To become morally good it is not enough merely to allow the seed of 
goodness implanted in our species to develop without hindrance; there is 
also present in us an active and opposing cause of evil to be combatted. 
Among the ancient moralists it was pre-eminently the Stoics who called 
attention to this fact by their watchword virtue, which (in Greek as well as 
in Latin) signifies courage and valor and thus presupposes the presence of 
an enemy. In this regard the name virtue is a noble one, and that it has often 
been ostentatiously misused and derided (as has of late the word 
"Enlightenment") can do it no harm. For simply to make the demand for 
courage is to go half-way towards infusing it; on the other hand, the lazy 
and pusillanimous cast of mind (in morality and religion) which entirely 
mistrusts itself and hangs back waiting for help from without, is relaxing to 
all a man's powers and makes him unworthy even of this assistance.
	Yet those valiant men [the Stoics] mistook their enemy: for he is not 
to be sought in the merely undisciplined natural inclinations which present 
themselves so openly to everyone's consciousness; rather is he, as it were, 
an invisible foe who screens himself behind reason and is therefore all the 
more dangerous. They called out wisdom against folly, which allows itself 
to be deceived by the inclinations through mere carelessness, instead of 
summoning her against wickedness (the wickedness of the human heart), 
which secretly undermines the disposition with soul-destroying principles.*
	Natural inclinations, considered in themselves, are good, that is, not 
a matter of reproach, and it is not only futile to want to extirpate them but to 
do so would also be harmful and blameworthy. Rather, let them be tamed 
and instead of clashing with one another they can be brought into harmony 
in a wholeness which is called happiness. Now the reason which 
accomplishes this is termed prudence. But only what is opposed to the 
moral law is evil in itself, absolutely reprehensible, and must be completely 
eradicated; and that reason which teaches this truth, and more especially that 
which puts it into actual practice, alone deserves the name of wisdom. The 
vice corresponding to this may indeed be termed folly, but again only when 
reason feels itself strong enough not merely to hate vice as something to be 
feared, and to arm itself against it, but to scorn vice (with all its 
	So when the Stoic regarded man's moral struggle simply as a 
conflict with his inclinations, so far as these (innocent in themselves) had to 
be overcome as hindrances to the fulfilment of his duty, he could locate the 
cause of transgression only in man's neglect to combat these inclinations, 
for he admitted no special, positive principle (evil in itself). Yet since this 
neglect is itself contrary to duty (a transgression) and no mere lapse of 
and since the cause thereof cannot be sought once again in the inclinations 
(unless we are to argue in a circle) but only in that which determines the 
willw as a free willw (that is, in the first and inmost ground of the maxims 
which accord with the inclinations), we can well understand how 
philosophers for whom the basis of an explanation remained ever hidden in 
darkness*--a basis which, though inescapable, is yet unwelcome--could 
mistake the real opponent of goodness with whom they believed they had to 
carry on a conflict.
	So it is not surprising that an Apostle represents this invisible 
enemy, who is known only through his operations upon us and who 
destroys basic principles, as being outside us and, indeed, as an evil spirit: 
"We wrestle not against flesh and blood (the natural inclinations) but against 
principalities and powers--against evil spirits."1 This is an expression 
which seems to have been used not to extend our knowledge beyond the 
world of sense but only to make clear for practical use the conception of 
what is for us unfathomable. As far as its practical value to us is concerned, 
moreover, it is all one whether we place the seducer merely within ourselves 
or without, for guilt touches us not a whit less in the latter case than in the 
former, inasmuch as we would not be led
astray by him at all were we not already in secret league with him.* We will 
treat of this whole subject in two sections.



	A. The Personified Idea of the Good Principle
	Mankind (rational earthly existence in general) in its complete moral 
perfection is that which alone can render a world the object of a divine 
decree and the end of creation. With such perfection as the prime condition, 
happiness is the direct consequence, according to the will of the Supreme 
Being. Man so conceived, alone pleasing to God, "is in Him through 
eternity";1 the idea of him proceeds from God's very being; hence he is no 
created thing but His only-begotten Son, "the Word (the Fiat!) through 
which all other things are, and without which nothing is in existence that is 
made"2 (since for him, that is, for rational existence in the world, so far as 
he may be regarded in the light of his moral destiny, all things were made). 
"He is the brightness of His glory."3 "In him God loved the world,"4 and 
only in him and through the adoption of his disposition can we hope "to 
become the sons of God";5 etc.
	Now it is our universal duty as men to elevate ourselves to this ideal 
of moral perfection, that is, to this archetype of the moral disposition in all 
its purity--and for this the idea itself, which reason presents to us for our 
zealous emulation, can give us power. But just because we are not the 
authors of this idea, and because it has established itself in man without our 
comprehending how human nature could have been capable of receiving it, 
it is more appropriate to say that this archetype has come down to us from 
heaven and has assumed our humanity (for it is less possible to conceive 
how man, by nature evil, should of himself lay aside evil and raise himself 
to the ideal of holiness, than that the latter
should descend to man and assume a humanity which is, in itself, not evil). 
Such union with us may therefore be regarded as a state of humiliation of 
the Son of God1 if we represent to ourselves this godly-minded person, 
regarded as our archetype, as assuming sorrows in fullest measure in order 
to further the world's good, though he himself is holy and therefore is 
bound to endure no sufferings whatsoever. Man, on the contrary, who is 
never free from guilt even though he has taken on the very same 
disposition, can regard as truly merited the sufferings that may overtake 
him, by whatever road they come; consequently he must consider himself 
unworthy of the union of his disposition with such an idea, even though 
this idea serves him as an archetype.
	This ideal of a humanity pleasing to God (hence of such moral 
perfection as is possible to an earthly being who is subject to wants and 
inclinations) we can represent to ourselves only as the idea of a person who 
would be willing not merely to discharge all human duties himself and to 
spread about him goodness as widely as possible by precept and example, 
but even, though tempted by the greatest allurements, to take upon himself 
every affliction, up to the most ignominious death, for the good of the 
world and even for his enemies. For man can frame to himself no concept 
of the degree and strength of a force like that of a moral disposition except 
by picturing it as encompassed by obstacles, and yet, in the face of the 
fiercest onslaughts, victorious.
	Man may then hope to become acceptable to God (and so be saved) 
through a practical faith in this Son of God (so far as He is represented as 
having taken upon Himself man's nature). In other words, he, and he 
alone, is entitled to look upon himself as an object not unworthy of divine 
approval who is conscious of such a moral disposition as enables him to 
have a well-grounded confidence in himself and to believe that, under like 
temptations and afflictions (so far as these are made the touchstone of that 
idea), he would be loyal unswervingly to the archetype of humanity and, by 
faithful imitation, remain true to his exemplar.

	B. The Objective Reality of this Idea
	From the practical point of view this idea is completely real in its 
own right, for it resides in our morally-legislative reason. We ought to 
conform to it; consequently we must be able to do so. Did
we have to prove in advance the possibility of man's conforming to this 
archetype, as is absolutely essential in the case of concepts of nature (if we 
are to avoid the danger of being deluded by empty notions), we should have 
to hesitate before allowing even to the moral law the authority of an 
unconditioned and yet sufficient determining ground of our willw. For how 
it is possible that the bare idea of conformity to law, as such,1 should be a 
stronger incentive for the will than all the incentives conceivable whose 
source is personal gain, can neither be understood by reason nor yet proved 
by examples from experience. As regards the former, the law commands 
unqualifiedly; and as regards the latter, even though there had never existed 
an individual who yielded unqualified obedience to this law, the objective 
necessity of being such an one would yet be undiminished and self-evident. 
We need, therefore, no empirical example to make the idea of a person 
morally well-pleasing to God our archetype; this idea as an archetype is 
already present in our reason. Moreover, if anyone, in order to 
acknowledge, for his imitation, a particular individual as such an example of 
conformity to that idea, demands more than what he sees, more, that is, 
than a course of life entirely blameless and as meritorious as one could 
wish; and if he goes on to require, as credentials requisite to belief, that this 
individual should have performed miracles or had them performed for him--
he who demands this thereby confesses to his own moral unbelief, that is, 
to his lack of faith in virtue. This is a lack which no belief that rests upon 
miracles (and is merely historical) can repair. For only a faith in the practical 
validity of that idea which lies in our reason has moral worth. (Only this 
idea, to be sure, can establish the truth of miracles as possible effects of the 
good principle; but it can never itself derive from them its own verification.)
	Just for this reason must an experience be possible in which the 
example of such a [morally perfect] human being is presented (so far, at 
least, as we can expect or demand from any merely external experience the 
evidences of an inner moral disposition). According to the law, each man 
ought really to furnish an example of this idea in his own person; to this end 
does the archetype reside always in the reason: and this, just because no 
example in outer experience is adequate to it; for outer experience does not 
disclose the inner nature of the disposition but merely allows of an inference 
about it though not one of strict certainty. (For the matter of that, not even 
does a man's inner experience with regard to himself enable him so to 
fathom the depths of his own heart as to obtain, through self-observation, 
quite certain knowledge of the basis of the maxims which he professes, or 
of their purity and stability.)
	Now if it were indeed a fact that such a truly godly-minded man at 
some particular time had descended, as it were, from heaven to earth and 
had given men in his own person, through his teachings, his conduct, and 
his sufferings, as perfect an example of a man well-pleasing to God as one 
can expect to find in external experience (for be it remembered that the 
archetype of such a person is to be sought nowhere but in our own reason), 
and if he had, through all this, produced immeasurably great moral good 
upon earth by effecting a revolution in the human race--even then we should 
have no cause for supposing him other than a man naturally begotten. 
