Newton (1642-1727)

My happiness will be incomplete while one creature remains miserable.
    ==George de Benneville (1703-1793)

What can be the reason for so many disagreements? The only reason is that the essential truth is so divided and cut into so many pieces that it is often lost in the strife. One party has truth; another also has some truth, but each thinks that it has the whole truth, and therefore tries to reject that of the other, imagining it to be in error.
    ==George de Benneville (1703-1793)

The spirit of Love will be intensified to Godly proportions when reciprocal love exists between the entire human race and each of its individual members. That love must be based upon mutual respect for the differences in color, language and worship, even as we appreciate and accept with gratitude the differences that tend to unite the male and female of all species. We do not find these differences obstacles to love.
    ==George de Benneville (1703-1793)

I told the restoration of all souls; because having myself been the chief of sinners … God … granted me the mercy and pardon of all my sins and plucked me out of a brand of hell … I could not have a doubt but the whole world would be saved by the same power.
    ==George de Benneville (1703-1793)

Rulers have no authority from God to do mischief.
    ==Jonathan Mayhew (1720-1766)

The doctrine of eternal torments is altogether indefensible on any principles of justice or equity; for all the crimes of finite creatures being of course finite, cannot in equity deserve infinite punishment. … No human beings can be so depraved as that it shall not be in the power of proper discipline to reclaim them, so as to make them valuable characters.
… Like a true parent … [God] will ever correct in measure and with mercy
    ==Joseph Priestly (1733-1804)

I could express my faith in shorter terms. He who loves the workman and his work, and does what he can to preserve and improve it, shall be accepted of him.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

Facts are stubborn things, and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

Be not intimidated, therefore, by any terrors … nor suffer yourself to be wheedled out of your liberty by any pretenses of politeness, delicacy or decency.
These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

The right of a nation to kill a tyrant in case of necessity can no more be doubted that to hang a robber or kill a flea.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

The priesthood have, in all ancient nations, nearly monopolized learning … and every since the Reformation, when or where has existed a Protestant or dissenting sect who would tolerate a FREE INQUIRY? The blackest billingsgate, the most ungentlemanly insolence, the most yahooist brutality, is patently endured, countenanced, propagated, and applauded.
But touch a solemn truth in collision with the dogma of a sect, though capable of the clearest proof, and you will soon find you have disturbed a nest, and the hornets will swarm about your eyes and hand and fly into your face and eyes.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

Let the pulpit resound with the doctrines and sentiments of religious liberty. Let us hear the dangers of thralldom of our consciences from ignorance, extreme poverty, and dependence; in short, from civil and political slavery.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

The way to secure Liberty is to place it in the people’s hands, that is, to give them a power at all times to defend it in the legislature and in the courts of justice.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

A government of laws and not of men.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

It is agreed that “the end of all government is the good and ease of the people, in a secure enjoyment of their rights without oppression;” but it must be remembered that the rich are people  as well as the poor; that they have rights as well as others; that they have as clear and as sacred a right to their large property as others have to theirs which is smaller; that oppression of them is as possible and as wicked as to others.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

The preservation of the means of knowledge among the lowest ranks is of more importance than all the property of all the rich men in the country.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

Let us dare to read, think, speak and write.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

The question before the human race is, whether the God of nature shall govern the world by his own laws, or whether priests and kings shall rule it by fictitious miracles.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

Power must never be trusted without a check.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

[A free people has] an indispensible, unalienable, indefeasable, divine right to the most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge, I mean, of the character and conduct of their rulers.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

Representative government and trial by jury are the heart and lungs of liberty. Without them we have no other fortification against being ridden like horses, fleeced like sheep, worked like cattle and fed and clothed like swine and hogs.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is going God’s service when it is violating His laws.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

A mob is no less a mob because they are with you.
    ==John Adams (1735-1826)

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. …
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, or by any church that I know of. My own mind is my church.
I do not mean by this declaration to condemn those who believe otherwise; they have the same right to their belief as I have in 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 he 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 in things he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
    ==Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

At length, a large ragged stone, weighing about a pound and a half, was forcibly thrown in at the window behind my back; it missed me. Had it sped as it was aimed, it must have killed me. Lifting it up and waving it in the view of the people, I observed: “This argument is solid, and weighty, but it is neither rational nor convincing.”
Exclamations from various parts of the house were echoed and reechoed. “Pray sir, leave the pulpit, you life is at hazard.”
“Be it so,” I returned, “the debt of nature must be paid, and I am as ready and as willing to discharge it now as I shall be fifty years hence. Yet, for your consolation, suffer me to say, I am immortal, while he who called me into existence has any business for me to perform; and when he has executed those purposes for which he designed me, he will graciously sign my passport to realms of blessedness. … Not all the stones in Boston, except they stop my breath, shall shut my mouth or arrest my testimony.”
    ==John Murray (1741-1815)

Many religious people were violent in their opposition; they insisted that I merited the severest punishment; that the old discipline for heretics ought to be put in force; and I was then furnished with abundant reason to bless God for the religious liberty of the country of my adoption, else racks and tortures would have been put in operation against me, nor would these holy men, moved by the spirit, have stopped short of my destruction.
Yet was the charge of heresy never proved against me. I was never silenced, either by reason or scripture. I called upon men everywhere, clergymen or laymen, to step forward and convict me of error, promising immediately upon conviction to relinquish the obnoxious tenet whatever it might chance to be, and to adopt that better way …
    ==John Murray (1741-1815)

Give the people … something of your vision. You may possess only a small light, but uncover it, let it shine, use it in order to bring more light and understanding to the hearts of men and women. Do not preach so as to deepen their theological despair. Give them not hell, but hope and courage.
    ==John Murray (1741-1815)

I must be contented to be a Unitarian by myself, although I know there are many who would become so if once they could hear the question fairly stated.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

If the doctrines of Jesus been preached always as pure as they came from his lips, the whole civilized world would now have been Christian. I rejoice in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of only one God is reviving, and I trust there is not a young man now living in the United States who will not die a Unitarian.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Shake off all fears of servile prejudices with which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. Your reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness but uprightness of the decision.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern, which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1825)

And the day will come, when the mystical generation of Jesus by the Supreme Being as His Father, in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva, in the brain of Jupiter.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1820)
 
Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and states.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Where the preamble [to the Virginia Act for Religious Freedom] declares that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed inserting the words “Jesus Christ,” so that it should read, “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion.” The insertion was rejected by a great majority, in proof they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and infidel of every denomination.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable. The minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect and which to violate would be oppression.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this union or to change its republican form of government, let them stand undisturbed as monuments to the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The legitimate powers of government extend only to such acts as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. …
Reason and free inquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Give a loose to them, they will support the true religion by bringing every false one to their tribunal. They are the natural enemies of error, and of error only.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

[The clergy] believe that any portion of power confided in me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn on the altar of god eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

We should all then, like the Quakers, live without an order of priests, moralize for ourselves, follow the oracle of conscience, and say nothing about what no man can understand, nor therefore believe.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves are its only safe depositories.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on one part, and degrading submission on the other. … Indeed, I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Those who labor in the earth are the chosen people of god, if ever he had a chosen people.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

To the press alone, checquered as it is with abuses, the world is indebted for all the triumphs which have been gained by reason and humanity over error and oppression.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Our liberty, then, depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The basis of our government being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right, and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive these papers, and be capable of reading them.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The tax which will be paid for the purpose of education is not more than the thousandth part of what will be paid to kings, priests and nobles who will rise up among us if we leave the people to ignorance.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.  It will often by exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

What country before, ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that his people preserve the spirit of resistance?
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

May it [the Declaration of Independence] be to the world what I believe it will be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of arousing man to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition has persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings of security and self-government.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

All eyes are opened, or are opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind was not born with saddles on their backs nor a favored few booted and saddled to ride them legitimately, by the grace of God.
These are grounds for hope for others. For ourselves, let the annual remembrance of this day [Independence Day] forever refresh our recollection of these rights, and our undiminished devotion to them.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

There is no truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The only security of all is a free press. The force of public opinion cannot be resisted when permitted freely to be expressed. The agitation it produces must be submitted to. It is necessary, to keep the waters pure.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

A little patience, and we shall see the reign of witches pass over, their spells dissolve and the people, recovering their true sight, restore their government to true principles. It is true that meantime we are suffering deeply in spirit, and incurring the  horrors of a war and long oppressions of enormous public debt. … If the game runs sometimes against us at home we must have patience until luck turns and then we shall have the opportunity of winning back the principles we have lost, for this is a game where principles are at stake.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

In every government on earth is some trace of human weakness, some germ of corruption and degeneracy, which cunning will discover and wickness insensibly open, cultivate and improve. Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves therefore are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

When the government fears the people, that is liberty. When the people fear the government, that is tyranny.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

In questions of power, let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstance, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to reamin ever under the regime of their barbarous ancestors.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm. It is given to all human beings in a stronger or weaker degree, as force of members is given them in a greater or weaker degree. It may be strengthened by exercise, as may any particular limb of the body. This sense is submitted indeed in some degree to the guidance of reason; but it is a small stock which is required for this: even a less one than what we call common sense. State a moral case to a ploughman or a professor. The former will decide it as well, and often better than the latter, because he has not been led astray by artificial rules.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

Nothing then is unchangeable but the inherent and inalienable rights of man.
    ==Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

A belief in God’s universal love to all his creatures, and that he will finally restore all those of them that are miserable to happiness, is a polar truth. It leads to truths upon all subjects, more especially upon the subject of government. It establishes the equality of mankind — it abolishes the punishment of death for any crime — and converts jails into houses of repentance and reformation.
    ==Benjamin Rush (1745-1813)

Controversy is only dreaded by the advocates of error.
    ==Benjamin Rush (1745-1813)

Were I to personify justice, instead of presenting her blind, I would denominate her the goddess of fire. … Of unbending integrity, Justice should feel, hear and see, but truth alone should be the polar star by which she should shape her movements and equity only should constrain her determinations.
    ==Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820)

Our Constitution professedly rests upon the good sense and attachment of the people. This basis, weak as it may appear, has not yet been found to fail.
Always vote for a principle, though you vote alone, and you may cherish the sweet reflection that your vote is never lost.
    ==John Quincy Adams (1767-1848)

The cause of truth wants nothing in its service but the fruits of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance.
    ==Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)

If we agree in brotherly love, there is no disagreement that can do us any injury; but if we do not, no other agreement can do us any good. Let us endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace.
    ==Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)

A religion that requires persecution to sustain it is of the devil’s propagation.
    ==Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)

Weary the path that does not challenge. Doubt is an incentive to truth and patient inquiry leadeth the way.
    ==Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)

There is one inevitable criterion touching matters of religious faith: can you reduce it to practice? If not, have none of it.
    ==Hosea Ballou (1771-1852)

Why have we none for books, those spiritual repasts — a grace before Milton — a grace before Shakespeare — a devotional exercise proper to be said before reading the Faerie Queen?
    ==Charles Lamb (1775-1834)

Rules and models destroy genius and art.
    ==William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

I can and I must reverence human nature. In its vast potential lie all the attributes of the godlike we may ever know.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

We cannot bow before a being, however great and powerful, who governs tyrannically. We respect nothing but excellence, whether on earth or in heaven. We venerate, not the loftiness of God’s throne, but the equity and goodness in which it is established. We believe that God is infinitely good, kind, benevolent, in the proper sense of these words; good in disposition, as well as in act; good not to a few, but to all; good to every individual, as well as to the general system.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

I call that mind free which jealously guards its intellectual rights and powers, which calls no man master, which does not content itself with a passive or hereditary faith, which opens itself to light whencesoever it may come, which receives new truth as an angel from Heaven.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

The great end in religious instruction, is not to stamp our minds upon the young, but to stir up their own; not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own; not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent love of truth; not to form an outward regularity, but to reach inward springs … In a word, the great end is to awaken the soul …        ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny. … In war, then, as in peace, assert the freedom of speech and of the press. Cling to this as the bulwark of all our rights and privileges.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

To be prosperous is not to be superior, and should form no barrier between men. Wealth ought not to secure to the prosperous the slightest consideration. The only distinctions which should be recognized are those of the soul, of strong principle, of incorruptible integrity, of usefulness, of cultivated intellect, of fidelity in seeking the truth.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

Books are the true levelers.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

Whatever you may suffer, speak the truth. Be worthy of the entire confidence of your associates. Consider what is right as what must be done. It is not necessary that you should keep your property or even your life, but it is necessary that you should hold fast to your integrity.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

This is the bond of the Universal Church. No man can be excommunicated from it but by the death of goodness in his own breast.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

You complain that our standard is not particular  enough. But this is the distinguishing feature of our system of liberality. The greater the variety of sentiments with which a system will harmonize or the fewer its fundamentals, the more worthy it is of liberal minds.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

Our great error as a people is that we put an idolatrous trust in our free institutions: as if these, by some magic powers, must secure our rights, however we enslave ourselves to evil passions. We need to learn that the forms of liberty as not its essence; that whilst the letter of a free constitution is preserved, its spirit may be lost; that even its wisest provisions and most guarded powers may be made weapons of tyranny.
    ==William Ellery Channing (1780-1842)

Every manufacturer ought to remember that his fortune was not achieved by himself alone, but by the cooperation of his workmen. He should acknowledge their rights to share the benefits of that which could not exist without their faithful performance of duty.
    ==Peter Cooper (1791-1883)

Truth, crushed to earth, will rise again
   Th’ eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain
   And dies among his worshipers.
    ==William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)

If any man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness, and ask for truth, and he will find both.
    ==Horace Mann (1796-1859)

The common school is the greatest discovery ever made by man.
    ==Horace Mann (1796-1859)

