The materialist and the sceptic have forcible arguments on
their side. They appeal to experience and to common sense,
and ask pathetically, yet triumphantly, whether aspiration,
however fervid, is a pledge for its validity, 'or does being
weary prove that he hath where to rest?' They smile at the
flights of poetry and imagination, and love to repeat:
Fools! that so often here
Happiness mocked our prayer,
I think might make us fear
A like event elsewhere;
Make us not fly to dreams, but moderate desire.
But then, if the other view is true, the Elsewhere is not the
Here, nor is there any conceivable likeness between the two.
It is not mere repugnance to truths, or speculations rather,
which we dread, that makes us shrink from a creed so shallow,
so palpably inept, as atheism. There are many sides to our
nature, and I see not that reason, doubtless our trustiest
guide, has one syllable to utter against our loftiest hopes.
Our higher instincts are just as much a part of us as any
that we listen to; and reason, to the end, can never
dogmatise with what it is not conversant.
End of Tracks of a Rolling Stone by Henry J. Coke