torsdag 16 januari 2014

Judgment, therefore, begins with the harlot, as in privileges the house of God. Part 2


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop 


Part 2

Chapter II
Section II
Sub-Section III
The Child in Greece

Thus much for Egypt. Coming into Greece, not only do we find evidence there to the same effect, but increase of that evidence. The god worshipped as a child in the arms of the great Mother in Greece, under the names of Dionysus, or Bacchus, or Iacchus, is, by ancient inquirers, expressly identified with the Egyptian Osiris. This is the case with Herodotus, who had prosecuted his inquiries in Egypt itself, who ever speaks of Osiris as Bacchus. To the same purpose is the testimony of Diodorus Siculus. ”Orpheus,” says he, ”introduced from Egypt the greatest part of the mystical ceremonies, the orgies that celebrate the wanderings of Ceres, and the whole fable of the shades below. The rites of Osiris and Bacchus are the same; those of Isis and Ceres exactly resemble each other, except in name.” Now, as if to identify Bacchus with Nimrod, ”the Leopard-tamer,” leopards were employed to draw his car; he himself was represented as clothed with a leopard’s skin; his priests were attired in the same manner, or when a leopard’s skin was dispensed with, the spotted skin of a fawn was used as a priestly robe in its stead. This very custom of wearing the spotted fawn-skin seems to have been imported into Greece originally from Assyria, where a spotted fawn was a sacred emblem, as we learn from the Nineveh sculptures; for there we find a divinity bearing a spotted fawn or spotted fallow-deer, in his arm, as a symbol of some mysterious import. The origin of the importance attached to the spotted fawn and its skin had evidently come thus: When Nimrod, as ”the Leopard-tamer,” began to be clothed in the leopard-skin, as the trophy of his skill, his spotted dress and appearance must have impressed the imaginations of those who saw him; and he came to be called not only the ”Subduer of the Spotted one” (for such is the precise meaning of Nimr–the name of the leopard), but to be called ”The spotted one” himself. We have distinct evidence to this effect borne by Damascius, who tells us that the Babylonians called ”the only son” of the great goddess-mother ”Momis, or Moumis.” Now, Momis, or Moumis, in Chaldee, like Nimr, signified ”The spotted one.” Thus, then, it became easy to represent Nimrod by the symbol of the ”spotted fawn,” and especially in Greece, and wherever a pronunciation akin to that of Greece prevailed. The name of Nimrod, as known to the Greeks, was Nebrod. * The name of the fawn, as ”the spotted one,” in Greece was Nebros; ** and thus nothing could be more natural than that Nebros, the ”spotted fawn,” should become a synonym for Nebrod himself. When, therefore, the Bacchus of Greece was symbolised by the Nebros, or ”spotted fawn,” as we shall find he was symbolised, what could be the design but just covertly to identify him with Nimrod?
* In the Greek Septuagint, translated in Egypt, the name of Nimrod is ”Nebrod.”
** Nebros, the name of the fawn, signifies ”the spotted one.” Nmr, in Egypt, would also become Nbr; for Bunsen shows that m and b in that land were often convertible.
We have evidence that this god, whose emblem was the Nebros, was known as having the very lineage of Nimrod. From Anacreon, we find that a title of Bacchus was Aithiopais–i.e., ”the son of Aethiops.” But who was Aethiops? As the Aethiopians were Cushites, so Aethiops was Cush. ”Chus,” says Eusebius, ”was he from whom came the Aethiopians.” The testimony of Josephus is to the same effect. As the father of the Aethiopians, Cush was Aethiops, by way of eminence. Therefore Epiphanius, referring to the extraction of Nimrod, thus speaks: ”Nimrod, the son of Cush, the Aethiop.” Now, as Bacchus was the son of Aethiops, or Cush, so to the eye he was represented in that character. As Nin ”the Son,” he was portrayed as a youth or child; and that youth or child was generally depicted with a cup in his hand. That cup, to the multitude, exhibited him as the god of drunken revelry; and of such revelry in his orgies, no doubt there was abundance; but yet, after all, the cup was mainly a hieroglyphic, and that of the name of the god. The name of a cup, in the sacred language, was khus, and thus the cup in the hand of the youthful Bacchus, the son of Aethiops, showed that he was the young Chus, or the son of Chus. In a woodcut, the cup in the right hand of Bacchus is held up in so significant a way, as naturally to suggest that it must be a symbol; and as to the branch in the other hand, we have express testimony that it is a symbol. But it is worthy of notice that the branch has no leaves to determine what precise kind of a branch it is. It must, therefore, be a generic emblem for a branch, or a symbol of a branch in general; and, consequently, it needs the cup as its complement, to determine specifically what sort of a branch it is. The two symbols, then, must be read together, and read thus, they are just equivalent to–the ”Branch of Chus”–i.e., ”the scion or son of Cush.” *
* Everyone knows that Homer’s odzos Areos, or ”Branch of Mars,” is the same as a ”Son of Mars.” The hieroglyphic above was evidently formed on the same principle. That the cup alone in the hand of the youthful Bacchus was intended to designate him ”as the young Chus,” or ”the boy Chus,” we may fairly conclude from a statement of Pausanias, in which he represents ”the boy Kuathos” as acting the part of a cup-bearer, and presenting a cup to Hercules (PAUSANIAS Corinthiaca) Kuathos is the Greek for a ”cup,” and is evidently derived from the Hebrew Khus, ”a cup,” which, in one of its Chaldee forms, becomes Khuth or Khuath. Now, it is well known that the name of Cush is often found in the form of Cuth, and that name, in certain dialects, would be Cuath. The ”boy Kuathos,” then, is just the Greek form of the ”boy Cush,” or ”the young Cush.”
There is another hieroglyphic connected with Bacchus that goes not a little to confirm this–that is, the Ivy branch. No emblem was more distinctive of the worship of Bacchus than this. Wherever the rites of Bacchus were performed, wherever his orgies were celebrated, the Ivy branch was sure to appear. Ivy, in some form or other, was essential to these celebrations. The votaries carried it in their hands, bound it around their heads, or had the Ivy leaf even indelibly stamped upon their persons. What could be the use, what could be the meaning of this? A few words will suffice to show it. In the first place, then, we have evidence that Kissos, the Greek name for Ivy, was one of the names of Bacchus; and further, that though the name of Cush, in its proper form, was known to the priests in the Mysteries, yet that the established way in which the name of his descendants, the Cushites, was ordinarily pronounced in Greece, was not after the Oriental fashion, but as ”Kissaioi,” or ”Kissioi.” Thus, Strabo, speaking of the inhabitants of Susa, who were the people of Chusistan, or the ancient land of Cush, says: ”The Susians are called Kissioi,” * –that is beyond all question, Cushites.
* STRABO. In Hesychius, the name is Kissaioi. The epithet applied to the land of Cush in Aeschylus is Kissinos. The above accounts for one of the unexplained titles of Apollo. ”Kisseus Apollon” is plainly ”The Cushite Apollo.”
Now, if Kissioi be Cushites, then Kissos is Cush. Then, further, the branch of Ivy that occupied so conspicuous a place in all Bacchanalian celebrations was an express symbol of Bacchus himself; for Hesychius assures us that Bacchus, as represented by his priest, was known in the Mysteries as ”The branch.” From this, then, it appears how Kissos, the Greek name of Ivy, became the name of Bacchus. As the son of Cush, and as identified with him, he was sometimes called by his father’s name–Kissos. His actual relation, however, to his father was specifically brought out by the Ivy branch, for ”the branch of Kissos,” which to the profane vulgar was only ”the branch of Ivy,” was to the initiated ”The branch of Cush.” *
* The chaplet, or head-band of Ivy, had evidently a similar hieroglyphical meaning to the above, for the Greek ”Zeira Kissou” is either a ”band or circlet of Ivy,” or ”The seed of Cush.” The formation of the Greek ”Zeira,” a zone or enclosing band, from the Chaldee Zer, to encompass, shows that Zero ”the seed,” which was also pronounced Zeraa, would, in like manner, in some Greek dialects, become Zeira. Kissos, ”Ivy,” in Greek, retains the radical idea of the Chaldee Khesha or Khesa, ”to cover or hide,” from which there is reason to believe the name of Cush is derived, for Ivy is characteristically ”The coverer or hider.” In connection with this, it may be stated that the second person of the Phoenician trinity was Chursorus (WILKINSON), which evidently is Chus-zoro, ”The seed of Cush.” We have already seen that the Phoenicians derived their mythology from Assyria.
Now, this god, who was recognised as ”the scion of Cush,” was worshipped under a name, which, while appropriate to him in his vulgar character as the god of the vintage, did also describe him as the great Fortifier. That name was Bassareus, which, in its two-fold meaning, signified at once ”The houser of grapes, or the vintage gatherer,” and ”The Encompasser with a wall,” * in this latter sense identifying the Grecian god with the Egyptian Osiris, ”the strong chief of the buildings,” and with the Assyrian ”Belus, who encompassed Babylon with a wall.”
* Bassareus is evidently from the Chaldee Batzar, to which both Gesenius and Parkhurst give the two-fold meaning of ”gathering in grapes,” and ”fortifying.” Batzar is softened into Bazzar in the very same way as Nebuchadnetzar is pronounced Nebuchadnezzar. In the sense of ”rendering a defence inaccessible,” Gesenius adduces Jeremiah 51:53, ”Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify (tabatzar) the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord.” Here is evident reference to the two great elements in Babylon’s strength, first her tower; secondly, her massive fortifications, or encompassing walls. In making the meaning of Batzar to be, ”to render inaccessible,” Gesenius seems to have missed the proper generic meaning of the term. Batzar is a compound verb, from Ba, ”in,” and Tzar, ”to compass,” exactly equivalent to our English word ”en-compass.”
Thus from Assyria, Egypt, and Greece, we have cumulative and overwhelming evidence, all conspiring to demonstrate that the child worshipped in the arms of the goddess-mother in all these countries in the very character of Ninus or Nin, ”The Son,” was Nimrod, the son of Cush. A feature here, or an incident there, may have been borrowed from some succeeding hero; but it seems impossible to doubt, that of that child Nimrod was the prototype, the grand original.
The amazing extent of the worship of this man indicates something very extraordinary in his character; and there is ample reason to believe, that in his own day he was an object of high popularity. Though by setting up as king, Nimrod invaded the patriarchal system, and abridged the liberties of mankind, yet he was held by many to have conferred benefits upon them, that amply indemnified them for the loss of their liberties, and covered him with glory and renown. By the time that he appeared, the wild beasts of the forest multiplying more rapidly than the human race, must have committed great depredations on the scattered and straggling populations of the earth, and must have inspired great terror into the minds of men. The danger arising to the lives of men from such a source as this, when population is scanty, is implied in the reason given by God Himself for not driving out the doomed Canaanites before Israel at once, though the measure of their iniquity was full (Exo 23:29,30): ”I will not drive them out from before thee in one year, lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased.” The exploits of Nimrod, therefore, in hunting down the wild beasts of the field, and ridding the world of monsters, must have gained for him the character of a pre-eminent benefactor of his race. By this means, not less than by the bands he trained, was his power acquired, when he first began to be mighty upon the earth; and in the same way, no doubt, was that power consolidated. Then, over and above, as the first great city-builder after the flood, by gathering men together in masses, and surrounding them with walls, he did still more to enable them to pass their days in security, free from the alarms to which they had been exposed in their scattered life, when no one could tell but that at any moment he might be called to engage in deadly conflict with prowling wild beasts, in defence of his own life and of those who were dear to him. Within the battlements of a fortified city no such danger from savage animals was to be dreaded; and for the security afforded in this way, men no doubt looked upon themselves as greatly indebted to Nimrod. No wonder, therefore, that the name of the ”mighty hunter,” who was at the same time the prototype of ”the god of fortifications,” should have become a name of renown. Had Nimrod gained renown only thus, it had been well. But not content with delivering men from the fear of wild beasts, he set to work also to emancipate them from that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom, and in which alone true happiness can be found. For this very thing, he seems to have gained, as one of the titles by which men delighted to honour him, the title of the ”Emancipator,” or ”Deliverer.” The reader may remember a name that has already come under his notice. That name is the name of Phoroneus. The era of Phoroneus is exactly the era of Nimrod. He lived about the time when men had used one speech, when the confusion of tongues began, and when mankind was scattered abroad. He is said to have been the first that gathered mankind into communities, the first of mortals that reigned, and the first that offered idolatrous sacrifices. This character can agree with none but that of Nimrod. Now the name given to him in connection with his ”gathering men together,” and offering idolatrous sacrifice, is very significant. Phoroneus, in one of its meanings, and that one of the most natural, signifies the ”Apostate.” * That name had very likely been given him by the uninfected portion of the sons of Noah. But that name had also another meaning, that is, ”to set free”; and therefore his own adherents adopted it, and glorified the great ”Apostate” from the primeval faith, though he was the first that abridged the liberties of mankind, as the grand ”Emancipator!” ** And hence, in one form or other, this title was handed down to this deified successors as a title of honour. ***
* From Pharo, also pronounced Pharang, or Pharong, ”to cast off, to make naked, to apostatise, to set free.” These meanings are not commonly given in this order, but as the sense of ”casting off” explains all the other meanings, that warrants the conclusion that ”to cast off” is the generic sense of the word. Now ”apostacy” is very near akin to this sense, and therefore is one of the most natural.
** The Sabine goddess Feronia had evidently a relation to Phoroneus, as the ”Emancipator.” She was believed to be the ”goddess of liberty,” because at Terracina (or Anuxur) slaves were emancipated in her temple (Servius, in Aeneid), and because the freedmen of Rome are recorded on one occasion to have collected a sum of money for the purpose of offering it in her temple. (SMITH’S Classical Dictionary, ”Feronia”)
*** Thus we read of ”Zeus Aphesio” (PAUSANIAS, Attica), that is ”Jupiter Liberator” and of ”Dionysus Eleuthereus” (PAUSANIAS), or ”Bacchus the Deliverer.” The name of Theseus seems to have had the same origin, from nthes ”to loosen,” and so to set free (the n being omissible). ”The temple of Theseus” [at Athens] says POTTER ”…was allowed the privilege of being a Sanctuary for slaves, and all those of mean condition that fled from the persecution of men in power, in memory that Theseus, while he lived, was an assister and protector of the distressed.”
All tradition from the earliest times bears testimony to the apostacy of Nimrod, and to his success in leading men away from the patriarchal faith, and delivering their minds from that awe of God and fear of the judgments of heaven that must have rested on them while yet the memory of the flood was recent. And according to all the principles of depraved human nature, this too, no doubt, was one grand element in his fame; for men will readily rally around any one who can give the least appearance of plausibility to any doctrine which will teach that they can be assured of happiness and heaven at last, though their hearts and natures are unchanged, and though they live without God in the world.
How great was the boon conferred by Nimrod on the human race, in the estimation of ungodly men, by emancipating them from the impressions of true religion, and putting the authority of heaven to a distance from them, we find most vividly described in a Polynesian tradition, that carries its own evidence with it. John Williams, the well known missionary, tells us that, according to one of the ancient traditions of the islanders of the South Seas, ”the heavens were originally so close to the earth that men could not walk, but were compelled to crawl” under them. ”This was found a very serious evil; but at length an individual conceived the sublime idea of elevating the heavens to a more convenient height. For this purpose he put forth his utmost energy, and by the first effort raised them to the top of a tender plant called teve, about four feet high. There he deposited them until he was refreshed, when, by a second effort, he lifted them to the height of a tree called Kauariki, which is as large as the sycamore. By the third attempt he carried them to the summits of the mountains; and after a long interval of repose, and by a most prodigious effort, he elevated them to their present situation.” For this, as a mighty benefactor of mankind, ”this individual was deified; and up to the moment that Christianity was embraced, the deluded inhabitants worshipped him as the ‘Elevator of the heavens.’” Now, what could more graphically describe the position of mankind soon after the flood, and the proceedings of Nimrod as Phoroneus, ”The Emancipator,” * than this Polynesian fable?
* The bearing of this name, Phoroneus, ”The Emancipator,” will be seen in Chapter III, Section I, ”Christmas,” where it is shown that slaves had a temporary emancipation at his birthday.
While the awful catastrophe by which God had showed His avenging justice on the sinners of the old world was yet fresh in the minds of men, and so long as Noah, and the upright among his descendants, sought with all earnestness to impress upon all under their control the lessons which that solemn event was so well fitted to teach, ”heaven,” that is, God, must have seemed very near to earth. To maintain the union between heaven and earth, and to keep it as close as possible, must have been the grand aim of all who loved God and the best interests of the human race. But this implied the restraining and discountenancing of all vice and all those ”pleasures of sin,” after which the natural mind, unrenewed and unsanctified, continually pants. This must have been secretly felt by every unholy mind as a state of insufferable bondage. ”The carnal mind is enmity against God,” is ”not subject to His law,” neither indeed is ”able to be” so. It says to the Almighty, ”Depart from us, for we desire not the knowledge of Thy ways.” So long as the influence of the great father of the new world was in the ascendant, while his maxims were regarded, and a holy atmosphere surrounded the world, no wonder that those who were alienated from God and godliness, felt heaven and its influence and authority to be intolerably near, and that in such circumstances they ”could not walk,” but only ”crawl,”–that is, that they had no freedom to ”walk after the sight of their own eyes and the imaginations of their own hearts.” From this bondage Nimrod emancipated them. By the apostacy he introduced, by the free life he developed among those who rallied around him, and by separating them from the holy influences that had previously less or more controlled them, he helped them to put God and the strict spirituality of His law at a distance, and thus he became the ”Elevator of the heavens,” making men feel and act as if heaven were afar off from earth, and as if either the God of heaven ”could not see through the dark cloud,” or did not regard with displeasure the breakers of His laws. Then all such would feel that they could breathe freely, and that now they could walk at liberty. For this, such men could not but regard Nimrod as a high benefactor.
Now, who could have imagined that a tradition from Tahiti would have illuminated the story of Atlas? But yet, when Atlas, bearing the heavens on his shoulders, is brought into juxtaposition with the deified hero of the South Seas, who blessed the world by heaving up the superincumbent heavens that pressed so heavily upon it, who does not see that the one story bears a relation to the other? *
* In the Polynesian story the heavens and earth are said to have been ”bound together with cords,” and the ”severing” of these cords is said to have been effected by myriads of ”dragon-flies,” which, with their ”wings,” bore an important share in the great work. (WILLIAMS) Is there not here a reference to Nimrod’s `63 ”mighties” or ”winged ones”? The deified ”mighty ones” were often represented as winged serpents. See WILKINSON, vol. iv. p. 232, where the god Agathodaemon is represented as a ”winged asp.” Among a rude people the memory of such a representation might very naturally be kept up in connection with the ”dragon-fly”; and as all the mighty or winged ones of Nimrod’s age, the real golden age of paganism, when ”dead, became daemons” (HESIOD, Works and Days), they would of course all alike be symbolised in the same way. If any be stumbled at the thought of such a connection between the mythology of Tahiti and of Babel, let it not be overlooked that the name of the Tahitian god of war was Oro (WILLIAMS), while ”Horus (or Orus),” as Wilkinson calls the son of Osiris, in Egypt, which unquestionably borrowed its system from Babylon, appeared in that very character. (WILKINSON) Then what could the severing of the ”cords” that bound heaven and earth together be, but just the breaking of the bands of the covenant by which God bound the earth to Himself, when on smelling a sweet savour in Noah’s sacrifice, He renewed His covenant with him as head of the human race. This covenant did not merely respect the promise to the earth securing it against another universal deluge, but contained in its bosom a promise of all spiritual blessings to those who adhere to it. The smelling of the sweet savour in Noah’s sacrifice had respect to his faith in Christ. When, therefore, in consequence of smelling that sweet savour, ”God blessed Noah and his sons” (Gen 9:1), that had reference not merely to temporal but to spiritual and eternal blessings. Every one, therefore, of the sons of Noah, who had Noah’s faith, and who walked as Noah walked, was divinely assured of an interest in ”the everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and sure.” Blessed were those bands by which God bound the believing children of men to Himself–by which heaven and earth were so closely joined together. Those, on the other hand, who joined in the apostacy of Nimrod broke the covenant, and in casting off the authority of God, did in effect say, ”Let us break His bands asunder, and cast His cords from us.” To this very act of severing the covenant connection between earth and heaven there is very distinct allusion, though veiled, in the Babylonian history of Berosus. There Belus, that is Nimrod, after having dispelled the primeval darkness, is said to have separated heaven and earth from one another, and to have orderly arranged the world. (BEROSUS, in BUNSEN) These words were intended to represent Belus as the ”Former of the world.” But then it is a new world that he forms; for there are creatures in existence before his Demiurgic power is exerted. The new world that Belus or Nimrod formed, was just the new order of things which he introduced when, setting at nought all Divine appointments, he rebelled against Heaven. The rebellion of the Giants is represented as peculiarly a rebellion against Heaven. To this ancient quarrel between the Babylonian potentates and Heaven, there is plainly an allusion in the words of Daniel to Nebuchadnezzar, when announcing that sovereign’s humiliation and subsequent restoration, he says (Dan 4:26), ”Thy kingdom shall be sure unto thee, when thou hast known that the HEAVENS do rule.”
Thus, then, it appears that Atlas, with the heavens resting on his broad shoulders, refers to no mere distinction in astronomical knowledge, however great, as some have supposed, but to a quite different thing, even to that great apostacy in which the Giants rebelled against Heaven, and in which apostacy Nimrod, ”the mighty one,” * as the acknowledged ringleader, occupied a pre-eminent place. **
* In the Greek Septuagint, translated in Egypt, the term ”mighty” as applied in Genesis 10:8, to Nimrod, is rendered the ordinary name for a ”Giant.”
** IVAN and KALLERY, in their account of Japan, show that a similar story to that of Atlas was known there, for they say that once a day the Emperor ”sits on his throne upholding the world and the empire.” Now something like this came to be added to the story of Atlas, for PAUSANIAS shows that Atlas also was represented as upholding both earth and heaven.
According to the system which Nimrod was the grand instrument in introducing, men were led to believe that a real spiritual change of heart was unnecessary, and that so far as change was needful, they could be regenerated by mere external means. Looking at the subject in the light of the Bacchanalian orgies, which, as the reader has seen, commemorated the history of Nimrod, it is evident that he led mankind to seek their chief good in sensual enjoyment, and showed them how they might enjoy the pleasures of sin, without any fear of the wrath of a holy God. In his various expeditions he was always accompanied by troops of women; and by music and song, and games and revelries, and everything that could please the natural heart, he commended himself to the good graces of mankind.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter II
Section II
Sub-Section IV
The Death of the Child
How Nimrod died, Scripture is entirely silent. There was an ancient tradition that he came to a violent end. The circumstances of that end, however, as antiquity represents them, are clouded with fable. It is said that tempests of wind sent by God against the Tower of Babel overthrew it, and that Nimrod perished in its ruins. This could not be true, for we have sufficient evidence that the Tower of Babel stood long after Nimrod’s day. Then, in regard to the death of Ninus, profane history speaks darkly and mysteriously, although one account tells of his having met with a violent death similar to that of Pentheus, Lycurgus, * and Orpheus, who were said to have been torn in pieces. **
* Lycurgus, who is commonly made the enemy of Bacchus, was, by the Thracians and Phrygians, identified with Bacchus, who it is well known, was torn in pieces.
** LUDOVICUS VIVES, Commentary on Augustine. Ninus as referred to by Vives is called ”King of India.” The word ”India” in classical writers, though not always, yet commonly means Ethiopia, or the land of Cush. Thus the Choaspes in the land of the eastern Cushites is called an ”Indian River” (DIONYSIUS AFER. Periergesis); and the Nile is said by Virgil to come from the ”coloured Indians” (Georg)–i.e., from the Cushites, or Ethiopians of Africa. Osiris also is by Diodorus Siculus (Bibliotheca), called ”an Indian by extraction.” There can be no doubt, then, that ”Ninus, king of India,” is the Cushite or Ethiopian Ninus.
The identity of Nimrod, however, and the Egyptian Osiris, having been established, we have thereby light as to Nimrod’s death. Osiris met with a violent death, and that violent death of Osiris was the central theme of the whole idolatry of Egypt. If Osiris was Nimrod, as we have seen, that violent death which the Egyptians so pathetically deplored in their annual festivals was just the death of Nimrod. The accounts in regard to the death of the god worshipped in the several mysteries of the different countries are all to the same effect. A statement of Plato seems to show, that in his day the Egyptian Osiris was regarded as identical with Tammuz; * and Tammuz is well known to have been the same as Adonis, the famous HUNTSMAN, for whose death Venus is fabled to have made such bitter lamentations.
* See WILKINSON’S Egyptians. The statement of Plato amounts to this, that the famous Thoth was a counsellor of Thamus, king of Egypt. Now Thoth is universally known as the ”counsellor” of Osiris. Hence it may be concluded that Thamus and Osiris are the same.
As the women of Egypt wept for Osiris, as the Phoenician and Assyrian women wept for Tammuz, so in Greece and Rome the women wept for Bacchus, whose name, as we have seen, means ”The bewailed,” or ”Lamented one.” And now, in connection with the Bacchanal lamentations, the importance of the relation established between Nebros, ”The spotted fawn,” and Nebrod, ”The mighty hunter,” will appear. The Nebros, or ”spotted fawn,” was the symbol of Bacchus, as representing Nebrod or Nimrod himself. Now, on certain occasions, in the mystical celebrations, the Nebros, or ”spotted fawn,” was torn in pieces, expressly, as we learn from Photius, as a commemoration of what happened to Bacchus, * whom that fawn represented.
* Photius, under the head ”Nebridzion” quotes Demosthenes as saying that ”spotted fawns (or nebroi) were torn in pieces for a certain mystic or mysterious reason”; and he himself tells us that ”the tearing in pieces of the nebroi (or spotted fawns) was in imitation of the suffering in the case of Dionysus” or Bacchus. (PHOTIUS, Lexicon)
The tearing in pieces of Nebros, ”the spotted one,” goes to confirm the conclusion, that the death of Bacchus, even as the death of Osiris, represented the death of Nebrod, whom, under the very name of ”The Spotted one,” the Babylonians worshipped. Though we do not find any account of Mysteries observed in Greece in memory of Orion, the giant and mighty hunter celebrated by Homer, under that name, yet he was represented symbolically as having died in a similar way to that in which Osiris died, and as having then been translated to heaven. *
* See OVID’S Fasti. Ovid represents Orion as so puffed up with pride on account of his great strength, as vain-gloriously to boast that no creature on earth could cope with him, whereupon a scorpion appeared, ”and,” says the poet, ”he was added to the stars.” The name of a scorpion in Chaldee is Akrab; but Ak-rab, thus divided, signifies ”THE GREAT OPPRESSOR,” and this is the hidden meaning of the Scorpion as represented in the Zodiac. That sign typifies him who cut off the Babylonian god, and suppressed the system he set up. It was while the sun was in Scorpio that Osiris in Egypt ”disappeared” (WILKINSON), and great lamentations were made for his disappearance. Another subject was mixed up with the death of the Egyptian god; but it is specially to be noticed that, as it was in consequence of a conflict with a scorpion that Orion was ”added to the stars,” so it was when the scorpion was in the ascendant that Osiris ”disappeared.”
From Persian records we are expressly assured that it was Nimrod who was deified after his death by the name of Orion, and placed among the stars. Here, then, we have large and consenting evidence, all leading to one conclusion, that the death of Nimrod, the child worshipped in the arms of the goddess-mother of Babylon, was a death of violence.
Now, when this mighty hero, in the midst of his career of glory, was suddenly cut off by a violent death, great seems to have been the shock that the catastrophe occasioned. When the news spread abroad, the devotees of pleasure felt as if the best benefactor of mankind were gone, and the gaiety of nations eclipsed. Loud was the wail that everywhere ascended to heaven among the apostates from the primeval faith for so dire a catastrophe. Then began those weepings for Tammuz, in the guilt of which the daughters of Israel allowed themselves to be implicated, and the existence of which can be traced not merely in the annals of classical antiquity, but in the literature of the world from Ultima Thule to Japan.
Of the prevalence of such weepings in China, thus speaks the Rev. W. Gillespie: ”The dragon-boat festival happens in midsummer, and is a season of great excitement. About 2000 years ago there lived a young Chinese Mandarin, Wat-yune, highly respected and beloved by the people. To the grief of all, he was suddenly drowned in the river. Many boats immediately rushed out in search of him, but his body was never found. Ever since that time, on the same day of the month, the dragon-boats go out in search of him.” ”It is something,” adds the author, ”like the bewailing of Adonis, or the weeping for Tammuz mentioned in Scripture.” As the great god Buddh is generally represented in China as a Negro, that may serve to identify the beloved Mandarin whose loss is thus annually bewailed. The religious system of Japan largely coincides with that of China. In Iceland, and throughout Scandinavia, there were similar lamentations for the loss of the god Balder. Balder, through the treachery of the god Loki, the spirit of evil, according as had been written in the book of destiny, ”was slain, although the empire of heaven depended on his life.” His father Odin had ”learned the terrible secret from the book of destiny, having conjured one of the Volar from her infernal abode. All the gods trembled at the knowledge of this event. Then Frigga [the wife of Odin] called on every object, animate and inanimate, to take an oath not to destroy or furnish arms against Balder. Fire, water, rocks, and vegetables were bound by this solemn obligation. One plant only, the mistletoe, was overlooked. Loki discovered the omission, and made that contemptible shrub the fatal weapon. Among the warlike pastimes of Valhalla [the assembly of the gods] one was to throw darts at the invulnerable deity, who felt a pleasure in presenting his charmed breast to their weapons. At a tournament of this kind, the evil genius putting a sprig of the mistletoe into the hands of the blind Hoder, and directing his aim, the dreaded prediction was accomplished by an unintentional fratricide. The spectators were struck with speechless wonder; and their misfortune was the greater, that no one, out of respect to the sacredness of the place, dared to avenge it. With tears of lamentation they carried the lifeless body to the shore, and laid it upon a ship, as a funeral pile, with that of Nanna his lovely bride, who had died of a broken heart. His horse and arms were burnt at the same time, as was customary at the obsequies of the ancient heroes of the north.” Then Frigga, his mother, was overwhelmed with distress. ”Inconsolable for the loss of her beautiful son,” says Dr. Crichton, ”she despatched Hermod (the swift) to the abode of Hela [the goddess of Hell, or the infernal regions], to offer a ransom for his release. The gloomy goddess promised that he should be restored, provided everything on earth were found to weep for him. Then were messengers sent over the whole world, to see that the order was obeyed, and the effect of the general sorrow was ‘as when there is a universal thaw.’” There are considerable variations from the original story in these two legends; but at bottom the essence of the stories is the same, indicating that they must have flowed from one fountain.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter II
Section II
Sub-Section V
The Deification of the Child
If there was one who was more deeply concerned in the tragic death of Nimrod than another, it was his wife Semiramis, who, from an originally humble position, had been raised to share with him the throne of Babylon. What, in this emergency shall she do? Shall she quietly forego the pomp and pride to which she has been raised! No. Though the death of her husband has given a rude shock to her power, yet her resolution and unbounded ambition were in nowise checked. On the contrary, her ambition took a still higher flight. In life her husband had been honoured as a hero; in death she will have him worshipped as a god, yea, as the woman’s promised Seed, ”Zero-ashta,” * who was destined to bruise the serpent’s head, and who, in doing so, was to have his own heel bruised.
* Zero–in Chaldee, ”the seed”–though we have seen reason to conclude that in Greek it sometimes appeared as Zeira, quite naturally passed also into Zoro, as may be seen from the change of Zerubbabel in the Greek Septuagint to Zoro-babel; and hence Zuro-ashta, ”the seed of the woman” became Zoroaster, the well known name of the head of the fire-worshippers. Zoroaster’s name is also found as Zeroastes (JOHANNES CLERICUS, De Chaldoeis). The reader who consults the able and very learned work of Dr. Wilson of Bombay, on the Parsi Religion, will find that there was a Zoroaster long before that Zoroaster who lived in the reign of Darius Hystaspes. In general history, the Zoroaster of Bactria is most frequently referred to; but the voice of antiquity is clear and distinct to the effect that the first and great Zoroaster was an Assyrian or Chaldean (SUIDAS), and that he was the founder of the idolatrous system of Babylon, and therefore Nimrod. It is equally clear also in stating that he perished by a violent death, even as was the case with Nimrod, Tammuz, or Bacchus. The identity of Bacchus and Zoroaster is still further proved by the epithet Pyrisporus, bestowed on Bacchus in the Orphic Hymns. When the primeval promise of Eden began to be forgotten, the meaning of the name Zero-ashta was lost to all who knew only the exoteric doctrine of Paganism; and as ”ashta” signified ”fire” in Chaldee, as well as ”the woman,” and the rites of Bacchus had much to do with fire-worship, ”Zero-ashta” came to be rendered ”the seed of fire”; and hence the epithet Pyrisporus, or Ignigena, ”fire-born,” as applied to Bacchus. From this misunderstanding of the meaning of the name Zero-ashta, or rather from its wilful perversion by the priests, who wished to establish one doctrine for the initiated, and another for the profane vulgar, came the whole story about the unborn infant Bacchus having been rescued from the flames that consumed his mother Semele, when Jupiter came in his glory to visit her. (Note to OVID’S Metam.)
There was another name by which Zoroaster was known, and which is not a little instructive, and that is Zar-adas, ”The only seed.” (JOHANNES CLERICUS, De Chaldoeis) In WILSON’S Parsi Religion the name is given either Zoroadus, or Zarades. The ancient Pagans, while they recognised supremely one only God, knew also that there was one only seed, on whom the hopes of the world were founded. In almost all nations, not only was a great god known under the name of Zero or Zer, ”the seed,” and a great goddess under the name of Ashta or Isha, ”the woman”; but the great god Zero is frequently characterised by some epithet which implies that he is ”The only One.” Now what can account for such names or epithets? Genesis 3:15 can account for them; nothing else can. The name Zar-ades, or Zoro-adus, also strikingly illustrates the saying of Paul: ”He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ.”
It is worthy of notice, that the modern system of Parseeism, which dates from the reform of the old fire-worship in the time of Darius Hystaspes, having rejected the worship of the goddess-mother, cast out also from the name of their Zoroaster the name of the ”woman”; and therefore in the Zend, the sacred language of the Parsees, the name of their great reformer is Zarathustra–i.e., ”The Delivering Seed,” the last member of the name coming from Thusht (the root being–Chaldee–nthsh, which drops the initial n), ”to loosen or set loose,” and so to free. Thusht is the infinitive, and ra appended to it is, in Sanscrit, with which the Zend has much affinity, the well known sign of the doer of an action, just as er is in English. The Zend Zarathushtra, then, seems just the equivalent of Phoroneus, ”The Emancipator.”
The patriarchs, and the ancient world in general, were perfectly acquainted with the grand primeval promise of Eden, and they knew right well that the bruising of the heel of the promised seed implied his death, and that the curse could be removed from the world only by the death of the grand Deliverer. If the promise about the bruising of the serpent’s head, recorded in Genesis, as made to our first parents, was actually made, and if all mankind were descended from them, then it might be expected that some trace of this promise would be found in all nations. And such is the fact. There is hardly a people or kindred on earth in whose mythology it is not shadowed forth. The Greeks represented their great god Apollo as slaying the serpent Pytho, and Hercules as strangling serpents while yet in his cradle. In Egypt, in India, in Scandinavia, in Mexico, we find clear allusions to the same great truth. ”The evil genius,” says Wilkinson, ”of the adversaries of the Egyptian god Horus is frequently figured under the form of a snake, whose head he is seen piercing with a spear. The same fable occurs in the religion of India, where the malignant serpent Calyia is slain by Vishnu, in his avatar of Crishna; and the Scandinavian deity Thor was said to have bruised the head of the great serpent with his mace.” ”The origin of this,” he adds, ”may be readily traced to the Bible.” In reference to a similar belief among the Mexicans, we find Humboldt saying, that ”The serpent crushed by the great spirit Teotl, when he takes the form of one of the subaltern deities, is the genius of evil–a real Kakodaemon.” Now, in almost all cases, when the subject is examined to the bottom, it turns out that the serpent destroying god is represented as enduring hardships and sufferings that end in his death. Thus the god Thor, while succeeding at last in destroying the great serpent, is represented as, in the very moment of victory, perishing from the venomous effluvia of his breath. The same would seem to be the way in which the Babylonians represented their great serpent-destroyer among the figures of their ancient sphere. His mysterious suffering is thus described by the Greek poet Aratus, whose language shows that when he wrote, the meaning of the representation had been generally lost, although, when viewed in this light of Scripture, it is surely deeply significant:–
”A human figure, ‘whelmed with toil, appears;
Yet still with name uncertain he remains;
Nor known the labour that he thus sustains;
But since upon his knees he seems to fall,
Him ignorant mortals Engonasis call;
And while sublime his awful hands are spread,
Beneath him rolls the dragon’s horrid head,
And his right foot unmoved appears to rest,
Fixed on the writhing monster’s burnished crest.”
The constellation thus represented is commonly known by the name of ”The Kneeler,” from this very description of the Greek poet; but it is plain that, as ”Eugonasis” came from the Babylonians, it must be interpreted, not in a Greek, but in a Chaldee sense, and so interpreted, as the action of the figure itself implies, the title of the mysterious sufferer is just ”The Serpent-crusher.” Sometimes, however the actual crushing of the serpent was represented as a much more easy process; yet, even then, death was the ultimate result; and that death of the serpent-destroyer is so described as to leave no doubt whence the fable was borrowed. This is particularly the case with the Indian god Crishna, to whom Wilkinson alludes in the extract already given. In the legend that concerns him, the whole of the primeval promise in Eden is very strikingly embodied. First, he is represented in pictures and images with his foot on the great serpent’s head, and then, after destroying it, he is fabled to have died in consequence of being shot by an arrow in the foot; and, as in the case of Tammuz, great lamentations are annually made for his death. Even in Greece, also, in the classic story of Paris and Achilles, we have a very plain allusion to that part of the primeval promise, which referred to the bruising of the conqueror’s ”heel.” Achilles, the only son of a goddess, was invulnerable in all points except the heel, but there a wound was deadly. At that his adversary took aim, and death was the result.
Now, if there be such evidence still, that even Pagans knew that it was by dying that the promised Messiah was to destroy death and him that has the power of death, that is the Devil, how much more vivid must have been the impression of mankind in general in regard to this vital truth in the early days of Semiramis, when they were so much nearer the fountain-head of all Divine tradition. When, therefore, the name Zoroaster, ”the seed of the woman,” was given to him who had perished in the midst of a prosperous career of false worship and apostacy, there can be no doubt of the meaning which that name was intended to convey. And the fact of the violent death of the hero, who, in the esteem of his partisans, had done so much to bless mankind, to make life happy, and to deliver them from the fear of the wrath to come, instead of being fatal to the bestowal of such a title upon him, favoured rather than otherwise the daring design. All that was needed to countenance the scheme on the part of those who wished an excuse for continued apostacy from the true God, was just to give out that, though the great patron of the apostacy had fallen a prey to the malice of men, he had freely offered himself for the good of mankind. Now, this was what was actually done. The Chaldean version of the story of the great Zoroaster is that he prayed to the supreme God of heaven to take away his life; that his prayer was heard, and that he expired, assuring his followers that, if they cherished due regard for his memory, the empire would never depart from the Babylonians. What Berosus, the Babylonian historian, says of the cutting off of the head of the great god Belus, is plainly to the same effect. Belus, says Berosus, commanded one of the gods to cut off his head, that from the blood thus shed by his own command and with his own consent, when mingled with the earth, new creatures might be formed, the first creation being represented as a sort of a failure. Thus the death of Belus, who was Nimrod, like that attributed to Zoroaster, was represented as entirely voluntary, and as submitted to for the benefit of the world.
It seems to have been now only when the dead hero was to be deified, that the secret Mysteries were set up. The previous form of apostacy during the life of Nimrod appears to have been open and public. Now, it was evidently felt that publicity was out of the question. The death of the great ringleader of the apostacy was not the death of a warrior slain in battle, but an act of judicial rigour, solemnly inflicted. This is well established by the accounts of the deaths of both Tammuz and Osiris. The following is the account of Tammuz, given by the celebrated Maimonides, deeply read in all the learning of the Chaldeans: ”When the false prophet named Thammuz preached to a certain king that he should worship the seven stars and the twelve signs of the Zodiac, that king ordered him to be put to a terrible death. On the night of his death all the images assembled from the ends of the earth into the temple of Babylon, to the great golden image of the Sun, which was suspended between heaven and earth. That image prostrated itself in the midst of the temple, and so did all the images around it, while it related to them all that had happened to Thammuz. The images wept and lamented all the night long, and then in the morning they flew away, each to his own temple again, to the ends of the earth. And hence arose the custom every year, on the first day of the month Thammuz, to mourn and to weep for Thammuz.” There is here, of course, all the extravagance of idolatry, as found in the Chaldean sacred books that Maimonides had consulted; but there is no reason to doubt the fact stated either as to the manner or the cause of the death of Tammuz. In this Chaldean legend, it is stated that it was by the command of a ”certain king” that this ringleader in apostacy was put to death. Who could this king be, who was so determinedly opposed to the worship of the host of heaven? From what is related of the Egyptian Hercules, we get very valuable light on this subject. It is admitted by Wilkinson that the most ancient Hercules, and truly primitive one, was he who was known in Egypt as having, ”by the power of the gods” * (i.e., by the SPIRIT) fought against and overcome the Giants.
* The name of the true God (Elohim) is plural. Therefore, ”the power of the gods,” and ”of God,” is expressed by the same term.
Now, no doubt, the title and character of Hercules were afterwards given by the Pagans to him whom they worshipped as the grand deliverer or Messiah, just as the adversaries of the Pagan divinities came to be stigmatised as the ”Giants” who rebelled against Heaven. But let the reader only reflect who were the real Giants that rebelled against Heaven. They were Nimrod and his party; for the ”Giants” were just the ”Mighty ones,” of whom Nimrod was the leader. Who, then, was most likely to head the opposition to the apostacy from the primitive worship? If Shem was at that time alive, as beyond question he was, who so likely as he? In exact accordance with this deduction, we find that one of the names of the primitive Hercules in Egypt was ”Sem.”
If ”Sem,” then, was the primitive Hercules, who overcame the Giants, and that not by mere physical force, but by ”the power of God,” or the influence of the Holy Spirit, that entirely agrees with his character; and more than that, it remarkably agrees with the Egyptian account of the death of Osiris. The Egyptians say, that the grand enemy of their god overcame him, not by open violence, but that, having entered into a conspiracy with seventy-two of the leading men of Egypt, he got him into his power, put him to death, and then cut his dead body into pieces, and sent the different parts to so many different cities throughout the country. The real meaning of this statement will appear, if we glance at the judicial institutions of Egypt. Seventy-two was just the number of the judges, both civil and sacred, who, according to Egyptian law, were required to determine what was to be the punishment of one guilty of so high an offence as that of Osiris, supposing this to have become a matter of judicial inquiry. In determining such a case, there were necessarily two tribunals concerned. First, there were the ordinary judges, who had power of life and death, and who amounted to thirty, then there was, over and above, a tribunal consisting of forty-two judges, who, if Osiris was condemned to die, had to determine whether his body should be buried or no, for, before burial, every one after death had to pass the ordeal of this tribunal. *
* DIODORUS. The words of Diodorus, as printed in the ordinary editions, make the number of the judges simply ”more than forty,” without specifying how many more. In the Codex Coislianus, the number is stated to be ”two more than forty.” The earthly judges, who tried the question of burial, are admitted both by WILKINSON and BUNSEN, to have corresponded in number to the judges of the infernal regions. Now, these judges, over and above their president, are proved from the monuments to have been just forty-two. The earthly judges at funerals, therefore, must equally have been forty-two. In reference to this number as applying equally to the judges of this world and the world of spirits, Bunsen, speaking of the judgment on a deceased person in the world unseen, uses these words in the passage above referred to: ”Forty-two gods (the number composing the earthly tribunal of the dead) occupy the judgment-seat.” Diodorus himself, whether he actually wrote ”two more than forty,” or simply ”more than forty,” gives reason to believe that forty-two was the number he had present to his mind; for he says, that ”the whole of the fable of the shades below,” as brought by Orpheus from Egypt, was ”copied from the ceremonies of the Egyptian funerals,” which he had witnessed at the judgment before the burial of the dead. If, therefore, there were just forty-two judges in ”the shades below,” that even, on the showing of Diodorus, whatever reading of his words be preferred, proves that the number of the judges in the earthly judgment must have been the same.
As burial was refused him, both tribunals would necessarily be concerned; and thus there would be exactly seventy-two persons, under Typho the president, to condemn Osiris to die and to be cut in pieces. What, then, does the statement account to, in regard to the conspiracy, but just to this, that the great opponent of the idolatrous system which Osiris introduced, had so convinced these judges of the enormity of the offence which he had committed, that they gave up the offender to an awful death, and to ignominy after it, as a terror to any who might afterwards tread in his steps. The cutting of the dead body in pieces, and sending the dismembered parts among the different cities, is paralleled, and its object explained, by what we read in the Bible of the cutting of the dead body of the Levite’s concubine in pieces (Judges 19:29), and sending one of the parts to each of the twelve tribes of Israel; and the similar step taken by Saul, when he hewed the two yoke of oxen asunder, and sent them throughout all the coasts of his kingdom (1 Sam 11:7). It is admitted by commentators that both the Levite and Saul acted on a patriarchal custom, according to which summary vengeance would be dealt to those who failed to come to the gathering that in this solemn way was summoned. This was declared in so many words by Saul, when the parts of the slaughtered oxen were sent among the tribes: ”Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done to his oxen.” In like manner, when the dismembered parts of Osiris were sent among the cities by the seventy-two ”conspirators”–in other words, by the supreme judges of Egypt, it was equivalent to a solemn declaration in their name, that ”whosoever should do as Osiris had done, so should it be done to him; so should he also be cut in pieces.”
When irreligion and apostacy again arose into the ascendant, this act, into which the constituted authorities who had to do with the ringleader of the apostates were led, for the putting down of the combined system of irreligion and despotism set up by Osiris or Nimrod, was naturally the object of intense abhorrence to all his sympathisers; and for his share in it the chief actor was stigmatised as Typho, or ”The Evil One.” *
* Wilkinson admits that different individuals at different times bore this hated name in Egypt. One of the most noted names by which Typho, or the Evil One, was called, was Seth (EPIPHANIUS, Adv. Hoeres). Now Seth and Shem are synonymous, both alike signifying ”The appointed one.” As Shem was a younger son of Noah, being ”the brother of Japhet the elder” (Gen 10:21), and as the pre-eminence was divinely destined to him, the name Shem, ”the appointed one,” had doubtless been given him by Divine direction, either at his birth or afterwards, to mark him out as Seth had been previously marked out as the ”child of promise.” Shem, however, seems to have been known in Egypt as Typho, not only under the name of Seth, but under his own name; for Wilkinson tells us that Typho was characterised by a name that signified ”to destroy and render desert.” (Egyptians) Now the name of Shem also in one of its meanings signifies ”to desolate” or lay waste. So Shem, the appointed one, was by his enemies made Shem, the Desolator or Destroyer–i.e., the Devil.
The influence that this abhorred Typho wielded over the minds of the so-called ”conspirators,” considering the physical force with which Nimrod was upheld, must have been wonderful, and goes to show, that though his deed in regard to Osiris is veiled, and himself branded by a hateful name, he was indeed none other than that primitive Hercules who overcame the Giants by ”the power of God,” by the persuasive might of his Holy Spirit.
In connection with this character of Shem, the myth that makes Adonis, who is identified with Osiris, perish by the tusks of a wild boar, is easily unravelled. * The tusk of a wild boar was a symbol. In Scripture, a tusk is called ”a horn”; among many of the Classic Greeks it was regarded in the very same light. **
* In India, a demon with a ”boar’s face” is said to have gained such power through his devotion, that he oppressed the ”devotees” or worshippers of the gods, who had to hide themselves. (MOOR’S Pantheon) Even in Japan there seems to be a similar myth.
** Pausanian admits that some in his day regarded tusks as teeth; but he argues strongly, and, I think, conclusively, for their being considered as ”horns.”
When once it is known that a tusk is regarded as a ”horn” according to the symbolism of idolatry, the meaning of the boar’s tusks, by which Adonis perished, is not far to seek. The bull’s horns that Nimrod wore were the symbol of physical power. The boar’s tusks were the symbol of spiritual power. As a ”horn” means power, so a tusk, that is, a horn in the mouth, means ”power in the mouth”; in other words, the power of persuasion; the very power with which ”Sem,” the primitive Hercules, was so signally endowed. Even from the ancient traditions of the Gael, we get an item of evidence that at once illustrates this idea of power in the mouth, and connects it with that great son of Noah, on whom the blessing of the Highest, as recorded in Scripture, did specially rest. The Celtic Hercules was called Hercules Ogmius, which, in Chaldee, is ”Hercules the Lamenter.” *
* The Celtic scholars derive the name Ogmius from the Celtic word Ogum, which is said to denote ”the secret of writing”; but Ogum is much more likely to be derived from the name of the god, than the name of the god to be derived from it.
No name could be more appropriate, none more descriptive of the history of Shem, than this. Except our first parent, Adam, there was, perhaps, never a mere man that saw so much grief as he. Not only did he see a vast apostacy, which, with his righteous feelings, and witness as he had been of the awful catastrophe of the flood, must have deeply grieved him; but he lived to bury SEVEN GENERATIONS of his descendants. He lived 502 years after the flood, and as the lives of men were rapidly shortened after that event, no less than SEVEN generations of his lineal descendants died before him (Gen 11:10-32). How appropriate a name Ogmius, ”The Lamenter or Mourner,” for one who had such a history! Now, how is this ”Mourning” Hercules represented as putting down enormities and redressing wrongs? Not by his club, like the Hercules of the Greeks, but by the force of persuasion. Multitudes were represented as following him, drawn by fine chains of gold and amber inserted into their ears, and which chains proceeded from his mouth. *
* Sir W. BETHAM’S Gael and Cymbri. In connection with this Ogmius, one of the names of ”Sem,” the great Egyptian Hercules who overcame the Giants, is worthy of notice. That name is Chon. In the Etymologicum Magnum, apud BRYANT, we thus read: ”They say that in the Egyptian dialect Hercules is called Chon.” Compare this with WILKINSON, where Chon is called ”Sem.” Now Khon signifies ”to lament” in Chaldee, and as Shem was Khon–i.e., ”Priest” of the Most High God, his character and peculiar circumstances as Khon ”the lamenter” would form an additional reason why he should be distinguished by that name by which the Egyptian Hercules was known. And it is not to be overlooked, that on the part of those who seek to turn sinners from the error of their ways, there is an eloquence in tears that is very impressive. The tears of Whitefield formed one great part of his power; and, in like manner, the tears of Khon, ”the lamenting” Hercules, would aid him mightily in overcoming the Giants.
There is a great difference between the two symbols–the tusks of a boar and the golden chains issuing from the mouth, that draw willing crowds by the ears; but both very beautifully illustrate the same idea–the might of that persuasive power that enabled Shem for a time to withstand the tide of evil that came rapidly rushing in upon the world.
Now when Shem had so powerfully wrought upon the minds of men as to induce them to make a terrible example of the great Apostate, and when that Apostate’s dismembered limbs were sent to the chief cities, where no doubt his system had been established, it will be readily perceived that, in these circumstances, if idolatry was to continue–if, above all, it was to take a step in advance, it was indispensable that it should operate in secret. The terror of an execution, inflicted on one so mighty as Nimrod, made it needful that, for some time to come at least, the extreme of caution should be used. In these circumstances, then, began, there can hardly be a doubt, that system of ”Mystery,” which, having Babylon for its centre, has spread over the world. In these Mysteries, under the seal of secrecy and the sanction of an oath, and by means of all the fertile resources of magic, men were gradually led back to all the idolatry that had been publicly suppressed, while new features were added to that idolatry that made it still more blasphemous than before. That magic and idolatry were twin sisters, and came into the world together, we have abundant evidence. ”He” (Zoroaster), says Justin the historian, ”was said to be the first that invented magic arts, and that most diligently studied the motions of the heavenly bodies.” The Zoroaster spoken of by Justin is the Bactrian Zoroaster; but this is generally admitted to be a mistake. Stanley, in his History of Oriental Philosophy, concludes that this mistake had arisen from similarity of name, and that from this cause that had been attributed to the Bactrian Zoroaster which properly belonged to the Chaldean, ”since it cannot be imagined that the Bactrian was the inventor of those arts in which the Chaldean, who lived contemporary with him, was so much skilled.” Epiphanius had evidently come to the same substantial conclusion before him. He maintains, from the evidence open to him in his day, that it was ”Nimrod, that established the sciences of magic and astronomy, the invention of which was subsequently attributed to (the Bactrian) Zoroaster.” As we have seen that Nimrod and the Chaldean Zoroaster are the same, the conclusions of the ancient and the modern inquirers into Chaldean antiquity entirely harmonise. Now the secret system of the Mysteries gave vast facilities for imposing on the senses of the initiated by means of the various tricks and artifices of magic. Notwithstanding all the care and precautions of those who conducted these initiations, enough has transpired to give us a very clear insight into their real character. Everything was so contrived as to wind up the minds of the novices to the highest pitch of excitement, that, after having surrendered themselves implicitly to the priests, they might be prepared to receive anything. After the candidates for initiation had passed through the confessional, and sworn the required oaths, ”strange and amazing objects,” says Wilkinson, ”presented themselves. Sometimes the place they were in seemed to shake around them; sometimes it appeared bright and resplendent with light and radiant fire, and then again covered with black darkness, sometimes thunder and lightning, sometimes frightful noises and bellowings, sometimes terrible apparitions astonished the trembling spectators.” Then, at last, the great god, the central object of their worship, Osiris, Tammuz, Nimrod or Adonis, was revealed to them in the way most fitted to soothe their feelings and engage their blind affections. An account of such a manifestation is thus given by an ancient Pagan, cautiously indeed, but yet in such a way as shows the nature of the magic secret by which such an apparent miracle was accomplished: ”In a manifestation which one must not reveal…there is seen on a wall of the temple a mass of light, which appears at first at a very great distance. It is transformed, while unfolding itself, into a visage evidently divine and supernatural, of an aspect severe, but with a touch of sweetness. Following the teachings of a mysterious religion, the Alexandrians honour it as Osiris or Adonis.” From this statement, there can hardly be a doubt that the magical art here employed was none other than that now made use of in the modern phantasmagoria. Such or similar means were used in the very earliest periods for presenting to the view of the living, in the secret Mysteries, those who were dead. We have statements in ancient history referring to the very time of Semiramis, which imply that magic rites were practised for this very purpose; * and as the magic lantern, or something akin to it, was manifestly used in later times for such an end, it is reasonable to conclude that the same means, or similar, were employed in the most ancient times, when the same effects were produced.
* One of the statements to which I refer is contained in the following words of Moses of Chorene in his Armenian History, referring to the answer made by Semiramis to the friends of Araeus, who had been slain in battle by her: ”I have given commands, says Semiramis, to my gods to lick the wounds of Araeus, and to raise him from the dead. The gods, says she, have licked Araeus, and recalled him to life.” If Semiramis had really done what she said she had done, it would have been a miracle. The effects of magic were sham miracles; and Justin and Epiphanius show that sham miracles came in at the very birth of idolatry. Now, unless the sham miracle of raising the dead by magical arts had already been known to be practised in the days of Semiramis, it is not likely that she would have given such an answer to those whom she wished to propitiate; for, on the one hand, how could she ever have thought of such an answer, and on the other, how could she expect that it would have the intended effect, if there was no current belief in the practice of necromancy? We find that in Egypt, about the same age, such magic arts must have been practised, if Manetho is to be believed. ”Manetho says,” according to Josephus, ”that he [the elder Horus, evidently spoken of as a human and mortal king] was admitted to the sight of the gods, and that Amenophis desired the same privilege.” This pretended admission to the right of the gods evidently implied the use of the magic art referred to in the text.
Now, in the hands of crafty, designing men, this was a powerful means of imposing upon those who were willing to be imposed upon, who were averse to the holy spiritual religion of the living God, and who still hankered after the system that was put down. It was easy for those who controlled the Mysteries, having discovered secrets that were then unknown to the mass of mankind, and which they carefully preserved in their own exclusive keeping, to give them what might seem ocular demonstration, that Tammuz, who had been slain, and for whom such lamentations had been made, was still alive, and encompassed with divine and heavenly glory. From the lips of one so gloriously revealed, or what was practically the same, from the lips of some unseen priest, speaking in his name from behind the scenes, what could be too wonderful or incredible to be believed? Thus the whole system of the secret Mysteries of Babylon was intended to glorify a dead man; and when once the worship of one dead man was established, the worship of many more was sure to follow. This casts light upon the language of the 106th Psalm, where the Lord, upbraiding Israel for their apostacy, says: ”They joined themselves to Baalpeor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead.” Thus, too, the way was paved for bringing in all the abominations and crimes of which the Mysteries became the scenes; for, to those who liked not to retain God in their knowledge, who preferred some visible object of worship, suited to the sensuous feelings of their carnal minds, nothing could seem a more cogent reason for faith or practice than to hear with their own ears a command given forth amid so glorious a manifestation apparently by the very divinity they adored.
The scheme, thus skilfully formed, took effect. Semiramis gained glory from her dead and deified husband; and in course of time both of them, under the names of Rhea and Nin, or ”Goddess-Mother and Son,” were worshipped with an enthusiasm that was incredible, and their images were everywhere set up and adored. *
* It would seem that no public idolatry was ventured upon till the reign of the grandson of Semiramis, Arioch or Arius. (Cedreni Compendium)
Wherever the Negro aspect of Nimrod was found an obstacle to his worship, this was very easily obviated. According to the Chaldean doctrine of the transmigration of souls, all that was needful was just to teach that Ninus had reappeared in the person of a posthumous son, of a fair complexion, supernaturally borne by his widowed wife after the father had gone to glory. As the licentious and dissolute life of Semiramis gave her many children, for whom no ostensible father on earth would be alleged, a plea like this would at once sanctify sin, and enable her to meet the feelings of those who were disaffected to the true worship of Jehovah, and yet might have not fancy to bow down before a Negro divinity. From the light reflected on Babylon by Egypt, as well as from the form of the extant images of the Babylonian child in the arms of the goddess-mother, we have every reason to believe that this was actually done. In Egypt the fair Horus, the son of the black Osiris, who was the favourite object of worship, in the arms of the goddess Isis, was said to have been miraculously born in consequence of a connection, on the part of that goddess, with Osiris after his death, and, in point of fact, to have been a new incarnation of that god, to avenge his death on his murderers. It is wonderful to find in what widely-severed countries, and amongst what millions of the human race at this day, who never saw a Negro, a Negro god is worshipped. But yet, as we shall afterwards see, among the civilised nations of antiquity, Nimrod almost everywhere fell into disrepute, and was deposed from his original pre-eminence, expressly ob deformitatem, ”on account of his ugliness.” Even in Babylon itself, the posthumous child, as identified with his father, and inheriting all his father’s glory, yet possessing more of his mother’s complexion, came to be the favourite type of the Madonna’s divine son.
This son, thus worshipped in his mother’s arms, was looked upon as invested with all the attributes, and called by almost all the names of the promised Messiah. As Christ, in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, was called Adonai, The Lord, so Tammuz was called Adon or Adonis. Under the name of Mithras, he was worshipped as the ”Mediator.” As Mediator and head of the covenant of grace, he was styled Baal-berith, Lord of the Covenant (Judges 8:33). In this character he is represented in Persian monuments as seated on the rainbow, the well known symbol of the covenant. In India, under the name of Vishnu, the Preserver or Saviour of men, though a god, he was worshipped as the great ”Victim-Man,” who before the worlds were, because there was nothing else to offer, offered himself as a sacrifice. The Hindoo sacred writings teach that this mysterious offering before all creation is the foundation of all the sacrifices that have ever been offered since. *
* In the exercise of his office as the Remedial god, Vishnu is said to ”extract the thorns of the three worlds.” (MOOR’S Pantheon) ”Thorns” were a symbol of the curse–Genesis 3:18.
Do any marvel at such a statement being found in the sacred books of a Pagan mythology? Why should they? Since sin entered the world there has been only one way of salvation, and that through the blood of the everlasting covenant–a way that all mankind once knew, from the days of righteous Abel downwards. When Abel, ”by faith,” offered unto God his more excellent sacrifice than that of Cain, it was his faith ”in the blood of the Lamb slain,” in the purpose of God ”from the foundation of the world,” and in due time to be actually offered up on Calvary, that gave all the ”excellence” to his offering. If Abel knew of ”the blood of the Lamb,” why should Hindoos not have known of it? One little word shows that even in Greece the virtue of ”the blood of God” had once been known, though that virtue, as exhibited in its poets, was utterly obscured and degraded. That word is Ichor. Every reader of the bards of classic Greece knows that Ichor is the term peculiarly appropriated to the blood of a divinity. Thus Homer refers to it:
”From the clear vein the immortal Ichor flowed,
Such stream as issues from a wounded god,
Pure emanation, uncorrupted flood,
Unlike our gross, diseased terrestrial blood.”
Now, what is the proper meaning of the term Ichor? In Greek it has no etymological meaning whatever; but, in Chaldee, Ichor signifies ”The precious thing.” Such a name, applied to the blood of a divinity, could have only one origin. It bears its evidence on the very face of it, as coming from that grand patriarchal tradition, that led Abel to look forward to the ”precious blood” of Christ, the most ”precious” gift that love Divine could give to a guilty world, and which, while the blood of the only genuine ”Victim-Man,” is at the same time, in deed and in truth, ”The blood of God” (Acts 20:28). Even in Greece itself, though the doctrine was utterly perverted, it was not entirely lost. It was mingled with falsehood and fable, it was hid from the multitude; but yet, in the secret mystic system it necessarily occupied an important place. As Servius tells us that the grand purpose of the Bacchic orgies ”was the purification of souls,” and as in these orgies there was regularly the tearing asunder and the shedding of the blood of an animal, in memory of the shedding of the life’s blood of the great divinity commemorated in them, could this symbolical shedding of the blood of that divinity have no bearing on the ”purification” from sin, these mystic rites were intended to effect? We have seen that the sufferings of the Babylonian Zoroaster and Belus were expressly represented as voluntary, and as submitted to for the benefit of the world, and that in connection with crushing the great serpent’s head, which implied the removal of sin and the curse. If the Grecian Bacchus was just another form of the Babylonian divinity, then his sufferings and blood-shedding must have been represented as having been undergone for the same purpose–viz., for the ”purification of souls.” From this point of view, let the well known name of Bacchus in Greece be looked at. The name was Dionysus or Dionusos. What is the meaning of that name? Hitherto it has defied all interpretation. But deal with it as belonging to the language of that land from which the god himself originally came, and the meaning is very plain. D’ion-nuso-s signifies ”THE SIN-BEARER,” * a name entirely appropriate to the character of him whose sufferings were represented as so mysterious, and who was looked up to as the great ”purifier of souls.”
* The expression used in Exodus 28:38, for ”bearing iniquity” or in a vicarious manner is ”nsha eon” (the first letter eon being ayn). A synonym for eon, ”iniquity,” is aon (the first letter being aleph). In Chaldee the first letter a becomes i, and therefore aon, ”iniquity,” is ion. Then nsha ”to bear,” in the participle active is ”nusha.” As the Greeks had no sh, that became nusa. De, or Da, is the demonstrative pronoun signifying ”That” or ”The great.” And thus ”D’ion-nusa” is exactly ”The great sin-bearer.” That the classic Pagans had the very idea of the imputation of sin, and of vicarious suffering, is proved by what Ovid says in regard to Olenos. Olenos is said to have taken upon him and willingly to have borne the blame of guilt of which he was innocent. Under the load of this imputed guilt, voluntarily taken upon himself, Olenos is represented as having suffered such horror as to have perished, being petrified or turned into stone. As the stone into which Olenos was changed was erected on the holy mountain of Ida, that shows that Olenos must have been regarded as a sacred person. The real character of Olenos, as the ”sin-bearer,” can be very fully established. (see note below)
Now, this Babylonian god, known in Greece as ”The sin-bearer,” and in India as the ”Victim-Man,” among the Buddhists of the East, the original elements of whose system are clearly Babylonian, was commonly addressed as the ”Saviour of the world.” It has been all along well enough known that the Greeks occasionally worshipped the supreme god under the title of ”Zeus the Saviour”; but this title was thought to have reference only to deliverance in battle, or some suck-like temporal deliverance. But when it is known that ”Zeus the Saviour” was only a title of Dionysus, the ”sin-bearing Bacchus,” his character, as ”The Saviour,” appears in quite a different light. In Egypt, the Chaldean god was held up as the great object of love and adoration, as the god through whom ”goodness and truth were revealed to mankind.” He was regarded as the predestined heir of all things; and, on the day of his birth, it was believed that a voice was heard to proclaim, ”The Lord of all the earth is born.” In this character he was styled ”King of kings, and Lord of lords,” it being as a professed representative of this hero-god that the celebrated Sesostris caused this very title to be added to his name on the monuments which he erected to perpetuate the fame of his victories. Not only was he honoured as the great ”World King,” he was regarded as Lord of the invisible world, and ”Judge of the dead”; and it was taught that, in the world of spirits, all must appear before his dread tribunal, to have their destiny assigned them. As the true Messiah was prophesied of under the title of the ”Man whose name was the branch,” he was celebrated not only as the ”Branch of Cush,” but as the ”Branch of God,” graciously given to the earth for healing all the ills that flesh is heir to. * He was worshipped in Babylon under the name of El-Bar, or ”God the Son.” Under this very name he is introduced by Berosus, the Chaldean historian, as the second in the list of Babylonian sovereigns. **
* This is the esoteric meaning of Virgil’s ”Golden Branch,” and of the Mistletoe Branch of the Druids. The proof of this must be reserved to the Apocalypse of the Past. I may remark, however, in passing, on the wide extent of the worship of a sacred branch. Not only do the Negroes in Africa in the worship of the Fetiche, on certain occasions, make use of a sacred branch (HURD’S Rites and Ceremonies), but even in India there are traces of the same practice. My brother, S. Hislop, Free Church Missionary at Nagpore, informs me that the late Rajah of Nagpore used every year, on a certain day, to go in state to worship the branch of a particular species of tree, called Apta, which had been planted for the occasion, and which, after receiving divine honours, was plucked up, and its leaves distributed by the native Prince among his nobles. In the streets of the city numerous boughs of the same kind of tree were sold, and the leaves presented to friends under the name of sona, or ”gold.”
** BEROSUS, in BUNSEN’S Egypt. The name ”El-Bar” is given above in the Hebrew form, as being more familiar to the common reader of the English Bible. The Chaldee form of the name is Ala-Bar, which in the Greek of Berosus, is Ala-Par, with the ordinary Greek termination os affixed to it. The change of Bar into Par in Greek is just on the same principle as Ab, ”father,” in Greek becomes Appa, and Bard, the ”spotted one,” becomes Pardos, &c. This name, Ala-Bar, was probably given by Berosus to Ninyas as the legitimate son and successor of Nimrod. That Ala-Par-os was really intended to designate the sovereign referred to, as ”God the Son,” or ”the Son of God,” is confirmed by another reading of the same name as given in Greek. There the name is Alasparos. Now Pyrsiporus, as applied to Bacchus, means Ignigena, or the ”Seed of Fire”; and Ala-sporos, the ”Seed of God,” is just a similar expression formed in the same way, the name being Grecised.
Under this name he has been found in the sculptures of Nineveh by Layard, the name Bar ”the Son,” having the sign denoting El or ”God” prefixed to it. Under the same name he has been found by Sir H. Rawlinson, the names ”Beltis” and the ”Shining Bar” being in immediate juxtaposition. Under the name of Bar he was worshipped in Egypt in the earliest times, though in later times the god Bar was degraded in the popular Pantheon, to make way for another more popular divinity. In Pagan Rome itself, as Ovid testifies, he was worshipped under the name of the ”Eternal Boy.” * Thus daringly and directly was a mere mortal set up in Babylon in opposition to the ”Son of the Blessed.”
* To understand the true meaning of the above expression, reference must be had to a remarkable form of oath among the Romans. In Rome the most sacred form of an oath was (as we learn from AULUS GELLIUS), ”By Jupiter the STONE.” This, as it stands, is nonsense. But translate ”lapidem” [stone] back into the sacred tongue, or Chaldee, and the oath stands, ”By Jove, the Son,” or ”By the son of Jove.” Ben, which in Hebrew is Son, in Chaldee becomes Eben, which also signifies a stone, as may be seen in ”Eben-ezer,” ”The stone of help.” Now as the most learned inquirers into antiquity have admitted that the Roman Jovis, which was anciently the nominative, is just a form of the Hebrew Jehovah, it is evident that the oath had originally been, ”by the son of Jehovah.” This explains how the most solemn and binding oath had been taken in the form above referred to; and,it shows, also, what was really meant when Bacchus, ”the son of Jovis,” was called ”the Eternal Boy.” (OVID, Metam.)