Now surely nothing but universal education can counterwork the tendency to the domination of capital and the servility of labor. If one class possesses all the wealth and the education, while the residue of society is ignorant and poor, it matters not by what name the relation between them may be called: the latter, in fact and in truth, will be servants, dependents and subjects of the former. But, if education be equally diffused, it will draw property after it by the strongest of all attractions, for such a thing never did happen, as that an intelligent and practical body of men should be permanently poor.
Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is a great equalizer of conditions of men,—the balance wheel of the social machinery. … It does better than to disarm the poor of their hostility toward the rich: it prevents being poor.
    ==Horace Mann (1796-1859)

Habit is a cable; we weave a thread of it each day, and at last we cannot break it.
    ==Horace Mann (1796-1859)

Dead fish float with the tide; live ones swim against it.
    ==Thomas Whittemore (1800-1861)

We dread frost more than fire. From the beginning …Universalists have been in favor of pure, warm, ardent feeling in the cause of religion.
    ==Thomas Whittemore (1800-1861)

The best government rests on the people and not on the few, on persons and not on property, on the free development of public opinion and not on authority.
    ==George Bancroft (1800-1891)

The exact measure of the progress of civilization is the degree in which the intelligence of the common mind has prevailed over wealth and brute force …
    ==George Bancroft (1800-1891)

I do not ask for this [Universalist] faith because I shrink from paying the great debt of nature. But I ask for it that I may have respect for myself — that I may feel life is worth living — that good is worth striving for above and beyond its mere return of earth. And above all else, I ask for that faith because it makes life grand, and gives to us sublime possibilities. And further, it gives a substance of joy and bliss which nothing earthly ever gave, and which nothing of earth can take away.
    ==Eunice Waite Cobb (1802-1880)

In a world where there is so much that needs to be done, I feel strongly impressed that there must be something for me to do.
    ==Dorothea Dix (1802-1882)

Went yesterday to Cambridge and spent most of the day at Mount Auburn; got my luncheon at Fresh Pond, and went back again to the woods. After much wandering and seeing many things, four snakes gliding up and down a hollow for no purpose that I could see — not to eat, not for love, but only gliding
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The misery of man appears like childish petulance, when we explore the steady and prodigal provision that has been made for his support on this green ball which floats him through the heavens.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

As a plant upon the earth, so a man rests upon the bosom of God; he is nourished by unfailing fountains, and draws at his need inexhaustible power.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Man Thinking; him Nature solicits with all her placid [pictures], all her monitory pictures; him the past instructs; him the future invites. Is not indeed every man a student, and do not all things exist for the student’s behoof? And, finally, is not the true scholar the only true master? But the old oracle said, “All things have two handles: beware of the wrong one.”
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

… when the sluggard intellect of the continent will look out from under iron lids, and fill the postponed expectation of the world with something better than the exertions of mechanical skill. Our day of independence, our long apprenticeship to the learning of other lands draws to a close.
The millions, that around us are rushing into life, cannot always be fed on the sere remains of foreign harvests. Events, actions arise, that must be sung, that will sing themselves.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Instead of the sublime and beautiful, the near, the low, the common was explored and poetized. … The literature of the poor, the meaning of the household life, are the topics of the time. It is a great stride. It is a sign — is it not? — of new vigor when the extremities are made active, when currents of warm life run into the hands and feet. I ask not for the great, the remote, what is doing in Italy or Arabia; I embrace the common, I explore and sit at the feet of the familiar, the low. Give me insight into today, and you may have the antique and the future worlds.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What is nature to him [the American scholar]? There is never a beginning, there is never an end, to the inextricable continuity of this web of God, but always circular power returning into itself. Therein it resembles his own spirit, whose ending he can never find, — so entire, so boundless.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I look upon the discontent of the literary class, as a mere announcement of the fact that they find themselves not in the same state of mind of their fathers, and regard the coming state as untried; as a boy dreads the water before he has learned to swim. If there is any period one would desire to be born in, — is it not the age of Revolution … when the energies of all men are searched by fear and hope; when the historic glories of the old can be compensated by the rich possibilities of the new era? This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

It becomes him [the American scholar] to feel all confidence in himself and to defer never to the popular cry. He and he only knows the world. The word of any moment is the merest appearance. Some great decorum, some great fetish of a government, some ephemeral trade, or war, or man, is cried up by half mankind and cried down by the other half, as if all depended on this particular up and down. The odds are that the whole question is not worth the poorest thought which the scholar has lost in listening to the controversy. Let him not quit his belief that a popgun is a popgun, though the ancient and honorable earth affirm it to be the crack of doom. … Success treads on every right step. For the instinct is sure, that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Wherever a man comes, there comes revolution. The old is for slaves. When a man comes, all books are legible, all things transparent, all religions are forms.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Be content with a little light, so it be your own. Explore and explore.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

If a man is at heart just, then in so far is he God; the safety of God, the immortality of God, the majesty of God do enter into that man with justice.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

But speak the truth, and all nature and all spirits help you with unexpected furtherance. Speak the truth, and all things alive or brute are vouchers, and the very roots of the grass underground there, do seem to stir and move to bear you witness. … Good is positive. Evil is merely privative. … It is like cold, which is the privation of heat. All evil is so much death or nonentity. Benevolence is absolute and real. … The intuitions of the moral sentiment is an insight of the perfection of the laws of the soul. … The dawn of the sentiment of virtue on the heart, gives and is the assurance that Law is sovereign over all natures. [But speak the truth] and the worlds, time, space, eternity, do seem to break out into joy.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Beware when the great God lets loose a thinker on this planet. Then all things are at risk … The very hope of man, the thoughts of the heart, the religion of natures, the manners and morals of mankind are all at the mercy of a new generation.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The virtues of society are vices of the saint.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

No facts to me are sacred, none are profane; I simply experiment, an endless seeker with no Past at my back.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

No truth so sublime but it may be trivial tomorrow in the light of new thoughts. People wish to be settled; only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Nothing good was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

But men are better than their theology. Their daily life gives it the lie.

    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The dice of God are always loaded.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

There is a crack in everything that God has made.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

If you put a chain round the neck of a slave, the other end fastens around your own.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What will you have? quoth God; pay for it and take it.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A man cannot speak but he judges himself. … no man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Every evil to which we do not succumb is a benefactor.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Every sweet has its sour; every evil its good.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

For every thing you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The history of persecution is a history of endeavors to cheat nature, to make water run up hill, to twist a rope of sand. … Every burned book or house enlightens the world, every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Everything in Nature contains all the powers of Nature. Everything is made of one hidden stuff.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Heroism feels and never reasons and therefore is always right.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Life is a festival only to the wise.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Every man is a divinity in disguise, a god playing the fool.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

God offers to every mind a choice between truth and repose. Take which you please — you can never have both.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What is the hardest task in the world? To think.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Our faith comes in moments, our vice is habitual.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The soul is the receiver and revealer of truth. We know truth when we see it, let skeptic and scoffer say what they choose.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The simplest person, who in his integrity worships God, becomes God.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The great distinction between teachers sacred or literary … is that one class speak from within, or from experience, as parties and possessors of the fact; and the other class from without, as spectators merely, or perhaps as acquainted with the fact on the evidence of third parties.
It is no use to preach to me from without. I can do that too easily myself. Jesus always speaks from within, and in a degree that transcends all others. In that is the miracle.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

We grant that human life is mean, but how did we find out that it was mean? What is the ground of this uneasiness of ours; of this old discontent? What is the universal sense of want and ignorance but the fine innuendo by which the soul makes its enormous claim?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Let man then learn the revelation of all nature and all thought to his heart; this, namely, that the Highest dwells with him; that the sources of nature are in his own mind, if the sentiment of duty is there. But if he would know what the great God speaketh, he must “go into his closet and shut the door,” as Jesus said. God will not make himself manifest to cowards.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The faith that stands on authority is not faith.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

As men’s prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds a disease of the intellect.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Whoso would be a man must be a nonconformist. He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. …
A man is to carry himself in the presence of all opposition as if every thing were titular and ephemeral but he. I am ashamed to think how easily we capitulate to badges and names, to large societies and dead institutions.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Prayer that craves a particular commodity, anything less than all good, is vicious. … Prayer as a means to effect a private end is meanness and theft. … As soon as the man is at one with God, he will not beg.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. …
It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion, it is easy in solitude to live after our own, but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. … Our housekeeping is mendicant, our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion we have not chosen, but society has chosen it for us. We are parlor soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Society never advances. … It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is Christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For everything that is given, something is taken.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

And it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber, whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by a Christianity, entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic, but in Christendom where is the Christian?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The reliance on Property, including the reliance on governments which protect it, is the want of self-reliance.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A political victory, a rise of rents, the recovery of your sick or the return of your absent friend or some other favorable event, raises your spirit and you think good days are preparing for you.
Do not believe it. Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Nature will not have us fret or fume. She does not like our benevolence or our learning much better than she likes our frauds and wars. When we come out of the caucus, or the bank, or the Abolition-convention, or the Temperance-meeting into the fields and woods, she says to us, “So hot? My little Sir.”
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

O my brothers, God exists. There is a soul at the center of nature and over the will of every man, so that none of us can be wrong in the universe.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Besides, why should we be so cowed by the name of Action? ‘Tis a trick of the senses – no more. We know that the ancestor of every action is a thought. … To think is to act.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The only reward of virtue is virtue; the only way to have a friend is to be one.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

There is always a certain meanness in the argument of conservatism, joined with a certain superiority in its fact.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The two parties which divide the state, the party of Conservatism and that of Innovation, are very old and have disputed possession of the world ever since it was made. This quarrel is the subject of all civil history.
The conservative party established the reverend hierarchies and monarchies of the most ancient world. The battle of patrician and plebeian, of parent state and colony, of old usage and accommodation to new facts, of the rich and the poor, reappear in all countries and times.
The war rages, and not only in battlefields, in national councils and ecclesiastical synods, but agitates every man’s bosom with opposing advantages every hour.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The history of reform is always identical; it is the comparison of the idea with the fact.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I think that only is real, which men love and rejoice in, not what they tolerate, but what they choose; what they embrace and avow, and not the things which chill, benumb and terrify them.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

We call the Beautiful the highest, because it appears to us the golden mean, escaping the dowdiness of the good and the heartlessness of the true.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

No change of circumstances can repair a defect of character. We boast our emancipation from many superstitions but if we have broken any idols, it is through a transfer of the idolatry. We have I gained that I no longer immolate a bull to Jove or to Neptune or a mouse to Hecate; that I do not tremble before the Eumenides or the Catholic Purgatory or the Calvinistic Judgment-day — if I quake at opinion, the public opinion.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Character is that which can do without success.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The multitude of false churches accredits the true religion. Literature, poetry, science are the homage of man to his unfathomed secret, concerning which no sane man can affect an indifference or incuriosity. Nature is loved by what is best in us. It is loved as the city of God, although, or rather because there is no citizen.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

People grieve and bemoan themselves, but it is not half as bad with them as they say. There are moods in which we court suffering in the hope that here at least we shall have reality, sharp peaks and edges of truth. But it turns out to be scene-painting and counterfeit. The only thing grief has taught me is how shallow it is. … I grieve that grief can teach me nothing, nor carry me one step into real nature.
The definition of spiritual should be, that which is its own evidence.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

For the universe has three children, born at one time, which appear under different names in every system of thought, whether they be called cause, operation and effect; or, more poetically, Jove, Pluto, Neptune; or, theologically, the Father, the Spirit and the Son; but which we call the Knower, the Doer and the Sayer.
These stand respectively for the love of truth, for the love of good and for the love of beauty. These three are equal.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The power of Love, as the basis of a State, has never been tried … There will always be a government of force where men are selfish.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Good men must not obey the laws too well.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The philosopher and lover of man have much harm to say of trade, but the historian will see that trade was the principle of Liberty, that trade planted America and destroyed Feudalism, that it makes peace and keeps peace, and it will abolish slavery.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What is the use of the concert of the false and disunited? There can be no concert in two, where there is no concert in one. When the individual is not individual, but is dual; when his thoughts look one way, and his actions another; when his faith is traversed by his habits; when his will, enlightened by reason, is warped by his senses; when with one hand he rows, and with the other backs water, what concert can be?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The life of man is the true romance, which, when it is valiantly conducted, will yield the imagination of a higher joy than any fiction. … That is ever the difference between the wise and the unwise: the latter wonders at what is unusual, the wise man wonders at the usual.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

All are needed by each one.
Nothing is good or fair alone.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

When half gods go
the gods arrive.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Here is the world, sound as a nut, perfect, not the smallest piece of chaos left, never a stitch nor an end, not a mark of haste, or botching, or second thought; but the theory of the world is a thing of shreds and patches.
He is great who is what he is from Nature, and who never reminds us of others.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

[Napoleon] did all that in him lay to live and thrive without moral principle. It was the nature of things, the eternal law of man and of the world, which balked and ruined him; and the result, in a million experiments, will be he same. Every experiment, by multitudes or by individuals, that has a sensual and selfish aim, will fail.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

As long as our civilization is essentially one of property, of fences, of exclusiveness, it will be mocked by delusions. Our riches will leave us sick; there will be bitterness in our laughter, and our wine will burn out mouth. Only that good profits which we can taste with all doors open, and which serves all men.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Here was a question of an immoral law [the Fugitive Slave Law], a question agitated for ages, and settled always in the same way by every great jurist, that an immoral law cannot be valid.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I don’t like joking with edge-tools, and there is no knife as sharp as legislation.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A impoverishing skepticism scatters poverty, disease and cunning, through our opinions, then through practice. The Dark Ages did not know they were dark; and what if it should turn out, that our material civilization has no sun, but only ghastly gas-lights?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

