God and Godhead are English words (Old English god, “deity”; Old High German got, a rank of deity; Proto-Germanic *gudą; Proto-Indo-European *ǵʰuto- “invoked one”; from *ǵʰewH- “to call”) used in referring to various notions of a supreme being or deity, often conceived to be the transcendent ruler or creator of the universe, or an omnipresent essence or entity immanent within it.
- Quotations listed alphabetically by author or work.
- In the Beginning, the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move.
- When we say God is a spirit, we know what we mean, as well as we do when we say that the pyramids of Egypt are matter. Let us be content, therefore, to believe him to be a spirit, that is, an essence that we know nothing of, in which originally and necessarily reside all energy, all power, all capacity, all activity, all wisdom, all goodness.
- Nearer, my God, to Thee—
Nearer to Thee—
E'en though it be a cross
That raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be
Nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer to Thee!
- Sarah Flower Adams, Nearer, my God, to Thee! (c. 1841); an article in Notes and Queries states that the words were written by her sister, Mrs. Byrdes Flower Adams, and the music only by Sarah Flower Adams.
- Never place a period where God has placed a comma.
- Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends.
- Woody Allen, Getting Even (1971)
- If only God would give me some clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.
- The important thing, I think, is not to be bitter... if it turns out that there is a God, I don't think that he is evil. I think that the worst thing you could say is that he is, basically, an under-achiever. If God exists, I hope he has a good excuse.
- How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?
- Woody Allen, as quoted in Love, Sex, Death & The Meaning of Life : The Films of Woody Allen (2001) by Foster Hirsch, p. 50
- I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.
- Susan B. Anthony, in an address to the National American Woman Suffrage Association (1896)
- Ordina l'uomo, e dio dispone.
- Man proposes, and God disposes.
- Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando Furioso (1516), Chapter XLVI. 35
- If I were not an atheist, I would believe in a God who would choose to save people on the basis of the totality of their lives and not the pattern of their words. I think he would prefer an honest and righteous atheist to a TV preacher whose every word is God, God, God, and whose every deed is foul, foul, foul.
- Isaac Asimov, I. Asimov: A Memoir (1994)
- When the hour of reality approaches, the zero hour, wholeheartedly welcome death for the sake of God. Always be remembering God. Either end your life while praying, seconds before the target, or make your last words: There is no God but God, Muhammad is his messenger.
- If you comprehend, it is not God.
- Augustine of Hippo, Sermon 52, 16
- Deus scitur melius nesciendo.
- God is best known in not knowing him.
- Augustine of Hippo, De Ordine, II, 16
- A God who cannot smile could not have created this humorous universe.
- Sri Aurobindo, Thoughts and Aphorisms
- God, the supreme being, is neither circumscribed by space, nor touched by time; he cannot be found in a particular direction, and his essence cannot change. The secret conversation is thus entirely spiritual; it is a direct encounter between God and the soul, abstracted from all material constraints.
- Avicenna, as quoted in 366 Readings From Islam (2000), edited by Robert Van der Weyer
- A jealous lover of human liberty, and deeming it the absolute condition of all that we admire and respect in humanity, I reverse the phrase of Voltaire, and say that if God really existed, it would be necessary to abolish him.
- Mikhail Bakunin in "On God and the State"
- God was a clever idea … The human race came up with a winner there.
- The glory of God is not contingent on man's good will, but all existence subserves his purposes. The system of the universe is as a celestial poem, whose beauty is from all eternity, and must not be marred by human interpolations. Things proceed as they were ordered, in their nice, and well-adjusted, and perfect harmony; so that as the hand of the skilful artist gathers music from the harp-strings, history calls it forth from the well-tuned chords of time. Not that this harmony can be heard during the tumult of action. Philosophy comes after events, and gives the reason of them, and describes the nature of their results. The great mind of collective man may, one day, so improve in self-consciousness as to interpret the present and foretell the future; but as yet, the end of what is now happening, though we ourselves partake in it, seems to fall out by chance. All is nevertheless one whole; individuals, families, peoples, the race, march in accord with the Divine will; and when any part of the destiny of humanity is fulfilled, we see the ways of Providence vindicated. The antagonisms of imperfect matter and the perfect idea, of liberty and necessary law, become reconciled. What seemed irrational confusion, appears as the web woven by light, liberty and love. But this is not perceived till a great act in the drama of life is finished. The prayer of the patriarch, when he desired to behold the Divinity face to face, was denied; but he was able to catch a glimpse of Jehovah, after He had passed by; and so it fares with our search for Him in the wrestlings of the world. It is when the hour of conflict is over, that history comes to a right understanding of the strife, and is ready to exclaim: "Lo! God is here, and we knew it not."
- George Bancroft Literary and Historical Miscellanies (1855), p. 491
- For I would rather be a servant in the House of the Lord than to sit in the seats of the mighty.
- Alben W. Barkley, address to a mock Democratic convention, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia (April 30, 1956), reported in Memorial Services Held in the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, Together with Remarks Presented in Eulogy of Alben William Barkley, Late a Senator from Kentucky (1956), p. 106. After speaking these words, Senator Barkley collapsed and died. In her book, I Married the Veep (1958), Jane R. Barkley says (p. 312), "I am not sure, even now, how these words came into being, where they came from. I believe they were original with him but were based on the Old Testament, 84th Psalm: 10, 'I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.'"
- When the mind is not dissipated upon extraneous things, nor diffused over the world about us through the senses, it withdraws within itself, and of its own accord ascends to the contemplation of God.
- If by Godot I had meant God I would have said God, and not Godot.
- How many questions arise in this place! Constantly the question comes up: Where was God in those days? Why was he silent? How could he permit this endless slaughter, this triumph of evil? . . . We must continue to cry out humbly yet insistently to God: Rouse yourself! Do not forget mankind, your creature!
- Zeus, n. The chief of Grecian gods, adored by the Romans as Jupiter and by the modern Americans as God, Gold, Mob and Dog. Some explorers who have touched upon the shores of America, and one who professes to have penetrated a considerable distance to the interior, have thought that these four names stand for as many distinct deities, but in his monumental work on Surviving Faiths, Frumpp insists that the natives are monotheists, each having no other god than himself, whom he worships under many sacred names.
- For behold, this is my work and my glory — to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
- Only what is fated to die is capable of living. Only what dies lives. Why do you think Christ was killed? They killed him to prove that he wasn’t a god. But in killing him, they immortalized the perishable and transformed man into a god.
- Giannina Braschi in "Empire of Dreams"
- Goddes love
is unescapable as nature's environment,
which if a man ignore or think to thrust it off
he is the ill-natured fool that runneth on to death.
- Robert Bridges, The Testament of Beauty (1929), Book IV, line 1419
- That we devote ourselves to God is seen
In living just as though no God there were.
- Robert Browning, Paracelsus (1835), Part I
- God is the perfect poet,
Who in his person acts his own creations.
- Robert Browning, Paracelsus (1835), Part II
- All service is the same with God,
With God, whose puppets, best and worst,
Are we: there is no last nor first.
- Robert Browning, Pippa Passes (1841), Part IV
- All names of God remain hallowed because they have been used not only to speak of God but also to speak to him.
- Some would deny any legitimate use of the word God because it has been misused so much. Certainly it is the most burdened of all human words. Precisely for that reason it is the most imperishable and unavoidable. And how much weight has all erroneous talk about God's nature and works (although there never has been nor can be any such talk that is not erroneous) compared with the one truth that all men who have addressed God really meant him? For whoever pronounces the word God and really means Thou, addresses, no matter what his delusion, the true Thou of his life that cannot be restricted by any other and to whom he stands in a relationship that includes all others.
- When we rise out of [the night] into the new life and there begin to receive the signs, what can we know of that which—of him who gives them to us? Only what we experience from time to time from the signs themselves. If we name the speaker of this speech God, then it is always the God of a moment, a moment God.
- Martin Buber, Between Man and Man (1965), p. 15
- God's merits are so transcendent that it is not surprising his faults should be in reasonable proportion.
- Samuel Butler "Rebelliousness" in Note-Books (1912)
- Except during my childhood, when I was probably influenced by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel depiction of God with a flowing white beard, I have never tried to project the Creator in any kind of human likeness. The vociferous debates about whether God is male or female seem ridiculous to me. I think of God as an omnipotent and omniscient presence, a spirit that permeates the universe, the essence of truth, nature, being, and life. To me, these are profound and indescribable concepts that seem to be trivialized when expressed in words.
- Jimmy Carter, Living Faith (2001), p. 222
- The thesis that the human being seeks God because of the disorder he perceives in himself does not take into account that the human being seems to prefer disorder.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Fausto Cercignani, 2014, p. 35
- I tell you this, that you will have found out the truth of the last tree and the top-most cloud before the truth about me. You will understand the sea, and I shall be still a riddle; you shall know what the stars are, and not know what I am. Since the beginning of the world all men have hunted me like a wolf — kings and sages, and poets and lawgivers, all the churches, and all the philosophies. But I have never been caught yet, and the skies will fall in the time I turn to bay. I have given them a good run for their money, and I will now.
G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (1908), Ch. XIII : The Pursuit of the President, "Sunday" representing God speaking to the ostensible anarchists who have just realized they were were all policemen and spies, but who still haven't realized their role or Sunday's in the comic nightmare Chesterton devised.
- God can only set in motion:
He cannot control the things he has made.
- T'ao Ch'ien, Substance, Shadow, and Spirit, "Spirit expounds" (transl. by Arthur Waley)
- Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
- 1 Chronicles 29:11-13
- God: a disease we imagine we are cured of because no one dies of it nowadays.
- Emile Cioran, The Trouble with Being Born
- God is dead not because He doesn't exist, but because we live, play, procreate, govern, and die as though He doesn't.
