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Explanation





After what we have seen concerning the numerous virgin-born, crucified
and resurrected Saviours, believed on in the Pagan world for so many
centuries before the time assigned for the birth of the Christian
Saviour, the questions naturally arise: were they real personages? did
they ever exist in the flesh? whence came these stories concerning them?
have they a foundation in truth, or are they simply creations of the
imagination?

The historical theory--according to which all the persons mentioned
in mythology were once real human beings, and the legends and fabulous
traditions relating to them were merely the additions and embellishments
of later times--which was so popular with scholars of the last century,
has been altogether abandoned.

Under the historical point of view the gods are mere deified mortals,
either heroes who have been deified after their death, or
Pontiff-chieftains who have passed themselves off for gods, and who, it
is gratuitously supposed, found people stupid enough to believe in their
pretended divinity. This was the manner in which, formerly, writers
explained the mythology of nations of antiquity; but a method that
pre-supposed an historical Crishna, an historical Osiris, an historical
Mithra, an historical Hercules, an historical Apollo, or an historical
Thor, was found untenable, and therefore, does not, at the present day,
stand in need of a refutation. As a writer of the early part of the
present century said:

"We shall never have an ancient history worthy of the perusal
of men of common sense, till we cease treating poems as
history, and send back such personages as Hercules, Theseus,
Bacchus, etc., to the heavens, whence their history is taken,
and whence they never descended to the earth."

The historical theory was succeeded by the allegorical theory, which
supposes that all the myths of the ancients were allegorical and
symbolical, and contain some moral, religious, or philosophical truth
or historical fact under the form of an allegory, which came in process
of time to be understood literally.

In the preceding pages we have spoken of the several virgin-born,
crucified and resurrected Saviours, as real personages. We have
attributed to these individuals words and acts, and have regarded the
words and acts recorded in the several sacred books from which we have
quoted, as said and done by them. But in doing this, we have simply used
the language of others. These gods and heroes were not real personages;
they are merely personifications of the SUN. As Prof. Max Mueller
observes in his Lectures on the Science of Religion:

"One of the earliest objects that would strike and stir the
mind of man, and for which a sign or a name would soon be
wanted, is surely the Sun.[467:1] It is very hard for us to
realize the feelings with which the first dwellers on the
earth looked upon the Sun, or to understand fully what they
meant by a morning prayer or a morning sacrifice. Perhaps
there are few people who have watched a sunrise more than once
or twice in their life; few people who have ever known the
meaning of a morning prayer, or a morning sacrifice. But think
of man at the very dawn of time. . . . think of the Sun
awakening the eyes of man from sleep, and his mind from
slumber! Was not the sunrise to him the first wonder, the
first beginning of all reflection, all thought, all
philosophy? Was it not to him the first revelation, the first
beginning of all trust, of all religion? . . . .

"Few nations only have preserved in their ancient poetry some
remnants of the natural awe with which the earlier dwellers on
the earth saw that brilliant being slowly rising from out of
the darkness of the night, raising itself by its own might
higher and higher, till it stood triumphant on the arch of
heaven, and then descended and sank down in its fiery glory
into the dark abyss of the heaving and hissing sea. In the
hymns of the Veda, the poet still wonders whether the Sun
will rise again; he asks how he can climb the vault of heaven?
why he does not fall back? why there is no dust on his path?
And when the rays of the morning rouse him from sleep and call
him back to new life, when he sees the Sun, as he says,
stretching out his golden arms to bless the world and rescue
it from the terror of darkness, he exclaims, 'Arise, our life,
our spirit has come back! the darkness is gone, the light
approaches.'"

Many years ago, the learned Sir William Jones said:

"We must not be surprised at finding, on a close examination,
that the characters of all the Pagan deities, male and female,
melt into each other, and at last into one or two; for it
seems as well founded opinion, that the whole crowd of gods
and goddesses of ancient Rome, and modern Varanes, mean only
the powers of nature, and principally those of the SUN,
expressed in a variety of ways, and by a multitude of fanciful
names."[467:2]

Since the first learned president of the Royal Asiatic Society paved
the way for the science of comparative mythology, much has been
learned on this subject, so that, as the Rev. George W. Cox remarks,
"recent discussions on the subject seem to justify the conviction that
the foundations of the science of comparative mythology have been
firmly laid, and that its method is unassailable."[468:1]

If we wish to find the gods and goddesses of the ancestors of our race,
we must look to the sun, the moon, the stars, the sky, the earth, the
sea, the dawn, the clouds, the wind, &c., which they personified and
worshiped. That these have been the gods and goddesses of all nations
of antiquity, is an established fact.[468:2]

The words which had denoted the sun and moon would denote not merely
living things but living persons. From personification to deification
the steps would be but few; and the process of disintegration would at
once furnish the materials for a vast fabric of mythology. All the
expressions which had attached a living force to natural objects would
remain as the description of personal and anthropomorphous gods. Every
word would become an attribute, and all ideas, once grouped around a
simple object, would branch off into distinct personifications. The sun
had been the lord of light, the driver of the chariot of the day; he had
toiled and labored for the sons of men, and sunk down to rest, after a
hard battle, in the evening. But now the lord of light would be Phoibos
Apollon, while Helios would remain enthroned in his fiery chariot, and
his toils and labors and death-struggles would be transferred to
Hercules. The violet clouds which greet his rising and his setting would
now be represented by herds of cows which feed in earthly pastures.
There would be other expressions which would still remain as floating
phrases, not attached to any definite deities. These would gradually be
converted into incidents in the life of heroes, and be woven at length
into systematic narratives. Finally, these gods or heroes, and the
incidents of their mythical career, would receive each "a local
habitation and a name." These would remain as genuine history, when the
origin and meaning of the words had been either wholly or in part
forgotten.

For the proofs of these assertions, the Vedic poems furnish indisputable
evidence, that such as this was the origin and growth of Greek and
Teutonic mythology. In these poems, the names of many, perhaps of most,
of the Greek gods, indicate natural objects which, if endued with life,
have not been reduced to human personality. In them Daphne is still
simply the morning twilight ushering in the splendor of the new born
sun; the cattle of Helios there are still the light-colored clouds which
the dawn leads out into the fields of the sky. There the idea of
Hercules has not been separated from the image of the toiling and
struggling sun, and the glory of the life-giving Helios has not been
transferred to the god of Delos and Pytho. In the Vedas the myths of
Endymion, of Kephalos and Prokris, Orpheus and Eurydike, are exhibited
in the form of detached mythical phrases, which furnished for each their
germ. The analysis may be extended indefinitely: but the conclusion can
only be, that in the Vedic language we have the foundation, not only of
the glowing legends of Hellas, but of the dark and sombre mythology of
the Scandinavian and the Teuton. Both alike have grown up chiefly from
names which have been grouped around the sun; but the former has been
grounded on those expressions which describe the recurrence of day and
night, the latter on the great tragedy of nature, in the alternation of
summer and winter.

