ETHAN ALLEN QUOTES

American Revolutionary War hero (1738-1789)

The gods of the valley are not the gods of the hills, and you shall understand it.

ETHAN ALLEN, reply to the King's attorney-general, Jun. 1770

18 likes


Those who invalidate reason, ought seriously to consider, whether they argue against reason, with or without reason; if with reason, then they establish the principle, that they are laboring to dethrone; but if they argue without reason, (which, in order to be consistent with themselves, they must do,) they are out of the reach of rational conviction, nor do they deserve a rational argument.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

13 likes

Tags: reason


The discoveries of science have proved that the opinions concerning a firmament above, and a flat earth beneath, are completely inaccurate; but faith delights more in sublimity than truth; it soars far above science in its discoveries, and holds accuracy in contempt.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

12 likes

Tags: science, faith


It is bad policy to fear the resentment of an enemy.

ETHAN ALLEN, response to the Continental Congress, refusing to move war materials captured from the British to a place of safe keeping until it could be returned

11 likes

Tags: fear, enemies


To suppose that God Almighty has confined his goodness to this world, to the exclusion of all others, is much similar to the idle fancies of some individuals in this world, that they, and those of their communion or faith, are the favorites of heaven exclusively; but these are narrow and bigoted conceptions, which are degrading to a rational nature, and utterly unworthy of God, of whom we should form the most exalted ideas.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

8 likes

Tags: God, universe


Who would imagine that the Deity conducts his providence similar to the detestable despots of this world? Oh horrible? most horrible impeachment of Divine Goodness!

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

6 likes

Tags: God


Undoubtedly it is our duty, and for our best good, that we occupy and improve the faculties, with which our creator has endowed us, but so far as prejudice, or prepossession of opinion prevails over our minds, in the same proportion, reason is excluded from our theory or practice. Therefore if we would acquire useful knowledge, we must first divest ourselves of those impediments and sincerely endeavor to search out the truth: and draw our conclusions from reason and just argument, which will never conform to our inclination, interest or fancy but we must conform to that if we would judge rightly.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

5 likes

Tags: prejudice, reason


In those parts of the world where learning and science has prevailed, miracles have ceased; but in such parts of it as are barbarous and ignorant, miracles are still in vogue; which is of itself a strong presumption that in the infancy of letters, learning and science, or in the world's non-age, those who confided in miracles, as a proof of the divine mission of the first promulgators of revelation, were imposed upon by fictitious appearances instead of miracles.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

5 likes

Tags: miracles


It may be objected that a man cannot subsist in the sun; but does it follow from thence, that God cannot or has not constituted a nature peculiar to that fiery region, and caused it to be as natural and necessary for it to suck in and breathe out flames of fire, as it is for us to do the like in air.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

5 likes

Tags: sun


It is altogether reasonable to conclude that the heavenly bodies, alias worlds, which move or are situate within the circle of our knowledge, as well all others throughout immensity, are each and every one of them possessed or inhabited by some intelligent agents or other, however different their sensations or manners of receiving or communicating their ideas may be from ours, or however different from each other. For why would it not have been as wise or as consistent with the perfections which we adore in God, to have neglected giving being to intelligence in this world as in those other worlds, interspersed with another of various qualities in his immense creation? And inasmuch as this world is thus replenished, we may, with the highest rational certainty infer, that as God has given us to rejoice, and adore him for our being, he has acted consistent with his goodness, in the display of his providence throughout the university of worlds.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

5 likes

Tags: UFOs, space travel


Though "none by searching can find out God, or the Almighty to perfection," yet I am persuaded, that if mankind would dare to exercise their reason as freely on those divine topics as they do in the common concerns of life, they would, in a great measure, rid themselves of their blindness and superstition, gain more exalted ideas of God and their obligations to him and one another, and be proportionally delighted and blessed with the views of his moral government, make better members of society, and acquire, manly powerful incentives to the practice of morality, which is the last and greatest perfection that human nature is capable of.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

5 likes

Tags: reason, God


I found myself in possession of happiness once more, and the evils I had lately suffered, gave me uncommon relish for it.

