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[236] I said, “I fear I do.” “It is very strange,” she thoughtfully replied; “that is just the way my sister and I feel about Protestants.” It reminded me of De Goncourt's saying, “After all, every political discussion comes back to this: I am better than you” (Je suis meilleur que vous). It is much the same with the comparison of religions.

For myself, I never should be led to become a Roman Catholic, as many are led, by the dignity and beauty of the ritual; because even that is tame and dull compared with the impressiveness of the Greek Church, even as one sees it in Paris, with its stately, melodious, black-bearded priests, its pewless churches, and the utter reverence of its kneeling congregations. There are, however, many points of view in which the Roman Catholic Church is very attractive. But every church claiming infallibility, whether for a pope or for a book, is hampered by this fatal logical defect — this “vicious circle,” as the logicians say — that it has to employ reason and conscience to set up the very authority which is to override reason and conscience. We all depend upon our private judgment at last, because we have nothing else to depend upon. To claim anything else is to practise an unconscious juggling

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