Faith

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Unless you believe, you shall not understand. ~ Augustine of Hippo

Faith is confidence or trust in a person, deity, the doctrines or teachings of a religion, or any specifable belief that is not based on proof. While some have argued that many forms of faith are opposed to reason, proponents of faiths argue that the proper domain of faith concerns questions which cannot be settled by evidence, and that rationality and faith are complimentary aspects of human perceptual and imaginative capacities. The word faith is often used synonymously for hope, trust, belief, or a religious tradition.

Alphabetized by author or source
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A[edit]

Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand. ~ Augustine of Hippo
  • "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing."
    "Oh," says man, "but the Babel fish is a dead give-away, isn't it? It proves You exist, and so therefore You don't."
    "Oh, I hadn't thought of that," says God, who promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.
    "Ah, that was easy," says man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white, and gets killed on the next zebra crossing.
    Most leading theologians claim that this argument is a load of dingo's kidneys.
  • I would fain ask one of these bigotted Infidels, supposing all the great Points of Atheism ... were laid together and formed into a kind of Creed, according to the Opinions of the most celebrated Atheists; I say, supposing such a Creed as this were formed, and imposed upon any one People in the World, whether it would not require an infinitely greater Measure of Faith, than any Set of Articles which they so violently oppose.
  • In reviewing the most mysterious doctrines of revelation, the ultimate appeal is to reason, not to determine whether she could have discovered these truths; not to declare whether, considered in themselves, they appear probable; but to decide whether it is not more reasonable to believe what God speaks than to confide in our own crude and feeble conceptions. No doctrine can be a proper object of our faith, which is not more reasonable to believe than to reject.
    • "Alexander." as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 219
  • Ἔστιν δὲ πίστις ἐλπιζοµένων ὑπόστασις, πραγµάτων ἔλεγχος οὐ βλεποµένων. Ἐν ταύτῃ γὰρ ἐµαρτυρήθησαν οἱ πρεσβύτεροι. Πίστει νοοῦµεν κατηρτίσθαι τοὺς αἰῶνας ῥήµατι Θεοῦ, εἰς τὸ µὴ ἐκ ϕαινοµένων τὰ βλεπόµενα γεγονέναι.
    • Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
  • Est autem fides credere quod nondum vides; cujus fidei merces est videre quod credis.
    • Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
  • Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe that thou mayest understand.

B[edit]