(Indeed, the naturally begotten man feels himself under obligation to furnish 
just such an example in himself.) This is not, to be sure, absolutely to deny 
that he might be a man supernaturally begotten. But to suppose the latter can 
in no way benefit us practically, inasmuch as the archetype which we find 
embodied in this manifestation must, after all, be sought in ourselves (even 
though we are but natural men). And the presence of this archetype in the 
human soul is in itself sufficiently incomprehensible without our adding to 
its supernatural origin the assumption that it is hypostasized in a particular 
individual. The elevation of such a holy person above all the frailties of 
human nature would rather, so far as we can see, hinder the adoption of the 
idea of such a person for our imitation. For let the nature of this individual 
pleasing to God be regarded as human in the sense of being encumbered 
with the very same needs as ourselves, hence the same sorrows, with the 
very same inclinations, hence with the same temptations to transgress; let it, 
however, be regarded as superhuman to the degree that his unchanging 
purity of will, not achieved with effort but innate, makes all transgression 
on his part utterly impossible: his distance from the natural man would then 
be so infinitely great that such a divine person could no longer be held up as 
an example to him. Man would say: If I too had a perfectly holy will, all 
temptations to evil would of themselves be thwarted in me; if I too had the 
most complete inner assurance that, after a short
life on earth, I should (by virtue of this holiness) become at once a partaker 
in all the eternal glory of the kingdom of heaven, I too should take upon 
myself not only willingly but joyfully all sorrows, however bitter they 
might be, even to the most ignominious death, since I would see before my 
eyes the glorious and imminent sequel. To be sure, the thought that this 
divine person was in actual possession of this eminence and this bliss from 
all eternity (and needed not first of all to earn them through such afflictions), 
and that he willingly renounced them for the sake of those absolutely 
unworthy, even for the sake of his enemies, to save them from everlasting 
perdition--this thought must attune our hearts to admiration, love, and 
gratitude. Similarly the idea of a demeanor in accordance with so perfect a 
standard of morality would no doubt be valid for us, as a model for us to 
copy. Yet he himself could not be represented to us as an example for our 
imitation, nor, consequently, as a proof of the feasibility and attainability for 
us of so pure and exalted a moral goodness.*
	Now such a godly-minded teacher, even though he was completely 
human, might nevertheless truthfully speak of himself as though the ideal of 
goodness were displayed incarnate in him (in his teachings and conduct). In 
speaking thus he would be alluding only to the disposition which he makes 
the rule of his actions; since he cannot make this disposition visible, as an 
example for others, by and through itself, he places it before their eyes only 
through his teachings and actions: "Which of you convinceth me of sin?"1 
For in the absence of proofs to the contrary it is no more than right to 
ascribe the faultless example which a teacher furnishes of his teaching--
when, moreover, this is a matter of duty for all--to the supremely pure 
moral disposition of the man himself. When a disposition such as this, 
together with all the afflictions assumed for the sake of the world's highest 
good, is taken as the ideal of mankind, it is, by standards of supreme 
righteousness, a perfectly valid ideal for all men, at all times and in all 
worlds, whenever man makes his own disposition like unto it, as he ought 
to do. To be sure, such an attainment will ever remain a righteousness not 
our own, inasmuch as it would have to consist of a course of life completely 
and faultlessly harmonious with that perfect disposition.
Yet an appropriation of this righteousness for the sake of our own must be 
possible when our own disposition is made at one with that of the 
archetype, although the greatest difficulties will stand in the way of our 
rendering this act of appropriation comprehensible. To these difficulties we 
now turn.

	C. Difficulties which Oppose the Reality of this Idea, and their 
	The first difficulty which makes doubtful the realization in us of that 
idea of a humanity well-pleasing to God, when we consider the holiness of 
the Lawgiver and the lack of a righteousness of our own, is the following. 
The law says: "Be ye holy (in the conduct of your lives) even as your Father 
in Heaven is holy."1 This is the ideal of the Son of God which is set up 
before us as our model. But the distance separating the good which we 
ought to effect in ourselves from the evil whence we advance is infinite, and 
the act itself, of conforming our course of life to the holiness of the law, is 
impossible of execution in any given time. Nevertheless, man's moral 
constitution ought to accord with this holiness. This constitution must 
therefore be found in his disposition, in the all-embracing and sincere 
maxim of conformity of conduct to the law, as the seed from which all 
goodness is to be developed. Such a disposition arises, then, from a holy 
principle which the individual has made his own highest maxim. A change 
of heart such as this must be possible because duty requires it.
	Now the difficulty lies here: How can a disposition count for the act 
itself, when the act is always (not eternally,2 but at each instant of time) 
defective? The solution rests on these considerations. In our conceptions of 
the relation of cause and effect we are unavoidably confined to time-
conditions. According to our mode of estimation, therefore, conduct3 itself, 
as a continual and endless advance from a deficient to a better good, ever 
remains defective. We must consequently regard the good as it appears in 
us, that is, in the guise of an act,3 as being always inadequate to a holy law. 
But we may also think of this endless progress of our goodness towards 
conformity to the law, even if this progress is conceived in terms of actual 
deeds,3 or life-conduct, as being judged by Him who knows the heart, 
through a purely intellectual intuition, as a
completed whole, because of the disposition, supersensible in its nature, 
from which this progress itself is derived.* Thus may man, notwithstanding 
his permanent deficiency, yet expect to be essentially1 well-pleasing to 
God, at whatever instant his existence be terminated.
	The second difficulty emerges when we consider man, as he strives 
towards the good, with respect to the relation of his moral goodness to the 
divine goodness. This difficulty concerns moral happiness. By this I do not 
mean that assurance of the everlasting possession of contentment with one's 
physical state (freedom from evils and enjoyment of ever-increasing 
pleasures) which is physical happiness; I mean rather the reality and 
constancy of a disposition which ever progresses in goodness (and never 
falls away from it). For if only one were absolutely assured of the 
unchangeableness of a disposition of this sort, the constant "seeking for the 
kingdom of God"2 would be equivalent to knowing oneself to be already in 
possession of this kingdom, inasmuch as an individual thus minded would 
quite of his own accord have confidence that "all things else (i.e., what 
relates to physical happiness) would be added unto him."3 
	Now a person solicitous on this score might perhaps be rebuked for 
his concern, with: "His (God's) Spirit beareth witness to our spirit," etc.;4 
that is to say, he who possesses as pure a disposition as is required will feel 
of himself that he could never fall so low as again to love evil. And yet to 
trust to such feelings, supposedly of
supersensible origin, is a rather perilous undertaking; man is never more 
easily deceived than in what promotes his good opinion of himself. 
Moreover it does not even seem advisable to encourage such a state of 
confidence; rather is it advantageous (to morality) to "work out our own 
salvation with fear and trembling"1 (a hard saying, which, if 
misunderstood, is capable of driving a man to the blackest fanaticism). On 
the other hand, if a man lacked all confidence in his moral disposition, once 
it was acquired, he would scarcely be able to persevere steadfastly in it. He 
can gain such confidence, however, without yielding himself up either to 
pleasing or to anxious fantasies, by comparing the course of his life hitherto 
with the resolution which he has adapted. It is true, indeed, that the man 
who, through a sufficiently long course of life, has observed the efficacy of 
these principles of goodness, from the time of their adoption, in his 
conduct, that is, in the steady improvement of his way of life, can still only 
conjecture2 from this that there has been a fundamental improvement in his 
inner disposition. Yet he has reasonable grounds for hope2 as well. Since 
such improvements, if only their underlying principle is good, ever increase 
his strength for future advances, he can hope that he will never forsake this 
course during his life on earth but will press on with ever-increasing 
courage. Nay, more: if after this life another life awaits him, he may hope to 
continue to follow this course still--though to all appearances under other 
conditions--in accordance with the very same principle, and to approach 
ever nearer to, though he can never reach, the goal of perfection. All this 
may he reasonably hope because, on the strength of what he has observed 
in himself up to the present, he can look upon his disposition as radically 
improved. Just the reverse is true of him who, despite good resolutions 
often repeated, finds that he has never stood his ground, who is ever falling 
back into evil, or who is constrained to acknowledge that as his life has 
advanced he has slipped, as though he were on a declivity, evermore from 
bad to worse. Such an individual can entertain no reasonable hope that he 
would conduct himself better were he to go on living here on earth, or even 
were a future life awaiting him, since, on the strength of his past record, he 
would have to regard the corruption as rooted in his very disposition.
	Now in the first experience we have a glimpse of an immeasurable 
future, yet one which is happy and to be desired; in the second, of as 
incalculable a misery--either of them being for men, so far as they can 
judge, a blessed or cursed eternity. These are representations powerful 
enough to bring peace to the one group and strengthen them in goodness, 
and to awaken in the other the voice of conscience commanding them still to 
break with evil so far as it is possible; hence powerful enough to serve as 
incentives without our having to presume to lay down dogmatically the 
objective doctrine that man's destiny is an eternity of good or evil.* In 
such assertions and pretensions to knowledge, reason simply passes 
beyond the limits of its own insight.
