Page:Essays and phantasies by James Thomson.djvu/225

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These sayings I heard from the mouth of Sigvat Bragason, who thought after this manner, and thus was he wont to express himself when he took the trouble to speak.

He once said: If the religious had strong faith, I might respect them for their religion; if the infidels had strong disbelief, I might respect them for their infidelity. But the religious do not believe in God the Father, for they never keep his commandments; they do not believe in the Holy Ghost, for they fear and detest all living inspiration, and worship the lifeless letters of a book; they do not believe in Christ the Lord, else would they love one another; they do not believe in Heaven and eternal life, for they cling desperately to this earth and life; they do not believe in Hell, for if they really did they would all go mad. On the other hand, infidels superabound with belief: they believe that empiricism can discover all the world's veiled mysteries, that logic can resolve all the world's problems; they believe that human nature can be improved out of man, and that every one can lift himself some fine day higher than heaven, sitting in his own basket; they believe that many an existence depends absolutely upon