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The timid use of

enquiry in religious matters on


I dare say you have observed, in the next place, that in every investigation of every kind-whether in our scientific laboratories, or in our Courts of Law, or in our commercial dealings, or in our social activitieswhenever we want the truth and nothing but the truth, we endeavour to secure conditions under which the operations of the intelligence are not hindered. So far from appealing to feeling, we desire a light that is "clear" and "calm." We observe, generalize, judge, reason; and however deeply our feelings may be disturbed or enlisted, we try to prevent them from assuming the role of witnesses. Of course, our emotions have their own place and value, but we refrain from attributing to them the functions of the intelligence as well as their own.

Now, the question arises, and we cannot pass it by, why is the attitude of many able, sincere and even devout men different towards Religion? For you the part of will, I believe, agree with me that there is no great, practical interest where the uses of the intelligence are so little esteemed. The mind of these times, it is true, is not disturbed by Aggressive Scepticism, as it was in the time of "Darwin and Huxley and other woodenheaded philosophers," as I heard an old Scottish parish minister call these splendid men. Agnosticism has also

Natural Science has
Nor, again, is it a

lost much of its charm now that
recognized the limits of its task.
low estimate of Religion that arrests the agnostic's
enquiry. It is the conviction that of Religion only
one thing can be known, namely, that we cannot know
whether the central articles of its faith are true or not.
So even good and thoughtful men put the question on
one side, just as if the truth or falsity of religious faith


were no very urgent matter. They assent to things they only half believe, and reject things they have never earnestly examined. The attitude is that of relative indifference-the most dangerous of all, I think; for it is the unlooked-for evils that always work most havoc.

On the other hand, the trust in exceptional or miraculous Revelation, at least in the Protestant world, is far less strong and general than it was forty years ago. Intelligent people have begun to think that all human history, or none of it, is sacred-a revelation of a Will to Good that cannot fail; and they also believe that the unvarying and universal order of the world of things may be a more sure and inspiring Revelation than any occasional interruption of that order. Moreover, the age is far less tolerant of dogma in every department of life-economic, social, political, as well as religious-and often prefers to trust its own hasty ignorance. It welcomes the "Sciences" of these departments, rickety as they often are. But while the very minds which are most thickly encrusted with the crass stupidity of a merely economic outlook, and believe that lucre is wealth, have discovered the profitable use of Natural Science; the need, the use, or even the possibility of a Science of Religion is doubted.

In the next place, there are religious men who have lost much of their reverence for " ready-made " truths, and in their assemblies would relax or multiply the meanings of the creeds-a thing not worthy of that noble class of men which the Scotch clergy is. But as yet they give too little evidence of a desire to make the Articles of their Creed starting-points of enquiry, by the usual methods of growing knowledge. There

is little enterprise in their theology, and their science is the only one that has its face turned towards the past and whose doctrines must be static. They do not welcome the severe operations of the enquiring, observing, discriminating, generalizing, judging, reasoning intellect after the manner of the sciences that grow. These laboursome operations by which mankind guides all the rest of life's experiments are held to have a secondary, and even a doubtful, value in religion. There are, we are told, easier means at the hands of the religious, and these means are supposed to lead to results which cannot be questioned. For these results come of themselves, "from above," while the believer is simply a passive and grateful recipient; or they come by way of the emotions; or, again, they issue from immediate labourless perception and are products of the power of " intuition," of which every individual has his own private stock, and whose results, however inconsistent, are always true for him. If all this is so, why should we turn to the toilsome methods of scientific enquiry or the still severer ways of philosophic reflection? Let us wait till the intuitive moment comes. Or if any tenets of our religion seem doubtful, let us ask our "hearts ; and if the heart as well as the head doubts, then we must resolve to believe the doctrines in spite of them both. The free use of the intellect" free-thinking," as it was called-is perhaps not now a sin, but one would certainly gather that fettered-thinking is devoutness. We do not use the same terms to-day: the "Rationalist " is now a person who may be respected. But his successor, the "Intellectualist," is an object of scorn to those who, I suppose, are otherwise equipped.

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truths to

I must later examine the counter-claims of these substitutes for intelligence quite closely. At present I turn for a moment to another alleged characteristic of our times. According to a very charming repentant Rationalist, the one marked advance of the new spirit of the times "is the substitution of emotional values for intellectualized ideals." It is being discovered that “natural religion is emotional rather than intellectual in origin, is based not on mistaken theory, but on certain individual and especially social reactions; that the province of religion is, in a word, not truth or falsehood, not mistaken ideals, but values.” What the relation may be between truths and values Appeal from is left somewhat obscure, and it is not easy to sup- values. press such questions as the following, even though their origin be the intelligence. Does emotion originate anything? Or is it not itself an after-glow of right or wrong apprehension, and of evaluation? Is the value of the emotions independent of their relation to facts? Does it not matter for religion whether in truth there is, or there is not, a God, provided you feel as if there were a God? Is it of no consequence whether he is a God who loves or a God who hates, provided you have certain emotions? Are some emotions to be approved and others condemned? If so, on what grounds except that they are agreeable or disagreeable? Have any emotions any moral or spiritual value in themselves? What or who is to judge these matters, and by what standard, if you cast out reason and regard truth as irrelevant ? Are religious emotions possible except in virtue of intellectual apprehension? And is there any apprehension except in virtue of all the powers of mind?

Lotze's view of truth.

It is not meant by those who hold this view of value that religion is irrational, or that its contents are not valid. But the cause and the proof of their validity and worth lie elsewhere. The ultimate appeal, they say, is to our sense of worth, not to reason and its processes of observing, conceiving, judging and inferring. The satisfaction of reason is one thing to them, the satisfaction of the self is another. Mere truth can satisfy the former. But that satisfaction is incomplete and superficial, for truth is only one aspect of the good and consists of mere ideas. It is only "the good," real and concrete, that can satisfy the self and the heart is the essential self. They do not reckon that we have reached the man when only his intellect concurs. Nothing touches the self except. that which penetrates and possesses the heart; and it is from the heart that man's volitions and character spring. They have thus no doubt as to which is the higher authority, or whether it is the dictates of the reason or of feeling that good men will obey if they happen to disagree.

This view which subordinates the true to the Good (good consisting in the emotional satisfaction it brings) we find in Lotze. I refer to it because it is being revived more or less by some recent writers on philosophy. Lotze in his Preface to his Microcosmus says:

"If the object of all human investigation were but to produce in cognition a reflection of the world as it exists,1 of what value would be all its labour and pains, which could result only in vain repetition, in an imitation within the soul of that which exists without

1 I wish we had time to examine this view of knowledge as a reflection and imitation, and of minds as mirrors.

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