Faith is a higher faculty than reason. ~ Philip James Bailey
What do men know? Because they have seen no unicorns for a while does not mean we have all vanished. We do not vanish. ~ Peter S. Beagle in The Last Unicorn
Reason without faith is doomed to flounder in an illusion of its own omnipotence. Faith without reason risks being cut off from everyday life. ~ Benedict XVI
The general rule is, that Truth should never be violated, because it is of the utmost importance to the comfort of life, that we should have a full security by mutual faith; and occasional inconveniences should be willingly suffered that we may preserve it. ~ James Boswell
All Faith is false, all Faith is true: Truth is the shattered mirror strown
In myriad bits; while each believes his little bit the whole to own. ~ Richard Francis Burton
You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it. ~ Samuel Butler
  • Mahomet made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and from the top of it offer up his prayers for the observers of his law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come to him, again and again, and when the hill stood still, he was never a whit abashed, but said, if the hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill.
    • Francis Bacon, Of Boldness, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.
    • Bahá'u'lláh, "Asl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr (Words of Wisdom)" in Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh
  • There is one inevitable criterion of judgment touching religious faith in doctrinal matters. Can you reduce it to practice? If not, have none of it.
    • Hosea Ballou, Manuscript, Sermons, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Faith is a cop-out. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits. It is intellectual bankruptcy. With faith, you don't have to put any work into proving your case. You can "just believe."
    • Dan Barker, Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (1992), p. 102
    • Variant: If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that the assertion can't be taken on its own merits. If something is true, we don't invoke faith. Instead, we use reason to prove it. Faith is intellectual bankruptcy. With faith, you don't have to put any work into proving your case or overcoming objections. You can "just believe."
      • Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists (2008)
  • I suppose I could understand it if men had simply forgotten unicorns or if they had changed so that they hated all unicorns now and tried to kill them when they saw them. But not to see them at all, to look at them and see something else — what do they look like to one another, then? What do trees look like to them, or houses, or real horses, or their own children?
  • The Unicorn Sonata ... tells us that our true home is often right around the corner, if we'd only open our eyes — and our ears — to find it.
  • A particularly crucial battleground in today's cultural struggle between the supremacy of technology and human moral responsibility is the field of bioethics, where the very possibility of integral human development is radically called into question. In this most delicate and critical area, the fundamental question asserts itself force-fully: is man the product of his own labours or does he depend on God? Scientific discoveries in this field and the possibilities of technological intervention seem so advanced as to force a choice between two types of reasoning: reason open to transcendence or reason closed within immanence. We are presented with a clear either/ or. Yet the rationality of a self-centred use of technology proves to be irrational because it implies a decisive rejection of meaning and value. It is no coincidence that closing the door to transcendence brings one up short against a difficulty: how could being emerge from nothing, how could intelligence be born from chance? Faced with these dramatic questions, reason and faith can come to each other's assistance. Only together will they save man. Entranced by an exclusive reliance on technology, reason without faith is doomed to flounder in an illusion of its own omnipotence. Faith without reason risks being cut off from everyday life.
  • Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days.
    • The Bible, Ecclesiastes 11:1.
  • And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
    • The Bible, Matthew 17:20.
  • Faith, n. Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge about things without parallel.
  • An outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace.
    • Book of Common Prayer, Catechism, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • I believe — that the Lord God created the universe.
    I believe — that He sent His only Son to die for my sins.
    And I believe — that ancient Jews built boats and sailed to America.
    I am a Mormon
    and a Mormon just believes.
    • "I Believe", The Book of Mormon (musical) (2011)
  • We talked of the casuistical question, Whether it was allowable at any time to depart from Truth? JOHNSON. 'The general rule is, that Truth should never be violated, because it is of the utmost importance to the comfort of life, that we should have a full security by mutual faith; and occasional inconveniences should be willingly suffered that we may preserve it. There must, however, be some exceptions. If, for instance, a murderer should ask you which way a man is gone, you may tell him what is not true, because you are under a previous obligation not to betray a man to a murderer.' BOSWELL. 'Supposing the person who wrote Junius were asked whether he was the authour, might he deny it?' JOHNSON. 'I don't know what to say to this. If you were sure that he wrote Junius, would you, if he denied it, think as well of him afterwards? Yet it may be urged, that what a man has no right to ask, you may refuse to communicate; and there is no other effectual mode of preserving a secret and an important secret, the discovery of which may be very hurtful to you, but a flat denial; for if you are silent, or hesitate, or evade, it will be held equivalent to a confession. But stay, Sir; here is another case. Supposing the authour had told me confidentially that he had written Junius, and I were asked if he had, I should hold myself at liberty to deny it, as being under a previous promise, express or implied, to conceal it. Now what I ought to do for the authour, may I not do for myself? But I deny the lawfulness of telling a lie to a sick man for fear of alarming him. You have no business with consequences; you are to tell the truth. Besides, you are not sure what effect your telling him that he is in danger may have. It may bring his distemper to a crisis, and that may cure him. Of all lying, I have the greatest abhorrence of this, because I believe it has been frequently practised on myself.'
    I cannot help thinking that there is much weight in the opinion of those who have held, that Truth, as an eternal and immutable principle, ought, upon no account whatever, to be violated, from supposed previous or superiour obligations, of which every man being to judge for himself, there is great danger that we too often, from partial motives, persuade ourselves that they exist; and probably whatever extraordinary instances may sometimes occur, where some evil may be prevented by violating this noble principle, it would be found that human happiness would, upon the whole, be more perfect were Truth universally preserved.
  • Faith is never identical with "piety".
  • Orthodoxy can be learnt from others; living faith must be a matter of personal experience.
    • "Buchsel," as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 239
  • You can do very little with faith, but you can do nothing without it.

