8. It has not been permitted to man to sound the inmost nature of God. We still lack the inner knowledge of our own sense of being, which can only be acquired by means of a complete purification of the Spirit; only then will we be able to comprehend God. But if we cannot penetrate his essence, his existence being given as premise, we can, by the power of reason, arrive at the knowledge of his necessary attributes; for, in seeing that which he cannot be without ceasing to be God, we judge that what he must be. Without the knowledge of the attributes of God, it would be impossible to comprehend the work of creation. It is the starting point of all religious beliefs; and the fault of most religions is that they have made their dogmas the beacon-light to direct them. Those which have not attributed to God all power have made many gods; those which have not endowed him with sovereign goodness have made of him a jealous, angry, partial, and vindictive God.