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Sixty-five feet high, thirty feet across the shoulders, six hundred years old ; covered with bronze plates, its 
interior forming a temple. From an original photograph. 



Idol Worship of the World. 



Late of Yokohama, Japan. 


Hon. S. Wells Williams, LL.D., and Prof. Isaac Hall, LL.B., Ph.D., 

The /ormer Forty years resident in China, now Pr^. in Yale College, Conn,, Pres- 
ident of the American Bible Society, etc.: the latter an eminent Orient' 
alist and iate Pro/essor o/ the College at Beirut, Syria. 


HUBBARD BROS., Publishers, 

Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City 

AND Atlanta : C. R. Blackall & Co., New York : 

F. Dewing & Bro., San Francisco, Cal. 






THE story of the world's worship is a story of absorbing interest. 
The odd and the curious, the enchanting and the revolting are 
each factors of heathen devotion. We well remember with what 
exhaustless interest we looked in childhood at strange pictures of idols 
and temples, and listened to the reading of tales about the heathen. 
When the celebrated Dr. Alexander Duff was a little boy, his father 
was accustomed on Sabbath afternoons to show him pictures of idols, 
and to explain their histories. So vividly did the pictures and their 
stories impress the boy, that when he became a man he left Scotland 
and went to labor for the heathen of India. 

The subject is indeed intensely interesting. Every nation has its 
God, or gods, and its corresponding forms of worship. Nothing lies 
so close to the heart of mankind as its religious faith. Religion in 
some form is interwoven with the entire fabric of human history. It 
concerns man's dearest pleasures, his fondest hopes, and his highest 
aspirations. Man must worship. It is part of his nature to worship. 
Hence, from the most civilized European to the half-civilized China- 
man, and even down to the degraded Hottentot; in all stages of man's 
existence, among all races and classes, some form of worship is found. 
Nothing surely can interest us more than the story of that faith in 
which our fellow-creatures have lived and died. 

It is because the author believes that the subject of False Gods and 
Idol Worship is so interesting, and because he hopes to furnish some 
much-needed information on this topic, that he has undertaken the 
present work. There is no one book that covers this ground. There 
are many volumes covering various phases of the religious systems of 
heathendom, but there is not one that deals comprehensively with all 
religions, extinct or existing, except indeed it be those suited only to 
students and to learned men. 

The aim in this volume is to present the subject in a popular style, 
suited to the average reader of our land. It is proposed to make a 



book to be read in the family and by the fireside. The very best 
works of the most thorough students of the non-Christian religious 
systems have been consulted, and the author has freely availed him- 
self of the results of their labors. If due acknowledgment is not 
always made of the aid thus received, it is because he deemed it best not 
to multiply references and because he has so frequently found it neces- 
sary to translate scholastic and technical phrases used by these authors 
into language familiar to the general reader. 

Among those whose works the author has consulted are, Max Miiller 
and Hardwicke on Comparative Mythology j Wilkinson on the Ancient 
Egyptians; Lenormant on Assyria and Babylon; Haug on the Parsees; 
Monier Williams on Hinduism; Rhys-Davids, and Barthelemy St. 
Hilaire on Buddhism, and Edwin Arnold's paraphrase of Buddha's 
life in his "Light of Asia;" Humboldt on Central America; School- 
craft on the American Indians ; Wyatt Gill and Lord Grey on the Pacific 
Islands; Legge, Edkins and S. Wells Williams on the Chinese ; Grifi&s 
and Sir Edward Reed on Japan ; and Stanley and Livingstone on 
Africa. Beside these he has derived great help from "The Tour of 
the World with General Grant," and Dr. H. M. Field's "From' 
Egypt to Japan." In addition he has consulted quite a host of other 
authors 'in works of travel, and in the translations of various sacred 

In all parts of his work the author has sought to present definite in- 
formation, carefully arranged, truthfully told, and clearly and inter- 
estingly stated. He has aimed to show the origin, development and 
spread of each non-Christian religious system; and to give an ac- 
count of their gods and goddesses, temples, shrines, idols, sacred 
places, superstitious customs, legends, myths, domestic worship and 
the innumerable peculiarities of their daily religious life. 

The work is fully illustrated by accurate, and in many cases, expen- 
sive engravings. The book is not made merely to sell. Sensational 
statements and mere padding have been neither added nor borrowed. 
The author has not drawn upon his imagination in the least. He has 
told a story which, though sometimes stranger than fiction, is never- 
theless solid fact and not baseless fancy. Let it be remembered that 
this is a pioneer work. The author has had to blaze his pathway 
through a trackless forest. He has had no guide. He sincerely 
hopes that by its perusal his readers will be led to an increased ap- 
preciation of the infinite superiority of Christianity to all other re- 
ligions; and that they may find a deepened interest in the welfare of 
the heathen world. 



It has been the purpose of ihe author and the publishers to place the 
subject-matter of this volume within the ready reach of all who con- 
sult it. An exhaustive Table of Contents has been given therefore, 
in which the chapter titles and all the sub-headings of the chapters 
will be found. A full index of the proper names and principal topics 
of the book is also added, by means of which it is believed any desired 
subject treated in the volume can readily be found. By such means 
as these the book has been made as complete and as useful as patient 
labor can make it. 

Thanks are specially due to Professor Isaac H. Hall, who not only gave 
careful consideration to the subjects specially under his care, but who in 
addition read all the MS., and gave the benefit of his extended learn- 
ing and excellent judgment at every point. To Professor S. Wells 
Williams also, the author desires to make public acknowledgment. 
Though burdened with many onerous duties, yet he gave his closest 
attention to the chapters on those much misunderstood nations, China 
and Japan, and from the rich stores of his own extensive and well- 
digested knowledge, he made such suggestions as proved of inesti- 
mable value. 

To the Publishers, who were ever ready to meet the author's largest 
desires, his thanks are especially due. Without such generous sup- 
port the volume must have fallen far below its present excellenc?. In- 
deed, all concerned in the production of the book have proved them- 
selves true helpers, to whom author and readers alike will be largely 

F. S. Dobbins. 







List of Illustrations, 


The World's First Worship. 

Testimony of an old record and of language — Another witness : comparative 
religion — The story of the master thief — The story of Rhampsinitos — The story 
of the poor mason — The story of the shifty lad — Exodus of the nations, . ^3 


Whence came the many Gods and Idols? 

Sources of information — The transition — The first h)Tnns and prayers — \\Tiere did 
idol-worship come from, .......... 47 


Sacred and Heathen Traditions. 

Traditions of Creation — Traditions of the Deluge — The Chaldean storj' — The 
Hindu tradition — The Chinese tradition — The Mexican legend — The Fiji- 
Islander's tradition — American Indian traditions — The Greek story — Chaldean 
story of the Tower of Babel — What has the Bible to say about idolatry ? . 63 


The Subject in a Nutshell. 

Methods of grouping religions — Dead religions and living religions — Original 
religions and reformed religions — Dead religions — Living worships — The pro- 
posed treatment — A concise view — Parseeism — African religion — Western Eu- 
rope — The Southern migration — Buddhism — China'sNreligions — Shintoism in 
Japan — Mohammedanism — Christianity's conquests, \ • • • -77 


The Land of the Sphinx. 


Hidden history — The hieroglyphics — Some Egj'ptian gods — Animal worship — 
Mummies — The celebrated book of the dead — Egyptian worship, . . -93 


Religion of the Chaldeans. 

The great Chaldean historian — Ruined monuments — A library of brick books — 
Manners and customs — The religion of Assyria — The supreme god, Ilu — The 
Assyrian triad — The gods of the planets — The great goddess Ishtar — The 
Genii of Assyria — ^^Worship of the gods at Babylon, . . . . .119 


Idolatry among the Jews. 

The plagues and Egyptian idolatry — The golden calf — Baal-worship, » .138 


The Gods of Greece. 

Origin of the world and of the gods — The generations of the gods — Gods of the 
Grecians — Specimen stories from Greek mythology — Hermes and Apollo — 
The Lotus-eaters and the Cyclops — Hercules' twelve tasks — The Phidian 
Jupiter — Grecian temples and worship of Paul's day — The city crowded with 
idols — Diana of the Ephesians, . . . . . . . . .150 


The Worship and Gods of Rome. 

The Etruscan religion — The Sahellian religion — The gods of the Romans — 
Father Jove — The Matron goddess — The goddess of schools — The goddess of 
the hearth — Ceres and Tiber — The gods of beginnings — Rome's lesser gods — 
The Roman empire, 173, 


Our Heathen Ancestors. 

Ancient Britain — The Druids— Wonderful resemblance — Worship of the Diniids 
— Temple of the Hanging Stones — Human sacrifices — The destruction of 
Druidism — Who first brought Christianity to Britain — Paganism of the Saxons 
— Saxon gods — Saxon sacrifices — Fairy-lore of Western Europe — An Elfin 
Story — The penitent Nis — Nixes — The Peasant and the W^aterman — The won- 
derful little pouch — Christianizing the Saxons, . . . . . .185 


Brahmimsm, the Religion of the Hindus. 


Sketch of Brahminism — The gods of Hinduism — Story of the Sages' search 

Can the gods die? — Sects of Hinduism — Principles of Hinduism — Human 
beings killed in sacrifice — How Hinduism regards woman, .... 210 


Hindu Temples, Idols and Worship. 

Idols and temples of Juggernaut — Kali, the Goddess of Blood — Temple Decora- 
tions — Benares — The sacred city of the Sikhs— Cave-temples of Elephanta and 
Gwalior — Ganesha, God of Wisdom — Pagodas — Hindu washings for sin — 
Hindu holy men, devotees and fakirs, . . . . • . . . . 232 


Hindu Sacred Books, Fairy Stories and Fireside Tales. 

The Vedic hymns — The law-book of Manu — Degradation of women according to 
Manu's laws— The burning of widows commanded by Manu — The god Vishnu 
made man — A Sanskit story-book — The story of the terrible bell — The story of 
the lion and the old hare — The story of the Brahmin and the pans — The story 
of the recluse and the mouse, 288 


Shintoism, the X'ature-worship of Japan. 

The sacred books of Japan — Japanese story of creation — The emperors descended 
from the gods — The sun-goddess enticed from the cave — Shinto worship, . 305 


Popular Gods and Shrines of Shintoism. 

The seven household gods — The sacred mountain — Shinto temples and gate-ways 
— The sacred shrines of Ise, . . . . . . . . . .321 


The Religions of Africa, the Dark Continent. 

African belief in a god or gods — Praying for rain — The Hottentots' god, Gounja- 
Gounja — The Bushmen's god — Zulu tradition of the origin of men — Good and 
bad spirits — The spirit in the insect — Fetich worship — A horrible fetich — 
Stanley and the Africans' fear of fetich — Witchcraft, . . . . -341 


Religions of the Aborigines of America,. 


The Indians of North America — The Great Spirit — Worship of ancestors — Indian 
legends — The "Song of Hiawatha" — Indian allegory of winter and spring — 
Alaskans' worship of evil spirits — Indian sun-worship — Amazon sun-worship 
— The Araucanians — Patagonia — The Aztecs — Ancient Aztec idol — The 
Incas 362 


Religion of Oceanica. 

The depraved condition of the Papuans — The pagan Polynesians — Traditionary 
origin of human priesthood — Polynesian notion of the sun and moon — The 
fire -god's song, ............ 387 


The Karens and their Religion. 

The Karens not idolaters — Worship of Yuak — A singular tradition — The dog 
who ate the book — Funeral services — Mrs. Vinton's letter, .... 401 

The Fire-worshipers. 

Zoroaster, the Prophet of Ormazd — Zoroaster's worship of one God — Ormazd and 
Ahriman — Finding of the Zend-Avesta — The Parsee Bible — Parsee worship,. . 407 


j The Religion of the Chinese Philosopher, Lao-Tsze. 

Chinese contrarieties and language — The thrse Chinese religions — The old boy — 
The talisman of long life — The visit of Confucius to Lao-Tsze — The voyage 
in search of the talisman of long life, . . . . . . . .416 


The Taoist Sacred Books and Gods. 

The book of rewards and punisliments — Some selections from the book of rewards 
and punishments — The book of secret blessings — The gods of the Taoists — 
The god of letters — Charms — Kwan-te, God of War — Tsai-shin, the God of 
Riches — Taoist superstitions, ......... 428 

CONTENTS. ,^^ijj 


Confucius and thp: Classics. 


The background of the picture — The story of the sage's life — Teachings and 
writings of the Chinese sage — The wisdom of the sage, 445 

Confucian Temples and Worship. 

The worship of Shang-te, at Peking — Temple of Confucius — Examinations in the 
sacred books — Anecdotes of students — How Mencius's mother incited her son 
to study — How a tired student was led back to his studies — The little sage who 
hid fire to light his lamp — An example of a studious ancestor — The student 
with a round stick for a pillow, 460 

Religion of Home-life. 

Ceremony of turning the bridge-ladder — Worship of ancestors at a wedding — 
Mother, Goddess of Children — Teaching a child to worship idols — The story 
of Ma-chu, Goddess of the Sailors, 478 


Buddha, the " Light of Asia." 

The story of Gautama, the founder of Buddhism — Gautama's four visions — The 
great renunciation — Gautama becomes an ascetic — The "Light of Asia" and 
the "Light of the World," 498 


The Buddhist Bible, the " Three Baskets," and its Teachings, 

The Buddhist way of salvation — ^Vhat is Nirvana ? — Buddhist morals — Some of 
the " footsteps of the law " — Buddhist beatitudes, . . . . • 513 


The Growth of Buddhism — the Buddist Order of Mendicants. 

The Sangha, or Buddhist Brotherhood — The initiation ceremony — Rules of the 
Order — Daily life of a monk — The three great Buddhist councils — Buddha- 
ghosha, the famous monk and missionary — The story of King Kakavanna — 
Buddhist courtesies of the present day, 522 



Buddhism in India and Ceylon. 


The famous Topes — The great Sanchi Tope — Ceylonese Buddhism — The sacred 
Bo-tree of Ceylon — Reducing the Tripitaka to writing — Buddhaghosha in Cey- 
lon — A Buddhist temple in Ceylon — The sacred Ceylonese books, . . . 532 


Buddhism in Bur.mah. 

The Shway-da-gong pagoda — The story of Shway-da-gong — Other pagodas — 
Worship of nats — -A nat stoiy — Superstitions of the Burmese — The funeral of 
a pongyee or monk, . . ... . . . . . . . 555 


Buddhism in S i a m . 

The celebrated Wat Cliang pagoda — Temple of the Emerald Idol — Worship of 
the white elephant — Ruins of the great temple of Nagkon Wat — Some other 
temples, 575 


L.amaism, the Buddhism of Thibet. 

Sketch of the history of Lamaism — Monks and monasteries — Temple at Teshu 
Lumbo monastery — Services at the H'Lassa cathedral — Praying-wheels — The 
mystic sentence of Thibet — The incarnation of Buddha in the Grand Lama — 
The Lamaist Bible, ........... 598 


Foism, the Buddhism of China. 

Pagodas — Chinese Buddhist temples — The worship of Kwan-yin — The worship 
of Kum-Fa — Idols — The Temple of Horrors — Monasteries — A Monk's Mon- 
ument — Chinese Buddhist Bonzes — Buddhist devotees — Ceremony of the 
Water-lamps — The Do-nothing sect of Reformed Buddhists — Booldo, the 
Buddhism of the Corens, . . . . . . . . . .611 


Japanese Buddhism. 


Bodhidharma in Japan — The Sun-child and his miraculous deliverance — Further 
history of Japan — Buddhist sects in Japan — The Protestants of Buddhism — 
Kwanon's Temple at Asakusa, Tokio — Temple of Shiba, in Tokio — Temple 
of five hundred gods — The casting of a Temple Bell — The Colossal Idol, the 
Kamkura Dai Butsu — Some Japanese gods — Japanese Festivals — Mount Fuji- 
yama — Customs concerning birth, marriage and death — Some Japanese super- 
stitions — Religion of the Ainos, ......,,. 656 



Extent of Mohammedanism — The Arabian camel-driver who founded a great 
religion — The . Prophet's youth and early manhood — Gabriel's message to 
Mohammed — The flight of Mohammed — Converts made at the sword's point — 
Mohammed's successors, the Caliphs — Caliph Omar — The Crusades — The 
writing of the Koran — The teaching of the Koran — Some selections from the 
Koran — Mohammed's Paradise — The Koran on the judgment, . . .719 


Mohammedan Mosques and Worship. 

Worship in the Mosques — The dancing and howling Dervishes — The smart and 
smarting answer of a Dervish — Daily worship — The Mosque of St. Sophia — 
The Jummah Musjid at Delhi, India — The Taj Mahal, the "jewel of India " — ■ 
Pilgrimages and festivals — Conclusion, ........ 74^ 

Winning the World to the Worship of the one God. 

Comparison of heathen religions and Christianity — ^^Tly shall we give Christ- 
ianity to the world — A flight over the battle-field — Position of the Christian 
army, .............. 767 

Index, 779 



Bronze Idol of Dai Butz Frontispiece 

Colored Map of World Full Page 32 

Ancient Serpent Idol 48 

Teraphim 57 

Dagon, the Fish-god 58 

Ancient Serpent Idol 59 

Group of Altars 60 

Idol from Hindustan Full Page 61 

Coin Representing the Deluge 66 

Comparative Chart of all Religions Full Page 91 

Ruined Temples 93 

Rock Temple of Ibsambul, Restored 95 

Song of the Threshers 96 

Egyptian Hieroglyphics 97 

Pasht, the Cat-headed God 98 

One of the forms of Isis 99 

Crocodile God 100 

Scarabaeus loi 

Shrouding of the Dead 103 

Mummy Case 103 

Forms of Mummy Cases 104 

Egyptian Priestess 107 

Avenue of Sphinxes leading to a Temple 112 

Gate-way of the Ancient Egyptian Temple of Karnak 1 13 

The Singing Memnon 114 

Ruins of Thebes Full Page 1 1 5 

The Sphinx and the Pyramids 117 

Star Worshipers 1 20 

Babylonish Coffin and Lid of Green Glazed Pottery 122 

Assyrian Cuneiform Letters 124 

Robed Statue 125 

Statue of Cannes, the King 129 

Adar Strangling the Lion 130 

Sargon's Palace, Restored Full Page 133 

Human-headed Eagle-winged Assyrian Bull 135 

Sculptured Locust I39 

Goddess Ashtoreth, Ishtar 141 

Phoenician Goddess Astarte 142 

The Ammonite Fire God Moloch 143 





Jehovah's Triumph over Baal 147 

Image of Jupiter, by Phidias Full Page 165 

Temple of Diana of Ephesus Full Page 1 70 

Medal of Diana 171 

Jupiter Tonans 177 

Janus 180 

Ancient Druidic Worship at Stonehenge, England 191 

Gods of our Saxon Ancestors 198 

Sacrificial Rites of the Ancient British Druids . 202 

Ancient Hindu Idol 2H 

Devil Worshiped in Tennevelly 213 

Indra, God of the Atmosphere 214 

The Three Chief Hindu Gods 215 

Bird's-eye view of the Hindu Temple at Cawnpore 219 

Sculptured Idols on a Pillar 221 

Dying Brahmin holding the tail of the Sacred Cow, so as to enter Heaven . . . 223 

A Caste-marked Brahmin at his devotions 224 

God of Hell, from a Hindu picture 225 

Amadeo, God of Love 226 

Teaching a child to worship Ganesha, the God of Wisdom 228 

A child bringing an offering to the Idol of a Bull 229 

Hindu Woman 231 

The most Sacred Temple of Juggernaut at Puri 233 

Worship in the Temple of Krishna, or Juggernaut 235 

Hindu Devotees dragging Juggernaut's Car and immolating themselves .... 236 

The Idol Juggernaut usually carried on the car 238 

Disrobing and disjointing Juggernaut 239 

The Goddess Kali 240 

Idol of Kali Full Page 241 

A Night Feast of the Bloody Goddess, Kali 244 

Goddess Kali, from a Hindu Picture 245 

Hindu Notion of the Universe 246 

Golden Temple of the Hindus of Umritsur 247 

Entablature from a Hindu Temple 248 

Children Worshiping in Temple at Benares Full Page 249 

Bas-relief from a Hindu Temple 251 

Causeway of the Golden Temple Double Page 254-5 

Great Idol of the Cave of Mandar, India 258 

Scene from Cave of Elephanta Full Page 259 

Cave of Elephanta Double Page 262-3 

Image of Ganesha 265 

Annual Boat-festival of Ganesha on the Ganges 266 

Wayside Idol of Ganesha Full Page 267 

Gate-way of Madura Temple ,. 270 

Pagoda of Pondicherry, famed for its Sculpture • ■ 271 

Disused Idols and sacred articles from Ongole, India 272 

Bird's-eye view of Pagodas and Temple Grounds, Madras, India, Double Page 274-5 



Hindus washing in the Sacred River Ganges at Benares . 277 

Temple of the Sacred Fountain 278 

Fakir of the Immovable Foot 279 

The Holy Man with the Iron Collar 280 

Fakir of the Long Hair 281 

A Fakir, who never helps himself 282 

A Hindu Holy Man torturing himself by hanging from a hook 283 

Fakir hanging to a limb 2S4 

Devotee enduring fire 28^ 

Fakir of the long nails Full Page 286 

Hindu Festival of the New Moon 289 

Guards of the Hindu Temple Ayenar 292 

Hindu women rescued from their degradation Full Page 297 

The ten incarnations of Vishnu 3°° 

The God created from Izanagi's staff 3^° 

Jimmu Tenno, first emperor of Japan ^i^ 

The Mikado's coat-of-arms 3^7 

Raiden, God of Thunder, with his string of drums 318 

Futen, God of Winds, with his huge sack 319 

Daikoku, the Rice-god, on his throne of rice-bags 322 

Fukoruku Jin, the god who can bestow long life ......... Full Page 323 

Domestic Altar of the gods of daily food and of rice 326 

Hotei, the God of Happiness 3^7 

The Sacred Mountain, Fujl-Yama ZZ^ 

Shinto Shrine, near Yokohama, Japan, with worshipers, vessel of holy water, etc. 331 

A Tento, or "Heavenly Lantern" oj- 

Shrines of Ise, the most sacred place of Shintoism ZZZ 

Interior of a Shinto Temple, showing the arrangements for worship . .. . . 335 

Ceremonial dance of the Shinto Priests 2,3° 

A. lawyer of Zululand 343 

King Coffee's Protecting God 34" 

The Priests' trick of raising an idol out of the earth 34^ 

A Cazembe Fetich Man 35' 

Decorated Fetichist 35^ 

Juju House or Temple of Skulls . . . , , Full Page 353 

Idols with mirrors in their bodies 35" 

A Witch Doctor 357 

Indian Medicine Man Z^^2> 

Indian Burial Place 3^6 

Indian Image - 3^7 

Sun-worship on the Amazon Double Page 374-5 

Ancient Aztec Idol 3^0 

Sun-worship among the . Peruvians 3"3 

Ancient Peruvian Temple of the Sun 3^5 

A Papuan Fetich House 3^8 

Tattooed Girl of Oceanica ,,.,.. 3^9 

Polynesian Idol and its devotees 39° 




A Fijian bure temple . ; 391 

Idol of South Sea Islands 392 

Great Idol of Oceanica, (six feet in height) 393 

Hawaiian Idol, known as the Poison God 394 

Idol from Polynesia 395 

New Zealand Moon-god 397 

Hawaiian War-god 399 

Christian Karen Girls 404 

A Parsee Merchant of Bombay 408 

Chinese ornaments with words of cheer 417 

A Chinese Book 418 

Censer, from a Taoist Temple 429 

Ceremonies in a Taoist Temple 433 

The Three Pure Ones '. 435 

God of the Kitchen 435 

God of Thunder 435 

Canying the Dragon 43^ 

Dragon Boat-races, a Chinese Festival 437 

ChaiTn to ward off Evil Spirits from a Bride 438 

God of Thieves 43^ 

Sword Charm 439 

Kwan-te, God of War 440 

Taoists consulting the oracles at the magicians 441 

Stone pillars erected by the Chinese to keep off evil spirits 442 

Tall White Devil 443 

Short Black Devil 444 

Traditional likeness of Confucius 44^ 

Monumental gate-way erected in honor of Confucius 448 

Temple of Confucius, in Peking Full Page 453 

Chinese School-boys 460 

Chinese Joss-stick 461 

Sacred Altar of Heaven, at Peking Full Page 465 

Temple of Agriculture, at Peking, China 46S 

Bronze Temple in honor of Confucius />/// Pnge 470 

Chinese sitting-room 479 

Ancestral Tablet 481 

Chinaman burning prayers instead of saying them 4^2 

Bringing home one of the souls of a dead man in his clothes 483 

Ceremony of turning around_ the bridge-ladder 4^4 

Chinese man'iage procession Fit/l Page 487 

Worship of ancestors at a A\-edding 4^9 

Chinese baby in its cradle 49^ 

Teaching a child to worship 49^ 

Offering sacrifice to the Kitchen-god 493 

God of Gambling 49^ 

Idol of Buddha 509 

Religious meeting of the Jains Full Page 533 



Tope of Sanchi />/// Page 537 

Capital of a pillar of gate-way of Sanchi Tope 539 

Gate-way of Sanchi Tope Double Page 542-3 

Roadway to a Buddhist temple in Ceylon 545 

Devil-dancers' mask from Ceylon _ 549 

Buddhist Temple in the Island of Ceylon 551 

Worship of Buddha's Tooth Full Page 553 

Shway-da-gong, the great Pagoda of Rangoon, Burmah 558 

Sacred Garden attached to Temple DouLle Page 562-3 

Pagoda at Maulmain, Burmah 565 

Funeral procession of a Buddhist Priest 573 

To^^'cr of Wat Chang Pagoda at Bangkok, Siam Full Page 577 

Funeral Temple of wood, bamboo and paper 578 

The King of Siam going to worship at the Temple of the Emerald Idol . . . 580 

Temple of the Emerald Idol . Full Page 581 

Ruined Temple of Ayudla, Altar of the, Siam Full Page 585 

Siamese worshiping the White Elephant 589 

Tomb of a Buddhist Saint 590 

Ruins of the Great Temple of Nagkon Wat 593 

Statue of the Leper King 595 

A Thibetan Lad 599 

Monastery of Hemis in the Himalayas 600 

Tartar Woman 601 

Praying Machine 605 

Praying Wheel whirled in the hand 606 

Stone with the mystic sentence, "Om Mani Padmi Hum" 607 

Mani Padee, a Buddhist Tomb in Thibet 60S 

A Thibetan Woman 609 

Chinese Image of Buddha 612 

Bronze Lions P'^^^ Page 613 

A Chinese Mandarin 615 

Chinese sale of prayers conducted by the Priests 616 

Porcelain Tower at Nanking, China Full Page 6\-j 

Beating on a Temple Dnnn to attract the God 622 

Chinese Temple art San Francisco P"li Page 623 

The "Three Precious Buddhas" 625 

Worship in the Temple of the thousand Lamas Full Page 627 

Temple of Kwan-Yin ^^"'^ J^age 630 

Colossal Gilded Buddha •• ^3^ 

Altar of Chinese Pagoda Double Page 634-5 

The Goddess Ma-chu and her assistants 638 

Pagoda at Tung-Cho P"^^ P'^S^ 639 

Chinese Idols 641 

Chinese Buddhist's Idea of Hell 642 

Goddess of Mercy delivering a soul . , • • P"Jl Page 643 

Buddhist Monument at Peking P"li Page 647 

Priest at a Praying Wheel 649 


Chinese Bonze, or Priest 650 

Letting go tjie Water-lamps 653 

Miraculous delivery of a Bonze Full Page 659 

Shrine of Kwanon 661 

Interior of Kwanon's Temple Fttll Page 663 

The Hiogo Buddha 666 

Buddhist Shrine at Kobe 668 

Japanese Pilgrim in winter dress ' 669 

Dining-room of a Buddhist Monastery 670 

Religious festival in Temple Grounds Full Page 671 

New Year's frolic in Japan Full Page 675 

Buddhist " Nio," or Temple Guard 677 

Japanese Picture of Kwanon 680 

Musicians of the Temple at Shiba 682 

Torii, or Water Gate of the Temple of Miyajima Full Page 683 

Interior of the Temple of Shiba 685 

Temple of the Five Hundred Gods, Canton, Ciiina Ficll Page 689 

Belfry of the Temple at Osaka, Japan 691 

Street Mountebanks in a New Year's Festival in Japan .... Doitble Page 696-7 

Japanese idea of the Judge of Hell 700 

Festival of Foxes Full Page 703 

Driving the devils out of the liouse on New Year's Eve with beans 705 

A Japanese Matsuri, or Religious Festival 706 

Religious Procession in Japan Full Page 707 

Fujisan, from a village on the Tokaido 708 

Worship at the Tomb of an Ancestor Full Page 713- 

The Flowing Invocation 715 

Temple of the Kaaba, at Mecca, Arabia ■ 722 

Mohammedan Cemetery at Mecca 727 

Interior of a Turkoman tent, in Western Persia -^29 

Mosque of Omar, on the site of the Jewish Temple, at Jerusalem 730 

Mohammedans praying before the Mosque of Omar 731 

Mohammedan Mosque on the Hooghly River, near Calcutta, India 742 

Interior of Mosque in Persia Double Page 744-5 

Interior of Mosque at Delhi, India 747 

Interior of Mosque of St. Sophia 748 

A Whirling Dervish 749 

Moslem Boy studying the Koran 752 

Mosque of St. Sophia, at Constantinople, Turkey 753 

Mosque at Delhi, containing a hair from Mohammed's beard 755 

Entrance to the Mosque at Delhi 756 

Tower of the Koutub, India Full Page 757 

Taj Mahal, the tomb of the Empress Mumtaj Mahal, at Agra, India 759 

Inferior of the Taj, the tomb of Mahal 762 

Mohammedan Feast of Mohurrim 764 

Two New Zealanders: the Savage Te Wetere and the Christian Te Kotc . . . 768 
A Missionary home in Burmah 774 








THE world's first WORSHIP. 

I have laid it down as an invariable maxim constantly to follow his- 
torical tradition, and to hold fast by that clew, even when many 
things, in the testimony and declarations of tradition, appear strange 
and almost inexplicable, or at least enigmatical ; for so soon in the 
investigation of ancient history as we let slip that Ariadne's thread 
we can find no outlet from the labyrinth of fanciful theories, and the 
chaos of clashing opinions. — F. Von Schlegel. 

THERE are many systems of worship in the world. 
Some of these are Hmited to single nations, others 
extend themselves over different nations, and in 
history we read of certain religions which no longer exist. 
For instance — of those systems limited to a nation, there 
is the worship of ancestors, as taught by Confucius, in 
China; the worship of the idol gods Brahma, Vishnu 
and Siva, and a multitude of other gods, more numerous 
than their worshipers, in India ; and Shintoism, the nature- 
worship of Japan. Of those which have extended to 
other lands, there is the worship of the hero-saint, Gau- 
tama Buddha, in all southern and eastern Asia; and 
Mohammedanism, the fierce opponent of idolatry, and 
the system of the prophet Mohammed, in India, Turkey, 
Egypt and in China. Of the dead religions, there are 
those of Egypt, Assyria, Greece and Rome. These are 
but a few of the many forms of worship that we find in 
glancing over the world's history, or in looking at Its 
present condition. There are wide differences between 


these systems of worship and also many resemblances 
among them. 

Where did these systems all come from ? Where and 
how did they start? They differ very materially one 
from another. Some worship one God and have no 
idols, others worship millions of gods and have multi- 
tudes of idols. Their temples are of different styles. 
Their sacred books and ceremonies are extremely varied. 
Can they have started from one source, or did each start 
independently of the rest ? 


How shall we find out about this ? We have one rec- 
ord that will help us and upon which we can depend. 
This is the oldest history of mankind. There were a 
great many of these histories written later, but for no 
one of them is there a tenth part of the evidence as to 
its being genuine, which there is for this one old record. 
It has been tested in every possible way and no flaw has 
yet been found. Ancient monuments and their inscrip- 
tions, the oldest traditions of the most ancient peoples, 
all confirm its statem.ents. But these monuments and 
the written histories of nations go back but a few thou- 
sand years, and this one record is older than they all. So 
traditions only remain to be compared with it. No, there 
is one thing left that is related to tradition. It is lan- 

Those who have studied the languages of the world 
and compared them with each other have something to 
say, and it is this : All languages can be grouped into 
families or classes of speech, and all these families are 
seen to have started from one common source. This, 
too, agrees with the story of that older record. That tells 
how God made first a man and then a woman, how that 


they were very good at the outset, but soon became bad. 
It goes on to tell how their children were very wicked, 
and how God punished them by sending a great flood ot 
waters which destroyed all but one family. Then this 
family increased, and they too became wicked. They 
finally planned to build an immense tower, so, perhaps, 
that they should not hi\ drowned again in a flood; at any 
rate, if this was not the reason, it was for some other 
wicked purpose that they builded. God was angry with 
their wickedness, and to stop their building confused 
their language. They had all spoken the same lan- 
guage before, but now some spoke one and some an- 
other. Just here other histories begin, and the stories 
in these and in the record we have referred to, go on 
very much alike. But the traditions, which are older 
than the histories, aorree with the record, as we shall see 
in a future chapter. This record is the Bible, especially 
the first part of the Book of Genesis. So here is found 
one answer to our question, — all religions grew out 
of one original system of worship. 


There is still another way to get an answer. Place 
the religions side by side, study their principles, examine 
their legends, and see if, after all, there are not resem- 
blances beneath the surface. Let us strip them of those 
things which are the additions of a later day, and of those 
things which the peculiar conditions of their countries, 
climates and languages have added. Take for instance 
their legends or household stories. Some of these tra- 
ditions are written in the inscriptions on the ancient 
monuments of Egypt, or especially of Babylonia, or in 
the sacred books and histories of the older nations; others 
have been handed down by word of mouth. It was long 



after these legends were old, that even neighboring 
nations held any communications with each other. It 
had been just as if a great high wall was built around 
each nation — a wall without gates. So they could not 
have told these stories to each other. Then, too, some 
of these stories are told by nations thousands of miles 

The truth certainly is that before the several branches 
of the race separated from their common home, perhaps 
on the table-lands of Bactria, they had many legends, nur- 
sery tales and peculiar stories in common. As they 
moved to the colder North, or to the warmer South, they 
carried these tales with them. In course of time these 
came to be somewhat altered. This change was in the 
dressing rather than in the tales themselves. Hence we 
find among the Egyptians, Hindoos, Greeks, Germans, 
Spaniards, Norsemen, stories which are so much alike 
that it is certain that they had a common origin. Take, 
for instance, the story of the Master Thief of the Norse- 
men, and compare it with the same story as told by other 
nations, and we are led to the conclusion that it is part 
of a stock of nursery tales which were told before the 
dispersion. Let us remember that many collections of 
stories were not originated by the men whose names 
they bear, but that these men simply gathered together 
legends and tales which they found already existing 
among the people. Thus "Grimm's Household Tales" is 
a collection of old German fireside stories. "The Arabian 
Night's Entertainment," the "Hindoo Hitopadesa," "Da- 
sent's Popular Tales of the Norse," and " Old Deccan 
Days," are collections of the same sort. It will repay us 
to attend at some length to the various versions of one of 
these stories, which will serve to illustrate many others of 
more momentous character. 




In the Norse tale, the Master Thief is a farmer's 
apprentice. In his country there is an order or society 
of thieves, and the apprentice wishes to join them. The 
thieves promise to admit him to their society provided 
he can succeed in steahno^ an ox from his master as the 
master is driving three oxen, one by one, to market. It 
must be done, the thieves say, without the master's 
knowledge, and without hurting him. The youth put a 
silver-buckled shoe in his master's way as he traveled 
along the road. The farmer admired the shoe but passed 
on without touching it, as an odd shoe would be of no 
service to him. The thief cunningly picked up the shoe 
and ran around by another path so as to come out 
ahead of his master, and place the shoe in the farmer's 
way again. This time he stopped, tied his ox to the fence, 
and picking up the shoe before him, went back to find 
its mate. The lad then stole the ox and took it away to 
the thieves' council. But they want to try him still further, 
and direct him to steal a second ox from his master, who 
is acrain drivinof to market. Dis^uisintr himself the lad 
put a rope around his body under his arms and hung 
himself to a tree at the roadside. The farmer passed 
on. barely nodcing the lad. He was so much troubled 
about the loss of his ox that he did not think of render- 
inor assistance. The lad then unded himself, and run- 
ning by a roundabout way came out on the road ahead 
of the farmer and hung himself as before. Again the 
farmer passed by unconcernedly. Again the thief hung 
himself. This dme the farmer thought himself bewitched, 
and returned to see if the other two lads were sdll hang- 
inor. His second ox was now left tied up and the lad 
then led it also away. The thieves then said that if he 



would Steal the third ox from the farmer, now on his 
euard aeainst tricks, he should be their master. Goina 
into a piece of woods along the road, as his master was 
passing by with the third ox, he imitated the bellowing 
of oxen. The farmer now hurried away to catch his lost 
catde, leaving the third one to fall into the thief's hands. 
The thieves thereupon took him into their council, but 
determined (as he shrewdly provoked them to do) to 
outdo the young thief, they went away to carry out their 
plans. The lad then returned his master's oxen, and 
carried off all the valuables and goods which the thieves 
had stored away. Soon after he married his master's 

This story was told in Western Europe, probably long 
before Herodotus heard the story of the Egyptian thief 
and wrote it out, or before the Hindoo tale of Karpara 
and Gata was made known outside of India. The tale 
of the Forty Thieves in the Arabian Nights also bears a 
close resemblance to these. The Spanish legend of the 
Poor Mason may have been borrowed from any one of 
these. Compare the main points of these stories with 
those of the tale of the Master Thief. 


Rhampsinitos, an architect, built for the King of Egypt 
a treasure-house with a secret entrance. This secret, at 
his death, the architect told to his two sons. They there- 
upon helped themselves to the king's treasures. As the 
king noticed how his treasures were gradually decreasing, 
he placed a trap in the entrance to the treasure-house. 
The younger brother was caught in the trap, and seeing 
that he could not escape, he begged his brother to cut off 
his head so that the king might not know that the archi- 
tect had told the secret, and that the brother might not 



get into trouble. So the king found the headless body, 
and of course could not recognize the thief But to find 
out who he was, he had the body exposed in a public 
place, and ordered the guards to arrest any person who 
should mourn for the dead man. The mother saw and re- 
cognized the body, and threatened to tell the king, unless 
the elder son should bring the body home. The son 
then filled some skin bottles with wine, and loaded them 
upon asses. As he rode by the guards, he slightly 
loosened the mouth-string of the sacks, and the wine 
began to run out. The guards, pretending to help him, 
helped themselves to the wine. After tying up the skins, 
the youth asks them to sit down and drink wine with 
him. They do so, and are soon overpowered by it, and 
fall asleep. He then carried away the body. Soon after 
he was married to the princess, for the king sought to 
honor this Master Thief, and he was held to be the clev- 
erest man of the cleverest people. 


In the Spanish story of the Poor Mason a priest wished 
him to build a secret hiding-place for his treasure. In 
order that the mason might not know how to get at the 
treasure, should he be so inclined, the priest blindfolded 
him from the time of leaving- his own home till he arrived 
at the treasure-house, and again blindfolded him on his 
return. So the mason knew the secret of the priest's 
hidden treasure, but did not know where the house was 
in which it was secreted. The priest finally died. The 
house was then said to be haunted. The landlord could 
not find a tenant. At last he happened on the poor 
mason, and offered him the house rent free. As soon as 
the mason entered it, he saw that it was the house where 
the wealth was stored, and where he had worked. He 


kept the secret to himself, until like the Egyptian archi- 
tect, he told it on his death-bed to his son. 

In the story of Trophonius and Agamedes, which Paii- 
saniiis tells, the two masons built the treasury of the 
kino-, so that one stone in the wall could be removed from 
the outside. The king found his wealth growing less, 
and set a trap for the thief. Agamedes was caught and 
Trophonius cut off his head. In the Hindoo story of two 
brothers, Gata and Karpara, not only treasure is stolen 
by means of a secret entrance to the king's palace, but 
also the princess, the king's daughter. Karpara was 
finally found out, was put to death, and as it was desired 
to catch the other thief, his body was exposed. The 
guards were ordered to seize any one who might mourn 
the death of Karpara. The word 'Tvarpara" means a 
gourd or melon. Gata, Karpara's brother, in order that 
he might mourn as Hindoos feel bound to do and yet not 
be caueht, loaded some asses with melons, and as he 
passed the body of Karpara, contrives to have his load 
slip off, crying, as the gourds fell to the ground and burst, 
"Alas ! for my precious Karpara !" The guards supposed, 
of course, that he referred to his gourds, and so did not 
arrest him. Afterwards they perceived the trick that had 
been played upon them, and told it to the king. He then, 
by royal proclamation, offered the princess in marriage 
to the clever thief if he would but come and claim her. 


The historian of ancient Scottish legends records a 
tale which resembles in many points the tales mentioned 
above. In the Scottish story, the Shifty Lad goes 
through his apprenticeship, not among a company ol 
thieves, but under the sole charge of the Black Rogue, 
of whom he at last rid himself by getting him to try the 



pleasant sensation of being- hung by the neck. The 
trick answers to that of the Norse thief, but the mode of 
effecting it differs widely. Having disposed of his mas- 
ter, he eno;-ages himself to a carpenter, whom he per- 
suades to break into the king's storehouse. The advice 
of the Seanagal, whom the king consults, is that a hogs- 
head of soft pitch be placed near the entrance. The 
wright, again making the venture, sinks into the pitch, 
and the Shifty Lad, stepping in on his shoulders, takes 
as much as he can carry, and then sweeping off his mas- 
ter's head, leaves the body in the hogshead. Again the 
Seanagal is consulted, and his answer is "that they 
should set the trunk aloft on the points of the spears of 
the soldiers to be carried from town to town, to see if 
they could find any one at all that would show sorrow 
for it." As they pass by the wright's house, his wife 
screams, but the Shifty Lad cutting himself with an adze, 
leads the captain of the guard to think that the cry was 
caused by sorrow at his own hurt. The body is then by 
the king's order hung on a tree, the guard being ordered 
to seize any one who should venture to take it down. 
The lad driving before him a horse loaded with two kegs 
of whisky, approaches the soldiers, as though he wished to 
pass them stealthily, and when they catch the horse's 
bridle, he runs off leaving tlie men to drink themselves 
to sleep, and then returning takes away the wright's 
body. This exploit is followed by others which occur in 
no other version ; but the final scene is a feast, at which, 
according to the Seanagal's prediction, the Shifty Lad 
asks the king's daughter to dance. The Seanagal upon 
this puts a black mark upon him, but the lad, like Mor- 
giana In the story of "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves," 
discovering the mark, puts another on the Seanagal and 
on twenty other men besides him. The king is then ad- 


vised to say that the man who had done all these tricks, 
that had been so well done, must be exceedingly clever, 
and that if he would come forward and give himself up 
he should have the princess for his wife. All the marked 
men accordingly claim the prize; and the craft of the 
Shifty Lad is once more called into practice, to secure 
the maiden for himself. 

From the comparison of these popular tales with each 
other we can see their common origin. Nations so 
widely separated as the Norsemen, Hindoos, Spaniards, 
Egyptians and the early inhabitants of Scotland, could 
not have borrowed these stories from each othen Their 
resemblances — a thief of wonderful cunning, his suc- 
cesses and escapes, and final honor — all point to the fact 
that they are but different versions of the same story. 
This one story could not have been communicated by 
one nation to the others, and as the only way to account 
for the resemblances we are shut up to believe that the 
nations long ago all lived in one home, from which they 
afterward separated to go to the different lands of their 
final settlements. 

When we add to this evidence, that from the sameness 
in the ideas of God held by the different nations in their 
.descriptions of His power, and even in the very names 
by which they designated God, we are carried back to 
the early worship of the race, and we see from all these 
evidences that, originally, man worshiped one God. The 
human race did not begin life on the earth as a savage, 
or as a child, and was not developed from this condidon 
to, a higher state of intelligence; but man began life as 
a full-formed, mature, intelligent creature. From this 
high vantage ground he has descended, first, to the wor- 
ship of many gods, and later on, of idols. 

Such degeneration has often happened in the history 


of the world. The descendants of powerful nations 
have, in the lapse of years, become far inferior to their 
ancestors. For example, the ancient Egyptians have left 
monuments whose construction baffles us. We cannot 
imagine how they have raised and posed the immense 
stones, nor can we ascertain the purpose of many of 
their buildings. We talk of "lost arts" and "lost civili- 
zations." We know that it has often happened that edu- 
cated colored people from the southern United States, 
have sunk to the low level of the people of Africa when 
they have returned to the land of their fathers. From 
the Bible narrative, as well as from the most ancient tra- 
ditions of heathen nations, we learn that at the first, man 
held close intercourse with God and that he held this 
pure worship during many centuries. The traditions of 
ancient nations confirm the Bible account of the hieh 
position of man at the outset. 

In the Avesta, the sacred book of the Parsees, who are 
known also as fire-worshipers, we are told that the first 
king, Jemshid, and his subjects, after living for a time in 
the orio-inal home of the race of mankind, removed to a 
secluded spot not far distant. Here, there "was neither 
overbearing nor mean-spiritedness, neither stupidity nor 
violence, neither poverty nor deceit, neither puniness nor 
deformity, neither huge teeth nor bodies beyond the 
usual measure. The inhabitants suffered no defilement 
from the evil spirit. They dwelt among odoriferous trees 
and golden pillars; these were the largest, best and 
most beautiful on earth; they were themselves a tall and 
beautiful race." The Mexicans tell of the "eolden aee 
of Tezenco." The Peruvian tradition begins with the 
story of the two children of the Sun, who established a 
civilized country on the banks of Lake Titicaca, Hesiod 
records the Greek tradition thus: 


" The immortal gods, that tread the courts of heaven, 
First made a golden race of men. 
Like gods they lived, with happy, careless souls, 
From toil and i)ain exempt ; nor on them crept 
Wretched old ;ige, but all their life was passed 
In feasting, antl their limbs no changes knew. 
Nought evil came them nigh; and when they died, 
'Twas but as if they were overcome by sleep. 
All good things were their portion : the fat soil 
Bare them its fruits spontaneous, fruit ungrudged 
And plentiful ; they, at their own sweet will. 
Pursued in peace the tasks that seemed them good. 
Laden with blessings, rich in flocks, and dear 
To the great gods." 

The Chinese and Hindoo traditions also point back 
to the beginning of the history of the human race as a 
time of happiness and perfection. In those early ages 
man lived a long life, and so the early worship of the one 
God could be handed down from age to age with scarce 
a chance of change. Thus we are broucrht down to the 
time of the Deluge. While there was a general ten- 
dency to evil on the part of all the descendants of Adam, 
God preserved some pure characters, such as Enoch and 
Noah, who kept the truth from utterly perishing from off 
the earth. On account of the increasing wickedness of 
mankind, God sent the Deluge, which destroyed all the 
race, Noah and his family alone excepted. This we 
learn hot only from the Bible, but from Chinese, Hindoo, 
Egyptian, Greek and Mexican traditions. Soon after 
this deluge, the descendants of Noah multiplied greatly, 
and on account of their wicked attempt to build the 
tower of Babel, God confused their language. Thus the 
great dispersion of nations was brought about, through 
their inability to communicate with each other by means 
of speech. They separated inevitably from each other. 




Somewhere to the north of Persia, in the land of 
Khiva, was probably the second cradle of the race. This 
land is now the central meeting place of empires ; here, 
Russia from the north, England, through India, from the 
south, and the European powers from the west are com- 
ing together. This was the point of departure whence 
the nations started for their future homes. From the 
three sons of Noah came the nations by whom the whole 
earth was overspread. Let us keep in mind that Noah's 
worship of God was pure, that he preserved the true 
faith in Jehovah, that he handed this to his sons, and that 
the degeneration into the worship of many gods and 
idols took place later in history. The religion of the 
world was still one. Not that all men accepted it, for 
many wickedly rebelled against it, but the knowledge of 
the true God was too fresh in their minds for them to set 
up other gods for themselves. Not only this, but while 
they were all together, each new generation received in- 
struction from those who did worship God in the right 
way. // luas only zuhen they were scattered and left solely 
to their recollections of these teachings, that their religions 
began gradually to differ from that zvhich they had known 
when together. Then, also, the peoples began to differ 
from each other; then those who went to the cold north 
or warmer south, to the isles of the sea or to inland 
hills and valleys, gradually changed their habits of life 
and worship according to their surroundings. From 
the mountains of Armenia, where Noah landed from 
the ark, the streams of population poured forth to 
all parts of the world; north-west to Europe^ west to 
Asia Minor, south-west to Egypt and Africa, south to 
Arabia, south-east to Persia and India, and east to China. 



Of course, this was not the work of a clay. It took ages 
for the nations to reach the more distant lands; ages for 
them to become settled in their new homes; ages for 
them to people these lands densely. Hundreds of years 
after the deluge, some of the peoples who reached the 
western shores of the Pacific Ocean, and who ventured 
on its waters, were carried away on the stream whose 
currents sweep to the north, then to the east, and thence 
down again to the south. It has happened in the last 
few centuries that Malays and Japanese sailors have thus 
been swept away by the Kuro Shiwo (Black Stream). 
Thus, in all probability, the continent of America was 
peopled. Thus the present Japanese nation originated 
from the mixing of these Malays from south-eastern 
Asia and the Ainos, the nation which had made its way 
overland to Japan. 

In the languages and traditions of these nations, even 
after they were well settled, are to be found traces of 
Monotheism. Not distinct and clear, it is true, for the 
Polytheistic worship of after ages has destroyed to a 
great extent these indications of the early worship of 
one God, and yet in almost all systems of religion a su- 
preme place is given to some one Deity, who is above all 
the others, and who is recognized as the ruler of all. 





The fair humanities of old religion, 

The power, the beauty and the majesty. 

They had their haunts in dales or piny mountain, 

Or forest by slow stream, or pebbly spring. 

Or chasms and watery depths. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

WE have seen that the first worship of the world 
was of one God. We have watched the 
world in its processes of changing as the 
nations were separated from each other. We have found 
that not long after the setdement of the nations in their 
new lands the worship of many gods appeared, and with 
this worship, or soon after it began, the worship of idols 
appeared also. The number of gods and their idols 
multiplied rapidly, until they numbered hundreds of mil- 
lions. There were gods of every name and shape ; gods 
of heaven, earth, and hell ; gods of occupations and em- 
ployments ; gods of every living creature, and of many 
inanimate things. Where did they come from ? Where 
and when did that great change occur, when man ceased 
to worship one God and began to multiply his gods and 
idols ? How did it come about ? What influences pro- 
duced the change? Why was the world permitted to 
wander so far from the truth ? All these, and a hundred 
kindred questions come to us at this time. Can we 
answer any of them ? The sources of information are 



not very numerous. The course of ages has destroyed, 
or at least altered, many of the early records. It is like 
those old manuscripts from which some economical scribe 

has rubbed out 
all the writing 
originally there, 
to make way for 
his own work. 
Can these faded 
palimpsests be 
restored ? We 
must look down 
beneath these 
uppermost re- 
cords, beneath 
the traditions, 
legends and sa- 
cred writings of 
later ages, and 
we can then dis- 
cover, but faint- 
ly traceable it 
is true, but still 
worthy of trust, 
some dim out- 
lines of the in- 
troductions of 
Polytheism. In the last fifty years, wonderful treasures 
of information have been brought to light, and scholars 
skilled in Eastern learning have been raised up to aid in 
bringing this information more fully to the Western world. 
English, German and American students have given us 
the sacred books of Hindus, Parsees and other peoples, 
and the story of their work is intensely interesting. 




The Vedas, the sacred books of the Hindus, are the 
oldest existing- sacred writings, excepting those from 
which Moses compiled the earlier chapters of Genesis. 
In these Vedas there is little of the confused mass of 
mythological statements, gross superstitions and the hosts 
of gods of later Brahminism. Here is presented a pic- 
ture of the simple nature-worship of the people of India 
in their earliest history. Having been composed so soon 
after the dispersion of the nations, or rather the hymns 
contained in it having been handed down by word of 
mouth from generation to generation, it is a very valuable 
source of information just here. Before the beginning 
of this century the Vedas were almost unknown to 
European scholars. Since that time great attention has 
been devoted to the subject, especially since Max Miiller- 
went to England to seek the aid of Englishmen, and more 
particularly of the East India Company, in publishing his 
translation of the Vedas. At present we can read them 
for ourselves in tolerably accurate translations. 

Until within a hundred years, there was no direct way 
of learning of the faith, and manners, and customs of 
ancient Persia. It was known that there was an author- 
itative record of the earliest Persian religion, a Bible of 
the Parsees, but no European had ever read it. In 1754, 
a young French student of Paris, chanced to see a few 
lines of an ancient manuscript in an unknown language." 
He at once determined to go to Persia, or India, whence 
the manuscript had come, and to learn more about it. As 
he could not secure the means for the journey, in any 
other why, he enlisted as a private soldier to go to India. 
Just before sailing, however, he received the means to go, 
and his discharge from the army. He traveled through 


India until he came to the borders o. Persia. From some 
Parsee priests he learned the language, and gained some 
slight knowledge of the Zend-Avesta, the Parsees' Bible. 
He pursued his investigations for four years more, and 
then published his translation of the Avesta. But his work 
was incomplete, and while he rendered a great service to 
the world in showing the way to a knowledge of the 
Avesta, it was left for later scholars more fully and accu- 
rately to prepare the translation of the book. The an- 
cient Egyptian sacred books have been almost wholly 
lost, it is believed. Just enough remains to give us the 
outlines of their early worship. 

Another source of information is the ancient monu- 
ments. It was the custom of Oriental people to pre- 
serve important parts of their history by engraving and 
carving descriptions of them on their memorial stones. 
When it is remembered that all knowledge of the char- 
acters or letters in which these inscriptions are made had 
faded away, we can see how difficult the task of explain- 
ing them must have been. By careful comparisons and 
patient investigations methods of interpreting them were 
devised. These were severally tried ; if found not to be 
capable of successful application they were rejected ; 
and thus one plan after another was tried until the 
right one was found. Some of the inscriptions were in 
the form of pictures with combinations of syllables added, 
or hic7'oglyphics, as they are called. From these monu: 
ments a great deal has been learned about the early 
history and worship of the nations. 

From these sacred books, the traditions of the nations, 
and from tracing back the development of religions 
with the aid of monumental inscriptions, we get a toler- 
ably clear picture of the passing from the worship of the 
one God into the worship of many gods and idols. This 


change took place gradually, not abruptly. It was a 
result of the natural deoeneration of the race. There 
were certain depraved tendencies of the human heart 
which brought it about. It was a work of time to develop 
these and give them full play. We must keep in mind 
these facts and the condition of the human race just at 
this time, if we would correcdy apprehend this change 
and its slowly-moving but efficient causes. 


The worship of one God passed into the worship of 
the powers and objects of nature. This grew out of a 
natural awe at the sight of the mighty forces evidendy 
at work and yet inexplicable to the nations in their 
uncultured state. Their habits of life were simple. 
While they journeyed, as they tilled their fields, or fed 
their flocks, their attendon was drawn to the sky, now 
clear, now cloudy; to the sun, now shining in beauty, now 
obscured in the darkness of night; to the day-dawn and 
the sunset, to the resurrection of vegetable life in the 
spring, the growth of crops through the heat of summer, the 
ripening harvests of autumn, and the cold of winter and 
the barrenness of earth. They gazed in awe upon the 
storms ; upon the lightning as it glared in the midst of the 
dark, black clouds ; upon the tall trees bending beneath 
the strong winds ; upon the mountains shaking in the 
earthquake or vomiting their contents with rumblings, 
and flame, and smoke. They listened in astonishment to 
the noise of thunder, to the whistling, and sighing, and 
roaring of the wind. With wonder they saw the earth 
into which they cast their seed return it to them in the 
manifold harvest ; they watched the fruits and grains 
mature and ripen. All about them mysterious processes 
were going on, which they could not comprehend. Were 


these processes moved by a Strong Arm ? were they 
under the control of a Mighty Power ? or were they self- 
moved and guided by their own inner, hidden forces? 

Contact with nature kindles the imagination. In early 
days almost all of the nations were herdsmen and 
agriculturists. Their dwellings were simple and such as 
each could erect for himself; their food was such as each 
could provide for himself by the chase, or from his own 
flocks or from his own fields. A few were selected to 
be the rulers of the rest, or to pursue some simple 
mechanical pursuits. But the majority were brought 
into the closest contact with nature. Their poetic imagi- 
nations began to see life in nature's powers and objects, 
they began to personify these and then to people them 
with creatures of their own minds' making. They saw 
reflected their own passions and conditions in the events 
of nature. They credited the beings dwelling in the 
skies, or storms, or stars, with feelings, passions, quarrels 
like their own. When the sky was clear, when the winds 
were gentle, when the seas and lakes were unruflled 
in their calm repose, when the destructive powers of 
nature were at rest, they imagined that these beings were 
at peace among themselves. But when the skies were 
overcast, when the winds arose in fury, when earth and 
sea were convulsed, these beings were angry and at war 
with each other. Finding themselves unable to contend 
with these strong powers, unable to resist their over- 
whelming influences, they gradually recognized the beings 
dwelling in them as superior to themselves, and their 
awe and mystery led them to give these superior beings 
the place of gods. They could not prevent the sun from 
taking his departure at the close of day. They could 
not resist the strong force of wind or wave. They 
were mere driven chaff; as pygmies whom these giants 



could easily overthrow ; as creatures of a day in the 
presence of these, seemingly, ever-enduring beings. So 
man passed from the worship of God to the worship of 
the works and forces which God had made ; from rev- 
erence for the Creator to reverence for the created. 


Reverence for the gods was not merely a silent observ- 
ance and awe-stricken contemplation of the great powers 
at work in nature. The observers lelt that these beings 
held some relation to themselves, and that praises, 
prayers and offerings would not only be acceptable to 
the gods, but that they were really demanded in order to 
avert the anger of the gods or secure their favor. Hence 
the earliest literature of the race is devoted to singing the 
praises or invoking the aid of the gods. Priests were 
soon selected to represent the people at the seasons of 
sacrifice and to give themselves more continually to 
prayer than would be possible to men generally. The 
worship of these early days was exceedingly simple and 
the priests possessed no unusual powers. As Whittier 
has expressed it : 

"The morning twilight of the race 

Sends down these matin psahns ; 
And still with wondering eyes we trace 
The simple prayers to Luna's grace, 

That Vedic verse embalms." 

The American Indians, the Aztecs of western South 
America, the early Hindoos, the Chinese and the Parsees 
all exhibit in their sacred Avritings this nature-worship. 
Traces of it are still to be seen in the Parsees' worship of 
the sun, in the worship of heaven and earth among the 
Chinese, in the Indians' reverence for the Great Spirit, in 



the Peruvian sun-worship and in many other features of 
worship among the heathen nations of to-day. 

Let us look at some specimens of early religious 
poetry. The first is from Monier Williams' transla- 
tions of the Vedas. Varuna is the sfod of the "moist- 
ing sky," Agni is the god of fire, Surya, the sun-god, 
Indra the atmosphere-god. _ 

** The mighty Varuna, who rules above, looks down 
Upon these worlds, his kingdom, as if close at hand. 
When men imagine they do aught by stealth, he knows it. 

"No one can stand, or walk, or softly glide along. 
Or hide in dark recess, or lurk in secret cell, 
But Varuna detects him, and his movements spies. 
Two persons may devise some plot, together sitting, 
And think themselves alone ; but he, the king, is there — 
A third — and sees it all. His messengers descend 
Countless from his abode, forever traversing 
This world, and scanning with a thousand eyes its inmates. 
Whate'er exists within this earth, and all within the sky, 
Yea, all that is beyond. King Varuna perceives. 
^ The winkings of men's eyes are numbered all by him: 
He wields the universe as gamesters handle dice. 

" Indra, twin-brother of the god of fire. 
When thou wast born, thy mother Aditi, 
Gave thee, her lusty child, the thrilling draught 
Of mountain-growing Soma — source of life 
And never-dying vigor to thy frame. 
Thou art our guardian, advocate and friend, 
A brother, father, mother — all combined. 

' Most fatherly of fathers, we are thine. 
And thou art ours. Oh ! let thy pitying soul 
Turn to us in compassion when we praise thee, 
And slay us not for one sin or for many. 
Deliver us to-day, to-morrow, every day. 
Vainly the demon dares thy might ; in vain 
Strives to deprive us of thy watery treasures. 
Earth quakes beneath the crashing of thy bolts. 


Pierced, shattered lies the foe — his cities crushed, 
His armies overthrown, his fortresses 
Shivered to fragments ; then the pent-up waters. 
Released from long imprisonment, descend 
In torrents to the earth, and swollen rivers. 
Foaming and rolling to their ocean-home, 
Proclaim the triumph of the Thunderer. 

" Agni, thou art a sage, a priest, a king, 

Protector, father of the sacrifice. 

Commissioned by us men, thou dost ascend 

A messenger, conveying to the sky 

Our hymns and offerings. Though thy origin 

Be threefold, now from air, and now from water. 

Now from the mystic double Arani, 
/ Thou art thyself a mighty god, a lord, 

Giver of life and immortality. 

One in thy essence, but to mortals three ; 

Displaying thine eternal triple form. 

As fire on earth, as lightning in the air. 

As sun in heaven. Thou art the cherished guest 

In every household — father, brother, son. 

Friend, benefactor, guardian — all in one. 

Deliver, mighty lord, thy worshipers. 

Purge us from taint of sin, and when we die. 

Deal mercifully with us on the pyre, 

Burning our bodies with their load of guilt. 

But bearing our eternal part on high 

To luminous abodes and realms of bliss. 

Forever there to dwell with righteous men. 

" Behold the rays of Dawn, like heralds, lead on high 
The Sun, that men may see the great all-knowing god. 
The stars slink off like thieves, in company with night. 
Before the all-seeing eye, whose beams reveal his presence. 
Gleaming like brilliant flames, to nation after nation. 
Surya, with flaming locks, clear-sighted god of day. 
Thy seven ruddy mares bear on thy rushing car. 
With these thy self-yoked steeds, seven daughters of thy chariot. 
Onward thou dost advance. To thy refulgent orb, 
Beyond this lower gloom, and upward to the light 
Would we ascend, O Sun, thou god among the gods." 



The Samoyedes thus addressed Jumala, the god of 
the air: 

'^ Harness now thyself, Jumala, 
Ruler of the air, thy horses ! 
Bring theni forth, thy rapid racers. 
Drive the sledge with glittering colors, 
Passing through our bones, our ankles. 
Through our flesh that shakes and trembles, 
Through our veins which seem all broken, 
Knit the flesh and bones together. 
Fasten vein to vein more firmly, 
Let our joints be filled with silver, 
Let our veins with gold be running !" 

The principal Chinese deities are called Tien-Chi, or 
Heaven and Earth. Confucius preserved in his writings 
the ancient worship of these gods. The Mongolians 
also worshiped the Teng-Ri, or god of the sky. The 
Chinese have for centuries believed in "celestial spirits," 
as they call them, spirits of the sun, and moon, and stars ; 
spirits of clouds, winds, rain and thunder; spirits of 
mountains, fields, rivers, grains and trees. All these were 
reverenced as gods. So the Egyptians worshiped natu- 
ral objects and powers. Indeed, every one of the re- 
ligions which existed in antiquity, and of which anything 
is known, possessed nature-worship as their primary ele- 
ment. The ancient religions which continue unto this 
day, also possess this characteristic, and though covered 
with the debHs and overgrowth of centuries of supersti- 
tious teachings, still it is to be distlncdy traced. 


Thus far we have no trace of any other than the direct 
worship either of God; or of the invisible spirits, or gods, 
that were supposed to dwell in the objects of nature; or 
of those objects themselves. As yet no attempt had been 



made to represent them by images or idols. When, 
where and how did the worship of idols take its rise? 
These are questions difficult to answer. In the Bible the 
first distinct traces of idolatry are found in Genesis xxxi, 
19, where we read that "Rachel had stolen the images 
that were her father's." These images, or idols, or gods, 
as both Jacob and Laban term them, were the teraphim 
or luck-givers. They had a 
human head and were used in 
divination or fortune-telling. 
They were consulted as oracles. 
But these could hardly have 
been the first idols, for their 
idea was too well developed. 
There must have been a grad- 
ual introduction of idols and 
of the idea of making repre- 
sentations of the gods. The 
account in Genesis, just re- 
ferred to, speaks as though it 
were no unusual thino- to have 
gods; there is no expression 
of strangeness at the occur- 
rence, nor anything that would 
indicate that these were the 
first known idols. What follows 
is suggested as the probable line of development in the 
idea of idols, but so far as is now known, there is no way 
of definitely determining the question. 

Findinor it difficult to fasten their thoughts on invisible, 
intangible beings, men, at the beginning, probably sought 
to aid their worship by selecting some object to represent 
the being worshiped. This object was not to be wor- 
shiped in and for itself, but, simply, as an aid to devotion, 




representing the being worshiped. Then, gradually, the 
worship was transferred to the object and withdrawn 
from the being represented. Or, it may be that the being 
worshiped was supposed in some manner to dwell in the 
idol, and was worshiped thus. Or, it may be that me- 
teoric stones were regarded as images of the gods sent 
down from the heavens. Or, it may have been in several 
of these ways, or in all combined. The aesthetic tastes of 
men would soon lead them to give a more shapely appear- 
ance to the meteoric masses of stone, and then, as these 
must of necessity be scarce, copies of them were sculptured. 
As men became more and more accustomed to these 

idols and less and less 
spiritual in their worship 
they would venture to 
give expression to their 
ideas of the unseen gods. 
Other materials were 
used and, as might be 
required by the materi- 
als, other shapes were 
of necessity given. At 
first, it would seem, that 
only representations of 
animals were attempted, 
then, as in the teraphim, 
the head of man was 
attached to various ani- 
mal forms, as also in 
Daeon, the fish-orod, 
which was a human fiof- 
DAGON, THE FISH-GOD. ,^j j-g, terminating in a fish. 

When this introduction of idols occurred, we cannot 
tell ; probabl)-, not long after the worship of nature had 



become established, and the worship of one God had 
been generally forgotten. Not very much more than 
one hundred and fifty years elapsed between the death 
of Noah and the 
birth of Jacob, so 
that in all prob- 
ability idols had 
not long been in 
use when this in- 
cident of Jacob 
and Laban took 
place. Not long 
after this time the 
full human figure 
was used in idol 
and in a short 
period a collec- 
tion of idols would 
have represent- 
ed almost every 
conceivable ob- 
ject, and being, 
and creature of 
the wild fancy of 
man. These were 
made of all man- 
ner of materials, of all shapes and sizes. The highest 
conceptions of art were lavished on some of these idols, 
and at the same time the rudest notions of the most 
barbarous nations were also expressed in them. The 
word idol originally meant simply an image, and only in 
after ages was an idol regarded as itself a divine thing 
or being, rather than merely an Image of it. 





Thus we have traced the worship of the world down 
through the ages of antiquity. We have had to rely upon 
other than merely historic sources of information. We 
have seen the gradual introduction of Polytheism (many 
gods' worship), and of idolatry (the worship of visible 
forms). For the rest of our way the light shines more 
and more clearly. Historic times are now reached, and 
we shall find much less difficulty in tracing the stories of 
religions ; and we shall also find data from which we may 
reason back, and so find confirmation of what has thus 
far been of necessity somewhat shadowy. 




Before passing to these, however, we shall turn aside 
for a little to consider the testimony which ancient 
heathen records and traditions furnish on the genuine- 
ness of the Bible history, and also to notice the singular 
system of Hebrew worship, standing alone like a green 
oasis in the weary wastes of heathenism. 





What appears to be of most importance is, the fact, attested by the 
hieroglyphic paintings of the Mexican, as well as by the tales now - 
current in all quarters from the Arctic Ocean to Cape Horn, that on6 
of these great periods, called "the Age of Waters," closed with a 
convulsion, the account of which, in all its broader outlines, is re- 
markably akin to the Mosaic record of the Deluge. — Archdeacon 
Charles Hardwick. 

FROM time to time during the past half century 
travelers have unearthed traditions from among 
heathen nations concerning the early history of 
the world. They have deciphered inscriptions, found the 
key to the hieroglyphics, or writings whose letters were 
yet pictures in jform, and, by questioning, learned from 
the heathen peoples themselves of traditions and legends 
which bear upon the prominent events of early history. 
These narradves are from a variety of sources and from 
peoples differing widely in locality, language and civiliza- 
tion. They are matters of curious interest, and they 
serve to confirm the Biblical stories of the creation, deluge, 
dispersion of the races and other events. They agree to 
a great extent among themselves, just as far as is really 
possible considering the changing circumstances of the 
peoples who hold them. But they serve another and 
more important purpose to us just here. They throw 
much light on the early history of the religions of which 
they form a part. They confirm the idea of the original 



unity of the race and of the early existence of one reli- 
ction for the world. 

The oldest civilizations of the world are, respectively, ..l.;::?^' 
those of Egypt, Babylon, Phenicia, the Hindu and the^ 
Greek. Among each of these the traditions of the early 
events referred to above are found. Almost, though not 
quite, all the nations of the world try to give some account 
of the origin of the world and of nations. Many of the 
uncivilized peoples, as the Indians of America, the Mex- 
icans and the Pacific Islanders, have some popular stories 
of the deluge. We propose to place side by side some 
of these, that they may be compared with each other. 
The traditions of the creation are often mixed up with 
those of the delude or the re-creation, and we o"ive of 
them the versions accepted by the best scholars. 


Among many peoples is found the teaching that man 
was made of the dust of the earth. The Greeks repre- 
sent Prometheus as moulding from clay the first human 
beings, and giving them life by means of fire which he stole 
from heaven. The Peruvians called the first man Alpa 
Camasca, or "animated earth." The Mandans, a tribe of 
Indians of North America, believed that the Great Spirit 
formed two figures of clay, which he dried and animated 
by the breath of his mouth. To the one was given the 
name of the "first man," to the other, "companion." The 
Otaheitans said that God made man of red earth, and 
the Dyacks of Borneo, that he had been made of common 
dust. The Zoroastrians (or Parsees) in the Bundehesh, a 
book containing none but ancient traditions, have many 
traditions regarding the creation and fall of man. The 
garden of Eden was undoubtedly in southern Persia, or 
near by, hence these are traditions which have lingered 


around the spot where the events happened. According 
to the Parsees, there was a garden where the first human 
beino-s hved, and in it two trees, the one bearincr " Haoma," 
supposed to give immortahty to those who drank its 
juice. (Haoma and the Hindu word "Soma" are 
probably different forms of one word. The Hindu Soma 
was possessed of the same properties as the Parsee 
Haoma). Then follows a story of the first temptation of 
man, bearing the closest resemblance to the Bible story, 
even in the incident of the tempter having taken the 
form of a serpent. 

The inhabitants of the Caroline Islands, a group in 
Micronesia, said: 'Tn the beginning there was no death, 
but a certain Erigiregers, who was one of the evil spirits, 
and who was sorry to see the happiness of the human 
race, contrived to get for them a sort of death from 
which they should never wake." The Hottentots said 
that "their first parents had committed so great a fault, 
and so grievously offended the Supreme God, that he had 
cursed both them and their children." 

Berosus, the Chaldean, read from the inscriptions on 
the Assyrian monuments, the tradition that there had 
been ten kingrs before the deluo^e. Ten antediluvian 
heroes are mentioned in Genesis. The legends of the 
Parsees say the same thing. In India the traditions tell 
of nine Brahmadikas, who, with Brahma, the first of all, 
make ten, whom they called the Ten Fathers. The 
Chinese count ten emperors, who reigned before his- 
torical times began. There is a multitude of correspond- 
ences similar to these. These are selected simply as 
specimens. There is another tradition, well-nigh uni- 
versal, and agreeing in all important particulars as told 
by different nations. This is that concerning the flood. 
In addition to traditions there are coins, medals and 



monumental inscriptions which perpetuate the story, as 
is illustrated in the specimen coin given below. 


Let us keep in mind the differences between the nations 
holding the tradition. It was impossible for them to have 
conferred with one another, or to 
have copied from each other. The 
confusion of lanofuag-es, their wide 
separation in point of space and time, 
prevented this. The oldest historic 
nation, Egypt, having lost most of 
its sacred books before they were 
made known to other nations or even 
to the later venerations amono- them- 
selves, possess few traces of the tradition. One passage 
in the writings of Manetho, the historian, distinctly refers 
to the deluge. "The Book of the Dead" constantly refers 
to the sun-god, Ra, as voyaging in a boat on the celestial 
ocean, and Ra is said to have been so disgusted with the 
insolence of men that he determined to exterminate the 

Clear and complete is the account which Berosus 
has preserved. He was a learned Chaldean priest, liv- 
ing in the time of Alexander the Great, about 325 B. C. 
This narrative is a translation made from the inscriptions 
of the Assyrian monuments, and compared with tradi- 
tions of his own time. 



After the death of Ardates, his son, Xisuthrus, reigned 
eighteen sori (an uncertain period). In his time happened 
a great deluge, the history of which is thus described : 
The deity Kronos appeared to him in a vision and 



warned him that on the 15 th day of the month Dsesius 
there would be a flood by which mankind would be de- 
stroyed. He therefore enjoined him to write a history 
of the beo-innino", course and end of all things; and to 
bury it in the City of the Sun, at Sippara.* He was also 
to build a vessel, and to take with him into it his friends 
and relatives; he was to put on board of it food and 
drink, with different reptiles, birds and quadrupeds. As 
soon as he had made all arrangements he was to commit 
himself to the deep. Having asked the Deity whither 
he was to sail, he was answered: ''To the gods, after 
having offered a prayer for the good of mankind." 
Whereupon, not being disobedient to this heavenly 
vision, he built a vessel five stadia in length and two in 
breadth. Into this he put everything which he had pre- 
pared, and embarked in it with his wife, his children and 
his personal friends. After the flood had been upon the 
earth and had in due time abated, Xisuthrus sent out 
some birds from the vessel, which not finding any food, 
nor any place where they could rest, returned to the ves- 
sel. After an interval of some days, Xisuthrus sent out 
the birds a second time, and now they returned to the 
ship with mud on their feet. A third time he repeated 
the experiment and then they returned no more. Xisu- 
thrus hence judged that the earth was visible above the 
waters, and accordingly he made an opening in the ves- 
sel, and seeing that it was stranded upon the summit of 
a certain mountain, he quitted it with his wife and daugh- 
ter and the pilot. Having then paid his adoration to the 
earth, and having built an altar and offered sacrifice to 
the eods, he, toeether with those who had left the vessel 

* In later ages the scribes of Babylonia wrote important matters on both burnt 
and unburnt bricks. One would be left unharmed by water, while the other was 
made permanent by fire. 


with him, disappeared. Those who had remained in the 
vessel, when they found that Xisuthrus and his compan- 
ions did not return, in their turn left the vessel and began 
to look for him, calling him by his name. Him they saw 
no more, but a voice came to them from heaven, bidding 
them lead pious lives, and so join him who was gone to 
live with the gods, and further informing them that his 
wife, his daughter and the pilot had shared the same 
honor. It told them, moreover, that they should return 
to Babylon, and how it was ordained that they should 
take up the writings that had been buried in Sippara,and 
impart them to mankind, and that the country where 
they then were was the land of Armenia. Having heard 
these words this company offered sacrifices to the gods, 
and taking a circuit journeyed to Babylon. The vessel 
having been thus stranded in Armenia, and parts of it 
still remaining in the mountains of the Corcyrseans (or 
Cordyaeans, i. e., the Kurds of Kurdistan), in Armenia, 
the people scrape off the bitumen from the vessel and 
make use of it by way of charms. Now, when those 
who were so commanded returned to Babylon, they dug 
up the writings which had been buried at Sippara; they 
also founded many cities and built temples, and thus the 
country of Babylon became inhabited again. 

The Hindoo narrative has been colored by the char- 
acter of that people, but yet it is preserved with great 
accuracy, and possesses many points of likeness to the 
Biblical story. 


The traditions of India appear in many forms. The 
one which most remarkably agrees with the Biblical ac- 
count is that contained in the Mahabharata. We are 
there told that Brahma, having taken the form of a fish. 



appeared to the pious Manu (Satya, /. e., the righteous, 
as Noah also is called) on the banks of the river Wirini. 
Thence, at his request, Manu transferred him to the 
Ganges when he had grown bigger, and finally, when he 
was too large for even the Ganges, to the ocean. 
Brahma now announces to Manu the approach of the 
Deluge, and bids him build a ship, and put in it all kinds 
of seeds, together with the seven Rishic, or holy beings. 
The flood begins and covers the whole earth. Brahma 
himself appears in the form of a horned fish and the ves- 
sel being made fast to him, he draws it for many years, 
and finally lands on the highest summit of Mount Hima- 
rat (/. c'., the Himalaya). Afterwards, by the command of 
God, the ship is made fast, and in memory of the event, 
the mountain is called Naubandhana (/. e., ship bind- 
ing). By the favor of Brahma. Manu, after the Flood, 
creates the new race of mankind, which is thenceforth 
termed Manudsha, or born of Manu. 

The Chinese story is sometimes called in question as 
possibly not referring to the general deluge, but to some 
local flood. The truth is, we know as yet comparatively 
little about the story, which is as follows- 


Fuh-he is the reputed founder of the Chinese civilization 
and the author of the Yhi-king, the oldest of the sacred' 
books. According to the legend, he is represented as 
escaping from the waters of a deluge, and re-appearing 
as the first man at the production of a renovated world. 
He is attended by seven companions, his wife, three sons 
and three daughters. 

Dr. Gutzlaff, long a resident in China, says that he saw 
in one of the Buddhist temples a representation of the 
deluge in plaster work. Let it be kept in mind, that 


Buddhism incorporated in every land to which it went all 
the traditions, myths and legends which it found current 
among the people. "In beautiful stucco," Dr, Gutzlafi 
says, "was depicted the scene where Kwan-Yin, the 
Goddess of Mercy, looks down from heaven upon the 
lonely Fuh-he (or Noah) in his ark, amidst the raging 
waves of a deluge, with the dove with an olive branch in 
its beak, flying toward the vessel." 

Passing to the other side of the Pacific Ocean, we find 
among the Mexicans and the Americans traditions of the 
same character as the above. These agree so precisely 
that they cannot be a myth, a mere invention, but must 
of necessity, be the recollection of a real, terrible event, 
indelibly impressed on the memories of their ancestors, 
and faithfully handed down. That it has never been for- 
gotten, nor its important points altered, even though the 
dress of the story has been changed, is an evidence of 
the awful impression which this judgment of God left 
upon the nations descending from the survivors. 

The Mexican traditions were first taken down as they 
were told to the Dominican missionaries. Travelers have 
compared their accounts with the hieroglyphics on ancient 
' Mexican monuments and found them to agree. 


"Of the different nations that inhabit Mexico," says 
A. von Humboldt, "the following had paintings resemb- 
ling the deluge of Coxcox, namely, the Aztecs, the Mixtecs, 
the Zapotecs, the Tlascaltecs and the Mechoacans. The 
Noah, Xisuthras, or Manu of these nations, is termed 
" Coxcox, Teo Cipactli, or Tezpi. He saved himself with his 
wife, Xochiquetzad, In a bark, or, according to other tra- 
ditions, on a raft. The painting represents Coxcox in 
the midst of the water waitino- for a bark. The moun- 



tain, the summit of which arises above the waters, is the 
peak of Colhuacan, the Ararat of the Mexicans. At the 
foot of the= mountain are the heads of Coxcox and his 
wife. The latter is known by two tresses in the form of 
horns, denoting the female sex. The men born after the 
deluge were dumb: the dove from the top of a tree dis- 
tributed among them tongues, represented under the 
form of small commas." Of the Mechoacan tradition 
he writes, "that Coxcox, whom they called Tezpi, em- 
barked in a spacious acalli with his wife, his children, 
several animals and some grain. When the Great Spirit 
ordered the waters to withdraw, Tezpi sent out from his 
bark a vulture, the zopilote, or zmltitr aura. This bird 
did not return on account of the carcasses with which 
the earth was strewn. Tezpi sent out other birds, one 
of which, the humming-bird, alone returned, holding in its 
beak a branch clad with leaves. Tezpi, seeing that fresh 
verdure covered the soil, quitted his bark near the 
mountain of Colhuacan," 

The Peruvians also have legends of the deluge as 
have many of the Polynesian islanders. 


The Fiji Islanders say that "after the islands had been 
peopled by the first man and woman, a great rain took 
place, by which they were finally submerged ; but before 
the highest places were covered by the waters, two large 
double canoes made their appearance. In one of these 
was Rokora, the god of carpenters, in the other Rokola, 
his head workman, who picked up some of the people 
and kept them on board until the waters had subsided; 
after which they were again landed on the island. It is 
reported, that in former times, canoes were always kept 
in readiness against another inundation. The persons 



thus saved, eight in number, were landed at Mbenga, 
where the hio;hest of their crods is said to have made 
his first appearance. By virtue of this tradition, the 
chiefs of Mbenga take rank before all others, and have 
always acted a conspicuous part among the Fijis. They 
style themselves N galidura-kl-langi — subject to heaven 


Many of the tribes of North America related in their 
rude legends that the human race had been destroyed by 
a deluge, and that their god, to re-people the earth, had 
changed animals into men. The traveler, Henry, repeats 
a tradition which he had heard from the Indians of the 
Lakes. Formerly the Father of the Indian tribes lived 
toward the rising sun. Having been warned by a dream 
that a deluge was coming to destroy the earth, he con- 
structed a raft, on which he saved himself with his family 
and all animals. He floated thus many months on the 
water. The animals, which then had the power of speech, 
complained aloud and murmured against him. At last a 
new earth appeared, and he stepped down on it with all 
these creatures, who thenceforward lost the power of 
speech as a punishment for their murmurs against their 


Hellas has two versions of a flood, one associated 
with Ogyges, and the other, in a far more elaborate form, 
with Deucalion. Both, however, are of late origin. They 
were unknown to Homer and Hesiod. Herodotus, though 
he mentions Deucalion as one of the first kings of the 
Hellenes, says not a word about this flood. Pindar is the 
first writer who mentions it. In Apollodorus and Ovid 
the story appears in a much more definite shape, though. 



of course, this is but a re-writing of the early tradition. 
Finally, Lucian gives a narrative not very difterent from 
that of Ovid, except that he makes provision for the 
safety of the animals, which Ovid does not. He attri- 
butes the necessity for the Deluge to the exceeding wicked- 
ness of the existing race of men, and declares that the earth 
opened and sent forth waters to swallow them up, as 
well as that heavy rain fell upon them. Deucalion, as 
the one righteous man, escaped with his wife and chil- 
dren and the animals he had put into the chest and 
landed on the top of Parnassus, after nine clays and 
nine nights, during which the chief part of Hellas was 
under water, and all men perished except a few who 
reached the tops of the highest mountains. Plutarch 
mentions the dove which Deucalion made use of to as- 
certain whether the flood was abated, though he may 
have borrowed this from the Septuagint version of the 
Old Testament, access to which he had probably enjoyed, 
and with which he was most likely familiar. 

The many points of agreement will be readily noted. 
The fact of a deluge of waters sent by the Supreme 
Being, as a punishment for man's wickedness; the saving 
of a chosen few by means of a boat; the re-peopling of 
the earth by these, all present points of likeness to the 
Biblical account. This is inexplicable unless the record 
is true and all the nations of the earth were made of one 

But these are not all of the remarkable agreements. 
Of the same character as the above stories, are the 
traditions of the history of the race after the flood, of 
the building of the tower of Babel, and the confusion of 
tongues. We can call attention to but one of these, the 
Chaldean account concerning the tower of Babel, which 
may be regarded as a fair specimen of the many. 



The story of the "Tower of the Tongues" was among 
the most ancient recollections of the Chaldeans, and was 
one of the national traditions of the Armenians, who 
had received it from the civilized nations inhabiting the 
Tigro-Euphrates basin, Berosus records this event in 
complete agreement with the Bible, as follows : 

"They say that the first inhabitants of the earth, glory- 
ing in their own strength and size and despising the gods, 
undertook to raise a tower whose top should reach the 
sky, in the place in which Babylon now stands; but when 
it approached the heaven, the wind assisted the gods and 
overthrew the work upon its contrivers, and its ruins are 
said to be still at Babylon; and the gods introduced a 
diversity of tongues among men, who till that time had 
all spoken the same language; and a war arose be- 
tween Chronus and Titan. The place in which they 
built the tower is now called Babylon, on account of the 
confusion of tongues, for confusion is by the Hebrews 
called Babel." 


There is another aspect of the relation of the Bible to 
the heathen religions, to which we should call attention. 
In what terms does the Bible speak of the worship of 
false eods and idols? The Israelites were brouorht into 
contact with idolatry very early in their history. The 
patriarchs were familiar with it, both as they journeyed 
abroad and amono- their neighbors at home. Abraham's 
parents were at least partially idolatrous. Jacob, while 
livinof with Laban, was accustomed to the sicrht of the 
teraphim and other gods. Joseph had for his wife the 
daughter of a heathen Egyptian priest. Jacob and his 



children, during their hie in Egypt, were surrounded by 
temples, idol groves, sacred beasts and all the parapher- 
nalia of heathen worship. Moses was brought up in all 
the learning of the Egyptians. Undoubtedly, as was 
customary in Egypt, he had for his teachers Egyptian 
priests. When Israel made its exodus from Egypt, the 
miraculous power which God gave to Moses was brought 
into contact with the power of the sorcerers and magi- 
cians of Pharaoh's court. After they had left Egypt 
they remembered the idol-worship they had been accus- 
tomed to see. The first idol ever made and worshiped 
by the Hebrews, was the golden calf. Side by side with 
this incident, is the first plain command against idolatry: 
"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt 
not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of 
anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the 
earth beneath, or that is in the waters under the earth: 
thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them." 
While God was giving this stern, strong, plain command 
to Moses, for him to repeat to the chosen people of Israel, 
they were engaged in their idolatrous worship. In the com- 
mand to Israel, we see how God regards the worship of 
idols. For awhile Israel regarded God's command. On 
their way to Canaan they yielded to the charms of the 
daughters of Moab, and with most terribly wicked wor- 
ship they bowed to the heathen god Baal-Peor. For 
this they were severely punished. During the life of 
Joshua they did not again yield to the temptations ot 
idolatry. Gideon's father, Joash, worshiped Baal. After 
Gideon's death, idolatry became the national sin of Israel. 
From Samuel's time until the reign of Solomon, the 
people were loyal to Jehovah's worship. Solomon's 
foreign wives brought with them the gods which they 
were accustomed to worship, and soon all Israel was 


turned to worship them. From this time until after the 
captivity at Babylon, idolatry was the constant sin of 
Israel. Often God sent his messengers, the prophets, to 
warn them of the danger of their sin. Often His judg- 
ments were shown in the terrible calamities which came 
upon Israel. But it took the most awful of all calamities, 
the temporary ruin of the nation, to work a complete cure. 
God chose Israel as the people to preserve for the world 
the pure worship of Himself, the one and the only God. 
How they failed to fulfill their high calling we have seen. 
God was preparing in Israel the true religion which 
was designed to be universal. In Abraham's seed all the 
families of the earth were to be blessed. The jews were 
made the keepers of the treasure of the promises of the 
Saviour. God selected them from all the nations for this 
express purpose ; He gave them a territory shut off from 
that of other nations ; in their language, habits, ways of 
thinking and religion, they were distinct from all others. 
They were to be kept separate until the time when God 
should give the true religion to the whole world. 




Not in vain the nation-strivings, nor by chance the currents flow ; 
Error-mazed, yet truth-directed, to their certain goal they go. 


Oh, yet we trust that somehow good 

Will be the final goal of ill, 

To pangs of nature, sins of will. 
Defects of doubt, and taints of blood; 

That nothing walks with aimless feet; 

That not one life shall be destroyed, 

Or cast as rubbish to the void, 
When God hath made the pile complete. 

Alfred Tennyson. 

IN this chapter it is proposed to survey rapidly the 
progress of the whole heathen world in idolatrous 
worship from its first introduction. We have already 
seen how the world began with the worship of one God, 
but passed into the worship of the objects, powers and 
forces of nature ; and how to these were given tangible 
forms in the shape of idols. Further we have noticed 
the gradual introduction of the worship of animals, and 
men, and their idols. 


The various religions might be classified by dividing 
them into two groups ; first, those having sacred books, 
and secondly, those having no sacred books. According 
to this method, for example, the Hindu, Parsee, Egyp- 



tian, Chinese, Buddhist and Mohammedan rehgions 
would be placed in one group, and the religions of the 
Japanese Shintoists, of the Indians of America, of the 
Pacific Islanders, of the African Fetichists and of our 
heathen ancestors, in another group. This is rather an 
arbitrary division. 

Another mode of arranging them is as missionary 
or proselyte-making religions and non-missionary re- 
ligions. Thus, Brahminism, as it never went beyond In- 
dia, and Confucianism, as it never sent its teachers out of 
China, would be in one class, while Buddhism which was 
spread all over Eastern Asia by its missionary priests, 
and Mohammedanism whose priests went over Western 
Asia and Northern Africa making proselytes, would be in 
another class. 

We must have some system of classifying and arrang- 
ino- the different religions, and the following has seemed 
to be the most simple and natural classificadon. To look 
at them first, as original religions and as reformed re- 
licrions, and secondly, as dead and as living religions. It 
happens that most of the dead religions were original 
religions, and so we take these up first. Then we notice 
the living original religions, and afterv^^ard the reformed 
religions, which are nearly all living. The religions 
which will be described in the following pages, from 
Chapters V. to X., are dead original religions ; those in 
Chapters XI. to XIX. are living original religions ; and 
those in Chapters XX. to XXXVI., are living reformed 
religions. It is proper that these terms, as they are in- 
tended to be used here should be quite clearly defined. 


Many religions still exist but some are extinct. We 
speak of languages as dead or living ; the ancient Greek 


and the Latin, which are no longer spoken, are called 
dead. The French, German or English, which are in 
common use to-day, are called living. Though these 
dead languages are no longer spoken, words and phrases 
which are derived from them still survive in the living 
languages. Indeed some of the living languages are 
built up out of these dead languages. Just so in religions, 
there are worships which have no followers to-day; there 
are ruins of their temples and idols, and portions of their 
sacred books remaining to us. The accounts which 
ancient historians have preserved for us of their worships, 
the ruins of their temples, their majestic monuments and 
inscriptions, and their sacred books which have of late 
years been translated into our language, enable us to 
learn very minutely of many of these worships. Of the 
living religions, we have but to study the narratives of 
travelers and of those scholars who have taken special 
pains to study and explain the sacred books, rites, le- 
gends and customs of the people following these faiths. 


By original religions we mean to denote those which 
are, or were, the religions of the earliest inhabitants of 
the various countries, and which are but little changed in 
the course of time. By reformed religions we mean such 
as at some later day have branched off from the earlier 
religions. These reforms are always begun by some 
great man, who, seeing or imagining error in the old 
system, undertakes to correct it, and before he is hardly 
aware of it, establishes a new faith. Thus Zoroaster re- 
belled against the impure worship of the corrupt religion 
of his country and founded Parseeism ; thus Confucius 
gathered together some of the traditions and sayings of 
the ancient Chinese writers added to them a great many 


teachings of his own and founded Confucianism ; thus 
Gautama, the Buddha, convinced of the inabihty of the 
ancient Hindu faith to help the world's sorrow or to heal 
its wounds, founded Buddhism ; and thus Mohammed 
felt himself called of God to wage a war against idolatry, 
and so he founded the Moslem faith. 

Further, we shall take up these religions in each class as 
far as possible, in the order of time, taking the oldest 
first and the youngest last. 


The gods of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Jews, Greeks, Ro- 
mans and Britons (including all other peoples of Western 
Europe), are no longer worshiped. They sank into ne- 
glect from various causes. Some fell by a natural decay; 
there was not enouo;h in them to enable them to retain 
their hold upon their worshipers as foreign religions were 
introduced. Some of the peoples holding these faiths 
lost their distinctively national existence and their faith 
faded out along with their national life. Stronger races 
of strange peoples swept over their lands, driving them 
out or subduing them. The conqueror's customs and 
religious worship then took the place of those of the con- 
quered people. 

Another cause of the death of certain religions, and a 
more frequent cause, has been the coming in of a better 
system. In this way the Egyptian religion gave place to 
the Christian, and that in turn (in Egypt) to the Moham- 
medan, The false gods of the Greeks, Romans, Britons 
and other nations v/ere forgotten in the coming of the 
religion of Jesus Christ. Mrs. Browning's beautiful 
poem, "The Dead Pan," is based on a tradition mentioned 
by Plutarch, according to which, at the hour of the 
Saviour's agony a cry of "Great Pan is dead!" swept 


across the waves in the hearing of some sailors, and im- 
mediately the oracles ceased. She writes: 

' ' Gods of Hellas, Gods of Hellas, 
Can ye listen in your silence? 
Can your mystic voices tell us 

Where ye hide ? In floating islands, 
With a wind that evermore 
Keeps you out of sight of shore ? 

Pan, Pan is dead. 

"And that dismal cry rose slowly 
And sank slowly through the air, 
Full of spirit's melancholy 
And eternity's despair ! 
And they heard the words it said — 
Pan is dead — Great Pan is dead — 
Pan, Pan is dead. 

"'Twas the hour when One in Sion 
Hung for love's sake on a cross ; 
When His brow was chill with dying, 

And His soul was faint with loss ; 
When His priestly blood dropped downward, 
And His kingly eyes looked throneward — • 
Then, Pan was dead. 

"By the love He stood alone in, 

His sole Godhead rose complete, 
And the false gods fell down moaning. 

Each from off his golden seat ; 
All the false gods with a cry 
Rendered up their deity — 

Pan, Pan was dead." 

The Greek and Roman faith and the worships of West- 
ern Europe have all yielded to the advancing Christian 
army. The process of tearing down and building up is still 
C^oins;- on. Parseeism and the American Indians' relii^ion 
are dying, because the people who belong to these nations 
are dying out. Mohammedanism is making great inroads 


on the Fetich-worship of Africa. Buddhism is lessening 
the respect for Confucius and Lao-Tsze in China, and is 
gaining ground on Shintoism in Japan. Christianity is, in 
ahnost every land, lessening the hold of heathen religions 
upon their followers and is slowly leavening the whole 
world, as the facts and figures prove. Before the bright 
light of the Sun of Righteousness the dark night of error 
and superstition is fleeing away, 


The first group, that of original faiths, will include the 
religions of Hinduism, Shintoism, of Africa, America, 
Oceanica, and of the Karens of Burmah. The next 
group, that of the living reformed religions, will include 
Parseeism, Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Mo- 
hammedanism. This last is not, strictly speaking, a sys- 
tem of idolatry, and therefore we do not give it an ex- 
tended notice ; yet, as it exists as a fierce opponent of 
idolatry, and properly has a part in the history of idola- 
try, we cannot pass it by altogether, but shall give it such 
attention as is consistent. 

The sicrns of these times, as well as the sio^ns of the 
gone-by ages, shows that the world is moving back to its 
first worship of one God. As an opponent of idolatry 
and as a great missionary system, Christianity is likely to 
do this great work of bringing the world back to its first 
faith. So we propose, briefiy, after showing the contrasts 
between the Christian religion and the idolatrous wor- 
ships, to refer to the present attitude of the Christian 
system in its work among existing heathen nations. This 
will involve a view of the great battle-field of the world, 
and of the forces fighting for and against the true worship 
of the one God. To this true worship the world is slowly 
but surely tending. 



Heathen religions have often been described as they 
are found in their sacred books or in the teachings of 
their founders. This is not as it should be. They should 
be studied from these sources, but not from these only. 
These show the religions, not as they are, but as they 
were intended to be. The test of time which has been 
applied to them, their after-growth and their effect upon 
their followers should be carefully studied. It not seldom 
happens that the religion as its founder taught it, and the 
religion of later days which was built up on his teach- 
ings are very different. Take Buddhism for an example. 
How widely different is the Buddhism of Burmah from 
that established by Gautama ! What vast changes has 
the system undergone during the centuries that have 
passed since Gautama's death ! Or take Mohammedan- 
ism, which was, as Mohammed taught, a crusade against 
the idolatrous reverence for relics, images, sacred places 
and sacred things generally. To-day, in one of the most 
famous of Mohammedan mosques — that at Delhi, India — 
a hair from Mohammed' s beard, a part of his garments 
and his sandals, are exhibited to the devout worshipers in 
the mosque. The Brahminism of the Vedas, the sacred 
Hindu books, differs greatly from the Hindu worship of 
to-day with its myriads of idols and its great system of 
caste. The same religion often differs in different lands. 
The Buddhism of Ceylon and the Buddhism of Burmah 
and Siam are different, and they together (often called 
by way of distinction. Southern Buddhism), differ very 
greatly from the Buddhism of China and Japan (called 
Northern Buddhism). The same religion has a still dif- 
ferent form in Thibet. 

it is a part of our plan to look into these religions 



as they existed in their beginnings and in their growths, 
and so to present a complete picture. The hfe of a 
reiio-ion is not to be found in its sacred books only, 
but in the life, worship and habits of thought of its 
followers. From the idols, temples, worship, festivals 
and religious customs of the every-day life of the house- 
hold or business circles, we can gain a yet more per- 
fect picture. The traditions, legends and superstitious 
practices of the people generally contain those facts 
which are most widely accepted. The folk-lore, fireside 
stories, children's tales, the myths and songs of any 
people contain the principal ideas of their religion. 
Thus we propose to try to present as perfect a picture 
as possible of the various heathen religions of the past 
and present, and we trust the effort may succeed. 


Let us take a glimpse of the roads over which we shall 
now travel. Heretofore we have followed but one wide 
road. From this other roads begin to branch off, and 
by-roads in turn occasionally. It will not be difficult to 
follow these paths, however, if at the outset we place 
ourselves where we can take a bird's-eye view of the 
whole and pursue our way steadily to the end. 


For some time after the confusion of tongues the na- 
tions remained in the vicinity of the tower of Babel. 
Then they began to disperse, all but one nation. This 
one journeyed only a short distance to the south and 
founded the empires of Assyria and Babylon, the Persia 
of later days. Here we find traces of that idolatrous 
worship which soon passed into Parseeism. Zoroaster was 
the man who was instrumental in reforming the ancient 


Assyrian religion. Zoroaster retained the worship of the 
sun and of fire, and taught that there were two gods, a 
good god and an evil god, Ormuzd and Ahriman. There 
are only a few Parsees left to-day and the old Assyrian 
religion is entirely extinguished. 


The nations who passed south-west across Northern 
Arabia and Sinai, finally came to Africa. In Egypt we 
find relics of a very high civilization, and they seem to 
indicate that one of the greatest of the nations of the 
earth settled there. Their worship was of the sun, moon 
and stars and of animals. The River Nile, upon which 
their very life" depended, was soon received as an object 
of worship. Some part of those who came to Egypt 
wandered up the Nile and passed south and west to 
Central Africa. Here they were brought in contact with 
nature in its wildest forms. There was little need of 
tilling the soil for crops, as nature produced of herself 
so abundantly in this tropical climate. The heated at- 
mosphere did away with the necessity either of substan- 
tial dwellings or of more than a little clothing. Hence 
the nations had little to do, and as the old proverb says, 
" Satan finds mischief for idle hands to do," he soon, 
evidently, set these nations to occupy their time in quar- 
reling among themselves. Thus the most brutal habits 
were brouorht about and the traces of their original 
nobility and civilization were rapidly destroyed. Theirs 
was a quick degeneration. Together with their civiliza- 
tion their religion decayed, until they were left with a re- 
ligion hardly worth the name, and were little above the 
apes and gorillas inhabiting the wild woods about them. 
But they could never become wholly animalized, they 
always retain s{~>me traces of their religious faith. 




The nations who passed north-west entered Germany 
and soon scattered over Norway and Sweden and F" ranee, 
and finally across the channel to the British Isles. Among- 
these peoples, the Teutons, Celts, Scandinavians and 
Gauls, the early nature-worship was long preserved. 
Indeed traces of it are found even at the time of the birth 
of Christ. The coldness of their climate, the severity of 
the storms gradually developed them into a hardy race 
and finally led them to introduce changes into their 
religious faith corresponding to their surroundings. 
Their myths, legends and songs, as well as their more 
directly religious worship, partook largely of the heroic 
element. Christianity early overspread these lands and 
the early religions died out as Christianity grew. 


One of the strongest of existing religions is found in 
the Brahminism of India. This is the religion of the 
people who moved south-east till they came to the Indus 
River. They settled along its banks until they were well- 
established in their habits of life and relioious faith, and 
then some of them wandered away to the East, till they 
came to the River Ganges, and settled in its valley. Others 
wandered south, and soon the whole of India was occu- 
pied. These people kept up communications with one 
another and preserved one language, though this was 
modified in different parts of the country. Their religion 
retained most of its features in common amonof them all. 
Early in their history other Vedas. or sacred books, were 
written in addition to the Rig- Veda or book of hymns to 
the gods. Other sacred books were added to these, 
called Brahmanas and the laws of Manu. Their gods 


were multiplied, temples and shrines were built. The 
larger rivers were believed to be holy, and were, together 
with the crocodiles dwelling in them, worshiped. 

From India people wandered overland or across the 
Indian Ocean to Burmah and Siam, and thence to the 
Malay Archipelago, and from there to the Pacific Isles 
and America. These migrations (or wanderings) oc- 
curred before the Hindu religion was developed. The 
peoples who thus strayed away, carried with them the early 
worship of nature. We find this still among many of the 
savage tribes of North and South America and of the 
Pacific Isles. These tribes gradually became savage in 
the same way as the African tribes. They possess tradi- 
tions of an early civilization. 


In India in the fifth century before Christ, the Hindu 
religion had become a very poor religion indeed. It was 
at that time a mere system of priestcraft. The nation 
groaned under the burdens which the priests placed upon 
them. Then a man was raised up to reform this religion. 
Sakya-Muni was born in the middle of the century ; after 
attempting to find in the Hindu religion that help which 
the people needed, he cast it all aside and struck out for 
himselfa new line of reasoning. He called himself the Bud- 
dha, that is, the " Enlightened One." Soon his teachings 
were accepted in all India, going as far as Ceylon even. 
But in India the priests soon triumphed over the new 
faith and Buddhism was expelled and Brahminism te- 
established. Excepting the Jains, a Buddhist sect in 
Western India, there are now no Buddhists in India 
proper. In Ceylon it still remains. Buddha taught his 
disciples to preach his teachings everywhere. So they 
went to Burmah (from Ceylon) not long after Buddha's 


death. From there it spread East to Siam, and North- 
east up the Irrawady River along the route that the 
Chinese traders were accustomed to pass over. From 
China it entered Japan. The Tripitakas, or "Three 
Baskets," as they are designated, are the sacred books of 
the Buddhists. 

china's religions. 