- God never meant that man should scale the Heavens
By strides of human wisdom. In his works,
Though wondrous, he commands us in his word
To seek him rather where his mercy shines.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book III, line 217
- But who with filial confidence inspired,
Can lift to Heaven an unpresumptuous eye,
And smiling say, My Father made them all.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book V. The Winter Morning Walk, line 745
- Acquaint thyself with God, if thou would'st taste
His works. Admitted once to his embrace,
Thou shalt perceive that thou wast blind before:
Thine eye shall be instructed; and thine heart
Made pure shall relish with divine delight
Till then unfelt, what hands divine have wrought.
- William Cowper, The Task (1785), Book V, line 782
- The hair of his head was like clean wool. His throne was flames of fire; its wheels were a burning fire. There was a stream of fire flowing and going out from before him. There were a thousand thousands that kept ministering to him, and ten thousand times ten thousand that kept standing right before him. The Court took its seat, and there were books that were opened.
- God don't like complaints.
- Rick Danko, as quoted in Rolling Stone, January 20th, 2000
- A man who recognizes no God is probably placing an inordinate value on himself.
- Robertson Davies in Conversations
- The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (2006), p. 31
- The trouble is that God in this sophisticated, physicist's sense bears no resemblance to the God of the Bible or any other religion. If a physicist says God is another name for Planck's constant, or God is a superstring, we should take it as a picturesque metaphorical way of saying that the nature of superstrings or the value of Planck's constant is a profound mystery. It has obviously not the smallest connection with a being capable of forgiving sins, a being who might listen to prayers, who cares about whether or not the Sabbath begins at 5pm or 6pm, whether you wear a veil or have a bit of arm showing; and no connection whatever with a being capable of imposing a death penalty on His son to expiate the sins of the world before and after he was born.
- Richard Dawkins, from a lecture, extracted from The Nullifidian (December 1994)
- They say that God is everywhere, and yet we always think of Him as somewhat of a recluse.
- Emily Dickinson, Letter to Mrs. J. G. Holland [L551] (Spring 1878)
- It is solemn to remember that Vastness —
Is but the Shadow of the Brain which casts it —
All things swept sole away
This — is immensity —
- Emily Dickinson, in aletter to Thomas Wentworth Higginson [L551] (1881)
- If there is a supreme being, he's crazy.
- Marlene Dietrich, as quoted in Rave magazine (November 1986)
- God used beautiful mathematics in creating the world.
- Paul Dirac, as quoted in The Cosmic Code : Quantum Physics As The Language Of Nature (1982) by Heinz R. Pagels, p. 295; also in Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac : Reminiscences about a Great Physicist (1990) edited by Behram N. Kursunoglu and Eugene Paul Wigner, p. xv
- I do not make any clear distinction between mind and God. God is what mind becomes when it has passed beyond the scale of our comprehension. God may be either a world-soul or a collection of world-souls. So I am thinking that atoms and humans and God may have minds that differ in degree but not in kind. We stand, in a manner of speaking, midway between the unpredictability of atoms and the unpredictability of God. Atoms are small pieces of our mental apparatus, and we are small pieces of God's mental apparatus. Our minds may receive inputs equally from atoms and from God. This view of our place in the cosmos may not be true, but it is compatible with the active nature of atoms as revealed in the experiments of modern physics. I don't say that this personal theology is supported or proved by scientific evidence. I only say that it is consistent with scientific evidence.
- I do not claim any ability to read God's mind. I am sure of only one thing. When we look at the glory of stars and galaxies in the sky and the glory of forests and flowers in the living world around us, it is evident that God loves diversity. Perhaps the universe is constructed according to a principle of maximum diversity.
- Freeman Dyson, in "Progress In Religion : A Talk By Freeman Dyson" (9 May 2000)
- If we pray to God as a corporeal person, this will prevent us from relinquishing the human doubts and fears which attend such a belief, and so we cannot grasp the wonders wrought by infinite, incorporeal Love, to whom all things are possible.
- Mary Baker Eddy in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures"
- I see only with deep regret that God punishes so many of His children for their numerous stupidities, for which only He Himself can be held responsible; in my opinion, only His nonexistence could excuse Him.
- Albert Einstein, letter to Edgar Meyer (2 January 1915)
- What I see in nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of ‘humility.’ This is a genuinely religious feeling that has nothing to do with mysticism. . . . My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. . . . I want to know how God created this world. I want to know his thoughts, the rest are details.
- It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious, then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.
- Albert Einstein, in a letter to an atheist, written in English (24 March 1954), included in Albert Einstein: The Human Side, edited by Helen Dukas and Banesh Hoffman.
- My position concerning God is that of an agnostic. I am convinced that a vivid consciousness of the primary importance of moral principles for the betterment and ennoblement of life does not need the idea of a law-giver, especially a law-giver who works on the basis of reward and punishment.
- Albert Einstein, letter to M. Berkowitz (25 October 1950)
- These proposals spring, without ulterior purpose or political passion, from our calm conviction that the hunger for peace is in the hearts of all peoples--those of Russia and of China no less than of our own country. They conform to our firm faith that God created men to enjoy, not destroy, the fruits of the earth and of their own toil.
- God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.
- Exodus 3:14 (King James Version)
- Variant: God said to Moses, 'I will be what I will be'
- By positing God as unknowable, man excuses himself to what is still left of his religious conscience for his oblivion of God, his surrender to the world. He negates God in practice – his mind and his senses have been absorbed by the world – but he does not negate him in theory. He does not attack his existence; he leaves it intact. But this existence neither affects nor incommodes him, for it is only a negative existence, an existence without existence; it is an existence that contradicts itself – a being that, in view of its effects, is indistinguishable from non-being.
- Ludwig Feuerbach, The Essence of Christianity (1843), Z. Hanfi, trans., in The Fiery Brook (1972), p. 112
- If you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.
- "God" in Futurama
- I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth—that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?
- Benjamin Franklin, debates in the Constitutional Convention, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (June 28, 1787); reported in James Madison, Journal of the Federal Convention, ed. E. H. Scott (1893), p. 259–60. Franklin suggests that the Convention begin its sessions with prayers "imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations".
- I looked and looked but I didn't see God.
- Attributed to Yuri Gagarin after becoming the first person to orbit the Earth, as quoted in To Rise from Earth (1996) by Wayne Lee; the authenticity of this remark is disputed; Colonel Valentin Petrov stated in 2006 that the cosmonaut never said such words, and that the quote originated from Nikita Khrushchev's speech at the plenum of the Central Committee of the CPSU about the state's anti-religion campaign, saying "Gagarin flew into space, but didn't see any god there."
- Sometimes misquoted as "I see no God up here" as if he said this in space, but there are no transcripts or recordings indicating that he ever did.
- I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with senses, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use and by some other means to give us knowledge which we can attain by them.
- Galileo Galilei. in his Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina (1615), an essay published in 1615, in response to enquiries of Christina of Tuscany, as quoted in Aspects of Western Civilization : Problems and Sources in History (1988) by Perry McAdow Rogers, p. 53
- Variant translation: I do not think it is necessary to believe that the same God who has given us our senses, reason, and intelligence wished us to abandon their use, giving us by some other means the information that we could gain through them.
- Mathematics is the language in which God wrote the universe.
- Attributed to Galileo Galilei in Statistics: Concepts and Applications (1994) by Harry Frank and Steven C. Althoen, p. xxi
- It is beyond my power to induce in you a belief in God. There are certain things which are self proved and certain which are not proved at all. The existence of God is like a geometrical axiom. It may be beyond our heart grasp. I shall not talk of an intellectual grasp. Intellectual attempts are more or less failures, as a rational explanation cannot give you the faith in a living God. For it is a thing beyond the grasp of reason. It transcends reason. There are numerous phenomena from which you can reason out the existence of God, but I shall not insult your intelligence by offering you a rational explanation of that type. I would have you brush aside all rational explanations and begin with a simple childlike faith in God. If I exist, God exists. With me it is a necessity of my being as it is with millions. They may not be able to talk about it, but from their life you can see that it is a part of their life. I am only asking you to restore the belief that has been undermined. In order to do so, you have to unlearn a lot of literature that dazzles your intelligence and throws you off your feet. Start with the faith which is also a token of humility and an admission that we know nothing, that we are less than atoms in this universe. We are less than atoms, I say, because the atom obeys the law of its being, whereas we in the insolence of our ignorance deny the law of nature. But I have no argument to address to those who have no faith.
- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi in Young India (24 September 1931); also in Teachings Of Mahatma Gandhi (1945), edited by Jag Parvesh Chander, p. 458
- People are even more reluctant to admit that man explains nothing, than they were to admit that God explains nothing.
- Ernest Gellner, Legitimation of Belief (1974), p. 99
- I cannot think we are useless or Usen would not have created us. He created all tribes of men and certainly had a righteous purpose in creating each.
- Geronimo, as quoted in Geronimo's Story of His Life (1907) as told to S.M. Barrett in 1905 and 1906, "Usen" is the Apache word for God.
- Either half my colleagues are enormously stupid, or else the science of Darwinism is fully compatible with conventional religious beliefs.
- Stephen Jay Gould, in "Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge" in Scientific American (July 1992)
- Give according to your means, or God will make your means according to your giving.
- Reverend John Hall, reported in Tryon Edwards, A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908), p. 194
- Futurist Aldo Palazzeschi... exhorts us in L'antidolore (1913) to laugh heartily at the mortality built into the plan of creation not out of spite, as has traditionally been the case, but because suffering and death are nothing but pranks of the prime trickster, God. If anything it is the devil who is the spirit of gravity, and it is in taking him seriously that we plummet from grace.
