For gentlemen who see,
But Microscopes are prudent
In an emergency!
Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Composed in 1860 "Faith" is a fine invention is typically short and with a playful twist and is written for the scientists. Plain yet provocative words literally, it says that the gentlemen only believe what they can see; for those are hard to see by the naked eye, they rely on science which is symbolized by "Microscopes."
True meaning is always deeper than the meaning of her words and if one sits and thinks long enough the idea arises is "faith" an invention of man? Someone must have invented the word faith and associated a meaning to it. The Webster dictionary defines "faith" as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Did man invent the belief? Did he invent the objects of his belief? Is Emily ridiculing those with shallow beliefs? Is it not prudent of science to call all else faith that which is without scientific instruments to verify the premises ?
Science is in the dominion of man and the universe itself is in the dominion of God. She makes it seem like child's play with these few words. When I talk about God and faith with my scientist friends, a common reaction is "show me the existence of God."
I think Emily is chiding us.....science cannot determine the existence of God, because scientific knowledge is only a small part of the universe.
Public domain text taken from Representative Poetry Online