If, then, we relinquish the endeavour to demonstrate the existence of God on purely a priori grounds, and if we likewise abandon the belief that such existence has been disclosed once for all through the medium of a miraculous revelation, can we discern by inspection of the facts of nature any evidence that will justify us in adhering still to the conviction which has been the inspiration of many of earth's noblest souls? I am going to show why I think we can. But it is not now, I hope, necessary to warn you against expecting, along these lines, any absolutely irrefragable proof of the central affirmation of the religious consciousness. Unique and sui generis though the belief we are concerned with is, yet still, even if that belief be justified, it is with a 'matter of fact' we have to do; and, as we have seen, in regard to all 'matters of fact', it is only a high degree of probability we can reach, never that indubitable certainty which is attainable in mathematics and in formal logic. Nor need that consideration in the least disconcert us. When we reflect upon the vast number of beliefs about 'matters of fact' which, although they can never be conclusively demonstrated, no sane person really for one moment supposes to be dubious, the circumstance to which I am alluding ought to occasion no misgiving. We have got, then, to proceed empirically; or, if you will, inductively; and by examining the various features
and aspects of our portion of the cosmic whole, to try to fathom the indications they afford of the kind of reality that lies beyond. And if, in so doing, we reach a result to which attaches the degree of probability that belongs to the stable generalizations of science we may surely rest content.