The Chinese legends say that Noah was their first em- 
peror. Whether this be true or not, we know that 
China, like Egypt, was early settled and possessed a high 
civilization. The nations moved from Persia in the 
West until they came to the great Hoang Ho River; 
along its banks, and to the north and south of it, they 
settled. Of their early religion we know but little. The 
great sage Confucius (or Kong the teacher), was born 
somewhere about 551 before Christ. He was a states- 
man reformer. le was not a priest, nor even noted for 
piety. But he gathered together the sayings of the an- 
cients, and weaving in with them his own wisdom, he 
produced the system now known as Confucianism. The 
books containinor his teachinos, and those of his immedi- 
ate disciples, are called the King. 

A little iDefore Confucius, lived Lao-Tsze, a philosopher 
and astrolocjer, who did somethino- toward re-establish- 
ing the old religion, and who also added new teachings. 
His weird system is called Taoism, and its sacred books 
are the Tao-Te-King. Buddhism in China has taken in 
with Buddha's teachings the doctrines and gods of Con- 
fucius and Lao-Tsze. 


The early inhabitants of Japan are supposed to be the 
Ainos a race now almost extinguished. The few that 


are left live in Yezo, the northernmost island of Japan. 
Many* sailors from the islands of the Malayan Archipel- 
acro were washed upon the shores of Japan and soon 
mixed in with the Ainos. They gradually became 
stronger and stronger and, finally, the children of the 
mixed races conquered the entire land. The Japanese 
retained their early nature-worship, which is called Shinto, 
or Kami-no-michi, the "way of the gods,*' until Bud- 
dhism came in to disturb its hold upon the people's 
hearts. Buddhism entered Japan in 552 after Christ. 


About five hundred years after Christianity was estab- 
lished, it had degenerated in most parts of Arabia and 
Syria into a system for the worship of saints and relics. 
The people of Arabia were given from the earliest times 
to idolatry. Mohammed was born 570 A. D. He built 
upon the ruins of Judaism, Christianity and the Arabian 
idolatrous worship, the system called Mohammedanism. 
His motto was (and it contains the sum and substance 
of his teachings) "There is no God but God, and Mo- 
hammed is his prophet." He began a vigorous crusade 
against idols and relic-worship. At first he sought to 
extend his system by teaching only, afterwards he used 
the sword. From Arabia his religion spread to Turkey, 
to India, to Egypt and Africa, and even to China. 

Christianity's conquests. 

Christianity is the religion for the world. It is in- 
finitely superior to all religions of either past or present. 
It was intended to be the world-religion. Its founder, 
Jesus Christ, designed that it should be spread over the 
whole world, and gave His disciples their marching- 
orders before He left them at His ascension. They were 


bidden to go into all the world and preach His gospel 
to every creature. They were assured of His assistance 
and of final success. Without any of the power of 
pomp or wealth, or wisdom, or numbers, the little band 
undertook to obey their orders. They have spread from 
land to land, until their camp-fires have been kindled 
almost all around the globe. Their triumphs have been 
gained by the powers of persuasion. Their past history 
is grand, their present outlook glorious, and their future 
prospects full of assurance. 

Now let us take up more in detail these various sys- 
tems. Retracing the roads we have hurried over let us 
start afresh and proceed more leisurely to study the re- 
ligious life of mankind, and especially as it is associated 
with False Gods and Idols, 





Of which 

Roman Catholics have 

Greek Church, 

Other Christians, 

Including the Chinese, 
who are also Confucianists 
and Taoists, as well as 

Found all over the world. 


1 60,000,000. 

Found in India, Ceylon, 
Burmah, Siam, Thibet, Chi- 
na, and Japan. 

Found only in India. 

JE'WS, 7,000,000. 


Found in Arabia, Tur- 
key, Egypt, India, China, 
and Persia. 

Shintoists, Parsees, etc., 3,000,000. 

Feticliisls, or Devil WorsMpers. 

These include the Amer- 
ican Indians, African races, 
and Pacific Islanders. 

Comparative Exhibit of the Number of Followers of the 
Leading Systems of Religious Faith. 





I have come to Egypt to learn something of the wisdom of the 
Egyptians. Tell me, then, ye tombs, and temples, and pyramids, 
about God ; tell me about the life to come ! But the pyramids speak 
not; and the Sphinx still looks toward the East, to watch for the rising 
sun, but is voiceless and mute. This valley of the Nile speaks of 
nothing but death. From end to end its rock-ribbed hills are filled 
with tombs. Yet what do they all teach the anxious and troubled 
heart of man? Nothing! All these hills are silent. — H. M. Field. 

HERODOTUS, the Greek historian, who visited 
Egypt about 450 B. C, was struck with the ex- 
treme attention which the Egyptians paid to 
reHgion. He says that they were the most rehgious of all 
mankind. The passing 
stranger was impress- 
ed with the pompous 
ceremonies, the magni- 
ficent festivals, the im- 
posing processions and 
the many gorgeous- 
ly-robed priests. He 
found large temples, 
where the walls were 
covered with s c u 1 p- 
tures, paintings and 
hieroglyphic writings. 

All Egypt was stamp- ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^ 

ed with the impress of 

religion. Every art and science, and all Hterature were 


distinctly connected with religion, and were used in the 
service of their deities. They surpassed all nations in the 
reverence they paid to the gods. Their religion was by 
no means an open one. Like most of the false religions 
of antiquity, there was a great deal of mystery about it. 
Even to-day we find among the monuments traces of the 
great attention which the ancient Egyptians paid to the 
service and adoration of their gods. 


Formerly the world was accustomed to speak of Egypt 
as the "land of ruins;" a better title is now given, the 
"land of monuments." The reason of the change in the 
title is that it has been found that its ruins contain the 
account of the past history of Egypt. Hundreds of years 
ago travelers came across these great ruins covered over 
with sculptures and paintings, they found traces of the 
existence of gigantic structures, they found, in almost 
perfect preservation, great structures like the pyramids 
and the sphinx. Here evidently was a treasure-house of 
information, but where was the key to unlock it? It was 
like a great pawnbroker's shop, full of rubbish, but also 
with many articles of value locked up within its walls, but 
with no key to unlock its doors. It was a land of 
enigmas, of puzzling problems, of riddles. The traveler 
turned from object to object with the tone of interroga- 
tion. Why was this, and this? What was its purpose? 
How came it here ? What does it all mean ? Evidently 
these oreat buildinofs were not erected, these mvsterious 
sculptures carved, these puzzling paintings drawn, merely 
to amuse a passing fancy. There must be some meaning 
in them. Scholar after scholar pored over it, beat their 
brains about it, and gave it up. Century after century 
passed away and still the mystery remained. There was 




one key which was found, but to use this key another key 
was needed. The writing; of the Egyptians yet remained. 



Undoubtedly, in their sacred books, and in the inscrip- 
tions on the monuments or walls of the temples were 
descriptions of the purpose of the great buildings, full 
accounts of the past and their lost history of Egypt, and 
perhaps accounts of arts and science now- lost to the 
world. A rich reward this, to the scholar who should 
succeed in unraveling the mystery. 


But what was the character of this writing that it should 
be so difficult to interpret? The writing was a picture- 
writing, with characters or syllables added, more puzzling 
^ Ml than the most puzzling rebus 

® ^ ^T K^\ that ever appeared. The 

III I I I LV A Greeks, who often visited 

Egypt, gave the name Hie- 

7'oglyphics to this Egyptian 

writing. The word means 

/vws/vv %._^ x^ K \^ t-|-jg Greek language 

// fTT TTTO- a "sacred sculpture." Neither 

the Greeks nor the Romans, 
even while they ruled Egypt, 
ever undertook to learn to 
]■-•. read this writino-. It seemed 
• I ' " to them an unknowable 
SONG OF THK THRESHERS. ^^^^^^^ ^^^^^ gradually the 

ancient Egyptian language perished. So the knowledge 
of the reading of the hieroglyphics passed away entirely. 
For many centuries every attempt to read It failed, and 
it remained a hopeless mystery. Finally, about fifty years 
ago, a Frenchman succeeded in lifting the veil. Jean 
Francois Champollion (born 1790, died 1832), made this 
discovery, one of the greatest of the nineteenth century. 
He showed how the writinc: was to be read. Now the 


I I I 



whole can be read perhaps ahiiost as easily as Greek or 
Latin, or the Chinese or Burmese languages. Thus was 
the hidden history brought to light. 

As specimens of the hieroglyphics, Wilkinson gives 
the opposite Song of the Threshers to the Oxen. His 
translation of the lines respectively is as follows: i. 
"Thresh for yourselves" (twice repeated). 2. "O oxen." 
3. "Thresh for yourselves" (twice). 4. "Measures for 
yourselves." 5. "Measures for your masters." 

Another specimen of hieroglyphics is added below. 





The Egyptian gods are numbered by the hundreds. It 
is possible for us to refer to but a few here. The ideas 
of the gods which prevailed here 
were grafted on the simple nature- 
worship which the people brought 
to Egypt from their earlier home. 

In every part of Egypt two 
ofreat eods, Isis and Osiris, were 
worshiped. Isis is the \vite ot 
Osiris. Ra the sun-god was the 
greatest of the gods, he was sup- 
posed to be the representative of 
the Supreme 
Being. And 
yet Osiris was 
the most popu- 
lar god. Ra 
was generally 
represented as 
a hawk-headed 
man, and usu- 
ally with a solar 
disk upon his 
head. Ra was 
generally wor- 
shiped in asso- 
ciation with 
some other 
god, as Amen- 
Ra, Num-Ra, 
ect. In many 
sculptures he 
is represented pasht, the cat-headed god. 



as carrying- on a constant conflict with the evil. Evil is 
represented in these conflicts as the great serpent Apap. 
AtHeliopolis were kept two animals 
sacred to Ra, the black bull and the 
phoenix. The phoenix was a bird 
which the Egyptians regarded as the 
emblem of immortality ; a bird which 
never died, but when it was burned, 
sprang up again, full-grown, from its 
ashes, ready to renew its activities. 

Osiris was 
generally rep- 
resented as a 
mummy, wear- 
ing a royal cap, 
containing os- 
trich feathers. 
Osiris was re- 
garded as a 
was in perpetu- 
al warfare with 
Set, the evil 
being. They 
stand to each 
other, said the 
Egyptians, as 
light and dark- 
ness, as day 
and night, as 
the Nile and 
the deserts, as 
Egypt and foreign lands. Osiris is represented in the 
myths as being vanquished by Set. He is cut in pieces 



and thrown into the water. By and by he revives but 
does not utterly destroy Set, though he defeats him. This 
story probably is a picture of the daily life of the sun, 
contending with the darkness, yet at last yielding to it, 
and then again after an interval reappearing at the dawn 
in renewed splendor. Osiris was also a type of strug- 
gling humanity, suffering now, defeated for a time it may 
be, yet finally triumphant. This was the reason of his 
worship being so popular. Osiris was the protector of 
the dead, and he determined their final condition. It was 
to Osiris that prayers and offerings for the dead were 
made, and writings on the tombs were addressed to him. 
Beside these gods, there were Set the evil god, who 
was represented with the head of a fabulous animal, 
having a pointed nose and high square ears. Isis, the 
wife of Osiris, was represented as a woman, bearing on 
her head her emblem the throne, or the solar disk and 
cow's horns. 

Amon (or Amen) the "hidden," was worshiped at 

Thebes. Sebek was the croco- 
dile-headed god. His sacred 
animal was the crocodile of the 
Nile River. Thoth was the chief 
moon-god. He was the god of 
CROCODILE GOD. letters and learning. Anubis, the 

jackel-headed was the god worshiped by the mummy- 
makers. Thus gods were multiplied. 


"If you enter a temple," says Clement of Alexandria, 
"a priest advances with a solemn air, singing a hymn in 
the Egyptian language ; he raises the veil a litde to let 
you see the god ; and what then do you see ? A cat, a 
crocodile, a snake, or some other noxious animal. The 


god of the Egyptian appears. It is but a wild beast, 
wallowing on a purple carpet !" This language describes 
the worship of ancient Egypt as we learn from the 
sculptures on the monuments, as well as it characterizes 
the worship at the beginning of the Christian era. To 
exhibit in some symbol their ideas of their gods was the 
very essence of Egyptian religion. This brought about 
the grossest of superstitious worship. To set forth in 
symbol the attributes, qualities and nature of their gods, 
the priests chose to use animals. The 
bull, cow, ram, cat, ape, crocodile, hippo- 
potamus, hawk, ibis, scarabseus, were all *=f 
emblems of the gods. Often the head scarab^us. 
of one of these animals was joined to the body of a man in 
the sculpture. But let it be remembered, that the Egyp- 
tians never worshiped images or idols. They worsJiiped 
living representations of the gods and not lifeless images of 
stone or metal. Their sculptures were never made for 
worship. They chose animals which corresponded as 
nearly as possible to their ideas of the gods. Each of 
these sacred creatures was carefully tended, fed, washed, 
dressed, nursed wdien sick, and petted during its whole 
life. After death its body was embalmed. Certain cities 
were set apart for certain animals, and apartments of the 
temples were consecrated to their use. Priests were 
appointed to attend them. Not every animal of every 
kind was worshiped, only a few of each sacred kind were 
considered as sacred. A few of the whole number were 
supported at the expense of the state, and were attended 
by great personages. Certain animals were worshiped 
in parts of Egypt and detested in other parts. Thus the 
hippopotamus was worshiped in Papsemis alone ; while 
the Thebans worshiped the crocodile ; in other places 
thev were hunted to death. 



Popularly these animals were regarded as gods, and 
were really worshiped. By the priests they were re- 
garded simply as the representatives of the gods. If a 
man killed certain of the sacred animals, by the laws of 
Egypt he must die ; if, however, in regard to some of 
them, the killing was accidental, then he might escape by 
paying a heavy fine. 

A Roman soldier once killed a sacred cat, accidentally. 
In spite of the fear of Rome and the interference of the 
King of Egypt, the enraged mob instantly killed the 
soldier. The story is told, that King Cambyses, when he 
invaded Egypt, caught a number of sacred animals, and 
placed them before his army. The Egy^ptians offered 
them no resistance, but fled away, afraid to fight lest they 
should injure the sacred animals. 

Three animals were regarded as not representations 
merely, but incarnations of gods ; these were the bull 
Mnevis, the goat of Mendes and the bull Apis. Apis 
was said to be born of a cow, yet also born of heaven. 
He was to be black, with a white triangle on his forehead, 
a mark like a half-moon on his back, and a mark like a 
scarabaeus under his tongue. When Apis died, all Egypt 
mourned. As soon as a new Apis was found, the Egyp- 
tians donned their best clothing and made great rejoicings. 
The dead Apis was embalmed and received further wor- 
ship. Apis was wrongly supposed to be the god whom 
the Israelites imitated in their worship of the golden calf. 


The Egyptians held it as a central feature of their 
faith, that "man was not made to die," that we were to 
live a future life, that death does not end all. Many 
heathen nations believed that the body, the flesh, was an 
evil thing, the seat of all base passions ; not so the 




Egyptians, The greatest event in a man's life happened 
after Ms death (to speak in apparent paradoxes). His 
funeral, and the arrangements for it, surpassed all other 
occasions of his lite in their elaborateness. The period of 
mourning lasted seventy-two days. Perhaps during all 
this time, the process of embalming was going on by the 
use of peculiar pre- 
parations which were 
forced through his 
veins as the blood 
was withdrawn, and 
by wrapping the body in linen bands containing sub- 
stances which prevented the flesh from 
decaying. The outermost bandage 
was covered with a kind of paste- 
board, which represented the de- 
ceased as a w^orkman in the Happy 
Fields, carrying the tools of husbandry. 
This is commonly called the mummy. 
Before the wrapping in the linen 
bandages began, the body had been 
steeped in a liquid called natron 
(carbonate of soda). Herodotus 
presents a very full description of 
the process of embalming. There is 
no doubt but that all this was done 
as a preparation for the return of 
the soul to the body in a future 
world. The mummy was inclosed 
i.i a coffin of wood, and this again, 
if the person's friends were rich, 
in a stone sarcophagus or coffin. 
The coffin was placed on a sledge 
drawn by oxen or men, taken to the 




river or lake-side and ferried over to the burial-place on 
the sacred boats. The coffin was deposited in the tomb, 
and prayers were said, and offerings given in the chapel 
above the tomb. Offerings to Osiris were made during 
an entire year by the family. 


Among many books which the Egyptians once pos- 
sessed, one still remains in its entirety. It is somewhat 

confusing in its style, and 
yet it is in the main to be 
understood. A copy of 
this Funeral Liturgy or 
Book of the Dead was 
6 placed in every mummy's 
coffin. We give a very 
full abstract of it, because 
of its unusual importance 
in the religious history of 
the world. 

The Funeral Ritual is 
opened with a dialogue 
taking place at the very 
moment of death, when 
the soul separates from 
the body. The deceased, 
addressing the deity of 
Hades, enumerates all his 
titles to his favor, and asks for admittance into his do- 
minions. The chorus of glorified souls interposes, as in 
the Greek tragedy, and supports the prayer of the 
deceased. The priest on earth in his turn speaks, and 
implores also the divine clemency. Finally Osiris, the 
eod of the lower reo^ions, answers the deceased, "Fear 


I, 2, 3, 4. Of wood. 5, 6, 7, 8. Of stone, 

p. Of wood and of early time — before the iSth dynasty, 
lo. Of burnt earthenware. 



nothing in making thy prayer to me for the immortahty 
of thy soul, and that I may give permission for thee to 
pass the threshold." Reassured by the divine word, the 
soul of the deceased enters Kar-Neter, the land of the 
dead, and recommences his invocations. 

After this grand commencement, which we have epito- 
mized, come many short chapters, much less important, 
relative also to the dead and to the preliminary ceremo- 
nies of his funeral. When at last the soul of the deceased 
has passed the gates of Kar-Neter, he penetrates into 
that subterranean region, and at his entry is dazzled by 
the glory of the sun, which he now for the first time sees 
in. this lower hemisphere. He sings a hymn to the sun 
under the form of mixed litanies and invocations. After 
this hymn, a great vignette, representing the adoration 
and glorification of the sun in the heavens, on earth and 
in Hades, marks the end of the first part of the Ritual, 
serving as a sort of introduction. The second part traces 
the journeys and migrations of the soul in the lower region. 

Next come a series of prayers to be pronounced 
during the process of embalming, while the body is being 
rolled in its wrappers'. These invocations are addressed 
to Thoth, the Egyptian Hermes, who, as among the 
Greeks, played the part of Psychopompe, or conductor 
of souls. They are of the highest interest, for in each 
allusion is made to the grand myth of Osiris and his 
contest with Typhon, of which Plutarch and Synesius 
have given us the most recent versions. The deceased, 
addressing the god, asks him to render to him. again the 
service he once rendered on that solemn occasion to 
Osiris and his son Horus, "avenger of his father." 

The body once wrapped in its coverings, and the soul 
well provided with a store of necessary knowledge, the 
deceased commences his journey. But he is still unable 


to move, he has not yet the use of his hmbs ; it is neces- 
sary to address the gods, who successively restore all the 
faculties he had during his life, so that he can stand up- 
right, walk, speak, eat and fight. Thus prepared, he 
starts ; he holds his scarabaeus over his heart as a pass- 
port, and thus passes the portal of Hades. 

From the first step, terrible obstacles present them- 
selves in his way. Frightful monsters, servants of 
Typhon, crocodiles on land and in the water, serpents of 
all kinds, tortoises and other reptiles, assail the deceased 
and attempt to devour him. Then commences a series 
of combats. The deceased and the animals against 
which he contends mutually address insuldng speeches 
to each other, after the fashion of Homer's heroes. 
Finally, the "Osiris" (the name applied to all the de- 
ceased) has conquered all his enemies ; he has subdued the 
Typhonic monsters, and forced a passage, and, elated by his 
victory, sings on the spot a song of triumph, likening him- 
self to all the orods, whose members are made those of his 
own body. " My hair is like that of Nu (the firmament) ; 
my face is like that of Ra (the sun) ; my eyes like those 
of Athor (the Egyptian Venus) ;" and so on for every 
part of his body. He has even the strength of Set, that is, 
of Typhon, for the strife between the good and evil prin- 
ciple is but in appearance ; in reality they are one and the 
same, and equally receive the adorations of the initiated. 

After such labors the deceased needs rest ; he stays 
for a time to recruit his strength and to satisfy his hun- 
ger. He has escaped great dangers, and has not gone 
astray in the desert where he would have died of hunger 
and thirst. From the tree of life the goddess Nu gives 
him refreshing- waters, which invicforate him and enable 
him to recommence his journey in order to reach the first 
gate of heaven. 



Then commences a dialog-ue between the deceased and 
the personification of the divine Light, who instructs him. 
This dialogue pre- 
sents some most 
remarkable resem- 
blances to the 
dialogue prefixed 
to the books given 
by the Alexandrian 
Greeks as transla- 
tions of the ancient 

of Egypt, between 
Thoth and the 
Light, in which the 
latter explains to 
Thoth the most 
sublime mysteries 
of nature. This 
portion is certainly 
one of the best 
and grandest of 
the Ritual, and may 
almost be classed 
with the invoca- 
tions to the sun at 
the close of the 
first part. 

The deceased, 
having passed the 
gate, continues to 
advance,guided by Egyptian priestess. 

this new Light, to whom he addresses his invocations. 
He then enters upon a series of transformations, more 


and more elevated, assuming the form of and identifying 
himself with the noblest divine symbols. He is changed 
successively into a hawk, an angel or divine messenger ; 
into a lotus ; into the god Ptah ; into a heron ; into a 
crane; into a human-headed bird, the usual emblem of a 
soul; into a swallow; into a serpent, and into a crocodile. 

Up to this time the soul of the deceased has been 
making its journeys alone ; it has been merely a sort of 
image ; a mere shade, with the appearance of that body 
now stretched on the bier. After these transformations 
the soul becomes reunited to its body, which is needed 
for the rest of the journey. It was on this account that 
careful embalming was so important ; it was necessary 
that the soul should find the body perfect and well-pre- 
served. "Oh," cries the body, "that in the dwelling of 
the master of life I may be reunited to my glorified soul, 
do not order the guardians of heaven to destroy me, so 
as to send away my soul from my corpse, and hinder the 
eye of Horus, who is with thee, from preparing my 

The deceased traverses the dwelling of Thoth, who 
gives him a book containing instructions for the rest of 
his way, and fresh lessons of the knowledge he is soon 
to require. He arrives on the banks of the subterranean 
river separating him from the Elysian Fields, but there a 
new danger awaits him. A false boatman, the envoy of 
the Typhonic powers, lays wait for him on his way, and 
endeavors by deceitful words to get him into his boat, so 
as to mislead him and take him to the east instead of to 
the west, his true destination, and where he ought to 
land, and rejoin the sun of the lower world. The deceased 
again escapes this new danger; he unmasks the perfidy 
of the false boatman, and drives him away, overwhelming 
him with reproaches. He at last meets the right boat to- 


conduct him to his destination. But before crettine into 
it, it is necessary to ascertain if he is really capable of 
making the voyage, if he possesses a sufficient amount 
of the knowledge necessary to his safety. The divine 
boatman therefore makes him undergo an examination, a 
preliminary initiation, seemingly corresponding to the 
lesser Eleusinian mysteries. The deceased passes the 
examination ; each part of the boat then seems succes- 
sively to become animated, and to demand of him its 
name, and the mystical meaning of the name. The stake 
for anchoring the boat. Tell me my name ! "The Lord 
of the earth in thy case," is thy name. The rudder. Tell 
me my name ! " The enemy of Apis," is thy name. The 
rope. Tell me my name! "The hair with which Anubis 
binds up the folds of the wrappers," is thy name ; and so 
on for twenty-three questions and answers. 

After having thus victoriously passed through this trial, 
the deceased embarks, traverses the subterranean river, 
and lands on the other bank, when he soon arrives at the 
Elysian Fields in the valley of Avura, or Balot, the posi- 
tion of which the ritual gives in these terms, "The valley 
of Balot (abundance), at the east of heaven, is 370 cubits 
long, and 140 cubits broad. There is a crocodile lord of 
Balot in the east of that valley in his divine dwelling 
above the inclosure. There is a serpent at the head of 
that valley, thirty cubits long, his body six cubits round. 
In the south is the lake of sacred principles (Sharu) ; the 
north is formed by the lake of Primordial Matter (Rubu)." 
A large picture here shows us this valley, a real subter- 
ranean Egypt, intersected by canals, where we see the 
"Osiris" occupied in all the operations of agriculture ; 
preparing the ground, sowing and reaping in the divine 
fields an ample provision of that bread of knowledge he 
is now to find more necessary than ever. He has, in fact, 


arrived at the end of his journey; he has before him only 
the last, but also the most terrible of all his trials. 

Conducted by Anubis he traverses the labyrinth, and by 
the aid of the clew, guiding them through its windings, at 
last penetrates to the judgment-hall, where Osiris awaits 
him, seated on his throne, and assisted by forty-two ter- 
rible assessors. There the decisive sentence is to be 
pronounced, either admitting the deceased to happiness 
or excluding him forever. Then commences a new inter- 
rogatory, much more solemn than the former. The 
deceased is obliged to give proof of his knowledge ; he 
must show that it is great enough to give him the right 
to be admitted to share the lot of glorified spirits. Each 
of the forty-two judges, bearing a mystical name, ques- 
tions him in turn ; he is obliged to tell each one his name, 
and what it means. Nor is this all ; he is obliged to give 
an account of his whole life. 

'T have not blasphemed," says the deceased; "I have 
not stolen; I have not smitten men privily; I have not 
treated any person with cruelty; I have not stirred up 
trouble; I have not been idle; I have not been intoxi- 
cated; I have not made unjust commandments; I have 
shown no improper curiosity; I have not allowed my 
mouth to tell secrets; I have not wounded anyone; I 
have not let envy gnaw my heart; I have spoken evil 
neither of the king, nor my father; I have not falsely ac- 
cused any one ; I have not withheld milk from the mouths 
of sucklings; I have not practiced any shameful crime; 
I have not calumniated a slave to his master." 

The deceased does not confine himself to denying any 
ill conduct; he speaks of the good he has done in his 
lifetime. 'T have made to ^ the gods the offerings that 
were their due. I have given food to the hungry, drink 
to the thirsty, and clothes to the naked." We may well 


on reading these passages be astounded at this high 
morality, superior to that of aU other ancient people, that 
the Egyptians had been able to build up on such a foun- 
dation as their religion. Without doubt it was this clear 
insight into truth, this tenderness of conscience, which 
obtained for the Egyptians the reputation for wisdom, 
echoed even by Holy Scripture. 

Besides these general precepts, the apology acquaints 
us with some police regulations for public order, raised 
by common interest in Egypt to the rank of conscientious 
duties. Thus the deceased denies ever having intercepted 
the irrigating canals, or -having prevented the distribution 
of the waters of the river over the country; he declares 
that he has never damaged the stones for mooring vessels 
on the river. Crimes against religion are also mentioned; 
some seem very strange to us, especially when we find 
them classed with really moral faults. The deceased has 
never altered the prayers or interpolated them. He has 
never touched any of the sacred property, such as flocks 
and herds, or fished for the sacred fish in the lakes of the 
temples ; he has not stolen offerings from the altar, nor 
defiled the sacred waters of the Nile. 

The Osiris is now fully satisfied; his heart has been 
weighed in the balance with truth, and not been found 
wanting; the forty-two assessors have pronounced that 
he possesses the necessary knowledge. The great Osiris 
pronounces his sentence, and Thoth, as recorder to the 
tribunal, having inscribed it in his book, the deceased at 
last enters into bliss. 

Here commences the third part of the Ritual, more 
mystical and obscure than the others. We see the Osiris, 
henceforth identified with the sun, traversing with him, 
and as him, the various houses of heaven, and the lake 
of fire, the source of all licrht. Afterwards the Ritual 

1 12 


rises to a higher poetical flight, even contemplating the 
identification of the deceased with a symbolical figure 
comprising all the attributes of the deities of the Egyp- 
tian Pantheon. This representation ends the work. 


The gods of Egypt were worshiped in temples and 
tombs. Every town had at least one temple. The ser- 
vices were conducted by the priests, and on special occa- 
sions the king and scribes joined. The common people 
had but litde to do with the worship. The most important 


worship took place in the innermost chambers, where 
only the priests were at all permitted to go. 

The sacrifices were of animals and vegetables with the 
pouring out of wine and the burning of incense. The 
temples were gigantic structures grouped together. 
They were generally approached by avenues of sphinxes. 
The great temples are almost all found in Upper Egypt, 
Avhile the pyramids are in Lower Egypt. The inhabitants 
of Egypt were once the greatest nation of earth, and 
they built temples corresponding to their greatness. 


I I 


Thebes, in Upper Egypt, was once a greater city than 
Babylon, or Rome, or London. It was built on both 
sides of the River Nile. To it all the surroundine na- 



tions flocked. The temples of Thebes have, in magniti- 
cent o-randeur and majestic beauty, probably never been 
surpassed in any later age. Of these temples, Luxor and 
Karnak were the greatest. Between these two stretched 
an avenue of 140 gigantic columns, each twelve feet in 
diameter, their massive sides covered with sculptures. 

The columns were so great 
^ that we cannot understand 
^ how they could be cut out 
of the quarries and brought 
the 140 miles that they 
must pass over to get to 
Thebes. Karnak was the 
work of generations. It 
was 2,500 years in building. 
t^^ Abraham must have seen 
^•^ Karnak when he journeyed 
lk\^ tT- to Egypt. Moses must 
I have been familiar with its 
_ courts. The messengers 
of Israel, who in after ages 
V souo^ht alliance with power- 
- ^^ '%. ^^- f'^1 Egypt, must have looked 
upon its columns and walls. 
„- Karnak was a cluster of 
temples. The central one 
was 1 , 1 08 feet long and 300 
feet broad. The circuit of 
its walls, says a Roman historian who saw it in all its 
glory, was a mile and a half. Near Thebes are the statues 
of Memnon, which were said to sing when the rays of 
the rising sun touched their lips. Possibly the breeze of 
the early morning struck upon some concealed musical 
contrivance in the statue and produced the sound. 





The most imposing monuments of Egypt are the 
pyramids of El Gizeh. The largest of these Is the pyr- 



amid of Cheops. This is 4S0 feet high, and contains 
more than ten milhons of cubic yards of stone. The 
pyramid Is so placed that its four sides exactly face the 
four points of the compass. The pyramids were probably 
great tombs. At the foot of the pyramids is the great 
Sphinx. This is a monument of a man-headed lion, 
nearly ninety feet long and seventy-four feet high. Its 
face is twenty-six feet long. It is carved out of solid 
rock. This great Sphinx is said to be the image of 
the god Har-ma-chu, the setting sun. Between the two 
front paws of the Sphinx was placed a small chapel, 
consecrated to the god. As. Ampere says: "This huge, 
mutilated ficrure has an astonishing effect; it seems like 
an eternal spectre. The stone phantom seems attentive ; 
one would say that it hears and sees. Its great ear 
appears to collect the sounds of the past; its eye, directed 
to the east, gazes as it were into the future; its aspect has 
a depth, a truth of expression, irresistibly fascinating to 
the spectator. In this figure, half statue, half mountain, we 
see a wonderful majesty, a grand serenity, and even a 
sort of sweetness of expression." 

There was much of majestic beauty about the Egyptian 
religion and worship, but there was mixed with It a mass of 
debasing superstition. When King Cambyses of Persia 
conquered Egypt, and the supremacy of the world passed 
out of Egypt's hands, the downfall of its religion com- 
menced. The religion of the conquerors was mingled 
with their own. After some hundreds of years, Chris- 
tianity was spread over all north Africa and up the Nile. 
Then in the year 639, after Christ, Mohammedanism con- 
quered Egypt. This religion continues to predominate 
in Egypt. 





At that time the heaven above was unnamed, 

In the earth beneath a name was unrecorded; 

Chaos, too, was unopened around them. 

By name the mother Tihamtu, [the Deep] was the begetter of them all. 

Their waters in one place were not embosomed, and 

The fruitful herb was uncollected, the marsh-plant ungrown. 

At that time the gods [stars] were not made to go; none of them by 

name were recorded; order was not among them. 
Then were made the great gods; and these Lakhmu and Lakhamu 

caused to go; until they were grown they nurtured them. 
The gods Assur and Kissar were made by their hands, 
A length of days, a long time passed, and the gods Anu, Bel and Hea 

were created ; the gods Assur and Kissar begat them. 

From the Chaldean (Cuneiform) Creation Tablets. 

IN the Tigro-Euphrates Valley, or basin, as it is called, 
the commencement of the history of man is placed. 
"And it came to pass that as they journeyed from 
the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar: and 
they dwelt there." Here was great Babel built, and here 
occurred the confusion of tongues, and from here the 
nations were scattered over all the world. After this 
scattering to east, west and south, there was left a large 
body of people of different nations, in Chaldea. The 
great monuments and inscriptions, which are the only 
remaining books of early history, tell us of two great 

* Lenormant, the eminent French scholar of Assyrian antiquities, is our authority 
for the main part of fhis chapter, and we "have quoted liberally from his writings. 


nations called the Sumir and Accad. Of the descent 
of these peoples, it can be said with certainty only that 
there were Hamites among them. The Shemites are the 

founders of the Assyrian king- 
^ dom, the Hamites of the Baby- 

n Ionian. These and some other 
^ scattered tribes of other nations, 
were worshipers of the heavenly 
bodies, the sun, moon and stars. 
Hence came the extraordinary de- 

STAR WORSHIPERS. vclopment of astronomy in these 

lands. Their strange and imperfect civilization had an 
immense influence over a great part of Asia, for over 
1 500 years. 

The peoples of Chaldea did not at first intermingle with 
each other, but maintained a separate existence as tribes. 
Here was, however, the first organized government of 
the world. " Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a 
mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter be- 
fore the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod, the 
mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of 
his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Cal- 
neh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth 
Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the streets of the city, 
and Calah and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah: the 
same is a great city." Asshur was of the Semitic race, 
while Nimrod was a Cushite. These two people lived 
long together, and this explains how they came to have 
the same language and civilization In spite of their being 
of different origin. The four great cities mentioned 
above gave to their king, the title "king of the four 
regions," The founding of this great empire occurred 
only a little later than the beginning of the great Egyp- 
tian kingdom. We know almost nothing of the history 


of the Chaldean kings who succeeded Nimrod, except 
that which a few traditions tell us. 


Berosus was a Chaldean priest who lived in the days 
of Alexander the Great. He was a very learned man. 
He translated the history of Babylonia into the Greek 
lano-uage. His history commences with the creation and 
is carried down to his own time. He drew from the 
ancient records of Babylonia, from traditions of the 
people, and from inscriptions on the monuments. We 
have already referred to the traditions of the creation and 
deluge which he preserved. About 2400 B. C, accord- 
ing to Berosus, the Medes conquered Babylonia. Here 
for the first time we meet with the name of Zoroaster, 
the founder of Parseeism. The record of Berosus is very 
much valued because of the ground which it covers. It 
is wonderfully in agreement with the Bible record. At 
first his statements were questioned and disputed, but 
the researches of modern scholars in many respects con- 
firmed their complete accuracy. 


The ruins of Chaldea have been as yet but imperfectly 
explored. The great buildings and monuments have 
been buried beneath the ground for hundreds of years, 
and the work of digging them out is a slow one. When 
we remember that these cities and their buildings were 
amone the first ever erected, and that Nebuchadnezzar 
(or Nabukudur-ussur, as Berosus calls him,) and his suc- 
cessors only repaired and added to these, we can see 
the value of exhuming them. Stone is very rare in 
Chaldea, and could be brought only at great expense 
from a distance. Hence all the buildings of earlier ages 



were built of bricks. So we read of the Tower of Babel, 
that "they had bricks for stone." On each one of these 
bricks was generally stamped the name of the king who 
erected the building. The greater part of the early 
Chaldean inscriptions are found on these bricks. Hero- 
dotus tells us that the Babylo- 
nians built with these sun-dried 
bricks, and with here and there 


of reed-mattinor ce- 


mented with bitumen. The outsides of the buildings 
were covered with burnt or kiln-dried bricks to keep out the 
rain. More elaborate specimens of their pottery appear 
in articles for domestic uses, and especially in their coffins. 
The sacred buildings appear to have been often built 
in the form of a pyramid, with steps or stages, forming 
a series of terraces, each smaller than the one beneath 
it. This is the traditional style of buildings of the Tower 
of Babel. The same tendency to build high sacred 
buildings is seen in the pagodas of India, Burmah and 
China, in the Mohammedan towers, like the Koutub 
Minar, and the spires of Christian churches. The object 
at the first seems to have been the orettino- nearer to 
the heavenly bodies, the object of their worship. On the 
upper terrace, or platform, appears to have been built in 
most cases, a small chapel, or square room, richly orna- 
mented, containing an image of the god of the temple. 


Of ancient Babylonian sculptures but few are known 
to remain. Ot these, one is a small bronze figure of 
a goddess named Keodormabug, and a broken statu- 
ette in alabaster of the god Nebo. But a number of 
small cylinders of stone that were used as seals, and 
which are covered with enofravino-s or inscriotions, crive us 
much information of early Chaldean history. The Chal- 
deans were far advanced in astronomy and in arithmetic, 
which is indispensable to a knowledge of astronomy. 


The Chaldeans had eight sacred books, said to have 
been written by the god Cannes. No copies of these 
original books remain. But some of their sayings were 
copied into the books of later kings. All that remains 
of the books of ancient Chaldea is that which had been 
transported to Assyria, where it was found by Layard 
and later by Smith, in making their excavations at Nine- 
veh. He found in the ruins of the palace built by King 
Asshurbanipal, in one of the halls, a library. " This curi- 
ous library consists entirely of flat, square tablets of 
baked clay, having on each side a page of very small 
and closely written cuneiform cursive letters, impressed 
on the clay while it was still moist. Each tablet was 
numbered and formed a page of a book composed of a 
number of such tablets, probably piled one on another in 
the library." The greater part of these tablets are now 
in England. This collection was intended for a public 
library as we see from the following transladon of some 
of the tablets : 

"Palace of Asshurbanipal, king of the world, king of 
Assyria, to whom the god Nebo and the goddess Tash- 
mit (goddess of wisdom), have given ears to hear and 
eyes to see what is the foundation of government. They 


have revealed to the kings, my predecessors, this cunei- 
form writing, the manifestatation of the god Nebo, the 
god of supreme inteUigence. I have written it upon 
tablets, I have signed it, I have placed it in my palace for 
the instruction of my subjects." 

The cuneiform characters, as they are called, are made 
up of marks shaped like arrow-heads or wedges. There 
were enormous difficulties in the way of their interpreta- 
tion. In Egypt the similar task of making known the 
meaning of the hieroglyphics was performed in great 

jryyyy ^ y < i:^ ^1^ (« gf- « t^fT >i- 
« 1 « ^^ -..-) n T tirt <T- -4 A-\ (••••• 


part by one man, Champollion, but in Assyria the -work 
was done by many scholars. Now the famous library 
is nearly all translated, as are the inscriptions on the 
seals as well. Asshurbanipal lived about B. C, 650. 


The habits of life of any people both affect and are 
affected by their religious belief. In heathen lands, both of 
the present and the past, the daily home-life is interwoven 
with religious observances. The Assyrians have been 
called " the Romans of the East." They were a fierce 
and warlike race. They were naturally a religious people, 
and the worship of the gods held a very prominent place 
at least in their public life. But, sad to say, their devo- 



tion to relitrion was associated with such a deeracHno- 
worship of many false gods, that they were dragged 
down by it, instead of being exalted. 
They were very intelligent. They 
were mainly agriculturists, though 
the arts flourished. It seldom rained 
there except in winter, so they turned 
the waters of the Tigris and the 
Euphrates Rivers into channels, and 
conveyed them through their fields. 
The priests and kings dressed in 
garments of woven stuffs dyed in 
brilliant colors, and beautifully em- 
broidered with symbolical figures, 
animals, men, flowers and divine 
symbols. The costume of the As- 
syrians consisted of a robe open at 
the side, often with a border of 
fringe, and decorated with rich em- 
broidery, hanging down to the feet, 
and confined in the middle by a 
broad girdle. It precisely resembled 
the djubeh of the Eastern people in the present day. 
The common people and soldiers used a shorter tunic, 
reaching only to the knees, so as to allow them to walk 
freely. The king, in his robes of ceremony, wore over 
all a sort of long mantle or chasuble, thrown obliquely 
over one shoulder and splendidly ornamented. This is 
also seen on the monuments on the figures of the gods. 
A hiofh conical tiara surmounted his head, and in his 
hand he held a long sceptre or stafi", nearly the height of 
a man. The insignia of his rank were the same as those 
of Asiatic monarchs in the present day, the parasol and 
krge feathered fly -flaps carried behind him by slaves. 




The Assyrians wore their hair long and curled at the 
end, the beard square and with rows of curls. They 
were fond of wearing great quantities of jewelry, large 
ear-rings, finger-rings and bracelets. Some of the sol- 
diers wore a cuirass of small pieces of metal protecting 
the body, and allowing the tunic to appear beneath it. 
These were probably light infantry. Others wore long 
coats of mail reaching to the feet, with a conical helmet 
to which was attached a sort of veil of chain mail, falling 
down on the neck, and brought round to protect the 
chin, such as are now worn by the Circassians. 


The religion of Assyria and Babylonia was, in its es- 
sential principles and in the general spirit of its concep- 
tions, of the same character of the religion of Egypt, and 
in general as all pagan religions. When we penetrate 
beneath the surface which gross Polytheism has acquired 
from popular superstition, and revert to its original and 
higher conceptions, we shall find the whole based on the 
idea of the unity of the Deity, the last relic of the primi- 
tive revelation, disfigured indeed and all but lost in the 
monstrous ideas of Pantheism ; confounding the crea- 
ture with the Creator ; and transforming the Deity into a 
o-od-world, whose manifestations are to be found in all 
the phenomena of nature. Beneath this supreme and 
sole God. this great All, in whom all things are lost and 
absorbed, are ranked in an order of emanation corre- 
sponding to their importance, a whole race of secondary 
deities who are emanations from His very substance, who 
are mere personificadons of His attributes and manifes- 
tadons. The differences between the various pagan re- 
li'Vions is chiefly marked by the differences between these 
secondary divine beings. 


Thus, as we have already seen, the imagination of the 
Egyptians had been especially struck by the various 
stages of the daily and yearly course of the sun. In this 
they saw the most imposing manifestations of the Deity, 
that which best revealed the laws of the cfovernment of 
the world. In this they sought their divine personifica- 
tion. The Chaldaeo-Assyrians, especially devoted to as- 
tronomy, saw in the Astral, and especially in the planetary 
system, a manifestation of the divine being. They con- 
sidered the stars as His true external manifestation, and 
in their religious system made them the visible evi- 
dence of the subordinate divine emanations from the 
substance of the infinite being, whom they identified with 
the world, his work. 


The supreme god, the first and sole principle from 
whom all other deities were derived, was Ilu, whose name 
signifies God par excellence. Their idea of him was too 
comprehensive, too vast, to have any determined exter- 
nal form, or consequently to receive in general the 
adoration of the people; and from this point of view 
there is a certain analogy between Ilu and the Chronos 
of the Greeks, with whom he was compared by the latter. 
In Chaldaea it does not seem that any temple was ever 
specially dedicated to him; but at Nineveh and generally 
throughout Assyria, he seems to have received the pecu- 
liarly national name of Asshur (whence was derived the 
name of the country. Mat Asshur), and this itself seems 
related to the Arian name of the deity Asiira. With this 
title he was great god of the land, the especial protector 
of the Assyrians, he who gave victory to their arms. 
The inscriptions designate him as " Master or Chief of 
the Gods." He it is, perhaps, who is to be recognized in 


the figure occasionally found on the Assyrian monuments 
(but probably adopted in later times by the Persians to 
represent their Ormuzd), representing a human bust, 
wearing the royal tiara in the middle ot a circle borne by 
two laroe easfle winos, and with an eaole's tail. 


Below Ilu, the universal and mysterious source of all, 
was placed a triad, composed of his three first external 
and visible manifestations, and occupying the summit of 
the hierarchy of gods in popular worship. Anu, the 
Oannes of the Greek writers, was the lord of darkness ; 
Bel, the demiurgus, the organizer of the world; Ao, 
called also Bin, that is, the divine "Son '^ par excellence, 
the divine light, the intelligence penetrating, directing 
and vivifying the universe. These three divine persons 
esteemed as equal in power and con-substantial, were 
not held as of the same degree of emanation, but were 
regarded as having, on the contrary, issued the one from 
the other — Ao from Oannes, and Bel from Ao, Oannes, 
the " Lord of the Lower World, the Lord of Darkness," 
was represented on the monuments imder the strange 
figure of a man with an eagle's tail, and for his head- 
dress an enormous fish, whose open mouth rises over his 
head, while the body covers his shoulders. It is under 
this form that, Berosus tells us, according to Babylonian 
tradition, he floated on the surface of the waters of 
Chaos. Bel, the " Father of the Gods," was usually re- 
presented under an entirely human form, attired as a 
king, w^earing a tiara with bull's horns, the symbol of 
power. But this god took many other secondary forms, 
the most important being Bel Dagon, a human bust 
springing from the body of a fish. We do not know 
exactly the typical figure of Ao or Bin, "the intelligent 




g-uide, the Lord of 
the visible world, the 
Lord of knowledge, 
of glory and light." 
The serpent seems 
to have been his prin- 
cipal symbol ; though 
some other sculp- 
tured figures seem to 
be intended to repre- 
sent Bin. 

A second triad is 
produced with per- 
sonages no lono^er 
vaofue and indeter- 
minate in character, 
like those of the first, 
but with a clearly- 
defined siderial as- 
pect, each represent- 
ing a known celestial 
body, and especially 
those in which the 
C h al d ae o- Assyrians 
saw the most striking | 
external manifesta- 
tions of the deity ; 
these were Shamash, 
the sun; Sin, the 
moon god ; and a new 
form of Ao or Bin, in- 
ferior to the first, and representing him as god of the 
atmosphere or firmament. Thus did they industriously 
multiply deities and representations of them. 





Then come the gods of the five planets : Adar (Sat- 
urn), Merodach (Jupiter), Nergal (Mars), Ishtar (Venus), 
and Nebo (Mercury). The worship of Merodach, though 
not much cultivated at Nineveh, was of primary import- 
ance at Babylon, where he was regarded as one of the 
principal gods. He was a secondary form, another mani- 
festation of Bel in an inferior rank in the hierarchy ; he 
was called " the ancient one of the gods, the supreme 
judge, the master of the horoscope ;" he was represented 
as a man, erect and walking, and with a naked sword in 
his hand. Adar, "the fire," called also Samdan, "the 
powerful," although his planet had been called Saturn by 
the Greeks, was apparently the Assyrian Hercules. His 
appellations are, "the terrible, the lord of warriors, the 
strong one, the destroyer of his enemies, he who reduces 
the disobedient, the exterminator of rebels," and in other 
cases, " the Son of the Zodiac." On some 
monuments he is represented in company 
with Merodach. In the same manner, he 
is represented in the magnificent colossal 
figures in the Museum of the Louvre, and 
of the British Museum, where he is seen 
as a god of terrible aspect, strangling in 
his arms a lion that appears quite small in 
comparison with him. With the surname 
of Malik (king), Adar Malik is mentioned 
in the Bible with "Oannes the king" (Anu 
Malik) (2 Kings, xvii., 31,) as the principal 
god of Sippara, where the inhabitants 
"burnt their children in the fire" in honor of these ex- 
alted ones. In general these planetary gods are only fire, 
secondary manifestations of the higher order. Such is 



the connection between Neboand Ao. Nebo also is dis- 
tinguislied as the " supreme intehigence ;" he is the p-od 
of prophetic inspiration and of eloquence, and also the 
special guardian of royal prerogative, the protector of 
kings and the prototype whom they reproduce on earth. 
Like Bel, he has on the monuments an entirely human 
form with the tiara, and the dress of a king; three pairs 
of horns, ranged one above the other, decorate his tiara, 
and tour large wings are often attached to his shoulders ; 
the sceptre also is one of his common attributes. 


Ishtar reproduces among die planetary gods Anat and 
Bilit, the great goddess of nature, the mother of all the 
gods and of all beings ; she is their active and martial 
form, for she is called "the Goddess of Battles, the Queen 
of Victories, she who leads armies to the fight and is the 
judge of warlike exploits ;" but she has a double form 
uniting two characters, one fierce and sanguinary, the 
other voluptuous, for under the names of Zarpanit and 
Nana she presides over the reproduction of beings, and 
over sensual pleasures ; she is in this last character 
always represented naked, always full face and with the 
two hands on the chest. Moreover two Ishtars were 
always distinguished, that of Arbela (called also Arbail), 
and that of Nineveh, who presided over the two fortnights 
of the month. The plural name of this double Ishtar, 
Ishtaroth, was the origin of the Phoenician Ashtaroth. 
Nergal, whose image is very uncommon, stands on 
the legs of a cock, and carries a sword in his hand. 
The application of the name of Mars to his star was 
quite natural, for his titles in the inscriptions are "the 
great hero, the king of fight, the master of battles, 
champion of the gods," and also "god of the chase." 



Such were the great gods of Nineveh and Babylon. 
Below them popular superstition believed in an immense 
number of personifications of inferior order, of lesser 
i:"ods, or rather Q-enii, whom it would be waste of time to 
enumerate. We must, however, mention some person- 
ages who are found on the monuments occupying an 
important position in the Chalda^o-Assyrian pantheon, 
and who were evidently other forms of the gods already 
named, but whose position has not as yet been precisely 
determined. Such is Nisroch, called also Shalman. who 
*' presides over the course of human destiny," and who is 
also the protector of marriages ; this is the god with an 
eaofle's head and larofe wines, whose imao-e is so common 
on the sculptures of the Assyrian palaces. It was in the 
temple of this god at Nineveh, that Sennacherib was as- 
sassinated by his sons. Possibly we ought to consider 
this god as another form of Oannes. 

The oreat eods are often all invoked one after the 
other at the beginning of the solemn inscriptions of the 
kings of Assyria. Sargon has given the names of eight 
of them on the gates of the city he founded. "Shamash 
has conferred on me all I possess," says he in an inscrip- 
tion. " Bin gave me good fortune ; I have named the great 
eastern gates after Shamash and Bin. Bel Dagon laid 
the foundation of my city, Bilit Taauth grinds like paint 
the elements of the world ; I have named the o-reat 
southern gates after Bel Dagon and Bilit Taauth. Oannes 
prospers the work of my hand, Ishtar leads armies to 
battle; I have called the great western gates after 
Oannes and Ishtar, Nisroch Shalman presides over 
marriages, the mistress of the gods presides over births ; 
I have dedicated the trreat northern oates to Nisroch 




and Bilit." Inscriptions of such and like general purport 
were sculptured on the palace walls of many of the 
kings and also upon the bodies oi the winged bulls. 


The deity who was the principal object of worship at 
Babylon and at Borsippa was Bel Merodach, with his 
wife, Bilit or Myletta, the great nature-goddess, who 
assumed the two opposite forms of Taauth and Zarpanit, 
the one austere, the other voluptuous, like the two forms 
of the Venus of classical mythology. Bilit had a mag- 
nificent temple in the centre of Babylon, where most 
infamous customs were practiced. At Ur, the god of the 
city, from the remote times of Ur-Hammu, was Sin, the 



moon-god; at Sippara and Larsam, Shamash, the sun; 
atErech and Nipur, Bilit-Taauth, "Goddess of the Fir- 
mament." The most shameful rites were connected with 
the worship of Nana or Zarpanit, at Cutha. 

The materiaUstic and profoundly immoral worship at 
Babylon, naturally excited extreme horror in the wor- 
shipers of Jehovah, and provoked their vehement invec- 
tives against the idols of Chaldaea. We quote the elo- 
quent words of Baruch, that portray so vividly an always 
materialistic, and often obscene worship that was, in fact, 
no more than a constant employment of popular super- 
stition for the profit of the priests. 

'' Now ye shall see in Babylon gods of silver, and of 
gold, and of wood, borne upon shoulders, which cause 
the nations to fear. . . . And taking gold, as it were, 
for a virgin that loveth to go gay, they make crowns for 
the heads of their gods. Sometimes also the priests 
convey from their gods gold and silver, and bestow it 
upon themselves. Yea, they will give thereof to the 
common harlots, and deck them as men with garments, 
being gods of silver, and gods of gold and wood. . . . 
And he that cannot put to death one that offendeth him 
holdeth a sceptre (Nebo), as though he were a judge of 
the country. He (Bel Merodach) hath also in his right 
hand a dagger and an axe, but cannot deliver himself 
from war and thieves. . . . They light them candles, 
yea, more than for themselves, whereof they cannot see 
one. They are as one of the beams of the temple, yet 
they say their hearts are gnawed upon b)' things creep- 
ing out of the earth ; and when they eat them and their 
clothes they feel it not. ... As for the things that 
are sacrificed unto them, their priests sell and abuse; 
in like manner their wives lay up part thereof in salt ; 
but unto the poor and impotent they give nothing of it. 



. . . The priests also take off their garments and 
clothe their wives and children. . . . The women 
also with cords about them sitting in the way burn bran 
for perfume." 

The most remarkable building in Babylon was the 
temple of Bel. It was pyramidal in shape, having eight 
stages. The lowest stage was 200 yards square. On 
the summit a golden statue of Bel, 40 feet high, stood 
in a shrine. There were also two other golden statues 
and a o-olden table in this shrine. At the bottom of the 
pyramid-temple stood a chapel with a table and two 
imaees of orold within it. Two altars stood outside of 
this chapel. A similar temple was at Borsippa near 
Babylon. It had seven stages, each decorated in one of 
the seven primary colors. Like all Chaldean temples, 
and like the Great Pyramid of Egypt, the four corners of 
this exactly corresponded with the four cardinal points of 
the compass. 





For those the race of Israel oft forsook 
Their living strength, and unfrequented left 
His righteous altar, bowing lowly down 
To bestial gods ; for which their heads as low 
Bowed down in battle, sunk before the spear 
Of despicable foes, with these in troop 
Came Astoreth, whom the Phoenicians call'd 
Astrate, queen of Heav'n, with crescent horns; 
To whose bright image nightly by the moon 
Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs ; 
In Sion also not unsung. — Milton. 

THE Bible utterly condemns all Idol-worship. The 
people of Israel from their neighbors were con- 
stantly learning of Idols and were frequently led 
away from the worship of Jehovah to that of false gods. 
It will be profitable for us just here to turn aside and con- 
sider these gods. The people of Israel were descended 
from an Idolatrous race. Joshua wrote (Chap, xxlv., 2), 
"Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood" (that 
Is, the River Euphrates,) "and they served other gods." 
Rachel, when she left her father's home with Jacob, stole 
her father's " teraphim." These were Images connected 
with magical rites and they were consulted as oracles In 
later days. Laban says : " I have augured, or foretold by 
observing signs." The teraphim were used In Israel 
even in Ezeklel's time. Laban calls his teraphim his 
gods. They were generally Images with a man's head 


and with bodies of various shapes, diough diey were quite 
small, being often only about two or three inches high. 


The people of Israel strangely sought to blend the 
worship of the true God and of idols, they " feared 
Jehovah and served strange gods." They worshiped 
in turn very nearly all the gods of the Canaanites, Syri- 
ans, Assyrians and many of those of the Egyptians. 
They were accustomed to wear amulets and charms, 
which were supposed to place them under the protection 
of the idol gods. (See Genesis xxxv., 4.) In Egypt the 
people of Israel were more thoroughly tainted with false 
gods, and it was a long while before they were cleansed 
of the taint. To the gods of Egypt Moses flung down 
the gauntlet of defiance. He dared their wrath and 
defied their anger. In the punishments which God sent 
upon Pharaoh and his people for their refusal to let 
the children of Israel go, the plagues of Egypt, as w'e 
call them, smote their most sacred symbols. At the com- 
mand of Moses, Aaron waved his rod over the Nile and 
its waters were turned to blood and its fishes died. The 
Nile was an object of worship to the Egyptians, as w^ere 
the crocodiles and some of the fish 
living in its waters. The frogs, in the 
next plague, were among the sacred 
animals. It was a part of the Egyp- 
tian religion that the people and sculptured locust. 
especially the priests, should keep themselves scrupu- 
lously clean, and the plague of the lice was a terrible 
punishment. The great Eg^-ptian beetle, the scara- 
baeus, was sculptured on all their monuments and was 
an object of worship. The plague of flies or beetles was 
another attack upon their religion. Selected animals 


among the cattle were worshiped. The murrain of beasts 
fell upon them, their being gods as the Egyptians be- 
lieved them to be, could not avert the plague. The 
plague of boils and blains was another assault upon the 
purity oi their persons required by their religion. The 
other plagues showed most effectually the utter inability 
of the Egyptian gods to help their worshipers, and that 
Jehovah, the God of Israel, was the one Supreme Being. 


With the remembrance of God's victory over the idol- 
worship of Egypt still fresh in their minds, the Israelites 
soon fell into idolatrous ways. Their leader, Moses, was 
absent in the mountain with God, He had crone thither 
to receive the commands of God, the first of which was 
an unqualified condemnation of all idolatry. As if to 
show the necessity of this vommand, even while Moses 
was so engaged, the people were demanding of Aaron 
that he should make them an idol. The commandments 
were given to warn Israel against sin. They were as a 
fence to keep them from falling into the mouth of hell. 
The Israelites recalled the visible objects of worship to 
which they had been accustomed in Egypt, and besought 
Aaron to make them gods. Weakly yielding to their 
urgent request, Aaron asks for their golden ear-rings, 
hoping, it may be, that they would not be willing to make 
this sacrifice. With the gold thus furnished he cast a 
"molten calf," the image of the Babylonish winged bull 
Cherub. This he placed before the Israelites as the 
image of the God who had led them out of Egypt. He 
then built an altar before the idol. In the name of 
Jehovah, he proclaimed a festival. God is for this cause 
exceedingly angry, but in answer to Moses' prayer He 
finally spares the people. 



As Moses comes nearer to the camp of Israel, he hears 
the sound of their revelry, and when his eyes behold the 
disgraceful scenes attending the worship of the golden 
calf, in his anger he throws the stone tablets containing 
the commandments to the ground. He then causes the 
image to be ground into powder and strewn upon the 
water which the people must needs drink. Then came 
the awful slaucrhter of 
those who were not 
loyal to Jehovah. Just 
how far Israel had 
looked upon the gol- 
den calf as a mere 
symbol of Jehovah, it 
is impossible to say, 
but God condemns 
even the use of a sym- 
bol, though it may be 
truly said that the 
symbol is not itself 

During the rest of 
their wandering in the 
desert, the people did 
not agaiil commit the 
sin of idolatry. The 
terrible punishments 
which had fallen upon goddess ashtoreth.ishtar. 

them were quite sufficient to deter them from it. 

Into the fearfully wicked worship of Baal-Peor, the 
Israelites were led by the daughters of Moab. God sent 
upon them an awful punishment for this sin also. During 
the lives of Joshua and the elders they remained true to 
their allegiance to Jehovah, but the following generation 



remembered not the awful penalties God visited on 
idolatr}', and they were caught in the snare again. 


Baal was the supreme male divinity of the Phoenician 
and Canaanitish nations. Ashtoreth was their female 
divinity. The name Baal means lord. He was the sun- 

eod. The name is oren- 
erally used in connection 
with other names, as Baal- 
Gad, that is Baal the For- 
tune-bringer; Baal-Berith 
or Covenant-making- Baal; 
Baal-Zebub, the Fly-god. 
The people of Israel wor- 
shiped Baal up to the time 
of Samuel, at whose re- 
buke they forsook this 
iniquity for nearly a hun- 
dred years. The practice 
was introduced again in 
the time of Solomon, and 
it continued to the days of 
the captivity. 

During the life of all the 
judges, Israel w-orshiped 
Baal. As soon as Gideon 
PHfENiciAN GODDESS ASTARTE. ^^^^ ^^^^^ ^}^g Israelites, 

who had during his lifetime been less devout in this 
direction, returned to it again with energ-y. As if in 
mockery of the covenant made with Jehovah, they chose 
to \vorship Baal-Berith^ " Baal of the Covenant." We 
are told that this Baal's temple was a fortress, and that 
his treasury w^as filled with the silver brought in great 



abundance by his worshipers. Before the story of Sam- 
son is told the striking words are used, " the children oi 
Israel did evil again in the eyes of Jehohah, and Jehovah 
gave them again into the hands of the Philistines," 
Idolatry was their national sin. From Judges xvii. and 
xviii., we see that often the Israelites tried to carry on 
both the worship of Jehovah and of idols, like the Saxon 
king who is said to have had both an altar to Christ and 
an altar to the devils 
in his chapel-cave. 
Strange to say, Mo- 
ses' own son, Jona- 
than, was the priest 
in the idol-temple of 
the gods of the tribe 
of Dan. These idols 
were destroyed by 
the Philistines. It 
was the custom of 
heathen nations to 
carry their idols be- 
fore them into bat- 
tle. Idolatry was not 
due to popularity 
alone, it was not followed merely as a fashion, for it was 
often carried on secredy. (Isaiah Ivii., 8, and Hoseaix.,i, 2.) 
Under Samuel idolatry was formally renounced by the 
Israelites. But Solomon's foreign wives brought with 
them the gods of their own nations. So the gods of 
Ammon, Moab and Sidon were openly worshiped ; three 
of the summits of Olivet were covered with the altars of 
Ashtoreth, Chemosh and Moloch, the fire-god. The of- 
fering of human sacrifice was a part of the worship of 
Moloch. The ceremony is supposed to have been as 



follows : The priest stood on a platform in front of the 
idol, and while the people bowed down and murmured 
their prayers, he placed in the hands of the idol the sacri- 
fice, frequently a little babe. By some cruel machinery 
the idol's hands came together crushing the child, while 
the musicians beat their drums to drown its cries. 

Rehoboam and Jeroboam both led Israel more deeply 
into idolatry. Jeroboam erected golden calves, the statues 
of the Egyptian god Apis, at Bethel and at Dan. To 
their use temples were devoted and services, copied prob- 
ably from the Mosaic ritual, were held. Incense and 
sacrifice was offered before them. Asa, and Jehosophat 
after him, removed all the relics of idolatry. 

With Ahab's coming to the throne, Baal's worship was 
re-established. This was done at the request of Jezebel, 
the Sidonian princess. Ahab did "more to provoke 
Jehovah, God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of 
Israel before him." From this time Baal-worship is inter- 
woven with all the life of Israel. The idolatrous priests 
became more and more numerous and important, being 
patronized by the court and fed at the royal table. Finally 
came the grand trial scene. As in Egypt long before, God 
was once more about to vindicate His supremacy. On 
Mount Carmel the trial took place. 

** By scores, by hundreds, chanting to their god, 
Clad in white stoles with frontlets of red gold, 
Baal's prophets marched. 

The crowd through all its myriad ranks was still, 
With wide, expectant eyes the king in front. 
Forth stepped Elijah; melancholy fire 
Burned in his swarthy-glowing eye; he looked 
In angry love, impatient, scornful grief. 
Wonder and pity, on the multitude. 
'How long,' he cried, with voice like autumn blast, 
'How long, O Israel, halt ye between two? 



If Jah be God, then serve ye Him: if Baal, 

Then Baal.' The great crowd stretched f-Q him, and rocked 

In mighty agitation to and fro. 

The gray crags caught his words, and echoed them 

To Carmel's crest; it threw them to the peak. 

Snow-crowned, of Lebanon, which tossed them far 

Along the surges of the boundless sea. 

He spake again : ' The God that answereth 

By fire, let Him be God. ' As when a wave, 

That rears itself, a wall of polished glass. 

For leagues along the shore, and hangs in air. 

Falls with one deafening crash, so rose the shout 

Of answering acclamation from the crowd. 

White-faced, with restless lips and anxious eyes, 

Baal's prophets heard, their hundreds cowed and mute 

Before one man. They dared not, in mere shame. 

Decline the challenge. While the dusky gray 

Of earliest dawn was fluttering into blue 

They built their altar; and. when first the sun 

Showed his clear forehead on the mountain-tops 

Their chanted prayer to the appearing Baal 

Rose loud and shrill, that he would stretch his hand 

With burning torch to light the sacrifice 

And prove himself a god The sun rose calm, 

Springing as if in joy from earth's low hills, 

Upon the vaulted radiance of the sky, 

All unregarding these his worshipers. 

The hymns' last echoes died away; the sun 

Burned with fierce heat, swift striding up the blue. 

Standing on that scorched hill, we felt his rays 

Prick like sharp spear-points. Then I heard again 

Elijah's voice. I had been watching close 

Baal's prophets, but I now looked straight at him. 

A fearful gleam was in his eye, a mirth 

Too stern, methought, for man of woman born; 

His glance was vexing those robed prophets more 

Than the sun's fire; and then he gave it words. 

'Might he not spare one little spark, but one, 

Your fine god riding there,' he cried, 'to light 

Your sacrifice? He surely has enough; 

He's burning you, if not your offering. 



Poor souls, I pity you!' They screamed for rage. 

'A little louder,' smiled he, 'for perhaps 

In his warm chariot he has fallen asleep.' 

They leaped, they danced, they cut themselves with knives. 

Till the blood soaked their robes and poured in streams 

From their lanced foreheads. Then he laughed aloud 

Great shouts of laughter, till the echoes rang 

From crag to crag on Carmel. 'Keep it up, 

Another dance!' he shrieked; 'another song! 

Leap rather higher ; never grudge some drops 

Of your dear blood, so precious in his sight. 

Ye know he is a god, my reverend friends; 

How often have ye told the people so? 

Your pretty speeches and the miracles 

Which ye have shown them, these were not, of course, 

Mere lies accursed. He is a god, you know. 

Louder, I say; he's old, perhaps, and deaf; 

Out with your beards — that 's hopeful — crack your throats 

In yelling chorus. Good, good — ha, ha, ha!' 

He rubbed his hands, waved wildly in the air 

His sheep-skin mantle, laughed until the tears 

Streamed down his face, and all his body shook 

With paroxysms of mirth and scorn. Ah me! 

That laughter sounded fearfully, and seemed 

Not human in its fiery ruthlessness. 

But as he stood on Carmel, charred and gray, 

A dead land lay below, his native land ; 

And the white corpse-eyes made appeal to him 

Against its murderers, murderers of the truth, 

Baal's lying prophets. Furthermore, I think 

That this Elijah is not to be judged 

Like common men. The little rippling lake. 

Safe hid among the hills, can never know 

The ocean's tempests. — So they writhed and tore, 

In ecstasies of grief and rage. At last 

They hung their heads in mute despair, and looked 

Upon the ground. 

Elijah stood erect, 
Terrible earnestness and majesty 
Now sitting on his brow. Tweh-e stones he took — 
Mark, twelve ; this challenge in the full name 



Of Israel as it stooped to David's hand, 
And with one mighty throb the multitude 
Approved Elijah's pur- 
pose ; — twelve smooth 

From Carmel's side, and 

with them he repaired 
Jehovah's altar. Then, 

at his command, 
We filled the trench with 

water, till it ran 
Around the altar like a 

surging stream. 
And washed the stones, 

and soaked the wood 

The sacrifice. He knelt 

upon the ridge, 
Against the golden, placid 

sky of eve ; 
Brief, simple, clear, his 

words arose to heaven ; 
' That God would testify 

unto Himself 
And to His prophet, and 

would turn the hearts 
Of His own people back 

to Him again.' 
Scarce had he spoken, 

when a broad white 

Scattering earth's light 

like darkness in its 

Keener than lightning, 

calmer than the dawn. 
The sword of God that 

proveth Him by fire, 
That proveth Him by fire 

in every age. 


Stooped from above and touched the sacrifice. 


In the white blaze the sun grew wan, and hung 

Like a pale moon upon the glimmering sky. 

The fierce flame licked the water up, the wood 

Crackled aloft, the very altar stones 

Glowed fiery red. The pillared smoke arose 

Through the hushed air in towering flawlessness, 

Then spread out calm and broad, like God's own face 

Breathing acceptance. But Baal's prophets shook 

In utter fear, and smote upon their breasts, 

And groveled, moaning, down into the dust. 

Clear broke the shout from that great multitude, 

' Jah is the God ! Jehovah He is God ! 

' Take them,' Elijah said ; ' let none escape.' 

We closed around Baal's prophets, thrust them down 

To where the thirsty Kishon slowly crawled. 

There made Elijah bare his arm, and score 

By score he slew them. From the heap of dead 

Oozed a broad rill of blood, that swelled the wave 

Of slumbrous Kishon." 

This was a severe blow to this form of idolatry in 
Israel for the time being. But in Judah, Baal continued 
to be worshiped. Baal and other gods were worshiped 
at their own shrines. Ahaz built altars to them at every 
corner of Jerusalem, and high-places in every city of 
Judah, replacing the brazen altar of burnt-offering by one 
made after the idol altar at Damascus. 

The time for the final act in the drama of abominations 
is at hand. The last scene opens with the captivity at 
Babylon. One would expect that this terrible punish- 
ment would immediately cause Israel to turn to the true 
God, but it did not. In the land of their captivity they 
took to them foreign wives and with them their idols. 
But there were, through all the history of the Jews, a 
faithful few who adhered to the pure worship of one God. 
Even at the time when Baal-worship was most prevalent 
there were 7,000 in Israel who had not bowed the knee 


to Baal (ist Kings, xxix., i8). Excepting these few, the 
chosen people were almost as much given to idolatry as 
any nation around them. "Israel for many days had no 
true God, and no teaching priest, and no law" (2d Chron- 
icles, XV., 3). 

Foreign wives, foreign allies, and the unnatural ten- 
dency to desire visible objects of worship caused this 
prevalence of idolatry in the very nation to which God 
made especial revelations of His character and purposes. 
In spite of God's promises and threats, commands and 
entreaties, punishments and pardon, Israel still sinned. 

The false gods mentioned in the New Testament and 
some of those referred to in the Old Testament, will be 
spoken of further on in describing the religions to which 
they severally belonged. 





There, where now, as we're by sages told, 

Whirls on high a soulless fiery ball, 
Helios guided then his car of gold, 

In his silent majesty o'er all. 
Oreads then these heights around us filled. 

Then a dryad dwelt in yonder tree. 
From the urn of loving naiads rilled 

Silver streamlets foamingly. 

Friedrich von Schiller. 

THE religious system of the Greeks is the em- 
bodiment of beauty. No other worsliip that has 
ever existed so encouraged the taste for art as 
this. Its hterature, its mythological stories, its idols and its 
temples still control and,^to a great extent, shape the art 
ideas of the world. Its devotees have above all other 
people possessed a perception of beauty of form and a 
fondness for representing it. 

The people of Greece appear to have originally come 
from the north-western part of Asia Minor. They were 
called the Hellenes. The \vorship which they brought 
from Asia was the worship of the "Heaven-Father," the 
unseenpone who dwells in ether, whose temple is the sky, 
and whose altar is properly placed upon the mountain- 
top. The Hindus called the same being Dyaus-pitar; 
the Romans, Diovis-pater or Jupiter; the Greeks, Zeus- 
pater. One can readily see the resemblance between 
these names, and the evidence they bear to the fact that 


these nations all came originally from one common stock. 
As the primal Greek race separated into various parts 
of Greece different forms began to arise. As sailors 
from other lands arrived on their shores, they brcui;ht 
their own gods with them, and thus many new gods \\ ere 
introduced into Greece. 

The lively imagination of the Greeks and the out-door 
life of their primitive state produced a number of tales 
and legends about the gods. Some of these were based 
on the tales with w-hich their forefathers were familiar in 
their early home in Asia. The people lived in separate 
villages. Wandering minstrels and merchants carried 
these tales of gods and heroes from village to village. 
Poets then caught them up and adorned them with the 
touches of a livelier fancy. Thus soon a rich and luxuri- 
ant system of legendary lore was in possession of the 
whole people. 

Just as is the case with other nations, the beings called 
gods by the Greeks are but the personifications of the 
powers and objects of nature, and the legends but repre- 
sent the courses of nature and its operations. To these 
primitive notions imagination afterwards added, and po- 
etry clothed the whole w^ith a warm glow. Thus was 
formed the popular Greek faith. 


AccordincT to the ideas of the Homeric and Hesiodic 
acres, it would seem that the world was a hollow globe, 
divided into two equal portions by the flat disk of the 
earth. The external shell of this globe is called by the 
poets brazen and iron, probably only to express its solid- 
itv. The superior hemisphere was named Heaven, the 
inferior one Tartarus. The length of the diameter of the 
hollow sphere is eiven thus bv Hesiod. It would take, he 


says, nine days for an anvil to fall from heaven to earth ; 
and an equal space of time would be occupied by its 
fall from earth to Tartarus. The luminaries which gave 
lioht to eods and men shed their radiance throuorh all the 
interior of the upper hemisphere; while that of the in- 
ferior one was filled with eternal gloom and darkness, 
and its still air was unmoved by any wind. 

The earth filled the centre ol the universe in the form 
of a round flat disk, or rather "cylinder, around which the 
river (the ocean) flowed. Hellas was probably regarded 
as the centre of the earth ; but the poets are silent on 
this point. They are equally so as to the exact central 
point, but probably viewed as such Olympus, the abode 
of the gods. In after times Delphi became practically the 
jiaz'cl of the earth. The sea divided the terrestial disk 
into two portions, which we may suppose were regarded 
as equal. These divisions do not seem to have had any 
disdnctive names in the time of Homer. The northern 
one was afterwards named Europe; the southern, at first 
called Asia, alone, was in process of time divided into 
Asia and Libya, the former comprising all the country 
between the Phasis and the Nile, the latter all between 
this river and the western ocean. 

In the sea, the Greeks appear to have known, to the 
west of their own country, southern Italy, Sicily and 
Spain, though their ideas respecting these countries were 
probably vague and uncertain. The imaginadon of the 
poets, or the tales ol voyagers, had placed in the more 
remote parts of it several islands, such as the Ogygian, 
the isle of Calypso ; the yEasan, that of Kirke ; the 
y^olion, that of ^-Eolos ; Scheria, the abode of the Phaea- 
kians — islands in all probability as ideal and as fabulous 
as the isles of Panchaia, Lilliput, or Brobdignag, though 
both ancients and moderns have endeavored to assicrn 



their exact positions. Along its southern coast lay, it 
would appear, the countries of the Lotos-eaters, the 
Cyclops, the Giants and the Laestrigonians. These isles 
and coasts oPthe western part of the sea were the scenes 
of most of the wonders of early Grecian fable. There, 
and on the isles of the ocean, the passage to which was 
supposed to be closed to the island of Kirke, dwelt the 
Sirens, the Hesperides, the Graecae, the Gorgons and the 
other beings of fable, whose varied deeds make up the 
ever interesting narratives of the ancient mythology. 

The Greeks of the early ages knew little of any people 
except those to the east and south of their own country, 
or near the coast of the Mediterranean. Their imagina- 
tion, meantime, had peopled the western portion of this 
sea with giants, monsters and enchantresses ; while they 
placed around the edge of the disk of the earth, which 
they probably regarded as of no great width, nations en- 
joying the peculiar favor of the gods, and blessed with 
happiness and longevity — a notion which continued to 
prevail even in the historic times. 

The entrance to the city or palace of the gods on 
Olympus was closed by a gate of clouds kept by the 
goddesses named the " Seasons ;" but the cloudy valves 
opened spontaneously to permit the greater gods to pass 
to and fro on their visits to the earth, thus linking: with 
earth's phases the approaches or departures of the gods. 

Tartarus was unvisited by the light of day. It was 
regarded as the prison of the gods, and not as the place 
of torment for wicked men, being to the gods what Ere- 
bus was to men — the abode of those who were driven 
from the supernal world. The Titans, when conquered, 
were shut up in it; and in the IHas, Zeus menaces the 
subordinate and refractory gods with banishment to its 
murky regions. 



Chaos (void space) was first: then came into being 
" broad-breasted " Earth, the gloomy Tartarus and Love. 
Chaos produced Erebus and Night, and this last bore to 
Erebus Day and Ether. 

Earth now produced Uranos (Heaven), of equal ex- 
tent with herself, to envelop her, and the mountains and 
Pontos (Sea). She then bore to Uranus a mighty pro- 
ofenv — the Titans ; six males and six females. She also 
bore the three Cyclops and the three-hundred handed 
ones, Hottos, Briareus and Gyges. These children w'ere 
hated by their father, who, as soon as they were born, 
thrust them out of sight in a cavern of mother Earth, who, 
grieved at his conduct, produced the substance of hoary 
steel, and, forming from it a sickle, roused her children, 
the Titans, to rebellion against him ; but fear seized on 
them all except Kronos, who, lying in wait with the sickle 
with which his mother had armed him, mutilated his un- 
suspecting sire. The drops which fell to the earth from 
the wounds gave birth to the Erinnyes, the Giants and 
the Mehan nymphs ; and from wdiat fell into the sea 
sprang Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. 

Earth finally, after the overthrow of the Titans, bore 
by Tartaros her last offspring, the hundred-headed Ty- 
phoeus, the father of storms and whirlwinds, whom Zeus 
precipitated into Tartarus. 

Rhea was united to Kronos. Kronos, having learned 
from his parents. Heaven and Earth, that he was fated 
to be deprived by one of his sons of the kingdom which 
he had taken from his father, devoured his children as 
fast as they w^ere born. Rhea, w^hen about to be deliv- 
ered of Zeus, besought her parents to teach her how she 
might save him. Instructed by Earth, she concealed him 


In a cavern of Crete, and gave a stone in his stead to 
Kronos. This stone he afterward threw up, and with it 
the children whom he had devoured. When Zeus was 
o-rown up, he and the other children of Kronos made war 
on their father and the Titans. The scene of the conflict 
was Thessaly ; the former fought from Olympus, the lat- 
ter from Othrys. During ten entire years the conflict 
was undecided ; at length, by the counsel of Earth, the 
Kronids released the Hundred-handed and called them 
to their aid. The war was then resumed with renewed 
vigor, and the Titans were finally vanquished and im- 
prisoned in Tartarus, under the guard of the Hundred- 
handed. The Kronids then, by the advice of Earth, gave 
the supreme power to Zeus, who, in return, distributed 
honors and dominion among the associates of his victory. 


The Greeks of the early ages regarded the lofty Thes- 
salian mountain named Olympus as the dwelling of their 
gods. In the Odyssey, where the deities are of a char- 
acter far more dignified and elevated than in the Ilias, the 
place of their abode shares in their exaltation ; and it 
may almost be doubted if the poet who drew the follow- 
ing picture of Olympus could have conceived it to be no 
more than the summit of a terrestrial mountain : 

" Olympus, where they say the ever firm 
Seat of the gods is, by the winds unshaken, 
Nor ever wet with rain, nor ever showered 
With snow, but cloudless ether o'er it spreads, 
And glittering light encircles it around, 
On which the happy gods aye dwell in bliss." 

Man loves to bestow his own form upon his gods, as 
being the noblest that he can conceive. Those of Homer 



are all of the humaPx form, but of far larger dimensions 
than men ; great size being an object of admiration both 
in men and women in those early and martial ages. 
Thus, when the goddess Athena ascends as driver the 
chariot of Diomedes, 

Loud groaned the beechen axle with the weight, 
For a great god and valiant chief it bore ; 

when in the battle of the gods Ares is struck to the earth 
by this goddess, he is described as covering seven ple- 
thra of ground ; the helmet of the goddess herself would, 
we are told, cover the footmen of a hundred towns ; when 
Hera is about to make an oath she lays one hand on the 
earth, the other on the sea ; the voice of Poseidon and 
Ares are as loud as the shout of nine or ten thousand 

The gods can, however, increase or diminish their size, 
assume the form of particular men, or of any animals, 
and make themselves visible and invisible at their pleas- 
ure. Their bodies are also of a finer nature than those 
of men. It is not blood, but a blood-like fluid named 
ichor, which flows in their veins. They are susceptible of 
injury by mortal weapons ; the arrows of Herakles vio- 
late the divine bodies of Hera and Hades, Diomedes 
wounds both Aphrodite and Ares. They require nour- 
ishment as men do ; their food is called Ambrosia, their 
drink Nectar. Their mode of life exactly resembles that 
of the princes and nobles of the heroic ages. In the pal- 
ace of Zeus, on Olympus, they feast at the approach of 
evening-, and converse of the affairs of heaven and earth; 
the nectar Is handed round by Hebe {youth) ; Apollo 
delights them with the tones of his lyre ; and the Muses, 
in responsive strains, pour forth their melodious voices in 
sonor. When the sun descends each trod retires to re- 



his own dwelling. They frequently partake of 
the hospitality of men, travel with them, and share in their 
wars and battles. 

With the form of men the Homeric gods also partake 
of their passions. They are capricious, jealous, revenge- 
ful will support their favorites through right and wrong, 
and are implacable toward their enemies or even those 
who have slighted them. Their power was held to ex- 
tend very far; men regarded them the authors of both 
good and evil ; all human ability and success was as- 
cribed to them. They were believed to have power over 
the thoughts of men, and could imperceptibly suggest 
such as they pleased. They required of men to honor 
them with prayer, and the sacrifice of oxen, goats, sheep, 
lambs and kids, and oblations of wine and corn, and 
fragrant herbs. When offended, they usually remitted 
their wrath when thus appeased. 

The Homeric gods have all different ranks and offices; 
Olympus being, in fact, regulated on the model of a 
Grecian city of the heroic ages. Zeus was king of the 
region of the air and clouds, which had fallen to him by 
lot on the dethronement of his father Kronos; the sea 
was the realm of his brother Poseidon ; the under-world 
fell to Hades in the division of their conquests ; earth 
and Olympus were common property. Zeus, however, 
as eldest brother, exercised a supremacy, and his powder 
was the greatest. The other inhabitants of Olympus 
were Hera, sister and spouse of Zeus; Apollo, the god of 
music and archery; his sister Artemis, the goddess of the 
chase, and their mother Leto; Aphrodite, goddess of 
love, and her mother Dione; Ares, god of war; Pallas- 
Athene, goddess of prudence and skill ; Themis, god- 
dess of justice; Hermoias, god of grain; Hebe, the 
attendant of the Olympian king and queen, and Isis, 



their messenger; Hephaestos, the celestial artist, and 
Paeeon, the physician; and the Muses, the Graces and 
the Seasons. Poseidon was frequently there ; but Dem- 
eter, the goddess of agriculture, and Dionysius, the god 
of wine, do not appear among the residents of Olympus. 
The Nymphs and the River-gods occasionally visited or 
were summoned to it. Eos, Helios and Selene, rose 
every day out of the ocean-stream, and drove in their 
chariots through the air, shedding their cheering beams 

All the dwellings of the gods upon Olympus were of 
brass or copper, the metal which was in the greatest 
abundance in Greece. Hephaestos was architect and 
smith; he formed all the arms, household furniture, 
chariots and other articles in use among the Celestials; 
but their dress, especially that of the goddesses, appears 
to have been the workmanship of Pallas-Athene or of the 
Graces. The gold which proceeded from the work-shop 
of Hephaestos was filled with automatic power; his stat- 
ues were endowed with intelligence; his tripods could 
move of themselves; he made the golden shoes, or rather 
soles, with which the orods trod the air and the waters, or 
strode with the speed of winds, or even of thought, from 
mountain to mountain upon the earth which trembled 
beneath their weight. The chariots of the gods and 
their appurtenances were formed of various metals. 
That of Hera, for example, is thus described: 

" Then Hebe quickly to the chariot put 

The round wheels, eight-spoked, brazen, strong 
Axle of iron. Gold their fellies were, 
And undecaying, but thereon of brass 
The tires, well-fitting, wondrous to behold. 
Of silver was the rounded nave of each ; 
The body was hung by gold and silver cords, 
And two curved sides encompassed it about. 


The pole was silver, and upon its end 
She tied the beauteous golden yoke, and bound 
On it the golden braces fair ; the steeds, 
Swift-looted then beneath the yoke were led 
By Hera, eager for the war and strife." 

These chariots were drawn by horses of celestial breed, 
which could whirl them to and fro between heaven and 
earth, through the yielding air, or skim with them along 
the surface of the sea, without wetting the axle. They 
were only used on occasions of taking a long journey, 
as when Hera professes that she is going to the end of 
the earth to make up the quarrel between Okeanos and 
Tethys; or on occasions in which the gods wished to ap- 
pear with state and magnificence. On ordinary occa- 
sions the gods moved by the aid of their golden shoes ; 
when at home in their houses, they, like the men of those 
ages, went bare-foot. 

The Greeks tell almost innumerable stories of their 
gods, and their adventures, love-escapades and wars. 
Some are wonderfully beautiful, others humble or gro- 
tesque. Their heroes come in for a share of the honors 
paid the gods. We can compare these stories with the 
legends of other nations, and see the wondrous resem- 
blance between them. 


It will be possible to introduce but a few of the very 
many Greek legends and myths. We choose to give a 
few fully, rather than to give many imperfectly. 


Hermes was born of the mountain-nymph, Maia, in a 
cavern of Mount Kyllene. in Arcadia. He had scarcely 
been laid in his cradle, when he got up and set off tor 


Pieria, to steal cows from Apollo. As he was going out 
he met a tortoise, which he caught up and carried back 
to the cave; when, quick as thought, he killed the animal, 
took out the flesh, adapted reeds and strings to the shell, 
and formed from it the Phormin or Lyre, on which he 
immediately played with perfect skill. He then laid it up 
in his cradle, and resumed his journey. 

He arrived by sunset in Pieria, where the oxen of the 
gods fed under the care of Apollo, He forthwith sepa- 
rated fifty cows from the herd and drove them away, 
contriving to make them go backwards ; and throwing 
away his sandals, bound branches of myrtle and tamarisk 
under his feet, that the herdsman-god might have no clew 
by which to trace his cattle. As he passed by Onchestos in 
Bseotia, he saw an old man engaged in planting his vine- 
yard, whom he strictly charged not to tell what he had seen. 
He then pursued his way by shady hills, resounding vales 
and flowery plains, and as the moon was rising arrived 
with his booty on the banks of the Alpheios in the Pelo- 
ponnese. He there fed and stalled his kine, made a fire, 
killed, cut up, and dressed two of them, and even made 
black puddings of their blood, and then thriftily spread 
their skins to dry on a rock. He burned the heads and 
feet, and put out the fire, effacing all signs of it, and flung 
his twig-sandals into the river. With daybreak he slank 
home and stole into his cradle, not unobserv^ed by his 
mother, who reproached him with his deeds; but he re- 
plied that he was resolved by his actions to procure ad- 
mission for her and himself to the assembly of the gods. 

In the morning Apollo missed his kine ; he set out in 
search of them, and met the old maji, who informed him 
of his having seen a child driving cows along. He comes 
to Pylos, where he sees the traces of his cattle, but is 
amazed at the strange foot-prints of their driver. He 



proceeds to the fragrant cave of the nymphs, and Hermes 
on seeino- him feathers himseU' up under the clothes, 
afraid of the god. Apollo takes the key, opens and 
searches the three closets where the nymph kept her 
clothes, ornaments and food, but to no purpose. He 
then threatens the child that he will fling him into Tar- 
tarus unless he tells him where the cows are ; but Hermes 
stoutly denies all knowledge of them, and even very in- 
nocently asks what cows are. Apollo pulls him out of 
the cradle and they agree to go and argue the matter 
before Zeus. Arrived in Olympus, Apollo relates the 
theft, and tells what reasons he had for suspecting the 
baby of being the thief. All this is, to the great amuse- 
ment of the Celestials, stoutly denied and its absurdity 
shown by the little fellow, who still has his cradle clothes 
about him. Zeus, however, gives judgment against Her- 
mes, and the two brothers are sent in search of the miss- 
ing kine. They come to Pylos, and Hermes drives the 
cattle out of the cave. Apollo misses two of them; to his 
amazement he sees their skins on a rock, and is still more 
surprised, when, on going to drive the others on, he finds 
the art of Hermes had rooted their feet to the ground. 
Hermes then begins to pfay on his lyre, the tones of 
which so ravish Apollo that he offers him the cows for it. 
The young god gives him the lyre, and receives the 
cattle. The divine herdsman also gives him his whip, 
and instructs him in the* management of the herds. 


Odysseus when on his return from Troy, encountered 
a violent north-east wind, which drove him for nine days, 
until he reached the country of the Lotus-eaters. He 
sent three of his men to see who the inhabitants were. 
These men on coming among the Lotus-eaters were 


kindly entertained by them, and given some of their 
own food, the Lotus plant, to eat. The effect of this 
plant was such, that those who tasted it lost all thoughts 
of home and w^ished to remain in that country. It was 
by main force that Odysseus dragged these men away, 
and he was even obliged to tie them under the benches of 
his ship. 

Then he sailed to the westward and came to the land 
of the Cyclops. These were a rude, lawless people, who 
neither planted nor sowed, but whose land was so fertile 
as spontaneously to produce for them wheat, barley and 
grapes. They dwelt in caves, and each without regard 
to others oroverned his wife and children. 

In front of one of their harbors lay a beautiful island, 
well-stocked with goats. Leaving his fleet at this island, 
Odysseus went with one ship to the mainland. Here 
he entered the cave of a Cyclops, Polyphemus by name. 
When Polyphemus returned in the evening with his flocks 
and found strangers there, he asked who they w'ere. 
Odysseus said that they had been shipwrecked, and ap- 
pealed to his mercy and reverence for the gods. Poly- 
phemus cared for neither and he seized and killed and 
devoured two young Greeks. The door of the cave was 
closed with an immense rock, so that, if they killed Poly- 
phemus, they could not have escaped, for they could not 
move the rock. The next night, though, when Polyphe- 
mus was in a drunken sleep, they took his staff, which 
was as large as a mast, heated it in the fire, and put out 
his one eye. When the giant roared out with pain, the 
other Cyclops came to see what was the matter. Odys- 
seus had told him that his name w^as Nobody. So when 
he called out that Nobody was killing him, they thought 
him dreaming. Next morning when Polyphemus turned 
out his sheep and goats, which were of great size, the 


Greeks fastened themselves beneath their belHes and so 
escaped. Alter they had put out to sea a little way, 
Odysseus called out his true name, and the angry Cyclops 
hurled great stones at him, and nearly destroyed his ship. 

Hercules' twelve tasks. 

In obedience to the god Zeus, Hercules was made to 
serve Eurystheus, who gave him twelve tasks to perform. 
The first task was to bring the skin of an unconquerable 
lion, the Nemean. Hercules choked the Hon. The 
second task was to destroy the nine-headed hydra, or 
water-snake. He cut off the heads, but two sprang up 
where one was cut off. Then his companion with a 
torch burned the necks where the heads were cut off by 
Hercules the second time. The third task was to bring 
the eolden-horned hind alive. He wounded and then 
cauofht her. The fourth task was to brinor an immense 
wild boar alive. The fifth task was to cleanse the immense 
stables of King Augeas in one day. This he did by 
mining the rivers Penios and Alpheios. The sixth task 
was to drive away the stymphalid water- fowl. A god- 
dess gave him brazen clappers, the beating of which 
made the birds rise from their hiding-places, when Her- 
cules destroyed -them with his arrows. The seventh task 
was to fetch the wild and furious Cretan bull. The eighth 
task was to bring the Centaurs of Thrace. The Cen- 
taurs were horses with the heads and upper half of the 
human body. The ninth was to bring the girdle of the 
mighty queen of the Amazons. The tenth was to bring 
the purple-headed oxen of the Ruddy-isle. The eleventh 
was to bring the apples of the Hesperides, After meeting 
with various adventures he reached the place where they 
were, and while he upheld the heavens Atlas plucked the 
apples, which Hercules, by a cute device, secured from him. 

1 64 


The twelfth task was to brinof Cerberus from the under- 
world. All his tasks were accomplished. The whole 
story of the hero Hercules is intensely interesting. 


Zeus — the Jupiter of the Romans — the chief, was the 
earliest of the national gods. The great place of his 
worship was at Olympia. Here was the magnificent 
statue of Jupiter, made by the famous Phidias. This 
statue was sixty-five feet high. The frame-work, of cedar 
and olive wood, was covered with ivory and gold. His 
throne was of cedar wood, inlaid with ivory and precious 
stones. In his right hand he held a statue of victory, 
and in his left a sceptre surmounted by the eagle. The 
footstool was supported by sphinxes, and the throne was 
of cedar wood, inlaid with ivory, the ebony pedestal was 
covered with sculptured scenes of his life and adventures. 
Probably no idol of ancient or modern times exceeds 
this in its majestic, massive beauty. Neither ivory nor 
gold were plentiful in Greece, yet so devoted were the 
people that they provided the immense quantity for this 
idol readily. The gold plates were one-eighth of an 
inch thick, and were worth then over ^600,000, equal to 
an immense sum in our days. At Olympia, as at the 
Isthmus of Corinth, games were held at the yearly re- 
ligious festivals. From these games the apostle Paul 
derived many of the metaphors so frequent in his writings. 


Paul, the Christian Missionary, came into contact with 
the heathenism of both Greece and Rome. In Athens, 
Corinth and Ephesus especially he was brought face to 
face with idols and temples. The story of his visit to 
these places as told by Luke (Acts xvii., xviii. and xix.), 




and by Paul (in his letters to the Corinthians and Ephe- 
siansj presents a vivid picture of the condition of the 
Greek religion in its latest development. Soon the whole 
system was to lie in ruins, its temples were to be for- 
saken, its idols destroyed, its worship forgotten. This 
mighty change was to be produced by the power of God 
workinir through one weak man, beloneine to what was 
everywhere regarded as a narrow-minded race, and with- 
out any backing of pomp, or power, or wealth. 


As Paul entered the gate-way of the Pireeus at Athens, 
he was met immediately with the proofs of the intense 
devotion of the Athenians to their worship. Before him 
stood Minerva's temple and the image of Neptune, her 
rival, seated on horseback, holdinor his trident. Passing 
on he came, after a little, to the temple of Ceres with the 
images sculptured by the far-famed Praxiteles. A litde 
further on his eyes must have fell upon Bacchus's temple 
and the images of Zeus, Minerva, Apollo, Mercury and 
the Muses. All around him are temples, statues, altars 
and shrines, and the news-seekine Athenians crather 
about him. Every public place and building was ac- 
counted sacred. The market-place (the Agora) and the 
Acropolis were crowded with temples and altars to the 
gods, and even to deified virtues. There were altars to 
Fame, to Modesty, to Persuasion and to Pity. And, lest 
they should by any chance leave out any god or being 
who might help or injure them, they built an altar to An 
Unknown God. With all their worship they had not 
found the true God. 

The magnificent Parthenon — the Virgin's House — was 
the glorious temple erected to Minerva's honor. Within 
it was the colossal statue of ivory and gold, made by the 


famous Phidias, rivaled only by the same artist's statue of 
Jupiter. In the midst of all this idolatry, what thought 
was in the mind of Paul? "His spirit was stirred within 
him when he saw the city crowded with idols." It was 
said in those days that it was easier to find an idol in 
Athens than a man. 

The Athenians led Paul away to the Areopagus. Here 
the judges sat in the open air, upon seats hewn out of 
the rock. A temple of Mars crowned the height. Be- 
fore Paul's view the whole city with Its maze of temples, 
shrines and statues, was spread out. The intensely earn- 
est Christian Apostle stood before the frivolous heathen 
crowd. He is alone, yet not alone. His Master is with 
him. He quails not, he minces no matters, he speaks 
boldly, fearlessly. He recognizes their intense religious- 
ness (if we may so call it). He declares the truth that 
the Deity does not dwell in temples made with hands, 
even with the hundreds of temples before him. With 
the recollection of Phidias's famous statues fresh in mind 
and the countless idols before his view he declares that 
the Deity is not to be likened to forms in gold, silver or 
stone, graven by art and man's device. The city is, ap- 
parently, scarcely moved, but the leaven has been put in. 
and soon the whole lump will be leavened. A few years 
pass by and the worship of Athens is only a remembrance. 
Close by Athens was one city which Paul visited and 
where he founded one of the strongest Christian churches. 
This city was held in bad repute in all the world on ac- 
count of its licentiousness. It was not only the seat of 
wealth and splendor, but also a den of vice. "To Cor- 
inthianize" meant to play the wanton. The worship in 
the temple of Venus was of the most shameful character. 
To the north-east of Corinth was the temple of Neptune, 
where the celebrated Isthmian games were celebrated. 





Ephesus was the central city of Asia Minor. One ol 
its buildings ranked in importance above all others — the 
Temple of Diana. This was reckoned as one ot the 
wonders of the world, and the Ephesians were wont to 
speak of Diana as the goddess whom all the world wor- 
shiped. The temple had been once destroyed, and then 
rebuilt with great magnificence. The ladies of Ephesus, 
at its rebuilding, had given their jewelry. Alexander 
offered immense riches to the Ephesians, if they would 
but permit him to have his name inscribed on its walls ; 
but they would not consent. This was the rallying-point 
of heathenism in Paul's day. The temple was 425 feet 
long, 220 broad, and its columns were 60 feet high. There 
were 127 columns, each the gift of a king. Only a part 
of It was roofed over, and this was with cedar. The re- 
maining parts were rich with statuary and columns. "It is 
probable that there was no 
building in the world in 
which was concentrated a 
greater amount of admira- 
tion, enthusiasm and super- 

The first statue of Diana 
of Ephesus was a shapeless 
black stone — an aerolite 
— which had fallen from 
the sky. Afterwards her 
images were made of wood. 
She is covered with breasts 
and with the heads of animals. She is supposed to 
represent the natural fertility of the earth. 

Diana was not worshiped in the temple only. Number- 


I 72 


less little shrines, containing models of Diana in silver 
or gold, or even wood, were made to be carried about 
one's person, to be set up on household altars or carried 
in processions. There was carried on at Ephesus an ex- 
tensive trade in these. The worship of Diana, in all its 
parts and in all places, was conducted with great mag- 

The Greek language and literature and their temples 
and statues, have been for centuries the models of the 
world ; but their conceptions of the gods and their myths 
are no more thoucrht of, and no lonorer reo-arded as oi 
authority in religious affairs. They are emphatically dead 
as powers over the morals of men. 




" Within this grove, upon this wooded hill," 
He said, " some deity his dwelling made ; 
But who or what, none knows. The Arcadians 
Think they have seen great Jove himself, when oft 
With his right hand he shook his darkening shield, 
And called his clouds around him." 


When fierce gales bowed the high pines, when blazed 
The lightning, and the savage in the storm 

Some unknown godhead heard, and, awe-struck, gazed 
On Jove's imagined form. 


LONG before Rome was founded Italy was peopled 
with an industrious class of farmers. But we 
have scarce any records of those early times. 
Some of their gigantic buildings, lakes and canals re- 
main, but these are almost all that is left. The religious 
ideas of these early settlers entered into and, to a great 
extent, moulded the religion of the Romans. The 
people of Italy did not have the same vivid imaginations 
and lively fancies as the people of Greece. Their early 
worship seems to have been of a more serious character 
than that of the Greeks. Their gods were freer from 
moral taint, and virtue rather than vice was required in 
followers of the Roman religions. The poetic art was 
little cultivated among them, or for that matter, in Rome 



of a later day. But Rome soon began to borrow from 
Greece, and to appropriate her gods, heroes and myths. 
There are no ItaHan myths corresponding to those of 
Greece. In Virgil and Ovid a few adventures of the 
Italian gods are related, but these are plainly imitations 
or slight modifications of the Greek stories. 


Before they became acquainted with Greece, the Ro- 
mans looked to the Etruscans as their instructors in re- 
ligious things. The disposition of the Etruscans was 
melancholy and serious; their form of government a 
rigid aristocracy, administered by an hereditary race or 
caste of priestly nobility. Their system was founded on 
some peculiar views of the world and its periods, and on 
the art of learning the will of the supernal powers by 
the thunder, the lightning, and other aerial phenomena. 
The rules and principles of this science were contained 
in books ascribed to a subterranean daemon named 
Tages, who, the Tuscan legend said, had risen up, a babe 
in form, an aged man in wisdom, from under the soil 
before the plow of a peasant of Tarquinii as he was at 
his work, and who instructed the people in divination. 

According to the doctrine of the Etruscans there were 
two orders of gods, the one superior, veiled and nameless, 
with whom the supreme god took counsel when about to 
announce by lightning any change in the present order 
'of things. The other consisted of twelve gods, six male 
and as many females, his ordinary council. These were 
called by the common name of Consentcs or Complices 
(the Latin of the Etruscan word), according to Varro, 
because they are born and die together. The general 
Etruscan word for a god was yEsar. 

The supreme god of the Tuscans, answering to the 



Zeus of the Greeks, the Jupiter of the Romans, was 
named Tina. A goddess named Kupra was called by 
the Romans Juno ; and another, named Menerfa or 
Menrfa, was the original of the Minerva of Rome, These 
three deities had always contiguous temples on the citadel 
of every Etruscan city. Hence the united temples of Jupi- 
ter, Juno and Minerva, which crowned the capitol at Rome. 
A ofoddess named Nortia, answerino- to the Roman 
Fortuna, was worshiped at the Tuscan cities of Sutri and 
Volsinii. V^ertumnus also was one of the principal deities 
of Etruria. The Tuscan god of the under-world, or 
rather the ruler of the dead, it is said, was named Mantus, 
and there was a goddess called Mama of a similar nature. 
The Lares, or household gods, which form so conspicuous 
?. feature of the Roman religion, it is probable, belonged 
originally to the Etruscan system of worship. 


The rigid virtues of a portion of the Sabellian race, par- 
ticularly the Sabines, were always the theme of praise 
at Rome. Grazing and agriculture were the chief em- 
ployments of these hardy tribes, and their religion was 
intimately connected with these arts ; and consequently, 
we may suppose, bore much resemblance to that of the 
Latins. It has always been asserted that a great portion 
of the Roman religion was of Sabine origin. 

The Sabines adored Sancus and Sabus or Sabinus, as 
the founders of their nation. Mamers or Mars was 
also one of their deities ; an erect lance was the symbol 
before which he was worshiped. The Marsian portion of 
this race were as celebrated for their skill in detecting the 
will of the gods by the flight and voice of the birds, as the 
Etruscans for discerning It in the electric phenomena of 
the sky. 




There are very many gods in the Roman mythology, 
of these some twenty have been called the select gods. 
These are Janus, the two-faced sun-god; Jupiter (Diovis- 
pater or Father-Jove) ; Saturnus, the god of agriculture; 
Genius, or the god of production; Mercurius, the god 
who presided over the business of the market and over 
trade in general, Apollo was a god introduced from the 
Greek mythology. Mars was the god of war. Wilcan 
was the god of fire. Neptune was the god of the sea. 
Sol and Luna were the sun and moon god and goddess. 
Orcas was the god of death, like the Hades of the 
Greeks, or Yama of the Hindus. Father Liber was the 
god of the harvest. Tellus was the god of the earth. 
Ceres was the goddess of grain. Juno was the wife of 
Jupiter. Diana was the moon-goddess. Minerva was 
the goddess of arts. Vesta was the goddess of the 
household. Venus was the o-oddess of birth. 


