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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: 258

[419:1] "Numerous bodies of ascetics (Therapeutæ), especially near Lake Mareotis, devoted themselves to discipline and study, abjuring society and labor, and often forgetting, it is said, the simplest wants of nature, in contemplating the hidden wisdom of the Scriptures. Eusebius even claimed them as Christians; and some of the forms of monasticism were evidently modeled after the Therapeutæ." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, art. "Alexandria.")

[420:1] Comp. Matt. vi. 33; Luke, xii. 31.

[420:2] Comp. Matt. vi. 19-21.

[420:3] Comp. Matt. xix. 21; Luke, xii. 33.

[420:4] Comp. Acts, ii. 44, 45; iv. 32-34; John, xii. 6; xiii. 29.

[420:5] Comp. Matt. xx. 25-28; Mark, ix. 35-37; x. 42-45.

[420:6] Comp. Matt. xxiii. 8-10.

[420:7] Comp. Matt. v. 5; xi. 29.

[420:8] Comp. Mark, xvi. 17; Matt. x. 8; Luke, ix. 1, 2; x. 9.

[420:9] Comp. Matt. v. 34.

[420:10] Comp. Matt. x. 9, 10.

[421:1] Comp. Luke, xxii. 36.

[421:2] Comp. Matt. xix. 10-12; I. Cor. viii.

[421:3] Comp. Rom. xii. 1.

[421:4] Comp. I. Cor. xiv. 1, 39.

[421:5] The above comparisons have been taken from Ginsburg's "Essenes," to which the reader is referred for a more lengthy observation on the subject.

[421:6] Ginsburg's Essenes, p. 24.

[421:7] "We hear very little of them after A. D. 40; and there can hardly be any doubt that, owing to the great similarity existing between their precepts and practices and those of primitive Christians, the Essenes as a body must have embraced Christianity." (Dr. Ginsburg, p. 27.)

[422:1] This will be alluded to in another chapter.

[422:2] It was believed by some that the order of Essenes was instituted by Elias, and some writers asserted that there was a regular succession of hermits upon Mount Carmel from the time of the prophets to that of Christ, and that the hermits embraced Christianity at an early period. (See Ginsburgh's Essenes, and Hardy's Eastern Monachism, p. 358.)

[422:3] King's Gnostics and their Remains, p. 1.

[422:4] Ibid. p. 6.

[422:5] King's Gnostics, p. 23.

[422:6] Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. xvii.

[423:1] Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. xvii.

[423:2] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. vii. "The New Testament is the Essene-Nazarene Glad Tidings! Adon, Adoni, Adonis, style of worship." (S. F. Dunlap: Son of the Man, p. iii.)

[423:3] Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 747; vol. ii. p. 34.

[423:4] "In this," says Mr. Lillie, "he was supported by philosophers of the calibre of Schilling and Schopenhauer, and the great Sanscrit authority, Lassen. Renan also sees traces of this Buddhist propagandism in Palestine before the Christian era. Hilgenfeld, Mutter, Bohlen, King, all admit the Buddhist influence. Colebrooke saw a striking similarity between the Buddhist philosophy and that of the Pythagoreans. Dean Milman was convinced that the Therapeuts sprung from the 'contemplative and indolent fraternities' of India." And, he might have added, the Rev. Robert Taylor in his "Diegesis," and Godfrey Higgins in his "Anacalypsis," have brought strong arguments to bear in support of this theory.

[424:1] Buddha and Early Buddhism, p. vi.

[424:2] Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 121.

[424:3] Ibid. p. 240.

[425:1] "The Essenes abounded in Egypt, especially about Alexandria." (Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 2, ch. xvii.)

[425:2] Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 255.

[426:1] Rhys Davids' Buddhism, p. 179.

[426:2] This is clearly shown by Mr. Higgins in his Anacalypsis. It should be remembered that Gautama Buddha, the "Angel-Messiah," and Cyrus, the "Anointed" of the Lord, are placed about six hundred years before Jesus, the "Anointed." This cycle of six hundred years was called the "great year." Josephus, the Jewish historian, alludes to it when speaking of the patriarchs that lived to a great age. "God afforded them a longer time of life," says he, "on account of their virtue, and the good use they made of it in astronomical and geometrical discoveries, which would not have afforded the time for foretelling (the periods of the stars), unless they had lived six hundred years; for the great year is completed in that interval." (Josephus, Antiq., bk. i. c. iii.) "From this cycle of six hundred," says Col. Vallancey, "came the name of the bird Phœnix, called by the Egyptians Phenu, with the well-known story of its going to Egypt to burn itself on the altar of the Sun (at Heliopolis) and rise again from its ashes, at the end of a certain period."

[426:3] "Philo's writings prove the probability, almost rising to a certainty, that already in his time the Essenes did expect an Angel-Messiah as one of a series of divine incarnations. Within about fifty years after Philo's death, Elkesai the Essene probably applied this doctrine to Jesus, and it was promulgated in Rome about the same time, if not earlier, by the Pseudo-Clementines." (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 118.)

"There was, at this time (i. e., at the time of the birth of Jesus), a prevalent expectation that some remarkable personage was about to appear in Judea. The Jews were anxiously looking for the coming of the Messiah. By computing the time mentioned by Daniel (ch. ix. 23-27), they knew that the period was approaching when the Messiah should appear. This personage, they supposed, would be a temporal prince, and they were expecting that he would deliver them from Roman bondage. It was natural that this expectation should spread into other countries." (Barnes' Notes, vol. i. p. 27.)

