380 TALKS ON (t AT THE FEET OF THE MASTER "
crude form of that belief, but they have not. I saw
myself, not long ago, a Catholic Catechism which is
taught to children, and in that the old idea of Hell,
as a place of everlasting torment, ^as set forth in the
same old foolish wayŚnot the slightest improvement
at all. We might still be living in the most brutal
part of the Middle Ages, so far as the teaching given
to little children is concerned. It is a very sad thing.
Of course there are good many Christian sects which
have risen above that, but, on the other hand, there
is the oldest and greatest of them all still clinging to
its mediaeval teachings. Of course individual priests
explain the whole thing away, very much as we
might do, but there is the printed word, a thing
which they teach to innocent little children, an utter-
ly horrible and blasphemous thing, because it starts
them in life with an altogether wrong idea of God
and so does the greatest possible harm to them.
Probably nobody believes it; but if they do it is a
superstition and a peculiarly horrible one.
As I have said, many even of the truths that they
hold are held as superstitions, because they have no
rational basis for them. We in Theosophy offer
them a rational basis for the truths which they
believe, and we correct the falsehoods ; but they are
not in the least grateful to us. They ought to be.
In the preparation foi the priesthood, I had to
study the evidences of Christianity. Those very
evidences, which priests have to study, turn many