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The God-Idea of the Ancients or Sex in Religion by Eliza Burt Gamble

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and to commemorate a return of Nature's bounties; but, after male
reproductive power began to be regarded as the creator, when
passion came to be considered as the moving force in the
universe, and when the operations of Nature began to be typified
by a dead man on a cross who was to rise again, Easter was
celebrated in commemoration of a risen savior or sun-god.

The following is an account given in Ramsay's Travels of Cyrus,
concerning the vernal equinox festivals in the East. When Cyrus
entered the temples he found the public clad in mourning. In a
cavern lay the image of a young man (the dying savior) on a bed
of flowers and odoriferous herbs Nine days were spent in fasting,
prayers, and lamentations, after which the public sorrow ceased
and was changed into gladness. Songs of joy succeeded weeping
(for Tamuz), the whole assembly singing hymns: "Adonis is
returned to life, Urania weeps no more, he has ascended to
heaven, he will soon return to earth and banish hence all crimes
and miseries forever." This scene, it will be remembered, was
presented 500 years prior to the birth of Christ. In Rome,
throughout the months preceding the winter solstice, Hilaria or
Ceres, was especially honored. Apollo and Diana rose on the 7th
of the Julian April and on the 10th their religious festivals

On Easter morn, during the earlier ages of the church, the
observances of Christians were exactly the same as were those of
the so called pagans, all together hurried out long before the
break of day that they might behold the sun ascend, or "dance" as
they called it, for on this morning he was to "make the earth
laugh and sing." Pagan and Christian alike greeted each other
with the salutation "The Lord is risen," and the reply was "The
Lord is risen indeed." On Easter morning the peasants of Saxony
and Brandenburg still climb to the hilltops "to see the sun give
his three joyful leaps."

In Buckland's Land and Water it is stated that on the first of
May all the choristers of Magdalene College, Oxford, still meet
on the summit of their tower, 150 feet high, and sing a Latin
hymn as the sun rises, during which time ten bells are rung "to
welcome the gracious Apollo." Formerly, high mass was celebrated
here and early mass for Sol was held in the College chapel, but,
as at the time of the Reformation this service was forbidden, "it
has since been performed on the top of the tower." After the
hymn is sung "boys blow loud blasts to Sol through bright new tin

Perhaps none of the ideas which enter into present religious
rites and ceremonies proclaims its eastern origin more forcibly
than do those connected with the veneration of fire. The
testimony of all writers upon this subject agrees that in Europe,
down to a late date in the Christian era, fire was still adored,
and in some mysterious manner was connected with the Creator.

Upon the subject of the continuation of sun and fire worship to
modern times, it is stated that the ancient bonfires with which
the North German hills used to be ablaze mile after mile are not
altogether given up by local custom. In Ireland as late as the
year 1829, the ancient Canaanitish and Jewish rite of passing
children through fire as a cleansing or regenerating process was
still in operation. It is related that at stated seasons great
fires were lighted in public places, on which occasions, fathers,
taking their children in their arms, would leap and run through
the flames. At the same time, two large fires were kindled a
short distance from each other through which the cattle were
driven. It was believed that by means of this ceremony,
fecundity is imparted both to man and beast. May, the month in
which all Nature revives, and in which life starts anew, is the
time selected for the lighting of those sacred fires. May is the
month of the fires of Baal. According to Maurice in his work on
the Antiquities of India, the festival and the May-pole of Great
Britain are the remnants of a religious ceremony once common in
Egypt, India, and Phoenicia, which nations all worshipping the
same Deity, celebrated the entrance of the sun into the sign of
Taurus at the vernal equinox, but which in consequence of the
precession of the equinoxes is removed far in the year from its
original situation. This festival is thought to be coeval with a
time when the equinox actually took place at that time. It was
formerly in honor of the goddess Bhavania, who, under various
names, was once worshipped in every country of the globe. "She
is identical with the Dea Syria of Chaldea, and the Venus Urania
of Persia."

At the present time there is direct and indisputable evidence
that sacred fires once flamed over the whole of Britain. A few
days prior to Bealtine season, every flame was ordered
extinguished, to be relighted on the first of May by holy fire
drawn directly from the sun. Of fire-worship Toland observes:

"On May-day the Druids made prodigious fires on these cairns,
which being every one in sight of some other could not but afford
a glorious show over a whole nation. These fires were in honor
of Beal, or Bealan, Latinized by the Roman writers into Belanus,
by which name the Gauls and their colonies understood the sun,
and therefore, to this hour, the first of May is, by the
aboriginal Irish, called la Bealtine, or the day of Belan's
fires. May-day is likewise called la Bealtine by the Highlanders
of Scotland, who are no contemptible part of the Celtic
offspring. So it is with the Isle of Man: and in Armorica a
priest is called Belee, or the servant of Bel, and the priesthood

[136] Quoted by Godfrey Higgins, Celtic Druids, ch. v., p. 181.

Down to a comparatively recent time, in the British Isles, the
youth of both sexes used to arise long before daybreak on
May-day, and in large companies set out for the woods, there to
gather flowers, boughs, and branches, which, on returning at
night, were used to decorate their homes. This festival is said
to be the most ancient of any known, and during the earlier and
purer ages of human faith was celebrated in honor of returning
spring. In later ages, however, after passion had become the
only recognized god, May-day was celebrated with "all manner of
obscenity and lewdness."

Although the uneducated masses among the Gauls worshipped Apollo,
Mercury, and Mars without understanding their true significance,
the Druids, who are thought to be Pythagorians, invoked one great
power, the animating force which pervades the universe, the
essence of which they believed resides in fire.

It is related that although after the introduction of Romish
Christianity, May fires still continued to be lighted on Bealtine
day, the more impressive ceremonies took place on the 23d of
June, on the eve of the nativity of St. John. The early
preachers, wishing to defer to the prejudices and usages of the
people, "yet not so as to interfere with the celebration of
Easter at the vernal equinox, retained the Bealtine ceremonial,
only transferring it to the saint's day." Of these fire
festivals and their adoption by the Christian church Tylor says:

"The solar Christmas festival has its pendant at mid-summer. The
summer solstice was the great season of fire festivals throughout
Europe on the heights, of dancing round and leaping through the
fires, of sending blazing fire-wheels to roll down from the hills
into the valleys, in sign of the sun's descending course. These
ancient rites attached themselves in Christendom to St. John's

"It seems as though the same train of symbolism which had adapted
the mid-winter festival to the Nativity, may have suggested the
dedication of the mid-summer festival to John the Baptist, in
clear allusion to his words 'He must increase but I must
decrease.' "[137]

[137] Tylor, Primitive Culture, vol. ii., p. 271.

In a description recently given of the "moral, religious, and
social disease" which broke out A.D. 1374, in the lower Rhine
region, and which was denominated as the "greatest, perhaps, of
all manifestations of possession," Andrew D. White says: "The
immediate origin of these manifestations seems to have been the
wild revels of St. John's Day."[138]

[138] Pop. Science, vol. xxxv., p. 3.

Upon this subject Toland observes that he has seen the people of
Ireland running and leaping through the St. John's fire proud of
passing through it unsinged. Although ignorant of the origin of
this ceremony, they nevertheless regarded it as some kind of a
lustration by means of which they were to be specially blessed.

To every domestic hearth was carried the seed of Bealtine, or St.
John's fire, which during the year was not permitted to go

[139] Although the preservation of holy fire upon every hearth
was clearly a religious observance, still, as in those days there
were no matches, the material benefit to be derived from this
precaution doubtless had a significance apart from that connected
with worship.

According to the testimony of Tylor, the festival of John the
Baptist was celebrated in Germany down to a late date. This
writer quoting from a low German book of the year 1859, refers to
the "nod fire" which was sawed out of wood to light the St.
John's bonfire "through which the people leapt and ran and drove
their cattle."

With regard to the worship of Fire and Light it is related that
in Jerusalem, at the present time, the Easter service is
performed by the bishop of the church emerging from a tomb with
lighted tapers "from which all crave lights."

On the authority of Peter Martyr, Bishop of Alexandria in the
third century, we are informed that the place in Egypt where
Christ was banished, which is called Maturea, a lamp is kept
constantly burning in remembrance of this event. Although the
story of this banishment is doubtless borrowed from the life of
the Hindoo god Crishna, the fact is evident that those who
appropriated it, and used it in furbishing the mythical history
of Christ, had no scruples against fire worship--a religion which
we have been taught to regard as belonging exclusively to the

In the ecclesiastical processions of the Church of Rome is
frequently to be observed the figure of a dragon, in the mouth of
which "holy and everlasting fire" is observed to be burning. A
boy follows the procession with a lighted taper, so that in case
the fire is extinguished it may be relighted. In referring to
this subject the Rev. J. B. Deane says:

"The whole ceremony may be considered as a lively representation
of an ophite procession as it advanced through the sinuous
paralleiths of Karnak. So that no wonder the illiterate races
were deceived into thinking that there was no harm in calling
themselves Christians, for all their dear old faiths are
here--fire, arks, poles, and fire in an ark."

Almost innumerable instances are given by various writers upon
this subject, showing that the sun worship of the ancients has
been continued to the present time by the so called followers of
Christ, in the shrines of the East, with no change even of names
to distinguish it from that of the Christian faith. By those who
have spent much time in investigating the Holy Land, it is
related that nearly all the spots in and about Jerusalem, sacred
to Greek and Romish Christians as connected with the life and
death of their risen Lord, are equally sacred to the pagans as
commemorating the life and death of their Savior--the New Sun.
Even Gethsemane is marked by characteristics which prove that it
is no less interesting to pagans, or, more properly speaking, to
the pagan followers of Christ, than it is to those of the Greek
and Romish churches. Here is a holy tree, and not far distant is
a cave of Mithras. There is also to be seen a trinity of stones
"those of Janus (Chemosh), Petros and Ion, all solar terms and
connected with the sitting or sinking down to rest of the Kuros."

Messrs. Maundrell and Sandys, who in 1697 visited all the holy
places in and around Jerusalem, state that the entire city, but
especially the sites of Moriah, Zion, and suburbs were hotbeds of
fire and phallic worship as usually developed still in the East.

