Paganism In Christianity





Our assertion that that which is called Christianity is nothing more

than the religion of Paganism, we consider to have been fully verified.

We have found among the heathen, centuries before the time of Christ

Jesus, the belief in an incarnate God born of a virgin; his previous

existence in heaven; the celestial signs at the time of his birth; the

rejoicing in heaven; the adoration by the magi and shepherds; the

offerings of precious substances to the divine child; the slaughter of

the innocents; the presentation at the temple; the temptation by the

devil; the performing of miracles; the crucifixion by enemies; and the

death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. We have also found the

belief that this incarnate God was from all eternity; that he was the

Creator of the world, and that he is to be Judge of the dead at the last

day. We have also seen the practice of Baptism, and the sacrament of the

Lord's Supper or Eucharist, added to the belief in a Triune God,

consisting of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Let us now compare the

Christian creed with ancient Pagan belief.



Christian Creed.



1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth:



Ancient Pagan Belief.



1. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and

earth:[384:1]



2. And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, Our Lord.



2. And in his only Son, our Lord.[384:2]



3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary,



3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin

Mary.[384:3]



4. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried.



4. Suffered under (whom it might be), was crucified, dead, and

buried.[384:4]



5. He descended into Hell;



5. He descended into Hell;[385:1]



6. The third day he rose again from the dead;



6. The third day he rose again from the dead;[385:2]



7. He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the

Father Almighty;



7. He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of

God the Father Almighty;[385:3]



8. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.



8. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the

dead.[385:4]



9. I believe in the Holy Ghost;



9. I believe in the Holy Ghost;[385:5]



10. The Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of Saints;



10. The Holy Catholic Church,[385:6] the Communion of Saints;



11. The forgiveness of sins;



11. The forgiveness of sins;[385:7]



12. The resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting.



12. The resurrection of the body; and the life

everlasting.[385:8]



The above is the so-called "Apostles' Creed," as it now stands in the

book of common prayer of the United Church of England and Ireland, as by

law established.



It is affirmed by Ambrose, that:



"The twelve apostles, as skilled artificers, assembled

together, and made a key by their common advice, that is, the

Creed, by which the darkness of the devil is disclosed, that

the light of Christ may appear."



Others fable that every Apostle inserted an article, by which the Creed

is divided into twelve articles.



The earliest account of its origin we have from Ruffinus, an historical

compiler and traditionist of the fourth century, but not in the form

in which it is known at present, it having been added to since that

time. The most important addition is that which affirms that Jesus

descended into hell, which has been added since A. D. 600.[385:9]



Beside what we have already seen, the ancient Pagans had many beliefs

and ceremonies which are to be found among the Christians. One of these

is the story of "The War in Heaven."



The New Testament version is as follows:



"There was a war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought

against the dragon, and the dragon fought, and his angels, and

prevailed not, neither was their place found any more in

heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,

called the devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world,

he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out

with him."[386:1]



The cause of the revolt, it is said, was that Satan, who was then an

angel, desired to be as great as God. The writer of Isaiah, xiv. 13, 14,

is supposed to refer to it when he says:



"Thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I

will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also

upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the North;

I will ascend before the heights of the clouds; I will be like

the Most High."



The Catholic theory of the fall of the angels is as follows:



"In the beginning, before the creation of heaven and earth,

God made the angels, free intelligences, and free wills, out

of his love He made them, that they might be eternally happy.

And that their happiness might be complete, he gave them the

perfection of a created nature, that is, he gave them freedom.

But happiness is only attained by the free will agreeing in

its freedom to accord with the will of God. Some of the angels

by an act of free will obeyed the will of God, and in such

obedience found perfect happiness. Other angels, by an act of

free will, rebelled against the will of God, and in such

disobedience found misery."[386:2]



They were driven out of heaven, after having a combat with the obedient

angels, and cast into hell. The writer of second Peter alludes to it

in saying that God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down

into hell.[386:3]



The writer of Jude also alludes to it in saying:



"The angels which kept not their first estate, but left their

own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under

darkness unto the judgment of the great day."[386:4]



According to the Talmudists, Satan, whose proper name is Sammael, was

one of the Seraphim of heaven, with six wings.



"He was not driven out of heaven until after he had led Adam

and Eve into sin; then Sammael and his host were precipitated

out of the place of bliss, with God's curse to weigh them

down. In the struggle between Michael and Sammael, the falling

Seraph caught the wings of Michael, and tried to drag him down

with him, but God saved him, when Michael derived his

name,--the Rescued."[386:5]



Sammael was formerly chief among the angels of God, and now he is

prince among devils. His name is derived from Simme, which means, to

blind and deceive. He stands on the left side of men. He goes by various

names; such as "The Old Serpent," "The Unclean Spirit," "Satan,"

"Leviathan," and sometimes also "Asael."[387:1]



According to Hindoo mythology, there is a legion of evil spirits

called Rakshasas, who are governed by a prince named Ravana. These

Rakshasas are continually aiming to do injury to mankind, and are the

same who fought desperate battles with Indra, and his Spirits of

Light. They would have taken his paradise by storm, and subverted the

whole order of the universe, if Brahma had not sent Vishnou to

circumvent their plans.



