“Say not there are three Gods, God is but One God.” (Koran)
The teachings of Jesus Christ as available in the four Gospels indicate that he preached to Israelis, the same message of Hebrew prophets, obedience and worship to One God: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord”(Deuteronomy; 6:4, Mark; 12:29). The essence of the teachings is presented in the Sermon on the Mount, where he said: “Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”(Mathew; 5:17-20 also 5:3-12, 6:9-13).
The question of the origin of Jesus, his nature and relation to God, which later became so important, was not raised among his early disciples. The belief that Jesus was a man super-naturally endowed prophet of God was accepted without question. Nothing in the words of Jesus or the events in his life led them to modify this view. According to Aristides, one of the earliest apologists, the worship of the early Christians was more purely monotheistic even than of the Jews.
After Jesus Christ, the original followers of Jesus Christ continued to live as Jews and practiced what Jesus had taught them. It did not occur to any of them that they could ever be regarded as followers of a new religion. They were devout and practicing Jews and they were distinguished from their neighbours, only by their faith in the message of Jesus. In the beginning they did not organize themselves as a separate sect and did not have a synagogue of their own. There was nothing in the message of Jesus, as understood by them, to necessitate a break with Judaism. However, they incurred the enmity of the vested interests among the Jewish higher echelon.
With the conversion of Paul (4–64 C.E) a new period opened in Christian Theology. Paul a Jew and an inhabitant of Tarsus, had spent a long time in Rome, he was a Roman citizen. He realized the strong hold which the Roman religion had on the masses. The intellectuals were under the influence of Plato and Aristotle. Paul seems to have felt that it would not be possible to convert the masses in the Roman Empire without making mutual adjustments. But his practical wisdom was not acceptable to those who had seen and heard Jesus. However, in spite of their difference, they decided to work together for the common cause.
Jesus Christ presented a spiritual message and main ideas concerning human conduct. Christian theology, however, was shaped principally by the work of Paul and alike, who adulterated the spiritual message of Jesus. Paul became the foremost proselytizer of the new religion of Christianity. His influence on Christian theology proved to be the most permanent and far-reaching of all Christian writers and thinkers.
The conflict between the Jews and the followers of Jesus was started by the Jews because they felt that the Christians would undermine their “authority”. The gulf progressively began to widen. During the siege of Jerusalem in 70 C.E, they left the city; and refused to take part in the Bar Coachaba rebellion in 132 C.E. These two events brought to the surface the difference between the followers of Jesus Christ and the Jews.
Later the efforts of Paul bear fruits, Trinity and other strange doctrines got embedded to form the new religion, ‘Christianity’, falsely relating with Jesus Christ.
The doctrine of the Trinity is the highest and most mysterious doctrine of the Christian church. It declares that there are three persons in the Godhead or divine nature—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost—and that “these three are one true, eternal God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory, although distinguished by their personal propensities.” The most celebrated statement of the doctrine is to be found in the Athanasian creed,[368:1] which asserts that:
“The Catholic [368:2] faith is this: That we worship One God as Trinity, and Trinity in Unity-neither confounding the persons, nor dividing the substance—for there is One person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one; the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal.”
As M. Reville remarks:
“The dogma of the Trinity displayed its contradictions with true bravery. The Deity divided into three divine persons, and yet these three persons forming only One God; of these three the first only being self-existent, the two others deriving their existence from the first, and yet these three persons being considered as perfectly equal; each having his special, distinct character, his individual qualities, wanting in the other two, and yet each one of the three being supposed to possess the fullness of perfection—here, it must be confessed, we have the deification of the contradictory.”[368:3]
Heathen Origin of Trinity:
We shall now see that this very peculiar doctrine of three in one, and one in three, is of heathen origin, and that it must fall with all the other dogmas of the Christian religion. The number three is sacred in all theories derived from oriental sources. Deity is always a trinity of some kind, or the successive emanations proceeded in threes.[369:1]
Trinity in Indian Religions
Trimurti in Hinduism:
If we turn to India we shall find that one of the most prominent features in the Indian theology is the doctrine of a divine triad, governing all things. This triad is called Tri-murti—from the Sanskrit word tri (three) and murti (form)—and consists of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva. It is an inseparable unity, though three in form.[369:2]
“When the universal and infinite being Brahma—the only really existing entity, wholly without form, and unbound and unaffected by the three Gunas or by qualities of any kind—wished to create for his own entertainment the phenomena of the universe, he assumed the quality of activity and became a male person, as Brahma the creator. Next, in the progress of still further self-evolution, he willed to invest himself with the second quality of goodness, as Vishnu the preserver, and with the third quality of darkness, as Siva the destroyer. This development of the doctrine of triple manifestation (tri-murti), which appears first in the Brahmanized version of the Indian Epics, had already been adumbrated in the Veda in the triple form of fire, and in the triad of gods, Agni, Sūrya, and Indra; and in other ways.”[369:3]
This divine Tri-murti—says the Brahmans and the sacred books—is indivisible in essence, and indivisible in action; mystery profound! Which is explained in the following manner:
Brahma represents the creative principle, the un-reflected or un-evolved protogoneus state of divinity—the Father.
Vishnu represents the protecting and preserving principle, the evolved or reflected state of divinity—the Son.[369:4]
Siva is the principle that presides at destruction and re-construction—the Holy Spirit.[369:5]
The third person was the Destroyer, or, in his good capacity, the Regenerator. The dove was the emblem of the Regenerator. As the spiritus was the passive cause (brooding on the face of the waters) by which all things sprang into life, the dove became the emblem of the Spirit, or Holy Ghost, the third person.
These three gods are the first and the highest manifestations of the Eternal Essence, and are typified by the three letters composing the mystic syllable OM or AUM. They constitute the well known Trimurti or Triad of divine forms which characterizes Hinduism. It is usual to describe these three gods as Creator, Preserver and Destroyer, but this gives a very inadequate idea of their complex characters. Nor does the conception of their relationship to each other become clearer when it is ascertained that their functions are constantly interchangeable, and that each may take the place of the other, according to the sentiment expressed by the greatest of Indian poets, Kalidasa (Kumara-sambhava, Griffith, vii. 44):
“In those three persons the One God was shown—Each first in place, each last—not one alone; Of Siva, Vishnu, Brahmā, each may be First, second, third, among the blessed three.”
A devout person called Attencin, becoming convinced that he should worship but one deity, thus addressed Brahma, Vishnu and Siva:
“O you three Lords; know that I recognize only One God; inform me therefore, which of you is the true divinity, that I may address to him alone my vows and adorations.”
The three gods became manifest to him, and replied:
“Learn, O devotee, that there is no real distinction between us; what to you appears such is only by semblance; the Single Being appears under three forms, but he is One.”[370:1]
Sir William Jones says:
“Very respectable natives have assured me, that one or two missionaries have been absurd enough in their zeal for the conversion of the Gentiles, to urge that the Hindus were even now almost Christians; because their Brahmā, Vishnou, and Mahesa (Siva), were no other than the Christian Trinity.”[370:2]
Thomas Maurice, in his “Indian Antiquities,” describes a magnificent piece of Indian sculpture, of exquisite workmanship, and of stupendous antiquity, namely:
“A bust composed of three heads, united to one body, adorned with the oldest symbols of the Indian theology, and thus expressly fabricated according to the unanimous confession of the sacred sacerdotal tribe of India, to indicate the Creator, the Preserver, and the Regenerator, of mankind; which establishes the solemn fact, that from the remotest eras, the Indian nations had adored a triune deity.”[371:1]
There are many Indian sculptures representing the Triune God,[371:2] evidently similar to the one described above by Mr. Maurice. It is taken from “a very ancient granite” in the museum at the “Indian House,” and was dug from the ruins of a temple in the island of Bombay.
Trinity in Buddhism:
The Buddhists, as well as the Brahmans, have had their Trinity from a very early period.
Mr. Faber, in his “Origin of Heathen Idolatry,” says:
“Among the Hindus, we have the Triad of Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva; so, among the votaries of Buddha, we find the self-triplicated Buddha declared to be the same as the Hindu Trimurti. Among the Buddhist sect of the Jainists, we have the triple Jiva, in whom the Trimurti is similarly declared to be incarnate.”
In this Trinity Vajrapani answers to Brahmā, or Jehovah, the “All-father,” Manjusri is the “deified teacher,” the counterpart of Krishna or Jesus, and Avalokitesvara is the “Holy Spirit.”
Buddha was believed by his followers to be, not only an incarnation of the deity, but “God himself in human form”—as the followers of Krishna believed him to be—and therefore “three gods in one.” This is clearly illustrated by the following address delivered to Buddha by a devotee called Amora:
“Reverence be unto thee, O God, in the form of the God of mercy, the dispeller of pain and trouble, the Lord of all things, the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy towards those who serve thee—OM! the possessor of all things in vital form. Thou art Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesa; thou art Lord of all the universe. Thou art under the proper form of all things, movable and immovable, the possessor of the whole, and thus I adore thee. I adore thee, who art celebrated by a thousand names, and under various forms; in the shape of Buddha, the god of mercy.”[371:3]
Buddhist Trinity in Japan & China:
The inhabitants of China and Japan, the majority of whom are Buddhists, worship God in the form of a Trinity. Their name for him (Buddha) is Fo, and in speaking of the Trinity they say: “The three pure, precious or honourable Fo.”[372:1] This triad is represented in their temples by images similar to those found in the pagodas of India, and when they speak of God they say: “Fo is one person, but has three forms.”[372:2]
In a chapel belonging to the monastery of Poo-ta-la, which was found in Manchow-Tartary, was to be seen representations of Fo, in the form of three persons.[372:3]
Navarette, in his account of China, says:
“This sect (of Fo) has another idol they call Sanpao. It consists of three, equal in all respects. This, which has been represented as an image of the Most Blessed Trinity, is exactly the same with that which is on the high altar of the monastery of the Trinitarians at Madrid. If any Chinese whatsoever saw it, he would say that Sanpao of his country was worshiped in these parts.”