Note
Olenos, the Sin-Bearer
In different portions of this work evidence has been brought to show that Saturn, ”the father of gods and men,” was in one aspect just our first parent Adam. Now, of Saturn it is said that he devoured all his children. *
* Sometimes he is said to have devoured only his male children; but see SMITH’S (Larger) Classical Dictionary, ”Hera,” where it will be found that the female as well as the male were devoured.
In the exoteric story, among those who knew not the actual fact referred to, this naturally appeared in the myth, in the shape in which we commonly find it–viz., that he devoured them all as soon as they were born. But that which was really couched under the statement, in regard to his devouring his children, was just the Scriptural fact of the Fall–viz., that he destroyed them by eating–not by eating them, but by eating the forbidden fruit. When this was the sad and dismal state of matters, the Pagan story goes on to say that the destruction of the children of the father of gods and men was arrested by means of his wife, Rhea. Rhea, as we have already seen, had really as much to do with the devouring of Saturn’s children, as Saturn himself; but, in the progress of idolatry and apostacy, Rhea, or Eve, came to get glory at Saturn’s expense. Saturn, or Adam, was represented as a morose divinity; Rhea, or Eve, exceedingly benignant; and, in her benignity, she presented to her husband a stone bound in swaddling bands, which he greedily devoured, and henceforth the children of the cannibal father were safe. The stone bound in swaddling bands is, in the sacred language, ”Ebn Hatul”; but Ebn-Hat-tul * also signifies ”A sin-bearing son.”
* Hata, ”sin,” is found also in Chaldee, Hat. Tul is from Ntl, ”to support.” If the reader will look at Horus with his swathes (BRYANT); Diana with the bandages round her legs; the symbolic bull of the Persian swathed in like manner, and even the shapeless log of the Tahitians, used as a god and bound about with ropes (WILLIAMS); he will see, I think, that there must be some important mystery in this swathing.
This does not necessarily mean that Eve, or the mother of mankind, herself actually brought forth the promised seed (although there are many myths also to that effect), but that, having received the glad tidings herself, and embraced it, she presented it to her husband, who received it by faith from her, and that this laid the foundation of his own salvation and that of his posterity. The devouring on the part of Saturn of the swaddled stone is just the symbolical expression of the eagerness with which Adam by faith received the good news of the woman’s seed; for the act of faith, both in the Old Testament and in the New, is symbolised by eating. Thus Jeremiah says, ”Thy words were found of me, and I did eat them, and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jer 15:16). This also is strongly shown by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who, while setting before the Jews the indispensable necessity of eating His flesh, and feeding on Him, did at the same time say: ”It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). That Adam eagerly received the good news about the promised seed, and treasured it up in his heart as the life of his soul, is evident from the name which he gave to his wife immediately after hearing it: ”And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living ones” (Gen 3:20).
The story of the swaddled stone does not end with the swallowing of it, and the arresting of the ruin of the children of Saturn. This swaddled stone was said to be ”preserved near the temple of Delphi, where care was taken to anoint it daily with oil, and to cover it with wool” (MAURICE’S Indian Antiquities). If this stone symbolised the ”sin-bearing son,” it of course symbolised also the Lamb of God, slain from the foundation of the world, in whose symbolic covering our first parents were invested when God clothed them in the coats of skins. Therefore, though represented to the eye as a stone, he must have the appropriate covering of wool. When represented as a branch, the branch of God, the branch also was wrapped in wool (POTTER, Religion of Greece). The daily anointing with oil is very significant. If the stone represented the ”sin-bearing son,” what could the anointing of that ”sin-bearing son” daily with oil mean, but just to point him out as the ”Lord’s Anointed,” or the ”Messiah,” whom the idolatrous worshipped in opposition to the true Messiah yet to be revealed?
One of the names by which this swaddled and anointed stone was called is very strikingly confirmatory of the above conclusion. That name is Baitulos. This we find from Priscian, who, speaking of ”that stone which Saturn is said to have devoured for Jupiter,” adds, whom the Greeks called ”Baitulos.” Now, ”B’hai-tuloh” signifies the ”Life-restoring child.” *
* From Tli, Tleh, or Tloh, ”Infans puer” (CLAVIS STOCKII, Chald.), and Hia, or Haya, ”to live, to restore life.” (GESENIUS) From Hia, ”to live,” with digamma prefixed, comes the Greek ”life.” That Hia, when adopted into Greek, was also pronounced Haya, we have evidence in he noun Hiim, ”life,” pronounced Hayyim, which in Greek is represented by ”blood.” The Mosaic principle, that ”the blood was the life,” is thus proved to have been known by others besides the Jews. Now Haya, ”to live or restore life,” with the digamma prefixed, becomes B’haya: and so in Egypt, we find that Bai signified ”soul,” or ”spirit” (BUNSEN), which is the living principle. B’haitulos, then, is the ”Life-restoring child.” P’haya-n is the same god.
The father of gods and men had destroyed his children by eating; but the reception of ”the swaddled stone” is said to have ”restored them to life” (HESIOD, Theogon.). Hence the name Baitulos; and this meaning of the name is entirely in accordance with what is said in Sanchuniathon about the Baithulia made by the Phoenician god Ouranos: ”It was the god Ouranos who devised Baithulia, contriving stones that moved as having life.” If the stone Baitulos represented the ”life-restoring child,” it was natural that that stone should be made, if possible, to appear as having ”life” in itself.
Now, there is a great analogy between this swaddled stone that represented the ”sin-bearing son,” and that Olenos mentioned by Ovid, who took on him guilt not his own, and in consequence was changed into a stone. We have seen already that Olenos, when changed into a stone, was set up in Phrygia on the holy mountain of Ida. We have reason to believe that the stone which was fabled to have done so much for the children of Saturn, and was set up near the temple of Delphi, was just a representation of this same Olenos. We find that Olen was the first prophet at Delphi, who founded the first temple there (PAUSA Phocica). As the prophets and priests generally bore the names of the gods whom they represented (Hesychius expressly tells us that the priest who represented the great god under the name of the branch in the mysteries was himself called by the name of Bacchus), this indicates one of the ancient names of the god of Delphi. If, then, there was a sacred stone on Mount Ida called the stone of Olenos, and a sacred stone in the precincts of the temple of Delphi, which Olen founded, can there be a doubt that the sacred stone of Delphi represented the same as was represented by the sacred stone of Ida? The swaddled stone set up at Delphi is expressly called by Priscian, in the place already cited, ”a god.” This god, then, that in symbol was divinely anointed, and was celebrated as having restored to life the children of Saturn, father of gods and men, as identified with the Idaean Olenos, is proved to have been regarded as occupying the very place of the Messiah, the great Sin-bearer, who came to bear the sins of men, and took their place and suffered in their room and stead; for Olenos, as we have seen, voluntarily took on him guilt of which he was personally free.
While thus we have seen how much of the patriarchal faith was hid under the mystical symbols of Paganism, there is yet a circumstance to be noted in regard to the swaddled stone, that shows how the Mystery of Iniquity in Rome has contrived to import this swaddled stone of Paganism into what is called Christian symbolism. The Baitulos, or swaddled stone, was a round or globular stone. This globular stone is frequently represented swathed and bound, sometimes with more, sometimes with fewer bandages. In BRYANT, where the goddess Cybele is represented as ”Spes Divina,” or Divine hope, we see the foundation of this divine hope held out to the world in the representation of the swaddled stone at her right hand, bound with four different swathes. In DAVID’S Antiquites Etrusques, we find a goddess represented with Pandora’s box, the source of all ill, in her extended hand, and the swaddled globe depending from it; and in this case that globe has only two bandages, the one crossing the other. And what is this bandage globe of Paganism but just the counterpart of that globe, with a band around it, and the mystic Tau, or cross, on the top of it, that is called ”the type of dominion,” and is frequently represented in the hands of the profane representations of God the Father. The reader does not now need to be told that the cross is the chosen sign and mark of that very God whom the swaddled stone represented; and that when that God was born, it was said, ”The Lord of all the earth is born” (WILKINSON). As the god symbolised by the swaddled stone not only restored the children of Saturn to life, but restored the lordship of the earth to Saturn himself, which by transgression he had lost, it is not to be wondered at that it is said of ”these consecrated stones,” that while ”some were dedicated to Jupiter, and others to the sun,” ”they were considered in a more particular manner sacred to Saturn,” the Father of the gods (MAURICE), and that Rome, in consequence, has put the round stone into the hand of the image, bearing the profaned name of God the Father attached to it, and that from his source the bandaged globe, surmounted with the mark of Tammuz, has become the symbol of dominion throughout all Papal Europe.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter II
Section III
The Mother of the Child
Now while the mother derived her glory in the first instance from the divine character attributed to the child in her arms, the mother in the long-run practically eclipsed the son. At first, in all likelihood, there would be no thought whatever of ascribing divinity to the mother. There was an express promise that necessarily led mankind to expect that, at some time or other, the Son of God, in amazing condescension, should appear in this world as the Son of man. But there was no promise whatever, or the least shadow of a promise, to lead any one to anticipate that a woman should ever be invested with attributes that should raise her to a level with Divinity. It is in the last degree improbable, therefore, that when the mother was first exhibited with the child in her arms, it should be intended to give divine honours to her. She was doubtless used chiefly as a pedestal for the upholding of the divine Son, and holding him forth to the adoration of mankind; and glory enough it would be counted for her, alone of all the daughters of Eve, to have given birth to the promised seed, the world’s only hope. But while this, no doubt, was the design, it is a plain principle in all idolatries that that which most appeals to the senses must make the most powerful impression. Now the Son, even in his new incarnation, when Nimrod was believed to have reappeared in a fairer form, was exhibited merely as a child, without any very particular attraction; while the mother in whose arms he was, was set off with all the art of painting and sculpture, as invested with much of that extraordinary beauty which in reality belonged to her. The beauty of Semiramis is said on one occasion to have quelled a rising rebellion among her subjects on her sudden appearance among them; and it is recorded that the memory of the admiration excited in their minds by her appearance on that occasion was perpetuated by a statue erected in Babylon, representing her in the guise in which she had fascinated them so much. *
* VALERIUS MAXIMUS. Valerius Maximus does not mention anything about the representation of Semiramis with the child in her arms; but as Semiramis was deified as Rhea, whose distinguishing character was that of goddess Mother, and as we have evidence that the name, ”Seed of the Woman,” or Zoroaster, goes back to the earliest times–viz., her own day (CLERICUS, De Chaldoeis), this implies that if there was any image-worship in these times, that ”Seed of the Woman” must have occupied a prominent place in it. As over all the world the Mother and the child appear in some shape or other, and are found on the early Egyptian monuments, that shows that this worship must have had its roots in the primeval ages of the world. If, therefore, the mother was represented in so fascinating a form when singly represented, we may be sure that the same beauty for which she was celebrated would be given to her when exhibited with the child in her arms.
This Babylonian queen was not merely in character coincident with the Aphrodite of Greece and the Venus of Rome, but was, in point of fact, the historical original of that goddess that by the ancient world was regarded as the very embodiment of everything attractive in female form, and the perfection of female beauty; for Sanchuniathon assures us that Aphrodite or Venus was identical with Astarte, and Astarte being interpreted, is none other than ”The woman that made towers or encompassing walls”–i.e., Semiramis. The Roman Venus, as is well known, was the Cyprian Venus, and the Venus of Cyprus is historically proved to have been derived from Babylon. Now, what in these circumstances might have been expected actually took place. If the child was to be adored, much more the mother. The mother, in point of fact, became the favourite object of worship. *
* How extraordinary, yea, frantic, was the devotion in the minds of the Babylonians to this goddess queen, is sufficiently proved by the statement of Herodotus, as to the way in which she required to be propitiated. That a whole people should ever have consented to such a custom as is there described, shows the amazing hold her worship must have gained over them. Nonnus, speaking of the same goddess, calls her ”The hope of the whole world.” (DIONUSIACA in BRYANT) It was the same goddess, as we have seen, who was worshipped at Ephesus, whom Demetrius the silversmith characterised as the goddess ”whom all Asia and the world worshipped” (Acts 19:27). So great was the devotion to this goddess queen, not of the Babylonians only, but of the ancient world in general, that the fame of the exploits of Semiramis has, in history, cast the exploits of her husband Ninus or Nimrod, entirely into the shade.
In regard to the identification of Rhea or Cybele and Venus, see note below.
To justify this worship, the mother was raised to divinity as well as her son, and she was looked upon as destined to complete that bruising of the serpent’s head, which it was easy, if such a thing was needed, to find abundant and plausible reasons for alleging that Ninus or Nimrod, the great Son, in his mortal life had only begun.
The Roman Church maintains that it was not so much the seed of the woman, as the woman herself, that was to bruise the head of the serpent. In defiance of all grammar, she renders the Divine denunciation against the serpent thus: ”She shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise her heel.” The same was held by the ancient Babylonians, and symbolically represented in their temples. In the uppermost story of the tower of Babel, or temple of Belus, Diodorus Siculus tells us there stood three images of the great divinities of Babylon; and one of these was of a woman grasping a serpent’s head. Among the Greeks the same thing was symbolised; for Diana, whose real character was originally the same as that of the great Babylonian goddess, was represented as bearing in one of her hands a serpent deprived of its head. As time wore away, and the facts of Semiramis’ history became obscured, her son’s birth was boldly declared to be miraculous: and therefore she was called ”Alma Mater,” * ”the Virgin Mother.”
* The term Alma is the precise term used by Isaiah in the Hebrew of the Old Testament, when announcing, 700 years before the event, that Christ should be born of a Virgin. If the question should be asked, how this Hebrew term Alma (not in a Roman, but a Hebrew sense) could find its way to Rome, the answer is, Through Etruria, which had an intimate connection with Assyria. The word ”mater” itself, from which comes our own ”mother,” is originally Hebrew. It comes from Heb. Msh, ”to draw forth,” in Egyptian Ms, ”to bring forth” (BUNSEN), which in the Chaldee form becomes Mt, whence the Egyptian Maut, ”mother.” Erh or Er, as in English (and a similar form is found in Sanscrit), is, ”The doer.” So that Mater or Mother signifies ”The bringer forth.”
It may be thought an objection to the above account of the epithet Alma, that this term is often applied to Venus, who certainly was no virgin. But this objection is more apparent than real. On the testimony of Augustine, himself an eye-witness, we know that the rites of Vesta, emphatically ”the virgin goddess of Rome,” under the name of Terra, were exactly the same as those of Venus, the goddess of impurity and licentiousness (AUGUSTINE, De Civitate Dei). Augustine elsewhere says that Vesta, the virgin goddess, ”was by some called Venus.”
Even in the mythology of our own Scandinavian ancestors, we have a remarkable evidence that Alma Mater, or the Virgin Mother, had been originally known to them. One of their gods called Heimdal, who is described in the most exalted terms, as having such quick perceptions as that he could hear the grass growing on the ground, or the wool on the sheep’s back, and whose trumpet, when it blew, could be heard through all the worlds, is called by the paradoxical name, ”the son of nine virgins.” (MALLET) Now this obviously contains an enigma. Let the language in which the religion of Odin was originally delivered–viz., the Chaldee, be brought to bear upon it, and the enigma is solved at once. In Chaldee ”the son of nine virgins” is Ben-Almut-Teshaah. But in pronunciation this is identical with ”Ben-Almet-Ishaa,” ”the son of the virgin of salvation.” That son was everywhere known as the ”saviour seed.” ”Zera-hosha” and his virgin mother consequently claimed to be ”the virgin of salvation.” Even in the very heavens the God of Providence has constrained His enemies to inscribe a testimony to the great Scriptural truth proclaimed by the Hebrew prophet, that a ”virgin should bring forth a son, whose name should be called Immanuel.” The constellation Virgo, as admitted by the most learned astronomers, was dedicated to Ceres (Dr. JOHN HILL, in his Urania, and Mr. A. JAMIESON, in his Celestial Atlas), who is the same as the great goddess of Babylon, for Ceres was worshipped with the babe at her breast (SOPHOCLES, Antigone), even as the Babylonian goddess was. Virgo was originally the Assyrian Venus, the mother of Bacchus or Tammuz. Virgo then, was the Virgin Mother. Isaiah’s prophecy was carried by the Jewish captives to Babylon, and hence the new title bestowed upon the Babylonian goddess.
That the birth of the Great Deliverer was to be miraculous, was widely known long before the Christian era. For centuries, some say for thousands of years before that event, the Buddhist priests had a tradition that a Virgin was to bring forth a child to bless the world. That this tradition came from no Popish or Christian source, is evident from the surprise felt and expressed by the Jesuit missionaries, when they first entered Thibet and China, and not only found a mother and a child worshipped as at home, but that mother worshipped under a character exactly corresponding with that of their own Madonna, ”Virgo Deipara,” ”The Virgin mother of God,” * and that, too, in regions where they could not find the least trace of either the name or history of our Lord Jesus Christ having ever been known.
* See Sir J. F. DAVIS’S China, and LAFITAN, who says that the accounts sent home by the Popish missionaries bore that the sacred books of the Chinese spoke not merely of a Holy Mother, but of a Virgin Mother. For further evidence on this subject, see note below.
The primeval promise that the ”seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head,” naturally suggested the idea of a miraculous birth. Priestcraft and human presumption set themselves wickedly to anticipate the fulfilment of that promise; and the Babylonian queen seems to have been the first to whom that honour was given. The highest titles were accordingly bestowed upon her. She was called the ”queen of heaven.” (Jer 44:17,18,19,25) *
* When Ashta, or ”the woman,” came to be called the ”queen of heaven,” the name ”woman” became the highest title of honour applied to a female. This accounts for what we find so common among the ancient nations of the East, that queens and the most exalted personages were addressed by the name of ”woman.” ”Woman” is not a complimentary title in our language; but formerly it had been applied by our ancestors in the very same way as among the Orientals; for our word ”Queen” is derived from Cwino, which in the ancient Gothic just signified a woman.
In Egypt she was styled Athor–i.e., ”the Habitation of God,” (BUNSEN) to signify that in her dwelt all the ”fulness of the Godhead.” To point out the great goddess-mother, in a Pantheistic sense, as at once the Infinite and Almighty one, and the Virgin mother, this inscription was engraven upon one of her temples in Egypt: ”I am all that has been, or that is, or that shall be. No mortal has removed my veil. The fruit which I have brought forth is the Sun.” (Ibid.) In Greece she had the name of Hesita, and amongst the Romans, Vesta, which is just a modification of the same name–a name which, though it has been commonly understood in a different sense, really meant ”The Dwelling-place.” *
* Hestia, in Greek, signifies ”a house” or ”dwelling.” This is usually thought to be a secondary meaning of the word, its proper meaning being believed to be ”fire.” But the statements made in regard to Hestia, show that the name is derived from Hes or Hese, ”to cover, to shelter,” which is the very idea of a house, which ”covers” or ”shelters” from the inclemency of the weather. The verb ”Hes” also signifies ”to protect,” to ”show mercy,” and from this evidently comes the character of Hestia as ”the protectress of suppliants.” Taking Hestia as derived from Hes, ”to cover,” or ”shelter,” the following statement of Smith is easily accounted for: ”Hestia was the goddess of domestic life, and the giver of all domestic happiness; as such she was believed to dwell in the inner part of every house, and to have invented the art of building houses.” If ”fire” be supposed to be the original idea of Hestia, how could ”fire” ever have been supposed to be ”the builder of houses”! But taking Hestia in the sense of the Habitation or Dwelling-place, though derived from Hes, ”to shelter,” or ”cover,” it is easy to see how Hestia would come to be identified with ”fire.” The goddess who was regarded as the ”Habitation of God” was known by the name of Ashta, ”The Woman”; while ”Ashta” also signified ”The fire”; and thus Hestia or Vesta, as the Babylonian system was developed, would easily come to be regarded as ”Fire,” or ”the goddess of fire.” For the reason that suggested the idea of the Goddess-mother being a Habitation, see note below.
As the Dwelling-place of Deity, thus is Hestia or Vesta addressed in the Orphic Hymns:
”Daughter of Saturn, venerable dame,
Who dwell’st amid great fire’s eternal flame,
In thee the gods have fix’d their DWELLING-PLACE,
Strong stable basis of the mortal race.” *
* TAYLOR’S Orphic Hymns: Hymn to Vesta. Though Vesta is here called the daughter of Saturn, she is also identified in all the Pantheons with Cybele or Rhea, the wife of Saturn.
Even when Vesta is identified with fire, this same character of Vesta as ”The Dwelling-place” still distinctly appears. Thus Philolaus, speaking of a fire in the middle of the centre of the world, calls it ”The Vesta of the universe, The HOUSE of Jupiter, The mother of the gods.” In Babylon, the title of the goddess-mother as the Dwelling-place of God was Sacca, or in the emphatic form, Sacta, that is, ”The Tabernacle.” Hence, at this day, the great goddesses in India, as wielding all the power of the god whom they represent, are called ”Sacti,” or the ”Tabernacle.” *
* KENNEDY and MOOR. A synonym for Sacca, ”a tabernacle,” is ”Ahel,” which, with the points, is pronounced ”Ohel.” From the first form of the word, the name of the wife of the god Buddha seems to be derived, which, in KENNEDY, is Ahalya, and in MOOR’S Pantheon, Ahilya. From the second form, in like manner, seems to be derived the name of the wife of the Patriarch of the Peruvians, ”Mama Oello.” (PRESCOTT’S Peru) Mama was by the Peruvians used in the Oriental sense: Oello, in all likelihood, was used in the same sense.
Now in her, as the Tabernacle or Temple of God, not only all power, but all grace and goodness were believed to dwell. Every quality of gentleness and mercy was regarded as centred in her; and when death had closed her career, while she was fabled to have been deified and changed into a pigeon, * to express the celestial benignity of her nature, she was called by the name of ”D’Iune,” ** or ”The Dove,” or without the article, ”Juno”–the name of the Roman ”queen of heaven,” which has the very same meaning; and under the form of a dove as well as her own, she was worshipped by the Babylonians.
* DIODORUS SIC. In connection with this the classical reader will remember the title of one of the fables in OVID’S Metamorphoses. ”Semiramis into a pigeon.”
** Dione, the name of the mother of Venus, and frequently applied to Venus herself, is evidently the same name as the above. Dione, as meaning Venus, is clearly applied by Ovid to the Babylonian goddess. (Fasti)
The dove, the chosen symbol of this deified queen, is commonly represented with an olive branch in her mouth, as she herself in her human form also is seen bearing the olive branch in her hand; and from this form of representing her, it is highly probable that she has derived the name by which she is commonly known, for ”Z’emir-amit” means ”The branch-bearer.” *
* From Ze, ”the” or ”that,” emir, ”branch,” and amit, ”bearer,” in the feminine. HESYCHIUS says that Semiramis is a name for a ”wild pigeon.” The above explanation of the original meaning of the name Semiramis, as referring to Noah’s wild pigeon (for it was evidently a wild one, as the tame one would not have suited the experiment), may account for its application by the Greeks to any wild pigeon.
When the goddess was thus represented as the Dove with the olive branch, there can be no doubt that the symbol had partly reference to the story of the flood; but there was much more in the symbol than a mere memorial of that great event. ”A branch,” as has been already proved, was the symbol of the deified son, and when the deified mother was represented as a Dove, what could the meaning of this representation be but just to identify her with the Spirit of all grace, that brooded, dove-like, over the deep at the creation; for in the sculptures at Nineveh, as we have seen, the wings and tail of the dove represented the third member of the idolatrous Assyrian trinity. In confirmation of this view, it must be stated that the Assyrian ”Juno,” or ”The Virgin Venus,” as she was called, was identified with the air. Thus Julius Firmicus says: ”The Assyrians and part of the Africans wish the air to have the supremacy of the elements, for they have consecrated this same [element] under the name of Juno, or the Virgin Venus.” Why was air thus identified with Juno, whose symbol was that of the third person of the Assyrian trinity? Why, but because in Chaldee the same word which signifies the air signifies also the ”Holy Ghost.” The knowledge of this entirely accounts for the statement of Proclus, that ”Juno imports the generation of soul.” Whence could the soul–the spirit of man–be supposed to have its origin, but from the Spirit of God. In accordance with this character of Juno as the incarnation of the Divine Spirit, the source of life, and also as the goddess of the air, thus is she invoked in the ”Orphic Hymns”:
”O royal Juno, of majestic mien,
Aerial formed, divine, Jove’s blessed queen,
Throned in the bosom of caerulean air,
The race of mortals is thy constant care;
The cooling gales, thy power alone inspires,
Which nourish life, which every life desires;
Mother of showers and winds, from thee alone
Producing all things, mortal life is known;
All natures show thy temperament divine,
And universal sway alone is thine,
With sounding blasts of wind, the swelling sea
And rolling rivers roar when shook by thee.” *
* TAYLOR’S Orphic Hymns. Every classical reader must be aware of the identification of Juno with the air. The following, however, as still further illustrative of the subject from Proclus, may not be out of place: ”The series of our sovereign mistress Juno, beginning from on high, pervades the last of things, and her allotment in the sublunary region is the air; for air is a symbol of soul, according to which also soul is called a spirit.”
Thus, then, the deified queen, when in all respects regarded as a veritable woman, was at the same time adored as the incarnation of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of peace and love. In the temple of Hierapolis in Syria, there was a famous statue of the goddess Juno, to which crowds from all quarters flocked to worship. The image of the goddess was richly habited, on her head was a golden dove, and she was called by a name peculiar to the country, ”Semeion.” (BRYANT) What is the meaning of Semeion? It is evidently ”The Habitation”; * and the ”golden dove” on her head shows plainly who it was that was supposed to dwell in her–even the Spirit of God.
* From Ze, ”that,” or ”the great,” and ”Maaon,” or Maion, ”a habitation,” which, in the Ionic dialect, in which Lucian, the describer of the goddess, wrote, would naturally become Meion.
When such transcendent dignity was bestowed on her, when such winning characters were attributed to her, and when, over and above all, her images presented her to the eyes of men as Venus Urania, ”the heavenly Venus,” the queen of beauty, who assured her worshippers of salvation, while giving loose reins to every unholy passion, and every depraved and sensual appetite–no wonder that everywhere she was enthusiastically adored. Under the name of the ”Mother of the gods,” the goddess queen of Babylon became an object of almost universal worship. ”The Mother of the gods,” says Clericus, ”was worshipped by the Persians, the Syrians, and all the kings of Europe and Asia, with the most profound religious veneration.” Tacitus gives evidence that the Babylonian goddess was worshipped in the heart of Germany, and Caesar, when he invaded Britain, found that the priests of this same goddess, known by the name of Druids, had been there before him. *
* CAESAR, De Bello Gallico. The name Druid has been thought to be derived from the Greek Drus, an oak tree, or the Celtic Deru, which has the same meaning; but this is obviously a mistake. In Ireland, the name for a Druid is Droi, and in Wales Dryw; and it will be found that the connection of the Druids with the oak was more from the mere similarity of their name to that of the oak, than because they derived their name from it. The Druidic system in all its parts was evidently the Babylonian system. Dionysius informs us, that the rites of Bacchus were duly celebrated in the British Islands and Strabo cites Artemidorus to show that, in an island close to Britain, Ceres and Proserpine were venerated with rites similar to the orgies of Samothrace. It will be seen from the account of the Druidic Ceridwen and her child, afterwards to be noticed (see Chapter IV, Section III), that there was a great analogy between her character and that of the great goddess-mother of Babylon. Such was the system; and the name Dryw, or Droi, applied to the priests, is in exact accordance with that system. The name Zero, given in Hebrew or the early Chaldee, to the son of the great goddess queen, in later Chaldee became ”Dero.” The priest of Dero, ”the seed,” was called, as is the case in almost all religions, by the name of his god; and hence the familiar name ”Druid” is thus proved to signify the priest of ”Dero”–the woman’s promised ”seed.” The classical Hamadryads were evidently in like manner priestesses of ”Hamed-dero,”–”the desired seed”–i.e., ”the desire of all nations.”
Herodotus, from personal knowledge, testifies, that in Egypt this ”queen of heaven” was ”the greatest and most worshipped of all the divinities.” Wherever her worship was introduced, it is amazing what fascinating power it exerted. Truly, the nations might be said to be ”made drunk” with the wine of her fornications. So deeply, in particular, did the Jews in the days of Jeremiah drink of her wine cup, so bewitched were they with her idolatrous worship, that even after Jerusalem had been burnt, and the land desolated for this very thing, they could not be prevailed on to give it up. While dwelling in Egypt as forlorn exiles, instead of being witnesses for God against the heathenism around them, they were as much devoted to this form of idolatry as the Egyptians themselves. Jeremiah was sent of God to denounce wrath against them, if they continued to worship the queen of heaven; but his warnings were in vain. ”Then,” saith the prophet, ”all the men which knew that their wives had burnt incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee; but we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem; for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil” (Jer 44:15-17). Thus did the Jews, God’s own peculiar people, emulate the Egyptians in their devotion to the queen of heaven.
The worship of the goddess-mother with the child in her arms continued to be observed in Egypt till Christianity entered. If the Gospel had come in power among the mass of the people, the worship of this goddess-queen would have been overthrown. With the generality it came only in name. Instead, therefore, of the Babylonian goddess being cast out, in too many cases her name only was changed. She was called the Virgin Mary, and, with her child, was worshipped with the same idolatrous feeling by professing Christians, as formerly by open and avowed Pagans. The consequence was, that when, in AD 325, the Nicene Council was summoned to condemn the heresy of Arius, who denied the true divinity of Christ, that heresy indeed was condemned, but not without the help of men who gave distinct indications of a desire to put the creature on a level with the Creator, to set the Virgin-mother side by side with her Son. At the Council of Nice, says the author of ”Nimrod,” ”The Melchite section”–that is, the representatives of the so-called Christianity of Egypt–”held that there were three persons in the Trinity–the Father, the Virgin Mary, and Messiah their Son.” In reference to this astounding fact, elicited by the Nicene Council, Father Newman speaks exultingly of these discussions as tending to the glorification of Mary. ”Thus,” says he, ”the controversy opened a question which it did not settle. It discovered a new sphere, if we may so speak, in the realms of light, to which the Church had not yet assigned its inhabitant. Thus, there was a wonder in Heaven; a throne was seen far above all created powers, mediatorial, intercessory, a title archetypal, a crown bright as the morning star, a glory issuing from the eternal throne, robes pure as the heavens, and a sceptre over all. And who was the predestined heir of that majesty? Who was that wisdom, and what was her name, the mother of fair love, and far, and holy hope, exalted like a palm-tree in Engaddi, and a rose-plant in Jericho, created from the beginning before the world, in God’s counsels, and in Jerusalem was her power? The vision is found in the Apocalypse ‘a Woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.’” *
* NEWMAN’S Development. The intelligent reader will see at a glance the absurdity of applying this vision of the ”woman” of the Apocalypse to the Virgin Mary. John expressly declares that what he saw was a ”sign” or ”symbol” (semeion). If the woman here is a literal woman, the woman that sits on the seven hills must be the same. ”The woman” in both cases is a ”symbol.” ”The woman” on the seven hills is the symbol of the false church; the woman clothed with the sun, of the true church–the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.
”The votaries of Mary,” adds he, ”do not exceed the true faith, unless the blasphemers of her Son came up to it. The Church of Rome is not idolatrous, unless Arianism is orthodoxy.” This is the very poetry of blasphemy. It contains an argument too; but what does that argument amount to? It just amounts to this, that if Christ be admitted to be truly and properly God, and worthy of Divine honours, His mother, from whom He derived merely His humanity, must be admitted to be the same, must be raised far above the level of all creatures, and be worshipped as a partaker of the Godhead. The divinity of Christ is made to stand or fall with the divinity of His mother. Such is Popery in the nineteenth century; yea, such is Popery in England. It was known already that Popery abroad was bold and unblushing in its blasphemies; that in Lisbon a church was to be seen with these words engraven on its front, ”To the virgin goddess of Loretto, the Italian race, devoted to her DIVINITY, have dedicated this temple.” (Journal of Professor GIBSON, in Scottish Protestant) But when till now was such language ever heard in Britain before? This, however, is just the exact reproduction of the doctrine of ancient Babylon in regard to the great goddess-mother. The Madonna of Rome, then, is just the Madonna of Babylon. The ”Queen of Heaven” in the one system is the same as the ”Queen of Heaven” in the other. The goddess worshipped in Babylon and Egypt as the Tabernacle or Habitation of God, is identical with her who, under the name of Mary, is called by Rome ”The HOUSE consecrated to God,” ”the awful Dwelling-place,” * ”the Mansion of God” (Pancarpium Marioe), the ”Tabernacle of the Holy Ghost” (Garden of the Soul), the ”Temple of the Trinity” (Golden Manual in Scottish Protestant).
* The Golden Manual in Scottish Protestant. The word here used for ”Dwelling-place” in the Latin of this work is a pure Chaldee word–”Zabulo,” and is from the same verb as Zebulun (Gen 30:20), the name which was given by Leah to her son, when she said ”Now will my husband dwell with me.”
Some may possibly be inclined to defend such language, by saying that the Scripture makes every believer to be a temple of the Holy Ghost, and, therefore, what harm can there be in speaking of the Virgin Mary, who was unquestionably a saint of God, under that name, or names of a similar import? Now, no doubt it is true that Paul says (1 Cor 3:16), ”Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” It is not only true, but it is a great truth, and a blessed one–a truth that enhances every comfort when enjoyed, and takes the sting out of every trouble when it comes, that every genuine Christian has less or more experience of what is contained in these words of the same apostle (2 Cor 6:16), ”Ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” It must also be admitted, and gladly admitted, that this implies the indwelling of all the Persons of the glorious Godhead; for the Lord Jesus hath said (John 14:23), ”If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and WE will come unto him, and make our abode with him.” But while admitting all this, on examination it will be found that the Popish and the Scriptural ideas conveyed by these expressions, however apparently similar, are essentially different. When it is said that a believer is ”a temple of God,” or a temple of the Holy Ghost, the meaning is (Eph 3:17) that ”Christ dwells in the heart by faith.” But when Rome says that Mary is ”The Temple” or ”Tabernacle of God,” the meaning is the exact Pagan meaning of the term–viz., that the union between her and the Godhead is a union akin to the hypostatical union between the divine and human nature of Christ. The human nature of Christ is the ”Tabernacle of God,” inasmuch as the Divine nature has veiled its glory in such a way, by assuming our nature, that we can come near without overwhelming dread to the Holy God. To this glorious truth John refers when he says (John 1:14), ”The Word was made flesh, and dwelt (literally tabernacled) among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” In this sense, Christ, the God-man, is the only ”Tabernacle of God.” Now, it is precisely in this sense that Rome calls Mary the ”Tabernacle of God,” or of the ”Holy Ghost.” Thus speaks the author of a Popish work devoted to the exaltation of the Virgin, in which all the peculiar titles and prerogatives of Christ are given to Mary: ”Behold the tabernacle of God, the mansion of God, the habitation, the city of God is with men, and in men and for men, for their salvation, and exaltation, and eternal glorification…Is it most clear that this is true of the holy church? and in like manner also equally true of the most holy sacrament of the Lord’s body? Is it (true) of every one of us in as far as we are truly Christians? Undoubtedly; but we have to contemplate this mystery (as existing) in a peculiar manner in the most holy Mother of our Lord.” (Pancarpium Marioe) Then the author, after endeavouring to show that ”Mary is rightly considered as the Tabernacle of God with men,” and that in a peculiar sense, a sense different from that in which all Christians are the ”temple of God,” thus proceeds with express reference to her in this character of the Tabernacle: ”Great truly is the benefit, singular is the privilege, that the Tabernacle of God should be with men, IN WHICH men may safely come near to God become man.” (Ibid.) Here the whole mediatorial glory of Christ, as the God-man in whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, is given to Mary, or at least is shared with her. The above extracts are taken from a work published upwards of two hundred years ago. Has the Papacy improved since then? Has it repented of its blasphemies? No, the very reverse. The quotation already given from Father Newman proves this; but there is still stronger proof. In a recently published work, the same blasphemous idea is even more clearly unfolded. While Mary is called ”The HOUSE consecrated to God,” and the ”TEMPLE of the Trinity,” the following versicle and response will show in what sense she is regarded as the temple of the Holy Ghost: ”V. The Lord himself created HER in the Holy Ghost, and POURED HER out among all his works. V. O Lady, hear,” &c. This astounding language manifestly implies that Mary is identified with the Holy Ghost, when it speaks of her ”being poured out” on ”all the works of God”; and that, as we have seen, was just the very way in which the Woman, regarded as the ”Tabernacle” or House of God by the Pagans, was looked upon. Where is such language used in regard to the Virgin? Not in Spain; not in Austria; not in the dark places of Continental Europe; but in London, the seat and centre of the world’s enlightenment.
The names of blasphemy bestowed by the Papacy on Mary have not one shadow of foundation in the Bible, but are all to be found in the Babylonian idolatry. Yea, the very features and complexions of the Roman and Babylonian Madonnas are the same. Till recent times, when Raphael somewhat departed from the beaten track, there was nothing either Jewish or even Italian in the Romish Madonnas. Had these pictures or images of the Virgin Mother been intended to represent the mother of our Lord, naturally they would have been cast either in the one mould or the other. But it was not so. In a land of dark-eyed beauties, with raven locks, the Madonna was always represented with blue eyes and golden hair, a complexion entirely different form the Jewish complexion, which naturally would have been supposed to belong to the mother of our Lord, but which precisely agrees with that which all antiquity attributes to the goddess queen of Babylon. In almost all lands the great goddess has been described with golden or yellow hair, showing that there must have been one grand prototype, to which they were all made to correspond. The ”yellow-haired Ceres,” might not have been accounted of any weight in this argument if she had stood alone, for it might have been supposed in that case that the epithet ”yellow-haired” was borrowed from the corn that was supposed to be under her guardian care. But many other goddesses have the very same epithet applied to them. Europa, whom Jupiter carried away in the form of a bull, is called ”The yellow-haired Europa.” (OVID, Fasti) Minerva is called by Homer ”the blue-eyed Minerva,” and by Ovid ”the yellow-haired”; the huntress Diana, who is commonly identified with the moon, is addressed by Anacreon as ”the yellow-haired daughter of Jupiter,” a title which the pale face of the silver moon could surely never have suggested. Dione, the mother of Venus, is described by Theocritus as ”yellow-haired.” Venus herself is frequently called ”Aurea Venus,” the ”golden Venus.” (HOMER’S Iliad) The Indian goddess Lakshmi, the ”Mother of the Universe,” is described as of ”a golden complexion.” (Asiatic Researches) Ariadne, the wife of Bacchus, was called ”the yellow-haired Ariadne.” (HESIOD, Theogonia) Thus does Dryden refer to her golden or yellow hair:
”Where the rude waves in Dian’s harbour play,
The fair forsaken Ariadne lay;
There, sick with grief and frantic with despair,
Her dress she rent, and tore her golden hair.”
The Gorgon Medusa before her transformation, while celebrated for her beauty, was equally celebrated for her golden hair:
”Medusa once had charms: to gain her love
A rival crowd of anxious lovers strove.
They who have seen her, own they ne’er did trace
More moving features in a sweeter face;
But above all, her length of hair they own
In golden ringlets waves, and graceful shone.”
The mermaid that figured so much in the romantic tales of the north, which was evidently borrowed from the story of Atergatis, the fish goddess of Syria, who was called the mother of Semiramis, and was sometimes identified with Semiramis herself, was described with hair of the same kind. ”The Ellewoman,” such is the Scandinavian name for the mermaid, ”is fair,” says the introduction to the ”Danish Tales” of Hans Andersen, ”and gold-haired, and plays most sweetly on a stringed instrument.” ”She is frequently seen sitting on the surface of the waters, and combing her long golden hair with a golden comb.” Even when Athor, the Venus of Egypt, was represented as a cow, doubtless to indicate the complexion of the goddess that cow represented, the cow’s head and neck were gilded. (HERODOTUS and WILKINSON) When, therefore, it is known that the most famed pictures of the Virgin Mother in Italy represented her as of a fair complexion and with golden hair, and when over all Ireland the Virgin is almost invariably represented at this day in the very same manner, who can resist the conclusion that she must have been thus represented, only because she had been copied form the same prototype as the Pagan divinities?
Nor is this agreement in complexion only, but also in features. Jewish features are everywhere marked, and have a character peculiarly their own. But the original Madonnas have nothing at all of Jewish form or feature; but are declared by those who have personally compared both, entirely to agree in this respect, as well as in complexion, with the Babylonian Madonnas found by Sir Robert Ker Porter among the ruins of Babylon.
There is yet another remarkable characteristic of these pictures worthy of notice, and that is the nimbus or peculiar circle of light that frequently encompasses the head of the Roman Madonna. With this circle the heads of the so-called figures of Christ are also frequently surrounded. Whence could such a device have originated? In the case of our Lord, if His head had been merely surrounded with rays, there might have been some pretence for saying that that was borrowed from the Evangelic narrative, where it is stated, that on the holy mount His face became resplendent with light. But where, in the whole compass of Scripture, do we ever read that His head was surrounded with a disk, or a circle of light? But what will be searched for in vain in the Word of God, is found in he artistic representations of the great gods and goddesses of Babylon. The disk, and particularly the circle, were the well known symbols of the Sun-divinity, and figured largely in the symbolism of the East. With the circle or the disk the head of the Sun-divinity was encompassed. The same was the case in Pagan Rome. Apollo, as the child of the Sun, was often thus represented. The goddesses that claimed kindred with the Sun were equally entitled to be adorned with the nimbus or luminous circle. From Pompeii there is a representation of Circe, ”the daughter of the Sun” with her head surrounded with a circle, in the very same way as the head of the Roman Madonna is at this day surrounded. Let any one compare the nimbus around the head of Circe, with that around the head of the Popish Virgin, and he will see how exactly they correspond. *
* The explanation of the figure is thus given in Pompeii: ”One of them [the paintings] is taken from the Odyssey, and represents Ulysses and Circe, at the moment when the hero, having drunk the charmed cup with impunity, by virtue of the antidote given him by Mercury [it is well known that Circe had a 'golden cup,' even as the Venus of Babylon had], draws his sword, and advances to avenge his companions,” who, having drunk of her cup, had been changed into swine. The goddess, terrified, makes her submission at once, as described by Homer; Ulysses himself being the narrator:
”Hence, seek the sty, there wallow with thy friends,
She spake, I drawing from beside my thigh
My Falchion keen, with death-denouncing looks,
Rushed on her; she, with a shrill scream of fear,
Ran under my raised arm, seized fast my knees,
And in winged accents plaintive, thus began:
‘Say, who art thou,’” &c.–COWPER’S Odyssey
”This picture,” adds the author of Pompeii, ”is remarkable, as teaching us the origin of that ugly and unmeaning glory by which the heads of saints are often surrounded…This glory was called nimbus, or aureola, and is defined by Servius to be ‘the luminous fluid which encircles the heads of the gods.’ It belongs with peculiar propriety to Circe, as the daughter of the Sun. The emperors, with their usual modesty, assumed it as the mark of their divinity; and under this respectable patronage it passed, like many other Pagan superstitions and customs, into the use of the Church.” The emperors here get rather more than a fair share of the blame due to them. It was not the emperors that brought ”Pagan superstition” into the Church, so much as the Bishop of Rome. See Chapter VII, Section II.
Now, could any one possibly believe that all this coincidence could be accidental. Of course, if the Madonna had ever so exactly resembled the Virgin Mary, that would never have excused idolatry. But when it is evident that the goddess enshrined in the Papal Church for the supreme worship of its votaries, is that very Babylonian queen who set up Nimrod, or Ninus ”the Son,” as the rival of Christ, and who in her own person was the incarnation of every kind of licentiousness, how dark a character does that stamp on the Roman idolatry. What will it avail to mitigate the heinous character of that idolatry, to say that the child she holds forth to adoration is called by the name of Jesus? When she was worshipped with her child in Babylon of old, that child was called by a name as peculiar to Christ, as distinctive of His glorious character, as the name of Jesus. He was called ”Zoro-ashta,” ”the seed of the woman.” But that did not hinder the hot anger of God from being directed against those in the days of old who worshipped that ”image of jealousy, provoking to jealousy.” *
* Ezekiel 8:3. There have been many speculations about what this ”image of jealousy” could be. But when it is known that the grand feature of ancient idolatry was just the worship of the Mother and the child, and that child as the Son of God incarnate, all is plain. Compare verses 3 and 5 with verse 14, and it will be seen that the ”women weeping for Tammuz” were weeping close beside the image of jealousy.
Neither can the giving of the name of Christ to the infant in the arms of the Romish Madonna, make it less the ”image of jealousy,” less offensive to the Most High, less fitted to provoke His high displeasure, when it is evident that that infant is worshipped as the child of her who was adored as Queen of Heaven, with all the attributes of divinity, and was at the same time the ”Mother of harlots and abominations of the earth.” Image-worship in every case the Lord abhors; but image-worship of such a kind as this must be peculiarly abhorrent to His holy soul. Now, if the facts I have adduced be true, is it wonderful that such dreadful threatenings should be directed in the Word of God against the Romish apostacy, and that the vials of this tremendous wrath are destined to be outpoured upon its guilty head? If these things be true (and gainsay them who can), who will venture now to plead for Papal Rome, or to call her a Christian Church? Is there one, who fears God, and who reads these lines, who would not admit that Paganism alone could ever have inspired such a doctrine as that avowed by the Melchites at the Nicene Council, that the Holy Trinity consisted of ”the Father, the Virgin Mary, and the Messiah their Son”? (Quarterly Journal of Prophecy, July, 1852) Is there one who would not shrink with horror from such a thought? What, then, would the reader say of a Church that teaches its children to adore such a Trinity as that contained in the following lines?
”Heart of Jesus, I adore thee;
Heart of Mary, I implore thee;
Heart of Joseph, pure and just;
IN THESE THREE HEARTS I PUT MY TRUST.” *
* What every Christian must Know and Do. By the Rev. J. FURNISS. Published by James Duffy, Dublin. The edition of this Manual of Popery quoted above, besides the blasphemy it contains, contains most immoral principles, teaching distinctly the harmlessness of fraud, if only kept within due bounds. On this account, a great outcry having been raised against it, I believe this edition has been withdrawn from general circulation. The genuineness of the passage above given is, however, beyond all dispute. I received myself from a fried in Liverpool a copy of the edition containing these words, which is now in my possession, having previously seen them in a copy in the possession of the Rev. Richard Smyth of Armagh. It is not in Ireland, however, only, that such a trinity is exhibited for the worship of Romanists. In a Card, or Fly-leaf, issued by the Popish priests of Sunderland, now lying before me, with the heading ”Paschal Duty, St. Mary’s Church, Bishopwearmouth, 1859,” the following is the 4th admonition given to the ”Dear Christians” to whom it is addressed:
”4. And never forget the acts of a good Christian, recommended to you so often during the renewal of the Mission.
Blessed be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart, my life, and my soul.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, assist me always; and in my last agony,
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, receive my last breath. Amen.”
To induce the adherents of Rome to perform this ”act of a good Christian,” a considerable bribe is held out. In p. 30 of Furniss’ Manual above referred to, under the head ”Rule of Life,” the following passage occurs: ”In the morning, before you get up, make the sign of the cross, and say, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I give you my heart and my soul. (Each time you say this prayer, you get an indulgence of 100 days, which you can give to the souls in Purgatory)!” I must add that the title of Furniss’ book, as given above, is the title of Mr. Smyth’s copy. The title of the copy in my possession is ”What every Christian must Know.” London: Richardson & Son, 147 Strand. Both copies alike have the blasphemous words given in the text, and both have the ”Imprimatur” of ”Paulus Cullen.”
If this is not Paganism, what is there that can be called by such a name? Yet this is the Trinity which now the Roman Catholics of Ireland from tender infancy are taught to adore. This is the Trinity which, in the latest books of catechetical instruction is presented as the grand object of devotion to the adherents of the Papacy. The manual that contains this blasphemy comes forth with the express ”Imprimatur” of ”Paulus Cullen,” Popish Archbishop of Dublin. Will any one after this say that the Roman Catholic Church must still be called Christian, because it holds the doctrine of the Trinity? So did the Pagan Babylonians, so did the Egyptians, so do the Hindoos at this hour, in the very same sense in which Rome does. They all admitted A trinity, but did they worship THE Triune Jehovah, the King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible? And will any one say with such evidence before him, that Rome does so? Away then, with the deadly delusion that Rome is Christian! There might once have been some palliation for entertaining such a supposition; but every day the ”Grand Mystery” is revealing itself more and more in its true character. There is not, and there cannot be, any safety for the souls of men in ”Babylon.” ”Come out of her, my people,” is the loud and express command of God. Those who disobey that command, do it at their peril.


