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protect me in my invocation of the gods." Here is a curious case, especially when we remember how the wolf, in the North American myth, scattered the stars like spangles over the sky: "The fathers have adorned the sky with stars."[1]

Important as is the element of ancestor-worship in the evolution of religion, Mr. Max Müller, in his Hibbert Lectures, merely remarks that thoughts and feelings about the dead "supplied some of the earliest and most important elements of religion;" but how these earliest elements affect his system does not appear. On a general view, then, the religion of the Vedic poets contained a vast number of elements in solution—elements such as meet us in every quarter of the globe. The belief in ancestral ghosts, the adoration of fetishes, the devotion to a moral ideal, contemplated in the persons of various deities, who have been, and partly remain, personal natural forces, are all mingled, and all are drifting towards a kind of pantheism, in which, while everything is divine, and gods are reckoned by millions, the worshipper has glimpses of one single divine essence. The ritual, as we have seen, is more or less magical in character. The general elements of the beliefs are found, in various proportions, everywhere; the pantheistic mysticism is almost peculiar to India. It is, perhaps, needless

  1. Rig-Veda, x. 68, xi.
    Mr Whitney (Oriental and Linguistic Studies, First Series, p. 59) gives examples of the ceremony of feeding the Aryan ghosts. "The fathers are supposed to assemble, upon due invocation, about the altar of him who would pay them homage, to seat themselves upon the straw or matting spread for each of the guests invited, and to partake of the offerings set before them." The food seems chiefly to consist of rice, sesame, and honey.