Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 111Tammuz, or Adonis, the Syrian and Jewish Adonai (in Hebrew "Our Lord"), was another virgin-born god, who suffered for mankind, and who had the title of Saviour. The accounts of his death are conflicting, just as it is with almost all of the so-called Saviours of mankind (including the Christian Saviour, as we shall hereafter see) one account, however, makes him a crucified Saviour.[191:4]
It is certain, however, that the ancients who honored him as their Lord and Saviour, celebrated, annually, a feast in commemoration of his death. An image, intended as a representation of their Lord, was laid on a bed or bier, and bewailed in mournful ditties—just as the Roman Catholics do at the present day in their "Good Friday" mass.
During this ceremony the priest murmured:
"Trust ye in your Lord, for the pains which he endured, our salvation have procured."[191:5]
The Rev. Dr. Parkhurst, in his "Hebrew Lexicon," after referring to what we have just stated above, says:
"I find myself obliged to refer Tammuz to that class of idols which were originally designed to represent the promised Saviour, the Desire of all Nations. His other name, Adonis, is almost the very Hebrew Adoni or Lord, a well-known title of Christ."[191:6]
The tragedy of the crucifixion of Prometheus, written by Æschylus, was acted in Athens five hundred years before the Christian Era, and is by many considered to be the most ancient dramatic poem now in existence. The plot was derived from materials even at that time of an infinitely remote antiquity. Nothing was ever so exquisitely calculated to work upon the feelings of the spectators. No author ever displayed greater powers of poetry, with equal strength of judgment, in supporting through the piece the august character of the Divine Sufferer. The spectators themselves were unconsciously made a party to the interest of the scene: its hero was their friend, their benefactor, their creator, and their Saviour; his wrongs were incurred in their quarrel—his sorrows were endured for their salvation; "he was wounded for their transgressions, and bruised for their iniquities; the chastisement of their peace was upon him, and by his stripes they were healed;" "he was oppressed and afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth." The majesty of his silence, whilst the ministers of an offended god were nailing him by the hands and feet to Mount Caucasus,[192:2] could be only equaled by the modesty with which he relates, while hanging with arms extended in the form of a cross, his services to the human race, which had brought on him that horrible crucifixion.[192:3] "None, save myself," says he, "opposed his (Jove's) will,"
And boldly pleading saved them from destruction,
Saved them from sinking to the realms of night.
For this offense I bend beneath these pains,
Dreadful to suffer, piteous to behold:
For mercy to mankind I am not deem'd
Worthy of mercy; but with ruthless hate
In this uncouth appointment am fix'd here
A spectacle dishonorable to Jove."[192:4]
In the catastrophe of the plot, his especially professed friend, Oceanus, the Fisherman—as his name Petræus indicates,[193:1]—being unable to prevail on him to make his peace with Jupiter, by throwing the cause of human redemption out of his hands,[193:2] forsook him and fled. None remained to be witness of his dying agonies but the chorus of ever-amiable and ever-faithful which also bewailed and lamented him,[193:3] but were unable to subdue his inflexible philanthropy.[193:4]
In the words of Justin Martyr: "Suffering was common to all the sons of Jove." They were called the "Slain Ones," "Saviours," "Redeemers," &c.
Bacchus, the offspring of Jupiter and Semele,[193:5] was called the "Saviour."[193:6] He was called the "Only Begotten Son,"[193:7] the "Slain One,"[193:8] the "Sin Bearer,"[193:9] the "Redeemer,"[193:10] &c. Evil having spread itself over the earth, through the inquisitiveness of Pandora, the Lord of the gods is begged to come to the relief of mankind. Jupiter lends a willing ear to the entreaties, "and wishes that his son should be the redeemer of the misfortunes of the world; The Bacchus Saviour. He promises to the earth a Liberator . . The universe shall worship him, and shall praise in songs his blessings." In order to execute his purpose, Jupiter overshadows the beautiful young maiden—the virgin Semele—who becomes the mother of the Redeemer.[193:11]
"It is I (says the lord Bacchus to mankind), who guides you; it is I who protects you, and who saves you; I who am Alpha and Omega."[193:12]