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philosophy, the common people could not divest themselves of the influence of the ancient belief; and Theophrastus gives it as the characteristic of the superstitious man,' that he could not resist the impulse to bow to these mysterious stones, which served to mark the confluence of the highways. From Asia Minor pillar-worship was carried to Italy and Gaul, and eventually extended to Germany, where the trunks of trees occasionally became the substitute for stone. From the same original the Arabs borrowed the Kaaba, the black stone, which is still revered at Mecca; and the Brahmans a more repulsive forin, under which the worship now exists in Hindostan. Even in early times the reverence of these stones took a variety of forms, as they were applied to mark the burial-place of saints and persons of distinction, to define contested boundaries, and to commemorate great events (vide Joshua iv. 5 ; xxiv. 26); and perhaps many of the stones which have now a traditional, and even historical celebrity in Great Britain, such as the 'Lia Fail' of Tara; the great · Stone of Scoon,' on which the Scottish kings were crowned; the King's Stone' in Surrey, which served a similar office to the Saxons; the Charter Stone' of Inverness ; the · Leper's Stone' of Ayr; the · Blue Stone' of Carrick; the • Black Stone' of Iona, and others, may have acquired their later respect from their earlier sanctity.
There appear to be few countries in the old world which do not possess some monuments of this most remote idolatry ; but there is none in which they would seem to be so abundant as on the western extremity of Europe, in Cornwall, and especially in the islands and promontories from the Land's End to Caithness and the Orkneys. In the latter the worship of stone pillars continued to so recent a period, that one is curious to know when it actually disappeared, and whether there still exist traces of it in any other locality, similar to that pointed out by the Earl of Roden at Inniskea.
My own acquaintance with the subject is very imperfect; but, so far as my recollection serves, the following references may direct attention to interesting quarters.
Scheffer, who published his · Description of Lapland' in 1673, states that the practice of stone-pillar worship then existed there, and that Storjunkar, one of the deities of Scandinavian mythology, was
Represented by a stone. Neither do they use any art in polishing it; but take it as they find it upon the banks of lakes and rivers. In this shape they worship it as his image, and call it Kied kie jubmal, that is, the stone god.'— Scheffer, Lapponia. Engl. London, 1751.
He adds that they select the unhewn stone, because it is in the form in which it was shaped by the hand of the Creator himself. The incident suggests a curious coincidence with the expressions of Isaiah (chap. lvii. 6):
Among the smooth stones of the stream is thy portion; they, they are thy lot: even to them hast thou poured a drink-offering; thou hast offered a meatoffering. Should I receive comfort in these?'
Joshua, too, selected the twelve stones with which he commemorated
the passage of the Jordan from the midst of the river, where the priests' feet stood when they bore the ark across.
Martin, in his account of the Western Islands of Scotland in 1703, describes repeatedly the numerous pillar-stones which were then objects of respect in the several localities. And in one instance he states that an image which was held in veneration in one of the islands was swathed in flannel,—a practice which would thus seem to have served as a precedent for the priestess of Inniskea, as detailed by Lord Roden. In speaking of the island of Eriska, to the north of Barra, Martin says
* There is a stone set up, near a mile to the south of St. Columbus's church, about eight foot high and two broad. It is called by the natives the bowing stone ; for when the inhabitants had the first sight of the church, they set up this stone, and then bowed, and said the Lord's Prayer.'--A Description of the Western Islands, p. 88.
But Borlase, who notices this passage in his · Antiquities of Cornwall,' gives a much more learned derivation of the name. He says :
• They call them bowing stones, as it seems to me, from the reverence shown them; for the Even Maschith, which the Jews were forbade to worship (Lev. xxvi. 1. neither shall ye set up any image of stone'), signifies really a bowing stone, and was doubtless so called because worshipped by the Canaanites.'Borlase, Antiquities of Cornwall, book iii. c. 2.
I fancy the word which Martin rendered a bowing stone is cromlech, or crom liagh.
As regards the ancient monuments of stone-worship in Cornwall, the most learned and the most ample information is contained in Borlase's · Antiquities' of that county; but there their worship ceased, though not till several centuries after the introduction of Christianity. Borlase says :
* After Christianity took place, many continued to worship these stones ; coming thither with lighted torches, and praying for safety and success : and this custom we can trace through the fifth and sixth centuries, and even into the seventh, as will appear from the prohibitions of several councils.'--16. b. iii. c. ii. p. 162.
