Baptism a Derived Right

The author of Sod shows Matthew trying to connect the appellation of Nazarene with a prophecy,+ and inquires "Why then does Matthew state that the prophet said he should be called Nazaria?" Simply "because he belonged to that sect, and a prophecy would confirm his claims to the Messiahship. . . . Now it does not appear that the prophets anywhere state that the Messiah will be called a Nazarene. "J The fact alone that Matthew tries in the last verse of chapter ii. to strengthen his claim that Jesus dwelt in Nazareth merely to fulfil a prophecy, does more than weaken the argument, it upsets it entirely; for the first two chapters have sufficiently been proved later forgeries.

Baptism is one of the oldest rites and was practiced by all the nations in their Mysteries, as sacred ablutions. Dunlap seems to derive the name of the nazars from nazah, sprinkling; Bahak-Zivo is the genius who called the world

f Matthew ii. We must bear in mind that the Gospel According to Matthew in the New Testament is not the original Gospel of the apostle of that name. The authentic Evangel was for centuries in the possession of the Nazarenes and the Ebionites, as we show further on the admission of St. Jerome himself, who confesses that he had to ask permission of the Nazarenes to translate it. J Dunlap, "Sod, the Son of the Man."

into existence§ out of the "dark water," say the Nazarenes; and Richardson's Persian, Arabic, and English Lexicon asserts that the word Bahak means "raining." But the Bahak-Zivo of the Nazarenes cannot be traced so easily to Bacchus, who "was the rain-god," for the nazars were the greatest opponents of Bacchus-worship. "Bacchus is brought up by the Hyades, the rain-nymphs," says Preller;** who shows, furthermore, that++ at the conclusion of the religious Mysteries, the priests baptized (washed) their monuments and anointed them with oil. All this is but a very indirect proof. The Jordan baptism need not be shown a substitution for the exoteric Bacchic rites and the libations in honor of Adonis or Adoni — whom the Nazarenes abhorred — in order to prove it to have been a sect sprung from the "Mysteries" of the "Secret Doctrine"; and their rites can by no means be confounded with those of the Pagan populace, who had simply fallen into the idolatrous and unreasoning faith of all plebeian multitudes. John was the prophet of these Nazarenes, and in Galilee he was termed "the Saviour," but he was not the founder of that sect which derived its tradition from the remotest Chaldeo-Akkadian theurgy.

"The early plebeian Israelites were Canaanites and Phrenicians, with the same worship of the Phallic gods — Bacchus, Baal or Adon, Iacchos — Iao or Jehovah"; but even among them there had always been a class of initiated adepts.

** Preller, vol. i., p. 415. ff Ibid., vol. i., p. 490.

Later, the character of this plebe was modified by Assyrian conquests; and, finally, the Persian colonizations superimposed the Pharisean and Eastern ideas and usages, from which the Old Testament and the Mosaic institutes were derived. The Asmonean priest-kings promulgated the canon of the Old Testament in contradistinction to the Apocrypha or Secret Books of the Alexandrian Jews — kabalists.* Till John Hyrcanus they were Asideans (Chasidim) and Pharisees (Parsees), but then they became Sadducees or Zadokites — asserters of sacerdotal rule as contradistinguished from rabbinical. The Pharisees were lenient and intellectual, the Sadducees, bigoted and cruel.

Says the Codex: "John, son of the Aba-Saba-Zacharia, conceived by his mother Anasabet in her hundredth year, had baptized for forty-two years+ when Jesu Messias came to the Jordan to be baptized with John's baptism. . . . But he will pervert John's doctrine, changing the baptism of the Jordan,

* The word Apocrypha was very erroneously adopted as doubtful and spurious. The word means hidden and secret; but that which is secret may be often more true than that which is revealed.

f The statement, if reliable, would show that Jesus was between fifty and sixty years old when baptized; for the Gospels make him but a few months younger than John. The kabalists say that Jesus was over forty years old when first appearing at the gates of Jerusalem. The present copy of the "Codex Nazaraeus" is dated in the year 1042, but Dunlap finds in Iren^us (2d century) quotations from and ample references to this book. "The basis of the material common to Iren^us and the 'Codex Nazarxus' must be at least as early as the first century," says the author in his preface to "Sod, the Son of the Man," p. i.

and perverting the sayings of justice."}

The baptism was changed from water to that of the Holy Ghost, undoubtedly in consequence of the ever-dominant idea of the Fathers to institute a reform, and make the Christians distinct from St. John's Nazarenes, the Nabatheans and Ebionites, in order to make room for new dogmas. Not only do the Synoptics tell us that Jesus was baptizing the same as John, but John's own disciples complained of it, though surely Jesus cannot be accused of following a purely Bacchic rite. The parenthesis in verse 2d of John iv., " . . . though Jesus himself baptized not," is so clumsy as to show upon its face that it is an interpolation, Matthew makes John say that he that should come after him would not baptize them with water "but with the Holy Ghost and fire." Mark, Luke, and John corroborate these words. Water, fire, and spirit, or Holy Ghost, have all their origin in India, as we will show.

