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of Jewish origin, and was re-enacted and interpreted by the Son of God.

The law has both a secular and spiritual side. Theft, murder, false-swearing, etc., are criminal. And here men may quibble as they may, so questions of casnistry spring up in the wake of all discussion, but no people can exist without morals. Morals must have a standard, and our standard is not of Mohammedan or pagan origin—it belongs to another system. Disguise it as you may, the state must enact her laws upon some general basis or code of law. This law has been declared by most of the great legal writers to be founded upon the law formulated at Sinai.

The Sabbath may be made a rest day upon the same principle that the state may enact laws under police authority for her own protection. This principle, the highest court of resort has affirmed in questions relating to the liquor traffic. The state may protect her people, and if it be proved, as it abundantly can be, that the Sabbath is a necessity to the welfare of the state, she has a right to enact such laws as she so desires. This is germain to closing saloons, the cessation of work on the Sabbath, or kindred matters.

Besides all this as to fact, the state does legislate upon labor and rest. She declares her citizens shall not be compelled to labor under contract for more than eight hours a day. She assumes to declare what a day is; she declares what a resting time and laboring time is. This is essentially the question about the Sabbath. Indeed, the state goes further, and in her vagrant laws declares very much after this commandment, six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; the seventh day, however, is a day of rest.

The state in fact does, in other affairs, declare what men may do and what they must refrain from doing on certain days. Certain days are holidays, on certain days nothing can be sold and business houses must be closed. The principle accords with the state authority to declare for the opening or closing of anything that materially affects her existence.

Finally, I declare my abhorrence of the idea of this country being a Christian nation in the sense that places the name of Christ in the Constitution and gives us a state religion. But there is a sense in which it is Christian. This grows out of the fact that all of her traditions are in this direction and that the very large majority of her people are Christian, and when she is compelled to determine law, all else being equal, her heart and voice are with the Christian religion. Mr. Cleveland expressed the idea in a recent address. Said he: “We still profess to be a Christian people. This means that no public officer of high or low degree should be unmindful of the restraints of religious sentiment. It means that the religious teaching of our people should lead them to exact from those who make and execute the laws a recognition of these restraints. It means that rules which a popular religious sense approves should underlie the performance of every public duty, and it means that those who assume to be religious teachers in this land where the people rule are related in responsibility to those in public stations. You therefore will, I hope, permit me to say that though you do well to insist upon the conscientions discharge of official obligation, and though you ought never to shrink from the exposure of official shortcomings, the contribution you owe towards the accomplishing of good government will not be fully met unless you teach the people by precept and example that they will find their safety and welfare in enforcing upon their public servants the observance of the mandates of Christianity and morality.”

In our relation to the Sabbath as Christians, pledged to keep the day holy, I can only add in the strong language of another:

“It is useless to exact a higher standard of morals outside of the church than inside. If members of the church will buy newspapers on the Sabbath, the world's people will print them. If Christians will take a train on that day every time it is convenient to them, railroad men who are not Christians will see to it that the trains are kept running. It is for the Lord's people to say what shall be the popular standard in morals in their neighborhood. A good way of promoting good, by living among those outside the church, is by raising the standard of living among church members."

W. L. NOURSE. Hopkinsville. Ky.

IV.

THE LITERATURE AND WORSHIP OF THE

EARLY ARYANS.

races.

The name Aryan is employed by philologists and ethnographers in two senses. In the wider sense it comprehends all the races included in the Indo-European family, embracing Hindus, Persians, Kelts, Germans, Slavonians, Greeks, and Italians, with, of course, all the modern nations that have sprung from these

Very interesting and instructive it is to pursue the investigation which leads to the full conviction of the original unity of all these peoples. The evidence of language shows that all had a common ancestry. I must be content to assume here a result which no one who has studied the evidence that can be adduced in its favor will feel disposed to call in question.

But there is a more limited and, as I hold, a more correct use of the name Aryan, which confines its application to the Asiatic branches of the great Indo-European family, and so denotes by it only Hindus and Persians.

The old Sanskrit-speaking settlers in the region of the Punjab, in the northwest of India, called themselves Aryans, an honorific name denoting noble, respectable, in distinction from the aboriginal inhabitants of the country, whom they despised. And the old Persians applied to themselves a designation which is only dialectically different, which we can recognize in the alternative name given to Persia, namely, Airyana or Iran. Herodotus relates that the ancient name of the Medes was Arioi. Let me add that the ancient Hindus appear, both in their language and religion, more closely related to the ancient Persians than to any other branch of the Indo-European family. The old Indians and Persians, then-these are the Aryan races to whose early literature and worship I will briefly call attention.

