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Have to empty your temples."

On the universal attributes of the God .^schylus writes

" Place God apart from mortals, and think not
That he is like thyself corporeal ;
Thou knowest him not. Now he appears as fire,
Dread force, and water now, and now as gloom,
And in the beasts is dimly shadowed forth.
In wind, in cloud, in lightning, thunder, rain.
And minister to him the seas and rocks,
Each fountain and the waters, floods and streams ;
The mountains tremble, and the earth, the vast
Abyss of sea and towering heights of hills,
When on them looks the sovereign's awful eye.
Almighty is the glory of God Most High."

Pindar asks, " What is God ? The All-Law, universal
King o'er mortals and immortals." On 31 Pindar Bunsen
observes (God in History, II., p. 155.) " The first great
permanently historical thought which Pindar was the chief
and first to engraft on the popular consciousness, was that
"in human destinies Divine law rules, and this is the
same law which the wise and pious man discovers in his
own bosom." The second, "Human things have their
origin and subsistence by virtue of the Divine element which
resides in them." We conclude our Greek quotations with
the Hymn to Zeus by Cleanthes, the Stoic

" Greatest of gods, God with many names, God ever ruling and ruling all
Zeus, origin of nature, governing the universe by law, [things.

Thou rulest in the common reason that goes through all,
And appears mingled in all things, great and small,
Which, filling all nature, is King of all existences.



232 THE CONCEPT OF THE ILLIMITABLE

Nor without Thee, O Deity, does anything happen in the world.

Thus through all- nature is one great law,

Which only the wicked seek to disobey.

Zeus, thine offspring are we ;

Do thou, Father, banish fell ignorance from our souls

And grant us wisdom."

In the long period from the Greek poets to the Roman
historians and poets, the one great truth of the Divine
ruling ever came to the fore. Some might question the
Divine guidance, others cling to the antagonisms of many
indifferent powers; it was often felt hard to realize whether
the issue of an event was due to chance, to law, or to
necessity. Many expressions of classic doubt of this nature
have been selected by Gillett (God in Human Thought).
Thus Demosthenes recognized but this, "Has not justice and
truth for its basis but the will of the Deity ? It is for man
freely to discharge his duty, the result is with God, and
each must accept the fortune assigned to him by the Deity."
This indifference to the result led Ennius to doubt the
Divine superintendence,

" Yes ! there are gods ; but they no thought bestow
On human deeds, on mortal bliss or woe.
Else would such ills our wretched race assail,
Would the good suffer, would the bad prevail?"

In the same questioning spirit Lucretius observes : " Why
are there so many thunderbolts wasted on the sea and the
desert? Why does not Jupiter smite the wicked rather than
his own temples and statues ? " Horace also sees that the
same destiny awaits all. "Piety will not arrest the advance
of wrinkles. You ask vigour of nerve and frame to hold
out to old age, but rich dishes baffle Jove." Juvenal rises
to a more pious strain, Providence to him is right and
truth. " If you seek good counsel leave the divinities to
weigh out what is fitting. The gods impel those who, like
Orestes, act as their own avengers. The anger of the gods
is that it may be more effective. Never does nature speak



AS AN ABSTRACT DEDUCTION. 233

one thing and wisdom another. Man is more beloved by
the gods than he is by himself."

According to Tacitus (Ann. VI., p. 22), some still main-
tained the old doctrine of chance, others that of destiny or
fate, while a third party blended the doctrines of law,
necessity and freewill into one plausible whole. He evidently
had no conception of a Supreme Providence ruling the
actions of all. Not so Seneca, out of the many aspects of
the relations of the human and the Divine he evolved in his
own soul the supremacy of god-rule. Discarding the
Jupiter of the Capitol, the Jupiter of the priests, he speaks
of " Our Jupiter, the supporter and ruler of all ; the Soul
and Spirit, the Lord and Creator of this world-structure to
whom the name belongs. Will you call Him Fate ? You
will not err, for that He is on which all depends, the cause
of causes. Will you call Him Providence ? With justice,
for He it is whose wisdom cares for the world, so that it
moves on without confusion and fulfils its tasks. Will you
call Him Nature ? You will not err in this, for He it is
from whom all spring and by whose breath we live. Will
you call this World ? You do not deceive yourself in this,
for He is the all which you behold, distributing into its
parts and maintaining itself by its own power. That light
which now thou seest dimly informs us the gods are witness
of all our actions, it commands us to make ourselves
acceptable to them, to prepare ourselves for communion
with them."

