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: 206Even in the remote islands of the Pacific Ocean, a bird is believed to be an emblem of the Holy Spirit.[357:10]
R. Payne Knight, in speaking of the "mystic Dove," says:
"A bird was probably chosen for the emblem of the third person (i. e., the Holy Ghost) to signify incubation, by which was figuratively expressed the fructification of inert matter, caused by the vital spirit moving upon the waters.
"The Dove would naturally be selected in the East in preference to every other species of bird, on account of its domestic familiarity with man; it usually lodging under the same roof with him, and being employed as his messenger from one remote place to another. Birds of this kind were also remarkable for the care of their offspring, and for a sort of conjugal attachment and fidelity to each other, as likewise for the peculiar fervency of their sexual desires, whence they were sacred to Venus, and emblems of love."[358:1]
Many are the so-called Christian symbols which are direct importations from paganism. To enumerate them would take, as we have previously said, a volume of itself. For further information on this subject the reader is referred to Dr. Inman's "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," where he will see how many ancient Indian, Egyptian, Etruscan, Grecian and Roman symbols have been adopted by Christians, a great number of which are Phallic emblems.[358:2]