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

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The Chinese, when there is an eclipse of the Sun or Moon, proceed to encounter the ominous monster with gongs and bells.[535:10]

The ancient Romans flung firebrands into the air, and blew trumpets, and clanged brazen pots and pans.[535:11] Even as late as the [Pg 536]seventeenth century, the Irish or Welsh, during eclipses, ran about beating kettles and pans.[536:1] Among the native races of America was to be found the same superstition. The Indians would raise a frightful howl, and shoot arrows into the sky to drive the monsters off.[536:2] The Caribs, thinking that the demon Maboya, hater of all light, was seeking to devour the Sun and Moon, would dance and howl in concert all night long to scare him away. The Peruvians, imagining such an evil spirit in the shape of a monstrous beast, raised the like frightful din when the Moon was eclipsed, shouting, sounding musical instruments, and beating the dogs to join their howl to the hideous chorus.[536:3]

The starry band that lies like a road across the sky, known as the milky way, is called by the Basutos (a South African tribe of savages), "The Way of the Gods;" the Ojis (another African tribe of savages), say it is the "Way of Spirits," which souls go up to heaven by. North American tribes know it as "the Path of the Master of Life," the "Path of Spirits," "the Road of Souls," where they travel to the land beyond the grave.[536:4]

It is almost a general belief among the inhabitants of Africa, and was so among the inhabitants of Europe and Asia, that monkeys were once men and women, and that they can even now really speak, but judiciously hold their tongues, lest they should be made to work. This idea was found as a serious matter of belief, in Central and South America.[536:5] "The Bridge of the Dead," which is one of the marked myths of the Old World, was found in the New.[536:6]

It is well known that the natives of South America told the Spaniards that inland there was to be found a fountain, the waters of which turned old men back into youths, and how Juan Ponce de Leon fitted out two caravels, and went to seek for this "Fountain of Youth." Now, the "Fountain of Youth" is known to the mythology of India.[536:7]

The myth of foot-prints stamped into the rocks by gods or mighty men, is to be found among the inhabitants of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Egyptians, Greeks, Brahmans, Buddhists, Moslems, and Christians, have adopted it as relics each from their own point of view, and Mexican eyes could discern in the solid rock at Tlanepantla the mark of hand and foot left by the mighty Quetzalcoatle.[536:8]

[Pg 537]

The Incas, in order to preserve purity of race, married their own sisters, as did the Kings of Persia, and other Oriental nations.[537:1]

The Peruvian embalming of the royal dead takes us back to Egypt; the burning of the wives of the deceased Incas reveals India; the singularly patriarchical character of the whole Peruvian policy is like that of China in the olden time; while the system of espionage, of tranquillity, of physical well-being, and the iron-like immovability in which their whole social frame was cast, bring before us Japan—as it was a very few years ago. In fact, there is something strangely Japanese in the entire cultus of Peru as described by all writers.[537:2]

The dress and costume of the Mexicans, and their sandals, resemble the apparel and sandals worn in early ages in the East.[537:3]

Mexican priests were represented with a Serpent twined around their heads, so were Oriental kings.[537:4] The Mexicans had the head of a rhinoceros among their paintings,[537:5] and also the head of an elephant on the body of a man.[537:6] Now, these animals were unknown in America, but well known in Asia; and what is more striking still is the fact that the man with the elephant's head is none other than the Ganesa of India; the God of Wisdom. Humboldt, who copied a Mexican painting of a man with an elephant's head, remarks that "it presents some remarkable and apparently not accidental resemblances with the Hindoo Ganesa."