Born and bred up in the belief in many gods Seneca
could not wholly shake off the influence of his earlier years,
but the images of his boyhood to which he had been in the
habit of addressing his devotions, now failed to control his
will. Above them in the sky he had recognized the greater
Jupiter of which he spake, and under the influence of this
higher sentiment he wrote " There is no need to lift your
hands to heaven or to pay the aedile to admit you to the ear



234 THE CONCEPT OP THE ILLIMITABLE

of the image, that so your prayers may be heard, the
better God is near thee. He is with thee."

Nor was it only among the philosophers and educated
classes that the unity of the godhead was affirmed even in
the presence of the many gods. In the Octavius of
Minucius Felix we note that the higher Divine leaven was
permeating the souls of the people. The Roman Advocate
tells us: "I hear the common people when they lift their
hands to heaven say nothing else but, Oh ! God, and God is
great, and God is true, and if God shall permit. And they
who speak of Jupiter as the chief are mistaken in the name,
indeed, but they are in agreement about the unity of the
power." This is important evidence as denoting the great
change then taking place in the popular sentiment of the
unity of the godhead. They had become ripe to accept the
monotheistic theory, and long before the many gods were
abolished the people had risen to the conception of the One
Deity.

We have seen that Seneca, though conscious of the
majesty of the Divine Unity, could not free his soul from the
concept of many deities, so it was with others, even the
Christian Origen, the enthusiastic defender of the young
faith, was unable to cast aside his early mental trammels.
He writes: "We know, moreover, that though there be what
are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth (as there be
gods many and lords many), but to us there is One God
the Father, of whom all things are and we in him. We
know that in the arrangement of the universe there are
certain beings termed thrones, dominions, powers and
principalities, and that we may rise to their likeness."

Passing by the mythological attributes of the new God of
the first century we will pause but for a moment to note
how much its better nature was in common affinity with the
God of the Philosophers, Poets, and Prophets we have
endeavoured to portray from their writings. It will be



AS AN ABSTRACT DEDUCTION. 235

observed that all tlie highest and best intellects have one
common conception of a spiritual Unitarian universal God.
Among all He ever had the same great attributes of
omniscience, omnipresence, and eternity. When the Divine
rule passed from the many to the One, the general, not the
special, attributes of humanity were attached to it. The
individual gods might represent any character that men
presented, no matter how base, brutal, or sensual ; but in
eliminating the One out of the many, they embodied all
that was holiest, loveliest, most general and best in human
feelings, human thoughts, and human aspirations, and, as
far as was possible with their surroundings, such have ever
been the enunciations of the most exalted human souls.

In conclusion, we can but recapitulate the principles
that we have necessarily recognized in our study of the
researches of the human mind to evolve the Deity, these
demonstrate that co-ordinately with the principles of his
social advancement have been the aspirations of Deity he
was capable of evoking. Even the god-idea differentiated
in sympathy with man's surroundings, and we now know
that every stage of this advanced conception of God was
due to a primary original thought in one man's mind which
was unfolded to his fellows and worked into shape by his
peers. More, whatever the nature of the exalted thought,
it was not always possible for others to accept it, some
could only repose on the lower manifestations of deity in
accord with the tone of their mind-powers. Hence we
still recognize in all countries the survival faiths in all
the earlier grades of supernal manifestations. We trace
two sources of the higher concepts of the Divine, one
from man's inner consciousness of order, fitness and per-
fectibility, the other from the grandeur, harmony and unity
of the natural world.



CHAPTER XVIII.
Modern Presentations of the Lower Supernal Powers.

LUCK. It is questionable whether any assumed form of
faith at the present day claims such a numerous body of
scrupulous devotees as the pseudo-psychic forms of luck.
They are present all where, in all times, and among those
professing every higher form of faith. We trace their
beginnings with the simple accrediting of monitional
powers to any phase or appearance in nature, and they
evolve until they prepare or anticipate subsequent supernal
manifestations as charm influences and charm objects.
Few but those who have realized these multiple presentations
can adequately judge of their extended influence. The
worthy bishop, so scrupulously affirming his doctrinal
beliefs; the learned judge, who retains a mental hold on
the statutes at large, are equally influenced by days of luck
and uncanny appearances. Many a statesman cannot
forego what he considers the indications of luck; and the
wily courtier courts every intimation that conveys to him
such mystic sentiments.