	And so that good and pure disposition of which we are conscious 
(and of which we may speak as a good spirit presiding over us) creates in 
us, though only indirectly, a confidence in its own permanence and 
stability, and is our Comforter (Paraclete) whenever our lapses make us 
apprehensive of its constancy. Certainty with regard to it is neither possible 
to man, nor, so far as we can see, [would it be] morally beneficial. For, be 
it well noted, we cannot base such confidence upon an immediate 
consciousness of the unchangeableness of our disposition, for this we 
cannot scrutinize: we must always draw our conclusions regarding it solely 
from its consequences in our way of life. Since such a conclusion, 
however, is drawn merely from objects of perception, as the appearances of 
the good or evil disposition, it can least of all reveal the strength of the 
disposition with any certainty. This is particularly true when we think that 
we have effected an improvement in our disposition only a short while 
before we expect to die; because now, in the absence of further conduct 
upon which to base a judgment regarding our moral worth, even such 
empirical proofs of the genuineness of the new disposition are entirely 
lacking. In this case a feeling of wretchedness is the inevitable result of a 
rational estimate of our moral state (though, indeed, human nature itself, by 
virtue of the obscurity of all its views beyond the limits of this life, prevents 
this comfortlessness from turning into wild despair).
	The third and apparently the greatest difficulty, which represents 
every man, even after he has entered upon the path of goodness, 
as reprobate when his life-conduct as a whole is judged before a divine 
righteousness, may be stated thus: Whatever a man may have done in the 
way of adopting a good disposition, and, indeed, however steadfastly he 
may have persevered in conduct conformable to such a disposition, he 
nevertheless started from evil, and this debt1 he can by no possibility wipe 
out. For he cannot regard the fact that he incurs no new debts subsequent to 
his change of heart as equivalent to having discharged his old ones. Neither 
can he, through future good conduct, produce a surplus over and above 
what he is under obligation to perform at every instant, for it is always his 
duty to do all the good that lies in his power. This debt which is original, or 
prior to all the good a man may do--this, and no more, is what we referred 
to in Book One as the radical evil in man--this debt can never be discharged 
by another person, so far as we can judge according to the justice of our 
human reason. For this is no transmissible liability which can be made over 
to another like a financial indebtedness (where it is all one to the creditor 
whether the debtor himself pays the debt or whether some one else pays it 
for him); rather is it the most personal of all debts, namely a debt of sins, 
which only the culprit can bear and which no innocent person can assume 
even though he be magnanimous enough to wish to take it upon himself for 
the sake of another. Now this moral evil (transgression of the moral law, 
called SIN when the law is regarded as a divine command) brings with it 
endless violations of the law and so infinite guilt. The extent of this guilt is 
due not so much to the infinitude of the Supreme Lawgiver whose authority 
is thereby violated2 (for we understand nothing of such transcendent 
relationships of man to the Supreme Being) as to the fact that this moral evil 
lies in the disposition and the maxims in general, in universal basic 
principles rather than in particular transgressions. (The case is different 
before a human court of justice, for such a court attends merely to single 
offenses and therefore to the deed itself and what is relative thereto, and not 
to the general disposition.) It would seem to follow, then, that because of 
this infinite guilt all mankind must look forward to endless punishment and 
exclusion from the kingdom of God.
	The solution of this difficulty rests on the following considerations. 
The judicial verdict of one who knows the heart must be regarded as based 
upon the general disposition of the accused and not upon the appearances of 
this disposition, that is, not upon actions at variance or in harmony with the 
law. We are assuming, however, that there now exists in man a good 
disposition having the upper hand over the evil principle which was 
formerly dominant in him. So the question which we are now raising is: 
Can the moral consequence of his former disposition, the punishment (or in 
other words the effect upon the subject of God's displeasure), be visited 
upon his present state, with its bettered disposition, in which he is already 
an object of divine pleasure? Since the question is not being raised as to 
whether, before his change of heart, the punishment ordained for him 
would have harmonized with the divine justice (on this score no one has any 
doubts), this punishment must not be thought of (in the present inquiry) as 
consummated prior to his reformation. After his change of heart, however, 
the penalty cannot be considered appropriate to his new quality (of a man 
well-pleasing to God), for he is now leading a new life and is morally 
another person; and yet satisfaction must be rendered to Supreme Justice,1 
in whose sight no one who is blameworthy can ever be guiltless. Since, 
therefore, the infliction of punishment can, consistently with the divine 
wisdom, take place neither before nor after the change of heart, and is yet 
necessary, we must think of it as carried out during the change of heart 
itself, and adapted thereto. Let us see then whether, by means of the concept 
of a changed moral attitude, we cannot discover in this very act of 
reformation such ills as the new man, whose disposition is now good, may 
regard as incurred by himself (in another state) and, therefore, as 
constituting punishments* whereby satisfaction is rendered to divine justice.
	Now a change of heart is a departure from evil and an entrance into 
goodness, the laying off of the old man and the putting on of the new,1 
since the man becomes dead unto sin (and therefore to all inclinations so far 
as they lead thereto) in order to become alive unto righteousness. But in this 
change, regarded as an intellectual2 determination, there are not two moral 
acts separated by an interval of time but only a single act, for the departure 
from evil is possible only through the agency of the good disposition which 
effects the individual's entrance into goodness, and vice versa. So the good 
principle is present quite as much in the desertion of the evil as in the 
adoption of the good disposition, and the pain, which by rights 
accompanies the former disposition, ensues wholly from the latter. The 
coming forth from the corrupted into the good disposition is, in itself (as 
"the death of the old man," "the crucifying of the flesh"),3 a sacrifice and an 
entrance upon a long train of life's ills. These the new man undertakes in the 
disposition of the Son of God, that is, merely for the sake of the good, 
though really they are due as punishments to another, namely to the old man 
(for the old man is indeed morally another).
	Although the man (regarded from the point of view of his empirical 
nature as a sentient being) is physically the self-same guilty person as before 
and must be judged as such before a moral tribunal and hence by himself; 
yet, because of his new disposition, he is (regarded as an intelligible being) 
morally another in the eyes of a divine judge for whom this disposition 
takes the place of action.
And this moral disposition which in all its purity (like unto the purity of the 
Son of God) the man has made his own--or, (if we personify this idea) this 
Son of God, Himself -- bears as vicarious substitute the guilt of sin for him, 
and indeed for all who believe (practically) in Him; as savior He renders 
satisfaction to supreme justice by His sufferings and death; and as advocate 
He makes it possible for men to hope to appear before their judge as 
justified. Only it must be remembered that (in this mode of representation) 
the suffering which the new man, in becoming dead to the old, must accept 
throughout life* is pictured as a death endured once for all by the 
representative of mankind.
	Here, then, is that surplus--the need of which was noted 
previously1--over the profit from good works, and it is itself a profit which 
is reckoned to us by grace. That what in our earthly life (and possibly at all 
future times and in all worlds) is ever only a becoming (namely, becoming a 
man well-pleasing to God) should be credited to us exactly as if we were 
already in full possession of it--to this we really have no legal claim,* that 
is, so far as we know ourselves (through that empirical self-knowledge 
which yields no immediate insight into the disposition but merely permits of 
an estimate based upon our actions); and so the accuser within us would be 
more likely to propose a judgment of condemnation. Thus the decree is 
always one of grace alone, although fully in accord with eternal justice, 
when we come to be cleared of all liability by dint of our faith in such 
goodness; for the decree is based upon a giving of satisfaction (a 
satisfaction which consists for us only in the idea of an improved 
disposition, known only to God).
	Now the question may still be raised: Does this deduction of the idea 
of a justification of an individual who is indeed guilty but who has changed 
his disposition into one well-pleasing to God posses any practical use 
whatever, and what may this use be? One does not perceive what positive 
use could be made of it for religion or for the conduct of life, because the 
condition underlying the enquiry just conducted is that the individual in 
question is already in actual possession of the required good disposition 
toward the development and encouragement of which all practical 
employment of ethical concepts properly aims; and as regards comfort, a 
good disposition already carries with it, for him who is conscious of 
possessing it, both comfort and hope (though not certainty). Thus the 
deduction of the idea has done no more than answer a speculative question, 
which, however, should not be passed over in silence just because it is 
speculative. Otherwise reason could be accused of being wholly unable to 
reconcile with divine justice man's hope of absolution from his guilt--a 
reproach which might be damaging to reason in many ways, but most of all 
morally. Indeed the negative benefit to religion and morality which may be 
derived, to every
man's advantage, from the deduction of this idea of justification is very far-
reaching. For we learn from this deduction that only the supposition of a 
complete change of heart allows us to think of the absolution, at the bar of 
heavenly justice, of the man burdened with guilt; that therefore no 
expiations, be they penances or ceremonies, no invocations or expressions 
of praise (not even those appealing to the ideal of the vicarious Son of 
God), can supply the lack of this change of heart, if it is absent, or, if it is 
present, can increase in the least its validity before the divine tribunal, since 
that ideal must be adopted into our disposition if it is to stand in place of 
	Another point is suggested by the question: What at life's close may 
a man promise himself, or what has he to fear, on the basis of his way of 
life? To answer this question a man must know his own character, at least to 
a certain extent. That is, even though he may believe that his disposition has 
improved, he must also take into consideration the old (corrupt) disposition 
with which he started; he must be able to infer what, and how much, of this 
disposition he has cast off, what quality (whether pure or still impure) the 
assumed new disposition possesses, as well as its degree of strength to 
overcome the old disposition and to guard against a relapse. Thus he will 
have to examine his disposition throughout his whole life. Now he can form 
no certain and definite concept of his real disposition through an immediate 
consciousness thereof and can only abstract it from the way of life he has 
actually followed. When, therefore, he considers the verdict of his future 
judge (that is, of his own awakening conscience, together with the empirical 
knowledge of himself which is summoned to its aid), he will not be able to 
conceive any other basis for passing judgment than to have placed before 
his eyes at that time his whole life and not a mere segment of it, such as the 
last part of it or the part most advantageous to him. He would of his own 
accord add to this his prospects in a life continued further (without setting 
any limits thereto) were he to live longer. Here he will not be able to let a 
previously recognized disposition take the place of action; on the contrary, it 
is from the action before him that he must infer his disposition. What, I ask 
the reader, will be a man's verdict when someone tells him no more than 
that he has reason to believe that he will one day stand before a judge--and 
this thought will bring back to his recollection (even though he is not of the 
worst) much
that he has long since light-heartedly forgotten--what verdict, based on the 
way of life he has hitherto led, will this thought lead him to pronounce upon 
his future destiny?
