Quotation by Henry David Thoreau

Our foes are in our midst and all about us. There is hardly a house but is divided against itself, for our foe is the all but universal woodenness of both head and heart, the want of vitality in man, which is the effect of our vice; and hence are begotten fear, superstition, bigotry, persecution, and slavery of all kinds. We are mere figure-heads upon a hulk, with livers in the place of hearts. The curse is the worship of idols, which at length changes the worshiper into a stone image himself; and the New-Englander is just as much an idolater as the Hindoo. This man was an exception, for he did not set up even a political graven image between him and his God.
Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862), U.S. philosopher, author, naturalist. "A Plea for Captain John Brown" (1859), in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 4, p. 419, Houghton Mifflin (1906).
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