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Title: An Introduction to the Study of Comparative Religion
Author: Jevons, F. B. (Frank Byron), 1858-1936
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "An Introduction to the Study of Comparative Religion" ***








New York



_All rights reserved_



Set up and electrotyped.  Published October, 1908.

  Norwood Press
  J. S. Cushing--Berwick & Smith Co.
  Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.



The Hartford-Lamson Lectures on "The Religions of the World" are
delivered at Hartford Theological Seminary in connection with the
Lamson Fund, which was established by a group of friends in honor of
the late Charles M. Lamson, D.D., sometime President of the American
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to assist in preparing
students for the foreign missionary field.  The Lectures are designed
primarily to give to such students a good knowledge of the religious
history, beliefs, and customs of the peoples among whom they expect to
labor.  As they are delivered by scholars of the first rank, who are
authorities in their respective fields, it is expected that in
published form they will prove to be of value to students generally.




  INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    1
  IMMORTALITY  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   34
  MAGIC  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   70
  FETICHISM  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  105
  PRAYER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  138
  SACRIFICE  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  175
  MORALITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  211
  CHRISTIANITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  239
  APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  267
  BIBLIOGRAPHY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  271
  INDEX  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  275




The use of any science lies in its application to practical purposes.
For Christianity, the use of the science of religion consists in
applying it to show that Christianity is the highest manifestation of
the religious spirit.  To make this use of the science of religion, we
must fully and frankly accept the facts it furnishes, and must
recognise that others are at liberty to use them for any opposite
purpose.  But we must also insist that the science of religion is
limited to the establishment of facts and is excluded from passing
judgment on the religious value of those facts.  The science of
religion as a historical science is concerned with the chronological
order, and not with the religious value, of its facts; and the order of
those facts does not determine their value any more in the case of
religion than in the case of literature or art.  But if their value is
a question on which the science refuses to enter, it does not follow
that the question is one which does not admit of a truthful answer:
science has no monopoly of truth.  The value of anything always implies
a reference to the future: to be of value a thing must be of use for
some purpose, and what is purposed is in the future.  Things have
value, or have not, according as they are useful or not for our
purposes.  The conviction that we can attain our purposes and ideals,
the conviction without which we should not even attempt to attain them
is faith; and it is in faith and by faith that the man of religion
proposes to {x} conquer the world.  It is by faith in Christianity that
the missionary undertakes to convert men to Christianity.  The
comparative value of different religions can only be ascertained by
comparison of those religions; and the missionary, of all men, ought to
know what is to be learnt from such comparison.  It is sometimes
supposed (wrongly) that to admit that all religions are comparable is
to admit that all are identical; but, in truth, it is only because they
differ that it is possible to compare them.  For the purpose of
comparison both the differences and the resemblances must be assumed to
exist; and even for the purposes of the science of religion there is
nothing to compel us to postulate a period in which either the
differences or the resemblances were non-existent.  But though there is
nothing to compel us to assume that the lowest form in which religion
is found was necessarily the earliest to exist, it is convenient for us
to start from the lowest forms.  For the practical purposes of the
missionary it is desirable where possible to discover any points of
resemblance or traits of connection between the lower form with which
his hearers are familiar and the higher form to which he proposes to
lead them.  It is therefore proper for him and reasonable in itself to
look upon the long history of religion as man's search for God, and to
regard it as the function of the missionary to keep others in that
search . . . 1-33


The belief in immortality is more prominent, though less intimately
bound up with religion, amongst uncivilised than it is amongst
civilised peoples.  In early times the fancy luxuriates, unchecked, on
this as on other matters.  It is late in the history of religion that
the immortality of the soul is found to be postulated alike by morality
and religion.  The belief that the soul exists after death doubtless
manifested itself first in the {xi} fact that men dream of those who
have died.  But, were there no desire to believe, it may be doubted
whether the belief would survive, or even originate.  The belief
originates in desire, in longing for one loved and lost; and dreams are
not the cause of that desire, though they are one region in which it
manifests itself, or rather one mode of its manifestation.  The desire
is for continued communion; and its gratification is found in a
spiritual communion.  Such communion also is believed to unite
worshippers both with one another and with their God.  Where death is
regarded as a disruption of communion between the living and the
departed, death is regarded as unnatural, as a violation of the
original design of things, which calls for explanation; and the
explanation is provided in myths which account for it by showing that
the origin of death was due to accident or mistake.  At first, it is
felt that the mistake cannot be one without remedy: the deceased is
invited "to come to us again."  If he does not return in his old body,
then he is believed to reappear in some new-born child.  Or the
doctrine of rebirth may be satisfied by the belief that the soul is
reincarnated in animal form.  This belief is specially likely to grow
up where totem ancestors are believed to manifest themselves in the
shape of some animal.  Belief in such animal reincarnation has, in its
origin, however, no connection with any theory that transmigration from
a human to an animal form is a punishment.  Up to this point in the
evolution of the belief in immortality, the belief in another world
than this does not show itself.  Even when ancestor-worship begins to
grow up, the ancestors' field of operations is in this world, rather
than in the next.  But the fact that their aid and protection can be
invoked by the community tends to elevate them to the level of the god
or gods of the community.  This tendency, however, may be defeated, as
it was in Judæa, where the religious sentiment will not permit the
difference between God and man to be blurred.  {xii} Where the fact
that the dead do not return establishes itself as incontrovertible, the
belief grows up that as the dead continue to exist, it is in another
world that their existence must continue.  At first they are conceived
to continue to be as they are remembered to have been in this life.
Later the idea grows up that they are punished or rewarded there,
according as they have been bad or good here; according as they have or
have not in this life sought communion with the true God.  This belief
thus differs entirely from the earlier belief, _e.g._ as it is found
amongst the Eskimo, that it is in this world the spirits of the
departed reappear, and that their continued existence is unaffected by
considerations of morality or religion.  It is, however, not merely the
belief in the next world that may come to be sanctified by religion and
moralised.  The belief in reincarnation in animal form may come to be
employed in the service of religion and morality, as it is in Buddhism.
There, however, what was originally the transmigration of souls was
transformed by Gotama into the transmigration of character; and the
very existence of the individual soul, whether before death or after,
was held to be an illusion and a deception.  This tenet pushes the
doctrine of self-sacrifice, which is essential both to religion and to
morality, to an extreme which is fatal in logic to morality and
religion alike: communion between man and God--the indispensable
presupposition of both religion and morals--is impossible, if the very
existence of man is illusory.  The message of the missionary will be
that by Christianity self-sacrifice is shown to be the condition of
morality, the essence of communion with God and the way to life eternal
. . . 34-69


A view sometime held was that magic is religion, and religion magic.
With equal reason, or want of reason, it might be held that magic was
science, and science magic.  {xiii} Even if we correct the definition,
and say that to us magic appears, in one aspect, as a spurious system
of science; and, in another, as a spurious system of religion; we still
have to note that, for those who believed in it, it could not have been
a spurious system, whether of science or religion.  Primitive man acts
on the assumption that he can produce like by means of like; and about
that assumption there is no "magic" of any kind.  It is only when an
effect thus produced is a thing not commonly done and not generally
approved of, that it is regarded as magic; and it is magic, because not
every one knows how to do it, or not every one has the power to do it,
or not every one cares to do it.  About this belief, so long as every
one entertains it, there is nothing spurious.  When however it begins
to be suspected that the magician has not the power to do what he
professes, his profession tends to become fraudulent and his belief
spurious.  On the other hand, a thing commonly done and generally
approved of is not regarded as magical merely because the effect
resembles the cause, and like is in this instance produced by like.
Magic is a term of evil connotation; and the practice of using like to
produce like is condemned when and because it is employed for
anti-social purposes.  Such practices are resented by the society,
amongst whom and on whom they are employed; and they are offensive to
the God who looks after the interests of the community.  In fine, the
object and purpose of the practice determines the attitude of the
community towards the practice: if the object is anti-social, the
practice is nefarious; and the witch, if "smelled out," is killed.  The
person who is willing to undertake such nefarious proceedings comes to
be credited with a nefarious personality, that is to say, with both the
power and the will to do what ordinary, decent members of the community
could not and would not do: personal power comes to be the most
important, because the most mysterious, characteristic of the man
believed to {xiv} be a magician.  If we turn to things, such as
rain-making, which are socially beneficial, we find a similar growth in
the belief that some men have extraordinary power to work wonders on
behalf of the tribe.  A further stage of development is reached when
the man who uses his personal power for nefarious purposes undertakes
by means of it to control spirits: magic then tends to pass into
fetichism.  Similarly, when rain and other social benefits come to be
regarded as gifts of the gods, the power of the rainmaker comes to be
regarded as a power to procure from the gods the gifts that they have
to bestow: magic is displaced by religion.  The opposition of principle
between magic and religion thus makes itself manifest.  It makes itself
manifest in that the one promotes social and the other anti-social
purposes: the spirit worshipped by any community as its god is a spirit
who has the interests of the community at heart, and who _ex officio_
condemns and punishes those who by magic or otherwise work injury to
the members of the community.  Finally, the decline of the belief in
magic is largely due to the discovery that it does not produce the
effects it professes to bring about.  But the missionary will also
dwell on the fact that his hearers feel it to be anti-social and to be
condemned alike by their moral sentiments and their religious feeling .
. . 70-104


Fetichism is regarded by some as a stage of religious development, or
as the form of religion found amongst men at the lowest stage of
development known to us.  From this the conclusion is sometimes drawn
that fetichism is the source of all religion and of all religious
values; and, therefore, that (as fetichism has no value) religion
(which is an evolved form of fetichism) has no value either.  This
conclusion is then believed to be proved by the science of religion.
In fact, however, students of the science of religion disclaim this
conclusion and rightly {xv} assert that the science does not undertake
to prove anything as to the truth or the value of religion.

Much confusion prevails as to what fetichism is; and the confusion is
primarily due to Bosman.  He confuses, while the science of religion
distinguishes between, animal gods and fetiches.  He asserts what we
now know to be false, viz., that a fetich is an inanimate object and
nothing more; and that the native rejects, or "breaks," one of these
gods, knowing it to be a god.

Any small object which happens to arrest the attention of a negro, when
he has a desire to gratify, may impress him as being a fetich, _i.e._
as having power to help him to gratify his desire.  Here, Höffding
says, is the simplest conceivable construction of religious ideas: here
is presented religion under the guise of desire.  Let it be granted,
then, that the object attracts attention and is involuntarily
associated with the possibility of attaining the desired end.  It
follows that, as in the period of animism, all objects are believed to
be animated by spirits, fetich objects are distinguished from other
objects by the fact--not that they are animated by spirits but--that it
is believed they will aid in the accomplishment of the desired end.
The picking up of a fetich object, however, is not always followed by
the desired result; and the negro then explains "that it has lost its
spirit."  The spirit goes out of it, indeed, but may perchance be
induced or even compelled to return into some other object; and then
fetiches may be purposely made as well as accidentally found, and are
liable to coercion as well as open to conciliation.

But, throughout this process, there is no religion.  Religion is the
worship of the gods of a community by the community for the good of the
community.  The cult of a fetich is conducted by an individual for his
private ends; and the most important function of a fetich is to work
evil against those members of the community who have incurred the
fetich owner's resentment.  Thus religion {xvi} and fetich-worship are
directed to ends not merely different but antagonistic.  From the very
outset religion in social fetichism is anti-social.  To seek the origin
of religion in fetichism is vain.  Condemned, wherever it exists, by
the religious and moral feelings of the community, fetichism cannot
have been the primitive religion of mankind.  The spirits of fetichism,
according to Höffding, become eventually the gods of polytheism: such a
spirit, so long as it is a fetich, is "the god of a moment," and must
come to be permanent if it is to attain to the ranks of the
polytheistic gods.  But fetiches, even when their function becomes
permanent, remain fetiches and do not become gods.  They do not even
become "departmental gods," for their powers are to further a man's
desires generally.  On the other hand, they have personality, even if
they have not personal names.  Finally, if, as Höffding believes, the
word "god" originally meant "he who is worshipped," and gods are
worshipped by the community, then fetiches, as they are nowhere
worshipped by the community, are in no case gods.

The function of the fetich is anti-social; of the gods, to promote the
well-being of the community.  To maintain that a god is evolved out of
a fetich is to maintain that practices destructive of society have only
to be pushed far enough and they will prove the salvation of society .
. . 105-137


Prayer is a phenomenon in the history of religion to which the science
of religion has devoted but little attention--the reason alleged being
that it is so simple and familiar as not to demand detailed study.  It
may, however, be that the phenomenon is indeed familiar yet not simple.
Simple or not, it is a matter on which different views may be held.
Thus though it may be agreed that in the lower forms of religion it is
the accomplishment of desire that is asked for, a divergence of opinion
emerges {xvii} the moment the question is put, Whose desire? that of
the individual or of the community?  And instances may be cited to show
that it is not for his own personal, selfish advantage alone that the
savage always or even usually prays.  It is the desires of the
community that the god of the community is concerned to grant: the
petition of an individual is offered and harkened to only so far as it
is not prejudicial to the interests of the community.  The statement
that savage prayer is unethical may be correct in the sense that pardon
for moral sin is not sought; it is incorrect, if understood to mean
that the savage does not pray to do the things which his morality makes
it incumbent on him to do, _e.g._ to fight successfully.  The desires
which the god is prayed to grant are ordinarily desires which, being
felt by each and every member of the community, are the desires of the
community, as such, and not of any one member exclusively.

Charms, it has been suggested, in some cases are prayers that by vain
repetition have lost their religious significance and become mere
spells.  And similarly it has been suggested that out of mere spells
prayer may have been evolved.  But, on the hypothesis that a spell is
something in which no religion is, it is clear that out of it no
religion can come; while if prayer, _i.e._ religion, has been evolved
out of spells, then there have never been spells wholly wanting in
every religious element.  Whether a given formula then is prayer or
spell may be difficult to decide, when it has some features which seem
to be magical and others which seem to be religious.  The magical
element may have been original and be in process of disappearing before
the dawn of the religious spirit.  Now, the formula uttered is usually
accompanied by gestures performed.  If the words are uttered to explain
the gesture or rite, the explanation is offered to some one, the words
are of the nature of a prayer to some one to grant the desire which the
gesture manifests.  {xviii} On the other hand, if the gestures are
performed to make the words more intelligible, then the action
performed is, again, not magical, but is intended to make the
words--the prayer--more emphatic.  In neither case, then, is the
gesture or rite magical in intent.  Dr. Frazer's suggestion that it
required long ages for man to discover that he could not always
succeed--even by the aid of magic--in getting what he wanted; and that
only when he made this discovery did he take to religion and prayer, is
a suggestion which cannot be maintained in view of the fact that savage
man is much more at the mercy of accidents than is civilised man.  The
suggestion, in fact, tells rather against than in favour of the view
that magic preceded religion, and that spells preceded prayer.

The Australian black fellows might have been expected to present us
with the spectacle of a people unacquainted with prayer.  But in point
of fact we find amongst them both prayers to Byamee and formulæ which,
though now unintelligible even to the natives, may originally have been
prayers.  And generally speaking the presumption is that races, who
distinctly admit the existence of spirits, pray to those spirits, even
though their prayers be concealed from the white man's observation.
Gods are there for the purpose of being prayed to.  Prayer is the
essence of religion, as is shown by the fact that gods, when they cease
to be prayed to, are ignored rather than worshipped.  Such gods--as in
Africa and elsewhere--become little more than memories, when they no
longer have a circle of worshippers to offer prayer and sacrifice to

The highest point reached in the evolution of pre-Christian prayer is
when the gods, as knowing best what is good, are petitioned simply for
things good.  Our Lord's prayer is a revelation which the theory of
evolution cannot account for or explain.  Nor does Höffding's "antinomy
of religious feeling" present itself to the Christian soul as an
antinomy . . . 138-174



Prayer and sacrifice historically go together, and logically are
indissoluble.  Sacrifice, whether realised in an offering dedicated or
in a sacrificial meal, is prompted by the worshippers' desire to feel
that they are at one with the spirit worshipped.  That desire manifests
itself specially on certain regularly occurring occasions (harvest,
seed time, initiation) and also in times of crisis.  At harvest time
the sacrifices or offerings are thank-offerings, as is shown by the
fact that a formula of thanksgiving is employed.  Primitive prayer does
not consist solely in petitions for favours to come; it includes
thanksgiving for blessings received.  Such thanksgivings cannot by any
possibility be twisted into magic.

Analogous to these thanksgivings at harvest time is the solemn eating
of first-fruits amongst the Australian black fellows.  If this solemn
eating is not in Australia a survival of a sacramental meal, in which
the god and his worshippers were partakers, it must be merely a
ceremony whereby the food, which until it is eaten is taboo, is
"desacralised."  But, as a matter of fact, such food is not taboo to
the tribe generally; and the object of the solemn eating cannot be to
remove the taboo and desacralise the food for the tribe.

If the harvest rites or first-fruit ceremonials are sacrificial in
nature, then the presumption is that so, too, are the ceremonies
performed at seed time or the analogous period.

At initiation ceremonies or mysteries, even amongst the Australian
black fellows, there is evidence to show that prayer is offered; and
generally speaking we may say that the boy initiated is admitted to the
worship of the tribal gods.

The spring and harvest customs are closely allied to one another and
may be arranged in four groups: (1) In Mexico they plainly consist of
the worship of a god--by means of sacrifice and prayer--and of
communion.  {xx} (2) In some other cases, though the god has no proper
or personal name, and no image is made of him, "the new corn," Dr.
Frazer says, "is itself eaten sacramentally, that is, as the body of
the corn spirit"; and it is by this sacramental meal that communion is
effected or maintained.  (3) In the harvest customs of northern Europe,
bread and dumplings are made and eaten sacramentally, "as a substitute
for the real flesh of the divine being"; or an animal is slain and its
flesh and blood are partaken of.  (4) Amongst the Australian tribes
there is a sacramental eating of the totem animal or plant.  Now, these
four groups of customs may be all religious (and Dr. Frazer speaks of
them all as sacramental) or all magical; or it may be admitted that the
first three are religious, and maintained that the fourth is strictly
magical.  But such a separation of the Australian group from the rest
does not commend itself as likely; further, it overlooks the fact that
it is at the period analogous to harvest time that the headman eats
solemnly and sparingly of the plant or animal, and that at harvest time
it is too late to work magic to cause the plant or animal to grow.  The
probability is, then, that both the Australian group and the others are
sacrificial rites and are religious.

Such sacrificial rites, however, though felt to be the means whereby
communion was effected and maintained between the god and his
worshippers, may come to be interpreted as the making of gifts to the
god, as the means of purchasing his favour, or as a full discharge of
their obligations.  When so interpreted they will be denounced by true
religion.  But though it be admitted that the sacrificial rite might be
made to bear this aspect, it does not follow, as is sometimes supposed,
that it was from the outset incapable of bearing any other.  On the
contrary, it was, from the beginning, not only the rite of making
offerings to the god but, also, the rite whereby communion was
attained, whereby the society of worshippers was brought into the
presence of the god they {xxi} worshipped, even though the chief
benefits which the worshippers conceived themselves to receive were
earthly blessings.  It is because the rite had from the beginning this
potentiality in it that it was possible for it to become the means
whereby, through Christ, all men might be brought to God . . . 175-210


The question whether morality is based on religion, or religion on
morality, is one which calls for discussion, inasmuch as it is apt to
proceed on a mistaken view of facts in the history of religion.  It is
maintained that as a matter of history morality came first and religion
afterwards; and that as a matter of philosophy religion presupposes
morality.  Reality, that is to say, is in the making; the spirit of man
is self-realising; being is in process of becoming rationalised and
moralised; religion in process of disappearing.

Early religion, it is said, is unethical: it has to do with spirits,
which, as such, are not concerned with morality; with gods which are
not ethical or ideal, and are not objects of worship in our sense of
the term.

Now, the spirits which, in the period of animism, are believed to
animate things, are not, it is true, concerned with morality; but then,
neither are they gods.  To be a god a spirit must have a community of
worshippers; and it is as the protector of that community that he is
worshipped.  He protects the community against any individual member
who violates the custom of the community.  The custom of the community
constitutes the morality of the society.  Offences against that custom
are offences against the god of the community.  A god starts as an
ethical power, and as an object of worship.

Still, it may be argued, before gods were, before religion was evolved,
morality was; and this may be shown by the origin and nature of
justice, which throughout is entirely independent of religion and
religious {xxii} considerations.  On this theory, the origin of justice
is to be found in the resentment of the individual.  But, first, the
individual, apart from society, is an abstraction and an impossibility:
the individual never exists apart from but always as a member of some
society.  Next, justice is not the resentment of any individual, but
the sentiment of the community, expressing itself in the action not of
any individual but of the community as such.  The responsibility both
for the wrong done and for righting it rests with the community.  The
earliest offences against which public action is taken are said to be
witchcraft and breaches of the marriage laws.  The latter are not
injuries resented by any individual: they are offences against the gods
and are punished to avert the misfortunes which otherwise would visit
the tribe.  Witchcraft is especially offensive to the god of the

In almost, if not quite, the lowest stages of human development,
disease and famine are regarded as punishments which fall on the
community as a whole, because the community, in the person of one of
its members, has offended some supernatural power.  In quite the lowest
stage the guilt of the offending member is also regarded as capable of
infecting the whole community; and he is, accordingly, avoided by the
whole community and tabooed.  Taboo is due to the collective action,
and expresses the collective feeling of the community as a whole.  It
is from such collective action and feeling that justice has been
evolved and not from individual resentment, which is still and always
was something different from justice.  The offences punished by the
community have always been considered, so far as they are offences
against morality, to be offences against the gods of the community.
The fact that in course of time such offences come to be punished
always as militating against the good of society testifies merely to
the general assumption that the good of man is the will of God: men do
not believe that murder, adultery, etc., are merely offences {xxiii}
against man's laws.  It is only by ignoring this patent fact that it
becomes possible to maintain that religion is built upon morality, and
that we are discovering religion to be a superfluous superstructure.

It may be argued that the assumption that murder, adultery, etc., are
offences against God's will is a mere assumption, and that in making
the assumption we are fleeing "to the bosom of faith."  The reply is
that we are content not merely to flee but to rest there . . . 211-238


If we are to understand the place of Christianity in the evolution of
religion, we must consider the place of religion in the evolution of
humanity; and I must explain the point of view from which I propose to
approach the three ideas of (1) evolution, (2) the evolution of
humanity, (3) the evolution of religion.

I wish to approach the idea of evolution from the proposition that the
individual is both a means by which society attains its end, and an end
for the sake of which society exists.  Utilitarianism has familiarised
us with the view that society exists for the sake of the individual and
for the purpose of realising the happiness and good of every
individual: no man is to be treated merely as a chattel, existing
solely as a means whereby his owner, or the governing class, may
benefit.  But this aspect of the facts is entirely ignored by the
scientific theory of evolution: according to that theory, the
individual exists only as a factor in the process of evolution, as one
of the means by which, and not as in any sense the end for which, the
process is carried on.

Next, this aspect of the facts is ignored not only by the scientific
theory of evolution, but also by the theory which humanitarianism holds
as to the evolution of humanity, viz. that it is a process moving
through the three stages of custom, religion, and humanitarianism.
That process is still, as it has long been in the past, far from
complete: {xxiv} the end is not yet.  It is an end in which, whenever
and if ever realised on earth, we who are now living shall not live to
partake: we are--on this theory of the evolution of humanity--means,
and solely means, to an end which, when realised, we shall not partake
in.  Being an end in which we cannot participate, it is not an end
which can be rationally set up for us to strive to attain.  Nor will
the generation, which is ultimately to enjoy it, find much satisfaction
in reflecting that their enjoyment has been purchased at the cost of
others.  To treat a minority of individuals as the end for which
humanity is evolved, and the majority as merely means, is a strange
pass for humanitarianism to come to.

Approaching the evolution of religion from the point of view that the
individual must always be regarded both as an end and as a means, we
find that Buddhism denies the individual to be either the one or the
other, for his very existence is an illusion, and an illusion which
must be dispelled, in order that he may cease from an existence which
it is an illusion to imagine that he possesses.  If, however, we turn
to other religions less highly developed than Buddhism, we find that,
in all, the existence of the individual as well as of the god of the
community is assumed; that the interests of the community are the will
of the community's god; that the interests of the community are higher
than the interests of the individual, when they appear to differ; and
that the man who prefers the interests of the community to his own is
regarded as the higher type of man.  In fine, the individual, from this
point of view, acts voluntarily as the means whereby the end of society
may be realised.  And, in so acting, he testifies to his conviction
that he will thereby realise his own end.

Throughout the history of religion these two facts are implied: first,
the existence of the individual as a member of society seeking
communion with God; next, the existence of society as a means of which
the individual is {xxv} the end.  Hence two consequences with regard to
evolution: first, evolution may have helped to make us, but we are
helping to make it; next, the end of evolution is not wholly outside
any one of us, but in part is realised in us.  And it is just because
the end is both within us and without us that we are bound up with our
fellow-man and God.

Whether the process of evolution is moving to any end whatever, is a
question which science declines--formally refuses--to consider.
Whether the end at which religion aims is possible or not, has in any
degree been achieved or not, is a question which the science of
religion formally declines to consider.  If, however, we recognise that
the end of religion, viz. communion with God, is an end at which we
ought to aim, then the process whereby the end tends to be attained is
no longer evolution in the scientific sense.  It is a process in which
progress may or may not be made.  As a fact, the missionary everywhere
sees arrested development, imperfect communion with God; for the
different forms of religion realise the end of religion in different
degrees.  Christianity claims to be "final," not in the chronological
sense, but in that it alone finds the true basis and the only end of
society in the love of God.  The Christian theory of society again
differs from all other theories in that it not only regards the
individuals composing it as continuing to exist after death, but
teaches that the society of which the individual is truly a member,
though it manifests itself in this world, is realised in the next.

The history of religion is the history of man's search for God.  That
search depends for its success, in part, upon man's will.  Christianity
cannot be stationary: the extent to which we push our missionary
outposts forward gives us the measure of our vitality.  And in that
respect, as in others, the vitality of the United States is great . . .

APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266 _ad fin._



Of the many things that fill a visitor from the old country with
admiration, on his first visit to the United States, that which arrests
his attention most frequently, is the extent and success with which
science is applied to practical purposes.  And it is beginning to dawn
upon me that in the United States it is not only pure science which is
thus practically applied,--the pure sciences of mechanics, physics,
mathematics,--but that the historic sciences also are expected to
justify themselves by their practical application; and that amongst the
historic sciences not even the science of religion is exempted from the
common lot.  It also may be useful; and had better be so,--if any one
is to have any use for it.  It must make itself useful to the man who
has practical need of its results and wishes to apply them--the
missionary.  He it is who, for the practical purposes of the work to
which he is called, requires an applied science of religion; and
Hartford {2} Theological Seminary may, I believe, justly claim to be
the first institution in the world which has deliberately and
consciously set to work to create by the courses of lectures, of which
this series is the very humble beginning, an applied science of

How, then, will the applied science differ from the pure science of
religion?  In one way it will not differ: an applied science does not
sit in judgment upon the pure science on which it is based; it accepts
the truths which the pure science presents to all the world, and bases
itself upon them.  The business of pure science is to discover facts;
that of the applied science is to use them.  The business of the
science of religion is to discover all the facts necessary if we are to
understand the growth and history of religion.  The business of the
applied science is, in our case, to use the discovered facts as a means
of showing that Christianity is the highest manifestation of the
religious spirit.

In dealing with the applied science, then, we recover a liberty which
the pure science does not enjoy.  The science of religion is a historic
science.  Its student looks back upon the past; {3} and looks back upon
it with a single purpose, that of discovering what, as a matter of
fact, did happen, what was the order in which the events occurred.  In
so looking back he may, and does, see many things which he could wish
had not occurred; but he has no power to alter them; he has no choice
but to record them; and his duty, his single duty, is to ascertain the
historic facts and to establish the historic truth.  With the applied
science the case is very different.  There the student sets his face to
the future, no longer to the past.  The truths of pure science are the
weapons placed in his hand with which he is to conquer the world.  It
is in the faith that the armour provided him by science is sure and
will not fail him that he addresses himself to his chosen work.  The
implements are set in his hands.  The liberty is his to employ them for
what end he will.  That liberty is a consequence of the fact that the
student's object no longer is to ascertain the past, but to make the

The business of the pure science is to ascertain the facts and state
the truth.  To what use the facts and truth are afterwards put, is a
question with which the pure science has nothing to do.  {4} The same
facts may be put to very different uses: from the same facts very
different conclusions may be drawn.  The facts which the science of
religion establishes may be used and are used for different and for
contradictory purposes.  The man who is agnostic or atheist uses them
to support his atheism or agnosticism; or even, if he is so unwise, to
prove it.  The man who has religion is equally at liberty to use them
in his support; and if he rarely does that, at any rate he still more
rarely commits the mistake of imagining that the science of religion
proves the truth of his particular views on the subject of religion.
Indeed, his tendency is rather in the opposite direction: he is
unreasonably uneasy and apt to have a disquieting alarm lest the
science of religion may really be a danger to religion.  This alarm may
very naturally arise when he discovers that to the scientific student
one religion is as another, and the question is indifferent whether
there is any truth in any form.  It is very easy to jump from these
facts to the erroneous conclusion that science of religion is wholly
incompatible with religious belief.  And of course it is quite human
and perfectly intelligible that that conclusion should be proclaimed
aloud as correct {5} and inevitable by the man who, being an atheist,
fights for what he feels to be the truth.

We must, therefore, once more insist upon the simple fact that science
of religion abstains necessarily from assuming either that religion is
true or is not true.  What it does assume is what no one will deny,
viz. that religion is a fact.  Religious beliefs may be right or they
may be wrong: but they exist.  Therefore they can be studied,
described, classified, placed in order of development, and treated as a
branch of sociology and as one department of the evolution of the
world.  And all this can be done without once asking the question
whether religious belief is true and right and good, or not.  Whether
it is pronounced true or false by you or me, will not in the least
shake the fact that it has existed for thousands of years, that it has
had a history during that period, and that that history may be written.
We may have doubts whether the institution of private property is a
good thing, or whether barter and exchange are desirable proceedings.
But we shall not doubt that private property exists or that it may be
exchanged.  And we shall not imagine that the science of political
economy, which deals, among other {6} things with the production and
exchange of wealth which is private property, makes any pronouncement
whatever on the question whether private property is or is not an
institution which we ought to support and believe in.  The conclusions
established by the science of political economy are set forth before
the whole world; and men may use them for what purpose they will.  They
may and do draw very different inferences from them, even contradictory
inferences.  But if they do, it is because they use them for different
ends or contradictory purposes.  And the fact that the communist or
socialist uses political economy to support his views no more proves
that socialism is the logical consequence of political economy than the
fact that the atheist uses or misuses, for his own purposes, the
conclusions of the science of religion proves his inferences to be the
logical outcome of the science.

The science of religion deals essentially with the one fact that
religion has existed and does exist.  It is from that fact that the
missionary will start; and it is with men who do not question the fact
that he will have to do.  The science of religion seeks to trace the
historic growth, the evolution of religion; to establish what actually
was, not to {7} judge what ought to have been,--science knows no
"ought," in that sense or rather in that tense, the past tense.  Its
work is done, its last word has been said, when it has demonstrated
what was.  It is the heart which sighs to think what might have been,
and which puts on it a higher value than it does on what actually came
to pass.  There is then another order in which facts may be ranged
besides the chronological order in which historically they occurred;
and that is the order of their value.  It is an order in which we do
range facts, whenever we criticise them.  It is the order in which we
range them, whenever we pass judgment on them.  Or, rather, passing
judgment on them is placing them in the order of their value.  And the
chronological order of their occurrence is quite a different thing from
the order in which we rank them when we judge them according to their
value and importance.  It is, or rather it would be, quite absurd to
say, in the case of literature, or art, for instance, that the two
orders are identical.  There it is obvious and universally admitted
that one period may reach a higher level than another which in point of
time is later.  The classical period is followed by a post-classical
period; culmination is followed by decline.  {8} Now, this difference
in point of the literary or artistic value of two periods is as real
and as fundamental as the time order or chronological relation of the
two periods.  It would be patently ridiculous for any ardent maintainer
of the importance of distinguishing between good literature and bad,
good art and bad art, to say that the one period, being good, must have
been chronologically prior to the other, because, from the point of
art, it was better than that other.  Every one can see that.  The
chronological order, the historic order, is one thing; the order of
literary value or artistic importance is another.  But if this is
granted, and every one will grant it, then it is also, and thereby,
granted that the historic order of events is not the same thing as the
order of their value, and is no guide to it.  Thus far I have
illustrated these remarks by reference to literary and artistic values.
But I need hardly say that I have been thinking really all the time of
religious values.  If the student of literature or of art surveys the
history of art and literature with the purpose of judging the value of
the works produced, the student of religion may and must survey the
history of religion with the same purpose.  If the one student is
entitled, as he {9} justly is entitled, to say that the difference
between the literary or artistic value of two periods is as real and as
fundamental as is their difference in the order of time, then the
student of religion is claiming no exceptional or suspicious privilege
for himself.  He is claiming no privilege at all; he is but exercising
the common rights of all students like himself, when he points out that
differences in religious values are just as real and just as
fundamental as the historic or chronological order itself.

The assignment of values, then,--be it the assignment of the value of
works of art, literature, or religion,--is a proceeding which is not
only possible (as will be somewhat contemptuously admitted by those who
believe that evolution is progress, and that there is no order of value
distinct from the order of history and chronological succession); the
assignment of value is not only permissible (as may be admitted by
those who believe, or for want of thought fancy they believe, that the
historic order of events is the only order which can really exist), it
is absolutely inevitable.  It is the concomitant or rather an integral
part of every act of perception.  Everything that we perceive is either
dismissed from attention because it is judged at the moment to have
{10} no value, or, if it has value, attention is concentrated upon it.

From this point of view, then, it should be clear that there is some
deficiency in such a science as the science of religion, which, by the
very conditions that determine its existence, is precluded from ever
raising the question of the value of any of the religions with which it
deals.  Why does it voluntarily, deliberately, and of its own accord,
rigidly exclude the question whether religions have any value--whether
religion itself has any value?  One answer there is to that question
which once would have been accepted as conclusive, viz. that the object
of science is truth.  That answer delicately implies that whether
religion has any value is an enquiry to which no truthful answer can be
given.  The object of science is truth; therefore science alone, with
all modesty be it said, can attain truth.  Science will not ask the
question--or, when it is merciful, abstains from asking the
question--whether religion is true.  So the reasonable and truthful man
must, on that point, necessarily be agnostic: whether religion is true,
he does not know.

This train of inferences follows--so far as it is permitted illogical
inferences to follow at all--from {11} the premise that the object of
science is truth.  Or, rather, it follows from that premise as we
should now understand it, viz. that the object of historic science is
historic truth.  That is the object of the science of religion--to be
true to the historic facts, to discover and to state them accurately.
On the principle of the division of labour, or on the principle of
taking one thing at a time, it is obviously wise that when we are
endeavouring to discover the historic sequence of events, we should
confine ourselves to that task and not suffer ourselves to be
distracted and diverted by other and totally different considerations.
The science of religion, therefore, is justified, in the opinion of all
who are entitled to express an opinion, in steadfastly declining to
consider any other point than the historic order of the facts with
which it deals.  But in so declining to go beyond its self-appointed
task of reconstituting the historic order of events and tracing the
evolution of religion, it does not, thereby, imply that it is
impossible to place them, or correctly place them, in their order of
value.  To say that they have no value would be just as absurd as to
say that works of literature or art have no literary or artistic value.
To say that it is difficult to assign their value may be {12} true, but
is no argument against, it is rather a stimulus in favour of, making
the attempt.  And it is just the order value, the relative value, of
forms of religion which is of absorbing interest to missionaries.  It
is a valuation which is essential to what I have already designated as
the applied science of religion.  Thus far in speaking of the
distinction between the historic order in which the various forms of
art, literature, and religion have occurred, and the order of value in
which the soul of every man who is sensible either to art or to
literature or to religion instinctively attempts to place them, I have
necessarily assumed the position of one who looks backward over the
past.  It was impossible to compare and contrast the order value with
the historic order, save by doing so.  It was necessary to point out
that the very same facts which can be arranged chronologically and in
the order of their evolution can also be--and, as a matter of fact, by
every man are--arranged more or less roughly, more or less correctly,
or incorrectly, in the order of their value.  It is now necessary for
us to set our faces towards the future.  I say "necessary" for the
simple reason that the idea of "value" carries with it a reference to
the future.  If a thing has value, it is because we {13} judge that it
may produce some effect and serve some purpose which we foresee, or at
least surmise.  If, on looking back upon past history, we pronounce
that an event had value, we do so because we see that it served, or
might have served, some end of which we approve.  Its value is relative
in our eyes to some end or purpose which was relatively future to it.
The objects which we aim at, the ends after which we strive, are in the
future.  Those things have value which may subserve our ends and help
us to attain our purposes.  And our purposes, our ends, and objects are
in the future.  There, there is hope and freedom, room to work, the
chance of remedying the errors of the past, the opportunity to make
some forward strides and to help others on.

