THE HOPE OF IMMORTALITY 211
It is to me utterly incredible that individuals, through countless generations, should have laboured to perfect their character or their genius here on earth, merely in order that, at some far distant date, a race of mena" full summed in all their powers," yet of no markedly greater longevity to exercise them ina should be evolved until at long length the phantom caravan has reached the Nothing it set out from " (Omar Khayym) ; and that the last conscious being should realise in his frenzied loneliness and despair that this planet, so long man's hopeful home,athe scene of age-long toil and suffering, sorrow and strife, violence and wrong, disease and death, in addition to all that man, in the great power of his mind and the deep passion of his heart, has been able to achieve and long forashould only become his hopeless tomb. How much more consonant with reason and with the heart's truest yearnings, with our experience, too, of Energy's conservation and Force's persistence is the hope that man 4 4 shall see of the travail of his soul and he satisfied, " and the belief
That Life is ever Lord of Death,
And Love can never lose its own!
Before leaving the China Sea I should like to write a few words about China's three great and, until recently, more or less State-established religions : Confucianism, Taoism, and Foism or Buddhism as this last is called in China.
Confucianism was the religion of the late empire and government. Its system of belief and practiceConfucianism was the religion of the late empire and government. Its system of belief and practice