And Mr. Faber, in his “Origin of Heathen Idolatry,” says:
“Among the Chinese, who worship Buddha under the name of Fo, we find this God mysteriously multiplied into three persons.”
The mystic syllable O. M. or A. U. M. is also reverenced by the Chinese and Japanese,[372:4] as we have found it reverenced by the inhabitants of India.
The followers of Laou-tsze, or Laou-keum-tsze—a celebrated philosopher of China, and deified hero, born 604 B. C.—known as the Taou sect, are also worshipers of a Trinity.[372:5] It was the leading feature in Laou-keun’s system of philosophical theology, that Taou, the eternal reason, produced one; one produced two; two produced three; and three produced all things.[372:6] This was a sentence which Laou-keun continually repeated, and which Mr. Maurice considers, “a most singular axiom for a heathen philosopher.”[372:7]
The sacred volumes of the Chinese state that:
“The Source and Root of all is One. This self-existent unity necessarily produced a second. The first and second, by their union, produced a third. These Three produced all.”[372:8]
The ancient emperors of China solemnly sacrificed, every three years, to “Him who is One and Three.”[372:9]
Egyptian Trinity & Logos:
The ancient Egyptians worshiped God in the form of a Trinity, which was represented in sculptures on the most ancient of their temples. The celebrated symbol of the wing, the globe, and the serpent, is supposed to have stood for the different attributes of God.[373:1]
The priests of Memphis, in Egypt, explained this mystery to the novice, by intimating that the premier (first) monad created the dyad, who engendered the triad, and that it is this triad which shines through nature.
Thulis, a great monarch, who at one time reigned over all Egypt, and who was in the habit of consulting the oracle of Serapis, is said to have addressed the oracle in these words:
“Tell me if ever there was before one greater than I, or will ever be one greater than me?”
The oracle answered thus:
“First God, afterward the Word, and with them the Holy Spirit, all these are of the same nature, and make but one whole, of which the power is eternal. Go away quickly, mortal, thou who hast but an uncertain life.”[373:2]
The idea of calling the second person in the Trinity the Logos, or Word [373:3] is an Egyptian feature, and was engrafted into Christianity many centuries after the time of Christ Jesus.[373:4] Apollo, who had his tomb at Delphi in Egypt, was called the Word.[373:5]
Mr. Bonwick, in his “Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought,” says:
“Some persons are prepared to admit that the most astonishing development of the old religion of Egypt was in relation to the Logos or Divine Word, by whom all things were made, and who, though from God, was God. It had long been known that Plato, Aristotle, and others before the Christian era, cherished the idea of this Demiurgus; but it was not known till of late that Chaldeans and Egyptians recognized this mysterious principle.”[373:6]
“The Logos or Word was a great mystery (among the Egyptians), in whose sacred books the following passages may be seen: ‘I know the mystery of the divine Word;’ ‘The Word of the Lord of All, which was the maker of it;’ ‘The Word—this is the first person after himself, uncreated, infinite ruling over all things that were made by him.'”[374:1]
The Assyrians had Marduk for their Logos;[374:2] one of their sacred addresses to him reads thus:
“Thou art the powerful one—Thou art the life-giver—Thou also the prosperer—Merciful one among the gods—Eldest son of Hea, who made heaven and earth—Lord of heaven and earth, who an equal has not—Merciful one, who dead to life raises.”[374:3]
The Chaldeans had their Memra or “Word of God,” corresponding to the Greek Logos, which designated that being who organized and who still governs the world, and is inferior to God only.[374:4]
The Logos was with Philoa most interesting subject of discourse, tempting him to wonderful feats of imagination. There is scarcely a personifying or exalting epithet that he did not bestow on the Divine Reason. He described it as a distinct being; called it “a Rock,” “The Summit of the Universe,” “Before all things,” “First-begotten Son of God,” “Eternal Bread from Heaven,” “Fountain of Wisdom,” “Guide to God,” “Substitute for God,” “Image of God,” “Priest,” “Creator of the Worlds,” “Second God,” “Interpreter of God,” “Ambassador of God,” “Power of God,” “King,” “Angel,” “Man,” “Mediator,” “Light,” “The Beginning,” “The East,” “The Name of God,” “The Intercessor.”[374:5]
This is exactly the Logos of John. It becomes a man, “is made flesh;” appears as an incarnation; in order that the God whom “no man has seen at any time,” may be manifested.
Greek Trinity & Logos:
The worship of God in the form of a Trinity was to be found among the ancient Greeks. When the priests were about to offer up a sacrifice to the gods, the altar was three times sprinkled by dipping a laurel branch in holy water, and the people assembled around it were three times sprinkled also. Frankincense was taken from the censer with three fingers, and strewed upon the altar three times. This was done because an oracle had declared that all sacred things ought to be in threes, therefore, that number was scrupulously observed in most religious ceremonies.[374:6]
Orpheus[374:7] wrote that:
“All things were made by One godhead in three names, and that this god is all things.”[375:1]
This Trinitarian view of the Deity he is said to have brought from Egypt, and the Christian Fathers of the third and fourth centuries claimed that Pythagoras, Heraclitus, and Plato—who taught the doctrine of the Trinity—had drawn their theological philosophy from the writings of Orpheus.[375:2]
The works of Plato were extensively studied by the Church Fathers, one of whom joyfully recognizes in the great teacher, the schoolmaster who, in the fullness of time, was destined to educate the heathen for Christ, as Moses did the Jews.[375:3]
The celebrated passage: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,“[375:4] is a fragment of some Pagan treatise on the Platonic philosophy, evidently written by Irenaeus.[375:5] It is quoted by Amelius, a Pagan philosopher, as strictly applicable to the Logos, or Mercury, the Word, apparently as an honorable testimony borne to the Pagan deity by a barbarian—for such is what he calls the writer of John i. 1. His words are:
“This plainly was the Word, by whom all things were made, he being himself eternal, as Heraclitus also would say; and by Jove, the same whom the barbarian affirms to have been in the place and dignity of a principal, and to be with God, and to be God, by whom all things were made, and in whom everything that was made has its life and being.”[375:6]
The Christian Father, Justin Martyr, apologizing for the Christian religion, tells the Emperor Antoninus Pius, that the Pagans need not taunt the Christians for worshiping the Logos, which “was with God, and was God,” as they were also guilty of the same act.
“If we (Christians) hold,” says he, “some opinions near of kin to the poets and philosophers, in great repute among you, why are we thus unjustly hated?” “There’s Mercury, Jove’s interpreter, in imitation of the Logos, in worship among you,” and “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 you have your Mercury, (also called the ‘Son of God’) in worship under the title of the Word and Messenger of God.”[375:7]
We see, then, that the title “Word” or “Logos,” being applied to Jesus, is another piece of Pagan amalgamation with Christianity. It did not receive its authorized Christian form until the middle of the second century after Christ.[376:1]
Trinity Worship in Ancient Religions:
The ancient Pagan Romans worshiped a Trinity.
An oracle is said to have declared that there was, “first God, then the Word, and with them the Spirit.”[376:2]
Here we see distinctly enumerated, God, the Logos, and the Spirit or Holy Ghost, in ancient Rome, where the most celebrated temple of this capital—that of Jupiter Capitolinus—was dedicated to three deities, which three deities were honoured with joint worship.[376:3]
The ancient Persians worshiped a Trinity.[376:4]
This trinity consisted of Oromasdes, Mithras, and Ahriman.[376:5] It was virtually the same as that of the Hindus: Oromasdes was the Creator, Mithras was the “Son of God,” the “Saviour,” the “Mediator” or “Intercessor,” and Ahriman was the Destroyer. In the oracles of Zoroaster the Persian lawgiver, is to be found the following sentence:
“A Triad of Deity shines forth through the whole world, of which a Monad (an invisible thing) is the head.”[376:6]
Plutarch, “De Iside et Osiride,” says:
“Zoroaster is said to have made a threefold distribution of things: to have assigned the first and highest rank to Oromasdes, who, in the Oracles, is called the Father; the lowest to Ahrimanes; and the middle to Mithras; who, in the same Oracles, is called the second Mind.”
Assyrians and Phenicians:
The Assyrians and Phenicians worshiped a Trinity.[376:7]
“It is a curious and instructive fact, that the Jews had symbols of the divine Unity in Trinity as well as the Pagans.”[376:8] The Cabbala had its Trinity: “the Ancient, whose name is sanctified, is with three heads, which make but one.”[376:9]
Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai says:
“Come and see the mystery of the word Elohim: there are three degrees, and each degree by itself alone, and yet, notwithstanding, they are all One, and joined together in One, and cannot be divided from each other.”
