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gion, that in fact so narrow a definition would exclude all dualistic and polytheistic religions as well as all those forms of faith which shrink from comprehending the Divine under the limits of mere human personality.
To those who cling to the idea of religion as chiefly a mode of worshipping God, modus colendi Deum, our answer would be that so long as worship is a genuine expression of moral sentiments, it is included in our definition; while when it has ceased to be so, it is no longer religion, but superstition only.
Kant's definition that 'religion consists in our recognising all our duties as divine commandments' is comprehended in our own, for that definition represents only a later and higher stage of that original perception of something unseen and infinite which determines our moral acts. Nay, if we go a step higher still, and recognise religion as the surrender of the finite will to the infinite, we have here again the fullest realisation of that primeval perception of the infinite as a power, not entirely different from ourselves, that makes for righteousness.
And while thus the highest conceptions of religion can be traced back as natural developments to that broad conception of religion on which our definition is based, we shall find that the lowest forms of religion likewise are easily comprehended under it. Roskoff, in his learned work Das Religionswesen der rohesten Naturvölker, 1880, (The religion of the rudest races,) which contains a most elaborate and exhaustive reply to Sir John Lubbock’s theories, defines the religion of these uncivilised tribes in the most general terms as what lifts them above the real world. Much the same definition of religion is given by Hegel also. Here we have only to replace real by finite, and we shall see that what he means is exactly what we mean by a ' perception of something infinite beyond the finite world, only that we qualify that perception of the infinite and restrict it to that class of perceptions which can influence the moral character of man.
I know in fact of no definition of religion and I have dwelt in my lectures on the most important only—which cannot be accommodated within the wide boundaries of our own, and, what is even more important, I know of no religion, whether ancient or modern, that cannot be caught in that wide net. Even Buddhism-I mean Southern Buddhism, which refused to be caught by any other definition-cannot escape. Though Buddha declined to dogmatise on the Beyond, and though from his unwillingness to predicate anything about it, it dwindled down in the minds of some of his followers to a mere Nothing, yet even that Nothing was not the finite or material world, but lay beyond it, undefined, if not infinite. Buddha was lifted beyond the real world ; and the practical side of Buddhism also, its belief in transmigration and the never-resting wheel of the world, presupposed a look that had pierced beyond the finite, nay, had raised the perception of the endless continuance of works or Karma into the most potent faith that could influence the moral character of man. “We are what we are,' as Buddha says in the very first verse of his Dhammapada, óby what we have thought and done. As the cart follows on the heels of the ox that draws it, so do our thoughts and deeds follow us.' The experience of this finite world could
not have taught him that lesson. It was a look backward and forward beyond the horizon of our experience—though not in his case, a look upwardthat alone could have taught Buddha that faith in absolute justice and eternal right which has made his religion the wonder of the world.
THE HISTORICAL METHOD.
Criticism of My Definition, M HE definition of religion at which we arrived in
1 our last lecture has received the support of a large number both of philosophers and historians ; but for that very reason, it would seem, it has also provoked a great amount of very determined opposition.
Now we ought always to be truly grateful for adverse criticism. It generally gives us something, it teaches us something which we did not know before, whereas assent and laudation, though they may give us more confidence in our own opinions, add but seldom to our own or to the general stock of knowledge. After all, every one of us is only a labourer, each having his special work assigned to him in raising the temple of knowledge. It is of that temple alone that every honest workman ought to think, and not of himself, for he is but one in a million of hewers of wood and drawers of water. If he is planing and polishing his beam carelessly, or if he is spilling the water on the way, he should be thankful for his own sake, and still more for the sake of the great work which is entrusted to him, if his fellow-labourers will warn him, correct him, advise him, and help him in his work. Who knows now the workmen that built the pyramids, or even
the architect that devised them ? But if one single block of granite had been placed at a wrong angle, the very pyramid would probably have collapsed long ago, or would have remained blemished for ever?
Pfleiderer's Criticism. I feel truly grateful therefore for the criticisms which have been passed by Professor Pfleiderer and others on my former definition of religion, and I fully admit their justness. I had defined religion simply as 'a perception of the infinite,' without adding the restriction 'a perception of the infinite under such manifestations as are able to influence the moral character of man. The fact was that in my former writings I was chiefly concerned with dogmatic religion. I was anxious to discover the origin of religious concepts, names, and theories, and I left the question of their influence on moral actions for further consideration. We cannot do or say everything at the same time, and it is perhaps hardly fair that we should be supposed to have negatived what we simply had left unmentioned. Still, I plead guilty to having not laid sufficient emphasis on the practical side of religion ; I admit that mere theories about the infinite, unless they influence human conduct, have no right to the name of religion, and I have tried now to remedy that defect by restricting the name of religion to those perceptions of the infinite which are able to influence the moral character of man.
Professor Gruppe. But a much more determined attack came from a different quarter. As I had meant to treat the Science of Religion in a strictly scientific spirit, I had care