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Title: Philosophy and Religion - Six Lectures Delivered at Cambridge
Author: Rashdall, Hastings
Language: English
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Six Lectures Delivered at Cambridge



D. Litt. (Oxon.), D.C.L. (Dunelm.)
Fellow of the British Academy
Fellow and Tutor of New College, Oxford

London: Duckworth & Co.
3 Henrietta St. Covent Garden
All rights reserved



Man has no deeper or wider interest than theology; none deeper, for
however much he may change, he never loses his love of the many
questions it covers; and none wider, for under whatever law he may live
he never escapes from its spacious shade; nor does he ever find that it
speaks to him in vain or uses a voice that fails to reach him.  Once
the present writer was talking with a friend who has equal fame as a
statesman and a man of letters, and he said, 'Every day I live,
Politics, which are affairs of Man and Time, interest me less, while
Theology, which is an affair of God and Eternity, interests me more.'
As with him, so with many, though the many feel that their interest is
in theology and not in dogma.  Dogma, they know, is but a series of
resolutions framed by a council or parliament, which they do not
respect any the more because the parliament was composed of
ecclesiastically-minded persons; while the theology which so interests
them is a discourse touching God, though the Being so named is the God
man conceived as not only related to himself and his world but also as
rising ever higher with the notions of the self and the world.  Wise
books, not in dogma but in theology, may therefore be described as the
supreme {vi} need of our day, for only such can save us from much
fanaticism and secure us in the full possession of a sober and sane

Theology is less a single science than an encyclopaedia of sciences;
indeed all the sciences which have to do with man have a better right
to be called theological than anthropological, though the man it
studies is not simply an individual but a race.  Its way of viewing man
is indeed characteristic; from this have come some of its brighter
ideals and some of its darkest dreams.  The ideals are all either
ethical or social, and would make of earth a heaven, creating
fraternity amongst men and forming all states into a goodly sisterhood;
the dreams may be represented by doctrines which concern sin on the one
side and the will of God on the other.  But even this will cannot make
sin luminous, for were it made radiant with grace, it would cease to be

These books then,--which have all to be written by men who have lived
in the full blaze of modern light,--though without having either their
eyes burned out or their souls scorched into insensibility,--are
intended to present God in relation to Man and Man in relation to God.
It is intended that they begin, not in date of publication, but in
order of thought, with a Theological Encyclopaedia which shall show the
circle of sciences co-ordinated under the term Theology, though all
will be viewed as related to its central or main idea.  This relation
of God to human knowledge will then be looked at through mind as a
communion of Deity with humanity, or God in fellowship {vii} with
concrete man.  On this basis the idea of Revelation will be dealt with.
Then, so far as history and philology are concerned, the two Sacred
Books, which are here most significant, will be viewed as the scholar,
who is also a divine, views them; in other words, the Old and New
Testaments, regarded as human documents, will be criticised as a
literature which expresses relations to both the present and the
future; that is, to the men and races who made the books, as well as to
the races and men the books made.  The Bible will thus be studied in
the Semitic family which gave it being, and also in the Indo-European
families which gave to it the quality of the life to which they have
attained.  But Theology has to do with more than sacred literature; it
has also to do with the thoughts and life its history occasioned.
Therefore the Church has to be studied and presented as an institution
which God founded and man administers.  But it is possible to know this
Church only through the thoughts it thinks, the doctrines it holds, the
characters and the persons it forms, the people who are its saints and
embody its ideals of sanctity, the acts it does, which are its
sacraments, and the laws it follows and enforces, which are its polity,
and the young it educates and the nations it directs and controls.
These are the points to be presented in the volumes which follow, which
are all to be occupied with theology or the knowledge of God and His

A. M. F.



These Lectures were delivered in Cambridge during the Lent Term of last
year, on the invitation of a Committee presided over by the Master of
Magdalene, before an audience of from three hundred to four hundred
University men, chiefly Under-graduates.  They were not then, and they
are not now, intended for philosophers or even for beginners in the
systematic study of philosophy, but as aids to educated men desirous of
thinking out for themselves a reasonable basis for personal Religion.

The Lectures--especially the first three--deal with questions on which
I have already written.  I am indebted to the Publisher of _Contentio
Veritatis_ and the other contributors to that volume for raising no
objection to my publishing Lectures which might possibly be regarded as
in part a condensation, in part an expansion of my Essay on 'The
ultimate basis of Theism.'  I have dealt more systematically with many
of the problems here discussed in an Essay upon 'Personality in God and
Man' contributed to _Personal Idealism_ (edited by Henry {x} Sturt) and
in my 'Theory of Good and Evil.'  Some of the doctrinal questions
touched on in Lecture VI. have been more fully dealt with in my volume
of University Sermons, _Doctrine and Development_.

Questions which were asked at the time and communications which have
since reached me have made me feel, more even than I did when I was
writing the Lectures, how inadequate is the treatment here given to
many great problems.  On some matters much fuller explanation and
discussion will naturally be required to convince persons previously
unfamiliar with Metaphysic: on others it is the more advanced student
of Philosophy who will complain that I have only touched upon the
fringe of a vast subject.  But I have felt that I could not seriously
expand any part of the Lectures without changing the whole character of
the book, and I have been compelled in general to meet the demand for
further explanation only by the above general reference to my other
books, by the addition of a few notes, and by appending to each chapter
some suggestions for more extended reading.  These might of course have
been indefinitely enlarged, but a long list of books is apt to defeat
its own purpose: people with a limited time at their disposal want to
know which book to make a beginning upon.

The Lectures are therefore published for the most {xi} part just as
they were delivered, in the hope that they may suggest lines of thought
which may be intellectually and practically useful.  I trust that any
philosopher who may wish to take serious notice of my views--especially
the metaphysical views expressed in the first few chapters--will be
good enough to remember that the expression of them is avowedly
incomplete and elementary, and cannot fairly be criticized in much
detail without reference to my other writings.

I am much indebted for several useful suggestions and for valuable
assistance in revising the proofs to one of the hearers of the
Lectures, Mr. A. G. Widgery, Scholar of St. Catherine's College,
Cambridge, now Lecturer in University College, Bristol.


  Jan. 6, 1909.




MIND AND MATTER, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   1

1.  Is Materialism possible?  There is no immediate
    knowledge of Matter; what we know is always
    Self + Matter.  The idea of a Matter which can exist
    by itself is an inference: is it a reasonable one?

2.  No.  For all that we know about Matter implies Mind.
    This is obvious as to secondary qualities (colour,
    sound, etc.); but it is no less true of primary
    qualities (solidity, magnitude, etc.).  Relations,
    no less than sensations, imply Mind, . . . . . . . . . . .   8

3.  This is the great discovery of Berkeley, though he did
    not adequately distinguish between sensations and
    intellectual relations,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  12

4.  But Matter certainly does not exist merely for _our_
    transitory and incomplete knowledge: if it cannot exist
    apart from Mind, there must be a universal Mind in which
    and for which all things exist, _i.e._ God,  . . . . . . .  16

5.  But Theism is possible without Idealism.  The
    impossibility of Materialism has generally been
    recognized (_e.g._ by Spinoza, Spencer, Haeckel).
    If the ultimate Reality is not Matter, it must be
    utterly unlike anything we know, or be Mind.  The
    latter view more probable, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  19

6.  It is more reasonable to explain the lower by the
    higher than _vice versâ_,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  26


THE UNIVERSAL CAUSE, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  29

1.  We have been led by the idealistic argument to
    recognize the necessity of a Mind which _thinks_ the
    world.  Insufficiency of this view.


2.  In our experiences of external Nature we meet with
    nothing but succession, never with Causality.  The
    Uniformity of Nature is a postulate of Physical
    Science, not a necessity of thought.  The idea of
    Causality derived from our consciousness of Volition.
    Causality=Activity,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  31

3.  If events must have a cause, and we know of no cause
    but Will, it is reasonable to infer that the events
    which _we_ do not cause must be caused by some other
    Will; and the systematic unity of Nature implies that
    this cause must be _One_ Will, . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  41

4.  Moreover, the analogy of the human mind suggests the
    probability that, if God is Mind, there must be in
    Him, as in us, the three activities of Thought,
    Feeling, and Will, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  44

5.  The above line of argument can be used by the Realist
    who believes matter to be a thing-in-itself; but it
    fits in much better with the Idealistic view of the
    relations between mind and matter, and with the
    tendency of modern physics to resolve matter into Force, .  48

6.  Testimony of Spencer and Kant to the theory that the
    Ultimate Reality is Will,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  51

7.  Is God a Person? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  54


GOD AND THE MORAL CONSCIOUSNESS, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  58

1.  The empirical study of Nature ('red in tooth and
    claw') can tell us of purpose, not what the purpose is.
    The only source of knowledge of the character of God is
    to be found in the moral Consciousness.

2.  Our moral judgements are as valid as other judgements
    (_e.g._ mathematical axioms), and equally reveal the
    thought of God,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  62

3.  This does not imply that the moral consciousness is not
    gradually evolved, or that each individual's conscience
    is infallible, or that our moral judgements in detail
    are as certain as mathematical judgements, or that the
    detailed rules of human conduct are applicable to God, . .  63


4.  Corollaries:

    (_a_) Belief in the objectivity of our moral judgements
        logically implies belief in God, . . . . . . . . . . .  69
    (_b_) If God aims at an end not fully realized here, we
        have a ground for postulating Immortality, . . . . . .  77
    (_c_) Evil must be a necessary means to greater good,  . .  79

5.  In what sense this 'limits God.'  Omnipotence=ability
    to do all things which are in their own nature
    possible,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  81


DIFFICULTIES AND OBJECTIONS, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  87

1.  _Is the world created?_  There may or may not be a
    beginning of the particular series of physical events
    constituting our world.  But, even if this series has a
    beginning, this implies some previous existence which
    has no beginning.

2.  _Is the whole-time series infinite?_  Time must be
    regarded as objective, but the 'antinomies' involved
    in the nature of Time cannot be resolved,  . . . . . . . .  90

3.  _Are Spirits created or pre-existent?_  The close
    connexion and correspondence between mind and body
    makes for the former view.  Difficulties of
    pre-existence--heredity, etc., . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  93

4.  _An Idealism based on Pre-existence without God_ is
    open to the same objections and others.  Such a system
    provides no mind (_a_) in which and for which the whole
    system exists, or (_b_) to effect the correspondence
    between mind and body, or (_c_) to allow of a purpose
    in the Universe; without this the world is not rational, .  96

5.  _The human mind (i.e. consciousness) not apart of the
    divine Consciousness_, though in the closest possible
    dependence upon God.  The Universe a Unity, but the
    Unity is not that of Self-Consciousness, . . . . . . . . . 101

6.  _There is no 'immediate' or 'intuitive' knowledge of
    God_.  Our knowledge is got by inference, like knowledge
    of our friend's existence, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106


7.  _Religion and Psychology_.  It is impossible to base
    Religion upon Psychology or 'religious experience'
    without Metaphysics, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111

8.  _Summary_: the ultimate nature of Reality, . . . . . . . . 118

    Note on Non-theistic Idealism, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128


REVELATION,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

1.  There is no special organ of religious knowledge, but
    religious knowledge has many characteristics which may
    be conveniently suggested by the use of the term 'faith,'
    especially its connexion with character and Will.

2.  The psychological causes of religious belief must be
    carefully distinguished from the reasons which make it
    true.  No logic of discovery.  Many religious ideas
    have occurred in a spontaneous or apparently intuitive
    way to particular persons, the truth of which the
    philosopher may subsequently be able to test by
    philosophical reflection, though he could not have
    discovered them, but they are not necessarily true
    because they arise in a spontaneous or unaccountable
    manner,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134

3.  False conceptions of Revelation and true.  All knowledge
    is in a sense revealed, especially religious and moral
    knowledge: but spiritual insight varies.  Need of the
    prophet or religious genius, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139

4.  Reasoned and intuitive beliefs may both be 'revealed,' . . 143

5.  Degrees of truth in the historical religions.  Dependence
    of the individual upon such religions.  Christianity
    occupies a unique position, because it alone combines an
    ethical ideal which appeals to the universal Conscience
    with a Theism which commends itself to Reason.  The truth
    of Christianity is dependent upon its appeal to the moral
    and religious consciousness of the present,  . . . . . . . 148



CHRISTIANITY,  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157

1.  The claim of Christianity to be the special or absolute
    Religion not dependent upon miracles.

2.  Ritschlian Theologians right in resting the truth of
    Christianity mainly upon the appeal made by Christ to
    the individual Conscience: but wrong in disparaging
    (_a_) philosophical arguments for Theism, (_b_) the
    relative truth of non-Christian systems, (_c_) the
    value of Doctrine and necessity for Development, . . . . . 161

3.  Christian doctrine (esp. of the Logos) is an attempt to
    express the Church's sense of the unique value of Christ
    and His Revelation.  The necessity for recognizing
    development both in Christian Ethics and in Theology,  . . 164

4.  Some reflections on our practical attitude towards
    Christian doctrine.  Some means of expressing the unique
    position of Christ wanted.  The old expressions were
    influenced by philosophy of the time, but not valueless.
    Illustrations.  Need of re-interpretation and further
    development, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168

5.  The doctrine of continuous Revelation through the
    Spirit is a part of Christianity, and the condition
    of its acceptance as the final or absolute Religion, . . . 185





I have been invited to speak to you about the relations between
Religion and Philosophy.  To do that in a logical and thoroughgoing way
it would be necessary to discuss elaborately the meaning first of
Religion and then of Philosophy.  Such a discussion would occupy at
least a lecture, and I am unwilling to spend one out of six scanty
hours in formal preliminaries.  I shall assume, therefore, that we all
know in some general way the meaning of Religion.  It is not necessary
for our present purpose to discuss such questions as the definition of
Religion for purposes of sociological investigation, or the possibility
of a Religion without a belief in God, or the like.  I shall assume
that, whatever else may be included in the term Religion, Christianity
may at least be included in it; and that what you are practically most
interested in is the bearing of Philosophy upon the Christian ideas
concerning the {2} being and nature of God, the hope of Immortality,
the meaning and possibility of Revelation.  When we turn to Philosophy,
I cannot perhaps assume with equal confidence that all of you know what
it is.  But then learning what Philosophy is--especially that most
fundamental part of Philosophy which is called Metaphysics--is like
learning to swim: you never discover how to do it until you find
yourself considerably out of your depth.  You must strike out boldly,
and at last you discover what you are after.  I shall presuppose that
in a general way you do all know that Philosophy is an enquiry into the
ultimate nature of the Universe at large, as opposed to the discussion
of those particular aspects or departments of it which are dealt with
by the special Sciences.  What you want to know, I take it, is--what
rational enquiry, pushed as far as it will go, has to say about those
ultimate problems of which the great historical Religions likewise
profess to offer solutions.  The nature and scope of Philosophy is best
understood by examples: and therefore I hope you will excuse me if
without further preface I plunge _in medias res_.  I shall endeavour to
presuppose no previous acquaintance with technical Philosophy, and I
will ask those who have already made some serious study of Philosophy
kindly to remember that I am trying to make myself intelligible to
those who have not.  I shall {3} not advance anything which I should
not be prepared to defend even before an audience of metaphysical
experts.  But I cannot undertake in so short a course of lectures to
meet all the objections which will, I know, be arising in the minds of
any metaphysically trained hearers who may honour me with their
presence, many of which may probably occur to persons not so trained.
And I further trust the Metaphysicians among you will forgive me if, in
order to be intelligible to all, I sometimes speak with a little less
than the _akribeia_ at which I might feel bound to aim if I were
reading a paper before an avowedly philosophical Society.
Reservations, qualifications, and elaborate distinctions must be
omitted, if I am to succeed in saying anything clearly in the course of
six lectures.

Moreover, I would remark that, though I do not believe that an
intention to edify is any excuse for slipshod thought or intellectual
dishonesty, I am speaking now mainly from the point of view of those
who are enquiring into metaphysical truth for the guidance of their own
religious and practical life, rather than from the point of view of
pure speculation.  I do not, for my own part, believe in any solution
of the religious problem which evades the ultimate problems of all
thought.  The Philosophy of Religion is for me not so much a special
and sharply distinguished branch or department of {4} Philosophy as a
particular aspect of Philosophy in general.  But many questions which
may be of much importance from the point of view of a complete theory
of the Universe can be entirely, or almost entirely, put on one side
when the question is, 'What may I reasonably believe about those
ultimate questions which have a direct and immediate bearing upon my
religious and moral life; what may I believe about God and Duty, about
the world and its ultimate meaning, about the soul and its destiny?'
For such purposes solutions stopping short of what will fully satisfy
the legitimate demands of the professed Metaphysician may be all that
is necessary, or at least all that is possible for those who are not
intending to make a serious and elaborate study of Metaphysic.  I have
no sympathy with the attempt to base Religion upon anything but honest
enquiry into truth: and yet the professed Philosophers are just those
who will most readily recognize that there are--if not what are
technically called degrees of truth--still different levels of thought,
different degrees of adequacy and systematic completeness, even within
the limits of thoroughly philosophical thinking.  I shall assume that
you are not content to remain at the level of ordinary unreflecting
Common-sense or of merely traditional Religion--that you do want (so
far as time and opportunity serve) to get to the bottom of things, {5}
but that you will be content in such a course as the present if I can
suggest to you, or help you to form for yourselves, an outline--what
Plato would call the _hypotypôsis_ of a theory of the Universe which
may still fall very far short of a finished and fully articulated
metaphysical system.

I suppose that to nearly everybody who sets himself down to think
seriously about the riddle of the Universe there very soon occurs the
question whether Materialism may not contain the solution of all
difficulties.  I think, therefore, our present investigation had better
begin with an enquiry whether Materialism can possibly be true.  I say
'can be true' rather than 'is true,' because, though dogmatic
Materialists are rare, the typical Agnostic is one who is at least
inclined to admit the possibility of Materialism, even when he does
not, at the bottom of his mind, practically assume its truth.  The man
who is prepared to exclude even this one theory of the Universe from
the category of possible but unprovable theories is not, properly
speaking, an Agnostic.  To know that Materialism at least is not true
is to know something, and something very important, about the ultimate
nature of things.  I shall not attempt here any very precise definition
of what is meant by Materialism.  Strictly speaking, it ought to mean
the view that nothing really exists but matter.  But the existence, in
some sense or {6} other, of our sensations and thoughts and emotions is
so obvious to Common-sense that such a creed can hardly be explicitly
maintained: it is a creed which is refuted in the very act of
enunciating it.  For practical purposes, therefore, Materialism may be
said to be the view that the ultimate basis of all existence is matter;
and that thought, feeling, emotion--consciousness of every kind--is
merely an effect, a by-product or concomitant, of certain material

Now if we are to hold that matter is the only thing which exists, or is
the ultimate source of all that exists, we ought to be able to say what
matter is.  To the unreflecting mind matter seems to be the thing that
we are most certain of, the one thing that we know all about.  Thought,
feeling, will, it may be suggested, are in some sense appearances which
(though we can't help having them) might, from the point of view of
superior insight, turn out to be mere delusions, or at best entirely
unimportant and inconsiderable entities.  This attitude of mind has
been amusingly satirised by the title of one of Mr. Bradley's
philosophical essays--'on the supposed uselessness of the Soul.'[1]  In
this state of mind matter presents itself as the one solid reality--as
something undeniable, something perfectly intelligible, something, too,
which is pre-eminently {7} important and respectable; while thinking
and feeling and willing, joy and sorrow, hope and aspiration, goodness
and badness, if they cannot exactly be got rid of altogether, are, as
it were, negligible quantities, which must not be allowed to disturb or
interfere with the serious business of the Universe.

From this point of view matter is supposed to be the one reality with
which we are in immediate contact, which we see and touch and taste and
handle every hour of our lives.  It may, therefore, sound a rather
startling paradox to say that matter--matter in the sense of the
Materialist--is something which nobody has ever seen, touched, or
handled.  Yet that is the literal and undeniable fact.  Nobody has ever
seen or touched or otherwise come in contact with a piece of matter.
For in the experience which the plain man calls seeing or touching
there is always present another thing.  Even if we suppose that he is
Justified in saying 'I touch matter,' there is always present the 'I'
as well as the matter.[2]  It is always and inevitably matter + mind
that he knows.  Nobody ever can get away from this 'I,' nobody can ever
see or feel what matter is like apart from the 'I' which knows {8} it.
He may, indeed, infer that this matter exists apart from the 'I' which
knows it.  He may infer that it exists, and may even go as far as to
assume that, apart from his seeing or touching, or anybody else's
seeing or touching, matter possesses all those qualities which it
possesses for his own consciousness.  But this is inference, and not
immediate knowledge.  And the validity or reasonableness of the
inference may be disputed.  How far it is reasonable or legitimate to
attribute to matter as it is in itself the qualities which it has for
us must depend upon the nature of those qualities.  Let us then go on
to ask whether the qualities which constitute matter as we know it are
qualities which we can reasonably or even intelligibly attribute to a
supposed matter-in-itself, to matter considered as something capable of
existing by itself altogether apart from any kind of conscious

In matter, as we know it, there are two elements.  There are certain
sensations, or certain qualities which we come to know by sensation,
and there are certain relations.  Now, with regard to the sensations, a
very little reflection will, I think, show us that it is absolutely
meaningless to say that matter has the qualities implied by these
sensations, even when they are not felt, and would still possess them,
even supposing it never had been and never would be felt by any one
whatever.  In a world in which {9} there were no eyes and no minds,
what would be the meaning of saying that things were red or blue?  In a
world in which there were no ears and no minds, there would clearly be
no such thing as sound.  This is exactly the point at which Locke's
analysis stopped.  He admitted that the 'secondary qualities'--colours,
sounds, tastes--of objects were really not in the things themselves but
in the mind which perceives them.  What existed in the things was
merely a power of producing these sensations in us, the quality in the
thing being not in the least like the sensations which it produces in
us: he admitted that this power of producing a sensation was something
different from, and totally unlike, the sensation itself.  But when he
came to the primary qualities--solidity, shape, magnitude and the
like--he supposed that the qualities in the thing were exactly the same
as they are for our minds.  If all mind were to disappear from the
Universe, there would henceforth be no red and blue, no hot and cold;
but things would still be big or small, round or square, solid or
fluid.  Yet, even with these 'primary qualities' the reference to mind
is really there just as much as in the case of the secondary qualities;
only the fact is not quite so obvious.  And one reason for this is that
these primary qualities involve, much more glaringly and unmistakably
than the secondary, something which is not _mere_ sensation--something
which {10} implies thought and not mere sense.  What do we mean by
solidity, for instance?  We mean partly that we get certain sensations
from touching the object--sensations of touch and sensations of what is
called the muscular sense, sensations of muscular exertion and of
pressure resisted.  Now, so far as that is what solidity means, it is
clear that the quality in question involves as direct a reference to
our subjective feelings as the secondary qualities of colour and sound.
But something more than this is implied in our idea of solidity.  We
think of external objects as occupying space.  And spaciality cannot be
analysed away into mere feelings of ours.  The feelings of touch which
we derive from an object come to us one after the other.  No mental
reflection upon sensations which come one after the other in time could
ever give us the idea of space, if they were not spacially related from
the first.  It is of the essence of spaciality that the parts of the
object shall be thought of as existing side by side, outside one
another.  But this side-by-sideness, this outsideness, is after all a
way in which the things present themselves to a mind.  Space is made up
of relations; and what is the meaning of relations apart from a mind
which relates, or _for_ which the things are related?  If spaciality
were a quality of the thing in itself, it would exist no matter what
became of other things.  It would be quite possible, therefore, {11}
that the top of this table should exist without the bottom: yet
everybody surely would admit the meaninglessness of talking about a
piece of matter (no matter how small, be it an atom or the smallest
electron conceived by the most recent physical speculation) which had a
top without a bottom, or a right-hand side without a left.  This
space-occupying quality which is the most fundamental element in our
ordinary conception of matter is wholly made up of the relation of one
part of it to another.  Now can a relation exist except for a mind?  As
it seems to me, the suggestion is meaningless.  Relatedness only has a
meaning when thought of in connection with a mind which is capable of
grasping or holding together both terms of the relation.  The relation
between point A and point B is not _in_ point A or _in_ point B taken
by themselves.  It is all in the 'between': 'betweenness' from its very
nature cannot exist in any one point of space or in several isolated
points of space or things in space; it must exist only in some one
existent which holds together and connects those points.  And nothing,
as far as we can understand, can do that except a mind.  Apart from
mind there can be no relatedness: apart from relatedness no space:
apart from space no matter.  It follows that apart from mind there can
be no matter.

It will probably be known to all of you that the {12} first person to
make this momentous inference was Bishop Berkeley.  There was, indeed,
an obscure medieval schoolman, hardly recognized by the historians of
Philosophy, one Nicholas of Autrecourt, Dean of Metz,[3] who
anticipated him in the fourteenth century, and other better-known
schoolmen who approximated to the position; and there are, of course,
elements in the teaching of Plato and even of Aristotle, or possible
interpretations of Plato and Aristotle, which point in the same
direction.  But full-blown Idealism, in the sense which involves a
denial of the independent existence of matter, is always associated
with the name of Bishop Berkeley.

I can best make my meaning plain to you by quoting a passage or two
from his _Principles of Human Knowledge_, in which he extends to the
primary qualities of matter the analysis which Locke had already
applied to the secondary.

'But, though it were possible that solid, figured, moveable substances
may exist without the mind, corresponding to the ideas we have of
bodies, yet how is it possible for us to know this?  Either we must
know it by Sense or by Reason.--As for our senses, by them we have the
knowledge only of our sensations, ideas, or those things that are
immediately perceived by sense, call them what you will; but they do
not inform us that things exist {13} without the mind, or unperceived,
like to those which are perceived.  This the Materialists themselves
acknowledge.--It remains therefore that if we have any knowledge at all
of external things, it must be by Reason inferring their existence from
what is immediately perceived by sense.  But what reason can induce us
to believe the existence of bodies without the mind, from what we
perceive, since the very patrons of Matter themselves do not pretend
there is any _necessary_ connexion betwixt them and our ideas?  I say
it is granted on all hands--and what happens in dreams, frenzies, and
the like, puts it beyond dispute--that it is possible we might be
affected with all the ideas we have now, though there were no bodies
existing without resembling them.  Hence, it is evident the supposition
of external bodies is not necessary for the producing our ideas; since
it is granted they are produced sometimes, and might possibly be
produced always in the same order we see them in at present, without
their concurrence.

      *      *      *      *      *      *

'In short, if there were external bodies, it is impossible we should
ever come to know it; and if there were not, we might have the very
same reasons to think there were that we have now.  Suppose--what no
one can deny possible--an intelligence _without the help of external
bodies_, to be affected with the same train of sensations or ideas that
you are, imprinted in the same order and with like vividness in his
mind.  I ask whether that intelligence hath not all the reason to
believe the existence of corporeal substances, represented by his
ideas, and exciting them in his mind, that you can possibly have for
believing the same thing?  Of this there can be no {14} question--which
one consideration were enough to make any reasonable person suspect the
strength of whatever arguments he may think himself to have, for the
existence of bodies without the mind.'[4]

Do you say that in that case the tables and chairs must be supposed to
disappear the moment we all leave the room?  It is true that we do
commonly think of the tables and chairs as remaining, even when there
is no one there to see or touch them.  But that only means, Berkeley
explains, that if we or any one else were to come back into the room,
we should perceive them.  Moreover, even in thinking of them as things
which might be perceived under certain conditions, they have entered
our minds and so proclaimed their ideal or mind-implying character.  To
prove that things exist without the mind we should have to conceive of
things as unconceived or unthought of.  And that is a feat which no one
has ever yet succeeded in accomplishing.

