It is a remarkable fact that from the very earliest periods of human history the idea of sacrifice has played a large part in every religion, even the most primitive. The fundamental reason for this is not difficult to see, as it seems highly probable that one of the earliest impulses of the human mind, groping in the dark for something to guide it through its inexplicable surroundings, would be to placate the unseen forces which apparently either blessed or ruined its means of subsistence, that is, its crops and its herds.
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