the same quagmire of Pantheism, leads them astray in another direction also when it attempts to answer the question which we are considering. It teaches men that sin can be got rid of by various ceremonial rites and by different kinds of austerity. It is held that, if a man bathes in the river 1 Ganges, all his sins are washed away. If he dies in its waters, he goes at once to the heaven of his own favourite deity. Even the invocation of the name of this river does away with all the sins which one may have committed in three previous lives. The water of other sacred streams has the same effect. Hindus make long and toilsome pilgrimages to the shrines of their chief gods in order to obtain salvation. The tortures which many of their ascetics inflict on themselves with the same object are well known. Yet in no such way can peace of heart be obtained, because conscience cannot thus be quieted. In fact, Hinduism adds to its distress by declaring many actions to be sins which are not sins at all. Thus men are taught that breach of a caste-rule is worse than a moral offence. Such conduct, they think, must be expiated by sufferings both now and in other lives on earth. Hence we see that popular Hinduism teaches that another way of getting rid of sin is by undergoing misery in different births—that transmigration is a means of deliverance. Still

1 See Agni-Purana, chapter cx ; Skanda-Purana, chapter on Kasi (Benares), etc.

another method is that of reliance (bhakti) on Krishna 1 or Rama or some other similar manifestation of Vishnu. It is said that devotion to such deities is better than all kinds of austerities. But this doctrine often leads to the worship of living men who are regarded as incarnations of Krishna. These men are often of the most abandoned character, and yet they claim of their votaries the absolute devotion of mind, body and property (man, tan, dhan) to their service. This leads to the commission of many fresh sins, instead of procuring the remission of past sins, as the Hindus believe.

Thus it is clear that the religion of the Hindus has failed to find any satisfactory answer to the question which Job asked so many ages ago, 'How 2 can man be just with God?' Even the Hindus belief in a blind fate does not give him peace, for that fate is, he thinks, merely the result of his deeds in previous lives, the evil consequences of which come upon him here and cannot be escaped. But in order to prove how completely this religion misleads men instead of leading them in the right way by teaching them to know the one true God and by delivering them from their sins, we must examine it at greater length.

(1) The Oneness of God. As we have seen, the Hindus speak of the unity, and declare that all that exists is God. But in teaching this they grasp the

1 Taught in the Bhagavad Gita.    2 Job ix. 2.