A short introduction to the major world religions from a Christian perspective.
Originally Reprinted by permission and published from "The Religious Magazine and Monthly Review" in 1870.
“The true religion, prepared in Israel, is the Christian, in which man, grown conscious of his oneness with God, is ruled by the divine as an inner power of life, and acts spontaneously and freely while in the fullest dependence upon God. Since Christ, no more perfect religion has appeared. What is true and good in Islamism was borrowed from Israel and Christianity.”
FETICHISM. THE CHINESE. THE EGYPTIANS.
THE ARIAN NATIONS.
THE RELIGION OF THE SEMITES.
“Concise and clear…a convenient summary.” -The American Presbyterian Review
“The Israelitish religion, which reached its highest stage of development in prophetism, but which among the later Jews after Ezra degenerated, with the Pharisees into formalism and worship of the letter, with the Essenes into mysticism and asceticism, and which with the Sadducees, along with the sacrifice of the prophetic ideal of the future, was subordinated to politics, developed in Christianity, but freed from once cherished national expectations and outward forms, into a purely spiritual knowledge and worship of God. Jesus fathomed the deep meaning of the religion of his people, and its original fitness to become, through higher development, the religion of the world. Jesus devoted himself to the end of forming the human race into one great society (the kingdom of heaven), of which religion should be the soul and life, and, convinced of his calling, proclaimed himself as the Son of man, who, as such, belonged not to Israel alone, but to mankind. Jesus combated both the formalism and exclusiveness of the Pharisees, and the unbelief of the Sadducees, and with word and deed preached a religion which, independent of all outward form, took hold of the human heart, and which, developing into an independent principle in man, was to find its commission, not in the authority of Scripture or tradition, not even in that of his name, but in its own power and truth. In him religion appeared as the power of self-sacrificing love, which fears not even death, and to which dying is not the losing of life, but the development of life. In distinction from other religions, in which either God and man are strangers to each other, and opposed to each other, or man's personality is, as it were, sunk in God, Christianity is the religion by which man, in the full enjoyment of individual development, and with the sense of his own strength, lives in the consciousness of the most entire dependence upon God. Religion in its highest form, conceived as the oneness of man with God, is realized in Christianity.”