It is the end we aim at, the object we strive for, the ideal we set
before us, that gives value to what we do, and to what has been done by
us and others.  Now our ends, our objects, and our ideals are matters
of the will, on which the will is set, and not merely matters of which
we have intellectual apprehension.  They are not past events but future
possibilities.  The conviction that we can attain them or attain toward
them is not, when stated as a proposition, a proposition that can be
proved, as a statement {14} referring to the past may be proved: but it
is a conviction which we hold, or a conviction which holds us, just as
strongly as any conviction that we have about any past event of
history.  The whole action of mankind, every action that every man
performs, is based upon that conviction.  It is the basis of all that
we do, of everything that is and has been done by us and others.  And
it is Faith.  In that sign alone can the world be conquered.

When, then, the man of religion proposes by faith to conquer the world,
he is simply doing, wittingly and in full consciousness of what he is
doing, that which every man does in his every action, even though he
may not know it.  To make it a sneer or a reproach that religion is a
mere matter of faith; to imagine that there is any better, or indeed
that there is any other, ground of action,--is demonstrably
unreasonable.  The basis of such notions is, of course, the false idea
that the man of sense acts upon knowledge, and that the man who acts on
faith is not a sensible man.  The error of such notions may be exposed
in a sentence.  What knowledge have we of the future?  We have none.
Absolutely none.  We expect that nature will prove uniform, that causes
will produce their effects.  We believe {15} the future will resemble,
to some extent, the past.  But we have no knowledge of the future; and
such belief as we have about it, like all other belief,--whether it be
belief in religion or in science,--is simply faith.  When, then, the
man of science consults the records of the past or the experiments of
the present for guidance as to what will or may be, he is exhibiting
his faith not in science, but in some reality, in some real being, in
which is no shadow of turning.  When the practical man uses the results
of pure science for some practical end, he is taking them on faith and
uses them in the further faith that the end he aims at can be realised,
and shall by him be realised, if not in one way, then in another.  The
missionary, then, who uses the results of the science of religion, who
seeks to benefit by an applied science of religion, is but following in
the footsteps of the practical man, and using business methods toward
the end he is going to realise.

The end he is going to realise is to convert men to Christianity.  The
faith in which he acts is that Christianity is the highest form which
religion can take, the final form it shall take.  As works of art or
literature may be classed either according to order of history or order
of value, so the works of the {16} religious spirit may be classed, not
only in chronological order, but also in order of religious value.  I
am not aware that any proof can be given to show that any given period
of art or literature is better than any other.  The merits of
Shakespeare or of Homer may be pointed out; and they may, or they may
not, when pointed out, be felt.  If they are felt, no proof is needed;
if they are not, no proof is possible.  But they can be pointed out--by
one who feels them.  And they can be contrasted with the work of other
poets in which they are less conspicuous.  And the contrast may reveal
the truth in a way in which otherwise it could never have been made

I know no other way in which the relative values of different forms of
religion can become known or be made known.  You may have been tempted
to reflect, whilst I have been speaking, that, on the principle I have
laid down, there is no reason why there should not be five hundred
applied sciences, or applications of the science, of religion, instead
of one; for every one of the many forms of religion may claim to apply
the science of religion to its own ends.  To that I may reply first,
that _à priori_ you would expect that every nation would set up {17}
its own literature as the highest; but, as a matter of fact, you find
Shakespeare generally placed highest amongst dramatists, Homer amongst
epic poets.  You do not find the conception of literary merit varying
from nation to nation in such a way that there are as many standards of
value as there are persons to apply them.  You find that there tends to
be one standard.  Next, since the different forms of religion must be
compared if their relative values are to be ascertained, the method of
the applied science of religion must be the method of comparison.
Whatever the outcome that is anticipated from the employment of the
applied science, it is by the method of comparison that it must act.
And one indication of genuine faith is readiness to employ that method,
and assured confidence in the result of its employment.  The
missionary's life is the best, because the most concrete example of the
practical working of the method of comparison; and the outcome of the
comparison which is made by those amongst whom and for whom he works
makes itself felt in their hearts, their lives, and sometimes in their
conversion.  It is the best example, because the value of a religion to
be known must be felt.  But though it is the best because it is the
{18} simplest, the most direct, and the most convincing it is not that
which addresses itself primarily to the reason, and it is not one which
is produced by the applied science of religion.  It is not one which
can be produced by any science, pure or applied.  The object of the
applied science of religion is to enable the missionary himself to
compare forms of religion, incidentally in order that he may know what
by faith he feels, and without faith he could not feel, viz. that
Christianity is the highest form; but still more in order that he may
teach others, and may have at his command the facts afforded by the
science of religion, wherewith to appeal, when necessary, to the reason
and intelligence as well as to the hearts and feelings of those for
whose salvation he is labouring.

The time has happily gone by when the mere idea of comparing
Christianity with any other religion would have been rejected with
horror as treasonous and treacherous.  The fact that that time has now
gone by is in itself evidence of a stronger faith in Christianity.
What, if it was not fear, at any rate presented the appearance of fear,
has been banished; and we can and do, in the greater faith that has
been vouchsafed to us, look with {19} confidence on the proposal to
compare Christianity with other religions.  The truth cannot but gain
thereby, and we rest on Him who is the way and the truth.  We recognise
fully and freely that comparison implies similarity, points of
resemblance, ay! and even features of identity.  And of that admission
much has been made--and more than can be maintained.  It has been
pressed to mean that all forms of religion, from the lowest to the
highest, are identical; that therefore there is nothing more or other
in the highest than in the lowest; and that in the lowest you see how
barbarous is religion and how unworthy of civilised man.  Now, that
course of argument is open to one obvious objection which would be
fatal to it, even if it were the only objection, which it is not.  That
objection is that whether we are using the method of comparison for the
purpose of estimating the relative values of different forms of
religion; or whether we are using the comparative method of science,
with the object of discovering and establishing facts, quite apart from
the value they may have for any purpose they may be put to when they
have been established; in either case, comparison is only applied, and
can only be applied to things which, {20} though they resemble one
another, also differ from one another.  It is because they differ, at
first sight, that the discovery of their resemblance is important.  And
it is on that aspect of the truth that the comparative method of
science dwells.  Comparative philology, for instance, devotes itself to
establishing resemblances between, say, the Indo-European languages,
which for long were not suspected to bear any likeness to one another
or to have any connection with each other.  Those resemblances are
examined more and more closely, are stated with more and more
precision, until they are stated as laws of comparative philology, and
recognised as laws of science to which there are no exceptions.  Yet
when the resemblances have been worked out to the furthest detail, no
one imagines that Greek and Sanskrit are the same language, or that the
differences between them are negligible.  It is then surprising that
any student of comparative religion should imagine that the discovery
or the recognition of points of likeness between the religions compared
will ever result in proving that the differences between them are
negligible or non-existent.  Such an inference is unscientific, and it
has only to be stated to show that the student {21} of comparative
religion is but exercising a right common to all students of all
sciences, when he claims that points of difference cannot be overlooked
or thrust aside.

If, then, the student of the science of religion directs his attention
primarily to the discovery of resemblances between religions which at
first sight bear no more resemblance to one another than Greek did to
the Celtic tongues; if the comparative method of science dwells upon
the fact that things which differ from one another may also resemble
one another, and that their resemblances may be stated in the form of
scientific laws,--there is still another aspect of the truth, and it is
that between things which resemble one another there are also
differences.  And the jury of the world will ultimately demand to know
the truth and the whole truth.

Now, to get not only at the truth, but at the whole of the truth, is
precisely the business of the applied science of religion, and is the
very object of that which, in order to distinguish it from the
comparative method of science, I have called the method of comparison.
For the purposes of fair comparison not only must the resemblances,
which the {22} comparative method of science dwells on, be taken into
account, but the differences, also, must be weighed.  And it is the
business of the method of comparison, the object of the applied science
of religion, to do both things.  Neither of the two can be dispensed
with; neither is more important than the other; but for the practical
purposes of the missionary it is important to begin with the
resemblances; and on grounds of logic and of theory, the resemblances
must be first established, if the importance, nay! the decisive value,
of the differences is to go home to the hearts and minds of the
missionary's hearers.  The resemblances are there and are to be studied
ultimately in order to bring out the differences and make them stand
forth so plainly as to make choice between the higher form of religion
and the lower easy, simply because the difference is so manifest.  Now,
the missionary's hearer could not know, much less appreciate, the
difference, the superiority of Christianity, as long as Christianity
was unknown to him.  And it is equally manifest, though it has never
been officially recognised until now and by the Hartford Theological
Seminary, that neither can the missionary adequately set forth the
superiority of Christianity to {23} the lower forms of religion, unless
he knows something about them and about the points in which their
inferiority consists.  Hitherto he has had to learn that for himself,
as he went on, and, as it were, by rule of thumb.  But, on business
principles, economy of labour and efficiency in work will be better
secured if he is taught before he goes out, and is taught on scientific
methods.  What he has to learn is the resemblances between the various
forms of religion, the differences between them, and the relative
values of those differences.

It may perhaps be asked, Why should those differences exist?  And if
the question should be put, I am inclined to say that to give the
answer is beyond the scope of the applied science of religion.  The
method of comparison assumes that the differences do exist, and it
cannot begin to be employed unless and until they exist.  They are and
must be taken for granted, at any rate by the applied science of
religion, and if the method of comparison is to be set to work.
Indeed, if we may take the principle of evolution to be the
differentiation of the homogeneous, we may go further and say that the
whole theory of evolution, and not merely a particular historic
science, such as the science of religion, {24} postulates
differentiation and the principle of difference, and does not explain
it,--evolution cannot start, the homogeneous cannot be other than
homogeneous, until the principle of difference and the power of
differentiation is assumed.

That the science of religion at the end leaves untouched those
differences between religions which it recognised at the beginning, is
a point on which I insisted, as against those who unwarrantably
proclaim the science to have demonstrated that all religions alike are
barbarisms or survivals of barbarism.  It is well, therefore, to bear
that fact in mind when attempts are made to explain the existence of
the differences by postulating a period when they were non-existent.
That postulate may take form in the supposition that originally the
true religion alone existed, and that the differences arose later.
That is a supposition which has been made by more than one people, and
in more ages than one.  It carries with it the consequence that the
history--it would be difficult to call it the evolution and impossible
to call it the progress--of religion has been one of degradation
generally.  Owing, however, to the far-reaching and deep-penetrating
influence of the theory of evolution, it has of late grown {25}
customary to assume that the movement, the course of religious history,
has been in the opposite direction; and that it has moved upwards from
the lowest forms of religion known to us, or from some form analogous
to the lowest known forms, through the higher to the highest.  This
second theory, however different in its arrangement of the facts from
the Golden Age theory first alluded to, is still fundamentally in
agreement with it, inasmuch as it also assumes that the differences
exhibited later in the history of religion at first were non-existent.
Both theories assume the existence of the originally homogeneous, but
they disagree as to the nature of the differences which supervened, and
also as to the nature of the originally homogeneous.

I wish therefore to call attention to the simple truth that the facts
at the disposal of the science of religion neither enable nor warrant
us to decide between these two views.  If we were to come to a decision
on the point, we should have to travel far beyond the confines of the
science of religion, or the widest bounds of the theory of evolution,
and enquire why there should be error as well as truth--or, to put the
matter very differently, why there should be truth at all.  But if we
started travelling {26} on that enquiry, we should not get back in time
for this course of lectures.  Fortunately it is not necessary to take a
ticket for that journey--perhaps not possible to secure a return
ticket.  We have only to recognise that the science of religion
confines itself to constating and tracing the differences, and does not
attempt to explain why they should exist; while the applied science of
religion is concerned with the practical business of bringing home the
difference between Christianity and other forms of religion to the
hearts of those whose salvation may turn on whether the missionary has
been properly equipped for his task.

If, now, I announce that for the student of the applied science it is
advisable that he should turn his attention in the first place to the
lowest forms of religion, the announcement need not be taken to mean
that a man cannot become a student of the science of religion, whether
pure or applied, unless he assumes that the lowest is the most
primitive form.  The science of religion, as it pushes its enquiries,
may possibly come across--may even already have come across--the lowest
form to which it is possible for man to descend.  But whether that form
is the most primitive as well as {27} the lowest,--still more, whether
it is the most primitive because it is the lowest,--will be questions
which will not admit of being settled offhand.  And in the meantime we
are not called upon to answer them in the affirmative as a _sine qua
non_ of being admitted students of the science.

The reason for beginning with the lowest forms is--as is proper in a
practical science--a practical one.  As I have already said, if the
missionary is to succeed in his work, he must know and teach the
difference and the value of the difference between Christianity and
other religions.  But difference implies similarity: we cannot specify
the points of difference between two things without presupposing some
similarity between them,--at any rate sufficient similarity to make a
comparison of them profitable.  Now, the similarity between the higher
forms of religion is such that there is no need to demonstrate it, in
order to justify our proceeding to dwell upon the differences.  But the
similarity between the higher and the lower forms is far from being
thus obvious.  Indeed, in some cases, for example in the case of some
Australian tribes, there is alleged, by some students of the science of
religion, to be such a total absence of similarity that we are entitled
or {28} compelled to recognise that however liberally, or loosely, we
relax our definition of religion, we must pronounce those tribes to be
without religion.  The allegation thus made, the question thus raised,
evidently is of practical importance for the practical purposes of the
missionary.  Where some resemblances exist between the higher and the
lower forms of religion, those resemblances may be made, and should be
made, the ground from which the missionary should proceed to point out
by contrast the differences, and so to set forth the higher value of
Christianity.  But if no such resemblances should exist, they cannot be
made a basis for the missionary's work.  Without proceeding in this
introductory lecture to discuss the question whether there are any
tribes whatever that are without religion, I may point out that
religion, in all its forms, is, in one of its aspects, a yearning and
aspiration after God, a search after Him, peradventure we may find Him.
And if it be alleged that in some cases there is no search after
Him,--that amongst civilised men, amongst our own acquaintances, there
is in some cases no search and no aspiration, and that therefore among
the more backward peoples of the earth there may also be tribes to whom
the very idea of {29} such a search is unknown,--then we must bear in
mind that a search, after any object whatever, may be dropped, may even
be totally abandoned; and yet the heart may yearn after that which it
is persuaded--or, it may be, is deluded into thinking--it can never
find.  Perhaps, however, that way of putting it may be objected to, on
the ground that it is a _petitio principii_ and assumes the very fact
it is necessary to prove, viz. that the lowest tribes that are or can
be known to us have made the search and given it up, whereas the
contention is that they have never made the search.  That contention, I
will remark in passing, is one which never can be proved.  But to those
who consider that it is probable in itself, and that it is a necessary
stage in the evolution of belief, I would point out that every search
is made in hope--or, it may be, in fear--that search presupposes hope
and fear.  Vague, of course, the hope may be; scarce conscious, if
conscious at all, of what is hoped.  But without hope, until there are
some dim stirrings, however vague, search is unconceivable, and it is
in and by the process of search that the hope becomes stronger and the
object sought more definite to view.  Now, inasmuch as it is doubtful
whether any tribe of {30} people is without religion, it may reasonably
be held that the vast majority, at any rate, of the peoples of the
earth have proceeded from hope to aspiration and to search; and if
there should be found a tribe which had not yet entered consciously on
the search, the reasonable conclusion would be not that it is exempted
from the laws which we see exemplified in all other peoples, but that
it is tending to obey the same laws and is starting from the same point
as they,--that hope which is the desire of all nations and has been
made manifest in the Son of Man.

Whatever be the earliest history of that hope, whatever was its nature
and course in prehistoric times, it has been worked out in history in
many directions, under the influence of many errors, into many forms of
religion.  But in them all we feel that there is the same striving, the
same yearning; and we see it with the same pity and distress as we may
observe the distorted motions of the man who, though partially
paralysed, yet strives to walk, and move to the place where he would
be.  It is with these attempts to walk, in the hope of giving help to
them who need it, that we who are here to-day are concerned.  We must
study them, if we are to {31} understand them and to remedy them.  And
there is no understanding them, unless we recognise that in them all
there is the striving and yearning after God, which may be cruelly
distorted, but is always there.

It so happens that there has been great readiness on the part of
students of the science of religion to recognise that belief in the
continued existence of the soul after the death of the body has
comparative universality amongst the lower races of mankind.  Their
yearning after continued existence developes into hope of a future
life; and the hope, or fear, takes many forms: the continued existence
may or may not be on this earth; it may or may not take the shape of a
belief in the transmigration of souls; it sometimes does, and sometimes
does not, lead to belief in the judgment of the dead and future
punishments and rewards; it may or may not postulate the immortality of
the soul; it may shrink to comparative, if not absolute, unimportance;
or it may be dreaded and denounced by philosophy and even by religion.
But whether dreaded or delighted in, whether developed by religion or
denounced, the tendency to the belief is there--universal among mankind
and ineradicable.


The parallel, then, between this belief and the belief or tendency to
believe in God is close and instructive; and I shall devote my next
lecture therefore to the belief in a future life among the primitive
races of mankind.  That belief manifests itself, as I shall hope to
show, from the beginning, in a yearning hope for the continued
existence of the beloved ones who have been taken from us by death, as
well as in dread of the ghosts of those who during their life were
feared.  But in either case what it postulates and points to is man
living in community with man.  It implies society; and there again is
parallel to religion.  It is with the hopes and fears of the community
as such that religion has to do: and it is from that point of view that
I shall start when I come to deal with the subject of magic, and its
resemblance to and difference from religion.  Its resemblance is not
accidental and the difference is not arbitrary: the difference is that
between social and anti-social purposes.  That difference, if borne in
mind, may give us the clue to the real nature of fetichism,--a subject
which will require a lecture to itself.  I shall then proceed to a
topic which has been ignored to a surprising extent by the science of
religion; that is, the subject of {33} prayer: and the light which is
to be derived thence will, I trust, give fresh illumination to the
meaning of sacrifice.  The relation of religion to morality will then
fall to be considered; and my final lecture will deal with the place of
Christianity in the evolution of religion.



The missionary, like any other practical man, requires to know what
science can teach him about the material on which he has to work.  So
far as is possible, he should know what materials are sound and can be
used with safety in his constructive work, and what must be thrown
aside, what must be destroyed, if his work is to escape dry-rot and to
stand as a permanent edifice.  He should be able to feel confidence,
for instance, not merely that magic and fetichism are the negation of
religion, but that in teaching that fact he has to support him the
evidence collected by the science of religion; and he should have that
evidence placed at his disposal for effective use, if need be.

It may be also that amongst much unsound material he will find some
that is sound, that may be used, and that he cannot afford to cast
away.  He has to work upon our common humanity, upon the humanity
common to him and his hearers.  He has to remember that no man and no
community of {35} men ever is or has been or ever can be excluded from
the search after God.  And his duty, his chosen duty, is to help them
in that search, and as far as may be to make the way clear for them,
and to guide their feet in the right path.  He will find that they have
attempted to make paths for themselves; and it is not impossible that
he will find that some of those paths for some distance do go in the
right direction; that some of their beliefs have in them an element of
truth, or a groping after truth which, rightly understood, may be made
to lead to Christianity.  It is with one of those beliefs--the belief
in immortality--that I shall deal in this lecture.

It is a fact worthy of notice that the belief in immortality fills, I
will not say a more important, but a more prominent, place in the
hearts and hopes of uncivilised than of civilised man; and it is also a
fact worthy of notice that among primitive men the belief in
immortality is much less intimately bound up with religion than it
comes to be at a later period of evolution.  The two facts are probably
not wholly without relation to one another.  So long as the belief in
immortality luxuriates and grows wild, so to speak, untrained and
unrestrained by religion, it {36} developes as the fancy wills, and
lives by flattering the fancy.  When, however, the relations of a
future life to morality and religion come to be realised, when the
conception of the next world comes to be moralised, then it becomes the
subject of fear as well as of hope; and the fancy loses much of the
freedom with which it tricked out the pictures that once it drew,
purely according to its own sweet liking, of a future state.  On the
one hand, the guilty mind prefers not to dwell upon the day of
reckoning, so long as it can stave off the idea; and it may succeed
more or less in putting it on one side until the proximity of death
makes the idea insistent.  Thus the mind more or less deliberately
dismisses the future life from attention.  On the other hand, religion
itself insists persistently on the fact that you have your duty here
and now in this world to perform, and that the rest, the future
consequences, you must leave to God.  Thus, once more, and this time
not from unworthy motives, attention is directed to this life rather
than to the next; and it is this point that is critical for the fate
both of the belief in immortality and of religion itself.  At this
point, religion may, as in the case of Buddhism it actually has done,
formally give up and disavow {37} belief in immortality.  And in that
case it sows the seed of its own destruction.  Or it may recognise that
the immortality of the soul is postulated by and essential to morality
and religion alike.  And in that case, even in that case alone, is
religion in a position to provide a logical basis for morality and to
place the natural desire for a future life on a firmer basis than the
untutored fancy of primitive man could find for it.

It is then with primitive man or with the lower races that we will
begin, and with "the comparative universality of their belief in the
continued existence of the soul after the death of the body" (Tylor,
_Primitive Culture_, II, i).  Now, the classical theory of this belief
is that set forth by Professor Tylor in his _Primitive Culture_.
Whence does primitive man get his idea that the soul continues to exist
after the death of the body? the answer given is, in the first place,
from the fact that man dreams.  He dreams of distant scenes that he
visits in his sleep; it is clear, from the evidence of those who saw
his sleeping body, that his body certainly did not travel; therefore he
or his soul must be separable from the body and must have travelled
whilst his body lay unmoving and unmoved.  But he also dreams of {38}
those who are now dead, and whose bodies he knows, it may be, to have
been incinerated.  The explanation then is obvious that they, too, or
their souls, are separable from their bodies; and the fact that they
survive death and the destruction of the body is demonstrated by their
appearance in his dreams.  About the reality of their appearance in his
dreams he has no more doubt than he has about the reality of what he
himself does and suffers in his dreams.  If, however, the dead appeared
only in his dreams, their existence after death might seem to be
limited to the dream-time.  But as a matter of fact they appear to him
in his waking moments also: ghosts are at least as familiar to the
savage as to the civilised man; and thus the evidence of his dreams,
which first suggested his belief, is confirmed by the evidence of his

Thus the belief in the continued existence of the soul after the death
of the body is traced back to the action of dreams and waking
hallucinations.  Now, it is inevitable that the inference should be
drawn that the belief in immortality has thus been tracked to its
basis.  And it is inevitable that those who start with an inclination
to regard the belief as palpably absurd should welcome this exhibition
of {39} its evolution as proof conclusive that the belief could only
have originated in and can only impose upon immature minds.  To that
doubtless it is a perfectly sound reply to say that the origin of a
belief is one thing and its validity quite another.  The way in which
we came to hold the belief is a matter of historical investigation, and
undoubtedly may form a very fascinating enquiry.  But the question
whether the belief is true is a question which has to be considered, no
matter how I got it, just as the question whether I am committing a
trespass or not in being on a piece of ground cannot be settled by any
amount of explaining how I got there.  Or, to put it in another way,
the very risky path by which I have scrambled up a cliff does not make
the top any the less safe when I have got there.

But though it is perfectly logical to insist on the distinction between
the origin and the validity of any belief, and to refuse to question or
doubt the validity of the belief in immortality merely because of the
origin ascribed to it by authorities on primitive culture,--that is no
reason why we should not examine the origin suggested for it, to see
whether it is a satisfactory origin.  And that is what I propose now to
do.  I wish to suggest first that belief in the appearance of {40} the
dead, whether to the dreamer or the ghost-seer, is an intellectual
belief as to what occurs as a matter of fact; and next that thereby it
is distinguished from the desire for immortality which manifests itself
with comparative universality amongst the lower races.

Now, that the appearance of the dead, whether to the waking or the
sleeping eye, is sufficient to start the intellectual belief will be
admitted alike by those who do and those who do not hold that it is
sufficient logically to warrant the belief.  But to say that it starts
the desire to see him or her whom we have lost, would be ridiculous.
On the contrary, it would be much nearer the truth to say that it is
the longing and the desire to see, once again, the loved one, that sets
the mind a-dreaming, and first gives to the heart hope.  The fact that,
were there no desire for the continuance of life after the death of the
body, the belief would never have caught on--that it either would never
have arisen or would have soon ceased to exist--is shown by the simple
consideration that only where the desire for the continuance of life
after death dies down does the belief in immortality tend to wane.  If
any further evidence of that is required it may be found in the
teaching of those {41} forms of philosophy and religion which endeavour
to dispense with the belief in immortality, for they all recognise and
indeed proclaim that they are based on the denial of the desire and the
will to live.  If, and only if--as, and only as--the desire to live,
here and hereafter, can be suppressed, can the belief in immortality be
eradicated.  The basis of the belief is the desire for continued
existence; and that is why the attempt to trace the origin of the
belief in immortality back to the belief in dreams and apparitions is
one which is not perfectly satisfactory; it leaves out of account the
desire without which the belief would not be and is not operative.

But though it leaves out an element which is at least as important as
any element it includes, it would be an error to take no account of
what it does contribute.  It would be an error of this kind if we
closed our eyes to the fact that what first arrests the attention of
man, in the lower stages of his evolution, is the survival of others
than himself.  That is the belief which first manifests itself in his
heart and mind; and what first reveals it to him is the appearance of
the dead to his sleeping or his waking eye.  He does not first hope or
believe that he himself will survive the death of the body and then go
{42} on to infer that therefore others also will similarly survive.  On
the contrary, it is the appearance of others in his sleeping or waking
moments that first gives him the idea; and it is only later and on
reflection that it occurs to him that he also will have, or be, a ghost.

But though we must recognise the intellectual element in the belief and
the intellectual processes which are involved in the belief, we must
also take into account the emotional element, the element of desire.
And first we should notice that the desire is not a selfish or
self-regarding desire; it is the longing for one loved and lost, of the
mother for her child, or of the child for its mother.  It is desire of
that kind which gives to dreams and apparitions their emotional value,
without which they would have little significance and no spiritual
importance.  That is the direction in which we must look for the reason
why, on the one hand, belief in the continuation of existence after
death seems at first to have no connection with religion, while, on the
other hand, the connection is ultimately shown by the evolution of
belief to be so intimate that neither can attain its proper development
without the other.

Dreams are occasions on which the longing for {43} one loved and lost
manifests itself, but they are not the cause or the origin of the
affection and the longing.  But dreams are not exclusively, specially,
or even usually the domain in which religion plays a part.  Hence the
visions of the night, in which the memory of the departed and the
craving for reunion with them are manifested, bear no necessary
reference to religion; and it is therefore possible, and _prima facie_
plausible, to maintain that the belief in the immortality of the soul
has its origin in a centre quite distinct from the sphere of religion,
and that it is only very slowly, if at all, that the belief in
immortality comes to be incorporated with religion.  On the other hand,
the very craving for reunion or continued communion with those who are
felt not to be lost but gone before, is itself the feeling which is,
not the base, but at the base, of religion.  In the lowest forms to
which religion can be reduced, or in which it manifests itself,
religion is a bond of community; it manifests itself externally in
joint acts of worship, internally in the feeling that the worshippers
are bound together by it and united with the object of their worship.
This feeling of communion is not a mere article of intellectual belief,
nor is it imposed upon the members; it is what they themselves desire.
{44} Höffding states the truth when he says that in its most
rudimentary form we encounter "religion under the guise of desire"; but
in saying so he omits the essence of the truth, that essence without
which the truth that he partially enunciates may become wholly
misleading,--he omits to say, and I think he fails to see, that the
desire which alone can claim to be considered as religious is the
desire of the community, not of the individual as such, and the desire
of the community as united in common worship.  The idea of religion as
a bond of spiritual communion is implicit from the first, even though a
long process of evolution be necessary to disentangle it and set it
forth self-consciously.  Now, it is precisely this spiritual communion
of which man becomes conscious in his craving after reunion or
continued communion with those who have departed this life.  And it is
with the history of his attempts to harmonise this desire with what he
knows and demands of the universe otherwise, that we are here and now

So strong is that desire, so inconceivable is the idea that death ends
all, and divorces from us forever those we have loved and lost awhile,
that the lower races of mankind have been pretty generally driven {45}
to the conclusion that death is a mistake or due to a mistake.  It is
widely held that there is no such thing as a natural death.  Men do of
course die, they may be killed; but it is not an ordinance of nature
that a man must be killed; and, if he is killed, his death is not
natural.  So strong is this feeling that when a man dies and his death
is not obviously a case of murder, the inference which the savage
prefers to draw is that the death is really a case of murder, but that
the murder has been worked by witchcraft or magic.  Amongst the
Australian black fellows, as we are told by Messrs. Spencer and Gillen,
"no such thing as natural death is realised by the native; a man who
dies has of necessity been killed by some other man or perhaps even by
a woman, and sooner or later that man or woman will be attacked;"
consequently, "in very many cases there takes place what the white man,
not seeing beneath the surface, not unnaturally describes as secret
murder; but in reality ... every case of such secret murder, when one
or more men stealthily stalk their prey with the object of killing him,
is in reality the exacting of a life for a life, the accused person
being indicated by the so-called medicine man as one who has brought
about the death of another man by magic, and whose {46} life must
therefore be forfeited" (_Native Tribes of Central Australia_, p. 48).

What underlies this idea that by man alone is death brought into the
world is that death is unnatural and is no part of the original design
of things.  When the fact comes to be recognised undeniably that deaths
not caused by human agency do take place, then the fact requires
explanation; and the explanation on which primitive races, quite
independently of each other, hit is that as death was no part of the
original design of things, its introduction was due to accident or
mistake.  Either men were originally exempt from death, or they were
intended to be exempt.  If they were intended to be exempt, then the
inference drawn is that the intention was frustrated by the
carelessness of the agent intrusted with the duty of making men
deathless.  If they were originally exempt from death, then the loss of
the exemption has to be accounted for.  And in either case the
explanation takes the form of a narrative which relates how the mistake
took place or what event it was that caused the loss of the exemption.
I need not quote examples of either class of narrative.  What I wish to
do is to emphasise the fact that by primitive man death is felt to be
inconsistent with the {47} scheme of things.  First, therefore, he
denies that it can come in the course of nature, though he admits that
it may be procured by the wicked man in the way of murder or magic.
And it is at this stage that his hope of reunion with those loved and
lost scarcely stretches beyond the prospect of their return to this
world.  Evidence of this stage is found partly in tales such as those
told of the mother who returns to revisit her child, or of persons
restored to life.  Stories of this latter kind come from Tasmania,
Australia, and Samoa, amongst other places, and are found amongst the
Eskimo and American Indians, as well as amongst the Fjorts (J. A.
MacCullough, _The Childhood of Fiction_, ch. IV).  Even more direct
evidence of the emotion which prompts these stories is afforded by the
Ho dirge, quoted by Professor Tylor (_P. C._, II, 32, 33):--

    "We never scolded you; never wronged you;
        Come to us back!
  We ever loved and cherished you; and have lived long together
        Under the same roof;
        Desert it not now!
  The rainy nights and the cold blowing days are coming on;
        Do not wander here!
  Do not stand by the burnt ashes; come to us again!
  You cannot find shelter under the peepul, when the rain comes down.


  The saul will not shield you from the cold bitter wind.
        Come to your home!
  It is swept for you and clean; and we are there who loved you ever;
  And there is rice put for you and water;
        Come home, come home, come to us again!"

In these verses it is evident that the death of the body is recognised
as a fact.  It is even more manifest that the death of the body is put
aside as weighing for naught against the absolute conviction that the
loved one still exists.  But reunion is sought in this world; another
world is not yet thought of.  The next world has not yet been called
into existence to redress the sorrows and the sufferings of this life.
Where the discovery of that solution has not been made, the human mind
seeks such consolation as may be found elsewhere.  If the aspiration,
"come to us, come to us again," can find no other realisation, it
welcomes the reappearance of the lost one in another form.  In
Australia, amongst the Euahlayi tribe, the mother who has lost her baby
or her young child may yet believe that it is restored to her and born
again in the form of another child.  In West Africa, according to Miss
Kingsley, "the new babies as they arrived in the family were shown a
selection of small articles belonging to deceased members whose souls
{49} were still absent,--the thing the child caught hold of identified
him.  'Why, he's Uncle John; see! he knows his own pipe;' or 'That's
Cousin Emma; see! she knows her market calabash;' and so on."  But it
is not only amongst Australian black fellows or West African negroes
that the attempt is made to extract consolation for death from the
speculation that we die only to be reborn in this world.  The theory of
rebirth is put forward by a distinguished student of Hegel--Dr.
McTaggart--in a work entitled _Some Dogmas of Religion_.  It is
admitted by Dr. McTaggart to be true that we have no memory whatever of
our previous stages of existence; but he declares, "we may say that, in
spite of the loss of memory, it is the same person who lives in the
successive lives" (p. 130); and he appears to find the same consolation
as his remote forefathers did in looking forward to a future stage of
existence in which he will have no more memory of his present
existence, and no more reason to believe in it, than he now has memory
of, or reason to believe in, his preëxistence.  "It is certain," he
says, "that in this life we remember no previous lives," and he accepts
the position that it is equally certain we shall have in our next life
absolutely no memory of our {50} present existence.  That, of course,
distinguishes Dr. McTaggart from the West African Uncle John who, when
he is reborn, at any rate "knows his own pipe."

The human mind, as I have said, seeks such consolation as it may find
in the doctrine of rebirth.  It finds evidence of rebirth either in the
behaviour of the new-born child or in its resemblance to deceased
relations.  But it also comes to the conclusion that the reincarnation
may be in animal form.  Whether that conclusion is suggested by the
strangely human expression in the eyes of some animals, or whether it
is based upon the belief in the power of transformation, need not be
discussed.  It is beyond doubt that transformation is believed in: the
Cherokee Indian sings a verse to the effect that he becomes a real
wolf; and "after stating that he has become a real wolf, the songster
utters a prolonged howl, and paws the ground like a wolf with his feet"
(Frazer, _Kingship_, p. 71).  Indeed, identity may be attained or
manifested without any process of transformation; in Australia, amongst
the Dieri tribe, the head man of a totem consisting of a particular
sort of a seed is spoken of by his people as being the plant itself
which yields the seed (_ib._, p. 109).  {51} Where such beliefs are
prevalent, the doctrine of the reincarnation of the soul in animal form
will obviously arise at the stage of evolution which we are now
discussing, that is to say when the soul is not yet supposed to depart
to another world, and must therefore manifest itself in this world in
one way or another, if not in human shape, then in animal form.  In the
form of what animal the deceased will be reincarnated is a question
which will be answered in different ways.  Purely fortuitous
circumstances may lead to particular animals being considered to be the
reincarnation of the deceased.  Or the fact that the deceased has a
particular animal for totem may lead the survivors to expect his
reappearance in the form of that particular animal.  The one fact of
importance for our present purpose is that at its origin the belief in
animal reincarnation had no necessary connection with the theory of
future punishments and rewards.  At the stage of evolution in which the
belief in transmigration arose many animals were the object of genuine
respect because of the virtues of courage, etc., which were manifested
by them; or because of the position they occupied as totems.
Consequently no loss of status was involved when the soul transmigrated
from a {52} human to an animal form.  No notion of punishment was
involved in the belief.

The doctrines of reincarnation and transmigration belong to a stage in
the evolution of belief, or to a system of thought, in which the
conviction that the death of the body does not entail the destruction
of the soul is undoubted, but from which the conception, indeed the
very idea, of another world than this is excluded.  That conception
begins to manifest itself where ancestor worship establishes itself;
but the manifestation is incomplete.  Deceased chieftains and heroes,
who have been benefactors to the tribe, are remembered; and the good
they did is remembered also.  They are themselves remembered as the
doers of good; and their spirits are naturally conceived as continuing
to be benevolent, or ready to confer benefits when properly approached.
But thus envisaged, they are seen rather in their relation to the
living than in their relation to each other.  It is their assistance in
this world that is sought; their condition in the next world is of less
practical importance and therefore provokes less of speculation, in the
first instance.  But when speculation is provoked, it proves ultimately
fatal to ancestor worship.


First, it may lead to the question of the relation of the spirits of
the deceased benefactors to the god or gods of the community.  There
will be a tendency to blur the distinction between the god and his
worshippers, if any of the worshippers come to be regarded as being
after death spirits from whom aid may be invoked and to whom offerings
must be made.  And if the distinction ceases after death, it is
difficult and sometimes impossible to maintain it during life; an
emperor who is to be deified after death may find his deification
beginning before his death.  Belief in such deification may be accepted
by some members of the community.  Others will regard it as proof that
religion is naught; and yet others will be driven to seek for a form of
religion which affords no place for such deifications, but maintains
explicitly that distinction between a god and his worshippers which is
present in the most rudimentary forms of religion.

But though the tendency of ancestor worship is to run this course and
to pass in this way out of the evolution of religion, it may be
arrested at the very outset, if the religious spirit is, as it has been
in one case at least, strong enough to stand against it at the
beginning.  Thus, amongst the Jews there {54} was a tendency to
ancestor worship, as is shown by the fact of its prohibition.  But it
was stamped out; and it was stamped out so effectually that belief in
the continued existence of the soul after death ceased for long to have
any practical influence.  "Generally speaking, the Hebrews regarded the
grave as the final end of all sentient and intelligent existence, 'the
land where all things are forgotten'" (Smith's _Dictionary of the
Bible_, _s.v._ Sheol).  "In death," the Psalmist says to the Lord,
"there is no remembrance of thee: in Sheol who shall give thee thanks?"
"Shall they that are deceased arise and praise thee?  Shall thy
loving-kindness be declared in the grave?" or "thy righteousness in the
land of forgetfulness?"  Thus the Sheol of the Old Testament remains to
testify to the view taken of the state of the dead by a people amongst
whom the worship of ancestors was arrested at the outset.  Amongst such
a people the dead are supposed simply to continue in the next world as
they left this: "in Sheol the kings of the nations have their thrones,
and the mighty their weapons of war," just as in Virgil the ghost of
Deiphobus still shows the ghastly wounds by which he perished (Jevons,
_History of Religion_, p. 301).


