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English citations of faith

belief without understanding or evidence[edit]

ME « 15th c. 16th c. 17th c. 18th c. 19th c. 20th c. 21st c.
  • 1549, Robert Crowley, The voyce of the laste trumpet blowen bi the seuenth angel[1]:
    But if thy maister be wicked,
    And would haue the do wickedlie,
    Then se that thy fayth be pitched
    On thy Lord God most constantly.
  • 1594, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV
    Thou almost makest me waver in my faith
    To hold opinion with Pythagoras,
    That souls of animals infuse themselves
    Into the trunks of men.
  • 1611, Bible (Authorized, or King James, Version), Hebrews 11:1
    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
  • 1669, Blaise Pascal, Pensées:
    In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.
  • 1738, Jonathan Edwards, Charity and Its Fruits; or, Christian Love as Manifested in the Heart and Life[2]:
    A speculative faith consists only in the assent of the understanding, but in a saving faith there is also the consent of the heart.
  • 1758, Benjamin Franklin, “July. VII Month.”, in Poor Richard's Almanack, Philadelphia: B. Frankin and D. Hall, OL 17629636M:
    The Way to ſee by Faith is to ſhut the Eye of Reaſon: The Morning Daylight appears plainer when you put out your Candle.
  • 1817, Thomas Moore, “The Veiled Prophet of Khorassan”, in Lalla Rookh, an Oriental romance[3]:
    But Faith, fanatic Faith, once wedded fast
    To some dear falsehood, hugs it to the last.
  • 1870, Richard Francis Burton, The Kasîdah of Hâjî Abdû El-Yezdî[4], VI:
    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.
  • 1895, H. L. Mencken (tr.), The Antichrist, translation of Der Antichrist by Friedrich Nietzsche, §51:
    [] faith moves no mountains but puts mountains where there are none—a quick walk through a madhouse enlightens one sufficiently about this.
  • 1897, Mark Twain, Following the Equator[5], Chapter XII:
    There are those who scoff at the schoolboy, calling him frivolous and shallow: Yet it was the schoolboy who said "Faith is believing what you know ain't so."
  • 1897, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Chapter 14:
    I heard once of an American who so defined faith, "that faculty which enables us to believe things which we know to be untrue."
  • 1910, Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich, ch. 4:
    Do not read magazines or books which teach a different idea; if you get mixed up in your faith, all your efforts will be in vain. Do not ask why these things are true, nor speculate as to how they can be true; simply take them on trust. The science of getting rich begins with the absolute acceptance of this faith.
  • 1954, Bertrand Russell, Human Society in Ethics and Politics[6], London: G. Allen & Unwin, LCCN 54004060, OL 14246427M:
    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.
  • 1979, Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, ch. 6
    "I refuse to prove that I exist," says God, "for proof denies faith, and without faith, I am nothing."
  • 1996 February 24, Nana Visitor as Kira Nerys, “Accession”, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine season 4 episode 17:
    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.
  • 2004, Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, New York: W. W. Norton, ISBN 9780393035155, LCCN 2004007874, OL 7451368M, page 19:
    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.
  • 2008, Dan Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists, Berkeley: Ulysses Press, ISBN 9781569756775, OL 15181914W, page 101:
    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.