Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

John Haynes Holmes

American Unitarian Minister and Social Activist

"As the very atoms of the earth and the stars of the sky seek harmony with the system which binds them in a cosmic unity, so the souls of men seek harmony with the Spirit which makes them one."

"War some day will be abolished by the will of man. This assertion does not in any way invalidate the truth that war is fundamentally caused by impersonal, political, economic and social forces. But it is the destiny of man to master and control such force, even as it is his destiny to harness rivers, chain the lightning and ride the storm. It is human will, operating under social forces, that has abolished slavery, infanticide, dueling, and a score of other social enormities. Why should it not do the same for war?"

"Morals is its own religion, exercises its own authority, and feels its own necessity. "

"The universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent."

"Priests are no more necessary to religion than politicians to patriotism."

"This universe is not hostile, nor yet is it friendly. It is simply indifferent."

"Religion must be used in furthering great works of justice and reform. It must be used to establish right relations between different groups of men, and thus to make a reality of brotherhood. It must be used to abolish poverty, the breeding ground of all misery and crime, by distributing equably among men the abundance of the soil. And it must be used to get rid of war and to establish enduring peace. Here is the supreme test of the effectiveness of religion."

"Society is always engaged in a vast conspiracy to preserve itself -- at the expense of the new demands of each new generation."