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Old 06-22-2013, 05:07 AM   #82
Randolph Dilloway
 
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Ralph Waldo Emerson. American poet and essayist (1803-82):
In churches, every healthy and thoughtful mind finds itself . . . checked, cribbed, confined. Other world? There is no other world! Here or nowhere is the whole fact.

As man's prayers are a disease of the will, so are their creeds as disease of the intellect.

If I go into the churches in these days, I usually find the preacher, in proportion to his intelligence to be cunning, so that the whole institution sounds hollow.

The believer tells me he has an evidence historical & internal which makes the presumption [of God's existence] so strong that it is almost a certainty that it rests on the highest of probabilities. Yes; but change that imperfect to perfect evidence & I too will be a Christian. But now it must be admitted I am not certain that any of these things are true. The nature of God may be different from what he is represented. I never beheld him. I do not know that he exists.
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