- No matter how much I probe and prod,
I cannot quite believe in God;
But oh, I hope to God that He
Unswervingly believes in me.
- Yip Harburg, Rhymes for the Irreverent, (1965)
- I've never understood how God could expect his creatures to pick the one true religion by faith — it strikes me as a sloppy way to run a universe.
- God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent — it says so right here on the label. If you have a mind capable of believing all three of these divine attributes simultaneously, I have a wonderful bargain for you. No checks, please. Cash and in small bills.
- The most preposterous notion that H. sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all history.
The second most preposterous notion is that copulation is inherently sinful.
- How much reverence can you have for a Supreme Being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in his divine system of creation?
- Joseph Heller, Catch 22
- Restore to God His due in tithe and time;
A tithe purloin'd cankers the whole estate.
- George Herbert, The Temple (1633), The Church Porch, Stanza 65
- Only a humorless tyrant could want a perpetual chanting of praises that, one has no choice but to assume, would be the innate virtues and splendors furnished him by his creator, infinite regression, drowned in praise!
- Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian (2001)
- God only speaks to those who understand the language
- Dr. Albert Hofmann, (15 January 2006)
- Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn't make a decent thief. When I read a book and don't believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man.
- Robert Ingersoll (14 October 1879)
- God is dead. Marx is dead. And I don’t feel so well myself.
- Eugène Ionesco, as quoted in Jewish American Literature : A Norton Anthology (2000) by Jules Chametzky, "Jewish Humor", p. 318
- I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create calamity: I the LORD do all these things.
- Isaiah 45:5-7 (King James Version)
- Variant: I am the Lord and there is no other. Who forms light and creates darkness, Who makes peace and creates calamity; I am the Lord, who makes all these.
- The God who gave us life, gave us liberty at the same time.
- It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
- Thomas Jefferson, Query 17 in Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1785)
- Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that His justice cannot sleep forever.
- Thomas Jefferson, Query 18 in Notes on the State of Virginia (1781-1785)
- Question with boldness even the existence of a god; because, if there be one, he must more approve the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to his nephew Peter Carr from Paris, France, (10 August 1787)
- No historical fact is better established, than that the doctrine of one God, pure and uncompounded, was that of the early ages of Christianity … Nor was the unity of the Supreme Being ousted from the Christian creed by the force of reason, but by the sword of civil government, wielded at the will of the fanatic Athanasius.
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Smith (1822)
- The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.
- 1. That there is one only God, and he all perfect.
- 2. That there is a future state of rewards and punishments.
- 3. That to love God with all thy heart and thy neighbor as thyself, is the sum of religion.
- Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Benjamin Waterhouse, (26 June 1822)
- Some foolish men declare that creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill advised and should be rejected. If God created the world, where was he before the creation? If you say he was transcendent then and needed no support, where is he now? How could God have made this world without any raw material? If you say that he made this first, and then the world, you are faced with an endless regression. If you declare that this raw material arose naturally you fall into another fallacy, For the whole universe might thus have been its own creator, and have arisen quite naturally. If God created the world by an act of his own will, without any raw material, then it is just his will and nothing else — and who will believe this silly nonsense? If he is ever perfect and complete, how could the will to create have arisen in him? If, on the other hand, he is not perfect, he could no more create the universe than a potter could. If he is form-less, action-less and all-embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul, devoid of all morality, would have no desire to create anything. If he is perfect, he does not strive for the three aims of man, so what advantage would he gain by creating the universe? If you say that he created to no purpose because it was his nature to do so, then God is pointless. If he created in some kind of sport, it was the sport of a foolish child, leading to trouble. If he created because of the karma of embodied beings [acquired in a previous creation] He is not the Almighty Lord, but subordinate to something else. If out of love for living beings and need of them he made the world, why did he not take creation wholly blissful free from misfortune? If he were transcendent he would not create, for he would be free: Nor if involved in transmigration, for then he would not be almighty. Thus the doctrine that the world was created by God makes no sense at all, And God commits great sin in slaying the children whom he himself created. If you say that he slays only to destroy evil beings, why did he create such beings in the first place? Good men should combat the believer in divine creation, maddened by an evil doctrine. Know that the world is uncreated, as time itself is, without beginning or end, and is based on the principles, life and rest. Uncreated and indestructible, it endures under the compulsion of its own nature.
- God is greater than we can know; The number of his years is beyond comprehension.
- For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life
- John the Apostle, in John 3:16
- The very pure spirit does not bother about the regard of others or human respect, but communes inwardly with God, alone and in solitude as to all forms, and with delightful tranquility, for the knowledge of God is received in divine silence.
- St. John of the Cross in The Sayings of Light and Love as translated by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (1991)
- God is a dark night to man in this life.
- St. John of the Cross, The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, I, 2, 1
- All-thing hath the Being by the love of God.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c. 1393), Ch. 5
- God is all that is good, as to my sight, and the goodness that each thing hath, it is He.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c. 1393), Ch. 8
- God willeth that we endlessly hate the sin and endlessly love the soul, as God loveth it.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c. 1393), Ch. 40
- Truth seeth God, and Wisdom beholdeth God, and of these two cometh the third: that is, a holy marvellous delight in God; which is Love. Where Truth and Wisdom are verily, there is Love verily, coming of them both. And all of God’s making: for He is endless sovereign Truth, endless sovereign Wisdom, endless sovereign Love, unmade; and man’s Soul is a creature in God which hath the same properties made, and evermore it doeth that it was made for: it seeth God, it beholdeth God, and it loveth God. Whereof God enjoyeth in the creature; and the creature in God, endlessly marvelling.
In which marvelling he seeth his God, his Lord, his Maker so high, so great, and so good, in comparison with him that is made, that scarcely the creature seemeth ought to the self. But the clarity and the clearness of Truth and Wisdom maketh him to see and to bear witness that he is made for Love, in which God endlessly keepeth him.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c. 1393), Ch. 44
- Highly ought we to rejoice that God dwelleth in our soul, and much more highly ought we to rejoice that our soul dwelleth in God. Our soul is made to be God’s dwelling-place; and the dwelling-place of the soul is God, Which is unmade. And high understanding it is, inwardly to see and know that God, which is our Maker, dwelleth in our soul; and an higher understanding it is, inwardly to see and to know that our soul, that is made, dwelleth in God’s Substance: of which Substance, God, we are that we are.
And I saw no difference between God and our Substance: but as it were all God; and yet mine understanding took that our Substance is in God: that is to say, that God is God, and our Substance is a creature in God.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c.1393), Ch. 54
- As truly as God is our Father, so truly is God our Mother.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c.1393), Ch. 59
- I beheld with reverent dread, and highly marvelling in the sight and in the feeling of the sweet accord, that our Reason is in God; understanding that it is the highest gift that we have received; and it is grounded in nature.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c.1393), Ch. 83
- I saw full surely that ere God made us He loved us; which love was never slacked, nor ever shall be. And in this love He hath done all His works; and in this love He hath made all things profitable to us; and in this love our life is everlasting. In our making we had beginning; but the love wherein He made us was in Him from without beginning: in which love we have our beginning. And all this shall we see in God, without end.
- Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love (c. 1393), Ch. 86
- The Christian God is spirit and Christianity is spirit, and there is discord between the flesh and the spirit but the flesh is not the sensuous-it is the selfish. In this sense, even the spiritual can become sensuous-for example, if a person took his spiritual gifts in vain, he would then be carnal. And of course I know that it is not necessary for the Christian that Christ must have been physically beautiful; and it would be grievous-for a reason different from the one you give-because if beauty were some essential, how the believer would long to see him; but from all this it by no means follows that the sensuous is annihilated in Christianity.
- Soren Kierkegaard Either/Or Part II (1843) as translated by Hong, p. 50
- If everything is assumed to be in order with regard to the Holy Scriptures-what then? Has the person who did not believe come a single step closer to faith? No, not a single step. Faith does not result from straightforward scholarly deliberation, nor does it come directly; on the contrary, in this objectivity one loses that infinite, personal, impassioned interestedness, which is the condition of faith, the everywhere and nowhere in which faith can come into existence. Has the person who did believe gained anything with regard to the power and strength of faith? No, not in the least; in this prolix knowledge, in this certainty that lurks at faith’s door and craves for it, he is rather in such a precarious position that much effort, much fear and trembling will be needed lest he fall into temptation and confuse knowledge with faith. Whereas up to now faith has been a beneficial taskmaster in uncertainty, but it would be its worst enemy in this certainty. If passion is taken away, faith no longer exists, and certainty and passion do not hitch up as a team.
- Soren Kierkegaard, Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments (1846) as translated by Hong, p. 29
- God is cruel, sometimes he makes you live.
- Stephen King, Desperation
- God said take what you want ... and pay for it.
- Stephen King, Desperation, said by the character "Johnny Marinville"
- It isn't always the middle-aged who refuse to listen, who will not even try to understand another point of view. One boy would not get it through his head that for all adults God is not an old man in a white beard sitting on a cloud. As far as this boy was concerned, this old gentleman was the adult's god, and therefore he did not believe in God.
- Madeleine L'Engle in The Crosswicks Journal, Book One : A Circle of Quiet (1972)
- Homo proponit et Deus disponit.
- And governeth alle goode virtues.
