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Practical Atheism

 

"Now, I hold that secret sin, if any thing, is the worst of sin; because secret sin implies that the man who commits it has Atheism in his heart.  You will ask how that can be.  I reply, he may be a professing Christian, but I shall tell him to his face that he is a practical Atheist, if he labors to keep up a respectable profession before man, and then secretly transgresses.  Why is not he an Atheist, who will say there is a God, yet at the same time thinks more of man than he does of God?  Is it not the very essence of Atheism--is it not a denial of the divinity of the Most High when men lightly esteem him and think more of the eye of a creature than of the observation of their Creator?  There are some who would not, for the life of them, say a wicked word in the presence of their minister, but they can do it, knowing God is looking at them.  They are Atheists.  There are some who would not trick in trade for all the world if they thought they should be discovered, but they can do it while God is with them; that is, they think more of the eye of man than of the eye of God; and they think it worse to be condemned by man than to condemned by God.  Call it by what name you will, the proper name of that is practical Atheism."

  -- C. H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)