According to Dr. Parkhurst:
“The Vandals[376:10] had a god called Triglaff. One of these was found at Hertungerberg, near Brandenburg (in Prussia). He was represented with three heads. This was apparently the Trinity of Paganism.”[377:1]
The ancient Scandinavians worshiped a triple deity who was yet one god.
It consisted of Odin, Thor, and Frey. A triune statue representing this Trinity in Unity was found at Upsal in Sweden.[377:2] The three principal nations of Scandinavia (Sweden, Denmark, and Norway) vied with each other in erecting temples, but none were more famous than the temple at Upsal in Sweden. It glittered on all sides with gold. It seemed to be particularly consecrated to the Three Superior Deities, Odin, Thor and Frey. The statues of these gods were placed in this temple on three thrones, one above the other. Odin was represented holding a sword in his hand: Thor stood at the left hand of Odin, with a crown upon his head, and a scepter in his hand; Frey stood at the left hand of Thor, and was represented of both sexes. Odin was the supreme God, the Al-fader; Thor was the first-begotten son of this god, and Frey was the bestower of fertility, peace and riches. King Gylfi of Sweden is supposed to have gone at one time to Asgard (the abode of the gods), where he beheld three thrones raised one above another, with a man sitting on each of them. Upon his asking what the names of these lords might be, his guide answered: “He who sitteth on the lowest throne is the Lofty One; the second is the equal to the Lofty One; and he who sitteth on the highest throne is called the Third.”[377:3]
Ancient Druids, Siberians, Tartars:
The ancient Druids also worshiped: “Ain Treidhe Dia ainm Taulac, Fan, Mollac;” which is to say: “Ain triple God, of name Taulac, Fan, Mollac.”[377:4]
The ancient inhabitants of Siberia worshiped a triune God.
In remote ages, wanderers from India directed their eyes northward, and crossing the vast Tartarian deserts, finally settled in Siberia, bringing with them the worship of a triune God. This is clearly shown from the fact stated by Thomas Maurice, that:
“The first Christian missionaries who arrived in those regions, found the people already in possession of that fundamental doctrine of the true religion, which, among others, they came to impress upon their minds, and universally adored an idol fabricated to resemble, as near as possible, a Trinity in Unity.”
This triune God consisted of, first “the Creator of all things,” second, “the God of Armies,” third, “the Spirit of Heavenly Love,” and yet these three were but one indivisible God.[377:5]
The Tartars also worshiped God as a Trinity in Unity.
On one of their medals, which is now in the St. Petersburg Museum, may be seen a representation of the triple God seated on the lotus.[378:1]
Even in the remote islands of the Pacific Ocean, the supreme deities are God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, the latter of which is symbolized as a bird.[378:2]
Ancient Mexicans and Peruvians:
The supreme God of the Mexicans (Tezcatlipoca), who had, as Lord Kingsborough says, “all the attributes and powers which were assigned to Jehovah by the Hebrews,” had associated with him two other gods, Huitzlipochtli and Tlaloc; one occupied a place upon his left hand, the other on his right. This was the Trinity of the Mexicans.[378:3]
When the bishop Don Bartholomew de las Casas proceeded to his bishopric, which was in 1545, he commissioned an ecclesiastic, whose name was Francis Hernandez, who was well acquainted with the language of the Indians (as the natives were called), to visit them, carrying with him a sort of catechism of what he was about to preach. In about one year from the time that Francis Hernandez was sent out, he wrote to Bishop las Casas, stating that:
“The Indians believed in the God who was in heaven; that this God was the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and that the Father was named Yzona, the Son Bacab, who was born of a Virgin, and that the Holy Ghost was called Echiah.”[378:4]
The Rev. Father Acosta says, in speaking of the Peruvians:
“It is strange that the devil after his manner hath brought a Trinity into idolatry, for the three images of the Sun called Apomti, Churunti, and Intiquaoqui, signifieth Father and Lord Sun, the Son Sun, and the Brother Sun.
“Being in Chuquisaca, an honourable priest showed me an information, which I had long in my hands, where it was proved that there was a certain oratory, whereat the Indians did worship an idol called Tangatanga, which they said was ‘One in Three, and Three in One.’ And as this priest stood amazed thereat, I said that the devil by his internal and obstinate pride (whereby he always pretends to make himself God) did steal all that he could from the truth, to employ it in his lying and deceits.”[378:5]
The doctrine was recognized among the Indians of the Californian peninsula. The statue of the principal deity of the New Granadian Indians had “three heads on one body,” and was understood to be “three persons with one heart and one will.”[378:6]
- The result of our investigations then, is that, for ages before the time of Christ Jesus or Christianity, God was worshiped in the form of a TRIAD, and that this doctrine was extensively diffused through many nations.
- That it was established in regions as far distant as China and Mexico, and immemorially acknowledged through the whole extent of Egypt and India.
- That it flourished with equal vigour among the snowy mountains of Tibet, and the vast deserts of Siberia.
- That the barbarians of central Europe, the Scandinavians, and the Druids of Britain and Ireland, bent their knee to an idol of a Triune God.
- What then becomes of “the Ever-Blessed Trinity” of Christianity? It must fall, together with all the rest of its dogmas, and be buried with the Pagan debris.
The learned Thomas Maurice imagined that this mysterious doctrine must have been revealed by God to Adam, or to Noah, or to Abraham, or to somebody else. Notice with what caution he wrote (A. D. 1794) on this subject. He says:
“In the course of the wide range which I have been compelled to take in the field of Asiatic mythology, certain topics have arisen for discussion, equally delicate and perplexing. Among them, in particular, a species of Trinity forms a constant and prominent feature in nearly all the systems of Oriental theology.”
After saying, “I venture with a trembling step,” and that, “It was not from choice, but from necessity, that I entered thus upon this subject,” he concludes:
“This extensive and interesting subject engrosses a considerable portion of this work, and my anxiety to prepare the public mind to receive it, my efforts to elucidate so mysterious a point of theology, induces me to remind the candid reader, that visible traces of this doctrine are discovered, not only in the three principals of the Chaldaic theology; in the Triplasios Mithra of Persia; in the Triad, Brahmā, Vishnu, and Siva, of India—where it was evidently promulgated in the Geeta, fifteen hundred years before the birth of Plato;[379:1] but in the Numen Triplex of Japan; in the inscription upon the famous medal found in the deserts of Siberia, “To the Triune God,” to be seen at this day in the valuable cabinet of the Empress, at St. Petersburg; in the Tanga-Tanga, or Three in One, of the South Americans; and, finally, without mentioning the vestiges of it in Greece, in the Symbol of the Wing, the Globe, and the Serpent, conspicuous on most of the ancient temples of Upper Egypt.”[379:2]
How Trinity entered Christianity?
While Paul of Tarsus, the man who could rightfully be considered the true founder of Christianity, did formulate many of its doctrines, that of the Trinity was not among them. He did, however, lay the groundwork for such when he put forth the idea of Jesus being a “divine Son.” After all, a Son does need a Father, and what about a vehicle for God’s revelations to man? In essence, Paul named the principal players, but it was the later Church fathers who put the matter together. Essenes, the third Jewish sect, which is not mentioned in writings after Jesus, had affinity with Buddhism. Essenes are considered to have formed the bulk of early followers of Jesus Christ, later Christians. They acted as a bridge with ‘Hindu, Buddhist and Egyptian Trinity’ through Alexandria, once the centre of knowledge including Eastern & Indian religions.
The history of the great Alexandrian library is one of the keys which unlock the door, and exposes to the view the manner in which the heathen doctrines including Trinity sneaked in to the monotheistic teachings of Jesus Christ such that Hindu incarnate god Krishna, and the meek and benevolent Buddha, came to be worshiped under the name of Christ Jesus. In Alexandria, in Egypt, there was an immense library, founded by the Ptolemies [Egyptian dynasty of Macedonian kings (323-30 B.C.). The Ptolemies included Ptolemy I (367-283 BC), a general in Alexander the Great’s army who succeeded him as ruler of Egypt (323-285 BC), and Ptolemy XV (47-30), who ruled as coregent (44-30 BC) with his mother, Cleopatra.]. Any books brought by foreigners into Egypt were taken at once to the museum, and when correct copies had been made, the transcript was given to the owner, and the original placed in the library. The library in the museum was burned during the siege of Alexandria by Julius Caesar. To make amends for this great loss, the library collected by Eumenes, King of Pergamus, was presented by Mark Antony to Queen Cleopatra. [379:3].
The salient features, functions, importance and long term implications of Alexandria library are:
1. That, “orders were given to the chief librarian to buy at the king’s expense whatever books he could.”
2. That, “one of the chief objects of the museum was that of serving as the home of a body of men who devoted themselves to study.”
3. That, “any books brought by foreigners into Egypt were taken at once to the museum and correct copies made.”
4. That, “there flocked to this great intellectual centre students from all countries.”
5. That, “the Christian church received from it some of the most eminent of its Fathers.”
6. That, the chief doctrines of the Gnostic Christians “had been held for centuries before their time in many of the cities in Asia Minor. There, it is probable, they first came into existence as ‘Mystae’ upon the establishment of a direct intercourse with India under the Seleucidae and the Ptolemies.”
7. That, “the College of ESSENES at Ephesus, the Orphics of Thrace, the Curetes of Crete, are all merely branches of one antique and common religion, and that originally Asiatic.”
8. That, “the introduction of Buddhism into Egypt and Palestine affords the only true solution of innumerable difficulties in the history of religion.”
