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: 123Then presently all the saints were joined together, hand in hand, and the Lord Jesus laid hold on Adam's hand, and ascended from hell, and all the saints of God followed him.[212:2]
When the saints arrived in paradise, two "very ancient men" met them, and were asked by the saints: "Who are ye, who have not been with us in hell, and have had your bodies placed in paradise?" One of these "very ancient men" answered and said: "I am Enoch, who was translated by the word of God, and this man who is with me is Elijah the Tishbite, who was translated in a fiery chariot."[213:1]
The doctrine of the descent into hell may be found alluded to in the canonical books; thus, for instance, in I. Peter:
"It is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison."[213:2]
Again, in "Acts," where the writer is speaking of David as a prophet, he says:
"He, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption."[213:3]
The reason why Christ Jesus has been made to descend into hell, is because it is a part of the universal mythos, even the three days' duration. The Saviours of mankind had all done so, he must therefore do likewise.
Crishna, the Hindoo Saviour, descended into hell, for the purpose of raising the dead (the doomed),[213:4] before he returned to his heavenly seat.
Zoroaster, of the Persians, descended into hell.[213:5]
Osiris, the Egyptian Saviour, descended into hell.[213:6]
Horus, the virgin-born Saviour, descended into hell.[213:7]
Bacchus, the virgin-born Saviour, descended into hell.[213:9]
Hercules, the virgin-born Saviour, descended into hell.[213:10]
Mercury, the Word and Messenger of God, descended into hell.[213:11]
Baldur, the Scandinavian god, after being killed, descended into hell.[214:1]
Quetzalcoatle, the Mexican crucified Saviour, descended into hell.[214:2]
All these gods, and many others that might be mentioned, remained in hell for the space of three days and three nights. "They descended into hell, and on the third day rose again."[214:3]
[211:1] Quoted by Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 46.
[211:2] Strom, vi. c. 6.
[211:3] Contra Celsus, bk. ii. c. 43.
[211:4] See Jameson's Hist. of Our Lord in Art, vol. ii. pp. 354, 355.
[212:1] See Jameson's Hist. of Our Lord in Art, vol. ii. pp. 250, 251.
[212:2] Nicodemus: Apoc. ch. xvi. and xix.
[213:1] Nicodemus: Apoc. ch. xx.
[213:2] I. Peter, iii. 17-19.
[213:3] Acts, ii. 31.
[213:4] See Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 237. Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 168, and Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 85.
[213:5] See Monumental Christianity, p. 286.
[213:6] See Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 256, Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, and Dunlap's Mysteries of Adoni, pp. 125, 152.
[213:8] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 12.
[213:9] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 322. Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 257, and Dunlap's Mysteries of Adoni, p. 33.
[213:10] See Taylor's Mysteries, p. 40, and Mysteries of Adoni, pp. 94-96.
[213:11] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 72. Our Christian writers discover considerable apprehension, and a jealous caution in their language, when the resemblance between Paganism and Christianity might be apt to strike the mind too cogently. In quoting Horace's account of Mercury's descent into hell, and his causing a cessation of the sufferings there, Mr. Spence, in "Bell's Pantheon," says: "As this, perhaps, may be a mythical part of his character, we had better let it alone."
[214:1] See Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 169, and Mallet, p. 448.
[214:2] See Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 166.
THE RESURRECTION AND ASCENSION OF CHRIST JESUS.
The story of the resurrection of Christ Jesus is related by the four Gospel narrators, and is to the effect that, after being crucified, his body was wrapped in a linen cloth, laid in a tomb, and a "great stone" rolled to the door. The sepulchre was then made sure by "sealing the stone" and "setting a watch."