The Protestant is a reaction from the Roman Catholic Church. It is necessarily not coherent in its parts, but a prodigious host of fragments beating their way round a common centre, attracting and repelling each other. Parts are centripetally impelled towards old Rome, or the system which enabled old Rome to exist; parts still recoil under the centrifugal impulse, and seek to rush into the broad ethereal region beyond Roman, or even Christian influence.
The modern Devil is their principal heritage from the Roman Cybele, "Babylon, the Great Mother of the idolatrous and abominable religions of the earth."
But it may be argued, perhaps, that Hindu theology, both Brahmanical and Buddhistic, is as strongly impregnated with belief in objective devils as Christianity itself. There is a slight difference. This very subtlety of the Hindu mind is a sufficient warrant that the well-educated people, the learned portion, at least, of the Brahman and Buddhist divines, consider the Devil in another light. With them the Devil is a metaphysical abstraction, an allegory of necessary evil; while with Christians the myth has become a historical entity, the fundamental stone on which Christianity, with its dogma of redemption, is built. He is as necessary — as Des Mousseaux has shown — to the Church as the beast of the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse was to his rider. The English-speaking Protestants, not finding the
Bible explicit enough, have adopted the Diabology of Milton's celebrated poem, Paradise Lost, embellishing it somewhat from Goethe's celebrated drama of Faust. John Milton, first a Puritan and finally a Quietist and Unitarian, never put forth his great production except as a work of fiction, but it thoroughly dovetailed together the different parts of Scripture. The Ilda-Baoth of the Ophites was transformed into an angel of light, and the morning star, and made the Devil in the first act of the Diabolic Drama. Then the twelfth chapter of the Apocalypse was brought in for the second act. The great red Dragon was adopted as the same illustrious personage as Lucifer, and the last scene is his fall, like that of Vulcan-Hephaistos, from Heaven into the island of Lemnos; the fugitive hosts and their leader "coming to hard bottom" in Pandemonium. The third act is the Garden of Eden. Satan holds a council in a hall erected by him for his new empire, and determines to go forth on an exploring expedition in quest of the new world. The next acts relate to the fall of man, his career on earth, the advent of the Logos, or Son of God, and his redemption of mankind, or the elect portion of them, as the case may be.
This drama of Paradise Lost comprises the unformulated belief of English-speaking "evangelical Protestant Christians." Disbelief of its main features is equivalent, in their view, to "denying Christ" and "blaspheming against the Holy Ghost." If John Milton had supposed that his poem, instead of being regarded as a companion of Dante's Divine Comedy, would have been considered as another Apocalypse to supplement the Bible, and complete its demonology, it is more than probable that he would have borne his poverty more resolutely, and withheld it from the press. A later poet, Robert Pollok, taking his cue from this work, wrote another, The Course of Time, which bade fair for a season to take the rank of a later Scripture; but the nineteenth century has fortunately received a different inspiration, and the Scotch poet is falling into oblivion.
We ought, perhaps, to make a brief notice of the European Devil. He is the genius who deals in sorcery, witchcraft, and other mischief. The Fathers taking the idea from the Jewish Pharisees, made devils of the Pagan gods, Mithras, Serapis, and the others. The Roman Catholic Church followed by denouncing the former worship as commerce with the powers of darkness. The malefecii and witches of the middle ages were thus but the votaries of the proscribed worship. Magic in all ancient times had been considered as divine science, wisdom, and the knowledge of God. The healing art in the temples of Esculapius, and at the shrines of Egypt and the East, had always been magical. Even Darius Hystaspes, who had exterminated the Median Magi, and even driven out the Chaldean theurgists from Babylon into Asia Minor, had also been instructed by the Brahmans of Upper Asia, and, finally, while establishing the worship of Ormazd, was also himself denominated the instituter of magism. All was now changed. Ignorance was enthroned as the mother of devotion. Learning was denounced, and savants prosecuted the sciences in peril of their lives. They were compelled to employ a jargon to conceal their ideas from all but their own adepts, and to accept opprobrium, calumny, and poverty.
