Page:Reason in Common Sense (1920).djvu/102

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bishop’s faith and income. Against metaphysicians, and even against bishops, sarcasm was not without its savour; but the line must be drawn somewhere by a gentleman and a man of the world. Hume found no obstacle in his speculations to the adoption of all necessary and useful conceptions in the sphere to which he limited his mature interests. That he never extended this liberty to believe into more speculative and comprehensive regions was due simply to a voluntary superficiality in his thought. Had he been interested in the rationality of things he would have laboured to discover it, as he laboured to discover that historical truth or that political utility to which his interests happened to attach.

Kant, like Berkeley, had a private mysticism in reserve to raise upon the ruins of science and common-sense. Knowledge was to be removed to make way for faith. This task is ambiguous, and the equivocation involved in it is perhaps the deepest of those confusions with which German metaphysics has since struggled, and which have made it waver between the deepest introspection and the dreariest mythology. To substitute faith for knowledge might mean to teach the intellect humility, to make it aware of its theoretic and transitive function as a faculty for hypothesis and rational fiction, building a bridge of methodical inferences and ideal unities between fact and fact, between endeavour and satisfaction. It might be to remind