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partial exception, but even China was almost submerged for a time by the invasion of Indian mysticism and monasticism, for which the way had already been prepared by the native Taoist tradition.
And each of these cultures had to deal with essentially the same problem-how to reconcile the new attitude to life with the old civilisation that they had inherited, a civilisation that had been built up so laboriously by the worship and cultivation of the powers of Nature. It is obvious that the new religions were not themselves productive of a new material civilisation; their whole tendency was away from the material and economic side of life towards the life of pure spirit. It is indeed difficult to see how the most extreme examples of this type of religion, such as Manichæanism, were reconcilable with any material social culture whatever. In other cases, however, especially in India, the archaic culture was able to maintain itself almost intact in spite of the dominance of the new religions. As Prof. Slater has well said, it is in the great temple cities of Dravidian India that we can still see before us to-day the vanished civilisations of Egypt and Babylonia.*
To the teacher or ascetic of the new religion the ancient rites have acquired an esoteric and symbolic significance, while the common people still find in them their ancient meaning, and seek contact through them with the beneficent or destructive powers of Nature that rule the peasant's life. In yet other cases, above all in Islam, this dualism is impossible, and the whole of life is brought into direct relation with the new religious conception. Terrestrial life loses its intrinsic importance, it is but as the beat of a gnat's wing' in comparison with the Eternal. But it acquires importance as a preparation, a time of training and warfare, of which the discipline and suffering are repaid by the eternal joys of Paradise.
Thus the new religions in these three main types are on the whole not favourable to material progress:
* In other parts India, one feels oneself sometimes carried back into the Middle Ages .; in such a temple as that of Menakshi and Siva in Madura, one can only dream of having revisited some great shrine of Isis, and Osiris in Egypt, or of Marduk in Babylon.' Slater, The Dravidian Element in Indian Culture,' p. 167.
in some cases they are even retrograde. Sir William Ramsay has shown, in the case of Asia Minor, how the passing of the old Nature Religions had a depressing effect on agriculture, on economic prosperity, and even perhaps on hygiene; and the same thing is no doubt true in some degree of many different regions. The great achievements of the new culture lie in the domain of literature and art. From the fourth to the eighth centuries A.D., which was the flowering time of the new culture throughout Asia, we see a marvellous development of religious art in Sassanian Persia, in Gupta India and in Ceylon, in Tang China, and in Korea and Japan. But from the material point of view there is expansion rather than progress.
The new culture simply gave a new form and a new spirit to the materials that it had received from the archaic civilisation. In all essentials Babylonia in the time of Hammurabi, and even earlier, had reached a pitch of material civilisation which has never since been surpassed in Asia. After the artistic flowering of the early Middle Ages in Asia, the great religion-cultures became stationary and even decadent. Eternity was changeless, and why should man, who lived for Eternity, change? This is the secret of the Unchanging East,' which has impressed so many Western observers, and which gives to a civilisation, such as that of Burma, its remarkable attractiveness and charm. But such societies are living on the past; they do not advance in power and knowledge; it even seems as though they were retreating step by step before the powers of primitive nature, until at last they disappear, as the marvellous achievements of Ankhor and Anuradapura have been swallowed up by the jungle.
A forment of change, a new principle of movement and progress, has, however, entered the world with the civilisation of modern Europe. The development of the European culture was, of course, largely conditioned by religious traditions, the consideration of which lie outside the limits of this inquiry. It was not until the 15th and 16th centuries that the new principle, which characterised the rise of modern civilisation, made its appearance. It was then that there arose-first in Italy and afterwards throughout Western Europe, Vol. 244,--No. 483.
the new attitude to life that has been well named Humanism. It was, in fact, a reaction against the whole transcendent spiritualist view of existence, a return from the Divine and the Absolute to the Human and the Finite. Man turned away from the pure white light of Eternity to the warmth and colour of the earth. He rediscovered Nature, not, indeed, as the divine and mysterious power that men had served and worshipped in the first ages of civilisation, but as a reasonable order which he could know by Science and Art, and which he could use to serve his own purpose. Experiment, says Leonardo da Vinci, the great precursor, 'is the true interpreter between Nature and Man.' Experience is
. never at fault.' What is at fault is man's laziness and ignorance. Thou, O God, dost sell us all good things for the price of work.'
