Excerpt from Redemption: The Christian Doctrine Set in the Light of History One may even make a threefold division of religious ideas and rites, and discriminate between such as are referable to initiation into the Divine fellowship, such as concern its regular maintenance, and such as aim at its restoration or recovery. But such dividing-lines are logical rather than actual; for, in many instances, it is impossible to separate initiatory rites from observances whose object is the maintenance of communion, while the latter are found largely to coincide with restorative and remedial rites. Take for example the rite of sacrifice, which covers the whole field of religious life. It is at once a rite of approach to the Deity, forming part of the initiatory ceremonies: it is a regular mode of worship: and it is also used as a means of propitiating the favour of an offended heaven. It does t follow, however, that the implied distinctions are useless. They guide us in the selection of facts, calling attention to those special and outstanding means of winning Heaven's favour, appropriate to men who have lost the assurance of it. At the same time we must keep in mind that religious conceptions are fluent, so that modes of worship which express the regular ways of intercourse with the Divine powers may also have value and may acquire new meaning within what may be called the redemptive sphere. Our first task, then, will be to study the systematic processes by which harmony with God has been sought, and particularly those restorative methods which have been adopted when men feel themselves estranged from the heavenly powers and seek to regain their favour. Such a delimitation of the scope of inquiry leaves us free to study the various ideals that mark the different levels of religious thought. In the more primitive religions - the religions of Nature - the discord from which man seeks deliverance is t referable to any specifically moral ideal, but rather to the natural sense of insecurity felt in the presence of nature's threatening power. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.