NEW RELIGIOUS IDEAS—ARE THERE ANY?
“From low to high doth dissolution climb.
* * * * *
Truth fails not; but her outward forms
The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
That in the morning whitened hill and plain
And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
Of yesterday, which royally did wear
His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
Or the unimaginable touch of Time.”
[Sidenote: A Renaissance without a reformation.]
It would be interesting to speculate what the Renaissance of the sixteenth century would have done for Europe had it been unaccompanied by a Reformation of religion. Without the Reformation, we may aver there would have been for the British nation no Bible of 1611, no Pilgrim Fathers to America, and no Revolution of 1688, along with all that these things imply of progress many-fold. What might have been, however, although interesting as a speculation, is too uncertain to be discussed further with profit. I only desire to give a general idea of the religious situation in India at the close of the nineteenth century. There has been a Renaissance without a Reformation.
Into the new intellectual world the Hindu mind has willingly entered, but progress in religious ideas has been slow and reluctant. The new political idea of the unity of India and the consciousness of citizenship were pleasing discoveries that met with no opposition; but that same new Indian national consciousness resented any departure from the old social and religious ideas.