The votaries of the ancient worship were persecuted and put to death on charges of witchcraft. The Albigenses, descendants of the Gnostics, and the Waldenses, precursors of the Protestants, were hunted and massacred under like accusations. Martin Luther himself was accused of companionship with Satan in proper person. The whole Protestant world still lies under the same imputation. There is no distinction in the judgments of the Church between dissent, heresy, and witchcraft. And except where civil authority protects, they are alike capital offences. Religious liberty the Church regards as intolerance.
But the reformers were nursed with the milk of their mother. Luther was as bloodthirsty as the Pope; Calvin more intolerant than Leo or Urban. Thirty years of war depopulated whole districts of Germany, Protestants and Catholics cruel alike. The new faith too opened its batteries against witchcraft. The statute books became crimsoned with bloody legislation in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Great Britain, and the North American Commonwealth. Whosoever was more liberal, more intelligent, more free speaking than his fellows was liable to arrest and death. The fires that were extinguished at Smithfield were kindled anew for magicians; it was safer to rebel against a throne than to pursue abstruse knowledge outside the orthodox dead-line.
In the seventeenth century Satan made a sortie in New England, New Jersey, New York, and several of the Southern colonies of North America, and Cotton Mather gives us the principal chronicles of his manifestation. A few years later he visited the Parsonage of Mora, in Sweden, and Life in Dalecarlia was diversified with the burning alive of young children, and the whipping of others at the church-doors on Sabbath-days. The skepticism of modern times has, however, pretty much driven the belief in witchcraft into Coventry; and the Devil in personal anthropomorphic form, with his Bacchus-foot, and his Pan-like goat's horns, holds place only in the Encyclical Letters, and other effusions of the Roman Catholic Church. Protestant respectability does not allow him to be named at all except with bated breath in a pulpit-enclosure.
Having now set forth the biography of the Devil from his first advent in India and Persia, his progress through Jewish, and both early and later Christian Theology down to the latest phases of his manifestation, we now turn back to review certain of the opinions extant in the earlier Christian centuries.
Avatars or incarnations were common to the old religions. India had them reduced to a system. The Persians expected Sosiosh, and the Jewish writers looked for a deliverer. Tacitus and Suetonius relate that the East was full of expectation of the Great Personage about the time of Octavius. "Thus doctrines obvious to Christians were the highest arcana of Paganism."* The Maneros of Plutarch was a child of
* W. Williams, "Primitive History"; Dunlap, "Spirit History of Man."
Palestine;* his mediator Mithras, the Saviour Osiris is the Messiah. In our present "Canonical Scriptures" are to be traced the vestigia of the ancient worships; and in the rites and ceremonies of the Roman Catholic Church we find the forms of the Buddhistical worship, its ceremonies and hierarchy. The first Gospels, once as canonical as any of the present four, contain pages taken almost entire from Buddhistical narratives, as we are prepared to show. After the evidence furnished by Burnouf, Asoma, Korosi, Beal, Hardy, Schmidt, and translations from the Tripitaka, it is impossible to doubt that the whole Christian scheme emanated from the other. The "Miraculous Conception" miracles and other incidents are found in full in Hardy's Manual of Buddhism. We can readily realize why the Roman Catholic Church is anxious to keep the common people in utter ignorance of the Hebrew Bible and the Greek literature. Philology and comparative Theology are her deadliest enemies. The deliberate falsifications of Neneus, Epiphanius, Eusebius and Tertullian had become a necessity.
The Sibylline Books at that period seem to have been regarded with extraordinary favor. One can easily perceive that they were inspired from the same source as those of the Gentile nations.
Here is a leaf from Galleus:
"New Light has arisen:
Coming from Heaven, it assumed a mortal form. . . .
* Plutarch, "Isis and Osiris," p. 17. t "Sibylline Oracles," 760-788.
—Virgin, receive God in thy pure bosom — And the Word flew into her womb: Becoming incarnate in Time, and animated by her body, It was found in a mortal image, and a Boy was created By a Virgin. . . . The new God-sent Star was adored by the Magi,
The infant swathed was shown in a manger. . . .
And Bethlehem was called "God-called country of the
This looks at first-sight like a prophecy of Jesus. But could it not mean as well some other creative God? We have like utterances concerning Bacchus and Mithras.