This continuation theory, the view that the dead continue in the next
world as they left this, means that, to the people who entertain it,
the dead are merely a memory.  It is forbidden to think of them as
doing anything, as affecting the living in any way.  They are conceived
as powerless to gratify the wishes of the living, or to thwart them.
Where the Lord God is a jealous God, religion cannot tolerate the idea
that any other spirit should be conceived as usurping His functions,
still less that such spirits should receive the offerings and the
prayers which are the due of Him alone.  But though the dead are thus
reduced to a mere memory, the memory itself does not and cannot die.
Accordingly the dead, or rather those whose bodies are dead, continue
to live.  But, as they exercise no action in, or control over, the
world of the living, their place of abode comes to be regarded as
another world, to which they are confined.  Speculation, therefore,
where speculation is made, as to the case of the inhabitants of this
other world, must take the direction of enquiring as to their fate.
Where speculation is not made, the dead are conceived merely to
continue to be as they are remembered to have been in this life.  But,
if there is to be room for any speculation {56} at all, there must be
assumed to be some diversity in their fate, and therefore some reason,
intelligible to man, for that diversity.  That is a conclusion to which
tribes attain who have apparently gone through no period of ancestor
worship,--indeed, ancestor worship only impedes or defers the
attainment of that conclusion.  The diversity of fate could only
consist in the difference between being where you would be and being
where you would not.  But the reasons for that diversity may be very
different amongst different peoples.  First, where religion is at its
lowest or is in its least developed form, the gods are not the cause of
the diversity nor do they seem concerned in it.  Such diversity as
there is seems in its simplest form merely to be a continuance of the
social distinctions which prevail among the living: the high chieftains
rest in a calm, plenteous, sunny land in the sky; while "all Indians of
low degree go deep down under the earth to the land of Chay-her, with
its poor houses and no salmon and no deer, and blankets so small and
thin, that when the dead are buried the friends often bury blankets
with them" (Tylor, _P. C._, II, 85).  Elsewhere, it is not social
distinctions, but moral, that make the difference: "the rude Tupinambas
of Brazil think {57} the souls of such as had lived virtuously, that is
to say who have well avenged themselves and eaten many of their
enemies," (_ib._) rejoin the souls of their fathers in the happy land,
while the cowards go to the other place.  Thus, though the distinctions
in the next world do not seem originally to have sprung from or to have
been connected with morality, and still less with religion, they are,
or may be at a very early period, seized upon by the moral
consciousness as containing truth or implying it, when rightly
understood.  Truth indeed of the highest import for morality is implied
in the distinctions thus essayed to be drawn.  But before the truth
implicit could be made explicit, it was necessary that the distinctions
should be recognised to have their basis in religion.  And that was
impossible where religion was at its lowest or in its least developed

From the fact that on the one hand the conception of a future life in
another world, when it arose amongst people in a low stage of religious
development, bore but little moral and no religious fruit; and on the
other, where it did yield fruit, there had been a previous period when
religion closed its eyes as far as possible to the condition of the
dead {58} in Hades or in Sheol,--we may draw the inference that the
conception of the future state formed by such people, as "the rude
Tupinambas of Brazil" had to be sterilised, so to speak,--to be
purified from associations dangerous both to morality and religion.  We
may fairly say that as a matter of fact that was the consequence which
actually happened, and that both in Greece and Judæa the prospect of a
future life at one time became practically a _tabula rasa_ on which
might be written a fairer message of hope than had ever been given
before.  In Greece the message was written, indeed, and was received
with hope by the thousands who joined in the celebration of the
mysteries.  But the characters in which it was written faded soon.  The
message was found to reveal nothing.  It revealed nothing because it
demanded nothing.  It demanded neither a higher life nor a higher
conception of the deity.  It did not set forth a new and nobler
morality; and it accommodated itself to the existing polytheism.  What
it did do was to familiarise the Hellenic world with the conviction
that there was a life hereafter, better than this life; and that the
condition of its attainment was communion with the true God,
peradventure He could be found.  It was by this {59} conviction and
this expectation that the ground was prepared, wherever Hellenism
existed, for the message that was to come from Israel.

From the beginning, or let us say in the lowest forms in which religion
manifests itself, religion is the bond in which the worshippers are
united with one another and with their God.  The community which is
thus united is at first the earliest form of society, whatever that
form may have been, in which men dwell together for their common
purposes.  It is the fact that its members have common purposes and
common interests which constitute them a community; and amongst the
common interests without which there could be no community is that of
common worship: knowledge of the sacra, being confined to the members
of the community, is the test by which members are known, outsiders
excluded, and the existence of the community as a community secured.
At this stage, in a large number of societies--negro,
Malayo-Polynesian, North American Indians, Eskimo, Australians--the
belief in reincarnation takes a form in which the presence of souls of
the departed is recognised as necessary to the very conception of the
community.  Thus in Alaska, among the Unalits of St. Michael's {60}
Bay, a festival of the dead is observed, the equivalent of which
appears to be found amongst all the Eskimo.  M. Mauss (_L'Année
Sociologique_, IX, 99) thus describes it: "It comprises two essential
parts.  It begins with praying the souls of the dead graciously to
consent to reincarnate themselves for the moment in the namesake which
each deceased person has; for the custom is that in each station the
child last born always takes the name of the last person who has died.
Then these living representatives of the deceased receive presents, and
having received them the souls are dismissed from the abodes of the
living to return to the land of the dead.  Thus at this festival not
only does the group regain its unity, but the rite reconstitutes the
ideal group which consists of all the generations which have succeeded
one another from the earliest times.  Mythical and historic ancestors
as well as later ones thus mingle with the living, and communion
between them is conducted by means of the exchange of presents."
Amongst people other than the Eskimo, a new-born child not only takes
the name of the last member of the family or clan who has died, but is
regarded as the reincarnation of the deceased.  "Thus the number of
individuals, {61} of names, of souls, of social functions in the clan
is limited; and the life of the clan consists in the death and rebirth
of individuals who are always identically the same" (_l.c._ 267).

The line of evolution thus followed by the belief in reincarnation
results in the total separation of the belief from morality and from
religion, and results in rendering it infertile alike for morality,
religion, and progress in civilisation generally.  Where the belief in
reincarnation takes the form of belief in the transmigration of the
soul into some animal form, it may be utilised for moral purposes,
provided that the people amongst whom the belief obtains have otherwise
advanced so far as to see that the punishments and rewards which are
essential to the development of morality are by no means always
realised in this life.  When that conviction has established itself,
the reincarnation theory will provide machinery by which the belief in
future punishments and rewards can be conceived as operative: rebirth
in animal form, if the belief in it already exists, may be held out as
a deterrent to wrongdoing.  That is, as a matter of fact, the use to
which the belief has been put by Buddhism.  The form and station in
which the deceased will be {62} reborn is no longer, as amongst the
peoples just mentioned, conceived to be determined automatically, so to
speak, but is supposed to depend on the moral qualities exhibited
during life.  If this view of the future life has struck deeper root
and has spread over a greater surface than the doctrine taught in the
Greek mysteries ever did, the reason may probably be found in the fact
that the Greek mysteries had no higher morality to teach than was
already recognised, whilst the moral teaching of the Buddha was far
more exalted and far more profoundly true than anything that had been
preached in India before.  If a moral system by itself, on its own
merits, were capable of affording a sure foundation for religion,
Buddhism would be built upon a rock.  To the spiritual community by
which man may be united to his fellow-man and to his God, morality is
essential and indispensable.  But the moral life derives its value
solely from the fact that on it depends, and by means of it is
realised, that communion of man with God after which man has from the
beginning striven.  If then that communion and the very possibility of
that communion is denied, the denial must prove fatal alike to religion
and to morality.  Now, that is the denial which Buddhism {63} makes.
But the fact of the denial is obscured to those who believe, and to
those who would like to believe, in Buddhism, by the way in which it is
made.  It is made in such a way that it appears and is believed to be
an affirmation instead of a denial.  Communion with God is declared to
be the final end to which the transmigration of souls conducts.  But
the communion to which it leads is so intimate that the human soul, the
individual, ceases to be.  Obviously, therefore, if it ceases to be,
the communion also must cease; there is no real communion subsisting
between two spirits, the human and the divine, for two spirits do not
exist, but only one.  If this way of stating the case be looked upon
with suspicion as possibly not doing justice to the teaching of
Buddhism, or as pressing unduly far the union between the human and the
divine which is the ultimate goal of the transmigration of souls, the
reply is that in truth the case against Buddhism is stronger than
appears from this mode of stating it.  To say that from the Buddhist
point of view the human soul, the individual, eventually ceases to be,
is indeed an incorrect way of putting the matter.  It implies that the
human soul, the individual, now is; and hereafter ceases to be.  But so
far from {64} admitting that the individual now is, the Buddhist
doctrine is that the existence of the soul, now, is mere illusion,
_mâyâ_.  It is therefore logical enough, and at any rate
self-consistent, to say that hereafter, when the series of
transmigrations is complete, the individual will not indeed cease to
be, for he never was, but the illusion that he existed will be
dissipated.  Logically again, it follows from this that if the
existence of the individual soul is an illusion from the beginning,
then there can strictly speaking be no transmigration of souls, for
there is no soul to transmigrate.  But with perfect self-consistency
Buddhism accepts this position: what is transmitted from one being to
the next in the chain of existences is not the individuality or the
soul, but the character.  Professor Rhys Davids says (_Hibbert
Lectures_, pp. 91, 92): "I have no hesitation in maintaining that
Gotama did not teach the transmigration of souls.  What he did teach
would be better summarized, if we wish to retain the word
transmigration, as the transmigration of character.  But it would be
more accurate to drop the word transmigration altogether when speaking
of Buddhism, and to call its doctrine the doctrine of karma.  Gotama
held that after the death of any being, {65} whether human or not,
there survived nothing at all but that being's 'karma,' the result,
that is, of its mental and bodily actions."  "He discarded the theory
of the presence, within each human body, of a soul which could have a
separate and eternal existence.  He therefore established a new
identity between the individuals in the chain of existence, which he,
like his forerunners, acknowledged, by the new assertion that that
which made two beings to be the same being was--not soul, but--karma"
(_ib._, pp. 93, 94).  Thus once more it appears that there can be no
eventual communion between the human soul, at the end of its chain of
existence, and the divine, for the reason, not that the human soul
ultimately ceases to be, but that it never is or was, and therefore
neither transmigrates from one body to another, nor is eventually
absorbed in the _âtmân_.

Logically consistent though this train of argument be, it leaves
unanswered the simple question, How can the result of my actions have
any interest for me--not hereafter, but at the present moment--if I not
only shall not exist hereafter but do not exist at the present moment?
It is not impossible for a man who believes that his existence will
absolutely {66} cease at death to take some interest in and labour for
the good of others who will come after him; but it is impossible for a
man who does not exist now to believe in anything whatever.  And it is
on that fundamental absurdity that Buddhism is built: it is directed to
the conversion of those who do not exist to be converted, and it is
directed to the object of relieving from existence those who have no
existence from which to be relieved.

Where then lies the strength of Buddhism, if as a logical structure it
is rent from top to bottom by glaring inconsistency?  It lies in its
appeal to the spirit of self-sacrifice.  What it denounces, from
beginning to end, is the will to live.  The reason why it denounces the
will to live is that that will manifests itself exclusively in the
desires of the individual; and it is to the desires of man that all the
misery in the world are directly due.  Destroy those desires by
annihilating the will to live--and in no other way can they be
destroyed--and the misery of the world will cease.  The only
termination to the misery of the world which Buddhism can imagine is
the voluntary cessation of life which will ultimately ensue on the
cessation of the will to live.  And the means by which that is to be
brought about is {67} the uprooting and destruction of the
self-regarding desires by means of the higher morality of
self-sacrifice.  What the Buddhist overlooks is that the uprooting and
destruction of the self-regarding desires results, not in the
annihilation, but in the purification and enhanced vitality, of the
self that uproots them.  The outcome of the unselfish and
self-sacrificing life is not the destruction of individuality, but its
highest realisation.  Now, it is only in society and by living for
others that this unselfishness and self-sacrifice can be carried out;
man can only exist and unselfishness can only operate in society, and
society means the communion of man with his fellows.  It is true that
only in society can selfishness exist; but it is recognized from the
beginning as that which is destructive of society, and it is therefore
condemned alike by the morality and the religion of the society.  The
communion of man with his fellows and his God is hindered, impeded, and
blocked wholly and solely by his self-regarding desires; it is
furthered and realised solely by his unselfish desires.  But his
unselfish desires involve and imply his existence--I was going to say,
just as much, I mean--far more than his selfish desires, for they
imply, and are only possible on, the assumption of {68} the existence
of his fellow-man, and of his communion with him.  Nay! more, by the
testimony of Buddhism itself as well as of the religious experience of
mankind at large, the unselfish desires, the spirit of self-sacrifice,
require both for their logical and their emotional justification, still
more for their practical operation, the faith that by means of them the
will of God is carried out, and that in them man shows likest God.  It
is in them and by them that the communion of man with his fellow-man
and with his God is realised.  It is the faith that such communion,
though it may be interrupted, can never be entirely broken which
manifests itself in the belief in immortality.  That belief may take
shape in the idea that the souls of the departed revisit this earth
temporarily in ghostly form, or more permanently as reincarnated in the
new-born members of the tribe; it may body forth another world of bliss
or woe, and if it is to subserve the purposes of morality, it must so
do; nay! more, if it is to subserve the purposes of morality, it is
into the presence of the Lord that the soul must go.  But in any and
whatever shape the belief takes, the soul is conceived or implied to be
in communion with other spirits.  There is no other way in which it is
{69} possible to conceive the existence of a soul; just as any particle
of matter, to be comprehended in its full reality, implies not only
every other particle of matter but the universe which comprehends them,
so the existence of any spirit logically implies not only the existence
of every other but also of Him without whom no one of them could be.

It is in this belief in the communion of spirits wherever he may find
it--and where will he not?--that the missionary may obtain a leverage
for his work.  It is a sure basis for his operations because the desire
for communion is universal; and Christianity alone, of the religions of
the world, teaches that self-sacrifice is the way to life eternal.



Of all the topics which present themselves to the student of the
science of religion for investigation and explanation there is none
which has caused more diversity of opinion, none which has produced
more confusion of thought, than magic.  The fact is that the belief in
magic is condemned alike by science and religion,--by the one as
essentially irrational, and by the other as essentially irreligious.
But though it is thus condemned, it flourishes, where it does flourish,
as being science, though of a more secret kind than that usually
recognised, or as being a more potent application of the rites and
ceremonies of religion.  It is indeed neither science nor religion; it
lives by mimicking one or other or both.  In the natural history of
belief it owes its survival, so long as it does survive, to its
"protective colouring" and its power of mimicry.  It is, always and
everywhere, an error,--whether tried by the canons of science or
religion; {71} but it lives, as error can only live, by posing and
passing itself off as truth.

If now the only persons deceived by it were the persons who believed in
it, students of the science of religion would have been saved from much
fruitless controversy.  But so subtly protective is its colouring that
some scientific enquirers have confidently and unhesitatingly
identified it with religion, and have declared that magic is religion,
and religion is magic.  The tyranny of that error, however, is now
well-nigh overpast.  It is erroneous, and we may suppose is seen to be
erroneous, in exactly the same way as it would be to say that science
is magic, and magic science.  The truth is that magic in one aspect is
a colourable imitation of science: "in short," as Dr. Frazer says
(_Early History of the Kingship_, p. 38), "magic is a spurious system
of natural law."  That is, we must note, it is a system which is
spurious in our eyes, but which, to those who believed in it, was "a
statement of the rules which determine the sequence of events
throughout the world--a set of precepts which human beings observe in
order to compare their ends" (_ib._, p. 39).

The point, then, from which I wish to start is that {72} magic, as it
is now viewed by students of the science of religion, on the one hand
is a spurious system of natural law or science, and on the other a
spurious system of religion.

Our next point is that magic could not be spurious for those who
believed in it: they held that they knew some things and could do
things which ordinary people did not know and could not do; and,
whether their knowledge was of the secrets of nature or of the spirit
world, it was not in their eyes spurious.

Our third point is more difficult to explain, though it will appear not
merely obvious, but self-evident, if I succeed in explaining it.  It
will facilitate the work of explanation, if you will for the moment
suppose--without considering whether the supposition is true or
not--that there was a time when no one had heard that there was such a
thing as magic.  Let us further suppose that at that time man had
observed such facts as that heat produces warmth, that the young of
animals and man resemble their parents: in a word, that he had attained
more or less consciously to the idea, as a matter of observation, that
like produces like, and as a matter of practice that like may be
produced by like.  Having attained to that practical idea, he will of
{73} course work it not only for all that it is worth, but for more.
That is indeed the only way he has of finding out how much it is good
for; and it is only repeated failure which will convince him that here
at length he has reached the limit, that in this particular point
things do not realise his expectations, that in this instance his
anticipation of nature has been "too previous."  Until that fact has
been hammered into him, he will go on expecting and believing that in
this instance also like will produce like, when he sets it to work; and
he will be perfectly convinced that he is employing the natural and
reasonable means for attaining his end.  As a matter of fact, however,
as we with our superior knowledge can see, in the first place those
means never can produce the desired effect; and next, the idea that
they can, as it withers and before it finally falls to the ground, will
change its colour and assume the hue of magic.  Thus the idea that by
whistling you can produce a wind is at first as natural and as purely
rational as the idea that you can produce warmth by means of fire.
There is nothing magical in either.  Both are matter-of-fact
applications of the practical maxim that like produces like.


That, then, is the point which I have been wishing to make, the third
of the three points from which I wish to start.  There are three ways
of looking at identically the same thing, _e.g._ whistling to produce a
wind.  First, we may regard it, and I suggest that it was in the
beginning regarded, as an application, having nothing to distinguish it
from any other application, of the general maxim that like produces
like.  The idea that eating the flesh of deer makes a man timid, or
that if you wish to be strong and bold you should eat tiger, is, in
this stage of thought, no more magical than is the idea of drinking
water because you are dry.

Next, the idea of whistling to produce a wind, or of sticking splinters
of bone into a man's footprints in order to injure his feet, may be an
idea not generally known, a thing not commonly done, a proceeding not
generally approved of.  It is thus marked off from the commonplace
actions of drinking water to moisten your parched throat or sitting by
a fire to get warm.  When it is thus marked off, it is regarded as
magic: not every one knows how to do it, or not every one has the power
to do it, or not every one cares to do it.  That is the second stage,
the heyday of magic.


The third and final stage is that in which no educated person believes
in it, when, if a man thinks to get a wind by whistling he may whistle
for it.  These three ways of looking at identically the same thing may
and do coexist.  The idea of whistling for a wind is for you and me
simply a mistaken idea; but possibly at this moment there are sailors
acting upon the idea and to some of them it appears a perfectly natural
thing to do, while to others there is a flavour of the magical about
it.  But though the three ways may and do coexist, it is obvious that
our way of looking at it is and must be the latest of the three, for
the simple reason that an error must exist before it can be exploded.
I say that our way of looking at it must be the latest, but in saying
so I do not mean to imply that this way of looking at it originates
only at a late stage in the history of mankind.  On the contrary, it is
present in a rudimentary form from very early times; and the proof is
the fact generally recognised that magicians amongst the lowest races,
though they may believe to a certain extent in their own magical
powers, do practise a good deal of magic which they themselves know to
be fraudulent.  Progress takes place when other people also, and a {76}
steadily increasing number of people, come to see that it is fraudulent.

In the next place, just as amongst very primitive peoples we see that
some magic is known by some people, viz. the magicians themselves, to
be fraudulent, though other people believe in it; so, amongst very
primitive peoples, we find beliefs and practices existing which have
not yet come to be regarded as magical, though they are such as might
come, and do elsewhere come, to be considered pure magic.  Thus, for
instance, when Cherokee Indians who suffer from rheumatism abstain from
eating the flesh of the common grey squirrel "because the squirrel eats
in a cramped position, which would clearly aggravate the pangs of the
rheumatic patient" (Frazer, _History of the Kingship_, p. 70), or when
"they will not wear the feathers of the bald-headed buzzard for fear of
themselves becoming bald" (_ib._), they are simply following the best
medical advice of their day,--they certainly do not imagine they are
practising magic, any more than you or I do when we are following the
prescriptions of our medical adviser.  On the contrary, it is quite as
obvious, then, that the feathers of the bald-headed buzzard are
infectious as it is now that the clothes {77} of a fever patient are
infectious.  Neither proposition, to be accepted as true, requires us
to believe in magic: either might spring up where magic had never been
heard of.  And, if that is the case, it simply complicates things
unnecessarily to talk of magic in such cases.  The tendency to believe
that like produces like is not a consequence of or a deduction from a
belief in magic: on the contrary, magic has its root or one of its
roots in that tendency of the human mind.  But though that tendency
helps to produce magic amongst other things, magic is not the only
thing which it produces: it produces beliefs such as those of the
Cherokees just quoted, which are no more magical than the belief that
fire produces warmth, or that _causa aequat effectum_, that an effect
is, when analysed, indistinguishable from the conditions which
constitute it.

To attempt to define magic is a risky thing; and, instead of doing so
at once, I will try to mark off proceedings which are not magical; and
I would venture to say that things which it is believed any one can do,
and felt that any one may do, are not magical in the eyes of those who
have that belief and that feeling.  You may abstain from eating {78}
squirrel or wearing fine feathers because of the consequences; and
every one will think you are showing your common sense.  You may hang
up the bones of animals you have killed, in order to attract more
animals of the like kind; and you are simply practising a dodge which
you think will be useful.  Wives whose husbands are absent on hunting
or fighting expeditions may do or abstain from doing things which, on
the principle that like produces like, will affect their husbands'
success; and this application of the principle may be as
irrational--and as perfectly natural--as the behaviour of the beginner
at billiards whose body writhes, when he has made his stroke, in excess
of sympathy with the ball which just won't make the cannon.  In both
cases the principle acted on,--deliberately in the one case, less
voluntarily in the other,--the instinctive feeling is that like
produces like, not as a matter of magic but as a matter of fact.  If
the behaviour of the billiard player is due to an impulse which is in
itself natural and in his case is not magical, we may fairly take the
same view of the hunter's wife who abstains from spinning for fear the
game should turn and wind like the spindle and the hunter be unable to
hit it (Frazer, {79} p. 55).  The principle in both cases is that like
produces like.  Some applications of that principle are correct; some
are not.  The incorrectness of the latter is not at once discovered:
the belief in their case is erroneous, but is not known to be
erroneous.  And unless we are prepared to take up the position that
magic is the only form of erroneous belief which is to be found amongst
primitive men, we must endeavour to draw a line between those erroneous
beliefs which are magical and those erroneous beliefs which are not.
The line will not be a hard and fast line, because a belief which
originally had nothing magical about it may come to be regarded as
magical.  Indeed, on the assumption that belief in magic is an error,
we have to enquire how men come to fall into the error.  If there is no
such thing as magic, how did man come to believe that there was?  My
suggestion is that the rise of the belief is not due to the
introduction of a novel practice, but to a new way of looking at an
existing practice.  It is due in the first instance to the fact that
the practice is regarded with disapproval as far as its consequences
are concerned and without regard to the means employed to produce them.
Injury to a member of the community, {80} especially injury which
causes death, is viewed by the community with indignant disapproval.
Whether the death is produced by actual blows or "by drawing the figure
of a person and then stabbing it or doing it any other injury" (Frazer,
p. 41), it is visited with the condemnation of the community.  And
consequently all such attempts "to injure or destroy an enemy by
injuring or destroying an effigy of him" (_ib._), whenever they are
made, whether they come off or not, are resented and disapproved by
society.  On the other hand, sympathetic or hom[oe]opathic magic of
this kind, when used by the hunter or the fisherman to secure food,
meets with no condemnation.  Both assassin and hunter use substantially
the same means to effect their object; but the disapproval with which
the community views the object of the assassin is extended also to the
means which he employs.  In fine, the practice of using like to produce
like comes to be looked on with loathing and with dread when it is
employed for antisocial purposes.  Any one can injure or destroy his
private enemy by injuring an effigy of him, just as any one can injure
or destroy his enemy by assaulting and wounding him.  But though any
one may do this, it is felt {81} that no one ought to do it.  Such
practices are condemned by public opinion.  Further, as they are
condemned by the community, they are _ipso facto_ offensive to the god
of the community.  To him only those prayers can be offered, and by him
only those practices can be approved, which are not injurious to the
community or are not felt by the community to be injurious.  That is
the reason why such practices are condemned by the religious as well as
by the moral feeling of the community.  And they are condemned by
religion and morality long before their futility is exposed by science
or recognised by common sense.  When they are felt to be futile, there
is no call upon religion or morality especially to condemn the
practices--though the intention and the will to injure our fellow-man
remains offensive both to morality and religion.  With the means
adopted for realising the will and carrying out the intention, morality
and religion have no concern.  If the same or similar means can be used
for purposes consistent with the common weal, they do not, so far as
they are used for such purposes, come under the ban of either morality
or religion.  Therein we have, I suggest, the reason of a certain
confusion of thought {82} in the minds of students of the science of
religion.  We of the present day look at the means employed.  We see
the same means employed for ends that are, and for ends that are not,
antisocial; and, inasmuch as the means are the same and are alike
irrational, we group them all together under the head of magic.  The
grouping is perfectly correct, inasmuch as the proceedings grouped
together have the common attribute of being proceedings which cannot
possibly produce the effects which those who employ them believe that
they will and do produce.  But this grouping becomes perfectly
misleading, if we go on to infer, as is sometimes inferred, that
primitive man adopted it.  First, it is based on the fact that the
proceedings are uniformly irrational--a fact of which man is at first
wholly unaware; and which, when it begins to dawn upon him, presents
itself in the form of the further error that while some of these
proceedings are absurd, others are not.  In neither case does he adopt
the modern, scientific position that all are irrational, impossible,
absurd.  Next, the modern position deals only with the proceedings as
means,--declaring them all absurd,--and overlooks entirely what is to
primitive man the point of fundamental importance, viz. the object {83}
and purpose with which they are used.  Yet it is the object and purpose
which determine the social value of these proceedings.  For him, or in
his eyes, to class together the things which he approves of and the
things of which he disapproves would be monstrous: the means employed
in the two cases may be the same, but that is of no importance in face
of the fact that the ends aimed at in the two cases are not merely
different but contradictory.  In the one case the object promotes the
common weal, or is supposed by him to promote it.  In the other it is
destructive of the common weal.

If, therefore, we wish to avoid confusion of thought, we must in
discussing magic constantly bear in mind that we group together--and
therefore are in danger of confusing--things which to the savage differ
_toto caelo_ from one another.  A step towards avoiding this confusion
is taken by Dr. Frazer, when he distinguishes (_History of the
Kingship_, p. 89) between private magic and public magic.  The
distinction is made still more emphatic by Dr. Haddon (_Magic and
Fetichism_, p. 20) when he speaks of "nefarious magic."  The very same
means when employed against the good of the community are regarded, by
morality and religion {84} alike, as nefarious, which when employed for
the good of the community are regarded with approval.  The very same
illegitimate application,--I mean logically illegitimate in our
eyes,--the very same application of the principle that like produces
like will be condemned by the public opinion of the community when it
is employed for purposes of murder and praised by public opinion when
it is employed to produce the rain which the community desires.  The
distinction drawn by primitive man between the two cases is that,
though any one can use the means to do either, no one ought to do the
one which the community condemns.  That is condemned as nefarious; and
because it is nefarious, the "witch" may be "smelled out" by the
"witch-doctor" and destroyed by, or with the approval of, the community.

But though that is, I suggest, the first stage in the process by which
the belief in magic is evolved, it is by no means the whole of the
process.  Indeed, it may fairly be urged that practices which any one
can perform, though no one ought to perform, may be nefarious (as
simple, straightforward murder is), but so far there is nothing magical
about them.  And I am prepared to accept that view.  Indeed, {85} it is
an essential part of my argument, for I seek to show that the belief in
magic had a beginning and was evolved out of something that was not a
belief in magic, though it gave rise to it.  The belief that like
produces like can be entertained where magic has not so much as been
heard of.  And, though it may ultimately be worked out into the
scientific position that the sum of conditions necessary to produce an
effect is indistinguishable from the effect, it may also be worked out
on other lines into a belief in magic; and the first step in that
evolution is taken when the belief that like produces like is used for
purposes pronounced by public opinion to be nefarious.

The next step is taken when it comes to be believed not only that the
thing is nefarious but that not every one can do it.  The reason why
only a certain person can do it may be that he alone knows how to do
it--or he and the person from whom he learnt it.  The lore of such
persons when examined by folk-lore students is found generally to come
under one or other of the two classes known as sympathetic and mimetic
magic, or hom[oe]opathic and contagious magic.  In these cases it is
obvious that the _modus operandi_ is the same as it {86} was in what I
have called the first stage in the evolution of magic and have already
described at great length.  What differentiates this second stage from
the first is that whereas in the first stage these applications of the
principle that like produces like are known to every one, though not
practised by every one, in the second stage these applications are not
known to every one, but only to the dealers in magic.  Some of those
applications of the principle may be applications which have descended
to the dealer and have passed out of the general memory; and others may
simply be extensions of the principle which have been invented by the
dealer or his teacher.  Again, the public disapproval of nefarious arts
will tend first to segregate the followers of such arts from the rest
of the community; and next to foster the notion that the arts thus
segregated, and thereby made more or less mysterious, include not only
things which the ordinary decent member of society would not do if he
could, but also things which he could not do if he would.  The mere
belief in the possibility of such arts creates an atmosphere of
suspicion in which things are believed because they are impossible.
When this stage has been reached, when he who {87} practises nefarious
arts is reported and believed to do things which ordinary decent people
could not do if they would, his personality inevitably comes to be
considered as a factor in the results that he produces; he is credited
with a power to produce them which other people, that is to say
ordinary people, do not possess.  And it is that personal power which
eventually comes to be the most important, because the most mysterious,
article in his equipment.  It is in virtue of that personal power that
he is commonly believed to be able to do things which are impossible
for the ordinary member of the tribe.

Thus far I have been tracing the steps of the process by which the
worker of nefarious arts starts by employing for nefarious purposes
means which any one could use if he would, and ends by being credited
with a power peculiar to himself of working impossibilities.  I now
wish to point out that a process exactly parallel is simultaneously
carried on by which arts beneficent to society are supposed to be
evolved.  Rain-making may be taken as an art socially beneficial.  The
_modus operandi_ of rain-making appears in all cases to be based on the
principle that like produces like; and to be in its {88} nature a
process which any one can carry out and which requires no mysterious
art to effect and no mysterious personal power to produce.  At the same
time, as it is a proceeding which is beneficial to the tribe as a
whole, it is one in which the whole tribe, and no one tribesman in
particular, is interested.  It must be carried out in the interest of
the tribe and by some one who in carrying it out acts for the tribe.
The natural representative of the tribe is the head-man of the tribe;
and, though any one might perform the simple actions necessary, and
could perform them just as well as the head-man, they tend to fall into
the hands of the head-man; and in any case the person who performs them
performs them as the representative of the tribe.  The natural
inference comes in course of time to be drawn that he who alone
performs them is the man who alone can perform them; and when that
inference is drawn it becomes obvious that his personality, or the
power peculiar to him personally, is necessary if rain is to be made,
and that the acts and ceremonies through which he goes and through
which any one could go would not be efficacious, or not as efficacious,
without his personal agency and mysterious power.  Hence the man who
works {89} wonders for his tribe or in the interests of his tribe, in
virtue of his personal power, does things which are impossible for the
ordinary member of the tribe.

Up to this point, in tracing the evolution of magic, we have not found
it once necessary to bring in or even to refer to any belief in the
existence of spiritual beings of any kind.  So far as the necessities
of the argument are concerned, the belief in magic might have
originated in the way I have described and might have developed on the
lines suggested, in a tribe which had never so much as heard of
spirits.  Of course, as a matter of fact, every tribe in which the
belief in magic is found does also believe in the existence of spirits;
animism is a stage of belief lower than which or back of which science
does not profess to go.  But it is only in an advanced stage of its
evolution that the belief in magic becomes involved with the belief in
spirits.  Originally, eating tiger to make you bold, or eating saffron
to cure jaundice, was just as matter of fact a proceeding as drinking
water to moisten your throat or sitting by a fire to get warm; like
produces like, and beyond that obvious fact it was not necessary to
go--there was no more need to imagine that the action of the saffron
was due to a spirit than to imagine {90} that it was a water spirit
which slakes your thirst.  The fact seems to be that animism is a
savage philosophy which is competent to explain everything when called
upon, but that the savage does not spend every moment of his waking
life in invoking it: until there is some need to fall back upon it, he
goes on treating inanimate things as things which he can utilise for
his own purposes without reference to spirits.  That is the attitude
also of the man who in virtue of his lore or his personal power can
produce effects which the ordinary man cannot or will not: he performs
his ceremony and the effect follows--or will follow--because he knows
how to do it or has mysterious personal power to produce the effect.
But he consults no spirits--at any rate in the first instance.
Eventually he may do so; and then magic enters on a further stage in
its evolution.  (See Appendix.)

If the man who has the lore or the personal power, and who uses it for
nefarious purposes, proposes to employ it on obtaining the same control
over spirits as he has over things, his magic reaches a stage of
evolution in which it is difficult and practically unnecessary to
distinguish it from the stage of fetichism in which the owner of a
fetich {91} applies coercion to make the fetich spirit do what he
wishes.  With fetichism I deal in another lecture.  If, on the other
hand, the man who has the lore or the personal power and uses it for
social or "communal" purposes (Haddon, p. 41) comes to believe that,
for the effects which he has hitherto sought to produce by means of his
superior knowledge or superior power, it is necessary to invoke the aid
of spirits, he will naturally address himself to the spirit or god who
is worshipped by the community because he has at heart the general
interests of the community; or it may be that the spirit who produces
such a benefit for the community at large, as rain for example, will
take his place among the gods of the community as the rain-god, in
virtue of the benefit which he confers upon the community generally.
In either case, the attitude of the priest or person who approaches him
on behalf of the community will be that which befits a supplicant
invoking a favour from a power that has shown favour in the past to the
community.  And it will not surprise us if we find that the ceremonies
which were used for the purpose of rain-making, before rain was
recognised as the gift of the gods, continue for a time to be practised
as the proper rites with {92} which to approach the god of the
community or the rain-god in particular.  Such survivals are then in
danger of being misinterpreted by students of the science of religion,
for they may be regarded as evidence that religion was evolved out of
magic, when in truth they show that religion tends to drive out magic.
Thus Dr. Frazer, in his _Lectures on the Early History of the Kingship_
(pp. 73-75), describes the practice of the New Caledonians who, to
promote the growth of taro, "bury in the field certain stones
resembling taros, praying to their ancestors at the same time," and he
goes on to say: "In these practices of the New Caledonians the magical
efficacy of the stones appears to be deemed insufficient of itself to
accomplish the end in view; it has to be reinforced by the spirits of
the dead, whose help is sought by prayer and sacrifice.  Thus in New
Caledonia sorcery is blent with the worship of the dead; in other
words, magic is combined with religion.  If the stones ceased to be
employed, and the prayers and sacrifices to the ancestors remained, the
transition from magic to religion would be complete."  Thus it seems to
be suggested in these words of Dr. Frazer's that religion may be
evolved out of magic.  If that is what is suggested, {93} then there is
little doubt that the suggestion is not borne out by the instance
given.  Let us concede for the moment what some of us would be inclined
to doubt, viz. that prayers and sacrifice offered to a human being,
alive or dead, is religion; and let us enquire whether this form of
religion is evolved out of magic.  The magic here is quite clear:
stones resembling taros are buried in the taro field to promote the
growth of taros.  That is an application of the principle that like
produces like which might be employed by men who had never heard of
ancestor worship or of any kind of religion, and who had never uttered
prayers or offered sacrifices of any kind.  Next, the religious
element, according to Dr. Frazer, is also quite clear: it consists in
offering sacrifices to the dead with the prayer or the words, "Here are
your offerings, in order that the crop of yams may be good."  Now, it
is not suggested, even by Dr. Frazer, that this religious element is a
form of magic or is in any way developed out of or evolved from magic.
On the contrary, if this element is religious--indeed, whether it be
really religious or not--it is obviously entirely distinct and
different from sympathetic or hom[oe]opathic magic.  The mere fact that
the magical {94} rite of burying in the taro fields stones which
resemble taros has to be supplemented by rites which are, on Dr.
Frazer's own showing, non-magical, shows that the primitive belief in
this application of the principle that like produces like was already
dying out, and was in process of becoming a mere survival.  Suppose
that it died out entirely and the rite of burying stones became an
unintelligible survival, or was dropped altogether, and suppose that
the prayers and sacrifices remained in possession of the field, which
would be the more correct way of stating the facts, to say that the
magic had died out and its place had been taken by something totally
different, viz. religion; or that what was magic had become religion,
that magic and religion are but two manifestations, two stages, in the
evolution of the same principle?  The latter statement was formally
rejected by Dr. Frazer in the second edition of his _Golden Bough_,
when he declared that he had come to recognise "a fundamental
distinction and even opposition of principle between magic and
religion" (Preface, xvi).  His words, therefore, justify us in assuming
that when he speaks, in his _Lectures on the Early History of the
Kingship_, of the "transition from magic to religion," he cannot {95}
mean that magic becomes religion, or that religion is evolved out of
magic, for the "distinction and even opposition of principle" between
the two is "fundamental."  He can, therefore, only mean that magic is
followed and may be driven out by something which is fundamentally
opposed to it, viz. religion.

