— edited from Absolute Religion (1873) Chapter 2.
The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.
Friday, March 20, 2015
God exists. It is true there are said to be Atheists. Perhaps there may be individuals, not very many in number, to whom that name of error and sadness may apply. As long as great perversions of the human mind are possible, varying from the numerous forms of temporary disturbance to partial or total insanity, it is not unphilosophical to suppose that atheism, in the case of a few individuals is a possibility. But I know not that there are atheistic communities or peoples. Humanity, into which we are to search for the development of principles, is represented by masses. The masses of mankind, as they are found associated in large societies and communities, have never rejected the idea of a God. No historian, from the days of Herodotus and Thucydides, has furnished us the records of an atheistic nation. We are justified therefore in taking the position, that the idea of a God belongs to humanity. As a product of intellectualism, it finds its origin in part in processes of reasoning founded on the perceptions, but has a still closer alliance with the intuitions; and the Being whom it reveals commands by a law of our nature, the reverential and loving homage of the heart. So clearly is the doctrine of God’s existence inscribed upon the works of outward nature, as they are interpreted by the human intellect, so strongly is this doctrine affirmed by the interior convictions and intuitions, and so necessary is it in response to the yearnings of the human heart, that I cannot feel the necessity of entering into argument in relation to it. I take it for granted.