"How would it be possible if salvation were ready to our hand, and could without great labor be found, that it should be by almost all men neglected? But all things excellent are as difficult as they are rare."
"Men would never be superstitious, if they could govern all their circumstances by set rules, or if they were always favoured by fortune: but being frequently driven into straits where rules are useless, and being often kept fluctuating pitiably between hope and fear by the uncertainty of fortune's greedily coveted favours, they are consequently for the most part, very prone to credulity."
"As men's habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude ... that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits."
"Hence anyone who seeks for the true cause of miracles, and strives to understand natural phenomena as an intelligent being, and not to gaze at them as a fool, is set down and denounced as a impious heretic by those, whom the masses adore as the interpreters of nature and the gods."
"I have always found that when men have exhausted their own resources, they fall back on "the intentions of the Creator." But their platitudes have ceased to have any influence with those women who believe they have the same facilities for communication with the Divine mind as men have."
"If one believes philosophers, then what we call religion is only a deliberately popularized or an instinctively artless philosophy. Poets seem to consider religion rather as a variation of poetry which by misjudging its proper beautiful game takes itself too seriously and one-sidedly. Philosophy, however, admits and recognizes that it can begin and complete itself only with religion. Poetry seeks only to strive for the infinite and despises worldly utility and culture, which are the true antitheses of religion. Eternal peace among artists is thus not far away."
"We do not see God, but everywhere we see something divine; first and most typically in the center of a reasonable man, in the depth of a living human product. You can directly feel and think nature, the universe, but not the Godhead. Only the man among men can poetize and think divinely and live with religion..."