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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1869 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER V. HERALDKY OF MYTHOLOGY. War preceded Religion. Whether mankind sprang from one or several centres, their emergence from a merely animal state must have been for a long period characterized by modes of life and mental inferiority, little removed from those of brutes, and such as are met with amongst the lowest order of savages in all parts of the earth. The necessities of daily subsistence, the constant struggle with the elements, the perpetual vigilance against the attacks of wild and ferocious beasts, must in the early stages of man's history, have employed all his physical energies, and have entirely absorbed his feeble mental faculties, to the complete exclusion of any but the most evanescent, rudimentary, and infantile speculations on the unseen powers of nature, their origin or character. As men multiplied, as communities arose, Nations have been found and still exist, whose languages contain not a single word expressive of divinity, and into whose mind the idea of God or of any religion appears never to have entered. Dobrizhoffer, who was for eighteen years a missionary in Paraguay, states that the language of the Abipones does not contain a single word which expresses God or a Divinity. Penafiel, a Jesuit theologian, declared that there were many Indians who on being asked whether during the whole course of their lives they ever thought of God, replied, No, never. Dobrizhoffer began a conversation with the Cacique Ychoalay, the most intelligent of all the Abipones: in reply to certain questions, he said My father, our grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, were wont to contemplate the earth alone, solicitous only to see whether the plain afforded grass and water for their horses. They never troubled themselves about the...
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