Now there is one very strange peculiarity about this sentence. It is flatly denied in Acts xix. 2-5. Apollos, a Jew of Alexandria, belonged to the sect of St. John's disciples; he had been baptized, and instructed others in the doctrines of the Baptist. And yet when Paul, cleverly profiting by his absence at Corinth, finds certain disciples of Apollos' at Ephesus, and asks them whether they received the Holy Ghost, he is naively answered, "We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost!" "Unto what then were you baptized?" he

J "Codex Nazarxus," vol. i., p. 109; Dunlap, Ibid., xxiv.

inquires. "Unto John's baptism," they say. Then Paul is made to repeat the words attributed to John by the Synoptics; and these men "were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus," exhibiting, moreover, at the same instant, the usual polyglot gift which accompanies the descent of the Holy Ghost.

How then? St. John the Baptist, who is called the "precursor," that "the prophecy might be fulfilled," the great prophet and martyr, whose words ought to have had such an importance in the eyes of his disciples, announces the "Holy Ghost" to his listeners; causes crowds to assemble on the shores of the Jordan, where, at the great ceremony of Christ's baptism, the promised "Holy Ghost" appears within the opened heavens, and the multitude hears the voice, and yet there are disciples of St. John who have "never so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost"!

Verily the disciples who wrote the Codex Nazarxus were right. Only it is not Jesus himself, but those who came after him, and who concocted the Bible to suit themselves, that "perverted John's doctrine, changed the baptism of the Jordan, and perverted the sayings of justice."

It is useless to object that the present Codex was written centuries after the direct apostles of John preached. So were our Gospels. When this astounding interview of Paul with the "Baptists" took place, Bardesanes had not yet appeared among them, and the sect was not considered a "heresy." Moreover, we are enabled to judge how little St. John's promise of the "Holy Ghost," and the appearance of the "Ghost" himself, had affected his disicples, by the displeasure shown by them toward the disciples of Jesus, and the kind of rivalry manifested from the first. Nay, so little is John himself sure of the identity of Jesus with the expected Messiah, that after the famous scene of the baptism at the Jordan, and the oral assurance by the Holy Ghost Himself that "This is my beloved Son" (Matthew iii. 17), we find "the Precursor," in Matthew xi., sending two of his disciples from his prison to inquire of Jesus: "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another"!!

This flagrant contradiction alone ought to have long ago satisfied reasonable minds as to the putative divine inspiration of the New Testament. But we may offer another question: If baptism is the sign of regeneration, and an ordinance instituted by Jesus, why do not Christians now baptize as Jesus is here represented as doing, "with the Holy Ghost and with fire," instead of following the custom of the Nazarenes? In making these palpable interpolations, what possible motive could Iren^us have had except to cause people to believe that the appellation of Nazarene, which Jesus bore, came only from his father's residence at Nazareth, and not from his affiliation with the sect of Nazaria, the healers?

This expedient of Iren^us was a most unfortunate one, for from time immemorial the prophets of old had been thundering against the baptism of fire as practiced by their neighbors, which imparted the "spirit of prophecy," or the Holy Ghost. But the case was desperate; the Christians were universally called Nazoraens and Iessaens (according to

Epiphanius), and Christ simply ranked as a Jewish prophet and healer — so self-styled, so accepted by his own disciples, and so regarded by their followers. In such a state of things there was no room for either a new hierarchy or a new Godhead; and since Ireneus had undertaken the business of manufacturing both, he had to put together such materials as were available, and fill the gaps with his own fertile inventions.

