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The Ancient Religions

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In the matter ot entertainments. social, musing and instructive, Detroit has alvhys been woll favorcd, and thosn who iave f ov. nd the winters in tho "City of ho Strait.V' Uull have probably usually ad themsolvcs to blame. Thu past win:er, howcver, has been exceptionally lavsh in its opportunitie iorrational enjoynent, nnd will be quito as long remenijercd on this account as it will beoause f its long coutiuued cold. The lectures, oncerts, and operatic and dramatic enertainments have been bettcr than usu1, and havo been frequent enough to atiafy the most persistent Eeeker for intructioa and amusement. Beside these ;he winter h:is been nuirked by a series f unique entertainments wliich, thongh irivuto in a certain sense, were so fully t tended and so thoroughly enjoyed that 3oy deservo a wider publicity. The entertainments referred to are the eetures dclivcred by the Rev. Charles H. righam, of Ann Arbor, to the invited uests of Governor and Mrs. Bagiey, at leir home on Washington avenue. The eneral subject ot' thu courso was " The eligions of the Ancient World," which vore treated of in sixteen lectures. The rst was upon " The Sources of lïeligion," nd was a olear and comprehensivo examïation of the wliole subject. The secnd lecturo was dvoted to the Jewish ieligion, with its exclusiveness, its freeora trom sehism, its doraesticity and de'.ocracy. Thia was followed by an exeedingly interesting discourse on the reation of Judiiism to Ohristmnity, in hich.tho locturer showed whorein the atter was indebted to the fojriier, and what additiois it hnd made to the ion of the Jcws. Following these, in duo order, were lootures on tho Kgyptian Religión ; the Persian or Magian Iteligion ; the Brahmin Religión ; Bnddhism and tho Charactoristics oí Buddhism ; tlie Religión of Coniucins ; the Religión of Ancient Greece, anl f,)mt of Anoient Bome ; tho Soandir;a iiti Religión ; Mohammed and his Inñuences; Islam, the Religión of Mohammed, and the Aztea Religión, ïhe conrse closed on Thursday last with a lecturo, which was in some respeot3 the most entertainiug of uil, on tho " Bympatby of Beligions.'' I ïhe principal points made by the lceturer in this final discotirse were that there are doctrines and methods eoinmon to all the religions examinad ; that the important doctrines are those which the religions havo in cominon ; that all have a two-fold eharacter of ritual and morality ; that religión ia in some dogree the product of -what philosophers flall its "environment;" that all religions are subject to chango ; that a new religión will borrow and retain some of the elements of that which it displaces ; that religión will always be tho highest of human interests ; that it has given in all nations tho inost important materials of culture ; that it is a matter in which all men have personal concern; that all religiona have tbc idea of sacrifice, and all tako account of the future state of man; that they all reeognizo soul as distinct from body, the contrasts of good and evil and the Ui of retribution ; that all have a Supreme Kuier, to wbom nll otber gods are subject, and whose symbol is the aun, and that there is recognition in all of divine forcé working in the world. ïhe lecture closed with an eloquent peroration, in which the lecturer brierly oompared the Christian faith with the other religions of the world, pronouncingit the most cc-mprehpnsive of all. Of the lectures, whether taken singly or as a course, tho least that can be said is that they tiiku high rank among the most scholar ly discourses of the time, and displayed a research no less remarkable for its extent than for its accuracy. Those who bad tho good fortune to listen to thera will not soon forget the pleasure they enjoyed in so doing It would perhaps bo innppropriate to fpeak in any but the most general terms of the social features of these entertainments, and of the charm which was added to the intellectual feast by the generous hospitality of those under whose auspices it was given. It eannot, however, be inappropriate to say that ininaugurating successfully so delightful an innovation upon the established routine, both host and hostess havo entitled tliemselves to hearty thanks.


Old News
Michigan Argus