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Full text of "The Note Books Of Samuel Butler"

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336                 Rebelliousness

Wants and Creeds

As in the organic world there is no organ, so in the world
of thought there is no thought, which may not be called into
existence by long persistent effort. If a man wants either to
believe or disbelieve the Christian miracles he can do so if
he tries hard enough; but if he does not care whether he
believes or disbelieves and simply wants to find out which
side has the best of it, this he will find a more difficult matter.
Nevertheless he will probably be able to do this too if he



The reason why the early Christians held faith in such
account was because they felt it to be a feat of such super-
human difficulty.


You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing
without it.


We are all agreed that too much faith is as bad as too
little, and too little as bad as too much; but we differ as
to what is too much and what too little.


It is because both Catholics and myself make faith, not
reason, the basis of our system that I am able to be easy in
mind about not becoming a Catholic. Not that I ever wanted
to become a Catholic, but I mean I believe I can beat them
with their own weapons.


A man may have faith as a mountain, but he will not be
able to say to a grain of mustard seed : "Be thou removed,
and be thou cast into the sea "—not at least with any effect
upon the mustard seed—unless he goes the right way to work
by putting the mustard seed into his pocket and taking the
train to Brighton.


The just live by faith, but they not infrequently also die
by it.