What then is the fundamental opposition between magic and religion? and
is it such as to require us to believe with Dr. Frazer that magic
preceded religion, and that of two opposite ideas the mind can conceive
the one without conceiving--and rejecting--the other?

The fundamental opposition between magic and religion I take to be that
religion is supposed to promote the interests of the community, and
that magic, so far forth as it is nefarious, is condemned by the moral
and by the religious feeling of the community.  It is the ends for
which nefarious magic is used that are condemned, and not the means.
The means may be and, as we see, are silly and futile; and, for
intellectual progress, their silliness and futility must be recognised
by the intellect.  But, it is only when they are used for purposes
inimical to the public good that they are {96} condemned by religion
and morality as nefarious.  If therefore we talk of a fundamental
opposition between magic and religion, we must understand that the
fundamental opposition is that between nefarious magic and religion;
neither religion nor morality condemns the desire to increase the food
supply or to promote any other interest of the community.  Whether a
man uses skill that he has acquired, or personal power, or force of
will, matters not, provided he uses it for the general good.  The
question whether, as a cold matter of fact, the means he uses are
efficacious is not one which moral fervour or religious ardour is
competent by itself to settle: the cool atmosphere and dry light of
reason have rather that function to perform; and they have to perform
it in the case both of means that are used for the general good and of
those used against it.

I take it therefore that what religion is fundamentally opposed to is
magic--or anything else--that is used for nefarious purposes.

The question then arises whether we have any reason to believe that
magic used for nefarious purposes must have existed before religion.
Now by nefarious purposes I mean purposes inconsistent with or
destructive of the common good.  {97} There can be no such purposes,
however, unless and until there is a community, however small, having
common interests and a common good.  As soon as there exists such a
community, there will be a distinction between actions which promote
and actions which are destructive of the common good.  The one class
will be approved, the other disapproved, of by public opinion.  Magic
will be approved and disapproved of according as it is or is not used
in a way inconsistent with the public good.  If there is a spirit or a
god who is worshipped by the community because he is believed to be
concerned with the good of the community, then he will disapprove of
nefarious proceedings whether magical or not.  But Dr. Frazer's
position I take to be that no such spirit or god can come to be
believed in, unless there has been previously a belief in magic.  Now,
that argument either is or is not based on the assumption that magic
and religion are but two manifestations, two stages, in the evolution
of the same principle.  If that is the basis, then what manifested
itself at first as magic subsequently manifests itself as religion; and
"the transition from magic to religion" implies the priority of magic
to religion.  But, as we have seen, Dr. Frazer {98} formally
postulates, not an identity, but an "opposition of principle" between
the two.  We must therefore reject the assumption of an identity of
principle; and accept the "opposition of principle."  But if so, then
there must be two principles which are opposed to one another, religion
and magic; and we might urge that line of argument consistently enough
to show that there can be no magic save where there is religion to be
opposed to it.

Now, there is an opposition of principle between magic used for
nefarious purposes and religion; and the opposition is that the one
promotes social and the other anti-social purposes.  Nefarious
purposes, whether worked by magic or by other means, are condemned by
religion and are nefarious especially because offensive to the god who
has the interests of the community at heart.  That from the moment
society existed anti-social tendencies also manifested themselves will
not be doubted; and neither need we doubt that the principle that like
produces like was employed from the beginning for social as well as for
anti-social purposes.  The question is whether, in the stage of
animism, the earliest and the lowest stage which science recognises in
the evolution of man, there is ever found a society {99} of human
beings which has not appropriated some one or more of the spirits by
which all things, on the animistic principle, are worked, to the
purposes of the community.  No such society has yet been proved to
exist; still less has any _à priori_ proof been produced to show that
such a society must have existed.  The presumption indeed is rather the
other way.  Children go through a period of helpless infancy longer
than the young of any other creatures; and could not reach the age of
self-help, if the family did not hold together for some years at least.
But where there is a family there is a society, even if it be confined
to members of the family.  There also, therefore, there are social and
anti-social tendencies and purposes; and, in the animistic stage, the
spirits, by which man conceives himself to be surrounded, are either
hostile or not hostile to the society, and are accordingly either
worshipped or not worshipped by it.  Doubtless, even in those early
times, the father and the husband conceived himself to be the whole
family; and if that view had its unamiable side--and it still has--it
also on occasion had the inestimable advantage of sinking self, of
self-sacrifice, in defence of the family.


Thus far I have been concerned to show how, starting from a principle
such as that like produces like, about which there is nothing magical
in the eyes either of those who believe in magic or of those who have
left the belief behind, man might evolve the conception of magic as
being the lore or the personal power which enables a man to do what
ordinary people cannot do.  A few words are necessary as to the decline
of the belief.  The first is that the belief is rotten before it is
ripe.  Those applications of the principle that like produces like
which are magical are generally precisely those which are false.  The
fact that they are false has not prevented them from surviving in
countless numbers to the present day.  But some suspicion of their
falsity in some cases does arise; and the person who has the most
frequent opportunities of discovering their falsity, the person on
whose notice the discovery of their falsity is thrust most pointedly,
is the person who deals habitually and professionally in magic.  Hence,
though it is his profession to work wonders, he takes care as far as
may be not to attempt impossibilities.  Thus Dr. Haddon (_l.c._, p. 62)
found that the men of Murray Island, Torres Straits, who made a "big
wind" by magic, only made it in the {101} season of the southeast trade
wind.  "On my asking," he says, "whether the ceremony was done in the
north monsoon, my informant said emphatically, 'Can't do it in
northwest.'  That is, the charm is performed only at that season of the
year when the required result is possible--indeed when it is of normal
occurrence.  In this, as in other cases, I found that the impossible
was never attempted.  A rain charm would not be made when there was no
expectation of rain coming, or a southeast wind be raised during the
wrong season."  The instance thus given to us by Dr. Haddon shows how
the belief in magic begins to give way before the scientific
observation of fact.  The collapse of magic becomes complete when every
one sees that the southeast trade wind blows at its appointed time,
whether the magic rites are performed or not.  In fine, what kills
magic regarded as a means for producing effects is the discovery that
it is superfluous, when for instance the desired wind or rain is
coming, and futile when it is not.  And whereas morality and religion
only condemn the end aimed at by magic, and only condemn it when it is
anti-social, science slowly shows that magic as a means to any end is
superfluous and silly.


Science, however, shows this but slowly; and if we wish to understand
how it is that the belief in the magician's power has survived for
thousands of years down to the present moment amongst numerous peoples,
we must remember that his equipment and apparatus are not limited to
purely nonsensical notions.  On the contrary, in his stock of
knowledge, carefully handed down, are many truths and facts not
generally known; and they are the most efficacious articles of his
stock in trade.  Dr. Frazer may not go farther than his argument
requires, but he certainly goes farther than the facts will support
him, when he says (_l.c._, p. 83) "for it must always be remembered
that every single profession and claim put forward by the magician as
such is false; not one of them can be maintained without deception,
conscious or unconscious."

If now, in conclusion, we look once more at the subject of magic and
look at it from the practical point of view of the missionary, we shall
see that there are several conclusions which may be of use to him.  In
the first place, his attitude to magic will be hostile, and in his
hostility to it he will find the best starting-point for his campaign
against it to be in the fact that everywhere magic is felt, to a
greater {103} or less extent, to be anti-social, and is condemned both
by the moral sentiments and the religious feeling of the community.  It
is felt to be essentially wicked; and in warring against it the
missionary will be championing the cause of those who know it to be
wrong but who simply dare not defy it.  The fact that defiance is not
ventured on is essential to the continuance of the tyranny; and what is
necessary, if it is to be defied, is an actual concrete example of the
fact that when defied it is futile.

Next, where magic is practised for social purposes, where it mimics
science or religion and survives in virtue of its power of "protective
colouring," it is in fact superfluous and silly; and where the natives
themselves are beginning to recognise that the magic which is supposed,
for instance, to raise the southeast trade wind won't act at the wrong
season, it should not be difficult to get them to see that it is
unnecessary at the right season.  The natural process which tends thus
to get rid of magic may be accelerated by the sensible missionary; and
some knowledge of science will be found in this, as in other matters,
an indispensable part of his training.

Finally, the missionary may rest assured in the conviction that his
flank will not be turned by the {104} science of religion.  The idea
that religion was preceded by and evolved out of magic may have been
entertained by some students of the science of religion in the past,
and may not yet have been thrown off by all.  But it holds no place now
in the science of religion.  To derive either science or religion from
the magic which exists only by mimicking one or the other is just as
absurd as to imagine that the insect which imitates the colour of the
leaf whereon it lives precedes and creates the tree which is to support



The line of action taken by the missionary at work will, like that of
any other practical man, be conditioned, not only by the object which
he wishes to attain, but also by the nature of the material on which
and with which he has to work.  He requires therefore all the
information which the science of religion can place at his disposal
about the beliefs and practices of those amongst whom his work is cast;
and, if he is to make practical use of that information, he must know
not only that certain beliefs and practices do as a matter of fact
obtain, he must know also what is their value for his special
purpose--what, if any, are the points about them which have religious
value, and can be utilized by him; and what are those points about them
which are obstructive to his purpose, and how best they may be removed
and counteracted.  To supply him with this information, to give him
this estimate of values, to guide him as to the attitude he should
assume and the way in which he may utilise or must {106} attack native
practices and beliefs, is the object with which the applied science of
religion, when it has been constituted by the action of Hartford
Theological Seminary, will address itself.

Now, it may seem from the practical point of view of the missionary
that with regard to fetichism there can be no question as to what its
value is or as to what his attitude should be towards it.  But, even if
we should ultimately find that fetichism is obstructive to religion, we
shall still want to know what hints we can extract from the science of
religion as to the best way of cutting at the roots of fetichism; and
therefore it will be necessary to consider what exactly fetichism is.
And, as a matter of fact, there is a tendency manifesting itself
amongst students of the science of religion to say, as Dr. Haddon says
(_Magic and Fetichism_, p. 91), that "fetichism is a stage of religious
development"; and amongst writers on the philosophy of religion to take
fetichism and treat it, provisionally at any rate, if not as the
primitive religion of mankind, then as that form of religion which "we
find amongst men at the lowest stage of development known to us"
(Höffding, _Philosophy of Religion_, E. T., §§ 45, 46).  If, then,
fetichism is the primitive religion of {107} mankind or a stage of
religious development, "a basis from which many other modes of
religious thought have been developed" (Haddon, p. 91), it will have a
value which the missionary must recognise.  And in any case he must
know what value, if any, it has.

Now, if we are, I will not say to do justice to the view that fetichism
is the primitive religion of mankind or a stage from which other modes
of religious thought have been developed, but if we are simply to
understand it, we must clearly distinguish it from the view--somewhat
paradoxical to say the least--that fetichism has no religious value,
and yet is the source of all religious values.  The inference which may
legitimately be drawn from this second view is that all forms of
religious thought, having been evolved from this primitive religion of
mankind, have precisely the same value as it has; they do but make
explicit what it really was; the history of religion does but write
large and set out at length what was contained in it from the first; in
fetichism we see what from the first religion was, and what at the last
religion is.  On this view, the source from which all religious values
spring is fetichism; fetichism has no value of any kind, and therefore
the {108} evolved forms of fetichism which we call forms of religion
have no value either of any kind.  Thus, science--the science of
religion--is supposed to demonstrate by scientific methods the real
nature and the essential character of all religion.

Now, the error in this reasoning proceeds partly on a false conception
of the object and method of science--a false conception which is slowly
but surely disappearing.  The object of all science, whether it be
physical science or other, whether it be historic science or other, is
to establish facts.  The object of the historic science of religion is
to record the facts of the history of religion in such a way that the
accuracy of the record as a record will be disputed by no one qualified
to judge the fact.  For that purpose, it abstains deliberately and
consistently from asking or considering the religious value of any of
the facts with which it deals.  It has not to consider, and does not
consider, what would have been, still less what ought to have been, the
course of history, but simply what it was.  In this it is following
merely the dictates of common sense; before we can profitably express
an opinion on any occurrence, we must know what exactly it was that
occurred; and to learn what occurred we must {109} divest our minds of
preconceptions.  It is the business of the science of religion to set
aside preconceptions as to whether religion has or has not any value;
and if it does set them aside, that is to say so far as it is
scientific, it will end as it began without touching on the question of
the value of religion.  In fine, it is, and would I think now be
generally admitted to be, a misconception of the function of the
science of religion to imagine that it does, or can, prove anything as
to the truth of religion, one way or the other.

There is, however, another error in the reasoning which is directed to
show that in fetichism we see what religion was and essentially is.
That error consists not only in a false conception of what religion
is,--the man who has himself no religion may be excused if he fails to
understand fully what it is,--it is based on a misunderstanding of what
fetichism is.  And so confusion is doubly confounded.  The source of
that misunderstanding is to be found in Bosman (Pinkerton, _Voyages and
Travels_, London, 1814, XVI, 493), who says: "I once asked a negro with
whom I could talk very freely ... how they celebrated their divine
worship, and what number of gods they had; he, laughing, answered that
I had {110} puzzled him; and assured me that nobody in the whole
country could give me an exact account of it.  'For, as for my own
part, I have a very large number of gods, and doubt not but that others
have as many.  For any of us being resolved to undertake anything of
importance, we first of all search out a god to prosper our designed
undertaking; and going out of doors with the design, take the first
creature that presents itself to our eyes, whether dog, cat, or the
most contemptible creature in the world for our god; or, perhaps,
instead of that, any inanimate that falls in our way, whether a stone,
a piece of wood, or anything else of the same nature.  This new-chosen
god is immediately presented with an offering, which is accompanied by
a solemn vow, that if it pleaseth him to prosper our undertakings, for
the future we will always worship and esteem him as a god.  If our
design prove successful, we have discovered a new and assisting god,
which is daily presented with a fresh offering; but if the contrary
happen, the new god is rejected as a useless tool, and consequently
returns to his primitive estate.  We make and break our gods daily, and
consequently are the masters and inventors of what we sacrifice to.'"
Now, all this was said by the {111} negro, as Bosman himself observed,
to "ridicule his own country gods."  And it is not surprising that it
should have been, or should be, accepted as a trustworthy description
of the earliest form of religion by those who in the highest form can
find no more than this negro found in fetichism when he wished to
ridicule it.

Let us hold over for the moment the question whether fetichism is or is
not a form of religion; and let us enquire how far the account given by
Bosman's negro accords with the facts.  First, though there is no doubt
that animals are worshipped as gods, and though there is no doubt that
the guardian spirits of individuals are chosen, or are supposed to
manifest themselves, for example, amongst the North American Indians,
in animal form, and that "the first creature that presents itself" to
the man seeking the manifestation of his guardian spirit may be taken
to be his god, even though it be "the most contemptible creature in the
world "; still students of the science of religion are fairly satisfied
that such gods or guardian spirits are not to be confused with
fetiches.  A fetich is an inanimate or lifeless object, even if it is
the feather, claw, bone, eyeball, or any other part of an animal or
even of a man.  It is as {112} Bosman's negro said, "any inanimate that
falls in our way."  When he goes on to say that it "is immediately
presented with an offering," and, so long as its owner believes in it,
"is daily presented with a fresh offering," he is stating a fact that
is beyond dispute, and which is fully recognised by all students.  A
typical instance is given by Professor Tylor (_Primitive Culture_, II,
158) of the owner of a stone which had been taken as a fetich: "He was
once going out on important business, but crossing the threshold he
trod on this stone and hurt himself.  Ha! ha! thought he, art thou
there?  So he took the stone, and it helped him through his undertaking
for days."  When Bosman's negro further goes on to state that if the
fetich is discovered by its owner not to prosper his undertakings, as
he expected it to do, "it is rejected as a useless tool," he makes a
statement which is admitted to be true and which, in its truth, may be
understood to mean that when the owner finds that the object is not a
fetich, he casts it aside as being nothing but the "inanimate" which it
is.  Bosman's negro, however, says not that the inanimate but that "the
new god is rejected as a useless tool."  That we must take as being but
a carelessness of expression; the evidence of Colonel {113} Ellis, an
observer whose competence is undoubted, is: "Every native with whom I
have conversed on the subject has laughed at the possibility of it
being supposed that he could worship or offer sacrifice to some such
object as a stone, which of itself would be perfectly obvious to his
senses was a stone only and nothing more" (_The Tshi-speaking Peoples_,
p. 192).  From these words it follows that the object worshipped as a
fetich is a stone (or whatever it is) and something more, and that the
object "rejected as a useless tool" is a stone (or whatever it is) and
nothing more.  When, then, Bosman's negro goes on to say, "we make and
break our gods daily," he is not describing accurately the processes as
they are conceived by those who perform them.  The fetich worshipper
believes that the object which arrests his attention has already the
powers which he ascribes to it; and it is in consequence of that belief
that he takes it as his fetich.  And it is only when he is convinced
that it is not a fetich that he rejects it as a useless tool.  But what
Bosman's negro suggests, and apparently intended to suggest, is that
the fetich worshipper makes, say, a stone his god, knowing that it is a
stone and nothing more; and that he breaks his fetich believing it to
be a god.  {114} Thus the worshipper knows that the object is no god
when he is worshipping it; but believes it to be a god when he rejects
it as a useless tool.  Now that is, consciously or unconsciously,
deliberately or not, a misrepresentation of fetichism; and it is
precisely on that misconception of what fetichism is that they base
themselves who identify religion with fetichism, and then argue that,
as fetichism has no value, religious or reasonable, neither has
religion itself.

Returning now to the question what fetichism is--a question which must
be answered before we can enquire what religious value it possesses,
and whether it can be of any use for the practical purposes of the
missionary in his work--we have now seen that a fetich is not merely an
"inanimate," but something more; and that an object to become regarded
as a fetich must attract the attention of the man who is to adopt it,
and must attract the attention of the man when he has business on hand,
that is to say when he has some end in view which he desires to attain,
or generally when he is in a state of expectancy.  The process of
choice is one of "natural selection."  Professor Höffding sees in it
"the simplest conceivable construction of religious ideas.  The choice
is entirely elementary {115} and involuntary, as elementary and
involuntary as the exclamation which is the simplest form of a judgment
of worth.  The object chosen must be something or other which is
closely bound up with whatever engrosses the mind.  It perhaps awakens
memories of earlier events in which it was present or coöperative, or
else it presents a certain--perhaps a very distant--similarity to
objects which helped in previous times of need.  Or it may be merely
the first object which presents itself in a moment of strained
expectation.  It attracts attention, and is therefore involuntarily
associated with what is about to happen, with the possibility of
attaining the desired end" (_Philosophy of Religion_, E. T., p. 139).
And then Professor Höffding goes on to say, "In such phenomena as these
we encounter religion under the guise of desire."  Now, without denying
that there are such things as religious desires--and holding as we do
that religion is the search after God and the yearning of the human
heart after Him, "the desire of all nations," we shall have no
temptation to deny that there are such things as religious desires--yet
we must for the moment reserve our decision on the question whether it
is in such phenomena {116} as these that we encounter religious
desires, and we must bear in mind that there are desires which are not
religious, and that we want to know whether it is in the phenomena of
fetichism that we encounter religious desires.

That in the phenomena of fetichism we encounter desires other than
religious is beyond dispute: the use of a fetich is, as Dr. Nassau
says, "to aid the possessor in the accomplishment of some specific
wish" (_Fetichism in West Africa_, p. 82); that is, of any specific
wish.  Now, a fetich is, as we have seen, an inanimate object and
something more.  What more?  In actual truth, nothing more than the
fact that it is "involuntarily associated with what is about to happen,
with the possibility of attaining the desired end."  But to the
possessor the something more, it may be said, is the fact that it is
not merely an "inanimate" but also a spirit, or the habitation of a
spiritual being.  When, however, we reflect that fetichism goes back to
the animistic stage of human thought, in which all the things that we
term inanimate are believed to be animated by spirits, it is obvious
that we require some differentia to mark off those things (animated by
spirits) which are fetiches from those things (animated by spirits)
{117} which are not.  And the differentia is, of course, that fetiches
are spirits, or objects animated by spirits, which will aid the
possessor in the accomplishment of some specific wish, and are thought
to be willing so to aid, owing to the fact that by an involuntary
association of ideas they become connected in the worshipper's mind
with the possibility of attaining the end he has in view at the moment.
To recognise fetichism, then, in its simplest if not in its most
primitive form, all we need postulate is animism--the belief that all
things are animated by spirits--and the process of very natural
selection which has already been described.  At this stage in the
history of fetichism it is especially difficult to judge whether the
fetich is the spirit or the object animated by the spirit.  As Dr.
Haddon says (p. 83), "Just as the human body and soul form one
individual, so the material object and its occupying spirit or power
form one individual, more vague, perhaps, but still with many
attributes distinctively human.  It possesses personality and will ...
it possesses most of the human passions,--anger, revenge, also
generosity and gratitude; it is within reach of influence and may be
benevolent, hence to be deprecated and placated, and its aid enlisted."


A more advanced stage in the history of fetichism is that which is
reached by reflection on the fact that a fetich not unfrequently ceases
to prosper the undertakings of its possessor in the way he expected it
to do.  On the principles of animism, everything that is--whether
animate, or inanimate according to our notions--is made up of spirit,
or soul, and body.  In the case of man, when he dies, the spirit leaves
the body.  When, therefore, a fetich ceases to act, the explanation by
analogy is that the spirit has left the body, the inanimate, with which
it was originally associated; and when that is the case, then, as we
learn from Miss Kingsley (_Travels in West Africa_, pp. 304-305), "the
little thing you kept the spirit in is no more use now, and only fit to
sell to a white man as 'a big curio.'"  The fact that, in native
belief, what we call an inanimate thing may lose its soul and become
really dead is shown by Miss Kingsley in a passage quoted by Dr.
Haddon: "Everything that he," the native, "knows by means of his senses
he regards as a twofold entity--part spirit, part not spirit, or, as we
should say, matter; the connection of a certain spirit with a certain
mass of matter, he holds, is not permanent.  He will point out to you a
lightning-struck tree, and tell {119} you its spirit has been broken;
he will tell you when the cooking-pot has been broken, that it has lost
its spirit" (_Folk-Lore_, VIII, 141).  We might safely infer then that
as any object may lose its spirit, so too may an object which has been
chosen as a fetich; even if we had not, as we have, direct testimony to
the belief.

Next, when it is believed that an object may lose its spirit and become
dead indeed, there is room and opportunity for the belief to grow that
its spirit may pass into some other object: that there may be a
transmigration of spirits.  And when this belief arises, a fresh stage
in the history of fetichism is evolved.  And the fresh stage is evolved
in accordance with the law that governs the whole evolution of
fetichism.  That law is that a fetich is an object believed to aid its
possessor in attaining the end he desires.  In the earliest stage of
its history anything which happens to arrest a man's attention when he
is in a state of expectancy "is involuntarily associated with what is
about to happen," and so becomes a fetich.  In the most developed stage
of fetichism, men are not content to wait until they stumble across a
fetich, and when they do so to say, "Ha! ha! art thou there?"  Their
mental attitude becomes {120} interrogative: "Ha! ha! where art thou?"
They no longer wait to stumble across a fetich, they proceed to make
one; and for that procedure a belief in the transmigration of spirits
is essential.  An object, a habitation for the spirit, is prepared; and
he is invited, conjúred, or cónjured, into it.  If he is conjúred into
it, the attitude of the man who invites him is submissive; if cónjured,
the mental attitude of the performer is one of superiority.  Colonel
Ellis throughout all his careful enquiries found that "so great is the
fear of giving possible offence to any superhuman agent" that (in the
region of his observation) we may well believe that even the makers of
fetiches did not assume to command the spirits.  But elsewhere, in
other regions, it is impossible to doubt but that the owners of
fetiches not only conjúre the spirits into the objects, but also apply
coercion to them when they fail to aid their possessor in the
accomplishment of his wishes.  That, I take it, is the ultimate stage
in the evolution, the fine flower, of fetichism.  And it is not
religion, it has no value as religion, or rather its value is
anti-religious.  Even if we were to accept as a definition of religion
that it is the conciliation of beings conceived to be superior, we
should be compelled by {121} the definition to say that fetichism in
its eventual outcome is not religion, for the attitude of the owner
towards his fetich is then one of superiority, and his method is, when
conciliation fails, to apply coercion.

But it may perhaps be argued that fetichism, except in what I have
termed its ultimate evolution, is religion and has religious value; or,
to put it otherwise, that what I have represented as the eventual
outcome is really a perversion or the decline of fetichism.  Then, in
the fetichism which is or represents the primitive religion of mankind
we meet, according to Professor Höffding, "religion under the guise of
desire."  Now, not all desires are religious; and the question, which
is purely a question of fact, arises whether the desires which
fetichism subserves are religious.  And in using the word "religious" I
will not here place any extravagant meaning on the word; I will take it
in the meaning which would be understood by the community in which the
owner of a fetich dwells himself.  In the tribes described by Colonel
Ellis, for instance, there are worshipped personal gods having proper
names; and the worship is served by duly appointed priests; and the
worshippers consist of a body of {122} persons whose welfare the god
has at heart.  Such are some of the salient features of what all
students of the science of religion would include under the head of the
religion of those tribes.  Now amongst those same tribes the fetich, or
_suhman_, as it is termed by them, is found; and there are several
features which make a fetich quite distinguishable from any of the gods
which are worshipped there.  Thus, the fetich has no body of
worshippers: it is the private property, of its owner, who alone makes
offerings to it.  Its _raison d'être_, its special and only function,
is to subserve the private wishes of its owner.  In so far as he makes
offerings to it he may be called its priest; but he is not, as in the
case of the priests of the gods who are worshipped there, the
representative of the community or congregation, for a fetich has no
plurality of worshippers; and none of the priests of the gods will have
anything to do with it.  Next, "though offerings are made to the
_suhman_ by its owner, they are made in private" (Jevons, _History of
Religion_, p. 165)--there is no public worship--and "public opinion
does not approve of them."  The interests and the desires which the
fetich exists to promote are not those of the community: they are
antisocial, for, as Colonel Ellis {123} tells us, "one of the special
attributes of a _suhman_ is to procure the death of any person whom its
worshipper may wish to have removed"--indeed "the most important
function of the _suhman_ appears to be to work evil against those who
have injured or offended its worshipper."

Thus, a very clear distinction exists between the worship of a fetich
and the worship of the gods.  It is not merely that the fetich is
invoked occasionally in aid of antisocial desires: nothing can prevent
the worshipper of a god, if the worshipper be bad enough, from praying
for that which he ought not to pray for.  It is that the gods of the
community are there to sanction and further all desires which are for
the good of the community, and that the fetich is there to further
desires which are not for the good of the community,--hence it is that
"public opinion does not approve of them."  At another stage of
religious evolution, it becomes apparent and is openly pronounced that
neither does the god of the community approve of them; and then
fetichism, like the sin of witchcraft, is stamped out more or less.
But amongst the tribes who have only reached the point of religious
progress attained by the natives of West Africa, public opinion has
{124} only gone so far as to express disapproval, not to declare war.

If, then, we are to hold to the view of Professor Höffding and of Dr.
Haddon, that fetichism is in its essence, or was at the beginning,
religious in its nature, though it may be perverted into something
non-religious or anti-religious, we must at any rate admit that it has
become non-religious not only in the case of those fetichists who
assume an attitude of superiority and command to their fetiches, but
also in the earlier stage of evolution when the fetichist preserves an
attitude of submission and conciliation towards his fetich, but assumes
the attitude only for the purpose of realising desires which are
anti-social and recognised to be anti-religious.

But, if we take--as I think we must take--that line of argument, the
conclusion to which it will bring us is fairly clear and is not far
off.  The differentia or rather that differentia which
characteristically marks off the fetich from the god is the nature of
the desires which each exists to promote; the function which each
exists to fulfil, the end which is there for each to subserve.  But the
ends are different.  Not only are they different, they are
antagonistic.  And the process of evolution does {125} but bring out
the antagonism, it does not create it.  It was there from the
beginning.  From the moment there was society, there were desires which
could only be realised at the cost and to the loss of society, as well
as desires in the realisation of which the good of society was
realised.  The assistance of powers other than human might be sought;
and the nature of the power which was sought was determined by the end
or purpose for which its aid was employed or invoked--if for the good
of society, it was approved by society; if not, not.  Its function, the
end it subserved, determined its value for society--determined whether
public opinion should approve or disapprove of it, whether it was a god
of the community or the fetich of an individual.  Society can only
exist where there is a certain community of purpose among its members;
and can only continue to exist where anti-social tendencies are to some
extent suppressed or checked by force of public opinion.

Fetichism, then, in its tendency and in its purpose, in the function
which it performs and the end at which it aims is not only
distinguishable from religion, it is antagonistic to it, from the
earliest period of its history to the latest.  Religion is social, an
{126} affair of the community; fetichism is anti-social, condemned by
the community.  Public opinion, expressing the moral sentiments of the
community as well as its religious feeling, pronounces both moral and
religious disapproval of the man who uses a _suhman_ for its special
purpose of causing death--committing murder.  Fetichism is offensive to
the morality as well as to the religion even of the native.  To seek
the origin of religion in fetichism is as vain as to seek the origin of
morality in the selfish and self-seeking tendencies of man.  There is
no need to enquire whether fetichism is historically prior to religion,
or whether religion is historically prior to fetichism.  Man, as long
as he has lived in societies, must have had desires which were
incompatible with the welfare of the community as well as desires which
promoted its welfare.  The powers which are supposed to care whether
the community fares well are the gods of the community; and their
worship is the religion of the community.  The powers which have no
such care are not gods, nor is their worship--if coercion or cajolery
can be called worship--religion.  The essence of fetichism on its
external side is that the owner of the fetich alone has access {127} to
it, alone can pray to it, alone can offer sacrifices to it.  It is
therefore in its inward essence directly destructive of the unity of
interests and purposes that society demands and religion promotes.
Perhaps it would be going too far to say that the practice of making
prayers and offerings to a fetich is borrowed from religious worship:
they are the natural and instinctive method of approaching any power
which is capable of granting or refusing what we desire.  It is the
quarter to which they are addressed, and the end for which they are
employed, that makes the difference between them.  It is the fact that
in the one case they are, and in the other are not, addressed to the
quarter to which they ought to be addressed, and employed for the end
for which they ought to be employed, that makes the difference in
religious value between them.

If we bear in mind the simple fact that fetichism is condemned by the
religious and moral feelings of the communities in which it exists, we
shall not fall into the mistake of regarding fetichism either as the
primitive religion of mankind or as a stage of religious development or
as "a basis from which many other modes of religious thought have been


Professor Höffding, holding that fetichism is the primitive religion,
out of which polytheism was developed, adopts Usener's theory as to the
mode of its evolution.  "The fetich," Professor Höffding says (p. 140),
"is only the provisional and momentary dwelling-place of a spirit.  As
Hermann Usener has strikingly called it, it is 'the god of a moment.'"
But though Professor Höffding adopts this definition of a fetich, it is
obvious that the course of his argument requires us to understand it as
subject to a certain limitation.  His argument in effect is that
fetichism is not polytheism, but something different, something out of
which polytheism was evolved.  And the difference is that polytheism
means a plurality of gods, whereas fetichism knows no gods, but only
spirits.  Inasmuch then as, on the theory--whether it is held by
Höffding or by anybody else--that the spirits of fetichism become the
gods of polytheism, there must be differences between the spirits of
the one and the gods of the other, let us enquire what the differences
are supposed to be.

First, there is the statement that a fetich is the "god of a moment,"
by which must be meant that the spirits which, so long as they are
momentary and {129} temporary, are fetiches, must come to be permanent
if they are to attain to the rank of gods.

But on this point Dr. Haddon differs.  He is quite clear that a fetich
may be worshipped permanently without ceasing to be a fetich.  And it
is indeed abundantly clear that an object only ceases to be worshipped
when its owner is convinced that it is not really a fetich; as long as
he is satisfied that it is a fetich, he continues its cult--and he
continues it because it is his personal property, because he, and not
the rest of the community, has access to it.

Next, Höffding argues that it is from these momentary fetiches that
special or specialised deities--"departmental gods," as Mr. Andrew Lang
has termed them--arise.  And these "specialised divinities constitute
an advance on gods of the moment" (p. 142).  Now, what is implied in
this argument, what is postulated but not expressed, is that a fetich
has only one particular thing which it can do.  A departmental god can
only do one particular sort of thing, has one specialised function.  A
departmental god is but a fetich advanced one stage in the hierarchy of
divine beings.  Therefore the function of the fetich in the first
instance was specialised {130} and limited.  But there it is that the
_à priori_ argument comes into collision with the actual facts.  A
fetich, when it presents itself to a man, assists him in the particular
business on which he is at the moment engaged.  But it only continues
to act as a fetich, provided that it assists him afterwards and in
other matters also.  The desires of the owner are not limited, and
consequently neither are his expectations; the business of the fetich
is to procure him general prosperity (Haddon, p. 83).  As far as
fetiches are concerned, it is simply reversing the facts to suppose
that it is because one fetich can only do one thing, that many fetiches
are picked up.  Many objects are picked up on the chance of their
proving fetiches, because if the object turns out really to be a fetich
it will bring its owner good luck and prosperity generally--there is no
knowing what it may do.  But it is only to its owner that it brings
prosperity--not to other people, not to the community, for the
community is debarred access to it.

The next difference between fetichism and polytheism, according to
Höffding, is that the gods of polytheism have developed that
personality which is not indeed absolutely wanting in the spirits of
fetichism but can hardly be said to be properly {131} there.  "The
transition," he says, "from momentary and special gods to gods which
can properly be called personal is one of the most important
transitions in the history of religion.  It denotes the transition from
animism to polytheism" (p. 145).  And one of the outward signs that the
transition has been effected is, as Usener points out with special
emphasis, "that only at a certain stage of evolution, _i.e._, on the
appearance of polytheism, do the gods acquire proper names" (_ib._ 147).

Now, this argument, I suggest, seeks to make, or to make much of, a
difference between fetichism and polytheism which scarcely exists, and
so far as it does exist is not the real difference between them.  It
seeks to minimise, if not to deny, the personality of the fetich, in
order to exalt that of the gods of polytheism.  And then this
difference in degree of personality, this transition from the one
degree to the other, is exhibited as "one of the most important
transitions in the history of religion."  The question therefore is
first whether the difference is so great, and next whether it is the
real difference between fetichism and religion in the polytheistic

The difference in point of personality between the spirits of fetichism
and the gods of polytheism is not {132} absolute.  The fetich,
according to Dr. Haddon, "_possesses personality_ and will, it has also
many human characters.  It possesses most of the human passions, anger,
revenge, also generosity and gratitude; it is within reach of influence
and may be benevolent, is hence to be deprecated and placated, and its
aid to be enlisted" (p. 83); "the fetich is worshipped, prayed to,
sacrificed to, and talked with" (p. 89).

But, perhaps it may be said that, though the fetich does "possess
personality," it is only when it has acquired sufficient personality to
enjoy a proper name that it becomes a god, or fetichism passes into
polytheism.  To this the reply is that polytheism does not wait thus
deferentially on the evolution of proper names.  There was a period in
the evolution of the human race when men neither had proper names of
their own nor knew their fellows by proper names; and yet they doubted
not their personality.  The simple fact is that he who is to receive a
name--whether he be a human being or a spiritual being--must be there
in order to be named.  When he is there he may receive a name which has
lost all meaning, as proper names at the present day have generally
done; or one which has a meaning.  {133} A mother may address her child
as "John" or as "boy," but, whichever form of address she uses, she has
no doubt that the child has a personality.  The fact that a fetich has
not acquired a proper name is not a proof that it has acquired no
personality; if it can, as Dr. Haddon says it can, be "petted or
ill-treated with regard to its past or future behaviour" (p. 90), its
personality is undeniable.  If it can be "worshipped, prayed to,
sacrificed to, talked with," it is as personal as any deity in a
pantheon.  If it has no proper name, neither at one time had men
themselves.  And Höffding himself seems disinclined to follow Usener on
this point: "no important period," he says (p. 147), "in the history of
religion can begin with an empty word.  The word can neither be the
beginning nor exist at the beginning."  Finally Höffding, to enforce
the conclusion that polytheism is evolved from fetichism, says: "The
influence exerted by worship on the life of religious ideas can find no
more striking exemplification than in the word 'god' itself: when we
study those etymologies of this word which, from the philological point
of view, appear most likely to be correct, we find the word really
means 'he to whom sacrifice is made,' or 'he who is worshipped'" (p.
148).  {134} Professor Wilhelm Thomsen considers the first explanation
the more probable: "In that case there would be a relationship between
the root of the word '_gott_' and '_giessen_' (to pour), as also
between the Greek _chéein_, whose root _chu_ = the Sanskrit _hu_, from
which comes _huta_, which means 'sacrificed,' as well as 'he to whom
sacrifices are made'" (p. 396).  Now, if "god" means either "he to whom
sacrifice is made" or "he who is worshipped," we have only to enquire
by whom the sacrifice is made or the worship paid, according to
Professor Höffding, in order to see the value of this philological
argument.  A leading difference between a fetich and a god is that
sacrifice is made and worship paid to the fetich by its owner, to the
god by the community.  Now this philological derivation of "god" throws
no light whatever on the question by whom the "god" is worshipped; but
the content of the passage which I have quoted shows that Professor
Höffding himself here understands the worship of a god to be the
worship paid by the community.  If that is so, and if the function or a
function of the being worshipped is to grant the desires of his
worshippers, then the function of the being worshipped by the community
is to grant the desires of the community.  {135} And if that is the
distinguishing mark or a distinguishing mark of a god, then the worship
of a god differs _toto caelo_ from the worship paid to a fetich, whose
distinguishing mark is that it is subservient to the anti-social wishes
of its owner, and is not worshipped by the community.  And it is just
as impossible to maintain that a god is evolved out of a fetich as it
would be to argue--indeed it is arguing--that practices destructive of
society or social welfare have only to be pushed far enough and they
will prove the salvation of society.

