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The contrast solved in

practice by

truly

religious

men.

to work out his own salvation, and instead of religious trust there is self-dependence.

Does not the contrast amount even to discrepancy? Morality leaves no room for God: man is the maker of his own destiny. Religion leaves no room for man : it is not I that live, but Christ lives in me. And yet, what value would we set upon a Religion that does not saturate the moral life and lift it into sublimity if it be great; or if it be a very humble life, impart to it imperishable beauty?

I believe you will agree

with me that if we look in a simple and truthful spirit upon the lives which we would unhesitatingly call "religious," they possess both of these characteristics. They differ decisively from the lives we would regard as typically secular; and yet they are occupied, and necessarily occupied, with the same natural wants, hemmed in, like all other lives, by space and time, and the objects and events which jostle each other therein.

What solution can there be of a problem which demands at the same time a unity and a difference of such depth? For there is no doubt that religious faith demands both, or that it loses both its truth and its worth in the degree in which either the unity or the difference of the secular and the sacred is reduced.

LECTURE VI

SCIENTIFIC HYPOTHESIS AND RELIGIOUS

FAITH

way of

I HAVE attributed the failure of the attempts to reconcile the presuppositions on which religion rests and the demands it makes with our ordinary secular experience to the fact that the unity which must underlie the contrast has been overlooked-an oversight which makes the contrast absolute and unconditional. The last Only one lecture was occupied throughout in pointing to evid- knowing. ence of the existence of such a unity. Beneath the differences of method, which are quite real, and which both the scientific and the religious enquirers must admit and respect, there lies the fact that there is only one ultimate way of knowing. It consists in finding a place for new phenomena within our system of experience, or in re-interpreting that experience in the light of the new demands of life. For experience grows like a living thing. It is always a system, always analogous to a living organism, and every part of it participates in every process and all of it is always changing. No one maintains that one part of the organism is nourished one day and another part another day. And, in like manner, it should be admitted that the whole system of our experience is enriched by a

Natural

facts, our helps to spiritual attainment.

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new truth, or a new practical triumph. I indicated also that all the powers of mind were involved in the process of knowing, whether the data were religious or secular, and that every mind brought with it presuppositions which controlled and guided the knowing process. Moreover, I tried to show the part which the objects of knowledge took in the process, and ventured to represent nature, natural" facts, "natural' tendencies, "natural" interrelations between man and man, natural" or secular interest as a whole, not as obstacles to the life of spirit, but as supplying that life with its content. The world, both natural and spiritual, is constantly proffering its gifts to man, and he that hath ears to hear listens to its beauty, its order, its goodness and its truth. Those who best know the history of religion, know best what a profound change of attitude towards "nature" on the part of Emptiness religion this implies. Finally, I tried to suggest morality and what poverty-stricken abstractions the religious and the secular life would be were they sundered. And I ventured to say that both those who value religion rather than morality, and also those who deem religion of little import if the course of life be moral, would gain by facing more frankly the contrast which they set up. For, beyond doubt, the truly religious man does, somehow, in his practical life reconcile these forces, and no unprejudiced observer can deny the splendour of the result.

of both

religion if

parted.

The rival conceptions of the believer and the sceptic.

The problem of a science of religion is to set forth, in a definition which can be justified, that principle which, in the practice of the religious man, brings about the miracle of the harmony of the divine and human and lifts the secular to the level of the sacred.

UNIVERSALITY OF RELIGIOUS IDEAS 81

It may be of use to recall our conception of Religion as, on the theoretical side, a point of view from which man sees what seems to him, at the time, to be ultimately real, self-sustained and absolutely worthy, in the light of which conception he re-interprets and re-valuates all the facts of the secular life. The reflective religious spirit, so far as I have found, never doubts but that somehow, somewhere, some-when, the restoration of man is complete and the redemption of the world is final. "God's in his Heaven: All's right with the world!" is a vital conviction to religion and true to him who thinks of " the world" in its context and not as a separate item. For it means that, in the light of his belief in a God who is perfect in power and goodness, this world of ours, and the most wild and incalculable facts within it, namely the lives of men, are factors in a system, to be judged not by themselves but as parts of the system into which they fit and which amply justifies them. On the other hand, so far as I can see, the sceptic who considers that the conceptions on which religion is based are man's own inventions, and that man's gods are just the reflections of his own face, and his faith a farce, must regard the whole realm of the real as also a farce, and a tragically sad farce. The whole order of the Universe must collapse for the sceptic. He possesses no explanation of his own, and can suggest no conception for the solution of the riddle. Between the view that affirms and that which denies the existence of a unity that makes the universe a rational whole there comes, of course, one of the most inept of all metaphysical theories, namely, the Pluralism that "lets contingency into the very heart

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of things." I shall not try your patience by criticizing it.1

From this point of view, namely, the theoretical, the faith of the religious man is strictly analogous to the Objections to hypothesis of the scientific man. But the religious identifying religious consciousness is ready to revolt against the notion that scientific its faith is just a hypothesis. A hypothesis is usually hypothesis. held to be a mere guess, invented by man's ingenuity

faith with

as a possible solution of some problem, or as a tentative explanation of some facts. A hypothesis is a conjecture on its trial. Its existence is threatened by every relevant fact which it cannot explain, and it is finally destroyed by one single "crucial instance " that refuses to illustrate it. Moreover, it is liable at every moment to be supplanted by some simpler, more fundamental or far-reaching hypothesis. An Einstein comes after our Newtons, and at least startles the world. The whole progress of science, when it takes long strides, illustrates this revolutionary kind of advance that comes from the substitution of one hypothesis for another.

In the next place, a hypothesis, however true, is only a theory. It concerns, primarily at least, the intellect only, not "the heart" or the will or the ends of men. In short, a hypothesis is a mere conception, we are told, a universal that promises to colligate ideas, but points to no fact and is not a reality which a man may experience as a force within or without him, against which he jostles whether he understands it or not. No man will commit his life to the care and guidance of a hypothesis recognized as such. What

1 See my "Philosophical Landmarks" in The Rice Institute Pamphlet for June, 1915.

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