"For the more skeptical of the Victorians, love performed some of the functions of the God whom they had lost. Faced with it, many of eve the most hard-headed turned, for the moment, mystical. They found themselves in the presence of something which awoke in them that sense of reverence which nothing else claimed, and something to which they felt, even in the very depths of their being, that an unquestioning loyalty was due. For them love, like God, demanded all sacrifices; but like Him, also, it rewarded the believer by investing all the phenomena of life with a meaning not yet analyzed away. We have grown used - more than they - to a Godless universe, but we are not yet accustomed to one which is loveless as well, and only when we have so become shall we realize what atheism really means."
Joseph Wood Krutch, as quoted in Bertrand Russell’s The Conquest of Happiness