Notes
The Identification of Rhea or Cybele and Venus
In the exoteric doctrine of Greece and Rome, the characters of Cybele, the mother of the gods, and of Venus, the goddess of love, are generally very distinct, insomuch that some minds may perhaps find no slight difficulty in regard to the identification of these two divinities. But that difficulty will disappear, if the fundamental principle of the Mysteries be borne in mind–viz., that at bottom they recognised only Adad, ”The One God.” Adad being Triune, this left room, when the Babylonian Mystery of Iniquity took shape, for three different FORMS of divinity–the father, the mother, and the son; but all the multiform divinities with which the Pagan world abounded, whatever diversities there were among them, were resolved substantially into so many manifestations of one or other of these divine persons, or rather of two, for the first person was generally in the background. We have distinct evidence that this was the case. Apuleius tells us, that when he was initiated, the goddess Isis revealed herself to him as ”The first of the celestials, and the uniform manifestation of the gods and goddesses…WHOSE ONE SOLE DIVINITY the whole orb of the earth venerated, and under a manifold form, with different rites, and under a variety of appellations”; and going over many of these appellations, she declares herself to be at once ”Pessinuntica, the mother of the gods [i.e. Cybele], and Paphian Venus.” Now, as this was the case in the later ages of the Mysteries, so it must have been the case from the very beginning; because they SET OUT, and necessarily set out, with the doctrine of the UNITY of the Godhead. This, of course, would give rise to no little absurdity and inconsistency in the very nature of the case. Both Wilkinson and Bunsen, to get rid of the inconsistencies they have met with in the Egyptian system, have found it necessary to have recourse to substantially the same explanation as I have done. Thus we find Wilkinson saying: ”I have stated that Amun-re and other gods took the form of different deities, which, though it appears at first sight to present some difficulty, may readily be accounted for when we consider that each of those whose figures or emblem were adopted, was only an EMANATION, or deified attribute of the SAME GREAT BEING to whom they ascribed various characters, according to the several offices he was supposed to perform.” The statement of Bunsen is to the same effect, and it is this: ”Upon these premises, we think ourselves justified in concluding that the two series of gods were originally identical, and that, in the GREAT PAIR of gods, all those attributes were concentrated, from the development of which, in various personifications, that mythological system sprang up which we have been already considering.”
The bearing of all this upon the question of the identification of Cybele and Astarte, or Venus, is important. Fundamentally, there was but one goddess–the Holy Spirit, represented as female, when the distinction of sex was wickedly ascribed to the Godhead, through a perversion of the great Scripture idea, that all the children of God are at once begotten of the Father, and born of the Spirit; and under this idea, the Spirit of God, as Mother, was represented under the form of a dove, in memory of the fact that that Spirit, at the creation, ”fluttered”–for so, as I have observed, is the exact meaning of the term in Genesis 1:2–”on the face of the waters.” This goddess, then, was called Ops, ”the flutterer,” or Juno, ”The Dove,” or Khubele, ”The binder with cords,” which last title had reference to ”the bands of love, the cords of a man” (called in Hosea 11:4, ”Khubeli Adam”), with which not only does God @mL3 continually, by His providential goodness, draw men unto Himself, but with which our first parent Adam, through the Spirit’s indwelling, while the covenant of Eden was unbroken, was sweetly bound to God. This theme is minutely dwelt on in Pagan story, and the evidence is very abundant; but I cannot enter upon it here. Let this only be noticed, however, that the Romans joined the two terms Juno and Khubele–or, as it is commonly pronounced, Cybele–together; and on certain occasions invoked their supreme goddess, under the name of Juno Covella–that is, ”The dove that binds with cords.”
If the reader looks, in Layard, at the triune emblem of the supreme Assyrian divinity, he will see this very idea visibly embodied. There the wings and tail of the dove have two bands associated with them instead of feet (LAYARD’S Nineveh and its Remains).
In reference to events after the Fall, Cybele got a new idea attached to her name. Khubel signifies not only to ”bind with cords,” but also ”to travail in birth”; and therefore Cybele appeared as the ”Mother of the gods,” by whom all God’s children must be born anew or regenerated. But, for this purpose, it was held indispensable that there should be a union in the first instance with Rhea, ”The gazer,” the human ”mother of gods and men,” that the ruin she had introduced might be remedied. Hence the identification of Cybele and Rhea, which in all the Pantheons are declared to be only two different names of the same goddess, though, as we have seen, these goddesses were in reality entirely distinct. This same principle was applied to all the other deified mothers. They were deified only through the supposed miraculous identification with them of Juno or Cybele–in other words, of the Holy Spirit of God. Each of these mothers had her own legend, and had special worship suited thereto; but, as in all cases, she was held to be an incarnation of the one spirit of God, as the great Mother of all, the attributes of that one Spirit were always pre-supposed as belonging to her. This, then, was the case with the goddess recognised as Astarte or Venus, as well as with Rhea. Though there were points of difference between Cybele, or Rhea, and Astarte or Mylitta, the Assyrian Venus, Layard shows that there were also distinct points of contact between them. Cybele or Rhea was remarkable for her turreted crown. Mylitta, or Astarte, was represented with a similar crown. Cybele, or Rhea, was drawn by lions; Mylitta, or Astarte, was represented as standing on a lion. The worship of Mylitta, or Astarte, was a mass of moral pollution (HERODOTUS). The worship of Cybele, under the name of Terra, was the same (AUGUSTINE, De Civitate).
The first deified woman was no doubt Semiramis, as the first deified man was her husband. But it is evident that it was some time after the Mysteries began that this deification took place; for it was not till after Semiramis was dead that she was exalted to divinity, and worshipped under the form of a dove. When, however, the Mysteries were originally concocted, the deeds of Eve, who, through her connection with the serpent, brought forth death, must necessarily have occupied a place; for the Mystery of sin and death lies at the very foundation of all religion, and in the age of Semiramis and Nimrod, and Shem and Ham, all men must have been well acquainted with the facts of the Fall. At first the sin of Eve may have been admitted in all its sinfulness (otherwise men generally would have been shocked, especially when the general conscience had been quickened through the zeal of Shem); but when a woman was to be deified, the shape that the mystic story came to assume shows that that sin was softened, yea, that it changed its very character, and that by a perversion of the name given to Eve, as ”the mother of all living ones,” that is, all the regenerate, she was glorified as the authoress of spiritual life, and, under the very name Rhea, was recognised as the mother of the gods. Now, those who had the working of the Mystery of Iniquity did not find it very difficult to show that this name Rhea, originally appropriate to the mother of mankind, was hardly less appropriate for her who was the actual mother of the gods, that is, of all the deified mortals. Rhea, in the active sense, signifies ”the Gazing woman,” but in the passive it signifies ”The woman gazed at,” that is, ”The beauty,” and thus, under one and the same term, the mother of mankind and the mother of the Pagan gods, that is, Semiramis, were amalgamated; insomcuh, that now, as is well known, Rhea is currently recognised as the ”Mother of gods and men” (HESIOD, Theogon). It is not wonderful, therefore that the name Rhea is found applied to her, who, by the Assyrians, was worshipped in the very character of Astarte or Venus.
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The Virgin Mother of Paganism
”Almost all the Tartar princes,” says SALVERTE (Des Sciences Occultes), ”trace their genealogy to a celestial virgin, impregnated by a sun-beam, or some equally miraculous means.” In India, the mother of Surya, the sun-god, who was born to destroy the enemies of the gods, is said to have become pregnant in this way, a beam of the sun having entered her womb, in consequence of which she brought forth the sun-god. Now the knowledge of this widely diffused myth casts light on the secret meaning of the name Aurora, given to the wife of Orion, to whose marriage with that ”mighty hunter” Homer refers (Odyssey). While the name Aur-ora, in the physical sense, signifies also ”pregnant with light”; and from ”ohra,” ”to conceive” or be ”pregnant,” we have in Greek, the word for a wife. As Orion, according to Persian accounts, was Nimrod; and Nimrod, under the name of Ninus, was worshipped as the son of his wife, when he came to be deified as the sun-god, that name Aurora, as applied to his wife, is evidently intended to convey the very same idea as prevails in Tartary and India. These myths of the Tartars and Hindoos clearly prove that the Pagan idea of the miraculous conception had not come from any intermixture of Christianity with that superstition, but directly from the promise of ”the seed of the woman.” But how, it may be asked, could the idea of being pregnant with a sunbeam arise? There is reason to believe that it came from one of the natural names of the sun. From the Chaldean zhr, ”to shine,” comes, in the participle active, zuhro or zuhre, ”the Shiner”; and hence, no doubt, from zuhro, ”the Shiner,” under the prompting of a designing priesthood, men would slide into the idea of zuro, ”the seed,”–”the Shiner” and ”the seed,” according to the genius of Paganism, being thus identified. This was manifestly the case in Persia, where the sun as the great divinity; for the ”Persians,” says Maurice, ”called God Sure” (Antiquities).
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The Goddess Mother as a Habitation
What could ever have induced mankind to think of calling the great Goddess-mother, or mother of gods and men, a House or Habitation? The answer is evidently to be found in a statement made in Genesis 2:21, in regard to the formation of the mother of mankind: ”And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made (margin, literally BUILDED) he into a woman.” That this history of the rib was well known to the Babylonians, is manifest from one of the names given to their primeval goddess, as found in Berosus. That name is Thalatth. But Thalatth is just the Chaldean form of the Hebrew Tzalaa, in the feminine,–the very word used in Genesis for the rib, of which Eve was formed; and the other name which Berosus couples with Thalatth, does much to confirm this; for that name, which is Omorka, * just signifies ”The Mother of the world.”
* From ”Am,” ”mother,” and ”arka,” ”earth.” The first letter aleph in both of these words is often pronounced as o. Thus the pronunciation of a in Am, ”mother,” is seen in the Greek a ”shoulder.” Am, ”mother,” comes from am, ”to support,” and from am, pronounced om, comes the shoulder that bears burdens. Hence also the name Oma, as one of the names of Bona Des. Oma is evidently the ”Mother.”
When we have thus deciphered the meaning of the name Thalatth, as applied to the ”mother of the world,” that leads us at once to the understanding, of the name Thalasius, applied by the Romans to the god of marriage, the origin of which name has hitherto been sought in vain. Thalatthi signifies ”belonging to the rib,” and, with the Roman termination, becomes Thalatthius or ”Thalasius, the man of the rib.” And what name more appropriate than this for Adam, as the god of marriage, who, when the rib was brought to him, said, ”This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man.” At first, when Thalatth, the rib, was builded into a woman, that ”woman” was, in a very important sense, the ”Habitation” or ”Temple of God”; and had not the Fall intervened, all her children would, in consequence of mere natural generation, have been the children of God. The entrance of sin into the world subverted the original constitution of things. Still, when the promise of a Saviour was given and embraced, the renewed indwelling of the Holy Spirit was given too, not that she might thereby have any power in herself to bring forth children unto God, but only that she might duly act the part of a mother to a spiritually living offspring–to those whom God of his free grace should quicken, and bring from death unto life. Now, Paganism willingly overlooked all this; and taught, as soon as its votaries were prepared for receiving it, that this renewed indwelling of the spirit of God in the woman, was identification, and so it deified her. Then Rhea, ”the gazer,” the mother of mankind, was identified with Cybele ”the binder with cords,” or Juno, ”the Dove,” that is, the Holy Spirit. Then, in the blasphemous Pagan sense, she became Athor, ”the Habitation of God,” or Sacca, or Sacta, ”the tabernacle” or ”temple,” in whom dwelt ”all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Thus she became Heva, ”The Living One”; not in the sense in which Adam gave that name to his wife after the Fall, when the hope of life out of the midst of death was so unexpectedly presented to her as well as to himself; but in the sense of the communicator of spiritual and eternal life to men; for Rhea was called the ”fountain of the blessed ones.” The agency, then, of this deified woman was held to be indispensable for the begetting of spiritual children to God, in this, as it was admitted, fallen world. Looked at from this point of view, the meaning of the name given to the Babylonian goddess in 2 Kings 17:30, will be at once apparent. The name Succoth-benoth has very frequently been supposed to be a plural word, and to refer to booths or tabernacles used in Babylon for infamous purposes. But, as observed by Clericus (De Chaldoeis), who refers to the Rabbins as being of the same opinion, the context clearly shows that the name must be the name of an idol: (vv 29,30), ”Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt. And the men of Babylon made Succoth-benoth.” It is here evidently an idol that is spoken of; and as the name is feminine, that idol must have been the image of a goddess. Taken in this sense, then, and in the light of the Chaldean system as now unfolded, the meaning of ”Succoth-benoth,” as applied to the Babylonian goddess, is just ”The tabernacle of child-bearing.” *
* That is, the Habitation in which the Spirit of God dwelt, for the purpose of begetting spiritual children.
When the Babylonian system was developed, Eve was represented as the first that occupied this place, and the very name Benoth, that signifies ”child-bearing,” explains also how it came about that the Woman, who, as Hestia or Vesta, was herself called the ”Habitation,” got the credit of ”having invented the art of building houses” (SMITH, ”Hestia”). Benah, the verb, from which Benoth comes, signifies at once to ”bring forth children” and ”to build houses”; the bringing forth of children being metaphorically regarded as the ”building up of the house,” that is, of the family.
While the Pagan system, so far as a Goddess-mother was concerned, was founded on this identification of the Celestial and Terrestrial mothers of the ”blessed” immortals, each of these two divinities was still celebrated as having, in some sense, a distinct individuality; and, in consequence, all the different incarnations of the Saviour-seed were represented as born of two mothers. It is well known that Bimater, or Two-mothered, is one of the distinguishing epithets applied to Bacchus. Ovid makes the reason of the application of this epithet to him to have arisen from the myth, that when in embryo, he was rescued from the flames in which is mother died, was sewed up in Jupiter’s thigh, and then brought forth at the due time. Without inquiring into the secret meaning of this, it is sufficient to state that Bacchus had two goddess-mothers; for, not only was he conceived by Semele, but he was brought into the world by the goddess Ippa (PROCLUS in Timoeum). This is the very same thing, no doubt, that is referred to, when it is said that after his mother Semele’s death, his aunt Ino acted the part of a mother and nurse unto him. The same thing appears in the mythology of Egypt, for there we read that Osiris, under the form of Anubis, having been brought forth by Nepthys, was adopted and brought up by the goddess Isis as her own son. In consequence of this, the favourite Triad came everywhere to be the two mothers and the son. In WILKINSON, the reader will find a divine Triad, consisting of Isis and Nepthys, and the child of Horus between them. In Babylon, the statement of Diodorus shows that the Triad there at one period was two goddesses and the son–Hera, Rhea, and Zeus; and in the Capitol at Rome, in like manner, the Triad was Juno, Minerva, and Jupiter; while, when Jupiter was worshipped by the Roman matrons as ”Jupiter puer,” or ”Jupiter the child,” it was in company with Juno and the goddess Fortuna (CICERO, De Divinatione). This kind of divine Triad seems to be traced up to very ancient times among the Romans; for it is stated both by Dionysius Halicarnassius and by Livy, that soon after the expulsion of the Tarquins, there was at Rome a temple in which were worshipped Ceres, Liber, and Libera (DION. HALICARN and LIVY).


