The Atheist: The Ultimate April Fool

Psalm 14:1; Psalm 94:8; Proverbs 8:5; 3:35; 19:29

The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise?

O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. The wise shall inherit glory: but shame shall be the promotion of fools. Judgments are prepared for scorners, and stripes for the back of fools.

JOHN JAMIESON (1759-1838): The world we live in is a world of fools.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): We are sometimes tempted to think, “Surely there never was so much atheism and profaneness as there is in our days;” but we see the former days were no better; even in David’s time there were those who had arrived at such a height of impiety as to deny the very being of a God.

JEREMY TAYLOR (1613-1667): Who in the world is a verier fool, a more ignorant, wretched person, than he that is an atheist?

MATTHEW POOLE (1624-1679): Such are commonly and justly called fools every where in Scripture, and that purposely to meet with their false, yet common conceit of themselves, as if they were the only wise men, and all others were fools.

ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): There are others who, without absolutely denying the Divine existence, deny His providence; that is, they acknowledge a Being of infinite power, etc., but give Him nothing to do, and no world to govern. There are others, and they are very numerous, who, while they profess to acknowledge both, deny them in their heart, and live as if they were persuaded there was no God either to punish or reward.

JOHN GILL (1697-1771): There is no fear of God before his eyes; no reverential affection for Him, but enmity to Him…As the atheist denies God in words, the idolater denies Him in facts, worshipping the creature besides the Creator, and giving his glory to another, and his praise to idols, which is a virtual denial of Him.

MATTHEW HENRY: Atheistical thoughts are very foolish wicked thoughts, and they are at the bottom of a great deal of the wickedness that is in this world.

STEPHEN CHARNOCK (1628-1680): A hypocrite may well be termed a religious atheist, an atheist masked with religion.

JOHN CALVIN (1509-1564): An Atheist, strictly speaking, is one who does not believe, and who absolutely ridicules, the being of a God. That appellation, certainly, is not usually given to superstitious persons, but to those who have no feeling of religion, and who desire to see it utterly destroyed.

JOHN GILL: Atheists condemn revelation, despise the Word of God, and regard no day nor manner of worship; and this notwithstanding the majesty of God, at whose presence they tremble not, and notwithstanding the goodness of God, which should induce them to fear Him, and notwithstanding the judgment of God on others, and even on themselves; and notwithstanding the future awful judgment, which they put far away or disbelieve.

MATTHEW HENRY: An atheist justifies himself in his iniquity and evades the argument taken from the judgment to come by pleading that there is not another life after this, but that when man dies there is an end of him, and therefore while he lives he may live as he lists.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): The Atheist is the fool pre-eminently, and a fool universally―to say there is no God is to belie the plainest evidence, which is obstinacy; to oppose the common consent of mankind, which is stupidity; to stifle consciousness, which is madness.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): The name of God is written in such full, fair and shining characters upon the whole creation, that all men may run and read that there is a God. The notion of a deity is so strongly and deeply impressed upon the tables of all men’s hearts, that to deny a God is to quench the very principles of common nature; yea, it is formally deicidium—a killing of God, as much as in the creature lies.

ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): This is the secret desire of every unconverted bosom.

C. H. SPURGEON: If the sinner could by his atheism destroy the God whom he hates there were some sense, although much wickedness, in his infidelity; but as denying the existence of fire does not prevent its burning a man who is in it, so doubting the existence of God will not stop the Judge of all the earth from destroying the rebel who breaks His laws; nay, this atheism is a crime which much provokes heaven, and will bring down terrible vengeance on the fool who indulges it.

JEREMY TAYLOR: A man may better believe there is no such man as himself, and that he is not in being, than that there is no God―and if he knows it not, he is a fool.

C. H. SPURGEON: The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork, Psalm 19:1. He who looks up to the firmament and then writes himself down an atheist, brands himself at the same moment as an idiot or a liar.

STEPHEN CHARNOCK: A fool is one that hath lost his wisdom and right notion of God and divine things, which were communicated to man by creation; one dead in sin, yet one not so much void of rational faculties, as of grace in those faculties; not one that wants reason, but who abuses his reason.

JEREMY TAYLOR: Can anything in this world be more foolish than to think that all this rare fabric of heaven and earth can come by chance, when all the skill of art is not able to make an oyster? To see rare effects, and no cause―a time without an eternity; a second without a first; a thing that begins not from itself, and therefore, not perceive there is something from which must be without beginning? These things are so against philosophy and natural reason, that he must needs be a beast in his understanding that does not assent to them.

JOSEPH ADDISON (1671-1719): There is not a more ridiculous animal than an atheist―his mind is incapable of rapture or elevation: he can only consider himself as an insignificant figure in a landscape, and wandering up and down in a field or a meadow, under the same terms as the meanest animals about him, and as subject to as total a mortality as they―with this aggravation: that he is the only one amongst them who lies under the apprehension of it. In distresses he must be of all creatures the most helpless and forlorn; he feels the whole pressure of a present calamity, without being relieved by the memory of anything that is past, or the prospect of anything that is to come. Annihilation is the greatest blessing that he proposes to himself, and a halter or a pistol the only refuge he can fly to. But if you would behold one of these gloomy miscreants in his poorest figure, you must consider them under the terrors―or, at the approach of death.

MURDOCH CAMPBELL (1901-1974): Someone once asked Margaret Mackenzie to explain the request of the foolish virgins when they said to wise―“Give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out, Matthew 25:8. She replied, “Did you ever hear of godless persons on their death bed asking the Lord’s people to pray for them. Well, that is the meaning of their cry.”


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