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: 232"We find among all the nations of the world, men especially dedicated to the service of the true God, or to the false, which serve in sacrifices, and declare [Pg 404]unto the people what their gods command them. There was in Mexico a strange curiosity upon this point. And the devil, counterfeiting the use of the church of God, hath placed in the order of his Priests, some greater or superiors, and some less, the one as Acolites, the other as Levites, and that which hath made most to wonder, was, that the devil would usurp to himself the service of God; yea, and use the same name: for the Mexicans in their ancient tongue call their high priests Papes, as they should say sovereign bishops, as it appears now by their histories."[404:1]
In Mexico, within the circuit of the great temple, there were two monasteries, one for virgins, the other for men, which they called religious. These men lived poorly and chastely, and did the office of Levites.[404:2]
"These priests and religious men used great fastings, of five or ten days together, before any of their great feasts, and they were unto them as our four ember week; they were so strict in continence that some of them (not to fall into any sensuality) slit their members in the midst, and did a thousand things to make themselves unable, lest they should offend their gods."[404:3]
"There were in Peru many monasteries of virgins (for there are no other admitted), at the least one in every province. In these monasteries there were two sorts of women, one ancient, which they called Mamacomas (mothers), for the instruction of the young, and the other was of young maidens placed there for a certain time, and after they were drawn forth, either for their gods or for the Inca." "If any of the Mamacomas or Acllas were found to have trespassed against their honor, it was an inevitable chastisement to bury them alive or to put them to death by some other kind of cruel torment."[404:4]
The Rev. Father concludes by saying:
"In truth it is very strange to see that this false opinion of religion hath so great force among these young men and maidens of Mexico, that they will serve the devil with so great rigor and austerity, which many of us do not in the service of the most high God, the which is a great shame and confusion."[404:5]
The religious orders of the ancient Mexicans and Peruvians are described at length in Lord Kingsborough's "Mexican Antiquities," and by most every writer on ancient Mexico. Differing in minor details, the grand features of self-consecration are everywhere the same, whether we look to the saintly Rishis of ancient India, to the wearers of the yellow robe in China or Ceylon, to the Essenes among the Jews, to the devotees of Vitziliputzli in pagan Mexico, or to the monks and nuns of Christian times in Africa, in Asia, and in Europe. Throughout the various creeds of these distant lands there runs the same unconquerable impulse, producing the same remarkable effects.