The topography of ancient Delphi, on the site of which was built
the village of Kastri, and at which place excavations are now
being made under the direction of the American School of
Archaeology, has ever been a place of peculiar interest to the
mystic. Here are to be found all the natural features and
objects which gladden the heart and stimulate the imagination of
a solo-phallic worshipper. The holy Mt. Parnassus, the fountain
of Kastali, the deep cave said to be Pythian, and the remnants of
huge sepulchres hewn in the rocks all conspire to make of this
spot a perfect abode for the god, or goddess, of fertility.
Here, too, is a beautiful lake and near it a sacred fig-tree
which has been struck by lightning, or, "touched by holy fire."
Of this sacred place Forlong writes:

"Christianity has never neglected this so-called Pagan shrine,
nor yet misunderstood it, if we may judge by the saint she has
located here, for Mr. Hobhouse found in the rocky chasm dipped in
the dews of Castaly, but safe in a rocky niche, a Christian
shrine; and close by a hut called the church of St. John; yea
verily of Ione, she who had once reigned here supreme; whilst on
a green plot a few yards below the basin, in a little grove of
olive trees, stood the monastery of Panhagia or Holy Virgin, so
that here we still have and beside her sacred form in the cleft,
men who have consecrated their manhood to the old Mother and
Queen of Heaven, just as if she of Syria had never been heard of.

Doubtless they knew little of what civilized Europe calls
Christianity, for I have spent many days conversing with such
men, and seen little difference between them and those similarly
placed in the far East--fervid Christians though Greeks and
Syrians are."

Perhaps nothing shows the extent to which the religion of the
pagans has been retained by Christianity more than does the
worship of the serpent. It has been said that this reptile
enters into every mythology extant. Ferguson is authority for
the statement that "he is to be found in the wilderness of Sinai,
the groves of Epidaurus, and in Samothracian huts." He
constitutes a prominent factor in the religious worship of India,
Assyria, Palestine, and Egypt, and, notwithstanding the fact that
he is not a native of Ireland, in an earlier age representations
of him appear in profusion among the symbols of that country. It
has been said that there is scarcely an Egyptian sculpture known
in which this reptile does not figure. The serpent whenever it
appears as a religious emblem always typifies desire--creative
energy--which, proceeding from the sun, is manifested in man and
in animals. Whether it be a veritable snake in a box, a serpent
connected with the figure of a woman, or as a carved
representation on monuments or stones, or as chains or wreaths on
columns, bas-reliefs or friezes, the signification is the same.

The sacred character of this reptile among the Gnostics is shown
by the accounts given of their religious rites and ceremonies.
By many of these sects this holy creature was kept in a box, ark,
or chest, and when the eucharistic service was to be performed,
he was enticed forth from his resting- place by a bit of bread.
So soon as his holiness had wound himself about the offering, the
sacrifice was complete and the service was concluded by "singing
a hymn to Almighty God, and praying for acceptance in and through
the serpent."

In later ages when the attempt was made to abolish serpent
worship from the Christian church, it was declared by the leaders
in the movement that Ophiolatry had been imported from
Persia--that it had been brought in by ignorant devotees who were
too weak to renounce their former faith.[140]

[140] Forlong, Rivers of Life.

The extent to which the symbols representing Serpent, Sun, Tree,
and Plant worship are still retained as part and parcel of the
symbolism of Christianity is shown by the following report
regarding the adoption of a seal by the Presbyterian Church which
appeared in the daily press only a few years ago.

"After the assembly opened, the committee for the selection of a
seal made a report recommending: That the general assembly hereby
adopts as its official seal the device of a serpent suspended
upon a cross, uplifted within a wilderness, in form as
represented upon the official seal of the trustees of the general
assembly, and displayed upon a circular field of the same
proportions. In addition thereto the figure of a rising sun
appearing above the margin of the wilderness, whose out-shooting
beams shall occupy the centre of the field. Further, the
decoration of a demi-wreath of two palm branches (in the form of
the wreath upon the seal of the Westminster assembly of divines),
placed around the margin of the upper hemisphere of the field;
and on the lower hemisphere of the field a demi-wreath composed
of a branch of oak united with an olive branch. Further, that the
words of the motto, 'Christus Exaltus Salvatar,' shall be
displayed in a semi-circle upon the upper part of the field, on
either side of the standard of the cross, and, encompassing the
whole in a bordure, the following words, in full or in proper
abbreviation thereof, 'The Seal of the General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.' "

The origin of the rite of Baptism as performed at the present
time in Christian churches, may be traced directly to the worship
of the sun, within which were supposed to reside the reproductive
powers of Nature. All nations have had ceremonies corresponding
to our baptism and confirmation rites, such baptism being either
by fire or water. When we remember that for ages fertility, or
the power to reproduce, constituted the idea of the Deity, we are
not surprised to find that the original signification of the rite
of baptism had, and still has, in some of the oriental countries,
special reference to the child's sexual obligations.

In India, the religious rites performed upon the individual occur
at birth or soon after; at betrothal, which takes place in
childhood; at puberty; at marriage, and at death. The fact will
be noticed that all sexual (spiritual) obligations and seasons
fall within the domain of priestly supervision and surveillance.
The child at baptism is dedicated to Vesta, or Hestia, the Queen
of Hearths and Homes, a divinity who is supposed to assist him in
securing the special evidence of divine favor, namely,
fruitfulness of body.

Among Hindoos and Jews, excessive reproduction was the Lord's
mark of favor. In India there has been a special hell provided
for childless women, and with Jewesses no curse was equal to

Baptism, or the ceremony connected with the naming of children in
Christian countries, is seen to be identical with that performed
in Mexico among the Aztecs. After the lips and bosom of the
infant had been sprinkled with water, the Lord was implored to
"permit the holy drops to wash away the sin that was given to it
before the foundation of the world, so that the child might be
born anew."

Among the petitions which are offered to the Deity is the
following: "Impart to us, out of thy great mercy, thy gifts which
we are not worthy to receive through our own merit." In their
moral code appear these maxims: "Keep peace with all; bear
injuries with humility; God who sees, will avenge you." "He who
looks too curiously on a woman, commits adultery with his

[141] Quoted by Prescott from Sahagun. Conquest of Mexico, book
i., chap 3.



From the facts recorded in the foregoing pages, we have seen that
true Christianity was but a continuation of that great movement
which was begun in Persia seven or eight centuries before, and
whose gathering strength had been emphasized by the humane
doctrines set forth in the various schools of Greek philosophy.

In the first century of the Christian era may be observed among
various sects, notably the Gnostics, a desire to popularize the
teachings of an ancient race, and to accentuate those principles
which had been taught by Buddha, Pythagoras, the Stoic
philosophers, the Roman jurisconsults and others. In other words
the object of the new religion was to stimulate the altruistic
characters which had been developed during the evolutionary
processes, and to strengthen and encourage the almost forgotten
principles of justice and personal liberty upon which early
society was founded, but which through ages of sensuality and
selfishness had been denied expression.

When we remember the tenacity with which the human mind clings to
established beliefs and forms, it is not perhaps singular that in
a comparatively short time these principles were lost sight of,
and that the entire system of corrupt paganism, with Christ as
the New Solar Deity, was reinstated; neither is it remarkable,
when we reflect upon the length of time required to bring about
any appreciable change in human thought and action, that the
principles which this Great Teacher enunciated are at the present
time only just beginning to be understood.

To one who carefully studies the history of Christianity by the
light of recently developed truths, the fact will doubtless be
discovered that the fundamental difference existing between
Catholic and Protestant sects is grounded in the old feud arising
out of the relative importance of the sex-principles. From the
days of Zoroaster to the final establishment of Christianity by
Paul, the tendency--although slight--had been toward the
elevation of woman, and consequently toward a greater
acknowledgment of the female element in the god-idea.
Considerable impetus was given to the cause of woman's
advancement through the doctrines of the various schools of
philosophy in Greece, and subsequently by the efforts put forth
by the Roman lawyers to establish their equality with men before
the law; hence, during the first hundred years of the Christian
era the "new religion" seems to have contained much of the spirit
of the ancient philosophy.

By several of the early Christian sects, the second person in the
trinity was female, as was also the Holy Ghost.

In a "fragment of a gospel preserved by St. Jerome, and believed
to have been from the original Aramaean Gospel of St. Matthew,
with additions, the Holy Ghost (ruach), which in Hebrew is
feminine, is called by the infant Savior, 'My Mother, the Holy
Ghost.' "[142]

[142] Barlow, Essays on Symbolism, p. 135.

The mission of Christ was that of a Regenerator of mankind, an
office which had been symbolized by the powers of the sun. He
was to restore that which was lost. He attempted to teach to the
masses of the people the long neglected principles of purity and
peace. He did not condemn woman. He was baptized by John (Ion
or Yon) in water, the original symbol for the female element, and
while in the water; the Holy Ghost in form of a dove (female)
descended upon him. To those who have given attention to the
symbolism of the pagan worship these facts are not without

Because of the peculiar tendency of Christ's teachings women soon
became active factors in their promulgation. If there were no
other evidence to show that they publicly taught the new
doctrines, the injunction of St. Paul, "I suffer not a woman to
teach," would seem to imply that they were not silent.

The doctrines of the Gnostics were particularly favorable to
women. Marcellina, who belonged to this order, was the founder
of a sect called Marcelliens. Of her works Waite observes: "It
would scarcely be expected that the heretical writings of a woman
would be preserved amid such wholesale slaughter of the obnoxious
works of the opposite sex. The writings of Marcellina have
perished."[143] Not only did women teach publicly, and write, but
according to Bunsen they claimed the privilege of baptizing their
own sex. The reason for this is evident. Before baptism it was
customary for the newly-made converts to strip and be anointed
with oil. After the establishment of Paul's doctrines, however,
"the bishops and presbyters did not care to be relieved from the
pleasant duty of baptizing the female converts."[144]

[143] History of the Christian Religion, p. 405.

[144] Ibid., p. 23.

