"If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction."
"All the sweetness of religion is conveyed to children by the hands of storytellers and image-makers. Without their fictions the truths of religion would for the multitude be neither intelligible nor even apprehensible; and the prophets would prophesy and the philosophers celebrate in vain. And nothing stands between the people and the fictions except the silly falsehood that the fictions are literal truths, and that there is nothing in religion but fiction."
"Your honesty is not to be based either on religion or policy. Both your religion and policy must be based on it. Your honesty must be based, as the sun is, in vacant heaven; poised, as the lights in the firmament, which have rule over the day and over the night."
"A religious creed differs from a scientific theory in claiming to embody eternal and absolutely certain truth, whereas science is always tentative, expecting that modification in its present theories will sooner or later be found necessary, and aware that its method is one which is logically incapable of arriving at a complete and final demonstration."
"An operation that eventually kills may be technically successful, and the man may die cured; and so a description of religion that showed it to be madness might first show how real and warm it was, so that if it perished, at least it would perish understood."
"Religion is usually nothing but a supplement to or even a substitute for education, and nothing is religious in the strict sense which is not a product of freedom. Thus one can say: The freer, the more religious; and the more education, the less religion."
"Only through religion can logic develop into philosophy, only from this source stems that which makes philosophy more than science. And without religion we will have only novels, or the triviality today called belles lettres instead of an eternally rich and infinite poetry."
"What do the few existing mystics still do? -- They more or less mold the raw chaos of already existing religion. But only in an isolated, insignificant manner, through feeble attempts. Do it in a grand manner from all aspects with unified efforts, and let us awaken all religions from their graves, newly revivify and form the immortal ones through the omnipotence of art and science."