Of this vast mass of solar myths, some have emerged into independent
legends, others have furnished the groundwork of whole epics, others
have remained simply as floating tales whose intrinsic beauty no poet
has wedded to his verse.[469:1]

"The results obtained from the examination of language in its several
forms leaves no room for doubt that the general system of mythology has
been traced to its fountain head. We can no longer shut our eyes to the
fact that there was a stage in the history of human speech, during which
all the abstract words in constant use among ourselves were utterly
unknown, when men had formed no notions of virtue or prudence, of
thought and intellect, of slavery or freedom, but spoke only of the man
who was strong, who could point the way to others and choose one thing
out of many, of the man who was not bound to any other and able to do as
he pleased.

"That even this stage was not the earliest in the history of language is
now a growing opinion among philologists; but for the comparison of
legends current in different countries it is not necessary to carry the
search further back. Language without words denoting abstract qualities
implies a condition of thought in which men were only awakening to a
sense of the objects which surrounded them, and points to a time when
the world was to them full of strange sights and sounds, some beautiful,
some bewildering, some terrific, when, in short, they knew little of
themselves beyond the vague consciousness of their existence, and
nothing of the phenomena of the world without. In such a state they
could but attribute to all that they saw or touched or heard, a life
which was like their own in its consciousness, its joys, and its
sufferings. That power of sympathizing with nature which we are apt to
regard as the peculiar gift of the poet was then shared alike by all.
This sympathy was not the result of any effort, it was inseparably bound
up with the words which rose to their lips. It implied no special purity
of heart or mind; it pointed to no Arcadian paradise where shepherds
knew not how to wrong or oppress or torment each other. We say that the
morning light rests on the mountains; they said that the sun was
greeting his bride, as naturally as our own poet would speak of the
sunlight clasping the earth, or the moonbeams as kissing the sea.

"We have then before us a stage of language corresponding to a stage in
the history of the human mind in which all sensible objects were
regarded as instinct with a conscious life. The varying phases of that
life were therefore described as truthfully as they described their own
feelings or sufferings; and hence every phase became a picture. But so
long as the conditions of their life remained unchanged, they knew
perfectly what the picture meant, and ran no risk of confusing one with
another. Thus they had but to describe the things which they saw, felt,
or heard, in order to keep up an inexhaustible store of phrases
faithfully describing the facts of the world from their point of view.
This language was indeed the result of an observation not less keen than
that by which the inductive philosopher extorts the secrets of the
natural world. Nor was its range much narrower. Each object received its
own measure of attention, and no one phenomenon was so treated as to
leave no room for others in their turn. They could not fail to note the
changes of days and years, of growth and decay, of calm and storm; but
the objects which so changed were to them living things, and the rising
and setting of the sun, the return of winter and summer, became a drama
in which the actors were their enemies or their friends.

"That this is a strict statement of facts in the history of the human
mind, philology alone would abundantly prove; but not a few of these
phrases have come down to us in their earliest form, and point to the
long-buried stratum of language of which they are the fragments. These
relics exhibit in their germs the myths which afterwards became the
legends of gods and heroes with human forms, and furnished the
groundwork of the epic poems, whether of the eastern or the western
world.

"The mythical or mythmaking language of mankind had no partialities; and
if the career of the Sun occupies a large extent of the horizon, we
cannot fairly simulate ignorance of the cause. Men so placed would not
fail to put into words the thoughts or emotions roused in them by the
varying phases of that mighty world on which we, not less than they,
feel that our life depends, although we may know something more of its
nature.

"Thus grew up a multitude of expressions which described the sun as the
child of the night, as the destroyer of the darkness, as the lover of
the dawn and the dew--of phrases which would go on to speak of him as
killing the dew with his spears, and of forsaking the dawn as he rose in
the heaven. The feeling that the fruits of the earth were called forth
by his warmth would find utterance in words which spoke of him as the
friend and the benefactor of man; while the constant recurrence of his
work would lead them to describe him as a being constrained to toil for
others, as doomed to travel over many lands, and as finding everywhere
things on which he could bestow his love or which he might destroy by
his power. His journey, again, might be across cloudless skies, or amid
alternations of storm and calm; his light might break fitfully through
the clouds, or be hidden for many a weary hour, to burst forth at last
with dazzling splendor as he sank down in the western sky. He would thus
be described as facing many dangers and many enemies, none of whom,
however, may arrest his course; as sullen, or capricious, or resentful;
as grieving for the loss of the dawn whom he had loved, or as nursing
his great wrath and vowing a pitiless vengeance. Then as the veil was
rent at eventide, they would speak of the chief, who had long remained
still, girding on his armor; or of the wanderer throwing off his
disguise, and seizing his bow or spear to smite his enemies; of the
invincible warrior whose face gleams with the flush of victory when the
fight is over, as he greets the fair-haired Dawn who closes, as she had
begun, the day. To the wealth of images thus lavished on the daily life
and death of the Sun there would be no limit. He was the child of the
morning, or her husband, or her destroyer; he forsook her and he
returned to her, either in calm serenity or only to sink presently in
deeper gloom.

"So with other sights and sounds. The darkness of night brought with it
a feeling of vague horror and dread; the return of daylight cheered them
with a sense of unspeakable gladness; and thus the Sun who scattered
the black shade of night would be the mighty champion doing battle with
the biting snake which lurked in its dreary hiding-place. But as the Sun
accomplishes his journey day by day through the heaven, the character of
the seasons is changed. The buds and blossoms of spring-time expand in
the flowers and fruits of summer, and the leaves fall and wither on the
approach of winter. Thus the daughter of the earth would be spoken of as
dying or as dead, as severed from her mother for five or six weary
months, not to be restored to her again until the time for her return
from the dark land should once more arrive. But as no other power than
that of the Sun can recall vegetation to life, this child of the earth
would be represented as buried in a sleep from which the touch of the
Sun alone could arouse her, when he slays the frost and cold which lie
like snakes around her motionless form.

"That these phrases would furnish the germs of myths or legends teeming
with human feeling, as soon as the meaning of the phrases were in part
or wholly forgotten, was as inevitable as that in the infancy of our
race men should attribute to all sensible objects the same kind of life
which they were conscious of possessing themselves."

Let us compare the history of the Saviour which we have already seen,
with that of the Sun, as it is found in the Vedas.

We can follow in the Vedic hymns, step by step, the development which
changes the Sun from a mere luminary into a "Creator,"
"Preserver," "Ruler," and "Rewarder of the World"--in fact, into a
Divine or Supreme Being.

The first step leads us from the mere light of the Sun to that light
which in the morning wakes man from sleep, and seems to give new life,
not only to man, but to the whole of nature. He who wakes us in the
morning, who recalls all nature to new life, is soon called "The Giver
of Daily Life."

Secondly, by another and bolder step, the Giver of Daily Light and Life
becomes the giver of light and life in general. He who brings light and
life to-day, is the same who brought light and life on the first of
days. As light is the beginning of the day, so light was the beginning
of creation, and the Sun, from being a mere light-bringer or life-giver,
becomes a Creator, and, if a Creator, then soon also a Ruler of the
World.

Thirdly, as driving away the dreaded darkness of the night, and likewise
as fertilizing the earth, the Sun is conceived as a "Defender" and kind
"Protector" of all living things.

