Our assertion that that which is called Christianity is nothing more than the religion of Paganism, we consider to have been fully verified. We have found among the heathen, centuries before the time of Christ Jesus, the belief in an incarnate God born of a virgin; his previous existence in heaven; the celestial signs at the time of his birth; the rejoicing in heaven; the adoration by the magi and shepherds; the offerings of precious substances to the divine child; the slaughter of the innocents; the presentation at the temple; the temptation by the devil; the performing of miracles; the crucifixion bfy enemies; and the death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. We have also found the belief that this incarnate God was from all eternity; that he was the Creator of the world, and that he is to be Judge of the dead at the last day. We have also seen the practice of Baptism, and the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper or Eucharist, added to the belief in a Triune God, consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Let us now compare the Christian creed with ancient Pagan belief.
Ancient Pagan Belief.
1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth:
|1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth:[384:1]
2. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, Our Lord.
|2. And in his only Son, our Lord.[384:2]
3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,
|3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary.[384:3]
4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.
|4. Suffered under (whom it might be), was crucified, dead, and buried.[384:4]
5. He descended into Hell;
6. The third day he rose again from the dead;
|6. The third day he rose again from the dead;[385:2]
7. He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
|7. He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;[385:3]
8. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
|8. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.[385:4]
9. I believe in the Holy Ghost;
|9. I believe in the Holy Ghost;[385:5]
10. The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints;
|10. The Holy Catholic Church,[385:6] the Communion of Saints;
11. The forgiveness of sins;
|11. The forgiveness of sins;[385:7]
12. The resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.
|12. The resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.[385:8]
The above is the so-called “Apostles’ Creed,” as it now stands in the book of common prayer of the United Church of England and Ireland, as by law established.
It is affirmed by Ambrose, that:
“The twelve apostles, as skilled artificers, assembled together, and made a key by their common advice, that is, the Creed, by which the darkness of the devil is disclosed, that the light of Christ may appear.”
Others fable that every Apostle inserted an article, by which the Creed is divided into twelve articles.
The earliest account of its origin we have from Ruffinus, an historical compiler and traditionist of the fourth century, but not in the form in which it is known at present, it having been added to since that time. The most important addition is that which affirms that Jesus descended into hell, which has been added since A. D. 600.[385:9]
Beside what we have already seen, the ancient Pagans had many beliefs and ceremonies which are to be found among the Christians. One of these is the story of “The War in Heaven.”
The New Testament version is as follows:
“There was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels, and prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world, he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.”[386:1]
The cause of the revolt, it is said, was that Satan, who was then an angel, desired to be as great as God. The writer of Isaiah, xiv. 13, 14, is supposed to refer to it when he says:
“Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the North; I will ascend before the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.”
The Catholic theory of the fall of the angels is as follows:
“In the beginning, before the creation of heaven and earth, God made the angels, free intelligences, and free wills, out of his love He made them, that they might be eternally happy. And that their happiness might be complete, he gave them the perfection of a created nature, that is, he gave them freedom. But happiness is only attained by the free will agreeing in its freedom to accord with the will of God. Some of the angels by an act of free will obeyed the will of God, and in such obedience found perfect happiness. Other angels, by an act of free will, rebelled against the will of God, and in such disobedience found misery.”[386:2]
They were driven out of heaven, after having a combat with the obedient angels, and cast into hell. The writer of second Peter alludes to it in saying that God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down into hell.[386:3]
The writer of Jude also alludes to it in saying:
“The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.”[386:4]
According to the Talmudists, Satan, whose proper name is Sammael, was one of the Seraphim of heaven, with six wings.
“He was not driven out of heaven until after he had led Adam and Eve into sin; then Sammael and his host were precipitated out of the place of bliss, with God’s curse to weigh them down. In the struggle between Michael and Sammael, the falling Seraph caught the wings of Michael, and tried to drag him down with him, but God saved him, when Michael derived his name,—the Rescued.”[386:5]
Sammael was formerly chief among the angels of God, and now he is prince among devils. His name is derived from Simmē, which means, to blind and deceive. He stands on the left side of men. He goes by various names; such as “The Old Serpent,” “The Unclean Spirit,” “Satan,” “Leviathan,” and sometimes also “Asael.”[387:1]
According to Hindoo mythology, there is a legion of evil spirits called Rakshasas, who are governed by a prince named Ravana. These Rakshasas are continually aiming to do injury to mankind, and are the same who fought desperate battles with Indra, and his Spirits of Light. They would have taken his paradise by storm, and subverted the whole order of the universe, if Brahmā had not sent Vishnou to circumvent their plans.
In the Aitareya-brahmana (Hindoo) written, according to Prof. Monier Williams, seven or eight centuries B. C., we have the following legend:
“The gods and demons were engaged in warfare.The evil demons, like to mighty kings,Made these worlds castles; then they formed the earthInto an iron citadel, the airInto a silver fortress, and the skyInto a fort of gold. Whereat the godsSaid to each other, ‘Frame me other worldsIn opposition to these fortresses.’Then they constructed sacrificial places,Where they performed a triple burnt oblation.By the first sacrifice they drove the demonsOut of their earthly fortress, by the secondOut of the air, and by the third oblationOut of the sky. Thus were the evil spiritsChased by the gods in triumph from the worlds.”[387:2]
The ancient Egyptians were familiar with the tale of the war in heaven; and the legend of the revolt against the god Rā, the Heavenly Father, and his destruction of the revolters, was discovered by M. Naville in one of the tombs at Biban-el-moluk.[387:3]
The same story is to be found among the ancient Persian legends, and is related as follows:
“Ahriman, the devil, was not created evil by the eternal one, but he became evil by revolting against his will. This revolt resulted in a ‘war in heaven.’ In this war the Iveds (good angels) fought against the Divs (rebellious ones) headed by Ahriman, and flung the conquered into Douzahk or hell.”[387:4]
An extract from the Persian Zend-avesta reads as follows:
“Ahriman interrupted the order of the universe, raised an army against Ormuzd, and having maintained a fight against him during ninety days, was at length vanquished by Honover, the divine Word.”[388:1]
The Assyrians had an account of a war in heaven, which was like that described in the book of Enoch and the Revelation.[388:2]
This legend was also to be found among the ancient Greeks, in the struggle of the Titans against Jupiter. Titan and all his rebellious host were cast out of heaven, and imprisoned in the dark abyss.[388:3]
Among the legends of the ancient Mexicans was found this same story of the war in heaven, and the downfall of the rebellious angels.[388:4]
“The natives of the Caroline Islands (in the North Pacific Ocean), related that one of the inferior gods, named Merogrog, was driven by the other gods out of heaven.”[388:5]
We see, therefore, that this also was an almost universal legend.
The belief in a future life was almost universal among nations of antiquity. The Hindoos have believed from time immemorial that man has an invisible body within the material body; that is, a soul.
Among the ancient Egyptians the same belief was to be found. All the dead, both men and women, were spoken of as “Osiriana;” by which they intended to signify “gone to Osiris.”
Their belief in One Supreme Being, and the immortality of the soul, must have been very ancient; for on a monument, which dates ages before Abraham is said to have lived, is found this epitaph: “May thy soul attain to the Creator of all mankind.” Sculptures and paintings in these grand receptacles of the dead, as translated by Champollion, represent the deceased ushered into the world of spirits by funeral deities, who announce, “A soul arrived in Amenti.”[388:6]
The Hindoo idea of a subtile invisible body within the material body, reappeared in the description of Greek poets. They represented the constitution of man as consisting of three principles: the soul, the invisible body, and the material body. The invisible body they called the ghost or shade, and considered it as the material portion of the soul. At death, the soul, clothed in this subtile body, went to enjoy paradise for a season, or suffer in hell till its sins were expiated. This paradise was called the “Elysian Fields,” and the hell was called Tartarus.
The paradise, some supposed to be a part of the lower world, some placed them in a middle zone in the air, some in the moon, and others in far-off isles in the ocean. There shone more glorious sun and stars than illuminated this world. The day was always serene, the air forever pure, and a soft, celestial light clothed all things in transfigured beauty. Majestic groves, verdant meadows, and blooming gardens varied the landscape. The river Eridanus flowed through winding banks fringed with laurel. On its borders lived heroes who had died for their country, priests who had led a pure life, artists who had embodied genuine beauty in their work, and poets who had never degraded their muse with subjects unworthy of Apollo. There each one renewed the pleasures in which he formerly delighted. Orpheus, in long white robes, made enrapturing music on his lyre, while others danced and sang. The husband rejoined his beloved wife; old friendships were renewed, the poet repeated his verses, and the charioteer managed his horses.
Some souls wandered in vast forests between Tartarus and Elysium, not good enough for one, or bad enough for the other. Some were purified from their sins by exposure to searching winds, others by being submerged in deep waters, others by passing through intense fires. After a long period of probation and suffering, many of them gained the Elysian Fields. This belief is handed down to our day in the Roman Catholic idea of Purgatory.
A belief in the existence of the soul after death was indicated in all periods of history of the world, by the fact that man was always accustomed to address prayers to the spirits of their ancestors.[389:1]
These heavens and hells where men abode after death, vary, in different countries, according to the likes and dislikes of each nation.
All the Teutonic nations held to a fixed Elysium and a hell, where the valiant and the just were rewarded, and where the cowardly and the wicked suffered punishment. As all nations have made a god, and that god has resembled the persons who made it, so have all nations made a heaven, and that heaven corresponds to the fancies of the people who have created it.
