I heard Meon whisper, “If this keeps up we shall go to our Gods. I wonder what Wotan will say to me. He must know I don’t believe in him. On the other hand, I can’t do what Ethelwalch finds so easy—curry favour with your God at the last minute, in the hope of being saved—as you call it. How do you advise, Bishop?”
This is from “The Conversion of St Wilfrid” from Rewards and Fairies.
Wulfrid, Bishop of the South Saxons , had long wished to convert his friend Meon to Christianity. But when they are wrecked in a small boat, in danger of death, he advises Meon to be loyal to his ancient gods. When they have been rescued Meon tells his people
“At that time, hanging on the wet, weedy edge of death, our Bishop, a Christian, counselled me, a heathen, to stand by my fathers’ Gods. I tell you now that a faith which takes care that every man shall keep faith, even though he may save his soul by breaking faith, is the faith for a man to believe in.”