[Conservatives] would nail the stars to the sky. … They wish their age to be absolutely like the last. There is no confession of destitution like this fierce conservatism. Can anything proclaim so loudly the absence of all aim or principle? What means this desperate grasp on the past, if not that they find no genius, no hope, no future in their own mind?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The boy looks at his professor and the textbook, with frightful penetration, and says, “Has the professor read his own books? I do not see that he is better or stronger for it all.” —He looks into the stables at the horses, and, after a few trials, concludes that the horses can teach him the most. They give him health, courage, and address, with no false pretenses. The horse is what he stands for : perhaps he will break the rider’s neck, but he never prated of ethics or humanity, whilst the presidents and professors of the colleges were in this very rabble that voted down the moral sentiments of mankind.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Woman is the power of civilization. Man is a bear in colleges, in mines, in ships, because there are no women. Let good women sail in the ship, the manners are altered and mended; in a college, in California, the same remedy serves.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What is civilization? I call it the power of good women.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

One truth leads to another by the hand; one right is an accession of strength to take more. And the times are marked by the new attitude of women urging, by argument and by association, her rights of all kinds, in short, to one half of the world: the right to education; to avenues of employment; to equal rights of property; to equal rights of marriage; to the exercise of the professions; to suffrage.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Human society is made up of partialities. Each citizen has an interest and a view of his own, which, if followed out to the extreme, would leave no room for any other citizen. One man is timid, and another rash; one would change nothing, and the other is pleased with nothing; one wishes schools, another armies; one gunboats, another public gardens.
Bring all these biases together, and something is done in favor of them all. Every one is a half vote; but the next elector behind him brings the other or corresponding half in his hand.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The first thing men think of, when they love, is to exhibit their usefulness and advantages. Women make light of these, asking only love.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

It is found that the machine unmans the user. What he gains in making cloth, he loses in general power. There must be a temperance in making cloth, as well as in eating. A man should not be a silk-worm nor a nation a tent of caterpillars.
… The incessant repetition of the same hand-work dwarfs the man, robs him of his strength, wit and versatility, to make a pin-polisher, a buckle-maker or any other specialty; and presently, in a change of industry, whole towns are sacrificed like ant-hills, when the fashion of shoe-strings supersedes buckles, when cotton takes the place of linen, or railways of turnpikes, or when commons are enclosed by landlords.
Then society is admonished of the mischief of the division of labor, and that the best political economy is care and culture of men; for in these crises all are ruined except such as are proper individuals, capable of thought and of new choice and the application of their talent to new labor.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

[The English] wish neither to command nor to obey, but to be kings in their own houses.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Who makes the abolitionist? The slaveholder. The sentiment of mercy is the natural recall which the laws of the universe provide to protect mankind from destruction of savage passions.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

… The arch-abolitionist, older than Brown and older than the Shenandoah Mountains, is Love, whose other name is Justice
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Shallow men believe in luck. … Wise men believe in cause and effect.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Intellect annuls fate. So far as a man thinks, he is free.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Leave the hypocritical prating about the masses. Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influences, and need not to be flattered but to be schooled. I wish not to concede anything to them, but to tame, drill, divide and break them up, and draw individuals out of them.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Great men, great nations, have not been boasters and buffoons, but perceivers of the terror of life.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

And one may say boldly that no man has a right perception of any truth who has not been reacted on it so as to be ready to be its martyr.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Tobacco, coffee, alcohol, hashish, prussic acid, strychnine, are weak dilutions; the surest poison is time.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Let us build altars to the Beautiful Necessity, which secures all that is made of one piece; that plaintiff and defendant, friend and enemy, animal and plant, food and eater are one kind.
In astronomy is vast space but no foreign system; in geology, vast time but the same laws as today. Why should we be afraid of Nature, which is no other than “philosophy and theology embodied”? Why should we fear to be crushed by savage elements, we who are made up of the same elements?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Our chief want in life is somebody to make us do what we can.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

We cannot spare the coarsest muniment of virtue, We are disgusted by gossip, yet it is of importance to keep the angels in their proprieties.
The smallest fly will draw blood, and gossip is a weapon impossible to exclude from the privatest, highest, selectest. Nature created a police force of many ranks. God has delegated himself to a million deputies. From these low external penalties the scale ascents. Next come the resentments, the fears which injustice calls out; then the false relations in which the offender is put to other men; and the reaction of his fault on himself, in the solitude and devastation of his mind.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Skepticism is unbelief in cause and effect. A man does not see that as he eats, so he thinks; as he deals, so he is, and so he appears; he does not see that his son is the son of his thoughts and of his actions; that fortunes are not exceptions but fruit; that relation and connection are not somewhere and sometimes, but everywhere and always; no miscellany, no exemption, anomaly, — but method, and an even web; and what comes out, that was put in.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Honor him whose life is perpetual victory; him who, by sympathy with the invisible and real, finds support in labor, instead of praise; who does not shine, and would rather not. With eyes open, he makes the choice of virtue which outrages the virtuous; of religion which churches stop their discords to burn and exterminate; for the highest virtue is always against the law.
     ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The cure for false theology is mother-wit. Forget your books and traditions, and obey your moral perceptions at this hour.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

There is a principle which is the basis of things, which all speech aims to say, and all action to evolve, a simple, quiet, undescribed, undescribable presence, dwelling very peacefully in us, our rightful lord; we are not to do, but to let do; not to work, but to be worked upon; and to this homage there is a consent of all thoughtful and just men in all ages and conditions.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The true meaning of spiritual  is real;  that law which executes itself, which works without means, and which cannot be conceived as not existing.
Men talk of “mere morality” — which is much as if one should say, “poor God, with nobody to help him.”
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

This is Jove, who, deaf to prayers,
floods with blessings unawares.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Heaven deals with us on no representative system. Souls are not saved in bundles. The Spirit saith to man, “How it is with thee? Thee personally? Is it well? Is it ill?”
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The solar system has no anxiety about its reputation …
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

God builds his temple in the heart on the ruins of churches and religions.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The fatal trait is the divorce between religion and morality.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

… the louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons …
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

‘Tis remarkable that our faith in ecstasy consists with total inexperience of it.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Religion must always be a crab fruit; it cannot be grafted and keep its wild beauty.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character. We can only see what we are …
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

He is a strong man who can hold down his opinion.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The way to conquer the foreign artisan is, not to kill him, but to beat his work.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I look on that man as happy, who, when there is a question of success, looks into his own work for a reply …
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Why should I hasten to solve every riddle which life offers me? I am well assured that the Questioner who brings me so many problems will bring the answers also in due time. Very rich, very potent, very cheerful Giver that he is, he shall have it all his own way, for me. Why should I give up my thought because I cannot answer an objection to it?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Life is hardly respectable – is it? if it has no generous, guaranteeing task, no duties or affections that constitute a necessity of existing.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Of immortality, the soul well-employed is incurious.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Each man has an aptitude, and can do easily some feat impossible to any other. Each is a new method, and distributes things anew. If he could attain full size, he would take up, first or last, all the world into a new form.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Can we not let people be themselves, and enjoy life in their own way? You are trying to make that man another You. One’s enough.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

… As we grow older, we are struck with the steady return of a few principles. We are always finding new applications for the maxims and proverbs of the nursery: One old Bible is still enough to enunciate all the commandments for the most complex life in this giddy and arrogant country. Nay, a very small part of the book — a few chosen pages, a few golden rules — suffice for the guidance and comfort of the most advanced and advancing genius.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The soul makes its own place and associates with such companions as fit its state; the good with good, the bad with Satans, surrounds itself with such things as it loves and everywhere makes a heaven for itself. And that a man’s life is original, after his nature, and does what is constitutional to him.
There is no such waste in the history of men, as the misapplication of genius, and it is very late in life, often too late, that a man finds he has been out of his proper work all the time.
A men self-poised, and who will not be a mockingbird, is a benefactor. All that he does is memorable, and has its own flavor. His kindness is felt as a costly compliment, because it is not facility, but a choice.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

History is nothing but a string of biographies.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A good determination is next best to genius. Determination of blood is all one with intrinsic value. If a man is set on collecting coins, or diamonds, or Arabian horses, or an arboretum, or obtaining a particular piece of land, or a telescope, his heat makes the value. “A man is already of consequence in the world, when it is know we can implicitly rely on him.” ‘Tis hardly of importance what party, what aim, what interest he drives, only let it be in his bones, in his structure, and we know where to find him. We must have vitriol and mercury as well as wheat and salt.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

To a stout heart, there is no danger. To a good head, no problem is inscrutable. To a good foot, no place is slippery. To a good sailor, every wind has something of his course in it. To good hands, nothing is impossible.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Other world! There is no other world. God is one and omnipresent: here or nowhere is the whole fact. All the universe over, there is but one thing, — one Creator, one mind, one right.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

What is a day? To a stone, it is duration; to an ox, it is hay, grass and water; to a rational man, it is a splendor of beauty and opportunity. ‘Tis heavy to be an idle, empty man, for it will defeat him.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

You look with pride at majorities. Your party has a great many voters. Hundreds of thousands, did you say? But are you quite sure there is one?
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Talent without character is friskiness.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

… The height of civilization is absolute self-help combined with the most generous social relation.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The charm of life is this variety  of genius, these contrasts and flavors by which Heaven has modulated the identity of truth. And there is a perpetual hankering among people to violate this individuality, — to warp his ways of thinking and behavior to resemble or reflect their thinking and behavior.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
 
To him [Henry Thoreau] there was no such thing as size. The pond was a small ocean; the Atlantic, a large Walden Pond. He referred every minute fact to cosmic laws.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Morals implies freedom and will. The will constitutes the man. He has his life in Nature, like a beast; but choice is born in him; here is he that chooses; here is the Declaration of Independence, the July Fourth of zoölogy and astronomy.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

All violence, all that is dreary and repels, is not power but the absence of power.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Morals is the direction of the will on universal ends.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

… Our first experiences in moral, as in intellectual, nature, force us to discriminate a universal mind, identical in all men. Certain biases, talents, executive skills are special to each individual; but the high contemplative, all-commanding vision, the sense of Right and Wrong, is alike in all.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Men appear from time to time who receive with more purity and fullness these high communications. But it is only as fast as this hearing from another is authorized by its consent with his own, that it is pure and safe in each; and all receiving from abroad must be controlled by this immense reservation.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

… One noble person dwarfs a whole nation of underlings.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

I am far from accepting the opinion that the revelations of the moral sentiment are insufficient, as if it furnished a rule only, and not the spirit by which the rule is animated.
… Each poor soul loses all his old stays; no bishop watches him, no confessor reports that he has neglected the confessional, no class-leader admonishes him of absences, no faggot, no penance, no fine, no rebuke. Is not this wrong? is not this dangerous? ‘Tis not wrong, but the law of growth.
It is not dangerous, any more than the mother’s withdrawing her hands from the tottering babe, at his first walk across the nursery-floor; the child fears and cries, but achieves the feat, instantly tries it again, and never wishes to be assisted more. And this infant soul must learn to walk alone.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Character is the habit of action from the permanent vision of truth.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

To a well-principled man existence is victory.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Success in your work, the finding of a better method, the better understanding that insures the better performing, is hat and coat, is food and wine, is fire and horse and health and holiday. Al least, I find that any success in my work has the effect on my spirits of all these.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

If the red slayer thinks he slays
   Or if the slain think he is slain
They know not well the subtle ways
   I keep, and pass, and turn again.
Far and forgot to me is near;
   Shadow and sunlight are the same;
The vanished gods to me appear;
   And one to me are shame and fame.
They reckon ill who leave me out;    
   When they fly, I am the wings;
I am the doubter and the doubt
   And I the hymn the Brahmin sings. …
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Things are in the saddle
and ride mankind.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

  Let me go where’er I will
I hear a sky-born music still;
It sounds from all things old.
It sounds from all things young,
From all that’s fair and all that’s foul,
Peals out a cheerful song.
  It is not only in the rose.
It is not only in the bird.
Not only where the rainbow glows
Nor in the song of woman heard,
But in the meanest, darkest things
There alway, alway something sings.
  ‘T is not in the high stars alone
Nor in the cup of budding flowers,
Nor in the redbreast’s mellow tone,
Nor in the bow that smiles in showers,
But in the mud and scum of things
There alway, alway something sings.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

So nigh is grandeur to our dust,
   So near is God to man,
When Duty whispers low, Thou must,
   The youth replies, I can.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Who care though rival cities soar
   Along the stormy coast
Penn’s town, New York and Baltimore,
   If Boston knew the most!
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The education of the will is the object of our existence.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Knowledge is the antidote to fear.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Hitch your wagon to a star.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

The true test of civilization is, not the census, not the size of cities, nor the crops, but the kind of man the country turns out.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Look sharply after your thoughts. They come unlooked for, like a new bird seen on the trees, and, if you turn to your usual task, disappear; and you shall never find that perception again; never, I say — but perhaps years, ages, and I know not what events and worlds may lie between you and its return!
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

This time, like all times, is a very good one if we but know what to do with it. … Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Crossing a bare common, in snow puddles, at twilight, under a clouded sky, without having in my thought any occurence of special good fortune, I have enjoyed a perfect exhilaration. I am glad to the brink of fear.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

It is in vain that we look for genius to reiterate its miracles in the old arts; it is its instinct to find beauty and holiness in new and necessary facts, in the field and road-side, in the shop and mill.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Life consists of what a man is thinking all day.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make, the better.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Astronomy taught us our insignificance in Nature; showed us that our sacred as our profane history had been written in great ignorance of its laws, which were far grander than we knew, and compelled a certain extension and uplifting of our views of the Deity and his Providence. The correction of our superstitions was continued by the new science of Geology, and the whole train of discoveries in every department.
But we presently saw also that the religious nature in man was not affected by these errors in his understanding. The religious sentiment made nothing of bulk or size, or far and near; triumphed over time as well as space; and every lesson of humility, or justice, or charity, which the old, ignorant saints had taught him, was still forever true.
    ==Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)
    