The word Jove appears to have meant, originally, God. 
It corresponds to Zeus of the Greeks and Dyaus of the 
Hindus. Jove or Jupiter was the especial protector of 
tlie city of Rome. The chief Jupiter was called the 
Capitoline Jupiter. In his temple adorning the Capitol 
in Rome were also statues of Juno and Minerva. Jupiter 
Elicius was so named, we are told, from the following 
circumstance. In the time of Numa there occurred great 
thunder storms and rains. The people and their king 
were terrified, and the latter had recourse to the counsel 
of the nymph Egeria. She informed him that Faunus 
and Picus could instruct him in the mode of appeasing 
Jupiter, but that he must employ both art and violence to 



extract the knowledge from them. Accordhigly by her 
advice he placed bowls of wine at a fountain on Mount 
Aventine, whither they were wont to come to drink, and 
concealed himself in a neighboring cavern. The rural gods 
came to the fount, and finding the wine drank copiously 
of it, thus illustrating in a striking manner the sensuous 
character always supposed to dwell in these deities. They 
immediately fell asleep, and Numa, quitdng his retreat, 
came and bound them. On 
awaking, they struggled, 
but in vain, to get free ; and 
the pious prince, apologiz- 
ing for what necessity had 
obliofed him to do, entreated 
that they would inform him 
how Jupiter was to be ap- 
peased. They yielded to his 
prayer, and on loosing them 
drew down the thundering 
Jupiter by their charms. 
He descended on the Aven- 
tine hill, which trembled 
beneath the w^eight of the 
deity. Numa was terrified, 
but recovering he implored 
the god to give a remedy 
aorainst the liofhtninor. The ruler of the thunder assented, 
and in ambiguous terms conveyed the relief: "Cut a 
head," — " of an onion from my garden " subjoined the 
king, — "of a man," — "the topmost hairs" quickly re- 
plied Numa. — " I demand a life." — " of a fish." The 
deity smiled, and said that his weapons might thus be 
averted, and promised a sign at sun-rise the following 





1 1 

-J ' 


r ) -Ji 


I 78 


At dawn the people assembled before the doors of the 
king. Numa came forth, and, seated on his maple throne, 
looked for the rising of the sun. The orb of day was just 
wholly emerged above the horizon, when a loud crash 
was heard in the sky ; thrice the god thundered without 
a cloud ; thrice he sent forth his lightnings. The heav- 
ens opened, and a light buckler came gently wafted on 
the air, and fell to the orround. Numa, havino- first slain 
a heifer, took it up and named it Ancile. He regarded 
it as the pledge of empire ; and having had eleven others 
made exactly like it by the artist Mamurius, to deceive 
those who might attempt to steal it, committed them to 
the care of the priests named Salii. 

Jupiter was named Feretrius or Bearer, as the spoils 
of the enemy's general, if slain by a Roman commander, 
were borne to him. He was also called Victor and 
Stator, as the giver of victory and stayer of flight. We 
also meet with Jupiter Pistor, whose altar was on the 
capitol, and Jupiter Tonans, the author of thunder. In 
the usual Roman manner, an historical origin was given 
to all these names. Jupiter was called Lucetlus, as the 
author of light {lucis), and Diespiter, i. e., Dies Pater, or 
Father of Day or of Light. 


Juno w^as the feminine of Jove — from Jovino we have 
the word Juno. Juno was one of the great deities of 
Rome and had a share in the worship of the magnificent 
temple on the capitol. One Juno was called Juno Mon- 
eta, and her temple was finally made the mint, or coining 
place for money. Female slaves swore by the Juno of 
their mistress. As the patroness of married women, 
Juno was named Matrona. She presided over marriage. 
Whenever a child was born a piece of money was de- 



posited in her temple's treasury. In July of each year 
Juno was honored by a sacrifice. Juno Sospita, the 
Protectress, was represented with a goat-skin about her, 
a spear in her hand, and a small shield on her arm, Juno 
was generally represented armed, and the Romans usu- 
ally divided the hair of a virgin-bride with a small spear- 
point, thus invoking the protection of this goddess. 


All mental work was done under the direction of 
Minerva. Her statues were placed in the schools, and 
in March of each year the school-boys had five days as 
holidays in her honor. At the end of this vacation and 
festival the boys gave their school-master a present called 
a Minerval. Minerva's chapel was under the same roof 
as Jupiter's and Juno's on the Capitoline hill at Rome. 


Vesta presided over the public and private hearth. In 
Vesta's temple at Rome a sacred fire was kept burning 
by six virgin-priestesses called Vestals. The Romans 
believed that if they let this fire go out, the city's safety 
would be destroyed. When, through the neglect of the 
Vestals, it did go out, they were severely punished and 
the fire was relighted by the rays of the sun. In Vesta's 
temple there was no statue of the goddess. At her 
festival in June, plates of meat were sent to the Vestals 
to be offered up, the mill-stones were decked with flowers 
and the animals working the mills went about crowned 
with violets and with cakes strung about their necks. 


Ceres presided over seeds and harvests. She was the 
goddess of the farmers. The country-folks before be- 



ginning harvest kept feasts to Ceres, when they brought 
offerings of honey-combs covered with wine and milk, 
and an animal to be slain in sacrifice. The offerings were 
taken three times around the corn-field, the country people 
followino- crowned with oak leaves and dancing and sine- 
ing. These festivals were of the most joyous character. 
Liber means Deliverer. The god who had this name 
was united with Ceres in worship at Rome. The Ro- 
mans worshiped their gods and goddesses generally in 
groups of three; thus, Jupiter, Juno and Minerva in the 
Capitoline temple; and Ceres, Liber and (the female) 
Libera in the temple at the foot of the Aventine. In the 
Capitoline temple the patricians or higher classes wor- 
shiped. In the Aventine temple the plebians or common 
people worshipped. There was much gross vileness 
connected with all the festivals of Liber. 


Janus gives his name to January, the first month of 
the year. He was the sun-god, and was usually wor- 
shiped at the beginning of any action. 
He was regarded as the " opener of the 
day." Gates and doors were placed un- 
der the care of Janus, and their keeper is 
even to-day called a janitor. Janus was 
represented with a key and a staff, and 
was named the Opener and the Shutter. 
Janus has two faces. An ancient statue 
j of Janus stood in the Forum at Rome of 
which the fingers were so formed that 
one hand represented three hundred in 
Latin characters (CCC), and those of the 
other, fifty-five (LV.), making together the number of 
days in the ancient lunar year. 



Under the Capitol, near to the Forum, in Rome, stood 
a short arch-way with a gate at each end. In times ot 
peace these gates were kept shut, in times of war they 
were left open. In this arch-way a statue of Janus stood. 
There was a traciition at Rome that once, when the ene • 
mies of Rome had attempted to enter the city by this 
gate, the god Janus had caused a stream of boiling water 
to gush forth from the earth, and so drove them away. 

Rome's lesser gods. 

Besides the eods above referred to, there were orods 
and goddesses of councils of war, of funerals, of thieves 
of the dawn, of fortune, of fields and cattle, of fruits and 
flowers, and of a host of other things. But of all minor 
gods, the Penates and Lares received most honor. These 
were the domestic orods. The Penates were so named 
from the place in which they were worshiped, the house- 
hold pantry. They were supposed to look after the w^el- 
fare of the familv. There were four classes of beino^s 
from which men selected their Penates, those of heaven, 
the sea, the under-world, and lastly, from the deified 
souls of deceased ancestors. The deified spirits of de- 
parted ancestors were called the Lares, and they were 
supposed to watch over the fortunes of their descend- 
ants. The Chinese also, from the earliest times, have 
in a similar manner worshiped their departed ancestors. 


As Rome conquered the world the gods of the con- 
quered nations were gradually incorporated with their 
own. Thus an immense and involved system was 
brought together. Soon, however, the gigantic structure 
was to topple over before the coming of Christianity, as 
Dagon had fallen before the coming of the ark of Jeho- 



vah in ancient times. Just at this time, the Roman Em 
pire was in the most favorable condition for the introduc- 
tion of Christianity. Within its Hmits there was a general 
peace, great military roads were built, piracy was sup- 
pressed, commerce and traffic generally increased, and 
travel was made safe and easy. Both the Latin and Greek 
languages were spread over east and west. But one 
other point of preparation was of greater importance. 
The deep and wide-spread corruption, brought about by 
the heathen religions, seemed to be beyond human 
remedy. Corruption, cruelty, sensuality and the most 
unnatural wickedness prevailed. The description Paul 
gives in his letter to the Romans of the general life of 
the people has been confirmed again and again. He 
says : 

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified 
him not as God, neither were thankful ; but became vain 
in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was dark- 
ened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became 
fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God 
into an image, made like to corruptible man, and to 
birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. Where- 
fore God also gave them up to uncleanness, through the 
lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies 
between themselves: who changed the truth of God into 
a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than 
the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this 
cause God gave them up unto vile affections : for even 
their women did change the natural use into that which 
is against nature : and likewise also the men, leaving the 
natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward 
another: men with men working that which is unseemly, 
and receiving in themselves that recompense of their 
error which was meet.- And even as they did not like to 



retain God in their knovvledofe, God crave them over to a 
reprobate mind, to do those things wliich are not con- 
venient; being filled with all unrighteousness, fornica- 
tion, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness ; full of 
envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity ; whisperers, 
backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, in- 
ventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without 
understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affec- 
tion, implacable, unmerciful : who, knowing the judgment 
of God, that they which commit such things are worthy 
of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them 
that do them." 

The investigations of the ruins of Pompeii and Hercu- 
laneum, the long buried cities, and the common accounts 
of historians of Paul's day, all show that this picture was 
not at all overdrawn. There was a most terrible need of 
Christianity just then to save the empire from falling to 
pieces by reason of its rottenness. Milman most graph- 
ically pictures the change that Christianity gradually 
wrought in the religious condition of Rome. He says : 
" Christianity was gradually withdrawing some of all 
orders, even slaves, out of the vices, the ignorance, the 
misery of that corrupted social system. It was even in- 
stilling feelings of humanity, yet unknown or coldly com- 
mended by ^n Impotent philosophy, among men and 
women whose infant ears had been habituated to the 
shrieks of dying gladiators ; it was giving dignity to minds 
prostrated by years, almost centuries, of degrading des- 
potism ; it was nurturing purity and modesty of manner in 
an unspeakable state of depravation; it was enshrining the 
marriage-bed in a sanctity long almost entirely lost, and 
rekindling to a steady warmth the domestic affections ; it 
was substituting a simple, calm and rational faith for the 
worn-out superstitions of heathenism ; gently establishing 



in the soul of man the sense of immortality, till it became 
a natural and inextinguishable part of his moral being." 
With this striking description of the historian, compare 
the poetic lines of Matthew Arnold: 

"On that hard pagan world disgust 

And sated loathing fell ; 
Deep weariness and sated lust 

Make human life a hell. 
In his cool hall with haggard eyes 

The Roman noble lay, 
He drove abroad in furious guise 

Along the Appian way. 
He made a feast, drank fierce and fast, 

And crowned his hair with flowers ; 
No easier, nor no quicker passed 

The impracticable hours." 





To the Aryan of the West not merely the heavenly bodies, the sun, 
moon and stars, or the earth with its trees and springs, its foun- 
tains, or the sea with its storms and calms, but all things visible, as 
organs and instruments of Deity, were deserving of reverent adora- 
tion. Nothing was too trifling. The quivering leaf, the crackling 
flame, the falling thunderbolt, the flight or song of birds, the neigh- 
ing of horses, man's dreams and visions, even the movements of his 
pulse, all claimed attention, all might give some sign from the other 
world. All nature had a voice for the imaginative Teuton. The 
skies, the woods, the springs, the well, the lake, the hill, were his 
books, his oracles, his divinities. — G. F. Maclear. 

IT sounds strange to us, who have been so long a 
Christian people, to speak of a pagan ancestry. 
We can hardly realize that the condition in which 
we find the Japanese, or Chinaman, or Hindu of to-day, 
is the condition in which our forefathers were to be 
found not many centuries ago. Yet all traces of their 
heathenish belief and practices are not yet extinct. In 
our language, especially in many of our names, do we 
preserve the relics of the heathenish life of our fore- 

It is not easy to learn of the earliest religion of Britain, 
as the records are still greatly beclouded. But recent 
investigations of the mounds and relics of old England 
and of the origin of English names, together with the 
brincrinof to liofht of some valuable old records, have 



helped greatly to clear up the subject. Before passing 
to consider more particularly the ancient religious life of 
Great Britain, let us fasten in our minds a few prominent 
facts in the early history of that land. 


Let us note several prominent parts in the early his- 
tory of Britain. First, the earliest inhabitants and their 
religion, known as Druidism. Secondly, the invasion of 
Britain by the Romans and the introduction of the in- 
vaders' religion. Thirdly, the introduction of Christianity. 
Fourthly, the coming of the Saxons and the extinguish- 
ing of Christianity by the Saxon religion. Fifthly, the 
coming again and final victory of Christianity. By fixing 
these points in mind, we can without difficulty trace the 
religious history of our ancestors. 

In early times we find that the Greeks had intercourse 
with Britain. The time when this trade was carried on 
is fixed by different authors at periods varying from 500 
B. C. to 200 B. C. Before even the first of these times, 
by some hundreds of years, the Phoenicians of Tyre 
visited Britain to purchase tin. These allusions to visits 
of Greeks and Phoenicians are found in ancient Welsh tra- 
ditions handed down by the Druids. Indeed, some of 
these traditions go back to a period shordy after the dis- 
persion of the nations, even beyond Abraham's day. 
Other traditions are found which relate even to the 
deluge itself, as follows: 

"There were three awful events in the Isle of Britain. 
The first was the bursting of the Lake of Floods, and 
the rushing of an inundation over all the lands, until all 
persons were destroyed, except Dwyvan and Dwyvack, 
who escaped in an open vessel and from them the Isle of 
Britain was re-peopled. 




"The three prhnary and extraordinary works of the 
Isle of Britain: The ship of Nwydd nav Neivion, which 
broucrht in it a male and female of all livinor thino-s, when 
the Lake of Floods burst forth; the large horned oxen 
of Au the Mighty, that drew the crocodile from the lake 
of the land, so that the lake did not burst forth any 
more; and the stone of Gwyddon Ganhedon, upon which 
all the arts and sciences of the world are engraven." 

All this bears such striking similarity to the traditions 
preserved among the most ancient nations in the east- 
ern part of the world, that we cannot conceive the pos- 
sibility of its having been invented in any period of the 
dark ages; it therefore strengthens our confidence in the 
general teaching of the Triads. In early Britain there 
were only two classes of British citizens, "the nobles and 
the villains," (/. e., villagers). All below these were 
slaves. The people possessed a considerable knowledge 
of astronomy, of geometry and of mechanics. They were 
an eloquent people ; an ancient historian says that their 
orators " sometimes step between two hostile armies, who 
are standing with swords drawn, and spears extended, 
ready to fight; and, by their eloquence, as by an irresisti- 
ble enchantment, they prevent a shedding of blood." 

The Britons were also acquainted witli the useful arts. 
The houses in which they dwelt, their chariots of war, as 
well as a great variety of other works, prove this beyond 
the possibility of doubt. We notice the chariots : " Their 
cars were admired by the Romans, adopted by individuals 
for their journeys, and introduced by the public into their 
races. And we have a picture of one of them, sketched 
by a British hand, and engraven on a coin. There we 
see the charioteer mounted on his carriage before us, a 
quiver of arrows peeping over his left shoulder, and a 
spear protended from his left hand, his feet resting upon 



the pole or foot-board annexed to it, and his body leaning 
over the horses, in the act of accelerating their motion. 
And we have the descripdon of another in Ossian, very 
similar in one or two particulars, and more circumstan- 
tial. It is the car of a British monarch, bending behind, 
drawn by a pair of horses, and embossed with sparkling 
stones. Its beam is of polished yew, its seat of the 
smoothest bone, and the sides of it are replenished with 
spears. Persons who could construct such vehicles, 
build houses and make furniture, as well as all the various 
offensive and defensive weapons of war, must have had 
no inconsiderable mechanical knowledge and skill." 


We have reason to believe that the Britons inhabited 
England not long after the days of Noah. We might 
therefore expect to find resemblances between their re- 
ligion and the religions of other ancient peoples ; and we 
are not disappointed. There is a striking correspondence 
between the system of the ancient Britons and those of 
the Hebrew patriarchs, the Brahmins of India, the Magi 
of Persia and the Greek priests. It was one system that 
was finally conveyed to these different parts of the globe. 
Take, as a single instance of the many points of compari- 
son, their idea of God. Among their names for the su- 
preme God which they had in use before the introduction 
of Christianity were terms which have been literally trans- 
lated, " God," " Distributor," " Governor," " the Mysteri- 
ous One," "the Eternal," " He that pervadeth all things," 
"the Author of Existence," "the Ancient of Days." 
These expressive appellations sufficiendy indicate their 
views of the moral character and attributes of God. The 
opinion of the Druids as to the nature of God is compre- 
hensively explained by the following bold and remarkable 



aphorism : " Nid Dim Ond Duw, Nid Duw Ond Dim." It 
defies translation so as to convey its force and beauty; 
but William Owen has furnished a version sufficiently 
plain to convey the idea: "God cannot be matter; what 
is not matter must be God," These were the attributes of 
the God of the early Druids. They believed that the 
Deity was the source of life, and the giver of good. They 
defined His duration as eternal, and ascribed to Him 
omnipotence as the measure of His power. And as they 
found nothing in the animal creation or in man which had 
any proportion or resemblance to God, they had neither 
statues nor pictures to represent Him ; from which we 
infer that they regarded God as a pure spirit, as disen- 
gaged from matter as He was exalted above all created 
things and above all resemblance to them. 


The Druids offered sacrifices and observed particular 
days for religious worship. Their sacrifices were care- 
fully selected, and they appear to have had clear views of 
their propitiatory character. PMny, describing the gath- 
ering of the mistletoe, observes : "After they have well 
and duly prepared their festival cheer under the tree, 
they bring thither two young bullocks, milk-white, such 
as never drew in yoke at plow or wain, and whose 
heads were then and not before bound by the horns ; 
which done, the priest, arrayed in a white vesture, 
climbeth up into the tree, and, with a golden hook or bill, 
cutteth it off. and they beneath receive it in a white cas- 
sock or coat of arms. Then they fall to and kill the 
beasts aforesaid for sacrifice, praying devoutly that it 
would please God to bless this gift of His to the good 
and benefit of all those to whom He had vouchsafed to 
give it." These sacrifices were offered with very solemn 


rites, the common people remaining- at a distance, wliile 
the priests approached with trembhng- awe the bloody 
victims, which were carried around the omen-fire. 

There is no branch of this subject which presents 
itself in a more interesting- aspect than that w^hich relates 
to the sacred places of this people, and the peculiar man- 
ner of their worship. They worshiped in the open air; 
it being a maxim with them, that it was unlawful to build 
temples to the gods, or to worship them within walls and 
under roofs. Their favorite place was a grove of oaks, 
or the shelter of a majestic tree of this kind. Here they 
would erect stone pillars in one or two circular rows; and 
in some of their principal temples, as particularly that of 
Stonehenge, they laid stones of prodigious weight on the 
tops of these perpendicular pillars, which formed a kind 
of circle aloft in the air. Near to these temples they 
constructed their sacred mounts, their cromlechs or stone 
tables for their sacrifices, and every other necessary pro- 
vision for their worship. These sacred places were 
generally situated in the centre of some thick grove or 
wood, watered by a consecrated river or fountain, and 
surrounded by a ditch or mound, to prevent intrusion. 


One of the most extraordinary monuments of ancient 
England, is that called Stonehenge. This is an Anglo- 
Saxon term, meaning the hanging stones. This monu- 
ment is situated on a small hill in the midst of a barren 
plain. All around it funeral mounds are grouped. These 
mounds are called "barrows," and within three miles of 
Stonehenge there are over three hundred and fifty of 
these that have been recently discovered. The stones 
that constituted this Druid temple are many of them 
'ying prostrate on the ground, a few only remaining up- 



right with the gigantic stone slabs across their tops. Yet 
enouofh remains to indicate the g-eneral desion of the 

structure as it orio-inallv stood. It consisted of an outer 
circle, about tliree hundred feet in diameter, of thirty 


upright stones sustaining- as many others laid horizontally 
on their tops. Within this was another circle of upright 
ones, smaller than those in the outer circle, and without 
any stones on their tops. These stones are so large that 
it cannot be imagined how they were raised to their lofty 
position. It is very evident that Stonehenge was a place 
of worship, and from the number of grave-mounds, each 
containing the remains of a number of bodies, it is evi- 
dent that it was a place of great sanctity. It has been 
supposed that serpent-worship found a place here. 


Caesar gives a very careful account of the Druids. In 
the century just preceding the coming of Christ, Caesar 
conquered the Britons. His account of their condition 
is the more reliable because this conquest put him in 
possession of the means of knowing the people who were 
in the future to form a part of his empire. His testimony 
can best be ofiven in a translation of his own words. He 
says : 

" All the Gallic nations are much given to superstition ; 
for which reason, when they are seriously ill, or are in 
danger from their wars or other causes, they either offer 
up men as victims to the gods, or make a vow to sacrifice 
themselves. The ministers in these offerings are the 
Druids, and they hold that the wrath of the immortal gods 
can only be appeased, and man's life be redeemed, by 
offering up human sacrifice, and it is a part of their 
national institutions to hold fixed solemnities for this 
purpose. Some of them make immense images of wicker- 
work, which they fill with men, who are thus burned alive 
in offering to their deities. These victims are generally 
selected from those who have been convicted of theft, 
robbery, or other crimes, in whose punishment they think 




the immortal gods take the greatest pleasure ; but if there 
be any scarcity of such victims they do not hesitate to 
sacrifice innocent men in their place. If there be a super- 
abundance of cattle taken in war the surplus is offered up 
in sacrifice ; the rest of the spoil is collected into one mass. 
In many of their tribes large heaps of these things may 
be seen in their consecrated places, and it is a rare occur- 
rence for any individual sacreligiously to conceal part of 
the booty, or to turn it to his own use ; the severest pun- 
ishment, together with bodily torture, is inflicted on those 
who are guilty of such an offense," 

He further speaks of the Druids in another place: 
"The Druids act in all sacred matters; they attend to 
the sacrifices, which are either offered by the tribe in 
general or by individuals, and answer all questions con- 
cerning their religion. They always have a large number 
of young men as pupils, who treat them with the greatest 
respect ; for it is they who decide in all controversies, 
whether public or private, and they judge all causes, 
whether of murder, of a disputed inheritance, or of the 
boundaries of estates. They assign both rewards and 
punishments; and whoever refuses to abide by their sen- 
tence, whether he be in a public or private station, is 
forbidden to be present at the sacrifices of the gods. 
This is, in fact, the most severe mode of punishment, and 
those who have been thus excommunicated are held as 
impious and profane ; all avoid them ; no one will either 
meet them or speak to them, lest they should be injured 
by their contagion ; every species of honor is withheld 
from them, and if they are plaintiffs in a lawsuit justice is 
denied. All the Druids are subject to one chief, who 
enjoys the greatest authority among them. Upon the 
death of the chief Druid, the next in dignity is appointed 
to succeed him ; and if there are two whose merits are 


equal, the election is made by the votes of the whole 
body, though sometimes they dispute for pre-eminence 
by the sword. 

"The Druidic system is thought to have had its origin 
in Britain, from whence it was introduced into Gaul. . . . 
Among the most important doctrines of the Druids is that 
of the immortality of the soul, W'hich they believe passes 
after death into other bodies ; they hold this to be a great 
inducement to the practice of virtue, as the mind thus 
becomes relieved from the fear of death. Their other 
doctrines concern the motions of the heavenly bodies, the 
magnitude of the earth and the universe, the nature of 
things, and the power and attributes of the immortal 
gods." Certainly Csesar's testimony is clear, and he 
writes as one who had actually gazed upon the strange 
and strikino- scenes which he describes. 



The religion of the Druids was handed down by tra- 
dition from father to son, and consisted in the proper 
performance of certain rites and ceremonies. It has 
been stated that the Druids worshiped Bel or Baal, 
though this is sometimes questioned. On the eve of 
May-day fires were lighted on their altars in honor of 
their Supreme God. They had a set of doctrines which 
were publicly taught, and another set which were made 
known only to the initiated. The Druids were not gross 
idolaters, though they regarded the oak, the symbol of 
God, with superstitious awe. But the time for the death 
of Druidism had come. Fifty-five years before Christ, the 
great conqueror, Julius Caisar, landed in Britain. The 
skillful and couratjeous Britons cjave him a crreat deal of 
trouble, and prevented his penetrating far from the shore. 
Emperor after emperor sought to subjugate the Island 



during- the years that followed, but it was not until 130 
years had passed away that Briton was really conquered 
by the Romans. Agricola was sent in A. D. 78 to be 
govenor of Britain. By his wise policy the whole life of 
the Britons was changed wherever it came under Roman 
iniiuence. . 

The dwellings of the Britons were very rude and 
simple in the early ages, being mostly constructed of 
hurdle or wicker-work, and afterward of large stones 
without mortar. Their houses were generally round, 
having the roof thatched, with a hole left in the centre 
for the escape of smoke. The Romans, on the contrary, 
had long been accustomed to commodious and elegant 
dwellings, well built of masonry, and adorned in the 
richest manner with statues, pictures, elegant drapery and 
handsome furniture. 

It was not while the Romans were engaged in con- 
quering Britain that their religion gained a foothold there, 
but after they had come to power and peace. The Druid 
priests were destroyed, and the people, left thus withouf 
religious teachers, gradually accepted to some extent -the 
then-existino- forms of Roman faith. 


While the Romans were busily seeking to conquer 
Britain, an event of unparalleled importance took place. 
It was the birth of Jesus, the Christ. Very nearly every 
one of the early preachers who by any possibility could 
have gone to Britain with the Gospel message, has been 
declared to be the founder of Christianity there. The 
Apostle Peter is declared, so says an old chronicle, "to 
have stayed some time in Britain ; where having preached 
the word, established churches, ordained bishops, priests 
and deacons, in the twelfth year of Nero he returned to 



Rome." But this, for many reasons, is not to be believed. 
Joseph of Arimathea is also said to have first taken the 
Gospel to Britain. But the whole narrative of his mis- 
sion is fabulous. A King Lucius is said to have sent 
about 164 A. D. to Rome for missionaries, but this too is 
questionable. One more question remains to be con- 
sidered. Did the Apostle Paul plant -Christianity in 
Britain? Tertullian, about the year 200 A. D., wrote that 
the Gospel had spread "also to the boundaries of the 
Spaniards, to all the different nations of Gaul, and to 
those parts of Britain inaccessible even to the Romans." 
But more ancient than this is the testimony of Clement, 
Bishop of Rome, 102 A. D. "St. Paul preached right- 
eousness- through the whole world; and, in doino^ this, 
went to the utmost bounds of the West." 

A learned writer thus sums up all the evidence of 
Paul's being the first to give the Gospel to Britain : 
"That St. Paul did go to Britain we may collect from the 
testimony of Clemens Romanus, Theodoret and Jerome, 
who relate that, after his imprisonment, he preached the 
Gospel in the western parts ; that he brought salvation 
to the islands that lie in the ocean, and that, in preaching 
the Gospel, he went to the utmost bounds of the West 
What was meant by the West and the islands that lie in 
the ocean, we may judge from Plutarch, Eusebius and 
Nicephorus, who call the British Ocean the western; and 
again from Nicephorus, who says that one of the apostles 
'went to the extreme countries of the ocean and the 
British Isles ;' but especially from the words of Catullus, 
who calls Britain the utmost island of the West; and 
from Theodoret, who describes the Britons as inhabiting 
the utmost parts of the West. W^hen Clement, therefore, 
says that Paul went to the utmost bounds of the West, 
we do not conjecture, but are sure, that he meant Britain, 



not only because Britain was so designated, but because 
Paul could not have orone to the utmost bounds of the 
West without going to Britain. It is almost unnecessary, 
therefore, to appeal to the express testimony of \'enan- 
tius. Fortunatus and Sophronius, for the apostle's journey 
to Britain." 


The religion of our Saxon ancestors was the same as 
that of the whole German family. Christianit)', which 
had by this time brought about the conversion of the 
Roman Empire, had not penetrated as yet among the 
forests of the North. The common god of the English 
people, as of the whole German race, was Woden, the 
war-god, the guardian of ways and boundaries, to whom 
his worshipers attributed the invention of letters, and 
whom every tribe held to be the first ancestor ot its 
kines. Our own names for the davs of the week still 
recall to us the gods whom our English fathers wor- 
shiped in their Sleswick homeland. Wednesday is W'o- 
den's day, as Thursday is the day of Thunder, or, as the 
Northmen called him, Thor, the god of air, and storm, and 
rain. Friday is Freya's day, the goddess of jDeace, and 
joy, and fruitfulness, whose emblems, borne aloft by 
dancine maidens, brouirht increase to every field and 
stall they visited. Saturday commemorates an obscure 
god, Soetere; Tuesday, the Dark god, Tiw, to meet 
whom was death; Eostre, the goddess of the dawn, or 
the spring, lends her name to the Christian festival of the 
Resurrection. Behind these floated the dim shapes of 
an older mythology — "Wyrd," the death- goddess, whose 
memory lingered long in the "weird" of northern super- 
stition, or the Shield Maidens, the 'mighty women." who, 
an old rhyme tells us, "wrought on the batde-field their 



toil, and hurled the thrilling javelins," Nearer to the 
popular fancy lay the deities of wood and fell, or the hero- 
gods of legend and song, "Nicor," the water-sprite, who 
gave us our water nixies, and "Old Nick," "Weland," 

the forger of mighty shields and sharp-biting swords, at 
a later time, in his Berkshire, " Weyland's Smithy, " or 
^gil, the hero archer, whose legend is that of Cloudesly 
or Tell. A nature-worship of this sort lent itself ill to 


the purposes of a priesthood, and, though a priestly class 
existed, it seems at no time to have had much weight in 
the English society. As every freeman was his own 
judge and his own legislator, so he was his own house 
priest; and the common English worship lay in the sac- 
rifice which he offered to the god of his hearth. The 
religion of Woden and Thor supplanted, for the time 
beine, the religion of Christ. The new EnHand was once 
more a heathen land under the gods of its conquerors. 


The first of all the gods was Woden or Odin. He is 
the All-father, like Dyans of the early Hindus, Zeus of 
the Greeks and Jove of the Romans. In the Volsung 
Saga, Woden is revealed as follows : King Volsung had 
made preparation for an entertainment. Blazing fires 
burned along the hall, and in the middle of the hall stood 
a laree tree, whose crreen and fair foliage covered the 
roof. It was called Woden's tree. Now, as the guests 
sat around the fire in the evening, a man entered the 
hall whose countenance they did not know. He wore a 
variegated cloak, was barefooted, his breeches were of 
linen, and a wide-brimmed hat hung down over his face. 
He was very tall, looked old, and was one-eyed. He 
held in his hand a sword. He went to the tree, stuck 
his sword into it with such a powerful blow that it sunk 
into it even up to the hilt. No one dared greet him. It 
was Woden. Woden's dwellinor was called Walhal. The 
Edda, the poem of the gods, thus describes Walhalla : 

"Easily to be known is, 
By those who to Odin come, 
The mansion by its aspect. 
Its roof with spears is held, 
Its hall with shields is decked, 
With corselets are its benches strewed. 


"Five hundred doors 
And forty more 
Methinks are in Walhal, 
Eight hundred heroes through each door 
Shall issue forth ! 
Against the wolf to combat." 

The heroes are invited after death to Woden's hall. 
That the brave were to be taken to Walhalla after death 
was one of the fundamental points, if not the very heart 
of the religion of the Northmen. They felt in their hearts 
that it was absolutely necessary to be brave. Woden 
would not care for them, but would despise and thrust 
them away from him, if they were not brave. This made 
the Northmen think it a shame and misery not to die in 
battle. Old kings, about to die, had their bodies placed 
in a ship ; the ship was sent forth with sails set, and a 
slow fire burning in it, so that once out at sea it might 
blaze up in flame, and in such a way worthily bury the 
hero both in the sky and in the ocean. He lay in the 
prow of his ship, silent, with closed lips, defying the wild 
ocean. As Boyesen has sung : 

"In the prow with head uplifted 

Stood the chief like wrathful Thor ; 
Through his locks, the snow-flakes drifted, 

Bleached their hue from gold to hoar, 
'Mid the crash of mast and rafter 
Norsemen leaped through death with laughter 

Up through Walhal's wide-flung door." 

Thor comes next to Woden. His name means thunder. 
He is the spring-god, subduing the frost-giants. Long- 
fellow has described the Norseman's idea of Thor, thus: 

" I am the god Thor, I am the war-god. 
I am the Thunderer! here in my Northland, 
My fastness and fortress, reign I forever ! 


"Here amid icebergs rule I the nations; 
This is my hammer, Mjohier, the mighty, 
Giants and sorcerers cannot withstand it ! 

"These are the gauntlets wherewith I wield it, 
And hurl it afar off; this is my girdle, 
Whenever I brace it strength is redoubled ! 

"The light thou beholdest stream through the heavens, 
In flashes of crimson, is but my red beard. 
Blown by the night-wind, affrighting the nations. 

"Jove is my brother; mine eyes are the lightning; 
The wheels of my chariot roll in the thunder, 
The blows of my hammer ring in the earthquake ! 

"Force rules the world still, has ruled it, shall rule it; 
Meekness is weakness, strength is triumphant; 
Over the whole earth still is Thor's-day!" 


The sacrifices which were presented to the gods in 
the early ages were very simple, and such as a people 
in the first stages of civilization would offer — the first 
fruits of their crops, and the choicest products of the 
earth. They also sacrificed animals. They offered to 
Thor, during the feast of Jaul, fat oxen and horses; to 
Frigga, the largest hog which they could procure; to 
Odin, horses, dogs and falcons, sometimes cocks, and a 
fat bull. They even proceeded at times to shed human 
blood. The victims were usually chosen from captives 
in time of war, and slaves during peace. After being 
selected, they were treated with excessive kindness, until 
the time of their execution, when they were congratu- 
lated on their happy destiny in a future life. On great 
emergencies, however, nobles and kings were immolated 
on the altars of the gods. On all these occasions the 
priests took care, in consecrating the victim, to pronounce 




certain words; such as, "I devote thee to Odin;" "I send 
thee to Odin;" or, "I devote thee for a good harvest, for 



the return of a fruitful season." The ceremony con- 
chided with feasting, during which they drank immoder- 
ately. First, the kings and chief lords drank healths in 
honor of the gods; afterward, every one drank, making 
song or prayer to the gods who had been named. After 
the victim was slain, the body was burnt, or suspended 
in a sacred grove near the temple; part of the blood was 
sprinkled upon the people, part upon the sacred grove. 
With the same they also bedewed the images of the gods, 
the altars, the benches and walls of the temple, both 
within and without, thus completing their work. 


The Saxons and their kindred, the Teutons and the 
Celts, have a great mass of fairy tales, legends, hobgoblin 
stories and the like. These tales enter more into the life 
of the people than we are accustomed to believe. While 
the stronger men, the soldiers of the race, told their old 
Viking tales or recited their Eddas' poems, the common 
people told over and over again the tales of the little 
beings who haunted hill and meadow, field and forest, 
lake and river. 

The tales and superstitions of the early Britons were 
intimately related to their religious ideas, and exerted as 
powerful an influence on their lives as their belief in the 
gods. So it is in keeping with our subject that we pro- 
ceed to present some of these fairy tales and legends. 
Shakespeare has preserved ancient and quaint traditions 
of the Fairies and Puck, and of Mab, Queen of the 
Fairies, from which we quote. 

'■'■Fairy. — Either I mistake 3'our shape and making quite, 
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite 
Call'd Robin Good-fellow. Are you not he 
That frights the maidens of the villagery, 



Skims milk, and sometimes labors in the quern, 
And bootless makes the breathless housewife churn ; 
And sometimes makes the drink to bear no harm ; 
Misleads night-wanderers, laughing at their harm? 
Those that Hobgoblin call you, and sweet Puck, 
You do their work, and they shall have good luck, 
Are not you he ? 

Puck. — Thou speakest aright, 
I am that merry wanderer of the night. 
I jest to Oberon, and make him smile, 
When I a fat and bean-fed horse beguile, 
Neighing in likeness of a filly-foal ; 
And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bowl, 
In very likeness of a roasted crab, 
And when she drinks, against her lips I bob. 
And on her withered durlap pour the ale. 
The wisest aunt, telling the saddest tale, 
Sometimes for three-foot stool mistaketh me ; 
Then slip I from her bum — down topples she, 
And tailor cries, and falls into a cough ; 
And then the whole quire hold their hips and lafife. 
And waxen in their mirth, and neeze and swear, 
A merrier hour was never wasted there. 

O then, I see Queen Mab hath been with you. 
She is the fairies' midwife ; and she comes, 
In shape no bigger than an agate stone 
On the forefinger of an alderman, 
Drawn with a team of little atomies, 
Over men's noses as they lie asleep : 
Her wagon-spokes, made of long spinner's legs; 
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers ; 
The traces, of the smallest spider's web ; 
The collars of the moonshines' watery beams; 
Her whip of cricket's bone ; the lash of film; 
Her wagoner, a small gray-coated gnat, 
Not half so big as a round little worm 
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid : 
Her chariot is an empty hazel nut, 
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub, 
Time out of mind the fairies' coachmakers. 


This is that very Mab 
That plats the manes of horses in the night ; 
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs, 
Which once untangled much misfortune bode. 
Thisiis the hag, when maids lie on their backs, 
That presses them." 

A few of the very many fairy tales once current in Old 
England and in Western Europe generally, may well be 
oiven here in illustration of their greneral character. 


There was one time, it is said, a servant girl, who was, 
for her cleanly, tidy habits, greatly beloved by the Elves, 
particularly as she was careful to carry away all dirt and 
foul water to a distance from the house, and they once 
invited her to a wedding. Everything was conducted in 
the greatest order, and they made her a present of some 
chips, which she took good-humoredly, and put into her 
pocket. But when the bride- pair were coming, there was 
a straw unluckily lying in the way ; the bridegroom got 
cleverly over it, but the poor bride fell on her face. At 
the sight of this, the girl could not restrain herself, but 
burst out a-laughing, and that instant the whole vanished 
from her sight. Next day, to her utter amazement, she 
found that what she had taken to be nothing but chips 
were so many pieces of pure gold. 


It is related of a Nis, who had established himself in a 
house in Jutland, that he used every evening, after the 
maid was gone to bed, to go into the kitchen to take his 
groute, which they used to leave there for him in a large 
wooden bowl. 

One evening, he sat down as usual to eat his supper 


with a good appetite, drew over the bowl to him, and was 
just beginning, as he thought, to make a comfortable 
meal, when he found that the maid had forgotten to put 
any butter in it for him. At this, he fell into a furious 
rage, got up in the height of his passion, and went out 
into the cow-house and twisted the neck of the best cow 
that was in it; but as he felt himself still very hungry, he 
stole back again to the kitchen to take some of the groute, 
such as it was, and when he had eaten a little of it he 
perceived that there was butter in it, but that it had sunk 
to the bottom under the groute. He was now so vexed 
at his injustice toward the maid that, to make good the 
damacre he had done, he went back to the cow-house and 
set a chest full of money by the side of the dead cow, 
where the family found it next morning, and by means of 
it cfot into flourishinof circumstances. 


The Nixes, or Water-people, inhabit lakes and rivers. 
The man is like any other man, only he has green 
teeth. He also wears a green hat. The female Nixes 
appear like beautiful maidens. On fine sunny days they 
may be seen sitting on the banks, or on the branches of 
the trees, combing their long golden locks. When any 
person is shortly to be drowned the Nixes may be pre- 
viously seen dancing on the surface of the water. They 
inhabit a beautiful region below the water, whither they 
sometimes convey mortals. A girl from a village near 
Leipsic, as the story goes, was at one time at service in 
the house of a Nix. She reported that everything there 
was very good ; all she had to complain of was that she 
was obliged to eat her food without salt. The female 
Nixes frequently go to the market to buy meat ; they are 
always dressed with extreme neatness, only a corner of 


the apron or some other part of their clothes Is wet. The 
man also occasionally goes to market. They are fond of 
carrying off women, ot whom they make wives. From 
the many tales of the Nixes we select the following, 
which are fair specimens of the whole. 


A Waterman, or Nix, once lived on o-ood terms w^ith a 
peasant who dwelt near his lake. He often visited him, 
and at last begged that the peasant would make a visit to 
his house under the water. The peasant consented, and 
went down with him. There was everything down under 
the water as in a stately palace on the land — halls, cham 
bers and cabinets, with costly furniture of every descrip- 
tion. The Waterman led his guest over the whole, and 
showed him everything that was in it. They came at length 
to a little chamber, where were standing several new pots 
turned upside down. The peasant asked what was in 
them. " They contain," was the reply, '* the souls of 
drowned people, which I put under the pots and keep 
them close, so that they cannot get away." The peasant 
made no remark, and he came up again on the land. But 
for a lonof time the affair of the souls continued to eive 
him great trouble, and he watched to find when the 
Waterman should be from home. When this occurred, 
as he had marked the right way down, he descended into 
the water-house, and, having made out the little chamber, 
he turned up all the pots one after another, and immedi- 
ately the souls of the drowned people ascended out of 
the water and recovered their liberty. 


At noon, one day, a young peasant sat by the side of 
a wood, and, sighing, prayed the gods to give him a mor- 



sel of food. A dwarf suddenly emerged from the wood, 
and told him that his prayer should be fulfilled. He then 
gave him the pouch that he had on his side, with the as- 
surance that he would always find in it wherewithal to 
satisfy his thirst and hunger, charging him, at the same 
time, not to consume it all, and to share with any one who 
asked him for food. The dwarf vanished, and the peas- 
ant put his hand into the pouch to make a trial of it, and 
there he found a cake of new bread, a cheese, and a 
bottle of wine, on which he made a hearty meal. He 
then saw that the pouch swelled up as before, and, look- 
ing- in, he found that it was acrain full of bread, cheese 
and wine. He now felt sure of his food, and he lived on 
in an idle, luxurious way, without doing any work. One 
day, as he was gorging himself, there came up to him a 
feeble old man, who prayed him to give him a morsel to 
eat. He refused in a brutal, churlish tone, when instantly 
the bread and cheese broke, and scattered out of his 
hands, and pouch and all vanished. 


According to widely-accepted tradition, when but a 
young deacon, Gregory the Great had noted the white 
bodies, the fair faces and the golden hair of some youths 
who stood bound in the market-place at Rome. " From 
what country do these slaves come?" he asked the traders 
who held them. " They are English, Angles !" the slave- 
dealers answered. The deacon's pity veiled itself in 
poetic humor. " Not Angles, but angels," he said, " with 
faces so angel-like! From what country come they?" 
"They come," said the merchants, "from Deira." " De 
ira !" was the untranslatable reply; "aye, plucked from 
God's ire. and called to Christ's mercy ! And what is the 
name of their king ?" "^-Ella," they told him ; and Gre- 


g-ory seized on the words as a good omen. "Alleluia 
shall be sung there," he cried, and passed on, musing how 
the angel-faces should be brought to sing it. 

Years went by, and the deacon become Bishop of 
Rome, when the Christian princess, Berctas' marriage to 
the King of England gave him the opening he sought. 
He at once sent a Roman Abbot, Augustine, at the head 
of a band of monks, to preach the Gospel to the English 
people. The missionaries landed A. D. 597, on the very 
spot where Hengest had landed more than a century 
before, in the Isle of Thanet ; and the king received them 
sitting in the open air, on the chalk-down above Minster, 
where the eye nowadays catches, miles away over the 
marshes, the dim tower of Canterbury. He listened to 
the long sermon as the interpreters whom Augustine had 
brought with him from Gaul translated it. "Your words 
are fair," /Ethe]berdt replied at last, with English good 
sense, " but they are new and of doubtful meaning." For 
himself, he said, he refused to forsake the gods of his 
fathers, but lie promised shelter and protection to the 
strangers. The band of monks entered Canterbury 
bearing before them a silver cross with a picture of 
Christ, and singing in concert the strains of the litany of 
their church. "Turn from this city, O Lord," they sang, 
"Thine anger and wrath, and turn it from Thy holy 
house ; for we have sinned." And then, in strange con- 
trast, came the jubilant cry of the older Hebrew worship, 
the cry which Gregory had wrested in prophetic earnest- 
ness from the name of the Yorkshire king in the Roman 
market-place — "Alleluia !" 

Thus was begun the overturning of the heathen faith 
of our ancestors, and the establishment of Christianity 
among them. 




The Hindu mind still superstition sways 
Still to his Triune God the Brahmin prays; 
The laws of "caste" each generous hope restrain, 
And bind all mental powers with palsying chain. 
Still lives that old belief the Samian taught, 
Insects and brutes with human souls are fraught, 
Souls doomed to wander for uncounted years. 
Till, pure from earthly dross, they seek the spheres. 

Nicholas Mich ell. 

INDIA is almost a continent like Europe. It Is shaped 
like a great triangle. Its population amounts to 
240,000,000. There are different races in India. 
First came to the fertile valleys of the Indus and Ganges 
the sturdy immigrants from Central Asia, from Tartary 
and Thibet. These were Scythians, some of them Mongo- 
lians. Then came the Hindu people, the great family of 
the Aryans, who separated themselves from their Persian 
brethren sometime near 2,000 B, C, and gradually over- 
spread all India. About 500 B. C, Darius Hystaspes 
conquered the Indian Empire. Alexander the Great in- 
vaded it as far as the Indus in 327 B. C. The Mohammed- 
ans drove the Parsees from their Persian home about i.ioo 
years ago, and a small body of them settled in India. 
Then came the Mohammedans (Arabs, Turks, Afghans 
and Moguls) and conquered India for a time. There are 
now 41,000,000 of Mohammedans in that land. Still later 
came Europeans, led thither by the prospects of great 


commercial gains, the Portuguese, the Danes, the Dutch, 
the French and, finally, came the English. 

Over one hundred dialects are spoken in India, but 
there is only one sacred language and one sacred litera- 
ture. This is the Sanscrit. All the Hindu sacred books, 
all the sacred knowledgfe 
of Hindu theology, phil- 
osophy or law, all the 
Hindu creeds, opinions, 
customs, etc., are recorded 
in this lano-LiaCTe. This Ian- 
ofuaoe of their literature 
does not change with the 
course of time, it remains 
the same now as ever. 


Brahminism grew out of 
what is called the Vedic re- 
liction. Before Abraham's 
day the people living in 
Central Asia, being a sim- 
ple race, addressed their! 
prayers to the powers of 
nature, as, for example, to 
the storms, the clouds and 
the sun, seeing the Deity 
in each of these. Hymns 
were written to these gods ancient hindu idol. 

and this forms the earliest of all sacred books, only ex- 
cepting those from which Moses wrote his account of the 
early history of the world in Genesis. This people moved 
south into India. The priesthood arose and the other 
Vedic books of ceremonies, sacrifices and liturgical forms 


were prepared. Great commentaries were written on 
these books, and all were declared to be inspired. 

The priests quarreled with the civil chiefs, but their 
sacred character was increased by the conflict, and caste 
is the result. The priests are the highest caste (or class), 
next come the warriors, then the merchant, the farmer, 
etc., last of all the tanners, buriers of the dead, etc. 
These classes never intermarry or intermingle in any 
way; it is contaminating to sit together even. About 
this time idols appear, and gods multiply until they reach 
the number of 330,000,000. Men groaned under this 
stupendous system of oppressive idolatry. Buddha tried 
in the seventh century before Christ, to reform it, but he 
failed, though he succeeded in establishing a new faith 
which has numbered its converts by the hundreds of mil- 
lions. But Brahminism continues to be the religion of 
India, even until to-day. The task of Christianity to 
supplant it is gigantic, and rendered doubly difficult by 
the failure of Buddhism. In later days a new reformer 
appeared, Rammohun Roy. He started the Brahmo- 
somaj, or reformed Brahminism, but under his successor, 
Keshub Chunder Sen, it is drifting toward Christianity. 

Starting from the Veda, Hinduism has ended in em- 
bracing something from all religions, and in presenting 
phases suited to all minds. It is all-tolerant, all-com- 
pliant, all-comprehensive, all-absorbing. It has its spiritual 
and its material aspect, its esoteric and exoteric, its sub- 
jective and objective, its rational and irrational, its pure 
and its impure. It has one side for the practical, anodier 
for the severely moral another for the devotional and 
imaginative, another for the sensuous and sensual, and 
another for the philosophical and speculative. Those 
who rest in ceremonial observances find it all-sufficient; 
those who deny the efficacy of works and make faith the 



one requisite, need not wander from its pale ; those who 
are addicted to sensuality may have their tastes fully 
crratified ; those whose 
deliofht is in meditatino- 
upon the nature of God 
and of man, or the rela- 
tions of matter and of 
spirit, the mystery of sep- 
arate existence, or upon 
the origin of evil, may 
here indulge their love 
of speculation. And this 
capacity for almost limit- 
less expansion causes al- 
most numberless sectar- 
ian divisions even amonor 
the followers of any given 
particularline of doctrine. 
Yet there remains much 
of the old nature-wor- 
ship, or more correctly 
speaking,of the old devil- 
worship among the Hin- 
dus even at this late 
day. As in Tinnevelly the people worship a stone devil, 
who holds a trident in one hand, and a child which he 
was about to devour in the other. The idol generally 
has a garland of red and white oleander flowers on its 
head and shoulders. 



The three idols sculptured on the walls of Elephanta 
Cave are found all over India, and constitute the chief 
gods which are worshiped by the Hindus. 



All the human race is said to have come from the 
highlands of Central Asia, and the worship of these, our 
Aryan forefathers, was at first exceedingly simple. Their 
manner of life brought them into close contact with na- 
ture, and we learn from the hymns then written, many of 


which are still preserved in the Vedas (the sacred book 
of the Hindus), that they regarded the powers of nature 
as manifestations of gods. In the storms, they supposed 
these rival gods were quarreling. In the Vedic hymns, 
frequent mention is made of the chief god, called Dyaus, 
the " Heavenly Father." Also Aditi, the "Infinite Ex- 



panse," is called the mother of all gods. Next comes 
Varuna, the " Sky in its Brightness," then Indra, the god 
of the "Atmosphere;" so running through the whole list. 
After a time, the names of the gods are somewhat al- 
tered, and a sort "of trinity is formed. Agni, god of fire, 
becomes Brahma ; Surya, the sun-god, becomes Vishnu, 
and Indra, the atmosphere-god, becomes Siva. These 
constitute what is called the Tri-murti, and are generally 
said to represent one god as Creator, Preserver or De- 
stroyer. Hindus often write in their honor verses like 
the following : 

" In those three persons the one God was shown — 
Each first in place, each last — not one alone ; 
Of Siva, Vishiiu, Brahma, each may be 
First, second, third, among the Blessed Three." 

As to which of the three orods is to be called the Su- 
preme Being, opinions differ. The following story is told 
in one of the sacred books touching upon this point : 


A dispute arose among the sages as to which of the 
three gods was greatest ; so they applied to the great 
Bhrigu, one of the ten Maharshis, or primeval patriarchs 
created by the first Manu, to determine the point. He 
undertook to put all three gods to a severe test, and 
went first to Brahma; on approaching whom he pur- 
posely omitted an obeisance. Upon this the god's anger 
blazed terribly forth; but, restraining it, he was at length 
pacified. Next he repaired to the abode of Siva, in 
Kailasa, and omitted to return the ofod's salutation. The 
vindictive deity was enraged, his eyes flashed fire, and 
he raised his trident to destroy the sage ; but the god's 
wife, Parvati, fell at his feet and by her intercession ap- 
peased him. Lastly, he repaired to V^aikuntha, the heaven 



of Vishnu, whom he found asleep with his head on his 
consort Lakshml's lap. To make a trial of his forbear- 
ance, he boldly gave the god a kick on his breast, which 
awoke him. Instead of showing anger, however, Vishnu 
arose, and on seeing Bhrigu, asked his pardon for not 
havinor oreeted him on his first arrival. Next, he ex- 
pressed himself highly honored by the sage's blow (which 
he declared had imprinted an indelible mark of good 
fortune on his breast), and then inquired tenderly 
whether his foot was hurt, and proceeded to rub it gently. 
" This," said Bhrigu, " is the mightiest god ; he over- 
powers by the most potent of all weapons — gentleness 
and generosity." This idea was not far removed from 
the genius of Christianity, which conspicuously encour- 
ages the overcomino- of evil with eood. 


One of the most remarkable ideas to be found in the 
Brahmanas is that the gods were merely mortals till they 
extorted immortality from the Supreme Being by sacri- 
fices and austerities. A natural or inherent immortality 
in these deities was never dreamed ot, it is said : 

"The gods lived constantly in dread of Death — 
The mighty Ender — so with toilsome rites 
They. worshiped and repeated sacrifices 
Till they became immortal. Then the Ender 
Said to the gods, ' As ye have made yourselves 
Imperishable ; so will men endeavor 
To free themselves from me ; what portion then 
Shall I possess in man ?' The gods replied, 
* Hen,ceforth no being shall become immortal 
In his own body ; this his mortal frame 
Shalt thou still seize ; this shall remain thy own, 
He who through knowledge or religious acts 
Henceforth attains to immortality 
Shall first present his body, Death, to thee.' " 



It must not be supposed that the heathen rehgions pre- 
sent one unbroken front ao-ainst the oncomino- ranks of 
Christianity, Christianity is divided into sects, it is true ; 
but these sects are but as the different recfiments and 
divisions of an army. The banner of the Cross is at the 
head of the whole ot this grand army, and it floats proudly 
over each regiment; the regimental banner is always 
placed beneath, and not above, the banner of the Cross. 
Hence the various denominations of Christians are not 
so many distinct bodies, fighting each other as well as 
fighting the common foe; but they are so many bands of 
soldiers, fighting, perhaps, each in its own way, yet all 
aiming to destroy the one common enemy, Satan and his 
works. But the divisions of heathen religious systems 
differ greatly from this. Many of them are so different 
from each other that there is hardly a trace of resem- 
blance remaining. Each heathen religious system wages 
war against every other one. Buddhism is, perhaps, an 
exception to this, at least in its mode of warfare, for it 
seeks to swallow up every other system, to incorporate 
all other religions in its own and to destroy them by the 
change. In each of these systems, as well as in Hindu- 
ism, which we have now before us for consideration, 
there are many different sects. These vary very much 
more than the denominations of Christendom, and are 
constantly turning their guns upon each other. Thus 
God is making Satan to defeat himself, and will bring 
orood to the world even out of the wicked one's work. 

The sects of Hinduism overlap each other. Many 
Hindus are attached at the same time to several sects, 
and some of the gods are worshiped by all the sects in 
common. Following the national tendency of all heathen 


religious systems, Hinduism developed downwards. 
Sect after sect arose, each calling attention to some one 



prominent point in their faith, and setting all the other 
points far in the background. 

During all the period from 800 to 500 before Christ, 
the need of making peace offerings to the gods was in- 
sisted upon by certain sects. According to the creed of 
one popular sect, for example, if one should slay a hun- 
dred horses in sacrifice, he would be worthy of being ex- 
alted to the rank of a powerful god. Thousands of 
animals, principally horses, cows, pigs, and the like, were 
slain every day at this time. The whole land was filled 
with blood. Then came the reaction, a new sect arose, 
who, diso"usted and wearied of sacrifices and sacrificine 
priests, declared all sacrifices as unnecessary and dis- 
pleasing to the gods. The followers of Kali, the god- 
dess of blood, and especially the Thugs, who came into 
prominence later on and who are described in connection 
with the worship of Kali, of course opposed this idea. 
Yet they were unsuccessful, their rival sect rapidly 
gained the popular favor, and, except at Kali's altars, 
sacrifices almost disappeared. The great reformer, Bud- 
dha, the "Light of Asia," gave great assistance to this 
doctrine. He taught, about the seventh century before 
Christ, that it was the duty of man to preserve life, and 
not to destroy it. The teaching that the souls of men 
after death passed into the bodies of animals also aided 
in this. Buddha's teachings gained almost universal ac- 
ceptance in India for a time ; it looked as though it would 
root out Hinduism. But gradually the Hindu priests 
brought Buddhism back unto itself again. The priests 
declared that Gautama, the Buddha, was an incarnation 
of the god Vishnu, and by this concession won their way 
to the hearts of the people. Each of the gods had their 
own followers, and, as may be imagined, the sect that 
worshiped Vishnu received many new adherents. 



et back to the hicrh £r round of a 

After this, Hinduism rapidly descended to its darkest, 
deepest degradation. Priestcraft was extended, rites 
were multipHed, and superstitious customs increased. 
For long- years the people groaned under their heavy 
burdens, then sought — as, alas ! how often they sought, 
but only to fail — to 
purer religion. Reformers 
appeared, and the people 
gladly and quickly gather- 
ed around these reformers, 
thus forming new sects. 
To set forth the whole his- 
tory of these sects would 
require volume after vol- 
ume. In a general way, 
we may say that there are 
five larsfe sects : the fol- 
lowers of Siva, of Vishnu, 
of Sakta, the sun worship- 
ers, and the adherents of 
Ganesha. We might well 
add to these, and to the 
multitude of minor sects 
Into which they are di- 
vided, the greatest of mod- 
ern sects, which is called 
the Brahmo-Somaj. 

In the vear 1 7 74 was born 
a man of marked ability, -^^LPruRED idols on a pillar. 

named Rammohun Roy. He sought to suppress the 
Suttee, the burning of Hindu widows with the bodies of 
their dead husbands. He encouraged native education 
and the general enlightenment of the whole people. He 
went back beyond the teachings of priests and of the 


modern sacred Hindu books, back to the Vedas, and 
sought to prove that they taught that idolatry was wrong, 
and that one god shoukl be worshiped. To this Supreme 
Being he gave the name of Brahma, and hence his sect 
of reformed Hinduism was called the Brahma or Brahmo- 
Somaj, or Society of God. After his death, several 
other leaders arose, the last of whom, the third from Ram- 
mohun Roy, named Keshub Chunder Sen, M'as, perhaps, 
most in accord with the founder's spirit. He visited 
England lately. Under his leading the society is offering 
an uncompromising opposition to caste, idolatry and 
superstition, and is accomplishing the best results. 


Hinduism as a system has nothing to say about mak- 
ing men better, it only tells of means to make peace with 
angry gods. It speaks only threatening and fear. But 
worse than this — and it would corrupt our pages to do 
more than mention it — much of its worship is vile; vulgar 
images are common objects of worship in India. 

Its teachings as to the next world and the way to reach 
it are remarkable. There is supposed to be a v.ide 
stream between this world and the next, and the only 
way to cross is by holding on to the tail of the sacred 
cow when dying. 

One terrible feature of Hinduism is Caste. Every 
Hindu child is born within a certain caste, and above or 
below that it can never go. It is a most rigid system 
requiring the members of one caste to have as little as 
possible to do with the members of another. The four 
principal castes are — the Priest or Brahmin caste; the 
Warrior caste; the Merchant caste; the Sudras, or Ser- 
vile caste; besides these are the Pariahs, who are below 
all caste. Some of the castes distinguish themselves by 



the cut and color of their dress, some by the way in whicli 
their garments are put on, some by a pecuHar mark on 


the forehead, some by the jewels or ornaments they wear. 
The bounds of these castes are fixed and immovable. 
No one, however, rich, or learned, or skillful, can rise 



above his caste, no one, however poor, or degraded, or 
vicious, sinks below his caste. Each caste looks up to 
those above it. and concedes its superiority. 


A Brahmin who had become a Christian, once told a 
celebrated traveler, that the people of lower castes than 
his own had often asked him to stop and wash his feet in 
the water of the street, so that they might drink it! The 
whole system, this traveler goes on to say, is a cold and 
cruel thino-, which hardens the heart aoainst natural com- 
passion. Against its oppression there is no power of 



resistance; it extinguishes every element of human 
brotherhood. Hinduism is, take it ah and all, one of the 
vilest, most despotic, most degrading systems of religion. 
In almost every other iaith there is some redeeming 
feature; in Hinduism we seek in vain to find any element 
of truth. There \ r 

is nothing in it ^ "ft / 

worthy of being 
placed in compar- 
ison with Chris- 
tianity. Yet the 
task of persuading 
the Hindu people 
of this is a very 
difficult one. The 
missionary seems 
as but a youthful 
David with his 
sling and stones 
in the presence of 
this very Goliath 
of Heathenism, 
But he has God 
standing with him, 
and by His aid the 
work will finally be 



Very early in the history of the Hindu religion, human 
beino-s were sacrificed to the gods. l)Oth children and 
adults were slain before Kali's altars, especially. Sacrifice 
of human beings is referred to in the sacred books ; for 
instance, it appears in the following Brahmana : 



King Hariscandra had no son ; he dien prayed to Var- 
una, promising, diat if a son were born to him, he would 

sacrifice the child to the 
o-od. Then a son was 
born to him called Rohita. 
When Rohita was grown 
up, his father one day told 
him of the vow he had 
made to Varuna and bade 
him prepare to be sacri- 
ficed. The son declined 
to be killed, and ran away 
from his father's house. 
For six years he wandered 
in the forest and at last 
met a starving Brahmin. 
Him he persuaded to sell 
one of his sons named 
Sunahsepha, for a hun- 
dred cows. This boy was 
bought by Rohita and 
taken to Hariscandra and 
was about to be sacrificed 
to Varuna as a substitute for Rohita. At this moment, 
on praying to the gods with verses from the Veda, the boy 
was released. Some of the Hindu gods are, in accord 
with this idea, horrible imaginations, as the god of Hell. 
In contrast with such, is Amadeo. god of Love, the cupid 
god of the Hindus. 

But the Hindus were averse to human sacrifice, and 
so they found a way to get around it. They introduced 
this passage into their sacred books: 

The gods killed a man for their victim. But from him 
thus killed, the part which was fit for a sacrifice went out 




and entered a horse. Thence the horse became an ani- 
mal fit for being- sacrificed. The gods then killed the 
horse, but the part of it fit for being sacrified went out of 
it and entered an ox. The gods then killed the ox, but 
the part of it fit for being sacrificed went out of it and 
entered a sheep. Thence it entered a goat The sacri- 
ficial part remained for the longest time in the goat ; 
thence, it became pre-eminently fit for being sacrificed ! 


Every one of the heathen religions more or less de- 
grades woman. Often she is made the slave of man, or, 
worse still, the creature to minister to his appetites. 
Only Christianity seeks to lift woman to the level of 
man. Women in Christian lands rarely ever appreciate 
the low condition of their Oriental sisters. In India, wo- 
man's condition is worse than in China, and in China 
worse than in japan. In the early religious writings of 
the Hindus, woman is spoken of with respect ; but in 
later days those teachings have been all but forgotten. 
Indeed, the degradation of woman in India — not merely 
sanctioned, but commanded, by the Hindu religion — is 
without a parallel in any age and among any other race. 
According to the Code of Manu, the law-book of the 
Hindu religion, woman is forbidden to read the sacred 
books or to offer up prayers or sacrifices in her own 
name and person. She may pray and worship, but only 
as her father or husband directs. Woman is regarded 
as having no soul, differing from the beasts only in being 
more intelligent than they. Moreover, she is commanded 
to revere her husband as a god. 

If a Brahmin, or priest, happens to be reading the Vedas 
(the sacred Hindu books), and a woman happens to come 
near, he must suspend his reading until she pass by. 



Her ear is not pure enough to hear the sacred word, they 
say. They were kept secluded from sight in ill-furnished 
apartments ; really, they were kept prisoners in the 
zenanas, as their apartments were called. Only recently 
has the condition of the women of India been exposed. 


Missionary ladies, by taking the occasion of teaching wo- 
men how to knit and embroider, managed to secure an 
entrance to the zenanas. Tale after tale was told of the 
pitiful condition of the Hindu women. These were 
doubted, questioned and examined; but investigation 



confirmed their truth. What is the picture that is drawn 
by these faithful pens of the Hindu woman's hfe from the 
cradle to the grave ? Girls are never welcomed in India. 
Formerly a large number were destroyed at birth, but 
now the British government prevents that. But they are 
as badly off, in many cases worse, than if dead. Their 
very existence is almost unnoticed by their father. Ask 


a Hindu how many children he has — supposing that he 
have three sons and four daughters — he will reply, " I 
have three children," not thinking it worth while to count 
his daughters. Formerly at least seventy-five out of 
every hundred female infants were destroyed. These 
infants were generally cast to the crocodiles in the Gan- 
ges, and, strange to say, the mother thought she was 


serving Heaven in doing this unnatural deed. The great 
Hnguist, Dr. John Leyden, has written : 

" To glut the shark and crocodile 

A mother brouglit her infant here; 
She saw its tender, playful smile, 

She shed not one maternal tear. 
She threw it on a watery bier ; 

With grjnding teeth sea-monsters tore 

The smiling infant that she bore. 
She shrunk not once its cries to hear !" 

From childhood they are taught to worship the idols, 
especially Ganesha, the god of wisdom, and so the stone 

After a little girl has reached her fifth birthday, her 
parents begin to look for a husband for her. She can 
be married when seven years old. but may wait until she 
is ten. The idea of marrying for love is never dreamed 
of. The little one never makes her own choice of a hus- 
band. Her married life bears not the slightest resem- 
blance to the life of a wife in a Chrisdan land. The 
Shasters declare that a wife, "When in the presence of 
her husband, must keep her eyes upon her master, and 
be ready to receive his commands. When he speaks, 
she must be quiet, and listen to nothing else besides ; 
when he calls, she must leave everything else, and attend 
upon him alone. A woman has no other god on earth 
but her husband. The most excellent of all good works 
that she can perform is to gratify him with the strictest 
obedience. This should be her only devotion. Though 
he be aged, infirm, dissipated, a drunkard or a debauchee, 
she must still regard him as her god. She must serve 
him with all her might, obeying him in all things, spying 
no defects in his character, and giving him no cause for 
disquiet. If he laughs, she must laugh ; if he weeps, she 



must weep ; if "he sings, she must be in an ecstasy." The 
wife may never walk with her husband. No other man 
than he or her father or 
brothers must ever look on 
her face. A Hindu woman 
would rather die than to 
be thus defiled, as they are 
taught to regard it. 

Woman in India is in the 
power of her husband com- 
pletely; she is his slave, and 
must wait on his every mo- 
tion. Worse than this, she 
is not the only wife, for Hin- 
duism permits a man to have 
many wives. When her hus- 
band dies, the wife is more 
unhappy than ever. All 
her ornaments and beauti- 
ful clothing are taken from 
her. and only a poor, coarse, 
brown robe is left; her black 
hair is shorn off, and the 
tali — answering to our mar- 
riage-ring — is taken from 
her. Henceforth, if she live, 
she must practice the sever- 
est penance. Often, before 
the British government put 
a stop to it, the widow was 
burned alive with the dead hindu woman. 

body of her husband. For all this degradation and 
misery and shameless treatment of women Hinduism is 





A thousand pilgrims strain 
Arm, shoulder, breast and thigh, with might and main, 

To drag that sacred wain. 
And scarce can draw the enormous load. 
Prone fall the frantic votaries in its road. 

And calling on the god, 
Their self-devoted bodies there they lay 

To pave his chariot-way. 

On Jaga-Naut they call. 
The ponderous car rolls on, and crushes all. 

Robert Southey. 

EVERY city of India has its temples by the hun- 
dreds, in some cases by the thousands. On all 
the hills, in all the valleys, scattered over all the 
fields, in the densest jungles or open plains are temples, 
shrines and idols. The rivers are sacred, trees are wor- 
shiped and very many animals receive religious reverence. 
The temple-courts are filled with chattering monkeys, 
and here and there we see the sacred bulls, garlanded 
with flowers and fed by the devotees. There is no end, 
seemingly, to their temples and idols. Probably no 
country in the world has more of these than India. It is 
one of the marks of heathenism to multiply the objects 
and places of worship. Of course, we cannot here make 
mention of all these, we can but describe a few of the 
more important, which may serve as specimens of the 




Juggernaut is a celebrated god. He is called the " Lord 
of the world." His images are as ugly as can be con- 


ceived. Generally they are made of wood; in some 
temples placed three together, one of blue, one of white 
and one of yellow. Juggernaut has many temples; the 
one at Puri, on the western shore of the Bay of Bengal, 
being the largest, and esteemed the most holy. This 
pagoda stands at the end of the principal street of the 
city, which is very wide, and lined with dwellings for the 
priests, small shrines and other sacred buildings. The 
wall which surrounds the temple is 21 feet high, and 
forms an inclosure 650 feet on each side. The principal 
edifice rises to the height of 184 feet. The main gate- 
way is crowded with Fakirs, On each side of the en- 
trance is a mammoth lion. Just before the visitor, as he 
enters, is an image of the monkey-god, Hanuman. 

The temple is dedicated to Krishna, or Juggernaut, 
(sometimes written Jagan-nath,) and his companions — 
Siva and Sathadra. The idols of each are rude, hideous- 
looking sculptured blocks of wood, each about six feet 
high. The representations of the human face in these 
idols are hideous. Krishna is pajnted dark blue, Siva 
white and Sathadra yellow. Before the altar an image 
of the hawk-god, Garounda, is placed. Every day, we 
are told, the idols are feasted. Their food consists of 
410 pounds of rice, 225 pounds of flour, 350 pounds 
of butter, 167 pounds of treacle, 65 pounds of vege- 
tables, 186 pounds of milk, 24 pounds of spices, 34 
pounds of salt and 41 pounds of oil. While the food 
is being placed before the gods, all but a favored few 
are excluded from the temple, and the doors are shut. 
There are over 20,000 holy men connected with this 
temple, and we can easily guess that they help the idols 
to get rid of this great mass of food, at any rate it all 
speedily disappears. The idols, strange as it may seem, 
are washed and dressed daily with great seriousness. 



On the 1 8th of June Jiig-gernaut's great festival occurs. 
Formerly great multitudes assembled at this time from 

o 2 

every part of the land. Men, women and children in 
crowds thronged to the city days in advance, and waited 
with imp.itience for the festival day to come. The Car- 



Festival celebrated at Purl is usually attended by more 
than qoo,ooo pilgrims, nearly half of whom are females. 
There is o-reat sufferino; among- these pilgrims, and 



many of them die in consequence of excessive fatigue, 
exposure to the annual rains, and the want of suita- 
ble and sufficient food. The plains, in many places, 
are literally whitened with their bones, while dogs 
and vultures are continually devouring the bodies 
of the dead. At the appointed time each idol was 
washed, dressed in silk and gold, and placed upon his 
triumphal car. The car of Juggernaut consists of an 
elevated platform, thirty-four feet square, supported by 
sixteen wheels, each six and a half feet in diameter. It. 
is covered with cloth of gold and costly stuffs, and a Jug- 
gernaut is placed under a canopy. Six ropes, or cables,, 
300 feet in length, are attached to the car, by means of 
which the people draw it from place to place. The 
whole car is covered with sculptures in the Hindu style. 

Thousands seize these ropes, as many as could get 
hold. In their fanatical frenzy they crowded and should- 
ered and shoved one another, counting themselves happy 
if they could only lay a hand on the ropes. The Car- 
Festival was the great event of the religious year of the 
worshipers of Juggernaut. Its object was to convey 
Juggernaut from the temple to his country house, a mile 
distant. When the image was placed in the car the mul- 
titude fell on their knees and bowed their foreheads in 
the dust. 

As the car began to advance the drums beat and cym- 
bals clashed, while from its platform the priests shouted,, 
harangued and sang songs, which were received with 
applause by the multitude. And so the dense mass, tug- 
ging, sweating, singing, praying, dragged the car slowly 
along. Some were knocked down and trampled upon, 
and some ware accidentally crushed by the ponderous 
wheels, while a few, mostly those who were sick or in 
much trouble, sought death by throwing themselves in 



the way of the wheels, this latter being encouraged by 
some of the priests. The priests and priestesses chanted 
sono-s in praise of the gods, the multitudes flung flowers 
and other gifts about the car. 

Such was the Great Car-Festival of Juggernaut in an- 
cient days. Of late years it has lost much of its popu- 
larity, and though thousands still attend annually, it is 
now looked upon more as an annual fair than a religious 
festival. The devotees are not half so zealous as form- 
erly, and the priests find almost no one to drag the car. 
No longer do any self-made victims fall beneath its 
wheels, unless it be some poor, weak wretch, tired of life 
and desiring thus to commit suicide. The British gov- 
ernment has caused much of this change, but more has 
been done by the influence which Christian missionaries 

have exerted upon the 
people. The "Lord of 
the World," as they call 
this idol, shall yet bow be- 
fore the Lord of Lords. 
From this acount of 
Juggernaut and his wor- 
ship one cannot fail to 
see the terrible dearada- 
tion which Hinduism im- 
poses on its devotees. 
That God should be 
deemed to be fitly repre- 
sented by such ugly con- 
ceptions as are seen in 
these idols is evidence 
of a most degraded sys- 
tem of religion. Still more so is the teaching of the 
priests, that God actually lives in some substance in the 




idol's heart. Contrast this with the teachings of the 
Bible concernine Him whom the heaven of heavens 
cannot contain ! Juggernaut s worshipers regard him as 
a thing whom they are to keep from getting angry by 
petting him and caring for and feeding as for a little 
child; that He is a being who needs such things as 
clothing to protect and food to sustain Him, and wh.o 
needs to be washed, and to retire to a summer resort to 
escape the summer's heat. 

A striking illustration of the inferiority of idols is given 
in the incident pictured below. Several converts from 
Hinduism concluded to undress and disjoint their idol, 


and finally they chopped up the several parts and used 
them for firewood, thus more than fulfilling the words of 
Isaiah (chap, xliv., 9-20), who tells of idolaters making an 
idol of parts of their wood and burning the residue to 
warm themselves and to roast their meat. 




Kali is a very popular goddess, and yet her images are 
the pictures of terror. She wears a head-dress of snakes, 

and a necklace con- 
sisting of a chain of 
skulls. In her hand 
she holds a murder- 
ous-looking knife. 
Kali is the wife of 
Siva, the destroyer. 
In September a fes- 
tival is held in her 
honor, called the 
Doorga-pooja. In 
all of Kali's temples 
her idols are gayly 
adorned with flow- 
ers, and prayers are 
offered to her dur- 
ing days of dancing 
and singing. 

There used to be 
a sect of murderous 
stranglers, known 
as Thugs, who were 
THE GODDESS KALI. especially devoted 

to the worship of Kali, and who performed their murder- 
ous work as a religious service to that goddess. The story 
of this people opens up a chapter of the greatest cruelty, 
going far beyond all the ordinary records of crime. Yet it 
was all done from a relicrious motive, as well as for love of 
plunder. Strange that it could be so ! The legend that 
accounts for their origin is as follows : A long while ago 



a giant demon infested this world destroying mankind. 
The goddess KaH, to save mankind from utter destruc- 
tion, attacked this demon and cut him down ; but from 
the drops of blood that fell to the ground immediately 
there sprang up other demons — a host of them. Then Kali 
created two men, to whom she gave handkerchiefs, and 
whom she taught to strangle the demons without shed- 
ding blood. This was done, lest if their blood be shed 
more demons should spring up. Kali intended in this 
way to destroy the whole brood. When these men had 
strangled all the demons, she bade them strangle men 
in the same way, to repay her for her service to man- 
kind. From these two men the Thugs came. 

The Thugs were born such ; at each one's hearthstone 
his children were trained to the work of becoming mur- 
derers. The handkerchief with which the victim was 
strangled, and the pick-axe with which his grave was dug, 
were obtained from the priest, and were regarded as very 
sacred. Their method of procedure was like this: They 
waited about the inns or loitered along the roads waiting 
for travelers to overtake them. The Thug and his in- 
tended victim would journey together, and, little by litde, 
he would worm out of him all his plans and intended 
movements. Thus the Thug could decide on the most 
suitable place and time. When they came to this, he 
would throw his strip of cloth about the unsuspecdng 
stranger's neck and draw it tighter and tighter until he 
was suffocated. If the Thu^s traveled together with a 
party of merchants, each selected his victim, and all were' 
strangled together. After death a hole, about three feet 
deep, was dug, and the corpse was buried face down- 
wards. The greatest care was taken to shed no blood, 
and the whole was generally done under cover of the 
darkness of night. The whole sect was so banded to- 



gether, having their scouts and spies, and systems of 
signahng one another, when they performed their work, 
that they were rarely detected. Every year several 


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thousands of persons lost their lives at the hands oi the 
Thuo-s. In the year 1826 the British cfovernment first 
discovered their existence. During the period of some 



nine years over fifteen hundred ot die Thugs were 
arrested and executed. The sect is very nearly destroyed 
now. How astonishing that such a sect should not 
merely exist, but that they should perform their dastardly 
deeds as a religious service. The cannibalism of the 
barbarous vSouth Sea Islanders is regarded with the great- 
est abhorrence ; but their ignorance and degraded condi- 
tion lessens our condemnation of their abominable deeds. 
For the Thugs, an intelligent people, living in a semi- 
civilized land, with opportunities of getting knowledge 
far in advance of the Islanders of the Pacific, we can see 
almost no reason for hesitating to condemn most strongly 
their awful pracdces. What a contrast is here furnished 
between the religion of Jesus Christ, with its teachings 
of mercy and love, 
and the religion that 
not only tolerated,but 
even taught, that to 
murder was to render 
a service to the Qrods. 
Kali's feasts were 
generally held at 
night. Great crowds 
of religious fanatics 
gathered around her 
niDst fearful images. 
These were gener- 
ally placed in a grove 
for this occasion. In 
two of her four hands 
the idol held skulls ; 
formerly these were 
human skulls, now goddess kali, from a hindu picture. 

they are made of wood. The devotees walk round and 



round the idol, bearing torches, beating drums, and danc- 
ing in odd ways. 

Kali is one of the most celebrated goddesses of all the 
Hindu worship, and is the especial favorite divinity of the 
people of Calcutta. Her images are very different, but she 
has always one characterascribed toher; she is cruel and re- 
vengeful. We meet her temples everywhere — by the road- 
side, in palm groves, under the wide-spreading banyan 
tree. This ooddess of destruction beino- more feared than 
all others, is worshiped more than all. She is represented 
sometimes as standing on a lion or a prostrate man, 
always with four hands. These hold knives or skulls, or, 
perhaps, human heads, as already noticed Often she 
wears a necklace of skulls. The Hindus bring to her 
idols the first fruits of the garden, vineyard or orchard. 
Some of Kali's temples, like that at Calcutta, are beau- 
tifully sculptured, and her idols decorated with precious 


There is one thing which characterizes almost all of 
the better Hindu temples, this is the exquisite richness ot 

the sculptures which 
decorate their walls. 
They seem to trust 
more to the impres- 
sion which appeals 
to the sight make 
upon the minds of 
the people than to 
any oral teaching or 
readings from books. 
The Hindus are ac- 
customed to depict 
in these decorations the whole of their mythology, the 




legends of the gods, the stories of the lives of their 
deities, their ideas of the future life, of the present 



world and die like. The precedinn^ picture gives a sculp- 
ture representing the Hindu notion of the universe, 
and of the relative position of the world. To the un- 
tutored Hindu mind it answers fully the question, How 
is the world upheld? Of course those Hindus who have 
received the light of a truly scientific education laugh at 
such notions as are here indicated. They know far 
better, as do we. 

In the accompanying engraving the transmigration of 
the soul is illustrated. This is drawn from a photograph 

^nfril of the entablature 

of a temple near 
the foot of the 
lofty Himalayas 
The sculpture 
which follows tells 
of the romantic 
adventures nar- 
rated in the Ra- 
mayama. These 
sculptures are the 
common people's 
teachers ; indeed, 
the world over, the 
language of pic- 
tures is far more 


loved and better understood than any other. Pictures 
and sculptures constitute the one language intelligible to 
people speaking widely different dialects. 

Herein, too, is one of the great powers of heathenism 
over the children. Before they can read for themselves 
or remember the doctrines taught them, they see the 
pictures and enjoy the stories they communicate. These 
become part of the children's mental store. They are 




realities to them. 
They are never 
forgotten. They 
never lose their 
power. This is 
abundantly de- 
monstrated in 
the experience 
of every teacher. 
When verbal de- 
scription has fail- 
ed a picture has 
made all clear. 


True Hindus 
consider the city 
of Benares to be 
situated in the 
very centre of the 
earth, and to be 
the most sacred 
city in the world. 
There are not 
less than 80,000 
Brahmins, or 
"holy caste" 
Hindus, residing- 
here, and the city 
also is stocked 
with the so-call- 
ed " sacred bulls 
and sacred mon- ba?-relief from \ hixdu temple. 

keys." There are more than 1,000 temples and over 



500,000 enshrined deities. More dian 100,000 pilg-rims 
visit Benares annually, 20,000 of whom may be seen 
rushing at one time into the River Ganees, at a eiven 
signal, that they may bathe at the proper moment. The 
river is reached by flights of broad steps, and on these 
the Hindus pass the busiest hours of the day, bathing, 
dressing, saying their prayers, lounging and gossiping. 
Benares is believed by some to be 80,000 steps nearer 
to heaven than any other part of the world. Ten miles 
around Benares is said to be such holy ground, that who- 
ever dies within this area is sure of croing- to heaven, 
however great a sinner he may have been. 


Umritsur, in North-western India, is the holy city of 
the Sikhs. This is a sect of reformed Hindus, who at 
first rejected idolatry, but who afterwards found its fasci- 
nation too strong for them. In the centre of a large tank 
— called the Lake of Immortality, because whoever bathes 
in it is shielded from everlasting death — is a temple of 
pure white marble, with a roof made of plates of copper, 
richly gilded ; this is called the Golden Temple. Before 
crossing the bridge or causeway to the temple, one must 
put off the shoes from his feet, so holy is the place. 

The Sikhs are very fanatical, and they do not receive 
visitors with any expressions of friendliness. The city of 
Umritsur has no celebrity apart from this temple. The 
sect of the Sikhs originated about the middle of the fif- 
teenth century, and now numbers about 5,000,000. 


In the harbor of Bombay is an island containing a cele- 
brated cave-temple. Hundreds of years ago the Hindus 
excavated this temple from the solid rock ; pillars, idols 




and chapels are all cut from the one great mass of stone. 
For three hundred years past there has been little wor- 
ship here. The temple was devoted to the worship of 
Siva. After ascending a flight of several hundred steps 
we stand before the great square gate-ways. Immense 
columns ranging away in the darkness support the roof 
of solid rock. On the walls are sculptured the fantastic 
forms of Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. The metamor- 
phoses of these are also shown in sculpture. The cave 
is shaped like a cross. At the end of the main passage- 
way, opposite the principal gate-way, is an altar support- 
ing a gigantic, three-headed idol. The central face is 
calm and benevolent, the forehead is covered with a lofty 
diadem, like a mitre, covered with delicate carvings repre- 
senting necklaces. The face on the right expresses ter- 
rible rage; its mitre is covered with sculptured skulls and 
serpents, and its outstretched hand holds a cobra. The 
other face is smiling and the hand holds a flower. The 
triple idol represents Siva as the passive god, the destroy- 
ing god and the saving god. The sculptures are much 
worn away, but enough remains to indicate the wondrous 
majesty and beauty of the Elephanta Cave. 

At Gwalior are a number of Hindu temple-caves. 
The precipitous sides of the great mountain are cut 
and carved into hundreds of statues, from one foot to 
forty feet high, and deep recesses in which they seem 
hidden away. One of these caves was probably made 
about 300 years after Christ. After passing through 
several archways we stand before three idols, each 
twenty feet high. The worship of these has long since 
ceased, and they only remain to show us what the people 
of India worshiped hundreds of years ago. More than 
a thousand years before this cave was excavated, and 
over twenty-five hundred years ago, another great cave 




was prepared at Gwalior, that of Ourwhai. This is 
an old Jain temple. For about 800 feet, the hard 





surface of the rock has been dressed so as to form a 
smooth wall, and the lower part of this wall has been ex- 
cavated, and there the statues were sculptured. First 
there are nine oigantic statues, each thirty feet high, placed 
in niches. Behind these is a small chamber containing 
another great statue in a lying position. From this 
chamber a door leads into a tank. Following the paved 
foot-path which surrounds this tank, you come to another 
and larger chamber, which is specially dedicated to the 
statue of Adinath, thirty-five feet high. Around the idol 
are rich sculptures, and on the cushion on which it sits is 
a long inscription. This mountain contains twelve 
rooms, in each of which are from one to nine statues; 
most of these are from twenty to thirty feet high. For 
nearly ten miles around this mountain are bas-reliefs, 
statues and excavations. There is a natural tendency 
among the superstitious people to seek places of dark- 
ness for the observances 
of their religious rites. 
Oftentimes the priests 
are enabled to impose 
on the credulity of the 
people much more easily 
when they add some ele- 
ment of weirdness or 
mystery to their strange 
religious performances. 


Another exceedingly 
popular idol of the Hin- 
dus is that of Ganesha, 
the God of Wisdom. It image of gane-ha. 



IS pcirth in tht shape of a man and i)aitl\ in the shape 
ot an elephant. The children in the schools are taught 
to worship it, and it is adored by all who wish to become 



acquainted with Hindu learning and so-called wisdom. 
The images of this god are not only found in the temples 
and schools, and at the corners of the streets in the 
cities, but also under the trees on country roadsides. 

The sagacity of the elephant is well known, and it is 
presumed that the elephant-idol is worshiped for this 
reason, just as the serpent is worshiped as the symbol of 
cunning, or the sun as the symbol of power. As of al- 
most all the other gods, Ganesha has his festivals, when 
the people come together in great crowds to do him 
honor. At one of these annual festivals they bring forth 
the god Ganesha, place him in a boat, and accompanied 
with other boats containing priests and musicians, they 
row up and down the Ganges. The great crowds of 
people lining the shore fill the air with their shouts and 
songs, and the occasion is one of exuberant joy. 


Scattered about the large temple inclosures are great 
pagodas or owers. These contained the rooms of the 
priests and servants of the temple. Sometimes they 
served simply as gate-ways, at other times they were used 
as houses for the idols. Rising high above the sur- 
rounding country, everywhere they could be seen by the 
people, and thus their devotion to their idolatrous wor- 
ship was increased. The priests sought by the use of 
every possible means to fix the people's faith in their 
idols; like Demetrius, whose business of making shrines 
in Ephesus was spoiled by Paul's preaching, these priests 
do not wish to lose their hold upon the people, because 
thus their means of support would be destroyed. But, 
notwithstanding all their efforts, they cannot hold the 
people in their bondage, and each year witnesses more 
and more refusing to listen to them. None of these 

2 70 


great pagodas are new. For very many years they have 
towered above the dwelhngs of the people in their . 
majestic grandeur; when they fall into decay they are 

^^^ not replaced. Many 
of these pagodas are 
S several hundreds of 
feet high, and are cov- 
ered with sculptures 
representing scenes in 
the lives of the gods 
of the temple, or of 
eminent saints. 

Another famous pa- 
goda is at Pondicherry^ 
in Southern India. The 
gate-way to this tem- 
ple is most intricately 
carved. The heathen 
aim to set forth in a 
durable way, as by 
these sculptures, the 
parts of their worship. 
They depend largely 
upon the sight for in- 
GATF.-AVAV OF MADURA TEMPLE. structiug the peoplc iu 

their faith, rather than upon their hearing, preaching, or 
readingf sacred books. 

The interiors as well as the exteriors of these temples 
are covered with sculptures. The service is in nowise 
like that in Christian churches. The people come and 
go as the)' please. They beat the drums to call the at- 
tention of the gods to the prayers they are about to offer, 
rub their hands together as they mumble over some 
prayers, leave their offerings before the idol of stone or 




wood, and go away believing that dangers will be 
averted, or that f^ood fortune will come to them. 



In Ongole, near the great pagodas, the people used to 
be very idolatrous, having many idols in their houses as 
well as in their temples. But even here they are rapidly 
losing their faith in their idols. Recently, in a single year, 
20,000 people in this district became Christians, and in 


one week they brought to the missionaries a thousand 
idols which they had ceased to worship. 


A. writer for young people thus describes the custom 
of the Hindus resorting to the Ganges, and the reasons 
for it : 

" The heathen know well that sin needs to be washed 
away, but as to how this can be done they have very 
strange ideas. Some will walk tli rough fire, as if that 
would burn away all impurities; somj will cover their 





bodies with filth, as if that would cleanse the soul ; others 
still tancy that the water of certain streams has power to 
remove all taint of sin. The Hindus believe that there 
is w'onderful cleansing power in the water of the Gange;^-. 


so that wdioever can bathe in that river is freed from 
guilt. From all parts of India pilgrims go to the Ganges, 
and they believe that whoever dies in that stream is sure 
of future bliss. But India is a vast country, and com- 
paratively few of the poor people who live in the south- 
ern portion can travel the thousand miles or more to 
reach the Ganges. Hence they have their own sacred 
streams and fountains, which, though not regarded as so 
sacred as the Ganges, are yet supposed to have power 
to cleanse from sin. 

"Several years ago, in a village near Madura, a Brah- 
min named Sokappen read in one of the sacred Hindu 



books, that near the temple of his village there M'as a 
spring- far under ground, and that if one would only dig 

deep enough wa- 

ziizIZl^ i^ ^^^ ter would flow at 

11--":^^ that spring from 

the Ganges, while 

^ the river itself was 
= more than eleven 
hundred miles 
away. The Brah- 
min thought that 
would be a s^lori- 
ous work to do, 
and so worked ior 
years, spending all 
his own m o n e y 
and beo-trino; from 
others, until he had 
finished a great 
tank and walled it 
wiili hewn stone, 
with stone steps 
leading down to 
the sacred water. 
He finally heard 
irMiii (,i nil ^\( 1 II) loiM \i\ Qf Christ, and of 

the forgiveness he offered, and since then he has often 
preached that only the blood of Christ can take away sin. 
"Though many people of bidia have now heard the 
Gospel, there are yet millions who have faith in their 
sacred bathing places. Those who live too far from the 
Ganges find some river, if they can, as at Mowli, 
where two rivers, the Yenna and the Krishna, meet, and 
where multitudes bathe. The dead, also, are taken there, 



some to be buried, as was the 'saint' whom I\Ir. Bruce 
describes, and others to be burned, that their ashes may 
be minded with the sacred waters. In the district of 
Tinnevelly, South India, is a famous artificial tank. It is 
sometimes called the ' Sea of Sacred Milk.' Granite 
steps lead down to the water's edge, and in the early 
morning hundreds of men and women gather to bathe 
and to worship the sun. The water is stagnant and 
dirty, though it is esteemed as specially holy. Here the 
people wash not only themselves, but also their clothes. 
The cost of building these bathing places is immense, yet 
the people build them in many parts of India because 
they think that, at any cost, provision should be made 
for the removal of sin. They know of no better way 
than by bathing in these filthy places." 


One singular feature of the Brahmin worship is the 
ways the worship- 
ers devised to show 
their zeal. They 
built great temples, 
carved immense 
idols, and brought 
o-reat riches into the 
temple treasuries. 
They would per- 
form the strangest 
penances, the like 
of which was never ,|| 
seen elsewhere in '^■' ^'' 
all the world. The 
superior priests ^,^^ 
never show them- the fakir of the immovable foot. 



selves but with great pomp. With guards of cavalry 

preceding them 
they will ride 
on richly capari- 
soned elephants 
through the tri- 
umphal arches 
prepared for 
them, while the 
people bow as 
they pass. The 
lower priests re- 
nounced every 
display, indeed 
they sought its 
opposite; with 
them the vilest 
uncleanness was 
most allied to 
godliness. There 
was, and is, one 
order of priests 
known as Fakirs, 
who excelled in 
They often givci; 
up all clothing, 
sometimes sit- 
ting in a bed of 
ashes. Often 
they forge great 
iron collars about 

their necks, or heavy iron bands upon arms and ankles. 

Some let their hair orrow lom^ and never comb it. Their 





bodies are covered with vermin ; sometimes they will hold 
an arm or leg in a fixed position, never moving it. Until 
recently they would often fasten hooks in their flesh on 



their backs, then be elevated into the air, and be dragged 
through the streets by the people. By many such horrible 
acts they hoped to earn an entrance into a happier life. 
The people regarded these men as unusually holy; they 
souofht them for cures, and for relief from sorrows. At 
the great idol festivals these Fakirs were present in 


In India, China and Japan, there are a great many men 
called "devotees," who give themselves up to miserable 
lives ; many of them hoping by this means to obtain the 
favor of the gods in whom they believe and great hap- 



piness after death. Some of them, however, are moved 
more by a desire to obtain money and honor from their 
fellow-men, and they think it a respectable and honor- 
able way of getting a living. Most of the people fear 
rather than respect these devotees, thinking some evil 
will follow if they displease them, or fail to give them 
what they want. Many of these devotees, in all three ot 
the countries named, spend their time wandering from 
place to place, and making long pilgrimages to famous tem- 
ples. Others torture 
themselves in all im- 
aginable ways.' Some 
repeat the name of 
their favorite idol dur- 
ing all their hours of 
wakefulness. Some 
bathe very frequently, 
while others do not 
wash themselves at 
all, but permit their 
hair, beard and nails to 
orow to crreat lenqth; 
they wear little if 
any clothing, their ^^g^ 
bodies are covered 
with ashes, and their a hindu holy man torturing himself 


whole appearance is 

dirty and disagreeable. Some of these devotees are 
really sincere in denying themselves for their religion; 
they feel the burden and weight of their sins, and, know- 
ing not the true way of obtaining pardon and peace, 
they take these false ways. 

Some of these Fakirs are but little better than wdld 
beasts, their habits all tend to make them so. They 



crenerally live in holes or caves or under banyan trees, 
and they think that they, by their penances, make atone- 
ment for their own sins and for those of the people who 
care for them. Besides the penances already mentioned, 
we may add that some drag heavy chains or cannon-balls; 
some crawl on their hands and knees for years ; some 
roll their naked bodies over and over from the banks of 
the Indus to the banks of the Ganges; some stand for 

lite before a slow fire ; some 
impose upon themselves a 
silence of years, and others 
hang for hours head down- 
wards. All this is done to 
merit salvation. In no other 
country in the world, proba- 
bly, have so many different 
ways been devised by which 
men hoped salvation would 
be earned. Here again is 
seen the contrast between 
the offered salvationof Jesus 
Christ and the sought sal- 
vation by penances taught 
by this heathen faith, most 
strikino". The British orov- 
ernment has now forbidden 
altogether many of these 
cruel performances, and has limited others. But earnest 
missionary work has done more than anything else to 
destroy the people's faith in the sanctity and wisdom of 
these so-called holy men. 

Mr. Bruce, an American missionary at Satara, records 
an event which in its day caused great excitement. This 
is his storv: 




Three or four years ago when we went into Satara, 
we used to see, sittinor in the veranda of his house, an 
old man covered with rags and surrounded with fikh. 
Sometimes we would see him on the street, with rags 
innumerable upon his person. In America we should 
have called him a crazy man, but ideas differ in different 
lands. Here he was a ''saint'' in whom one of the gods 
dwelt. When his saintship came to be known by the 
populace, he was honored 
and worshiped everywhere. 
Men who ought to have 
known better would, on see- 
ing him approach, leave 
their work, and run and 
prostrate themselves at his 
feet. His rags were re- 
moved, and he was clothed 
with a rich robe of purple. 
No expense was spared to 
supply all his wants, and 
he was attended to by two 
servants, furnished by the 
Prince of Ouah. At last 
this rag- man, crazy-man, 
saint, died. He had said 
previously, "Wherever I 
die, there let my tomb be 
built." He died in the city, and there the people wished 
to bury him and erect a tomb which should ever after be 
an object of worship. But the municipal officers inter- 
fered and ordered the body to be removed from the city. 
Then they buried him in the temple grounds, and another 
god was added to the millions of Hindu deities. 

This story will serve to illustrate the delusion under 




The growth of the nails shows how long the hand has been held in this one position. 



which the Hindus are resting, and the readiness with 
which they yield their faith to any pretender that comes 
along. The climate of India awakens a dull, lethargic 
condition. The activity of Western nations is unknown. 
The people are accustomed to move slowly and to avail 
themselves, as far as possible, of all the helps obtainable 
to lessen the toils of daily life. This also leads them to 
fall in readily with the declarations of any foolish fanatic 
who may arise, rather than to go to the trouble of sifting 
them and rejecting them as they deserve. The whole 
system of Hinduism lends its aid to this. It is, itself, a 
gigantic system of fraud. The Hindu priests laugh in 
their sleeves at the folly of the multitudes in listening so 
readily to their instructions. But few of them have any 
faith in the millions of gods, whose representatives they 
are. This is their profession, by their priesthood they 
obtain their living, and, consequently, they do all they 
can to make their religion predominant in all the affairs 
of their neighborhoods. Hence it comes about, that 
instead of at once exposing the pretensions of Fakirs, 
holy men and devotees, they lend their aid to gain accept- 
ance for them with the multitude. So India groans 
beneath this oppressive load of priestcraft ; each day the 
priests add link after link to the chains that bind her; 
some day, though, she will arise in her might and cast of^ 
her burdens, walking in freedom. Christian mission 
work will speed the coming of that day. 




Not only in the writings of tlie later Stoicism, when already through 
the despairing twilight a luminous haze had been diffused, not only in 
the open plagiarisms of the Koran, spoiled so often in the plagiarizing, 
but, even centuries before Christ, in the Dialogues of Socrates, in the 
Republic of Plato, in the Analects of Confucius, in the Laws of 
Manou, in the Sutras of the Buddhists, in the Vedas of the Brah- 
mins, in the Zend Avesta of the Parsees, in the Pirke Avoth of the 
Rabbis, there are unquestionably precepts which might be combined 
into a very pure and noble code. — Frederick W. Farrar. 

THE sacred books of the Hindus are written in 
the Sanskrit language. They all fall under two 
grand divisions, S'ruti and S'mriti. S'ruti means 
"that which is heard or revealed," and S'mriti means 
"that which is remembered and handed down by tradi- 
tion." In the first division are included the Vedas, in the 
second the later Sanskrit literature. There are four 
Vedas (pronounced by the Hindus, \'ads). The Rig- 
Veda, containing 1,017 hymns of praise of the per- 
sonified powers of nature. The Atharva-Veda is com- 
posed of verses used as magical spells or incantations for 
calling down or turninof off evils. It had its oriein in a 
superstitious belief in the power of evil spirits. The 
Yajur (or Yazur) Veda contains hymns and texts ar- 
ranged for sacrificial ceremonies. The Sama-Veda re- 
produces many of the hymns of the Rig- Veda re-arranged 
for worship. 

Each of these Vedas consists of three parts, the Man- 
tras or original hymns ; then the Brahmanas or pure 



commentaries on these hymns, and to these, philosophical 
treatises called Upanishads were attached. 

All these are believed to have been given by the gods, 


having no human author. As we should say they are 
believed to be ciivinely inspired. 

Of the second sort of sacred books, the S'mriti, there 


are four ciasses. The six Veclangas, first, the rules for sac- 
rifices; second, the book of the science of pronunciation ; 
third, of metre; fourth, of exposition of the Vedas; fifth, 
of grammar, sixth, of astronomy. Next come the 
S'marta-sutras or books relatino- to domestic rites and 
' to conventional usaQ^es. Then follow the Dharma-shas- 
tras or "Law-books," the code of Manu and other in- 
spired law-givers. Lastly, we have the Itihasas or 
legendary poems, the Mahabarata, or cyclopaedia of 
Hindu traditions, legends, morals and philosophy, and 
the Ramayana. This last contains the story of the wan- 
derines of Rama, told in 24,000 stanzas. 


The word Veda means "knowledge." The hymns of 
the Rig-Veda were written between 1.500 and 
years before Christ, about the time of Moses. They 
contain many tedious repetitions, but yet are highly inter- 
estino- as showine what the ancient Hindus, and more 
especially what the forefathers of this part of the race, 
believed. Many of these hymns were sung by our 
Aryan forefathers before they scattered to settle in India 
or in the wilds of Western Europe. \\"e have before 
given a specimen of these early hymns. We give here 
another that seems to show that in the beginning the 
ancient Hindus worshiped but one God. 

"What god shall we adore with sacrifice? 
Him let us praise, the golden child that rose 
In the beginning, who was born the lord — 
The one sole lord of all that is — who made 
The earth, and formed the sky, who giveth life, 
Who giveth- strength, whose bidding gods revere, 
Whose hiding-place is immortality. 
Whose shadow, death ; who by his mignl is king 
Of all the breathing, sleeinng, waking world. 


Where'er let loose in space, the mighty waters 

Have gone, depositing a fruitful seed. 

And generating fire, there he arose 

Who is the breath and life of all the gods, 

Whose mighty glance looks round the vast expanse 

Of watery vapor — source of energy, 

Cause of the sacrifice — the only God, 

Above the gods." 

The next selection shows how the worship of one 
God passed into the worship of many gods, and explains 
the origin of caste. The previous selection was written 
long" before this one : 


" The embodied spirit has a thousand heads, 
A thousand eyes, a thousand feet, around 
On every side enveloping the earth. 
Yet filling space no larger than a span. 
He is himself this very universe; 
He is whatever is, has been, and shall be; 
He is the lord of immortality. 
All creatures are one-fourth of him, three-fourths 
Are that which is immortal in the sky. 
From him, called Purusha, was born Viraj, 
And from Viraj was Purusha produced, 
Whom gods and holy men made their oblation. 
With Purusha as victim, they performed 
A sacrifice. Why did they divide him? 
How did they cut him up ? What was his mouth ? 
What were his arms ? and what his thighs and feet ? 
The Brahmin was his mouth, the kingly soldier 
Was made his arms, the husbandman his thighs, 
The servile Sudra issued from his feet." 

The common creed of the Hindus, as gathered from 
the Brahmanas and Upanishads, is as follows : 

I. The immortality of the soul. Meaning by this, 
however, not only that it will always live in the future, 
but that it has always lived in the past, hence we may 
say, the eternity of the soul. 



2. Nothing can come from nothln^-, and hence, all of 
the substance of the universe is eternal. 


3. The soul cannot exercise thought, or any activity 
apart from the body. 



4. Yet the union of body and soul is a source of 
misery to human beings. 

5. Hence we have the behef in the Irafismigration of 
the soul. That the soul passes from body to body through 
innumerable changes. These bodies include the widest 
range and are those of animals or of men, 


This was written about the fifth century before Christ. 
Its rules consist of " immemorial or approved practices," 
"practices of law and government," "penitential exer- 
cises," and " consequences of acts." The whole is di- 
vided into twelve books, of which we give an epitome : 

After an account of the creation of the world, in the 
first book, the four stages of a Brahmin's life are the only 
subjects treated of In regular order in the second, third, 
fourth, fifth and sixth books, four books being devoted to 
the duties of the religious student and married house- 
holder, and the sixth book treating of the two last stages 
of anchorite and religious m.endicant. 