"I, son of Deus, am come to the land of the Thebans — Bacchus, whom formerly Semele (the Virgin), the daughter of Kadmus (the man from the East) brings forth — being delivered by the lightning-bearing flame; and having taken a mortal form instead of God's, I have arrived. "t
The Dionysiacs, written in the fifth century, serve to render this matter very clear, and even to show its close connection with the Christian legend of the birth of Jesus:
"Kore-Persephoneia} . . . you were wived as the Dragon's f Euripides, "Bacchx."
J We doubt the propriety of rendering Kopr|, virgin. Demeter and Persephoneia were substantially the same divinity, as were Apollo and Esculapius. The scene of this adventure is laid in Krete or Koureteia, where Zeus was chief god. It was, doubtless, Keres or Demeter that is intended. She was also named Koupa, which is the same as K«pr|. As spouse,
When Zeus, very coiled, his form and countenance changed,
A Dragon-Bridegroom, coiled in love-inspiring fold . . . Glided to dark Kore's maiden couch . . . Thus, by the alliance with the Dragon of ^ther, The womb of Persephone became alive with fruit, Bearing Zagreus,* the Horned Child."+
Here we have the secret of the Ophite worship, and the origin of the Christian later-revised fable of the immaculate conception. The Gnostics were the earliest Christians with anything like a regular theological system, and it is only too evident that it was Jesus who was made to fit their theology as Christos, and not their theology that was developed out of his sayings and doings. Their ancestors had maintained, before the Christian era, that the Great Serpent — Jupiter, the Dragon of Life, the Father and "Good Divinity," had glided into the couch of Semele, and now, the post-Christian Gnostics, with a very trifling change, applied the same fable to the man Jesus, and asserted that the same "Good Divinity," Saturn (Ilda-Baoth), had, in the shape of the Dragon of Life, she was the goddess of the Mysteries, she was fittest for the place as consort of the Serpent-God and mother of Zagreus.
* Pococke considers Zeus a grand lama, or chief Jaina, and Kore-Persephone, or Kuru-Parasu-pani. Zagreus, is Chakras, the wheel, or circle, the earth, the ruler of the world. He was killed by the Titans, or Teith-ans (Daityas). The Horns or crescent was a badge of Lamaic sovereignty. f Nonnus, "Dionysiacs."
glided over the cradle of the infant Mary.} In their eyes the Serpent was the Logos — Christos, the incarnation of Divine Wisdom, through his Father Ennola and Mother Sophia.
"Now my mother, the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) took me," Jesus is made to say in the Gospel of the Hebrews, § thus entering upon his part of Christos — the Son of Sophia, the Holy Spirit.**
"The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the POWER of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore, that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called Son of God," says the angel (Luke i. 35).
"God . . . hath at the last of these days spoken to us by a Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the ^ons" (Paul: Heb. i.).++
All such expressions are so many Christian quotations from the Nonnus verse "... through the ^therial Draconteum," for Ether is the Holy Ghost or third person of the Trinity — the Hawk-headed Serpent, the Egyptian Kneph,
J See Deane's "Serpent Worship," pp. 89, 90.
** The Dragon is the sun, the generative principle — Jupiter-Zeus; and Jupiter is called the "Holy Spirit" by the Egyptians, says Plutarch, "De Iside," xxxvi.
ff In the original it stands Jons (emanations). In the translation it stands worlds. It was not to be expected that, after anathematizing the doctrine of emanations, the Church would refrain from erasing the original word, which clashed diametrically with her newly-enforced dogma of the Trinity.
emblem of the Divine Mind* and Plato's universal soul.
"I, Wisdom, came out of the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth as a cloud."+
Pimander, the Logos, issues from the Infinite Darkness, and covers the earth with clouds which, serpentine-like, spread all over the earth (See Champollion's Egypte). The Logos is the oldest image of God, and he is the active Logos, says Philo.} The Father is the Latent Thought.
This idea being universal, we find an identical phraseology to express it, among Pagans, Jews, and early Christians. The Chaldeo-Persian Logos is the Only-Begotten of the Father in the Babylonian cosmogony of Eudemus. "Hymn now, ELI, child of Deus," begins a Homeric hymn to the sun.§ Sol-Mithra is an "image of the Father," as the kabalistic SeirAnpin.