All members of every Community shall stand on a footing of personal equality, irrespective of sex, color, occupation, wealth, rank or any other natural or adventitious peculiarity.
    ==Adin Ballou (1803-1898)

Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us on a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.
    ==Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.
    ==Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

From principles is derived probability, but truth of certainty is derived only from facts.
    ==Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Influential classes, and those who take upon themselves to be leaders of the people, are fully liable to all the passionate error that has ever characterized the maddest mob.
    ==Nathaniel Hawthorne )1804=1864)

The study of Nature is intercourse with the highest Mind.
    ==Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)

Every great scientific truth goes through three states: First, people say it conflicts with the Bible; next, they say it has been discovered before; lastly, they say they have always believed it.
    ==Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)    

I cannot afford to waste my time making money.
    ==Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)

If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we would find in each person’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.
    ==Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Trust no future, howe’er pleasant,
Let the dead past bury its dead,
Act – act in the living present.
Heart within, and God O’erhead.
    ==Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Were half the power that fills the world with terror,
Were half the wealth bestowed on camps and courts,
Given to redeem the human mind from error,
There were no need of arsenals or forts.
    ==Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet
The word repeat
Of peace on earth, good will toward men.
    ==Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

To be able, in any way, to benefit, interest or even amuse any of the weary beings that toil their way through this “vale of tears,” whether our efforts are known and appreciated or not … to have it in our power to wipe one tear from the cheek of the despondent, to cast one ray of light upon the haggard features of misery … The bare idea of its possibility has gilded the dark images of life with a glow they never wore before.
    ==Julia Kinsey Scott (1809-1842)

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

The mystery at the beginnings of all things is insoluble by us; and I, for one, must be content to remain an agnostic.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

I have steadily endeavored to keep my mind free, so as to give up any hypothesis, however much beloved, as soon as facts are shown to be opposed to it.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

There is no exception to the rule that every organic being naturally increases at so high a rate, that, if not destroyed, the earth would soon be covered by the progeny of a single pair. Even slow-breeding man has doubled in 25 years and, at this rate, in less than a thousand years, there would literally be no standing room for his progeny.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Of all the differences between man and the lower animals, the moral sense of conscience is by far the most important. … It is summed up in the short but imperious word ought, so full of high significance. It is the most noble of all the attributes of man, leading him without a moment’s hesitation to risk his life for that of a fellow-creature; or after due deliberation, impelled simply by the deep feeling of right or duty, to sacrifice it in some great cause.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

The idea of a universal and benevolent Creator does not seem to arise in the mind of man, until he has been elevated by long-continued culture.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Without speculation, there is no good and original observation.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a more perfect creature than he now is, it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

I feel compelled to look for a first Cause … and I deserve to be called a Deist.
I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God … an agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.
    ==Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Sin has many tools, but a lie is the handle that fits them all.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894)

Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at the truth.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894)

Don’t be “consistent,” but be simply true.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894)

The history of most countries has been that of majorities — mounted majorities, clad in iron, armed with death, treading down the tenfold more numerous minorities.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (1809-1894)
    
Cherish your best hopes as a faith, and abide by them in action.
    ==Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)

Beware of over-great pleasure in being popular or even beloved. As far as an amiable disposition and powers of entertainment make you so, it is happiness, but if there is one grain of plausibility [insincerity], it is a poison.
    ==Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)

We would have every arbitrary barrier thrown down.  We would have every path laid open to Woman as freely as to Man.
    ==Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)    

Truth is the nursing mother of genius. No man can be absolutely true to himself, eschewing cant, compromise, servile imitation and complaisance, without becoming original, for there is in every creature a fountain of life which, if not choked back by stones and other dead rubbish, will create a fresh atmosphere and bring to life fresh beauty.
    ==Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)

The solar system as it exists is permanent though the notions of Thales and Ptolemy, of Copernicus and Descartes, about this system prove transient, imperfect approximations to the true expression.
So the Christianity of Jesus is permanent, though what passes for Christianity with popes and catechisms, with sects and churches, in the first century or nineteenth century, prove transient also.
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

There is what I call the American idea … a democracy — that is, a government of all the people, by all the people, for all the people; of course a government of the principles of eternal justice, the unchanging law of God: for shortness sake, I will call it the idea of Freedom.
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

Truth never yet fell dead in the streets. It has such affinity with the soul of man, the seed however broadcast will catch somewhere and produce its hundredfold.
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

There is but one kind of religion, as there is but one kind of love, though the manifestations of this religion, in forms, doctrines and life, be never so diverse.
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

The church that is to lead this century will not be a church creeping on all fours mewling and whining, its face turned down, its eyes turned back.
It must be full of the brave, manly spirit of the day, keeping also the good of times past. There is a terrific energy in this age, for man was never so much developed, so much the master of himself before. Great truths, moral and political, have come to light. …
It demands, as never before, freedom for itself, usefulness in its institutions, truth in its teachings and beauty in its deeds. Let a church have that freedom, that usefulness, truth and beauty and the energy of this aged will be on its side. But the church which did for the fifth century, or the fifteenth, will not do for this. It must have our ideas, the smell of our ground, and have grown out of the religion in our soul.
The freedom of America must be there before this energy will come; the wisdom of the nineteenth century, before its science will be on the churches’ side.
A church that believes only in past inspirations will appeal to the old books as the standard of truth and source of light, will be antiquarian in its habits, will call its children by the old names and war on the new age, not understanding the man-child born to rule the world.
A church that believes in inspiration now will appeal to God; try things by reason and conscience; aim to surpass the old heroes; baptize its children with a new spirit, and, using the present age, will lead public opinion, not follow it.
Let us have a church that dares imitate the heroism of Jesus, seek inspiration as he sought it, judge the past as he; act on the present like him; pray as he prayed; work as he wrought; live as he lived.
Let our doctrines and our forms fit the soul, as the limbs fit the body — growing out of it, growing with it. Let us have a church for the whole man: truth for the mind, good works for the hands, love for the heart; and for the soul, that aspiring after perfection, that unfaltering faith in God, which, like lightning in the clouds, shines brightest when elsewhere it is most dark.
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

It is hard to see why the great truths of Christianity rest on the personal authority of Jesus, more than the axioms of geometry rest on the personal authority of Euclid or Archimedes.
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

The books that help you most are those which make you think the most.
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

Democracy means not “I am as good as you are,” but “You are as good as I am.”
    ==Theodore Parker (1810-1860)

Our best searching will only give us indications of that truth which is infinite. Yet this is no reason why we should not be looking for it, and stating when we think we have found it.
    ==John G. Adams (1810-1887)

[A] comparatively small portion of scripture bears on immortal life and the great end of our course. Conduct is three-fourths of life. This present life is the great pressing concern. … A solemn reserve is thrown over future life; the great emphasis is on the present time. This is precisely as it should be.
    ==Phineas T. Barnum (1810-1891)

More persons, on the whole, are humbugged by believing nothing, than by believing too much.
    ==Phineas T. Barnum (1810-1891)

But the world does  move, and its motive power under God is the fearless thought and speech of those who dare to be in advance of their time — who are sneered at and shunned through their days of struggle as lunatics, dreamers, impracticables and visionaries …
    ==Horace Greeley (1811-1872)

Better incur the trouble of testing and exploding a thousand fallacies than by rejecting stifle a single beneficent Truth.
    ==Horace Greeley (1811-1872)

And though around our path some form of mystery ever lies,
And life is like the calm and storm that checker earth and skies,
Through all its mingling joy and dread, permit us, Holy One,
By faith to see the golden thread of thy great purpose run.
    ==Edwin Hubbell Chapin (1814-1880)

The actual falsehood from which all forms of slavery originate is the doctrine of original sin, and woman as the medium for the machinations of Satan.
    ==Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902)

I slept, and dreamed that life was Beauty,
I woke, and found that life was Duty.
    ==Ellen Sturgis Hooper (1816-1848)

What is the good of a house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

The man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Any man more right than his neighbors constitutes a majority of one already.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

If a plant cannot live according to its own nature, it dies; and so a man.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Why level downwards to our dullest perception always, and praise that as common sense? The commonest sense is the sense of men asleep, which they express by snoring. …
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Why should we be in such a desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Nothing is to be feared so much as fear. Atheism may comparatively be popular with God himself.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Be not simply good, be good for something.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

I am as desirous of being a good neighbor as I am of being a bad subject.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Whenever I hear a grown man or woman say, “Once I had faith in me, now I have not,” I am inclined to ask, “Who are you whom the world has disappointed? Have you not rather disappointed the world? There is the same ground for faith now that ever was; it needs only a little love in you who complain so to ground it on.”
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master’s chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw at it still.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

In the midst of a gentle rain … I was suddenly sensible of such sweet and beneficent and unaccountable friendliness all at once like an atmosphere sustaining me, as made the fancied advantages of human neighborhood insignificant, and I have never thought of them since.
Every little pine needle expanded and swelled with sympathy, and befriended me. I was so distinctly made aware of the presence of something kindred to me, even in scenes which we are accustomed to call wild and dreary … that I thought no place could ever be strange to me again.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Sometimes, in a summer morning, having taken my accustomed bath, I sat in my sunny doorway from sunrise till noon, rapt in a reverie, amidst the pines and hickories and sumacs, in undisturbed solitude and stillness, while the birds sang around or flitted noiseless through the house, until by the sun falling in at my west window, or the noise of some traveler’s wagon on the distant highway, I was reminded of the lapse of time.
I grew in those seasons like corn in the night, and they were far better than any work of my hands would have been. They were not time subtracted from my life, but as much over and above my usual allowance. I realized what the Orientals mean by contemplation and the forsaking of works.
    ==Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

Besides learning to see, there is another art to be learned – not to see what is not.
    ==Maria Mitchell (1818-1889)

Small as is our whole system compared with the infinitude of creation, brief as is our life compared with the cycles of time, we are so tethered to all by the beautiful dependencies of law, that not only the sparrow’s fall is felt to the outermost bound, but the vibrations set in motion by the worlds that we utter reach through all space and the tremor is felt through all time.
    ==Maria Mitchell (1818-1889)

The gift without the giver is bare.
Who gives himself with his alms feeds three —
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and me.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

The pressure of public opinion is like the pressure of the atmosphere; you can’t see it — but, all the same, it is sixteen pounds to the square inch.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

They are slaves who dare not be
In the right with two or three.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

A weed is no more than a flower in disguise,
Which is seen through at once, if love give a man eyes.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

He who is firmly seated in authority soon learns to think security, and not progress, the highest lesson of statecraft.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

It was in making education not only common to all, but in some sense compulsory to all, that the destiny of the free republics of America was generally settled.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

We will speak out, we will be heard
    Though all earth’s systems crack.
We will not bate a single word
    Nor take a letter back.
Let liars fear, let cowards shrink,
    Let traitors turn away.
Whatever we have dared to think,
    That dared we also say.
We speak the truth, and what care we
    For hissing and for scorn,
While some faint gleaming we can see
    Of Freedom’s coming morn.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

Then to side with Truth is noble, when we share her wretched crust,
Ere her cause bring fame and profit, and ‘tis prosperous to be just;
Then it is the brave man chooses, while the coward stands aside,
Doubting in his abject spirit, till his Lord is crucified.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

They talk about their Pilgrim blood,
   Their birthright high and holy!
A mountain-stream that ends in mud
   Methinks is melancholy.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

Toward no crimes have men shown themselves so cold-bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of belief.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

When Church and State are habitually associated it is natural that minds, even of a high order, should unconsciously come to regard religion as a subtler mode of police.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

The real gravaman of the charges [against democracy] lies in the habit it has of making itself generally disagreeable by asking the Powers that be at the most inconvenient moment whether they are the powers that ought to be.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

If there are men who regret the Good Old Times without too clear a notion of what they were, they should at least be thankful that we are rid of that misguided energy of fath which justifies conscience in making men unrelentingly cruel.
    ==James Russell Lowell (1819-1891)

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed and well-fed.
    ==Herman Melville (1819-1892)

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us. … And among these fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. On a daily basis, we affect the web of all existence, just as we are affected by it.
    ==Herman Melville (1819-1892)

He who has never failed somewhere, than man cannot be great.
    ==Herman Melville (1819-1892)

Try to get a living by the Truth — and go to the Soup Societies. Heavens! Let any clergyman try to preach the Truth from the pulpit, and they would ride him out of the church on his own pulpit bannister.
    ==Herman Melville (1819-1892)

We talk of the Turks and abhor the cannibals, but may not some of them go to heaven before some of us? We have have civilized bodies and yet barbarous souls. We are blind to the real sights of this word, deaf to its voice, and dead to its death.
    ==Herman Melville (1819-1892)

Glimpses do ye see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all earnest, deep thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of the sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast him on the treacherous slavish shore.
    ==Herman Melville (1819-1892)

Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one country will be too tender to those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure them.
    ==Julia Ward Howe (1819-1910)

As our experience deepens, we realize that the whole world is one vast encampment, and that every man and woman is a soldier. We have not voluntarily enlisted into this service, with an understanding of its terms and conditions, but have been drafted into the conflict, and cannot escape taking part in it. We are not even allowed to choose our place in the ranks, but have been pushed into life … and cannot be discharged until mustered out by death. Nor is it permitted to furnish a substitute. …
We may prove deserters or traitors, and struggle to the rear during the conflict, or go over to the enemy and fight under the flag of wrong. But the fact remains we are all drafted into the battle of life, and are expected to do our duty according to the best of our ability.
    ==Mary Livermore (1820-1905)