The seventh and eighth books propound the rules of 
government, principally, of course, for the guidance of 
the second great class of Kshatriyas, from which the king 
was chosen. The ninth book contains precepts on the 
subject of women, husband and wife ; their offspring and 
the law of inheritance and division of property, with ad- 
ditional rules for kings, and a few precepts relative to 
the two remaining castes. It also describes the employ- 
ments to which the several castes are restricted, and 
states the occupations permitted to Brahmins, Kshatriyas, 
Vais'yas and S'udras, in times of exigency and distress. 
The eleventh book gives rules of expiation, both for the 
sins of the present life — especially sins against caste — 
and for the effects of offenses committed in previous 


bodies, as shown in congenital diseases, etc. The twelfth 
continues the subject of the recompenses or consequences 
of acts, good or bad, as leading to reward in Heaven or 
punishment in various hells, and to triple degrees of 
transmiijration. It closes with directions as to the best 
means of obtaining final beatitude and absorption into 
the universal essence. 

A few specimens of Manu's moral precepts are here 
subjoined : 

"Daily perform thine own appointed work 
Unweariedly; and to obtain a friend — 
A sure companion to the future world — 
Collect a store of virtue like the ants, 
Who garner up their treasures into heaps ; 
For neither father, mother, wife, nor son, 
Nor kinsman, will remain beside thee then, 
When thou art passing to that other home — 
Thy virtue will thy only comrade be. 

*' Single is every living creature born, 
Single he passes to another world, 
Single he eats the fruits of evil deeds. 
Single the fruit of good ; and when he leaves 
His body like a log or heap of clay 
Upon the ground, his kinsmen walk away: 
A^irtue alone stays by him at the tomb, 
And bears him through the dreary, trackless gloom. 

"Depend not on another, rather lean 
Upon thyself; trust to thine own exertions 
Subjection to another's will gives pain ; 
True happiness consists in self-reliance. 

"Strive to complete the task thou hast commenced ; 
Wearied, renew thy efforts once again ; 
Again fatigued, once more the work begin ; 
So shalt thou earn success and fortune win." 

There are, in addition to the Code of Manu, at least 
nineteen other codes of various degrees ot authority. 




A certain Shaster commands : " If a man goes on a 
journey, his wife shall not divert herself by play, nor shall 
see any public show, nor shall laugh, nor shall dress her- 
self in jewels or fine clothes, nor hear music, nor shall sit 
at the window, nor shall behold anything choice and rare, 
but shall fasten well the house door and remain private, 
and shall not eat any dainty food, and shall not blacken 
her eyes with powder, and shall not view her face in a 
mirror She shall never amuse herself in any such 
agreeable employment during the absence of her hus- 

The following incidents will show how the laws of 
Manu, in the case of women, are carried out. 

Miss Brittan. for many years a missionary in India, 
says: "When I teach in one house, I sit up-stairs in a 
little veranda, which is walled all around. Into the ve- 
randa a strongly-barred window opens, behind which sit 
the women who are being taught, passing their books and 
work through the bars. I always think of our Saviour's 
words when visiting them — ' I was in prison, and ye came 
unto me.' A woman, whose eyes filled with tears when 
she saw a fiower which was brought her to copy in wool, 
said : 'Ah, this reminds me of the time when I was a 
child, for there were others like this in my father's gar- 
den, and I have not seen it for so long.' Then, pointing 
a few yards before her to a high wall covered with dirt 
and moss, she added : ' That is the only prospect I have 
had for years.' ... Yesterday, I entered a house which 
was exactly like those I had read of before I came to 
India. The Baboo, or gentleman of the house, had a 
suite of rooms furnished elegantly — rich carpets, sofas, 
chairs, beautiful oaintings and statuary, with a centre- 



table covered with vases and curiosities. It really was 
refreshing to see such beauty and elegance. But, alas ! 
I was shown to the women's apartments, and the tears 
would come to my eyes, notwithstanding my efforts to 
restrain them. Ah, how sad ! The Baboo spoke Eng- 
lish to me, and was a gentleman. His wife sat on a 
dirty mat, which was thrown on a damp stone floor, her 
hair uncombed, her one article of clothing — a sarree — 
wretchedly dirty, and the appearance of everything in the 
bare, miserable little room she lived in was that of lowest 
heathenism. As I saw no chair, I sat down on the mat 
beside the woman until a servant brought me one, which 
he said the Baboo had sent me." 

A well-known missionary relates the following illustra- 
tive incident : 

" One day, when I was walking in a retired village, my 
attention was arrested by seeing two objects, at some 
distance before me, rolling in the mud. As I approached 
the spot, I found two females almost exhausted by 
fatigue. I learned that they had vowed to their goddess 
to roll in this manner from one temple to another. They 
had spent nearly a week, and had not accomplished one- 
half their journey. But no arguments, no remonstrances 
on my part could induce them to relinquish their under- 
taking. On leaving them, I indignantly expostulated 
with a learned Brahmin, who stood near by, and pointed 
to the miserable objects I had just left. ' Oh,' said he, 
' this is worship exactly suited to the capacity of females. 
Let them alone ; they are sincere. Of course, their wor- 
ship will be accepted.' " 


Until a comparatively recent date, the fearful rite of 
Suttee has been practiced openly in India by all high- 






caste people. The ancient Vedas and the Institutes of 
Manu, which are second in authority, do not enjoin tliis 
rite ; but the Shasters and Puranas, which hold about the 
same relation to the Vedas that the Jewish Talmud does 
to the Old Testament Scriptures, recommend the flames 
of the funeral pile as the widow's sure road to eternal joy 
and peace. The following passages, selected from many 
similar ones, translated by our missionaries from the Pu- 
ranas and Shasters, will be sufficient for our purpose : 

"If a woman who had despised her lord, or done what 
was contrary to his mind, should (even) from mercenary 
motives or fear, or from a suspension of the reasoning 
power, die with her husband, she shall be purged from 
all crimes. 

"As the snake-catcher draws the serpent from its hole, 
so she (no matter how great his sins), by burning, rescues 
her husband from hell, and rejoices with him. 

"The woman who expires on the funeral pile with her 
husband purifies the family of her father, her mother and 
her husband. If the husband be a Brahmincide, the 
greatest of all criminals, an ungrateful person, or a mur- 
derer of his friends, the wife, by burning with him, purges 
away his sins. 

"There is no virtue ereater than a virtuous woman 
burning herself with her husband. 

"As long as a woman, in her successive transmigrations, 
should decline burninor herself like a faithful wife on the 
same fire with her deceased lord, so long shall she not be 
exempted from springing to life again in the body of some 
female animal. 

" Though he, her husband, have sunk to the region of 
torment, be restrained in dreadful bonds, have reached 
the place of anguish, be seized by the imp of Luma (the 
Hindu Pluto, the god of the infern-al regions), be exhausted 



of Strength, and afflicted and tortured for his crimes, still, 
as a serpent-catcher unerringly drags a serpent from his 
hole, so does she draw her husband from hell, and as- 
cends with him to Heaven by the power of devotion. 

" If the wife be within one day's journey of the place 
where her husband died, and she signify her wish to be 
burned with him, the burning of the corpse shall be de- 
layed till her arrival. 

" If the husband be out of the country when he dies, 
let the virtuous wife take his slippers, or anything which 
belongs to his dress, and binding them, or it, on her 
breast, after purification, enter a separate fire. A Brun- 
hunu cannot burn herself on a separate pile ; but this is 
an eminent virtue in another woman. 

" There are thirty-five million hairs on the human body. 
The woman who ascends the pile will remain so many 
years with her husband in Heaven. 

" Dying with her husband, she purifies three genera- 
tions — her father and mother's side and her husband's 
side. Such a wife, adoring her husband, enters into 
celestial felicity with him^greatest and most admired ; 
lauded by the choirs of Heaven, with him she shall enjoy 
the deli^rhts of Heaven while fourteen Indras reio^n." 


According to the great poems, the Mahabarata and the 
Ramayana, Vishnu passed through ten incarnations. 
These are frequently represented in sculptures (see 
illustration). They are I. Mataya, the fish. According 
to the story, Vishnu became a fish to save Manu (the 
Noah of the Hindus) from the universal deluge. II, 
Kurma, the tortoise. Here Vishnu became a tortoise at 
the bottom of the sea of milK. that his back might serve 
as a pivot for the mountain Mandara, around which the 



gods and demons twisted the great serpent Vasuki, 
They then stood opposite to each other, and using the 
snake as a rope, churned the ocean of milk for the pro- 


diiction of fourteen precious things. III. \'arah, the boar. 
Vishnu in this form dehvered the world, alter a strucTo-le 
of a thousand )'ears, from the demon who had seized the 
earth and carried it to the lowest depths of the sea. IV. 
Nara-sinha, the lion. He thus destroyed another demon. 
V. Vamana, the dwarf. He deprived the demon Bali of 
the dominion of three worlds. He received from Bali 
the promise of as much land as he could step over in 
three paces, and then stepped over heaven and earth. 
V\. Parasu-rama or Rama with the axe. VII. Rama, the 
hero, destroying the demon Ravana. VIII. Krishna, the 
dark destroyer. IX. Buddha, the enlightened one. This 
form was devised to wnn back the Hindu Buddhists to 
Vishnu's worship. X. Kalki who is yet to appear. He 
will be revealed in the sky, seated upon a white-winged 
horse, with a drawn sword like a blazing comet. He is 
to finally destroy the wicked and to permanently establish 
righteousness and truth upon the earth. 


Almost all the Hindus' books are story-books, for they 
are filled with accounts of the adventures of the gods 
and legends and myths. But there is one book called 
the Hitopadesa, which has been called the " Father of all 
Fables." Its stories have been translated into Persian, 
Arabic, Hebrew, Greek and later into German, French 
and English. This book is very old and is exceedingly 
popular in India. We have selected four of its stories, 
and the reader will probably wonder that such narratives 
should ever gain a national popularity. 


"A thief had stolen a bell from the city of Brahmapoora, 
and was making off with that plunder, and more, into the 


Sei-parrata hills, when he was killed by a tiger. The bell 
lay in the jungle until some monkeys picked it up, and 
amused themselves by constantly ringing it. The towns- 
people found the bones of the man, and heard the noise 
of the bell all about the hills; so they gave out that there 
was a terrible devil there, whose ears rang like bells as 
he swung them about, and whose delight was to devour 
men. Every one, accordingly, was leaving the town, 
when a peasant woman named Karala, who, liked belief 
the better for a little proof, came to the Rajah. 

"'Highness!' she observed, 'for a consideration I could 
settle this Swing-ear.' 

'"You could!' exclaimed the Rajah. 

'"I think so!' repeated the woman. 

'"Give her a consideration forthwith,' said the Rajah. 

"Karala, who had her own ideas about the matter, took 
the present and set out. Being come to the hills, she 
made a circle, and did homage to Ganesha, without whom 
nothing prospers. Then, taking some fruit she had 
brought, such as monkeys love extremely, she scattered it 
up and down in the wood, and withdrew to watch. Very 
soon the monkeys finding the fruit, put down the bell, to 
do justice to it, and the woman picking it up, bore it back 
to the town, where she became an object of uncommon 


"On the Mandara Mountain there lived a Lion named 
Fierce-of-heart, and he was perpetually making massacre 
of all the wild animals. The thing grew so bad that the 
beasts held a public meeting, and drew up a respectful 
remonstrance to the Lion in these words: 'Wherefore 
should your Majesty make carnage of us all? If it may 
please you, we ourselves will daily furnish a beast for 



your Majesty's meal' The Lion responded, 'If that ar- 
rangement is more agreeable to you, be it so;' and from 
that time a beast was allotted to him daily, and daily 
devoured. One day it came to the turn of an old hare 
to supply the royal table, who reflected to himself as he 
walked along, 'I can but die, and I will go to my death 

"Now Fierce-of-heart, the lion, was pinched with hun- 
ger, and seeing the Hare so approaching he roared out, 
'How darest thou thus delay in coming?' 

"'Sire,' replied the Hare, 'I am not to blame. I was 
detained on the road by another lion, who exacted an 
oath from me to return when I should have informed 
your Majesty.' 

"'Go,' exclaimed King Fierce-of-heart in a rage; 'show 
me, instantly, where this insolent villain of a lion lives.' 

"The Hare led the way accordingly till he came to a 
deep well, whereat he stopped, and said : ' Let my lord, 
the King, come hither, and behold him.' The Lion ap- 
proached, and beheld his own reflection in the water of 
the well; upon which, in his passion, he directly flung 
himself, and so perished." 


"There was a Brahmin in the city of Vana, whose 
name was Deva Sarman. At the equinoctial feast of the 
Dussera, he obtained for his duxina-gift a dish of flour, 
which he took into a potter's shed, and there lay down 
in the shade among the pots, staff in hand. As he thus 
reclined he began to meditate. 'I can sell this meal for 
ten cowry-shells, and with them I can purchase some of 
these pots, and sell them at an advance. With all that 
money I shall invest in betel-nuts and body-cloths, and 
make a new profit by their sale ; and so go on traffick- 


ing till I get a lakh of rupees. What's to prevent me ? 
Then I shall marry four wives, and one at least will be 
beautiful and young, and she shall be my favorite. Of 
course, the others will be jealous ; but if they quarrel, 
and talk, and trouble me, I will belabor them like this — 
and this — ' and therewith he flourished his staff, to such 
a purpose as to smash his meal-dish and break several of 
the potter's jars. The potter, rushing out, took him by the 
throat, turned him off, and ended his speculations." 


" In the forest of the Sa^re Gautama there dwelt a re- 
cluse named Mighty-at-Prayer. Once, as he sat at his 
frugal meal, a young mouse dropped beside him from the 
beak of a crow, and he took it tip and fed it tenderly with 
rice orains. Some time after the Saint observed a cat 
pursuing his dependant to devour it, w^hereupon he 
changed the mouse into a stout cat. The cat was a great 
deal harassed by dogs, upon which the Saint again trans- 
formed it into a dog. The dog was always in danger of 
the tigers, and his protector at last gave him the form of 
a tiger ; considering him all this while, and treating him 
withal, like nothing but a mouse. The country-folks 
passing by would say, ' That a tiger ! not he : it is a 
mouse the Saint has transformed.' And the mouse being 
vexed at this, reflected, ' So lonor as the Master lives this 
shameful story of my origin will survive.' With this 
thought he was about to take the Saint's life, when he, 
who knew his purpose, turned the ungrateful beast by a 
word to his original shape." 




As regards the beliefs of the ancient religion, Shintoism, it taught 
primarily the existence of gods, and in the division which it made of 
them into good and bad, recognized that fundamental and eternal 
distinction between right and wrong, the deep rooting of which in 
the human soul has been man's safeguard against what is bad in reli- 
gions and in everything else. — Sir Edward J. Reed. 

JAPAN is one of the most interesting of countries to- 
the American people. It is our nearest neighbor on 
the west ; and America was mainly instrumental in 
introducing Japan into the ranks of the nations of mod- 
ern times. The present line of Mikados among the Jap- 
anese is the longest continued among existing nations. 
China has changed its dynasties many times, and has 
been twice subdued by foreigners, the Mongols and the 
Manchis; but the line of Japanese monarchs is an un- 
broken series from B. C. 660 to the present day. The 
Mongols sought to conquer the Island Empire in 1281 
A. D. ; but they were utterly defeated and driven away. 
The present emperor, Mutsuhito, is the one hundred and 
twenty-third Mikado of Japan. 

The religions of this people are two, Shintoism and 
Buddhism. The tenets of Confucius have been introduced 
together with Buddhism, and Buddhist preachers of to-day 
take their texts from the classic Chinese books. Shinto- 
ism has been much mixed up with Buddhism. Many 
features of its worship have been changed in imitation of 



Buddhism, and some of its essential doctrines have been 
greatly modified. There has been some discussion as to 
whether Shintoism is really a religion or only a system 
of state-craft ; but it is very generally believed to be a 
religion which has degenerated into a mere system of 
political machinery. Certainly it has gods and god- 
desses, and sacred symbols, legends, myths and religious 
notions which existed in Japan long before Buddhism 
came there. There are also sacred books which have no 
connection with the Buddhist writings. The temples and 
priests are an innovation of later days. Shintoism is and 
was the State religion ; it is supported by the State ; its 
head is the emperor, the Mikado ; its sacred books are 
but the chronicles of its history, and the whole system is 
interwoven with the national life of Japan. 


The Kojiki and the Nihonki are the two most sacred 
Shinto books. The one was written 71 1 A. D., the other 
720 A. D. They were composed long before this. It 
always has been an Oriental practice to commit books to 
memory. Thus the Hindu and Parsee sacred books were 
preserved, and thus, too, the ancient Japanese books have 
been kept. Without being written out, these books were 
handed down from mouth to mouth. Soon after the in- 
vention of the Japanese written characters, these records 
were reduced to writing. The story of this is thus told : 
"As to the historical records of Japan, it is first mentioned 
that, under the twentieth emperor, in 415 A. D., officials 
were sent into the country to verify and describe the 
names of all the families. Later, a transcription of these 
records (originally written, in all probability, in the old 
Japanese letters, 'the gods' letters,') in Chinese characters 
took place, and in 644 A. D. an historical account of the 


emperors, the country, the officials and the people is said 
to have existed, which was destroyed when Iruka was 
murdered, and his father's palace, in which these records 
were kept, was burned. Only the history of the country 
was saved. From this work, as well as from what the 
old men of the whole empire remembered, a new com- 
pilation was made under the Emperor Temmu (672-686 
A. D.), and in order that it might not be lost again, it was 
read to a peasant girl, named Are, who was said never to 
forget anything she had once heard. From this record, 
and from what Are still remembered, the first historical 
record of Japan known to us, the Kojiki, was compiled 
about thirty years later." 

These works, though histories, strictly speaking, are 
full of stories of mythology, describing the origin of gods 
and men. The mythology of Japan is superior to that 
of Greece. It contains but few or none of the horrible 
stories of the gods, or the voluptuous amours of gods 
and goddesses which so abound in Grecian mythology. 
Some of their myths are really beautiful, others are very 
extravagant. The origin of gods, of men, of the earth, 
are here all described. It begins with the time when 

"Far in the deep infinitudes of space, 
Upon a throne of silence, 
Sat Ame-no-mi-naka-nushi-ro-kami. " 

This stranee name siQ;nifies The Lord of the Centre 
of Heaven, The heavens and earth were then joined 
together. There was nothing but chaos. Pairs of beings 
were then created, male and female. Last of all Izanagi 
and Izanami were created. 


It is said that the other pairs of beings before Izanagi 
and Izanami were only their imperfect forms or the pro- 



cesses through which they passed before arriving at per- 
fection. These two beings hved in the heavens. The 
world was not yet well formed, and the soil floated about 
like a fish in the water, but near the surface, and was 
called "The Floating Region." The sun, earth and moon 
were still attached to each other like a head to the neck, 
or arms to the body. They were little by little separating, 
the parts joining them growing thinner and thinner. 
This part, like an isthmus, was called " Heaven's Floating 
Brido-e." It was on this brido-e that Izanaofi and Izanami 
were standing when they saw a pair of wagtails cooing 
and billing sweetly together. The heavenly couple were 
so delighted with the sight that they began to imitate the 
birds. Thus began the art of love, which mortals have 
practiced to this day. 

While talking together on this Bridge of Heaven, they 
began to wonder if there was a world beneath them. 
They looked far down upon the green seas, but could see 
nothing! Then Izanagi took his long jeweled spear and 
plunged it into the turbid mass, turning it round and 
round. As he lifted it up, the drops which trickled from 
it hardened into earth of their own accord, and thus dry 
land was formed. As Izanagi was cleansing his spear 
the lumps of muck and mud which had adhered to it flew 
off into space, and were changed into stars and comets. 
It is also said that by turning his spear round and round, 
Izanagi set the earth revolving in its daily revolutions. 

To the land thus formed, they gave the name "The 
Island of the Congealed Drop." because they intended to 
create a large archipelago and wished to distinguish this 
as the first island. They descended from Heaven on the 
floating bridge and landed on the island. Izanagi struck 
his tall spear in the ground making it the axis of the 
world. He then proceeded to build a palace around the 


spear which formed the central pillar. The spot was 
formerly at the North Pole, but is now at Eshima, off the 
central eastern coast of Japan. They next resolved to 
walk around the island and examine it. This done, they 
met together. Izanami cried out, " What a lovely man !" 
But Izanagi rebuked her for speaking first, and said they 
must try it again. Then they walked around the island 
once more. When they met, Izanami held her tongue 
while Izanagi said, " What a lovely woman !" 

Being now both in good humor, they began the work 
of creating Japan. The first island brought up out of 
the water was' Anaji ; and then the main island. After 
that, eight large islands were created, whence comes one 
of the names of Japan, " The Empire of the Eight Great 
Islands." Six smaller islands were also produced. The 
several thousand islets which make up the archipelago of 
"Everlasting Great Japan" were formed by the spontane- 
ous consolidation of the foam of the sea. 

After the country was thus formed the divine pair cre- 
ated eight millions of earthly gods or Kami, and the ten 
thousand different thinofs on the earth. Vegetation 
sprung up over all the land, which was, however, still 
covered with mist. So Izanagi created with his breath 
the two gods, male and female, of the wind. All these 
islands are the children of Izanagi and Izanami, and when 
first born were small and feeble, but gradually grew 
larger and larger, attaining their present size like human 
beines, which are at first tinv infants. 

As the gradual separation of the land and sea went on, 
foreign countries were formed by the congealing of the 
foam of the sea. The god of fire was then born of 
Izanami, his mother. This god often became very angry 
at any one who used unclean fire. Izanami then created 
by herself the gods of metals, of clay, and of fresh water. 



This latter god was commanded always to keep the god 
oi tire quiet, and put him out when he began to do mis- 

Izanagi and Izanami though married but a short time, 
beo-an to quarrel. Izanami being very angry went down 
to the lower world of darkness and disappeared. In the 
dark world under the earth Izanami stayed a long time, 
and after wearisome waiting, Izanagi went after her. In 
the darkness of the under-world he was horrified at what 
he saw, and leaving his consort below he tried to save 
himself and make his escape to the earth again. 


In his struggles several gods were created, one of them 
coming out of his staff When he got up to daylight, 
he secured a large rock to close up the hole in the earth. 
Turning this rock into a god, he commanded him to 
watch the place. He then rushed into the sea, and con- 


tinued washing for a long time to purify himself. In 
blowing out from his lungs the polluted air inhaled in the 
under-world, the two evil gods sprang forth from his breath. 
As these would commit great harm and wickedness, Iza- 
naei created two other 2;ods to correct their evil. But 
when he had washed his eyes and could see clearly again, 
there sprang out two precious and lovely beings ; one from 
his left eye being a rare and glistening maiden, whom he 
afterward named Amaterasu, or "The Heaven Illumi- 
nating Spirit." From his right eye appeared Susa-no O, 
the "Ruler of the Moon." Being now pure again, and 
having these lovely children, Izanagi rejoiced and said, "I 
have begotten child upon child, and at the end of my be- 
getting, I have begotten me two jewel-children." Now 
the brightness of the person of the maiden Amaterasu 
was beautiful, and shone through Heaven and earth. 
Izanagi, well pleased, said: "Though my children are 
many, none of them is like this wonder-child. She must 
not be kept in this region." So taking off the necklace 
of precious stones from his neck and rattling it, he gave 
it to her, saying, "Rule thou over the High Plain of 
Heaven." At that time the distance between Heaven 
and earth was not very great, and he sent her up to the 
blue sky by the Heaven-uniting pillar, on which the 
heavens rested as on a prop. She easily mounted it, 
and lived in the sun, illuminating the whole heavens and 
earth. The sun now gradually separated from the earth, 
and both moved farther and farther apart, until they rested 
where they now are. Izanagi next spoke to Susa-no O, the 
Ruler of the Moon, and said, " Rule thou over the new-born 
earth and the blue waste of the sea wnth its multitudinous 
salt waters." Thus the heavens, and the earth, and 
moon were created and inhabited. And as Japan lay 
directly opposite the sun when it separated from the 



earth, it is plain that Japan Hes on the summit of the 
globe. It is easily seen that all other countries were 
formed by the spontaneous consolidation of the ocean 
foam and the collection of mud in the various seas. The 
stars were made to oruide warriors from foreign coun- 
tries to the court of the Mikado, who is the one and only 
true son of heaven, before whom all should bow. 


Amaterasu, on account of her bright beauty, was by 
her father made queen of the sun, and shared with the 
two creator-o-ods the eovernment of the world. In send- 
ing her to her dominion, Izanagi gave her the necklace 
of precious stones from his neck, and told her to go up 
by way of the floating bridge. As the sun was then 
near, she ascended without difficulty. Desiring after- 
ward to give the government of the earth to her grand- 
son, Ninigi-no-mikoto, after considerable difficulty in get- 
ting the god in possession to make way for him, she was 
able to carry out her purpose and dispatch him to his 
post. She proclaimed him sovereign of Japan for ever 
and ever, and appointed his descendants to rule it as 
lone as the heavens and the earth endure. Before start- 
ing he received from his grandmother, the sun-goddess, 
the Three Divine Insignia of the Imperial Power of 
Japan, namely, the Sacred Mirror, which is still worshiped 
at the Naiku Shrine in Ise as representative of the god- 
dess ; the Sacred Sword, which is still enshrined at the 
temple of Atsuta, near Nagoya, at the head of the bay of 
Owari ; and the Sacred Stone, or " Magatama," which is 
always in possession of the Emperor of Japan. 

Possessed of these divine symbols, and accompanied 
by a number of inferior gods, Ninigi-no-mikoto descended 
upon the Floating Bridge of Heaven, or the "Ama-no- 



uki-hashi," Grains of rice were thrown broadcast in the 
air to dispel the darkness of the sky. Ninigi no-mikoto 
was the god who was 
sent down from the 
Sun-troddess, whose 
grandchikl he was, 
to take possession 
of the land, and it 
was his offspring, and 
the offspring of his 
suite, who peopled 
Japan. Ninigi-no- 
mikoto lived to the 
age of 3 1 0.000 years ; 
his son Hohodemi 
lived to the still riper 
age of 637,892 years, 
and a grandchild of 
his, Ugaya, died at 
the remarkable age 
of 836,042 years. 
He was the father of 
Jimmu Tenno, first 
Emperor of Japan, 
who is, at the pres- 
ent time, very widely 
worshiped as a god. jimmu tenno, first emperor of japan. 


The young brother of the Sun-goddess so seriously 

offended his bright and beaudful sister that she went 

away and concealed herself in the cave of Ameno 

Tuaya, closing the entrance with a large piece of rock. 




From this time the entire country was dark, and was given 
up to the noise and disturbance of all sorts of inferior 
ofods. This state of thinofs was so distressinof that all the 
gods assembled at the cave's mouth, on the bank of the 
Yasukawa River, and deliberated upon the means to be 
adopted for inducing the petulant goddess to reappear, 
for be it understood that after the birth of the Sun-ofod- 
dess no light could be obtained except from her bright- 
ness, as she had been appointed to illuminate the space 
between earth and Heaven, and it was the brightness of 
her body that shone through the sun. At the council of 
the gods it was decided to entice the goddess forth by 
means of an ima«-e of herself, and one of the o-ods and 
a blacksmith made mirrors, in the shape of the sun, with 
iron brought from Heaven. 

Japanese mirrors are ahvays made of fine metal, not 
of glass coated with quicksilver. Those in common use 
are generally five or six inches in diameter, having the 
surface polished with great care and some figures or 
flowers stamped upon the back. The mirror is a Shinto 
symbol. In the centre of the Shinto shrine of Ise, in the 
" Holy of Holies" of that temple 'are found four boxes 
of unpainted wood, resting on low stands. These are 
the only objects to be found here. In each box, wrapped 
in a brocade bag, is a mirror. On festival days, these 
boxes — but not the mirrors — are exposed to view. 

The first two mirrors produced by the blacksmith, as 
stated above, were unsatisfactory, but the third was 
larore and beautiful, and is now the deitv of the inner 
shrine of Ise. The gods also planted hemp and paper 
mulberry, and with their fibre and bark wove clothing for 
the goddess. They also cut down trees and built a 
palace. Magatama jewels (carved and polished pieces 
of stone, such as were worn in those days as ornaments) 



were also produced, and wands were made from sakaki 
branches and bamboo. One of the gods then pulled up 
a sakaki-tree by the roots, and on its upper branches 
hung the necklace of jewels; at the middle he hung the 
sacred mirror, and to the lower branches he attached both 
coarse and fine cloth. This formed a large gohei, which 
was held by Ama-no-futo-dama-no-mikoto, while he pro- 
nounced an address in honor of the goddess. And 
goheis like this, with jewels, mirrors and strips of cloth 
cut zigzag, we still see in the hands of the young priest- 
esses at the shrine of the goddess herself, and the simpler 
gohei or wands, with strips of cloth or paper attached, 
are now to be seen, as they have for ages been, all over 
Japan, at every Shinto temple or shrine and in thousands 
of other places. 

A number of young cocks were next collected, and 
set to crow in concert; a strong god was concealed by 
the door of the cavern, to wrest it open at the favorable 
moment; and a very renowned goddess, Uzume, was set 
to dance, blowing music out of a bamboo tube pierced 
with holes, while the gods kept time to her performance 
by striking two pieces of wood together. A sort of harp 
was made, by placing six bows together, with the strings 
upward. This was played by the drawing of grass and 
rushes across it. Uzume, who appears to have entered 
upon her task with great spirit, bound her sleeves close 
up to the arm-pits, and grasped in her hand a bundle of 
twigs and a spear wound round with grass and having 
small bells attached to it. Bon-fires were lighted and a 
circular box or drum was placed for her to dance upon. 
Then this young goddess commenced to tread with 
measure upon the hollow box and cause it to resound. 
She sang a six-syllable song or charm of numbers, and, 
gradually quickening her dance wrought herself up to 


such a pitch of excitement, or rather "such a spirit de- 
scended on the goddess," that she loosened her dress, 
reveahng- more and more of her lovehness, and at last, 
to the intense amazement and delight of the gods, ap- 
pears to have discarded her dress altogether. With the 
laughter of the gods the heavens shook. The address 
in her honor, the stirring sounds of the music and dan- 
cing, and the loud and joyous laughter of the gods was. 
too much for Amaterasu, and slightly opening the door, 
she softly said from inside, "I fancied that because of 
my retirement both Heaven and Japan were in darkness! 
Why has Uzume danced and why do the gods laugh?" 
Uzume replied, "I dance and they laugh, because there 
is an honorable deity here" (pointing to the mirror) 
"who surpasses you in glory;" and as she said this, the 
mirror was pushed forward and shown to the Sun-goddess, 
reflecting her own radiant loveliness, of course, and her as- 
tonishment was even greater than before. As she peeped 
out of the cave to look around, the strong god pulled 
the rock-door open and drew the bright goddess forth. 
Then a rice-straw rope was passed behind her, and one 
of the gods said, "Go not back behind this." As they 
were putting the mirror into the cave it was struck 
against the door, and received a flaw which remains to 
this day. They then removed the goddess to her new 
palace, and, as an expression of their kindly interest, they 
put a straw rope round it to keep off evil gods. 


Buddhism was introduced into Japan in 532 A. D. Up 
to this time Shintoism had continued to be the sole reli- 
gion of Japan, during some twelve hundred years at 
least. It is called by the Japanese themselves, Kami-no- 
michi, or "The Way of the Gods." The religion con- 



sists essentially, so they say, in an iviplicit obedience to the 
JMikado. He is the descendant of the gods, and his 
common designation is Ten-Shi, or " Son of Heaven." 
The Mikado has two crests, one, representing the chrys- 
anthemum, is used for government purposes. The 
other, representing the leaf and blossoms of the Paulow- 


nia Imperialis {Kiri in Japanese), is used in the business 
personal to the Mikado and his family. 

There were no creeds, nor elaborate systems of doc- 
trines in their relicrion. The eood o-ods were to be wor- 
shiped so that there might be an increase of good gifts ; 
and the evil gods, so that they might be appeased. The 



people prayed for a sufficiency of food, clothing and shelter, 
and twice each year held festivals of General Purification, 
when the whole nation was purified of its sins and pollu- 
tions. The following prayer was to be used by the 
Mikado: "O God, that dwellest in the high plain of 


Heaven, who art divine in substance and in intellect, and 
able to give protection from guilt and its penalties, to 
banish impurity, and to cleanse us from uncleanness — 
Hosts of Gods hear us and listen to these petitions!" 
The emperor w^as the god dwelling in the flesh, and 



his ancestors were, of course, to be worshiped. The first 
emperor, Jimmu Tenno, receives especial worship and 
honor. Besides these gods — the deified emperors and 
heroes — there were hosts of gods who were the deified 
powers of nature. We have already spoken of the sun- 


ofoddess and moon-Qfoddess. Besides these there were 
gods of storms, winds, rain, thunder, fertility, of moun- 
tains, fields, seas and rivers, Raiden, the god of thunder, 
is supposed to have a string of drums, which he beats 
when it thunders. The Japanese say that when he is 



angry, he throws from the clouds a terrible creature like 
a cat, with iron claws and a hairy body. Futen, the god 
of winds, carries a huge sack slung over his shoulders, 
the mouth of which is closed by his hand. It blows a 
typhoon, a gale, or a breeze, as he clinches his fingers 
little or much. Besides these g^ods are a number of eods 
of occupations, of the household, of the work-shop, the 
field and the store. 

The sun is one of the most common objects of wor- 
ship among the Shintoists. The country of Japan is often 
called "The Land of the Risine Sun." Their national 
flag is of white with a large red sun in the centre. On 
the top of Fujiyama, the famous sacred mountain, and on 
the sea-shore, pilgrims and priests often gather to offer 
their worship to the rising sun. 




The characteristics of " Pure Shinto" are an absence of an ethical 
and doctrinal code, of idol-worship, of priestcraft, and of any teach-, 
ings concerning a future state, and the deification of heroes, em- 
perors and great men, together with the worship of certain forces and 
objects in nature. It is said that the Kami, or gods, number 14,000, 
of whom 3,700 are known to have shrines; but, practically, the num- 
ber is infinite. Each hamlet has its special god, as well as its Mirja, 
or shrine ; and each child is taken to the shrine of the district in 
which it is born, a month after birth, and the god of that shrine be- 
comes his patron. Each god has its annual festival, while many have 
particular days in each month on which people visit their shrines. — 
Miss Isabella Bird. 


MR. GRIFFIS says : Every Japanese child knows 
the Shichifuku Jin, or the seven Patrons of 
Happiness. They have charge of long life, 
riches, daily food, contentment, talents, glory and love. 
Their images, carved in ivory, wood, stone, or cast in 
bronze, are found in every house, sold in the stores, 
painted on shop-signs, and found in picture-books. They 
are a jolly company, and make a happy family. On New 
Year's Eve, a picture of the Treasure-ship (Yakarebune). 
laden with Shippi (the seven jewels) and with all the 
good things of life which men most desire, is hung up in 
houses. The ship is coming into port, and the passen- 
gers are the seven happy fairies who will make gifts to 



the people. These seven jewels are the same as those 
which Momotaro brought back from the Onis island. 

First there is Fukoruku Jin, the patron of long life or 
length of days. He has an enormously high forehead, 
rounded at the top, which makes his head look like a 
sugar loaf. It is bald and shiny. A few stray white 
hairs sometimes sprout up, and the barber, to reach them, 
has to prop a ladder against his head to climb up and 
apply his razor. This big head comes from thinking so 
much. His eyebrows are white like cotton, and a long, 

snowy beard falls 
down over his 
breast. When in 
a specially good 
humor, he ties a 
handkerchief over 
his high, slippery 
crown, and allows 
little boys to climb 
up on top — that 
is,if they are good 
boys, and can 
write well. WHien 
he wants to show 
how strong and 
livel}' he is, even 
though so old, he 
lets Daikoku, the 
fat fellow, ride on 
top of his head 
while he smokes his pipe and wades across a river. Dai- 
koku has to hold on tighdy. or he will slip down and get 
a ducking. Usually, the old shiny-head is a very solemn 
gentleman, and walks slowly along with his staff in one 



From a Japanese Picture showing their conception of the way in which the gods can superi'ise affairs iu 

various pL.ces 


hand, while with the other he strokes his long eyebrows. 
The tortoise and the crane are alwa^'s with him, for these 
are his pets. Sometimes a stag, with hair white with age, 
walks behind him. Everybody likes Fukoruku Jin, be- 
cause every one wants to get his favor and live until, like 
a lobster, his back is bent with age. At a wedding, you 
will always see a picture of white-bearded and shiny- 
pated Fukoruku Jin. 

Daikoku is a short chubby fellow, with eyes half sunk 
in fat, but twinkling with fun. He has a flat cap set on 
his head, a loose sack over his shoulders, and big boots 
on his feet. His throne is two straw bac^s of rice, and 
his badcre of office is a mallet or hammer, which makes 
people rich when he shakes it. The hammer is the 
symbol of labor, showing that people may expect to get 
rich only by hard work. One end of it is carved to rep- 
resent the jewel of the ebbine and the flowine tides, be- 
cause merchants get rich by commerce on the sea, and 
must watch the tides. He is often seen holding the 
counting-board, on which you can reckon, do sums, sub- 
tract, multiply or divide, by sliding balls up and down a 
row of sticks set in a frame, instead of writing the fioures. 
Beside him is a ledger and day-book. His favorite ani- 
mal is the rat, which, like some rich men's pets, eats or 
runs away with his wealth. 

The great silver-white radish called daikon, two feet 
long and as big as a man's calf, is always seen near him, 
because it signifies flourishing prosperity. He keeps 
his bag tightly shut, for money easily runs away when 
the purse is once opened. He never lets go his hammer, 
for it is only by constant care that any one can keep 
money after he gets it. Even when he frolics with 
Fukoruku Jin, and rides on his head, he keeps his ham- 
mer swinging at his belt He has huge lop ears. Once 



in a while, when he wishes to take exercise, and Fuko- 
ruku Jin wants to show how frisky he can be, even if he 
is old, they have a wrestling-match together. Daikoku 
nearly always beats, because Fukoruku Jin is so tall that 
he has to bend down to grip Daikoku, who is fat and 
short, and thus he becomes top-heavy. Then Daikoku 
gets his rival's long head under his left arm, seizes him 
over his back by the belt, and throws him over his 
shoulder flat on the ground. But if Fukoruku Jin can 
only get hold of Daikoku's lop ears, both fall together. 
Then they laugh heartily and try it again. 


Ebisu is the patron of daily food, which is usually rice 
and fish, and in old times was chiefly the latter. He is 
nearly as fat as Daikoku. He wears a court noble's 
high cap. He is always fishing or enjoying his game. 



When very happy, he sits on a rock by the sea, with his 
right leg bent under him, and a big red fish, called the 
tai, a fish like a perch, under his left arm. He carries a 
straw wallet on his back to hold his fish and keep it 
fresh. Often he is seen standing knee deep in the water, 
pole in hand, watching for a nibble. Some say that 
Ebisu is the same scamp that goes by the other name 
of Sosanoo. 

Hotel is the patron of contentment, and, of course, is 
the father of happiness. He does not wear much cloth- 
ing, for the truth is that all his property consists of an 
old, ragged wrapper, ^ — >^ 

a fan and a wallet, \ i -^ 
He is as round as a 
pudding, and as fat 
as if rolled out of 
dough. His body is 
like a lump of rice 
pastry, and his limbs 
like dango dump- 
lings. He has lop 
ears that hang down 
over his shoulders, a 
tremendous double 
chin, and a round ^>; 
belly. Though he 
will not let his beard 
grow long, the slov- ^'^^^^ ™^ ^"^ ''^ happiness. 

enly old fellow never has it shaven when he ought to. 
He is a jolly vagabond and never fit for company ; but 
he is a great friend of the children, who romp over his 
knees and shoulders, pull his ears and climb up over his 
shaven head. He always keeps something good for 
them in his wallet. Sometimes he opens it wide and 


then makes them guess what is inside. They try to peep 
in, but they are not tall enough to look over the edge. 
He makes tops, paints pictures or kites for the boys, and 
is the children's greatest friend. When the seven patrons 
meet together, Hotel is apt to drink more wine than is 
good for him. Toshi-toku is almost the only one of the 
seven who never lays aside his dignity. He has a very 
grave countenance. He is the patron of talents. His 
pet animal is a spotted fawn. He travels about a good 
deal to find and reward good boys who are diligent in 
their studies, and men who are fitted to rule. In one hand 
he carries a crooked staff of bamboo, at the top of which is 
hung a book or roll of manuscript. His dress is like 
that of a learned doctor, with square cap, stole and high- 
toed slippers. 

Bishamon is the patron of glory and fame. He is a 
mighty soldier. He wears a golden helmet, breast-plate 
and complete armor. He is the protector of priests and 
warriors. He gives them skill in fencing, horsemanship 
and archery. He holds a pagoda in one hand and a 
dragon sword in the other. His pet animal is the tiger. 

Six out of the jolly worthies are men. Benten is the 
only lady. She is the patron of the family and of the sea. 
She plays the flute and the guitar for the others, and 
amuses them at their feasts, sometimes even dancing 
for them. Her real home is in Rin Gu, and she is the 
queen of the world under the sea. She often dwells in 
the caves of the sea or ocean. Her favorite animal is 
the snake and her servants are the dragons. 

Once a year the jolly seven meet together to talk over 
old times, relate their adventures, and have a luxuriant 
supper. Then they proceed to business, which is to 
arrange all the marriages for the coming year. They 
have a great many skeins of red and white silk, which 


are the threads of fate of those to be married. The white 
threads are the men, the red are the women. At first 
they select the threads very carefully, and tie a great 
many pairs or couples neatly and strongly together, so 
that the matches are perfect. All such marriages of 
threads make happy marriages among human beings. 
But by and by they get tired and lazy, and instead of 
tying the knots carefully, they hurry up the work and 
then jumble them carelessly, and finally toss and tangle 
up all the rest. This is the reason why so many mar- 
riages are unhappy. This work done they begin to frolic 
like big boys. Benten plays the guitar, and Bishamon 
lies down on the floor resting upon his elbows to hear it. 
Hotei drinks wine out of a shallow red cup which is as wide 
as a dinner plate. Daikoku and Fukoruku Jin begin to 
wrestle, and when Daikoku gets his man down he pounds 
his big head with an empty gourd, while Toshi-toku and 
Ebisu begin to eat tai fish. When this fun is over, Ben- 
ten and Fukoruku Jin play a game of checkers, while the 
others look on and bet ; except Hotei, the fat fellow, who 
is asleep. Finally they get ashamed of themselves for 
gambling, and after a few days, the party breaks up and 
each one o-oes to his reofular business aofain. 

o o o 


Almost the first object which meets the gaze of the 
traveler after crossing the Pacific Ocean and as he nears 
the land, is the matchless mountain, Fuji-yama. Its snow- 
covered heights rise some 13,000 feet above the sea. To 
the people of Japan this is the sacred mountain. It is 
depicted on all their lacquer-ware, their china-ware and 
their drawings. It is described in all their poems and 
sacred books. It has a strong hold on the people. It is 
a sleeping volcano. Nearly 2,000 feet of its sides are 



cultivated. Then comes a wide belt of forest. The 
ascent of the mountain is a sacred pilgrimage, and there 
are accordingly a number of roads to the top, with nine 
huts on each road. The pilgrims are dressed in white 
robes, and pray to the rising sun while climbing the 
mountain sides. Sometimes one may see several hun- 
dreds of Shinto pilgrims in their white robes turning out 



from their shelters, and joining their chants to the rising 
sun. The view of the long sweeping sides of this moun- 
tain, rising from an almost level plain and climbing away 
to the clouds, through which it thrusts its snow-crowned 
top, is one of the grandest in the world. 





The temples are usually of very simple style, being 
constructed of wood and thatched. They contain no 



; but in the courtyards or approaches figures of real 
imaginary animals are not at all uncommon, espe- 


cially in the case of large temples. The approach is 
spanned by one or more torii. The torii, it is now gen- 
erally admitted, was originally a perch for the fowls of- 
fered to the gods, not as food, but to give warning of 
day-break. Its present use is not for this purpose, but is 
simply as a decoration. At the outer shrine of Ise, 
which is called the gekfi, there is an immense number 
of votive ioi'ii standing- close to each other in lono- rows. 

But the more common form of 
votive offering is a large lantern, 
several feet in height, and formed 
either of wrought stone or of 
bronze. These are sometimes of 
very large size, even ten or 
twelve feet high, and are often 
crowded thickly near the ap- 
proaches alike of Shinto and 
Buddhist temples. The wor- 
shiper does not enter the temple 
to worship at a Shinto shrine. 
He stands in front of it, striking 
his hands together, and offers, 
bowed, and usually in silence, 
the short and simple prayer 

A TENTO, OR •' HEA\ E\LV i • i i • • • i- 

LANTERN." wliich liis own necessities dictate. 


First for sacredness among the Japanese Shinto temples 
are the Shrines of Ise. These are to Japan what Mecca 
is to Mohammedan lands and what Jerusalem was to the 
Holy Land. Thousands of pilgrims visit these shrines 
every year. Sir E. J. Reed, thus describes his visit: 

"At the entrance we were met by two Shinto priests, 
who had been deputed to show us the sacred place. 


Passine under the torii, we were at once amid trees of 
an age and magnitude not often equaled. Within the 
temple-Hmits we came first to a small edifice, in which 
was the white horse of the deity of the place, which hap- 


pened to be an artificial horse, the real one having re- 
cently died, and another not being forthcoming at present, 
for reasons which I did not learn. Soon afterward we 
came to two living black horses, consecrated to the ser- 
vice of the temple, and more particularly for the god of 
the place — 'the god of food, clothes and house living,' 
according to one authority; or, 'the god of the earth's 
produce,' as another has it, to ride upon in the proces- 
sions of the great temple ceremonials. 

" There are secondary deities worshiped there, the 
chief of whom is the adopted grandson of the sun-god- 
dess and the great-grandfather of the first Mikado, Jimmu 
Tenno, who commenced his reign in the Japanese year r. 
Accordinof to the legend, the Qroddess wished to send her 
adopted son, Oshi-ho-mimi-no-mikoto, down upon earth 
to subdue it, but he put forth his own son instead as 
leader of the expedition. The goddess then presented 



Ninigi-no-mikoto with various treasures, the most im- 
portant among which — and here we touch upon the cen- 
tral sacredness alike of the race of Mikados and of the 
symbols of the Shinto faith — were the mirror, sword and 
stone, or ball (afterwards the regalia of the Japanese 
sovereigns). She also attached to his person the other 
two inferior gods of Geku. With reference to the mir- 
ror, she said, ' Look upon this mirror as my spirit ; keep 
it in the same house and on the same floor with yourself, 
and worship it as if you were worshiping my actual 

" Passing under another torii of plain, unpainted tim- 
ber, like all the torii of the Ise shrines, we came to the 
outer gate of the temple proper, to which alone of three 
successive gates we and the other pilgrims were allowed 
to approach. With certain extremely rare exceptions, 
extending only to the Mikado and commissioners of his, 
none but priests are allowed to pass this first gate. It 
was an open gate, however, with a simple white curtain 
or cloth thrown across it, blowing about as the wind 
listed. Through this open gate, or past the sides of it, 
if you preferred to stand there, you could see the next 
gate, and beyond that again was a third, and then came 
the temple proper, which could not be seen. This was 
all ! The buildings, as far as seen, were all of the plain- 
est possible kind, not unlike substantial, well-thatched 
farm-buildings at home. The mirror at this outer temple 
was not the original mirror, and the priest did not for a 
moment lead us to suppose that it was. There was, in fact, 
no pretence of any kind about the place. The ancient 
buildings and the plain white curtain were left to produce 
that which is perhaps the deepest and most lasting of all 
impressions made by religious externals, namely, that of 
combined, simplicity and antiquity. Of this outer temple 



I need only add, that it is in every respect a sequel and 
appendage to the inner and more ancient temple, having 
been built bv the desire of the Q-oddess of the older Ise 
temple, who wished to have the deity Toyouke near her. 
This, the outer and later temple, dates from the reign of 
the twenty-second Mikado of the present reigning dy- 
nasty, Yuriaku, in the year 479 A. D. 


"Soon afterwards we started for the inner temple, Naiku. 
Here is kept the original sacred mirror, which is the most 
precious emblem of the Shinto faith, and which, with the 
sacred sword and ball, is also the authenticating memorial 



of the imperial dynasty. So all Japan has regarded 
it for 2,500 years, even down to 1868, and so most 
of the people regard it still. This temple came to be 
built in the following manner : The sacred emblems of 
the national religion had, up to the time of the great 
Mikado Sujin, been kept in the imperial palace or temple; 
but he, as some say to increase their safety, and as others 
allege because he viewed a rebellion which broke out as 
a mark of divine disapprobation of their remaining in his 
custody, gave them into the charge of his daughter, in a 
temple dedicated to them. They were subsequently re- 
moved and carried from place to place, but at length, in 
the twenty-sixth year of the reign of Suinin Tenno, and 
therefore in the year 3 B. C, it was resolved to fix the 
mirror at the village of Uji on the River Suzugawa, and 
there and then the present temple was built. The old 
building does not exist. On the contrary, a new temple 
is erected every twenty years, but eacli new temple is an 
exact repetition of the original, and therefore the present 
one is a perfect representation of the architecture of 
Japan at the time of Christ. The principal deity here 
worshiped is Amaterasu, the sun-goddess herself 

"The gate-way was open, and hung, like that of the 
other temple, with a long white curtain, and beyond 
were seen another /^r/? and other gate-ways, but nothing 
could be seen of the temple itself, and as little, of course, 
of the heaven-wrought mirror within. As we stood, 
however, the pilgrims continued to come, of both sexes 
and all ages, and casting upon the ground a few coins, 
some wrapped in paper, stooping, clapping their hands, 
and uttering a few words of prayer, thus attained and 
completed the object for which their journeyings had 
been undertaken. I asked if this was all they saw and 
did, and was told that it was. I inquired if they attended 



no religious service, saw no dances, heard no music, re- 
ceived no advice ; and found that as a rule they did noL 
Was no blessing pronounced, no simple memorial of 
some kind presented to them ? Nothing ; but they all 
bought little mementos of the place at the stall in the 
grounds or at the shops in the village. What was it 
they said during the minute or two that they stooped 
before the shrine ? They no doubt asked for whatever 
they wanted in particular, and generally for long life, 
and the means of life and happiness in the years to 

" Our companions, the priests, suggested that we ought 
to see one of the ceremonial dances of the temple, and to 
this we gladly assented on learning that it would not be 
a repetition of what we had seen at Osaka and Nara, but 
that it was one of the most ancient description, handed 
down from generation to generation at these Ise shrines. 
The room had an altar at the end opposite the entrance, 
over which was a large mirror. Round the altar and 
walks were an abundance of gokeis, and of bands and 
tassels. At the altar-end of the room a priest sat on one 
side, and along each of the side walls were the musicians 
and dancers, all sitting on their heels. The musicians, 
who were also singers, were all men ; the dancers were 
quite young girls attired in white and red, with frontlets 
of brass, from each end of which depended a cord and 
tassel. On the tops of their heads were large bunches 
of flowers; their back hair was in a queue, with tassels 
attached, surniounted with gilt bows and ribbons. There 
were two equally young girls in red and blue with plainer 
head-dresses, who in a certain way attended on the 
others. The dance began by a subordinate priest com- 
ing in by a side entrance with a wet branch of the sacred 
sakaki tree in his hand. After bowinor to the shrine, he 




turned to the visitors, and waved it a few times swiftly 
before them, and then disappeared. Returning again to 


the same entrance, he handed In to the two blue-and-red 
attendants, trays of herbs, rice and fruits in succession. 
These were borne ceremoniously elevated to the six 
priestesses, who conveyed them in a similar manner to 
the altar, placing the contents of the first two trays upon 
an inner altar, and those of the remaining four upon an 
outer altar, then returning the trays to their two attend- 
ants, who passed them out of the building. 

"While this was proceeding, the band sent forth what 
sounded to me as wailing, imploring, importunate sounds, 
with an occasional rap upon the drum for emphasis. 
The priest, who wore the ancient head-dress like that of 
the Mikado, now rose, and after a few obeisances before 
the mirror sat down upon his heels, facing the altar, and 
intoned a prayer, or novito, from a large sheet of paper 
held outspread before him, the musicians, and dancers, 
and attendants all sitting with bowed heads to its end. 
Small branches of sakaki were now brought to the priest- 
esses, and the dance took place to an accompaniment of 
livelier music. The dance comprised no very active 
movements, but consisted mainly of short, slow and grave 
promenading, with occasional stately bowings and much 
slow waving of the branches. This over, a boy entered, 
dressed in the military undress robes of a kuge (court 
noble) of the olden time, and holding in his hands a 
branch of sakaki, with a pendant hoop, doubdess In lieu 
of a mirror. He danced, as it is called, to much louder 
music, but the dancing was little more than further prom- 
enading and making certain sweeping movements with 
the branch of sakaki, with an occasional high step. Of 
course, It Is a great pity for the significance of all this to 
be lost; but nothing explanatory could be elicited from 
aay of the Japanese present, and from the answers of the 
priests I infer that if the various movements of these 


dances ever had any great and special significance, die 
remembrance of it is pretty nearly or quite lost. The 
priest next came forward again, and, after elevating the 
written prayer a few times before the shrine, left the 
building by the side door. The process of placing the 
fruits and other offerings upon the altar was now re- 
versed, and everything was removed from the altars and 
taken away, the music meanwhile playing loud and joy- 
ous strains. With this ended the most ancient of the 
dances in the most sacred national shrine of Japan." 

Very great changes have occurred in Japan since the 
year 1868, when the Mikado became the temporal as 
well as the spiritual head of the Empire. The interests 
of Shintoism have suffered in the change. Prof. Max 
Miiller estimates that there are now only 200,000 Shin- 
toists in all Japan. 




Yes, the great Buffalo* sleeps; his mightiest victory was his last. 
His warriors howl in vain, his necromancers gaze aghast. 
Fetich, nor magic wand, nor amulet of darnel. 
Can charm back life to the clay-cold heart and limb. 

Ferdinand Freiligrath. 

IT is only of late years that much has been known of 
the people of the heart of Africa. Explorers have 
passed through its borders ; along its coasts travelers 
have wandered, but few have, until recently, pushed on ' 
into the interior. Even to-day there are vast regions 
unexplored. Of the millions of peoples inhabiting these 
parts we know only that which the Arab slave- dealers, 
and some native African traders have told us. The ex- 
treme points. North, South, East and West Africa have ♦ 
been known for many years. The interior, stretching 
back from Upper Egypt, and extending clear across to 
the River Niger, has been but little traveled by foreigners. / 
From Zanzibar on the south-east, radiating like a fan, 
explorers have passed to the great lakes to the north- 
west, the Victoria Nyanza and Albert Nyanza, to the 
west to Tanganyika Lake, and to the south-west, the 
Nyassa and Bangweolo Lakes. To the west of these 
lakes, saving only the countries lying along the banks of 
the Lualaba, Livingstone, or Congo River, along which 
Stanley traveled, the land is almost unknown. 

* King of Congo. 


Even of the African peoples among whom Europeans 
have lived, it is difficult to learn much of their religions. 
First, because they have no sacred books, no records, in 
fact no writing at all. Their traditions and teachings 
have all been handed down by word of mouth. Again, 
the Africans are unwilling to tell foreigners about their 
religious beliefs, customs and worships. It is difficult to 
gain their confidence. AVhen one asks them about it^ 
they give evasive answers, or pretend to know nothing 
about the matter. This fact has led to the supposition 
that some of these peoples had no religious nature what- 
ever, but that they formed an exception to the general 
evidence in favor of man's religious nature. 

Yet travelers have by patient investigation, obser- 
vation and inquiry learned considerable. They have 
compared their conclusions, and have so been able to 
give us some idea of the gods and religions of Africa. 

The Africans have no buildings of brick or stone, and 
have no knowledge, seemingly, of writing. These two facts 
have been brought to show that the Africans must have 
left the rest of the family of mankind very soon after the 
Deluge. The Africans are, with the exception of some 
of the South Sea Islanders, and the Aborigines of Aus- 
tralia, the most degraded people on the face of the earth. 
But here and there among them are small nations who 
are intelligent, and shrewd, and possessed of capabilities 
which place them above their fellow-Africans. The 
African peoples are of all shades of color, from blackest 
black to purest white, and just so do they vary very 
gready in point of intelligence. Yet the best are very 
degraded, and the worst are but litde above the beasts 
'of field or forest. If the Gospel of Jesus Christ is 
needed anywhere, it is among the peoples of the Dark 



1/ <: \.^ 


There are to be found even yet traces of the high 
position from which the Africans have fallen in their 
deofradation. One of these traces is the universal belief 
in a God or gods. This, of course, is no such exalted 



idea of a Supreme Being as is to be found among 
Christian nations or even among the better nations of 
heathens, but still it is a Great One in whom they believe. 
This belief is not the result of reasoninof, of observation 
of the powers of nature or of study of their own human 
nature, but is an inborn conception. Apart from revela- 
tion, apart from argument, from cause and effect, from 
design, from government or from anything else, men 
must believe in a God or gods. Hence we are not as- 
tonished at finding that among all the Africans there is 
this belief. Many of their ideas of God are horrible, 
shocking and revolting, others again attach no evil ideas 
to their gods, but exalt them in a very high degree. 


In South-eastern Africa, alono- the Zambesi River, the 
people pray to a god, with whom they connect no impure 
traditions or degraded worship. When in danger of war 
or famine, they appeal to this god. They call him Mpambi. 
The worship is of this kind: When famine is threat- 
ened because rain is withheld, the people of a village re- 
sort to a cleared space of ground, inclosed by a fence. 
Here a prayer-hut is erected. Women and men worship 
together. Generally a princess having in one hand a 
basket containing Indian corn-meal, and in the other a 
pot of native beer, or Pombi, goes into the hut, where 
she can be seen and heard. She puts the basket and 
jar on either side of her and sprinkling a handful of 
meal on the floor, cries, "Imva Mpambi, Adza moula!" 
(Hear, O God, and send rain !) The people respond by 
gently clapping their hands and chanting, Hear, O God ! 
This is repeated until all the meal is used up. Then the 
jar of Pombi is emptied on the floor. The woman then 
comes out of the hut, closinq- the door. Throwing- them- 



selves upon their backs, she and the people unite in pray- 
in<j "Hear, O God, send rain!" Then she arises, washes 
herself in a jar of water which stands before the chief. 
Then all the women take their calabash cups and throw 
the water into the air, with frantic gesticulations. 

Among the Zulus the lightning and thunder were repre- 
sented as coming from "The Lord in Heaven." If light- 
ning struck and killed the cattle the people were not dis- 
tressed. It was said "The Lord has slaughtered for Him- 
self among His own flock. Is it yours? Is it not the Lord's? 
He is hungry ; He kills for Himself." If a village is 
struck with lightning and a cow is killed, they say "This 
village will be prosperous." If a man is killed, thus they 
said, "The Lord has found fault with him." When they 
pray for rain, the heads of the village select some black 
oxen (like the black clouds which bring rain) and one is 
killed in sacrifice. Its flesh is eaten in the house in 
silence. The bones are burnt outside of the villaee. 
After this a song is sung, or hummed, for no words are used. 

THE Hottentots' god, gounja gounja. 

The Hottentots call God " Gounja Gounja " or "Gounja 
Ticquoa." They are said to have no divine worship, and 
few, if any, religious ceremonies, and, in their savage 
state, appear a very stupid race, almost void of the power 
of reason, without any knowledge of divine subjects, and 
but a vague notion that there is one great Lord of all, and 
likewise an evil spirit, a devil. They observe a yearly 
festival when the seven stars appear together, at the 
beginning of summer. The parents wake their children 
when these stars appear, and go with them into the 
fields, where they dance and sing. Their song is, " O 
Ticquoa, thou Father over our heads, give us rain, that 
all our fruits may ripen and we may have food in plenty." 




The Bushmen beheve that there is a god in the sky, 
whom they call Kaang, or chief. One of the Bushmen 

says of his country- 
men: "They perform 
a kind of relioious 
worship to two rocks, 
the one representing 
a male, and the other 
a female. When going 
out to huQt, they im- 
plore the aid of thest^ 
deities to provide 
them with food. First 
they go to the male 
rock, and strike it with 
a stick. If it sounds^ 
they believe the re- 
port is heafd in Heav- 
en, and they will have 
success ; but if they 
get nothing, they re- 
pair to the female 
rock, which they think 
is inhabited by a mali- 
cious spirit, and beat 
it well, upbraiding it,, 
saying: 'Why do you 
^^-^^ by your hidden arms 
cause all the o^ame to 


be shot dead so that 

KING COFFEKS PROTECTING GOD. ^^ ^^^ ^^^ ^^^^; . 

All the tribes of Western Africa show some belief in 


S^ods. The Mohammedans and the Portuguese and 
English traders have of late years affected the peoples' 
notions to some extent; but from the descriptions of 
earlier travelers we can see what their belief was. In 
Sierra Leone they called God "Canou;" on the Gambia 
River, they called their god " China." The Niam-Niams 
call their gfod "Noro." 

Among the Africans are found many traditions of the 
origin of the world and of men. Among the Zulus, the 
following tradition is held, which will serve as a specimen : 


Umkululu, the first man, had his origin in a valley of 
this world, where there was a bed of reeds. He sprung 
from the bed of reeds, and a woman (a wife) sprung from 
the same bed of reeds after him. They had but one 
name, that of Umkulunkulu ; and men sprung from Um- 
kulunkulu by generation. All things, as well as Umku- 
lunkulu, sprung from a bed of reeds ; everything, both 
animals and corn coniinor into beino- with him. He 
looked upon the sun when it was finished, and said: 
"There is a torch which shall give you light, that you 
may see." He looked on the cattle, and said : "There 
are cattle; be ye broken off, and let the cattle be your 
food ; eat their flesh and drink their milk." He looked 
on wild animals, and said : " That is such an animal ; 
that is an elephant ; that is a buffalo." He looked on 
the fire, and said : " Kindle it, and cook, and warm your- 
self, and eat meat when in has been dressed by the fire." 
He looked on all things, and said : " So-and-so is the 
name of everything." 

Among the Basutos there is a legend that men and 
animals came from the interior of the earth, out of an 
immense hole. 




Between the Supreme Being and man, the Africans 
believe that there are a vast number of spirits. They 
are not afraid of God, but they have an intense dread of 
these spirits. They beheve that God is too far off to 
hurt them much, but they beheve that the world of spirits 
is around them. Even when God does send lightningr 
or thunder, for instance, it is because the spirits bring 
them down. To their imaginations these spirits people 
the darkness with hideous shapes, poison the light with 
their presence, sweep over the plains in the forms of wild 
beasts, fill the forests, inhabit trees, live on the tops of 
the mountains, and in the secluded recesses of caves and 
valleys ; make their homes in the sea, the lakes and the 
rivers ; the air is full of them, the earth teems with them; 
fire is not free from their presence, and human beings 
are possessed by them. To them, also, they attribute the 

sorrows and the 
sufferings, the 
and, in most 
cases, the deaths 
n of mankind. 
As elsewhere, 
there are men 
who take advan- 
tage of the su- 
perstitious con- 
dition of their 
fellow country- 

™^^^^™- gain of it. Three 

priests once assured their followers that they could raise 


an idol out of the ground, and would do It the next day. 
During the night they dug a hole, in which they placed a 
lot of dried peas and an idol's head and shoulders. They 
covered all up carefully. Just before daylight they took 
some water and poured it upon the peas. The people 
gathered early in the morning to see the priests keep 
their promise. They came forth, and, as the peas gradu- 
ally swelled, began their incantations and murmurings, 
and, of course, very soon the idol appeared, and the de- 
luded people were abundantly satisfied. 


The Hottentots believed that the good spirits some- 
times came in the form of a winged insect, having a green 
back, a belly speckled with white and red, and with two 
horns. They worshiped this insect wherever they found it. 

If this insect alighted on a Hottentot he was looked 
upon as a man without fault, and distinguished and rev- 
erenced as a sacred person ever after. His neighbors 
gloried that they had such a favored mortal amongst 
them, and published the fact far and near. The fattest 
ox beloneincr to the kraal was killed as a thank-offering, 
and all the people kept festival for days. The case was 
in every respect the same if the insect alighted upon a 
woman ; she was regarded as a sanctified person and the 
delight of the spirit. 

The son of a German, who had given leave to some 
Hottentots to turn their catde upon his land, was amusing 
himself one day in the kraal, when this insect appeared. 
The Hottentots immediately ran tumultuously to adore 
it, while the young German ran to catch it, in order to 
see what the effect would be amongst them. He seized 
it in the midst of them. The cry of agony was general 
when they saw it in his hands. They stared with dis- 



traction in their eyes at him and at one another. "See, 
see, see!" said they. "What is he going to do? Will 
he kill it?" They were wild through apprehension of its 
fate. "Why," said he, "do you make such a hideous 
noise; and why are you in such agony about this paltry 
creature?" "Ah!" they replied, with utmost concern, 
"it is a divinity. It is come from Heaven. It is come on 
a good design. Do not hurt it; do not offend it. We 
are the most miserable wretches on earth if you do. This 
ground will lie under a curse, and the crime will never 
be forgiven." This was not enough for the young Ger- 
man, who determined to carry the experiment a little 
further, and made as though he certainly intended to 
maim or destroy it. On this the people ran about, and 
screamed as though they were frantic; they fell prostrate 
on the ground before him, and with streaming eyes and 
loudest cries besought him to spare the creature and 
give it its liberty. Having sufficiently tested the reality 
of their belief in this insect-god, he let it fly, and they 
shouted in all the transports of joy. 


A fetich is some material object in which a god or 
a supernatural power is supposed to dwell. An idol is 
a representation of a god. Fetichism is the lowest form 
of idolatry. Fetichism and witchcraft go together. 
The fetiches guard against the power of witches, and 
this is their primary object. They act as charms or amu- 
lets, and are worn on all parts of the body to keep off 
disease; are placed around the houses, villages or fields 
to keep off hurtful influences. The fetiches are of vari- 
ous sorts ; the reeds of certain plants, the roots of cer- 
tain trees, the horns of a diminutive deer, the claws and 
teeth of lions and leopards and other sorts of animals, 






Showing some of ihe various trinkets and amulets upon ■which dependence for an increase of 
sanctity and safety is placed by the devout. 



slips of wood fantastically notched, knuckle-bones, beads 
and a kind of white stone being most commonly used. 
Amongst the Kaffirs, whose belief in witchcraft is in- 


tense, faith in the virtues of fetiches is, as a natural conse- 
quence, equally great. You rarely meet with a Kaffir 
who does not carry with him a whole series of charms. 



These, of course, are furnished by the witch-doctors and 
prophets, and as they are not of the least intrinsic value, 
and are highly paid for, the business of making fetich is 
a profitable one. To a European a superstitious Kaffir 
has a very ludicrous appearance, as the following de- 
scription of a man who seems to have been peculiarly 
impressible to the value of fetich will show. His head 

was richly bedecked 
with pig's bristles, set 
straight, so as to stand 
out on all sides like the 
quills of a hedgehog, 
with many feathers on 
his head, while around 
his neck there was 
strung a great num- 
ber of charms, the 
principal of which were 
fragments of bone, the 
head of a snake, the 
tooth of a young hip- 
popotamus, and an 
)i \y old brass door-handle. 
The Africans be- 
lieve that there are 
lucky fetiches which 
guarantee them suc- 
cess in all their un- 
dertakings. They re- 
spect one another's fetiches, and will not attack an 
enemy when they think that he has a fetich superior to 
their own. They are therefore very ready and eager to 
discover wherein special excellence may lie. A fetich of 
supposed superiority will command a high price. 



After devouring the bodies of their victims, the priests of the people of Bonny were wont to take 

the skulls and place them in the walls of their temples. 




When hard pressed in war, and in danger of being 
utterly overthrown, in some parts of Africa, the people — 
like the king of Moab, who sacrificed his own son when 
the battle went against him, in order to move the compas- 
sion of his adversaries, or to inspire them with terror, or 
as a sacrifice to offended gods — will make horrible fe- 
tiches of human beings. Perhaps the most astounding 
instance of such a practice occurred in West Africa. 
The king of Bonny having been defeated in battle, re- 
treated to his principal town, and finding that it was in 
imminent danger of being attacked, called together his 
magicians in order that they might aid him in repelling 
his enemies. They were equal to the emergency. The 
people were assembled in front of the principal gate of 
the town. Two holes were duof in the orround close to 
each other. The wizards then begun their operations, 
and when the people had been wrought up by their pro- 
ceedings to a pitch of unreasoning excitement, so that 
they were ready to perpetrate any act no matter how 
horrible, the chief of the wizards pointed to a girl who 
was standing amongst the spectators. She was instantly 
seized, and, under his direction, her legs were thrust into 
the holes that had been prepared for this purpose, which 
were then filled up with earth so that she could not extri- 
cate herself from them. Then a number of men brought 
lumps of wet clay, which they built around her body in 
the form of a pillar, kneading them closely as they pro- 
ceeded, until she was entirely covered over. This device 
produced the desired effect, for so terrified were the 
hostile tribes at what they regarded as an invincible 
fetich — or greegree, as the fetich is called in West Africa — 
that they dared not attack the town, and, like the kings 



of Israel and Judah, after die sacrifice of die king of 
Moab's son, diey withdrew from the further prosecution 
of the war, and returned to their homes. 

The clay pillar, with the body of the girl within it, stood 
for several years where it had been erected, and served 
effectually to preserve the town from being again attacked 
or in any way troubled by its enemies. 


The Africans have a superstitious dread of writing and 
regard it as a bad fetich. When the African traveler, 
Stanley, had almost finished his journey through the 

Dark Continent, he was one day 
making some entries in his note- 
book. This book contained all 
the important results of his great 
journey. Seeing him writing 
the savages surrounded him and 
demanded that he destroy the 
*' tara-tara,"as they called it, lest 
it should injure them. They 
said that those black lines on 
the paper would bring sickness 
and death to them and their 
animals unless the book was 
burned. The savages were de- 
termined to get the book. Only 
by a trick could he save either 
the book or his own life. He 
went to his tent and managed to 
exchange his note-book for a 
copy of Shakespeare's works. 
This he burned "to please his friends." as he told them. 
The Africans have idols of all shapes and sizes and 




made of all sorts of materials. Some of these are pro- 
vided with looking-glasses in their stomachs, but for what 
purpose we do not know. They have a few god-houses 
or huts. Their 
continent is dark 
not only because 
peopled in the 
main by peoples 
whose skins are 
dark, but because 
the light of re- 
ligion seems al- 
most to have died 
out and darkness 
to have covered 
the land and all 
of the people. 


To polygam\ 
and slavery add 
witchcraft super 
stitlons, and th( 
degradation o\ 
Africa is prop 
erly called "des 
perate" degrada- 
tion. It may be 
doubted whether 
polygamy and slavery are as great obstacles to civilization 
as are these superstitions. These are interlaced with the 
whole structure of African society. No one is supposed to 
die from natural causes ; disease is charged to witchcraft. 
No one is killed in war, in hundng, by drowning or mis- 




chance, but it is charged to witchcraft. The witches 
must be found out and tortured to confession and death. 

" I was asked," says Du Chaillu, whose representations 
of witchcraft superstitions are abundantly confirmed by 
other travelers and missionaries, " to gro and see an old 
friend of mine, Mpomo, who was sick. They had spent 
the night before drumming about his bed to drive out 
the devil. But I soon saw that neither drumming nor 
medicine would help the poor fellow. The film of death 
was in his eyes. He held out his hand to me and feebly 
said: 'Chally, save me, for I am dying.' 

" He was surrounded by hundreds of people, most of 
them moved to tears by their friend's pitiable condition. 
I explained to him, that I had no power to save him ; but 
he and all around had the conviction that if I only wished 
I could cure him. They followed me to my house, asking 
for medicine. Not to seem heartless, I sent him some- 
thing to make his remaining moments easy. At the same 
time I warned them that he would die and they must not 
blame me. When I awoke the next morning I heard the 
mournful wail which proclaimed that poor Mpomo had 
gone to his long rest. The cry of the African mourners 
is the saddest I ever heard. They mourn literally as 
those who have no hope. 

"In the afternoon I heard talk of witchcraft. On the 
day Mpomo was buried proceedings were begun to dis- 
cover who had bewitched him. A ofreat doctor was 
brought from up the river, and for two nights and days 
incantations were repeated On the third morning, when 
old and young, male and female, were frantic with the 
desire of revenofe, the doctor becran his final incantations. 
Every man and boy was armed with spears, or guns, or 
axes. The whole town was possessed by a thirst for 
human blood. For the first time I found my voice with- 


out authority. I could not even get a hearing. . . . 
At a motion from the doctor, the people became still. 
This silence lasted about a minute when the loud voice of 
the doctor was heard: 'There is a very black woman who 
lives in a house,' describing it, ' she bewitched Mpomo.' 
The crowd, roaring and screaming, rushed frantically for 
the place indicated. They seized upon a poor girl named 
Okondaga, the sister of my good friend and guide 
Adouma. Waving their weapons over her head^ they 
tore her away to the water-side, bound her with cords, 
and then rushed back to the doctor again. 

'*As poor Okondaga passed by in the hands of her 
murderers, she saw me, though I had turned away not to 
be seen, for I could not help her. I heard her cry out, 
* Chally, Chally, do not let me die !' It was a moment of 
agony ; I was minded to rush into the crowd and rescue 
the poor victim. But I should only have sacrificed my 
life, without helping her. So I hid myself behind a tree, 
and, I confess it, shed bitter tears. 

"Presently silence fell once more upon the crowd. 
Then the voice of the devilish doctor again rang over the 
town, like the croak of a raven, 'There is an old woman 
in a house,' describing it, ' she bewitched Mpomo.' 

" The crowd rushed off and seized a niece of King 
Ouenguesa, a noble-hearted and majestic old woman. 
As they crowded about with flaming eyes, she rose 
proudly from the ground, looked them in the face un- 
flinchingly, and motioning them to keep their hands off, 
said, T will drink the mboundou, but woe to my accusers if 
I do not die.' She was escorted to the river without beiner 
bound. She submitted without a tear or a murmur. 

"A third time the dreadful silence fell upon the town, 
and the doctor's voice was heard : ' There is a woman 
with six children. She lives on a plantation toward 



the rising sun. She, too, bewitched Mpomo.' Another 
furious shout, and in a few moments they brought to 
the river one of Ouenguesa's slaves, a good woman, 
whom I knew. The doctor now, in a loud voice, recited 
the crime of which these women were accused. Okon- 
daga, he said, some weeks before, asked Mpomo for 
some salt, and he refused her. She had said unpleasant 
things to him, and had by sorcery taken his life. 

"Then Quenguesa's niece was accused. She had no 
children, and Mpomo had children. She envied him, and 
had bewitched him. 

"Quenguesa's slave had asked Mpomo for a looking- 
glass. He had refused her. Therefore she had killed 
him with sorcery. As each accusation was repeated, the 
people broke out into curses. Even the relatives of the 
poor victims were obliged to join in this. Every one 
rivaled his neighbor in cursing, each fearful lest luke- 
warmness should expose him to a like fate. . . . 

"The victims were put into a large canoe with the 
executioners, the doctor, and a number of the people, all 
armed. Then the tam-tams were beaten, and the 
mboundou quabi was prepared. Mpomo's eldest brother 
held the poisoned cup to his sister's lips. At sight of it 
poor Okondaga began to cry, and even Ouenguesa's 
niece turned pale, for the negro face has at such times a 
pallor quite perceptible. The mug of mboundou was 
handed to the old slave woman, then to the royal niece, 
and last to Okondaga. As they drank the multitude 
shouted: Tf they are witches let the mboundou kill 
them, if they are innocent let the mboundou go out.' 

"Suddenly the slave woman fell down. She had not 
touched the bottom of the boat before her head was 
hacked off by a dozen swords. Next came Ouenguesa's 
niece. In an Instant her head was cut off, and her blood 


was dyeing the waters. IMeantime poor Okondaga stag- 
gered, and struggled, and cried, vainly resisting the work- 
ing of the poison in her system. Last of all, she fell. 
Then all became confused. A random hacking ensued, 
and in an incredibly short time the bodies were cut in 
small pieces which were cast into the river. 

"After this the crowd dispersed to their houses, and for 
the rest of the day the town was silent. Some of these 
rude people felt that the number in their almost extin- 
o-uished tribe was becomino: less, and the dread of death 
filled their hearts. In the evening poor Adouma came 
secretly to my house, to unburden his sorrowing heart. 
He, too, had been compelled to take part in the dreadful 
scene. He dared not refrain from joining in the curses 
heaped upon his poor sister. He dared not mourn pub- 
licly for her. I comforted him as well as I could, and I 
spoke to him of the true God, and of the wickedness of 
the conduct we had witnessed. He said at last, 'O 
Chally, when you go back to your far country, America, 
let them send men to us poor people to teach us from 
that which you call God's mouth,' meaning the Bible. I 
promised Adouma to give the message, and I now do so." 

God pity poor Africa! May the Light of the Sun of 
Righteousness soon shine on her dark land! 





Darin besteht eben die Bedeutung der Amerikanishen Religionen, 
dass sie mehr als andene, wenigstens mehrals andere Religionen von 
Kulturvolkern, das primitive and unabgeschwachte Heidenthum dar- 
stellen. — Dr. J. G. Muller. 

THE religion of the American Indians and Alask- 
ans partakes of the character of their national 
life ; yet there are traces of the original ideas 
of God, the creation and early history of man and the 
world, which we find in the religions of the far East- 
ern nations. As we have before said, we believe the 
early inhabitants of America to have come from the 
eastern shores of Asia, havinQf been washed alonof in 
their fishing vessels by the current of the Kuro Shiwo 
(or black stream), flowing by the western coasts of 
America, or perhaps crossing on the islands of the North 
Pacific, where Asia and America almost come together. 
They differ from the peoples of Eastern Asia, but, per- 
haps, only in such points as a different climate and dif- 
ferent habits of life would produce. 

All the people of the continent of America appear to 
have come from one stock. The squalid Esquimaux at 
one extremity of the chain, the polished Aztec or Inca at 
the other; agriculturists, and hunters, and canoe-men; 
tribes frequenting the shores of the great northern lakes, 
or scattered in the dense savannahs of the South ; all 
their languages grow out of a few flexible tongues. They 



bear a resemblance to the Turanian languages — the Ma- 
laysian, the Japanese and others. We can divide the 
American peoples into two classes — the civilized and the 
savage. To the first class belong the 'Mexicans and 
Peruvians ; to the latter, the savages of North America, 
including the Red Indians, the Alaskans and the inhabit- 
ants of the West Indies, and wild tribes of South America 
— the Patagonians, Guianians, etc. 


These nations have the virtues of savage life — a sense 
of honor, according to their perceptions of duty, mutual 
fidelity among 
individuals, a 
fortitude which 
mocks at the 
most cruel tor- 
ments, and a 
devotedness to 
their own tribe 
which makes 
in its defense 
easy. On the 
other hand, they 
treat their wives 
brutally, and 
their children 
with indifference. The apathy under the good and 111 of 
life which the Stoic affected is the grrand element of the 
Indian's character. Gloomy, stern and severe, he is, it 
would seem, a stranger to mirth and laughter; yet, in 
their legends, frequent reference is made to laughter. 
All outward expressions of pain or pleasure he regards 




as a weakness ; and the only feeling to which he ever 
yields is the boisterous joy which he manifests in the 
moment of victory, or under the excitement of intoxica- 
tion He is capable of great exertions in war or the chase, 
but has an unconquerable aversion to regular labor. He 
is extremely improvident ; eats enormously while he has 
an abundance of food, without thinking of the famine 
which may follow ; and, when liquors are supplied to 
him, will continue drunk for days. Corresponding to the 
priests among other peoples, the Indians have " Medicine 
Men ;" they believe that these possess great power, and 
they trust implicitly in all their directions. 


Most of the Indians of North America believe in the 
existence of a supreme being, whom they call the Great 
Spirit ; and of a subordinate one, whose nature is evil 
and hostile to man. To the latter their worship is princi- 
pally addressed; the Good Spirit, in their opinion, needing 
no prayers to induce him to aid and protect His creatures. 
They generally believe in a future state, in which the 
souls of brave warriors and chaste wives enjoy a tranquil 
and happy existence with their ancestors and friends, 
spending their time in those exercises in which they de- 
lighted when on earth. The Dakotas believe that the road 
to these "villages of the dead " leads over a rock with an 
edge as sharp as a knife, on which only the good are 
able to keep their footing. The wicked fall off and de- 
scend to the region of the Evil Spirit, where they are 
hard-worked, and often flogged by their relentless master. 


As we shall find among the Chinese, the Indians wor- 
shiped the spirits of their dead ancestors. As among the 


Showing the hideous costumes and decorations they sometimes assume in their incantations. 



Chinese, the periodical offering of cakes, libations, flesh 
or viands at the ei'ave to ancestors, is seen to be an idea 
incorporated into the practice of the American, at least 
the Algonic Indians. These Indians, believing in the 
twofold nature of the soul, and that the soul sensorial 
abides for a time with the body in the grave, requiring 
food for its ghostly existence and journeyings, deposit 
meat and other food at and after the time of interment. 
This custom is universal, and was one of their earliest 

Few things in savage life are of more singular interest 
than the ceremonies of a burial. Some of the tribes, 
for instance, take the body of their dead, and having 
clothed it in the best robes and ornaments, furnish it 
with many articles which are supposed most desirable, 
and, wrapping the whole carefully in soft, wet hides, place 
the precious burden on a scaffold several feet high. In 
the course of time, the scaffold falls ; then the relatives as- 
semble and bury the remains, except the skull ; this they 
place on the ground, where there are perhaps a hundred 
skulls in a circle, all looking inward. About this place of 
skulls the women are often seen, sitting with their work for 
hours at a time, holding in their laps the skull of a dead 
child ; and not unfrequently they are seen to clasp these 
skulls in their arms and lie down, talking as if to a living 
child, until they fall asleep. 

The Sioux Indians wrap their dead in skins, and lodge 
them in the branches of trees, never forgetting to place 
a wooden dish near the head, that the friend may quench 
his thirst in the long journey he is supposed to have 

Among the Patagonians the dead are frequently re- 
duced to skeleton before burial, and are washed and 
arrayed in new clothing once a year. The bodies, while 



being prepared, are laid on platforms and guarded by the 
relatives, who, dressed in lon^r robes, strike the ground 

continually with spears or staves, and keep up a mournful 
song to drive away the spirits, who they fear are un- 
friendly to the dead. 



The Indians, like the Africans, worship fetiches or 
material objects in which either the gods 
personally or some supernatural power is 
supposed to dwell. It not infrequently hap- 
pens that if an Indian dreams of an idol or 
fetich of a certain form, when he wakes he 
proceeds to make it according to the pattern 
of his vision, and this is the secret history 
of many of the grotesque forms w^hich are 
favorite symbols with them in their sacred 
rites. These they designate Manitos. 


The Indians' hopes, fears, worships, and 
whole faith and life are found in their legends 
and myths. These are preserved by oral tra- indian image. 
dition, by being handed down by word of ^^t^'^^^A^ by""^ 

y r . • . .' T Medicine Man. 

mouth from generation to generation. In 
the leisure from hunting or war, they gather in the lodge 
or about the camp-fire and rehearse these stories. As 
Longfellow has sung: 

"Should you ask me, whence these stories? 
Whence these legends and traditions, 
With the odors of the forest, 
With the dew and damp of meadows, 
With the curling smoke of wigwams, 
With the rushing of great rivers, 
With their frequent repetitions, 
And their wild reverberations. 
As of thunder in the mountains ? 

I should answer, I should tell you, 
I repeat them as I heard them 
From the lips of Nawadaha. 

"Ye whose hearts are fresh and simple. 
Who have faith in God and Nature, 


Who believe, that in all ages 
Every human heart is human, 
That in even savage bosoms 
There are longings, yearnings, strivings 
For the good they comprehend not, 
That the feeble hands and helpless, 
Groping blindly in the darkness. 
Touch God's right hand in that darkness 
And are lifted up and strengthened." 


Hiawatha is a personage of miraculous birth, whom 
the Indians beHeved to have been sent among them to 
clear their rivers, forests and fishing-grounds, and to 
teach them the arts of peace. To the patient, toilsome 
investigations of Dr. H. R. Schoolcraft, our knowledge 
of Indian legends is due. The poet, Longfellow, has 
gracefully woven many of these legends together in his 
■"Song of Hiawatha." 

Hiawatha is regfarded as the messeno^er of the Great 
Spirit, sent down to them in the character of a wise man, 
and a prophet. But he comes clothed with all the attri- 
butes of humanity, as well as the power of performing 
miraculous deeds. He adapts himself perfectly to their 
manners, customs and ideas. He is brought up from a 
child amone them. He is made to learn their mode of 
life. He takes a wife, builds a lodge, hunts and fishes 
like the rest of them, sings his war songs and medicine 
songs, goes to war, has his triumphs, has his friends and 
foes, suffers, wants, hungers, is in dread or joy; and, in 
fine, undergoes all the vicissitudes of his fellows. His 
miraculous gifts and powers are always adapted to his 
situation. When he is swallowed by a great fish, with 
his canoe, he escapes by the exertion of these powers, 
but always, as much as possible, in accordance with 



Indian maxims and means. He is provided with a magic 
canoe, which goes where it is bid; yet, in his fight with 
the great Wampura prince, he is counseled by a wood- 
pecker to know where the vulnerable point of his antag- 
onist lies. He rids the earth of monsters and giants, 
and clears away windfalls and obstructions to the navi- 
gation of streams. But he does not do these feats by 
miracles; he employs strong men to help him. When 
he means to destroy the great serpents, he changes him- 
self into an old tree, and stands on the beach till they 
come out of the water to bask in the sun. Whatever 
man could do in strength or wisdom he could do. But 
he never does things above the comprehension or belief 
of his people ; and whatever else he is, he is always true 
to the character of an Indian. 

He leaps over extensive regions of country, like an 
ignis-fatniL^ the false light caused by the vapors of the 
swamp which misleads the traveler. He appears sud- 
denly like an incarnation of a god, or saunters over 
weary wastes a poor and starving hunter. His voice is 
at one moment deep and sonorous as a thunder-clap, and 
at another clothed with the softness of feminine supplica- 
tion. Such is the character of whom Longfellow has sung. 


An old man was sitting in his lodge, by the side of a 
frozen stream. It was the close of winter, and his fire 
was almost out. He appeared very old and very deso- 
late. His locks were white with age, and he trembled in 
every joint. Day after day he passed in solitude, and he 
heard nothing but the sounds of the tempest, sweeping 
before it the new-fallen snow. 

One day, as his fire was just dying, a handsome young 
man approached and entered his dwelling. His cheeks 



were red with the blood of youth, his eyes sparkled with 
animation, and a smile played upon his lips. He walked 
with a light and quick step. His forehead was bound 
with a wreath ot sweet grass, in place of a warrior's 
frontlet, and he carried a bunch of flowers in his hand. 

" I blow my breath," said the old man, " and the streams 
stand still. The water becomes stiff and hard as clear 

" I breathe," said the young man, " and flowers spring 
up all over the plains." 

" I shake my locks," retorted the old man, " and snow 
covers the land. The leaves fall from the trees at my 
command, and my breadi blows them away. The birds 
get up from the water and fly to a distant land. The 
animals hide themselves from my breath, and the very 
p-round becomes as hard as flint." 

"I shake my ringlets," rejoined the young man, "and 
warm showers of soft rain fall upon the earth. The 
plants lift up their heads out of the earth, like the eyes 
of children glistening with delight. My voice recalls the 
birds. The warmth of my breath unlocks the streams. 
Music fills the groves wherever I walk, and all nature 

At length the sun began to rise. A gentle warmth 
came over the place. The tongue of the old man be- 
came silent. The robin and bluebird began to sing on 
the top of the lodge. The stream began to murmur by 
the door, and the fragrance of growing herbs and flowers 
came sofdy on the vernal breeze. 

Daylight fully revealed to the young man the character 
of his entertainer. When he looked upon hmi, he had 
the icy visage of Peboan. Streams began to flow from 
his eyes. As the sun increased, he grew less and less 
in stature, and anon had melted completely away. No- 


thini^ remained on the place of his lodge-fire but the mis- 
kodeed, a small white flower, with a pink border, which 
is one of the earliest species of northern plants. 


The Thlinkets, an Alaskan tribe, will illustrate the 
worship of the Alaskans generally. Their religion is a 
feeble Polytheism. Yehl is the maker of wood anci 
waters. He put the sun, moon and stars in their places. 
He lives in the east, near the head- waters of the Naass 
River. He makes himself known in the east Vvind 
"Ssankheth," and his abode is "Nass-shak-yehl." 

At that time the sun, moon and stars were kept by a 
rich chief in separate boxes, which he allowed no one to 
touch. Yehl, by strategy, secured and opened these 
boxes, so that the moon and stars shone in the sky. 
When the sun-box was opened, the people, astonished at 
the unwonted glare, ran off into the mountains, woods, 
and even into the water, becoming animals or fish. He 
also provided fire and water. Having arranged every- 
thing for the comfort of the Thlinkets, he disappeared 
where neither man nor spirit can penetrate. 

As the good spirits, from the very nature of the case, 
will not harm them, the Alaskans pay but little attention 
to them. They give their chief attention to propitiating 
the evil spirits, so that their religion practically resolves 
itself into devil-worship or demonolatry. This is called 
Shamanism, or the giving of offerings to evil spirits to 
prevent them from doing mischief to the offerer. It is 
said to have been the old religion of the Tartar race 
before the introduction of Buddhism, and is still that of 
the Siberians. Indeed, Paul lone aeo declared, "the 
things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to 
devils and not to God " The one whose office it is to 


perform these rites is called a shaman, and is the sorcerer 
or medicine-man of the tribes. The shaman has control, 
not only of the spirits, but, through the spirits, of disease, 
of the elements, and of nature; he holds in his power 
success or misfortune, blessing or cursing. "The honor," 
says Dall, "with which a shaman is regarded depends 
on the number of spirits under his control, who, properly 
employed contribute largely to his wealth." 


We are informed that the worship of the sun lies at 
the foundation of all the ancient mythologies, deeply 
enveloped as they are, when followed over Asia Minor 
and Europe, in symbolic and linguistic subtleties and re- 
finements. The symbolic fires erected on temples and 
altars to Baal, Chemash and Moloch, burned brightly in 
the valley of the Euphrates long before the pyramids of 
Egypt were erected, or its priestly-hoarded hieroglyphic 
wisdom resulted in a phonetic alphabet. In Persia these 
altars were guarded and religiously fed by a consecrated 
body of magical priesthood, who recognized a Deity in 
the essence of an eternal fire and a world-pervading 

The same dogma, derived apparently from the east and 
not from the west, through Europe, was fully installed at 
Atacama and Cuzco, in Peru, at Cholulu, on the magnif- 
icent and volcano-lighted peaks of Mexico, and along the 
fertile deltas of the Mississippi valley. Altar-beds for a 
sacred fire, lit to the Great Spirit, under the name and 
symbolic form of Cuzis, or the sun, where the frankin- 
cense of the nicotiana was offered, with hymns and genu- 
flections, have been discovered, in many instances, under 
the earth-heaps and artificial mounds and places of 
sepulture of the ancient inhabitants. Intelligent Indians 




yet living among the North American tribes, point out 
the symbol of the sun, in their ancient muzzinabikons or 
rock-inscriptions, and also amid the ideographic tracery 
and bark-scrolls of the hieratic, or priestly inscriptions, 
and of the magical medicine-songs. 


We turn away to the savage tribes of South America 
and find many of the forms of faith and worship which 
we have seen among the Northern Indians and among 
the nations of the Eastern world at about the time of the 
dispersion of the nations. Thus among the Amazon In- 
dians of Western Brazil, we find the same worship of 
the sun that we have seen in Egypt, in Assyria, in Japan, 
and amone the Indians of North America. A traveler 
among them says : "A sound fell upon our ears that seemed 
to issue from the depths of a distant cavern. We could 
tell it to be a chorus of voices, chanting some sad or sol- 
emn refrain. As we listened it grew louder, as if the 
chanters were drawing nearer; and in the same degree, 
it was becoming more joyful. All at once a procession 
appeared approaching the spot, men marching two and 
two, with files of women intermingled. 

"As its head emerged from among the thick-standing 
tree-trunks, we recognized our old Zummate friends, 
dressed In all the gala of a grand holiday, with plumed 
circlets upon their heads, feather armlets, and garters of 
the same, girt just below the knee. 

"On reaching the malocca, they broke ranks, at the 
same time bursting into peals of joyous laughter. Then 
surrounding they embraced us, the chief in a speech 
ao-ain making us welcome to their villaq-e. 

"We soon discovered the cause of their absence from 
home with all these mysterious proceedings. The day 



was a grand festival — a religious ceremony annually ob- 
served by the tribe, when every man, woman and child go 
forth into the woods, to worship the sun, 

"There, near the mouth of the Amazon, and amid the 
mountains of Guiana, is found the same adte, observed 
by the ancient Peruvians in the days of Pizarro. and the 
Mexicans before Cortez Christianized them." 


The Araucanians, in the north-western part of South 
America, believe in a supreme being, and in many sub- 
ordinate spirits, good and bad. They believe also in 
omens and divinations, but they have neither temples nor 
idols, nor religious rites; and discover upon the whole 
so litde aptitude for the reception of religious ideas that 
the Catholic missionaries that have settled among them 
have had very little success in imbuing their minds with 
a knowledge of Christianity. They believe in a future 
state, and have a confused tradition respecting a deluge 
from which some persons were saved on a high moun- 
tain ; but in other respects religious knowledge is lacking. 


The religion of the Patagonian is a Polytheism, the 
natives believing that there are great numbers of deities, 
some good and some evil. Each family is under the 
guardianship of one of the good deities, and all the mem- 
bers of that family join him when they die. Beside these 
eods there are subordinate demons, e^ood to their own 
friends, but bad toward all others ; so that, on the whole, 
the bad predominates in them. They are called by the 
name of Valichu. 

Yet, among some of the Patagonian tribes, there is 
a considerable approach to personal religion. It has been 



thought with some reason that they are totally destitute of 
religion. This, however, is certainly not the case, as even 
our limited knowledge of these people, their language 
and their habits show that, even though they may not 
possess any definite system of worship, they are still im- 
pressed with the idea of some Being infinitely greater 
than themselves, w^ho knows everything that they do. 
Thus they believe in an omniscient Being ; and such a 
belief as this, limited and imperfect though it may be, is 
yet a step in the right direction. 

To this unknown Being they return thanks for a sup- 
ply of food after a long famine ; so that we find them 
acknowledging that the great Being, who knows all their 
deeds, watches over them and is the giver of all good 
things. When, for example, they have procured a seal, 
after having been half starved for months, they assemble 
round a fire, and the oldest man present cuts for each 
person a piece of the seal, uttering over each portion a 
sort of prayer, and looking upward in devotion to the 
unseen God who had sent them meat in their need. 
Undisciplined as are the Patagonians, totally unaccus- 
tomed to self-denial and mad with hunger, not one of 
them will touch the food until this invocation has been 
repeated. Thus they show a devout spirit. 


The religion of the Mexicans breathed a savage spirit, 
which degraded them, in a moral point of view, far below 
the hordes of wandering Indians. Their deities, repre- 
sented by misshapen images of serpents and other 
hideous animals, were the creation of the darkest passions 
of the human breast — of terror, hatred, cruelty and re- 
venge. They delighted in blood, and thousands of 
human sacrifices were annually offered at their shrines. 



The places of worship, called Teocallis, were pyramids 
composed of terraces placed one above anodier, like die 
temple of Belus at Babylon. These were built of clay, 


or of alternate layers of clay and unburnt bricks, but, in 
some cases, faced with slabs of polished stone, on which 
figures of animals were sculptured in relief. One or two 
small chapels stood upon the summit, inclosing images 


of the deity. The largest known Teocalli contains four 
stories or terraces, and has a breadth of 480 yards at 
the base and a height of 55 yards. These structures 
served as temples, tombs and observatories. 

The Aztecs believed in one supreme, invisible creator 
of all things, the ruler of the universe, named Taotl — a 
belief, it is conjectured, not native to them, but derived 
from their predecessors, the Taoltecs. Under this su- 
preme being stood thirteen chief and two hundred inferior 
deities, each of whom had his sacred day and festival. At 
their head was the patron god of the Aztecs, the frightful 
Huitzilopochtli, the Mexican Mars. His temples were 
the most splendid and imposing. In every city of the 
empire his altars were drenched with the blood of human 
sacrifice. Cortez and his companions were permitted by 
Montezuma to enter his temple in the city of Mexico, and 
to behold the god himself. He had a broad face, wide 
mouth and terrible eyes. He was covered with gold, 
pearls and precious stones, and was girt about with 
golden serpents. On his neck, a fitting ornament, were 
the faces of men wroucrht in silver, and their hearts in 
gold. Close by were braziers with incense, and on the 
braziers three real hearts of men who had that day been 
sacrificed. The smell of the place, we are told, was like 
that of a slauorhter-house. 

To supply victims for the sacrifices, the emperors made 
war on all the neighboring and subsidiary States, or in 
case of revolt, in any city of their dominions, and levied a 
certain number of men, women and children by way of 
indemnity. The victims were borne in triumphal proces- 
sions and to the sound of music, to the summit of the 
great temples, where the priests, in sight of assembled 
crowds, bound them to the sacrificial stone, and opening 
the breast tore from it the bleedins: heart which was 



either laid before the image of the gods, or eaten by the 
worshipers, after having been carefully cut up and mixed 
with maize. In the years immediately preceding the 
Spanish conquest, not less than 20,000 victims were an- 
nually immolated. 

These atrocities were sometimes, though incongruously, 
blended with milder forms of worship, in which fruits, 
flowers and perfumes were offered up amid joyous out- 
bursts of song and dance. According to their mythology, 
Taotl, who delighted in these purer sacrifices, had once 
reigned in Anahuac (a name which at first probably ap- 
plied only to the country in the immediate vicinity of the 
capital, though afterward it was applied to the whole 
Aztec empire) in the golden age of the world but being 
obliged, from some unexplained cause, to retire from 
earth, he departed by way of the Mexican Gulf, promis- 

inof to return. 

This wide-spread tradition accelerated the success of the 
Spaniards, whose light skins and long dark hair and 
beards were regarded as evidences of their affinity with 
the long-looked-for divinity. The Mexican priesthood 
formed a rich and powerful order of the State and were 
so numerous that Cortez found as many as 5,000 attached 
to the temple of Mexico. The education of the young 
of both sexes remained, till the age of puberty, in the hands 
of the priests and priestesses, and the sacerdotal class 
were thus able to exercise a widely-diffused influence, 
which, under the later rulers, was almost equal to that of 
the emperor himself. The women shared in all the oc- 
cupations of the men, and were taught, like them, the 
arts of reading, writing, ciphering, singing in chorus, 
dancing, etc., and they were even initiated into the secrets 
of astronomy and astrology. These facts indicate a civil- 
ization far above that of many other nations and tribes. 



The government of Peru was a theocracy. The Inca 
was at once the temporal sovereign and the supreme 



pontiff. He was regarded as the descendant and repre^ 
sentative of the great deity, the sun, who was supposed 
to inspire his counsels, and speak through his orders and 
decrees. Hence even sHght offenses were punished with 
death, because they were regarded as insults offered to 
the divinity. The race of the Incas was held sacred. 
To support its pretensions, it was very desirable that it 
should be kept pure and distinct from the people; but 
human passions are often too strong for the dictates of 
policy; and though the marriages of the family were con- 
fined to their own race, the emperor, as well as the other 
males of the blood royal, kept large harems stocked with 
beauties drawn from all parts of the empire, and multi- 
plied a spurious progeny, in whom the blood of the 
"children of the sun" was blended with that of the 
"children of the earth." Among a simple-minded and 
credulous people the claims of the Incas to a celestial 
origin seem to have been implicidy believed. They were 
blindly obeyed, and treated with a respect bordering on 
adoration, by the nobles and the common people. 

The Peruvians worshiped the sun, moon, the evening- 
star, die spirit of thunder and the rainbow, and had 
erected temples in Cuzco to all these deities. That of 
the sun, which was the most magnificent, had its walls 
covered with plates of pure gold. The sacrifices con- 
sisted of the objects most prized by the people — of grain, 
and of fruits, of a few animals, and of the producdons of 
their own industry. Sun-worship, as it is the most 
rational of all forms of idolatry, is also generally the 
most mild ; and doubdess this results from the tendency 
which it has to fix the thoughts on the marks of benefi- 
cence and wisdom which are displayed in the works 
of nature. The Peruvian temples were accordingly 
never polluted, like those of Mexico, with the blood of 



human victims; and the Incas even went farther, and 
signaHzed their zeal against such horrid rites, by sup- 
pressing them in all the countries they conquered. 

The temple of the Sun at Cuzco, called Coricancha or 
"Place of Gold," was the most magnificent edifice in the 



empire. On the western wall, and opposite the eastern 
portal, was a splendid representation of the sun, the god 
of the nation. It consisted of a human face in gold, with 
innumerable golden rays emanating from it in every 
direction; and when the early beams of the morning sun 
fell upon this brilliant golden disc, they were reflected 
from it as from a mirror, and again reflected throughout 
the whole temple by the numberless plates, cornices, 
bands and images of gold, until the temple seemed to 
glow with a sunshine more intense and glorious than that 
of nature. 




I believe that the ignorance which has prevailed regarding the 
mythological systems of barbarous or semi-barbarous races has too 
generally led to their being considered far grander and more reason- 
able than they really were. — W. Von Humboldt. 

OCEANICA is one of the five great divisions of 
the globe. It embraces all the islands lying in 
the Pacific Ocean between the south-eastern 
shores of Asia and the western shores of America. 

The people may be divided Into two classes; the one 
called the Papuans, the other the Malayo-Polynesians. 
The first resemble the African Negroes, having a black 
skin, and crisp (Papua means " crisp") and woolly hair, 
broad noses, receding chins and foreheads and thick, pro- 
truding lips. These Oceanica Negroes live mainly in New 
Guinea. They are also found In the woods and mountain 
fastnesses of some other islands. They seemed destined 
to be utterly destroyed In the struggle with new-coming 
races. The second, the Malayo-Polynesians, are the brown 
or copper-colored race of Oceanica. They greatly re- 
semble the Arabs In character, customs and appearance. 
They are half-clvlllzed, while the Papuans are barbarous. 
They overspread almost the whole of the southern 
Pacific Islands. They readily responded to the religious 
teachings and civilizing Influences of Asia. In Java es- 
pecially they became almost a reproduction of the people 
of India, in their religion, language and habits. 