- William Langland, Vision of Piers Ploughman (Ed. 1824), Volume II, p. 427, line 13,984. John Gerson is credited with same. Saying quoted in Chronicles of Battel Abbey (1066 to 1177). Translation by Lower, 1851, p. 27. Homer, Iliad, XVII. 515. Pindar, Olymp, XIII. 149. Demosthenes, De Corona., 209. Plautus, Bacchid. I, 2, 36. Ammianus Marcellinus, Hist, XXV. 3. Francois Fenelon, Sermon on the Epiphany, 1685. Montaigne, Essay, Book II, Chapter XXXVII. Seneca the Younger, Epistles, 107. Cleanthus, Fragment. Cervantes, Don Quixote, I. 22. Dante, Paradise, VIII, line 134. Friedrich Schiller, Wallenstein's Death, I, 7. 32. Ordericus Vitalis, Ecclesiastica Historia, Book III (1075)
- God is only a great imaginative experience.
- D.H. Lawrence, Phoenix: The Posthumous Papers of D. H. Lawrence (1936) pt. 4, edited by E. McDonald
- God is a concept by which we measure our pain.
- John Lennon, God (1970)
- Is it not better to place a question mark upon a problem while seeking an answer than to put the label "God" there and consider the matter solved? Does not the word "God" only confuse and make more difficult the solution by assuming a conclusion that is utterly groundless and palpably absurd?
- Joseph Lewis, The Philosophy of Atheism
- I know that the LORD is always on the side of the right. But it is my constant anxiety and prayer that I and this nation should be on the LORD'S side.
- Abraham Lincoln, reported in Francis B. Carpenter, Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln (1867), p. 282. Reply to a clergyman who said to Lincoln that he hoped "the Lord was on our side".
- I am much indebted to the good christian people of the country for their constant prayers and consolations; and to no one of them, more than to yourself. The purposes of the Almighty are perfect, and must prevail, though we erring mortals may fail to accurately perceive them in advance. We hoped for a happy termination of this terrible war long before this; but God knows best, and has ruled otherwise. We shall yet acknowledge His wisdom and our own error therein. Meanwhile we must work earnestly in the best light He gives us, trusting that so working still conduces to the great ends He ordains. Surely He intends some great good to follow this mighty convulsion, which no mortal could make, and no mortal could stay.
- Abraham Lincoln's Letter to Eliza Gurney (4 September 1864); quoted in Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 7 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1953), p. 535
- An' you've gut to git up airly
Ef you want to take in God.
- James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers (1848), First Series. No. 1, Stanza 5
- But the thing that's really disturbing about Noah isn't the silly, it's that it's immoral. It's about a psychotic mass murderer who gets away with it, and his name is God. Genesis says God was so angry with himself for screwing up when he made mankind so flawed (grr!), that he sent the flood to kill everyone. Everyone. Men, women, children, babies.
What kind of tyrant punishes everyone just to get back at the few he's mad at? I mean, besides Chris Christie. Hey God, you know you're kind of a dick when you are in a movie with Russell Crowe, and you're the one with anger issues. You know, conservatives are always going on about how Americans are losing their values and their morality. Well, maybe it's because you worship a guy who drowns babies.
- Bill Maher, Real Time with Bill Maher 2014-03-14
- The Eternal turned his attention to the three shades who stood humbly and yet hopefully before him. The quick, with so short a time to live, when they talk of themselves, talk too much; but the dead, with eternity before them, are so verbose that only angels could listen to them with civility.
- W. Somerset Maugham, Collected short stories 1, "The judgement seat", p. 314
- What in me is dark,
Illumine; what is low, raise and support;
That to the height of this great argument
I may assert eternal Providence,
And justify the ways of God to men.
- These are thy glorious works, Parent of good.
- Bright and clear mind — that we call God.
- Namboku Mizuno, Food Governs Your Destiny, p. 103
- God is living in people's hearts, and in God there is no distinction or rank. Therefore God lives in everyone. That's why traditionally it is said that all deities are the same. They say God comes to a person who is very humble and honest.
- Namboku Mizuno, Food Governs Your Destiny, p. 105
- If, it was natural to reason, God punishes men with eternal torment, it is surely lawful for men to use doses of it in a good cause.
- Joseph McCabe in A History of Torture
- Creator — A comedian whose audience is afraid to laugh.
- H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy, ch. 30 (1949)
- God is the immemorial refuge of the incompetent, the helpless, the miserable. They find not only sanctuary in his arms, but also a kind of superiority, soothing to their macerated egos; He will set them above their betters.
- H. L. Mencken, Minority Report (1956)
- To say that I am made in the image of God is to say that Love is the reason for my existence, for God is love.
Love is my true identity. Selflessness is my true self. Love is my true character. Love is my name.
- Thomas Merton, Seeds of Contemplation (1949)
- Persons are not known by intellect alone, not by principles alone, but only by love. It is when we love the other, the enemy, that we obtain from God the key to an understanding of who he is, and who we are. It is only this realization that can open to us the real nature of our duty, and of right action.
- O God, we are one with You. You have made us one with You. You have taught us that if we are open to one another, You dwell in us. Help us to preserve this openness and to fight for it with all our hearts. Help us to realize that there can be no understanding where there is mutual rejection. O God, in accepting one another wholeheartedly, fully, completely, we accept You, and we thank You, and we adore You, and we love You with our whole being, because our being is Your being, our spirit is rooted in Your spirit. Fill us then with love, and let us be bound together with love as we go our diverse ways, united in this one spirit which makes You present in the world, and which makes You witness to the ultimate reality that is love. Love has overcome. Love is victorious. Amen.
- Thomas Merton, in his closing prayer to an informal address delivered in Calcutta, India (October 1968), from The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton (1975); quoted in Thomas Merton, Spiritual Master : The Essential Writings (1992), p. 237
- There is a very good saying that if triangles invented a god, they would make him three-sided
- Charles de Montesquieu, Lettres persannes
- One thing I can't stand, it's people groveling.
- God, in Monty Python and the Holy Grail
- If there is anything so precious that without it history and the world will be destroyed, where will you keep it? You will naturally want to keep it in the deepest part of your mind. If you desire to place it in the depths of your mind, it needs to be invisible. It is for this very reason that God exists as an invisible being. It is fortunate that He is invisible, for if He were visible how could a great contest to gain Him be avoided? It would be difficult for God to endure the pain of seeing it.
- Sun Myung Moon, The Way of God's Will Chapter 1-1. The Will of God (1980 translation)
- God is not stupid.
- God isn’t in the details, He’s in the structure.
- Carole Morin, Spying on Strange Men (2013)
- You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
- The Ultimate Truth is called God. This one can realize in the state of Nirvikalpa Samadhi. A circle can have only one centre but it can have numerous radii. The centre can be compared to God and the radii to religions. So, no one sect, no one religion or book can make an absolute claim of It. He who works for It gets It.
- Swami Narayanananda, Selected Articles 1933-86 (2002), p. 301
- This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all, and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called Lord God, Universal Ruler.
- All these things being considered, it seems probable to me, that God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, moveable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them; and that these primitive particles, being solids, are incomparably harder than any porous bodies compounded of them; even so very hard, as never to wear or break in pieces; no ordinary power being able to divide what God himself made one in the first creation.
- A Heavenly Master governs all the world as Sovereign of the universe. We are astonished at Him by reason of His perfection, we honor Him and fall down before Him because of His unlimited power. From blind physical necessity, which is always and everywhere the same, no variety adhering to time and place could evolve, and all variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, Whom I call the Lord God.
- Isaac Newton, as quoted in Our Humanist Heritage (2010) by George Frater, p. 75
- God is a thought which makes crooked all that is straight.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, "Upon the Blessed Isles", Thus Spoke Zarathustra
- God is dead: but considering the state Man is in, there will perhaps be caves, for ages yet, in which his shadow will be shown.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Gay Science (1882), section 125
- The reduction of Nietzsche's thought to … the first-liner of a graffito sometimes found in certain modern tiled cells and catacombs:
- God is dead — Nietzsche
Nietzsche is dead — God
- God is dead — Nietzsche
- This reduction could appear to be the creative interpretation of masterful will to power — if Nietzsche's thought and style are as uncontrolled as the critics suggest. … Nietzsche himself anticipates the strife of revengeful graffiti at the conclusion of his text: "Wherever there are walls I shall inscribe this eternal accusation against Christianity upon them — I can write in letters which make even the blind see." …Nietzsche says in his preface that his readers must have a "predestination for the labyrinth" and "new ears for new music" if they are to understand this difficult writing.
- Gary Shapiro in Nietzschean Narratives (1989), p. 126
- I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.
- Friedrich Nietzsche, as quoted in 20,000 Quips & Quotes (1995) edited by Evan Esar, p. 347
- God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I'm the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if He wanted to, but he'd rather tear off my feelers and watch me squirm.
- There probably is a God. Many things are easier to explain if there is than if there isn't.
- John von Neumann, as quoted in John Von Neumann : The Scientific Genius Who Pioneered the Modern Computer , Game Theory, Nuclear Deterrence and Much More (1992) by Norman Macrae, p. 379
- Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.
- Cura pii Dis sunt, & qui coluere coluntur.
- Heaven rewards the pious; those who cherish God
Themselves are cherished.
- Ovid, Metamorphoses, VIIL, 725
- Heaven rewards the pious; those who cherish God
- Those of us who are Gnostics believe that all people are ultimately saved and that God always loves us, no matter what we do. These beliefs are true, but they can very easily be simplified and misunderstood. God is never angry with us in the way in which a vengeful human would reject us, but God’s love for us has a dark side and one which we should rightfully fear. God loves us not in a sentimental way which aims at our ease and pleasure but, rather in a way which aims at our highest good and with an intensity which no one, even the highest angels, can understand. God is absolutely determined, with an infinite determination, to rid us of all that does not reflect His Goodness. As one of our hymns puts it,
- And, because of that, God’s punishments are terrible, and it is wise to fear them.
