servative and of the radical, of the conformistand of the independent, of the seer and of thedoer, — these view points are mutually exclu-sive. Therefore the conceptions derived fromthe view points appear at times hopelessly atvariance.And herein lies the reason for an inquiry con-cerning the essentials of our religion, — in theneed, among the variety of changing and con-tradictory conceptions of religion, for the dis-cernment of that which is necessarily involvedin its nature. This is the object of our search,the elemental, the vital, the very essence of thereligion of Christ.This little book is more of an inquiry than ananswer. It is a suggestion and not an assertion.It will be some time before the very bed-rockbottom of the essence of our religion is reachedby the inquiring mind. Perhaps it can never be[vi]Pvtfactreached. Be that as it may, here the attempt isto make but a few soundings, in the hope thatsome human craft, perhaps in danger of re-ligious shipwreck, may be piloted amid thedangers of unsatisfying speculations to a placeof firm anchorage.The author gratefully acknowledges his in-debtedness to those friends who have helpedhim in his work by the criticism of his manu-script. Especially does he wish to thankProfessor William Newton Clarke of ColgateUniversity, for valuable literary and theologicalsuggestions.