Although the utmost care has been exercised to conceal the fact
that women equally with men, performed the offices connected with
the early church, yet by those who have paid attention to the
true history of this movement, there can be no doubt about the
matter. Notwithstanding the early tendencies of the "new
religion" toward the recognition of women, and toward the
restoration of the female principle in the Deity, the policy to
be pursued by the church was soon apparent, for Paul, the real
founder of the system calling itself Christian, and a man imbued
with Asiatic prejudices concerning women, arrogantly declared
that "man is the head of woman as Christ is the head of the
Church." Women were commanded to be under obedience. Neither
was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man;
thus was re-established and emphasized the absurd doctrine of the
Lingaites, that the male is an independent entity, that he is
spirit and superior to the female which is matter. After this
indication of the policy to be pursued under the new regime, it
would scarcely be expected that theefforts put forth by the
various sects among the Gnostics toreinstate the female element
either on the earth or in heavenwould be successful, and as might
be anticipated from the factsalready adduced, as early as the
year 325, at the council of Nice, a male trinity was formally
established, and soon thereafter, the Collylidians, a sect which
rigorously persisted in the adoration of the female principle,
were condemned. At the council of Laodicea, A.D. 365, the 11th
canon forbade the ordination of women for the ministry and the
44th canon prohibited them from entering the altar.

The devotees of female worship, although for a time silenced,
were evidently not convinced, and to force their understanding
into conformity with the newly established order, the Nestorians,
in the year 430 A. D., reopened the old dispute, and formally
denied to Mary the title of Mother of God. Their efforts,
however, were of little avail, for in the year 451, at the
council of Ephesus, the third general council, the decision of
the Nestorians was reversed and the Virgin Mother reinstated.
Upon this subject Barlow remarks: "Well might those who made this
symbolical doctrine what it now is, at length desire to do tardy
justice to the female element, by promoting the mother to the
place once occupied by the Egyptian Neith, and crowning her Queen
of Heaven."[145] The fact will doubtless be observed, however,
that by the Romish Church the idea of the god-mother differs
widely from the Queen of Heaven--the original God of the
ancients. Mary the Mother of Jesus is not a Creator, but simply
a mediator between her Son and His earthly devotees--a doctrine
only a trifle less masculine in texture than that of an Almighty
Father and his victimized son. The worship of Mary was adopted
by the so-called Christians in response to a craving in the human
heart for a recognition of those characters developed in mankind
which may be said to contain the germ of the divine. The
masculine god of the Jews was feared not loved, and his son had
already been invested with his attributes. He was all powerful,
hence a mediator, a mother, was necessary to intercede in behalf
of fallen man, and this, too, notwithstanding the fact that woman
had become the "cause of evil in the world."

[145] Essays on Symbolism, p. 134.

The Great Goddess of the ancients, Perceptive Wisdom, the Deity
of giving, she who represented the purely altruistic characters
developed in mankind, and whose worship involved a scientific
knowledge of the processes of Nature, when engrafted upon the
so-called Christian system, although indicating an important step
toward the recognition of the genuine creative principles, was
not understood. Although her effigies were brought from the East
and made to do duty as representations of Mary, the Mother of
Christ, a knowledge of her true significance lay hurled beneath
ages of sensuality and selfishness.

By those who have made it their business to investigate this
subject, it is observed that there is scarcely an old church in
Italy in which there is not to be found a remnant of a black
virgin and child. In very many instances these black virgins
have been replaced by white ones, the older figures having been
retired to some secluded niche in the church where they are held
especially sacred by the ignorant devotees who know absolutely
nothing of their original significance. We are assured that many
of these images have been painted over, ostensibly in imitation
of bronze, but the whites of the eyes, the teeth, and colored
lips reveal the fact that they are really not intended to
represent bronze, but figures of a black virgin goddess and child
whose worship has been imported into Europe from the East. I had
been told that one of the oldest of these images extant was to be
found in Augsburg; a thorough search, however, in all the
churches and cathedrals of that city failed to reveal it, but in
the museum at Munich such a figure is to be seen. It is in a
state of decay, one arm of the mother and a portion of the
child's figure being worn away. Upon this subject Godfrey
Higgins remarks:

"If the author had wished to invent a circumstance to corroborate
the assertion that the Romish Christ of Europe is the Crishna of
India, how could he have desired anything more striking than the
fact of the black virgin and child being so common in the Romish
countries of Europe? A black virgin and child among the white
Germans, Swiss, French, and Italians!!!"[146]

[146] Anacalypsis, book iv., ch. i., p. 175.

We have observed that during an earlier age in the history of
religious worship, as the female was supposed to comprehend both
the female and male elements in creation, a belief in the
possible creative power of the female independently of the male
was everywhere entertained, and that after the schismatic faction
arose which endeavored to exalt the male, the production of a son
by a woman unaided by man, was among the Yonigas to be the sign
which would forever settle the question of the superior
importance of the female functions in the processes of
reproduction, and consequently, also, her claim to the greater
importance in the deity.

The sacred books of India show that from a former belief in one
or the other of the two creative principles throughout Nature as
God, the people had come to accept both female and male as
necessary elements in reproduction, the latter being the more
important. In course of time this change seems to have been
universal and to have extended to all the countries of the globe.

As the male could not create independently of the female, or, as
spirit was dependent on matter for its manifestations, there
arose a necessity for a Savior to redeem man from the evil
effects arising from his relations with woman who was regarded as
matter, and who in course of time became the cause of evil.

Concerning the doctrines which prevailed in the earlier ages of
Christianity relative to the ancient dual principle in creation,
and regarding the offices which were performed by the two
elements, male and female, in the deity, we have the following
from Justinus, who is said to have been contemporary with Peter
and Paul:

"When Elohim had prepared and created the world as a result from
joint pleasure, He wished to ascend up to the elevated parts of
heaven, and to see that not anything of what pertained to the
creation laboured under deficiency. And He took His Own angels
with Him, for His nature was to mount aloft, leaving Edem below;
for inasmuch as she was earth, she was not disposed to follow
upward her spouse. Elohim, then, coming to the highest part of
heaven above and beholding a light superior to that which He
himself had created, exclaimed: 'Open me the gates, that entering
in I may acknowledge the Lord.' "

As he enters the Good One addresses him in the following manner:
"Sit thou on my right hand." Then the soaring male principle
says to the Good One "permit me Lord to overturn the world which
I have made, for my spirit is bound to men." To which the Good
One replies: "No evil canst thou do while thou art with me, for
both thou and Edem made the world as a result of conjugal joy.
Permit Edem then, to hold possession of the world as long as she
wishes; but you remain with me." While the father is drawn away
from earth to Heaven, Edem, in the meantime is bringing woes
innumerable upon man. Naas, who has received his evil nature
from her, and who is a child of the Devil, has debauched Eve,
"Henceforward vice and virtue are prevalent among men." The
Father seeing these things dispatches Baruch his third angel to
Moses, and through him spake to the children of Israel, that they
might be converted unto the Good One. But the third angel, Naas,
by the soul of which came from Edem upon Moses, as also upon all
men, observed the precepts of Baruch, and caused his own peculiar
injunctions to be hearkened unto.

Again, after these occurrences Baruch, the angel of the Good One,
was sent to the prophets to warn them against the wiles of Edem,
but in the same manner Nass, the Devil, enticed them away, they
being allured by him to their own destruction. Again Elohim
selected Hercules, an uncircumcised prophet, and sent him to
quell the disturbance caused by Naas or Edem and to release the
Father from their power.

"These are the twelve conflicts of Hercules which He underwent,
in order, from first to last, viz.: Lion, and Hydra, and Boar,
and the others successively. For they say that these are the
names of them among the Gentiles, and they have been derived,
with altered denomination, from the energy of the maternal
angels. When he seemed to have vanquished his antagonists,
Omphale (now she is Venus) clings to him and entices away
Hercules, and divests him of his power, viz.: the commands of
Baruch which Elohim issued. And in place of this power Babel, or
Venus, envelops him in her own peculiar robe, that is, in the
power of Edem, who is the power below; and in this way the
prophecy of Hercules remained unfulfilled and his work."

As men were still bound by the power of Edem, or the Devil, in
the days of Herod the king, Baruch was again dispatched by
Elohim, and coming to Nazareth delivered his message to Jesus,
son of Joseph and Mary. Nass, who, as we have seen, was the evil
spirit in Edem, wished to entice away Jesus also. He was not,
however, disposed to listen but remained faithful to Baruch.
Naas, overcome by anger at not being able to seduce him, caused
him to be crucified.

"He, leaving the body of Edem on the accursed tree, ascended to
the Good One; saying to Edem, 'Woman, thou retainest thy Son,'
that is, the natural and the earthly man. But Jesus himself
commending his spirit into the hands of the Father, ascended to
the Good One. Now the Good One is Priapus, and he it is who
antecedently caused the production of everything that exists. On
this account he is styled Priapus, because he previously
fashioned all things according to his design. For this reason,
he says, in every temple is preserved his statue, which is
revered by every creature; and there are images of him in the
highways carrying over his head ripened fruits, that is, the
produce of the creation, of which he is the cause, having in the
first instance formed, according to his design, the creation,
when as yet it had no existence."[147]

[147] Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies, book v., p. 188.

Thus the fact is observed not only that in the time of Paul,
phallic worship still existed, but by the writings of Justinus
and others is shown the manner in which the doctrine that woman
is the cause of evil in the world became formulated and adopted
as part and parcel of the Christian belief.

Staniland Wake, director of the anthropological society of
London, when commenting on the obscene myths upon which the
Christian religion rests, remarks:

"The fundamental basis of Christianity is more purely phallic
than that of any other religion now existing, and its emotional
nature . . . shows how intimately it was related to the older
faiths which had a phallic basis."

After stating that the myth of creation and that of the flood
have their exact counterpart in India, the Rev. Mr. Faber
remarks that "there is no rite or ceremony directed in the
Pentateuch of which there is not an exact copy in the rites of
the pagans."

The Christian doctrines as established by Paul, and afterwards
formulated into a system by the Romish Church, were adopted by
the ignorant multitude who, being incapable of understanding the
higher principles involved, accepted the allegories beneath which
were veiled the ancient mysteries literally, and as the highest
expression of divine wisdom. Hence the comparatively recent
observation that the "new religion was eventually but the
gathering in of the superstitions of paganism" is a matter of
little surprise to those who have carefully examined the facts
connected with the growth of religious faith.

Under the new regime Christ became the New Solar Deity and round
him were finally ranged all the myths of Solo-phallic worship
which had prevailed under the adoration of Crishna at a time when
the higher truths underlying pure Nature-worship had been



According to the accounts in the New Testament, the wise men of
the East, meaning Persia, had foretold the coming of Christ. The
fulfilment of the ancient Persian prophecy as applied to Jesus,
together with the reference to the "star" which the Maji saw, and
which went before them till it came and stood over where the
young child lay, furnishes a striking illustration of the manner
in which Eastern legends and ancient sacred writings are
interwoven with the doctrines relating to Christianity.

