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lake rich in fish and fowl, the lake whose waters above the firmament overflowing make rain on earth, and if its banks broke, there would be another deluge. But gaining the most and best of their living from the depths of the sea, they were also apt to think the land of Torngarsuk to be below the sea or earth, and to be entered by the deep holes in the rocks. Perpetual summer is there, ever beauteous sunshine, and no night, good water and superfluity of birds and fish, seals and reindeer to be caught without difficulty, or found alive seething in a great kettle. In the Kimbunda country of South-West Africa, souls live on in “ Kalunga" the world where it is day when it is night here; and with plenty of food and drink, and women to serve them, and hunting and dancing for pastime, they lead a life which seems a corrected edition of this. When we compare these pictures of the future life with such as have expressed the longings of more cultured nations, there appear indeed different details, but the principle is ever the same—the idealization of earthly good. The Norseman's ideal is sketched in the few broad touches which show him in Walhalla, where he and the other warriors without number ride forth arrayed each morning and hew each other on Odin's plain, till the slain have been “chosen ” as in earthly battle, and meal-tide comes, and slayers and slain mount and ride home to feast on the everlasting boar, and drink mead and ale with the Æsir. To understand the Moslem's mind, we must read the two chapters of the Koran where the Prophet describes the faithful in the garden of delights, reclining on their couches of gold and gems, served by children ever young, with bowls of liquor whose fumes will not rise into the drinkers' heads, living among the thornless lotus-trees and bananas loaded to the ground, feasting on the fruits they love and the meat of the rarest birds, with the houris near them with beautiful black eyes, like
Cranz, Grönland,' p. 258.
pearls in the shell, where no idle or wicked speech is heard, but only the words “ Peace, Peace.” “ They who fear the judgment of God shall have two gardens. Which of the benefits of God will ye deny? Adorned with groves. Which of the benefits of God will ye deny ? In each of them shall spring two fountains. Which of the benefits of God will ye deny ? In each of them shall grow two kinds of fruits. Which of the benefits of God will ye deny ? They shall lie on carpets brocaded with silk and embroidered with
gold; the fruits of the two gardens shall be near, easy to pluck. Which of the benefits of God will ye deny ? There shall be young virgins with modest looks, unprofaned by man
Which of the benefits of God will ye deny ?” etc.? With these descriptions of Paradise idealized on secular life, it is interesting to compare others which bear the impress of a priestly caste, devising a heaven after their manner. We can almost see the faces of the Jewish rabbis settling their opinions about the high schools in the firmament of heaven, where Rabbi Simeon ben Yochai and the great Rabbi Eliezer teach Law and Talmud as they taught when they were here below, and masters and learners go prosing on with the weary old disputations of cross question and crooked answer that pleased their souls on earth.” Nor less suggestively do the Buddhist heavens reflect the minds of the ascetics who devised them. As in their thoughts sensual pleasure seemed poor and despicable in comparison with mystic inward joy, rising and rising till consciousness fades in trance, so, above their heavens of millions of years of mere divine happiness, they raised other ranges of heavens where sensual pain and pleasure cease, and enjoy.
ment becomes intellectual, till at a higher grade even bodily form is gone, and after the last heaven of “Neitherconsciousness-nor-unconsciousness” there follows Nirwâna, as ecstasy passes into swoon.
But the doctrine of the continuance of the soul's life has another and a gloomier side. There are conceptions of an abode of the dead characterized not so much by dreaminess as by ghostliness. The realm of shades, especially if it be a cavern underground, has seemed a dim and melancholy place to the dwellers in this “white world," as the Russian calls the land of the living. One description of the Hurons tells how the other world, with its hunting and fishing, its much-prized hatchets and robes and necklaces, is like this world, yet day and night the souls groan and lament.” Thus the region of Mictlan, the subterranean land of Hades whither the general mass of the Mexican nation, high and low, expected to descend from the natural death-bed, was an abode looked forward to with resignation, but scarcely with cheerfulness. At the funeral the survivors were bidden not to mourn too much, the dead was reminded that he had passed and suffered the labours of this life, transitory as when one warms himself in the sun, and he was bidden to have no care or anxiety to return to his kinsfolk now that he has departed for ever and aye, for his consolation must be that they too will end their labours, and go whither he has gone before. Among the Basutos, where the belief in a future life in Hades is general, some imagine in this underworld valleys ever green, and herds of hornless speckled cattle owned by the dead; but it seems more generally thought that the shades wander about in silent calm, experiencing neither joy nor sorrow. Moral retribution there is none. The Hades of the West African seems no
Hardy, ‘Manual of Buddhism,' pp. 5, 24; Köppen, ‘Rel. des Buddha,' vol i. p. 235, etc.
