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or the Jupiler of the Capitol (1); lill, at length, they all met in the amicable synod of the Pantheon, a representative assembly, as it were, of the presiding deities of all nations, in Rome, the religious as well as the civil capital of the world (2). The state, as Cicero shows in his Book of Laws, retained the power of declaring what forms of religion were permitted by the law (licitæ) (3); but this authority was rarely exercised with rigour, excepting against such foreign superstitions as were considered pernicious to the morals of the people, in earlier times, the Dionysiac (4); in later, the Isiac and Serapic rites (5),
Christianily proclaimed ilsell the religion not of family, or tribe, Christian- or nalion, but of universal man. It admitted within ils pale, ity.
equal terms, all ranks and all races. It addressed mankind as one brotherhood, sprung from one common progenitor, and raised to immortality by one Redeemer. In this respect Christianity might appear singularly adapted to become the religion of a great empire. At an earlier period in the annals of the world, it would have encountered obstacles apparently insurmountable, in passing from one province lo another, in moulding hostile and jealous nations into one religious community. A fiercer fire was necessary to mell and fuse the discordant elemenls into one kindred mass, before its gentler warmth could penetrale and permeate the whole with ils vivifying influence. Not only were the circumstances of the limes favourable to the extensive propagation of Christianity, from the facility of intercourse between the most remole nations, the cessation of hostile movements, and the uniform system of internal police, but the state of mankind seemed imperiously to demand the introduction of a new religion, to satisfy those universal propensities of human nature, which connect man with a higher order of things. Man, as history and experience teach, is essenlially a
(1) Solere Romanos Neos omnes urbium su- For the Grecian custom on this subject, see peratarum partiin privatim per familias, spar- Thucyd. iv. 98. Philip, the king of Macedon, gere, partim publice consecrare. Arnob. iii. 38. defeated by Flaminius in his wars with the Gre
It was a grave charge against Marcellus, that, cian states, paid little respect to the temples. by plundering the temples in Sicily, he had His admiral Dicæarchus is said to have erected made the state an object of jealousy (éziqlo- and sacrificed on two altars to Impiety and Law. vov), because not only men but gods were led in lessness, 'A0€6sia and Itapevolence. This fact triumph. The older citizens approved rather the would be incredible on less grave authority than conduct of Fabius Maximus, who left to the Ta. that of Polybius, lib. xviii. 37. On the general rentines their offended gods. Plut Vit. Marc. respect to temples in war, comp. Grot. de Jur.
(2) According to Verrius Flaccus, cited hy Bell. et Pac. iii. 12. 6. Pliny (xxviii, 2.), the Romans used to invoke the
(3) The question is well discussed by Jortin, tutelary deity of every place which they be- Discourses, p. 53. note. Dionysius Hal. distinseiged, and bribed him to their side by promis. guishes between religions perinitted, and pob. ing greater honours. Macrobius has a copy of licly received. lib. 1. vol. i. p. 275. edit. Reiske, the form of Evocation. The name of the tutelar deity of Rome was a secret. Pliny, Nat. H. iii. 5.
(4) Livy, xxix. 12. et seqq. Bayle, Art. Soranus. Plut. Quæst. Rom. Note on (5) During the republic, the temples of Isis Hume's Hist, Nat. Rel. Essays, p. 450.
and Serapis were twice ordered to be destroyed, Roma triumphantis quotiens ducis inclita currum
Dion. xl. p 142., xlii. p. 196., also liv. p. 525, Plausibus excepit, totiens altaria Divům
Val. Max. i. 3. Prop. ii. 24. On the Roman law Addidit, et spoliis sibimet nova numina fecit. on this subject, compare Jortin, Discourses,
PAUDENTIUS. p. 53. Gibbon, vol. i. p. 55, with Wenck’s note, Compare Augustin de Cons. Evang. i. 18.