	If this question is addressed to the judge within a man he will, 
pronounce a severe verdict upon himself; for a man cannot bribe his own 
reason. Place him, however, before another judge--since there are those 
who claim to know of such a judge through other channels of information--
and he will have a store of excuses drawn from human frailty with which to 
oppose the severity of that judge, and in general his purpose will be to 
circumvent him. He may plan to anticipate his penalties by offering rueful 
self-inflicted penances, which do not arise from any genuine disposition 
toward improvement; or else to mollify him with prayers and entreaties, or 
with formulas and confessions in which he claims to believe. And if he 
receives encouragement in all this (in keeping with the proverb, "All's well 
that ends well"), he will lay his plans betimes so as not to forfeit needlessly 
too much of the enjoyment of life and yet, shortly before the end, to settle 
his account in all haste and to his own advantage.* 



	Holy Scripture (the Christian portion) sets forth this intelligible 
moral relationship in the form of a narrative, in which two principles in 
man, as opposed to one another as is heaven to hell, are represented as 
persons outside him; who not only pit their strength against each other but 
also seek (the one as man's accuser, the other as his advocate) to establish 
their claims legally as though before a supreme judge.
	Man was originally constituted the proprietor of all the goods of the 
earth (Genesis I, 28), though he was to possess them only in fee (dominium 
utile) under his Creator and Master as overlord (dominus directus). At once 
an evil being appears (how he became so evil as to prove untrue to his 
Master is not known, for he was originally good) who, through his fall, has 
been deprived of whatever estate he might have had in heaven and who now 
wishes to win another on earth. But since, as a being of a higher order--a 
spirit--he can derive no satisfaction from earthly and material objects, he 
seeks to acquire a dominion over spiritual natures1 by causing man's first 
parents to be disloyal to their Overlord and dependent upon himself. Thus 
he succeeds in setting himself up as the lord paramount of all the goods of 
the earth, that is, as the prince of this world. Now one might indeed find it 
strange that God did not avail Himself of His might* against this traitor, and 
prefer to destroy at its inception the kingdom which he had intended to 
found. In its dominion over the government of rational beings, however, 
Supreme Wisdom deals with them according to
the principle of their freedom, and the good or evil that befalls them is to be 
imputable to themselves. A kingdom of evil was thus set up in defiance of 
the good principle, a kingdom to which all men, descended (in natural wise) 
from Adam, became subject, and this, too, with their own consent, since 
the false show of this world's goods lured their gaze away from the abyss 
of destruction for which they were reserved. Because of its legal claim to 
sovereignty over man the good principle did, indeed, secure itself through 
the establishment (in the Jewish theocracy) of a form of government 
instituted solely for the public and exclusive veneration of its name. Yet 
since the spiritual natures of the subjects of this government remained 
responsive to no incentives other than the goods of this world; since 
consequently they chose to be ruled only by rewards and punishments in 
this life; and since, therefore, they were suited only for such laws as were 
partly prescriptive of burdensome ceremonies and observances, and partly 
ethical, but all purely civil, in that external compulsion characterized them all 
and the inner essence of the moral disposition was not considered in the 
least: this institution did no substantial injury to the realm of darkness and 
served merely to keep ever in remembrance the imprescriptible right of the 
First Possessor.
	Now there appeared at a certain time among these very people, when 
they were feeling in full measure all the ills of an hierarchical constitution, 
and when because of this and perhaps also because of the ethical doctrines 
of freedom of the Greek sages (doctrines staggering to the slavish mind) 
which had gradually acquired an influence over them, they had for the most 
part been brought to their senses and were therefore ripe for a revolution,--
there suddenly appeared a person whose wisdom was purer even than that 
of previous philosophers, as pure as though it had descended from heaven. 
This person proclaimed himself as indeed truly human with respect to his 
teachings and example, yet also an as envoy from heaven who, through an 
original innocence, was not involved in the bargain with the evil principle 
into which, through their representatives, their first parents, the rest of the 
human race had entered,* and "in whom, therefore, the prince of this world 
no part."1 Hereby the sovereignty of this prince was endangered. For were 
this man, well-pleasing to God, to withstand his temptations to enter also 
into that bargain, and were other men then devoutly to adopt the same 
disposition, the prince would lose just as many subjects and his kingdom 
would be in danger of being completely overthrown. The prince accordingly 
offered to make this person deputy-governor of his entire kingdom if only 
he would pay homage to him as owner thereof. When this attempt failed he 
not only took away from this stranger in his house all that could make his 
earthly life agreeable (to the point of direst poverty), but he also incited 
against him all the persecutions by means of which evil men can embitter 
life, [causing him] such sorrows as only the well-disposed can feel deeply, 
by slandering the pure intent of his teachings in order to deprive him of all 
following--and finally pursuing him to the most ignominious death. Yet he 
achieved nothing by this onslaught through the agency of a worthless mob 
upon his steadfastness and forthrightness in teaching and example for the
sake of the good. And now as to the issue of this combat: the event can be 
viewed either in its legal1 or in its physical2 aspect. When we regard it as a 
physical event (which strikes the senses) the good principle is the worsted 
party; having endured many sorrows in this combat, he must give up his 
life* because he stirred up a rebellion against a (powerful) foreign 
suzerainty. Since, however, the realm in which principles (be they good or 
evil) have might is a realm not of nature but of freedom, i.e., a realm in 
which one can control events only so far as one can rule hearts and minds6 
and where, consequently, no one is a slave (or bondsman) but the man
who wills to be one, and only so long as he wills: this death (the last 
extremity of human suffering) was therefore a manifestation of the good 
principle, that is, of humanity in its moral perfection, and an example for 
everyone to follow. The account of this death ought to have had, and could 
have had, the greatest influence upon human hearts and minds at that time 
and, indeed, at all times; for it exhibited the freedom of the children of 
heaven in most striking contrast to the bondage of a mere son of earth. Yet 
the good principle has descended in mysterious fashion from heaven into 
humanity not at one particular time alone but from the first beginnings of the 
human race (as anyone must grant who considers the holiness of this 
principle, and the incomprehensibility of a union between it and man's 
sensible nature in the moral predisposition) and it rightfully has in mankind 
its first dwelling place. And since it made its appearance in an actual human 
being, as an example to all others, [it may be said that] "he came unto his 
own, and his own received him not, but as many as received him, to them 
gave he power to be called the sons of God, even to them that believe on his 
name."1 That is, by example (in and through the moral idea) he opens the 
portals of freedom to all who, like him, choose to become dead to 
everything that holds them fettered to life on earth to the detriment of 
morality; and he gathers together, among them, "a people for his 
possession, zealous of good works"2 and under his sovereignty, while he 
abandons to their fate all those who prefer moral servitude.
	So the moral outcome of the combat, as regards the hero of this 
story (up to the time of his death), is really not the conquering of the evil 
principle--for its kingdom still endures, and certainly a new epoch must 
arrive before it is overthrown--but merely the breaking of its power to hold, 
against their will, those who have so long been its subjects, because another 
dominion (for man must be subject to some rule or other), a moral 
dominion, is now offered them as an asylum where they can find protection 
for their morality if they wish to forsake the former sovereignty. 
Furthermore, the evil principle is still designated the prince of this world, 
where those who adhere to the good principle should always be prepared 
for physical sufferings, sacrifices, and mortifications of self-love
--[tribulations] to be viewed, in this connection, as persecutions by the evil 
principle, since the latter has rewards in his kingdom only for those who 
have made earthly well-being their final goal.
