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Simon Bolivar

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When I contemplate this immense reunited country, my soul mounts to that height demanded by the colossal perspective of a picture so wonderful. My imagination takes flight toward future ages and admiringly observes from them the prosperity, the splendor, and the life which will exist within this vast territory. I am carried away; and I seem to behold it in the heart of the universe, stretching along its extensive coasts between two oceans which nature has separated; but which our fatherland has united by long and wide canals. I see it serve as the bond, as the center, as the emporium of the human race. I see it sending to the ends of the earth the treasures of gold and silver which its mountains contain. I see it, through the healing virtue of its plants, dispensing health and life to afflicted men of the Old World. I see it disclosing its precious secrets to the sages who know that the store of knowledge is more valuable than the store of riches which nature has so prodigally bestowed upon us. I see it seated upon the throne of liberty, the scepter of justice in its hand, crowned by glory, showing to the Old World the majesty of the New World.
Close of the address, as quoted in Rise of the Spanish-American Republics as Told in the Lives of their Liberators (1918) by William Spence Robertson, p. 239

Simon Bolivar

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Let man then contemplate the whole of nature in her full and grand majesty, and turn his vision from the low objects which surround him. Let him gaze on that brilliant light, set like an eternal lamp to illumine the universe; let the earth appear to him a point in comparison with the vast circle described by the sun; and let him wonder at the fact that this vast circle is itself but a very fine point in comparison with that described by the stars in their revolution round the firmament. But if our view be arrested there, let our imagination pass beyond; it will sooner exhaust the power of conception than nature that of supplying material for conception. The whole visible world is only an imperceptible atom in the ample bosom of nature. It is an infinite sphere, the center of which is everywhere, the circumference nowhere. In short it is the greatest sensible mark of the almighty power of God, that imagination loses itself in that thought. 72

Blaise Pascal

The deeper we look into nature, the more we recognize that it is full of life, and the more profoundly we know that all life is a secret and that we are united with all life that is in nature. Man can no longer live for himself alone. We realize that all life is valuable, and that we are united to all this life. From this knowledge comes our spiritual relationship to the universe.

Albert Schweitzer

Souls that have lived in virtue are in general happy, and when separated from the irrational part of their nature, and made clean from all matter, have communion with the gods and join them in the governing of the whole world. Yet even if none of this happiness fell to their lot, virtue itself, and the joy and glory of virtue, and the life that is subject to no grief and no master are enough to make happy those who have set themselves to live according to virtue and have achieved it.

Sallustius (or Sallust)

Nature does not conquer the world to God. It never has. It never will. In America, with its vast abounding wealth, its grand expanse of prairie, its reach of river, and its exuberant productiveness, there is danger that our riches will draw us away from God, and fasten us to earth; that they will make us not only rich, but mean; not only wealthy, but wicked. The grand corrective is the cross of Christ, seen in the sanctuary where the life and light of God are exhibited, and where the reverberation of the echoes from the great white throne are heard.

Richard Salter Storrs

This contradiction lies here: they wish God, and they wish humanity. They persist in connecting two terms which, once separated, can come together again only to destroy each other. They say in a single breath: "God and the liberty of man," "God and the dignity, justice, equality, fraternity, prosperity of men" regardless of the fatal logic by virtue of which, if God exists, all these things are condemned to non-existence. For, if God is, he is necessarily the eternal, supreme, absolute master, and, if such a master exists, man is a slave; now, if he is a slave, neither justice, nor equality, nor fraternity, nor prosperity are possible for him. In vain, flying in the face of good sense and all the teachings of history, do they represent their God as animated by the tenderest love of human liberty: a master, whoever he may be and however liberal he may desire to show himself, remains none the less always a master. His existence necessarily implies the slavery of all that is beneath him. Therefore, if God existed, only in one way could he serve human liberty by ceasing to exist.

Mikhail Bakunin
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