If in the animistic stage, when everything that is is worked by
spirits, it is possible and desirable for the individual to gain his
individual ends by the coöperation of some spirit, it is equally
possible and more desirable for the community to gain the aid of a
spirit which will further the ends for the sake of which the community
exists.  But those ends are not transient or momentary, neither
therefore can the spirit who promotes them be a "momentary" god.  And
if we accept Höffding's description of the simplest and earliest
manifestation of the religious spirit as being belief "in a power which
cares whether he [man] has or has not experiences which he values," we
must be careful to make it clear that the {136} power worshipped by a
community is worshipped because he is believed to care that the
community should have the experiences which the community values.
Having made that stipulation, we may accept Höffding's further
statement (p. 147) that "even the momentary and special gods implied
the existence of a personifying tendency and faculty"; for, although
from our point of view a momentary god is a self-contradictory notion,
we are quite willing to agree that this tendency to personification may
be taken as primary and primitive: religion from the beginning has been
the search after a power essentially personal.  But that way of
conceiving spiritual powers is not in itself distinctive of or confined
to religion: it is an intellectual conception; it is the essence of
animism, and animism is not religion.  To say that an emotional element
also must be present is true; but neither will that serve to mark off
fetichism from religion.  Fetichism also is emotional in tone: it is in
hope that the savage picks up the thing that may prove to have the
fetich power; and it is with fear that he recognises his neighbour's
_suhman_.  A god is not merely a power conceived of intellectually and
felt emotionally to be a personal power from whom things may {137} be
hoped or feared; he must indeed be a personal power and be regarded
with hope and fear, but it is by a community that he must be so
regarded.  And the community, in turning to such a power, worships him
with sacrifice: a god is indeed he to whom sacrifice is made and
worship paid by the community, with whose interests and whose
morality--with whose good, in a word, he is from the beginning
identified.  "In the absence of experience of good as one of the
realities of life, no one," Höffding says, "would ever have believed in
the goodness of the gods"; and, we may add, it is as interested in and
caring for the good of the community that the god of the community is
worshipped.  It is in the conviction that he does so care, that
religious feeling is rooted; or, as Höffding puts it (p. 162), it is
rooted in "the need to collect and concentrate ourselves, to resign
ourselves, to feel ourselves supported and carried by a power raised
above all struggle and opposition and beyond all change."  There we
have, implicit from the beginning, that communion with god, or striving
thereafter, which is essential to worship.  It is faith.  It is rest.
It is the heart's desire.  And it is not fetichism, nor is fetichism it.



The physician, if he is to do his work, must know both a healthy and a
diseased body, or organ, when he sees it.  He must know the difference
between the two and the symptoms both of health and disease.  Otherwise
he is in danger of trying to cure an organ which is healthy already--in
which case his remedies will simply aggravate the disease.  That is
obviously true of the physician who seeks to heal the body, and it is
equally, if not so obviously, true of the physician who seeks to
minister to a mind, or a soul, diseased.  Now, the missionary will find
that the heathen, to whom he is to minister, have the habit of prayer;
and the question arises, What is to be his attitude towards it?  He
cannot take up the position that prayer is in itself a habit to be
condemned; he is not there to eradicate the habit, or to uproot the
tendency.  Neither is he there to create the habit; it already exists,
and the wise missionary will acknowledge its existence with
thankfulness.  His business is not to teach his flock to {139} pray,
but how to pray, that is to say, for what and to whom.  But even if he
thus wisely recognises that prayer is a habit not to be created, but to
be trained by him, it is still possible for him to assume rashly that
it is simply impossible for a heathen ever to pray for anything that is
right, and therefore, that it is a missionary's duty first to insist
that everything for which a savage or barbarian prays must be condemned
as essentially irreligious and wicked.  In that case, what will such a
missionary, if sent to the Khonds of Orissa, say, when he finds them
praying thus: "We are ignorant of what it is good to ask for.  You know
what is good for us.  Give it to us!"?  Can he possibly say to his
flock, "All your prayers, all the things that you pray for now, are
wicked; and your only hope of salvation lies in ceasing to pray for
them"?  If not, then he must recognise the fact that it is possible for
the heathen to pray, and to pray for some things that it is right to
pray for.  And he must not only recognise the fact, but he must utilise
it.  Nay! more, he must not only recognise the fact if it chances to
force itself upon him, he must go out of his way with the deliberate
purpose of finding out what things are prayed for.  He will then find
himself in {140} more intimate contact with the soul of the man than he
can ever attain to in any other way; and he may then find that there
are other things for which petitions are put up which could not be
prayed for save by a man who had a defective or erroneous conception of
Him who alone can answer prayer.

But it is a blundering, unbusinesslike way of managing things if the
missionary has to go out to his work unprepared in this essential
matter, and has to find out these things for himself--and perhaps not
find them out at all.  The applied science of religion should equip him
in this respect; it should be able to take the facts and truths
established by the science of religion and apply them to the purposes
of the missionary.  But it is a striking example of the youth and
immaturity of the science of religion that no attempt has yet been made
by it to collect the facts, much less to coördinate and state them
scientifically.  If a thing is clear, when we come to think of it, in
the history of religion, it is that the gods are there to be prayed to:
man worships them because it is on their knees that all things lie.  It
is from them that man hopes all things; it is in prayer that man
expresses his hopes and desires.  It is from his prayers that we should
be able to find out {141} what the gods really are to whom man prays.
What is said about them in mythology--or even in theology--is the
product of reflection, and is in many cases demonstrably different from
what is given in consciousness at the moment when man is striving after
communion with the Highest.  Yet it is from mythology, or from the
still more reflective and deliberative expression of ritual, of rites
and ceremonies, that the science of religion has sought to infer the
nature of the gods man worships.  The whole apparatus of religion,
rites and ceremonies, sacrifice and altars, nature-worship and
polytheism, has been investigated; the one thing overlooked has been
the one thing for the sake of which all the others exist, the prayer in
which man's soul rises, or seeks to rise, to God.

The reason given by Professor Tylor (_Primitive Culture_, II, 364) for
this is not that the subject is unimportant, but that it is so simple;
"so simple and familiar," he says, "is the nature of prayer that its
study does not demand that detail of fact and argument which must be
given to rites in comparison practically insignificant."  Now, it is
indeed the case that things which are familiar may appear to be simple;
but it is also the case that sometimes things {142} are considered
simple merely because they are familiar, and not because they are
simple.  The fact that they are not so simple as every one has assumed
comes to be suspected when it is discovered that people take slightly
different views of them.  Such slightly different views may be detected
in this case.

Professor Höffding holds that, in the lowest form in which religion
manifests itself, "religion appears under the guise of desire," thus
ranging himself on the side of an opinion mentioned by Professor Tylor
(_op. cit._, II, 464) that, as regards the religion of the lower
culture, in prayer "the accomplishment of desire is asked for, but
desire is as yet limited to personal advantage."  Now, starting from
this position that prayer is the expression of desire, we have only to
ask, whose desire? that of the individual or that of the community? and
we shall see that under the simple and familiar phrase of "the
accomplishment of desire" there lurks a difference of view which may
possibly widen out into a very wide difference of opinion.  If we
appeal to the facts, we may take as an instance a prayer uttered "in
loud uncouth voice of plaintive, piteous tone" by one of the Osages to
Wohkonda, {143} the Master of Life: "Wohkonda, pity me, I am very poor;
give me what I need; give me success against mine enemies, that I may
avenge the death of my friends.  May I be able to take scalps, to take
horses!" etc.  (Tylor, II, 365).  So on the Gold Coast a negro in the
morning will pray, "Heaven! grant that I may have something to eat this
day" (_ib._, 368), not "give us this day our daily bread"; or, raising
his eyes to heaven, he will thus address the god of heaven: "God, give
me to-day rice and yams, gold and agries, give me slaves, riches and
health, and that I may be brisk and swift!" (_ib._).  On the other
hand, John Tanner (_Narrative_, p. 46) relates that when Algonquin
Indians were setting out in a fleet of frail bark canoes across Lake
Superior, the chief addressed a prayer to the Great Spirit: "You have
made this lake; and you have made us, your children; you can now cause
that the water shall remain smooth while we pass over in safety."  The
chief, it will be observed, did not expressly call the Great Spirit
"our Father," but he did speak of himself and his men as "your
children."  If we cross over to Africa, again, we find the Masai women
praying thus; and be it observed that though the first person singular
is used, {144} it is used by the chorus of women, and is plural in


  "My God, to thee alone I pray
  That offspring may to me be given.
  Thee only I invoke each day,
  O morning star in highest heaven.
  God of the thunder and the rain,
  Give ear unto my suppliant strain.
  Lord of the powers of the air,
  To thee I raise my daily prayer.


  "My God, to thee alone I pray,
  Whose savour is as passing sweet
  As only choicest herbs display,
  Thy blessing daily I entreat.
  Thou hearest when I pray to thee,
  And listenest in thy clemency.
  Lord of the powers of the air,
  To thee I raise my daily prayer."
        --HOLLIS, _The Masai_, p. 346.

When Professor Tylor says that by the savage "the accomplishment of
desire is asked for, but desire is as yet limited to personal
advantage," we must be careful not to infer that the only advantage a
savage is capable of praying for is his own selfish advantage.
Professor Tylor himself quotes (II, {145} 366) the following prayer
from the war-song of a Delaware:--

  "O Great Spirit there above,
  Have pity on my children
  And my wife!
  Prevent that they shall mourn for me!
  Let me succeed in this undertaking,
  That I may slay my enemy
  And bring home the tokens of victory
  To my dear family and my friends
  That we may rejoice together....
  Have pity on me and protect my life,
  And I will bring thee an offering."

Nor is it exclusively for their own personal advantage that the Masai
women are concerned when they pray for the safe return of their sons
from the wars:--

  "O thou who gavest, thou to whom we pray
  For offspring, take not now thy gift away.
  O morning star, that shinest from afar,
  Bring back our sons in safety from the war."
        --HOLLIS, p. 351.

Nor is it in a purely selfish spirit that the Masai women pray that
their warriors may have the advantage over all their enemies:--


  "O God of battles, break
  The power of the foe.


  Their cattle may we take,
  Their mightiest lay low.


  "Sing, O ye maidens fair,
  For triumph o'er the foe.
  This is the time for prayer
  Success our arms may know.


  "Morning and evening stars
  That in the heavens glow,
  Break, as in other wars,
  The power of the foe.


  "O dweller, where on high
  Flushes at dawn the snow,
  O Cloud God, break, we cry,
  The power of the foe."
        --_Ib._, p.  352.

Again, the rain that is prayed for by the Manganja of Lake Nyassa is an
advantage indeed, but one enjoyed by the community and prayed for by
the community.  They made offerings to the Supreme Deity that he might
give them rain, and "the priestess dropped the meal handful by handful
on the ground, each time calling in a high-pitched voice, {147} 'Hear
thou, O God, and send rain!' and the assembled people responded,
clapping their hands softly and intoning (they always intone their
prayers), 'Hear thou, O God'" (Tylor, p. 368).

The appeal then to facts shows that it is with the desires of the
community that the god of the community is concerned, and that it is by
a representative of the community that those desires are offered up in
prayer, and that the community may join in.  The appeal to facts shows,
also, that an individual may put up individual petitions, as when a
Yebu will pray: "God in heaven protect me from sickness and death.  God
give me happiness and wisdom."  But we may safely infer that the only
prayers that the god of the community is expected to harken to are
prayers that are consistent with the interests and welfare of the

From that point of view we must refuse to give more than a guarded
assent to the "opinion that prayer appeared in the religion of the
lower culture, but that in this its earlier stage it was unethical"
(Tylor, 364).  Prayer obviously does appear in the religion of the
lower culture, but to say that it there is unethical is to make a
statement which requires defining.  The statement means what {148}
Professor Tylor expresses later on in the words: "It scarcely appears
as though any savage prayer, authentically native in its origin, were
ever directed to obtain moral goodness or to ask pardon for moral sin"
(p. 373).  But it might be misunderstood to mean that among savages it
was customary or possible to pray for things recognised by the savage
himself as wrong, and condemned by the community at large.  In the
first place, however, the god of the community simply as being the god
of the community would not tolerate such prayers.  Next, the range and
extent of savage morality is less extensive than it is--or at any rate
than it ought to be--in our day; and though we must recognise and at
the right time insist upon the difference, that ought not to make us
close our eyes to the fact that the savage does pray to do the things
which savage morality holds it incumbent on him to do, for instance to
fight bravely for the good of his wife, his children, and his tribe, to
carry out the duty of avenging murder.  And if he prays for wealth he
also prays for wisdom; if he prays that his god may deliver him from
sickness, that shows he is human rather than that he is a low type of

It would seem, then, that though in religions of low {149} culture we
meet religion under the guise of desire, we also find that religion
makes a distinction between desires; there are desires which may be
expressed to the god of the community, and desires which may not.
Further, though it is in the heart of a person and an individual that
desire must originate, it does not follow that prayer originates in
individual desire.  To say so, we must assume that the same desire
cannot possibly originate simultaneously in different persons.  But
that is a patently erroneous assumption: in time of war, the desire for
victory will spring up simultaneously in the hearts of all the tribe;
in time of drought, the prayer for rain will ascend from the hearts of
all the people; at the time of the sowing of seed a prayer for "the
kindly fruits of the earth" may be uttered by every member of the
community.  Now it is precisely these desires, which being desires must
originate in individual souls, yet being desires of every individual in
the community are the desires of the community, that are the desires
which take the form of prayer offered by the community or its
representative to the god of the community.  Anti-social desires cannot
be expressed by the community or sanctioned by religion.  Prayer is the
essential {150} expression of true socialism; and the spirit which
prompts it is and has always been the moving spirit of social progress.

Professor Tylor, noticing the "extreme development of mechanical
religion, the prayer-mill of the Tibetan Buddhists," suggests that it
"may perhaps lead us to form an opinion of large application in the
study of religion and superstition; namely, that the theory of prayers
may explain the origin of charms.  Charm-formulæ," he says, "are in
very many cases actual prayers, and as such are intelligible.  Where
they are mere verbal forms, producing their effect on nature and man by
some unexplained process, may not they or the types they have been
modelled on have been originally prayers, since dwindled into mystic
sentences?" (_P. C._ II, 372-373).  Now, if this suggestion of
Professor Tylor's be correct, it will follow that as charms and spells
are degraded survivals of prayer, so magic generally--of which charms
and spells are but one department--is a degradation of religion.  That
in many cases charms and spells are survivals of prayer--formulæ from
which all spirit of religion has entirely evaporated--all students of
the science of religion would now admit.  That prayers may {151}
stiffen into traditional formulæ, and then become vain repetitions
which may actually be unintelligible to those who utter them, and so be
conceived to have a force which is purely magical and a "nature
practically assimilated more or less to that of charms" (_l.c._), is a
fact which cannot be denied.  But when once the truth has been admitted
that prayers may pass into spells, the possibility is suggested that it
is out of spells that prayer has originated.  Mercury raised to a high
temperature becomes red precipitate; and red precipitate exposed to a
still greater heat becomes mercury again.  Spells may be the origin of
prayers, if prayers show a tendency to relapse into spells.  That
possibility fits in either with the theory that magic preceded religion
or still more exactly with the theory that religion simply is magic
raised, so to speak, to a higher moral temperature.  We have therefore
to consider the possibility that the process of evolution has been from
spell to prayer (R. R. Marett, _Folk-Lore_ XV, 2, pp. 132-166); and let
us begin the consideration by observing that the reverse passage--from
prayer to spell--is only possible on the condition that religion
evaporates entirely in the process.  The prayer does not become a charm
until the {152} religion has disappeared entirely from it: a charm
therefore is that in which no religion is, and out of which
consequently no religion can be extracted.  If then, _per impossibile_,
it could be demonstrated that there was a period in the history of
mankind, when charms and magic existed, and religion was utterly
unknown; if it be argued that the spirit of religion, when at length it
breathed upon mankind, transformed spells into prayers--still all that
would then be maintained is that spoken formulæ which were spells were
followed by other formulæ which are the very opposite of spells.  Must
we not, however, go one step further and admit that one and the same
form of words may be prayer and religion when breathed in one spirit,
and vain repetition and mere magic when uttered in another?  Let us
admit that the difference between prayer and spell lies in the
difference of the spirit inspiring them; and then we shall see that the
difference is essential, fundamental, as little to be ignored as it is
impossible to bridge.

The formula used by the person employing it to express his desire may
or may not in itself suffice to show whether it is religious in intent
and value.  Thus in West Africa the women of Framin dance {153} and
sing, "Our husbands have gone to Ashantee land; may they sweep their
enemies off the face of the earth" (Frazer, _Golden Bough_,^2 I, 34).
We may compare the song sung in time of war by the Masai women: "O God,
to whom I pray for offspring, may our children return hither" (Hollis,
p. 351); and there seems no reason why, since the Masai song is
religious, the Framin song may not be regarded as religious also.  But
we have to remember that both prayers and spells have a setting of
their own: the desires which they express manifest themselves not only
in what is said but in what is done; and, when we enquire what the
Framin women do whilst they sing the words quoted above, we find that
they dance with brushes in their hands.  The brushes are quite as
essential as the words.  It is therefore suggested that the whole
ceremony is magical, that the sweeping is sympathetic magic and the
song is a spell.  The words explain what the action is intended to
effect, just as in New Caledonia when a man has kindled a smoky fire
and has performed certain acts, he "invokes his ancestors and says,
'Sun!  I do this that you may be burning hot, and eat up all the clouds
in the sky'" (Frazer, _ib._, 116).  Again, amongst the Masai in time of
{154} drought a charm called ol-kora is thrown into a fire; the old men
encircle the fire and sing:--

  "God of the rain-cloud, slake our thirst,
  We know thy far-extending powers,
  As herdsmen lead their kine to drink,
  Refresh us with thy cooling showers."
        --HOLLIS, p. 348.

If the ol-kora which is thrown into the fire makes it rise in clouds of
smoke, resembling the rain-clouds which are desired, then here too the
ceremony taken as a whole presents the appearance of a magical rite
accompanied by a spoken spell.  It is true that in this case the
ceremony is reënforced by an appeal to a god, just as in the New
Caledonian case it is reënforced by an appeal to ancestor worship.  But
this may be explained as showing that here we have magic and charms
being gradually superseded by religion and prayer; the old formula and
the old rite are in process of being suffused by a new spirit, the
spirit of religion, which is the very negation and ultimately the
destruction of the old spirit of magic.  Before accepting this
interpretation, however, which is intended to show the priority of
magic to religion, we may notice that it is not the only interpretation
of which the facts are susceptible.  It is {155} based on the
assumption that the words uttered are intended as an explanation of the
meaning of the acts performed.  If that assumption is correct, then the
performer of the ceremony is explaining its meaning and intention to
somebody.  To whom?  In the case of the New Caledonian ceremony, to the
ancestral spirits; in the case of the Masai old men, to the god.  Thus,
the religious aspect of the ceremony appears after all to be an
essential part of the ceremony, and not a new element in an old rite.
And, then, we may consistently argue that the Framin women who sing,
"Our husbands have gone to Ashantee land; may they sweep their enemies
off the face of the earth," are either still conscious that they are
addressing a prayer to their native god; or that, if they are no longer
conscious of the fact, they once were, and what was originally prayer
has become by vain repetition a mere spell.  All this is on the
assumption that in these ceremonies, the words are intended to explain
the meaning of the acts performed, and therefore to explain it to
somebody, peradventure he will understand and grant the performer of
the ceremony his heart's desire.  But, as the consequences of the
assumption do not favour the theory that prayer must be {156} preceded
by spell, let us discard the assumption that the words explain the
meaning of the acts performed.  Let us consider the possibility that
perhaps the actions which are gone through are meant to explain the
words and make them more forcible.  It is undeniable that in moments of
emotion we express ourselves by gesture and the play of our features as
well as by our words; indeed, in reading a play we are apt to miss the
full meaning of the words simply because they are not assisted and
interpreted by the actor's gestures and features.  If we take up this
position, that the things done are explanatory of the words uttered and
reënforce them, then the sweeping which is acted by the Framin women
again is not magical; it simply emphasises the words, "may they sweep
their enemies off the face of the earth," and shows to the power
appealed to what it is that is desired.  The smoke sent up by the New
Caledonian ancestor worshipper or the Masai old men is a way of
indicating the clouds which they wish to attract or avert respectively.
An equally clear case comes from the Kei Islands: "When the warriors
have departed, the women return indoors and bring out certain baskets
containing fruits and stones.  These fruits and stones they anoint and
place on a board, {157} murmuring as they do so, 'O lord sun, moon, let
the bullets rebound from our husbands, brothers, betrothed, and other
relations, just as raindrops rebound from these objects which are
smeared with oil'" (Frazer, _op. cit._, p. 33).  It is, I think,
perfectly reasonable to regard the act performed as explanatory of the
words uttered and of the thing desired; the women themselves explain to
their lords, the sun and moon,--with the precision natural to women
when explaining what they want,--exactly how they want the bullets to
bounce off, just like raindrops.  Dr. Frazer, however, from whom I have
quoted this illustration, not having perhaps considered the possibility
that the acts performed may be explanatory of the words, is compelled
to explain the action as magical: "in this custom the ceremony of
anointing stones in order that the bullets may recoil from the men like
raindrops from the stones is a piece of pure sympathetic or imitative
magic."  He is therefore compelled to suggest that the prayer to the
sun is a prayer that he will give effect to the charm, and is perhaps a
later addition.  But independently of the possibility that the actions
performed are explanatory of the words, or rather that words and
actions both are intended to make clear to the sun precisely {158} what
the petition is, what tells against Dr. Frazer's suggestion is that the
women want the bullets to bounce off, and it is the power of the god to
which they appeal and on which they rely for the fulfilment of their

There is, however, a further consideration which we should perhaps take
into account.  Man, when he has a desire which he wishes to
realise,--and the whole of our life is spent in trying to realise what
we wish,--takes all the steps which experience shows to be necessary or
reason suggests; and, when he has done everything that he can do, he
may still feel that nothing is certain in this life, and the thing may
not come off.  Under those circumstances he may, and often does, pray
that success may attend his efforts.  Now Dr. Frazer, in the second
edition of his _Golden Bough_, wishing to show that the period of
religion was preceded by a non-religious period in the history of
mankind, suggests that at first man had no idea that his attempts to
realise his desires could fail, and that it was his "tardy recognition"
of the fact that led him to religion.  This tardy recognition, he says,
probably "proceeded very slowly, and required long ages for its more or
less perfect accomplishment.  For the recognition of man's
powerlessness to influence the course of {159} nature on a grand scale
must have been gradual" (I, 78).  I would suggest, however, that it
cannot have taken "long ages" for savage man to discover that his
wishes and his plans did not always come off.  It is, I think, going
too far to imagine that for long ages man had no idea that his attempts
to realise his desires could fail.  If religion arises, as Dr. Frazer
suggests, when man recognises his own weakness and his own
powerlessness, often, to effect what he most desires, then man in his
most primitive and most helpless condition must have been most ready to
recognise that there were powers other than himself, and to desire,
that is to pray for, their assistance.  Doubtless it would be at the
greater crises, times of pestilence, drought, famine and war, that his
prayers would be most insistent; but it is in the period of savagery
that famine is most frequent and drought most to be feared.  Against
them he takes all the measures known to him, all the practical steps
which natural science, as understood by him, can suggest.  Now his
theory and practice include many things which, though they are in later
days regarded as uncanny and magical, are to him the ordinary natural
means of producing the effects which he desires.  But when he has taken
all {160} the steps which practical reason suggests, and experience of
the past approves, savage man, harassed by the dread of approaching
drought or famine, may still breathe out the Manganja prayer, "Hear
thou, O God, and send rain."  When, however, he does so, it is, I
suggest, doubly erroneous to infer that this prayer takes the place of
a spell or that apart from the prayer the acts performed are, and
originally were, magical.  These acts may be based on the principle
that like produces like and may be performed as the ordinary, natural
means for producing the effect, which have nothing magical about them.
And they are accompanied by a prayer which is not a mere explanation or
statement of the purpose with which the acts are performed, but is the
expression of the heart's desire.

No _à priori_ proofs of any cogency, therefore, have been adduced by
Dr. Frazer, and none therefore are likely to be produced by any one
else, to show that there was ever a period in the history of man when
prayers and religion were unknown to him.  The question remains whether
any actual instances are known to the science of religion.
Unfortunately, as I pointed out at the beginning of this lecture, so
neglected by the science of religion has been the subject of prayer
that even now we are scarcely {161} able to go beyond the statement
made more than a quarter of a century ago by Professor Tylor that, "at
low levels of civilisation there are many races who distinctly admit
the existence of spirits, but are not certainly known to pray to them
even in thought" (_P. C._ II, 364).  Professor Tylor's statement is
properly guarded: there are races not certainly known to pray.  The
possibility that they may yet be discovered to make prayers is not

Now, if we turn to one of the lowest levels of culture, that of the
Australian black fellows, we shall find that there is much doubt
amongst students whether the "aborigines have consciously any form of
religion whatever" (Howitt, _Native Tribes of S. E. Australia_), and in
southeast Australia Mr. Howitt thinks it cannot be alleged that they
have, though their beliefs are such that they might easily have
developed into an actual religion (p. 507).  Now one of the tribes of
southeast Australia is that of the Dieri.  With them rain is very
important, for periods of drought are frequent; and "rain-making
ceremonies are considered of much consequence" (p. 394).  The
ceremonies are symbolic: there is "blood to symbolise the rain" and two
large stones "representing gathering {162} clouds presaging rain," just
as the New Caledonian sends up clouds of smoke to symbolise
rain-clouds, and the Masai, we have conjectured, throw ol-kora into the
fire for the same purpose.  But the New Caledonian not only performs
the actions prescribed for the rite, he also invokes the spirits of his
ancestors; and the Masai not only go through the proper dance, but call
upon the god of the rain-cloud.  The Dieri, however, ought to be
content with their symbolic or sympathetic magic and not offer up any
prayer.  But, being unaware of this fact, they do pray: they call "upon
the rain-making _Mura-muras_ to give them power to make a heavy
rainfall, crying out in loud voices the impoverished state of the
country, and the half-starved condition of the tribe, in consequence of
the difficulty in procuring food in sufficient quantity to preserve
life" (p. 394).  The _Mura-muras_ seem to be ancestral spirits, like
those invoked by the New Caledonian.  If we turn to the Euahlayi tribe
of northwestern New South Wales, we find that at the Boorah rites a
prayer is offered to Byamee, "asking him to let the blacks live long,
for they have been faithful to his charge as shown by the observance of
the Boorah ceremony" (L. Parker, _The Euahlayi {163} Tribe_, p. 79).
That is the prayer of the community to Byamee, and is in conformity
with what we have noted before, viz. that it is with the desires of the
community that the god of the community is concerned.  Another prayer,
the nature of which is not stated by Mrs. Parker, by whom the
information is given us, is put up at funerals, presumably to Byamee by
the community or its representative.  Mrs. Parker adds: "Though we say
that actually these people have but two attempts at prayers, one at the
grave and one at the inner Boorah ring, I think perhaps we are wrong.
When a man invokes aid on the eve of battle, or in his hour of danger
and need; when a woman croons over her baby an incantation to keep him
honest and true, and that he shall be spared in danger,--surely these
croonings are of the nature of prayers born of the same elementary
frame of mind as our more elaborate litanies."  As an instance of the
croonings Mrs. Parker gives the mother's song over her baby as soon as
it begins to crawl:---

  "Kind be,
  Do not steal,
  Do not touch what to another belongs,
  Leave all such alone,
  Kind be."


These instances may suffice to show that it would not have been safe to
infer, a year or two ago, from the fact that the Australians were not
known to pray, that therefore prayer was unknown to them.  Indeed, we
may safely go farther and surmise that other instances besides those
noted really exist, though they have not been observed or if observed
have not been understood.  Among the northern tribes of central
Australia rites are performed to secure food, just as they are
performed by the Dieri to avert drought.  The Dieri rites are
accompanied by a prayer, as we have seen.  The Kaitish rites to promote
the growth of grass are accompanied by the singing of words, which
"have no meaning known to the natives of the present day" (Spencer and
Gillen, _Northern Tribes_, p. 292).  Amongst the Mara tribe the
rain-making rite consists simply in "singing" the water, drinking it
and spitting it out in all directions.  In the Anula tribe "dugongs are
a favourite article of food," and if the natives desire to bring them
out from the rocks, they "can do so by 'singing' and throwing sticks at
the rocks" (_ib._, pp. 313, 314).  It is reasonable to suppose that in
all these cases the "singing" is now merely a charm.  But if we
remember that prayers, when {165} their meaning is forgotten, pass by
vain repetitions into mere charms, we may also reasonably suppose that
these Australian charms are degraded prayers; and we shall be confirmed
in this supposition to some extent by the fact that in the Kaitish
tribes the words sung "have no meaning known to the natives of the
present day."  If the meaning has evaporated, the religion may have
evaporated with it.  That the rites, of which the "singing" is an
essential part, have now become magical and are used and understood to
be practised purely to promote the supply of dugongs and other articles
of food, may be freely admitted; but it is unsafe to infer that the
purpose with which the rites continue to be practised is the whole of
the purpose with which they were originally performed.  If the meaning
of the "singing" has passed entirely away, the meaning of the rites may
have suffered a change.  At the present day the rite is understood to
increase the supply of dugongs or other articles of food.  But it may
have been used originally for other purposes.  Presumably rites of a
similar kind, certainly of some kind, are practised by the Australians
who have for their totem the blow-fly, the water-beetle, or the evening
star.  But they do not {166} eat flies or beetles.  Their original
purpose in choosing the evening star cannot have been to increase its
number.  Nor can that have been the object of choosing the mosquito for
a totem.  But if the object of the rites is not to increase the number
of mosquitoes, flies, and beetles, it need not in the first instance
have been the object with which the rites were celebrated in the case
of other totems.

Let us now return to Professor Tylor's statement that "at low levels of
civilisation there are many races who distinctly admit the existence of
spirits, but are not certainly known to pray to them even in thought."
The number of those races who are not known to pray is being reduced,
as we have seen.  And I think we may go even farther than that and say
that where the existence of spirits is not merely believed in, but is
utilised for the purpose of establishing permanent relations between a
community and a spirit, we may safely infer that the community offers
prayer to the spirit, even though the fact may have escaped the notice
of travellers.  The reason why we may infer it is that at the lower
levels of civilisation we meet with religion, in Höffding's words, "in
the guise of desire."  We may put the same truth in other words and say
that religion is {167} from the beginning practical.  Such prayers as
are known to us to be put up by the lowest races are always practical:
they may be definite petitions for definite goods such as harvest or
rain or victory in time of war; or they may be general petitions such
as that of the Khonds: "We are ignorant of what it is good for us to
ask for.  You know what is good for us.  Give it us."  But in any case
what the god of a community is there for is to promote the good of the
community.  It is because the savage has petitions to put up that he
believes there are powers who can grant his petitions.  Prayer is the
very root of religion.  When the savage has taken every measure he
knows of to produce the result he desires, he then goes on to pray for
the rainfall he desires, crying out in a loud voice "the impoverished
state of the country and the half-starved condition of the tribe."  It
is true that it is in moments of stress particularly, if not solely,
that the savage turns to his god--and the same may be said of many of
us--but it is with confidence and hope that he turns to him.  If he had
no confidence and no hope, he would offer no prayers.  But he has hope,
he has faith; and every time he prays his heart says, if his words do
not, "in Thee, Lord, do we put our trust."


That prayer is the essence, the very breath, of religion, without which
it dies, is shown by the fact that amongst the very lowest races of
mankind we find frequent traditions of the existence of a high god or
supreme being, the creator of the world and the father of mankind.  The
numerous traces of this dying tradition have been collected by the
untiring energy and the unrivalled knowledge of Mr. Andrew Lang in his
book, _The Making of Religion_.  In West Africa Dr. Nassau (_Fetichism
in West Africa_, pp. 36 ff.) "hundreds of times" (p. 37) has found that
"they know of a Being superior to themselves, of whom they themselves,"
he says, "inform me that he is the Maker and the Father."  What is
characteristic of the belief of the savages in this god is that, in Dr.
Nassau's words, "it is an accepted belief, but it does not often
influence their life.  'God is not in all their thought.'  In practice
they give Him no worship."  The belief is in fact a dying tradition;
and it is dying because prayer is not offered to this remote and
traditional god.  I say that the belief is a dying tradition, and I say
so because its elements, which are all found present and active where a
community believes in, prays to, and worships the god of the community,
{169} are found partially, but only partially, present where the belief
survives but as a tradition.  Thus, for instance, where the belief is
fully operative, the god of the community sanctions the morality of the
community; but sometimes where the belief has become merely
traditional, this traditional god is supposed to take no interest in
the community and exercises no ethical influence over the community.
Thus, in West Africa, Nyankupon is "ignored rather than worshipped."
In the Andaman Islands, on the other hand, where the god Puluga is
still angered by sin or wrong-doing, he is pitiful to those in pain or
distress and "sometimes deigns to afford relief" (Lang p. 212 quoting
_Man_, _J. A._ I., XII, 158).  Again, where the belief in the god of
the community is fully operative, the occasions on which the prayers of
the community are offered are also the occasions on which sacrifice is
made.  Where sacrifice and prayers are not offered, the belief may
still for a time survive, at it does among the Fuegians.  They make no
sacrifice and, as far as is known, offer no prayers; but to kill a man
brings down the wrath of their god, the big man in the woods: "Rain
come down, snow come down, hail come down, wind blow, blow, very much
blow.  {170} Very bad to kill man.  Big man in woods no like it, he
very angry" (Lang, p. 188, quoting Fitzroy, II, 180).  But when
sacrifice and prayer cease, the ultimate outcome is that which is found
amongst the West African natives, who, as Dr. Nassau tells us (p. 38),
say with regard to Anzam, whom they admit to be their Creator and
Father, "Why should we care for him?  He does not help nor harm us.  It
is the spirits who can harm us whom we fear and worship, and for whom
we care."  Who the spirits are Dr. Nassau does not say, but they must
be either the other gods of the place or the fetich spirits.  And the
reason why Anzam is no longer believed to help or harm the natives is
obviously that, from some cause or other, there is now no longer any
established form of worship of him.  The community of which he was
originally the god may have broken up, or more probably may have been
broken up, with the result that the congregation which met to offer
prayer and sacrifice to Anzam was scattered; and the memory of him
alone survives.  Nothing would be more natural, then, than that the
natives, when asked by Dr. Nassau, "Why do you not worship him?" (p.
38), should invent a reason, viz. that it is no use worshipping {171}
him now--the truth being that the form of worship has perished for
reasons now no longer present to the natives' mind.  In any case, when
prayers cease to be offered--whether because the community is broken up
or because some new quarter is discovered to which prayers can be
offered with greater hope of success--when prayers, for any reason, do
cease to be offered to a god, the worship of him begins to cease also,
for the breath of life has departed from it.

In this lecture, as my subject is primitive religion, I have made no
attempt to trace the history of prayer farther than the highest point
which it reaches in the lower levels of religion.  That is the point
reached by the Khond prayer: "We are ignorant of what it is good to ask
for.  You know what is good for us.  Give it us."  That is also the
highest point reached by the most religious mind amongst the ancient
Greeks: Socrates prayed the gods simply for things good, because the
gods knew best what is good (Xen., _Mem._, I, iii, 2).  The general
impression left on one's mind by the prayers offered in this stage of
religious development is that man is here and the gods are--there.  But
"there" is such a long way off.  And yet, far off as it is, man {172}
never came to think it was so far off that the gods could not hear.
The possibility of man's entering into some sort of communication with
them was always present.  Nay! more, a community of interests between
him and them was postulated: the gods were to promote the interests of
the community, and man was to serve the gods.  On occasions when
sacrifice was made and prayer was offered, the worshippers entered into
the presence of God, and communion with Him was sought; but stress was
laid rather on the sacrifice offered than on the prayers sent up.  The
communion at which animal sacrifice aimed may have been gross at times,
and at others mystic; but it was the sacrifice rather than the prayer
which accompanied it that was regarded as essential to the communion
desired, as the means of bridging the gap between man here and the gods
there.  If, however, the gap was to be bridged, a new revelation was
necessary, one revealing the real nature of the sacrifice required by
God, and of the communion desired by man.  And that revelation is made
in Our Lord's Prayer.  With the most earnest and unfeigned desire to
use the theory of evolution as a means of ordering the facts of the
history of religion and of enabling {173} us--so far as it can enable
us--to understand them, one is bound to notice as a fact that the
theory of evolution is unable to account for or explain the revelation,
made in Our Lord's Prayer, of the spirit which is both human and
divine.  It is the beam of light which, when turned on the darkness of
the past, enables us to see whither man with his prayers and his
sacrifices had been blindly striving, the place where he fain would be.
It is the surest beacon the missionary can hold out to those who are
still in darkness and who show by the fact that they pray--if only for
rain, for harvest, and victory over all their enemies--that they are
battling with the darkness and that they have not turned entirely away
from the light of His countenance who is never at any time far from any
one of us.  Their heart within them is ready to bear witness.  Religion
is present in them, if only under "the guise of desire"; but it is "the
desire of all nations" for which they yearn.