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter III
Festivals
Section I. Christmas and Lady-day
If Rome be indeed the Babylon of the Apocalypse, and the Madonna enshrined in her sanctuaries be the very queen of heaven, for the worshipping of whom the fierce anger of God was provoked against the Jews in the days of Jeremiah, it is of the last consequence that the fact should be established beyond all possibility of doubt; for that being once established, every one who trembles at the Word of God must shudder at the very thought of giving such a system, either individually or nationally, the least countenance or support. Something has been said already that goes far to prove the identity of the Roman and Babylonian systems; but at every step the evidence becomes still more overwhelming. That which arises from comparing the different festivals is peculiarly so.
The festivals of Rome are innumerable; but five of the most important may be singled out for elucidation–viz., Christmas-day, Lady-day, Easter, the Nativity of St. John, and the Feast of the Assumption. Each and all of these can be proved to be Babylonian. And first, as to the festival in honour of the birth of Christ, or Christmas. How comes it that that festival was connected with the 25th of December? There is not a word in the Scriptures about the precise day of His birth, or the time of the year when He was born. What is recorded there, implies that at what time soever His birth took place, it could not have been on the 25th of December. At the time that the angel announced His birth to the shepherds of Bethlehem, they were feeding their flocks by night in the open fields. Now, no doubt, the climate of Palestine is not so severe as the climate of this country; but even there, though the heat of the day be considerable, the cold of the night, from December to February, is very piercing, and it was not the custom for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October. *
* GILL, in his Commentary on Luke 2:8, has the following: ”There are two sorts of cattle with the Jews…there are the cattle of the house that lie in the city; the cattle of the wilderness are they that lie in the pastures. On which one of the commentators (MAIMONIDES, in Misn. Betza), observes, ‘These lie in the pastures, which are in the villages, all the days of the cold and heat, and do not go into the cities until the rains descend.’ The first rain falls in the month Marchesvan, which answers to the latter part of our October and the former part of November…From whence it appears that Christ must be born before the middle of October, since the first rain was not yet come.” KITTO, on Deuteronomy 11:14 (Illustrated Commentary), says that the ”first rain,” is in ”autumn,” ”that is, in September or October.” This would make the time of the removal of the flocks from the fields somewhat earlier than I have stated in the text; but there is no doubt that it could not be later than there stated, according to the testimony of Maimonides, whose acquaintance with all that concerns Jewish customs is well known.
It is in the last degree incredible, then, that the birth of Christ could have taken place at the end of December. There is great unanimity among commentators on this point. Besides Barnes, Doddridge, Lightfoot, Joseph Scaliger, and Jennings, in his ”Jewish Antiquities,” who are all of opinion that December 25th could not be the right time of our Lord’s nativity, the celebrated Joseph Mede pronounces a very decisive opinion to the same effect. After a long and careful disquisition on the subject, among other arguments he adduces the following;–”At the birth of Christ every woman and child was to go to be taxed at the city whereto they belonged, whither some had long journeys; but the middle of winter was not fitting for such a business, especially for women with child, and children to travel in. Therefore, Christ could not be born in the depth of winter. Again, at the time of Christ’s birth, the shepherds lay abroad watching with their flocks in the night time; but this was not likely to be in the middle of winter. And if any shall think the winter wind was not so extreme in these parts, let him remember the words of Christ in the gospel, ‘Pray that your flight be not in the winter.’ If the winter was so bad a time to flee in, it seems no fit time for shepherds to lie in the fields in, and women and children to travel in.” Indeed, it is admitted by the most learned and candid writers of all parties * that the day of our Lord’s birth cannot be determined, ** and that within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and that not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance.
* Archdeacon WOOD, in Christian Annotator, LORIMER’s Manual of Presbytery. Lorimer quotes Sir Peter King, who, in his Enquiry into the Worship of the Primitive Church, &c., infers that no such festival was observed in that Church, and adds–”It seems improbably that they should celebrate Christ’s nativity when they disagreed about the month and the day when Christ was born.” See also Rev. J. RYLE, in his Commentary on Luke, who admits that the time of Christ’s birth is uncertain, although he opposes the idea that the flocks could not have been in the open fields in December, by an appeal to Jacob’s complaint to Laban, ”By day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night.” Now the whole force of Jacob’s complaint against his churlish kinsman lay in this, that Laban made him do what no other man would have done, and, therefore, if he refers to the cold nights of winter (which, however, is not the common understanding of the expression), it proves just the opposite of what it is brought by Mr. Ryle to prove–viz., that it was not the custom for shepherds to tend their flocks in the fields by night in winter.
** GIESELER, CHRYSOSTOM (Monitum in Hom. de Natal. Christi), writing in Antioch about AD 380, says: ”It is not yet ten years since this day was made known to us”. ”What follows,” adds Gieseler, ”furnishes a remarkable illustration of the ease with which customs of recent date could assume the character of apostolic institutions.” Thus proceeds Chrysostom: ”Among those inhabiting the west, it was known before from ancient and primitive times, and to the dwellers from Thrace to Gadeira [Cadiz] it was previously familiar and well-known,” that is, the birth-day of our Lord, which was unknown at Antioch in the east, on the very borders of the Holy Land, where He was born, was perfectly well-known in all the European region of the west, from Thrace even to Spain!
How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December the 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of the nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it only the name of Christ. This tendency on the part of Christians to meet Paganism half-way was very early developed; and we find Tertullian, even in his day, about the year 230, bitterly lamenting the inconsistency of the disciples of Christ in this respect, and contrasting it with the strict fidelity of the Pagans to their own superstition. ”By us,” says he, ”who are strangers to Sabbaths, and new moons, and festivals, once acceptable to God, the Saturnalia, the feasts of January, the Brumalia, and Matronalia, are now frequented; gifts are carried to and fro, new year’s day presents are made with din, and sports and banquets are celebrated with uproar; oh, how much more faithful are the heathen to their religion, who take special care to adopt no solemnity from the Christians.” Upright men strive to stem the tide, but in spite of all their efforts, the apostacy went on, till the Church, with the exception of a small remnant, was submerged under Pagan superstition. That Christmas was originally a Pagan festival, is beyond all doubt. The time of the year, and the ceremonies with which it is still celebrated, prove its origin. In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, ”about the time of the winter solstice.” The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves–Yule-day –proves at once its Pagan and Babylonian origin. ”Yule” is the Chaldee name for an ”infant” or ”little child”; * and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, ”Yule-day,” or the ”Child’s day,” and the night that preceded it, ”Mother-night,” long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character.
* From Eol, an ”infant.” In Scotland, at least in the Lowlands, the Yule-cakes are also called Nur-cakes. Now in Chaldee Nour signifies ”birth.” Therefore, Nur-cakes are ”birth-cakes.” The Scandinavian goddesses, called ”norns,” who appointed children their destinies at their birth, evidently derived their name from the cognate Chaldee word ”Nor,” a child.
Far and wide, in the realms of Paganism, was this birth-day observed. This festival has been commonly believed to have had only an astronomical character, referring simply to the completion of the sun’s yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. But there is indubitably evidence that the festival in question had a much higher reference than this–that it commemorated not merely the figurative birth-day of the sun in the renewal of its course, but the birth-day of the grand Deliverer. Among the Sabeans of Arabia, who regarded the moon, and not the sun, as the visible symbol of the favourite object of their idolatry, the same period was observed as the birth festival. Thus we read in Stanley’s Sabean Philosophy: ”On the 24th of the tenth month,” that is December, according to our reckoning, ”the Arabians celebrated the BIRTHDAY OF THE LORD–that is the Moon.” The Lord Moon was the great object of Arabian worship, and that Lord Moon, according to them, was born on the 24th of December, which clearly shows that the birth which they celebrated had no necessary connection with the course of the sun. It is worthy of special note, too, that if Christmas-day among the ancient Saxons of this island, was observed to celebrate the birth of any Lord of the host of heaven, the case must have been precisely the same here as it was in Arabia. The Saxons, as is well known, regarded the Sun as a female divinity, and the Moon as a male. *
* SHARON TURNER. Turner cites an Arabic poem which proves that a female sun and a masculine moon were recognised in Arabia as well as by the Anglo-Saxons.
It must have been the birth-day of the Lord Moon, therefore, and not of the Sun, that was celebrated by them on the 25th of December, even as the birth-day of the same Lord Moon was observed by the Arabians on the 24th of December. The name of the Lord Moon in the East seems to have been Meni, for this appears the most natural interpretation of the Divine statement in Isaiah lxv. 11, ”But ye are they that forsake my holy mountain, that prepare a temple for Gad, and that furnish the drink-offering unto Meni.” There is reason to believe that Gad refers to the sun-god, and that Meni in like manner designates the moon-divinity. *
*See KITTO, vol. iv. p. 66, end of Note. The name Gad evidently refers, in the first instance, to the war-god, for it signifies to assault; but it also signifies ”the assembler”; and under both ideas it is applicable to Nimrod, whose general character was that of the sun-god, for he was the first grand warrior; and, under the name Phoroneus, he was celebrated for having first gathered mankind into social communities. The name Meni, ”the numberer,” on the other hand, seems just a synonym for the name of Cush or Chus, which, while it signifies ”to cover” or ”hide,” signifies also ”to count or number.” The true proper meaning of the name Cush is, I have no doubt, ”The numberer” or ”Arithmetician”; for while Nimrod his son, as the ”mighty” one, was the grand propagator of the Babylonian system of idolatry, by force and power, he, as Hermes, was the real concocter of that system, for he is said to have ”taught men the proper mode of approaching the Deity with prayers and sacrifice” (WILKINSON); and seeing idolatry and astronomy were intimately combined, to enable him to do so with effect, it was indispensable that he should be pre-eminently skilled in the science of numbers. Now, Hermes (that is Cush) is said to have ”first discovered numbers, and the art of reckoning, geometry, and astronomy, the games of chess and hazard” (Ibid.); and it is in all probability from reference to the meaning of the name of Cush, that some called ”NUMBER the father of gods and men” (Ibid.). The name Meni is just the Chaldee form of the Hebrew ”Mene,” the ”numberer” for in Chaldee i often takes the place of the final e. As we have seen reason to conclude with Gesenius, that Nebo, the great prophetic god of Babylon, was just the same god as Hermes, this shows the peculiar emphasis of the first words in the Divine sentence that sealed the doom of Belshazzar, as representing the primeval god–”MENE, MENE, Tekel, Upharsin,” which is as much as covertly to say, ”The numberer is numbered.” As the cup was peculiarly the symbol of Cush, hence the pouring out of the drink-offering to him as the god of the cup; and as he was the great Diviner, hence the divinations as to the future year, which Jerome connects with the divinity referred to by Isaiah. Now Hermes, in Egypt as the ”numberer,” was identified with the moon that numbers the months. He was called ”Lord of the moon” (BUNSEN); and as the ”dispenser of time” (WILKINSON), he held a ”palm branch, emblematic of a year” (Ibid.). Thus, then, if Gad was the ”sun-divinity,” Meni was very naturally regarded as ”The Lord Moon.”
Meni, or Manai, signifies ”The Numberer.” And it is by the changes of the moon that the months are numbered: Psalm civ. 19, ”He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth the time of its going down.” The name of the ”Man of the Moon,” or the god who presided over that luminary among the Saxons, was Mane, as given in the ”Edda,” and Mani, in the ”Voluspa.” That it was the birth of the ”Lord Moon” that was celebrated among our ancestors at Christmas, we have remarkable evidence in the name that is still given in the lowlands of Scotland to the feast on the last day of the year, which seems to be a remnant of the old birth festival for the cakes then made are called Nur-Cakes, or Birth-cakes. That name is Hogmanay. Now, ”Hog-Manai” in Chaldee signifies ”The feast of the Numberer”; in other words, the festival of Deus Lunus, or of the Man of the Moon. To show the connection between country and country, and the inveterate endurance of old customs, it is worthy of remark, that Jerome, commenting on the very words of Isaiah already quoted, about spreading ”a table for Gad,” and ”pouring out a drink-offering to Meni,” observes that it ”was the custom so late as his time [in the fourth century], in all cities especially in Egypt and at Alexandria, to set tables, and furnish them with various luxurious articles of food, and with goblets containing a mixture of new wine, on the last day of the month and the year, and that the people drew omens from them in respect of the fruitfulness of the year.” The Egyptian year began at a different time from ours; but this is a near as possible (only substituting whisky for wine), the way in which Hogmanay is still observed on the last day of the last month of our year in Scotland. I do not know that any omens are drawn from anything that takes place at that time, but everybody in the south of Scotland is personally cognisant of the fact, that, on Hogmanay, or the evening before New Year’s day, among those who observe old customs, a table is spread, and that while buns and other dainties are provided by those who can afford them, oat cakes and cheese are brought forth among those who never see oat cakes but on this occasion, and that strong drink forms an essential article of the provision.
Even where the sun was the favourite object of worship, as in Babylon itself and elsewhere, at this festival he was worshipped not merely as the orb of day, but as God incarnate. It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system, that the Sun or Baal was the one only God. When, therefore, Tammuz was worshipped as God incarnate, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the Sun. In the Hindoo Mythology, which is admitted to be essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, who, without such a birth, could not have been subdued. *
* See the Sanscrit Researches of Col. VANS KENNEDY. Col. K., a most distinguished Sanscrit scholar, brings the Brahmins from Babylon (Ibid.). Be it observed the very name Surya, given to the sun over all India, is connected with this birth. Though the word had originally a different meaning, it was evidently identified by the priests with the Chaldee ”Zero,” and made to countenance the idea of the birth of the ”Sun-god.” The Pracrit name is still nearer the Scriptural name of the promised ”seed.” It is ”Suro.” It has been seen, in a previous chapter, that in Egypt also the Sun was represented as born of a goddess.
It was no mere astronomic festival, then, that the Pagans celebrated at the winter solstice. That festival at Rome was called the feast of Saturn, and the mode in which it was celebrated there, showed whence it had been derived. The feast, as regulated by Caligula, lasted five days; * loose reins were given to drunkenness and revelry, slaves had a temporary emancipation, ** and used all manner of freedoms with their masters.
* Subsequently the number of the days of the Saturnalia was increased to seven.
** If Saturn, or Kronos, was, as we have seen reason to believe, Phoroneus, ”The emancipator,” the ”temporary emancipation” of the slaves at his festival was exactly in keeping with his supposed character.
This was precisely the way in which, according to Berosus, the drunken festival of the month Thebeth, answering to our December, in other words, the festival of Bacchus, was celebrated in Babylon. ”It was the custom,” says he, ”during the five days it lasted, for masters to be in subjection to their servants, and one of them ruled the house, clothed in a purple garment like a king.” This ”purple-robed” servant was called ”Zoganes,” the ”Man of sport and wantonness,” and answered exactly to the ”Lord of Misrule,” that in the dark ages, was chosen in all Popish countries to head the revels of Christmas. The wassailling bowl of Christmas had its precise counterpart in the ”Drunken festival” of Babylon; and many of the other observances still kept up among ourselves at Christmas came from the very same quarter. The candles, in some parts of England, lighted on Christmas-eve, and used so long as the festive season lasts, were equally lighted by the Pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honour to him: for it was one of the distinguishing peculiarities of his worship to have lighted wax-candles on his altars. The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm-tree; in Rome it was the fir; the palm-tree denoting the Pagan Messiah, as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith. The mother of Adonis, the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognised as the ”Man the branch.” And this entirely accounts for the putting of the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas-eve, and the appearance of the Christmas-tree the next morning. As Zero-Ashta, ”The seed of the woman,” which name also signified Ignigena, or ”born of the fire,” he has to enter the fire on ”Mother-night,” that he may be born the next day out of it, as the ”Branch of God,” or the Tree that brings all divine gifts to men. But why, it may be asked, does he enter the fire under the symbol of a Log? To understand this, it must be remembered that the divine child born at the winter solstice was born as a new incarnation of the great god (after that god had been cut in pieces), on purpose to revenge his death upon his murderers. Now the great god, cut off in the midst of his power and glory, was symbolised as a huge tree, stripped of all its branches, and cut down almost to the ground. But the great serpent, the symbol of the life restoring Aesculapius, twists itself around the dead stock, and lo, at its side up sprouts a young tree–a tree of an entirely different kind, that is destined never to be cut down by hostile power–even the palm-tree, the well-known symbol of victory. The Christmas-tree, as has been stated, was generally at Rome a different tree, even the fir; but the very same idea as was implied in the palm-tree was implied in the Christmas-fir; for that covertly symbolised the new-born God as Baal-berith, * ”Lord of the Covenant,” and thus shadowed forth the perpetuity and everlasting nature of his power, not that after having fallen before his enemies, he had risen triumphant over them all.
* Baal-bereth, which differs only in one letter from Baal-berith, ”Lord of the Covenant,” signifies ”Lord of the fir-tree.”
Therefore, the 25th of December, the day that was observed at Rome as the day when the victorious god reappeared on earth, was held at the Natalis invicti solis, ”The birth-day of the unconquered Sun.” Now the Yule Log is the dead stock of Nimrod, deified as the sun-god, but cut down by his enemies; the Christmas-tree is Nimrod redivivus–the slain god come to life again. In the light reflected by the above statement on customs that still linger among us, the origin of which has been lost in the midst of hoar antiquity, let the reader look at the singular practice still kept up in the South on Christmas-eve, of kissing under the mistletoe bough. That mistletoe bough in the Druidic superstition, which, as we have seen, was derived from Babylon, was a representation of the Messiah, ”The man the branch.” The mistletoe was regarded as a divine branch *–a branch that came from heaven, and grew upon a tree that sprung out of the earth.
* In the Scandinavian story of Balder, the mistletoe branch is distinguished from the lamented god. The Druidic and Scandinavian myths somewhat differed; but yet, even in the Scandinavian story, it is evident that some marvellous power was attributed to the mistletoe branch; for it was able to do what nothing else in the compass of creation could accomplish; it slew the divinity on whom the Anglo-Saxons regarded ”the empire” of their ”heaven” as ”depending.” Now, all that is neceesary to unravel this apparent inconsistency, is just to understand ”the branch” that had such power, as a symbolical expression for the true Messiah. The Bacchus of the Greeks came evidently to be recognised as the ”seed of the serpent”; for he is said to have been brought forth by his mother in consequence of intercourse with Jupiter, when that god had appeared in the form of a serpent. If the character of Balder was the same, the story of his death just amounted to this, that the ”seed of the serpent” had been slain by the ”seed of the woman.” This story, of course, must have originated with his enemies. But the idolators took up what they could not altogether deny, evidently with the view of explaining it away.
Thus by the engrafting of the celestial branch into the earthly tree, heaven and earth, that sin had severed, were joined together, and thus the mistletoe bough became the token of Divine reconciliation to man, the kiss being the well-known token of pardon and reconciliation. Whence could such an idea have come? May it not have come from the eighty-fifth Psalm, ver. 10,11, ”Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have KISSED each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth [in consequence of the coming of the promised Saviour], and righteousness shall look down from heaven”? Certain it is that that Psalm was written soon after the Babylonish captivity; and as multitudes of the Jews, after that event, still remained in Babylon under the guidance of inspired men, such as Daniel, as a part of the Divine word it must have been communicated to them, as well as to their kinsmen in Palestine. Babylon was, at that time, the centre of the civilised world; and thus Paganism, corrupting the Divine symbol as it ever has done, had opportunities of sending forth its debased counterfeit of the truth to all the ends of the earth, through the Mysteries that were affiliated with the great central system in Babylon. Thus the very customs of Christmas still existent cast surprising light at once on the revelations of grace made to all the earth, and the efforts made by Satan and his emissaries to materialise, carnalise, and degrade them.
In many countries the boar was sacrificed to the god, for the injury a boar was fabled to have done him. According to one version of the story of the death of Adonis, or Tammuz, it was, as we have seen, in consequence of a wound from the tusk of a boar that he died. The Phrygian Attes, the beloved of Cybele, whose story was identified with that of Adonis, was fabled to have perished in like manner, by the tusk of a boar. Therefore, Diana, who though commonly represented in popular myths only as the huntress Diana, was in reality the great mother of the gods, has frequently the boar’s head as her accompaniment, in token not of any mere success in the chase, but of her triumph over the grand enemy of the idolatrous system, in which she occupied so conspicuous a place. According to Theocritus, Venus was reconciled to the boar that killed Adonis, because when brought in chains before her, it pleaded so pathetically that it had not killed her husband of malice prepense, but only through accident. But yet, in memory of the deed that the mystic boar had done, many a boar lost its head or was offered in sacrifice to the offended goddess. In Smith, Diana is represented with a boar’s head lying beside her, on the top of a heap of stones in which the Roman Emperor Trajan is represented burning incense to the same goddess, the boar’s head forms a very prominent figure. On Christmas-day the Continental Saxons offered a boar in sacrifice to the Sun, to propitiate her * for the loss of her beloved Adonis.
* The reader will remember the Sun was a goddess. Mallet says, ”They offered the largest hog they could get to Frigga”–i.e., the mother of Balder the lamented one. In Egypt swine were offered once a year, at the feast of the Moon, to the Moon, and Bacchus or Osiris; and to them only it was lawful to make such an offering. (AELIAN)
In Rome a similar observance had evidently existed; for a boar formed the great article at the feast of Saturn, as appears from the following words of Martial:–
”That boar will make you a good Saturnalia.”
Hence the boar’s head is still a standing dish in England at the Christmas dinner, when the reason of it is long since forgotten. Yea, the ”Christmas goose” and ”Yule cakes” were essential articles in the worship of the Babylonian Messiah, as that worship was practised both in Egypt and at Rome. Wilkinson, in reference to Egypt, shows that ”the favourite offering” of Osiris was ”a goose,” and moreover, that the ”goose could not be eaten except in the depth of winter.” As to Rome, Juvenal says, ”that Osiris, if offended, could be pacified only by a large goose and a thin cake.” In many countries we have evidence of a sacred character attached to the goose. It is well known that the capitol of Rome was on one occasion saved when on the point of being surprised by the Gauls in the dead of night, by the cackling of the geese sacred to Juno, kept in the temple of Jupiter. In India, the goose occupied a similar position; for in that land we read of the sacred ”Brahmany goose,” or goose sacred to Brahma. Finally, the monuments of Babylon show that the goose possessed a like mystic character in Chaldea, and that it was offered in sacrifice there, as well as in Rome or Egypt, for there the priest is seen with the goose in the one hand, and his sacrificing knife in the other. *
* The symbolic meaning of the offering of the goose is worthy of notice. ”The goose,” says Wilkinson, ”signified in hieroglyphics a child or son”; and Horapolo says, ”It was chosen to denote a son, from its love to its young, being always ready to give itself up to the chasseur, in order that they might be preserved; for which reason the Egyptians thought it right to revere this animal.” (WILKINSON’s Egyptians) Here, then, the true meaning of the symbol is a son, who voluntarily gives himself up as a sacrifice for those whom he loves–viz., the Pagan Messiah.
There can be no doubt, then, that the Pagan festival at the winter solstice–in other words, Christmas–was held in honour of the birth of the Babylonian Messiah.
The consideration of the next great festival in the Popish calendar gives the very strongest confirmation to what has now been said. That festival, called Lady-day, is celebrated at Rome on the 25th of March, in alleged commemoration of the miraculous conception of our Lord in the womb of the Virgin, on the day when the angel was sent to announce to her the distinguished honour that was to be bestowed upon her as the mother of the Messiah. But who could tell when this annunciation was made? The Scripture gives no clue at all in regard to the time. But it mattered not. But our Lord was either conceived or born, that very day now set down in the Popish calendar for the ”Annunciation of the Virgin” was observed in Pagan Rome in honour of Cybele, the Mother of the Babylonian Messiah. *
* AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS, and MACROB., Sat. The fact stated in the paragraph above casts light on a festival held in Egypt, of which no satisfactory account has yet been given. That festival was held in commemoration of ”the entrance of Osiris into the moon.” Now, Osiris, like Surya in India, was just the Sun. (PLUTARCH, De Iside et Osiride) The moon, on the other hand, though most frequently the symbol of the god Hermes or Thoth, was also the symbol of the goddess Isis, the queen of heaven. The learned Bunsen seems to dispute this; but his own admissions show that he does so without reason. And Jeremiah 44:17 seems decisive on the subject. The entrance of Osiris into the moon, then, was just the sun’s being conceived by Isis, the queen of heaven, that, like the Indian Surya, he might in due time be born as the grand deliverer. Hence the very name Osiris; for, as Isis is the Greek form of H’isha, ”the woman,” so Osiris, as read at this day on the Egyptian monuments, is He-siri, ”the seed.” It is no objection to this to say that Osiris is commonly represented as the husband of Isis; for, as we have seen already, Osiris is at once the son and husband of his mother. Now, this festival took place in Egypt generally in March, just as Lady-day, or the first great festival of Cybele, was held in the same month in Pagan Rome. We have seen that the common title of Cybele at Rome was Domina, or ”the lady” (OVID, Fasti), as in Babylon it was Beltis (EUSEB. Praep. Evang.), and from this, no doubt, comes the name ”Lady-day” as it has descended to us.
Now, it is manifest that Lady-day and Christmas-day stand in intimate relation to one another. Between the 25th of March and the 25th of December there are exactly nine months. If, then, the false Messiah was conceived in March and born in December, can any one for a moment believe that the conception and birth of the true Messiah can have so exactly synchronised, not only to the month, but to the day? The thing is incredible. Lady-day and Christmas-day, then, are purely Babylonian.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter III
Section II
Easter
Then look at Easter. What means the term Easter itself? It is not a Christian name. It bears its Chaldean origin on its very forehead. Easter is nothing else than Astarte, one of the titles of Beltis, the queen of heaven, whose name, as pronounced by the people Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country. That name, aas found by Layard on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar. The worship of Bel and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, ”the priests of the groves.” Some have imagined that the Druidical worship was first introduced by the Phoenicians, who, centuries before the Christian era, traded to the tin-mines of Cornwall. But the unequivocal traces of that worship are found in regions of the British islands where the Phoenicians never penetrated, and it has everywhere left indelible marks of the strong hold which it must have had on the early British mind. From Bel, the 1st of May is still called Beltane in the Almanac; and we have customs still lingering at this day among us, which prove how exactly the worship of Bel or Moloch (for both titles belonged to the same god) had been observed even in the northern parts of this island. ”The late Lady Baird, of Fern Tower, in Perthshire,” says a writer in ”Notes and Queries,” thoroughly versed in British antiquities, ”told me, that every year, at Beltane (or the 1st of May), a number of men and women assemble at an ancient Druidical circle of stones on her property near Crieff. They light a fire in the centre, each person puts a bit of oat-cake in a shepherd’s bonnet; they all sit down, and draw blindfold a piece from the bonnet. One piece has been previously blackened, and whoever gets that piece has to jump through the fire in the centre of the circle, and pay a forfeit. This is, in fact, a part of the ancient worship of Baal, and the person on whom the lot fell was previously burnt as a sacrifice. Now, the passing through the fire represents that, and the payment of the forfeit redeems the victim.” If Baal was thus worshipped in Britain, it will not be difficult to believe that his consort Astarte was also adored by our ancestors, and that from Astarte, whose name in Nineveh was Ishtar, the religious solemnities of April, as now practised, are called by the name of Easter–that month, among our Pagan ancestors, having been called Easter-monath. The festival, of which we read in Church history, under the name of Easter, in the third or fourth centuries, was quite a different festival from that now observed in the Romish Church, and at that time was not known by any such name as Easter. It was called Pasch, or the Passover, and though not of Apostolic institution, * was very early observed by many professing Christians, in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Christ.
* Socrates, the ancient ecclesiastical historian, after a lengthened account of the different ways in which Easter was observed in different countries in his time–i.e., the fifth century–sums up in these words: ”Thus much already laid down may seem a sufficient treatise to prove that the celebration of the feast of Easter began everywhere more of custom than by any commandment either of Christ or any Apostle.” (Hist. Ecclesiast.) Every one knows that the name ”Easter,” used in our translation of Acts 12:4, refers not to any Christian festival, but to the Jewish Passover. This is one of the few places in our version where the translators show an undue bias.
That festival agreed originally with the time of the Jewish Passover, when Christ was crucified, a period which, in the days of Tertullian, at the end of the second century, was believed to have been the 23rd of March. That festival was not idolatrous, and it was preceded by no Lent. ”It ought to be known,” said Cassianus, the monk of Marseilles, writing in the fifth century, and contrasting the primitive Church with the Church in his day, ”that the observance of the forty days had no existence, so long as the perfection of that primitive Church remained inviolate.” Whence, then, came this observance? The forty days’ abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. Such a Lent of forty days, ”in the spring of the year,” is still observed by the Yezidis or Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who have inherited it from their early masters, the Babylonians. Such a Lent of forty days was held in spring by the Pagan Mexicans, for thus we read in Humboldt, where he gives account of Mexican observances: ”Three days after the vernal equinox…began a solemn fast of forty days in honour of the sun.” Such a Lent of forty days was observed in Egypt, as may be seen on consulting Wilkinson’s Egyptians. This Egyptian Lent of forty days, we are informed by Landseer, in his Sabean Researches, was held expressly in commemoration of Adonis or Osiris, the great mediatorial god. At the same time, the rape of Proserpine seems to have been commemorated, and in a similar manner; for Julius Firmicus informs us that, for ”forty nights” the ”wailing for Proserpine” continued; and from Arnobius we learn that the fast which the Pagans observed, called ”Castus” or the ”sacred” fast, was, by the Christians in his time, believed to have been primarily in imitation of the long fast of Ceres, when for many days she determinedly refused to eat on account of her ”excess of sorrow,” that is, on account of the loss of her daughter Proserpine, when carried away by Pluto, the god of hell. As the stories of Bacchus, or Adonis and Proserpine, though originally distinct, were made to join on and fit in to one another, so that Bacchus was called Liber, and his wife Ariadne, Libera (which was one of the names of Proserpine), it is highly probable that the forty days’ fast of Lent was made in later times to have reference to both. Among the Pagans this Lent seems to have been an indispensable preliminary to the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the ”month of Tammuz”; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April. To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, by a complicated but skilful adjustment of the calendar, it was found no difficult matter, in general, to get Paganism and Christianity–now far sunk in idolatry–in this as in so many other things, to shake hands. The instrument in accomplishing this amalgamation was the abbot Dionysius the Little, to whom also we owe it, as modern chronologers have demonstrated, that the date of the Christian era, or of the birth of Christ Himself, was moved FOUR YEARS from the true time. Whether this was done through ignorance or design may be matter of question; but there seems to be no doubt of the fact, that the birth of the Lord Jesus was made full four years later than the truth. This change of the calendar in regard to Easter was attended with momentous consequences. It brought into the Church the grossest corruption and the rankest superstition in connection with the abstinence of Lent. Let any one only read the atrocities that were commemorated during the ”sacred fast” or Pagan Lent, as described by Arnobius and Clemens Alexandrinus, and surely he must blush for the Christianity of those who, with the full knowledge of all these abominations, ”went down to Egypt for help” to stir up the languid devotion of the degenerate Church, and who could find no more excellent way to ”revive” it, than by borrowing from so polluted a source; the absurdities and abominations connected with which the early Christian writers had held up to scorn. That Christians should ever think of introducing the Pagan abstinence of Lent was a sign of evil; it showed how low they had sunk, and it was also a cause of evil; it inevitably led to deeper degradation. Originally, even in Rome, Lent, with the preceding revelries of the Carnival, was entirely unknown; and even when fasting before the Christian Pasch was held to be necessary, it was by slow steps that, in this respect, it came to conform with the ritual of Paganism. What may have been the period of fasting in the Roman Church before sitting of the Nicene Council does not very clearly appear, but for a considerable period after that Council, we have distinct evidence that it did not exceed three weeks. *
* GIESELER, speaking of the Eastern Church in the second century, in regard to Paschal observances, says: ”In it [the Paschal festival in commemoration of the death of Christ] they [the Eastern Christians] eat unleavened bread, probably like the Jews, eight days throughout…There is no trace of a yearly festival of a resurrection among them, for this was kept every Sunday” (Catholic Church). In regard to the Western Church, at a somewhat later period–the age of Constantine–fifteen days seems to have been observed to religious exercises in connection with the Christian Paschal feast, as appears from the following extracts from Bingham, kindly furnished to me by a friend, although the period of fasting is not stated. Bingham (Origin) says: ”The solemnities of Pasch [are] the week before and the week after Easter Sunday–one week of the Cross, the other of the resurrection. The ancients speak of the Passion and Resurrection Pasch as a fifteen days’ solemnity. Fifteen days was enforced by law by the Empire, and commanded to the universal Church…Scaliger mentions a law of Constantine, ordering two weeks for Easter, and a vacation of all legal processes.”
The words of Socrates, writing on this very subject, about AD 450, are these: ”Those who inhabit the princely city of Rome fast together before Easter three weeks, excepting the Saturday and Lord’s-day.” But at last, when the worship of Astarte was rising into the ascendant, steps were taken to get the whole Chaldean Lent of six weeks, or forty days, made imperative on all within the Roman empire of the West. The way was prepared for this by a Council held at Aurelia in the time of Hormisdas, Bishop of Rome, about the year 519, which decreed that Lent should be solemnly kept before Easter. It was with the view, no doubt, of carrying out this decree that the calendar was, a few days after, readjusted by Dionysius. This decree could not be carried out all at once. About the end of the sixth century, the first decisive attempt was made to enforce the observance of the new calendar. It was in Britain that the first attempt was made in this way; and here the attempt met with vigorous resistance. The difference, in point of time, betwixt the Christian Pasch, as observed in Britain by the native Christians, and the Pagan Easter enforced by Rome, at the time of its enforcement, was a whole month; * and it was only by violence and bloodshed, at last, that the Festival of the Anglo-Saxon or Chaldean goddess came to supersede that which had been held in honour of Christ.
* CUMMIANUS, quoted by Archbishop USSHER, Sylloge Those who have been brought up in the observance of Christmas and Easter, and who yet abhor from their hearts all Papal and Pagan idolatry alike, may perhaps feel as if there were something ”untoward” in the revelations given above in regard to the origin of these festivals. But a moment’s reflection will suffice entirely to banish such a feeling. They will see, that if the account I have given be true, it is of no use to ignore it. A few of the facts stated in these pages are already known to Infidel and Socinian writers of no mean mark, both in this country and on the Continent, and these are using them in such a way as to undermine the faith of the young and uninformed in regard to the very vitals of the Christian faith. Surely, then, it must be of the last consequence, that the truth should be set forth in its own native light, even though it may somewhat run counter to preconceived opinions, especially when that truth, justly considered, tends so much at once to strengthen the rising youth against the seductions of Popery, and to confirm them in the faith once delivered to the Saints. If a heathen could say, ”Socrates I love, and Plato I love, but I love truth more,” surely a truly Christian mind will not display less magnanimity. Is there not much, even in the aspect of the times, that ought to prompt the earnest inquiry, if the occasion has not arisen, when efforts, and strenuous efforts, should be made to purge out of the National Establishment in the south those observances, and everything else that has flowed in upon it from Babylon’s golden cup? There are men of noble minds in the Church of Cranmer, Latimer, and Ridley, who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, who have felt the power of His blood, and known the comfort of His Spirit. Let them, in their closets, and on their knees, ask the question, at their God and at their own consciences, if they ought not to bestir themselves in right earnest, and labour with all their might till such a consummation be effected. Then, indeed, would England’s Church be the grand bulwark of the Reformation–then would her sons speak with her enemies in the gate–then would she appear in the face of all Christendom, ”clear as the sun, fair as the moon, and terrible as an army with banners.” If, however, nothing effectual shall be done to stay the plague that is spreading in her, the result must be disastrous, not only to herself, but to the whole empire.
Such is the history of Easter. The popular observances that still attend the period of its celebration amply confirm the testimony of history as to its Babylonian character. The hot cross buns of Good Friday, and the dyed eggs of Pasch or Easter Sunday, figured in the Chaldean rites just as they do now. The ”buns,” known too by that identical name, were used in the worship of the queen of heaven, the goddess Easter, as early as the days of Cecrops, the founder of Athens–that is, 1500 years before the Christian era. ”One species of sacred bread,” says Bryant, ”which used to be offered to the gods, was of great antiquity, and called Boun.” Diogenes Laertius, speaking of this offering being made by Empedocles, describes the chief ingredients of which it was composed, saying, ”He offered one of the sacred cakes called Boun, which was made of fine flour and honey.” The prophet Jeremiah takes notice of this kind of offering when he says, ”The children gather wood, the fathers kindle the fire, and the women knead their dough, to make cakes to the queen of heaven.” *
* Jeremiah 7:18. It is from the very word here used by the prophet that the word ”bun” seems to be derived. The Hebrew word, with the points, was pronounced Khavan, which in Greek became sometimes Kapan-os (PHOTIUS, Lexicon Syttoge); and, at other times, Khabon (NEANDER, in KITTO’S Biblical Cyclopoedia). The first shows how Khvan, pronounced as one syllable, would pass into the Latin panis, ”bread,” and the second how, in like manner, Khvon would become Bon or Bun. It is not to be overlooked that our common English word Loa has passed through a similar process of formation. In Anglo-Saxon it was Hlaf.
The hot cross buns are not now offered, but eaten, on the festival of Astarte; but this leaves no doubt as to whence they have been derived. The origin of the Pasch eggs is just as clear. The ancient Druids bore an egg, as the sacred emblem of their order. In the Dionysiaca, or mysteries of Bacchus, as celebrated in Athens, one part of the nocturnal ceremony consisted in the consecration of an egg. The Hindoo fables celebrate their mundane egg as of a golden colour. The people of Japan make their sacred egg to have been brazen. In China, at this hour, dyed or painted eggs are used on sacred festivals, even as in this country. In ancient times eggs were used in the religious rites of the Egyptians and the Greeks, and were hung up for mystic purposes in their temples. From Egypt these sacred eggs can be distinctly traced to the banks of the Euphrates. The classic poets are full of the fable of the mystic egg of the Babylonians; and thus its tale is told by Hyginus, the Egyptian, the learned keeper of the Palatine library at Rome, in the time of Augustus, who was skilled in all the wisdom of his native country: ”An egg of wondrous size is said to have fallen from heaven into the river Euphrates. The fishes rolled it to the bank, where the doves having settled upon it, and hatched it, out came Venus, who afterwards was called the Syrian Goddess”–that is, Astarte. Hence the egg became one of the symbols of Astarte or Easter; and accordingly, in Cyprus, one of the chosen seats of the worship of Venus, or Astarte, the egg of wondrous size was represented on a grand scale.
The occult meaning of this mystic egg of Astarte, in one of its aspects (for it had a twofold significance), had reference to the ark during the time of the flood, in which the whole human race were shut up, as the chick is enclosed in the egg before it is hatched. If any be inclined to ask, how could it ever enter the minds of men to employ such an extraordinary symbol for such a purpose, the answer is, first, The sacred egg of Paganism, as already indicated, is well known as the ”mundane egg,” that is, the egg in which the world was shut up. Now the world has two distinct meanings–it means either the material earth, or the inhabitants of the earth. The latter meaning of the term is seen in Genesis 11:1, ”The whole earth was of one language and of one speech,” where the meaning is that the whole people of the world were so. If then the world is seen shut up in an egg, and floating on the waters, it may not be difficult to believe, however the idea of the egg may have come, that the egg thus floating on the wide universal sea might be Noah’s family that contained the whole world in its bosom. Then the application of the word egg to the ark comes thus: The Hebrew name for an egg is Baitz, or in the feminine (for there are both genders), Baitza. This, in Chaldee and Phoenician, becomes Baith or Baitha, which in these languages is also the usual way in which the name of a house is pronounced. *
* The common word ”Beth,” ”house,” in the Bible without the points, is ”Baith,” as may be seen in the name of Bethel, as given in Genesis 35:1, of the Greek Septuagint, where it is ”Baith-el.”
The egg floating on the waters that contained the world, was the house floating on the waters of the deluge, with the elements of the new world in its bosom. The coming of the egg from heaven evidently refers to the preparation of the ark by express appointment of God; and the same thing seems clearly implied in the Egyptian story of the mundane egg which was said to have come out of the mouth of the great god. The doves resting on the egg need no explanation. This, then, was the meaning of the mystic egg in one aspect. As, however, everything that was good or beneficial to mankind was represented in the Chaldean mysteries, as in some way connected with the Babylonian goddess, so the greatest blessing to the human race, which the ark contained in its bosom, was held to be Astarte, who was the great civiliser and benefactor of the world. Though the deified queen, whom Astarte represented, had no actual existence till some centuries after the flood, yet through the doctrine of metempsychosis, which was firmly established in Babylon, it was easy for her worshippers to be made to believe that, in a previous incarnation, she had lived in the Antediluvian world, and passed in safety through the waters of the flood. Now the Romish Church adopted this mystic egg of Astarte, and consecrated it as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection. A form of prayer was even appointed to be used in connection with it, Pope Paul V teaching his superstitious votaries thus to pray at Easter: ”Bless, O Lord, we beseech thee, this thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance unto thy servants, eating it in remembrance of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c” (Scottish Guardian, April, 1844). Besides the mystic egg, there was also another emblem of Easter, the goddess queen of Babylon, and that was the Rimmon or ”pomegranate.” With the Rimmon or ”pomegranate” in her hand, she is frequently represented in ancient medals, and the house of Rimmon, in which the King of Damascus, the Master of Naaman, the Syrian, worshipped, was in all likelihood a temple of Astarte, where that goddess with the Rimmon was publicly adored. The pomegranate is a fruit that is full of seeds; and on that account it has been supposed that it was employed as an emblem of that vessel in which the germs of the new creation were preserved, wherewith the world was to be sown anew with man and with beast, when the desolation of the deluge had passed away. But upon more searching inquiry, it turns out that the Rimmon or ”pomegranate” had reference to an entirely different thing. Astarte, or Cybele, was called also Idaia Mater, and the sacred mount in Phrygia, most famed for the celebration of her mysteries, was named Mount Ida–that is, in Chaldee, the sacred language of these mysteries, the Mount of Knowledge. ”Idaia Mater,” then, signifies ”the Mother of Knowledge”–in other words, our Mother Eve, who first coveted the ”knowledge of good and evil,” and actually purchased it at so dire a price to herself and to all her children. Astarte, as can be abundantly shown, was worshipped not only as an incarnation of the Spirit of God, but also of the mother of mankind. (see note below) When, therefore, the mother of the gods, and the mother of knowledge, was represented with the fruit of the pomegranate in her extended hand, inviting those who ascended the sacred mount to initiation in her mysteries, can there be a doubt what that fruit was intended to signify? Evidently, it must accord with her assumed character; it must be the fruit of the ”Tree of Knowledge”–the fruit of that very
”Tree, whose mortal taste.
Brought death into the world, and all our woe.”
The knowledge to which the votaries of the Idaean goddess were admitted, was precisely of the same kind as that which Eve derived from the eating of the forbidden fruit, the practical knowledge of all that was morally evil and base. Yet to Astarte, in this character, men were taught to look at their grand benefactress, as gaining for them knowledge, and blessings connected with that knowledge, which otherwise they might in vain have sought from Him, who is the Father of lights, from whom cometh down every good and perfect gift. Popery inspires the same feeling in regard to the Romish queen of heaven, and leads its devotees to view the sin of Eve in much the same light as that in which Paganism regarded it. In the Canon of the Mass, the most solemn service in the Romish Missal, the following expression occurs, where the sin of our first parent is apostrophised: ”Oh blessed fault, which didst procure such a Redeemer!” The idea contained in these words is purely Pagan. They just amount to this: ”Thanks be to Eve, to whose sin we are indebted for the glorious Saviour.” It is true the idea contained in them is found in the same words in the writings of Augustine; but it is an idea utterly opposed to the spirit of the Gospel, which only makes sin the more exceeding sinful, from the consideration that it needed such a ransom to deliver from its awful curse. Augustine had imbibed many Pagan sentiments, and never got entirely delivered from them.
As Rome cherishes the same feelings as Paganism did, so it has adopted also the very same symbols, so far as it has the opportunity. In this country, and most of the countries of Europe, no pomegranates grow; and yet, even here, the superstition of the Rimmon must, as far as possible, be kept up. Instead of the pomegranate, therefore, the orange is employed; and so the Papists of Scotland join oranges with their eggs at Easter; and so also, when Bishop Gillis of Edinburgh went through the vain-glorious ceremony of washing the feet of twelve ragged Irishmen a few years ago at Easter, he concluded by presenting each of them with two eggs and an orange.
Now, this use of the orange as the representative of the fruit of Eden’s ”dread probationary tree,” be it observed, is no modern invention; it goes back to the distant times of classic antiquity. The gardens of the Hesperides in the West, are admitted by all who have studied the subject, just to have been the counterpart of the paradise of Eden in the East. The description of the sacred gardens, as situated in the Isles of the Atlantic, over against the coast of Africa, shows that their legendary site exactly agrees with the Cape Verd or Canary Isles, or some of that group; and, of course, that the ”golden fruit” on the sacred tree, so jealously guarded, was none other than the orange. Now, let the reader mark well: According to the classic Pagan story, there was no serpent in that garden of delight in the ”islands of the blest,” to TEMPT mankind to violate their duty to their great benefactor, by eating of the sacred tree which he had reserved as the test of their allegiance. No; on the contrary, it was the Serpent, the symbol of the Devil, the Principle of evil, the Enemy of man, that prohibited them from eating the precious fruit–that strictly watched it–that would not allow it to be touched. Hercules, one form of the Pagan Messiah–not the primitive, but the Grecian Hercules–pitying man’s unhappy state, slew or subdued the serpent, the envious being that grudged mankind the use of that which was so necessary to make them at once perfectly happy and wise, and bestowed upon them what otherwise would have been hopelessly beyond their reach. Here, then, God and the devil are exactly made to change places. Jehovah, who prohibited man from eating of the tree of knowledge, is symbolised by the serpent, and held up as an ungenerous and malignant being, while he who emancipated man from Jehovah’s yoke, and gave him of the fruit of the forbidden tree–in other words, Satan under the name of Hercules–is celebrated as the good and gracious Deliverer of the human race. What a mystery of iniquity is here! Now all this is wrapped up in the sacred orange of Easter.


Note
The Meaning of the Name Astarte
That Semiramis, under the name of Astarte, was worshipped not only as an incarnation of the Spirit of God, but as the mother of mankind, we have very clear and satisfactory evidence. There is no doubt that ”the Syrian goddess” was Astarte (LAYARD’S Nineveh and its Remains). Now, the Assyrian goddess, or Astarte, is identified with Semiramis by Athenagoras (Legatio), and by Lucian (De Dea Syria). These testimonies in regard to Astarte, or the Syrian goddess, being, in one aspect, Semiramis, are quite decisive. 1. The name Astarte, as applied to her, has reference to her as being Rhea or Cybele, the tower-bearing goddess, the first as Ovid says (Opera), that ”made (towers) in cities”; for we find from Layard that in the Syrian temple of Hierapolis, ”she [Dea Syria or Astarte] was represented standing on a lion crowned with towers.” Now, no name could more exactly picture forth the character of Semiramis, as queen of Babylon, than the name of ”Ash-tart,” for that just means ”The woman that made towers.” It is admitted on all hands that the last syllable ”tart” comes from the Hebrew verb ”Tr.” It has been always taken for granted, however, that ”Tr” signifies only ”to go round.” But we have evidence that, in nouns derived from it, it also signifies ”to be round,” ”to surround,” or ”encompass.” In the masculine, we find ”Tor” used for ”a border or row of jewels round the head” (see PARKHURST and also GESENIUS). And in the feminine, as given in Hesychius (Lexicon), we find the meaning much more decisively brought out. Turis is just the Greek form of Turit, the final t, according to the genius of the Greek language, being converted into s. Ash-turit, then, which is obviously the same as the Hebrew ”Ashtoreth,” is just ”The woman that made the encompassing wall.” Considering how commonly the glory of that achievement, as regards Babylon, was given to Semiramis, not only by Ovid, but by Justin, Dionysius, Afer, and others, both the name and mural crown on the head of that goddess were surely very appropriate. In confirmation of this interpretation of the meaning of the name Astarte, I may adduce an epithet applied to the Greek Diana, who at Ephesus bore a turreted crown on her head, and was identified with Semiramis, which is not a little striking. It is contained in the following extract from Livy: ”When the news of the battle [near Pydna] reached Amphipolis, the matrons ran together to the temple of Diana, whom they style Tauropolos, to implore her aid.” Tauropolos, from Tor, ”a tower,” or ”surrounding fortification,” and Pol, ”to make,” plainly means the ”tower-maker,” or ”maker of surrounding fortifications”; and P53 to her as the goddess of fortifications, they would naturally apply when they dreaded an attack upon their city.
Semiramis, being deified as Astarte, came to be raised to the highest honours; and her change into a dove, as has been already shown, was evidently intended, when the distinction of sex had been blasphemously attributed to the Godhead, to identify her, under the name of the Mother of the gods, with that Divine Spirit, without whose agency no one can be born a child of God, and whose emblem, in the symbolical language of Scripture, was the Dove, as that of the Messiah was the Lamb. Since the Spirit of God is the source of all wisdom, natural as well as spiritual, arts and inventions and skill of every kind being attributed to Him (Exo 31:3; 35:31), so the Mother of the gods, in whom that Spirit was feigned to be incarnate, was celebrated as the originator of some of the useful arts and sciences (DIODORUS SICULUS). Hence, also, the character attributed to the Grecian Minerva, whose name Athena, as we have seen reason to conclude, is only a synonym for Beltis, the well known name of the Assyrian goddess. Athena, the Minerva of Athens, is universally known as the ”goddess of wisdom,” the inventress of arts and sciences. 2. The name Astarte signifies also the ”Maker of investigations”; and in this respect was applicable to Cybele or Semiramis, as symbolised by the Dove. That this is one of the meanings of the name Astarte may be seen from comparing it with the cognate names Asterie and Astraea (in Greek Astraia), which are formed by taking the last member of the compound word in the masculine, instead of the feminine, Teri, or Tri (the latter being pronounced Trai or Trae), being the same in sense as Tart. Now, Asterie was the wife of Perseus, the Assyrian (HERODOTUS), and who was the founder of Mysteries (BRYANT). As Asterie was further represented as the daughter of Bel, this implies a position similar to that of Semiramis. Astraea, again, was the goddess of justice, who is identified with the heavenly virgin Themis, the name Themis signifying ”the perfect one,” who gave oracles (OVID, Metam.), and who, having lived on earth before the Flood, forsook it just before that catastrophe came on. Themis and Astraea are sometimes distinguished and sometimes identified; but both have the same character as goddesses of justice. The explanation of the discrepancy obviously is, that the Spirit has sometimes been viewed as incarnate and sometimes not. When incarnate, Astraea is daughter of Themis. What name could more exactly agree with the character of a goddess of justice, than Ash-trai-a, ”The maker of investigations,” and what name could more appropriately shadow forth one of the characters of that Divine Spirit, who ”searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God”? As Astraea, or Themis, was ”Fatidica Themis,” ”Themis the prophetic,” this also was another characteristic of the Spirit; for whence can any true oracle, or prophetic inspiration, come, but from the inspiring Spirit of God? Then, lastly, what can more exactly agree with the Divine statement in Genesis in regard to the Spirit of God, than the statement of Ovid, that Astraea was the last of the celestials who remained on earth, and that her forsaking it was the signal for the downpouring of the destroying deluge? The announcement of the coming Flood is in Scripture ushered in with these words (Gen 6:3): ”And the Lord said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” All these 120 years, the Spirit was striving; when they came to an end, the Spirit strove no longer, forsook the earth, and left the world to its fate. But though the Spirit of God forsook the earth, it did not forsake the family of righteous Noah. It entered with the patriarch into the ark; and when that patriarch came forth from his long imprisonment, it came forth along with him. Thus the Pagans had an historical foundation for their myth of the dove resting on the symbol of the ark in the Babylonian waters, and the Syrian goddess, or Astarte–the same as Astraea–coming forth from it. Semiramis, then, as Astarte, worshipped as the dove, was regarded as the incarnation of the Spirit of God. 3. As Baal, Lord of Heaven, had his visible emblem, the sun, so she, as Beltis, Queen of Heaven, must have hers also–the moon, which in another sense was Asht-tart-e, ”The maker of revolutions”; for there is no doubt that Tart very commonly signifies ”going round.” But, 4th, the whole system must be dovetailed together. As the mother of the gods was equally the mother of mankind, Semiramis, or Astarte, must also be identified with Eve; and the name Rhea, which, according to the Paschal Chronicle was given to her, sufficiently proves her identification with Eve. As applied to the common mother of the human race, the name Astarte is singularly appropriate; for, as she was Idaia mater, ”The mother of knowledge,” the question is, ”How did she come by that knowledge?” To this the answer can only be: ”by the fatal investigations she made.” It was a tremendous experiment she made, when, in opposition to the Divine command, and in spite of the threatened penalty, she ventured to ”search” into that forbidden knowledge which her Maker in his goodness had kept from her. Thus she took the lead in that unhappy course of which the Scripture speaks–”God made man upright, but they have SOUGHT out many inventions” (Eccl7:29). Now Semiramis, deified as the Dove, was Astarte in the most gracious and benignant form. Lucius Ampelius calls her ”the goddess benignant and merciful to me” (bringing them) ”to a good and happy life.” In reference to this benignity of her character, both the titles, Aphrodite and Mylitta, are evidently attributed to her. The first I have elsewhere explained as ”The wrath-subduer,” and the second is in exact accordance with it. Mylitta, or, as it is in Greek, Mulitta, signifies ”The Mediatrix.” The Hebrew Melitz, which in Chaldee becomes Melitt, is evidently used in Job 33:23, in the sense of a Mediator; ”the messenger, the interpreter” (Melitz), who is ”gracious” to a man, and saith, ”Deliver from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom,” being really ”The Messenger, the MEDIATOR.” Parkhurst takes the word in this sense, and derives it from ”Mltz,” ”to be sweet.” Now, the feminine of Melitz is Melitza, from which comes Melissa, a ”bee” (the sweetener, or producer of sweetness), and Melissa, a common name of the priestesses of Cybele, and as we may infer of Cybele, as Astarte, or Queen of Heaven, herself; for, after Porphyry, has stated that ”the ancients called the priestesses of Demeter, Melissae,” he adds, that they also ”called the Moon Melissa.” We have evidence, further, that goes far to identify this title as a title of Semiramis. Melissa or Melitta (APPOLODORUS)–for the name is given in both ways–is said to have been the mother of Phoroneus, the first that reigned, in whose days the dispersion of mankind occurred, divisions having come in among them, whereas before, all had been in harmony and spoke one language (Hyginus). There is no other to whom this can be applied but Nimrod; and as Nimrod came to be worshipped as Nin, the son of his own wife, the identification is exact. Melitta, then, the mother of Phoroneus, is the same as Mylitta, the well known name of the Babylonian Venus; and the name, as being the feminine of Melitz, the Mediator, consequently signifies the Mediatrix. Another name also given to the mother of Phoroneus, ”the first that reigned,” is Archia (LEMPRIERE; SMITH). Now Archia signifies ”Spiritual” (from ”Rkh,” Heb. ”Spirit,” which in Egyptian also is ”Rkh” [BUNSEN]; and in Chaldee, with the prosthetic a prefixed becomes Arkh). * From the same root also evidently comes the epithet Architis, as applied to the Venus that wept for Adonis. Venus Architis is the spiritual Venus. **
* The Hebrew Dem, blood, in Chaldee becomes Adem; and, in like manner, Rkh becomes Arkh.
** From OUVAROFF we learn that the mother of the third Bacchus was Aura, and Phaethon is said by Orpheus to have been the son of the ”wide extended air” (LACTANTIUS). The connection in the sacred language between the wind, the air, and the spirit, sufficiently accounts for these statements, and shows their real meaning.
Thus, then, the mother-wife of the first king that reigned was known as Archia and Melitta, in other words, as the woman in whom the ”Spirit of God” was incarnate; and thus appeared as the ”Dea Benigna,” ”The Mediatrix” for sinful mortals. The first form of Astarte, as Eve, brought sin into the world; the second form before the Flood, was avenging as the goddess of justice. This form was ”Benignant and Merciful.” Thus, also, Semiramis, or Astarte, as Venus the goddess of love and beauty, became ”The HOPE of the whole world,” and men gladly had recourse to the ”mediation” of one so tolerant of sin.

