Zarathustra emerges from the gloom, suddenly, and he is brightly illuminated by the witness which he himself or his closest followers have given in the old hymns still extant. It is a strong, nervous form of worship we become acquainted with there. Its fundamental character is given in the Avest aven after it has become an agricultural religion, properly so called, and the official religion of an empire. It continues in its desire to serve God by tilling and planting, by extending civilization while struggling against a hard climate, drought, and warlike predatory neighbours, central Asiatic hordes of the type which time and again have harassed the civilized nations.
Nathan Söderblom, The Living God, Chapter VI.