Fourthly, the Sun sees everything, both that which is good and that
which is evil; and how natural therefore that the evil-doer should be
told that the sun sees what no human eye may have seen, and that the
innocent, when all other help fails him, should appeal to the sun to
attest his guiltlessness!

Let us examine now, says Prof. Mueller, from whose work we have quoted
the above, a few passages (from the Rig-Veda) illustrating every one
of these perfectly natural transitions.

"In hymn vii. we find the Sun invoked as 'The Protector of
everything that moves or stands, of all that exists.'"

"Frequent allusion is made to the Sun's power of seeing
everything. The stars flee before the all-seeing Sun, like
thieves (R. V. vii.). He sees the right and the wrong among
men (Ibid.). He who looks upon the world, knows also all the
thoughts in men (Ibid.)."

"As the Sun sees everything and knows everything, he is asked
to forget and forgive what he alone has seen and knows (R. V.
iv.)."

"The Sun is asked to drive away illness and bad dreams (R. V.
x.)."

"Having once, and more than once, been invoked as the
life-bringer, the Sun is also called the breath or life of all
that moves and rests (R. V. i.); and lastly, he becomes the
maker of all things, by whom all the worlds have been brought
together (R. V. x.), and . . . Lord of man and of all living
creatures."

"He is the God among gods (R. V. i.); he is the divine leader
of all the gods (R. V. viii.)."

"He alone rules the whole world (R. V. v.). The laws which he
has established are firm (R. V. iv.), and the other gods not
only praise him (R. V. vii.), but have to follow him as their
leader (R. V. v.)."[473:1]

That the history of Christ Jesus, the Christian Saviour,--"the true
Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,"[473:2]--is
simply the history of the Sun--the real Saviour of mankind--is
demonstrated beyond a doubt from the following indisputable facts:

1. The birth of Christ Jesus is said to have taken place at early
dawn[473:3] on the 25th day of December. Now, this is the Sun's
birthday. At the commencement of the sun's apparent annual revolution
round the earth, he was said to have been born, and, on the first moment
after midnight of the 24th of December, all the heathen nations of the
earth, as if by common consent, celebrated the accouchement of the
"Queen of Heaven," of the "Celestial Virgin of the Sphere," and the
birth of the god Sol. On that day the sun having fully entered the
winter solstice, the Sign of the Virgin was rising on the eastern
horizon. The woman's symbol of this stellar sign was represented first
by ears of corn, then with a new-born male child in her arms. Such was
the picture of the Persian sphere cited by Aben-Ezra:

"The division of the first decan of the Virgin represents a
beautiful virgin with flowing hair, sitting in a chair, with
two ears of corn in her hand, and suckling an infant called
IESUS by some nations, and Christ in Greek."[474:1]

This denotes the Sun, which, at the moment of the winter solstice,
precisely when the Persian magi drew the horoscope of the new year, was
placed on the bosom of the Virgin, rising heliacally in the eastern
horizon. On this account he was figured in their astronomical pictures
under the form of a child suckled by a chaste virgin.[474:2]

Thus we see that Christ Jesus was born on the same day as Buddha,
Mithras, Osiris, Horus, Hercules, Bacchus, Adonis and other
personifications of the SUN.[474:3]

2. Christ Jesus was born of a Virgin. In this respect he is also the
Sun, for 'tis the sun alone who can be born of an immaculate virgin,
who conceived him without carnal intercourse, and who is still, after
the birth of her child, a virgin.

This Virgin, of whom the Sun, the true "Saviour of Mankind," is born, is
either the bright and beautiful Dawn,[474:4] or the dark
Earth,[474:5] or Night.[474:6] Hence we have, as we have already
seen, the Virgin, or Virgo, as one of the signs of the
zodiac.[474:7]

This Celestial Virgin was feigned to be a mother. She is represented in
the Indian Zodiac of Sir William Jones, with ears of corn in one hand,
and the lotus in the other. In Kircher's Zodiac of Hermes, she has corn
in both hands. In other planispheres of the Egyptian priests she carries
ears of corn in one hand, and the infant Saviour Horus in the other.
In Roman Catholic countries, she is generally represented with the
child in one hand, and the lotus or lily in the other. In Vol. II. of
Montfaucon's work, she is represented as a female nursing a child, with
ears of corn in her hand, and the legend IAO. She is seated on clouds, a
star is at her head. The reading of the Greek letters, from right to
left, show this to be very ancient.

In the Vedic hymns Aditi, the Dawn, is called the "Mother of the
Gods." "She is the mother with powerful, terrible, with royal sons."
She is said to have given birth to the Sun.[475:1] "As the Sun and
all the solar deities rise from the east," says Prof. Max Mueller,
"we can well understand how Aditi (the Dawn) came to be called the
'Mother of the Bright Gods.'"[475:2]

The poets of the Veda indulged freely in theogonic speculations without
being frightened by any contradictions. They knew of Indra as the
greatest of gods, they knew of Agni as the god of gods, they knew of
Varuna as the ruler of all; but they were by no means startled at the
idea that their Indra had a mother, or that Varuna was nursed in the lap
of Aditi. All this was true to nature; for their god was the Sun, and
the mother who bore and nursed him was the Dawn.[475:3]

We find in the Vishnu Purana, that Devaki (the virgin mother of the
Hindoo Saviour Crishna, whose history, as we have seen, corresponds in
most every particular with that of Christ Jesus) is called
Aditi,[475:4] which, in the Rig-Veda, is the name for the Dawn.
Thus we see the legend is complete. Devaki is Aditi, Aditi is the Dawn,
and the Dawn is the Virgin Mother. "The Saviour of Mankind" who is born
of her is the Sun, the Sun is Crishna, and Crishna is Christ.

In the Mahabharata, Crishna is also represented as the "Son of
Aditi."[475:5] As the hour of his birth grew near, the mother became
more beautiful, and her form more brilliant.[475:6]

Indra, the sun, who was worshiped in some parts of India as a
Crucified God, is also represented in the Vedic hymns as the Son of
the Dawn. He is said to have been born of Dahana, who is Daphne, a
personification of the Dawn.[475:7]

The humanity of this SOLAR GOD-MAN, this demiurge, is strongly
insisted on in the Rig-Veda. He is the son of God, but also the son
of Aditi. He is Purusha, the man, the male. Agni is frequently called
the "Son of man." It is expressly explained that the titles Agni, Indra,
Mitra, &c., all refer to one Sun god under "many names." And when we
find the name of a mortal, Yama, who once lived upon earth, included
among these names, the humanity of the demiurge becomes still more
accentuated, and we get at the root idea.

Horus, the Egyptian Saviour, was the son of the virgin Isis. Now,
this Isis, in Egyptian mythology, is the same as the virgin Devaki in
Hindoo mythology. She is the Dawn.[476:1] Isis, as we have already
seen, is represented suckling the infant Horus, and, in the words of
Prof. Renouf, we may say, "in whose lap can the Sun be nursed more
fitly than in that of the Dawn?"[476:2]

Among the goddesses of Egypt, the highest was Neith, who reigned
inseparably with Amun in the upper sphere. She was called "Mother of the
gods," "Mother of the sun." She was the feminine origin of all things,
as Amun was the male origin. She held the same rank at Sais as Amun did
at Thebes. Her temples there are said to have exceeded in colossal
grandeur anything ever seen before. On one of these was the celebrated
inscription thus deciphered by Champollion:

"I am all that has been, all that is, all that will be. No
mortal has ever raised the veil that conceals me. My
offspring is the Sun."