religious being; there are certain faculties and modes of thinking and feeling apparently inseparable from his mental organisation, which lead him irresistibly lo seek some communication with another and a higher world. But at the presenl junclure, the ancient religions were effele : they belonged to a totally different state of civilisation ; though they retained the strong hold of habit and interest on different classes of society, yet the general mind was advanced beyond them; they could not supply the religious necessities of the age. Thus, the world, peaceably united under one temporal monarchy, might be compared to a vast body without a soul : the throne of the human mind appeared vacant; among the rival competitors for ils dominion, none advanced more than claims local, or limited to a cerlain class. Nothing less was required than
religion co-extensive with the empire of Rome, and calculated for the advanced state of intellectual culture : and in Christianity this new element of sociely was found; which, in fact, incorporating itself with manners, usages, and laws, has been the bond which has beld together, notwithstanding the internal feuds and divisions, the great European commonwealth; maintained a kind of federal relation between ils parts; and stamped its peculiar characler on the whole of modern history.
Christianily announced thc appearance of its Divine Author as the Dissocia. era of a new moral creation ; and if we take our stand, as it were, tipfe fold
ting prin. on the isthmus which separates the ancient from the modern world, religions, and survey the state of mankind before and after the introduction of this new power into human society, it is impossible not to be struck with the total revolulion in the whole aspect of the world. If from this point of view we look upward, we see the dissocialing principle at work both in the civil and religious usages of mankind; the human race breaking up into countless independent tribes and nations, which recede more and more from each other as they gradually spread over the surface of the earth ; and in some parts, as we adopt the theory of the primitive barbarism (1), or that of the degeneracy of man from an earlier state of culture, either remaining stationary at the lowest point of ignorance and rudeness, or sinking to it; either resuming the primeval dignity of the race, or rising gradually to a higher state of civilisation. A certain diversity of religion follows the diversily of race, of people, and of country. In no respect is the common nalure of human kind so strongly indicated
(1) The notion tbat the primeval state of man other's views, should at the same time call in was altogether barbarous and uncivilised, so question this, almost established, theory. Dr. generally prevalent in the philosophy of the two Whateley's argument, that there is no instance last centuries (for Dryden's line,
in history of a nation self-raised from savage Since wild in woods the noble savage ran,
life, is very strong. I have been much struck by
finding a very strong and lucid statement to the contains the whole theory of Rousseau) has en- same effect, in an unpublished lecture of the late countered a strong reaction. It is remarkable Lord Stowell (Sir Williain Scott), delivered that Nichuhr in Germany, and Archbishop Wha. when professor of History at Oxford'. teley in this country, with no knowledge of each
as in the universality of some kind of religion ; in no respect is man
most savage races we find a gross superstition, called by modern Fetichism. foreign writers, Fetichism (2), in which the shapeless stone, the
meanest replile, any object however worthless or insignificant, is
(1) The best, in my opinion, and most com- disguised or dissembled its advantages. The an-
gods, perhaps in the Teraphim, and in the sacred stones (the
In the Oriental pastoral tribes, Tsabaism (1), the simpler worship Tsabaism.
(1) The astral worship of the East is ably and account for the remarkable similarity between
World as well as the Old, in Peru and Florida, in
some such common origin. See Picart's large work
Cérémonies et Coutuines Religieuses, passim. θεύδειν, θέρους δ' εγρηγορέναι, τότε
Compare likewise Dr. Pritchard's valuable μεν κατευνασμούς τότε δ' αν εγέρσεις work on Egyptian Mythology ; on the Deification βακχεύοντες αυτό τελoυσι. Παφλαγόνες of the Active and Passive Powers of Generation ; δε καταδείσθαι και καθείργνυσθαι χει
the Marriage of the Sun and the Earth, p. 40.,
and μωνος, ήρος δε αναλύεσθαι φάσκουσι.
Pp. 62-75. (3) Bohlen (das Alte Indien, p. 139 et seq.)
(4) Nam rudis ante illos, nullo discrimine, vita gives a long list of these festivals of the sun.
