Paris, 17 Sept. 1875.

My dear Theo,
Feeling, even a fine feeling, for the beauties of nature isn’t the same as religious feeling, although I believe that the two are closely connected. The same is true of a feeling for art. Don’t give in to that too much either.1
Hold fast especially to your love for the firm and for your work and to respect for Mr Tersteeg. Later on you’ll see, better than now, that he deserves it. You don’t have to take it to extremes, though.
Nearly everyone has a feeling for nature, some more than others, but there are few who feel that God is a spirit, and they that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in truth.2 Pa is one of the few, Ma too, and also Uncle Vincent, I believe.
You know that it is written ‘The world passeth away and all its glory’,3 and that on the other hand there are also the words ‘that part which shall not be taken away’,4 about ‘a well of living water springing up into everlasting life’.5 Let us also pray that we may become rich in God.6 But don’t think too deeply about these things, which will become clearer to you of themselves with time  1v:2 , and just do what I’ve advised you to do. Let us ask for our part in life that we may become the poor in the kingdom of God,7 God’s servants.8 We haven’t achieved this yet, however, for often there are beams in our eye9 of which we ourselves are unaware; let us ask that our eye may become single,10 for then we shall be completely single.
My regards to the Rooses and if anyone should ask after me, and believe me ever,

Your loving brother


Br. 1990: 048 | CL: 38
From: Vincent van Gogh
To: Theo van Gogh
Date: Paris, Friday, 17 September 1875

1. Van Gogh later added ‘Hetzelfde... over’ (The same... either).
3. 1 John 2:17. Where Van Gogh wrote ‘heerlijkheid’ (glory), the Bible has ‘en haar begeerlijkheid’ (and the lust thereof).
8. Biblical.