The most ancient literary document belonging to the Aryans is the Veda, the oldest of the Hindu scriptures. The Hindu scriptures astonish us by their vastness and variety. The ancient literature of Greece is meagre and modern when compared with that of India. There are manuscripts extant of about ten thousand separate works in Sanskrit. The question arises, How can we determine the oldest of these works? This can be done by a regard to their language, and by marking references in succeeding writings. The language of the hymns of the Rig Veda is unmistakably archaic. It can be proved that Buddhism was prevalent in India at the time when Alexander the Great invaded it. Here, then, we have an important chronological limit in Indian archæology. Buddhism presupposes the religion of the Veda, and is, in fact, a protest against it. We can mark several distinct stages of religions development before the rise of Buddhism. Sir F. Max Mueller distinguishes four successive strata of literature that preceded it. There is the period of the Sutras which contain, in the most concise form, beside the rules of sacrifice, treatises on grammar, prosody, and philosophy. These Sutras refer to older writings, the Brahmanas, as their authority. These Brahmanas relate to the sacrificial ritnal, and have appended to them the oldest treatises on Hindu philosophy, which are called the Upanishads. But still earlier is the Mantra period, when the ancient Vedic hymns were arranged as a liturgy for the priests. And, as earliest of all, we must place the period of the growth of the hymns of the Rig Veda. They could not, it is generally conceded, have been composed later than one thousand years B. C., and some of them belong probably to a more remote antiquity. Some scholars will not allow that these hymns could have originated later than two thousand years B. C. There are no compositions in the whole Indo-European world so old as the hymns of the Rig Veda, and, therefore, the study of them is so important as illustrating the early religion of our race.

There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, the Yajur-Veda, the Sama-Veda, and the Atharva-Veda. Of these, the first-named, the Rig Veda, is by far the most important. The other three are dependent upon it, and consist largely of extracts from it, together with sacrificial rules, charms, and incantations.

When in India I had made sufficient progress in the study of Sanskirt to be able to consult the Rig Veda, the language of

verses.

which differs considerably from what is called classical Sanskirt, the language in which the Mahabharata, the laws of Manu, and the Puranas are written. The Rig Veda contains one thousand and twenty-eight hymns, each on an average consisting of ten

About five or six hundred years before Christ, Hindu scholars took the trouble of counting every verse, word, and syllable of this vast collection of hymns. There is in the Rig Veda no hymn or prayer addressed to an idol, or to stock or stone; but there are hymns addressed to rivers, mountains, living trees, soma juice, heaven, earth, the sun, fire, the dawn, thunder, the winds, the rain, and the gods of several of the elements. The prevalent worship of the Veda is nature-worship or physiolatry. But this nature-worship is seen intermingled with polytheism, monotheism, and pantheism. The elementary forces of nature are regarded as endowed with reason and power, and are invoked as kings, fathers, protectors, benefactors. Wind, rain, fire, sun, are at times personified, and even vaguely conceived in a comprehensive way as one god. The god to whom more hymns are addressed in the Veda than to any other is Agni, Fire. Agni is the Latin ignis. I cannot stay to describe all the properties and works for which he is celebrated. Indra, the god of the region of the clouds, is perhaps next to Agni most frequently invoked in the Veda. Savitra, or Surya, the Sun, is next to Agni and Indra the most conspicuous god of the Veda. The fire-god, the rain-god, and the sun-god are the special objects of worship mentioned in it.

The Vedic hymns are self-contradictory. Sometimes the gods are addressed as the great and the small, the young and the old. Indra, in particular, is described as greater than all. Yet again we read: “Among you, ye gods, is none little, none young; ye are all great.” Nay, more, Agni, the god of fire, is said to be Indra and Vishnu, Savitri, Pushan, Rudra, and Aditi. This means that the god of fire is also the rain giver, the sun-god, under his various aspects, the thunderer and the infinite, the mother of all the gods.

In the worship of the Vedic gods sacrifice was employed. The sacrifice of a horse was regarded as the most important of all. Oxen, sheep, and goats were also offered. Mention is made even

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