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Title: A Comparative View of Religions
Author: Scholten, Johannes Henricus
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Translated from the Dutch of

Professor at Leyden,

by Francis T. Washburn.

Reprinted by permission from "The Religious Magazine and Monthly
Boston: Crosby & Damrell, 100 Washington St. 1870.



The conception of religion presupposes, _a_, God as object; _b_, man as
subject; _c_, the mutual relation existing between them. According to
the various stages of development which men have reached, religious
belief manifests itself either in the form of a passive feeling of
dependence, where the subject, not yet conscious of his independence,
feels himself wholly overmastered by the deity, or the object of
worship, as by a power outside of and opposed to himself; or, when the
feeling of independence has awakened, in a one-sided elevation of the
human, whereby man in worshiping a deity deifies himself. In the highest
stage of religious development, the most entire feeling of dependence is
united in religion with the strongest consciousness of personal
independence. The first of these forms is exhibited in the fetich and
nature-worship of the ancient nations; the second in Buddhism, and in
the deification of the human, which reaches its full height among the
Greeks. The true religion, prepared in Israel, is the Christian, in
which man, grown conscious of his oneness with God, is ruled by the
divine as an inner power of life, and acts spontaneously and freely
while in the fullest dependence upon God. Since Christ, no more perfect
religion has appeared. What is true and good in Islamism was borrowed
from Israel and Christianity.

Although it is probable that every nation passed through different forms
of religious belief before its religion reached its highest development,
yet the earlier periods lie in great part beyond the reach of historical
investigation. The history of religion, therefore, has for its task the
review of the various forms of religion with which we are historically
acquainted, in the order of psychological development.




The lowest stage of religious development is fetichism, as it is found
among the savage tribes of the polar regions, and in Africa, America,
and Australia. In this stage, man's needs are as yet very limited and
exclusively confined to the material world. Still too little developed
intellectually to worship the divine in nature and her powers, he thinks
he sees the divinity which he seeks in every unknown object which
strikes his senses, or which his imagination calls up. In this stage,
religion has no higher character than that of caprice and of love of
the mysterious and marvelous, mixed with fear and a slavish adoration of
the divine. The worship and the priest's office (Shaman, Shamanism)
consist here chiefly in the use of charms, to exorcise a dreaded power.
From this savage fetichism the nature-worship found among the Aztecs in
Mexico, and the worship of the sun in Peru, are distinguished by the
greater definiteness and order of their religious conceptions and
usages. In them the gods have names, and an ordained priesthood cares
for the religious interests of the people. The highest form to which
fetichism has attained is the worship of Manitou, the great spirit,
which is found among the ancient tribes of North America.


When man reaches a higher development, caprice and chance disappear from
religion. Having outgrown fetichism, man begins, as is the case among
the Chinese, to distinguish in the world around him an active and a
passive principle, force and matter (Yang and Yn), heaven and earth
(Kien and Kouen). We have here nature-worship in its beginnings. In this
stage, even less than in fetichism, is there a definite idea of God,
much less a conception of him as personal and spiritual lord. The
Chinese, from the practical, empirical point of view peculiar to him,
recognizes the spiritual only in man and chiefly in the state. His
religion, therefore, is confined exclusively to the faithful keeping of
the laws of the state (the Celestial Kingdom), in which he sees the
reflection of heaven, to the recognition of the Emperor as the son and
representative of heaven, and to the worship of the forefathers,
especially of the great men and departed emperors, to whose memory the
Chinese temples, or pagodas, are dedicated. The origin of this religion
dates, according to the tradition, from Fo-hi (2950 B.C.), the founder
of the Chinese state. In the fifth century before Christ, Kong-tse, or
Kong-fu-tse (Confucius), appeared as a reformer of the religion of his
countrymen, and gathered the ancient records and traditions of his
people into a sacred literature, which is known by the name of the
"King" (the books), "Yo-King" (the book of nature), "Chu-King" (the book
of history), "Chi-King" (the book of songs). The contents of the "King"
became later with the Chinese sages Meng-tse (360 B.C.) and Tschu-tsche
(1200 A.D.) an object of philosophical speculation. The doctrine of
Lao-tse, the younger contemporary of Kong-tse, which lays down as the
basis of the world, that is of the unreal or non-existent, a supreme
principle, _Tao_, or _Being_, corresponds with the Brahma doctrine of
the Indians, among whom he lived for a long time; but this doctrine
never became popular in China.


The worship of nature, which is seen in its beginnings among the
Chinese, exhibits itself among the Egyptians in a more developed form as
theogony. Here also the reflecting mind rose to the recognition of two
fundamental principles, the producing and the passive power of nature,
Kneph and Neith, from which sprang successively the remaining powers of
nature, time, air, earth, light and darkness, personified by the fantasy
of the people into as many divinities. The Egyptian mythology also (none
has as yet been discovered among the Chinese) exhibits a like character.
Fruitfulness and drought, the results of the Nile's overflowing and
receding, are imaged in the myth of _Osiris_, _Isis_, and _Typhon_. The
visible form under which the divine was worshiped in Egypt was the
sacred animal, the bull _Apis_, dedicated to _Osiris_, the cow,
dedicated to _Isis_, as symbols of agriculture; the bird _Ibis_, the
crocodile, the dog _Anubis_, and other animals, whose physical
characteristics impressed the as yet childish man, who saw in them the
symbol, either of the beneficent power of nature which moved him to
thankfulness, or of a destructive power which he dreaded and whose anger
he sought to avert. The religion of Egypt was not of a purely spiritual
character. To the man whose eye is not yet open to the manifestation of
the spiritual around him and in him, the divine is not spirit, but as
yet only nature. The animal, although in the form of the sphinx
approaching the human, holds in Egyptian art a place above the human as
symbol of the divine.




In the development of religion among the Indians, the following periods
may be distinguished:--

   _a._ The original Veda-religion.

   _b._ The priestly religion of the Brahmins.

   _c._ The philosophical speculation.

   _d._ Buddhism.

   _e._ The modified Brahminism after Buddha, in connection with the
   worship of Vishnu and Siva.

