The combat which every morally well-disposed man must sustain in 
this life, under the leadership of the good principle, against the attacks of the 
evil principle, can procure him, however much he exerts himself, no greater 
advantage than freedom from the sovereignty of evil. To become free, "to 
be freed from bondage under the law of sin, to live for righteousness"1--
this is the highest prize he can win. He continues to be exposed, none the 
less, to the assaults of the evil principle; and in order to assert his freedom, 
which is perpetually being attacked, he must ever remain armed for the fray.
	Now man is in this perilous state through his own fault; hence he is 
bound at the very least to strive with all his might to extricate himself from 
it. But how? That is the question. When he looks around for the causes and 
circumstances which expose him to this danger and keep him in it, he can 
easily convince himself that he is subject to these not because of his own 
gross nature, so far as he is here a separate individual, but because of 
mankind to whom he is related and bound. It is not at the instigation of the 
former that what should properly be called the passions, which cause such 
havoc in his original good predisposition, are aroused. His needs are but 
few and his frame of mind in providing for them is temperate and tranquil. 
He is poor (or considers himself so) only in his anxiety lest other men 
consider him poor and despise him on that account. Envy, the lust for 
power, greed, and the malignant inclinations bound up with these, besiege 
his nature, contented within itself, as soon as he is among men. And it is 
not even necessary to assume that these are men sunk in evil and examples 
to lead him astray; it suffices that they are at hand, that they surround him, 
and that they are men, for them mutually to corrupt each other's 
predispositions and make one another evil. If no means could be discovered 
for the forming of an alliance uniquely designed as a
protection against this evil and for the furtherance of goodness in man--of a 
society, enduring, ever extending itself, aiming solely at the maintenance of 
morality, and counteracting evil with united forces--this association with 
others would keep man, however much, as a single individual, he may have 
done to throw off the sovereignty of evil, incessantly in danger of falling 
back under its dominion. As far as we can see, therefore, the sovereignty of 
the good principle is attainable, so far as men can work toward it, only 
through the establishment and spread of a society in accordance with, and 
for the sake of, the laws of virtue, a society whose task and duty it is 
rationally to impress these laws in all their scope upon the entire human 
race. For only thus can we hope for a victory of the good over the evil 
principle. In addition to prescribing laws to each individual, morally 
legislative reason also unfurls a banner of virtue as a rallying point for all 
who love the good, that they may gather beneath it and thus at the very start 
gain the upper hand over the evil which is attacking them without rest.
	 A union of men under merely moral laws, patterned on the above 
idea, may be called an ethical, and so far as these laws are public, an ethico-
civil (in contrast to a juridico-civil) society or an ethical commonwealth. It 
can exist in the midst of a political commonwealth and may even be made up 
of all its members; (indeed, unless it is based upon such a commonwealth it 
can never be brought into existence by man). It has, however, a special and 
unique principle of union (virtue), and hence a form and constitution, which 
fundamentally distinguish it from the political commonwealth.
	At the same time there is a certain analogy between them, regarded 
as two commonwealths, in view of which the former may also be called an 
ethical state, i.e., a kingdom of virtue (of the good principle). The idea of 
such a state possesses a thoroughly well-grounded objective reality in 
human reason (in man's duty to join such a state), even though, 
subjectively, we can never hope that man's good will will lead mankind to 
decide to work with unanimity towards this goal.


	I. Concerning the Ethical State of Nature
 	A juridico-civil (political) state1 is the relation of men to each other 
in which they all alike stand socially under public juridical laws (which are, 
as a class, laws of coercion). An ethico-civil state1 is that in which they are 
united under non-coercive laws, i.e., laws of virtue alone.
	Now just as the rightful (but not therefore always righteous), i.e., 
the juridical, state of Nature is opposed to the first, the ethical state of 
Nature is distinguished from the second. In both, each individual prescribes 
the law for himself, and there is no external law to which he, along with all 
others, recognizes himself to be subject. In both, each individual is his own 
judge, and there exists no powerful public authority to determine with legal 
power according to laws, what is each man's duty in every situation that 
arises, and to bring about the universal performance of duty.
	In an already existing political commonwealth all the political 
citizens, as such, are in an ethical state of nature and are entitled to remain 
therein; for it would be a contradiction (in adjecto) for the political 
commonwealth to compel its citizens to enter into an ethical commonwealth, 
since the very concept of the latter involves freedom from coercion. Every 
political commonwealth may indeed wish to be possessed of a sovereignty, 
according to laws of virtue, over the spirits [of its citizens]; for then, when 
its methods of compulsion do not avail (for the human judge cannot 
penetrate into the depths of other men) their dispositions to virtue would 
bring about what was required. But woe to the legislator who wishes to 
establish through force a polity directed to ethical ends! For in so doing he 
would not merely achieve the very opposite of an ethical polity but also 
undermine his political state and make it insecure. The citizen of the political 
commonwealth remains therefore, so far as its legislative function is 
concerned, completely free
to enter with his fellow-citizens into an ethical union in addition [to the 
political] or to remain in this kind of state of nature, as he may wish. Only 
so far as an ethical commonwealth must rest on public laws and possess a 
constitution based on these laws are those who freely pledge themselves to 
enter into this ethical state bound, not indeed] to accept orders from the 
political power as to how they shall or shall not fashion this ethical 
constitution internally, but to agree to limitations, namely, to the condition 
that this constitution shall contain nothing which contradicts the duty of its 
members as citizens of the state--although when the ethical pledge is of the 
genuine sort the political limitation need cause no anxiety.
	Further, because the duties of virtue apply to the entire human race, 
the concept of an ethical commonwealth is extended ideally to the whole of 
mankind, and thereby distinguishes itself from the concept of a political 
commonwealth. Hence even a large number of men united in that purpose 
can be called not the ethical commonwealth itself but only a particular 
society which strives towards harmony with all men (yes, finally with all 
rational beings) in order to form an absolute ethical whole of which every 
partial society is only a representation or schema; for each of these societies 
in turn, in its relation to others of the same kind, can be represented as in the 
ethical state of nature and subject to all the defects thereof. (This is precisely 
the situation with separate political states which are not united through a 
public international law.)

	II. Man ought to leave his Ethical State of nature-in order to become 
a Member of an Ethical COMMONWEALTH
	Just as the juridical state of nature is one of war of every man against 
every other, so too is the ethical state of nature one in which the good 
principle, which resides in each man, is continually attacked by the evil 
which is found in him and also in everyone else. Men (as was noted above) 
mutually corrupt one another's moral predispositions; despite the good will 
of each individual, yet, because they lack a principle which unites them, 
they recede, through their dissensions, from the common goal of goodness 
and, just as though they were instruments of evil, expose one another to the 
risk of falling once again under the sovereignty of the evil principle. Again, 
just as the state of a lawless external (brutish) freedom and independence 
from coercive laws is a state of 
injustice and of war, each against each, which a man ought to leave in order 
to enter into a politico-civil state*: so is the ethical state of nature one of 
open conflict between principles of virtue and a state of inner immorality 
which the natural man ought to bestir himself to leave as soon as possible.
	Now here we have a duty which is sui generis, not of men toward 
men, but of the human race toward itself. For the species of rational beings 
is objectively, in the idea of reason, destined for a social goal, namely, the 
promotion of the highest as a social good. But because the highest moral 
good cannot be achieved merely by the exertions of the single individual 
toward his own moral perfection, but requires rather a union of such 
individuals into a whole toward the same goal--into a system of well-
disposed men, in which and through whose unity alone the highest moral 
good can come to pass--the idea of such a whole, as a universal republic 
based on laws of virtue, is an idea completely distinguished from all moral 
laws (which concern what we know to lie in our own power); since it 
involves working toward a whole regarding which we do not know 
whether, as such, it lies in our power or not. Hence this duty is 
distinguished from all others both in kind and in principle. We can already 
foresee that this duty will require the presupposition of another idea, 
namely, that of a higher moral Being through whose universal dispensation 
the forces of separate individuals, insufficient in themselves, are united for a 
common end.1 First of all, however, we must follow up the clue of that 
moral need [for social union] and see whither this will lead us.
	III. The Concept of an Ethical Commonwealth is the Concept of a 
PEOPLE OF GOD under Ethical Laws
	If an ethical commonwealth is to come into being, all single 
individuals must be subject to a public legislation, and all the laws which 
bind them must be capable of being regarded as commands of a common 
law-giver. Now if the commonwealth to be established is to be juridical, the 
mass of people uniting itself into a whole would itself have to be the law 
giver (of constitutional laws), because legislation proceeds from the 
principle of limiting the freedom of each to those conditions under which it 
can be consistent with the freedom of everyone else according to a common 
law,* and because, as a result, the general will sets up an external legal 
control. But if the commonwealth is to be ethical, the people, as a people, 
cannot itself be regarded as the law-giver. For in such a commonwealth all 
the laws are expressly designed to promote the morality of actions (which is 
something inner, and hence cannot be subject to public human laws) 
whereas, in contrast, these public laws--and this would go to constitute a 
juridical commonwealth--are directed only toward the legality of actions, 
which meets the eye, and not toward (inner) morality, which alone is in 
question here. There must therefore be someone other than the populace 
capable of being specified as the public law-giver for an ethical 
commonwealth. And yet, ethical laws cannot be thought of as emanating 
originally merely from the will of this superior being (as statutes, which, 
had he not first commanded them, would perhaps not be binding), for then 
they would not be ethical laws and the duty proper to them would not be the 
free duty of virtue but the coercive duty of law. Hence only he can be 
thought of as highest law-giver of an ethical commonwealth with respect to 
whom all true duties, hence also the ethical,** must be represented as at the 
time his commands; he must therefore also be "one who knows the heart,"1 
in order to see into the innermost parts of the disposition of each individual 
and, as is necessary in every commonwealth, to bring it about that each 
receives whatever his actions are worth. But this is the concept of God as 
moral ruler of the world. Hence an ethical commonwealth can be thought of 
only as a people under divine commands, i.e., as a people of God,2 and 
indeed under laws of virtue.
	We might indeed conceive of a people of God under statutory laws, 
under such laws that obedience to them would concern not the morality but 
merely the legality of acts. This would be a juridical commonwealth, of 
which, indeed, God would be the lawgiver (hence the constitution of this 
state would be theocratic); but men, as priests receiving His behests from 
Him directly, would build up an aristocratic government. Such a 
constitution, however, whose existence and form rest wholly on an 
historical basis, cannot settle the problem of the morally-legislative reason, 
the solution of which alone we are to effect; as an institution under politico-
civil laws, whose lawgiver, though God, is yet external, it will come under 
review in the historical section. Here we have to do only with an institution 
whose laws are purely inward--a republic under laws of virtue, i.e., a 
people of God "zealous of good works."3
	To such a people of God we can oppose the idea of a rabble of the 
evil principle, the union of those who side with it for the propagation of 
evil, and whose interest it is to prevent the realization of that other union--
although here again the principle which combats virtuous dispositions lies in 
our very selves and is represented only figuratively as an external power.

	IV. The Idea of a People of God can be Realized (through Human 
Organization) only in the Form of a Church
	The sublime, yet never wholly attainable, idea of an ethical 
commonwealth dwindles markedly under men's hands. It becomes an 
institution which, at best capable of representing only the pure
form of such a commonwealth, is, by the conditions of sensuous human 
nature, greatly circumscribed in its means for establishing such a whole. 
How indeed can one expect something perfectly straight to be framed out of 
such crooked wood?
	To found a moral people of God is therefore a task whose 
consummation can be looked for not from men but only from God Himself. 
Yet man is not entitled on this account to be idle in this business and to let 
Providence rule, as though each could apply himself exclusively to his own 
private moral affairs and relinquish to a higher wisdom all the affairs of the 
human race (as regards its moral destiny). Rather must man proceed as 
though everything depended upon him; only on this condition dare he hope 
that higher wisdom will grant the completion of his well-intentioned 
	The wish of all well-disposed people is, therefore, "that the kingdom 
of God come, that His will be done on earth."1 But what preparations must 
they now make that it shall come to pass?
An ethical commonwealth under divine moral legislation is a church which, 
so far as it is not an object of possible experience, is called the church 
invisible (a mere idea of the union of all the righteous under direct and moral 
divine world-government, and idea serving all as the archetype of what is to 
be established by men. The visible church is the actual union of men into a 
whole which harmonizes with that ideal. So far as each separate society 
maintains, under public laws, an order among its members (in the relation 
of those who obey its laws to those who direct their obedience) the group, 
united into a whole (the church), is a congregation under authorities, who 
(called teachers or shepherds of souls) merely administer the affairs of the 
invisible supreme head thereof. In this function they are all called servants 
of the church,) just as, in the political commonwealth, the visible overlord 
occasionally calls himself the highest servant of the state even though he 
recognizes no single individual over him (and ordinarily not even the people 
as a whole). The true (visible) church is that which exhibits the moral 
kingdom of God on earth So far as it can be brought to pass by men. The 
requirements upon, and hence the tokens of, the true church are the 
	1. Universality, and hence its numerical oneness; for which it must 
possess this characteristic,1 that, although divided and at variance in 
unessential opinions, it is none the less, with respect to its fundamental 
intention, founded upon such basic principles as must necessarily lead to a 
general unification in a single church (thus, no sectarian divisions).
	2. Its nature (quality); i.e., purity, union under no motivating forces 
other than moral ones (purified of the stupidity of superstition and the 
madness of fanaticism).
	3. Its relation under the principle of freedom; both the internal 
relation of its members to one another, and the external relation of the 
church to political power--both relations as in a republic (hence neither a 
hierarchy, nor an illuminatism, which is a kind of democracy through 
special inspiration, where the inspiration of one man can differ from that of 
another, according to the whim of each).
