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 The truth is that in the metaphysical and religious sphere, articulate reasons are cogent for usonly when our inarticulate feelings of reality have already been impressed in favor of the sameconclusion. Then, indeed, our intuitions and our reason work together, and great world-rulingsystems, like that of the Buddhist or of the Catholic philosophy, may grow up. Our impulsivebelief is here always what sets up the original body of truth, and our articulately verbalizedphilosophy is but its showy translation into formulas. The unreasoned and immediate assurance isthe deep thing in us, the reasoned argument is but a surface exhibition. Instinct leads, intelligence does but follow. If a person feels the presence of a living God after the fashion shown by myquotations, your critical arguments, be they never so superior, will vainly set themselves to changehis faith.


 [5] H. Maudsley: Natural Causes and Supernatural Seemings, 1886, pp. 256, 257.

 "This possibility of annulling forever the law of fatigue has been abundantly proven in my owncase; for my earlier life bears a record of many, many years of bedridden invalidism, with spineand lower limbs paralyzed. My thoughts were no more impure than they are to-day, although mybelief in the necessity of illness was dense and unenlightened; but since my resurrection in theflesh, I have worked as a healer unceasingly for fourteen years without a vacation, and cantruthfully assert that I have never known a moment of fatigue or pain, although coming in touchconstantly with excessive weakness, illness, and disease of all kinds. For how can a conscious partof Deity be sick?--since 'Greater is he that is with us than all that can strive against us.'"My second correspondent, also a woman, sends me the following statement:-"Life seemed difficult to me at one time. I was always breaking down, and had several attacks ofwhat is called nervous prostration, with terrible insomnia, being on the verge of insanity; besideshaving many other troubles, especially of the digestive organs. I had been sent away from home incharge of doctors, had taken all the narcotics, stopped all work, been fed up, and in fact knew allthe doctors within reach. But I never recovered permanently till this New Thought took possessionof me.


 To be sure, it makes our task difficult to have to deal so muck with eccentricities and extremes.

 called my Father. 'I will,' my heart panted. Did I stop to ask a single question? Not one. It neveroccurred to me to ask whether I was good enough, or to hesitate over my unfitness, or to find outwhat I thought of his church, or . . . to wait until I should be satisfied. Satisfied! I was satisfied.




 The Bible is full of the language of respiratory oppression: "Hide not thine ear at my breathing; mygroaning is not hid from thee; my heart panteth, my strength faileth me; my bones are hot with myroaring all the night long; as the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so my soul panteth after thee,O my God:" God's Breath in Man is the title of the chief work of our best known American mystic(Thomas Lake Harris), and in certain non-Christian countries the foundation of all religiousdiscipline consists in regulation of the inspiration and expiration.


 We shall see abundant examples of this happy state of mind in later lectures of this course. Weshall see how infinitely passionate a thing religion at its highest flights can be. Like love, likewrath, like hope, ambition, jealousy, like every other instinctive eagerness and impulse, it adds tolife an enchantment which is not rationally or logically deducible from anything else. Thisenchantment, coming as a gift when it does come--a gift of our organism, the physiologists will tellus, a gift of God's grace, the theologians say --is either there or not there for us, and there are persons who can no more become possessed by it than they can fall in love with a given woman bymere word of command. Religious feeling is thus an absolute addition to the Subject's range oflife. It gives him a new sphere of power. When the outward battle is lost, and the outer worlddisowns him, it redeems and vivifies an interior world which otherwise would be an empty waste.

 Everything we know is "what" it is by sharing in the nature of one of these abstractions. We cannever look directly at them, for they are bodiless and featureless and footless, but we grasp allother things by their means, and in handling the real world we should be stricken with helplessnessin just so far forth as we might lose these mental objects, these adjectives and adverbs andpredicates and heads of classification and conception.



 These arguments are as good as much of the reasoning one hears in favor of the sexual theory.



