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efficiency of that work. Without waiting, however, for a second edition, the improvement may be effected by dividing into two the long conversation on the doctrinal system as a whole. The first half, bearing directly on the theory of the Great Being, should for the future form a separate chapter and follow on the Introduction. Then we may pass at once to the study of the worship, and after it to that of the doctrine, the general conversation on which will thus be limited to its second half, the half which alone relates to the encyclopædic constitution.
This breaking up of a long chapter allows the adoption of the definitive arrangement, the transposition being easy and involving no change in the exposition as it exists. I take the opportunity to urge the readers of my Catechism to divide similarly the last chapter, studying the past, first in its stages of Fetichism and Theocracy, which were common to all nations, then in the threefold transition which is peculiar to the West. By these two changes the small work, which is the organ of propagation, should for the future be considered as consisting of thirteen chapters instead of eleven.
So much is sufficient for the explanations peculiar to the concluding volume; I pass to those required by my former prefaces. Not tying myself to chronological order, I take the second volume first. It leads to remarks which, besides their intrinsic importance, tend to systematise and complete the general freedom which I have been impelled to assert to the full in all my prefaces.
First, I should state that my third attempt to found the Occidental Review has proved a total failure. By making it a Quarterly, by renouncing all claim to any payment, either as director or as contributor, I had, in 1852, reduced the cost as much as possible. Notwithstanding, the money required was not forthcoming, either as a collective effort or from individual patronage. No one disputed the utility of the undertaking, philosophically or politically; this fresh failure, therefore, has led me to abandon the plan for ever, even were some honourable patron to remove all financial difficulties. The select public
which I address felt more clearly than I did that there was a particular incongruity between the proposal and the general tendency of a doctrine, which by its natural action involves the suppression of journalism.
The obligation to speak at a given time and within given bounds becomes, it is true, less objectionable in proportion as the interval is longer, and yet a periodical judgment can never be applicable when that which is judged, the spectacle of human events, is intermittent. Closing as it does the spiritual interregnum, Positive religion will naturally put an end to the power which, owing to that interregnum, the literateurs of the West have occupied. Hence the priesthood of Humanity should deny itself all share in an institution which it will shortly have to condemn as radically anarchical. The worship and its teaching give it opportunities, even now, as much as in the normal state, for its oral instruction on the events of the day. Beyond general treatises, either original or for didactic purposes-the work of propagation, and the application, so far as they are in writing, require only small works upon particular points, and to make them periodical would be an uncalled-for incumbrance. Thus was I led to see that the failure, after three attempts, of a project which was not based on rational grounds, so far from indicating an unwise indifference, was due to the secret consciousness that it was intrinsically incompatible with the spirit and object of Positivism. I determined, therefore, to recall the efforts of all, and the sacrifices those efforts involved, to the extension of the sacerdotal fund, the centre for the future for all expenses whatsoever attendant on the installation of the universal religion.
To give its true character to my abandonment of all periodical publications, I confront it with my anticipation of a serious struggle now imminent, in which it would seem that the priesthood which is to regenerate the race needs the instrument I reject.
The growth of Positivism was long hampered, especially in France, by a concerted silence, which still continues in Ger
many. Since it has overcome this compression, as a consequence of its progress the opposition of the metaphysicians and literateurs has undergone a transformation. They are incapable, for they have no convictions of their own, of resisting the impulse towards regeneration; they therefore try to break its force by an attack on my religious construction in the name of its philosophical basis-not able to see or not willing to own that my synthesis is one and indivisible. The very men who long disputed the possibility of giving philosophy a positive character are now doing all in their power to show that the fusion (shown to be possible) cannot proceed farther so as to embrace religion. The opposition seems the more serious that it has its main source in the very quarter, in England that is, where as yet my labours have had the best reception.
