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
"The Indians believed in the God who was in heaven; that this God was the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and that the Father was named Yzona, the Son Bacab, who was born of a Virgin, and that the Holy Ghost was called Echiah."[378:4]
The Rev. Father Acosta says, in speaking of the Peruvians:
"It is strange that the devil after his manner hath brought a Trinity into idolatry, for the three images of the Sun called Apomti, Churunti, and Intiquaoqui, signifieth Father and Lord Sun, the Son Sun, and the Brother Sun.
"Being in Chuquisaca, an honorable priest showed me an information, which I had long in my hands, where it was proved that there was a certain oratory, whereat the Indians did worship an idol called Tangatanga, which they said was 'One in Three, and Three in One.' And as this priest stood amazed thereat, I said that the devil by his internal and obstinate pride (whereby he always pretends to make himself God) did steal all that he could from the truth, to employ it in his lying and deceits."[378:5]
The doctrine was recognized among the Indians of the Californian peninsula. The statue of the principal deity of the New Granadian Indians had "three heads on one body," and was understood to be "three persons with one heart and one will."[378:6]
The result of our investigations then, is that, for ages before the time of Christ Jesus or Christianity, God was worshiped in the form of a Triad, and that this doctrine was extensively diffused through all nations. That it was established in regions as far distant as China and Mexico, and immemorially acknowledged through the whole extent of Egypt and India. That it flourished with equal vigor among the snowy mountains of Thibet, and the vast deserts of Siberia. That the barbarians of central Europe, the Scandinavians, and the Druids of Britain and Ireland, bent their knee to an idol of a Triune God. What then becomes of "the Ever-Blessed Trinity" of Christianity? It must fall, together with all the rest of its dogmas, and be buried with the Pagan débris.
The learned Thomas Maurice imagined that this mysterious doctrine must have been revealed by God to Adam, or to Noah, or to Abraham, or to somebody else. Notice with what caution he wrote (A. D. 1794) on this subject. He says:
"In the course of the wide range which I have been compelled to take in the field of Asiatic mythology, certain topics have arisen for discussion, equally delicate and perplexing. Among them, in particular, a species of Trinity forms a constant and prominent feature in nearly all the systems of Oriental theology."
After saying, "I venture with a trembling step," and that, "It was not from choice, but from necessity, that I entered thus upon this subject," he concludes:
"This extensive and interesting subject engrosses a considerable portion of this work, and my anxiety to prepare the public mind to receive it, my efforts to elucidate so mysterious a point of theology, induces me to remind the candid reader, that visible traces of this doctrine are discovered, not only in the three principals of the Chaldaic theology; in the Triplasios Mithra of Persia; in the Triad, Brahmā, Vishnu, and Siva, of India—where it was evidently promulgated in the Geeta, fifteen hundred years before the birth of Plato;[379:1] but in the Numen Triplex of Japan; in the inscription upon the famous medal found in the deserts of Siberia, "To the Triune God," to be seen at this day in the valuable cabinet of the Empress, at St. Petersburgh; in the Tanga-Tanga, or Three in One, of the South Americans; and, finally, without mentioning the vestiges of it in Greece, in the Symbol of the Wing, the Globe, and the Serpent, conspicuous on most of the ancient temples of Upper Egypt."[379:2]
It was a long time after the followers of Christ Jesus had made him a God, before they ventured to declare that he was "God [Pg 380]himself in human form," and, "the second person in the Ever-Blessed Trinity." It was Justin Martyr, a Christian convert from the Platonic school,[380:1] who, about the middle of the second century, first promulgated the opinion, that Jesus of Nazareth, the "Son of God," was the second principle in the Deity, and the Creator of all material things. He is the earliest writer to whom the opinion can be traced. This knowledge, he does not ascribe to the Scriptures, but to the special favor of God.[380:2]