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both individual and social, is so crude and rudimentary that we cannot even imagine the splendour of the results which an enquiring religious faith can bring

to man.

I hope that the Church will accept my service of its greater ends in the spirit in which it is offered.

I have received from Principal Hetherington, of Exeter University College, and from Mr. Knox White, Mr. Alexander Macbeath and Mr. Idris Phillips most valuable help in the way of the correction of proofs, and take this opportunity of expressing my indebtedness to them. And I wish especially to thank Professor Kemp Smith, of the University of Edinburgh, for the minuteness and fullness of his helpful care. It is the expression of the affection of the earliest of my pupils, who has attained philosophical eminence.

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LECTURE I

THE VALUE AND NEED OF FREE ENQUIRY
IN RELIGION

NEARLY thirty years ago I was entrusted by this University with the office vacated by a very great teacher, one of the greatest teachers of philosophy given to the world in modern times. The burden of the trust was almost beyond bearing; for the daily life of Edward Caird was even more flawless in its wisdom and peace than his doctrine. But, as usual, the responsibilities of the office were also an inspiration, and its duties have been a continuous privilege. I have for a long time been grateful for them, and recognized that I can repay the University neither for my life-task as a teacher nor for my nurture as a student.

And to-day my debt is deepened further still. My colleagues, moved by their kindliness and judging most gently, have given me a new opportunity of being of use. They have placed in my hands, for helpful treatment if I can, a theme which every thoughtful man knows to have an interest that is at once universal and intensely personal, and a significance, both speculative and practical, which the wise observer of human history would hesitate to limit. I think I may say that to justify their trust in some measure were the crowning happiness of my life.

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Lord Gifford's wishes.

A science of religion as having supreme value.

I

The Gifford Lecturer is expressly relieved of the necessity of "making any promise of any kind.” make none-not even to do my best; for I might fall short of that also. But the Founder of the Lectureship expressed one wish which was evidently deep in his spirit, and made one injunction which he rightly expected to be followed. "I wish the lecturers," he said, to treat their subject as a strictly natural science . . . without reference to or reliance upon any supposed special exceptional or so-called miraculous revelation. I wish it considered just as astronomy or chemistry is." Then he enjoins that the lectures "shall be public and popular.. ... as I think that the subject should be studied and known by all . . . I think such knowledge, if real, lies at the root of all well-being."

Lord Gifford's aim was thus thoroughly and directly practical. He desired free discussion with a view to the knowledge of the truth, and he desired knowledge of the truth with a view to the well-being of man. The science of religion was to him "the greatest of all possible sciences, indeed, in one sense, the only science." He considered that it deals with matters which are ultimate, by means of conceptions that either illuminate and explain, or distort and falsify all things: for whatever principles are ultimate are also all-comprehensive. And its practical consequences seemed to him no less vital than the theoretical. "The science of religion" was, he thought, the science of human destiny. If valid, if “the knowledge is real," the greatest good of all follows from it, namely, a good life in harmony with the nature of things: if unreal, then it is doubtful if there be anywhere or in anything any real or finally reliable worth.

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