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of a religious belief is the outcome of another, that in all times religion has included within its limits a system of philosophy, expressing its more or less transcendental conceptions in doctrines which form in any age their fittest representatives, but which doctrines are liable to modification in the general course of intellectual change, whether the ancient formulas still hold their authority with altered meaning, or are themselves reformed or replaced. Christendom furnishes evidence to establish this principle, if for example we will but candidly compare the educated opinion of Rome in the 5th with that of London in the 19th century, on such subjects as the nature and functions of soul, spirit, deity, and judge by the comparison in what important respects the philosophy of religion has come to differ even among men who represent in different ages the same great principles of faith. The general study of the ethnography of religion, through all its immensity of range, seems to countenance the theory of evolution in its highest and widest sense. In the treatment of some of its topics here, I have propounded special hypotheses as to the order in which various stages of doctrine and rite have succeeded one another in the history of religion. Yet how far these particular theories may hold good, seems even to myself a minor matter. The essential part of the ethnographic method in theology lies in admitting as relevant the compared evidence of religion in all stages of culture. The action of such evidence on theology proper is in this wise, that a vast proportion of doctrines and rites known among mankind are not to be judged as direct products of the particular religious systems which give them sanction, for they are in fact more or less modified results adopted from previous systems. The theologian, as he comes to deal with each element of belief and worship, ought to ascertain its place in the general scheme of religion. Should the doctrine or rite in question appear to have been transmitted from an earlier to a later stage of religious thought, then it should be tested, like any other point of culture, as to its place in development.
The question has to be raised, to which of these three categories it belongs :—is it a product of the earlier theology, yet sound enough to maintain a rightful place in the later;— is it derived from a cruder original, yet so modified as to become a proper representative of more advanced views ?—is it a survival from a lower stage of thought, imposing on the credit of the higher by virtue not of inherent truth but of ancestral belief? These are queries the very asking of which starts trains of thought which candid minds should be encouraged to pursue, leading as they do toward the attainment of such measure of truth as the intellectual condition of our age fits us to assimilate. In the scientific study of religion, which now shows signs of becoming for many a year an engrossing subject of the world's thought, the decision must not rest with a council in which the theologian, the metaphysician, the biologist, the physicist, exclusively take part. The historian and the ethnographer must be called upon to show the hereditary standing of each opinion and practice, and their enquiry must go back as far as antiquity or savagery can show a vestige, for there seems no human thought so primitive as to have lost its bearing on our own thought, nor so ancient as to have broken its connexion with our own life.
It is our happiness to live in one of those eventful periods of intellectual and moral history, when the oft-closed gates of discovery and reform stand open at their widest. How long these good days may last, we cannot tell. It may be that the increasing power and range of the scientific method, with its stringency of argument and constant check of fact, may start the world on a more steady and continuous course of progress than it has moved on heretofore. But if history is to repeat itself according to precedent, we must look forward to stiffer duller ages of traditionalists and commentstors, when the great thinkers of our time will be appealed to as authorities by men who slavishly accept their tenets, yet cannot or dare not follow their methods through better evidence to higher ends. In either case, it is for those among us whose minds are set on the advancement of civilization, to make the most of present opportunities, that even when in future years progress is arrested, it may be arrested at the higher level. To the promoters of what is sound and reformers of what is faulty in modern culture, ethnography has double help to give. To impress men's minds with a doctrine of development, will lead them in all honour to their ancestors to continue the progressive work of past ages, to continue it the more vigorously because light has increased in the world, and where barbaric hordes groped blindly, cultured men can often move onward with clear view. It is a harsher, and at times even painful, office of ethnography to expose the remains of crude old culture which have passed into harmful superstition, and to mark these out for destruction. Yet this work, if less genial, is not less urgently needful for the good of mankind. Thus, active at once in aiding progress and in removing hindrance, the science of culture is essentially a reformer's science.
Abacus, i. 270.
Achilles :—vulnerable spot, i. 358;
Acosta, on American archetypal dei-
Adam, ii. 812, 315.
-Elian, i. 372, ii. 423; on Kynoke-
phali, i. 389.
ii. 121; serpents of, ii. 241.
Afghans, race-genealogy of, i. 403.
Agreement in custom and opinion no
proof of soundness, i. 13.
Alger, Rev. W. tt., i. 471, 484, ii. 83.
Algonquin languages, animate and in-
Ali as Thunder-god, ii. 264.
All Souls', feast of dead, ii. 37.
Allegory, i. 277, 408.
Aloysius Qonzaga, St., letters to, ii.
Alphabet, L 171; by raps, i. 145; as
numeral series, i. 258.
Amenti, Egyptian dead-land, ii. 67,
81. 96, 295, 311.
ii. 234; worship of divine, ii, 113,
Ancestral names indicate re-birth of
souls, ii. 6.
I Andaman Islanders, mythic origin of,
i. 369, 389.
Angel, see Spirit; of death, i. 295,
ii. 196, 322.
Angelo, St., legend of, i. 295.
j Animal-worship, L 467, ii. 229, 378.
| Animism:—defined, i. 424; is the
i See Soul, Spirit, etc., etc.
; Anra-Mainyu, ii. 328.
Antipodes, i. 892.
Ape-men, i. 379; apes degenerate
men, 376; can but will not talk,
to body, 450.
24, 187, 410, etc.