Forms of luck enter into the everyday calculations of the
professional man as well as the business man, and those
devoted to pleasure ; maybe they are more fully expressed by
those devoted to games of chance. We do not in this
category include those who pursue gaming as the business
of their lives, and who study its forms as a recondite mental



MODERN PRESENTATIONS OP THE LOWER SUPEKNAL POWERS. 237

system with mathematical precision, judging of probabili-
ties with fulness of thought and distinct perceptions of
chances and conditions, the same as distinguish the astute
actuary. There are gamblers who have prepared them-
selves for the part by bestowing on its forms and moves the
same mental and physical energies as others expend for the
acquisition of academic or athletic honours, and they often
end in reducing the chances of failure to a low percentage.
For this purpose they cultivate concentration of energy,
firmness of nerve, acuteness of perception, and a clear
mental discrimination of the numbers or cards that have
been presented, and, from such readiness of thought, been
assured of everyone yet to be accounted for, aided by esti-
mating the emotions expressed in the features of their
opponents, and the nervous monitions of their hands and
eyes. Of these scientific players and of the large class of
tricksters we have nothing to say ; our observations are
limited to those gamblers who judge of motives, conditions,
and forms of play by pseudo-psychic deductions from their
own movements, the appearances in things, in days, hours,
and natural conditions, and the accidents that may affect
every human volition, the mystic deductions from which
they attach to every chance in the games in which they
take part.

We have given some of the modern forms of gamblers'
luck-presentations, to these we add the following : One
man bets on the number of his birth-days as denoting luck ;
a second on the number of stairs he ascends to his bed-
room; another judges of the lucky number by the marks
he can discern on the wall of the room. We read in the
Cornhill Magazine (XXV., p. 712), that " there is scarcely
a gambler who is not prepared to assert his faith in certain
observances whereby he believes luck may be brought
about. In an old book a player is advised if the luck has
been against him to turn three times round with his chair,



238 MODERN PRESENTATIONS OP THE

for then the luck will infallibly change/' Sir George
Chetwynd cited the case of a Captain Batchelor, who
though otherwise a shrewd and clear-headed person,
brought himself to believe that to wear the same suit of
clothes two days running at a race meeting, would be
certain to bring the wearer ilHuck. So another, if success-
ful in play, attached his fetish faith to the dress he then
wore, and would after continue to wear the same dress
regardless of the weather, until by successive losses he
came to consider he had outworn the luck in the dress, and
was induced thereby to try another suit of clothes. Like
instances of French gamblers' occult luck are given in
Notes and Queries, March 31st, 1888. "All heavy players
believe in some kind of fetish. Some put faith in a ring,
others in the pendants of a watch chain; some will only
stake with their hats on or when chewing a toothpick.
Others insist on wearing spectacles ; some before entering
the club walk the streets hoping to meet a hunchback and
touch the hump."

Faith in the inevitable change of luck is general, and
men continue playing and losing until all is lost, the fetish
change of luck never accruing. Tacitus says of the old
Germans, that when they had lost all their property, they
staked their own persons, and then if unsuccessful, went
into voluntary slavery. In modern times, such fatalism
often ends in the workhouse or gaol. The Russian gamester
is assured of being lucky if he has a portion of the rope
with which a man has been hung. (Daily Telegraph,
March 27th, 1890.)

At the present day, the general forms of luck are as
varied as in the long past ; mystic semblances and sounds,
often in the same form of expression, prevail in most coun-
tries. There are black and white forms of luck ; so special
sounds and motions are uncanny ; and nervous twitches or
feelings may be associated with forms of good or ill-luck.