Here is Berkeley's own answer to the objection:

'But, say you, surely there is nothing easier than for me to imagine
trees, for instance, in a park, or books existing in a closet, and
nobody by to perceive them.  I answer, you may so, there is no
difficulty in it; but what is all this, I beseech you, more than
framing in your mind certain ideas which you call books and trees, and
{15} at the same time omitting to frame the idea of any one that may
perceive them?  But do not you yourself perceive or think of them all
the while?  This therefore is nothing to the purpose: it only shews you
have the power of imagining or forming ideas in your mind; but it does
not shew that you can conceive it possible the objects of your thought
may exist without the mind.  To make out this, it is necessary that
_you_ conceive them existing unconceived or unthought of, which is a
manifest repugnancy.  When we do our utmost to conceive the existence
of external bodies, we are all the while only contemplating our own
ideas.  But the mind, _taking no notice of itself_, is deluded to think
it can and does conceive bodies existing unthought of or without the
mind, though at the same time they are apprehended by, or exist in,
itself.  A little attention will discover to any one the truth and
evidence of what is here said, and make it unnecessary to insist on any
other proofs against the existence of _material substance_.'[5]

Berkeley no doubt did not adequately appreciate the importance of the
distinction between mere sensations and mental relations.  In the
paragraph which I have read to you he tends to explain space away into
mere subjective feelings: in this respect and in many others he has
been corrected by Kant and the post-Kantian Idealists.  Doubtless we
cannot analyse away our conception of space or of substance into mere
feelings.  But relations imply mind no less than sensations.  Things
are no mere {16} bundles of sensations; we do think of them as objects
or substances possessing attributes.  Indeed to call them (with
Berkeley), 'bundles of sensations' implies that the bundle is as
important an element in thinghood as the sensations themselves.  The
bundle implies what Kant would call the intellectual 'categories' of
Substance, Quantity, Quality, and the like.  We do think objects: but
an object is still an object of thought.  We can attach no intelligible
meaning to the term 'object' which does not imply a subject.

If there is nothing in matter, as we know it, which does not obviously
imply mind, if the very idea of matter is unintelligible apart from
mind, it is clear that matter can never have existed without mind.

What then, it may be asked, of the things which no human eye has ever
seen or even thought of?  Are we to suppose that a new planet comes
into existence for the first time when first it sails into the
telescope of the astronomer, and that Science is wrong in inferring
that it existed not only before that particular astronomer saw it, but
before there were any astronomers or other human or even animal
intelligences upon this planet to observe it?  Did the world of Geology
come into existence for the first time when some eighteenth-century
geologist first suspected that the world was more than six thousand
years old?  Are all those ages of past {17} history, when the earth and
the sun were but nebulae, a mere imagination, or did that nebulous mass
come into existence thousands or millions of years afterwards when Kant
or Laplace first conceived that it had existed?  The supposition is
clearly self-contradictory and impossible.  If Science be not a mass of
illusion, this planet existed millions of years before any human--or,
so far as we know, any animal minds--existed to think its existence.
And yet I have endeavoured to show the absurdity of supposing that
matter can exist except for a mind.  It is clear, then, that it cannot
be merely for such minds as ours that the world has always existed.
Our minds come and go.  They have a beginning; they go to sleep; they
may, for aught that we can immediately know, come to an end.  At no
time does any one of them, at no time do all of them together,
apprehend all that there is to be known.  We do not create a Universe;
we discover it piece by piece, and after all very imperfectly.  Matter
cannot intelligibly be supposed to exist apart from Mind: and yet it
clearly does not exist merely for _our_ minds.  Each of us knows only
one little bit of the Universe: all of us together do not know the
whole.  If the whole is to exist at all, there must be some one mind
which knows the whole.  The mind which is necessary to the very
existence of the Universe is the mind that we call God.


In this way we are, as it seems to me, led up by a train of reasoning
which is positively irresistible to the idea that, so far from matter
being the only existence, it has no existence of its own apart from
some mind which knows it--in which and for which it exists.  The
existence of a Mind possessing universal knowledge is necessary as the
presupposition both of there being any world to know, and also of there
being any lesser minds to know it.  It is, indeed, possible to believe
in the eternal existence of limited minds, while denying the existence
of the one Omniscient Mind.  That is a hypothesis on which I will say a
word hereafter.[6]  It is enough here to say that it is one which is
not required to explain the world as we know it.  The obvious _prima
facie_ view of the matter is that the minds which apparently have a
beginning, which develope slowly and gradually and in close connexion
with certain physical processes, owe their origin to whatever is the
ultimate source or ground of the physical processes themselves.  The
order or systematic interconnexion of all the observable phenomena in
the Universe suggests that the ultimate Reality must be one Being of
some kind; the argument which I have suggested leads us to regard that
one Reality as a spiritual Reality.  We are not yet entitled to speak
of this physical Universe as _caused_ {19} by God: that is a question
which I hope to discuss in our next lecture.  All that I want to
establish now is that we cannot explain the world without the
supposition of one universal Mind in which and for which all so-called
material things exist, and always have existed.

So far I have endeavoured to establish the existence of God by a line
of thought which also leads to the position that matter has no
independent existence apart from conscious mind, that at bottom nothing
exists except minds and their experiences.  Now I know that this is a
line of thought which, to those who are unfamiliar with it, seems so
paradoxical and extravagant that, even when a man does not see his way
to reply to it, it will seldom produce immediate or permanent
conviction the first time he becomes acquainted with it.  It is for the
most part only by a considerable course of habituation, extending over
some years, that a man succeeds in thinking himself into the idealistic
view of the Universe.  And after all, there are many minds--some of
them, I must admit, not wanting in philosophical power--who never
succeed in accomplishing that feat at all.  Therefore, while I feel
bound to assert that the clearest and most irrefragable argument for
the existence of God is that which is supplied by the idealistic line
of thought, I should be sorry to have to admit that a man {20} cannot
be a Theist, or that he cannot be a Theist on reasonable grounds,
without first being an Idealist.  From my own point of view most of the
other reasons for believing in the existence of God resolve themselves
into idealistic arguments imperfectly thought out.  But they may be
very good arguments, as far as they go, even when they are not thought
out to what seem to me their logical consequences.  One of these lines
of thought I shall hope to develope in my next lecture; but meanwhile
let me attempt to reduce the argument against Materialism to a form in
which it will perhaps appeal to Common-sense without much profound
metaphysical reflection.

At the level of ordinary common-sense thought there appear to be two
kinds of Reality--mind and matter.  And yet our experience of the unity
of Nature, of the intimate connexion between human and animal minds and
their organisms (organisms governed by a single intelligible and
interconnected system of laws) is such that we can hardly help
regarding them as manifestations or products or effects or aspects of
some one Reality.  There is, almost obviously, some kind of Unity
underlying all the diversity of things.  Our world does not arise by
the coming together of two quite independent Realities--mind and
matter--governed by no law or by unconnected and independent systems of
law.  {21} All things, all phenomena, all events form parts of a single
inter-related, intelligible whole: that is the presupposition not only
of Philosophy but of Science.  Or if any one chooses to say that it
_is_ a presupposition and so an unwarrantable piece of dogmatism, I
will say that it is the hypothesis to which all our knowledge points.
It is at all events the one common meeting-point of nearly all serious
thinkers.  The question remains, 'What is the nature of this one
Reality?'  Now, if this ultimate Reality be not mind, it must be one of
two things.  It must be matter, or it must be a third thing which is
neither mind nor matter, but something quite different from either.
Now many who will not follow the idealistic line of thought the whole
way--so far as to recognize that the ultimate Reality is Mind--will at
least admit that Idealists have successfully shown the impossibility of
supposing that the ultimate Reality can be matter.  For all the
properties of matter are properties which imply some relation to our
sensibility or our thought.  Moreover, there is such a complete
heterogeneity between consciousness and unconscious matter, considered
as something capable of existing without mind, that it seems utterly
impossible and unthinkable that mind should be simply the product or
attribute of matter.  That the ultimate Reality cannot be what we mean
by matter has been admitted by the most naturalistic, {22} and, in the
ordinary sense, anti-religious thinkers--Spinoza, for instance, and
Haeckel, and Herbert Spencer.  The question remains, 'Which is the
easier, the more probable, the more reasonable theory--that the
ultimate Reality should be Mind, or that it should be something so
utterly unintelligible and inconceivable to us as a _tertium quid_--a
mysterious Unknown and Unknowable--which is neither mind nor matter?'
For my own part, I see no reason to suppose that our inability to think
of anything which is neither matter nor mind but quite unlike either is
a mere imperfection of human thought.  It seems more reasonable to
assume that our inability to think of such a mysterious X is due to
there being no such thing.[7]

Our only way of judging of the Unknown is by the analogy of the known.
It is more probable, surely, that the world known to us should exhibit
something of the characteristics of the Reality from which it is
derived, or of which it forms a manifestation, than that it should
exhibit none of these characteristics.  No doubt, if we were to argue
from some small part of our experience, or from the detailed
characteristics of one part of our experience to what is beyond our
experience; if, for instance {23} (I am here replying to an objection
of Höffding's), a blind man were to argue that the world must be
colourless because he sees no colour, or if any of us were to affirm
that in other planets there can be no colours but what we see, no
sensations but what we feel, no mental powers but what we possess, the
inference would be precarious enough.  The Anthropomorphist in the
strict sense--the man who thinks that God or the gods must have human
bodies--no doubt renders himself liable to the gibe that, if oxen could
think, they would imagine the gods to be like oxen, and so on.  But the
cases are not parallel.  We have no difficulty in thinking that in
other worlds there may be colours which we have never seen, or whole
groups of sensation different from our own: we cannot think that any
existence should be neither mind nor matter, but utterly unlike either.
We are not arguing from the mere absence of some special experience,
but from the whole character of _all_ the thought and experience that
we actually possess, of all that we are and the whole Universe with
which we are in contact.  The characteristic of the whole world which
we know is that it consists of mind and matter in close connexion--we
may waive for a moment the nature of that connexion.  Is it more
probable that the ultimate Reality which lies beyond our reach should
be something which possesses the characteristics of mind, or that it
should {24} be totally unlike either mind or matter?  Do you insist
that we logically ought to say it might contain the characteristics of
both mind and matter?  There is only one way in which such a
combination seems clearly thinkable by us, _i.e._ when we represent
matter as either in the idealistic sense the thought or experience of
mind, or (after the fashion of ordinary realistic Theism) as created or
produced by mind.  But if you insist on something more than this, if
you want to think of the qualities of matter as in some other way
included in the nature of the ultimate Reality as well as those of
mind, at all events we could still urge that we shall get nearer to the
truth by thinking of this ultimate Reality in its mind-aspect than by
thinking of it in its matter-aspect.

I do not believe that the human mind is really equal to the task of
thinking of a Reality which is one and yet is neither mind nor matter
but something which combines the nature of both.  Practically, where
such a creed is professed, the man either thinks of an unconscious
Reality in some way generating or evolving mind, and so falls back into
the Materialism which he has verbally disclaimed; or he thinks of a
mind producing or causing or generating a matter which when produced is
something different from itself.  This last is of course ordinary
Theism in the form in which it is commonly {25} held by those who are
not Idealists.  From a practical and religious point of view there is
nothing to be said against such a view.  Still it involves a Dualism,
the philosophical difficulties of which I have attempted to suggest to
you.  I confess that for my own part the only way in which I can
conceive of a single ultimate Reality which combines the attributes of
what we call mind with those of what we know as matter is by thinking
of a Mind conscious of a world or nature which has no existence except
in and for that Mind and whatever less complete consciousnesses that
may be.  I trust that those who have failed to follow my sketch of the
arguments which lead to this idealistic conclusion may at least be led
by it to see the difficulties either of Materialism or of that kind of
agnostic Pantheism which, while admitting in words that the ultimate
Reality is not matter, refuses to invest it with the attributes of
mind.  The argument may be reduced to its simplest form by saying we
believe that the ultimate Reality is Mind because mind will explain
matter, while matter will not explain mind: while the idea of a
Something which is neither in mind nor matter is both unintelligible
and gratuitous.

And this line of thought may be supplemented by another.  Whatever may
be thought of the existence of matter apart from mind, every one will
{26} admit that matter possesses no value or worth apart from mind.
When we bring into account our moral judgements or judgements of value,
we have no difficulty in recognizing mind as the highest or best kind
of existence known to us.  There is, surely, a certain intrinsic
probability in supposing that the Reality from which all being is
derived must possess at least as much worth or value as the derived
being; and that in thinking of that Reality by the analogy of the
highest kind of existence known to us we shall come nearer to a true
thought of it than by any other way of thinking possible to us.  This
is a line of argument which I hope to develope further when I come to
examine the bearing upon the religious problem of what is as real a
part of our experience as any other--our moral experience.

I will remind you in conclusion, that our argument for the existence of
God is at present incomplete.  I have tried to lead you to the idea
that the ultimate Reality is spiritual, that it is a Mind which knows,
or is conscious of, matter.  I have tried to lead you with the Idealist
to think of the physical Universe as having no existence except in the
mind of God, or at all events (for those who fail to follow the
idealistic line of thought) to believe that the Universe does not exist
without such a Mind.  What further relation exists between physical
nature and this Universal Spirit, I shall hope in the next lecture {27}
to consider; and in so doing to suggest a line of argument which will
independently lead to the same result, and which does not necessarily
presuppose the acceptance of the idealistic creed.


The reader who wishes to have the idealistic argument sketched in the
foregoing chapter developed more fully should read Berkeley's
_Principles of Human Knowledge_.  For the correction of Berkeley's
sensationalistic mistakes the best course is to read Kant's _Critique
of Pure Reason_ or the shorter _Prolegomena to any future Metaphysic_
or any of the numerous expositions or commentaries upon Kant.  (One of
the best is the 'Reproduction' prefixed to Dr. Hutchison Stirling's
_Text-book to Kant_.)  The non-metaphysical reader should, however, be
informed that Kant is very hard reading, and is scarcely intelligible
without some slight knowledge of the previous history of Philosophy,
especially of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, while some acquaintance with
elementary Logic is also desirable.  He will find the argument for
non-sensationalistic Idealism re-stated in a post-Kantian but much
easier form in Ferrier's _Institutes of Metaphysic_.  The argument for
a theistic Idealism is powerfully stated (though it is not easy
reading) in the late Prof. T. H. Green's _Prolegomena to Ethics_, Book
I.  In view of recent realistic revivals I may add that the earlier
chapters of Mr. Bradley's _Appearance and Reality_ still seem to me to
contain an unanswerable defence of Idealism as against Materialism or
any form of Realism, though his Idealism is not of the theistic type
defended in the above lecture.  The idealistic argument is stated in a
way which makes strongly for Theism by Professor Ward in _Naturalism
and Agnosticism_--a work which would perhaps be the best sequel to
these lectures for any reader {28} who does not want to undertake a
whole course of philosophical reading: readers entirely unacquainted
with Physical Science might do well to begin with Part II.  A more
elementary and very clear defence of Theism from the idealistic point
of view is to be found in Dr. Illingworth's _Personality Human and
Divine_.  Representatives of non-idealistic Theism will be mentioned at
the end of the next lecture.

[1] _Mind_, vol. iv. (U.S.), 1885.

[2] I do not mean of course that in the earliest stages of
consciousness this distinction is actually made; but, if there are
stages of consciousness in which the  'I' is not realized, the idea of
matter or even of an 'object' or 'not-self' existing apart from
consciousness must be supposed to be equally absent.

[3] I have dealt at length with this forgotten thinker in a
Presidential Address to the Aristotelian Society, printed in their
_Proceedings_ for 1907.

[4] _Principles of Human Knowledge_, pt. i., Sections 18, 20.

[5] _Principles of Human Knowledge_, pt. 1., Section 23.

[6] See Lecture IV., pp. 96-101, 123-6.

[7] I have attempted to meet this line of argument somewhat more
adequately, in the form in which it has recently been taken up by
Professor Höffding in his _Philosophy of Religion_, in a review in the
Review of Theology and Philosophy for November, 1907 (vol. iii.).




In my last lecture I endeavoured to show that matter, so far from
constituting the ultimate Reality, cannot reasonably be thought of as
existing at all without mind; and that we cannot explain the world
without assuming the existence of a Mind in which and for which
everything that is not mind has its being.  But we are still very far
from having fully cleared up the relation between the divine Mind and
that Nature which exists in it and for it: while we have hardly dealt at
all with the relation between the universal Mind and those lesser minds
which we have treated--so far without much argument--as in some way
derived from, or dependent upon, that Mind.  So far as our previous line
of argument goes, we might have to look upon the world as the thought of
God, but not as caused by Him or due to His will.  We might speak of God
as 'making Nature,' but only in the sense in which you or I make Nature
when we think it or experience it.  {30} 'The world is as necessary to
God as God is to the world,' we are often told--for instance by my own
revered teacher, the late Professor Green.  How unsatisfactory this
position is from a religious point of view I need hardly insist.  For all
that such a theory has to say to the contrary, we might have to suppose
that, though God is perfectly good, the world which He is compelled to
think is very bad, and going from bad to worse.  To think of God merely
as the Mind which eternally contemplates Nature, without having any power
whatever of determining what sort of Nature it is to be, supplies no
ground for hope or aspiration--still less for worship, adoration,
imitation.  I suggested the possibility that from such a point of view
God might be thought of as good, and the world as bad.  But that is
really to concede too much.  A being without a will could as little be
bad as he could be good: he would be simply a being without a character.
From an intellectual point such a way of looking at the Universe might be
more intelligent or intelligible than that of pure Materialism or pure
Agnosticism; but morally and religiously I don't know that, when its
consequences are fully realized, it is any great improvement upon either
of them.[1] {31} Moreover, even intellectually it fails to satisfy the
demand which most reflecting people feel, that the world shall be
regarded as a Unity of some kind.  If God is thought of as linked by some
inexplicable fate to a Nature over which He has no sort of control--not
so much control as a mere human being who can produce limited changes in
the world,--we can hardly be said to have reduced the world to a Unity.
The old Dualism has broken out again: after all we still have God and the
world confronting one another; neither of them is in any way explained by
the other.  Still less could such a world be supposed to have a purpose
or rational end.  For our own mere intellectual satisfaction as well as
for the satisfaction of our religious needs we must go on to ask whether
we are not justified in thinking of God as the Cause or Creator of the
world, as well as the Thinker of it.

This enquiry introduces us to the whole problem of Causality.  The sketch
which I gave you last time of Bishop Berkeley's argument was a very
imperfect one.  Bishop Berkeley was from one point of view a great
philosophic iconoclast, though he destroyed only that he might build up.
He destroyed the superstition of a self-existing matter: {32} he also
waged war against what I will venture to call the kindred superstition of
a mysterious causal nexus between the physical antecedent and the
physical consequent.  On this side his work was carried on by Hume.
Berkeley resolved our knowledge into a succession of 'ideas.'  He did, no
doubt, fall into the mistake of treating our knowledge as if it were a
mere succession of feelings: he ignored far too much--though he did not
do so completely--that other element in our knowledge, the element of
intellectual relation, of which I said something last time.  Here, no
doubt, Berkeley has been corrected by Kant; and, so far, practically all
modern Idealists will own their indebtedness to Kant.  Even in the
apprehension of a succession of ideas, in the mere recognition that this
feeling comes after that, there is an element which cannot be explained
by mere feeling.  The apprehension that this feeling came after that
feeling is not itself a feeling.  But can I detect any relation between
these experiences of mine except that of succession?  We commonly speak
of fire as the cause of the melting of the wax, but what do we really
know about the matter?  Surely on reflection we must admit that we know
nothing but this--that, so far as our experience goes, the application of
fire is always followed by the melting of the wax.  Where this is the
case we do, from the point of view of {33} ordinary life, speak of the
one phenomenon as the cause of the other.  Where we don't discover such
an invariable succession, we don't think of the one event as the cause of
the other.

I shall be told, perhaps, that on this view of the nature of Causality we
ought to speak of night as the cause of day.  So perhaps we should, if
the result to which we are led by a more limited experience were not
corrected by the results of a larger experience.  To say nothing of the
valuable correction afforded by the polar winter and the polar summer, we
have learned by a more comprehensive experience to replace the law that
day follows night by the wider generalisation that the visibility of
objects is invariably coincident upon the presence of some luminous body
and not upon a previous state of darkness.  But between cases of what we
call mere succession and what is commonly called causal sequence the
difference lies merely in the observed fact that in some cases the
sequence varies, while in others no exception has ever been discovered.
No matter how frequently we observe that a sensation of red follows the
impact upon the aural nerve of a shock derived from a wave of ether of
such and such a length, we see no reason why it should do so.  We may, no
doubt, make a still wider generalization, and say that every event in
Nature is invariably preceded by some definite complex of conditions,
{34} and so arrive at a general law of the Uniformity of Nature.  And
such a law is undoubtedly the express or implied basis of all inference
in the Physical Sciences.  When we have once accepted that law (as the
whole mass of our experience in the purely physical region inclines us to
do), then a single instance of A B C being followed by D (when we are
quite sure that we have included all the antecedents which we do not know
from other experience to be irrelevant) will warrant our concluding that
we have discovered a law of nature.  On the next occasion of A B C's
occurrence we confidently predict that D will follow.  But, however often
we have observed such a sequence, and however many similar sequences we
may have observed, we are no nearer to knowing _why_ D should follow ABC:
we can only know that it always does: and on the strength of that
knowledge we infer, with a probability which we do no doubt for practical
purposes treat as a certainty, that it always will.  But on reflection we
can see no reason why a wave of ether of a certain length should produce
red rather than blue, a colour rather than a sound.  There, as always, we
discover nothing but succession, not necessary connexion.

These cases of unvaried succession among phenomena, it should be
observed, are quite different from cases of real necessary connexion.  We
don't want to examine thousands of instances of two {35} added to two to
be quite sure that they always make four, nor in making the inference do
we appeal to any more general law of Uniformity.  We simply see that it
is and always must be so.  Mill no doubt tells us he has no difficulty in
supposing that in the region of the fixed stars two and two might make
five, but nobody believes him.  At all events few of us can pretend to
such feats of intellectual elasticity.  No amount of contradictory
testimony from travellers to the fixed stars, no matter whether they were
Bishops of the highest character or trained as Professors of physical
Science, would induce us to give a moment's credence to such a story.  We
simply see that two and two must make four, and that it is inconceivable
they should ever, however exceptionally, make five.  It is quite
otherwise with any case of succession among external phenomena, no matter
how unvaried.  So long as we confine ourselves to merely physical
phenomena (I put aside for the moment the case of conscious or other
living beings) nowhere can we discover anything but succession; nowhere
do we discover Causality in the sense of a necessary connexion the
reversal of which is inconceivable.

Are we then to conclude that there is no such thing as Causality, that in
searching for a cause of everything that happens, we are pursuing a mere
will o' the wisp, using a mere _vox nihili_ which has {36} as little
meaning for the reflecting mind as fate or fortune?  Surely, in the very
act of making the distinction between succession and causality, in the
very act of denying that we can discover any causal connexion between one
physical phenomenon and another, we imply that we have got the idea of
Causality in our minds; and that, however little we may have discovered a
genuine cause, we could not believe that anything could happen without a

For my own part, I find it quite possible to believe that a phenomenon
which has been followed by another phenomenon 9999 times should on the
10,000th time be followed by some other phenomenon.  Give me the
requisite experience, and belief would follow; give me even any adequate
evidence that another person has had such an experience (though I should
be very particular about the evidence), and I should find no difficulty
in believing it.  But to tell me that the exception to an observed law
might take place without any cause at all for the variation would seem to
be pure nonsense.  Put the matter in another way.  Let us suppose an
empty world, if one can speak of such a thing without contradiction--let
us suppose that at one time nothing whatever had existed, neither mind
nor matter nor any of that mysterious entity which some people find it
possible to believe in which is {37} neither mind nor matter.  Let us
suppose literally nobody and nothing to have existed.  Now could you
under these conditions rationally suppose that anything could have come
into existence?  Could you for one moment admit the possibility that
after countless aeons of nothingness a flash of lightning should occur or
an animal be born?  Surely, on reflection those who are most suspicious
of _a priori_ knowledge, who are most unwilling to carry their
speculations beyond the limits of actual experience, will be prepared to
say, 'No, the thing is utterly for ever impossible.'  _Ex nihilo nihil
fit_: for every event there must be a cause.  Those who profess to reject
all other _a priori_ or self-evident knowledge, show by their every
thought and every act that they never really doubt that much.

Now, it would be just possible to contend that we have got the bare
abstract concept or category of Causality in our minds, and yet that
there is nothing within our experience to give it any positive
content--so that we should have to say, 'Every event must have a cause,
but we never know or can know what that cause is.  If we are to talk
about causes at all, we can only say "The Unknowable is the cause of all
things."'  Such a position can be barely stated without a contradiction.
But surely it is a very difficult one.  Nature does not generally supply
us with categories of thought, while it gives us no power {38} or
opportunity of using them.  It would be like holding, for instance, that
we have indeed been endowed with the idea of number in general, but that
we cannot discover within our experience any numerable things; that we
have got the idea of 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., but have no capacity whatever for
actually counting--for saying that here are three apples, and there four
marbles.  And, psychologically, it would be difficult to find any
parallel to anything of the kind.  Nature does not first supply us with
clearly defined categories of thought, and then give us a material to
exercise them upon.  In general we discover these abstract categories by
using them in our actual thinking.  We count beads or men or horses
before we evolve an abstract idea of number, or an abstract
multiplication table.  It is very difficult to see how this idea of Cause
could possibly have got into our heads if we had never in the whole
course of our experience come into any sort of contact with any actual
concrete cause.  Where then, within our experience, if not in the
succession of external events, shall we look for a cause--for something
to which we can apply this category or abstract notion of causality?  I
answer 'We must look within: it is in our experience of volition that we
actually find something answering to our idea of causal connexion.'  And
here, I would invite you not to think so much of our consciousness of
actually {39} moving our limbs.  Here it is possible to argue plausibly
that the experience of exercising causality is a delusion.  I imagine
that, if I will to do so, I can move my arm; but I will to stretch out my
arm, and lo! it remains glued to my side, for I have suddenly been
paralysed.  Or I may be told that the consciousness of exerting power is
a mere experience of muscular contraction, and the like.  I would ask you
to think rather of your power of directing the succession of your own
thoughts.  I am directly conscious, for instance, that the reason why I
am now thinking of Causality, and not (say) of Tariff Reform, is the fact
that I have conceived the design of delivering a course of lectures on
this subject; the succession of ideas which flow through my mind as I
write or speak is only explicable by reference to an end--an end which I
am striving to bring into actual being.  In such voluntarily concentrated
purposeful successions of thought I am immediately exercising causality:
and this causality does further influence the order of events in physical
nature.  My pen or my tongue moves in consequence of this striving of
mine, though no doubt for such efforts to take place other physical
conditions must be presupposed, which are not wholly within my own
control.  I am the cause, but not the whole or sole cause of these
physical disturbances in external nature: I am a cause but not an
uncaused cause.  {40} My volition, though it is not the sole cause of the
event which I will, is enough to give me a conception of a cause which is
the sole cause of the events.

