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Every one's true worship was that which he found in use in the place where he chanced to be. ~ Michel de Montaigne

Worship is an act of spiritual or religious devotion usually directed towards a deity, divine essence, ideal, or specific being. The word is derived from the Old English weorþscipe, meaning worship, honour shown to an object as indication of its "worthiness or worth-ship"—to give worth to something.


It is not he who knows most, nor he who hears most, nor yet he who talks most, but he who exercises grace most, who has most communion with God. ~ Thomas Brooks
What greater calamity can fall upon a nation than the loss of worship? Then all things go to decay. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
  • O ye men, whoever amongst you worshipped Muhammad, let him know that Muhammad is dead, and whoever amongst you worshipped Allah, let him know that Allah is Living, there is no death for Him.
  • He wales a portion with judicious care;
    And "Let us worship God!" he says, with solemn air.
    • Robert Burns, The Cotter's Saturday Night (1786), Stanza 12.
  • Isocrates adviseth Demonicus, when he came to a strange city, to worship by all means the gods of the place.
    • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), Part III, Section IV. Memb. 1. Subsec. 5.
  • I think, I find the causes of a decaying church and a wasting unbelief. And what greater calamity can fall upon a nation, than the loss of worship? Then all things go to decay. Genius leaves the temple, to haunt the senate, or the market. Literature becomes frivolous. Science is cold. The eye of youth is not lighted by the hope of other worlds, and age is without honor. Society lives to trifles, and when men die, we do not mention them.
    • Ralph Waldo Emerson, in an address to the Senior Class in Divinity College, Cambridge (15 July 1838)].
  • Who is a worshiper? What is prayer? What is real religion? Let me answer these questions.
    Good, honest, faithful work, is worship.
    The man who ploughs the fields and fells the forests; the man who works in mines, the man who battles with the winds and waves out on the wide sea, controlling the commerce of the world; these men are worshipers. The man who goes into the forest, leading his wife by the hand, who builds him a cabin, who makes a home in the wilderness, who helps to people and civilize and cultivate a continent, is a worshiper.
    Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers; it is the only prayer that deserves an answer, — good, honest, noble work.
  • Justice is the only worship.
    Love is the only priest.

    Ignorance is the only slavery.
    Happiness is the only good.
    The time to be happy is now,
    The place to be happy is here,
    The way to be happy is to make others so.

    Wisdom is the science of happiness.
    • Robert G. Ingersoll, as quoted in Familiar Quotations (1937) edited by Christopher Morley, p. 603.
  • How often from the steep
    Of echoing hill or thicket have we heard
    Celestial voices to the midnight air,
    Sole, or responsive each to other's note,
    Singing their great Creator?
  • Together kneeling, night and day,
    Thou, for my sake, at Allah's shrine,
    And I—at any God's for thine.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), Fire Worshippers. Fourth Division, line 309.
  • So shall they build me altars in their zeal,
    Where knaves shall minister, and fools shall kneel:
    Where faith may mutter o'er her mystic spell,
    Written in blood—and Bigotry may swell
    The sail he spreads for Heav'n with blasts from hell!
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), Veiled Prophet of Khorassan.
  • Stoop, boys: this gate
    Instructs you how to adore the heavens and bows you
    To morning's holy office.
  • We believe that nothing worthy of our worship would want our worship.

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 918-19.
  • It is the Mass that matters.
    • Augustine Birrell, What, Then, Did Happen at the Reformation?, published in Nineteenth Century, April, 1896. Answered, July, 1896.
  • Ah, why
    Should we, in the world's riper years, neglect
    God's ancient sanctuaries, and adore
    Only among the crowd and under roofs
    That our frail hands have raised?
  • The heart ran o'er
    With silent worship of the great of old!—
    The dead, but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule
    Our spirits from their urns.
  • Man always worships something; always he sees the Infinite shadowed forth in something finite; and indeed can and must so see it in any finite thing, once tempt him well to fix his eyes thereon.
  • I don't like your way of conditioning and contracting with the saints. Do this and I'll do that! Here's one for t'other. Save me and I'll give you a taper or go on a pilgrimage.
  • What though the spicy breezes
    Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle;
    Though every prospect pleases,
    And only man is vile:
    In vain with lavish kindness
    The gifts of God are strown;
    The heathen in his blindness
    Bows down to wood and stone.
    • Reginald Heber, From Greenland's Icy Mountains, Missionary Hymn (1819), st. 1.
  • Ay, call it holy ground,
    The soil where first they trod.
    They have left unstained, what there they found—
    Freedom to worship God.
  • As the skull of the man grows broader, so do his creeds.
    And his gods they are shaped in his image and mirror his needs.
    And he clothes them with thunders and beauty,
    He clothes them with music and fire,
    Seeing not, as he bows by their altars,
    That he worships his own desire.
  • For all of the creeds are false, and all of the creeds are true;
    And low at the shrines where my brothers bow, there will I bow too
    For no form of a god, and no fashion
    Man has made in his desperate passion,
    But is worthy some worship of mine;
    Not too hot with a gross belief,
    Nor yet too cold with pride,
    I will bow me down where my brothers bow,
    Humble, but open eyed.
  • Ev'n them who kept thy truth so pure of old,
    When all our fathers worshipp'd stocks and stones.
  • Every one's true worship was that which he found in use in the place where he chanced to be.
  • Yet, if he would, man cannot live all to this world. If not religious, he will be superstitious. If he worship not the true God, he will have his idols.
    • Theodore Parker, Critical and Miscellaneous Writings, Essay I. A Lesson for the Day.

Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895)[edit]

Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  • Devotion is like the candle which Michael Angelo used to take in his pasteboard cay), so as not to throw his shadow upon the work in which he was engaged.
  • The Christian life is a long and continual tendency of our hearts toward that eternal goodness which we desire on earth. All our happiness consists in thirsting for it. Now this thirst is prayer. Ever desire to approach your Creator, and you will never cease to pray. Do not think it necessary to pronounce many words.
  • There are two principal points of attention necessary for the preservation of this constant spirit of prayer which unites us with God; we must continually seek to cherish it, and we must avoid every thing that tends to make us lose it.
  • The Christian is not always praying; but within his bosom is a heaven-kindled love, — fires of desire, fervent longings, — which make him always ready to pray, and often engage him in prayer.
  • Our activity should consist in placing ourselves in a state of susceptibility to Divine impressions, and pliability to all the operations of the Eternal Word.
  • We must forget ourselves and all self-interest, and listen, and be attentive to God.
  • Real inward devotion knows no prayer but that arising from the depths of its own feelings.
  • All who wait upon the Lord shall rise higher and higher upon the mighty pinions of strong devotion, and with the unblinking eye of faith, into the regions of heavenly-mindedness; and shall approach nearer and nearer to God, the Sun of our spiritual day.
  • That holy, humble, meek, modest, retiring Form, sometimes called the Spirit of Prayer, has been dragged from the closet, and so rudely handled by some of her professed friends, that she has not only lost all her wonted loveliness, but is now stalking the street, in some places, stark mad.
  • Only in the sacredness of inward silence does the soul truly meet the secret, hiding God.' The strength of resolve, which afterward shapes life, and mixes itself with action, is the fruit of those sacred, solitary moments. There is a divine depth in silence. We meet God alone.
  • "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you." Keep near to the fountain-head, and "with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation."
  • This is the spirit of prayer — sincere, humble, believing, submissive. Other prayer than this the Bible does not require — God will not accept.

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