Men, their rights and nothing more. Women, their rights and nothing less.
    ==Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)

It was we, the people, not we, the white male citizens; nor yet we, the male citizens, but we, the whole people, who formed the Union.
    ==Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)

Modern invention has banished the spinning wheel, and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother.
    ==Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)

I dislike those who know so well what God wants them to do because it always coincides with their own desires.
    ==Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906)

I have an almost complete disregard of precedent and a faith in the possibility of something better. It irritates me to be told how things always have been done. … I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind. I go for anything that might improve the past.
    ==Clara Barton (1821-1912)

… I am a Universalist … a belief in which all who are privileged to possess it rejoice. In my case it was a great gift, like St. Paul, “I was born free,” and saved the pain of reaching it through years of struggle and doubt. … I look forward to a time in the near future when the busy world will let me once more become a living part of its people, praising God for the advance in the liberal faith of the world today, so largely due to the teachings of this belief.
    ==Clara Barton (1821-1912)

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.
    ==Edward Everett Hale (1822-1909)

How near another’s heart we may stand,
Yet all unknowing what we fain would know,
Its heights of joy, its depths of bitter woe,
As, wrecked upon some desert island’s strand,
They watch our white sails near and nearer grow;
Then we, who for their rescue death would dare,
Unheeding pass, and leave them to despair.
    ==Julia Fletcher Carney (1823-1908)

Universalists believe that God is too good to damn them, whereas the Unitarians believe they are too good to be damned.
    ==Thomas Starr King (1824-1864)

The test of civilization is the estimate of woman. Among savages she is a slave. In the dark ages of Christianity she is a toy and a sentimental goddess. With increasing moral light and greater liberty, and more universal justice, she begins to develop as an equal human being.
    ==George William Curtis (1824-1892)

My advice to a young man seeking deathless fame would be to espouse an unpopular cause and devote his life to it.
    ==George William Curtis (1824-1892)

While I am in favor of universal suffrage, yet I know that the colored man needs something more than a vote in his hand — a man landless, ignorant and poor may use the vote against his interests, but with intelligence and land he holds in his hand the basis of power and elements of strength.
    ==Frances E.W. Harper (1825-1911)

Every nation must learn that the people of all nations are children of god and must share the wealth of the world.
    ==Olympia Brown (1835-1926)

We have all of us, whether rich or poor, whether high or low, of whatever nationality and religious conviction, the same supreme necessities and the same great problem and infinity of love. This old world has rolled on through countless stages and phases of physical progress until it is the home of humanity, and it has, through a process of evolution or growth reached an era of intellectual and spiritual development where there is “malice toward none and charity toward all,” and when, without prejudice, without fear, and in perfect fidelity, we may clasp hands across the chasm of our differences and speed and cheer each other on in the ways of all that is good and true.
    ==Augusta Jane Chapin (1836-1905)

All names that divide “religion” are to us of little consequence compared with religion itself. Whoever loves Truth and lives the Good is, in a broad sense, of our religious fellowship; whoever lives the one or lives the other better than ourselves is our teacher, whatever church or age he belongs to.
    ==William Channing Gannett (1840-1923)

People are born fools and damned for not being wiser. I often say over to myself the verse, “O God, be merciful to me a fool,” the fallacy of which to my mind … is in the “me,” that it looks on man as a little God over against the universe, instead of as a cosmic ganglion, a momentary intersection of what humanly speaking we call streams of energy, such as gives white light at one point and the power of making syllogisms at another, but always an inseverable part of the unimaginable, in which we live and move and have our being, no more needing its mercy than my little toe needs mine.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

If we believe we came out of the universe, and not it out of us, we must admit that we do not know what we are talking about when we speak of brute matter. We do know that a certain complex of energies can wag its tail and another can make syllogisms. These are among the powers of the unknown, and if, as may be, it has still greater powers that we cannot understand … why should we not be content?
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

To have doubted one’s first principles is the mark of a civilized man.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

It is our duty to declare lynch law as little valid when practiced by a regularly drawn jury as when administered by a mob intent on death.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other, it is the principle of free thought — not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought of those we hate.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

When it is said that we are too much preoccupied with the means of living to live, I answer that the chief worth of civilization is just that it makes the means of living more complex; that it calls for great and continued intellectual efforts, instead of simple uncoordinated ones, in order that the crowd may be fed and clothed and housed and moved from place to place. Because more complex and intense intellectual efforts mean a fuller and richer life. They mean more life. Life is an end in itself, and the only question as to whether it is worth living is whether you have enough of it.
I will add but a word. We are all very near despair. The sheathing that floats us over its waves is compounded of hope, faith in the unexplainable worth and sure issue of effort, and the deep, sub-conscious content which comes from the exercise of our powers.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

When men have realized that time has upset many fighting faiths, they may come to believe, even more than they believe the very foundations of their own conduct, that the ultimate good desired is better reached by free trade in ideas — that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market. … That at any rate is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

The character of every act depends on the circumstances in which it is done. … The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theater and causing panic.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

On the whole, I am on the side of the unregenerate who affirm the worth of life as an end in itself, as against the saints who deny it.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

The great act of faith is when a man decides that he is not God.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

Certainty, generally, is illusion, and repose is not the duty of man.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

The mode in which the inevitable comes to pass is through effort. Consciously or unconsciously, we all strive to make the kind of world that we like.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

Certitude is not the test of certainty.
        ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)
Freedom of contract begins where equality of bargaining power begins.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

I like paying taxes.  With them, I buy civilization.
    ==Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. (1841-1935)

Love is the spirit of this church, and service is its law. This is our great covenant, to dwell together in peace, to seek the truth in love, and to help one another.
    ==James Vila Blake (1842-1925)

There is no hell for any of us to fear outside of ourselves.
        ==Quillen Hamilton Shinn (1845-1907)

A successful woman preacher was once asked, “what special obstacles have you met as a woman in the ministry.” “Not one,” she answered, “except the lack of a minister’s wife.”
    ==Anna Garlin Spencer (1851-1931)

He drew a circle that shut me out —
heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But Love and I had the wit to win.
We drew a circle that took him in.
    ==Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

IMPOSSIBLE, you say, that man survives
the grave – that there are other lives?
More strange, O friend, that we should ever rise
out of the dark to walk below the skies.
Once having risen into life and light,
we need not wonder at our deathless flight.
    ==Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

In vain we build the work unless
the builder also grows.
    ==Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

We men of earth have here the stuff of paradise.
We have enough.
We need no other stones to build the stairs on to the Unfulfilled.
No other ivory for the doors, no other marble for the floors.
No other cedar for the beam and dome of man’s immortal dream.
Here on the common human way is all the stuff to build a heaven.
Ours the stuff to build eternity in time.
    ==Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

Two things, said Kant, “fill me with breathless awe:
The starry heavens and the moral law.”
I know a thing more awful and obscure —
The long, long patience of the plundered poor.
    ==Edwin Markham (1852-1940)

Universalists are often asked to tell where they stand. The only true answer to give to this is that we do not stand, we move. … We grow and we march, as all living things forever must do. The main questions with Universalists are not where we stand, but which way we are going.
    ==Lewis B. Fisher (1857-1936)

You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
    ==Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)

To think is to differ.
    ==Clarence Darrow (1857-1938)

[Unitarianism is] fundamentally characterized … by its steadfast and increasing devotion to these three leading principles: first, complete mental freedom in religion rather than bondage to creeds or confessions; second, the unrestricted use of reason in religion, rather than reliance upon external authority or past tradition; third generous tolerance of differing religious views and usages, rather than insistence upon uniformity of doctrine, worship or polity.
Freedom, reason and tolerance; it is these conditions above all others that this movement has from the beginning … sought to promote.
    ==Earl Morse Wilbur (1866-1956)

The present is a time fraught with danger; it is an age of freedom, mostly counterfeit. Thousands on thousands are delighted with the consciousness that they can do as they please, that old restraints and catalogs of forbidden pleasures are a thing of the past. They also rejoice that there are today so many and such diverse interests to satisfy their desires. So they are out to get and have all they can. And responsibility, social or other, is hard to find or spasmodic in its manifestation. Never before was there such a need to educate young people to make right choices, to develop within them some aim, some purpose that will control their desires, coordinate their interests and guide them wisely amid all the myriad things that clamor and appeal to their passions and desires. This is particularly the function of the liberal. We must teach that one must justify the freedom in which one rejoices by showing that there is some inner purpose … and that freedom is just for this and none other, that one may obey the higher purposes of life.
    ==John Murray Atwood  (1869-1951)

The insolence of authority is endeavoring to substitute money for ideas.
    ==Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959)

What is needed most in architecture today is the very thing that is needed most in life — integrity.
    ==Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959)

Death is something you can do nothing about. Nothing at all. But youth is a quality, and if you have it you never lost it.
    ==Frank Lloyd Wright (1869-1959)

Applied Universalism – Be human with human help.
    ==Arthur Nash (1870-1927)

Religion is ethics touched by emotion. If the intellect dominates and there is no hint of emotion, a cold and barren matter-of-factness results.
Conversely, if emotion leads, unguided by intellect, we are doomed to a wild sea of fanaticism. Yet mind and soul united create one music, grander than before.
    ==Egbert Ethelred Brown (1875-1956)

The religion of Jesus was a religion of character and service, all growing out of a personal intimate communion with God — a religion of the spirit.
    ==Egbert Ethelred Brown (1875-1956)

Jesus means something for our world because a mighty spiritual force streams forth from Him and flows through our time also. This fact can neither be shaken nor confirmed by any historical discovery. It is the solid foundation of Christianity.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

As one unknown and nameless He comes to us, just as on the shore of the lake He approached those men who knew not who He was. His words are the same: “Follow thou Me!” and He puts to us the tasks which He has to carry out in our age. He commands. And to those who obey, be they wise or simple, He will reveal Himself through all they are privileged to experience in His fellowship of peace and activity, of struggle and suffering, till they come to know, as an inexpressible secret, who He is.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Bach … has his own language of sound. There are in his music constantly recurring rhythmical motives expressing peaceful bliss, lively joy, intense pain, or sorrow sublimely borne.
The impulse to express poetic and pictorial concepts is the essence of music. It addresses itself to the listener’s creative imagination and seeks to kindle in him the feelings and visions with which the music was composed. But this it can do only if the person who uses the language of sound possesses the mysterious faculty of rendering thoughts with a superior clarity and precision. In this respect Bach is the greatest of the great.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Whoever among us has learned through personal experience what pain and anxiety really are must help to ensure those out there who are in physical need obtain the same help that once came to him. He no longer belongs to himself alone; he has become the brother of all who suffer. It is this “brotherhood of those who bear the mark of pain” that demands humane medical services for the colonies.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

I must insist that whatever benefit we confer upon the peoples of our colonies is not charity, but atonement for the terrible sufferings we white people have inflicted upon them ever since the day our first ship found its way to our shores. The colonial problems that exist today cannot be solved by political measures alone. A new element must be introduced; white and black must meet in an atmosphere infused with an ethical spirit.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

If there really is a basic principle for the moral, it must be concerned in some way or other with the relations between man and life as such in all its manifestations.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Society cannot exist without sacrifice.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The essential nature of the will-to-live is determination to live itself to the full. It carries within it the impulse to realize itself in the highest possible perfection. In the flowering tree, in the strange forms of the medusa, in the blade of grass, in the crystal; everywhere it strives to reach the perfection with which it is endowed.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The humane spirit consists in never sacrificing a human being to a purpose.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Experience of becoming one with the Absolute, of existence within the world-spirit, of absorption into God, or whatever one may choose to call the process, is not in itself ethical but spiritual. Of this deep distinction Indian thought has become conscious. With the most varied phrasing, it repeats the proposition: “Spirituality is not ethics.”… If one analyses the mysticism of all peoples and all ages to find out the ethical content, we find that this is extraordinarily small.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

We must rise to a spirituality which is ethical, and to an ethic which includes all spirituality. Then only do we become profoundly qualified for life.
Ethics must originate in mysticism. Mysticism, for its part, must never be thought to exist for its own sake. It is not a flower, but only the calyx of a flower. Ethics are the flower. Mysticism which exists only for itself alone is the salt which last lost its savor.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The tragedy of man is what dies inside himself while he still lives.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

What life is, no science can tell us.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

A man is truly ethical only when he obeys the compulsion to help all life which he is able to assist, and shrinks from injuring anything that lives.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

[The ethical person] is not afraid of being laughed at as sentimental. It is the fate of every truth to be a subject for laughter until it is generally recognized.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

I must practice unlimited forgiveness because, if I did not, I should be wanting in sincerity to myself, for I would be acting as if I myself were not guilty in the same way as the other has been guilty towards me.
Because my life is so liberally spotted with falsehood, I must forgive falsehood which has been practiced upon me; because I myself have have been in so many cases wanting in love, and guilty of hatred, slander, deceit, or arrogance, I must pardon any want of love, and all hatred, slander, deceit or arrogance which have been directed against myself.
I must forgive quietly and unostentatiously; in fact I do not really pardon at all, for I do not let things develop to any such act of judgment.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

We have to carry on the struggle against the evil that is in mankind, not by judging others, but by judging ourselves.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The good conscience is an invention of the devil.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Whenever I injure life of any sort, I must be quite clear whether it is necessary. Beyond the unavoidable, I must never go, not even with what seems insignificant. The farmer, who has mown down a thousand flowers in his meadow as fodder for his cows, must be careful on his way home not to strike off in wanton pastime the head of a single flower by the roadside, for he thereby commits a wrong against life without being under the pressure of necessity.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

By the very fact that animals have been subject to [medical] experiments, and have by their pain won such valuable results for suffering humanity, a new and special relation of solidarity has been established between them and us. From that springs for each one of us a compulsion to do every animal all the good we possibly can.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