_a. The original Veda-religion._

The original religion of Arya originated in Bactria. From thence, before
the time of Zoroaster, it was brought over, with the great migration of
the people, to the land of the seven rivers, which they conquered, and
which stretched from the Indus to the Hesidrus. It consisted, according
to the oldest literature of the Veda, in a polytheistical worship of the
divine, either as the beneficent or the baneful power of nature. The
clear, blue sky, the light of the sun, the rosy dawn, the storm that
spends itself in fruitful rain, the winds and gales which drive away the
clouds, the rivers whose fruitful slime overspreads the fields,--these
moved the inhabitants of India to the worship of the divine as the
beneficent power of nature which blesses man. On the other hand, he
changed under the impression of the harmful phenomena of nature, the
dark and close-packed clouds which hold back the rain and intercept the
sunshine, the parching heat of summer, which dries up the rivers and
hinders growth and fruitfulness, and these also he erected into objects
of awe and religious adoration. From this view of nature sprang the
Indian mythology. The oldest divinity (Deva) of the Indians is Varuna,
the all-embracing heaven, who marks out their courses for the heavenly
luminaries, who rules the day and the night, who is lord of life and
death, whose protection is invoked, whose anger deprecated. After him,
the great ruler of nature, there appear, in the Veda hymns, Indra, the
blue sky, god of light and thunder, the warrior who in battle stands
beside the combatants; Vayu, the god of the wind, the chief of the
Maruts, or the winds; Rudra, the god of the hurricane; Vritra, the
hostile god of the clouds; Ahi, the parching heat of summer. In the
mythology of the people, Indra, god of light, aided by Vayu and Rudra,
wages war with Vritra,--who, as god of the clouds, holds back the rain
and the light,--and appears as opponent of the destructive Ahi. The
other divinities also which appear in the Vedas are personified powers
of nature,--the twin brothers Aswins (equites), or the first rays of the
sun, Ushas the maiden, or the rosy dawn, Surya, Savitri, the god of the
sun. Great significance is given in the Indian mythology to Agni, the
god of fire, who burns the sacrifice in honor of the gods, who conveys
the offerings and prayers of men to gods and their gifts to men, who
gladdens the domestic hearth, lights up the darkness of night, drives
away the evil spirits, the Ashuras and Rakshas, and purges of evil the
souls of men. Religion, still wholly patriarchal in form, and free from
hierarchical constraint and from the later dogmatic narrowness, bore in
this earlier stage of its development the character of the still free
and warlike life of a nomadic people living in the midst of a sublime
nature, where everything, the clear sky, sunshine, and boisterous storm,
mountains and rivers, disposed to worship. As yet the Indian knew no
close priestly caste. Worship consisted in prayers and offerings,
especially in the Soma-offering, which was offered as food to the gods.
No fear of future torment after death as yet embittered the enjoyment of
life and made dying fearful. Yama was the friendly guide of the souls of
heroes to the heaven of Indra or Varuna, and not yet the inexorable
prince of hell who tormented the souls of the ungodly in the kingdom of
the dead. Of later barbarous usages also, such as the widow's
sacrificing herself on the funeral pile of her departed husband, there
was as yet no trace; and in the heroic poetry, as yet not disfigured by
later Brahminical alterations and additions, the heroes Krishna and Rama
appear as types of courage and self-sacrifice, and not, as later, as
avatars, or human incarnations, of the deity.

_b. Brahminism._

When the nomadic and warlike life of the nations of India in the land of
the seven rivers, in connection with their removal to the conquered land
of the Ganges (1300 B.C.), gave place to a more ordered social
constitution, a priestly class formed itself, which began to represent
the people before the deity, and from its chief function, _Brahma_, or
prayer, took the name of _Brahmins_, i.e., the praying. This Brahma,
before whose power even the gods must yield, was gradually exalted by
the Brahmins to the highest deity, to whom, under the name of Brahma,
the old Veda divinities were subordinated. Brahma is no god of the
people, but a god of the priests; not the lord of nature, but the
abstract and impersonal _Being_, out of whom nature and her phenomena
emanate. From Brahma the priest derives his authority; and the system of
caste, by which the priesthood is raised to the first rank, its origin.
The worship of Brahma consists in doing penance and in abstinence. Yama,
once a celestial divinity, now becomes the god of the lower world, where
he who disobeys Brahma is tormented after death. Immortality consists in
returning to Brahma; but is the portion only of the perfectly godly
Brahmin, while the rest of mankind can rise to this perfect state only
after many painful new births. The Brahmin, in the exclusive possession
of religious knowledge, reads and expounds the Vedas (knowledge),
exalted to infallible scripture, and on them constructs his doctrine.

Thus the once vigorous, natural life of the Indians gave place to a
conception of the world which repressed the soul, and annihilated man's
personality. The many-sidedness of the earlier theology resolved itself
into the abstract unity of an impersonal All, and thus the glory of
nature passed by unmarked, as nought or non-existent, and lost its
charm. At the same time, the old heroic sagas were displaced by legends
of saints, and the heroic spirit of the olden epic by an asceticism
which repressed the human, and before whose power even the gods stood in
awe. With Brahminism the religion lost its original and natural
character, and became characterized by a slavish submission to a
priesthood, which abrogated the truly human.

_c. The Speculative Systems._

The doctrine of the Brahmins occasioned the rise of various theological
and philosophical systems. To these belong, first, the "Vedanta," (end
of the Veda) or the dogmatic-apologetic exposition of the Veda. This
contains (1) the establishment of the authority of the Veda as holy
scripture revealed by Brahma, and also of the relation in which it
stands to tradition; (2) the proof that everything in the Veda has
reference to Brahma; (3) the ascetic system, or the discipline. To
explain contradictory statements in the older and later parts of the
Veda, Brahminical learning makes use of the subtleties of an
harmonistical method of interpretation. Second, the "Mimansa" (inquiry),
devoted to the solution of the problem, How can the material world
spring from Brahma, or the immaterial? According to this system, there
is only one Supreme Being, Paramatma, a name by which Brahma himself had
been already distinguished in Manu's book of law. Outside of this
highest _Being_, there is nothing real. The world of sense, or nature,
(Maya, the female side of Brahma), is mere seeming and illusion of the
senses. The human spirit is a part of Brahma, but perverted, misled by
this same illusion to the conceit that he is individual. This illusion
is done away with by a deeper insight, by means of which the dualism
vanishes from the wise man's view, and the conceit gives place to the
true knowledge that Brahma alone really exists, that nature, on the
contrary, is nought, and the human spirit nothing else than Brahma
himself. Third, the "Sankya" (criticism) originating with Kapila, in
which, in opposition to the "Mimansa," the individual being and the real
existence of nature, in opposition to spirit, is laid down as the
starting-point, and the result reached is the doctrine of two original
forces, spirit and nature, from whose reciprocal action and reaction
upon each other the union of soul and body is to be explained. Is this
union unnatural, then the effort of the wise man should be to free
himself, through the perception that the soul is not bound to the body,
from the dominion of matter. In this system, there is no room for an
infinite being, for, if a material world exist, then must God be limited
by its existence, and therefore cease to be infinite, that is God. The
Sankya philosophy here came in conflict with the orthodox doctrine of
the Brahmins, and prepared the way for Buddhism.