The attempt is of course sometimes made, as it was made by Hume, to
explain away this immediate consciousness of volition, and to say that
all that I immediately know is the succession of my subjective
experiences.  It may be contended that I don't know, any more than in the
case of external phenomena, that because the thought of my lecture comes
first and the thought of putting my pen into the ink to write it comes
afterwards, therefore the one thought causes the other.  Hence it is
important to point out that I have a negative experience with which to
contrast the positive experience.  I do not _always_, even as regards my
own inward experiences, assume that succession implies Causality.
Supposing, as I speak or write, a twinge of the gout suddenly introduces
itself into the succession of my experiences: then I am conscious of no
such inner connexion between the new experience and that which went
before it.  Then I am as distinctly conscious of passivity--of not
causing the succession of events which take place in my mind--as I am in
the other case of actively causing it.  If the consciousness of
exercising activity is a delusion, why does not that delusion occur in
the one case as much as in the other?  I hold then that in the
consciousness of {41} our own activity we get a real direct experience of
Causality.  When Causality is interpreted to mean mere necessary
connexion--like the mathematical connexion between four and twice two or
the logical connexion between the premisses of a Syllogism and its
conclusion,--its nature is fundamentally misrepresented.  The essence of
Causality is not necessary connexion but Activity.  Such activity we
encounter in our own experience of volition and nowhere else.[2]

Now, if the only cause of which I am immediately conscious is the will of
a conscious rational being, is it not reasonable to infer that some such
agency is at work in the case of those phenomena which we see no reason
to attribute to the voluntary actions of men and animals?  It is well
known that primitive man took this step.  Primitive man had no notion of
the 'Uniformity of Nature': it is only very gradually that civilized man
has discovered it.  But primitive man never doubted for one instant the
law of Causality: he never doubted that for any change, or at least for
any change of the kind which most frequently attracted his attention,
there must {42} be a cause.  Everything that moved he supposed to be
alive, or to be under the influence of some living being more or less
like himself.  If the sea raged, he supposed that the Sea-god was angry.
If it did not rain to-day, when it rained yesterday, that was due to the
favour of the Sky-god, and so on.  The world for him was full of spirits.
The argument of primitive man's unconscious but thoroughly sound
Metaphysic is well expressed by the fine lines of Wordsworth in the

  Once more to distant ages of the world
  Let us revert, and place before our thoughts
  The face which rural solitude might wear
  To the unenlightened swains of pagan Greece.
  --In that fair clime, the lonely herdsman, stretched
  On the soft grass through half a summer's day,
  With music lulled his indolent repose:
  And, in some fit of weariness, if he,
  When his own breath was silent, chanced to hear
  A distant strain, far sweeter than the sounds
  Which his poor skill could make, his fancy fetched,
  Even from the blazing chariot of the sun,
  A beardless Youth, who touched a golden lute,
  And filled the illumined groves with ravishment.
  The nightly hunter, lifting a bright eye
  Up towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart
  Called on the lovely wanderer who bestowed
  That timely light, to share his joyous sport:
  And hence, a beaming Goddess with her Nymphs,
  Across the lawn and through the darksome grove,
  (Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes
  By echo multiplied from rock or cave),
  Swept in the storm of chace; as moon and stars
  Glance rapidly along the clouded heaven,
  When winds are blowing strong.  The traveller slaked
  His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thanked
  The Naiad.  Sunbeams, upon distant hills
  Gliding apace, with shadows in their train,
  Might, with small help from fancy, be transformed
  Into fleet Oreads sporting visibly.
  The Zephyrs fanning, as they passed, their wings,
  Lacked not, for love, fair objects whom they wooed
  With gentle whisper.  Withered boughs grotesque,
  Stripped of their leaves and twigs by hoary age,
  From depth of shaggy covert peeping forth
  In the low vale, or on steep mountain side;
  And, sometimes, intermixed with stirring horns
  Of the live deer, or goat's depending beard,--
  These were the lurking Satyrs, a wild brood
  Of gamesome Deities; or Pan himself,
  The simple shepherd's awe-inspiring God![3]

Growing experience of the unity of Nature, of the interdependence of all
the various forces and departments of Nature, have made such a view of it
impossible to civilized and educated man.  Primitive man was quite right
in arguing that, where he saw motion, there must be consciousness like
his own.  But we have been led by Science to believe that whatever is the
cause of any one phenomenon (at least in inanimate nature), must be the
cause of all.  The interconnexion, the regularity, the order observable
in phenomena are too great to be the result of chance or of the
undesigned concurrence of a number of {44} independent agencies: and
perhaps we may go on further to argue that this one cause must be the
ultimate cause even of those events which are directly and immediately
caused by our own wills.  But that is a question which I will put aside
for the present.  At least for the events of physical nature there must
be one Cause.  And if the only sort of cause we know is a conscious and
rational being, then we have another most powerful reason for believing
that the ultimate reality, from which all other reality is derived, is
Mind--a single conscious Mind which we may now further describe as not
only Thought or Intelligence but also Will.[4]

Let me add this additional consideration in support of the conclusion
that the world is not merely thought by God but is also willed by God.
When we talk about thought without will, we are talking about something
that we know absolutely nothing about.  In all the consciousness that we
know of, in every moment of our own immediate waking experience, we find
thought, feeling, willing.  Even in the consciousness of animals there
appears to be something analogous to these three sides or aspects of
consciousness: but at all events in developed human consciousness we know
of no such thing as thinking without willing.  All thought involves
attention, and to attend is to will.  If, therefore, on the grounds {45}
suggested by the Hegelian or other post-Kantian Idealists, we have been
led to think that the ultimate Reality is Mind or Spirit, we should
naturally conclude by analogy that it must be Will as well as Thought
and--I may add, though it hardly belongs to the present argument to
insist upon that--Feeling.  On the other hand if, with men like
Schopenhauer and Edouard von Hartmann,[5] we are conducted by the
appearances of design in Nature to the idea that Nature is striving after
something, that the ultimate Reality is Will, we must supplement that
line of argument by inferring from the analogy of our own Consciousness
that Will without Reason is an unintelligible and meaningless
abstraction, and that (as indeed even Hartmann saw) Schopenhauer's Will
without Reason was as impossible an abstraction as the apparently
will-less universal Thinker of the Hegelian:[6] while against
Schopenhauer and his more reasonable successor, Hartmann, I should insist
that an unconscious Will is as unintelligible a contradiction as an
unconscious Reason.  Schopenhauer and Hegel seem to have seen, each of
them, exactly {46} half of the truth: God is not Will without Reason or
Reason without Will, but both Reason and Will.

And here I must try to meet an inevitable objection.  I do not say that
these three activities of the human intellect stand in God side by side
with the same distinctness and (if I may say so) irreducibility that they
do in us.  What feeling is for a Being who has no material organism, we
can form no distinct conception.  Our thought with its clumsy processes
of inference from the known to the unknown must be very unlike what
thought is in a Being to whom nothing is unknown.  All our thought too
involves generalization, and in universal concepts (as Mr. Bradley has
shown us) much that was present in the living experience of actual
perception is necessarily left out.  Thought is but a sort of
reproduction--and a very imperfect reproduction--of actual, living,
sensible experience.  We cannot suppose, then, that in God there is the
same distinction between actual present experience and the universal
concepts employed in thinking which there is in us.  And so, again,
willing must be a very different thing in a being who wills or creates
the objects of his own thought from what it is in beings who can only
achieve their ends by distinguishing in the sharpest possible manner
between the indefinite multiplicity of things which they know but do not
cause and the tiny fragment {47} of the Universe which by means of this
knowledge they can control.  Nevertheless, though all our thoughts of God
must be inadequate, it is by thinking of Him as Thought, Will and
Feeling--emancipated from those limitations which are obviously due to
human conditions and are inapplicable to a Universal Mind--that we shall
attain to the truest knowledge of God which lies within our capacity.  Do
you find a difficulty in the idea of partial and inadequate knowledge?
Just think, then, of our knowledge of other people's characters--of what
goes on in other people's minds.  It is only by the analogy of our own
immediate experience that we can come to know anything at all of what
goes on in other people's minds.  And, after all, such insight into other
people's thoughts, emotions, motives, intentions, characters, remains
very imperfect.  The difficulty is greatest when the mind which we seek
to penetrate is far above our own.  How little most of us know what it
would feel like to be a Shakespeare, a Mozart, or a Plato!  And yet it
would be absurd to talk as if our knowledge of our fellows was no
knowledge at all.  It is sufficient not merely to guide our own thoughts
and actions, but to make possible sympathy, friendship, love.  Is it not
so with our knowledge of God?  The Gnosticism which forgets the immensity
of the difference between the Divine Mind and the human is not less
unreasonable--not {48} less opposed to the principles on which we conduct
our thinking in every other department of life--than the Agnosticism
which rejects probabilities because we cannot have immediate certainties,
and insists on knowing nothing because we cannot know everything.

The argument which infers that God is Will from the analogy of our own
consciousness is one which is in itself independent of Idealism.  It has
been used by many philosophers who are Realists, such as Reid or Dr.
Martineau, as well as by Idealists like Berkeley, or Pfleiderer, or
Lotze.  It does not necessarily presuppose Idealism; but it does, to my
mind, fit in infinitely better with the idealistic mode of thought than
with the realistic.  If you hold that there is no difficulty in supposing
dead, inert matter to exist without any mind to think it or know it, but
that only a Mind can be supposed to cause change or motion, you are
assuming a hard and fast distinction between matter and force which the
whole trend of modern Science is tending to break down.  It seems to
imply the old Greek conception of an inert, passive, characterless _hule_
which can only be acted upon from without.  The modern Physicist, I
imagine, knows nothing of an inert matter which can neither attract nor
repel, even if he does not definitely embark on the more speculative
theory which actually defines the atom or the electron {49} as a centre
of force.  Activity belongs to the very essence of matter as understood
by modern Science.  If matter can exist without mind, there is (from the
scientific point of view) some difficulty in contending that it cannot
likewise move or act without being influenced by an extraneous Mind.  If,
on the other hand, with the Idealist we treat the notion of matter
without mind as an unintelligible abstraction, that line of thought would
prepare us to see in force nothing but a mode of mental action.  The
Idealist who has already identified matter with the object of thought
will find no difficulty in going on to see in force simply the activity
or expression or object of Will.  And if he learns from the Physicist
that we cannot in the last resort--from the physical point of
view--distinguish matter from force, that will fit in very well with the
metaphysical position which regards thought and will as simply two
inseparable aspects of the life of mind.

And now I will return once more for a moment to the idealistic argument.
I have no doubt that many of you will have felt a difficulty in accepting
the position that the world with which we come in contact is merely a
state of our own or anybody else's consciousness.  It is so obvious that
in our experience we are in contact with a world which we do not create;
which is what it is whether we like it or not; which opposes itself at
every turn to our desires and {50} inclinations.  You may have been
convinced that we know nothing of any external world except the effects
which it produces upon consciousness.  But, you will say to yourselves,
there must have been something to cause these effects.  You are perfectly
right in so thinking.  Certainly in our experience of the world we are in
contact with a Reality which is not any state of our own mind, a Reality
which we do not create but simply discover, a Reality from which are
derived the sensations which we cannot help feeling, and the objects
which we cannot help thinking.  So far you are quite right.  But very
often, when the Realist insists that there must be something to cause in
my mind this appearance, which I call my consciousness of a table, he
assumes all the while that this something--the real table, the table in
itself--is _there_, inside or behind the phenomenal table that I actually
see and feel; out there, in space.  But if we were right in our analysis
of space, if we were right in arguing that space is made up of
intellectual relations[7] and that {51} intellectual relations can have
no being and no meaning except in and for a mind which apprehends them,
then it is obvious that you must not think of this Reality which is the
cause of our experience of external objects, as being _there_, as
occupying space, as being 'external.'  If space be a form of our thought,
or (in Kantian language) a form of our sensibility, then the Reality
which is to have an existence in itself, cannot be in space.  A reality
which is not in space can no longer be thought of as matter: whatever
else matter (as commonly conceived) means, it is certainly something
which occupies space.  Now we know of no kind of existence which is not
in space except Mind.  On the idealistic view to which I have been
endeavouring to lead you, we are, indeed, justified in saying that there
is a Reality which is the underlying cause or ground of our experiences,
but that that Reality is one which we may describe as Thought no less
than as Will.

It may interest some of you to know how near one who is often considered
the typical representative of naturalistic, if not materialistic, modes
of thought, ultimately came to accepting this identification.  Let me
read to you a passage from one of Mr. Spencer's later works--the third
volume of his _Sociology_:--

'This transfiguration, which the inquiries of physicists continually
increase, is aided by that other {52} transfiguration resulting from
metaphysical inquiries.  Subjective analysis compels us to admit that our
scientific interpretations of the phenomena which objects present, are
expressed in terms of our own variously-combined sensations and
ideas--are expressed, that is, in elements belonging to consciousness,
which are but symbols of the something beyond consciousness.  Though
analysis afterwards reinstates our primitive beliefs, to the extent of
showing that behind every group of phenomenal manifestations there is
always a _nexus_, which is the reality that remains fixed amid
appearances which are variable;[1] yet we are shown that this _nexus_ of
reality is for ever inaccessible to consciousness.  And when, once more,
we remember that the activities constituting consciousness, being
rigorously bounded, cannot bring in among themselves the activities
beyond the bounds, which therefore seem unconscious, though production of
either by the other seems to imply that they are of the same essential
nature; this necessity we are under to think of the external energy in
terms of the internal energy, gives rather a spiritualistic than a
materialistic aspect to the Universe: further thought, however, obliging
us to recognize the truth that a conception given in phenomenal
manifestations of this ultimate energy can in no wise show us what it

Now, I think this is one of the passages which would justify Mr.
Bradley's well-known epigram, that Mr. Herbert Spencer has told us more
about the Unknowable than the rashest of theologians has ever ventured to
tell us about God.


Even Kant, who is largely responsible for the mistakes about Causality
against which this lecture has been a protest--I mean the tendency to
resolve it into necessary connexion--did in the end come to admit that in
the large resort we come into contact with Causality only in our own
Wills.  I owe the reference to Professor Ward, and will quote the
paragraph in which he introduces it:--

'Presentation, Feeling, Conation, are ever one inseparable whole, and
advance continuously to higher and higher forms.  But for the fact that
psychology was in the first instance studied, not for its own sake, but
in subservience to speculation, this cardinal importance of activity
would not have been so long overlooked.  We should not have heard so much
of passive sensations and so little of active movements.  It is
especially interesting to find that even Kant at length--in his latest
work, the posthumous treatise on the _Connexion of Physics and
Metaphysics_, only recently discovered and published--came to see the
fundamental character of voluntary movement.  I will venture to quote one
sentence: "We should not recognise the moving forces of matter, not even
through experience, if we were not conscious of our own activity in
ourselves exerting acts of repulsion, approximation, etc."  But to Maine
de Biran, often called the French Kant, to Schopenhauer, and, finally, to
our own British psychologists, Brown, Hamilton, Bain, Spencer, is
especially due the merit of seeing the paramount importance of the active
side of experience.  To this then primarily, and not to any merely {54}
intellectual function, we may safely refer the category of causality.'[9]

I may add that Professor Ward's _Naturalism and Agnosticism_, from which
I have quoted, constitutes the most brilliant and important modern
defence of the doctrine which I have endeavoured very inadequately to set
before you in this lecture.

It is a remarkable fact that the typical exponent of popular so-called
'scientific' Agnosticism, and the founder of that higher metaphysical
Agnosticism which has played so large a part in the history of modern
Philosophy, should before their deaths have both made confessions which
really amount to an abjuration of all Agnosticism.  If the ultimate
Reality is to be thought of as a rational Will, analogous to the will
which each of us is conscious of himself having or being, he is no longer
the Unknown or the Unknowable, but the God of Religion, who has revealed
Himself in the consciousness of man, 'made in the image of God.'  What
more about Himself we may also hold to be revealed in the human spirit, I
hope to consider in our next lecture.  But, meanwhile, a word may be
uttered in answer to the question which may very probably be asked--Is
God a Person?  A complete answer to the question would involve elaborate
discussions, but for our present purpose the question may be answered
very {55} briefly.  If we are justified in thinking of God after the
analogy of a human soul--if we are justified in thinking of Him as a
self-conscious Being who thinks, feels, and wills, and who is, moreover
(if I may a little anticipate the subject of our next lecture) in
relation with, capable of loving and being loved by other such
beings--then it seems most natural to speak of God's existence as
personal.  For to be a self-conscious being--conscious of itself and
other beings, thinking, willing, feeling, loving--is what we mean by
being a person.  If any one prefers to speak of God as 'super-personal,'
there is no great objection to so doing, provided that phrase is not made
(as it often is) an excuse for really thinking of God after the analogy
of some kind of existence lower than that of persons--as a force, an
unconscious substance, or merely a name for the totality of things.  But
for myself, I prefer to say that our own self-consciousness gives us only
an ideal of the highest type of existence which it nevertheless very
imperfectly satisfies, and therefore I would rather think God is a Person
in a far truer, higher, more complete sense than that in which any human
being can be a person.  God alone fully realizes the ideal of
Personality.  The essence of Personality is something positive: it
signifies to us the highest kind of being within our knowledge--not (as
is too often supposed) the mere limitations {56} and restraints which
characterize human conscious life as we know it in ourselves.  If we are
justified in thinking of God after the analogy of the highest existence
within our knowledge, we had better call Him a Person.  The word is no
doubt inadequate to the reality, as is all the language that we can
employ about God; but it is at least more adequate than the terms
employed by those who scruple to speak of God as a Person.  It is at
least more adequate and more intelligent than to speak of Him as a force,
a substance, a 'something not ourselves which makes for righteousness.'
_Things_ do not 'make for righteousness'; and in using the term Person we
shall at least make it clear that we do not think of Him as a 'thing,' or
a collection of things, or a vague substratum of things, or even a mere
totality of minds like our own.[10]


As has been explained in this Lecture, many idealistic writers who insist
upon the necessity of God as a universal, knowing Mind to explain both
the existence of the world and our knowledge of it, are more or less
ambiguous about the question whether the divine Mind is to be thought of
as willing or causing the world, though passages occur in the writings of
most of them which tend in this direction.  'God {57} must be thought of
as creating the objects of his own thought' is a perfectly orthodox
Hegelian formula.  Among the idealistic writers (besides Berkeley) who
correct this--as it seems to me--one-sided tendency, and who accept on
the whole the view of the divine Causality taken in this Lecture, may be
mentioned Lotze, the 9th Book of whose _Microcosmus_ (translated by Miss
Elizabeth Hamilton and Miss Constance Jones) or the third Book of his
_Logic_ (translation ed. by Prof.  Bosanquet), may very well be read by
themselves (his views may also be studied in his short _Philosophy of
Religion_--two translations, by the late Mrs. Conybeare and by Professor
Ladd); Pfleiderer, _Philosophy and Development of Religion_, especially
chapter v.; and Professor Ward's _Naturalism and Agnosticism_.

Among the non-idealistic writers who have based their argument for the
existence of God mainly or largely upon the consideration that Causality
is unintelligible apart from a rational Will, may be mentioned--among
older writers Reid, _Essays on the Active Powers of Man_, Essay I.
(especially chapter v.), and among more recent ones Martineau, _A Study
of Religion_.  Flint's _Theism_ may be recommended as one of the best
attempts to state the theistic case with a minimum of technical

Two little books by Professor Andrew Seth (now Seth Pringle-Pattison),
though not primarily occupied with the religious problem, may be
mentioned as very useful introductions to Philosophy--_The Scottish
Philosophers_ and _Hegelianism and Personality_.

[1] Of course deeply religious men like Green who have held this view did
not admit, or did not realize, such consequences.  The tendency here
criticized is undoubtedly derived from Hegel, but passages suggestive of
the opposite view can be extracted from his writings, e.g.: 'God,
however, as subjective Power, is not simply will, intention, etc., but
rather immediate Cause' (_Philosophy of Religion_, Eng. trans., ii. p.

[2] The idea of Causality was by Kant identified with the idea of logical
connexion, _i.e._ the relation of the premisses of a syllogism to its
conclusion; but this does not involve _time_ at all, and _time_ is
essential to the idea of Causality.  For an admirable vindication of our
immediate consciousness of Causality see Professor Stout's chapter on
'The Concept of Mental Activity' in _Analytic Psychology_ (Book II.
chap. i.).

[3] _Excursion_, Book IV.

[4] For the further development of this argument see Lecture IV.

[5] See especially the earlier chapters of _The Philosophy of the
Unconscious_ (translated by W. C. Coupland).

[6] Of course passages can be quoted from Hegel himself which suggest the
idea that God is Will as well as Thought; I am speaking of the general
tendency of Hegel and many of his disciples.  Some recent Hegelians, such
as Professor Boyce, seem to be less open to this criticism, but there are
difficulties in thinking of God as Will and yet continuing to speak of
ultimate Reality as out of Time.

[7] It may be objected that this is true only of 'conceptual space' (that
is, the space of Geometry), but not of 'perceptual space,' _i.e._ space
as it presents itself in a child's perception of an object.  The
distinction is no doubt from many points of view important, but we must
not speak of 'conceptual space' and 'perceptual space' as if they had
nothing to do with one another.  If the relations of conceptual space
were not in some sense contained or implied in our perceptions, no amount
of abstraction or reflection could get the relations out of them.

[8] _Sociology_, vol. iii. p. 172.

[9] _Naturalism and Agnosticism_, vol. ii. pp. 191-2.

[10] For a further discussion of the subject the reader may be referred
to my essay on 'Personality in God and Man' in _Personal Idealism_.




A course of purely metaphysical reasoning has led us up to the idea of
God--that is to say, of a conscious and rational Mind and Will for
which the world exists and by which that world and all other spirits
are caused to exist.  I have passed over a host of difficulties--the
relation of God to time, the question whether or in what sense the
world may be supposed to have a beginning and an end, the question of
the relation in which God, the universal Mind, stands to other minds,
the question of Free-will.  These are difficulties which would involve
elaborate metaphysical discussions: I shall return to some of them in a
later lecture.  It must suffice for the present to say that more than
one answer to many of these questions might conceivably be given
consistently with the view of the divine nature which I have contended
for.  All that I need insist on for my present purpose is--

(1) That God is personal in the sense that He is a {59} self-conscious,
thinking, willing, feeling Being, distinguishable from each and all
less perfect minds.

(2) That all other minds are in some sense brought into being by the
divine Mind, while at the same time they have such a resemblance to, or
community of nature with, their source that they may be regarded as not
mere creations but as in some sense reproductions, more or less
imperfect, of that source, approximating in various degrees to that
ideal of Personality which is realised perfectly in God alone.  In
proportion as they approximate to that ideal, they are causes of their
own actions, and can claim for themselves the kind of causality which
we attribute in its perfection to God.  I content myself now with
claiming for the developed, rational human self a measure of freedom to
the extent which I have just defined--that it is the real cause of its
own actions.  It is capable of self-determination.  The man's actions
are determined by his character.  That is quite consistent with the
admission that God is the ultimate cause of a self of such and such a
character coming into existence at such and such a time.

(3) I will not say that the conception of those who regard the human
mind as literally a part of the divine, so that the human consciousness
is in no sense outside of the divine, is necessarily, for those who
hold it, inconsistent with the conception of {60} personality both in
God and man: I will only say that I do not myself understand such an
assertion.  I regard the human mind as derived from God, but not as
being part of God.  Further discussion of this question I reserve for
my next lecture.

We have led up to the idea of God's existence.  But so far we have
discovered nothing at all about His character or purposes.  And it is
clear that without some such knowledge the belief in God could be of
little or no value from any religious or moral point of view.  How are
we to learn anything about the character of God?  I imagine that at the
present day few people will attempt to prove the goodness or
benevolence of God from an empirical examination of the facts of Nature
or of History.  There is, no doubt, much in History and in Nature to
suggest the idea of Benevolence, but there is much to suggest a
directly opposite conclusion.  Few of us at the present day are likely
to be much impressed by the argument which Paley bases upon the
existence of the little apparatus in the throat by which it is
benevolently arranged that, though constantly on the point of being
choked by our food, we hardly ever are choked.  I cannot help reminding
you of the characteristic passage: 'Consider a city-feast,' he
exclaims, 'what manducation, what deglutition, and yet not one Alderman
choked in a century!'  Such arguments look at the matter from the point
{61} of view of the Alderman: the point of view of the turtle and the
turkey is entirely forgotten.  I would not for a moment speak
disrespectfully of the argument from design.  Darwinism has changed its
form, but anybody who reads Edouard von Hartmann's _Philosophy of the
Unconscious_ is not likely to rise from its perusal with the idea that
the evidences of design have been destroyed by Darwinism, whatever he
may think of Hartmann's strange conclusion that the design can be
explained by the operation of an unconscious Mind or Will.  The
philosophical argument of Mr. R. B. Haldane in _The Pathway to
Reality_,[1] and the purely biological argument of Dr. John Haldane in
his two lectures on _Life and Mechanism_, and still more recently the
brilliant and very important work of M. Bergson, _L'Évolution
Creatrice_ have, as it seems to me, abundantly shown that it is as
impossible as ever it was to explain even the growth of a plant without
supposing that in it and all organic Nature there is a striving towards
an end.  But the argument from design, though it testifies to purpose
in the Universe, tells us nothing about the nature of that purpose.
Purpose is one thing; benevolent purpose is another.  Nobody's estimate
of the comparative amount of happiness and misery in the world is worth
much; but for my own part, if I trusted simply to empirical evidence,
{62} I should not be disposed to do more than slightly attenuate the
pessimism of the Pessimists.  At all events, Nature is far too 'red in
tooth and claw' to permit of our basing an argument for a benevolent
deity upon a contemplation of the facts of animal and human life.
There is but one source from which such an idea can possibly be
derived--from the evidence of our own moral consciousness.

Our moral ideals are the work of Reason.  That the happiness of many
ought to be preferred to the happiness of one, that pleasure is better
than pain, that goodness is of more value than pleasure, that some
pleasures are better than others--such judgements are as much the work
of our own Reason, they are as much self-evident truths, as the truth
that two and two make four, or that A cannot be both B and not B at the
same time, or that two straight lines cannot enclose a space.  We have
every right to assume that such truths hold good for God as well as for
man.  If such Idealism as I have endeavoured to lead you to is well
founded, the mind which knows comes from God, and therefore the
knowledge which that mind possesses must also be taken as an imperfect
or fragmentary reproduction of God's knowledge.  And the Theist who
rejects Idealism but admits the existence of self-evident truths will
be equally justified in assuming that, for God as well as for man, two
and two must make {63} four.  We have just as much right to assume that
our moral ideas--our ideas of value--must come from God too.  For God
too, as for us, there must exist the idea, the ultimate category of the
good; and our judgements of value--judgements that such and such an end
is good or worth striving for--in so far as they are true judgements,
must be supposed to represent His judgements.  We are conscious, in
proportion as we are rational, of pursuing ends which we judge to be
good.  If such judgements reveal God's judgements, God must be supposed
to aim likewise at an ideal of good--the same ideal which is revealed
to us by our moral judgements.  In these judgements then we have a
revelation, the only possible revelation, of the character of God.  The
argument which I have suggested is simply a somewhat exacter statement
of the popular idea that Conscience is the voice of God.

Further to vindicate the idea of the existence, authority, objective
validity of Conscience would lead us too far away into the region of
Moral Philosophy for our present subject.  I will only attempt very
briefly to guard against some possible misunderstandings, and to meet
some obvious objections:

(1) It need hardly be pointed out that the assertion of the existence
of the Moral Consciousness is not in the slightest degree inconsistent
with recognising its gradual growth and development.  The {64} moral
faculty, like every other faculty or aspect or activity of the human
soul, has grown gradually.  No rational man doubts the validity--no
Idealist doubts the _a priori_ character--of our mathematical
judgements because probably monkeys and possibly primitive men cannot
count, and certainly cannot perform more than the very simplest
arithmetical operations.  Still less do we doubt the validity of
mathematical reasoning because not only children and savages, but
sometimes even distinguished classical scholars--a Macaulay, a Matthew
Arnold, a T. S. Evans,--were wholly incapable of understanding very
simple mathematical arguments.  Equally little do we deny a real
difference between harmony and discord because people may be found who
see no difference between 'God save the King' and 'Pop goes the
Weasel.'  Self-evident truth does not mean truth which is evident to

(2) It is not doubted that the gradual evolution of our actual moral
ideas--our actual ideas about what is right or wrong in particular
cases--has been largely influenced by education, environment,
association, social pressure, superstition, perhaps natural
selection--in short, all the agencies by which naturalistic Moralists
try to account for the existence of Morality.  Even Euclid, or whatever
his modern substitute may be, has to be taught; but that does not show
that Geometry is an arbitrary system {65} invented by the ingenious and
interested devices of those who want to get money by teaching it.
Arithmetic was invented largely as an instrument of commerce; but it
could not have been invented if there were really no such things as
number and quantity, or if the human mind had no original capacity for
recognizing them.  Our scientific ideas, our political ideas, our ideas
upon a thousand subjects have been partly developed, partly thwarted
and distorted in their growth, by similar influences.  But, however
great the difficulty of getting rid of these distorting influences and
facing such questions in a perfectly dry light, nobody suggests that
objective truth on such matters is non-existent or for ever
unattainable.  A claim for objective validity for the moral judgement
does not mean a claim for infallibility on behalf of any individual
Conscience.  We may make mistakes in Morals just as we may make
mistakes in Science, or even in pure Mathematics.  If a class of forty
small boys are asked to do a sum, they will probably not all bring out
the same answer: but nobody doubts that one answer alone is right,
though arithmetical capacity is a variable quantity.  What is meant is
merely that, if I am right in affirming that this is good, you cannot
be likewise right in saying that it is bad: and that we have some
capacity--though doubtless a variable capacity--of judging which is the
true {66} view.  Hence our moral judgements, in so far as they are true
judgements, must be taken to be reproductions in us of the thought of
God.  To show that an idea has been gradually developed, tells us
nothing as to its truth or falsehood--one way or the other.