 Consider also the "religious sentiment" which we see referred to in so many books, as if it were asingle sort of mental entity. In the psychologies and in the philosophies of religion, we find theauthors attempting to specify just what entity it is. One man allies it to the feeling of dependence;one makes it a derivative from fear; others connect it with the sexual life; others still identify itwith the feeling of the infinite; and so on. Such different ways of conceiving it ought of themselvesto arouse doubt as to whether it possibly can be one specific thing; and the moment we are willingto treat the term "religious sentiment" as a collective name for the many sentiments which religiousobjects may in alternation, that it probably contains nothing whatever of psychologicallyspec(arouse) ificnature.Thereis(we) relig(see) ious fear, religious love, religious awe, religious joy,(a) and so forth. But religious love is only man's natural emotion of love directed to a religious object;religious fear is only the ordinary fear of commerce, so to speak, the common quaking of thehuman breast, in so far as the notion of divine retribution may arouse it; religious awe is the sameorganic thrill which we feel in a forest at twilight, or in a mountain gorge; only this time it comesover us at the thought of our supernatural relations; and similarly of all the various sentimentswhich may be called into play in the lives of religious persons. As concrete states of mind, madeup of a feeling PLUS a specific sort of object, religious emotions of course are psychic entitiesdistinguishable from other concrete emotions; but there is no ground for assuming a simpleabstract "religious emotion" to exist as a distinct elementary mental affection by itself, present inevery religious experience without exception.

 One way to mark it out easily is to say what aspects of the subject we leave out. At the outset weare struck by one great partition which divides the religious field. On the one side of it liesinstitutional, on the other personal religion. As M. P. Sabatier says, one branch of religion keepsthe divinity, another keeps man most in view. Worship and sacrifice, procedures for working onthe dispositions of the deity, theology and ceremony and ecclesiastical organization, are theessentials of religion in the institutional branch. Were we to limit our view to it, we should have todefine religion as an external art, the art of winning the favor of the gods. In the more personalbranch of religion it is on the contrary the inner dispositions of man himself which form the centerof interest, his conscience, his deserts, his helplessness, his incompleteness. And although thefavor of the God, as forfeited or gained, is still an essential feature of the story, and theology playsa vital part therein, yet the acts to which this sort of religion prompts are personal not ritual acts,the individual transacts the business by himself alone, and the ecclesiastical organization, with itspriests and sacraments and other go-betweens, sinks to an altogether secondary place. The relationgoes direct from heart to heart, from soul to soul, between man and his maker.



 The Christian also spurns the pinched and mumping sick-room attitude, and the lives of saintsare full of a kind of callousness to diseased conditions of body which probably no other humanrecords show. But whereas the merely moralistic spurning takes an effort of volition, the Christianspurning is the result of the excitement of a higher kind of emotion, in the presence of which noexertion of volition is required. The moralist must hold his breath and keep his muscles tense; andso long as this athletic attitude is possible all goes well--morality suffices. But the athletic attitudetends ever to break down, and it inevitably does break down even in the most stalwart when theorganism begins to decay, or when morbid fears invade the mind. To suggest personal will andeffort to one all sicklied o'er with the sense of irremediable impotence is to suggest the mostimpossible of things. What he craves is to be consoled in his very powerlessness, to feel that thespirit of the universe <47> recognizes and secures him, all decaying and failing as he is. Well, weare all such helpless failures in the last resort. The sanest and best of us are of one clay withlunatics and prison inmates, and death finally runs the robustest of us down. And whenever we feelthis, such a sense of the vanity and provisionality of our voluntary career comes over us that all ourmorality appears but as a plaster hiding a sore it can never cure, and all our well-doing as thehollowest substitute for that well-BEING that our lives ought to be grounded in, but, alas! are not.

 [3] J. F. Nisbet: The Insanity of Genius, 3d ed., London, 1893, pp. xvi., xxiv.





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