To assure ourselves that Jesus was a true Nazarene — albeit with ideas of a new reform — we must not search for the proof in the translated Gospels, but in such original versions as are accessible. Tischendorf, in his translation from the Greek of Luke iv. 34, has it "Iesou Nazarene"; and in the Syriac it reads "Iasoua, thou Nazaria." Thus, if we take in account all that is puzzling and incomprehensible in the four Gospels, revised and corrected as they now stand, we shall easily see for ourselves that the true, original Christianity, such as was preached by Jesus, is to be found only in the so-called Syrian heresies. Only from them can we extract any clear notions about what was primitive Christianity. Such was the faith of Paul, when Tertullus the orator accused the apostle before the governor Felix. What he complained of was that they had found "that man a mover of sedition . . . a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes";* and, while Paul denies every other accusation, he confesses that "after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers." + This

confession is a whole revelation. It shows: 1, that Paul admitted belonging to the sect of the Nazarenes; 2, that he worshipped the God of his fathers, not the trinitarian Christian God, of whom he knows nothing, and who was not invented until after his death; and, 3, that this unlucky confession satisfactorily explains why the treatise, Acts of the Apostles, together with John's Revelation, which at one period was utterly rejected, were kept out of the canon of the New Testament for such a length of time.

At Byblos, the neophytes as well as the hierophants were, after participating in the Mysteries, obliged to fast and remain in solitude for some time. There was strict fasting and preparation before as well as after the Bacchic, Adonian, and Eleusinian orgies; and Herodotus hints, with fear and veneration about the Lake of Bacchus, in which "they (the priests) made at night exhibitions of his life and sufferings. In the Mithraic sacrifices, during the initiation, a preliminary scene of death was simulated by the neophyte, and it preceded the scene showing him himself "being born again by the rite of baptism." A portion of this ceremony is still enacted in the present day by the Masons, when the neophyte, as the Grand Master Hiram Abiff, lies dead, and is raised by the strong grip of the lion's paw.

The priests were circumcised. The neophyte could not be initiated without having been present at the solemn Mysteries of the Lake. The Nazarenes were baptized in the Jordan; and

could not be baptized elsewhere; they were also circumcised, and had to fast before as well as after the purification by baptism. Jesus is said to have fasted in the wilderness for forty days, immediately after his baptism. To the present day, there is outside every temple in india, a lake, stream, or a reservoir full of holy water, in which the Brahmans and the Hindu devotees bathe daily. Such places of consecrated water are necessary to every temple. The bathing festivals, or baptismal rites, occur twice every year; in October and April. Each lasts ten days; and, as in ancient Egypt and Greece, the statues of their gods, goddesses, and idols are immersed in water by the priests; the object of the ceremony being to wash away from them the sins of their worshippers which they have taken upon themselves, and which pollute them, until washed off by holy water. During the Aratty, the bathing ceremony, the principal god of every temple is carried in solemn procession to be baptized in the sea. The Brahman priests, carrying the sacred images, are followed generally by the Maharajah — barefoot, and nearly naked. Three times the priests enter the sea; the third time they carry with them the whole of the images. Holding them up with prayers repeated by the whole congregation, the Chief Priest plunges the statues of the gods thrice in the name of the mystic trinity, into the water; after which they are purified.* The Orphic hymn

* The Hindu High Pontiff — the Chief of the Namburis, who lives in the Cochin Land, is generally present during these festivals of "Holy Water" immersions. He travels sometimes to very great distances to preside over the ceremony.

calls water the greatest purifier of men and gods.

Our Nazarene sect is known to have existed some 150 years B.C., and to have lived on the banks of the Jordan, and on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea, according to Pliny and Josephus.+ But in King's Gnostics, we find quoted another statement by Josephus from verse 13, which says that the Essenes had been established on the shores of the Dead Sea "for thousands of ages" before Pliny's time. J

According to Munk the term "Galilean" is nearly synonymous with that of "Nazarene"; furthermore, he shows the relations of the former with the Gentiles as very intimate. The populace had probably gradually adopted, in their constant intercourse, certain rites and modes of worship of the Pagans; and the scorn with which the Galileans were regarded by the orthodox Jews is attributed by him to the same cause. Their friendly relations had certainly led them, at a later period, to adopt the "Adonia," or the sacred rites over the body of the lamented Adonis, as we find Jerome fairly lamenting this circumstance. "Over Bethlehem," he says, "the grove of Thammuz, that is of Adonis, was casting its shadow! And in the Grotto where formerly the infant Jesus cried, the f "Ant. Jud." xiii., p. 9; xv., p., 10.

J King thinks it a great exaggeration and is inclined to believe that these Essenes, who were most undoubtedly Buddhist monks, were "merely a continuation of the associations known as Sons of the Prophets." "The Gnostics and their Remains," p. 22.

lover of Venus was being mourned."*

It was after the rebellion of Bar Cochba, that the Roman Emperor established the Mysteries of Adonis at the Sacred Cave in Bethlehem; and who knows but this was the petra or rock-temple on which the church was built? The Boar of Adonis was placed above the gate of Jerusalem which looked toward Bethlehem.

