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estate, is apt to work out the doctrine of merit and demerit into debtor and creditor accounts kept in good and bad marks from day to day; to serve out so much tea in hot weather counts 1 to the merit-side, and putting a stop to one's women scolding for a month counts 1 likewise, but this may be balanced by the offence of letting them keep the bowls and plates dirty for a day, which counts 1 the wrong way; and it appears that giving wood for two coffins, which count 30 marks each, and burying four bones, at 10 marks a-piece, would just be balanced by murdering a child, which counts 100 to the bad. It need hardly be said here that these two great religions of Asia must be judged rather in their records of long past ages, than in the lingering degeneration of their modern reality.
In the Khordah-Avesta, a document of the old Persian religion, the fate of good and wicked souls at death is pictured in a dialogue between Zarathustra (Zoroaster), and Ahura Mazda and Anra-Mainyu (Ormuzd and Ahriman). Zarathustra asks, ' Ahura Mazda, Heavenly, Holiest, Creator of the corporeal world, Pure ! When a pure man dies, where does his soul dwell during this night?' Then answers Ahura-Mazda : “Near his head it sits down, reciting the Gâthâ Ustavaiti, praying happiness for itself; "Happiness be to the man who conduces to the happiness of each. May Ahura-Mazda create, ruling after his wish.”. On this night the soul sees as much joyfulness as the whole living world possesses; and so the second and the third night. When the lapse of the third night turns itself to light, then the soul of the pure man goes forward, recollecting itself by the perfume of plants. A wind blows to meet it from the mid-day regions, a sweet-scented one, more sweet-scented than the other winds, and the soul of the pure man receives it—Whence blows this wind, the sweetest-scented which I ever have smelt with the nose?' Then comes to meet him doctrine of meria accounts kept ir
See Bastian, Oestl.
1 'Journ. Ind. Archip.' new ser. vol. ii. p. 210. Asien,' vol. iii. p. 387.
serve out so much merit-side, and r a month corni
by the offene es dirty for a de appears that giz marks each, an would just bei
bell ats 100 to the se two great pe eir records de eration of ther:
of ed souls at de con
his own law (his rule of life) in the figure of a maiden
the fourth step and arrives at the Eternal Lights. To the cment of the souls speaks a pure one deceased before, asking it, How
“ art thou, 0 pure deceased, come away from the fleshly zhustra (Zonar dwellings, from the corporeal world hither to the invisible,
from the perishable world hither to the imperishable. Hail! ravenly, Holies has it happened to thee long ?' Then speaks Ahura
Mazda : “Ask not him whom thou askest, for he is come
on the fearful way of trembling, the separation of body and head it sits soul. Bring him hither of the food, of the full fatness, that g happiness it is the food for a youth who thinks, speaks, and does good, uces to the hard who is devoted to the good law after death-that is the food
for a woman who especially thinks good, speaks good, does yfulness as the good, the following, obedient, pure after death.") And
now Zarathustra asks, when a wicked one dies, where his rns itself to soul dwells? He is told how, running about near the head, 1, recollectinut it utters the prayer, Ke maúm: Which land shall I rs to meet it as praise, whither shall I go praying, 0 Ahura-Mazda ?'
In this night it sees as much unjoyfulness as the whole
living world; and so the second and the third night, and it Petest-scentair goes at dawn to the impure place, recollecting itself by the
stench. An evil-smelling wind comes towards the dead from
Ormuzd and L
hen a pure
g this night
ng after his hi
and and the thes
e, more sweet the pure mans
n comes to the
210. See Restas
the darkness without beginning, and a wicked soul asks how long-woe to thee!-art thou come? and the mocking Anra-Mainyu, answering in words like the words of AhuraMazda to the good, bids food to be brought-poison, and mixed with poison, for them who think and speak and do evil, and follow the wicked law. The Parsi of our own time, following in obscure tradition the ancient Zoroastrian faith, before he prays for forgiveness for all that he ought to have thought, and said, and done, and has not, for all that he ought not to have thought, and said, and done, and has, confesses thus his faith of the future life :-'I am wholly without doubt in the existence of the good Mazadayaçnian faith, in the coming of the resurrection and the later body, in the stepping over the bridge Chinvat, in an invariable recompense of good deeds and their reward, and of bad deeds and their punishment.''
