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


Doubt indulged soon becomes doubt realized.

F. R. Havergal.

When you doubt, abstain.


Human knowledge is the parent of doubt.

Lord Greville.

Doubt is the accomplice of tyranny.


When in doubt, lean to the side of mercy.


Misgive that you may not mistake.


Doubt is hell in the human soul.

Mme. de Gasparin.

To be once in doubt is once to be resolved.


Our distrust justifies the deceit of others.

La Rochefoucauld.

Doubt is the vestibule of faith.


Doubt is the shadow of truth.


I love sometimes to doubt, as well as know.


Man was not made to question, but adore.


  • There lives more faith in honest doubt,
  • Believe me, than in half the creeds.
  • Tennyson.

    Doubt comes in at the window when inquiry is denied at the door.

    Prof. Jowett.

    Doubting charms me not less than knowledge.


    Every body drags its shadow, and every mind its doubt.

    Victor Hugo.

    Never do anything, concerning the rectitude of which you have a doubt.

    Pliny, Junior.

  • I run the gauntlet of a file of doubts,
  • Each one of which down hurls me to the ground.
  • Bailey.

  • Who never doubted never half believed,
  • Where doubt there truth is—’tis her shadow.
  • Bailey.

    To believe with certainty we must begin to doubt.


  • A bitter and perplexed “What shall I do?”
  • Is worse to man than worse necessity.
  • Coleridge.

    Many with trust, with doubt few, are undone.


  • Modest doubt is call’d
  • The beacon of the wise.
  • Shakespeare.

  • Uncertain ways unsafest are,
  • And doubt a greater mischief than despair.
  • Sir John Denham.

    Who knows most, doubts most; entertaining hope means recognizing fear.


    Doubt springs from the mind; faith is the daughter of the soul.

    J. Petit-Senn.

    Galileo called doubt the father of invention; it is certainly the pioneer.


    No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.


    There is no weariness like that which rises from doubting. It is unfixed reason.


    Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe.


    Doubt follows white-winged hope with trembling steps.


    The doubts of an honest man contain more moral truth than the profession of faith of people under a worldly yoke.

    X. Doudan.

    We know accurately only when we know little; with knowledge doubt increases.


  • You prove but too clearly that seeking to know
  • Is too frequently learning to doubt.
  • Madame Deshoulières.

  • Our doubts are traitors
  • And make us lose the good we oft might win,
  • By fearing to attempt.
  • Shakespeare.

    Weary the path that does not challenge reason. Doubt is an incentive to truth, and patient inquiry leadeth the way.

    Hosea Ballou.

    Servile doubt argues an impotence of mind, that says we fear because we dare not meet misfortunes.

    Aaron Hill.

    To doubt is worse than to have lost; and to despair is but to antedate those miseries that must fall on us.


  • But the gods are dead—
  • Ay, Zeus is dead, and all the gods but Doubt,
  • And Doubt is brother devil to Despair!
  • John Boyle O’Reilly.

    In contemplation, if a man begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts, but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.


    Can that which is the greatest virtue in philosophy, doubt (called by Galileo the father of invention), be in religion what the priests term it, the greatest of sins?


    The wound of peace is surety, surety secure; but modest doubt is called the beacon of the wise; the tent that searches to the bottom of the worst.


  • Doubt thou the stars are fire;
  • Doubt that the sun doth more;
  • Doubt truth to be a liar;
  • But never doubt, I love.
  • Shakespeare.

    To doubt is a misfortune, but to seek when in doubt is an indispensable duty. So he who doubts and seeks not is at once unfortunate and unfair.


  • Fain would I but I dare not; I dare, and yet I may not;
  • I may, although I care not for pleasure when I play not.
  • Sir Walter Raleigh.

    Remember Talleyrand’s advice, “If you are in doubt whether to write a letter or not, don’t!” The advice applies to many doubts in life besides that of letter-writing.


  • Known mischiefs have their cure; but doubts have none;
  • And better is despair than fruitless hope
  • Mix’d with a killing fear.
  • May.

  • Beware of doubt—faith is the subtle chain
  • Which binds us to the infinite: the voice
  • Of a deep life within, that will remain
  • Until we crowd it thence.
  • Mrs. E. Oakes Smith.

