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: 133

[215:2] Mark, xvi. 19.

[215:3] Luke, xxiv. 51.

[215:4] Acts, i. 9.

[215:5] See Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 240. Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. pp. 142 and 145.

[215:6] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 131. Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 168. Asiatic Researches, vol. i. pp. 259 and 261.

[215:7] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 72. Hist. Hindostan, ii. pp. 466 and 473.

"In Hindu pictures, Vishnu, who is identified with Crishna, is often seen mounted on the Eagle Garuda." (Moore: Hindu Panth. p. 214.) And M. Sonnerat noticed "two basso-relievos placed at the entrance of the choir of Bordeaux Cathedral, one of which represents the ascension of our Saviour to heaven on an Eagle." (Higgins: Anac., vol. i. p. 273.)

[216:1] Oriental Religions, pp. 494, 495.

[216:2] Asiatic Res., vol. x. p. 129. Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 103.

[216:3] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 49.

[216:4] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 86. See also, Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 159.

[216:5] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 214.

[216:6] Ibid. p. 258.

[217:1] Ovid's Metamorphoses, as rendered by Addison. Quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 148.

[217:2] Quoted by Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 114. See also, Taylor's Diegesis, pp. 163, 164.

[217:3] Taylor's Diegesis, p. 164.

[217:4] Prichard's Egyptian Mythology, pp. 66, 67.

[218:1] Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 161. See also, Dunlap's Mysteries of Adoni, p. 23, and Spirit Hist. of Man, p. 216.

[218:2] Calmet's Fragments, vol. ii. p. 21.

[218:3] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 86.

[218:4] See Dupuis: Origin of Religious Beliefs, p. 261.

[219:1] See Dupuis: Origin of Religious Beliefs, p. 247, and Taylor's Diegesis, p. 164.

[219:2] See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 164. We shall speak of Christian forgeries anon.

[219:3] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 2.

[220:1] Quoted in Dunlap's Son of the Man, p. vii. See also, Knight: Ancient Art and Mythology, p. xxvii.

"From the days of the prophet Daniel, down to the time when the red cross knights gave no quarter (fighting for the Christ) in the streets of Jerusalem, the Anointed was worshiped in Babylon, Basan, Galilee and Palestine." (Son of the Man, p. 38.)

[220:2] Ezekiel, viii. 14.

[220:3] Quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 162, and Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 114.

[221:1] See Justin: Cum. Typho, and Tertullian: De Bap.

[221:2] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 16, and vol. i. p. 519. Also, Prichard's Egyptian Mythology, p. 66, and Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 163.

[221:3] See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 166, and Dunlap's Mysteries of Adoni, pp. 124, 125.

[221:4] Prolegomena to Ancient History.

[221:5] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 102.

[221:6] Murray: Manual of Mythology, pp. 347, 348.

[222:1] Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 256.

[222:2] Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. vi.

[222:3] Ibid. pp. 150-155, 178.

[222:4] Herodotus, bk. ii. chs. 170, 171.

[222:5] See Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 263, and Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. 108.

[223:1] See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 169. Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 104. Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 255. Dunlap's Mysteries of Adoni, p. 110, and Knight: Anct. Art and Mythology, p. 86.

[223:2] Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 99. Mithras remained in the grave a period of three days, as did Christ Jesus, and the other Christs. "The Persians believed that the soul of man remained yet three days in the world after its separation from the body." (Dunlap: Mysteries of Adoni, p. 63.)

"In the Zoroastrian religion, after soul and body have separated, the souls, in the third night after death—as soon as the shining sun ascends—come over the Mount Berezaiti upon the bridge Tshinavat which leads to Garonmana, the dwelling of the good gods." (Dunlap's Spirit Hist., p. 216, and Mysteries of Adoni, 60.)

The Ghost of Polydore says:

"Being raised up this third day—light,
Having deserted my body!"

(Euripides, Hecuba, 31, 32.)

[223:3] Dupuis: Origin of Religious Beliefs, pp. 246, 247.

[224:1] King's Gnostics and their Remains, p. 225.

[224:2] Ibid. p. 226.

[224:3] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 102. Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, pp. 256, 257, and Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 169.

[224:4] See Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 135, and Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. 322.

[224:5] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 294. See also, Goldzhier's Hebrew Mythology, p. 127. Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 322, and Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Hercules."

[224:6] Aryan Mytho., vol. ii. p. 90.

[224:7] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 56.

[224:8] Aryan Mytho., vol. ii p. 94.

[225:1] Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 449.

[225:2] See Knight: Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 85.

[225:3] See Davies: Myths and Rites of the British Druids, pp. 89 and 208.

[225:4] See Kingsborough's Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 166.

[225:5] Quoted in Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 174.

[225:6] As we shall see in the chapter on "The Birth-day of Christ Jesus."

[225:7] Easter, the triumph of Christ, was originally solemnized on the 25th of March, the very day upon which the Pagan gods were believed to have risen from the dead. (See Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, pp. 244, 255.)

