§ 31. SOME do indeed allege that though the Ultimate Cause of things cannot really be conceived by us as having specified attributes, it is yet incumbent upon us to assert those attributes. Though the forms of our consciousness are such that the Absolute cannot in any manner or degree be brought within them, we are nevertheless told that we must represent the Absolute to ourselves as having certain characters. As writes Mr. Mansel, in the work† from which I have already quoted largely -- "It is our duty, then, to think of God as personal; and it is our duty to believe that He is infinite."
Now if there be any meaning in the foregoing arguments, duty requires us neither to affirm nor deny personality. Our duty is to submit ourselves to the established limits of our intelligence, and not perversely to rebel against them. Let those who can, believe that there is eternal war set between our intellectual faculties and our moral obligations. I, for one, admit no such radical vice in the constitution of things.
This which to most will seem an essentially irreligious position, is an essentially religious one -- nay is the religious one, to which, as already shown, all others are but approximations. In the estimate it implies of the Ultimate Cause, it does not fall short of the alternative position, but exceeds it. Those who espouse this alternative position, assume that the choice is between personality and something lower than personality; whereas the choice is rather between personality and some-____________________