One man serves society by carrying on a business by which a number of employees earn their living; another by giving away his wealth in order to help his fellows. Between these two extreme kinds of service, let each decide according to the responsibility which he finds determined for him by the circumstances of his life. Let no man judge his neighbor.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Reverence for life is the highest court of appeal.
The ethics of reverence for life … demand that each one of us in some way and with some object shall be a human being for other human beings. To those who have no opportunity in their daily work of giving themselves in this way and have nothing else that they can give, it suggests their sacrificing something of their time and leisure, even if of these they have but a scanty allowance. …
Open your eyes and look for a human being, or some work devoted to human welfare, which needs from someone a little time or friendliness, a little sympathy, or sociability, or labor. There may be a solitary or an embittered fellow-man, an invalid or an inefficient person who whom you can be something. Perhaps it is an old person or a child. Or some good work needs volunteers who can offer a free evening, or run errands.
Who can enumerate the many ways in which that costly piece of working capital, a human being, can be employed? More of him is wanted everywhere!
Search, then, for some investment for your humanity, and do not be frightened away if you have to wait or be taken on trial. And be prepared for disappointments. But in any case, do not be without some secondary work in which you give yourself as man to men. It is marked out for you, if you only truly will to have it.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Since the essential nature of the spiritual is truth, every new truth represents a gain.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

We must … reconcile ourselves to the fact that Jesus’ religion of love made its appearance as part of a system of thought that anticipated the end of the world. We cannot make His images our own. We must transpose them into our modern concepts of the world. …
Unlike those who listened to the sermons of Jesus, we of today do not expect to see a Kingdom of God that realizes itself in supernatural events. We believe that it can only come into existence through the power of the spirit of Jesus working in our hearts and in the world. The one important thing is that we be as thoroughly dominated by the idea of the Kingdom of God as Jesus required his followers to be.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The truth that the ethical is the essence of religion is firmly established on the authority of Jesus.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The work and worry caused by my practical interest in organ building made me wish sometimes I had never gotten involved in it. If I do not give up, it is because the fight for a good organ is to my mind part of the fight for truth. And when on Sundays I think of this or that church in which a noble organ is ringing out because I saved it from being replaced by an unworthy instrument, I feel richly rewarded …
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

It struck me as inconceivable that I should be allowed to lead such a happy life while I saw so many people around me struggling with sorrow and suffering. Even at school I had felt stirred whenever I caught a glimpse of the miserable home surroundings of some of my classmates and compared them with the ideal conditions in which we children of the parsonage of Günsbach had lived. At the university, enjoying the good fortune of studying and even getting some results in scholarship and the arts, I could not help but think continuously of others who were denied that good fortune by their material circumstances or their health.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

There are no heroes of action — only heroes of renunciation and suffering.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The lot of most people is to have a job, to earn their living, and to assume for themselves a place in society through some kind of nonfulfilling labor. They can give little or nothing of their human qualities. The problems arising from progressive specialization and mechanization of labor can only be partly resolved by the concessions society is willing to make in its economic planning. It is always essential that the individuals themselves not suffer their fate passively, but expend all their energies in affirming their own humanity through some spiritual engagement, even if the conditions are unfavorable.
One can save one’s life as a human being, along with one’s professional existence, if one seizes every opportunity, however unassuming, to act humanly toward those who need another human being. In this way we serve both the spiritual and the good. Nothing can keep us from this second job of direct human service.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

I wanted to be a doctor so that I might be able to work without having to talk. … This new form of activity would consist not in preaching the religion of love, but in practicing it.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

As I had expected, the questions of dogma to which the Missionary Society’s committee in Paris had attached so much importance played practically no part in the sermons of the missionaries. If they wanted to be understood by their listeners they could do nothing beyond preaching the simple Gospel of becoming freed from the world by the spirit of Jesus. …
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)
    
I noticed a number of symptoms of intellectual and spiritual fatigue in this generation that is so proud of its achievements. It seemed as if I was hearing its members trying to convince one another that their previous hopes for the future of mankind had been placed too high, and that it was becoming necessary to limit oneself to striving for what was attainable.
The slogan of the day, “Realpolitik,” meant approval of a shortsighted nationalism and a pact with the forces and tendencies that had hitherto been resisted as enemies of progress. One of the most visible signs of decline seemed to be the return of superstition, long banished from the educated circles of society.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Slowly we crept upstream, laboriously navigating — it was the dry season — between the sandbanks. Lost in thought, I sat on the deck of the barge, struggling to find the elementary and universal concept of the ethical that I had not discovered in any philosophy. …Two days passed. Late on the third day, at the every moment when, at sunset, we were making our way through a herd of hippopotamuses, there flashed upon my mind, unforeseen and unsought, the phrase, “reverence for life.” The iron door had yielded. The path in the thicket had become visible. Now I had found my way to the principle in which the affirmation of the world and ethics are joined together!
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

A man who has become a thinking being feels a compulsion to give to every will to live the same reverence for life that he gives to his own. He accepts as good preserving life, promoting life, developing all life that is capable of development to its highest possible value. He considers as evil destroying life, injuring life, repressing life that is capable of development. This is the absolute fundamental principle of ethics.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

A man is ethical only when life as such is sacred to him — the life of plants and animals as well as that of his fellow men — and when he devotes himself to helping all life that is in need of help.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

I am in complete disagreement with the spirit of our age, because it is filled with contempt for thought. … The organized political, social and religious associations of our time are at work convincing the individual not to develop his convictions through his own thinking but to assimilate the ideas they present to him. Any man who thinks for himself is to them inconvenient and even ominous.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

In a period that ridicules as antiquated and without value whatever seems akin to rational or independent thought, and which even mocks the inalienable human rights proclaimed in the eighteenth century, I declare myself to be one who places all his confidence in rational thinking.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Once man begins to think about the mystery of life and the links connecting him with the life that fills the world, he cannot but accept, for his own life and all other life that surrounds him, the principle of Reverence for Life. He will act according to that principle of the ethical affirmation of life in everything he does. His life will become in every respect more difficult than if he lived for himself, but at the same time it will be richer, more beautiful, and happier.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Beginning to think about life and the world leads us directly and almost irresistibly to Reverence for Life. No other conclusions make any sense. …
Any thought that claims to lead to skepticism or life without ethical ideals is not genuine thought but thoughtlessness disguised as thinking.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

I rejoice over the new remedies for sleeping sickness, which enable me to preserve life, where once I could only witness the progress of a painful disease. But every time I put the germs that cause the disease under the microscope, I cannot but reflect that I have to sacrifice this life in order to save another.
I bought from some villagers a young osprey they had caught on a sandbank, in order to rescue it from their cruel hands. But then I had to decide whether I should let it starve, or kill a number of young fishes every day in order to keep it alive. I decided on the latter course, but every day the responsibility to sacrifice one life for another caused me pain.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Ethical mysticism originates in logical thinking. If our will to live begins to meditate about itself and the universe, we will become sensitive to life around us and will then, insofar as it is possible, dedicate through our actions our own will to live to that of the infinite will to live. Rational thinking, if it goes deep, ends of necessity in the irrational realm of mysticism.     
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The deeper is piety, the humbler are its claims to knowledge of the metaphysical.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

We cannot see that sin has diminished where it has been much talked about.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

What has been presented as Christianity during these nineteen centuries is merely a beginning, full of mistakes, not a full-grown Christianity springing from the spirit of Jesus.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

My knowledge is pessimistic, but my willing and hoping are optimistic. … Only at rare moments have I felt really glad to be alive. I cannot help but feel the suffering all around me, not only of humanity, but of the whole creation. From this community of suffering I have never tried to withdraw myself. It seemed to me a matter of course that we should all take our share of the burden of pain which lies upon the world. …
But however much concerned I was at the problem of the misery of the world, I never let myself get lost in brooding over it; I always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of it to an end. …
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Reverence for truth … must be a factor in our faith if it is not to degenerate into superstition.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

Jesus’ ethic of preparedness for the Kingdom of God becomes, for Paul, the ethic of redemption into the state of existence proper to the Kingdom of God — a redemption in experience through fellowship with Jesus.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

We dare not set our hope on our own efforts to create the conditions of God’s kingdom in the world. We must indeed labor for its realization. But there can be no Kingdom of God in the world without the Kingdom of God in our hearts. The starting point is our determined effort to bring every thought and action under the sway of the Kingdom of God. Nothing can be achieved without inwardness.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

A man who rescues a strayed bird may have to kill insects or fish to keep it alive. What right has he to sacrifice a multitude of lives in order to save the life of a single bird? And if he kills off what he considers to be dangerous animals, in order to protect more peaceable ones — then there he too is in the realm of the arbitrary.
Each one of us, therefore, must judge whether it is really necessary for us to kill and cause pain. We must resign ourselves to our guilt, because our guilt is forced upon us. We must seek forgiveness by letting slip no opportunity of being of use to a living creature.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

The absolute is so abstract in character that we cannot communicate with it. It is not given to us to put ourselves at the service of the infinite and inscrutable creative will which is at the basis of all existence. We can understand neither its nature nor its intentions. But we can be in touch with that will, in a spiritual sense, by submitting ourselves to the mystery of life and devoting ourselves to all the living creatures whom we have the opportunity and the ability to serve.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

[Modern man] is not elevated to that level of superhuman reason which must correspond to the possession of superhuman force. He lacks the capacity to put his enormous power to work only for reasonable and useful ends instead of for destructive and murderous ends.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

We should recognize jointly that we are guilty of inhumanity. The horror of this experience [World War Two] should shake us out of our stupor, so that we turn our will and our hopes towards the coming of an era in which war will be no more.
    ==Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965)

It matters what we believe. Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourage exclusiveness and the feeling of being especially privileged. Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies. …
Some beliefs are divisive, separating the saved from the unsaved, friends from enemies. Other beliefs are bonds in a world community, where sincere differences beautify the pattern.
    ==Sophia Lyon Fahs (1876-1978)

The religious way is the deep way, the way with a growing perspective and an expanding view. … The religious way is the way that sees what physical eyes alone fail to see, the intangibles of the heart of every phenomenon. … The religious way is the way that touches universal relationships, that goes high, wide and deep, the expands the feeling of kinship.
    ==Sophia Lyon Fahs (1876-1978)

The word God has included two concepts: a Creative Power entering from outside, and a Creative Power that has always been inherent and within.
Whether this question is answered in one way or another, the Mystery is not changed or taken away.
    ==Sophia Lyon Fahs (1876-1978)

I do not believe that it is necessary to live forever in order to make life worthwhile.
    ==John H. Dietrich (1878-1957)

[A] word may become a delusive phantasy of the idea for which it once stood, and the feebler or the more dissipated the intelligence of a person or a generation, the greater the chance that mere words will pass as coin.  Such a word is “spirituality.”
        ==John H. Dietrich (1878-1957)

Tell him too much money has killed men
and left them dead years before burial
and quest of lucre beyond a few easy needs
has twisted enough good men
sometimes into dry thwarted worms
    ==Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

To those who had ordered them to death
one of them said:
  “We die because the people are asleep
    and you will die because the people will awaken.”
    ==Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

    The steel mill ski is alive.
    The fire breaks white and zigzag
    shot on a gun-mill gloaming.
    Man is a long time coming.
    Man will yet win.
    Brother may yet line up with brother.
This old anvil laughs at many broken hammers.
    There are men who can’t be bought.
    The fireborn are at home in fire.
    The stars make no noise.
    You can’t hinder the wind from blowing.
    Time is a great teacher.
    Who can live without hope?
In the darkness with a great bundle of grief
    the people march.
In the night, and overhead a shovel of stars for keeps,
    the people march.
            “Where to? What next?”
    ==Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

The sea is always the same and yet the sea always changes.
    ==Carl Sandburg (1878-1867)

The greatest cunning is to have none at all.
    ==Carl Sandburg (1878-1957)

Lay me on an anvil, O God,
Beat me and hammer me into a crowbar.
Let me pry loose old walls.
Let me lift and loosen old foundations.
    ==Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

In Gloversville, New York, a woman daylong made mittens and the faster she made the mittens the more the wages coming in for her and her children.
        And her hands became like mittens she said,
        and in the winter when she looked out one night
where the moon lighted a couple of evergreen trees:
“My God! I look at evergreens in the moonlight
and what are they? A pair of mittens.
And what am I myself? Just a mitten.
Only one more mitten, that’s all.
My God! if I live a little longer in that mitten factory the whole world will be just a lot of mittens to me
And at last I will be buried in a mitten and on my grave they will put up a mitten as a sign one more mitten is gone.”
This was why she listened to the organizer of the glove and mitten workers’ union; maybe the union could do something.
She would fight in the union ranks and see if somehow they could save her from seeing two evergreens at night in the moon as just another pair of mitts.
    ==Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)

A conservative is someone who worships a dead radical.
    ==H.C. Ledyard (1880-1950)

The mission of the Universalist church has been a double one, first to controvert the one-time prevalent idea of an endless hell. This part of the mission has practically been accomplished. … But the second and more important one awaits fulfillment … a fight which shall continue until the real, actual hells, before our very eyes, are destroyed.
    ==H.C. Ledyard (1880-1950)

Science says to religion, “Your goodness is not wholly good if it be not true.” Will religion have the courage to say to science, “Your truth is not wholly true if it be not good.”
    ==Clarence R. Skinner (1881-1949)

We are concerned with discovering stable foundations for a life that cannot be stricken either by inner stress or outer disaster.
    ==Clarence R. Skinner (1881-1949)