	4. Its modality, the unchangeableness of its constitution, yet with the 
reservation that incidental regulations, concerning merely its administration, 
may be changed according to time and circumstance; to this end, however, it 
must already contain within itself a priori (in the idea of its purpose) settled 
principles. (Thus [it operates] under primordial laws, once [for all] laid 
down, as it were out of a book of laws, for guidance; not under arbitrary 
symbols which, since they lack authenticity, are fortuitous, exposed to 
contradiction, and changeable.)
	An ethical commonwealth, then, in the form of a church, i.e., as a 
mere representative of a city of God, really has, as regards its basic 
principles, nothing resembling a political constitution. For its constitution is 
neither monarchical (under a pope or patriarch), nor aristocratic (under 
bishops and prelates), nor democratic (as of sectarian illuminati). It could 
best of all be likened to that of a household (family) under a common, 
though invisible, moral Father, whose holy Son, knowing His will and yet 
standing in blood relation with all members of the household, takes His 
place in making His will better known to them; these accordingly honor the 
Father in him and so enter with one another into a voluntary, universal, and 
enduring union of hearts.
	V. The Constitution of every Church Originates always in some 
Historical (Revealed) Faith which we can Call Ecclesiastical Faith; and this 
is best Founded on a Holy Scripture
	Pure religious faith alone can found a universal church; for only 
[such] rational faith can be believed in and shared by everyone, whereas an 
historical faith, grounded solely on facts, can extend its influence no further 
than tidings of it can reach, subject to circumstances of time and place and 
dependent upon the capacity [of men] to judge the credibility of such 
tidings. Yet, by reason of a peculiar weakness of human nature, pure faith 
can never be relied on as much as it deserves, that is, a church cannot be 
established on it alone.
	Men are conscious of their inability to know supersensible things; 
and although they allow all honor to be paid to faith in such things (as the 
faith which must be universally convincing to them), they are yet not easily 
convinced that steadfast diligence in morally good life-conduct is all that 
God requires of men, to be subjects in His kingdom and well-pleasing to 
Him. They cannot well think of their obligation except as an obligation to 
some service or other which they must offer to God--wherein what matters 
is not so much the inner moral worth of the actions as the fact that they are 
offered to God--to the end that, however morally indifferent men may be in 
themselves, they may at least please God through passive obedience. It does 
not enter their heads that when they fulfil their duties to men (themselves 
and others) they are, by these very acts, performing God's commands and 
are therefore in all their actions and abstentions, so far as these concern 
morality, perpetually in the service of God, and that it is absolutely 
impossible to serve God more directly in any other way (since they can 
affect and have an influence upon earthly beings alone, and not upon God). 
Because each great worldly lord stands in special need of being honored by 
his subjects and glorified through protestations of submissiveness, without 
which he cannot expect from them as much compliance with his behests as 
he requires to be able to rule them, and since, in addition, however gifted 
with reason a man may be, he always finds an immediate satisfaction in 
attestations of honor, we treat duty, so far as it is also a divine command, as 
the prosecution of a transaction with God, not with man. Thus arises the 
concept of a religion of divine worship instead of the concept of a religion 
purely moral.
	Since all religion consists in this, that in all our duties we look upon 
God as the lawgiver universally to be honored, the determining of religion, 
so far as the conformity of our attitude with it is concerned, hinges upon 
knowing how God wishes to be honored (and obeyed). Now a divine 
legislative will commands either through laws in themselves merely 
statutory or through purely moral laws. As to the latter, each individual can 
know of himself, through his own reason, the will of God which lies at the 
basis of his religion; for the concept of the Deity really arises solely from 
consciousness of these laws and from the need of reason to postulate a 
might which can procure for these laws, as their final end, all the results 
conformable to them and possible in a world. The concept of a divine will, 
determined according to pure moral laws alone, allows us to think of only 
one religion which is purely moral, as it did of only one God. But if we 
admit statutory laws of such a will and make religion consist of our 
obedience to them, knowledge of such laws is possible not through our 
own reason alone but only through revelation, which, be it given publicly or 
to each individual in secret, would have to be an historical and not a pure 
rational faith in order to be propagated among men by tradition or writ. And 
even admitting divine statutory laws (laws which do not in themselves 
appear to us as obligatory but can be known as such only when taken as the 
revelation of God's will), pure moral legislation, through which the will of 
God is primordially engraved in our hearts, is not only the ineluctable 
condition of all true religion whatsoever but is also that which really 
constitutes such religion; statutory religion can merely comprise the means 
to its furtherance and spread.
	If, then, the question: How does God wish to be honored? is to be 
answered in a way universally valid for each man, regarded merely as man, 
there can be no doubt that the legislation of His will ought to be solely 
moral; for statutory legislation (which presupposes a revelation) can be 
regarded merely as contingent and as something which never has applied or 
can apply to every man, hence as not binding upon all men universally. 
Thus, "not they who say Lord! Lord! but they who do the will of God,"1 
they who seek to become well-pleasing to Him not by praising Him (or His 
envoy, as a being of divine origin) according to revealed concepts
which not every man can have, but by a good course of life, regarding 
which everyone knows His will--these are they who offer Him the true 
veneration which He desires.
	But when we regard ourselves as obliged to behave not merely as 
men but also as citizens in a divine state on earth, and to work for the 
existence of such a union, under the name of a church, then the question: 
How does God wish to be honored in a church (as a congregation of God)? 
appears to be unanswerable by reason alone and to require statutory 
legislation of which we become cognizant only through revelation, i.e., an 
historical faith which, in contradistinction to pure religious faith, we can call 
ecclesiastical faith.
	For pure religious faith is concerned only with what constitutes the 
essence1 of reverence for God, namely, obedience, ensuing from the moral 
disposition, to all duties as His commands; a church, on the other hand, as 
the union of many men with such dispositions into a moral commonwealth, 
requires a public covenant,2 a certain ecclesiastical form dependent upon the 
conditions of experience. This form is in itself contingent and manifold, and 
therefore cannot be apprehended as duty without divine statutory laws. But 
the determination of this form must not be regarded forthwith as the concern 
of the divine Lawgiver; rather are we justified in assuming that it is the 
divine will that we should ourselves carry into effect the rational idea of 
such a commonwealth and that, although men may have tried many a type 
of church with unhappy result, yet on no account should they cease to strive 
after this goal, with new attempts if necessary, avoiding so far as possible 
the mistakes of the earlier ones--inasmuch as this task, which is for them a 
duty as well, is entirely committed to them alone. We therefore have no 
reason straightway to take the laws constituting the basis and form of any 
church as divine statutory laws; rather is it presumptuous to declare them to 
be such, in order to save ourselves the trouble of still further improving the 
church's form, and it is a usurpation of higher authority to seek, under 
pretense of a divine commission, to lay a yoke upon the multitude by means 
of ecclesiastical dogmas. Yet it would be as great self-conceit to deny 
peremptorily that the way in which a church is organized may perhaps be a 
special divine arrangement, if, so far as we can see, it is completely 
harmonious with the moral religion--and if, in addition, we cannot
conceive how it could have appeared all at once without the requisite 
initiatory progress of the public in religious conceptions.
	In the indecision over the problem of whether God or men 
themselves should found a church, there is evidenced man's propensity to a 
religion of divine worship (cultus) and--since such a religion rests upon 
arbitrary precepts--to belief in divine statutory laws, on the assumption that 
some divine legislation, not to be discovered through reason but calling for 
revelation, must supplement the best life-conduct (conduct which man is 
always free to adopt under the guidance of the pure moral religion). Herein 
consideration is given to the veneration of the Highest Being directly (and 
not by way of that obedience to His laws which is already prescribed to us 
by reason). Thus it happens that men will regard neither union into a 
church, nor agreement with respect to the form which it is to take, nor yet 
public institutions, as in themselves necessary for the promotion of the 
moral element in religion, but only, as they say, for the service of their 
God, through ceremonies, confessions of faith in revealed laws, and 
observance of the ordinances requisite to the form of the church (which is 
itself, after all, only a means). All these observances are at bottom morally 
indifferent actions; yet, just because they are to be performed merely for His 
sake, they are held to be all the more pleasing to Him. In men's striving 
towards an ethical commonwealth, ecclesiastical faith thus naturally 
precedes  pure religious faith; temples (buildings consecrated to the public 
worship of God) were before churches (meeting-places for the instruction 
and quickening of moral dispositions), priests (consecrated stewards of 
pious rites) before divines (teachers of the purely moral religion); and for 
the most part they still are first in the rank and value ascribed to them by the 
great mass of people. Since, then, it remains true once for all that a statutory 
ecclesiastical faith is associated with pure religious faith as its vehicle and as 
the means of public union of men for its promotion, one must grant that the 
preservation of pure religious faith unchanged, its propagation in the same 
form everywhere, and even a respect for the revelation assumed therein, can 
hardly be provided for adequately through tradition, but only through 
scripture; which, again, as a revelation to contemporaries and posterity, 
must itself be an object of esteem, for the necessities of men require this in 
order that they may be sure of their duty in
divine service. A holy book arouses the greatest respect even among those 
(indeed, most of all among those) who do not read it, or at least those who 
can form no coherent religious concept therefrom; and the most sophistical 
reasoning avails nothing in the face of the decisive assertion, which beats 
down every objection: Thus it is written. It is for this reason that the 
passages in it which are to lay down an article of faith are called simply 
texts.1 The appointed expositors of such a scripture are themselves, by 
virtue of their occupation, like unto consecrated persons; and history proves 
that it has never been possible to destroy a faith grounded in scripture, even 
with the most devastating revolutions in the state, whereas the faith 
established upon tradition and ancient public observances has promptly met 
its downfall when the state was overthrown. How fortunate,* when such a 
book, fallen into men's hands, contains, along with its statutes, or laws of 
faith, the purest moral doctrine of religion in its completeness--a doctrine 
which can be brought into perfect harmony with such statutes ([which 
serve] as vehicles for its introduction). In this event, both because of the 
end thereby to be attained and because of the difficulty of rendering 
intelligible according to natural laws the origin of such enlightenment of the 
human race as proceeds from it, such a book can command an esteem like 
that accorded to revelation.

* * * * * * * * * * *

And now a few words touching this concept of a belief in revelation.
	There is only one (true) religion; but there can be faiths of several 
kinds. We can say further that even in the various churches, severed from 
one another by reason of the diversity of their modes of belief, one and the 
same true religion can yet be found.
	It is therefore more fitting (as it is more customary in actual practice) 
to say: This man is of this or that faith (Jewish, Mohammed, Christian, 
Catholic, Lutheran), than: He is of this or that religion. The second 
expression ought in justice never to be used in addressing the general public 
(in catechisms and sermons), for it
is too learned and unintelligible for them; indeed, the more modern 
languages possess no word of equivalent meaning. The common man 
always takes it to mean his ecclesiastical faith, which appeals to his senses, 
whereas religion is hidden within and has to do with moral dispositions.
	One does too great honor to most people by saying of them: They 
profess this or that religion. For they know none and desire none--statutory 
ecclesiastical faith is all that they understand by the word. The so-called 
religious wars which have so often shaken the world and bespattered it with 
blood, have never been anything but wrangles over ecclesiastical faith; and 
the oppressed have complained not that they were hindered from adhering to 
their religion (for no external power can do this) but that they were not 
permitted publicly to observe their ecclesiastical faith.
	Now when, as usually happens, a church proclaims itself to be the 
one church universal (even though it is based upon faith in a special 
revelation, which, being historical, can never be required of everyone), he 
who refuses to acknowledge its (peculiar) ecclesiastical faith is called by it 
an unbeliever and is hated wholeheartedly; he who diverges therefrom only 
in part (in non-essentials) is called heterodox and is at least shunned as a 
source of infection. But he who avows [allegiance to] this church and yet 
diverges from it on essentials of its faith (namely, regarding the practices 
connected with it), is called, especially if he spreads abroad his false belief, 
a heretic,* and, as a rebel, such a man is held more culpable than a foreign 
foe, is expelled from the church with an anathema (like that which the 
Romans pronounced on him who crossed the
Rubicon against the Senate's will) and is given over to all the gods of hell. 
The exclusive correctness of belief in matters of ecclesiastical faith claimed 
by the church's teachers or heads is called orthodoxy. This could be sub-
divided into despotic (brutal) or liberal orthodoxy.
	 If a church which claims that its ecclesiastical faith is universally 
binding is called a catholic church, and if that which protests against such 
claims on the part of others (even though oftentimes it would gladly advance 
similar claims itself, if it could) is called a protestant church, an alert 
observer will come upon many laudable examples of Protestant Catholics 
and, on the other hand, still more examples, and offensive ones, of arch-
catholic Protestants: the first, men of a cast of mind (even though it is not 
that of their church) leading to self-expansion; to which the second, with 
their circumscribed cast of mind, stand in sharp contrast--not at all to their 
own advantage.

	VI. Ecclesiastical Faith Has Pure Religious Faith as its Highest 
	We have noted that a church dispenses with the most important mark 
of truth, namely, a rightful claim to universality, when it bases itself upon a 
revealed faith. For such a faith, being historical (even though it be far more 
widely disseminated and more completely secured for remotest posterity 
through the agency of scripture) can never be universally communicated so 
as to produce conviction. Yet, because of the natural need and desire of all 
men for something sensibly tenable, and for a confirmation of some sort 
from experience of the highest concepts and grounds of reason (a need 
which really must be taken into account when the universal dissemination of 
a faith is contemplated), some historical ecclesiastical faith or other, usually 
to be found at hand, must be utilized.
	If such an empirical faith, which chance, it would seem, has tossed 
into our hands, is to be united with the basis of a moral faith (be the first an 
end or merely a means), an exposition of the revelation which has come into 
our possession is required, that is, a thorough-going interpretation of it in a 
sense agreeing with the universal practical rules of a religion of pure reason. 
