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Our true religious life begins when we discover that there is an Inner Light, not infallible but invaluable, which “lighteth every man that cometh into the world.” Then we have something to steer by; and it is chiefly this, and not an anchor, that we need. The human soul, like any other noble vessel, was not built to be anchored, but to sail. An anchorage may, indeed, be at times a temporary need, in order to make some special... more...

CHAPTER IITS ORIGIN AND MEANING Much has been written about Christianity and Islam, so I hasten to inform my readers that this is not a religious treatise, nor do I class them with the globe-trotter who searched Benares brass-bazar diligently for "a really nice image of Allah" and pronounced the dread name of Hindustan's avenging goddess like an effervescing drink. I presuppose that Christians or Moslems who read this book have got beyond the... more...

PREFACE. No class of works is received with more suspicion, I had almost said derision, than those which deal with Science and Religion. Science is tired of reconciliations between two things which never should have been contrasted; Religion is offended by the patronage of an ally which it professes not to need; and the critics have rightly discovered that, in most cases where Science is either pitted against Religion or fused with it, there is... more...

CHAPTER I. SALAAM. The Western student is apt to be somewhat confused in his ideas regarding the Yogis and their philosophy and practice. Travelers to India have written great tales about the hordes of fakirs, mendicants and mountebanks who infest the great roads of India and the streets of its cities, and who impudently claim the title "Yogi." The Western student is scarcely to be blamed for thinking of the typical Yogi as an emaciated,... more...

Introduction. WO of you—Lateef and Altaf—will recollect that more than a year ago you wrote to me saying that you were puzzled by certain questions which a Missionary had put to you. I remember that Amjud or Mahmood even went so far as to ask what was the good of Islam, when countries and people professing that faith had weak governments and were crumbling to pieces under the influence of Christian Powers. I answered your queries... more...


Introduction The last thirty years, though as dates go this is only an approximation, have witnessed a marked development of religious cults and movements largely outside the lines of historic Catholicism and Protestantism. One of these cults is strongly organized and has for twenty years grown more rapidly in proportion than most of the Christian communions. The influence of others, more loosely organized, is far reaching. Some of them attempt... more...

I THE THREE HYPOTHESES RESPECTING THE HISTORY OF NATURE We live in and form part of a system of things of immense diversity and perplexity, which we call Nature; and it is a matter of the deepest interest to all of us that we should form just conceptions of the constitution of that system and of its past history. With relation to this universe, man is, in extent, little more than a mathematical point; in duration but a fleeting shadow; he is a... more...

I. HIS EXISTENCE. 1. TAKEN FOR GRANTED BY THE SCRIPTURE WRITERS: It does not seem to have occurred to any of the writers of either the Old or the New Testaments to attempt to prove or to argue for the existence of God. Everywhere and at all times it is a fact taken for granted. "A God capable of proof would be no God at all" (Jacobi). He is the self-existent One (Exod. 3:14) and the Source of all life (John 5:26). The sublime opening of the... more...

(AUGUST, 1919) The Essays in this volume were written at various times before and during the Great War. In reading them through for republication, I have to ask myself whether my opinions on social science and on the state of religion, the two subjects which are mainly dealt with in this collection, have been modified by the greatest calamity which has ever befallen the civilised world, or by the issue of the struggle. I find very little that I... more...

INTRODUCTION To kindle in all minds a common sentiment of regard for the spiritual idea emanating from the infinite, is a most needful work; but this must be done gradually, for Truth is as "the still, small voice," which comes to our recognition only as our natures are changed by its silent influence. Small streams are noisy and rush precipitately; and babbling brooks fill the rivers till they rise in floods, demolishing bridges and... more...