Wednesday, March 18, 2015

  In the following piece, James Martineau describes two kinds of people. He's contrasting people of faith and those without, and how a lack of faith betrays itself in one's actions.

"You come for the first time into intercourse with a stranger. There is a clear confiding light in his eye, and a free sit in his features, and a frank flow in his speech, which make you feel in a moment that you are not watched, but trusted; that you have no part to play, no cautions to adopt, no prejudices to evade, but simply to lie open as you are, and be believed. You are introduced to another man, more studiously gracious perhaps than the former: but the smile upon his face is not alive; his laugh has not the sincere ring of the vibrating soul; his eye seems to carry his attention beyond what you are saying to yourself; his words, with all their smooth flow, reveal his thoughts and nature as little as a protocol. 
If you admire anything, you feel that you amuse him like a fresh child; and if you are indignant at some wrong, you see that his response is a flash of the lips without any charge within the heart. You stand before the unfaith of the critic, not with the sympathy of the man; and you know what to expect, if you say a thing too foolish or too wise. Each of these men comes into you society with an hypothesis lurking in his heart, -- the one of trust, --- the other, of distrust: these are not conclusions from evidence, no deliberate opinions, but the mere predispositions of their own nature." James Martineau, photo by Mehmet Akin. 

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