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DOUBT
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[ Also see Apprehension Atheism Belief Certainty Chance Confidence Conversion Credulity Disbelief Distrust Envy Expectation Fear Fickleness Jealousy Mystery Positiveness Questions Skepticism Suspicion Unbelief Uncertainty Unknown ]

The doubtful beam long nods from side to side.
      - Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock
         (canto V, l. 73)

Fain would I but I dare not; I dare, and yet I may not;
  I may, although I care not, for pleasure when I play not.
      - Sir Walter Raleigh (1), A Lover's Verses

Cold hearts are not anxious enough to doubt. Men who love will have their misgivings at times; that is not the evil. But the evil is, when men go on in that languid, doubting way, content to doubt, proud of their doubts, morbidly glad to talk about them, liking the romantic gloom of twilight, without the manliness to say,--I must and will know the truth. That did not John. Brethren, John appealed to Christ.
      - Frederick William Robertson

You ask bitterly, like Pontius Pilate, "What is truth?" In such an hour what remains? I reply, "Obedience." Leave those thoughts for the present. Act--be merciful and gentle--honest; force yourself to abound in little services; try to do good to others; be true in the duty that you know. That must be right, whatever else is uncertain. And by all the laws of the human heart, by the word of God, you shall not be left to doubt. Do that much of the will of God which is plain to you, and "You shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God."
      - Frederick William Robertson

When unhappy, one doubts everything; when happy, one doubts nothing.
      - Joseph Roux,
        Meditations of a Parish Priest

Doubt thou the stars are fire;
  Doubt that the sun doth move;
    Doubt truth to be a liar;
      But never doubt, I love.
      - William Shakespeare

Modest doubt is call'd
  The beacon of the wise.
      - William Shakespeare

I do not like 'but yet, it does allay
  The good precedence: fie upon 'but yet,'
    'But yet' is as a jailer to bring forth
      Some monstrous malefactor.
      - William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
         (Cleopatra at II, v)

To be, or not to be--that is the question:
  Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
      Or to take arms against a sea of troubles
        And by opposing end them. To die, to sleep--
          No more--and by a sleep to say we end
            The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
              That flesh is heir to.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Hamlet at III, i)

But now I am cabined, cribbed, confined, bound in
  To saucy doubts and fears.
      - William Shakespeare, Macbeth
         (Macbeth at III, iv)

Our doubts are traitors,
  And make us lose the good we oft might win,
    By fearing to attempt.
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Lucio at I, iv)

Make me to see't; or at the least so prove it
  That the probation bear no hinge nor loop
    To hang a doubt on--or woe upon thy life!
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Othello at III, iii)

To be once in doubt
  Is once to be resolved.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Othello the Moor of Venice
         (Othello at III, iii)

The wound of peace is surety,
  Surety secure; but modest doubt is called
    The beacon of the wise, the tent that searches
      To th' bottom of the worst.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The History of Troilus and Cressida
         (Hector at II, ii)

Beware of doubt--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 (nee Prince)

There is no weariness like that which rises from doubting, from the perpetual jogging of unfixed reason. The torment of suspense is very great; and as soon as the wavering, perplexed mind begins to determine, be the determination which way soever, it will find itself at ease.
      - Bishop Robert South

To believe with certainty we must begin with doubting.
      - Leszczynski Stanislaus ("Stanislaus I"),
        Maxims and Moral Sentences (no. 61)

Doubt cannot override a certainty.
      - The Talmud

There lives more faith in honest doubt,
  Believe me, than in half the creeds.
      - Lord Alfred Tennyson, In Memoriam
         (pt. XCV, st. 3)

I follow my law and fulfil it all duly--and look! when your doubt runneth high--
  North points to the needle!
      - Edith Matilda Thomas, The Compass

Faith keeps many doubts in her pay. If I could not doubt, I should not believe.
      - Henry David Thoreau

Doubt is not the opposite of faith; it is one element of faith.
      - Paul Johannes Tillich

Misgive that you may not mistake.
      - Archbishop Richard Whately

Life's sunniest hours are not without
  The shadow of some lingering doubt--
    Amid its brightest joys will steal
      Spectres of evil yet to feel--
        Its warmest love is blent with fears,
          Its confidence a trembling one--
            Its smile--the harbinger of tears--
              Its hope--the change of April's sun!
                A weary lot--in mercy given,
                  To fit the chastened soul for heaven.
      - John Greenleaf Whittier

Man was not made to question, but adore.
      - Edward Young


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