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deems most divine is not the thunder and the earthquake and the fire of sensuous majesty, but the still, small voice which preaches purity of heart ? He has before him the alternatives of a God of limited might and a God of limited love, and without hesitation he takes the former. Does he not thereby declare that for him the worshipful element of the universe is not sense but soul, not height but heart, not depth but desire, not power but purity ?
And if he did exaggerate the power of evil, if he did invest the awful fact of sin with an importance too great even for itself, let us remember his provocation. Zoroaster was a protestant—a man who protested against an existing state of things. The first protestants always exaggerate; they have no choice but to do so. The very fact that they are the earliest on the field of battle causes them to strike more vehemently. Luther went too far in justification by faith ; Calvin went too far with the divine decrees; Knox went too far in his opposition to images; and Zoroaster went too far in his estimate of the power of sin. He attributed its influence to the agency of a Force which was strong enough to compete with God, and in that he doubtless erred. But into that error he was provoked by a still greater error on the other side. The Brahman had said that moral evil was a dream, that the sins and sorrows of life were but the fantastic and illusory images of the sleeping brain. Zoroaster was roused into the opposite extreme. He declared them to be not only real but eternal realities, part and parcel of the constitution of the universe. His vindication for such a statement is the fact of his protestantism. He was the first in the history of Aryan religions who was called to make a stand in favour of the claims of conscience. He made that stand against heavy odds—against intellectual abstractions which had buried the instincts of the heart, against natureworship which had exalted power over morality, against an ideal of heroism which had substituted the strength of the body for the beauty of the soul. If, in gainsaying this practice of long antiquity, he said too much and went too far, his excess was itself the result of his moral bias, and the exaggeration of his doctrine was the prophecy of a larger life.
We have now arrived at a paradox. We have seen how the foregoing religious systems arose out of an effort to grapple witlı some burden of life. Parşism also arose from an effort to grapple with life's burdens. But Parsism, unlike the foregoing religions, ended by adding a new burden. Like Buddhism, it approached the problem of this world with a view to emancipate the human mind from the weight of its sufferings. Yet the conclusion to which it came was very different froin that of Buddhism. Buddhism proposed that the individual should emancipate himself by taking up the cares of the race. Parsisin discovered that the deepest sufferings of life came from a burden which originated in the individual alone -- a burden which in its nature was untransferable, which a man might pity and sympathise with, but could not lift from the shoulders of his brother. That burden was sin. To the mind of Zoroaster moral evil was the root of all evil, and moral evil belonged to the individual man. In assigning this as the cause of human suffering, he deepened the weight already pressing on humanity. One would have thought that the effect would have been to crush still more utterly the development of the human mind. In the preceding Aryan races, that development had already been almost entirely suppressed. The will of inan had sunk into lethargy beneath the weight of a mystery which it could neither shake off nor explain, and the waters of human life had become a Dead Sea. The impartation of an additional burden might seem to have only completed the process, and to have effected the final extinction of that spirit whose powers had been already prostrated.
Yet, strange to say, the effect was the reverse, and it is just here that the paradox arises. Parsism, in adding to the existing burdens the new burden of sin, seemed to have put the final stone upon the sepulchre of man. In reality it began the process of his resurrection. For the first time in the history of Aryanism, the human mind, in the religion of Zoroaster, breaks forth into spontaneity. The sleep of ages appears to pass away, and there begins an age of vital and of waking activity. India liad no history, because one day was the same as another, and every event was but an illusion. In Persia, history in the Aryan world may be said to have begun. Here the lethargy of ages is broken, and man breaks forth into the activity of outward life. ' In Persia we see the anticipation of Rome. We see a nation aiming at wideness of dominion, not so much by crushing as by incorporating. We see an empire struggling towards a headship which shall in some sense represent the relation of the human head to the human members. The sovereignty of the Persian king is the sovereignty of a feudal superior. He does not seek to reign alone, he only desires to reign supreme. He allows the existence of empires within the empire, of kings and governors who shall have power within their own sphere if only they shall acknowledge their common subjection to himself. It is a Roman ideal of imperialism, because it is a Roman ideal of the rights of man. The Persian has awakened to a sense of freedom, and it colour's even his politics. He moves through history with a free step, and builds his institutions on the foundations of personal liberty.
But the paradox is still more marked when we turn from the political to the spiritual region. The creed of Zoroaster, with its revelation of human sin, might have been expected to have crushed the soul. On the contrary, it removed the thing which crushed it. The proclamation of the additional burden made man free. The cause of the paradox we shall presently consider; in the meantime, we have to note the fact. When the Aryan race recognised its