C[edit]

A faith which cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets. ~ Arthur C. Clarke
When faith and hope fail, as they do sometimes, we must try charity, which is love in action. ~ Dinah Craik
Who hath no faith to man, to God hath none. ~ George Chapman
  • I credit that eight years of grammar school with nourishing me in a direction where I could trust myself and trust my instincts. They gave me the tools to reject my faith. They taught me to question and think for myself and to believe in my instincts to such an extent that I just said, "This is a wonderful fairy tale they have going here, but it's not for me."
    • George Carlin, as quoted in The New York Times (20 August 1995)
  • You've promised that if we come to You and ask something in faith, that You'll do it.
    • Ben Carson, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story, p. 58
  • I now had enough faith not only to believe there were answer, but to feel certain that those answers would become apparent at some point in the future.
  • I believe that faith is a precursor of all our ideas. Without faith, there never could have evolved hypothesis, theory, science or mathematics. I believe that faith is an extension of the mind. It is the key that negates the impossible. To deny faith is to refute oneself and the spirit that generates all our creative forces. My faith is in the unknown, in all that we do not understand by reason; I believe that what is beyond our comprehension is a simple fact in other dimensions, and that in the realm of the unknown there is an infinite power for good.
  • Who hath no faith to man, to God hath none.
  • Others, one suspects, are afraid that the crossing of space, and above all contact with intelligent but nonhuman races, may destroy the foundations of their religious faith. They may be right, but in any event their attitude is one which does not bear logical examination — for a faith which cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets.
  • All the strength and force of man comes from his faith in things unseen. He who believes is strong; he who doubts is weak. Strong convictions precede great actions. The man strongly possessed of an idea is the master of all who are uncertain and wavering. Clear, deep, living convictions rule the world.
    • James Freeman Clarke, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 222
  • In like manner, if I let myself believe anything on insufficient evidence, there may be no great harm done by the mere belief; it may be true after all, or I may never have occasion to exhibit it in outward acts. But I cannot help doing this great wrong towards Man, that I make myself credulous. The danger to society is not merely that it should believe wrong things, though that is great enough; but that it should become credulous, and lose the habit of testing things and inquiring into them; for then it must sink back into savagery.
  • Never yet did there exist a full faith in the Divine word which did not expand the intellect, while it purified the heart; which did not multiply the aims and objects of the understanding, while it fixed and simplified those of the desires and feelings.
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 219
  • Faith is the grip that clergy have over you. It's the invisible rope around your neck that pulls you along the road they want you to travel, for their benefit, not yours. It's a dead-end word. It's a word of bondage. It's a word that lets you believe what you've been told to believe, without feeling that you've been told what to believe, but you have, and you can stop pretending any time you like. It's not a virtue, that's the last thing it is. It's an abdication from reality. It's a dumb act of self-hypnosis. It's a cowardly cop-out. It's gullibility with a halo, and hiding behind it is like pretending to be an invalid.
  • "Take courage, soul!
    Hold not thy strength in vain!
    With faith o'ercome the steeps
    Thy God hath set for thee.
    Beyond the Alpine summits of great pain
    Lieth thine Italy."
    • Rose Terry Cooke, Beyond, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • The word faith is not generally regarded as a primary term in the scientist's lexicon, yet the report recognizes that faith is the vital ingredient in the Cyclops project— "faith that humans will survive to reap the benefits of success, faith that other [extra-terrestrial] races are, and have been, curious and determined to expand their horizons."
    • Norman Cousins
    • regarding a project to communicate with extraterrestrial races via microwave transmission
  • His faith, perhaps, in some nice tenets might
    Be wrong; his life, I'm sure, was in the right.
    • Abraham Cowley, On the Death of Crashaw, line 55, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Faith makes the discords of the present, the harmonies of the future.
    • Robert Collyer, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 218
  • When faith and hope fail, as they do sometimes, we must try charity, which is love in action. We must speculate no more on our duty, but simply do it. When we have done it, however blindly, perhaps Heaven will show us why.
  • I slept with faith and found a corpse in my arms on awakening; I drank and danced all night with doubt and found her a virgin in the morning.

D[edit]

Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence. ~ Richard Dawkins
Faith is the promise of the future. ~ Christopher Dawson
Faith — is the Pierless Bridge
Supporting what We see
Unto the Scene that We do not. ~ Emily Dickinson
  • It is fashionable to wax apocalyptic about the threat to humanity posed by the AIDS virus, "mad cow" disease, and many others, but I think a case can be made that faith is one of the world's great evils, comparable to the smallpox virus but harder to eradicate.
  • Reason lives on the systematization of the past, but Faith is the promise of the future.
  • Faith — is the Pierless Bridge
    Supporting what We see
    Unto the Scene that We do not.
  • Faith is a fine invention
    For gentlemen who see;
    But Microscopes are prudent
    In an emergency.
    • Emily Dickinson, Poems, Second Series, XXX, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • To take up half on trust, and half to try,
    Name it not faith but bungling bigotry.
    • John Dryden, The Hind and the Panther (1687), Part I, line 141