In the sacred books of the East it is prophesied that "after
three thousand and one hundred years of the Caligula are elapsed,
will appear King Saca to remove wretchedness from the world." We
have seen that at the birth of Christ the time had arrived for a
new solar incarnation.

Regarding the introduction of Christianity into Ireland it is
claimed by certain writers that the Irish did not receive the
"new religion" from Greek missionaries; but when at the close of
the cycle, a new solar deity, an avatar of Vishnu or Crishna was
announced, and when missionaries from the East proclaimed the
glad tidings of a risen Savior, the Irish people gladly accepted
their teachings, not, however, as a new system, but as the
fulfilment to them of the prophecy of the most ancient seers of
the East, and as part and parcel of the religion of their
forefathers. Therefore when the devotees of the Romish faith,
probably about the close of the fifth century of the Christian
era, attempted to "convert" Ireland, they found a religion
differing from their own only in the fact that it was not subject
to Rome, and was free from the many corruptions and superstitions
which through the extreme ignorance and misapprehension of its
Western adherents had been engrafted upon it.

Concerning the form of religious worship in Great Britain, and
the fact that phallic worship prevailed there, Forlong writes:
"The generality of our countrymen have no conception of the
overruling prevalence of this faith, and the number of its
lingham gods throughout our Islands." These symbols were always
in the form of an obelisk or tower, thereby indicating the
worship of the male energy. Although emblems of the female
element in the deity were present, they were less pronounced and
of far less importance than those of the male.

These monuments were erected on knolls, at crossroads and centers
of marts or villages, and were placed on platforms which were
usually raised from five to seven steps. A few years ago the
shires of Gloucester, Wilts, and Somerset still claimed over two
hundred of these crosses, though all of them were not at that
time in a perfect state of preservation.

It would seem that in Britain and Ireland the seed of the "new"
doctrine, that which involved a recognition of the mother element
in the god-idea, had fallen on more congenial soil, for within
three centuries after the birth of Christ, the various original
monuments typifying the male principle had all been ornamented
with the symbols representing the female in the deity. The
ancient religious structures of the Lingaites still continued as
recognized faith shrines, changed only by the emblems of the new
religion which had been engrafted upon them.

The earliest Greek and Roman missionaries knew full well the
significance of these symbols, and we are given to understand
that "a few of the more spiritual of the Christian sects made war
upon them and all their ephemeral substitutes, such as Maypoles,
holy-trees, real crosses, etc." It is declared also that, as
"later" Christians were unacquainted with the significance of
these emblems, "they adopted them as their own, employing them as
the mystic signs of their own faith."

Although the earliest Greek and Roman missionaries understood the
signification of these faith shrines, the complaints against them
seem soon to have ceased, and the "fierce wars" waged over them
appear to have left little trace of their ravages, except that
the female emblems with which these monuments had been supplied
by those who had received the new faith direct from the East,
were all removed. As the male monuments and symbols were all
permitted to remain undisturbed, this fact of itself would seem
to indicate that the "pagan abominations" against which these
pious devotees of a "spiritual religion" thundered their
denunciations, included only the female emblems.

The fact must be borne in mind that the Western Church, which was
rapidly usurping the ecclesiastical authority of Britain and
Ireland, had not itself at this time adopted the worship of the
Virgin Mary.

A set of iconoclastic monks whom the Christian world is pleased
to designate as St. Patrick, and who probably early in the fifth
century of our era amused themselves by chiseling from the Irish
monuments many of the symbols of the female power, removed also
the figures of serpents which had for ages appeared in connection
with the emblems of woman, and by this act won the plaudits of an
admiring Christian world; chiefly, however, for the skill
manifested in "banishing snakes from Ireland." In addition to
this dignified amusement, we find that the same person or set of
persons ordered to be burned hundreds of volumes of the choicest
Irish literature, volumes which contained the annals of the
ancient Irish nation, and in which, it is believed, was stored
much actual information concerning the remote antiquity of the
human race.

The extent to which the worship of the male emblems of generation
prevailed in the Christian Church even as late as the 16th
century, proves that it was not the particular symbols connected
with the worship of fertility upon which the Western Christian
missionaries made war, but, on the contrary, that it was the
recognition by them of that detested female element against
which, even before the erection of the Tower of Babel, there had
been almost a constant warfare. The rites of Potin, or Photin,
Bishop of Lyons, who was honored in Provence, Languedoc and the
Lyonais as St. Fontin, also the rites performed in many of the
Christian Churches as late as the 16th century, prove that the
devotees of the Christian system were not at this time a whit
behind their Pagan predecessors in their zeal for "heathen
abominations." The only difference being that the Druids, a
people who still retained a faint conception of ancient Nature
worship, had not become entirely divested of the purer ideas
which in an earlier age of the race had constituted a creative

That the war of the sexes was revived, and that for many
centuries much strife was engendered over the exact importance
which should be ascribed to the female element in the Deity may
not be doubted.

An ancient homily on Trinity Sunday has the following: "At the
deth of a manne, three bells should be ronge as his kuyl in
worship of the Trinitie, and for a woman, who was the Second
Person of the Trinitie two bells should be ronge." Upon this
subject Hargrave Jennings remarks: "Here we have the source of
the emblematic difficulty among the master masons who constructed
the earlier cathedrals, as to the addition, and as to the precise
value of the second (or feminine) tower of the Western end or
Galilee of the Church."[148]

[148] Rosicrucians, vol. i., p. 206.

The fact that the religion of the ancient Irish, who, were
phallic worshippers, was modified but not radically changed by
the introduction of Christianity, is believed by at least one of
the Irish historians of that country. He says:

"The church festivals themselves, in our Christian calendar, are
but the direct transfers from the Tuath-de-danaans' ritual.
Their very names in Irish are identically the same as those by
which they were distinguished by that early race. If, therefore,
surprise has heretofore been excited at the conformity observable
between our church institutions and those of the East, let it in
future subside at the explicit announcement that Christianity,
with us, was the revival of a religion imported amongst us many
ages before by the Tuath-de-danaans from the East, and not from
any chimerical inundation of Greek missionaries--a revival upon
which their hearts were lovingly riveted, and which Fiech, the
Bishop of Sletty, unconsciously registers in the following
couplet, viz.:

"The Buddhists of Irin prophesied
That new times of peace would come."[149]

[149] The Round Towers of Ireland, p. 493.

The conditions surrounding the ancient inhabitants of the "White
Island," or Ireland, a remnant of which people may be observed in
the Highlanders of Scotland, furnish an example of the fact that
a much higher standard of life had been preserved among them than
is known to have prevailed either among the Jews or the Greeks.
The comparatively advanced stage of progress which is now known
to have existed in Ireland at the beginning of the present era,
which even the bigotry and falsehood of Roman priestcraft have
not been able wholly to conceal, is seen to have been a somewhat
corrupted remnant of a civilization which followed closely on
ancient Nature worship.[150]

[150] It is thought by certain writers that when the Tuath-de-
danaans emigrated from Persia to the "White Island" they found it
inhabited by the Fir-Bolgs, a colony of Celts. After conquering
the island they engrafted upon it the religion, laws, learning
and culture of the mother country. In a later age the Scythians,
whose religion was similar to that of the Fir-Bolgs, united with
them and succeeded in making themselves masters of the situation.

Hence the intermingling of races and tongues among the ancient
Irish. The Druids adopted, or appropriated, the religion and
culture of the Tuath-de-danaans, who, it is claimed, were the
real Hibernians. The Scythians changed the name of Irin to
Scotia--the latter being retained until the 11th century.
According to the annals of the ancient Irish, Scotland was
formerly called Scotia Minor to distinguish it from Scotia Major,
or Ireland.

Because of their isolated position, or for some cause at present
unknown, these people do not seem to have degenerated into a
nation of sensualists. It is true they had departed a long
distance from the early conditions of mankind under which
altruism and the abstract principle of Light or Wisdom were
worshipped under the form of a Virgin Mother and her child, but
they never wholly rejected the female element in their god-idea,
nor never, so far as known, attempted to degrade womanhood.
Women were numbered among their legislators, at the same time
that they officiated as educators and priestesses. In fact
wherever the Druidical order prevailed women exerted a powerful
influence in all departments of human activity. Among the
Germans, Valleda, a Druidess, was for ages worshipped as a deity.

It is recorded that St. Bridget planted a monastery for women at
Kildare and entrusted to its inmates the keeping of the sacred
fire, and that in later times the Asiatic missionaries founded
there a female monkish order. After the establishment of Western
Christianity, however, no woman was permitted to enter into the
monasteries, and we are assured that this ridiculous affectation
of purity was extended even to the grave. During the earlier
ages of Christianity, in many portions of Ireland there were
cemeteries for men and women distinct from each other. "It had
been a breach of chastity for monks and nuns to be interred
within the same enclosure. They should fly from temptations
which they could not resist."

Although volumes have been written to prove that Christianity was
carried to Britain by Paul, and although the energies of scores
of Romish writers have been employed in attempting to prove that
Ireland was in heathen darkness prior to its conversion by the
priests of the Romish Church, yet these efforts so vigorously put
forward seem only to strengthen the evidence going to show that
the Christianity of the British Isles antedates that of either
Paul or Rome.

According to Scripture, Claudia, the wife of the Senator Pudens
of Britain, was a Christian,[151] as was also Graecina, the wife
of Plautus, who was governor of Britain in the first century.
The latter, it is related, was accused before the Roman senate of
"practicing some foreign superstition." Although Lingard, in his
History and Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church, has endeavored
to annul the force of the evidence which places two Christian
women from Britain in Rome during the first century of our era,
he is nevertheless constrained to use the following language: "We
are, indeed, told that history has preserved the names of two
British females, Claudia and Pomponia Graecina, both of them
Christians, and both living in the first century of our

[151] 2 Timothy, iv., 21.

[152] Vol. i., p. 1.