    Give unqualified assent to no propositions but those the truth of which is so clear and distinct that they cannot be doubted. The enunciation of this first great commandment of science consecrated doubt.


    People, when asked if they are Christians, give some of the strangest answers you ever heard. Some will say if you ask them: “Well—well—well, I—I hope I am.” Suppose a man should ask me if I am an American. Would I say: “Well, I—well, I—I hope I am?”

    D. L. Moody.

  • The clear, cold question chills to frozen doubt;
  • Tired of beliefs, we dread to live without;
  • O then, if reason waver at thy side,
  • Let humbler Memory be thy gentle guide,
  • Go to thy birth-place, and, if faith was there,
  • Repeat thy father’s creed, thy mother’s prayer.
  • O. W. Holmes.

    To get rid of your doubts, part with your sin. Put away your intemperance, your dishonesty, your unlawful ways of making money, your sensuality, your falsehood, acted or spoken, and see if a holy life be not the best disperser of unwelcome doubts, and new obedience the most certain guide to fresh assurance.

    James Hamilton.

    There is no weariness like that which rises from doubting, from the perpetual jogging of unfixed reason. The torment of suspense is very great; and as soon as the wavering, perplexed mind begins to determine, be the determination which way soever, it will find itself at ease.


    Nothing is more perplexing than the power, but nothing is more durable than the dynasty of doubt; for he reigns in the hearts of all his people, but gives satisfaction to none of them, and yet he is the only despot who can never die while any of his subjects live.


    When we are in doubt and puzzle out the truth by our own exertions, we have gained a something that will stay by us, and which will serve us again. But, if to avoid the trouble of the search, we avail ourselves of the superior information of a friend, such knowledge will not remain with us; we have not bought, but borrowed it.


  • Life’s sunniest hours are not without
  • The shadow of some lingering doubt—
  • Amid its brightest joys will steal
  • Spectres of evil yet to feel—
  • Its warmest love is blent with fears,
  • Its confidence a trembling one—
  • Its smile the harbinger of tears—
  • Its hope—the change of April’s sun!
  • A weary lot—in mercy given,
  • To fit the chastened soul for heaven.
  • Whittier.

    Cold hearts are not anxious enough to doubt. Men who love will have their misgivings at times; that is not the evil. But the evil is, when men go on in that languid, doubting way, content to doubt, proud of their doubts, morbidly glad to talk about them, liking the romantic gloom of twilight, without the manliness to say, “I must and will know the truth.” That did not John the Baptist. Brethren, John appealed to Christ.

    F. W. Robertson.

    You ask bitterly, like Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?” In such an hour what remains? I reply, “Obedience.” Leave those thoughts for the present. Act—be merciful and gentle—honest; force yourself to abound in little services; try to do good to others; be true in the duty that you know. That must be right, whatever else is uncertain. And by all the laws of the human heart, by the word of God, you shall not be left to doubt. Do that much of the will of God which is plain to you, and “You shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God.”

    F. W. Robertson.

  • Of the terrible doubt of appearances,
  • Of the uncertainty after all, that we may be deluded,
  • That maybe reliance and hope are but speculations after all,
  • That maybe identity beyond the grave is a beautiful fable only,
  • Maybe the things I perceive, the animals, plants, men, hills, shining and flowing waters,
  • The skies of day and night, colors, densities, forms, maybe these are (as doubtless they are) only apparitions, and the real something has yet to be known.
  • Walt Whitman.

    Fear not to confront realities. The Saviour lives; and the first joy that you will give to Him is when, leaving off your false excuses, you throw yourself with a full heart and empty hands into His arms of mercy. The Saviour lives; and were you now to die looking for salvation only from that Friend of Sinners, verily this day should you be with Him in a better than Adam’s paradise. The Saviour lives; and in full sympathy with that wondrous lover of men’s souls, the Holy Spirit is even now ready if besought to begin His sanctifying process in your mind. The Saviour lives; and even now He stretches out toward you an arm which, if you only grasp in thankful love, your faith shall strengthen while you cling, and it will be from no weakness in that arm, if you are not ere long exalted to a point of holy attainment which at this moment you view with despair, and by and by to that region of unveiled realities where you will ask in wonder at yourself, “Wherefore did I doubt?”