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the originality of ideas so characteristically savage. But one of these Dayak tribes, burning the dead, says that “as the smoke of the funeral pile of a good man rises, the soul ascends with it to the sky, and that the smoke from the pile of a wicked man descends, and his soul with it is borne down to the earth, and through it to the regions below.”l Did not this exceptional idea come into the Dayak's mind by contact with Hinduism ? In Orissa, again, Khond souls have to leap across the black unfathomable river to gain a footing on the slippery Leaping Rock, where Dinga Pennu, the judge of the dead, sits writing his register of all men's daily lives and actions, sending virtuous souls to become blessed spirits, keeping back wicked ones and sending them to suffer their penalties in new births on earth.” Here the striking myth of the leaping rock is perfectly savage, but the ideas of a judgment, moral retribution, and transmigration, may have come from the Hindus of the plains, as the accompanying notion of the written book unquestionably did. Dr. Mason is no doubt right in taking as the indigenous doctrine of the Karens their notion of an underworld where the ghosts of the dead live on as here, while he sets down to Hindu influence the idea of Tha-ma, the judge of the dead (the Hindu Yama), as allotting their fate according to their lives, sending those who have done deeds of merit to heaven, those who have done wickedness to hell, and keeping in hades the neither good nor bad. How the theory of moral retribution may be superposed on more primitive doctrines of the future life, comes remarkably into view in Turanian religion. Among the Lapps, Jabme-Aimo, the subterranean “home of the dead” below the earth, where the departed have their cattle and follow their livelihood like Lapps above, though they are a richer, wiser,
· St. John, “Far East,' vol. i. p. 181; see Mundy, 'Narrative,' vol. i. p. 832.
? Macpherson, p. 92. Compare Moerenhout, 1. c. (Tahiti).
3 Mason, I. c. p. 195. See also De Brosses, "Nav. anx Terres Australes,' vol. ii. p. 482 (Caroline Is.).
stronger folk, and also Saivo-Aimo, a yet happier "home of the gods,” are conceptions thoroughly in the spirit of the lower culture. But in one account the subterranean abode becomes a place of transition, where the dead stay awhile, and then with bodies renewed are taken up to the Heavengod, or if misdoers, are fung into the abyss. Castrén is evidently right in rejecting this doctrine as not native, but due to Catholic influence. So, at the end of the 16th Rune of the Finnish Kalewala, which tells of Wainamoinen's visit to the dismal land of the dead, there is put into the hero's mouth a second speech, warning the children of men to harm not the innocent, for sad payment is in Tuoni's dwelling—the bed of evil-doers is there, with its glowing red-hot stones below and its canopy of snakes above. But the same critic condemns this moral “ tag,” as a later addition to the genuine heathen picture of Manala, the under-world of the dead. Nor did Christianity scorn to borrow details from the religions it abolished. The narrative of a medieval visit to the other world would be incomplete without its description of the awful Bridge of Death; Acheron and Charon's bark were restored to their places in Tartarus by the visionary and the poet; the wailing of sinful souls might be heard as they were hammered white-hot in Vulcan's smithies; and the weighing of good and wicked souls, as we may see it figured on every Egyptian mummy-case, now passed into the charge of St. Paul and the Devil.?
The foregoing considerations having been duly weighed, it remains to call attention to the final problem, at what stage of religious history the full theological doctrine of judicial retribution and moral compensation in a future life may have arisen. It is hard, however, to define where this development takes place even at a barbaric stage of culture. Thus among the barbaric nations of West Africa, there
Castrén, ‘Finn. Myth,' pp. 136, 144. Sce Georgi, “Reise in Russ. Reich,' vol. i. p. 278. Compare accounts of Purgatory among the North American In lians, apparently vlerived from missionaries, in Morgan, 'Iroquois,' p. 169 ; Waitz, vol. iii. p. 345.
: See T. Wright, “St. Patrick's Purgatory.'
appear such beliefs as that in Nuffi, that criminals who escape their punishment here will receive it in the other world; the division of the Yoruba under-world into an upper and a lower region for the righteous and wicked; the Kru doctrine that only the good will rejoin their ancestors in heaven; the Oji doctrine that only the good will dwell after death in the heavenly house or city of the Deity whom they call the “Highest."! How far is all this to be taken as native conception, and how far as due to ages of Christian and Moslem intercourse, to which at any rate few will scruple to refer the last case ?