• Brebeuf in ‘Rel. des Jes.' 1636, p. 105.
3 Sahagun, “Hist. de Nueva España,' book iii. appendix ch. i., in Kings. borough, vol. vii.; Brasseur, vol. iii. p. 571.
* Casalis, ‘Basutos,' pp. 247, 254.
ecstatic paradise, to judge by Captain Burton's description : “It was said of the old Egyptians that they lived rather in Hades than upon the banks of the Nile. The Dahomans declare that this world is man's plantation, the next is his home,-a home which, however, no one visits of his own accord. They of course own no future state of rewards and punishments : there the King will be a King, and the slave a slave for ever. Ku-to-men, or Deadman's land, the Dahoman's other but not better world, is a country of ghosts, of umbræ, who, like the spirits of the nineteenth century in Europe, lead a quiet life, except when by means of mediums they are drawn into the drawing-rooms of the living.” With some such hopeless expectation the neighbours of the Dahomans, the Yorubas, judge the life to come in their simple proverb that “A corner in this world is better than a corner in the world of spirits.”] The Finns, who feared the ghosts of the departed as unkind, harmful beings, fancied them dwelling with their bodies in the grave, or else, with what Castrén thinks a later philosophy, assigned them their dwelling in the subterranean Tuonela. Tuonela was like this upper earth, the sun shone there, there was no lack of land and water, wood and field, tilth and meadow, there were bears and wolves, snakes and pike, but all things were of a hurtful, dismal kind, the woods dark and swarming with wild beasts, the water black, the cornfields bearing seed of snakes' teeth, and there stern pitiless old Tuoni, and his grim wife and son with the hooked fingers with iron points, kept watch and ward over the dead lest they should escape. Scarce less dismal was the classic ideal of the dark realm below, whither the shades of the dead must go to join the many gone before (ές πλεόνων ικέσθαι; penetrare ad plures; andare tra i più). The Roman Orcus holds the pallid souls, rapacious Orcus, sparing neither good nor bad. Gloomy is the Greek land of Hades, dark dwelling of the images of departed mortals, where the shades carry at once their living features and their dying wounds, and glide and cluster and whisper, and lead the shadow of a life. Like the savage hunter on his gliostly prairie, the great Orion still bears his brazen mace, still chases over the meadows of asphodel the flying beasts he slew of yore in the lonely mountains. Like the rude African of to-day, the swiftfooted Achilles scorns such poor, thin, shadowy life ; rather would he serve a mean man upon earth than be lord of all the dead. “ Truly, oxen and goodly sheep may be taken for booty,
i Burton, “Dahome,' vol. ii. p. 156 ; *Tr. Eth. Soc.' vol. iii. p. 403 ; ' Wit and Wisdom from W. Afr.' pp. 280, 449 ; see J. G. Müller, p. 140.
2 Castrén, 'Finn. Myth.' p. 126, etc.; Kalewala, Rune xv. xvi. xlv. etc.; Meiners, vol. ii. p. 780.
Tripods, too, may be bought, and the yellow beauty of horses; But from the fence of the teeth when once the soul is departed, Never cometh it back, regained by plunder or purchase." } Where and what was Sheol, the dwelling of the ancient Jewish dead? Though its description is so suggested by the dark, quiet, inevitable cavern-tomb, that the two conceptions melt together in Hebrew poetic phrase, nevertheless Sheol is not a mere general term for burial-places. Nations to whom the idea of a subterranean region of departed spirits was a familiar thought, with familiar words to express it, quite naturally use these words in Biblical translation as the equivalents of Sheol. To the Greek . Septuagint, Sheol was Hades, and for this the Coptic translators had their long-inherited Egyptian name of Amenti, while the Vulgate renders it as Infernus, the lower regions. The Gothic Ulfilas, translating the Hades of the New Testament, could use Halja in its old German sense of the dim shadowy home of the dead below the earth; and the corresponding word Hell, if this its earlier sense be borne in mind, fairly translates Sheol and Hades in the English version of the Old and New Testament, though the word has become misleading to uneducated ears by being used also in the sense of Gehenna, the place of torment. The