The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XIV. The Victorian Age, Part Two.

I. Philosophers

§ 15. The influence of Comte

In Mill’s day and afterwards there was an active, though not very widespread, propaganda of the positive philosophy of Comte. The study of Comte’s system was greatly facilitated by the admirable condensed translation of his Positive Philosophy issued by Harriet Martineau in 1853. The chief teachers of positivist doctrine in England were a group of writers who had been contemporaries at Oxford; but a serious disagreement arose amongst them regarding the prominence to be given to the inculcation of Comte’s “religion of humanity.” Their activity was shown in lectures and addresses and in many translations of Comte’s works. The Catechism of positive religion was translated by Richard Congreve in 1858; Comte’s General View of Positivism by John Henry Bridges in 1865; and System of Positive Polity by Bridges and Frederick Harrison in 1875. Their independent writings were inspired by the positivist spirit, even when they did not add much to its defence on philosophical grounds. In The Unity of Comte’s Life and Doctrine (1866), Bridges replied to the criticisms of J. S. Mill. He published, also, Five Discourses on Positive Religion in 1882; and his Essays and Addresses (1907) were collected and edited after his death.