_d. Buddhism._

Against Brahminism Buddhism arose as a reaction. Siddharta, son of
Suddhodana, the King of Kapilavastu, of the family of the Sakya, (about
450 B.C.) moved by the misery of his fellow-countrymen, determined to
examine into the causes of it, and, if possible, to find means of
remedying it. Initiated into the wisdom of the Brahmins, but not
satisfied with that, after years of solitary retirement and quiet
meditation, penetrated with the principles of the Sankya, he traversed
the land as pilgrim (Sakya-muni, Sramana, Gautama) and opened to the
people of India a new religious epoch. The tendency of the new doctrine
was to break up the system of caste, and free the people from the
galling yoke of the Brahminical hierarchy and dogmas. While in
Brahminism man was deprived of his individuality, and regarded only as
an effluence from Brahma, and tormented by the fear of hell, and by the
thought of a ceaseless process of countless new births awaiting him
after death, whence the necessity of the most painful penances and
chastisements, Sakya-muni began with man as an individual, and in morals
put purity, abstinence, patience, brotherly love, and repentance for
sins committed above sacrifice and bodily mortification, and opened to
his followers the prospect, after this weary life, no more to be exposed
to the ever-recurring pains of new birth, but released from all
suffering to return to Nirvana, or nothingness. While Brahminism drew a
distinction between man and man, and with hierarchical pride took no
thought of the Sudra or lower class of the people, and limited wisdom to
the priestly caste, Sakya-muni preached the equality of all men, came
forward as a preacher to the people, used the people's language, and
chose his followers out of all classes, even from among women. Both of
these opposed systems are one-sided. In Brahminism, God is all, and man,
as personal being, nothing; in Buddhism, man is recognized as an
individual, but apart from God, while in both systems, the highest
endeavor is to be delivered from, according to Brahminism a seeming,
according to Sakya-muni a really existing individuality, the source of
all human woe, and to lose one's self either in Brahma or in the

Less on account of his doctrine, in which there is found neither a God
nor a personal immortality, than on account of the universal character
of his words and of his life, Sakya-muni continued in honor after his
death, as the benefactor of the people and as the Buddha, the wise,
pre-eminently; and afterwards was deified, and took his place in the
ranks of the recognized gods as their superior. Thus there arose in
Buddhism, by a departure from the doctrine of the master, a new
polytheism. This was afterwards, through the influence of the
Brahminical priestly caste, suppressed in India, but spread over other
parts of Asia, to the islands of the Indian Archipelago, and also to

_e. Later modification of Brahminism in connection with the worship of
Siva and Vishnu._

While Brahminism saw itself menaced by the steadily increasing influence
of Buddhism, the former nature-religion, dispossessed by the Brahmins,
asserted its rights in the worship of Siva in the valleys of the
Himalaya Mountains, and in that of Vishnu on the banks of the Ganges.
Siva is the Rudra of the Veda, the boisterous god of storms, the giver
of rain and growth. Vishnu is the same divinity among other races,
conceived under the influence of a softer climate in a modified form as
the blue sky. Both divinities, originally belonging to different parts
of India, were afterwards taken, first Vishnu, and then also Siva, into
the theological system of the Brahmins, and formed with Brahma, but not
until the fourth century after Christ, the trimurti, according to which
the one supreme being Parabrama is worshiped in the threefold form of
Brahma the creating, Vishnu the sustaining, and Siva the destroying
power of nature. To this later period of Brahminism belongs also the
alteration of the old epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, by which the
heroes Rama and Krishna are represented as avatars, that is incarnations
or human impersonations, of Vishnu. In this also there is evidently an
effort to bring the deity, conceived as the abstract One, into closer
union with man, an effort which is likewise visible in the later Yoga
system of the Brahmins, in which, by the admission of Buddhistic
elements, the visible world is recognized as real, the old rigid
asceticism mitigated, Vishnu represented as the soul of the world, and
immortality taught as a return of the individual soul to Brahma.



The ancient religion of the Bactrians in the period before Zoroaster was
patriarchal, and consisted in the worship of fire, as the beneficent
power of nature, and of Mithras, the god of the sun, combined with that
of the good spirits (Ahuras), among which were Geus-Urva (the spirit of
the earth), Cpento-mainyus (the white spirit), Armaiti (the earth, or
also the spirit of piety), and of the hero-spirits Sraosha, Traetona,
which as light and darkness are distinguished from Angro (the black

Later, as it seems, the theology and worship of the neighboring nomadic
Arya penetrated to these nations, and caused a religious conflict which
ended with the migration of Arya to the south. At this period
Zarathustra[2] (Zoroaster) came forward under the Bactrian priest and
King Kava Vistaspa, as defender and reformer of the religion of the
fathers against the encroachments of a strange doctrine. The Devas
(Zend, Dews) or the gods of the Indian Veda appear with Zarathustra as
evil spirits. Not Indra, but the hero Traetona, wages war with Ahi
(Zend, Azhi), while the kavis, or priests, are attacked by him as
deceivers and liars. From the belief in good spirits (Ahuras, i.e.,
the living, and Mazdas, i.e., the wise), the ancient genii of the
country, Zarathustra developed the belief of one highest God,
Ahura-Mazda (Ormuzd, Greek, [Greek: Osompzês]), a doctrine which he
received by divine inspiration through the mediation of the spirit
Srasha. Ahura-Mazda, surrounded by the Amesha-Spenta (Amshaspands), or
the holy immortals, not until later reduced to seven, is the creator of
light and life. The hurtful and evil, on the contrary, is non-existence
(akem), and in the oldest parts of the Avesta, the Gathas, which go back
to Zarathustra and his first followers, is not yet conceived as a
personal being. First in the Vendidad, written after Zarathustra, does
Angro-mainyus (Ahriman), or the evil one, with his Dews, although
subordinated to Ahura-Mazda, gain a place in the Iranian conception of
the universe, as the adversary of Ahura-Mazda, and as the cause of evil
in the natural and spiritual world. From these conceptions there was
developed in the later Parsism the system of the four periods of the
world, each of three thousand years, in the book "Bundehesh." In the
first period, Ahura-Mazda appears as creator of the world and as the
source of good. The creation, completed by Ahura-Mazda in six days by
means of the word (Honover), is in the second period destroyed by
Angro-mainyus, who, appearing upon the earth in the form of a serpent,
seduces the first human pair, created by Ahura-Mazda. In the third
period, which begins with the revelation given to Zarathustra,
Ahura-mazda and Angro-mainyus strive together for man. After this
follows, in the fourth period, the victory gained by Ahura-Mazda.
Sosiosh (Saoshyas), the deliverer already foretold in the Vendidad,
appears. The resurrection of the dead, not taught by Zarathustra or in
the Vendidad, takes place. The judgment of the world begins; the good
are received into paradise and the sinners banished to hell. At last,
all is purified, and Angro-mainyus himself and his Dews submit
themselves to Ahura-Mazda, whose victory is celebrated in heaven with
songs of praise.

Thus among the Iranian races, out of the old patriarchal worship of fire
and light, on the occasion of the religious struggle with the Indian
Arya, and under the influence of Zarathustra, there was developed the
doctrine of one supreme God,[3] who, surrounded by the good spirits of
heaven, wages war against evil, whence arose later the moral opposition
between Ahura-Mazda and Angro-mainyus resulting in the victory of the
good principle over the bad. The old dualism of force and matter,
beneficent and destructive powers of nature, light and darkness, becomes
in Parsism moral. The deity, no longer identified with nature, becomes a
personal, spiritual being, the creator of mankind; and the end of the
world's development is conceived as the triumph of the good. Hence the
high rank which the doctrine of Zarathustra and its further development
holds in the history of religion.