	Once this vivid mode of representation, which was in its time 
probably the only popular one, is divested of its mystical veil, it is easy to 
see that, for practical purposes, its spirit and rational meaning have been 
valid and binding for the whole world and for all time, since to each man it 
lies so near at hand that he knows his duty towards it. Its meaning is this: 
that there exists absolutely no salvation for man apart from the sincerest 
adoption of genuinely moral principles into his disposition; that what works 
against this adoption is not so much the sensuous nature, which so often 
receives the blame, as it is a certain self-incurred perversity, or however else 
one may care to designate this wickedness which the human race has 
brought upon itself--falsity (faussetŽ), Satanic guile, through which evil 
came into the world--a corruption which lies in all men and which can be 
overcome only through the idea of moral goodness in its entire purity, 
together with the consciousness that this idea really belongs to our original 
predisposition and that we need but be assiduous in preserving it free from 
all impure admixture and in registering it deeply in our dispositions to be 
convinced, by its gradual effect upon the spiritual nature, that the dreaded 
powers of evil can in no wise make headway against it ("the gates of hell 
shall not prevail against it").1 Finally, lest perchance for want of this 
assurance we compensate superstitiously, through expiations which 
presuppose no change of heart,1 or fanatically, through pretended (and 
merely passive) inner illumination, and so forever be kept distant from the 
good that is grounded in activity of the self, we should acknowledge as a 
mark of the presence of goodness in us naught but a well-ordered conduct 
of life. An attempt such as the present, moreover, to discover in Scripture 
that sense* which harmonizes with the most holy teachings of reason is not 
only allowable but must be deemed a duty. And we can remind ourselves of 
what the wise Teacher said to His disciples regarding someone who went 
his own way, by which, however, he was bound eventually to arrive at the 
same goal: "Forbid him not; for he that is not against us is for us."3 


	If a moral religion (which must consist not in dogmas and rites but 
in the heart's disposition to fulfil all human duties as divine commands) is to 
be established, all miracles which history connects with its inauguration 
must themselves in the end render superfluous the belief in miracles in 
general; for it bespeaks a culpable degree of moral unbelief not to 
acknowledge as completely authoritative the commands of duty--commands 
primordially engraved upon the heart of man through reason--unless they 
are in addition accredited through miracles: "Except ye see signs and 
wonders, ye will not believe."1 Yet, when a religion of mere rites and 
observances has run its course, and when one based on the spirit and the 
truth (on the moral disposition) is to be established in its stead, it is wholly 
conformable to man's ordinary ways of thought, though not strictly 
necessary, for the historical introduction of the latter to be accompanied and, 
as it were, adorned by miracles, in order to announce the termination of the 
earlier religion, which without miracles would never have had any 
authority. Indeed, in order to win over the adherents of the older religion to 
the new, the new order is interpreted as the fulfilment, at last, of what was 
only prefigured in the older religion and has all along been the design of 
Providence. If this be so it is quite useless to debate those narratives or 
interpretations; the true religion, which in its time needed to be introduced 
through such expedients, is now here, and from now on is able to maintain 
itself on rational grounds. Otherwise one would have to assume that mere 
faith in, and repetition of, things incomprehensible (which any one can do 
without thereby being or ever becoming a better man) is a way, and indeed 
the only way, of pleasing God--an assertion to be combatted with might and 
main. The person of the teacher of the one and only religion, valid for all 
worlds, may indeed be a mystery; his appearance on earth, his translation 
thence, and his eventful life and his suffering may all be nothing but 
miracles; nay, the historical record, which is to authenticate the account of 
all these miracles, may itself be a miracle (a supersensible revelation). We 
need not call in question any of these miracles and indeed may honor the 
trappings1 which have served to bring into public currency a doctrine 
whose authenticity rests upon a record indelibly registered in every soul and 
which stands in need of no miracle. But it is essential that, in the use of 
these historical accounts, we do not make it a tenet of religion that the 
knowing, believing, and professing of them are themselves means whereby 
we can render ourselves well-pleasing to God.
	As for miracles in general, it appears that sensible men, while not 
disposed to renounce belief in them, never want to allow such belief to 
appear in practice; that is to say, they believe in theory that there are such 
things as miracles but they do not warrant them in the affairs of life.2 For 
this reason wise governments have always granted the proposition, and 
indeed legally recorded it among the public doctrines of religion, that 
miracles occurred of old, but they have not tolerated new miracles.* The 
ancient miracles
were little by little so defined and so delimited by the authorities that they 
could cause no disturbance in the commonwealth; the authorities had to be 
concerned, however, over the effects which the new workers of miracles 
might have upon the public peace and the established order.
	If one asks: What is to be understood by the word miracle? it may be 
explained (since it is really proper for us to know only what miracles are for 
us, i.e., for our practical use of reason) by saying that they are events in the 
world the operating laws of whose causes are, and must remain, absolutely 
unknown to us. Accordingly, one can conceive of either theistic or demonic 
miracles; the second are divided into angelic miracles (of good spirits) and 
devilish miracles (of bad spirits). Of these only the last really come into 
question because the good angels (I know not why) give us little or nothing 
to say about them.
	As regards theistic miracles: we can of course frame for ourselves a 
concept of the laws of operation of their cause (as an omnipotent, etc., and 
therewith a moral Being), but only a general concept, so far as we think of 
Him as creator of the world and its ruler according to the order of nature, as 
well as the moral order. For we can obtain direct and independent1 
knowledge of the laws of the natural order, a knowledge which reason can 
then employ for its own use. If we assume, however, that God at times and 
under special circumstances allows nature to deviate from its own laws, we 
have not, and can never hope to have, the slightest conception of the law 
according to which God then brings about such an event (aside from the 
general moral concept that whatever He does will be in all things good-
whereby, however, nothing is determined regarding this particular 
occurrence). But here reason is, as it were, crippled, for it is impeded in its 
dealings with respect to known laws, it is not instructed with anything new, 
and it can never in the world hope thus to be instructed. Among miracles, 
the demonic are the most completely irreconcilable with the use of our 
reason. For as regards theistic miracles, reason would at least have a 
negative criterion for its use, namely that even though something is 
represented as commanded by God, through a direct manifestation 
of Him, yet, if it flatly contradicts morality, it cannot, despite all 
appearances, be of God (for example, were a father ordered to kill his son 
who is, so far as he knows, perfectly innocent). But in the presence of what 
is taken to be a demonic miracle even this criterion fails; and were we, 
instead, to avail ourselves in these instances of the opposite, positive 
criterion for reason's use--namely, that, when through such an agency there 
comes a bidding to a good act which in itself we already recognize as duty, 
this bidding has not issued from an evil spirit--we might still make a false 
inference, for the evil spirit often disguises himself, they say, as an angel of 
	In the affairs of life, therefore, it is impossible for us to count on 
miracles or to take them into consideration at all in our use of reason (and 
reason must be used in every incident of life). The judge (however 
credulous of miracles he may be in church) listens to the delinquent's claims 
to have been tempted of the devil exactly as though nothing has been said; 
although, were the judge to regard this diabolical influence as possible, it 
would be worthy of some consideration that an ordinary simple-minded 
man had been ensnared in the toils of an arch-rogue. Yet the judge cannot 
summon the tempter and confront each with the other; in a word, he can 
make absolutely nothing rational out of the matter. The wise clergyman will 
therefore guard himself well against cramming the heads and debasing the 
imaginations of those committed to his pastoral care with anecdotes from 
The Hellish Proteus.1 As regards miracles of the good variety, they are 
employed by men in the affairs of life as mere phrases. Thus the doctor says 
that there is no help for the patient unless a miracle occurs--in other words, 
he will certainly die. Among these affairs belongs also the work of the 
scientist,2 searching for the causes of events in their own natural laws; in 
the natural laws of these events, I say, which he can verify through 
experience, even though he must renounce knowledge of what it is in itself 
that works according to these laws, or what it might be for us if we had, 
possibly, another sense. In like manner, a man's own moral improvement is 
one of the tasks incumbent upon him; and heavenly influences may 
cooperate with him in this, or may be deemed needful for the explanation of 
possibility of such improvement--yet man cannot comprehend them; he can 
neither distinguish them with certainty from natural influences, nor draw 
them, and thereby, as it were, heaven, down to him. Since, then, he can 
make no possible use of them he sanctions* no miracles in this case but 
instead, should he attend to the commands of reason, he conducts himself 
as though all change of heart and all improvement depended solely upon his 
own exertions directed thereto. But to think that, through the gift of a really 
firm theoretical faith in miracles, man could himself perform them and so 
storm heaven--this is to venture so far beyond the limits of reason that we 
are not justified in tarrying long over such a senseless conceit.**


	* [50] These philosophers derived their universal ethical principle 
from the dignity of human nature, that is, from its freedom (regarded as an 
independence from the power of the inclinations), and they could not have 
used as their foundation a better or nobler principle. They then derived the 
moral laws directly from reason, which alone legislates morally and whose 
command, through these laws, is absolute. Thus everything was quite 
correctly defined--objectively, with regard to the rule, and subjectively, with 
reference to the incentive--provided one ascribes to man an uncorrupted will 
to incorporate these laws unhesitatingly into his maxims. Now it was just in 
the latter presupposition that their error lay. For no matter how early we 
direct our attention to our moral state, we find that this state is no longer a 
integra, but that we must start by dislodging from its stronghold the evil 
which has already entered in (and it could never have done so, had we not 
ourselves adopted it into our maxims); that is, the first really good act that a 
man can perform is to forsake the evil, which is to be sought not in his 
inclinations, but in his perverted maxim, and so in freedom itself. Those 
inclinations merely make difficult the execution of the good maxim which 
opposes them; whereas genuine evil consists in this, that a man does not 
will to withstand those inclinations when they tempt him to transgress--so it 
is really this disposition that is the true enemy. The inclinations are but the 
opponents of basic principles in general (be they good or evil); and so far 
that high-minded principle of morality [of the Stoics] is of value as an 
initiatory lesson (a general discipline of the inclinations) in allowing oneself 
to be guided by basic principles. But so far as specific principles of moral 
goodness ought to be present but are not present, as maxims, we must 
assume the presence in the agent of some other opponent with whom virtue 
must join combat. In the absence of such an opponent all virtues would not, 
indeed, be splendid vices, as the Church Father1 has it; yet they would 
certainly be splendid frailties. For though it is true that thus the rebellion is 
often stilled, the rebel himself is not being conquered and exterminated.
