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Eleven years ago my little book on the antiquities of English villages was published. Its object was to interest our rustic neighbours in their surroundings, to record the social life of the people at various times—their feasts and fairs, sports and pastimes, faiths and superstitions—and to describe the scenes which once took place in the fields and lanes they know so well. A friendly reviewer... more...

INTRODUCTION I. Thirty-eight years ago, Dr. John Mason Neale published his Hymns of the Eastern Church, and for the first time English readers were introduced to the priceless gems of Greek hymnody. At the close of his preface he throws out a challenge which, as far as the present writer is aware, has not yet been taken up. He says: ‘And while fully sensible of their imperfections, I may yet, by way... more...

CHAPTER XVI MAIN FEATURES OF THE MAHAYANA The obscurest period in the history of Buddhism is that which follows the reign of Asoka, but the enquirer cannot grope for long in these dark ages without stumbling upon the word Mahayana. This is the name given to a movement which in its various phases may be regarded as a philosophical school, a sect and a church, and though it is not always easy to define... more...

THE FIRST LESSON. THE COMING OF THE MASTER. Strange rumors reached the ears of the people of Jerusalem and the surrounding country. It was reported that a new prophet had appeared in the valley of the lower Jordan, and in the wilderness of Northern Judea, preaching startling doctrines. His teachings resembled those of the prophets of old, and his cry of "Repent! Repent ye! for the Kingdom of Heaven... more...

Introduction. These Additions differ from the other Apocryphal books, except the "rest of" Esther, in not claiming to be separate works, but appearing as supplements to a canonical book. The Song of the Three Children takes its assumed place between vv. 23 and 24 of Dan. iii.; the History of Susanna in the language of the A.V. is "set apart from the beginning of Daniel"; and Bel and the... more...

HISTORICAL SURVEY. The second century of the existence of Gentile-Christian communities was characterised by the victorious conflict with Gnosticism and the Marcionite Church, by the gradual development of an ecclesiastical doctrine, and by the decay of the early Christian enthusiasm. The general result was the establishment of a great ecclesiastical association, which, forming at one and the same time... more...

CHAPTER THE FIRST THE COSMOGONY OF MODERN RELIGION1. MODERN RELIGION HAS NO FOUNDERPerhaps all religions, unless the flaming onset of Mohammedanism be an exception, have dawned imperceptibly upon the world. A little while ago and the thing was not; and then suddenly it has been found in existence, and already in a state of diffusion. People have begun to hear of the new belief first here and then... more...

PART 1 After I joined the company, whom I found sitting in CLEANTHES's library, DEMEA paid CLEANTHES some compliments on the great care which he took of my education, and on his unwearied perseverance and constancy in all his friendships. The father of PAMPHILUS, said he, was your intimate friend: The son is your pupil; and may indeed be regarded as your adopted son, were we to judge by the pains... more...

Introduction The last thirty years, though as dates go this is only an approximation, have witnessed a marked development of religious cults and movements largely outside the lines of historic Catholicism and Protestantism. One of these cults is strongly organized and has for twenty years grown more rapidly in proportion than most of the Christian communions. The influence of others, more loosely... more...

This little book, written during the last months of peace, goes to press in the first weeks of the great war. Many will feel that in such a time of conflict and horror, when only the most ignorant, disloyal, or apathetic can hope for quietness of mind, a book which deals with that which is called the "contemplative" attitude to existence is wholly out of place. So obvious, indeed, is this point... more...