Christianity and Greek Philosophy / or, the relation between spontaneous and reflective thought / in Greece and the positive teaching of Christ and His / Apostles

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    LM CZhas quoted3 years ago
    The offspring of man must always bear his image, and always exhibit the same fundamental characteristics, not only in his corporeal nature, but also in his mental constitution.
    LM CZhas quoted3 years ago
    There are unquestionably fundamental powers and laws in human nature which have their development in the course of history. There are certain primitive ideas, imbedded in the constitution of each individual mind, which are revealed in the universal consciousness of our race, under the conditions of experience--the exterior conditions of physical nature and human society. Such are the ideas of cause and substance; of unity and infinity, which govern all the processes of discursive thought, and lead us to the recognition of Being in se;--such the ideas of right, of duty, of accountability, and of retribution, which regulate all the conceptions we form of our relations to all other moral beings, and constitute morality;--such the ideas of order, of proportion, and of harmony, which preside in the realms of art, and constitute the beau-ideal of esthetics;--such the ideas of God, the soul, and immortality, which rule in the domains of religion, and determine man a religious being. These constitute the identity of human nature under all circumstances; these characterize humanity in all conditions.
    LM CZhas quoted3 years ago
    And in cases where physical and moral causes are blended, and reciprocally conditioned and modified in their operation;--where primary results undergo endless modifications from the influence of surrounding circumstances, and the reaction of social and political institutions;--and where each individual of the great aggregate wields a causal power that obeys no specific law, and by his own inherent power sets in motion new trains of causes which can not be reduced to statistics, we grant that we are in possession of no instrument of exact analysis by which the complex phenomena of national character may be reduced to primitive elements. All that we can hope is, to ascertain, by psychological analysis, what are the fundamental ideas and laws of humanity; to grasp the exterior conditions which are, on all hands, recognized as exerting a powerful influence upon national character; to watch, under these lights, the manifestations of human nature on the theatre of history, and then apply the principles of a sound historic criticism to the recorded opinions of contemporaneous historians and their immediate successors. In this manner we may expect, at least, to approximate to a true judgment of history.

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