Page:Eskimo Life.djvu/345

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.

301

CHAPTER XIV


THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY


All this superstition of which I have been speaking of course seems to us mere meaningless confusion, the extirpation of which must be an unmixed advantage. But if we place ourselves at their point of view, is it so much more meaningless for them than our Christian dogmas, which lead them into a world entirely foreign to them? In order to understand these dogmas, they had first to transpose them into their own key of thought, or, in other words, they had to make them more or less heathen before they could really grasp them at all. It is useless to imagine that a people can suddenly, at a word of command, begin to think in an entirely new manner. This transmutation has cost them much labour, and though they are still heathen at bottom and believe in their old legends, yet the new doctrine has introduced confusion into their ideas. This alone might tempt one to think that it would have been better to