In the lower ranges of civilization, some of the most remarkable doctrines of this class are recorded in North America. Thus they appear in connexion with the fancy of a river or gulf to be passed by the departing soul on its way to the land of the dead, one of the most remarkable traits of the mythology of the world. This seems in its origin a nature-myth, connected probably with the Sun's passage across the sea into Hades, and in many of its versions it appears as a mere episode of the soul's journey, without any moral sense attached to it. Brebeuf, the same early Jesuit missionary who says explicitly of the Hurons that there is no difference in their future life between the fate of the virtuous and the vicious, mentions also among them the tree-trunk that bridges the river of death ; here the dead must cross, the dog that guards it attacks some souls, and they fall. Yet in other versions this myth has a moral sense attached to it, and the passage of the heavengulf becomes an ordeal to separate good and wicked. To take but one instance, there is Catlin's account of the Choctaw souls journeying far westward, to where the long slippery barkless pine-log, stretching from hill to hill, bridges over the deep and dreadful river; the good pass safely to a beauteous Indian paradise, the wicked fall into the abyss of waters, and go to the dark hungry wretched
| Waitz, vol. ii. pp. 171, 191 ; Bowen, “Yoruba Lang' p. xvi. See J. La Wilson, p. 210.
land where they are henceforth to dwell. This and many similar beliefs current in the religions of the world, which need not be particularised here, seem best explained as originally nature-myths, afterwards adapted to a religious purpose. A different conception was recorded so early as 1622, by Captain John Smith among the Massachusetts, whose name is still borne by the New England district they once inhabited: They say, at first there was no king but Kiehtan, thật dwelleth far westerly above the heavens, whither all good men go when they die, and have plenty of all things. The bad men go thither also and knock at the door, but he bids them go wander in endless want and misery, for they shall not stay there. Lastly, the Salish Indians of Oregon say that the good go to a happy huntingground of endless game, while the bad go to a place where there is eternal snow, hunger, and thirst, and are tantalised by the sight of game they cannot kill, and water they cannot drink. If, now, looking at these records, it be granted that the idea of moral retribution involved in them is of genuine native origin, and that the goodness and wickedness for which men are to be rewarded and punished are moral qualities, however undeveloped in definition, this will amount to an admission that the doctrine of moral retribution at any rate appears within the range of savage theology. This by no means invalidates the view here put forward as to the historical development of this doctrine, but only shows at how early a stage it may have begun to take place. The general mass of evidence remains to show the savage doctrine of the future state, as originally involving no moral retribution, or arriving at this through transitional and rudimentary stages.*
i Brebeuf in Rel des Jes.' 1635, p. 35 ; 1636, p. 105. Catlin, "N. A. Ind.' vol. ii. p. 127; Long's 'Exp.' vol. i. p. 180. See Brinton, p. 247; Waitz, vol. ii. p. 191, vol. iii. p. 197 ; and the collection of myths of the Heaven-Bridge and Heaven-Gulf in 'Early History of Mankind,' chap. xii.
2 Smith, ' New England,' in Pinkerton, vol. xiii. p. 214. 3 Wilson in Tr. Eth. Soc.' vol. jii. p. 303. * The remarks on this subject in the 1st edition have been in some respects modified, with particular reference to the argument of Prof. Calderwood, on
In strong contrast with the schemes of savage future existence, I need but set before the reader's mind a salient point here and there in the doctrine of distinct and unquestionable moral retribution, as held in religions of the higher culture. The inner mystic doctrines of ancient Egypt may perhaps never be extracted now from the pictures and hieroglyphic formulas of the Book of the Dead.' But the ethnographer may satisfy himself of two important points as to the place which the Egyptian view of the future life occupies in the history of religion. On the one hand, the transmigration into animals, the connexion kept up between corpse and soul, the good and evil life beyond the tomb, the soul's passage into the dark western Hades or to the bright sun in heaven-all these are conceptions which connect the Egyptian religion with the religions of the ruder races of mankind. But on the other hand, the mixed ethical and ceremonial standard by which the dead are to be judged adapts these primitive and even savage thoughts to a higher social development, such as may be shown by fragments from that remarkable “negative confession” which the dead must make before Osiris and the forty-two judges in Amenti. “Oye Lords of Truth! let me know you ! ... Rub ye away my faults. I have not privily done evil against mankind. . . . I have not told falsehoods in the tribunal of Truth. . . . I have not done any wicked thing. I have not made the labouring man do more than his task daily. . . . I have not calumniated the slave to his master. ... I have not murdered. ... I have not done fraud to men. I have not changed the measures of the country. I have not injured the images of the gods. I have not taken scraps of the bandages of the dead. I have not committed adultery. I have not withheld milk from the mouths of sucklings. I have not hunted wild animals in the pasturages. I have not netted
Moral Philosophy and Savage Life' in 'Contemporary Review,' Jan. 1872. (Note to 2nd Ed.).