A very long and terrible schism took place in the Christian Church upon the question whether Easter, the day of the resurrection, was to be celebrated on the 14th day of the first month, after the Jewish custom, or on the Lord's day afterward; and it was at last decided in favor of the Lord's day. (See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 90, and Chambers's Encyclopædia, art. "Easter.")

The day upon which Easter should be celebrated was not settled until the Council of Nice. (See Euseb. Life of Constantine, lib. 3, ch. xvii. Also, Socrates' Eccl. Hist. lib. 1, ch. vi.)

[226:1] Even the name of "Easter" is derived from the heathen goddess, Ostrt, of the Saxons, and the Eostre of the Germans.

"Many of the popular observances connected with Easter are clearly of Pagan origin. The goddess Ostara or Eastre seems to have been the personification of the morning or East, and also of the opening year or Spring. . . . With her usual policy, the church endeavored to give a Christian significance to such of the rites as could not be rooted out; and in this case the conversion was practically easy." (Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Easter.")

[226:2] Quoted in Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 244.

[226:3] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 340.

[227:1] Eccl. Hist., lib. 6, c. viii.

[227:2] Anacalypsis, ii. 59.

[228:1] See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 24.

[228:2] See Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Easter."

[228:3] Ibid.

[228:4] Matthew, xxviii. 17.

[228:5] See xii. 40; xvi. 21; Mark, ix. 31; xiv. 23; John, ii. 10.

[229:1] "And let not any one among you say, that this very flesh is not judged, neither raised up. Consider, in what were ye saved? in what did ye look up, if not whilst ye were in this flesh? We must, therefore, keep our flesh as the temple of God. For in like manner as ye were called in the flesh, ye shall also come to judgment in the flesh. Our one Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved us, being first a spirit, was made flesh, and so called us: even so we also in this flesh, shall receive the reward (of heaven)." (II. Corinthians, ch. iv. Apoc. See also the Christian Creed: "I believe in the resurrection of the body.")

[229:2] Luke, xxiv. 37.

[229:3] Luke, xxiv. 42, 43.

[229:4] John, xxi. 12, 13.

[230:1] John, xx. 20.

[230:2] John, xx. 25.

[230:3] John, xx. 27.

[230:4] See, for a further account of the resurrection, Reber's Christ of Paul; Scott's English Life of Jesus; and Greg's Creed of Christendom.

[231:1] Gibbon's Rome, vol. i. p. 541.

[231:2] Nicodemus, Apoc. ch. xii.

[232:1] Baccalaureate Sermon, June 26th, 1881.

[232:2] Greg: The Creed of Christendom, p. 284.

[232:3] See Jameson's Hist. of Our Lord in Art, vol. ii., and Lundy's Monumental Christianity.

[Pg 233]



The second coming of Christ Jesus is clearly taught in the canonical, as well as in the apocryphal, books of the New Testament. Paul teaches, or is made to teach it,[233:1] in the following words:

"If we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."[233:2]

He further tells the Thessalonians to "abstain from all appearance of evil," and to "be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."[233:3]

James,[233:4] in his epistle to the brethren, tells them not to be in too great a hurry for the coming of their Lord, but to "be patient" and wait for the "coming of the Lord," as the "husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth." But still he assures them that "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh."[233:5]

Peter, in his first epistle, tells his brethren that "the end of all things is at hand,"[233:6] and that when the "chief shepherd" does appear, they "shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."[233:7]

John, in his first epistle, tells the Christian community to "abide [Pg 234]in him" (Christ), so that, "when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him."[234:1]

He further says:

"Behold, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."[234:2]

According to the writer of the book of "The Acts," when Jesus ascended into heaven, the Apostles stood looking up towards heaven, where he had gone, and while thus engaged: "behold, two men stood by them (dressed) in white apparel," who said unto them:

"Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go (up) into heaven."[234:3]

The one great object which the writer of the book of Revelations wished to present to view, was "the second coming of Christ." This writer, who seems to have been anxious for that time, which was "surely" to come "quickly;" ends his book by saying: "Even so, come Lord Jesus."[234:4]

The two men, dressed in white apparel, who had told the Apostles that Jesus should "come again," were not the only persons whom they looked to for authority. He himself (according to the Gospel) had told them so:

"The Son of man shall come (again) in the glory of his Father with his angels."

And, as if to impress upon their minds that his second coming should not be at a distant day, he further said:

"Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom."[234:5]

This, surely, is very explicit, but it is not the only time he speaks of his second advent. When foretelling the destruction of the temple, his disciples came unto him, saying:

"Tell us when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming?"[234:6]

His answer to this is very plain:

"Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled (i. e, the destruction of the temple and his second coming), but of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."[234:7]

[Pg 235]

In the second Epistle attributed to Peter, which was written after that generation had passed away,[235:1] there had begun to be some impatience manifest among the believers, on account of the long delay of Christ Jesus' second coming. "Where is the promise of his coming?" say they, "for since the fathers fell asleep all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."[235:2] In attempting to smoothe over matters, this writer says: "There shall come in the last days scoffers, saying: 'Where is the promise of his coming?'" to which he replies by telling them that they were ignorant of all the ways of the Lord, and that: "One day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." He further says: "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise;" and that "the day of the Lord will come." This coming is to be "as a thief in the night," that is, when they least expect it.[235:3]

No wonder there should have been scoffers—as this writer calls them—the generation which was not to have passed away before his coming, had passed away; all those who stood there had been dead many years; the sun had not yet been darkened; the stars were still in the heavens, and the moon still continued to reflect light. None of the predictions had yet been fulfilled.

