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SELF DEVELOPMENT AND THE WAY TO POWER It is the natural right of every human being to be happy—to escape all the miseries of life. Happiness is the normal condition, as natural as the landscapes and the seasons. It is unnatural to suffer and it is only because of our ignorance that we do suffer. Happiness is the product of wisdom. To attain perfect wisdom, to comprehend fully the purpose of life, to realize completely the relationship of... more...

FOREWORD The tradition regarding Jesus is so glamorous that it is difficult to review his life and character with an unbiased mind. While Fundamentalists and Modernists differ regarding the divinity of Christ, all Christians and many non-Christians still cling to preconceived notions of the perfection of Jesus. He alone among men is revered as all-loving, omniscient, faultless—an unparalleled model for mankind. This convention of the... more...

SUPERSTITION UNVEILED. Religion has an important bearing on all the relations and conditions of life. The connexion between religious faith and political practice is, in truth, far closer than is generally thought. Public opinion has not yet ripened into a knowledge that religious error is the intangible but real substratum of all political injustice. Though the 'Schoolmaster' has done much, there still remain among us, many honest and energetic... more...

Caution in the Truth Perhaps no doctrine of Christian Science rouses so much natural doubt and questioning as this, that God knows no such thing as sin. Indeed, this may be set down as one of the "things hard to be understood," such as the apostle Peter declared were taught by his fellow-apostle Paul, "which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest ... unto their own destruction." (2 Peter iii. 16.) Let us then reason together on this... more...

THE WORK OF CHRIST THE Word of God reveals, that all things were created by and for the Son of God. “All things were made by Him and without Him was not anything made that was made” (John i:3). “For by Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers; all things were created by Him and for Him” (Col. i:16). When... more...


CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY. To summon a dead religion from its forgotten grave and to make it tell its story, would require an enchanter's wand. Other old faiths, of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Rome, are known to us. But in their case liturgies, myths, theogonies, theologies, and the accessories of cult, remain to yield their report of the outward form of human belief and aspiration. How scanty, on the other hand, are the records of Celtic religion!... more...

CHAPTER I THE NAME AND THE SITUATION +Religion and Theology.+—Religion is one thing and theology another, but religion is never found apart from a theology of some kind, for theology is the intellectual articulation of religious experience. Every man who has anything worthy to be called a religious experience has also a theology; he cannot help it. No sooner does he attempt to understand or express his experience of the relations of God... more...

PREFACE Plain speaking is necessary in any discussion of religion, for if the freethinker attacks the religious dogmas with hesitation, the orthodox believer assumes that it is with regret that the freethinker would remove the crutch that supports the orthodox. And all religious beliefs are "crutches" hindering the free locomotive efforts of an advancing humanity. There are no problems related to human progress and happiness in this age which... more...

PREFACE TO THE TENTH EDITION. THIS work has passed through nine editions, and has been out of print now for nearly a year. During the twenty years which have elapsed since it was written, the question of immortality, the faith and opinions of men and the drift of criticism and doubt concerning it, have been a subject of dominant interest to me, and have occupied a large space in my reading and reflection. Accordingly, now that my publisher,... more...

PREFACE The reception given by the learned world to the First Volume of this work, as expressed hitherto in smaller reviews and notices, has on the whole been decidedly far from discouraging. All have had some word of encomium on our efforts. Many have accorded praise and signified their agreement, sometimes with unquestionable ability. Some have pronounced adverse opinions with considerable candour and courtesy. Others in opposing have employed... more...