For the theoretical part of ecclesiastical faith cannot interest us morally if it 
does not conduce to the performance of all human duties as divine 
commands (that which constitutes the essence of all religion). 
Frequently this interpretation may, in the light of the text (of the revelation), 
appear forced--it may often really be forced; and yet if the text can possibly 
support it, it must be preferred to a literal interpretation which either 
contains nothing at all [helpful] to morality or else actually works counter to 
moral incentives. 
	We shall find, too, that this has always been done with all types of 
faith, old and new, some of them recorded in holy books, and that wise and 
thoughtful teachers of the people kept on interpreting them until, gradually, 
they brought them, as regards their essential content, into line with the 
universal moral dogmas. The moral philosophers among the Greeks, and 
later among the Romans, did exactly this with the fabulous accounts of the 
gods. They were able in the end to interpret the grossest polytheism as mere 
symbolic representation of the attributes of the single divine Being, and to 
supply the various wicked actions [of the gods] and the wild yet lovely 
fancies of the poets with a mystical meaning which made a popular faith 
(which it would have been very inadvisable
to destroy, since atheism, still more dangerous to the state, might perhaps 
have resulted) approach a moral doctrine intelligible to all men and wholly 
salutary. The later Judaism, and even Christianity itself, consist of such 
interpretations, often very forced, but in both instances for ends 
unquestionably good and needful for all men. The Mohammedans (as 
Reland1 shows) know very well how to ascribe a spiritual meaning to the 
description of their paradise, which is dedicated to sensuality of every kind; 
the Indians do exactly the same thing in the interpretation of their Vedas, at 
least for the enlightened portion of their people.
	That this can be done without ever and again offending greatly 
against the literal meaning of the popular faith is due to the fact that, earlier 
by far than this faith, the predisposition to the moral religion lay hidden in 
human reason; and though its first rude manifestations took the form merely 
of practices of divine worship, and for this very purpose gave rise to those 
alleged revelations, yet these manifestations have infused even into the 
myths, though unintentionally, something from the nature of their 
supersensible origin. Nor can we charge such interpretations with 
dishonesty, provided we are not disposed to assert that the meaning which 
we ascribe to the symbols of the popular faith, even to the holy books, is 
exactly as intended by them, but rather allow this question to be left 
undecided and merely admit the possibility that their authors may be so 
understood. For the final purpose even of reading these holy scriptures, or 
of investigating their content, is to make men better; the historical element, 
which contributes nothing to this end, is something which is in itself quite 
indifferent, and we can do with it what we like. (Historical faith "is dead, 
being alone";2 that is, of itself, regarded as a creed, it contains nothing, and 
leads to nothing, which could have any moral value for us.)
	Hence, even if a document is accepted as a divine revelation, the 
highest criterion of its being of divine origin will be: "All scripture given by 
inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for improvement, 
etc.";3 and since this last, to wit, the moral improvement of men, constitutes 
the real end of all religion of reason, it will comprise the highest principle of 
all Scriptural exegesis.
This religion is "the Spirit of God, who guides us into all truth";1 and this it 
is which in instructing us also animates us with basic principles for action, 
and wholly subjects whatever scripture may contain for historical faith to the 
rules and incentives of pure moral faith, which alone constitutes the element 
of genuine religion in each ecclesiastical faith. All investigation and 
interpretation of Scripture must from the start be based on a search for this 
Spirit in it, and "eternal life can be found therein only so far as it [Scripture] 
testifies of this principle."2 
	Now placed beside this Scriptural interpreter, but subordinated to 
him, is another, namely, the Scriptural scholar. The authority of Scripture, 
as the most worthy instrument, and at present the only instrument in the 
most enlightened portion of the world, for the union of all men into one 
church, constitutes the ecclesiastical faith, which, as the popular faith, 
cannot be neglected, because no doctrine based on reason alone seems to the 
people qualified to serve as an unchangeable norm. They demand divine 
revelation, and hence also an historical certification of its authority through 
the tracing back of its origin. Now human skill and wisdom cannot ascend 
so far as heaven in order itself to inspect the credentials validating the 
mission of the first Teacher. It must be content with evidence that can be 
elicited, apart from the content, as to the way in which such a faith has been 
introduced--that is, with human reports which must be searched out little by 
little from very ancient times, and from languages now dead, for evaluation 
as to their historical credibility. Hence Scriptural scholarship will [ever] be 
required to maintain in authority a church founded upon Holy Scripture, 
([though] not a religion, which, to be universal, must always be founded 
upon reason alone), even though this scholarship settles no more than that 
there is nothing in the origin of Scripture to render impossible its acceptance 
as direct divine revelation; for this would suffice to provide security for 
those who fancy that they find in this idea [of a revealed Scripture] special 
fortification of their moral faith, and who therefore gladly accept it. Yet not 
only the authentication of Holy Scripture, but its interpretation as well, 
stands in need of scholarship, and for the same reason. For how are the 
unlearned, who can read it only in translation,
to be certain of its meaning? Hence the expositor, in addition to being 
familiar with the original tongue, must also be a master of extended 
historical knowledge and criticism, in order that from the conditions, 
customs, and opinions (the popular faith) of the times in question he may be 
able to derive the means wherewith to enlighten the understanding of the 
ecclesiastical commonwealth.
	Rational religion and Scriptural learning are thus the properly 
qualified interpreters and trustees of a sacred document. It is obvious that 
they must on no account be hindered by the secular arm in the public use of 
their judgments and discoveries in this field, or bound to certain dogmas; 
for otherwise the laity would compel the clergy to concur in their opinion, 
which, after all, they have acquired only from the clergy's instruction. So 
long as the state takes care that there is no dearth of scholars and of men in 
morally good repute who have authority in the entire church body and to 
whose consciences the state entrusts this commission, it has done all that its 
duty and capacity require. But to insist that the legislator should carry this 
matter into the schools and concern himself with their quarrels (which, if 
they are not proclaimed from the pulpit, leave the church-public quite 
undisturbed)--such a burden the public cannot thrust upon him without 
arrogance, for it is beneath his dignity.
	A third claimant contests the office of interpreter, the man who needs 
neither reason nor scholarship, but merely an inner feeling, to recognize the 
true meaning of Scripture as well as its divine origin. Now we certainly 
cannot deny that "he who follows its teachings and does what it commands 
will surely find that it is of God,"1 and that the very impulse to good actions 
and to uprightness in the conduct of life, which the man who reads 
Scripture or hears it expounded must feel, cannot but convince him of its 
divine nature; for this impulse is but the operation of the moral law which 
fills man with fervent respect and hence deserves to be regarded as a divine 
command. A knowledge of laws, and of their morality, can scarcely be 
derived from any sort of feeling; still less can there be inferred or discovered 
from a feeling certain evidence of a direct divine influence; for the same 
effect can have more than one cause. In this case, however, the bare 
morality of the law (and the doctrine), known through reason, is the source 
[of the law's validity];
and even if this origin were no more than barely possible, duty demands 
that it be thus construed unless we wish to open wide the gates to every 
kind of fanaticism, and even cause the unequivocal moral feeling to lose its 
dignity through affiliation with fantasy of every sort. Feeling is private to 
every individual and cannot be demanded of others [even] when the law, 
from which and according to which this feeling arises, is known in advance; 
therefore one cannot urge it as a touchstone for the genuineness of a 
revelation, for it teaches absolutely nothing, but is merely the way in which 
the subject is affected as regards pleasure or displeasure--and on this basis 
can be established no knowledge whatever.
	There is therefore no norm of ecclesiastical faith other than 
Scripture, and no expositor thereof other than pure religion of reason and 
Scriptural scholarship (which deals with the historical aspect of that 
religion). Of these, the first alone is authentic and valid for the whole world; 
the second is merely doctrinal, having as its end the transformation of 
ecclesiastical faith for a given people at a given time into a definite and 
enduring system. Under this system, historical faith must finally become 
mere faith in Scriptural scholars and their insight. This does not, indeed, 
particularly redound to the honor of human nature; yet it is a situation which 
can be corrected through public freedom of thought--and such freedom is 
the more justified since only if scholars submit their interpretations to public 
examination, while they themselves ever hope for and remain open and 
receptive to better insight, can they count on the community's confidence in 
their decisions.

	VII. The Gradual Transition of Ecclesiastical Faith to the Exclusive 
Sovereignty of Pure Religious Faith is the Coming of the Kingdom of God
	The token of the true church is its universality; the sign of this, in 
turn, is its necessity and its determinability in only one possible way. 
Historical faith (which is based upon revelation, regarded as an experience) 
has only particular validity, to wit, for those who have had access to the 
historical record upon which this faith rests; and like all empirical 
knowledge it carries with it the consciousness not that the object believed in 
must be so and not otherwise, but merely that it is so; hence it involves as 
well the consciousness of its contingency. Thus historical faith can become 
an ecclesiastical faith (of which there can be several), whereas only
pure religious faith, which bases itself wholly upon reason, can be accepted 
as necessary and therefore as the only one which signalizes the true church.
	When, therefore, (in conformity with the unavoidable limitation of 
human reason) an historical faith attaches itself to pure religion, as its 
vehicle, but with the consciousness that it is only a vehicle, and when this 
faith, having become ecclesiastical, embraces the principle of a continual 
approach to pure religious faith, in order finally to be able to dispense with 
the historical vehicle, a church thus characterized can at any time be called 
the true church; but, since conflict over historical dogmas can never be 
avoided, it can be spoken of only as the church militant, though with the 
prospect of becoming finally the changeless and all-unifying church 
triumphant! We call the faith of every individual who possesses moral 
capacity (worthiness) for eternal happiness a saving faith. This also can be 
but a single faith; amid all diversity of ecclesiastical faiths [or creeds] it is 
discoverable in each of these in which, moving toward the goal of pure 
religious faith, it is practical. The faith of a religion of divine worship, in 
contrast, is a drudging and mercenary faith (fides mercenaria, servilis) and 
cannot be regarded as saving because it is not moral. For a moral faith must 
be free and based upon an ingenuous disposition of the heart (fides 
ingenua). Ecclesiastical faith fancies it possible to become well-pleasing to 
God through actions (of worship) which (though irksome) yet possess in 
themselves no moral worth and hence are merely acts induced by fear or 
hope--acts which an evil man also can perform. Moral faith, in contrast, 
presupposes that a morally good disposition is requisite.
	Saving faith involves two elements, upon which hope of salvation is 
conditioned, the one having reference to what man himself cannot 
accomplish, namely, undoing lawfully (before a divine judge) actions which 
he has performed, the other to what he himself can and ought to do, that is, 
leading a new life conformable to his duty. The first is the faith in an 
atonement (reparation for his debt, redemption, reconciliation with God); 
the second, the faith that we can become well-pleasing to God through a 
good course of life in the future. Both conditions constitute but one faith 
and necessarily belong together. Yet we can comprehend the necessity of 
their union only by assuming that one can be derived from the other, that is, 
either that the faith in the absolution from the debt
resting upon us will bring forth good life-conduct, or else that the genuine 
and active disposition ever to pursue a good course of life will engender the 
faith in such absolution according to the law of morally operating causes. 
Here now appears a remarkable antinomy of human reason with itself, 
whose solution, or, were this not possible, at least whose adjustment can 
alone determine whether an historical (ecclesiastical) faith must always be 
present as an essential element of saving faith, over and above pure 
religious faith, or whether it is only a vehicle which finally--however distant 
this future event may be--can pass over into pure religious faith.
	l. If it is assumed that atonement has been made for the sins of 
mankind, it is indeed conceivable that every sinner would gladly have it 
applied to himself and that were it merely a matter of belief (which means no 
more than an avowal that he wishes the atonement to be rendered for him 
also), he would not for an instant suffer misgivings on this score. 
However, it is quite impossible to see how a reasonable man, who knows 
himself to merit punishment, can in all seriousness believe that he needs 
only to credit the news of an atonement rendered for him, and to accept this 
atonement utiliter (as the lawyers say), in order to regard his guilt as 
annihilated,--indeed, so completely annihilated (to the very root) that good 
life-conduct, for which he has hitherto not taken the least pains, will in the 
future be the inevitable consequence of this faith and this acceptance of the 
proffered favor. No thoughtful person can bring himself to believe this, 
even though self-love often does transform the bare wish for a good, for 
which man does nothing and can do nothing, into a hope, as though one's 
object were to come of itself, elicited by mere longing. Such a persuasion 
can be regarded as possible only if the individual regards this belief as itself 
instilled in him by heaven and hence as something concerning which he 
need render no further account to his reason. If he cannot think this, or if he 
is still too sincere artificially to produce in himself such a confidence, as a 
mere means of ingratiation, he can only, with all respect for such a 
transcendent1 atonement, and with every wish that it be available for him 
also, regard it as conditioned. That is, he must believe that he must first 
improve his way of life, so far as improvement lies in his power, if he is to 
have even the slightest ground for hope of such a higher gain. Wherefore, 
since historical knowledge of the atonement belongs to ecclesiastical faith, 
while the improved way of life, as a condition, belongs to pure moral faith, 
the latter must take precedence over the former.
	2. But if men are corrupt by nature, how can a man believe that by 
himself, try as hard as he will, he can make himself a new man well-
pleasing to God, when--conscious of the transgressions of which up to the 
present he has been guilty--he still stands in the power of the evil principle 
and finds in himself no capacity adequate for future improvement? If he 
cannot regard justice, which he has provoked against himself, as satisfied 
through atonement by another,1 and cannot regard himself reborn, so to 
speak, through this faith and so for the first time able to enter upon a new 
course of life--and this would follow from his union with the good 
principle--upon what is he to base his hope of becoming a man pleasing to 
God? Thus faith in a merit not his own, whereby he is reconciled with God, 
must precede every effort to good works. But this goes counter to the 
previous proposition, [that good works must precede faith in divine 
atonement]. This contradiction cannot be resolved through insight into the 
causal determination of the freedom of a human being, i.e., into the causes 
which bring it about that a man becomes good or bad; hence it cannot be 
resolved theoretically, for it is a question wholly transcending the 
speculative capacity of our reason. But practically, the question arises: 
What, in the use of our free willw, comes first, (not physically2 but 
morally)? Where shall we start, i.e., with a faith in what God has done on 
our behalf, or with what we are to do to become worthy of God's assistance 
(whatever this may be)? In answering this question we cannot hesitate in 
deciding for the second alternative.
