C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


What ardently we wish we soon believe.


He who knows most believes the least.


What ardently we wish, we soon believe.


  • Now God be praised, that to believing souls,
  • Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!
  • Shakespeare.

    He that will believe only what he can fully comprehend, must have a very long head, or a very short creed.

    C. C. Colton.

    Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.


    The region of the senses is the unbelieving part of the human soul.

    George MacDonald.

    You believe that easily which you hope for earnestly.


    The practical effect of a belief is the real test of its soundness.


    Men believe that willingly which they wish to be true.


    Being alone when one’s belief is firm, is not to be alone.


    Belief consists in accepting the affirmations of the soul; unbelief, in denying them.


    When in God thou believest, near God thou wilt certainly be.

    C. G. Leland.

    All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.


    We are slow to believe that which if believed would hurt our feelings.


    You do not believe, you only believe that you believe.


    The want of belief is a defect which ought to be concealed where it cannot be overcome.


    The more sincere we are in our belief, as a rule, the less demonstrative we are.


    Belief is not a matter of choice, but of conviction.

    R. G. Ingersoll.

    Happy the man who sees a God employed in all the good and ills that checker life.


  • Till their own dreams at length deceive ’em,
  • And oft repeating, they believe ’em.
  • Prior.

    Begin by regarding every thing from a moral point of view, and you will end by believing in God.

    Dr. Arnold.

  • And to add greater honours to his age
  • Than man could give him, he died fearing God.
  • Shakespeare.

  • ’Tis with our judgments as our watches; none
  • Are just alike, yet each believes his own.
  • Pope.

  • O thou, whose days are yet all spring,
  • Faith, blighted once, is past retrieving;
  • Experience is a dumb, dead thing;
  • The victory’s in believing.
  • Lowell.

    Intellectually the difficulties of unbelief are as great as those of belief, while morally the argument is wholly on the side of belief.

    Dr. T. Arnold.

    Men ascribe a great value in the sight of God to their barren belief. Why are we so anxious that our neighbor should have our faith and not our practice?


  • For fools are stubborn in their way,
  • As coins are harden’d by th’ allay;
  • And obstinacy’s ne’er so stiff
  • As when ’tis in a wrong belief.
  • Butler.

    If you wish to be assured of the truth of Christianity, try it. Believe, and if thy belief be right, that insight which gradually transmutes faith into knowledge will be the reward of thy belief.

    S. T. Coleridge.

    It is a singular fact that most men of action incline to the theory of fatalism, while the greater part of men of thought believe in providence.


    To believe is to be happy; to doubt is to be wretched. To believe is to be strong. Doubt cramps energy. Belief is power. Only so far as a man believes strongly, mightily, can he act cheerfully, or do any thing that is worth the doing.

    F. W. Robertson.

    There are three means of believing,—by inspiration, by reason, and by custom. Christianity, which is the only rational institution, does yet admit none for its sons who do not believe by inspiration.


    They that deny a God destroy man’s nobility; for certainly man is of kin to the beasts by his body; and, if he be not of kin to God by his spirit, he is a base and ignoble creature.


    The great desire of this age is for a doctrine which may serve to condense our knowledge, guide our researches, and shape our lives, so that conduct may really be the consequence of belief.

    G. H. Lewes.

    The man who goes through life with an uncertain doctrine not knowing what he believes, what a poor, powerless creature he is! He goes around through the world as a man goes down through the street with a poor, wounded arm, forever dodging people he meets on the street for fear they may touch him.

    Phillips Brooks.

    A man may be a heretic in the truth; and if he believe things only because his pastor says so, or the assembly so determines, without knowing other reason, though his belief be true, yet the very truth he holds becomes his heresy.


  • They believed—faith, I’m puzzled—I think I may call
  • Their belief a believing in nothing at all,
  • Or something of that sort; I know they all went
  • For a general union of total dissent.
  • Lowell.

    When, in your last hour (think of this), all faculty in the broken spirit shall fade away, and sink into inanity,—imagination, thought, effort, enjoyment,—then will the flower of belief, which blossoms even in the night, remain to refresh you with its fragrance in the last darkness.


    I am not afraid of those tender and scrupulous consciences, who are ever cautious of professing and believing too much; if they are sincerely in the wrong, I forgive their errors, and respect their integrity. The men I am afraid of are the men who believe everything, subscribe to everything, and vote for everything.

    Bishop Shipley.

    If that impression does not remain on this intrepid and powerful people, into whose veins all nations pour their mingling blood it will be our immense calamity. Public action, without it, will lose the dignity of consecration. Eloquence, without it, will miss what is loftiest, will give place to a careless and pulseless disquisition, or fall to the flatness of political slang. Life, without it, will lose its sacred and mystic charm. Society, without it, will fail of inspirations, and be drowned in an animalism whose rising tides will keep pace with its wealth.

    R. S. Storrs.