Page:Popular Works of Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1889) Vol 2.djvu/273

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According to the plan which we laid down in an early part of these lectures, we have to-day to set forth the principles whereon this question may be answered:—‘At what point of development does the Present Age stand with reference to Public and General Religion?

We have already, for a considerable time, regarded the True Religion, or Christianity,—which two expressions we avowedly hold to be synonymous,—as the peculiar and ultimate ground of all the phenomena by which our Age is characterized; and, in this view, the whole character of the Age is nothing else than this its ascertained standing-point in respect of Religion. The question which we have proposed has therefore either been already answered by all which we have previously said; or if it has not been so answered, and still demands a special solution, then we must here use the word Religion in a sense different from that in which we have hitherto employed it.

The latter is the case:—Hitherto we have regarded the True Religion as the concealed principle of phenomena; to-day we have to speak of it, not in this sense, but as itself an independent and substantial existence. Hitherto having represented it as the principle of phenomena, we have, on that very account, also represented it as an un-