There are two alternatives, and only two, before us. First, which is unlikely, is that we unscramble our modern interdependent culture, returning to separate and isolationist lives. … Such a world would not demand greatness. The other alternative is to so expand our spiritual powers that we vastly increase the range of our understanding and sympathy. There is no middle way. It is greatness — universalism — or perish.
    ==Clarence R. Skinner (1881-1949)

Universalism is essentially a battle for the freedom of the common person.
    ==Clarence R. Skinner (1881-1949)

Universalism is the expresion in terms of religion of the larger life that is dawning upon man. It is the largest statement of faith ever made, it exhibits the most democratic inclusive spirit, it is the new humanity trumpeting its belief in the universals. Its faith is in the universal Fatherhood of God — a God as wide as the universe, who is impartial, unlimited, yet intensely in and of humanity. Nothing bigger or finer can be conceived than this idea of God.
Universalism declares for the universal brotherhood of man. Its faith cannot harbor the old systems of spiritual autocracies, of divisive castes, but includes the whole society, Christian or heathan, good or bad, rich or poor, in its unbroken faith in brotherhood.
Universalism believes in the universal revelation of truth. It can not be shut up in one mind, one book, or one personality, but streams from the stars, springs upon the earth, grows great to the heard of the whole of humanity. Its faith is in democratized truth.
Universalism believes in Christ, believes that the truth which he revealed and the power which he generated are for world service.
Universalism believes in salvation, not in narrow bounds, but as universal, ultimately compelling.
Universalism sees the life of the world as an indivisible unit moving to one common destiny.
    ==Clarence R. Skinner (1881-1949)

We accept the world for the joyous place it was meant to be. We like it, despite the fact that belated theologians look upon it with inherited suspicion. It is no longer “the world, the flesh and the devil,” but “the world, the flesh and God.” … Modern religion must sanctify the world. …
The dominant motive is no longer to escape from earthly existence, but to make earthly existence as abundant and happy as it can be made.
    ==Clarence R. Skinner (1881-1949)

The time would come (of this I was absolutely certain) when Reason and Reasonableness would need a few shock troops of their own, and I considered that they Unitarians would be among the first to enlist in such an advance guard of Human Decency. For within that strange and invisible structure which the world rather vaguely calls Unitarianism, there is room for every thought and every opinion, if it be based upon the conviction that mankind can save itself only if it accepts the words of the greatest spiritual benefactor of all time, that humble but undaunted prophet from the village of Bethlehem, who first of all had the courage to proclaim these words, “My brethren, nothing can every be accomplished in this world unless, first, you learn to love one another.”
    ==Hendrik W. Van Loon (1882-1944)

On a Sunday morning the bells of the three churches in the village called all to come to meeting, for the church was still spoken of as the meetinghouse. The bells did not interfere with one another; whichever bell started ringing first would pause after two or three minutes and let the others take up the summons. All three bells had individual tones easily identified. The loungers on the hotel steps, who never went to church, not only recognized the notes of each, but were able to interpret what they said. According to their insight, the Methodist bell shouted “Repent! Repent!” The Presbyterian bell urged, “Church time! Church time!” Only the Universalist bell held out a cheerful promises. “No hell! No hell!” it said.
    ==Anne Gertrude Sneller (1883-1976)

It may be thought that in our church we sometimes spoke lightly of what other churches held dear. We were not irreverent in our hearts, and we never meant to sin against the Holy Spirit. The mission of the Universalist Church was to free the minds of men from the cruel prisons of dread and fear and to help them to understand that God is kinder than they had supposed.
    ==Anne Gertrude Sneller (1883-1976)

… the goal of a society with a minimum of compulsion, a maximum of individual freedom and of voluntary association, and the abolition of exploitation and poverty.
    ==Roger Baldwin (1884-1982)

It is a psychological impossibility for any man or god to “save” another man. A man is never built up in personality and character unless he does so himself. For character is achieved by choosing the right path when one could choose the easier wrong path, and no one can do the choosing but man himself.
    ==Charles Francis Potter (1885-1962)

This is not a time for liberals of the genteel tradition who are frightened in the presence of explosive issues that blast their world and shake the earth. It is not a time for liberals of the pious tradition who believe that all is right with the world and all things work together for good. It is not a time for confused liberals who move simultaneously in all directions without arriving anywhere in particular.
This is a time for liberals who believe that the only form of society worth building and perpetuating is one grounded in respect for the integrity of persons, committed to critical inquiry and devoted to abundant freedom.
    ==Curtis W. Reese (1887-1961)

It is better to have fewer beliefs than to have so many that are not true.
    ==Curtis W. Reese (1887-1961)

A vast encompassing universalism has ever been the condition of our world. … Beyond the orbit in which we move is the pulsating, ever-changing universe. Individually we grow with the growing awareness of our relatedness to all that is.
    ==Clinton Lee Scott (1887-1985)

Always it is easier to pay homage to prophets than to heed the direction of their vision.
    ==Clinton Lee Scott (1887-1985)

From the east comes the sun, bringing a new and unspoiled day. It has already circled the earth and looked upon distant ands and far-away peoples. It has passed over mountain ranges and the waters of the seven seas. It has shone upon laborers in the fields, into the windows of homes and shops and factories. It has beheld proud cities with gleaming towers and also the novels of the poor. It has been witness to both good and evil, the works of honest men and women and the conspiracy of knaves. It has seen marching armies, bomb-blasted villages and “the destruction that wasteth of noonday.” Now, unsullied from its tireless journey, it comes to us, the messenger of the morning, harbinger of a new day.
    ==Clinton Lee Scott (1887-1985)

Theism is the hypothesis that the ultimate ground of the universe is intelligent will, working out a mortal purpose, which we can understand at least to the degree necessary to co-operate intelligently, loyally and gladly, for its fulfillment. … It means that we believe in God, that we believe God’s purpose and that we believe in our capacity to understand that purpose – not altogether, but enough that we can cooperate with it by devoting our intelligence and our energy to help carry it through to fulfillment. … Prayer is the deliberate effort to see more clearly that purpose and to consecrate our own personal powers more wholeheartedly to its fulfillment.
    ==Frederick May Eliot (1889-1958)

No Unitarian would exchange freedom of the mind in all matters of religious belief for any of the advantages which are plainly available to those who are willing to yield assent to an authoritative creed.
This means that Unitarians prefer the uncertainties and continual struggle of those who are seekers of the truth to the quiet assurance of those who are content to accept as final the statements of truth handed down to them by authority.
    ==Frederick May Eliot (1889-1958)

… Religion is a search for God, or for the highest that man can find and know. It is a feeling of union and oneness and peace with that reality, and a sense there is some purpose to the great, incredible adventure of life on which we are so audaciously embarked.
    ==W. Waldemar Argow (1891-1961)

Time was to change my ideas about God, the devil, the Bible and the Sabbath; but integrity, honesty, truth-telling and the overwhelming sense of the sovereignty of whatever made and governed life, no matter how named, were in my guts as in my mind and not to be ousted.
    ==Angus MacLean (1892-1977)

Let’s keep the wind singing in both ears, and pray for the courage to interpret and act upon what it brings to us.
    ==Angus MacLean (1892-1977)

As democracy is man’s freest form of social life, so is Unitarianism the freest religious life, and, like democracy, the Unitarian religion depends on the separate thinking of every Unitarian to give it significance and vitality.
    ==John P. Marquand (1893-1960)

I thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes.
    ==E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

To be nobody but yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you into everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting.
    ==E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

If you take Someone Worth Worshiping (alias ‘God’) away from human beings, they’ll (without realizing what they’re doing) worship someone-unworthy-of-worship; e.g., a Roosevelt or Stalin or Hitler – alias themselves.
    ==E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

Take the matter of being born. What does being born mean to most people?
Catastrophe unmitigated. Social revolution. The cultured aristocrat yanked out of his hyperexclusively ultravoluptuous superpalazzo, and dumped into an incredibly vulgar detention camp swarming with every conceivable species of undesirable organism. Most people fancy a guaranteed birthproof safety suit of nondestrucible selflessness. If most people were to be born twice, they’d probably call it dying.
    ==E.E. Cummings (1894-1962)

While you and I have lips and voices which
are for kissing and to sing with
Who cares if some one-eyed son of a bitch
invents an instrument to measure Spring with?
    ==E.E. Cummings (1894-1902)

all ignorance toboggans into know and trudges up to ignorance again.
    ==E.E. Cummings (1894-1902)

My joining the Unitarians in this day of grave historical crisis is an act of Christian affirmation, an act of faith in the possibility to sensitize the conscience of America through the Unitarian spirit and to humanize the social order, before the combined forces of clerical and political reaction gain the upper hand and turn this “land of the Pilgrims’ pride” into a moral leper colony.
    ==Pierre Van Paasen (1895-1968)

Don’t oppose forces; use them.
God is a verb,
Not a noun.
    ==R. Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)

We need to understand that religion is not a matter of … playthings for the Sabbath. … It needs to be a power for good, finding daily expression in the lives of those who claim to be the children of God.
    ==Ellsworth C. Reamon (1895-1982)

When I am asked if I believe in God, I am either impatient or amused and frequently decline to reply. All I know, all I want to know is that I have found in my relations with my fellowmen and in my glad beholding of the universe a reality of truth, goodness and beauty, and that I am trying to make my life as best I can a dedication to this reality. When I am in the thinking mood, I try to be rigorously rational and, thus, not to go one step further in my thoughts and language than my reason can take me. I then become uncertain as to whether I or any one can assert much about God and fall back content into the mood of Job. When, however, in preaching or prayer, in some high moment of inner compassion or of profound experience with life among my fellows, I feel the pulse of emotion suddenly beating in my heart and I am lifted up as though upon some sweeping tide that is more than the sluggish current of my days. I find it easy to speak as the poets speak and cry, as many of them cry, to God.
But when I say “God,” it is poetry and not theology. Nothing that any theologian ever wrote about God has helped me much, but everything that poets have written about flowers, and birds, and skies, and seas, and the saviors of the race, and God – whatever he may be – has at one time or another reached my soul! More and more, as I grow older, I live in the lovely thought of these seers and prophets. The theologians gather dust upon the shelves of my library, but the poets are stained with my fingers and blotted with my tears. I never seem so near truth as when I care not what I think or believe but only that these matters of inner vision would live forever.
    ==John Haynes Holmes (1897-1964)

Priests are no more necessary to religion than politicians are to patriotism.
    ==John Haynes Holmes (1897-1964)

Universalism cannot be limited to either Protestantism or to Christianity, not without denying its very name. Ours is a world fellowship, not just a Christian sect. For so long as Universalism is  universalism and not partialism, the fellowship bearing its name must succeed in making it unmistakably clear that all  are welcome: theist and humanist, unitarian and trinitarian, colored and color-less. A circumscribed Universalism is unthinkable.
    ==Robert Cummins (1897-1982)

The American Government is premised on the theory that if the mind of man is to be free, his ideas, his beliefs, his ideology, his philosophy must be placed beyond the reach of government.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

Thus, if the First Amendment means anything in this field, it must allow protests even against the moral code that the standard of the day sets for the community. In other words, literature should not be suppressed merely because it offends the moral code of the censor.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

The function of the press is to explore and investigate events, inform the people what is going on, and to expose the harmful as well as the good influences at work. There is no single higher function performed under our constitutional regime. … A reporter is no better than his source of information. Unless he has a privilege to withhold the identity of his source, he will be the victim of governmental intrigue or aggression. If he can be summoned to testify in secret before a grand jury, his sources will dry up and the attempted exposure, the effort to enlighten the public, will be ended.
The intrusion of government into this domain is symptomatic of the disease of this society. As the years p[ass, the power of government becomes more and more pervasive. It is power to suffocate both people and causes. Those in power, whatever their politics, want only to perpetuate it. Now that the forces of the law and the tradition that has protected the press are broken down, the people are the victims. The First Amendment, as I read it, was designed precisely to prevent that tragedy.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

Acceptance by government of a dissident press is a measure of the maturity of a nation.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

Ideas are indeed the most dangerous weapons in the world. Our ideas of freedom are the most powerful political weapons man has ever forged. If we remember that, we will never have much to fear from Communism.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

A people who extend civil liberties only to preferred groups start down the path either to a dictatorship of the right or the left.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

The struggle is always between the individual and his sacred right to express himself … and … the power structure that seeks conformity, suppression and obedience.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

The right to work, I had assumed, was the most precious liberty that man possessed. Man has indeed as much right to work as he has to live, to be free, to own property.
    ==William O. Douglas (1898-1980)

God is philosophically possible, scientifically unproven and religiously unnecessary.
    ==Edwin Henry Wilson (1898-1993)

My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
    ==Adlai E. Stevenson (1900-1965)

I think that one of our most important tasks is to convince others that there’s nothing to fear in difference; that difference, in fact, is one of the healthiest and most invigorating of human characteristics without which life would become meaningless.
Here lies the power of the liberal way: not in making the whole world Unitarian, but in helping ourselves and others to see some of the possibilities inherent in viewpoints other than one’s own; in encouraging the free interchange of ideas; in welcoming fresh approaches to the problems of life; in urging the fullest, most vigorous use of self-examination.
    ==Adlai E. Stevenson (1900-1965)

Everybody thinks my head’s full of nuffin,
Wants to put his special stuff in,
Fill the space with candy wrappers,
Keep out sex and revolution.
But there’s no hole in my head. Too bad.
    ==Malvina Reynolds (1900-1978)
    
Fundamentally liberalism is an attitude. The chief characteristics of that attitude are human sympathy, a receptivity to change and a human willingness to follow reason rather than faith or any fixed ideas.
    ==Chester Bowles (1901-1986)

Science is the search for truth — it is not a game in which one tries to best his opponent, to do harm to others.
    ==Linus Pauling (1901-1997)

