RELIGION IN THE EAST 215
contemplates as the final goal a state of eternal felicity and perfect rest, an endless beatitude of exaltation above the joys and sorrows of the world, in which self as a separate unity is annihilated.
Some time ago a census of religious belief was taken at the University of Tokio, when out of a thousand students 65 per cent, declared themselves of no religious belief, about 1 per cent, were Shintoists; 7 per cent, were Christians and the rest were Buddhists. A Japanese in England was once asked by a well-known latitudinarian dean whether his countrymen really believed the tenets professed in his country. cAh! Mr. Dean, we are what you call Broad Church; we profess much, but we believe little." Many will profess with the philosophic Earl of Shaftesbury that their religion is that of all sensible People, and when asked what that is will reply : " Oh ! that all sensible people keep to themselves." For all practical purposes the educated Japanese may be said to have adopted the Agnostic ethical system of Confucianism, and to base their morality on their duty to one another and to the State while appealing proudly to the traditions of their ancestors. Certainly the general moral status in Japan is a high one, the Japanese being very humane and having a perfect passion patriotism. Until quite recently Christianity was despised by both the Government and the people, but now its merits are acknowledged* and Christians are no longer treated with contempt. The Japanese Home Office has lately published a census of religious
* See page 244.* See page 244.