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... e away sins from the all-seeing eye. Again it is chiefly in the secrecy of the mysteries that the higher ethical doctrine is propounded--a doctrine usually covering all the substantials of the decalogue; and in some cases, approaching the Christian summary of the same under the

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one heading of love and unselfishness.

As for the corrupt lives of savages, if it proves their religion to be game online poker video non-ethical, what should we have to think of Christianity? We cry out in horror against cannibalism as the _ne plus ultra_ of wickedness., but except so far as it involves murder, it is hard to find in it more than a violation of our own convention, while a mystical mind might find more to say for it than for cremation. Certainly it is not so bad as slander and backbiting. Human

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sacrifice offered to the Lord of life and death at His own behest, is something that did not seem wicked and inconceivable to Abraham. Head-hunting is not a pretty game; nor is scalping and mutilation the most generous treatment of a fallen foe; yet war has seen worse things done by those who professed an ethical religion. But, chief among the causes game online poker video why savage SecondPart400-500 religion has been so misrepresented, is the almost universal co-existence of a popularized form of religion addressed to the imagination, with that which speaks to the understanding alone.

As has already been said, man's game online poker video imagination is at war with his intelligence when supersensible realities, such as God and the soul, are in question. Without figures we cannot think; yet the timeless and spaceless world can ill be figured after the likeness of things limited by time and space. This mental law is the secret of the invariable association of mythology with religion. Setting aside the problem as to how the truths of natural religion (_sc._ that there is a God the rewarder of them that seek Him) are first brought home to man, it is certain that if he does not receive them embedded in history or parable, in spoken or enacted symbolism, he will soon fix and record them in some such language for himself. Christ recognized the necessity of speaking to the multitude in parables, not attempting to precise or define the indefinable; but contenting Himself with: "The Kingdom of Heaven is _like_," &c. "I am content," says Sir Thomas Browne, "to understand a mystery without a rigid definition, in an easie and Platonick description," and it is only through such easie and Platonick descriptions that spiritual truth can slowly be filtered into the popular mind. Still when we consider how prone all metaphors are to be pressed inexactly, either too far, or else not far enough, how abundant a source they are of misapprehension, owing to the curiosity that will not be content to have the gold in the ore, but must needs vainly strive to refine it out, we can well understand how mythology tends to corrupt and debase religion if it be not continually watched and weeded; and how, being, from the nature of the case, game online poker video ever to the front, ever on men's lips and mingling with their lives, it should seem to the outsider to be not the imperfect garment of religion, but a substitute for it. Yet in some sense these mythologies are a safeguard of reverence in that they provide a theme for humour and profanity and

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rough handling, which is thus expended, not on the sacred realities themselves, but on their shadows and images.

Among certain savages God's personal name is too holy to be breathed but in mysteries; yet His mythological substitute is represented to be as grotesque, freakish, and immoral as the Zeus of the populace. We can hardly enter into such a

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frame of mind, though possibly the irreverences and buffooneries of some of the miracle-plays of the middle ages are similarly to be explained as the rebound from the strain incident to a continual sense of the nearness of the supernatural; and perhaps the _Messer Domeniddio_ of the Florentines stood rather for a mental effigy that might be played with, than for the reasoned conception of the dread Deity. If we possessed a minutely elaborated history of the Good Shepherd and His adventures, or of the Prodigal's father, or of the Good Samaritan, interspersed with all manner of ludicrous and profane incidents, and losing sight of the original purport of the figure, we should have something like a mythology.

Were it not stereotyped as part of an inspired record, the mere romancing tendency of the imagination would easily have added continually to the original parable, wholly forgetful of its spiritual significance. It is part of the very economy of the Incarnation to meet this weakness, to provide for this want of the human mind; to satisfy the imagination as well as the intelligence. Here Divine truth has received a game casino free game online play online poker video Divine embodiment, has been set forth in the language of deeds, in a real and not in a fictitious history. Sacrifice and sacrament, and every kind of natural religious symbolism, has been appropriated and consecrated to the service of truth and to the fullest utterance of God that such weak accents will stretch to. Here the channel of communication between Heaven and earth is not of man's creation but of God's; or at least is of God's composition. This is the great difference between the ethnic religions and a religion that professes to be revealed--that is, spoken by God and put into language by SecondPart400-500 Him.

The latter is, so to say, cased game online poker video in an incorruptible body, its very expression being chosen and sealed for ever with Divine approval, and rescued from the fluent and unstable condition of religions whose clothes are the works of men's hands. Here it is that Catholic Christianity stands out as altogether catholic and human,

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adapted as it is to the world-wide cravings of the religious instinct; satisfying the imagination and the play casino game emotions, no less than the intellect and the will; and yet saving us from the perils of the myth-making tendency of our mind. The same thought is pressed upon us when we view the collective evidence as to the universal demand for a mediatorial system--for intercessors, and patrons, for a heavenly court surrounding the Heavenly Monarch; a demand often created by and tending to a degradation of purer religion, yet most surely embodying and expressing a spiritual instinct which is only fully explained and satisfied by the Catholic doctrine of the communion of saints and souls in one great society, labouring for a conjoint salvation and beatitude. We Catholics know well enough that the degraded and superstitious will pervert saint-worship as they pervert other good things to their own hurt and to God's dishonour, but we also know that of itself the doctrine of the Heavenly Court is altogether in the interests of the very highest and purest religion. In all this matter, needless to say, Mr. Lang is not with us; but the affinities of Catholicism with universal religion, game online poker video which he marks to our prejudice, are really in some sort proof of our contention that the Church is the divinely conceived fulfilment of all man's natural religious instincts, providing harmless and healthy outlets for humours casino game play otherwise dangerous and morbid; never forgetful of man's double nature and its claims, neither wearying him with an impossible intellectualism--a religion of pure philosophy--not suffering him to be the prey of mere imagination and sentiment, but tempering the divine and human, the thought and the word, so as to casino game online play bring all his faculties under the yoke of Christ. Mr. Lang's concern is with the universality of belief in God the Rewarder, not with its origin nor even its value; though he seems at times to imply that the solution may be found in a primitive revelation of some sort. For ourselves, accordant as such a notion would be with popular Christian tradition, we do not think that the adduced evidence needs that hypothesis; but is explained sufficiently by "the hypothesis of St. Paul," which, as Mr. Lang admits, "seem not the most unsatisfactory." The mere verbal tradition of a

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primitive "deposit" not committed to any authorized guardians would, to say the least, be a hazardous and conjectural way of accounting for the facts; nor is casino game play there any evidence offered to show that such religious beliefs are held, as the Catholic religion is, on the authority of antiquity, interpreted by a living voice. The substance of this elementary religion ...

 
   
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