In the prose Edda there is a description of the joys of Valhalla (the Hall of the Chosen), which states that: “All men who have fallen in fight since the beginning of the world are gone to Odin (the Supreme God), in Valhalla.” A mighty band of men are there, “and every day, as soon as they have dressed themselves, they ride out into the court (or field), and there fight until they cut each other into pieces. This is their pastime, but when the meal-tide approaches, they remount their steeds, and return to drink in Valhalla. As it is said (in Vafthrudnis-mal):
‘The Einherjar allOn Odin’s plainHew daily each other,While chosen the slain are.From the frey they then ride,And drink ale with the Æsir.'”[390:1]
This description of the palace of Odin is a natural picture of the manners of the ancient Scandinavians and Germans. Prompted by the wants of their climate, and the impulse of their own temperament, they formed to themselves a delicious paradise in their own way; where they were to eat and drink, and fight. The women, to whom they assigned a place there, were introduced for no other purpose but to fill their cups.
The Mohammedan paradise differs from this. Women there, are for man’s pleasure. The day is always serene, the air forever pure, and a soft celestial light clothes all things in transfigured beauty. Majestic groves, verdant meadows, and blooming gardens vary the landscape. There, in radiant halls, dwell the departed, ever blooming and beautiful, ever laughing and gay.
The American Indian calculates upon finding successful chases after wild animals, verdant plains, and no winter, as the characteristics of his “future life.”
The red Indian, when told by a missionary that in the “promised land” they would neither eat, drink, hunt, nor marry a wife, contemptuously replied, that instead of wishing to go there, he should deem his residence in such a place as the greatest possible calamity. Many not only rejected such a destiny for themselves, but were indignant at the attempt to decoy their children into such a comfortless region.
All nations of the earth have had their heavens. As Moore observes:
“A heaven, too, ye must have, ye lords of dust—A splendid paradise, poor souls, ye must:That prophet ill sustains his holy callWho finds not heavens to suit the tastes of all.Vain things! as lust or vanity inspires,The heaven of each is but what each desires.”
Heaven was born of the sky,[391:1] and nurtured by cunning priests, who made man a coward and a slave.
Hell was built by priests, and nurtured by the fears and servile fancies of man during the ages when dungeons of torture were a recognized part of every government, and when God was supposed to be an infinite tyrant, with infinite resources of vengeance.
The devil is an imaginary being, invented by primitive man to account for the existence of evil, and relieve God of his responsibility. The famous HindooRakshasas of our Aryan ancestors—the dark and evil clouds personified—are the originals of all devils. The cloudy shape has assumed a thousand different forms, horrible or grotesque and ludicrous, to suit the changing fancies of the ages.
But strange as it may appear, the god of one nation became the devil of another.
The rock of Behistun, the sculptured chronicle of the glories of Darius, king of Persia, situated on the western frontier of Media, on the high-road from Babylon to the eastward, was used as a “holy of holies.” It was named Bagistane—”the place of the Baga“—referring to Ormuzd, chief of the Bagas. When examined with the lenses of linguistic science, the “Bogie” or “Bug-a-boo” or “Bugbear” of nursery lore, turns out to be identical with the Slavonic “Bog” and the “Baga” of the cuneiform inscriptions, both of which are names of the Supreme Being. It is found also in the old Aryan “Bhaga,” who is described in a commentary of the Rig-Veda as the lord of life, the giver of bread, and the bringer of happiness. Thus, the same name which, to the Vedic poet, to the Persian of the time of Xerxes, and to the modern Russian, suggests the supreme majesty of deity, is in English associated with an ugly and ludicrous fiend. Another striking illustration is to be found in the word devil itself. When traced back to its primitive source, it is found to be a name of the Supreme Being.[391:2]
The ancients had a great number of festival days, many of which are handed down to the present time, and are to be found in Christianity.
We have already seen that the 25th of December was almost a universal festival among the ancients; so it is the same with the spring festivals, when days of fasting are observed.
The Hindoos hold a festival, called Siva-ratri, in honor of Siva, about the middle or end of February. A strict fast is observed during the day. They have also a festival in April, when a strict fast is kept by some.[392:1]
At the spring equinox most nations of antiquity set apart a day to implore the blessings of their god, or gods, on the fruits of the earth. At the autumnal equinox, they offered the fruits of the harvest, and returned thanks. In China, these religious solemnities are called “Festivals of gratitude to Tien.”[392:2] The last named corresponds to our “Thanksgiving” celebration.
One of the most considerable festivals held by the ancient Scandinavians was the spring celebration. This was held in honor of Odin, at the beginning of spring, in order to welcome in that pleasant season, and to obtain of their god happy success in their projected expeditions.
Another festival was held toward the autumn equinox, when they were accustomed to kill all their cattle in good condition, and lay in a store of provision for the winter. This festival was also attended with religious ceremonies, when Odin, the supreme god, was thanked for what he had given them, by having his altar loaded with the fruits of their crops, and the choicest products of the earth.[392:3]
There was a grand celebration in Egypt, called the “Feast of Lamps,” held at Sais, in honor of the goddess Neith. Those who did not attend the ceremony, as well as those who did, burned lamps before their houses all night, filled with oil and salt: thus all Egypt was illuminated. It was deemed a great irreverence to the goddess for any one to omit this ceremony.[392:4]
The Hindoos also held a festival in honor of the goddesses Lakshmi and Bhavanti, called “The feast of Lamps.”[392:5] This festival has been handed down to the present time in what is called “Candlemas day,” or the purification of the Virgin Mary.
The most celebrated Pagan festival held by modern Christians is that known as “Sunday,” or the “Lord’s day.”
All the principal nations of antiquity kept the seventh day of the week as a “holy day,” just as the ancient Israelites did. This was owing to the fact that they consecrated the days of the week to the Sun, the Moon, and the five planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The seventh day was sacred to Saturn from time immemorial. Homer and Hesiod call it the “Holy Day.”[393:1] The people generally visited the temples of the gods, on that day, and offered up their prayers and supplications.[393:2] The Acadians, thousands of years ago, kept holy the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of each month as Salum (rest), on which certain works were forbidden.[393:3] The Arabs anciently worshiped Saturn under the name of Hobal. In his hands he held seven arrows, symbols of the planets that preside over the seven days of the week.[393:4] The Egyptians assigned a day of the week to the sun, moon, and five planets, and the numberseven was held there in great reverence.[393:5]
The planet Saturn very early became the chief deity of Semitic religion. Moses consecrated the number seven to him.[393:6]
In the old conception, which finds expression in the Decalogue in Deuteronomy (v. 15), the Sabbath has a purely theocratic significance, and is intended to remind the Hebrews of their miraculous deliverance from the land of Egypt and bondage. When the story of Creation was borrowed from the Babylonians, the celebration of the Sabbath was established on entirely new grounds (Ex. xx. 11), for we find it is because the “Creator,” after his six days of work, rested on the seventh, that the day should be kept holy.
The Assyrians kept this day holy. Mr. George Smith says:
“In the year 1869, I discovered among other things a curious religious calendar of the Assyrians, in which every month is divided into four weeks, and the seventh days or ‘Sabbaths,’ are marked out as days on which no work should be undertaken.”[393:7]
The ancient Scandinavians consecrated one day in the week to their Supreme God, Odin or Wodin.[393:8] Even at the present time we call this day Odin’s-day.[393:9]
The question now arises, how was the great festival day changed from the seventh—Saturn’s day—to the first—Sun-day—among the Christians?
“If we go back to the founding of the church, we find that the most marked feature of that age, so far as the church itself is concerned, is the grand division between the ‘Jewish faction,’ as it was called, and the followers of Paul. This division was so deep, so marked, so characteristic, that it has left its traces all through the New Testament itself. It was one of the grand aspects of the time, and the point on which they were divided was simply this: the followers of Peter, those who adhered to the teachings of the central church in Jerusalem, held that all Christians, both converted Jews and Gentiles, were under obligation to keep the Mosaic law, ordinances, and traditions. That is, a Christian, according to their definition, was first a Jew; Christianity was something added to that, not something taking the place of it.
“We find this controversy raging violently all through the early churches, and splitting them into factions, so that they were the occasion of prayer and counsel. Paul took the ground distinctly that Christianity, while it might be spiritually the lineal successor of Judaism, was not Judaism; and that he who became a Christian, whether a converted Jew or Gentile, was under no obligation whatever to keep the Jewish law, so far as it was separate from practical matters of life and character. We find this intimated in the writings of Paul; for we have to go to the New Testament for the origin of that which, we find, existed immediately after the New Testament was written. Paul says: ‘One man esteemeth one day above another: another man esteemeth every day alike’ (Rom. xiv. 5-9). He leaves it an open question; they can do as they please. Then: ‘Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain’ (Gal. iv. 10, 11). And if you will note this Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, you will find that the whole purpose of his writing it was to protest against what he believed to be the viciousness of the Judaizing influences. That is, he says: ‘I have come to preach to you the perfect truth, that Christ hath made us free; and you are going back and taking upon yourselves this yoke of bondage. My labor is being thrown away; my efforts have been in vain.’ Then he says, in his celebrated Epistle to the Colossians, that has never yet been explained away or met: ‘Let no man therefore judge you any more in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days’ (Col. ii. 16, 17), distinctly abrogating the binding authority of the Sabbath on the Christian church. So that, if Paul’s word anywhere means anything—if his authority is to be taken as of binding force on any point whatever—then Paul is to be regarded as authoritatively and distinctly abrogating the Sabbath, and declaring that it is no longer binding on the Christian church.”[395:1]
This breach in the early church, this controversy, resulted at last in Paul’s going up to Jerusalem “to meet James and the representatives of the Jerusalem church, to see if they could find any common platform of agreement—if they could come together so that they could work with mutual respect and without any further bickering. What is the platform that they met upon? It was distinctly understood that those who wished to keep up the observance of Judaism should do so; and the church at Jerusalem gave Paul this grand freedom, substantially saying to him: ‘Go back to your missionary work, found churches, and teach them that they are perfectly free in regard to all Mosaic and Jewish observances, save only these four: Abstain from pollutions of idols, from fornication, from things strangled, and from blood.”[395:2]
The point to which our attention is forcibly drawn is, that the question of Sabbath-keeping is one of those that is left out. The point that Paul had been fighting for was conceded by the central church at Jerusalem, and he was to go out thenceforth free, so far as that was concerned, in his teaching of the churches that he should found.