The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter III
Section III
The Nativity of St. John
The Feast of the Nativity of St. John is set down in the Papal calendar for the 24th of June, or Midsummer-day. The very same period was equally memorable in the Babylonian calendar as that of one of its most celebrated festivals. It was at Midsummer, or the summer solstice, that the month called in Chaldea, Syria, and Phoenicia by the name of ”Tammuz” began; and on the first day–that is, on or about the 24th of June–one of the grand original festivals of Tammuz was celebrated. *
* STANLEY’S Saboean Philosophy. In Egypt the month corresponding to Tammuz–viz., Epep–began June 25 (WILKINSON)
For different reasons, in different countries, other periods had been devoted to commemorate the death and reviving of the Babylonian god; but this, as may be inferred from the name of the month, appears to have been the real time when his festival was primitively observed in the land where idolatry had its birth. And so strong was the hold that this festival, with its peculiar rites, had taken of the minds of men, that even when other days were devoted to the great events connected with the Babylonian Messiah, as was the case in some parts of our own land, this sacred season could not be allowed to pass without the due observance of some, at least, of its peculiar rites. When the Papacy sent its emissaries over Europe, towards the end of the sixth century, to gather in the Pagans into its fold, this festival was found in high favour in many countries. What was to be done with it? Were they to wage war with it? No. This would have been contrary to the famous advice of Pope Gregory I, that, by all means they should meet the Pagans half-way, and so bring them into the Roman Church. The Gregorian policy was carefully observed; and so Midsummer-day, that had been hallowed by Paganism to the worship of Tammuz, was incorporated as a sacred Christian festival in the Roman calendar.
But still a question was to be determined, What was to be the name of this Pagan festival, when it was baptised, and admitted into the ritual of Roman Christianity? To call it by its old name of Bel or Tammuz, at the early period when it seems to have been adopted, would have been too bold. To call it by the name of Christ was difficult, inasmuch as there was nothing special in His history at that period to commemorate. But the subtlety of the agents of the Mystery of Iniquity was not to be baffled. If the name of Christ could not be conveniently tacked to it, what should hinder its being called by the name of His forerunner, John the Baptist? John the Baptist was born six months before our Lord. When, therefore, the Pagan festival of the winter solstice had once been consecrated as the birthday of the Saviour, it followed, as a matter of course, that if His forerunner was to have a festival at all, his festival must be at this very season; for between the 24th of June and the 25th of December–that is, between the summer and the winter solstice–there are just six months. Now, for the purposes of the Papacy, nothing could be more opportune than this. One of the many sacred names by which Tammuz or Nimrod was called, when he reappeared in the Mysteries, after being slain, was Oannes. *
* BEROSUS, BUNSEN’S Egypt. To identify Nimrod with Oannes, mentioned by Berosus as appearing out of the sea, it will be remembered that Nimrod has been proved to be Bacchus. Then, for proof that Nimrod or Bacchus, on being overcome by his enemies, was fabled to have taken refuge in the sea, see chapter 4, section i. When, therefore, he was represented as reappearing, it was natural that he should reappear in the very character of Oannes as a Fish-god. Now, Jerome calls Dagon, the well known Fish-god Piscem moeroris (BRYANT), ”the fish of sorrow,” which goes far to identify that Fish-god with Bacchus, the ”Lamented one”; and the identification is complete when Hesychius tells us that some called Bacchus Ichthys, or ”The fish.”
The name of John the Baptist, on the other hand, in the sacred language adopted by the Roman Church, was Joannes. To make the festival of the 24th of June, then, suit Christians and Pagans alike, all that was needful was just to call it the festival of Joannes; and thus the Christians would suppose that they were honouring John the Baptist, while the Pagans were still worshipping their old god Oannes, or Tammuz. Thus, the very period at which the great summer festival of Tammuz was celebrated in ancient Babylon, is at this very hour observed in the Papal Church as the Feast of the Nativity of St. John. And the fete of St. John begins exactly as the festal day began in Chaldea. It is well known that, in the East, the day began in the evening. So, though the 24th be set down as the nativity, yet it is on St. John’s EVE–that is, on the evening of the 23rd–that the festivities and solemnities of that period begin.
Now, if we examine the festivities themselves, we shall see how purely Pagan they are, and how decisively they prove their real descent. The grand distinguishing solemnities of St. John’s Eve are the Midsummer fires. These are lighted in France, in Switzerland, in Roman Catholic Ireland, and in some of the Scottish isles of the West, where Popery still lingers. They are kindled throughout all the grounds of the adherents of Rome, and flaming brands are carried about their corn-fields. Thus does Bell, in his Wayside Pictures, describe the St. John’s fires of Brittany, in France: ”Every fete is marked by distinct features peculiar to itself. That of St. John is perhaps, on the whole, the most striking. Throughout the day the poor children go about begging contributions for lighting the fires of Monsieur St. Jean, and towards evening one fire is gradually followed by two, three, four; then a thousand gleam out from the hill-tops, till the whole country glows under the conflagration. Sometimes the priests light the first fire in the market place; and sometimes it is lighted by an angel, who is made to descend by a mechanical device from the top of the church, with a flambeau in her hand, setting the pile in a blaze, and flying back again. The young people dance with a bewildering activity about the fires; for there is a superstition among them that, if they dance round nine fires before midnight, they will be married in the ensuing year. Seats are placed close to the flaming piles for the dead, whose spirits are supposed to come there for the melancholy pleasure of listening once more to their native songs, and contemplating the lively measures of their youth. Fragments of the torches on those occasions are preserved as spells against thunder and nervous diseases; and the crown of flowers which surmounted the principal fire is in such request as to produce tumultuous jealousy for its possession.” Thus is it in France. Turn now to Ireland. ”On that great festival of the Irish peasantry, St. John’s Eve,” says Charlotte Elizabeth, describing a particular festival which she had witnessed, ”it is the custom, at sunset on that evening, to kindle immense fires throughout the country, built, like our bonfires, to a great height, the pile being composed of turf, bogwood, and such other combustible substances as they can gather. The turf yields a steady, substantial body of fire, the bogwood a most brilliant flame, and the effect of these great beacons blazing on every hill, sending up volumes of smoke from every point of the horizon, is very remarkable. Early in the evening the peasants began to assemble, all habited in their best array, glowing with health, every countenance full of that sparkling animation and excess of enjoyment that characterise the enthusiastic people of the land. I had never seen anything resembling it; and was exceedingly delighted with their handsome, intelligent, merry faces; the bold bearing of the men, and the playful but really modest deportment of the maidens; the vivacity of the aged people, and the wild glee of the children. The fire being kindled, a splendid blaze shot up; and for a while they stood contemplating it with faces strangely disfigured by the peculiar light first emitted when the bogwood was thrown on it. After a short pause, the ground was cleared in front of an old blind piper, the very beau ideal of energy, drollery, and shrewdness, who, seated on a low chair, with a well-plenished jug within his reach, screwed his pipes to the liveliest tunes, and the endless jig began. But something was to follow that puzzled me not a little. When the fire burned for some hours and got low, an indispensable part of the ceremony commenced. Every one present of the peasantry passed through it, and several children were thrown across the sparkling embers; while a wooden frame of some eight feet long, with a horse’s head fixed to one end, and a large white sheet thrown over it, concealing the wood and the man on whose head it was carried, made its appearance. This was greeted with loud shouts as the ‘white horse’; and having been safely carried, by the skill of its bearer, several times through the fire with a bold leap, it pursued the people, who ran screaming in every direction. I asked what the horse was meant for, and was told it represented ‘all cattle.’ Here,” adds the authoress, ”was the old Pagan worship of Baal, if not of Moloch too, carried on openly and universally in the heart of a nominally Christian country, and by millions professing the Christian name! I was confounded, for I did not then know that Popery is only a crafty adaptation of Pagan idolatries to its own scheme.”
Such is the festival of St. John’s Eve, as celebrated at this day in France and in Popish Ireland. Such is the way in which the votaries of Rome pretend to commemorate the birth of him who came to prepare the way of the Lord, by turning away His ancient people from all their refuges of lies, and shutting them up to the necessity of embracing that kingdom of God that consists not in any mere external thing, but in ”righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” We have seen that the very sight of the rites with which that festival is celebrated, led the authoress just quoted at once to the conclusion that what she saw before her was truly a relic of the Pagan worship of Baal. The history of the festival, and the way in which it is observed, reflect mutual light upon each other. Before Christianity entered the British Isles, the Pagan festival of the 24th of June was celebrated among the Druids by blazing fires in honour of their great divinity, who, as we have already seen, was Baal. ”These Midsummer fires and sacrifices,” says Toland, in his Account of the Druids, ”were [intended] to obtain a blessing on the fruits of the earth, now becoming ready for gathering; as those of the first of May, that they might prosperously grow; and those of the last of October were a thanksgiving for finishing the harvest.” Again, speaking of the Druidical fires at Midsummer, he thus proceeds: ”To return to our carn-fires, it was customary for the lord of the place, or his son, or some other person of distinction, to take the entrails of the sacrificed animals in his hands, and, walking barefoot over the coals thrice after the flames had ceased, to carry them straight to the Druid, who waited in a whole skin at the altar. If the nobleman escaped harmless, it was reckoned a good omen, welcomed with loud acclamations; but if he received any hurt, it was deemed unlucky both to the community and himself.” ”Thus, I have seen,” adds Toland, ”the people running and leaping through the St. John’s fires in Ireland; and not only proud of passing unsinged, but, as if it were some kind of lustration, thinking themselves in an especial manner blest by the ceremony, of whose original, nevertheless, they were wholly ignorant, in their imperfect imitation of it.” We have seen reason already to conclude that Phoroneus, ”the first of mortals that reigned”–i.e., Nimrod and the Roman goddess Feronia–bore a relation to one another. In connection with the firs of ”St. John,” that relation is still further established by what has been handed down from antiquity in regard to these two divinities; and, at the same time, the origin of these fires is elucidated. Phoroneus is described in such a way as shows that he was known as having been connected with the origin of fire-worship. Thus does Pausanias refer to him: ”Near this image [the image of Biton] they [the Argives] enkindle a fire, for they do not admit that fire was given by Prometheus, to men, but ascribe the invention of it to Phoroneus.” There must have been something tragic about the death of this fire-inventing Phoroneus, who ”first gathered mankind into communities”; for, after describing the position of his sepulchre, Pausanias adds: ”Indeed, even at present they perform funeral obsequies to Phoroneus”; language which shows that his death must have been celebrated in some such way as that of Bacchus. Then the character of the worship of Feronia, as coincident with fire-worship, is evident from the rites practised by the priests at the city lying at the foot of Mount Socracte, called by her name. ”The priests,” says Bryant, referring both to Pliny and Strabo as his authorities, ”with their feet naked, walked over a large quantity of live coals and cinders.” To this same practice we find Aruns in Virgil referring, when addressing Apollo, the sun-god, who had his shrine at Soracte, where Feronia was worshipped, and who therefore must have been the same as Jupiter Anxur, her contemplar divinity, who was regarded as a ”youthful Jupiter,” even as Apollo was often called the ”young Apollo”:
”O patron of Soracte’s high abodes,
Phoebus, the ruling power among the gods,
Whom first we serve; whole woods of unctuous pine
Are felled for thee, and to thy glory shine.
By thee protected, with our naked soles,
Through flames unsinged we march and tread the kindled coals.” *
* DRYDEN’S Virgil Aeneid. ”The young Apollo,” when ”born to introduce law and order among the Greeks,” was said to have made his appearance at Delphi ”exactly in the middle of summer.” (MULLER’S Dorians)
Thus the St. John’s fires, over whose cinders old and young are made to pass, are traced up to ”the first of mortals that reigned.”
It is remarkable, that a festival attended with all the essential rites of the fire-worship of Baal, is found among Pagan nations, in regions most remote from one another, about the very period of the month of Tammuz, when the Babylonian god was anciently celebrated. Among the Turks, the fast of Ramazan, which, says Hurd, begins on the 12th of June, is attended by an illumination of burning lamps. *
* HURD’S Rites and Ceremonies. The time here given by Hurd would not in itself be decisive as a proof of agreement with the period of the original festival of Tammuz; for a friend who has lived for three years in Constantinople informs me that, in consequence of the disagreement between the Turkish and the solar year, the fast of Ramazan ranges in succession through all the different months in the year. The fact of a yearly illumination in connection with religious observances, however, is undoubted.
In China where the Dragon-boat festival is celebrated in such a way as vividly to recall to those who have witnessed it, the weeping for Adonis, the solemnity begins at Midsummer. In Peru, during the reign of the Incas, the feast of Raymi, the most magnificent feast of the Peruvians, when the sacred fire every year used to be kindled anew from the sun, by means of a concave mirror of polished metal, took place at the very same period. Regularly as Midsummer came round, there was first, in token of mourning, ”for three days, a general fast, and no fire was allowed to be lighted in their dwellings,” and then, on the fourth day, the mourning was turned into joy, when the Inca, and his court, followed by the whole population of Cuzco, assembled at early dawn in the great square to greet the rising of the sun. ”Eagerly,” says Prescott, ”they watched the coming of the deity, and no sooner did his first yellow rays strike the turrets and loftiest buildings of the capital, than a shout of gratulation broke forth from the assembled multitude, accompanied by songs of triumph, and the wild melody of barbaric instruments, that swelled louder and louder as his bright orb, rising above the mountain range towards the east, shone in full splendour on his votaries.” Could this alternate mourning and rejoicing, at the very time when the Babylonians mourned and rejoiced over Tammuz, be accidental? As Tammuz was the Sun-divinity incarnate, it is easy to see how such mourning and rejoicing should be connected with the worship of the sun. In Egypt, the festival of the burning lamps, in which many have already been constrained to see the counterpart of the festival of St. John, was avowedly connected with the mourning and rejoicing for Osiris. ”At Sais,” says Herodotus, ”they show the sepulchre of him whom I do not think it right to mention on this occasion.” This is the invariable way in which the historian refers to Osiris, into whose mysteries he had been initiated, when giving accounts of any of the rites of his worship. ”It is in the sacred enclosure behind the temple of Minerva, and close to the wall of this temple, whose whole length it occupies. They also meet at Sais, to offer sacrifice during a certain night, when every one lights, in the open air, a number of lamps around his house. The lamps consist of small cups filled with salt and oil, having a wick floating in it which burns all night. This festival is called the festival of burning lamps. The Egyptians who are unable to attend also observe the sacrifice, and burn lamps at home, so that not only at Sais, but throughout Egypt, the same illumination takes place. They assign a sacred reason for the festival celebrated on this night, and for the respect they have for it.” Wilkinson, in quoting this passage of Herodotus, expressly identifies this festival with the lamentation for Osiris, and assures us that ”it was considered of the greatest consequence to do honour to the deity by the proper performance of this rite.”
Among the Yezidis, or Devil-worshippers of Modern Chaldea, the same festival is celebrated at this day, with rites probably almost the same, so far as circumstances will allow, as thousands of years ago, when in the same regions the worship of Tammuz was in all its glory. Thus graphically does Mr. Layard describe a festival of this kind at which he himself had been present: ”As the twilight faded, the Fakirs, or lower orders of priests, dressed in brown garments of coarse cloth, closely fitting to their bodies, and wearing black turbans on their heads, issued from the tomb, each bearing a light in one hand, and a pot of oil, with a bundle of cotton wick in the other. They filled and trimmed lamps placed in niches in the walls of the courtyard and scattered over the buildings on the sides of the valley, and even on isolated rocks, and in the hollow trunks of trees. Innumerable stars appeared to glitter on the black sides of the mountain and in the dark recesses of the forest. As the priests made their way through the crowd to perform their task, men and women passed their right hands through the flame; and after rubbing the right eyebrow with the part which had been purified by the sacred element, they devoutly carried it to their lips. Some who bore children in their arms anointed them in like manner, whilst others held out their hands to be touched by those who, less fortunate than themselves, could not reach the flame…As night advanced, those who had assembled–they must now have amounted to nearly five thousand persons–lighted torches, which they carried with them as they wandered through the forest. The effect was magical: the varied groups could be faintly distinguished through the darkness–men hurrying to and fro–women with their children seated on the house-tops–and crowds gathering round the pedlars, who exposed their wares for sale in the courtyard. Thousands of lights were reflected in the fountains and streams, glimmered amongst the foliage of the trees, and danced in the distance. As I was gazing on this extraordinary scene, the hum of human voices was suddenly hushed, and a strain, solemn and melancholy, arose from the valley. It resembled some majestic chant which years before I had listened to in the cathedral of a distant land. Music so pathetic and so sweet I never before heard in the East. The voices of men and women were blended in harmony with the soft notes of many flutes. At measured intervals the song was broken by the loud clash of cymbals and tambourines; and those who were within the precincts of the tomb then joined in the melody…The tambourines, which were struck simultaneously, only interrupted at intervals the song of the priests. As the time quickened they broke in more frequently. The chant gradually gave way to a lively melody, which, increasing in measure, was finally lost in a confusion of sounds. The tambourines were beaten with extraordinary energy–the flutes poured forth a rapid flood of notes–the voices were raised to the highest pitch–the men outside joined in the cry–whilst the women made the rocks resound with the shrilltahlehl.
”The musicians, giving way to the excitement, threw their instruments into the air, and strained their limbs into every contortion, until they fell exhausted to the ground. I never heard a more frightful yell than that which rose in the valley. It was midnight. I gazed with wonder upon the extraordinary scene around me. Thus were probably celebrated ages ago the mysterious rites of the Corybantes, when they met in some consecrated grove.” Layard does not state at what period of the year this festival occurred; but his language leaves little doubt that he regarded it as a festival of Bacchus; in other words, of the Babylonian Messiah, whose tragic death, and subsequent restoration to life and glory, formed the cornerstone of ancient Paganism. The festival was avowedly held in honour at once of Sheikh Shems, or the Sun, and of the Sheik Adi, or ”Prince of Eternity,” around whose tomb nevertheless the solemnity took place, just as the lamp festival in Egypt, in honour of the sun-god Osiris, was celebrated in the precincts of the tomb of that god at Sais.
Now, the reader cannot fail to have observed that in this Yezidi festival, men, women, and children were ”PURIFIED” by coming in contact with ”the sacred element” of fire. In the rites of Zoroaster, the great Chaldean god, fire occupied precisely the same place. It was laid down as an essential principle in his system, that ”he who approached to fire would receive a light from divinity,” (TAYLOR’S Jamblichus) and that ”through divine fire all the stains produced by generation would be purged away” (PROCLUS, Timaeo). Therefore it was that ”children were made to pass through the fire to Moloch” (Jer 32:35), to purge them from original sin, and through this purgation many a helpless babe became a victim to the bloody divinity. Among the Pagan Romans, this purifying by passing through the fire was equally observed; ”for,” says Ovid, enforcing the practice, ”Fire purifies both the shepherd and the sheep.” Among the Hindoos, from time immemorial, fire has been worshipped for its purifying efficacy. Thus a worshipper is represented by Colebrooke, according to the sacred books, as addressing the fire: ”Salutation to thee [O fire!], who dost seize oblations, to thee who dost shine, to thee who dost scintillate, may thy auspicious flame burn our foes; mayest thou, the PURIFIER, be auspicious unto us.” There are some who maintain a ”perpetual fire,” and perform daily devotions to it, and in ”concluding the sacraments of the gods,” thus every day present their supplications to it: ”Fire, thou dost expiate a sin against the gods; may this oblation be efficacious. Thou dost expiate a sin against man; thou dost expiate a sin against the manes [departed spirits]; thou dost expiate a sin against my own soul; thou dost expiate repeated sins; thou dost expiate every sin which I have committed, whether wilfully or unintentionally; may this oblation be efficacious.” Among the Druids, also, fire was celebrated as the purifier. Thus, in a Druidic song, we read, ”They celebrated the praise of the holy ones in the presence of the purifying fire, which was made to ascend on high” (DAVIES’S Druids, ”Song to the Sun”). If, indeed, a blessing was expected in Druidical times from lighting the carn-fires, and making either young or old, either human beings or cattle, pass through the fire, it was simply in consequence of the purgation from sin that attached to human beings and all things connected with them, that was believed to be derived from this passing through the fire. It is evident that this very same belief about the ”purifying” efficacy of fire is held by the Roman Catholics of Ireland, when they are so zealous to pass both themselves and their children through the fires of St. John. * Toland testifies that it is as a ”lustration” that these fires are kindled; and all who have carefully examined the subject must come to the same conclusion.
* ”I have seen parents,” said the late Lord J. Scott in a letter to me, ”force their children to go through the Baal-fires.”
Now, if Tammuz was, as we have seen,the same as Zoroaster, the god of the ancient ”fire-worshippers,” and if his festival in Babylon so exactly synchronised with the feast of the Nativity of St. John, what wonder that that feast is still celebrated by the blazing ”Baal-fires,” and that it presents so faithful a copy of what was condemned by Jehovah of old in His ancient people when they ”made their children pass through the fire to Moloch”? But who that knows anything of the Gospel would call such a festival as this a Christian festival? The Popish priests, if they do not openly teach, at least allow their deluded votaries to believe, as firmly s ever ancient fire worshipper did, that material fire can purge away the guilt and stain of sin. How that tends to rivet upon the minds of their benighted vassals one of the most monstrous but profitable fables of their system, will come to be afterwards considered.
The name Oannes could be known only to the initiated as the name of the Pagan Messiah; and at first, some measure of circumspection was necessary in introducing Paganism into the Church. But, as time went on, as the Gospel became obscured, and the darkness became more intense, the same caution was by no means so necessary. Accordingly, we find that, in the dark ages, the Pagan Messiah has not been brought into the Church in a mere clandestine manner. Openly and avowedly under his well known classic names of Bacchus and Dionysus, has he been canonised, and set up for the worship of the ”faithful.” Yes, Rome, that professes to be pre-eminently the Bride of Christ, the only Church in which salvation is to be found, has had the unblushing effrontery to give the grand Pagan adversary of the Son of God, UNDER HIS OWN PROPER NAME, a place in her calendar. The reader has only to turn to the Roman calendar, and he will find that this is a literal fact; he will find that October the 7th is set apart to be observed in honour of ”St. Bacchus the Martyr.” Now, no doubt, Bacchus was a ”martyr”; he died a violent death; he lost his life for religion; but the religion for which he died was the religion of the fire-worshippers; for he was put to death, as we have seen from Maimonides, for maintaining the worship of the host of heaven. This patron of the heavenly host, and of fire worship (for the two went always hand in hand together), has Rome canonised; for that this ”St. Bacchus the Martyr” was the identical Bacchus of the Pagans, the god of drunkenness and debauchery, is evident from the time of his festival; for October the 7th follows soon after the end of the vintage. At the end of the vintage in autumn, the old Pagan Romans used to celebrate what was called the ”Rustic Festival” of Bacchus; and about that very time does the Papal festival of ”St Bacchus the Martyr” occur.
As the Chalden god has been admitted into the Roman calendar under the name of Bacchus, so also is he canonised under his other name of Dionysus. The Pagans were in the habit of worshipping the same god under different names; and, accordingly, not content with the festival to Bacchus, under the name by which he was most commonly known at Rome, the Romans, no doubt to please the Greeks, celebrated a rustic festival to him, two days afterwards, under the name of Dionysus Eleuthereus, the name by which he was worshipped in Greece. That ”rustic” festival was briefly called by the name of Dionysia; or, expressing its object more fully, the name became ”Festum Dionysi Eleutherei rusticum”–i.e., the ”rustic festival of Dionysus Eleuthereus.” (BEGG’S Handbook of Popery) Now, the Papacy in its excess of zeal for saints and saint-worship, has actually split Dionysus Eleuthereus into two, has made two several saints out of the double name of one Pagan divinity; and more than that, has made the innocent epithet ”Rusticum,” which, even among the heathen, had no pretension to divinity at all, a third; and so it comes to pass that, under date of October the 9th, we read this entry in the calendar: ”The festival of St. Dionysius, * and of his companions, St. Eleuther and St. Rustic.”
* Though Dionysus was the proper classic name of the god, yet in Post-classical, or Low Latin, his name is found Dionysius, just as in the case of the Romish saint.
Now this Dionysius, whom Popery has so marvellously furnished with two companions, is the famed St. Denys, the patron saint of Paris; and a comparison of the history of the Popish saint and the Pagan god will cast no little light on the subject. St. Denys, on being beheaded and cast into the Seine, so runs the legend, after floating a space on its waters, to the amazement of the spectators, took up his head in his hand, and so marched away with it to the place of burial. In commemoration of so stupendous a miracle, a hymn was duly chanted for many a century in the Cathedral of St. Denys, at Paris, containing the following verse:
”The corpse immediately arose;
The trunk bore away the dissevered head,
Guided on its way by a legion of angels.”
(SALVERTE, Des Sciences Occultes
At last, even Papists began to be ashamed of such an absurdity being celebrated in the name of religion; and in 1789, ”the office of St. Denys” was abolished. Behold, however, the march of events. The world has for some time past been progressing back again to the dark ages. The Romish Breviary, which had been given up in France, has, within the last six years, been reimposed by Papal authority on the Gallican Church, with all its lying legends, and this among the rest of them; the Cathedral of St. Denys is again being rebuilt, and the old worship bids fair to be restored in all its grossness. Now, how could it ever enter the minds of men to invent so monstrous a fable? The origin of it is not far to seek. The Church of Rome represented her canonised saints, who were said to have suffered martyrdom by the sword, as headless images or statues with the severed head borne in the hand. ”I have seen,” says Eusebe Salverte, ”in a church of Normandy, St. Clair; St. Mithra, at Arles, in Switzerland, all the soldiers of the Theban legion represented with their heads in their hands. St. Valerius is thus figured at Limoges, on the gates of the cathedral, and other monuments. The grand seal of the canton of Zurich represents, in the same attitude, St. Felix, St. Regula, and St. Exsuperantius. There certainly is the origin of the pious fable which is told of these martyrs, such as St. Denys and many others besides.” This was the immediate origin of the story of the dead saint rising up and marching away with his head in his hand. But it turns out that this very mode of representation was borrowed from Paganism, and borrowed in such a way as identifies the Papal St. Denys of Paris with the Pagan Dionysus, not only of Rome but of Babylon. Dionysus or Bacchus, in one of his transformations, was represented as Capricorn, the ”goat-horned fish”; and there is reason to believe that it was in this very form that he had the name of Oannes. In this form in India, under the name ”Souro,” that is evidently ”the seed,” he is said to have done many marvellous things. (For Oannes and Souro, see note below) Now, in the Persian Sphere he was not only represented mystically as Capricorn, but also in the human shape; and then exactly as St. Denys is represented by the Papacy. The words of the ancient writer who describes this figure in the Persian Sphere are these: ”Capricorn, the third Decan. The half of the figure without a head, because its head is in its hand.” Nimrod had his head cut off; and in commemoration of that fact, which his worshippers so piteously bewailed, his image in the Sphere was so represetned. That dissevered head, in some of the versions of his story, was fabled to have done as marvellous things as any that were done by the lifeless trunk of St. Denys. Bryant has proved, in this story of Orpheus, that it is just a slighty-coloured variety of the story of Osiris. *
* BRYANT. The very name Orpheus is just a synonym for Bel, the name of the great Babylonian god, which, while originally given to Cush, became hereditary in the line of his deified descendants. Bel signifies ”to mix,” as well as ”to confound,” and ”Orv” in Hebrew, which in Chaldee becomes Orph, signifies also ”to mix.” But ”Orv,” or ”Orph,” signifies besides ”a willow-tree”; and therefore, in exact accordance with the mystic system, we find the symbol of Orpheus among the Greeks to have been a willow-tree. Thus, Pausanias, after referring to a representation of Actaeon, says, ”If again you look to the lower parts of the picture, you will see after Patroclus, Orpheus sitting on a hill, with a harp in his left hand, and in his right hand the leaves of a willow-tree”; and again, a little furthe on, he says: ”He is represented leaning on the trunk of this tree.” The willow-leaves in the right hand of Orpheus, and the willow-tree on which he leans, sufficiently show the meaning of his name.
As Osiris was cut in pieces in Egypt, so Orpheus was torn in pieces in Thrace. Now, when the mangled limbs of the latter had been strewn about the field, his head, floating on the Hebrus, gave proof of the miraculous character of him that owned it. ”Then,” says Virgil:
”Then, when his head from his fair shoulders torn,
Washed by the waters, was on Hebrus borne,
Even then his trembling voice invoked his bride,
With his last voice, ‘Eurydice,’ he creid;
‘Eurydice,’ the rockes and river banks replied.”
There is diversity here, but amidst that diversity there is an obvious unity. In both cases, thehead dissevered from the lifeless body occupies the foreground of the picture; in both cases, the miracle is in connection with a river. Now, when the festivals of ”St. Bacchus the Martyr,” and of ”St. Dionysius and Eleuther,” so remarkably agree with the time when the festivals of the Pagan god of wine were celbrated, whether by the name of Bacchus, or Dionysus, or Eleuthereus, and when the mode of representing the modern Dionysius and the ancient Dionysus are evidently the very same, while the legends of both so strikiingly harmonise, who can doubt the real character of those Romish festivals? They are not Christina. They are Pagan; they are unequivocally Babylonian.


Note
Oannes and Souro
The reason for believing that Oannes, that was said to have been the first of the fabulous creatures that came up out of the sea and instructed the Babylonians, was represented as the goat-horned fish, is as follows: First, the name Oannes, as elsewhere shown, is just the Greek form of He-annesh, or ”The man,” which is a synonym for the name of our first parent, Adam. Now, Adam can be proved to be the original of Pan, who was also called Inuus, which is just another pronunciation of Anosh without the article, which, in our translation of Genesis 5:7, is made Enos. This name, as universally admitted, is the generic name for man after the Fall, as weak and diseased. The o in Enos is what is called the vau, which sometimes is pronounced o, sometimes u, and sometimes v or w. A legitimate pronunciation of Enos, therefore, is just Enus or Enws, the same in sound as Inuus, the Ancient Roman name of Pan. The name Pan itself signifies ”He who turned aside.” As the Hebrew word for ”uprightness” signifies ”walking straight in the way,” so every deviation from the straight line of duty was Sin; Hata, the word for sin, signifying generically ”to go aside from the straight line.” Pan, it is admitted, was the Head of the Satyrs–that is, ”the first of the Hidden Ones,” for Satyr and Satur, ”the Hidden One,” are evidently just the same word; and Adam was the first of mankind that hid himself. Pan is said to have loved a nymph called Pitho, or, as it is given in another form, Pitys (SMITH, ”Pan”); and what is Pitho or Pitys but just the name of the beguiling woman, who, having been beguiled herself, acted the part of a beguiler of her husband, and induced him to take the step, in consequence of which he earned the name Pan, ”The man that turned aside.” Pitho or Pitys evidently come from Peth or Pet, ”to beguile,” from which verb also the famous serpent Python derived its name. This conclusion in regard to the personal identity of Pan and Pitho is greatly confirmed by the titles given to the wife of Faunus. Faunus, says Smith, is ”merely another name for Pan.” *
* In Chaldee the same letter that is pronounced P is also pronounced Ph, that is F, therefore Pan is just Faun.
Now, the wife of Faunus was called Oma, Fauna, and Fatua, which names plainly mean ”The mother that turned aside, being beguiled.” This beguiled mother is also called indifferently ”the sister, wife, or daughter” of her husband; and how this agrees with the relations of Eve to Adam, the reader does not need to be told.
Now, a title of Pan was Capricornus, or ”The goat-horned” (DYMOCK, ”Pan”), and the origin of this title must be traced to what took place when our first parent became the Head of the Satyrs–the ”first of the Hidden ones.” He fled to hide himself; and Berkha, ”a fugitive,” signifies also ”a he-goat.” Hence the origin of the epithet Capricornus, or ”goat-horned,” as applied to Pan. But as Capricornus in the sphere is generally represented as the ”Goat-fish,” if Capricornus represents Pan, or Adam, or Oannes, that shows that it must be Adam, after, through virtue of the metempsychosis, he had passed through the waters of the deluge: the goat, as the symbol of Pan, representing Adam, the first father of mankind, combined with the fish, the symbol of Noah, the second father of the human race; of both whom Nimrod, as at once Kronos, ”the father of the gods,” and Souro, ”the seed,” was a new incarnation. Among the idols of Babylon, as represented in KITTO’S Illust. Commentary, we find a representation of this very Capricornus, or goat-horned fish; and Berosus tells us that the well known representations of Pan, of which Capricornus is a modification, were found in Babylon in the most ancient times. A great deal more of evidence might be adduced on this subject; but I submit to the reader if the above statement does not sufficiently account for the origin of the remarkable figure in the Zodiac, ”The goat-horned fish.”


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter III
Section IV
The Feast of the Assumption
If what has been already said shows the carnal policy of Rome at the expense of truth, the circumstances attending the festival of the Assumption show the daring wickedness and blasphemy of that Church still more; considering that the doctrine in regard to this festival, so far as the Papacy is concerned, was not established in the dark ages, but three centuries after the Reformation, amid all the boasted light of the nineteenth century. The doctrine on which the festival of the Assumption is founded, is this: that the Virgin Mary saw no corruption, that in body and in soul she was carried up to heaven, and now is invested with all power in heaven and in earth. This doctrine has been unblushingly avowed in the face of the British public, in a recent pastoral of the Popish Archbishop of Dublin. This doctrine has now received the stamp of Papal Infallibility, having been embodied in the late blasphemous decree that proclaims the ”Immaculate Conception.” Now, it is impossible for the priests of Rome to find one shred of countenance for such a doctrine in Scripture. But, in the Babylonian system, the fable was ready made to their hand. There it was taught that Bacchus went down to hell, rescued his mother from the infernal powers, and carried her with him in triumph to heaven. *
* APOLLODORUS. We have seen that the great goddess, who was worshipped in Babylon as ”The Mother,” was in reality the wife of Ninus, the great god, the prototype of Bacchus. In conformity with this, we find a somewhat similar story told of Ariadne, the wife of Bacchus, as is fabled of Semele his mother. ”The garment of Thetis,” says Bryant, ”contained a description of some notable achievements in the first ages; and a particular account of the apotheosis, of Ariadne, who is described, whatever may be the meaning of it, as carried by Bacchus to heaven.” A similar story is told of Alcmene, the mother of the Grecian Hercules, who was quite distinct, as we have seen, from the primitive Hercules, and was just one of the forms of Bacchus, for he was a ”great tippler”; and the ”Herculean goblets” are proverbial. (MULLER’S Dorians) Now the mother of this Hercules is said to have had a resurrection. ”Jupiter” [the father of Hercules], says Muller, ”raised Alcmene from the dead, and conducted her to the islands of the blest, as the wife of Rhadamanthus.”
This fable spread wherever the Babylonian system spread; and, accordingly, at this day, the Chinese celebrate, as they have done from time immemorial, a festival in honour of a Mother, who by her son was rescued from the power of death and the grave. The festival of the Assumption in the Romish Church is held on the 15th of August. The Chinese festival, founded on a similar legend, and celebrated with lanterns and chandeliers, as shown by Sir J. F. Davis in his able and graphic account of China, is equally celebrated in the month of August. Now, when the mother of the Pagan Messiah came to be celebrated as having been thus ”Assumed,” then it was that, under the name of the ”Dove,” she was worshipped as the Incarnation of the Spirit of God, with whom she was identified. As such as she was regarded as the source of all holiness, and the grand ”PURIFIER,” and, of course, was known herself as the ”Virgin” mother, ”PURE AND UNDEFILED.” (PROCLUS, in TAYLOR’S Note upon Jamblichus) Under the name of Proserpine (with whom, though the Babylonian goddess was originally distinct, she was identified), while celebrated, as the mother of the first Bacchus, and known as ”Pluto’s honoured wife,” she is also addressed, in the ”Orphic Hymns,” as
”Associate of the seasons, essence bright,
All-ruling VIRGIN, bearing heavenly light.”
Whoever wrote these hymns, the more they are examined the more does it become evident, when they are compared with the most ancient doctrine of Classic Greece, that their authors understood and thoroughly adhered to the genuine theology of Paganism. To the fact that Proserpine was currently worshipped in Pagan Greece, though well known to be the wife of Pluto, the god of hell, under the name of ”The Holy Virgin,” we find Pausanias, while describing the grove Carnasius, thus bearing testimony: ”This grove contains a statue of Apollo Carneus, of Mercury carrying a ram, and of Proserpine, the daughter of Ceres, who is called ‘The HOLY VIRGIN.’” The purity of this ”Holy Virgin” did not consist merely in freedom from actual sin, but she was especially distinguished for her ”immaculate conception”; for Proclus says, ”She is called Core, through the purity of her essence, and her UNDEFILED transcendency in her GENERATIONS.” Do men stand amazed at the recent decree? There is no real reason to wonder. It was only in following out the Pagan doctrine previously adopted and interwoven with the whole system of Rome to its logical consequences, that that decree has been issued, and that the Madonna of Rome has been formally pronounced at last, in every sense of the term, absolutely ”IMMACULATE.”
Now, after all this, is it possible to doubt that the Madonna of Rome, with the child in her arms, and the Madonna of Babylon, are one and the same goddess? It is notorious that the Roman Madonna is worshipped as a goddess, yea, is the supreme object of worship. Will not, then, the Christians of Britain revolt at the idea of longer supporting this monstrous Babylonian Paganism? What Christian constituency could tolerate that its representative should vote away the money of this Protestant nation for the support of such blasphemous idolatry? *
* It is to be lamented that Christians in general seem to have so little sense either of the gravity of the present crisis of the Church and the world, or of the duty lying upon them as Christ’s witnesses, to testify, and that practically, against the public sins of the nation. If they would wish to be stimulated to a more vigorous discharge of duty in this respect, let them read an excellent and well-timed little work recently issued from the press, entitled An Original Interpretation of the Apocalypse, where the Apocalyptic statements in regard to the character, life, death, and resurrection of the Two Witnesses, are briefly but forcibly handled.
Were not the minds of men judicially blinded, they would tremble at the very thought of incurring the guilt that this land, by upholding the corruption and wickedness of Rome, has for years past been contracting. Has not the Word of God, in the most energetic and awful terms, doomed the New Testament Babylon? And has it not equally declared, that those who share in Babylon’s sins, shall share in Babylon’s plagues? (Rev 18:4)
The guilt of idolatry is by many regarded as comparatively slight and insignificant guilt. But not so does the God of heaven regard it. Which is the commandment of all the ten that is fenced about with the most solemn and awful sanctions? It is the second: ”Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in the heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.” These words were spoken by God’s own lips, they were written by God’s own finger on the tables of stone: not for the instruction of the seed of Abraham only, but of all the tribes and generations of mankind. No other commandment has such a threatening attached to it as this. Now, if God has threatened to visit the SIN OF IDOLATRY ABOVE ALL OTHER SINS, and if we find the heavy judgments of God pressing upon us as a nation, while this very sin is crying to heaven against us, ought it not to be a matter of earnest inquiry, if among all our other national sins, which are both many and great, this may not form ”the very head and front of our offending”? What though we do not ourselves bow down to stocks and stones? Yet if we, making a profession the very opposite, encourage, and foster, and maintain that very idolatry which God has so fearfully threatened with His wrath, our guilt, instead of being the less, is only so much the greater, for it is a sin against the light. Now, the facts are manifest to all men. It is notorious, that in 1845 anti-Christian idolatry was incorporated in the British Constitution, in a way in which for a century and a half it had not been incorporated before. It is equally notorious, that ever since, the nation has been visited with one succession of judgments after another. Ought we then to regard this coincidence as merely accidental? Ought we not rather to see in it the fulfilment of the threatening pronounced by God in the Apocalypse? This is at this moment an intensely practical subject. If our sin in this matter is not nationally recognised, if it is not penitently confessed, if it is not put away from us; if, on the contrary, we go on increasing it, if now for the first time since the Revolution, while so manifestly dependent on the God of battles for the success of our arms, we affront Him to His face by sending idol priests into our camp, then, though we have national fasts, and days of humiliation without number, they cannot be accepted; they may procure us a temporary respite, but we may be certain that ”the Lord’s anger will not be turned away, His hand will be stretched out still.” *
* The above paragraph first appeared in the spring of 1855, when the empire had for months been looking on in amazement at the ”horrible and heart-rending” disasters in the Crimea, caused simply by the fact, that official men in that distant region ”could not find their hands,” and when at last a day of humiliation had been appointed. The reader can judge whether or not the events that have since occurred have made the above reasoning out of date. The few years of impunity that have elapsed since the Indian Mutiny, with all its horrors, was suppressed, show the long-suffering of God. But if that long-suffering is despised (which it manifestly is, while the guilt is daily increasing), the ultimate issue must just be so much the more terrible.



See Chapter V, Section IV regarding Cupid (St. Valentine’s Day)

