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As a person's "yes" and "no," so is all his character. A downright yes and no marks the firm, the quick, the rapid, and a slow one, a cautious or timid character,
One ought not to give way in everything nor to everybody. To know how to refuse is therefore as important as to know how to consent. This is especially the case with men of position.
His nay was nay without recall;
His yea was yea, and powerful all;
--INSCRIPTION ON BARON STEIN'S TOMB.
• From Gracian's Art of Worldly Wisdom, translated from the Spanish by Jacobs,
165. FOR THE FOLLOWERS OF ZOROASTER (THE PARSEES).
The Persians, from the beginning of their existence as a nation, always believed in only one and the same true and omnipotent God. They believed in all the attributes of the Deity believed by us; and God is called in their own writings, the Doer, the Creator, the Governor, and the Preserver of the world.
The religion of Zarathustra is purely monotheistic, that it is non-dualistic and has nothing whatever to do with nature-worship.*
NAIB DASTUR RUSTAMJI EDULJI P. SANJANA, B.A.
They (the Persians) abominating all images, worshipped God only by fire. Light was the truest symbol of the good God, and therefore they always worshipped him before fire as being the cause of light, and especially before the Sun, as being in their opinion the perfectest fire, and causing the perfectest light. And for this reason, in all their temples, they had fire continually burning on altars erected in them for that purpose, and before these sacred fires they offered up all their public devotions, as likewise they did all their private devotions before their private fires in their own houses.
• From his speech at the International Congress at Bale, reported
in the Bombay Gazette of the 29th September 1904.
Fire was considered by Zoroaster as the purest symbol of the Divinity, and the original element from which Ormuzd produced all beings; he, therefore, enjoined his disciples to keep up a perpetual fire, and to perform other devotional exercises in the presence of fire; and every supposed corruption of fire is forbidden, under the severest penalties. To every act of devotion purity of heart is necessary; and to purity of heart Zoroaster supposes purity of body greatly contributes.*
The whole foundation of the sacred or religious works of the Parsees is, as it were, built upon three important injunctions which pervade the Parsee Scriptures, and are pithily expressed by three significant terms used in the Avastâ which mean purity of speech, purity of action, and purity of thought. This is the moral of the Parsee religion, and on it the whole structure of the Zend Avestâ is raised.
A perusal of these works will show that they inculcate those sublime doctrines and sound precepts of morality which command the respect of every civilized nation on earth. Evil actions are placed in their proper light and condemned, whereas the practice of every virtue is enjoined, highly extolled and sanctioned by reward in this as well as in the next world. The Avastâ seeks strongly to impress that virtue alone is happiness in this world; and that its path is the path of peace. It is a garment of honour, while wickedness is represented as a robe of shame. The most acceptable sacrifices to God are good actions, while intentions, as well as actions, must be good to be acceptable to Him. The best court of equity is a good conscience. Truth is laid down as the basis of all excellence; untruth is punishable as one
*From Hora Biblica by Butler.