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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: 184

[305:1] Matt. xxvi. 26. See also, Mark, xiv. 22.

[305:2] At the heading of the chapters named in the above note may be seen the words: "Jesus keepeth the Passover (and) instituteth the Lord's Supper."

[305:3] According to the Roman Christians, the Eucharist is the natural body and blood of Christ Jesus verè et realiter, but the Protestant sophistically explains away these two plain words verily and indeed, and by the grossest abuse of language, makes them to mean spiritually by grace and efficacy. "In the sacrament of the altar," says the Protestant divine, "is the natural body and blood of Christ verè et realiter, verily and indeed, if you take these terms for spiritually by grace and efficacy; but if you mean really and indeed, so that thereby you would include a lively and movable body under the form of bread and wine, then in that sense it is not Christ's body in the sacrament really and indeed."

[305:4] See Inman's Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 203, and Anacalypsis, i. 232.

[306:1] "Leur grand Lama célèbre une espèce de sacrifice avec du pain et du vin dont il prend une petite quantité, et distribue le reste aux Lamas presens à cette cérémonie." (Quoted in Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 118.)

[306:2] Viscount Amberly's Analysis, p. 46.

[306:3] Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 401.

[306:4] See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 163.

[306:5] See Ibid. p. 417.

[306:6] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 179.

[306:7] See Bunsen's Keys of St. Peter, p. 199; Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 60, and Lillie's Buddhism, p. 136.

[306:8] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 60.

[307:1] See Bunsen's Keys of St. Peter, p. 55, and Genesis, xiv. 18, 19.

[307:2] St. Jerome says: "Melchizédek in typo Christi panem et vinum obtulit: et mysterium Christianum in Salvatoris sanguine et corpore dedicavit."

[307:3] See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 227.

[307:4] See King's Gnostics and their Remains, p. xxv., and Higgins' Anacalypsis, vol. ii. pp. 58, 59.

[307:5] Renan's Hibbert Lectures, p. 35.

[308:1] In the words of Mr. King: "This expression shows that the notion of blessing or consecrating the elements was as yet unknown to the Christians."

[308:2] Apol. 1. ch. lxvi.

[308:3] Ibid.

[308:4] De Præscriptione Hæreticorum, ch. xl. Tertullian explains this conformity between Christianity and Paganism, by asserting that the devil copied the Christian mysteries.

[308:5] "De Tinctione, de oblatione panis, et de imagine resurrectionis, videatur doctiss, de la Cerda ad ea Tertulliani loca ubi de hiscerebus agitur. Gentiles citra Christum, talia celébradant Mithriaca quæ videbantur cum doctrinâ eucharistæ et resurrectionis et aliis ritibus Christianis convenire, quæ fecerunt ex industria ad imitationem Christianismi: unde Tertulliani et Patres aiunt eos talia fecisse, duce diabolo, quo vult esse simia Christi, &c. Volunt itaque eos res suas ita compârasse, ut Mithræ mysteria essent eucharistiæ Christianæ imago. Sic Just. Martyr (p. 98), et Tertullianus et Chrysostomus. In suis etiam sacris habebant Mithriaci lavacra (quasi regenerationis) in quibus tingit et ipse (sc. sacerdos) quosdam utique credentes et fideles suos, et expiatoria delictorum de lavacro repromittit et sic adhuc initiat Mithræ." (Hyde: De Relig. Vet. Persian, p. 113.)

[308:6] Justin: 1st Apol., ch. lvi.

[309:1] Dr. Grabes' Notes on Irenæus, lib. v. c. 2, in Anac., vol. i. p. 60.

[309:2] Quoted in Monumental Christianity, p. 370.

[309:3] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 369.

"The Divine Presence called his angel of mercy and said unto him: 'Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set the mark of Tau (Τ, the headless cross) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.'" Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 305.

[309:4] They were celebrated every fifth year at Eleusis, a town of Attica, from whence their name.

[309:5] Taylor's Diegesis, p. 212.

[309:6] Müller: Origin of Religion, p. 181.

[309:7] "In the Bacchic Mysteries a consecrated cup (of wine) was handed around after supper, called the cup of the Agathodaemon." (Cousin: Lec. on Modn. Phil. Quoted in Isis Unveiled, ii. 513. See also, Dunlap's Spirit Hist., p. 217.)

[310:1] Eccl. Hist. cent. ii. pt. 2, sec. v.

[310:2] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 282.

[310:3] Episcopal Communion Service.

