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hard and abstract, the other living and real. So men have felt in all countries and ages. Their bodily eye distinguished one thing from anothercould exert itself in the day, was useless in darkness. They had as certainly something within them which could discern a sense in words, a meaning in things. This surely was an eye too. There was no better way of speaking about it: And there must be some light answering to this eye, older than it, otherwise it could not be. They discovered, too surely also, that there was a state in which this eye saw nothing, a state of darkness. If we keep these very simple thoughts in our minds, (I say, keep them in our minds, for they are there already; we are obliged to make use of this language-it belongs to us all, to prince and peasant alike); and if we recollect that what we are apt to overlook as too simple, is oftentimes just the most important thing of all—the key which unlocks a multitude of treasure-houses-we shall be able to enter into the belief of different people, and to trace the transition from one to another far more easily. The conviction which we have found dwelling so strongly in the minds of Brahmin and Buddhist, though taking different forms, was this 'he who has the inward eye most opened, must be the greatest man: he in whom it is quenched, must be the lowest and most miserable man.' And the puzzle which we saw tormenting them both, in different ways and different degrees, was this. But where is this light? Is it only in the eye? What then does the eye behold? Is
it not in the eye? How then can I call that a light? A very deep question indeed; the answers to which, in every case, are full of practical significance. The Persian solution was the most simple of all. He felt that his whole life was precisely this debate between light and darkness. There must, he said, be Lords over this light and over this darkness. This had probably been his oldest and strongest conviction.
The nights in Persia are clear and beautiful. The stars were a language which spoke to peasant and priest alike of light coming out of darkness. On these the one will have meditated till he thought them powers and rulers of the world; the other will have paid them actual homage. The Magians, the servants of the Light, will have devised a system of worship addressed to these. If Zerdusht or Zoroaster were a real man, he probably arose at a time when this worship had become very general, and when the mind of the people had become much debased by it. To some man, or some men, it was given to perceive that the ministers of light had become ministers of darkness. Those things which symbolized a Divine Light had been substituted for it. He rose up as the witness for Ormuzd, the Lord of Light, to testify that light comes from him, and not from the outward, material things; that whoso serves them is the servant of Ahriman, the Prince of Darkness. While Ahriman teaches his servants to bow down before visible things, Ormuzd communicates to men his living Word, (that is the meaning of Zendavesta,) speaks to their hearts, teaches them the laws of
justice and order. The battle between Ormuzd and Ahriman will be long, but Ormuzd must triumph at last. The kingdom of light is mightier than the kingdom of darkness. This was the substance of the Persian faith, to the revival of which, in its strength and simplicity all that was vigorous in the Persian character and government, seems to have been owing. There was the greatest difference between it and the Hindoo-precisely this difference. The Hindoo thought of light and darkness as the opposition between cultivation and ignorance -between the Brahmin and the Sudra; the Persian looked upon them as expressions for right and wrong. Far less refined and intellectual than the Indian, far less capable of mere speculation, he had a sense of practical, moral distinctions to which the other was almost a stranger, or, at least, which never presented themselves to him, nakedly and directly, as the foundation of all other distinctions. Hence a difference in their scheme of life. Right must be proclaimed by some one; not merely recognized or perceived. The Persian, therefore, looked much more to an authority which should command men, or to a teacher who should impart wisdom, than merely to a thinker or devotee. He regarded the king, from whom the law and words of grace proceeded, with more reverence than the priest. There might be many conflicts between the two, at times they might work in harmony, but this was the abiding, characteristic Persian feeling.
But there were two or three difficulties specially besetting him who held this faith. The Persian
felt that visible things were not to be adored. It was the worship of Ahriman to set up them as the lords of men. Yet he had more need than the Hindoo to feel that the object he was worshipping was above himself, not merely in himself. He must speak of the Light as coming to him, not merely as proceeding from him. But if so, how shall he realize it? Must not the light, or must not the fire, or must not the sun, be in some sense or other an object for him to fear and obey? This thought would be always re-appearing in the popular mind, nay, in the mind of the teacher who most protested against it, when he was struggling with the tendency in himself and other men to set up their own thoughts as if the true Light was in them. To meet it the Magian devises a theory. These outward objects are but images or counterfeits of something within; they are the productions of the king of darkness: the good and great beings who appear in the world come forth from the inner kingdom to subvert these. Starting from such a notion as this, it was easy to produce a universe of phantasies; the simple and earnest mind of the Persian, struggling against them, and struggling in vain, would plunge into direct idolatry. Another awful question there was: Did this power of good originate the power of evil, or is each self-created? Or whence do they come? Some hidden being there must be some deeper ground than all that man could conceive. They tried to express it in some name-they called this ground of all things, Time without Bounds.
Under this last form the Persian faith came into contact with the Christian Church of the first ages. The influence of the Gospel over Persia was slight and partial; but the preachers of it perceived a deep meaning in the Persian speculations. Gradually some appeared who thought the speculation beautiful, who cared little for the solution. These produced some of the darkest of the early heresies. When the Mussulman encountered the Persian faith he felt no such temptation. "Is this your GoD-this Time without bounds, this phantasy the Living Being? It is impossible. No! pretend what you will, you are worshippers of fire, or of the sun, or of the stars. With our swords we cut through your webs of sophistry—through your worlds seen and unseen-your good and your evil principles. There is one GOD, and Mahomet is his prophet. Yield to that belief, or perish!”
The victory was very complete; such an one is hardly recorded in the annals of the world. But when it was effected there was found to be something imperishable in Persian faith and feelings which could change the characteristics of Mahometanism itself. To it we owe those stories of fairies and genii, which mix with our earliest impressions of Mahometanism. In a later time Persia became the home of the great Sofi schism, which has introduced a new Pantheistic element into the doctrine of the Koran. Under the Mahometan teaching, which in Turkey has certainly been favourable to veracity, the strong sense of moral right and wrong which distinguished the