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getting natives to serve as porters of provisions in their ascents of peaks.1 Even the Greeks and Romans cared for landscape only in so far as it was humanized (parks and gardens) and habitable. "Their souls," says Rohde (511), "could never have been touched by the sublime thrills we feel in the presence of the dark surges of the sea, the gloom of a primeval forest, the solitude and silence of sunlit mountain summits." And Humboldt, who first noted the absence in Greek and Roman writings of the admiration of romantic. scenery, remarked (24):
"Of the eternal snow of the Alps, glowing in the rosy light of the morning or evening sun, of the loveliness of the blue glacier ice, of the stupendous grandeur of Swiss landscape, no description has come down to us from them; yet there was a constant procession over these Alps, from Helvetia to Gallia, of statesmen and generals with literary men in their train. All these travellers tell us only of the steep and abominable roads; the romantic aspect of scenery never engages their attention. It is even known that Julius Cæsar, when he returned to his legions in Gaul, employed his time while Crossing the Alps in writing his grammatical treatise De Analogia.""
A sceptical reader might retort that the love of romantic. scenery is so subtle a sentiment, and so far from being universal even now, that it would be rash to argue from its absence among savages, Greeks, and Romans, that love, a sentiment so much stronger and more prevalent, could have been in the same predicament. Let us therefore take another sentiment, the religious, the vast power and wide prevalence. of which no one will deny.
NO LOVE IN EARLY RELIGION
To a modern Christian, God is a deity who is all-wise, allpowerful, infinite, holy, the personification of all the highest virtues. To accuse this Deity of the slightest moral flaw would be blasphemy. Now, without going so far down as the lowest savages, let us see what conception such barbarians as
An amusing instance of this trait may be found in Johnston's account of his ascent of the Kilima-Njaro (271-276).
the Polynesians have of their gods. The moral habits of some of them are indicated by their names-"The Rioter," "The Adulterer," "Ndauthina," who steals women of rank or beauty by night or by torchlight, "The Human-brain Eater," "The Murderer." Others of their gods are "proud, envious, covetous, revengeful, and the subject of every basest passion. They are demoralized heathen-monster expressions of moral corruption" (Williams, 184). These gods make war, and kill and eat each other just as mortals do. The Polynesians believed, too, that "the spirits of the dead are eaten by the gods or demons" (Ellis, P. R., I., 275). It might be said that since a Polynesian sees no crime in adultery, revenge, murder, or cannibalism, his attributing such qualities to his gods cannot, from his point of view, be considered blasphemous. Quite true; but my point is that men who have made so little progress in sympathy and moral perception as to see no harm in adultery, revenge, murder and cannibalism, and in attributing them to their gods, are altogether too coarse and callous to be able to experience the higher religious emotions. This inference is borne out by what a most careful observer (Ellis, P. R., I., 291) says: "Instead of exercising those affections of gratitude, complacency, and love toward the objects of their worship which the living God supremely requires, they regarded their deities with horrific dread, and worshipped only with enslaving fear."
This "enslaving fear" is the principal ingredient of primitive religious emotion everywhere. To the savage and barbarian, religion is not a consolation and a blessing, but a terror. Du Chaillu says of the equatorial Africans (103) that "their whole lives are saddened by the fears of evil spirits, witchcraft, and other kindred superstitions under which they labor." Benevolent deities, even if believed in, receive little or no attention, because, being good, they are supposed to do no harm anyway, whereas the malevolent gods must be propitiated by sacrifices. The African Dahomans, for instance, ignore their Mahu because his intentions are naturally friendly, whereas their Satan, the wicked Legba, has hun
dreds of statues before which offerings are made. Early religions," as Mr. Andrew Lang tersely puts it, "are selfish, not disinterested. The worshipper is not contemplative, so much as eager to gain something to his advantage." If the gods fail to respond to the offerings made to them, the sacrificers naturally feel aggrieved, and show their displeasure in a way which to a person who knows refined religion seems shocking and sacrilegious. In Japan, China, and Corea, if the gods fail to do what is expected of them, their images are unceremoniously walloped. In India, if the rains fail, thou sands of priests send up their prayers. If the drought still continues, they punish their idols by holding them under water. During a thunderstorm in Africa, Chapman (I., 45) witnessed the following extraordinary scene:
"A great number of women, employed in reaping the extensive corn-fields through which we passed were raising their hoes and voices to heaven, and, yelling furiously, cursed Morimo' (God), as the terrific thunder-claps succeeded each vivid flash of lightning. On inquiry I was informed by Old Booy' that they were indignant at the interruption of their labors, and that they therefore cursed and menaced the cause. Such blasphemy was awful, even among heathens, and I fully expected to see the wrath of God fall upon them.'