In the Aitareya-brahmana (Hindoo) written, according to Prof. Monier

Williams, seven or eight centuries B. C., we have the following legend:



"The gods and demons were engaged in warfare.

The evil demons, like to mighty kings,

Made these worlds castles; then they formed the earth

Into an iron citadel, the air

Into a silver fortress, and the sky

Into a fort of gold. Whereat the gods

Said to each other, 'Frame me other worlds

In opposition to these fortresses.'

Then they constructed sacrificial places,

Where they performed a triple burnt oblation.

By the first sacrifice they drove the demons

Out of their earthly fortress, by the second

Out of the air, and by the third oblation

Out of the sky. Thus were the evil spirits

Chased by the gods in triumph from the worlds."[387:2]



The ancient Egyptians were familiar with the tale of the war in

heaven; and the legend of the revolt against the god Ra, the Heavenly

Father, and his destruction of the revolters, was discovered by M.

Naville in one of the tombs at Biban-el-moluk.[387:3]



The same story is to be found among the ancient Persian legends, and

is related as follows:



"Ahriman, the devil, was not created evil by the eternal one,

but he became evil by revolting against his will. This revolt

resulted in a 'war in heaven.' In this war the Iveds (good

angels) fought against the Divs (rebellious ones) headed by

Ahriman, and flung the conquered into Douzahk or

hell."[387:4]



An extract from the Persian Zend-avesta reads as follows:



"Ahriman interrupted the order of the universe, raised an

army against Ormuzd, and having maintained a fight against

him during ninety days, was at length vanquished by Honover,

the divine Word."[388:1]



The Assyrians had an account of a war in heaven, which was like that

described in the book of Enoch and the Revelation.[388:2]



This legend was also to be found among the ancient Greeks, in the

struggle of the Titans against Jupiter. Titan and all his rebellious

host were cast out of heaven, and imprisoned in the dark abyss.[388:3]



Among the legends of the ancient Mexicans was found this same story of

the war in heaven, and the downfall of the rebellious angels.[388:4]



"The natives of the Caroline Islands (in the North Pacific Ocean),

related that one of the inferior gods, named Merogrog, was driven by

the other gods out of heaven."[388:5]



We see, therefore, that this also was an almost universal legend.



The belief in a future life was almost universal among nations of

antiquity. The Hindoos have believed from time immemorial that man has

an invisible body within the material body; that is, a soul.



Among the ancient Egyptians the same belief was to be found. All the

dead, both men and women, were spoken of as "Osiriana;" by which they

intended to signify "gone to Osiris."



Their belief in One Supreme Being, and the immortality of the soul, must

have been very ancient; for on a monument, which dates ages before

Abraham is said to have lived, is found this epitaph: "May thy soul

attain to the Creator of all mankind." Sculptures and paintings in these

grand receptacles of the dead, as translated by Champollion, represent

the deceased ushered into the world of spirits by funeral deities, who

announce, "A soul arrived in Amenti."[388:6]



The Hindoo idea of a subtile invisible body within the material body,

reappeared in the description of Greek poets. They represented the

constitution of man as consisting of three principles: the soul, the

invisible body, and the material body. The invisible body they called

the ghost or shade, and considered it as the material portion of the

soul. At death, the soul, clothed in this subtile body, went to enjoy

paradise for a season, or suffer in hell till its sins were expiated.

This paradise was called the "Elysian Fields," and the hell was called

Tartarus.



The paradise, some supposed to be a part of the lower world, some placed

them in a middle zone in the air, some in the moon, and others in

far-off isles in the ocean. There shone more glorious sun and stars than

illuminated this world. The day was always serene, the air forever pure,

and a soft, celestial light clothed all things in transfigured beauty.

Majestic groves, verdant meadows, and blooming gardens varied the

landscape. The river Eridanus flowed through winding banks fringed with

laurel. On its borders lived heroes who had died for their country,

priests who had led a pure life, artists who had embodied genuine beauty

in their work, and poets who had never degraded their muse with subjects

unworthy of Apollo. There each one renewed the pleasures in which he

formerly delighted. Orpheus, in long white robes, made enrapturing music

on his lyre, while others danced and sang. The husband rejoined his

beloved wife; old friendships were renewed, the poet repeated his

verses, and the charioteer managed his horses.



Some souls wandered in vast forests between Tartarus and Elysium, not

good enough for one, or bad enough for the other. Some were purified

from their sins by exposure to searching winds, others by being

submerged in deep waters, others by passing through intense fires. After

a long period of probation and suffering, many of them gained the

Elysian Fields. This belief is handed down to our day in the Roman

Catholic idea of Purgatory.



