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Literature a Pillar of Strength
          LITERATURE A PILLAR OF STRENGTH.           151

of singers and writers. Even though there remains to
us but one principal production of theirs, the Zend-
Avesta, it is in this that all their thoughts centre and
around this all their sacredness cluster.
  And what shall we say of India, with her 253,000,000
souls--the second most populous dominion in the world?
India with her millions of worshippers after the true
type of Hinduism, Brahmanism and Mohammedanism,
a people who have a" tenacious adherence to the custom
of their leaders, veneration with awe leading to super-
stition, and an attachment to the ancestral religion
that takes the place of patriotism." It is their litera-
ture that is most sacred to them, it is truly the pillar of
strength on which they risk their lives, their fortunes,
their hopes, their all. It is their literature that gives
to them their homogeneous character, and imbues them
with a lofty pride and an ambition to transmit their
feeling down through succeeding generations.
  The beginning of that civilization which stirred the
Hindu heart was depicted in their songs, and the devo-
tion and zeal that compacts them in their faith is but
the outcome of a literature that they made a part of
their nature.
  Even the Chinese place a very high estimate on their
literature. In the earliest records of the nation we find
them placing the ruler and the sage side by side. "The
ruler," they said, "was to govern the people, and the
sage or man of intelligence was to assist and advise him
and spread abroad among all classes the lessons of truth
and duty."
  It is said in a document of theirs, in the eighteenth
century B.C., they wrote: "Heaven gives birth to the
people with such desires that without a ruler they will
fall into all disorder, and heaven again gives birth to
the man of intelligence to regulate them." On the
writings of their great leader, Confucius, they staked


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African Methodist Episcopal Church Review, Vol. 10, Num. 1

Literature a Pillar of Strength


Volume:  10
Issue Number:  01
Page Number:  146
Date:  07/1893


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