The religious condition of the Papuans is very low. 
They resemble somewhat the American Indians and the 
lower African peoples in their faith and worship. The idea 

of God has almost vanished from their minds. They re- 
cognize, indeed, not a moral Ruler, but a great awe-in- 
spiring and mysterious power. Their whole worship is 



a mere attempt at propitiating the angry and malignant 
gods and evil spirits. There are no shrines or temples, 
no priests, no sacred 
books. They makey9'/- 
iches of pieces of sculp- 
ture, a snake, a lizard, a 
bit of bone or some- 
times an image of a 
man. This last is called 
a km"war and is found 
in almost every hut, and 
answers the purpose of 
an oracle and idol. In 
consulting it, they squat 
before it, clasp their 
hands over the forehead, 
bow repeatedly, at the 
same time stating their 
intentions. If they are 
seized with any nervous 
feeling, it is considered a bad sign. If they feel hopeful, 
the idol is supposed to approve. It is deemed necessary 
that a karwar should be present on all important occasions. 


We see in the Malayo-Polynesians a reproduction of 
the worship of the Aztecs of Mexico. Together with 
some knowledge of arts and civilization, the most savage 
atrocities exist — infanticide, human sacrifices, the choking 
to death of whole families in honor of some fallen chief 
brutish feasts upon the bodies of their foes and even of 
their fellow-subjects. 

The chief god is called Ndengei. Besides him there is 
a host of good and evil gods, who are always warring in 




the attempt to help or to hurt mankind. One of these 
gods of the infernal regions is said to sit upon the brink of 

a huge fiery cave, 

into which he 
casts the spirits 
of the dead. An- 
other, the one- 
toothed Lord, is 
described as liv- 
mo- in the fiofure 
of a man, with 
wings instead of 
arms, and claws 
mstead of fin- 
gers, to snatch 
his victims. His 
tooth is so large 
that it reaches 
above his head, 
and he throws 
out sparks of 
fire as he flies 
through the air. 

Among this 
people there is a 
priesthood, and 
their temples, or 
" spirit-houses," 
are called Mbure. 

ingly devout in their way and superstitious. Their re- 
ligious ideas enter into their every-day life. They have 
some interesting traditions, from which a few selections 
may be used as illustrative of the whole. 




The gods first spake to man through the small land- 
birds; but their utterances were too indistinct to guide 
the actions of mankind. To meet this emergency, an 
order of priests was set apart, the gods actually taking 
up their abode, for the time being, in their sacred per- 
sons. Priests were significantly named "god-boxes" 
(pia-atna), generally abbreviated to "gods," /. e., living 
embodiments of these divinities. Temples were natu- 


rally conjoined with priesthood, but they were usually of 
the rudest and simplest sort. 

Whenever consulted, a present of the best food, ac- 
companied with a bowl of intoxicating " piper mythisti- 
cum," was indispensible. The priest, throwing himself 
into a frenzy, delivered a response in language intelligible 
only to the initiated. A favorite subject of inquiry was 
"the sin why so-and-so was ill ;" no one being supposed 

to die a natural death unless decrepit with extreme old 



ao-e. If a priest cherished a spite against anybody, he 
had only to declare it to be the will of the divinity that 
the victim should be put to death, or be laid on the altar 
for some offense against the gods. The best kinds of 
food were sacred to the priests and chiefs and they were 
never slow to make use of it. 

Although unsuited for the delivery of oracles, birds 
were ever regarded as the special messengers of the 
gods to warn individuals of impending danger, each tribe 
having its own feathered guardians. 


A curious myth obtained in the now almost extinct 
Tongan tribe relative to the origin of the sun and moon. 
Vatea and Tonga-ita quarreled respecting the parentage 
of the first born of Papa, each claiming the 
child as his own. At last the child was cut 
in two. Vatea, the husband of Papa, took 
the upper part as his share, and forthwith 
squeezed it into a ball and tossed it into 
the heavens, where it became the sun. 

Tonga-ita sullenly allowed his share, the 
lower half, to remain a day or two on the 
o-round. Seeinor the bris^htness of Vatea's 
half, he resolved to imitate his example by 
IDOL OF SOUTH compressing his share into a ball, and toss- 
sEA ISLANDS, jj^g j|- Jj^^-q ^-j^g dark sky during the absence 

of the sun in Avaiki, or nether-world. Thus originated 
the moon, whose paleness is attributed to the blood hav- 
ing all drained out of the body as it lay so long on the 
o-round and to decomposition having commenced. 

They believed that men could become gods. Mani, by 
his mighty prowess, entered the rank of the gods, and his 
example could be followed by others. 




One of the most peculiar traditions of Oceanica is this: 
To Ru and Buataranga was born a famous son, Mani. 
At an early age, Mani was appointed one of the guar- 
dians of this upper world where mortals live. Like the 
rest of the inhabitants of the world, he subsisted on un- 
cooked food. The mother, Buataranga, occasionally 
visited her son, but always ate her food apart, out of a 
basket brought with her from nether land. One day, 
when she was asleep, Mani peeped into her basket, and 
discovered cooked food. Upon 
tasting it, he was decidedly of 
opinion that it was a great im- 
provement upon the raw diet 
to which he was accustomed. 
This food came from nether- 
world ; it was evident that the 
secret of fire was there. To 
nether-world, the home of his 
parents, he would descend to 
gain this knowledge, so that 
ever after he might enjoy the 
luxury of cooked food. 

On the following day Buata- 
ranga was about to descend to 
Avaiki (nether-world), when 
Mani followed her through the 
bush without her knowing it. 
This was no difficult task, as she always came and re- 
turned by the same road. Peering through the tall reeds, 
he saw his mother standing within easy hearing distance 
of him and direcdy opposite a black rock, which she ad- 
dressed as follows : 


Six feet in Height. 



''Buataranga, descend thou boldly through this chasm, 
The rainbow-like must be obeyed ; 
As two dark clouds parting at dawn, 
Open, open up my road to nether-world, ye fierce ones." 

At these words, the rock divided, and Buataranga de- 
scended. Mani carefully treasured up these magic words, 
and without delay started off to see the god Tane, the 
owner of some wonderful pigeons. He earnestly begged 
Tane to lend him one; but the proffered pigeon not 
pleasing Mani, was at once returned to its owner. A 
better pigeon was offered to the fastidious borrower, but 
was rejected. Nothing would content Mani but the pos- 
session of Akaotu, or Fearless, a red pigeon, specially 
prized by Tane. It was so tame that it knew its name ; 
and, wander wherever it might, it was sure to return to 
its master. Tane, who was loth to part with his pet, ex- 
tracted a promise from Mani that 
the pigeon should be restored to 
him uninjured. Mani now set 
off in high spirits, carrying with 
him his red pigeon, to the place 
where his mother had descended. 
Upon pronouncing the magic 
words which he had overheard, 
to his great delight, the rock 
opened, and Mani, entering the 
pigeon, descended. Some assert 
that Mani transformed himself 
into a small dragon-fly, and, 
perched upon the back of the 
pigeon, made his descent. The two fierce guardian de- 
mons of the chasm, enraged at finding themselves im- 
posed upon by a stranger, made a grab at the pigeon, 
intending to devour it. Fortunately, however, for the 




borrower, they only succeeded In getting possession of 
the tail, whilst the pigeon, minus its beautiful tail, pursued 
its flight to the shades. Mani was grieved at the mishap 
which had overtaken the pet bird of his friend Tane. 

Arrived at nether-land, Mani sought for the home of 
his mother. It was the first house he saw; he was guided 
to it by the sound of her clothflail. The red pigeon 
alicrhted on an ovenhouse opposite to the shed where 
Buataranga was beating out cloth. She stopped her 
work to gaze at the red pigeon, which she guessed to be 
a visitor from the upper world, as none of the pigeons 
in the shades were red. Buataranga said to the bird, 
"Are you not come from daylight?" The pigeon nodded 
assent. "Are you not my son, Mani ?" inquired the old 
woman. Again the pigeon nodded. At this Buataranga 
entered her dwelling and the bird flew to a bread-fruit 
tree. Mani resumed his proper human form, and went 
to embrace his mother, who inquired how he had de- 
scended to nether-world, and the object of 
his visit. Mani avowed that he had come to 
learn the secret of fire. Buataranga , said, 
"This secret rests with the fire-god, Manike. 
When I wish to cook an oven, I ask your father 
Ru to bee a lighted stick from Manike." 
Mani inquired where the fire-god lived. Hi 
mother pointed out the direction, and said it was 
called Are-aoa — hotise-of -banyan-sticks. She 
entreated Mani to be careful, "for the fire-god 
is a terrible fellow, of a very irritable temper." 

Mani now walked up boldlv toward the idol from 

' !• POLYNESI-^ 

house of the fire-god, guided by the curlmg 
column of smoke. Manike, who happened at the moment 
to be cooking an oven of food, stopped his work and 
demanded what the stranger wanted. Mani replied, "A 


fire-brand." The fire-brand was given. Mani carried 
it to a stream running past the bread-fruit tree and 
there extinguished it. He now returned to Manike 
and obtained a second fire-brand, which he also extin- 
guished in the stream. A third time a Hghted stick was 
demanded of the fire-god. He was beside himself with 
rage. Raking the ashes of his oven, he gave the daring 
Mani some of them on a piece of dry wood. These 
live coals were thrown into the stream as the former 
lighted sticks had been. 

Mani correctly thought that a fire-brand would be of 
little use, unless he could obtain the secret of fire. The 
brand would eventually go out; but how to reproduce the 
fire? His object, therefore, was to pick a quarrel with the 
fire-god, and compel him, by sheer violence, to yield up 
the invaluable secret, as yet known to none but himself. 
On the other hand, the fire-god, confident in his own pro- 
digious strength, resolved to destroy this insolent in- 
truder into his secret. Mani, for the fourth time, de- 
manded fire of the enraged god. Manike ordered him 
away, under pain of being tossed into the air ; for Mani 
was small of stature. But the visitor said he should 
enjoy nothing better than a trial of strength with the 
fire-god. Manike entered his dwelling to put on his war- 
girdle (ume-i-tono maro); but on returning, found that 
Mani had swelled himself to an enormous size. Nothing 
daunted at this, Manike boldly seized him with both hands 
and hurled him to the height of a cocoanut tree. Mani 
contrived, in falling, to make himself so light that he was 
in no degree hurt by his adventure. Manike, maddened 
that his adversary should yet breathe, exerted his full 
strength, and next time hurled him far higher than the 
highest cocoanut tree that ever grew. Yet Mani was un- 
hurt by his fall, whilst the fire-god lay panting for breath. 



It was now Mani's turn. Seizing the fire-god, he 
threw him up to a dizzy height, and caught him again Hke 
a ball with his hands. Without allowing Manike to touch 
the ground, he threw him a second time into the air, and 
caught him in his hands. Assured that this was but a 
preparation for a final toss, which should seal his fate, the 
panting and thoroughly exhausted Manike entreated 
Mani to stop and spare his life. Whatever Mani desired 
Manike promised should be his. 

The fire-god, now in a misera- 
ble plight, was allowed to breathe 
awhile. Mani said: "Only on 
one condition will I spare you — 
tell me the secret of fire. Where 
is it hidden ? How is it pro- 
duced?" Manike gladly prom- 
ised to tell him all he knew, and 
led him inside his wonderful 
dwelling. In one corner there was 
a quantity of fine cocoanut-fibre ; 
in another, bundles of fire-yield- 
ing sticks — the "^2^," the "oron- 
ga," the " tauiiiu" and particu- 
larly the '' aoay or banyan tree. 
These sticks were all dry and ready for use. In the 
middle of the room were two smaller sticks by themselves. 
One of these the fire-eod eave to Mani, desirino- him to 
hold it firmly, while he himself plied the other most vigor- 
ously, uttering as he did it the following song: 



Grant, oh, grant me thy hidden fire, 

Thou banyan tree ! 
Perform an incantation ; 


Utter a prayer to (the spirit of) 
The banyan tree ! 

Kindle a fire for Man ike 

Of the dust of the banyan tree ! 

By the time this song was completed Mani, to his 
great joy, perceived a faint smoke arising out of the fine 
dust produced by the friction of one stick upon another. 
As they persevered in their work the smoke increased, 
and, favored with the fire-god's breath, a shght flame 
arose, when the fine cocoanut fibre was called into requi- 
sition, to catch and increase the flame. Manike now 
called to his aid the different bundles of sticks, and 
speedily got up a blazing fire, to the astonishment and 
great delight of Mani. 

The grand secret of fire was thus secured. But the 
victor resolved to be revenged for his trouble and his 
tossing in the air, by setting fire to his fallen adversary's 
abode. In a short time all nether-world was in flames, 
which consumed the fire-god and all he possessed. Even 
the rocks cracked and split with the heat; hence the an- 
cient saying in that land, " The rocks ot Orovaru (in the 
shades) are burning." 

Ere leaving the land of ghosts, Mani carefully picked 
up the two fire-sticks, once the property of Manike, and 
hastened to the bread-fruit tree, where the red pigeon, 
"Fearless," quietly awaited his return. His first care 
was to restore the tail of the bird, so as to avoid the 
anger of Tane. There was no time to be lost, for the 
flames were rapidly spreading. He re-entered the 
pigeon, which carried his fire-sticks one in each claw, and 
flew to the lower entrance of the chasm. Once more 
pronouncing the words he learnt from Buataranga, the 
rocks parted, and he safely got back to this upper world. 



Through the good offices of his mother, the pigeon met 
with no opposition from the fierce guardians of the road to 
the shades. On ao^ain enter- 
ing into hght the red pigeon 
took a long sweep, ahghting, 
eventually, in a lovely, se- 
cluded valley, which was 
thenceforth named Rupe-tau, .^^P 
or the pigeon s 7'esting-place. 
Mani now resumed his origi- 
nal human form, and has- 
tened to carry back the pet ^^^P 
bird to his friend, Tane. 

Passing: through the main 
valley of Keia, he found that 
the flames had preceded him, 
and had found an aperture at 
Teava, since closed up. The 
kinors Rancri and Mokoiro 
trembled for their land; for it 
seemed as if everything would e destroyed by the de- 
vouring flames. To save Mangaia from utter destruc- 
tion, they exerted themselves to the utmost, and finally 
succeeded in putting out the fire. Rangi thenceforth 
adopted the new name of Matamea, or Watery-eyes, to 
commemorate his sufferings ; and Mokoiro was ever 
after called Anai, or S^noke. 

The inhabitants of Mangaia availed themselves of the 
conflao-ration to get fire and to cook food. But alter a 
litde time their fire went out, and as they were not in 
possession of the secret, they could not get new fire. But 
Mani was never without fire in his dwelling; a circum- 
stance that excited the surprise and the envy of all. Many 
were the inquiries as to the cause. At length he took com- 


Covered with red feathers, having seal's 

teeth and eyes of pearl. 


passion on the inhabitants of the world, and told them 
the wonderful secret — that fire lies hidden in the hibiscus, 
the urtica argentra, the "tauniu," and the "banyan." This 
hidden fire might be elicited by the use of fire-sticks, 
which he produced. Finally, he desired them to chant 
the fire-god's song, to give efficacy to the use of the 
sticks, and from that memorable day all the dwellers in 
this upper world used fire-sticks with success, and enjoyed 
the luxuries of light and cooked food. By such wonderful 
deeds Mani succeeded in introducing himself among the 
gods. He is to-day much reverenced throughout the 
Pacific Isles. 





The Karens are a meek, peaceful race, simple and credulous, with 
many of the softer virtues and few flagrant vices. Though greatly 
addicted to drunkenness, extremely filthy and indolent in their habits,, 
their morals, in other respects, are superior to many more civilized 
races. Their traditions, like those of several tribes of American In- 
dians, are a curious medley of myth and absurdity ; but they have some 
tolerably definite ideas of a Great Being, who governs the universe; 
and many of their traditionary precepts bears a striking resemblance 
to those of the Gospel. — Mrs. Emily C. Judson. 


LTHOUGH the Karens, as we now know them, 
are divided into two main clans and numerous 
smaller divisions, having different tribal customs 
and speaking different dialects, yet their religious cus- 
toms are marked by the same distinctive features in all 
the tribes. 

The Karens are not now, and never have been, so far 
as can be ascertained, idol worshipers. They look with 
cool contempt upon the religious forms of the idolaters 
by whom they are surrounded. The few Karens who 
have so far forgotten their ancient customs as to give a 
formal adherence to Buddhist ceremonies, are looked 
upon as renegades by their fellow-countrymen. 

This feature marks them as entirely foreign in origin 
to the country in which they are now found. This is 
confirmed by their own traditions, which declare that they 

* Contributed by the Rev. R. M. Luther, of Burmah. 


came from the north-west, following the mountain ranges 
until they found themselves in Burmah, where their home 
now is. 

These same traditions also declare unmistakably that 
they once worshiped the true God, whom they call in 
their own language Yuah or Ktsah Yjcah, the latter term 
meanine " the Lord Yuah." Karens, however, will seldom 
repeat this name ; the heathen declining positively, and 
many of the less informed Christians showing a strange 
reluctance to repeating it. The reason they give is that 
the word Yuah, in common speech, means to flow down 
or away, and the Karens say that to use this name care- 
lessly will cause the favor of God to flow away from 

Althouofh the Karens, however, show this strange rever- 
ence for the name of God, a reverence which reminds us 
of the similar feeling among the Jews for the sacred 
name Jah or Yah which the Karen so closely resembles, 
yet they do not worship this Lord Yuah, as a rule. In- 
deed in most cases the only sign of worship given to 
him is the exclamation, " Ba Pa K'tsah!" used when one 
is starded or suddenly alarmed. This phrase means 
literally "worship Father God," or, colloquially, "we wor- 
ship God." Further than this a Karen scarcely ever 
offers any form of worship to this Being whom they ac- 
knowledge to be in very truth the one living supreme 

The reason for this failure to worship Yuah is ac- 
counted for by the following strange tradition, which we 
give as it is commonly repeated around the camp-fires, 
or in the huts of the Karens, as they while away the 
cool, quiet nights which succeed the burning days of 

"We once, oh! children and grandchildren, had the 



Law of Yuah, and worshiped him as the only Hving and 
true God. This law was a written book, and was made 
of skin, the skin of an animal. Yuah gave us his law 
because we were his favored children. Yuah had seven 
sons, and his oldest son, the first-born of his creation, 
was our ancestor, the first of our nation and the first 
of men. 

"Yuah told us to be very careful of his law, and for a 
time our ancestors read his book and kept his command- 
ments, for they feared that if they did not, Pa K'tsah 
(Father God, for that is the real name of Yuah) would 
flow (Yuah) away from them. 

"By and by, however, our ancestors became careless. 
They had many gardens to make, and they grew forget- 
ful of the book of the law, and one day they left it upon 
a low tree, and the fowls flew up to roost in the evening, 
and threw the book down to the ground ; and then a dog 
came and carried it away, and gnawed it. Pa K'tsah 
was so displeased that he took away his law from us and 
gave it to our younger brother, the white man. Then 
Yuah left us. He said: 'Oh, my children, you are now 
in the power of the evil spirits, who hate men. You can 
only appease their anger by sacrifices. I am going far 
away; but do not despair. One day your younger 
brother, the white man, will come to you in ships from 
the west, and will bring you back again the long-lost 
law of Yuah. Then you will be happy, for the evil ones 
will leave you, and I will return. Till then you must 
wait and watch. You shall be afflicted with sickness 
when the evil ones eat your spirits. You shall be slaves 
to your brethren ; but one day all will be right, when 
your younger brother, the white stranger, brings you 
again my law." 

Then, say the Karens, began our troubles and sorrows. 



Since then the Karens have regarded themselves as Hv- 
ing in a world of evil spirits, and their religious ceremo- 
nies are simply propitiatory sacrifices and prayers to 
these evil beings, intended to conciliate and flatter them. 

When sick- 
ness afflicts a 
Karen, it is sup- 
posed to be the 
result of an at- 
tack upon him 
by one of these 
evil beings. The 
Karens say that 
a man has sev- 
en spirits; that 
when we sleep 
all these spirits 
leave us and 
wander about 
the earth ; what 
they see in their 
wanderings, we 
will see in our 
dreams. Now, 
the evil spirits, according to the belief of the Karens, 
are on the watch to catch the spirits of men and devour 
them. If one is caught, the man falls sick ; if another, 
he grows worse ; if all, he dies. The evil spirits may be 
appeased by a sacrificial feast, and may release the cap- 
tive soul. So a feast is proclaimed, and all the family of 
the sick man — sometimes all his immediate relations — 
gather together and partake of it with great ceremony, 
offering portions of the food to the spirits, by exposing 
them outside the house or village, where they are quickly 



seized by birds. These feasts are accompanied by inter- 
cessory prayer to the evil spirits to release the captive 
soul from their toils. 

The streams, the forest, even particular trees, are sup- 
posed to be the haunts of these evil ones. So a Karen, 
when fishing, mutters a prayer to the tutelary spirit, or if 
he fells a tree, first mutters a prayer or makes a propiti- 
atory offering. 

In sowing and reaping the grain, or planting fruit-trees, 
and cratherine fruit, similar ceremonies are observed. 

After death solemn funeral services are held. The 
soul is supposed to be immortal and to exist in Hades. 
From this Hades we are separated by a stream, impass- 
able, save as the soul is carried over upon the wings of a 
bird, to which they give various names. The soul is 
supposed to linger near the grave or place of sepulture 
undl a solemn commemorative service is held, a month, 
or more commonly, a year, after the decease of the body. 
At this time a feast is proclaimed. All the villagers and 
relatives are gathered together. A bone of the deceased 
is then taken from the grave, usually the back-bone, and 
shrined in a carved wooden shrine, which is surmounted 
by the figure of the sacred bird. Dirges, exceedingly 
poedc and beautiful, are sung to minor strains. A pro- 
cession of young men and maidens moves round the 
shrine, bewailing the deceased and speaking of the hopes 
of his safe entrance into a beautiful land, or, as the 
northern tribes call it, the "silver city." The feast lasts 
for a number of days, usually seven, but if the family of 
the deceased is rich, it is sometimes prolonged to a 
month. The bone is then buried with great ceremony, 
and the soul is supposed to enter its state of rest ; yet 
not a state of perfect happiness, for say the Karens, " No 
one can obtain blessedness until Yuah returns and brings 



with him happiness for this hfe and for that which is to 

Mrs, Vinton, a missionary to Burmah, wrote: "The 
Karens in eeneral hsten with orreat interest when we tell 
them of God, and frequently exclaim, 'That is what our 
forefathers told us ! That is right ! That is good !' I 
have endeavored to discover how their forefathers came 
by a knowledge of God ; but they always answer, * Our 
ancestors knew Him from the beginning, but when they 
sinned against Him He hid Himself from them ; and their 
descendants after them knew not how to worship Him ; 
and, as He did not protect them from evil spirits, they 
were obliged to offer sacrifices to them to appease their 

"They tell us of many attempts 'to return to the wor- 
ship of the God who made the earth, and the heavens, 
and all things.' 

" These efforts have sometimes been continued for 
months, and even years ; but the poor Karens have in- 
variably fallen a sacrifice to the brutal persecutions of the 

"One village of nearly a thousand inhabitants worshiped 
God in this way for some time, unknown to the Bur- 
mans ; but when the latter learned the fact they sent an 
armed force to destroy the village. Some of the Karens 
inquired of their leader if they should fight. ' No,' re- 
plied the chief, 'it is inconsistent with the worship of our 
God to fight. We will cast ourselves upon His protec- 
tion.' They then opened their gates, brought forth their 
weapons of defense, and laid them at the feet of their 
enemies. Thus defenseless, they were immediately slain 
*by their cruel oppressors, the Burmans." 





A Parsee believes in one God, to whom he addresses his prayers. 
His morality is comprised in these words — pure thoughts, pure words, 
pure deeds. — F. Max Muller. 

MODERN Parsees decidedly object to being called 
fire-worshipers, and declare the designation un- 
true. They are undoubtedly taught from their 
youth up to turn their face to some light-giving object 
while engaged in worshiping God, and they certainly 
regard the fire as an emblem of the power of God. 
Yet they declare that they never worship these, neither 
they nor their fathers. The name has been given 
them from most ancient times ; and they confess that if 
there is not a national worship of the sun and fire, there 
is yet an indescribable awe which every Parsee feels to- 
ward these objects. The Parsees are the only Eastern 
people who totally abstain from smoking tobacco. They 
do not even like to blow out a candle. In many other 
respects, this is a singular people, whose religious faith 
we are about to describe. But, first, let us turn to its 

To-day only about one one-hundredth part of the 
whole human race are Parsees ; but there have been 
times when this system bade fair to become the preva- 
lent relieion of the world. It is one of the oldest of re- 
formed religions. It grew up upon the idolatrous wor- 
ship of the ancient Assyrian empire. In the days of 



Cyrus the Great this was the State reHgion of Persia. 

Had Greece 
fallen before 
him, and been 
absorbed Into 
his vast em- 
pire, as had 
Assyria, Baby- 
lon and Egypt, 
the Grecian 
relimon would 
have yielded 
a place to the 
Parsee's faith. 
Parseeism was 
possessed of 
great strength, 
and resisted all 
attacks upon 
its life until a 
thousand years 
since, when 
the Arabians 
brought Mo- 
into the land of 
Persia. From 
that time it has 
been a curios- 
ity to histori- 
ans, and its 
followers are 
rapidly dwind- 
ling away; and ere long the fires of its faith w^ill die 




out, and it will become one of the religions of the 


This system is called generally by either one of three 
names — Parseeism, Fire-worship or Zoroasteranism. It 
is sometimes called the doctrine of the Magi. Its usual 
name is derived from him who was the most celebrated 
man in the history of this faith. Zoroaster is sometimes 
called the son of Ormazd. He probably lived about 1,200 
years before Christ. The exact date cannot be ascer- 
tained. It is certain that it was in very early times, be- 
cause he and his relicrious reform are referred to in the 
V^edas, whose great antiquity has been proven. His 
writinors stand at the head of the sacred Parsee books, 
just as Moses' writings stand at the beginning ot our 
Bible. It took hundreds of years for the sacred Parsee 
books to grow, and they were completed in 400 B. C. 
Pliny compares Moses and Zoroaster as founders of 
great religions. He certainly was one of the earliest 
and greatest of religious retormeirs. 

His teachings can be learned only from the older Parsee 
books, the Gathas. His principal tenet was that there 
is one God and not many gods. In his speculations he 
taught that there were two forces opposed to each other, 
a orood beino- and an evil beinof ; his followers afterwards 
declared these to be a eood Qr-od and an evil o^od — Or- 
mazd and Ahriman. In his moral teachings he declared 
that three things were to be kept pure; namely, thoughts, 
words and deeds. 

Zoroaster's worship of one god. 

In one of the Gathas (a division of the Zend-Avesta or 
sacred Parsee books), Zoroaster is represented as stand- 



ino- before the sacred fire, in a speech seeking to induce 
his countrymen to forsake the worship of the devas or 
p-ods, and to bow only to Ormazd. In his speech he de- 
clares that from the worship of one God flow all pros- 
perities, while from the worship of many gods comes 
ruin to the race. The following is a translation ot his 
speech, made by Haug the famous Parsee scholar : 

"I.I will now tell you who are assembled here the wise 
sayings of Mazda {i. e., Ormazd) the hymns of the good 
spirit, the sublime truth which I see arising out of these 
sacred flames. 

" 2. You shall, therefore, hearken to the soul of nature, 
{i. e., to plow and cultivate the soil) ; contemplate the 
beams of fire with a most pious mind ! Every one, both 
men and women, ought to-day to choose his creed (be- 
tween deva- worship and the Ormazd religion). Ye off- 
spring of renowned ancestors, awake to agree with us." 

Again and again Zoroaster reverts to this theme. It 
does seem as if his ideas of Ormazd gready resembled 
those of Moses of Elohim or Jehovah. Though the 
ancient Zoroastrians believed in an evil spirit of almost 
equal power with Ormazd, yet Zoroaster himself taught 
nothino- of this. With all the ardor of Mohammed he 
waged war against the worship of many gods and idols, 
but with none of Mohammed's iconoclastic zeal. Zo- 
roaster pursued his course peacefully, seeking to win his 
countrymen by his words ; Mohammed sought to carry 
his faith at the point of the sword. Both sought the 
same end, to establish the worship of one God. 


Zoroaster taucrht that there were two spirits always at 
war with one another. His followers changed his teach- 
ing into belief in a good God, Ormazd, and an evil god. 


Ahriman. Ormazd brings blessings, Ahriman cursings. 
Ormazd is the father of truth, Ahriman is father of Hes. 
Ormazd favors the good, Ahriman causes the evil to tri- 
umph. With the two gods is associated the idea of two 
lives, a good and a bad; of two future homes for man, a 
Heaven and a Hell. Heaven is literally a " house of 
hymns," and Hell a "house of destruction," The first is 
the dwelling-place of Ormazd, the latter of Ahriman. 
Between Heaven and Hell is the "bridge of the gatherer," 
over which the souls of the pious can pass, while those 
of the wicked fall into Hell. Throughout the Zend- 
Avesta we find many teachings bearing a wondrous re- 
semblance to those of the Christian and Jewish Scriptures. 
Beyond a question, these are not derived from one 
another, but are founded on those convictions of truth 
which are a part of our human nature. 


It is only recently that Europeans have been able to 
learn the contents of the Bible of the Fire-Worshipers, 
the Zend-Avesta. In the middle of the last century a 
Frenchman, Anquetil Duperron, happened to see some 
pages written in the Avesta characters. Hoping to earn 
the honor of opening the sacred scriptures of the Par- 
sees to the western world, he determined to go and get 
in Western India full copies of these writings and there to 
learn the language. Being very poor, he joined one of 
the French Indian Company's ships as a common sailor, 
for the French Government had refused to encourage his 
enterprise. But when he arrived in India he found that 
the government had determined differently and would aid 
him. But the Parsee priests would neither give nor loan 
him manuscripts nor teach him the language of the Zend- 
Avesta. Finally he managed to bribe a learned priest. 


His translation appeared in the year i 771, after seventeen 
years of toil and study. His work created an immense 
sensation in Europe. For fifty years but little was done 
in Europe in addition to Duperron's work. In 1830, 
Eugene Burnouf, a most gifted scholar, gave his attention 
to the work. Others followed in his track, until now we 
have complete and accurate translations of all the Parsee 
sacred books in existence. 


This consists of the writings and sayings of Zoroaster 
and the commentaries on these prepared by his disciples. 
Much of the Zend-Avesta is lost beyond recovery. 
When Alexander the Great conquered the Persian em- 
pire, he and his soldiers destroyed many of these books. 

In the royal library at Persepolis was a complete copy 
of the Zend-Avesta, which, by Alexander's orders, was 
burned with the building- containing them. The names 
of these books, of which there were twenty-one, remain, 
together with a description of them. In these books was 
gathered the whole religious and scientific literature of 
the ancient Persian empire. They treated not only of 
religious topics, but of medicine, astronomy, agricul- 
ture, botany, philosophy, etc. The foundation underlying 
all these books was given by Zoroaster. God re- 
vealed all this to him, as the Parsees have always be- 
lieved, and hence all these books are inspired. The 
prophet was supposed to have talked with God, asking 
Him questions and receiving answers. These answers 
Zoroaster communicated to his disciples. Thus we read 
in the Zend-Avesta: 

" That I shall ask Thee, tell it me right, O Ormazd ! 
Who was in the beginninof the father and creator of 
righteousness? Who created the path of the sun and 


Stars ? Who caused the moon to Increase and wane but 
Thou? This I wish to know, O Mazda! besides what I 
know already. 

"That I shall ask Thee, tell it me right, O Ormazd! 
Who is holding the earth and the skies above it? Who 
made the waters and the trees of the field? Who is 
in the winds and storms that they so quickly run ? 
Who is the creator of the good-minded beings, O Or- 
mazd ? 

" That I shall ask Thee, tell it me right, O Ormazd ! 
Who created the liehts of irood effect and the darkness? 
Who created the sleep of good effect and the activity? 
Who created morning, noon and night, reminding the 
priest always of his duties? 

"That I shall ask Thee, tell it me right, O Ormazd! 
What guardian angel may tell me good things to per- 
form five times a day, the duties which are enjoined by 
Thyself, O Mazda ? and to recite those prayers which are 
communicated for the welfare of all beings by the good 
mind ? Whatever good, intended for the increase of 
life, is to be had, may it come to me!" 

The Dashers or high-priests are the only ones who are 
now expected to be able to understand the meaning of the 
Zend-Avesta; they are expected to thoroughly study it. 
All that remains of the Parsee Bible to-day are the follow- 
ing books: the Yasna, Visparad, Vendidad and twenty- 
four Yashts. The Yasnas are hymns used for sacrifice. 
They are solemnly recited before the fire. The priest 
takes some consecrated water, bread, butter, fresh milk, 
meat, the branches of the Homa plant with a pomegran- 
ate branch, the hair of an ox and a bundle of twigs. 
These are all placed on a marble table opposite to the 
fire on the hearth of the temple. Then the priest re- 
peats the Yasnas, sometimes half-chanting, half-reciting 



them. Thus, " Blessed is he, blessed is every one, to 
whom Ormazd, ruling by his own will, shall grant the two 
everlasting powers, health and immortality. For this 
very good, I beseech Thee. Mayest Thou through Thine 
angel of piety, Armaiti, give me happiness, the good true 
things, and the possession of the good mind. 

" I believe Thee to be the best Being of all, the source 
of lio-ht for all the world. Every one shall choose Thee 
as the source of light, Thee, O Mazda, most beneficent 
spirit ! Thou createdst all good true things by means of 
the power of Thy good mind at any time, and promised 
us, who believe in Thee, a long life. 

'' Standing at Thy fire, amongst Thy worshipers who 
pray to Thee, I will be mindful of righteousness as long 
as I shall be able." 

The Visparad is a collection of prayers in twenty-three 
chapters. They are used much in the same way as the 
Yasnas. They resembfe many of the Vedic prayers of 
the Hindu religion. The Yashts contain directions for , 
the sacrifices and hymns of prayer and praise. The 
Vendidad is the code of the religious, civil and criminal 
laws of the Parsees. It consists of twenty-two chapters. 


The Parsee religion enters into the home-life of all its 
adherents. The holy fire is kept always burning in the 
high-priest's house, and the people go there to re-light 
their household altar-fires. A Parsee merchant, Mr. 
Dadabhai Naoroji, has described the daily life of the fire- 
worshiper. Some of their practices are decidedly dis- 
gusting. A pious Parsee must say his prayers at least 
sixteen times every day — on getting out of bed, in wash- 
ing with nirang (a vile fluid, supposed to be sacred), in 
taking his bath, cleansing his teeth. Every time that he 


washes his hands he repeats his prayers, and ever)^ meal 
begins and ends widi prayers. The priests of to-day do 
not even understand the old Zend language, in which 
these prayers are said. Mr. Naoroji says : "All prayers, 
on every occasion, are said, or rather recited, in the old 
original Zend lano-uag-e ; neither the reciter nor the 
people around intend to be edified, no one understanding 
a word of it. There is no pulpit among the Parsees. On 
some special occasions there are assemblages in the tem- 
ples, and prayers are repeated. Ordinarily, every one 
goes to the fire-temple whenever he likes, or, if it is con- 
venient to him, recites his prayers himself, and as long as 
he likes, and gives, if so inclined, something to the priests 
to pray for him." 

The Parsees have only one wife. They never eat food 
cooked by a person of another religion than their own ; 
they object to eating beef, pork or ham. The priesthood 
is a family office ; none but the son of a priest can be- 
come a priest. Fire is used in connection with all their 
worship as the symbol and (so some say) the representa- 
tive of God. Often one may see in Bombay, India, as 
the sun lowers in the west, a group of Parsees with heads 
reverendy bowed, and hands clasped, repeating their 
prayers. Light and fire of any sort are regarded with 
great reverence, and the Parsee always turns his face to a 
light-giving object when praying. The greatest respect 
is shown to the source of light and heat, the sun, and to 
the sacred fire in the temple or the high-priest's house. 




The teachings of Lao-Tsze are not unlike those of Zeno ; both re- 
commend retirement and contemplation as the most effectual means 
of purifying the spiritual part of our nature, annihilating the material 
passions and finally returning to the bosom of the supreme Reason. 

Hon. S. Wells Williams, LL. D. 

WE now proceed to notice two of the three re- 
Hgions of Chhia, Taoism and Confucianism, 
leaving Buddhism until the chapter on Bud- 
dhism. One-third of all the people of the world are gath- 
ered in China. Considered in every way it is a gigantic 
empire. Its territory stretches over about one-third of 
the continent of Asia and, next to Russia, is the largest 
connected empire on the earth. Within its borders 
occur some of the highest mountains and largest rivers in 
the world. The pass over the Mei-ling in the north of 
Kwang-tung province, is 8,000 feet above the sea. The 
Yellow River is over 2,000 miles long and the Yangtse 
Kiano- is nearly 4,000. China's various climates allow al- 
most every kind of vegetable and plant to be cultivated. 
Minerals and metals of all sorts abound, so that no 
country in the world contains greater wealth. The Great 
Chinese Wall extends from twenty-two degrees of lon- 
o-itude a litde north of Peking, and is from fifteen to 
thirty feet high, fifteen feet broad and over 1,500 miles 
long. This was built more than 2,000 years ago. The 
history of China goes back to 2,000 years before Christ; 




it has had from those early days a sort of civiHzation. Two 
thousand years ago it had canals and other works of in- 
land navigation. The Chinese have from very early times 
worn silk. The art of engraving on wooden blocks for 
printing with movable types was known 500 years before 
the days of Gu- 
tenberg. They 
have used the 
compass, and 
and paper for 
many years. 
They have had 
libraries of thousands of volumes from ancient times. 
Every village has its school. The conceit of the Chinese 
of their position has been fostered very greatly by their 
isolation and ignorance of other nations. Their ruler is 
called the Son of Heaven and his dynasty the heavenly 
dynasty, whence foreigners sometimes WTongly call the 
people Celestials. China is called the Middle Kingdom 
and the Flowery Land. They call foreigners I-Jin or 
barbarians, also Fank-wei or foreign devils. 


They do many things almost in a way directly the con- 
trary of that in which w^e do it. Their customs and ideas 
are diametrically opposite to ours. "We read horizon- 
tally, they perpendicularly; and the columns run from 
riorht to .left. We uncover the head as a mark of re- 
spect, they put on their caps. We black our boots, they 
whiten them. We give the place of honor on the right, 
they on the left. We say the needle points to the north, 
they to the south. We shake the hand of a friend in 
salutation, they shake their own. We locate the under- 



Standing in the brain, they in the belly. We place our 
foot-notes at the bottom of a page, they at the top. In 
our libraries we set our books up, they lay theirs down. 
We now turn thousands of spindles and ply hundreds of 
shutdes without a single hand to propel, they employ a 
hand for each," 

But the most singular thing of all, perhaps, is the lan- 
guage. The fundamental conception of the language is 
ideographic. It is entirely monosyllabic, and has only 
characters, no alphabet or letters. In one respect it is 
as colossal as the nation in the number of its characters. 
Every character is the name of a thing. An immense 
number of seemingly arbitrary signs is therefore to be 
mastered. The labor is alleviated, however, by the fact 
that there are certain root forms, variously estimated at 
from 315 to 4,000. Out of the characters 214 have been 
selected as keys or radicals, one or other of which is 

found in every character 
of the language. The 
number of words con- 
tained in the official dic- 
tionary is 43,500, and 
other authorities reckon 
as many more. But the 
missionary Doolittle, af- 
firms that a knowledge 
of 3,000 or 4,000 charac- 
ters is sufficient for the 


reading of most books. The most complicated characters 
in the language contain fifty-two strokes, but such are very 
rare. The language is still further complicated in its 
pronunciation by a system of tones, which vary according 
to the meaning of the word. The language, like the 
people, is of the earth earthy, for among its thousands of 


words rankly luxuriant there, there was found to be no 
expression suitable to express one of the graces of the 
spirit, and it was for half a century a matter of grave discus- 
sion what should be the proper rendering of the word God. 


A Chinaman may at the same time be an adherent of 
all three of the national reliorions. The mass of the Chi- 
nese people accept the three, and see no inconsistency in 
so doing. It is somewhat as if we Americans were at 
the same time Protestant, Romanist and skeptic. The 
Chinese support the priests of all religions, worship in 
all their temples, and believe in the gods of each and 
all. These three religions differ from each other, how- 
ever. Dr. Edkins has so well defined this difference that 
we give his words : 

'• Confucianism speaks to the moral nature. It dis-. 
courses on virtue and vice, and the duty of compliance 
with law and the dictates of conscience. Its worship 
rests on this basis. The religious veneration paid to an- 
cestors — for that is the worship of this system — is founded 
on the duty of filial piety. The moral sense of the Chi- 
nese is offended if they are called on to resign this custom. 

" Taoism is materialistic. Its notion of the soul is of 
something physical, a purer form of matter. The soul it 
supposes to gain immortality by a physical discipline, a 
sort of chemical process, which transmutes it into a more 
ethereal essence, and prepares it for being transferred to 
the regions of immortality. The gods of Taoism are 
also very much what might be expected in a system 
which has such notions as these of the soul. It looks 
upon the stars as divine. It deifies hermits and physi- 
cians, magicians and seekers after the philosopher's stone 
and the plant of immortality. 


" Buddhism is different from both. It is metaphysical. 
It appeals to the imagination, and deals in subtle argu- 
ment. It says that the world of the senses is altogether 
unreal, and upholds this proposition by the most elabor- 
ate proofs. Its gods are personified ideas. It denies 
matter entirely, and concerns itself only with ideas. Most 
of the personages adored by the Buddhists are known to 
be nothing but fictitious impersonations of some of these 
ideas. The Buddhist worship is not reverence paid to 
beings believed to be actually existing ; it is a homage 
rendered to ideas, and it is only supposed to be refiex in 
its effects. Their worship is useful as a discipline, but 
not effectual as prayer. The Buddhist, if he can obtain 
abstraction of mind from the world in any other mode, 
need not pray or worship at all. 

"These three systems, occupying the three corners of 
a triangle — the moral, the metaphysical and the material 
— are supplemental to each other, and are able to co-exist 
without being mutually destructive. They rest each on 
a basis of its own, and address themselves each to differ- 
ent parts of man's nature. It was because Confucianism 
'knew God, but did not honor Him as God,' that the way 
was left open for a polytheism like that of the Buddhists. 
In the old books of China. God is spoken of as the Su- 
preme Ruler. He is represented as exercising over 
mankind an infinitely just and beneficent providence. 
But the duty of prayer is not enjoined. No worship of 
God by the people is permitted. It was only by the 
emperor acting vicariously for the people that the Deity 
was adored in that country. The system of Confucius, 
wanting this, was more a morality than a religion. 

"Buddhism came to fill this vacancy. Individual faith 
in God, with a rational mode of worship to accompany it, 
could not be a result of the rehVIous teachintr which 


preceded it in China, nor were they inculcated by it. In 
Buddhism, the Chinese found objv^cts to adore of myste- 
rious grandeur, and richly endowed with the attributes 
of wisdom and benevolence. The appeal thus made to 
their religious faith was strengthened by a pompous form 
of worship. Processions and the ringing of bells, fumes 
of sweet-smelling incense, prayers, chanting and musical 
instruments were their aids to devotion. No wonder 
that these additions should prove welcome to the reli- 
gious susceptibilities of a nation which had hitherto been 
restricted within the bounds of a system almost exclu- 
sively moral, and which discouraged the worship of God 
by the mass of the peopl-e. 

" How Taoism meets certain other wants which the 
other two systems fail to gratify, we will now show by an 
illustration : It was a cold morning in January, when a 
missionary walked, on one occasion, to a temple near the 
west gate of Shanghai. There is a medical divinity much 
honored, who resides in this temple, to heal, as his wor- 
shipers think, the ailments of those who pray to him. 
The Taoist priest in charge addressed the foreign vis- 
itor with a somewhat unexpected exhortation : ' You come 
to our country giving us good advice ; now let me address 
a little to you. Your religion does not meet the require- 
ments of the people. When they worship, they wish to 
know whether they can grow rich, and recover from dis- 
ease ; but in the case of believing in Jesus, there are no 
benefits of this kind to be looked for.' He pointed to the 
little image, representing some physician of a former 
dynasty, sitting in its shrine in a dim light, just visible 
through the opening of the curtains. * See,' said he, 
' here Is the god, ready to tell the believing devotee what 
medicine he needs, and to guarantee its healing effect. 
Look at the inscriptions fixed on the roof above and on 


each side of the shrine. They describe his marvel-work- 
ing power.' He was asked who placed those tablets 
there. ' They are,' he replied, ' the offerings of persons 
cured by this divinity.' In the Central Kingdom, the set- 
ting of the tablets in the temples by individuals is cus- 
tomary, and they are intended to commemorate benefits 
received from the divinities to whom they are dedicated. 
A visitor from a village in the country, at a distance of 
some miles, now appeared, and went through the usual 
ceremonies. He was asked, 'Why do you not consult a 
physician ? This idol is dead wood. It cannot see or 
hear. Why apply to it ?' The devotee answered with 
great simplicity, ' I do not know what my disease is ; how, 
then, can I apply to a physician? It is on this account 
that I ask the ofod. He will heal me. I have come a 
long way on purpose. His fame is very widely spread.' 
He was again asked, ' Will you not go to the foreign free 
hospital ?' He answered, ' It is not the right time of day, 
and, besides, I like to come here ; and why should I not?' 
He was asked again, ' Do you know that this burning of 
incense and seeking: for oracular information at an idol's 
shrine is displeasing to God ? It is as unwise, therefore, 
as it is unreasonable, to apply to this god to tell you 
what medicine you should use.' At this point, the Tao- 
ist priest came to the defense of his system. ' You 
believe in Jesus. We believe in our gods. Religions 
differ according to place, and every country has its own 
divinities. We have Kwan-kung, for example, the god of 
war, and other divinities, holding the same place among 
us that Jesus does among you.' He was asked, * How 
can these supposed gods benefit you ? They are but the 
imaginary representatives of men belonging to your 
nation, who lone aofo died.' The Taoist asked in re- 
ply, ' Is it not the same with Jesus ? He also is long 



since dead. What benefit do you expect from him ?' 
He was then told, ' We do not make an image of Him, 
place it in a shrine, and cast lots before it, expecting to 
learn, by so doing, how a disease is to be cured. The 
parallel is not accurate. The benefit we expect from 
Him is that He will help us in becoming virtuous, and in 
attaining a happy future life. The object of our religious 
books is to free us from sin, and Jesus, who still lives in 
Heaven, is able to secure us this,' The reference to books 
led him to remark, ' We have our books, too, to exhort 
men to virtue.' He took up a copy of a well-known 
work, often distributed gratuitously in China. 'This,' he 
said, ' is the Kan-ying-peen (Book of Retribution) ; all 
that it contains is intended to make men better. It 
promises long life to the good, and all kinds of calamities 
to the wicked. Our object is the same as yours — to 
make men good.' He was reminded that, according to 
the doctrine of this book, happiness and misery were the 
rewards of virtue and vice, and that this did not agree 
with the system of divination on which his temple de- 
pended for its support, and was asked why he encour- 
aged those who frequented it to expect good from the 
throwing of sticks on the floor, and the shaking of lots 
together in a wooden cup, if good and ill fortune were 
awarded to men by Heaven only according to character. 
To this the priest of Tao replied, as he sat surrounded 
by his boxes of medicines, arranged in pigeon-holes, with 
his recipe-book on the table before him, from which he 
selected the appropriate nostrum under the guidance of 
the oracle, ' If the person who comes to worship is wicked 
at heart, he will not be heard ; the oracle will fail.' ' But,' 
it was remarked, ' If he be only virtuous, he need not 
come here at all. The great thing is to be good.' " Such 
are the tenets of Taoism. 



Confucius became the prophet of the practical. About 
fifty years before Confucius, was born one who became a 
deep thinker who looked with scorn upon the work of 
Confucius. This was Lao-tsze, who was born 604 B. C. 
According to the legends of the Taoists he had the appear- 
ance, when born, of an old man with gray hair, and so 
they called him Lao-tsze, which means the old boy. 
When he was born, so they say, he was wise as men are 
when they become old. Other legends say that as soon as- 
he was born, he mounted into the air and pointing with his 
left hand to heaven, and with his right to th^ earth, he said : 
"In heaven above and on earth beneath, Tao alone is 
worthy of honor." His complexion was white and yellow; 
his ears were of extraordinary size, and vvere each pierced 
with three passages. He had handsome eyebrows, large 
-eyes, ragged teeth, a double-ridged nose and a square 
mouth ; on each foot he had ten toes. All of this was to 
distinguish him from common m.en. He became a her- 
mit-student. His chief disciple was named Yin-He. 
The following story will serve to illustrate the miraculous 
powers ascribed to Lao-tsze. 


The philosopher's servant, Senkea, who had served 
him for 200 years without receiving any wages, finding 
that his master was going to take a journey whither he 
knew not, suddenly demanded his arrears of pay, which 
upon calculation were found to amount to 72,000 ounces 
of silver. Fearing to face his master, he induced an ac- 
quaintance to ask Yin-He to broach the subject to Lao- 
tsze. The acquaintance being ignorant of the relation 
existing between the master and servant, and already 



deeming in anticipation Senkea to be a rich man, promised 
him his daughter in marriage. The beauty of the girl added 
to the persistency of the serving-man, whom Lao-tsze 
summoned to his presence. " I hired you originahy," he 
said, "to perform the most humble duties; your circum- 
stances were poor and no one else would employ you. I 
have given you the talisman of long life, and it is due to 
this alone that you are now in existence. How have you 
so far forgotten the benefits I have heaped upon you as 
to cover me with reproaches? I am now about to set out 
for the Western Sea (the Caspian) ; I intend to visit the 
kingdoms of Ya T'sin (the Roman Empire), of Ke-pin 
(Cabul), of Tien-chuh (India), and of Gan-se (Parthia) ; 
and I order you to act as my charioteer thitherwards. On 
my return, I will pay you that which I owe you." 

But Senkea still refused to obey. Whereupon Lao- 
tsze ordered him to lean forward and open his mouth, 
and instantly there escaped from his lips the talisman, 
and at the same moment his body became a heap ot 
dry bones. At the earnest prayer of Yin-He the ser- 
vant was restored to life, and was dismissed with a 
present of 20,000 ounces of silver. Having nothing far- 
ther to detain him, Lao-tsze bade farewell to the keeper 
of the pass, and mounting upon a cloud, disappeared into 

Some Taoist writers claim Lao-tsze as the author of 
930 of the current works on the superstitious varieties 
of modern Taoism, and add complacently that all other 
books are unworthy of the same regard, having been 
secretly added by the followers of Tao in later ages. 


Confucius once held an interview with Lao-tsze. 
From this he returned to his disciples, and for three days 



he did not utter a word. According to his own account, 
Lao-tsze exercised a complete fascination over him. 
He felt, when conversing with the older philosopher, that 
he was in the presence of a master mind, and the mer- 
ciless criticism of which his doctrines were the object, 
shook his faith somewhat in their truth. "At his voice," 
said he, " my mouth gaped wide, my tongue protruded, 
and my soul was plunged in trouble." 

To Yang-tsze, a disciple of Confucius, Lao-tsze spoke 
in the same strain. " The spots of the tiger, and of the 
leopard, and the agility of the monkey, are that which 
exposes them to the arrows of the hunter." And in 
reply to a question concerning the administration of the 
illustrious kings of antiquity, he said, " Such was the ad- 
ministration of the illustrious kings, that their merits 
overspread the empire unknown to themselves ; the in- 
fluence of their example extended to all beings ; they 
effected the happiness of the people without letting them 
feel their presence. Their virtue was so sublime that 
human speech is unable to express it ; they lived in an 
impenetrable retreat, and were absorbed in Tao." 


The talisman of loner life was said to have been lost 
after Lao-tsze's death. But Che Hwang-te determined 
to find it. He was persuaded into believing that in the 
ocean to the east of China there were " Golden Islands 
of the Blest," where genii dwelt, whose business and de- 
light it was to dispense to all visitors to their shores a 
draught of immortality, compounded of the fragrant 
herbs which sfrew in abundance round them; that here 
■also was the talisman of long life kept. So sincere 
was Che Hwang-te's faith that he fitted out a naval 
expedition to discover these much-to-be-desired regions, 



and placed a Taoist magician at the head of the under- 
taking. On the plea that it had been revealed to him 
that the expedition was likely to meet with a more favor- 
able reception at the Golden Isles if a company of youths 
and maidens accompanied it, Sen She, the leader, per- 
suaded the Emperor to send several thousands of girls 
and young men with him. On the return of the voy- 
agers they reported that they had sailed within sight of 
the islands, but had been driven back by contrary winds. 
The Emperor determined to try again. This second ex- 
pedition failed. But private individuals declared that 
they had succeeded in reaching the islands, in seeing the 
genii, in securing the draughts of the elixir of life, and 
that they had seen the Talisman. Che Hwang-te's fail- 
ures would not let him see the imposture that was being 
played upon him. Again and again he sent, and great 
sums were expended, and finally an emptied treasury 
forced him to relinquish his project. 





The Tao-te-king still remains the monument of Lao tsze's extra- 
ordinary power and penetration ; and it gives ample reason for assign- 
ing him a place iiidefinitely higher than the mass of his contemi^ora- 
ries. — Archdeacon Charles Hardwick. 

LAO-TSZE gave to Yin-He, when he left China on 
his last journey, the results of his long life of 
meditation in a little book of 5,000 characters. 
On this little book the immense volumes of the Taoist 
religion are built up. This is called the Tao-TeTving, or 
Book of the Way and of Virtue. This is a metaphysical 
treatise, and its meaning is very obscure. There is much 
of materialistic speculation, magic and divination in this 
book. The first chapter tells us that " that which is 
nameless is the beginning of Heaven and earth." " Taou 
produced one, the first great cause ; one produced two, 
the male and female principles of nature; from the two 
came three, and the three produced all things that are in 
Heaven and earth." 

All things endure for a set time, and then per'sh. 
Together they came into being, and to each is allotted a 
certain period of growth and maturity; but when the 
highest point of vigor has been reached, it straightway 
becomes old and returns home to its root. "This is 
said to be a reversion to destiny." Emptiness is the only 
thing which endures, and this is at the same time of the 
highest -use. The space between Heaven and earth, for 


example, may be likened to a pair of bellows, which, 
though it is empty, never collapses, and which, the more 
it is exercised, the more it brings forth. So also with the 
wheel of a carriage, or an earthen vessel, or the windows 
and doors of a house. In each case it is the non-existing 
or empty part which is useful. The spokes and nave of 
the wheel, the walls of the earthen vessel, and the frames 
of the doors and windows are advantageous, but the use 
of each depends on the part which is empty. " So, then, 
existence may be said to correspond to gain, but non- 
existence to use." When a thing is to be weakened, it 
must first be strengthened ; when it is about to be 
brought low, it must first be raised up ; and that which is 
to be taken away from it must first be given to it. 

In the superiority of non-existence over existence lies 
the lesson which, above all others, Lao-tsze desired to 
impress on man. The great concern of all men in all 
ages has been to take care of the things of the body, and 
to negrlect the cultivation of the inner man ; to seek after 
the gratification of sense, and to forget the importance of 
the soul. And what is the 
result? The five colors, 
which so delight the eyes, 
not unfrequently produce tI 
blindness. The five sounds 

which so enchant the ear are ^ censer, from a taoist 
often the cause of deafness. teimple. 

A man's palate, which at first revels in the five tastes, 
soon loses all s-ense of flavor. The pursuit of pleasure 
or of ambition is equally deceptive. Riding and hunt- 
ing will drive a man mad, and things hard to procure 
bring evil upon their possessors. " Therefore, the sage 
makes provision for the inner man, and not for his eyes. 
He pv.ts aside the one, that he may take the other in 


hand." He remembers that rest is tlie lord of motion, 
and never allows himself to depart from a state of quie- 
tude and gravity. 


The Taoists have long been in the habit of printing 
by subscription, and circulating as a matter of religious 
duty, the collection of maxims known as the Book of 
Rewards and Pimishinents. Each maxim is followed by 
a gloss or commentary, and in almost every case eluci- 
dated by appropriate tales and anecdotes. The high re- 
pute in which this volume stands is further indicated by 
the circumstance that the authorship has in modern times 
been attributed to Lao-tsze himself, in his capacity of 
deified and venerable Prince or incarnation of Tao. 
"Every wise man," writes a commentator, "ought to be 
full of respect for this book: he ought to believe sin- 
cerely all the maxims it delivers, and ought to practice 
them faithfully, regardless of all obstacles, and without 
sufferinof the zeal he had evinced at the commencement 
to diminish at the close of his career. He ought every 
morning to read it aloud, and to meditate on every phrase 
with serious attention. Let him redouble his efforts to 
perform good works, and his anxiety and ardor to correct 
past failings. Then will happiness spring up within him- 
self to recompense his merits; and his end will be ad- 
vancement to the rank of the immortals." While the 
general tone of this production harmonizes with the older 
treatise, it bears frequent witness also to the presence of 
a more eclectic and accommodating spirit. So highly is 
this book esteemed as a guide and instructor that its dis- 
tribution is considered to be a religious duty. Edition 
after edition appears from the local presses at the demand 
of the charitable subscribers, who give them to the poor. 



"Advance along the right way, and retreat from the 
evil way." 

" Do not betray the secret of the household.'* 

"Be humane to animals." 

"Rectify yourself and convert men." 

"Have pity for orphans, and show compassion to 

"Rejoice at the success of others, and sympathize 
with their reverses, even as though you were in their 

"Do not expose the faults of others." 

"Bestow favors without expecting recompense." 

"Give willingly." 

"A man who does these things is called virtuous. All 
men respect him. Providence protects him. Good for- 
tune and office attend him. The demons flee from him. 
The god-like spirits guard him. He succeeds in all that 
he lays his hand to, and to him is given the hope of 

"He who wishes to become an immortal of Heaven 
must do a thousand and three hundred good works. He 
who wishes to become an immortal of earth must do 
three hundred good works." 

"He who inflicts an injury in broad daylight, will be 
punished by men; but he who inflicts an injury in secret 
will be punished by demons." 

"Don't take advantage of the ignorance of men to 
deceive them with lying words." 

" Never divulge the faults of your parents." 

" Don't rank faults as crimes." 

"Don't shoot at birds, nor hunt animals." 


" Don't drive insects from their holes, nor frighten 
roosting birds," 

" Don't buy groundless praise." 

" Don't kill and cook domestic animals except in ac- 
cordance with the rites." 

" Don't destroy or throw away the five kinds of grain." 

" When you see others covered with glory and honor, 
don't desire to see them exiled from the country," 

"A handsome figfure excites the admiration of the 
world, but it does not deceive Heaven." 

" Don't laugh at the deformities of others." 

" Don't bury the effigy of a man to inflict an incubus 
upon him." 

[This refers to the practice of burying a wooden figure 
of a man to charm away his life, much in the same way 
that lately, in Shanghai and elsewhere, men were accused 
of making paper men which suffocated people in their 

" Don't cieceive the innocent and set snares for them." 

" Live in harmony with your wife." 

" Wives, respect your husbands." 

"Wives, be not wanting in your duties toward your 
father and mother-in-law." 

"Don't treat with contempt the souls of your ancestors/' 

" Wells and hearths are presided over by certain 
spirits, and if you leap over them, not only do you insult 
the gods, but you show that you have forgotten the two 
thines which are the foundation of the life of men," 

"A eood man is virtuous in his words, looks and ac- 
tions. If each day he practices these three virtues, at the 
end of three 3^ears Heaven will pour down blessings upon 
him. The wicked man is vicious in his words, looks and 
acdons. If each day he pracdces these three vices, at the 
end of three years Heaven will send misfortune upon him.'" 




This book contains a number of moral Injunctions, and 
while it is a Taoist book there is no reference to Taiost 



doctrines in it. It consists of 540 words. Some of its 
leading maxims are gfiven below. 

" Redeem the lives of animals, and abstain from shed- 
ding blood. Be careful not to tread upon insects on the 
road, and set not fire to the forests, lest you should de- 
stroy life. Burn a candle in your window to give light to 
the traveler, and keep a boat to help voyagers across 
rivers. Do not spread your net on the mountains to catch 
birds, nor poison the fish and reptiles in the waters. 
Never destroy paper which is written upon, and enter into 
no league against your neighbor. Avoid contentions, and 
beware not to stir up ill blood. Use not your power to 
discredit the good, nor your riches to persecute the poor. 
Love the good, and flee from the face of a wicked man, 
lest you fall into evil. Hide your neighbor's faults, and 
speak only of their good deeds, and let your mouth utter 
the true sentiments of your heart. Remove stones and 
debris from the roadway, repair the footpaths and build 
bridges. Publish abroad lessons for the improvement of 
mankind, and devote your wealth to the good of your fel- 
low-men. In all your actions follow the principles of Hea- 
ven, and in all your words follow the purified heart of man. 
Have all the sages of antiquity before your eyes, and ex- 
amine carefully your conscience. What good thing will 
be withheld from him who practices secret benefits?" 


Lao-tsze had nothing to say of gods and goddesses. 
When Buddhism came to China it taught Lao-tsze's dis- 
ciples to have gods. As the Buddhists had deified La- 
kya-muni, so the Taoists now deified Lao-tsze. As the 
Buddhists worshiped under the form of the "Three Pre- 
cious Ones," so the Taoists worshiped Lao-tsze as San- 
Tsing, or the " Three Pure Ones." They had an image 



for each one of the three, and seated them side by side. 
The priests generally, and but rarely the common people, 
worship the San-Tsing. For the common people a god 


was Introduced, called the " Pearly Emperor Supreme 
Ruler." He is the chief Taoist god. He is called the 
producer of all things and governor of all. To him all 
the gods make their reports. In times of drought, the 
governors, the man- 
darins, go to his tem- 
ple to burn incense 
and pray for rain. 
They carry idols with 
them and make 
thanks o-ivin Of offer- 
ings after the rain 
has come. The Tao- 
ist worships the 
mountains, valleys, 
GOD OF THE KITCHEN g^j-eams, Hvcrs and 
stars. The Great Bear is supposed to be the palace of 
the eoddess Tow-Mu and the ofod Kwel-Sino-. The 
God of Thunder is a common object of worship, and is 




represented as passing through many metamorphoses 
and fining all regions with his assumed forms. While he 
discourses on doctrine his foot rests on nine beautiful 
birds. Thirty-six generals wait on him for orders. A 
certain celebrated book of instruction is said to have 
emanated from him. His commands are swift as winds 
and fire. He overcomes demons by the power of his 
wisdom, and he is the father and teacher of all living 
beino-s. Amonof other like deities are " the Mother of 
Lightning," " the Spirit of the Sea," " the King of the 
Sea," and " the Lord of the Tide." The temples of the 
Dragon King are also favorite resorts of worshipers, who 


in all convulsions of nature recognize the agency of this 
potent and amphibious monster. Serpents are looked 
upon as manifestations of this deity, and in times of flood 
often receive worship at the hands of the educated and 
the uneducted alike. During the flood which overspread 
the country round Tientsin, in the year 1874, a serpent 
sought shelter in a temple near the city, and ensconced 

himself beneath one of the altars. 

Far from desiring to 



get rid of the intruder, the priests welcomed it as a sa- 
cred oruest of cTOod omen, and Li-Hung-chang, the viceroy 




of the province, came in person 
to pay reverence to it as the per- 
sonification of {he Dragon King. 


Apart from these more gen- 
eral deities are gods who preside 
over the different pursuits and 
callings of men. As the number 
of deities is unlimited, and as it 
is obviously to the interest of 
the priests to encourage worship 
of whatever kind at their tem- 
ples, there has never been any 
difficulty in adding a god or two 
to the Pantheon. Thus students have chosen to appropri- 
ate to themselves a god, who is supposed to watch over the 
literary efforts of his votaries. 
Wan-chang te-keun, or the god 
of literature, is, according to 
legend, the disembodied spirit 
of Chang Chung, an official ot 
the Chow Dynasty. Under 
subsequent dynasties, he ap- 
peared on earth in the persons 
of men renowned for their 
scholarship and virtue, and 
finally, under the Yuen Dy- 
nasty, he was deified under the 
title of "Supporter of the Yuen 
Dynast)^ diffuser of renovating 
influences, Sze-luh of Wan 
chang, God and Lord." Such 
is the Chinese conception. 





Dr. Williams says, " the Chinese 
have an almost infinite variety of 
superstitious practices, the most of 
which are of a deprecatory rather 
than an intercessory character, grow- 
ing out of their belief in demons 
and genii who trouble or help the 
people. It may be said that most 
of the religious acts of the Chinese, 
especially those performed in tem- 
ples, are intended to avert misfor- 
tune rather than supplicate blessings. 
In order to ward off malip^nant in- 
fluences, amulets are worn and 
charms hung up by persons of all 
rank. Among the latter are money- 
swords, made of coins of different 
monarchs strung together in the 
form of a dagger ; and leaves of the 
sweet flag and Artemisia tied in a 
bundle, or a sprig of peach-blossoms ; 
the first is placed near beds, the lat- 
ter over the lintel, to drive away 
demons. . Brass mirrors to cure mad 
people, are hung up by the rich in 
their halls, and figures or representa- 
tions of the unicorn, of gourds, 
of tiger claws, etc., abound." 



Soldiers worship Kwan-te, the God of War, who when 

on earth bore the name of Kwan-yu. In early life he 




carried on the trade of selling bean-curd, but Iiaving a 
soul above so mean a calling, and the times in which he 

lived being favorable to 
ambitious enterprise, he 
embarked on the career 
of a soldier of fortune, 
and won for himself both 
honor and renown. He 
lived to receive the title 
of Baron, but beine en- 
trapped through a crafty 
enemy, he was taken and 
beheaded. For many 
centuries his name re- 
mained embalmed only 
in history, but during the 
twelfth century he was 
made a god under the 
title of Chung-hun Kung, 
KWAN-TE. GOD OF WAR. . ^j^^ Patriotic and Clever 

Duke," and a litde later he was promoted to the rank of 
Prince. Thus gods are manufactured by pagan nations. 


But probably no god is worshiped with greater fervor 
than is Tsai-shin, the God of Riches. Though the pursuit 
of riches and honor is discountenanced by all die leading 
Taoist writers, the natural desire for wealth has over- 
come all relieious warnino-s and denunciations, and is as 
strone amone the Taoists of China as among the most 
money-loving nation in the world. No god can boast 
more temples raised to his honor than Tsai-shin. Every 
trader who at the end of the year finds the balance of 
his accounts in his favor acknowledges the mercy shown 



him by making a votive offering to the dispenser of 
weaUh, and he who fears a loss attempts to propitiate the 
god whom he beheves able to help by sacrifices and gifts. 


There is nothing distinctively Taoist in the worship of 
these gods except the gross superstition which accom- 


panics it, and it is evidence of the present very degraded 
condition of Taoism that, whenever a popular deity has 
to be enthroned, Taoist priests are the servitors chosen 
to wait upon his shrine. Combined with the office of 



guardian, these back-sliding charlatans ply the trades of 
fortune-tellers, prophets and doctors. If a merchant 

wishes to know whether a venture will turn out profita- 
bly or the reverse, or If a mother wants to be assured 
whether her infant's future is to lie among the blessings 



of office, wealth and long life, or to be accompanied by 
poverty and misfortune, they betake themselves to a 
Taoist priest, who, well versed in the tricks which ape 
superhuman knowledge, returns oracular responses, 
which satisfy, for the time being at least, the superstitious 
wants of the applicants. Nor is their medical advice 
based on any surer basis. Dr. 
Gray, in his recent work on 
China, gives the following de- 
scription of an incident he wit- 
nessed at a temple in Canton: 
''Whilst I was visiting one of 
these temples, a father brought 
his son to the priests 
saying that the child was pos- 
sessed of a devil. Having con- 
sulted the idol, the priests in- 
formed him that there were no 
fewer than five devils in the 
body of his son, but that they 
were prepared to expel them all 
on the payment of a certain 
sum. The father agreed. The 
child was then placed in front 
of the altar, and on the ground 
near his feet were placed five 

. ^ I'll • 1 TALL WHITE DEVIL. 

eggs, into which the priests ad- 
jured the devils to go. As soon as they were sup- 
posed to have entered the eggs, the chief of the priests 
covered them over with an earthenware vase, and at 
the same time sounded a loud blast upon a horn. 
When the vase was removed, the eggs, by a trick of 
legerdemain, were found no longer on the ground but in 
the vase. The priest then proceeded to uncover his arm, 



and made an Incision widi a lancet on the fleshy part. 
The blood which flowed from the wound was allowed to 

mingle with a small quantity of 
water in a cup. The seal of 
the temple, the impression of 
which was the name of the 
.idol, was then dipped into the 
blood and stamped upon the 
wrists, neck, back and fore- 
head of the poor heathen child, 
who was suffering from an at- 
tack of fever and ague." 

The Chinese believe that 
when disease does not yield to 
medical treatment, the vitals of the sick and suffering one 
are being preyed upon by an evil spirit; the physician is 
cast aside, and the Taoist priests are called in, to exer- 
cise their exorcising powers. One can scarcely pass 
alone the streets of a Chinese citv, at nio-ht, without find- 
ing these priests at work. Just as in Japan, one may 
hear, every night, the beating of the tom-tom as some 
priest is drumming the devil out of some poor wretch's 






Confucius ! Confucius ! How great was Confucius ! 

Before him there was no Confucius ! 

Since him there has been no other. 

Confucius ! Confucius ! How great was Confucius ! 

ONE-THIRD of the human race would probably 
join in honoring Confucius. The 340,000,000 of 
Chinese would, widiout doubt, accept the senti- 
ment of the verse at the head of this chapter — taken 
from a popular history of Confucius. No man in any 
country has left so decided an impression on his country- 
men for so long- a time as Confucius has left upon the 
Chinese. He was, without question, a great man, and 
was wise far beyond the men of his age. His sayings, 
writings and deeds stand out above those of his country- 
men. He found the moral sense and religious observ- 
ances of his countrymen very much debased during his 
time, and set himself to reform them by reviving the an- 
cient observances and teaching the highest principles of 
pure morals and beneficent government. 


Before looking at the story of Confucius's life let us 
pause to look at the times in which he lived and his sur- 
roundings. He was born in the year 550 B. C. He was 
"a transmitter and not a maker," as he said; so it is 
important that we should see what there was for him to 



transmit. We must look into tlie past history of the 
Chinese people, into their traditions and habits, and, 
above all, their early religion. In dim antiquity the Chi- 
nese people came into the valley 
of the Yellow River, through 
Central Asia, from the west, 
which was, perhaps, the cradle of 
the race. They journeyed across 
the weary wastes of the Mongo- 
lian Desert until they came to 
the fertile plains along the great 
Hwane Ho. The mountains were 
clad with forests. By the regu- 
lar rains and fruitful soil the la- 
bors of the people were rewarded 
by abundant harvest, and they 
gradually took possession of the 
land. The aboriginal tribes grad- 
ually yielded to their superior 
prowess, discipline and civilization. Colonies were 
planted all over the land under the control of chieftains, 
or, as Mencius calls them, " Pastors of Men." The his- 
tory of China, down to about 2356 B. C, is made of 
legendary stories. With this period the " Book of His- 
tory," which Confucius edited, begins. Dr. R. K. Doug- 
lass, of the British Museum, thus describes the reign of 
the two first emperors and the religion of their times : 

Anciendy there was an Emperor Yaou, all-informed, 
intelligent, accomplished and thoughtful ; and if we are 
to accept the received account of his reign, this descrip- 
tion does not do more than justice to his character. His 
first care, we are told, was to advance the able and vir- 
tuous to offices in the State, and finally he united and 
harmonized the myriad States of the Empire; and, lo ! 




the black-haired people were transformed. He ap- 
pointed astronomers to calculate and delineate the move- 
ments and appearances of the sun, the moon, the stars 
and the zodiacal spaces ; and he then determined the 
four seasons and the length. of the year. He adopted 
intercalary months, and the calendar he arranged is that 
which is still in use in China. 

On the death of Yaou, Shun, who had shared his throne 
for some years, succeeded as sole emperor. Like his 
predecessor, he was profound, wise, accomplished and 
intelligent. He was mild, respectful and quite sin- 
cere. The report of his mysterious virtue was heard on 
high, and he was appointed to take the throne. One of 
his first public acts, after having still further perfected 
the astronomical calculations of Yaou, was to sacrifice to 
Shang-te, the Supreme Ruler or God. " Thereafter," we 
are told, " he sacrificed specially, but with the ordinary 
forms, to Shang-te ; sacrificed with purity and reverence 
to the six Honored Ones; offered appropriate sacrifice to 
the hills and rivers; and extended his worship to the 
hosts of spirits," This is the first mention we have in 
Chinese history of religious worship, though the expres- 
sions used plainly imply that the worship of Shang-te at 
least, had previously existed. It is to this Supreme 
Beinof that all the hiofhest forms of adoration have been 
offered in all ages. By His decree kings were made and 
rulers executed judgment. In His hands were the issues 
of life and death, and he whom He blessed was blessed, 
and he whom He cursed, was cursed. In all probability 
there was a time when the worship of Shang-te was the 
expression of the pure monotheistic faith of the Chinese. 
By degrees, however, corruptions crept in, and though 
Shang-te always remained the supreme object of venera- 
tion, they saw no disloyalty to Him in rendering homage 



to the powers of nature which they learnt to personify, 
and to the spirits of their departed ancestors, who were 
supposed to guard and watch over, in a subordinate man- 
ner, the welfare of their descendants. 


Durine this reien the empire was divided into twelve 
provinces, and ministers of agriculture, crime, works, 
forests, religious worship and of music were appointed. 
That the standard of morality was high, even at this early 
period, appears from the conversations which are reported 



between Shim's vice-regent Yu and one of his advisers. 
In answer to the question put by Yu: "What are the 
nine virtues?" the minister rephed : "AffabiHty combined 
with dignity ; mildness combined with firmness; bkmtness 
combined with respectfulness ; aptness for government 
combined with reverence ; docility combined with bold- 
ness; straightforwardness combined with qrentleness ; 
easiness combined with discrimination ; vigor combined 
with sincerity; and valor combined with righteousness." 


Heih, the father of Confucius, was a military otncer of 
great bravery and immense strength. He was married 
to Yen Ching Tsai, Confucius's mother, when he was sev- 
enty years old. Confucius, the child of this aged couple, 
was born, so the legends say, in a cave in Mount Ne. 
The legends tell how his birth was heralded by strange 
signs and appearances, how fairies attended the birth of 
him of whose coming Yen Ching Tsai had been warned by 
genii. While he was yet a boy, he loved to play in ar- 
ranging the vessels of the temple-worship, and listened 
earnestly to the stories of the reigns of Yaou and Shun. 
When fifteen years old, he gave himself to more earnest 
study, and when nineteen he was married. His married 
life was unhappy, and after a year or so he was divorced 
from his wife. Soon after this, being very poor, he ac- 
cepted the office of keeper of the stores of grain, and in 
the next year he became the guardian of the public fields 
and lands. When twenty-two years old, Confucius gave 
up his offices and became the teacher of an earnest band 
of students. He refused to teach dull or idle scholars. He 
said : "I do not open the truth to one who is not eager 
after knowledge, nor do I help any one who is not him- 
self anxious to explain. When I have presented one 


corner of a subject, and the listener cannot from it learn 
the other three, I do not repeat my lesson." When 
twenty-eight years of age, Confucius studied archery, and 
in the next few years studied music under the celebrated 
music-master, Siang. The master directed his pupil to 
learn the air composed by the sage Wan Wang of an- 
cient days. Confucius at once took the lute, and in obe- 
dience to Siang's instructions, commenced to play the 
air. He continued it day by day. 

" Five days went by, and still Confucius 
Played all day long the ancient simple air ; 
And when Siang would teach him more he said : 
' Not yet, my master, I would seize the thought, 
The subtle thought which hides within the tune.' 
To which the master answered : ' It is M^ell. 
Take five days more !' And when the time was passed 
Unto Siang thus spoke Confucius: 

* I do begin to see, and yet what I see 
Is very dim. I am as one who looks, 
And nothing sees except a luminous cloud ; 
Give me but five more days, and at the end, 
If I have not attained the great idea 
Hidden of old within the melody, 

I will leave music as beyond my power.' 
' Do as thou wilt, O pupil !' cried Siang 
In deepest admiration ; ' never yet 
Had I a scholar who was like to thee. 
And on the fifteenth day Confucius rose 
And stood before Siang, and cried aloud : 

* The mist which shadowed me is blown away; 
I am as one who stands upon a cliff, 

And gazes far and wide upon the world, 

Tor I have mastered every secret thought, 

Yea, every shadow of a feeling dim 

Which flitted through the spirit of Wan Wang 

When he composed that air. I speak to him, 

I hear him clearly answer me again ; 

And more than that, I see his very form : 


A man of middle stature, with a hue 

Half blended with the dark and with the fair ; 

His features long, and large sweet eyes which beam 

With great benevolence — a noble face ! 

His voice is deep and full, and all his air 

Inspires a sense of virtue and of love. 

I know that I behold the very man. 

The sage of ancient days, Wan Wang the just.' 

" Then good Siang lay down upon the dust. 
And said : ' Thou art my master. Even thus 
The ancient legend, known to none but me, 
Describes our first great sire. And thou hast seen 
That which I never yet myself beheld, 
Though I have played the sacred song for years, 
Striving with all my soul to penetrate 
Its mystery unto the master's form. 
Whilst thou hast reached it at a single bound ; 
Henceforth the gods alone can teach thee tune.' " 

Now, at the age of thirty, he became famous. Many 
youths, sons of nobles, became his wilHng- scholars. At this 
time he visited Lao-tsze, the founder of Taoism. While 
in the capital, where Lao-tsze lived, he entered an old 
temple where he found a metal statue of a man with a 
triple clasp upon his mouth. On the back of the statue 
were engraved the words : " The ancients were guarded in 
their speech, and like them we should avoid loquacity. 
Many words invite many defeats. Avoid also engaging in 
many businesses, for many businesses create many diffi- 
culties." "Observe this, my children," said the sage to his 
disciples. "These words are true, and commend them- 
selves to our reason." 

He visited various great cities and courts of emperors, 
and everywhere was received with honor. Confucius was 
saddened by the sight of so much disorder. Soon after 
writing the "Book of Odes" and the "Book of History," 
he became magistrate of the town of Chung-Too. He 


now had an opportunity of putting his principles of gov- 
ernment to the test, and the result partly justified his 
expectations. He framed rules for the support of the 
living, and for the observance of rites for the dead ; he 
arranged appropriate food for the old and the young ; 
and he provided for the proper separation of men and 
women. And the results were, we are told, that any- 
thing dropped on the road was not picked up ; there was 
no fraudulent carvins: of vessels ; coffins were made of the 
ordained thickness ; graves were unmarked by mounds 
raised over them ; and no two prices were charged in the 
markets. The duke, surprised at what he saw, asked 
the sage whether his rule of government could be applied 
to the whole State. "Certainly," replied Confucius, "and 
not only to the State of Loo, but to the whole empire." 
Forthwith, therefore, the duke made him Assistant Super- 
intendent of Works, and shortly afterwards appointed him 
Minister of Crime. Here, again, his success was com- 
plete. As soon as he was appointed he began to carry 
the laws into effect by punishing high-handed criminals 
and ere long good government resumed its sway. 

Though eminently successful, the results obtained un- 
der his system were not quite such as his followers have 
represented them to have been. No doubt crime dimin- 
ished under his rule, but it was by no means abolished. 
In fact, his biographers mention a case which must have 
been peculiarly shocking to him. A father brought an 
accusation against his son, in the expectation, probably, 
of gaining his suit with ease before a judge who laid such 
stress on the virtues of filial piety. But to his surprise, 
and that of the on lookers, Confucius cast both father 
and son into prison, and to the remonstrance of the head 
of the Ke-clan answered: "Am I to punish for a breach 
of filial piety one who has never been taught to be filially- 



minded ? Is not he who neglects to teach his son fiUal 
duties, equally guilty with his son who fails in them? 
Crime is not inherent in human nature, and therefore the 
father in the family, and the government in the State are 
responsible for the crimes committed against filial piety 
and the public laws. If a king is careless about publish- 
ing laws, and then peremptorily punishes in accordance 
with the strict letter of them, he acts the part of a swind- 
ler; if he collect the taxes arbitrarily without giving 
warning, he is guilty of oppression ; and if he puts the 
people to death without having instructed them, he com- 
mits a cruelty." 

Confucius had great faith in the power of example. 
He could not carry out all his schemes nor always adhere 
to his rules. Yet the people rejoiced in his rule, and at 
their work sancj sono^s, describino; him as their saviour 
from oppression and injustice. The tendencies of the 
times were against the enthusiastic reformer, yet he 
strucrsfled on. After he was dismissed from office in Loo 
he became the counselor of princes. He went from 
State to State, and ruler to ruler, until he was sixty-nine 
years old. He never lost confidence in himself or in his 
mission. One morning, in the spring of the year 47S 
B. C, he walked in front of his door, saying : 

" The great mountain mu'^t crumble ; 
The strong beam must break. 
And the wise man withers away like a plant." 

He was now without honor among the princes. As he 

said, " No intelligent monarch arises ; there Is not one in 

the empire who will make me his master. My time is 

come to di'^\" That same day he took to his bed, and 

after a week's sickness he died. He was buried with 

great tokens of respect by his disciples, 




No man, probably, has been treated with so much con- 
tempt during his Hfetime, and with so much veneration 
after his death, as Confucius. His hfe was a standing 
protest against the iniquities of his time. The teachings 
of Confucius are contained in three thin vohimes, called 
the Lun Yu, or "Confucian Analects;" the Ta Hioh, or 
"Great Learning;" and the Chung Yung, or "Doctrine 
of the Mean." Confucius also edited the Yeh King, or 
"Book of Changes ;" the She Kincf, or " Book of Odes ;" 
and the Shoo King, or " Book of History." He derided 
spiritual teaching, did not refer to the future life, and had 
little to say about the gods. As to where man came 
from, or where he was oroinof, Confucius was never 
troubled. He taught, man is master of his own happi- 
ness and destiny. He might, by his own efforts, become 
the equal of heaven. As to morals and good govern- 
ment Confucius's teachings rank high. He was really a 
Statesman and Reformer, rather than a Religious Teacher. 
Some selections from his three books will be of use as 
illustrating the style and substance of his teachings: 


" Is he not a man of complete virtue who feels no dis- 
composure, though men may take no note of him ?" 

Tsang, the philosopher, said, " I daily examine myself 
on three points — whether, in transacting business for 
others, I may have been not faithful ; whether, in inter- 
course with friends, I may have been not sincere ; whether 
I may have not mastered and practiced the instructions 
of my teacher." 

The Master said, " He who aims to be a man of com- 
plete virtue, in his food does not seek to gratify his 


appetite, nor in his dwelling-place does he seek the 
appliances of ease ; he is earnest in what he is doing, 
and careful in his speech ; he frequents the company of 
men of principle, that he may be rectified. Such a per- 
son may be said, indeed, to love to learn." 

The Master said, " I will not be aftiicted at men's not 
knowing me ; I will be afflicted that I do not know men." 
The Master said, "At fifteen, I had my mind bent on 

"At thirty, I stood firm. 
"At forty, I had no doubts. 
"At fifty, I knew the decrees of Heaven. 
"At sixty, my ear was an obedient organy^r t/ic recep- 
tion of truth. 

"At seventy, I could follow what my heart desired, 
without transcrressino- what was rieht." 

The Master said, " The superior man is catholic and 
no partisan ; the mean man is a partisan and no catholic." 
The Master said, "Learning without thought is labor 
lost ; thought without learning is perilous." 

The Master said, " For a man to sacrifice to a spirit 
which does not belong to him is flattery. 

"To see what is right, andnot todoit, is want of courage." 
The Master said, "A man should say, ' I am not con- 
cerned that I have no place ; I am concerned how I may 
fit myself for one. I am not concerned that I am not 
known ; I seek to be worthy to be known.' " 

The Master said, " The reason why the ancients did 
not readily give utterance to their words was that they 
feared lest their actions should not come up to them." 

Tsae Yu, being asleep during the daytime, the Master 
said, " Rotten wood cannot be carved ; a wall of dirty 
earth will not receive the trowel. This Yu ! — what is the 
use of my reproving him ?" 



The Master said, " I have not seen a firm and unbend- 
ing man." Some one repHed, "There is Shin Chang." 
" Ch'ang," said the Master, " is under the influence of his 
lusts ; how can he be firm and unbending?" 

Tsze-kung said, " What I do not wish men to do to 
me, I also wish not to do to men." The Master said, 
"Tsze, you have not attained to that." 

The Master said, " Not to do to others as you would 
not wish done to yourself." 

Tsze-kung asked, saying, " is there one word which 
may serve as a rule of practice for all one's life ?" The 
Master said, " Is not reciprocity such a word ? What you 
do not want done to yourself, do not do to others." 

"When one cultivates to the utmost the principles of 
his nature, and exercises them on the principle of reci- 
procity, he is not far from the path. What you do nbt 
like, when done to yourself, do not do to others." 

Tsze-loo said, "I should like, sir, to hear your wishes." 
The Master said, "They are, in regard to the aged, to 
eive them rest ; in recjard to friends, to show them sin- 
cerity ; in regard to the young, to treat them tenderly." 

The Master said, "Admirable, indeed, was the virtue 
of Hwuy ! With a single bantboo dish of rice, a single 
'^^'■ourd dish of drink, and livino- in his mean, narrow lane, 
while others could not have endured the distress, he did 
not allow his joy to be affected by it. Admirable, indeed, 
was the virtue of Hwuy !" 

The Master said, "They who know the truth are not 
equal to those who love it ; and they who love it are not 
equal to those who find delight in it." 

The Master was mild, and yet dignifred ; majestic, and 
yet not fierce ; respectful, and yet easy. 

Tsang said, " When a bird is about to die, its notes are 
mournful ; when a man is about to die, his words are good." 


Confucius, in his villag'c, looked simple and sincere, 
and as it he were one who was not able to speak. 

Tsze-loo asked about orovernment. The Master said, 
"Go before the people wiih yottr example, and be labo- 
rious in their affairs." 

The Master said, " The progress of the superior man 
is upwards ; the progress of the mean man is downwards." 

The Master said, " In ancient times, men learned with 
a \\i\N to their own improvement. Nowadays, men learn 
with a view to the apj^robation of others." 






The Emperor plowing in the Sacred Field, 
What time the New Year comes in solemn state. 

Richard Henry Sioddard. 

MONG the prominent objects of worship in China 
may be specified Shang-te, who is alone wor- 
shiped by the Emperor; the worship of Con- 
fucius; and that of the spirits of deceased ancestors among 
the common people. Besides these, there is a host ot 
deities who receive worship with the host of spirits who 
are dreaded and who may be propitiated by worship. 
The tenets of Confucius have been generally regarded 

as a system of religion and 
and have received the name 
of " Confucianism " among 
the Western authors. His 
precepts form the basis of 
morals, but in the worship 
of Shang-te by the Empe- 
ror, who is at tlie head of 
the system, he in person can 
alone officiate at the most 
important ceremonies. At 
the same time that he wor- 
ships Shang-te he unites 
the worship of Confucius with it on the great altar of 
heaven in Pekinor. The homaore of Confucius enters into 






the daily life of all students. In every school-room there 
is a tablet, containing the name of the sage, before which 
every scholar makes his bow when he enters the room. 
A missionary thus describes the worship paid to him : 

As there is no image of Confucius for use on such oc- 
casions, a slip of red paper, of only a few inches in length, 
on which has been written in black ink an expression 
meaning " The Teacher and Pattern for 10,000 ages,'' is 
put upon the wall of the school-room. In front of this is 
placed a table, having upon it a censer and a pair of can- 
dlesticks. When everything is 
ready the teacher, having first 
lighted and put in the censer 
three sticks of incense, and in 
the candlesticks a couple of 
candles, kneels down before the 
table, and placing his hands on 
the floor, bows his head toward 
the earth slowly and reverently 
three times. He then arises, 
and one of his pupils takes his 
place before the table, and 
kneels down, making- the same 
number of bowinofs in the same 
manner. Another pupil now 
takes the place, and performs 
the same ceremony ; and so on 
till all have engaged in the worship of the sage. After 
this, the food which is to be consumed in the feast is 
placed on the table before the inscription to Confucius, 
where it remains a short time. It is then removed to 
another table, or tables, around which the teacher and 
his pupils gather and partake of it. Before the feast the 
teacher usually presents to each one of his pupils a white 




jDaper fan, on which he sometimes writes a quotation 
from the classics, or a favorite stanza of poetry. Be- 
sides this, he provides a number of toys, equal to the 
number of his pupils, each representing- a graduate of 
the first, second or third literary degrees, which are dis- 
tinguishable by the shape and color of their dresses. It 
is decided by the throwing of dice in what order the 
pupils shall choose these toys. These toys are valued 
as an omen for eood, or rather as an index of the success 
in study which each may hope to attain. It Is often an 
interesdne and excidno; time amonp- the members of a 

On a Chinese youth entering a school as pupil for the 
first time in any year, he is expected to bring with him 
two small candles, a few sticks of incense, and a small 
quantity of mock-money, which are to be lighted and 
consumed before a slip of paper, having some title of 
Confucius written upon it, the pupil making the usual 
prostration before it after these things have been lighted 
and while they are being consumed. This is called " en- 
tering school," or " worshiping the sage." One morning, 
some six years ago, a lad, dressed in his best clothes, 
marched into a free-school under the charge of a mis- 
sionary, carrying, beside his books, three sticks of in- 
cense, two small candles, and a few sheets of mock- 
money, designed, in accordance with established usage, 
as an offering to the Chinese sage. It seemed that the 
teacher had neglected to inform his parents that in the 
mission school the sage was not worshiped. The lad 
was quiedy told that the articles he had brought would 
not be used, inasmuch as those who studied the books 
of Jesus did not burn incense in honor of Confucius. 
Thus from earliest childhood the youth of China are 
tauo-ht to reverence their great countryman, Confucius. 



Notwithstanding the silence of Confucius on the sub- 
ject of Shang-te, his worship has been maintained, not, 
perhaps, in its original purity, but with marks of rever- 
ence which place its object on the highest pinnacle of the 
Chinese Pantheon. At the present day, the imperial 
worship of Shang-te, on the round hillock to the south of 
the city of Peking, is surrounded with all the solemnity 
of which such an occasion is capable. The altar is a 
beaudful marble structure, ascended by twenty-seven 
steps: a balustrade surrounds each terrace. On the 
upper of these three terraces are five tables or altars, on 
which the offerings to Shanor-te are laid. This is the 
central point of attraction in this whole inclosure of a 
square mile, which contains thousands of beautiful trees 
and many subordinate buildings. On another terrace 
stands a magnificent triple-roofed circular structure, 
ninety-nine feet in height, which constitutes the most con- 
spicuous object of the whole. On the day before the 
annual sacrifices at the Winter Solstice, the Emperor 
proceeds to the Hall of Fasting, on the west side of the 
south altar. Here he spends the night in watching and 
meditation, after first inspecting the'ofierings. The tab- 
lets to the Supreme Ruler of Heaven {i. e., Shang-te,) 
and to the Emperor's ancestors are preserved in the 
chapel at the back of each altar. There are no images. 
Both these chapels are circular, and covered with blue 
glazed tiles. The south altar, the most important of all 
Chinese religious structures, has the following dimen- 
sions. It consists of a triple circular terrace, 210 feet 
wide at the base, 1 50 in the middle, and 90 at the top. 
The heights of the three terraces, upper, middle and 
lower, are 5^ feet, 6^ feet, and 5 feet respectively. 



At the time of sacrificing, the tablets to Heaven and to 
the Emperor's ancestors are placed on the top ; they 
are two feet five inches long and five inches wide. The 
title is in gilt letters ; that of Heaven faces the south, and 
those of the ancestors east and west. The Emperor, 
with his immediate suite, kneels in front of the tablet to 
Shang-te, and faces the north. The platform is laid with 
marble stones, forming nine concentric circles. The 
inner circle consists of nine stones, cut so as to fit with 
close edges round the central stone, which is a perfect 
circle. Here the Emperor kneels, and is surrounded 
first by the circles of the terraces and their inclosing 
walls, and then by the circle of the horizon. He thus 
seems to himself and his court to be in the centre of the 
universe ; and, turning to the north, assuming the attitude 
of a subject, he acknowledges in prayer and by his posi- 
tion that he is inferior to Heaven, and to Heaven alone. 
Round him, on the pavement, are the nine circles of as 
many heavens, consisting of nine stones, then eighteen, 
then twenty-seven, and so on in successive multiples of 
nine till the square of nine, the favorite number of Chi- 
nese philosophy, is reached in the outermost circle of 
eighty-one stones. As might be expected, careful dis- 
tinctions are made in the sacrifices. The animals ordi- 
narily used for food by the ancient Chinese, and the 
fruits of the earth known to them, are almost all- included. 
But productions recently introduced into the country are 
not offered. To Heaven alone is offered a piece of blue 
jade, cylindrical in shape and a foot long, formerly used 
as a symbol of sovereignty. But the great distinguish- 
ing sign of superiority is the offering of a whole burnt 
sacrifice to Heaven. 

After the same style of building, and used as a part of 
the worship of Heaven and earth, is the Temple ot the 



Sun, at Peking. This temple has been dedicated by the 
Chinese to the sun as the great source of hght and heat, 
and it has been put under the protection of the god of 
fire. Farmers frequent this temple in dull, cold weather, 
to pray for the sunshine to ripen their grain and fruit, 
and the people generally pray to this god for protection 
against fire. The fourth day of every month is a high 
day at this temple, and it is then crowded with wor- 
shipers. On this day, a band of music is provided, and, 
in addition to the ordinary priests of the temple, extra 
priests go about swinging incense, and conducting many 
other imposing services. 

In the spring of every year, the Chinese pay great 
honors to agriculture. The Emperor proceeds to the 
park surrounding the Temple of Agriculture, at Peking, 
and in a plot of ground reserved for the purpose, and in 
the presence of the grandees of the empire, he guides the 
imperial plow, and uses the seed-planter, rake, etc. 

After this, the Emperor and the attendant princes and 
officials proceed to the Temple of Agriculture, which is 
dedicated to Shin-inmg, or the " Divine Husbandman," 
the fabulous originator of the art. Here bullocks, swine 
and sheep are offered in sacrifice, and prayers made to 
SJiin-mino;^ and also to the crod of the land, the irrain, the 
ocean, the wind, the thunder and the rain. 

Similar plowing and worshiping are performed by the 
leading mandarins near the south gates of all the princi- 
pal cities of the empire, after which the mandarins mount 
a platform, and calling around them the principal farmers 
of the vicinity, exhort them to the proper discharge of 
their duties as husbandmen. At the close of the ad- 
dresses, they present to each of the farmers, who have 
been selected to receive them, certain presents or medals 
in the name of the Emperor, in order to encourage them. 



Apart from the idolatrous worship, this conckict of the 
Emperor and his officials is very praiseworthy ; but it is 
sad to know that while " God has not left Himself with- 
out witness among them in that He does good, and sends 


them rain and fruitful seasons, filling their hearts with 
food and gladness," they yet do not recognize His exist- 
ence and beneficence, but give His glory to others, and 
His praise to graven images. 






The important and sacred temple is that adjoin- 
ing the tomb of Confucius in Shantung, on which all the 
art of the Chinese architecture has been lavished. The 
main building consists of two stories, the upper veranda 
surrounding which '* rests on gorgeous marble pillars, 
twenty-two feet high, and about two feet in diameter, 
which at a distance appear as if huge dragons were coiled 
around them and hanging from the top. The tiles of 
the roof are of yellow, as in Peking, and the ornamenta- 
tion under the eaves is covered with wire-work to keep 
it from the birds. Inside the building is the image or 
statue of Confucius, in a gorgeously-curtained shrine, 
holding in his hand a slip of bamboo, such as was used 
for writing upon in his days. The statue is about 
eighteen feet by six feet, and is life-like. Confucius was 
strong, tall and well-built, with a full red face, and large 
and heavy head. On the tablet is the simple inscription, 
'The most Holy prescient Sage Confucius. His Spirit's 
resting-place.' On the east side are images of his favor- 
ite disciples, arranged according to the estimation in 
which he is said to have held them. The ceiling of the 
building is crowded with tablets, hung up in honor of the 
sage, each vying with another in extravagant praise. 
Before him and also before his disciples, were the usual 
frames for sacrifices, and in front of these, beautiful in- 
cense-pots, beside them were several most interesting 
relics, such as vases, said to be of the Shang Dynasty, 
B. C. 1610, the work of which was superb. There were 
also two bronze elephants, reported to be of the Chow 
Dynasty, and a table of that same era of dark red-wood. 

"On the west side are two temples; one in front, in 
honor of the father of Confucius, . . . and one be- 


hind, in honor of his mother. . . . On the east side 
are temples to his five ancestors, and a large block of 
marble, whereon is a genealogical tree, giving all the 
branches of his family. . . . The building behind the 
grand temple is the temple in honor of his wife, in which 
was only a tablet and no image. The second temple 
behind that contained four tablets, erected by K'ang-he 
in his honor, one character on each, and the interpreta- 
tion was: 'The perspicuous teacher of 10,000 kingdoms.' 
Here also are three pictures of the sage on marble ; one 
an old man, full-length, rather dim, having no date ; the 
second smaller, with seal characters on the side ; the 
third and best, giving only his head and shoulders. 
These varied somewhat but were substantially alike. All 
of them have the mouth or lips open and front teeth ex- 
posed, and the full contemplative eyes. Immediately 
behind these are eno-ravinors on marble, illustratinp- all 
the chief incidents of his life, with appropriate explana- 
tions at the side. Of these there were altogether 120 
slabs, which are built into the wall. 

"The image of Confucius does not stand alone, but is 
surrounded by images of his principal disciples, while in 
a hall at the back of that dedicated to him are ranged 
those of his ancestors. Occasionally different emperors 
have visited his tomb in Shantung, at which times the 
imperial pilgrims have worshiped with extraordinary 
solemnity at his shrine in the adjoining temple. K'ang-he, 
the most celebrated both as a ruler and a scholar of the 
emperors of the present dynasty, went on such a pilgrim- 
age, and ' set the example of kneeling thrice and each 
time lying his forehead thrice in the dust before the 
imanfe of the sage.' 

"In the eio^hteen provinces there are 1,500 temples 
dedicated to his worship, where on the first and fifteenth 



days of each moon, sacrificial services are performed 
before him, and once in the spring- and autumn the local 
officials go in state to take part in acts of specially 
solemn worship. According to the Shing nieaou die, or 
' History of the Temples of the Sage,' as many as six 
bullocks, 27,000 pig's, 5,800 sheep, 2,800 deer and 2,700 
hares are sacrificed on these occasions, and at the same 
time 27,600 pieces of silk are offered on his shrine." 

We have before mentioned the examination of can- 
didates for civil service in the classics. It will be of in- 
terest now to give more in detail on these examinations. 


Dr. H. M. Field tells us of the Examination Hall that, 
in the eastern quarter of Canton, is an inclosure of many 
acres, laid off in a manner which betokens some unusual 
purpose. The ground is divided by a succession of long, 
low buildings not much better than horse-sheds around 
a New England meeting-house in the olden time. They 
run in parallel lines, like barracks for a camp, and are 
divided into narrow compartments. Once in three years 
this vast camping-ground presents an extraordinary 
spectacle, for then are gathered in these courts, from all 
parts of the province, some \o,ooo candidates, all of whom 
have previously passed a first examination, and received 
a degree and now appear to compete for the second. 
Some are young, and some are old, for there is no limit 
put upon age. As the candidates present themselves, each 
man is searched, to see that he has no books, or helps of 
any kind, concealed upon his person. He is then put in a 
stall about three feet wide, just large enough to turn 
round in and as bare as a prisoner's cell. There is a 
niche in the wall, in which a board can be placed for him 
to sit upon, and another niche to support a board that has 


to serve as breakfast-table and writing-table. This is the 
furniture of his room. Here he is shut in from all com- 
munication with the world, his food being passed to him 
through a door, as to a prisoner. Certain themes are 
then submitted to him in writing on which he is to furnish 
written essays, intended generally, and perhaps always, 
to determine his knowledge of the classics. It is some- 
times said that these are frivolous questions, the answers 
to which afford no proof whatever of one's capacity for 
office, but it should be remembered that these classics 
are the writings of Confucius, which are the political ethics 
of the country, the very foundation of the government, 
without knowing which, one is not qualified to take part 
in its administration. 

The candidate eoes into his cell in the afternoon, and 
spends the night there, which gives him time for re- 
flection, and all the next day and next night, when he 
comes out, and after a few days is put in again for another 
trial of the same character, and this is repeated a third 
time ; at the end of which he is released, and his essays 
are submitted for examination. Of the 10,000, only 
75 can obtain a degree — not one in a hundred ! The 
9,925 must go back disappointed, their only "consola- 
tion being, that after three years they can try again. 
Even the successful ones do not thereby get an 
office, but only the right to enter for a third competi- 
tion, which takes place at Peking, by which of course 
their ranks are thinned still more. The few who get 
through this threefold ordeal take a high place in the 
literary class, from which all appointments to the public 
service are made. Here is the system of examination 
complete. No trial can be imagined more severe, and it 
ouoht to orive the Chinese the best civil service in the 



During- the Chow dynasty (B. C. 1122-225), Mencius. 
at the ag-e of three years, lost his father. His mother, 
whose name was Sin, was a woman of distino-uished 
worth and virtiire. Mencius went to school, but soon 
threw aside his books and returned home. His mother 
was very much incensed at this course, and taking a knife, 
cut the web of cloth she was weaving, saying: "My son, 
your desisting from your studies is like my cutting this 
web." Mencius, trembling with apprehension, returned 
to school and studied with diligence, nor did he intermit 
his literary pursuits until he became a worthy, next in 
rank to the sage Confucius. 


In the time of the Tang dynasty (620-906 A. D.) Lei 
Peh, while yet young, and before he had completed his 
studies left school and started for home. On the road 
he saw an old woman engaged in grinding away on an 
iron pestle. Peh inquired why she was thus grinding 
the pestle? She answered: '' I want to make a needled 
He was surprised at her words, and influenced by them, 
returned to school, and studied with most assiduous 
application. He finally became a member of the Imperial 
college at the capital. 


Probably between 479-501 A. D., lived Y'su Yung, who 
when he was only eight years old, was so fond of study, that 
his parents were afraid he would impair his eyes by his 
diligence. They therefore forbade him the use of books, 
but he would not obey them. Constantly he hid fire 



until his parents had retired to rest, when he would light 
his lamp and study. He took his clothes, and the cover- 
let of his bed and hung them up over the window of his 
room, lest the light escaping through it, should be seen 
by some one of the family. In this way his name became 
very widely celebrated as a scholar. At home and 
abroad the people called him " the little sage!' At the 
age of twelve he became a high officer of government, 
and was afterward promoted to the Superintendency 
of the Offering of Wine. 