There is no mention of the Sabbath, or the Lord’s day, as binding in the New Testament. What, then, was the actual condition of affairs? What did the churches do in the first three hundred years of their existence? Why, they did just what Paul and the Jerusalem church had agreed upon. Those who wished to keep the Jewish Sabbath did so; and those who did not wish to, did not do so. This is seen from the fact that Justin Martyr, a Christian Father who flourished about A. D. 140, did not observe the day. In his “Dialogue” with Typho, the Jew reproaches the Christians for not keeping the “Sabbath.” Justin admits the charge by saying:
“Do you not see that the Elements keep no Sabbaths and are never idle? Continue as you were created. If there was no need of circumcision before Abraham’s time, and no need of the Sabbath, of festivals and oblations, before the time of Moses, neither of them are necessary after the coming of Christ. If any among you is guilty of perjury, fraud, or other crimes, let him cease from them and repent, and he will have kept the kind of Sabbath pleasing to God.”
There was no binding authority then, among the Christians, as to whether they should keep the first or the seventh day of the week holy, or not, until the time of the first Christian Roman Emperor. “Constantine, a Sun worshiper, who had, as other Heathen, kept the Sun-day, publicly ordered this to supplant the Jewish Sabbath.“[396:1] He commanded that this day should be kept holy, throughout the whole Roman empire, and sent an edict to all governors of provinces to this effect.[396:2] Thus we see how the great Pagan festival, in honor of Sol the invincible, was transformed into a Christian holy-day.
Not only were Pagan festival days changed into Christian holy-days, but Pagan idols were converted into Christian saints, and Pagan temples into Christian churches.
A Pagan temple at Rome, formerly sacred to the “Bona Dea” (the “Good Goddess”), was Christianized and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In a place formerly sacred to Apollo, there now stands the church of Saint Apollinaris. Where there anciently stood the temple of Mars, may now be seen the church of Saint Martine.[396:3] A Pagan temple, originally dedicated to “Cælestis Dea” (the “Heavenly Goddess”), by one Aurelius, a Pagan high-priest, was converted into a Christian church by another Aurelius, created Bishop of Carthage in the year 390 of Christ. He placed his episcopal chair in the very place where the statue of the Heavenly Goddess had stood.[396:4]
The noblest heathen temple now remaining in the world, is the Pantheon or Rotunda, which, as the inscription over the portico informs us, having beenimpiously dedicated of old by Agrippa to “Jove and all the gods,” was piously reconsecrated by Pope Boniface the Fourth, to “The Mother of God and all the Saints.”[396:5]
The church of Saint Reparatae, at Florence, was formerly a Pagan temple. An inscription was found in the foundation of this church, of these words: “To the Great Goddess Nutria.”[396:6] The church of St. Stephen, at Bologna, was formed from heathen temples, one of which was a temple of Isis.[396:7]
At the southern extremity of the present Forum at Rome, and just under the Palatine hill—where the noble babes, who, miraculously preserved, became the founders of a state that was to command the world, were exposed—stands the church of St. Theodore.
This temple was built in honor of Romulus, and the brazen wolf—commemorating the curious manner in which the founders of Rome were nurtured—occupied a place here till the sixteenth century. And, as the Roman matrons of old used to carry their children, when ill, to the temple of Romulus, so too, the women still carry their children to St. Theodore on the same occasions.
In Christianizing these Pagan temples, free use was made of the sculptured and painted stones of heathen monuments. In some cases they evidently painted over one name, and inserted another. This may be seen from the following
Inscriptions Formerly in Pagan Temples.
Inscriptions now in Christian Churches.
To Mercury and Minerva, Tutelary Gods.
To St. Mary and St. Francis, My Tutelaries.
To the Gods who preside over this Temple.
To the Divine Eustrogius, who presides over this Temple.
To the Divinity of Mercury the Availing, the Powerful, the Unconquered.
To the Divinity of St. George the Availing, the Powerful, the Unconquered.
Sacred to the Gods and Goddesses, with Jove the best and greatest.
Sacred to the presiding helpers, St. George and St. Stephen, with God the best and greatest.
The Holy Ghost represented as a Pigeon.
The Mystical Letters I. H. S.[397:1]
The Mystical Letters I. H. S.[397:2]
In many cases the Images of the Pagan gods were allowed to remain in these temples, and, after being Christianized, continued to receive divine honors.[397:3]
“In St. Peter’s, Rome, is a statue of Jupiter, deprived of his thunderbolt, which is replaced by the emblematic keys. In like manner, much of the religion of the lower orders, which we regard as essentially Christian, is ancient heathenism, refitted with Christian symbols.”[397:4] We find that as early as the time of St. Gregory, Bishop of Neo-Cesarea (A. D. 243), the “simple” and “unskilled” multitudes of Christians were allowed to pay divine honors to these images, hoping that in the process of time they would learn better.[398:1] In fact, as Prof. Draper says:
“Olympus was restored, but the divinities passed under other names. The more powerful provinces insisted upon the adoption of their time-honored conceptions. . . . Not only was the adoration of ISIS under a new name restored, but even her image, standing on the crescent moon, reappeared. The well-known effigy of that goddess with the infant Horus in her arms, has descended to our days in the beautiful, artistic creations of the Madonna and child. Such restorations of old conceptions under novel forms were everywhere received with delight. When it was announced to the Ephesians, that the Council of that place, headed by Cyril, had declared that the Virgin (Mary) should be called the ‘Mother of God,’ with tears of joy they embraced the knees of their bishop; it was the old instinct cropping out; their ancestors would have done the same for Diana.”[398:2]
“O bright goddess; once againFix on earth thy heav’nly reign;Be thy sacred name ador’d,Altars rais’d, and rites restor’d.”
Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople from 428 A. D., refused to call Mary “the mother of God,” on the ground that she could be the mother of the human nature only, which the divine Logos used as its organ. Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, did all in his power to stir up the minds of the people against Nestorius; the consequence was that, both at Rome and at Alexandria, Nestorius was accused of heresy. The dispute grew more bitter, and Theodosius II. thought it necessary to convoke an Œcumenical Council at Ephesus in 431. On this, as on former occasions, the affirmative party overruled the negative. The person of Mary began to rise in the new empyrean. The paradoxical name of “Mother of God” pleased the popular piety. Nestorius was condemned, and died in exile.
The shrine of many an old hero was filled by the statue of some imaginary saint.
“They have not always” (says Dr. Conyers Middleton), “as I am well informed, given themselves the trouble of making even this change, but have been contented sometimes to take up with the old image, just as they found it; after baptizing it only, as it were, or consecrating it anew, by the imposition of a Christian name. This their antiquaries do not scruple to put strangers in mind of, in showing their churches, as it was, I think, in that of St. Agnes, where they showed me an antique statue of a young BACCHUS, which, with a new name, and some little change of drapery, stands now worshiped under the title of a female saint.”[398:3]
In many parts of Italy are to be seen pictures of the “Holy Family,” of extreme antiquity, the grounds of them often of gold.
These pictures represent the mother with a child on her knee, and a little boy standing close by her side; the Lamb is generally seen in the picture. They are inscribed “Deo Soli,” and are simply ancient representations of Isis and Horus. The Lamb is “The Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world,” which, as we have already seen, was believed on in the Pagan world centuries before the time of Christ Jesus.[399:1] Some half-pagan Christian went so far as to forge a book, which he attributed to Christ Jesus himself, which was for the purpose of showing that he—Christ Jesus—was in no way against these heathen gods.[399:2]
The Icelanders were induced to embrace Christianity, with its legends and miracles, and sainted divinities, as the Christian monks were ready to substitute for Thor, their warrior-god, Michael, the warrior-angel; for Freyja, their goddess, the Virgin Mary; and for the god Vila, a St. Valentine—probably manufactured for the occasion.