As man rises in spiritual development, nature becomes to him a
revelation ever more and more manifold of the divine. To the Greek
(Pelasgi, Hellenes) the whole of nature was living, and his imagination
peopled her everywhere with divine beings, who in wood and field, in
rivers and on mountains (Oreads, Dryads, Naiads, Sileni, &c.), hovered
friendly round him. The Greek was indeed distinguished from other
nations by this richer and more elevated view of nature; but he excelled
them most of all in this, that the divine object which he worshiped was
conceived both in form and character after the human. Zeus, Phoebus
Apollo, Pallas Athene, Aphrodite, Ares, Hephaestus, Hestia, Hermes,
Artemis, were originally powers of nature personified, as some epithets
in Homer[4] still indicate; but they became, sometimes under the same
names, types of power and lordship, science and art, courage and
sensuous beauty. While Dionysus, Demeter, Hades, and Persephone remained
earthly, and Helios, Eos, Iris, and Hecate, heavenly divinities, and
Oceanus, Poseidon, Amphitrite, Proteus, and Nereus ruled the waters,
Zeus was conceived as the god of the sky and of thunder, who hurled the
bolts, the great king and lawgiver, the father of men, and Hera,
originally the air, became the protecting goddess of married life;
Apollo, the god of light, who shot forth his arrows, not at first
identified with Helios, became the god of divination and poetry, who led
the choir of the muses; the goddess of light, Athene, became the
contentious goddess of wisdom; Aphrodite, born of the foam of the sea,
once the symbol of the fruitful power of nature, later, encircled by the
Graces, became the type of womanly beauty and charm, to which the
strength of man, personified in Ares, corresponds. In like manner in the
later mythology, Hephaestus, the god of fire, appeared as the god of the
forge, Hestia, the goddess of fire, as the protector of the household
hearth, and Hermes, the god of the storm and of rain, as the messenger
of the gods, the type of cunning and craftiness, while Artemis, the
goddess of the moon, the fruitful mother of nature, took the character
of the chaste maiden, the goddess of hunting, who with her nymphs and
hounds nightly roamed the fields and woods. The monsters, the Sphinx,
the Minotaur, the Cyclops, the Centaurs, symbols of a yet unhuman or
half human power of nature, were overcome by the Greek heroes, Perseus,
Hercules, Jason, Theseus, OEdipus, the types of human strength and
valor. The religious festivals were enlivened by trials of men's
strength and skill in games, and the historian and poet offered to the
gods the products of human genius. In the religion of the Greeks,
however, the moral element, although not passed over and in the Greek
epic and tragedy not seldom expressed in grand characters, stood
nevertheless too little in the foreground, so that the worship of the
divine, as in the older nature-worship, especially in the feasts in
honor of Dionysus and Aphrodite, was marked by immoral practices. The
conception of a future life, which taken in connection with a future
retribution has a moral tendency, had but little attraction for the
Greek, who rejoiced in the glory of the earth, and saw in nature and in
man the kingdom of the divine. The passage from the earlier poetical
nature-worship to the worship of the divine in human form seems to be
indicated in the war which Olympian Zeus waged with Cronos and the
Titans. The origin and development of the various elements and powers of
nature, Chaos, Eros, Uranus, Gæa, the Giants, Styx, Erebus, Hemera,
Æther, &c, became, with the poets and philosophers after Homer, matters
of speculation, of which the theogonies of Hesiod, Orpheus, Pherecydes,
and others furnish proof.


In the religion of the Greeks, the æsthetic and moral character of the
Grecian people was deified, and in the Romans also we see how that which
men value most exerts an influence upon their worship of the divine. The
primitive religion of the Romans, borrowed from the Sabines and
Etruscans, bears everywhere, in distinction to that of the Greeks, the
marks of the practical and political character of the Roman people. The
oldest national divinities are, first, Jupiter or Jovis, the god of the
heavens, Mars or Mavors, the god of the field and of war, Quirinus
(Janus?) the protector of the Quirites, afterwards, together with Juno
(Dione) and Minerva, worshiped in the Capitol, (Dii Capitolini);
second, Vesta, and the gods of the house and family, the Lares and
Penates; third, the rural divinities, Saturnus, Ops, Liber, Faunus,
Silvanus, Terminus, Flora, Vertumnus, and Pomona; fourth and last,
personifications, in part of the powers of nature, Sol, Luna, Tellus,
Neptunus, Orcus, Proserpina, in part of moral and social qualities and
states, such as Febris, Salus, Mens, Spes, Pudicitia, Pietas, Fides,
Concordia, Virtus, Bellona, Victoria, Pax, Libertas, and others.
Peculiarly Roman also is the conception of the _manes_, or shades of the
departed, who hover as protecting genii about the living. Afterwards,
along with the culture of the Greeks, their gods also were taken,
although rather outwardly than inwardly, into the spirit of the people,
and the original character of the gods of Latium was modified after the
new mythology. Notwithstanding this, however, the worship of the Romans
retained its political and practical character. The priests (sacerdotes)
Flamines, Salii, Feciales, the Pontifices with the Pontifex Maximus at
their head, the Augurs, were likewise officers of the state, and did not
form a hierarchy apart from the state and alongside of it.


Among the Celtic tribes in Brittany, Ireland, and Gaul, and on both
banks of the Rhine, out of an aboriginal life of nature characterized by
wildness and license, religion developed itself in the form of the
worship of two chief divinities, a male divinity, Hu, the begetting, and
a female, Ceridwen, the bearing, power of nature. The priesthood busied
itself with speculations about the divine, the origin of the world, and
the continued existence of man after death, conceived in the form of the
transmigration of souls. Nor did the people's faith lack the conception
of good and evil spirits, fairies, dwarfs, elves, which to the still
childish fancy are objects of fear or superstitious veneration. To the
service of these divinities the priesthood, the Druids, were
consecrated, and beside them the bards, or poets, held a more
independent place.


More developed intellectually is the nature-religion of the ancient
Germans (Teutons) and Scandinavians, which betrays thereby the character
of the Aryan race to which these nations, like the Celts, originally
belonged. The highest god of the Germans is Wodan, called Odhin among
the Norsemen, the god of the heavens, and of the sun, who protects the
earth, and is the source of light and fruitfulness, the spirit of the
world, and the All-father (Alfadhir). From the union of heaven and
earth, there springs the god Thunar or Donar among the Germans, Thor
among the Norsemen, the bold god of thunder who wages war against the
enemies of gods and men. Besides these there are the sons of Wodan, Fro
(German), Freyx (Norse), the god of peace, Zio (German), Tyx (Norse),
the god of war, Aki (German), Oegir (Norse), god of the sea, Vol
(German), Ullr (Norse), god of hunting, and others, to whom are joined
female divinities, such as Nerthus (German), Jördh (Norse), the fruitful
goddess of the earth, Holda (German), Freiya (Norse), the goddess of
love, Nehalennia, goddess of plenty, Frikka (German), Frigg (Norse), the
wife of Wodan, mother of all the living, Hellia (German), Hel (Norse),
the inexorable goddess of the lower world. Opposed to these divinities
(Asen and Asinnen) stands Loko (German), Loki (Norse), enemy of the
divine. In addition to these there appear in the Norse and German Sagas,
besides the heroes, a multitude of spirits, good and hostile, giants,
elves, Elfen (German), Alfen (Norse), white spirits of light, and black
dwarfs, house, forest, and water spirits. The worship was most simple,
and, as was the case with the ancient Semites, the Indians of the Veda,
and the Greeks, as yet independent of temple service and priestly
constraint. The holy places of the Germans were woods, and hills, and
fountains, and in the mysterious rustling of the leaves and in the
murmuring of the waters the pious spirit caught the breathing of the
deity.[5] The father of the house is priest, and the recognition by
these races more than elsewhere of worth in woman is apparent also in
their religion. In the description of the kingdom of the dead in the
German-Norse mythology, Walhalla is the abode of the heroes, hell the
gathering place of the other dead. Notwithstanding these still childish
conceptions, there was revealed in the moral character and heroic spirit
of the German forefathers the germ of a higher development, which makes
the nations of Germany and Northern Europe capable beyond others of a
constantly higher conception and estimation of the Christian