- Edward J. Parkinson, in "Divine Justice: Gnostic Reflections on Some Often Terrifying Realities" at CatholicGnostics.com
- Compare not thyself with others, but with Me. If thou dost not find Me in those with whom thou comparest thyself, thou comparest thyself to one who is abominable. If thou findest Me in them, compare thyself to Me. But whom wilt thou compare? Thyself, or Me in thee? If it is thyself, it is one who is abominable. If it is I, thou comparest Me to Myself. Now I am God in all.
- Posterity will one day laugh at the foolishness of modern materialistic philosophers. The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator. I pray while I am engaged at my work in the laboratory.
- Louis Pasteur, as quoted in The Literary Digest (18 October 1902)
- Science, which brings man nearer to God
- Louis Pasteur, quoted in René Vallery-Radot, The Life of Pasteur (1902), vol. 1, p. 194
- It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived..
- General George S. Patton, Jr., in a speech at the Copley Plaza Hotel, Boston Massachusetts (7 June 1945), quoted in Patton : Ordeal and Triumph (1970) by Ladislas Farago
- For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.
- What if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
- We conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
- Paul of Tarsus, Romans 3:19-31
- O the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How unsearchable his judgments are and beyond tracing out his ways are! For “who has come to know Jehovah’s mind, or who has become his adviser?” Or, “who has first given to him, so that it must be repaid to him?” Because from him and by him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.
- The word "God," so "capitalised" (as we Americans say), is the definable proper name, signifying Ens necessarium; in my belief Really creator of all three Universes of Experience.
- The hypothesis of God is a peculiar one, in that it supposes an infinitely incomprehensible object, although every hypothesis, as such, supposes its object to be truly conceived in the hypothesis. This leaves the hypothesis but one way of understanding itself; namely, as vague yet as true so far as it is definite, and as continually tending to define itself more and more, and without limit. The hypothesis, being thus itself inevitably subject to the law of growth, appears in its vagueness to represent God as so, albeit this is directly contradicted in the hypothesis from its very first phase. But this apparent attribution of growth to God, since it is ineradicable from the hypothesis, cannot, according to the hypothesis, be flatly false. Its implications concerning the Universes will be maintained in the hypothesis, while its implications concerning God will be partly disavowed, and yet held to be less false than their denial would be. Thus the hypothesis will lead to our thinking of features of each Universe as purposed; and this will stand or fall with the hypothesis. Yet a purpose essentially involves growth, and so cannot be attributed to God. Still it will, according to the hypothesis, be less false to speak so than to represent God as purposeless.
- Charles Sanders Peirce, in "A Neglected Argument for the Reality of God" (1908), § II
- All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.
- Max Planck, as he accepted the Nobel Prize (1919)
- Laugh where we must, be candid where we can,
But vindicate the ways of God to man.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 15
- Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind
Sees God in clouds, or hears him in the wind.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 99
- To Him no high, no low, no great, no small;
He fills, He bounds, connects and equals all!
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle I, line 277
- He mounts the storm, and walks upon the wind.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle II, line 110
- Slave to no sect, who takes no private road,
But looks through Nature up to Nature's God.
- Alexander Pope, An Essay on Man (1733-34), Epistle IV, line 331
- I don't have much truck with the "religion is the cause of most of our wars" school of thought because that is manifestly done by mad, manipulative and power-hungry men who cloak their ambition in God.
I number believers of all sorts among my friends. Some of them are praying for me. I'm happy they wish to do this, I really am, but I think science may be a better bet.
- I don't think I've found God, but I may have seen where gods come from.
- Terry Pratchett, in "I create gods all the time - now I think one might exist, says fantasy author Terry Pratchett" in The Daily Mail (21 June 2008)
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.
- Psalms 46:1 - 3
- There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
- Psalms 46:4 - 7
- Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
- Psalms 46:8 - 10
- Indeed the inscrutable One is out of the reach of every rational process.
Nor can any words come up to the inexpressible Good, this One, this Source of all unity, this super-existent Being.
Mind beyond mind, word beyond speech, it is gathered up by no discourse, by no intuition, by no name.
It is and it is as no other being is.
- Pseudo-Dionysius, The Divine Names, 1, 1
- God! There is no god but He, — the Living, the Self-subsisting, Eternal. No slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is there that can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth? he knoweth what before or after or behind them. Nor shall they compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens and the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, the Supreme.
- He who is called Brahman by the jnanis is known as Atman by the yogis and as Bhagavan by the bhaktas. The same brahmin is called priest, when worshipping in the temple, and cook, when preparing a meal in the kitchen. The jnani, following the path of knowledge, always reason about the Reality saying, "not this, not this." Brahman is neither "this" nor "that"; It is neither the universe nor its living beings. Reasoning in this way, the mind becomes steady. Finally it disappears and the aspirant goes into samadhi. This is the Knowledge of Brahman. It is the unwavering conviction of the jnani that Brahman alone is real and the world is illusory. All these names and forms are illusory, like a dream. What Brahman is cannot be described. One cannot even say that Brahman is a Person. This is the opinion of the jnanis, the followers of Vedanta. But the bhaktas accept all the states of consciousness. They take the waking state to be real also. They don't think the world to be illusory, like a dream. They say that the universe is a manifestation of the God's power and glory. God has created all these — sky, stars, moon, sun, mountains, ocean, men, animals. They constitute His glory. He is within us, in our hearts. Again, He is outside. The most advanced devotees say that He Himself has become all this — the 24 cosmic principles, the universe, and all living beings. The devotee of God wants to eat sugar, and not become sugar. (All laugh.) Do you know how a lover of God feels? His attitude is: "O God, Thou art the Master, and I am Thy servant. Thou art the Mother, and I Thy child." Or again: "Thou art my Father and Mother. Thou art the Whole, and I am a part." He does not like to say, "I am Brahman." They yogi seeks to realize the Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. His ideal is the union of the embodied soul and the Supreme Soul. He withdraws his mind from sense objects and tries to concentrate on the Paramatman. Therefore, during the first stage of his spiritual discipline, he retires into solitude and with undivided attention practices meditation in a fixed posture.
But the reality is one and the same; the difference is only in name. He who is Brahman is verily Atman, and again, He is the Bhagavan. He is Brahman to the followers of the path of knowledge, Paramatman to the yogis, and Bhagavan to the lovers of God.
- Ramakrishna, The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna (1942), p. 132
- The god of many cannot remain the true god.
- James Richardson, Vectors: Aphorisms and Ten Second Essays (2001), #138
- When I speak of All That Is, you must understand my position within it. All That Is knows no other. This does not mean that there may not be more to know. It does not mean, and here words quite fail us, it does not mean that All That Is, in any terms we can conceive of, may not be limited. It knows of no other.
- Jane Roberts, (1997)
- God is an iron … If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton, and a person who commits a felony is a felon, then God is an iron.
- Spider Robinson, in "God is an Iron" (1977)
- In the presence of infinite might and infinite wisdom, the strength of the strongest man is but weakness, and the keenest of mortal eyes see but dimly.
- Theodore Roosevelt's Christian Citizenship Address before the Young Men's Christian Association, Carnegie Hall, New York (30 December 1900)
- Kill one man and you are a murderer. Kill millions and you are a conqueror. Kill everyone and you are a God.
- Jean Rostand, Thoughts of a Biologist (1939)
- If I were granted omnipotence, and millions of years to experiment in, I should not think Man much to boast of as the final result of all my efforts.
- Bertrand Russell, Religion and Science
- If there were a God, I think it very unlikely that he would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt his existence.
- Bertrand Russell, quoted in Bertrand Russell's Best (1958), "On Religion"
- I think that if there were a God, there would be less evil on this earth. I believe that if evil exists here below, then either it was willed by God or it was beyond His powers to prevent it. Now I cannot bring myself to fear a God who is either spiteful or weak. I defy Him without fear and care not a fig for his thunderbolts.
- Marquis de Sade, Justine or The Misfortunes of Virtue (1787) [This quote is strikingly similar to Epicurus' above.]
- The existence of the world without God seems to me less absurd than the presence of a God, existing in all his perfection, creating an imperfect man in order to make him run the risk of Hell.
- Armand Salacrou in Ceritudes et incertitudes (1943)
- Respectable society believed in God in order to avoid having to speak about him.
- Jean-Paul Sartre, The Words (1964)
- We are all writing God's poem.
- Anne Sexton, as quoted by Erica Jong, in "Into the lion's den" in The Guardian (26 October 2000)
- God is our fortress, in whose conquering name
Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
- God shall be my hope,
My stay, my guide and lantern to my feet.
- And to add greater honours to his age
Than man could give him, he died fearing God.
- Had I but serv'd my God with half the zeal
I serv'd my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me naked to mine enemies.
- If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him?
If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future?
If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers?
If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him?
If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses?
- Percy Bysshe Shelley, The Necessity of Atheism (1811)
- Lisa Simpson: I still believe in God. I just think there's another path to him, or her.
Marge Simpson: Her?! [addressing God] She's just kidding, Mister Lord!
- Nothing remains, under God, but those passions which have often proved the best ministers of His vengeance, and the surest protectors of the world.
- Lecture XXVIL: On Habit - Part II, in “Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy”, delivered at The Royal Institution in the years 1804, 1805, and 1806 by the late Rev. Sydney Smith, M.A. (Spottiswoodes and Shaw (London: 1849)), p. 424
- Another Variant: When the usual hopes and the common aids of man are all gone, nothing remains under God but those passions which have often proved the best ministers of His purpose and the surest protectors of the world.
