“The Bible wears black cloth.”

The former minister, R.W. Emerson, wrote in a journal passage (May, 1865):

“It should be easy to say what I have always felt, that Stanley’s Lives of the Philosophers, or Marcus [Aurelius], are agreeable and suggestive books to me, while St. Paul or St. John are not, and I should never think of taking up these to start me on my task, as I often have used Plato or Plutarch.  It is because the Bible wears black cloth.  It comes with a certain official claim against which the mind revolts.  The book has its own nobilities–might well be charming, if it was left simply on its merits, as the others; but this ‘you must,’ –‘it is your duty,’ repels. . . .”


About Chris Highland

Writer, teacher, freethinker, humanist celebrant, former minister and interfaith chaplain View all posts by Chris Highland

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