comes more into the foreground, and virtue appears once more as God- likeness; but it is possible that the later Stoicism was influenced by Christianity. On Marcus Aurelius, see New Englander, July, 1881:415- 431; Capes, Stoicism.
4. S YSTEMS O F W ESTERN A SIA . Zoroaster (1000 BC?) , the founder of the Parsees, was a duelist, at least so far as to explain the existence of evil and of good by the original presence in the author of all things of two opposing principles. Here is evidently a limit put upon the sovereignty and holiness of God. Man is not perfectly dependent upon him, nor is God?s will an unconditional law for his creatures. As opposed to the Indian systems, Zoroaster?s insistence upon the divine personality furnished a far better basis for a vigorous and manly morality. Virtue was to be won by hard struggle of free beings against evil. But then, on the other hand, this evil was conceived as originally due, not to finite beings themselves, but either to an evil deity who warred against the good, or to an evil principle in the one deity himself. The burden of guilt is therefore shifted from man to his maker. Morality becomes subjective and unsettled. Not love to God or imitation of God, but rather self-love and self-development, furnish the motive and aim of morality. No fatherhood or love is recognized in the deity, and other things besides God (e.g., fire) are worshiped. There can be no depth to the consciousness of sin, and no hope of divine deliverance.
It is the one merit of Parseeism that it recognizes the moral conflict of the world: its error is that it carries this moral conflict into the very nature of God. We can apply to Parseeism the words of the Conference of Foreign Mission Boards to the Buddhists of Japan: ?All religions are expressions of man?s sense of dependence, but only one provides fellowship with God. All religions speak of a higher truth, but only one speaks of that truth as found in a loving personal God, our Father. All religions show man?s helplessness, but only one tells of a divine Savior, who offers to man forgiveness of sin, and salvation through his death, and who is now a living person, working in and with all who believe in him, to make them holy and righteous and pure.? Matheson, Messages of Old Religions, says that Parseeism recognize an obstructive element in the nature of God himself. Moral evil is reality; but there is no reconciliation, nor is it shown that all things work together for good. See Wuttke, Christian Ethics, 1:4754; Faiths of the World (St. Giles Lectures), 109-144; Mitchell, in Present Day Tracts, 8: no. 25; Whitney on the Avesta, in Oriental and Linguistic Studies.
Mohammed (570-632 AD), the founder of Islam, gives us in the Koran a system containing four dogmas of fundamental immorality, namely,
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