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MODERN THEORIES

IN

PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION

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AUTHOR or 'RATIONAL THEOLOGY AND CHRISTIAN PHILOSOPHY

IN ENGLAND IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY,'

LEADERS OF THE REFORMATION,' ETC.

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCLXXXIV

All Rights reserved

12783 APR 6 1909 ES

PREFACE.

THESE Essays have a common object; and I have thought them, therefore, worthy of being published together. The same principles more or less reappear in them all, and these principles seem to me of great importance.

The question with which they deal in diverse application is the great question of contemporary thought, in comparison with which all other questions are of little moment—Is there a spiritual world ? Is there a metaphysical as well as a physical basis of life? Is Reason or Soul, in other words, an entity, and not a mere manifestation of nervous force-a life behind all other life, and not merely the highest and most complex phase of natural life ? All the naturalistic systems of thought so prevalent at the present time assume a negative answer to these questions. They speak of mind or spirit or consciousness—they cannot help doing so; but they mean by such language merely a phenomenon — a phase of natural being — never

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