386 PSYCHOTHERAPY : SCIENTIFIC AND RELIGIOUS chap.
to appeal to worldly aid first and then to God as a last resource or a kind of gesture of despair. To seek God's help first should inspire all subsequent activities. Such prayer, while it is of the nature of supplication, is also the true prayer of invocation. Praise and gratitude should be offered in a spirit of deep humility, as from the pupil to the inconceivably superior master. Throughout the recorded prayers of Jesus there rings the note : ' Not my will, but Thine', and this is based ultimately on the belief in the spiritual Reality.
Belief may be briefly defined as the mental attitude of assent to the reality of a given object. This assent may be either articulate or inarticulate it may be the mere immediate feeling of reality not as yet questioned, or it may be the more self-conscious acceptance of the object as real after doubt has made the possibility of its non-reality conceivable. Belief is, therefore, as Hume pointed out long ago, something more than the mere presence of an idea in the mind ; whether or not the object of consciousness shall be an object of belief will depend upon the ' manner of our conceiving ' it I0S (p. 96). The object of belief is not merely presented or represented, but acknowledged and accepted as a part of the world of reality in whatever sense that word may at the time be intended.
Prattl82 distinguishes three kinds of belief which are particularly marked in the history of man's faith in the divine, describing them respectively as the ' Religion of Primitive Credulity ', the ' Religion of Thought' or ' of the Understanding ', and the ' Religion of Feeling '.
Religious belief may be mere primitive credulity which accepts as truly divine whatever is presented to it as such ; it may be based on reasoning of various kinds ; or it may be due to a need of the organism, or to an emotional experience or ' intuition ' an un-