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
Fig. No. 20 is a copy of the image of the Virgin of Loretto. Dr. Conyers Middleton, speaking of it, says:
"The mention of Loretto puts me in mind of the surprise that I was in at the first sight of the Holy Image, for its face is as black as a negro's. But I soon recollected, that this very circumstance of its complexion made it but resemble the more exactly the old idols of Paganism."[336:5]
The reason assigned by the Christian priests for the images being black, is that they are made so by smoke and incense, but, we may ask, if they became black by smoke, why is it that the white drapery, white teeth, and the white of the eyes have not changed in color? Why are the lips of a bright red color? Why, we may also ask, are the black images crowned and adorned with jewels, just as the images of the Hindoo and Egyptian virgins are represented?
When we find that the Virgin Devaki, and the Virgin Isis were represented just as these so-called ancient Christian idols represent Mary, we are led to the conclusion that they are Pagan idols adopted by the Christians.
We may say, in the words of Mr. Lundy, "what jewels are doing on the neck of this poor and lowly maid, it is not easy to say."[337:1] The crown is also foreign to early representations of the Madonna and Child, but not so to Devaki and Crishna,[337:2] and Isis and Horus. The coronation of the Virgin Mary is unknown to primitive Christian art, but is common in Pagan art.[337:3] "It may be well," says Mr. Lundy, "to compare some of the oldest Hindoo representations of the subject with the Romish, and see how complete the resemblance is;"[337:4] and Dr. Inman says that, "the head-dress, as put on the head of the Virgin Mary, is of Grecian, Egyptian, and Indian origin."[337:5]
The whole secret of the fact of these early representations of the Virgin Mary and Jesus—so-called—being black, crowned, and covered with jewels, is that they are of pre-Christian origin; they are Isis and Horus, and perhaps, in some cases, Devaki and Crishna, baptized anew.
The Egyptian "Queen of Heaven" was worshiped in Europe for centuries before and after the Christian Era.[337:6] Temples and statues were also erected in honor of Isis, one of which was at Bologna, in Italy.
Mr. King tells us that the Emperor Hadrian zealously strove to reanimate the forms of that old religion, whose spirit had long since passed away, and it was under his patronage that the creed of the Pharaohs blazed up for a moment with a bright but fictitious lustre.[337:7] To this period belongs a beautiful sard, in Mr. King's collection, representing Serapis[337:8] and Isis, with the legend: "Immaculate is Our Lady Isis."[337:9]
Mr. King further tells us that:
And Mr. Bonwick says:
"We may be surprised that, as Europe has Black Madonnas, Egypt had Black [Pg 338]images and pictures of Isis. At the same time it is a little odd that the Virgin Mary copies most honored should not only be Black, but have a decided Isis cast of feature."[338:1]
The shrine now known as that of the "Virgin in Amadon," in France, was formerly an old Black Venus.[338:2]
"To this we may add," (says Dr. Inman), "that at the Abbey of Einsiedelen, on Lake Zurich, the object of adoration is an old black doll, dressed in gold brocade, and glittering with jewels. She is called, apparently, the Virgin of the Swiss Mountains. My friend, Mr. Newton, also tells me that he saw, over a church door at Ivrea, in Italy, twenty-nine miles from Turin, the fresco of a Black Virgin and child, the former bearing a triple crown."[338:3]
This triple crown is to be seen on the heads of Pagan gods and goddesses, especially those of the Hindoos.
Dr. Barlow says:
"The doctrine of the Mother of God was of Egyptian origin. It was brought in along with the worship of the Madonna by Cyril (Bishop of Alexandria, and the Cyril of Hypatia) and the monks of Alexandria, in the fifth century. The earliest representations of the Madonna have quite a Greco-Egyptian character, and there can be little doubt that Isis nursing Horus was the origin of them all."[338:4]
And Arthur Murphy tells us that:
"The superstition and religious ceremonies of the Egyptians were diffused over Asia, Greece, and the rest of Europe. Brotier says, that inscriptions of Isis and Serapis (Horus?) have been frequently found in Germany. . . . The missionaries who went in the eighth and ninth centuries to propagate the Christian religion in those parts, saw many images and statues of these gods."[338:5]
These "many images and statues of these gods" were evidently baptized anew, given other names, and allowed to remain where they were.
In many parts of Italy are to be seen pictures of the Virgin with her infant in her arms, inscribed with the words: "Deo Soli." This betrays their Pagan origin.