Fan Shun Jin, in the Sung dynasty, day and night was 
diligent in study. He was in the habit of placing his 
lamp within the curtains of his bed, and thus studying till 
past midnight. Afterward, he became a very distin- 
guished officer. His wife preserved the curtain, which, 
at the top. had become black by the soot. Occasionally 
she would brine it forth, and show it to her children and 
grandchildren, saying, " Your father and grandfather, 
when he zvas a boy, was very studious. Here are the 
marks of the smoke of his lampT 


During the Sung dynasty, Sie Ma Wan, when a boy, 
whether he was moving about or at rest, in all his con- 
duct was dignified and decorous, like a perfect old gen- 
tleman. At seven years of age he heard an explanation 
of the classic called "Spring and Autunin." He was 
very much pleased, and, having returned home, con- 
versed with the members of his family in such a manner 
as to show that he understood its principles. He was 
accustomed to use a round block of wood for a pillow. 
When he became sleepy, and fell into a doze, this pillow 



would roll a little and awaken him. Once awakened, he 
would apply himself to his studies again with vigor. He 
finally became an object of worship, his tablet being- 
placed in the temple of Confucius. 


In the Han dynasty, which began about 205 B. C, and 
ended about 25 A, D., lived Kwang Hung, who was very 
indigent. Though very fond of books, he was destitute 
of the means of purchasing oil. His neighbor, in the 
adjoining house, had candles ; but the light could not 
penetrate through the wall. Hung therefore made a hole 
in it, in order to procure rays of light by which he could 
prosecute his studies. In the city, a wealthy man, whose 
surname was Great, had a large number of books. Hung 
was anxious to work for him, though not for the purpose 
of receiving wages. He only desired the privilege of 
reading the rich man's books as his pay. Mr. Great was 
so much interested in the proposal and in the man that 
he gave him some of his books as his wages. Hung 
became a very learned man, and finally obtained the office 
of prime minister. 

With stories like these the Chinese encourage the peo- 
ple to study the sacred books. Besides the gods above 
mentioned there are hundreds of others, gods of occupa- 
tions, professions and callings ; gods of literature, of art, 
of play-acting, of gambling, and a host of others are found 





A man do good, he go to Joss; he no do good, very much bamboo 
catchee he. — The famous Howqua's reply 'lo an American sea- 

NE of the most prominent features of the Chinese 
rehgion is the excessive reverence that is paid to 
parents. We remember the commandment of 
old, " Honor thy father and thy mother, that thy days 
may be long- upon the land which the Lord thy God 
^dveth thee." The Chinese have long lived in their land ; 
they have outlived the kingdoms of Persia, Egypt, Judea, 
Babylon, Greece and Rome. It certainly seems as if this 
were a fulfillment of the promise of God, that, as they 
lionor their parents, so are they permitted to live long in 
their land. This reverence for parents, while living and 
after death, is found among other nations ; but nowhere 
is so great stress laid upon this part of duty as in China. 
The ancient ritual on filial duty directs that, during the 
lifetime of his parents, a son should not go abroad, or, if 
he do so, then to a fixed place. When at home, he 
should rise with the first cock-crow, and having washed 
and dressed himself carefully, should inquire what the 
wishes of his parents are as to the food they would eat 
and drink. He should not enter a room unless invited 
by his father, nor retire without permission ; neither 
should he speak unless spoken to. When leaving the 
house, he should report himself, and on returning should 



make his presence known. He shoukl be regular in his 
amusements, attentive to his calHng-, constant in speech, 
and avoiding all reference to old age. This last is a 
point strongly insisted upon, and every boy has held up 
to him as an example to be followed the conduct of Laou 


Lai tsze, who, fearing that the recognition by his parents 
of the fact that he was seventy years old would remind 
them of their own oreat acre, used to dress himself in a 
child's frock, and play about the room like an infant ! 

" Of all things," said Confucius, " which derive their na- 
tures from Heaven and earth, man is the most noble ; 



and of all the duties which are incumbent on him, there 
is none greater than filial obedience ; nor, in performing 
this is there anything so essential as to reverence one's 
father ; and, as a mark of reverence, there is nothing- 
more important than to place him on an equality with 
Heaven. Thus did the noble Duke Chow. Formerly, 
he sacrificed on the round altar to the spirits of his re- 
mote ancestors, as equal with Heaven ; and in the open 
hall he sacrificed to Wan Wang (his father), as equal 
with Shanof-te." 

Repeatedly, throughout the teachings of the sage and 
of Mencius. reference is made to ancestral worship. Yet, 
it did not originate with Confucius, for he but handed 
down a more ancient form of worship. Confucius merely 
revived that. Really, Confucius cared very little about 
worship of any sort ; his system was of the earth, earthy. 
All the worship of modern Confucianism is the addition 
of later days. Whatever of worship or of strictly religious 
teaching is to be found in Confucius's writings is there 
because of some connection with o-overnment or moral 
teachings. The idea of filial piety is carried up to the 
government. The common people must respect and 
obey the officers as fathers ; lower officers must look 
upon the higher officers as fathers ; and all must look to 
the Emperor as father. He, in turn, must look upon his 
people as his children. Thus the paternal idea prevails. 

Worshiping the tablet. 

Almost every Chinese house has eitiier a "hall of an- 
cestors" or at least a closet, where the ancestral tablet is 
kept. The tablet is called Shin Chu, meaning house of xX^o. 
spirit. It is made of wood, and is generally about twelve 
inches high and three inches wide. The wood is gener- 
ally fragrant, and parts are elaborately carved. It con- 



sists of three pieces, a pedestal and two upright pieces. 
Often a place is cut in the back, in which pieces of paper 
containing the names 
of ancestors are in- 
serted. Every day be- 
fore this tablet incense 
and paper prayers are 
burned. The prayers 
are written upon the 
paper, and the Chinese 
believe that when the 
papers are burned they 
go to their dead fathers 
and mothers. These 
are not prayers for 
these dead parents, but 
prayers to them. They 
believe that each man 
has three souls, one of 
which at his death goes 
to Heaven, one re- 
mains with the body in 
the ofrave and one re- 
turns home and lives 
in the ancestral tablet. 
In April of each year a 
day is selected, when 
especial worship is paid 
at the graves. Every 
man, woman and child 

hastens away to the anxkstral tablet. 

family tombs, taking of- 
ferings and candles to worship at the graves. To neglect 
this ceremony is counted a slight to one's dead parents. 




The following translation of a prayer offered at the 
tomb shows that it is a real worship which is given : 

" Tankwaxg, i2tJi Year, jd Moon, ist Day. 

"I. Lin Kwanor, the second son of the third generation, 
presume to come before the grave of my ancestor, Lin 




Kung. Revolving years have brought again the season 
of spring. Cherishing sentiments of veneration, I look 
up and sweep your tomb. 
Prostrate, I pray that you ^P 
win come and be present, 
and that you will grant to 
your posterity that they may 
be prosperous and illus- 
trious. At this season of 
genial showers and gentle 
breezes, I desire to recom- 
pense the root of my exist- 
ence, and exert myself sin- 
cerely. Always grant your 
safe' protection. Most rev- 
erently, I present the five- 
fold sacrifice of a pig, a fowl, a duck, a goose, and a 
fish; also, an offering of five plates of fruit, with libations 
of spirituous liquors, earnestly entreating that you will 
come and view them. With the most attentive respect, 
this announcement is presented on high." 

To a Chinaman there is no greater sin than to neglect 
the worship of an ancestor ; no greater calamity can hap- 
pen than that he should die and be buried away from his 
native land. Almost every steamer that crosses the 
Pacific from America carries one or more preserved 
bodies of Chinamen, taking them home to be buried. 


After the dead body has been laid out. this singular 
custom is observed in many families. Sometimes those 
families which have no married or betrothed daughters 
do not pracdce it on the death of its head. The married 
daughters are expected then to return home. 



Several Tadist priests are employed to prepare the 
"bridcre-ladder" and aid in the celebration of the cere- 
mony at the expense of the son-in-law or sons-in-law of 
the deceased. A post seven or eight feet high is placed 
in a socket or frame standing on the s'round. Into holes 
made in the sides of this post are fastened several bam- 
boos two or three feet long. These sticks project out- 
ward and upward a little from the post. Sometimes 


these sdcks amount to several tens. The longer ones^ 
are placed toward the bottom and the shorter ones toward 
the too, the lowest tier beinof three or four feet from the 
ground. At the extreme outer end of each is suspended 
by a wire a kind of glass cup containing oil and wicking, 
the whole constitudng a lamp. On the top of the post is 
placed a candle. Into a hole, about three feet from the 
ground, made in the L^pright post, is inserted a pole pro- 
jecdng at a right-angle, some two or three feet longer 
than the longest of the sUcks having lamps at their ends. 



This " bridge ladder," is placed in die middle of the 
room. On one side of the room is placed a table having- 
candles and incense on it. On the wall or partition of 
the room by this table are suspended one or two large 
paper hangings, relating to the infernal regions. The 
body of the deceased is lying on one side of the room, 
or, if there is an adjoining room which can be used it is 
placed in that. 

When everything is ready, the ceremony is commenced 
by lighting the lamps and candle on the "bridge-ladder," 
as well as the candles and incense on the table. The 
priests chant their liturgy amid the noise of cymbals, 
i he married daugfhter comes forward, havine a white 
cotton cloth bound about her head, partially concealing 
her eyes, or she holds to her eyes a white cotton cloth 
much as one would a handkerchief while crying. The 
eldest son of the deceased, if there be a living son, now 
advances and taking hold of the end of the long pole 
pushes gently against it. The post turning on its socket, 
the entire "bridge-ladder" moves. The wife of the eldest 
son, his younger brothers and their wives, the married 
daughter of the deceased and her children, etc., now fol- 
low, slowly, the elder brother as he turned around the 
"bridge-ladder" for a few times. 

In case there is no son a married or affianced dauehter 
leads the company. During the period that this "bridge- 
ladder" is thus made to revolve, all of the party join in 
loud lamentation and wailing. Their outcry, taken in 
connection with the chanting of the priests and the noise 
of the cymbals, make a very confused hubbub and tumult 
of voices and sounds. These, tofjether with the sieht of 
so many lamps and candles burning brightly in broad 
daylight, produce a very singular spectacle for the foreign 
beholder, which, once seen, will not be quickly forgotten. 



The object of this performance with the bridge-ladder 
is to lighten and assist the deceased on his way. It is 
called '' brido^e-ladder^' because it is fancied to resemble 
a bridge and a ladder. The bridcre would aid the dead 
to pass rivers, and the ladder would help him to climb 
steep places, should he meet such impediments in his 

With this extreme reverence for the dead, of course, 
there can be no question but that the Chinese hold most 
determinedly to the belief in a future life. In reality, the 
whole character of Buddhism in China is shaped by this. 
Buddhism has no distinct teaching of an immortal life ; 
and when it was brought to China, it gained no acceptance 
until the blank, despairing tenets of the Nirvana was 
chanored into a briMit, cheerful Paradise of the Blessed 
Dead. Examination will show that the Buddhism of 
China and the Buddhism of India very little resemble one 
another, and, if we mistake not, the difference grew out 
of the belief in a future life, which is a prime teaching in 
the Chinese faith. 

The worship of ancestors enters into all the home life, 
manners and customs of the entire Chinese people. 


The tablets of the family are arranged on a table 
standing in the back part of the reception-room, or in a 
shrine placed on the table. Incense and candles, ar- 
raneed, accordine to custom, near the tablets, having- 
been lighted, the bridegroom and his bride kneel down 
three or four times before the tablets, the wife being on 
the right-hand side of her husband. While on their knees, 
at each kneeling, they bow their heads down toward the 
ground once. On rising to their feet they change places, 
and then kneel down three or four times aofain, and bow 



their heads as before in front of and toward the tablets. 
They now arise, and two chairs are placed before the 
table which contains the incense, candles and tablets. 
If the paternal grandparents of the groom are living and 
present, they take 
their seats in the 
chairs, the grand- 
mother beinor on 
the right hand of 
the grandfather, 
with their faces 
turned away from 
the table or to- 
ward the front 
part of the room. 
In case either has 
deceased, the tab- 
let which repre- 
sents that person 
is placed in the chair whicU he or she would have occu- 
pied if living. The bridegroom and bride advance, and 
kneel down three or four times- before them, bowing their 
heads toward the ground as in worshiping the tablets. 
They then arise, and, having changed positions, kneel 
down and bow again three or four times. The parents 
of the groom then take their seats in the chairs, and the 
ceremony of kneeling and bowing is repeated, in like 
manner, the customary number of times. While the 
bride is on her knees, her new mother usually arranges 
some costly ornaments in her hair, as gold or pearls, or 
gives her some valuable finger-rings, if able to afford the 
expense of such ; or, if poor, she presents her with such 
head ornaments as she can afford. The women who 
assist the bride in performing these ceremonies improve 



the opportunity to offer tea to her parents at this period, 
and are rewarded for their attentions with a present 
of money on the spot. In case either parent is dead, the 
ancestral tablet for that person is placed in the chair, as 
in the supposed case of one of the grandparents having 
deceased. The paternal and maternal uncles and aunts 
of the groom, if present, in the order of their seniority, 
now take their turns of being worshiped by the couple. 
Oftentimes, these relatives will not sit, but content them- 
selves to stand during the worship rendered them. 
Standing, on these occasions and during the reception of 
these honors, is regarded as a mark of humility. 


Married but childless women twice a year go to the 
temple of Mother, taking incense and candles to burn 
before her image. They come to the temple to get a 
shoe which is to represent the goddess in their homes. 
They declare that if the goddess will give them a male 
child, they will render thanksgiving to her. They do not 
cherish the slightest desire to have a female child. 

The Chinese classics say : 

" When a son is born, 
He sleeps on a bed ; 
He is clothed in robes ; 
He plays with gems ; 
His cry is princely loud ! 
But when a daughter is born, 
She sleeps on the ground ; 
She is clothed with a wrapper ; 
She plays with a tile ; 
She is incapable either of evil or good ; 
It is hers only to. think of preparing wine and food, 
And not giving any occasion of grief to her parents !" 

This is an accurate expression of the Chinese prefer- 



ence for a male child. Indeed, a very great many of the 
Chinese mothers and fathers drown their eirl babies when 
they are but a 
few hours old, 
rather than 
keep them. 

Whenever a 
child is born, 
the mother 
takes to some 
temple two 
shoes, just like 
the one she 
has been wor- 
shiping as the 
of "Mother" 
at home. Just 
before a child 
is born the hus- 
band and wife 
offer gifts as a 
propitiation to 
two female de- 
m o n s which 
are supposed to seek to destroy the mother at the birth 
of her child. A priest is called in to recite classics ap- 
propriate to the occasion. Sometimes several live crabs 
are turned out into the streets to take the evil spirits 
with them, and other curious devices are employed. 


From childhood, the Chinese are accustomed to worship 
Idols and ancestors. Family parties may often be seen 




in the temples ; grandmothers and mothers teaching the 
httle ones to bow down to idols. Here is a description 
given by an eye-witness. He was introduced into an 
idol temple, and stood in the back part of the great hall, 
where the chief idols are placed, and from thence he 
could watch what went forward. Soon a well-dressed 

lady came in with 
her three children, 
of about seven, five 
and three years of 
age. The two elder 
boys ran forward, 
and bowed down 
before the idol in 
the usual way, and 
then called their lit- 
tle brother to come 
forward also and do 
as they had done. 
But this was evi- 
dently his first visit 
to the temple ; for the little fellow was very much fright- 
ened at the sight of the idol. The mother then dragged 
the child into position, and standing behind and holding 
him fast by both arms, forced him to bow slightly three 
times, and then adroitly slipped out of her sleeve some 
toys and sweets, which she gave the child, saying that 
the god had gi\'en him these nice things because he was 
a good boy ; and she told him to thank the idol, which he 
did with great heartiness. 

When the child grows up, and is able to see through 
such tricks, the priest has taken the mother's place, and, 
by carefully-concealed deceits, manages to delude him into 
believing just what it may be thought best to teach him. 





There is another important object of Chinese worship, 
whose place of abode is in the kitchen. His name is Tsz- 
min ; foreiofners call him " ijod of the kitchen." Incense and 
candles are burned before the kitchen-god on the first 
and fifteenth days of each month. To represent this god, 
the poorer people use simply a piece of red paper, with 
the god's name written on it. Generally, a sheet of 


white paper is used, on which the likeness of an old man 
and woman has been stamped, together with pictures of 
fowls, dogs, buffaloes, etc., and tables. This paper is 
pasted to a board and suspended in the kitchen. The 
Chinese say that there are two objects of worship in 
every house, and these are the ancestral tablet and the 
kitchen-god. This god is supposed to have charge of 


the family; and his duty is to keep a strict watch over 
all the members of it. This he must do, because, at the 
end of each year, he has to make a report of the year's 
conduct to the great god Yuh-Hwang, the " Pearly Em- 
peror, Supreme Ruler," who rules in Heaven over all the 
lesser gods. Five days before the Chinese New Year, 
this kitchen-god is supposed to leave every house and 
ascend to Heaven, to make his yearly report. 

On the day before his supposed departure, leasts are 
offered to him, and more than usual honors paid him, in 
the hope that he may be bribed to give a good account. 
At the exact time of his departure, fire-crackers are let 
off, incense burned, and worship offered, in order that he 
may start on his long journey in a good temper, and with 
as much dignity as possible. His return is expected, and 
he is received with the same marks ot respect w^hich at- 
tend his going away. 

Every shop-keeper, banker and merchant has a piece 
of red paper, on which the words " god of wealth " are 
written, pasted on his wall. Seldom do they make an 
imaee of this eod. Incense and candles are burned, and 
prayers are offered daily. Often, after the festivals of 
this god, mock-money and mock-clothing are burned for 
the benefit of the spirits of beggars in purgatory. 


She was the daughter of a man who, with his sons, was 
engaged on the ocean in the pursuit of a living. He was 
born during the Sung dynasty, and hved in the Hing 
Hua prefecture of the province of Fuh-kien. One day, 
while she was engaged in the employment of w^eaving in 
her mother's house she fell asleep through excessive 
weariness, her head resting upon her loom, She dreamed 
that she saw her father and two brotiiers on their separate 



junks in a terrific storm. She exerted herself to rescue 
them from danger. She immediately seized upon the 
junk which contained her father, with her mouth, while 
with her hands she caught a firm hold upon the two junks 
which contained her two brothers. She was dragging 
them all toward the shore when, alas ! she heard the 
voice of her mother calling to her, and, as she was an 
obedient girl, forgetting that she held her father's junk 
in her mouth, she hastily opened it to answer her mother. 
She awoke in great distress and, lo ! it was a dream, but 
not all a dream, for in a few days the news arrived that 
the fleet of junks had encountered a dreadful storm, and 
that the one in which her father was had been wrecked, and 
he had perished, while those in which her brothers were 
had been signally rescued. The girl knew that she had 
been the means of the salvation of her brothers, and that 
opening her mouth to answer her mother's call was the 
occasion of her failure to rescue her father's vessel. This 
girl became, as the result of her dream, one of the most 
popular objects of worship in the empire. 

The emperors of China have, at different times since 
her death, conferred various high-sounding titles upon 
her, some of which seem blasphemous. She is called 
" Queen of Heaven'' and " The Holy Mother in the heavens 
above!' One is often reminded by the titles given her 
and the worship and honors paid her, of the titles which 
are given to the mother of Jesus by the authority of the 
Pope of Rome. Sailors often take with them some embers 
or ashes which they obtain from the censer before some 
popular image of the goddess. These ashes they carry 
about their person in a small red bag, or they suspend them 
about the junk in convenient places, or they put them in 
the censer before the image of that which they worship. 
When there is a violent storm, and there seems but little 



hope that the junk will outride it, the sailors all kneel 
down near the bow with incense in their hands, and call 
out in doleful and bitter tones upon Ma-Chii to send 
deliverance. In case they reach the port without ship- 
wreck, they are bound to offer her an especial thanks- 
giving of food, with or without theatrical plays in her 
honor, according to their vow. 

Thus we have seen that the Chinese, though standing 
high above other Asiatic nations in point of civilization, 
are yet as idolatrous as any. Buddhism and Taoism 
have somewhat lessened the hold of Confucius upon the 
great Chinese nation ; and Christianity and western 
civilization have done much toward introducing a new 
order of things in China. 



A lady living In China narrates the following Chinese 

A gambler once went to a temple, to secure the help 

of a certain god therein. His 
luck had been bad, and he 
was unable to bring any ob- 
lation besides incense and 
paper money ; but he prom- 
ised that, if the god would 
help him to win a certain 
sum, he would then bring a 
thank-offerinof havino- ten feet. 
The god reckoned the sorts 
of tribute usually paid to him ; 
and, as the feet of a pig, a 
kid and a duck would to- 

c;OD OF GAMBLING. g^^J^^j. ^^y^^ ^^^^ ^^ SUppOSCd 

that these were the animals that would be laid upon 



his altar, should the gambler succeed. So he favored 
the orambler, and caused him to train even more than the 
stipulated sum. The gambler fulfilled the letter of his 
promise by laying a single crab on the altar. The god 
was very angry at being thus duped, and thenceforth 
exerted so unpropitious an influence in the gambler's 
affairs that he went and ascertained through a spirit 
medium the cause of his misfortunes. Again he came 
with fair words, promising that, if the god would once 
more grant his aid, he should have a whole pig as com- 
pensation. The god was mollified, and again favored 
the crambler, so that his winnincrs were larg-e. He broutrht 
the pig as a thank-offering. It was a fine, strong one ; 
but it was alive, and not in a condition in which it would 
be edible for either orods or men. While the o-od looked 
in astonishment at this departure from the established 
customs in the payment of a'vow, the gambler fastened 
the pig by a strong rope to the leg of the throne on 
which the god sat, and began to light the fire-crackers, 
by which an offering is announced. The explosion of 
the fire-crackers frightened the pig, so that it ran away 
draofSfinor both o-od and throne after it, till both were 
upset and broken. Thus the astute gambler outwitted 
the honest Rod. 





The Saviour of the World, 
Lord Buddha — Prince Siddartha styled on earth — 
In Earth and Heavens and Hells Incomparable, 
All-honored, Wisest, Best, most Pitiful ; 
The Teacher of Nirvana and the Law. 

Edwin Arnold. 

Je n'hesite pas a ajouter que, sauf le Christ tout seul, il n'est point, 
parmi les fondateurs de religion, de figure plus pure ni plus touchante 
que celle du Bouddha. — Barthelemy Saint-Hilaire. 

E now come to the study of the last of the sys- 
tems of idol worship, Buddhism. This is one 
of the most interestino- of all. It stands at 
once nearest to and farthest from Christianity. In its 
extent, it is the greatest religion of the world. It in- 
cludes four-tenths (nearly one-half) of all the world's 
population. The following figures indicate the compara- 
tive strength of the different existing relisfions : 



Jews, . 



about ]A 

perct. of 

Greek Church, . 



Roman Catholics, 



Other Christians, 



Hindus, . ■ 



Mohammedans, . 



Buddhists, . 



" ' " 

Not included in 

the above, Fe- 

tichists, etc., . 



i i 


li IC 

Total, . I 





It must be remembered, however, that very few of the 
500,000,000 of Buddhists are Buddhists only. Many of the 
Chinese Buddhists are Confucianists and Taoists as well. 
Many of the Ceylonese (or rather Singhalese) Buddhists 
are devil-worshipers and star-worshipers as well. So, also, 
one often sees in the Buddhist temples of Japan the 
Shinto symbols. Indeed, the rapid and wide growth of 
Buddhism is due to the readiness with which it tolerates 
other religions. To write the history of Buddhism is to 
write the history of the hopes, and aspirations, and most 
sacred feelings of nearly one-half the human race of 
modern times. Buddhism has been received by both 
very savage and very civilized peoples — the wild Nomad 
hordes of the cold northern lands of Tartary, Thibet and 
Nepal ; the cultured Chinese and Japanese, and the quiet 
Siamese, Burmese and Ceylonese. 

A religion of such wide acceptance by nations and in- 
dividuals of such different characters and circumstances, 
and which has controlled the destinies of thousands of 
millions of souls during nearly twenty-three hundred 
years, and which comes nearest to Christianity in the 
purity of its morals and the benefits it proposes to confer 
upon the human race, is certainly worthy of very careful 
attention. In studying it we must carefully avoid either 
a wholesale condemnation or an unqualified approval ; 
we must recoornize that there are both eood and evil in 
it. It is to be remembered, also, that we can only look 
upon Buddha's teachings after the lapse of ages, and 
from this long distance the view is likely to be anything 
else than clear. Without a doubt the doctrines of Buddha 
have been so perverted, that he would scarcely recognize 
the religion that bears his name to-day. Then, too, 
being an Oriental religion, we Western people cannot 
study it under as favorable circumstances as the Eastern 



people. Oriental religions can be seen best by Oriental 

Buddhism is a reform upon Brahminism. It is of 
Hindu origin, and while it has but little sway in the land 
of its birth, it retains the Hindu cast in all its wanderino-s 
into other lands and its observances among other peoples. 


In giving these legends of the life of Gautama, it 
should be stated that they are derived from the writings 
of Buddhists who lived lono- after Gautama was dead. 
They are to be received, of course, with that degree of 
credulity which would attend the legends of devoted dis- 
ciples of any such teacher. Those who have studied Bud- 
dhism in its native land have collected these legends with 
great care, among whom one of the most careful authors 
is Rev. Spence Hardy, who has collected and commented 
on them with great candor. 

At the end of the sixth century before Christ, a wise 
and good king reigned in the capital city of his country. 
Kapila-vastu, about one hundred miles north-east from 
the great city of Benares, in India. Around this city the 
snow-crowned, giant peaks of the Himalayas towered up 
in the clear blue of the Indian sky. The city was on the 
banks of an insignificant river, the Rohini. The people 
lived from the produce of their cattle and their rice-fields ; 
they adhered to the Hindu religion. The wife of King 
Suddhodana v/ac named Maya, because of her wondrous 
beauty. She was childless until her forty fifth year. 
Litde Prince SIddartha was born under the shade of a 
sadn-tree, in the year 552 B. C, In later years he was 
called the "Buddha," At this time, in addition to the 
name Siddartha, he received the name of Sak^'a-muni 
from his familv, and that of Gautama from his clan. 


50 r 

Just as in the case of other famous men, many mar- 
velous stories are told concerning his miraculous birth, 
and the precocious wisdom and power of the infant 
prince. At his birth, the legends say, ten thousand 
worlds were filled with light, the blind received their 
sight, the deaf heard, the lame walked, the imprisoned 
were set free, the trees burst forth in blossom, the air 
was filled with sweet songs of birds, and even the fires 
of hell were for the time beincr extino-uished. On the 
fifth day after his birth, at the " name-choosing festival," 
108 Brahmin priests met to select the most fitting name. 
One of them, the most learned in divination, predicted 
that he will be a " Buddha," who will remove the veils of 
sin and ignorance from the world. Gautama is the name 
by which he is most commonly known among the south- 
ern Buddhists. Buddha, or, more properly, the Buddha, 
means the Enlightened One, and is an official title, just 
as we say Jesus, the Christ, or the Anointed One. Dur- 
ing his youth Gautama is noted for his prowess, and for 
teaching even his masters in the arts and sciences. He 
has, so the legends go on to say, most magnificent equip- 
ages and many servants. He is early married to his 
cousin. He devotes himself to study and meditation, 
and his relatives charge him with neglecting to train 
himself in manly exercises. Gautama, being told of their 
murmurings, appoints a day by beat of drum to prove 
his skill against all comers. At the trial he surpasses 
the cleverest bowmen, and exhibits wonderful strength 
and skill in his feats of horsemanship. In his twenty- 
ninth year, Gautama abandons his home to devote him- 
self entirely to the study of religion and philosophy. 

He had been accustomed to say, " Nothing is stable 
on earth, nothing is real. Life is like the spark produced 
by the friction of wood. It is lighted, and it is extin- 



guished ; we know not whence it came and whither it 
goes. It is Hke the sound of a lyre, and the wise man 
asks in vain from whence it came and whither it goes. 
There must be some supreme intelHgence where we 
could find rest. If I attained to it, I could bring light to 
man ; if I were free myself, I could deliver the world." 
With this hope, and being moved thereto by four inci- 
dents, he gave himself, as we have just said, to seeking 
the light of the world. These were but ordinary events, 
and yet they had a great effect upon Gautama. 

Gautama's four visions. 

One day when the prince, with a large retinue, was 
driving through the eastern gate of the city on the way 
to one of his parks, he met on the road an old man, 
broken and decrepit. One could see the veins and 
muscles over the whole of his body ; his teeth chattered, 
he was covered with wrinkles, bald and hardly able to 
utter hollow and unmelodious sounds. He bent on his 
stick, and all his limbs and joints trembled. "Who 
is that man?" said the prince to his coachman. "He is 
small and weak, his flesh and his blood are dried up, his 
muscles stick to his skin, his head is white, his teeth 
chatter, his body is wasted away ; leaning on his stick he 
is hardly able to walk, stumbling at every step. Is there 
something peculiar in his family, or is this the common 
lot of all created beings ?" 

"Sir," replied the coachman, "that man is sinking 
under old age ; his senses have become obtuse, suffering 
has destroyed his strength, and he is despised by his 
relations. He is without support and useless, and people 
have abandoned him, like a dead tree in a forest. But 
this is not peculiar to his family. In every creature 
youth is defeated by old age. Your father, your mother, 


all your relations, all your friends, will come to the same 
state ; this is the appointed end of all creatures." 

"Alas!" replied the prince, "are creatures so ignorant, 
so weak and foolish, as to be proud of the youth by 
which they are intoxicated, not seeing the old age which 
awaits them ! As for me, I go away. Coachman, turn 
my chariot quickly. What have I, the future prey of 
old age — what have I to do with pleasure ?" And the 
young prince returned to the city without going to his 

Another time the prince was driving through the 
southern gate to his pleasure-garden, when he perceived 
on the road a man suffering from illness, parched with 
fever, his body wasted, covered with mud, without a 
friend, without a home, hardly able to breathe, and fright- 
ened at the sight of himself and the approach of death. 
Having questioned his coachman, and received from him 
the answer which he expected, the young prince said : 
"Alas ! health is but the sport of a dream, and the fear of 
suffering must take this friMitful form. Where is the 
wise man who, after having seen what he is, could any 
longer think of joy and pleasure?" The prince turned 
his chariot and returned to the city. 

A third time he was driving to his pleasure-garden 
through the western gate, when he saw a dead body on 
the road, lying on a bier, and covered with a cloth. The 
friends stood about, crying, sobbing, tearing their hair 
coverinof their heads with dust, strikino- their breasts and 
uttering wild cries. The prince, again calling his coach- 
man to witness this painful scene, exclaimed: "O woe 
to youth, which must be destroyed by old age ! Woe to 
health, which must be destroyed by so many diseases ! 
Woe to this life, where a man remains so short a time ! 
If there were no old age, no disease, no death ; if these 


could be made captive forever!" Then betraying for 
the first time his intentions, the young prince said: "Let 
us turn back, I must think how to accomphsh dehver- 

A last meeting put an end to his hesitation. He was 
driving through the northern gate, on the way to his 
pleasure-gardens, when he saw a mendicant, who ap- 
peared outwardly calm, subdued, looking downwards, 
wearing with an air of dignity his religious vestment, and 
carrying an alms-bowl. 

" Who is this man ?" asked the prince. 

"Sir," replied the coachman, "this man is one of those 
who are called bhikshus, or mendicants. He has re- 
nounced all pleasures, all desires, and leads a life of 
austerity. He tries to conquer himself. He has become 
a devotee. Without passion, without envy, he walks 
about asking for alms." 

"This is good and well said," replied the prince; "the 
life of a devotee has always been praised by the wise. It 
will be my refuge, and the refuge of other creatures ; it 
will lead us to a real life, to happiness and immortality." 

With these words, the young prince turned his chariot 
and abandoning his proposed ride returned to the city. 


We now come to a most touching incident in Gauta- 
ma's life. Moved by the visions of which we have just 
spoken, Gautama determines to seek the solitude of the 
hermit's hut. His life had been full of intense yearning 
which had never been satisfied. Not all the comfort and 
prosperity about him could drive away his desire to ob- 
tain peace. To him, life was a great enigma, and he de- 
termined to solve it. He was not dissatisfied, but, rather, 
unsatisfied. His determination to retire from active life 


was, however, by no means easy. For his wife and his 
only son, Rahula, he felt the warmest affection. It was 
to be a difficult task to break these ties. 

At midnight, he summoned his charioteer, Channa, to 
brincr his horse to the palace gate. While Channa was 
gone to the stable, Gautama turned back to take a last 
look at his wife and child. The princess lay asleep upon 
her couch, surrounded with flowers, and her hand was 
embracing her little one. Gautama saw that he could 
not take the child up in his arms without disturbing the 
mother, and he was afraid that she might succeed in 
shaking his resolution, did she plead with him. 

"So with his brow he touched her feet, and bent 
■ The farewell of fond eyes, unutterable 
Upon her sleeping face, still wet with tears ; 
And thrice around the bed in reverence, 
As though it were an altar, softly stepped 
With clasped hands laid upon his beating heart, 
' For never,' spake he, ' lie I there again !' 
And thrice he made to go, but thrice came back, 
So strong her beauty was, so large his love : 
Then, o'er his head drawing his cloth, he turned, 
And raised the purdah's edge : 

" Then, lightly treading where those sleepers lay, 
Into the night Siddartha passed: its eyes. 
The watchful stars, looked love on him ; its breath. 
The wandering wind, kissed his robe's fluttered fringe; 
The garden-blossoms, folded for the dawn, 
Opened their velvet hearts to waft him scents, 
From pink and purple censers; o'er the land, 
From Himalaya unto the Indian Sea, 
A tremor spread, as if earth's soul beneath 
Stirred with an unknown hope ; and holy books — 
Which tell the story of our Lord — say, too, 
That rich celestial music thrilled the air 
From hosts on hosts of shining ones, who thronged 
Eastward and westward, making bright the night — » 

-q5 idol worship of the world. 

Northward and southward, making glad the ground. 

Also those four dread Regents of the Earth, 

Descending at the doorway, two by two — 

With their bright legions of Invisibles 

In arms of sapphire, silver, gold and pearl — 

Watched with joined hands the Indian Prince, who stood. 

His tearful eyes raised to the stars, and lips 

Close-set with purpose of prodigious love. 

Then strode he forth into the gloom and cried, 

'Channa, awake! and bring out Kantaka!' 

" 'What would my lord?' the charioteer replied — 
Slow-rising from his place beside the gate — 
' To ride at night, when all the ways are dark?' 

" ' Speak low,' Siddartha said, ' and bring my horse. 
For now the hour is come when I should quit 
This golden prison, where my heart lives caged, 
To find the truth ; which henceforth I will seek. 
For all men's sake, until the truth be found.' " 

Shortly after he had passed through the ponderous 
g-ate of the city — which, it was said, took a thousand 
men to open it — he was met by the evil god Mara. 
Mara knew that if Gautama proceeded, his powder would 
be lessened and so he sought to turn him back. He 
said to Gautama : " Be entreated to stay, that you may 
possess the honors that are within your reach ; go not ! 
o-o not!" To this Gautama replied: " A thousand or a 
hundred thousand honors such as those to which you 
refer w^ould have no power to charm me to-day ; I seek 
the Buddhaship ; therefore, begone, hinder me not." 
Mara left him in great anger, determined to foil him. 


Gautama then exchanged his clothes with a poor 
passer-by, cut off his hair, and sent Channa, the charioteer 
back and became a begging, homeless hermit. Several 



hermits had taken up their abode in the caves of the 
Vindhya mountains ; here they were at once surrounded 
by the soUtudes of nature and sufficiently near to a large 
city to get their supplies. After coming to these caves 
he attaches himself to a Brahmin teacher, and under his 
guidance seeks, by undergoing severest penances, to 
gain superhuman power. After a little, he withdraws by 
himself to the jungles, where he spends six years in fast- 
ing and self-mortification. His severity of self-control 
gains him great fame, and disciples gather about him. A 
fear that, lest after all his efforts should be fruitless and 
that he should die, having gone wrong, made him finally 
give up the attempt. 

Now came the crisis of his life. The second struo-o;le of 
Gautama was most intense. He wandered back to a 
village to get his morning meal. He sat clown to eat it 
under a tree, known from that day to this as the " Bo-tree," 
or tree of Wisdom. There he remained through the long 
hours of that day, debating with himself what next to do. 
The philosophy he had trusted in seemed to be doubtful; 
the penance he had practiced so long had brought no 
certainty, no peace ; and all his old temptations came 
back upon him with renewed force. For years he had 
looked at all earthly good as vanity, worthless and transi- 
tory. Nay, niore, he had thought that it contained within 
itself the seeds of evil, and must inevitably, sooner or 
later, bring forth its bitter fruit. But now to his wavering 
faith the sweet delights of home and love, the charms of 
wealth and power, began to show themselves in a different 
light and to glow again with attractive colors. They were 
yet within his reach ; he knew he would be welcomed back, 
and yet — would there even then be satisfaction ? Were 
all his labors to be lost? Was there no sure ground to 
stand on ? Thus he agonized in his doubt from the early 



morning until sunset. But as the day ended the reHgious 
side of his nature had won the victory ; his doubt had 
cleared away ; he had become a Buddha, that is an En- 
lightened One ; he had grasped, as it seemed to him, the 
solution of the great mystery of sorrow, and had learned 
at once its causes and its cure. He seemed to have 
gained the haven of peace, and in the power over the 
human heart of inward ctdtiire, and of love to others, to 
rest at last on a certitude that could never be shaken. 
He renounced his penances, and from that time declared 
that no good resulted from them. It was a grand theory 
of self-salvatio7i that he had wrought out for himself — 
salvation by self-control and love — without any rites, 
ceremonies, charming priestly powers, without even the 
aid of the g^ods, man could save himself. 

Like the later great reformer, Mohammed, Gautama the 
Buddha, had the most perfect confidence in himself, his 
convictions and his mission; this mission was "to set 
rolling the royal chariot-wheel of a universal empire of 
truth and righteousness," He went to Benares, and 
there, by teaching, sought to spread the knowledge of 
his method of reaching a perfect inward peace. In about 
three months he had gathered together sixty disciples ; 
these he sends forth to preach his faith. He himself was 
accustomed to travel, preach and teach, except during 
the four rainy months, from June to October, when he 
remained in one place, instructing his declared disciples. 
Once he visited his old home, and his wife, Yasodhara, 
became one of his disciples ; she was the first of the 
Buddhist nuns. Gautama died at the age of eighty 
years. His body was burned with much pomp, and his 
disciples contended for the unburned bones. They were 
divided in eight parts, and temple-mounds, called topes, 
were built over each. 




One cannot help comparing Gautama, the Buddha, and 
Jesus, the Christ. There is, beyond question, a grreat 
deal of both good and evil in Buddha's life and teaching. 


It is wise for us to recognize both good and evil, and to 
"hold fast to that which is good." We do not think that 
it is placing Buddha on too high a ground when we say 


that he stands nearest to Christ of all the founders of reli- 
eions. We must not confound the teachincrs of Buddha 
with the superstitious notions of his followers of to-day. 
The present Buddhism of Asia is but little like the Bud- 
dhism of Gautama's teaching-. Further, we must strip off 
the legends, the additions of a later day, and seek to read 
the story of his life that lies beneath them. In addition 
to this, we must try to place ourselves in closest sym- 
pathy with our subject. 

Thus we see the beauties of this life. Looked at in this 
way, we discover a great deal in Buddha's character to 
admire. SaintTIilaire says (we give a free translation 
from the French) : " His life has no stain. His constant 
heroism equals his conviction ; and if the theory which he 
extols is faultless, the personal example which he pre- 
sents is irreproachable. He is the finished model of all 
the virtues which he preached ; his teaching of self-denial, 
of charity, of an unchangeable mildness, do not for a single 
instant receive the contradiction of a different life. He 
abandons, at the age of twenty-nine years, the court of 
his royal father to become a devotee and a mendicant; he 
prepares silently his doctrines during six years of medi- 
tation and retreat ; he extends his faith only by the power 
of speech and persuasion, during half a century; and 
when he dies in the arms of his disciples, It is with the 
serenity of a sage who has lived well, and who is assured 
that he has found the truth." It is not our purpose to 
compare here the teachings of Buddha and Christ, but 
simply the life. It is a comparison that we would make, 
and not a contrast. Buddha's self-denial for the world's 
good, his wondrously pure life, and the heavenliness of 
his manners and of some of his teachings greatly resem- 
ble those of Jesus Christ. Yet, after all, he stands a long 
way off. He is a light, it is true, yet but feebly shining 



beside the light of ihe Sun of Righteousness. To Christ, 
Gautama is but 

"As moonlight is to sunlight, and as water is to wine." 

The Buddha was the son of a king ; Jesus, the Christ, 
was the son of a carpenter. The Buddha grew up in the 
midst of the splendors of a court; Jesus, the Christ, was 
reared in a despised city, in an humble home. Yet the 
aspect of the Buddha is that of a disciple, a learner, an 
inquirer ; that of the Christ is that of a master, a teacher. 
The Buddha seems rather to be a subject, and the Christ 
the king. The Buddha approaches the solution of the 
great problems of sin, suffering and death from below. 
He walks as one in a maze, with uncertain steps ; he 
tries experiments ; he goes from one teacher to another. 
Finally, of a sudden, comes the answer to the problems 
with which he has been puzzled ; he throws the spectre 
wdth which he has been grappling. The Christ ap- 
proaches the great and grave questions, that have been 
puzzling the world, as one who lias the answers in his 
possession. He comes to teach, and not to learn ; to 
settle, and not to disturb. There is no hesitating uncer- 
tainty about His words or steps as there is about the 
Buddha's. In meeting temptation, the Buddha shows 
weakness, where the Christ shows strength. The Bud- 
dha's life was long ; the Christ's was short. The Bud- 
dha gave, undoubtedly, many wholesome precepts ; but 
there is an element of kindly, self-forgetting love about 
the Christ's teachings that is absent from the Buddha's. 
Indeed, this is the emphatic point of superiority, that the 
Buddha kept constandy before his disciples ///6'/r welfare ; 
he taueht how a man might deliver Jiiinself from suffer- 
inor. The Christ makes self-salvation but a part of His 
disciples' work. The Buddha has next to nothing to say 


about God; the Christ has all to say about God. The 
Christ seeks to show how man's life is attached to God 
at every point ; he exhibits the true character of God, 
presenting a picture infinitely superior to that drawn by 
the hand of any of the founders of religions, or by the 
highest imaginations of the purest men. In brief, the 
Buddha's life and teachings were unquestionably good, 
but the Christ's unquestionably better. This will be more 
apparent as, in the following chapters, we study the work- 
ing out of the Buddha's teachinos. We shall see how 
much and how little they benefited the race. Let the 
test of time be applied to the answers he brought to the 
puzzling problems of sin, suffering and sorrow, and see 
if they have wrought out the good for which the Buddha 
looked, hoped and prayed. We shall see a partial suc- 
cess and a partial failure, ancl see the undoubted neces- 
sity of giving the knowledge of the Gospel to the nations 
who have known nothing- better than that which Buddha 
had to tell. 





There is that in Buddhism, intelligible to the poor and the suffering, 
which has endeared Buddhism to the hearts of millions , not the silly, 
metaphysical phantasmagorias of worlds of gods and worlds of 
Brahma, or final dissolution of the soul in Nirvana. No, the beau- 
tiful, the tender, the humanly true, which, like pure gold, lies buried 
in all religions, even in the sand of the Buddhist canon. — F. Max 


GAUTAMA had himself thoroughly worked out 
his system of religion. With regard to his teach- 
ings, we have more reliable information than in 
regard to his life. During his fifty years of teaching he 
had ample time to repeat over and over again to his dis- 
ciples the principles of his faith. In the interval between 
Buddha's death and the reitrn of the Buddhist kino-, 
Asoka (in 307 B. C), legends and stories of miraculous 
deeds multiplied about the narrative of Buddha's life. 
Gautama Buddha's teachings were committed to writing 
and commentaries were written upon these. To deter- 
mine what were the genuine Buddhist sacred books, and 
what were apocryphal, a council was called by King Asoka. 
This king was to the Buddhists what Constantine the 
Great was to the early Christian Church. King Asoka 
said to the assembled priests, " what has been said by 
Buddha, that alone is well said." The canon of sacred 
books, as declared by this council, include the collection 


called the Tripitaka, or " Three Baskets." These are to 
Buddhism what the New Testament is to Christianity; 
in these we find the orthodox belief. The first of these 
baskets is called the Vinaya, and contains all of Buddha's 
teachings that refer to morality; the second is called 
the Sutras, containing the sermons of Buddha ; the third 
is called the Abhidharma, containincr all that treats of 
philosophy and metaphysics. The general name, Dharma, 
or " law," is applied to the second and third Pitakas, or 
baskets. The first and second baskets each contain five 
separate works, and the third basket seven. In addition 
to these books the Buddhists look upon the commen- 
taries and parables of the famous Buddhist missionary, 
Buddhaghosha, as of nearly equal value. These were 
written about 430 A. D. Still further, we have the work 
called the Dharma Pada, or "Footsteps of the Law." 
This is a book of Buddhist's morals, and Spence Hardy, 
one of the best writers on Buddhism, says that a collec- 
tion of precepts might be made from this \^ ork, which in 
purity of morals could hardly be equaled by any heathen 
author. We now give a summary of Buddha's teachings 
on the more important topics as found in the Tripitakas. 


The method of salvation which was wrought out by 
Buddha has been admirably summarized by Rhys-David 
as follows: "So long as man is bound up by bodily ex- 
istence with the material world he is liable to sorrow, 
decay and death. So long as he allows unholy desires 
to reign within him, there will be unsatisfied longings, 
useless weariness and care. To attempt to purify him- 
self by oppressing his body would be only wasted effort; 
it is the moral evil of a man's heart which keeps him 
chained down in the degraded state of bodily lite — of 


union with the material world. It is of little avail to add 
virtue to his badness, for so long as there is evil, his 
goodness will only insure him for a time, and in another 
birth, a higher form of material life ; only the complete 
eradication of all evil will set him free from the chains of 
existence and carry him to the 'other side,' where he will be 
no longer tossed about on the waves of the ocean of trans- 
migration. But Christian ideas must not be put into 
these Buddhist expressions. Of any immaterial exist- 
ence. Buddhism knows nothing. The foundations of its 
creed have been summed up in the very ancient formula 
probably invented by its founder, which is called the Four 
Great Truths. These are : i. That misery always ac- 
companies existence. 2. That all modes of existence (of 
men or animals, in earth and heaven) result from passion 
or desire (tantra). 3. That there is no escape from ex- 
istence except by destruction of desire. 4. That this 
may be had by following the fourfold way to Nirvana. 

"Of these four prescribed stages called 'the Paths,' the 
first is an awakening of the heart. There are few that 
do not acknowledge that no man can be really called 
happy, and that men are born to trouble as the sparks 
fly upward, but the majority ghde through life filling up 
their time with business or with pleasure, buoyed up 
with ever-changing hopes in their mad pursuit of some 
fancied good. AVhen the scales fall from their eyes, 
when they begin to realize the great mystery of sorrozv, 
that pain is inseparable from existence, and that all 
earthly good leads to vexation of spirit, when they turn 
for comfort and for cfuidance to the Enliohtened One, 
then they may be said to be awake, and to have entered the 
fi7^st stage of the Buddhist way of salvation. When tlie 
awakened believer has gone further, and got rid, first, 
of all inipiLre desires, and then of all revengeful Jetlings, he 


has reached the second stage ; in the third he successively 
becomes free (i) {ro\\\ all evil desires, (2) from ignorance, 
(3) from doubt, (4) from heresy, 2i^A (5) from tuikindliness 
a?id vexation. 'As even at the risk of her own Hfe a 
mother watches over her child, her only child, so let him 
(the Buddhist saint) exert good-will without measure 
toward all beings.' " 

The order here observed is very remarkable. The 
way to be freed from doubt and heresy lies through free- 
dom from impurity and revenge, and evil longings of all 
kinds ; or, in other words, if a man awakened to a deep 
sense of the mystery of sorrow wishes to understand the 
real facts of existence, wishes to believe not the false or 
the partly false, but the true altogether, Buddha tells him 
not to set to work and study, not to torture himself with 
asceticism or privation, but to purify his mind from all 
unholy desires and passions : right actions spring from a 
pure mind, and to the pure in heart all things are open. 
Again, the first enemy which the awakened believer has 
to fight against is sensuality, and the last is unkindliness. 
It is impossible to build anything on a foundation of mire; 
and the topstone of all that one can build, the highest 
point he can reach, the point above purity, above justice, 
above even faith, is, according to Buddha, itniversal 
charity. Till he has gained that, the believer is still 
bound ; he is not free ; his mind is still dark. True en- 
lightenment, true freedom, are complete only in love. 

The believer who has gfone thus far has reached the 
last stage ; he has cut the meshes of ignorance, passion 
and sin, and has thus escaped from the net of transmi- 
gration ; Nirvana is already within his grasp ; he has 
risen above the laws of material existence ; the secrets 
■of the future and the past lie open before him ; and when 
this one short life is over, he will be free forever from 


birth with its inevitable consequences, decay and death. 
No Buddhist now hopes to reach this stage on earth ; 
but he who has once entered the " paths " cannot leave 
them ; the final perseverance of the saints is sure ; and 
sooner or later, under easier conditions in some less 
material world, he will win the great prize, and, entering 
Nirvana, be at rest forever with other triumphant victors. 


The central doctrine of Buddhism, the oroal of all its 
hopes, the end of all its struggles, is Nirvana or Nigban. 
But what does this mean ? Some learned men say, ab- 
sorption or swallowing up into the Deity ; others, that it 
means a perfect annihilation, a ceasing to be or exist ; 
while still others say that it simply means reaching a 
state of perfect inward rest. Nirvana means, literally, 
"a blowing out," as of a candle. We cannot conceive it 
possible that any one could teach the hopeless, despair- 
ing doctrine of annihilation, and cannot help believing 
that the last interpretation is the true one — that Nirvana 
means a perfect, inward peace. Certain it is that Bud- 
dha's followers of to-day believe in a definitely located 
Paradise, a place of perfect enjoyment. Nirvana is an 
extinction, but of what? Of the life of the soul? or of 
the passions, of selfishness, desire and sin ? and of the 
unrest produced by these ? Nirvana Is called the highest 
.happiness. As Max Miiller says, " It represented the 
entrance of the soul into rest, a subduing of all wishes 
and desires, indifference to joy and pain, to good and 
evil, an absorption of the soul in itself, and a freedom 
from the circles of existences from birth to death, and from 
death to a new birth. This is still the meaning which 
educated people attach to it, whilst to the minds of the 
larger masses, Nirvana suggests rather the idea of a 



Mohammedan Paradise or of blissful Elysian fields." 
Buddha, himself, once said: "Those only who have ar- 
rived at Nirvana are at rest." Closely associated with 
Nirvana is the idea of the transmigration of the soul ; 
that the soul after death passes from one body to an- 
other ; sometimes the body in which the soul is born 
again is that of an animal, sometimes of a man. The 
Buddhists kill no animals, for fear of annoying the soul 
of a dead man, which may be living in the animal. For 
this reason they also take great care of wounded and sick 
animals. In Bombay is a hospital for animals, carried on 
very successfully by the Jains, a Buddhist sect. 


The wonderfully pure and exalted teachings of Buddha 
have been gathered together in the Dharma Pada, or 
" Footsteps of the Law." Many of them greatly re- 
semble the teachings of our Holy Scriptures, others are 
absurdly ridiculous, while still others are metaphysical 
abstractions, and are wholly meaningless. The great 
majority are, however, full of wondrous wisdom. The fol- 
lovvinfr selections are translations from the Pali lanofuaofe r 


There is no fire like passion ; there is no shark like 
hatred; there is no snare like folly; there is no torrent 
like ofreed. 

A man is not learned because he talks much. 

A man is not an elder because- his head is gray; his 
age may be ripe, but he is called "Old-in-vain." 

For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time ; 
hatred ceases by love. This is an old rule. 

He who lives looking for pleasure only, his senses un- 
controlled, immoderate in his enjoyments, idle and weak. 


Mara (the tempter) will certainly overcome him, as the 
wind throws down a weak tree. 

He who lives without looking for pleasures, his senses 
well controlled, in his enjoyments moderate, faithful and 
strong, Mara will certainly not overcome him, any more 
than the wind throws down a rocky mountain. 

As rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, passion 
will break throusfh an unreflectinof mind. 

The evil-doer suffers in this world, and he suffers in 
the next ; he suffers in both. He suffers when he thinks 
of the evil he has done ; he suffers more when going on 
the evil path. 

The virtuous man is happy in this world, and he is 
happy in the next ; he is happy in both. He is happy 
when he thinks of the good he has done ; he is still more 
happy when going on the good path. 

The scent of flowers does not travel against the wind, 
nor (that of) sandal-wood, or of a bottle of Tagara oil ; 
but the odor of good people travels even against the 
wind ; a good man pervades every place. 

As on a heap of rubbish cast upon the highway the 
lily will grow full of sweet perfume and delightful, thus 
the disciple of ihe truly enlightened Buddha shines forth 
by his knowledge among those who are like rubbish, 
among the people that walk in darkness. • 

The fool who knows his foolishness, is wise at least so 
far. But a fool who thinks himself wise, he is called a 
fool indeed. 

The gods even envy him whose senses have been sub- 
dued, like horses well broken in by the driver, who is 
free from pride, and free from frailty. 

Even though, a speech be a thousand (of words) but 
made up of senseless words, one word of sense is better, 
which if a man hears, he becomes quiet. 


If one man conquer in battle a thousand times thousand 
men, and if another conquer himself, he is the greatest 
of conquerors. 

Let no man think lighdy of evil, saying in his heart, It 
will not come near unto me. Even by the falling of 
water-drops a water-pot is filled. The fool becomes full of 
evil, even if he gathers it litde by little. 

Let no one forget his own duty for the sake of an- 
other's, however great. Let a man, after he has discerned 
his own duty, be always attentive to his duty. 

The wise who control their body, who control their 
toncrue, the wise who control their mind, are indeed well 

And the man who gives himself to drinking intoxicating 
liquors, he, even in this world, digs up his own root. 

Akin to these are the following blessings of Buddha: 


One of the gods says to Gautama: 

1. Many angels and men 

Have held various things blessings, 
When they were yearning for happiness. 
Do thou declare to us the chief good. 

Gautama answers: 

2. Not to serve the foolish, 
But to serve the wise ; 

To honor those Avorthy of honor : 
This is the greatest blessing. 

3 To dwell in a pleasant land, 

Good works done in a former birth, 
Right desires in the heart: 
This is the greatest blessing. 

4. Much insight and education, 
Self control and pleasant speech, 
And whatever word be well-spoken : 
This is the greatest blessing. 


5. To support father and mother. 
To cherish wife and child, 

To follow a peaceful calliilg: 
This is the greatest blessing. 

6. To bestow alms and live righteously, 
To give help to kindred, 

Deeds which cannot be blamed : 
These are the greatest blessings. 

7. To abhor and cease from sin, 
Abstinence from strong drink, 
Not to be weary in well-doing : 

These are the greatest blessings. 

8. Reverence and lowliness. 
Contentment and gratitude, 

The hearing of the Law at due seasons: 
This is the greatest blessing. 

9. To be long-suffering and meek, 

To associate with the tranquil (/. e., Buddhist monks), 
Religious talk at due seasons : 
This is the greatest blessing. 

10. Self-restraint and purity, 

The knowledge of the Noble Truths, 
The realization of Nirvana: 
This is the greatest blessing. 

11. Beneath the stroke of life's changes. 
The mind that shaketh not; 
Without grief or passion, and secure : 

This is the greatest blessing. 

12. On every side are invincible 
They who do acts like these, 

On every side they walk in safety. 
And theirs is the greatest blessing. 






What proud Emperors 
Carved his sweet words upon the rocks and caves ; 
And how — in fullness of the times — it fell 
The Buddha died, the great Tathagato. 
Even as a man 'mongst men, fulfilling all : 
And how a thousand thousand crores* since then 
Have trod the Path which leads whither he went 
Unto Nirvana where the Silence lives. 

Edwin Arnold, in the *' Light of Asia." 

BUDDHISM is a missionary system. It has spread 
far beyond the land of its birth, all over Asia. 
The methods of its spread were entirely different 
from those of Mohammedanism, while they somewhat 
resembled those of Christianity. To-day Buddhism 
numbers about two-fifths of the world's population among 
its adherents. It is still in vio-orous life. It has been 
propagated mainly through the Sangha, or Buddhist 
Order of Mendicants. The dates usually assigned for 
the entrance of Buddhism into other lands are as fol- 
lows : Into Ceylon, 250 B, C. ; into China, 65 A. D. ; into 
Corea, 372 A. D. ; into Burmah, 450 A. D. ; into Japan, 
552 A. D. ; into Thibet, about 625 A. D. ; and into 
Siam, 638 A. D. While some of these have been ques- 
tioned, no good reason has yet been given for accepting 
any others. 

* A crore is lo,ODO,ooo; a thousand thousand crores would be xo million millions. 


We shall at present discuss the character and consti- 
tution of the Buddhist brotherhood of the Saneha, leav- 
ing the stories of the introduction of Buddhism into the 
various countries to be told in their respective places. 


All of Buddha's disciples who had taken the vows of 
asceticism were known by the name of Sangha, meaning 
** congregation" or "church." The organization of this 
order had the most to do with the spread of Buddhism. 
Keep in mind that, in common with almost all reformers, 
Gautama, the Buddha, did not intend to cut loose from 
his old faith. He hoped to make the new wine of his 
teachings go into the old bottles of Brahminism. We 
believe that he did not intend or expect that his relio-ion 
should spread over Asia. Further, it was not so much 
due to his doctrine of the Dharma, or "law," that his re- 
ligion gained so wide an acceptance, as it was due to his 
establishment of the order of the Sangha. Here is one 
point of wide divergence from the missionary labors of 
Christianity. Its founder, Jesus Christ, did intend, and 
distinctly stated His intention of mvine His relio-ion to the 
world. The order of the Sangha was a gi-owth. Little 
by little, as occasion demanded, Gautama laid down rules 
for those who would be his disciples, and unconsciously 
these disciples became more and more exclusive, shut- 
ting in themselves and shutting out all others. Finally, 
after Gautama's death, they became a distinct body. 


Any one who was free from contagious disease, w^ho 
was neither a slave, a debtor nor a soldier, and who had 
obtained the consent of his parents, might be admitted to 
the order. The following account of the ceremony of 


admission has been compiled by T. W. Rhys-David, late 
of the Ceylon civil service : 

" The layman who wishes for entrance to the Order 
must be at least eight years old before obtaining the 
novitiate, and at least twenty before receiving full ordi- 
nation. On the day appointed, a chapter is held, of not 
less than ten monks, the president being of at least ten 
years' standing. The monks forming the chapter sit on 
mats, in two rows, facing each other, the president being 
at the head of one row. The candidate, in lay dress, but 
carrying the three yellow robes of a mendicant, is intro- 
duced by his proposer (always a monk), makes a saluta- 
tion to the president, and offers him a small present as a 
token of respect. He then three times asks for admis- 
sion as a novice. ' Have pity on me, lord ; take these 
robes, and let me be ordained, that I may escape from 
sorrow and experience Nirvana.' The president then 
takes the bundle of robes, and ties them around the can- 
didate's neck, repeating, meanwhile, a formula of medita- 
tion on the perishable nature of the human body. The 
candidate then retires, and changes his dress, repeating 
the while a formula to the effect that, though he wears 
robes, he does so only out of modesty, and as a protec- 
tion from heat, cold, etc. When he reappears clad as a 
mendicant, he kneels before the president, and repeats 
after him three times two well-known Buddhist formulas. 
The first of these is that called the ' Three Refuges.' 

" * I go for refuge to the Buddha. 

" T ofo for refuse to the Law. 

" T eo for refuee to the Order.' 

"The other is called the 'Ten Precepts,' which are as 
follows : 

" ' I . I take the vow not to destroy life. 

" ' 2. I take the vow not to steal. 


" ' 3. I take the vow to abstain from impurity. 

*' ' 4. I take the vow not to He. 

" ' 5, I take the vow to abstain from intoxicating- drinks, 
which hinder progress and virtue. 

" ' 6. I take the vow not to eat at forbidden times. 

" ' 7, I take the vow to abstain from dancino-, sino-ino-, 
music and stage-plays. 

"'8. I take the vow not to use orarlands, scents, un- 
guents or ornaments. 

'' ' 9. I take the vow not to use a high or broad bed. 

" ' 10. I take the vow not to receive eold or silver.' 


•' The candidate then rises, pays respect to the presi- 
dent, and retires a novice. Here, for the novitiate, the 
ceremony ends." 


Solid food is forbidden, except between sunrise and' 
noon, and total abstinence from intoxicating drinks is re- 
quired. The monks, or brothers of the order, usualh' 
get their food by begging from door to door; each 
usually carries his brown earthenware beeeine-bowl. He 
says nothing, but only stands, waiting, at the open door of 
the hut. If something is given him, he mutters a prayer 
for the giver, but if nothing, he passes on in silence. 

The monks generally live together in groves, gardens 
or monasteries. At first they led a lonely life, but after- 
wards they gathered together in communities. The}- 
were required to dress in simple garments of a dull 
orange color, first torn in pieces and then sewn together 
again, so that they had no salable value. They wear 
three robes; and, while the people of the warmer coun- 
tries wear only the loin-cloth, the members of the order 
were required to keep their bodies covered. To " put 
off the robes " was equivalent to leaving the society. 



Personal indulgence, theft and murder would cause the 
monk who committed them to be expelled from the or- 
der. No monk was allowed to possess more than eight 
articles — the three robes, a girdle for the loins, a begging- 
bowl, a razor, a needle and a water-strainer. The com- 
munities of monks, however, were permitted to own 
property. Unquestioning obedience to superiors is never 
required of a monk among the Buddhists. 


According to the " Manual of Exercises," the daily life 
of a monk should be as follows : He shall rise before 
daylight and wash; then sweep the wihara or residence 
— as the clean little hut where the mendicant lives is 
called — then sweep round the Bo-tree, fetch the drinking- 
water for the day, filter it, and place It ready for use. 
Retiring to a solitary place, he shall then meditate on the 
regulations. Then he shall offer flowers before the 
sacred dagaba — the solid dome-shaped shrine in which 
relics of the Buddha are buried — or before the Bo-tree, 
thinking of the great virtues of the Teacher and of his 
own faults. Soon after, taking the begging-bowl, he is 
to follow his superior in his daily round for food, and, on 
their return, is to bring water for his feet and place the 
alms-bowl before him. After the meal is over, he is to 
wash the alms-bowl, then again to worship Buddha and 
meditate on kindness and affection. About an hour 
afterwards, he Is to begin his studies from the books, or 
copy one of them, asking his superior about passages he 
does not understand. At sunset, he Is again to sweep 
the sacred places, and, lighting a lamp, to listen to the 
teaching of his superior, and repeat such passages from 
the canon that he has learned. If he finds he has com- 
mitted any fault, he Is to tell his superior ; he Is to be 


content with such things as he has, and, keeping under 
his senses, to grow in grace without haughtiness of body, 
speech or mind. 


Soon after Buddha's death a council of 500 members 
of the order was held in a cave, near the city of Raja- 
griha. This council met to form Buddha's teachings into 
some sort of a system. A second council of 700 was 
held a hundred years later. This was to effect a settle- 
ment between certain heretics and the orthodox party. 
The Rules of the Order and the Doctrines of the Faith 
were passed in review and again settled. Then the 
heretics advanced still different opinions and called an 
opposition council. This was the first great schism. 
From this time sects multiplied among the Buddhists. 
The next council was the Great Council of King Asoka. 
Asoka was to the Buddhist Order what Constantine was 
to the early Christian Church. There are more men to 
honor him to-day than there are to honor Charlemagne 
or Ciesar. Yet Asoka really caused the downfall of 
Buddhism in India by the aid he gave it. As Dante had 
said : 

"Ah ! Constantine, of how much ill was cause, 
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains 
That the first wealthy Pope received of thee." 

Asoka built many monasteries and provided for the 
support of many monks. He became a very zealous 
supporter of Buddhism. Some of his edicts, based upon 
Gautama's teachings, have been discovered within the 
last fifty years. In the eighteenth year of Asoka's reign, 
a Qrreat council of 1,000 monks was held in Patna. This 
council finally determined the canon of the sacred Bud- 
dhist books. This council, held, probably, in the year 246 



B. C, lasted nine months. Asoka was filled with an 
aggressive, missionary spirit, and at the close of this 
council missionaries were sent into various countries, or 
provinces of India, from Cashmere to Ceylon. The mis- 
sion to Ceylon of Asoka's own son, Mahinda, was the 
most important. In the year 62 A. D., the Chinese 
Emperor Ming-Ti sent to India and brought Buddhist 
books to China. From China Buddhism spread into 
Corea and Japan and Thibet. From Ceylon it spread to 
Burmah and Siam. 

Of late years the sources of our information as to 
Buddhist teachings and history have greatly changed. 
Formerly only Ceylon was looked to for this informa- 
tion, but of late years the work of Bigandet in Burmah, 
Alabaster in Siam, Schlagintweit in Thibet, and Beal in 
China, have ijiven more thorouorh knowledo-e of the facts 
of Buddhist doctrine and history. 


Buddhaghosha lived in the middle of the fifth century 
after Christ. He is, next to Asoka, the most celebrated 
man in Buddhist history. He visited Ceylon, where he 
greatly revived the Buddhist faith. He then went to 
Burmah, where he established Buddhism among the Bur- 
mese. From these people it spread into Arracan, Pegu, 
and finally into Siam. He wrote a famous commentary 
on the Buddhist Bible ; some scholars believe that this is 
but a translation of older commentaries which Buddha- 
ghosha made, and that his parables are but the parables 
of Mahinda or even of Gautama re-written. At any 
rate, they go by Buddhaghosha's name among the Bur- 
mese Buddhists. His parables are very interesting, and 
are used by the monks and preachers in all their sermons. 
The accompanying story of King Kakavanna is quoted 



from Captain Rogers' translation of Buddhaghosha's 
Parables, and will serve as a fair specimen of the stories 
as a whole. 


A Rahanda once preached the Law to Kakavanna, his 
queen and concubines, in the island of Ceylon. King 
Kakavanna, filled with love for the Law, resolved to 
make an offering of the putzo which he was wearing. In 
a spirit of niggardliness, however, he thought he would 
defer the offering until the next day. Two crows, a hus- 
band and wife, who were perched upon the tree at 
the foot of which the Law had been preached, knowing 
what was passing in the king's mind, said to each other : 
" The king, from his niggardly spirit, excellent as the Law 
is, cannot make up his mind to make an offering of the 
putzo." Neither the queen, nor the concubines, nor the 
nobles understood what the two crows were saying to 
each other; but the king, directly he heard the sound of 
the crows, knew what they said. " O you pair of crows," 
he exclaimed, " how dare you speak so of a king like me?" 
The crows replied, " Your majesty, do not take the putzo 
you have at home, but make an offering of the one you 
are wearing, worth a hundred thousand pieces of gold. 
In seven days hence you will receive the five rewards." 
The king smiled at the crows' speech. My lord, the 
Rahanda, who had been preaching the Law, said to the 
king, "Why does your majesty smile at me?" "I was 
not smiling at my lord Rahanda," replied the king ; "I 
was smiling at what the two crows said." The Rahanda, 
who possessed the Nat's eye, which could behold eight 
past and eight future existences, and who saw the pre- 
vious life of the kine, said to him, " Great kino;-, I will tell 
you something ; will you be angry with me ?" *'My lord," 


replied the king, " I shall not be angry with you ; deign 
to tell it to me." My lord, the Rahanda, proceeded : 
"When your majesty was a poor man in the Anuradha 
country, you used to collect firewood, and live by the sale 
of it. One day, when you went out to your work, you 
took with you a small cupfial of boiled rice. Coming 
across a heap of white sand which looked like sheet-silver, 
you reflected that your poverty must have been occa- 
sioned by your not possessing the merit of having made 
offerings, and accordingly you raised a pagoda of the 
white sand, placed in front of it, as an offering, one-half 
of the rice you had with you, and gave the remaining 
half to the crows to eat, as an offering to the Rahans. 
These two crows, husband and wife, are the very same 
two crows who ate the rice of which you made the offer- 
ing when you were a poor man." When the king heard 
this, he exclaimed, " Oh, how unstable is prosperity ! I 
have obtained the position of king only from making 
offerings at a sand pagoda !" So saying, he made an 
offering to the Law of the putzo he was wearing. 

Seven days afterwards, the five rewards came to the 
king. The five rewards were these : 

The Nats, wrapping up in a thingan the relics of an 
excellent Rahanda who had obtained Paranibbana while 
he was up in the sky, and which were like a jasmine-bud, 
came and laid them down before the king. In front of 
his palace a mountain of gold arose. The Nats brought 
a virgin from the island of Uttarakuru. This woman was 
ten cubits in stature. She brought with her a kunsa of 
rice, which, thoucrh one were to cook it and eat It durin"- 
a whole lifetime, would never be exhausted. An elephant 
of priceless value, which could travel a hundred yoganas 
even before breakfast. Seven vessels arrived at the 
port completely filled with valuable putzos. 



Buddhism in India has ahnost died out. In Ceylon, 
and among the sect of the Jains, in Western India, it still 
remains; but, excepting these parts of the country, 
Brahminism has triumphed in putting down Buddhism. 
In Farther India, that is, in Burmah and Malacca, Bud- 
dhism is very strong. Arpong the Karens of Burmah, 
Buddhism never gained any acceptance. In Siam, Cam- 
bodia and Cochin China, Buddhism is prevalent. In 
China proper and in Corea it is associated with Confu- 
cianism and Taoism. In Thibet it has taken the peculiar 
form called Lamaism, a regular hierarchy having devel- 
oped. In Japan it is often associated with Shintoism. 
The Loo Choo Islands are also Buddhist. 





They sat in silent watchfulness 

The sacred cypress-tree about, 
And, from beneath old wrinkled brows, 

Their failing eyes looked out. 

They waited for that falling leaf 

Of which the wandering Jogees sing : 

Which lends once more to wintry age 
The greenness of its spring. 

John Greenleaf VVhittier. 

IN the time of Asoka, Buddhism had ahiiost become 
the State religion of India. The conversion of the 
king, however, proved the beginning of its decHne. 
It continued to exist until the eighth or ninth century 
after Christ. To-day there is scarcely a trace of the re- 
ligion among all the people of India proper. The only 
body of people in India that has any connection with 
Buddhism is the singular sect of the Jains. The views of 
this body are half Buddhist and half Brahmin. They are 
found especially on the Western coast of India, in and 
around the city of Bombay. They are divided into two 
classes, the Soetambaras, or "clothed in white garments," 
and the Digambaras, or "sky-clad," that is naked. The 
last class now wear colored garments, though formerly 
they went naked. Like the Buddhists they reject the 
Vedas or sacred books of the Brahmins. The principal 
point of their practice is the reverence paid to holy men. 


who, by long discipline, have raised themselves to divine 
perfection. These men are called Jinas or "conquering 
saints," whence comes the name of their followers, the 
Jains. They believe in two ever-returning cycles of 
time, of immense duration, which defy all human calcula- 
tion. The first Jina of the second cycle, in which we now 
live, attained the age of 8,400,000 years, and each Jina 
since has lived a shorter and shorter time. There are 
three ways, they say, by which the soul is delivered, viz. : 
right intuition, right knowledge and right conduct. This 
last consists in observing five duties, or vows of self- 
restraint. I. Do not kill or injure. (Strict Jains carry 
this to a ridiculous extent. They strain water before 
drinking it, sweep the ground with a brush before treading 
it, never eat or drink in the dark, and sometimes wear a 
muslin strip over their mouths to prevent the risk of 
swallowing minute insects. They will never eat figs or 
any fruit containing seeds, nor even touch flesh-meat 
with their finger-tips). 2. Do not tell lies. 3. Do not 
steal. 4. Be chaste and temperate in thought, word or 
deed. 5. Do not desire anything immoderately. 

In Bombay there is a hospital temple of the Jains where 
sick animals are received and cared for. It), this temple 
one may see oxen, some with bandages over their eyes, 
and some lame lying upon beds of clean straw ; others, 
blind and paralyzed, are having their food brought to 
them and are being rubbed down by pious devotees. 
Here are gathered sick or wounded dogs, cats, fowls of 
every sort, crows, buzzards, vultures, rats, mice, sparrows, 
peacocks, jackals, etc., and are tenderly cared for. 


A Tope is a structure built to contain some relic of 
Buddha. They were generally erected by a king, who 



used the following form of words in its dedication: 
"Thrice over do I dedicate my kingxlom to the redeemer 
of the world, the divine teacher, the bearer of the triple 
canopy, the canopy of the heavenly host, the canopy of 
mortals, and the canopy of eternal emancipation." The 
whole structure was dome-shaped, or, more exactly, 
canopy-shaped. The relic of Buddha — a tooth, a piece 
of bone, or the like — was placed in a gold casket. This 
was placed in the relic-chamber on a golden altar. Then 
the erection of the building proceeded amidst great re- 
joicings and with many ceremonies. At its compledon 
the king guided a golden plow, drawn by two ele- 
phants, and marked out thus with a furrow a line all 
around the Tope. All within this line was considered 
sacred ground. The most famous Topes are those at 
Sanchi. These are now in ruins. The Topes them- 
selves are all ofrass-Qfrown and crumblincr, and almost all 
of the magnificent gate-ways lie in ruins. As we have 
just said, the purpose of these Topes was — not for use as 
a temple or as a place of living for the Buddhist monks — 
but simply as a place in which to preserve relics of the 
dead Buddha. As Byron, in Childe Harold, has sung: 

"There is a stern round tower of other days, 
Firm as a fortress with its fence of stone ; 
Such as an army's baffled strength delays, 
Standing with half its battlements alone, 
And with two thousand years' of ivy grown, 
The garland of eternity — where wave 

The green leaves, over all by Time o'erthrown. 
What was this tower of strength ? Within its case 
What treasure lays so locked, so hid? A hermit' s grave. ''^ 


This is a dome-like structure of solid brick and stone, 
one hundred and six feet in diameter at the base, and 



forty- two feet high from the base; the base is fourteen 
feet high, giving a total height of fifty-six feet. The base 
is a terrace, extending all around 
the Tope. On this the worshipers 
walked. A colonnade extended 
all around the Tope. There is an 
extrance to the Tope at each of the 
four cardinal points. These four 
gate-ways are very picturesque ob- 
jects. They are covered with 
sculptures representing various do- 
mestic scenes and religious cere- 
monies. Each gate-way is formed 
of two square pillars, two feet 
three inches thick and thirteen feet 
eight inches high. The capitals of 
these pillars vary. Those of the 
western gate contain four human 
dwarfs ; of the southern gate, four 
lions ; and of the other gate-ways 
four elephants. The height of 
thesfe capitals is four feet six 
inches. The carvings on these 
gate-ways represent sieges, tri^ 
umphal processions, w^orshiping 
Topes, or the sacred Bo-tree, pro- 
cessions escorting relic-caskets, and 
certain domestic scenes. These 
carvings are not surpassed, in the 
beauty of their design and execu- 
tion, by those of any other tem- 
ples in the world. 

Exactly in the centre of the second Sanchi Tope, there 
was a small chamber. This was opened by Major Alex- 



ancler Cunningham, an Englishman, in 1851. He found 
in this chamber a relic-box, of white sand-stone, nearly one 
foot square. On it was inscribed : 

"Teacher o. all branches of Vinaya, the Arhat* Kasyapa, 
Gotra, Upadiya ;f and the Arhat* 
Vachhi Suvijayata, teacher of Vinaya." 

Inside the stone box were found four small caskets ot 
mottled steatite. Each one of these contained small 
pieces of burnt bone, and on each casket was written the 
name of the holy man whose ashes were enshrined 
therein. As these holy men, whose names are given, 
are known to have lived in Asoka's time, it is almost 
certain that these Topes, containing their relics, were 
built not long after their death, or not later than, say, 
220 B. C. There are other Topes at Sonari and Sadt- 
hara, at Bhojpur and Andher. These were all used as 
relic structures, like the pagodas of Burmah, 


King Asoka was not content with spreading Buddhism 
in his own territory. He built hospitals for man. and 
beast, dug wells and planted trees by the roadsides, and 
performed many other good works in other lands. These 
lands are describecl in the old Buddhist chronicles of 
Ceylon as being Southern India and Ceylon, and " to the 
land of the Greek king, Antiochus." He is said to have 
sent embassies to four Greek kings, and to have "won 
from them a victory, not by the sword, but by religion." 

The most important of all Asoka's missionary enter- 
prises was that which he sent to Ceylon. " Tissa, the de- 
light of the gods," was at this time king of Ceylon. To 
him, Asoka's own son, Mahinda, was sent as a Buddhist 

*Moiik. t Abbot 





missionary. Mahinda had been for twelve years a mem- 
ber of die Sangha, or order of mendicants. One year 
after the jjreat council of the thousand monks, he started 


for Ceylon, He took with him a band of monks and 
copies of the Tripitakas, the Buddhist Bible, which had 
just been adopted by the Patna council. He took also 
copies of the commentaries upon these. 



TIssa received Mahinda widi great favor, and soon 
became a zealous worker in die new relio^ion. At Ma- 
hinda's suggestion, Tissa built the Thuparama Dagaba 
in the city of Anuradha-pura. This relic-house was said 
to have contained the right collar-bone of Gautama Bud- 
dha. Near the Dagaba the kinor built a beautiful monas- 
tery. On this hill the missionary Mahinda spent most of 
his after life. He had his study cut out of the solid rock, 
and steps cut in the rock. Before his view spread out 
the great plains and beautiful forests of Ceylon, Within 
the cave there still exists the stone couch on which he 
rested. In this lonely, cool and quiet rock-chamber, the 
great teacher of Ceylon sat, thought, wrote, more than 
2,000 years ago. Mahinda's sister came over shortly 
after her brother, to instruct some of the king's female 
relations, who wished to become nuns. She brought 
with her a branch of the sacred Bo-tree, the tree under 
which Gautama Buddha had fought and won the battle 
of his life, and where he gained the Buddha-hood. 


This branch was planted near the Dagaba, and, as it 
has always been tended with great care, it still grows 
there. This is the tree upon which Whittier has founded 
his poem, " The Cypress-tree of Ceylon ;" of which Ibn 
Batuta, the celebrated Mussulman traveler of the four- 
teenth century, has spoken. " It was," says Ibn Batuta, 
" held sacred by the natives, and its leaves were said to 
have fallen only at certain intervals ; he who had the 
happiness to find and eat one of them was restored, at 
once, to youth and vigor." Sir Emerson Tennent, who 
wrote about i860, says of it: 

"The Bo-tree of Anuradha-pura is. in all probability, 
the oldest histoiHcal tree in the world. It was planted 288 


years before Christ, and hence is now 2,147 years old. 
Ages varying from one to four thousand years have been 
assigned to th^ Baobabs of Senegal, the Eucalyptus of Tas- 
mania, the Dragon-tree of Orotava, the Sequoia of Cali- 
fornia, and the chestnut of Mount Etna. But all these 
estimates are matters of conjecture, and such calculations, 
however ingenious, must be purely inferential. Whereas 
the age of the Bo-tree is matter of record, its conservancy 
has been an object of solicitude to successive dynasties, 
and the story of its vicissitudes has been preserved in a 
series of continuous chronicles, among the most authendc 
that have been handed down to mankind. Compared 
with it, the Oak of Ellerslie is but a sapling, and the 
Conqueror's Oak in Windsor Forest barely numbers half 
its years. The yew trees of Fountain's Abbey are be- 
lieved to have flourished there 1,200 years ago; the olives 
in the Garden of Gethsemane were full orrown when the 
Saracens were expelled from Jerusalem ; and the Cypress 
of Senna, in Lombardy, is said to have been a tree in the 
time of Julius Caesar; yet the Bo-tree is older than the 
oldest of these by a century, and would almost seem to 
verify the prophecy pronounced when It was planted, 
that it would flourish and be green forever." 

To which Rh)'s-David adds : 

" The tree could scarcely have lived so long had it not 
been for the constant care of the monks. As it showed 
signs of decay terraces were built up around it, so that 
it now grows more than twenty feet above the surround- 
ing soil ; for the tree being of the fig species — Its bo- 
tanical name is ficus religiosa — its living branches could 
then throw out fresh roots. Where its long arms spread 
beyond the inclosure, rude pillars of iron or masonry 
have been used to prop them up : and it is carefully 
watered in seasons of drought. The whole aspect of the 



tree and its inclosure bear evident signs of extreme 
age ; but we could not be sure of its identity were it not 
for the complete chain of documentary evidence which has 
been so well brought together by Sir Emerson Tcnnent." 


In the year S8 B. C. (Buddhism had long before this 
become the religion of the whole of this great island), 
the king built the largest Dagaba in Ceylon, 250 feet in 
height. It was at this time that the whole of the Three 
Pitakas were reduced to writing. This was 330 years 
after Gautama's death. The Ceylonese history says : 

" The wise monks of former days handed down by word of mouth 
The text of the Three Pitakas, and the Commentary upon them : 
Seeing the destruction of men, the monks of this time assembled, 
And, that the Faith might last long, they wrote them in books." 

This has more significance than is at first apparent to 
a European accustomed to believe that books can only 
be preserved by writing. The Hindus believe just the 
opposite. Even at the present time, if all copies of the 
V^edas were destroyed, the Vedas would still be pre- 
served in the memory of the priests, as they have been 
for certainly more than 3,000 years ; and those priests 
look upon the Veda, thus authenticated, as the test to 
which all printed or written copies must give way. If 
you depend upon written copies, they would argue, you 
are sure to make and to perpetuate mistakes; but the 
text, as handed down by word of mouth, is preserved, 
not only by being itself constantly repeated, but by the- 
assistance of the commentaries, in which every word of 
the text is carefully enshrined. So long as reliance can 
be placed on the succession of teachers and pupils, this 
argument may not be so far from wrong; but when a 
text has to be preserved in a small country, liable to be 



overrun by persecuting- enemies, the condition of thino-s 
is changed, and it becomes necessary to preserve it also 
in writing. Mahinda could have written the texts, had 
he so chosen. We know that the square alphabet which 

3 ^ 


f? % ^■ 
•< p> 5' 

§ „ t^ 

= S o 

" i a. 

5^ re 

i^' c 5- 

a _. n 

? 3 >S 

O "1 

3 ? K 

I I « r: 

■c «■ 3 3 

«■ g • r 

S 5" J o 

« o «• ■ 
S g" 3 

Asoka used was at least known in Ceylon, if it did not 
originate there. That he did not choose to do so, ought 
to throw no doubt upon the idendty of the existing ver- 
sion of the text with that which he brought to Ceylon. 



Buddhaghosha, the famous monk, was born near the 
Bo-tree. He came to Ceylon in 430 A. D. He wrote 
a cyclopsedia of Buddhist doctrine, and was readily ac- 
cepted as a teacher by the Sangha of Ceylon, He wrote 
out the Buddhist commentaries in the Pali language, and 
those that had been made in the Ceylonese language, 
about 600 years before were completely lost through 
disuse. From Ceylon he went to Burmah in 450 A, D. 
He left an indelible impression on the Buddhism of 
Ceylon, and through it on the Buddhism of the whole of 
Southern Asia, Of the writings of this distinsfuished 
teacher we have before spoken. 


The Buddhist temples stand in the most beautiful 
situations. Waving cocoa-nut palms, broad-leaved bread- 
fruit trees, flowering shrubs, with sweet-scented blossoms, 
surround the temple court, and astonish the visitor by 
their loveliness. But enter the court and what a con- 
trast ! What do we see ? A long narrow room, with 
no lieht but what stru^orles in throuorh the door, or some- 
times arises from a few dim oil-lamps ; a shelf running 
from end to end of it ; a huge image of painted clay, 
more than forty feet long, lying stretched upon the shelf, 
with fixed staring eyes, as if quite unconcerned with all 
things round about; and a heavy, oppressive smell of 
smoking lamps and dead flowers, that have been offered 
to the image, reminding one strongly of the spiritual 
death and darkness of the blind worshipers. Such are the 
places of worship of the one and a half millions of Budd- 
hists in Ceylon. Surrounded by the most luxuriant beau- 
ties of the natural world, religiously they are in darkness. 




There is a festival which takes place every year in 
Kandy, the chief city of the central province of Ceylon, 




and the ancient residence of its native kino;s. In a Bud- 
dhist temple at Kandy. there is a large tooth, which from 
its shape and appearance, seems to be the tooth of a 
baboon, but which is called Buddha's tooth, and is be- 
lieved to have been such by a large number of the people 
of Ceylon. This is exhibited with great pomp and a 
gorgeous procession once a year before vast crowds, who 
come to worship it. Religious embassies come from 
Siam, and even from Thibet to be present at this great 
festival of Buddhism. 


There are three books regarded as sacred by the Bud- 
dhists of Ceylon. The first, called the Mahavanso, is the 
most highly venerated. It has been very carefully handed 
down and the ancient and modern copies vary but a very 
little. It contains "The Doctrine, Race and Lineage of 
Buddha," and the authentic annals of Ceylonese Bud- 
dhism. The second, called the Rajaratnacari, was written 
by a priest. It contains a history of Buddha, extracts 
from the most ancient books, records of the erection of 
temples, and the history of the kings from 540 B. C. 
down to modern times. The third, called the Rajavali, is 
the work of different hands, and completes the other books. 
It narrates the history of Ceylon from the coming of the 
Dutch to Ceylon down to the time when they expelled 
the Portuguese and gained possession of Colombo. 





On the pagoda spire, 

The bells are swinging, 
Their little golden circlet in a flutter, 
With tales the wooing winds have dared to utter, 

Till all are ringing, 
As if a choir 

Of golde-n-nested birds in heaven were singing ; 
And with a lulling sound, 
The music floats around. 

And drops like balm into the drowsy ear. 

Mrs. Emily C. Judson. 

THE early religion of the Burmese was Shamanism; 
the belief in evil spirits and the necessity of ward- 
ing off their hurtful influence by the use of charms 
and amulets. Buddhism has taken the place of this de- 
grading system among the Burmese. Besides the Bur- 
mese there are other peoples in Burmah ; the Karens, of 
whose religion we have already spoken, the Shans, who 
are Buddhists, and the Mons who adhere still to the old 
practice of Shamanism. The old evil-spirit worship of 
the Burmese and Shans still remains to some extent in 
the Nat worship. Just when Buddhism was introduced 
into Burmah is a little uncertain. Dr. Francis Mason, 
an American missionary, in his work on Burmah speaks 
as follows, and as the whole extract is an excellent account 
of the introduction of Buddhism and a summary of its 
doctrines, we present it entire : 

"Three hundred years before Alexandria was founded; 



about the time that Thales, the most ancient philosopher 
of Europe, was teaching in Greece that water is the 
origin of all thinos the soul of the world; and Zoroaster, 
in Media or Persia, was systematizing the fire-worship of 
the Magi ; and Confucius in China was calling on the 
teeming multitudes around him to offer to guardian 
spirits and the Manes of their ancestors ; and Nebuchad- 
nezzar set up his golden image in the plain of Dura, and 
Daniel was laboring in Babylon to establish the worship 
of the true God ; a reverend sage, with his staff and 
scrip, who had left a throne for philosophy, was traveling 
from Gaya to Benares, and from Benares to Kanouj, ex- 
horting the people against theft, falsehood, adultery, killing 
and intemperance. No temperance lecturer advocates 
teetotalism now more strongly than did this sage Gau- 
tama twenty-three centuries age. Nor did he confine 
his instructions to external vices. Pride, anger, lust, envy 
and covetousness were condemned by him in as strong 
terms as are ever heard from the Christian pulpit. Love, 
mercy, patience, self-denial, alms-giving, truth and the 
cultivation of v/isdom he required of all. Good actions, 
good words and good thoughts were the frequent sub- 
jects of his sermons, and he was unceasing in his cau- 
tions to keep the mind free from the turmoils of passion 
and the cares of life. Immediately after the death of this 
venerable peripatetic, his disciples scattered themselves 
abroad to propagate the doctrines of their master, and 
tradition says one party entered the principal mouth of 
the Irrawaddy, where they traced its banks to where the 
first rocks lift themselves abruptly above the flats around. 
Here on the summit of this laterite ledge, 160 feet above 
the river, they erected the standard of Buddhism, which 
now lifts its spire to the heavens higher than the dome 
of St. Paul's." 


But there is an entire absence of any historical confir- 
mation of these traditions, and we have no definite infor- 
mation of the coming of Buddhism to Burmali until 
Buddhag-hosha brought it about 450 A. D. 

Burmese Buddhism bears a very close resemblance to 
that of Ceylon. As we have already discussed the prin- 
ciples of Buddhism in general, we shall pass to nodce 
more particularly the temples, idols, festivals and worship 
of Burmah. A good idea of Burmese Buddhism can be 
obtained from a visit to its Grand Shwa)-da-Gong Pagoda. 


The Mecca of Southern Buddhism is the great pagoda, 
at Rangoon. This the largest building of the kind in 
Burmah, and, perhaps, also in the world. It is situated 
about a mile from the city, on a rocky ledge, perhaps 100 
leet high, overlooking the valley of the Irrawaddy and 
the city of Rangoon. The entrance is guarded by two 
huge griffins of brick and mortar. Passing on between 
rows of long, narrow sheds, beautifully carved and gaudily 
l)ainted, and after climbing a staircase, one stands upon 
an immense stone terrace, upon which the pagoda itself 
stands. The terrace is nearly feet square. Hie 
pagoda tapers upwards to a height of 300 feet, and ter- 
minates in a h'tee. The pagoda is round in shape, and 
solid throughout. It is built of bricks, and, unlike the 
Pyramids of Eg)pt, there is no chamber in its interior, 
nothing but the casket containing the staff of Kantha- 
dion. the water-dipper of Gaunagon, a garment of Kat- 
hapa and the eight hairs of Gautama. The whole of the 
exterior is covered with gold-leaf presenting a dazzling 
appearance, as it reflects the rays of the sun. The h'tee 
on the top — the umbrella-shaped finial — is made of a 
series ot gilded \vv>\\ rings, from which hang a great many 



little silver and brass bells, which are swung and rung by 
the wind. Not long ago, the father of the present King 
of Burmah placed a new h'tee upon the pagoda. It cost 




him about ^300,000. The frame was made of seven 
gilded iron rings, the largest of which was twelve feet in 
diameter, and the rest smaller and smaller. Each ring 


was Studded with gems. At the very top was a large 
emerald. This h'tee was brought to a landing-place 
about two miles from the pagodas. The road over which 
it was to come was covered with white cloth by a devout 
merchant. The pagoda was covered with a framework 
of bamboo, which made it easy to ascend to its top. 
Weeks of religious festivities were held, during^ which the 
worshipers poured their gold, and silver, and precious 
stones into the pagoda's treasury. On the day appointed, 
the old h'tee was removed, and the new one hoisted ring 
by ring to its place. 

Within the pagoda inclosure there are many temples, 
most containing huge images of Gautama, made of wood, 
brick and lime, or marble and metal. On small tables, 
in front of many of the images, are placed candles, flowers 
and litde paper flags. Around the pagoda tall poles are 
placed at short intervals, each crowned with a h'tee. 

Near the pagoda is a great bell, under which a man 
may stand upright. The worshipers strike upon this bell, 
to attract the attention of the recordingr aneels, so that 
they may not omit to credit them with the worship about 
to be performed in honor of the gods. 


Two brothers, said in the native books to have been 
Mons or Takings, having made an offering to Gautama, 
begged in return some relic of himself, on which he 
stroked his head, and gave them eight hairs that came 
out. These he desired them to deposit in a pagoda In a 
spot where had already been buried certain relics of his 
three great predecessors. They accordingly started with 
them for " Suvarna-bhumi," the Sanskrit name of Pegu, 
but on the way lost six of the hairs. However, they were 
recovered in a miraculous manner, and the holy site 



pointed out to them by the Nats. Here, on ditrging, the 
rehcs of the former Buddhas — viz., a water-scoop of Gau- 
nagon, a robe of Kathapa, and a staff of Kanthathon, 
— were found, and these, together with the eight hairs of 
Gautama, were deposited in a hole on the top of the hill on 
which "Shway-da-Gong" now stands, and a solid pagoda 
of stones, sixty-six feet high was erected. This pagoda 
is thus specially sacred to all Buddhists, as the only one 
known to them as now existing, which is supposed to 
contain the relics not only of Gautama, but also of all the 
Buddhas of this present world. At the time of its erec- 
tion, and for centuries afterwards, no town existed on the 
site of Rangoon, and the pagoda stood, like many others 
at the present day, in the midst of the wild forest. The 
history of the pagoda, which is rather a long one, con- 
tains detailed particulars of the various improvements, 
repairs and enlargements made to it by various kings. 
The edifice has been cased several times (as was also the 
custom with the Ceylon dagobas) with a fresh outer 
surrounding of bricks several feet thick, thus each time 
increasing its height and size. Thus, in A. D. 1447, the 
King of Pegu encased it afresh, and made its height 301 ^ 
feet. In 1462, the King of Pegu cast, it is said, a colossal 
bell, 168 feet high, 12 feet in diameter and 36 feet in cir- 
cumference ; also several other smaller bells, and paved 
the platform or terrace of the pagoda with 50,000 flat 
stones. This wonderful bell, it is perhaps unnecessary 
to say, is not in existence at the present time. 


Besides the Shway-da-Gong Pagoda, there is a host of 
lesser ones. The erection of pagodas is generally a 
work of merit. It must be borne in mind that these are 
never temples, but simply relic-houses. There are 



temples and monasteries grouped around them, \\. one 
place is the "Seven Pagodas," built on the spot where 
Gautama — when, in the course of his transmigrations, 
his soul inhabited the body of a rooster — is said to have 
scratched for his breakfast. Again, there are others 
built where Gautama has left the imprint of his footsteps. 


There are a great many traditions told in regard to 
the building of these pagodas. One legend runs thus : 
A certain hermit, having received one of the hairs of the 
Lord, wandered about searching for a suitable spot 
where to enshrine it. In the meanwhile he reverently 


IDOL ]V0Rsiiir or the world. 

carried the sacred relic oti his head. After some time 
iij arrived on the summit of this mountain, and deposited 
the holy hair in the cleft of the rock, and erected the 
pao-oda on the great boulder. From this legend is de- 
rived the name " Kyeik-ethel-yuh," meaning- '^the object 
of worship borne on the head of the hermit." This 
boulder is more than half hanging over the perpendicular 
face of a cliff. How it holds its position it is indeed dif- 
ficult to say, as it lies beyond the line of the centre of 
gravity. The boulder is thirty feet high, and the pagoda 
fifteen feet. Another legend is as follows : 

Two merchants joined together and built a small pa- 
goda, two feet high. The next morning, when they went 
to pay their homage at this shrine, they found the pagoda 
had increased to double their work ; so, taking this as a 
sign that the Nats approved of their offering, they con- 
tinued to enlarge this pile of brick ; they working by day 
and the unseen power by night. It now measures more 
than three hundred feet high. They have also a stone, 
which they call an impression of Gautama's foot. Some 
of these stones are six feet long, and covered with 
strange figures supposed to express their religious ideas. 


The adoration and dread of Nats enters into all the 
life and legends of the Burmese. These Nats are spirits. 
both good and evil. Offerings are presented and cere- 
monies performed to obtain favors and advantages from 
the good, and to propitiate the evil Nats. The worship 
of Nats is intimately related to the old worship of spirits 
before Buddhism came to Burmah. The Nats are sup- 
posed to live in the six lower heavens, beyond the moon. 
They are able to transport themselves with the utmost 
rapidity to and about our world. They are believed to 


interfere in the affairs of man, even more than the c)'ods. 
They correspond to the genii of the Arabian Nights' 
Entertainment, to the fairies and elhns of Britain in olden 
times, with perhaps the added ideas of angels and devils. 
The story of King Tektha, which follows, will probabl)' 
give a more correct impression of tlie Burmese notions 
of the Nats than any description could impart. This is 
but a single specimen of a great man)' such stories which 
are still current among the Burmese: 

■A NAT ST()K\'. 

Once upon a time, there lived, in Burmah, a king 
named Tektha. 

The kings that were before him had been devout wor- 
shipers of Gautama, and had listened to what their 
teachers and priests taught them. But Tektha did not 
believe in Gautama, but listened to strange teachers, who 
taught him that everything was God. He would not 
hear the Buddhist books, nor worship the relics nor the 
images. More than this, instead of behaving reverently 
to the priests, he destroyed their temples, and threw the 
idols into the water. He forbade his subjects also to 
worship Gautama, and threatened that if they did they 
should be severely punished. 

The people were in dismay. It was of no use for the 
priests to carry round their rice-pots ; no one dared offer 
them food ; the temples and pagodas were falling into 
ruins, and the images of Ciautama were Ivinor in the 
water, spoilt and decaying. 

What would be the consequence of this terrible treat- 
ment of their god ? The people were afraid of the pun- 
ishment with which the king threatened them if the)- wor- 
shiped Gautama ; they feared the evils which the great 
spirits, the Nats, might bring upon them ii the\- did not. 



But a few of the people would not give up the worship 
to which they had been so long accustomed ; and among 
those who still in secret held to the old faith was a girl, 
twelve years of age, and her mother. 1 do not know the 
girl's name; but, said she, "The king has thrown the 
idols into the water because he is afraid of them." This 
was considered a very bold speech. 

Affairs condnued in this state for four years. When 
the girl was sixteen, she happened one day to be bathing 
in a tank with a number of her companions, and, while 
amusing herself in the water, she saw an idol lying near. 
She ordered her attendants to lift it out and carry it to a 
zayat, or rest-house, that was at hand. They reminded 
her that she would certainly be put to death for meddling 
with it; but she was very determined, and declared that 
she would worship that image as long as she lived. It 
was accordingly lifted out of the water, washed and car- 
ried into the zayat. 

A report of what had been done was immediately taken 
to the king, and you can imagine how enraged he was. 
He ordered his servants to take a fierce elephant, and 
make the savage animal trample this bold young woman 
to death, thus making a terrible example of her case. 

But it was not so eas)' to do this. The seven principal 
Nats, who had been greatly displeased by the king's 
wickedness, came to the defense of the girl. These seven 
were, the Nat of the universe, the Nat of the earth, the 
Nat of the trees, the Nat of the air, the Nat of the cities, 
the Nat of the villages and the Nat of the white umbrella. 

The elephant was brought, but he did not touch the 
girl ; he was beaten and goaded, but it was of no avail ; 
he would not lift up a foot against her, and instead of 
beino- angry only grew frightened, and tried to run away 
from her without harming- her in the least. 




When the king heard that she could not be put to 
death this way, he ordered a quantity of dry straw to be 
collected, the girl placed in the midst of it, and so be 
burnt to death. The straw was brought, she was put in 
the middle, but no number of torches, no quantity of fire 
would make it burn. The Nats were there, and they 
would not allow her to be put to death. 

Then the king sent for her to his palace. He was 
surprised as well as angry now, and was wondering 
whether he might not possibly have been wrong in 
forsakino- the or-ods of his forefathers. " If the imagfe 
which you have dared to take from the water," said he, 
" will come through the air into my presence, and I see 
it, your life shall be spared ; but if not, you shall be cut 
into seven pieces." 

The young woman asked permission to return for a 
short time to the zayat. Her request was granted, and 
there she went anci prayed very earnestly that the image 
might be carried into the king's presence. And, lo ! not 
only one, but eight images, and the young woman her- 
self with her attendants, were immediately taken up by 
the Nats, conveyed through the air, and put down before 
the king and his principal queen, his commander-in-chief, 
his officers, and a multitude of people. How they all 
shouted and wondered ! 

*' Now," said the girl, turning to the king, "now that 
the image of my god and teacher has fiown to you, will 
you order the teachers from whom you have learned this 
false religion to mount up also and fl)' through the air?" 

The king orderecf them to do so, but, of course, it was 
in vain ; they could not fly. He was now convinced that 
the religion of Gautama was the true religion ; he com- 
pelled the false teachers to leave the country; the temples, 
and images, and pagodas were restored ; this wonderful 


young woman he married, and made one of his principal 
queens ; and King Tekdia was for the remainder of his Hfe 
a devoted Buddhist. 

The fishermen make a small shed, termed a Natsin, 
near their fishery, in which every morning offerings of 
fruit, leaves, rice, or some such tribute is placed ; if this 
were not done, they say the Nat would destroy the fish. 
A man going a journey through a forest, comes to a 
large and conspicuous tree ; he halts, plucks a few leaves 
near or perhaps takes a little boiled rice out of his bag, 
and places them as an offering to the Nat of the tree. In 
a boat-race a preliminary row over the course is always 
taken, a man in the prow holding in his extended arms a 
tray or basin containing a cocoa-nut, bunch of plantains, 
betel leaves, etc., as an oblation to the Nats of the sti*eam 
to insure their causing no accident to the boat in the race. 


The people have great faith in omens. To meet a 
funeral, or a person crying, when starting on a journey, 
is unlucky, and the journey should be postponed. 

A snake crossing the road shows that the journey will 
be loner. 

To meet with mushrooms foretells a prosperous 

Any unusual wild animal or bird entering a house i^ a 
sign of great honor for the owner. 

The earth-heaps thrown up by the white ants, if under 
a house, will bring wealth to the occupier. 

The Itching of the palms of the hand is a sign that 
some money will soon come into them. 

In almost every bazaar, and at all large gatherings of 
people, will be found one or two old men sitting with a 
slate or a Burman writing-board before them, inviting 



the passers-by to have their horoscope cast, and the best 
educated and most enhorhtened native officials will, in 
any difficulty or trouble, send for one of these diviners 
to consult the fates. One or two lucky hits will, of 
course, raise any special prophet's reputation through- 
out the countrv, and Q^ive him abundant business. 


As soon as a pongyee has expired, the body is rever- 
ently washed by the elders, who were his supporters. 
The body is then opened, the viscera extracted, and 
buried anywhere without ceremony. The cavity of the 
abdomen is filled with hot ashes and various preservative 
substances. Loner swathes of white cotton-cloth are 
wrapped as tightly as possible round the corpse from 
head to foot, over which are placed the yellow robes of 
the order. Another coarser wrapping of cotton-cloth is 
tightly wound over this, and then thickly covered with 
black varnish, on which gold leaf is applied, so that the 
whole is gilt. A coffin is prepared from a single log, 
hollowed out, which many old pongyees keep in their 
monasteries ready for their demise. The body, having 
been placed in this, is left for some weeks to dry up, for 
most of such venerable and aged recluses are little more 
than a frame-work of bones, covered with a withered 
skin. The cover is at length nailed on ; the coffin is 
thickly covered with a resinous varnish and gilt. It is 
temporarily laid in state in the monastery, on a high dais, 
ornamented with tinsel, gilding and paper lace, sur- 
mounted by a white umbrella, or canopy of muslin, and 
is constantly visited by pilgrims from the surrounding 
country, who make their obeisance and present offerings 
of flowers, etc., to it. 