According to the Romanists, between the years 177-181 of the
Christian era, a British king named Lucius sent a messenger to
the authorities at Rome, with a request that he with his people
be admitted into the bosom of the "Holy Catholic Church." By
those not prejudiced in favor of the Romish hierarchy, this bit
of amusing "evidence" shows the anxiety manifested lest the facts
concerning the religious history of the British Isles become
known. Regarding this embassy of King Lucius there is an extant
version which is far more in accordance with reason and with the
known facts concerning this people.

When we remember the advanced stage of civilization which existed
in Ireland prior to the Christian era, and when we bear in mind
the fact that, as in the case of Abarras mentioned by various
Greek writers, the people of the British Isles were wont to send
emissaries abroad for the sole purpose of gathering information
relative to foreign laws, customs, usages, manners, and modes of
instruction, we are not surprised to learn that the message to
Rome sent by Lucius, instead of containing a request for
admission to a foreign church, embodied an enquiry into the
fundamental principles underlying Roman jurisprudence; and
especially does this appear reasonable when we remember that the
remodeling of the Roman code on principles of equity and justice
had for several centuries employed the energies of the best minds
in Rome.

Concerning the planting of Christianity in Ireland, we have the
following from Ledwich:

"Thus Bishop Lawrence in Bede tells us Pope Gregory sent him and
Austin to preach the Gospel in Britain, as if it never before had
been heard, whereas the latter met seven British Bishops who
nobly opposed him. In like manner Pope Adrian commissioned Henry
II. to enlarge the bounds of the church, and plant the faith in
Ireland, when it had already been evangelized for eight hundred
years. The faith to be planted was blind submission to Rome and
the annual payment of Peter's pence."[153]

[153] Antiquities of Ireland, p. 78.

Of the exact time at which Romish and Greek missionaries first
went to Ireland we are not informed, but there is ample evidence
going to prove that a regular hierarchy had been established in
that island before the beginning of the fifth century, and that
this religion which had been brought in through the efforts of
missionaries from the East was, by the legendary writers of the
later Christian Church, ascribed to Romish monks.

The Jealousy of the Romish priests, and the means employed by
them to usurp the ecclesiastical authority of the Irish people,
is shown in the history of their councils. The 5th canon of the
Council of Ceale-hythe requires

"that none of Irish extraction be permitted to usurp to himself
the sacred ministry in any one's diocese, nor let it be allowed
such an one to touch anything which belongs to those of the holy
order. . . .; neither must he administer the eucharist to the
people because we are not certain how or by whom he was

After quoting the above Ledwich queries thus: If St. Patrick had
been a missionary of the Romish Church, would the Anglo-Saxon
clergy have abjured the spiritual children of that see? In the
year 670 Theodoret, Archbishop of Canterbury, decreed that they
who were consecrated by Irish or British Bishops should be
confirmed anew by Catholic ones.[154]

[154] Ledwich, Antiquities of Ireland, p. 81.

It is observed that as early as the fourth century A.D. there
were three hundred bishops in Ireland, and to account for so
large a number, it is declared that ignorant legendary writers
had recourse to the fable of St. Patrick.

The remarkable "conversion" of the Irish to Romish Christianity,
which it is said took place in the latter part of the fourth
century or the beginning of the fifth, is to be explained by the
fact that a number of Romish priests or monks which in later ages
came to be designated as St. Patrick, claimed all the
monasteries, bishops, and priests already there as a result of
the remarkable power and pious zeal of this miracle-working
saint. It is claimed that St. Patrick founded over three
thousand monasteries, consecrated three hundred bishops, and
ordained three thousand priests.

According to Ledwich and other writers, this St. Patrick was not
heard of earlier than the ninth century A.D., and the legend
concerning him "was not accepted until the twelfth century, at
which time his miracles are set forth with great gusto."

Nothing, perhaps, which is recorded of this monk will go farther
toward proving him a myth than the miracles ascribed to his

While yet an infant he raised the dead, brought forth fire from
ice, expelled a devil from a heifer, caused a new river to appear
from the earth, and changed water into honey.

"These were but the infant sports of this wonder-working saint.
The miracles recorded in holy writ, even that of creation itself,
are paralleled, and, if possible, surpassed by those of our
spiritual hero."[155]

[155] Ledwich, Antiquities of Ireland.

Concerning St. Patrick, Forlong writes:

"Various Patricks followed from Britain and Armorika, but even
the Catholic priest, J. F. Shearman, writes that he is forced to
give up the idea that there ever was a real St. Patrick. Thus
the name must be accepted only in its Fatherly sense, and with
the fall of the man Patrick all the miraculous and sudden
conversions of the kings, lords, and commons of Ireland must

[156] Rivers of Life, vol. ii., p. 417.

The Irish Church bishoprics differed from the Romish in that they
were held by hereditary succession, after the custom of ancient
nations. All bishops were married.

Prior to the introduction of the Christian system in Ireland the
Sabian ceremonial had been succeeded by the Druidical, upon which
had been engrafted that of the Culdees, and notwithstanding the
fact that the Romish Church gradually usurped the ecclesiastical
functions in Ireland, the last named people who for ages had been
regarded as the depositaries of the ancient faith and the ancient
system of laws, were highly respected by the people for their
sanctity and learning. Many of the Greek and Roman writers who
have dealt with this subject agree in ascribing to the Druids a
high degree of scientific knowledge and mechanical skill. The
principles of justice set forth in their judicial system, their
love of learning, and the standard attained in the sciences and
arts, prove the early people of Ireland to have been equal if not
superior to any of the early historic nations.

In referring to the number and magnitude of the monumental
remains in Ireland, and while commenting on the mechanical skill
of the Druids, the Rev. Smedley says:

"I was present at the erection of the Luxor Obelisk in Paris, and
yet I think that I would have felt greater emotion if I had
witnessed the successful performance of the old Celtic engineer
who placed on its three pedestals of stone the enormous rock
which constitutes the Druidical altar here at Castle May."

It is believed that this people understood the art of mining and
that they were acquainted with the use of iron. The following is
an extract from one of Hamilton's letters on the Antrim coast:

"About the year 1770 the miners, in pushing forward an adit
toward the bed of coal, at an unexplored part of the Ballycastle
cliff, unexpectedly broke through the rock into a narrow passage,
so much contracted and choked up with various drippings and
deposits on its sides and bottom, as rendered it impossible for
any of the workmen to force through, that they might examine it
farther. Two lads were, therefore, made to creep in with
candles, for the purpose of exploring this subterranean avenue.
They accordingly pressed forward for a considerable time, with
much labor and difficulty, and at length entered into an
extensive labyrinth branching off into numerous apartments, in
the mazes and windings of which they were completely bewildered
and lost. After various vain attempts to return, their lights
were extinguished, their voices became hoarse, and, becoming
wearied and spiritless, they sat down together, in utter despair
of an escape from this miserable dungeon. In the meanwhile, the
workmen in the adit became alarmed for their safety, fresh hands
were incessantly employed, and, in the course of twenty-four
hours, the passage was so open as to admit the most active among
the miners . . . On examining this subterranean wonder, it was
found to be a complete gallery, which had been driven forward
many hundred yards to the bed of coal: that it branched off into
numerous chambers, where miners had carried on their different
works: that these chambers were dressed in a workmanlike manner:
that pillars were left at proper intervals to support the roof.
In short it was found to be an extensive mine, wrought by people
at least as expert in the business as the present generation.
Some remains of the tools, and even of the baskets used in the
works, were discovered, but in such a decayed state that, on
being touched, they immediately crumbled to pieces. From the
remains which were found, there is reason to believe that the
people who wrought these collieries anciently, were acquainted
with the use of iron, some small pieces of which were found; it
appeared as if some of their instruments had been thinly shod
with that metal."

Through various means the fact has been ascertained that although
in the sixth century the buildings in Ireland were mean and
wholly without artistic merit or skilful design, in an earlier
age they were magnificent. Of the causes which produced the
decay of architecture, the extinction of the arts and sciences,
and the general degradation of the people of this island the
devotees of St. Paul and of the Romish Church are alike silent.

For ages after the subjection of Ireland, in open defiance of the
English, the people continued to dispense justice, and to enforce
the old Brehon laws of the country.

The lack of regard shown for English law in Ireland, even as late
as the sixteenth century, is set forth by Baron Fingles, who
wrote in the time of Henry VIII. He says:

"It is a great abuse and reproach that the laws and statutes made
in this land are not observed nor kept after the making of them
eight days, while diverse Irishmen cloth abuse and keep such laws
and statutes which they make upon hills in this country, firm and
stable, without breaking them for any favor or reward."

By a statute of Parliament enacted at Kilkenny, it was made high
treason to administer or observe these old Brehon laws. The two
enactments especially obnoxious to the English were Gahail Cinne,
and Eiric. The former of these enactments was that which in
opposition to the English law of primogeniture declared that the
estate of a parent should descend in equal proportion to all
members of the family. There was another law, or custom, among
this people, which provided that the chief of the tribe or people
should be elected by general suffrage.

We have something more than a hint of the condition of ancient
Ireland and its people in a description given by the Greeks of
one of its inhabitants. Abarras, who visited Greece about six
hundred years before Christ, and who was called by the Greeks a
Hyperborean, was a priest of the Sun, who went abroad for the
purpose of study and observation, and to renew by his presence
and his gifts the old friendship which had long existed between
the Celts and the Greeks. Strabo remarks concerning Abarras that
he was much admired by the learned men of Greece. Himerius says
of him that he came

"not clad in skins like a Scythian, but with a bow in his hand,
and a quiver on his shoulders and a plaid wrapped about his body,
a gilded belt encircled his loins, and trousers reaching from his
waist downward to the soles of his feet. He was easy in his
address, agreeable in conversation, active in dispatch and secret
in the management of great affairs; quick in judging of present
occurrences, and ready to take his part in any sudden emergency;
provident, withal, in guarding against futurity; diligent in
quest of wisdom, fond of friendship; trusting very little to
fortune; yet having the entire confidence of others, and trusted
with everything for his prudence. He spoke Greek with so much
fluency that you would have thought that he had been bred or
brought up in the Lyceum and had conversed all his life with the
Academy of Athens. He had frequent intercourse with Pythagoras
whom he astonished by the variety and extent of his knowledge."

