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they called Âtma, or self, and of which these intellectual powers or faculties were but the outward manifestations. This led to a philosophy which took the place of religion, and recognised in the self the only true being, the unborn and therefore immortal element in man. A step further led to the recognition of the original identity of the subjective Self in man and the objective Self in nature, and thus, from an Indian point of view, to a solution of all the riddles of the world. The first commandment of all philosophy, “Know thyself, became in the philosophy of the Upanishads, ' Know thy self as the Self,' or, as it was translated into religious language, Know that we live and move and have our being in God' (Acts xvii. 28).
Historically this Vedânta philosophy supplied the life-spring of the Buddhist religion in its philosophical aspect, and will therefore supply the last and perhaps the most important chapter in our study of Natural Theology.
Natural Religion. We have thus surveyed the whole field of Natural Religion, and discovered the three great divisions into which it naturally falls. Nature, Man, and Self are the three great manifestations in which the infinite in some shape or other has been perceived, and every one of these perceptions has in its historical development contributed to what may be called religion.
Physical, Anthropological, Psychological Religion. I shall distinguish these three divisions as Physical Religion, Anthropological Religion, and Psychological Religion, and, if my life is spared, I hope to make THE INFINITE IN NATURE, MAN, AND THE SELF. 165
these three the subject of my courses of lectures, illustrated by such evidence as language, myth, custom, and sacred literature supply. The subject, I know, is enormous, and I cannot promise you more than an outline, but such an outline, I hope, as may be filled by others who come after us, and whose knowledge, I have no doubt, will shed light on many a dark passage in the history of the human mind which we must leave but faintly illuminated by the information at present without our reach.
RELIGION DIFFERENT FROM SCIENCE.
Religious Character. W E have not finished yet with mapping out the plan
W of our work, and with defining the exact limits of what really constitutes religion. We have seen that nature, with its mountains, rivers, and trees, with its sky, sun, moon, dawn, and wind, can supply food for religious thought. We have seen that a belief in mankind as an unbroken chain leading from our own father to the great-great-grandfather of all men and all things, may likewise become a most powerful religious influence; and I have tried to explain how the study of our own nature with its various capacities may lead and has led to a philosophical religion based on a perception of our true self and its relation to the Universal Self.
But it is clear that every one of these vast domains of thought must be pervaded by a very peculiar spirit before it can rise to the level of what we mean by religion.
Religion and Science. At the present time, for instance, we see that not only religion but science also deals with the infinite, or with much that lies beyond the horizon of our sensuous perception. All inquiries into the causes of natural phenomena transcend that horizon. When science traces back our perception of sound and colour to vibrations of what is called ether, it deals with the finite and the infinite. All the so-called forces of heat, electricity, magnetism lie beyond the finite, and by their very nature can never come within the purview of finite sensuous perception. If the sun and moon and the stars can rouse within the heart of man religious emotions, they can also become the subject of minute scientific observation and calculation in the mind of the astronomer.
In ancient times, however, science had hardly as yet separated from religion, and, historically speaking, science seems everywhere to have taken its origin from religion. The first attempts at lifting the veil of nature and fathoming the causes of things were religious. The first astronomical observatories in the world were the towers attached to the temples in Babylon1. When the question was asked for the first time, whence came the rain, the lightning, and the thunder, the answer was that rain came from the rainer, Zeùs Úétios, in Greece, from Jupiter Pluvius in Italy, from Indra or Parganya in India ; lightning from the lightner, Zevs kepaúvlos, TEPTLKÉpavvos, Jupiter fulgurator and fulminator ; and thunder from the thunderer, Zeùs 'yißpeuétns, Jupiter tonans.
At a later time, when these answers seemed no longer satisfactory, new answers were attempted, and science explained lightning as a discharge of electricity, thunder as a tension of the air, rain as the condensation of vapour. What had to be explained
1 Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 96, 156,
remained throughout the same; the difference arose from the new spirit of inquiry.
We must not forget, however, that even in our own scientific age prayers are still offered for rain, that is to say, that the religious view of nature has held its own, if not against, at least by the side of the scientific view. And this will help us to mark off the domain of religion from that of science. Both deal with that which lies behind or beyond our knowledge, but while science looks for causes of events, whatever these causes may be, religion is satisfied with admitting agents for actions, who assume different aspects according to the poetical genius of every race.
What imparts a Religious Character. But we must restrict the sphere of religion, so far as it is founded on perceptions of the infinite, still further. The mere admission that there in an agent behind the rain, the lightning, the thunder, behind night and day, behind sun and moon, is not yet religion. It may be called mythology throughout, but in some cases it is not even that. If we say the wind blows, we hardly speak mythologically, though, no doubt, a very small addition of poetical imagination may change the wind into an Aeolus, or, as in modern illustrated books, into an angel with wings, blowing a visible puff of air out of his mouth. That would be mythology, but not yet religion.
In order to avoid all confusion of thought, we must reserve the adjective religious for those perceptions of the unknown or the infinite which influence man's actions and his whole moral nature. The mere reasoning, for instance, which would lead a sailor to