That of all the various nations of antiquity, there never was one which believed in a personal devil more than liberal Christians in the nineteenth century, seems hardly credible, and yet such is the sorrowful fact. Neither the Egyptians, whom Porphyry terms "the most learned nation of the world,"** nor Greece, its faithful copyist, were ever guilty of
f Ecclesiasticus xxiv. 3.
J See Dunlap's "Spirit History of Man," the chapter on "the Logos, the Only Begotten and the King."
§ Translated by Buckley.
** "Select Works on Sacrifice."
such a crowning absurdity. We may add at once that none of them, not even the ancient Jews, believed in hell or an eternal damnation any more than in the Devil, although our Christian churches are so liberal in dealing it out to the heathen. Wherever the word "hell" occurs in the translations of the Hebrew sacred texts, it is unfortunate. The Hebrews were ignorant of such an idea; but yet the gospels contain frequent examples of the same misunderstanding. So, when Jesus is made to say (Matthew xvi. 18) ". . . and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it," in the original text it stands "the gates of death."
Never is the word "hell" — as applied to the state of damnation, either temporary or eternal — used in any passage of the Old Testament, all hellists to the contrary, notwithstanding. "Tophet," or "the Valley of Hinnom" (Isaiah lxvi. 24) bears no such interpretation. The Greek term "Gehenna" has also quite a different meaning, as it has been proved conclusively by more than one competent writer, that "Gehenna" is identical with the Homeric Tartarus.
In fact, we have Peter himself as authority for it. In his second Epistle (ii. 2) the Apostle, in the original text, is made to say of the sinning angels that God "cast them down into Tartarus." This expression too inconveniently recalling the war of Jupiter and the Titans, was altered, and now it reads, in King James's version: "cast them down to hell."
In the Old Testament the expressions "gates of death," and the "chambers of death," simply allude to the "gates of the grave," which are specifically mentioned in the Psalms and
Proverbs. Hell and its sovereign are both inventions of Christianity, coeval with its accession to power and resort to tyranny. They were hallucinations born of the nightmares of the SS. Anthonys in the desert. Before our era the ancient sages knew the "Father of Evil," and treated him no better than an ass, the chosen symbol of Typhon, "the Devil."* Sad degeneration of human brains!
As Typhon was the dark shadow of his brother Osiris, so Python is the evil side of Apollo, the bright god of visions, the seer and the soothsayer. He is killed by Python, but kills him in his turn, thus redeeming humanity from sin. It was in memory of this deed that the priestesses of the sun-god enveloped themselves in the snake-skin, typical of the fabulous monster. Under its exhilarating influence — the serpent's skin being considered magnetic — the priestesses fell into magnetic trances, and "receiving their voice from Apollo," they became prophetic and delivered oracles.
Again Apollo and Python are one and morally androgynous. The sun-god ideas are all dual, without exception. The beneficent warmth of the sun calls the germ into existence, but excessive heat kills the plant. While playing on his seven-stringed planetary lyre, Apollo produces harmony; but, as well as other sun-gods, under his dark aspect he becomes the destroyer, Python.
St. John is known to have travelled in Asia, a country
* Typhon is called by Plutarch and Sanchoniathon, "Tuphon, the red-skinned." Plutarch, "Isis and Osiris," xxi.-xxvi.
governed by Magi and imbued with Zoroastrian ideas, and in those days full of Buddhist missionaries. Had he never visited those places and come in contact with Buddhists, it is doubtful whether the Revelation would have been written. Besides his ideas of the dragon, he gives prophetic narratives entirely unknown to the other apostles, and which, relating to the second advent, make of Christ a faithful copy of Vishnu.
Thus Ophios and Ophiomorphos, Apollo and Python, Osiris and Typhon, Christos and the Serpent, are all convertible terms. They are all Logoi, and one is unintelligible without the other, as day could not be known had we no night. All are regenerators and saviours, one in a spiritual, the other in a physical sense. One insures immortality for the Divine Spirit; the other gives it through regeneration of the seed. The Saviour of mankind has to die, because he unveils to humanity the great secret of the immortal ego; the serpent of Genesis is cursed because he said to matter, "Ye shall not die." In the world of Paganism the counterpart of the "serpent" is the second Hermes, the reincarnation of Hermes Trismegistus.