In all parts of Ireland these stone pillars are to be found in comparative frequency. Accounts of them will be found in • The Ancient and Present State of the County Down,' 1744; in Wakeman's · Handbook of Irish Antiquities ;' and in various similar authorities. A writer in the · Archæologia' for 1800 says that many of the stone crosses which form so interesting and beautiful a feature in Irish antiquities were originally pagan pillar-stones, on which the cross was sculptured subsequent to the introduction of Christianity, in order that,
• The common people, who were not easily to be diverted from their superstitious reverence for these stones, might pay a kind of justifiable adoration to them when thus appropriated to the use of Christian memorials by the sign of the cross.'— Archeologia, vol. xiii. p. 208.
The tenacity of the Irish people to this ancient superstition is established by the fact of its continuance to the present day in the sequestered island of Inniskea.
TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF PROFESSOR HAGENBACH, OF BASLE.*
RELIGION, when traced to its first principles, does not consist either in knowledge or action, but in a certain state of the feelings, which, after we have attained a clear and rational consciousness of it in consequence of intelligent examination, grows to a settled disposition under the moral direction of the will, and having diffused itself as the true element of life through the whole inward man, appears in the outward as the noblest blossom put forth by humanity. In treating of this subject, objection has been made by some to the use of the Latin word religion, and piety has been used instead; but the latter expresses only one side (the subjective) of religion ; if, that is, we accept the definition of religion given by Hase, that it is objectively the relation of man to the eternal, subjectively the influence of this relation upon a man's life. The same may be said of the terms 'fear of God,' and 'godliness,' that they are only visible results of religion, and not religion itself. Nor has the word faith exactly the same meaning; for, as Schultz has observed, ' when we speak of religion we include in it all the relations of man to God collected and united in one; and of this, fear, confidence, love, reverence, piety, hope, are but separate parts, so far as they express some of the different relations existing between a rational creature and the Deity. Whilst, therefore, the word should not be used in treating of a particular feature of piety (as, for example, where a form of speech peculiar to Christianity is justly expected), yet it is not only convenient, but indispensable, when we wish to confine ourselves to a general view of the subject.
So much for the word. With regard to religion itself, we need not dwell upon the old definition of it, that it is a mode of knowing and worshipping God, but proceed at once to show, in opposition to this idea, that religion is strictly neither knowledge nor action.
I. Religion is not merely knowledge. It is true, the derivation of the word, and in some respects both scripturals and popular expressions, seem to favour this notion of it; the Scriptures speak of the knowledge of the Lord, and religion is commonly spoken of as both taught and learned. But the teaching of religion is always regarded as something very different from that of the other branches of instruction; and we should never say of a scholar he is clever in religion, as we say he is clever as a linguist or mathematician. It is, however, with a very different meaning that religion is sometimes associated with knowledge. The lowest conception of all, though one which greatly prevails, is that which assumes religion to be merely knowledge retained
Encyklopaedie der Theologischen Wissenschaften, von Dr.-K. R. Hagenbach. Leipzig
† The knowledge of which the Scripture speaks, is a practical knowledge of the heart; and it is worth observing, that to the Hebrew the heart was the seat of perception.
in the memory. Memory, indeed, is not to be excluded; all positive religion rests upon narrative, and we, therefore, very properly commence our religious instruction by teaching the facts of religion, and endeavouring, by means of hymns, sentences, &c., to impress them on the memory of the child. But we regard this only as the pathway to the heart, in which the seed we sow is to spring up, and, having fixed its roots there, produces its fruits in the personal character and life. And when only the memory is cultivated, and men are contented with this kind of religious knowledge, then we see dead orthodoxy alone. There is yet another view. According to some, it is not the memory only, but the understanding in which religion is retained, and which exercises itself upon it. For understanding some prefer to use the word reason, although many when employing this word only mean the understanding,* that is, the faculty of the mind which distinguishes and combines, or that faculty of which the correct discernment of things is the characteristic, however unconsciously it acts. Now no intelligent man will deny that understanding is requisite in everything, even in religion; and the Scriptures fully recognise its worth. But experience teaches that knowledge, gained by the understanding only, is not religion. With regard to this, the work performed by the understanding is generally only of a negative character; it takes away from the religious conceptions the imagery which veils them, it guards from mistake and obscurity, and, like a fresh breeze, acts as a wholesome check to the warmth of the religious feelings. But it must itself be restrained within its own bounds, and reminded that it will try in vain to span the infinite with its finite grasp. Where the understanding predominates, we have false rationalism.
