Theological Essays and Other Papers, vol 1

Theological Essays and Other Papers, vol 1

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Theological Essays and Other Papers, vol 1 by Thomas De Quincey

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Theological Essays and Other Papers, vol 1

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. Because the gods were wicked, man was religious; because Olympus was cruel, earth trembled; because the divine beings were the most lawless of Thugs, the human being became the most abject of sycophants.

Had the religions of Paganism arisen teleologically; that is, with a view to certain purposes, to certain final causes ahead; had they grown out of _forward_-looking views, contemplating, for instance, the furthering of civilization, or contemplating some interests in a world beyond the present, there would probably have arisen, concurrently, a section in all such religions, dedicated to positive instruction. There would have been a doctrinal part. There might have been interwoven with the ritual or worship, a system of economics, or a code of civil prudence, or a code of health, or a theory of morals, or even a secret revelation of mysterious relations between man and the Deity: all which existed in Judaism. But, as the case stood, this was impossible. The gods were mere odious facts, like scor

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