LOWER SUPERNAL POWERS. 239

Many actions are luck influences, as throwing a piece of
wood over the left shoulder or a bit of coal. So luck
accrues from the class of things, animals, and persons one
meets, their movements, colours, temperaments, age, appear-
ance ; if they are marked by any abnormality, squint,
sneeze, are lame, ugly, or have any peculiarity in dress or
movements. The lowest form of scape-goat we read of is
at the present day attached to a form of luck. In China,
according to Miss Gumming, ten thousand people, all over
the empire, go out with their kites to the nearest hills or
rising ground, then when high in mid-air cut the cords,
that the kite as a scape-goat may sail away to the desert
fields of air, carrying with it whatever ill-luck might have
been in store for the family it represents. (Wander, in
China, II., p. 129.)

In the Popular Romances of the West of England,
R. Hunt writes of the pitmen : " If one meets or sees a
woman, or only her draperies, in the middle of the night
when he is going to the pit, he will probably return and go
to bed. So seeing a little white animal was a warning not
to descend the pit. The pitmen in the midland counties
had a belief in aerial whistlings, warning them not to
descend the pit" (p. 352). In like manner the fishermen
dread to walk at night near those parts of the shore where
there may have been wrecks. They say the souls of the
drowned sailors haunt the spots; and the "calling of the
dead" has been frequently heard, especially before the
coming of storms. Many say they hail in their own names.
(Ibid. p. 366.)

J. Harland, in his Lancashire Folklore, describes the
sentiment of luck attached to odd numbers. He writes,
"housewives sit hens on an odd number of eggs, we always
bathe three times, our names are called over three times in
the law courts. Three times three is the orthodox number
of cheers, and we still hold that the seventh son of a



240 MODERN PRESENTATIONS OP THE

seventh son is an infallible physician" (p. 4). Still dreams
go in Lancashire by the rule of contrary. Misfortune
betokens prosperity, sickness in dreams marriage; then,
to dream of marriage implies sorrow and misfortune, to see
angels implies happiness, to be angry with a person he is
your best friend. So, to dream of catching fish is unlucky,
losing hair is loss of health, &c.

The moon's appearance has ever been attached to forms
of luck. Burne, in the Shropshire Folklore, writes, "I was
myself accustomed in my childhood on the first night of the
new moon to curtsey three times, turning round between
each curtsey, in the expectation of receiving a present
before the next new moon. Some do it only for luck,
others wish without speaking and the wish will be fulfilled;
others at sight of the new moon turn over the money in
their pockets and it will increase with the moon. Some
look on the moon through a new silk handkerchief;
this confuses the vision, and as many moons as they see
denote the years that will pass before they marry "
(p. 257).

According to W. Gregor, in the Folklore of the North-
East of Scotland, there is at Glenavon, the stone of women,
a large rock with a hollow; women sit in the hollow that
it may induce a good delivery afterwards, and young
unmarried women do the same for luck that it may bring
them husbands (p. 42). Other forms of husband-luck are :
sowing linseed, measuring a rick three times, washing
her sleeve, then hanging it before a large fire, when her
future husband would come and turn it. Another is to eat
an apple before a looking-glass, each piece being stuck on
a knife-point and put over her left shoulder, she at the
same time combing her hair and looking on the glass,
when she will see her future husband stretch his hand to
seize a piece of the apple (p. 85).

Other forms of luck described by W. Gregor are asso-



LOWER SUPEKNAL POWERS. 241

elated with the dairy; thus, milk boiling over into the
fire lessened the produce thereof, unless counteracted by
throwing salt on the fire. Wild animals must never touch
milking utensils or the cows' udders would fester. A
crooked sixpence, a cross of rowan wood or horse-shoe, was
placed below the churn for luck (p. 193). So, a new boat
was always launched to a flowing tide, the skipper's wife
sowing barley for luck over the boat. For the same
purpose the woman last married was marched round the
boat by the skipper in the water. To have a white stone
among the ballast was unlucky, or a stone bored by a
pholas. For a fisherman going out in the morning to be
asked where he is going brings him ill-luck ; so it is
unlucky when at sea to say kirk, minister, swine, salmon,
&c. (p. 194).

The Eev. T. F. T. Dyer, in his Domestic Folklore, quotes
various forms of luck. Thus, it is unlucky to carry a
new-born child downstairs before upstairs ; for good-luck
it must be carried first in the arms of a maiden. It is
unlucky to weigh a babe. If the first paring of the child's
nails are buried under an ash-tree he will be a capital
singer. It is also unlucky for a child to first use a spoon
with its left hand.

