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Vincent van Gogh on Love and God

The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh L161, Written November 23, 1881 (New York Graphic Society, 1958), I:274.

You must not be astonished when, even at the risk of your taking me for a fanatic, I tell you that in order to love, I think it absolutely necessary to believe in God (that does not mean that you should believe all the sermons of the clergymen) — far from it. To me, to believe in God is to feel that there is a God, not dead or stuffed, but alive, urging us toward aimer encore [steadfast love] with irresistible force.