	The acceptance of the first requisite for salvation, namely, faith in a 
vicarious atonement, is in any case necessary only for the theoretical 
concept; in no other way can we make comprehensible to ourselves such 
absolution. In contrast, the necessity for the second principle is practical 
and, indeed, purely moral. We can certainly hope to partake in the 
appropriation of another's atoning merit, and so of salvation, only by 
qualifying for it through our own efforts to fulfil every human duty--and 
this obedience must be the effect of our own action and not, once again, of a 
influence in the presence of which we are passive. For since the command 
to do our duty is unconditioned, it is also necessary that man shall make it, 
as maxim, the basis of his belief, that is to say that he shall begin with the 
improvement of his life as the supreme condition under which alone a 
saving faith can exist.
	Ecclesiastical faith, being historical, rightly starts with the belief in 
atonement; but since it merely constitutes the vehicle for pure religious faith 
(in which lies the real end), the maxim of action, which in religious faith 
(being practical) is the condition, must take the lead, and the maxim of 
knowledge, or theoretical faith, must merely bring about the strengthening 
and consummation of the maxim of action.
	In this connection it might also be remarked that, according to the 
ecclesiastical principle, the faith in a vicarious atonement would be imputed 
to man as a duty, whereas faith in good life conduct, as being effected 
through a higher agency, would be reckoned to him as of grace. According 
to the other principle the order is reversed. For according to it the good 
course of life, as the highest condition of grace, is unconditioned duty, 
whereas atonement from on high1 is purely a matter of grace. Against the 
first faith is charged (often not unjustly) the superstitious belief of divine 
worship, which knows how to combine a blameworthy course of life with 
religion; against the second, naturalistic unbelief, which unites with a course 
of life, perhaps otherwise exemplary, indifference or even antagonism to all 
revelation. This [latter attitude] would constitute cutting the knot (by means 
of a practical maxim) instead of disentangling it (theoretically)--a procedure 
which is after all permitted in religious questions. However, the theoretical 
demand can be satisfied in the following manner. 
	The living faith in the archetype of humanity well-pleasing to God 
(in the Son of God) is bound up, in itself, with a moral idea of reason so far 
as this serves us not only as a guide-line but also as an incentive; hence it 
matters not whether I start with it as a rational faith, or with the principle of 
a good course of life. In contrast, the faith in the self-same archetype in its 
[phenomenal appearance (faith in the God-Man), as an empirical (historical) 
faith, is not interchangeable with the principle of the good course of life 
(which must be wholly rational), and it would be quite a
different matter to wish to start with such a faith  and to deduce the good 
course of life from it. To this extent then, there would be a contradiction 
between the two propositions above. And yet, in the appearance of the God-
Man [on earth], it is not that in him which strikes the senses and can be 
known through experience, but rather the archetype, lying in our reason, 
that we attribute to him (since, so far as his example can be known, he is 
found to conform thereto), which is really the object of saving faith, and 
such a faith does not differ from the principle of a course of life well-
pleasing to God.
	Here, then, are not two principles which in themselves so differ that 
to begin with the one, or the other, would be to enter upon opposing paths, 
but only one and the same practical idea from which we take our start, this 
idea representing the archetype now as found in God and proceeding from 
Him, and now, as found in us, but in both instances as the gauge for our 
course of life. The antinomy is therefore only apparent, since, through a 
misunderstanding, it regards the self-same practical idea, taken merely in 
different references, as two different principles. If one wished, however, to 
make the historical faith in the reality of such an appearance, taking place in 
the world on a single occasion, the condition of the only saving faith, there 
would, indeed, be two quite different principles (the one empirical, the other 
rational) regarding which a real conflict of maxims would arise--whether 
one should begin with and start out from the one or the other This conflict 
no reason would ever be able to resolve.
	The proposition: We must believe that there was once a man (of 
whom reason tells us nothing) who through his holiness and merit rendered 
satisfaction both for himself (with reference to his duty) and for all others 
(with their shortcomings, in the light of their duty), if we are to hope that 
we ourselves, though in a good course of life, will be saved by virtue of 
that faith alone--this proposition says something very different from the 
following: With all our strength we must strive after the holy disposition of 
a course of life well-pleasing to God, to be able to believe that the love 
(already assured us through reason) of God toward man, so far as man does 
endeavor with all his strength to do the will of God, will make good, in 
consideration of an upright disposition, the deficiency of the deed, whatever 
this deficiency may be. The first 
belief is not in the power of everyone (even of the unlearned). History 
testifies that in all forms of religion this conflict between two principles of 
faith has existed; for all religions have involved expiation, on whatever 
basis they put it, and the moral predisposition in each individual has not 
failed, on its side, to let its claims be heard. Yet at all times the priests have 
complained more than the moralists: the former (with summons to the 
authorities to check the mischief) protesting loudly against the neglect of 
divine worship, which was instituted to reconcile the people with heaven 
and to ward off misfortune from the state; the latter complaining, on the 
other hand, about the decline of morals, a decline which they zealously set 
to the account of those means of absolution whereby the priests made it easy 
for anyone to make his peace with the Deity over the grossest vices. In point 
of fact, if an inexhaustible fund is already at hand for the payment of debts 
incurred or still to be incurred, so that man has merely to reach out (and at 
every claim which conscience makes one would be sure, first of all, to reach 
out) in order to free himself of sin, while he can postpone resolving upon a 
good course of life until he is first clear of those debts--if this were possible 
it is not easy to conceive any other consequences of such a faith. Yet were 
this faith to be portrayed as having so peculiar a power and so mystical (or 
magical) an influence, that although merely historical, so far as we can see, 
it is yet competent to better the whole man from the ground up (to make a 
new man of him) if he yields himself to it and to the feelings bound up with 
it, such a faith would have to be regarded as imparted and inspired directly 
by heaven (together with, and in, the historical faith), and everything 
connected even with the moral constitution of man would resolve itself into 
an unconditioned decree of God: "He hath mercy on whom he will, and 
whom he will he hardeneth,"1* which, taken according to the letter, is the 
salto mortale of human reason.
	Hence a necessary consequence of the physical and, at the same 
time, the moral predisposition in us, the latter being the basis and the 
interpreter of all religion, is that in the end religion will gradually be freed 
from all empirical determining grounds and from all statutes which rest on 
history and which through the agency of ecclesiastical faith provisionally 
unite men for the requirements of the good; and thus at last the pure religion 
of reason will rule over all, "so that God may be all in all."1 The 
integuments within which the embryo first developed into a human being 
must be laid aside when he is to come into the light of day. The leading-
string of holy tradition with its appendages of statutes and observances, 
which in its time did good service, becomes bit by bit dispensable, yea, 
finally, when man enters upon his adolescence, it becomes a fetter. While 
he (the human race) "was a child he understood as a child"2 and managed to 
combine a certain amount of erudition, and even a philosophy ministering to 
the church, with the propositions which were bestowed on him without his 
cooperation: "but when he becomes a man he puts away childish things."2 
The humiliating distinction between laity and clergy disappears, and equality 
arises from true freedom, yet without anarchy, because, though each obeys 
the (non-statutory) law which he prescribes to himself, he must at the same 
time regard this law as the will of a World-Ruler revealed to him through 
reason, a will which by invisible means unites all under one common 
government into one state--a state previously and inadequately represented 
and prepared for by the visible church. All this is not to be expected from an 
external revolution, because such an upheaval produces its effect 
tempestuously and violently, an effect, quite dependent on circumstances. 
Moreover whatever mistake has once been made in the establishment of a 
new constitution, is regretfully retained
throughout hundreds of years, since it can no longer be changed or at least 
only through a new (and at any time dangerous) revolution. The basis for 
the transition to that new order of affairs must lie in the principle that the 
pure religion of reason is a continually occurring divine (though not 
empirical) revelation for all men. Once this basis has been grasped with 
mature reflection, it is carried into effect, so far as this is destined to be a 
human task, through gradually advancing reform. As for revolutions which 
might hasten this progress, they rest in the hands of Providence and cannot 
be ushered in according to plan without damage to freedom.
	We have good reason to say, however, that "the kingdom of God is 
come unto us"1 once the principle of the gradual transition of ecclesiastical 
faith to the universal religion of reason, and so to a (divine) ethical state on 
earth, has become general and has also gained somewhere a public 
foothold, even though the actual establishment of this state is still infinitely 
removed from us. For since this principle contains the basis for a continual 
approach towards such a consummation, there lies in it (invisibly), as in a 
seed which is self-developing and in due time self-fertilizing, the whole, 
which one day is to illumine and to rule the world. But truth and goodness--
and in the natural predisposition of every man there lies a basis of insight 
into these as well as a basis of heartfelt sympathy with them--do not fail to 
communicate themselves far and wide once they have become public, 
thanks to their natural affinity with the moral predisposition of rational 
beings generally. The obstacles, arising from political and civil causes, 
which may from time to time hinder their spread, serve rather to make all the 
closer the union of men's spirits with the good (which never leaves their 
thoughts after they have once cast their eyes upon it).* 
*       *       *       *       *       *
	Such, therefore, is the activity of the good principle, unnoted by 
human eyes but ever continuing--erecting for itself in the human race, 
regarded as a commonwealth under laws of virtue, a power and kingdom 
which sustains the victory over evil and, under its own dominion, assures 
the world of an eternal peace.


	We can expect no universal history of religion (in the strictest 
meaning of the word) among men on earth; for, since it is based upon pure 
moral faith, it has no public status,1 and each man can become aware only 
in and for himself of the advances which he has made in it. Hence it is only 
of ecclesiastical faith that we can expect a universal historical account, in 
which its varied and changing form is compared with the single, 
unchanging, pure religious faith. At the point where the first of these 
publicly recognizes its dependence upon the qualifying conditions of the 
second and the necessity of conformity to them, the church universal 
commences to fashion itself into an ethical state of God and to march toward 
the consummation of this state under a steadfast principle which is one and 
the same for all men and for all times. We can see in advance that this 
history will be nothing but the narrative of the enduring conflict between the 
faith of divine worship and the moral faith of religion, the first of which, as 
historical faith, man is continually inclined to put foremost, while, on the 
other hand, the second has never relinquished its claim to the priority to 
which it is entitled as the only faith bettering the soul--a claim which it will 
certainly, in the end, make good.
	Now this historical account can have unity only if it is confined 
wholly to that portion of the human race in which the predisposition to the 
unity of the universal church is already approaching its [complete] 
development, that is, when the problem of the difference between the faiths 
of reason and of history has already been publicly propounded and its 
solution made a matter of the greatest moral importance; for an historical 
account merely of the dogmas of diverse peoples, whose faiths stand in no 
connection with one another, can reveal no [such example of] church unity. 
It cannot be taken as an instance of this unity that in one and the same 
people a certain new faith once arose and distinguished itself by name from 
the faith previously dominant, even though the latter afforded the occasional 
causes of the new product. For there must exist a unity of principle if we are 
to construe the succession of different types of belief following one another 
as modifications of
one and the same church; and it is really with the history of this church that 
we are now concerned.
	So we can deal, under this heading, only with the history of that 
church which contained within itself, from its first beginning, the seed and 
the principles of the objective unity of the true and universal religious faith, 
to which it is gradually brought nearer. And first of all it is evident that the 
Jewish faith stands in no essential connection whatever, i.e., in no unity of 
concepts, with this ecclesiastical faith whose history we wish to consider, 
though the Jewish immediately preceded this (the Christian) church and 
provided the physical occasion for its establishment.
	The Jewish faith was, in its original form, a collection of mere 
statutory laws upon which was established a political organization; for 
whatever moral additions were then or later appended to it in no way 
whatever belong to Judaism as such. Judaism is really not a religion at all 
but merely a union of a number of people who, since they belonged to a 
particular stock, formed themselves into a commonwealth under purely 
political laws, and not into a church; nay, it was intended to be merely an 
earthly state so that, were it possibly to be dismembered through adverse 
circumstances, there would still remain to it (as part of its very essence) the 
political faith in its eventual re-establishment (with the advent of the 
Messiah). That this political organization has a theocracy as its basis 
(visibly, an aristocracy of priests or leaders, who boast of instructions 
imparted directly by God), and that therefore the name of God, who after all 
is here merely an earthly regent making absolutely no claims upon, and no 
appeals to, conscience, is respected--this does not make it a religious 
organization. The proof that Judaism has not allowed its organization to 
become religious is clear. First, all its commands are of the kind which a 
political organization can insist upon and lay down as coercive laws, since 
they relate merely to external acts; and although the Ten Commandments 
are, to the eye of reason, valid as ethical commands even had they not been 
given publicly, yet in that legislation they are not so prescribed as to induce 
obedience by laying requirements upon the moral disposition (Christianity 
later placed its main emphasis here); they are directed to absolutely nothing 
but outer observance. From this it is also clear that, second, all the 
consequences of fulfilling or transgressing these laws, all rewards or 
punishments, are limited to those alone which can
be allotted to all men in this world, and not even these [are distributed] 
according to ethical concepts, since both rewards and punishments were to 
reach a posterity which has taken no practical part in these deeds or 
misdeeds. In a political organization this may indeed be a prudent device for 
creating docility, but in an ethical organization it would be contrary to all 
right. Furthermore, since no religion can be conceived of which involves no 
belief in a future life, Judaism, which, when taken in its purity is seen to 
lack this belief, is not a religious faith at all. This can be further supported 
by the following remark. We can hardly question that the Jews, like other 
peoples, even the most savage, ought [normally] to have had a belief in a 
future life, and therefore in a heaven and a hell; for this belief automatically 
obtrudes itself upon everyone by virtue of the universal moral 
predisposition in	 human nature. Hence it certainly came about 
intentionally that the law-giver of this people, even though he is represented 
as God Himself, wished to pay not the slightest regard to the future life. 