The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter IV
Doctrine and Discipline
When Linacer, a distinguished physician, but bigoted Romanist, in the reign of Henry VIII first fell in with the New Testament, after reading it for a while, he tossed it from him with impatience and a great oath, exclaiming, ”Either this book is not true, or we are not Christians.” He saw at once that the system of Rome and the system of the New Testament were directly opposed to one another; and no one who impartially compares the two systems can come to any other conclusion. In passing from the Bible to the Breviary, it is like passing from light to darkness. While the one breathes glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, and good will to men, the other inculcates all that is dishonouring to the Most High, and ruinous to the moral and spiritual welfare of mankind. How came it that such pernicious doctrines and practices were embraced by the Papacy? Was the Bible so obscure or ambiguous that men naturally fell into the mistake of supposing that it required them to believe and practise the very opposite of what it did? No; the doctrine and discipline of the Papacy were never derived from the Bible. The fact that wherever it has the power, it lays the reading of the Bible under its ban, and either consigns that choicest gift of heavenly love to the flames, or shuts it up under lock and key, proves this of itself. But it can be still more conclusively established. A glance at the main pillars of the Papal system will sufficiently prove that its doctrine and discipline, in all essential respects, have been derived from Babylon. Let the reader now scan the evidence.
Section I
Baptismal Regeneration
It is well known that regeneration by baptism is a fundamental article of Rome, yea, that it stands at the very threshold of the Roman system. So important, according to Rome, is baptism for this purpose, that, on the one hand, it is pronounced of ”absolute necessity for salvation,” * insomuch that infants dying without it cannot be admitted to glory; and on the other, its virtues are so great, that it is declared in all cases infallibly to ”regenerate us by a new spiritual birth, making us children of God”:–it is pronounced to be ”the first door by which we enter into the fold of Jesus Christ, the first means by which we receive the grace of reconciliation with God; therefore the merits of His death are by baptism applied to our souls in so superabundant a manner, as fully to satisfy Divine justice for all demands against us, whether for original or actual sin.”
* Bishop HAY’S Sincere Christian. There are two exceptions to this statement; the case of an infidel converted in a heathen land, where it is impossible to get baptism, and the case of a martyr ”baptised,” as it is called, ”in his own blood”; but in all other cases, whether of young or old, the necessity is ”absolute.”
Now, in both respects this doctrine is absolutely anti-Scriptural; in both it is purely Pagan. It is anti-Scriptural, for the Lord Jesus Christ has expressly declared that infants, without the slightest respect to baptism or any external ordinance whatever, are capable of admission into all the glory of the heavenly world: ”Suffer the little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” John the Baptist, while yet in his mother’s womb was so filled with joy at the advent of the Saviour, that, as soon as Mary’s salutation sounded in the ears of his own mother, the unborn babe ”leaped in the womb for joy.” Had that child died at the birth, what could have excluded it from ”the inheritance of the saints in light” for which it was so certainly ”made meet”? Yet the Roman Catholic Bishop Hay, in defiance of very principle of God’s Word, does not hesitate to pen the following: ”Question: What becomes of young children who die without baptism? Answer: If a young child were put to death for the sake of Christ, this would be to it the baptism of blood, and carry it to heaven; but except in this case, as such infants are incapable of having the desire of baptism, with the other necessary dispositions, if they are not actually baptised with water, THEY CANNOT GO TO HEAVEN.” As this doctrine never came from the Bible, whence came it? It came from heathenism. The classic reader cannot fail to remember where, and in what melancholy plight, Aeneas, when he visited the infernal regions, found the souls of unhappy infants who had died before receiving, so to speak, ”the rites of the Church”:
”Before the gates the cries of babes new-born,
Whom fate had from their tender mothers torn,
Assault his ears.”
These wretched babes, to glorify the virtue and efficacy of the mystic rites of Paganism, are excluded from the Elysian Fields, the paradise of the heathen, and have among their nearest associates no better company than that of guilty suicides:
”The next in place and punishment are they
Who prodigally threw their souls away,
Fools, who, repining at their wretched state,
And loathing anxious life, suborned their fate.” *
* Virgil, DRYDEN’S translation. Between the infants and the suicides one other class is interposed, that is, those who on earth have been unjustly condemned to die. Hope is held out for these, but no hope is held out for the babes.
So much for the lack of baptism. Then as to its positive efficacy when obtained, the Papal doctrine is equally anti-Scriptural. There are professed Protestants who hold the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration; but the Word of God knows nothing of it. The Scriptural account of baptism is, not that it communicates the new birth, but that it is the appointed means of signifying and sealing that new birth where it already exists. In this respect baptism stands on the very same ground as circumcision. Now, what says God’s Word of the efficacy of circumcision? This it says, speaking of Abraham: ”He received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised” (Rom 4:11). Circumcision was not intended to make Abraham righteous; he was righteous already before he was circumcised. But it was intended to declare him righteous, to give him the more abundant evidence in his own consciousness of his being so. Had Abraham not been righteous before his circumcision, his circumcision could not have been a seal, could not have given confirmation to that which did not exist. So with baptism, it is ”a seal of the righteousness of the faith” which the man ”has before he is baptised”; for it is said, ”He that believeth, and is baptised, shall be saved” (Mark 16:16). Where faith exists, if it be genuine, it is the evidence of a new heart, of a regenerated nature; and it is only on the profession of that faith and regeneration in the case of an adult, that he is admitted to baptism. Even in the case of infants, who can make no profession of faith or holiness, the administration of baptism is not for the purpose of regenerating them, or making them holy, but of declaring them ”holy,” in the sense of being fit for being consecrated, even in infancy, to the service of Christ, just as the whole nation of Israel, in consequence of their relation to Abraham, according to the flesh, were ”holy unto the Lord.” If they were not, in that figurative sense, ”holy,” they would not be fit subjects for baptism, which is the ”seal” of a holy state. But the Bible pronounces them, in consequence of their descent from believing parents, to be ”holy,” and that even where only one of the parents is a believer: ”The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; else were your children unclean, but now they are HOLY” (1 Cor 7:14). It is in consequence of, and solemnly to declare, that ”holiness,” with all the responsibilities attaching to it, that they are baptised. That ”holiness,” however, is very different from the ”holiness” of the new nature; and although the very fact of baptism, if Scripturally viewed and duly improved, is, in the hand of the good Spirit of God, an important means of making that ”holiness” a glorious reality, in the highest sense of the term, yet it does not in all cases necessarily secure their spiritual regeneration. God may, or may not, as He sees fit, give the new heart, before, or at, or after baptism; but manifest it is, that thousands who have been duly baptised are still unregenerate, are still in precisely the same position as Simon Magus, who, after being canonically baptised by Philip, was declared to be ”in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity” (Acts 7:23). The doctrine of Rome, however, is, that all who are canonically baptised, however ignorant, however immoral, if they only give implicit faith to the Church, and surrender their consciences to the priests, are as much regenerated as ever they can be, and that children coming from the waters of baptism are entirely purged from the stain of original sin. Hence we find the Jesuit missionaries in India boasting of making converts by thousands, by the mere fact of baptising them, without the least previous instruction, in the most complete ignorance of the truths of Christianity, on their mere profession of submission to Rome. This doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration also is essentially Babylonian. Some may perhaps stumble at the idea of regeneration at all having been known in the Pagan world; but if they only go to India, they will find at this day, the bigoted Hindoos, who have never opened their ears to Christian instruction, as familiar with the term and the idea as ourselves. The Brahmins make it their distinguishing boast that they are ”twice-born” men, and that, as such, they are sure of eternal happiness. Now, the same was the case in Babylon, and there the new birth was conferred by baptism. In the Chaldean mysteries, before any instruction could be received, it was required first of all, that the person to be initiated submit to baptism in token of blind and implicit obedience. We find different ancient authors bearing direct testimony both to the fact of this baptism and the intention of it. ”In certain sacred rites of the heathen,” says Tertullian, especially referring to the worship of Isis and Mithra, ”the mode of initiation is by baptism.” The term ”initiation” clearly shows that it was to the Mysteries of these divinities he referred. This baptism was by immersion, and seems to have been rather a rough and formidable process; for we find that he who passed through the purifying waters, and other necessary penances, ”if he survived, was then admitted to the knowledge of the Mysteries.” (Elliae Comment. in S. GREG. NAZ.) To face this ordeal required no little courage on the part of those who were initiated. There was this grand inducement, however, to submit, that they who were thus baptised were, as Tertullian assures us, promised, as the consequence, ”REGENERATION, and the pardon of all their perjuries.” Our own Pagan ancestors, the worshippers of Odin, are known to have practised baptismal rites, which, taken in connection with their avowed object in practising them, show that, originally, at least, they must have believed that the natural guilt and corruption of their new-born children could be washed away by sprinkling them with water, or by plunging them, as soon as born, into lakes or rivers. Yea, on the other side of the Atlantic, in Mexico, the same doctrine of baptismal regeneration was found in full vigour among the natives, when Cortez and his warriors landed on their shores. The ceremony of Mexican baptism, which was beheld with astonishment by the Spanish Roman Catholic missionaries, is thus strikingly described in Prescott’s Conquest of Mexico: ”When everything necessary for the baptism had been made ready, all the relations of the child were assembled, and the midwife, who was the person that performed the rite of baptism, * was summoned. At early dawn, they met together in the courtyard of the house. When the sun had risen, the midwife, taking the child in her arms, called for a little earthen vessel of water, while those about her placed the ornaments, which had been prepared for baptism, in the midst of the court. To perform the rite of baptism, she placed herself with her face toward the west, and immediately began to go through certain ceremonies…After this she sprinkled water on the head of the infant, saying, ‘O my child, take and receive the water of the Lord of the world, which is our life, which is given for the increasing and renewing of our body. It is to wash and to purify. I pray that these heavenly drops may enter into your body, and dwell there; that they may destroy and remove from you all the evil and sin which was given you before the beginning of the world, since all of us are under its power’…She then washed the body of the child with water, and spoke in this manner: ‘Whencesoever thou comest, thou that art hurtful to this child, leave him and depart from him, for he now liveth anew, and is BORN ANEW; now he is purified and cleansed afresh, and our mother Chalchivitylcue [the goddess of water] bringeth him into the world.’ Having thus prayed, the midwife took the child in both hands, and, lifting him towards heaven, said, ‘O Lord, thou seest here thy creature, whom thou hast sent into the world, this place of sorrow, suffering, and penitence. Grant him, O Lord, thy gifts and inspiration, for thou art the Great God, and with thee is the great goddess.’”
* As baptism is absolutely necessary to salvation, Rome also authorises midwives to administer baptism. In Mexico the midwife seems to have been a ”priestess.”
Here is the opus operatum without mistake. Here is baptismal regeneration and exorcism too, * as thorough and complete as any Romish priest or lover of Tractarianism could desire.
* In the Romish ceremony of baptism, the first thing the priest does is to exorcise the devil out of the child to be baptised in these words, ”Depart from him, thou unclean spirit, and give place to the Holy Ghost the Comforter.” (Sincere Christian) In the New Testament there is not the slightest hint of any such exorcism accompanying Christian Baptism. It is purely Pagan.
Does the reader ask what evidence is there that Mexico had derived this doctrine from Chaldea? The evidence is decisive. From the researches of Humboldt we find that the Mexicans celebrated Wodan as the founder of their race, just as our own ancestors did. The Wodan or Odin of Scandinavia can be proved to be the Adon of Babylon. (see note below) The Wodan of Mexico, from the following quotation, will be seen to be the very same: ”According to the ancient traditions collected by the Bishop Francis Nunez de la Vega,” says Humboldt, ”the Wodan of the Chiapanese [of Mexico] was grandson of that illustrious old man, who at the time of the great deluge, in which the greater part of the human race perished, was saved on a raft, together with his family. Wodan co-operated in the construction of the great edifice which had been undertaken by men to reach the skies; the execution of this rash project was interrupted; each family received from that time a different language; and the great spirit Teotl ordered Wodan to go and people the country of Anahuac.” This surely proves to demonstration whence originally came the Mexican mythology and whence also that doctrine of baptismal regeneration which the Mexicans held in common with Egyptian and Persian worshippers of the Chaldean Queen of Heaven. Prestcott, indeed, has cast doubts on the genuiness of this tradition, as being too exactly coincident with the Scriptural history to be easily believed. But the distinguished Humboldt, who had carefully examined the matter, and who had no prejudice to warp him, expresses his full belief in its correctness; and even from Prestcott’s own interesting pages, it may be proved in every essential particular, with the single exception of the name of Wodan, to which he makes no reference. But, happily, the fact that that name had been borne by some illustrious hero among the supposed ancestors of the Mexican race, is put beyond all doubt by the singular circumstance that the Mexicans had one of their days called Wodansday, exactly as we ourselves have. This, taken in connection with all the circumstances, is a very striking proof, at once of the unity of the human race, and of the wide-spread diffusion of the system that began at Babel.
If the question arise, How came it that the Bayblonians themselves adopted such a doctrine as regeneration by baptism, we have light also on that. In the Babylonian Mysteries, the commemoration of the flood, of the ark, and the grand events in the life of Noah, was mingled with the worship of the Queen of Heaven and her son. Noah, as having lived in two worlds, both before the flood and after it, was called ”Dipheus,” or ”twice-born,” and was represented as a god with two heads looking in opposite directions, the one old, and the other young. Though we have seen that the two-headed Janus in one aspect had reference to Cush and his son, Nimrod, viewed as one god, in a two-fold capacity, as the Supreme, and Father of all the deified ”mighty ones,” yet, in order to gain for him the very authority and respect essential to constitute him properly the head of the great system of idolatry that the apostates inaugurated, it was necessary to represent him as in some way or other identified with the great patriarch, who was the Father of all, and who had so miraculous a history. Therefore in the legends of Janus, we find mixed up with other things derived from an entirely different source, statements not only in regard to his being the ”Father of the world,” but also his being ”the inventor of ships,” which plainly have been borrowed from the history of Noah; and therefore, the remarkable way in which he is represented in the figure here presented to the reader may confidently be concluded to have been primarily suggested by the history of the great Diluvian patriarch, whose integrity in his two-fold life is so particularly referred to in the Scripture, where it is said (Gen 6:9), ”Noah was just a man, and perfect in his generations,” that is, in his life before the flood, and in his life after it. The whole mythology of Greece and Rome, as well as Asia, is full of the history and deeds of Noah, which it is impossible to misunderstand. In India, the god Vishnu, ”the Preserver,” who is celebrated as having miraculously preserved one righteous family at the time when the world was drowned, not only has the story of Noah wrought up with his legend, but is called by his very name. Vishnu is just the Sanscrit form of the Chaldee ”Ish-nuh,” ”the man Noah,” or the ”Man of rest.” In the case of Indra, the ”king of the gods,” and god of rain, which is evidently only another form of the same god, the name is found in the precise form of Ishnu. Now, the very legend of Vishnu, that pretends to make him no mere creature, but the supreme and ”eternal god,” shows that this interpretation of the name is no mere unfounded imagination. Thus is he celebrated in the ”Matsya Puran”: ”The sun, the wind, the ether, all things incorporeal, were absorbed into his Divine essence; and the universe being consumed, the eternal and omnipotent god, having assumed an ancient form, REPOSED mysteriously upon the surface of that (universal) ocean. But no one is capable of knowing whether that being was then visible or invisible, or what the holy name of that person was, or what the cause of his mysterious SLUMBER. Nor can any one tell how long he thus REPOSED until he conceived the thought of acting; for no one saw him, no one approached him, and none can penetrate the mystery of his real essence.” (Col. KENNEDY’S Hindoo Mythology) In conformity with this ancient legend, Vishnu is still represented as sleeping four months every year. Now, connect this story with the name of Noah, the man of ”Rest,” and with his personal history during the period of the flood, when the world was destroyed, when for forty days and forty nights all was chaos, when neither sun nor moon nor twinkling star appeared, when sea and sky were mingled, and all was one wide universal ”ocean,” on the bosom of which the patriarch floated, when there was no human being to ”approach” him but those who were with him in the ark, and ”the mystery of his real essence is penetrated” at once, ”the holy name of that person” is ascertained, and his ”mysterious slumber” fully accounted for. Now, wherever Noah is celebrated, whether by the name of Saturn, ”the hidden one,”–for that name was applied to him as well as to Nimrod, on account of his having been ”hidden” in the ark, in the ”day of the Lord’s fierce anger,”–or, ”Oannes,” or ”Janus,” the ”Man of the Sea,” he is generally described in such a way as shows that he was looked upon as Diphues, ”twice-born,” or ”regenerate.” The ”twice-born” Brahmins, who are all so many gods upon earth, by the very title they take to themselves, show that the god whom they represent, and to whose prerogatives they lay claim, had been known as the ”twice-born” god. The connection of ”regeneration” with the history of Noah, comes out with special evidence in the accounts handed down to us of the Mysteries as celebrated in Egypt. The most learned explorers of Egyptian antiquities, including Sir Gardiner Wilkinson, admit that the story of Noah was mixed up with the story of Osiris. The ship of Isis, and the coffin of Osiris, floating on the waters, point distinctly to that remarkable event. There were different periods, in different places in Egypt, when the fate of Osiris was lamented; and at one time there was more special reference to the personal history of ”the mighty hunter before the Lord,” and at another to the awful catastrophe through which Noah passed. In the great and solemn festival called ”The Disappearance of Osiris,” it is evident that it is Noah himself who was then supposed to have been lost. The time when Osiris was ”shut up in his coffin,” and when that coffin was set afloat on the waters, as stated by Plutarch, agrees exactly with the period when Noah entered the ark. That time was ”the 17th day of the month Athyr, when the overflowing of the Nile had ceased, when the nights were growing long and the days decreasing.” The month Athyr was the second month after the autumnal equinox, at which time the civil year of the Jews and the patriarchs began. According to this statement, then, Osiris was ”shut up in his coffin” on the 17th day of the second month of the patriarchal year. Compare this with the Scriptural account of Noah’s entering into the ark, and it will be seen how remarkably they agree (Gen 7:11), ”In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the SECOND MONTH, in the SEVENTEENTH DAY of the month, were all the fountains of the great deep broken up; in the self-same day entered Noah into the ark.” The period, too, that Osiris (otherwise Adonis) was believed to have been shut up in his coffin, was precisely the same as Noah was confined in the ark, a whole year. *
* APOLLODORUS. THEOCRITUS, Idyll. Theocritus is speaking of Adonis as delivered by Venus from Acheron, or the infernal regions, after being there for a year; but as the scene is laid in Egypt, it is evident that it is Osiris he refers to, as he was the Adonis of the Egyptians.
Now, the statements of Plutarch demonstrate that, as Osiris at this festival was looked upon as dead and buried when put into his ark or coffin, and committed to the deep, so, when at length he came out of it again, that new state was regarded as a state of ”new life,” or ”REGENERATION.” *
* PLUTARCH, De Iside et Osiride. It was in the character of Pthah-Sokari-Osiris that he was represented as having been thus ”buried” in the waters. In his own character, simply as Osiris, he had another burial altogether.
There seems every reason to believe that by the ark and the flood God actually gave to the patriarchal saints, and especially to righteous Noah, a vivid typical representation of the power of the blood and Spirit of Christ, at once in saving from wrath, and cleansing from all sin–a representation which was a most cheering ”seal” and confirmation to the faith of those who really believed. To this Peter seems distinctly to allude, when he says, speaking of this very event, ”The like figure whereunto baptism doth also now save us.” Whatever primitive truth the Chaldean priests held, they utterly perverted and corrupted it. They willingly overlooked the fact, that it was ”the righteousness of the faith” which Noah ”had before” the flood, that carried him safely through the avenging waters of that dread catastrophe, and ushered him, as it were, from the womb of the ark, by a new birth, into a new world, when on the ark resting on Mount Ararat, he was released from his long confinement. They led their votaries to believe that, if they only passed through the baptismal waters, and the penances therewith connected, that of itself would make them like the second father of mankind, ”Diphueis,” ”twice-born,” or ”regenerate,” would entitle them to all the privileges of ”righteous” Noah, and give them that ”new birth” (palingenesia) which their consciences told them they so much needed. The Papacy acts on precisely the same principle; and from this very source has its doctrine of baptismal regeneration been derived, about which so much has been written and so many controversies been waged. Let men contend as they may, this, and this only, will be found to be the real origin of the anti-Scriptural dogma. *
* There have been considerable speculations about the meaning of the name Shinar, as applied to the region of which Babylon was the capital. Do not the facts above stated cast light on it? What so likely a derivation of this name as to derive it from ”shene,” ”to repeat,” and ”naar,” ”childhood.” The land of ”Shinar,” then, according to this view, is just the land of the ”Regenerator.”
The reader has seen already how faithfully Rome has copied the Pagan exorcism in connection with baptism. All the other peculiarities attending the Romish baptism, such as the use of salt, spittle, chrism, or anointing with oil, and marking the forehead with the sign of the cross, are equally Pagan. Some of the continental advocates of Rome have admitted that some of these at least have not been derived from Scripture. Thus Jodocus Tiletanus of Louvaine, defending the doctrine of ”Unwritten Tradition,” does not hesitate to say, ”We are not satisfied with that which the apostles or the Gospel do declare, but we say that, as well before as after, there are divers matters of importance and weight accepted and received out of a doctrine which is nowhere set forth in writing. For we do blesse the water wherewith we baptize, and the oyle wherewith we annoynt; yea, and besides that, him that is christened. And (I pray you) out of what Scripture have we learned the same? Have we it not of a secret and unwritten ordinance? And further, what Scripture hath taught us to grease with oyle? Yea, I pray you, whence cometh it, that we do dype the childe three times in the water? Doth it not come out of this hidden and undisclosed doctrine, which our forefathers have received closely without any curiosity, and do observe it still.” This learned divine of Louvaine, of course, maintains that ”the hidden and undisclosed doctrine” of which he speaks, was the ”unwritten word” handed down through the channel of infallibility, from the Apostles of Christ to his own time. But, after what we have already seen, the reader will probably entertain a different opinion of the source from which the hidden and undisclosed doctrine must have come. And, indeed, Father Newman himself admits, in regard to ”holy water” (that is, water impregnated with ”salt,” and consecrated), and many other things that were, as he says, ”the very instruments and appendages of demon-worship”–that they were all of ”Pagan” origin, and ”sanctified by adoption into the Church.” What plea, then, what palliation can he offer, for so extraordinary an adoption? Why, this: that the Church had ”confidence in the power of Christianity to resist the infection of evil,” and to transmute them to ”an evangelical use.” What right had the Church to entertain any such ”confidence”? What fellowship could light have with darkness? what concord between Christ and Belial? Let the history of the Church bear testimony to the vanity, yea, impiety of such a hope. Let the progress of our inquiries shed light upon the same. At the present stage, there is only one of the concomitant rites of baptism to which I will refer–viz., the use of ”spittle” in that ordinance; and an examination of the very words of the Roman ritual, in applying it, will prove that its use in baptism must have come from the Mysteries. The following is the account of its application, as given by Bishop Hay: ”The priest recites another exorcism, and at the end of it touches the ear and nostrils of the person to be baptised with a little spittle, saying, ‘Ephpheta, that is, Be thou opened into an odour of sweetness; but be thou put to flight, O Devil, for the judgment of God will be at hand.’” Now, surely the reader will at once ask, what possible, what conceivable connection can there be between spittle, and an ”odour of sweetness”? If the secret doctrine of the Chaldean mysteries be set side by side with this statement, it will be seen that, absurd and nonsensical as this collocation of terms may appear, it was not at random that ”spittle” and an ”odour of sweetness” were brought together. We have seen already how thoroughly Paganism was acquainted with the attributes and work of the promised Messiah, though all that acquaintance with these grand themes was used for the purpose of corrupting the minds of mankind, and keeping them in spiritual bondage. We have now to see that, as they were well aware of the existence of the Holy Spirit, so, intellectually, they were just as well acquainted with His work, though their knowledge on that subject was equally debased and degraded. Servius, in his comments upon Virgil’s First Georgic, after quoting the well known expression, ”Mystica vannus Iacchi,” ”the mystic fan of Bacchus,” says that that ”mystic fan” symbolised the ”purifying of souls.” Now, how could the fan be a symbol of the purification of souls? The answer is, The fan is an instrument for producing ”wind”; * and in Chaldee, as has been already observed, it is one and the same word which signifies ”wind” and the ”Holy Spirit.”
* There is an evident allusion to the ”mystic fan” of the Babylonian god, in the doom of Babylon, as pronounced by Jeremiah 51:1, 2: ”Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up against Babylon, and against them that dwell in the midst of them that rise up against me, a destroying wind; and will send unto Babylon fanners, that shall fan her, and shall empty her land.”
There can be no doubt, that, from the very beginning, the ”wind” was one of the Divine patriarchal emblems by which the power of the Holy Ghost was shadowed forth, even as our Lord Jesus Christ said to Nicodemus, ”The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” Hence, when Bacchus was represented with ”the mystic fan,” that was to declare him to be the mighty One with whom was ”the residue of the Spirit.” Hence came the idea of purifying the soul by means of the wind, according to the description of Virgil, who represents the stain and pollution of sin as being removed in this very way:
”For this are various penances enjoined,
And some are hung to bleach upon the WIND.”
Hence the priests of Jupiter (who was originally just another form of Bacchus), were called Flamens, * — that is Breathers, or bestowers of the Holy Ghost, by breathing upon their votaries.
* From ”Flo,” ”I breathe.”
Now, in the Mysteries, the ”spittle” was just another symbol for the same thing. In Egypt, through which the Babylonian system passed to Western Europe, the name of the ”Pure or Purifying Spirit” was ”Rekh” (BUNSEN). But ”Rekh” also signified ”spittle” (PARKHURST’S Lexicon); so that to anoint the nose and ears of the initiated with ”spittle,” according to the mystic system, was held to be anointing them with the ”Purifying Spirit.” That Rome in adopting the ”spittle” actually copied from some Chaldean ritual in which ”spittle” was the appointed emblem of the ”Spirit,” is plain from the account which she gives in her own recognised formularies of the reason for anointing the ears with it. The reason for anointing the ears with ”spittle” says Bishop Hay, is because ”by the grace of baptism, the ears of our soul are opened to hear the Word of God, and the inspirations of His Holy Spirit.” But what, it may be asked, has the ”spittle” to do with the ”odour of sweetness”? I answer, The very word ”Rekh,” which signified the ”Holy Spirit,” and was visibly represented by the ”spittle,” was intimately connected with ”Rikh,” which signifies a ”fragrant smell,” or ”odour of sweetness.” Thus, a knowledge of the Mysteries gives sense and a consistent meaning to the cabalistic saying addressed by the Papal baptiser to the person about to be baptised, when the ”spittle” is daubed on his nose and ears, which otherwise would have no meaning at all–”Ephpheta, Be thou opened into an odour of sweetness.” While this was the primitive truth concealed under the ”spittle,” yet the whole spirit of Paganism was so opposed to the spirituality of the patriarchal religion, and indeed intended to make it void, and to draw men utterly away from it, while pretending to do homage to it, that among the multitude in general the magic use of ”spittle” became the symbol of the grossest superstition. Theocritus shows with what debasing rites it was mixed up in Sicily and Greece; and Persius thus holds up to scorn the people of Rome in his day for their reliance on it to avert the influence of the ”evil eye”:
”Our superstitions with our life begin;
The obscene old grandam, or the next of kin,
The new-born infant from the cradle takes,
And first of spittle a lustration makes;
Then in the spawl her middle finger dips,
Anoints the temples, forehead, and the lips,
Pretending force of magic to prevent
By virtue of her nasty excrement.”–DRYDEN
While thus far we have seen how the Papal baptism is just a reproduction of the Chaldean, there is still one other point to be noticed, which makes the demonstration complete. That point is contained in the following tremendous curse fulminated against a man who committed the unpardonable offence of leaving the Church of Rome, and published grave and weighty reasons for so doing: ”May the Father, who creates man, curse him! May the Son, who suffered for us, curse him! May the Holy Ghost who suffered for us in baptism, curse him!” I do not stop to show how absolutely and utterly opposed such a curse as this is to the whole spirit of the Gospel. But what I call the reader’s attention to is the astounding statement that ”the Holy Ghost suffered for us in baptism.” Where in the whole compass of Scripture could warrant be found for such an assertion as this, or anything that could even suggest it? But let the reader revert to the Babylonian account of the personality of the Holy Ghost, and the amount of blasphemy contained in this language will be apparent. According to the Chaldean doctrine, Semiramis, the wife of Ninus or Nimrod, when exalted to divinity under the name of the Queen of Heaven, came, as we have seen, to be worshipped as Juno, the ”Dove”–in other words, the Holy Spirit incarnate. Now, when her husband, for his blasphemous rebellion against the majesty of heaven, was cut off, for a season it was a time of tribulation also for her. The fragments of ancient history that have come down to us give an account of her trepidation and flight, to save herself from her adversaries. In the fables of the mythology, this flight was mystically represented in accordance with what was attributed to her husband. The bards of Greece represented Bacchus, when overcome by his enemies, as taking refuge in the depths of the ocean. Thus, Homer:
”In a mad mood, while Bacchus blindly raged,
Lycurgus drove his trembling bands, confused,
O’er the vast plains of Nusa. They in haste
Threw down their sacred implements, and fled
In fearful dissipation. Bacchus saw
Rout upon rout, and, lost in wild dismay,
Plunged in the deep. Here Thetis in her arms
Received him shuddering at the dire event.”
In Egypt, as we have seen, Osiris, as identified with Noah, was represented, when overcome by his grand enemy Typhon, or the ”Evil One,” as passing through the waters. The poets represented Semiramis as sharing in his distress, and likewise seeking safety in the same way. We have seen already, that, under the name of Astarte, she was said to have come forth from the wondrous egg that was found floating on the waters of the Euphrates. Now Manilius tells, in his Astronomical Poetics, what induced her to take refuge in these waters. ”Venus plunged into the Babylonia waters,” says he, ”to shun the fury of the snake-footed Typhon.” When Venus Urania, or Dione, the ”Heavenly Dove,” plunged in deep distress into these waters of Babylon, be it observed what, according to the Chaldean doctrine, this amounted to. It was neither more nor less than saying that the Holy Ghost incarnate in deep tribulation entered these waters, and that on purpose that these waters might be fit, not only by the temporary abode of the Messiah in the midst of them, but by the Spirit’s efficacy thus imparted to them, for giving new life and regeneration, by baptism, to the worshippers of the Chaldean Madonna. We have evidence that the purifying virtue of the waters, which in Pagan esteem had such efficacy in cleansing from guilt and regenerating the soul, was derived in part from the passing of the Mediatorial god, the sun-god and god of fire, through these waters during his humiliation and sojourn in the midst of them; and that the Papacy at this day retains the very custom which had sprung up from that persuasion. So far as heathenism is concerned, the following extracts from Potter and Athenaeus speak distinctly enough: ”Every person,” says the former, ”who came to the solemn sacrifices [of the Greeks] was purified by water. To which end, at the entrance of the temples there was commonly placed a vessel full of holy water.” How did this water get its holiness? This water ”was consecrated,” says Athenaeus, ”by putting into it a BURNING TORCH taken from the altar.” The burning torch was the express symbol of the god of fire; and by the light of this torch, so indispensable for consecrating ”the holy water,” we may easily see whence came one great part of the purifying virtue of ”the water of the loud resounding sea,” which was held to be so efficacious in purging away the guilt and stain of sin, *–even from the sun-god having taken refuge in its waters.
* ”All human ills,” says Euripides, in a well known passage, ”are washed away by the sea.”
Now this very same method is used in the Romish Church for consecrating the water for baptism. The unsuspicious testimony of Bishop Hay leaves no doubt on this point: ”It” [the water kept in the baptismal font], says he, ”is blessed on the eve of Pentecost, because it is the Holy Ghost who gives to the waters of baptism the power and efficacy of sanctifying our souls, and because the baptism of Christ is ‘with the Holy Ghost, and with fire’ (Matt 3:11). In blessing the waters a LIGHTED TORCH is put into the font.” Here, then, it is manifest that the baptismal regenerating water of Rome is consecrated just as the regenerating and purifying water of the Pagans was. Of what avail is it for Bishop Hay to say, with the view of sanctifying superstition and ”making apostacy plausible,” that this is done ”to represent the fire of Divine love, which is communicated to the soul by baptism, and the light of good example, which all who are baptised ought to give.” This is the fair face put on the matter; but the fact still remains that while the Romish doctrine in regard to baptism is purely Pagan, in the ceremonies connected with the Papal baptism one of the essential rites of the ancient fire-worship is still practised at this day, just as it was practised by the worshippers of Bacchus, the Babylonian Messiah. As Rome keeps up the remembrance of the fire-god passing through the waters and giving virtue to them, so when it speaks of the ”Holy Ghost suffering for us in baptism,” it in like manner commemorates the part which Paganism assigned to the Babylonian goddess when she plunged into the waters. The sorrows of Nimrod, or Bacchus, when in the waters were meritorious sorrows. The sorrows of his wife, in whom the Holy Ghost miraculously dwelt, were the same. The sorrows of the Madonna, then, when in these waters, fleeing from Typhon’s rage, were the birth-throes by which children were born to God. And thus, even in the Far West, Chalchivitlycue, the Mexican ”goddess of the waters,” and ”mother” of all the regenerate, was represented as purging the new-born infant from original sin, and ”bringing it anew into the world.” Now, the Holy Ghost was idolatrously worshipped in Babylon under the form of a ”Dove.” Under the same form, and with equal idolatry, the Holy Ghost is worshipped in Rome. When, therefore, we read, in opposition to every Scripture principle, that ”the Holy Ghost suffered for us in baptism,” surely it must now be manifest who is that Holy Ghost that is really intended. It is no other than Semiramis, the very incarnation of lust and all uncleanness.


Note

The Identity of the Scandinavian Odin and Adon of Babylon
1. Nimrod, or Adon, or Adonis, of Babylon, was the great war-god. Odin, as is well known, was the same. 2 Nimrod, in the character of Bacchus, was regarded as the god of wine; Odin is represented as taking no food but wine. For thus we read in the Edda: ”As to himself he [Odin] stands in no need of food; wine is to him instead of every other aliment, according to what is said in these verses: The illustrious father of armies, with his own hand, fattens his two wolves; but the victorious Odin takes no other nourishment to himself than what arises from the unintermitted quaffing of wine” (MALLET, 20th Fable). 3. The name of one of Odin’s sons indicates the meaning of Odin’s own name. Balder, for whose death such lamentations were made, seems evidently just the Chaldee form of Baal-zer, ”The seed of Baal”; for the Hebrew z, as is well known, frequently, in the later Chaldee, becomes d. Now, Baal and Adon both alike signify ”Lord”; and, therefore, if Balder be admitted to be the seed or son of Baal, that is as much as to say that he is the son of Adon; and, consequently, Adon and Odin must be the same. This, of course, puts Odin a step back; makes his son to be the object of lamentation and not himself; but the same was the case also in Egypt; for there Horus the child was sometimes represented as torn in pieces, as Osiris had been. Clemens Alexandrinus says (Cohortatio), ”they 03 lament an infant torn in pieces by the Titans.” The lamentations for Balder are very plainly the counterpart of the lamentations for Adonis; and, of course, if Balder was, as the lamentations prove him to have been, the favourite form of the Scandinavian Messiah, he was Adon, or ”Lord,” as well as his father. 4. Then, lastly, the name of the other son of Odin, the mighty and warlike Thor, strengthens all the foregoing conclusions. Ninyas, the son of Ninus or Nimrod, on his father’s death, when idolatry rose again, was, of course, from the nature of the mystic system, set up as Adon, ”the Lord.” Now, as Odin had a son called Thor, so the second Assyrian Adon had a son called Thouros. The name Thouros seems just to be another form of Zoro, or Doro, ”the seed”; for Photius tells us that among the Greeks Thoros signified ”Seed.” The D is often pronounced as Th,–Adon, in the pointed Hebrew, being pronounced Athon.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter IV
Section II
Justification by Works
The worshippers of Nimrod and his queen were looked upon as regenerated and purged from sin by baptism, which baptism received its virtue from the sufferings of these two great Babylonian divinities. But yet in regard to justification, the Chaldean doctrine was that it was by works and merits of men themselves that they must be justified and accepted of God. The following remarks of Christie in his observations appended to Ouvaroff’s Eleusinian Mysteries, show that such was the case: ”Mr. Ouvaroff has suggested that one of the great objects of the Mysteries was the presenting to fallen man the means of his return to God. These means were the cathartic virtues–(i.e., the virtues by which sin is removed), by the exercise of which a corporeal life was to be vanquished. Accordingly the Mysteries were termed Teletae, ‘perfections,’ because they were supposed to induce a perfectness of life. Those who were purified by them were styled Teloumenoi and Tetelesmenoi, that is, ‘brought…to perfection,’ which depended on the exertions of the individual.” In the Metamorphosis of Apuleius, who was himself initiated in the mysteries of Isis, we find this same doctrine of human merits distinctly set forth. Thus the goddess is herself represented as addressing the hero of his tale: ”If you shall be found to DESERVE the protection of my divinity by sedulous obedience, religious devotion and inviolable chastity, you shall be sensible that it is possible for me, and me alone, to extend your life beyond the limits that have been appointed to it by your destiny.” When the same individual has received a proof of the supposed favour of the divinity, thus do the onlookers express their congratulations: ”Happy, by Hercules! and thrice blessed he to have MERITED, by the innocence and probity of his past life, such special patronage of heaven.” Thus was it in life. At death, also, the grand passport into the unseen world was still through the merits of men themselves, although the name of Osiris was, as we shall by-and-by see, given to those who departed in the faith. ”When the bodies of persons of distinction” [in Egypt], says Wilkinson, quoting Porphyry, ”were embalmed, they took out the intestines and put them into a vessel, over which (after some other rites had been performed for the dead) one of the embalmers pronounced an invocation to the sun in behalf of the deceased.” The formula, according to Euphantus, who translated it from the original into Greek, was as follows: ”O thou Sun, our sovereign lord! and all ye Deities who have given life to man, receive me, and grant me an abode with the eternal gods. During the whole course of my life I have scrupulously worshipped the gods my father taught me to adore; I have ever honoured my parents, who begat this body; I have killed no one; I have not defrauded any, nor have I done any injury to any man.” Thus the merits, the obedience, or the innocence of man was the grand plea. The doctrine of Rome in regard to the vital article of a sinner’s justification is the very same. Of course this of itself would prove little in regard to the affiliation of the two systems, the Babylonian and the Roman; for, from the days of Cain downward, the doctrine of human merit and of self-justification has everywhere been indigenous in the heart of depraved humanity. But, what is worthy of notice in regard to this subject is, that in the two systems, it was symbolised in precisely the same way. In the Papal legends it is taught that St. Michael the Archangel has committed to him the balance of God’s justice, and that in the two opposite scales of that balance the merits and the demerits of the departed are put that they may be fairly weighed, the one over against the other, and that as the scale turns to the favourable or unfavourable side they may be justified or condemned as the case may be. Now, the Chaldean doctrine of justification, as we get light on it from the monuments of Egypt, is symbolised in precisely the same way, except that in the land of Ham the scales of justice were committed to the charge of the god Anubis instead of St. Michael the Archangel, and that the good deeds and the bad seem to have been weighed separately, and a distinct record made of each, so that when both were summed up and the balance struck, judgment was pronounced accordingly. Wilkinson states that Anubis and his scales are often represented; and that in some cases there is some difference in the details. But it is evident from his statements, that theprinciple in all is the same. The following is the account which he gives of one of these judgment scenes, previous to the admission of the dead to Paradise: ”Cerberus is present as the guardian of the gates, near which the scales of justice are erected; and Anubis, the director of the weight, having placed a vase representing the good actions of the deceased in one scale, and the figure or emblem of truth in the other, proceeds to ascertain his claims for admission. If, on being weighed, he is found wanting, he is rejected, and Osiris, the judge of the dead, inclining his sceptre in token of condemnation, pronounces judgment upon him, and condemns his soul to return to earth under the form of a pig or some unclean animal…But if, when the SUM of his deeds are recorded by Thoth [who stands by to mark the results of the different weighings of Anubis], his virtues so far PREDOMINATE as to entitle him to admission to the mansions of the blessed, Horus, taking in his hand the tablet of Thoth, introduces him to the presence of Osiris, who, in his palace, attended by Isis and Nepthys, sits on his throne in the midst of the waters, from which rises the lotus, bearing upon its expanded flowers the four Genii of Amenti.” The same mode of symbolising the justification by works had evidently been in use in Babylon itself; and, therefore, there was great force in the Divine handwriting on the wall, when the doom of Belshazzar went forth: ”Tekel,” ”Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.” In the Parsee system, which has largely borrowed from Chaldea, the principle of weighing the good deeds over against the bad deeds is fully developed. ”For three days after dissolution,” says Vaux, in his Nineveh and Persepolis, giving an account of Parsee doctrines in regard to the dead, ”the soul is supposed to flit round its tenement of clay, in hopes of reunion; on the fourth, the Angel Seroch appears, and conducts it to the bridge of Chinevad. On this structure, which they assert connects heaven and earth, sits the Angel of Justice, to weigh the actions of mortals; when the good deeds prevail, the soul is met on the bridge by a dazzling figure, which says, ‘I am thy good angel, I was pure originally, but thy good deeds have rendered me purer’; and passing his hand over the neck of the blessed soul, leads it to Paradise. If iniquities preponderate, the soul is meet by a hideous spectre, which howls out, ‘I am thy evil genius; I was impure from the first, but thy misdeeds have made me fouler; through thee we shall remain miserable until the resurrection’; the sinning soul is then dragged away to hell, where Ahriman sits to taunt it with its crimes.” Such is the doctrine of Parseeism. The same is the case in China, where Bishop Hurd, giving an account of the Chinese descriptions of the infernal regions, and of the figures that refer to them, says, ”One of them always represents a sinner in a pair of scales, with his iniquities in the one, and his good works in another.” ”We meet with several such representations,” he adds, ”in the Grecian mythology.” Thus does Sir J. F. Davis describe the operation of the principle in China: ”In a work of some note on morals, called Merits and Demerits Examined, a man is directed to keep a debtor and creditor account with himself of the acts of each day, and at the end of the year to wind it up. If the balance is in his favour, it serves as the foundation of a stock of merits for the ensuing year: and if against him, it must be liquidated by future good deeds. Various lists and comparative tables are given of both good and bad actions in the several relations of life; and benevolence is strongly inculcated in regard first to man, and, secondly, to the brute creation. To cause another’s death is reckoned at one hundred on the side of demerit; while a single act of charitable relief counts as one on the other side…To save a person’s life ranks in the above work as an exact set-off to the opposite act of taking it away; and it is said that this deed of merit will prolong a person’s life twelve years.”
While such a mode of justification is, on the one hand, in the very nature of the case, utterly demoralising, there never could by means of it, on the other, be in the bosom of any man whose conscience is aroused, any solid feeling of comfort, or assurance as to his prospects in the eternal world. Who could ever tell, however good he might suppose himself to be, whether the ”sumof his good actions” would or would not counterbalance the amount of sins and transgressions that his conscience might charge against him. How very different the Scriptural, the god-like plan of ”justification by faith,” and ”faith alone, without the deeds of the law,” absolutely irrespective of human merits, simply and solely through the ”righteousness of Christ, that is unto all and upon all them that believe,” that delivers at once and for ever ”from all condemnation,” those who accept of the offered Saviour, and by faith are vitally united to Him. It is not the will of our Father in heaven, that His children in this world should be ever in doubt and darkness as to the vital point of their eternal salvation. Even a genuine saint, no doubt, may for a season, if need be, be in heaviness through manifold temptations, but such is not the natural, the normal state of a healthful Christian, of one who knows the fulness and the freeness of the blessings of the Gospel of peace. God has laid the most solid foundation for all His people to say, with John, ”We have KNOWN and believed the love which God hath to us” (1 John 4:16); or with Paul, ”I am PERSUADED that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:38,39). But this no man can every say, who ”goes about to establish his own righteousness” (Rom 10:3), who seeks, in any shape, to be justified by works. Such assurance, such comfort, can come only from a simple and believing reliance on the free, unmerited grace of God, given in and along with Christ, the unspeakable gift of the Father’s love. It was this that made Luther’s spirit to be, as he himself declared, ”as free as a flower of the field,” when, single and alone, he went up to the Diet of Worms, to confront all the prelates and potentates there convened to condemn the doctrine which he held. It was this that in every age made the martyrs go with such sublime heroism not only to prison but to death. It is this that emancipates the soul, restores the true dignity of humanity, and cuts up by the roots all the imposing pretensions of priestcraft. It is this only that can produce a life of loving, filial, hearty obedience to the law and commandments of God; and that, when nature fails, and when the king of terrors is at hand, can enable poor, guilty sons of men, with the deepest sense of unworthiness, yet to say, ”O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Thanks be unto God, who giveth us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor 15:55,57).
Now, to all such confidence in God, such assurance of salvation, spiritual despotism in every age, both Pagan and Papal, has ever shown itself unfriendly. Its grand object has always been to keep the souls of its votaries away from direct and immediate intercourse with a living and merciful Saviour, and consequently from assurance of His favour, to inspire a sense of the necessity of human mediation, and so to establish itself on the ruins of the hopes and the happiness of the world. Considering the pretensions which the Papacy makes to absolute infallibility, and the supernatural powers which it attributes to the functions of its priests, in regard to regeneration and the forgiveness of sins, it might have been supposed, as a matter of course, that all its adherents would have been encouraged to rejoice in the continual assurance of their personal salvation. But the very contrary is the fact. After all its boastings and high pretensions, perpetual doubt on the subject of a man’s salvation, to his life’s end, is inculcated as a duty; it being peremptorily decreed as an article of faith by the Council of Trent, ”That no man can know with infallible assurance of faith that he HAS OBTAINED the grace of God.” This very decree of Rome, while directly opposed to the Word of God, stamps its own lofty claims with the brand of imposture; for if no man who has been regenerated by its baptism, and who has received its absolution from sin, can yet have any certain assurance after all that ”the grace of God” has beenconferred upon him, what can be the worth of its opus operatum? Yet, in seeking to keep its devotees in continual doubt and uncertainty as to their final state, it is ”wise after its generation.” In the Pagan system, it was the priest alone who could at all pretend to anticipate the operation of the scales of Anubis; and, in the confessional, there was from time to time, after a sort, a mimic rehearsal of the dread weighing that was to take place at last in the judgment scene before the tribunal of Osiris. There the priest sat in judgment on the good deeds and bad deeds of his penitents; and, as his power and influence were founded to a large extent on the mere principle of slavish dread, he took care that the scale should generally turn in the wrong direction, that they might be more subservient to his will in casting in a due amount of good works into the opposite scale. As he was the grand judge of what these works should be, it was his interest to appoint what should be most for the selfish aggrandisement of himself, or the glory of his order; and yet so to weigh and counterweigh merits and demerits, that there should always be left a large balance to be settled, not only by the man himself, but by his heirs. If any man had been allowed to believe himself beforehand absolutely sure of glory, the priests might have been in danger of being robbed of their dues after death–an issue by all means to be guarded against. Now, the priests of Rome have in every respect copied after the priests of Anubis, the god of the scales. In the confessional, when they have an object to gain, they make the sins and transgressions good weight; and then, when they have a man of influence, or power, or wealth to deal with, they will not give him the slightest hope till round sums of money, or the founding of an abbey, or some other object on which they have set their heart, be cast into the other scale. In the famous letter of Pere La Chaise, the confessor of Louis XIV of France, giving an account of the method which he adopted to gain the consent of that licentious monarch to the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, by which such cruelties were inflicted on his innocent Huguenot subjects, we see how the fear of the scales of St. Michael operated in bringing about the desired result: ”Many a time since,” says the accomplished Jesuit, referring to an atrocious sin of which the king had been guilty, ”many a time since, when I have had him at confession, I have shook hell about his ears, and made him sigh, fear and tremble, before I would give him absolution. By this I saw that he had still an inclination to me, and was willing to be under my government; so I set the baseness of the action before him by telling the whole story, and how wicked it was, and that it could not be forgiven till he had done some good action to BALANCE that, and expiate the crime. Whereupon he at last asked me what he must do. I told him that he must root out all heretics from his kingdom.” This was the ”good action” to be cast into the scale of St. Michael the Archangel, to ”BALANCE” his crime. The king, wicked as he was–sore against his will-consented; the ”good action” was cast in, the ”heretics” were extirpated; and the king was absolved. But yet the absolution was not such but that, when he went the way of all the earth, there was still much to be cast in before the scales could be fairly adjusted. Thus Paganism and Popery alike ”make merchandise of the souls of men” (Rev 18:13). Thus the one with the scales of Anubis, the other with the scales of St. Michael, exactly answer to the Divine description of Ephraim in his apostacy: ”Ephraim is a merchant, the balances of deceit are in his hand” (Hosea 12:7). The Anubis of the Egyptians was precisely the same as the Mercury of the Greeks–the ”god of thieves.” St. Michael, in the hands of Rome, answers exactly to the same character. By means of him and his scales, and their doctrine of human merits, they have made what they call the house of God to be nothing else than a ”den of thieves.” To rob men of their money is bad, but infinitely worse to cheat them also of their souls.
Into the scales of Anubis, the ancient Pagans, by way of securing their justification, were required to put not merely good deeds, properly so called, but deeds of austerity and self-mortification inflicted on their own persons, for averting the wrath of the gods. The scales of St. Michael inflexibly required to be balanced in the very same way. The priests of Rome teach that when sin is forgiven, the punishment is not thereby fully taken away. However perfect may be the pardon that God, through the priests, may bestow, yet punishment, greater or less, still remains behind, which men must endure, and that to ”satisfy the justice of God.” Again and again has it been shown that man cannot do anything to satisfy the justice of God, that to that justice he is hopelessly indebted, that he ”has” absolutely ”nothing to pay”; and more than that, that there is no need that he should attempt to pay one farthing; for that, in behalf of all who believe, Christ has finished transgression, made an end of sin, and made all the satisfaction to the broken law that that law could possibly demand. Still Rome insists that every man must be punished for his own sins, and that God cannot be satisfied * without groans and sighs, lacerations of the flesh, tortures of the body, and penances without number, on the part of the offender, however broken in heart, however contrite that offender may be.
* Bishop HAY’S Sincere Christian. The words of Bishop Hay are: ”But He absolutely demands that, by penitential works, we PUNISH ourselves for our shocking ingratitude, and satisfy the Divine justice for the abuse of His mercy.” The established modes of ”punishment,” as is well known, are just such as are described in the text.
Now, looking simply at the Scripture, this perverse demand for self-torture on the part of those for whom Christ has made a complete and perfect atonement, might seem exceedingly strange; but, looking at the real character of the god whom the Papacy has set up for the worship of its deluded devotees, there is nothing in the least strange about it. That god is Moloch, the god of barbarity and blood. Moloch signifies ”king”; and Nimrod was the first after the flood that violated the patriarchal system, and set up as ”king” over his fellows. At first he was worshipped as the ”revealer of goodness and truth,” but by-and-by his worship was made to correspond with his dark and forbidding countenance and complexion. The name Moloch originally suggested nothing of cruelty or terror; but now the well known rites associated with that name have made it for ages a synonym for all that is most revolting to the heart of humanity, and amply justify the description of Milton (Paradise Lost):
”First Moloch, horrid king, besmeared with blood
Of human sacrifice, and parents’ tears,
Though, for the noise of drums and timbrels loud,
Their children’s cries unheard, that passed through fire
To his grim idol.”
In almost every land the bloody worship prevailed; ”horrid cruelty,” hand in hand with abject superstition, filled not only ”the dark places of the earth,” but also regions that boasted of their enlightenment. Greece, Rome, Egypt, Phoenicia, Assyria, and our own land under the savage Druids, at one period or other in their history, worshipped the same god and in the same way. Human victims were his most acceptable offerings; human groans and wailings were the sweetest music in his ears; human tortures were believed to delight his heart. His image bore, as the symbol of ”majesty,” a whip, and with whips his worshippers, at some of his festivals, were required unmercifully to scourge themselves. ”After the ceremonies of sacrifice,” says Herodotus, speaking of the feast of Isis at Busiris, ”the whole assembly, to the amount of many thousands, scourge themselves; but in whose honour they do this I am not at liberty to disclose.” This reserve Herodotus generally uses, out of respect to his oath as an initiated man; but subsequent researches leave no doubt as to the god ”in whose honour” the scourgings took place. In Pagan Rome the worshippers of Isis observed the same practice in honour of Osiris. In Greece, Apollo, the Delian god, who was identical with Osiris, * was propitiated with similar penances by the sailors who visited his shrine, as we learn from the following lines of Callimachus in his hymn to Delos:
”Soon as they reach thy soundings, down at once
They drop slack sails and all the naval gear.
The ship is moored; nor do the crew presume
To quit thy sacred limits, till they’ve passed
A fearful penance; with the galling whip
Lashed thrice around thine altar.”
* We have seen already, that the Egyptian Horus was just a new incarnation of Osiris or Nimrod. Now, Herodotus calls Horus by the name of Apollo. Diodorus Siculus, also, says that ”Horus, the son of Isis, is interpreted to be Apollo.” Wilkinson seems, on one occasion, to call this identity of Horus and Apollo in question; but he elsewhere admits that the story of Apollo’s ”combat with the serpent Pytho is evidently derived from the Egyptian mythology,” where the allusion is to the representation of Horus piercing the snake with a spear. From divers considerations, it may be shown that this conclusion is correct: 1. Horus, or Osiris, was the sun-god, so was Apollo. 2. Osiris, whom Horus represented, was the great Revealer; the Pythian Apollo was the god of oracles. 3. Osiris, in the character of Horus, was born when his mother was said to be persecuted by the malice of her enemies. Latona, the mother of Apollo, was a fugitive for a similar reason when Apollo was born. 4. Horus, according to one version of the myth, was said, like Osiris, to have been cut in pieces (PLUTARCH, De Iside). In the classic story of Greece, this part of the myth of Apollo was generally kept in the background; and he was represented as victor in the conflict with the serpent; but even there it was sometimes admitted that he had suffered a violent death, for by Porphyry he is said to have been slain by the serpent, and Pythagoras affirmed that he had seen his tomb at Tripos in Delphi (BRYANT). 5. Horus was the war-god. Apollo was represented in the same way as the great god represented in Layard, with the bow and arrow, who was evidently the Babylonian war-god, Apollo’s well known title of ”Arcitenens,”–”the bearer of the bow,” having evidently been borrowed from that source. Fuss tells us that Apollo was regarded as the inventor of the art of shooting with the bow, which identifies him with Sagittarius, whose origin we have already seen. 6. Lastly, from Ovid (Metam.) we learn that, before engaging with Python, Apollo had used his arrows only on fallow-deer, stags, &c. All which sufficiently proves his substantial identification with the mighty Hunter of Babel.
Over and above the scourgings, there were also slashings and cuttings of the flesh required as propitiatory rites on the part of his worshippers. ”In the solemn celebration of the Mysteries,” says Julius Firmicus, ”all things in order had to be done, which the youth either did or suffered at his death.” Osiris was cut in pieces; therefore, to imitate his fate, so far as living men might do so, they were required to cut and wound their own bodies. Therefore, when the priests of Baal contended with Elijah, to gain the favour of their god, and induce him to work the desired miracle in their behalf, ”they cried aloud and cut themselves, after their manner, with knives and with lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them” (1 Kings 18:28). In Egypt, the natives in general, though liberal in the use of the whip, seem to have been sparing of the knife; but even there, there were men also who mimicked on their own persons the dismemberment of Osiris. ”The Carians of Egypt,” says Herodotus, in the place already quoted, ”treat themselves at this solemnity with still more severity, for they cut themselves in the face with swords” (HERODOTUS). To this practice, there can be no doubt, there is a direct allusion in the command in the Mosaic law, ”Ye shall make no cuttings in your flesh for the dead” (Lev 19:28). * These cuttings in the flesh are largely practised in the worship of the Hindoo divinities, as propitiatory rites or meritorious penances. They are well known to have been practised in the rites of Bellona, ** the ”sister” or ”wife of the Roman war-god Mars,” whose name, ”The lamenter of Bel,” clearly proves the original of her husband to whom the Romans were so fond of tracing back their pedigree.
* Every person who died in the faith was believed to be identified with Osiris, and called by his name. (WILKINSON)
** ”The priests of Bellona,” says Lactantius, ”sacrificed not with any other men’s blood but their own, their shoulders being lanced, and with both hands brandishing naked swords, they ran and leaped up and down like mad men.”
They were practised also in the most savage form in the gladiatorial shows, in which the Roman people, with all their boasted civilisation, so much delighted. The miserable men who were doomed to engage in these bloody exhibitions did not do so generally of their own free will. But yet, the principle on which these shows were conducted was the very same as that which influenced the priests of Baal. They were celebrated as propitiatory sacrifices. From Fuss we learn that ”gladiatorial shows were sacred” to Saturn; and in Ausonius we read that ”the amphitheatre claims its gladiators for itself, when at the end of December they PROPITIATE with their blood the sickle-bearing Son of Heaven.” On this passage, Justus Lipsius, who quotes it, thus comments: ”Where you will observe two things, both, that the gladiators fought on the Saturnalia, and that they did so for the purpose of appeasing and PROPITIATING Saturn.” ”The reason of this,” he adds, ”I should suppose to be, that Saturn is not among the celestial but the infernal gods. Plutarch, in his book of ‘Summaries,’ says that ‘the Romans looked upon Kronos as a subterranean and infernal God.’” There can be no doubt that this is so far true, for the name of Pluto is only a synonym for Saturn, ”The Hidden One.” *
* The name Pluto is evidently from ”Lut,” to hide, which with the Egyptian definite article prefixed, becomes ”P’Lut.” The Greek ”wealth,” ”the hidden thing,” is obviously formed in the same way. Hades is just another synonym of the same name.
But yet, in the light of the real history of the historical Saturn, we find a more satisfactory reason for the barbarous custom that so much disgraced the escutcheon of Rome in all its glory, when mistress of the world, when such multitudes of men were
”Butchered to make a Roman holiday.”
When it is remembered that Saturn himself was cut in pieces, it is easy to see how the idea would arise of offering a welcome sacrifice to him by setting men to cut one another in pieces on his birthday, by way of propitiating his favour.
The practice of such penances, then, on the part of those of the Pagans who cut and slashed themselves, was intended to propitiate and please their god, and so to lay up a stock of merit that might tell in their behalf in the scales of Anubis. In the Papacy, the penances are not only intended to answer the same end, but, to a large extent,they are identical. I do not know, indeed, that they use the knife as the priests of Baal did; but it is certain that they look upon the shedding of their own blood as a most meritorious penance, that gains them high favour with God, and wipes away many sins. Let the reader look at the pilgrims at Lough Dergh, in Ireland, crawling on their bare knees over the sharp rocks, and leaving the bloody tracks behind them, and say what substantial difference there is between that and cutting themselves with knives. In the matter of scourging themselves, however, the adherents of the Papacy have literally borrowed the lash of Osiris. Everyone has heard of the Flagellants, who publicly scourge themselves on the festivals of the Roman Church, and who are regarded as saints of the first water. In the early ages of Christianity such flagellations were regarded as purely and entirely Pagan. Athenagoras, one of the early Christian Apologists, holds up the Pagans to ridicule for thinking that sin could be atoned for, or God propitiated, by any such means. But now, in the high places of the Papal Church, such practices are regarded as the grand means of gaining the favour of God. On Good Friday, at Rome and Madrid, and other chief seats of Roman idolatry, multitudes flock together to witness the performances of the saintly whippers, who lash themselves till the blood gushes in streams from every part of their body. They pretend to do this in honour of Christ, on the festival set apart professedly to commemorate His death, just as the worshippers of Osiris did the same on the festival when they lamented for his loss. *
* The priests of Cybele at Rome observed the same practice.
But can any man of the least Christian enlightenment believe that the exalted Saviour can look on such rites as doing honour to Him, which pour contempt on His all-perfect atonement, and represent His most ”precious blood” as needing to have its virtue supplemented by that of blood drawn from the backs of wretched and misguided sinners? Such offerings were altogether fit for the worship of Moloch; but they are the very opposite of being fit for the service of Christ.
It is not in one point only, but in manifold respects, that the ceremonies of ”Holy Week” at Rome, as it is termed, recall to memory the rites of the great Babylonian god. The more we look at these rites, the more we shall be struck with the wonderful resemblance that subsists between them and those observed at the Egyptian festival of burning lamps and the other ceremonies of the fire-worshippers in different countries. In Egypt the grand illumination took place beside the sepulchre of Osiris at Sais. In Rome in ”Holy Week,” a sepulchre of Christ also figures in connection with a brilliant illumination of burning tapers. In Crete, where the tomb of Jupiter was exhibited, that tomb was an object of worship to the Cretans. In Rome, if the devotees do not worship the so-called sepulchre of Christ, they worship what is entombed within it. As there is reason to believe that the Pagan festival of burning lamps was observed in commemoration of the ancient fire-worship, so there is a ceremony at Rome in the Easter week, which is an unmistakable act of fire-worship, when a cross of fire is the grand object of worship. This ceremony is thus graphically described by the authoress of Rome in the 19th Century: ”The effect of the blazing cross of fire suspended from the dome above the confession or tomb of St. Peter’s, was strikingly brilliant at night. It is covered with innumerable lamps, which have the effect of one blaze of fire…The whole church was thronged with a vast multitude of all classes and countries, from royalty to the meanest beggar, all gazing upon this one object. In a few minutes the Pope and all his Cardinals descended into St. Peter’s, and room being kept for them by the Swiss guards, the aged Pontiff…prostrated himself in silent adoration before the CROSS OF FIRE. A long train of Cardinals knelt before him, whose splendid robes and attendant train-bearers, formed a striking contrast to the humility of their attitude.” What could be a more clear and unequivocal act of fire-worship than this? Now, view this in connection with the fact stated in the following extract from the same work, and how does the one cast light on the other: ”With Holy Thursday our miseries began [that is, from crowding]. On this disastrous day we went before nine to the Sistine chapel…and beheld a procession led by the inferior orders of clergy, followed up by the Cardinals in superb dresses, bearing long wax tapers in their hands, and ending with the Pope himself, who walked beneath a crimson canopy, with his head uncovered, bearing the Host in a box; and this being, as you know, the real flesh and blood of Christ, was carried from the Sistine chapel through the intermediate hall to the Paulina chapel, where it was deposited in the sepulchre prepared to receive it beneath the altar…I never could learn why Christ was to be buried before He was dead, for, as the crucifixion did not take place till Good Friday, it seems odd to inter Him on Thursday. His body, however, is laid in the sepulchre, in all the churches of Rome, where this rite is practised, on Thursday forenoon, and it remains there till Saturday at mid-day, when, for some reason best known to themselves, He is supposed to rise from the grave amidst the firing of cannon, and blowing of trumpets, and jingling of bells, which have been carefully tied up ever since the dawn of Holy Thursday, lest the devil should get into them.” The worship of the cross of fire on Good Friday explains at once the anomaly otherwise so perplexing, that Christ should be buried on Thursday, and rise from the dead on Saturday. If the festival of Holy Week be really, as its rites declare, one of the old festivals of Saturn, the Babylonian fire-god, who, though an infernal god, was yet Phoroneus, the great ”Deliverer,” it is altogether natural that the god of the Papal idolatry, though called by Christ’s name, should rise from the dead on his own day–the Dies Saturni, or ”Saturn’s day.” *
* The above account referred to the ceremonies as witnessed by the authoress in 1817 and 1818. It would seem that some change has taken place since then, caused probably by the very attention called by her to the gross anomaly mentioned above; for Count Vlodaisky, formerly a Roman Catholic priest, who visited Rome in 1845, has informed me that in that year the resurrection took place, not at mid-day, but at nine o’clock on the evening of Saturday. This may have been intended to make the inconsistency between Roman practice and Scriptural fact appear somewhat less glaring. Still the fact remains, that the resurrection of Christ, as celebrated at Rome, takes place, not on His own day–”The Lord’s day”–but–on the day of Saturn, the god of fire!
On the day before the Miserere is sung with such overwhelming pathos, that few can listen to it unmoved, and many even swoon with the emotions that are excited. What if this be at bottom only the old song of Linus, of whose very touching and melancholy character Herodotus speaks so strikingly? Certain it is, that much of the pathos of that Miserere depends on the part borne in singing it by the sopranos; and equally certain it is that Semiramis, the wife of him who, historically, was the original of that god whose tragic death was so pathetically celebrated in many countries, enjoys the fame, such as it is, of having been the inventress of the practice from which soprano singing took its rise.
Now, the flagellations which form an important part of the penances that take place at Rome on the evening of Good Friday, formed an equally important part in the rites of that fire-god, from which, as we have seen, the Papacy has borrowed so much. These flagellations, then, of ”Passion Week,” taken in connection with the other ceremonies of that period, bear their additional testimony to the real character of that god whose death and resurrection Rome then celebrates. Wonderful it is to consider that, in the very high place of what is called Catholic Christendom, the essential rites at this day are seen to be the very rites of the old Chaldean fire-worshippers.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter IV
Section III
The Sacrifice of the Mass
If baptismal regeneration, the initiating ordinance of Rome, and justification by works, be both Chaldean, the principle embodied in the ”unbloody sacrifice” of the mass is not less so. We have evidence that goes to show the Babylonian origin of the idea of that ”unbloody sacrifice” very distinctly. From Tacitus we learn that no blood was allowed to be offered on the altars of Paphian Venus. Victims were used for the purposes of the Haruspex, that presages of the issues of events might be drawn from the inspection of the entrails of these victims; but the altars of the Paphian goddess were required to be kept pure from blood. Tacitus shows that the Haruspex of the temple of the Paphian Venus was brought from Cilicia, for his knowledge of her rites, that they might be duly performed according to the supposed will of the goddess, the Cilicians having peculiar knowledge of her rites. Now, Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, was built by Sennacerib, the Assyrian king, in express imitation of Babylon. Its religion would naturally correspond; and when we find ”unbloody sacrifice” in Cyprus, whose priest came from Cilicia, that, in the circumstances, is itself a strong presumption that the ”unbloody sacrifice” came to it through Cilicia from Babylon. This presumption is greatly strengthened when we find from Herodotus that the peculiar and abominable institution of Babylon in prostituting virgins in honour of Mylitta, was observed also in Cyprus in honour of Venus. But the positive testimony of Pausanias brings this presumption to a certainty. ”Near this,” says that historian, speaking of the temple of Vulcan at Athens, ”is the temple of Celestial Venus, who was first worshipped by the Assyrians, and after these by the Paphians in Cyprus, and the Phoenicians who inhabited the city of Ascalon in Palestine. But the Cythereans venerated this goddess in consequence of learning her sacred rites from the Phoenicians.” The Assyrian Venus, then–that is, the great goddess of Babylon–and the Cyprian Venus were one and the same, and consequently the ”bloodless” altars of the Paphian goddess show the character of the worship peculiar to the Babylonian goddess, from whom she was derived. In this respect the goddess-queen of Chaldea differed from her son, who was worshipped in her arms. He was, as we have seen, represented as delighting in blood. But she, as the mother of grace and mercy, as the celestial ”Dove,” as ”the hope of the whole world,” (BRYANT) was averse to blood, and was represented in a benign and gentle character. Accordingly, in Babylon she bore the name of Mylitta–that is, ”The Mediatrix.” *
* Mylitta is the same as Melitta, the feminine of Melitz, ”a mediator,” which in Chaldee becomes Melitt. Melitz is the word used in Job 33:23, 24: ”If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter (Heb. Melitz, ”a mediator”), one among a thousand, to show unto man his uprightness, then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom.”
Every one who reads the Bible, and sees how expressly it declares that, as there is only ”one God,” so there is only ”one Mediator between God and man” (1 Tim 2:5), must marvel how it could ever have entered the mind of any one to bestow on Mary, as is done by the Church of Rome, the character of the ”Mediatrix.” But the character ascribed to the Babylonian goddess as Mylitta sufficiently accounts for this. In accordance with this character of Mediatrix, she was called Aphrodite–that is, ”the wrath-subduer” *–who by her charms could soothe the breast of angry Jove, and soften the most rugged spirits of gods or mortal-men. In Athens she was called Amarusia (PAUSANIAS)–that is, ”The Mother of gracious acceptance.” **
* From Chaldee ”aph,” ”wrath,” and ”radah,” ”to subdue”; ”radite” is the feminine emphatic.
** From ”Ama,” ”mother,” and ”Retza,” ”to accept graciously,” which in the participle active is ”Rutza.” Pausanias expresses his perplexity as to the meaning of the name Amarusia as applied to Diana, saying, ”Concerning which appellation I never could find any one able to give a satisfactory account.” The sacred tongue plainly shows the meaning of it.
In Rome she was called ”Bona Dea,” ”the good goddess,” the mysteries of this goddess being celebrated by women with peculiar secrecy. In India the goddess Lakshmi, ”the Mother of the Universe,” the consort of Vishnu, is represented also as possessing the most gracious and genial disposition; and that disposition is indicated in the same way as in the case of the Babylonian goddess. ”In the festivals of Lakshmi,” says Coleman, ”no sanguinary sacrifices are offered.” In China, the great gods, on whom the final destinies of mankind depend, are held up to the popular mind as objects of dread; but the goddess Kuanyin, ”the goddess of mercy,” whom the Chinese of Canton recognise as bearing an analogy to the Virgin or Rome, is described as looking with an eye of compassion on the guilty, and interposing to save miserable souls even from torments to which in the world of spirits they have been doomed. Therefore she is regarded with peculiar favour by the Chinese. This character of the goddess-mother has evidently radiated in all directions from Chaldea. Now, thus we see how it comes that Rome represents Christ, the ”Lamb of God,” meek and lowly in heart, who never brake the bruised reed, nor quenched the smoking flax–who spake words of sweetest encouragement to every mourning penitent–who wept over Jerusalem–who prayed for His murderers–as a stern and inexorable judge, before whom the sinner ”might grovel in the dust, and still never be sure that his prayers would be heard,” while Mary is set off in the most winning and engaging light, as the hope of the guilty, as the grand refuge of sinners; how it is that the former is said to have ”reserved justice and judgment to Himself,” but to have committed the exercise of all mercy to His Mother! The most standard devotional works of Rome are pervaded by this very principle, exalting the compassion and gentleness of the mother at the expense of the loving character of the Son. Thus, St. Alphonsus Liguori tells his readers that the sinner that ventures to come directly to Christ may come with dread and apprehension of His wrath; but let him only employ the mediation of the Virgin with her Son, and she has only to ”show” that Son ”the breasts that gave him suck,” (Catholic Layman, July, 1856) and His wrath will immediately be appeased. But where in the Word of God could such an idea have been found? Not surely in the answer of the Lord Jesus to the woman who exclaimed, ”Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps that thou hast sucked!” Jesus answered and said unto her, ”Yea, rather, blessed are they that hear the Word of God and keep it” (Luke 11:27,28). There cannot be a doubt that this answer was given by the prescient Saviour, to check in the very bud every idea akin to that expressed by Liguori. Yet this idea, which is not to be found in Scripture, which the Scripture expressly repudiates, was widely diffused in the realms of Paganism. Thus we find an exactly parallel representation in the Hindoo mythology in regard to the god Siva and his wife Kali, when that god appeared as a little child. ”Siva,” says the Lainga Puran, ”appeared as an infant in a cemetery, surrounded by ghosts, and on beholding him, Kali (his wife) took him up, and, caressing him, gave him her breast. He sucked the nectareous fluid; but becoming ANGRY, in order to divert and PACIFY him, Kali clasping him to her bosom, danced with her attendant goblins and demons amongst the dead, until he was pleased and delighted; while Vishnu, Brahma, Indra, and all the gods, bowing themselves, praised with laudatory strains the god of gods, Kal and Parvati.” Kali, in India, is the goddess of destruction; but even into the myth that concerns this goddess of destruction, the power of the goddess mother, in appeasing an offended god, by means only suited to PACIFY a peevish child, has found an introduction. If the Hindoo story exhibits its ”god of gods” in such a degrading light, how much more honouring is the Papal story to the Son of the Blessed, when it represents Him as needing to be pacified by His mother exposing to Him ”the breasts that He has sucked.” All this is done only to exalt the Mother, as more gracious and more compassionate than her glorious Son. Now, this was the very case in Babylon: and to this character of the goddess queen her favourite offerings exactly corresponded. Therefore, we find the women of Judah represented as simply ”burning incense, pouring out drink-offerings, and offering cakes to the queen of heaven” (Jer 44:19). The cakes were ”the unbloody sacrifice” she required. That ”unbloody sacrifice” her votaries not only offered, but when admitted to the higher mysteries, they partook of, swearing anew fidelity to her. In the fourth century, when the queen of heaven, under the name of Mary, was beginning to be worshipped in the Christian Church, this ”unbloody sacrifice” also was brought in. Epiphanius states that the practice of offering and eating it began among the women of Arabia; and at that time it was well known to have been adopted from the Pagans. The very shape of the unbloody sacrifice of Rome may indicate whence it came. It is a small thin, round wafer; and on its roundness the Church of Rome lays so much stress, to use the pithy language of John Knox in regard to the wafer-god, ”If, in making the roundness the ring be broken, then must another of his fellow-cakes receive that honour to be made a god, and the crazed or cracked miserable cake, that once was in hope to be made a god, must be given to a baby to play withal.” What could have induced the Papacy to insist so much on the ”roundness” of its ”unbloody sacrifice”? Clearly not any reference to the Divine institution of the Supper of our Lord; for in all the accounts that are given of it, no reference whatever is made to the form of the bread which our Lord took, when He blessed and break it, and gave it to His disciples, saying, ”Take, eat; this is My body: this do in remembrance of Me.” As little can it be taken from any regard to injunctions about the form of the Jewish Paschal bread; for no injunctions on that subject are given in the books of Moses. The importance, however, which Rome attaches to the roundness of the wafer, must have a reason; and that reason will be found, if we look at the altars of Egypt. ”The thin, round cake,” says Wilkinson, ”occurs on all altars.” Almost every jot or tittle in the Egyptian worship had a symbolical meaning. The round disk, so frequent in the sacred emblems of Egypt, symbolised the sun. Now, when Osiris, the sun-divinity, became incarnate, and was born, it was not merely that he should give his life as a sacrifice for men, but that he might also be the life and nourishment of the souls of men. It is universally admitted that Isis was the original of the Greek and Roman Ceres. But Ceres, be it observed, was worshipped not simply as the discoverer of corn; she was worshipped as ”the MOTHER of Corn.” The child she brought forth was He-Siri, ”the Seed,” or, as he was most frequently called in Assyria, ”Bar,” which signifies at once ”the Son” and ”the Corn.” The uninitiated might reverence Ceres for the gift of material corn to nourish their bodies, but the initiated adored her for a higher gift–for food to nourish their souls–for giving them that bread of God that cometh down from heaven–for the life of the world, of which, ”if a man eat, he shall never die.” Does any one imagine that it is a mere New Testament doctrine, that Christ is the ”bread of life”? There never was, there never could be, spiritual life in any soul, since the world began, at least since the expulsion from Eden, that was not nourished and supported by a continual feeding by faith on the Son of God, ”in whom it hath pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell” (Col 1:19), ”that out of His fulness we might receive, and grace for grace” (John 1:16). Paul tells us that the manna of which the Israelites ate in the wilderness was to them a type and lively symbol of ”the bread of life”; (1 Cor 10:3), ”They did all eat the same spiritual meat”–i.e., meat which was intended not only to support their natural lives, but to point them to Him who was the life of their souls. Now, Clement of Alexandria, to whom we are largely indebted for all the discoveries that, in modern times, have been made in Egypt, expressly assures us that, ”in their hidden character, the enigmas of the Egyptians were VERY SIMILAR TO THOSE OF THE JEWS.” That the initiated Pagans actually believed that the ”Corn” which Ceres bestowed on the world was not the ”Corn” of this earth, but the Divine ”Son,” through whom alone spiritual and eternal life could be enjoyed, we have clear and decisive proof. The Druids were devoted worshippers of Ceres, and as such they were celebrated in their mystic poems as ”bearers of the ears of corn.” Now, the following is the account which the Druids give of their great divinity, under the form of ”Corn.” That divinity was represented as having, in the first instance, incurred, for some reason or other, the displeasure of Ceres, and was fleeing in terror from her. In his terror, ”he took the form of a bird, and mounted into the air. That element afforded him no refuge: for The Lady, in the form of a sparrow-hawk, was gaining upon him–she was just in the act of pouncing upon him. Shuddering with dread, he perceived a heap of clean wheat upon a floor, dropped into the midst of it, and assumed the form of a single grain. Ceridwen [i.e., the British Ceres] took the form of a black high-crested hen, descended into the wheat, scratched him out, distinguished, and swallowed him. And, as the history relates, she was pregnant of him nine months, and when delivered of him, she found him so lovely a babe, that she had not resolution to put him to death” (”Song of Taliesin,” DAVIES’S British Druids). Here it is evident that the grain of corn, is expressly identified with ”the lovely babe”; from which it is still further evident that Ceres, who, to the profane vulgar was known only as the Mother of ”Bar,” ”the Corn,” was known to the initiated as the Mother of ”Bar,” ”the Son.” And now, the reader will be prepared to understand the full significance of the representation in the Celestial sphere of ”the Virgin with the ear of wheat in her hand.” That ear of wheat in the Virgin’s hand is just another symbol for the child in the armsof the Virgin Mother.
Now, this Son, who was symbolised as ”Corn,” was the SUN-divinity incarnate, according to the sacred oracle of the great goddess of Egypt: ”No mortal hath lifted my veil. The fruit which I have brought forth is the SUN” (BUNSEN’S Egypt). What more natural then, if this incarnate divinity is symbolised as the ”bread of God,” than that he should be represented as a ”roundwafer,” to identify him with the Sun? Is this a mere fancy? Let the reader peruse the following extract from Hurd, in which he describes the embellishments of the Romish altar, on which the sacrament or consecrated wafer is deposited, and then he will be able to judge: ”A plate of silver, in the form of a SUN, is fixed opposite to the SACRAMENT on the altar; which, with the light of the tapers, makes a most brilliant appearance.” What has that ”brilliant” ”Sun” to do there, on the altar, over against the ”sacrament,” or round wafer? In Egypt, the disk of the Sun was represented in the temples, and the sovereign and his wife and children were represented as adoring it. Near the small town of Babin, in Upper Egypt, there still exists in a grotto, a representation of a sacrifice to the sun, where two priests are seen worshipping the sun’s image. In the great temple of Babylon, the golden image of the Sun was exhibited for the worship of the Babylonians. In the temple of Cuzco, in Peru, the disk of the sun was fixed up in flaming gold upon the wall, that all who entered might bow down before it. The Paeonians of Thrace were sun-worshippers; and in their worship they adored an image of the sun in the form of a disk at the top of a long pole. In the worship of Baal, as practised by the idolatrous Israelites in the days of their apostacy, the worship of the sun’s image was equally observed; and it is striking to find that the image of the sun, which apostate Israel worshipped, was erected above the altar. When the good king Josiah set about the work of reformation, we read that his servants in carrying out the work, proceeded thus (2 Chron 34:4): ”And they brake down the altars of Baalim in his presence, and the images (margin, SUN-IMAGES) that were on high above them, he cut down.” Benjamin of Tudela, the great Jewish traveller, gives a striking account of sun-worship even in comparatively modern times, as subsisting among the Cushites of the East, from which we find that the image of the sun was, even in his day, worshipped on the altar. ”There is a temple,” says he, ”of the posterity of Chus, addicted to the contemplation of the stars. They worship the sun as a god, and the whole country, for half-a-mile round their town, is filled with great altars dedicated to him. By the dawn of morn they get up and run out of town, to wait the rising sun, to whom, on every altar, there is a consecrated image, not in the likeness of a man, but of the solar orb, framed by magic art. These orbs, as soon as the sun rises, take fire, and resound with a great noise, while everybody there, men and women, hold censers in their hands, and all burn incense to the sun.” From all this, it is manifest that the image of the sun above, or on the altar, was one of the recognised symbols of those who worshipped Baal or the sun. And here, in a so-called Christian Church, a brilliant plate of silver, ”in the form of a SUN,” is so placed on the altar, that every one who adores at that altar must bow down in lowly reverence before that image of the ”Sun.” Whence, I ask, could that have come, but from the ancient sun-worship, or the worship of Baal? And when the wafer is so placed that the silver ”SUN” is fronting the ”round” wafer, whose ”roundness” is so important an element in the Romish Mystery, what can be the meaning of it, but just to show to those who have eyes to see, that the ”Wafer” itself is only another symbol of Baal, or the Sun. If the sun-divinity was worshipped in Egypt as ”the Seed,” or in Babylon as the ”Corn,” precisely so is the wafer adored in Rome. ”Bread-corn of the elect, have mercy upon us,” is one of the appointed prayers of the Roman Litany, addressed to the wafer, in the celebration of the mass. And one at least of the imperative requirements as to the way in which that wafer is to be partaken of, is the very same as was enforced in the old worship of the Babylonian divinity. Those who partake of it are required to partake absolutely fasting. This is very stringently laid down. Bishop Hay, laying down the law on the subject, says that it is indispensable, ”that we be fasting from midnight, so as to have taken nothing into our stomach from twelve o’clock at night before we receive, neither food, nor drink, nor medicine.” Considering that our Lord Jesus Christ instituted the Holy Communion immediately after His disciples had partaken of the paschal feast, such a strict requirement of fasting might seem very unaccountable. But look at this provision in regard to the ”unbloody sacrifice” of the mass in the light of the Eleusinian Mysteries, and it is accounted for at once; for there the first question put to those who sought initiation was, ”Are you fasting?” (POTTER, Eleusiania) and unless that question was answered in the affirmative, no initiation could take place. There is no question that fasting is in certain circumstances a Christian duty; but while neither the letter nor the spirit of the Divine institution requires any such stringent regulation as the above, the regulations in regard to the Babylonian Mysteries make it evident whence this requirement has really come.
Although the god whom Isis or Ceres brought forth, and who was offered to her under the symbol of the wafer or thin round cake, as ”the bread of life,” was in reality the fierce, scorching Sun, or terrible Moloch, yet in that offering all his terror was veiled, and everything repulsive was cast into the shade. In the appointed symbol he is offered up to the benignant Mother, who tempers judgment with mercy, and to whom all spiritual blessings are ultimately referred; and blessed by that mother, he is given back to be feasted upon, as the staff of life, as the nourishment of her worshippers’ souls. Thus the Mother was held up as the favourite divinity. And thus, also, and for an entirely similar reason, does the Madonna of Rome entirely eclipse her son as the ”Mother of grace and mercy.”
In regard to the Pagan character of the ”unbloody sacrifice” of the mass, we have seen not little already. But there is something yet to be considered, in which the working of the mystery of iniquity will still further appear. There are letters on the wafer that are worth reading. These letters are I. H. S. What mean these mystical letters? To a Christian these letters are represented as signifying, ”Iesus Hominum Salvator,” ”Jesus the Saviour of men.” But let a Roman worshipper of Isis (for in the age of the emperors there were innumerable worshippers of Isis in Rome) cast his eyes upon them, and how will he read them? He will read them, of course, according to his own well known system of idolatry: ”Isis, Horus, Seb,” that is, ”The Mother, the Child, and the Father of the gods,”–in other words, ”The Egyptian Trinity.” Can the reader imagine that this double sense is accidental? Surely not. The very same spirit that converted the festival of the Pagan Oannes into the feast of the Christian Joannes, retaining at the same time all its ancient Paganism, has skilfully planned the initials I. H. S. to pay the semblance of a tribute to Christianity, while Paganism in reality has all the substance of the homage bestowed upon it.
When the women of Arabia began to adopt this wafer and offer the ”unbloody sacrifice,” all genuine Christians saw at once the real character of their sacrifice. They were treated as heretics, and branded with the name of Collyridians, from the Greek name for the cake which they employed. But Rome saw that the heresy might be turned to account; and therefore, though condemned by the sound portion of the Church, the practice of offering and eating this ”unbloody sacrifice” was patronised by the Papacy; and now, throughout the whole bounds of the Romish communion, it has superseded the simple but most precious sacrament of the Supper instituted by our Lord Himself.
Intimately connected with the sacrifice of the mass is the subject of transubstantiation; but the consideration of it will come more conveniently at a subsequent stage of this inquiry.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter IV
Section IV
Extreme Unction
The last office which Popery performs for living men is to give them ”extreme unction,” to anoint them in the name of the Lord, after they have been shriven and absolved, and thus to prepare them for their last and unseen journey. The pretence for this ”unction” of dying men is professedly taken from a command of James in regard to the visitation of the sick; but when the passage in question is fairly quoted it will be seen that such a practice could never have arisen from the apostolic direction–that it must have come from an entirely different source. ”Is any sick among you?” says James (v 14,15), ”let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall RAISE HIM UP.” Now, it is evident that this prayer and anointing were intended for the recovery of the sick. Apostolic men, for the laying of the foundations of the Christian Church, were, by their great King and Head, invested with miraculous powers–powers which were intended only for a time, and were destined, as the apostles themselves declared, while exercising them, to ”vanish away” (1 Cor 13:8). These powers were every day exercised by the ”elders of the Church,” when James wrote his epistle, and that for healing the bodies of men, even as our Lord Himself did. The ”extreme unction” of Rome, as the very expression itself declares, is not intended for any such purpose. It is not intended for healing the sick, or ”raising them up”; for it is not on any account to be administered till all hope of recovery is gone, and death is visibly at the very doors. As the object of this anointing is the very opposite of the Scriptural anointing, it must have come from a quite different quarter. That quarter is the very same from which the Papacy has imported so much heathenism, as we have seen already, into its own foul bosom. From the Chaldean Mysteries, extreme unction has obviously come. Among the many names of the Babylonian god was the name ”Beel-samen,” ”Lord of Heaven,” which is the name of the sun, but also of course of the sun-god. But Beel-samen also properly signifies ”Lord of Oil,” and was evidently intended as a synonym of the Divine name, ”The Messiah.” In Herodotus we find a statement made which this name alone can fully explain. There an individual is represented as having dreamt that the sun had anointed her father. That the sun should anoint any one is certainly not an idea that could naturally have presented itself; but when the name ”Beel-samen,” ”Lord of Heaven,” is seen also to signify ”Lord of Oil,” it is easy to see how that idea would be suggested. This also accounts for the fact that the body of the Babylonian Belus was represented as having been preserved in his sepulchre in Babylon till the time of Xerxes, floating in oil (CLERICUS, Philosoph. Orient.). And for the same reason, no doubt, it was that at Rome the ”statue of Saturn” was ”made hollow, and filled with oil” (SMITH’S Classical Dictionary).
The olive branch, which we have already seen to have been one of the symbols of the Chaldean god, had evidently the same hieroglyphical meaning; for, as the olive was the oil-tree, so an olive branch emblematically signified a ”son of oil,” or an ”anointed one” (Zech 4:12-14). Hence the reason that the Greeks, in coming before their gods in the attitude of suppliants deprecating their wrath and entreating their favour, came to the temple on many occasions bearing an olive branch in their hands. As the olive branch was one of the recognised symbols of their Messiah, whose great mission it was to make peace between God and man, so, in bearing this branch of the anointed one, they thereby testified that in the name of that anointed one they came seeking peace. Now, the worshippers of this Beel-samen, ”Lord of Heaven,” and ”Lord of Oil,” were anointed in the name of their god. It was not enough that they were anointed with ”spittle”; they were also anointed with ”magical ointments” of the most powerful kind; and these ointments were the means of introducing into their bodily systems such drugs as tended to excite their imaginations and add to the power of the magical drinks they received, that they might be prepared for the visions and revelations that were to be made to them in the Mysteries. These ”unctions,” says Salverte, ”were exceedingly frequent in the ancient ceremonies…Before consulting the oracle of Trophonius, they were rubbed with oil over the whole body. This preparation certainly concurred to produce the desired vision. Before being admitted to the Mysteries of the Indian sages, Apollonius and his companion were rubbed with an oil so powerful that they felt as if bathed with fire.” This was professedly an unction in the name of the ”Lord of Heaven,” to fit and prepare them for being admitted in vision into his awful presence. The very same reason that suggested such an unction before initiation on this present scene of things, would naturally plead more powerfully still for a special ”unction” when the individual was called, not in vision, but in reality, to face the ”Mystery of mysteries,” his personal introduction into the world unseen and eternal. Thus the Pagan system naturally developed itself into ”extreme unction” (Quarterly Journal of Prophecy, January, 1853). Its votaries were anointed for their last journey, that by the double influence of superstition and powerful stimulants introduced into the frame by the only way in which it might then be possible, their minds might be fortified at once against the sense of guilt and the assaults of the king of terrors. From this source, and this alone, there can be no doubt came the ”extreme unction” of the Papacy, which was entirely unknown among Christians till corruption was far advanced in the Church. *
* Bishop GIBSON says that it was not known in the Church for a thousand years. (Preservative against Popery)