From the descriptions given of the native country of Abarras by
the Greeks, it is evident that it could have been none other than

Although at this time in their history, Apollo the sun-god was
the Deity worshipped in Greece and in Ireland, still both nations
honored Latona his mother. The same as in the mother country
(Persia, or Phoenicia), the oracles, or sybils of Ireland, had
prophesied a "Savior," and three hundred years before Greek
emissaries visited that country, its people, through the
preaching of Eastern missionaries, had substituted for the
worship of Latona and Apollo that of the new solar
incarnation--the third son of Zarathustra, whose appearance had
been heralded by a star.

The identity of the symbols used by the early people of Ireland
who were sun worshippers, and those employed in that country for
ages after the Romish Church had usurped the ecclesiastical
authority, has been a subject for much comment. After describing
the peculiar form of the early Christian Churches and the
attention paid to the placing of the windows which were to admit
the sun's rays, Smedley says: "It is possible, in an age of
allegory and figures, this combination and variety expressed some
sacred meaning with which we are unacquainted at present."

The similarity observed in the sacred festivals and religious
seasons of the ancient inhabitants of Ireland and those of the
early Christians, the extent to which large stone crosses,
lighted candles, the yule log and the various other symbols
belonging to fertility, or sun worship, were retained by
Christianity, furnish strong evidence of the fact that the latter
system is but part and parcel of the former.



"Throughout all the world, the first object of idolatry seems to
have been a plain unwrought stone, placed in the ground as an
emblem of the generative or procreative powers of Nature."[157]

[157] Celtic Druids, ch. vi., p. 209.

In the language of symbolism the upright stone prefigures either
a man, reproductive energy, or a god, all of which at a certain
stage in the human career had come to mean one and the same
thing; namely, the Creator.

In the earlier ages of male worship, upright stones as emblems of
the Deity were plain unwrought shafts, but in process of time
they began to be carved into the form of a man--a man who usually
represented the ruler or chief of the people, and who, as he was
the source of all power and wisdom, was supposed by the ignorant
masses to be an incarnation of the sun. Thus arose the spiritual
power of monarchs, or the "divine right of kings."

Wherever obelisks, columns, pillars, attenuated spires, upright
stones or crosses at the intersection of roads are found, they
always appear as sacred monuments, or as symbols of the Lingham

The Chaldean Tower of which there are extant traditions in Mexico
and in the South Sea Islands; the Round Towers of Ireland; the
remarkable group of stones known as Stonehenge, in England; the
wonderful circle at Abury through which the figure of a huge
serpent was passed; the monuments which throughout the nations of
the East were set up at the intersection of roads in the center
of market- places, and the bowing stones employed as oracles in
various portions of the world, have all the same signification,
and proclaim the peculiar religion of the people who worshipped

Whether as among the Jews in Egypt, a pillar is set up as a
"sign" and a "witness" to the Lord, or whether as with the
Mohammedans these figures appear as minarets with egg shaped
summits, or as among the Irish they stand forth as stately towers
defying time and the elements, or as among the Christians they
appear as the steeple which points towards heaven, the symbol
remains, and the original significance is the same.

The Lord of the Israelites who was wont to manifest himself to
his chosen people in a "pillar of smoke by day" and a "pillar of
fire by night" is said to be none other than a reproductive
emblem, as was also the "Lord" which "reposed in the ark of the
covenant." Monuments set up to symbolize the religion of the
Parsees or fire-worshippers after they had succumbed to the
pressure brought to bear upon them by the adorers of the male
principle were each and all of them, like their great prototype
the tower of Babel, typical of the universal creative power which
was worshipped as male.

Notwithstanding the fact that the male energy had come to be
recognized as the principal factor in reproduction, it is
observed that wherever these monuments or other symbols of
fertility appear, there is always to be found in close connection
with them certain emblems symbolical of the female power; thus
showing that although the people by whom they were erected had
become worshippers of the masculine principle, and although they
had persuaded themselves that it was the more important element
in the deity, they had not become so regardless of the truths of
Nature as to attempt to construct a Creator independently of its
most essential factor.

Protestant Christianity, probably the most intensely masculine of
all religious schemes which have claimed the attention of man,
has not wittingly retained any of the detested female emblems,
yet so deeply has the older symbolism taken root, that even in
the architecture of the modern Protestant church with its
ark-shaped nave and its window toward the rising sun, may be
detected the remnants of that early worship which the devotees of
this more recently developed form of religious faith so piously

The large number of upright columns, circles of stone, cromlechs
and cairns still extant in the British Isles, bears testimony to
the peculiar character of the religious worship which once
prevailed in them. Of these shrines perhaps none is more
remarkable than that of Stonehenge, in England. Although during
the numberless ages which have passed since this temple was
erected many of the stones have fallen from their original
places, still by the light of more recently established facts
concerning religious symbolism, it has been possible, even under
its present condition of decay, for scholars to unravel the
hitherto mysterious significance of this remarkable structure.
Stonehenge is composed of four circles of mammoth upright shafts
twenty feet high, the one circle within the other, with immense
stones placed across them like architraves.

In ancient symbolism the circle was the emblem of eternity, or of
the eternal female principle. Mountains were also sacred to the
gods. It has been said that a ring of mountains gave rise to
these circular temples. Faber assures us that a circular stone
temple was called the circle of the world or the circle of the
ark, that it represented at once the inclosure of the Noetic
Ship; the egg from which creation was produced; the earth, and
the zodiacal circle of the universe in which the sun performs its
annual revolutions through the signs. Stonehenge is said to be
the temple of the water god Noah, who, as we have seen, was first
worshipped as half woman and half fish or serpent, but who
finally came to be regarded as a man serpent (or fish) Deity.

On approaching Stonehenge from the Northeast, the first object
which engages the attention is a rude boulder, sixteen feet high,
in a leaning posture. This stone has been named the Friar's
Heel, but until recently its signification has been wholly

Regarding the upright shaft which stands sentinel over the
mysterious circles of mammoth stones called Stonehenge, Forlong
says that it is no Friar's Heel, but an emblem of fertility
dedicated to the Friday divinity. It is represented as the
"Genius of Fire," not the genius of ordinary fire, "but of the
super-sensual Divinity, celestial fire."

Regarding these remarkable stones to which the Lingham god is a
mere introduction, Forlong says:

"No one who has studied phallic and solar worship in the East
could make any mistake as to the purport of the shrine at
Stonehenge . . . yet the indelicacy of the whole subject often
so shocks the ordinary reader, that, in spite of facts, he cannot
grant what he thinks shows so much debasement of the religious
mind; facts are facts, however, and it only remains for us to
account for them. Perhaps indeed in these later times an
artificial and lower phase of sensuality has taken the place of
the more natural indulgence of the passions, for procreative
purposes, which principally engrossed the thoughts of early

[158] Rivers of Life, vol. ii., p. 233.

Higgins is of the opinion that Stonehenge is the work of the same
era with the caves of India, the pyramids of Egypt, and the
stupendous monument at Carnac--a structure which, it is claimed,
must have required for its construction an amount of labor equal
to that of the pyramids.

Undoubtedly there has never been a religious shrine which has
excited more curiosity than has Abury, of which, unfortunately,
nothing now remains, although in the early part of the eighteenth
century enough had been preserved to prove the identity of its
signification with other ancient religious monuments both in the
British Isles and in the countries of the East. Perhaps there is
no way by which this shrine can be better understood than by
quoting the exact language of those who have written upon the
subject. Especially is this true concerning the testimony of
those who, after personal investigation, have given to the public
the results of their research.

In the History of Wiltshisre, published by Sir R. Colt Hoare,
Bart., appears the following from Dr. Stukeley:

"The situation of Abury is finely chosen for the purpose it was
destined to, being the more elevated part of a plain, from whence
there is almost an imperceptible descent every way. But as the
religious work in Abury, though great in itself, is but a part of
the whole (the avenues stretching above a mile from it each way),
the situation of the whole design is projected with great
judgment, in a kind of large, separate plain, four or five miles
in diameter. Into this you descend on all sides from higher
ground. The whole Temple of Abury may be considered as a
picture, and it really is so. Therefore the founders wisely
contrived that a spectator have an advantageous prospect of it as
he appeared within view. When I frequented this place, which I
did for some years together, to take an exact account of it,
staying a fortnight at a time, I found out the entire work by
degrees. The second time I was here, an avenue was a new
amusement; the third year another. So that at length I
discovered the mystery of it, properly speaking, which was, that
the whole figure represented a snake transmitted through a
circle. This is an hieroglyphic or symbol of highest note and

"In order to put this design in execution, the founders well
studied their ground; and to make their representation more
natural, they artfully carried it over a variety of elevations
and depressions, which, with the curvature of the avenues,
produces sufficiently the desired effect. To make it still more
elegant and picture-like, the head of the snake is carried up the
southern promontory of Hackpen Hill, toward the village of West
Kennet; nay, the very name of the hill is derived from the
circumstance. . . . Thus our antiquity divides itself into
three great parts, which will be our rule in describing this
work. The circle at Abury, the forepart of the snake leading
toward Kennet, which I call Kennet Avenue; the hinder part of the
snake leading toward Beckhampton, which I call Beckhampton
Avenue; for they may be well looked on as avenues to the great
temple at Abury, which part must be most eminently called the

"The plan on which Abury was built, is that sacred hierogram of
the Egyptians and other ancient nations, the circle and snake.
The whole figure is the circle, snake, and wings. By this they
meant to picture out, as well as they could, the nature of the

The temple which represents the body of the snake is formed by a
circular agger of earth having its ditch withinside. As this is
contrary to the mode adopted in works of defence, it is thought
to prove the religious character of Abury. In a description
given of this shrine by Higgins is the following:

"These ramparts inclose an area of 1400 feet in diameter, which
on the edge nearest the ditch was set round with a row of rough,
unhewn stones, and in the center was ornamented with two circular
temples, composed of the same native stones."[159]

[159] Celtic Druids. Description of plates, p. xx.

The space of ground included within the vellum has been estimated
at twenty-two acres, and the outward circumvallation was computed
at 4800 feet. The number of stones that formed this outer circle
was originally one hundred, of which, in the year 1722, there
were eighteen standing, and twenty-seven thrown down.

In the village of Rudstone in Yorkshire there stands a huge
stone, the significance of which, at the present time, is by
scholars clearly understood. Its depth below the surface of the
ground is said to be equal to its height above, which is
twenty-four feet. It is five feet ten inches broad, and two feet
thick, its weight being upwards of forty tons.[160]

[160] See Rivers of Life.

