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THE

RELIGION OF PHILOSOPHY.

THE

RELIGION OF PHILOSOPHY

THE UNIFICATION OF KNOWLEDGE:

A COMPARISON

OF THE

CHIEF PHILOSOPHICAL AND RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS

OF THE WORLD

MADE WITH A VIEW TO REDUCING THE CATEGORIES OF THOUGHT, OR THE

MOST GENERAL TERMS OF EXISTENCE TO A SINGLE PRINCIPLE,

THEREBY ESTABLISHING A TRUE CONCEPTION OF GOD.

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WILLIAMS AND NORGATE
14. HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN, LONDON
AND 20, SOUTH FREDERICK STREET, EDINBURGH

(13 MA...)

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PREFACE.

THERE is a popular dictum among priests and philosophers that God, or the First Cause, is unknowable, and yet all religions aim to teach the nature of God, and all philosophies strive to define the First Cause.

Here is a manifest contradiction; but the questions involved are of such magnitude and require so much study that, for the most part, it is allowed to pass unchallenged.

The cultivated mind, whatever its antecedents, holds a judicial position. That is to say, the educated and thoughtful members of society are looked to, to pass impartial judgments upon questions concerning the general welfare. This impartiality is particularly necessary in philosophy, for thought is hedged about with prejudices, and almost every man represents some logical sect or school which he feels it his duty to support.

The great obstacle which religion and philosophy alike encounter, in offering an explanation of the universe, is the difficulty of finding a symbol of divine power or unity. A symbol to have any real value must represent some fact, it must be the emblem of some experience. Otherwise it is a purely negative form of speech, a mere confession of ignorance.

The symbol which philosophy proposes for divine unity has precisely the same meaning as that which religion offers. They are both emblems of mystery ; they are both confessions of ignorance. In so far, therefore, as these two great spheres of knowledge, called philosophy and religion, have attempted an ultimate analysis of existence they have failed; the labor of both is incomplete.

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