In the Semitic races the religious spirit rose above nature-worship in
the effort to separate God from nature, and to elevate him above nature
as Lord, Baal (plural Baalim, either from the different places where he
was worshiped, or the various names under which he was worshiped), Bel,
El, Adon (Adonis). Thus Bel among the Babylonians, Baal among the
Ammonites and Moabites, was the god of light, the lord of heaven, the
creator of mankind, who had his throne above the clouds and was invoked
on mountains.[7] Also the title Molech and Baal Molech to designate the
Supreme Being among the ancient Phoenicians and Carthaginians, and the
nations nearest related to Israel, the Moabites and Ammonites, as well
as the derived names Milcom (Kamos) [Chemosh, Eng. ver.], among the
Ammonites, and Melkartht at Tyre and Carthage, indicate, like Baal, an
original effort to conceive God as the ruler of nature. Agreeing with
this conception of the Deity, there is manifest, as well in the worship
of Baal as of Molech and the female Astarte (Melecheth)[8] [Ashtaroth,
Eng. ver.], worshiped with him, partly in the abstinence from marriage,
partly in the human sacrifice, especially the sacrifice of the
first-born, the aim, through abnegation of the life of sense, and
through the sacrifice, even though unnatural, of what is dearest to man,
to appease a divinity who as lord and governor rules and subjects to
himself the power of nature and every propensity of sense.[9]

In spite of the effort to elevate the Deity as Lord and King above
nature, most of the Semitic nations gradually sank back into the old
nature-worship, and, uniting with the worship of the highest God, Baal
and Bel, that of a female divinity under the names of Baaltis, Beltis,
Aschera, Mylitta, they made religion to consist in the sacrifice of
chastity to the will of the Deity, as the fruitful, productive power of
nature, and thus fell into gross immorality.[10]

Religion appears in another form among the Semites in the worship of the
stars among the Babylonians and ancient Arabians. This astrolatry,
originally a kind of fetichism, became nature-worship, and gradually
rose to the worship of the intelligence manifested to our contemplation
in the movement of the heavenly luminaries. Astrology arose, and
religion no longer expressed itself in passive acquiescence, but was
united with the effort to guide the life by the knowledge to be drawn,
as men imagined, from the motion of the stars.


_a. Its origin. The patriarchal religion. Mosaism. Prophetism._

While most of the Semitic nations, in opposition to the effort to
elevate God above nature as lord and governor, returned to the old
nature-religion with its grossly sensual worship of the divine, and
others got no farther than to the conception of a deity, who, like a
consuming fire, stood opposed to nature, and was to be appeased and
propitiated by human sacrifices, there was developed among the
Israelitish people, gradually and in constantly higher measure, in
connection with a higher moral and religious disposition, the worship of
God as a being who, though distinct from nature, is yet not opposed to
it, and thus no longer demands human sacrifices, but obedience and moral

The common origin of the religion of the Israelites and that of their
Semitic relations, though hardly evident even in the oldest monuments of
the Hebrew literature, appears from the following facts and particulars:
firstly, the composition of Israelitish names not only with El, but also
with Baal, such as Jerubbaal (adversary of Baal), (Gideon),[11]
Esbaal,[12] Meribbaal,[13] names which afterwards, on account of the
aversion which the ever-increasing distance in religion between the
Israelitish nation and the nations related to it must, from the nature
of the case, have inspired against the name of Baal, are changed into
Jerubboseth,[14] Isboseth,[15] and Mephiboseth[16], as also the
interchanging of El and Baal,[17] of Baal-jada[18] and Eljada,[19] seem
to point to an ancient period when the name Baal (Lord) was used, like
El, Elohim, El Eljon, El Schaddai, Adonai, even among the Israelites,
to designate the Supreme Being. Secondly, the God of Abraham (Elohim),
although he desires no human sacrifices, nevertheless praises the
willingness of the father to offer up his first-born, and sees in that
the highest proof of devotedness and obedience.[20] Thirdly,
circumcision, already before Moses[21] the bloody symbol of consecration
to God,[22] and also the right of Jahveh to the first-born, and the
necessity of ransoming them from him,[23] imply an earlier conception of
the deity as a being, who, although on a higher development of the
religion he is not indeed any longer thought to desire human sacrifice,
nevertheless has a right to such a sacrifice, and thus demands indemnity
for remitting it. Fourthly, the later conception, of Jahveh as a
destroying fire, and the way in which the God of Israel is conceived in
connection with fire, and as manifesting himself in fire,[24] betray,
even in the midst of a more advanced religious development, an original
relationship with the like conceptions of the other Semites. Fifthly,
even in the orthodox Jahveh-worship, some symbols, as the twelve oxen in
the porch of the temple,[25] the horns of the altar for
burnt-offerings,[26] perhaps also the in part oxlike form of the
cherubim,[27] point to an earlier worship of the deity under the form of
an ox, the symbol of the highest might, especially among the Semitic

In confirmation of the supposition thus suggested of a community of
origin in the religion of the Israelites and in that of the nations
related to them, there is also to be remarked, firstly, the sympathy
always felt among the people of Israel for the worship of Baal and
Molech, in face of the strongest opposition on the part of the
prophets;[29] secondly, the statement of Amos,[30] that even in the
wilderness the Israelites worshiped Molech; thirdly, the fact that in
the time of the Judges, Jephthah offered his daughter to Jahveh,[31] and
still later the feeling, not driven out even by Mosaism, that the wrath
of Jahveh must be appeased by human blood,[32] a necessity which David
recognizes;[33] fourthly, the ancient custom in Israel, as in the
nations related to them, of worshiping the deity on mountains and
heights,[34] against which the priestly legislation strove in the
interest of the pure worship of Jahveh;[35] fifthly, the heterodox
worship of Jahveh in the kingdom of the ten tribes under the form of a

