Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/70

This page has been validated.

"He made the world", I added, "all this wonder"—and with a gesture I included earth and sky.

"Who made God?" asked my companion.

I turned away stricken: in a flash I saw I had been building on a word taught to me: "who made God?" I walked away alone, up the long meadow by the little brook, my thoughts in a whirl: story after story that I had accepted were now to me "fairy stories". Jonah hadn't lived three days in a whale's belly. A man couldn't get down a whale's throat. The Gospel of Matthew began with Jesus' pedigree, showing that he had been born of the seed of David through Joseph, his father, and in the very next chapter you are told that Joseph wasn't his father; but the Holy Ghost. In an hour the whole fabric of my spiritual beliefs lay in ruins about me: I believed none of it, not a jot, nor a tittle: I felt as though I had been stripped naked to the cold.

Suddenly a joy came to me: if Christianity was all lies and fairy-tales like Mahometanism, then the prohibitions of it were ridiculous and I could kiss and have any girl who would yield to me. At once I was partially reconciled to my spiritual nakedness: there was compensation.

The loss of my beliefs was for a long time very painful to me. One day I told Stackpole of my infidelity and he recommended me to read "Butler's Analogy" and keep an open mind. Butler finished what the West Indian had begun and in my thirst for some certainty I took up a course of deeper reading. In Stackpole's rooms one day I came across a book of Huxley's Essays; in an hour I had swallowed them and proclaimed myself an "agnostic"; that's what I was; I knew nothing surely, but was willing to learn.

I aged ten years mentally in the next six months: I was always foraging for books to convince me and