	1 [50] ["Augustine, to whom tradition ascribes the saying, not 
traceable, indeed, in any of the works extant to us but corresponding to a 
tendency of his thought, virtutes gentium splendida vitia." (Note in Berlin 
* [52] It is a very common assumption of moral philosophy that the 
existence of moral evil in man may easily be explained by the power of the 
motivating springs of his sensuous nature on the one hand, and the 
impotence of his rational impulses (his respect for the law) on the other, that 
is, by weakness. But then the moral goodness in him (his moral 
predisposition) would have to allow of a still easier explanation, for to 
comprehend the one apart from comprehending the other is quite 
unthinkable. Now reason's ability to master all opposing motivating forces 
through the bare idea of a law is utterly inexplicable; it is also inconceivable, 
therefore, how the motivating forces of the sensuous nature should be able 
to gain the ascendancy over a reason which commands with such authority. 
For if all the world were to proceed in conformity with the precepts of the 
law, we should say that everything came to pass according to natural order, 
and no one would think of so much as inquiring after the cause.
	1 [52] [Several of Kant's quotations from the Bible, and this among 
them, are not accurate reproductions of Luther's translation. Where such 
discrepancies occur we have given, in the text, a direct translation of Kant's 
words, using, so far as possible, the language of the King James version, 
and adding, in a footnote, the King James version of the entire passage 
which Kant seems to have had in mind. Cf. Ephesians VI, 12: "For we 
wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against 
powers against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual 
wickedness in high places."]
	* [53] It is a peculiarity of Christian ethics to represent moral 
goodness as differing from moral evil not as heaven from earth but as 
heaven from hell. Though this representation is figurative, and, as such, 
disturbing, it is none the less philosophically correct in meaning. That is, it 
serves to prevent us from regarding good and evil, the realm of light and the 
realm of darkness, as bordering on each other and as losing themselves in 
one another by gradual steps (of greater and lesser brightness); but rather to 
represent those realms as being separated from one another by an 
immeasurable gulf. The complete dissimilarity of the basic principles, by 
which one can become a subject of this realm or that, and the danger, too, 
which attends the notion of a close relationship between the characteristics 
which fit an individual for one or for the other, justify this manner of 
representation--which, though containing an element of horror, is none the 
less very exalting.
	1 [54] [Cf. John I, 1-2: "In the beginning was the Word, and the 
Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the 
beginning with God."]
	2 [54] [Cf. John I, 3: "All things were made by him; and without 
him was not anything made that was made.Ó]
	3 [54] [Cf. Hebrews I, 3]
	4 [54] [Cf. John III, 16: "For God so loved the world, that he gave 
his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, 
but have everlasting life." Cf. also I John IV, 9-10.]
	5 [54] [Cf. John I, 12: "But as many as received him, to them gave 
he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his 
	1 [55] [Cf. Philippians II, 6 ff.]
	1 [56] [Ÿberhaupt]
	* [58] It is indeed a limitation of human reason, and one which is 
ever inseparable from it, that we can conceive of no considerable moral 
worth in the actions of a personal being without representing that person, or 
his manifestation, in human guise. This is not to assert that such worth is in 
itself (katĠ alhqeian) so conditioned, but merely that we must always resort 
to some analogy to natural existences to render supersensible qualities 
intelligible to ourselves. Thus a philosophical poet assigns a higher place in 
the moral gradation of beings to man, so far as he has to fight a propensity 
to evil within himself, nay, just in consequence of this fact, if only he is 
able to master the propensity, than to the inhabitants of heaven themselves 
who, by reason of the holiness of their nature, are placed above the 
possibility of going astray:
	"The world with all its faults
	 Is better than a realm of will-less angels." (Haller)1
The Scriptures too accommodate themselves to this mode of representation 
when, in order to make us comprehend the degree of God's love for the 
human race, they ascribe to Him the very highest sacrifice which a loving 
being can make, a sacrifice performed in order that even those who are 
unworthy may be made happy ("For God so loved the world ...,");2 though 
we cannot indeed rationally conceive how an all-sufficient Being could 
sacrifice a part of what belongs to His state of bliss or rob Himself of a 
possession. Such is the schematism of analogy, with which (as a means of 
explanation) we cannot dispense. But to transform it into a schematism of 
objective determination (for the extension of our knowledge) is 
anthropomorphism, which has, from the moral point of view (in religion), 
most injurious consequences.
	At this point let me remark incidentally that while, in the ascent from 
the sensible to the supersensible, it is indeed allowable to schematize (that 
is, to render a concept intelligible by the help of an analogy to something 
sensible), it is on no account permitted us to infer (and thus to extend our 
concept), by this analogy, that what holds of the former must also be 
attributed to the latter. Such an inference is impossible, for the simple 
reason that it would run directly counter to all analogy to conclude that, 
because we absolutely need a schema to render a concept intelligible to 
ourselves (to support it with an example), it therefore follows that this 
schema must necessarily belong to the object itself as its predicate. Thus, I 
cannot say: I can make comprehensible to myself the cause of a plant (or of 
any organic creature, or indeed of the whole purposive world) only by 
attributing intelligence to it, on the analogy of an artificer in his relation to 
his work (say a watch); therefore the cause (of the plant and of the world in 
general) must itself possess intelligence. That is, I cannot say that this 
postulated intelligence of the cause conditions not merely my 
comprehending it but also conditions the possibility of its being a cause. On 
the contrary, between the relation of a schema to its concept and the relation 
of this same schema of a concept to the objective fact itself there is no 
analogy, but rather a mighty chasm, the overleaping of which (metabasiV 
eiV allo genoV) leads at once to anthropomorphism. The proof of this I 
have given elsewhere.
	1 [58] [Albrecht Haller, in his poem †ber den Ursprung des †bels 
(1734), ii, 33-34.]
	2 [58] [John III, 16 ff.]
	1 [59] [John VIII, 46]
	1 [60] [Matthew V, 48; Leviticus XI, 44; and I Peter I, 16]
	2 [60] [Ÿberhaupt]
	3 [60] [That]
	* [61] Yet the following must not be overlooked. I do not mean by 
the above statement that the disposition shall serve to compensate for failure 
in allegiance to duty, or, consequently, for the actual evil in this endless 
course [of progress] (rather is it presupposed that a moral character in man, 
which is pleasing to God, is actually to be met with in this temporal series). 
What I do mean is that the disposition, which stands in the place of the 
totality of this series of approximations carried on without end, makes up 
for only that failure which is inseparable from the existence of a temporal 
being as such, the failure, namely, ever wholly to be what we have in mind 
to become. The question of compensation for actual transgressions 
occurring in this course of progress will be considered in connection with 
the solution of the third difficulty.
	1 [61] [Ÿberhaupt]
	2 [61] [Cf. Matthew VI, 33; Luke XII, 31]
	3 [61] [Cf. Matthew VI, 33: "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, 
and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."]
	4 [61] [Cf. Romans VIII, 16, ff. "The Spirit itself beareth witness 
with our spirit, that we are the children of God."]
	1 [62] [Cf. Philippians II, 12]
	2 [62] [Translators' italics.]
	* [63] Among those questions which might well be entitled childish, 
since even if an answer were forthcoming the questioner would be none the 
wiser, is this: Will the punishments of hell be terminable or everlasting? 
Were the former alternative to be taught, there would be cause for fear that 
many (and indeed all who believe in purgatory) would say with the sailor in 
Moore's Travels,1 "Then I hope that I can stand it out!" If, however, the 
other alternative were to be affirmed and counted as an article of faith,2 
there might arise the hope of complete immunity from punishment after a 
most abandoned life, though the purpose of the doctrine would be directly 
opposed to such a hope. For a clergyman, sought for advice and 
consolation by a man in moments of tardy repentance at the end of such a 
wicked life, must find it gruesome and inhuman to have to announce to the 
sinner his eternal condemnation. And since between this and complete 
absolution he recognizes no middle ground (but rather that men are 
punished either through all eternity or not at all), he will have to hold out to 
the sinner hope of the latter alternative. That is to say, he will have to 
promise to transform him on the spur of the moment into a man well-
pleasing to God. Moreover, since there is now no more time to enter upon a 
good course of life, avowals of penitence, confessions of faith, nay, even 
solemn vows to lead a new life in the event of a further postponement of 
death, must serve as the means to this transformation. Such is the inevitable 
result when the eternity of man's future destiny, conformable to the way of 
life here led, is set forth as a dogma. When, on the contrary, a man is taught 
to frame for himself a concept of his future state from his moral condition 
up to the present, as the natural and foreseeable result of it, the 
immeasurableness of this series of consequences under the sway of evil will 
have upon him the same beneficial moral effect (i.e., of impelling him 
before his life ends to undo so far as possible what he has done, by 
reparation or compensation proportionate to his actions) as can be expected 
from proclaiming the eternity of his doom, but without entailing the 
disadvantages of that dogma (which, moreover, neither rational insight nor 
Scriptural exegesis warrants). For the consequences of this dogma are that 
the wicked man either counts in advance, even during the course of life, 
upon this pardon so easily
obtainable, or else, at life's close, believes that it is merely a question of the 
claims of divine justice upon him, and that these claims may be satisfied 
with mere words. The rights of humanity meanwhile are disregarded and no 
one gets back what belongs to him. (This is a sequel so common to this 
form of expiation that an instance to the contrary is almost unheard of.) 