Munk says that the "Nazireate was an institution established before the laws of Musah."+ This is evident; as we find this sect not only mentioned but minutely described in Numbers (chap. vi.). In the commandment given in this chapter to Moses by the "Lord," it is easy to recognize the rites and laws of the Priests of Adonis.} The abstinence and purity strictly prescribed in both sects are identical. Both allowed their hair to grow long§ as the Hindu crenobites and fakirs do to this day, while other castes shave their hair and abstain on certain days from wine. The prophet Elijah, a Nazarene, is described in 2 Kings, and by Josephus as "a hairy man girt

* St. Jerome, "Epistles," p. 49 (ad. Poulmam); see Dunlap's "Spirit-History," p. 218.

J Bacchus and Ceres — or the mystical Wine and Bread, used during the Mysteries, become, in the "Adonia," Adonis and Venus. Movers shows that "Iao is Bacchus," p. 550; and his authority is Lydus de Mens (38-74); "Spir. Hist.," p. 195. Iao is a Sun-god and the Jewish Jehovah; the intellectual or Central Sun of the kabalists. See Julian in Proclus. But this "Iao" is not the Mystery-god.

with a girdle of leather."** And John the Baptist and Jesus are both represented as wearing very long hair.++ John is "clothed with camel's hair" and wearing a girdle of hide, and Jesus in a long garment "without any seams" . . . "and very white, like snow," says Mark; the very dress worn by the Nazarene Priests and the Pythagorean and Buddhist Essenes, as described by Josephus.

If we carefully trace the terms nazar, and nazaret, throughout the best known works of ancient writers, we will meet them in connection with "Pagan" as well as Jewish adepts. Thus, Alexander Polyhistor says of Pythagoras that he was a disciple of the Assyrian Nazaret, whom some suppose to be Ezekiel. Diogenes Laertius states most positively that Pythagoras, after being initiated into all the Mysteries of the Greeks and barbarians, "went into Egypt and afterward visited the Chaldeans and Magi"; and Apuleius maintains that it was Zoroaster who instructed Pythagoras.

Were we to suggest that the Hebrew nazars, the railing prophets of the "Lord," had been initiated into the so-called

ff In relation to the well-known fact of Jesus wearing his hair long, and being always so represented, it becomes quite startling to find how little the unknown Editor of the "Acts" knew about the Apostle Paul, since he makes him say in 1 Corinthians xi. 14, "Doth not Nature itself teach you, that if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" Certainly Paul could never have said such a thing! Therefore, if the passage is genuine, Paul knew nothing of the prophet whose doctrines he had embraced and for which he died; and if false — how much more reliable is what remains?

Pagan mysteries, and belonged (or at least a majority of them) to the same Lodge or circle of adepts as those who were considered idolaters; that their "circle of prophets" was but a collateral branch of a secret association, which we may well term "international," what a visitation of Christian wrath would we not incur! And still, the case looks strangely suspicious.

Let us first recall to our mind that which Ammianus Marcellinus, and other historians relate of Darius Hystaspes. The latter, penetrating into Upper India (Bactriana), learned pure rites, and stellar and cosmical sciences from Brahmans, and communicated them to the Magi. Now Hystaspes is shown in history to have crushed the Magi; and introduced — or rather forced upon them — the pure religion of Zoroaster, that of Ormazd. How is it, then, that an inscription is found on the tomb of Darius, stating that he was "teacher and hierophant of magic, or Magianism?" Evidently there must be some historical mistake, and history confesses it. In this imbroglio of names, Zoroaster, the teacher and instructor of Pythagoras, can be neither the Zoroaster nor Zarathustra who instituted sun-worship among the Parsees; nor he who appeared at the court of Gushtasp (Hystaspes) the alleged father of Darius; nor, again, the Zoroaster who placed his magi above the kings themselves. The oldest Zoroastrian scripture — the Avesta — does not betray the slightest traces of the reformer having ever been acquainted with any of the nations that subsequently adopted his mode of worship. He seems utterly ignorant of the neighbors of Western Iran, the

Medes, the Assyrians, the Persians, and others. If we had no other evidences of the great antiquity of the Zoroastrian religion than the discovery of the blunder committed by some scholars in our own century, who regarded King Vistaspa (Gushtasp) as identical with the father of Darius, whereas the Persian tradition points directly to Vistaspa as to the last of the line of Kaianian princes who ruled in Bactriana, it ought to be enough, for the Assyrian conquest of Bactriana took place 1,200 years B.C.*

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