Hermes is the constant companion and instructor of Osiris and Isis. He is the personified wisdom; so is Cain, the son of the "Lord." Both build cities, civilize and instruct mankind in the arts.
It has been repeatedly stated by the Christian missionaries in Ceylon and India that the people are steeped in demonolatry; that they are devil-worshippers, in the full sense of the word. Without any exaggeration we say that they are no more so than the masses of uneducated Christians. But even were they worshippers of (which is more than believers in) the Devil, yet there is a great difference between the teachings of their clergy on the subject of a personal devil and the dogmas of Catholic preachers and many Protestant ministers also. The Christian priests are bound to teach and impress upon the minds of their flock the existence of the Devil, and the opening pages of the present chapter show the reason why. But not only will the Cingalese Oepasampala, who belong to the highest priesthood, not confess to belief in a personal demon but even the Samenaira, the candidates and novices, would laugh at the idea. Everything in the external worship of the Buddhists is allegorical and is never otherwise accepted or taught by the educated pungis (pundits). The accusation that they allow, and tacitly agree to leave the poor people steeped in the most degrading superstitions, is not without foundation; but that they enforce such superstitions, we most vehemently deny. And in this they appear to advantage beside our Christian clergy, who (at least those who have not allowed their fanaticism to interfere with their brains), without believing a word of it, yet preach the existence of the Devil, as the personal enemy of a personal God, and the evil genius of mankind.
St. George's Dragon, which figures so promiscuously in the grandest cathedrals of the Christians, is not a whit handsomer than the King of Snakes, the Buddhist Nammadanam-naraya, the great Dragon. If the planetary Demon Rawho, is believed, in the popular superstition of the
Cingalese, to endeavor to destroy the moon by swallowing it; and if in China and Tartary the rabble is allowed, without rebuke, to beat gongs and make fearful noises to drive the monster away from its prey during the eclipses, why should the Catholic clergy find fault, or call this superstition? Do not the country clergy in Southern France do the same, occasionally, at the appearance of comets, eclipses, and other celestial phenomena? In 1456, when Halley's comet made its appearance, "so tremendous was its apparition," writes Draper, "that it was necessary for the Pope himself to interfere. He exorcised and expelled it from the skies. It slunk away into the abysses of space, terror-stricken by the maledictions of Calixtus III., and did not venture back for seventy-five years!"*
We never heard of any Christian clergyman or Pope trying to disabuse ignorant minds of the belief that the Devil had anything to do with eclipses and comets; but we do find a Buddhist chief priest saying to an official who twitted him with this superstition: "Our Cingalese religious books teach that the eclipses of the sun and moon denote an attack of Rahut (one of the nine planets) not by a devil."}
The origin of the "Dragon" myth so prominent in the
* "Conflict between Religion and Science," p. 269.
f Rahu and Kehetty are the two fixed stars which form the head and tail of the constellation of the Dragon.
J E. Upham, "The Mahavansi, etc.," p. 54, for the answer given by the chief-priest of Mulgirs Galle Vihari, named Sue Bandare Metankere Samanere Samavahanse, to a Dutch Governor in 1766.
Apocalypse and Golden Legend, and of the fable about Simeon Stylites converting the Dragon, is undeniably Buddhistic and even pre-Buddhistic. It was Gautama's pure doctrines which reclaimed to Buddhism the Cashmerians whose primitive worship was the Ophite or Serpent worship. Frankincense and flowers replaced the human sacrifices and belief in personal demons. It became the turn of Christianity to inherit the degrading superstition about devils invested with pestilential and murderous powers. The Mahavansa, oldest of the Ceylonese books, relates the story of King Covercapal (cobra-de-capello), the snake-god, who was converted to Buddhism by a holy Rahat;* and it is earlier, by all odds, than the Golden Legend which tells the same of Simeon the Stylite and his Dragon.