She was mother of the Sun-god Ra, and, says Prof. Renouf, "is
commonly supposed to represent Heaven; but some expressions which are
hardly applicable to heaven, render it more probable that she is one of
the many names of the Dawn."[476:3]

If we turn from Indian and Egyptian, to Grecian mythology, we shall also
find that their Sun-gods and solar heroes are born of the same
virgin mother. Theseus was said to have been born of Aithra, "the pure
air," and OEdipus of Iokaste, "the violet light of morning."
Perseus was born of the virgin Danae, and was called the "Son of the
bright morning."[476:4] In Io, the mother of the "sacred bull,"[476:5]
the mother also of Hercules, we see the violet-tinted morning from
which the sun is born; all these gods and heroes being, like Christ
Jesus, personifications of the Sun.[476:6]

"The Saviour of Mankind" was also represented as being born of the
"dusky mother," which accounts for many Pagan, and so-called
Christian, goddesses being represented black.[477:1] This is the dark
night, who for many weary hours travails with the birth of her child.
The Sun, which scatters the darkness, is also the child of the darkness,
and so the phrase naturally went that he was born of her. Of the two
legends related in the poems afterwards combined in the "Hymn to
Apollo," the former relates the birth of Apollo, the Sun, from Leto,
the Darkness, which is called his mother.[477:2] In this case, Leto
would be personified as a "black virgin," either with or without the
child in her arms.

The dark earth was also represented as being the mother of the god
Sun, who apparently came out of, or was born of her, in the East,[477:3]
as Minos (the sun) was represented to have been born of Ida (the
earth).[477:4]

In Hindoo mythology, the Earth, under the name of Prithivi, receives
a certain share of honors as one of the primitive goddesses of the Veda,
being thought of as the "kind mother." Moreover, various deities
were regarded as the progeny resulting from the fancied union of the
Earth with Dyaus (Heaven).[477:5]

Our Aryan forefathers looked up to the heavens and they gave it the
name of Dyaus, from a root-word which means "to shine." And when,
out of the forces and forms of nature, they afterwards fashioned other
gods, this name of Dyaus became Dyaus pitar, the Heaven-father, or
Lord of All; and in far later times, when the western Aryans had found
their home in Europe, the Dyaus pitar of the central Asian land became
the Zeupater of the Greeks, and the Jupiter of the Romans, and the
first part of his name gave us the word Deity.

According to Egyptian mythology, Isis was also the Earth.[477:6] Again,
from the union of Seb and Nut sprung the mild Osiris. Seb is the
Earth, Nut is Heaven, and Osiris is the Sun.[477:7]

Tacitus, the Roman historian, speaking of the Germans in A. D. 98, says:

"There is nothing in these several tribes that merit
attention, except that they all agree in worshiping the
goddess Earth, or as they call her, Herth, whom they
consider as the common mother of all."[477:8]

These virgin mothers, and virgin goddesses of antiquity, were also, at
times, personifications of the Moon, or of Nature.[478:1]

Who is "God the Father," who overshadows the maiden? The overshadowing
of the maiden by "God the Father," whether he be called Zeus, Jupiter or
Jehovah, is simply the Heaven, the Sky, the "All-father,"[478:2]
looking down upon with love, and overshadowing the maiden, the broad
flushing light of Dawn, or the Earth. From this union the Sun is
born without any carnal intercourse. The mother is yet a virgin.
This is illustrated in Hindoo mythology by the union of Pritrivi,
"Mother Earth," with Dyaus, "Heaven." Various deities were regarded as
their progeny.[478:3] In the Vedic hymns the Sun--the Lord and
Saviour, the Redeemer and Preserver of Mankind--is frequently called the
"Son of the Sky."[478:4]

According to Egyptian mythology, Seb (the Earth) is overshadowed by
Nut (Heaven), the result of this union being the beneficent Lord and
Saviour, Osiris.[478:5] The same thing is to be found in ancient Grecian
mythology. Zeus or Jupiter is the Sky,[478:6] and Danae, Leto,
Iokaste, Io and others, are the Dawn, or the violet light of
morning.[478:7]

"The Sky appeared to men (says Plutarch), to perform the
functions of a Father, as the Earth those of a Mother.
The sky was the father, for it cast seed into the bosom of the
earth, which in receiving them became fruitful, and brought
forth, and was the mother."[479:1]

This union has been sung in the following verses by Virgil:

"Tum pater omnipotens fecundis imbribis aether
Conjugis in grenium laetae descendit."

(Geor. ii.)

The Phenician theology is founded on the same principles. Heaven and
Earth (called Ouranos and Ghe) are at the head of a genealogy of aeons,
whose adventures are conceived in the mythological style of these
physical allegorists.[479:2]

In the Samothracian mysteries, which seem to have been the most
anciently established ceremonies of the kind in Europe, the Heaven and
the Earth were worshiped as a male and female divinity, and as the
parents of all things.[479:3]

The Supreme God (the Al-fader), of the ancient Scandinavians was
Odin, a personification of the Heavens. The principal goddess among
them was Frigga, a personification of the Earth. It was the opinion
among these people that this Supreme Being or Celestial God had united
with the Earth (Frigga) to produce "Baldur the Good" (the Sun), who
corresponds to the Apollo of the Greeks and Romans, and the Osiris of
the Egyptians.[479:4]

Xiuletl, in the Mexican language, signifies Blue, and hence was a
name which the Mexican gave to Heaven, from which Xiuleticutli is
derived, an epithet signifying "the God of Heaven," which they
bestowed upon Tezcatlipoca, who was the "Lord of All," the "Supreme
God." He it was who overshadowed the Virgin of Tula, Chimelman, who
begat the Saviour Quetzalcoatle (the Sun).

3. His birth was foretold by a star. This is the bright morning
star--

"Fairest of stars, last in the train of Night,
If better, thou belongst not to the Dawn,
Sure pledge of day, that crown'st the smiling morn
With thy bright circlet"--

which heralds the birth of the god Sol, the beneficent Saviour.

A glance at a geography of the heavens will show the "chaste, pure,
immaculate Virgin, suckling an infant," preceded by a Star, which
rises immediately preceding the Virgin and her child. This can truly be
called "his Star," which informed the "Wise Men," the
"Magi"--Astrologers and Sun-worshipers--and "the shepherds who watched
their flocks by night" that the Saviour of Mankind was about to be born.