(3) In comparing the self-evidence of moral to that of mathematical
judgements, it is not suggested that our moral judgements in detail are
as certain, as clear and sharply defined, as mathematical judgements,
or that they can claim so universal a consensus among the competent.
What is meant is merely (_a_) that the notion of good in general is an
ultimate category of thought; that it contains a meaning intelligible
not perhaps to every individual human soul, but to the normal,
developed, human consciousness; and (_b_) that the ultimate truth of
morals, if it is seen at all, must be seen immediately.  An ultimate
moral truth cannot be deduced from, or proved by, any other truth.  You
cannot prove that pleasure is better than pain, or that virtue is
better than pleasure, to any one who judges differently.  It does not
follow that all men have an equally clear and delicate moral
consciousness.  The power of discriminating moral values differs as
widely as the power of distinguishing musical sounds, or of
appreciating what is excellent in music.  Some men may be almost or
altogether without such a power of moral discrimination, just as some
men are wholly {67} destitute of an ear for music; while the higher
degrees of moral appreciation are the possession of the few rather than
of the many.  Moral insight is not possessed by all men in equal
measure.  Moral genius is as rare as any other kind of genius.

(4) When we attribute Morality to God, it is not meant that the conduct
which is right for men in detail ought to be or could possibly in all
cases be practised by God.  It is a childish objection (though it is
sometimes made by modern philosophers who should know better) to allege
with Aristotle that God cannot be supposed to make or keep contracts.
And in the same way, when we claim universal validity for our moral
judgements, we do not mean that the rules suitable for human conduct
would be the same for beings differently organized and constituted.
Our rules of sexual Morality are clearly applicable only to sexually
constituted beings.  What is meant in asserting that these rules are
universally and objectively valid is that these are the rules which
every rational intelligence, in proportion as it is rational, will
recognize as being suitable, or conducive to the ideal life, in beings
constituted as we are.  The truth that permanent monogamous marriage
represents the true type of sexual relations for human beings will be
none the less an objectively valid ethical truth, because the lower
animals are below it, while superior beings, {68} it may be, are above
it.  Universal love is none the less the absolute moral ideal because
it would be absurd to say that beasts of prey do wrong in devouring
other creatures, or because war is sometimes necessary as a means to
the end of love at our present imperfect stage of social and
intellectual development.  The means to the highest good vary with
circumstances; the amount of good that is attainable in such and such
circumstances varies also; consequently the right course of conduct
will be different for beings differently constituted or placed under
different circumstances: but the principles which, in the view of a
perfect intelligence, would determine what is the right course for
different beings in different circumstances will be always the same.
The ultimate principles of our moral judgement, _e.g._ that love is
better than hate, are just as applicable to God as they are to us.  Our
conception of the highest good may be inadequate; but we certainly
shall not attain to greater adequacy, or a nearer approach to ultimate
truth, by flatly contradicting our own moral judgements.  It would be
just as reasonable to argue that because the law of gravitation might
be proved, from the point of view of the highest knowledge, to be an
inadequate statement of the truth, and all inadequacy involves some
error, therefore we had better assume that from the point of view of
God there is no difference whatever {69} between attraction and
repulsion.  All arguments for what is called a 'super-moral' Deity or a
'super-moral' Absolute are open to this fatal objection: moral
judgements cannot possibly rest upon anything but the moral
consciousness, and yet these doctrines contradict the moral
consciousness.  The idea of good is derived from the moral
consciousness.  When a man declares that from the point of view of the
Universe all things are very good, he gets the idea of good from his
own moral consciousness, and is assuming the objective validity of its
dictates.  His judgement is an ethical judgement as much as mine when I
say that to me some things in this world appear very bad.  If he is not
entitled to assume the validity of his ethical judgements, his
proposition is false or meaningless.  If he is entitled to assume their
validity, why should he distrust that same moral consciousness when it
affirms (as it undoubtedly does) that pain and sin are for ever bad,
and not (as our 'super-moral' Religionists suggest) additional artistic
touches which only add to the aesthetic effect of the whole?

I shall now proceed to develop some of the consequences which (as it
appears to me) flow from the doctrine that our belief in the goodness
of God is an inference from our own moral consciousness:

(1) It throws light on the relations between Religion and Morality.
The champions of ethical {70} education as a substitute for Religion
and of ethical societies as a substitute for Churches are fond of
assuming that Religion is not only unnecessary to, but actually
destructive of, the intrinsic authority of the moral law.  If we
supposed with a few theologians in the most degenerate periods of
Theology (with William of Occam, some extreme Calvinists, and a few
eighteenth-century divines like Archdeacon Paley) that actions are
right or wrong merely because willed by God--meaning by God simply a
powerful being without goodness or moral character, then undoubtedly
the Secularists would be right.  If a religious Morality implies that
Virtue means merely (in Paley's words) 'the doing good to mankind in
obedience to the will of God and for the sake of everlasting happiness'
(so that if God were to will murder and adultery, those practices would
forthwith become meritorious), then undoubtedly it would be better to
teach Morality without Religion than with it.  But that is a caricature
of the true teaching of Christ or of any considerable Christian
theologian.  Undoubtedly we must assert what is called the
'independence' of the moral judgement.  The judgement 'to love is
better than to hate' has a meaning complete in itself, which contains
no reference whatever to any theological presupposition.  It is a
judgement which is, and which can intelligibly be, made by people of
all religions or of none.  But {71} we may still raise the question
whether the validity of that judgement can be defended without
theological implications.  And I am prepared most distinctly to
maintain that it cannot.  These moral judgements claim objective
validity.  When we say 'this is right,' we do not mean merely 'I
approve this course of conduct,' 'this conduct gives me a thrill of
satisfaction, a "feeling of approbation," a pleasure of the moral
sense.'  If that were all that was meant, it would be perfectly
possible that another person might feel an equally satisfactory glow of
approbation at conduct of a precisely opposite character _without
either of them being wrong_.  A bull-fight fills most Spaniards with
feelings of lively approbation, and most Englishmen with feelings of
acute disapprobation.  If such moral judgements were mere feelings,
neither of them would be wrong.  There could be no question of
objective rightness or wrongness.  Mustard is not objectively nice or
objectively nasty: it is simply nice to some people and nasty to
others.  The mustard-lover has no right to condemn the mustard-hater,
or the mustard-hater the mustard-lover.  If Morality were merely a
matter of feeling or emotion, actions would not be objectively right or
objectively wrong; but simply right to some people, wrong to others.
Hume would be right in holding the morality of an action to consist
simply in the pleasure it gives to the person who {72} contemplates it.
Rightness thus becomes simply a name for the fact of social
approbation.[2]  And yet surely the very heart of the affirmation which
the moral consciousness makes in each of us is that right and wrong are
not matters of mere subjective feeling.  When I assert 'this is right,'
I do not claim personal infallibility.  I may, indeed, be wrong, as I
may be wrong in my political or scientific theories.  But I do mean
that I think I am right; and that, if I am right, you cannot also be
right when you affirm that this same action is wrong.  This objective
validity is the very core and centre of the idea of Duty or moral
obligation.  That is why it is so important to assert that moral
judgements are the work of Reason, not of a supposed moral sense or any
other kind of feeling.  Feelings may vary in different men without any
of them being in the wrong; red really is the same as green to a
colour-blind person.  What we mean when we talk about the existence of
Duty is that things are right or wrong, no matter what you or I think
about them--that the laws of Morality {73} are quite as much
independent of my personal likings and dislikings as the physical laws
of Nature.  That is what is meant by the 'objectivity' of the moral law.

Now, the question arises--'Can such an objectivity be asserted by those
who take a purely materialistic or naturalistic view of the Universe?'
Whatever our metaphysical theories about the nature of Reality may be,
we can in practice have no difficulty in the region of Physical Science
about recognizing an objective reality of some kind which is other than
my mere thinking about it.  That fire will burn whether I think so or
not is practically recognized by persons of all metaphysical
persuasions.  If I say 'I can cloy the hungry edge of appetite by bare
imagination of a feast,' I try the experiment, and I fail.  I imagine
the feast, but I am hungry still: and if I persist in the experiment, I
die.  But what do we mean when we say that things are right or wrong
whether I think them so or not, that the Moral Law exists outside me
and independently of my thinking about it?  Where and how does this
moral law exist?  The physical laws of Nature may be supposed by the
Materialist or the Realist somehow to exist in matter: to the
Metaphysician there may be difficulties in such a view, but the
difficulties are not obvious to common-sense.  But surely (whatever may
be thought about physical laws) the moral law, {74} which expresses not
any matter of physical fact but what _ought_ to be thought of acts,
cannot be supposed to exist in a purely material Universe.  An 'ought'
can exist only in and for a mind.  In what mind, then, does the moral
law exist?  As a matter of fact, different people's moral judgements
contradict one another.  And the consciousness of no living man can
well be supposed to be a flawless reflection of the absolute moral
ideal.  On a non-theistic view of the Universe, then, the moral law
cannot well be thought of as having any actual existence.  The
objective validity of the moral law can indeed be and no doubt is
_asserted_, believed in, acted upon without reference to any
theological creed; but it cannot be defended or fully justified without
the pre-supposition of Theism.  What we mean by an objective law is
that the moral law is a part of the ultimate nature of things, on a
level with the laws of physical nature, and it cannot be _that_, unless
we assume that law to be an expression of the same mind in which
physical laws originate.  The idea of duty, when analysed, implies the
idea of God.  Whatever else Plato meant by the 'idea of the good,' this
at least was one of his meanings--that the moral law has its source in
the source of all Reality.

And therefore at bottom popular feeling is right in holding that
religious belief is necessary to Morality.  Of course I do not mean to
say that, were {75} religious belief to disappear from the world,
Morality would disappear too.  But I do think Morality would become
quite a different thing from what it has been for the higher levels of
religious thought and feeling.  The best men would no doubt go on
acting up to their own highest ideal just as if it did possess
objective validity, no matter how unable they might be to reconcile
their practical with their speculative beliefs.  But it would not be so
for the many--or perhaps even for the few in their moments of weakness
and temptation, when once the consequences of purely naturalistic
Ethics were thoroughly admitted and realized.  The only kind of
objective validity which can be recognized on a purely naturalistic
view of Ethics is conformity to public opinion.  The tendency of all
naturalistic Ethics is to make a God of public opinion.  And if no
other deity were recognized, such a God would assuredly not be without
worshippers.  And yet the strongest temptation to most of us is the
temptation to follow a debased public opinion--the opinion of our age,
our class, our party.  Apart from faith in a perfectly righteous God
whose commands are, however imperfectly, revealed in the individual
Conscience, we can find no really valid reason why the individual
should act on his own sense of what is intrinsically right, even when
he finds himself an 'Athanasius contra mundum,' and when his own
personal likings and inclinations {76} and interests are on the side of
the world.  Kant was at bottom right, though perhaps he did not give
the strongest reasons for his position, in making the idea of God a
postulate of Morality.

From a more directly practical point of view I need hardly point out
how much easier it is to feel towards the moral law the reverence that
we ought to feel when we believe that that law is embodied in a
personal Will.  Not only is religious Morality not opposed to the idea
of duty for duty's sake: it is speculatively the only reasonable basis
of it; practically and emotionally the great safeguard of it.  And
whatever may be thought of the possibility of a speculative defence of
such an idea without Theism, the practical difficulty of teaching
it--especially to children, uneducated and unreflective persons--seems
to be quite insuperable.[3]  In more than one country in which
religious education has been banished from the primary schools, grave
observers complain that the idea of Duty seems to be suffering an
eclipse in the minds of the rising {77} generation; some of them add
that in those lands crime is steadily on the increase.  Catechisms of
civil duty and the like have not hitherto proved very satisfactory
substitutes for the old teaching about the fear of God.  Would that it
were more frequently remembered on both sides of our educational
squabbles that the supreme object of all religious education should be
to instil into children's minds in the closest possible connexion the
twin ideas of God and of Duty!

(2) I have tried to show that the ethical importance of the idea of God
is prior to and independent of any belief in the idea of future rewards
and punishments or of a future life, however conceived of.  But when
the idea of a righteous God has once been accepted, the idea of
Immortality seems to me to follow from it as a sort of corollary.  If
any one on a calm review of the actual facts of the world's history can
suppose that such a world as ours could be the expression of the will
of a rational and moral Being without the assumption of a future life
for which this is a discipline or education or preparatory stage,
argument would be useless with him.  Inveterate Optimism, like
inveterate Scepticism, admits of no refutation, but in most minds
produces no conviction.  For those who are convinced that the world has
a rational end, and yet that life as we see it (taken by itself) cannot
be that end, the hypothesis {78} of Immortality becomes a necessary
deduction from their belief in God.

I would not disparage the educative effect of the belief in a future
life even when expressed in the crude and inadequate metaphor of reward
and punishment.  Few of us, I venture to think, have reached the moral
level at which the belief--not in a vindictive, retributive, unending
torment, but in a disciplinary or purgatorial education of souls
prolonged after death--is without its value.  At the same time it is a
mere caricature of all higher religious beliefs when the religious
motive is supposed to mean simply a fear of punishment and hope of
personal reward, even of the least sensuous or material kind.  Love of
goodness for its own sake is for the Theist identical with the love of
God.  Love of a Person is a stronger force than devotion to an idea;
and an ethical conception of God carries with it the idea of

  The wages of sin is death: if the wages of Virtue be dust,
    Would she have heart to endure for the life of the worm
      and the fly?

  She desires no isles of the blest, no quiet seats of the just,
    To rest in a golden grove, or to bask in a summer sky;
  Give her the wages of going on, and not to die.[4]

Belief in human Immortality is, as I have suggested, the postulate
without which most of us cannot {79} believe in God.  Even for its own
sake it is of the highest ethical value.  The belief in Immortality
gives a meaning to life even when it has lost all other meaning.  'It
is rather,' in the noble words of the late Professor Sidgwick, 'from a
disinterested aversion to an universe so irrationally constituted that
the wages of virtue should be dust than from any private reckoning
about his own wages,' that the good man clings to the idea of
Immortality.  And that is not all.  The value of all higher goods even
in this life, though it does not depend wholly upon their duration,
does partly depend upon it.  It would be better to be pure and
unselfish for a day than to be base and selfish for a century.  And yet
we do not hesitate to commend the value of intellectual and of all
kinds of higher enjoyments on account of their greater durability.
Why, then, should we shrink from admitting that the value of character
really is increased when it is regarded as surviving bodily death?
Disbelief in Immortality would, I believe, in the long run and for the
vast majority of men, carry with it an enormous enhancement of the
value of the carnal and sensual over the spiritual and intellectual
element in life.

(3) A third consequence which follows from our determining to accept
the moral consciousness as containing the supreme revelation of God is
this.  From the point of view of the moral consciousness {80} we cannot
say that the Universe is wholly good.  We have only one means of
judging whether things are good or bad: the idea of value is wholly
derived from our own ethical judgements or judgements of value.  If we
distrust these judgements, there is no higher court to which we can
appeal.  And if we distrust our most ultimate judgements of value, I do
not know why we should trust any judgements whatever.  Even if we grant
that from some very transcendental metaphysical height--the height, for
instance, of Mr. Bradley's Philosophy--it may be contended that none of
our judgements are wholly true or fully adequate to express the true
nature of Reality, we at all events cannot get nearer to Reality than
we are conducted by the judgements which present themselves to us as
immediate and self-evident.  Now, if we do apply these judgements of
value to the Universe as we know it, can we say that everything in it
seems to be very good?  For my own part, I unhesitatingly say, 'Pain is
an evil, and sin is a worse evil, and nothing on earth can ever make
them good.'  How then are we to account for such evils in a Universe
which we believe to express the thought and will of a perfectly
righteous Being?  In only one way that I know of--by supposing they are
means to a greater good.  That is really the substance and substratum
of all the Theodicies of all the Philosophers and all the {81}
Theologians except those who frankly trample on or throw over the Moral
Consciousness, and declare that, for those who see truly, pain and sin
are only additional sources of aesthetic interest in a great
world-drama produced for his own entertainment by a Deity not
anthropomorphic enough to love but still anthropomorphic enough to be

I shall be told no doubt that this is limiting God.  A human being may,
it will be urged, without loss of goodness, do things in themselves
evil, as a means to a greater good: as a surgeon, he may cause
excruciating pain; as a statesman or a soldier, he may doom thousands
to a cruel death; as a wise administrator of the poor law, he may
refuse to relieve much suffering, in order that he may not cause more
suffering.  But this is because his power is limited; he has to work
upon a world which has a nature of its own independent of his volition.
To apply the same explanation to the evil which God causes, is to make
Him finite instead of Infinite, limited in power instead of Omnipotent.
Now in a sense I admit that this is so.  I am not wedded to the words
'Infinite' or 'Omnipotent.'  But I would protest against a persistent
misrepresentation of the point of view which I defend.  It is suggested
that the limit to the power of God must necessarily spring from the
existence of some other thing or being outside of Him, not created by
Him or under His {82} control.  I must protest that that is not so.
Everybody admits that God cannot change the past; few Philosophers
consider it necessary to maintain that God could construct triangles
with their angles not together equal to two right angles, or think it
any derogation from his Omnipotence to say that He could not make the
sum of two and two to be other than four.  Few Theologians push their
idea of Freewill so far as to insist that God could will Himself to be
unjust or unloving, or that, being just and loving, he could do unjust
or unloving acts.  There are necessities to which even God must submit.
But they are not imposed upon Him from without: they are parts of His
own essential nature.  The limitation by which God cannot attain His
ends without causing some evil is a limitation of exactly the same
nature.  If you say that it is no limitation of God not to be able to
change the past, for the thing is really unmeaning, then I submit that
in the same way it may be no limitation that He should not be able to
evolve highly organized beings without a struggle for existence, or to
train human beings in unselfishness without allowing the existence both
of sin and of pain.  From the point of view of perfect knowledge, these
things might turn out to be just as unmeaning as for God to change the
past.  The popular idea of Omnipotence is one which really does not
bear looking into.  If we supposed the world {83} to contain no evil at
all, still there would be in it a definite amount of good.  Twice such
a world would be twice as good.  Why is there not twice that amount of
good?  A being who deliberately created only a good world of limited
quantity--a definite number of spirits (for instance) enjoying so much
pleasure and so much virtue--when he could have created twice that
number of spirits, and consequently twice that amount of good, would
not be perfectly good or loving.  And so on _ad infinitum_, no matter
how much good you suppose him to have created.  The only sense which we
can intelligibly give to the idea of a divine Omnipotence is this--that
God possesses all the power there is, that He can do all things that
are in their own nature possible.[5]

But there is a more formidable objection which I have yet to meet.  It
has been urged by certain Philosophers of great eminence that, if we
suppose God not to be unlimited in power, we have no guarantee that the
world is even good on the whole; we should not be authorized to infer
anything as to a future life or the ultimate destiny of Humanity from
the fact of God's goodness.  A limited God might be a defeated God.  I
admit the difficulty.  This is the 'greatest wave' of all in the
theistic {84} argument.  In reply, I would simply appeal to the reasons
which I have given for supposing that the world is really willed by
God.  A rational being does not will evil except as a means to a
greater good.  If God be rational, we have a right to suppose that the
world must contain more good than evil, or it would not be willed at
all.  A being who was obliged to create a world which did not seem to
him good would be a blind force, as force is understood by the pure
Materialist, not a rational Will.  That much we have a right to claim
as a matter of strict Logic; and that would to my own mind be a
sufficient reason for assuming that, at least for the higher order of
spirits, such a life as ours must be intended as the preface to a
better life than this.  But I should go further.  To me it appears that
such evils as sin and pain are so enormously worse than the mere
absence of good, that I could not regard as rational a Universe in
which the good did not very greatly predominate over the evil.  More
than that I do not think we are entitled to say.  And yet Justice is so
great a good that it is rational to hope that for every individual
conscious being--at least each individual capable of any high degree of
good--there must be a predominance of good on the whole.  Beings of
very small capacity might conceivably be created chiefly or entirely as
a means to a vastly greater good than any that they {85} themselves
enjoy: the higher a spirit is in the scale of being, the more difficult
it becomes to suppose that it has been brought into existence merely as
a means to another's good, or that it will not ultimately enjoy a good
which will make it on the whole good that it should have been born.

I could wish myself that, in popular religious teaching, there was a
franker conception of this position--a position which, as I have said,
is really implied in the Theodicies of all the Divines.  Popular
unbelief--and sometimes the unbelief of more cultivated persons--rests
mainly upon the existence of evil.  We should cut at the roots of it by
teaching frankly that this is the best of all possible Universes,
though not the best of all imaginable Universes--such Universes as we
can construct in our own imagination by picturing to ourselves all the
good that there is in the world without any of the evil.  We may still
say, if we please, that God is infinite because He is limited by
nothing outside His own nature, except what He has Himself caused.  We
can still call Him Omnipotent in the sense that He possesses all the
power there is.  And in many ways such a belief is far more practically
consolatory and stimulating than a belief in a God who can do all
things by any means and who consequently does not need our help.  In
our view, we are engaged not in a sham warfare with an evil that is
really {86} good, but in a real warfare with a real evil, a struggle in
which we have the ultimate power in the Universe on our side, but one
in which the victory cannot be won without our help, a real struggle in
which we are called upon to be literally fellow-workers with God.


The subject is more or less explicitly dealt with in most of the works
mentioned at the end of the last two lectures, and also in books on
Moral Philosophy too numerous to mention.  Classical vindications of
the authority of the Moral Consciousness are Bishop Butler's _Sermons_,
and Kant's _Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals_ and
other ethical writings (translated by T. K. Abbott).  I have expressed
my own views on the subject with some fullness in the third book of my
_Theory of Good and Evil_.

[1] See especially Book II. Lect. iii.

[2] 'We do not infer a character to be virtuous, because it pleases:
but in feeling that it pleases after such a particular manner, we in
effect feel that it is virtuous.'  (_Treatise_, Part I, Section ii.,
ed. Green and Grose, vol. ii. p. 247.)  'The distinction of moral good
and evil is founded in the pleasure or pain, which results from the
view of any sentiment, or character; and as that pleasure or pain
cannot be unknown to the person who feels it, it follows that there is
just so much virtue in any character as every one places in it, and
that 'tis impossible in this particular we can ever be mistaken.'
(_Ibid._ vol. ii. p. 311.)

[3] There are no doubt ways of making Morality the law of the Universe
without what most of us understand by Theism, though not without
Religion, and a Religion of a highly metaphysical character; but
because such non-theistic modes of religious thought exist in Buddhism,
for instance, it does not follow that they are reasonable, and, at all
events, they are hardly intelligible to most Western minds.  Such
non-theistic Religions imply a Metaphysic quite as much as Christianity
or Buddhism.  There have been Religions without the idea of a personal
God, but never without Metaphysic, _i.e._ a theory about the ultimate
nature of things.

[4] Tennyson's _Wages_.

[5] The doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas is 'Cum possit Deus omnia
efficere quae esae possunt, non autem quae contradictionem implicant,
omnipotens merito dicitur.'  (_Summa Theol_., Pars I. Q. xxv. art. 8.)




In the present lecture I shall try to deal with some of the difficulties
which will probably have been arising in your minds in the course of the
last three; and in meeting them, to clear up to some extent various
points which have been left obscure.

(1) _Creation_.  I have endeavoured to show that the world must be
thought of as ultimately an experience in the mind of God, parts of which
are progressively communicated to lesser minds such as ours.  This
experience--both the complete experience which is in His own mind and
also the measure of it which is communicated to the lesser minds--must be
thought of as willed by God.  At the same time I suggested as an
alternative view that, even if we think of things as having an existence
which is not simply in and for minds, the things must be caused to exist
by a rational Will.  Now the world, as we know it, consists of a number
of changes taking place in time, changes which are undoubtedly
represented in thought as changes happening to, or {88} accidents of, a
permanent substance, whether (with the Idealist) we suppose that this
substance is merely the object of Mind's contemplation, or whether (with
the Realist) we think of it as having some sort of being independent of
Mind.  But what of the first of these events--the beginning of the whole
series?  Are we to think of the series of events in time as having a
beginning and possibly an end, or as being without beginning or end?
What in fact are we to make of the theological idea of Creation, often
further defined as Creation out of nothing?  It is often suggested both
by Idealists and by Realists that the idea of a creation or absolute
beginning of the world is unthinkable.  Such a view seems to me to be a
piece of unwarrantable _a priori_ dogmatism--quite as much so as the
closely connected idea that the Uniformity of Nature is an _a priori_
necessity of thought.  No doubt the notion of an absolute beginning of
all things is unthinkable enough: if we think of God as creating the
world at a definite point of time, then we must suppose God Himself to
have existed before that creation.  We cannot think of an event in time
without thinking of a time before it; and time cannot be thought of as
merely empty time.  Events of some kind there must necessarily have been,
even though those events are thought of as merely subjective experiences
involving no relation to space.  A beginning of existence is, {89}
indeed, unthinkable.  But there is no difficulty in supposing that this
particular series of phenomena which constitutes our physical Universe
may have had a beginning in time.  On the other hand there is no positive
evidence, for those who cannot regard the early chapters of Genesis as
representing on such a matter anything but a primitive legend edited by a
later Jewish thinker, that it had such a beginning.  It is no doubt more
difficult to represent to ourselves a beginning of space; and the notion
of an empty space, eternally thought but not eternally filled up by any
series of phenomena of the space-occupying kind, represents a rather
difficult, though not (as it seems to me) an absolutely impossible
conception.  The question, therefore, whether there was a beginning of
the series of events which constitute the history of our physical world
must (so far as I can see) be left an open one.

Of course if the argument of Lord Kelvin be accepted, if he is justified
in arguing on purely physical grounds that the present distribution of
energy in the Universe is such that it cannot have resulted from an
infinite series of previous physical changes, if Science can prove that
the series is a finite one, the conclusions of Science must be
accepted.[1]  Metaphysic has nothing to say for or against such a view.
That is a question of Physics on which {90} of course I do not venture to
express any opinion whatever.