This shows that he must have wanted to found merely a political, not an 
ethical commonwealth; and to talk, in a political state, of rewards and 
punishments which cannot become apparent here in this life-would have 
been, on that premise, a wholly inconsequential and unsuitable procedure. 
And though, indeed, it cannot be doubted that the Jews may, subsequently, 
and each for himself, have framed some sort of religious faith which was 
mingled with the articles of their statutory belief, such religious faith has 
never	 been part and parcel of the legislation of Judaism. Third, Judaism 
fell so far short of constituting an era suited to the requirements of the 
church universal, or of setting up this universal church itself during its time, 
as actually to exclude from its communion the entire human race, on the 
ground that it was a special people chosen by God for Himself--[an 
exclusiveness] which showed enmity toward all other peoples and which, 
therefore, evoked the enmity of all. In this connection, we should not rate 
too highly the fact that this people set up, as universal Ruler of the world, a 
one and only God who could be represented through no visible image. For 
we find that the religious doctrines of most other peoples tended in the same 
direction and that these made themselves suspected of polytheism only by 
the veneration of certain mighty	 undergods subordinated to Him. For a 
God who desires merely obedience to commands for which absolutely no 
improved moral
disposition is requisite is, after all, not really the moral Being the concept of 
whom we need for a religion. Religion would be more likely to arise from a 
belief in many mighty invisible beings of this order, provided a people 
conceived of these as all agreeing, amid their "departmental" differences, to 
bestow their good pleasure only upon the man who cherishes virtue with all 
his heart--more likely, I say, than when faith is bestowed upon but one 
Being, who, however, attaches prime importance to mechanical worship.
	We cannot, therefore, do otherwise than begin general church 
history, if it is to constitute a system, with the origin of Christianity, which, 
completely forsaking the Judaism from which it sprang, and grounded upon 
a wholly new principle, effected a thoroughgoing revolution in doctrines of 
faith. The pains which teachers of Christianity take now, and may have 
taken in the beginning, to join Judaism and Christianity with a connecting 
strand by trying to have men regard the new faith as a mere continuation of 
the old (which, they allege, contained in prefiguration all the events of the 
new)--these efforts reveal most clearly that their problem is and was merely 
the discovery of the most suitable means of introducing a purely moral 
religion in place of the old worship, to which the people were all too well 
habituated, without directly offending the people's prejudices. The 
subsequent dispensing with the corporal sign which served wholly to 
separate this people from others warrants the judgment that the new faith, 
not bound to the statutes of the old, nor, indeed, to any statutes whatever, 
was to comprise a religion valid for the world and not for one single people. 
	Thus Christianity arose suddenly, though not unprepared for, from 
Judaism. The latter, however, was no longer patriarchal and unmixed, 
standing solely upon its political constitution (for even this was by that time 
sorely unsettled), but was already interfused, by reason of moral doctrines 
gradually made public within it, with a religious faith--for this otherwise 
ignorant people had been able to receive much foreign (Greek) wisdom. 
This wisdom presumably had the further effect of enlightening Judaism 
with concepts of virtue and, despite the pressing weight of its dogmatic 
faith, of preparing it for revolution, the opportunity being afforded by the 
diminished power of the priests, who had been subjugated to the rule of a 
people1 which regarded all foreign popular beliefs
with indifference. The Teacher of the Gospel announced himself to be an 
ambassador from heaven. As one worthy of such a mission, he declared 
that servile belief (taking the form of confessions and practices on days of 
divine worship) is essentially vain and that moral faith, which alone renders 
men holy "as their Father in Heaven is holy"1 and which proves its 
genuineness by a good course of life, is the only saving faith. After he had 
given, in his own person, through precept and suffering even to unmerited 
yet meritorious death,* an example conforming to the archetype of a
humanity alone pleasing to God, he is represented as returning to heaven, 
whence he came. He left behind him, by word of mouth, his last will (as in 
a testament); and, trusting in the power of the memory of his merit, 
teaching, and example, he was able to say that "he (the ideal of humanity 
well-pleasing to God) would still be with his disciples, even to the end of 
the world."1 Were it a question of historical belief concerning the derivation 
and the rank, possibly supermundane, of his person, this doctrine would 
indeed stand in need of verification through miracles; although, as merely 
belonging to moral soul-improving faith, it can dispense with all such 
proofs of its truth. Hence, in a holy book miracles and mysteries find a 
place; the manner of making these known, in turn, is also miraculous, and 
demands a faith in history; which, finally, can be authenticated, and assured 
as to meaning and import, only by scholarship.
	Every faith which, as an historical faith, bases itself upon books, 
needs for its security a learned public for whom it can be controlled, as it 
were, by writers who lived in those times, who are not suspected of a 
special agreement with the first disseminators of the faith, and with whom 
our present-day scholarship is connected by a continuous tradition. The 
pure faith of reason, in contrast, stands in need of no such documentary 
authentication, but proves itself. Now at the time of the revolution in 
question there was present among the people (the Romans), who ruled the 
Jews and who had spread into their very domain, a learned public from 
whom the history of the political events of that period has indeed been 
handed down to us through an unbroken series of writers. And although the 
Romans concerned themselves but little with the religious beliefs of their 
non-Roman subjects, they were by no means incredulous of the miracles 
alleged to have taken place publicly in their midst. Yet they made no 
mention, as contemporaries, either of these miracles or of the revolution 
which the miracles produced (in respect to religion) in the people under their 
dominion, though the revolution had taken place quite as publicly. Only 
later, after more than a generation, did they institute inquiries into the nature 
of this change of faith which had 
remained unknown to them hitherto (but which had occurred not	 without 
public commotion), but they did not inquire into the history of its first 
beginning, in order to learn this history from its own records. So from this 
period to the time when Christendom could furnish a learned public of its 
own, its history is obscure and we remain ignorant of what effect the 
teaching of Christianity had upon the morality of its adherents whether the 
first Christians actually were morally improved men or just people of the 
common run. At any rate, the history of Christendom, from the time that it 
became a learned public itself, or at least part of the universal learned public, 
has served in no way to recommend it on the score of the beneficent effect 
which can justly be expected of a moral religion.
	For history tells how the mystical fanaticism in the lives of hermits 
and monks, and the glorification of the holiness of celibacy, rendered great 
masses of people useless to the world; how alleged miracles accompanying 
all this weighed down the people with heavy chains under a blind 
superstitution; how, with a hierarchy forcing itself upon free men, the 
dreadful voice of orthodoxy was raised, out of the mouths of 
presumptuous, exclusively "called," Scriptural expositors, and divided the 
Christian world into embittered parties over credal opinions on matters of 
faith (upon which absolutely no general agreement can be reached without 
appeal to pure reason as the expositor); how in the East, where the state 
meddled in an absurd manner with the religious statutes of the priests and 
with priestdom, instead of holding them within the narrow confines of a 
teacher's status (out of which they are at all times inclined to pass over into 
that of ruler)--how, I say, this state had finally to become, quite 
inescapably, the prey of foreign enemies, who at last put an end to its 
prevailing faith; how, in the West, where faith had erected its own throne, 
independent of worldly power, the civil order together with the sciences 
(which maintain this order) were thrown into confusion and rendered 
impotent by a self-styled viceroy of God; how both Christian portions of the 
world became overrun by barbarians, just as plants and animals, near death 
from some disease, attract destructive insects to complete their dissolution; 
how, in the West, the spiritual head ruled over and disciplined kings like 
children by means of the magic wand of his threatened excommunication, 
and incited them to depopulating foreign wars in another portion of the
world (the Crusades), to the waging of war with one another, to the 
rebellion of subjects against those in authority over them, and to 
bloodthirsty hatred against their otherwise-minded colleagues in one and the 
same universal Christendom so-called; how the root of this discord, which 
even now is kept from violent outbreaks only through political interest, lies 
hidden in the basic principle of a despotically commanding ecclesiastical 
faith and still gives cause for dread of events like unto these--this history of 
Christendom (which indeed could not eventuate otherwise if erected upon 
an historical faith), when surveyed in a single glance, like a painting, might 
well justify the exclamation: tantum religio potuit suadere malorum,1 did not 
the fact still shine forth clearly from its founding that Christianity's first 
intention was really no other than to introduce a pure religious faith, over 
which no conflict of opinions can prevail; whereas that turmoil, through 
which the human race was disrupted and is still set at odds, arises solely 
from this, that what, by reason of an evil propensity of human nature, was 
in the beginning to serve merely for the introduction of pure religious faith, 
i.e., to win over for the new faith the nation habituated to the old historical 
belief through its own prejudices, was in the sequel made the foundation of 
a universal world-religion.
	If now one asks, What period in the entire known history of the 
church up to now is the best? I have no scruple in answering, the present. 
And this, because, if the seed of the true religious faith, as it is now being 
publicly sown in Christendom, though only by a few, is allowed more and 
more to grow unhindered, we may look for a continuous approximation to 
that church, eternally uniting all men, which constitutes the visible 
representation (the schema) of an invisible kingdom of God on earth. For 
reason has freed itself, in matters which by their nature ought to be moral 
and soul-improving, from the weight of a faith forever dependent upon the 
arbitrary willw of the expositors, and has among true reverers of religion in 
all the lands of this portion of the world universally (though indeed not in all 
places publicly) laid down the following principles. The first is the principle 
of reasonable modesty in pronouncements regarding all that goes by the 
name of revelation. For no one can deny the possibility that a scripture 
which, in practical content, contains much that is godly, may (with respect 
to what is historical in it) be regarded as a genuinely divine revelation.
It is also possible that the union of men into one religion cannot feasibly be 
brought about or made abiding without a holy book and an ecclesiastical 
faith based upon it. Moreover, the contemporary state of human insight 
being what it is, one can hardly expect a new revelation, ushered in with 
new miracles. Hence the most intelligent and most reasonable thing to do is 
from how on to use the book already at hand as the basis for ecclesiastical 
instruction and not to lessen its value through useless or mischievous 
attacks, yet meanwhile not forcing belief in it, as requisite to salvation, upon 
any man. The second principle is this: that, since the sacred narrative, which 
is employed solely on behalf of ecclesiastical faith, can have and, taken by 
itself, ought to have absolutely no influence upon the adoption of moral 
maxims, and since it is given to ecclesiastical faith only for the vivid 
presentation of its true object (virtue striving toward holiness), it follows 
that this narrative must at all times be taught and expounded in the interest of 
morality; and yet (because the common man especially has an enduring 
propensity within him to sink into passive* belief) it must be inculcated 
painstakingly and repeatedly that true religion is to consist not in the 
knowing or considering of what God does or has done for our salvation but 
in what we must do to become worthy of it. This last can never be anything 
but what possesses in itself undoubted and unconditional worth, what 
therefore can alone make us well-pleasing to God, and of whose necessity 
every man can become wholly certain without any Scriptural learning 
whatever. Now it is the duty of rulers not to hinder these basic principles 
from becoming public. On the contrary, very much is risked and a great 
responsibility assumed by one who intrudes upon the process of divine 
Providence and, for the sake of certain historical ecclesiastical doctrines 
which at best have in their favor only a probability discoverable by scholars, 
exposes to 
temptation* the consciences of the subjects through the offer, or denial, of 
certain civil advantages otherwise open to all: all this, apart from the damage 
done thereby to a freedom which in this case is holy, can scarcely produce 
good citizens for the state. Who among those proffering themselves to 
hinder such a free development of godly predispositions to the world's 
highest good, or even proposing such a hindrance, would wish, after 
thinking it over in communion with his conscience, to answer for all the evil 
which might arise from such forcible encroachments, whereby the advance 
in goodness intended by the Governor of the world, though it can never be 
wholly destroyed through human might or human contrivance, may perhaps 
be checked for a long time, yea, even turned into a retrogression!
	As regards its guidance by Providence, the kingdom of heaven is 
represented in this historical account not only as being brought ever nearer, 
in an approach delayed at certain times yet never
wholly interrupted, but also as arriving. When to this narrative is added (in 
the Apocalypse) a prophecy (like those in the Sibylline books) of the 
consummation of this great world-change, in the image of a visible kingdom 
of God on earth (under the government of His representative and viceroy, 
again descended to earth), and of the happiness which is to be enjoyed 
under him in this world after the separation and expulsion of the rebels who 
once again seek to withstand him, and also of the complete extirpation of 
these rebels and their leader, and when, thus, the account closes with the 
end of the world, all this may be interpreted as a symbolical representation 
intended merely to enliven hope and courage and to increase our endeavors 
to that end. The Teacher of the Gospel revealed to his disciples the kingdom 
of God on earth only in its glorious, soul-elevating moral aspect, namely, in 
terms of the value of citizenship in a divine state, and to this end he 
informed them of what they had to do, not only to achieve it themselves but 
to unite with all others of the same mind and, so far as possible, with the 
entire human race. Concerning happiness, however, which constitutes the 
other part of what man inevitably wishes, he told them in advance not to 
count on it in their life on earth. Instead he bade them be prepared for the 
greatest tribulations and sacrifices; yet he added (since man cannot be 
expected, while he is alive, wholly to renounce what is physical in 
happiness): "Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in 
heaven."1 The supplement, added to the history of the church, dealing with 
man's future and final destiny, pictures men as ultimately triumphant, i.e., 
as crowned with happiness while still here on earth, after all obstacles have 
been overcome. The separation of the good from the evil, which, during the 
progress of the church toward its consummation, would not have conduced 
to this end (since their mixture with one another was needed, partly to spur 
the good on to virtue, partly to withdraw the bad from evil through the 
others' example), is represented as following upon the completed 
establishment of the divine state and as its last consequence; whereto is 
added, as the final proof of the state's stability and might, its victory over all 
external foes who are also regarded as forming a state (the state of hell). 