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter IV
Section V
Purgatory and Prayers for the Dead
”Extreme unction,” however, to a burdened soul, was but a miserable resource, after all, in the prospect of death. No wonder, therefore, that something else was found to be needed by those who had received all that priestly assumption could pretend to confer, to comfort them in the prospect of eternity. In every system, therefore, except that of the Bible, the doctrine of a purgatory after death, and prayers for the dead, has always been found to occupy a place. Go wherever we may, in ancient or modern times, we shall find that Paganism leaves hope after death for sinners, who, at the time of their departure, were consciously unfit for the abodes of the blest. For this purpose a middle state has been feigned, in which, by means of purgatorial pains, guilt unremoved in time may in a future world be purged away, and the soul be made meet for final beatitude. In Greece the doctrine of a purgatory was inculcated by the very chief of the philosophers. Thus Plato, speaking of the future judgment of the dead, holds out the hope of final deliverance for all, but maintains that, of ”those who are judged,” ”some” must first ”proceed to a subterranean place of judgment, where they shall sustain the punishment they have deserved”; while others, in consequence of a favourable judgment, being elevated at once into a certain celestial place, ”shall pass their time in a manner becoming the life they have lived in a human shape.” In Pagan Rome, purgatory was equally held up before the minds of men; but there, there seems to have been no hope held out to any of exemption from its pains. Therefore, Virgil, describing its different tortures, thus speaks:
”Nor can the grovelling mind,
In the dark dungeon of the limbs confined,
Assert the native skies, or own its heavenly kind.
Nor death itself can wholly wash their stains;
But long-contracted filth, even in the soul, remains
The relics of inveterate vice they wear,
And spots of sin obscene in every face appear.
For this are various penances enjoined;
And some are hung to bleach upon the wind,
Some plunged in water, others purged in fires,
Till all the dregs are drained, and all the rust expires.
All have their Manes, and those Manes bear.
The few so cleansed to these abodes repair,
And breathe in ample fields the soft Elysian air,
Then are they happy, when by length of time
The scurf is worn away of each committed crime.
No speck is left of their habitual stains,
But the pure ether of the soul remains.”
In Egypt, substantially the same doctrine of purgatory was inculcated. But when once this doctrine of purgatory was admitted into the popular mind, then the door was opened for all manner of priestly extortions. Prayers for the dead ever go hand in hand with purgatory; but no prayers can be completely efficacious without the interposition of the priests; and no priestly functions can be rendered unless there be special pay for them. Therefore, in every land we find the Pagan priesthood ”devouring widows’ houses,” and making merchandise of the tender feelings of sorrowing relatives, sensitively alive to the immortal happiness of the beloved dead. From all quarters there is one universal testimony as to the burdensome character and the expense of these posthumous devotions. One of the oppressions under which the poor Romanists in Ireland groan, is the periodical special devotions, for which they are required to pay, when death has carried away one of the inmates of their dwelling. Not only are there funeral services and funeral dues for the repose of the departed, at the time of burial, but the priest pays repeated visits to the family for the same purpose, which entail heavy expense, beginning with what is called ”the month’s mind,” that is, a service in behalf of the deceased when a month after death has elapsed. Something entirely similar to this had evidently been the case in ancient Greece; for, says Muller in his History of the Dorians, ”the Argives sacrificed on the thirtieth day [after death] to Mercury as the conductor of the dead.” In India many and burdensome are the services of the Sradd’ha, or funeral obsequies for the repose of the dead; and for securing the due efficacy of these, it is inculcated that ”donations of cattle, land, gold, silver, and other things,” should be made by the man himself at the approach of death; or, ”if he be too weak, by another in his name” (Asiatic Researches). Wherever we look, the case is nearly the same. In Tartary, ”The Gurjumi, or prayers for the dead,” says the Asiatic Journal, ”are very expensive.” In Greece, says Suidas, ”the greatest and most expensive sacrifice was the mysterious sacrifice called the Telete,” a sacrifice which, according to Plato, ”was offered for the living and the dead, and was supposed to free them from all the evils to which the wicked are liable when they have left this world.” In Egypt the exactions of the priests for funeral dues and masses for the dead were far from being trifling. ”The priests,” says Wilkinson, ”induced the people to expend large sums on the celebration of funeral rites; and many who had barely sufficient to obtain the necessaries of life were anxious to save something for the expenses of their death. For, beside the embalming process, which sometimes cost a talent of silver, or about 250 pounds English money, the tomb itself was purchased at an immense expense; and numerous demands were made upon the estate of the deceased, for the celebration of prayer and other services for the soul.” ”The ceremonies,” we find him elsewhere saying, ”consisted of a sacrifice similar to those offered in the temples, vowed for the deceased to one or more gods (as Osisris, Anubis, and others connected with Amenti); incense and libation were also presented; and a prayer was sometimes read, the relations and friends being present as mourners. They even joined their prayers to those of the priest. The priest who officiated at the burial service was selected from the grade of Pontiffs, who wore the leopard skin; but various other rites were performed by one of the minor priests to the mummies, previous to their being lowered into the pit of the tomb after that ceremony. Indeed, they continued to be administered at intervals, as long as the family paid for their performance.” Such was the operation of the doctrine of purgatory and prayers for the dead among avowed and acknowledged Pagans; and in what essential respect does it differ from the operation of the same doctrine in Papal Rome? There are the same extortions in the one as there were in the other. The doctrine of purgatory is purely Pagan, and cannot for a moment stand in the light of Scripture. For those who die in Christ no purgatory is, or can be, needed; for ”the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth from ALL sin.” If this be true, where can there be the need for any other cleansing? On the other hand, for those who die without personal union to Christ, and consequently unwashed, unjustified, unsaved, there can be no other cleansing; for, while ”he that hath the son hath life, he that hath not the Son hath not life,” and never can have it. Search the Scripture through, and it will be found that, in regard to all who ”die in their sins,” the decree of God is irreversible: ”Let him that is unjust be unjust still, and let him that is filthy be filthy still.” Thus the whole doctrine of purgatory is a system of pure bare-faced Pagan imposture, dishonouring to God, deluding men who live in sin with the hope of atoning for it after death, and cheating them at once out of their property and their salvation. In the Pagan purgatory, fire, water, wind, were represented (as may be seen from the lines of Virgil) as combining to purge away the stain of sin. In the purgatory of the Papacy, ever since the days of Pope Gregory, FIRE itself has been the grand means of purgation (Catechismus Romanus). Thus, while the purgatorial fires of the future world are just the carrying out of the principle embodied in the blazing and purifying Baal-fires of the eve of St. John, they form another link in identifying the system of Rome with the system of Tammuz or Zoroaster, the great God of the ancient fire-worshippers.
Now, if baptismal regeneration, justification by works, penance as a satisfaction to God’s justice, the unbloody sacrifice of the mass, extreme unction, purgatory, and prayers for the dead, were all derived from Babylon, how justly may the general system of Rome be styled Babylonian? And if the account already given be true, what thanks ought we to render to God, that, from a system such as this, we were set free at the blessed Reformation! How great a boon is it to be delivered from trusting in such refuges of lies as could no more take away sin than the blood of bulls or of goats! How blessed to feel that the blood of the Lamb, applied by the Spirit of God to the most defiled conscience, completely purges it from dead works and from sin! How fervent ought our gratitude to be, when we know that, in all our trials and distresses, we may come boldly unto the throne of grace, in the name of no creature, but of God’s eternal and well-beloved Son; and that that Son is exhibited as a most tender and compassionate high priest, who is TOUCHED with a feeling of our infirmities, having been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Surely the thought of all this, while inspiring tender compassion for the deluded slaves of Papal tyranny, ought to make us ourselves stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and quit ourselves like men, that neither we nor our children may ever again be entangled in the yoke of bondage.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter 5
Rites and Ceremonies
Section I
Idol Processions
Those who have read the account of the last idol procession in the capital of Scotland, in John Knox’s History of the Reformation, cannot easily have forgot the tragi-comedy with which it ended. The light of the Gospel had widely spread, the Popish idols had lost their fascination, and popular antipathy was everywhere rising against them. ”The images,” says the historian, ”were stolen away in all parts of the country; and in Edinburgh was that great idol called Sanct Geyle [the patron saint of the capital], first drowned in the North Loch, after burnt, which raised no small trouble in the town.” The bishops demanded of the Town Council either ”to get them again the old Sanct Geyle, or else, upon their (own) expenses, to make a new image.” The Town Council could not do the one, and the other they absolutely refused to do; for they were now convinced of the sin of idolatry. The bishops and priests, however, were still made upon their idols; and, as the anniversary of the feast of St. Giles was approaching, when the saint used to be carried in procession through the town, they determined to do their best, that the accustomed procession should take place with as much pomp as possible. For this purpose, ”a marmouset idole” was borrowed from the Grey friars, which the people, in derision, called ”Young Sanct Geyle,” and which was made to do service instead of the old one. On the appointed day, says Know, ”there assembled priests, friars, canons…with taborns and trumpets, banners, and bagpipes; and who was there to lead the ring but the Queen Regent herself, with all her shavelings, for honour of that feast. West about goes it, and comes down the High Street, and down to the Canno Cross.” As long as the Queen was present, all went to the heart’s content of the priests and their partisans. But no sooner had majesty retired to dine, than some in the crowd, who had viewed the whole concern with an evil eye, ”drew nigh to the idol, as willing to help to bear him, and getting the fertour (or barrow) on their shoulders, began to shudder, thinking that thereby the idol should have fallen. But that was provided and prevented by the iron nails [with which it was fastened to the fertour]; and so began one to cry, ‘Down with the idol, down with it’; and so without delay it was pulled down. Some brag made the priests’ patrons at the first; but when they saw the feebleness of their god, for one took him by the heels, and dadding [knocking] his head to the calsay [pavement], left Dagon without head or hands, and said, ‘Fye upon thee, thou young Sanct Geyle, thy father would have tarried [withstood] four such [blows]‘; this considered, we say, the priests and friars fled faster than they did at Pinkey Cleuch. There might have been seen so sudden a fray as seldom has been seen amongst that sort of men within this realm; for down goes the crosses, off goes the surplice, round caps corner with the crowns. The Grey friars gaped, the Black friars blew, the priests panted and fled, and happy was he that first gat the house; for such ane sudden fray came never amongst the generation of Antichrist within this realm before.”
Such an idol procession among a people who had begun to study and relish the Word of God, elicited nothing but indignation and scorn. But in Popish lands, among a people studiously kept in the dark, such processions are among the favourite means which the Romish Church employs to bind its votaries to itself. The long processions with images borne on men’s shoulders, with the gorgeous dresses of the priests, and the various habits of different orders of monks and nuns, with the aids of flying banners and the thrilling strains of instrumental music, if not too closely scanned, are well fitted ”plausibly to amuse” the worldly mind, to gratify the love for the picturesque, and when the emotions thereby called forth are dignified with the names of piety and religion, to minister to the purposes of spiritual despotism. Accordingly, Popery has ever largely availed itself of such pageants. On joyous occasions, it has sought to consecrate the hilarity and excitement created by such processions to the service of its idols; and in seasons of sorrow, it has made use of the same means to draw forth the deeper wail of distress from the multitudes that throng the procession, as if the mere loudness of the cry would avert the displeasure of a justly offended God. Gregory, commonly called the Great, seems to have been the first who, on a large scale, introduced those religious processions into the Roman Church. In 590, when Rome was suffering under the heavy hand of God from the pestilence, he exhorted the people to unite publicly in supplication to God, appointing that they should meet at daybreak in SEVEN DIFFERENT COMPANIES, according to their respective ages, SEXES, and stations, and walk in seven different processions, reciting litanies or supplications, till they all met at one place. They did so, and proceeded singing and uttering the words, ”Lord, have mercy upon us,” carrying along with them, as Baronius relates, by Gregory’s express command, an image of the Virgin. The very idea of such processions was an affront to the majesty of heaven; it implied that God who is a Spirit ”saw with eyes of flesh,” and might be moved by the imposing picturesqueness of such a spectacle, just as sensuous mortals might. As an experiment it had but slender success. In the space of one hour, while thus engaged, eighty persons fell to the ground, and breathed their last. Yet this is now held up to Britons as ”the more excellent way” for deprecating the wrath of God in a season of national distress. ”Had this calamity,” says Dr. Wiseman, referring to the Indian disasters, ”had this calamity fallen upon our forefathers in Catholic days, one would have seen the streets of this city [London] trodden in every direction by penitential processions, crying out, like David, when pestilence had struck the people.” If this allusion to David has any pertinence or meaning, it must imply that David, in the time of pestilence, headed some such ”penitential procession.” But Dr. Wiseman knows, or ought to know, that David did nothing of the sort, that his penitence was expressed in no such way as by processions, and far less by idol processions, as ”in the Catholic days of our forefathers,” to which we are invited to turn back. This reference to David, then, is a mere blind, intended to mislead those who are not given to Bible reading, as if such ”penitential processions” had something of Scripture warrant to rest upon. The Times, commenting on this recommendation of the Papal dignitary, has hit the nail on the head. ”The historic idea,” says that journal, ”is simple enough, and as old as old can be. We have it in Homer–the procession of Hecuba and the ladies of Troy to the shrine of Minerva, in the Acropolis of that city.” It was a time of terror and dismay in Troy, when Diomede, with resistless might, was driving everything before him, and the overthrow of the proud city seemed at hand. To avert the apparently inevitable doom, the Trojan Queen was divinely directed.
”To lead the assembled train
Of Troy’s chief matron’s to Minerva’s fane.”
And she did so:–
”Herself…the long procession leads;
The train majestically slow proceeds.
Soon as to Ilion’s topmost tower they come,
And awful reach the high Palladian dome,
Antenor’s consort, fair Theano, waits
As Pallas’ priestess, and unbars the gates.
With hands uplifted and imploring eyes,
They fill the dome with supplicating cries.”
Here is a precedent for ”penitential processions” in connection with idolatry entirely to the point, such as will be sought for in vain in the history of David, or any of the Old Testament saints. Religious processions, and especially processions with images, whether of a jubilant or sorrowful description, are purely Pagan. In the Word of God we find two instances in which there were processions practised with Divine sanction; but when the object of these processions is compared with the avowed object and character of Romish processions, it will be seen that there is no analogy between them and the processions of Rome. The two cases to which I refer are the seven days’ encompassing of Jericho, and the procession at the bringing up of the ark of God from Kirjath-jearim to the city of David. The processions, in the first case, though attended with the symbols of Divine worship, were not intended as acts of religious worship, but were a miraculous mode of conducting war, when a signal interposition of Divine power was to be vouchsafed. In the other, there was simply the removing of the ark, the symbol of Jehovah’s presence, from the place where, for a long period, it had been allowed to lie in obscurity, to the place which the Lord Himself had chosen for its abode; and on such an occasion it was entirely fitting and proper that the transference should be made with all religious solemnity. But these were simply occasional things, and have nothing at all in common with Romish processions, which form a regular part of the Papal ceremonial. But, though Scripture speaks nothing of religious processions in the approved worship of God, it refers once and again to Pagan processions, and these, too, accompanied with images; and it vividly exposes the folly of those who can expect any good from gods that cannot move from one place to another, unless they are carried. Speaking of the gods of Babylon, thus saith the prophet Isaiah (46:6), ”They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place he shall not remove.” In the sculptures of Nineveh these processions of idols, borne on men’s shoulders, are forcibly represented, and form at once a striking illustration of the prophetic language, and of the real origin of the Popish processions. In Egypt, the same practice was observed. In ”the procession of shrines,” says Wilkinson, ”it was usual to carry the statue of the principal deity, in whose honour the procession took place, together with that of the king, and the figures of his ancestors, borne in the same manner, on men’s shoulders.” But not only are the processions in general identified with the Babylonian system. We have evidence that these processions trace their origin to that very disastrous event in the history of Nimrod, which has already occupied so much of our attention. Wilkinson says ”that Diodorus speaks of an Ethiopian festival of Jupiter, when his statue was carried in procession, probably to commemorate the supposed refuge of the gods in that country, which,” says he, ”may have been a memorial of the flight of the Egyptians with their gods.” The passage of Diodorus, to which Wilkinson refers, is not very decisive as to the object for which the statues of Jupiter and Juno (for Diodorus mentions the shrine of Juno as well as of Jupiter) were annually carried into the land of Ethiopia, and then, after a certain period of sojourn there, were brought back to Egypt again. But, on comparing it with other passages of antiquity, its object very clearly appears. Eustathius says, that at the festival in question, ”according to some, the Ethiopians used to fetch the images of Zeus, and other gods from the great temple of Zeus at Thebes. With these images they went about at a certain period in Libya, and celebrated a splendid festival for twelve gods.” As the festival was called an Ethiopian festival; and as it was Ethiopians that both carried away the idols and brought them back again, this indicates that the idols must have been Ethiopian idols; and as we have seen that Egypt was under the power of Nimrod, and consequently of the Cushites or Ethiopians, when idolatry was for a time put down in Egypt, what would this carrying of the idols into Ethiopia, the land of the Cushites, that was solemnly commemorated every year, be, but just the natural result of the temporary suppression of the idol-worship inaugurated by Nimrod. In Mexico, we have an account of an exact counterpart of this Ethiopian festival. There, at a certain period, the images of the gods were carried out of the country in a mourning procession, as if taking their leave of it, and then, after a time, they were brought back to it again with every demonstration of joy. In Greece, we find a festival of an entirely similar kind, which, while it connects itself with the Ethiopian festival of Egypt on the one hand, brings that festival, on the other, into the closest relation to the penitential procession of Pope Gregory. Thus we find Potter referring first to a ”Delphian festival in memory of a JOURNEY of Apollo”; and then under the head of the festival called Apollonia, we thus read: ”To Apollo, at Aegialea on this account: Apollo having obtained a victory over Python, went to Aegialea, accompanied with his sister Diana; but, being frightened from thence, fled into Crete. After this, the Aegialeans were infected with an epidemical distemper; and, being advised by the prophets to appease the two offended deities, sent SEVEN boys and as many virgins to entreat them to return. [Here is the typical germ of 'The Sevenfold Litany' of Pope Gregory.] Apollo and Diana accepted their piety,…and it became a custom to appoint chosen boys and virgins, to make a solemn procession, in show, as if they designed to bring back Apollo and Diana, which continued till Pausanias’ time.” The contest between Python and Apollo, in Greece, is just the counterpart of that between Typho and Osiris in Egypt; in other words, between Shem and Nimrod. Thus we see the real meaning and origin of the Ethiopian festival, when the Ethiopians carried away the gods from the Egyptian temples. That festival evidently goes back to the time when Nimrod being cut off, idolatry durst not show itself except among the devoted adherents of the ”Mighty hunter” (who were found in his own family–the family of Cush), when, with great weepings and lamentations, the idolaters fled with their gods on their shoulders, to hide themselves where they might. In commemoration of the suppression of idolatry, and the unhappy consequences that were supposed to flow from that suppression, the first part of the festival, as we get light upon it both from Mexico and Greece, had consisted of a procession of mourners; and then the mourning was turned into joy, in memory of the happy return of these banished gods to their former exaltation. Truly a worthy origin for Pope Gregory’s ”Sevenfold Litany” and the Popish processions.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter V
Section II
Relic Worship
Nothing is more characteristic of Rome than the worship of relics. Wherever a chapel is opened, or a temple consecrated, it cannot be thoroughly complete without some relic or other of he-saint or she-saint to give sanctity to it. The relics of the saints and rotten bones of the martyrs form a great part of the wealth of the Church. The grossest impostures have been practised in regard to such relics; and the most drivelling tales have been told of their wonder-working powers, and that too by Fathers of high name in the records of Christendom. Even Augustine, with all his philosophical acuteness and zeal against some forms of false doctrine, was deeply infected with the grovelling spirit that led to relic worship. Let any one read the stuff with which he concludes his famous ”City of God,” and he will in no wise wonder that Rome has made a saint of him, and set him up for the worship of her devotees. Take only a specimen or two of the stories with which he bolsters up the prevalent delusions of his day: ”When the Bishop Projectius brought the relics of St. Stephen to the town called Aquae Tibiltinae, the people came in great crowds to honour them. Amongst these was a blind woman, who entreated the people to lead her to the bishop who had the HOLY RELICS. They did so, and the bishop gave her some flowers which he had in his hand. She took them, and put them to her eyes, and immediately her sight was restored, so that she passed speedily on before all the others, no longer requiring to be guided.” In Augustine’s day, the formal ”worship” of the relics was not yet established; but the martyrs to whom they were supposed to have belonged were already invoked with prayers and supplications, and that with the high approval of the Bishop of Hippo, as the following story will abundantly show: Here, in Hippo, says he, there was a poor and holy old man, by name Florentius, who obtained a living by tailoring. This man once lost his coat, and not being able to purchase another to replace it, he came to the shrine of the Twenty Martyrs, in this city, and prayed aloud to them, beseeching that they would enable him to get another garment. A crowd of silly boys who overheard him, followed him at his departure, scoffing at him, and asking him whether he had begged fifty pence from the martyrs to buy a coat. The poor man went silently on towards home, and as he passed near the sea, he saw a large fish which had been cast up on the sand, and was still panting. The other persons who were present allowed him to take up this fish, which he brought to one Catosus, a cook, and a good Christian, who bought it from him for three hundred pence. With this he meant to purchase wool, which his wife might spin, and make into a garment for him. When the cook cut up the fish, he found within its belly a ring of gold, which his conscience persuaded him to give to the poor man from whom he bought the fish. He did so, saying, at the same time, ”Behold how the Twenty Martyrs have clothed you!” *
* De Civitate. The story of the fish and the ring is an old Egyptian story. (WILKINSON) Catosus, ”the good Christian,” was evidently a tool of the priests, who could afford to give him a ring to put into the fish’s belly. The miracle would draw worshippers to the shrine of the Twenty Martyrs, and thus bring grist to their mill, and amply repay them.
Thus did the great Augustine inculcate the worship of dead men, and the honouring of their wonder-working relics. The ”silly children” who ”scoffed” at the tailor’s prayer seem to have had more sense than either the ”holy old tailor” or the bishop. Now, if men professing Christianity were thus, in the fifth century, paving the way for the worship of all manner of rags and rotten bones; in the realms of Heathendom the same worship had flourished for ages before Christian saints or martyrs had appeared in the world. In Greece, the superstitious regard to relics, and especially to the bones of the deified heroes, was a conspicuous part of the popular idolatry. The work of Pausanias, the learned Grecian antiquary, is full of reference to this superstition. Thus, of the shoulder-blade of Pelops, we read that, after passing through divers adventures, being appointed by the oracle of Delphi, as a divine means of delivering the Eleans from a pestilence under which they suffered, it ”was committed,” as a sacred relic, ”to the custody” of the man who had fished it out of the sea, and of his posterity after him. The bones of the Trojan Hector were preserved as a precious deposit at Thebes. ”They” [the Thebans], says Pausanias, ”say that his [Hector's] bones were brought hither from Troy, in consequence of the following oracle: ‘Thebans, who inhabit the city of Cadmus, if you wish to reside in your country, blest with the possession of blameless wealth, bring the bones of Hector, the son of Priam, into your dominions from Asia, and reverence the hero agreeably to the mandate of Jupiter.’” Many other similar instances from the same author might be adduced. The bones thus carefully kept and reverenced were all believed to be miracle-working bones. From the earliest periods, the system of Buddhism has been propped up by relics, that have wrought miracles at least as well vouched as those wrought by the relics of St. Stephen, or by the ”Twenty Martyrs.” In the ”Mahawanso,” one of the great standards of the Buddhist faith, reference is thus made to the enshrining of the relics of Buddha: ”The vanquisher of foes having perfected the works to be executed within the relic receptacle, convening an assembly of the priesthood, thus addressed them: ‘The works that were to be executed by me, in the relic receptacle, are completed. Tomorrow, I shall enshrine the relics. Lords, bear in mind the relics.’” Who has not heard of the Holy Coat of Treves, and its exhibition to the people? From the following, the reader will see that there was an exactly similar exhibition of the Holy Coat of Buddha: ”Thereupon (the nephew of the Naga Rajah) by his supernatural gift, springing up into the air to the height of seven palmyra trees, and stretching out his arm brought to the spot where he was poised, the Dupathupo (or shrine) in which the DRESS laid aside by Buddho, as Prince Siddhatto, on his entering the priesthood, was enshrined…and EXHIBITED IT TO THE PEOPLE.” This ”Holy Coat” of Buddha was no doubt as genuine, and as well entitled to worship, as the ”Holy Coat” of Treves. The resemblance does not stop here. It is only a year or two ago since the Pope presented to his beloved son, Francis Joseph of Austria, a ”TOOTH” of ”St. Peter,” as a mark of his special favour and regard. The teeth of Buddha are in equal request among his worshippers. ”King of Devas,” said a Buddhist missionary, who was sent to one of the principal courts of Ceylon to demand a relic or two from the Rajah, ”King of Devas, thou possessest the right canine tooth relic (of Buddha), as well as the right collar bone of the divine teacher. Lord of Devas, demur not in matter involving the salvation of the land of Lanka.” Then the miraculous efficacy of these relics is shown in the following: ”The Saviour of the world (Buddha) even after he had attained to Parinibanan or final emancipation (i.e., after his death), by means of a corporeal relic, performed infinite acts to the utmost perfection, for the spiritual comfort and mundane prosperity of mankind. While the Vanquisher (Jeyus) yet lived, what must he not have done?” Now, in the Asiatic Researches, a statement is made in regard to these relics of Buddha, which marvellously reveals to us the real origin of this Buddhist relic worship. The statement is this: ”The bones or limbs of Buddha were scattered all over the world, like those of Osiris and Jupiter Zagreus. To collect them was the first duty of his descendants and followers, and then to entomb them. Out of filial piety, the remembrance of this mournful search was yearly kept up by a fictitious one, with all possible marks of grief and sorrow till a priest announced that the sacred relics were at last found. This is practised to this day by several Tartarian tribes of the religion of Buddha; and the expression of the bones of the Son of the Spirit of heaven is peculiar to the Chinese and some tribes in Tartary.” Here, then, it is evident that the worship of relics is just a part of those ceremonies instituted to commemorate the tragic death of Osiris or Nimrod, who, as the reader may remember, was divided into fourteen pieces, which were sent into so many different regions infected by his apostacy and false worship, to operate in terrorem upon all who might seek to follow his example. When the apostates regained their power, the very first thing they did was to seek for these dismembered relics of the great ringleader in idolatry, and to entomb them with every mark of devotion. Thus does Plutarch describe the search: ”Being acquainted with this even [viz., the dismemberment of Osiris], Isis set out once more in search of the scattered members of her husband’s body, using a boat made of the papyrus rush in order more easily to pass through the lower and fenny parts of the country…And one reason assigned for the different sepulchres of Osiris shown in Egypt is, that wherever any one of his scattered limbs was discovered she buried it on the spot; though others suppose that it was owing to an artifice of the queen, who presented each of those cities with an image of her husband, in order that, if Typho should overcome Horus in the approaching contest, he might be unable to find the real sepulchre. Isis succeeded in recovering all the different members, with the exception of one, which had been devoured by the Lepidotus, the Phagrus, and the Oxyrhynchus, for which reason these fish are held in abhorrence by the Egyptians. To make amends, she consecrated the Phallus, and instituted a solemn festival to its memory.” Not only does this show the real origin of relic worship it shows also that the multiplication of relics can pretend to the most venerable antiquity. If, therefore, Rome can boast that she has sixteen or twenty holy coats, seven or eight arms of St. Matthew, two or three heads of St. Peter, this is nothing more than Egypt could do in regard to the relics of Osiris. Egypt was covered with sepulchres of its martyred god; and many a leg and arm and skull, all vouched to be genuine, were exhibited in the rival burying-places for the adoration of the Egyptian faithful. Nay, not only were these Egyptian relics sacred themselves, they CONSECRATED THE VERY GROUND in which they were entombed. This fact is brought out by Wilkinson, from a statement of Plutarch: ”The Temple of this deity at Abydos,” says he, ”was also particularly honoured, and so holy was the place considered by the Egyptians, that persons living at some distance from it sought, and perhaps with difficulty obtained, permission to possess a sepulchre within its Necropolis, in order that, after death, they might repose in GROUND HALLOWED BY THE TOMB of this great and mysterious deity.” If the places where the relics of Osiris were buried were accounted peculiarly holy, it is easy to see how naturally this would give rise to the pilgrimages so frequent among the heathen. The reader does not need to be told what merit Rome attaches to such pilgrimages to the tombs of saints, and how, in the Middle Ages, one of the most favourite ways of washing away sin was to undertake a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. Jago di Compostella in Spain, or the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Now, in the Scripture there is not the slightest trace of any such thing as a pilgrimage to the tomb of saint, martyr, prophet, or apostle. The very way in which the Lord saw fit to dispose of the body of Moses in burying it Himself in the plains of Moab, so that no man should ever known where his sepulchre was, was evidently designed to rebuke every such feeling as that from which such pilgrimages arise. And considering whence Israel had come, the Egyptian ideas with which they were infected, as shown in the matter of the golden calf, and the high reverence they must have entertained for Moses, the wisdom of God in so disposing of his body must be apparent. In the land where Israel had so long sojourned, there were great and pompous pilgrimages at certain season of the year, and these often attended with gross excesses. Herodotus tells us, that in his time the multitude who went annually on pilgrimage to Bubastis amounted to 700,000 individuals, and that then more wine was drunk than at any other time in the year. Wilkinson thus refers to a similar pilgrimage to Philae: ”Besides the celebration of the great mysteries which took place at Philae, a grand ceremony was performed at a particular time, when the priests, in solemn procession, visited his tomb, and crowned it with flowers. Plutarch even pretends that all access to the island was forbidden at every other period, and that no bird would fly over it, or fish swim near this CONSECRATED GROUND.” This seems not to have been a procession merely of the priests in the immediate neighbourhood of the tomb, but a truly national pilgrimage; for, says Diodorus, ”the sepulchre of Osiris at Philae is revered by all the priests throughout Egypt.” We have not the same minute information about the relic worship in Assyria or Babylon; but we have enough to show that, as it was the Babylonian god that was worshipped in Egypt under the name of Osiris, so in his own country there was the same superstitious reverence paid to his relics. We have seen already, that when the Babylonian Zoroaster died, he was said voluntarily to have given his life as a sacrifice, and to have ”charged his countrymen to preserve his remains,” assuring them that on the observance or neglect of this dying command, the fate of their empire would hinge. And, accordingly, we learn from Ovid, that the ”Busta Nini,” or ”Tomb of Ninus,” long ages thereafter, was one of the monuments of Babylon. Now, in comparing the death and fabled resurrection of the false Messiah with the death and resurrection of the true, when he actually appeared, it will be found that there is a very remarkable contrast. When the false Messiah died, limb was severed from limb, and his bones were scattered over the country. When the death of the true Messiah took place, Providence so arranged it that the body should be kept entire, and that the prophetic word should be exactly fulfilled–”a bone of Him shall not be broken.” When, again, the false Messiah was pretended to have had a resurrection, that resurrection was in a new body, while the old body, with all its members, was left behind, thereby showing that the resurrection was nothing but a pretence and a sham. When, however, the true Messiah was ”declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead,” the tomb, though jealously watched by the armed unbelieving soldiery of Rome, was found to be absolutely empty, and no dead body of the Lord was ever afterwards found, or even pretended to have been found. The resurrection of Christ, therefore, stands on a very different footing from the resurrection of Osiris. Of the body of Christ, of course, in the nature of the case, there could be no relics. Rome, however to carry out the Babylonian system, has supplied the deficiency by means of the relics of the saints; and now the relics of St. Peter and St. Paul, of St. Thomas A’ Beckett and St. Lawrence O’Toole, occupy the very same place in the worship of the Papacy as the relics of Osiris in Egypt, or of Zoroaster in Babylon.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter V
Section III
The Clothing and Crowning of Images
In the Church of Rome, the clothing and crowning of images form no insignificant part of the ceremonial. The sacred images are not represented, like ordinary statues, with the garments formed of the same material as themselves, but they have garments put on them from time to time, like ordinary mortals of living flesh and blood. Great expense is often lavished on their drapery; and those who present to them splendid robes are believed thereby to gain their signal favour, and to lay up a large stock of merit for themselves. Thus, in September, 1852, we find the duke and Duchess of Montpensier celebrated in the Tablet, not only for their charity in ”giving 3000 reals in alms to the poor,” but especially, and above all, for their piety in ”presenting the Virgin with a magnificent dress of tissue of gold, with white lace and a silver crown.” Somewhat about the same time the piety of the dissolute Queen of Spain was testified by a similar benefaction, when she deposited at the feet of the Queen of Heaven the homage of the dress and jewels she wore on a previous occasion of solemn thanksgiving, as well as the dress in which she was attired when she was stabbed by the assassin Merino. ”The mantle,” says the Spanish journal Espana, ”exhibited the marks of the wound, and its ermine lining was stained with the precious blood of Her Majesty. In the basket (that bore the dresses) were likewise the jewels which adorned Her Majesty’s head and breast. Among them was a diamond stomacher, so exquisitely wrought, and so dazzling, that it appeared to be wrought of a single stone.” This is all sufficiently childish, and presents human nature in a most humiliating aspect; but it is just copied from the old Pagan worship. The same clothing and adorning of the gods went on in Egypt, and there were sacred persons who alone could be permitted to interfere with so high a function. Thus, in the Rosetta Stone we find these sacred functionaries distinctly referred to: ”The chief priests and prophets, and those who have access to the adytum to clothe the gods,…assembled in the temple at Memphis, established the following decree.” The ”clothing of the gods” occupied an equally important place in the sacred ceremonial of ancient Greece. Thus, we find Pausanias referring to a present made to Minerva: ”In after times Laodice, the daughter of Agapenor, sent a veil to Tegea, to Minerva Alea.” The epigram [inscription] on this offering indicates, at the same time, the origin of Laodice:–
”Laodice, from Cyprus, the divine,
To her paternal wide-extended land,
This veil–an offering to Minerva–sent.”
Thus, also, when Hecuba, the Trojan queen, in the instance already referred to, was directed to lead the penitential procession through the streets of Troy to Minverva’s temple, she was commanded not to go empty-handed, but to carry along with her, as her most acceptable offering:–
”The largest mantle your full wardrobes hold,
Most prized for art, and laboured o’er with gold.”
The royal lady punctually obeyed:–
”The Phrygian queen to her rich wardrobe went,
Where treasured odours breathed a costly scent;
There lay the vestures of no vulgar art;
Sidonian maids embroidered every part,
Whom from soft Sydon youthful Paris bore,
With Helen touching on the Tyrian shore.
Here, as the Queen revolved with careful eyes
The various textures and the various dyes,
She chose a veil that shone superior far,
And glowed refulgent as the morning star.”
There is surely a wonderful resemblance here between the piety of the Queen of Troy and that of the Queen of Spain. Now, in ancient Paganism there was a mystery couched under the clothing of the gods. If gods and goddesses were so much pleased by being clothed, it was because there had once been a time in their history when they stood greatly in need of clothing. Yes, it can be distinctly established, as has been already hinted, that ultimately the great god and great goddess of Heathenism, while the facts of their own history were interwoven with their idolatrous system, were worshipped also as incarnations of our great progenitors, whose disastrous fall stripped them of their primeval glory, and made it needful that the hand Divine should cover their nakedness with clothing specially prepared for them. I cannot enter here into an elaborate proof of this point; but let the statement of Herodotus be pondered in regard to the annual ceremony, observed in Egypt, of slaying a ram, and clothing the FATHER OF THE GODS with its skin. Compare this statement with the Divine record in Genesis about the clothing of the ”Father of Mankind” in a coat of sheepskin; and after all that we have seen of the deification of dead men, can there be a doubt what it was that was thus annually commemorated? Nimrod himself, when he was cut in pieces, was necessarily stripped. That exposure was identified with the nakedness of Noah, and ultimately with that of Adam. His sufferings were represented as voluntarily undergone for the good of mankind. His nakedness, therefore, and the nakedness of the ”Father of the gods,” of whom he was an incarnation, was held to be a voluntary humiliation too. When, therefore, his suffering was over, and his humiliation past, the clothing in which he was invested was regarded as a meritorious clothing, available not only for himself, but for all who were initiated in his mysteries. In the sacred rites of the Babylonian god, both the exposure and the clothing that were represented as having taken place, in his own history, were repeated on all his worshippers, in accordance with the statement of Firmicus, that the initiated underwent what their god had undergone. First, after being duly prepared by magic rites and ceremonies, they were ushered, in a state of absolute nudity, into the innermost recesses of the temple. This appears from the following statement of Proclus: ”In the most holy of the mysteries, they say that the mystics at first meet with the many-shaped genera [i.e., with evil demons], which are hurled forth before the gods: but on entering the interior parts of the temple, unmoved and guarded by the mystic rites, they genuinely receive in their bosom divine illumination, and, DIVESTED OF THEIR GARMENTS, participate, as they would say, of a divine nature.” When the initiated, thus ”illuminated” and made partakers of a ”divine nature,” after being ”divested of their garments,” were clothed anew, the garments with which they were invested were looked upon as ”sacred garments,” and possessing distinguished virtues. ”The coat of skin” with which the Father of mankind was divinely invested after he was made so painfully sensible of his nakedness, was, as all intelligent theologians admit, a typical emblem of the glorious righteousness of Christ–”the garment of salvation,” which is ”unto all and upon all them that believe.” The garments put upon the initiated after their disrobing of their former clothes, were evidently intended as a counterfeit of the same. ”The garments of those initiated in the Eleusinian Mysteries,” says Potter, ”were accounted sacred, and of no less efficacy to avert evils than charms and incantations. They were never cast off till completely worn out.” And of course, if possible, in these ”sacred garments” they were buried; for Herodotus, speaking of Egypt, whence these mysteries were derived, tells us that ”religion” prescribed the garments of the dead. The efficacy of ”sacred garments” as a means of salvation and delivering from evil in the unseen and eternal world, occupies a foremost place in many religions. Thus the Parsees, the fundamental elements of whose system came from the Chaldean Zoroaster, believe that ”the sadra or sacred vest” tends essentially to ”preserve the departed soul from the calamities accruing from Ahriman,” or the Devil; and they represent those who neglect the use of this ”sacred vest” as suffering in their souls, and ”uttering the most dreadful and appalling cries,” on account of the torments inflicted on them ”by all kinds of reptiles and noxious animals, who assail them with their teeth and stings, and give them not a moment’s respite.” What could have ever led mankind to attribute such virtue to a ”sacred vest”? If it be admitted that it is just a perversion of the ”sacred garment” put on our first parents, all is clear. This, too, accounts for the superstitious feeling in the Papacy, otherwise so unaccountable, that led so many in the dark ages to fortify themselves against the fears of the judgment to come, by seeking to be buried in a monk’s dress. ”To be buried in a friar’s cast-off habit, accompanied by letters enrolling the deceased in a monastic order, was accounted a sure deliverance from eternal condemnation! In ‘Piers the Ploughman’s Creed,’ a friar is described as wheedling a poor man out of his money by assuring him that, if he will only contribute to his monastery,
‘St. Francis himself shall fold thee in his cope,
And present thee to the Trinity, and pray for thy sins.’”
In virtue of the same superstitious belief, King John of England was buried in a monk’s cowl; and many a royal and noble personage besides, ”before life and immortality” were anew ”brought to light” at the Reformation, could think of no better way to cover their naked and polluted souls in prospect of death, than by wrapping themselves in the garment of some monk or friar as unholy as themselves. Now, all these refuges of lies, in Popery as well as Paganism, taken in connection with the clothing of the saints of the one system, and of the gods of the other, when traced to their source, show that since sin entered the world, man has ever felt the need of a better righteousness than his own to cover him, and that the time was when all the tribes of the earth knew that the only righteousness that could avail for such a purpose was ”the righteousness of God,” and that of ”God manifest in the flesh.”
Intimately connected with the ”clothing of the images of the saints” is also the ”crowning” of them. For the last two centuries, in the Popish communion, the festivals for crowning the ”sacred images” have been more and more celebrated. In Florence, a few years ago, the image of the Madonna with the child in her arms was ”crowned” with unusual pomp and solemnity. Now, this too arose out of the facts commemorated in the history of Bacchus or Osiris. As Nimrod was the first king after the Flood, so Bacchus was celebrated as the first who wore a crown. *
* PLINY, Hist. Nat. Under the name of Saturn, also, the same thing was attributed to Nimrod.
When, however, he fell into the hands of his enemies, as he was stripped of all his glory and power, he was stripped also of his crown. The ”Falling of the crown from the head of Osiris” was specially commemorated in Egypt. That crown at different times was represented in different ways, but in the most famous myth of Osiris it was represented as a ”Melilot garland.” Melilot is a species of trefoil; and trefoil in the Pagan system was one of the emblems of the Trinity. Among the Tractarians at this day, trefoil is used in the same symbolical sense as it has long been in the Papacy, from which Puseyism has borrowed it. Thus, in a blasphemous Popish representation of what is called God the Father (of the fourteenth century), we find him represented as wearing a crown with three points, each of which is surmounted with a leaf of white clover. But long before Tractarianism or Romanism was known, trefoil was a sacred symbol. The clover leaf was evidently a symbol of high import among the ancient Persians; for thus we find Herodotus referring to it, in describing the rites of the Persian Magi–”If any (Persian) intends to offer to a god, he leads the animal to a consecrated spot. Then, dividing the victim into parts, he boils the flesh, and lays it upon the most tender herbs, especially TREFOIL. This done, a magus–without a magus no sacrifice can be performed–sings a sacred hymn.” In Greece, the clover, or trefoil, in some form or other, had also occupied an important place; for the rod of Mercury, the conductor of souls, to which such potency was ascribed, was called ”Rabdos Tripetelos,” or ”the three-leaved rod.” Among the British Druids the white clover leaf was held in high esteem as an emblem of their Triune God, and was borrowed from the same Babylonian source as the rest of their religion. The Melilot, or trefoil garland, then, with which the head of Osiris was bound, was the crown of the Trinity–the crown set on his head as the representative of the Eternal–”The crown of all the earth,” in accordance with the voice divine at his birth, ”The Lord of all the earth is born.” Now, as that ”Melilot garland,” that crown of universal dominion, fell ”from his head” before his death, so, when he rose to new life, the crown must be again set upon his head, and his universal dominion solemnly avouched. Hence, therefore, came the solemn crowning of the statues of the great god, and also the laying of the ”chaplet” on his altar, as a trophy of his recovered ”dominion.” But if the great god was crowned, it was needful also that the great goddess should receive a similar honour. Therefore it was fabled that when Bacchus carried his wife Ariadne to heaven, in token of the high dignity bestowed upon her, he set a crown upon her head; and the remembrance of this crowning of the wife of the Babylonian god is perpetuated to this hour by the well-known figure in the sphere called Ariadnoea corona, or ”Ariadne’s crown.” This is, beyond question, the real source of the Popish rite of crowning the image of the Virgin.
From the fact that the Melilot garland occupied so conspicuous a place in the myth of Osiris, and that the ”chaplet” was laid on his altar, and his tomb was ”crowned” with flowers, arose the custom, so prevalent in heathenism, of adorning the altars of the gods with ”chaplets” of all sorts, and with a gay profusion of flowers. Side by side with this reason for decorating the altars with flowers, there was also another. When in
”That fair field
Of Enna, Proserpine gathering flowers,
Herself, a fairer flower, by gloom Dis,
Was gathered;”
and all the flowers she had stored up in her lap were lost, the loss thereby sustained by the world not only drew forth her own tears, but was lamented in the Mysteries as a loss of no ordinary kind, a loss which not only stripped her of her own spiritual glory, but blasted the fertility and beauty of the earth itself. *
* OVID, Metamorphoses. Ovid speaks of the tears which Proserpine shed when, on her robe being torn from top to bottom, all the flowers which she had been gathering up in it fell to the ground, as showing only the simplicity of a girlish mind. But this is evidently only for the uninitiated. The lamentations of Ceres, which were intimately connected with the fall of these flowers, and the curse upon the ground that immediately followed, indicated something entirely different. But on that I cannot enter here.
That loss, however, the wife of Nimrod, under the name of Astarte, or Venus, was believed to have more than repaired. Therefore, while the sacred ”chaplet” of the discrowned god was placed in triumph anew on his head and on his altars, the recovered flowers which Proserpine had lost were also laid on these altars along with it, in token of gratitude to that mother of grace and goodness, for the beauty and temporal blessings that the earth owed to her interposition and love. In Pagan Rome especially this was the case. The altars were profusely adorned with flowers. From that source directly the Papacy has borrowed the custom of adorning the altar with flowers; and from the Papacy, Puseyism, in Protestant England, is labouring to introduce the custom among ourselves. But, viewing it in connection with its source, surely men with the slightest spark of Christian feeling may well blush to think of such a thing. It is not only opposed to the genius of the Gospel dispensation, which requires that they who worship God, who is a Spirit, ”worship Him in spirit and in truth”; but it is a direct symbolising with those who rejoiced in the re-establishment of Paganism in opposition to the worship of the one living and true God.