(2) _The time-series_.  I am incompetent to pronounce an opinion on the
validity of such arguments as Lord Kelvin's.  But, however we decide this
question, there will still remain the further and harder question, 'Is
the series of all events or experiences, physical or psychical (not
merely the particular series which constitutes our physical Universe), to
be thought of as finite or infinite?  On the one hand it involves a
contradiction to talk of a time-series which has a beginning: a time
which has no time before it is not time at all; any more than space with
an end to it would be space.  On the other hand, we find equally, or
almost equally, unthinkable the hypothesis of an endless series of events
in time: a series of events, which no possible enumeration of its members
will make any smaller, presents itself to us as unthinkable, directly we
regard it as expressing the true nature of a positive reality, and not as
a mere result of mathematical abstraction.  Here then we are presented
with an antinomy--an apparent contradiction in our thought--which we can
neither avoid nor overcome.  It is one of the classical antinomies
recognized by the Kantian Philosophy--the only one, I may add, which
neither Kant himself nor any of his successors has done anything to
attenuate or to remove.  {91} Kant's own attempted solution of it
involved the impossible supposition that the past has no existence at all
except in so far as it is thought by some finite mind in the present.
The way out of this difficulty which is popular with post-Kantian
Idealists is to say that God is Himself out of time, and eternally sees
the whole series at once.  But, in the first place, that does not get
over the difficulty: even if God does see the whole series at once, He
must see it either as limited or as endless, and the old antinomy breaks
out again when we attempt to think either alternative.  And secondly,
when you treat a temporal series as one which is all really present
together--of course it may all be _known_ together as even we know the
past and the future--but when you try to think of God as contemplating
the whole series as really present altogether, the series is no longer a
time-series.  You have turned it into some other kind of
series--practically (we may say) into a spacial series.  You have cut the
knot, instead of unravelling it.  I have no doubt that the existence of
this antinomy does point to the fact that there is some way of thinking
about time from which the difficulty disappears: but we are, so far as I
can see, incompetent so to resolve it.  Philosophers resent the idea of
an insoluble problem.  By all means let them go on trying to solve it.  I
can only say that I find no difficulty in showing the futility {92} of
any solution of the time-difficulty which I have so far seen.  For the
present at least--I strongly suspect for ever--we must acquiesce on this
matter in a reverent Agnosticism.  We can show the absurdity of regarding
time as merely subjective; we can show that it belongs to the very
essence of the Universe we know; we can show that it is as 'objective' as
anything else within our knowledge.  But how to reconcile this
objectivity with the difficulty of thinking of an endless succession no
Philosopher has done much to explain.  For religious purposes it seems
enough to believe that each member of the time-series--no matter how many
such events there may be, no matter whether the series be endless or
not--is caused by God.  The more reflecting Theologians have generally
admitted that the act of divine Conservation is essentially the same as
that of Creation.  A God who can be represented as 'upholding all things
by the power of his word' is a creative Deity whether the act of creation
be in time, or eternally continuous, or (if there were any meaning in
that phrase) out of time altogether.[2]


(3) _The creation of spirits_.  It may seem to some of you that I may
have so far left out, or too easily disposed of, an important link in our
argument.  I have given reasons for thinking that the material world
cannot be explained without the assumption of a universal Consciousness
which both thinks and wills it.  I have assumed rather than proved that
the lesser minds, in which the divine experience is partially reproduced,
are also caused to exist and kept in existence by the same divine Will.
But how, it may be said, do we know that those minds did not exist before
the birth of the organisms with which upon this planet they are
connected?  The considerations which forbid our thinking of matter as
something capable of existing by itself do not apply to minds.  A
consciousness, unlike a thing, exists 'for itself,' not merely 'for
another': a mind is not made what it is by being known or otherwise
experienced by another mind: its very being consists in being itself
conscious: it is what it is for itself.  It is undoubtedly impossible
positively to disprove the hypothesis of eternally pre-existent souls.
Sometimes that hypothesis is combined with Theism.  It {94} is supposed
that God is the supreme and incomparably the most powerful, but not the
only, self-existent and eternal Spirit.  This hypothesis--sometimes
spoken of as Pluralism[3]--has many attractions: from the time of Origen
onwards the idea of Pre-existence has seemed to many to facilitate the
explanation of evil by making it possible to regard the sufferings of our
present state as a disciplinary process for getting rid of an original or
a pre-natal sinfulness.  It is a theory not incapable of satisfying the
demands of the religious Consciousness, and may even form an element in
an essentially Christian theory of the Universe: but to my mind it is
opposed to all the obvious indications of experience.  The connexion
between soul and body is such that the laws of the soul's development
obviously form part of the same system with the laws of physical nature.
If one part of that system is referred to the divine Will, so must the
whole of it be.  The souls, when they have entered animal bodies, must be
supposed to be subject to a system of laws which is of one piece with the
system of physical laws.  If the physical part of the world-order is
referred to the divine Will, the psychical part of it must be equally
referred to {95} that Will.  The souls might, indeed, conceivably have an
independent and original nature of their own capable of offering
resistance to the divine intentions.  But we see, to say the least, no
indications of a struggle going on between an outside divine Will and
independent beings not forming a part of the divine scheme.  At all
events, the result of this struggle, if struggle there be, is (so far as
we can observe) a system, complete and orderly, within the psychical
sphere as much as within the purely physical sphere.  And in particular
the body is exactly fitted to the soul that is to inhabit it.  We never
find the intellect of a Shakespeare in connexion with the facial angle of
a negro; bodies which resemble the bodies of their parents are connected
with souls between which a similar resemblance can be traced.  If the
souls existed before birth, we must suppose those souls to be kept
waiting in a limbo of some kind till a body is prepared suitable for
their reception.  We must suppose that among the waiting souls, one is
from time to time selected to be the offspring of such and such a
matrimonial union, so as to present (as it were) a colourable appearance
of being really the fruit of that union.  Further, before birth the souls
must be steeped in the waters of Lethe, or something of the kind, so as
to rid them of all memory of their previous experiences.  Such a
conception seems to {96} me to belong to the region of Mythology rather
than of sober philosophical thought.  I do not deny that Mythology may
sometimes be a means of pictorially or symbolically envisaging truths to
which Philosophy vaguely points but which it cannot express in clearly
apprehensible detail.  But such a Mythology as this seems to be
intellectually unmotived and unhelpful.  It is not wanted to explain the
facts: there is nothing in our experience to suggest it, and much which
is _prima facie_ opposed to it.  It really removes no single difficulty:
for one difficulty which it presents some appearance of removing, it
creates a dozen greater ones.  It is a hypothesis which we shall do well
to dismiss as otiose.

(4) _Non-theistic Idealism_.  Somewhat less unmotived, if we look upon it
from a merely intellectual point of view, is the theory of pre-existent
souls without a personal God.  Many, if not most, of you probably possess
more or less acquaintance with the views of my friend, Dr. McTaggart.  I
cannot here undertake a full exposition or criticism of one of the ablest
thinkers of our day--one of the very few English thinkers who is the
author of a truly original metaphysical system.  I can only touch--and
that most inadequately--upon the particular side of it which directly
bears upon our present enquiry.  Dr. McTaggart is an Idealist; he
recognizes the {97} impossibility of matter without mind.  For him
nothing exists but spirits, but he does not recognize the necessity for
any one all-embracing or controlling Spirit: the only spirits in his
Universe are limited minds like those of men and animals.  He differs,
then, from the Pluralist of the type just mentioned in getting rid of the
hypothesis of a personal God side by side with and yet controlling the
uncreated spirits.  And he differs further from all Pluralists in not
treating the separate spirits as so many centres of consciousness quite
independent of, and possibly at war with, all the rest: the spirits form
part of an ordered system: the world is a unity, though that unity is not
the unity which belongs to self-consciousness.  He recognizes, in the
traditional language of Philosophy, an Absolute, but this Absolute is not
a single spiritual Being but a Society: or, if it is to be called a
single spiritual Being, it is a Being which exists or manifests itself
only in a plurality of limited consciousnesses.

This scheme is, I admit, more reasonable than Pluralism.  It does,
nominally at least, recognize the world as an ordered system.  It gets
rid of the difficulty of accounting for the apparent order of the Cosmos
as the result of a struggle between independent wills.  It is not, upon
its author's pre-suppositions, a gratuitous theory: for a mind which
accepts Idealism and rejects Theism it is the only {98} intelligible
alternative.  But I must confess that it seems to me open to most of the
difficulties which I have endeavoured to point out in Pluralism, and to
some others.  In the first place, there is one, to my mind, great and
insuperable difficulty about it.  As an Idealist, Dr. McTaggart has to
admit that the whole physical world, in so far as it exists at all, must
exist in and for some consciousness.  Now, not only is there, according
to him, no single mind in which the system can exist as a whole, but even
all the minds together do not apparently know the whole of it, or (so far
as our knowledge goes) ever will.  The undiscovered and unknown part of
the Universe is then non-existent.  And yet, be it noticed, the known
part of the world does not make a perfectly articulated or (if you like
the phrase) organic system without the unknown part.  It is only on the
assumption of relations between what we know and what we don't know that
we can regard it as an orderly, intelligible system at all.  Therefore,
if part of the system is non-existent, the whole system--the system as a
whole--must be treated as non-existent.  The world is, we are told, a
system; and yet as a system it has (upon the hypothesis) no real
existence.  The systematic whole does not exist in matter, for to Dr.
McTaggart matter is merely the experience of Mind.  What sort of
existence, then, can an undiscovered planet possess till it is {99}
discovered?  For Dr. McTaggart has not provided any mind or minds in and
for which it is to exist.  At one time, indeed, Dr. McTaggart seemed
disposed to accept a suggestion of mine that, on his view, each soul must
be omniscient; and to admit that, while in its temporal aspect, each soul
is limited and fallible in its knowledge, it is at the same time
supertemporally omniscient.  That is a conception difficult beyond all
the difficulties of the most arbitrary and self-contradicting of orthodox
patristic or scholastic speculations.  But, as Dr. McTaggart does not now
seem disposed to insist upon that point, I will say no more about it
except that to my mind it is a theory which defies all intellectual
grasp.  It can be stated; it cannot be thought.

Further, I would remind you, the theory is open to all the objections
which I urged against the Pre-existence theory in its pluralistic form.
I have suggested the difficulties involved in the facts of heredity--the
difficulty of understanding how souls whose real intellectual and moral
characteristics are uncaused and eternal should be assigned to parents so
far resembling them as to lead almost inevitably to the inference that
the characteristics of the children are to some extent causally connected
with those of the parents.[4] Now the Pluralist can {100} at least urge
that for this purpose ingenious arrangements are contrived by God--by the
One Spirit whom he regards as incomparably the wisest and most powerful
in the Universe.  Dr. McTaggart recognizes no intelligence capable of
grappling with such a problem or succession of problems.  But this
particular matter of the assignment of souls to bodies is only a
particular application of a wider difficulty.  Dr. McTaggart contends
that the Universe constitutes not merely a physical but a moral order.
He would not deny that the Universe means something; that the series of
events tends towards an end, an end which is also a good; that it has a
purpose and a final cause.  And yet this purpose exists in no mind
whatever, and is due to no will whatever--except to the very small extent
to which the processes of physical nature can be consciously directed to
an end by the volitions of men and similarly limited intelligences.  As a
whole, the Universe is purposed and willed by no single will or
combination of wills.  I confess I do not understand the idea of a
purpose which operates, but is not the purpose of a Mind which is also a
Will.  All the considerations upon which I dwelt to show the necessity of
such a Will to account for the Universe which we know, are so many
arguments against Dr. McTaggart's scheme.  The events of Dr. McTaggart's
Universe are, upon the view of Causality which I {101} attempted to
defend in my second lecture, uncaused events.

Nevertheless, as a Philosopher, I am deeply grateful to Dr. McTaggart.
Not only does his scheme on its practical side seem to me preferable to
many systems which sound more orthodox--systems of vague pantheistic
Theism in which Morality is treated as mere 'appearance' and personal
Immortality deliberately rejected--but it has done much intellectually to
clear the air.  Dr. McTaggart seems to me right in holding that, if God
or the Absolute is to include in itself all other spirits, and yet the
personality or self-consciousness of those spirits is not to be denied,
then this Absolute in which they are to be included cannot reasonably be
thought of as a conscious being, or invested with the other attributes
usually implied by the term God.

And this leads me to say a few words more in explanation of my own view
of the relation between God and human or other souls.  To me, as I have
already intimated, it seems simply meaningless to speak of one
consciousness as included in another consciousness.  The essence of a
consciousness is to be for itself: whether it be a thought, a feeling, or
an emotion, the essence of that consciousness is what it is for me.
Every moment of consciousness is unique.  Another being may have a {102}
similar feeling: in that case there are two feelings, and not one.
Another mind may know what I feel, but the knowledge of another's agony
is (fortunately) a very different thing from the agony itself.  It is
fashionable in some quarters to ridicule the idea of 'impenetrable'
souls.  If 'impenetrable' means that another soul cannot know what goes
on in my soul, I do not assert that the soul is impenetrable.  I believe
that God knows what occurs in my soul in an infinitely completer way than
that in which any human being can know it.  Further, I believe that every
soul is kept in existence from moment to moment by a continuous act of
the divine Will, and so is altogether dependent upon that Will, and forms
part of one system with Him.  On the other hand I believe that (through
the analogy of my own mind and the guidance of the moral consciousness) I
do know, imperfectly and inadequately, 'as in a mirror darkly,' what goes
on in God's Mind.  But, if penetrability is to mean identity, the theory
that souls are penetrable seems to me mainly unintelligible.  The
acceptance which it meets with in some quarters is due, I believe, wholly
to the influence of that most fertile source of philosophical
confusion--misapplied spacial metaphor.[5]  It seems easy to talk about a
mind being {103} something in itself, and yet part of another mind,
because we are familiar with the idea of things in space forming part of
larger things in space--Chinese boxes, for instance, shut up in bigger
ones.  Such a mode of thought is wholly inapplicable to minds which are
not in space at all.  Space is in the mind: the mind is not in space.  A
mind is not a thing which can be round or square: you can't say that the
intellect of Kant or of Lord Kelvin measures so many inches by so many:
equally impossible is it to talk about such an intellect being a part of
a more extensive intellect.

The theory of an all-inclusive Deity has recently been adopted and
popularized by Mr. Campbell,[6] who has done all that rhetorical skill
combined with genuine religious earnestness can do to present it in an
attractive and edifying dress.  And yet the same Logic which leads to the
assertion that the Saint is part of God, leads also to the assertion that
Caesar Borgia and Napoleon Buonaparte and all the wicked Popes who have
ever been white-washed by episcopal or other historians are also parts of
God.  How can I worship, how can I strive to be like, how can I be the
better for believing in or revering {104} a Being of whom Caesar Borgia
is a part as completely and entirely as St. Paul or our Lord himself?
Hindoo Theology is consistent in this matter.  It worships the
destructive and the vicious aspects of Brahma as much as the kindly and
the moral ones: it does not pretend that God is revealed in the Moral
Consciousness, or is in any exclusive or one-sided way a God of Love.  If
it be an 'ethical obsession' (as has been suggested) to object to treat
Immorality as no less a revelation of God than Morality, I must plead
guilty to such an obsession.  And yet without such an 'obsession' I
confess I do not see what is left of Christianity.  There is only one way
out of the difficulty.  If we are all parts of God, we can only call God
good or perfect by maintaining that the deliverances of our moral
consciousness have no validity for God, and therefore can tell us nothing
about him.  That has been done deliberately and explicitly by some
Philosophers:[7] the distinguished Theologians who echo the language of
this Philosophy have fortunately for their own religious life and
experience, but unfortunately for their philosophical consistency,
declined to follow in their steps.  A God who is 'beyond good and evil,'
can be no fitting object of {105} worship to men who wish to become good,
just, merciful.  If the cosmic process be indifferent to these ethical
considerations, we had better (with honest Agnostics like Professor
Huxley) make up our minds to defy it, whether it call itself God or not.

But it is not so much on account of its consequences as on account of its
essential unmeaningness and intellectual unintelligibility that I would
invite you to reject this formula 'God is all.'  Certainly, the Universe
is an ordered system: there is nothing in it that is not done by the Will
of God.  And some parts of this Universe--the spiritual parts of it and
particularly the higher spirits--are not mere creations of God's will.
They have a resemblance of nature to Him.  I do not object to your saying
that at bottom there is but one Substance in the Universe, if you will
only keep clear of the materialistic and spacial association of the word
Substance: but it is a Substance which reveals itself in many different
consciousnesses.  The theory of an all-inclusive Consciousness is not
necessary to make possible the idea of close and intimate communion
between God and men, or of the revelation in and to Humanity of the
thought of God.  On the contrary, it is the idea of Identity which
destroys the possibility of communion.  Communion implies two minds: a
mind cannot have communion with itself or with part of itself.  The two
may also in a {106} sense be one; of course all beings are ultimately
part of one Universe or Reality: but that Reality is not one
Consciousness.  The Universe is a unity, but the unity is not of the kind
which constitutes a person or a self-consciousness.  It is (as Dr.
McTaggart holds) the unity of a Society, but of a Society (as I have
attempted to argue) which emanates from, and is controlled by and guided
to a preconceived end by, a single rational Will.[8]

(5) _The intuitive theory of religious knowledge_.  In other quarters
objection will probably be taken to my not having recognized the
possibility of an immediate knowledge of God, and left the idea of God to
be inferred by intellectual processes which, when fully thought out,
amount to a Metaphysic.  It will be suggested that to make religious
belief dependent upon Reason is to make it impossible to any but trained
Philosophers or Theologians.  Now there is no doubt a great
attractiveness in the theory which makes belief in God depend simply upon
the immediate affirmation of the individual's own consciousness.  It
would be more difficult to argue against such a theory of immediate
knowledge or intuition if we found that the consciousness of all or most
individuals does actually reveal to them {107} the existence of God:
though after all the fact that a number of men draw the same inference
from given facts does not show that it is not an inference.  You will
sometimes find Metaphysicians contending that nobody is really an
Atheist, since everybody necessarily supposes himself to be in contact
with an Other of which he is nevertheless a part.  I do not deny that, if
you water down the idea of God to the notion of a vague 'something not
ourselves,' you may possibly make out that everybody is explicitly or
implicitly a believer in such a Deity.

I should prefer myself to say that, if that is all you mean by God, it
does not much matter whether we believe in Him or not.  In the sense in
which God is understood by Christianity or Judaism or any other theistic
Religion it is unfortunately impossible to contend that everybody is a
Theist.  And, if there is an immediate knowledge of God in every human
soul, this would be difficult to account for.  Neither the cultivated nor
the uncultivated Chinaman has apparently any such belief.  The ignorant
Chinaman believes in a sort of luck or destiny--possibly in a plurality
of limited but more or less mischievous spirits; the educated Chinaman,
we are told, is for the most part a pure Agnostic.  And Chinamen are
believed to be one-fifth of the human race.  The task of the Missionary
would be an easier one if he could {108} appeal to any such widely
diffused intuitions of God.  The Missionary, from the days of St. Paul at
Athens down to the present, has to begin by arguing with his opponents in
favour of Theism, and then to go on to argue from Theism to Christianity.
I do not deny--on the contrary I strongly contend--that the rational
considerations which lead up to Monotheism are so manifold, and lie so
near at hand, that at a certain stage of mental development we find that
belief independently asserting itself with more or less fullness in
widely distant regions of time and space; while traces of it are found
almost everywhere--even among savages--side by side with other and
inconsistent beliefs.  But even among theistic nations an immediate
knowledge of God is claimed by very few.  If there is a tendency on the
part of the more strongly religious minds to claim it, it is explicitly
disclaimed by others--by most of the great Schoolmen, and in modern times
by profoundly religious minds such as Newman or Martineau.  Its existence
is in fact denied by most of the great theological systems--Catholic,
Protestant, Anglican.  Theologians always begin by arguing in favour of
the existence of God.  And even among the religious minds without
philosophical training which do claim such immediate knowledge, their
creed is most often due (as is obvious to the outside observer) to the
influence of environment, of education, of social {109} tradition.  For
the religious person who claims such knowledge of God does not generally
stop at the bare affirmation of God's existence: he goes on to claim an
immediate knowledge of all sorts of other things--ideas clearly derived
from the traditional teaching of his religious community.  The Protestant
of a certain type will claim immediate consciousness of ideas about the
forgiveness of sins which are palpably due to the teaching of Luther or
St. Augustine, and to the influence of this or that preacher who has
transmitted those ideas to him or to his mother: while the Catholic,
though his training discourages such claims, will sometimes see visions
which convey to him an immediate assurance of the truth of the Immaculate
Conception.  Even among Anglicans we find educated men who claim to know
by immediate intuition the truth of historical facts alleged to have
occurred in the first century, or dogmatic truths such as the complicated
niceties of the Athanasian Creed.  These claims to immediate insight thus
refute themselves by the inconsistent character of the knowledge claimed.
An attempt may be made to extract from all these immediate certainties a
residual element which is said to be common to all of them.  The attempt
has been made by Professor James in that rather painful work, the
_Varieties of Religious Experience_.  And the residuum turns out to be
something so vague that, if not {110} absolutely worthless, it is almost
incapable of being expressed in articulate language, and constitutes a
very precarious foundation for a working religious creed.

The truth is that the uneducated--or rather the unanalytical, perhaps I
ought to say the metaphysically untrained--human mind has a tendency to
regard as an immediate certainty any truth which it strongly believes and
regards as very important.  Such minds do not know the psychological
causes which have led to their own belief, when they are due to
psychological causes: they have not analysed the processes of thought by
which they have been led to those beliefs which are really due to the
working of their own minds.  Most uncultivated persons would probably be
very much surprised to hear that the existence of the friend with whose
body they are in physical contact is after all only an inference.[9]  But
surely, in the man who has discovered that such is the case, the warmth
of friendship was never dimmed by the reflection that his knowledge of
his friend is not immediate but mediate.  It is a mere prejudice to
suppose that mediate knowledge is in any {111} way less certain, less
intimate, less trustworthy or less satisfying than immediate knowledge.
If we claim for man the possibility of just such a knowledge of God as a
man may possess of his brother man, surely that is all that is wanted to
make possible the closest religious communion.  It is from the existence
of my own self that I infer the existence of other selves, whom I observe
to behave in a manner resembling my own behaviour.  It is by an only
slightly more difficult and complicated inference from my own
consciousness that I rise to that conception of a universal Consciousness
which supplies me with at once the simplest and the most natural
explanation both of my own existence and of the existence of the Nature
which I see around me.

(6) _Religion and Psychology_.  I do not deny that the study of religious
history, by exhibiting the naturalness and universality of religious
ideas and religious emotions, may rationally create a pre-disposition to
find some measure of truth in every form of religious belief.  But I
would venture to add a word of caution against the tendency fashionable
in many quarters to talk of basing religious belief upon Psychology.  The
business of Psychology is to tell us what actually goes on in the human
mind.  It cannot possibly tell us whether the beliefs which are found
there are true or false.  An erroneous {112} belief is as much a
psychological fact as a true one.  A theory which goes on, by inference
from what we observe in our own minds, to construct a theory of the
Universe necessarily involves a Metaphysic, conscious or unconscious.  It
may be urged that the reality of religious experience is unaffected by
the question whether the beliefs associated with it are true or false.
That is the case, so long as the beliefs are supposed to be true by the
person in question.  But, when once the spirit of enquiry is aroused, a
man cannot be--and I venture to think ought not to be--satisfied as to
the truth of his belief simply by being told that the beliefs are
actually there.

It may be contended, no doubt, that religious experience does not mean
merely a state of intellectual belief, but certain emotions, aspirations,
perhaps (to take one particular type of religious experience) a
consciousness of love met by answering love.  To many who undergo such
experiences, they seem to carry with them an immediate assurance of the
existence of the Being with whom they feel themselves to be in communion.
That, on the intellectual presuppositions of the particular person, seems
to be the natural--it may be the only possible--way of explaining the
feeling.  But even there the belief is not really immediate: it is an
inference from what is actually matter of experience.  And it is,
unhappily, no less a matter of well-ascertained {113} psychological fact
that, when intellectual doubt is once aroused, such experiences no longer
carry with them this conviction of their own objective basis.  The person
was really under the influence of an intellectual theory all along,
whether the theory was acquired by hereditary tradition, by the influence
of another's mind, or by personal thought and reflection.  When the
intellectual theory alters, the same kind of experience is no longer
possible.  I will not attempt to say how far it is desirable that persons
who are perfectly satisfied with a creed which they have never examined
should (as it were) pull up the roots of their own faith to see how deep
they go.  I merely want to point out that the occurrence of certain
emotional experiences, though undoubtedly they may constitute part of the
data of a religious argument, cannot be held to constitute in and by
themselves sufficient evidence for the truth of the intellectual theory
connected with them in the mind of the person to whom they occur.  They
do not always present themselves as sufficient evidence for their truth
even to the person experiencing them--still less can they do so to
others.  Equally unreasonable is it to maintain, with a certain class of
religious philosophers, that the religious experience by itself is all we
want; and to assume that we may throw to the winds all the theological or
other beliefs which have actually been associated {114} with the various
types of religious experience, and yet continue to have those experiences
and find them no less valuable and no less satisfying.  If there is one
thing which the study of religious Psychology testifies to, it is the
fact that the character of the religious experience (though there may be
certain common elements in it) varies very widely with the character of
the theoretical belief with which it is associated--a belief of which it
is sometimes the cause, sometimes the effect, but from which it is always
inseparable.  The Buddhist's religious experiences are not possible to
those who hold the Christian's view of the Universe: the Christian's
religious experiences are not possible to one who holds the Buddhist
theory of the Universe.  You cannot have an experience of communion with
a living Being when you disbelieve in the existence of such a Being.  And
a man's theories of the Universe always at bottom imply a Metaphysic of
some kind--conscious or unconscious.

Sometimes the theory of a Religion which shall be purely psychological
springs from pure ignorance as to the meaning of the terms actually
employed by the general usage of philosophers.  Those who talk in this
way mean by Psychology what, according to the ordinary philosophic usage,
is really Metaphysic.  For Metaphysic is simply the science which deals
with the ultimate nature of the Universe.  {115} At other times attempts
are made by people of more or less philosophical culture to justify their
theory.  The most widely influential of such attempts is the one made by
M. Auguste Sabatier.[10]  This attempt has at least this much in its
favour--that it is not so much to the ordinary experience of average men
and women that M. Sabatier appeals as to the exceptional experiences of
the great religious minds.  He lays the chief stress upon those
exceptional moments of religious history when a new religious idea
entered into the mind of some prophet or teacher, _e.g._ the unity of
God, the Fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of Man.  Here, just because
the idea was new, it cannot (he contends) be accounted for by education
or environment or any other of the psychological causes which obviously
determine the traditional beliefs of the great majority.  These new
ideas, therefore, he assumes to be due to immediate revelation or
inspiration from God.  Now it is obvious that, even if this inference
were well grounded, it assumes that we have somehow arrived independently
at a conception of God to which such inspirations can be referred.  The
Psychology of the human mind cannot assume the existence of such a Being:
if we infer such a Being from our own mental experience, that is not
immediate but {116} mediate knowledge.  It is a belief based on
inference, and a belief which is, properly speaking, metaphysical.  The
idea of a Religion which is merely based upon Psychology and involves
nothing else is a delusion: all the great Religions of the world have
been, among other things, metaphysical systems.  We have no means of
ascertaining their truth but Reason, whether it assume the form of a
rough common-sense or of elaborate reasoning which not only is Metaphysic
but knows itself to be so.  Reason is then the organ of religious truth.
But then, let me remind you, Reason includes our moral Reason.  That
really is a faculty of immediate knowledge; and it is a faculty which, in
a higher or lower state of development, is actually found in practically
all human beings.  The one element of truth which I recognize in the
theory of an immediate knowledge of God is the truth that the most
important data upon which we base the inference which leads to the
knowledge of God are those supplied by the immediate judgements or
intuitions of the Moral Consciousness.

And here let me caution you against a very prevalent misunderstanding
about the word Reason.  It is assumed very often that Reason means
nothing but inference.  That is not what we mean when we refer moral
judgements to the Reason.  We do not mean that we can prove that things
are right or {117} wrong: we mean precisely the opposite--that ultimate
moral truth is immediate, like the truth that two and two make four.  It
might, of course, be contended that the same Reason which assures me that
goodness is worth having and that the whole is greater than the part,
assures us no less immediately of the existence of God.  I can only say
that I am sure I have no such immediate knowledge, and that for the most
part that knowledge is never claimed by people who understand clearly the
difference between immediate knowledge and inference.  The idea of God is
a complex conception, based, not upon this or that isolated judgement or
momentary experience, but upon the whole of our experience taken
together.  It is a hypothesis suggested by, and necessary to, the
explanation of our experience as a whole.  Some minds may lay most stress
upon the religious emotions themselves; others upon the experience of the
outer world, upon the appearances of design, or upon the metaphysical
argument which shows them the inconceivability of matter without mind;
others, again, may be most impressed by the impossibility of accounting
in any way for the immediate consciousness of duty and the conviction of
objective validity or authority which that consciousness carries with it.
But in any case the knowledge, when it is a reasonable belief and not
based merely upon authority, involves {118} inference--just like our
knowledge of our friend's existence.  The fact that my friend is known to
me by experience does not prevent his communicating his mind to me.  I
shall try to show you in my next lecture that to admit that our knowledge
of God is based upon inference is not incompatible with the belief that
God has spoken to man face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.