E[edit]

  • Love is no ingredient in a merely speculative faith, but it is the life and soul of a practical faith... A speculative faith consists only in the assent of the understanding, but in a saving faith there is also the consent of the heart.
  • Love is the active, working principle in all true faith. It is its very soul, without which it is dead. "Faith works by love."
    • Jonathan Edwards, Quotes reported in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895), P. 396.
  • No soul is desolate as long as there is a human being for whom it can feel trust and reverence.
    • George Eliot, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 219
  • Faith lived in the incognito is one which is located outside the criticism coming from society, from politics, from history, for the very reason that it has itself the vocation to be a source of criticism. It is faith (lived in the incognito) which triggers the issues for the others, which causes everything seemingly established to be placed in doubt, which drives a wedge into the world of false assurances.
    • Jacques Ellul, in L'espérance oubliée (1972) [Hope in Time of Abandonment] as translated by C. Edward Hopkin (1973)
  • I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope
    For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love,
    For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith
    But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting.

    Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought:
    So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.

F[edit]

The Way to see by Faith is to shut the Eye of Reason: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle. ~ Benjamin Franklin
Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love. ~ Erich Fromm
  • Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.

G[edit]

Conscious faith is freedom. Emotional faith is slavery. Mechanical faith is foolishness. ~ G. I. Gurdjieff
Faith cannot be given to man.Faith arises in a man and increases [...] from understanding. Understanding is the essence obtained from information intentionally learned and from all kinds of experiences personally experienced. ~ G. I. Gurdjieff
  • We lean on Faith; and some less wise have cried,
    "Behold the butterfly, the seed that's cast!"
    Vain hopes that fall like flowers before the blast!
    What man can look on Death unterrified?
    • R. W. Gilder, Love and Death, Stanza 2, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Die Botschaft hör' ich wohl, allein mir fehlt der Glaube;
    Das Wunder ist des Glaubens liebstes Kind.
    • Your messages I hear, but faith has not been given;
      The dearest child of Faith is Miracle.
    • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, I. 1. 413, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • If you have any faith, give me, for heaven's sake, a share of it! Your doubts you may keep to yourself, for I have a plenty of my own.
    • Goethe, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 223
  • Faith in an order, which is the basis of science, will not (as it cannot reasonably) be dissevered from faith in an Ordainer, which is the basis of religion.
  • If you have abandoned one faith, do not abandon all faith. There is always an alternative to the faith we lose. Or is it the same faith under another mask?
  • Faith is the backbone of the social and the foundation of the commercial fabric; remove faith between man and man, and society and commerce fall to pieces. There is not a happy home on earth but stands on faith; our heads are pillowed on it, we sleep at night in its arms with greater security for the safety of our lives, peace, and prosperity than bolts and bars can give.
    • Thomas Guthrie, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 218

H[edit]

  • וְצַדִּ֖יק בֶּאֱמוּנָתֹ֥ו יִחְיֶֽה.‏
  • Faith is a grasping of Almighty power;
    The hand of man laid on the arm of God; —
    The grand and blessed hour in which the things impossible to me
    Become the possible, O Lord, through Thee.
    • A. E. Hamilton, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 238
  • Faith, Quinn mused, was a strange power. They had committed their lives to the sect, never questioning its gospels. Yet in all of that time, they had the reassurance of routine … The bedrock of every religion, that your God is a promise, never to be encountered in this life, this universe.
  • The moderation we see among nonfundamentalists is not some sign that faith itself has evolved; it is, rather, the product of the many hammer blows of modernity that have exposed certain tenets of faith to doubt.
  • Faith is generally nothing more than the permission religious people give to one another to believe things strongly without evidence.
  • Faith is a gift of God, which man can neither give nor take away by promise of rewards or menace of torture.
  • Faith strikes me as intellectual laziness, but I don't argue with it — especially as I am rarely in a position to prove that it is mistaken. Negative proof is usually impossible.
  • What sought they thus afar?
    Bright jewels of the mine?
    The wealth of seas, the spoils of war?—
    They sought a faith's pure shrine!
    • Felicia Hemans, Landing of the Pilgrim Fathers, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Faith is the surrender of the mind; it's the surrender of reason, it's the surrender of the only thing that makes us different from other mammals. It's our need to believe, and to surrender our skepticism and our reason, our yearning to discard that and put all our trust or faith in someone or something, that is the sinister thing to me. Of all the supposed virtues, faith must be the most overrated.
  • Faith draws the poison from every grief, takes the sting from every loss, and quenches the fire of every pain; and only faith can do it.
    • Josiah Gilbert Holland, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 218
  • Mirror of constant faith, revered and mourn'd!
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV, line 229. Pope's translation, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • My faith is great: out of the transient darkness of the present the shadows will flee away, and Day will yet dawn. I am an Anarchist.
    No man who believes in force and violence is an Anarchist. The true Anarchist decries all influences save those of love and reason. Ideas are his only arms.
    Being an Anarchist I am also a Socialist. Socialism is the antithesis of Anarchy. One is the North Pole of Truth, the other the South.
    • Elbert Hubbard, in "The Better Part" in A Message to Garcia and Thirteen Other Things (1901), p. 132