4. The Heavenly Host sang praises. All nature smiles at the birth of
the Heavenly Being. "To him all angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all
the powers therein." "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace,
good will towards men." "The quarters of the horizon are irradiate with
joy, as if moonlight was diffused over the whole earth." "The spirits
and nymphs of heaven dance and sing." "Caressing breezes blow, and a
marvelous light is produced." For the Lord and Saviour is born, "to give
joy and peace to men and Devas, to shed light in the dark places, and
to give sight to the blind."[480:1]

5. He was visited by the Magi. This is very natural, for the Magi were
Sun-worshipers, and at early dawn on the 25th of December, the
astrologers of the Arabs, Chaldeans, and other Oriental nations, greeted
the infant Saviour with gold, frankincense and myrrh. They started to
salute their God long before the rising of the Sun, and having ascended
a high mountain, they waited anxiously for his birth, facing the East,
and there hailed his first rays with incense and prayer.[480:2] The
shepherds also, who remained in the open air watching their flocks by
night, were in the habit of prostrating themselves, and paying homage to
their god, the Sun. And, like the poet of the Veda, they said:

"Will the powers of darkness be conquered by the god of light?"

And when the Sun rose, they wondered how, just born, he was so mighty.
They greeted him:

"Hail, Orient Conqueror of Gloomy Night."

And the human eye felt that it could not bear the brilliant majesty of
him whom they called, "The Life, the Breath, the Brilliant Lord and
Father." And they said:

"Let us worship again the Child of Heaven, the Son of
Strength, Arusha, the Bright Light of the Sacrifice." "He
rises as a mighty flame, he stretches out his wide arms, he is
even like the wind." "His light is powerful, and his (virgin)
mother, the Dawn, gives him the best share, the first worship
among men."[480:3]

6. He was born in a Cave. In this respect also, the history of
Christ Jesus corresponds with that of other Sun-gods and Saviours,
for they are nearly all represented as being born in a cave or dungeon.
This is the dark abode from which the wandering Sun starts in the
morning.[481:1] As the Dawn springs fully armed from the forehead of the
cloven Sky, so the eye first discerns the blue of heaven, as the first
faint arch of light is seen in the East. This arch is the cave in which
the infant is nourished until he reaches his full strength--in other
words, until the day is fully come.

As the hour of his birth drew near, the mother became more beautiful,
her form more brilliant, while the dungeon was filled with a heavenly
light as when Zeus came to Danae in a golden shower.[481:2]

At length the child is born, and a halo of serene light encircles his
cradle, just as the Sun appears at early dawn in the East, in all its
splendor. His presence reveals itself there, in the dark cave, by his
first rays, which brightens the countenances of his mother and others
who are present at his birth.[481:3]

6. He was ordered to be put to death. All the Sun-gods are fated to
bring ruin upon their parents or the reigning monarch.[481:4] For this
reason, they attempt to prevent his birth, and failing in this, seek to
destroy him when born. Who is the dark and wicked Kansa, or his
counterpart Herod? He is Night, who reigns supreme, but who must lose
his power when the young prince of glory, the Invincible, is born.

The Sun scatters the Darkness; and so the phrase went that the child
was to be the destroyer of the reigning monarch, or his parent, Night;
and oracles, and magi, it was said, warned the latter of the doom which
would overtake him. The newly-born babe is therefore ordered to be put
to death by the sword, or exposed on the bare hillside, as the Sun seems
to rest on the Earth (Ida) at its rising.[481:5]

In oriental mythology, the destroying principle is generally
represented as a serpent or dragon.[482:1] Now, the position of the
sphere on Christmas-day, the birthday of the Sun, shows the Serpent all
but touching, and certainly aiming at the woman--that is, the figure of
the constellation Virgo--who suckles the child Iessus in her arms.
Thus we have it illustrated in the story of the snake who was sent to
kill Hercules, when an infant in his cradle;[482:2] also in the story of
Typhon, who sought the life of the infant Saviour Horus. Again, it is
illustrated in the story of the virgin mother Astrea, with her babe
beset by Orion, and of Latona, the mother of Apollo, when pursued by the
monster.[482:3] And last, that of the virgin mother Mary, with her babe
beset by Herod. But like Hercules, Horus, Apollo, Theseus, Romulus,
Cyrus and other solar heroes, Christ Jesus has yet a long course
before him. Like them, he grows up both wise and strong, and the "old
Serpent" is discomfited by him, just as the sphynx and the dragon are
put to night by others.

7. He was tempted by the devil. The temptation by, and victory over
the evil one, whether Mara or Satan, is the victory of the Sun over
the clouds of storm and darkness.[482:4] Growing up in obscurity, the
day comes when he makes himself known, tries himself in his first
battles with his gloomy foes, and shines without a rival. He is rife
for his destined mission, but is met by the demon of storm, who runs to
dispute with him in the duel of the storm. In this struggle against
darkness the beneficent hero remains the conqueror, the gloomy army of
Mara, or Satan, broken and rent, is scattered; the Apearas, daughters of
the demon, the last light vapors which float in the heaven, try in vain
to clasp and retain the vanquisher; he disengages himself from their
embraces, repulses them; they writhe, lose their form, and vanish.

Free from every obstacle, and from every adversary, he sets in motion
across space his disk with a thousand rays, having avenged the attempts
of his eternal foe. He appears then in all his glory, and in his
sovereign splendor; the god has attained the summit of his course, it is
the moment of triumph.

8. He was put to death on the cross. The Sun has now reached his
extreme Southern limit, his career is ended, and he is at last overcome
by his enemies. The powers of darkness, and of winter, which had
sought in vain to wound him, have at length won the victory. The bright
Sun of summer is finally slain, crucified in the heavens, and pierced
by the arrow, spear or thorn of winter.[483:1] Before he dies, however,
he sees all his disciples--his retinue of light, and the twelve hours
of the day, or the twelve months of the year--disappear in the
sanguinary melee of the clouds of the evening.

Throughout the tale, the Sun-god was but fulfilling his doom. These
things must be. The suffering of a violent death was a necessary part of
the mythos; and, when his hour had come, he must meet his doom, as
surely as the Sun, once risen, must go across the sky, and then sink
down into his bed beneath the earth or sea. It was an iron fate from
which there was no escaping.

Crishna, the crucified Saviour of the Hindoos, is a personification of
the Sun crucified in the heavens. One of the names of the Sun in the
Vedic hymns is Vishnu,[483:2] and Crishna is Vishnu in human
form.[483:3]

In the hymns of the Rig-Veda the Sun is spoken of as "stretching
out his arms," in the heavens, "to bless the world, and to rescue it
from the terror of darkness."