Fetish forms of luck are found to be entertained at the
present time by people in all countries ; in some cases they
are general, in others special. Thus, among the Chinese
now it is unlucky for a bride to break the heel of her shoe
going to her husband's house, it is ominous of bad luck.
A bride putting on her wedding dress stands in a light
shallow basket this implies a placid life in her new home.
After, her mother puts the basket over the oven's mouth,
to stop adverse comments on her daughter. For four
months after marriage a wife must not enter a house where
a recent birth or death has taken place, or she and her
husband will quarrel. If a bird drops excrement on a

VOL. n. 16



242 MODERN PRESENTATIONS OP THE

person it is unlucky, and only repaired by begging a little
rice from three persons having different surnames to his
own. In Europe for thirteen to sit at table is unlucky, in
China three is the unlucky number; and no person will
marry if there are six years between their ages, as six is
doubly unlucky. So, sneezing on New Year's day fore-
bodes misfortune, unless the sneezer obtains a tortoise-like
cake at houses having three different surnames. (Popular
Science Monthly, XXXII. p. 796, &c.)

Betimes, in transmission, the forms of luck vary. Thus,
in America, killing a ladybird causes a storm, a piece of
silver put in the churn brings the butter, neither spade
nor hoe may be taken in the house, it denotes ill-luck ; this
may be averted by taking them back the same way. Nails
put in the form of a cross in the nest of a goose preserves
them from thunder. In Transylvania, Wednesdays and
Fridays are inauspicious days, Tuesdays and Thursdays
lucky; so to the different hours of the day are attached
influences favourable and unfavourable. It is lucky to
die at the Feast of Epiphany; the soul goes straight to
heaven, as the door thereof is open all that day. In like
manner, it is lucky to be born on Easter Sunday while
the bells are ringing, but not lucky to die that day. If
a house is struck with lightning it is not allowed to be put
out, because God lit the fire. A leaf of evergreen, laid
in a plate of water on the last day of the year when the
bells are ringing, will denote health, sickness, or death
during the coming year, according as it is found green,
spotted, or black on the following morning. (Nineteenth
Century, XVIII. p. 132, &c.)

The Salish, of British Columbia, hold that certain herbs
secure good luck ; these are fastened to the doors of the
house; so gamblers use the same to bring them good luck.
(Report Brit. Asso. 1890.) The Montagnais, of Labrador,
now hold that it is unlucky to spill the blood of the beaver,



LOWER SUPERNAL POWERS. 243

as that would prevent the hunter from being successful in the
hunt. Ralston, in his Songs of tlie Russian People, observes
there are those who object to have their silhouettes taken,
fearing, if they do so, they will die before the year is out ;
so if a man sees a white butterfly first in the spring, he is
destined to die within a year.

Luck, it will be noted, is thus in its lowest manifestation,
a mere assumption from the appearances in things ; it then
advances to a special inference therefrom in the soul of the
onlooker, and in the more advanced stage it is necessary
for the subjective person to seek for the intimations he
expects. Thus forms of luck pass from the casual self-
presented to inferences, and then to mystic principles
requiring to be sought for, they then evolve into fetish
charm-powers. These changes are still seen in progress.

Among the multiform expressions of luck, that of the
influence of the stars still holds its ground, not only with
the educated as well as the uneducated classes. Vulgar
moon and star luck not only abound, but the student of the
planets, and the houses in the heavens, still searches for
mental and physical causes, and the elements of human
aspirations in the stars. Bach planet now not only defines
the nature and fortune of the individual, at whose birth it
is in the ascendant, but each rules over certain plants and
animals, fish, birds, and metals. As each planet passes
through each of the houses in the heavens their results
vary. Every position has a special influence on the life
of man or woman, and induces death under special modes.
All such human conditions and results are the blind results
of the unseeing planets. More, under the influence of the
assumed luck presentations on his own members, on the
lines on his hands, and the contour of his features, even
the discoloured markings on his body, man is assumed to
be the victim of a destiny over which he has no choice.
So we need not study the cortical centres, or form abstruse
calculations on the influence of education, habit, and ex-

VOL. n. 1C *



244 MODERN PRESENTATIONS OP THE


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