This is the essential note of the new European movement, it was applied science, not abstract speculative knowledge, as with the Greeks. "Mechanics,' says Leonardo again, are the paradise of the mathematical sciences, for in them the fruits of the latter are reaped.' And the same principles of realism and practical reason were applied in political life. The state was no longer an ideal hierarchy that symbolised and reflected the order of the spiritual world. It was the embodiment of human power, whose only law was Necessity.
Yet no complete break was made with the past. The people remained faithful to the religious tradition. Here and there a Giordano Bruno in philosophy, or a Machiavelli in statecraft, gave their whole-hearted adhesion to Naturalism, but for the most part both statesmen and philosophers endeavoured to serve two masters, like Descartes or Richelieu. They remained fervent Christians, but at the same time they separated the sphere of religion from the sphere of reason, and made the latter an independent autonomous kingdom in which the greater part of their lives was spent.
It was only in the 18th century that this compromise which so long dominated European culture, broke down before the assaults of the new Humanists, the Encyclopedists, and the men of the Enlightenment' in France, England, and Germany. We have already described the attitude of that age to Religion-its attempt to gweep away the old accumulation of tradition and to refound civilisation on a rational and naturalistic basis. And the negative side of this programme was, indeed, successfully carried out. . European civilisation was thoroughly secularised. The traditional European polity with its semi-divine royalty, its State Churches, and its hereditary aristocratic hierarchy, was swept away, and its place was taken by the liberal bourgeois state of the 19th century, which aimed above all at industrial prosperity and commercial expansion. But the positive side of the achievement was much less secure. It is true that Western Europe and the United States of America advanced enormously in wealth and population, and in control over the forces of Nature. But there was not a corresponding progress in spiritual things. As Comte had foreseen, the progressive civilisation of the West, without any unifying spiritual force and without an intellectual synthesis, tended to fall back into social anarchy. The abandonment of the old religious traditions did not bring humanity together in a natural and moral unity as the 18th-century philosophers had hoped. On the contrary, it allowed the fundamental differences of race and nationality, of class and private interest, to appear in their naked antagonism. The progress in wealth and power did nothing to appease these rivalries, rather it added fuel to them by accentuating the contrasts of wealth and poverty, and widening the field of international competition.
economic imperialism, as it developed in the last generation of the 19th century, was as grasping, as unmoral, and as full of dangers of war, as any of the imperialisms of the old order. And while under the old order the state had recognised its limits as against a spiritual power, and had only extended its claims over a part of human life, the modern state admitted no limitations, and embraced the whole life of the individual citizen in its economic and military organisation.
Hence the rise of a new type of social unrest. Political disturbances are as old as human nature. In every age misgovernment and oppression have been met by violence and disorder, but it is a new thing and perhaps a phenomenon peculiar to our modern Western civilisation, that men should work and think and agitate
for the complete re-modelling of society according to some ideal of social perfection. It belongs to the order of religion, rather than to that of politics, as politics were formerly understood. It finds its only parallel in the past in movements of the most extreme religious type, like that of the Anabaptists in 16th-century Germany and the Levellers and Fifth Monarchy Men of Puritan England. And when we study the lives of the founders of modern Socialism, the great Anarchists, and even some of the apostles of Nationalist Liberalism, like Mazzini, we feel at once that we are in the presence of religious leaders, whether prophets or heresiarchs, saints or fanatics. Behind the hard rational surface of Karl Marx's materialist and socialist interpretation of history, there burns the flame of an apocalyptic vision. For what was that social revolution, in which he put his hope, but a 19th-century version of the Day of the Lord, in which the rich and the powerful of the earth should be consumed and the princes of the Gentiles brought low, and the poor and disinherited should reign in a regenerated universe ? So, too, Marx, in spite of his professed atheism, looked for the realisation of this hope, not, like St Simon and his fellow idealist' socialists, to the conversion of the individual and to human efforts towards the attainment of a new social ideal, but to the arm of the Lord,' the necessary, ineluctable working out of the Eternal Law, which human will and human effort are alike powerless to change or stay.
But the religious impulse behind these social movements is not a constructive one. It is as absolute in its demands as that of the old religions, and it admits of no compromise with reality. As soon as the victory is gained and the phase of destruction and revolution is ended, the inspiration fades away before the tasks of practical realisation. We look in vain in the history of United Italy for the religious enthusiasm that sustained Mazzini and his fellows, and it took very few years to transform the Rousseauan idealism of revolutionary France, the Religion of Humanity, into Napoleonic and even Machiavellian realism.
The revolutionary attitude and it is perhaps the characteristic religious attitude of Modern Europe-is in fact but another symptom of the divorce between Religion