From all this it seems fair to conclude that the religion of the oldest
forefathers of Israel had its root originally in one and the same soil
with the religion of the other Semites. Out of an earlier
nature-religion there developed among the Semites the conception of
Baal, the lord of nature, and of Molech with his inhuman worship. While,
however, the other Semites remained in this lower stage, or rather sank
back more and more into the immorality of the nature-religion,--an
hypothesis suggested by a comparison of the religious state of the
nations of Canaan in Abraham's time with their state at the time of the
conquest of the land by Joshua and afterwards,--in the family of
Abraham, religious consciousness rose to the recognition of a deity,
who, although he had a right to human sacrifices, yet did not claim such
sacrifices, but was satisfied with men's willingness to bring them to
him. With this higher development of religion, the names of the Supreme
Being, Baal and Molech, originally common to the whole race, came more
and more into contempt, and were regarded as the expression of
abominable idolatry,[37] while even the worship of Jahveh under the form
of a calf, originally permitted, was later branded by the prophets as

Though it was in the family of Abraham that even in Mesopotamia[38] the
beginning of this higher development of the Semitic religion showed
itself, which, after his migration to Canaan became the heritage of his
family, yet the patriarch of Israel did not stand alone in this respect
among the Semites. The old Canaanitish chieftains also of the
patriarchal period, Melchizedek and Abimelech, worship the same God as
he,[39] while on the other hand in his own family not all traces of
polytheistic superstition have disappeared,[40] and these traces are
also visible still later in Israel.[41]

The patriarchal religion, which afterwards with the great majority fell
into oblivion, was recalled afresh to men's minds by Moses, and the God
of the fathers was preached by him under the name before unknown of
Jahveh,[42] to whom, with the exclusion of all other gods, religious
worship is due.[43] The Jahveh of Moses, like the El Eljon of the
patriarchs, is the one only object of worship (Deus Unus), yet without
excluding the possibility of other gods existing.[44] Not until later
did the more developed conception of Jahveh arise as the one only God
(Deus unicus),[45] who is throned in heaven, and like the Elohim of the
patriarchs, encircled by celestial beings (Bene Elohim, Malakim,
Angels), who execute his commands, yet are not objects of religious

The religious standpoint of Moses is the legal. Jehovah stands related
to his people as the Holy, as lawgiver and judge; and the true moral
consecration to God is symbolically expressed in the ritual, especially
in the sacrifice, while the relation of the people to God is based upon
the mediation of the priests. Along with this, and out of Mosaism, after
the time of Samuel, prophetism was developed, in which independent
religious conviction, outside the limits of the priesthood, and without
distinction of rank or birth,[46] awoke among the people. Prophetism, in
the domain of religion, is the development of the religious spirit to
individual independence and freedom. The prophet, rising above the legal
standpoint and outward ceremonial, puts the essence of true worship in
morality,[47] but recognizes also along with the deepest feeling of
dependence upon God, in the independence[48] and spontaneity of the
religious and moral life, the irresistible power of the divine spirit,
by which the Most High, though apart from the world and throned in
heaven, puts himself into the closest and most intimate communion with
the true worshiper. Thus the gulf which divided Jahveh, as a God afar
off, from the world and his worshipers, closed up more and more. With
the conviction of the pureness and truth[49] of her religion, Israel
felt the calling to raise it to the religion of the world, and in the
realization of this she saw the ideal of the future.[50]

_b. The Israelitish religion after the Captivity._

The free character which distinguished prophetism in the religion of
Israel changed, after the return of the people from captivity,
especially with the party of the Pharisees, to literalness and
formalism. The prophets gave place to the synagogue, the living
proclamation of the truth to scriptural erudition, the spirit of
freedom to slavish subjection to Scripture and tradition. As the ancient
productions of the Indian literature, originally the expression of the
popular thought of India, were elevated by the Brahmins into Veda, holy,
inspired scripture, so also the religious literature of Israel took on
the character of a closed Canon, so that what was once the expression of
religious life became now rule of faith. The standpoint of the law which
prophetism had already overcome was again strongly maintained, the law
enriched with a number of new ordinances, and the essence of religion
made to consist partly in dogmatic speculation, partly in a merely
outward service, devoid of inner life. The Messianic prediction, or the
expectation that the kingdom, divided in Rehoboam's reign, once more
united under a prince of the house of David, should be exalted to new
bloom and lustre,--which in the older prophets was the natural and
historically explicable form in which the ideal of Israel's future
presented itself to the seer, but which, under the influence of the
changed political conditions, had already been replaced in the later
prophecy by the more general conception of a future triumph of the true
religion of which Israel was the bringer,--[51]returned, yet not as the
ideal of the prophetic spirit, but as a dogma, the product of scriptural
interpretation. The pure monotheism, by which formerly a place in the
Providence of God had been allotted to everything, even to moral
evil,[52] became corrupted, under the influence of Parsism, by the
conception of two kingdoms, of God and of the Devil. The angels,
originally the messengers of Providence, became under mythological
names, Gabriel, Raphael, Michael, &c., so many middle beings who filled
the space between the Deity, existing apart from the world, and the
world. The lower world (sheol, [Greek: aidês]), formerly the general
abode of the dead, of bad and good without distinction, was split into
two parts, paradise and gehenna, and became a place of recompense, and,
along with this, religion, once an end, became the means of warding off
a dreaded punishment, or of gaining a future of bliss. The doctrine of
immortality, as the continuation of man's moral development, which was
formerly unknown in Israel, appeared, as in the later Parsism, in the
form of a bodily resurrection of the dead, at first of the righteous
only, but afterwards in the form of a general resurrection, by mediation
of the Messiah, at whose appearing, which was expected just before the
end of the present state of things, the great judgment of the world, of
living and dead, was to be held, heaven and earth renewed, and the
kingdom of God founded. Beside the learned party of the Pharisees stood
the Sadducees, who subordinated religion to politics, rejected the
Messianic idea and the authority of tradition, and, in denying
immortality in the form of a bodily resurrection, failed to perceive the
truth of immortality, for whose recognition the premises and germs
existed in the religion of Israel, though not as yet developed. The
third party, that of the Essenes, was marked by quiet piety, and in many
respects also by excessive asceticism. In the midst of the Pharisaic
formalism, the unbelief of the Sadducees, and the pietism of the
Essenes, there was yet in Israel a seed of true worshipers, who, though
not above the dogmatic prejudices of their time, had heart and mind open
for the true religion, and who set the true blessing to be looked for
from the Messiah in the satisfying of their religious and moral needs.