9. That, “Buddhism had actually been planted in the dominions of the Seleucidae and Ptolemies (Palestine belonging to the former) before the beginning of the third century B. C. and is proved to demonstration by a passage in the edicts of Ashoka.” [Ashoka (304–232 BC) was a great Indian King who converted to Buddhism, made it world religion.]
10. That, “it is very likely that the commentaries (Scriptures) which were among them (the Essenes) were the Gospels.”
11. That, “the principal doctrines and rites of the Essenes can be connected with the East, with Parsism [ Zoroastrians ], and especially with Buddhism.”
12. That, “among the doctrines which the Essenes and Buddhists had in common was that of the Angel-Messiah.”
13. That, “they (the Essenes) had a flourishing university or corporate body, established at Alexandria, in Egypt, long before the period assigned for the birth of Christ.”
14. That, “the very ancient and Eastern doctrine of the Angel-Messiah had been applied to Gautama Buddha, and so it was applied to Jesus Christ by the Essenes of Egypt and Palestine, who introduced this new Messianic doctrine into Essenic Judaism and Essenic Christianity.”
15. That, “we hear very little of them (the Essenes) after 40 C.E ; and there can hardly be any doubt that the Essenes as a body must have embraced Christianity.”
Here is the solution of the problem. The sacred books of Hindus and Buddhists were among the Essenes, and in the library at Alexandria. The Essenes, who were afterwards called Christians, applied the legend of the Angel-Messiah—”the very ancient Eastern doctrine,” which we have shown throughout this work—to Christ Jesus. It was simply a transformation of names, a transformation which had previously occurred in many cases.[379:4] After this came additions to the legend and myths like Trinity from other sources. Portions of the legends related of the Persian, Greek and Roman Saviours and Redeemers of mankind, were, from time to time, added to the already legendary history of the Christian Saviour. Thus history was repeating itself. Thus the virgin-born God and Saviour, worshiped by many nations of the earth, though called by different names, was but one and the same.
This very valuable library was wilfully destroyed by the Christian Theophilus [Patriarch of Alexandria from 385 to 412 C.E]. The destruction of this library was almost the death-blow to free-thought—wherever Christianity ruled—for more than a thousand years.
Egypt, the land of Trinities, Essenes & Gospels:
“Alexandria, the home of Philonism, and Neo-Platonism (and we might add Essenism), was naturally the centre whence spread the dogma of the deity of Jesus Christ. In that city, through the third century, flourished a school of transcendental theology, afterwards looked upon with suspicion by the conservators of ecclesiastical doctrine, but not the less the real cradle of orthodoxy. It was still the Platonic tendency which influenced the speculations of Clement, Origen and Dionysius, and the theory of the Logos was at the foundation of their theology.” says Albert Revillé [379:3]
Among the numerous gospels in circulation among the Christians of the first three centuries, there was one entitled “The Gospel of the Egyptians.” Epiphanius (385 C.E), speaking of it, says:
“Many things are proposed (in this Gospel of the Egyptians) in a hidden, mysterious manner, as by our Saviour, as though he had said to his disciples, that the Father was the same person, the Son the same person, and the Holy Ghost the same person.”
That this was one of the “Scriptures” of the Essenes becomes very evident when we find it admitted by the most learned of Christian theologians that it was in existence “before either of the canonical Gospels,” and that it contained the doctrine of the Trinity, a doctrine not established in the Christian church until 327 C.E, but which was taught by this Buddhist sect in Alexandria, in Egypt, which has been well called, “Egypt, the land of Trinities.”
The learned Dr. Grabe thought it was composed by some Christians in Egypt, and that it was published before either of the canonical Gospels. Dr. Mill also believed that it was composed before either of the canonical Gospels, and, what is more important than all, that the authors of it were Essenes.
These “Scriptures” of the Essenes were undoubtedly amalgamated with the “Gospels” of the Christians, the result being the canonical Gospels as we now have them. The “Gospel of the Hebrews,” and such like, on the one hand, and the “Gospel of the Egyptians,” or Essenes, and such like, on the other. That the “Gospel of the Hebrews” spoke of Jesus of Nazareth as the son of Joseph and Mary, according to the flesh, and that it taught nothing about his miracles, his resurrection from the dead, and other such prodigies, is admitted on all hands. That the “Scriptures” of the Essenes contained the whole legend of the Angel-Messiah, which was afterwards added to the history of Jesus, making him a CHRIST, or an Anointed Angel, is a probability almost to a certainty. Do we now understand how all the traditions and legends, originally Indian, escaping from the great focus through Egypt, were able to reach Judea, Greece and Rome?
According to an other similar historic narrative, it was a long time after the followers of Christ Jesus had made him a God, before they ventured to declare that he was “God himself in human form,” and, “the second person in the Ever-Blessed Trinity.” It was Justin Martyr (103–165 C.E ), a Christian convert from the Platonic school,[380:1] who, about the middle of the second century, first promulgated the opinion, that Jesus of Nazareth, the “Son of God,” was the second principle in the Deity, and the Creator of all material things. He is the earliest writer to whom the opinion can be traced. This knowledge, he does not ascribe to the Scriptures, but to the special favour of God.[380:2]
Tertullian, a lawyer and presbyter of the third century Church in Carthage, was the first to use the word “Trinity” when he put forth the theory that the Son and the Spirit participate in the being of God, but all are of one being of substance with the Father.
Controversies on Trinity:
In these Trinitarian controversies, which first broke out in Egypt—Egypt, the land of Trinities—the chief point in the discussion was to define the position of “the Son.”
There lived in Alexandria a presbyter of the name of Arius, a disappointed candidate for the office of bishop. He took the ground that there was a time when, from the very nature of Sonship, the Son did not exist, and a time at which he commenced to be, asserting that it is the necessary condition of the filial relation that a father must be older than his son. But this assertion evidently denied the co-eternity of the three persons of the Trinity, it suggested a subordination or inequality among them, and indeed implied a time when the Trinity did not exist. Hereupon, the bishop, who had been the successful competitor against Arius, displayed his rhetorical powers in public debates on the question, and, the strife spreading, the Jews and Pagans, who formed a very large portion of the population of Alexandria, amused themselves with theatrical representations of the contest on the stage—the point of their burlesques being the equality of age of the Father and the Son. Such was the violence the controversy at length assumed, that the matter had to be referred to the emperor (Constantine).
At first he looked upon the dispute as altogether frivolous, and perhaps in truth inclined to the assertion of Arius, that in the very nature of the thing a father must be older than his son. So great, however, was the pressure laid upon him, that he was eventually compelled to summon the Council of Nicea, which, to dispose of the conflict, set forth a formulary or creed, and attached to it this anathema:
“The Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church anathematizes those who say that there was a time when the Son of God was not, and that, before he was begotten, he was not, and that, he was made out of nothing, or out of another substance or essence, and is created, or changeable, or alterable.”
Constantine at once enforced the decision of the council by the civil power.[381:1]
Even after this “subtle and profound question” had been settled at the Council of Nice, those who settled it did not understand the question they had settled. Athanasius, who was a member of the first general council, and who is said to have written the creed which bears his name, which asserts that the true Catholic faith is this:
“That we worship One God as Trinity, and Trinity in Unity—neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance—for there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost, but the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one, the glory equal, the majesty co-eternal,”
—also confessed that whenever he forced his understanding to meditate on the divinity of the Logos, his toilsome and unavailing efforts recoiled on themselves; that the more he thought the less he comprehended; and the more he wrote the less capable was he of expressing his thoughts.[382:1]
We see, then, that this great question was (considered to be) settled, not by the consent of all members of the council, but simply because the majority were in favour of it. Jesus of Nazareth was “God himself in human form;” “one of the persons of the Ever-Blessed Trinity,” who “had no beginning, and will have no end,” because the majority of the members of this council said so. Hereafter—so it was decreed—all must believe it; if not, they must not oppose it, but forever hold their peace.
Enforcement of Doctrine:
The Emperor Theodosius declared his resolution of expelling from all the churches of his dominions, the bishops and their clergy who should obstinately refuse to believe, or at least to profess, the doctrine of the Council of Nice. His lieutenant, Sapor, was armed with the ample powers of a general law, a special commission, and a military force; and this ecclesiastical resolution was conducted with so much discretion and vigour, that the religion of the Emperor was established.[382:2]
Here we have the historical fact, that bishops of the Christian church, and their clergy, were forced to profess their belief in the doctrine of the Trinity.
We also find that:
“This orthodox Emperor (Theodosius) considered every heretic (as he called those who did not believe as he and his ecclesiastics professed) as a rebel against the supreme powers of heaven and of earth (he being one of the supreme powers of earth) and each of the powers might exercise their peculiar jurisdiction over the soul and body of the guilty.
“The decrees of the Council of Constantinople had ascertained the true standard of the faith, and the ecclesiastics, who governed the conscience of Theodosius, suggested the most effectual methods of persecution. In the space of fifteen years he promulgated at least fifteen severe edicts against the heretics, more especially against those who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.”[382:3]
Thus we see one of the many reasons why the “most holy Christian religion” spread so rapidly!
Arius—who declared that in the nature of things a father must be older than his son—was excommunicated for his so-called heretical notions concerning the Trinity. His followers, who were very numerous, were called Arians. Their writings, if they had been permitted to exist,[383:1] would undoubtedly contain the lamentable story of the persecution which affected the church under the reign of the impious Emperor Theodosius.
