Literary Quotations
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The minister gave out his text and droned along monotonously through an argument that was so prosy that many a head by and by began to nod—and yet it was an argument that dealt in limitless fire and brimstone and thinned the predestined elect down to a company so small as to be hardly worth the saving.

If it were not for Christ's Church, indeed there would be no restraint on the criminal in his evildoing, and no punishment for it later, real punishment, that is, not a mechanical one such as has just been mentioned, which only chafes the heart in most cases, but a real punishment, the only real, the only frightening and appeasing punishment, which lies in the acknowledgement of one's own conscience.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Crime and Punishment

All men need the gods.

HOMER, The Odyssey

O blessed he who in happiness, knowing the rituals of the gods, makes holy his way of life.

EURIPIDES, The Bacchae

I have no objection to any person’s religion, be it what it may, so long as that person does not kill or insult any other person, because that other person don’t believe it also. But when a man’s religion becomes really frantic; when it is a positive torment to him; and, in fine, makes this earth of ours an uncomfortable inn to lodge in; then I think it high time to take that individual aside and argue the point with him.


I've got what amounts to a religion, now. It's learning how to breathe all over again.

RAY BRADBURY, The Martian Chronicles, "And the Moon Be Still as Bright"

Appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed of Christ. There is — I repeat it — a difference; and it is a good, and not a bad action to mark broadly and clearly the line of separation between them. The world may not like to see these ideas dissevered, for it has been accustomed to blend them; finding it convenient to make external show pass for sterling worth — to let white-washed walls vouch for clean shrines. It may hate him who dares to scrutinise and expose — to rase the gilding, and show base metal under it — to penetrate the sepulchre, and reveal charnel relics: but hate as it will, it is indebted to him.

CHARLOTTE BRONTË, Preface, Jane Eyre

Even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardor of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov

So much has religion done for me; turning the original materials to the best account; pruning and training nature. But she could not eradicate nature: nor will it be eradicated 'till this mortal shall put on immortality.


You are too young to understand it ... but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of--oh, of your father.

HARPER LEE, To Kill a Mockingbird

There are some kind of men who--who're so busy worrying about the next world they've never learned to live in this one.

HARPER LEE, To Kill a Mockingbird

Government oppressed the body of the wage-slave, but religion oppressed his mind, and poisoned the stream of progress at its source. The workingman was to fix his hopes upon a future life, while his pockets were picked in this one.


So long as man remains free he strives for nothing so incessantly and so painfully as to find someone to worship.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov

This starched and well brushed world of Sunday morning Presbyterianism, with its sober decency, its sense of restraint, its suggestion of quiet wealth, solid position, ordered ritual, seclusive establishment, moved him deeply with its tranquility. He felt concretely his isolation from it, he entered it from the jangled disorder of his own life once a week, looking at it, and departing from it, for years, with the sad heart of a stranger. And from the mellow gloom of the church, the rich distant organ, the quiet nasal voice of the Scotch minister, the interminable prayers, and the rich little pictures of Christian mythology which he had collected as a child under the instruction of the spinsters, he gathered something of the pain, the mystery, the sensuous beauty of religion, something deeper and greater than this austere decency.

THOMAS WOLFE, Look Homeward, Angel

Religions may come and go, as the Romans found and no doubt the Christians will find after them.


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