In speciem conversa, operum ratione carebat,
Et stupefacta novo pendebat lumine mundi. Lobeck (i. 690.) would altogether deny their Tum velut amissis mærens, tum laeta renatis symbolical character. It is difficult, however, to Sideribus, etc.
MANIL, I. 67
by a natural transition, those who discerned God in every thing, multiplied every separate part of creation into a distinct divinity. The mind fluctuated between a kind of vague and unformed pantheism, the deification of the whole of nature, or its animation by one pervading power or soul, and the deification of every object which impressed the mind with awe or admiration (1). While every nation, every tribe, every province, every town, every village, every family, had its peculiar, local, or tutelar deity, there was a kind of common neutral ground on which they all met, a notion that the gods in their collective capacity exercised a general controlling providence over the affairs of men, interfered, especially on great occasions, and, though this belief was still more vague and more inextricably involved in fable, administered retribution in another state of being. And thus even the common language of the most polytheistic nations approached to monotheism (2).
Wherever, indeed, there has been a great priestly caste, less OCcupied with the daily loils of life, and advanced beyond the mass of the people, the primitive nature-worship has been perpetually brought back, as it were, to its original elements; and, without disturbing the popular mythological religion, furnished a creed to the higher and more thinking part of the community, less wild and extravagant (3). In Persia the Magian order retained or acquired something like a pure theism, in which the Supreme Deity was represented under the symbol of the primal uncrealed fire ; and their
; Nature-worship, under the form of the two conflicting principles, preserved much more of its original simplicity than in most other countries. To the influence of a distinct sacerdotal order may be traced (4), in India, the singular union of the sublimest allegory,
(1) Some able writers are of opinion that the magnus est, et Deus verus est, et si Deus dederit, reverse of this was the case that the variety Vulgi iste naturalis sermo est, an Christiani conwas the primary belief; the simplification the fitentis oratio ?” Min. Fel. Octavius. The same work of a Jaler and more intellectual age. On thought inay be found in Cyprian, de Van. Idol., this point A. W. Schlegel observes, “ The more I and Tertullian, Apolog. investigate the ancient history of the world, the (3) This is nowhere more openly professed more I am convinced that the civilised nations than in China. The early Jesuit missionaries asset out from a purer worship of the Supreme sert that the higher class (the literatorun secta) Being ; that the magic power of Nature over the despised tbe idolatry of ihe vulgar. One of the imagination of the successive haman races, first, charges against the Christians was their teaching at a later period, produced polytheism, and, the worship of one God, which they had full li. finally, altogether obscured the more spiritual berty to worship theinselves, to the common people: religious notions in the popular belief ; while the —“Non æque placere, rudem plebeculam rerum wise alone preserved within the sanctuary the novarum cupiditate, cæli Doininum venerari.' primeval secret. Hence mythology appears to me Trigault, Exped, in Sinas, pp. 438–575. the last developed and most changeable pari of (4) " The learned brahinins adore one God, the old religion. The divergence of the various without form or quality, eternal, anchangeable, mythologies, therefore, proves nothing against and occupying all space : but they carefully conthe descent of the religions from a common fine these doctrines to their own schools, as dansource. The mythologies might be locally forıned, gerous ; and teach in public a religion, in which, according to the circunstances of climate or soil; in supposed compliance with the infirmities and it is impossible to mistake this with regard to passions of human nature, the deity is brought the Egyptian myths.” Schlegel, p. 16. Preface to inore to a level with our prejudices and wants. Pritchard's Esyptian Mythology. My own views, The incomprehensible attributes ascribed in bim considering the question in a purely historical are invested with sensible and even human light, coincide with those of M. Schlegel.
forms. The inind, lost in meditation, and fatigued (2) This is strikingly expressed by a Christian in the pursuit of something, which, being diwriter :-“Audin vulgus cum ad cælum manus vested of all sensible qualities, suffers the sendunt, nihil aliud quam Deun dicunt, et Deus thoughts to wander without finding a resting