With this all earthly life comes to an end, in that "the last enemy (of good 
men), death, is
destroyed";1 and immortality commences for both parties, to the salvation 
of one, the damnation of the other. The very form of a church is dissolved, 
the viceroy becomes at one with man who is raised up to his level as a 
citizen of heaven, and so God is all in all.*
	This sketch of a history of after-ages, which themselves are not yet 
history, presents a beautiful ideal of the moral world-epoch, brought about 
by the introduction of true universal religion and in faith foreseen even to its 
culmination--which we cannot conceive as a culmination in experience, but 
can merely anticipate, i.e., prepare for, in continual progress and 
approximation toward the highest good possible on earth (and in all of this 
there is nothing mystical, but everything moves quite naturally in a moral 
fashion). The appearance of the Antichrist, the milennium, and the news of 
the proximity of the end of the world--all these can take on, before reason, 
their right symbolic meaning; and to represent the last of these as an event 
not to be seen in advance (like the end of life, be it far or near) admirably 
expresses the necessity of standing ready at all times for the end and indeed 
(if one attaches the intellectual meaning to this symbol) really to consider 
ourselves always as chosen citizens of a divine (ethical) state. "When, 
therefore, cometh the kingdom of God?"2 "The kingdom of God cometh 
not in visible form. Neither shall they say, Lo here; or lo there! For, behold, 
the kingdom of God is within you," (Luke XVII, 21-2).** 


	Investigation into the inner nature of all kinds of faith which concern 
religion invariably encounters a mystery, i.e., something holy which may 
indeed be known by each single individual but cannot be made known 
publicly, that is, shared universally. Being something holy, it must be 
moral, and so an object of reason, and it must be capable of being known 
from within adequately for practical use, and yet, as something mysterious, 
not for theoretical use, since in this case it would have to be capable of 
being shared with everyone and made known publicly.
	Belief in what we are yet to regard as a holy mystery can be looked 
upon as divinely prompted or as a pure rational faith. Unless we are 
impelled by the greatest need to adopt the first of these views, we shall 
make it our maxim to abide by the second. Feelings are not knowledge and 
so do not indicate [the presence of] a mystery; and since the latter is related 
to reason, yet cannot be shared universally, each individual will have to 
search for it (if ever there is such a thing) solely in his own reason.
	It is impossible to settle, a priori and objectively, whether there are 
such mysteries or not. We must therefore search directly in the inner, the 
subjective, part of our moral predisposition to see whether any such thing is 
to be found in us. Yet we shall not be entitled to number among the holy 
mysteries the grounds of morality, which are inscrutable to us; for we can 
thus classify only that which we can know but which is incapable of being 
communicated publicly, whereas, though morality can indeed be 
communicated publicly, its cause remains unknown to us. Thus freedom, 
an attribute of which man becomes aware through the determinability of his 
willw by the unconditioned moral law, is no mystery, because the 
knowledge of it can be shared with everyone; but the ground, inscrutable to 
us, of this attribute is a mystery because this ground is not given us as an 
object of knowledge. Yet it is this very freedom which, when applied to the 
final object of practical reason (the realization of the idea of the moral end), 
alone leads us inevitably to holy mysteries.* 
	The idea of the highest good, inseparably bound up with the purely 
moral disposition, cannot be realized by man himself (not only in the matter 
of the happiness pertaining thereto, but also in the matter of the union of 
men necessary for the end in its entirety); yet he discovers within himself 
the duty to work for this end. Hence he finds himself impelled to believe in 
the cooperation or management of a moral Ruler of the world, by means of 
which alone this goal can be reached. And now there opens up before him 
the abyss of a mystery regarding what God may do [toward the realization 
of this end], whether indeed anything in general, and if so, what in 
particular should be ascribed to God. Meanwhile man knows concerning 
each duty nothing but what he must himself do in order to be worthy of that 
supplement, unknown, or at least incomprehensible, to him.
	This idea of a moral Governor of the world is a task presented to our 
practical reason. It concerns us not so much to know what God is in 
Himself (His nature) as what He is for us as moral beings; although in order 
to know the latter we must conceive and comprehend all the attributes of the 
divine nature (for instance, the unchangeableness, omniscience, 
omnipotence, etc. of such a Being) which, in their totality, are requisite to 
the carrying out of
the divine will in this regard. Apart from this context we can know nothing 
about Him.
	Now the universal true religious belief conformable to this 
requirement of practical reason is belief in God (1) as the omnipotent 
Creator of heaven and earth, i.e., morally as holy Legislator, (2) as 
Preserver of the human race, its benevolent Ruler and moral Guardian, (3) 
as Administrator of His own holy laws, i.e., as righteous Judge.
	This belief really contains no mystery, because it merely expresses 
the moral relation of God to the human race; it also presents itself 
spontaneously to human reason everywhere and is therefore to be met with 
in the religion of most civilized peoples.* It is present likewise in the 
concept of a people regarded as a commonwealth, in which such a threefold 
higher power (pouvoir) will always be descried, except that this 
commonwealth is here represented as ethical: hence this threefold quality of 
the moral Governor of the human race, which in a juridico-civil state must 
of necessity be divided among three different departments [legislative, 
executive, and judicial], can be thought of as combined in one and the same 
	And since this faith which, on behalf of religion in general, has 
cleansed the moral relation of men to the Supreme Being from harmful 
anthropomorphism, and has harmonized it with the genuine morality of a 
people of God, was first set forth in a particular (the Christian) body of 
doctrine and only therein made public to the world, we can call the 
promulgation of these doctrines a revelation of the faith which had hitherto 
remained hidden from men through their own fault.
	These doctrines assert, first, that we are to look upon the Supreme 
Lawgiver as one who commands not mercifully or with forbearance 
(indulgently) for men's weakness, or despotically and merely according to 
His unlimited right; and we are to look upon His laws not as arbitrary and 
as wholly unrelated to our concepts of morality, but as laws addressed to 
man's holiness. Second, we must place His beneficence not in an 
unconditioned good-will toward His creatures but in this, that He first looks 
upon their moral character, through which they can be well-pleasing to 
Him, and only then makes good their inability to fulfil this requirement of 
themselves. Third, His justice cannot be represented as beneficent and 
exorable (for this involves a contradiction); even less can it be represented 
as dispensed by Him in his character of holy Lawgiver (before Whom no 
man is righteous); rather, it must be thought of as beneficence which is 
limited by being conditioned upon men's agreement with the holy law so far 
as they, as sons of men, may be able to measure up to its requirement. In a 
word, God wills to be served under three specifically different moral 
aspects. The naming of the different (not physically, but morally different) 
persons of one and the same Being expresses this not ineptly. This symbol 
of faith gives expression also to the whole of
pure moral religion which, without this differentiation, runs the risk of 
degenerating into an anthropomorphic servile faith, by reason of men's 
propensity to think of the Godhead as a human overlord (because in man's 
government rulers usually do not separate these three qualities from one 
another but often mix and interchange them).
	But if this very faith (in a divine tri-unity) were to be regarded not 
merely as a representation of a practical idea but as a faith which is to 
describe what God is in Himself, it would be a mystery transcending all 
human concepts, and hence a mystery of revelation, unsuited to man's 
powers of comprehension; in this account, therefore, we can declare it to be 
such. Faith in it, regarded as an extension of the theoretical knowledge of 
the divine nature, would be merely the acknowledgment of a symbol of 
ecclesiastical faith which is quite incomprehensible to men or which, if they 
think they can understand it, would be anthropomorphic, and therefore 
nothing whatever would be accomplished for moral betterment. Only that 
which, in a practical context, can be thoroughly understood and 
comprehended, but which, taken theologically (for the determining of the 
nature of the object in itself), transcends all our concepts, is a mystery (in 
one respect) and can yet (in another) be revealed. To this type belongs what 
has just been mentioned; and this can be divided into three mysteries 
revealed to us through our reason.
	1. The mystery of the divine call (of men, as citizens, to an	 
ethical state). We can conceive of the universal unconditioned subjection of 
men to the divine legislation only so far as we likewise regard ourselves as 
God's creatures; just as God can be regarded as the ultimate source of all 
natural laws only because He is the creator of natural objects. But it is 
absolutely incomprehensible to our reason how beings can be created to a 
free use of their powers; for according to the principle of causality we can 
assign to a being,	 regarded as having been brought forth, no inner 
ground for his actions other than that which the producing cause has placed 
there, by which, then, (and so by an external cause) his every act would be 
determined, and such a being would therefore not be free. So the legislation 
which is divine and holy, and therefore concerns free beings only, cannot 
through the insight of our reason be reconciled with the concept of the 
creation of such beings; rather must one regard them even now as existing 
free beings who
are determined not through their dependence upon nature by virtue of their 
creation but through a purely moral necessitation possible according to laws 
of freedom, i.e., a call to citizenship in a divine state. Thus the call to this 
end is morally quite clear, while for speculation the possibility of such a 
calling is an impenetrable mystery.
	2. The mystery of atonement. Man, as we know him, is corrupt and 
of himself not in the least suited to that holy law. And yet, if the goodness 
of God has called him, as it were, into being, i.e., to exist in a particular 
manner (as a member of the kingdom of Heaven), He must also have a 
means of supplementing, out of the fullness of His own holiness, man's 
lack of requisite qualifications therefor. But this contradicts spontaneity 
(which is assumed in all the moral good or evil which a man can have 
within himself), according to which such a good cannot come from another 
but must arise from man himself, if it is to be imputable to him. Therefore, 
so far as reason can see, no one can, by virtue of the superabundance of his 
own good conduct and through his own merit, take another's place; or, if 
such vicarious atonement is accepted, we would have to assume it only 
from the moral point of view, since for ratiocination it is an unfathomable 
	3. The mystery of election. Even if that vicarious atonement be 
admitted as possible, still a morally-believing acceptance of it is a 
determination of the will toward good that already presupposes in man a 
disposition which is pleasing to God; yet man, by reason of his natural 
depravity, cannot produce this within himself through his own efforts. But 
that a heavenly grace should work in man and should accord this assistance 
to one and not to another, and this not according to the merit of works but 
by an unconditioned decree; and that one portion of our race should be 
destined for salvation, the other for eternal reprobation--this again yields no 
concept of a divine justice but must be referred to a wisdom whose rule is 
for us an absolute mystery.
	As to these mysteries, so far as they touch the moral life-history of 
every man--how it happens that there is a moral good or evil at all in the 
world, and (if the evil is present in all men and at all times) how out of evil 
good could spring up and be established in any man whatever, or why, 
when this occurs in some, others remain deprived thereof--of this God has 
revealed to us nothing and can reveal nothing since we would not 
it.  It is as though we wished to explain and to render comprehensible to 
ourselves in terms of a man's freedom what happens to him; on this 
question God has indeed revealed His will through the moral law in us, but 
the causes due to which a free action on earth occurs or does not occur He 
has left in that obscurity in which human investigation must leave whatever 
(as an historical occurrence, though yet springing from freedom) ought to 
be conceived of according to the laws of cause and effect.   But all that we 
need concerning the objective rule of our behavior is adequately revealed to 
us (through reason and Scripture), and this revelation is at the same time 
comprehensible to every man.
	That, through the moral law, man is called to a good course of life; 
that, through unquenchable respect for this law lying in him, he finds in 
himself justification for confidence in this good spirit and for hope that, 
however it may come about, he will be able to satisfy this spirit; finally, 
that, comparing the last-named expectation with the stern command of the 
law, he must continually test himself as though summoned to account 
before a judge--reason, heart, and conscience all teach this and urge its 
fulfilment. To demand that more than this be revealed to us is 
presumptuous, and
were such a revelation to occur, it could not rightly be reckoned among 
man's universal needs.
	Although that great mystery, comprising in one formula all that we 
have mentioned, can be made comprehensible to each man through his 
reason as a practical and necessary religious idea, we can say that, in order 
to become The moral basis of religion, and particularly of a public religion, 
it was, at that time, first revealed when it was publicly taught and made the 
symbol of a wholly new religious epoch. Ceremonial formulas are usually 
couched in a language of their own, intended only for those who belong to a 
particular union (a guild or society), a language at times mystical and not 
understood by everyone, which properly (out of respect) ought to BC made 
use of only for a ceremonial act (as, for instance, when some one is to be 
initiated as a member of a society which is exclusive) But theca highest goal 
of moral perfection of finite creatures--a goal to which man can never 
completely attain--is love of the law.
	The equivalent in religion of this idea would be an article of faith, 
"God is love": in Him we can revere the loving One (whose love is that of 
moral approbation of men so far as they measure up to His holy law) the 
Father; in Him also, so far as He reveals Himself in His all-inclusive idea, 
the archetype of humanity reared and beloved by Him, we can revere His 
Son; and finally, so far as He makes this approbation dependent upon 
men's agreement with the condition of that approving love, and so reveals 
love as based upon wisdom, we can revere the Holy Ghost.* Not that we
should actually invoke Him in terms of this multiform personality (for to do 
so would suggest a diversity of entities, whereas He is ever but single); but 
we can call upon Him in the name of that object loved of Him, which He 
Himself esteems above all else, with which to enter into moral union is 
[our] desire and also [our] duty. Over and above this, the theoretical avowal 
of faith in the 
divine nature under this threefold character is part of what is merely the 
classic formula of an ecclesiastical faith, to be used for the distinguishing of 
this faith from other modes of belief deriving from historical sources. Few 
men are in the position of being able to combine with this faith a concept [of 
the Trinity] which is clear and definite (open to no misinterpretation); and its 
exposition concerns, rather, teachers in their relation to one another (as 
philosophical and scholarly expositors of a Holy Book), that they may agree 
as to its interpretation, since not everything in it is suited to the common 
capacity of comprehension, nor to the needs of the present, and since a bare 
literal faith in it hurts rather than improves the truly religious disposition.