There are, Höffding says, "two tendencies in the nature of religious
feeling: on the one hand there is the need to collect and concentrate
ourselves, to resign ourselves, to feel ourselves supported and carried
by a power raised above all {174} struggle and opposition and beyond
all change.  But within the religious consciousness another need makes
itself felt, the need of feeling that in the midst of the struggle we
have a fellow-struggler at our side, a fellow-struggler who knows from
his own experience what it is to suffer and meet resistance" (_The
Philosophy of Religion_, § 54).  Between these two tendencies Höffding
discovers an opposition or contradiction, an "antinomy of religious
feeling."  But it is precisely because Christianity alone of all
religions recognises both needs that it transcends the antinomy.  The
antinomy is indeed purely intellectual.  Höffding himself says, "only
when recollection, collation, and comparison are possible do we
discover the opposition or the contradiction between the two
tendencies."  And in saying that, inasmuch as recollection, collation,
and comparison are intellectual processes, he admits that the antinomy
is intellectual.  That it is not an antinomy of religious feeling is
shown by the fact that the two needs exist, that is to say, are both
felt.  To say _à priori_ that both cannot be satisfied is useless in
face of the fact that those who feel them find that Christianity
satisfies them.



In my last lecture I called attention to the fact that the subject of
prayer has been strangely neglected by the science of religion.
Religion, in whatever form it manifests itself, is essentially
practical; man desires to enter into communication or into communion
with his god, and in so doing he has a practical purpose in view.  That
purpose may be to secure a material blessing of a particular kind, such
as victory in war or the enjoyment of the fruits of the earth in their
due season, or the purpose may be to offer thanks for a harvest and to
pray for a continuance of prosperity generally.  Or the purpose of
prayer may be to ask for deliverance from material evils, such as
famine or plague.  Or it may be to ask for deliverance from moral evils
and for power to do God's will.  In a word, if man had no prayer to
make, the most powerful, if not the only, motive inciting him to seek
communion would be wanting.  Now, to some of us it may seem _à priori_
that there is no reason why the communion thus sought in {176} prayer
should require any external rite to sanction or condition it.  If that
is our _à priori_ view, we shall be the more surprised to find that in
actual fact an external rite has always been felt to be essential; and
that rite has always been and still is sacrifice, in one or other of
its forms.  Or, to put the same fact in another way, public worship has
been from the beginning the condition without which private worship
could not begin and without which private worship cannot continue.  To
any form of religion, whatever it be, it is essential, if it is to be
religion, that there shall be a community of worshippers and a god
worshipped.  The bond which unites the worshippers with one another and
with their god is religion.  From the beginning the public worship in
which the worshippers have united has expressed itself in rites--rites
of sacrifice--and in the prayers of the community.  To the end, the
prayers offered are prayers to "Our Father"; and if the worshipper is
spatially separated from, he is spiritually united to, his
fellow-worshippers even in private prayer.

We may then recognise that prayer logically and ultimately implies
sacrifice in one or other of its senses; and that sacrifice as a rite
is meaningless and impossible without prayer.  But if we recognise
{177} that sacrifice wherever it occurs implies prayer, then the fact
that the observers of savage or barbarous rites have described the
ritual acts of sacrifice, but have not observed or have neglected to
report the prayers implied, will not lead us into the error of
imagining that sacrifice is a rite which can exist--that it can have a
religious existence--without prayer.  We may attend to either, the
sacrifice or to the prayer, as we may attend either to the concavity or
the convexity of a curve, but we may not deny the existence and
presence of the one because our attention happens to be concentrated on
the other.  The relation in primitive religion of the one to the other
we may express by saying that prayer states the motive with which the
sacrifice is made, and that sacrifice is essential to the prayer, which
would not be efficacious without the sacrifice.  The reason why a
community can address the god which it worships is that the god is felt
to be identified in some way with the community and to have its
interests in his charge and care.  And the rite of sacrifice is felt to
make the identification more real.  Prayer, again, is possible only to
the god to whom the community is known; with whom it is identified,
more or less; and with whom, when his help is required, the {178}
community seeks to identify itself more effectually.  The means of that
identification without which the prayers of the community would be
ineffectual is sacrifice.  The earliest form of sacrifice may probably
be taken to be the sacrifice of an animal, followed by a sacrificial
meal.  Later, when the god has a stated place in which he is believed
to manifest himself,--tree or temple,--then the identification may be
effected by attaching offerings to the tree or temple.  But in either
case what is sought by the offering dedicated or the meal of sacrifice
is in a word "incorporation."  The worshippers desire to feel that they
are at one with the spirit whom they worship.  And the desire to
experience this sense of union is particularly strong when plague or
famine makes it evident that some estrangement has taken place between
the god and the community which is normally in his care and under his
protection.  The sacrifices and prayers that are offered in such a case
obviously do not open up communication for the first time between the
god and his tribe: they revive and reënforce a communion which is felt
to exist already, even though temporal misfortunes, such as drought or
famine, testify that it has been allowed by the tribe to become less
close than it ought to be, or that {179} it has been strained by
transgressions on the part of individual members of the community.  But
it is not only in times of public distress that the community
approaches its god with sacrifice and prayer.  It so happens that the
prayers offered for victory in war or for rain or for deliverance from
famine are instances of prayer of so marked a character that they have
forced themselves on the notice of travellers in all parts of the
world, from the Eskimo to the Australian black fellows or the negroes
of Africa.  And it was to this class of prayers that I called your
attention principally in the last lecture.  But they are, when we come
to think of it, essentially occasional prayers, prayers that are
offered at the great crises of tribal life, when the very existence of
the tribe is at stake.  Such crises, however, by their very nature are
not regular or normal; and it would be an error to suppose that it is
only on these occasions that prayers are made by savage or barbarous
peoples.  If we wish to discover the earliest form of regularly
recurring public worship, we must look for some regularly recurring
occasion for it.  One such regularly recurring occasion is harvest
time, another is seed time, another is the annual ceremonial at which
the boys who {180} attain in the course of the year to the age of
manhood are initiated into the secrets or "mysteries" of the tribe.
These are the chief and perhaps the only regularly recurring occasions
of public worship as distinguished from the irregular crises of war,
pestilence, drought, and famine which affect the community as a whole,
and from the irregular occasions when the individual member of the
community prays for offspring or for delivery from sickness or for
success in the private undertaking in which he happens to be engaged.

Of the regularly recurring occasions of public worship I will select,
to begin with, the rites which are associated with harvest time.  And I
will do so partly because the science of religion provides us with very
definite particulars both as to the sacrifices and as to the prayers
which are usually made on these occasions; and partly because the
prayers that are made are of a special kind and throw a fresh light on
the nature of the communion that the tribe seeks to effect by means of
the sacrificial offering.

At Saa, in the Solomon Islands, yams are offered, and the person
offering them cries in a loud voice, "This is yours to eat" (Frazer,
_G. B._^2, II, 465).  In {181} the Society Islands the formula is,
"Here, Tari, I have brought you something to eat" (_ib._, 469).  In
Indo-China, the invitation is the same: "Taste, O goddess, these
first-fruits which have just been reaped" (_ib._, 325).  There are no
actually expressed words of thanks in these instances; but we may
safely conjecture that the offerings are thank-offerings and that the
feeling with which the offerings are made is one of gratitude and
thankfulness.  Thus in Ceram we are told that first-fruits are offered
"as a token of gratitude" (_ib._, 463).  On the Niger the Onitsha
formula is explicit: "I thank God for being permitted to eat the new
yam" (_ib._, 325).  At Tjumba in the East Indies, "vessels filled with
rice are presented as a thank-offering to the gods" (_ib._, 462).  The
people of Nias on these occasions offer thanks for the blessings
bestowed on them (_ib._, 463).  By a very natural transition of thought
and feeling, thankfulness for past favours leads to prayer for the
continuance of favour in the future.  Thus in Tana, in the New
Hebrides, the formula is: "Compassionate father! here is some food for
you; eat it; be kind to us on account of it" (_ib._, 464); while the
Basutos say: "Thank you, gods; give us bread to-morrow also" (_ib._,
459); and in Tonga the prayers {182} made at the offering of
first-fruits implore the protection of the gods, and beseech them for
welfare generally, though in especial for the fruits of the earth
(_ib._, 466).

The prayers of primitive man which I quoted in my last lecture were in
the nature of petitions or requests, as was natural and indeed
inevitable in view of the fact that they were preferred on occasions
when the tribe was in exceptional distress and required the aid of the
gods on whose protection the community relied.  But the prayers which I
have just quoted are not in their essence petitions or requests, even
though in some cases they tend to become so.  They are essentially
prayers of thanksgiving and the offerings made are thank-offerings.
Thus our conception of primitive prayer must be extended to include
both mental attitudes--that of thankfulness for past or present
blessings as well as the hope of blessings yet to come.  And inasmuch
as sacrifice is the concomitant of prayer, we must recognise that
sacrificial offerings also serve as the expression of both mental
attitudes.  And we must note that in the regularly recurring form of
public or tribal worship with which we are now dealing the dominant
feeling to which expression is given is {183} that of thankfulness.
The tribe seeks for communion with its god for the purpose of
expressing its thanks.  Even the savage who simply says, "Here, Tari, I
have brought you something to eat," or, still more curtly, "This is
yours to eat," is expressing thanks, albeit in savage fashion.  And the
means which the savage adopts for securing that communion which he
seeks to renew regularly with the tribal god is a sacrificial meal, of
which the god and his worshippers partake.  Throughout the whole
ceremony, whether we regard the spoken words or the acts performed,
there is no suggestion of magic and no possibility of twisting the
ceremony into a piece of magic intended to produce some desired result
or to exercise any constraint over the powers to which the ceremony is
addressed.  The mental attitude is that of thankfulness.

Now, it is, I venture to suggest, impossible to dissociate from the
first-fruits ceremonials which I have described the ceremonies observed
by Australian black fellows on similar occasions.  And it is also
impossible to overlook the differences between the ceremony in
Australia and the ceremony elsewhere.  In Australia, as elsewhere, when
the time of year arrives at which the food becomes fit for eating,
{184} a ceremony has to be performed before custom permits the food to
be eaten freely.  In Australia, as elsewhere, a ceremonial eating, a
sacramental meal, has to take place.  But whereas elsewhere the god of
the community is expressly invited to partake of the sacramental meal,
even though he be not mentioned by name and though the invitation take
the curt form of "This is yours to eat," in Australia no words whatever
are spoken; the person who performs the ceremony performs it indeed
with every indication of reverential feeling, he eats solemnly and
sparingly, that is to say formally and because the eating is a matter
of ritual, but no reference is made by him so far as we know, to any
god.  How then are we to explain the absence of any such reference?
There seems to me to be only one explanation which is reasonably
possible.  It is that in the Australian ceremony, which would be
perfectly intelligible and perfectly in line with the ceremony as it
occurs everywhere else, the reference to the god who is or was invited
to partake of the first-fruits has in the process of time and, we must
add, in the course of religious decay, gradually dropped out.  The
invitation may never have been more ample than the curt form, "This is
yours to eat."  Even in the {185} absence of any verbal invitation
whatever, a gesture may long have sufficed to indicate what was in the
mind and was implied by the act of the savage performing the ceremony.
Words may not have been felt necessary to explain what every person
present at the ceremony knew to be the purpose of the rite.  But in the
absence of any verbal formula whatever the purpose and meaning of the
rite would be apt to pass out of mind, to evaporate, even though custom
maintained, as it does in Australia to this day maintain, the punctual
and punctilious performance of the outward ceremony.  I suggest,
therefore, that in Australia, as elsewhere, the solemn eating of the
first-fruits has been a sacramental meal of which both the god and his
worshippers were partakers.  The alternative is to my mind much less
probable: it is to use the Australian ceremony as it now exists to
explain the origin of the ceremony as we find it elsewhere.  In
Australia it is not now apparently associated with the worship of any
god; therefore it may be argued in other countries also it was not
originally part of the worship of any god either.  If, then, it was not
an act of public worship originally, how are we to understand it?  The
suggestion is that the fruits of the earth or the animals which become
the food of {186} man are, until they become fit for eating, regarded
as sacred or taboo, and therefore may not be eaten.  That suggestion
derives some support from the fact that in Australia anything that is
eaten may be a totem and being a totem is taboo.  But if it is thus
sacred, then in order to be eaten it must be "desacralised," the taboo
must be taken off.  And it is suggested that that precisely is what is
effected by the ceremonial eating of the totem by the headman of the
totem clan: the totem is desacralised by the mere fact that it is
formally and ceremonially eaten by the headman, after which it may be
consumed by others as an ordinary article of food.  But this
explanation of the first-fruits ceremony is based upon an assumption
which is contrary to the facts of the case as it occurs in Australia.
It assumes that the plant or the animal until desacralised is taboo to
all members of the tribe, and that none of them can eat it until it has
been desacralised by the ceremonial eating.  But the assumption is
false; the plant or animal is sacred and taboo only to members of the
clan whose totem it is.  It is not sacred to the vast majority of the
tribe, for they have totems of their own; to them it is not sacred or
taboo, they may kill it--and they do--without breaking any taboo.  The
ceremonial {187} eating of the first-fruits raises no taboo as far as
the tribe generally is concerned, for the plant or animal is not taboo
to them.  As far as the tribe generally is concerned, no process of
desacralisation takes place and none is effected by the ceremonial
eating.  It is the particular totem group alone which is affected by
the ceremony; and the inference which it seems to me preferable to draw
is that the ceremonial eating of the first-fruits is, or rather has
been, in Australia what it is elsewhere, viz. an instance of prayer and
sacrifice in which the worshippers of a god are brought into
periodic--in this case annual--communion with their god.  The
difference between the Australian case and others seems to be that in
the other cases the god who partakes of the first-fruits is the god of
the whole community, while in Australia he is the god of the particular
totem group and is analogous to the family gods who are worshipped
elsewhere, even where there is a tribal or national god to be
worshipped as well.

We are then inclined, for these and other reasons, to explain the
ceremonial eating of the totem plant or animal in Australia by the
analogy of the ceremonial eating of first-fruits elsewhere, and to
regard the ceremony as being in all cases an act of worship, {188} in
which at harvest time the worshippers of a god seek communion with him
by means of sacrifice and prayers of thanksgiving.  But if we take this
view of the sacrifice and prayers offered at harvest time, we shall be
inclined to regard the rites which are performed at seed time, or the
period analogous to it, as being also possibly, in part, of a religious
character.  In the case of agricultural peoples it is beyond doubt that
some of the ceremonies are religious in character: where the food plant
is itself regarded as a deity or the mode in which a deity is
manifested, not only may there be at harvest time a sacramental meal in
which, as amongst the Aztecs, the deity is formally "communicated" to
his worshippers, but at seed time sacrifice and prayer may be made to
the deity.  Such a religious ceremony, whatever be the degree of
civilisation or semicivilisation which has been reached by those who
observe the ceremony, does not of course take the place of the
agricultural operations which are necessary if the fruits are to be
produced in due season.  And the combination of the religious rites and
the agricultural operations does not convert the agricultural
operations into magical operations, or prove that the religious rites
are merely pieces of magic {189} intended to constrain the superior
power of the deity concerned.  Indeed, if among the operations
performed at seed time we find some that from the point of view of
modern science are perfectly ineffectual, as vain as eating tiger to
make you bold, we shall be justified in regarding them as pieces of
primitive science, eventually discarded indeed in the progress of
advancing knowledge, but originally practised (on the principle that
like produces like) as the natural means of producing the effect
desired.  If we so regard them, we shall escape the error of
considering them to be magical; and we shall have no difficulty in
distinguishing them from the religious rites which may be combined with
them.  Further, where harvest time is marked by the offering of
sacrifice and prayers of thanksgiving, we may not unreasonably take it
that the religious rites observed at seed time or the period analogous
to it are in the nature of sacrifice and prayers addressed to the
appropriate deity to beseech him to favour the growth of the plant or
animal in question.  In a word, the practice of giving thanks to a god
at harvest time for the harvest creates a reasonable presumption that
prayer is offered to him at seed time; and if thanks are given at a
period analogous to {190} harvest time by a people like the Australian
black fellows, who have no domesticated plants or animals, prayers of
the nature of petitions may be offered by them at the period analogous
to seed time.

The deity to whom prayers are offered at the one period and
thanksgiving is made at the other may be, as in the case of the Aztec
Xilonen, or the Hindoo Maize-mother, the spirit of the plant envisaged
as a deity; or may be, not a "departmental" deity of this kind, but a
supreme deity having power over all things.  But when we turn from the
regularly recurring acts of public worship connected with seed time and
harvest to the regularly recurring ceremonies at which the boys of a
tribe are initiated into the duties and rights of manhood, it is
obvious that the deity concerned in them, even if we assume (as is by
no means necessary) that he was originally "departmental" and at first
connected merely with the growth of a plant or animal, must be regarded
at the initiation ceremonies as a god having in his care all the
interests of that tribe of which the boys to be initiated are about to
become full members.  Unmistakable traces of such a deity are found
amongst the Australian black fellows in the "father of all," "the
all-father" described by Mr. Howitt.  The {191} worship of the
"all-father" is indeed now of a fragmentary kind; but it fortunately
happens that in the case of one tribe, the Euahlayi, we have evidence,
rescued by Mrs. Langloh Parker, to show that prayer is offered to
Byamee; the Euahlayi pray to him for long life, because they have kept
his law.  The nature of Byamee's law may safely be inferred from the
fact that at this festival, both amongst the Euahlayi and other
Australians, the boys who are being initiated are taught the moral laws
or the customary morality of the tribe.  But though prayers are still
offered by the Euahlayi and may have at one time been offered by all
the Australian tribes, there is no evidence at present to show that the
prayer is accompanied by a sacrifice, as is customary amongst tribes
whose worship has not disintegrated so much as is the case amongst the

The ceremonies by which boys are admitted to the status of manhood are,
probably amongst all the peoples of the earth who observe them, of a
religious character, for the simple reason that the community to which
the boy is admitted when he attains the age of manhood is a community,
united together by religious bonds as a community worshipping the same
god or gods; and it is to the {192} worship and the service of these
gods that he is admitted.  But the ceremonies themselves vary too much
to allow of our drawing from them any valuable or important conclusion
as to the nature and import of sacrifice as a religious institution.
On the other hand, the ceremonies observed at harvest time, or the
analogous period, have, wherever they occur, such marked similarity
among themselves, and the institution of prayer and sacrifice is such a
prominent feature in them, that the evidence they afford must be
decisive for us in attempting to form a theory of sacrifice.  Nor can
we dissociate the ceremonies observed in spring from the harvest
ceremonies; as Dr. Frazer remarks (_G. B._, II, 190), "Plainly these
spring and harvest customs are based on the same ancient modes of
thought and form parts of the same primitive heathendom."  What, then,
are these "ancient modes of thought" and what the primitive customs
based upon them?  We may, I think, classify them in four groups.  If we
are to take first those instances in which the "ancient mode of
thought" is most clearly expressed--whether because they are the most
fully developed or because they retain the ancient mode most faithfully
and with the least disintegration--we must {193} turn to ancient Mexico
and Peru.  In Mexico a paste idol or dough image of the god was made;
the priest hurled a dart into its breast; and this was called the
killing of the god, "so that his body might be eaten."  The dough image
was broken and the pieces were given in the manner of a communion to
the people, "who received it with such tears, fear, and reverence, as
it was an admirable thing," says Father Acosta, "saying that they did
eat the flesh and bones of God."  Or, again, an image of the goddess
Chicomecoatl was made of dough and exhibited by the priest, saying,
"This is your god."  All kinds of maize, beans, etc., were offered to
it and then were eaten in the temple "in a general scramble, take who
could."  In Peru ears of maize were dressed in rich garments and
worshipped as the Mother of the Maize; or little loaves of maize
mingled with the blood of sheep were made; the priest gave to each of
the people a morsel of these loaves, "and all did receive and eat these
pieces," and prayed that the god "would show them favour, granting them
children and happy years and abundance and all that they required."  In
this, the first group of instances, it is plain beyond all possibility
of gainsaying that the spring and harvest customs consist {194} of the
worship of a god, of sacrifice and prayers to him, and of a communion
which bound the worshippers to one another and to him.

Our second group of instances consists of cases in which the corn or
dough or paste is not indeed made into the form or image of a god, but,
as Dr. Frazer says (_G. B._ II, 318), "the new corn is itself eaten
sacramentally, that is, as the body of the corn spirit."  The spirit
thus worshipped may not yet have acquired a proper name; the only
designation used may have been such a one as the Hindoo Bhogaldai,
meaning simply Cotton-mother.  Indeed, even amongst the Peruvians, the
goddess had not yet acquired a proper name, but was known only as the
Mother of the Maize.  But precisely because the stage illustrated in
our second group of instances is not so highly developed as in Mexico
or Peru it is much more widely spread.  It is found in the East Indian
island of Euro, amongst the Alfoors of Minahassa, in the Celebes, in
the Neilgherry Hills of South India, in the Hindoo Koosh, in
Indo-China, on the Niger, amongst the Zulus and the Pondos, and amongst
the Creek, Seminole, and Natchez Indians (_ib._ 321-342).  In this, the
second group of instances, then, though the god {195} may have no
special, proper, name, and though no image of him is made out of the
dough or paste, still "the new corn is itself eaten sacramentally, that
is as the body of the corn spirit"; by means of the sacramental eating,
of sacrifice and prayer, communion between the god and his worshippers
is renewed and maintained.

The third group of instances consists of the harvest customs of
northern Europe--the harvest supper and the rites of the Corn-mother or
the Corn-maiden or the Kern Baby.  It can scarcely be contended that
these rites and customs, so far as they survive at the present day,
retain, if they ever had, any religious value; they are performed as a
matter of tradition and custom and not because any one knows why they
are performed.  But that they originally had a meaning--even though now
it has evaporated--cannot be doubted.  Nor can it be doubted that the
meaning, if it is to be recovered, must be recovered by means of the
comparative method.  And, if the comparative method is to be applied,
the Corn-mother of northern Europe cannot be dissociated from the
Maize-mother of ancient Peru.  But if we go thus far, then we must,
with Dr. Frazer (_ib._ 288), recognise "clearly the {196} sacramental
character of the harvest-supper," in which, "as a substitute for the
real flesh of the divine being, bread and dumplings are made and eaten
sacramentally."  Thus, once more, harvest customs testify in northern
Europe, as elsewhere, to the fact that there was once a stated, annual,
period at which communion between the god and his worshipper was sought
by prayer and sacrifice.

The North-European harvest customs are further interesting and
important because, if they are clearly connected on the one hand with
the groups of instances already given, they are also connected on the
other with the group to which we have yet to call attention.  Thus far
the wheat or maize, if not eaten in the form of little loaves or cakes,
has been made into a dough image, or else the ears of maize have been
dressed in rich garments to indicate that they represent the Mother of
the Maize; and in Europe also both forms of symbolism are found.  But
in northern Europe, the corn spirit is also believed to be manifested,
Dr. Frazer says, in "the animal which is present in the corn and is
caught or killed in the last sheaf."  The animal may be a wolf, dog,
cock, hare, cat, goat, bull, cow, horse, or pig.  "The animal is slain
and its flesh and blood are partaken {197} of by the harvesters," and,
Dr. Frazer says, "these customs bring out clearly the sacramental
character of the harvest supper."  Now, this manifestation of the corn
spirit in animal form is not confined to Europe; it occurs for instance
in Guinea and in all the provinces and districts of China.  And it is
important as forming a link between the agricultural and the
pre-agricultural periods; in Dr. Frazer's words, "hunting and pastoral
tribes, as well as agricultural peoples, have been in the habit of
killing their gods" (_ib._ 366).  In the pastoral period, as well as in
agricultural times, the god who is worshipped by the tribe and with
whom the tribe seeks communion by means of prayer and sacrifice, may
manifest himself in animal form, and "the animal is slain and its flesh
and blood are partaken of."

We now come to the fourth and the last of our groups of instances.  It
consists of the rites observed by Australian tribes.  Amongst these
tribes too there is what Dr. Frazer terms "a sacramental eating" of the
totem plant or animal.  Thus Central Australian black men of the
kangaroo totem eat a little kangaroo flesh, as a sacrament (Spencer and
Gillen, p. 204 ff.).  Now, it is impossible, I think, to {198}
dissociate the Australian rite, to separate this fourth group, from the
three groups already described.  In Australia, as in the other cases,
the customs are observed in spring and harvest time, and in harvest
time, in Australia as well as elsewhere, there is a solemn and sparing
eating of the plant or animal; and, in Dr. Frazer's words, "plainly
these spring and harvest customs are based on the same ancient modes of
thought, and form part of the same primitive heathendom."  What, then,
is this ancient and primitive mode of thought?  In all the cases except
the Australian, the thought manifestly implied and expressed is that by
the solemn eating of the plant or the animal, or the dough image or
paste idol, or the little loaves, the community enters into communion
with its god, or renews communion with him.  On this occasion the
Peruvians prayed for children, happy years and abundance.  On this
occasion, even among the Australians, the Euahlayi tribe pray for long
life, because they have kept Byamee's law.  It would not, therefore, be
unreasonable to interpret the Australian custom by the same ancient
mode of thought which explains the custom wherever else--and that is
all over the world--it is found.  But perhaps, if we can find some
other interpretation {199} of the Australian custom, we should do
better to reverse the process and explain the spring and harvest
customs which are found elsewhere by means of, and in accordance with,
the Australian custom.  Now another interpretation of the Australian
custom has been put forward by Dr. Frazer.  He treats the Australian
ceremony as being a piece of pure magic, the purpose of which is to
promote the growth and increase of the plants and animals which provide
the black fellows with food.  But if we start from this point of view,
we must go further and say that amongst other peoples than the
Australian the killing of the representative animal of the spirit of
vegetation is, in Dr. Frazer's words, "a magical rite intended to
assure the revival of nature in spring."  And if that is the nature of
the rite which appears in northern Europe as the harvest supper, it
will also be the nature of the rite as it appears both in our second
group of instances, where the corn is eaten "as the body of the
corn-spirit," and in the first group, where the dough image or paste
idol was eaten in Mexico as the flesh and bones of the god.  That this
line of thought runs through Dr. Frazer's _Golden Bough_, in its second
edition, is indicated by the fact that the rite is spoken of throughout
as a {200} sacrament.  That the Mexican rite as described in our first
group is sacramental, is clear.  Of the rites which form our second
group of instances, Dr. Frazer says that the corn-spirit, or god, "is
killed in the person of his representative and eaten sacramentally,"
and that "the new corn is itself eaten sacramentally; that is, as the
body of the corn-spirit" (p. 318).  Of the North European rites, again,
he says, "the animal is slain and its flesh and blood are partaken of
by the harvesters"--"these customs bring out clearly the sacramental
character of the harvest supper"--"as a substitute for the real flesh
of the divine being, bread or dumplings are made in his image and eaten
sacramentally."  Finally, even when speaking of the Australians as men
who have no gods to worship, and with whom the rite is pure and
unadulterated magic, he yet describes the rite as a sacrament.

Now if, on the one hand, from its beginning amongst the Australians to
the form which it finally took amongst the Mexicans the rite is, as Dr.
Frazer systematically calls it, a sacrament; and if, on the other, it
is, in Dr. Frazer's words, "a magical rite intended to assure the
revival of nature in spring," then the conclusion which the reader
cannot help {201} drawing is that a sacrament, or this sacrament at
least, is in its origin, and in its nature throughout, a piece of
magic.  Religion is but magic written in different characters; and for
those who can interpret them it spells the same thing.  But though this
is the conclusion to which Dr. Frazer's argument leads, and to which in
the first edition of his _Golden Bough_ it clearly seemed to point; in
the preface to the second edition he formally disavows it.  He
recognises that religion does not spring from magic, but is
fundamentally opposed to it.  A sacrament, therefore, we may infer,
cannot be a piece of magic.  The Australian sacrament, therefore, as
Dr. Frazer calls it, cannot, we should be inclined to say, be a piece
of magic.  But Dr. Frazer still holds that the Australian rite or
sacrament is pure magic--religious it cannot be, for in Dr. Frazer's
view the Australians know no religion and have no gods.

Now if the rite as it occurs in Australia is pure magic, and if
religion is not a variety of magic but fundamentally different from it,
then the rite which, as it occurs everywhere else, is religious, cannot
be derived from, or a variety of, the Australian piece of magic; and
the spring and harvest customs which are found in Australia cannot be
"based on the {202} same ancient modes of thought or form part of the
same primitive heathendom" as the sacramental rites which are found
everywhere else in the world.  The solemn annual eating of the totem
plant or animal in Australia must have a totally different basis from
that on which the sacrament and communion stands in every other part of
the globe: in Australia it is based on magic, elsewhere on that which
is, according to Dr. Frazer, fundamentally different and opposed to
magic, viz. religion.  Before, however, we commit ourselves to this
conclusion, we may be allowed to ask, What is it that compels us thus
to sever the Australian from the other forms of the rite?  The reply
would seem to be that, whereas the other forms are admittedly
religious, the Australian is "a magical rite intended to assure the
revival of nature in spring."  Now, if that were really the nature of
the Australian rite, we might have to accept the conclusion to which we
hesitate to commit ourselves.  But, as a matter of fact, the Australian
rite is not intended to assure the revival of nature in spring, and has
nothing magical about it.  It is perfectly true that in spring in
Australia certain proceedings are performed which are based upon the
principle that like produces like; and {203} that these proceedings
are, by students of the science of religion, termed--perhaps
incorrectly--magical.  But these spring customs are quite different
from the harvest customs; and it is the harvest customs which
constitute the link between the rite in Australia and the rite in the
rest of the world.  The crucial question, therefore, is whether the
Australian harvest rite is magical, or is even based on the principle
that like produces like.  And the answer is that it is plainly not.
The harvest rite in Australia consists, as we know it now, simply in
the fact that at the appointed time a little of the totem plant or
animal is solemnly and sparingly eaten by the headman of the totem.
The solemnity with which the rite is performed is unmistakable, and may
well be termed religious.  And no attempt even, so far as I am aware,
has been made to show that this solemn eating is regarded as magic by
the performers of the rite, or how it can be so regarded by students of
the science of religion.  Until the attempt is made and made
successfully, we are more than justified in refusing to regard the rite
as magical; we are bound to refuse to regard it as such.  But if the
rite is not magical--and _à fortiori_ if it is, as Dr. Frazer terms it,
sacramental--then it is {204} religious; and the ancient mode of
thought, forming part of primitive heathendom, which is at the base of
the rite, is the conviction that manifests itself wherever the rite
continues to live, viz. that by prayer and sacrifice the worshippers in
any community are brought into communion with the god they worship.
The rite is, in truth, what Dr. Frazer terms it as it occurs in
Australia--a sacrament.  But not even in Australia is a sacrament a
piece of magic.

In the animistic stage of the evolution of humanity, the only causes
man can conceive of are animated things; and, in the presence of any
occurrence sufficiently striking to arrest his attention, the questions
which present themselves to his mind are, Who did this thing, and why?
Occurrences which arrest the attention of the community are occurrences
which affect the community; and in a low stage of evolution, when the
most pressing of all practical questions is how to live, the
occurrences which most effectually arrest attention are those which
affect the food supply of the community.  If, then, the food supply
fails, the occurrence is due to some of the personal, or
quasi-personal, powers by whom the community is surrounded; and the
reason why such power so acted is found in the wrath which {205} must
have actuated him.  The situation is abnormal, for famine is abnormal;
and it indicates anger and wrath on the part of the power who brought
it about.  But it also implies that when things go on in the normal
way,--when the relations between the spirit and the community are
normal,--the attitude of the spirit to the community is peaceable and
friendly.  Not only, however, does the community desire to renew
peaceable and friendly relations, where pestilence or famine show that
they have been disturbed: the community also desires to benefit by them
when they are in their normal condition.  The spirits that can disturb
the normal conditions by sending pestilence or famine can also assist
the community in undertakings, the success of which is indispensable if
the community is to maintain its existence; for instance, those
undertakings on which the food supply of the community depends.  Hence
the petitions which are put up at seed time, or, in the
pre-agricultural period, at seasons analogous to seed time.  Hence,
also, the rites at harvest time or the analogous season, rites which
are instituted and developed for the purpose of maintaining friendly
relation and communion between the community, and the spirit whose
favour {206} is sought and whose anger is dreaded by the community.
Such sacrificial rites may indeed be interpreted as the making of gifts
to the gods; and they do, as a matter of fact, often come so to be
regarded by those who perform them.  From this undeniable fact the
inference may then be drawn, and by many students of the science of
religion it is inferred, that from the beginning there was in such
sacrificial rites no other intention than to bribe the god or to
purchase his favour and the good things he had to give.  But the
inference, which, when properly limited, has some truth in it, becomes
misleading when put forward as being the whole truth.  Unless there
were some truth in it, the rite of sacrifice could never have developed
into the form which was denounced by the Hebrew prophets and
mercilessly exposed by Plato.  But had that been the whole truth, the
rite would have been incapable of discharging the really religious
function which it has in its history fulfilled.  That function has been
to place and maintain the society which practises it in communion with
its god.  Doubtless in the earliest stages of the history of the rite,
the communion thus felt to be established was prized and was mainly
sought for the external blessings which were believed {207} to follow
from it, or, as a means to avert the public disasters which a breach of
communion entailed.  Doubtless it was only by degrees, and by slow
degrees, that the communion thus established came to be regarded as
being in itself the end which the rite of sacrifice was truly intended
to attain.  But the communion of the worshippers with their god was not
a purpose originally foreign to the rite, and which, when introduced,
transformed the rite from what it at first was into something radically
different.  On the contrary, it was present, even though not prominent
or predominant, from the beginning; and the rite, as a religious
institution, followed different lines of evolution, according as the
one aspect or the other was developed.  Where the aspect under which
the sacrificial rite was regarded was that the offering was a gift made
to the deity in order to secure some specified temporal advantage, the
religious value of the rite diminished to the vanishing point in the
eyes both of those who, like Plato, could see the intrinsic absurdity
of pretending to make gifts to Him from whom alone all good things
come, and of those who felt that the sacrificial rite so conceived did
not afford the spiritual communion for which they yearned.  Where even
the {208} sacrificial rite was regarded as a means whereby communion
between the worshipper and his god was attained or maintained, the
emphasis might be thrown on the rite and its due performance rather
than on the spiritual communion of which it was the condition.  That is
to say, with the growth of formalism attention was concentrated on the
ritual and correspondingly withdrawn from the prayer which, from the
beginning, had been of the essence of the rite.  By the rite of
sacrifice the community had always been brought into the presence of
the god it worshipped; and, in the prayers then offered on behalf of
the society, the society had been brought into communion with its god.
From that communion it was possible to fall away, even though the
performance of the rite was maintained.  The very object of that
communion might be misinterpreted and mistaken to be a means merely to
temporal blessings for the community, or even to personal advantages
for the individual.  Or the punctilious performance of each and every
detail of the rite might tend to become an end in itself and displace
the spiritual communion, the attainment of which had been from the
beginning the highest, even if not the only or the most prominent,
{209} end which the rite might subserve.  The difference between the
possibilities which the rite might have realised and the actual
purposes for which it had come to be used before the birth of Christ is
a difference patent to the most casual observer of the facts.  The
dissatisfaction felt alike by Plato and the Hebrew prophets with the
rite as it had come to be practised may be regarded, if we choose so to
regard it, as the necessary consequence of pre-existing facts, and as
necessarily entailing the rejection or the reconstitution of the rite.
As a matter of history, the rite was reconstituted and not rejected;
and as reconstituted it became the central fact of the Christian
religion.  It became the means whereby, through Christ, all men might
be brought to God.  We may say, if we will, that a new meaning was put
into the rite, or that its true meaning was now made manifest.  The
facts themselves clearly indicate that from the beginning the rite was
the means whereby a society sought or might seek communion with its
god.  They also indicate that the rite of animal sacrifice came to be
found insufficient as a means.  It was through our Lord that mankind
learned what sacrifice was needed--learned to "offer and present unto
thee, O Lord, ourselves, our {210} souls and bodies, to be a
reasonable, holy and lively sacrifice unto thee."  That is the
sacrifice Christ showed us the example of; that is the example which
the missionary devotes himself to follow and to teach.