At this point it may perhaps be well, for the sake of clearness, to
summarize the position to which I have tried to lead you.  I have tried
to show that the material Universe cannot reasonably be thought of as
having any existence outside, or independently of, Mind.  It certainly
does not exist merely in any or all of the human and similar minds whose
knowledge is fleeting, and which have, there is every reason to believe,
a beginning in time.  We are bound then to infer the existence of a
single Mind or Consciousness, which must be thought of as containing all
the elements of our own Consciousness--Reason or Thought, Feeling, and
Will--though no doubt in Him those elements or aspects of Consciousness
are combined in a manner of which our own minds can give us but a very
faint and analogical idea.  The world must be thought of as ultimately
the thought or experience of this Mind, which we call God.  And this Mind
must be thought {119} of as not only a Thinker, but also as a Cause or a
Will.  Our own and all other minds, no less than the events of the
material Universe, owe their beginning and continuance to this divine
Will: in them the thought or experience of the divine Mind is reproduced
in various degrees; and to all of them is communicated some portion of
that causality or activity of which God is the ultimate source, so that
their acts must be regarded as due mediately to them, ultimately to God.
But, though these minds are wholly dependent upon and in intimate
connexion with the divine Mind, they cannot be regarded as _parts_ of the
divine Consciousness.  Reality consists of God and all the minds that He
wills to exist, together with the world of Nature which exists in and for
those minds.  Reality is the system or society of spirits and their
experience.  The character and ultimate purpose of the divine Mind is
revealed to us, however inadequately or imperfectly, in the moral
consciousness; and the moral ideal which is thus communicated to us makes
it reasonable for us to expect, for at least the higher of the dependent
or created minds, a continuance, of their individual existence, after
physical death.  Pain, sin, and other evils must be regarded as necessary
incidents in the process by which the divine Will is bringing about the
greatest attainable good of all conscious beings.  The question whether
our material Universe, {120} considered as the object of Mind, has a
beginning and will have an end, is one which we have no data for
deciding.  Time-distinctions, I think, must be regarded as
objective--that is to say, as forming part of the nature and constitution
of the real world; but the antinomy involved either in supposing an
endless succession or a beginning and end of the time-series is one which
our intellectual faculties are, or at least have so far proved, incapable
of solving.  The element of inadequacy and uncertainty which the
admission of this antinomy introduces into our theory of the Universe is
an emphatic reminder to us of the inadequate and imperfect character of
all our knowledge.  The knowledge, however, that we possess, though
inadequate knowledge, is real knowledge--not a sham knowledge of merely
relative or human validity; and is sufficient not only for the guidance
of life but even for the partial, though not the complete, satisfaction
of one of the noblest impulses of the human mind--the disinterested
passion for truth.  'Now we see in a mirror darkly'; but still we see.

The view of the Universe which I have endeavoured very inadequately to
set before you is a form of Idealism.  Inasmuch as it recognizes the
existence--though not the separate and independent existence--of many
persons; inasmuch as it regards both God and man as persons, without
attempting {121} to merge the existence of either in one all-including,
comprehensive consciousness, it may further be described as a form of
'personal Idealism.'  But, if any one finds it easier to think of
material Nature as having an existence which, though dependent upon and
willed by the divine Mind, is not simply an existence in and for mind,
such a view of the Universe will serve equally well as a basis of
Religion.  For religious purposes it makes no difference whether we think
of Nature as existing in the Mind of God, or as simply created or brought
into and kept in existence by that Mind.  When you have subtracted from
the theistic case every argument that depends for its force upon the
theory that the idea of matter without Mind is an unthinkable absurdity,
enough will remain to show the unreasonableness of supposing that in
point of fact matter ever has existed without being caused and controlled
by Mind.  The argument for Idealism may, I hope, have at all events
exhibited incidentally the groundlessness and improbability of
materialistic and naturalistic assumptions, and left the way clear for
the establishment of Theism by the arguments which rest upon the
discovery that Causality implies volition; upon the appearances of
intelligence in organic life; upon the existence of the moral
consciousness; and more generally upon the enormous probability that the
ultimate Source of Reality should resemble rather {122} the highest than
the lowest kind of existence of which we have experience.  That Reality
as a whole may be most reasonably interpreted by Reality at its highest
is after all the sum and substance of all theistic arguments.  If anybody
finds it easier to think of matter as uncreated but as always guided and
controlled by Mind, I do not think there will be any religious objection
to such a position; though it is, as it seems to me, intellectually a
less unassailable position than is afforded by an Idealism of the type
which I have most inadequately sketched.

Mr. Bradley in a cynical moment has defined Metaphysics as the 'finding
of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct.'  I do not for myself
accept that definition, which Mr. Bradley himself would not of course
regard as expressing the whole truth of the matter.  But, though I am
firmly convinced that it is possible to find good reasons for the
religious beliefs and hopes which have in fact inspired the noblest
lives, I still feel that the greatest service which even a little
acquaintance with Philosophy may render to many who have not the time for
any profounder study of it, will be to give them greater boldness and
confidence in accepting a view of the Universe which satisfies the
instinctive or unanalysed demands of their moral, intellectual, and
spiritual nature.



It may perhaps be well for the sake of greater clearness to summarize my
objections--those already mentioned and some others--to the system of Dr.
McTaggart, which I admit to be, for one who has accepted the idealistic
position that matter does not exist apart from Mind, the only
intelligible alternative to Theism.  His theory is, it will be
remembered, that ultimate Reality consists of a system of selves or
spirits, uncreated and eternal, forming together a Unity, but not a
conscious Unity, so that consciousness exists only in the separate
selves, not in the whole:

(1) It is admitted that the material world exists only in and for Mind.
There is no reason to think that any human mind, or any of the other
minds of which Dr. McTaggart's Universe is composed, knows the whole of
this world.  What kind of existence then have the parts of the Universe
which are not known to any mind?  It seems to me that Dr. McTaggart would
be compelled to admit that they do not exist at all.  The world
postulated by Science would thus be admitted to be a delusion.  This
represents a subjective Idealism of an extreme and staggering kind which
cannot meet the objections commonly urged against all Idealism.

(2) Moreover, the world is not such an intellectually complete system as
Dr. McTaggart insists that it must be, apart from the relations of its
known parts to its unknown parts.  If there are parts which are unknown
to any mind, and which therefore do not exist at all, it is not a system
at all.

(3) If it be said that all the spirits between them know the world--one
knowing one part, another another--this is a mere hypothesis, opposed to
all the probabilities suggested by experience, and after all would be a
very inadequate answer to our difficulties.  Dr. McTaggart insists {124}
that the world of existing things exists as a system.  Such existence to
an Idealist must mean existence for a mind; a system not known as a
system to any mind whatever could hardly be said to exist at all.

(4) If it be suggested (as Dr. McTaggart was at one time inclined to
suggest) that every mind considered as a timeless Noumenon is omniscient,
though in its phenomenal and temporal aspect its knowledge is
intermittent and always limited, I reply (_a_) the theory seems to me not
only gratuitous but unintelligible, and (_b_) it is open to all the
difficulties and objections of the theory that time and change are merely
subjective delusions.  This is too large a question to discuss here: I
can only refer to the treatment of the subject by such writers as Lotze
(see above) and M. Bergson.  I may also refer to Mr. Bradley's argument
(_Appearance and Reality_, p. 50 sq.) against the theory that the
individual Ego is out of time.

(5) The theory of pre-existent souls is opposed to all the probabilities
suggested by experience.  Soul and organism are connected in such a way
that the pre-existence of one element in what presents itself and works
in our world as a unity is an extremely difficult supposition, and
involves assumptions which reduce to a minimum the amount of identity or
continuity that could be claimed for the Ego throughout its successive
lives.  A soul which has forgotten all its previous experiences may have
some identity with its previous state, but not much.  Moreover, we should
have to suppose that the correspondence of a certain type of body with a
certain kind of soul, as well as the resemblance between the individual
and his parents, implies no kind of causal connexion, but is due to mere
accident; or, if it is not to accident, to a very arbitrary kind of
pre-established harmony which there is nothing in experience to suggest,
and which (upon Dr. McTaggart's theory) there is no creative intelligence
to pre-establish.  The theory cannot be absolutely refuted, but all Dr.
McTaggart's ingenuity has not--to my own mind, {125} and (I feel sure) to
most minds--made it seem otherwise than extremely difficult and
improbable.  Its sole recommendation is that it makes possible an
Idealism without Theism: but, if Theism be an easier and more defensible
theory, that is no recommendation at all.

(6) Dr. McTaggart's whole theory seems to me to waver between two
inconsistent views of Reality.  When he insists that the world consists
of a system or Unity, he tends towards a view of things which makes the
system of intellectual relations constituting knowledge or Science to be
the very reality of things: on such a view there is no impossibility of
an ultimate Reality not known to any one mind.  But Dr. McTaggart has too
strong a hold on the conviction of the supremely real character of
conscious mind and the unreality of mere abstractions to be satisfied
with this view.  If there is no mind which both knows and wills the
existence and the mutual relations of the spirits, the supreme reality
must be found in the individual spirits themselves; yet the system, if
known to none of them, seems to fall outside the reality.  The natural
tendency of a system which finds the sole reality in eternally
self-existent souls is towards Pluralism--a theory of wholly independent
'Reals' or 'Monads.'  Dr. McTaggnrt is too much of a Hegelian to
acquiesce in such a view.  The gulf between the two tendencies seems to
me--with all respect--to be awkwardly bridged over by the assumption that
the separate selves form an intelligible system, which nevertheless no
one really existent spirit actually understands.  If a system of
relations can be Reality, there is no ground for assuming the
pre-existence or eternity of individual souls: if on the other hand
Reality is 'experience,' an unexperienced 'system' cannot be real, and
the 'unity' disappears.  This is a line of objection which it would
require a much more thorough discussion to develope.

(7) On the view which I myself hold as to the nature of Causality, the
only intelligible cause of events is a Will.  The events of Dr.
McTaggart's world (putting aside the very {126} small proportion which
are due, in part at least, to the voluntary action of men or spirits) are
not caused at all.  His theory is therefore open to all--and more than
all--the objections which I have urged in Lecture II. against the theory
which explains the Universe as the thought of a Mind but not as caused by
that Mind.

(8) It is just possible that some one might suggest that the first of my
objections might be met by the allegation that there is nothing in the
scheme which forbids us to suppose that the whole of Nature is known to
more than one of the spirits which make up Reality, though not to all, or
indeed any, of the human and non-human spirits known to us.  I should
reply (_a_) that the considerations which lead to the hypothesis of one
omniscient Being do not require more than one such spirit, and _entia non
sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem_; (_b_) such a scheme would still
be open to Objection 7.  If it is a speculative possibility that all
Nature may exist in the knowledge of more than one spirit, it cannot well
be thought of as willed by more than one spirit.  If the Universe,
admitted to form an ordered system, is caused by rational will at all, it
must surely be caused by one Will.  But perhaps a serious discussion of a
polytheistic scheme such as this may be postponed till it is seriously
maintained.  It has not been suggested, so far as I am aware, by Dr.
McTaggart himself.

(9) The real strength of Dr. McTaggart's system must be measured by the
validity of his objections to a Theism such as I have defended.  I have
attempted to reply to those objections in the course of these Lectures,
and more at length in a review of his _Some Dogmas of Religion_ in _Mind_
(N.S.), vol. xv., 1906.

[1] Cf. Flint's _Theism_, Ed. v., p. 117 and App. xi.

[2] The most illuminating discussion of time and the most convincing
argument for its 'objectivity' which I know, is to be found in Lotze's
_Metaphysic_, Book II. chap. iii., but it cannot be recommended to the
beginner in Metaphysic.  A brilliant exposition of the view of the
Universe which regards time and change as belonging to the very reality
of the Universe, has recently appeared in M. Bergson's L'Évolution
Créatrice, but he has hardly attempted to deal with the metaphysical
difficulties indicated above.  The book, however, seems to me the most
important philosophical work that has appeared since Mr. Bradley's
_Appearance and Reality_, and though the writer has hardly formulated his
Natural Theology, it constitutes a very important contribution to the
theistic argument.  Being based upon a profound study of biological
Evolution, it may be specially commended to scientific readers.

[3] Such a view is expounded in Dr. Schiller's early work _The Riddles of
the Sphinx_ and in Professor Howison's _The Limits of Evolution_.  The
very distinguished French thinker Charles Renouvier (_La Nouvelle
Monadologie_, etc.), like Origen, believed that souls were pre-existent
but created.

[4] I use the word 'causally connected' in the popular or scientific
sense of the word, to indicate merely an actually observed
psycho-physical law.

[5] In part, perhaps, also to a mistaken theory of predication, which
assumes that, because every fact in the world can be represented as
logically a predicate of Reality at large, therefore there is but one
Substance or (metaphysically) Real Being in the world, of which all other
existences are really mere 'attributes.'  But this theory cannot be
discussed here.

[6] In _The New Theology_.

[7] _E.g._ by Mr. Bradley in _Appearance and Reality_ and still more
uncompromisingly by Professor A. E. Taylor in _The Problem of Conduct_,
but I rejoice to find that the latter very able writer has recently given
up this theory of a 'super-moral' Absolute.

[8] I think it desirable to mention here that Professor Watson's account
of my views in his _Philosophical Basis of Religion_ completely
misrepresents my real position.  I have replied to his criticisms in
_Mind_, N.S. No. 69 (Jan. 1909).

[9] This is sometimes denied by Philosophers, but I have never been able
to understand on what grounds.  If I know _a priori_ the existence of
other men, I ought to be able to say _a priori_ how many they are and to
say something about them.  And this is more than any one claims.

[10] In _Esquisse d'une Philosophie de la Religion d'après La Psychologie
et l'histoire_.




I have tried in previous lectures to show that the apprehension of
religious truth does not depend upon some special kind of intuition;
that it is not due to some special faculty superior to and different in
kind from our ordinary intellectual activities, but to an exercise of
the same intellectual faculties by which we attain to truth in other
matters--including, however, especially the wholly unique faculty of
immediately discerning values or pronouncing moral judgements.  The
word 'faith' should, as it seems to me, be used to express not a
mysterious capacity for attaining to knowledge without thought or
without evidence, but to indicate some of the manifold characteristics
by which our religious knowledge is distinguished from the knowledge
either of common life or of the physical Sciences.  If I had time there
would be much to be said about these characteristics, and I think I
could show that the popular distinction between knowledge and religious
{128} faith finds whatever real justification it possesses in these
characteristics of religious knowledge.  I might insist on the
frequently implicit and unanalysed character of religious thinking;
upon the incompleteness and inadequacy of even the fullest account that
the maturest and acutest Philosopher can give of ultimate Reality; upon
the merely probable and analogical character of much of the reasoning
which is necessarily employed both in the most popular and in the most
philosophical kinds of reasoning about such matters; and above all upon
the prominent place which moral judgements occupy in religious thought,
moral judgements which, on account of their immediate character and
their emotional setting, are often not recognized in their true
character as judgements of the Reason.  Most of the mistakes into which
popular thinking has fallen in this matter--the mistakes which
culminate in the famous examination-paper definition of faith as 'a
means of believing that which we know not to be true'--would be avoided
if we would only remember, with St. Paul and most of the greater
religious thinkers, that the true antithesis is not between faith and
reason but between faith and sight.  All religious belief implies a
belief in something which cannot be touched or tasted or handled, and
which cannot be established by any mere logical deduction from what can
be touched or tasted or handled.  So far from implying {129} scepticism
as to the power of Reason, this opposition between faith and sight
actually asserts the possibility of attaining by thought to a knowledge
of realities which cannot be touched or tasted or handled--a knowledge
of equal validity and trustworthiness with that which is popularly said
to be due to the senses, though Plato has taught us once for all[1]
that the senses by themselves never give us real knowledge, and that in
the apprehension of the most ordinary matter of fact there is implied
the action of the self-same intellect by which alone we can reach the
knowledge of God.

It may further be pointed out that, though neither religious knowledge
nor moral knowledge are mere emotion, they are both of them very
closely connected with certain emotions.  Great moral discoveries are
made, not so much by superior intellectual power, as by superior
interest in the subject-matter of Morality.  Very ordinary intelligence
can see, when it is really brought to bear upon the matter, the
irrationality or immorality of bad customs, oppressions, social
injustices; but the people who have led the revolt against these things
have generally been the people who have felt intensely about them.  So
it is with the more distinctly religious knowledge.  Religious thought
and insight are largely dependent upon the emotions to which religious
{130} ideas and beliefs appeal.  The absence of religious thought and
definite religious belief is very often (I am far from saying always)
due to a want of interest in Religion; but that does not prove that
religious thought is not the work of the intellect, any more than the
fact that a man is ignorant of Politics because he takes no interest in
Politics proves that political truth is a mere matter of emotion, and
has nothing to do with the understanding.  Thought is always guided by
interest--a truth which must not be distorted with a certain modern
school of thought, if indeed it can properly be called thought, into
the assertion that thinking is nothing but willing, and that therefore
we are at liberty to think just what we please.

And that leads on to a further point.  Emotion and desire are very
closely connected with the will.  A man's moral insight and the
development of his thought about moral questions depend very largely
upon the extent to which he acts up to whatever light he has.  Vice, as
Aristotle put it, is _phthartike arches_--destructive of moral first
principles.  Moral insight is largely dependent upon character.  And so
is religious insight.  Thus it is quite true to say that religious
belief depends in part upon the state of the will.  This doctrine has
been so scandalously abused by many Theologians and Apologists that I
use it with great hesitation.  I have no sympathy {131} with the idea
that we are justified in believing a religious doctrine merely because
we wish it to be true, or with the insinuation that non-belief in a
religious truth is always or necessarily due to moral obliquity.  But
still it is undeniable that a man's ethical and religious beliefs are
to some extent affected by the state of his will.  That is so with all
knowledge to some extent; for progress in knowledge requires attention,
and is largely dependent upon interest.  If I take no interest in the
properties of curves or the square root of -1, I am not very likely to
make a good mathematician.  This connexion of knowledge with interest
applies in an exceptional degree to religious knowledge: and that is
one of the points which I think many religious thinkers have intended
to emphasize by their too hard and fast distinctions between faith and

Belief itself is thus to some extent affected by the state of the will;
and still more emphatically does the extent to which belief affects
action depend upon the will.  Many beliefs which we quite sincerely
hold are what have been called 'otiose beliefs'; we do not by an effort
of the will realize them sufficiently strongly for them to affect
action.  Many a man knows perfectly that his course of life will injure
or destroy his physical health; it is not through intellectual
scepticism that he disobeys his {132} physician's prescriptions, but
because other desires and inclinations prevent his attending to them
and acting upon them.  It is obvious that to men like St. Paul and
Luther faith meant much more than a mere state of the intellect; it
included a certain emotional and a certain volitional attitude; it
included love and it included obedience.  Whether our intellectual
beliefs about Religion are energetic enough to influence action, does
to an enormous extent depend upon our wills.  Faith is, then, used, and
almost inevitably used, in such a great variety of senses that I do not
like to lay down one definite and exclusive definition of it; but it
would be safe to say that, for many purposes and in many connexions,
religious faith means the deliberate adoption by an effort of the will,
as practically certain for purposes of action and of feeling, of a
religious belief which to the intellect is, or may be, merely probable.
For purposes of life it is entirely reasonable to treat probabilities
as certainties.  If a man has reason to think his friend is
trustworthy, he will do well to trust him wholly and implicitly.  If a
man has reason to think that a certain view of the Universe is the most
probable one, he will do well habitually to allow that conviction to
dominate not merely his actions, but the habitual tenour of his
emotional and spiritual life.  We should not love a human being much if
we allowed ourselves habitually to {133} contemplate the logical
possibility that the loved one was unworthy of, or irresponsive to, our
affection.  We could not love God if we habitually contemplated the
fact that His existence rests for us upon judgements in which there is
more or less possibility of error, though there is no reason why we
should, in our speculative moments, claim a greater certainty for them
than seems to be reasonable.  The doctrine that 'probability is the
guide of life' is one on which every sensible man habitually acts in
all other relations of life: Bishop Butler was right in contending that
it should be applied no less unhesitatingly to the matter of religious
belief and religious aspiration.

The view which I have taken of the nature of faith may be illustrated
by the position of Clement of Alexandria.  It is clear from his
writings that by faith he meant a kind of conviction falling short of
demonstration or immediate intellectual insight, and dependent in part
upon the state of the will and the heart.  Clement did not disparage
knowledge in the interests of faith: faith was to him a more elementary
kind of knowledge resting largely upon moral conviction, and the
foundation of that higher state of intellectual apprehension which he
called Gnosis.  I do not mean, of course, to adopt Clement's Philosophy
as a whole; I merely refer to it as illustrating the point that,
properly considered, faith is, or rather includes, a particular kind or
stage {134} of knowledge, and is not a totally different and even
opposite state of mind.  It would be easy to show that this has been
fully recognized by many, if not most, of the great Christian thinkers.

One last point.  It is of the utmost importance to distinguish between
the process by which psychologically a man arrives at a religious or
other truth and the reasons which make it true.  Because I deny that
the truth of God's existence can reasonably be accepted on the basis of
an immediate judgement or intuition, I do not deny for one moment that
an apparently intuitive conviction of the truth of Christianity, as of
other religions, actually exists.  The religious belief of the vast
majority of persons has always rested, and must always rest, very
largely upon tradition, education, environment, authority of one kind
or another--authority supported or confirmed by a varying measure of
independent reflection or experience.  And, just where the influence of
authority is most complete and overwhelming, it is least felt to be
authority.  The person whose beliefs are most entirely produced by
education or environment is very often most convinced that his opinions
are due solely to his own immediate insight.  But even where this is
not the case--even where the religious man is taking a new departure,
revolting against his environment and adopting a religious belief
absolutely at variance with the established {135} belief of his
society--I do not contend that such new religious ideas are always due
to unobserved and unanalysed processes of reasoning.  That in most
cases, when a person adopts a new creed, he would himself give some
reason for his change of faith is obvious, though the reason which he
would allege would not in all cases be the one which really caused the
change of religion.  There may be other psychological influences which
cause belief besides the influence of environment: in some cases the
psychological causes of such beliefs are altogether beyond analysis.
But, though I do not think M. Auguste Sabatier justified in assuming
that a belief is true, and must come directly from God, simply because
we cannot easily explain its genesis by the individual's environment
and psychological antecedents, it is of extreme importance to insist
that it is not proved to be false because it was not adopted primarily,
or at all, on adequate theoretical grounds.  A belief which arose at
first entirely without logical justification, or it may be on
intellectual grounds subsequently discovered to be inadequate or false,
may nevertheless be one which can and does justify itself to the
reflective intellect of the person himself or of other persons.  And
many new, true, and valuable beliefs have undoubtedly arisen in this
way.  Even in physical Science we all know that there is no Logic of
discovery.  It {136} is a familiar criticism upon the Logic of Bacon
that he ignored or under-estimated the part that is played in
scientific thinking by hypothesis, and the consequent need of
scientific imagination.  Very often the new scientific idea comes into
the discoverer's mind, he knows not how or why.  Some great man of
Science--I think, Helmholtz--said of a brilliant discovery of his, 'It
was given to me.'  But it was not true because it came to Helmholtz in
this way, but because it was subsequently verified and proved.  Now,
undoubtedly, religious beliefs, new and old, often do present
themselves to the minds of individuals in an intuitive and
unaccountable way.  They may subsequently be justified at the bar of
Reason: and yet Reason might never have discovered them for itself.
They would never have come into the world unless they had presented
themselves at first to some mind or other as intuitions, inspirations,
immediate Revelations: and yet (once again) the fact that they so
present themselves does not by itself prove them to be true.

I may perhaps illustrate what I mean by the analogy of Poetry.  I
suppose few people will push the sound-without-sense view of Poetry to
the length of denying that poets do sometimes see and teach us truths.
No one--least of all one who is not even a verse-maker himself--can, I
suppose, analyse the intellectual process by which a poet {137} gets at
his truths.  The insight by which he arrives at them is closely
connected with emotions of various kinds: and yet the truths are not
themselves emotions, nor do they in all cases merely state the fact
that the poet has felt such and such emotions.  They are propositions
about the nature of things, not merely about the poet's mental states.
And yet the truths are not true because the poet _feels_ them, as he
would say--no matter how passionately he feels them.  There is no
separate organ of poetic truth: and not all the things that poets have
passionately felt are true.  Some highly poetical thoughts have been
very false thoughts.  But, if they are true, they must be true for good
logical reasons, which a philosophical critic may even in some cases by
subsequent reflection be able to disentangle and set forth.  Yet the
poet did not get at those truths by way of philosophical reflection:
or, if he was led to them by any logical process, he could not have
analysed his own reasoning.  The poet could not have produced the
arguments of the philosopher: the philosopher without the poet's lead
might never have seen the truth.  I am afraid I must not stay to defend
or illustrate this position: I will only say that the poets I should
most naturally go to for illustration would be such poets as
Wordsworth, Tennyson, and Browning, though perhaps all three are a
little {138} too consciously philosophic to supply the ideal

I do not think it will be difficult to apply these reflections to the
case of religious and ethical truth.  All religious truth, as I hold,
depends logically upon inference; inference from the whole body of our
experiences, among which the most important place is held by our
immediate moral judgements.  The truth of Theism is in that sense a
truth discernible by Reason.  But it does not follow that, when it was
first discovered, it was arrived at by the inferences which I have
endeavoured to some extent to analyse, or by one of the many lines of
thought which may lead to the same conclusions.  It was not the Greek
philosophers so much as the Jewish prophets who taught the world true
Monotheism.  Hosea, Amos, the two Isaiahs probably arrived at their
Monotheism largely by intuition; or (in so far as it was by inferential
processes) the premisses of their argument were very probably inherited
beliefs of earlier Judaism which would not commend themselves without
qualification to a modern thinker.  In its essentials the Monotheism of
Isaiah is a reasonable belief; we accept it because it is reasonable,
not because Isaiah had an intuition that it was true; for we have
rejected many things which to Isaiah probably seemed no less
self-evidently true.  And yet it would be a profound mistake to assume
that {139} the philosophers who now defend Isaiah's creed would ever
have arrived at it without Isaiah's aid.

I hope that by this time you will have seen to some extent the spirit
in which I am approaching the special subject of to-day's lecture--the
question of Revelation.  In some of the senses that have been given to
it, the idea of Revelation is one which hardly any one trained in the
school--that is to say, any school--of modern Philosophy is likely to
accept.  The idea that pieces of information have been supernaturally
and without any employment of their own intellectual faculties
communicated at various times to particular persons, their truth being
guaranteed by miracles--in the sense of interruptions of the ordinary
course of nature by an extraordinary fiat of creative power--is one
which is already rejected by most modern theologians, even among those
who would generally be called rather conservative theologians.  I will
not now argue the question whether any miraculous event, however well
attested, could possibly be sufficient evidence for the truth of
spiritual teaching given in attestation of it.  I will merely remark
that to any one who has really appreciated the meaning of biblical
criticism, it is scarcely conceivable that the evidence for miracles
could seem sufficiently cogent to constitute such an attestation.  In
proof of that I will merely appeal to the modest, apologetic, tentative
tone in which {140} scholarly and sober-minded theologians who would
usually be classed among the defenders of miracles--men like the Bishop
of Ely or Professor Sanday of Oxford--are content to speak of such
evidences.  They admit the difficulty of proving that such miraculous
events really happened thousands of years ago on the strength of
narratives written at the very earliest fifty years after the alleged
event, and they invite us rather to believe in the miracles on the
evidence of a Revelation already accepted than to accept the revelation
on the evidence of the miracles.  I shall have a word to say on this
question of miracles next time; but for the present I want to
establish, or rather without much argument to put before you for your
consideration, this position; that the idea of revelation cannot be
admitted in the sense of a communication of truth by God, claiming to
be accepted not on account of its own intrinsic reasonableness or of
the intellectual or spiritual insight of the person to whom it is made,
but on account of the historical evidence for miraculous occurrences
said to have taken place in connexion with such communication.  The
most that can reasonably be contended for is that super-normal
occurrences of this kind may possess a certain corroborative value in
support of a Revelation claiming to be accepted on other grounds.

