‘Only Believe’—“My duty towards God is to believe in Him,” my first duty, the duty of my life, without which other duties would not appear to count much.
          ‘Only believe,’ the writer was told as a girl, to her great anger and soreness of heart. If ‘only fly’ had been said, she could not have flown, but anyway she would have known what definite thing was expected of her; but ‘only believe’ carried no meaning. Of course she believed, as she believed that yesterday was Wednesday, the 5th of October, say; that there had been a Queen Elizabeth; that at least one Pharaoh had ruled in Egypt; these things, and thousands like them, she had never troubled herself to doubt, and believed as a matter of course; but—God?
          Of course she believed in God in that way, but how could it matter? She was aware that such belief was no part of her life, and she knew of no other way of believing.
          Some such perplexity, no doubt, tries many a soul to whom it is brought home as a duty that he must believe in God. My duty towards God, which I must fulfil for myself, which no one can do for me, and
which others can give me little conscious help in fulfilling. No one can give me faith, but others can help me on the way to it; for, we are told, “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing, by the Word of God”: that is, faith in God, just as faith in a friend, comes of knowledge. We trust our friend because we know him; because we know him, we believe in him. Faith, trust, confidence, belief—they are all one.

                    “Take my heart! for I cannot give it Thee:
                    Keep it! for I cannot keep it for Thee.”

[1] Prayer Book version of the Psalms.

[2] Prayer Book version of the Psalms.

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