Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Phases of Faith Passages from the History of My Creed   By: (1805-1897)

Book cover

First Page:

PHASES OF FAITH

or

PASSAGES FROM THE HISTORY OF MY CREED.

Francis William Newman, 1874

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION.

This is perhaps an egotistical book; egotistical certainly in its form, yet not in its purport and essence.

Personal reasons the writer cannot wholly disown, for desiring to explain himself to more than a few, who on religious grounds are unjustly alienated from him. If by any motive of curiosity or lingering remembrances they may be led to read his straightforward account, he trusts to be able to show them that he has had no choice but to adopt the intellectual conclusions which offend them; that the difference between them and him turns on questions of Learning, History, Criticism and Abstract Thought; and that to make their results (if indeed they have ever deeply and honestly investigated the matter) the tests of his spiritual state, is to employ unjust weights and a false balance, which are an abomination to the Lord. To defraud one's neighbour of any tithe of mint and cummin, would seem to them a sin: is it less to withhold affection, trust and free intercourse, and build up unpassable barriers of coldness and alarm, against one whose sole offence is to differ from them intellectually?

But the argument before the writer is something immensely greater than a personal one. So it happens, that to vindicate himself is to establish a mighty truth; a truth which can in no other way so well enter the heart, as when it comes embodied in an individual case. If he can show, that to have shrunk from his successive convictions would have been "infidelity" to God and Truth and Righteousness; but that he has been "faithful" to the highest and most urgent duty; it will be made clear that Belief is one thing and Faith another; that to believe is intellectual, nay possibly "earthly, devilish;" and that to set up any fixed creed as a test of spiritual character is a most unjust, oppressive and mischievous superstition. The historical form has been deliberately selected, as easier and more interesting to the reader; but it must not be imagined that the author has given his mental history in general, much less an autobiography. The progress of his creed is his sole subject; and other topics are introduced either to illustrate this or as digressions suggested by it.

March 22nd, 1850.

PREFACE TO SIXTH EDITION

I had long thought that the elaborate reply made for me in the "Prospective Review" (1854) to Mr. Henry Rogers's Defence of the "Eclipse of Faith," superseded anything more from my pen. But in the course of six years a review is forgotten and buried away, while Mr. Rogers is circulating the ninth edition of his misrepresentations.

As my publisher announces to me the opportunity, I at length consent to reply myself to the Defence, cancelling what was previously my last chapter, written against the "Eclipse."

All that follows p. 175 in this edition is new.

June , 1860.

CONTENTS.

I. MY YOUTHFUL CREED

II. STRIVINGS AFTER A MORE PRIMITIVE CHRISTIANITY

III. CALVINISM ABANDONED

IV. THE RELIGION OF THE LETTER RENOUNCED

V. FAITH AT SECOND HAND FOUND TO BE VAIN

VI. HISTORY DISCOVERED TO BE NO PART OF RELIGION

VII. ON THE MORAL PERFECTION OF JESUS

VIII. ON BIGOTRY AND PROGRESS

IX. REPLY TO THE "DEFENCE OF THE ECLIPSE OF FAITH"

APPENDIX I

APPENDIX II

PHASES OF FAITH.

CHAPTER I.

MY YOUTHFUL CREED.

I first began to read religious books at school, and especially the Bible, when I was eleven years old; and almost immediately commenced a habit of secret prayer. But it was not until I was fourteen that I gained any definite idea of a "scheme of doctrine," or could have been called a "converted person" by one of the Evangelical School. My religion then certainly exerted a great general influence over my conduct; for I soon underwent various persecution from my schoolfellows on account of it: the worst kind consisted in their deliberate attempts to corrupt me... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books