Andersen, Hendrick Christian [Hrsg.]; Hébrard, Ernest M. [Hrsg.]
Creation of a world centre of communication — Paris, 1913

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If we examine some of the manifestations of the spirit of man searching
for the light, we cannot doubt that, from the first, however much religious
systems have differed in different parts of the world, there was implanted in
human nature the sense of devotion to some invisible, creative ideal. If this
ideal could not be seen or felt through the soul, then some material form of
perfection had to be divised to embody the popular idea.

If we trace the history of image worship, from the faces and figures of
the remote past, rude, grotesque and terrible, which tortured the imagination
with a ghastly fear of the supernatural, down to the spiritual representations
of Christ, the Madonna and all the saints and martyrs, who have been
depicted by supreme artists with all the pathos of suffering, sacrifice and
divine beauty, in bronze, ivory and colour, it is clear that religion has in
successive ages ranged the whole gamut of human emotion. And this onlv
proves the more that the human soul reaches often pathetically towards its
Creator through graven images, when it sees no other way of interpreting
his will and power.

There is no fault to find or criticism to be made of whatever form,
symbol or material conception was devised, even from the earliest times up
to the present day, if faith and confidence were inspired in the men who
through these forms sought enlightenment. For we realise that at all times
man has instinctively turned towards the Creator of the world with fear,
trust and prayer, and searched through all material elements, if haply he
might find him, in the assurance that the unseen Power is hidden in all phe-
nomena, w hich are, in fact, its appearance-form ; — just as it is the instinct
of the new-born child to feel in the dark for its mother's breast, so that, all
unconscious, it may be nourished by the flowing milk of life; and there for
protection, in innocent, unknowing confidence, to nestle its soft, delicate
limbs close to the body in which it was conceived.

Thus it is that in all ages religion has uplifted the soul and comforted
the children of men by its divine purpose. Moses, Buddha, Confucius,
Zoroaster, Christ, Mohammed, all speak with the voice and assurance of the
same God. Though in different tongues, in svmbolism of varied kinds, the
same God inspired all, and the same •• Kingdom " belongs to all.

Were we to examine all forms of worship that have led the world onward,
should we not find that those of the East and of the West arc alike everlas-
ting rivers of divine truth and inspiration flowing into the same boundless
sea of eternity? Rich in sublime thoughts that pierce the night of ignorance,
veiled in a purity so righteous and appealing that they seem the very mantle
<>t (iod, they gather together all humanity under their protection as one
indissoluble whole. Beneath this spotless veil of righteous desire, East and
West, North and South are met together. Prejudice vanishes in the blending
of the mighty, sacred rivers of divine thought which, inspired by God, flow
through the ages, enlightening the soul.

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