" The day," says Ernest Renan, " in which the belief in an after-life shall vanish from the earth will witness a terrific moral and spiritual decadence.
1 They are particularly important in that they counteracted the popular and interestingly written books of Max Muller: for instance, Muller, like Renan and Wilhelm von Humboldt, regarded language as an innate faculty and Whitney considered it the product of experience and outward circumstance.
Renan even called them "the most human of all books," and they are described by J.
Renan, Marc. Antoninus et la fin du monde antique (Paris, 1882; Eng.
(9th ed.); on David's character see especially his criticism of Renan, Eng.