Richard may seem, at times, more than a little cynical. Of course, when
dealing with human nature, this is generally justified. One of the main
points at which this pessimism shows through is his sayings on
religion. He doesn't have a problem with religion in itself; instead
what strikes him is the gap between what men profess and what they do.
Of course, he has a lot more to say than that, so I'll just step aside and
let him do the talking.
How many observe Christ's birthday; How few his precepts! O, 'tis easier to
keep Holidays than commandments.
Different Sects like different Clocks may all be near the matter, 'tho they
don't quite agree.
Talking against Religion is unchaining a Tyger; the Beast let loose may worry
Sound and sound doctrine may pass through a Ram's Horn and a Preacher without
straightening the one or amending the other.*+
Many a long dispute among Divines may be thus abridged, It is so; It is not
so; It is so; It is not so.
When Knaves fall out, honest men get their goods: When Priests dispute, we
come at the Truth.
The Way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason.
You will be careful, if you are wise, how you touch men's Religion, or
Credit, or Eyes.
Philosophy as well as Foppery often changes Fashion.
Many have quarrel'd about Religion, that never practised it.
Serving God is doing good to Man, but praying is though an easier Service,
and therefore more generally chosen.
Danger is Sauce for prayers.
What is Serving God? 'Tis doing Good to Man.
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