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supreme deity as actively pervading and governing his universe, or as acting through his divine subordinates, or as retiring from his creation and leaving the lesser spirits to work their will, he is always to their minds the celestial ruler, the Heaven-god. Examples may be cited, each in its way full of instruction. In the mind of the Gold-coast negro, tendencies towards theistic religion seem to have been mainly developed through the idea of Nyongmo, the personal Heaven, or its animating personal deity. Heaven, widearching, rain-giving, light-giving, who has been and is and shall be, is to him the Supreme Deity. The sky is Nyongmo's creature, the clouds are his veil, the stars his faceornaments. Creator of all things, and of their animating powers whose chief and elder he is, he sits in majestic rest surrounded by his children, the wongs, the spirits of the air who serve him and represent him on earth. Though men's worship is for the most part paid to these, reverence is also given to Nyongmo, the Eldest, the Highest. Every day, said a fetish-man, we see how the grass and corn and trees spring forth by the rain and sunshine that Nyongmo sends, how should he not be the Creator ? Again, the mighty Heaven-god, far removed from man and seldom roused to interfere in earthly interests, is the type on which the Guinea negroes may have modelled their thoughts of a Highest Deity who has abandoned the control of his world to lesser and evil spirits. The religion of another district seems to show clearly the train of thought by which such ideas may be worked out. Among the Kimbunda race of Congo, Suku-Vakange is the highest being. He takes little interest in mankind, leaving the real government of the world to the good and evil kilulu or spirits, into whose ranks the souls of men pass at death. Now in that there are more bad spirits who torment, than good who favour living men, human misery would be unbearable, were it not that from time to time Suku-Vakange, enraged at the wickedness of the evil spirits, terrifies them with thunder, and punishes the more obstinate with his thunderbolts. Then he returns to rest, and lets the kilulu rule again. Who, we may ask, is this divinity, calm and indifferent save when his wrath bursts forth in storm, but the Heaven himself? The relation of the Supreme Deity to the lesser gods of polytheism is graphically put in the following passage, where an American missionary among the Yorubas describes the relation of Olorung, the Lord of Heaven, to his lesser deities (orisa), among whom the chief are the androgynous Obatala, representing the reproductive power of nature, and Shango the Thunder-god. *The doctrine of idolatry prevalent in Yoruba appears to be derived by analogy from the form and customs of the civil government. There is but one king in the nation, and one God over the universe. Petitioners to the king approach him through the intervention of his servants, courtiers, and nobles : and the petitioner conciliates the courtier whom he employs by good words and presents. In like manner no man can directly approach God; but the Almighty himself, they say, has appointed various kinds of orisas, who are mediators and intercessors between himself and mankind. No sacrifices are made to God, because he needs nothing; but the orisas, being much like men, are pleased with offerings of sheep, pigeons, and other things. They conciliate the orisa or mediator that he may bless them, not in his own power, but in the power of God.'2

1 Steinhauser, 'Religion des Negers,' in 'Mag. der Miss.' Basel, 1856. No. 2, p. 128. J. L. Wilson, W. Afr.' pp. 92, 209 ; Römer, 'Guinea,' p. 42. See also Waitz, vol. ii. pp. 171, 419.

Rooted as they are in the depths of nature-worship, the doctrines of the supreme Sun and Heaven both come to the surface again in the native religions of Asia. The divine Sun holds his primacy distinctly enough among the rude indigenous tribes of India. Although one sect of the Khonds of Orissa especially direct their worship to Tari Pennu the Earth-goddess, yet even they agree theoretically with the sect who worship Bura Pennu or Bella Pennu, Light-god or Sun-god, in giving to him supremacy above the manes-gods and nature-gods, and all spiritual powers. Among the Kol tribes of Bengal, the acknowledged primate of all classes of divinities is the beneficent supreme deity, Sing-bonga, Sun-god. Among some Munda tribes his authority is so real that they will appeal to him for help where recourse to minor deities has failed; while among the Santals his cultus has so dwindled away that he receives less practical worship than his malevolent inferiors, and is scarce honoured with more than nominal dignity and an occasional feast.? These are rude tribes who, so far as we know, have never been other than rude tribes. The Japanese are a comparatively civilized nation, one of those so instructive to the student of culture from the stubborn conservatism with which they have consecrated by traditional reverence, and kept up by state authority, the religion of their former barbarism. This is the Kami-religion, Spirit-religion, the ancient but mixed faith of divine spirits of ancestors, naturespirits, and polytheistic gods, which still holds official place by the side of the imported Buddhism and Confucianism. The Sun-goddess, Amaterasu, 'Heaven-shiner,' though but sprung from the left eye of the parent Izanagi, came to be honoured above all lesser kamis or gods, while by a fiction of ancestor-worship the solar race, as in Peru, became the royal family, her spirit descending to animate the Mikado. Kaempfer, in his ‘History of Japan,' written early in the 18th century, showed how absolutely the divine Tensio Dai Sin, represented below on the imperial throne, was looked upon as ruler of the minor powers; he mentions the Japanese tenth month, called the 'godless month,' because then the lesser gods are considered to be away from their temples, gone to pay their annual homage to the Dairi. He describes, as it was in his time, the great Japanese place of pilgrimage, Yse. There was to be seen the small cavern in a hill near the sea, where the divine Sun once hid herself, depriving the world of light, and thus showing herself to be supreme above all gods. Within the small ancient temple hard by, of which an account and a picture are given from a Japanese book, there were to be seen round the walls the usual pieces of cut white paper, and in the midst nothing but a polished metal mirror.1