“The statues of Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, Orpheus, did duty for The Christ.[399:3] The Thames River god officiates at the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan. Peter holds the keys of Janus.[399:4] Moses wears the horns of Jove. Ceres, Cybele, Demeter assume new names, as ‘Queen of Heaven,’ ‘Star of the Sea,’ ‘Maria Illuminatrix;’ Dionysius is St. Denis; Cosmos is St. Cosmo; Pluto and Proserpine resign their seats in the hall of final judgment to the Christ and his mother. The Parcæ depute one of their number, Lachesis, the disposer of lots, to set the stamp of destiny upon the deaths of Christian believers. The aura placida of the poets, the gentle breeze, is personified as Aura and Placida. The perpetua felicitas of the devotee becomes a lovely presence in the forms of St. Perpetua and St. Felicitas, guardian angels of the pious soul. No relic of Paganism was permitted to remain in its casket. The depositories were all ransacked. The shadowy hands of Egyptian priests placed the urn of holy water at the porch of the basilica, which stood ready to be converted into a temple. Priests of the most ancient faiths of Palestine, Assyria, Babylon, Thebes, Persia were permitted to erect the altar at the point where the transverse beam of the cross meets the main stem. The hands that constructed the temple in cruciform shape had long become too attenuated to cast the faintest shadow. There Devaki with the infant Crishna, Maya with the babe Buddha, Juno with the child Mars, represent Mary with Jesus in her arms. Coarse emblems are not rejected; the Assyrian dove is a tender symbol of the Holy Ghost. The rag-bags and toy boxes were explored. A bauble which the Roman schoolboy had thrown away was picked up, and called an ‘agnus dei.’ The musty wardrobes of forgotten hierarchies furnished costumes for the officers of the new prince. Alb and chasuble recalled the fashions of Numa’s day. The cast-off purple habits and shoes of Pagan emperors beautified the august persons of Christian popes. The cardinals must be contented with the robes once worn by senators. Zoroaster bound about the monks the girdle he invented as a protection against evil spirits, and clothed them in the frocks he had found convenient for his ritual. The pope thrust out his foot to be kissed, as Caligula, Heliogabalus, and Julius Cesar had thrust out theirs. Nothing came amiss to the faith that was to discharge henceforth the offices of spiritual impression.”[400:1]
The ascetic and monastic life practiced by some Christians of the present day, is of great antiquity. Among the Buddhists there are priests who are ordained, tonsured, live in monasteries, and make vows of celibacy. There are also nuns among them, whose vows and discipline are the same as the priests.[400:2]
The close resemblance between the ancient religion of Thibet and Nepaul—where the worship of a crucified God was found—and the Roman Catholic religion of the present day, is very striking. In Thibet was found the pope, or head of the religion, whom they called the “Dalai Lama;”[400:3] they use holy water, they celebrate a sacrifice with bread and wine; they give extreme unction, pray for the sick; they have monasteries, and convents for women; they chant in their services, have fasts; they worship one God in a trinity, believe in a hell, heaven, and a half-way place or purgatory; they make prayers and sacrifices for the dead, have confession, adore the cross; have chaplets, or strings of beads to count their prayers, and many other practices common to the Roman Catholic Church.[400:4]
The resemblance between Buddhism and Christianity has been remarked by many travelers in the eastern countries. Sir John Francis Davis, in his “History of China,” speaking of Buddhism in that country, says:
“Certain it is—and the observance may be daily made even at Canton—that they (the Buddhist priests) practice the ordinances of celibacy, fasting, and prayers for the dead; they have holy water, rosaries of beads, which they count with their prayers, the worship of relics, and a monastic habit resembling that of the Franciscans” (an order of Roman Catholic monks).
Père Premere, a Jesuit missionary to China, was driven to conclude that the devil had practiced a trick to perplex his friends, the Jesuits. To others, however, it is not so difficult to account for these things as it seemed for the good Father. Sir John continues his account as follows:
“These priests are associated in monasteries attached to the temples of Fo. They are in China precisely a society of mendicants, and go about, like monks of that description in the Romish Church, asking alms for the support of their establishment. Their tonsure extends to the hair of the whole head. There is a regular gradation among the priesthood; and according to his reputation for sanctity, his length of service and other claims, each priest may rise from the lowest rank of servitor—whose duty it is to perform the menial offices of the temple—to that of officiating priest—and ultimately of ‘Tae Hoepang,’ Abbot or head of the establishment.”
The five principal precepts, or rather interdicts, addressed to the Buddhist priests are:
- 1. Do not kill.
- 2. Do not steal.
- 3. Do not marry.
- 4. Speak not falsely.
- 5. Drink no wine.
Poo-ta-la is the name of a monastery, described in Lord Macartney’s mission, and is an extensive establishment, which was found in Manchow-Tartary, beyond the great wall. This building offered shelter to no less than eight hundred Chinese Buddhist priests.[401:1]
The Rev. Mr. Gutzlaff, in his “Journal of Voyages along the coast of China,” tells us that he found the Buddhist “Monasteries, nuns, and friars very numerous;” and adds that: “their priests are generally very ignorant.”[401:2]
This reminds us of the fact that, for centuries during the “dark ages” of Christianity, Christian bishops and prelates, the teachers, spiritual pastors and masters, were mostly marksmen, that is, they supplied, by the sign of the cross, their inability to write their own name.[402:1] Many of the bishops in the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, it is said, could not write their names. Ignorance was not considered a disqualification for ordination. A cloud of ignorance overspread the whole face of the Church, hardly broken by a few glimmering lights, who owe almost the whole of their distinction to the surrounding darkness.[402:2]
One of the principal objects of curiosity to the Europeans who first went to China, was a large monastery at Canton. This monastery, which was dedicated to Fo, or Buddha, and which is on a very large scale, is situated upon the southern side of the river. There are extensive grounds surrounding the building, planted with trees, in the center of which is a broad pavement of granite, which is kept very clean. An English gentleman, Mr. Bennett, entered this establishment, which he fully describes. He says that after walking along this granite pavement, they entered a temple, where the priesthood happened to be assembled, worshiping. They were arranged in rows, chanting, striking gongs, &c. These priests, with their shaven crowns, and arrayed in the yellow robes of the religion, appeared to go through the mummery with devotion. As soon as the mummery had ceased, the priests all flocked out of the temple, adjourned to their respective rooms, divested themselves of their official robes, and the images—among which were evidently representations of Shin-moo, the “Holy Mother,” and “Queen of Heaven,” and “The Three Pure Ones,”—were left to themselves, with lamps burning before them.
To expiate sin, offerings made to these priests are—according to the Buddhist idea—sufficient. To facilitate the release of some unfortunate from purgatory, they said masses. Their prayers are counted by means of a rosary, and they live in a state of celibacy.
Mr. Gutzlaff, in describing a temple dedicated to Buddha, situated on the island of Poo-ta-la, says:
“We were present at the vespers of the priests, which they chanted in the Pali language, not unlike the Latin service of the Romish church. They held their rosaries in their hands, which rested folded upon their breasts. One of them had a small bell, by the tingling of which the service was regulated.”
The Buddhists in India have similar institutions. The French missionary, M. L’Abbé Huc, says of them:
“The Buddhist ascetic not aspiring to elevate himself only, he practiced virtue and applied himself to perfection to make other men share in its belief; and by the institution of an order of religious mendicants, which increased to an immense extent, he attached towards him, and restored to society, the poor and unfortunate. It was, indeed, precisely because Buddha received among his disciples miserable creatures who were outcasts from the respectable class of India, that he became an object of mockery to the Brahmins. But he merely replied to their taunts, ‘My law is a law of mercy for all.'”[403:1]
In the words of Viscount Amberly, we can say that, “Monasticism, in countries where Buddhism reigns supreme, is a vast and powerful institution.”
The Essenes, of whom we shall speak more fully anon, were an order of ascetics, dwelling in monasteries. Among the order of Pythagoras, which was very similar to the Essenes, there was an order of nuns.[403:2] The ancient Druids admitted females into their sacred order, and initiated them into the mysteries of their religion.[403:3] The priestesses of the Saxon Frigga devoted themselves to perpetual virginity.[403:4] The vestal virgins[403:5] were bound by a solemn vow to preserve their chastity for a space of thirty years.[403:6]
The Egyptian priests of Isis were obliged to observe perpetual chastity.[403:7] They were also tonsured like the Buddhist priests.[403:8] The Assyrian, Arabian, Persian and Egyptian priests wore white surplices,[403:9] and so did the ancient Druids. The Corinthian Aphrodite had her Hierodoulio, the pure Gerairai ministered to the goddess of the Parthenon, the altar of the Latin Vesta was tended by her chosen virgins, and the Romish “Queen of Heaven” has her nuns.
When the Spaniards had established themselves in Mexico and Peru, they were astonished to find, among other things which closely resembled their religion, monastic institutions on a large scale.
The Rev. Father Acosta, in his “Natural and Moral History of the Indies,” says:
“There is one thing worthy of special regard, the which is, how the Devil, by his pride, hath opposed himself to God; and that which God, by his wisdom, hath decreed for his honor and service, and for the good and health of man, the devil strives to imitate and pervert, to be honored, and to cause men to be damned: for as we see the great God hath Sacrifices, Priests, Sacraments, Religious Prophets, and Ministers, dedicated to his divine service and holy ceremonies, so likewise the devil hath his Sacrifices, Priests, his kinds of Sacraments, his Ministers appointed, his secluded and feigned holiness, with a thousand sorts of false prophets.”[403:10]
“We find among all the nations of the world, men especially dedicated to the service of the true God, or to the false, which serve in sacrifices, and declare unto the people what their gods command them. There was in Mexico a strange curiosity upon this point. And the devil, counterfeiting the use of the church of God, hath placed in the order of his Priests, some greater or superiors, and some less, the one as Acolites, the other as Levites, and that which hath made most to wonder, was, that the devil would usurp to himself the service of God; yea, and use the same name: for the Mexicans in their ancient tongue call their high priests Papes, as they should say sovereign bishops, as it appears now by their histories.”[404:1]
In Mexico, within the circuit of the great temple, there were two monasteries, one for virgins, the other for men, which they called religious. These men lived poorly and chastely, and did the office of Levites.[404:2]
“These priests and religious men used great fastings, of five or ten days together, before any of their great feasts, and they were unto them as our four ember week; they were so strict in continence that some of them (not to fall into any sensuality) slit their members in the midst, and did a thousand things to make themselves unable, lest they should offend their gods.”[404:3]
“There were in Peru many monasteries of virgins (for there are no other admitted), at the least one in every province. In these monasteries there were two sorts of women, one ancient, which they called Mamacomas (mothers), for the instruction of the young, and the other was of young maidens placed there for a certain time, and after they were drawn forth, either for their gods or for the Inca.” “If any of the Mamacomas or Acllas were found to have trespassed against their honor, it was an inevitable chastisement to bury them alive or to put them to death by some other kind of cruel torment.”[404:4]
The Rev. Father concludes by saying:
“In truth it is very strange to see that this false opinion of religion hath so great force among these young men and maidens of Mexico, that they will serve the devil with so great rigor and austerity, which many of us do not in the service of the most high God, the which is a great shame and confusion.”[404:5]
The religious orders of the ancient Mexicans and Peruvians are described at length in Lord Kingsborough’s “Mexican Antiquities,” and by most every writer on ancient Mexico. Differing in minor details, the grand features of self-consecration are everywhere the same, whether we look to the saintly Rishis of ancient India, to the wearers of the yellow robe in China or Ceylon, to the Essenes among the Jews, to the devotees of Vitziliputzli in pagan Mexico, or to the monks and nuns of Christian times in Africa, in Asia, and in Europe. Throughout the various creeds of these distant lands there runs the same unconquerable impulse, producing the same remarkable effects.