As soon as sufficient funds have been collected, a 


building, called Nibban Kyeng (diat is, Monastery of the 
Dead), is erected for the reception of the body. With 
obscure and inferior monks this is only made of bam- 
boos and thatch; but with a distinguished and venerated 
monk it is a substantial structure, with large, handsome 
pillars of iron-wood or teak, roofed with shingles. This 
is open all around, or is only surrounded by a railing to 
keep out animals. In the centre, within a high sar- 
cophagus, richly but rudely adorned with gilding, glass, 
mosaic work and painting, is enshrined the coffin, to 
await, perhaps, for four years the final funeral rites. 

At length, the time of waiting has passed; the prepara- 
tions are complete ; a fortunate day has been fixed upon, 
and for weeks previous, the town where the ceremony is 
to take place, and all the surrounding country, has been 
astir with the arrangements for and expectation of the 
great event. 

The coffin is placed on a gigantic car, solidly con- 
structed, and with four heavy solid wooden wheels, sur- 
mounted with a canopy similar in form and construction 
to that crowning the funeral pyre. This lofty turret is 
drawn along by hundreds of men, and placed in the cen- 
tre of the plain. The next day, the fun begins. Two 
great ropes of twisted canes, or coirs, are fastened to the 
funeral car in front and behind, long enough for a hundred 
people to hold on to each and to pull each way. The 
people group themselves about either rope as they be- 
long to one or other of two neighboring villages. Then 
comes a tug, each trying to pull the car away from the 

On the night before the last day of the festival, the 
coffin is removed from the car and placed on the funeral 
pyre, on an iron grating, under which is a quantity of 
wood, made more combustible by the use of oil, resin and 


D/ J 

the like, mixed with fragrant woods. Early on the day 
appointed for the burning of the pongyee's body, par- 
ties come from the different villages, bringing rude rock- 
ets of every size. Some are a foot long and an inch in 
calibre ; others are monsters, nine and twelve feet in 
length, and have a bore of six to nine inches diameter. 


All are crammed to the muzzles with gunpowder, the 
tubes being hollowed logs of wood strongh' bound with 
cane. The larger ones are placed on rude cars with four 
wheels, while the smallest are hung on long guiding lines 
of cane, or rope, fastened at one end to a strong post, 
and at the other to some point of the funeral pyre. The 


object is to strike the pyre with the rocket, and fire the 
combustibles placed inside. Happy will be the village 
which owns the fortunate rocket, and great their pros- 
perity during the ensuing year. 

All being ready, men of each village are allowed to go 
up in rotation and discharge their weapon. The smoke, 
the fiame, the roar is tremendous, to the intense delight 
of the shouting crowd. 

One at length strikes as it seems with full power : a 
pause, a little smoke, then a little flame issues from one 
corner of the pyre, and a shout from thousands of throats 
proclaims the auspicious event. The crowd rushes for- 
ward, fire is carefully applied to the mass of combustibles 
under and around the coffin, and soon the whole is in a 
blaze. The people watch round, giving a cheer as each 
small pinnacle falls in, and wait, anxiously looking for the 
lofty canopy itself to topple over into the flames. This 
event is greeted with a tremendous shout, and then all 
disperse homewards, happy and merry. A few elders 
remain to watch the burning pyre till all is consumed, 
and the next day the monks of the monastery collect the 
fragments of half-burnt bones and the ashes of the de- 
ceased, and reverently inter them in some fitting place, 
and, perhaps, a small pagoda is erected over them as a 
monument. Such is Buddhism in Burmah, 

American missionaries have won many of the Bur- 
mese, as of the Karens also, from these ceremonies to 
the Christian faith. 





The "Castle of Indra," call they the hall, 
In which are displayed the deities all, 
The golden images, chiseled with care, 
And all incrusted with jewels so rare. 

Full thirty thousand their numbers are : 
Their ugliness passes description far ; 
A compound of men and animals dread, 
With many a hand and many a head. 

Heinrich Heine. 

SIAM is the land lying just to the east of Burmah; 
on account of the extreme reverence paid to the 
white elephant it is often called the Land of the 
White Elephant. It has a population of 6,300,000, 
who are, with but a few exceptions, Buddhists, Bud- 
dhism entered this country in 638 A. D., and was thus the 
last nation to yield to the power of that religion. The Siam- 
ese people are gentle, cheerful, timid, careless and almost 
passionless. They are disposed to idleness, inconstancy 
and inaction ; they are liberal almsgivers, severe in en- 
forcing decorum between the sexes. They are fond of 
sports, and spend half their time in amusements. They 
are sharp and even witty in conversation, and resemble 
the Chinese in their dexterity in imitation. Of theatrical 
displays, rope-dancing and the like, they are extremely 

Of the wit of the people, the best evidence is to be found 
in their familiar proverbs, of which a few are here cited: 



" When you go into a wood, do not lorget your wood- 

"An elephant though he has four legs may slip; and a 
doctor is not always right." 

"Go up by land you meet a tiger; go down by water 
you meet a crocodile." 

" If a dog bite you, do not bite him r.gain." 

As in most Oriental lands there is the greatest and most 
painful contrast between the luxury and splendor of the 
king's court and the poverty and squalor of the common 
people. The royal palaces are filled with all that wealth 
and power can procure. The peasants' hovels are denied 
even the common comforts of life ; the)' are bare and com- 
fortless. They contain no furniture, but only a few 
roughly made vessels of earthenware, and a mat or two 
spread upon the floor. The food ot a peasant consists 
of a bowl of rice with a morsel of fish. At a Siamese 
State dinner there are usually served with great ceremony 
from sixty to a hundred carefully cooked dishes. 


This is the most splendid temple in Bangkok. It is 
shaped somewhat like a bell, rising to the height probably 
of 250 feet. Every inch of its surface glitters with curi- 
ous ornaments and carvings ; the forms of men and birds, 
and beasts like nothing in heaven above, nor earth be- 
neath, nor w^aters under the earth. It is made of brick • 
and plastered on the outside. In a large niche in the 
sides, about two-thirds of the way to the top are images 
of Buddha, riding on four white elephants made of shin- 
ing porcelain each facing toward one of the points of 
the compass. A sharp spire rises from the summit. 
All over this temple tower, from the base to the 
top, from eve-ry projecting point hang a multitude of 



&^;ll^j^; 'Mm. 





small sweet-toned bells, swingini,^ and ringing in the 
slightest breeze, filling the air with liquid melody. 

"How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle. 
Wliilc the stars that oversjiriiikle 

B L -DDHISM IX SI AM. r y g 

All the heavens, seem to twinkle 

With a crystalline delight ; 

Keeping time, time, time, 

In a sort of Runic rhyme, 

To the tintinnabulation that so musically wells 

From the bells, bells, bells, bells. 

Bells, bells— 
From the jingling and the tinkling of the bells." 

Within the Wat Chang inclosure, besides the pagoda, 
are priests' dwelhngs, temples, with their idols, a preach- 
ing-hall, a library and small parks, with flower and fruit- 
gardens, ponds, caves and stone statues of Chinese sages 
and warriors, presenting a scene of bewildering richness. 


The W^at P'hra Keau is the temple where the reign- 
ing monarch worships. On the road leading to this 
temple is another temple, the W^at Poh, where reposes in 
gigantic state the wondrous Sleeping Idol. This is a re- 
clining figure, 1 50 feet long and 40 feet high, entirely 
covered with gold-plate. The soles of this giant figure's 
feet are covered with carvings inlaid with pearl and chased 
with gold. The designs of these carvings represent the 
many transmigrations of Buddha before he obtained Nir- 
vana (or, as the Siamese call it, Niphan). On the nails 
of the toes are engraven Buddha's ten divine attributes. 
Beyond this temple are the stables, or, more properly 
speaking, the Palace of the White Elephant, where the 
huge creature is housed and cared for royally. 

Beyond these is the Temple of the Emerald Idol. This 
is one of the most remarkable and beautiful structures of 
its kind in all the East. Its model is like that of all the 
others, but its finish is of a much higher order. The ex- 
terior is adorned with lofty octagonal pillars, with quaint 
Gothic doors and windows, all carved with a great variety 



of emblems, the lotos and the palm occurrin;^ most fre- 
quently. This temple, liKe all Siamese teniple'>. is built 
of brick, with a number of roofs rising/ in connected tiers, 

and reachinc^ out over broad verandas, supported by 
rows of pillars, the whole covered with white cement. 
The roofs are usually made of manv-colored tiles ; at the 
ends of the ridge-pole are many ornaments, resembling 




bullocks' horns in size and shape. The walls and ceil- 
ing of the interior are covered with finely-executed paint- 
ings. Mrs. Leonowens, an English lady who lived for 
six years in the palace of the King of Siam, and who 
thereby enjoyed unusual privileges, thus describes the 
interior and worship of the Wat P'hra Keau : 

"The altar is a wonder of dimensions and splendor — 
a pyramid 100 feet high, terminating in a fine spire of 
gold, and surrounded on every side by idols, all curious 
and precious, from the bijou image in sapphire to the 
colossal statue in plate-gold. A series of trophies these, 
gathered from the triumphs of Buddhism over the proud- 
est forms of worship in the old pagan world. In the 
pillars that surround the temple, and the spires that taper 
far aloft, may be traced types and emblems borrowed from 
the Temple of the Sun at Baalbec, the proud fane of Diana 
at Ephesus, the shrines of the Delian Apollo ; but the 
Brahminical symbols and interpretations prevail. Strange 
that it should be so with a sect that suffered by the slay- 
ings and the banishments of a ruthless persecution, at 
the hands of their Brahmin fathers, for the cause of re- 
storing the culture of that simple and pure philosophy 
which flourished before Pantheism. 

" The floor is paved with diamond-shaped pieces of 
polished brass, which reflect the light of tall tapers that 
have burned on for more than a hundred years, so closely 
is the sacred fire watched. The floods of light and depths 
of shadow about the altar are extreme, and the effect 

" The Emerald Idol is about twelve inches high and 
eight in width. Into the virgin gold of which its hair and 
collar are composed, must have been stirred, while the 
metal was yet molten, crystals, topazes, sapphires, rubies, 
onyxes, amethysts and diamonds — the stones crude, or 


IDOL ivoRsnir of the \roRLD. 

rudely cut, and blended in such proportions as might 
enhance to the utmost imaginable limit the beauty and 
the cost of the adored effigy. The combination is as 
harmonious as it is splendid. No wonder it is commonly 
believed that Buddha himself alighted on the spot in the 
form of a great emerald, and by a flash of lightning con- " 
jured the glittering edifice and altar in an instant from 
the earth, to be a house and a throne for him there ! 

'' On either side of the eastern entrance — called ' The 
Beautiful Gate' — stands a modern statue; one of vSaint 
Peter, with Bowing mantle and sandaled feet, in an atti- 
tude of sorrow, as when ' he turned away his face and 
wept;' the other of Ceres, scattering flowers. The west- 
ern entrance, which admits only ladies, is called 'TheAn- 
o-el's Gate,' and is guarded by genii of ferocious aspect. 

" On a floor diamonded with polished brass sat a throng 
of women, the elite of Siam. All were robed in pure 
white, with white silk scarfs drawn from the left shoulder 
in careful folds across the bust and back, and thrown 
gracefully over the right. A litde apart sat their female 
slaves, of whom many were inferior to their mistresses 
only in social consideration and wordly gear, being their 
half sisters — children of the same father by a slave 

"The women satin circles, and each displayed her vase 
of flowers and her lighted taper before her. In front of 
all were a number of my younger pupils, the royal chil- 
dren, in circles also. Close by the altar, on a low square 
stool, overlaid with a thin cushion of silk, sat the high- 
priest. Chow Khoon Sah. In his hand he held a concave 
fan, lined with pale-green silk, the back richly embroid- 
ered, jeweled and gilt. He w^as draped in a yellow robe, 
not unlike the Roman toga, a loose and flowing habit, 
closed below the waist, but open from the throat to the 




girdle, which was simply a band of yellow cloth, bound 
tightly. From the shoulders hung two narrow strips, 
also yellow, descending over the robe to the feet, and 
resembling the scapular worn by certain orders of the 
Roman Catholic clergy. At his side was an open watch 
of gold, the gift of his sovereign. At his feet sat seven- 
teen disciples, shading their faces with fans less richly 

"We put off our shoes — my child and I — having respect 
for the ancient prejudice against them, feeling not so 
much reverence for the place as for the hearts that wor- 
shiped there; caring to display not so much the love of 
wisdom as the wisdom of love ; and well were we repaid 
by the grateful smile of recognition that greeted us as 
we entered. 

"We sat down cross-legged. No need to hush my 
boy ; the silence there, so subduing, checked with its mys- 
terious awe even his inquisitive young mind. The vener- 
able high-priest sat with his face jealously covered, lest 
his eyes should tempt his thoughts to stray. I changed 
my position to catch a glimpse of his countenance. He 
drew his fan-veil more closely, giving me a quick, but 
gentle half-glance of remonstrance. Then raising his 
eyes, with lids nearly closed, he chanted in an infantile, 
wailinof tone. 

"That was the opening prayer. At once the whole 
congregation raised themselves on their knees, and, all 
together, prostrated themselves thrice profoundly, thrice 
touching the polished brass floor with their foreheads, 
and then, with heads bowed and palms folded and eyes 
closed, they delivered the responses after the priest, 
much in the manner of the English Liturgy; first the 
priest, then the people, and finally all together. There 
was no singing, no standing up and sitting down, no 



changing of robes and places, no turning the face to the 
altar, nor north, nor south, nor east, nor west. All 
knelt j-////, with hands folded straight before them, and eyes 
strictly, tightly closed. Indeed, there were faces there 
that expressed devotion and piety, the humblest and the 
purest, as the lips murmured, ' O, Thou Eternal One, 
Thou perfection of Time, Thou truest Truth, Thou im- 
mutable essence of all Change, Thou most excellent ra- 
diance of Mercy, Thou infinite Compassion, Thou Pity, 
Thou Charity!' 

'T lost some of the responses in the simultaneous repe- 
tition, and did but imperfectly comprehend the exhorta- 
tion that followed, in which was inculcated the strictest 
practice of charity, in a manner so pathetic and so gentle 
as might be wisely imitated by the most orthodox of 
Christian priests. There was majesty in the humility of 
those pagan worshipers, and in their shame of self they 
were sublime." 


With regard to this subject, before referred to, we 
prefer using another's description: 

Sir John Bowring tells us that the Buddhists have a 
special reverence for white quadrupeds; that he has him- 
self seen a white monkey honored with special attention. 
Also, that white elephants have been the cause of many a 
war, and their possession more an object of envy than the 
conquest of territory or the transitory glories of the batde- 
field. In the money market a white elephant is almost 
beyond price. Fifty thousand dollars would hardly repre- 
sent its pecuniary value; a hair from its tail is worth a 
Jew's ransom. " It was my good fortune," he says, "to pre- 
sent to the First King of Siam (the Siamese have two kings 
exercising supreme authority) presents with which I had 



been char<^ecl by my royal mistress. I received many 
presents in return ; but the monarch placed in my hand 

a golden box, locked with a golden key, and he informed 
me the box contained a gift far more valuable than all 
the rest, and that was a few hairs of the white elephant. 



And perhaps it may be well to state why the white ele- 
phant is so specially reverenced. " It is because it is be- 
lieved that Buddha, the supreme emanation from the 

Deity, will ne- 
cessarily, in his 
es or transmis- 
sions through 
all the grades 
of existences, 
and though 
millions ot a-- 
ons, delight to 
cd^ide for some 
lime in that 
grand incarna- 
tion of purity 
which is re- 
presented by, 
and found in 
the white ele- 
phant. While 
11 all the ban- 
^ zcs teach that 
there is no 
^^ spot in the 
heavens above 
or the earth 

below, or the waters under the earth, which is not visiteci 
in the peregrinations of the divinity — whose every stage 
or step is toward purification — they hold that his tarrying 
may be longer in the white elephant than in any other 
abode, and that in the possession of the sacred creature 



they may possess the presence of Buddha himself. It is 
known that the Ceylonese have been kept in subjection 
by the behef that their rulers have a tooth of Buddha in 
the temple of Kandy, and that on various tracts of the 
East impressions of the foot of Buddha are reverenced, 
and are the objects of weary pilgrimages to places which 
can only be reached with difficulty; but with the white ele- 
phant some vague notions of a vital Buddha are asso- 
ciated, and there can be no doubt that the marvelous 
sagacity of the creature has served to strengthen their 
religious prejudices. Siamese are known to whisper 
their secrets into an elephant's ear, and to ask a solu- 
tion of their perplexities by some sign or movement. 
And most assuredly there is more sense and reason in 
the worship of an intelligent beast than in that of stocks 
and stones, the work of men's hands. 

"And yet," continues Sir John, "after all, the white 
elephant is not white, nor anything like it. It is of a 
coffee-color; not of unburnt, but of burnt coffee — dull 
brownish yellow or yellowish brown — white only by con- 
trast with his darker brother. The last which reached 
Bangkok was caught in the woods. The king and court 
went a long way out into the country to meet him, and 
he was conducted with a grand procession, much pomp 
and music, and flying banners, to the capital. There a 
grand mansion awaited him, and several of the leading 
nobility were appointed his custodians. The walls were 
painted to represent forests, no doubt to remind him of 
his native haunts, and to console him in his absence from 
them. All his wants were sedulously provided for, and 
in his 'walks abroad,' when 'many men he saw,' he was 
escorted by music and caparisoned by costly vestments. 
His grandest and farthest promenades were to bathe in 
the river, when other elephants were in attendance, hon- 


ored by being made auxiliaries to his grandeur. Now 
and then the two sovereigns sought his presence, but I 
did not learn that his dignity condescended to oblige 
them with any special notice. But he wanted no addition 
to his dignity. Everything associated with majesty and 
rank bore his image. A white elephant is the badge of 
distinction. The royal flags and seals, medals and 
moneys — on all sides the white elephant is the national 
emblem, as the cross among Christians, or the crescent 
among Turks ; and the Siamese are prouder of it than 
Americans, Russians, Germans or French are of their 
eagles, or Spaniards of the golden fleece. The Bourbon 
Orijiamine, the British Union Jack, show but faintly in 
the presence of the white elephant." 


Some of the most famous ruins of the world, and but 
little known to general readers, are those at Angkor, in 
Eastern Siam. The Frenchman, M. Mouhot, says the 
ruins of Nagkon Wat — a temple which must have ri- 
valed the temple of Solomon in its splendor — might 
take a most honorable place beside our most beautiful 
buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by 
Greece and Rome. Another writer says the ruins of 
Angkor are as imposing as the ruins of Thebes or Mem- 
phis, and more mysterious. Modern travelers have 
proved in their descriptions of these ruins that these are 
not words of fulsome praise. 

There are no certain answers to the questions who 
built it? when was it built? and what has become of the 
builders ? But recent researches in Chinese history seem 
to show that it was built between the tenth and twelfth 
centuries A. D. 

The visitor enters upon an immense causeway, 725 



feet loiig^, with six gigantic griffins, each carved from a 
single block of stone, ranged along its sides. On either 


side of the causeway are artificial lakes, each of about 
five acres in extent. The temple is romantically, as well 
as beautifully and impressively situated in the midst of a 
forest of palm-trees. The outer wall of the Nagkon 
Wat is about half a mile square, and is built of sand- 
stone, with gate- ways upon each side. These are hand- 
somely carved with figures of gods and dragons. The 
main gate-way is on the western side, passing through 
which and up a causeway, for a distance of i,ooo feet, 
one comes to the central main entrance of the temple. 
The entire building is raised on three terraces, each 
about thirty feet above the other. The whole is built of 
stone, without cement, with joints so closely fitting that 
even the lapse of years has not seamed. The immense 
blocks of stone we*-e quarried about thirty miles away. 
The central temple is oblong, being 796 feet long, 58 5 
feet wide, and 250 feet high in the centre. From the 
door- way, on either side, runs back a hall-way, with a 
double row of columns, each cut — base, shaft and capi- 
tal — from a single block. This hall-way has an oval- 
shaped roof, covered with carvings and walls covered 
with sculptures. This gallery of sculptures, which forms 
the exterior of the temples, consists of over half a mile of 
continuous pictures, cut upon sandstone slabs, each six 
feet in width. These sculptures represent subjects taken 
from the Hindu book called the Ramayana, which de- 
scribes the adventures of the god Rama and the son of 
the king of Oudh. 

In the Nagkon Wat 1,532 solid columns have been 
counted. Passing on up stec^p staircases, we come to 
several imaofe-houses. These contain several hundred 
ima'{^es, made of stone, wood, brass, clay, of all shapes, 
siz?s and ages. Galleries cross and recross each otlier. 
Finally we come to the central pagoda, in which are at 

BUDD///S.}r /X SI AM. 


present placed colossal images of Buddda. This temple 
is believed to be at least 2,000 years old. 

A little ways from the Nagkon Wat rests the statue 
of the Leper King, who is supposed to have assisted in 


the building of the temple. This famous sratue is carved 
from sandstone, in a sitting posture ; the eyes are closed; 
a thin mustache, twisted up at the ends, covers the 
upper lip; the ears pre long; the hair is thick, and dis- 
played ill curls upon the head, the top of which is sur- 


//;()/, IVOR SHIP OS- i'iie ivorld. 

mounted by a small, round crown. The tradition says 
that this king- was an Egyptian, who for some wicked deed 
was turned into a leper, and who built the temple in ful- 
fillment of a vow that he might be freed from his disease. 


Near Pechaburl is a cavern, or series of small caves, 
called the Cave of Idols. One or two small openings in 
the ceiling permit the light to enter. Rows of gilt Bud- 
dhas line its sides, and a huge reclining image of Buddha 
lies at one end of the halls. Just outside of the cave, and 
at the bottom of the hill, is a temple containing another 
immense reclining Buddha. This is built of brick and 
mortar, covered with thick gold-leaf. It is clothed with 
yellow garments, such as the Siamese and Burmese Bud- 
dhist priests wear. Its head rests upon the right hand 
and presses upon a gayly-ornamented pillow. The idol 
is 135 feet high. 

We notice that very many of these immense reclining 
idols of Buddha are found in Siam alone. 

There are 3,000,000 of Chinese in Siam, who are Bud- 
dhists and have their own temples. The largest of these 
is in Bangkok, and contains a brass Buddha, sitting cross- 
lecrcred, and about fifty feet high, and forty feet wide at 
the knees. The immense temple roof is 100 feet from 
the ground. In a smaller temple, in the same inclosure, 
is another brass Buddha, seated upon a rock, with a 
copper elephant on one side and a leaden monkey on the 
other, looking up, in reverence, at the idol Buddha, 

When the King of Siam dies, the funeral ceremonies 
are participated in by the nation. During about four 
months, 300 or 400 men are engaged in building the 
funeral temple. The funeral pile, on which the body is 
to be burned, is placed in the centre, and the temple 



built around and above it. Its style is similar to other 
Siamese temples. The trunks of teak trees, not less than 
I 70 feet high, are placed upright so as to form a square 
about thirty feet each way. On this is built an octagonal, 
sixty-foot spire, covered with gold-leaf. Around this 
central building poles are erected, on which are hung 
peculiar ornaments covered with crimson cloth. Around 
the interior are grouped pictures of the gods and of the 
Buddhist's heaven, with lakes, groves and gardens. All 
around the temple is a screen of woven bamboo work, 
and the oround is covered with the same. The whole 
exterior of the temple is decorated with objects of glass, 
porcelain, alabaster and silver, with artificial flowers and 
images of birds, beasts, men and angels. Splendid chan- 
deliers are suspended from the ceiling. Under the cen- 
tral tower is a pyramidal pile, on which the body is to be 
burned. Thousands of priests are engaged in prayers 
durine the service. The scene and service at such a 
time is impressive beyond the power of description. 





Ah! blessed Lord ! Oh, High Deliverer! 
Forgive this feeble script, which doth thee wrong, 
Measuring with little wit thy lofty love. 
Ah ! Lover ! Brother ! Guide ! Lamp of the Law ! 
I take my refuge in Thy name and Thee ! 
I take my refuge in Thy Law of Good ! 
I take my refuge in Thy Order ! Om ! 
The Dew is on the Lotus ! Rise, Great Sun ! 
And lift my leaf and mix me with the wave. 
Om Mani Padme Hum, the Sunrise comes ! 
The Dewdrop slips into the shining Sea ! 
Edwin Arnold. (Peroration of "the Light of Asia.") 

THIBET is a country lying north of India and west 
of China. It has a population of about six mil- 
lions. The early worship of the Thibetans was 
that of spirits, devils and of nature. The old worship, 
called the Bon religion, bore a strong resemblance to the 
Taoism of China, and even to-day Buddhism has not 
destroyed that old religion entirely. The people still 
have gods of the hills, trees, dales and lakes, and still 
use charms and resort to magic. Just when Buddhism 
was introduced into this branch of the Mongolian family 
we cannot tell, but it certainly was not well-established 
until 630 A. D. All around Thibet Buddhist missiona- 
ries had gone long before this, and it is probable that 
there is some myth in the tradition that a few missiona- 
ries toiled, though in vain, to bring the Thibetans to the 
Buddhist belief. At the beginning of the fifth century 



Fa-Hian, the Chinese monk, made a pilgrimage to the 
sacred places of Buddhism in India. He and his four 
companions were forced to avoid crossing Great Thibet, 


A Thibetan kinu- established his seat of g-overnment 

He married a Chinese princess 

at H'lassa in 617 A. D 
of the Buddhist 
faith. By her re- 
quest, he sent a 
minister to India, 
with him a great 
number of the 
Buddhist sacred 
books. The kino- 
had great diffi- 
culty in overcom- 
ing the objections 
of both priests 
and people, but 
finally succeeded. 
About the middle 
of the fourteenth 
century a great 
reformer arose 
in Thibet named 
T s o n g - k h a p a . 
He forbade the 
priests to marry, 
. and declared that 
maofic and necro- 
mancy were against Buddhism, and introduced other 
chano-es. Another o-rcat reformer lived about the same 




time named Gedeen-tubpa ; he built the great monastery 
at Teshu Lumbo in 1445, and in him commenced the 
perpetual incarnation of Buddha, in the persons of the 
Grand Lamas. In 1650 the sixth successor of this last 
reformer visited the Emperor of China, and accepted 
from him the designation of Dalai Lama, Lama meaning 
priest, and Dalai, ocean. There are several rival Grand 
Lamas, the Dalai Lama, the Teshu Lama and the Tara- 
nath Lama. There rapidly grew up in Thibet a system 
of organized priesthood, which has made the Buddhism 
of Thibet almost altogether unlike that of any other land. 


There are the monks and clergy, who are subordinate 
to the holy and sacred Lamas, the monks and nuns, the 

^ -s abbots and abbesses, chief La- 

mas, and, over all, the Grand 
Lama. ' The monks go bare- 
headed, though those of high 
rank wear caps ; their heads 
are shaved, and they are dress- 
ed in a yellow robe and high 
leathern boots, with the men- 
dicant's food-bowl and the 
prayer-wheel in their hands. 
They are collected in vast fnon- 
asteries scattered over the 
country, the largest and most 
numerous being round the city 
of H'lassa. These monasteries 
contain many thousands of la- 
MONASTERY OF HF.Mis IN THK mas, aud similar establish- 
HIMALAYAS. ments are scattered not only in 

the inhabited valleys, but over the wildest parts of Great 


60 1 

Thibet. As there is little wood in the country, the people 
rarely burn their dead. The dead bodies are usually car- 
ried to a high mountain, to be devoured by beasts and 
birds. The monks' bodies are, however, burned, and their 
ashes carefully gathered as relics. Women are not buried 
or exposed with the bodies of their dead husbands, as 
was once the case with Hindu women. In fact, this is 
rendered impossible by the existence of polyandry, one 
woman in Thibet 
generally having 
many husbands. 
The monaste- 
ries are called 
Gonpas ; the La- 
mas' house. Lab- 
rang ; and the 
temple, consist- 
ing of a room 
full o f imacjes 
and pictures, 
Lhakhancr. The 
Du7ig-ten is a rel- 
ic repository,such 
as the Topb of In- 
dia ; and immense 
votive piles of 
stones or dykes, 
from a few feet 
to half a mile in 
length, covered 
with slabs and 
stuck over with banners inscribed with the Thibetan 
prayer Ovi mani padmi hum, are called Mani. The im- 
ages of Buddha are always seated, widi the right hand 



resting on the knee, the left on the lap, and holding the 
alms-dish ; the body painted yellow or gilt, and the hair 
short and curly and painted blue. They are of all sizes, 
and there are other imagfes of beingfs connected with 
Buddhistic ideas. 

The services consist of recitations and chanting of the 
Sutras, or precepts and rules of discipline, to the sound 
of musical instruments, trumpets, drums, cymbals and 
conch-shells. The tunes are impressive and solemn ; 
incense is burned during the services, and there are offer- 
ings of fruits and grain to Buddha and to the Buddhisa- 
twas, especially to Avaloki-teswara, who is incarnate in 
the Dalai Lama. Mystical sentences and titles of Bud- 
dha are also recited. The bell is used during the per- 
formance of service, and the prayer-wheels — metal cylin- 
ders, containing printed prayers in rolls, with the axes 
prolonged to form handles — are in constant use, not only 
during the service, but on every occasion, being fixed in 
rows on the walls of temples, near villages, and in streams, 
to be turned by water. The prayer-wheels have been in 
use among these people for more than a thousand years, 
for they are mentioned by the pilgrim Fa-Hian. 


It contains thirteen gigantic figures, which would be 
about eight feet high standing, but they are all, except 
the imagfe of the orod of war and another, sitting cross- 
legged. They are of copper-gilt, holding a pot with 
flowers or fruit in their lap. They are represented cov- 
ered with mandes. and crowns or mitres on their heads ; 
and altogether, particularly the drapery, are far from 
baing badly executed. The thrones upon which they sit 
are also of copper-gilt, adorned with turquois, cornelians 
and other inferior stones. The mouldings and orna- 


ments of the thrones are in a good style. Behind each 
figure the wall is covered with a piece of carved work, 
like unto the heavy gilt frames of our forefathers' por- 
traits or looking-glasses. Behind them are china vases, 
some of them very handsome ; loads of china and glass- 
ware, the last partly Chinese, partly European, filled with 
grain, fruit or gum flowers, a variety of shells, large 
conches set in silver, some ostrich eggs, cocoanuts, cym- 
bals, and a variety of other articles, making a most heter- 
ogeneous gathering. Round the necks of the images are 
strings of coral, ill-shaped pearls, cornelian, agate and 
other stones, and their crowns are set with the like orna- 
ments. The ceiling of the gallery is covered with satins 
of a variety of patterns, some Chinese, some Kalmuk, 
some European, brought through Russia and overland. 
The gallery is lighted on the south side from five win- 
dows, and the walls between are hung with paintings of the 
different deities and views of heaven. The opposite side, 
where the imacres are, is shut in all the leno-th of the o-al- 
lery with a net of iron-work that meddlers may be kept off. 


Koppen presents a very full account of the worship in 
one of the chief Buddhist temples, in the centre of Bud- 
dhism, the city of H'lassa. Rhys-David condenses this 
as follows : 

The entrance to the chief temples of the holy city is 
through a large hall where holy water and rosaries are 
sold, and in which stand four statues of the archangels. 
The walls are covered with rude paintings of scenes from 
the legends of Buddha, and its roof is supported by six 
massive pillars, covered with beautiful carving, spoilt by 
gorgeous paint and gilding. The temple itself is a long 
nave, divided by rows of pillars from two aisles, and by 



silver screens of open trellis-work from two large chan- 
cels. Into the aisle on each side open fourteen chapels ; 
at the end is the holy place. In its furthest niche, in a 
kind of apse, is the magnificent golden statue of the now 
deified Gautama Buddha. In front of the idol is the high 
altar or table of offerings, raised by several stages from 
the floor ; on the upper levels being images of gold, sil- 
ver and clay; on the lower, the bells, lamps, censers and 
other vessels used in the holy service. At the sound of 
a trumpet the clergy assemble in the entrance hall, wear- 
ing the cloak and cap ; at its third blast the procession, 
with the living Buddha, the Grand Lama, at its head, 
marches down the aisle. When he is seated on his 
throne, each Lama, or cardinal, bows three times before 
him, and then seats himself on a divan according to his 
rank. After a bell is rung, the ten Buddhist command- 
ments are repeated and other formulas, then the priests 
sing in choir pieces from the sacred books. The monks 
burst out into a hymn of prayer for the presence of the 
spirits of all the Buddhists. One of them raises aloft 
over his head a looking-glass, the idea of which seems to 
be to catch the image of the spirit as it comes ; a second 
raises a jug ; a third a mystic symbol of the world ; a 
fourth a cup, and so on. Meanwhile the voices of the 
singers, and the sound of the bells, drums and trumpets 
grows louder and louder, and the temple is filled with 
incense from the sacred censers. The monk with the jug 
pours several times water, mixed with saffron and sugar, 
over the mirror, which another wipes each time with a 
silk napkin. The water flows over the mirror to the 
symbols of the world, and is caught in the cup beneath. 
Thence the holy mixture is poured into another jug, and 
a drop or two is allowed to trickle on to the hands of 
each of the worshiping monks, who marks the crown of 



his shaven head, the forehead and his breast with the 
sacred hquid. He then reverently swallows the remain- 
ing drops, and, in so doing, believes himself to be swal- 
lowing a part of the divine being, whose image has been 
caught in the mirror over which the water has passed. 


Among the most curious things in Thibet are the 
praying-wheels. They are little wooden drums covered 
round the sides with leather, and fitted 
vertically in niches in the walls. A 
spindle running through the centre 
enables them to revolve at the slight- 
est push. They are generally in rows 
of eight and ten, and well thumbed 
and worn they usually are. Others, of 
larger dimensions, are placed by 
themselves, decorated with the words, 
" Om mani padmi hum," in the Lanza 
character, all round the barrel. 

In the vicinity of the monasteries 
are various small temples, like chapels c. 
of ease, rudely decorated with o-ro- praying machine. 

■_ Instead of saying prayers they 

tesque figures in red and yellow, and seta machine in motion, each 

. . ■ 1 1 • C revolution counting as a prayer. 

haVmg queer-looking structures las- The more prayers one says or 

tened on the top of them, generally a '"^"^' '""l "°''^ ^"^^ ""' 'f '° 

1 ' c> / get to Heaven. Sometimes 

trident, with tufts of hair attached, or 'he wheel is set so as to be 

turned by water or machinery, 
StripSOf colored calico, horns of animals and these macWne-prayers are 
, , 11* counted as good as others. 

and other rude devices. 

In one place there is a praying-wheel turned by water; 
but one cannot ascertain whether the benefit accrues to 
the water, or to the possessor of the stream, or to the 
public generally. Sometimes the people carry portable 
wheels, and one often meets them provided with huge 



brass ones, with a wooden handle. They are suspended 
from their necks, in company with a collection of square 
leather charms fastened by a string to the coat, the whole 
collection presenting a very odd appearance. 


There is one sentence which the Thibetans and Mon- 
golians have continually in their mouths. The same 

sentence is written upon their 
monuments, temple-walls, rel- 
ic-houses, prayer- wheels — in- 
deed, almost everywhere. It is 


These are words from the 
Sanskrit language. " Om," 
among the Hindus, is the mys- 
tic name of divinity, which 
begins all their prayers. It 
corresponds to our interjec- 
tion Oh ! only that it is uttered 
with a religious emphasis, due 
to its hidden, sacred meaning. 
" Mani " means jewel ; " pad- 
'■- mi," the lotus; and "hum," 
PRAYING WHEEL WHIRLED IN THE allien. So the wholc scntencc 

is, " Oh ! the jewel of the lotus, 
Amen." But the Thibetan Buddhists have attached myste- 
rious meanings to each of the six -syllables of the sentence. 
These meanings grew out of the legendary history of the 
introduction of Buddhism into Thibet ; but even this is 
all but forgotten, and the words are repeated by the mil- 
lions of Thibetans without the slightest knowledge of their 
force, but with a superstitious belief in their sacredness, 
which is unshaken and immovable as the rocks themselves. 




The Thibetans believe that the soul of Buddha dwells 
in the body of their high-priest or Grand Lama ; that, at 
the time of his 
death, the soul 
passes into the 
body of another 
person, who is to 
be the Grand La- 
ma until his death. 
Thus Buddha is 
born and re-born 
over and over 
again. It is an 
easy matter to 
determine into 
whose body the 
soul of Buddha 
enters, because 
they make it so. 
It is very much the same as if the chief Lamas were to 
elect the Grand Lama's successor, because, in reality, they 
determine where the soul of Buddha shall be found. At 
present, however, it seems that the Emperor of China 
exercises a paramount influence on the discovery of these 
transmigrations, or, in other words, on the filling up of 
clerical posts ; and there can be no doubt that his influ- 
ence is supreme in the case of determining the election 
of the two highest functionaries of this theocracy. In or- 
der to ascertain the re-birth of a departed Lama, various 
means are relied upon. Sometimes the deceased had, 
before his death, confidentially mentioned to his friends 
where and in which family he would re-appear, or his will 




contained intimations to this effect. In most instances, 
however, the sacred books and the official astrologers are 
consulted on the subject ; and if the Dalai-lama dies, it is 

the duty of the 

Pan-chhen to 
interpret the 
traditions and 
the oracles; 
whereas, if the 
latter dies, the 
D a 1 a i - 1 a m a 
renders him 
the same good 

service. The 
of so orreat an 
event, how- 
ever, as the 
m e t e m p s )' - 
chosis of any 
Dalai-lama or 
Pan-chhen is 
preceded by a 
close exami- 


nation of the child that claims to be in possession of the 
soul of either of these personages. The re-born arch- 
saint, usually a boy four or five years old, is questioned 
as to his previous career; books, garments and other 
articles used and not used by the deceased are placed 
before him, to point out those which belonged to him in 
his former life. But, however satisfactory his answers 
be, they do not yet suffice. Various litde bells, required 
at the daily devotions of the Lama, are put before the 
boy, to select that which he did use when he was the 



Dalai-lama or Pan-chhen. " But where is my own favor- 
ite bell," the child exclaims, after having searched in vain ; 
and this question is perfecdy jusdfied, for, to test the 
veracity of the re-born saint, this pardcular bell has been 
withheld from him. Now, however, there can be no 
doubt as to the Dalai-lama or Pan-chhen being bodily 
before them. The believers fall on their knees, and the 
Lamas who successfully performed all these frauds join 
them in announcing to the world the momentous fact. 


The Thibetan sacred books are called Kanjur. This 
contains 1,083 

works gathered 
in 180 folio vol- 
umes. These are 
divided into seven 
sections as fol- 
lows: I. The Book 
of Discipline. 2. 
The Book of the 
Wisdom. 3. The 
Book of the Asso- 
ciation of Bud- 
dhas. 4. The Book 
of " the Jeweled 
Peak," (whatever 
that may mean). 
5. The Book of 
Aphorisms. 6. The 
Book of the Doc- 
trine of "Deliver- 


ance from Emancipation from Existence" 'sic). 7. The 


Book of Mysticism, These all are said to contain the 
words of Buddha himself. Besides these is a work, 
called the Tanjur, or translation of doctrine, but has not 
the authority of the Kanjur. 

The art of printing from engraved wooden blocks has 
been long known to the Thibetans. This aided greatly 
in spreading the sacred books. There is no Buddhist 
monastery in Thibet which has not a copy of these works. 
Sometimes these are very costly; one was prepared about 
a quarter of a century ago, which cost ^10,000. Four or 
five years ago a magnificent copy of Buddha's works 
was being executed for a Mongol prince, in the Thibetan 
lanofuaofe. At that time 80 of the 180 volumes were 
completed. The printing was in letters of gold, and 
the volumes are bound in embroidered silk with silver 




And yonder by Nankin, behold ! 
The Tower of Porcelain, strange and old. 
Uplifting to the astonished skies 
Its nine-fold painted balconies, 
With balustrades of twining leaves, 
And roofs of tile, beneath whose eaves 
Hang porcelain bells that all the time 
Ring with a soft, melodious chime ; 
While the whole fabric is ablaze 

With varied tints, all fused in one 
Great mass of color, like a maze 

Of flowers illumined by the sun. 

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 

FO (or Fuh) is the imperfect rendering of Buddha 
into the Chinese language, as the initial sound 
of B is almost unknown in Chinese. Buddhist 
missionaries visited China as early as 250 B. C, and in 
the second year before Christ a number of Buddhist 
sacred books were presented to the Emperor of China 
by an ambassador of the Tochari Tartars. But it did 
not receive official recognition and did not really take 
root in China until about the year 67 A. D. In the year 
61 the Emperor Ming-ti saw in a dream the image of a 
foreign god entering his palace. Impressed with the 
singular vision, he sent, at his brother's suggestion, an 
embassy to secure Buddhist images, books and teachers. 
An Indian Buddhist priest, named Kashiap-Madanga. 
accompanied the embassy on its return. He translated 



some of the Buddhist books into Chinese. The religion 
spread rapidly after it received the imperial favor. This 
it did the more readily as, with India-rubber-like elasdcity, 
Buddhism stretched itself to include the greater part of 
the ancient Chinese faiths. Native Chinese became Bud- 
dhist m o n k s 
about the year 
335 A. D. The 
Emperor Hiau 
Wu erected a 
pagoda in his 
palace at Nan- 
kin in 381 A. 
D. The ancient 
Chinese histo- 
rians say that 
about this time 
large monas- 
teries began to 
bs established 
and that nine- 
tenths of the 
common peo- 
ple bowed to 
^ the faith of the 
saint and sage 

of India. In 405 A. D., Kumarajiva, an Indian Buddhist, 
translated the principal Buddhist books into the Chinese. 
He was assisted by Soo priests. More than 300 volumes 
were thus prepared. 

At this time the celebrated Chinese traveler, Fa Hien, 
was collecting sacred books and visiting sacred places in 
India. He went by land as far as Ceylon, and returned 
from that island by sea after an absence of fifteen years. 




This journey furnishes an illustration of the intelligent 
earnestness of the Chinese Buddhists of this period. 
From the years 420 A. D. to 451, the Buddhists suffered 
opposition on the part of the ruling Tartar family of the 
Wei dynasty. In the year 526 A. D., the famous Bod- 
hidharma came to Canton. He was received with great 
honor at the court of the Emperor of Southern China. 
The emperor said to him : "From my accession to the 
throne, I have been incessantly building temples, tran- 


scribing sacred books, and admitting new monks to take 
the vows. How much merit may I be supposed to have 
accumulated ?" The reply was : " None." The emperor : 
"And why no merit?" The patriarch: "All this is but 
the insignificant effect of an imperfect cause not complete 
in itself. It is the shadow that follows the substance, and 
is without real existence." The emperor: "Then what 
is true merit?" The patriarch: "It consists in purity 
and enlightenment, depth and completeness, and in being 



wrapped in thought while surrounded by vacancy and 
stihness. Merit such as this cannot be sought by worldly 

means." The emperor: "Which is the most important 
of the holy doctrines ?" The patriarch : "Where all is 



emptiness, nothing can be called 'holy' {s/im£-).'' The 
emperor: "Who is he that thus replies to me ?" The 
patriarch: "I do not know." The emperor — says the 
Buddhist narrator — sdll remained unenlightened. 

Bodhidharma, not being satisfied with the result of his 
interview with royalty, crossed the river Yang-tsze into 
the Wei kingdom and remained at Lo-yang. Here he 
sat with his face to a wall for nine years. The people 
called him the "Wall-gazing Brahmin." When it was 
represented to the emperor of the house of Liang, that 
the great teacher, who possessed the precious heir-loom 
of Shakya, the symbol of the hidden law of Buddha, was 
lost to his kingdom, he repented and sent messengers to 
invite him to return. They failed in their errand. The 
presence of the Indian sage excited the more ardent 
Chinese Buddhists to make great efforts to conquer the 
sensations. Thus one of them, we are told, said to him- 
self: "Formerly, for the sake of religion, men broke open 
their bones and extracted the marrow, took blood from 
their arms to give to the hungry, rolled their hair in the 
mud or threw themselves down a precipice to feed a 
famishing tiger. What can I do ?" Accordingly while 
snow was falling, he exposed himself to it till it had 
risen above his knees, when the patriarch observing him, 
asked him what he hoped to gain by it. The young 
aspirant to the victory over self wept at the question, and 
said: "I only desire that mercy may open a path to save 
the whole race of mankind." The patriarch replied, that 
such an act was not worthy of comparison with the acts 
of the Buddhas. It required, he told him, very little virtue 
or resolution. His disciple, stung with the answer, took 
a sharp knife, severed his arm, and placed it before the 
patriarch. The latter expressed his high approval of the 
deed, and when after nine years' absence he returned to 


[ndia, he appointed the disciple who had performed this 
litrange act to succeed him as patriarch in China. 


The word Pagoda has been appHed by French and 
Portuguese authors to temples where images are wor- 
shiped and priests hve, but EngHsh writers confine the 
word to the high, tapering polygonal structures seen in 
China, which are called tours by the French, Etymo- 
logically, the word signifies "house of idols," or ''abode 
of God," being derived from the Persian words hit, an 
idol, and kadah, a house, a temple. Some of the pagodas 
are built upon hill-tops and other places for the purpose 
of securing the prosperity of the locality by the laws of 
geomancy. These latter are not used for worshiping in. 

Some authors use interchangeably the words dagaba 
and pagoda. Exactness with reference to Oriental terms 
is very difficult to attain. The same word is not unfre- 
quently used among the natives themselves, to denote 
different objects, and travelers frequently confound the 
terms and use them confusedly. We aim at the highest 
precision. Dagabas are lofty, tapering, cylindrical build- 
ings, erected over a relic of Buddha, though sometimes 
pagodas also are used for keeping the relics of Buddha. 
The pagoda at Tung Cho, near Peking, has thirteen 
stories, and is 150 feet high; its base is forty feet in 
diameter. It stands near the northern wall of the city, 
and is the most conspicuous object to be seen for many 
miles around the place Once a year it is the custom, 
in some cities, to illuminate the pagodas. A large 
number of paper lanterns are used, each having a lamp 
or common candle in it. The priests hang the lighted 
lanterns at each corner of each story of the pagoda. 
At Nankinor there stood, a short time since, a cele- 


brated pagoda, called die "Porcelain Tower." This 
tower was of equal stories, the lower one being 120 
feet around. It rested upon a solid foundation of brick 
work, ten feet high, up which a flight of twelve steps led 
to the tower. A spiral staircase led to the top, which 
was 260 feet from the ground. The body of the tower 
was of brick ; this was encased with tiles of glazed por- 
celain of green, red, yellow and white, and various other 
colors. The stories had projecting roofs, which were 
covered with green tiles, and seventy-two bells were sus- 
pended from each corner. These bells were rung by 
the wind, and sent their tinkling tones down among 
the busy crowds below. In the interior were hundreds 
of litde o-ilded imaores. The tower was commenced 1430 
A. D., and finished in 1449 A. D. It was totally de- 
stroyed by the Tae-Ping rebels about i860. 


The temples of the Buddhists, in China, are of varied 
construcdon. Very many of them bear evidences of ne- 
glect and decay. In the cities and their suburbs, along 
the highways, standing alone by the roadside or on the 
hill-tops, are thousands of these edifices, called joss- 
houses by foreigners, in which are idols of every descrip- 
tion, before which incense is burning. These temples 
are devoted to the worship of various deities, as the god- 
dess of sailors, the god of war, the gods of special neigh- 
borhoods or occupations. Generally at the entrance of 
the temple drums or bells are placed. These are struck 
by the worshipers as they enter, either to call the atten- 
tion of the gods to the worship about to be begun, or to 
summon the attendant priests. Elijah taunted the priests 
of Baal, when they gashed themselves before their altar 
on Mount Carmel, as they shouted to the sun, as it rose 



majestically in the heavens, calling him to come and con- 
sume their offerings. He suggested that perhaps their 
o-od, Baal, was asleep, and needed to be awakened by a 
noise, or that he might be away on a journey and needed 
to be recalled. So the Chinese worshipers seem to deem 
it necessary to arouse their gods to hear their prayers. 
On entering the temple, the worshiper faces the idols, 
which are generally in a sitting posture, on a platform 


about five feet from the floor. Guarding the entrance, 
generally, there are two gigantic images standing, facing 
each other. Sometimes, as in the temple of the Kushan 
Monastery, there are four statues ; these represent the 
ministers of Buddha. The first has black eyes, and a 
fierce countenance, intended to strike awe to the heart ; 
he holds a huge, drawn sword in his hands ; a horrible, 
black, dwarfish figure crouches beneath his feet. The 




second is a merry god, playing on a guitar. The third 
stands with an unfolded umbrella. Tne fourth holds in 
one hand a struggling serpent, in the other a ball. Gen- 
erally, there are three images of Buddha, seated side by 
side, in a sort of pavilion; these are called the "Three 
Precious Ones," — Buddha past, present and to come. 

The Chinese who have come to America have brought 
with them their idolatries, so that heathen temples have 
been opened for worship of idols, even in this Christian 
land. As most of these Chinese are in San Francisco, 
the largest Buddhist temple in America Is to be found 
there. The three idols of Buddha are seated under a 


lacquered canopy. Before them is a sort of altar, on 
which is a vessel of ashes, in which the incense-sticks are 
placed. Beside this is a shallow dish, filled with pebbles 
and water, and the narcissus (daffodil) plant growing in 
it. In front of the altar stands a large Chinese table, on 
which five bronze vases are placed — the end ones for 
flowers, the central for the symbols of the three Buddhas, 
and the others for candles. The central ficrure of the 


three Idols represents the Buddha, the IntelHgence ; the 
one to his right is Dharma, the Law, and the other is 
Sangha. the Priesthood. Beside the main paviHon is the 
shrine of Kvvan-Yin, the goddess of mercy and the queen 
of Heaven. The idols in Chinese temples range from 
six to twelve feet high, and are mostly made of wood, 
covered with gilt. Sometimes they are of bronze, wood 
or stucco, orilded, and of orisfantic size. Crowds of sec- 
ondary divinities are ranged round the walls of the 
temples. The worship in the temples is very simple. 
The worshiper first presents an offering of money or rice, 
then prostrates himself on his mat, before the idols, rub- 
bing the palms of his hands together, telling his beads 
and mumbling his prayers. The people are coming and 
going all the day long, for the temples are never shut. 

In Peking is a temple called the "Temple of the Thou- 
sand Lamas." In Canton is the " Temple of the Five 
Hundred Gods." These are the "Arhans," or scholars 
of Buddha, As a temple, it is much like all the other 
Chinese temples, but it differs from all in the images of 
the deified disciples of Buddha. These are life-size, sit- 
ting on their heels, in Oriental style, each exhibiting the 
wonderful act for which he has been deified. The eyes 
of one are perpetually turned to Heaven, and are sup- 
posed never to have winked. Another held his hand 
above his head until it has become immovable. Another 
has held his hand out so steadily and softly that a bird 
has come and built its nest in it. Another became so 
holy that Buddha opened his breast and entered his 
heart. They are made of clay, and gilded. Before 
each is a vessel of ashes for the joss-sticks, and vases 
for flowers. This is one of the most interesting places 
in Canton, and is one of the temples most visited by 


C)ne of the must splendid temples, and occupied by one of the most devout assemblages of all heathendom 




Kwan-Yin, the goddess of mercy, is worshiped with 
f^f^reat pomp on the nineteenth day of the second month, 
which is the anniversary of her birth, and also on the 
anniversaries of her death and canonization. The story 
of the career of this canonized Buddhist nun is full of 
marvels, and it is scarcely possible to enter her temples 
without finding- women and children in them. On her 
anniversaries, Avomen resort to them in large numbers, 
and light incense-sticks at the sacred lamp above the altar. 
They carry the burning incense to their homes, as the 
smoke is supposed to possess a purifying effect. Other 
votaries, who have sick relatives, expose tea to the smoke, 
which rises in clouds from the incense burning on the 
altar. On their return home they administer the tea to 
the sick. Kwan-Yin is also much worshiped during the 
Tsing-Ming, or Worshiping of Graves, as she is supposed 
to extend her protecting care over the souls ot departed 
ones. Paper representations of clothes, houses, servants 
and sedan chairs, fashioned of the same material, are at 
such a season burnt in front of her altars. The goddess 
is supposed to convey these offerings to the departed 
spirits for whom they are intended. The ceremony is 
usually performed at midnight. At this season, also, 
ladies resort to her temples to pray for afflicted husbands 
or children. The form of worship observed on such 
occasions is conducted by Buddhist priests. Two tables 
are placed, about six feet apart, in front of the idol, and 
fruits and flowers are arranged upon them as offerings. 
The ladies sit or kneel near the tables, and the priests 
march round them to slow music. The music quickens, 
and at last the priests are found careering round the 
tables. This absurd service is brought to a close by the 



priests rushing- wildly toward the ladies, and in most ex- 
travagant terms tenderincr them their conq-ratulations. 

The temples in honor of the Goddess of Mercy are 
very numerous throughout the empire. In the most im- 


portant of these, at Canton, were at one time several 
ornaments of great value, which had been presented to 
the goddess by the Emperor Taou-kwang, in return for 
blessings which she was supposed to have conferred on 
the southern portion of the empire. One of these was a 
jade-stone ornament of great value, which was presented 
in acknowledgment of a victory which the goddess was 
supposed to have given to the Chinese troops over the 
British barbarians, as they are called, in 1841. 


Another goddess who is popular with Chinese wives is 
Kum-Fa, the tutelary goddess of women and children. 
A native of Canton, she flourished during the reign of 
Ching-hwa, who ascended the throne A. D. 1465. When 
a girl of tender years, she was a constant and regular 
visitor to all the temples in her immediate neighborhood. 
She is said to have had the power of communing with 
the spirits of the departed. Becoming at length tired of 
the world, she committed suicide by drowning. In course 
of time, her body rose to the surface of the water, and 
when it was taken out the air became impregnated with 
sweet-smelling odors. It was placed in a coffin, and a 
sandal-wood statue or idol of Kum-Fa rose apparently 
from the bed of the river, and remained stationary. A 
temple was erected for the image, but an iconoclast de- 
liberately destroyed it by fire, and it is now replaced by 
a clay figure. Her principal temple stands on the south 
side of the river at Canton. Her votaries are mostly wives 
who desire to become mothers. The list of the duties 
which her ministering attendants divide among them is 
a complete summary of the art of rearing children. One 
is considered to be the guardian of children suffering 
from small-pox. The second presides over the ablutions 



of infants. The third superintends the feeding of new- 
born babes and young children. The fourth is the espe- 
cial patroness of male infants. The fifth attends to the 
careful preparation of infants' food. The sixth watches 
over women laboring with child. It is in the power of 
the seventh to bestow upon women who have conceived, 
male or female children, in answer to their prayers. The 
eighth can bless women with male offspring. The ninth 
makes children merry and joyful. The tenth superin- 


tends the cutting of the umbilical cord. The eleventh 
causes women to conceive. It is the privilege of the 
twelfth to make children smile. The thirteenth has the 
care of infants until they are able to walk. The four- 
teenth teaches them to do so. It is the calling of the 
fifteenth to teach them how to suck. The sixteenth 
watches over unborn babes. On the seventeenth, it de- 
volves to see that their bodies are, immediately before 
birth, free from sores or ulcers. The eiirhteenth is re- 




garded as die special patroness of female infants. To 
impart strength to infants is the duty of the nineteenth ; 
and the twentieth is named Fo-shee-fa-fu-yan. 


In some of the temples the idols are very numerous, 

and in Yang-chow there is one in which there are said to 

be no fewer than 10,000. The idols, 

which are very diminutive, are con- 
tained in one large hall, and in their 

fanciful, but orderly arrangement, 

present a very singular appearance. 

In the centre of the hall stands a 

pavilion of wood, most elaborately 

carved, under which is placed a large 

idol of Buddha. The pavilion, within 

and without, is literally studded with 

small idols, which are different rep- 
resentations of the same deity. On 

each of the four sides of the hall are b 

small brackets, supporting idols of 

Buddha ; and a still larger number 

of these are placed on^the beams oh.xe.e idol. 

and pillars of the vaulted roof. Two are 
full-sized figures of the sleeping 
Buddha. At Peking and Can- 
ton there are halls precisely 
similar. The hall of 10,000 
idols, at Canton, is, like the 
monaster}^ of which it forms a 
part, in a most ruinous state, 
and the majority of the idols with l| 

cHiMM iiH.L. ,vhich its walls were at one dme chin^^^f, idol. 

adorned have disappeared in ways not now understood. 




In the prefecture of Shu-hing, where marble quarries 
abound, idols are in many cases made of that material. 
At Pun-new-chan, a market-town on the banks of the 
Grand Canal, one sees in a ruined monastery three large 
iron idols, representing the Past, Present and Future 
Buddhas. There are in certain temples stone, earthen- 
ware and porcelain figures. The three large idols in the 
Tai-fan, monastery, at Canton, are said to be made of 
copper, and many of the small idols of Buddha are also 
made of the same material. Buddha is represented in a 
variety of postures, and some of the figures have smiling 
countenances, whilst others appear decidedly sorrowful. 


Near the Temple of the Five Hundred Gods is the 
"Temple of Horrors," so called by foreigners, where are 


ten cells, in which are exhibited the various pains of the 
Buddhist purgatory. The actual scenes are exhibited in 
clay figures, about two-thirds life-size. The first cell, 
about ten feet square, which is the measurement of each 



of them, is the hall of judgment, where the poor wretches 
are tried. Then comes one chamber where a man is 
receiving from the demons a terrible whipping, being 
stretched on the ground face downward, by two men, 
while a third is beating him with a paddle. The next 
cell exhibits a criminal fastened in a frame, head down- 
ward, and being sawn in two, lengthwise. In the next, 
another is suffering the tortures of slow burning; an- 
other is supposed to be sitting under a red-hot bell. In 
the next there are cages, and some chained with a Chi- 
nese cangue ; in another they are being beheaded ; and, 
in another, they are 'ground in a mill and pounded in a 
mortar. In the next they are boiling a poor fellow in oil ; 
and, in the last, some poor wretches, for having been guilty 
of eating beef, are being themselves slowly transformed 
into oxen. Several figures in this cell present the various 
steps of this transformation. In all these cells numerous 
figures of demons are looking on with expressions of 
diabolical satisfaction, and, strange to say, around the 
sides of each of the cells are ranged in scenic manner 
mountain and hillside retreats, on which are seen smaller 
figures of the good and saved, seeming to take an equal 
delight in witnessing the pains of the unhappy ones who 
have missed of paradise. Notwithstanding all these hor- 
rors, booths are rented out before all these cells, and a 
lively traffic is carried on, and the priests themselves 
drive a large trade in selling fans, sacrificial money, etc., 
which are to be burned for the use of these suffering 

But a Buddhist may be sent by the judges to purga- 
tory without being obliged to remain there. The living 
relations, if they but pay enough to the priests, and beg 
often and long enough to persuade the priests to pray to 
Kwan-Yin, the goddess of mercy, to deliver their dead 



friends from purgatory, it will be accomplished, so say the 
priests, by means of the sacred lotus-flowers. The clay 
images in many of the "Temples of Horrors" are some- 
times made so as to move their limbs and jaws, when a 
string is pulled by some unseen person. Occasionally 
the people meet in great crowds for the purpose of wor- 
shiping Kwan-Yin, and beseeching her to deliver from 
the ten departments of hell those who have no friends to 
intercede for them ; then a wholesale delivery is sup- 
posed to take place. The priests are greatly enriched at 
such seasons, and therefore these occasions are numerous. 


The monasteries are often embosomed among the hills, 
and surrounded by groves of bamboo and other trees. 
These are sometimes in the neighborhood of crowded 
cities ; at other times, away in the lonely wilds of the 
mountains. They are generally used as temples, as well 
as dwellings for the priests. The monasteries have 
kitchens, eating-rooms, sleeping apartments and libraries. 
Most of the larger monasteries own land, or other prop- 
erty, from which annual rent, payable in crops or money, 
is received. In connection with some of these monas- 
teries are larcre bells. These have no tongues, but are 
struck on the outside by a ponderous swinging beam. 
In some few cases the sound of the bell is not suffered to 
cease ; relays of priests keep it always ringing. In the 
monasteries generally, morning worship is held before 
daylight, and evening worship about five o'clock in the 
afternoon. The service lasts from an hour to an hour 
and a half. All the priests join in it. The service con- 
sists, principally, of a chant or recitation of passages 
from the Buddhist sacred books, the Sanskrit prayers in 
which have been transliterated in Chinese characters. 




This is accompanied, not by the music of organs, but by 
one or two of the priests beating the time on a hollow 
" wooden fish." The chant is impressive, though monoto- 
nous. Often they move in slow processions about the 
room, chanting as they march, and bowing when they 
pass and re-pass the image of Buddha. 

In the monasteries great attention is paid to comtort. 
There are rooms for the reception of officers, for the 
common people, study rooms and the room for daily 
worship ; in addition, a place is sometimes provided ior 
keeping living animals. These are not kept for food, but 
are donated by devotees who send them there. It is a 
part of the Buddhist faith not to kill any living creature, 
because, if one kills or injures a horse, or any other ani- 
mal, he may be infiicting suf- 
fering on his mother, or some 
other friend. For the same 
reason, the Buddhist priests of 
China sometimes take care ot 
sick and wounded animals. 
No animal is put to death, but 
permitted to die a natural 
death, and then is buried. 
When you tell the priests that ^^ 
the air, water, vegetables or 
grain they eat are full of tiny, 
living animals, and when you 
try to show them by the help 
of the microscope, they refuse 
to believe that they are really animals having organic 
life. The Chinese dislike the Buddhist priests, because 
they disown the family relation, and yet they patronize 
them and follow their teachings with an unquestioning 
faith and an implicit obedience. 





Within the grounds of an old Buddhist temple, about 
half a mile from Peking, is a magnificent marble monu- 
ment. A hundred years ago, or more, the Teshu Lama 

of Thibet, a man 

of great sancti- 
ty, died. He died 
of the small-pox. 
While his body 
was embalmed 
and sent back 
to Thibet, over 
his clothing was 
built this ereat 
mausoleum. It 
is built of beau- 
tiful marble, and 
from the base 
of the terrace 
to the large gilt 
ball on the top 
is about ninety 
feet in height. 
Scenes from the 
life of this La- 
ma, distinguish- 
ed for his piety 
and devotion, 


in bas-relief ovi the monument. These include his birth, 
his conversion to the Buddhist religion, his teaching his 
disciples and his death. The carving is executed by the 
Chinese, with a high degree of artistic taste and skill. 



On the top of the monument is a neat marble urn, and on 
this a lotus-flower and a gilded marble globe. Not only 
Chinese Buddhists, but even the Thibetans, greatly ven- 
erate this monument. Often they may be seen measur- 
ing their length on the ground, and in this way proceed- 
ing entirely around the monument. 


The priests often go in companies of thirty and forty, 
dressed in loose, yellow robes of cotton or silk, with a 
wide collar, with beads around their necks, beeeine for 
the support of their monasteries. The people will give 
them rice, or oil, or, perhaps, " cash," which is the name 
of the common round Chinese coin, having a square hole 
in the centre. The priests shave the hair from their heads, 
and often spots on their heads are burnt with coals of fire 
so that the hair will never grow aeain ; this is a badee 
of their profession. They never marry, and they leave 
their homes forever. They never even sleep in dwelling- 
houses with other people. They make no friendships, 
but shut themselves off from the rest of mankind. They 
profess to have given up the world and all its pleasures. 
They pass their time in chanting from the Buddhist 
sacred books. They are employed in private families to 
pray for the sick and dying, or for the dead, for which 
they are paid. The ranks of the priests are recruited by 
buying boys who are trained for the priesthood. Often, 
mandarins tired of business, or shopkeepers unsuccessful 
in trade, or scholars failing to pass the examinations, will 
enter the monasteries and become monks, or, perhaps, 
priests. There are often priests who retire from the 
world altogether, for a time ; who receive their food 
through a hole in the wall of their cells. These profess 
to give themselves entirely and only to meditation, and 



SO hope to become Buddhas when they die. The bodies 
of the priests are usually burned with great ceremony 
and are not buried as is the custom prevalent with us. 


Many Buddhist devotees seek to subdue the flesh by 
inflicting painful severities on their bodies. One will 
meet, frequently, a company of priests, one of whom will 
pull up the sleeve of his coat and uncovering an arm 
without a hand, beg for alms, assuring you that he had, 
by a slow process, burned his hand to the stump, as an 
atonement for his sins and as a recommendation for his 
promotion at some future time to the state of Buddha- 
hood. At Peking a priest will often be seen sitting in a 
sedan chair, the interior of which is thickly studded 
with sharp nails and spikes, so that he can neither move 
nor sleep. He informs those who stand round his peni- 
tential chair that the nails acquire a heavenly virtue in 
proportion to the misery which they cause him, and 
that he is prepared to sell them for a fair price each, 
as antidotes against evil. He assures them that he had 
resolved to remain in the sedan chair until every nail 
has been sold. 

At Tien-tsin there formerly lived a priest who had 
passed through his cheek a sharp skewer, to the end of 
which he had attached a chain. To relieve him of its 
weight, some litde boys held up the chain — an act which 
was, of course, regarded as very meritorious. Sometimes 
these devotees perform pilgrimages of penance to distant 
shrines, traveling hundreds of miles on foot. It is re- 
markable that the Buddhists should subject themselves 
to such self-torture, as Buddha himself, on one occasion, 
preached a most powerful sermon against self-torture 
and all such follies. 





Doolittle, in his work on China, says : Frequently a 
large number of small and cheap earthen vessels, shaped 
somewhat like bowls, is provided. A preparation of pitch 
and some other inflammable material, or some oil, or a 
candle, is put in each. Around the top of the outside of 
each are fastened paper imitations of lotus-flowers or some 
other pretty plant. Early in the evening, these vessels 
are carried in a procession of priests from the place 
where the principal ceremonies are performed to the 


edge of the nearest running water, where, the pitch or 
oil having been lighted, the vessels are placed carefully 
on the water and allowed to float away. The object of 
this is explained to be, to afford lights for the spirits that 
come or go by water. The priests coming to the water 
and eoine from it, on this occasion chant their classics, 
and clap their cymbals together, walking along slowly 
and in single file. This ceremony is called letting go the 




For about two hundred years there has existed a sect 
in China which bears quite a close resemblance to Bud- 
dhism, and yet differs widely from this faith in that it 
opposes idolatry. They are called the Wu-Wei-Kiau, or 
"The Do-nothin^ Sect." Their central doctrine seems to 
be that religion does not consist in outward ordinances 
and ceremonies, but in quiet meditation. They have 
temples but no idols. In a discussion with some priests, 
who had brought a huore brass Buddha to the court of 
the king, Lo-tsu, the founder of this sect, said: "A brazen 
Buddha melts, and a wooden Buddha burns, when ex- 
posed to fire. An earthen Buddha cannot save itself 
from water. It cannot save itself, then how can it save 
me ? In every particle of dust there is a kingdom ruled 
by Buddha. In every temple the king of the law resides. 
The mountains, the rivers, and the o-reat earth form Bud- 
dha's image. Why, then, carve or mould an image ?" 

This sect worships, in addition to Buddha, a goddess 
called the Kin-mu, or "golden mother," She is believed 
to protect from dangers, from sickness and from the mis- 
eries of the unseen world. This sect eat only vegetables. 


Corea is a country lying between China and Japan. 
Buddhism entered it in 372 A, D., from China. The 
Coreans have two names for God ; one, a native name, 
Hannonim, meaning the Heavenly One; the other, the 
Chinese name, Shane-te. Buddhism is called Booldo in 
Corea. The priests or monks, called Joong, are very 
numerous ; they are said to form one-fourth of the whole 
male population. Their principal Images are of brass, 
the secondary ones of carved stone ; they have none of 



clay. The priests dress in black or gray, while the rest 
of the people generally dress in white. They use rosa- 
ries. Confucius is worshiped twice a year by the magis- 
trate of each city in Corea. There are two very popular 
eods — belonorino- to the old relitjion that existed in Corea 
before Buddhism was introduced — they are the god of 
the mountains and the god of rain. The Buddhists have 
four sects in Corea. In their doctrines and general 
worship there is but little difference between the Corean 
and the Chinese Buddhists. These few notices of Bud- 
dhism in Corea must be taken with caution, for our infor- 
mation respecting that secluded country is too imperfect 
to enable us to describe it fully or with confidence. 




Buddhism, that worship without God, that religion of nothingness, 
invented by despair, is superior, in many respects, to the religion 
which it has displaced in Japan. — Aime Humbert. 

My mountain dwelling's roof of thatch 
Is with Yahemugura moss o'ergrown, 
Of passer-by no glimpse I catch, 
I dwell uncheered and alone. 
The Priest's Lament for the Deserted Temple (translated from 
the Japanese). 

BUDDHISM was Introduced into Japan in 552 A. D. 
By this time, the original Buddhism of India had 
been very greatly altered. " It now had a vast 
and complicated ecclesiastical and monastic machinery, 
a geographical and sensuous paradise, definitely-located 
hells and purgatories, populated with a hierarchy of titled 
demons. Of these, the priests kept the keys, regulated 
the thermometers, and timed or graded the torture or 
bliss." The Chinese had very greatly modified the Bud- 
dhism of India, and the Coreans had still further changed 
the Buddhism which they had received from China ; and 
now, Japan, in her turn, modifies the religion she received 
from Corea. The Vv^ay was prepared for the coming of 
Buddhism to Japan. Shintoism had become an empty, 
cold system of political management, used as a support 
of the government. It had lost its hold on the affections 
of the people, and they were heart-hungry for just such 
a warm religious system as Buddhism had to offer. In 


the year 552, King Petsi, of Corea, sent to Kin-Mei, the 
thirteenth Mikado of Japan, a statue of Gautama, together 
with books, banners, a baldaquin and other objects of 
worship. Buddha had said : " My doctrine shall extend 
to the East ;" and King Petsi desired to aid in fulfilling 
that prophecy. The mikado suffered the statue to re- 
main ; a chapel was built for it, and worship offered by a 
few of the members of the mikado's court. An epidemic 
broke out; it was declared that the new image was the 
cause of it, and the chapel was thereupon burned and the 
statue cast into the river. 

In the reign of the next mils;ado, Bidasu, a Buddhist 
bonze (priest) came over from Corea. He had been 
warned of the difficulties before him, but surmounted 
them by a pleasant device. When he was presented to 
the mikado at his court, he saw his little grandson, a boy 
of six years old, at whose birth there had been some ex- 
traordinary signs. He prostrated himself at the child's 
feet, and worshiped him, declaring that he recognized in 
him the incarnation of one of Buddha's disciples, the new 
patron of the empire. The mikado left the child in the 
care of the Corean priest, to be educated by him. As 
might be expected, the child became the first high-priest 
of Buddhism. Through his efforts, being so closely related 
to the Emperor, the religion spread with greater rapidity, 
and soon became the dominant religion of the land. 


In Japan, as in India, there have been many ascetics, 
noted for their wonderful penances. One of the first and 
most famous of these is called Bodhidharma, who founded 
the Shin-Shin sect of Buddhists. He came from Corea, 
in 613 A. D., according to the legend, floating upon a 
larcje lotus-leaf. Kobo Daishi, the inventor of the Japa- 



nese syllabary or alphabet, was a celebrated priest, born 
in 774 A. D. Fodaishi was a remarkable inventive 
crenius, who came from China. The priests had been 
required to read the '* wheel of the law," as it was called, 
with great regularity. He constructed a movable desk, 
and spread on it the rolls of the sacred books. He 
allowed his disciples, instead of reading all the books 
through — which would have been a most tiresome task 
— to give this desk a half or three-quarters of a turn, 
counting it as if they had read the books which passed 
before them. He and great priests of later days did 
much to mix the two religions. Buddhism and Shintoism 
together, and thus secure its readier acceptance. The 
thirteenth century was the time when Buddhism attained 
the height of its prosperity. At this time, many of the 
greatest temples were built, and most of the sects founded. 
Of these sects, there are seven chief and some twenty 
minor ones, illustrating the utmost diversity. 


In 1222, a child was born, who was named Nichiren, 
because his mother dreamed that the sun (nichi, in Jap- 
anese) had entered her. While still a child, he was in- 
trusted to the care of a priest. As he grew up, he turned 
away from all the accepted teachings, and resolved to 
found a new and purer sect. He changed the common 
Japanese prayer from "Save us! O Eternal Buddha!" 
to "Glory to the salvation -bringing book of the law!" 
This prayer is inscribed in the temples of this sect, upon 
their tomb-stones and shrines, and was even engraven 
on the shields of their warriors. Nichiren was a travel- 
ing preacher, and he founded many temples. He bitterly 
opposed all other Buddhists, and made many bitter ene- 
mies. The story is thus told by Griffis: "On a certain 





clay, he was taken out to a village on the strand of the 
bay, beyond Kamakura, and in front of the lovely island 
of Enoshima. This village is called Koshigoye. At 
this time, Nichiren was forty-three years old. Kneeling 
down upon the strand, the saintly bonze calmly uttered 
his prayers, and repeated 'Narmi mio ho ren ge kio^ upon 
his rosary. The swordman lifted his blade and, with all 
his might, made the downward stroke. Suddenly a flood 
of blindine liilht 

burst from the sky, 
and smote both the 
executioner and 
the official inspec- 
tor deputed to wit- 
ness the severed 
head. The sword- 
blade was broken 
in pieces, while the 
holy man was un- 
harmed. At the 
same moment, Ho- 
jo, the Lord of 
Kamakura, was 
startled at his rev- 
els in the palace 
by the sound of ratding thunder and the flash of lightning, 
though there was not a cloud in the sky. Dazed by the 
awful signs of Heaven's displeasure, Hojo Tokoyori, 
divining that it was on account of the holy victim, in- 
standy dispatched a fleet messenger to stay the execu- 
tioner's hand, and reprieve the vicdm Simultaneously, 
the official inspector, at the still unstained blood-pit, sent 
a courier to beg reprieve for the saint whom the sword 
could not touch. The two men, coming from opposite 



directions, met at the small stream which the tourist still 
crosses on the way from Kamakura to Enoshima, and it 
was thereafter called Yukiai (meeting on the way) River, a 
name w^hich it retains to this da)'. Through the pitiful 
clemency and intercession of Hojo Tokimuni, son of the 
Lord of Kamakura, Nichiren was sent to Sado Island. 
He was afterward released by his benefactor, in a gen- 
eral amnesty. Nichiren founded his sect at Kioto, and it 
greatly flourished under the care of his disciple, his rev- 
erence, Nichizo, After a busy and holy life, the great 
saint died at Ikecrami, a little to the north-west of the 
Kawasaki Railroad station, between Yokohama and To- 
kio, where the scream of the locomotive and the rumble 
of the railway car are but faintly heard in the solemn 
shades. There are to be seen gorgeous temples, pagodas, 
shrines, magnificent groves and cemeteries. The dying 
presence of Nichiren has lent this place peculiar sanctity; 
but his bones rest on Mount Minobu, in the province of 
Kai, where was one of his homes when in the flesh." 

The disciples of Nichiren drank in their master's 
spirit, and they long continued the most powerful sect of 
the Buddhists in Japan. The Shin sect, which was 
brought to great strength by Shinran in 1262 A. D., dis- 
carded fasting, penances, pilgrimages, separation from 
society, nunneries and monasteries, and taught salvation 
by faith in Buddha, and not by works. They use the 
sacred Buddhist books in a translation • into Japanese, 
while the other sects used the (to them) unintelligible 
Sanskrit and Chinese. Their temples are built mainly 
in crowded cities. Their priests marry, and their sons 
succeed them in office. This sect wields a vast influence 
over the religious life of the people. To these two men. 
Shinran and Nichiren, and their missionary labors, the 
great progress of Buddhism in Japan is due. 




The books and idols were brought from Corea in 552* 
In 584 several of the nobles at court professed faith in 
the new religion. In 585 the pestilence broke out, and 
the progress of Buddhism seemed to be checked. In 
741 an imperial decree was given that two temples and 
a seven-storied pagoda be built in each province. This 
would seem to indicate the establishment of Buddhism 
in Japan. But, from the time (800) when Kobo Daishi 
showed that, according to Buddhism, patriotism and 
piety were one, and that the Shinto gods were but Japa- 
nese manifestations of Buddha, it o-ained a sure foothold 
in Japan; the religion spread more and more extensively, 
until the fourteenth century, when the zeal of Nichiren, 
Shinran and their co-workers were somewhat forgotten. 
Many of the largest Buddhist temples now standing were 
built in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and are 
therefore, five or six hundred years old. In the four- 
teenth century the great majority of the soldiers were 
Buddhists. Images of Buddha were sewed into their hel- 
mets ; texts from the sacred books were woven into their 
banners ; and amulets or charms, with sacred characters 
written on the papers within them, were worn as a pro- 
tection in battle. 

From the year 1570 Nobunaga, a famous warrior, ap- 
pears as a persecutor of the Buddhists. The Buddhists 
were then very powerful ; they had enormous monas- 
teries and. stone-walled and moated fortresses. The 
priests of the various sects were continually quarreling 
among themselves, and used arms with the dexterity of 
the soldiery. They grew to be less and less strict in 
their observance of religious rites and rules as they grew 
prosperous. On the shore of Lake Biwa was the largest 



monastery in all Japan. Here thousands of monks were 
gathered together. They chanted their prayers before 
gorgeous aUars, while they reveled in luxury and licen- 
tiousness, drinking wine, eating forbidden food, and 
yielded to the charms of concubines or fanned the flames 

of wars be- 
tween their 
followers and 
those of other 
sects. Nobu- 
naga, who had 
been trained 
among priests, 
had no respect 
for such char- 
acters ; he was 
born, bred and 
educated as a 
Shintoist, and 
he hated Bud- 
dhism. In 1 571 
_i_ he ordered his 
soldiers to set 
fire to this and 
other monas- 
teries, and to 
destroy their 
without exception. Before this, Xavier and other Jesuit 
missionaries had come to Japan, and they were encour- 
aged by Nobunaga, because he regarded them as oppo- 
nents of the Buddhists. But Buddhism thrived in spite 
of this persecution. Now the whole country, with its 
35,000,000 of people, may be called Buddhist. But since 




the thirteenth century not many very extensive monas- 
teries have been built. That work is nearly abandoned. 


Buddhism in Japan is broken up into many sects. 
These sects differ greatly, much more than even Protest- 
antism and Roman Catholicism. For a time they waged 
bitter wars against each other, and sought to exterminate 
each other. 

W. E. Grififis has prepared the following tabular list of 
Buddhist sects in Japan: 

Chief Sects. Total number of Temples. 

1. Tendai, founded by Chisha, in China, . . .6,391 

2. Shingon, " " Kobo, in Japan, A. D. 813, . 15,503 

3. Zen, " " Dharma, " .... 21,547 

4. Jodo, " " Honen, '' A. D. 1173, . 9,819 

5. Shin, " " Shinran, " A. D. 1213, . 13,718 

6. Nichiren, " " Nichiren, in Japan, A. D. 1262, . 

7. Ji, " " Ippen, " A, D. 1288, . 586 

According to the census taken in japan in 1872, there 
was a population of 33,110,825, Of these there VN^ere 
75,925 priests, abbots and monks; 9 abbesses; 37,327 
novices preparing to become monks or priests; and 
98,585 religious devotees were gathered in monasteries. 
These last are mostly of the Shin sect. In 1875 the 
census showed a decrease of over 4,000 of these 7^eligieux. 
Besides the seven chief sects above mentioned, there are 
twenty-one "irregular," "local" or "independent" sects, 
which act apart from the others, and in some cases have 
no temples or monasteries. A number of other sects 
have originated in Japan, flourished for a time, decayed 
and passed out of existence. Mr. Griffis estimates that 
it took 900 years to convert the Japanese from their 
nature- worship to Buddhism. 




The members of the Shin sect, founded in 1213, some- 
times called the Shinshin, at other times the Monto 
sect, are the Protestants of Japanese Buddhism, They 
protested and still protest against penance, fasting, pil- 
grimages, convents and monasteries, hermitages, charms, 
amulets and the readino: of the Buddhist sacred books in 


an unknown tongue. Its founder, the priest Shinran, 
married a noble lady of Kioto. The Monto priests always 
marry and oppose the celibacy of the priesthood. This is 
the most thoroughly organized and earnestly aggressive 
of all the Buddhist sects of Japan. Its priests are wide- 
awake and active. Two of them have been studying the 
Sanskrit language with the famous Professor Max Miiller, 



preparing better to understand and preach their sacred 
books, which are written in this tongue. One of the fore- 
most priests 

of to-day is 
Akamatz, who 
spent several 
years in Eng- 
land studying 
Sanskrit and 
Their temples 
are the most 
magnificent in 
Japan. A spe- 
cially favored 
visitor to the 
wanji temple, 
which may be 
described as 
the cathedral 
of the Monto 
sect, describes 
what she saw 
while there as 
follows: *'We 
walked around 

the outside of 

the D u b 1 i c Japanese pilgrim in winter dress. 

rooms, which are numerous, large and lofty, by a deep 
corridor, from which we saw the interior through the open 
doors and the dull gleam of rich dead gold hinted of the 
artistic treasures within. For in these dimly-lighted rooms, 
most of which have been set apart for guests for centuries, 



there are paintings nearly 300 years old, and the walls are 
either paneled in gold, or are formed of sliding-screens, 
heavily overlaid with gold-leaf, on which, in the highest 
style of Japanese art, are depicted various sacred em- 
blems — the lotus, the stork, the peony, and the Cleyera 
Japonica — executed very richly and beautifully with 
slightly conventionalized fidelity to nature. From thence 
we passed into the great temple, the simple splendor of 



which exceeds anything I have yet seen. The vast oblong 
space has a fiat roof, supported on many circular pillars 
of finely-planed wood ; a third part is railed off for the 
sanctuary ; the panels of the folding-doors and the panels 
at the back are painted with fiowers on a gold ground ; 
behind a black lacquer altar stands a shrine of extreme 
splendor, gleaming In the twilight ; but on the high altar 
itself there were only two candlesticks, two vases of pure 
white chrysanthemums, and a glorious bronze incense- 



burner. An incense-burner was the only object on the 
low altar. Besides these there were six black lacquer 
desks, on each desk a roll of litanies, and above the altar 
six lamps burned low. It was imposingly magnificent 
The Japanese have a proverb: 'As handsome as a 
Monto altar.'" 

This sect rejects images and all sensuous paraphernalia 
addressed to the popular taste. 

The Creed of the Monto sect is thus given by Aka- 
matz : " Rejecting all religious austerities and other ac- 
tions, giving up all idea of self-power, rely upon Amita 
Buddha with the whole heart for our salvation, which is 
the most important thing; believing that at the moment 
of putting one's faith in Amita Buddha our salvation is 

" From that moment invocation of his name is observed 
to express gratitude and thankfulness for Buddha's 
mercy. Moreover, being thankful for the reception of 
this doctrine from the founder and succeeding chief 
priests, whose teachings are as kind and welcome as the 
light in a dark night. 

"We must also keep the laws which are fixed for our 
duty during our whole life." 

kwanon's temple at asakusa, tokio. 

Tokio, the eastern capital of Japan, is the most thickly 
populated city of the empire. It has a very large number 
of temples and shrines. The most famous and popular 
of all is the temple of Kwanon, at Asakusa. Asakusa is 
really one great play-ground, with the temple in the 
centre. The people gather there for pleasure as well 
as worship. The approach to the temple is by a long 
lane, from twelve to fifteen feet wide, and is lined with 
booths, stalls and shops, in which toys and articles of 



ornament and the like are sold. It is always holiday 
time here. The toys, dolls and all manner of playthings 
are displayed in wonderful variety. The shops are open 
all along their fronts; and the toys are arranged on steps, 
rising as they were farther and farther from the front, so 
that everything in the shops could be seen at a glance. 
The Japanese are a very domestic people, and think a 
great deal of their children, and often when they go to 
the temple to worship they take the children with them, 
and purchase toys, games, puzzles or dolls for them at 
these booths. Inside the temple-grounds are "tea- 
houses," as they are called, where the people sit to quaff 
the tea from tiny cups, while they listen to some inter- 
esting tale, as it is told by the story-tellers. The story- 
tellers are a regular profession in Japan. Jugglers and 
gymnasts, painters and play-actors are doing their best 
to amuse the worshipers. Little stands are erected, 
where beans (Japanese peanuts) are being roasted, where 
savory stews are being prepared, where barley sugar- 
candy is being pulled, or where sweetmeats are being 
prepared for little purchasers. It is astonishing to see 
the manifold ways in which amusements are provided, 
and all is in connection with the temple services. The 
owners of the booths, etc., all pay a percentage of their 
profits to the priests. Just before coming into the temple 
proper, one passes through a huge red gateway, having a 
compartment on each side of the doorway. In these 
compartments are two gigantic wooden images, painted 
red. They are two of the guardians of Heaven, defending 
the passage-way, to keep out evil spirits. The idols are 
protected by wire screens, such as are used to protect 
store windows. To these gratings huge straw sandals 
are tied. They are the offerings of the worshipers for 
the use of the gods. On New Year's Eve the priests are 








placed on a platform, suspended in diis doorway and 
under die eyes of die gods. From diis position they 
distribute paper amulets to the people, guaranteeing the 



protection of Kwanon to such who shall be so fortunate 
as to secure one. They throw them in the air, their 
servants fanning them, so as to distribute them the more 
thoroughly, and the great, surging crowds struggle in 
their search of them. Inside the gateway are more 
booths ; these are for the sale of the objects to be used in 
worship — idols, rosaries, candles, domestic altars and the 
like. Here, in a little stable on the left of the way, is an 
Albino pony. This is for the use of the goddess Kwanon. 
Eachmorningthe priests lead the pony before the goddess, 
and ask her if she does not wish to take a ride. At a 
large table near by, an old woman sells large beans, which 
the pious worshiper buys and give to the sacred white 
horse for food. He has a priest to attend him. On 
another table the worshiper purchases a small dish of 
beans, which he throws on the ground, and immediately 
flocks of pigeons sweep down and eat them. These are 
sacred pigeons, to whom the right of using the temple and 
all its buildings is given. Within the temple-grounds, and 
surrounding the temple of Kwanon, are some forty or 
fifty sacred buildings, temples and shrines, devoted to 
the worship of almost all the national gods — shrines of 
Sanno, the ruler-god; Dai-Koku, the rice god; Benten, 
goddess of harmony ; Hachiman, god of war ; and even 
of the fox are to be found here. The fox is worshiped 
because of the mischief he can do. His litde chapel is on 
the summit of a knoll ; just before it are two granite 
images of the fox, representing him in a sitting posture, 
with his eyes on every one approaching his sanctuar}'. 
The faithful bow, cast their coins in the box placed here 
for that purpose, kneel in prayer, hang up their ofterings, 
and turn away. Near the central temple is a seven- 
storied pagoda, symbolizing the supremacy of Buddhism. 
From the eaves of each story are suspended wind-bells. 


We turn to ascend the copper-edged steps of the 
central building. This is a plain wooden structure, built 
with great solidity, and yet so planned as to be secure 
against the frequent earthquakes. Its massive sloping- 
roof of gray tiles sweeps up from either side. There are 
two main rooms in the temple, a sort of vestibule, 
the worshipers perform their ceremonies, and the screened 
shrine of the goddess. The pigeons are perched about 
the rafters, and the whole place is noisy and dirty. Huge 
lanterns are suspended from the ceiling ; private shrines 
are scattered here and there ; the walls are hung with 
pictures and white tablets. Around the great red columns 
which support the ceiling, and on the wire screens before 
the idols, are hung scores of braids of hair of men and 
women, presented as offerings to Kwanon. The ceiling 
is covered with paintings of scenes from Buddha's life. 
The worshiper, as he enters, drops a coin in the lap of 
an old woman, at the door, who puts a pinch of incense 
on the fire burning in a brazier, and passes on to the 
front of the altar to pray. The great altar, on which is 
the splendid gilt statue of Kwanon, is protected by a 
wire screen. Before the screen is a large coffer, extend- 
ing clear across the front of the altar, with bars across 
its top. Into this, before engaging in prayer, each wor- 
shiper casts a coin. Then he kneels, rubbing the palms 
of the hands together, repeating his prayer and telling 
his beads. Often one will buy from the priest a written 
prayer, put it in the mouth and chew it into pulp and 
then throw the " spit-ball " at the screen. If it sticks, he 
believes that liis prayer will be heard ; if it falls, he ex- 
pects it to fail ! Men, women and children, shop-keepers 
and soldiers, peasants and princes, country and city folks, 
are all the time coming and going. After worshiping at 
the main altar, the devotee often turns to the side altars 



or to some of the shrines. At the rii^^ht of the altar sits an 
UL^ly wooden idol, perched up on a table. He rivals even 
tlic main altar in the number of worshipers that throng 
to touch him. He is the god Binzuru, one of Buddha's 

sixteen disci- 
ples who is re- 
puted to cure 
disease. It is 
a pitiable sight 
to see crowds 
of blind, lame, 
persons com- 
ing in a long 
string, eagerly 
awaiting their 
turn to touch 
him ; for if they 
can but first 
rubtheir hands 
on him. and 
then on the 
diseased spot, 
it is sure to 
heal. Often a 
group oi moth- 
ers, each with 
a sickly little 
babe on her 

in Japanese fashion, between her inner and outer gar- 
ments, will approach Binzuru. Reaching around, they take 
the tiny hand of the sick child, and rub it on the face of 
the idol. So constant has been the rubbing that the idol, 


thoucT-h made of hard wood, has lost all its features ; eyes, 
nose, lips, ears are all rubbed away. Near by is a stand 
.where an old woman sells for the priest pictures, or small 
shrines of Kwanon, which are exacdy like the accompany- 
ing pictures. 

• Behind the screen are many smaller idols and altars, 
and an inclosed matted space, where those who choose 
may. by paying an extra fee to the attendant priests, 
enter and worship undisturbed. On high days and great 
festival occasions, a space near the altar is fenced in, and 
the priests, richly dressed, chant their prayers, while in- 
cense is smoking and candles are flaring. The crowd 
presses against the fence, and by making special gifts of 
money, secure special prayers for themselves, and extra 
candles, representing such prayers, are placed on the 
stand for them by the attendants. 

To the left of the altar are placed, by the symbols of 
the Shinto-worship, the mirror and white paper. This 
enables all shades of opinion to be suited. 

Outside the building are groves of plum and cherry 
trees, which are esteemed not so much for their fruit as 
for their blossoms. Here are carefully kept beds of 
lotus, azaleas, chrysanthemums, and camellias and ever- 
crreens. These evergreens are dwarfed and trimmed into 
all sorts of fanciful shapes, even while growing. Trees 
many years old are made to represent cats, dogs, boats, 
houses, wagons and other objects. Around the bases ot 
the idols of Buddha, scattered everywhere, are heaps of 
small stones, representing prayers offered. A praying- 
machine — a stone wheel set to run on a stone post — 
stands close by. There is an exhibition of wax-works, 
which would rival Madame Tussaud's, of London. These 
are intended to depict various deliverances from dangers 
and peril, wrought by Kwanon. 




One of the finest temples of Japan was that of Shiba, 
in Tokio. It was burned by a fanatic incendiary on the 



eve of New Year's Day, December 31st, 1874. For- 
merly the visitor passed through an immense red gate- 
way on the north side of the temple, and then passed 


alon^r a wide avenue lined with ovcrhanoine fir-trees. 
After passing through another gateway, one enters a 
large court-yard, in which were arranged 200 stone Ian- 


terns, each the gift of a Japanese prince, the head of a 
clan. Goinof on throuo-h another carved and gilded 
gateway, another court-yard is entered, having six large 
gilt lanterns, each the gift of a prince of the royal family. 
Then another gateway, more richly carved and orna- 
mented than the last, is passed, and the visitor stood be- 
fore the handsome shrines. The lacquered steps lead 
up to gilt doors, which swing open upon a room covered 
with the finest white matting. The walls, panels and 
beams are covered with sculpture. There the great 
altars rise up, resplendent with golden lacquer and sculp- 
ture. In caskets are placed the tablets of the deceased 
shoofouns and rulers. Images of Buddha and Kwanon 
are scattered about. One of these idols represents 
Buddha on his death-bed. For many years the mikado 
lived in Kioto, secluded from the sight of the people. 
The real ruler was called shogoun (in later days, termed 
tycoon). This functionary lived in Yedo or Tokio. He 
was accustomed to worship at Shiba. On the great 
festival occasions he proceeded there with an immense 
retinue, and the services were performed with great 

There are very many idols and shrines in the country 
places, as well as in the cities. In every hamlet, by the 
road-sides, among the rice-fields, by the sea-shore, on the 
hill-tops, by the- running streams, in groves of trees or 
in niches of the rocks. Generally, the temples are placed 
in elevated positions ; these are reached by long flights 
of steps. Just outside of Tokio, and commanding a fine 
view of the city, is the hill called Atagosa Yama. One 
hundred steps lead to the top of this hill ; there, amid the 
clumps of cedar and bamboo, are two idols, formerly 
much worshiped. They are both Buddhas ; the one is 
standing on a lotus-flower; the other is sittincr on a tortoise. 




Kobe is the sea-port town of Osaka. High up on a 
mountain-peak, near the city, is a famous temple built by 
Jingu Kogo, the Amazonian empress of Japan, after her 
return from invading Corea. Many hundreds of pilgrims 
visit it annually. In Kobe is the shrine of a hero, much 
loved and honored' by the Japanese. This is one of the 
means used by the Buddhist priests to intrench them- 
selves and their religion in the affections of the people. 
Immediately, on the death of any hero or noted person- 
age, they propose erecting a shrine or a monument to 
him, thus drawing the devotions of the people anew to 
that particular shrine, and through it, to their faith, 


The temples of the 500 disciples of Buddha are among 
the most celebrated in Japan. Of these, there are several 
— one in Asakusa, and one in Honjo. In one of these, 
near the main image of Buddha, is an idol of Hachiman, 
having three eyes, horns, hoofs and long hair — a curious 
combination. In each corner, in iron casfes, are the eods 
Daikoku and Yebisu. Yebisu is the god of daily food, 
and has a fish under his arm ; Daikoku, god of wealth, 
sits on two sacks of rice, with a mallet in his hand, which, 
when he shakes it, is supposed to send wealth to the 
worshipers. Great numbers of strips of paper, with 
prayers written on them, are tied to the railing before 
these gods, and this indicates their popularity. These 
images are found in almost every household, and receive 
daily worship. The idols are seated under a scroll, on 
their throne. Shallow dishes containing oil with floating 
wicks, are placed on either side and lighted. On low 
tables are placed loaves oivwcJii, made of glutinous rice- 
flour and fishes, and vases containing scrolls. The head 
of the family, kneeling between the tall candle-stick, pre- 

538 IDOL WORSHIP of the world. 

sents, each morning before breakfast, a cup of tea or saki 
— a very common drink, brewed from the rice, accom- 
panied with a dish of rice. 

In the Temple of the Five Hundred Gods, there are, 
besides these gods, a statue of Kwanon and images of the 
five hundred of Buddha's disciples. On a throne of 
weather-stained rocks and pieces of volcanic rock and 
lava, is a colossal image of Buddha, seated on the lotus- 
flower. On either side of him is a statue of an elephant 
and of a lion. Next to Buddha is the statue of the dis- 
ciple wdio collected all of Buddha's sayings; next, the 
disciple who never forgot anything his master taught 
him, and so on through all the list. Away in the rear is 
the black image of Yema, the god of hell. 

In this representation of the Buddhistic hell Yema sits 
upon his throne behind a table, as the Japanese pictures 
put him, with his pencil in hand, ready to w^ite out the 
sentence of the condemned. On either side are those 
who keep the records of the misdeeds of men, and, in 
front, the executioner ready to cast the condemned man 
from his boat into the lake of fire. In the future state, 
there are, according to the teachino- of the Buddhist 
priests, eight modes of torture. "First, the wicked are 
alternately beaten and resuscitated ; secondly, they are 
dragged limb from limb, chopped to pieces, pounded in a 
mortar, sawn or planed into various shapes, eyes gouged 
out, and the tongue and nails are plucked out; in the 
third, the crowdof the wicked are beaten about like animals 
in a pen ; the fourth isw^eeping; the fifth, is great lamen- 
tation ; the sixth, burning and roasting ; the seventh, hills 
covered with large needles, over which the wicked are 
driven ; the eighth, being thrown into the bottomless pit 
of perdition." These are specimens of the terrors which 
heathenism holds over its followers. 




Osaka is the greatest commercial city of Japan. In it 
are many temples. One of the most beautiful sounds 


the traveler ever hears, as he travels in Asia, is the 
sound of the temple bells of Japan. They are very large, 




and generally sounded by striking a suspended beam 
against the bell. Some of these bells are ten feet high. 
On their sides are cast or engraven texts from the Bud- 
dhist sacred books, images of Buddha or Kwanon, or ol 
heavenly beings. The bell was stuck on a knob on its 
side by the small tree-trunk. Few sounds are sweeter 
than the quivering, mellow tones of the Japanese temple 
bells. The bells are often, as in Osaka, placed in sepa- 
rate buildings, built for them ; this was to give a better 
effect to the sounds. The occasion of the casting of a 
bell was one of great public rejoicing. Offerings of 
money or jewelry, or utensils of tin, copper, silver or 
gold were brought by men and women. "When metal 
enough, and in proper proportion, had been amassed, 
crucibles were made, earth-furnaces dug, the moulds 
fashioned, and huge bellows — worked by standing men 
at each end, like a see-saw — were mounted ; and, after 
due prayers and consultations, the auspicious day was 
appointed. The place selected was usually a hill or 
elevated place. The people, in their gayest dress, as- 
sembled in picnic parties, and with song, and dance, and 
feast waited while the workmen, in festal uniform, toiled, 
and the priests, in canonical robes, watched. The fires 
were lighted, the bellows oscillated, the blast roared, and 
the crucibles were brought to the proper heat and the 
contents to fiery fluidity, the joy of the crowd increasing 
as each stage in the process was announced. Wlien the 
molten flood was finally poured into the mould, the ex- 
citemen^t of the spectators reached the height of uncon- 
troWable enthusiasm. Another pecuniary harvest was 
reaped by the priests before the crowds dispersed, by the 
sale of stamped kerchiefs or paper containing a holy 
text, or certifying to the presence of the purchaser at the 
ceremony, and the blessing of the gods upon him there- 



for. Such a token became an heirloom ; and the child 
who ever afterward heard the solemn boom of the bell 
at matin or evening, was constrained by filial, as well as 
by holy motives, to obey and reverence its admonitorv 
call." Such devotion to the idol-worship is not so fre- 
quently seen to-day, as skepticism is becoming prevalent. 


There is a gigantic image about two miles from Kama- 
kura, and twenty miles from Yokohama. The colossal 
idol of Buddha here (see frontispiece) is of bronze, and, 
though sitting in Oriental style, is forty-four feet high, and 
including the terrace on which it sits, is sixty-five feet. 
It is probably the most finished work of art the Japanese 
possess, regarded both for its beauty and the religious 
sentiment it expresses. After leaving Kamakura, with its 
wonderful old temples, the road passes out among the rice 
fields, down toward the shore washed by the waves of 
the Pacific Ocean. Every here and there torii.. or birds' 
rests, as they are called, great gate-ways, modeled after 
those before the topes in India, are placed. Th jy con- 
sist of two upright shafts of stone, about ten or twelve 
feet high, with cross-pieces on their tops bending up- 
wards at the ends, and. extending beyond the uprights, 
and a square cross-piece about a foot from the top run- 
ning from shaft to shaft. Knowing the immensity of the 
statue, the visitor for the first time is on the lookout for 
it. But its builders have used great judgment in placing 
it, for it is not to be seen until one reaches the most fa- 
vorable spot. After passing through the red gate-way, 
wath its Gog and Magog, the giant idols, on either side, 
the road seems to end in a clump of trees. However, it 
passes around the trees, and there, right from the best 
place to see the idol favorably, there right before him it 



sits. There is an irresistible charm about it ; the fea- 
tures of the face are in such perfect harmony, the gar- 
ments are so simple, the face is so serene and benevolent 
in its contemplative ecstasy, and the whole pose of the 
figure so well executed. The hills, clad with evergreens, 
o-ently slope together in the background, and all the 
buildings, dwellings for priests, etc., are so dexterously 
concealed by the foliage. The place is silent, and time 
has so tempered the bronze idol itself and the stones of 
the terrace, that the whole effect is grand, and compels 

But, while the whole scene inspires one with a sense of 
its beauty and grandeur, it saddens one to think that after 
all it is an idol. Even while one stops to study its 
beauty he is jostled by the pilgrims with their white gar- 
ments, broad hats, litde bells fastened to their girdles 
and their staves, as they come bowing and rising alter- 
nately, till they get near to the idol. The idol is made 
of bronze plates, nicely united, though time and the 
weather have somewhat exposed some of these joints. 
In front of it are vases with bronze lotus lilies, and a 
bronze brazier where incense is burned day by day for 
the benefit of pilgrims. 

The image is hollow, and inside smaller idols are ranged. 
A window in his shoulder lets in the light. His ears are 
laro^e, as are the ears of almost all idols, and the head is 
covered with representations of snail-shells, to protect 
him from the sun. The idol was cast and erected about 
six hundred years ago. At first a building inclosed it. 
but it was soon destroyed, and for nearly six centuries 
past he has been exposed to wind and rain, and snow 
and frost, to earthquake and typhoon, and yet he is there 
unharmed, and widely admired and adored by hundreds 
of devout worshipers. 





" Long ere great Buddha strode 

Upon his cahn, colossal, godlike way 
O'er the broad rolling rivero of Cathay, 
By the Corean road, 

''And stepping stormy seas 

Hither, to mount the golden lotus throne, 
O Nara, there to rule and muse alone, 
Through lingering centuries." 

As usual in approaches to Japanese temples, there are 
several shops near to the temple itself. In the centre of 
the large, open space between the lesser gateway and the 
temple is an immense and very old bronze lantern, large 
enough for a man to stand in. This lantern was pre- 
sented to the temple by the renowned hero and states- 
man, Yoritomo, who died in the year 1 199, and is 700 
years old. It is in daily use still. This temple was 
originally founded, and the immense image made, by the 
Mikado Shomu, the forty-sixth of the present line of em- 
perors, and the third of Nara, who died 748 A. D. The 
temple was destroyed 700 years ago, in the terrible civil 
wars of the twelfth century, and again seriously injured, 
so that the head of the god had to be recast, in the seven- 
teenth century. The great gateway, however, with most 
of the other buildings of the great temple, have escaped 
such injuries, and, although constructed of wood, have 
stood as they now stand for more than eleven centuries. 

The interest of this place centres In the great god of 
gold and bronze, which has been the wonder of Japan for 
so many ages past. It has been positively stated by some 
that a considerable amount of gold entered Into his com- 
position; but those on the spot seem to be uncertain as 
to whether the gold employed in making him was mixed 



with the bronze of which he is cast, or applied superficially 
to him. That much has been applied in the latter way 
there can be no doubt ; and in places in which the gold 
is visible, and which I closely examined, it seemed to me 
that it conformed to an external line of ornament in each 
case, which would indicate that it was superficial only. 