[427:1] Hist. Hindostan, vol. ii. p. 273.

[427:2] See Lardner's Works, vol. viii. p. 353.

[427:3] Apol. 1, ch. xxvi.

[428:1] See Lardner's Works, vol. viii. p. 593.

[428:2] Socrates: Eccl. Hist., lib. i. ch. xvii.

[429:1] Eusebius: Eccl. Hist., lib. 3, ch. xxiii.

[429:2] Ibid. lib. 7, ch. xxx.

[429:3] The death of Manes, according to Socrates, was as follows: The King of Persia, hearing that he was in Mesopotamia, "made him to be apprehended, flayed him alive, took his skin, filled it full of chaff, and hanged it at the gates of the city." (Eccl. Hist., lib. 1, ch. xv.)

[430:1] Plato in Apolog. Anac., ii. p. 189.

[431:1] Mark, xiii. 21, 22.

[432:1] Geikie: Life of Christ, vol. i. p. 79.

[433:1] Frothingham's Cradle of the Christ.

[433:2] "The prevailing opinion of the Rabbis and the people alike, in Christ's day, was, that the Messiah would be simply a great prince, who should found a kingdom of matchless splendor." "With a few, however, the conception of the Messiah's kingdom was pure and lofty. . . . Daniel, and all who wrote after him, painted the 'Expected One' as a heavenly being. He was the 'messenger,' the 'Elect of God,' appointed from eternity, to appear in due time, and redeem his people." (Geikie's Life of Christ, vol. i. pp. 80, 81.)

In the book of Daniel, by some supposed to have been written during the captivity, by others as late as Antiochus Epiphanes (B. C. 75), the restoration of the Jews is described in tremendous language, and the Messiah is portrayed as a supernatural personage, in close relation with Jehovah himself. In the book of Enoch, supposed to have been written at various intervals between 144 and 120 (B. C.) and to have been completed in its present form in the first half of the second century that preceded the advent of Jesus, the figure of the Messiah is invested with superhuman attributes. He is called "The Son of God," "whose name was spoken before the Sun was made;" "who existed from the beginning in the presence of God," that is, was pre-existent. At the same time his human characteristics are insisted on. He is called "Son of Man," even "Son of Woman," "The Anointed" or "The Christ," "The Righteous One," &c. (Frothingham: The Cradle of the Christ, p. 20.)

[433:3] This is clearly seen from the statement made by the Matthew narrator (xvii. 9-13) that the disciples of Christ Jesus supposed John the Baptist was Elias.

[434:1] Isaiah, xlv. 1.

[434:2] Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 17.

[434:3] Quoted in Middleton's Letters from Rome, p. 51.

[434:4] Hieron ad Nep. Quoted Volney's Ruins, p. 177, note.

[434:5] See his Eccl. Hist., viii. 21.

[435:1] Gibbon's Rome, vol. ii. pp. 79, 80.

[435:2] "On voit dans l'histoire que j'ai rapportée une sorte d'hypocrisie, qui n'a peut-être été que trop commune dans tous les tems. C'est que des ecclésiastiques, non-seulement ne disent pas ce qu'ils pensent, mais disent tout le contraire de ce qu'ils pensent. Philosophes dans leur cabinet, hors delà, ils content des fables, quoiqu'ils sachent bien que ce sont des fables. Ils font plus; ils livrent au bourreau des gens de biens, pour l'avoir dit. Combiens d'athées et de profanes ont fait brûler de saints personnages, sous prétexte d'hérésie? Tous les jours des hypocrites, consacrent et font adorer l'hostie, bien qu'ils soient aussi convaincus que moi, que ce n'est qu'un morceau de pain." (Tom. 2, p. 568.)

[435:3] On the Use of the Fathers, pp. 36, 37.

[435:4] Quoted in Taylor's Syntagma, p. 170.

[435:5] Mosheim: vol. 1, p. 198.

[435:6] "Postremo illud quoque me vehementer movet, quod videam primis ecclesiæ temporibus, quam plurimos extitisse, qui facinus palmarium judicabant, cælestem veritatem, figmentis suis ire adjutum, quo facilius nova doctrina a gentium sapientibus admitteretur Officiosa hæc mendacia vocabant bono fine exeogitata." (Quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 44, and Giles' Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 19.)

[436:1] See the Vision of Hermas, b. 2, c. iii.

[436:2] Mosheim, vol. i. p. 197. Quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 47.

[436:3] Dr. Giles: Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. ii. p. 99.

[436:4] "Continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister." (Colossians, i. 23.)

[436:5] "Being crafty, I caught you with guile." (II. Cor. xii. 16.)

[436:6] "For if the truth of God had more abounded through my lie unto his glory, why yet am I also judged as a sinner." (Romans, iii. 7.)

[437:1] "Si me tamen audire velis, mallem te pænas has dicere indefinitas quam infinitas. Sed veniet dies, cum non minus absurda, habebitur et odiosa hæc opinio quam transubstantiatio hodie." (De Statu Mort., p. 304. Quoted in Taylor's Diegesis, p. 43.)

[437:2] Quoted in Taylor's Syntagma, p. 52.


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