We live in an age of universal inquiry, ergo of universal scepticism. The prophecies of the poet, the dreams of the philosopher and scientist, are being daily realized—things formerly considered mere fairy-tales have become facts—yet, in spite of the marvels of learning and science that are hourly accomplished among us, the attitude of mankind is one of disbelief. "There is no God!" cries one theorist; "or if there be one, I can obtain no proof of His existence!" "There is no Creator!" exclaims another. "The Universe is simply a rushing together of atoms." "There can be no immortality," asserts a third. "We are but dust, and to dust we shall return." "What is called by idealists the SOUL," argues another, "is simply the vital principle composed of heat and air, which escapes from the body at death, and mingles again with its native element. A candle when lit emits flame; blow out the light, the flame vanishes—where? Would it not be madness to assert the flame immortal? Yet the soul, or vital principle of human existence, is no more than the flame of a candle."
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