The power to destroy the world by the use of nuclear weapons is a power that cannot be used — we cannot accept the idea of such monstrous immorality … [T]he time has come for the nations of the world to submit to the just requisition of their conduct by international law.
    ==Linus Pauling (1901-1994)

The ways human nature will act at a given moment are not to be attributed solely either to humanity’s original virtue or its original sin. The tensions set up by the general social and spiritual situation largely determine how much of the beast, how much of the automaton and how much of the divine spark in the human being shall find expression.
    ==James Luther Adams (1901-1997)

An unexamined faith is not worth having, for it can be true only by accident.
    ==James Luther Adams (1901-1997)

We have long held to the idea of the “priesthood” of all believers, the idea that all believers have direct access to the ultimate resources of the religious life, that every believer has the responsibility for achieving an explicit faith, and that there are resources from the past that need to be mediated to the present. …
We also need a firm belief in the “prophethood” of all believers. The prophetic forces in society will appear where people think and work together to interpret the signs of the times in the light of their faith, to make explicit through discussion the epochal thinking the times demand.
    ==James Luther Adams (1901-1997)

The first tenet of the free person’s faith is that our ultimate dependence for being and freedom is upon a creative power and upon processes not of our own making. …
The second tenet of the free person’s faith is that the commanding, sustaining, transforming reality finds its richest focus in meaningful human history, in free, cooperative effort for the common good. …
The third tenet of the free person’s faith is that the achievement of freedom in community requires the power of organization and the organization of power. …
    ==James Luther Adams (1901-1997)

The “holy” thing in life is the participation in those processes that give body and form to universal justice.
    ==James Luther Adams (1901-1997)

Liberalism holds that nothing is complete, and thus nothing is exempt from criticism. …
Liberalism holds that all relations between persons ought ideally to rest on mutual free consent and not on coercion. …
…Liberalism involves the moral obligation to direct one’s efforts towards the establishment of democratic community. …
Liberalism holds that the resources (human, divine) which are available for the achievement of meaningful change justify an attitude of ultimate optimism. …
    ==James Luther Adams (1901-1997)

Belief is many things, and so is disbelief. But religion is something that happens to you when you open your mind to truth, your conscience to justice and your heart to love.
    ==A. Powell Davies (1902-1957)

Everyone prays, but not everyone admits it.
    ==A. Powell Davies (1902-1957)

Most of what we learn we learn from living, and for the larger part, that means from other people. Nor does it mean only such people as we like.
    ==A. Powell Davies (1902-1957)

Instead of creed … [liberal religion] agrees to follow the living truth and sets its people free to do that. Instead of ritual pieties, it asks devotion to the deeds that make the world more righteous and its people just. It separates itself from no believers, Christian or otherwise, except as they deny its claim to freedom. It asks no wide dominion for its institutions, only a liberty of access for its faith. It trusts that, in the years before us, Unitarian freedom will be claimed in all denominations, all communions, and, meanwhile, it must humbly do its best to lead the way.
    ==A. Powell Davies (1902-1957)

The world is now too dangerous for anything but the truth, to small for anything but brotherhood.
    ==A. Powell Davies (1902-1957)

The American commitment is to universal justice, the right of all people, not the special interests of some. It is a commitment to fair play, to patience, to tolerance, to neighborliness. It is a commitment to the common good. It protects liberty with unity, the opportunity of each with the good of all. It is compassionate, humanitarian. It believes in humanity and its future. It is the Golden Rule. It is based on the claim of conscience and the faith in goodness. It begins not in a system but in the heart.
It battles prejudice and false opinion. It seeks the truth. It is opposed to the barriers of exclusiveness. Its principles are universal. It despises cowardice, including moral cowardice. But it also has no use for obstinacy, inflexibility and intolerance. It prefers honesty to cleverness, kindness to self-sufficiency, goodwill to narrow-minded aims. It is a way of life now and a faith, a vision of the future. It is a purpose to be served.
And if anyone asks me by what right I define these characteristics as American, I point him to those Americans the rest of us revere as great. I say that America is defined by the moral progress she has sought, and by exemplars, not by the hour of perfidy and by her little-minded greedy foes.
And if anyone tells me that these characteristics are more than American because they are universal, I will reply that is why they are American.
    ==A. Powell Davies (1902-1957)

Our tradition is one of protest and revolt, and it is stultifying to celebrate the rebels of the past … while we silence the rebels of the present.
    ==Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998)

A free society cherishes non-conformity. It knows that from a non-conformist, from the eccentric, have come many of the great ideas of freedom. Free society must fertilize the soil to which non-conformity and dissent and individualism can grow.
    ==Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998)

Loyalty … is a realization that America was born of revolt, flourished in dissent, became great through experimentation.
    ==Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998)

Who would be cleared by their [Un-American Activities] Committees? Not Washington, who was a rebel. Not Jefferson, who wrote that all men are created equal and whose motto was “rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.” Not Garrison, who publicly burned the Constitution. Not Lincoln, who admonished us to have malice toward none, charity for all … or Justice Holmes, who said our Constitution is an experiment and that while experiment is being made “we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe and believe to be fraught with death.”
    ==Henry Steele Commager (1902-1998)

Often I have felt that I must praise my world for what my eyes have seen these many years and what my heart has loved. And often I have tried to start my lines: “Dear Earth,” I say, and then I pause to look once more.
Soon I am bemused and far away in wonder. So I never get beyond “Dear Earth.”
    ==Max Kapp (1904-1979)

I brought my spirit to the sea,
I stood upon the shore.
I gazed upon infinity,
I heard the waters roar.
And then there came a sense of peace
Some whisper calmed my soul.
Some ancient ministry of stars
Had made my spirit whole.
I brought my spirit to the trees
That stood against the sky.
I touched each wand’ring careless breeze
To know if God were nigh.
And then I felt an Inner Flame
That fiercely burned my tears.
Uplift, I rose on bended knee
To meet the asking years.
    ==Max Kapp (1904-1979)

Aggression is the expression of the frustrated expectation of love.
    ==Ashley Montague (1905-1999)

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without any proof.
    ==Ashley Montague (1905-1999)

A candle must give itself away. In the giving, the spending, the spreading, the sending, it finds itself.
    ==John Wood (1910-1980)

All kinds of marvelous things go on. I don’t see how anyone who has looked, and seen, can do ought but say, “where I stand, wherever I stand, I am on holy ground.”
    ==John Wood (1910-1980)

To know the worth of love and beauty, and grace and form, and not to store the treasure but to increase it by your own life span for all the world to see and know — isn’t that a pleasant prospect? And, you know, it just might be true.
    ==Albert Frederick Ziegler (1911-1991)

We arrive out of many singular rooms, walking over the branching streets.
We come to be assured that brothers and sisters surround us, to restore their images on our eyes. We enlarge our voices in common speaking and singing. We try again the solitude found in the midst of those who with us seek their hidden reckonings.
Our eyes reclaim the remembered faces, their voices stir the surrounding air. The warmth of their hands assures us, and the gladness of our spoken names. This is the reason of cities, of homes, of assemblies in the houses of worship. It is good to be with one another.
    ==Kenneth L. Patton (1911-1994)

The single greatest power in the world today is the power to change. … The most reckless irresponsible thing we could do in the future would be to go on exactly as we have in the past ten or twenty years. I can imagine no more dangerous policy than the conservatism that exists today.
    ==Karl W. Deutsch (1912-1992)

The Unitarian point of view is for those who are not spiritually at home with traditional concepts and who cannot acept beliefs inspired by authority.
It begins with human knowledge, human experience and then challenges every adventurous mind to create its own concepts, make its own definitions, consult the oracle “within itself”.
The Unitarian principle is for those who do not seek an escape from life. It is for those who look upon life as an adventure – above all as a spiritual adventure.
    ==Agnus Cameron (1913-1996)

If one looks long enough at almost anything, looks with absolute attention at a flower, a stone, the bark of a tree, grass, snow, a cloud, something like a revelation takes place.
    ==May Sarton (1914-1995)

I asked myself the question, “What do you want of your life?” and I realized with a start of recognition and terror, “Exactly what I have – but to be commensurate, to handle it better.”
    ==May Sarton (1914-1995)

A new faith is in the making in our world today. It is nothing anybody in an ivory tower has dreamed up. It must come because without it the world cannot continue, except on the present path which leads toward suicide.
It must affirm before all else the mystery and the holiness within each. It must proclaim the sacredness of life, the right of all life to its highest possible material, moral and spiritual development. The prophets and disciples of this new faith must be more than lovers and servers of humanity in the mass. They must be lovers and servers of men and women.
    ==Harry C. Meserve (1914-2000)

Those who are convinced they have a monopoly on the Truth will always feel that they are only saving the world when they slaughter the heretics.
    ==Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (1917-2007)

The only certainty in an absolute system is the certainty of absolute abuse. Injustice and criminality are inherent in a system of totalitarian dictatorship.
    ==Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (1917-2007)

History is to the nation as memory is to the individual.
    ==Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. (1917-2007)

A liberal church will not use creedal formulations to exclude persons whose theological views are not quite in line with the doctrinal position prevailing among its members. Nor will it introduce qualifications based on race, ethnic background or national origin.
A particular church may well have a particular doctrinal coloring: one may be predominantly theist, another humanistic; one may be explicitly Christian, another not. But it is for the individual to decide whether he or she belongs within that community, not for the community to decide whether the individual conforms to its doctrinal preferences. No church can be all things to all people, and a policy of open membership does not require that it should. But the boundary lines are drawn by individual choice, not by official judgment.
    ==Conrad Wright (b. 1917)

You can’t work on everything all the time, so start where you are.
    ==Pete Seeger (b. 1919)

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.
    ==Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007)

I am a Unitarian, or at best an atheist who winds up in churches quite a lot.
    ==Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007)

The big trouble with dumb bastards is that they are too dumb to realize there is such a thing as being smart.
    ==Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1922-2007)

[What Clarence R. Skinner] was doing for his time — and challenging us to do for our time — is to continually reshape the churches that we inherit — whether as ministers or as laypeople — so that they can face up to the new challenges and opportunities of the days that lie ahead. … We must continue the kind of work that Skinner made central to his life’s ministry — always building a new kind of church, always reaching out for a vision of the church that lay just beyond our grasp but with hard, dedicated work can be conjured into being.
    ==Carl Seaburg (1922-1998)

When love is felt or fear is known, when holidays and holy days and such times come; when anniversaries arrive by calendar or consciousness; when seasons come — as seasons do — old and known, but sometimes new; when lives are born or people die; when something sacred is sensed in soil or sky: mark the time. Respond with thought or prayer or smile or grief. Let nothing living slip between the fingers of your mind, for all of these are holy things we will not, cannot, find again.
    ==Max A. Coots (b. 1927)

[Unitarian] faith is expressed in its purpose and spirit rather than in a creed or set of beliefs, which the individual is free to shape for himself. Our central purpose may be summed up as follows:
• To seek and welcome the truths of life, old and new, since the past must always prove itself anew, and a living religion must change as thought advances and must be free to grow.
• To respect in each other, and in all persons, the authority of the individual conscience, and the freedom of the mind, since the human spirit is guided most truly from within.
• To discover and advance the world-unifying faith revealed in the deeper insights of all religions, and derived from the wisdom of all cultures.
• To utilize for man’s advancing life all available knowledge from every field of human endeavor and exploration into the unknown.
• To uphold respect for all persons, and the equal rights of all human beings to share in the benefits of civilized life and to contribute to the common life.
    ==Theodore Sorensen (b. 1928)

Spirit of Life, come unto me,
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion …
    ==Carolyn McDade (b. 1935)

Life is inconvenient, no doubt about it. It’s messy. It is mystery wrapped in an enigma and surrounded by a quandary, all in the shape of a question mark. It is often more question than answer, more doubt than faith. It is defined by contradiction, paradox, ambivalence and oxymoron. That is why human beings invented religion — to figure it all out.
    ==Richard S. Gilbert (b. 1936)

We have to learn and relearn in each generation that the quest for certainty is the great illusion.
    ==Paul Beattie (1937-1989)

I am a minister in a religious community, the Unitarian Universalist Association – churches, fellowships and odds and ends. And our motto is “we don’t ever let well enough alone.”
    ==Robert Fulghum (b. 1937)

Use your democracy to save your world.
    ==Helen Caldicott (b. 1939)

We are what we pay attention to.
    ==Mary Pipher (b. 1947)

We all have expectations. We look outward through a little chink in our armor, one conditioned by our background, our experience, our doubts, and our faith.
The true ground of hope is not our expectations, however, no matter how grand or humble. It lies in the hubbub, which upsets our expectations and reorders our perceptions. We are constantly being challenged therefore to become more inclusive, mature and enduring in our love.
    ==John H. Buehrens (b. 1947)

Unitarianism proclaims that we spring from a common source; Universalism that we share a common destiny. That we are brothers and sisters by nature, our Unitarian and especially our Universalist forebears affirmed as a matter of faith: Unitarianism by positing a single God, Universalism by offering the promise of a shared salvation.
    ==Forrest Church (b. 1948)

I define religion as our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die.
    ==Forrest Church (b. 1948)

The reason ours is a creedless faith is because we have a theory about Creation and our theory — unlike that of most religious traditions — is that Creation is too grand, too glorious, too complex and too mysterious to be captured in any narrow creed or reflected in any single metaphor. It is exactly because we so cherish the world in all its multi-hued grandeur that we resist the temptation to see it through only one lens.
Our conviction is that we will come a little closer to the truth about the world — and certainly be more receptive to its splendor — if we set a variety of vehicles to apprehend it; all the world’s great religious traditions, for example, but also the sciences, the secular arts, the disciplines of mysticism and the electric touch of love.
    ==William F. Schulz (b. 1949)