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: 134The Rev. Joseph B. Gross, in his "Heathen Religion,"[237:5] speaking of the belief of the ancient Persians in the millennium, says:
"The dead would be raised,[237:6] and he who has made all things, cause the earth and the sea to return again the remains of the departed.[237:7] Then Ormuzd shall clothe them with flesh and blood, while they that live at the time of the resurrection, must die in order to likewise participate in its advantage.
"Before this momentous event takes place, three illustrious prophets shall appear, who will announce their presence by the performance of miracles.
"During this period of its existence, and till its final removal, the earth will be afflicted with pestilence, tempests, war, famine, and various other baneful calamities."[237:8]
[Pg 238]"After the resurrection, every one will be apprised of the good or evil which he may have done, and the righteous and the wicked will be separated from each other.[238:1] Those of the latter whose offenses have not yet been expiated, will be cast into hell during the term of three days and three nights,[238:2] in the presence of an assembled world, in order to be purified in the burning stream of liquid ore.[238:3] After this, they enjoy endless felicity in the society of the blessed, and the pernicious empire of Ahriman (the devil), is fairly exterminated.[238:4] Even this lying spirit will be under the necessity to avail himself of this fiery ordeal, and made to rejoice in its expurgating and cleansing efficacy. Nay, hell itself is purged of its mephitic impurities, and washed clean in the flames of a universal regeneration.[238:5]
"The earth is now the habitation of bliss, all nature glows in light; and the equitable and benignant laws of Ormuzd reign supremely through the illimitable universe.[238:6] Finally, after the resurrection, mankind will recognize each other again; wants, cares, and passions will cease;[238:7] and everything in the paradisian and all-embracing empire of light, shall rebound to the praise of the benificent God."[238:8]
The disciples of Bacchus expected his second advent. They hoped he would assume at some future day the government of the universe, and that he would restore to man his primary felicity.[238:9]
The Esthonian from the time of the German invasion lived a life of bondage under a foreign yoke, and the iron of his slavery entered into his soul. He told how the ancient hero Kalewipoeg sits in the realms of shadows, waiting until his country is in its extremity of distress, when he will return to earth to avenge the injuries of the Esths, and elevate the poor crushed people into a mighty power.[238:10]
The suffering Celt has his Brian Boroihme, or Arthur, who will come again, the first to inaugurate a Fenian millennium, the second to regenerate Wales. Olger Dansk waits till the time arrives when he is to start from sleep to the assistance of the Dane against the hated Prussian. The Messiah is to come and restore the kingdom [Pg 239]of the Jews. Charlemagne was the Messiah of mediæval Teutondom. He it was who founded the great German empire, and shed over it the blaze of Christian truth, and now he sleeps in the Kyffhauserberg, waiting till German heresy has reached its climax and Germany is wasted through internal conflicts, to rush to earth once more, and revive the great empire and restore the Catholic faith.[239:1]
The ancient Scandinavians believed that in the "latter days" great calamities would befall mankind. The earth would tremble, and the stars fall from heaven. After which, the great serpent would be chained, and the religion of Odin would reign supreme.[239:2]
The disciples of Quetzalcoatle, the Mexican Saviour, expected his second advent. Before he departed this life, he told the inhabitants of Cholula that he would return again to govern them.[239:3] This remarkable tradition was so deeply cherished in their hearts, says Mr. Prescott in his "Conquest of Mexico," that "the Mexicans looked confidently to the return of their benevolent deity."[239:4]
So implicitly was this believed by the subjects, that when the Spaniards appeared on the coast, they were joyfully hailed as the returning god and his companions. Montezuma's messengers reported to the Inca that "it was Quetzalcoatle who was coming, bringing his temples (ships) with him." All throughout New Spain they expected the reappearance of this "Son of the Great God" into the world, who would renew all things.[239:5]
Acosta alludes to this, in his "History of the Indies," as follows:
"In the beginning of the year 1518, they (the Mexicans), discovered a fleet at sea, in the which was the Marques del Valle, Don Fernando Cortez, with his companions, a news which much troubled Montezuma, and conferring with his council, they all said, that without doubt, their great and ancient lord Quetzalcoatle was come, who had said that he would return from the East, whither he had gone."[239:6]