Nevertheless, the concentration of all ritual at a single point, and the practical exclusion of laymen from active participation in it - for the old sacrificial feast had now shrunk into entire insignificance in comparison with the stated priestly holocausts and atoning rites2 - lent powerful assistance to the growth of a new and higher type of personal religion, the religion which found its social expression not in material acts of oblation, but in the language of the Psalms. In the best times of the old kingdom the priests had shared the place of the prophets as the religious leaders of the nation; under the second Temple they represented the unprogressive traditional side of religion, and the leaders of thought were the psalmists and the scribes, who spoke much more directly to the piety of the nation.
In this he drew a masterly picture, not only of the life and immorality of the friars but also of the insolent Filipino chiefs or caciques, subservient to the powers above, tyrannical to those below, superstitious, unprogressive and grasping.
As a rule they are ignorant, unprogressive and apathetic, intensely superstitious, cruel and intemperate, though individual strong characters have been produced.
These poor compilations, together with Latin translations of certain works of Galen and Hippocrates, formed a medical literature, meagre and unprogressive indeed, but of which a great part survived through the middle ages till the discovery of printing and revival of learning.
These reacted upon this institutional religion, which readapted and reinterpreted itself from time to time, and when they did not help to build up another theology (as in Christianity), they ended by assuming too rigid and unprogressive a shape (see Qaraites), or, breaking away from long-tried convention, became a mysticism with mixed results (see Kabbalah).