But Positivism will overcome the active with more ease than the passive resistance, and that without feeling in the one case more than in the other the want of a periodical organ. No discussion is needed to prove that religion equally with philosophy, and on the basis of philosophy, can take a Positive character, now that the reconstruction implied in both cases is an accomplished fact. All that is necessary is that Positivism abandon, and that especially in England, the attempt to convert the class which supports the periodical press either by its contributions or as its readers. Apart from a class which is transitional and radically hostile to the separation of the two powers, the Religion of Humanity will rally the nobler minds, whom the constant sense of the paramount importance of social objects has not hitherto led to action, solely from the absence of a guiding doctrine. The Positive system may become complete, be condensed, and draw out its conclusions, without any opposition from the men of action; so far from it, they are waiting for it thus to qualify itself to direct the necessary close of a revolution which the lettered class everywhere tends to prolong indefinitely. It was amongst the active class that the term Positive religion originated, my own habitual use of it being subsequent to my seeing it adopted spontaneously by
eminent proletaries. Addressing directly its true supporters, Positivism will let the partisans of the Parliamentary system and of organised hypocrisy continue their futile attacks, never allowing them to disturb its normal course.
As I have definitively abandoned all periodical publications I am led to reduce to system the freedom I had adopted in my prefaces, and to avail myself of it, as to communications which can find no other fitting place. These prefaces are as free as any journal or review from any tie of method, and so give me the opportunity of fully explaining to my readers such points in reference to my whole labours as cannot be embodied in the works themselves. So, for the future, this is the plan I adopt for occasional communications; I combine the resources offered me by my prefaces with those afforded by my circulars. and my lectures and shall thus be independent of any periodical
Availing myself of this freedom, I insert in this place an important announcement, and then proceed to complete the explanations required by my former prefaces. There will always be an interval of a year between each of the three treatises promised in this volume, a year of rest taken not so much to repair my strength as to refresh my conceptions. During each of these intervals, a course of lectures will take the place of a published volume, the said course never to be repeated.
In accordance with this rule, I shall devote my period of rest in 1855 to the construction of the Concrete Philosophy of history, by a full exposition of the dynamical part of the Conspectus of Sociolatry given in this volume (page 141). Prior to such exposition of the main constituent of the second philosophy, there will come a summary of the first philosophy, and consequent on such exposition, an aperçu of the third, the whole forming an Esthetic Course of Positive Philosophy. It will consist of forty-three lectures, of two to three hours each, three days in the week (Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays), at noon precisely, from Sunday, April 15, to Sunday, July 22, 1854.
I may now proceed with the explanations required by the
prefaces of the three preceding volumes, either as corrections or completion.
Those relating to the first two volumes bear more particularly on two judgments which have come into closer and closer connection, though without fusion; I allude to my estimate of the advance of Positivism and the extension of the sacerdotal fund. Bringing them at once under view, I must here dispel the illusions as to the centres of Positivist action which I involuntarily spread on the faith of incorrect reports. It will be seen that there was never any question as to the Parisian centre; there I could, by direct contact, judge of the completeness and firm cohesion of mens' convictions. That centre alone, offers already but the beginning, it is true, but all turns on that beginning, of the true regeneration, a regeneration to the full as social in character as it is intellectual, both sexes nobly co-operating. Diderot and Condorcet could not have hoped that, within a century from the Encyclopædia, their successor would be uniting noble couples in the engagement of eternal widowhood, and would be consecrating to Humanity children wholly detached from God. Obscure and limited as such results may be, their bearing is incontestable, completed as they are by the higher moral tone of the families regenerated. They are an announcement, that the capital of the human race will at no distant period belong to the Positivists, when liberty in spiritual matters shall allow of their practising their public worship as freely as their private prayers or their domestic sacraments.
Out of Paris, the supreme centre, the Religion of Humanity at the present time has but two other nuclei of a satisfactory kind; one, in Holland, is essentially practical in its character, the other, in Ireland, is mainly theoretical. This latter, though of more recent formation, already shows itself worthy of the former by the completeness and coherence of its convictions, the philosophy with it passing into the religion. Everywhere else, Positivism has as yet only isolated adherents, even amongst the Anglo-Saxon race, in England or America, where there is