Tongues of Fire: A Bible of Sacred Scriptures of the Pagan World

By Grace H. Turnbull | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

Is it less idolatrous to worship few gods than many? Is it less idolatrous to worship one god than several if that one be but a fragment of the veritable God, the fetich set up by a very fallible human fancy, the imagination of but a small portion of the race of man?

There are idols made by hands, and idols manufactured in men's brains. Are the idols of men's minds less idols than those made with hands if they represent but a partial and unworthy view of God? Shall we set up the idol of our own race and epoch as the sole God to worship for all times to come? Others have done the same. And who shall judge between?

The only God whom man can worship without idolatry is the Unknown God--that Supreme Power who "is not a Mind, but something higher than a Mind; not a Force, but something higher than a Force; not a Being, but something higher than a Being; something for which we have no words, something for which we have no ideas."

The Mohammedans consign to the first circle of Hell the wicked of their own faith; to the second, the Jews; to the circle lower still the Christians, "because they dare to associate another with God; for the Christians say: The Merciful hath taken to Himself a Son." Mohammedan damns Christian, Christian condemns Mohammedan, Mohammedan and Christian unite in dubbing the heathen idolatrous. The Athenians, pointing to Socrates, cry: That is the atheist who says that there is only one God! And the early Christians in their turn were called by the heathen atheists.

The expression of the divine element, the glory in nature, as found in the Vedic and Egyptian Hymns, the stress which Buddha places on the inevitability of Cause and Effect, which Zoroaster lays on the conflict of the

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