I have accordingly taken for the general theme of the book that constant struggle between paganism and idealism which is the deepest fact in the life of man, and whose story, told in one form or another, provides the matter of all vital literature. This will serve as a thread to give continuity of thought to the lectures, and it will keep them near to central issues.
nd haze of the past, we see men and women walking in the twilight--dim and uncertain forms indeed, yet stately and heroic.
Now all this has a bearing upon the main subject of our present study. Meteorology and astronomy are indeed noble sciences, but the proper study of mankind is man. While, no doubt, the sources of all early folk-lore are composite, yet it matters greatly for the student of these things whether the beginnings of religious thought were merely in the clouds, or whether they had their roots in the same earth whereon we live and labour. The heroes and great people of the early days are eternal figures, because each new generation gives them a resurrection in its own life and experience. They have eternal human meanings, beneath whatever pageantry of sun and stars the ancient heroes passed from birth to death. Soon everything of them is forgotten except the ideas about human life for which they stand. Then each of them becomes the expression of a thought common to humanity, and therefore