Indra, the crucified Saviour worshiped in Nepal and Tibet,[484:1] is
identical with Crishna, the Sun.[484:2]

The principal Phenician deity, El, which, says Parkhurst, in his Hebrew
Lexicon, "was the very name the heathens gave to their god SOL, their
Lord or Ruler of the Hosts of Heaven," was called "The Preserver (or
Saviour) of the World," for the benefit of which he offered a
mystical sacrifice.[484:3]

The crucified Iao ("Divine Love" personified) is the crucified Adonis,
the Sun. The Lord and Saviour Adonis was called Iao.[484:4]

Osiris, the Egyptian Saviour, was crucified in the heavens. To the
Egyptian the cross was the symbol of immortality, an emblem of the
Sun, and the god himself was crucified to the tree, which denoted his
fructifying power.[484:5]

Horus was also crucified in the heavens. He was represented, like
Crishna and Christ Jesus, with outstretched arms in the vault of
heaven.[484:6]

The story of the crucifixion of Prometheus was allegorical, for
Prometheus was only a title of the SUN, expressing providence or
foresight, wherefore his being crucified in the extremities of the
earth, signified originally no more than the restriction of the power of
the SUN during the winter months.[484:7]

Who was Ixion, bound on the wheel? He was none other than the god
Sol, crucified in the heavens.[484:8] Whatever be the origin of the
name, Ixion is the "Sun of noonday," crucified in the heavens, whose
four-spoked wheel, in the words of Pindar, is seen whirling in the
highest heaven.[484:9]

The wheel upon which Ixion and criminals were said to have been
extended was a cross, although the name of the thing was dissembled
among Christians; it was a St. Andrew's cross, of which two spokes
confined the arms, and two the legs. (See Fig. No. 35.)

The allegorical tales of the triumphs and misfortunes of the Sun-gods
of the ancient Greeks and Romans, signify the alternate exertion of the
generative and destructive attributes.



Hercules is torn limb from limb; and in this catastrophe we see the
blood-red sunset which closes the career of Hercules.[485:1] The
Sun-god cannot rise to the life of the blessed gods until he has been
slain. The morning cannot come until the Eos who closed the previous day
has faded away and died in the black abyss of night.

Achilleus and Meleagros represent alike the short-lived Sun, whose
course is one of toil for others, ending in an early death, after a
series of wonderful victories alternating with periods of darkness and
gloom.[485:2]

In the tales of the Trojan war, it is related of Achilleus that he
expires at the Skaian, or western gates of the evening. He is slain by
Paris, who here appears as the Pani, or dark power, who blots out the
light of the Sun from the heaven.[485:3]

We have also the story of Adonis, born of a virgin, and known in the
countries where he was worshiped as "The Saviour of Mankind," killed by
the wild boar, afterwards "rose from the dead, and ascended into
heaven." This Adonis, Adonai--in Hebrew "My Lord"--is simply the Sun.
He is crucified in the heavens, put to death by the wild boar, i. e.,
Winter. "Babylon called Typhon or Winter the boar; they said he
killed Adonis or the fertile Sun."[485:4]

The Crucified Dove worshiped by the ancients, was none other than the
crucified Sun. Adonis was called the Dove. At the ceremonies in honor
of his resurrection from the dead, the devotees said, "Hail to the Dove!
the Restorer of Light."[485:5] Fig. No. 35 is the "Crucified Dove" as
described by Pindar, the great lyric poet of Greece, born about 522 B.
C.

"We read in Pindar, (says the author of a learned work
entitled "Nimrod,") of the venerable bird Iynx bound to the
wheel, and of the pretended punishment of Ixion. But this
rotation was really no punishment, being, as Pindar saith,
voluntary, and prepared by himself and for himself; or
if it was, it was appointed in derision of his false
pretensions, whereby he gave himself out as the crucified
spirit of the world." "The four spokes represent St. Andrew's
cross, adapted to the four limbs extended, and furnish perhaps
the oldest profane allusion to the crucifixion. The same
cross of St. Andrew was the Taw, which Ezekiel commands them
to mark upon the foreheads of the faithful, as appears from
all Israelitish coins whereon that letter is engraved. The
same idea was familiar to Lucian, who calls T the letter of
crucifixion. Certainly, the veneration for the cross is very
ancient. Iynx, the bird of Mautic inspiration, bound to the
four-legged wheel, gives the notion of Divine Love
crucified. The wheel denotes the world, of which she is the
spirit, and the cross the sacrifice made for that
world."[486:1]

This "Divine Love," of whom Nimrod speaks, was "The First-begotten
Son" of the Platonists. The crucifixion of "Divine Love" is often
found among the Greeks. Ioenah or Juno, according to the Iliad, was
bound with fetters, and suspended in space, between heaven and earth.
Ixion, Prometheus, Apollo of Miletus, (anciently the greatest and most
flourishing city of Ionia, in Asia Minor), were all crucified.[486:2]

Semi-Ramis was both a queen of unrivaled celebrity, and also a goddess,
worshiped under the form of a Dove. Her name signifies the Supreme
Dove. She is said to have been slain by the last survivor of her sons,
while others say, she flew away as a bird--a Dove. In both Grecian and
Hindoo histories this mystical queen Semiramis is said to have fought a
battle on the banks of the Indus, with a king called Staurobates, in
which she was defeated, and from which she flew away in the form of a
Dove. Of this Nimrod says:

"The name Staurobates, the king by whom Semiramis was finally
overpowered, alluded to the cross on which she perished,"
and that, "the crucifixion was made into a glorious mystery
by her infatuated adorers."[486:3]

Here again we have the crucified Dove, the Sun, for it is well known
that the ancients personified the Sun female as well as male.

We have also the fable of the Crucified Rose, illustrated in the jewel
of the Rosicrucians. The jewel of the Rosicrucians is formed of a
transparent red stone, with a red cross on one side, and a red rose
on the other--thus it is a crucified rose. "The Rossi, or
Rosy-crucians' idea concerning this emblematic red cross," says Hargrave
Jennings, in his History of the Rosicrucians, "probably came from the
fable of Adonis--who was the Sun whom we have so often seen
crucified--being changed into a red rose by Venus."[487:1]

The emblem of the Templars is a red rose on a cross. "When it can be
done, it is surrounded with a glory, and placed on a calvary (Fig. No.
36). This is the Naurutz, Natsir, or Rose of Isuren, of Tamul, or
Sharon, or the Water Rose, the Lily Padma, Pena, Lotus, crucified in
the heavens for the salvation of man."[487:2]



Christ Jesus was called the ROSE--the Rose of Sharon--of Isuren. He was
the renewed incarnation of Divine Wisdom. He was the son of Maia or
Maria. He was the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley, which
bloweth in the month of his mother Maia. Thus, when the angel Gabriel
gives the salutation to the Virgin, he presents her with the lotus or
lily; as may be seen in hundreds of old pictures in Italy. We see
therefore that Adonis, "the Lord," "the Virgin-born," "the Crucified,"
"the Resurrected Dove," "the Restorer of Light," is one and the same
with the "Rose of Sharon," the crucified Christ Jesus.

Plato (429 B. C.) in his Pimaeus, philosophizing about the Son of God,
says:

"The next power to the Supreme God was decussated or figured
in the shape of a cross on the universe."

This brings to recollection the doctrine of certain so-called Christian
heretics, who maintained that Christ Jesus was crucified in the
heavens.

The Chrestos was the Logos, the Sun was the manifestation of the
Logos or Wisdom to men; or, as it was held by some, it was his peculiar
habitation. The Sun being crucified at the time of the winter solstice
was represented by the young man slaying the Bull (an emblem of the
Sun) in the Mithraic ceremonies, and the slain lamb at the foot of
the cross in the Christian ceremonies. The Chrest was the Logos, or
Divine Wisdom, or a portion of divine wisdom incarnate; in this sense
he is really the Sun or the solar power incarnate, and to him everything
applicable to the Sun will apply.