- Quoted by Theodore Roosevelt in his "Brotherhood and the Heroic Virtues" Address at the Veterans' Reunion, Burlington, Vermont, September 5, 1901 and published in Theodore Roosevelt's "The Strenuous Life: Essays and Addresses" by Dover Publications (April 23, 2009) in its Dover Thrift Editions (ISBN: 978-0486472294), p. 127
- Lecture XXVIL: On Habit - Part II, in “Elementary Sketches of Moral Philosophy”, delivered at The Royal Institution in the years 1804, 1805, and 1806 by the late Rev. Sydney Smith, M.A. (Spottiswoodes and Shaw (London: 1849)), p. 424
- Stan: Why would God let Kenny die, Chef? Why? Kenny's my f-f-friend. Why can't God take someone else's f-f-friend?
Chef: Stan, sometime God take those closest to us, because it makes him feel better about himself. He's a very vengeful God, Stan. He's all pissed off about something we did thousands of years ago. He just can't get over it. So he doesn't care who he takes: children, puppies, it don't matter to him, so long as it makes us sad. Do you understand?
Stan: Then why does God give us anything to start with?
Chef: Well, look at it this way: if you want to make a baby cry, first, you give it a lollipop. Then, you take it away. If you never give it a lollipop to begin with, then you would have nothing to cry about. That's like God, who gives us life and love and health, just so that he can tear it all away and make us cry, so he can drink the sweet milk of our tears. You see, it's our tears, Stan, that give God his great power.
Stan: I think I understand.
- It is sometimes hard, in times like these, to understand God's way. Why would he allow nine innocent people to be run down in the prime of their lives by a senior citizen who, perhaps, shouldn't be driving? It is then that we must understand, God's sense of humor is very different from our own. He does not laugh at the simple "man walks into a bar" joke. No, God needs complex irony and subtle farcical twists that seem macabre to you and me. All that we can hope for is that God got his good laugh, and a tragedy such as this will never happen again.
- By God, I mean a being absolutely infinite — that is, a substance consisting in infinite attributes, of which each expresses eternal and infinite essentiality.
Explanation — I say absolutely infinite, not infinite after its kind: for, of a thing infinite only after its kind, infinite attributes may be denied; but that which is absolutely infinite, contains in its essence whatever expresses reality, and involves no negation.
- Whatsoever is, is in God, and without God nothing can be, or be conceived.
- Baruch Spinoza, in Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (1677), Prop. 15
- God and all attributes of God are eternal.
- Baruch Spinoza, in Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (1677), Prop. 19
- Individual things are nothing but modifications of the attributes of God, or modes by which the attributes of God are expressed in a fixed and definite manner.
- Baruch Spinoza, in Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (1677), Prop. 25
- God is the indwelling and not the transient cause of all things.
- Baruch Spinoza, in Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (1677)
- Things could not have been brought into being by God in any manner or in any order different from that which has in fact obtained.
- Baruch Spinoza, in Ethica Ordine Geometrico Demonstrata (1677)
- Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds (1916); paraphrased variant: Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of humanity.
- God seeks comrades and claims love,
The devil seeks slaves and claims obedience.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies (1928)
- It is a mistake to suppose that God is only, or even chiefly, concerned with religion.
- What, but God?
Inspiring God! who boundless Spirit all,
And unremitting Energy, pervades,
Adjusts, sustains, and agitates the whole.
- James Thomson, The Seasons, Spring (1728), line 849
- If you do not believe in a personal God, the question: 'What is the purpose of life?' is unaskable and unanswerable.
- Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.
- The Kingdom of God is within you... and all beings.
- The only significance of life consists in helping to establish the kingdom of God; and this can be done only by means of the acknowledgment and profession of the truth by each one of us.
- God is that infinite All of which man knows himself to be a finite part.
God alone exists truly. Man manifests Him in time, space and matter. The more God's manifestation in man (life) unites with the manifestations (lives) of other beings, the more man exists. This union with the lives of other beings is accomplished through love.
God is not love, but the more there is of love, the more man manifests God, and the more he truly exists...
We acknowledge God only when we are conscious of His manifestation in us.
- Leo Tolstoy in his diary (1 November 1910)
- Why is it when we talk to God we're said to be praying — but when God talks to us, we're said to be schizophrenic?
- Lily Tomlin, Contributions of Jane Wagner
- I am what you call "The World". Or perhaps "The Universe". Or perhaps "God". Or perhaps "Truth". Or perhaps "Everything". Or perhaps "One". And, I am "You".
- Truth Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood
- God, from a beautiful necessity, is Love in all he doeth,
Love, a brilliant fire, to gladden or consume:
The wicked work their woe by looking upon love, and hating it:
The righteous find their joys in yearning on its loveliness for ever.
- Martin Farquhar Tupper, in "Of Immortality" in Proverbial Philosophy (1849)
- I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
- Voltaire, in a letter to Étienne Noël Damilaville (16 May 1767)
- If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.
- Voltaire in Épître à l'Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs (10 November 1770)
- "If God did not exist, He would have to be invented." But all nature cries aloud that he does exist: that there is a supreme intelligence, an immense power, an admirable order, and everything teaches us our own dependence on it.
- Voltaire quoting himself in a letter to Prince Frederick William of Prussia (28 November 1770), as quoted in Voltaire in His Letters (1919) by S. G. Tallentyre (Evelyn Beatrice Hall)
- I cannot imagine how the clockwork of the universe can exist without a clockmaker.
- Voltaire, as quoted in More Random Walks in Science : An Anthology (1982) by Robert L. Weber, p. 65
- Take Care of the People, and God Almighty Will Take Care of Himself.
- Don't you know there ain't no devil? There's only God when He's drunk.
- God's greatness and goodness are measured by the fact that he gives us choices. He doesn't require us to thank him for our food. (In case you hadn't noticed.) God is not a Modernist. He doesn't view us as nails. God expects us to behave like carpenters. Indeed, he gave us a carpenter as an example.
So I think God is postmodern. He has his own ideas of what rules, and what sucks, and he doesn't expect everyone else to agree with him.
- One of the most exquisite pleasures of human love — to serve the loved one without his knowing it — is only possible, as regards the love of God, through atheism.
- Simone Weil, Last Notebook (1942)
- In order to obey God, one must receive his commands. How did it happen that I received them in adolescence, while I was professing atheism? To believe that the desire for good is always fulfilled — that is faith, and whoever has it is not an atheist.
- Simone Weil, Last Notebook (1942)
- No human being escapes the necessity of conceiving some good outside himself towards which his thought turns in a movement of desire, supplication, and hope. consequently, the only choice is between worshipping the true God or an idol. Every atheist is an idolater — unless he is worshipping the true God in his impersonal aspect. The majority of the pious are idolaters.
- Simone Weil, Last Notebook (1942)
- There are two atheisms of which one is a purification of the notion of God.
- Simone Weil, as quoted in The New Christianity (1967) edited by William Robert Miller
- No man — prince, peasant, pope, — has all the light, who says else is a mountebank. I claim no private lien on truth, only a liberty to seek it, prove it in debate, and to be wrong a thousand times to reach a single rightness. It is that liberty they fear. They want us to be driven to God like sheep, not running to him like lovers, shouting joy!"
- Ever since the Greeks, we have been drunk with language! We have made a cage with words and shoved our God inside!
- Morris West, The Heretic (1968)
- If God be God and man a creature made in image of the divine intelligence, his noblest function is the search for truth.
- Morris West, The Heretic (1968)
- Once you accept the existence of God — however you define him, however you explain your relationship to him — then you are caught forever with his presence in the center of all things. You are also caught with the fact that man is a creature who walks in two worlds and traces upon the walls of his cave the wonders and the nightmare experiences of his spiritual pilgrimage.
- Morris West, The Clowns of God (1981)
- Dear God I've heard your name from teachers, family and friends, you made the universe and so will live on when it ends. Everyone I know admits they’ve never seen your face, they’re not sure where you live and have no map to the place.
- Dawud Wharnsby, in "Dear God", in A Picnic of Poems in Allah's Green Garden (2011)
- No reason can be given for the nature of God, because that nature is the ground of rationality.
- Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925), Chapter XI. New York: Mentor Books, 1948, p. 179
- The worship of God is not a rule of safety—it is an adventure of the spirit, a flight after the unattainable. The death of religion comes with the repression of the high hope of adventure.
- Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (1925), Chapter XII. New York: Mentor Books, 1948, p. 192
- All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent.
- Tennessee Williams, The Night of the Iguana (1963)
- "Elohim," the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as "God," but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean "goddesses." Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still.
- Robert Anton Wilson, Everything Is Under Control : Conspiracies, Cults, and Cover-Ups (1998), p. 197
- God is the great mysterious motivator of what we call nature and it has been said often by philosophers, that nature is the will of God. And, I prefer to say that nature is the only body of God that we shall ever see. If we wish to know the truth concerning anything, we'll find it in the nature of that thing.
- Frank Lloyd Wright, quoted in Truth Against the World : Frank Lloyd Wright speaks for an organic architecture (1987) edited by Patrick J. Meehan
- Maybe the growth of "God" signifies the existence of God. That is: if history naturally pushes people toward moral improvement, toward moral growth, and their God, as they conceive their God, grows accordingly, becoming morally richer, then maybe this growth is evidence of some higher purpose, and maybe — conceivably — the source of that purpose is worthy of the name divinity.[… I]f it is a natural outgrowth of history — then it is more likely that this "growth of God" signifies the existence of God, or at least the existence of something you might call divine, however unlike ancient conceptions of God.
- Is God love? Like all characterizations of God, this one presumes more insight than I feel in possession of. But there's certainly something to the idea that love is connected to, indeed emanates from, the kind of God whose existence is being surmised here.
The connection comes via love's connection to the moral order of which that God is the source. The moral order has revealed itself through ever-widening circles of non-zero-sumness that draw people toward the moral truth that mutual respect is warranted. As we saw […], it is the moral imagination whose growth often paves the way for that truth, and it does so through the extension of a kind of sympathy, a subjective identification with the situation of the other. And as sympathy intensifies it approaches love. Love, you might say, is the apotheosis of the moral imagination; it can foster the most intimate identification with the other, the most intense appreciation of the moral worth of the other.