What place then is left for the idea of Revelation?  {141} I will ask
you to go back for a moment to the conclusions of our first lecture.
We saw that from the idealistic point of view all knowledge may be
looked upon as a partial communication to the human soul of the
thoughts or experiences of the divine Mind.  There is a sense then in
which all truth is revealed truth.  In a more important sense, and a
sense more nearly allied to that of ordinary usage, all moral and
spiritual truth may be regarded as revealed truth.  And in particular
those immediate judgements about good and evil in which we have found
the sole means of knowing the divine character and purposes must be
looked on as divinely implanted knowledge--none the less divinely
implanted because it is, in the ordinary sense of the words, quite
natural, normal, and consistent with law.  Nobody but an Atheist ought
to talk about the unassisted human intellect: no one who acquiesces in
the old doctrine that Conscience is the voice of God ought either on
the one hand to deny the existence of Revelation, or on the other to
speak of Revelation as if it were confined to the Bible.

But because we ascribe some intrinsic power of judging about spiritual
and moral matters to the ordinary human intellect, it would be a
grievous mistake to assume that all men have an equal measure of this
power.  Because we assert that all moral and spiritual truth comes to
men by {142} Revelation, it does not follow that there are not degrees
of Revelation.  And it is one of the special characteristics of
religious and moral truth that it is in a peculiar degree dependent
upon the superior insight of those exceptional men to whom have been
accorded extraordinary degrees of moral and spiritual insight.  Even in
Science, as we have seen, we cannot dispense with genius: very ordinary
men can satisfy themselves of the truth of a hypothesis when it is once
suggested, though they would have been quite incompetent to discover
that hypothesis for themselves.  Still more unquestionably are there
moral and spiritual truths which, when once discovered, can be seen to
be true by men of very commonplace intellect and commonplace character.
The truths are seen and passed on to others, who accept them partly on
authority, by way of social inheritance and tradition; partly because
they are confirmed in various degrees by their own independent
judgement and experience.  Here then--in the discovery of new spiritual
truth--we encounter that higher and exceptional degree of spiritual and
ethical insight which in a special and pre-eminent sense we ought to
regard as Revelation or Inspiration.  Here there is room, in the
evolution of Religion and Morality, for the influence of the men of
moral or religious genius--the Prophets, the Apostles, the Founders and
Reformers of Religions: and, since {143} moral and spiritual insight
are very closely connected with character, for the moral hero, the
leader of men, the Saint.  Especially to the new departures, the
turning-points, the epoch-making discoveries in ethical and religious
progress connected with the appearance of such men, we may apply the
term Revelation in a supreme or culminating sense.

It is, as it seems to me, extremely important that we should not
altogether divorce the idea of Revelation from those kinds of moral and
religious truth which are arrived at by the ordinary working of the
human intellect.  The ultimate moral judgements no doubt must be
intuitive or immediate, but in our deductions from them--in their
application both to practical life and to theories about God and the
Universe--there is room for much intellectual work of the kind which we
commonly associate rather with the philosopher than with the prophet.
But the philosopher may be also a prophet.  The philosophically trained
Greek Fathers were surely right in recognizing that men like Socrates
and Plato were to be numbered among those to whom the Spirit of God had
spoken in an exceptional degree.  They too spoke in the power of the
indwelling Logos.  But still it is quite natural that we should
associate the idea of Revelation or Inspiration more particularly with
that kind of moral and intellectual discovery which comes to
exceptional men by way {144} of apparent intuition or immediate
insight.  We associate the idea of inspiration rather with the poet
than with the man of Science, and with the prophet rather than with the
systematic philosopher.  It is quite natural, therefore, that we should
associate the idea of Revelation more especially with religious
teachers of the intuitive order like the Jewish prophets than with even
those philosophers who have also been great practical teachers of
Ethics and Religion.  But it is most important to recognize that there
is no hard and fast line to be drawn between the two classes.  The
Jewish prophets did not arrive at their ideas about God without a great
deal of hard thinking, though the thinking is for the most part
unexplicit and the mode of expression poetic.  'Their idols are silver
and gold; even the work of men's hands. . . .  They have hands and
handle not; feet have they and walk not: neither speak they through
their throat.'  There is real hard reasoning underlying such noble
rhetoric, though the Psalmist could not perhaps have reduced his
argument against Polytheism and Idolatry to the form of a dialectical
argument like Plato or St. Thomas Aquinas.  In the highest instance of
all--the case of our Lord Jesus Christ himself--a natural instinct of
reverence is apt to deter us from analysing how he came by the truth
that he communicated to men; but, though I would not deny that the
deepest {145} truth came to him chiefly by a supreme gift of intuition,
there are obvious indications of profound intellectual thought in his
teaching.  Recall for a moment his arguments against the misuse of the
Sabbath, against the superstition of unclean meats, against the
Sadducean objection to the Resurrection.  I want to avoid at present
dogmatic phraseology; so I will only submit in passing that this is
only what we should expect if the early Church was right in thinking of
Christ as the supreme expression in the moral and religious sphere of
the Logos or Reason of God.

The thought of great religious thinkers is none the less Revelation
because it involves the use of their reasoning faculties.  But I
guarded myself against being supposed, in contending for the
possibility of a philosophical or metaphysical knowledge of God, to
assume that religious truth had always come to men in this way, or even
that the greatest steps in religious progress have usually taken the
form of explicit reasoning.  Once again, it is all-important to
distinguish between the way in which a belief comes to be entertained
and the reasons for its being true.  All sorts of psychological causes
have contributed to generate religious beliefs.  And when once we have
discovered grounds in our own reflection or experience for believing
them to be true, there is no reason why we should not regard all of
them as {146} pieces of divine revelation.  Visions and dreams, for
instance, had a share in the development of religious ideas.  We might
even admit the possibility that the human race would never have been
led to think of the immortality of the soul but for primitive ideas
about ghosts suggested by the phenomena of dreams.  The truth of the
doctrine is neither proved nor disproved by such an account of its
origin; but, if that belief is true and dreams have played a part in
the process by which man has been led to it, no Theist surely can
refuse to recognize the divine guidance therein.  And so, at a higher
level, we are told by the author of the Acts that St. Peter was led to
accept the great principle of Gentile Christianity by the vision of a
sheet let down from heaven.  There is no reason why that account should
not be historically true.  The psychologist may very easily account for
St. Peter's vision by the working in his mind of the liberal teaching
of Stephen, the effect of his fast, and so on.  But that does not
prevent us recognizing that vision as an instrument of divine
Revelation.  We at the present day do not believe in this fundamental
principle of Christianity because of that dream of St. Peter's; for we
know that dreams are not always truth or always edifying.  We believe
in that principle on other grounds--the convincing grounds (among
others) which St. Luke puts into St. Peter's mouth {147} on the
following morning.  But that need not prevent our recognizing that God
may have communicated that truth to the men of that generation--and
through them to us--partly by means of that dream.

The two principles then for which I wish to contend are these: (1) that
Revelation is a matter of degree; (2) that no Revelation can be
accepted in the long run merely because it came to a particular person
in a peculiarly intuitive or immediate way.  It may be that M. Auguste
Sabatier is right in seeing the most immediate contact of God with the
human soul in those intuitive convictions which can least easily be
accounted for by ordinary psychological causes; in those new departures
of religious insight, those unaccountable comings of new thoughts into
the mind, which constitute the great crises or turning-points of
religious history.  But, though the coming of such thoughts may often
be accepted by the individual as direct evidences of a divine origin,
the Metaphysician, on looking back upon them, cannot treat the fact
that the psychologist cannot account for them, as a convincing proof of
such an origin, apart from our judgement upon the contents of what
claims to be a revelation.  Untrue thoughts and wicked thoughts
sometimes arise equally unaccountably: the fact that they do so is even
now accounted for by some as a sufficient proof of direct diabolic
suggestion.  When we have judged the {148} thought to be true or the
suggestion to be good, then we, who on other grounds believe in God,
may see in it a piece of divine revelation, but not till then.

From this point of view it is clear that we are able to recognize
various degrees and various kinds of divine revelation in many
different Religions, philosophies, systems of ethical teaching.  We are
able to recognize the importance to the world of the great historical
Religions, in all of which we can acknowledge a measure of Revelation.
The fact that the truths which they teach (in so far as they are true)
can now be recognized as true by philosophic thought, does not show
that the world would ever have evolved those thoughts, apart from the
influence of the great revealing personalities.  Philosophy itself--the
Philosophy of the professed philosophers--has no doubt contributed a
very important element to the content of the historical Religions; but
it is only in proportion as they become part of a system of religious
teaching, and the possession of an organized religious community, that
the ideas of the philosophers really come home to multitudes of men,
and shape the history of the world.  Nor in many cases would the
philosophers themselves have seen what they have seen but for the great
epoch-making thoughts of the great religion-making periods.  And the
same considerations which show the importance of religious movements in
the {149} past tend also to emphasize the importance of the historical
Religion and of the religious community in which it is enshrined in
modern times.  Because religious truth can now be defended by the use
of our ordinary intellectual faculties, and because all possess these
faculties in some degree, it is absurd to suppose that the ordinary
individual, if left to himself, would be likely to evolve a true
religious system for himself--any more than he would be likely to
discern for himself the truths that were first seen by Euclid or Newton
if he were not taught them.  To under-estimate the importance of the
great historical Religions and their creators has been the besetting
sin of technical religious Philosophy.  Metaphysicians have in truth
often written about Religion in great ignorance as to the real facts of
religious history.

But because we recognize a measure of truth in all the historical
Religions, it does not follow that we can recognize an equal amount of
truth in all of them.  The idea that all the Religions teach much the
same thing--or that, while they vary about that unimportant part of
Religion which is called doctrine or dogma, they are all agreed about
Morality--is an idea which could only occur to the self-complaisant
ignorance which of late years has done most of the theological writing
in the correspondence columns of our newspapers.  The real student of
comparative {150} Religion knows that it is only at a rather advanced
stage in the development of Religion that Religion becomes in any
important degree an ethical teacher at all.  Even the highest and most
ethical Religions are not agreed either in their Ethics or in their
Theology.  Not only can we recognize higher and lower Religions; but
the highest Religions, among many things which they have in common, are
at certain points diametrically antagonistic to each other.  It is
impossible therefore reasonably to maintain that fashionable attitude
of mind towards these Religions which my friend Professor Inge once
described as a sort of honorary membership of all Religions except
one's own.  If we are to regard the historical Religions as being of
any importance to our own personal religious life, we must choose
between them.  If we put aside the case of Judaism in its most
cultivated modern form, a form in which it has been largely influenced
by Christianity, I suppose there is practically only one Religion which
would be in the least likely to appeal to a modern philosophical
student of Religion as a possible alternative to Christianity--and that
is Buddhism.  But Buddhist Ethics are not the same as Christian Ethics.
Buddhist Ethics are ascetic: the Christianity which Christ taught was
anti-ascetic.  In its view of the future, Buddhism is pessimistic;
Christianity is optimistic.  Much as {151} Buddhism has done to
inculcate Humanity and Charity, the principle of Buddhist Humanity is
not the same as that of Christianity.  Humanity is encouraged by the
Buddhist (in so far as he is really influenced by his own formal creed)
not from a motive of disinterested affection, but as a means of
escaping from the evils of personal and individual existence, and so
winning Nirvana.  We cannot at one and the same time adhere to the
Ethics of Buddhism and to those of Christianity, though I am far from
saying that Christians have nothing to learn either from Buddhist
teaching or from Buddhist practice.  Still less can we at one and the
same time be Atheists with the Buddhist and Theists with the Christian;
look forward with the Buddhist to the extinction of personal
consciousness and with the Christian to a fuller and more satisfying
life.  To take an interest in comparative Religion is not to be
religious; to be religious implies a certain exclusive attachment to
some definite form of religious belief, though it may of course often
be a belief to which many historical influences have contributed.

I have been trying to lead you to a view of Revelation which recognizes
the existence and the importance of those exceptional religious minds
to whom is due the foundation and development of the great historical
Religions, while at the same time we refuse, in the last resort, to
recognize any {152} revelation as true except on the ground that its
truth can be independently verified.  I do not mean to deny that the
individual must at first, and may quite reasonably in some cases
throughout life, accept much of his religious belief on authority; but
that is only because he may be justified in thinking that such and such
a person, or more probably such and such a religious community, is more
likely to be right than himself.  Rational submission to authority in
this or that individual postulates independent judgement on the part of
others.  I am far from saying that every individual is bound to satisfy
himself by personal enquiry as to the truth of every element in his own
Religion; but, if and so far as he determines to do so, he cannot
reasonably accept an alleged revelation on any other ground than that
it comes home to him, that the content of that Religion appeals to him
as true, as satisfying the demands of his intellect and of his
conscience.  The question in which most of us, I imagine, are most
vitally interested is whether the Christian Religion is a Religion
which we can accept on these grounds.  That it possesses some truth,
that whatever in it is true comes from God--that much is likely to be
admitted by all who believe in any kind of Religion in the sense in
which we have been discussing Religion.  The great question for us is,
'Can we find any reason for the modern man {153} identifying himself in
any exclusive way with the historical Christian Religion?  Granted that
there is some truth in all Religions, does Christianity contain the
most truth?  Is it in any sense the one absolute, final, universal

That will be the subject for our consideration in the next lecture.
But meanwhile I want to suggest to you one very broad provisional
answer to our problem.  Christianity alone of the historical Religions
teaches those great truths to which we have been conducted by a mere
appeal to Reason and to Conscience.  It teaches ethical Monotheism;
that is to say, it thinks of God as a thinking, feeling, willing
Consciousness, and understands His nature in the light of the highest
moral ideal.  It teaches the belief in personal Immortality, and it
teaches a Morality which in its broad general principles still appeals
to the Conscience of Humanity.  Universal Love it sets forth as at once
the central point in its moral ideal and the most important element in
its conception of God.  In one of those metaphors which express so much
more than any more exact philosophical formula, it is the Religion
which teaches the Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.  And
these truths were taught by the historical Jesus.  No one up to his
time had ever taught them with equal clearness and in equal purity, and
with the same freedom from other and inconsistent teachings: {154} and
this teaching was developed by his first followers.  Amid all
aberrations and amid all contamination by heterogeneous elements, the
society or societies which look back to Christ as their Founder have
never in the worst times ceased altogether to teach these truths; and
now they more and more tend to constitute the essence of Christianity
as it is to-day--all the more so on account of the Church's gradual
shuffling off of so many adventitious ideas and practices which were at
one time associated with them.  Christianity is and remains the only
one of the great historical Religions which has taught and does teach
these great truths in all their fullness.[2]  These considerations
would by themselves be sufficient to put Christianity in an absolutely
unique position among the Religions of Mankind.

I have so far been regarding our Lord Jesus Christ simply as a teacher
of religious and ethical truth.  I think it is of fundamental
importance that we should _begin_ by regarding him in this light.
{155} It was in this light that he first presented himself to his
fellow-countrymen--even before (in all probability) he claimed to be
the fulfiller of the Messianic ideal which had been set before them by
the prophets of their race.  And I could not, without a vast array of
quotation, give you a sufficient impression of the prominence of this
aspect of his work and personality among the earlier Greek Fathers.
Even after the elaborate doctrines of Catholic Christianity had begun
to be developed, it was still primarily as the supremely inspired
Teacher that Jesus was most often thought of.  When the early
Christians thought of him as the incarnate Logos or Reason of God, to
teach men divine truth was still looked upon as the supreme function of
the Logos and the purpose of his indwelling in the historical Jesus.
But from the first Jesus appealed to men as much more than a teacher.
It is one of the distinctive peculiarities of religious and ethical
knowledge that it is intimately connected with character: religious and
moral teaching of the highest kind is in a peculiar degree inseparable
from the personality of the teacher.  Jesus impressed his
contemporaries, and he has impressed successive ages as having not only
set before man the highest religious and moral ideal, but as having in
a unique manner realized that ideal in his own life.  Even the word
'example' {156} does not fully express the impression which he made on
his followers, or do justice to the inseparability of his personality
from his teaching.  In the religious consciousness of Christ men saw
realized the ideal relation of man not merely to his fellow-man but
also to his heavenly Father.  From the first an enthusiastic reverence
for its Founder has been an essential part of the Christian Religion
amid all the variety of the phases which it has assumed.  The doctrine
of the Christian Church was in its origin an attempt to express in the
philosophical language of the time its sense of this supreme value of
Christ for the religious and moral life of man.  As to the historical
success and the present usefulness of these attempts, I shall have a
word to say next time.  Meanwhile, I would leave with you this one
thought.  The claim of Christianity to be the supreme, the universal,
in a sense the final Religion, must rest mainly, in the last resort,
upon the appeal which Christ and his Religion make to the moral and
religious consciousness of the present.


See the works mentioned at the end of the next Lecture, to which, as
dealing more specially with the subject of Lecture v., may be added
Professor Sanday's _Inspiration_, and Professor Wendt's _Revelation and

[1] Throughout his writings, but pre-eminently in the _Theoetetus_.

[2] If it be said that Judaism or any other Religion does now teach
these truths as fully as Christianity, this may possibly apply to the
creed of individual members of these Religions, but it can hardly be
claimed for the historical Religions themselves.  I should certainly be
prepared to contend that even such individuals lose something by not
placing in the centre of their Religion the personality of him by whom
they were first taught, and the communities which have been the great
transmitters of them.  But in this course of lectures I am chiefly
concerned with giving reasons why Christians should remain Christians,
rather than with giving reasons why others who are not so should become




In my last lecture I tried to effect a transition from the idea of
religious truth as something believed by the individual, and accepted
by him on the evidence of his own Reason and Conscience to the idea of
a Religion considered as a body of religious truth handed down by
tradition in an organized society.  The higher Religions--those which
have passed beyond the stage of merely tribal or national Religion--are
based upon the idea that religious truth of enduring value has been
from time to time revealed to particular persons, the Founders or
Apostles or Reformers of such religions.  We recognized the validity of
this idea of Revelation, and the supreme importance to the moral and
religious life of such historical revelations, on one condition--that
the claim of any historical Religion to the allegiance of its followers
must be held to rest in the last resort upon the appeal which it makes
to their Reason and Conscience: though the individual may often be
{158} quite justified in accepting and relying upon the Reason and
Conscience of the religious Society rather than upon his own.

The view which I have taken of Revelation makes it quite independent of
what are commonly called miracles.  All that I have said is quite
consistent with the unqualified acceptance or with the unqualified
rejection of miracles.  But some of you may perhaps expect me to
explain a little more fully my own attitude towards that question.  And
therefore I will say this much--that, if we regard a miracle as
implying a suspension of a law of nature, I do not think we can call
such a suspension _a priori_ incredible; but the enormous experience
which we have of the actual regularity of the laws of nature, and of
the causes which in certain states of the human mind lead to the belief
in miracles, makes such an event in the highest degree improbable.  To
me at least it would seem practically impossible to get sufficient
evidence for the occurrence of such an event in the distant past: all
our historical reasoning presupposes the reign of law.  But it is being
more and more admitted by theologians who are regarded as quite
orthodox and rather conservative, that the idea of a miracle need not
necessarily imply such a suspension of natural law.  And on the other
hand, decidedly critical and liberal theologians are more and more
disposed to admit {159} that many of the abnormal events commonly
called miraculous may very well have occurred without involving any
real suspension of natural law.  Recent advances in psychological
knowledge have widened our conception of the possible influence of mind
over matter and of mind over mind.  Whether an alleged miraculous event
is to be accepted or not must, as it seems to me, depend partly upon
the amount of critically sifted historical evidence which can be
produced for it, partly upon the nature of the event itself--upon the
question whether it is or is not of such a kind that we can with any
probability suppose that it might be accounted for either by known laws
or by laws at present imperfectly understood.

To apply these principles in detail to the New Testament narratives
would involve critical discussions which are outside the purpose of
these lectures.  I will only say that few critical scholars would deny
that some recorded miracles even in the New Testament are unhistorical.
When they find an incident like the healing of Malchus's ear omitted in
the earlier, and inserted in the later redaction of a common original,
they cannot but recognize the probability of traditional amplification.
At the same time few liberal theologians will be disposed to doubt the
general fact that our Lord did cure some diseases by spiritual
influence, or that an appearance of our Lord to the disciples--of
whatever nature--actually {160} did occur, and was the means of
assuring them of his continued life and power.  At all events I do not
myself doubt these two facts.  But at least when miracles are not
regarded as constituting real exceptions to natural law, it is obvious
that they will not prove the truth of any teaching which may have been
connected with them; while, even if we treat the Gospel miracles as
real exceptions to law, the difficulty of proving them in the face of
modern critical enquiry is so great that the evidence will hardly come
home to any one not previously convinced, on purely spiritual grounds,
of the exceptional character of our Lord's personality and mission.
This being so, I do not think that our answer to the problem of
miracles, whatever it be, can play any very important part in Christian
Apologetic.  When we have become Christians on other grounds, the acts
of healing may still retain a certain value as illustrating the
character of the Master, and the Resurrection vision as proclaiming the
truth of Immortality in a way which will come home to minds not easily
accessible to abstract argument.  The true foundation not merely for
belief in the teaching of Christ, but also for the Christian's
reverence for his Person, must, as it seems to me, be found in the
appeal which his words and his character still make to the Conscience
and Reason of mankind.  This proposition would be {161} perhaps more
generally accepted if I were to say that the claim of Christ to
allegiance rests upon the way in which he satisfies the heart, the
aspirations, the religious needs of mankind.  And I should be quite
willing to adopt such language, if you will only include respect for
historic fact and intellectual truth among these religious needs, and
admit that a reasonable faith must rest on something better than mere
emotion.  Fully to exhibit the grounds of this claim of Christ upon us
would involve an examination of the Gospel narratives in detail: it
would involve an attempt to present to you what was this teaching, this
character, this religious consciousness which has commanded the homage
of mankind.  To attempt such a task would be out of place in a brief
course of lectures devoted to a particular aspect of Religion--its
relation to Philosophy.  Here I must assume that you feel the spiritual
supremacy of Christ--his unique position in the religious history of
the world and his unique importance for the spiritual life of each one
of us--; and go on to ask what assertions such a conviction warrants us
in making about his person and nature, what in short should be our
attitude towards the traditional doctrines of the Christian Church.

You may know something of the position taken up in this matter by the
dominant school of what I may call believing liberal Theology in {162}
Germany--the school which takes its name from the great theologian
Ritschl, but which will be best known to most Englishmen in connexion
with the name of Prof. Harnack, though it may be well to remember that
Harnack is nearer to the left than to the right wing of that school.
The fundamental principle of that school is to base the claims of
Christianity mainly upon the appeal which the picture of the life,
teaching, character, and personality of Christ makes to the moral and
religious consciousness of mankind.  Their teaching is Christo-centric
in the highest possible degree: but they are almost or entirely
indifferent to the dogmatic formulae which may be employed to express
this supreme religious importance of Christ.  In putting the personal
and historical Christ, and not any doctrine about him, in the centre of
the religious life I believe they are right.  But this principle is
sometimes asserted in an exaggerated and one-sided manner.  In the
first place they are somewhat contemptuous of Philosophy, and of
philosophic argument even for such fundamental truths as the existence
of God.  I do not see that the subjective impression made by Christ can
by itself prove the fact of God's existence.  We must first believe
that there is a God to be revealed before we can be led to believe in
Christ as the supreme Revealer.  I do not believe that the modern world
will permanently accept a view of the Universe {163} which does not
commend itself to its Reason.  The Ritschlians talk about the truth of
Religion resting upon value-judgements.  I can quite understand that a
value-judgement may tell us the supreme value of Christ's character and
his fitness to be treated as the representative of God to us, when once
we believe in God: but I cannot see how any value-judgement taken by
itself can assure us of that existence.  Value is one thing: existence
is another.  To my mind a Christian Apologetic should begin, like the
old Apologies of Justin or Aristides, with showing the essential
reasonableness of Christ's teaching about God and its essential harmony
with the highest philosophic teaching about duty, about the divine
nature, about the soul and its eternal destiny.  The Ritschlian is too
much disposed to underrate the value of all previous religious and
ethical teaching, even of Judaism at its highest: he is not content
with making Christ the supreme Revealer: he wants to make him the only
Revealer.  And when we turn to post-Christian religious history, he is
apt to treat all the great developments of religious and ethical
thought from the time of the Apostles to our own day as simply
worthless and even mischievous corruptions of the original, and only
genuine, Christianity.  He tends to reduce Christianity to the
_ipsissima verba_ of its Founder.  The Ritschlian dislikes Dogma, not
because it may be at times a {164} misdevelopment, but because it is a
development; not because some of it may be antiquated Philosophy, but
simply because it is Philosophy.[1]

In order to treat fairly this question of doctrinal development, it
must be remembered that what is commonly called dogma is only a
part--perhaps not the most important part--of that development.
Supreme as I believe to be the value of Christ's great principle of
Brotherhood, it is impossible to deny that, if we look in detail at the
moral ideal of any educated Christian at the present day, we shall find
in it many elements which cannot explicitly be discovered in the
_ipsissima verba_ of Christ and still less of his Apostles.  And
development in the ethical ideal always carries with it some
development in a man's conception of God and the Universe.  Some of
these elements are due to a gradual bringing out into clear
consciousness, and an application to new details, of principles latent
in the actual words of Christ; others to an infusion of Greek
Philosophy; others to the practical experience and the scientific
discoveries of the modern world.  Christianity in the course of
nineteen centuries has gradually absorbed into itself many ideas from
various sources, {165} christianizing them in the process.  Many ideas,
much Hellenic Philosophy, many Hellenic ideals of life, many Roman
ideas of government and organization have thus, in the excellent phrase
of Professor Gardner, been 'baptized into Christ.'  This capacity of
absorbing into itself elements of spiritual life which were originally
independent of it is not a defect of historical Christianity, but one
of its qualifications for being accepted by the modern world as a
universal, an absolute, a final Religion.

It does not seem to me possible to recognize the claim of any
historical Religion to be final and ultimate, unless it include within
itself a principle of development.  Let me, as briefly as I can,
illustrate what I mean.  It is most clearly and easily seen in the case
of Morality.  If the idea of a universal Religion is to mean that any
detailed code of Morals laid down at a definite moment of history can
serve by itself for the guidance of all human life in all after ages,
we may at once dismiss the notion as a dream.  In nothing did our Lord
show his greatness and the fitness of his Religion for universality
more than in abstaining from drawing up such a code.  He confined
himself to laying down a few great principles, with illustrations
applicable to the circumstances of his immediate hearers.  Those
principles require development and application to the needs and {166}
circumstances of successive ages before they can suffice to guide us in
the details of conduct.  To effect this development and application has
been historically the work of the Church which owes its origin to the
disciples whom he gathered around him.  If we may accept the teaching
of the fourth Gospel as at least having germs in the actual utterances
of our Lord, he himself foresaw the necessity of such a development.
At all events the belief in the continued work of God's Spirit in human
Society is an essential principle of the Christian Religion as it was
taught by the first followers of its Founder.  Take for instance the
case of slavery.  Our Lord never condemned slavery: it is not certain
that he would have done so, had the case been presented to him.  Very
likely his answer would have been 'Who made me a judge or a divider,'
or 'Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.'  No one on
reflection can now fail to see the essential incompatibility between
slavery and the Christian spirit; yet it was perhaps fourteen hundred
years before a single Christian thinker definitely enunciated that
incompatibility, and more than eighteen hundred years before slavery
was actually banished from all nominally Christian lands.  Who can
doubt that many features of our existing social system are equally
incompatible with the principles of Christ's teaching, and that the
{167} accepted Christian morality of a hundred years hence will
definitely condemn many things which the average Christian Conscience
now allows?