Fig. No. 37, taken from Mr. Lundy's "Monumental Christianity," is
evidently a representation of the Christian Saviour crucified in the
heavens. Mr. Lundy calls it "Crucifixion in Space," and believes that
it was intended for the Hindoo Saviour Crishna, who is also represented
crucified in space (See Fig. No. 8, Ch. XX.). This (Fig. 37) is exactly
in the form of a Romish crucifix, but not fixed to a piece of wood,
though the legs and feet are put together in the usual way. There is a
glory over it, coming from above, not shining from the figure, as is
generally seen in a Roman crucifix. It has a pointed Parthian coronet
instead of a crown of thorns. All the avatars, or incarnations of
Vishnu, are painted with Ethiopian or Parthian coronets. For these
reasons the Christian author will not own that it is a representation of
the "True Son of Justice," for he was not crucified in space; but
whether it was intended to represent Crishna, Wittoba, or Jesus,[488:1]
it tells a secret: it shows that some one was represented crucified in
the heavens, and undoubtedly has something to do with "The next power
to the Supreme God," who, according to Plato, "was decussated or figured
in the shape of a cross on the universe."

Who was the crucified god whom the ancient Romans worshiped, and whom
they, according to Justin Martyr, represented as a man on a cross? Can
we doubt, after what we have seen, that he was this same crucified
Sol, whose birthday they annually celebrated on the 25th of December?

In the poetical tales of the ancient Scandinavians, the same legend is
found. Frey, the Deity of the Sun, was fabled to have been killed, at
the time of the winter solstice, by the same boar who put the god Adonis
to death, therefore a boar was annually offered to him at the great
feast of Yule.[489:1] "Baldur the Good," son of the supreme god Odin,
and the virgin-goddess Frigga, was also put to death by the sharp thorn
of winter.

The ancient Mexican crucified Saviour, Quetzalcoatle, another
personification of the Sun, was sometimes represented as crucified in
space, in the heavens, in a circle of nineteen figures, the number of
the metonic cycle. A serpent (the emblem of evil, darkness, and
winter) is depriving him of the organs of generation.[489:2]

We have seen in Chapter XXXIII. that Christ Jesus, and many of the
heathen saviours, healers, and preserving gods, were represented in the
form of a Serpent. This is owing to the fact that, in one of its
attributes, the Serpent was an emblem of the Sun. It may, at first,
appear strange that the Serpent should be an emblem of evil, and yet
also an emblem of the beneficent divinity; but, as Prof. Renouf remarks,
in his Hibbert Lectures, "The moment we understand the nature of a
myth, all impossibilities, contradictions, and immoralities disappear."
The serpent is an emblem of evil when represented with his deadly
sting; he is the emblem of eternity when represented casting off his
skin;[489:3] and an emblem of the Sun when represented with his tail
in his mouth, thus forming a circle.[489:4] Thus there came to be, not
only good, but also bad, serpents, both of which are referred to in the
narrative of the Hebrew exodus, but still more clearly in the struggle
between the good and the bad serpents of Persian mythology, which
symbolized Ormuzd, or Mithra, and the evil spirit Ahriman.[489:5]

As the Dove and the Rose, emblems of the Sun, were represented on the
cross, so was the Serpent.[489:6] The famous "Brazen Serpent," said to
have been "set up" by Moses in the wilderness, is called in the Targum
(the general term for the Aramaic versions of the Old Testament) the
SAVIOUR. It was probably a serpentine crucifix, as it is called a
cross by Justin Martyr. The crucified serpent (Fig. No. 38) denoted
the quiescent Phallos, or the Sun after it had lost its power. It is
the Sun in winter, crucified on the tree, which denoted its fructifying
power.[490:1] As Mr. Wake remarks, "There can be no doubt that both the
Pillar (Phallus) and the Serpent were associated with many of the
Sun-gods of antiquity."[490:2]

This is seen in Fig. No. 39, taken from an ancient medal, which
represents the serpent with rays of glory surrounding his head.




The Ophites, who venerated the serpent as an emblem of Christ Jesus, are
said to have maintained that the serpent of Genesis--who brought
wisdom into the world--was Christ Jesus. The brazen serpent was called
the WORD by the Chaldee paraphrast. The Word, or Logos, was Divine
Wisdom, which was crucified; thus we have the cross, or Linga, or
Phallus, with the serpent upon it. Besides considering the serpent as
the emblem of Christ Jesus, or of the Logos, the Ophites are said to
have revered it as the cause of all the arts of civilized life. In
Chapter XII. we saw that several illustrious females were believed to
have been selected and impregnated by the Holy Ghost. In some cases, a
serpent was supposed to be the form which it assumed. This was the
incarnation of the Logos.

The serpent was held in great veneration by the ancients, who, as we
have seen, considered it as the symbol of the beneficent Deity, and an
emblem of eternity. As such it has been variously expressed on ancient
sculptures and medals in various parts of the globe.

Although generally, it did not always, symbolize the god Sun, or the
power of which the Sun is an emblem; but, invested with various
meanings, it entered widely into the primitive mythologies. As Mr.
Squire observes:

"It typified wisdom, power, duration, the good and evil
principles, life, reproduction--in short, in Egypt, Syria,
Greece, India, China, Scandinavia, America, everywhere on the
globe, it has been a prominent emblem."[491:1]

The serpent was the symbol of Vishnu, the preserving god, the Saviour,
the Sun.[491:2] It was an emblem of the Sun-god Buddha, the
Angel-Messiah.[491:3] The Egyptian Sun-god Osiris, the Saviour, is
associated with the snake.[491:4] The Persian Mithra, the Mediator,
Redeemer, and Saviour, was symbolized by the serpent.[491:5] The
Phenicians represented their beneficent Sun-god Agathodemon, by a
serpent.[491:6] The serpent was, among the Greeks and Romans, the emblem
of a beneficent genius. Antipator of Sidon, calls the god Ammon, the
"Renowned Serpent."[491:7] The Grecian Hercules--the Sun-god--was
symbolized as a serpent; and so was AEsculapius and Apollo. The Hebrews,
who, as we have seen in Chapter XI., worshiped the god Sol, represented
him in the form of a serpent. This is the seraph--spoken of above--as
set up by Moses (Num. xxi. 3) and worshiped by the children of Israel.
SE RA PH is the singular of seraphim, meaning Semilice--splendor,
fire, light--emblematic of the fiery disk of the Sun, and which,
under the name of Nehush-tan, "Serpent-dragon," was broken up by the
reforming Hezekiah.

