A reply to N.

But the difference, you see, is that you had lost your faith to a misfortune, whereas I have lost mine to reason. As soon as you recover from the wounds of the misfortune, faith shall gradually return to you; you will once more believe your God mighty and merciful. But reason – how does anyone recover from reason, as if it were some sort of affliction, a worm in the mind to be extirpated? It isn’t. Reason shall follow me all through my life, and rather being than disadvantageous to me, brings me a celestial joy. And I should have no reason to wish it gone.

The desolation of which you speak, and which you accord to both your past self and my present self, is thus misplaced. I am not in a state of desolation. But even if I were, I doubt it will be attributed to the absence of a divine benevolence. Nevertheless, I am deeply grateful for your letter, and the kind words you have served.

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