	1 [85] [Cf. Romans Vl, 18: "Being then made free from sin, ye 
became the servants of righteousness."]
	1 [87] [Zustand, condition]
	* [89] Hobbes' statement, status hominum naturalis est bellum 
omnium in omnes, is correct except that it should read, est status belli, etc. 
For even if one does not concede that actual hostilities are continually in 
progress between men who do not stand under eternal and public laws, yet 
the state (status iuridicus) is the same; i.e., the relationship in and through 
which men are fitted for the acquisition and maintenance of rights--a state in 
which each wants to be the judge of what shall be his rights against others, 
but for which rights he has no security against others, and gives others no 
security: each has only his private strength. This is a state of war in which 
everyone must be perpetually armed against everyone else. Hobbes' second 
statement, exeundum esse e statu naturali, follows from the first; for this 
state is a continual infringement upon the rights of all others through man's 
arrogant insistence on being the judge in his own affairs and giving other 
men no security in their affairs save his own arbitrary willw.
	1 [Wirkung] 
	* [90] This is the principle of all external rights.
	** [90] As soon as anything is recognized as a duty, even if it 
should be a duty imposed through the arbitrary willw of a human law-giver, 
obedience to it is also a divine command. Of course one cannot call statutory 
civil laws divine commands; yet, when they are just,1 obedience to them is 
still a divine command. The saying: "We ought to obey God rather than 
men,"2 signifies merely that when men command anything which in itself is 
evil (directly opposed to the law of morality) we dare not, and ought not, 
obey them. But conversely, when a politico-civil law, itself not immoral, is 
opposed to what is held to be a divine statutory law, there are grounds for 
regarding the latter as spurious, since it contradicts a plain duty and since 
[the notion] that it is actually a divine command can never, by any empirical 
token, be accredited adequately enough to allow an otherwise established 
duty to be neglected on its account.
	1 [90] [rechtmŠssig]
	2 [90] [Cf. Acts V, 29]
	1 [91] [Cf. Acts I, 24; XV, 8; Luke XVI, 15]
	2 [91] [Cf. I Peter II, 10]
	3 [Cf. Titus II, 14]
	1 [92] [Cf. Matthew Vl, 10; Luke Xl, 2]
	1 [93] [Anlage]
	1 [95] [Matthew VII, ^I: "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, 
Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of 
my Father which is in heaven."]
	1 [96] [Materie]
	2 [96] [Verpflichtung]
	  [97] Morally, this order ought to be reversed.
	1 [98] [SprŸche]
	* [98] An expression for everything wished for, or worthy of being 
wished for, which we can neither foresee nor bring about through our own 
endeavors according to the laws of experience; for which, therefore, if we 
wish to name its source, we can offer none other than a gracious 
	* [99] According to the Alphabetum Tibetanum of Georgius,1 
Mongols call Tibet "Tangut-Chazar," or the land of the house-dwellers, to 
distinguish its inhabitants from themselves as nomads living in the desert 
under tents. From this has originated the name Chazars, and from this name 
that of a Ketzer [= heretic], since the Mongols adhered to the Tibetan faith 
(of the Lamas) which agrees with Manicheanism, perhaps even arose from 
it, and spread it in Europe during their invasions; whence, too, for a long 
time the names H¾retici and Manich¾i were synonymous in usage.2 
	1 [99] [AIphabetum Tibetanum missionum apostolicarum commodo 
editum ... studio et labore Fr. Augustini Antonii Georgii eremitae 
Augustinui, Romae, 1762.]
	2 [99] ["This etymological explanation is certainly incorrect. In all 
probability, Ketzer is related to Gazzari, the Lombardish word for Kathari = 
kaqaroi. The Kathari (the "pure ones") were the most important heretical 
sect with which the church in the Middle Ages (especially in the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries) had to deal. The Manichaean element in the movement 
is unmistakable." (Note in Berlin Edition.)]
	  [101] As an illustration of this, take Psalm LIX, 11-16, where we 
find a prayer for revenge which goes to terrifying extremes. Michaelis 
(Moral, Part II, p. 202) approves of this prayer, and adds: "The Psalms are 
inspired; if in them punishment is prayed for, it cannot be wrong, and we 
must have no morality holier than the Bible." Restricting myself to this last 
expression, I raise the question as to whether morality should be expounded 
according to the Bible or whether the Bible should not rather be expounded 
according to morality. Without considering how the passage in the New 
Testament,1 "It was said to them of old times, etc.... But I say unto you, 
Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, etc...," which is also 
inspired, can agree with the other, I should try, as a first alternative, to 
bring the New Testament passage into conformity with my own self-
subsistent moral principles (that perhaps the reference is here not to enemies 
in the flesh but rather to invisible enemies which are symbolized by them 
and are far more dangerous to us, namely, evil inclinations which we must 
desire to bring wholly under foot). Or, if this cannot be managed, I shall 
rather have it that this passage is not to be understood in a moral sense at all 
but only as applying to the relation in which the Jews conceived themselves 
to stand to God as their political regent. This latter interpretation applies to 
still another passage in the Bible, where it is written: "Vengeance is mine. I 
will repay, saith the Lord."2 This is commonly interpreted as a moral 
warning against private revenge, though probably it merely refers to the 
law, valid for every state, that satisfaction for injury shall be sought in the 
courts of justice of the overlord, where the judge's permission to the 
complainant to ask for a punishment as severe as he desires is not to be 
taken as approval of the complainant's craving for revenge.
	1 [101] [Cf. Matthew V, 21 ff., 44 ff.]
	2 [101] [Cf. Romans XII, 19: Deuteronomy XXXII, 35]
	1 [102] [Adrian Reland (1676-1718),a Dutch Orientalist, wrote De 
religione mohammedica ibri duo, second edition, 1717; cf. II, xvii.]
	2 [102] [Cf. James II, 17]
	3 [102] [Cf. II Timothy III, 16]
	1 [103] [Cf. John XVI, 13: "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is 
come, he will guide , you into all truth, etc."]
	2 [103] [Cf. John V, 39: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think 
ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."]
	1 [104] [Cf. John VII, 17: "If any man will do his will, he shall 
know of the doctrine, whether it be of God...."]
	1 [107] [Ÿberschwenglich]
	1 [108] [fremde]
	2 [108] [i.e., not in time.]
	1 [109] [hšhere]
	  [110] Which must base the existence of such a person on historical 
	* [111] This can, indeed, be interpreted as follows. No one can say 
with certainty why this man becomes good, that man evil (both 
comparatively), because the predisposition to one of these characters or the 
other often seems to be discoverable at birth, and because contingencies of 
life as well, which no one can foresee, seem to tip the scale. No more can 
one say what a man may develop into. In all this therefore we must entrust 
judgment to the All-Seeing; but this is expressed in the text as though His 
decree, pronounced upon men 
before they were born, had prescribed to each the role which he was some 
day to play. Prevision regarding the order of appearances is at the same time 
predestination for a World-Creator, when, in this connection, He is 
conceived of in terms of human senses.3 But in the supersensible order of 
things, according to the laws of freedom, where time drops out, it is only an 
all-seeing knowledge; and yet it is impossible to explain why one man 
conducts himself in one way, and another according to opposite principles 
and to harmonize [this knowledge of causes] with the freedom of the will.
	1 [111] [Cf. Romans IX, 18]
	1 [112] [Cf. I Corinthians XV, 28]
	2 [112] [Cf. I Corinthians XlII, 11]
	3 [112] [anthropopathisch]
	* [113] Without either renouncing the service of ecclesiastical faith 
or attacking it, one can recognize its useful influence as a vehicle and at the 
same time deny to it, taken as the illusory duty of divine worship, all 
influence upon the concept of genuine (that is, moral) religion. Thus, amid 
the diversity of statutory forms of belief, a mutual compatibility of the 
adherents to these forms can be established through the basic principles of 
the one and only religion of reason, toward which the teachers of all such 
dogmas and observances should direct their interpretations; until, in time, 
by virtue of the true enlightenment (conformity to law, proceeding from 
moral freedom) which has
now prevailed, the form of a debasing means of constraint can be 
exchanged, by unanimous consent, for an ecclesiastical form which squares 
with the dignity of a moral religion, to wit, the religion of a free faith. To 
combine a unity of ecclesiastical belief with freedom in matters of faith is a 
problem toward whose solution the idea of the objective unity of the religion 
of reason continually urges us, through the moral interest which we take in 
this religion; although, when we take human nature into account, there 
appears small hope of bringing this to pass in a visible church. It is an idea 
of reason which we cannot represent through any [sensuous] intuition 
adequate to it, but which, as a practical regulative principle, does have 
objective reality, enabling it to work toward this end, i.e. the unity of the 
pure religion of reason. In this it is like the political idea of the rights of a 
state so far as these are meant to relate to an international law which is 
universal and possessed of power. Here experience bids us give over all 
hope. A propensity seems to have been implanted (perhaps designedly) in 
the human race causing every single state to strive if possible to subjugate 
every other state and to erect a universal monarchy, but, when it has reached 
a certain size, to break up, of its own accord, into smaller states. In like 
manner every single church cherishes the proud pretension of becoming a 
church universal; yet as soon as it has extended itself and commenced to 
rule, a principle of dissolution and schism into different sects at once shows 
	  [114] The premature and therefore (since it comes before men have 
become morally better) the harmful fusion of states into one is chiefly 
hindered--if we are permitted here to assume a design of Providence--
through two mightily effective causes, namely, difference of tongues, and 
difference of religions.
	1 [113] [Cf. Matthew XII, 28]
	1 [115] [Zustand]
	1 [118] [i.e., the Romans]
	1 [119] [Cf. Matthew V, 48; also I Peter I, 16]
	* [119] With which the public record of his life ends (a record 
which, as public, might serve universally as an example for imitation). The 
more secret records, added as a sequel, of his resurrection and ascension, 
which took place before the eyes only of his intimates, cannot be used in the 
interest of religion within the limits of reason alone without doing violence 
to their historical valuation. (If one takes these events merely as ideas of 
reason, they would signify the commencement of another life and entrance 
into the seat of salvation, i.e., into the society of all the good.) This is so 
not merely because this added sequel is an historical narrative (for the story 
which precedes it is that also) but because, taken literally, it involves a 
concept, i.e., of the materiality of all worldly beings, which is, indeed, very 
well suited to man's mode of sensuous representation but which is most 
burdensome to reason in its faith regarding the future. This concept involves 
both the materialism of personality in men (psychological materialism), 
which asserts that a personality can exist only as always conditioned by the 
same body, as well as the materialism of necessary existence in a world, a 
world which, according to this principle, must be spatial (cosmological 
materialism). In contrast, the hypothesis of the spirituality of rational world-
beings asserts that the body can remain dead in the earth while the same 
person is still alive, and that man, as a spirit (in his non-sensuous quality), 
can reach the seat of the blessed without having to be transported to some 
portion or other of the endless space which surrounds the earth (and which 
is also called heaven). This hypothesis is more congenial to reason, not only 
because of the impossibility of making comprehensible a matter which 
thinks, but especially because of the contingency to which materialism 
exposes our existence after death by claiming that such existence depends 
solely upon the cohering of a certain lump of matter in a certain form, and 
denying the possibility of thinking that a simple substance can persist based 
upon its [own] nature. On the latter supposition (of spirituality) reason can 
neither take an interest in dragging along, through eternity, a body which, 
however purified, must yet (if the personality is to rest upon the body's 
identity) consist of the self-same stuff which constitutes the basis of its 
organization and for which, in life, it never achieved any great love; nor can 
it render conceivable that this calcareous earth, of which the body is 
composed, should be in heaven, i.e., in another region of the universe, 
where presumably other 
materials might constitute the condition of the existence and maintenance of 
living beings.
	1 [120] [Cf. Matthew XXVIII, 20]
	1 [122] [Lucretius, De rerum natura, I, 101: "Such evil deeds could 
religion prompt!"]
	* [123] One of the causes of this propensity lies in the principle of 
security; that the defects of a religion in which I am born and brought up, 
instruction therein not having been chosen by me nor in any way altered 
through my own ratiocination, are charged not to my account but to that of 
my instructors or teachers publicly appointed for the task. This is also a 
ground for our not easily giving our approval to a man's public change of 
religion: although here, no doubt, there is another (and deeper) ground, 
namely, that amid the uncertainty which every man feels within himself as 
to which among the historical faiths is the right one, while the moral faith is 
everywhere the same, it seems highly unnecessary to create a stir about the 
	* [124] When a government wishes to be regarded as not coercing 
man's conscience because it merely prohibits the public utterance of his 
religious opinions and hinders no one from thinking to himself in secrecy 
whatever he sees fit, we usually jest about it and say that in this the 
government grants no freedom at all, for it cannot in any case hinder 
thinking. Yet what the greatest secular power cannot do, spiritual power 
can--that is, forbid thought itself and really hinder it; it can even lay such a 
compulsion--the prohibition even to think other than it prescribes--upon 
those in temporal authority over it. For because of men's propensity to the 
servile faith of divine worship, which they are automatically inclined not 
only to endow with an importance greater than that of moral faith (wherein 
man serves God truly through the performance of his duties) but also to 
regard as unique and compensating for every other deficiency, it is always 
easy for the custodians of orthodoxy, the shepherds of souls, to instil into 
their flock a pious terror of the slightest swerving from certain dogmas 
resting on history, and even of all investigation--a terror so great that they 
do not trust themselves to allow a doubt concerning the doctrines forced 
upon them to arise, even in their thoughts, for this would be tantamount to 
lending an ear to the evil spirit. True, to become free from this compulsion 
one needs but to will (which is not the case when the sovereign compels 
public confessions); but it is precisely this willing against which a rule has 
been interposed internally. Such forcing of conscience is indeed bad enough 
(for it leads to inner hypocrisy); yet it is not as bad as the restriction of 
external freedom of belief. For the inner compulsion must of itself gradually 
disappear through the progress of moral insight and the consciousness of 
one's own freedom, from which alone true respect for duty can arise, 
whereas this external pressure hinders all spontaneous advances in the 
ethical community of believers--which constitutes the being of the true 
church--and subjects its form to purely political ordinances.