The dimensions of this god are truly colossal. His 
height from the base of the lotus-flower, on which he sits, 
to the top of his head is sixty-three and one-half feet ; 
and above this rises an aureole fourteen feet wide, above 
which again rises for several feet the flame-like glory 
which arches in the whole figure. The face proper is 


sixteen feet long ; its width, nine and one-half feet. The 
eyes are three feet nine inches long ; the eyebrows, five 
and one-half feet ; the ears, eight and one-half feet. The 
chest is twenty feet in depth. Its middle finger is five 
feet long. Around the head, shoulders and sides of the 
god, in front of the aureole, are sixteen sitting figures, 
said to be eight feet long. The leaves of the immense 
lotus on which he sits are each ten feet long and six feet 
wide, and there are fifty-six of them. The casting must 
have been wonderiully well executed, although the fine- 
ness of the leaf-edges, and other parts which we were 
able to examine, and the elaborate engraving which can 
be traced upon the lotus-leaves in the uninjured parts, 
leaves no doubt that the founder's art was elaborately 
supplemented by the file and graver. The countenance 
of the god is less mild and calm of expression than is 
usual in images of Buddha. The right hand is open and 
raised upwards ; the left rests on the lap. 


Many of the gods of Shintoism have been adopted by 
the Buddhists. Hotel's image is carved into the shape 
of buttons, and used for holding the pipe in the girdle 
(a Nitsuki). Inari, the rice-god, and his companion, 
Kitsune, the fox, are worshiped. A very great many 
superstitions are connected with the fox. If one is sick, 
he is said to have a fox in him, and a priest is sent for, 
who, by beating a drum — at, say, three beats each half 
minute all night long — will drive him out. He is the 
cause of a thousand ills to the people. He is reverenced 
because he is supposed to be the most cunning creature 
in creation. Kitsune becomes by turns a sacred, amus- 
ing, perfidious, diabolical personage. One superstitious 
notion is, that if the traveler fail to honor the fox before 



his journey, he, Kitsune, will take revenge by causing 
will-o'-the-wisps to spring up all over the rice-swamps, and 
so mislead the traveler, and prolong his journey indefi- 
nitely. This lighting the will-o'-the-wisp is called the Fes- 
tival of the Foxes, and is shown in the opposite picture. 


New Year's clay is observed in Japan with many cere- 
monies. On the day before all accounts are squared, 
new clothing is bought, and the people prepare to spend 
the morrow with great joy. The Chinese seek to drive 
the devils out of their houses by exploding fire-crackers. 
The Japanese have a feast on New Year's Eve, and 
when the merriment is almost over, the head of the 
house takes a dish of beans and goes all over the house, 
throwing the beans in every corner; in this way they 
think they drive out the devils, and when they are all 
out, they place a sacred piece of paper, which they have 
purchased from the priest, on the door, to prevent their 
re-entering. (3n New Year's day the streets are alive 
with the people. It is the holiday of the nation, and the 
temples are thronged with the gay worshipers and dex- 
terous jugglers. 

We will let an eye-witness describe a Matsuri, or fes- 
tival scene. He writes from Osaka: "The other day a 
procession passed our door, which you, perhaps, would 
like to hear of. We heard a din. a Babel of voices, 
erowinof louder and louder, and on ooinor to the door 
saw a crowd approaching, composed largely of boys be- 
tween five and ten years of age, though some men were 
among them. The first fifty or more were dressed In 
uniform colors, a suit of red and white, in squares of 
about an inch and a half, the red being a dominant color, 
looking, indeed, like circus clowns. Each person had a 

Thib is a supposed freak of the foxes in order to mislead travelers who do not honor them. Will-o'-the- 
wisps are regarded as originating in this way. 



cloth tied around his head, with apparently a paper stuck 
in it, and a paper fan in his hand. They were dancing 




along-, striking their hands, or perhaps each other, with 
the fan, and sinmng and chatting. The men especially 


were cutting up queer antics. Some of the boys haci 
bells hung to their girdles. Then came a lot of older 
persons, dressed in blue and white garments. Perhaps 
a hundred and fifty in all. Last of all came a triumphal 
car, a miniature temple, or shrine, with a man in it. They 
Avere having a jolly time altogether." 

Another festival is that of the god Tengou. The Japa- 
nese mariner knows no festival so attractive as that of 
which the sea is the theatre. When the sea-side inhab- 
itants of Sinagawa. at Tokio, celebrate the anniversary 
of their favorite deity, Tengou, they believe that they 
best show their affection for the idol by transporting it 
into the sea. While the veterans of the priesthood and 
their servants attend to the annual purification of the 
temple and its furniture, the most vigorous of the priests 
take upon their shoulders the frame on which the shrine 
or Mikosi rests. When they have reached the shore, 
they lay aside their sacerdotal vestments, and in good 
order plunge through the waves. Meanwhile the crowds 
of fishermen, who follow them with tumultuous shouts, 
encircle the cortege; seize with their strong arms the 
sacred abode of the god ; raise it above the lacquered 
caps of the priests ; and in spite of the efforts, real or 
pretended, of its official guardians, who struggle against 
the crowd in the midst of the waves, the tottering, but 
still upright shrine in the hands of the people accom- 
plishes its maritime pilgrimage. 

This ceremonial takes place on the sixth day of the 
sixth month, which is about the end of our July. It lasts, 
with its different rites, to the eighth day, when, to con- 
clude, the priests distribute to their flocks branches of 
trees laden with fruit in the condition in which the people 
most like it — that is to say, when it has scarcely arrived 
at maturity. 




One of the erandest sifjhts to be seen in all the world 
is the view of the great Sacred Mountain of Japan, Fuji- 
Yama. The writer will never forget the impression it 
made upon him. It rises in all its lonely majesty to a 
height of 1 3,080 feet high. Its beautifully sweeping sides 
rise, cone-like, from the almost level lands surrounding 
its base. It is no wonder that the mountain is so dear 


to the heart of every Japanese. On almost all their 
works of art, in bronze or lacquer-ware, Mount Fuji is 
drawn or wrought. Long before the sun has lighted the 
earth below at the sun-rise, and long after the hills and 
valleys are shrouded in the darkness of the coming night. 
Fuji's snow-crowned summit is aglow with light; the huge 
cone rising hi^h above the clouds, sublime, colossal and 


beautiful in its ruddy purple. To this mountain the Jap- 
anese are accustomed to make pilgrimages. All who 
have visited Fuji-Yama in pilgrimage wear a litde bell 
attached to their girdle, in addidon to their pilgrim suit. 
Lono-fellow has introduced into his Poems of Places, in 
the volumes on Asia, the following translation of a Jap- 
anese poem on Fuji : 

"Heaven above from earth below 
Long ago the gods have parted, 
Henceforth hiding far from men. 
Round the hoary peak sublimely 
Towering o'er Suruga's land, 
Fuji's venerated mountain, 
All the wide-arched azure sky 
Though thou search with wistful gaze 
Of the hastening sun's bright track, 
Not a glimpse shalt thou enjoy; 
Nor of gentlier beamiig moon 
Hail the shadow-fringing shimmer: 
Fleecy clouds are hovering, 
Hovering round the high, bare summit. 
Veiling it from mortal ken. 
Hath thereon the white snow fallen ; 
Would'st thou of the lofty gods 
Know the annals, only Fuji 
Can the secret story tell thee." 


With but a very few exceptions the Japanese Bud- 
dhists are intensely superstitious. Some of the young 
men of Japan, who have come in contact with foreigners, 
have given up their superstitions ; but the rest of the 
people, more especially the peasants, hold a firm faith in 
a multitude of superstitious customs. These touch upon 
the most insignificant occupations of every-day life, as 
well as upon birth, marriage and death. 



When a child is thirty days old it is taken to the temple 
of its parents' gods, and, with the assistance of the priest, 
a name is chosen. Three names are selected by the 
parents, and written on slips of paper. These slips are 
tossed in the air by the priest, while he mumbles incanta- 
tions, and the first slip that falls to the floor is believed 
to contain the name chosen by the gods for the little babe. 
The priest then writes this name on a piece of sacred 
paper, and it is given to the parents as a talisman. 

In a few of the Buddhist sects, the priest assist at the 
marriage, but in the great majority of cases he has no 
part to perform there. At the marriage ceremony neither 
bride nor bridegroom can wear any garment containing 
purple color. The Japanese believe that to do this would 
be most fatal ; for as purple is the color which fades most 
readily, so the marriage of those who wear purple would 
come to an end speedily. The Japanese marriage cere- 
mony is a very simple one, and is rather singular, because 
religion finds no place in it. When the bride and bride- 
oroom and their friends are o-athered together, a small 
cup is filled with the native wine, which a chosen friend 
hands to the bride, who drinks from it, and then passes 
it to the bridegroom ; he passes it back, after drinking, 
and thus, it passes back and forth between the two a few 
times until it is emptied, and this constitutes them man 
and wife. The Japanese say that it is thus, that, as hus- 
band and wife, they must drink of the same cup of sorrow 
or of joy. The writings of Confucius, are the basis of 
many of the laws of Japan. According to these, among 
the seven causes for divorce is the one: 'Tf she talk too 
much." Every heathen religion lowers women to a posi- 
tion far below that of man. In India, woman's lot is the 
saddest, and in Japan, probablv the happiest of all heathen 
countries. According to Buddhism there is no salvation 


for a woman unless she is born over again as a man. 
The nature-worship of Japan gives to woman a much 
higher place than Buddhism does. Two things tend to 
cause the degradation of women in Japan. The one is 
the custom of having many wives ; the other is the de- 
mands of parental obedience. In Japan, according to Bud- 
dhist teaching, a girl must obey her father in everything, 
and no exception is allowed. Hence it not infrequently 
happens that the father commands his child to enter upon 
a life of sin, that he may make money by it. The daughter 
is bound to do as she is bidden, and thus the greatest 
evil that can come upon a woman is brought upon her 
under the direction of a heathen system. But, thank 
God, noble Christian women have gone forth from our 
own and other Christian lands, and by their teachings 
and examples have done much to better the condition of 
the women of Japan and a brighter day is rapidly dawn- 
ing upon them. 

From the moment when a person dies in Japan, re- 
ligious ceremonies are performed in the house of the 
deceased until the body is removed to the grave. Priests 
are immediately sent for, who light the candles and in- 
cense-sticks before the household gfods, and who recite 
their prayers. The priests, carrying their rosaries, head 
the funeral procession as it goes to the temple. The 
nearest relatives are dressed in white, and carry various 
objects formerly used by the deceased. The square 
coffin is set down in the temple before the altar, and re- 
ligious services are performed, with more or less ponip, 
according to the wealth of those who fee the priests for 
the services. Very frequendy, the bodies are then burned, 
and the ashes placed in an urn ; at other times, the bodies 
are buried. After a time, the nearest relative of the dead 
person buys from the priest a long, narrow board or tab- 


let, containing the new name of the deceased. This is 
placed on the grave. Fresh flowers and evergreens are 
kept on the tomb-stones in bamboo vases for a long time. 
The relatives resort to the tombs for worship ; praying, 
sometimes, to the deceased, asking his aid, or at other 
times for the deceased, that he may be freed from the 
pains of purgatory. In either case they are very devout. 


Scattered all over Japan are trees, which are specially 
devoted to the gods, or Kami, as they are called in Jap- 
anese. Often they twist some rice-straw into a rope, and 
bind it around the base of a tree to indicate its sacred- 
ness. Like the Greeks of old, the Japanese imagine that 
the mountains and valleys, the rills and rivers, the rocks 
and trees, are all filled with spirits. They tell tales of 
trees shedding blood, or groaning in agony, when the 
woodman cut them with his axe. Some trees, we are 
told, are believed to have wonderful power to attract men 
to commit suicide ; this is because they are possessed by 
evil spirits. Other trees are noted for the shelter they 
afford in storms, for the protection they furnish when 
flying from enemies ; these are supposed to be inhabited 
by good and helping spirits. Many customs among 
Christian nations, so-called, are decidedly superstitious. 
For example, it is counted unlucky in some parts ot 
America to spill salt, to break a looking-glass, to have 
thirteen people sit down at table together; and many are 
the stories, undoubtedly true, it is declared, which are told 
to illustrate the certainty with which evils follow these 
signs. So in Japan there are many such superstitious 
signs and customs, some of them just the opposite of 
signs in other lands. These signs are almost innumer- 
able, and concern the actions of every day. Many are 



the fairy tales and ghost stories which the O-Baa-San, or 
grandmother, tells to the children as they gather around 
the fire-box at ni^rht, and which send them shiverino- and 
shaking to bed. Some of the superstitious customs, 
however, are not revoltinof, but are very beautiful. Mr. 
Griffis, an American teacher in Japan, tells us one of this 
better kind. It is called "The Mother's Memorial." It is 
popular with all 
classes, being 
often used by 
the Shintoists 
as well as the 
Buddhists. He 
writes thus: "A 
sight not often 
met with in the 
cities, but in the 
suburban and 
country places 
as frequent as 
the cause of it 
requires, is the 
naga7^e kanjo 
(flowing invo- 
cation). Apiece 
of cotton-cloth 
is suspended by its four corners to stakes set in the 
ground near a brook or rivulet. Behind this is a high, 
narrow board, notched near the top, and having an in- 
scription written upon it. Resting by the brookside is 
a wooden dipper. Perhaps, upon the four corners, in the 
hollow ends of the upright bamboo stakes, may be set 
bouquets of flowers. The inscriptions and flowers are 
like those ^et up upon graves. Waiting long enough. 




perchance but a few minutes, there maybe seen a passer 
who pauses, and, devoutly offering- a prayer, with the aid 
of his rosary, reverently dips a ladleful of water, pours it 
on the cloth, and waits until it has strained throuo-h, be- 
fore moving- on. All this, when the significance is under- 
stood, is very touching. It is a silent appeal to the 
passer-by, by the love of Heaven, to shorten the penal- 
ties of a soul in pain. The Japanese believe that the 
mother dying in child-bed, suffers, by such a death, for 
some sin committed long ago. After death, they say, 
she sinks into a hell, until this ' flowing invocation ' ceases, 
by the wearing out of the symbolic cloth. When this is 
so utterly worn that the water no longer drips through, 
but falls through at once, the mother's soul is delivered 
from her sufferings. But in addition to the sadness that 
this superstition brings upon us, as we think of the delu- 
sion this people rest under, there is a feeling of indigna- 
tion awakened as we learn that these cloths can only be 
purchased from a priest, and that for much money a cloth 
can be bought, so thin in the middle, that the water soon 
runs through, while the poor person must be content 
with a cloth that it will take a long while to wear out." 


To the north of the main island of Japan, and almost 
touching it, lies the island of Yezzo. The people of 
Yezzo are called Ainos ; they are savages in their man- 
ner of life, though their disposition is kind and their 
manner gentle. 

The following account of Ainos worship, particularly 
the strange "sacrifice of the bear," is from Mr. J. J. Enslie, 
Consul at Hakodate, 1 861-3: 

" The religious creed of the Ainos is the ancient Japa- 
nese 'Shintoism,' or the adoration of the Kamis. Their 



rulers have made many attempts to convert them to 
Buddhism; but the only result of these endeavors is 
that the AInos now rub their hands together as a form 
of worship before their gods, instead of raising the hands 
above the head as they formerly did. There is a slight 
difference between the symbols of Japanese and Aino 
Shintoism — the former exhibiting a looking-glass and a 
variety of white paper ornaments, while the latter use a 
polished stone and garlands made of a peculiar descrip- 
tion of very white wood. The Ainos, however, have 
numerous festivals totally distinct from Shintoism. The 
grandest and most solemn of these festivals Is undoubt- 
edly the Sacrifice of the Bear, for which animal the Ainos 
entertain a strano-e sort of veneration. 

" The savage denizen of the forest destined to be ex- 
alted to the position of a god is reared from a cub by 
the village chief, and the female most distinguished in 
rank and beauty enjoys the honor of being its wet- 
nurse. As soon as the bear is two years old, he is car- 
ried in a cage to an eminence (previously consecrated 
for the ceremony), amid shouts of joy and the most in- 
harmonious concert of various noises ever heard ; while 
from time to time the bereft nurse utters the most 
piercing and heart-rending cries, expressive of her 
poignant grief. After this uproar has continued for 
some time, the chief of the village approaches the bear, 
and with an arrow gives him the first wound. The ani- 
mal, previously maddened by the din around him, now 
becomes furious, the cage Is opened, and he springs 
out into the midst of the assemblage. Then, at a sig- 
nal given by the children of the nurse, everybody in 
the crowd wounds him with the various weapons they 
have brought with them, each one striving to inflict a 
wound; as all believe that he who fails to wound the 



bear has no claim to any favor from the new Kami, or 
o-od. As soon as the poor animal falls down exhausted 
from the loss of blood, his head is cut off, and the arrows, 
spears, knives, sticks, and in fact all the weapons by 
which he has been wounded, are solemnly presented to 
the headless trunk by the village patriarch, who requests 
the bear to avenge himself upon the weapons by which 
he has been insulted and slain. The severed head is 
then affixed to the trunk, and the dead bear is car- 
ried to the altar, where the Rama Matsouri (the sacrifice 
of the bear) commences amid various solemnities, such as 
singing, music, and offerings consisting of everything 
the Ainos most esteem. The nurse meanwhile deals 
blows with the branch of a tree upon every one who has 
taken part in the bear's death. The flesh is then dis- 
tributed among the people, and the head is placed upon a 
pole opposite the hut of the chief, where it is left to 

" The Ainos entertain great fear and profound respect 
for strength and courage; and this is the cause of their 
veneration for the bear — the strongest and fiercest ani- 
mal known to them. Their 'most energetic comparison 
is the bear. A man is 'strong as a bear,' 'fierce as a 
bear,' etc. The bear is the burden of their national 
songs, and, in a word, this animal is the symbol of every- 
thing they think worthy of respect. To compare an Aino 
with a bear is the surest plan to gain his friendship; and 
it must be acknowledged that the merit the Ainos attach 
to the bear is more or less deserved, as the Yezzo bear 
is the finest specimen of his species." 





Utter the song, O my soul ! the flight and return of Mohammed, 
Prophet and priest, who scattered abroad both evil and blessing, 
Huge wasteful empires founded, and hallowed slow persecution, 
Soul-withering, but crushed the blasphemous rites of the Pagan. 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge. 

THE story of the Idol Worship of the World would 
not be complete without having described that 
system of religion which began as an opposition 
to all idolatry. This was the motive that led Mohammed 
to start on his career of destroying idols, and compelling 
their worshipers, at the sword's point, to believe in the 
one God. Add to this the fact that this religion has ex- 
tended far beyond the bounds of its birthplace, and it 
will be seen to be well worthy of our attention. 


There are from 150,000,000 to 180,000,000 of Moham- 
medans, or Moslems (as they are sometimes called), in 
the world. These are found in the south-east corner of 
Europe, and are scattered over Asia and Africa. Arabia 
and Turkey are the Mohammedan countries, though in 
Egypt and India, and even in China, they are to be found 
by the hundreds of thousands. This system is a prose- 
lyting one, and thus has come to spread so widely. 
Starting with but a handful of disciples, the followers of 
Mohammed include more than one-tenth of the human 
race. Its behevers are true, strong believers, holding 


their faith with firmness and fervor. For hundreds of 
years they have been trying to bring the world to the 
faith embodied in their motto, "God is God, and Mo- 
hammed is His Prophet." Formerly, in great armies, 
they swept over Asia and Africa, making their proselytes 
at the point of the sword ; to-day they borrow Christian 
methods, and Moslem missionaries go forth to preach the 
Koran (their sacred book), and thus seek to extend the 
dominion of Mohammed. In their university at Cairo, 
10,000 students are gathered to day, preparing to 
go as the missionaries of the Moslem faith. A cele- 
brated traveler describes this university thus : " This 
university is 900 years old (older than Oxford), and still 
flourishes with as much vigor as in the palmy days of 
the Arabian Conquest. There I saw collected together 
10,000 students. As one expressed it, 'there were two 
acres of turbans,' assembled in a vast inclosure, with no 
floor but a pavement, and with a roof over it, supported 
by 400 columns, and at the foot of every column a 
teacher, surrounded by his pupils. As we entered, there 
rose a hum of thousands of voices, reciting the Koran. 
These students are not only from Egypt, but from all 
parts of Africa, from Morocco to Zanzibar. They come 
from far up the Nile, from Nubia and Soudan ; and from 
Darfour, beyond the great desert, and from the v/estern 
coast of Africa. Asia, too, is largely represented in stu- 
dents from Western Asia, from Turkey, Arabia and Per- 
sia ; and from Central Asia, from Khiva, and Bokhara, 
and Turkistan, and Afghanistan, and the borders of 
China. They live on the charities of the faithful ; and 
when their studies are ended, those who are to be mis- 
sionaries mount their camels, and, joining a caravan, cross 
the desert, and are lost in the far interior of Africa." And 
there, we should say, they meet our no less faithful and 


ardent Christian missionaries, who are laboring to elevate 
the depraved Africans. These carry to a happy comple- 
tion the very imperfect work which Moslem missionaries 
are able to perform. 

Now let us turn to the story of the man who founded 


The descendants of Ishmael and of Abraham have in- 
habited uninterruptedly a land inclosed by the Red Sea, 
the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the Euphrates River 
and the land of Syria. There are a few fertile valleys 
and excellent pastures in Arabia ; but a great part of the 
country consists of bleak wildernesses, barren hills and 
wastes of sandy deserts. There is not one navigable 
river in the whole country. Goods are carried on cam- 
els, whose drivers travel in groups called caravans. The 
Arabs are a simple and temperate race, quick to revenge, 
yet exceedingly hospitable. The great majority of the 
people in the interior live a tent life; thus they are 
brought into close contact with nature, and are reveren- 
tial and imaginative. From their out-door life, they were 
early inclined to worship the sun, moon, planets and all 
the hosts of heaven and angels. Desiring a visible ob- 
ject of worship, something to be seen and felt, they made 
images of their deities. The " Black Stone," in the Tem- 
ple of the Kaaba, at Mecca, was an especially honored 
object of worship. This stone, about six inches by eight, 
was one of the precious stones of Paradise, and fell down 
to the earth with Adam. At the deluge, it was taken up 
again, or otherwise preserved, and afterward brought by 
Gabriel to Abraham, when he and Ishmael were building 
the Kaaba. This temple was placed in charge of one 



family. In the year 570 A. U., of this family was born a 
child named Mohammed, destined to affect the religions 
life of hundreds of millions of his lellow-beini^s. 



Miraculous signs were said to have attended his birth. 
I'or live years, he remained away irom his mother ; at 
the end of that time, he became subject to epileptic fits, 


and returned to his home. He then saw the multitude 
of pilgrims, with their camels laden with spices and beau- 
tiful cloths, coming yearly to visit Mecca, and undoubtedly 
was impressed with the sights and sounds in the Kaaba. 

When he was twelve years old, an event occurred 
which greatly influenced his after life. With his uncle's 
caravan he journeyed to Palestine, where he met Jews 
and Christians. From these he must have gained that 
knowledofe of the Bible which he used in his teachinors in 
after years. The Jews, from the day when God cured 
them of idolatry, by sending them away to Babylon, had 
persistently opposed the worship of idols, and upheld 
and urged the worship of the one true God. The 
Christians were such in name only ; for, with their ritual, 
crosses, pictures, vestments and images, they were hardly 
better than the idolaters around them. But Mohammed 
gained only a superficial knowledge of these faiths, and 
knew almost nothing of their leadinor features. 

When he was twenty-five years old he entered the ser- 
vice of the Khadija, a rich widow of Mecca, for his family 
was poor. She appointed him as a camel-driver, to care 
for the caravans. The widow soon was charmed with 
the noble appearance and energetic manliness of Mo- 
hammed, and in a modest way led him to seek to marry 
her. The marriage was a happy one, and Mohammed 
loved his wife long after her death, even to his old age. 
When all the world turned its back upon him in scorn, 
she clung to him; and while they called him cheat and 
impostor, she recognized him as the prophet of God. 
During all this time he always appeared as a very relig- 
ious and upright person. Often with his wife he retired 
to a cave, about three miles from Mecca, to pray and 
fast. Here, when in his epileptic fits, it is claimed, he saw 
visions and received revelations. 



In his fortieth year, he was spending the sacred month 
in the cave. One night, as he said, there appeared " one 
mighty in power, endued with understanding," who stood 
about two bows' length from him. It was the angel Ga- 
briel, who held a silken scroll in his hand, and bade 
Mohammed read the writing thereon. He replied that 
he could not; then Gabriel said, "Read in the name of 
the Lord, who hath created all things. Read by the 
most beneficent Lord, who taught the use of the pen; 
who teacheth man that which he knoweth not." Then 
the angel flew away, leaving Mohammed in perplexity. 
After a time, when doubt and despondency filled his 
mind, the voice of the angel was heard speaking from a 
throne midway between heaven and earth, saying : " O 
Mohammed ! thou art the prophet of God, and I am Ga- 
briel." This he regards as his commission, and straight- 
way tells his wife. Secretly he commits the revelation 
made him to various persons, and after four years gathers 
together thirty or forty converts. Then Gabriel comes 
aeain, and brines from the Lord this message: "O thou 
covered, arise and preach, and magnify the Lord, and 
clean thy garments, and fiy every abomination." He 
obeyed this, and in consequence of the changes he urged, 
was forced to suffer persecution. Even his relatives 
turned against him. He was mocked and scorned, and 
occasionally abused. His disciples suffered with him, 
and so he sent away to Abyssinia eleven of them as 

At first his teachings had not been uncompromising ; 
but, so he thought, in a revelation he was warned that 
this was wrong, and he proceeded to burn the bridges 
behind him. Of some of the idol eods he had said : 



" Their intercession may be hoped for with God." After 
his vision he said, "These are no other than empty 
names, which ye and your fathers have made gods." 
Then the idol worshipers turned on him; he was, said 
they, a fool, a fanatic, a forger. Then they ostracized 
him; he was shut out from their homes and cut off from 
their friendship. To escape personal violence he fled 
the city, mingling with the pilgrims from distant lands as 
they journeyed to Mecca, and preaching to them his doc- 
trines. Then his wife, Khadija, died. Soon after this he 
married, and was betrothed (in his fiftieth year) to a 
child of seven years, as it is the custom of the Arabs 
to allow a man to marry as many wives as he might 

Now came the turn of the tide ; his failing fortunes 
began to rise again. A few pilgrims from Medina were 
converted. With zeal they sought to spread Mohammed's 
doctrine on their return home. They met with astonish- 
ing success, and soon the prophet's name was in every 
household in Medina, and the motto, "God is God, and 
Mohammed is His Prophet," was heard on every side. 
The prophet was invited to go and live in Medina. After 
a year, with many companions, his Medina converts re- 
turned to him at Mecca, and again pledged their fidelity. 


On the 20th of June, A. D. 622, the celebrated " Hejira," 
or flight, took place. From this day, the Mohammedans 
date their era, as Christians do from the birth of Christ. 
They regard this as the most momentous event of their 
history, for from this time forth, Mohammed's course was 
one of constant progress. After eight days' journey, 
they arrived at Medina, and in great pomp made a tri- 
umphal entry into the city. He waited until his camel 


voluntarily knelt and there built his house. Then a temple, 
I 50 feet square, was built; this is called to-day the Mosque 
of the Prophet. Here a simple worship was established. 
Mohammed was now married to Ayesha, the child to whom 
he had been betrothed. As he already had one wife he 
thus indorsed the custom of having many wives. This 
practice and, orrowing out of it, the enormity of treating- 
women as really litde better than slaves, are the conspic- 
uous blots on Mohammed's career. 


Mohammed was now established in a secure position. 
His prosperity spoiled him. He longed for greater num- 
bers of converts than he could make by preaching simpl)-, 
hence, his disordered mind prompted him to see a vision 
in which he was directed to take the sword to compel 
converts. In one of the sacred months he sent eight ot 
his followers to waylay a Mecca caravan. One man 
they killed, two others were taken prisoners and with 
their booty the Mohammedans returned to Medina. The 
next was the celebrated batde of Badr, when a troop of 
Meccans came out to destroy Mohammed and his Medina 
followers, but were themselves destroyed. Mohammed 
asserted that 3,000 angels fought with them, and that 
thus they gained the battle. This batde placed Moham- 
med where he could command (or rather demand) un- 
hesitating obedience from his followers. Battle after 
batde followed, and converts were made by the thousands. 
Mecca was subdued, and then the whole of Arabia. To 
his followers, he promised Paradise should they fall in 
the fight. Said they to him: "It is hot." He replied: 
"Hell is hotter." Mohammed was made of stern stuff; 
his indomitable will supported him in his great under- 
takings. He was not a true prophet, neither was he an 



impostor. His religion was begun, developed and com- 
pleted under what he took to be the inspiration of God. 
To all appearance he was sincere, thouL^h awfully mis- 
taken. He believed firmly in his mission and in the 


assistance of God ; he never faltered, he never hesitated, 
he went straio;ht forward. 

Thus, until his sixty-second year, his religion kept 
growing, embracing an increasing territory under its do- 



minion. At this time, he was attacked with a violent 
fever, which in less than a month ended his life. He ex- 
claimed : "Oh, to depart and be near the Lord," "Eter- 
nity of Paradise!" "Pardon!" and then the Prophet of 
Mecca was dead. 

Mecca and Medina long remained the strongholds, the 
centres of Mohammedan influence. Mecca especially 
became the Holy Place to which the faithful made their 
pilgrimages, and in the cemetery of which city they longed, 
at last, to lie in death. All Mohammedans turn, to Mecca 
in saying their prayers, and in all the mosques, by a niche 
or by some other means, the direction of Mecca is indi- 
cated as a guide to the devotions of the faithful who 
assemble there. 

Mohammed's successors, the caliphs. 

After Mohammed's death, his bosom friend, Abu 
Bekr, was elected to be his successor, called the Caliph. 
From his attachment to Mohammed he received the name 
of "The True." The name Abu Bekr means " The Father 
of the Virgin," and was given him because Ayesha, 
his daughter, was the only virgin bride of Mohammed. 
The office of Caliph was the highest that could be held 
in the Mohammedan world. All the "Faithful" recog- 
nized in the Caliph both the temporal and spiritual head. 
Abu Bekr proved a worthy successor to Mohammed. 
He put down the Bedouin rebellions, which began imme- 
diately after Mohammed's death, and not only conquered 
them, but won them to his cause, and turned their fierce 
fanaticism into the service of Mohammedanism. Abu 
Bekr was a man of the purest character, and had the 
firmest faith in Mohammed's mission. He died after a 
reign of about two years and a half, and Omar became 
the next Caliph. 



( W WW OM \K 

Under Omar, who reigned from 634 to 643 A. D., 
Mohammedanism spread northward and westward. Da- 



mascus and its neighborhood, then Palestine, and finally 
all Syria yielded to him. In 636 A. U,, Jerusalem sur- 
rendered to him. " Mounted on his camel, a bag of dates 
and a skin of water by his side — ample provision for his 
simple wants-— he made his entry into the sacred city." 
On the site of Solomon's Temple, he built the " Dome of 
the Rock," the Mosque of Omar, as it is commonly, but 
erroneously, called to this day. The Mosque of Omar 


Stands upon an artificial plateau called the Haram area. 
This is sDaringly ornamented with cypress and other 
trees and fountains. The mosque is one of the most 
prominent belongings of Jerusalem. It is second in im- 
portance only to the Mosque of the Kaaba at Mecca. It 
is 170 feet high, and 536 feet around its eight sides. In 
the interior is a gray limestone rock, from which the 
mosque sometimes takes its name, the "Dome of the 



Rock." This stone is believed by the Mohammedans to 
have " descended from heaven and to have been sus- 
pended in the air; that it attempted to follow the Prophet 
on his ascension to Paradise, but was kept back from its 
native quarry by the an^el Gabriel, who left his large 
hand-prints as a permanent memorial of the miracle!"' 


Persia soon yielded to Omar, and then Egypt. His em- 
pire now extended from Northern Syria to Southern 
Arabia, and from Eastern Persia to Western Egypt. 
Omar was the first Caliph who was called the " Prince of 
the Faithful." Though his power and honor were so great. 


"he affected no regal state, was the friend and companion 
of the beggar and poor, and in his mud palace, at Me- 
dina, was ready to share his meal with the humblest 
brother of the faith." Omar was killed by a Persian 
slave. He was succeeded by the Caliph Othman. He 
reip^ned amidst trreat turbulence and discontent until the 
year 654 A. D., when he was murdered. The next Ca- 
liph, Ali, who reigned till 660 A. D., was, likewise, as- 
sassinated. Hassan, the next Caliph, was poisoned by 
his wife. Several Caliphs, Muavia and Hosein, occupied 
the throne before Valid I. reigned. His reign extended 
from 705 to 716 A. D. Under him the empire of the 
" Prince of the Faithful " attained its greatest extent. 
It then extended from India to Spain. Thus, just about 
one hundred years from the time when Mohammed had 
received his call to enter upon his mission as the Prophet 
of God, to re-establish His worship and to destroy idola- 
try, the empire which he had founded, and the religion he 
had started, had spread over Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor, 
Spain, part of Gaul (now France). Egypt and Northern 
Africa, and over Persia and Northern India. Soon after 
this, reigned a Caliph whose name is a household word 
among us, Haroun-al-Raschid, of whom the " Arabian 
Nights" has so much to say. The Caliph preceding him 
had moved his capital to Bagdad. As the first calendar 
says, in the "Arabian Nights" story, " Haroun-al-Ras- 
chid's generosity was renowned through the world." 
The stories tell us of his wandering in disguise among 
his people to ascertain more accurately their condition, 
and thus to be better able to govern them. 

Hitherto the Caliphate has been held by Arabians; 
soon after Haroun-al-Raschid's time, it passes into the 
hands of the Turks. They have retained it without in- 
terruption down to the present day. 




Attempts were often made to roll back the tide of 
Mohammedan conquest, but without avail. Rebellions 
were put down rapidly, and no nation from without 
seemed disposed to dispute with the Mohammedans their 
possession of the conquered countries. But in the year 
1096 A. D., fired by the desire to recover the land of the 
birthplace of Christ, and anxious to revenge the insults 
and injuries heaped upon the Christian pilgrims to the 
Holy Land by the Moslems, led the Christians of West- 
ern Europe to determine to begin a Crusade. The Pope, 
Urban II., aided by the preaching of Peter the Hermit, 
succeeded in inducing an army to start for the conquest 
of Palestine. They seemed to succeed, and yet theirs 
vas a doubtful victory. They reached Jerusalem, and 
slew multitudes of the Saracen Moslems. But they 
could not retain their hold upon the city. A second 
Crusade was undertaken in 1 148 A. D., but utterly failed 
to accomplish its object. St. Bernard, who had urged on 
this Crusade, declared that it had failed because of the 
sinfulness of the Crusaders, and that none but innocent 
hands could wrest the Holy Land from the Moslem 
hands which held it. So in 121 2 began the Children's 
Crusade ; 30,000 children, under the boy-leader, Stephen, 
and 20,000 German boys and girls, under the peasant- 
lad, Nicholas, started for the conquest of Palestine, only 
to perish by sea or land, or to be carried to the slave 
" markets. Two other Crusades were commenced, but 
both failed, and to-day the Holy Land is under the do- 
minion of the Moslem Turk. The religion of Moham- 
med is still spreading, though only in Africa. It obtained 
a footing in Western China some time ago, and more 
lately spread throughout the Indian Archipelago. 


We now pass to consider the Mohammedan Bible, 
known as the Koran, and o'ive attention to its teachings. 


During the lifetime of Mohammed no attempt was made 
to collect the multitudinous revelations constituting the 
Koran into one book. The various passages had been 
written down from his lips, from time to time at their 
delivery, by some friend or follower performing the office 
of amanuensis ; or they had been first committed to 
memory, and then at some subsequent period recorded. 
For this purpose the rude materials in use among the 
Arabs were employed, as palm-leaves, leather, stone tab- 
lets, or the shoulder-blades of goats and camels. There 
was no systematic arrangement of these materials. There 
were, indeed, recognized "Suras," or chapters; and it 
seems probable that the greater part of the revelation 
was so arranged during the Prophet's lifetime, and used 
in that form for private reading, and also for recitation 
at the daily prayers. Some of the Suras were short and 
self-contained ; others were longer, and from time to 
time were added to by the command of Mohammed, who 
would direct a new revelation to be " entered in the Sura 
treating of such and such a subject." There was no fixed 
repository for these materials ; but there is reason to 
conjecture that the greater portion, or at least the most 
important chapters, were laid up in the habitation of one 
of the Prophet's wives (for he had no separate room or 
dwelling-place of his own), or left in the custody of the' 
scribes or secretaries who had first recorded them. They 
were, moreover, treasured up with pious reverence in the 
memories of the people, and transcripts of the several 
Suras or fragments, especially of those most frequently 
in use for meritorious repetition, or for public and pri- 


vate devotion, were even before the Flight in the hands 
of many persons, and so preserved with rehgious and 
even superstitious care. As the Faith extended, teacii- 
ers were sent forth to the various tribes throughout 
Arabia to instruct the new converts in the requirements 
of Islam ; and these carried with them, either in a re- 
corded torm or indelibly imprinted on the mind (for the 
Arab memory was possessed of a marvelous tenacity), 
the leading portions of the Mohammedan Revelation. 


Sir William Muir, one of the first expositors of the 
Koran, thus writes: "The teaching of the Koran is very 
simple. God has revealed Himself in various ages, under 
different dispensations, through the instrumentality of 
inspired prophets. The dispensations varied in outward 
and accidental form; but the great catholic faith in the 
unity of God and Islam (that is, submission to His will), 
underlies them all. The truth thus successively promul- 
gated was as often lost or distorted by the ignorance and 
perversity of mankind. The mission of Mohammed was to 
establish the last of these dispensations; and, while at 
tirst professing to hold that his own teaching was simply 
concurrent with that of former revelations, in the end he 
caused it to obliterate and override them all. 

" The first condition of Islam is belief in the creed : 
'There is no God but the Lord, and Mohammed is His 
Apostle.' This at once sweeps away idolaltry, and the 
'association with God' of other objects of worship; and it 
also establishes the Koran as the paramount rule of faith 
and practice. There is no priesthood in Islam. Man deals 
immediately with the Deity. Mohammed is but a Prophet, 
himself a sinner needing mercy and forgiveness. Salva- 
tion is promised to the believer; but he is at the same time 


bound to abstain from evil, and to do good works, and, in 
particular, to observe the ordinances of Islam. These 
requirements, though few and simple, pervade the whole 
life of a Mussulman. The day opens with prayer at the 
dawn ; with prayer the night closes in ; and the ceremony 
is repeated three other times, at fixed intervals, during 
the day. Each prayer consists of two or more series of 
prostrations, accompanied by ejaculatory prayer and the 
recital of short passages of the Koran. Then there are 
the prescribed tithes, or alms ; the fast throughout the 
whole month of Ramodhan (which, though rigorous from 
dawn to sunset, admits of entire relaxation by night) ; and 
the pilgrimage to Mecca, which, although not burden- 
some to the Arabs for whom it was first established, is 
evidently unsuitable for observance by all mankind. 

"That the fate of man, and whatever happens, great or 
small, has been fixed by inevitable decrees is uncondi- 
tionally asserted throughout the Koran. The doctrine 
is often intelligibly urged as a ground of resignation and 
patience under misfortune, of equanimity in success, and 
of calmness in danger; but it is not confined to such in- 
nocent and legitimate purposes. The dogma is con- 
stantly obtruded in its most naked and offensive form : 
'God misleadeth whom He pleaseth, and guideth whom 
He pleaseth aright' 'We created man upright, and then 
caused him to be the vilest of the vile.' 'The fate of 
every man have we bound about his neck ;' and so 
fortJi. But while there is nothing- to be met with in the 
Koran expressly of an opposite tenor, there is much that 
by implication conveys the sentiment of free will. Prayer 
is continually enjoined. It was practiced by Mohammed 
himself and deliverance is often ascribed to its effect. 
Men are exhorted to believe and do good works. They 
are warned against infidelity and sin, 'lest they cast them- 


selves into perdition.' Salvation, indeed, is dependent 
on faith, and faith upon the will of God; yet there are 
not wanting passages which speak of man as choosing 
the wroncr or choosing^ the riofht, and of Paradise or hell 
as the consequence. The believer is frequently bid to 
beware of the wiles of Satan. Discretion in the follow- 
ing of good or evil is implied in many parts of the Koran, 
and retribution set forth as the result of its exercise. 
Man is responsible for his own sin only. 'The burdened 
soul shall not bear the burthen of another.' Hereditary 
taint from the fall is nowhere admitted. Adam fell, it 
is true, by eating the forbidden fruit ; but his fall (as it 
would appear) was the consequence, not the cause of the 
proneness of his nature to sin. All men have sinned, 
but it has been each his own fault, acting independently, 
and not because of anything antecedent." 


We first present one ot the passages in which refer- 
ence is made to Jesus Christ. In the ninth Sura, the 
Koran says : " Fight against them who believe not in 
God, nor in the last day, and forbid not that which God 
and His apostle have forbidden, and profess not the true 
religion, of those unto whom the Scriptures have been 
delivered, until they pay tribute by right of subjection^ 
and they be reduced low. The Jews say Ezra is the son 
of God ; and the Christians say, Christ is the son of God. 
This is their saying in their mouths : they imitate the 
saying of those who were unbelievers -in former times. 
May God resist them. How are they infatuated ! They 
take their priests and their monks for their lords, besides 
God, and Christ, the son of Mary; although they are 
commanded to worship one God only: there is no God 
but He ; far be that from Him, which they associate witli 



Him! They seek to extinguish the Hght of God with 
their mouths ; but God willeth no other than to perfect 
His Hofht, althous;-h the infidels be averse thereto. It is 
He who hath sent His apostle with the direction and 
true religion; that He may cause it to appear superior 
to every other religion ; although the idolators be averse 
thereto. O, true believers, verily many of the priests 
and monks devour the substance of men in vanity, and 
obstruct the way of God. But unto those who treasure 
up gold and silver, and employ it not for the advance- 
ment of God's true religion, denounce a grievous pun- 
ishment. On the day of judgment their treasures shall 
be intensely heated in the fire of hell, and their fore- 
heads, and their sides, and their backs shall be stigma- 
tized therewith; and their tormentors shall say. This is 
what ye have treasured up for your souls; taste there- 
fore that which ye have treasured up." 

The Koran says of idols : " Omen, a parable is pro- 
pounded unto you ; wherefore hearken unto it. Verily, 
the idols which ye invoke, besides God, can never create 
a single fly, although they were all assembled for that 
purpose: and if the fly snatch anything from them, they 
cannot recover the same from it." 

Mohammed's paradise. 

Sura LVI., of the Koran, says : " These are they who 
shall approach near unto God: they shall dwell in gar- 
dens of delight. Reposing on couches adorned with 
gold and precious stones ; sitting opposite to one an- 
other thereon. Youths which shall continue in their 
bloom for ever, shall go round about to attend them, 
with goblets, and beakers, and a cup of flowing wine : 
their heads shall not ache by drinking the same, neither 
shall their reason be disturbed : and with fruits of the 


sorts which they shall choose, and the flesh of birds 
of the kind which they shall desire. And there shall 
accompany them fair damsels having- large black eyes, 
resembling pearls hidden in tiieir shells, as a reward 
for that which they shall have wrought. They shall not 
hear within any vain discourse, or any charge of sin ; 
but only the salutation, Peace ! Peace ! And the com- 
panions of the right hand (how happy shall the compan- 
ions of the right hand be !) shall have their abode among 
lote-trees free from thorns, and trees of many, loaded 
regularly with their produce from top to bottom ; under 
an extended shade, near a flowing water, and amidst 
fruits in abundance, which shall not fail, nor shall be for- 
bidden to be gathered : and they shall repose themselves 
on lofty beds. Verily, we have created the damsels of 
Paradise by a peculiar creation ; and we have made them 
virgins beloved by their husbands, of equal age with 
them; for the delight of the companions of the right 
hand. There shall be many of the former religions, and 
many of the latter. And the companions of the left hand 
(how miserable shall the companions of the left hand 
be !) shall dwell amidst burning winds and scalding water, 
under the shade of a black smoke, neither cool nor 


Sura LXXXI. says : " When the sun shall be folded 
up; and when the stars shall fall;'-' and when the moun- 
tains shall be made to pass away; and when the camels 
ten months gone with young shall be neglected; and 
when the wild beasts shall be cjathered too^ether ; and 

* Bayard Taylor writes thus : 

" Till the sun grows cold 
And the stars are old 
And the leaves of the Judgment Book unfold." 


when the seas shall boil ; and when the souls shall be 
joined again to their bodies; and when the girl who hath 
been buried alive shall be asked for what crime she was 
put to death; and when the books shall be laid open; 
and when the heavens shall be removed; and when hell 
shall burn fiercely; and when Paradise shall be brought 
near; every soul shall know what it hath wrought" 





One silver crescent in the twilight sky is hanging, 

Another tips the solemn dome of yonder mosque, 
And now the Muezzin's call is heard, sonorous, clanging. 

Through thronged bazaar, concealed harem and cool kiosk: 
"In the Prophet's name, God is God, and there is no other." 
, On roofs, in streets, or closets, beside his brother, 

Each Moslem kneels, his forehead turned toward Mecca's shrine, 
And all the world forgotten in the one thought divine. 

William Rounseville Alger. 

"La Illah il' Allah !" the Muezzin's call, 
Comes from the minaret, slim and tall, 
That looks o'er the distant city wall. 

" La Illah il' Allah !" the Faithful heed, 
With God and the Prophet this hour to plead, 
Whose ear is open to hear their need. 

Bayard Taylor. 

THE Mohammedan mosques vary somewhat In 
their style of architecture in different countries. 
Their builders borrowed, generally, from the style 
of the various nations who adopted the Moslem faith. In 
Christian lands, they seized upon the Christian churches 
or cathedrals, and turned them Into mosques; in India, 
the mosques are patterned after the temples of the Bud- 
dhist Jains (this maybe seen in the Mohammedan mosque 
on the Hooghly River, near Calcutta) ; and In Turkey, 
they accepted the model of the Byzantine architecture of 
Constantinople. Two or three features are common In 
all. The dome is one of the most common ana most 



beautiful features of the mosques. Sometimes there is 
an open square in each mosque, in the centre of which is 
a tank or fountain, for the washing required in Moham- 
medan worship. Arabesques and sentences from the 

==^ Koran are in- 
M scribed upon 
^m the walls; and 
^^ ^^^ ^^^^== never is there 
E an imao^e or 
^ picture of any 
- living- thing to 
^ be discovered 
^ in any part of 
a mosque. 
the floors are 
covered with 
mats or rugs ; 
there are no 
pews, seats or 
benches, for 
the worshiper 
sits, in Ori- 
ental fashion, 
J T Li' 1F!1 "^ TIL ~L~ ^-' — i__^:-_5::ss-sss^^ ^s!'\\\\ his feet 


der him, upon 
the floor. In one corner — the south-east — is a pulpit 
for the Imam or teacher. The Imam is the most honored 
of Moslem teachers, and always wears a turban higher 
than that of the common teachers, readers or Moslems 
generally. The people hold them in great reverence. 
In the direction of Mecca, there is a niche in every 
mosque, toward which the faithful must look whenever 






they pray. Opposite the pulpit is a platform having a 
reading-desk, upon which is a copy of the Koran — in 
Arabic, of course — for the Moslems never allow the Ko- 
ran to be translated ; and as to printing it, that is not 
them, except 
from litho- 
graphs, so as 
to keep up the 
that it is writ- 
ten. No copy 
for a public 
be allowed to 

be printed. Publication in the languages is not permitted, 
except far away from Arabia. It would be thought grossly 
unholy in Turkey to attempt such a thing. 


The congregations of the faithful gather for worship 
in the mosques on Fridays. This is the Moslem Sab- 
bath, because, say they, Adam was created and died on 
Friday, and because on Friday the world will be judged. 
The worship consists simply of prayers and washings, 
with an occasional sermon on a text from the Koran. 
During the service every one maintains the utmost sol- 
emnity ; though, after the service they lounge, chat and 
even make bargains in the sacred building. On entering 
the mosque, the Moslem removes his shoes, carrying 
them in his left hand, sole to sole, with great care, putting 
his right foot first over the threshold. He then goes 
through with the necessary ablutions (often a mere sham, 
a mere going through the motions,) and takes his place 



Upon the matting, laying his shoes before him. The wor- 
shipers generally arrange themselves in rows facing the 
niche toward Mecca. Women seldom go to the mosques, 
and if they do, they sit apart from the men. The reason 
for this is that the Koran does not say that women must 
pray, and many Moslems believe that women have no 
souls. Yet they believe that they will enter Paradise, 
but this is only that they may continue to be slaves of 


men ; each of the faithful is to have in Paradise, so they 
believe, 80,000 slaves and 72 wives, in addition to those 
he had in life and who evinced a faithful spirit. 


The Dervishes are Mohammedan monks. They are 
among the most curious devotees of the Moslem religion. 
They perform their wonderful feats on Friday afternoons 
in the mosques. Dr. Philip Schaff writes of one of their 
performances which he witnessed: "After the preliminary 



exercises of prayer and prostration, tliey whirl around on 
their toes, ring within ring, without touching each other, 
for about an hour, until they are utterly exhausted. I 
saw thirteen of them all dressed in flowinor o-owns, and 


with hieh white hats of stiff woolen stuff; their hands 
were stretched or raised to heaven, their eyes half closed, 
and their minds apparently absorbed in the contempla- 


tion of Allah. They made about forty or fifty turnings a 
minute. The Howling Dervishes swing their heads up 
and down, crying incessantly with all their might, ' La Ilaha, 
ill' Allah!' and some other phrases, until they are stopped 
by sheer exhaustion." All this is done for the same 
reasons for which the Fakirs of India, and the devotees 
of other nations torment their bodies. 


In the north-west provinces of India there lived a Der- 
vish who was never guilty of using his tongue too freely 
in conversation. If a nod or a sign would do, he would 
spare his words. He was considered a quiet, inoffensive, 
but shrewd man. He went by the name of " the holy 

In the san-ie place there lived a rich, native gentleman, 
good-natured, but given now and then to frolics. 

One day he proposed to some friends to go together 
and pay the holy Dervish a visit. 'T wish," the gentle- 
man said, " to puzzle him with three questions which he 
will never be able to answer." They found the holy man 
sitting near his hut in a newly-plowed field. 

The Mohammedan gentleman walked up to him, and 
with great mock humility said unto him, " Holy father, I 
am troubled with three questions; will you kindly answer 
them to me?" The Dervish gave an affirmative nod. 

The gentleman began. " The first question, holy 
father, is about God. People say that there is a God ; 
but I cannot see Him, and no one can show Him to me, 
and therefore, I cannot believe that there is a God. Will 
you answer this question?" A nod was the answer ot 
the Dervish, 

" My second question," the gentleman continued, "is 
about Satan. The Koran says that Satan Is created of 



fire. Now, if Satan be created of fire, how can hell-fire 
hurt him ? Will you explain that too ?" A nod. 

" The third question refers to myself. It is said in the 
Koran, that every action of man is decreed ; now, if it 
be decreed that I must commit a certain action, how can 
God bring- me into judgment for that action, Himself 
having decreed it? Please, holy lather, answer me." 

A nod was given by the Dervish, and whilst the party 
were standing and gazing at him, he quietly seized a clod 
from the newly-plowed field and sent it with all his 
might at the gentleman's face. The gentleman became 
furious, and had the Dervish carried before the judge. 

Arriving in court the gentleman stated his complaint, 
saying the pain in his head was so severe that he hardly 
knew how to bear it. 

The judge looked at the Dervish, and asked whether 
these things were so? A nod was the reply; but the 
judge said, " Please explain yourself, for nods will not do 
in my court." 

The Dervish replied, " This gentleman came to me 
with his companions, and asked three questions which I 
carefully answered." 

" He did no such thing," the gentleman exclaimed ; " a clod 
of earth he threw into my face — and oh, how it pains me !" 

The judge looked at the Dervish, and said, '' Explain 

'.'I will," was the answer. "Please, your honor, this 
gentleman said to me that people maintained that there 
was a God, but he could not see Him, nor could any one 
show him God, and therefore he could not believe that 
there was a God. Now he says he has pain in his face 
from the clod I threw at him, but I cannot see his 
pain. Will your honor kindly ask him to show us his 
pain, for how can I believe he has any if I cannot see it?" 



" Again, this gentleman asked, that if Satan was cre- 
ated of fire, how could hell-fire hurt him ? Now, the 
orentleman will admit that Father Adam was created of 
earth, and that himselt also is earth. Now if he be earth, 
how could a clod of earth hurt him ?" 

And as to the third question, the Dervish drew him- 
self up and said with great dignity, "Sir, if it be written 
in my fate to throw a clod at this gentleman's face, how 
can and dare he bring me before the judge?" 

The judge allowed that the Dervish had answered the 
three questions with his clod, but admonished him to an- 
swer questions in future in a more becoming way, as he 
might not be able to get himself off so easily trom the 
usual penalties at another time. 


Five dmes daily the Moslem says his prayers. On the 
ship, in the street, in the house or store, wherever he 
may be, and forgetful of all his surroundings, at the hour 

of prayer he spreads his 
mat, sits upon it, turning 
his face toward Mecca, 
raises his hands to heaven, 
then bends until his fore- 
head almost touches the 
ground. His prayer is, 
^ generally, a recital of the 
first chapter of the Koran. 
,^% The five hours of prayer 
^ are, first, between day- 
break and sunrise, a litde 

MOSLEM BOY STUDYING THE KORAV ^^^^ ^^^^^ -^^ ^|^g ^ftgi- 

noon, four minutes after sunset, and at night-fall. The 
times of prayer are announced from the minaret, or 



tower, of each mosque, by the Muezzin, one of the under- 
officers of the mosque. He chants the words "Allah 
is great. I testify that there is no God but Allah. I tes- 
tify that Mohammed is the apostle of Allah. Come to 
prayer. Come to security. Allah is most great. There 
is no Deity but Allah!" In the morning he adds, 
" Prayer is better than sleep." At night, for the sake of 
the very pious, two extra calls for prayer are sounded. 
Blind men are often chosen to be Muezzins, because the 
high position of the minaret would enable one who could 
see to eet too full a view of the interior of the neioh- 
borino- houses and harems. The faithful from earliest 
childhood are required to be diligent students of the 


One of the most celebrated mosques is that of St. 


Sophia, at Constantinople. This was once a Christian 
cathedral. It was originally built by Constantine the 


Great, in 325 A. D. It was destroyed in 404 A. D., re- 
built, and again destroyed in 532. After this Justinian 
restored it. It took seven years to build it. Ten thou- 
sand workmen were employed in its erection. It was 
built of materials gathered from all over the Roman 
Empire, and comprised remains of almost every cele- 
brated heathen temple of ancient times. The dome of 
the tabernacle was of solid gold, and was surmounted by 
a solid golden cross, encrusted with precious stones, in 
all weighing seventy-five pounds. The whole cathedral is 
said to have cost more than $65,000,000 (Mr. Neale's 
estimate, in his volume on the " Eastern Church.") 
In the year 1453 A. D., when the Turks entered Con- 
stantinople, they appropriated this cathedral for a 
mosque. The Christian emblems were removed, de- 
stroyed or covered up with plaster; the crosses were 
chiseled out of the walls ; the great cross on the summit 
of the dome was removed, and the crescent took its 
place. The crescent is a half moon, with the horns 
turned upward. It is the distinctive Turkish emblem, 
and, in some sense, the Mohammedan symbol also. 


In Delhi itself is probably the finest Mohammedan 
mosque in all India. This is called the Jummah Musjid 
(the Pearl Mosque). It is built entirely of sandstone, and 
is raised upon a high terrace. This masterpiece of Indo- 
Mohammedan architecture is the most venerable monu- 
ment of the Moslems in India. Vivid though severe 
colors clothe every part of the building. After mounting 
long flights of steps, the visitor passes through huge 
bronze doors into a large, open court, with a fountain in 
its centre. At one side is a piece of black marble, in 
which is the print of Mohammed's foot — at least, the priests 



say so. In the Interior, the roof, pillars and pavement 
are of the purest white marble, embroidered with finest 

arabesques. These arabesques are r^omposed of colored 
marbles, and precious stones inlaid in the marble in vari- 
ous patterns of scroll-work or of inscription. Bishop 



Heber said of this structure: "This spotless sanctuary, 
showino- such a pure spirit of adoration, made me, a 

Christian, feel humbled, when I considered that no archi- 
tect of our relif^ion had ever been able to produce any- 

A/OII.i:./Mi^^).L\ MOSQi'ES AXD WORSHIP. j cj 




thing equal to this temple of Allah." But the worship is 
not now so pure. The building is reverenced by the 
Mohammedans, not merely on account of its age or won- 
drous beauty, but because it contains a most highly- 
esteemed relic of Mohammed. From a small nook ot 
solid marble, with a carefully-locked door, the priests 
take, for the inspection of visitors and devotees, a small 
silver case ; with slowest, most cautious reverence, the 
casket is unlocked, and the priest exposes to view — a 
hair from Mohammed' s beard. What would that fierce 
hater of relics and idols, Mohammed, say, could he but 
see how far his modern disciples have departed from his 
teachings ? Besides the hair, they retain as relics a gar- 
ment and a pair of sandals which once belonged to the 

Delhi is to the Moslems of India what Mecca is to the 
Moslems of Arabia and Egypt. The city is surrounded 
by walls seven miles in extent. In the suburbs one rides 
through miles of ruins of mosques, towers and tombs. 
Few cities have had as splendid a career as Delhi, and few 
have suffered as greatly. One of the marks of the Mo- 
hammedan conquest in India, 600 years ago, is the giant 
tower of the Koutub, near Agra. It is the highest tower, 
standing alone, in the world ; built of red sandstone, 
fluted, and has five stories. The mention of Agra recalls 
one of the most famous structures of the world, erected 
by a Moslem Mogul of India. Shortly after a visit to this 
famous Mohammedan monument, Dr. H. M. Field wrote 
the accompanying description of it and of his visit : 


The jewel of India — the Koh-i-noor of its beauty — is 
the Taj, the tomb built by the Emperor Shah Jehan, the 
grandson of Akbar, for his wife, whom he loved with an 



idolatrous affection, and on her death-bed promised to 
rear to her memory such a mausoleum as had never been 


erected before. To carry out his purpose, he gathered 
architects from all countries, who rivaled each other in 
the extravagance and costliness of their designs. The 



result was a structure which cost fabulous sums of money 
(the whole empire being- placed under contribution for it, 
as were the Jews for the Temple of Solomon), and em- 
ployed 20,000 workmen for seventeen years. The build- 
ino- dius erected is one of the most famous in the world 
— like the Alhambra or St Peter's — and of which enthu- 
siastic travelers are apt to say that it is worth going- 
around the world to see. This would almost discourage 
the attempt to describe it, but I will try and give some 
faint idea of its marvelous beauty. 

But how can I describe to others what is but a picture 
in my memory? Descriptions of architecture are apt to 
be vague, unless aided by pictorial illustrations. Mere 
figures and measurements are dry and cold. The most 
I shall aim at will be to give a general (but I hope not 
\x\d\'~,V\\\Q.\) impression of it. For this, let us approach it 

It stands on the banks of the Jumna, a mile below the 
fort at Agra. As you approach it, it is not exposed ab- 
ruptly to view, but is surrounded by a garden. You 
enter under a lofty gateway, and before you is an avenue 
of cypresses, a third of a mile long, whose dark foliage is 
a settine for a form of dazzlinor whiteness at the end. 
That is the Taj. It stands, not on the level of your eye, 
but on a double terrace ; the first, of red sandstone, 20 
feet high and i ,000 feet broad, at the extremities of which 
stand two mosques, of the same dark stone, facing each 
other. Midway between rises the second terrace, of 
marble, 1 5 feet high and 300 feet square, on the corners 
of which stand four marble minarets. In the centre of 
all, thus " reared in air," stands the Taj. It is built of 
marble — no other material than this, of pure and stain- 
less white, was fit for a purpose so sacred. It is 150 feet 
square (or rather, it is eight-sided, since the corners are 


truncated), and surmounted by a dome, which rises nearly 
200 feet above the pavement below. 

These figures rather belittle the Taj, or, at least, dis- 
appoint those who looked for great size. There are 
many larger buildings in the world. But that which dis- 
tinguishes it from all others, and gives it a rare and ideal 
beauty, is the union of majesty and grace. This is the 
peculiar effect of Saracenic architecture. The slender 
columns, the springing arches, the swelling domes, the 
tall minarets, all combine to give an impression of airy 
lightness, which is not destroyed even when the founda- 
tions are laid with massive solidity. But it is in the finish 
of their structure that they excelled all the world. 
Bishop Heber said truly : " They built like Titans and 
finished like jewelers," This union of two opposite fea- 
tures makes the beauty of the Taj. While its walls are 
thick and strong, they are pierced by high arched win- 
dows which relieve their heaviness. Vines and ara- 
besques running over the stone-work give it the light- 
ness of foliage, of trees blossoming with flowers. In the 
interior there is an extreme and almost feminine grace, 
as if here the strength of man would pay homage to the 
delicacy of woman. Inclosing the sacred place is a 
screen of marble, carved into a kind of fret-work, and 
so pure and white that light shines through it as through 
alabaster, falling softly on that which is within. The 
Emperor, bereaved of his wife, lavished riches on her 
very dust, casting precious stones upon her tomb as if 
he were placing a string of pearls around her neck. It 
is overrun with vines and flowers, cut in stone, and set 
with onyx, and jasper, and lapis-lazuli, carnelians and 
turquoises, and chalcedonies, and sapphires. 

But the body rests in the crypt below. We descend 
a lew steps and stand by the very sarcophagus in which 



all that loveliness is enshrined. Another sarcophagus 
contains the body of her husband. Their tombs were 
covered with fresh flowers, a perpetual tribute to that love 
which was so strong even on the throne, to those who 
were thus united in life, and in death are not divided. 


Here sentiment comes in to affect our sense of the 
beauty of the place. If it were not for the touching his- 
tory connected with it, I could not agree with those who 
pronounce the Taj the most beautiful building in the 
world. Merely as a building, it does not "overcome" 
me so much as another marble structure — the Cathedral 


of Milan, I could not say with Bishop Heber that the 
mosques of Islam are more beautiful, or more in har- 
mony witli the spirit of devotion, than Christian churches 
or cathedrals. But the Taj is not a mosque, it is a tomb 
— a monument to the dead. And that gives it a tender 
interest, which spiritualizes the cold marble, and makes 
it more than a building — a poem and a dream. 

As we came out the moon was riding high overhead, 
flooding the marble pile with beauty. Round and 
round we walked, looking up at arch and dome and 
minaret. At such an hour the Taj was so pale and ghost- 
like, that it did not seem like a building reared by human 
hands, but to have grown where it stood — like a night- 
blooming Cereus, rising slowly in the moonlight — lifting its 
domes and pinnacles (like branches growing heaven- 
ward) toward that world which is the home of the love 
which it was to preserve in perpetual memory. 

With such thoughts we kept our eyes fixed on that 
glittering vision, as if we feared that even as we gazed 
it might vanish out of our sight. Below us the Jumna, 
flowing silently, seemed like an image of human life as it 
glided by. And so at last we turned to depart, and bade 
farewell to the Taj, feeling that we should never look at 
it again; but hoping that it might stand for ages to tell 
its history of faithful love to future generations. Flow 
on, sweet Jumna, by the marble walls, reflecting the 
moonbeams on thy placid breast; and in thy gentle mur- 
murs whispering evermore of Love and Death, and Love 
that cannot die ! 


Mecca, the birthplace of Mohammed, is tJie holy place 
of the Moslems, The Kaaba, Mohammed's homestead, 
is the holy place of Mecca, From all over Moslemdom 



once in every year great caravans go to visit the birth- 
place of the prophet. This is tlie event in the Hves of the 



faithful. The long processions, mounted on camels, 
o-orgeously caparisoned, file out from the cities, and across 
hill, and plain, and over the desert to Mecca. Mohamme- 
danism is probably the most active of the non-Christian 
religions. The pilgrimages, the numbers of missionaries 
and the seeming devotion of the people, as manifested in 
their attendance at the mosques, and on the occasions of 
festivals indicate this. One of their festivals, celebrated in 
India, arouses their religious zeal, and carries it to the 
highest pitch of fanaticism. This is the feast of Mohur- 
rim, the Moslem "Feast of Martyrs," commemorating 
the bloody death of Mohammed's grandsons. "The 
martyrdom of these Moslem saints is commemorated by 
little shrines in their houses, made of paper and tinsel, 
and on the great day of the feast they go in procession 
out of the city (of Delhi) to a cemetery five miles distant 
where they bury them in newly-opened graves. Men, 
women and children by tens of thousands on foot, and 
others in bullock-carts or mounted on horses, camels and 
elephants. Immense crowds gather by the road-side, 
mounting the steps of old palaces or climbing to the 
tops of houses, to see this mighty procession pass, as It 
goes rolling forward in a wild frenzy to the cemetery. 
There they lay down these images of their saints as they 
would bury their dead." 


The Mohammedan religion was established by the 
sword, it has constantly suffered by the sword, it seems 
destined to perish by the sword. Its history is tracked 
with blood. It has kept back the nations that have ac- 
cepted it, retarding their progress. It has degraded 
woman. It has no teachings of sin or a Sacrifice or a 
Saviour. God is the "All merciful," but His mercy is, 


accordinor to Moslem teachinofs, with utter disreofard of 
justice. To be a Moslem is all that is necessary to ob- 
tain mercy, to refuse to yield to the faith of Mohammed 
is all that is needed to deprive one of God's mercy. The 
idea of God is cold and cruel, with no idea of the Father. 
But Mohammedanism has rendered this service to the 
world, it has greatly lessened idolatry. The most stub- 
born opposition to Christian missionary work comes from 
the Mohammedans. But the whole building of Moham- 
medanism, especially in its political relations, seems to be 
totterinof and crumblinof, and threatens soon to fall in 

May the Cross soon gain a peaceful, bloodless triumph 
over the Crescent ! 





There is a cry in Burmah, and a rush 

Of thousand footsteps from the distant bound 

Of watery Siam and the rich Cathay. 

Not for food 
Or raiment ask they. Simply girding on 
The scanty garment o'er the weary limb, 
They pass unmarked the lofty domes of wealth 
Inquiring for a stranger. There he stands; 
The mark of foreign climes is on his brow ; 
He hath no power, no costly gifts to deal 
Among the people and his lore perchance 
The earth-bowed worklling, with his scales of gold, 
.^ccounteth folly. Yet to him is raised 
Each straining eyeball, "Tell us of the Christ !" 
And like the far-off murmur of the sea 
Lashed by the tempest, swelled their blended tone, 
" Sir, we would hear of Christ. Give us a scroll 
Bearing His name." 

Mrs. L. H. Sigourney. 

BEFORE concluding the pleasant task upon which 
he has been engaged so long, the author feels that 
it will be necessary to meet the expectation that 
he should say something about the work of bringing the 
world back to its first worship. At first, we have seen, 
the world worshiped one God; then many gods and idols 
were introduced. Repeated efforts to restore the pure 
worship of primitive times ended in failure. Zoroaster 
tried and failed; Buddha tried, and he failed; Moham- 


IDOL woRSinr of the world. 

med tried, and he failed ; Jesus the Christ tried, and He 
did not fail. 


The ground of the success of Christianity lies in its 

superior character. Its revelations are clearer and fuller, 
its motives are purer, and its hopes are higher than those 
of any heathen system. One may glean the choicest 



sayings of the masters of religious teachings, and in com- 
parison with those of Jesus the Christ, their hght is as 
that of a candle compared with the light of the sun. 
Undoubtedly this conviction has forced itself upon the 
mind of the reader as he has considered the various sys- 
tems of religion; that there is not one among them all 
that cap do for the world that which Christianity can ac- 
complish. Compare the founders of religions with the 
Founder of Christianity, in their lives, characters and 
teachings. Compare together the sacred books ; the 
Vedas, the laws of Manu, the Zend-Avesta, the Tripi- 
takas and the Koran, with the Bible. Compare the ef- 
fects of these religions upon the political, social, civil and 
domestic life of the people with the effects of Christian- 
ity; compare Christian and heathen lands. Christian and 
heathen homes, Christian and heathen governments. 
Compare the best parts of the best of heathen religions 
with any part of Christianity. One cannot but see the 
marked contrasts, and the infinite superiority of Chris- 
tianity. This being so, then does it not follow that they 
who are seeking to give the Gospel of Jesus the Christ 
to the world are rendering a service to the cause of hu- 
manity? And they are but obeying the command of 
Jesus Christ to ''preach the Gospel to every creature." 
A young curate, who had fed on Sydney Smith's diet of 
sarcastic witticisms, once approached the Duke of Wel- 
lington with the question, " Do you not think that the 
work of converting the Hindus is all a fanatical farce?" 
"Look to your marching orders, sir!" the stern old Iron 
Duke replied. Common gratitude moves us to desire 
that the world shall be made to know of Jesus Christ. 
When we read of the worship of our heathen ancestors, 
and remember that we should have been doing to-day as 
they did, had it not been for the Christian men who took 


the Gospel to England, we feel new obligatrons resting 
upon ns. Further, all things are working to this end. 
Inventions, explorations, the discoveries of science, pro- 
gress in government, everything waits upon this work. 


It began 1,850 years ago. A Christian man. named 
Paul went among the heathen of Asia Minor and South- 
eastern Europe — among the worshipers of the gods of 
Greece and Rome — to tell them of Christ. He was ac- 
companied by other Christians. They met with con- 
siderable success, though they were made to suffer for it. 

In later years, from Rome, that had then become 
the centre of Christianity, other Christians went to 
Western Europe. From Greenland, of the Arctic Zone, 
to the West Indies, of the Tropics, Christianity was ex- 
tended. Nation after nation gave up its idols, cruel 
customs were abolished, and a purer life and worship 
was bep-un. But it was left for the last hundred years to 
witness the development of this work to its greatest 


The Christian camp-fires are lighted and the tents of 
the Christian army have been erected in almost every 
land of the globe. The conquering army pursues only 
peaceful methods; it does not seek to drive but to win; 
not to harm but to help. In gaining its present position 
many lives have been lost, many sacrifices have been 
made. It has had to contend for the ground it occupies, 
inch by inch ; the forces of idolatry have been mustered 
against its advance. The giant Goliath. Heathenism, has 
counted on a speedy destruction of the stripling David, 
Christianity. One country after another has opened its 



doors to the coming- of Christianity. India, in the year 
I 705, opened her doors only to close them again after a 
little ; since 1830, however, the work has been prosecuted 
vigorously. China, in 1807, and Japan, in 1859, wel- 
comed the first Protestant Christian missionaries. Thus, 
too, other countries of Asia, Africa and the Islands of the 
Pacific have received the Christian heralds, within the 
last hundred years. Now behold them marshaled for 
the fight. Let us hastily glance at the various fields in 


Let us rub our Aladdin's lamps, and summon the 
genii to bear us away over the world. Let us on imagi- 
nation's swift wings fly over the battle-fields. '=' 

In Japan we see Buddhism being galvanized into a 
new life for the moment, and Shintoism cast oft by the gov- 
ernment and in great part by the people. We see a few 
new temples being erected, but many old ones falling into 
ruins. Western ideas have been introduced, and western 
civilization is making rapid progress in this most eastern 
land. One hundred and twenty-three Christian mission- 
aries have won 3,000 Japanese to join their churches. 
The Japanese have the New Testament in their own 
laneuaee. Corea has iust been reached bv missionaries, 
and the New Testament is being published in the Corean 

Old China is being brought to the childhood of con- 
version to Christ; her conservatism is passing away; her 
exclusive policy is being yielded up; her hatred of the 

* The facts and figures that follow are gathered from the latest reports of over 
seventy missionary societies of Germany, France, Great Britain and America. These 
are in the writer's possession, and from them he presents the latest ascertainable re- 
turns to March 20th, 1881. 


foreigners (the "foreign devils" and "barbarians") is 
being overcome and replaced by respect and in some 
cases by love. To-day a man behaving himself properly 
and not bearing himself insolently, can travel unmolested 
in any part of China, even where foreigners once were 
murdered. Every one of its provinces has been visited 
by Christian missionaries ; in almost all they reside. The 
language (said to have been invented by the devil to 
perplex missionaries) is very thoroughly understood and 
used. Their false science and law is being replaced by 
true instruction. Christ is taking Confucius's place, as it 
is seen that his teaching can never regenerate China. 
Buddha's dreary faith of annihilation, and Lao-tze's super- 
stitious materialism are being slowly yielded up by the 
people. The taking of this Gibraltar of heathenism is 
by no means accomplished ; yet her walls are being 
scaled, and a foothold on their summit gained. They that 
have turned the world upside down have gone thither 
also. By unique and unexpected providence, God is 
aiding His workers. The recent terrible famine was such 
a providence. Yet while the number of converts is not 
great, a very great deal of unseen work has been ac- 
complished. It seems as though a whole legion of devils 
catch up the seed of the Gospel sown in China, almost 
as quickly as it touches the ground ; still some, and much, 
brings forth good fruit. Considering the powerful oppo- 
sition, the gigantic obstacles, the almost insurmountable 
difficulties, that there should be 19,000 living Chinese 
Christians to-day, and probably 85,000 nominal Chris- 
tians, is surprising. To-day 496 missionaries are at work 
in China, seekincr to convert its 400,000.000 people. 

Moravian missionaries are preaching the Gospel of 
Christ on the borders of Thibet, the stronghold of Bud- 
dhism. It is here that the Buddhist Lama or Pope resides. 


In Siam great changes have recently occurred. The 
country is now open to foreigners ; a missionary is in 
charge of the government school and this nation, like 
Japan, seems to be progressing toward the light. Twenty- 
four missionaries (one among Chinese colonists), with 631 
converts represent the strength of the churcK there. 

In Assam "the light of a brighter day gilds the hill- 
tops and spreads along the valleys, ripening the long 
corn-fields for the reaper's sickle." Long and patient 
toil has not as yet been rewarded with great harvest 
gatherings, but the missionaries look forward in patient 
waiting for a better day. There are 1 3 churches, with 
1,800 members; 26 missionaries, and 75 native preachers. 

There are European missionaries in Borneo, Celebes, 
and the Moluccas ; amongf the aborigines of Australia, 
and in the Island of Mauritius. 

What a grand work has been done in Burmah, where 
missionary labor has been so emphatically blessed ; among 
Burmese, Karens, Shans and Kakyens. The young mis- 
sion at Bhamo is in a precarious condition at present, 
owing to the relations of King Thee-bau to England ; yet 
the missionaries there stand by their posts. The Bud- 
dhism of Burmah seems as yet but little affected by the 
presence of Christianity ; the work among the Karens 
has made more rapid progress than among the Burmese, 
because of the preparation for the Gospel by their singu- 
lar traditions and prophecies. There are 23,000 Chris- 
tians, the nucleus of a Christian community of about 
75,000. There are 103 missionaries in Burmah. 

India has been very thoroughly evangelized. The 
opposition of the representatives of so-called Christian 
nations, the strength of caste, and the attachment to the 
elaborate system of Hinduism were the principal obsta- 
cles to the progress of Christianity, Five-sixths of all 


IDOL WORSHIP or the world. 

the converts are from the lower castes or ranks of the 
people. By education in mission-schools, but mainly by 
direct preaching, about 1 15,000 converts have been made. 
There is a native Christian community (M. A. Sherring 
says) of a half a million. Six hundred and seven missiona- 


ries were at work in 1875. One of the most extraordinary 
events of all modern missionary history was the sudden 
turning of the thousands of Teloogoos to Christ. The 
people of India have been greatly enlightened, thought 
awakened, and a wonderful transformation is occurring. 
The sacrifice of infants, the horrible practice of suttee, the 
Juggernaut festivals, are no more tolerated. English and 
American ladies have crained an entrance into the zena- 


nas, and the women ot India are becoming' aware of a 
new lile of which they never dreamed. All over India, 
Christian villages and churches dot the land; and before 
another generation has passed away, if the increase shall 
be proportionate to the recent past, India will be a Chris- 
tian country. The Brahmo-Somaj, a sort of reform on 
Brahminism, has recently drawn very near to Christianit)'. 
and as illustrated by Keshub Chunder Sen's recent re- 
markable address may soon become a Christian body. 

Little has been undertaken in Afghanistan, Beloochistan 
or Arabia, as yet. There are 29 missionories and 1,376 
converts in Persia. The converts are principally from 
the Nestorians, who have long been nominally Christians. 
Access to the Mohammedans is becoming easier. 

In Turkey, momentous changes are occurring. The 
despicable, despotic government is losing its power. 
Here the first triumphs of the first missionaries were 
won. The old Armenian race, the Anglo-Saxons of the 
East, who received Christianity in the fourth century, 
have In later years shown a remarkable readiness to re- 
ceive Protestant preaching. The Mohammedans, here 
as elsewhere, are almost inaccessible. In Constantinople 
alone, a city of the size of Philadelphia, they have 300 
mosques. There are 158 missionaries in Turkey, and 
7,200 converts, and 14,000 children in their schools. In 
Syria there is a strong missionary body. It is difficult 
to reach the jews, Mussulmans and Christians (Greek 
and Roman Catholic churches), because of their exceed- 
ing religiosity. The American Congregationalists and 
Presbyterians, and also the Church of England, have 
missionaries here. There are 1,317 Protestant Chris- 
tians, no missionaries, and 12,057 scholars in Syria. 

Central Asia is almost the only part of the world yet 
closed against the Gospel, though even here a little has 



been done by the brave old Joseph Wolff and English 

Africa, the dark continent, has a population of about 
200,000,000. Mohammedanism has thoroughly overrun 
Africa, especially the northern pordons. Fetichism, the 
lowest form of idolatry, holds the great mass of the Af- 
rican peoples. There are two missions in Egypt ; the 
British, with one missionary and two stations, and the 
American, with twenty-two missionaries, thirty-four sta- 
tions and 1,000 members, mainly from the Copts, an old 
Christian sect. The children in the mission-schools are 
mostly Mohammedan. In .South Africa twelve or fifteen 
societies have not less than 40,000 converts. The west- 
ern coast, from Sierra Leone to the Gulf of Guinea, is 
frino-ed with Christian missions. At the mouth of the 
Congfo, on the west, and on the Nio^er and Zanzibar 
coast, on the east, the missions are flourishincr. The 
greatest interest attaches to the very recent occupancy 
of Central Africa. On November 15th, 1876, Stanley's 
famous letter, mentioning King Mtesa's request for 
Christian teachers, was received. A few days after, 
^20,000 were offered to found a mission at Victoria Ny- 
anza. Within seven months a picked party of seven 
missionaries stood on the eastern shore of Africa, They 
have experienced great difficulties and met with slight 

Madagascar may be called a Christian country now, 
as may also the Sandwich Islands, the British West In- 
dies, and, perhaps, the greater part of the islands of Poly- 
nesia. In Mexico, and in South America, as in the Papal 
lands of Europe, Protestant missionaries are laboring. 

" The field is the world ;" the motto is — the world for 
Christ and Christ for the world. The great triumphs of 
the past are being eclipsed by the greater ones of the 



present. The old decrepit and deformed sects of Chris- 
tianity, long sleeping if not long dead, are taking on a 
new life. The Pagan religions are attempting the im- 
possible task of preventing the incoming of Christianity; 
but their thraldom is broken, and everywhere the dropping 
of the broken fetters is heard. Mohammedanism alone 
is gathering itself with vigor to resist and repel and 
overcome Christianity, but its sword has been wrested 
from its grasp. The conquests of Christianity have not 
been won by might of sword ; her victories over old 
faiths have not been gained by worldly wisdom. By 
love, by persuasion, by patient toil and suffering, the self- 
offered but God-called missionaries have done this work, 
God be praised for their lives, their works and their suc- 
cesses. May the day soon come when, his " Gospel hav- 
ing been published throughout the whole world for a 
testimony to all the nations," Christ, by whose command 
they went forth, shall come and gather out of all nations 
His own! 



Abhidharma 514 

Abu Bekr 728 

Abyssinia 7^4 

Ad'ar 130 

Aditi 216 

Africa 341 

African Religion, 89, 341 ; Missions, 776 

African Travelers 341 

Agni 216 

Agra 760 

Agincola I95 

Agriculture, Temiile of, at Peking . 467 

Ahriman 410 

Ainos 716 

Akamatz 669, 673 

Alaskans 362, 37 1 

Alexander 4^2 

Alger, W. R 74^ 

Allegory of Winter and Spring . . 369 

Altars 60 

Amaterasu 3'' 

Amazon sun-worsliip 377 

American Indians, 361; Traditions 

of Deluge 72 

Anion ^04 

Ancestors, Worship of . . 364, 481, 486 

Angkor 592 

Anubis 104 

Apis 106 

Apollo and Hermes 159 

Arabian Night's Entertainment . . 567 

Arab slave-dealers 341 

Araucanians 378 

Arhans 626, 687 

Arnold, Edwin . . . 500, 507, 522, 598 

Arnold, Matthew 184 

Asakusa 673 

Ashtoreth 141 

Asoka ...... 5 1 3^527. 532, 540 

Assamese Missions 773 

Asshur 127 

Assyrian Triad, 128; Bull. ... 135 

Atagosa-Yama 686 

Athens 167 

Augustine 209 

Avesta 41' 

Aztecs 53' 379 


Baal 142, i94 

Baalbec, Temple of Sun at . . . . 583 

Baal-Peor 141 

Babel, Chaldean story of 74 

Babylon ^35 

Bangkok, Pagoda of 576 

Baruch 138 

Basutos 347 

Bear Worship 7'7 

Beatitudes of Buddha 520 

Beggars, Buddhist 523 

Begging-bowl 525 

Bef. 128 

Bell of Osaka 691 

Bells, The 578 

Benares 255, 502, 508 

Benten 328,678 

P>enzura 680 

Berosus 63, 74, 1 21, 128 

Bible and Idolatry 74 

Bible of Thil>et 609 

Bible testimony to first worship . . 34 

Bidasu 657 

Binzurn 680 

Bishamon 328 

Black Stone 721 

Bodhidharnia 615,657 

Bombay 5'' 

]?onny 355 

Bon Religion 598 

Bonfes, Chinese 651 

Book of the Dead, Egyptian . . . 108 

Books of Brick 123 

Booldo 654 

Borsippa '36 

Bo-tree, 507, 539, 550; of Ceylon, 546 

Bovvring, Sir John 588 

Boyesen 200 

Boy, Moslem 752 

I'.oy. The Old 424 

Brahma 210 

Brahnianas 217 

Brahminism 92. 5°2 

Brahmins and Gautama 507 

]5rick Books 123 

Bricks of Chaldea 122 

Bridge-ladder. Turning the ... . 483 





Britain in ancient times i86 

Brittan, Miss H. G 295 

Browning, Mrs. E 84 

i^mldha, 500; Gautama becomes, 

508, and Christ 509-512 

Buddhaghosha, 514,528, 550; Para- 
bles of 528 

Buddhas, The Three Precious . . 625 

Buddha's Tooth, Worship of . . . 553 

Buddhism,87,93,500; in China, 420, 

61 1 ; in India and Ceylon, 532 ; in 

Bunnah, 555; in Siam, 5^75; in 

Thibet, 598; in Corea, 654; in 

Japan 656 

Buddhist Councils 527 

Buddhist Saint's Tomb 590 

Bull, Assyrian 135 

Burmese Buddhism, 555; Missions, 773 

Bunnese Superstitions 570 

Bushmen 34^ 

Byron 53^ 

C^SAR 192, 527 

Cairo University 720 

Calf, Golden 140 

Caliphs 728 

Cambyses 106 

Camel Driver 721 

Canton 615, 626, 637 

Canton, Examination Hall in . . . 473 

Caste 222 

Cathay 699 

Causes of decay in religion . ... 84 

Cave of Idols 596 

Cazembe Fetich-man 351 

Cemetery at Mecca 727 

Centaurs 1 03 

Ceremony of Water-lamps . . • ■ 653 

Ceres and LiV:)er 179 

Ceylonese Buddhism, 540; Bible . 554 

Chair of Nails *652 

Chaldean story of Deluge, 64; of 

Babel, 74; Tablets 119 

Champollion 100 

Channa 5°7 

Chaos 154 

Charlemagne 527 

Charms, Chinese 439 

Childe Harold 53^ 

Children taught to worship idols 230, 490 
China, 416; religionsof,94,4i6,4i9; 

Mission* in 77 ' 

Chinese Deities, 56; Languages, 

418; Home Life, 47S; Buddhism, 

611; Idols, 641 ; Devotees . . . 652 

Chinese in Siam 59*^ 

Chinese tradition of early ages, 44; 

of Deluge 69 

Christ and Buddha, 509-JI2; and 

other Masters 767 

Christian and Buddhist ideas . . . 515 
Christianity's Conquest, 95, 767 ; in 

Great Britain 195 

Clement of Alexandria 104 

Coffee, King 346 

Coleridge, S. T 47 

Colossal Buddha 632, 693 

Comparative religion 35 

Confucianism 94, 419 

Confucian Temples ..... 461, 471 
Confucius, 445, 710; and Lao-Tsze, 425 
Constantine the Great . . 513, 527 754 

Corea 654, 699 

Corean Priest, 657; Buddhism . . 687 

Corinth 168 

Costumes of Chaldea 125 

Councils of the Buddhists . . . . 527 
Creation, Traditions of ... . 62, 307 

Cross and Crescent 766 

Crusades 733 

Cuneiform Letters 124 

Cunningham, A 540 

Cyclops 154 

Cypress-tree of Ceylon . . . 532, 546 

Dagabas 548, 620 

Dagon 58 

Dai Butsu of Kamakura, 693 ; of 

Nara 699 

Daikoku 323,678 

Dalai Lama 600 

Dante 527 

Dead and living Religions .... 82 

Dead, Egyptian Book of the ... 108 

Dead Pan 85 

Dead Religions 84 

Delhi. 754 

Deluge, Traditions of 66 

Dervishes 748 

Devil Mask 549 

Devils, Driving out 705 

Devotees, 281 ; of China 652 

Dharma 5^4 

Diana of Ephesus 171, 583 

I )ining-room of a Buddhist Temple, 670 

Dispersion of the Nations .... 45 

Do-nothing Sect 654 

Doolittle, J 653 

Douglass, 'R. K 446 

Dragon Boat-race 436 

Druids 188 

Du Chaillu, P 358 

Dyaus ■ ■ ■ 214 

Ebisu 326 

Ebn-el Farid • ■ • 77 




Edda 199 

Edkins, J 419 

Egyptian Architect 38 

Egyptian Book of the Dead ... 108 

Elephanta, Cave of 256 

Elephant, Palace of 579 

Elephant, White 588 

Elfin story 205 

Elijah 144,621 

Elysian Fields 518 

Emerald Idol 579 

English Heathenism 185 

Ephesian Diana 171 

Erebus I54 

Etruscan Religion 174 

Europe 92 

Examinations in China 473 

Exodus of Nations 45 

Fa Hian 599, 612 

Fakirs 279 

Farrar, F. W 290 \ 

Fetich 350 

Field, H. M 97, 473. 75^ ! 

Fielde, A. M 498 | 

Fijian Temple 39 1 i 

Fiji Islanders' Tradition of the Del- I 

uge 71 

Eire Crackers 499 

Fire-god's Secret 393 

Fire-worshipers 407 

First Hymns 53 

First Worship IZ 

Five Hundred Gods Temple, \\\ 

China, 626 ; in Japan 687 

Flight of Mohammed . . . .719, 725 

Flowing Invocation 715 

Foism 611 

"Footsteps of the Law" . . . . 518 

P'ox-worship 7^3 

Freiligrath, F 34 1 

Fuji-yama . 329, 708 

Fukuroku Jin 322 

Funeral in Japan 711 

I'uneral of Burmese Monk . ... 571 

Funeral of Siamese King .... 596 

I'uneral Ritual of Egypt .... 104 

i'^uneral Temple of Siam .... 578 

Gabriel's Message 724 

Gambler's God 498 

■Ganesha 265 

Ganges 255, 272 

Garden, Buddhist 562 

Gata and Karpara 40 

Gate- way s o^ Shinto Temples . . . 332 

Gathas 409 

Gautama 502 


Gedeen-tubpa 600 

Genii of Assyria 132 

Goddess of Mercy, 632 ; of women . 637 
God of Letters, 438 ; of War, 439 ; 

of Riches, 440; of Kitchen . *. 493 

Gods, African, 343; Japanese. . . 703 

Gods of Taoism 434 

Gounja-Gounja 345 

Grand Lama 607 

Graves, Worship at 631 

Gray, J. H 443 

Great Spirit 364 

Greek Tradition of Deluge .... 72 

Greek Tradition of Early Ages . . 44 

Gregory the Great 208 

Griffis, W. E 658, 667 

Grouping Religions 77 

Guards of Temple 677 

Gutzlaff, C 69 

Gwalior, Cave of 257 

Hachiman 678 

Hairs of White Elephant 587 

Hamonim 654 

Hardwick, C 61, 428 

Hardy, Spence 502, 514 

Haroun-al-Raschid 732 

Heine, H 575 

Hejira 725 

Hell, Chinese idea of, 642 ; Jap- 
anese idea of 688, 700 

Hemis, Monastery of 600 

Herculaneum 183 

Hercules 163 

Hermes and Apollo . .* 159 

Herodotus 97 

Hesiod 151 

Hiawatha 368 

Hieroglyphics 50, 100 

Hilaire, B. St 500, 510 

Hindu Tradition of Early Ages . . 44 
Hindu Tradition of Deluge ... 68 

Hiogo Buddha 666 

H'lassa, 599 ; Cathedral 603 

Holy men of Hindus 279 

Holy Scriptures 518 

Homer 151 

Homes, Chinese 478 

Ilooghly River Mosque 742 

Horrors, Temple of 642 

Hotel 327, 703 

Hottentots 345. 349 

Household gods of Japan .... 321 

Howqua 47^ 

Human Sacrifices in Britain, 192; 

among Hindus 225 

Humbert, Aime 656 

Humboldt 387 




Ibsambul 99 

Idolatry and the Bible 74 

Idol, Emerald, 579; Sleeping . . 579 

Idol of Buddha 509 

Idols and Koran 738 

Ilu 127 

Imam 74^ 

Inari 703 

Incarnations of Vishnu 299 

Incas 383 

India, 92, 532; Missions in . . . . 773 

Indian Tradition of Deluge ... 72 

Indians of America, 363 ; Legends, 367 

Initiation Ceremony 5^3 

Insect-god 349 

[se 332 

Ishtar 130 

Izanagi and Izanami 308 

Jacob 138 

Jagannath 233 

Jains 518, 532 

Janus 180 

Japanese Customs 709 

Japanese Gods 703 

Japanese Pilgrims 669, 709 

Japanese Poem 709 

Japanese Shintoism, 94; Buddhism, 656 
Japanese story of Creation .... 307 

Japanese Superstitions 712 

Japan, Mission in 771 

Jesuit Missionaries 666 

Jesus and Buddha, 509-512; and 

Koran 737 

Jimmu Tenno 313)319 

Jingu Kogo 687 

Jogees 532 

Jonas 535 

Joong • . . 654 

Joshua 138 

Joss-stick 461,620 

Jove 176 

Judge of Hell 700 

Judgment 739 

Judson, A 767 

Judson, Emily C 402, 555 

Juggernaut . 233 

Jummah Musjid 754 

Juno 178 

Jupiter 164, 177 

Kaaba 721 

Kaang 346 

Kaffirs 351 

Kakavanna, King 529 

Kali 240 

Kamakura 661,693 

Kandy 553 


Karens 402, 555 

Karnak 113 

Keshub Chunder Sen 212 

Khadija 723 

Kin-mu 654 

Kitchen, God of 493 

Kitsune 703 

Kobe 668, 6S7 

Kobo Daishi 657, 665 

Koran 734, 737 

Koutub 757 

Krishna 233 

Kronos 154 

Kum-Fa 637 

Kushan Monastery 622 

Kvvanon, 661; Temple of, 673; 

Picture of 680 

Kwante, God of War 439 

Kwan-Yin 631, 645 

Laban 138 

Lama, 600; Grand 607 

Lamaism 59^ 

Lamaist Bible 609 

Lao-Tsze 416 

Lenormant I19 

Leonowens, Mrs. A 583 

Leper King 595 

Letters, God of 438 

Leyden 230 

Living Worships 86 

Longfellow, H. W 367,611 

Lotus Eaters 161 

Luther, R. M 402 

Luxor 114 

Ma-chu 494. 498, 638 

Maclear, G. F 185 

Magi 410 

Mahawanso 554 

Mahinda 540, 549 

Malayo-Polynesians 387 

Mandarin of China 615 

Mani Padee 608 

Manu's Laws 293 

Mara 508, 519 

Marriage in Japan 710 

Mason, Francis 555 

Master Thief, Stories of 37 

Matsuri • 7^4 

Maulmain Pagoda 5^5 

Mecca 721,727, 752, 763 

Medicine Men 364 

Medina 7^5 

Memnon 114 

Mencius 475 

Mendes 104 

Mendicants, Buddhist 525 




Mercy, Goddess of, . 632, 661, 673, 680 

Merodach 130 

Meteor-gods 58 

Mexican Tradition of Early Ages, 

43 ; of Deluge 70 

Michell, N 210 

Mikado of Japan 657 

Mikado's Crest 317 

Milton, J 138 

Minerva 179 

Ming-ti 611 

Missionary and non-missionary Re- 
ligions 82 

Missionary work, Christian, 767 ; in 
Japan and China, 771 ; in Thibet, 
772 ; in Siam, Buniiah, Assam and 
India, 773; in Turkey, 775; in 

Africa 776 

MnevLs 104 


Mohammedanism 87, 95, 522 

Mohammedans 2I0 

Mohurrim 7^4 

Moloch 143 

Monasteries of China 646 

Monks, Buddhist, 525; Burmese, 

571; of Thibet 600 

Monk's Monument 650 

Monto Priests, 668; Creed of . . . 673 

Monuments, Ancient 50 



Moslem Boy 752 

Moslems 719 

Mosque of Omar 730 

Mosques, 741 ; Worship in. . . . 747 

Mother's Memorial 715 

Mother, The Goddess 490 

Mouhot, H 592 

Mountain, Sacred Japanese . . 329, 708 

Mpomo 358 

Muir, Sir W 735 

MuUer, F. Max, 340, 407, 513, 517, 668 

Muller, J. G., 362 

Mummies 104 

Music lesson of Confucius .... 450 

Mystic sentence of Thibet .... 606 

Myths of Greece 159 

Nagkon Wat 592 

Nanking 611, 621 

Naoroji 4^4 

Nara 699 

Nats 530, 566 

Nature- worship, Beginning of . . . 51 

Ndengei 3^9 

Nebo 130 

Nebuchadnezzar 121 


Nergal 130 

New Testament 514 

New Year's Day in Japan .... 704 

Niam-Niams 347 

Nichiren 658 

Nick, Old 198 

Nigban 517 

Nio 677 

Nirvana 517 

Nitsukis 703 

Nixes 206 

Nobunaga 665 

Numa 177 

Cannes 128 

Oceanica 387 

Odyssey 155, 162 

Old Boy 424 

Olympus 153 

Omar 729 

Omens 712 

Om Mani Padmi Hum 606 

Ongole 272 

Original and Reformed Religions . 82 

Ormazd 409, .410 

Osaka 704 

Osiris 107 

Othman 732 

Oudh, King of 594. 

Pagoda, Shway-da-Gong of Ran- 
goon, 557 ; of Maulmain, 565 ; of 

Wat Chang, .Siam 576 

Pagodas, 122; of India, 269; of 
Burmah, 560; the Seven, 565 ; of 

China 620 

Pan is dead 85 

Papuans 387 

Paradise of Buddha, 517; of Mo- 
hammed 518, 738 

Parseeism 88, 407 

Parsees 407 

Parsee Worship 414 

Patagonians 365, 378 

Patna, Council of 527 

Paul, St 164,770 

Pearly Emperor 435 

Pechaburi 596 

Peking 461, 626, 652 

Persia 408 

I'eru 372, 383 

Peruvian Tradition of Early Ages . 43 
Peter, .St., Statue of, in Siam . . . 584 

Petsi, King 657 

Phidian Jupiter 164 

I'ilgrimage to Mecca 763 

Pilgrim, Japanese 669, 673 

Plagues of Egypt 139 




Pliny 189 

Poe, Edgar 578 

Poison-god 394 

Polyphemus 162 

Pombi 344 

Pompeii 183 

Pondicherry 270 

Poiigyee, Bunnese Monks .... 571 

Poor Mason 39 

Pope 497 

Porcelain Tower 611, 621 

Prayers, Sale of 616 

Praying for rain 344 

Praying-wheels in Thibet, 605 ; in 

China 649 

Priests 651 

Priest's lament 656 

Priest's trick 350 

Proposed treatment 87 

Proverbs and Precepts, Chinese . . 431 

Pyramids I17 

Queen of Heaven 497 

Ra 102 

Rahanda 529 

Raiden 318, 319 

Railroad in Japan 662 

Rain, Praying for 344 

Rajaratnacari 554 

Ramayana 594 

Rammohun Roy 212, 221 

Rangoon 557 

Reed, Sir Edw 305 

Refuges, The Three 524 

Relics of Buddhists 540 

Religions, missionary and non-mis- 
sionary ; dead and living; original 

and living . ' 38 

Religions of the World ..... 500 

Renunciation, The Great 506 

Rewards and Punishments, Book of, 430 

Rhampsinitos , 38 

Rhys-David . . . .514, 524, 537, 603 

Riches, God of 440 

Rogers, Captain 529 

Romans, Paul's letter to 182 

Ruins of Egypt • • 98 

Sabellian Religion 175 

.Sabines 175 

Sacred animals of Egypt .... 106 

Sacred books of Japan 306 

Sacred Bo-tree, 507, 539 ; of Ceylon, 546 

Sacrifices, Human 192, 225 

Sage, The Little 475 

Sakya Muni . 502 

Sailors' Goddess 494 


Saint Hilaire, B 500, 510 

Sale of Prayers 616 

Samoyedes 56 

Sanchi Tope 53^ 

Sangha 523 

Sanno 678 

Sanskrit stories 301 

Sargon, Palace of 132 

Satan • • • • 737 

Saxon Paganism 197 

.Sayings of Confucius 456 

Schaff, P 748 

Schiller, F. Von 150 

Schlegel, F. Von 33 

vSchool-boy of China 460 

Schoolcraft, H 368 

Scottish story of the Shifty Lad . . 40 

Sea-God 707 

Sebek 104 

Secret Blessings, Book of ... . 433 
Sects of Hindus, 218; Buddhists in 

Japan 667 

Serpent Idol 59 

Set 103 

Seven Pagodas 565 

Shakespeare 203 

Shamanism 371, 555 

Shanghai 421 

Shang-te 463, 654 

Shans 555 

Shasters 298 

Shiba, Temple of 682 

Shinran 662 

Shin-Shin Sect 657, 668 

Shinto Symbols 681 

Shintoism 94, 656 

Shoes, Putting off 587 

Shrines of Ise 332 

Shway-da-Gong Pagoda 557 

Siamese Buddhism, 575; Missions . 773 

Siamese White Elephant ..... 588 

Sigourney, Mrs. L. H 767 

Sikhs 256 

Sioux 365 

Siva 216 

.Sleeping Idol 579 

Smith, Sidney 7^9 

Song of the Threshers lOl 

Sotheby I73 

Soul, Bringing home the 483 

Southern migration 92 

Southey 232 

Spanish story of the Poor Mason . 39 

Sphinx 97-112 

Spires 122 

Spirit, Great 3^4 

.Spirit-house 39*^ 

.Stanley, H. M 35^ 




Stoddard, R. H 450, 460 

Stonehenge 1S8 

Stories from the Sanskrit 301 

Stories of the Master Thief ... 37 

St. Paul 164 

St. Sophia 748, 753 

Student, The Tired 475 

Suddhodana • • 502 

Sun-child 658 

Sun -goddess of Japan 313 

Sun, Temple of, in Peking .... 467 

Sun-worship of Indians 372 

Superstitions, Japanese 1\7. 

Suttee 231, 296 

Tae-Ping Rebellion 621 

Taj Mahal 758 

Talisman of Long Life 424 

Taoism 416 

Taoist Books 428 

Tao-te-king 428 

Tartar Woman • 601 

Tartarus 153 

Taylor, B 739, 741 

Tektha 567 

Temple of Horrors 642 

Tengou 707 

Tennent, Sir E 546, 548 

Tennyson, Alfred 77 

Teraphim 57, 138 

Teshu Lumljo Monastery .... 602 

Testament, New 514 

Thibet, 598; Mission in 772 

Thor 200 

Thoth 104 

Thousand Lamas' Temple .... 626 

Three Baskets 513 

Three Precious Buddhas 625 

Three Pure Ones 434 

Threshers, Song of loi 

Thunder, Japanese God of. . 318, 319 

Tien-chi 56 

Tientsin 652 

Tinnivelly 213 

Tired Student 475 

Tissa 540 

Titans 153 

Tokio 673,682 

Tooth, Buddha's 553 

Topes, Buddhist 508, 535 

Torii 332 

Tortures of Holy Men 283 

Towers 1 22 

Traditions of man in early ages, 43 ; 

of creation, 62, 305 ; of deluge . 66 
Trees, Sacred 71- 


Triad, Assyrian 128 

Trick of Priests 348 

Tripitaka 513, 545, 54^ 

Tsong-khapa . • • • 599 

Tung-cho 620 

Turkish Mission 775 

Tussaud, Madame 681 

Umkululu 347 

Umritsur 256 

Universe, Greek conception of, 151 ; 

Hindu 246 

University at Cairo 720 

Varuna 216 

Vedas 49, 54, 92, 286, 548 

Vesta 179 

Vinaya . 5^4 

Vindya Mountains 507 

Vinton, Mrs 406 

Virgil 173 

Vishnu, 216; incarnations of . . . 299 

Visions of Gautama 5*-'4 

Visparad 4^4 

Walhalla 199 

War, God of 439 

Wat Chang Pagoda 576 

Water-lamps 653 

Wat P'hra Keau 579 

Wax-works 681 

Wellington, Duke of 769 

White Elephant of Siam . . . 579,588 

Whittier, J. G 53, 532 

Wilkinson loi 

Williams, M 54 

Williams, S. W 416, 482 

Woden 199 

Woman, according to Hinduism, 227, 

295 ; and Mohammedanism . . 74S 
Wu-Wei-Kiau 654 

Xavier 666 

Xisuthrus 66 

Yasnas 413 

Yasodhara 5°8 

Yebisu 687 

Yema, God of Hell 688 

Yezzo 716 

Yuah 403 

Zenanas 228, 295 

Zend Avesta 43» 49. 4U 

Zoroaster 4°9 

Zulus 345. 347