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter V
Section IV
The Rosary and the Worship of the Sacred Heart
Every one knows how thoroughly Romanist is the use of the rosary; and how the devotees of Rome mechanically tell their prayers upon their beads. The rosary, however, is no invention of the Papacy. It is of the highest antiquity, and almost universally found among Pagan nations. The rosary was used as a sacred instrument among the ancient Mexicans. It is commonly employed among the Brahmins of Hindustan; and in the Hindoo sacred books reference is made to it again and again. Thus, in an account of the death of Sati, the wife of Shiva, we find the rosary introduced: ”On hearing of this event, Shiva fainted from grief; then, having recovered, he hastened to the banks of the river of heaven, where he beheld lying the body of his beloved Sati, arrayed in white garments, holding a rosary in her hand, and glowing with splendour, bright as burnished gold.” In Thibet it has been used from time immemorial, and among all the millions in the East that adhere to the Buddhist faith. The following, from Sir John F. Davis, will show how it is employed in China: ”From the Tartar religion of the Lamas, the rosary of 108 beads has become a part of the ceremonial dress attached to the nine grades of official rank. It consists of a necklace of stones and coral, nearly as large as a pigeon’s egg, descending to the waist, and distinguished by various beads, according to the quality of the wearer. There is a small rosary of eighteen beads, of inferior size, with which the bonzes count their prayers and ejaculations exactly as in the Romish ritual. The laity in China sometimes wear this at the wrist, perfumed with musk, and give it the name of Heang-choo, or fragrant beads.” In Asiatic Greece the rosary was commonly used, as may be seen from the image of the Ephesian Diana. In Pagan Rome the same appears to have been the case. The necklaces which the Roman ladies wore were not merely ornamental bands about the neck, but hung down the breast, just as the modern rosaries do; and the name by which they were called indicates the use to which they were applied. ”Monile,” the ordinary word for a necklace, can have no other meaning than that of a ”Remembrancer.” Now, whatever might be the pretence, in the first instance, for the introduction of such ”Rosaries” or ”Remembrancers,” the very idea of such a thing is thoroughly Pagan. * It supposes that a certain number of prayers must be regularly gone over; it overlooks the grand demand which God makes for the heart, and leads those who use them to believe that form and routine are everything, and that ”they must be heard for their much speaking.”
* ”Rosary” itself seems to be from the Chaldee ”Ro,” ”thought,” and ”Shareh,” ”director.”
In the Church of Rome a new kind of devotion has of late been largely introduced, in which the beads play an important part, and which shows what new and additional strides in the direction of the old Babylonian Paganism the Papacy every day is steadily making. I refer to the ”Rosary of the Sacred Heart.” It is not very long since the worship of the ”Sacred Heart” was first introduced; and now, everywhere it is the favourite worship. It was so in ancient Babylon, as is evident from the Babylonian system as it appeared in Egypt. There also a ”Sacred Heart” was venerated. The ”Heart” was one of the sacred symbols of Osiris when he was born again, and appeared as Harpocrates, or the infant divinity, * borne in the arms of his mother Isis.
* The name Harpocrates, as shown by Bunsen, signifies ”Horus, the child.”
Therefore, the fruit of the Egyptian Persea was peculiarly sacred to him, from its resemblance to the ”HUMAN HEART.” Hence this infant divinity was frequently represented with a heart, or the heart-shaped fruit of the Persea, in one of his hands. The following extract, from John Bell’s criticism on the antiques in the Picture Gallery of Florence, will show that the boyish divinity had been represented elsewhere also in ancient times in the same manner. Speaking of a statue of Cupid, he says it is ”a fair, full, fleshy, round boy, in fine and sportive action, tossing back a heart.” Thus the boy-god came to be regarded as the ”god of the heart,” in other words, as Cupid, or the god of love. To identify this infant divinity, with his father ”the mighty hunter,” he was equipped with ”bow and arrows”; and in the hands of the poets, for the amusement of the profane vulgar, this sportive boy-god was celebrated as taking aim with his gold-tipped shafts at the hearts of mankind. His real character, however, as the above statement shows, and as we have seen reason already to conclude, was far higher and of a very different kind. He was the woman’s seed. Venus and her son Cupid, then, were none other than the Madonna and the child. Looking at the subject in this light, the real force and meaning of the language will appear, which Virgil puts into the mouth of Venus, when addressing the youthful Cupid:–
”My son, my strength, whose mighty power alone
Controls the thunderer on his awful throne,
To thee thy much afflicted mother flies,
And on thy succour and thy faith relies.”
From what we have seen already as to the power and glory of the Goddess Mother being entirely built on the divine character attributed to her Son, the reader must see how exactly this is brought out, when the Son is called ”THE STRENGTH” of his Mother. As the boy-god, whose symbol was the heart, was recognised as the god of childhood, this very satisfactorily accounts for one of the peculiar customs of the Romans. Kennett tells us, in his Antiquities, that the Roman youths, in their tender years, used to wear a golden ornament suspended from their necks, called bulla, which was hollow, and heart-shaped. Barker, in his work on Cilicia, while admitting that the Roman bulla was heart-shaped, further states, that ”it was usual at the birth of a child to name it after some divine personage, who was supposed to receive it under his care”; but that the ”name was not retained beyond infancy, when the bulla was given up.” Who so likely to be the god under whose guardianship the Roman children were put, as the god under one or other of his many names whose express symbol they wore, and who, while he was recognised as the great and mighty war-god, who also exhibited himself in his favourite form as a little child?
The veneration of the ”sacred heart” seems also to have extended to India, for there Vishnu, the Mediatorial god, in one of his forms, with the mark of the wound in his foot, in consequence of which he died, and for which such lamentation is annually made, is represented as wearing a heart suspended on his breast. It is asked, How came it that the ”Heart” became the recognised symbol of the Child of the great Mother? The answer is, ”The Heart” in Chaldee is ”BEL”; and as, at first, after the check given to idolatry, almost all the most important elements of the Chaldean system were introduced under a veil, so under that veil they continued to be shrouded from the gaze of the uninitiated, after the first reason–the reason of fear–had long ceased to operate. Now, the worship of the ”Sacred Heart” was just, under a symbol, the worship of the ”Sacred Bel,” that mighty one of Babylon, who had died a martyr for idolatry; for Harpocrates, or Horus, the infant god, was regarded as Bel, born again. That this was in very deed the case, the following extract from Taylor, in one of his notes to his translation of the Orphic Hymns, will show. ”While Bacchus,” says he, was ”beholding himself” with admiration ”in a mirror, he was miserably torn to pieces by the Titans, who, not content with this cruelty, first boiled his members in water, and afterwards roasted them in the fire; but while they were tasting his flesh thus dressed, Jupiter, excited by the steam, and perceiving the cruelty of the deed, hurled his thunder at the Titans, but committed his members to Apollo, the brother of Bacchus, that they might be properly interred. And this being performed, Dionysius [i.e., Bacchus], (whose HEART, during his laceration, was snatched away by Minerva and preserved) by a new REGENERATION, again emerged, and he being restored to his pristine life and integrity, afterwards filled up the number of the gods.” This surely shows, in a striking light, the peculiar sacredness of the heart of Bacchus; and that the regeneration of his heart has the very meaning I have attached to it–viz., the new birth or new incarnation of Nimrod or Bel. When Bel, however was born again as a child, he was, as we have seen, represented as an incarnation of the sun. Therefore, to indicate his connection with the fiery and burning sun, the ”sacred heart” was frequently represented as a ”heart of flame.” So the ”Sacred Heart” of Rome is actually worshipped as a flaming heart, as may be seen on the rosaries devoted to that worship. Of what use, then, is it to say that the ”Sacred Heart” which Rome worships is called by the name of ”Jesus,” when not only is the devotion given to a material image borrowed from the worship of the Babylonian Antichrist, but when the attributes ascribed to that ”Jesus” are not the attributes of the living and loving Saviour, but the genuine attributes of the ancient Moloch or Bel?


The Two Babylons
Alexander Hislop
Chapter V
Section V
Lamps and Wax-Candles
Another peculiarity of the Papal worship is the use of lamps and wax-candles. If the Madonna and child are set up in a niche, they must have a lamp to burn before them; if mass is to be celebrated, though in broad daylight, there must be wax-candles lighted on the altar; if a grand procession is to be formed, it cannot be thorough and complete without lighted tapers to grace the goodly show. The use of these lamps and tapers comes from the same source as all the rest of the Papal superstition. That which caused the ”Heart,” when it became an emblem of the incarnate Son, to be represented as a heart on fire, required also that burning lamps and lighted candles should form part of the worship of that Son; for so, according to the established rites of Zoroaster, was the sun-god worshipped. When every Egyptian on the same night was required to light a lamp before his house in the open air, this was an act of homage to the sun, that had veiled its glory by enshrouding itself in a human form. When the Yezidis of Koordistan, at this day, once a year celebrate their festival of ”burning lamps,” that, too, is to the honour of Sheikh Shems, or the Sun. Now, what on these high occasions was done on a grand scale was also done on a smaller scale, in the individual acts of worship to their god, by the lighting of lamps and tapers before the favourite divinity. In Babylon, this practice had been exceedingly prevalent, as we learn from the Apocryphal writer of the Book of Baruch. ”They (the Babylonians),” says he, ”light up lamps to their gods, and that in greater numbers, too, than they do for themselves, although the gods cannot see one of them, and are senseless as the beams of their houses.” In Pagan Rome, the same practice was observed. Thus we find Licinius, the Pagan Emperor, before joining battle with Constantine, his rival, calling a council of his friends in a thick wood, and there offering sacrifices to his gods, ”lighting up wax-tapers” before them, and at the same time, in his speech, giving his gods a hint, that if they did not give him the victory against Constantine, his enemy and theirs, he would be under the necessity of abandoning their worship, and lighting up no more ”wax-tapers to their honour.” In the Pagan processions, also, at Rome, the wax-candles largely figured. ”At these solemnities,” says Dr. Middleton, referring to Apuleius as his authority, ”at these solemnities, the chief magistrate used frequently to assist, in robes of ceremony, attended by the priests in surplices, with wax-candles in their hands, carrying upon a pageant or thensa, the images of their gods, dressed out in their best clothes; these were usually followed by the principal youth of the place, in white linen vestments or surplices, singing hymns in honour of the gods whose festivals they were celebrating, accompanied by crowds of all sorts that were initiated in the same religion, all with flambeaux or wax-candles in their hands.” Now, so thoroughly and exclusively Pagan was this custom of lighting up lamps and candles in daylight, that we find Christian writers, such as Lactantius, in the fourth century, exposing the absurdity of the practice, and deriding the Romans ”for lighting up candles to God, as if He lived in the dark.” Had such a custom at that time gained the least footing among Christians, Lactantius could never have ridiculed it as he does, as a practice peculiar to Paganism. But what was unknown to the Christian Church in the beginning of the fourth century, soon thereafter began to creep in, and now forms one of the most marked peculiarities of that community that boasts that it is the ”Mother and mistress of all Churches.”
While Rome uses both lamps and wax-candles in her sacred rites, it is evident, however, that she attributes some pre-eminent virtue to the latter above all other lights. Up to the time of the Council of Trent, she thus prayed on Easter Eve, at the blessing of the Easter candles: ”Calling upon thee in thy works, this holy Eve of Easter, we offer most humbly unto thy Majesty this sacrifice; namely, a fire not defiled with the fat of flesh, nor polluted with unholy oil or ointment, nor attained with any profane fire; but we offer unto thee with obedience, proceeding from perfect devotion, a fire of wrought WAX and wick, kindled and made to burn in honour of thy name. This so great a MYSTERY therefore, and the marvellous sacrament of this holy eve, must needs be extolled with due and deserved praises.” That there was some occult ”Mystery,” as is here declared, couched under the ”wax-candles,” in the original system of idolatry, from which Rome derived its ritual, may be well believed, when it is observed with what unanimity nations the most remote have agreed to use wax-candles in their sacred rites. Among the Tungusians, near the Lake Baikal in Siberia, ”wax-tapers are placed before the Burchans,” the gods or idols of that country. In the Molucca Islands, wax-tapers are used in the worship of Nito, or Devil, whom these islanders adore. ”Twenty or thirty persons having assembled,” says Hurd, ”they summon the Nito, by beating a small consecrated drum, whilst two or more of the company light up wax-tapers, and pronounce several mysterious words, which they consider as able to conjure him up.” In the worship of Ceylon, the use of wax-candles is an indispensable requisite. ”In Ceylon,” says the same author, ”some devotees, who are not priests, erect chapels for themselves, but in each of them they are obliged to have an image of Buddha, and light up tapers or wax-candles before it, and adorn it with flowers.” A practice thus so general must have come from some primeval source, and must have originally had some mystic reason at the bottom of it. The wax-candle was, in fact, a hieroglyphic, like so many other things which we have already seen, and was intended to exhibit the Babylonian god in one of the essential characters of the Great Mediator. The classic reader may remember that one of the gods of primeval antiquity was called Ouranos, * that is, ”The Enlightener.”
* For Aor or our, ”light,” and an, ”to act upon” or produce, the same as our English particle en, ”to make.” Ouranos, then, is ”The Enlightener.” This Ouranos is, by Sanchuniathon, the Phoenician, called the son of Elioun–i.e., as he himself, or Philo-Byblius, interprets the name, ”The Most High.” (SANCH) Ouranos, in the physical sense, is ”The Shiner”; and by Hesychius it is made equivalent to Kronos, which also has the same meaning, for Krn, the verb from which it comes, signifies either ”to put forth horns,” or ”to send forth rays of light”; and, therefore, while the epithet Kronos, or ”The Horned One,” had primarily reference to the physical power of Nimrod as a ”mighty” king; when that king was deified, and made ”Lord of Heaven,” that name, Kronos, was still applied to him in his new character as ”The Shiner or Lightgiver.” The distinction made by Hesiod between Ouranos and Kronos, is no argument against the real substantial identity of these divinities originally as Pagan divinities; for Herodotus states that Hesiod had a hand in ”inventing a theogony” for the Greeks, which implies that some at least of the details of that theogony must have come from his own fancy; and, on examination, it will be found, when the veil of allegory is removed, that Hesiod’s ”Ouranos,” though introduced as one of the Pagan gods, was really at bottom the ”God of Heaven,” the living and true God.
In this very character was Nimrod worshipped when he was deified. As the Sun-god he was regarded not only as the illuminator of the material world, but as the enlightener of the souls of men, for he was recognised as the revealer of ”goodness and truth.” It is evident, from the Old Testament, not less than the New, that the proper and personal name of our Lord Jesus Christ is, ”The Word of God,” as the Revealer of the heart and counsels of the Godhead. Now, to identify the Sun-god with the Great Revealer of the Godhead, while under the name of Mithra, he was exhibited in sculpture as a Lion; that Lion had a Bee represented between his lips. The bee between the lips of the sun-god was intended to point him out as ”the Word”; for Dabar, the expression which signifies in Chaldee a ”Bee,” signifies also a ”Word”; and the position of that bee in the mouth leaves no doubt as to the idea intended to be conveyed. It was intended to impress the belief that Mithra (who, says Plutarch, was worshipped as Mesites, ”The Mediator”), in his character as Ouranos, ”The Enlightener,” was no other than that glorious one of whom the Evangelist John says, ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God…In Him was life; and the life was THE LIGHT OF MEN.” The Lord Jesus Christ ever was the revealer of the Godhead, and must have been known to the patriarchs as such; for the same Evangelist says, ”No man hath seen God at any time: the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared,” that is, He hath revealed ”Him.” Before the Saviour came, the ancient Jews commonly spoke of the Messiah, or the Son of God, under the name of Dabar, or the ”Word.” This will appear from a consideration of what is stated in the 3rd chapter of 1st Samuel. In the first verse of that chapter it is said, ”The WORD of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision,” that is, in consequence of the sin of Eli, the Lord had not, for a long time, revealed Himself in vision to him, as He did to the prophets. When the Lord had called Samuel, this ”vision” of the God of Israel was restored (though not to Eli), for it is said in the last verse (v 21), ”And the Lord APPEARED again in Shiloh; for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel by the WORD of the Lord.” Although the Lord spake to Samuel, this language implies more than speech, for it is said, ”The LORD appeared”–i.e., was seen. When the Lord revealed Himself, or was seen by Samuel, it is said that it was ”by (Dabar) the Word of the Lord.” The ”Word of the Lord” to be visible, must have been the personal ”Word of God,” that is, Christ. *
* After the Babylonish captivity, as the Chaldee Targums or Paraphrases of the Old Testament show, Christ was commonly called by the title ”The Word of the Lord.” In these Targums of later Chaldee, the term for ”The Word” is ”Mimra”; but this word, though a synonym for that which is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, is never used there. Dabar is the word employed. This is so well recognised that, in the Hebrew translation of John’s Gospel in Bagster’s Polyglott, the first verse runs thus: ”In the beginning was the Word (Dabar).”
This had evidently been a primitive name by which He was known; and therefore it is not wonderful that Plato should speak of the second person of his Trinity under the name of the Logos, which is just a translation of ”Dabar,” or ”the Word.” Now, the light of the wax-candle, as the light from Dabar, ”the Bee,” was set up as the substitute of the light of Dabar, ”the Word.” Thus the apostates turned away from the ”True Light,” and set up a shadow in His stead. That this was really the case is plain; for, says Crabb, speaking of Saturn, ”on his altars were placed wax-tapers lighted, because by Saturn men were reduced from the darkness of error to the light of truth.” In Asiatic Greece, the Babylonian god was evidently recognised as the Light-giving ”Word,” for there we find the Bee occupying such a position as makes it very clear that it was a symbol of the great Revealer. Thus we find Muller referring to the symbols connected with the worship of the Ephesian Diana: ”Her constant symbol is the bee, which is not otherwise attributed to Diana…The chief priest himself was called Essen, or the king-bee.” The character of the chief priest shows the character of the god he represented. The contemplar divinity of Diana, the tower-bearing goddess, was of course the same divinity as invariably accompanied the Babylonian goddess: and this title of the priest shows that the Bee which appeared on her medals was just another symbol for her child, as the ”Seed of the Woman,” in his assumed character, as Dabar, ”The Word” that enlightened the souls of men. That this is the precise ”Mystery” couched under the wax-candles burning on the altars of the Papacy, we have very remarkable evidence from its own formularies; for, in the very same place in which the ”Mystery” of the wax-candle is spoken of, thus does Rome refer to the Bee, by which the wax is produced: ”Forasmuch as we do marvellously wonder, in considering the first beginning of this substance, to wit, wax-tapers, then must we of necessity greatly extol the original of Bees, for…they gather the flowers with their feet, yet the flowers are not injured thereby; they bring forth no young ones, but deliver their young swarms through their mouths, like as Christ (for a wonderful example) is proceeded from His Father’s MOUTH.” *
* Review of Epistle of DR. GENTIANUS HARVET of Louvaine. This work, which is commonly called The Beehive of the Roman Church, contains the original Latin of the passage translated above. The passage in question is to be found in at least two Roman Missals, which, however, are now very rare–viz., one printed at Vienna in 1506, with which the quotation in the text has been compared and verified; and one printed at Venice in 1522. These dates are antecedent to the establishment of the Reformation; and it appears that this passage was expunged from subsequent editions, as being unfit to stand the searching scrutiny to which everything in regard to religion was subjected in consequence of that great event. The ceremonial of blessing the candles, however, which has no place in the Pontificale Romanum in the Edinburgh Advocates’ Library, is to be found in the Pontificale Romanum, Venice, 1542, and in Pontificale Romanum, Venice, 1572. In the ceremony of blessing the candles, given in the Roman Missal, printed at Paris, 1677, there is great praise of the Bee, strongly resembling the passage quoted in the text. The introduction of such an extraordinary formula into a religious ceremony is of very ancient date, and is distinctly traced to an Italian source; for, in the words of the Popish Bishop Ennodius, who occupied an Italian diocese in the sixth century, we find the counterpart of that under consideration. Thus, in a prayer in regard to the ”Easter Candle,” the reason for offering up the wax-candle is expressly declared to be, because that through means of the bees that produce the wax of which it is made, ”earth has an image of what is PECULIAR TO HEAVEN,” and that in regard to the very subject of GENERATION; the bees being able, ”through the virtue of herbs, to pour forth their young through their MOUTHS with less waste of time than all other creatures do in the ordinary way.” This prayer contains the precise idea of the prayer in the text; and there is only one way of accounting for the origin of such an idea. It must have come from a Chaldean Liturgy.
Here it is evident that Christ is referred to as the ”Word of God”; and how could any imagination ever have conceived such a parallel as is contained in this passage, had it not been for the equivoque [wordplay, double meaning] between ”Dabar,” ”the Bee,” and ”Dabar,” ”The Word.” In a Popish work already quoted, the Pancarpium Marianum, I find the Lord Jesus expressly called by the name of the Bee. Referring to Mary, under the title of ”The Paradise of Delight,” the author thus speaks: ”In this Paradise that celestial Bee, that is, the incarnate Wisdom, did feed. Here it found that dropping honeycomb, with which the whole bitterness of the corrupted world has been turned into sweetness.” This blasphemously represents the Lord Jesus as having derived everything necessary to bless the world from His mother! Could this ever have come from the Bible? No. It must have come only from the source where the writer learned to call ”the incarnate Wisdom” by the name of the Bee. Now, as the equivoque from which such a name applied to the Lord Jesus springs, is founded only on the Babylonian tongue, it shows whence his theology has come, and it proves also to demonstration that this whole prayer about the blessing of wax-candles must have been drawn from a Babylonian prayer-book. Surely, at every step, the reader must see more and more the exactitude of the Divine name given to the woman on the seven mountains, ”Mystery, Babylon the Great”! 

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Luther on ecumenism and papacy

History of the Papacy by J.A. Wylie: "...the Church (so-called) of Rome has no right to rank amongst Christian Churches. She is not a Church, neither is her religion the Christian religion. We are accustomed to speak of Popery as a corrupt form of Christianity. We concede too much. The Church of Rome bears the same relation to the Church of Christ which the hierarchy of Baal bore to the institute of Moses; and Popery stands related to Christianity only in the same way in which Paganism stood related to primeval Revelation. Popery is not a corruption simply, but a transformation. It may be difficult to fix the time when it passed from the one into the other; but the change is incontestible. Popery is the gospel transubstantiated into the flesh and blood of Paganism, under a few of the accidents of Christianity."

Martin Luther

Just as in the days of the Apostles, so at this day we are forced to hear from certain denominations that we (by our obstinacy to adhere to the truth) do offend against love and unity in the churches, because we reject their doctrine. It would be better (they say) that we should let it pass, especially since the doctrine in dispute is what they call non-essential, and, therefore (they say) to stir up so great a discord and contention in the church over one or two doctrines (and those not the most important ones) is unfruitful and unnecessary.

To this I reply: Cursed be that love and unity which cannot be preserved except at the peril of the word of God.

Just as in the days of the Apostles, so at this day we are forced to hear from certain denominations that we (by our obstinacy to adhere to the truth) do offend against love and unity in the churches, because we reject their doctrine. It would be better (they say) that we should let it pass, especially since the doctrine in dispute is what they call non-essential, and, therefore (they say) to stir up so great a discord and contention in the church over one or two doctrines (and those not the most important ones) is unfruitful and unnecessary.

To this I reply: Cursed be that love and unity which cannot be preserved except at the peril of the word of God.

The negotiation about doctrinal agreement displeases me altogether, for this is utterly impossible unless the pope has his papacy abolished. Therefore avoid and flee those who seek the middle of the road. Think of me after I am dead and such middle-of-the-road men arise, for nothing good will come of it. There can be no compromise. (What Luther Says, II: 1019)

Ah, my dear brother in Christ, bear with me if here or elsewhere I use such coarse language when speaking of the wretched, confronted, atrocious monster at Rome! He who knows my thoughts must say that I am much, much, much too lenient and have neither words nor thought adequately to describe the shameful, abominable blasphemy to which he subjects the Word and name of Christ, our dear Lord and Savior. There are some Christians, wicked Christians indeed, who now would gloss things over to make the pope appear against in a good light and who, after he does so and has been dragged out of the mud, would like to reinstate him on the altar. But they are wicked people, whoever they may be, who defend the pope and want me to be quiet about the means whereby he has done harm. Truly, I cannot do this. All true, pious Christians, who love Christ and His Word, should, as said, be sincerely hostile to the pope. They should persecute him and injure him…. All should do this in their several calling, to the best of their ability, with all faithfulness and diligence. (What Luther Says, II: 1072)

What kind of a church is the pope’s church? It is an uncertain, vacillating and tottering church. Indeed, it is a deceitful, lying church, doubting and unbelieving, without God’s Word. For the pope with his wrong keys teaches his church to doubt and to be uncertain. If it is a vacillating church, then it is not the church of faith, for the latter is founded upon a rock, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (Matt.16:18). If it is not the church of faith, then it is not the Christian church, but it must be an unchristian, anti-Christian, and faithless church which destroys and ruins the real, holy, Christian church. (Luther’s Works, vol. 40, Church and Ministry II, The Keys, p.348)

All this is to be noted carefully, so that we can treat with contempt the filthy, foolish twaddle that the popes present in their decrees about their Roman church, that is, about their devil’s synagogue (Rev.2:9), which separates itself from common Christendom and the spiritual edifice built up on this stone, and instead invents for itself a fleshly worldly, worthless, lying, blasphemous, idolatrous authority over all of Christendom. One of these two things must be true: if the Roman church is not built on this rock along with the other churches, then it is the devil’s church; but if it is built, along with all the other churches, on this rock, then it cannot be lord or head over the other churches. For Christ the cornerstone knows nothing of two unequal churches, but only of one church alone, just as the Children’s Faith, that is, the faith of all of Christendom, says, ”I believe in one holy, Christian church,” and does not say, ”I believe in one holy Roman church.” The Roman church is and should be one portion or member of the holy Christian church, not the head, which befits solely Christ the cornerstone. If not, it is not a Christian but an UN-Christian and anti-Christian church, that is, a papal school of scoundrels. (Luther’s Works, Volume 41, Church and Ministry III, Against The Roman Papacy, An Institution Of The Devil, p.311)



I believe the pope is the masked and incarnate devil because he is the Antichrist. As Christ is God incarnate, so the Antichrist is the devil incarnate. The words are really spoken of the pope when its said that hes a mixed god, an earthly god, that is , a god of the earth. Here god is understood as god of this world. Why does he call himself an earthly god, as if the one, almighty God werent also on the earth? The kingdom of the pope really signifies the terrible wrath of God, namely, the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place. (Luthers Works, vol.54, Table Talks, No.4487, p.346)


C. H. Spurgeon on Popery


"It is the bounden duty of every Christian to pray against Antichrist, and as to what Antichrist is no sane man ought to raise a question. If it be not the Popery in the Church of Rome there is nothing in the world that can be called by that name. It wounds Christ, robs Christ of His glory, puts sacramental efficacy in the place of His atonement, and lifts a piece of bread in the place of the Saviour....If we pray against it, because it is against Him, we shall love the persons though we hate their errors; we shall love their souls, though we loathe and detest their dogmas...."

-- C. H. Spurgeon


A Wideness in Gods Mercy? (Billy Graham)

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Feeding sheeps or amusing goats Christian Entertainment An Evangelic Heresy

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Charles Spurgeon Apostasy mixed religion!

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Frälsningens väg!

Heb 11:25 Han ville hellre utstå lidande med Guds folk än för en kort tid leva i syndig njutning;
Heb 12:2 Och må vi därvid se på Jesus, trons hövding och fullkomnare, på honom, som i stället för att taga den glädje som låg framför honom, utstod korsets lidande och aktade smäleken för intet, och som nu sitter på högra sidan om Guds tron.
Heb 12:3 Ja, på honom, som har utstått så mycken gensägelse av syndare, på honom mån I tänka, så att I icke tröttnen och uppgivens i edra själar.
Heb 12:15 Och sen till, att ingen går miste om Guds nåd, och att ingen giftig rot skjuter skott och bliver till fördärv, så att menigheten därigenom bliver besmittad;
Heb 12:16 sen till, att ingen är en otuktig människa eller ohelig såsom Esau, han som för en enda maträtt sålde sin förstfödslorätt.
Heb 12:17 I veten ju att han ock sedermera blev avvisad, när han på grund av arvsrätt ville få välsignelsen; han kunde nämligen icke vinna någon ändring, fastän han med tårar sökte därefter.
Heb 10:36 I behöven nämligen ståndaktighet för att kunna göra Guds vilja och få vad utlovat är.
Heb 10:37 Ty "ännu en helt liten tid, så kommer den som skall komma, och han skall icke dröja;
Heb 10:38 och min rättfärdige skall leva av tro. Men om någon drager sig undan, så finner min själ icke behag i honom".
Heb 10:39 Dock, vi höra icke till dem som draga sig undan, sig själva till fördärv; vi höra till dem som tro och så vinna sina själar.

Ord 25:26 Såsom en grumlad källa och en fördärvad brunn, så är en rättfärdig som vacklar inför den ogudaktige.

Upp 3:16 Men nu, då du är ljum och varken varm eller kall, skall jag utspy dig ur min mun.

Se Ljum, sammanblandad, mixad, förväxlad, utbytt, utväxlad, ersatt, avlöst, efterträdd, liknöjd, likgiltig!

2Ti 4:7 Jag har kämpat den goda kampen, jag har fullbordat mitt lopp, jag har bevarat tron.
2Ti 4:8 Nu ligger rättfärdighetens segerkrans tillreds åt mig, och Herren, den rättfärdige domaren, skall giva den åt mig på "den dagen", och icke åt mig allenast, utan åt alla som hava älskat hans tillkommelse.

The Dangers Of Pragmatism vad din pastor borde veta innan han uttalar sig

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Deception In The Last Days

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Faith and confession Hindu style

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Book of Rememberance

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Judgment Seat of Christ

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The Adulation of Man in the Purpose Driven Life.

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The Mindset of Catholicism Permeating Evangelicalism

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The Trojan Church

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Twisting the Word

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De ska ha ett och samma sinne Det stora Babylon moder till alla skökorna och till styggelserna

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Jesus HATES the deeds of the Nicolaitiane, which I also hate.

Rev. 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitianes, which I also hate. Nicolaitianes -To conquer the people or laity, these "deeds" had become in Pergamos a "doctrine" (Rev. 2:15)

Nicolaitians, to conquer the laity !

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