The gigantic rocking stones found in nearly every quarter of the
globe are now known to be religious monuments of remote
antiquity. Not long ago I saw a description of one of these
oracles in Buenos-Ayres, South America, and a few months later
there appeared the following account of a similar stone found in
Sullivan Co., N. Y.:

"At first sight it would scarcely attract attention, but a closer
observation reveals the remarkable position which it occupies.
The total weight of the immense boulder has been variously
estimated at from forty to fifty tons, and its bulk at from 500
to 700 cubic feet. It is almost perfectly round, much resembling
a huge orange, and so nicely balanced on a table of stone as to
be easily set in motion by a single man, providing the operator
exerts his strength on the north or south sides. On either of
the other sides the combined strength of forty elephants would
not be sufficient to cause the least oscillation. Although it is
easily rocked, we are assured that as many men as could surround
it would be unable to dislodge it from the pivot on which it

[161] The St. Louis (Mo.) Republican.

The writer of the above, who was evidently ignorant of the extent
to which these monuments are scattered over the earth, seemed to
regard it as a singular freak of Nature with no significance
other than that of a natural curiosity.

The round towers of Ireland, over the origin of which there has
in the past been so much controversy, are now pretty generally
admitted to be analogous in their use and design to Stonehenge,
Abury, and other extant monolithic structures.

Many writers have endeavored to prove that these towers were
belfries used in connection with Christian churches; others that
they were purgatorial columns or penitential heights, similar in
design to the pillar of St. Simeon Stylites. Others again have
argued that they were used as beacons and others that they were
intended simply as receptacles for the sacred fire known to have
formerly been in use in the British Isles. Although numberless
arguments have been brought forward to refute these theories, it
is thought that the expensive architecture alone of the elegant
and stately columns known as Round Towers contradicts all these
"guesses," and that their grandeur and almost absolute
indestructibility proclaim for them a different origin from that
of the lowly and miserable huts which in a later age were erected
beside them for purposes of worship by the Romish Christians.
The same objection is made also against the theory that these
monuments were erected in memory of the several defeats of the
Danes. As an answer to the argument that they were erected by
the Danes to celebrate their victories, it is declared that such
is the character of the hieroglyphics upon them as to make this
theory worthless. Besides, throughout the country of the Danes
and Ostmen, there is nowhere to be found an example of
architectural splendor such as is displayed in the construction
of these columns. In the north of Scotland was one of these
monuments upon which were depicted war-like scenes, horses and
their riders, warriors brandishing their weapons, and troops
shouting for victory, while on the other side was a sumptuous
cross, beneath which were two figures, the one evidently female,
the other male.

In Cordiner's Antiquities of Scotland is a description of an
elaborately carved obelisk. On one side of this column appears a
mammoth cross, and underneath it are figures of uncouth animals.
Among these carvings are to be seen the Bulbul of Iran, the Boar
of Vishnu, the elk, the fox, the lamb, and a number of dancing
human figures. In fact all the configurations are not only in
their nature and import essentially Eastern, but are actually the
symbols of the various animal forms under which "the people of
the East contemplated the properties of the Godhead."

Carnac, in upper Egypt, is a monolith of the same symbolic
character. It is hewn from a solid block of black granite and is
eighty feet high.

Henry O'Brien, a cultured Irishman, who when in London became, in
his own line of investigation, one of the chief contributors to
Fraser's Magazine while at its best, in response to a call by the
Royal Irish Academy for productions relating to the origin and
use of the Round Towers, declared that they were erected by a
colony of Tuath-de-danaans, or Lingham worshippers from Persia,
who had left their native land because of the victories gained
over them by their rivals--the Pish de-danaans--a sect of Yoni
worshippers; in other words, the sect which recognized the female
element as the superior agency in reproduction, and who,
therefore, worshipped it as divine. In the devastating wars
which swept over Persia and the other countries of antiquity
prior to the age of the later Zoroaster, the Pish-de danaans were
victorious, and, driving from the country the Tuath-de danaans,
or male worshippers, succeeded in re-establishing, and for a time
maintaining, the old form of worship. O'Brien claims that the
Tuath-de-danaans who were expelled from Persia emigrated to
Ireland, and there continued or preserved their favorite form of
worship, the Round Towers having been erected by them in
conformity to their peculiar religious views. This writer
assures us that the old Irish tongue bears unmistakable evidence
of the relation existing between these countries. In addition to
the similarity of language which is found to exist between
ancient Ireland or Iren, and Persia or Iran, the same writer
observes that in all their customs, religious observances, and
emblems, the resemblance is preserved.

Much regret has been expressed by all the writers who have dealt
with this subject that at an earlier age when Stonehenge, Abury,
and various other of the ancient monumental shrines of the
British Isles were in a better state of preservation, and before
bigotry and religious hatred had been aroused against them, more
minute observations of their character and of all the details
surrounding them could not have been made; yet, notwithstanding
the late date at which these investigations were begun, it is
believed that a fair amount of success has crowned the efforts
which have been put forth to unravel the mysteries bound up in

When we remember that every detail connected with the sacred
monuments of the ancients was full of significance that their
religious ideas were all portrayed by means of symbols which
appeared in connection with their sacred edifices--the extent to
which a thorough understanding of these details would assist in
revealing the mysteries involved in the universal religious
conceptions may in a measure be realized.

The identity of the symbols used to express religious ideas, and
the extent to which the conceptions of a creative force have been
connected in all portions of the globe, are set forth in the
following from Barlow:

"A complete history of religious symbolism should embrace all the
religions of antiquity no less than the Christian, and it would
require as thorough a knowledge of their tenets as of our own to
explain satisfactorily its influence in regulating the practice
of art."[162]

[162] Symbolism, p. 10.



Although the sun was formerly worshipped as the source of all
good, at a certain stage in the human career it came to be
regarded as the cause of all evil. When Typhon Seth comprehended
the powers of Nature, as the Destroyer and Regenerator she was
the author of all good; but later, after the truths underlying
Nature worship were lost, Typhon, the hot wind of the desert, was
feared rather than worshipped.

In the history of an earlier age of existence, there is not to be
found the slightest trace of human sacrifice to atone for the
sins of the people, or to appease the wrath of an offended God.
On the contrary, throughout the traditions and monumental records
of the most ancient nations, sacrifices to the Deity-- the God of
Nature--consisted simply in the acknowledgment of earth's
benefits by means of a free-will offering of the bounties which
she had brought forth.

That the sacrifice either of human beings or of animals was not
offered in an earlier age of religious faith is confidently
asserted and, I think, proved by various writers. Of this
Higgins says: "I think a time may be perceived when it did not
exist even among the Western nations." This writer states also
that it was not always practiced at Delphi. Mention is made of
the fact that among the Buddhists, to whom belongs the first book
of Genesis, no bloody sacrifices were ever offered.

It was doubtless under the worship of Muth, Neith, or Minerva,
the first emanation from the deity and the original Buddha, that
the first book of Genesis or Wisdom was written. In this book
may be observed the fact that the slaughter of animals is
forbidden. It is thought that with Crishna, Hercules, and the
worshippers of the sun in Aries, the sacrifice of human beings
and animals began. In the second book of Genesis, which is said
to be a Brahmin work, animals are first used for sacrifice, and
in the third book, or the book of Generations or Re-generations
of the race of man or the Adam, which was written after the pure
doctrines connected with the worship of Wisdom had been
corrupted, they are first allowed to be eaten as food.

It is supposed that the practice of sacrificing human beings and
animals took its rise in the western parts of the world after the
sun entered Aries, and that it subsequently extended even to the
followers of the Tauric worship, among whom it was carried to a
frightful extent. It is also thought that the history of Cain
and Abel is an allegory of the followers of Crishna to justify
their sacrifice of the yajna or lamb "in opposition to the
Buddhist offering of bread and wine, or water, made by Cain and
practiced by Melchizedek."[163]

[163] Anacalypsis, vol. i., p. 101.

It is now positively known that all over the world, during a
certain stage of religious belief, either human beings or animals
were, at stated seasons, sacrificed to the Deity. Of the
universality of this practice Faber says:

"Throughout the whole world we find a notion prevalent that the
gods could be appeased only by bloody sacrifices. Now this idea
is so thoroughly arbitrary, there being no obvious and necessary
connection, in the way of cause and effect, between slaughtering
a man or a beast, and recovering of the divine favor by the
slaughterers, that its very universality involves the necessity
of concluding that all nations have borrowed it from some common

[164] The Origin of Pagan Idolatry, vol. i., book 2, p. 465.

Dr. Shuckford is constrained to admit that the sacrifices and
ceremonies of purification practiced by Abraham and his
descendants and those of surrounding peoples, were identical,
with only "such trifling changes as distance of countries and
length of time might be expected to produce." The substitution
of a lamb in the place of Isaac would seem to indicate a change
from child-slaughter to that of animals.

Sacrifices were offerings to the god of pro- creation. Certain
representatives of the life which he had bestowed must be
returned to him as a free-will gift. In many countries, the
victims offered to the deity were captives taken in war; but, as
prisoners of war and slaves were not permitted to join in the
battles of their captors, their lives were of little value;
hence, later, it is observed that the sacrificial victim must be
a prince or an individual whose life was of great importance to
the tribe.

As in all hot countries the heat of the sun is the most
destructive agency against which mankind have to contend, it is
not perhaps singular, at a time when superstition had usurped the
functions of the reasoning powers, that the sun-god should have
been invested with the attributes inspired by terror, and that so
far as possible, mankind should have deemed it necessary to
propitiate its wrath, and, by rendering to it suitable offerings
and sacrifices, they should have hoped to avert the calamities
incident to its displeasure. Neither is it remarkable when we
remember the peculiar circumstances surrounding the Jews, and the
fact that the offerings demanded by their god was the life which
he had bestowed, that the sacrifices offered to Moloch, the fire
god, should have been the members of their own household--namely,
their children.

We must not forget that the reward promised this people by
prophet, priest, and diviner for godliness was extreme
fruitfulness of body. We have seen that to obtain this mark of
godly favor, or, under pretense of serving their god, the form of
worship prescribed by their priests, and adopted both in their
households and in their temples was pre-eminently sensual, and
calculated to stimulate and encourage to the highest extent their
lower or animal nature.