Furthermore, if anyone is apprehensive that his reason, through his 
conscience, will judge him too leniently, he errs, I believe, very seriously. 
For just because reason is free, and must pass judgment even upon the man 
himself, it is not to be bribed; and if we tell a man under such circumstances 
that it is at least possible that he will soon have to stand before a judge, we 
need but leave him to his own reflections, which will in all probability pass 
sentence upon him with the greatest severity.
	I will add here one or two further observations. The common 
proverb, "All's well that ends well," may indeed be applied to moral 
situations, but only if by ending well is meant the individual's becoming a 
genuinely good person. Yet wherein is he to recognize himself as such, 
since he can make this inference only from subsequent persistently good 
conduct for which, at the end of life, no time remains? The application of 
this saying to happiness may be more easily admitted, but, even here, only 
relatively to the position from which a man looks upon his life--that is, not 
if he looks ahead from its beginning but only if he reviews it from its close. 
Griefs that have been endured leave behind them no tormenting 
recollections, once we recognize that we are now delivered from them, but 
rather a feeling of gladness which but enhances the enjoyment of the good 
fortune which is now becoming ours: for both pleasure and pain are 
included in the temporal series (as belonging to the world of sense') and so 
disappear with it; they do not enter into the totality of the present enjoyment 
of life, but are displaced by it as their successor. If, finally, this proverb is 
applied in estimating the moral worth of the life we have led up to the 
present, we may go very far wrong if we accept its truth, even though our 
conduct at the end of life be perfectly good. For the subjective moral 
principle of the disposition, according to which alone our life must be 
judged, is of such a nature (being something supersensible) that its 
existence is not susceptible to division into periods of time, but can only be 
thought of as an absolute unity. And since we can arrive at a conclusion 
regarding the disposition only on the basis of actions (which are its 
appearances), our life must come to be viewed, for the purpose of such a 
judgment, as a temporal unity, a whole; in which case the reproaches [of 
conscience] arising from the earlier portion of life (before the improvement 
began) might well speak as loudly as the approbation from the latter portion, 
and might considerably repress the triumphant note of "All's well that ends 
	In conclusion, there is another tenet, closely related to this doctrine 
regarding the duration of punishments in another world, though not 
identical with it; namely, that "All sins must be forgiven here," that at the 
end of life our account must be completely closed, and that none may hope 
somehow to
retrieve there what has been neglected here. This teaching can no more 
proclaim itself to us as a dogma than could the previous one. It is only a 
principle by means of which practical reason regulates its use of its own 
concepts of the supernatural, while granting that it knows nothing of the 
objective character of this supersensible realm. That is, practical reason 
says: We can draw an inference as to whether or not we are persons well-
pleasing to God only from the way in which we have conducted our lives; 
but since such life-conduct ends with life, the reckoning, whose sum total 
alone can tell us whether we may regard ourselves as justified or not, also 
closes for us at death.
	In general, if we limited our judgment to regulative principles, which 
content themselves with their own possible application to the moral life, 
instead of aiming at constitutive principles of a knowledge of supersensible 
objects, insight into which, after all, is forever impossible to us, human 
wisdom would be better off in a great many ways, and there would be no 
breeding of a presumptive knowledge of that about which, in the last 
analysis, we know nothing at all-- a groundless sophistry that glitters indeed 
for a time but only, as in the end becomes apparent, to the detriment of 
	[1 63] [Francis Moore, A New Collection of Voyages and Travels, 
1745; translated into the German in 1748 by G.J. Schwabe in Allgemeine 
Historie der Reisen, III.]
	2 [63] [zum Glaubensymbol] 
	1 [64] [Sinnlichkeit]
	1 [66] [Verschuldung, which, as well as the term Schuld, might 
have been translated throughout this passage as "offense" or '"guilt." 
"Debt" seems suitable to the legalistic nature of Kant's thought .]
	2 [66] ["This is the scholastic-dogmatic view, which had already 
received classic interpretation in Anselm's discourse, Cur deus homo?" 
(Note in Berlin Edition.)]
	1 [67] ["This is also the basic principle of the orthodox ecclesiastical 
'satisfaction-theory' from which Anselm, mistaking the essence of the 
Christian belief in God, had already deduced the following alternative: aut 
poena aut satisfactio." (Note in Berlin Edition.)]
	* [67] The hypothesis that all the ills in the world are uniformly to be 
regarded as punishments for past transgressions cannot be thought of as 
devised for the sake of a theodicy or as a contrivance useful to the religion 
of priest-craft (or formal worship2) for it is a conception too commonly held 
to have been excogitated in so artificial a manner); rather, it lies in all 
probability very near to human reason, which is inclined to knit up the 
course of nature with
the laws of morality and therefore very naturally conceives the idea that we 
are to seek to become better men before we can expect to be freed from the 
ills of life or to be compensated for these by preponderating goods. Hence 
the first man is represented (in Holy Scripture) as condemned to work if he 
would eat, his wife to bear children in pain, and both to die, all on account 
of their transgressions, although we cannot see how animal creatures 
supplied with such bodily members could have expected any other destiny 
even had these transgressions never been committed. To the Hindus men 
are nothing but spirits (called devas) who are imprisoned in animal bodies in 
punishment for old offenses. Even a philosopher, Malebranche,4 chose to 
deny to non-rational animals a soul, and therefore feelings, rather than to 
admit that horses had to endure so much misery "without ever having eaten 
of forbidden hay."
	2 [67] [Cultus]
	1 [68] [Cf. Colossians III, 9-10: "Lie not one to another, seeing that 
ye have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, 
which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." 
Also Ephesians IV, 22, 24]
	2 [68] [intellectueller, i.e., supersensible, intelligible]
	3 [68] [Cf. Romans VI, 2, 6, and Galatians V, 24]
	4 [68] [De la recherche de la vŽritŽ, IV, 11]
	* [69] In terms of the actions which are met with in the world of 
sense, even the purest moral disposition brings about in man, regarded as 
an earthly creature, nothing more than a continual becoming of a subject 
pleasing to God. In quality, indeed, this disposition (since it must be 
conceived as grounded supersensibly) ought to be and can be holy and 
conformable to that of its archetype; but in degree [of manifestation], as 
revealed in conduct, it ever remains deficient and infinitely removed 
therefrom. Nevertheless, because this disposition contains the basis for 
continual progress in the reparation of this deficiency, it does, as an 
intellectual unity of the whole, take the place of action carried to its perfect 
consummation. But now the question arises: Can he "in whom there is no 
condemnation,"1 and in whom there must be none, believe himself justified 
and at the same time count as punishment the miseries which befall him on 
his way to an ever greater goodness, thus acknowledging blameworthiness 
and a disposition that is displeasing to God? Yes, but only in his quality of 
the man whom he is continually putting off. Everything (and this comprises 
all the miseries and ills of life in general) that would be due him as 
punishment in that quality (of the old man) he gladly takes upon himself in 
his quality of new man simply for the sake of the good. So far as he is a 
new man, consequently, these sufferings are not ascribed to him as 
punishments at all. The use of the term "punishment" signifies merely that, 
in his quality of new man, he now willingly takes upon himself, as so many 
opportunities for the testing and exercising of his disposition to goodness, 
all the ills and miseries that assail him, which the old man would have had 
to regard as punishments and which he too, so far as he is still in the 
process of becoming dead to the old man, accepts as such. This 
punishment, indeed, is simultaneously the effect and also the cause of such 
moral activity and consequently of that contentment and moral happiness 
which consists of a consciousness of progress in goodness (and this is one 
and the same act as the forsaking of evil). While possessed of the old 
disposition, on the other hand, he would not only have had to count the 
very same ills as punishments but he would also have had to feel them as 
such, since, even though they are regarded as mere ills, they are the direct 
opposite of what, in the form of physical happiness, an individual in this 
state of mind makes his sole objective.
	1 [69] [Cf. Romans VIII, 1]
	1 [70] [See above, p.66]
	* [70] But only a capability of receiving, which is all that we, for 
our part, can credit to ourselves; and a superior's decree conferring a good 
for which the subordinate possesses nothing but the (moral) receptivity is 
called grace.
	* [72] The purpose of those who at the end of life have a clergyman 
summoned is usually that they want him as a comforter -- not for the 
physical suffering brought on by the last illness or even for the fear which 
naturally precedes death (death itself, which ends these ills, can here be the 
comforter), but for their moral anguish, the reproaches of conscience. At 
such a time, however, conscience should rather be stirred up and 
sharpened, in order that the dying man may not neglect to do what good he 
still may, or (through reparation) to wipe out, so far as he can, the 
remaining consequences of his evil actions. This is in accordance with the 
warning: "Agree with thine adversary" (with him who has a claim against 
thee) "quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him" (that is, so long as thou 
art still alive), "lest he deliver thee to the judge" (after death) etc.1 But, 
instead of this, to administer a sort of opium to the conscience is an offense 
both against the man himself and against those who survive him, and is 
wholly contrary to the purpose for which such an aid to conscience at life's 
close can be considered necessary.
	1 [72] [Cf. Matthew V, 25]
	1 [73] [GemŸther, translated here and elsewhere as spiritual natures; 
but on p. 76, below, as hearts and minds.]
	* [73] Father Charlevoix2 reports that when he recounted to the 
Iroquois, to whom he was teaching the catechism, all the evil which the 
wicked spirit had brought into a world created good, and how he still 
persistently sought to frustrate the best divine arrangements, his pupil asked 
indignantly, "But why doesn't God strike the devil dead?"--a question for 
which the priest candidly admits he could, at the moment, find no answer.