ETHAN ALLEN, A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen's Captivity

4 likes

Tags: happiness, suffering


We must perceive by our senses, before we can reflect with the mind. Our sensorium is that essential medium between the divine and human mind, through which God reveals to man the knowledge of nature, and is our only door of correspondence with God or with man.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

3 likes


That Jesus Christ was not God is evident from his own words, where, speaking of the day of judgment, he says, "Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." This is giving up all pretention to divinity, acknowledging in the most explicit manner, that he did not know all things, but compares his understanding to that of man and angels; "of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son." Thus he ranks himself with finite beings, and with them acknowledges, that he did not know the day and hour of judgment, and at the same time ascribes a superiority of knowledge to the father, for that he knew the day and hour of judgment.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

2 likes

Tags: Jesus


Witchcraft and priestcraft were introduced into this world together, in its non-age; and has gone on, hand in hand together, until about half a century past, when witchcraft began to be discredited, and is at present almost exploded, both in Europe and America. This discovery has depreciated priestcraft, on the scale of at least fifty percent per annum, and rendered it highly probable that the improvement of succeeding generations, in the knowledge of nature and science, will exalt the reason of mankind above the tricks and impostures of priests, and bring them back to the religion of nature and truth; ennoble their minds, and be the means of cultivating concord, and mutual love in society, and of extending charity and good will to all intelligent beings throughout the universe; exalt the divine character and lay a permanent foundation for truth and reliance on providence; establish our hopes and prospects of immortality, and be conducive to every desirable consequence in this world, and that which is to come; which will crown the scene of human felicity in this sublunary state of being and probation; which can never be completed while we are under the power and tyranny of priests, since as it ever has, it ever will be their interest to invalidate the law of nature and reason, in order to establish systems incompatible therewith.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

2 likes

Tags: witchcraft, religion


Most of the human race, by one means or other, are prepossessed with principles opposed to the religion of reason.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

2 likes

Tags: reason


Morality does not derive its nature from books, but from the fitness of things.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

2 likes

Tags: morality


Induced by a sense of duty to my country, and by the application of many of my worthy friends, some of whom are of the finest characters, I have concluded to publish the following narrative of the extraordinary scenes of my captivity, and the discoveries which I made in the course of the same, of the cruel and relentless disposition and behavior of the enemy, towards the prisoners in their power; from which the state politician, and every gradation of character among the people, to the worthy tiller of the soil, may deduce such inferences as they shall think proper to carry into practice. Some men are appointed into office, in these States, who read the history of the cruelties of this war, with the same careless indifference, as they do the pages of the Roman history; nay, some are preferred to places of trust and profit by the tory influence. The instances are (I hope) but rare, and it stands all freemen in hand to prevent their further influence, which, of all other things, would be the most baneful to the liberties and happiness of this country; and, so far as such influence takes place, robs us of the victory we have obtained at the expense of so much blood and treasure.

ETHAN ALLEN, introduction, A Narrative of Colonel Ethan Allen's Captivity

2 likes


For many centuries after the establishment of Christianity, mankind became more barbarous, ignorant, and miserable than before, instead of assisting the human mind in its progress to improvement, that system completely retarded it; a gloomy superstition, which sprung out of these gospels, cramped its energies, and fettered its exertions; instead of guiding society to freedom, peace, and happiness, there was founded on the authority of these writings a system of the most horrible and debasing oppression.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

2 likes

Tags: Christianity


But among all the pretended miracles performed by Jesus Christ, none make so great a figure as that of casting out devils; the number of people said to have been possessed with these evil spirits, seem to have been great indeed. This is a disease apparently unknown in any former age of the world, except in the case of Saul, who had one sent from God to trouble him; and it is also unknown (among enlightened people) in any other age or country since, it seems peculiar to God's own people alone, at this particular time. The accounts of this imaginary possession with the devil, have arisen out of the ignorance and superstition of these authors, in ascribing every unknown and violent disease to the influence of the devil; and their earnest wish to show the power of their hero in subduing him. In all the accounts that have been given of the Gods, or incarnations of God, by the Greeks, Romans, Hindus, and almost every other people, it appears indispensible, in order to exhibit his power, to create some opposite principle to vanquish, that his power may be better displayed. The case has been the same with the Evangelists, as with others; in their ignorant devotion, they have conjured up the devil as an antagonist, to make Jesus triumph over him. It seems by their accounts, that he and the devil were at this time striving which to get possession of the earth; and though they represent Jesus as victorious, yet the devil was not destroyed, and mankind were tormented between them, without any benefit.

ETHAN ALLEN, Reason: The Only Oracle of Man

2 likes

Tags: devil