I don't want to write a mass before being in a state to do it well, that is a Christian. I have therefore taken a singular course to reconcile my ideas with the exigencies of Academy rules. They ask me for something religious: very well, I shall do something religious, but of the pagan religion. . . . I have always read the ancient pagans with infinite pleasure, while in Christian writers I find only system, egoism, intolerance, and a complete lack of artistic taste.
Let us serve Him faithfully as our Master. Let us obey Him loyally as our King. Let us study His teachings as our Prophet. Let us work diligently after Him as our Example. Let us look anxiously for Him as our coming redeemer of body as well as soul. But above all let us prize Him as our Sacrifice, and rest our whole weight on His death as atonement for sin. Let His blood be more precious in our eyes every year we live. Whatever else we glory in about Christ, let us glory above all things in His cross.
There exists, I believe, throughout the whole Christian world, a law which makes it blasphemy to deny or doubt the divine inspiration of all the books of the Old and New Testaments, from Genesis to Revelations. In most countries of Europe it is punished by fire at the stake, or the rack, or the wheel. . . Now, what free inquiry, when a writer must surely encounter the risk of fine or imprisonment for adducing any argument for investigating the divine authority of those books?