The principal god of the Aztecs was Tonac-atlcoatl, which means the
Serpent Sun.[491:8]

The Mexican virgin-born Lord and Saviour, Quetzalcoatle, was represented
in the form of a serpent. In fact, his name signifies "Feathered
Serpent." Quetzalcoatle was a personification of the Sun.[491:9]

Under the aspect of the active principle, we may rationally connect
the Serpent and the Sun, as corresponding symbols of the
reproductive or creative power. Figure No. 40 is a symbolical sign,
representing the disk of the Sun encircled by the serpent Uraeus,
meaning the "KING SUN," or "ROYAL SUN," as it often surmounts the
persons of Egyptian monarchs, confirmed by the emblem of LIFE
depending from the serpent's neck.[492:1]



The mysteries of Osiris, Isis, and Horus, in Egypt; Atys and Cybele,
in Phrygia; Ceres and Proserpine, at Eleusis; of Venus and Adonis,
in Phenicia; of Bona Dea and Priapus, in Rome, are all susceptible
of one explanation. They all set forth and illustrated, by solemn and
impressive rites, and mystical symbols, the grand phenomenon of
nature, especially as connected with the creation of things and the
perpetuation of life. In all, it is worthy of remark, the SERPENT was
more or less conspicuously introduced, and always as symbolical of the

invigorating or active energy of nature, the SUN.

We have seen (in Chapter XX.) that in early Christian art Christ Jesus
also was represented as a crucified Lamb. This crucified lamb is "the
Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world, and slain from the
foundation of the world."[492:2] In other words, the crucified lamb
typifies the crucified Sun, for the lamb was another symbol of the
Sun, as we shall presently see.

We find, then, that the stories of the crucifixions of the different
so-called SAVIOURS of mankind all melt into ONE, and that they are
allegorical, for "Saviour" was only a title of the Sun,[492:3] and
his being put to death on the cross, signifies no more than the
restriction of the power of the Sun in the winter quarter. With Justin
Martyr, then, we can say:

"There exists not a people, whether Greek or barbarian, or any
other race of men, by whatsoever appellation or manners they
may be distinguished, however ignorant of arts or agriculture,
whether they dwell under the tents, or wander about in
crowded wagons, among whom prayers are not offered up in the
name of A CRUCIFIED SAVIOUR[493:1] to the Father and creator
of all things."[493:2]

9. "And many women were there beholding afar off."[493:3] The tender
mother who had watched over him at his birth, and the fair maidens whom
he has loved, will never forsake him. They yet remain with him, and
while their tears drop on his feet, which they kiss, their voices cheer
him in his last hour. In these we have the Dawn, who bore him, and the
fair and beautiful lights which flush the Eastern sky as the Sun sinks
or dies in the West.[493:4] Their tears are the tears of dew, such as
Eos weeps at the death of her child.

All the Sun-gods forsake their homes and virgin mothers, and wander
through different countries doing marvellous things. Finally, at the end
of their career, the mother, from whom they were parted long ago, is by
their side to cheer them in their last hours.[493:5]

The ever-faithful women were to be found at the last scene in the life
of Buddha. Kasyapa having found the departed master's feet soiled and
wet, asked Nanda the cause of it. "He was told that a weeping woman had
embraced Gautama's feet shortly before his death, and that her tears had
fallen on his feet and left the marks on them."[493:6]

In his last hours, OEdipous (the Sun) has been cheered by the
presence of Antigone.[493:7]

At the death of Hercules, Iole (the fair-haired Dawn) stands by his
side, cheering him to the last. With her gentle hands she sought to
soothe his pain, and with pitying words to cheer him in his woe. Then
once more the face of Hercules flushed with a deep joy, and he said:

"Ah, Iole, brightest of maidens, thy voice shall cheer me as I
sink down in the sleep of death. I saw and loved thee in the
bright morning time, and now again thou hast come, in the
evening, fair as the soft clouds which gather around the
dying Sun."

The black mists were spreading over the sky, but still Hercules sought
to gaze on the fair face of Iole, and to comfort her in her sorrow.

"Weep not, Iole," he said, "my toil is done, and now is the
time for rest. I shall see thee again in the bright land which
is never trodden by the feet of night."

The same story is related in the legend of Apollo. The Dawn, from
whom he parted in the early part of his career, comes to his side at
eventide, and again meets him when his journey on earth has well nigh
come to an end.[494:1]

When the Lord Prometheus was crucified on Mt. Caucasus, his especially
professed friend, Oceanus, the fisherman, as his name, Petraeus,
indicates,[494:2] being unable to prevail on him to make his peace with
Jupiter, by throwing the cause of human redemption out of his
hands,[494:3] "forsook him and fled." None remained to be witnesses of
his dying agonies, but the chorus of ever amiable and ever-faithful
women, which also bewailed and lamented him, but were unable to subdue
his inflexible philanthropy.[494:4]

10. "There was darkness all over the land."[494:5] In the same manner
ends the tale of the long toil and sorrows of other Sun-gods. The last
scene exhibits a manifest return to the spirit of the solar myth. He
must not die the common death of all men, for no disease or corruption
can touch the body of the brilliant Sun. After a long struggle against
the dark clouds who are arrayed against him, he is finally overcome, and
dies. Blacker and blacker grow the evening shades, and finally "there is
darkness on the face of the earth," and the din of its thunder clashes
through the air.[494:6]

It is the picture of a sunset in wild confusion, of a sunset more awful,
yet not more sad, than that which is seen in the last hours of many
other Sun-gods.[494:7] It is the picture of the loneliness of the
Sun, who sinks slowly down, with the ghastly hues of death upon his
face, while none is nigh to cheer him save the ever-faithful women.

11. "He descended into hell."[494:8] This is the Sun's descent into
the lower regions. It enters the sign Capricornus, or the Goat, and
the astronomical winter begins. The days have reached their shortest
span, and the Sun has reached his extreme southern limit. The winter
solstice reigns, and the Sun seems to stand still in his southern
course. For three days and three nights he remains in hell--the lower
regions.[495:1] In this respect Christ Jesus is like other
Sun-gods.[495:2]

In the ancient sagas of Iceland, the hero who is the Sun personified,
descends into a tomb, where he fights a vampire. After a desperate
struggle, the hero overcomes, and rises to the surface of the earth.
"This, too, represents the Sun in the northern realms, descending into
the tomb of winter, and there overcoming the power of darkness."[495:3]

12. He rose again from the dead, and ascended into heaven.
Resurrections from the dead, and ascensions into heaven, are generally
acknowledged to be solar features, as the history of many solar heroes
agree in this particular.

At the winter solstice the ancients wept and mourned for Tammuz, the
fair Adonis, and other Sun-gods, done to death by the boar, or
crucified--slain by the thorn of winter--and on the third day they
rejoiced at the resurrection of their "Lord of Light."[495:4]

With her usual policy, the Church endeavored to give a Christian
significance to the rites which they borrowed from heathenism, and in
this case, the mourning for Tammuz, the fair Adonis, became the mourning
for Christ Jesus, and joy at the rising of the natural Sun became joy at
the rising of the "Sun of Righteousness"--at the resurrection of Christ
Jesus from the grave.

This festival of the Resurrection was generally held by the ancients on
the 25th of March, when the awakening of Spring may be said to be the
result of the return of the Sun from the lower or far-off regions to
which he had departed. At the equinox--say, the vernal--at Easter,
the Sun has been below the equator, and suddenly rises above it. It has
been, as it were, dead to us, but now it exhibits a resurrection.[496:1]
The Saviour rises triumphant over the powers of darkness, to life and
immortality, on the 25th of March, when the Sun rises in Aries.

Throughout all t





Next: Conclusion

Previous: The Antiquity Of Pagan Religions



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