The “Sacred Heart,” was a great mystery with the ancients.
Horus, the Egyptian virgin-born Saviour, was represented carrying the sacred heart outside on his breast. Vishnu, the Mediator and Preserver of the Hindoos, was also represented in that manner. So was it with Bel of Babylon.[405:1] In like manner, Christ Jesus, the Christian Saviour, is represented at the present day.
The amulets or charms which the Roman Christians wear, to drive away diseases, and to protect them from harm, are other relics of paganism. The ancient pagans wore these charms for the same purpose. The name of their favorite god was generally inscribed upon them, and we learn by a quotation from Chrysostom that the Christians at Antioch used to bind brass coins of Alexander the Great about their heads, to keep off or drive away diseases.[405:2] The Christians also used amulets with the name or monogram of the god Serapis engraved thereon, which show that it made no difference whether the god was their own or that of another. Even the charm which is worn by the Christians at the present day, has none other than the monogram of Bacchus engraved thereon, i. e., I. H. S.[405:3]
The ancient Roman children carried around their necks a small ornament in the form of a heart, called Bulla. This was imitated by the early Christians. Upon their ancient monuments in the Vatican, the heart is very common, and it may be seen in numbers of old pictures. After some time it was succeeded by theAgnus Dei, which, like the ancient Bulla, was supposed to avert dangers from the children and the wearers of them. Cardinal Baronius (an eminent Roman Catholic ecclesiastical historian, born at Sora, in Naples, A. D. 1538) says, that those who have been baptized carry pendent from their neck an Agnus Dei, in imitation of a devotion of the Pagans, who hung to the neck of their children little bottles in the form of a heart, which served as preservatives against charms and enchantments. Says Mr. Cox:
“That ornaments in the shape of a vesica have been popular in all countries as preservatives against dangers, and especially from evil spirits, can as little be questioned as the fact that they still retain some measure of their ancient popularity in England, where horse-shoes are nailed to walls as a safeguard against unknown perils, where a shoe is thrown by way of good-luck after newly-married couples, and where the villagers have not yet ceased to dance round the May-pole on the green.”[405:4]
All of these are emblems of either the Linga or Yoni.
The use of amulets was carried to the most extravagant excess in ancient Egypt, and their Sacred Book of the Dead, even in its earliest form, shows the importance attached to such things.[406:1]
We can say with M. Renan that:
“Almost all our superstitions are the remains of a religion anterior to Christianity, and which Christianity has not been able entirely to root out.”[406:2]
Baptismal fonts were used by the pagans, as well as the little cisterns which are to be seen at the entrance of Catholic churches. In the temple of Apollo, at Delphi, there were two of these; one of silver, and the other of gold.[406:3]
Temples always faced the east, to receive the rays of the rising sun. They contained an outer court for the public, and an inner sanctuary for the priests, called the “Adytum.” Near the entrance was a large vessel, of stone or brass, filled with water, made holy by plunging into it a burning torch from the altar. All who were admitted to the sacrifices were sprinkled with this water, and none but the unpolluted were allowed to pass beyond it. In the center of the building stood the statue of the god, on a pedestal raised above the altar and enclosed by a railing. On festival occasions, the people brought laurel, olive, or ivy, to decorate the pillars and walls. Before they entered they always washed their hands, as a type of purification from sin.[406:4] A story is told of a man who was struck dead by a thunderbolt because he omitted this ceremony when entering a temple of Jupiter. Sometimes they crawled up the steps on their knees, and bowing their heads to the ground, kissed the threshold. Always when they passed one of these sacred edifices they kissed their right hand to it, in token of veneration.
In all the temples of Vishnu, Crishna, Rama, Durga, and Kali, in India, there are to be seen idols before which lights and incense are burned. Moreover, the idols of these gods are constantly decorated with flowers and costly ornaments, especially on festive occasions.[406:5] The ancient Egyptian worship had a great splendor of ritual. There was a morning service, a kind of mass, celebrated by a priest, shorn and beardless; there were sprinklings of holy water, &c., &c.[406:6] All of this kind of worship was finally adopted by the Christians.
The sublime and simple theology of the primitive Christians was gradually corrupted and degraded by the introduction of a popular mythology, which tended to restore the reign of polytheism.
As the objects of religion were gradually reduced to the standard of the imagination, the rites and ceremonies were introduced that seemed most powerfully to affect the senses of the vulgar. If, in the beginning of the fifth century, Tertullian, or Lactantius, had been suddenly raised from the dead, to assist at the festival of some popular saint or martyr, they would have gazed with astonishment and indignation on the profane spectacle, which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship of a Christian congregation.[407:1]
Dr. Draper, in speaking of the early Christian Church, says:
“Great is the difference between Christianity under Severus (born 146) and Christianity under Constantine (born 274). Many of the doctrines which at the latter period were pre-eminent, in the former were unknown. Two causes led to the amalgamation of Christianity with Paganism. 1. The political necessities of the new dynasty: 2. The policy adopted by the new religion to insure its spread.
“Though the Christian party had proved itself sufficiently strong to give a master to the empire, it was never sufficiently strong to destroy its antagonist, Paganism. The issue of the struggle between them was an amalgamation of the principles of both. In this, Christianity differed from Mohammedanism, which absolutely annihilated its antagonist, and spread its own doctrines without adulteration.
“Constantine continually showed by his acts that he felt he must be the impartial sovereign of all his people, not merely the representative of a successful faction. Hence, if he built Christian churches, he also restored Pagan temples; if he listened to the clergy, he also consulted the haruspices; if he summoned the Council of Nicea, he also honored the statue of Fortune; if he accepted the rite of Baptism, he also struck a medal bearing his title of ‘God.’ His statue, on top of the great porphyry pillar at Constantinople, consisted of an ancient image of Apollo, whose features were replaced by those of the emperor, and its head surrounded by the nails feigned to have been used at the crucifixion of Christ, arranged so as to form a crown of glory.
“Feeling that there must be concessions to the defeated Pagan party, in accordance with its ideas, he looked with favor on the idolatrous movements of his court. In fact, the leaders of these movements were persons of his own family.
“To the emperor,—a mere worldling—a man without any religious convictions, doubtless it appeared best for himself, best for the empire, and best for the contending parties, Christian and Pagan, to promote their union or amalgamation as much as possible. Even sincere Christians do not seem to have been averse to this; perhaps they believed that the new doctrines would diffuse most thoroughly by incorporating in themselves ideas borrowed from the old; that Truth would assert herself in the end, and the impurities be cast off. In accomplishing this amalgamation, Helen, the Empress-mother, aided by the court ladies, led the way.
“As years passed on, the faith described by Tertullian (A. D. 150-195) was transformed into one more fashionable and more debased. It was incorporated with the old Greek mythology. Olympus was restored, but the divinities passed under new names. . . .
“Heathen rites were adopted, a pompous and splendid ritual, gorgeous robes, mitres, tiaras, wax-tapers, processional services, lustrations, gold and silver vases, were introduced.
“The festival of the Purification of the Virgin was invented to remove the uneasiness of heathen converts on account of the loss of their Lupercalia, or feasts of Pan.
“The apotheosis of the old Roman times was replaced by canonization; tutelary saints succeeded to local mythological divinities. Then came the mystery of transubstantiation, or the conversion of bread and wine by the priest into the flesh and blood of Christ. As centuries passed, the paganization became more and more complete.”[408:1]
The early Christian saints, bishops, and fathers, confessedly adopted the liturgies, rites, ceremonies, and terms of heathenism; making it their boast, that the pagan religion, properly explained, really was nothing else than Christianity; that the best and wisest of its professors, in all ages, had been Christians all along; that Christianity was but a name more recently acquired to a religion which had previously existed, and had been known to the Greek philosophers, to Plato, Socrates, and Heraclitus; and that “if the writings of Cicero had been read as they ought to have been, there would have been no occasion for the Christian Scriptures.”
And our Protestant, and most orthodox Christian divines, the best learned on ecclesiastical antiquity, and most entirely persuaded of the truth of the Christian religion, unable to resist or to conflict with the constraining demonstration of the data that prove the absolute sameness and identity of Paganism and Christianity, and unable to point out so much as one single idea or notion, of which they could show that it was peculiar to Christianity, or that Christianity had it, and Paganism had it not, have invented the apology of an hypothesis, that the Pagan religion was typical, and that Crishna, Buddha, Bacchus, Hercules, Adonis, Osiris, Horus, &c., were all of them types and forerunners of the true and real Saviour, Christ Jesus. Those who are satisfied with this kind of reasoning are certainly welcome to it.