There is yet a third form which this view of knowledge assumes. It is maintained, in distinction both from orthodoxy and rationalism, that religion is the object of a higher perception. The term reason is claimed as belonging to this exclusively; religion,' it is said, ' belongs only to the mind, which thinks, which harmonizes all differences, and by which all is pervaded and moved. The element in which religion lives is not the lifeless notion, but the living idea. These ideas of the reason are beyond the reach of the short-sighted understanding. But it may be asked whether this so-called idea of the reason has an independent existence in the mind; or is not rather a product of the feelings and understanding—the higher unity of the two? Is the possession of this idea in itself religion and eternal life? is it not a mere phantom of
* The important distinction between the reason and the understanding is fully worked out by Coleridge in his · Aids to Reflection.' Reason is the power of universal and necessary convictions, the source and substance of truths above sense, and having their evidence in themselves.
The judgments of the understanding are binding only in relation to the objects of our
It is the faculty judging according to sense. We speak of the human understanding in disjunction from that of beings higher or lower than
There neither is nor can be but one reason, the light that lighteth every man's individual understanding, and thus makes it reasonable.' --Aids, b. i. pp. 168, 169; 6th ed.
† Jesus rejoiced that the young man had answered intelligently; and Paul says, 'Be ye children in malice, but in understanding be men.' (1 Cor. xiv. 20.)
the mind so long as it does not reflect what has been felt and experienced within the breast? As the word reason as used by the rationalists is often only the Sunday dress put on by the mere understanding, so also the same term means with the idealists only a lively imagination. And every one will confess that the imagination is not the source of religion, although, in common with all the other powers of the mind, it must have its share in the religious life.
There still remains to be noticed the following general objections to the opinion, that religion comes within the sphere of knowledge :
1. If religion consisted in knowledge, then knowledge and rightthinking would be the measure of piety. And, accordingly, our age would be more pious than any before it ; the philosopher more pious than the people, men more than women, and adults than children. How was it, then, that the gospel reached us, not from the schools of Greece, but from the Jews? Why has God hidden it from the wise of this world, and revealed it unto babes? Why did the restoration of the sciences not complete the Reformation, for
which it prepared the way? Why did Luther, whom Erasmus thought obscure, throw him, acute and learned as he was, into the shade ?
2. If knowledge defined religion, the church, as a society of believers, would be nothing, and ought to resolve itself into a society of intelligent men (a school). Different classes (esoteric and exoteric) would soon be formed according to the degrees of proficiency; and the definition of a church would be, 'many heads, many minds,' instead of one heart and one soul.' And if even now the former is too often the true definition, it results from the fact that, in the Church, the attention has been directed too exclusively to doctrines, that theology has supplanted religion. Sects and controversies have mostly sprung from attaching undue importance to knowledge, and failing to preserve the purity and simplicity of faith.
3. If thinking and investigating were the proper organs of religion, then religious contentment would be the result of thought; and thinking would do most to excite religious emotions. We should then find that as the thinking faculties declined or were checked, as in old age, on the sick bed, or in dying, religion also would decline; whereas it is often here that it appears in its brightest glory. And with regard to devotion, though there is no doubt that they go too far who say that the best prayer is prayer without thought ; yet, when fully examined, there is a deeper truth at the root of this apparently unmeaning assertion than can be found in that view of prayer which makes it nothing more than mere reckoning of accounts.
II. Religion does not consist in action merely. More might be said in favour of that view of religion which regards it as consisting in action, in a moral determination of the will, than of that which identifies it with knowledge. “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.' (John xiii. 17.) And this view is supported by such expressions
the way of the Lord,' service, works, fruit, &c. But here again there are several ways in which we find religion and action regarded as the same. The lowest (answering to that which makes of religion a mere affair of the memory) regards piety as nothing but a work to be