[310:4] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 282.

[310:5] Hebrews, x. 22.

[310:6] See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 213.

[310:7] See Ibid.

[310:8] Kenrick's Egypt, vol. i. p. 471.

[311:1] See Dunlap's Spirit Hist., p. 217, and Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 513.

[311:2] See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 214.

[311:3] See Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 139.

[311:4] See Ibid. p. 513.

[311:5] See Myths of the British Druids, p. 89.

[311:6] See Dupuis: Origin of Relig. Belief, p. 238.

[311:7] See Myths of the British Druids, p. 280, and Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 376.

[311:8] Herbert Spencer: Principles of Sociology, vol. i. p. 299.

[311:9] See Monumental Christianity, pp. 390 and 393.

[311:10] Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 220.

[312:1] Quoted In Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 221.

[312:2] Acosta: Hist. Indies, vol. ii. chs. xiii. and xiv.

[312:3] According to the "John" narrator, Jesus ate no Paschal meal, but was captured the evening before Passover, and was crucified before the feast opened. According to the Synoptics, Jesus partook of the Paschal supper, was captured the first night of the feast, and executed on the first day thereof, which was on a Friday. If the John narrator's account is true, that of the Synoptics is not, or vice versa.

[313:1] Mark, xiv. 13-16.

[313:2] Gen. xxiv.

[313:3] I. Kings, xvii. 8.

[313:4] II. Kings, iv. 8.

[313:5] Matt. xxvi. 18, 19.

[313:6] For further observations on this subject, see Dr. Isaac M. Wise's "Martyrdom of Jesus of Nazareth," a valuable little work, published at the office of the American Israelite, Cincinnati, Ohio.

[315:1] See Gibbon's Rome, vol. v. pp. 399, 400. Calvin, after quoting Matt. xxvi. 26, 27, says: "There is no doubt that as soon as these words are added to the bread and the wine, the bread and the wine become the true body and the true blood of Christ, so that the substance of bread and wine is transmuted into the true body and blood of Christ. He who denies this calls the omnipotence of Christ in question, and charges Christ himself with foolishness." (Calvin's Tracts, p. 214. Translated by Henry Beveridge, Edinburgh, 1851.) In other parts of his writings, Calvin seems to contradict this statement, and speaks of the bread and wine in the Eucharist as being symbolical. Gibbon evidently refers to the passage quoted above.


[Pg 316]

CHAPTER XXXI.

BAPTISM.

Baptism, or purification from sin by water, is supposed by many to be an exclusive Christian ceremony. The idea is that circumcision was given up, but baptism took its place as a compulsory form indispensable to salvation, and was declared to have been instituted by Jesus himself or by his predecessor John.[316:1] That Jesus was baptized by John may be true, or it may not, but that he never directly enjoined his followers to call the heathen to a share in the privileges of the Golden Age is gospel doctrine;[316:2] and this saying:

"Go out into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature. And whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved, but whoever believes not shall be damned,"

must therefore be of comparatively late origin, dating from a period at which the mission to the heathen was not only fully recognized, but even declared to have originated with the followers of Jesus.[316:3] When the early Christians received members among them they were not initiated by baptism, but with prayer and laying on of hands. This, says Eusebius, was the "ancient custom," which was followed until the time of Stephen. During his bishopric controversies arose as to whether members should be received "after the ancient Christian custom" or by baptism,[316:4] after the heathen custom. Rev. J. P. Lundy, who has made ancient religions a special study, and who, being a thorough Christian writer, endeavors to get over the difficulty by saying that:

"John the Baptist simply adopted and practiced the universal custom of sacred bathing for the remission of sins. Christ sanctioned it; the church inherited it from his example."[316:5]

[Pg 317]

When we say that baptism is a heathen rite adopted by the Christians, we come near the truth. Mr. Lundy is a strong advocate of the type theory—of which we shall speak anon—therefore the above mode of reasoning is not to be wondered at.

The facts in the case are that baptism by immersion, or sprinkling in infancy, for the remission of sin, was a common rite, to be found in countries the most widely separated on the face of the earth, and the most unconnected in religious genealogy.[317:1]

If we turn to India we shall find that in the vast domain of the Buddhist faith the birth of children is regularly the occasion of a ceremony, at which the priest is present. In Mongolia and Thibet this ceremony assumes the special form of baptism. Candles burn and incense is offered on the domestic altar, the priest reads the prescribed prayers,


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