1 Magyar, “Reisen in Süd-Afrika,' pp. 125, 335.

2 Bowen, 'Gr. and Dic. of Yoruba,' p. xvi. in ‘Smithsonian Contr.' vol. i.

1 Macpherson, 'India,' p. 84, &c.

2 Dalton, 'Kols, in ‘Tr. Eth. Soc.' vol. vi. p. 32. Hunter, 'Rural Bengal,' p. 184.


Over the vast range of the Tatar races, it is the type of the supreme Heaven that comes prominently into view. Nature-worshippers in the extreme sense, these rude tribes conceived their ghosts and elves and demons and great powers of the earth and air to be, like men themselves, within the domain of the divine Heaven, almighty and allencompassing. To trace the Samoyed's thought of Num the personal Sky passing into vague conceptions of pervading deity; to see with the Tunguz how Boa the Heavengod, unseen but all-knowing, kindly but indifferent, has divided the business of his world among such lesser powers as sun and moon, earth and fire; to discern the meaning of the Mongol Tengri, shading from Heaven into Heaven-god, and thence into god or spirit in general; to follow the records of Heaven-worship among the ancient Turks and Hiong-nu; to compare the supremacy among the Lapps of Tiermes, the Thunderer, with the supremacy among the Finns of Jumala and Ukko, the Heaven-god and heavenly Grandfather-such evidence seems good ground for Castrén's argument, that the doctrine of the divine Sky underlay the first Turanian conceptions, not merely of a Heaven-god, but of a highest deity who in after ages of Christian conversion blended into the Christian God. Here, again, we may have the advantage of studying among a cultured race the survival of religion from ruder ancient times, kept up by official ordinance. The state religion of China is in its dominant doctrine the worship of Tien, Heaven, identified with Shangti, the Emperor-above, next to whom stands Tu, Earth; while below them are worshipped great nature-spirits and ancestors. It is possible that this faith, as Professor Max Müller argues, may be ethnologically and even linguistically part and parcel of the general Heaven-worship of the Turanian tribes of Siberia. At any rate, it is identical with it in its primary idea, the adoration of the supreme Heaven. Dr. Legge charges Confucius with an inclination to substitute in his religious teaching the name of Tien, Heaven, for that known to more ancient religion and used in more ancient books, Shang-ti, the personal ruling Deity. But it seems rather that the sage was in fact upholding the traditions of the ancient faith, thus acting according to the character on which he prided himself, that of a transmitter and not a maker, a preserver of old knowledge, not a new revealer. It is in accordance with the usual course of theologic development, for the divine Heaven to reign in rude mythologic religion over the lesser spirits of the world before the childlike poetic thought passes into the statesman's conception of a Celestial Emperor. As Plath well remarks, 'It belongs to the Chinese system that all nature is animated by spirits, and that all these follow one order. As the Chinese cannot think of a Chinese Empire with an Emperor only, and without the host of vassal-princes and officials, so he cannot think of the Upper Emperor without the host of spirits. Developed in a different line, the idea of a supreme Heaven comes to pervade Chinese philosophy and ethics as a general expression of fate, ordinance, duty. · Heaven's order is nature'—“The wise man readily awaits Heaven's command '— Man must first do his own part; when he has done all, then he can wait for Heaven to complete it'-'All state officers are Heaven's workmen, and represent him'—'How does Heaven speak? The four

Siebold, ‘Nippon.' Kaempfer, 'Hist. of Japan,' 1727, book I. ch. I, IV. For accurate modern information, see papers of Chamberlain and Satow in * Tr. As. Soc. Japan,' and Murray's Handbook (note to 3rd ed).

2 Castrén, 'Finn. Myth.'p. 1, &c. Klemm, ‘Cultur-Gesch.' vol. iii. p. 101. 'Samoiedia,' in Pinkerton, vol. i. p. 531. Georgi, Reise im Russ. Reich.' vol. i. p. 275.

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