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under a master's eye; he is like an arrow going whither he is sent, not whither he wishes. I tell you that he, our Father and Lord, the Sun, must have a Lord and Master more powerful than himself, who constrains him to run his daily round without pause or rest."" To express the greatest of all existences, a name was coined, and a temple to this Supreme God was erected, in which he was to be worshipped without images and human sacrifices. But the Inca was ahead of his age, and when this temple was visited by the Spaniards in 1525, they found it occupied by a hideous human idol of colossal proportions, of painted wood, to which the votaries addressed their prayers.?
It was the same train of thought which led Thorkellmani, the Icelander, to bid his sons bear him forth on his deathbed into the sun, that he might die commending his soul to him who had created that luminary.3
Now, therefore, O my children, do this thing I ask-
Away with Thorr and Odin! To Him who made the sun
With sunlight falling round me, my face towards the sky.” 4
| Bilboa: Hist. du Pérou, ed. Ternaux Compans, p. 62. Garcilasso de la Vega, Hist. des Incas, lib. viii. c. 8.
2 Brinton : Myths of New World, p. 56.
the direction of monotheism. He had long prayed to the gods of his forefathers for a son to succeed him, and the altars had smoked vainly with the blood of human victims. At length his confidence in the national gods broke down : “In faith! these gods that I am adoring are nothing but stocks and stones, without speech or feeling. They could not have made the beauty of the heaven, the sun, the moon, and the stars which adorn it, and which light the earth, with its countless streams, its fountains and waters, its trees and herbs, and its various inhabitants. There must be some God, invisible and unknown, who is the Universal Creator. He alone can console me in my affliction, and remove my sorrow.” Sustained by this conviction he erected a temple " to the Unknown God, the Cause of Causes," and ordained that it should never be polluted with blood, nor should a graven image be admitted within its precincts.
A legend of the life of Abraham, though no doubt utterly unhistorical, yet accurately portrays the process of reasoning by which many an intelligent heathen has risen above the idolatry and nature worship of his race.
Said Nimrod to Abraham: “You will not adore the idols of your father. Then pray to fire."
Abraham: Why may I not address myself to water, which will quench fire ?
Nimrod : Be it so: pray to water.
Abraham : But why not to the clouds which hold the water ?
Nimrod : Well, then, pray to the clouds.
Abraham: Why not to the wind, which drives the clouds before it? Nimrod : Well, pray to the wind.
* Prescott: Conquest of Mexico, i. 192, 193.
Abraham: Then, why not to man, who can stand up against the wind, and who can build it out?
In Texas the natives told Joutel in 1684, that they believed in one unseen Spirit, who concerned himself in no way with what went on below. and to whom they neither offered prayer nor sacrifice.2
From this brief review of the chief monotheistic creeds of ancient and modern times, from which review Christianity is excluded, as its doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation remove it from the class to which Mosaism, Islamism, and Calvinism 3 belong-—I draw these conclusions :
First, That absolute theism, divested of anthropomorphic ideas, is intolerable to the religious instincts of humanity; and that theism interests and attracts the devotion of men only inversely to the absolutism of the conception.
Secondly, That the only mode monotheism has of maintaining itself, is by resolving itself into fatalism. As a predestinarian, autocratic system, it powerfully attracts men, and holds them together by a bond of bigotry, whilst it saps their morality.
Thirdly, That monotheism has a tendency to narrow the mind, to destroy sympathy, to arouse intolerance; that it has done nothing for science, for art, and next to nothing for literature, other than sacred. Jewish speculations-and the same may be said of Arabic philosophy—are not indigenous; they are wholly due to Greek influence. What art the Jew possessed was borrowed servilely. What art
i Book of Jubil. in Ewald : Israel. Gesch. iii. 3.
8 I class Calvinism with these deistic religions, apart from Christianity, as in it the doctrines peculiar to Christianity have no logical standing.
the Arab possessed was elicited by contact with Spanish or Oriental Christianity.
But, fourthly, Monotheism provides morality with a strong and stable foothold. Mohammedan and Calvinistic monotheism divest man of responsibility ; but Jewish monotheism is free from this vice. What is necessary for the conservation of society, is a code of easily intelligible laws of morality, applicable to everyday life, and based on irrefragable authority. This code can be obtained in two ways, either by revelation or by induction from accurate observation. It must be enforced either by state authority or by divine authority.
A man of thought will not steal because he knows that he is violating a law of sociology; it matters nothing to him whether that law reaches him directly by a revelation, or indirectly by study of the science of social economy, for the law is written by the same hand, in one case on stone tables, in the other on the fleshy tables of the heart. He will not indulge in sensuality, because he knows that by so doing he will be using up and wasting that vital force, limited in amount, which may be directed to the evolution of brain. But the vast majority of men care nothing for the principles which govern philosophers, and the only law they will recognise is one direct from God. The law governing the sage is every whit as truly a law of God, but it is reached through an analysis of statistics. This the ordinary man of the world objects to; the statistics are not complete, the analysis is faulty; contingent circumstances have not been taken into account, which would modify or alter the law, or at least weaken its cogency. But a revealed law is plain and straightforward, and to that he will acquiesce-through idleness, maybe, but more generally through mistrust of the other.
It is also in vain to attempt to base a system of ethics upon pantheism. Pantheism may be found sufficient to supply a faith adequate to the awakening of wonder and love of the beauty and mystery of nature, but not to the practical consecration of life; it is impossible to persuade men—the bulk of men-to feel responsibility to hypostatized laws that neither know nor can speak to them. The verities of nature and the designs of nature are words, and nothing more, when brought to bear on morals. When their gloss is gone, no residuum of duty remains. “ In his crimes," says a writer in the Westminster Review, with exquisite beauty and truth, “it is not the heavy irons of his prison, but the deep eye of his Judge, from which he shrinks; and in his repentance he weeps, not upon the lap of nature, but at the feet of God.”1
i Now Series, vol. ii. (1852), p. 183.