In this lecture I propose to consider the question whether morality is
based on religion or religion on morality.  It is a question which may
be approached from the point of view either of philosophy or of
history.  Quite recently it has been treated from the former point of
view by Professor Höffding in _The Philosophy of Religion_ (translated
into English, 1906); and from the point of view of the history of
morality by Mr. Hobhouse in his _Morals in Evolution_ (1906).  It may,
of course, also be quite properly approached from the point of view of
the history of religion; and from whatever standpoint it is treated,
the question is one of importance for the missionary, both because of
its intrinsic interest for the philosophy of religion, and because its
discussion is apt to proceed on a mistaken view of facts in the history
of religion.  About those facts and their meaning, the missionary, who
is to be properly equipped for his work, should be in no doubt: a right
view and a proper estimate of the facts are essential both for {212}
his practical work and for the theoretical justification of his

One answer to the question before us is that morality is the basal
fact--the bottom fact: if we regard the question historically, we shall
find that morality came first and religion afterwards; and, even if
that were not so, we should find that as a matter of logic and
philosophy religion presupposes morality--religion may, for a time, be
the lever that moves the world, but it would be powerless if it had not
a fulcrum, and that fulcrum is morality.  So long and so far as
religion operates beneficially on the world, it does so simply because
it supports and reënforces morality.  But the time is not far distant,
and may even now be come, when morality no longer requires any support
from religion--and then religion becomes useless, nay! an encumbrance
which must either fall off or be lopped off.  If, therefore, morality
can stand by itself, and all along has not merely stood by itself, but
has really upheld religion, in what is morality rooted?  The answer is
that morality has its roots, not in the command that thou shalt love
the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy soul, but in human
solidarity, in humanity regarded as a spiritual whole.  To {213} this
conclusion, it is said, the history of recent philosophy has steadily
been moving.  If the movement had taken place in only one school of
philosophic thought, it might have been a movement running into a
side-track.  But it is the direction taken by schools so different in
their presuppositions and their methods as that of Hegel and that of
Comte; and it is the undesigned coincidence of their tendency, which at
first could never have been surmised, that carries with it a conviction
of its correctness.  Human solidarity, humanity regarded as a spiritual
whole, may be called, as Hegel calls it, self-conscious spirit; or you
may call it, as Comte calls it, the Mind of Humanity--it is but the
collective wisdom "of a common humanity with a common aim"; and, that
being so, morality is rooted, not in the will and the love of a
beneficent and omnipotent Providence, but in the self-realising spirit
in man setting up its "common aim" at morality.  The very conception of
a beneficent and omnipotent God--having now done its work as an aid to
morality--must now be put aside, because it stands in the way of our
recognising what is the real spiritual whole, besides which there is
none other spirit, viz. the self-realising spirit in man.  That spirit
is only realising; it is not yet {214} realised.  It is in process of
realisation; and the conception of it, as in process of realisation,
enables it to be brought into harmony, or rather reveals its inner
harmony, with the notion of evolution.  There is nothing outside
evolution, no being to whom evolution is presented as a spectacle or by
whom, as a process, it is directed.  "Being itself," as Höffding says
(_Problems of Philosophy_, p. 136), "is to be conceived as in process
of becoming, of evolution."  The spirit in man, as we have just said,
is the real spiritual whole, and it is self-realising; it is evolving
and progressing both morally and rationally.  In Höffding's words
"Being itself becomes more rational than before" (_ib._, p. 137).
"Being itself is not ready-made but still incomplete, and rather to be
conceived as a continual becoming, like the individual personality and
like knowledge" (_ib._, p. 120).  We may say, then, that being is
becoming rationalised and moralised as and because the spirit in man
realises itself.  For a time the process of moralisation and
self-realisation was worked by and through the conception of a
beneficent and omnipotent god.  That conception was, it would seem, a
hypothesis, valuable as long it was a working hypothesis, but to be
cast aside now that humanitarianism is found {215} more adequate to the
facts and more in harmony with the consistent application of the theory
of evolution.  We have, then, to consider whether it is adequate to the
facts, whether, when we regard the facts of the history of religion, we
do find that morality comes first and religion later.

"What," Mr. Hobhouse enquires in his _Morals in Evolution_ (II, 74),
"What is the ethical character of early religion?" and his reply is
that "in the first stage we find that spirits, as such, are not
concerned with morality."  That was also the answer which had
previously been given by Professor Höffding, who says in his
_Philosophy of Religion_: "in the lowest forms of it ... religion
cannot be said to have any ethical significance" (p. 323).  Originally,
the gods were "purely natural forces which could be defied or evaded,"
though eventually they "became ethical powers whom men neither could
nor wished to defy" (p. 324).  This first stage of early religion seems
on the terms of the hypothesis to be supposed to be found in the period
of animism and fetichism; and "the primitive conception of spirit" is,
Mr. Hobhouse says (II, 16), of something "feeling and thinking like a
rather stupid man, and open like him to supplication, exhortation, or
intimidation."  If {216} that is so, then Professor Höffding may be
justified in saying that in the lowest forms of religion "the gods
appear as powers on which man is dependent, but not as patterns of
conduct or administrators of an ethical world order" (p. 324).  Now, in
the period termed animistic because inanimate things are supposed to be
animated and actuated by spirits, it may be that many or most of such
spirits are supposed to feel and think like a rather stupid man, and
therefore to be capable of being cajoled, deluded, intimidated, and
castigated by the human being who desires to make use of them.  But it
is not all such spirits that are worshipped then.  Indeed, it is
impossible, Mr. Hobhouse says (II, 15), that any such spirit could be
"an object of worship in our sense of the term."  Worship implies the
superiority of the object worshipped to the person worshipping.  But,
though not an object of worship in our sense of the term, the spirit
that could be deluded, intimidated, and castigated was, according to
Mr. Hobhouse, "the object of a religious cult" on the part of the man
who believed that he could and did intimidate and castigate the spirit.
Probably, however, most students of the science of religion would agree
that a cult which included or {217} allowed intimidation and
castigation of the object of the cult was as little entitled to be
termed religious as it is to be called worship.  In the period of
animism, then, either there was no religious cult, no worship in our
sense of the term; or, if there was religion, then the spirit
worshipped was worshipped as a being higher than man.  Whether man has
at any time been without religion is a question on which there is here
no need to enter.  The allegation we are now considering is that
whenever religion does appear, then in its first and earliest stage it
is not concerned with morality; and the ground for that allegation is
that the spirits of the animistic period have nothing to do with
morality or conduct.  Now, it may be that these spirits which animate
inanimate things are not concerned with morality; but then neither are
they worshipped, nor is the relation between them and man religious.
Religion implies a god; and a spirit to be a god must have worshippers,
a community of worshippers--whether that community be a nation, a
tribe, or a family.  Further, it is as the protector of the interests
of that community--however small--that the god is worshipped by the
community.  The indispensable condition of religion is the existence of
a community; {218} and from the beginning man must have lived in some
sort of community,--whether a family or a horde,--for the period of
helpless infancy is so long in the case of human beings that without
some sort of permanent community the race could not be perpetuated.
The indispensable condition of religion, therefore, has always existed
from the time when man was man.  Further, whatever the form of
community in which man originally dwelt, it was only in the community
and by means of the community that the individual could exist--that is
to say, if the interest of any one individual conflicted or was
supposed to conflict with the interests of the community, then the
interests of the community must prevail, if the community was to exist.
Here, then, from the beginning we have the second condition
indispensable for the existence of religion, viz. the possibility that
the conduct of some member of the community might not be the conduct
required by the interests or supposed interests of the community, and
prescribed by the custom of the community.  In the case of such
divergence of interests and conduct, the being worshipped by the
community was necessarily, as being the god of the community, and
receiving the worship of the community, on the side {219} of the
community and against the member who violated the custom of the
community.  But, at this period in the history of humanity, the
morality of the community was the custom of the community; and the god
of the community from the first necessarily upheld the custom, that is,
the morality of the community.  Spirits "as such," that is to say,
spirits which animated inanimate things but which were not the
protectors of any human community, were, for the very reason that they
were not the gods of any community, "not concerned with morality."
Spirits, however, which were the protectors of a community necessarily
upheld the customs and therefore the morality of the community; they
were not "without ethical significance."  It was an essential part of
the very conception of such spirits--of spirits standing in this
relation to the community--that they were "ethical powers."  Höffding's
dictum that "the gods appear as powers on which man is dependent, but
not as patterns of conduct or administrators of an ethical world order"
(p. 323), overlooks the fact that in the earliest times not only are
gods powers on which man is dependent, but powers which enforce the
conduct required by the custom of the community and sanction the
ethical order as {220} far as it has then been revealed.  The fact that
"the worship of the family, of the clan, or of the nation is shared in
by all," not merely "helps to nourish a feeling of solidarity which may
acquire ethical significance," as Höffding says (p. 325), it creates a
solidarity which otherwise would not exist.  If there were no worship
shared in by all, there would be no religious solidarity; and, judging
from the very general, if not universal, occurrence of religion in the
lowest races as well as the highest, we may conjecture that without
religious solidarity a tribe found it hard or impossible to survive in
the struggle for existence.  That religious solidarity however is not,
as Höffding suggests, something which may eventually "acquire ethical
significance"; it is in its essence and from the beginning the worship
of a god who punishes the community for the ethical transgression of
its members, because they are not merely violations of the custom of
the community, but offences against him.  When Höffding says (p. 328)
"religious faith ... assumes an independent human ethic, which has, as
a matter of fact, developed historically under the practical influence
of the ethical feeling of man," he seems to overlook the fact that as a
matter of history human {221} ethics have always been based--rightly or
wrongly--on religious faith, that moral transgressions have always been
regarded as not merely wrongs done to a man's neighbour, but also as
offences against the god or gods of the community, that the person
suffering from foul wrong for which he can get no human redress has
always appealed from man to God, and that the remorse of the wrong-doer
who has evaded human punishment has always taken shape in the fear of
what God may yet do.

Those who desire to prove that at the present day morality can exist
apart from religion, and that in the future it will do so, finding its
basis in humanitarianism and not in religion, are moved to show that as
a matter of historic fact religion and morality have been things apart.
We have examined the assertion that religion in its lowest forms is not
concerned with morality; and we have attempted to show that the god of
a community, or the spirit worshipped by a community, is necessarily a
being conceived as concerned with the interests of the community and as
hostile to those who violate the customs--which is to transgress the
morality--of the community.  But even if this be admitted, it may still
be said that it does not in the least disprove the assertion that {222}
morality existed before religion did.  The theory we are examining
freely admits that religion is supposed, in certain stages of the
history of humanity, to reënforce morality and to be necessary in the
interest of morals, though eventually it is found that morality needs
no such support; and not only needs now no such support but never did
need it; and the fact that it did not need it is shown by demonstrating
the existence of morality before religion existed.  If, then, it be
admitted that religion from the moment it first appeared reënforced
morality, and did not pass through a non-moral period first, still
morality may have existed before religion was evolved, and must have so
existed if morality and religion are things essentially apart.  What
evidence then is there on the point?  We find Mr. Hobhouse saying (I,
80) that "at almost, if not quite, the lowest stages" of human
development there are "certain actions which are resented as involving
the community as a whole in misfortune and danger.  These include,
besides actual treason, conduct which brings upon the people the wrath
of God, or of certain spirits, or which violates some mighty and
mysterious taboo.  The actions most frequently regarded in this light
are certain breaches of the marriage law and witchcraft." {223} These
offences, we are told (_ib._, 82), endanger the community itself, and
the punishment is "prompted by the sense of a danger to the whole
community."  Here, then, from the beginning we find that offences
against the common good are punished, not simply as such, but as
misconduct bringing on the community, and not merely on the offender,
the wrath of gods or spirits.  In other words--Mr. Hobhouse's words, p.
119--"in the evolution of public justice, we find that at the outset
the community interferes mainly on what we may call supernatural
grounds only with actions which are regarded as endangering its own
existence."  We may then fairly say that if the community inflicts
punishments mainly on supernatural grounds from the time when the
evolution of public justice first begins, then morality from its very
beginning was reënforced--indeed prompted--by religion.  The morality
was indeed only the custom of the community; but violation of the
custom was from the beginning regarded as a religious offence and was
punished on supernatural grounds.

The view that morality and religion are essentially distinct, that
morality not only can stand alone, without support from religion, but
has in reality always stood without such support--however much {224}
the fact has been obscured by religious prepossessions--this view
receives striking confirmation from the current and generally accepted
theory of the origin and nature of justice.  That theory traces the
origin of justice back to the feeling of resentment experienced by the
individual against the particular cause of his pain (Westermarck,
_Origin and Development of the Moral Ideas_, I, 22).  Resentment leads
to retaliation and takes the form of revenge.  Vengeance, at first
executed by the person injured (or by his kin, if he be killed), comes
eventually, if slowly, to be taken out of the hands of the person
injured or his avengers, and to be exercised by the State in the
interests of the community and in furtherance, not of revenge, but of
justice and the good of society.  Thus not only the origin of justice,
but the whole course of its growth and development, is entirely
independent of religion and religious considerations.  Throughout, the
individual and society are the only parties involved; the gods do not
appear--or, if they do appear, they are intrusive and superfluous.  If
this be the true view of the history and nature of justice, it may--and
probably must--be the truth about the whole of morality and not only
about justice.  We have but {225} to follow Dr. Westermarck (_ib._, p.
21) in grouping the moral emotions under the two heads of emotions of
approval and emotions of disapproval, we have but to note with him that
both groups belong to the class of retributive emotions, and we see
that the origin and history of justice are typical of the origin and
history of morals: morality in general, just as much as justice in
particular, both originates independently of religion and
developes--where moral progress is made--independently of religion.

Let us now proceed to examine this view of the relation of religion and
morality and to consider whether their absolute independence of each
other is historic fact.  It traces back justice to the feeling of
resentment experienced by the individual; but if the individual ever
existed by himself and apart from society, there could neither then be
justice nor anything analogous to justice, for justice implies, not
merely a plurality of individuals, but a society; it is a social
virtue.  The individual existing by himself and apart from society is
not a historic fact but an impossible abstraction--a conception
essentially false because it expresses something which neither exists
nor has existed nor could possibly {226} exist.  The origin of
justice--or of any virtue--cannot be found in the impossible and
self-contradictory conception of the individual existing apart from
society; it cannot be found in a mere plurality of such individuals: it
can only be found in a society--whether that society have the
organisation of a family, a tribe, or a nation.  Justice in particular
and morality in general, like religion, imply the existence of a
society; neither is a merely individual affair.  Justice is, as Mr.
Hobhouse states, "public action taken for the sake of public safety"
(I, 83): it is, from the outset of its history, public action; and back
of that we cannot go, for the individual did not, as a matter of
history, exist before society, and could not so have existed.

In the next place, justice is not the resentment of any individual, it
is the sentiment of the community expressing itself in public action,
taken not for the sake of any individual, but for the sake of public
safety.  Its object from the beginning is not the gratification of
individual resentment, but the safety and welfare of the community
which takes common action.  Proof of this, if proof were needed, would
be found in the fact that the existence of the individual, as such, is
not recognised.  Not only does {227} the community which has suffered
in the wrong done to any of its members take action as a community; it
proceeds, not against the individual who has inflicted the wrong, but
against the community to which he belongs.  "The wrong done," is, as
Mr. Hobhouse says (I, 91), "the act of the family or clan and may be
avenged on any member of that family or clan."  There is collective
responsibility for the wrong done, just as there is collective
responsibility for righting it.

If, now, we enquire, What are the earliest offences against which
public action is taken? and why? we may remember that Mr. Hobhouse has
stated them to be witchcraft and breaches of the marriage law; and that
the punishment of those offences corresponds, as he has said, "roughly
to our own administration of justice" (I, 81).  Now, in the case of
breaches of the marriage laws--mating with a cousin on the mother's
side instead of with a cousin on the father's side, marrying into a
forbidden class--it is obvious that there is no individual who has
suffered injury and that there is no individual to experience
resentment.  It is the community that suffers or is expected to suffer;
and it expects to suffer, because it, in the person of one of its {228}
members, has offended.  Collectively it is responsible for the misdeeds
of its members.  Whom, then, has it offended?  To whom is it
responsible?  Who will visit it with punishment, unless it makes haste
to set itself right?  The answer given by a certain tribe of the Sea
Dyaks makes the matter clear: they, Mr. St. John tells us in his _Life
in the Forests of the Far East_ (I, 63, quoted by Westermarck, I, 49),
"are of opinion that an unmarried girl proving with child must be
offensive to the superior powers, who, instead of always chastising the
individual, punish the tribe by misfortunes happening to its members.
They therefore on the discovery of the pregnancy fine the lovers, and
sacrifice a pig to propitiate offended heaven, and to avert that
sickness or those misfortunes that might otherwise follow."  That is,
of course, only one instance.  But we may safely say that the marriage
law is generally ascribed to the ordinance of the gods, even in the
lowest tribes, and that breaches of it are offences against heaven.  It
is unnecessary to prove, it need only be mentioned, that witchcraft is
conspicuously offensive to the religious sentiment, and is punished as
an offence against the god or gods.  When, then, we consider the origin
and nature of justice, not from {229} an abstract and _à priori_ point
of view, but in the light of historic fact, so far from finding that it
originates and operates in complete independence of religion, we
discover that from the beginning the offences with which the justice of
the primitive community deals are offences, not against the community,
but against heaven.  "In the evolution of public justice," as Mr.
Hobhouse says, "at the outset the community interferes mainly on what
we may call supernatural grounds."  From the beginning misdeeds are
punished, not merely as wrongs done to society, but as wrong done to
the gods and as wrong-doing for which the community collectively is
responsible to the gods.  Justice from the beginning is not individual
resentment, but "public action taken for the public safety."  It is
not, as Mr. Hobhouse calls it, "revenge guided and limited by custom."
It is the customary action of the community taken to avert divine
vengeance.  The action taken assumes in extreme cases the form of the
death penalty; but its usual form of action is that of taboo.

If the origin of justice is to be sought in something that is not
justice, if justice in particular and morality in general are to be
treated as having been evolved out of something which was in a way
different {230} from them and yet in a way must have contained them,
inasmuch as they came forth from it, we shall do well to look for that
something, not in the unhistorical, unreal abstraction of an imaginary
individual, apart from society, but in society itself when it is as yet
not clearly conscious of the justice and morality at work within it.
Such a stage in the development of society is, I think, to be discerned.

We have seen that, "at almost, if not quite, the lowest stages" of
human development, there is something which, according to Mr. Hobhouse,
corresponds "roughly to our own administration of justice" (I, 81).
But this rough justice implies conscious, deliberate action on the part
of the community.  It implies that the community as such makes some
sort of enquiry into what can be the cause of the misfortunes which are
befalling it; and that, having found out the person responsible, it
deliberately takes the steps it deems necessary for putting itself
right with the supernatural power that has sent the sickness or famine.
Now, such conscious, purposive, deliberate action may and probably does
take place at almost the lowest stage of development of society; but
not, we may surmise, at quite the lowest.  What eventually is done
{231} consciously and deliberately is probably done in the first place
much more summarily and automatically.  And--in quite the lowest stage
of social development--it is by means of the action of taboo that
summary and automatic punishment for breaches of the custom of the
community is inflicted.  Its action is automatic and immediate: merely
to come in contact with the forbidden thing is to become tabooed
yourself; and so great is the horror and dread of such contact, even if
made unwittingly, that it is capable of causing, when discovered,
death.  Like the justice, however, of which it is the forerunner, it
does not result always in death, nor does it produce that effect in
most cases.  But what it does do is to make the offender himself taboo
and as infectious as the thing that rendered him taboo.  Here, too, the
action of taboo, in excommunicating the offender, anticipates, or
rather foreshadows, the action of justice when it excludes the guilty
person from the community and makes of him an outlaw.  Again, in the
rough justice found at almost, though not quite, the lowest stages, the
earliest offences of which official notice, so to speak, is taken, are
offences for which the punishment--disease or famine, etc.--falls on
the community as a whole, because the {232} community, in the person of
one of its members, has offended as a whole against heaven.  In the
earlier stage of feeling, also, which survives where taboo prevails, it
is the community as a whole which may be infected, and which must
suffer if the offender is allowed to spread the infection; it is the
community, as a whole, which is concerned to thrust out the guilty
person--every one shuns him because he is taboo.  Thus, in this the
earliest stage, the offender against the custom of the community is
outlawed just as effectively as in later stages of social development.
But no formal sentence is pronounced; no meeting of the men or the
elders of the community is held to try the offender; no reason is given
or sought why the offence should thus be punished.  The operation of
taboo is like that of the laws of nature: the man who eats poisonous
food dies with no reason given.  A reason may eventually be found by
science, and is eventually discovered, though the process of discovery
is slow, and many mistakes are made, and many false reasons are given
before the true reason is found.  So, too, the true reason for the
prohibition of many of the things, which the community feels to be
forbidden and pronounced to be taboo, is found, with the progress of
society--when it does {233} progress, which is not always--to be that
they are immoral and irreligious, though here, too, many mistakes are
made before true morality and true religion are found.  But at the
outset no reason is given: the things are simply offensive to the
community and are tabooed as such.  We, looking back at that stage in
the evolution of society, can see that amongst the things thus
offensive and tabooed are some which, in later stages, are equally
offensive, but are now forbidden for a reason that can be formulated
and given, viz. that they are offences against the law of morality and
the law of God.  That reason, at the outset of society, may scarcely
have been consciously present to the mind of man: progress, in part at
least, has consisted in the discovery of the reasons of things.  But
that man did from the beginning avoid some of the things which are
forbidden by morality and religion, and that those things were taboo to
him, is beyond the possibility of doubt.  Nor can it be doubted that in
the prohibition and punishment of them there was inchoate justice and
inchoate religion.  Such prohibition was due to the collective action
and expressed the collective feeling of the community as a whole.  And
it is from such social action and feeling that {234} justice, I
suggest, has been evolved--not from the feeling of resentment
experienced by the individual as an individual.  Personal resentment
and personal revenge may have stimulated justice to action.  But, by
the hypothesis we have been examining, they were not justice.  Neither
have they been transformed into justice: they still exist as something
distinct from justice and capable of perverting it.

The form which justice takes in the period which is almost, but not
quite, the lowest stage of human evolution is the sense of the
collective responsibility of the community for all its actions, that is
to say, for the acts of all its members.  And that responsibility in
its earliest shape is felt to be a responsibility to heaven, to the
supernatural powers that send disease and famine upon the community.
In those days no man sins to himself alone, just as, in still earlier
days, no man could break a taboo without becoming a source of danger to
the whole community.  The wrong-doer has offended against the
supernatural powers and has brought down calamity upon the community.
He is therefore punished, directly as an offender against the god of
the community, and indirectly for having involved the {235} community
in suffering.  In Dr. Westermarck's words (I, 194), there is "genuine
indignation against the offender, both because he rebels against God,
and because he thereby exposes the whole community to supernatural
dangers."  But though society for many long centuries continues to
punish rebellion against God, still in the long run it ceases, or tends
to cease, doing so.  Its reason for so ceasing is interpreted
differently by different schools of thought.  On the one hand, it is
said in derision, let the gods punish offences against the gods--the
implication being that there are no such offences to punish, because
there is no god.  On the other hand, it is said, "I will repay, saith
the Lord"--the implication being that man may not assume to be the
minister of divine vengeance.  If, then, we bear in mind that the fact
may be interpreted in either of these different ways, we shall not fall
into the fallacy of imagining that the mere existence of the fact
suffices to prove either interpretation to be true.  Yet this fallacy
plays its part in lending fictitious support to the doctrine that
morality is in no wise dependent upon religion.  The offences now
punished by law, it is argued, are no longer punished as offences
against religion, but solely as offences {236} against the good of the
community.  To this argument the reply is that men believe the good of
the community to be the will of God, and do not believe murder, theft,
adultery, etc., to be merely offences against man's laws.  Overlooking
this fact, which is fatal to the doctrine that morality is in no wise
dependent on religion, the argument we are discussing proceeds to
maintain that the basis for the enforcement of morality by the law is
recognised by every one who knows anything of the philosophy of law to
be what is good for the community and its members: fraud and violence
are punished as such, and not because they are offences against this or
that religion.  The fact that the law no longer punishes them as
offences against God suffices to show that it is only as offences
against humanity that there is any sense, or ever was any sense, in
punishing them.  Religion may have reënforced morality very usefully at
one time, by making out that moral misdeeds were offences against God,
but such arguments are not now required.  The good and the well-being
of humanity is in itself sufficient argument.  Humanitarianism is
taking the place of religion, and by so doing is demonstrating that
morality is, as it always has been, {237} independent of religion; and
that in truth religion has built upon it, not it upon religion.  As
Höffding puts it (p. 328): "Religious faith ... assumes an independent
human ethic developed historically under the practical influence of the
ethical feeling of man."  That is to say, morality is in Höffding's
view independent of religion, and prior to religion, both as a matter
of logic and of history.  As a matter of history--of the history of
religion--this seems to me, for the reasons already given, to be
contrary to the facts as they are known.  The real reason for
maintaining that morality is and must be--and must have
been--independent of religion, seems to me to be a philosophical
reason.  I may give it in Höffding's own words: "What other aims and
qualities," he asks (p. 324), "could man attribute to his gods or
conceive as divine, but those which he has learnt from his own
experience to recognise as the highest?"  The answer expected to the
question plainly is not merely that it is from experience that man
learns, but that man has no experience of God from which he could
learn.  The answer given by Mr. Hobhouse, in the concluding words of
his _Morals in Evolution_ is that "the collective wisdom" of man "is
all that we directly know of the Divine." {238} Here, too, no direct
access to God is allowed to be possible to man.  It is from his
experience of other men--perhaps even of himself and his own
doings--that man learns all he knows of God: but he has himself no
experience of God.  Obviously, then, from this humanitarian point of
view, what a man goes through in his religious moments is not
experience, and we are mistaken if we imagine that it was experience;
it is only a misinterpretation of experience.  It is on the supposition
that we are mistaken, on the assumption that we make a
misinterpretation, that the argument is built to prove that morality is
and must be independent of religion.  Argument to show, or proof to
demonstrate, that we had not the experience, or, that we mistook
something else for it, is, of course, not forthcoming.  But if we hold
fast to our conviction, we are told that we are fleeing "to the bosom
of faith."

Until some better argument is produced, we may be well content not
merely to flee but to rest there.



The subject dealt with in this lecture will be the place of
Christianity in the evolution of religion; and I shall approach it by
considering the place of religion in the evolution of humanity.  It
will be therefore advisable, indeed necessary, for me to consider what
is meant by evolution; and I wish to begin by explaining the point of
view from which I propose to approach the three ideas of evolution, of
the evolution of humanity and the evolution of religion.

The individual exists, and can only exist, in society.  Society cannot
exist without individuals as members thereof; and the individual cannot
exist save in society.  From this it follows that from one point of
view the individual may be regarded as a means--a means by which
society attains its end or purpose: every one of us has his place or
function in society; and society thrives according as each member
performs his function and discharges his duty.  From another point of
view {240} the individual may be regarded as an end.  If man is a
social animal, if men live in society, it is because so alone can a man
do what is best for himself: it is by means of society that he realises
his end.  It is then from this proposition, viz. that the individual is
both a means and an end, that I wish to approach the idea of evolution.

I will begin by calling attention to the fact that that proposition is
true both statically, that is to say, is true of the individual's
position in a community, and is also true dynamically, that is to say,
is true of his place in the process of evolution.  On the former point,
that the proposition is true statically, of the position of the
individual in the community, I need say but little.  In moral
philosophy it is the utilitarian school which has particularly insisted
upon this truth.  That school has steadily argued that, in the
distribution of happiness or of the good, every man is to count as one,
and nobody to count as more than one--that is to say, in the community
the individual is to be regarded as the end.  The object to be aimed at
is not happiness in general and no one's happiness in particular, but
the happiness of each and every individual.  It is the individual and
his happiness which is the {241} end, for the sake of which society
exists and to which it is the means; otherwise the individual might
derive no benefit from society.  But if the truth that the individual
is an end as well as a means is recognised by moral philosophy, that
truth has also played at least an equally important part in political
philosophy.  It is the very breath of the cry for liberty, equality,
and fraternity,--a cry wrung out from the heart of man by the system of
oppression which denied that the ordinary citizen had a right to be
anything but a means for procuring enjoyment to the members of the
ruling class.  The truth that any one man--whatever his place in
society, whatever the colour of his skin--has as much right as any
other to be treated as an end and that no man was merely a means to the
enjoyment or happiness or well-being of another, was the charter for
the emancipation of slaves.  It is still the magna charta for the
freedom of every member of the human race.  No man is or can be a
chattel--a thing existing for no other purpose than to subserve the
interests of its owner and to be a means to his ends.  But though from
the truth that the individual is in himself an end as well as a means,
it follows that all men have the right to {242} freedom, it does not
follow as a logical inference that all men are equal as means--as means
to the material happiness or to the moral improvement of society.

I need not further dwell upon the fact that statically as regards the
relations of men to one another in society at any moment, the truth is
fully recognised that the individual is not merely a means to the
happiness or well-being of others, but is also in himself an end.  But
when we consider the proposition dynamically, when we wish to find out
the part it has played as one of the forces at work in evolution, we
find that its truth has been far from fully recognised--partly perhaps
because utilitarianism dates from a time when evolution, or the bearing
of it, was not understood.  But the truth is at least of as great
importance dynamically as it is statically.  And on one side, its truth
and the importance of its truth has been fully developed: that the
individual is a means to an end beyond him; and that, dynamically, he
has been and is a factor in evolution, and as a factor merely a means
and nothing else--all this has been worked out fully, if not to excess.
The other side of the truth, the fact that the individual is always an
end, has, however, {243} been as much neglected by the scientific
evolutionist as it was by the slave-driver: he has been liable to
regard men as chattels, as instruments by which the work of evolution
is carried on.  The work has got to be done (by men amongst other
animals and things), things have to be evolved, evolution must go on.
But, why? and for whom? with what purpose and for whose benefit? with
what end? are questions which science leaves to be answered by those
people who are foolish enough to ask them.  Science is concerned simply
with the individual as a means, as one of the means, whereby evolution
is carried on; and doubtless science is justified--if only on the
principle of the division of labour--in confining itself to the
department of enquiry which it takes in hand and in refusing to travel
beyond it.  Any theory of man, therefore, or of the evolution of
humanity, which professes to base itself strictly on scientific fact
and to exclude other considerations as unscientific and therefore as
unsafe material to build on, will naturally, and perhaps necessarily,
be dominated by the notion that the individual exists as a factor in
evolution, as one of the means by which, and not as in any sense the
end for which, evolution is carried on.


Such seems to be the case with the theory of humanitarianism.  It bases
itself upon science, upon experience, and rules out communion with God
as not being a scientific fact or a fact of experience at all.  Based
upon science, it is a theory which seeks amongst other things to assign
to religion its place in the evolution of humanity.  According to the
theory, the day of religion is over, its part played out, its function
in the evolution of humanity discharged.  According to this theory,
three stages may be discerned in the evolution of humanity when we
regard man as a moral being, as an ethical consciousness.  Those three
stages may be characterised first as custom, next religion, and finally

By the theory, in the first stage--that of custom--the spirits to whom
cult is paid are vindictive.  In the second stage--that of
religion--man, having attained to a higher morality, credits his gods
with that higher morality.  In the third stage--that of
humanitarianism--he finds that the gods are but lay figures on which
the robes of righteousness have been displayed that man alone can
wear--when he is perfect.  He is not yet perfect.  If he were, the
evolution of humanity {245} would be attained--whereas at present it is
as yet in process.  The end of evolution is not yet attained: it is to
establish, in some future generation, a perfect humanity.  For that end
we must work; to it we may know that, as a matter of scientific
evolution, we are working.  On it, we may be satisfied, man will not
enter in our generation.

Now this theory of the evolution of humanity, and of the place religion
takes in that evolution, is in essential harmony with the scientific
treatment of the evolution theory, inasmuch as it treats of the
individual solely as an instrument to something other than himself, as
a means of producing a state of humanity to which he will not belong.
But if the assumption that the individual is always a means and never
an end in himself be false, then a theory of the evolution of man (as
an ethical consciousness) which is based on that wrong assumption will
itself be wrong.  If each individual is an end, as valuable and as
important as any other individual; if each counts for one and not less
than any one other,--then his end and his good cannot lie in the
perfection of some future generation.  In that case, his end would be
one that _ex hypothesi_ he could never enjoy, a rest into which he
could never enter; {246} and consequently it would be an irrational
end, and could not serve as a basis for a rationalist theory of ethics.
Man's object (to be a rational object) must have reference to a society
of which he may be a member.  The realisation of his object, therefore,
cannot be referred to a stage of society yet to come, on earth, after
he is dead,--a society of which he, whether dead or annihilated, could
not be a member.  If, then, the individual's object is to be a rational
object, as the humanitarian or rationalist assumes, then that end must
be one in which he can share; and therefore cannot be in this world.
Nor can that end be attained by doing man's will--for man's will may be
evil, and regress as well as progress is a fact in the evolution of
humanity; its attainment, therefore, must be effected by doing God's

The truth that the individual is an end as well as a means is, I
suggest, valuable in considering the dynamics as well as the statics of
society.  At least, it saves one from the self-complacency of imagining
that one's ancestors existed with no other end and for no higher
purpose than to produce--me; and if the golden days anticipated by the
theory of humanitarianism ever arrive, it is to be supposed that the
{247} men of that time will find it just as intolerable and revolting
as we do now, to believe that past generations toiled and suffered for
no other reason, for no other end, and to no other purpose than that
their successors should enter into the fruits of their labour.  In a
word, the theory that in the evolution of man as an ethical
consciousness, as a moral being, religion is to be superseded by
humanitarianism, is only possible so long as we deny or ignore the fact
that the individual is an end and not merely a means.  We will
therefore now go on to consider the evolution of religion from the
point of view that the individual is in himself an end as well as a
means.  If, of the world religions, we take that which is the greatest,
as measured by the number of its adherents, viz. Buddhism, we shall see
that, tried by this test, it is at once found wanting.  The object at
which Buddhism proclaims that man should aim is not the development,
the perfection, and the realisation of the individual to the fullest
extent: it is, on the contrary, the utter and complete effacement of
the individual, so that he is not merely absorbed, but absolutely wiped
out, in _nirvana_.  In the _atman_, with which it is the duty of man to
seek to identify himself, the individuality of man does not survive:
{248} it simply ceases to be.  Now this obliteration of his existence
may seem to a man in a certain mood desirable; and that mood may be
cultivated, as indeed Buddhism seeks to cultivate it, systematically.
But here it is that the inner inconsistency, the self-contradictoriness
of Buddhism, becomes patent.  The individual, to do anything, must
exist.  If he is to desire nothing save to cease to exist, he must
exist to do that.  But the teaching of Buddhism is that this world and
this life is illusion--and further, that the existence of the
individual self is precisely the most mischievous illusion, that
illusion above all others from which it is incumbent on us to free
ourselves.  We are here for no other end than to free ourselves from
that illusion.  Thus, then, by the teaching of Buddhism there is an
end, it may be said, for the individual to aim at.  Yes! but by the
same teaching there is no individual to aim at it--individual existence
is the most pernicious of all illusions.  And further, by the teaching,
the final end and object of religion is to get rid of an individual
existence, which does not exist to be got rid of, and which it is an
illusion to believe in.  In fine, Buddhism denies that the individual
is either an end or a means, for it denies {249} the existence of the
individual, and contradicts itself in that denial.  The individual is
not an end--the happiness or immortality, the continued existence, of
the individual is not to be aimed at.  Neither is he a means, for his
very existence is an illusion, and as such is an obstacle or impediment
which has to be removed, in order that he who is not may cease to do
what he has never begun to do, viz. to exist.

In Buddhism we have a developed religion--a religion which has been
developed by a system of philosophy, but scarcely, as religion,
improved by it.  If, now, we turn to other religions less highly
developed, even if we turn to religions the development of which has
been early arrested, which have never got beyond the stage of infantile
development, we shall find that all proceed on the assumption that
communion between man and God is possible and does occur.  In all, the
existence of the individual as well as of the god is assumed, even
though time and development may be required to realise, even
inadequately, what is contained in the assumption.  In all, and from
the beginning, religion has been a social fact: the god has been the
god of the community; and, as such, has {250} represented the interests
of the community.  Those interests have been regarded not merely as
other, but as higher, than the interests of the individual, when the
two have been at variance, for the simple reason (when the time came
for a reason to be sought and given) that the interests of the
community were the will of the community's god.  Hence at all times the
man who has postponed his own interests to those under the sanction of
the god and the community--the man who has respected and upheld the
custom of the community--has been regarded as the higher type of man,
as the better man from the religious as well as from the moral point of
view; while the man who has sacrificed the higher interests to the
lower, has been punished--whether by the automatic action of taboo, or
the deliberate sentence of outlawry--as one who, by breaking custom,
has offended against the god and so brought suffering on the community.

Now, if the interests, whether of the individual or the community, are
regarded as purely earthly, the divergence between them must be utter
and irreconcileable; and to expect the individual to forego his own
interests must be eventually discovered to be, as it fundamentally is,
unreasonable.  {251} If, on the other hand, for the individual to
forego them is (as, in a cool moment, we all recognise it to be)
reasonable, then the interests under the sanction of the god and the
community--the higher interests--cannot be other than, they must be
identical with, the real interests of the individual.  It is only in
and through society that the individual can attain his highest
interests, and only by doing the will of the god that he can so attain
them.  Doubtless--despite of logic and feeling--in all communities all
individuals in a greater or less degree have deliberately preferred the
lower to the higher, and in so doing have been actuated neither by love
of God nor by love of their fellow-man.  But, in so doing, they have at
all times, in the latest as well as the earliest stages of society,
been felt to be breaching the very basis of social solidarity, the
maintenance of which is the will of the God worshipped by society.