The Israelitish religion, which reached its highest stage of development
in prophetism, but which among the later Jews after Ezra degenerated,
with the Pharisees into formalism and worship of the letter, with the
Essenes into mysticism and asceticism, and which with the Sadducees,
along with the sacrifice of the prophetic ideal of the future, was
subordinated to politics, developed in Christianity, but freed from once
cherished national expectations and outward forms, into a purely
spiritual knowledge and worship of God. Jesus fathomed the deep meaning
of the religion of his people, and its original fitness to become,
through higher development, the religion of the world. Jesus devoted
himself to the end of forming the human race into one great society (the
kingdom of heaven), of which religion should be the soul and life, and,
convinced of his calling, proclaimed himself as the Son of man, who, as
such, belonged not to Israel alone, but to mankind. Jesus combated both
the formalism and exclusiveness of the Pharisees, and the unbelief of
the Sadducees, and with word and deed preached a religion which,
independent of all outward form, took hold of the human heart, and
which, developing into an independent principle in man, was to find its
commission, not in the authority of Scripture or tradition, not even in
that of his name, but in its own power and truth. In him religion
appeared as the power of self-sacrificing love, which fears not even
death, and to which dying is not the losing of life, but the development
of life. In distinction from other religions, in which either God and
man are strangers to each other, and opposed to each other, or man's
personality is, as it were, sunk in God, Christianity is the religion by
which man, in the full enjoyment of individual development, and with the
sense of his own strength, lives in the consciousness of the most entire
dependence upon God. Religion in its highest form, conceived as the
oneness of man with God, is realized in Christianity.[53]


The religion of the ancient nomadic tribes of the Arabian peninsula
originally exhibited a polytheistical character, in the form of the
worship, in part of sacred stones, in part of the powers of nature,
especially of the stars, whose position and motion were thought to exert
an influence, beneficent or baneful, upon the destinies of men. With
these conceptions was combined a certain leaning toward monotheism,
which manifested itself especially in the common worship of Allah taala
(equivalent to El Eljon), which was afterwards quickened and
strengthened by association with the Jewish tribes, with whom they held
themselves to be related by descent from Abraham. The Parsee doctrine of
demons, also, was not unknown in Arabia, after the conquest of the
Persians in the fifth century. After the third, fourth, and fifth
centuries, Christianity also, though in a corrupt form, or, definitely,
in the form of Monophysitism and Nestorianism, which had been condemned
by the church, became established in Arabia.

Amid such diverse elements, there was need of unity in the domain of
religion, a need for which Mohammed, after the example of others of his
family, sought to provide.

He was born at Mecca (571) of an honorable family, belonging to the
Koreish tribe. Finding no satisfaction for his restless spirit in the
trade to which after his parents' death he had at first devoted himself,
he gave himself up, in solitary retirement, to quiet meditation, and
became more and more convinced of his calling to put an end, by means of
a better religion, to the confusion existing among his countrymen with
regard to religion. The religious idea which overmastered him presented
itself to his powerful Oriental imagination in the form of a vision as a
revelation of Allah taala, made to him in the fortieth year of his life
by mediation of the angel Gabriel. His conviction, thus acquired, was
confirmed by revelations afterwards received; and, shared at first with
a small circle of trusted friends, gradually spread wider, until at last
Mohammed came forward in the ancient sanctuary, the Kaaba, at Mecca, as
prophet of Allah. For this he was pursued by his countrymen, and fled
from thence to Medina, in the year 622, the beginning of the Moslem era.
The number of his followers increasing, he had recourse to arms. He
conquered Mecca in 630, and made the Kaaba, after destroying the idols
in it, the sanctuary of the new religion.

The doctrine of Mohammed (Islam, submission to God, whence his followers
take the name of Moslems), is contained in the Koran. The various
Suras, or divisions, originally the revelations received by the prophet
at different periods of his life reduced to writing, were, soon after
his death, united by Abu Bekr into one holy book, under the name of the
Koran (al Kitab, the book), which, like the Bible among the later Jews
and Christians, was clothed with divine authority. The central doctrine
of Mohammed is the belief in one God, Allah, who, as the Creator and
Lord of all things, in strictest isolation from the world, is throned in
heaven. All that takes place upon the earth befalls according to the
eternal decree of God, a conception in which, at least among the
Orthodox Moslems, the Sunnites, who are distinguished in this respect,
as in others, from the dissenting Shiites, there is no place left for
human freedom. This God has from the earliest times revealed himself to
some privileged men, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus (Isa). To the
last is due the honor of having been the reformer of degenerate Judaism.
He is not, as the Christians of Mohammed's time taught, the Son of God
in a metaphysical sense, much less God himself,--Allah is one, he
neither begets nor is begotten,--but a prophet of human descent. The
greatest and last prophet is Mohammed himself, in whom prophetism
reached its fulfillment. Along with the doctrine regarding God and his
relation to the world, prayer, hospitality, and benevolence occupy a
prominent place in the teaching of Mohammed, looked at from its
practical side, and also the belief in a future life, in the
Jewish-Parsee form of the resurrection of the dead, the judgment of the
world, future reward and punishment, paradise and hell. The truth of
this divine revelation rests upon the very fact of its having been
revealed, and, according to Mohammed, it no more needs scientific proof
than confirmation by miracles, to which Islamism did not appeal until

The opinion which formerly prevailed among Christians that Mohammed was
an impostor, a false prophet, was bound up with the conception that God,
to the exclusion of other nations, had revealed himself immediately and
supernaturally first to Israel, and afterwards through Christ to all
mankind. Hence it followed that Christianity was not prized as the
highest religion, existing along with less developed forms of religion,
but was opposed as the only true religion to all others, which were
regarded as the fruit of imposture and error, an opinion to which the
religious and political struggles in which Islam and Christendom have
been involved also richly contributed. Mohammed was seer and prophet,
filled with fiery zeal for religion, and, while he stands indeed in this
respect, both personally and with regard to the contents of his
preaching and the means by which he sought to gain admission for his
doctrine, below the seers of Israel, and far below the founder of
Christianity, yet, on the other hand, his monotheism, abstract as it is,
must be regarded as a wholesome reaction against the ever-increasing
polytheistical superstition to which in his time the Christian church of
the East especially had sunk. Islamism stands, however, below original
Christianity, the religion of Jesus and the Apostles, in that, by
separating God, as the abstract one Supreme Being, from the world, it
leaves no place for the doctrine of God's immanence, or the indwelling
of the Spirit of God in man. Hence in Islamism the divine revelation
remains purely mechanical, with no natural point of connection in man,
and therefore there is no possibility of an enduring prophetism, which
is the fundamental principle of Christianity. From this separation of
God and man, the Mohammedan doctrine of predestination, in distinction
from the Christian, acquires its abstract and fatalistic character,
whereby man, instead of being regarded as a being in whose free activity
God's power and life are glorified, is conceived as a passive instrument
of a higher power. To true moral independence, therefore, the Moslem
does not attain. His religion is legal and external, and therefore
intolerant and exclusive; and when Islamism, led by excited passion and
a heated imagination, disregarded the sanctity of marriage, and held up
as a reward before the faithful Moslem a paradise characterized by
sensual enjoyment, it missed at once the deep moral and spiritual
character of Christianity. To these defects must be ascribed the fact
that Islamism, adapted to the need of the East, and therefore spread
over a large part of Asia and Africa, has not, with the exception of the
empire of Turkey, and for a time also of Spain, penetrated Europe; and,
overshadowed by a higher development of humanity, has reached its
highest bloom, while Christianity, brought back to its original purity,
remains the religion of the civilized world.


