perchance be seen in the solid rock or the shifting sand.

The religious books of the Hindus cannot possibly be from God, nor can they contain a true revelation or show men the way of salvation. For, in the first place, they teach the existence of many gods, in the second they teach a philosophy which confounds the Creator with creation, in the third they tell immoral stories about many of their gods and goddesses, in the fourth they account many evil acts as good and many harmless ones as extremely wicked, in the fifth they are full of self-contradictions, in the sixth their statements about the universe at large and even the earth are contrary to the teachings of science and even to geography.1 No system of religion which encourages idolatry, which teaches that God has no real personality, attributes, or consciousness, which denies the reality of sin or teaches that God Himself is its source, and which entirely fails to reveal God as One, Holy, Just, Merciful, Eternal, All-Wise, Almighty, the Creator of the universe and its judge and Lord, can possibly be true or can guide men aright, lead them in the way of salvation and conduct them to God. An inquiry into the teaching of the Hindu books on the way of obtaining salvation will serve to show how unsatisfactory it is.

6. Way of salvation. Hindus are largely dependent upon the Brahmans for the due performance

1 See the Agni-Purana, chapters cvii and cviii.

of their religious duties, although private and family devotions may be practised by the head of the house independently. It is unnecessary to describe their methods of worship, and to tell how they bathe their idols, carry them in procession, bow down to them, offer them flowers, burn lamps before them, and in some cases offer animals in sacrifice to them; but we must mention certain different ways in which they are taught that salvation may be gained.

One of these is by the repetition of certain verses or portions of their sacred books. Thus one of their books tells us that a man is freed from sin by frequently suppressing his breath and by muttering 1 certain charms. It adds: 'No guilt stains a Brahman who possesses learning, practises austerities, and daily mutters sacred texts, though he may constantly commit sinful 2 acts.' 'A Brahman who remembers the Rig-Veda is not tainted by any guilt, even though he had destroyed these [three] worlds and had eaten the food of all [classes of] 3 men.' To eat the food of men of any lower caste than himself is held by Hindus in general to be one of the worst of all sins. Although knowledge of the Veda is considered a means of salvation for a Brahman, yet it is not so for a Sudra, for Manu says: 'He who without permission learns the Veda from one who recites it incurs the punishment of stealing the

1 Vasishtha Dharmasastra, chapter xxvi.
2 Op. cit., chapter xxvi, verse 19.
3 Op. cit., chapter xxii, verse 3.