Bible & Trinity Today:
References in the Bible to a Trinity of divine beings are vague. In Matthew 28:19, Jesus is telling his disciples to go out and preach to all nations. While the “Great Commission” does make mention of the three persons who later become components of the Trinity, the phrase “…baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” is quite clearly an addition to Biblical text – that is, not the actual words of Jesus – as can be seen by two factors: Baptism in the early Church, as discussed by Paul in his letters, was done only in the name of Jesus; and the “Great Commission” found in the first gospel written, that of Mark, bears no mention of Father, Son and or Holy Ghost (Mark 16:15).
The only other reference in the Bible closer to Trinity can be found in the Epistle 1 John, V: 7, which reads thus: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one,” is one of the numerous interpolations which were inserted into the books of the New Testament, many years after these books were written.[380:3]These passages are retained and circulated as the word of God, or as of equal authority with the rest, though known and admitted by the learned on all hands, to be forgeries, wilful and wicked interpolations hence is not found in modern versions of the Bible.
[Dr C.I, Scofield, D.D. backed by eight other D.D.’s declared: “It is generally agreed that this verse has no manuscript authority and has been inserted.” The fundamentalist Christians still retain this fabrication whereas; in all the modern translations including the Revised Standard Version (RSV) 1971, First edition this pious deceit has been unceremoniously expunged, while others adds note; ‘not found in prior to 16th century Greek manuscripts’, more at: http://wp.me/PCgrB-cS ]
It can, therefore, be seen that the concept of a Trinity of divine beings was not an idea put forth by Jesus Christ. This doctrine, now subscribed to by Christians all over the world, is entirely man-made in origin adopted from heathens.
The subtle and profound questions concerning the nature, generation, the distinction, and the quality of the three divine persons of the mysterious triad, or Trinity, were agitated in the philosophical and in the Christian schools of Alexandria in Egypt,[380:4] but it was not a part of the established Christian faith until as late as A. D. 327, when the question was settled at the Councils of Nice and Constantinople. Up to this time there was no understood and recognized doctrine on this high subject. The Christians were for the most part accustomed to use scriptural expressions in speaking of the Father, and the Son, and the Spirit, without defining articulately their relation to one another.[380:5]
Islam & Trinity:
While Christianity have problems defining the essence of God, such is not the case in Islam. “They do blaspheme who say: God is one of three in a Trinity, for there is no god except One God.” (Qur’an 5:73). Christianity claims to be a monotheistic religion. Monotheism, however, has as its fundamental belief that God is One; the Christian doctrine of the Trinity – God being Three-in-One – is seen by Muslims, like many rational Christians as a form of polytheism. “…your God is One God: whoever expects to meet his Lord, let him work righteousness, and, in the worship of his Lord, admit no one as partner.” (Qur’an 18:110), “…I am your Lord and Cherisher: therefore, serve Me (and no other)…” (Qur’an 21:92)
Brutal punishments and even death did not stop the controversy over the doctrine of the Trinity, which continues even today. The majority of Christians, when asked to explain this fundamental doctrine of their faith, can offer nothing more than “I believe it because I was told to do so.” It is explained away as “mystery” – yet the Bible says in I Corinthians 14:33 that “… God is not the author of confusion…”
The Unitarian denomination of Christianity has kept alive the teachings of Arius in saying that God is one; they do not believe in the Trinity. As a result, mainstream Christians abhor them, and the National Council of Churches has refused their admittance. In Unitarianism, the hope is kept alive that Christians will someday return to the original teachings of Jesus: “…Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” (Luke 4:8) [383:3]. Many Christians in confusion are turning to atheism, but those with deeper insight find Islam to be logical choice.
[368:1]The celebrated passage (I. John, v. 7) “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one,” is now admitted on all hands to be an interpolation into the epistle many centuries after the time of Christ Jesus. (See Giles’ Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 12. Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 556. Inman’s Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 886. Taylor’s Diegesis and Reber’s Christ of Paul.)
[368:2]That is, the true faith.
[368:3]Dogma Deity Jesus Christ, p. 95.
[369:1]”The notion of a Triad of Supreme Powers is indeed common to most ancient religions.” (Prichard’s Egyptian Mytho., p. 285.)
“Nearly all the Pagan nations of antiquity, in their various theological systems, acknowledged a trinity in the divine nature.” (Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 35.)
“The ancients imagined that their triad of gods or persons, only constituted one god.” (Celtic Druids, p. 197.)
[369:2]The three attributes called Brahmā, Vishnu and Siva, are indicated by letters corresponding to our A. U. M., generally pronounced OM. This mystic word is never uttered except in prayer, and the sign which represents it in their temples is an object of profound adoration.
[369:3]Monier Williams’ Indian Wisdom, p. 324.
[369:4]That is, the Lord and Saviour Crishna. The Supreme Spirit, in order to preserve the world, produced Vishnu. Vishnu came upon earth for this purpose, in the form of Crishna. He was believed to be an incarnation of the Supreme Being, one of the persons of their holy and mysterious trinity, to use their language, “The Lord and Savior—three persons and one god.” In the Geita, Krishna is made to say: “I am the Lord of all created beings.” “I am the mystic figure O. M.” “I am Brahmā Vishnu, and Siva, three gods in one.”
[369:5]See The Heathen Religion, p. 124.
[370:1]Allen’s India, pp. 382, 383.
[370:2]Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 272.
[371:1]Indian Antiquities, vol. iv. p. 372.
[371:2]Taken from Moore’s “Hindu Pantheon,” plate 81.
[371:3]Asiatic Researches, vol. iii. pp. 285, 286. See also, King’s Gnostics, 167.
[372:1]Davis’ China, vol. ii. p. 104.
[372:2]Ibid. pp. 103 and 81.
[372:3]Ibid. pp. 105, 106.
[372:4]Ibid. pp. 103, 81.
[372:5]Ibid. 110, 111. Bell’s Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 36. Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., 150.
[372:6]Indian Antiquities, vol. v. p. 41. Dupuis, p. 285. Dunlap’s Spirit Hist., 150.
[372:7]Indian Antiquities, vol. v. p. 41.
This Taou sect, according to John Francis Davis, and the Rev. Charles Gutzlaff, both of whom have resided in China—call their trinity “the three pure ones,” or “the three precious ones in heaven.” (See Davis’ China, vol. ii. p. 110, and Gutzlaff’s Voyages, p. 307.)
[372:8]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 210.
[373:1]Indian Antiquities, vol. i. p. 127.
[373:2]Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 14.
The following answer is stated by Manetho, an Egyptian priest, to have been given by an Oracle to Sesostris: “On his return through Africa he entered the sanctuary of the Oracle, saying: ‘Tell me, O thou strong in fire, who before me could subjugate all things? and who shall after me?’ But the Oracle rebuked him, saying, ‘First, God; then the Word; and with them, the Spirit.'” (Nimrod, vol. i. p. 119, in Ibid. vol. i. p. 805.)
Here we have distinctly enumerated God, the Logos, and the Spirit or Holy Ghost, in a very early period, long previous to the Christian era.
[373:3]I. John, v. 7. John, i. 1.
[373:4]The Alexandrian theology, of which the celebrated Plato was the chief representative, taught that the Logos was “the second God;” a being of divine essence, but distinguished from the Supreme God. It is also called “the first-born Son of God.”
“The Platonists furnished brilliant recruits to the Christian churches of Asia Minor and Greece, and brought with them their love for system and their idealism.” “It is in the Platonizing or Alexandrian, branch of Judaism that we must seek for the antecedents of the Christian doctrine of the Logos.” (A. Revillé: Dogma Deity Jesus, p. 29.)
[373:5]Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 102. Mithras, the Mediator, and Saviour of the Persians, was called the Logos. (See Dunlap’s Son of the Man, p. 20. Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 75.) Hermes was called the Logos. (See Dunlap’s Son of the Man, p. 39, marginal note.)
[373:6]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 402.
[374:1]Bonwick’s Egyptian Belief, p. 404.
[374:4]Ibid. p. 28.
[374:5]Frothingham’s Cradle of the Christ, p. 112.
[374:6]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 307.
[374:7]Orpheus is said to have been a native of Thracia, the oldest poet of Greece, and to have written before the time of Homer; but he is evidently a mythological character.
[375:1]See Indian Antiquities, vol. iv. p. 332, and Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 189.
[375:2]See Chambers’s Encyclo., art. “Orpheus.”
[375:3]Ibid., art. “Plato.”
[375:4]John, i. 1.
[375:5]The first that we know of this gospel for certain is during the time of Irenæus, the great Christian forger.
[375:6]See Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 185.
[375:7]Apol. 1. ch. xx.-xxii.
[376:1]See Fiske: Myths and Myth-makers, p. 205. Celsus charges the Christians with a recoinage of the misunderstood doctrine of the Logos.
[376:2]See Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 105.
[376:3]See Indian Antiquities, vol. iii. p. 158.
[376:4]See Indian Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 346. Monumental Christianity, p. 65, and Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 819.
[376:6]Indian Antiquities, vol. iv. p. 259.
[376:7]See Monumental Christianity, p. 65, and Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 819.
[376:8]Monumental Christianity, p. 923. See also, Maurice’s Indian Antiquities.
[376:9]Idra Suta, Sohar, iii. 288. B. Franck, 138. Son of the Man, p. 78.
[376:10]Vandals—a race of European barbarians, either of Germanic or Slavonic origin.
