"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 of superstition and folly have grown up around its forms and ceremonies. But the truth in it is one of the deep sentiments in human nature."
"Fanny was not there! How she would have enjoyed the scene.... I could not but think of her, and in spite of my efforts to prevent, the unbidden tear would flow. Alas! I cannot feel the satisfaction some appear to do in the reflection that her eyes beheld the scene from the other world."
"In the evening we attended a lecture by Rev. Fitch, a missionary for twenty years to China--the husband of our bright cousin, Mary McClelland.... He spoke of the three hundred millions of people in China. Twelve million a year die in ignorance of the Bible--one million a month perishing without salvation! This to me seems monstrous. God, the Father of all, God, who is love, dooms millions of his creatures to eternal torment! ... He is to bring a new religion to a polite and cultivated people!"
"Partisanship should be kept out of the pulpit.... The blindest of partisans are preachers. All politicians expect and find more candor, fairness, and truth in politicians than in partisan preachers. They are not replied to--no chance to reply to them.... The balance wheel of free institutions is free discussion. The pulpit allows no free discussion."
"Religion is the dream of the human mind. But even in dreams we do not find ourselves in emptiness or in heaven, but on earth, in the realm of reality; we only see real things in the entrancing splendor of imagination and caprice, instead of in the simple daylight of reality and necessity."
"Along the highway, all but lost among blatant neon lights flashing 'Whiskey' and 'Dance and Dine,' are crudely daubed warnings erected by itinerant evangelists, announcing that 'Jesus is soon coming,' or exhorting the traveler to 'prepare to meet thy God.'"
"Now folks, I hereby declare the first church of Tombstone, which ain't got no name yet or no preacher either, officially dedicated. Now I don't pretend to be no preacher, but I've read the Good Book from cover to cover and back again, and I nary found one word agin dancin'. So we'll commence by havin' a dad blasted good dance."
"There will be a new church founded on moral science, at first cold and naked, a babe in a manger again, the algebra and mathematics of ethical law, the church of men to come, without shams, or psaltery, or sackbut; but it will have heaven and earth for its beams and rafters; science for symbol and illustration; it will fast enough gather beauty, music, picture, poetry. Was never stoicism so stern and exigent as this shall be. It shall send man home to his central solitude, shame these social, supplicating manners, and make him know that much of the time he must have himself to his friend. He shall expect no cooperation, he shall walk with no companion."
"Our religion vulgarly stands on numbers of believers. Whenever the appeal is made--no matter how indirectly--to numbers, proclamation is then and there made, that religion is not. He that finds God a sweet, enveloping presence, who shall dare to come in?"