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the dazuóvrov, the spirit within him, he meant the same thing, though he called it by a higher name, a name that comes very near to what the early Christians meant by the Holy Ghost.
In ancient languages, like Sanskrit, we must expect more primitive expressions for that inward state of consciousness of right and wrong.
In Sanskrit we find hrî, which means glow, blush, and shamel. This flushing or blushing was the outward sign of an inward commotion. A man being charged with a dishonourable act, blushed; that was quite the same as when in later times he had learnt to control the beating of his heart, and only looked conscious or foolish. A language therefore which has a name for blushing and shame has to all intents and purposes a name for conscience. A man who is said to blush at a thing, or at the very thought of a thing, may be said to be warned or kept by his conscience from doing a thing.
I doubt whether the German nations had a name like conscience before they came in contact with the Romans. As conscientia was a translation of ovveiònois, Gewissen seems a mere imitation of conscientia. In Gothic it is midwissei. But the German had the word shame, which, if it was derived from a root skam or kam, meaning to cover, expressed again the outward sign of conscience, the covering of the face to hide the flush, or to avoid the searching look of the judge.
1 The Rev. W. Gill informs me that in Mangaia (Hervey Group) they say, Kua renga koa, 'You are yellow,' or more fully, Kua renga koe i te akama, 'You are yellow with shame.' The brownish complexion of the nation seems to turn more yellow, while with us the white complexion becomes suffused with red. To turn white or pale is with us a sign of fear rather than of shame. I have myself watched a native of India with a light brown complexion, turning ashy grey when convicted of having told an untruth.
Remorse If there had been no word at all for conscience in Latin, an expression like that of Lucretius (iii. 839), peccata remordent, 'sins bite back,' would be sufficient to show that he at least knew what conscience meant. One such expression of a single poet may lead to an abundant growth of thought and language in the same direction. Thus, though remorsus is not a classical Latin word, it rises to the surface in mediaeval Latin, it becomes recognised as remors in French, as remorse in English. And as we find conscientia translated in German by Gewissen, and in Old English by Inwyt, we find remorse rendered literally in Old English by Ayenbite, that is, againbite, the two words together forming the title of one of the most important books of the fourteenth century, the Ayenbite of Inwyt by Dan Michel 1. In German too we speak of Gewissensbisse, the bitings of conscience, that is, remorse.
In watching the growth of these names, which were all intended for one and the same state of mind, we can see how easily these acts of ours lead to the admission of a separate mental organ or faculty, or, as the Brahmans boldly called it, a deity.
Have we a Conscience ? Because I am conscious of having done what to me seems either right or wrong, I am supposed to possess a consciousness, or, as applied to moral questions, a conscience, which tells me what is right or wrong. But why should a man be supposed to possess such an organ - Edited by Richard Morris, for the Early English Text Society, No. 23.
or faculty, or why should we appeal to a man's conscience, as something apart from the man? If a man is tall, he does not possess something called tallness. If he is hopeful, there is not inside him a power called hope ; if he is ashamed, it is not something independent of him that makes him ashamed. Even his blushes are only the effect of the quicker movement of the heart, and what makes the heart move more quickly is the quick rushing in of perceptions and imaginations caused by circumstances which are stronger than himself. We are justified therefore in saying that we are conscious of having done wrong ; but as soon as we go a step further and say that we have a conscience which tells us what is right or wrong, we go beyond the facts, such as we know them. Conscience never tells us what is right or wrong, but simply whether we have done what from some source or other we know to be right or wrong. Nothing is more common now than to call conscience an inward monitor, or even the voice of God 1; to speak of conscience as the arbiter of right and wrong, nay, even as the source of all truth, and the highest witness of the existence of God 2. But all this is philosophical mythology. If we possessed within us a faculty, or an oracle, or deity to tell us what is true, and what is right and wrong, how could Pascal have said that good and evil, truth and falsehood, differ with a few degrees of latitude? How could there be that infinite diversity of opinion as to what is true and what is right or wrong? We must learn that from other sources, and when we have learnt it from
1 See Flint, Theism, p. 216. 2 Goldwin Smith, in Macmillan's Magazine, Feb. 1878.
our teachers and by our own experience and judgment, then and then only do we become conscious of having done what is right or wrong. If we like to call that consciousness or that shame or that joy, conscience, we may do so, provided we remember that we use poetical and mythological language, and that such language, unless properly guarded, may exercise a powerful influence on our character, whether for evil or for good. That almighty conscience may be a god to all mortals, as Menander says, but it may likewise become a dumb idol 1.
Sacrifices an Element of Religion, It may seem strange that in trying to make my own definition of religion as comprehensive as possible, I should nevertheless have left out what to many people seems an essential, to some the most essential element of religion, namely, sacrifice.
It cannot be denied that sacrifice has assumed considerable prominence in most religions. Cicero, as we saw, defined religion simply as cultus deorum ; but it is a well-known fact that there were religions without sacrifices in ancient times, and that in modern times the most enlightened minds have completely freed themselves from all sacrificial obligations, in the usual sense of that word.
1 This question has been powerfully argued by Professor Lorimer in his Institutes of Law, Second Edition, 1880, pp. 186 seq. 'I am glad,' he writes, that the doctrine of conscience is not taught, in this sense (as being an exceptional organ to decide what is right or wrong), by the present learned occupant of the Chair of Moral Philosophy in Edinburgh. It is, however, strongly held by the Professor of Divinity, Dr. Flint, who in his Lectures on Theism (p. 216) writes : ‘It is not more certain that by the eye we see colours, and that by the ear we hear sounds, than that by conscience we discern good and evil.' See also an able pamphlet by Wayfarer, What the Conscience is, London, 1878.
Priesthood. I go even further, and maintain that the priesthood also ought not to be considered as essential to religion, though it may be an inevitable outcome of it. The office of the priest, it should be remembered, is always vicarious, a fact which, with the increase of priestly power, may be forgotten in later times, but which is self-evident in the early periods of all religions. If we look on religion as originally the property of each individual soul, the priest would have no locus standi at all. Or if we trace religion back to the family, the father or head of the family is ipso facto the priest. When families grew into clans, and clans into tribes and confederacies, a necessity would arise of delegating to some heads of families the performance of duties which, from having been the spontaneous acts of individuals, had become the traditional acts of families and clans. The origin of a separate priesthood varies so much in different countries that it is almost impossible to speak about it in general terms. In some countries the office of the priest would remain united to that of the king; in others an individual of exceptional gifts as a poet and prophet would obtain for himself and his descendants the privileges of a spiritual ruler. These are questions concerning the history of different nations into which we cannot enter at present. What is important for us is to understand clearly that the first origin of religion,and it is with this alone that we are dealing now,-does not necessitate, but on the contrary, does really exclude the admission of priests.
The same applies to sacrifices. What are called in later times sacrifices or sacred acts must all in their