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Thoughts on Religion   By: (1848-1894)

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Thoughts on Religion

BY THE LATE

GEORGE JOHN ROMANES M.A., LL.D., F.R.S.

EDITED BY

CHARLES GORE, D.D. BISHOP OF WORCESTER

Twelfth Impression

LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO. 39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON AND BOMBAY

1904

CONTENTS

PAGE

EDITOR'S PREFACE 5

PART I.

THE INFLUENCE OF SCIENCE UPON RELIGION.

ESSAY I 37

ESSAY II 56

PART II.

NOTES FOR A WORK ON A CANDID EXAMINATION OF RELIGION.

INTRODUCTORY NOTE BY THE EDITOR 91

§ 1. INTRODUCTORY 98

§ 2. DEFINITION OF TERMS AND PURPOSE OF THIS TREATISE 104

§ 3. CAUSALITY 116

§ 4. FAITH 131

§ 5. FAITH IN CHRISTIANITY 154

CONCLUDING NOTE BY THE EDITOR 184

PUBLISHER'S NOTE

The present edition of Romanes' Thoughts on Religion is issued in response to a request which has been made with some frequency of late for very cheap reprints of standard religious and theological works.

39 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON, January, 1904.

EDITOR'S PREFACE

The late Mr. George John Romanes the author within the last few years of Darwin and After Darwin , and of the Examination of Weismannism occupied a distinguished place in contemporary biology. But his mind was also continuously and increasingly active on the problems of metaphysics and theology. And at his death in the early summer of this year (1894), he left among his papers some notes, made mostly in the previous winter, for a work which he was intending to write on the fundamental questions of religion. He had desired that these notes should be given to me and that I should do with them as I thought best. His literary executors accordingly handed them over to me, in company with some unpublished essays, two of which form the first part of the present volume.

After reading the notes myself, and obtaining the judgement of others in whom I feel confidence upon them, I have no hesitation either in publishing by far the greater part of them, or in publishing them with the author's name in spite of the fact that the book as originally projected was to have been anonymous. From the few words which George Romanes said to me on the subject, I have no doubt that he realized that the notes if published after his death must be published with his name.

I have said that after reading these notes I feel no doubt that they ought to be published. They claim it both by their intrinsic value and by the light they throw on the religious thought of a scientific man who was not only remarkably able and clear headed, but also many sided, as few men are, in his capacities, and singularly candid and open hearted. To all these qualities the notes which are now offered to the public will bear unmistakeable witness.

With more hesitation it has been decided to print also the unpublished essays already referred to. These, as representing an earlier stage of thought than is represented in the notes, naturally appear first.

Both Essays and Notes however represent the same tendency of a mind from a position of unbelief in the Christian Revelation toward one of belief in it. They represent, I say, a tendency of one 'seeking after God if haply he might feel after Him and find Him,' and not a position of settled orthodoxy. Even the Notes contain in fact many things which could not come from a settled believer. This being so it is natural that I should say a word as to the way in which I have understood my function as an editor. I have decided the question of publishing each Note solely by the consideration whether or no it was sufficiently finished to be intelligible... Continue reading book >>




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