I[edit]

  • I believe it was Magellan who said, "The church says the earth is flat; but I have seen its shadow on the moon, and I have more confidence even in a shadow than in the church."
  • Never confuse faith, or belief — of any kind — with something even remotely intellectual.
  • Our faith begins at the point where atheists suppose it must be at an end. Our faith begins with the bleakness and power which is the night of the cross, abandonment, temptation and doubt about everything that exists! Our faith ... must be born of nothingness, it must taste this nothingness and be given it to taste in a way that no philosophy of nihilism can imagine.
    • Hans Joachim Iwand, unpublished manuscript, quoted in Jürgen Moltmann, The Crucified God (1972), translated by R. A. Wilson and John Bowden. London: SCM Press, 1974, pp. 31–32. This quote is sometimes misattributed to Moltmann.

J[edit]

Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? … Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn? ~ Book of Job
  • Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
  • The most any one can do is to confess as candidly as he can the grounds for the faith that is in him, and leave his example to work on others as it may.
  • It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
    • William James, in "Is Life Worth Living?" The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897)
  • Truly I say to you, if you have faith, and do not doubt, you shall not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, "Be taken up and cast into the sea," it shall happen.
  • Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
  • The German is the discipline of fear; ours is the discipline of faith — and faith will triumph.
    • Gen. Joseph Joffre, at the unveiling of a statue of Lafayette in Brooklyn (1917), as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • If he were
    To be made honest by an act of parliament
    I should not alter in my faith of him.
    • Ben Jonson, in The Devil Is an Ass (performed 1616; published 1631), Act IV, scene 1
  • Our faith is a light by nature coming of our endless Day, that is our Father, God. In which light our Mother, Christ, and our good Lord, the Holy Ghost, leadeth us in this passing life. This light is measured discreetly, needfully standing to us in the night. The light is cause of our life; the night is cause of our pain and of all our woe: in which we earn meed and thanks of God. For we, with mercy and grace, steadfastly know and believe our light, going therein wisely and mightily.
  • Charity keepeth us in Faith and Hope, and Hope leadeth us in Charity. And in the end all shall be Charity.
  • It's faith, Hawkgirl. You're not supposed to understand it... you just have it.

K[edit]

  • Whoever has the world’s treasures has them no matter how he got them. In the world of the spirit it is otherwise.
  • The belief that God will do everything for man is as untenable as the belief that man can do everything for himself. It, too, is based on a lack of faith. We must learn that to trust God with the expectation that he will do everything while we do nothing, is not faith, but superstition.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr, (between July 1962 and March 1963), as quoted on The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr (2007), p. 552
  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
  • We fall from womb to tomb, from one blackness and toward another, remembering little of the one and knowing nothing of the other... except through faith.
  • And we shall be made truly wise if we be made content; content, too, not only with what we can understand, but content with what we do not understand—the habit of mind which theologians call—and rightly—faith in God.
    • Charles Kingsley, Health and Education, On Bio-Geology, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • But faith, it keeps the lamp alight; in waiting and in expectation keeps the lamp alight to the end; and if fulfilment comes, still keeps the lamp alight, in not forgetting that it was impossible Kierkergaard, Gospel of Suffering, pg 35

L[edit]