	1 [125] [Cf. Matthew V, 12. Luther's translation reads belohnet 
instead of Kant's vergolten]
	1 [126] [Cf. I Corinthians, XV, 26]
	* [126] This expression (if one sets aside what is mysterious, what 
reaches out beyond the limits of all possible experience, and what belongs 
merely to sacred history and so in no way applies to us practically) can be 
taken to mean that historical faith, which, as ecclesiastical, stands in need of 
a sacred book as a leading-string for men, but, for that very reason, hinders 
the unity and universality of the church, will itself cease and pass over into a 
pure religious faith equally obvious to the whole world. To this end we 
ought even now to labor industriously, by way of continuously setting free 
the pure religion from its present shell, which as yet cannot be spared. 
	  [126] Not that it is to cease (for as a vehicle it may perhaps always 
be useful and necessary) but that it be able to cease; whereby is indicated 
merely the inner stability of the pure moral faith.
	2 [126] [Cf. Luke XVII, 20-21: "And when he was demanded of the 
Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and 
said, the kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall, etc."]
	** [127] Here a kingdom of God is represented not according to a 
particular covenant (i.e., not Messianic) but moral (knowable through 
unassisted reason). The former (regnum divinum pactitium) had to draw its 
proofs from history; and there it is divided into the Messianic kingdom 
according to the old and according to the new covenant. Now it is worthy of 
notice that the followers of the former (the Jews) have continued to maintain 
themselves as such, though scattered throughout the world; whereas the 
faith of other religious fellowships has usually been fused with the faith of 
the people among whom they have been scattered. This phenomenon strikes 
many as so remarkable that they judge it to be impossible according to the 
nature of things, but to be an extraordinary dispensation for a special divine 
purpose. Yet a people which has a written religion (sacred books) never 
fuses together in one faith with a people (like the Roman Empire, then the 
entire civilized world) possessing no such books but only rites; instead, 
sooner or later it makes proselytes. This is the reason why, after the 
Babylonian captivity (following which, it seems, their sacred books were 
for the first time read publicly), the Jews were no longer chargeable with 
their propensity to run after strange gods; though the Alexandrian culture, 
which must also have had an influence upon them, could have been 
favorable to their giving this propensity a systematic form. Thus also the 
Parsees, followers of the religion of Zoroaster, have kept their faith up to 
the present despite their dispersion; for their dustoors1 possessed the 
Zendavesta. These Hindus, on the other hand, who under the name of 
gipsies are scattered far and wide, have not escaped a mixture with foreign 
faiths, for they came from the dregs of the people (the Pariahs) who are 
forbidden even to read in the sacred books of the Hindus. What the Jews 
would not have achieved of themselves, the Christian and later the 
Mohammedan religions brought about- especially the former; for these 
religions presupposed the Jewish faith and the sacred books belonging to it 
(even though Mohammedanism declares that these books have been 
falsified). For the Jews could ever and again seek out their old documents 
among the Christians (who had issued forth from them) whenever, in their 
wanderings, the skill in reading these books, and so the desire to possess 
them, was lost, as may often have happened, and when they merely retained 
the memory of having formerly possessed them. Hence we find no Jews 
outside the countries referred to, if we except the few on the coast of 
Malabar and possibly a community in China (and of these the first could 
have been in continual commercial relation with their co-religionists in 
Arabia). Although it cannot be doubted that they spread throughout those 
rich lands,2 yet, because of the lack of all kinship between their faith and 
the types of belief found there, they came wholly to forget their own. To 
base edifying remarks upon this preservation of the Jewish people, together 
with their religion, under circumstances so disadvantageous to them, is very 
hazardous, for both sides believe that they find in it [confirmation of] their 
own opinions.
One man sees in the continuation of the people to which he belongs, and in 
his ancient faith which remained unmixed despite the dispersion among 
such diverse nations, the proof of a special beneficent Providence saving 
this people for a future kingdom on earth; the other sees nothing but the 
warning ruins of a disrupted state which set itself against the coming of the 
kingdom of heaven --ruins, however, which a special Providence still 
sustains, partly to preserve in memory the ancient prophecy of a Messiah 
arising from this people, partly to offer, in this people, an example of 
punitive justice [visited upon it] because it stiff-neckedly sought to create a 
political and not a moral concept of the Messiah.
	1 [127] [High priests]
	2 [127] [i.e., lands not Christian or Mohammedan.]
	* [129] Similarly, the cause of the universal gravity of all matter in 
the world is unknown to us, so much so, indeed, that we can even see that 
we shall never know it: for the very concept of gravity presupposes a 
primary motive force
unconditionally inhering in it. Yet gravity is no mystery but can be made 
public to all, for its law is adequately known. When Newton represents it as 
similar to divine omnipresence in the [world of] appearance (omnipr¾sentia 
ph¾nomenon), this is not an attempt to explain it (for the existence of God 
in space involves a contradiction), but a sublime analogy which has regard 
solely to the union of corporeal beings with a world-whole, an incorporeal 
cause being here attributed to this union. The same result would follow 
upon an attempt to comprehend the self-sufficing principle of the union of 
rational beings in the world into an ethical state, and to explain this in terms 
of that principle. All we know is the duty which draws us toward such a 
union; the possibility of the achievement held in view when we obey that 
duty lies wholly beyond the limits of our insight.
	There are mysteries which are hidden things in nature (arcana), and 
there can be mysteries (secrecies, secreta) in politics which ought not to be 
known publicly; but both can, after all, become known to us, inasmuch as 
they rest on empirical causes. There can be no mystery with respect to what 
all men are in duty bound to know (i.e., what is moral); only with respect to 
that which God alone can do and the performance of which exceeds our 
capacity, and therefore our duty, can there be a genuine, that is, a holy 
mystery (mysterium) of religion; and it may well be expedient for us merely 
to know and understand that there is such a mystery, not to comprehend it.
	* [131] In the sacred prophetic story of "the last things," the judge 
of the world (really he who will separate out and take under his dominion, 
as his own, those who belong to the kingdom of the good principle) is not 
represented and spoken of as God but as the Son of Man. This seems to 
indicate that humanity itself, knowing its limitation and its frailty, will 
pronounce the sentence in this selection [of the good from the bad]--a 
benevolence which yet does not offend against justice. In contrast, the 
Judge of men, represented in His divinity (the Holy Ghost), i.e., as He 
speaks to our conscience according to the holy law which we know, and in 
terms of our own reckoning, can be thought of only as passing judgment 
according to the rigor of the law. For we ourselves are wholly ignorant of 
how much can be credited, in our behalf, to the account of our frailty, and 
have moreover before our eyes nothing but our transgression, together with 
the consciousness of our freedom, and the violation of duty for which we 
are wholly to blame; hence we have no ground for assuming benevolence in 
the judgment passed upon us.
	  [131] We cannot discover the cause for the agreement of so many 
ancient peoples in this idea, unless it is that the idea is present universally in 
human reason whenever man wants to conceive of civil government or (by 
analogy therewith) of world government. The religion of Zoroaster had 
these three divine persons, Ormazd, Mithra, and Ahriman; that of the 
Hindus had Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva--but with this difference, that 
Zoroastrians represent the third person as creator, not only of evil so far as 
it is punishment, but even of moral evil for which man is punished, whereas 
the Hindus represent
him as merely judging and punishing. The religion of Egypt had its Ptah, 
Kneph, and Neith, of whom, so far as the obscurity of the earliest records 
of this people allows of conjecture, the first was intended to represent spirit, 
distinguished from matter, as World-Creator, the second, a principle of 
sustaining and ruling benevolence, the third, wisdom setting limits to this 
benevolence, i.e., justice. The Goths honored their Odin (father of all), their 
Freya (also Freyer, beneficence), and Thor, the judging (punishing) god. 
Even the Jews seem to have followed these ideas during the last period of 
their hierarchical constitution. For in the complaint of the Pharisees that 
Christ had called himself a Son of God, they seem to have attached no 
special weight of blame to the doctrine that God had a son, but merely to 
Christ's having wished to be this son of God.
	  [135] We commonly have no misgivings in requiring of novices in 
religion a belief in mysteries; for the fact that we do not comprehend them, 
i.e., that we cannot see into the possibility of their objective existence,1 
could no more justify our refusal to accept them than it could justify our not 
accepting, say, the procreative capacity of organisms, which likewise no 
man comprehends yet which we cannot on that account refuse to admit, 
even though it is and will remain a mystery to us. But we understand very 
well what this expression means to convey and we have an empirical 
concept of this capacity, together with the consciousness that it harbors no 
contradiction. Now we can with justice require of every mystery offered for 
belief that we understand what it is supposed to mean; and this does not 
happen when we merely understand the words by which it is designated one 
by one, i.e., attaching a meaning to each word--rather, these words, taken 
together in one concept, must admit of another meaning and not, thus taken 
in conjunction, frustrate all thought. It is unthinkable that God could allow 
this knowledge to come to us through inspiration whenever we on our part 
wish earnestly for it; for such knowledge cannot inhere in us at all because 
our understanding is by nature unsuited to it.
	   [135] Hence we understand perfectly well what freedom is, 
practically (when it is a question of duty), whereas we cannot without 
contradiction even think of wishing to understand theoretically the causality 
of freedom (or its nature).
	1 [135] [Gegenstand]
	* [136] This Spirit, in and through which the love of God, as the 
Author of salvation (really our own responding love proportioned to His), 
is combined with the fear of God as Lawgiver, i.e., the conditioned with the 
condition, and which can therefore be represented as "issuing forth from 
both,"1 not only "leads to all truth"2 (obedience to duty), but is also the real 
Judge of men (at the bar of conscience). For judgment can be interpreted in 
two ways, as concerning either merit and lack of merit, or guilt and absence 
of guilt. God, regarded as love (in His son), judges men so far as merit is 
attributable to them over and above their indebtedness, and here the verdict 
is: worthy, or unworthy. He separates out as His own those to whom such 
merit can still be accredited. Those who are left depart empty-handed. On 
the other hand the sentence of the Judge in terms of justice3 (of the Judge 
properly so called,
under the name of the Holy Ghost) upon those for whom no merit is 
forthcoming, is guilty or not guilty, i.e., condemnation or acquittal. This 
judging signifies first of all the separation of the deserving from the 
undeserving, both parties competing for a prize (salvation). By desert is 
here meant moral excellence, not in relation to the law (for in the eyes of the 
law no balance of obedience to duty over and above our indebtedness can 
accrue to us), but only in comparison with other men on the score of their 
moral disposition. And worthiness always has a merely negative meaning 
(not unworthiness), that is, the moral receptivity for such goodness.
	Hence he who judges in the first capacity (as brabeuta1) pronounces 
a judgment of choice between two persons (or parties) striving for the prize 
(of salvation); while he who judges in the second capacity (the real judge) 
passes sentence upon one and the same person before a court (conscience) 
which declares the final verdict between the prosecution and the defense. If 
now it is admitted that, though indeed all men are guilty of sin, some among 
them may be able to achieve merit, then the verdict of Him who judges from 
love becomes effective. In the absence of this judgment, only a verdict of 
rejection could follow, whose inescapable consequence would be the 
judgment of condemnation (since the man now falls into the hands of Him 
who judges in righteousness). It is thus, in my opinion, that the apparently 
contradictory passages, "The Son will come again to judge the quick and the 
dead,"2 and, "God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; 
but that the world through him might be saved" (John III, 17), can be 
reconciled, and they can agree with the other passage which reads, "He that 
believeth not in him is condemned already" (John III, 18), namely, by the 
Spirit, of whom it is said: "He will judge the world because of sin and 
righteousness."3 Anxious solicitude over such distinctions in the domain of 
bare reason, for whose sake they have really been instituted here, might 
well be regarded as a useless and burdensome subtlety; and it would indeed 
be such if it were directed to an inquiry into the divine nature. But since men 
are ever prone, in matters of religion, to appeal, respecting their 
transgressions, to divine benignity, though they cannot circumvent His 
righteousness, and since a benign judge, as one and the same person, is a 
contradiction in terms, it is very evident that, even from a practical point of 
view, men's concepts on this subject must be very wavering and lacking in 
internal coherence, and that the correction and precise determination of these 
concepts is of great practical importance.
	1 [136] ["As it is expressed in the Western (Augustinian) form of the 
doctrine of the Trinity; whereas the Eastern form asserts the emanance of the 
Holy Ghost from the Father alone. Cf. John XV, 26." (Note in the Berlin 
	2 [136] [Cf. John XVI, 13]
	3 [136] [Berechtigkeit]; where the context is theological, we have 
usually translated this word as righteousness; otherwise, as justice.]
	1 [137] [One who presided at public games and assigned the prizes.]
	2 [137] [Cf. II Timothy IV, l]
	3 [137] [Cf. John XVI, 8; "... he will reprove the world of sin and 
of righteousness and of judgment."]