[377:1]Parkhurst: Hebrew Lexicon, Quoted in Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 216.
[377:2]See Knight: Anct. Art and Mytho., p. 169. Maurice: Indian Antiq., vol. v. p. 14, and Gross: The Heathen Religion, p. 210.
[377:3]See Mallet’s Northern Antiquities.
[377:4]Celtic Druids, p. 171; Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 123; and Myths of the British Druids, p. 448.
[377:5]Indian Antiquities, vol. v. pp. 8, 9.
[378:1]Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 48.
[378:2]Knight: Anct. Art and Mytho., p. 169.
[378:3]Squire: Serpent Symbol, pp. 179, 180. Mexican Ant., vol. vi. p. 164.
[378:4]Kingsborough: Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 164.
[378:5]Acosta: Hist. Indies, vol. ii. p. 373. See also, Indian Antiq., vol. v. p. 26, and Squire’s Serpent Symbol, p. 181.
[378:6]Squire: Serpent Symbol, p. 181.
[379:1]The ideas entertained concerning the antiquity of the Geeta, at the time Mr. Maurice wrote his Indian Antiquities, were erroneous. This work, as we have elsewhere seen, is not as old as he supposed. The doctrine of the Trimurti in India, however, is to be found in theVeda, and epic poems, which are of an antiquity long anterior to the rise of Christianity, preceding it by many centuries. (See Monier Williams’ Indian Wisdom, p. 324, and Hinduism, pp. 109, 110-115.)
“The grand cavern pagoda of Elephants, the oldest and most magnificent temple in the world, is neither more nor less than a superb temple of a Triune God.” (Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. iii. p. ix.)
[379:2]Indian Antiquities, vol. i. pp. 125-127.
[379:3]Draper: Religion and Science, pp. 18-21.
[379:4]We have seen this particularly in the cases of Crishna and Buddha. Mr. Cox, speaking of the former, says: “If it be urged that the attribution to Crishna of qualities or powers belonging to the other deities is a mere device by which his devotees sought to supersede the more ancient gods, the answer must be that nothing has been done in his case which has not been done in the case of almost every other member of the great company of the gods.” (Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 130.) These words apply to the case we have before us. Jesus was simply attributed with the qualities or powers which had been previously attributed to other deities. This we hope to be able to fully demonstrate in our chapter on “Explanation.”
[479:3]King’s Gnostics, p. 23.
[380:1]We have already seen that Plato and his followers taught the doctrine of the Trinity centuries before the time of Christ Jesus.
[380:2]Israel Worsley’s Enquiry, p. 54. Quoted in Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 116.
[380:3]”The memorable test (I. John v. 7) which asserts the unity of the three which bear witness in heaven, is condemned by the universal silence of the orthodox Fathers, ancient versions, and authentic manuscripts. It was first alleged by the Catholic Bishop whom Hunneric summoned to the Conference of Carthage (A. D. 254), or, more properly, by the four bishops who composed and published the profession of faith, in the name of their brethren.” (Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 556, and note 117.) None of the ancient manuscripts now extant, above four-score in number, contain this passage. (Ibid. note 116.) In the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the Bible was corrected. Yet, notwithstanding these corrections, the passage is still wanting in twenty-five Latin manuscripts. (Ibid. note 116. See also Dr. Giles’ Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 12. Dr. Inman’s Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 886. Rev. Robert Taylor’s Diegesis, p. 421, and Reber’s Christ of Paul.)
[380:4]See Gibbon’s Rome, ii. 309.
[380:5]Chambers’s Encyclo., art. “Trinity.”
[381:1]Draper: Religion and Science, pp. 53, 54.
[382:1]Athanasius, tom. i. p. 808. Quoted in Gibbon’s Rome, vol. ii. p. 310.
Gennadius, Patriarch of Constantinople, was so much amazed by the extraordinary composition called “Athanasius’ Creed,” that he frankly pronounced it to be the work of a drunken man. (Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 555, note 114.)
[382:2]Gibbon’s Rome, vol. iii. p. 87.
[382:3]Ibid. pp. 91, 92.
[383:1]All their writings were ordered to be destroyed, and any one found to have them in his possession was severely punished.
[383:3] Aisha Brown, “Who Invented Trinity? “
[Main Source: “BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS” By T. W. DOANE, 1882.]
The Trinity: http://goo.gl/r037A
Baptism, or purification from sin by water, is supposed by many to be an exclusive Christian ceremony. The idea is that circumcision was given up, butbaptism took its place as a compulsory form indispensable to salvation, and was declared to have been instituted by Jesus himself or by his predecessor John.[316:1] That Jesus was baptized by John may be true, or it may not, but that he never directly enjoined his followers to call the heathen to a share in the privileges of the Golden Age is gospel doctrine;[316:2] and this saying:
“Go out into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature. And whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved, but whoever believes not shall be damned,”
must therefore be of comparatively late origin, dating from a period at which the mission to the heathen was not only fully recognized, but even declared to have originated with the followers of Jesus.[316:3] When the early Christians received members among them they were not initiated by baptism, but with prayer and laying on of hands. This, says Eusebius, was the “ancient custom,” which was followed until the time of Stephen. During his bishopric controversies arose as to whether members should be received “after the ancient Christian custom” or by baptism,[316:4] after the heathen custom. Rev. J. P. Lundy, who has made ancient religions a special study, and who, being a thorough Christian writer, endeavors to get over the difficulty by saying that:
“John the Baptist simply adopted and practiced the universal custom of sacred bathing for the remission of sins. Christ sanctioned it; the church inherited it from his example.”[316:5]
When we say that baptism is a heathen rite adopted by the Christians, we come near the truth. Mr. Lundy is a strong advocate of the type theory—of which we shall speak anon—therefore the above mode of reasoning is not to be wondered at.
The facts in the case are that baptism by immersion, or sprinkling in infancy, for the remission of sin, was a common rite, to be found in countries the most widely separated on the face of the earth, and the most unconnected in religious genealogy.[317:1]
If we turn to India we shall find that in the vast domain of the Buddhist faith the birth of children is regularly the occasion of a ceremony, at which the priest is present. In Mongolia and Thibet this ceremony assumes the special form of baptism. Candles burn and incense is offered on the domestic altar, the priest reads the prescribed prayers, dips the child three times in water, and imposes on it a name.[317:2]
Brahmanism, from the very earliest times, had its initiatory rites, similar to what we shall find among the ancient Persians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Mr. Mackenzie, in his “Royal Masonic Cyclopædia,” (sub voce “Mysteries of Hindustan,”) gives a capital digest of these mysteries from the “Indische Alterthum-Skunde” of Lassen. After an invocation to the SUN, an oath was demanded of the aspirant, to the effect of implicit obedience to superiors, purity of body, and inviolable secrecy. Water was then sprinkled over him, suitable addresses were made to him, &c. This was supposed to constitute theregeneration of the candidate, and he was now invested with the white robe and the tiara. A peculiar cross was marked on his forehead, and the Tau cross on his breast. Finally, he was given the sacred word, A. U. M.[317:3]
The Brahmans had also a mode of baptism similar to the Christian sect of Baptists, the ceremony being performed in a river.
The officiating Brahman priest, who was called Gooroo, or Pastor,[318:1] rubbed mud on the candidate, and then plunged him three times into the water. During the process the priest said:
“O Supreme Lord, this man is impure, like the mud of this stream; but as water cleanses him from this dirt, do thou free him from his sin.”[318:2]
Rivers, as sources of fertility and purification, were at an early date invested with a sacred character. Every great river was supposed to be permeated with the divine essence, and its waters held to cleanse from all moral guilt and contamination. And as the Ganges was the most majestic, so it soon became the holiest and most revered of all rivers. No sin too heinous to be removed, no character too black to be washed clean by its waters. Hence the countless temples, with flights of steps, lining its banks; hence the array of priests, called “Sons of the Ganges,” sitting on the edge of its streams, ready to aid the ablutions of conscience-stricken bathers, and stamp them as white-washed when they emerge from its waters. Hence also the constant traffic carried on in transporting Ganges water in small bottles to all parts of the country.[318:3]
The ceremony of baptism was a practice of the followers of Zoroaster, both for infants and adults.
M. Beausobre tells us that:
“The ancient Persians carried their infants to the temple a few days after they were born, and presented them to the priest before the sun, and before the fire, which was his symbol. Then the priest took the child and baptized it for the purification of the soul.Sometimes he plunged it into a great vase full of water: it was in the same ceremony that the father gave a name to the child.”[318:4]
The learned Dr. Hyde also tells us that infants were brought to the temples and baptized by the priests, sometimes by sprinkling and sometimes by immersion, plunging the child into a large vase filled with water. This was to them a regeneration, or a purification of their souls. A name was at the same time imposed upon the child, as indicated by the parents.[318:5]
The rite of baptism was also administered to adults in the Mithraic mysteries during initiation. The foreheads of the initiated being marked at the same time with the “sacred sign,” which was none other than the sign of the CROSS.[319:1] The Christian Father Tertullian, who believed it to be the work of the devil, says:
“He BAPTIZES his believers and followers; he promises the remission of sins at the sacred fount, and thus initiates them into the religion of Mithra; he marks on the forehead his own soldiers,” &c.[319:2]
“He marks on the forehead,” i. e., he marks the sign of the cross on their foreheads, just as priests of Christ Jesus do at the present day to those who are initiated into the Christian mysteries.
