Page:The Harvard Classics Vol. 51; Lectures.djvu/455
as such, irrespective of its special claims and beliefs, morality acquires a certain dignity and reinforcement. For religion encourages man to look at life roundly and seriously. It frees him from the obsession of passion and the circumscription of immediate interests. It keeps alive the cosmic imagination, and invites attention to the problem of life as a whole in all its bearings, internal and external.
Thus it is fair to conclude that religion is universal in two senses. On the one hand it springs from a universal need. On the other hand, it possesses a universal value, and cannot fail, however much of error or blindness there may be in it, to elevate and dignify life. True religion is better than false, but it is not less certain that religion is better than irreligion.