The fact is that doubt is negative, destructive, sterile. It constrains no man to nobler things, and begets in the human mind no hopes or aspirations. It is by no means a principle upon which to base life’s fabric; for whatever force it has is subversive, and not constructive. A principle which tends to nothing but universal smash is not one to which an ordinary man may contentedly commit the ruling of his life. What if some religious notions be mere fancy, impractical, and imaginary? It is no great thing after all to be good at breaking up the bric-à-brac of the house. However much the coldly-wise may rejoice to be rid of what they call rubbish, it will be no great feat to sweep away all the frail fabrics; the genius required is akin to that which is incarnate in a monkey or a wild bull. Our ambition lies in a higher region: we would construct rather than destroy. Since we aspire to honourable and useful lives, we seek a positive force which will bear us onward and upward. Those who prefer to do so may doubt, and doubt, and doubt to the dregs of nothing; but our choice is to find truth and believe it, that it may be a life-force to us. No partisan has yet had the hardihood to preach an evangel of “doubt and live“; for too manifestly doubt is akin to death: but believe and live is the essence of the message from heaven, and we accept it.
The Clue of the Maze.
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