Again, he says:
“The nations who are strangers to all spiritual powers (the heathens), ascribe to their idols (gods) the power of impregnating the waters with the same efficacy as in Christian baptism.” For, “in certain sacred rites of theirs, the mode of initiation is by baptism,” and “whoever had defiled himself with murder, expiation was sought in purifying water.”[319:3]
He also says that:
“The devil signed his soldiers in the forehead, in imitation of the Christians.”[319:4]
And St. Augustin says:
“The cross and baptism were never parted.”[319:5]
The ancient Egyptians performed their rite of baptism, and those who were initiated into the mysteries of Isis were baptized.[319:6]
Apuleius of Madura, in Africa, who was initiated into these mysteries, shows that baptism was used; that the ceremony was performed by the attending priest, and that purification and forgiveness of sin was the result.[319:7]
The custom of baptism in Egypt is known by the hieroglyphic term of “water of purification.” The water so used in immersion absolutely cleansed the soul, and the person was said to be regenerated.[320:1]
They also believed in baptism after death, for it was held that the dead were washed from their sins by Osiris, the beneficent saviour, in the land of shades, and the departed are often represented (on the sarcophagi) kneeling before Osiris, who pours over them water from a pitcher.[320:2]
The ancient Etruscans performed the rite of baptism. In Tab. clxxii. Gorius gives two pictures of ancient Etruscan baptism by water. In the first, the youth is held in the arms of one priest, and another is pouring water upon his head. In the second, the young person is going through the same ceremony, kneeling on a kind of altar. At the time of its baptism the child was named, blessed and marked on the forehead with the sign of the cross.[320:3]
Baptism, or the application of water, was a rite well known to the Jews before the time of Christ Jesus, and was practiced by them when they admitted proselytes to their religion from heathenism. When children were baptized they received the sign of the cross, were anointed, and fed with milk and honey.[320:4] “It was not customary, however, among them, to baptize those who were converted to the Jewish religion, until after the Babylonish captivity.”[320:5] This clearly shows that they learned the rite from their heathen oppressors.
Baptism was practiced by the ascetics of Buddhist origin, known as the Essenes.[320:6] John the Baptist was, evidently, nothing more than a member of this order, with which the deserts of Syria and the Thebais of Egypt abounded.
The idea that man is restrained from perfect union with God by his imperfection, uncleanness and sin, was implicitly believed by the ancient Greeks andRomans. In Thessaly was yearly celebrated a great festival of cleansing. A work bearing the name of “Museus” was a complete ritual of purifications. The usual mode of purification was dipping in water (immersion), or it was performed by aspersion. These sacraments were held to have virtue independent of the dispositions of the candidates, an opinion which called forth the sneer of Diogenes, the Grecian historian, when he saw some one undergoing baptism by aspersion.
“Poor wretch! do you not see that since these sprinklings cannot repair your grammatical errors, they cannot repair either, the faults of your life.”[321:1]
And the belief that water could wash out the stains of original sin, led the poet Ovid (43 B. C.) to say:
“Ah, easy fools, to think that a whole floodOf water e’er can purge the stain of blood.”
These ancient Pagans had especial gods and goddesses who presided over the birth of children. The goddess Nundina took her name from the ninth day,on which all male children were sprinkled with holy water,[321:2] as females were on the eighth, at the same time receiving their name, of which addition to the ceremonial of Christian baptism we find no mention in the Christian Scriptures. When all the forms of the Pagan nundination were duly complied with, the priest gave a certificate to the parents of the regenerated infant; it was, therefore, duly recognized as a legitimate member of the family and of society, and the day was spent in feasting and hilarity.[321:3]
Adults were also baptized; and those who were initiated in the sacred rites of the Bacchic mysteries were regenerated and admitted by baptism, just as they were admitted into the mysteries of Mithra.[321:4] Justin Martyr, like his brother Tertullian, claimed that this ablution was invented by demons, in imitation of thetrue baptism, that their votaries might also have their pretended purification by water.[321:5]
Infant Baptism was practiced among the ancient inhabitants of northern Europe—the Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and Icelanders—long before the first dawn of Christianity had reached those parts. Water was poured on the head of the new-born child, and a name was given it at the same time. Baptism is expressly mentioned in the Hava-mal and Rigs-mal, and alluded to in other epic poems.[322:1]
The ancient Livonians (inhabitants of the three modern Baltic provinces of Courland, Livonia, and Esthonia), observed the same ceremony; which also prevailed among the ancient Germans. This is expressly stated in a letter which the famous Pope Gregory III. sent to their apostle Boniface, directing him how to act in respect to it.[322:2]
The same ceremony was performed by the ancient Druids of Britain.[322:3]
Among the New Zealanders young children were baptized. After the ceremony of baptism had taken place, prayers were offered to make the child sacred, and clean from all impurities.[322:4]
The ancient Mexicans baptized their children shortly after birth. After the relatives had assembled in the court of the parents’ house, the midwife placed the child’s head to the east, and prayed for a blessing from the Saviour Quetzalcoatle, and the goddess of the water. The breast of the child was then touched with the fingers dipped in water, and the following prayer said:
“May it (the water) destroy and separate from thee all the evil that was beginning in thee before the beginning of the world.”
After this the child’s body was washed with water, and all things that might injure him were requested to depart from him, “that now he may live again and be born again.”[322:5]
Mr. Prescott alludes to it as follows, in his “Conquest of Mexico:”[322:6]
“The lips and bosom of the infant were sprinkled with water, and the Lord was implored to permit the holy drops to wash away that sin that was given to it before the foundation of the world, so that the child might be born anew.” “This interesting rite, usually solemnized with great formality, in the presence of assembled friends and relations, is detailed with minuteness by Sahagun and by Zuazo, both of them eyewitnesses.”
Rev. J. P. Lundy says:
“Now, as baptism of some kind has been the universal custom of all religious nations and peoples for purification and regeneration, it is not to be wondered at that it had found its way from high Asia, the centre of the Old World’s religion and civilization, into the American continent. . . .
“American priests were found in Mexico, beyond Darien, baptizing boys and girls a year old in the temples at the cross, pouring the water upon them from a small pitcher.”[323:1]
The water which they used was called the “WATER OF REGENERATION.”[323:2]
The Rev. Father Acosta alludes to this baptism by saying:
“The Indians had an infinite number of other ceremonies and customs which resembled to the ancient law of Moses, and some to those which the Moores use, and some approaching near to the Law of the Gospel, as the baths or Opacuna, as they called them;they did wash themselves in water to cleanse themselves from sin.”[323:3]
After speaking of “confession which the Indians used,” he says:
“When the Inca had been confessed, he made a certain bath to cleanse himself, in a running river, saying these words: ‘I have told my sins to the Sun (his god); receive them, O thou River, and carry them to the Sea, where they may never appear more.‘”[323:4]
He tells us that the Mexicans also had a baptism for infants, which they performed with great ceremony.[323:5]
Baptism was also practiced in Yucatan. They administered it to children three years old; and called it REGENERATION.[323:6]
The ancient Peruvians also baptized their children.[323:7]
History, then, records the fact that all the principal nations of antiquity administered the rite of baptism to their children, and to adults who were initiated into the sacred mysteries. The words “regenerationem et impunitatem perjuriorum suorum“—used by the heathen in this ceremony—prove that the doctrines as well as the outward forms were the same. The giving of a name to the child, the marking of him with the cross as a sign of his being a soldier of Christ, followed at fifteen years of age by his admission into the mysteries of the ceremony of confirmation, also prove that the two institutions are identical. But the most striking feature of all is the regeneration—and consequent forgiveness of sins—the being “born again.” This shows that the Christian baptism indoctrine as well as in outward ceremony, was precisely that of the heathen. We have seen that it was supposed to destroy all the evil in him, and all things that might injure him were requested to depart from him. So likewise among the Christians; the priest, looking upon the child, and baptizing him, was formerly accustomed to say:
“I command thee, unclean spirit, in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, that thou come out and depart from this infant, whom our Lord Jesus Christ has vouchsafed to call to this holy baptism, to be made member of his body and of his holy congregation. And presume not hereafter to exercise any tyranny towards this infant, whom Christ hath bought with his precious blood, and by this holy baptism called to be of his flock.”
The ancients also baptized with fire as well as water. This is what is alluded to many times in the gospels; for instance, Matt. (iii. 11) makes John say, “I, indeed, baptize you with water; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with FIRE.”
The baptism by fire was in use by the Romans; it was performed by jumping three times through the flames of a sacred fire. This is still practiced in India. Even at the present day, in some parts of Scotland, it is a custom at the baptism of children to swing them in their clothes over a fire three times, saying, “Now, fire, burn this child, or never.” Here is evidently a relic of the heathen baptism by fire.