The Logos triumphs once more over the great Dragon; Michael, the luminous archangel, chief of the Eons, conquers Satan.+
It is a fact worthy of remark, that so long as the initiate kept silent "on what he knew," he was perfectly safe. So was it in days of old, and so it is now. As soon as the Christian God, emanating forth from Silence, manifested himself as the Word
* We leave it to the learned archeologists and philologists to decide how the Naga or Serpent worship could travel from Kashmir to Mexico and become the Nargal worship, which is also a Serpent worship, and a doctrine of lycanthropy.
f Michael, the chief of the Eons, is also "Gabriel, the messenger of Life," of the Nazarenes, and the Hindu Indra, the chief of the good Spirits, who vanquished Vasouki, the Demon who rebelled against Brahma.
or Logos, the latter became the cause of his death. The serpent is the symbol of wisdom and eloquence, but it is likewise the symbol of destruction. "To dare, to know, to will, and be silent," are the cardinal axioms of the kabalist. Like Apollo and other gods, Jesus is killed by his Logos;} he rises again, kills him in his turn, and becomes his master. Can it be that this old symbol has, like the rest of ancient philosophical conceptions, more than one allegorical and never-suspected meaning? The coincidences are too strange to be results of mere chance.
And now that we have shown this identity between Michael and Satan, and the Saviours and Dragons of other people, what can be more clear than that all these philosophical fables originated in India, that universal hotbed of metaphysical mysticism? "The world," says Ramatsariar, in his comments upon the Vedas, "commenced with a contest between the Spirit of Good and the Spirit of Evil, and so must end. After the destruction of matter evil can no longer exist, it must return to naught."§
In the Apologia, Tertullian falsifies most palpably every doctrine and belief of the Pagans as to the oracles and gods. He calls them, indifferently, demons and devils, accusing the latter of taking possession of even the birds of the air! What Christian would now dare doubt such an authority? Did not
J See the Gnostic amulet called the "Chnuphis-Serpent," in the act of raising its head crowned with the seven vowels, which is the kabalistic symbol for signifying the "gift of speech to man," or Logos. § "Tamas, the Vedas."
the Psalmist exclaim: "All the gods of the nations are idols"; and the Angel of the School, Thomas Aquinas, explains, on his own kabalistic authority, the word idols by devils? "They come to men," he says, "and offer themselves to their adoration by operating certain things which seem miraculous."*
The Fathers were prudent as they were wise in their inventions. To be impartial, after having created a Devil, they set to creating apocryphal saints. We have named several in preceding chapters; but we must not forget Baronius, who having read in a work of Chrysostom about the holy Xenoris, the word meaning a pair, a couple, mistook it for the name of a saint, and proceeded forthwith to create of it a martyr of Antioch, and went on to give a most detailed and authentic biography of the 'blessed martyr." Other theologians made of Apollyon — or rather Apolouon — the anti-Christ. Apolouon is Plato's "washer," the god who purifies, who washes off, and releases us from sin, but he was thus transformed into him "whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon" — Devil!
Max Müller says that the serpent in Paradise is a conception which might have sprung up among the Jews, and "seems hardly to invite comparison with the much grander conceptions of the terrible power of Vritra and Ahriman in the Veda and Avesta." With the kabalists the Devil was always a myth — God or good reversed. That modern Magus,
Eliphas Levi, calls the Devil l'ivresse astrale. It is a blind force like electricity, he says; and, speaking allegorically, as he always did, Jesus remarked that he "beheld Satan like lightning fall from Heaven."
The clergy insist that God has sent the Devil to tempt mankind; which would be rather a singular way of showing his boundless love to humanity! If the Supreme One is really guilty of such unfatherly treachery, he is worthy, certainly, of the adoration only of a Church capable of singing the Te Deum over a massacre of St. Bartholomew, and of blessing Mussulman swords drawn to slaughter Greek Christians!
This is at once sound logic and good sound law, for is it not a maxim of jurisprudence: "Qui facit per alium, facit per se"?
