Literary Quotations
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If they drive God from the earth, we shall shelter Him underground.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, The Brothers Karamazov

God's mouth knows not how to speak falsehood, but he brings to pass every word.

AESCHYLUS, Prometheus Bound

Even God gives up at some point. There's no ministry in hell.

CORMAC MCCARTHY, The Sunset Limited

The Lord is not serious. In fact, it is a little hard to know just what else He is except loving. And love has to do with humor, doesn't it? For you cannot love someone unless you put up with him, can you? And you cannot put up with someone constantly unless you can laugh at him. Isn't that true? And certainly we are ridiculous little animals wallowing in the fudge bowl, and God must love us all the more because we appeal to his humor.

RAY BRADBURY, The Martian Chronicles, "The Fire Balloons"

The Almighty makes miracles when he pleases, wonder after wonder, and this world rests in his hands.

Slowly but surely withal moveth the might of the gods.

EURIPIDES, The Bacchae

But if the great sun move not of himself; but is as an errand-boy in heaven; nor one single star can revolve, but by some invisible power; how then can this one small heart beat; this one small brain think thoughts; unless God does that beating, does that thinking, does that living, and not I. By heaven, man, we are turned round and round in this world, like yonder windlass, and Fate is the handspike.


Can one be a saint if God does not exist? That is the only concrete problem I know of today.


What God, from everlasting, has foreseen,
Is of such strength, that though the world had been
Sure of the contrary, by Yea and Nay,
That thing will happen on a certain day,
Though never again within a thousand years.
And certainly our appetites and fears,
Whether in war or peace, in hate or love,
Are governed by a providence above.

GEOFFREY CHAUCER, The Canterbury Tales

The worship of God is, Honouring his gifts in other men each according to his genius, and loving the greatest men best; those who envy or calumniate great men hate God, for there is no other God.

WILLIAM BLAKE, A Memorable Fancy

Gods should not resemble men in their anger!

EURIPIDES, The Bacchae

In the faces of men and women I see God, and in my own face in the glass,
I find letters from God dropt in the street, and every one is sign'd by God's name,
And I leave them where they are, for I know that wheresoe'er I go,
Others will punctually come for ever and ever.

WALT WHITMAN, Leaves of Grass

What doubt can you have of the Creator when you behold His creation?... Who has decked the heavenly firmament with its stars? Who has clothed the earth in its beauty? How could it be without the creator?

LEO TOLSTOY, Anna Karenina

In the law of God, there is no statute of limitations.


One should feel inside oneself for right and wrong, and should have the patience to gradually realise one's God.

D.H. LAWRENCE, Sons and Lovers

You know what kind of man I think you are? You're the kind of man who would stand there and smile at his torturers while they were tearing out his guts--if only he could find faith or a god.

FYODOR DOSTOEVSKY, Crime and Punishment

God in heaven has dominion
Over so many events.
He can frustrate what seems inevitable,
And bring to pass the thing that you least expect.


My God is the God of Socrates, of Franklin, of Voltaire.... I have no use for the kind of God who goes walking in his garden with a stick, sends his friends to live in the bellies of whales, gives up the ghost with a groan and then comes back to life three days later! Those things aren't only absurd in and of themselves, Madame -- they're completely opposed to all physical laws!


Since the order of world is regulated by death, perhaps is it better for God we do not believe in him and we fight with all our might against death, without raising our eyes heavenward where he keeps silent.


O father, father
Gone from us, lost to us,
The church lies bereft,
Desecrated, desolated.
And the heathen shall build
On the ruins
Their world without God.
I see it.
I see it.
As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods, —
They kill us for their sport.


The Gods are just. No doubt. But their code of law is dictated, in the last resort, by the people who organize society; providence takes its cue from men.

ALDOUS HUXLEY, Brave New World

God shall be all in all.

JOHN MILTON, Paradise Lost

The good, say the mystics of spirit, is God, a being whose only definition is that he is beyond man's power to conceive--a definition that invalidates man's consciousness and nullifies his concepts of existence. Man's mind, say the mystics of spirit, must be subordinated to the will of God. Man's standard of value, say the mystics of spirit, is the pleasure of God, whose standards are beyond man's power of comprehension and must be accepted on faith. The purpose of man's life is to become an abject zombie who serves a purpose he does not know, for reasons he is not to question.

AYN RAND, Atlas Shrugged

One should be religious in everything, have God, whatever God might be, present in everything.

D.H. LAWRENCE, Sons and Lovers

Ah! Justice of our God! Who else could stow
Such travails new and pains as met my glance!

DANTE ALIGHIERI, The Divine Comedy

The breath of God was his breath yet though it pass from man to man through all of time.


I do not believe in God, but I am afraid of Him.

GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ, Love in the Time of Cholera

Perhaps we invented the gods so that we could put the blame on them. They gave us permission to eat flesh. They gave us permission to play with unclean things. It's not our fault, it's theirs. We're just their children.

J. M. COETZEE, Elizabeth Costello

At the extreme limits of his spiritual being man finds himself again as naked as a savage. When he finds God, as it were, he has been picked clean: he is a skeleton.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

My god has always been a laissez-faire deity, giving you the initial goods and sending you on to make your way.

JANE HAMILTON, A Map of the World

God is either powerless, stupid or he doesn't give a shit.


When we are stirred to lament the loss of the gods, it is more than likely the gods who are doing the stirring.

J. M. COETZEE, Elizabeth Costello

I have found God, but he is insufficient.

HENRY MILLER, Tropic of Cancer

God can be good and terrible--not in succession--but at the same time. This is why we seek a mediator between us and him; we approach him through the mediating priest and attenuate and enclose him through the sacraments. It is for our own safety: to trap him within confines which render him safe.


It is said that God notes each sparrow that falls. And so He does. But the proper closest statement of it that can be made in English is that God cannot avoid noting the sparrow because the Sparrow is God. And when a cat stalks a sparrow both of them are God, carrying out God's thoughts.

ROBERT A. HEINLEIN, Stranger in a Strange Land

God is in the tiger as well as in the lamb.

JOHN UPDIKE, Rabbit Redux

God Quotes 2

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