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: 115[198:5] on which may be seen the words Deo Soli. Now, these two words can never apply to Christ Jesus. He was not Deus Solus, in any sense, according to the idiom of the Latin language, and the Romish faith. Whether we construe the words to "the only God," or "God alone," they are equally heretical. No priest, in any age of the Church, would have thought of putting them there, but finding them there, they tolerated them.
In the "Celtic Druids," Mr. Higgins describes a crucifix, a lamb, and an elephant, which was cut upon the "fire tower"[Pg 199]—so-called—at Brechin, a town of Forfarshire, in Scotland. Although they appeared to be of very ancient date, he supposed, at that time, that they were modern, and belonged to Christianity, but some years afterwards, he wrote as follows:
"I now doubt (the modern date of the tower), for we have, over and over again, seen the crucified man before Christ. We have also found 'The Lamb that taketh away the sins of the world,' among the Carnutes of Gaul, before the time of Christ; and when I contemplate these, and the Elephant or Ganesa,[199:1] and the Ring[199:2] and its Cobra,[199:3] Linga,[199:4] Iona,[199:5] and Nandies, found not far from the tower, on the estate of Lord Castles, with the Colidei, the island of Iona, and Ii, . . . I am induced to doubt my former conclusions. The Elephant, the Ganesa of India, is a very stubborn fellow to be found here. The Ring, too, when joined with other matters, I cannot get over. All these superstitions must have come from India."[199:6]
On one of the Irish "round towers" is to be seen a crucifix of unmistakable Asiatic origin.[199:7]
If we turn to the New World, we shall find strange though it may appear, that the ancient Mexicans and Peruvians worshiped a crucified Saviour. This was the virgin-born Quetzalcoatle whose crucifixion is represented in the paintings of the "Codex Borgianus," and the "Codex Vaticanus."
These paintings illustrate the religious opinions of the ancient Mexicans, and were copied from the hieroglyphics found in Mexico. The Spaniards destroyed nearly all the books, ancient monuments and paintings which they could find; had it not been for this, much more regarding the religion of the ancient Mexicans would have been handed down to us. Many chapters were also taken—by the Spanish authorities—from the writings of the first historians who wrote on ancient Mexico. All manuscripts had to be inspected previous to being published. Anything found among these heathens resembling the religion of the Christians, was destroyed when possible.[199:8]
The first Spanish monks who went to Mexico were surprised to find the crucifix among the heathen inhabitants, and upon inquiring what it meant, were told that it was a representation of [Pg 200]Bacob (Quetzalcoatle), the Son of God, who was put to death by Eopuco. They said that he was placed on a beam of wood, with his arms stretched out, and that he died there.[200:1]
Lord Kingsborough, from whose very learned and elaborate work we have taken the above, says:
"Being questioned as to the manner in which they became acquainted with these things, they replied that the lords instructed their sons in them, and that thus this doctrine descended from one to another."[200:2]
Sometimes Quetzalcoatle or Bacob is represented as tied to the cross—just as we have seen that Attys was represented by the Phrygians—and at other times he is represented "in the attitude of a person crucified, with impressions of nail-holes in his hands and feet, but not actually upon a cross"—just as we have found the Hindoo Crishna, and as he is represented in Fig. No. 8. Beneath this representation of Quetzalcoatle crucified, is an image of Death, which an angry serpent seems threatening to devour.[200:3]
On the 73d page of the Borgian MS., he is represented crucified on a cross of the Greek form. In this print there are also impressions of nails to be seen on the feet and hands, and his body is strangely covered with suns.[200:4]
In vol. ii. plate 75, the god is crucified in a circle of nineteen figures, and a serpent is depriving him of the organs of generation.
Lord Kingsborough, commenting on these paintings, says:
His lordship further tells us that (according to the belief of the ancient Mexicans), "the death of Quetzalcoatle upon the cross" was "an atonement for the sins of mankind."[200:6]
Dr. Daniel Brinton, in his "Myths of the New World," tells us that the Aztecs had a feast which they celebrated "in the early spring," when "victims were nailed to a cross and shot with an arrow."[200:7]
Alexander Von Humboldt, in his "American Researches," also speaks of this feast, when the Mexicans crucified a man, and pierced him with an arrow.[200:8]
The author of Monumental Christianity, speaking of this, says:
It must not be forgotten, in connection with what we have seen concerning the Mexican crucified god being sometimes represented as black, and the feast when the crucified man was shot with an arrow, that effigies of a black crucified man were found in Italy; that Crishna, the crucified, is very often represented black; and that Crishna was shot with an arrow.
Crosses were also found in Yucatan, as well as Mexico, with a man upon them.[201:3] Cogolludo, in his "History of Yucatan," speaking of a crucifix found there, says:
"Don Eugenio de Alcantara (one of the true teachers of the Gospel), told me, not only once, that I might safely write that the Indians of Cozumel possessed this holy cross in the time of their paganism; and that some years had elapsed since it was brought to Medira; for having heard from many persons what was reported of it, he had made particular inquiries of some very old Indians who resided there, who assured him that it was the fact."
He then speaks of the difficulty in accounting for this crucifix being found among the Indians of Cozumel, and ends by saying:
"But if it be considered that these Indians believed that the Son of God, whom they called Bacob, had died upon a cross, with his arms stretched out upon it, it cannot appear so difficult a matter to comprehend that they should have formed his image according to the religious creed which they possessed."[201:4]
We shall find, in another chapter, that these virgin-born "Saviours" and "Slain Ones;" Crishna, Osiris, Horus, Attys, Adonis, Bacchus, &c.—whether torn in pieces, killed by a boar, or crucified—will all melt into ONE.
We now come to a very important fact not generally known, namely: There are no early representations of Christ Jesus suffering on the cross.
[Pg 202] Rev. J. P. Lundy, speaking of this, says:
"Why should a fact so well known to the heathen as the crucifixion be concealed? And yet its actual realistic representation never once occurs in the monuments of Christianity, for more than six or seven centuries."[202:1]
Mrs. Jameson, in her "History of Our Lord in Art," says:
"The crucifixion is not one of the subjects of early Christianity. The death of our Lord was represented by various types, but never in its actual form.
"The earliest instances of the crucifixion are found in illustrated manuscripts of various countries, and in those ivory and enameled forms which are described in the Introduction. Some of these are ascertained, by historical or by internal evidence, to have been executed in the ninth century, there is one also, of an extraordinary rude and fantastic character, in a MS. in the ancient library of St. Galle, which is ascertained to be of the eighth century. At all events, there seems no just grounds at present for assigning an earlier date."[202:2]
"Early Christian art, such as it appears in the bas-reliefs on sarcophagi, gave but one solitary incident from the story of Our Lord's Passion, and that utterly divested of all circumstances of suffering. Our Lord is represented as young and beautiful, free from bonds, with no 'accursed tree' on his shoulders."[202:3]
The oldest representation of Christ Jesus was a figure of a lamb,[202:4] to which sometimes a vase was added, into which his blood flowed, and at other times couched at the foot of a cross. This custom subsisted up to the year 680, and until the pontificate of Agathon, during the reign of Constantine Pogonat. By the sixth synod of Constantinople (canon 82) it was ordained that instead of the ancient symbol, which had been the