CREATION OF A WORLD-CENTRE.
tion and obedience, was as insistent as the Egyptians1 efforts to objectify the
God they felt in all nature. These in their search for something tangible,
turned to animals like the ape, the hawk, the beetle and the crocodile, which
they regarded as divine manifestations claiming their adoration, and whose
images they carved in stone. In their study of man and of the world, the
Egyptians sought light in the higher spheres of which here we have but
the shadows, and they are the first recorded people whose researches in
chemistry and physics contained the germs of modern science.
Persia's teaching of immaculate purity upon the most ideal basis,
although externally different, was animated by the same earnest desire to
understand God. " Good thoughts, good deeds, good words, purity of
mind, purity of heart, purity of action this is the key-note of the Zoroas-
trian faith. Figures consisting of the human body with many limbs, which
were fashioned to symbolise the manifold powers of nature, extending
reward* to the righteous, and instruments of torture to the wicked, testify to
the incessant search for some outward and visible sign of man s inward and
The Hindu religion, we know, has revealed to the world the most pro-
found spiritual realities. It teaches the immanence of God in the universe
and hence the unity of all life : two sides of one great truth. Whence
follows the corollary of the brotherhood of man. These are the three funda-
mental verities — the second and third logically following from the first —
on which the Hindu system is based.
India's realisation of the spiritual power of God grew so intense that
men strove to subordinate body, senses and mind to the intuitions of the soul,
which drew them away from the self with its inevitable suffering, to merge
them in the life universal. This is the fundamental standpoint on which the
Buddhistic teaching is based. Thus all phenomenal existence was seen to
be nothing but passing reflections of a single unity. The invisible became
wholly the real; and so ardent was the desire to reach beyond all bodily
limitations, that physical activity to a large extent ceased, and the value of
life in the world depreciated.
We can thus trace the religious systems of the Assyrians, Egyptians,
Jews, Indians, Persians and other peoples, but the task is far easier when We
come to the Greeks.
In Greece the predominant note in all moral, political and philosophical
achievements was supplied by religion, which inspired the righteous motive
and the moral code essential to a strong and consistent life, and endowed
the latter with so spiritual and transcendent a beauty that all mankind can
clearly trace therein the handiwork of God himself.
The philosopher advanced beyond the poet in his search for natural
causes, and conceiving the world to be a unity, justified the imaginings of
the latter who with a strong, simple and heartfelt beauty, all his own, revealed