The Folly of Atheism
Psalm 14:1-7
The fool has said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.…

That any should say this, is not easy to imagine were we not forced to believe it possible. History tells us of such, and we have no cause to have so much better opinion of the modern age as to doubt that it has those who are ready enough to vent the same impiety.

I. THE ASSERTION MADE. "There is no God." By which — l. We may understand absolute denial of His existence or a denial of Gods providence. Epicurus was of this opinion. He confessed there was a God, but as for His interposing and concerning Himself in our affairs, this he utterly denied; and the reason he gave was that such superintendence would interfere with the Divine ease and felicity. We take the text in both these senses.

2. The manner of the assertion, "said in his heart." It wears the badge of guilt, privacy, and darkness; and as if it were sensible of the treason it carries in its own bonds. The atheist will not speak out, but in his heart he can and does say what he likes.

3. What is implied in this saying. An inward wish that there were no God. His seeking out arguments to persuade himself it is true. A readiness to acquiesce in such arguments. It is a sign that a man is falling when he catches at straws. For why should there not be spiritual substances? And if there be disorder and seeming chance now, do we not look for a day of retribution? The man's placing his trust and dependence for his good on other things than God. This is a loud denial of God. It may not be a verbal denial, but it is no less real.


1. He contradicts the general judgment of mankind. The notion of God is one that a man is not catechised but born into; his mother's womb was the school he learned it in. Now it is morally impossible for any falsity to be universally received and blessed, both as to all times and places.

2. He lays aside a principle that is reasonable, for one strange, harsh, and, at best, highly improbable.

3. His motives show his folly. These are, great impiety and great ignorance.

4. From their instability. They will not stand to them in tithe of great danger, or when death draws near. Affectation expires upon the death bed. It is not in any man's power to extinguish the witness for God in himself. But they may do so for a while. Great and crying sins such as waste the conscience — sensuality and discontent with God's providence — lead to this. Therefore, beware of them.

(R. South, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.} The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

WEB: The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good.

The Folly and Wretchedness of an Atheistical Inclination
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