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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: his doctrine is the truth, but, / am the truth, which is immediately referred again to this, that he is also the life. The next view places the distinctive character of Christianity mainly in its ethical force, its power as a Rule of life. This stands closely connected with Kant and Rationalism, as it proceeded from his school. It went along with the conviction, that the human mind can attain to no sure knowledge of the supernatural and divine in a theoretic way, but only as it may be necessary to assume it in obedience to the demands of our moral nature. What morality requires as a postulate for its own support, may be counted certainly true, though in other respects wholly unknown. The moral law became here the absolute measure of truth. Morality in man occupied the first and highest place. Religion was something secondary and subordinate, necessary only as required by the other for its own service. Christianity then was an ethical law ; starting in the form of positive divine precepts, but identical at last, in its true and proper substance, with the demands of the practical reason itself, by which accordingly it is to be tried and interpreted. Christ was the great lawgiver for humanity ; the Church a platform, for the grand contest of good and evil in the history of the race. Faith in God and the retributions of a future life, resolved itself into a firm persuasion that virtue must at last prevail. It was faith in the moral order of the world. We freely allow the great importance of this ethical conception of Christianity. It surpasses the doctrinal in this, that it brings into view more fully its proper dynamic nature, its teleo- logical character, the relation of the whole to a supreme moral end. It turns attention also more towards the author of the religion, as being...
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