  • For those who are born into atheism, it's a faith like any other. The only real atheist is an ex-believer.
    • Gabriel Lauber, Denken verdirbt den Charakter: Alle Aphorismen (1984), p. 39
  • Reason is the linking together of truths, but particularly (when it is compared with faith) of those to which the human mind can attain naturally without being helped by the light of faith.
    • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Preliminary Dissertation On The Conformity Of Faith And reason, as quoted in Theodocy (2010), p. 73
  • The object of faith is the truth, which God has revealed in an extraordinary way
  • The faith for which God justifieth, is not an empty speculation, but a faith joined with repentance, and working by love. And for this, which was, in effect, to return to God himself, and to their natural allegiance due to him, and to advance as much as lay in them, the glory of the kingdom, which he had promised his Son ; God was pleased to declare, he would accept them, receive them to grace, and blot out all their former transgressions. This is evidently the covenant of grace, as delivered in the scriptures [...] It is a law of faith, whereby God has promised to forgive all our sins, upon our repentance and believing something ; and to impute that faith to us for righteousness...
    • John Locke, in The Reasonableness of Christianity, as Delivered in the Scriptures, (1695), p. 236
  • The only faith that wears well and holds its color in all weathers is that which is woven of conviction and set with the sharp mordant of experience.

M[edit]

  • Ye children of promise, who are awaiting your call to glory, take possession of the inheritance that now is yours. By faith take the promises. Live upon them, not upon emotions. Remember feeling is not faith. Faith grasps and clings to the promises. Faith says, "I am certain, not because feeling testifies to it, but because God says it."
    • Mandeville, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 222
  • The atheists have the greatest faith: they believe that God does not exist.
  • Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.
  • O welcome pure-ey'd Faith, white-handed Hope,
    Thou hovering angel, girt with golden wings!
  • That in such righteousness
    To them by faith imputed they may find
    Justification towards God, and peace
    Of conscience.
  • Yet I argue not
    Again Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot
    Of right or hope; but still bear up and steer
    Eight onward.
    • John Milton, To Cyriac Skinner, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Combien de choses nous servoient hier d'articles de foy, qui nous sont fables aujourd'hui!
    • Translation: How many things served us yesterday for articles of faith, which to-day are fables to us!
      • Michel de Montaigne, Essays, Book I, Chapter XXVI, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • But Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast
    To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last.
    • Thomas Moore, Lalla Rookh (1817), The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan
  • If faith produce no works, I see
    That faith is not a living tree.
    Thus faith and works together grow;
    No separate life they e'er can know:
    They're soul and body, hand and heart:
    What God hath joined, let no man part.
    • Hannah More, Dan and Jane, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Faith is a vice pretending to be a virtue, its lies and errors and frothy nonsense deluding us and distracting us from action. There's no salvation in wishful thinking, only inertia. Faith is the enemy of reason. The one thing every single one of us here must be united in despising is faith. It's the barren refuge of the vacuous, the fearful, the frauds, and the obstacles to accomplishment.

N[edit]

  • We may infer from any defeat of ours that it is due either to lack of faith or failure to obey. No other reason can suffice.
  • That faith makes blessed under certain circumstances, that blessedness does not make of a fixed idea a true idea, that faith moves no mountains but puts mountains where there are none: a quick walk through a madhouse enlightens one sufficiently about this.
    • Friedrich Nietzsche, in The Antichrist (1888), Sec. 51
    • Often paraphrased as: A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

O[edit]

  • Faith is not just something you have, it's something you do.
  • Orthodoxy is the ability to say two and two make five when faith requires it.

P[edit]

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't. ~ Blaise Pascal
For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
His can't be wrong whose life is in the right. ~ Alexander Pope
  • Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
  • It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason.
  • In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.
  • I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
  • For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight;
    His can't be wrong whose life is in the right.
  • The enormous faith of many made for one.