That Christianity is nothing more than Paganism under a new name, has, as we said above, been admitted over and over again by the Fathers of the Church, and others. Aringhus (in his account of subterraneous Rome) acknowledges the conformity between the Pagan and Christian form of worship, and defends the admission of the ceremonies of heathenism into the service of the Church, by the authority of the wisest prelates and governors, whom, he says, found it necessary, in the conversion of the Gentiles, to dissemble, and wink at many things, and yield to the times; and not to use force against customs which the people were so obstinately fond of.[409:1]
Melito (a Christian bishop of Sardis), in an apology delivered to the Emperor Marcus Antoninus, in the year 170, claims the patronage of the emperor, for thenow called Christian religion, which he calls “our philosophy,” “on account of its high antiquity, as having been imported from countries lying beyond the limits of the Roman empire, in the region of his ancestor Augustus, who found its importation ominous of good fortune to his government.”[409:2] This is an absolute demonstration that Christianity did not originate in Judea, which was a Roman province, but really was an exotic oriental fable, imported from India, and that Paul was doing as he claimed, viz.: preaching a God manifest in the flesh who had been “believed on in the world” centuries before his time, and a doctrine which had already been preached “unto every creature under heaven.”
Baronius (an eminent Catholic ecclesiastical historian) says:
“It is permitted to the Church to use, for the purpose of piety, the ceremonies which the pagans used for the purpose of impiety in a superstitious religion, after having first expiated them by consecration—to the end, that the devil might receive a greater affront from employing, in honor of Jesus Christ, that which his enemy had destined for his own service.”[409:3]
Clarke, in his “Evidences of Revealed Religion,” says:
“Some of the ancient writers of the church have not scrupled expressly to call the Athenian Socrates, and some others of the best of the heathen moralists, by the name of Christians, and to affirm, as the law was as it were a schoolmaster, to bring the Jews unto Christ, so true moral philosophy was to the Gentiles a preparative to receive the gospel.”[409:4]
Clemens Alexandrinus says:
“Those who lived according to the Logos were really Christians, though they have been thought to be atheists; as Socrates and Heraclitus were among the Greeks, and such as resembled them.”[409:5]
And St. Augustine says:
“That, in our times, is the Christian religion, which to know and follow is the most sure and certain health, called according to that name, but not according to the thing itself, of which it is the name; for the thing itself which is now called the Christian religion, really was known to the ancients, nor was wanting at any time from the beginning of the human race, until the time when Christ came in the flesh, from whence the true religion, which had previously existed, began to be called Christian; and this in our days is the Christian religion, not as having been wanting in former times, but as having in later times received this name.”[410:1]
Eusebius, the great champion of Christianity, admits that that which is called the Christian religion, is neither new nor strange, but—if it be lawful to testify the truth—was known to the ancients.[410:2]
How the common people were Christianized, we gather from a remarkable passage which Mosheim, the ecclesiastical historian, has preserved for us, in the life of Gregory, surnamed “Thaumaturgus,” that is, “the wonder worker.” The passage is as follows:
“When Gregory perceived that the simple and unskilled multitude persisted in their worship of images, on account of the pleasures and sensual gratifications which they enjoyed at the Pagan festivals, he granted them a permission to indulge themselves in the like pleasures, in celebrating the memory of the holy martyrs, hoping that in process of time, they would return of their own accord, to a more virtuous and regular course of life.”[410:3]
The historian remarks that there is no sort of doubt, that by this permission, Gregory allowed the Christians to dance, sport, and feast at the tombs of the martyrs, upon their respective festivals, and to do everything which the Pagans were accustomed to do in their temples, during the feasts celebrated in honor of their gods.
The learned Christian advocate, M. Turretin, in describing the state of Christianity in the fourth century, has a well-turned rhetoricism, the point of which is, that “it was not so much the empire that was brought over to the faith, as the faith that was brought over to the empire; not the Pagans who were converted to Christianity, but Christianity that was converted to Paganism.”[410:4]
Edward Gibbon says:
“It must be confessed that the ministers of the Catholic church imitated the profane model which they were impatient to destroy. The most respectable bishops had persuaded themselves, that the ignorant rusties would more cheerfully renounce the superstitions of Paganism, if they found some resemblance, some compensation, in the bosom of Christianity. The religion of Constantine achieved, in less than a century, the final conquest of the Roman empire: but the victors themselves were insensibly subdued by the arts of their vanquished rivals.”[411:1]
Faustus, writing to St. Augustine, says:
“You have substituted your agapæ for the sacrifices of the Pagans; for their idols your martyrs, whom you serve with the very same honors. You appease the shades of the dead with wine and feasts; you celebrate the solemn festivities of the Gentiles, their calends, and their solstices; and, as to their manners, those you have retained without any alteration. Nothing distinguishes you from the Pagans, except that you hold your assemblies apart from them.“[411:2]
Ammonius Saccus (a Greek philosopher, founder of the Neo-platonic school) taught that:
“Christianity and Paganism, when rightly understood, differ in no essential points, but had a common origin, and are really one and the same thing.”[411:3]
Justin explains the thing in the following manner:
“It having reached the devil’s ears that the prophets had foretold that Christ would come . . . he (the devil) set the heathen poets to bring forward a great many who should be called sons of Jove, (i. e., “The Sons of God.”) The devil laying his scheme in this, to get men to imagine that the true history of Christ was of the same character as the prodigious fables and poetic stories.”[411:4]
Cæcilius, in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, says:
“All these fragments of crack-brained opiniatry and silly solaces played off in the sweetness of song by (the) deceitful (Pagan) poets, by you too credulous creatures (i. e., the Christians) have been shamefully reformed and made over to your own god.”[411:5]
Celsus, the Epicurean philosopher, wrote that:
“The Christian religion contains nothing but what Christians hold in common with heathens; nothing new, or truly great.”[411:6]
This assertion is fully verified by Justin Martyr, in his apology to the Emperor Adrian, which is one of the most remarkable admissions ever made by a Christian writer. He says:
“In saying that all things were made in this beautiful order by God, what do we seem to say more than Plato? When we teach a general conflagration, what do we teach more than the Stoics? By opposing the worship of the works of men’s hands, we concur with Menander, the comedian; and by declaring the Logos, the first begotten of God, our master Jesus Christ, to be born of a virgin, without any human mixture, to be crucified and dead, and to have rose again, and ascended into heaven: we say no more in this, than what you say of those whom you style the Sons of Jove. For you need not be told what a parcel of sons, the writers most in vogue among you, assign to Jove; there’s Mercury, Jove’s interpreter, in imitation of the Logos, in worship among you. There’s Æsculapius, the physician, smitten by a thunderbolt, and after that ascending into heaven. There’s Bacchus, torn to pieces; and Hercules, burnt to get rid of his pains. There’s Pollux and Castor, the sons of Jove by Leda, and Perseus by Danae; and not to mention others, I would fain know why you always deify the departed emperors and have a fellow at hand to make affidavit that he saw Cæsar mount to heaven from the funeral pile?
“As to the son of God, called Jesus, should we allow him to be nothing more than man, yet the title of the son of God is very justifiable, upon the account of his wisdom, considering that you have your Mercury in worship, under the title of the Word and Messenger of God.
“As to the objection of our Jesus’s being crucified, I say, that suffering was common to all the forementioned sons of Jove, but only they suffered another kind of death. As to his being born of a virgin, you have your Perseus to balance that. As to his curing the lame, and the paralytic, and such as were cripples from birth, this is little more than what you say of your Æsculapius.”[412:1]
The most celebrated Fathers of the Christian church, the most frequently quoted, and those whose names stand the highest were nothing more nor less than Pagans, being born and educated Pagans. Pantaenus (A. D. 193) was one of these half-Pagan, half-Christian, Fathers. He at one time presided in the school of the faithful in Alexandria in Egypt, and was celebrated on account of his learning. He was brought up in the Stoic philosophy.[412:2]
Clemens Alexandrinus (A. D. 194) or St. Clement of Alexandria, was another Christian Father of the same sort, being originally a Pagan. He succeeded Pantaenus as president of the monkish university at Alexandria. His works are very extensive, and his authority very high in the church.[412:3]
Tertullian (A. D. 200) may next be mentioned. He also was originally a Pagan, and at one time Presbyter of the Christian church of Carthage, in Africa. The following is a specimen of his manner of reasoning on the evidences of Christianity. He says:
“I find no other means to prove myself to be impudent with success, and happily a fool, than by my contempt of shame; as, for instance—I maintain that the Son of God was born; why am I not ashamed of maintaining such a thing? Why! but because it is itself a shameful thing. I maintain that the Son of God died: well, that is wholly credible because it is monstrously absurd. I maintain that after having been buried, he rose again: and that I take to be absolutely true, because it was manifestly impossible.”[412:4]
Origen (A. D. 230), one of the shining lights of the Christian church, was another Father of this class. Porphyry (a Neo-platonist philosopher) objects to him on this account.[413:1]
He also was born in the great cradle and nursery of superstition—Egypt—and studied under that celebrated philosopher, Ammonius Saccus, who taught that “Christianity and Paganism, when rightly understood, differed in no essential point, but had a common origin.” This man was so sincere in his devotion to the cause of monkery, or Essenism, that he made himself an eunuch “for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.”[413:2] The writer of the twelfth verse of the nineteenth chapter of Matthew, was without doubt an Egyptian monk. The words are put into the mouth of the Jewish Jesus, which is simply ridiculous, when it is considered that the Jews did not allow an eunuch so much as to enter the congregation of the Lord.[413:3]
St. Gregory (A. D. 240), bishop of Neo-Cæsarea in Pontus, was another celebrated Christian Father, born of Pagan parents and educated a Pagan. He is called Thaumaturgus, or the wonder-worker, and is said to have performed miracles when still a Pagan.[413:4] He, too, was an Alexandrian student. This is the Gregory who was commended by his namesake of Nyssa for changing the Pagan festivals into Christian holidays, the better to draw the heathen to the religion of Christ.[413:5]
Mosheim, the ecclesiastical historian, in speaking of the Christian church during the second century, says:
“The profound respect that was paid to the Greek and Roman mysteries, and the extraordinary sanctity that was attributed to them, induced the Christians to give their religion a mystic air, in order to put it upon an equal footing, in point of dignity, with that of the Pagans. For this purpose they gave the name of mysteries to the institutions of the gospel, and decorated, particularly the holy sacrament, with that solemn title. They used, in that sacred institution, as also in that of baptism, several of the terms employed in the heathen mysteries, and proceeded so far at length, as even to adopt some of the rites and ceremonies of which those renowned mysteries consisted.”[413:6]
We have seen, then, that the only difference between Christianity and Paganism is that Brahma, Ormuzd, Osiris, Zeus, Jupiter, etc., are called by another name; Crishna, Buddha, Bacchus, Adonis, Mithras, etc., have been turned into Christ Jesus: Venus’ pigeon into the Holy Ghost; Diana, Isis, Devaki, etc., into the Virgin Mary; and the demi-gods and heroes into saints. The exploits of the one were represented as the miracles of the other. Pagan festivals became Christian holidays, and Pagan temples became Christian churches.