As the size of a man's family, or his power to reproduce, was an
index to his favor with the Almighty the pleasure of the "Lord"
in this matter being but the reflection of his own desires, the
result as might reasonably be expected was overpopulation to such
an extent that the means of subsistence within the small boundary
of Judea was inadequate to supply the demands of the swarming
masses of "God's children"--children which had been created for
his honor and glory. Surely some plan must be devised whereby
these difficulties might be adjusted, and that, too, to use a
modern expression, without flying in the face of Providence. As
the Lord had been honored and man blessed in the mere bringing
forth of offspring, what better scheme, so soon as such blessings
became too numerous, than to return a certain number of them to
the giver, the god of Moloch? It is true that by this process
children were born only to be delivered over to the ravages of
the fire- god, but by it, was not their deity both served and
appeased at the same time that population was kept within the
bounds of subsistence? That great numbers were thus sacrificed is
only too apparent from the accounts in the Jewish
scriptures--Abraham's acts and those of Jephtha being examples of
the manner in which this god was propitiated.

In Micah, vi. chap., 7th verse, occurs an interrogation which
furnishes something more than a hint of the practice among the
Jews of child sacrifice. "Shall I give my first born for my
transgressions, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?"

Although there is sufficient evidence to prove the enormous
extent to which the practice of child sacrifice prevailed among
the Jews, it is believed that much more proof would be found, had
it not, in later times, with a view to concealing the extent of
this practice, been expunged from their sacred writings. Moloch
was to the Jews what Siva came to be to the Hindoos, namely, the
Terrible. It is plain, however, that Siva was not formerly
feared in India, but next to Vishnu was the best beloved of all
their gods. Siva was originally the androgyne god who was not
only the Destroyer, but the beneficent Regenerator and purifier.
It was the cold of winter and the heat of the sun. It was a
conception which was a direct outgrowth of Nature worship or of
that religious idea which was portrayed by a mother and her

The conception involved in sacrifice seems to be that of a
payment for services rendered, or desired. The Amazulus, when
going to battle, sacrifice to the manes of their ancestors, who,
as older branches of the tree of life, appear to constitute their
god-idea. This is done that their gods "may have no cause of
complaint, because they have made amends to them and made them
bright." On appearing before the enemy they say: "Can it be,
since we have made amends to the Amadhlozi, that they will say we
have wronged them by anything?"[165]

[165] Viscount Amberley, Analysis of Religious Belief, vol. i.,
p. 32.

At a certain stage in human history the various peoples of the
globe depended upon excessive numbers for their prosperity, hence
the most precious offering to the god of pro-creation was that of
human victims.

In India, when a new colony or city was founded, in order to
insure its prosperity, large numbers of children were delivered
over as a bribe or offering of reconciliation to the god of
virility. The enormous extent to which human sacrifice has
prevailed in India, in Egypt, in Mexico, among the Carthaginians,
the Jews, the Druids, and even among the Greeks and Romans, is
well attested.

From the records of extant history, it would seem that human
sacrifice usually accompanies a certain stage of sun-worship.
Among the Aztecs in Mexico, a country in which the sun was a
universal object of reverence and in which one of the prescribed
duties of the boys trained in the temple was that of keeping
alive the sacred fires, the immolation of victims became the most
prominent feature of their public worship. We are distinctly
told, however, that human sacrifice was not formerly practiced in
Mexico, but that finally here as elsewhere, the idea became
prevalent that by sacrificing human victims to the god of
Destruction, his wrath might be appeased and the people saved
from his vengeance. It is stated that human sacrifices were
adopted by the Aztecs early in the fourteenth century, about two
hundred years before the conquest. "Rare at first, they became
more frequent with the wider extent of their empire; till, at
length, almost every festival was closed with this cruel

Notwithstanding these atrocities, in their conceptions of a
future state of existence, and especially in their disposition of
the unregenerate after death, are to be observed certain traces
of human feeling and refined sensibility which are difficult to
reconcile with the cruelty practiced in their religious rites,
and which bear a striking contrast to the physical torture, to
which after death the wicked are subjected not only in Mexico,
but in countries professing a high stage of civilization and

Of their religious observances, those which had doubtless been
inherited from an older civilization, Prescott, quoting from
Torquemada and Sahagun, says:

"Many of their ceremonies were of a light and cheerful
complexion, consisting of the national songs and dances, in which
both sexes joined. Processions were made of women and children
crowned with garlands and bearing offerings of fruits, the
ripened maize, or the sweet incense of copal and other
odoriferous gums, while the altars of the deity were stained with
no blood save that of animals. These were the peaceful rites
derived from their Toltec predecessors."[166]

[166] See Conquest of Mexico, book I, chap. iii., p. 74.

Prior to the days of Montezuma, the Aztec priests had engrafted
upon these simple ceremonies not only a burdensome ceremonial,
and a polytheism similar to that of Eastern nations, but, as we
have seen, human sacrifices and even cannibalism had become
prominent features in religious worship. Throughout the entire
ceremonial and religious conceptions of the Aztecs may be
observed a display of the savage and brutal elements in human
nature, in close connection with unmistakable evidence of a once
higher stage of culture and refinement.

In the later ages of Aztec history their most exalted deity was
Huitzilopotchi, the Mexican Moses, the god of war. His temples
were the most costly and magnificent among the public edifices in
the country, and his image bedecked with ornaments was an
universal object of adoration. At the dedication of his temple
in the year 1486 more than seventy thousand captives are said to
have perished.[167]

[167] Torquemada.

A Deity which occupied a conspicuous place in the mythology, and
which was probably an inheritance from more ancient times, was
Quetzalcoatl, doubtless the same as the Eastern Goddess of
Nature, or Wisdom. She was the "grain goddess," and "received
offerings of fruit and flowers at her two great festivals. She
also took care of the growth of corn. She was doubtless the same
as the Earth Mother of the Finns and Esths, she who "undertakes
the task of bringing forth the fruits." She is evidently the
Demeter of the Greeks, the Ceres of the Romans, etc. She is also
the goddess of Wisdom, for she had "instructed the nations in the
use of metals, in agriculture, and in the art of government."
Under this Deity the

"Earth had teemed with fruits and flowers without the pains of
culture. An ear of Indian corn was as much as a single man could
carry. The cotton, as it grew, took, of its own accord, the rich
dies of human art. The air was filled with intoxicating perfumes
and the sweet melody of birds. In short, these were the halcyon
days, which find a place in the mythic systems of so many nations
throughout the world. It was the golden age of Anuhuac."

We are given to understand that for some cause not explained the
beneficent god Quetzalcoatl was banished, that he (or she) was
deposed through the influence of some deity which had become more
popular, or, at least, more powerful; but that when Quetzalcoatl
departed from the country "in a winged skiff made of serpent
skins," it was with a promise to return to the faithful, which
promise was sacredly cherished down to the time of the Spanish

The Mexican Mars, Huitzilopotchi, was born of a virgin. His
mother, a devout person, while at her devotions in the temple saw
floating before her a bright colored feather ball, which she
seized and placed in her bosom. She soon became pregnant, her
offspring being a god, who like Minerva appeared full armed with
spear and helmet.

Although the exact manner in which the Mexicans sacrificed to
their Deity to atone for the sins of the people differs somewhat
from the modus operandi employed in the Christian vicarious
atonement, still the likeness existing between them is sufficient
to indicate the fact of their common origin and the similar
manner of their development.

The Mexicans were wont to select a young and handsome man from
their midst, whom they invested with the dignity of a god. After
having surrounded him with every luxury, and when they had
showered upon him every attention, crowning him with flowers and
worshipping him for a year or more as a Savior, they killed him,
offering him as an atonement or sacrifice, in order that the rest
of the people might escape the vengeance of their great Deity,
who, it was claimed, is pleased with such offerings, and who
demands sacrifices of this kind at the hands of his children.
Within blood was contained life, hence the offering of a bloody
victim was but the returning to their god, as a free-will gift
that which he had bestowed, such sacrifice being regarded as the
only acceptable means of grace or reconciliation.

That the offering of a victim to the Jewish God was deemed
necessary to the fulfilment of Christian doctrine is a fact which
is clearly shown by numerous passages in the New Testament. "We
are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ
once for all." "By one offering he hath perfected forever them
that are sanctified."[168] "Christ was once offered to bear the
sins of many."[169]

[168] Hebrews, x., 10, 14.

[169] Ibid., ix., 28.

That the Jewish Paschal feasts and the Eucharistic rites of
Christians had their counterpart among the Mexicans is observed
in the fact that shortly after the death of their god, cakes
which had been prepared and blessed by the priests were offered
by them to the people to be eaten as the veritable body of their
sacrificed lord.

The source whence the doctrine of an atonement --a bloody
sacrifice which lies at the foundation of Christian theology--has
proceeded is not at the present time difficult to determine, for
we shall presently see that it, like all the leading doctrines
contained in this later system, and which are regarded as
exclusively Christian, had its origin in the religion of past
ages, a religion which although originally pure, in course of
time degenerated into the grossest phallicism and even into human
sacrifice and cannibalism.

Although among the Mexicans as among the Jews, human sacrifices
were offered to the Deity, no hint of gross and sensual rites
practiced in the temples of the latter is recorded. Hence, as
the Mexicans had not arrived at that stage of religious progress
(?) at which sensuality inculcated as a sacred duty, and at which
moral and physical debasement was encouraged both in public and
private life, we may reasonably conclude that their faith
represents a somewhat earlier stage of development than does that
of either Jew or Greek. In point of morality, as judged by the
most ancient standards, or by the more modern, the Mexicans
compare favorably with either of these nationalities. Indeed
when we compare the social, religious, and civil conditions of
Mexico as we find them under Montezuma with those of the Jews
under David or Solomon, or with those of the Greeks under Solon,
or even with those of the Christians during the Spanish
Inquisition when thousands upon thousands, not of captives taken
in war, but of the noblest and best of the land, were yearly
slaughtered for "the glory of God," there is quite as much to
meet the approval of an enlightened conscience under the first
named system as under that of any one of the other three.

By priests the fact has long been understood that effects may be
produced through appeals to the religious or emotional nature
which under other circumstances would be impossible; and as, for
thousands of years, it has been the special business of this
class to formulate creeds for the ignorant masses, religious

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