R[edit]

  • What is wanted is not the will-to-believe, but the wish to find out, which is its exact opposite.
  • We may define "faith" as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of "faith". We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotion for evidence.
  • If you think that your belief is based upon reason, you will support it by argument, rather then by persecution, and will abandon it if the argument goes against you. But if your belief is based on faith, you will realize that argument is useless, and will therefore resort to force either in the form of persecution or by stunting and distorting the minds of the young in what is called "education". This last is particularly dastardly, since it takes advantage of the defencelessness of immature minds. Unfortunately it is practiced in greater or less degree in the schools of every civilised country.
  • Faith is cold as ice. Why are little ones born only to suffer for the want of immunity or a bowl of rice? Well, who would hold a price on the heads of the innocent children if there's some immortal power to control the dice?
    • Rush, Roll the Bones (1991)

S[edit]

Faith: The opposite of dogmatism. ~ John Ralston Saul
Men's habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude ... that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits… ~ Baruch Spinoza
  • Bid, then, the tender light of faith to shine
    By which alone the mortal heart is led
    Unto the thinking of the thought divine.
    • George Santayana, "O World, thou choosest not the better part", Sonnets and Other Verses (1906)
  • Faith: The opposite of dogmatism.
  • There are three lessons I would write, —
    Three words — as with a burning pen,
    In tracings of eternal light
    Upon the hearts of men.

    Have Hope. Though clouds environ now,
    And gladness hides her face in scorn,
    Put thou the shadow from thy brow, —
    No night but hath its morn.

    Have Faith. Where'er thy bark is driven, —
    The calm's disport, the tempest's mirth, —
    Know this: God rules the hosts of heaven,
    The habitants of earth.

    Have Love. Not love alone for one,
    But men, as man, thy brothers call;
    And scatter, like the circling sun,
    Thy charities on all.

    Thus grave these lessons on thy soul, —
    Hope, Faith, and Love, — and thou shalt find
    Strength when life's surges rudest roll,
    Light when thou else wert blind.

    • Friedrich Schiller, Hope, Faith, and Love (c. 1786); also known as "The Words of Strength", as translated in The Common School Journal Vol. IX (1847) edited by Horace Mann, p. 386.
  • Set on your foot,
    And with a heart new-fir'd I follow you,
    To do I know not what: but it sufficeth
    That Brutus leads me on.
  • The saddest thing that can befall a soul
    Is when it loses faith in God and woman.
    • Alexander Smith, A Life Drama, scene 12, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Faith is the subtle chain
    That binds us to the Infinite.
    • Elizabeth Oakes Smith, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 218
  • 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.
    • Elizabeth Oakes Smith, Atheism in Three Sonnets, Faith, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • It is always right that a man should be able to render a reason for the faith that is within him.
    • Sydney Smith, Lady Holland's Memoir, Volume I, p. 53, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Faith creates the foundation for conviction.
  • As men's habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude ... that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits; each would then obey God freely with his whole heart, while nothing would be publicly honoured save justice and charity.
  • That's the thing about faith. If you don't have it, you can't understand it. And if you do, no explanation is necessary.
  • Faith is the key that unlocks the cabinet of God's treasures; the king's messenger from the celestial world, to bring all the supplies we need out of the fullness that there is in Christ.
    • J. Stephens, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 218
  • Faith is something that cannot be won through intimidation and fear.
    • Osric played by Rod Loomis in Stargate SG-1 season 10 episode #10 The Quest Part 1 (22 September 2006) written by Joseph Mallozzi & Paul Mullie
  • I heard once of an American who so defined faith, "that faculty which enables us to believe things which we know to be untrue." For one, I follow that man. He meant that we shall have an open mind, and not let a little bit of truth check the rush of the big truth, like a small rock does a railway truck. We get the small truth first. Good! We keep him, and we value him, but all the same we must not let him think himself all the truth in the universe.

T[edit]

  • How sweet to have a common faith!
    To hold a common scorn of death!
  • Cleave ever to the sunnier side of doubt,
    And cling to Faith beyond the forms of Faith.
  • Whatever answers faith gives, regardless of which faith, or to whom the answers are given, such answers always give an infinite meaning to the finite existence of man; a meaning that is not destroyed by suffering, deprivation or death. This means only in faith can we find the meaning and possibility of life.
    • Leo Tolstoy, A Confession, as quoted in The Portable Tolstoy (1978), Vol. Part 2, p. 704
  • Doubt, indeed, is the disease of this inquisitive, restless age. It is the price we pay for our advanced intelligence and civilization. It is the dim night of our resplendent day. But as the most beautiful light is born of darkness, so the faith which springs from conflict is often the strongest and the best.