Christian baptism was not originally intended to be administered to unconscious infants, but to persons in full possession of their faculties, and responsible for their actions. Moreover, it was performed, as is well known, not merely by sprinkling the forehead, but by causing the candidate to descend naked into the water, the priest joining him there, and pouring the water over his head. The catechumen could not receive baptism until after he understood something of the nature of the faith he was embracing, and was prepared to assume its obligations. A rite more totally unfitted for administration to infants could hardly have been found. Yet such was the need that was felt for a solemn recognition by religion of the entrance of a child into the world, that this rite, in course of time, completely lost its original nature, and, as with the heathen, infancy took the place of maturity: sprinkling of immersion. But while the age and manner of baptism were altered, the ritual remained under the influence of the primitive idea with which it had been instituted. The obligations were no longer confined to the persons baptized, hence they must be undertaken for them. Thus was the Christian Church landed in the absurdity—unparalleled, we believe, in any other natal ceremony—of requiring the most solemn promises to be made, not by those who were thereafter to fulfill them, but by others in their name; these others having no power to enforce their fulfillment, and neither those actually assuming the engagement, nor those on whose behalf it was assumed, being morally responsible in case it should be broken. Yet this strange incongruity was forced upon the church by an imperious want of human nature itself, and the insignificant sects who have adopted the baptism of adults only, have failed, in their zeal for historical consistency, to recognize a sentiment whose roots lie far deeper than the chronological foundation of Christian rites, and stretch far wider than the geographical boundaries of the Christian faith.
The intention of all these forms of baptism is identical. Water, as the natural means of physical cleansing, is the universal symbol of spiritual purification. Hence immersion, or washing, or sprinkling, implies the deliverance of the infant from the stain of original sin.[325:1] The Pagan and Christian rituals, as we have seen, are perfectly clear on this head. In both, the avowed intention is to wash away the sinful nature common to humanity; in both, the infant is declared to be born again by the agency of water. Among the early Christians, as with the Pagans, the sacrament of baptism was supposed to contain a full and absolute expiation of sin; and the soul was instantly restored to its original purity, and entitled to the promise of eternal salvation. Among the proselytes of Christianity, there were many who judged it imprudent to precipitate a salutary rite, which could not be repeated; to throw away an inestimable privilege, which could never be recovered. By the delay of their baptism, they could venture freely to indulge their passions in the enjoyments of this world, while they still retained in their own hands the means of a sure and easy absolution. St. Constantine was one of these.
[316:1]The Rev. Dr. Geikie makes the assertion that: “With the call to repent, John united a significant rite for all who were willing to own their sins, and promise amendment of life. It was the new and striking requirement of baptism, which John had been sent by divine appointment to INTRODUCE.” (Life of Christ, vol. i. p. 394.)
[316:2]See Galatians, ii. 7-9. Acts, x. and xi.
[316:3]See The Bible for Learners, vol. iii. pp. 658 and 472.
[316:4]See Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 7, ch. ii.
[316:5]Monumental Christianity, p. 385.
[317:1]“Among all nations, and from the very earliest period, WATER has been used as a species of religious sacrament. . . . Water was the agent by means of which everything was regenerated or born again. Hence, in all nations, we find the Dove, or Divine Love, operating by means of its agent, water, and all nations using the ceremony of plunging, or, as we call it, baptizing, for the remission of sins, to introduce the candidate to a regeneration, to a new birth unto righteousness.” (Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 529.)
“Baptism is a very ancient rite pertaining to heathen religions, whether of Asia, Africa, Europe or America.” (Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 416.)
“Baptism, or purification by water, was a ceremony common to all religions of antiquity. It consists in being made clean from some supposed pollution or defilement.” (Bell’s Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 201.)
“L’usage de ce Baptéme par immersion, qui subsista dans l’Occident jusqu’ au 8e ciècle, se maintient encore dans l’Eglise Greque: c’est celui que Jean le Précurseur administra, dans le Jourdain, à Jesus Christ même. Il fut pratiqué chez les Juifs, chez les Grecs, et chez presque tous les peuples, bien des siècles avant l’existence de la religion Chrétienne.” (D’Ancarville: Res., vol. i. p. 292.)
[317:2]See Amberly’s Analysis, p. 61. Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 42. Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 69, and Lillie’s Buddhism, pp. 55 and 184.
[317:3]Lillie’s Buddhism, p. 134.
[318:1]Life and Religion of the Hindus, p. 94.
[318:2]Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 125.
“Every orthodox Hindu is perfectly persuaded that the dirtiest water, if taken from a sacred stream and applied to his body, either externally or internally, will purify his soul.” (Prof. Monier Williams: Hinduism, p. 157.) The Egyptians bathed in the water of the Nile; the Chaldeans and Persians in the Euphrates, and the Hindus, at we have seen, in the Ganges, all of which were considered as “sacred waters” by the different nations. The Jews looked upon the Jordan in the same manner.
Herodotus, speaking of the Persians’ manners, says:
“They (the Persians) neither make water, nor spit, nor wash their hands in a river, nor defile the stream with urine, nor do they allow any one else to do so, but they pay extreme veneration to all rivers.” (Hist. lib. i. ch. 138.)
[318:3]Williams’ Hinduism, p. 176.
[318:4]Hist. Manichee, lib. ix. ch. vi. sect. xvi. in Anac., vol. ii. p. 65. See also, Dupuis: Orig. Relig. Belief, p. 249, and Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 392.
[318:5]“Pro infantibus non utuntur circumcisione, sed tantum baptismo seu lotione ad animæ purificationem internam. Infantem ad sacerdotem in ecclesiam adductum sistunt coram sole et igne, quâ factâ ceremoniâ, eundem sanctiorem existimant. D. Lord dicit quod aquam ad hoc afferunt in cortice arboris Holm: ea autem arbor revers est Haum Magorum, cujus mentionem aliâ occasione supra fecimus. Alias, aliquando fit immergendo in magnum vas aquæ, ut dicit Tavernier. Post talem lotionem seu baptismum, sacerdos imponit nomen à parentibus inditum.” (Hyde de Rel. Vet. Pers., p. 414.) After this Hyde goes on to say, that when he comes to be fifteen years of age he is confirmed by receiving the girdle, and the sudra or cassock.
[319:1]See Knight: Anct. Art and Mytho., p. xxv. Higgins: Anac., vol. i pp. 218 and 222. Dunlap: Mysteries of Adoni, p. 189. King: The Gnostics and their Remains, p. 51.
[319:2]De Præscrip. ch. xi.
[319:4]“Mithra signat illic in frontibus milites suos.”
[319:5]“Semper enim cruci baptismus jungitur.” (Aug. Temp. Ser. ci.)
[319:6]See Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 69, and Monumental Christianity, p. 385.
[319:7]“Sacerdos, stipatum me religiosa cohorte, deducit ad proximas balucas; et prius sueto lavraco traditum, prœfatus deûm veniam, purissimē circumrorans abluit.” (Apuleius: Milesi, ii. citat. a Higgins: Anac., vol. ii. p. 69.)
[320:1]Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 416. Dunlap: Mysteries Adoni, p. 139.
[320:2]Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 392.
[320:3]See Higgins: Anac., vol. ii. pp. 67-69.
[320:4]Barnes: Notes, vol. i. p. 38. Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 65.
[320:5]Barnes: Notes, vol. i. p. 41.
[320:6]See Bunsen’s Angel-Messiah, p. 121, Gainsburgh’s Essenes, and Higgins’ Anacalypsis, vol. ii. pp. 66, 67.
[321:1]Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 391.
[321:2]“Holy Water“—water wherein the person is baptized, in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Church of England Catechism.)
[321:3]See Taylor’s Diegesis, pp. 333, 334, and Higgins’ Anacalypsis, ii. p. 65.
[321:4]See Taylor‘s Diegesis, pp. 80 and 232, and Baring-Gould’s Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 391.
“De-là-vint, que pour devenir capable d’entendre les secrets de la création, révélés dans ces mêmes mystères, il fallut se faire régénérerpar l’initiation. Cette cérémonie, par laquelle, on apprenoit les vrais principes de la vie, s’opéroit par le moyen de l’eau qui voit été celui de la régénération du monde. On conduisoit sur les bords de l’Ilissus le candidat qui devoit être initié; apres l’avoir purifié avec le sel et l’eau de la mer, on repandoit de l’orge sur lui, on le couronnoit de fleurs, et l’Hydranos ou le Baptisseur le plongeoit dans le fleuve.” (D’Ancarville: Res., vol. i. p. 292. Anac., ii. p. 65.)
[321:5]Taylor‘s Diegesis, p. 232.
[322:1]See Mallet’s Northern Antiquities, pp. 306, 313, 320, 366. Baring-Gould’s Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. pp. 392, 393, and Dupuis, p. 242.
[322:2]Mallet: Northern Antiquities, p. 206.
[322:3]Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 393. Higgins: Anac., vol. ii. p. 67, and Davies: Myths of the British Druids.
[322:4]Sir George Grey: Polynesian Mytho., p. 32, in Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 392.
[322:5]See Viscount Amberly’s Analysis Relig. Belief, p. 59.
[322:6]Vol. i. p. 64.
[323:1]Monumental Christianity, pp. 389, 390.
[323:2]Kingsborough: Mex. Antiq., vol. vi. p. 114.
[323:3]Hist. Indies, vol. ii. p. 369.
[323:4]Ibid. p. 361.
[323:5]Ibid. p. 369.
[323:6]Monumental Christianity, p. 390.
[323:7]Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 416.
[325:1]That man is born in original sin seems to have been the belief of all nations of antiquity, especially the Hindus. This sense of original corruption is expressed in the following prayer, used by them:
“I am sinful, I commit sin, my nature is sinful, I am conceived in sin. Save me, O thou lotus-eyed Heri, the remover of Sin.” (Williams’ Hinduism, p. 214.)
Extract from CHAPTER XXXI, Babtism; “BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS” By T. W. DOANE, 1882. Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Lisa Reigel, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31885/31885-h/31885-h.htm#Page_36