The great dissimilarity which exists between the various conceptions of the Devil is really often ludicrous. While bigots will invariably endow him with horns, tail, and every conceivable repulsive feature, even including an offensive human smell,+ Milton, Byron, Goethe, Lermontoff,* and a host f See des Mousseaux; see various other Demonographers; the different "Trials of Witches," the depositions of the latter exacted by torture, etc. In our humble opinion, the Devil must have contracted this disagreeable smell and his habits of uncleanliness in company with medieval monks. Many of these saints boasted of having never washed themselves! "To strip one's self for the sake of vain cleanliness, is to sin in the eyes of God," says Sprenger, in the "Witches' Hammer." Hermits and monks "dreaded all cleansing as so much defilement. There was no bathing for a thousand years!" exclaims Michelet in his "Sorciere." Why such an outcry against Hindu fakirs in such a case? These, if they keep of French novelists have sung his praise in flowing verse and thrilling prose. Milton's Satan, and even Goethe's Mephistopheles, are certainly far more commanding figures than some of the angels, as represented in the prose of ecstatic bigots. We have but to compare two descriptions. Let us first award the floor to the incomparably sensational des Mousseaux. He gives us a thrilling account of an incubus, in the words of the penitent herself: "Once," she tells us, "during the space of a whole half-hour, she saw distinctly near her an individual with a black, dreadful, horrid body, and whose hands, of an enormous size, exhibited clawed fingers strangely hooked. The senses of sight, feeling, and smell were confirmed by that of hearing!!"+
And yet, for the space of several years, the damsel suffered herself to be led astray by such a hero. How far above this odoriferous gallant is the majestic figure of the Miltonic Satan!
Let the reader then fancy, if he can, this superb chimera, this ideal of the rebellious angel become incarnate Pride, crawling into the skin of the most disgusting of all animals! Notwithstanding that the Christian catechism teaches us that Satan in propria persona tempted our first mother, Eve, in a real paradise, and that in the shape of a serpent, which of all dirty, besmear themselves only after washing, for their religion commands them to wash every morning, and sometimes several times a day.
* Lermontoff, the great Russian poet, author of the "Demon."
f "Les Hauts Phenomenes de la Magie," p. 379.
animals was the most insinuating and fascinating! God orders him, as a punishment, to crawl eternally on his belly, and bite the dust. "A sentence," remarks Levi, "which resembles in nothing the traditional flames of hell." The more so, that the real zoological serpent, which was created before Adam and Eve, crawled on his belly, and bit the dust likewise, before there was any original sin.
Apart from this, was not Ophion the Daimon, or Devil, like God called Dominus?} The word God (deity) is derived from the Sanscrit word Deva, and Devil from the Persian daeva, which words are substantially alike. Hercules, son of Jove and Alcmena, one of the highest sun-gods and also Logos manifested, is nevertheless represented under a double nature, as all others. §
The Agathod^mon, the beneficent d^mon,** the same which we find later among the Ophites under the appellation of the Logos, or divine wisdom, was represented by a serpent standing erect on a pole, in the Bacchanalian Mysteries. The hawk-headed serpent is among the oldest of the Egyptian emblems, and represents the divine mind, says Deane.++ Azazel is Moloch and Samael, says Movers,}} and we find Aaron, the brother of the great law-giver Moses, making equal sacrifices to Jehovah and Azazel.
§ Hercules is of Hindu origin.
** The same as the Egyptian Kneph, and the Gnostic Ophis. ff "Serpent Worship," p. 145.
JJ "Movers," p. 397. Azazel and Samael are identical.
"And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the Lord (Ihoh in the original) and one lot for the scape-goat" (Azazel).
In the Old Testament Jehovah exhibits all the attributes of old Saturn,* notwithstanding his metamorphoses from Adoni into Eloi, and God of Gods, Lord of Lords. t
Jesus is tempted on the mountain by the Devil, who promises to him kingdoms and glory if he will only fall down and worship him (Matthew iv. 8, 9). Buddha is tempted by the Demon Wasawarthi Mara, who says to him as he is leaving his father's palace: "Be entreated to stay that you may possess the honors that are within your reach; go not, go not! " And upon the refusal of Gautama to accept his offers, gnashes his teeth with rage, and threatens him with vengeance. Like Christ, Buddha triumphs over the Devil.}
In the Bacchic Mysteries a consecrated cup was handed around after supper, called the cup of the Agathodemon.§ The Ophite rite of the same description is evidently borrowed
* Saturn is Bel-Moloch and even Hercules and Siva. Both of the latter are Harakala, or gods of the war, of the battle, or the "Lords of Hosts." Jehovah is called "a man of war" in Exodus xv. 3. "The Lord of Hosts is his name" (Isaiah li. 15), and David blesses him for teaching his "hands to war and his fingers to fight" (Psalms cxliv. 1). Saturn is also the Sun, and Movers says that Kronos Saturn was called by the Phrenicians Israel (130). Philo says the same (in Euseb., p. 44). f "Blessed be Iahoh, Alahim, Alahi, Israel" (Psalm lxii.). J Hardy's "Manual of Buddhism," p. 60.
