"So that if you would form a just judgment of what is of infinite importance to you not to be misled in,--namely, in what degree ofreal merit you stand ... call in religion and morality.--Look,--What is written in the law of God?--How readest thou?--Consult calm reason and the unchangeable obligations of justice and truth;Mwhat say they?"
"There is no kind of herb, but somebody or other says that it is good. I am very glad to hear it. It reminds me of the first chapter of Genesis. But how should they know that it is good? That is the mystery to me. I am always agreeably disappointed; it is incredible that they should have found it out."
"Yet the New Testament treats of man and man's so-called spiritual affairs too exclusively, and is too constantly moral and personal, to alone content me, who am not interested solely in man's religious or moral nature, or in man even."
"There is on the earth no institution which Friendship has established; it is not taught by any religion; no scripture contains itsmaxims. It has no temple, nor even a solitary column. There goes a rumor that the earth is inhabited, but the shipwrecked mariner has not seen a footprint on the shore. The hunter has found only fragments of pottery and the monuments of inhabitants."
"Though the country seemed so new, and no house was observed by us, shut in between the banks that sunny day, we did not have to travel far to find where men inhabited, like wild bees, and had sunk wells in the loose sand and loam of the Merrimack. There dwelt the subject of the Hebrew scriptures, and the Esprit de Lois, where a thin, vaporous smoke curled up through the noon. All that is told of mankind, of the inhabitants of the Upper Nile, and the Sunderbunds, and Timbuctoo, and the Orinoko, was experience here. Every race and class of men was represented."
"The New Testament is remarkable for its pure morality; the best of the Hindoo Scripture, for its pure intellectuality. The readeris nowhere raised into and sustained in a higher, purer, or rarer region of thought than in the Bhagvat-Geeta.... It is unquestionably one of the noblest and most sacred scriptures which have come down to us."
"The New Testament is an invaluable book, though I confess to having been slightly prejudiced against it in my very early days by the church and the Sabbath-school, so that it seemed, before I read it, to be the yellowest book in the catalogue. Yet I early escaped from their meshes. It is hard to get the commentaries out of one's head and taste its true flavor.... It would be a poor story to be prejudiced against the Life of Christ because the book has been edited by Christians. In fact, I love this book rarely, though it is a sort of castle in the air to me, which I am permitted to dream."
"A healthy man, with steady employment, as wood-chopping at fifty cents a cord, and a camp in the woods, will not be a good subjectfor Christianity. The New Testament may be a choice book to him on some, but not on all or most of his days. He will rather go a-fishing in his leisure hours. The Apostles, though they were fishers too, were of the solemn race of sea-fishers, and never trolled for pickerel on inland streams."