There is much in Coventry Patmore that is superficial or wrong or even abominable, but from time to time there is a good remark as well. Here is one such, from the “Magna Moralia” section XXXII in The Rod, the Root, and the Flower:
The world is not scandalised by anything so much as by the inconsistencies of believers, which it attributes to hypocrisy. But a great deal of ‘inconsistency’ and shortcoming is consistent with an entire absence of hypocrisy. The world having to do only with objects of the senses, discerns and believes a thing fully or not at all, and acts accordingly; and expects that Christians should do the same. But God and the truths of faith are ‘infinitely visible and infinitely credible’; and discernment and belief vary infinitely in degree, from the obscure longing which cries, ‘O God, if Thou be a God, save my Soul, if I have a Soul’, to that of the Saint who sees God, as it were, face to face; and as faith thus varies, so varies the life which comes of it.