	2 [73] [Pierre-Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, 1682-1761, Jesuit 
missionary in Canada, who wrote Histoire et description gŽnŽrale de la 
Nouvelle-France, Paris, 1744.]
	* [74] To conceive the possibility of a person free from innate 
propensity to evil by having him born of a virgin mother is an idea of reason 
accommodating itself to an instinct which is hard to explain, yet which 
cannot be disowned, and is moral, too. For we regard natural generation, 
since it cannot occur
without sensual pleasure on both sides and since it also seems to relate us to 
the common animal species far too closely for the dignity of humanity, as 
something of which we should be ashamed (it is certainly this idea which 
gave rise to the notion that the monastic state is holy) and which therefore 
signifies for us something unmoral, irreconcilable with perfection in man, 
and yet ingrafted in man's nature and so inherited also by his descendants as 
an evil predisposition. Well suited to this confused view (on one side 
merely sensuous, yet on the other moral, and therefore intellectual) is this 
idea of a birth, dependent upon no sexual intercourse (a virgin birth), of a 
child encumbered with no moral blemish. The idea, however, is not without 
difficulty in theory (though a decision on this score is not at all necessary 
from the practical point of view). For according to the hypothesis of 
epigenesis the mother, who was descended from her parents through natural 
generation, would be infected with this moral blemish and would bequeath 
it to her child at least to the extent of a half [of his nature], even though he 
had been supernaturally begotten. To avoid this conclusion, we should have 
to adopt the theory that the seed [of evil] pre-existed in the parents but that it 
did not develop on the part of the female (for otherwise that conclusion is 
not avoided) but only on the part of the male (not in the ova but in the 
spermatazoa), for the male has no share in supernatural pregnancy. This 
mode of representation could thus be defended as reconcilable theoretically 
with that idea.
	Yet of what use is all this theory pro or con when it suffices for 
practical purposes to place before us as a pattern this idea taken as a symbol 
of mankind raising itself above temptation to evil (and withstanding it 
	1 [75] [Cf. John XIV, 30: "...for the prince of this world cometh, 
and hath nothing in me."]
	1 [76] [rechtlicher]
	2 [76] [physischer]
	* [76] Not that (as D. Bahrdt3 fancifully imagined) he sought death 
to further a worthy design through a brilliant and sensational example; that 
would have been suicide. For one may indeed attempt something at the risk 
of losing one's life, or even suffer death at the hands of another, when one 
cannot avoid it without becoming faithless to an irremissible duty; but one 
may not dispose of oneself and of one's life as a means, to any end 
whatever, and so be the author of one's own death.
	Nor yet (as the writer of the WolfenbŸttel Fragmente4 suspects) did 
he stake his life without moral but merely with political (and unlawful) 
intent, to the end, perhaps, of overthrowing the priests' rule and 
establishing himself in worldly supremacy in their stead. This conflicts with 
his exhortation delivered, after he had already given up hope of such an 
achievement, to his disciples at the supper, "to do this in remembrance"5 of 
him. Intended as a reminder of a worldly design that had miscarried, this 
would have been a mortifying admonition, provocative of ill-will toward its 
author and therefore self-contradictory. But it might well refer to the failure 
of a very good and purely moral design of the Master, namely, the 
achievement during his lifetime of a public revolution (in religion) through 
the overthrow of a ceremonial faith, which wholly crowded out the moral 
disposition, and of the authority of its priests. (The preparations for the 
gathering together at Easter of his disciples, scattered over the land, may 
have had this purpose.) We may indeed even now regret that this revolution 
did not succeed; yet it really was not frustrated, for it developed, after his 
death, into a religious transformation which quietly, despite many 
misfortunes, continued to spread.
	3 [76] [Karl Friedrich Bahrdt, 1741-1792, a rationalist. Cf. 
Chapters IX and X, "Upon the Authority of Jesus, Philosophically 
Judged," in his System der moralischen Religion zur endlichen Beruhigung 
fŸr Zweifler und Denker, Berlin, 1787.]
	4 [76] [The main deistic work of Hermann Samuel Reimarus, 1694-
1768, written about 1743, and published by Lessing in 1774-8 under the 
above title. These "fragments" were selections from a book which Reimarus 
left in manuscript, entitled, Apologie oder Schutzschrift fŸr die vernŸnftigen 
Verehrer Gottes ("Apology or Defense for the Rational Worshippers of 
God"). Lessing first issued these anonymously, announcing that he had 
discovered them in the WolfenbŸttel library where he was at the time 
	5 [76] [Cf. Luke XXII, 19]
	6 [76] [GemŸther]
	1 [77] [Cf. John I, 11-12. Kant has changed slightly the order of 
words and the tenses, and has put heiszen = called (the sons of God) 
instead of werden = become.]
	2 [77] [Cf. Titus II, 14: "that he might redeem us from all iniquity 
and purify unto himself a people for his own possession, zealous of good 
	1 [78] [Cf. Matthew XVI, 18]
	1 [78] [SinnesŠnderung]
	* [78] And it may be admitted that it is not the only one.
	3 [78] [Cf. Mark IX, 39-40]
	1 [79] [Cf. John IV, 48]
	1 [80] [HŸlle]
	2 [80] [GeschŠfte]
	* [80] Even the teachers of religion who link their articles of faith to 
the authority of the government (i.e., the orthodox) follow, like it, this same 
maxim. Hence Hr. Pfenninger,3 in defending his friend Hr. Lavater, for 
declaring that belief in miracles was still possible, rightly charged these 
orthodox theologians with inconsistency (since he specifically excepted 
those who think naturalistically on this topic) in that, while they insisted that 
there had really been workers of miracles in the Christian community some 
seventeen hundred years ago, they were unwilling to authenticate any such 
at the present time; yet without being able to prove from Scripture either that 
miracles were wholly to cease or at what date they were to cease (for the 
over-subtle argument that they are no longer necessary involves a 
presumption of greater insight than man should attribute to himself). Such 
proof they never gave. The refusal to admit or to tolerate contemporary 
miracles was therefore merely a maxim of reason and not [an expression of] 
objective knowledge that there are none. But is not this same maxim, which 
in this instance is applied to a threatened disorder in the civic life, equally 
valid for the fear of a similar disorder in the philosophical, and the whole 
rational contemplative commonwealth? Those who do not admit great 
(sensational) miracles but who freely allow little ones under the name of 
special Providence4 (since this last, as mere guidance, requires only a little 
application of force on the part of the supernatural cause) do not bear in 
mind that what matters herein is not the effect, or its magnitude, but rather 
the form of the course of earthly events,5 that is, the way in which the effect 
occurs, whether naturally or 
supernaturally; and that for God no distinction of easy and difficult is to be 
thought of. But as regards the mystery of supernatural influences, thus 
deliberately to conceal the importance of such an occurrence is still less 
	3 [80] [Johann Konrad Pfenninger, 1747-1792, a pastor at ZŸrich, 
author of Apellation an den Menschenverstand, gewisse VorfŠlle, Schriften 
und Personen betreffend, Hamburg 1776.]
	4 [80] [ausserordentliche Direktion]
	5 [80] [Weltlauf]
	1 [81] [fŸr sich]
	1 [82] [Der hšllische Proteus oder tausend-kŸnstige Versteller 
(nebenst vorberichtlichen Grundbeweis der Gewissheit, dass es wirklich 
Gespenster gebe) abgebildet durch Erasmum Francisci, NŸrnberg, 1708.]
	2 [82] [Naturforscher]
	* [83] That is to say, he does not incorporate belief in miracles into 
his maxims (either of theoretical or practical reason), though, indeed, he 
does not impugn their possibility or reality.
	** [83] It is a common subterfuge of those who deceive the gullible 
with magic arts, or at least who want to render such people credulous in 
general, to appeal to the scientists' confession of their ignorance. After all, 
they say, we do not know the cause of gravity, of magnetic force, and the 
like! Yet we are acquainted with the laws of these [phenomena] with 
sufficient thoroughness [to know] within definite limits the conditions under 
which alone certain effects occur; and this suffices both for an assured 
rational use of these forces and for the explanation of their manifestations, 
secundum quid, downwards to the use of these laws in the ordering of 
experiences thereunder, though not indeed simpliciter and upwards, to the 
comprehension of the very causes of the forces which operate according to 
these laws.
	From this an inner phenomenon of the human mind becomes 
comprehensible--why so-called natural wonders, i.e., sufficiently attested, 
though irrational appearances, or unexpected qualities of things emerging 
and not conforming to laws of nature previously known, are eagerly seized 
upon and exhilarate the spirit so long as they are still held to be natural; 
whereas the spirit is dejected by the announcement of a real miracle. For the 
first opens up the prospect of a new acquisition for the nourishment of 
reason; that is, it awakens the hope of discovering new laws of nature: the 
second, in contrast, arouses the fear that confidence shall be lost in what has 
been hitherto accepted as known. For when reason is severed from the laws 
of experience it is of no use whatsoever in such a bewitched world, not 
even, in such a world, for moral application toward fulfilment of duty; for 
we no longer know whether, without our being aware, changes may not be 
occurring, through miracles, among our moral incentives, changes 
regarding which no one can decide whether they should be ascribed to 
ourselves or to another, inscrutable cause.
	Those whose judgment in these matters is so inclined that they 
suppose themselves to