- Robert Wright, The Evolution of God (2009), p. 456
- A God all mercy is a God unjust.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IV, line 234
- By night an atheist half believes in God.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night V, line 177
- A Deity believed, is joy begun;
A Deity adored, is joy advanced;
A Deity beloved, is joy matured.
Each branch of piety delight inspires.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night VIII, line 720
- A God alone can comprehend a God.
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night LX, line 835
- Thou, my all!
My theme! my inspiration! and my crown!
My strength in age—my rise in low estate!
My souls ambition, pleasure, wealth!—my world!
My light in darkness! and my life in death!
My boast through time! bliss through eternity!
Eternity, too short to speak thy praise!
Or fathom thy profound of love to man!
- Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IV, line 586
- Arthur Frayn: "And you, poor creatures, who conjured you out of the clay? Is God in show business, too?"
- Zardoz (1974)
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 315-21.
- Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
- Acts, XVII. 23
- Homo cogitat, Deus indicat.
- Man thinks, God directs.
- Alcuin, Epistles
- At Athens, wise men propose, and fools dispose.
- Man says—"So, so."
Heaven says—"No, no."
- Chinese Aphorism
- God's Wisdom and God's Goodness!—Ah, but fools
Mis-define thee, till God knows them no more.
Wisdom and goodness they are God!—what schools
Have yet so much as heard this simpler lore.
This no Saint preaches, and this no Church rules:
'Tis in the desert, now and heretofore.
- Matthew Arnold, The Divinity, Stanza 3
- They that deny a God destroy man's nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.
- Francis Bacon, Essays, Of Atheism
- From thee all human actions take their springs,
The rise of empires, and the fall of kings.
- Samuel Boyse, The Deity
- O Rock of Israel, Rock of Salvation, Rock struck and cleft for me, let those two streams of blood and water which once gushed out of thy side … bring down with them salvation and holiness into my soul.
- Brevint, Works (Ed. 1679), p. 17
- He made little, too little of sacraments and priests, because God was so intensely real to him. What should he do with lenses who stood thus full in the torrent of the sunshine.
- Phillips Brooks, Sermons, The Seriousness of Life
- It never frightened a Puritan when you bade him stand still and listen to the speech of God. His closet and his church were full of the reverberations of the awful, gracious, beautiful voice for which he listened.
- Phillips Brooks, Sermons, The Seriousness of Life
- Of what I call God,
And fools call Nature.
- Robert Browning, The Ring and the Book, The Pope, line 1,073
- A picket frozen on duty—
A mother starved for her brood—
Socrates drinking the hemlock,
And Jesus on the rood;
And millions who, humble and nameless,
The straight, hard pathway trod—
Some call it Consecration,
And others call it God.
- W. H. Carruth, Evolution
- Nihil est quod deus efficere non possit.
- There is nothing which God cannot do.
- Cicero, De Divinatione, II. 41
- God! sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice!
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God!
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Hymn before Sunrise in the Vale of Chamouni
- God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty.
- I Corinthians. I. 27
- I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
- I Corinthians, III. 6
- God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.
- William Cowper, Hymn, Light Shining out of Darkness
- There is a God! the sky his presence shares,
His hand upheaves the billows in their mirth,
Destroys the mighty, yet the humble spares
And with contentment crowns the thought of worth.
- Charlotte Cushman, There is a God
- My God, my Father, and my Friend,
Do not forsake me in the end.
- Wentworth Dillon, translation of Dies Iræ
- 'Twas much, that man was made like God before:
But, that God should be made like man, much more.
- John Donne, Holy Sonnets, Sonnet XXII
- By tracing Heaven his footsteps may be found:
Behold! how awfully he walks the round!
God is abroad, and wondrous in his ways
The rise of empires, and their fall surveys.
- John Dryden, Britannia Rediviva, line 75
- Too wise to err, too good to be unkind,—
Are all the movements of the Eternal Mind.
- Rev. John East, Songs of My Pilgrimage
- God is divine Principle, supreme incorporeal Being, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Life, Truth, Love.
- Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, Chapter XIV. Ed. 1906, p. 465
- There is no life, truth, intelligence, nor substance in matter. All is infinite Mind, and its infinite manifestation, for God is All in All. Spirit is immortal Truth; Matter is mortal error.
- Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health, Chapter XIV. Ed. 1906, p. 468
- When the Master of the universe has points to carry in his government he impresses his will in the structure of minds.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Letters and Social Aims (1876), Immortality
- He was a wise man who originated the idea of God.
- Euripides, Sisyphus
- Henceforth the Majesty of God revere;
Fear him and you have nothing else to fear.
- Fordyce, Answer to a Gentleman who Apologized to the Author for Swearing
- Wie einer ist, so ist sein Gott,
Darum ward Gott so oft zu Spott.
- As a man is, so is his God; therefore God was so often an object of mockery.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Gedichte
- I know
My God commands, whose power no power resists.
- Robert Greene, Looking-Glass for London and England
- Some men treat the God of their fathers as they treat their father's friend. They do not deny him; by no means: they only deny themselves to him, when he is good enough to call upon them.
- J. C. and A. W. Hare, Guesses at Truth
- I askt the seas and all the deeps below
My God to know,
I askt the reptiles, and whatever is
In the abyss;
Even from the shrimps to the leviathan
But in those deserts that no line can sound
The God I sought for was not to be found.
- Thomas Heywood, Searching after God
- Forgetful youth! but know, the Power above
With ease can save each object of his love;
Wide as his will, extends his boundless grace.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book III, line 285. Pope's translation
- O thou, whose certain eye foresees
The fix'd event of fate's remote decrees.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV, line 627. Pope's translation
- Dangerous it were for the feeble brain of man to wade far into the doings of the Most High; whom although to know be life, and joy to make mention of his name, yet our soundest knowledge is to know that we know him not as indeed he is, neither can know him; and our safest eloquence concerning him is our silence, when we confess without confession that his glory is inexplicable, his greatness above our capacity and reach.
- Hooker, Ecclesiastical Polity, Book I, Chapter II. 3
- Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the heavens of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretch'd from sky to sky.
- Rabbi Mayir ben Isaac. Translation of Chaldee Ode, sung in Jewish Synagogues during the service of the first day of the Feast of the Pentecost. Given in the original Chaldee in Notes and Queries, Dec. 31, 1853, p. 648. In Grose's Olio, p. 292, and in Book of Jewish Thoughts, p. 155. Same idea in Chaucer—Balade Warnynge Men to Beware of Deceitful Women. Also in Remedie of Love. See Modern Universal History, p. 430. Note. Miss C. Sinclair—Hill and Valley, p. 35. (Same idea.) Smart given as English translator by one authority. See also Des Knaben Wunderhorn
- But if the sky were paper and a scribe each star above,
And every scribe had seven hands, they could not write all my love.
- Dürsli und Bäbeli; old public house ditty of the Canton de Soleure or Solothurn. Original in Swiss dialect. Given in Notes and Queries (Feb. 10, 1872), p. 114
- From thee, great God, we spring, to thee we tend,—
Path, motive, guide, original, and end.
- Samuel Johnson, Motto to The Rambler, No. 7
- The sun and every vassal star,
All space, beyond the soar of angel's wings,
Wait on His word: and yet He stays His car
For every sigh a contrite suppliant brings.
- John Keble, The Christian Year, Ascension Day
- Nam homo proponit, sed Deus disponit.
- Man proposes, but God disposes.
- Thomas à Kempis, Imitation of Christ, Book I, Chapter XIX. Thomas Dibdin's translation
- O God, I am thinking Thy thoughts after Thee.
- Johannes Kepler, when studying astronomy
- All but God is changing day by day.
- Charles Kingsley, The Saints' Tragedy, Prometheus
- God! there is no God but he, the living, the self-subsisting.
- Koran, Chapter II, Part III
- There is no god but God.
- Koran, Chapter III
- L'impossibilité où je suis de prouver que Dieu n'est pas, me decouvre son existence.
- The very impossibility in which I find myself to prove that God is not, discloses to me His existence.
- Jean de La Bruyère, Les Caractères, XVI
- Sire, je n'avais besoin de cet hypothèse.
- Denn Gott lohnt Gutes, hier gethan, auch hier noch.
- For God rewards good deeds done here below—rewards them here.
- Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Nathan der Weise, I, 2
- "We trust, Sir, that God is on our side." "It is more important to know that we are on God's side."
- Abraham Lincoln, reply to deputation of Southerners during Civil War
- God had sifted three kingdoms to find the wheat for this planting.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, The Courtship of Miles Standish, IV
- Estne dei sedes nisi terra et pontus et aër
Et cœlum et virtus? Superos quid quærimus ultra?
Jupiter est quodcumque vides, quodcumque moveris.
- Is there any other seat of the Divinity than the earth, sea, air, the heavens, and virtuous minds? why do we seek God elsewhere? He is whatever you see; he is wherever you move.
- Marcus Annaeus Lucanus, Pharsalia, IX. 578
- Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott
Ein gute Wehr und Waffen,
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
- A mighty fortress is our God,
A bulwark never failing,
Our helper he amid the flood
Of mortal ills prevailing.
- Martin Luther, Ein feste Burg. Translation by F. H. Hedge
- A mighty fortress is our God,
- I fear no foe with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
- Henry Francis Lyte, Eventide
- A voice in the wind I do not know;
A meaning on the face of the high hills
Whose utterance I cannot comprehend.
A something is behind them: that is God.
- George MacDonald, Within and Without, Part I, scene 1
- Exemplumque dei quisque est in imagine parva.
