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The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

The Bhagavad Gita


Abridged course of religious instruction, apologetic, dogmatic and moral, transl

by Fran├žois Xavier Schouppe


15. We take the word unbelievers in a broad sense, to designate generally all those who are not acquainted with Christian revelation, or who positively refuse to believe in it; such as pagans, Mahometans, Jews, apostate Christians, rationalists, free-thinkers, &c.

16. The demonstration of Christian truth to unbelievers, in order to be complete, must comprise three parts: the grounds of the demonstration, the means of demonstration, and the facts and proofs of which the demonstration consists.

First Article: Grounds of Demonstration.

17. The grounds or bases of Christian demonstration are certain fundamental truths, which are evident to reason, and which it is impossible to deny without shutting one's eyes to its light. They may be reduced to the seven following:

(1) Certainty, denied by sceptics.

(2) The objective existence of bodies, denied by idealists.

(3) The personal existence of God, denied by atheists and pantheists.

(4) The infinite perfection of God, His providence, and the free-will of man, denied by fatalists.

(5) The spirituality of the soul and its immortality, denied by materialists.

(6) The natural law and the force of its obligations, denied by autonomists.

(7) Religion and the obligations imposed by it, denied by the impious.

These preliminary truths, obvious to reason, are called grounds of Christian demonstration, because it supposes them to exist, and there can be no solid demonstration if they are denied or called in question. They may also be termed common-sense truths, because they are taught by the natural sense common to all reasonable men, and the denial of them would be contrary to this common sense. These data of reason are, moreover, amply proved in every course of sound philosophy.* We will confine ourselves to a brief exposition of them.

18. (1) Certainty.—Man possesses in his reasonable nature the faculty of recognising truth with a perfect certainty. Those who deny this proposition are called sceptics, unreasonable men who reject the light of reason itself, and affirm certainty at the same time that they deny it, for their denial amounts to this, lIt is certain that nothing is certain.'

The Author of our reasoning nature has given us several means of arriving at true and certain knowledge. Philosophers call them criteria, and commonly admit six, namely, evidence, consciousness, exterior sense, authority, analogy, and common sense.

Evidence is the clear perception of the necessity of a judgment, or the affinity of two ideas. Immediate evidence, or the evidence of intuition, is distinguished from mediate evidence, or the evidence of deduction. Immediate evidence makes known to us truths which are shown by their own light—those primary truths which do not admit

* Such as those of Dicker, Liberatore, Tongiorgi, &c.

of demonstration, but on which all other truths are based. Such are analytical judgments, in which the attribute is so inherent to the subject that it is an essential part of it, and only offers the same idea under another form. For example, two and two make four; the whole is equal to all the parts put together; the whole is greater than its separate parts. There is no effect icithout a cause.

Mediate evidence makes known truths which are not apparent of themselves, but which are deduced from the primary truths by means of reasoning or demonstration.

Consciousness gives us the certainty of our existence, and of other facts that take place within us, such as thought, desire, doubt.

Our exterior senses make known to us with certainty the exterior and immediate objects which act upon our various sensations; that is, the existence of the bodies that constitute the visible world.

Authority, or testimony, under the requisite conditions, gives us a certain knowledge of historical exterior and sensible facts. Of this class are events purely natural, as the death of man; such also are those facts which are called miraculous, that is, facts which are due to a supernatural cause, but which equally affect the senses, such as the resurrection of a dead person.

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