goodness, justice, patience, etc., rather than the possessor of these attributes; he is, as it is sometimes expressed, perfection in substance; he is goodness itself, and love itself, etc. Morality, the imperatives that control human conduct, has, so to speak, become immutable in him. As practical belief is a relation between persons which fashions an absolute over and above the form of relation; as unity is a form of relation between a group of persons which raises itself to that personification of the unity of things in which the divine is represented; so morality contains those forms of relation between man and man which the interests of the group has sanctioned, so that the God who exhibits the relative contents in absolute form, on the one hand, represents the claims and benefits of the group, as against the individual, and, on the other, divests those ethical-social duties which the individual must perform of their relativity, and presents them in himself in an absolutely substantial form. The relations of persons to each other, which have grown out of the most manifold interests, have been supported by the most opposite forces, and have been cast into the most diverse forms, also attain a condition in the aggregate whose identification with and relation to a Being above and beyond them we call religion—in that they become both abstract and concrete, a dual development which gives religion the strength with which it again, reflexively, influences those relations. The old idea that God is the Absolute, while that which is human is relative, here assumes a new meaning: it is the relations between men which find their substantial and ideal expression in the idea of the divine.
If investigations like this, touching the fundamentals of being, are usually accompanied by the hope that their significance should be understood sufficiently comprehensively, the reverse must here be the case, and the wish expressed that the arguments here set forth must not be permitted to intrude upon neighboring domains, beyond their own limited boundaries. They are not intended to describe the historical course of the origin of religion, but only to point out one of its many sources, quite irrespective of the fact whether this source, in conjunction with others, also from the domain of the non-religious, gave birth to religion, or whether