From that point of view the individual is regarded as a means.  But he
is also in himself an end, intrinsically as valuable as any other
member of the community, and therefore an end which society exists to
further and promote.  It is impossible, therefore, that the end, viewed
as that which society {252} as well as the individual aims at, and
which society must realise, as far as it can realise it, through the
individual, should be one which can only be attained by some future
state of society in which he does not exist.  "The kingdom of Heaven is
within you" and not something to which you cannot attain.  God is not
far from us at any time.  That truth was implicit at all stages in the
evolution of religion--consciously recognised, perhaps more, perhaps
less, but whether more or less consciously recognised, it was there.
That is the conviction implied in the fact that man everywhere seeks
God.  If he seeks Him in plants, in animals, in stocks or stones, that
only shows that man has tried in many wrong directions--not that there
is not a right direction.  It is the general law of evolution: of a
thousand seeds thrown out, perhaps one alone falls into good soil.  But
the failure of the 999 avails nothing against the fact that the one
bears fruit abundantly.  What sanctifies the failures is that they were
attempts.  We indeed may, if we are so selfish and blind, regard the
attempts as made in order that we might succeed.  Certainly we profit
by the work of our ancestors,--or rather we may profit, if we will.
But our savage ancestors were themselves ends, and {253} not merely
means to our benefit.  It is monstrous to imagine that our salvation is
bought at the cost of their condemnation.  No man can do more than turn
to such light as there may be to guide him.  "To him that hath, shall
be given," it is true--but every man at every time had something; never
was there one to whom nothing was given.  To us at this day, in this
dispensation, much has been given.  But ten talents as well as one may
be wrapped up: one as well as ten may be put to profit.  It is
monstrous to say that one could not be, cannot have been, used
properly.  It was for not using the one talent he had that the
unfaithful servant was condemned--not for not having ten to use.

Throughout the history of religion, then, two facts have been implied,
which, if implicit at the beginning, have been rendered explicit in the
course of its history or evolution.  They are, first, the existence of
the individual as a member of society, in communion or seeking
communion with God; and, next, that while the individual is a means to
social ends, society is also a means of which the individual is the
end.  Neither end--neither that of society nor that of the
individual--can be forwarded at {254} the cost of the other; the
realisation of each is to be attained only by the realisation of the
other.  Two consequences then follow with regard to evolution: first,
it depends on us; evolution may have helped to make us, but we are
helping to make it.  Next, the end of evolution is not wholly outside
any one of us, but in part is realised in us, or may be, if we so will.
That is to say, the true end may be realised by every one of us; for
each of us, as being himself an end, is an object of care to God--and
not merely those who are to live on earth at the final stage of
evolution.  If the end is outside us, it is in love of neighbour; if
beyond us, it is in God's love.  It is just because the end is (or may
be) both within us and without us that we are bound up with our
fellow-man and God.  It is precisely because we are individuals that we
are not the be-all and the end-all--that the end is without us.  And it
is because we are members of a community, that the end is not wholly
outside us.

In his _Problems of Philosophy_ (p. 163) Höffding says: "The test of
the perfection of a human society is: to what degree is every person so
placed and treated that he is not only a mere means, but also always at
the same time an end?" and he points {255} out that "this is Kant's
famous dictum, with another motive than that given to it by him."  But
if it is reasonable to apply this test to society, regarded from the
point of view of statics, it is also reasonable to apply it to society
regarded dynamically.  If it is the proper test for ascertaining what
degree of perfection society at any given moment has attained, it is
also the proper test for ascertaining what advance, if any, towards
perfection has been made by society between any two periods of its
growth, any two stages in its evolution.  But the moment we admit the
possibility of applying a test to the process of evolution and of
discovering to what end the process is moving, we are abandoning
science and the scientific theory of evolution.  Science formally
refuses to consider whether there be any end to which the process of
evolution is working: "end" is a category which science declines to
apply to its subject-matter.  In the interests of knowledge it declines
to be influenced by any consideration of what the end aimed at by
evolution may be, or whether there be any end aimed at at all.  It
simply notes what does take place, what is, what has been, and to some
extent what may be, the sequence of events--not their object or
purpose.  And the {256} science of religion, being a science, restricts
itself in the same way.  As therefore science declines to use the
category, "end," progress is an idea impossible for science--for
progress is movement towards an end, the realisation of a purpose and
object.  And science declines to consider whether progress is so much
as possible.  But, so far as the subject-matter of the science of
religion is concerned, it is positive (that is to say, it is mere fact
of observation) that in religion an end is aimed at, for man everywhere
seeks God and communion with Him.  What the science of religion
declines to do is to pronounce or even to consider whether that end is
possible or not, whether it is in any degree achieved or not, whether
progress is made or not.

But if we do not, as science does, merely constate the fact that in
religion an end is aimed at, viz. that communion with God which issues
in doing His will from love of Him and therefore of our fellow-man; if
we recognise that end as the end that ought to be aimed at,--then our
attitude towards the whole process of evolution is changed: it is now a
process with an end--and that end the same for the individual and for
society.  But at the same time it is no longer a process determined by
mechanical {257} causes worked by the iron hand of necessity--and
therefore it is no longer evolution in the scientific sense; it is no
longer evolution as understood by science.  It is now a process in
which there may or may not be progress made; and in which, therefore,
it is necessary to have a test of progress--a test which is to be found
in the fact that the individual is not merely a means, but an end.
Whether progress is made depends in part on whether there is the will
in man to move towards the end proposed; and that will is not uniformly
exercised, as is shown by the fact that deterioration as well as
advance takes place--regress occurs as well as progress; whole nations,
and those not small ones, may be arrested in their religious
development.  If we look with the eye of the missionary over the globe,
everywhere we see arrested development, imperfect communion with God.
It may be that in such cases of imperfect communion there is an
unconscious or hardly conscious recognition that the form of religion
there and then prevalent does not suffice to afford the communion
desired.  Or, worse still, and much more general, there is the belief
that such communion as does exist is all that can exist--that advance
and improvement are impossible.  From {258} this state it has been the
work of the religious spirit to wake us, to reveal to us God's will, to
make us understand that it is within us, and that it may, if we will,
work within us.  It is as such a revelation of the will of God and the
love of God, and as the manifestation of the personality of God, that
our Lord appeared on earth.

That appearance as a historic fact must take its place in the order of
historic events, and must stand in relation to what preceded and to
what followed and is yet to follow.  In relation to what preceded,
Christianity claims "to be the fulfilment of all that is true in
previous religion" (Illingworth, _Personality: Human and Divine_, p.
75).  The making of that claim assumes that there was some truth in
previous religion, that so far as previous forms were religious, they
were true--a fact that must constantly be borne in mind by the
missionary.  The truth and the good inherent in all forms of religion
is that, in all, man seeks after God.  The finality of Christianity
lies in the fact that it reveals the God for whom man seeks.  What was
true in other religions was the belief in the possibility of communion
with God, and the belief that only as a member of a society could the
individual man attain {259} to that communion.  What is offered by
Christianity is a means of grace whereby that communion may be attained
and a society in which the individual may attain it.  Christianity
offers a means whereby the end aimed at by all religions may be
realised.  Its finality, therefore, does not consist in its
chronological relation to other religions.  It is not final because, or
in the sense that, it supervened in the order of time upon previous
religions, or that it fulfilled only their truth.  Other religions
have, as a matter of chronology, followed it, and yet others may follow
it hereafter.  But their chronological order is irrelevant to the
question: Which of them best realises the end at which religion, in all
its forms, aims?  And it is the answer to that question which must
determine the finality of any form of religion.  No one would consider
the fact that Mahommedanism dates some centuries after Christ any proof
of its superiority to Christianity.  And the lapse of time, however
much greater, would constitute no greater proof.

That different forms of religion do realise the end of religion in
different degrees is a point on which there is general agreement.
Monotheism is pronounced higher than polytheism, ethical religions
{260} higher than non-ethical.  What differentiates Christianity from
other ethical religions and from other forms of monotheism, is that in
them religion appears as ancillary to morality, and imposes penalties
and rewards with a view to enforce or encourage morality.  In them, at
their highest, the love of man is for his fellow-man, and usually for
himself.  Christianity alone makes love of God to be the true basis and
the only end of society, both that whereby personality exists and the
end in which it seeks its realisation.  Therein the Christian theory of
society differs from all others.  Not merely does it hold that man
cannot make himself better without making society better, that
development of personality cannot be effected without a corresponding
development of society.  But it holds that such moral development and
improvement of the individual and of society can find no rational basis
and has no rational end, save in the love of God.

In another way the Christian theory of society differs from all others.
Like all others it holds that the unifying bond of every society is
found in worship.  Unlike others it recognises that the individual is
restricted by existing society, even where that society is based upon a
common worship.  The {261} adequate realisation of the potentialities
of the individual postulates the realisation of a perfect society, just
as a perfect society is possible only provided that the potentialities
of the individual are realised to the full.  Such perfection, to which
both society and the individual are means, is neither attained nor
possible on earth, even where communion with God is recognised to be
both the true end of society and the individual, and the only means by
which that end can be attained.  Still less is such perfection a
possible end, if morality is set above religion, and the love of man be
substituted for the love of God.  In that case the life of the
individual upon earth is pronounced to be the only life of which he is,
or can be, conscious; and the end to which he is a means is the good of
humanity as a whole.  Now human society, from the beginning of its
evolution to its end, may be regarded as a whole, just as the society
existing at any given moment of its evolution may be regarded as a
whole.  But if we are to consider human society from the former point
of view and to see in it, so regarded, the end to which the individual
is a means, then it is clear that, until perfection is attained in some
remote and very improbable future, the individual members of the {262}
human race will have laboured and not earned their reward, will have
worked for an end which they have not attained, and for an end which
when, if ever, it is attained, society as a whole will not enjoy.  Such
an end is an irrational and impossible object of pursuit.  Perfection,
if it is to be attained by the individual or by society, is not to be
attained on earth, nor in man's communion with man.  Religion from its
outset has been the quest of man for God.  It has been the quest of
man, whether regarded as an individual or as a member of society.  But
if that quest is to be realised, it is not to be realised either by
society or the individual, regarded as having a mere earthly existence.
A new conception of the real nature of both is requisite.  Not only
must the individual be regarded as continuing to exist after death, but
the society of which he is truly a member must be regarded as one
which, if it manifests or begins to manifest itself on this earth,
requires for its realisation--that is, for perfect communion with
God--the postulate that though it manifests itself in this world, it is
realised in the next.  This new conception of the real nature of
society and the individual, involving belief in the communion of the
saints, and in the kingdom of Heaven as that {263} which may be in each
individual, and therefore must extend beyond each and include all
whether in this world or the next--this conception is one which
Christianity alone, of all religions, offers to the world.

Religion is the quest of man for God.  Man everywhere has been in
search of God, peradventure he might find Him; and the history of
religion is the history of his search.  But the moment we regard the
history--the evolution--of religion as a search, we abandon the
mechanical idea of evolution: the cause at work is not material or
mechanical, but final.  The cause is no longer a necessary cause which
can only have one result and which, when it operates, must produce that
result.  Progress is no longer something which must take place, which
is the inevitable result of antecedent causes.  It is something which
may or may not take place and which cannot take place unless effort is
made.  In a word, it is dependent in part upon man's will--without the
action of which neither search can be made nor progress in the search.
But though in part dependent upon man's will, progress can only be made
so far as man's will is to do God's will.  And that is not always, and
has not been always, {264} man's will.  Hence evolution has not always
been progress.  Nor is it so now.  There have been lapses in
civilisation, dark ages, periods when man's love for man has waned
_pari passu_ with the waning of his love for God.  Such lapses there
may be yet again.  The fall of man may be greater, in the spiritual
sense, than it ever yet has been, for man's will is free.  But God's
love is great, and our faith is in it.  If Christianity should cease to
grow where it now grows, and cease to spread where it as yet is not,
there would be the greater fall.  And on us would rest some, at least,
of the responsibility.  Christianity cannot be stationary: if it
stands, let it beware; it is in danger of falling.  Between religions,
as well as other organisations, there is a struggle for existence.  In
that struggle we have to fight--for a religion to decline to fight is
for that religion to die.  The missionary is not engaged in a work of
supererogation, something with which we at home have no concern.  We
speak of him as in the forefront of the battle.  We do not usually or
constantly realise that it is our battle he is fighting--that his
defeat, if he were defeated, would be the beginning of the end for us;
that on his success our fate depends.  The metaphor of the missionary
as an {265} outpost sounds rather picturesque when heard in a
sermon,--or did so sound the first time it was used, I suppose,--but it
is not a mere picture; it is the barest truth.  The extent to which we
push our outposts forward is the measure of our vitality, of how much
we have in us to do for the world.  Six out of seven of Christendom's
missionaries come from the United States of America.  Until I heard
that from the pulpit of Durham Cathedral, I had rather a horror of big
things and a certain apprehension about going to a land where bigness,
rather than the golden mean, seemed to be taken as the standard of
merit.  But from that sermon I learnt something, viz. not only that
there are big things to be done in the world, but that America does
them, and that America does more of them than she talks about.



Since the chapter on Magic was written, the publication of Wilhelm
Wundt's _Völkerpsychologie_, Vol. II, Part II, has led me to believe
that I ought to have laid more stress on the power of the magician,
which I mention on pages 74, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, and less on the
savage's recognition of the principle that like produces like.  In the
stage of human evolution known as Animism, every event which calls for
explanation is explained as the doing of some person or conscious
agent.  When a savage falls ill, his sickness is regarded as the work
of some ill-disposed person, whose power cannot be doubted--for it is
manifest in the sickness it has caused--and whose power is as
mysterious as it is indubitable.  That power is what a savage means by
magic; and the persons believed to possess it are magicians.  It is the
business of the sick savage's friends to find out who is causing his
sickness.  Their suspicion may fall on any one whose appearance or
behaviour is suspicious or mysterious; and the person {268} suspected
comes to be regarded as a witch or magician, from the very fact that he
is suspected.  Such persons have the power of witchcraft or magic,
because they are believed to have the power: _possunt quia posse
videntur_.  Not only are they believed to possess the power; they come
to believe, themselves, that they possess it.  They believe that,
possessing it, they have but to exercise it.  The Australian magician
has but to "point" his stick, and, in the belief both of himself and of
every one concerned, the victim will fall.  All over the world the
witch has but to stab the image she has drawn or made, and the person
portrayed will feel the wound.  In this proceeding, the image is like
the person, and the blow delivered is like the blow which the victim is
to feel.  It is open to us, therefore, to say that, in this typical
case of "imitative" or "mimetic" magic, like is believed to produce
like.  And on pages 75-77, and elsewhere, above, I have taken that
position.  But I would now add two qualifications.  The first is, as
already intimated, that, though stabbing an effigy is like stabbing the
victim, it is only a magician or witch that has the power thus to
inflict wounds, sickness, or death: the services of the magician or
witch are employed for no other reason than that {269} the ordinary
person has not the power, even by the aid of the rite, to cause the
effect.  The second qualification is that, whereas we distinguish
between the categories of likeness and identity, the savage makes but
little distinction.  To us it is evident that stabbing the image is
only like stabbing the victim; but to the believer in magic, stabbing
the image is the same thing as stabbing the victim; and in his belief,
as the waxen image melts, so the victim withers away.

It would, therefore, be more precise and more correct to say (page 74,
above) that eating tiger to make you bold points rather to a confusion,
in the savage's mind, of the categories of likeness and identity, than
to a conscious recognition of the principle that like produces like: as
you eat tiger's flesh, so you become bold with the tiger's boldness.
The spirit of the tiger enters you.  But no magic is necessary to
enable you to make the meal: any one can eat tiger.  The belief that so
the tiger's spirit will enter you is a piece of Animism; but it is not
therefore a piece of magic.



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Acosta, Father, 193.

Agnostic, 4, 6.

Agries, 143.

Alfoors, 194.

Algonquins, 143.

All-father, 190.

Ancestors, 162.

Ancestor worship, 52, 53; may be arrested by religion, 53, 54, 55.

Andaman Islands, 169.

Animal sacrifice, 209; animal meal, 178.

Animals, worshipped, 111.

Animism, 204, 215, 216, 217; and magic, 89, 90, 98; and fetichism, 116,
117, 118; polytheism, 131; not religion, 136.

Anticipation, of nature, 73.

Antinomy, the, of religious feeling, 174.

Anzam, 170.

Applied science of religion, 2 ff.; looks to the future, 3; is used by
the missionary as a practical man, 15, 16; its object, 18, 21.

Ashantee Land, 153, 155.

Atheist, 4, 6.

Atman, 247.

At-one-ment, 178.

Attention, 9, 10.

Australia, 183 ff.

Australian tribes, religion of, 27, 28.

Aztecs, 188, 190.

Basutos, 181.

Becoming, 214.

Being, is in process of evolution, 214; still incomplete, 214.

Belief, and desire, 39, 40; in immortality and God, 31, 32; erroneous,
and magic, 79; in magic, 85; religious, 137.

Bhogaldai, 194.

Billiards, 78.

Blood, and rain, 161.

Bones, of animals, hung up, 78.

Boorah, 162 ff.

Bosman, 109 ff., 112, 113.

Bread, prayer for daily, 181.

Buddhism, 247 ff.; and immortality, 36, 37, 61, 62, 63; its fundamental
illogicality, 66; its strength, 66.

Buro, 194.

Buzzard, 76.

Byamee, 162 ff., 191, 198.

Cause, and conditions, 77, 85.

Celebes, 194.

Ceram, 181.

Ceremonies, for rain, 161.

Chain of existence, 65.

Charms, and prayers, 150, 115, 152.

Chattels, 241, 243.

Cherokee Indian, 50, 76, 77.

Chicomecoatl, 193.

Childhood, 98.

China, 194, 197.

Christianity, 239 ff., 258, 259, 260; the highest form of religion, 15,
18, 22, 23; and other forms of religion, 26, 27, 28, 35; alone teaches
self-sacrifice as the way to life eternal, 69; and sacrifice, 209.

Clouds, 153; of smoke and rain, 161, 162.

Communal purposes, and magic, 91.

Communion, 175; not so much an intellectual belief as an object of
desire, 43, 44; of man with God the basis of morality, 62; logically
incompatible with Buddhism, 63; involves personal existence, 67; with
God, 137; sought in prayer, 172; and sacrifice, 172; in Mexico, 193;
maintained by sacramental eating, 195; annually, 196; renewed, 198; the
true end of sacrifice, 207, 208; between man and God, 249; imperfect,

Community, 254; and magic, 81, 97; and its God, 91.

Community, the, and fetiches, 122; and its gods, 135; and prayer, 146,
147, 148, 166; and the individual, 218, 239.

Comparative method, 20, 21.

Comparative Philology, 20.

Comparison, method of, 17; implies similarity in the religions
compared, 19; and implies difference also, 20; contrasted with
comparative method, 21; deals with differences, 22.

Comte, 213.

Conciliation, and coercion, of spirits, 121.

Congregations, 170.

Contagious magic, 85.

Continuation theory, 55, 56.

Corn, eaten sacramentally, 194, 195.

Corn-maiden, 195.

Corn-mother, 195.

Corn-spirit, 196, 199, 200.

Cotton-mother, 194.

Creator, 170.

Creek Indians, 194.

Custom, 244; protected by the god of the community, 219.

Dances, 162; and prayer, 153.

Dead, the, 38; return, 47; spirits of the, 92.

Death, a mistake according to the primitive view, 44, 45; or else due
to magic, 45, 46, 80.

Deer, 74.

Degradation of religion, 24.

Deification, 53.

Deiphobus, 54.

Delaware prayer, 145.

Departmental deities, 190.

Desacralisation, 186.

Desire for immortality, is the origin of the belief in immortality, 40,
41; is not a selfish desire, 42; the root of all evils, 66; religious,
115, 116, 121; and prayer, 142, 149; and the worship of the gods, 135;
and religion, 158, 166; of the community, 163.

Desire of all nations, 115, 173.

Dieri, 50, 161, 164.

Difference, implies similarity, 27.

Differences, to be taken into account by method of comparison, 22;
their value, 23, 24; postulated by science, 24.

Differentiation of the homogeneous, 23, 24, 25.

Domesticated plants and animals, 190.

Dreams, and the soul, 37; their emotional value, 42.

Drought, 164.

Dugongs, 164, 165.

Dynamics, of society, 246, 255.

East Indies, 181.

Eating of the god, 193.

Eating tiger, 74, 89.

Ellis, Colonel, 113, 120, 121, 122.

Emotional element, in fetichism and religion, 136.

End, the, gives value to what we do, 13; and is a matter of will, 13;
of society, 251, 253; a category unknown to science, 255.

Ends, anti-social, 81.

Error, 25.

Euahlayi, 48, 162, 191, 198.

Evolution, 214; of religion, 6, 239, 247, 253; and progress, 9, 12, 24,
264; theory of, 23; and the history of religion, 172, 173; of humanity,
239, 244, 246; law of, 252; end of, 254, 256.

Faith, 137, 238; the conviction that we can attain our ends, 14; shared
by the religious man with all practical men, 14, 15; exhibited in
adopting method of comparison in religion, 17; in Christianity, 18;
banishes fear of comparisons, 18, 19; in the communion of man with God
manifests itself in the desire for immortality, 68.

Family, and society, 98.

Famine, 205.

Father, 98.

Feeling, religious, 137; moral and religious, 81.

Fetich, defined, 111, 112; offerings made to it, 112; not merely an
"inanimate," 113, 116; but a spirit, 116, 117; possesses personality
and will, 117; aids in the accomplishment of desire, 117, 119; may be
made, 120; is feared, 120; has no religious value, 120, 121; distinct
from a god, 122; subservient to its owner, 122; has no plurality of
worshippers, 122; its principal object to work evil, 123; serves its
owner only, 127; permanence of its worship, 129; has no specialised
function, 129, 130; is prayed to and talked with, 132; worshipped by an
individual, 134; and not by the community, 135, 170.

Fetichism, 105 ff., 215; as the lowest form of religion, 106, 107; as
the source of religious values, 107, 108; and magic, 90; and religion,
114, 120, 136; the law of its evolution, 119, 120; condemned by public
opinion, 122, 123; offensive to the morality of the native, 126; and at
variance with his religion, 126, 127; not the basis of religion, 127;
and polytheism, 128, 131, 132, 133; and fear, 136.

Finality of Christianity, 258, 259.

First-fruit ceremonials, 183, 184; and the gods, 185, 187; an act of
worship, 187, 188.

First-fruits, 181.

Flesh of the divine being, 196.

Fly-totem, 165, 166.

Folk-lore, 85.

Food supply, 205.

Footprints, 74.

Forms of religion, 19.

Framin women, 152, 153, 155, 156.

Frazer, J. G., 50, 76, 78, 79, 83, 92, 94, 102, 153, 157, 158, 160,
180, 192, 194-200, 202, 205.

Fuegians, 169.

Funerals, and prayer, 163.

Future, knowledge of the, 14, 15.

Future life, its relation to morality and religion, 36, 37, 57.

Future punishments, and rewards, 51, 61.

Future world, 52 ff.

Ghosts, 38, 42.

Gift-theory of sacrifice, 206.

God, worshipped by community, 91, 98; a supreme being, 168; etymology
of the word, 133, 134; a personal power, 136, 137; correlative to a
community, 137.

Gods and worshippers, 53; and fetichism, 110; made and broken, 110;
personal, 121; "departmental," 129; their personality, 130, 131; and
the good of the community, 123; and fetiches, 124; are the powers that
care for the welfare of the community, 126, 172; and spirits, 128; "of
a moment," 128, 136; their proper names, 131; worshipped by a
community, 134; and the desires of their worshippers, 134; not evolved
from fetiches, 135; promote the community's good, 135, 137, 167; and
prayer, 140, 147, 148; and morality, 169; of a community identified
with the community, 177; as ethical powers, 215; punish transgression,

Gold Coast, prayer, 143.

Golden Age, 25.

Good, the, 140; and the gods, 137.

Gotama, 64.

_Gott_, and _giessen_, 134.

Grace, 259.

Gratitude, 181.

Great Spirit, the, 143.

Guardian spirits, 111.

Guinea, 197.

Haddon, Dr., 83, 91, 100, 101, 106, 107, 117, 118, 124, 129, 130, 132,

Hades, 58.

Hallucinations, 38.

Happiness, 240.

Hartford Theological Seminary, 1, 22, 106.

Harvest, prayers and sacrifice, 180 ff.

Harvest communion, 188, 189.

Harvest customs, 192, 198, 203.

Harvest supper, 195 ff., 200; its sacramental character, 197.

Health, and disease, 138.

Heaven, kingdom of, 252, 262.

Hebrew prophets, 207, 209.

Hebrews, 54.

Hegel, 213.

Hindoo Koosh, 194.

Historic science, has the historic order for its object, 11; but does
not therefore deny that its facts may have value other than truth
value, 11.

History, of art and literature, 8; of religion, 253, 263.

Ho dirge, 47.

Hobhouse, L. T., 211, 214-216, 222, 223, 226-229, 230, 237.

Höffding, H., 44, 166, 173, 254; on fetichism, 106, 114, 115, 121, 124,
128-130, 133-137; on antinomy of religious feeling, 174; and morality,
211, 214-216, 219, 220, 237.

Hollis, Mr., 143 ff.

Homer, 16, 17.

Hom[oe]opathic magic, 80, 85, 93.

Homogeneous, the, 23, 24.

Howitt, Mr., 190.

_Hu, huta_, 134,

Humanitarianism, 214, 215, 236, 244, 246, 247; and morality, 221.

Humanity, 213; its evolution, 244.

Husband, 98.

Ideals, a matter of the will, 13.

Idols, 193.

Illingworth, J. R., 258.

Illusion, 64, 248.

Images, of dough, 193, 196.

Imitative magic, 157.

Immortality, 34 ff.

Incorporation, 178.

Individual, and the community, 218, 239; cannot exist save in society,
225; both a means and an end for society, 240 ff., 246, 247; existence
of, 248; interests of, 250, 251; end of, 253.

Individuality, not destroyed but strengthened by uprooting selfish
desires, 67.

Indo-China, 181, 194.

Indo-European languages, 20.

Infancy, helpless, 98.

Initiation ceremonies, 190, 191; admit to the worship of the gods, 192;
important for theory of sacrifice, 192.

Interests, of the community, 250; and the individual, 250.

Intoning, of prayer, 147.

Israel, 59.

Jaundice, 89.

Jews, 53, 54.

Judgments, of value, 115.

Justice, public, 223, 224 ff.

Kaitish rites, 164, 165.

Kangaroo totem, 197.

Kant, 255.

Karma, 64, 65.

Kei Islands, 156.

Kern Baby, 195.

Khonds of Orissa, and prayer, 139, 167, 171.

Killing of the god, 197.

Kingsley, Miss, 48, 49, 116.

Lake Nyassa, 146.

Lake Superior, 143.

Lang, Andrew, 129, 168, 169, 170.

_L'Année Sociologique_, 60.

Like produces like, 72, 73, 74, 76, 79, 80, 84, 85, 86, 89, 98, 100,
160, 189.

Litanies, 163.

Love of neighbours, 254.

MacCullough, J. A., 47.

McTaggart, Dr., 49, 50.

Magic, 32, 70 ff.; and murder, 45, 47; a colourable imitation of
science, 71; a spurious system, 71, 72; fraudulent, 75, 76; origin of
belief in, 79; regarded with disapproval, 79; sympathetic or
hom[oe]opathic, 80; offensive to the god of the community, 81; not
prior to religion, 97; condemned when inconsistent with the public
good, 97; and anti-social purposes, 98; decline of, 100; and the
impossible, 101; private and public, 83; nefarious, 83; beneficent, 87,
88; does not imply spirits, 89; and religion, 92 ff.; fundamentally
different, 95, 158, 160; mimics science and religion, 103; and the
degradation of religion, 150, 151, 152; and prayer, 153, 154; priority
of, to religion, 154, 157; and sacramental eating, 199-204.  _See_

Magician, his personality, 87.

Mahommedanism, 259.

Maize-mother, 190, 193, 194, 195, 196.

Maker, the, 168.

Manganja, 146, 160.

Mara tribe, 164.

Marett, R. R., 151.

Marriage law, 222, 227.

Masai, and prayer, 143, 144, 145, 153-156, 162.

Master of Life, 143.

Mauss, M., 60.

Mâyâ, 64.

Medical advice, 76.

Mexico, 193, 194, 199, 200.

Mimetic magic, 85.

Minahassa, 194.

Mind of Humanity, 213.

Missionary, 6, 140, 210, 211, 257, 265; interested in the value rather
than the chronological order of religions, 12; being practical, uses
applied science, 15; and method of comparison, 17; and notes
resemblances, 22; requires scientific knowledge of the material he has
to work on, 34; may use as a lever the belief in man's communion with
spirits, 69; and magic, 102, 103, 104; and fetichism, 105; and heathen
prayer, 138, 173.

Momentary gods, 128, 136.

Morality, 81, 83, 84, 95, 211 ff., 260, 261; and communion with God,
62; and the mysteries, 191; and prayer, 148.

Moral transgression, and sin, 221.

Mosquito-totem, 166.

Mura-muras, 162.

Mysteries, the Greek, 58, 62; and prayer, 180.

Names, and gods, 121.

Names, of gods, 121, 131, 132; of men, 132; and personality, 133.

Nassau, Dr., 116, 168, 170.

Natchez Indians, 194.

Natural law, 72.

Nature, uniformity of, 14, 15.

Nefarious magic, 83-87, 95.

Neilgherry Hills, 194.

New Caledonia, 92, 153, 154, 155, 156, 162.

New Hebrides, 181.

New South Wales, 162.

Nias, 181.

Niger, 181.

Nirvana, 247.

North American Indians, 111.

Nyankupon, 169.

Offerings, 178; and their object, 180; made to fetiches, 112, 122.

Old Testament, 54.

Ol-kora, 154, 162.

Onitsha, 181.

Order of value, 7; distinct from chronological order, 7, 9, 15, 16;
historic, 8.

Origin, and validity, 38, 39.

Osages, 143.

Parker, Mrs. L., 162 ff., 191.

Perception, 9.

Personality, of magician, 87; of gods and fetiches, 130, 131, 132; of
God, 258; and proper names, 133.

Personification, 136.

Peru, 193, 194, 198.

Pestilence, 205.

Pinkerton, 109.

Plato, 206, 207, 209.

Political economy, 5, 6.

Political philosophy, 241.

Polytheism and fetichism, 128, 130, 131, 132, 133.

Pondos, 194.

Power, personal, 87, 88, 100.

Prayer, 92, 93, 94, 138 ff.; among the heathen, 138; to fetiches, 127;
and desire, 142; and personal advantage, 144; and the community, 146;
of individuals, 147; unethical, 148, 149; and magic, 154; and spells,
155, 157, 160; and famine, 158; for rain, 160; the expression of the
heart's desire, 160; never unknown to man, 160, 161; in exceptional
distress, 182; of thanksgiving, 182; occasional and recurring, 179 ff.;
and communion, 180; its purpose, 175; and external rites, 176; implies
sacrifice, 176; not always reported by observers, 177; and sacrifice go
together, 169; no worship without, 170; of Socrates, 171; and
sacrifice, 172; Our Lord's, 172, 173; practical, 167; the root of
religion, 167, 168; and its objects, 163; a mother's prayer, 163;
"singing," 164; and charms, 150, 165; at seed time, 205.

Prayer-mill, 150.

Priests, 91, 193; and gods, 121; and fetiches, 122.

Primitive man, believes in immortality, 37.

Private property, 5, 6.

Progress, 9, 246, 256, 257, 263; and evolution, 24.

Protective colouring, 70, 103.

Psalmist, 54.

Puluga, 169.

Pure science of religion, is a historic science, 2; its facts may be
used for different and contradictory purposes, 4.

Rain, prayed for, 146, 160, 161.

Rain-clouds, 154, 156, 161, 162.

Rain-god, 91, 92.

Rain-making, 84, 87, 88, 91, 161, 164.

Rebirth, 48, 49, 50.

Regress, 246, 257.

Reincarnation, 59; in animal form, 50, 51, 52; in new-born children,
48-50; in namesakes, 50; its relation to morality and religion, 61.

Religion, is a fact, 5; never unknown to man, 160, 161; essentially
practical, 160, 175; its evolution, 239; as a survival of barbarism,
24; lowest forms to be studied first, 26, 27; is a yearning after and
search for God, 28, 115, 136; a bond of community from the first, 43,
59, 176; implies gods and their worship, 121, 122, 177, 217; implies
rites and prayers, 176; "under the guise of desire," 44, 115, 149, 158,
166, 173; but it is the desire of the community, 44; and morality, 37,
81, 83, 84, 211, 215; and animism, 136; and fetichism, 106-109, 115,
131, 132, 136; and magic, 70, 71, 72, 92-95, 96, 97, 98, 101, 150, 151,
152, 154; mechanical, 150; applied science of, 105; and its value, 109.

Religious values, 9, 16.

Resemblances, not more important than differences, for the method of
comparison, 22; their value, 23, 24.

Resentment and justice, 224.

Responsibility, collective, 227, 228, 234.

Revelation, 172, 255; and evolution, 173.

Revenge and justice, 229.

Rheumatism, 76.

Rhys Davids, 64.

Saa, 180.

Sacrament, in Central Australia, 197, 200.

Sacramental meals, 183 ff., 197, 199, 200, 201, 203.

Sacrifice, 92, 93, 94, 175 ff.; to fetiches, 113; and worship, 137,
177; and prayer, 172, 177; and the gift theory, 206; and communion,
207, 208; its ultimate form, 209, 210; and the etymology of "god," 133
ff., 137.

Saffron, 89.

Science, has truth, not assignment of value, for its object, 10, 11,
108; and history, 108; does not deal with ends, 255; and evolution,
257; and magic, 70, 71, 72, 101; of the savage, 159, 189.

Science of religion, 256; pure and applied, 2 ff.; supposed to be
incompatible with religious belief, 4; really has nothing to do with
the truth or value of religion, 5, 10; and prayer, 140, 141; and the
missionary, 105.

Sea Dyaks, 228.

Search for God, the, 28, 29, 30, 34, 35, 252, 258, 262.

Seed time, 188, 205.

Self-realising spirit, 213, 214.

Seminole Indians, 194.

Shakespeare, 16, 17.

Sheol, 54, 58.

Similarity, between higher and lower forms of religion, 27; the basis
for the missionary's work, 28.

"Singing," 164, 165.

Slavery, 241, 243.

"Smelling out," 84.

Social purpose, and magic, 91.

Society, a means, 253; as an end, 261; perfection of, 254, 261; and the
family, 98.

Society Islands, 181.

Solidarity, 212, 213, 251; religious, 220.

Solomon Islands, 180.

Soul, the, 37; separable from the body, 37; its continued existence, 38.

Spells, and prayers, 150, 151, 152, 153, 155, 157, 160, 164.

Spencer and Gillen, 45, 46, 164, 197.

Spinning, 78, 79.

Spirits, 162, 170; not essential to magic, 89, 90, 91; and fetiches,
118, 119; of fetichism and gods of polytheism, 128; guardian, 111;
"momentary," and gods, 135; and prayer, 166; and morality, 215, 217,
219; not worshipped, 216.

Spring customs, 192, 198, 203.

Squirrel, 76, 78.

State, the, and justice, 224.

St. John, Mr., 228.

Stones, 92, 93, 94.

Struggle for existence, 264.

_Suhman_, 122, 123, 126, 136.

Sun, 153, 157.

Superstition, 150.

Sympathetic magic, 80, 85, 93, 153, 157, 162.

Taboo, 186 ff., 222, 229, 231-234, 250.

Talents, 253.

Tana, 181.

Tanner, John, 143.

Tari, 181, 183.

Taro, 92, 93, 94.

Temples, 178.

Test, of perfection in society, 255.

Thanks, do not need words, 181, 185.

Thank-offerings, 181.

Thomsen, Professor, 134.

Tibetan Buddhists, 150.

Tiger, 74, 89.

Tjumba, 181.

Tonga, 181.

Totems, 51, 165, 166, 197, 203; eating of, 186.

Trade wind, 101.

Transmigration, 51, 61, 119, 120; of character, 64.

Truth, 25; and value, 10.

Tupinambas, 56, 58.

Tylor, Professor, 37, 47, 56, 112, 141-144, 147, 148, 150, 161, 166.

Unalits, 59, 60.

Uncle John, knows his own pipe, 49, 50.

Uniformity of nature, 14; matter of faith, not of knowledge, 15.

Unselfishness, developes and does not weaken individuality, 67.

Usener, Professor, 128, 131, 133.

Utilitarianism, 240, 242.

Value, 7; literary and artistic, 8, 9; religious, 8, 9, 10, 107, 108,
109; carries a reference to the future, 12; relative to a purpose or
end, 13, 15; of literature and art, felt, not proved, 16, 17; of
fetichism, 114, 115, 120; of fetichism and religion for society, 125;
religious, and fetichism, 127.

Virgil, 54.

West Africa, 152, 153.

Westermarck, E., 224, 225, 228, 235.

Whistling, to produce a wind, 73, 74, 75.

Will, the, 13.

Will to injure, 81.

Will to live, the, 41; involves the desire for immortality, 41;
denounced by Buddhism, 66.

Wind, 100, 101.

Wisdom, collective, of man, 237.

Witch, and witch-doctor, 84.

Witchcraft, 222, 227.

Wives, of hunters and warriors, 78.

Wohkonda, 143.

Worship, 121, 122, 177, 180, 260; and the etymology of "god," 133 ff.,
137; of gods and of fetiches, 123, 134, 135; of the community, given to
the powers that protect it, 126; may break up, 170.

Xenophon, 171.

Xilonen, 190.

Yams, 93, 143, 180, 181.

Yebu, 147.

Zulus, 194.

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