[Footnote 1: Translated from the Dutch of Prof. J.H. Scholten, by F.T.
Washburn. This constitutes the first part of Prof. Scholten's History of
Religion and Philosophy. (_Geschiedenis der Godsdienst en
Wijsbegeerte._) Third edition. Leyden, 1863. Of this work there is a
translation in French by M. Albert Réville (Paris, 1861); but this
translation, which was made from an earlier edition, is very defective
in the first part, Prof. Scholten having added a great deal in his last
edition. There is also a translation of it in German, by D.E.R.
Redepenning (Elberfeld, 1868). This German translation has been revised
and enlarged by Prof. Scholten, and is therefore superior in some
respects to the original Dutch. The present translation has been revised
upon it.]

[Footnote 2: According to Buusen 3000 or 2500 B.C., Haug 2000 B.C., Max
Müller 1200 B.C., Max Duncker 1300 or 1250 B.C., and according to
Roeth. I. p. 348, who still puts Vistaspa before Darius Hystaspes,
between 589 and 512 B.C.]

[Footnote 3: The doctrine of the _Zervana akarana_ (infinite time) as
the original One, from which the opposition between Ormuzd and Ahriman
was held to spring, dates from a later period.]

[Footnote 4: [Greek: Zeus kelainephês, ahidheri nahiôn, nephelêgerheta
Zeus, Herê bohôpis, glaukhôpis Hathhênê].]

[Footnote 5: Of the Germans Tacitus writes, _Germ._, c. 9, "Eos nec
cohibere parietibus Deos neque in ullam humanioris speciem assimilare,
ex magnitudine coelestium arbitrantur. Lucos ac nemora consecrant
deorumque nominibus appellant secretum illud, quod sola reverentia

[Footnote 6: Among the Roman writers who furnish us with information
upon the religion of the Germans, Tacitus deserves mention, in his
"Germania," as well as in his "Annales" _passim_. The chief source with
regard to the Norse religion is the older Edda, under the title "Edda
Sæmundar hin Froda."]

[Footnote 7: Numb. xxii. 41; xxiii. 28; 2 Kings, xxiii. 5.]

[Footnote 8: Judges, ii. 13; 1 Sam. vii. 4; xii. 10; 1 Kings, xi. 5, 7,
33; 2 Kings, xxiii. 13; Jer. vii. 18; xliv. 17, 19.]

[Footnote 9: Levit. xviii. 21; xx. 2; 2 Kings, iii. 26, 27; xvi. 3;
xxiii. 10; Ps. cvi. 38; Jer. vii. 31; xix. 5; xxxii. 35; Micah, vi. 7;
Ezek. xv. 4, 6; [?] xvi. 20, Comp. I Kings, xviii: 28.]

[Footnote 10: Numb. xxv. I, _et seq_; Josh. xxii. 17; Baruch, vi. 41,

[Footnote 11: Judges, vi. 32. and elsewhere.]

[Footnote 12: 1 Chron. viii. 33; ix. 39.]

[Footnote 13: 1 Chron. viii. 34; ix. 40.]

[Footnote 14: 2 Sam. xi. 21.]

[Footnote 15: 2 Sam. ii. 8, and elsewhere.]

[Footnote 16: 2 Sam. iv. 4, and elsewhere.]

[Footnote 17: Judges, viii. 33; ix. 4. Comp. with ix. 46.]

[Footnote 18: 1 Chron. xiv. 7.]

[Footnote 19: 1 Chron. iii. 8; 2 Sam. v. 16.]

[Footnote 20: Gen. xxii.]

[Footnote 21: Gen. xvii. 23-27.]

[Footnote 22: Ex. iv. 24-26.]

[Footnote 23: Ex. xiii. 2, 12-16; xxii. 28, 29; xxx. 11-16; xxxiv. 19,

[Footnote 24: Gen. xv. 17; Ex. iii. 2; xix. 16-18; xxiv. 17; xl. 38;
Levit. x. 2; Numb. xvi. 35; Deut. iv. 15, 24; v. 24, 25.]

[Footnote 25: 1 Kings, vii. 25, 29.]

[Footnote 26: Ex. xxvii. 2.]

[Footnote 27: Comp. Ezek. i. 10; x. 14.]

[Footnote 28: 1 Kings, xviii. 23.]

[Footnote 29: 1 Kings, xi. 5; 2 Kings, xvi. 3; xxi. 3; xxiii. 4, _et
seq_; 2 Chron. xxxiii. 3; Ezek. xvi. 20, 21; Jer. xix. 5.]

[Footnote 30: Amos. v. 25, 26.]

[Footnote 31: Judges, xi. 30-40.]

[Footnote 32: Ex. xxxii. 27-29; Numb. xxv. 4.]

[Footnote 33: 2 Sam. xxi. 1-14.]

[Footnote 34: 1 Kings, iii. 2; xi. 7; 2 Kings, xii. 3; xiv. 4; xvii. 11;
xviii. 4; xxiii. 5, 19; 2 Chron. xxi. 11.]

[Footnote 35: 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3; Ezek. vi. 3; xx. 28.]

[Footnote 36: 1 Kings, xii. 28, 33. Comp. Ex. xxxii. 4, 19.]

[Footnote 37: Levit. xviii. 21; xx. 2; Deut. xii. 31.]

[Footnote 38: Gen. xxiv, xxviii.]

[Footnote 39: Gen. xiv. 18-20; xx. 3, 4.]

[Footnote 40: Gen. xxxi. 19, 30, _et seq_; xxxv. 2-4; Joshua, xxiv. 2,

[Footnote 41: Judges, xviii. 14, _et seq_; 1 Sam. xix. 13; 2 Kings,
xviii. 4; Ezek. xx. 7.]

[Footnote 42: Ex. iii. 13, _et seq_; vi. 2.]

[Footnote 43: Ex. xx. 2, 3.]

[Footnote 44: Ex. viii. 10; xv. 11; xviii. 11; xx. 3.]

[Footnote 45: Deut vi. 4; iv. 28, 35; xxxii. 39; Isaiah, xliv. 6, 8;
xlv. 5, 6.]

[Footnote 46: Amos, vii. 14.]

[Footnote 47: Isa. i. 11-18; Jer. vii. 21-23.]

[Footnote 48: Dutch, _zelfstandigheid_, literally, self-existence;
without an equivalent, as far as I know, in vernacular English.--Tr.]

[Footnote 49: _Zelfstandigheid_, again, expressing objective existence,
reality, independent of subjective thought or feeling.--Tr.]

[Footnote 50: Jer. xxxi. 31, _et seq_; Isa. ii. 2-4; Amos, ix. 12; Isa.
xxv. 6; lii. 15; lvi. 6, 7; lxvi. 23; Zech. viii. 23; xiv. 9, 16.]

[Footnote 51: Isa. liii.]

[Footnote 52: Job i, ii.--Tr.]

[Footnote 53: The most original sources of the Christian religion are
the Synoptic Gospels, in which, however, criticism must distinguish
between the older and later portions. The fourth Gospel is marked by a
more profound speculation upon the person and the work of Christ, by
which the Christian mind freed itself entirely from the Jewish forms in
which Jesus, as a popular teacher in Israel, had set forth his

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