The sacred commandments were given for the sake of righteousness, to arouse pious thoughts and to form character.

The pious sectarian is proud because he is confident of his right of possession in God. The man of devotion is meek because he is conscious of God’s right of love over his life and soul. The object of our possession becomes smaller than ourselves, and without acknowledging it in so many words the bigoted sectarian has an implicit belief that God can be kept secured for certain individuals in a cage which is of their own make. In a similar manner the primitive races of men believe that their ceremonials have a magic influence upon their deities.

There is something in humility which, strangely enough, exalts the heart, and something in pride which debases it. This seems, indeed, to be contradictory, that loftiness should debase and lowliness exalt. But pious humility enables us to submit to what is above us; and nothing is more exalted above us than God; and therefore humility, by making us subject to God, exalts us. But pride, being a defect of nature, by the very act of refusing subjection and revolution from Him who is supreme, falls to a low condition.

The life of a pious minister is visible rhetoric.

There are a good many pious people who are as careful of their religion as of their best service of china, only using it on holy occasions, for fear it should get chipped or flawed in working-day wear.

The pious man and the atheist always talk of religion; the one speaks of what he loves, and the other of what he fears.

A kingdom is embellished by the wise, and religion rendered illustrious by the pious.

Funerals are always occasions for pious lying. A deep vein of superstition and a sudden touch of kindness always lead people to give the departed credit for more virtues than he possessed.

It would be a pious act to share our clothes and food even with the wicked. For it is to the humanity in a man that we give, and not to his moral character.

Sick or well, blind or seeing, bond or free, we are here for a purpose and however we are situated, we please God better with useful deeds than with many prayers or pious resignation. The temple or church is empty unless the good life fill it. The altar is holy if only it represents the altar of our heart upon which we offer the only sacrifices ever commanded – the love that is stronger than hate and the faith that overcometh doubt.

The Humble, Meek, Merciful, Just, Pious, and Devout Souls, are everywhere of one religion; when Death has taken off the Mask, they will know one another, tho’ the divers Liveries they wear here make them Strangers.

The contemplation of the pious is the immediate consciousness of the universal existence of all finite things, in and through the Infinite, and of all temporal things in and through the Eternal.

What is it but blasphemy when God is merely my means to an end? That takes its toll. If we turn God into a puppet of our desires (even when that happens by the pious route of prayer) then he shuts up his heaven and we find ourselves thrown back into the silence of our unredeemed life.

A good case can be made for the proposition that, although involved or passionate commitment to some cause or ideal is normally healthy and happiness-producing, devout, pious, or fanatic commitment to the same kind of cause or ideal is potentially pernicious and frequently (though not always) does much more harm than good.

I am sometimes shocked by the blasphemies of those who think themselves pious."

Religion [cannot] maintain itself apart from thought, but either advances to the comprehension of the idea, or, compelled by thought itself, becomes intensive belief - or lastly, from despair of finding itself at home in thought, flees back from it in pious horror, and becomes superstition.

Virtue that wavers is not virtue, but vice revolted from itself, and after a while returning. the actions of just and pious men do not darken in their middle course.

Superstition consists in a senseless fear of the gods, religion in the pious worship of them.

Love is swift, sincere, pious, pleasant, gentle, strong, patient, faithful, prudent, long-suffering, manly, and never seeking her own.