§ Cousin, "Lect. on Mod. Phil.," vol. i., p. 404.
from these Mysteries. The communion consisting of bread and wine was used in the worship of nearly every important deity.**
In connection with the semi-Mithraic sacrament adopted by the Marcosians, another Gnostic sect, utterly kabalistic and theurgic, there is a strange story given by Epiphanius as an illustration of the cleverness of the Devil. In the celebration of their Eucharist, three large vases of the finest and clearest crystal were brought among the congregation and filled with white wine. While the ceremony was going on, in full view of everybody, this wine was instantaneously changed into a blood-red, a purple, and then into an azure-blue color. "Then the magus," says Epiphanius, "hands one of these vases to a woman in the congregation, and asks her to bless it. When it is done, the magus pours out of it into another vase of much greater capacity with the prayer: "May the grace of God, which is above all, inconceivable, inexplicable, fill thy inner man, and augment the knowledge of Him within thee, sowing the grain of mustard-seed in good ground.tt Whereupon the liquor in the larger vase swells and swells until it runs over the brim."}}
** Movers, Duncker, Higgins, and others. ff "Hœres," xxxiv; "Gnostics," p. 53.
JJ Wine was first made sacred in the mysteries of Bacchus. Payne Knight believes — erroneously we think — that wine was taken with the view to produce a false ecstasy through intoxication. It was held sacred, however, and the Christian Eucharist is certainly an imitation of the Pagan rite. Whether Mr. Knight was right or wrong, we regret to say
In connection with several of the Pagan deities which are made after death, and before their resurrection to descend into Hell, it will be found useful to compare the pre-Christian with the post-Christian narratives. Orpheus made the journey,* and Christ was the last of these subterranean travellers. In the Credo of the Apostles, which is divided in twelve sentences or articles, each particular article having been inserted by each particular apostle, according to St. Austint the sentence "He descended into hell, the third day he rose again from the dead," is assigned to Thomas; perhaps, as an atonement for his unbelief. Be it as it may, the sentence is declared a forgery, and there is no evidence "that this creed was either framed by the apostles, or indeed, that it existed as a creed in their time."}
It is the most important addition in the Apostle's Creed, and dates since the year of Christ 600. § It was not known in the days of Eusebius. Bishop Parsons says that it was not in that a Protestant clergyman, the Rev. Joseph Blanchard, of New York, was found drunk in one of the public squares on the night of Sunday, August 5, 1877, and lodged in prison. The published report says: "The prisoner said that he had been to church and taken a little too much of the communion wine!"
* The initiatory rite typified a descent into the underworld. Bacchus, Herakles, Orpheus, and Asklepius all descended into hell and ascended thence the third day.
f King's "Hist. Apost. Creed," 8vo, p. 26.
J Justice Bailey's "Common Prayer," 1813, p. 9.
§ "Apostle's Creed"; "Apocryphal New Testament."
the ancient creeds or rules of faith.** Ireneus, Origen, and Tertullian exhibit no knowledge of this sentence.++ It is not mentioned in any of the Councils before the seventh century. Theodoret, Epiphanius, and Socrates are silent about it. It differs from the creed in St. Augustine.}} Ruffinus affirms that in his time it was neither in the Roman nor in the Oriental creeds (Exposit., in Symbol. Apost. § 10). But the problem is solved when we learn that ages ago Hermes spoke thus to Prometheus, chained on the arid rocks of the Caucasian mount:
"To such labors look thou for no termination, UNTIL SOME God Shall Appear As A Substitute In Thy Pangs, And SHALL BE WILLING TO GO BOTH TO GLOOMY HADES AND TO The Murky Depths Around Tartarus!" (Eschylus: Prometheus, 1027, ff.).
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