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Atheism Among The People by Alphonse de Lamartine

III. Faith, or reasonable and effective belief in God, proceedsà

Faith, or reasonable and effective belief in God, proceeds, undoubtedly, from this first instinct; but in proportion as intelligence develops itself, and human thought expands, it goes from knowledge to knowledge, from conclusion to conclusion, from light to light, from sentiment to sentiment, infinitely farther and higher, in the idea of God. It does not see him with the eyes of the body, because the Infinite is not visible by a narrow window of flesh, pierced in the frontal bone of an insect called Man; but it sees Him, with a thousand times more certainty, by the spirit, that immaterial eye of the soul, which nothing blinds; and after having seen him with evidence, it reasons upon the consequences of his existence, upon the divine aims of His creation, upon the terrestrial as well as eternal destinies of His creatures, upon the nature of the homage and adoration that God expects, upon his moral laws, upon the public and private duties which he imposes on his creatures by their consciences, upon the liberty He leaves them; so that with the sufferings of conflict He may give to them the merits and the prize of virtue. Thus in man does the instinct of God become Faith. Thus man can speak the greatest word that has ever been spoken upon the earth or in the stars, the word which fills the worlds by itself alone, the word which commenced with them, and which can only end with them; --

|I believe in God!|

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