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On earth it is practically coextensive with the human race, though, where it has not been elevated to the supernatural plane through Divine revelation, it labours under serious defects.It is with religion as affecting the life of man on earth that this article deals.
What does this contribute to our understanding of the Bible written so long ago by so many different people in so many different cultures?Especially in lower grades of culture, where the nature and utilization of physical laws is but feebly understood, man feels in many ways his helplessness in the presence of the forces of nature : it is the Divine Being that controls them; He it is that can direct them for man's weal or woe.There thus arises in the natural order a sense of dependence on the Deity, deeply felt need of Divine help. Still it is not the recognition of dependence on God that constitutes the very essence of religion, indispensable as it is.He employs the latter meaning in his treatise "On the True Religion", where he says: "Religion binds us [ religat ] to the one Almighty God ." St. The correct one seems to be that offered by Lactantius.Religion in its simplest form implies the notion of being bound to God ; the same notion is uppermost in the word religion in its most specific sense, as applied to the life of poverty, chastity, and obedience to which individuals voluntarily bind themselves by vows more or less solemn.