"The only thing that was dispensed free to the old New Bedford whalemen was a Bible. A well-known owner of one of that city's whaling fleets once described the Bible as the best cheap investment a shipowner could make."
"There has been and always will be plenty of arguments about the usefulness and harm of the spreading of the Bible. In my view theBible will continue to cause harm when used in a dogmatic and fantastic manner; it will do good when used for didactic purposes and with sensitivity."
"Have been reading "Genesis" several Sundays, not as a Christian reads for "spiritual consolation," "instruction," etc., not as aninfidel reads to carp and quarrel and criticize, but as one who wishes to be informed and furnished in the earliest and most wonderful of all literary productions. The literature of the Bible should be studied as one studies Shakespeare, for illustration and language, for its true pictures of man and woman nature, for its early historical record."
"The religion of the Bible is the best in the world. I see the infinite value of religion. Let it be always encouraged. A world ofsuperstition and folly have grown up around its forms and ceremonies. But the truth in it is one of the deep sentiments in human nature."
"The gloomy theology of the orthodox--the Calvinists--I do not, I cannot believe. Many of the notions--nay, most of the notions--which orthodox people have of the divinity of the Bible, I disbelieve. I am so nearly infidel in all my views, that too, in spite of my wishes, that none but the most liberal doctrines can command my assent."
"Well, Fitz, I looked all through that bible, it was in very fine print and stumbling on that great book Ecclesiastics, read it aloud to all who would listen. Soon I was alone and began cursing the bloody bible because there were no titles in it--although I found the source of practically every good title you ever heard of. But the boys, principally Kipling, had been there before me and swiped all the good ones so I called the book Men Without Women hoping it would have a large sale among the fairies and old Vassar Girls."
"To say that God is an incorporeal substance, is to say in effect there is no God at all. What alleges he against it, but the School-divinity which I have already answered? Scripture he can bring none, because the word incorporeal is not found in Scripture."
"But his Lordship [tells] ... us that God is wholly here, and wholly there, and wholly every where; because he has no parts. I cannot comprehend nor conceive this. For methinks it implies also that the whole world is also in the whole God, and in every part of God. Nor ... can I find anything of this in the Scripture. If I could find it there, I could believe it; and if I could find it in the public doctrine of the Church, I could easily abstain from contradicting it."
"The Scripture was written to shew unto men the kingdom of God; and to prepare their minds to become his obedient subjects; leavingthe world, and the Philosophy thereof, to the disputation of men, for the exercising of their natural Reason."
"There is much in the Bible against which every instinct of my being rebels, so much that I regret the necessity which has compelled me to read it through from beginning to end. I do not think that the knowledge which I have gained of its history and sources compensates me for the unpleasant details it has forced upon my attention."