"It is the manner of gods and prophets to begin: "Thou shalt have none other God or Prophet but me." If I were to start as a God or a prophet I think I should take the line: "Thou shalt not believe in me. Thou shalt not have me for a God. Thou shalt worship any d_____d thing thou likest except me." This should be my first and great commandment, and my second should be like unto it."
"The Reverend Samuel Peters ... exaggerated the Blue Laws, but they did include "Capital Lawes" providing a death penalty for any child over sixteen who was found guilty of cursing or striking his natural parents; a death penalty for an incorrigible son; a law forbidding smoking except in a room in a private house; another law declaring smoking illegal except on a journey five miles away from home,..."
"John Eliot came to preach to the Podunks in 1657, translated the Bible into their language, but made little progress in aboriginal soul-saving. The Indians answered his pleas with: 'No, you have taken away our lands, and now you wish to make us a race of slaves.'"
"[T]he minister preached a sermon on Jonah and the whale, at the end of which an old chief arose and declared, "We have heard several of the white people talk and lie; we know they will lie, but this is the biggest lie we ever heard."
"Passing through here in 1795, Bishop Asbury commented, 'The country improves in cultivation, wickedness, mills, and stills.' Five years later, he held a meeting in the neighborhood and remarked that he thought most of the congregation had come to look at his wig."
"... the meanest life, the poorest existence, is attributed to God's will, but as human beings become more affluent, as their living standard and style begin to ascend the material scale, God descends the scale of responsibility at a commensurate speed."
"... the loss of belief in future states is politically, though certainly not spiritually, the most significant distinction between our present period and the centuries before. And this loss is definite. For no matter how religious our world may turn again, or how much authentic faith still exists in it, or how deeply our moral values may be rooted in our religious systems, the fear of hell is no longer among the motives which would prevent or stimulate the actions of a majority."