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tional side of religion has here been kept in view. Even in the life of the rudest savage, religious belief is associated with intense emotion, with awful reverence, with agonizing terror, with rapt ecstasy when sense and thought utterly transcend the common level of daily life. How much the more in faiths where not only does the believer experience such enthusiasm, but where his utmost feelings of love and hope, of justice and mercy, of fortitude and tenderness and self-sacrificing devotion, of unutterable misery and dazzling happiness, twine and clasp round the fabric of religion. Language, dropping at times from such words as soul and spirit their mere philosophic meaning, can use them in full conformity with this tendency of the religious mind, as phrases to convey a mystic sense of transcendent emotion. Yet of all this religion, the religion of vision and of passion, little indeed has been said in these pages, and even that little rather in incidental touches than with purpose. Those to whom religion means above all things religious feeling, may say of my argument that I have written soullessly of the soul, and unspiritually of spiritual things. Be it so: I accept the phrase not as needing an apology, but as expressing a plan. Scientific progress is at times most furthered by working along a distinct intellectual line, without being tempted to diverge from the main object to what lies beyond, in however intimate connexion. The anatomist does well to discuss bodily structure independently of the world of happiness and misery which depends upon it. It would be thought a mere impertinence for a strategist to preface a dissertation on the science of war, by an enquiry how far it is lawful for a Christian man to bear weapons and serve in the wars. My task has been here not to discuss Religion in all its bearings, but to portray in outline the great doctrine of Animism, as found in what I conceive to be its earliest stages among the lower races of mankind, and to show its transmission along the lines of religious thought.
The almost entire exclusion of ethical questions from
this investigation has more than a mere reason of arrangement. It is due to the very nature of the subject. To some the statement may seem startling, yet the evidence seems to justify it, that the relation of morality to religion is one that only belongs in its rudiments, or not at all, to rudimentary civilization. The comparison of savage and civilized religions brings into view, by the side of a deeplying resemblance in their philosophy, a deep-lying contrast in their practical action on human life. So far as savage religion can stand as representing natural religion, the popular idea that the moral government of the universe is an essential tenet of natural religion simply falls to the ground. Savage animism is almost devoid of that ethical element which to the educated modern mind is the very mainspring of practical religion. Not, as I have said, that morality is absent from the life of the lower races. Without a code of morals, the very existence of the rudest tribe would be impossible; and indeed the moral standards of even savage races are to no small extent well-defined and praiseworthy. But these ethical laws stand on their own ground of tradition and public opinion, comparatively independent of the animistic belief and rites which exist beside them. The lower animism is not immoral, it is unmoral. For this plain reason, it has seemed desirable to keep the discussion of animism, as far as might be, separate from that of ethics. The general problem of the relation of morality to religion is difficult, intricate, and requiring immense array of evidence, and may be perhaps more profitably discussed in connexion with the ethnography of morals. To justify their present separation, it will be enough to refer in general terms to the accounts of savage tribes whose ideas have been little affected by civilized intercourse; proper caution being used not to trust vague statements about good and evil, but to ascertain whether these are what philosophic moralists would call virtue and vice, righteousness and wickedness, or whether they are mere personal advantage and disadvantage. The essential con
nexion of theology and morality is a fixed idea in many minds. But it is one of the lessons of history that subjects may maintain themselves independently for ages, till the event of coalescence takes place. In the course of history, religion has in various ways attached to itself matters small and great outside its central scheme, such as prohibition of special meats, observance of special days, regulation of marriage as to kinship, division of society into castes, ordinance of social law and civil government. Looking at religion from a political point of view, as a practical influence on human society, it is clear that among its greatest powers have been its divine sanction of ethical laws, its theological enforcement of morality, its teaching of moral government of the universe, its supplanting the continuance-doctrine' of a future life by the 'retribution-doctrine' supplying moral motive in the present. But such alliance belongs almost or wholly to religions above the savage level, not to the earlier and lower creeds. It will aid us to see how much more the fruit of religion belongs to ethical influence than to philosophical dogma, if we consider how the introduction of the moral element separates the religions of the world, united as they are throughout by one animistic principle, into two great classes, those lower systems whose best result is to supply a crude childlike natural philosophy, and those higher faiths which implant on this the law of righteousness and of holiness, the inspiration of duty and of love.
RITES AND CEREMONIES.
Religious Rites: their purpose practical or symbolic—Prayer : its con
tinuity from low to high levels of Culture ; its lower phases Unethical ; its higher phases Ethical-Sacrifice : its original Gift-theory passes into the Homage-theory and the Abnegation-theory-Manner of reception of Sacrifice by Deity-Material Transfer to elements, fetishanimals, priests ; consumption of substance by deity or idol ; offering of blood; transmission by fire; incense— Essential Transfer: consumption of essence, savour, &c.—Spiritual Transfer : consumption or transmission of soul of offering—Motive of Sacrificer— Transition from Gift-theory to Homage-theory: insignificant and formal offerings; sacrificial banquets-Abnegation-theory ; sacrifice of children, &c. Sacrifice of Substitutes : part given for whole; inferior life for superior ; effigies—Modern survival of Sacrifice in folklore and religion-Fasting, as a means of producing ecstatic vision; its course from lower to higher Culture—Drugs used to produce ecstasy-Swoons and fits in. duced for religious purposes-Orientation : its relation to Sun-myth and Sun-worship; rules of East and West as to burial of dead, position of worship, and structure of temple-Lustration by Water and Fire : its transition from material to symbolic purification ; its connexion with special events of life; its appearance among the lower racesLustration of new-born children ; of women; of those polluted by bloodshed or the dead-Lustration continued at higher levels of Culture -Conclusion.
RELIGIOUS rites fall theoretically into two divisions, though these blend in practice. In part, they are expressive and symbolic performances, the dramatic utterance of religious thought, the gesture-language of theology. In part, they are means of intercourse with and influence on spiritual beings, and as such, their intention is as directly practical as any chemical or mechanical process, for doctrine and worship correlate as theory and practice. In the science of religion, the study of ceremony has its strong and weak sides. On the one hand, it is generally easier to obtain accurate accounts of ceremonies by eyewitnesses, than anything like trustworthy and intelligible statements of doctrine; so that very much of our knowledge of religion in the savage and barbaric world consists in acquaintance with its ceremonies. It is also true that some religious ceremonies are marvels of permanence, holding substantially the same form and meaning through age after age, and far beyond the range of historic record. On the other hand, the signification of ceremonies is not to be rashly decided on by mere inspection. In the long and varied course in which religion has adapted itself to new intellectual and moral conditions, one of the most marked processes has affected time-honoured religious customs, whose form has been faithfully and even servilely kept up, while their nature has often undergone transformation. In the religions of the great nations, the natural difficulty of following these changes has been added to by the sacerdotal tendency to ignore and obliterate traces of the inevitable change of religion from age to age, and to convert into mysteries ancient rites whose real barbaric meaning is too far out of harmony with the spirit of a later time. The embarrassments, however, which beset the enquirer into the ceremonies of a single religion, diminish in a larger comparative study. The ethnographer who brings together examples of a ceremony from different stages of culture can often give a more rational account of it, than the priest, to whom a special signification, sometimes very unlike the original one, has become matter of orthodoxy. As a contribution to the theory of religion, with especial view to its lower phases as explanatory of the higher, I have here selected for ethnographic discussion a group of sacred rites, each in its way full of instruction, different as these ways are. All have early place and rudimentary meaning in savage culture, all belong to barbaric ages, all have their representatives within the limits of modern Christendom. They are the rites of Prayer, Sacrifice,