Mr. Mahaffy, Fellow and Tutor in Trinity College, and Lecturer on Ancient History in the University of Dublin, ends his “Prolegomena to Ancient History” in the following manner:
“There is indeed, hardly a great or fruitful idea in the Jewish or Christian systems, which has not its analogy in the (ancient) Egyptian faith. The development of the one God into a trinity; the incarnation of the mediating deity in a Virgin, and without a father; his conflict and his momentary defeat by the powers of darkness; his partial victory (for the enemy is not destroyed); his resurrection and reign over an eternal kingdom with his justified saints; his distinction from, and yet identity with, the uncreate incomprehensible Father, whose form is unknown, and who dwelleth not in temples made with hands—all these theological conceptions pervade the oldest religion of Egypt. So, too, the contrast and even the apparent inconsistencies between our moral and theological beliefs—the vacillating attribution of sin and guilt partly to moral weakness, partly to the interference of evil spirits, and likewise of righteousness to moral worth, and again to the help of good genii or angels; the immortality of the soul and its final judgment—all these things have met us in the Egyptian ritual and moral treatises. So, too, the purely human side of morals, and the catalogue of virtues and vices, are by natural consequences as like as are the theological systems. But I recoil from opening this great subject now; it is enough to have lifted the veil and shown the scene of many a future contest.“[414:1]
In regard to the moral sentiments expressed in the books of the New Testament, and believed by the majority of Christians to be peculiar to Christianity, we shall touch them but lightly, as this has already been done so frequently by many able scholars.
The moral doctrines that appear in the New Testament, even the sayings of the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer, are found with slight variation, among the Rabbins, who have certainly borrowed nothing out of the New Testament.
Christian teachers have delighted to exhibit the essential superiority of Christianity to Judaism, have quoted with triumph the maxims that are said to have fallen from the lips of Jesus, and which, they surmised, could not be paralleled in the elder Scriptures, and have put the least favorable construction on such passages in the ancient books as seemed to contain the thoughts of evangelists and apostles. A more ingenious study of the Hebrew law, according to the oldest traditions, as well as its later interpretations by the prophets, reduces these differences materially by bringing into relief sentiments and precepts whereof the New Testament morality is but an echo.
There are passages in Exodus, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, even tenderer in their humanity than anything in the Gospels. The preacher from the Mount, the prophet of the Beatitudes, does but repeat with persuasive lips what the law-givers of his race proclaimed in mighty tones of command. Such an acquaintance with the later literature of the Jews as is really obtained now from popular sources, will convince the ordinarily fair mind that the originality of the New Testament has been greatly over-estimated.
“To feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, bury the dead, loyally serve the king, forms the first duty of a pious man and faithful subject,”
is an abstract from the Egyptian “Book of the Dead,” the oldest Bible in the world.
Confucius, the Chinese philosopher, born 551 B. C., said:
“Obey Heaven, and follow the orders of Him who governs it. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do to another what you would he should do unto you; and do not unto another what you would should not be done unto you; thou only needest this law alone, it is the foundation and principle of all the rest. Acknowledge thy benefits by the return of other benefits, but never revenge injuries.”[415:1]
The following extracts from Manu and the Maha-bharata, an Indian epic poem, written many centuries before the time of Christ Jesus,[415:2] compared with similar sentiment contained in the books of the New Testament, are very striking.
“An evil-minded man is quick to see his neighbor’s faults, though small as mustard-seed; but when he turns his eyes towards his own, though large as Bilva fruit, he none descries.” (Maha-bharata.)
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?” (Matt. vii. 3.)
“Conquer a man who never gives by gifts; subdue untruthful men by truthfulness; vanquish an angry man by gentleness; and overcome the evil man by goodness.” (Ibid.)
“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans, xii. 21.)
“To injure none by thought or word or deed, to give to others, and be kind to all—this is the constant duty of the good. High-minded men delight in doing good, without a thought of their own interest; when they confer a benefit on others, they reckon not on favors in return.” (Ibid.)
“Love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Luke, vii. 35.)
|“Two persons will hereafter be exalted above the heavens—the man with boundless power, who yet forbears to use it indiscreetly, and he who is not rich, and yet can give.” (Ibid.)
“Just heaven is not so pleased with costly gifts, offered in hope of future recompense, as with the merest trifle set apart from honest gains, and sanctified by faith.” (Ibid.)
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance, but she of her want did cast all that she had, even all her living.” (Mark, xii. 41-44.)
“To curb the tongue and moderate the speech, is held to be the hardest of all tasks. The words of him who talk too volubly have neither substance nor variety.” (Ibid.)
“But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.”(James, iii. 8.)
“Even to foes who visit us as guests due hospitality should be displayed; the tree screens with its leaves, the man who fells it.” (Ibid.)
“Therefore, if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.” (Rom. xii. 20.)
“In granting or refusing a request, a man obtains a proper rule of action by looking on his neighbor as himself.” (Ibid.)
|“Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt. xxii. 39.)
“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke vi. 31.)
“Before infirmities creep o’er thy flesh; before decay impairs thy strength and mars the beauty of thy limbs; before the Ender, whose charioteer is sickness, hastes towards thee, breaks up thy fragile frame and ends thy life, lay up the only treasure: Do good deeds; practice sobriety and self-control; amass that wealth which thieves cannot abstract, nor tyrants seize, which follows thee at death, which never wastes away, nor is corrupted.” (Ibid.)
|“Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say: I have no pleasure in them.” (Ecc. xii. 1.)
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.” (Matt. vi. 19-20.)
“This is the sum of all true righteousness—Treat others as thou wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbor, which hereafter thou would’st not have thy neighbor do to thee. In causing pleasure, or in giving pain, in doing good or injury to others, in granting or refusing a request, a man obtains a proper rule of action by looking on his neighbor as himself.” (Ibid.)
|“Ye have heard that it hath been said: Thou shall love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matt. v. 43-44.)
“A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John, xii. 34.)
“Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matt, xi 39.)
“Think constantly, O Son, how thou mayest pleaseThy father, mother, teacher,—these obey.By deep devotion seek thy debt to pay.This is thy highest duty and religion.”
“Wound not another, though by him provoked.Do no one injury by thought or deed.Utter no word to pain thy fellow-creatures.”
“Treat no one with disdain, with patience bearReviling language; with an angry manBe never angry; blessings give for curses.”
“E’en as a driver checks his restive steeds,Do thou, if thou art wise, restrain thy passions,Which, running wild, will hurry thee away.”
“Pride not thyself on thy religious works.Give to the poor, but talk not of thy gifts.By pride religious merit melts away,The merit of thy alms by ostentation.”
“Good words, good deeds, and beautiful expressionsA wise man ever culls from every quarter,E’en as a gleaner gathers ears of corn.”
“Repeated sin destroys the understanding,And he whose reason is impaired, repeatsHis sins. The constant practice of virtueStrengthens the mental faculties, and heWhose judgment stronger grows, acts always right.”
“If thou art wise seek ease and happinessIn deeds of virtue and of usefulness;And ever act in such a way by dayThat in the night thy sleep may tranquil be;And so comport thyself when thou art youngThat when thou art grown old, thy age may passIn calm serenity. So ply thy talkThrough thy life, that when thy days are ended,Thou may’st enjoy eternal bliss hereafter.”
“Do naught to others which if done to theeWould cause thee pain; this is the sum of duty.”
“No sacred lore can save the hypocrite,—Though he employ it craftily,—from hell;When his end comes, his pious texts take wings,Like fledglings eager to forsake their nest.”
“Iniquity once practiced, like a seed,Fails not to yield its fruit to him who wrought it,If not to him, yet to his sons and grandsons.”
(Manu.) “Single is every living creature born,Single he passes to another world.Single he eats the fruit of evil deeds,Single, the fruit of good; and when he leavesHis body like a log or heap of clayUpon the ground, his kinsmen walk away;Virtue alone stands by him at the tomb,And bears him through the dreary, trackless gloom.”
“Thou canst not gather what thou dost not sow;As thou dost plant the tree so will it grow.”
“He who pretends to be what he is not,Acts a part, commits the worst of crimes,For, thief-like, he abstracts a good man’s heart.”
[384:1]“Before the separation of the Aryan race, before the existence of Sanscrit, Greek, or Latin, before the gods of the Veda had been worshiped, ONE SUPREME DEITY had been found, had been named, and had been invoked by the ancestors of our race.” (Prof. Max Müller: The Science of Religion, p. 67.)
[384:3]See Chap. XII. and Chap. XXXII., where we have shown that many other virgin-born gods were conceived by the Holy Ghost, and that the name Mary is the same as Maia, Maya, Myrra, &c.
[385:6]That is, the holy true Church. All peoples who have had a religion believe that theirs was the Catholic faith.
