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but even to look without disapprobation on that physical violence to which the uneducated multitude, incapable of judging, were so often willing to resort. They never anticipated that any new system could be introduced which should take the place of the old, worn-out one; they had no idea that relief in this respect was so close at hand; unless, perhaps, it might have been Plato, Plato's rewho, profoundly recognizing
that, though it is a medy for the hard and tedious process to change radically the ideas of common men, yet that it is easy to persuade them to accept new names if they are permitted to retain old things, proposed that a regenerated system should be introduced, with ideas and forms suited to the existing social state, prophetically asserting that the world would very soon become accustomed to it, and give to it an implicit adhesion.
In this description of the origin and decline of Greek religion I have endeavoured to bring its essential features into strong relief. Its fall was not sudden, as many have supposed, neither was it accomplished by extraneous violence. There was a slow, and, it must be emphatically added, a spontaneous decline. But, if the affairs of men pass in recurring cycles—if the course of events with one individual has a resemblance to the course of events with another-if there be analogies in movement has
been repeated the progress of nations, and circumstances reappear after due periods of time, the succession scale by all of events thus displayed before us in intellectual history of Greece may perhaps be recognised again in grander proportions on the theatre of all Europe. If there is for the human mind a predetermined order of development, may we not reasonably expect that the phenomena we have thus been noticing on a small scale in à single nation will reappear on the great scale in a continent; that the philosophical study of this history of the past will not only serve as an interpretation of many circumstances in the history of Europe in the Dark and Middle Ages, but will also be a guide to us in pointing out future events as respects all mankind ? For, though it is true that the Greek intellectual movement was anticipated, as respects its completion, by being enveloped
on a greater
and swallowed up in the slower but more gigantic move. ments of the southern European mind, just as a little expanding circle upon the sea may be obliterated and borne away by more imposing and impetuous waves, so even the movement of a continent may be lost in the movement of a world. It was criticism and physical discovery, and intellectual activity, arising from political concentration, that so profoundly affected the modes of Grecian thought, and criticism and discovery have within the last four hundred years done the same in all Europe. To one who forms his expectations of the future from the history of the past-who
recalls the effect produced by the establishment of the Roman empire, in permitting free personal intercommunication among all the Mediterranean nations, and thereby not only destroying the ancient forms of thought which for centuries had resisted all other means of attack, but also replacing them by a homogeneous idea-it must be apparent that the wonderfully increased facilities for locomotion, the inventions of our own age, are the ominous precursors of a vast philosophical revolution.
Between that period during which a nation has been governed by its imagination and that in which it submits to reason, there is a melancholy interval. The constituThe organiza
tion of man is such that, for a long time after tion of hypo- he has discovered the incorrectness of the ideas crisy.
prevailing around him, he shrinks from openly emancipating himself from their dominion, and, constrained by the force of circumstances, he becomes a hypocrite, publicly applauding what his private judgment condemns. Where a nation is making this passage, so universal do these practices become that it may be truly said hypocrisy is organized. It is possible that whole communities might be found living in this deplorable state. Such, I conceive, must have been the case in many parts of the Roman empire just before the introduction of Christianity. Even after ideas have given way in public opinion, their political power may outlive their intellectual vigour, and produce the disgraceful effect we here consider.
It is not to be concealed, however, that, to some extent,
this evil is incident to the position of things. Indeed, it would be unfortunate if national hypocrisy could not find a better excuse for itself than in that of the individual. In civilized life, society is ever under the imperious necessity of moving onward in legal forms, nor can such forms be avoided without the most serious disasters ensuing. To absolve communities too abruptly from the restraints of ancient ideas is not to give them liberty, but to throw them into political vagabondism, and hence it is that great statesmen will authorize and even compel observances the essential significance of which has disappeared, and the intellectual basis of which has been undermined. Truth reaches her full action by degrees, and not at once; she first operates upon the reason, the influence being purely intellectual and individual; she then extends her sphere, exerting a moral control, particularly through public opinion; at last she gathers for herself physical and political force. It is in the time consumed in this gradual passage that organized hypocrisy prevails. To bring nations to surrender themselves to new ideas is not the affair of a day.
DIGRESSION ON HINDU THEOLOGY AND EGYPTIAN
Comparative Theology of India ; its Phase of Sorcery; its Anthropo
centric Phase. VEDAISM the Contemplation of Matter, or Adoration of Nature, set forth in the Vedas and Institutes of Menu.—The Universe is God. Transmutation of the World.-Doctrine of Emanation.-Transmigration. — Absorption. — Penitential Services. — Happiness in Absolute
Quietude. BUDDHISM the Contemplation of Force.—The supreme impersonal Power.
-Nature of the World-of Man.—The Passage of every thing to Nonentity. Development of Buddhism into a vast monastic System marked by intense Selfishness.-Its practical Godlessness. EGYPT a mysterious Country to the old Europeans.—Its History, great
public Works, and foreign Relations.-Antiquity of its Civilization and
Art.-Its Philosophy, hieroglyphic Literature, and peculiar Agriculture. Rise of Civilization in rainless Countries.- Geography, Geology, and
Topography of Egypt. — The Inundations of the Nile lead to
Astronomy. Comparative Theology of Egypt.-Animal Worship, Star Worship.
Impersonation of Divine Attributes-Pantheism.-The Trinities of Egypt. — Incarnation. — Redemption. — Future Judgment. - Trial of the Dead.-Rituals and Ceremonies.
At this stage of our examination of European intellectual development, it will be proper to consider briefly two foreign influences—Indian and Egyptian-which affected
From the relations existing between the Hindu and European families, as described in the preceding chapter, of Hinau a comparison of their intellectual progress philosophy. presents no little interest. The movement of the elder branch indicates the path through which the younger is travelling, and the goal to which it tends. In
the advanced condition under which we live we notice Oriental ideas perpetually emerging in a fragmentary way from the obscurities of modern metaphysics—they are the indications of an intellectual phase through which the Indo-European mind must pass. And when we consider the ready manner in which these ideas have been adopted throughout China and the entire East, we may, perhaps, extend our conclusion from the Indo-European family to the entire human race. From this we may also infer how unphilosophical and vain is the expectation of those who would attempt to restore the aged populations of Asia to our state. Their intellectual condition has passed onward, never more to return. It remains for them only to advance as far as they may in their own line and to die, leaving their place to others of a different constitution and of a renovated blood. In life there is no going back; the morose old man can never resume the genial confidence of maturity; the youth can never return to the idle and useless occupations, the frivolous amusements of boyhood; even the boy is parted by a long step from the innocent credulity of the nursery.
The earlier stages of the comparative theology of India are now inaccessible. At a time so remote as to be altogether prehistoric the phase of sorcery had
The phase of been passed through. In the most ancient sorcery, and records remaining the Hindu mind is dealing anthropocen
tric phase. with anthropocentric conceptions, not, however, so much of the physical as of the moral kind. Man had come to the conclusion that his chief concern is with himself. “ Thou wast alone at the time of thy birth, thou wilt be alone in the moment of death ; alone thou must answer at the bar of the inexorable Judge.”
From this point there are two well-marked steps of advance. The first reaches the consideration Comparative of material nature; the second, which is very theology ad
vances in two grandly and severely philosophical, contemplates directionsthe universe under the conceptions of space and Matter, Force. force alone. The former is exemplified in the Vedas and Institutes of Menu, the latter in Buddhism. In neither of these stages do the ideas lie idle as mere abstractions; they introduce a moral plan, and display a constructive power