- Every one is in a small way the image of God.
- Marcus Manilius, Astronomica, IV. 895
- Quis cœlum possit nisi cœli munera nosse?
Et reperire deum nisi qui pars ipse deorum est?
- Who can know heaven except by its gifts? and who can find out God, unless the man who is himself an emanation from God?
- Marcus Manilius, Astronomica, II. 115
- The Lord who gave us Earth and Heaven
Takes that as thanks for all He's given.
The book he lent is given back
All blotted red and smutted black.
- John Masefield, Everlasting Mercy, Stanza 27
- One sole God;
One sole ruler,—his Law;
One sole interpreter of that law—Humanity.
- Giuseppe Mazzini, Life and Writings, Young Europe, General Principles, No. 1
- Too wise to be mistaken still
Too good to be unkind.
- Samuel Medley, Hymn of God
- Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best: his state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o'er land and ocean without rest.
- John Milton, Sonnet, On His Blindness
- Trumpeter, sound for the splendour of God!
. . . . . .
Trumpeter, rally us, up to the heights of it!
Sound for the City of God.
- Alfred Noyes, Trumpet Call, last lines
- Est deus in nobis; et sunt commercia cœli.
- There is a God within us and intercourse with heaven.
- Ovid, Ars Amatoria, Book III. 549. (Milton's "Looks commercing with the skies" said to be inspired by this phrase)
- Est deus in nobis: agitante calescimus illo.
- There is a God within us, and we glow when he stirs us.
- Ovid, Fasti, Book VI. 6
- Sed tamen ut fuso taurorum sanguine centum,
Sic capitur minimo thuris honore deux.
- As God is propitiated by the blood of a hundred bulls, so also is he by the smallest offering of incense.
- Ovid, Tristium, II. 75
- Nihil ita sublime est, supraque pericula tendit
Non sit ut inferius suppositumque deo.
- Nothing is so high and above all danger that is not below and in the power of God.
- Ovid, Tristium, IV. 8. 47
- Fear God. Honour the King.
- I Peter, II. 17
- One on God's side is a majority.
- Wendell Phillips, speech at Harper's Ferry (1 November 1859)
- God is truth and light his shadow.
- God is a geometrician.
- Attributed to Plato, but not found in his works
- Est profecto deus, qui, quæ nos gerimus, auditque et videt.
- There is indeed a God that hears and sees whate'er we do.
- Plautus, Captivi, II. 2. 63
- He from thick films shall purge the visual ray,
And on the sightless eyeball pour the day.
- Alexander Pope, Messiah
- Thou Great First Cause, least understood.
- Alexander Pope, Universal Prayer
- The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiwork.
- Psalms, XIX. 1
- He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
- Psalms, XXIII. 2
- God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
- Psalms. XLVI. 1
- Je crains Dieu, cher Abner, et n'ai point d'autre crainte.
- I fear God, dear Abner, and I have no other fear.
- Jean Racine, Athalie, Act I, scene 1
- There is no respect of persons with God.
- Romans, 2:11; Acts 10:34
- Fear of God before their eyes.
- Romans, 3:18
- If God be for us, who can be against us?
- Romans, 8: 31
- Give us a God—a living God,
One to wake the sleeping soul,
One to cleanse the tainted blood
Whose pulses in our bosoms roll.
- C. G. Rosenberg, The Winged Horn, Stanza 7
- We may scavenge the dross of the nation, we may shudder past bloody sod,
But we thrill to the new revelation that we are parts of God.
- Robert Haven Schauffler, New Gods for Old
- Es lebt ein Gott zu strafen und zu rächen.
- There is a God to punish and avenge.
- Friedrich Schiller, Wilhelm Tell, IV. 3. 37
- Nihil ab illo [i.e. a Deo] vacat; opus suum ipse implet.
- Nothing is void of God; He Himself fills His work.
- Seneca the Younger, De Beneficiis, IV. 8
- Deum non immolationibus et sanguine multo colendum: quæ enim ex trucidatione immerentium voluptas est? sed mente pura, bono honestoque proposito. Non templa illi, congestis in altitudinem saxis, struenda sunt; in suo cuique consecrandus est pectore.
- God is not to be worshipped with sacrifices and blood; for what pleasure can He have in the slaughter of the innocent? but with a pure mind, a good and honest purpose. Temples are not to be built for Him with stones piled on high; God is to be consecrated in the breast of each.
- Seneca the Younger, Fragment, V. 204
- God helps those who help themselves.
- Algernon Sidney, Discourse Concerning Government, Chapter II. Ovid—Metamorphoses. X. 586. Pliny the Elder, viewing the Eruption of Vesuvius, Aug., 79. Friedrich Schiller, William Tell, I. 2. Simonides is quoted as author by Claudian. Sophocles, Fragments. Terence, Phormio. I. 4. Vergil, Æneid (29-19 BC), X, 284. Quoted as a proverb by old and modern writers
- From Piety, whose soul sincere
Fears God, and knows no other fear.
- W. Smyth, Ode for the Installation of the Duke of Gloucester as Chancellor of Cambridge
- Ad majorem Dei gloriam.
- For the greater glory of God.
- Motto of the Society of Jesus
- The divine essence itself is love and wisdom.
- Emanuel Swedenborg, Divine Love and Wisdom, Par. 28
- God, the Great Giver, can open the whole universe to our gaze in the narrow space of a single lane.
- Rabindranath Tagore, Jivan-smitri
- Ha sotto i piedi il Fato e la Natura.
Ministri umili; e'l moto e chi'l misura.
- Under whose feet (subjected to His grace),
Sit nature, fortune, motion, time, and place.
- Torquato Tasso, Gerusalemme, IX, 66
- Under whose feet (subjected to His grace),
- At last I heard a voice upon the slope
Cry to the summit, "Is there any hope?"
To which an answer pealed from that high land,
But in a tongue no man could understand;
And on the glimmering limit far withdrawn,
God made himself an awful rose of dawn.
- Alfred Tennyson, Vision of Sin, V
- I fled Him, down the nights and down the days;
I fled Him, down the arches of the years;
I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways
Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears
I hid from Him, and under running laughter.
- Francis Thompson, The Hound of Heaven
- But I lose
Myself in Him, in Light ineffable!
Come then, expressive Silence, muse His praise.
These, as they change, Almighty Father, these
Are but the varied God. The rolling Year
Is full of Thee.
- James Thomson, Hymn, line 116
- The being of God is so comfortable, so convenient, so necessary to the felicity of Mankind, that, (as Tully admirably says) Dii immortales ad usum hominum fabricati pene videantur, if God were not a necessary being of himself, he might almost seem to be made on purpose for the use and benefit of men.
- Archbishop Tillotson, Works, Sermon 93, Volume I,
(1712 edition), p. 696; this is the probable origin of Voltaire's phrase.
- Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.
- Augustus Toplady, Living and Dying Prayer. "Rock of Ages" is translation. from the Hebrew of "everlasting strength." Isaiah, XXVI. 4
- None but God can satisfy the longings of an immortal soul; that as the heart was made for Him, so He only can fill it.
- Richard Chenevix Trench, Notes on the Parables, Prodigal Son
- God, from a beautiful necessity, is Love.
- Martin Farquhar Tupper, Of Immortality
- I believe that there is no God, but that matter is God and God is matter; and that it is no matter whether there is any God or no.
- "The Unbeliever's Creed", Connoisseur No. IX (March 28, 1754)
- Si genus humanum et mortalia temnitis arma,
At sperate deos memores fandi atque nefandi.
- Si Dieu n'existait pas, il faudrait l'inventer.
- If there were no God, it would be necessary to invent him.
- Voltaire, Epitre à l'Auteur du Livre des Trois Imposteurs, CXI. See Œuvres Complètes de Voltaire, Volume I, p. 1076. Ed. Didot, 1827. Also in letter to Frederick, Prince Royal of Prussia
- Je voudrais que vous écrasassiez l'infâme.
- I wish that you would crush this infamy.
- Voltaire to D'Alembert June 23, 1760. Attributed to Voltaire by Abbé Barruch—Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism. Generally quoted "Écrasez l'infâme." A. De Morgan contends that the popular idea that it refers to God is incorrect. It refers probably to the Roman Catholic Church, or the traditions in the church.
- God on His throne is eldest of poets:
Unto His measures moveth the Whole.
- William Watson, England my Mother, Part II
- The God I know of, I shall ne'er
Know, though he dwells exceeding nigh.
Raise thou the stone and find me there,
Cleave thou the wood and there am I.
Yea, in my flesh his spirit doth flow,
Too near, too far, for me to know.
- William Watson, The Unknown God. Third and fourth lines are from "newly discovered sayings of Jesus." Probably an ancient Oriental proverb.
- The Somewhat which we name but cannot know.
Ev'n as we name a star and only see
Its quenchless flashings forth, which ever show
And ever hide him, and which are not he.
- William Watson, Wordsworth's Grave, I, Stanza 6
- God is and all is well.
- John Greenleaf Whittier, My Birthday
- I know not where His islands lift
Their fronded palms in air;
I only know I cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.
- John Greenleaf Whittier, The Eternal Goodness, Stanza 20
- Though man sits still, and takes his ease,
God is at work on man;
No means, no moment unemploy'd,
To bless him, if he can.
- Edward Young, Resignation, Part I, Stanza 119
- Proverbs or widely known statements by unknown authors.
- GOD IS COMING, AND IS SHE PISSED!
- Anonymous bumper sticker as quoted in My First Saturnalia (1981) by Michael Rumaker, p. 3
- GOD IS COMING, AND BOY IS SHE PISSED!
- Variant bumper sticker as quoted in River Angel : A Novel (1999) A. Manette Ansay, p. 107