If any pious reader of such details-which might he multiplied a thousand-fold-still believes that religious emotion (like love!) is the same everywhere, let him compare his own devoted feelings during worship in a Christian church with the emotions which must sway those who participate in a religious ceremony like that described in the following passage taken from Rowney's Wild Tribes of India (105). It refers to the sacrifices made by the Khonds to the God of War, the victims of which, both male and female, are often bought young and brought up for this special purpose:
"For a month prior to the sacrifice there was much feasting and intoxication, with dancing round the Meriah, or victim. and on the day before the rite he was stupefied with toddy and bound at the bottom of a post. The assembled multitude then danced around the post to music, singing hymns of invocation to some such effect as follows: O God,
we offer a sacrifice to you! Give us good crops in return, good seasons, and health.' On the next day the victim was again intoxicated, and anointed with oil, which was wiped from his body by those present, and put on their heads as a blessing. The victim was then carried in procession round the village, preceded by music, and on returning to the post a hog was sacrificed to the village deity the blood from the carcass being allowed to flow into a pit prepared to receive it. The victim, made senseless by intoxication, was now thrown into the pit, and his face pressed down till he died from suffocation in the blood and mire, a deafening noise with instruments being kept up all the time. The priest then cut a piece of flesh from the body and buried it with ceremony near the village idol, all the rest of the people going through the same form after him."
Still more horrible details of these sacrifices are supplied by Dalton (288):
"Major Macpherson notes that the Meriah in some districts is put to death slowly by fire, the great object being to draw from the victim as many tears as possible, in the belief that the cruel Tari will proportionately increase the supply
"Colonel Campbell thus describes the modus operandi in Chinna Kimedy: The miserable Meriah is dragged along the fields, surrounded by a crowd of half-intoxicated Kandhs, who, shouting and screaming, rush upon him, and with their knives cut the flesh piece-meal from his bones, avoiding the head and bowels, till the living skeleton, dying from loss of blood, is relieved from torture, when its remains are burnt and the ashes mixed with the new grain to preserve it from insects.""
In some respect, the civilized Hindoos are even worse than the wild tribes of India. Nothing is more sternly condemned and utterly abhorred by modern religion than licentiousness and obscenity, but a well-informed and eminently trustworthy missionary, the Abbé Dubois, declares that sensuality and licentiousness are among the elements of Hindoo religious life:
"Whatever their religion sets before them, tends to encourage these vices; and, consequently, all their senses, passions, and interests are leagued in its favor" (II., 113, etc.).
Their religious festivals "Are nothing but sports; and on no occasion of life are modesty and decorum more carefully excluded than during the celebration of their religious mysteries."
More immoral even than their own religious practices are the doings of their deities. The Bhagavata is a book which deals with the adventures of the god Krishna, of whom Dubois says (II., 205):
"It was his chief pleasure to go every morning to the place where the women bathe, and, in concealment, to take advantage of their unguarded exposure. Then he rushed amongst them, took possession of their clothes, and gave a loose to the indecencies of language and of gesture. He maintained sixteen wives, who had the title of queens, and sixteen thousand concubines. In obscenity there is nothing that can be compared with the Bhagavata. It is, nevertheless, the delight of the Hindu, and the first book they put into the hands of their children, when learning to read.'
Brahmin temples are little more than brothels, in each of which a dozen or more young Bayaderes are kept for the purpose of increasing the revenues of the gods and their priests. Religious prostitution and theological licentiousness prevailed also in Persia, Babylonia, Egypt, and other ancient civilized countries. Commenting on a series of obscene pictures found in an Egyptian tomb, Erman says (154): "We are shocked at the morality of a nation which could supply the deceased with such literature for the eternal journey." Professor Robertson Smith says that "in Arabia and elsewhere unrestricted prostitution was practised at the temples and defended on the analogy of the license allowed to herself by the unmarried mother goddess." Nor were the early Greeks much better. Some of their religious festivals were sensual orgies, some of their gods nearly as licentious as those of the Hindoos. Their supreme god, Zeus, is an Olympian Don Juan, and the legend of the birth of Aphrodite, their goddess of love, is in its original form unutterably obscene.
Before religious emotion could make any approximation to the devout feelings of a modern Christian, it was necessary to eliminate all these licentious, cruel, and blasphemous features