[385:7]There was no nation of antiquity who did not believe in “the forgiveness of sins,” especially if some innocent creature redeemed them by the shedding of his blood (see Chap. IV., and Chap. XX.), and as far as confession of sins is concerned, and thereby being forgiven, this too is almost as old as humanity. Father Acosta found it even among the Mexicans, and said that “the father of lies (the Devil) counterfeited the sacrament of confession, so that he might be honored with ceremonies very like the Christians.” (See Acosta, vol. ii. p. 360.)
[385:8]“No doctrine except that of a supreme and subtly-pervading deity, is so extended, and has retained its primitive form so distinctly, as a belief in immortality, and a future state of rewards and punishments. Among the most savage races, the idea of a future existence in a place of delight is found.” (Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie.)
“Go back far as we may in the history of the Indo-European race, of which the Greeks and Italians are branches, and we do not find that this race has ever thought that after this short life all was finished for man. The most ancient generations, long before there were philosophers, believed in a second existence after the present. They looked upon death not as a dissolution of our being, but simply as a change of life.” (M. De Coulanges: The Ancient City, p. 15.)
[385:9]For full information on this subject see Archbishop Wake’s Apostolic Fathers, p. 108, Justice Bailey’s Common Prayer, Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 10, and Chambers’s Encyclo., art. “Creeds.”
[386:2]S. Baring-Gould: Legends of Patriarchs, p. 25.
[386:5]S. Baring-Gould: Legends of Patriarchs, p. 16.
[387:1]S. Baring-Gould: Legends of Patriarchs, p. 17.
[387:3]See Renouf’s Hibbert Lectures, p. 165. Dupuis: Origin of Relig. Beliefs, p. 73, and Baring-Gould’s Legends of the Prophets, p. 19.
[387:4]S. Baring-Gould’s Legends of Patriarchs, p. 19.
[388:2]See Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 411.
[388:3]See Inman’s Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 819. Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 215, and Dupuis: Origin of Relig. Beliefs, p. 78.
[388:4]See Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 31.
[388:5]S. Baring-Gould’s Legends of Patriarchs, p. 20.
[388:6]See Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 159, and Kenrick’s Egypt, vol. i.
[389:1]This subject is most fully entered into by Mr. Herbert Spencer, in vol. i. of “Principles of Sociology.”
[390:1]See Mallet’s Northern Antiquities, p. 426.
[392:1]Williams’ Hinduism, pp. 182, 183.
[392:2]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 216.
[392:3]See Mallet’s Northern Antiquities, p. 111.
[392:4]See Kenrick’s Egypt, vol. i. p. 466.
[393:1]“The Seventh day was sacred to Saturn throughout the East.” (Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., pp. 35, 36.)
“Saturn’s day was made sacred to God, and the planet is now called cochab shabbath, ‘The Sabbath Star.’
“The sanctification of the Sabbath is clearly connected with the word Shabua or Sheba, i. e., seven.” (Inman’s Anct. Faiths, vol. ii. p. 504.) “The Babylonians, Egyptians, Chinese, and the natives of India, were acquainted with the seven days’ division of time, as were the ancient Druids.” (Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 412.) “With the Egyptians the Seventh day was consecrated to God the Father.” (Ibid.) “Hesiod, Herodotus, Philostratus, &c., mention that day. Homer, Callimachus, and other ancient writers call the Seventh day the Holy One. Eusebius confesses its observance by almost all philosophers and poets.” (Ibid.)
[393:4]Pococke Specimen: Hist. Arab., p. 97. Quoted in Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., p. 274. “Some of the families of the Israelites worshiped Saturnunder the name of Kiwan, which may have given rise to the religious observance of the Seventh day.” (Bible for Learners, vol. i, p. 317.)
[393:5]Kenrick’s Egypt, vol. i. p. 283.
[393:6]Mover’s Phönizier, vol. i. p. 313. Quoted in Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., p. 36.
[393:8]Mallet’s Northern Antiquities, p. 92.
[393:9]Old Norse, Odinsdagr; Swe. and Danish, Onsdag; Ang. Sax., Wodensdeg; Dutch, Woensdag; Eng., Wednesday.
[396:1]Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 182.
[396:2]See Eusebius’ Life of Constantine, lib. iv. chs. xviii. and xxiii.
[396:3]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 237.
[396:4]See Bell’s Pantheon, vol. i. p. 187, and Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. pp. 142, 143.
[396:5]See Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 236, and Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. pp. 142, 143.
[396:6]Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 137.
[397:1]Gruter’s Inscriptions. Quoted in Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 237.
[397:2]Boldonius’ Epigraphs. Quoted in Ibid.
[397:3]See Bell‘s Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 237. Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 48, and Middleton’s Letters from Rome.
[397:4]Baring-Gould’s Curious Myths, p. 428.
[398:1]Mosheim, Cent. ii. p. 202. Quoted in Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 48.
[398:2]Draper: Religion and Science, pp. 48, 49.
[398:3]Middleton’s Letters from Rome, p. 84.
[399:2]Jones on the Canon, vol. i. p. 11. Diegesis, p. 49.
[399:3]Compare “Apollo among the Muses,” and “The Vine and its Branches” (that is, Christ Jesus and his Disciples), in Lundy’s Monumental Christianity, pp. 141-143. As Mr. Lundy says, there is so striking a resemblance between the two, that one looks very much like a copy of the other. Apollo is also represented as the “Good Shepherd,” with a lamb upon his back, just exactly as Christ Jesus is represented in Christian Art. (See Lundy’s Monumental Christianity, and Jameson’s Hist. of Our Lord in Art.)
[399:4]The Roman god Jonas, or Janus, with his keys, was changed into Peter, who was surnamed Bar-Jonas. Many years ago a statue of the god Janus, in bronze, being found in Rome, he was perched up in St. Peter’s with his keys in his hand: the very identical god, in all his native ugliness. This statue sits as St. Peter, under the cupola of the church of St. Peter. It is looked upon with the most profound veneration: the toes are nearly kissed away by devotees.
[400:1]Frothingham: The Cradle of the Christ, p. 179.
[400:2]See Hardy’s Eastern Monachism.
[400:3]The “Grand Lama” is the head of a priestly order in Thibet and Tartar. The office is not hereditary, but, like the Pope of Rome, he is elected by the priests. (Inman’s Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 203. See also, Bell‘s Pantheon, vol. ii. pp. 32-34.)
[400:4]See Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 233, Inman’s Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 203, and Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 211.
[401:1]Davis: Hist. China, vol. ii. pp. 105, 106.
[402:1]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 34.
[403:1]Huc’s Travels, vol. i. p. 329.
[403:2]See Hardy’s Eastern Monachism, p. 163.
[403:5]“Vestal Virgins,” an order of virgins consecrated to the goddess Vesta.
[403:6]Hardy: Eastern Monachism, p. 163.
[403:8]See Herodotus, b. ii. ch. 36.
[403:9]Dunlap: Son of the Man, p. x.
[405:1]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 241.
[405:2]See Lardner’s Works, vol. viii. pp. 375, 376.
[405:4]Cox: Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 127.
[406:1]Renouf: Hibbert Lectures, p. 191.
[406:2]Renan: Hibbert Lectures, p. 32.
[406:3]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 232.
[406:4]“At their entrance, purifying themselves by washing their hands in holy water, they were at the same time admonished to present themselves with pure minds, without which the external cleanness of the body would by no means be accepted.” (Bell’s Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 282.)
[406:5]See Williams’ Hinduism, p. 99.
[406:6]See Renan’s Hibbert Lectures, p. 35.
[407:1]Edward Gibbon: Decline and Fall, vol. iii. p. 161.
[408:1]Draper: Science and Religion, pp. 46-49.
[409:1]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 237.
[409:2]Quoted in Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 249. See also, Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., book iv. ch. xxvi. who alludes to it.
[409:4]Quoted by Rev. R. Taylor, Diegesis p. 41.
[410:1]“Es est nostris temporibus Christiana religio, quam cognoscere ac sequi securissima et certissima salus est: secundum hoc nomen dictum est non secundum ipsam rem cujus hoc nomen est: nam res ipsa quæ nunc Christiana religio nuncupatur erat et apud antiquos, nec defuit ab initio generis humani, quousque ipse Christus veniret in carne, unde vera religio quæ jam erat cæpit appellari Christiana. Hæc est nostris temporibus Christiana religio, non quia prioribus temporibus non fuit, sed quia posterioribus hoc nomen accepit.” (Opera Augustini, vol. i. p. 12. Quoted in Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 42.)
[410:2]See Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. v.
[410:3]“Cum animadvertisset Gregorius quod ob corporeas delectationes et voluptates, simplex et imperitum vulgus in simulacrorum cultus errore permaneret—permisit eis, ut in memoriam et recordationem sanctorum martyrum sese oblectarent, et in lætitiam effunderentur, quod successu temporis aliquando futurum esset, ut sua sponte, ad honestiorem et accuratiorem vitæ rationem, transirent.” (Mosheim, vol. i. cent. 2, p. 202.)
[410:4]“Non imperio ad fidem adducto, sed et imperii pompa ecclesiam inficiente. Non ethnicis ad Christum conversis, sed et Christi religione ad Ethnicæ formam depravata.” (Orat. Academ. De Variis Christ. Rel. fatis.)
[411:1]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 163.
[411:2]Quoted by Draper: Science and Religion, p. 48.
[411:3]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 329.
[412:2]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 323.
[412:4]On the Flesh of Christ, ch. v.
[413:1]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 328.
[413:4]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 339.
[413:5]See Middleton’s Letters from Rome, p. 236; Mosheim, vol. i. cent. 2, pt. 2, ch. 4.
[414:1]Prolegomena to Ancient History, pp. 416, 417.
[415:1]Tindal: Christianity as Old as the Creation.
[415:2]Manu’s works were written during the sixth century B. C. (see Williams’ Indian Wisdom, p. 215), and the Maha-bharata about the same time.