U[edit]

V[edit]

Love this friend, this person, this thing, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding Him better, that is what I keep telling myself. But you must love with a sublime, genuine, profound sympathy, with devotion, with intelligence, and you must try all the time to understand Him more, better and yet more. That will lead to God, that will lead to an unshakeable faith. ~ Vincent van Gogh
Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile. ~ Kurt Vonnegut
  • I think that everything that is really good and beautiful, the inner, moral, spiritual and sublime beauty in men and their works, comes from God, and everything that is bad and evil in the works of men and in men is not from God, and God does not approve of it.
    But I cannot help thinking that the best way of knowing God is to love many things. Love this friend, this person, this thing, whatever you like, and you will be on the right road to understanding Him better, that is what I keep telling myself. But you must love with a sublime, genuine, profound sympathy, with devotion, with intelligence, and you must try all the time to understand Him more, better and yet more. That will lead to God, that will lead to an unshakeable faith.
  • This saving faith is the perceiving, believing, and resting upon a fact — the atoning death of Jesus Christ. The failure to understand this is one fruitful cause of the confusion in many minds about this subject. For not unfrequently persons are looking into their own hearts, and trying to discover whether they have faith or not, instead of looking away from themselves altogether at the object of faith.
  • Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile.

W[edit]

We get orders from a loom — Fate. And we're supposed to take enough faith in what we're doing is right. Killing someone we know nothing about. I don't know if I can do that. ~ Wesley Gibson in Wanted
Scepticism is the beginning of faith. ~ Oscar Wilde in The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Faith is seated in the understanding as well as in the will. It has an eye to see Christ as well as a wing to fly to Christ.
    • Richard Watson, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 219
  • Faith, though it hath sometimes a trembling hand, it must not have a withered hand, but must stretch.
    • Richard Watson, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 221
  • We get orders from a loom — Fate. And we're supposed to take enough faith in what we're doing is right. Killing someone we know nothing about. I don't know if I can do that.
    • Wesley Gibson, in Wanted (2008 film), on the killing of his first target after joining the "Weavers".
  • Faith, mighty faith the promise sees
    And rests on that alone;
    Laughs at impossibilities,
    And says it shall be done.
    • Charles Wesley, Hymns, No. 360, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • Through this dark and stormy night
    Faith beholds a feeble light
    Up the blackness streaking;
    Knowing God's own time is best,
    In a patient hope I rest
    For the full day-breaking!
    • John Greenleaf Whittier, Barclay of Ury, Stanza 16, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • A bending staff I would not break,
    A feeble faith I would not shake,
    Nor even rashly pluck away
    The error which some truth may stay,
    Whose loss might leave the soul without
    A shield against the shafts of doubt.
    • John Greenleaf Whittier, Questions of Life, Stanza 1, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • How scrumptious to be faithful! But utterly irrelevant to whether or not the opinion in question is true. Whatever the finer feelings associated with faith, no matter how elevated those who indulge in it, from the point of view of truth and evidence, faith is exactly the same as prejudice. Declaring an opinion to be a matter of faith provides it with no new evidential support, gives no new reason to think it true. It merely acknowledges that you have none.
  • The faith of immortality gives to every mind that cherishes it a certain firmness of texture.
    • Wilberforce, as quoted in Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895) edited by Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert, p. 222
  • Of one in whom persuasion and belief
    Had ripened into faith, and faith become
    A passionate intuition.
  • 'Tis hers to pluck the amaranthine flower
    Of Faith, and round the sufferer's temples bind
    Wreaths that endure affliction's heaviest shower,
    And do not shrink from sorrow's keenest wind.
    • William Wordsworth, Weak is the Will of Man, as quoted in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922)
  • A faith that can be destroyed by suffering is not faith.
  • Faith builds a bridge across the gulf of Death,
    To break the shock blind nature cannot shun,
    And lands Thought smoothly on the further shore.
    • Edward Young, Night Thoughts (1742-1745), Night IV, line 721

X[edit]

Y[edit]

Z[edit]

In faith and hope
Earth I resign;
Secure of heaven,
For I am Thine!
~ Huldrych Zwingli ~
  • Help me, O Lord, my strength and rock;
    Lo at the door I hear death’s knock.
    Uplift Thine arm once pierced for me;
    That conquered death and set me free.
    Yet if Thy voice in life’s midday,
    Recalls my soul, then I obey.
    In faith and hope
    Earth I resign;
    Secure of heaven,
    For I am Thine!
    • Huldrych Zwingli, in "The Song of the Plague" (1519), as quoted in Life of Ulrich Zwingli : The Swiss Patriot and Reformer (1902) by Samuel Simpson, p. 87

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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