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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
 
To One in Perplexity
By François Fénelon (1651–1715)
 
From ‘Spiritual Letters’: Translation of H. L. Sidney Lear

YOU doubt, and you cannot bear up under doubt. I am not surprised; doubt is torture; but do not argue, and you will cease to doubt. The shadows of a simple faith are very different from doubt; its troubles bring their own consolation and fruits. After they have reduced a man they restore him, and leave him in full peace. Doubt is the trouble of a soul left to itself, which wants to see what God hides from it, and out of self-love seeks impossible securities. What have you sacrificed to God, save your own judgment and self-interest? Would you lose sight of that which has been your aim from your very first step, namely, to abandon yourself to God? Would you make shipwreck when just in port, recall your gift, and require God to subject himself to your rules, whereas he requires, and you have promised, to walk Abraham-like in the deepest darkness of faith? And what merit would there be in your course, if you had miracles and revelations to make sure of your path? Miracles and revelations would soon lose their force, and you would fall back into your doubts. You are giving way to temptation. Do not hearken to yourself; your real convictions, if you will follow them simply, will put to flight all these phantoms.  1
 
 
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