Some of the early Christian Fathers have tried to account for the words of Jesus, where he says: "Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom," by saying that he referred to John only, and that that Apostle was not dead, but sleeping. This fictitious story is related by Saint Augustin, "from the report," as he says, "of credible persons," and is to the effect that:

"At Ephesus, where St. John the Apostle lay buried, he was not believed to be dead, but to be sleeping only in the grave, which he had provided for himself till our Saviour's second coming: in proof of which, they affirm, that the earth, under which he lay, was seen to heave up and down perpetually, in conformity to the motion of his body, in the act of breathing."[235:4]

This story clearly illustrates the stupid credulity and superstition of the primitive age of the church, and the faculty of imposing any fictions upon the people, which their leaders saw fit to inculcate.

The doctrine of the millennium designates a certain period in the history of the world, lasting for a long, indefinite space (vaguely a thousand years, as the word "millennium" implies) during which the kingdom of Christ Jesus will be visibly established on the earth. The idea undoubtedly originated proximately in the Messianic [Pg 236]expectation of the Jews (as Jesus did not sit on the throne of David and become an earthly ruler, it must be that he is coming again for this purpose), but more remotely in the Pagan doctrine of the final triumph of the several "Christs" over their adversaries.

In the first century of the Church, millenarianism was a whispered belief, to which the book of Daniel, and more particularly the predictions of the Apocalypse[236:1] gave an apostolical authority, but, when the church imbibed Paganism, their belief on this subject lent it a more vivid coloring and imagery.

The unanimity which the early Christian teachers exhibit in regard to millenarianism, proves how strongly it had laid hold of the imagination of the Church, to which, in this early stage, immortality and future rewards were to a great extent things of this world as yet. Not only did Cerinthus, but even the orthodox doctors—such as Papias (Bishop of Hierapolis), Irenæus, Justin Martyr and others—delighted themselves with dreams of the glory and magnificence of the millennial kingdom. Papias, in his collection of traditional sayings of Christ Jesus, indulges in the most monstrous representations of the re-building of Jerusalem, and the colossal vines and grapes of the millennial reign.

According to the general opinion, the millennium was to be preceded by great calamities, after which the Messiah, Christ Jesus, would appear, and would bind Satan for a thousand years, annihilate the godless heathen, or make them slaves of the believers, overturn the Roman empire, from the ruins of which a new order of things would spring forth, in which "the dead in Christ" would rise, and along with the surviving saints enjoy an incomparable felicity in the city of the "New Jerusalem." Finally, all nations would bend their knee to him, and acknowledge him only to be the Christ—his religion would reign supreme. This is the "Golden Age" of the future, which all nations of antiquity believed in and looked forward to.

We will first turn to India, and shall there find that the Hindoos believed their "Saviour," or "Preserver" Vishnu, who appeared in mortal form as Crishna, is to come again in the latter days. Their sacred books declare that in the last days, when the fixed stars have all apparently returned to the point whence they started, at the beginning of all things, in the month Scorpio, Vishnu will appear among mortals, in the form of an armed warrior, riding a winged white horse.[236:2] In one hand he will carry a [Pg 237]scimitar, "blazing like a comet," to destroy all the impure who shall then dwell on the face of the earth. In the other hand he will carry a large shining ring, to signify that the great circle of Yugas (ages) is completed, and that the end has come. At his approach the sun and moon will be darkened, the earth will tremble, and the stars fall from the firmament.[237:1]

The Buddhists believe that Buddha has repeatedly assumed a human form to facilitate the reunion of men with his own universal soul, so they believe that "in the latter days" he will come again. Their sacred books predict this coming, and relate that his mission will be to restore the world to order and happiness.[237:2] This is exactly the Christian idea of the millennium.

The Chinese also believe that "in the latter days" there is to be a millennium upon earth. Their five sacred volumes are full of prophesies concerning this "Golden Age of the Future." It is the universal belief among them that a "Divine Man" will establish himself on earth, and everywhere restore peace and happiness.[237:3]

The ancient Persians believed that in the last days, there would be a millennium on earth, when the religion of Zoroaster would be accepted by all mankind. The Parsees of to-day, who are the remnants of the once mighty Persians, have a tradition that a holy personage is waiting in a region called Kanguedez, for a summons from the Ized Serosch, who in the last days will bring him to Persia, to restore the ancient dominion of that country, and spread the religion of Zoroaster over the whole earth.[237:4]