In Jewish theology, the doctrine of future retribution appears after the Babylonish captivity, not in ambiguous terms, but as the stongly-expressed and intensely-felt religious conviction it has since remained among the children of Israel. Not long afterward, it received the sanction
. of Christianity.
A broad survey of the doctrine of the Future Life among the various nations of the world shows at once how difficult and how important is a systematic theory of its development. Looked at ethnographically, the general relations of the lower to the higher culture as to the belief in future existence may be defined somewhat as follows:--If we draw
: a line dividing civilization at the junction of savagery and barbarism-about where the Carib and New Zealander ends and the Aztec or Tatar begins, we may see clearly the difference of prevalent doctrine on either side. On the savage side, the theory of hovering ghosts is strong, rebirth in human or animal bodies is often thought of, but above all there prevails the expectation of a new life, most
Spiegel, “Avesta,' ed. Bleek, vol. iii. pp. 136, 163; see vol. i. pp. xviii. 90, 141 ; vol. ii. p. 68.
often located in some distant earthly region, or less commonly in the under-world or on the sky. On the cultured side, the theory of hovering ghosts continues, but tends to subside from philosophy into folklore, the theory of re-birth is elaborated into great philosophic systems, but eventually dies out under the opposition of scientific biology, while the doctrine of a new life after death maintains its place with immense power in the human mind, although the dead have been ousted by geography from any earthly district, and the regions of heaven and hell are more and more spiritualized out of definite locality into vague expressions of future happiness and misery. Again, on the savage side we find the dominant idea to be a continuance of the soul in a new existence, like the present life, or idealized and exaggerated on its model; while on the cultured side the doctrine of judgment and moral retribution prevails with paramount, though not indeed absolute sway. What, then, has been the historical course of theological opinion, to have produced in different stages of culture these contrasted phases of doctrine ?
In some respects, theories deriving savage from more civilized ideas are tenable. In certain cases, to consider a particular savage doctrine of the future state as a fragmentary, or changed, or corrupted outcome of the religion of higher races, seems as easy as to reverse this view by taking savagery as representing the starting-point. It is open to anyone to suppose that the doctrine of transmigration among American savages and African barbarians may have been degraded from elaborate systems of metempsychosis established among philosophic nations like the Hindus; that the North American and South African doctrine of continued existence in a subterranean world may be derived from similar beliefs held by races at the level of the ancient Greeks; that when rude tribes in the Old or New World assign among the dead a life of happiness to some, and of misery to others, this idea may have been inherited or adopted from cultured nations holding more strongly and systematically the doctrine of retribution. In such cases the argument is to a great extent the same, whether the lower race be considered degenerate descendants of a higher nation, or whether the simpler supposition be put forward that they have adopted the ideas of some more cultured people. These views ought to have full attention, for degenerate and borrowed beliefs form no small item in the opinions of uncivilized races. Yet this kind of explanation is more adapted to meet special cases than general conditions; it is rather suited to piecemeal treatment, than to comprehensive study, of the religions of mankind. Worked out on a large scale, it would endeavour to account for the doctrines of the savage world, as being a patchwork of fragments from various religions of high nations, transported by not easily-conceived means from their distant homes and set down in remote regions of the earth. It may be safely said that no hypothesis can account for the varied doctrines current among the lower tribes, without the admission that religious ideas have been in no small measure developed and modified in the districts where they are current.
Now this theory of development, in its fullest scope, combined with an accessory theory of degeneration and adoption, seems best to meet the general facts of the case. A hypothesis which finds the origin of the doctrine of the future life in the primitive animism of the lower races, and thence traces it along the course of religious thought, in varied developments fitted to exacter knowledge and forming part of loftier creeds, may well be maintained as in reasonable accordance with the evidence. Such a theory, as has been sufficiently shown in the foregoing chapters, affords a satisfactory explanation of the occurrence, in the midst of cultured religions, of intellectually low superstitions, such as that of offerings to the dead, and various others. These, which the development theory treats naturally as survivals from a low stage of education lingering on in a higher, are by no means so readily accounted for by the degeneration