Monday, February 15, 2016


"[We] both refused under any circumstances to say 'We believe in one God.' 'Credo cannot become credamus', he said, and I mournfully recalled to him some of those who had died for such single words as the filioque. No two human beings, Wystan declared (and I agreed, and agree) ever believed in the same God: the Nicene Creed (as also the Apostles and the Athanasian) are affirmations of my faith, my adherence to the Church, not yours, or ours."

—page 89, "Reality and Religion" by Anne Fremantle, from W. H. Auden: A Tribute edited by Stephen Spender


"I had not welcomed this little feller, who looked like he had come into this world only to pule and die. Once winter set in, there were times I felt that little Lucius would be far better off dead. He brought no joy to our meager hearth but only plagued us down those cold dark days with his starved fret and yawling. Mandy was shocked when I spoke this way, and reproved me for my "brutal way of talking." I told her that the world was brutal, man's lot, too, so if there really was a God, she had better face God's will. 'That is your God's will, not my God's, Mr. Watson,' my wife said."

—page 608, Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen


I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolator in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is worship? thought I. Do you suppose now, Ishmael, that the magnanimous God of heaven and earth—pagans and all included—can possibly be jealous of an insignificant bit of black wood? Impossible! But what is worship?—to do the will of Godthat is worship. And what is the will of God?—to do to my fellow man what I would have my fellow man to do to me—that is the will of God. Now, Queequeg is my fellow man. And what do I wish that this Queequeg would do to me? Why, unite with me in my particular Presbyterian form of worship. Consequently, i must then unite with him in his; ergo, I must turn idolator. So I kindled the shavings; helped prop up the innocent little idol; offered him burnt biscuit with Queequeg; salamed before him twice or thrice; kissed his nose; and that done, we undressed and went to bed, at peace with our own consciences and all the world. But we did not go to sleep without some little chat. 

—from chapter 10, "A Bosom Friend," as found in Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

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