And then there is another kind of development in Ethics which is
equally necessary.  The Christian law of Love bids us promote the true
good of our fellow-men, bids us regard another man's good as equally
valuable with our own or with the like good of any other.  But what is
this good life which we are to promote?  As to that our Lord has only
laid down a few very general principles--the supreme value of Love
itself, the superiority of the spiritual to the carnal, the importance
of sexual purity.  These principles our consciences still acknowledge,
and there are no others of equal importance.  But what of the
intellectual life?  Has that no value?  Our Lord never depreciated it,
as so many religious founders and reformers have done.  But he has
given us no explicit guidance about it.  When the Christian ideal
embraced within itself a recognition of the value and duty of Culture,
it was borrowing from Greece.  And when we turn from Ethics to
Theology, the actual fact of development is no less indisputable.
Every alteration of the ethical ideal has brought with it some
alteration in our idea of God.  We can no longer endure theories of the
Atonement which are opposed to modern ideas of Justice, though they
were quite compatible with {168} patristic or medieval ideas of
Justice.  The advances of Science have altered our whole conception of
God's mode of acting upon or governing the world.  None of these things
are religiously so important as the great principle of the Fatherhood
of God, nor have they in any way tended to modify its truth or its
supreme importance.  But they do imply that our Theology is not and
cannot be in all points the same as that of the first Christians.

Now with these presuppositions let us approach the question of that
great structure of formal dogma which the Church has built upon the
foundation of Christ's teaching.  A development undoubtedly it is; but,
while we must not assume that every development which has historically
taken place is necessarily true or valuable, it is equally
unphilosophical to assume that, because it is a development, it is
necessarily false or worthless.  Our Lord himself did, indeed, claim to
be the Messiah; the fact of Messiahship was what was primarily meant by
the title 'Son of God.'  Even in the Synoptists he exhibits a
consciousness of a direct divine mission supremely important for his
own race; and, before the close, we can perhaps discover a growing
conviction that the truth which he was teaching was meant for a larger
world.  Starting from and developing these ideas, his followers set
themselves to devise terms which should express their own sense of
their Master's unique {169} religious value and importance, to express
what they felt he had been to their own souls, what they felt he might
be to all who accepted his message.  Even to St. Paul the term 'Son of
God' still meant primarily 'the Messiah': but in the light of his
conception of Jesus, the Messianic idea expanded till the Christ was
exalted to a position far above anything which Jewish prophecy or
Apocalypse had ever claimed for him.  And the means of expressing these
new ideas were found naturally and inevitably in the current
philosophical terminology of the day.  With the fourth Gospel, if not
already with St. Paul, there was infused into the teaching of the
Church a new element.  From the Jewish-Alexandrian speculative Theology
the author borrowed the term Logos to express what he conceived to be
the cosmic importance of Christ's position.  He accepted from that
speculation--probably from Philo--the theory which personified or
half-personified that Logos or Wisdom of God through which God was
represented in the Old Testament as creating the world and inspiring
the prophets.  This Logos through whom God had throughout the ages been
more and more fully revealing Himself had at last become actually
incarnate in Jesus Christ.  This Word of God is also described as truly
God, though in the fourth Gospel the relation of the Father to the
Word--at {170} least to the Word before the Incarnation--is left wholly
vague and undefined.

From these comparatively simple beginnings sprang centuries of
controversy culminating in that elaborate system of dogma which is
often little understood even by its most vigorous champions.  You know
in a very general way the result.  The Logos was made more and more
distinct from God, endowed with a more and more decidedly personal
existence.  Then, when the interests of Monotheism seemed to be
endangered, the attempt was made to save it by asserting the
subordination of the Son to the Father.  The result was that by
Arianism the Son was reduced to the position of an inferior God.
Polytheism had once more to be averted by asserting in even stronger
terms not merely the equality of the Son with the Father but also the
Unity of the God who is both Father and Son.  The doctrine of the
Divinity of the Holy Ghost went through a somewhat similar series of
stages.  At first regarded as identical with the Word, a distinction
was gradually effected.  The Word was said to have been incarnate in
Jesus; while it was through the Holy Ghost that the subsequent work of
God was carried on in human hearts.  And by similar stages the equality
of the Holy Ghost to Father and to Son was gradually evolved; while it
was more and more strongly asserted that, in spite of the eternal
distinction of {171} Persons, it was one and the same God who revealed
Himself in all the activities attributed to each of them.

Side by side with these controversies about the relation between the
Father and the Word, there was a gradual development of doctrine as to
the relation between the Logos and the human Jesus in whom he took up
his abode.  Frequently the idea of any real humanity in Jesus was all
but lost.  That was at last saved by the Catholic formula 'perfect God
and perfect man'; though it cannot be denied that popular thought in
all ages has never quite discarded the tendency to think of Jesus as
simply God in human form, and not really man at all.  Even now there
are probably hundreds of people who regard themselves as particularly
orthodox Churchmen who yet do not know that the Church teaches that our
Lord had a human soul and a human will.

What are we to make of all that vast structure, of the elaboration and
complication of which the Constantinopolitan Creed which we miscall
Nicene and even the so-called Athanasian Creed give very little idea to
those who do not also know something of the Councils, the Fathers, and
the Schoolmen?  Has it all a modern meaning?  Can it be translated into
terms of our modern thought and speech?  For I suppose it hardly needs
demonstration--that such {172} translation is necessary, if it be
possible.  I doubt whether any man in this audience who has not made a
special study of the subject, will get up and say that the meaning of
such terms as 'substance,' 'essence,' 'nature,' 'hypostasis,' 'person,'
'eternal generation,' 'procession,' 'hypostatic union,' and the like is
at once evident to him by the light of nature and an ordinary modern
education.  And those who know most about the matter will most fully
realize the difficulty of saying exactly what was meant by such phrases
at this or that particular moment or by this or that particular
thinker.  A thorough discussion of this subject from the point of view
of one who acknowledges the supreme claims of Christ upon the modern
mind, and is yet willing fairly to examine the traditional Creed in the
light of modern philosophical culture, is a task which very much needs
to be undertaken.  I doubt if it has been satisfactorily performed yet.
Even if I possessed a tithe of the learning necessary for that task, I
could obviously not undertake it now.  But a few remarks on the subject
may be of use for the guidance of our personal religious life in this

(1) I should like once more to emphasize the fact that the really
important thing, from the point of view of the spiritual life of the
individual soul, is our personal attitude towards our Lord himself and
his teaching, and not the phrases in which we express {173} it.  A man
who believes what Christ taught about God's Fatherhood, about human
brotherhood and human duty, about sin, the need for repentance, the
Father's readiness to forgive, the value of Prayer, the certainty of
Immortality--the man who finds the ideal of his life in the character
of Jesus, and strives by the help which he has supplied to think of God
and feel towards God as he did, to imitate him in his life, to live
(like him) in communion with the Father and in the hope of
Immortality--he is a Christian, and a Christian in the fullest sense of
the word.  He will find in that faith all that is necessary (to use the
old phrase) for salvation--for personal goodness and personal Religion.
And such a man will be saved, and saved through Christ; even though he
has never heard of the Creeds, or deliberately rejects many of the
formulae which the Church or the Churches have 'built upon' that one

(2) At the same time, if we believe in the supreme importance of Christ
for the world, for the religious life of the Church and of the
individual, it is surely convenient to have some language in which to
express our sense of that importance.  The actual personal attitude
towards Christ is the essential thing: but as a means towards that
attitude it is of importance to express what Christ has actually been
to others, and what he ought to be to ourselves.  Children {174} and
adults alike require to have the claims of Christ presented to them
before they can verify them by their own experience: and this requires
articulate language of some kind.  Religion can only be handed down,
diffused, propagated by an organized society: and a religious society
must have some means of handing on its religious ideas.  It is possible
to hold that under other conditions a different set of terms might have
expressed the truth as well as those which have actually been enshrined
in the New Testament, the Liturgies, and the Creeds.  But the phrases
which have been actually adopted surely have a strong presumption in
their favour, even if it were merely through the difficulty of changing
them, and the importance of unity, continuity, corporate life.  It is
easier to explain, or even if need be, alter in some measure the
meaning of an accepted formula than to introduce a new one.  Religious
development has at all times taken place largely in this way.  Our Lord
himself entirely transformed the meaning of God's Fatherhood,
Messiahship, the Kingdom of God, the people of God, the true Israel.
At all events we should endeavour to discover the maximum of truth that
any traditional formula can be made to yield before we discard it in
favour of a new one.  If we want to worship and to work with Christ's
Church, we must do our best to give the maximum of meaning {175} to the
language in which it expresses its faith and its devotion.

(3) We must insist strongly upon the thoroughly human character of
Christ's own consciousness.  Jesus did not--so I believe the critical
study of the Gospels leads us to think--himself claim to be God, or to
be Son of God in any sense but that of Messiahship.  He claimed to
speak with authority: he claimed a divine mission: he claimed to be a
Revealer of divine truth.  The fourth Gospel has been of infinite
service to spiritual Christianity.  It has given the world a due sense
of the spiritual importance of Christ as the Way, the Truth, and the
Life.  Perhaps Christianity could hardly have expanded into a universal
Religion without that Gospel.  But we cannot regard all that the
Johannine Christ says about himself as the _ipsissima verba_ of Jesus.
The picture is idealized in accordance with the writer's own
conceptions, though after all its Theology is very much simpler than
the later Theology which has grown out of it permits most people to
see.  We must not let these discourses blind us to the human character
of Christ's consciousness.  And this real humanity must carry with it
the recognition of the thoroughly human limitations of his knowledge.
The Bishop of Birmingham has prepared the way for the union of a really
historical view of Christ's life with a reasonable interpretation of
the Catholic {176} doctrine about him, by reviving the ancient view as
to the limitation of his intellectual knowledge;[2] but the principle
must be carried in some ways further than the Bishop himself would be
prepared to go.  The accepted Christology must be distinctly recognized
as the Church's reflection and comment upon Christ's work and its
value, not as the actual teaching of the Master about himself.

(4) It must likewise be recognized that the language in which the
Church expressed this attitude towards Christ was borrowed from Greek
Metaphysics, particularly from Plato and Neo-Platonism in the patristic
period, and from Aristotle in the Middle Ages.  And we cannot
completely separate language from thought.  It was not merely Greek
technical phrases but Greek ways of thinking which were imported into
Catholic Christianity.  And the language, the categories, the ideas of
Greek Philosophy were to some extent different from those of modern
times.  The most Platonically-minded thinker of modern times does not
really think exactly as Plato thought: the most Catholic-minded thinker
of modern times, if he has also breathed the atmosphere of modern
Science and modern Culture, cannot really think exactly as Athanasius
or Basil thought.  I {177} do not suppose that any modern mind can
think itself back into exactly the state of mind which an ancient
Father was in, when he used the term Logos.  This central idea of the
Logos is not a category of modern thought.  We cannot really think of a
Being who is as distinct from the Father as he is represented as being
in some of the patristic utterances--I say advisedly some, for widely
different modes of thought are found in Fathers of equal authority--and
yet so far one with him that we can say 'One God, one spiritual Being,
and not two.'  Nor are we under any obligation to accept these formulae
as representing profound mysteries which we cannot understand: they
were simply pieces of metaphysical thinking, some of them valuable and
successful pieces of thinking, others less so.  We must use them as
helps, not as fetters to our thought.  But, though we cannot think
ourselves back into exactly the same intellectual condition as a
fourth- or fifth-century Father, there is no reason why we should not
recognize the fundamental truth of the religious idea which he was
trying to express.  A modern Philosopher would probably express that
thought somewhat in this manner.  'The whole world is a revelation of
God in a sense, and still more so is the human mind: all through the
ages God has gone on revealing Himself more and more in human
consciousness, especially through the prophets and other {178}
exceptionally inspired men.  The fullest and completest revelation of
Himself was made once for all in the person and teaching of Jesus, in
whom we recognize a revelation of God adequate to all our spiritual
needs, when developed and interpreted by the continued presence of
God's Spirit in the world and particularly in the Church which grew out
of the little company of Jesus' friends.'

(5) I do not think at the present day even quite orthodox people are
much concerned about the technicalities of the conciliar Theology, or
even about the niceties of the Athanasian Creed.  They are even a
little suspicious sometimes that much talk about the doctrine of the
Logos is only intended to evade a plain answer to the supreme question
of the Divinity of Christ.  You will expect me perhaps to say something
about that question.  I would first observe that the popular term
'divinity of Christ' is apt to give a somewhat misleading impression of
what the orthodox teaching on the subject really is.  For one thing, it
is apt to suggest the idea of a pre-existent human consciousness of
Jesus, which would be contrary to Catholic teaching.  The Logos--the
eternal Son or Reason of God--pre-existed; but not the man Jesus Christ
who was born at a particular moment of history, and who is still,
according to Catholic Theology, a distinct human soul perfectly and for
ever united with the Word.  {179} And then again, it is apt to suggest
the heretical idea that the whole Trinity was incarnate in Christ, and
not merely the Word.  Orthodox Theology does not teach that God the
Father became incarnate in Christ, and suffered upon the Cross.  And
lastly, the constant iteration of the phrase 'Divinity of Christ' tends
to the concealment of the other half of the Catholic doctrine--the real
humanity of Christ.  To speak of the God-manhood of Christ or the
indwelling of God in Christ would be a truer representation even of the
strictest orthodox doctrine, apart from all modern re-interpretations.
But even so, when all this is borne in mind, it may be asked, What is
the real meaning of saying that a man was also God?  I would answer,
'Whether it is possible to give a modern, intelligible, philosophically
defensible meaning to the idea of Christ's Divinity depends entirely
upon the question what we conceive to be the true relation between
Humanity in general and God.'  If (as I have attempted to show) we are
justified in thinking of all human consciousness as constituting a
partial reproduction of the divine Mind; if we are justified in
thinking of human Reason, and particularly of the human Conscience, as
constituting in some measure and in some sense a revelation by means of
which we can rise to a contemplation of the divine nature; if
Personality (as we know it in man) is the highest category within our
knowledge; then {180} there is a real meaning in talking of one
particular man being also divine; of the divine Reason or Logos as
dwelling after a unique, exceptional, pre-eminent manner in him.

As Dr. Edward Caird has remarked, all the metaphysical questions which
were formerly discussed as to the relation between the divine and the
human nature in Christ, are now being discussed again in reference to
the relation of Humanity in general to God.  We cannot say intelligibly
that God dwells in Christ, unless we have already recognized that in a
sense God dwells and reveals Himself in Humanity at large, and in each
particular human soul.  But I fully recognize that, if this is all that
is meant by the expression 'divinity of Christ,' that doctrine would be
evacuated of nearly all that makes it precious to the hearts of
Christian people.  And therefore it is all-important that we should go
on to insist that men do not reveal God equally.  The more developed
intellect reveals God more completely than that of the child or the
savage: and (far more important from a religious point of view), the
higher and more developed moral consciousness reveals Him more than the
lower, and above all the actually better man reveals God more than the
worse man.  Now, if in the life, teaching, and character of Christ--in
his moral and religious consciousness, and in the life and character
which {181} so completely expressed and illustrated that
consciousness--we can discover the highest revelation of the divine
nature, we can surely attach a real meaning to the language of the
Creeds which singles him out from all the men that ever lived as the
one in whom the ideal relation of man to God is most completely
realized.  If God can only be known as revealed in Humanity, and Christ
is the highest representative of Humanity, we can very significantly
say 'Christ is _the_ Son of God, very God of very God, of one substance
with the Father,' though the phrase undoubtedly belongs to a
philosophical dialect which we do not habitually use.

(6) Behind the doctrine of the Incarnation looms the still more
technical doctrine of the Trinity.  Yet after all, it is chiefly, I
believe, as a sort of necessary background or presupposition to the
idea of Christ's divine nature that modern religious people, not
professionally interested in Theology, attach importance to that
doctrine.  They accept the doctrine in so far as it is implied by the
teaching of Scripture and by the doctrine of our Lord's Divinity, but
they are not much attached to the technicalities of the Athanasian
Creed.  The great objection to that Creed, apart from the damnatory
clauses, is the certainty that it will be misunderstood by most of
those who think they understand it at all.  The {182} best thing we
could do with the Athanasian Creed is to drop it altogether: the next
best thing to it is to explain it, or at least so much of it as really
interests the ordinary layman--the doctrine of three Persons in one
God.  And therefore it is important to insist in the strongest possible
way that the word 'Person' which has most unfortunately come to be the
technical term for what the Greeks more obscurely called the three
_huostaseis_ in the Godhead does not, and never did, mean what we
commonly understand by Personality--whether in the language of ordinary
life or of modern Philosophy.  I do not deny that at certain periods
Theology did tend to think of the Logos as a distinct being from the
Father, a distinct consciousness with thoughts, will, desires, emotions
not identical with those of God the Father.  The distinction was at
times pushed to a point which meant either sheer Tritheism, or
something which is incapable of being distinctly realized in thought at
all.  But that is scarcely true of the Theology which was finally
accepted either by East or West.  This is most distinctly seen in the
Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas: and I would remind you that you
cannot be more orthodox than St. Thomas--the source not only of the
Theology professed by the Pope and taught in every Roman Seminary but
of the Theology embodied in our own Articles.  St. Thomas' explanation
of the Trinity {183} is that God is at one and the same time Power or
Cause[3] (Father), Wisdom (Son), Will (Holy Ghost); or, since the Will
of God is always a loving Will, Love (Amor) is sometimes substituted
for Will (Voluntas) in explanation of the Holy Spirit.[4]  How little
{184} St. Thomas thought of the 'Persons' as separate consciousnesses,
is best seen from his doctrine (taken from Augustine) that the love of
the Father for the Son is the Holy Spirit.  The love of one Being for
himself or for another is not a Person in the natural, normal, modern
sense of the word: and it would be quite unorthodox to attribute
Personality to the Son in any other sense than that in which it is
attributed to the Holy Ghost.  I do not myself attach any great
importance to these technical phrases.  I do not {185} deny that the
supremely important truth that God has received His fullest revelation
in the historical Christ, and that He goes on revealing Himself in the
hearts of men, might have been otherwise, more simply, to modern minds
more intelligibly, expressed.  There are detailed features of the
patristic or the scholastic version of the doctrine which involve
conceptions to which the most accomplished Professors of Theology would
find it difficult or impossible to give a modern meaning.  I do not
know for instance that much would have been lost had Theology (with the
all but canonical writers Clement of Rome and Hermas, with Ignatius,
with Justin, with the philosophic Clement of Alexandria) continued to
speak indifferently of the Word and the Spirit.  Yet taken by itself
this Thomist doctrine of the Trinity is one to which it is quite
possible to give a perfectly rational meaning, and a meaning probably
very much nearer to that which was really intended by its author than
the meaning which is usually put upon the Trinitarian formula by
popular religious thought.  That God is Power, and Wisdom, and Love is
simply the essence of Christian Theism--not the less true because few
Unitarians would repudiate it.

(7) Once more let me briefly remind you that any claim for finality in
the Christian Religion must be based on its power of perpetual
development.  {186} Belief in the continued work of the Holy Spirit in
the Church is an essential element of the Catholic Faith.  We need not,
with the Ritschlian, contemptuously condemn the whole structure of
Christian doctrine because undoubtedly it is a development of what was
taught by Christ himself.  Only, if we are to justify the development
of the past, we must go on to assert the same right and duty of
development in Ethics and in Theology for the Church of the future.  In
the pregnant phrase of Loisy, the development which the Church is most
in need of at the present moment is precisely a development in the idea
of development itself.

But how can we tell (it may be asked), if we once admit that the
development of Religion does not end with the teaching of Christ, where
the development will stop?  If we are to admit an indefinite
possibility of growth and change, how do we know that Christianity
itself will not one day be outgrown?  If we once admit that the final
appeal is to the religious consciousness of the present, we must
acknowledge that it is not possible to demonstrate _a priori_ that the
Christian Religion is the final, universal, or absolute Religion.  All
we can say is that we have no difficulty in recognizing that the
development which has so far taken place, in so far as it is a
development which we can approve and accept, seems to us a development
which leaves the {187} Religion still essentially the Religion of
Christ.  In the whole structure of the modern Christian's religious
belief, that which was contributed by Christ himself is incomparably
the most important part--the basis of the whole structure.  The
essentials of Religion and Morality still seem to us to be contained in
his teaching as they are contained nowhere else.  All the rest that is
included in an enlightened modern Christian's religious creed is either
a direct working out of the principles already contained there, or (if
it has come from other sources) it has been transformed in the process
of adaptation.  Nothing has been discovered in Religion and Morality
which tends in any way to diminish the unique reverence which we feel
for the person of Christ, the perfect sufficiency of his character to
represent and incarnate for us the character of God.  It is a
completely gratuitous assumption to suppose that it will ever lose that
sufficiency.  Even in the development of Science, there comes a time
when its fundamentals are virtually beyond the reach of
reconsideration.  Still more in practical life, mere unmotived,
gratuitous possibilities may be disregarded.  It weakens the hold of
fundamental convictions upon the mind to be perpetually contemplating
the possibility or probability of fundamental revision.  We ought no
doubt to keep the spiritual ear ever open that we may always be hearing
what the Spirit saith unto {188} the Churches.  But to look forward to
a time when any better way will be discovered of thinking of God than
Jesus' way of thinking of Him as a loving Father is as gratuitous as to
contemplate the probability of something in human life at present
unknown being discovered of greater value than Love.  Until that
discovery is made, our Religion will still remain the Religion of him
who, by what he said and by what he was, taught the world to think of
God as the supreme Love and the supreme Holiness, the source of all
other love and all other holiness.


The literature is here too vast to mention even the works of the very
first importance: I can only select a very few books which have been
useful to myself.  The late Sir John Seeley's _Ecce Homo_ may be
regarded as in the light of modern research a somewhat uncritical book,
but it remains to my mind the most striking expression of the appeal
which Christ makes to the Conscience of the modern world.  It has
proved a veritable fifth Gospel to many seekers after light.  Bishop
Moorhouse's little book, _The Teaching of Christ_, will serve as an
introduction to the study of Christ's life and work.  A more elaborate
treatment of the subject, with which I am very much in sympathy, is
Wendt's _Teaching of Jesus_.  The ideal life of Christ perhaps remains
to be written.  Professor Sanday's Article on 'Jesus Christ' in
Hastings' _Dictionary of the Bible_ may be mentioned as a good
representative of moderate and scholarly Conservatism or Liberal
Conservatism.  Professor Oscar Holtzmann's _Life of Jesus_ is based on
more radical, perhaps over-radical, criticism.  Professor Harnack's
{189} _What is Christianity?_ has become the typical expression of the
Ritschlian attitude.  The ideas of extreme Roman Catholic 'Modernism'
may be gathered from Loisy's _l'Évangile et l'Église_ and _Autour d'un
Petit Livre_.  Professor Gardner's three books--_Exploratio
Evangelica_, the shorter _An Historic View of the New Testament_, and
_The Growth of Christianity_--may be especially commended to those who
wish to satisfy themselves that a thorough-going recognition of the
results of historical Criticism is compatible with a whole-hearted
personal acceptance of Christianity.  Dr. Fairbairn's _Philosophy of
the Christian Religion_ and Bousset's _What is Religion?_ are
especially valuable as vindications of the supreme position of
Christianity combined with the fullest recognition of the measure of
Revelation contained in all the great historical Religions.  Allen's
_Continuity of Christian Thought_ suggests what seems to me the right
attitude of the modern thinker towards traditional dogma, though the
author's position is more decidedly 'Hegelian' than mine.  I may also
mention Professor Inge's contribution to _Contentio Veritatis_ on 'The
Personal Christ,' and some of the Essays in _Lux Hominum_.  Though I
cannot always agree with him, I recognize the high value of the Bishop
of Birmingham's Bampton Lectures on _The Divinity of Jesus Christ the
Son of God_ and the accompanying volume of _Dissertations_.

[1] In their assertion of the necessity of Development, and of the
religious community as the origin of Development, the teaching of the
Abbe Loisy and the Roman Catholic Modernists seems to me to be
complementary to that of the Kitschlians, though I do not always accept
their rather destructive critical conclusions.

[2] In his Essay in _Lux Mundi_ (1889).  He has since developed his
view in his Bampton Lectures on _The Incarnation of the Son of God_ and
a volume of _Dissertations on Subjects connected with the Incarnation_.

[3] I venture thus to translate 'Principium' (_arche_); in Abelard and
his disciple Peter the Lombard, the famous Master of the Sentences, the
word is 'Potentia' (L. I. Dist. xxxiv.): and St. Thomas himself (P. I.
Q. xli. Art. 4) explains 'Principium' by 'Potentia generandi Filium.'

[4] Thus in _Summa Theologica_, Pars I. Q. xxxvii. Art. 1, the
'conclusio' is 'Amor, personaliter acceptus, proprium nomen est
Spiritus sancti,' which is explained to mean that there are in the
Godhead 'duse processiones: Una per modum intellectus, quae est
processio Verbi; alia per modum voluntatis, quae est processio amoris.'
So again (_ibid._ Q. xlv. Art. 7): 'In creaturis igitur rationalibus,
in quibus est intellectus et voluntas, invenitur repraesentatio
Trinitatis per modum imaginis, inquantum invenitur in eis Verbum
conceptum, et amor procedens.'  In a friendly review of my Essay in
_Contentio Veritatis_, in which I endeavoured to expound in a modern
form this doctrine, Dr. Sanday (_Journal of Theological Studies_, vol.
iv., 1903) wrote: 'One of the passages that seem to me most open to
criticism is that on the doctrine of the Trinity (p. 48).  "Power,
Wisdom, and Will" surely cannot be a sound trichotomy as applied either
to human nature or Divine.  Surely Power is an expression of Will and
not co-ordinate with it.  The common division, Power (or Will), Wisdom,
and Love is more to the point.  Yet Dr. Rashdall identifies the two
triads by what I must needs think a looseness of reasoning.'  The
Margaret Professor of Divinity hardly seems to recognize that he is
criticizing the Angelical Doctor and not myself.  If Dr. Sanday had had
the formulation of the doctrine of the Trinity, the result, if less
metaphysically subtle, might no doubt have proved more easily
intelligible to the modern mind; but the 'identification' of which he
complains happens to be part of the traditional doctrine, and I was
endeavouring merely to make the best of it for modern Christians.  I
add St. Thomas' justification of it, which is substantially what I gave
in _Contentio Veritatis_ and have repeated above: 'Cum processiones
divinas secundum aliquas actiones necesse est accipere, secundum
bonitatem, et hujusmodi alia attributa, non accipiuntur aliae
processiones, nisi Verbi et amoris, secundum quod Deus suam essentiam,
veritatem et bonitatem intelligit et amat' (Q. xxvii. Art. 5).  The
source of the doctrine is to be found in St. Augustine, who habitually
speaks of the Holy Spirit as Amor; but, when he refers to the 'Imago
Trinitatia' in man the Spirit is represented sometimes by 'Amor,'
sometimes by 'Voluntas' (_de Trin._, L. xiv. cap 7).  The other two
members of the human triad are with him 'Memoria' (or 'Mens') and

With regard to the difficulty of distinguishing Power from Will, I was
perhaps to blame for not giving St. Thomas' own word 'Principium.'  The
word 'Principium' means the _pege theoteos_, the ultimate Cause or
Source of Being: by 'Voluntas' St. Thomas means that actual putting
forth of Power (in knowing and in loving the Word or Thought eternally
begotten by God the Father) which is the Holy Ghost.  I am far from
saying that the details of St. Thomas' doctrine are not open to much
criticism: a rough correspondence between his teaching and any view of
God's Nature which can commend itself to a modern Philosopher is all
that I endeavoured to point out.  The modern thinker would no doubt
with Dr. Sanday prefer the triad 'Power, Wisdom, Love,' or (I would
suggest) 'Feeling, including Love as the highest form of Feeling.'  The
reason why St. Thomas will not accept such an interpretation is that
his Aristotelianism (here not very consonant with the Jewish and
Christian view of God) excludes all feeling or emotion from the divine
nature; 'Love' has therefore to be identified with 'Will' and not with
'Feeling.'  I cannot but think that the Professor might have taken a
little more trouble to understand both St. Thomas and myself before
accusing either of us of 'looseness of reasoning.'

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