BY R.R. MARETT, M.A. READER IN SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY IN THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD AUTHOR OF “THE THRESHOLD OF RELIGION,” ETC.
“Bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh, are these half-brutish prehistoric brothers. Girdled about with the immense darkness of this mysterious universe even as we are, they were born and died, suffered and struggled. Given over to fearful crime and passion, plunged in the blackest ignorance, preyed upon by hideous and grotesque delusions, yet steadfastly serving the profoundest of ideals in their fixed faith that existence in any form is better than non-existence, they ever rescued triumphantly from the jaws of ever-imminent destruction the torch of life which, thanks to them, now lights the world for us. How small, indeed, seem individual distinctions when we look back on these overwhelming numbers of human beings panting and straining under the pressure of that vital want! And how inessential in the eyes of God must be the small surplus of the individual’s merit, swamped as it is in the vast ocean of the common merit of mankind, dumbly and undauntedly doing the fundamental duty, and living the heroic life! We grow humble and reverent as we contemplate the prodigious spectacle.”
WILLIAM JAMES, in Human Immortality.
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