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: 192The Egyptian Isis is often called the 'Lotus-crowned,' in the ancient invocations. The Mexican goddess Corieotl, is often represented with a water-plant resembling the lotus in her hand."
In Egyptian and Hindoo mythology, the offspring of the virgin is made to bruise the head of the serpent, but the Romanists have given this office to the mother. Mary is often seen represented standing on the serpent. Fig. 17 alludes to this, and to her immaculate conception, which, as we have seen, was declared by the Pope and council in 1851. The notion of the divinity of Mary was broached by some at the Council of Nice, and they were thence named Marianites.
The Christian Father Epiphanius accounts for the fact of the Egyptians worshiping a virgin and child, by declaring that the prophecy—"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bring forth a son"—must have been revealed to them.
The ancient Etruscans worshiped a Virgin Mother and Son who was represented in pictures and images in the arms of his mother. This was the goddess Nutria, to be seen in Fig. No. 19. On the arm of the mother is an inscription in Etruscan letters. This goddess was also worshiped in Italy. Long before the Christian era temples and statues were erected in memory of her. "To the Great Goddess Nutria," is an inscription which has been found among the ruins of a temple dedicated to her. No doubt the Roman Church would have claimed her for a [Pg 331]Madonna, but most unluckily for them, she has the name "Nutria," in Etruscan letters on her arm, after the Etruscan practice.
The Egyptian Isis was also worshiped in Italy, many centuries before the Christian era, and all images of her, with the infant Horus in her arms, have been adopted, as we shall presently see, by the Christians, even though they represent her and her child as black as an Ethiopian, in the same manner as we have seen that Devaki and Crishna were represented.
The children of Israel, who, as we have seen in a previous chapter, were idolaters of the worst kind—worshiping the sun, moon and stars, and offering human sacrifices to their god, Moloch—were also worshipers of a Virgin Mother, whom they styled the "Queen of Heaven."
Jeremiah, who appeared in Jerusalem about the year 625 B. C., and who was one of the prophets and reformers, rebukes the Israelites for their idolatry and worship of the "Queen of Heaven," whereupon they answer him as follows:
"As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us, in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the city of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then we had plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil.
"But since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the Queen of [Pg 332]Heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?"[332:1]
The "cakes" which were offered to the "Queen of Heaven" by the Israelites were marked with a cross, or other symbol of sun worship.[332:2] The ancient Egyptians also put a cross on their "sacred cakes."[332:3] Some of the early Christians offered "sacred cakes" to the Virgin Mary centuries after.[332:4]
The ancient Persians worshiped the Virgin and Child. On the monuments of Mithra, the Saviour, the Mediating and Redeeming God of the Persians, the Virgin Mother of this god is to be seen suckling her infant.[332:5]
The ancient Greeks and Romans worshiped the Virgin Mother and Child for centuries before the Christian era. One of these was Myrrha,[332:6] the mother of Bacchus, the Saviour, who was represented with the infant in her arms. She had the title of "Queen of Heaven."[332:7] At many a Christian shrine the infant Saviour Bacchus may be seen reposing in the arms of his deified mother. The names are changed—the ideas remain as before.[332:8]
The Rev. Dr. Stuckley writes:
"Diodorus says Bacchus was born of Jupiter, the Supreme God, and Ceres (Myrrha). Both Ceres and Proserpine were called Virgo (Virgin). The story of this woman being deserted by a man, and espoused by a god, has somewhat so exceedingly like that passage, Matt. i. 19, 20, of the blessed Virgin's history, that we should wonder at it, did we not see the parallelism infinite between the sacred and the profane history before us.
"There are many similitudes between the Virgin (Mary) and the mother of Bacchus (also called Mary—see note 6 below)—in all the old fables. Mary, or Miriam, St. Jerome interprets Myrrha Maris. Orpheus calls the mother of Bacchus a Sea Goddess (and the mother of Jesus is called 'Mary, Star of the Sea.'")[332:9]
Thus we see that the reverend and learned Dr. Stuckley has clearly [Pg 333]made out that the story of Mary, the "Queen of Heaven," the "Star of the Sea," the mother of the Lord, with her translation to heaven, &c., was an old story long before Jesus of Nazareth was born. After this Stuckley observes that the Pagan "Queen of Heaven" has upon her head a crown of twelve stars. This, as we have observed above, is the case of the Christian "Queen of Heaven" in almost every Romish church on the continent of Europe.
The goddess Cybele was another. She was equally called the "Queen of Heaven" and the "Mother of God." As devotees now collect alms in the name of the Virgin Mary, so did they in ancient times in the name of Cybele. The Galli now used in the churches of Italy, were anciently used in the worship of Cybele (called Galliambus, and sang by her priests). "Our Lady Day," or the day of the Blessed Virgin of the Roman Church, was heretofore dedicated to Cybele.[333:1]
Minerva, who was distinguished by the title of "Virgin Queen,"[333:2] was extensively worshiped in ancient Greece. Among the innumerable temples of Greece, the most beautiful was the Parthenon, meaning, the Temple of the Virgin Goddess. It was a magnificent Doric edifice, dedicated to Minerva, the presiding deity of Athens.
Juno was called the "Virgin Queen of Heaven."[333:3] She was represented, like Isis and Mary, standing on the crescent moon,[333:4] and was considered the special protectress of women, from the cradle to the grave, just as Mary is considered at the present day.