Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/181

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LUCRETIUS AND THE EVOLUTION IDEA.

shocking immoralities, and there are hints here and there of human sacrifices. The future life, even when it was allowed, was far from attractive to a noble spirit, being a sort of languid and aimless shadow of the present life. The Roman gods are vague abstractions with no appeal to the imagination or enthusiasm of their votaries, and, so far as they touch human life at all, malevolent and irresistible. This was the body of religious beliefs and practices against which Lucretius protested in the interests of humanity. In doing so, he showed his essentially religious nature. 'He denied divinely the divine.' The divine within him recognized nothing kindred in what was currently called divine, and he invoked the aid of science to dispel 'this terror and darkness of mind.'