and intellectual life, so moonlike a reflection, that in due time, after a century or two, society in Hindostan was infinitely better than its religion.
I know, of course, of the bright gems of thought that glisten here and there on their sacred pages,--original, perhaps; interpolated nobody can say when, possibly; but, whether so or not, exceptions to the broad, popular estimate of the religion of the age. That was in itself so weak, so poor, so immoral, so degraded, so animal, that any social system in Hindostan which had not been better than its gods, would have rotted out from inherent corruption.
I repudiate utterly and indignantly the supposition that in any sense Christianity is to be grouped with the religious demonstrations of Asia
If you cross the Straits
and come to the fair humanities of ancient Greece
, to the classic mythology which gave us the civilization of Greece
, the same general truth obtains.
The mythology of the age was so literally and utterly a mere reflex of its earliest civilization, that the finest specimens of human life find no prototype at all in the religion of the classic epochs.
Where in the Greek mythology do you find any prototype for the nobleness of Socrates
or the integrity of Cato
had not been far better than Olympus
, neither empire would have survived long enough to have given us Phocion
, or Cato
Religion is the soul of which society and civil polity are the body, and when you bring forward the exceptional lives of thoughtful men, living either in Greece
or on the banks of the Ganges
, as a measure of the religion of their age and country, I reject it; for I go out into the streets of both continents to ask what is the broad result — grouping a dozen centuries togetherof the great religious force which always, in some form or other, underlies every social development; and when