"Oh, yes," said Turnbull in a tired way, "I suppose you mean God."
"No, I don't," said MacIan, shaking his head. "I mean him."
And he pointed to the half-tipsy yokel who was ploughing down the road.
"What do you mean?" asked the atheist.
"I mean him," repeated MacIan with emphasis. "He goes out in the early dawn; he digs or he ploughs a field. Then he comes back and drinks ale, and then he sings a song. All your philosophies and political systems are young compared to him. All your hoary cathedrals, yes, even the Eternal Church on earth is new compared to him. The most mouldering gods in the British Museum are new facts beside him. It is he who in the end shall judge us all."
And MacIan rose to his feet with a vague excitement.
"What are you going to do?"
"I am going to ask him," cried MacIan, "which of us is right."
Turnbull broke into a kind of laugh. "Ask that intoxicated turnip-eater——" he began.
"Yes—which of us is right," cried MacIan violently. "Oh, you have long words and I have long words; and I talk of every man being the image of God; and you talk of every man being a citizen and enlightened enough to govern. But if every man typifies God, there is God. If every man is an enlightened citizen, there is your enlightened citizen. The first man one meets is always man. Let us catch him up."
-The Ball and the Cross (1909)