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- I despise your religious festivals;
- your assemblies are a stench to me.
- Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings,
- I will not accept them.
- Though you bring choice fellowship offerings,
- I will have no regard for them.
- Away with the noise of your songs!
- I will not listen to the music of your harps.
- But let justice roll on like a river,
- righteousness like a never-failing stream!
- All men promiscuously do homage to God, but very few truly reverence him. On all hands there is abundance of ostentatious ceremonies, but sincerity of heart is rare.
- “The multitude of your sacrifices—
- what are they to me?” says the Lord.
- “I have more than enough of burnt offerings,
- of rams and the fat of fattened animals; ...
- Your incense is detestable to me. ...
- I cannot bear your worthless assemblies.
- Your New Moon feasts and your appointed festivals
- I hate with all my being. ...
- Your hands are full of blood! ...
- Stop doing wrong.
- Learn to do right; seek justice.
- Defend the oppressed."
- What infinite heart's ease
Must kings neglect, that private men enjoy?
And what have kings that privates have not too,
Save ceremony, save general ceremony?
- What art thou, thou idol ceremony?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
Of mortal griefs than do thy worshippers?
- O ceremony, show me but thy worth!
What is thy soul of adoration?
Art thou aught else but place, degree, and form,
Creating awe and fear in other men?
- When love begins to sicken and decay,
It useth an enforced ceremony,
There are no tricks in plain and simple faith.
- To feed were best at home;
From thence the sauce to meat is ceremony;
Meeting were bare without it.
- Ceremony was but devised at first
To set a gloss on faint deeds, hollow welcomes,
Recanting goodness, sorry ere 'tis shown;
But where there is true friendship, there needs none.
- I discover that hardly a week passes that some one does not start a new cult, or revive an old one; if I had a hundred life-times I could not know all the creeds and ceremonies, the services and rituals, the litanies and liturgies, the hymns, anthems and offertories of Bootstrap-lifting.
- Upton Sinclair, The Profits of Religion : An Essay in Economic Interpretation (1918), Introductory, "Bootstrap-lifting".