A belief in the existence of the soul after death was indicated in all

periods of history of the world, by the fact that man was always

accustomed to address prayers to the spirits of their ancestors.[389:1]



These heavens and hells where men abode after death, vary, in

different countries, according to the likes and dislikes of each nation.



All the Teutonic nations held to a fixed Elysium and a hell, where the

valiant and the just were rewarded, and where the cowardly and the

wicked suffered punishment. As all nations have made a god, and that god

has resembled the persons who made it, so have all nations made a

heaven, and that heaven corresponds to the fancies of the people who

have created it.



In the prose Edda there is a description of the joys of Valhalla (the

Hall of the Chosen), which states that: "All men who have fallen in

fight since the beginning of the world are gone to Odin (the Supreme

God), in Valhalla." A mighty band of men are there, "and every day, as

soon as they have dressed themselves, they ride out into the court (or

field), and there fight until they cut each other into pieces. This is

their pastime, but when the meal-tide approaches, they remount their

steeds, and return to drink in Valhalla. As it is said (in

Vafthrudnis-mal):



'The Einherjar all

On Odin's plain

Hew daily each other,

While chosen the slain are.

From the frey they then ride,

And drink ale with the AEsir.'"[390:1]



This description of the palace of Odin is a natural picture of the

manners of the ancient Scandinavians and Germans. Prompted by the wants

of their climate, and the impulse of their own temperament, they formed

to themselves a delicious paradise in their own way; where they were to

eat and drink, and fight. The women, to whom they assigned a place

there, were introduced for no other purpose but to fill their cups.



The Mohammedan paradise differs from this. Women there, are for man's

pleasure. The day is always serene, the air forever pure, and a soft

celestial light clothes all things in transfigured beauty. Majestic

groves, verdant meadows, and blooming gardens vary the landscape. There,

in radiant halls, dwell the departed, ever blooming and beautiful, ever

laughing and gay.



The American Indian calculates upon finding successful chases after wild

animals, verdant plains, and no winter, as the characteristics of his

"future life."



The red Indian, when told by a missionary that in the "promised land"

they would neither eat, drink, hunt, nor marry a wife, contemptuously

replied, that instead of wishing to go there, he should deem his

residence in such a place as the greatest possible calamity. Many not

only rejected such a destiny for themselves, but were indignant at the

attempt to decoy their children into such a comfortless region.



All nations of the earth have had their heavens. As Moore observes:



"A heaven, too, ye must have, ye lords of dust--

A splendid paradise, poor souls, ye must:

That prophet ill sustains his holy call

Who finds not heavens to suit the tastes of all.

Vain things! as lust or vanity inspires,

The heaven of each is but what each desires."



Heaven was born of the sky,[391:1] and nurtured by cunning priests,

who made man a coward and a slave.



Hell was built by priests, and nurtured by the fears and servile

fancies of man during the ages when dungeons of torture were a

recognized part of every government, and when God was supposed to be an

infinite tyrant, with infinite resources of vengeance.



The devil is an imaginary being, invented by primitive man to account

for the existence of evil, and relieve God of his responsibility. The

famous Hindoo Rakshasas of our Aryan ancestors--the dark and evil

clouds personified--are the originals of all devils. The cloudy shape

has assumed a thousand different forms, horrible or grotesque and

ludicrous, to suit the changing fancies of the ages.



But strange as it may appear, the god of one nation became the devil of

another.



The rock of Behistun, the sculptured chronicle of the glories of Darius,

king of Persia, situated on the western frontier of Media, on the

high-road from Babylon to the eastward, was used as a "holy of holies."

It was named Bagistane--"the place of the Baga"--referring to

Ormuzd, chief of the Bagas. When examined with the lenses of linguistic

science, the "Bogie" or "Bug-a-boo" or "Bugbear" of nursery lore,

turns out to be identical with the Slavonic "Bog" and the "Baga" of

the cuneiform inscriptions, both of which are names of the Supreme

Being. It is found also in the old Aryan "Bhaga," who is described in

a commentary of the Rig-Veda as the lord of life, the giver of bread,

and the bringer of happiness. Thus, the same name which, to the Vedic

poet, to the Persian of the time of Xerxes, and to the modern Russian,

suggests the supreme majesty of deity, is in English associated with an

ugly and ludicrous fiend. Another striking illustration is to be found

in the word devil itself. When traced back to its primitive source, it

is found to be a name of the Supreme Being.[391:2]



The ancients had a great number of festival days, many of which are

handed down to the present time, and are to be found in Christianity.



We have already seen that the 25th of December was almost a universal

festival among the ancients; so it is the same with the spring

festivals, when days of fasting are observed.



The Hindoos hold a festival, called Siva-ratri, in honor of Siva,

about the middle or end of February. A strict fast is observed during

the day. They have also a festival in April, when a strict fast is kept

by some.[392:1]



At the spring equinox most nations of antiquity set apart a day to

implore the blessings of their god, or gods, on the fruits of the earth.

At the autumnal equinox, they offered the fruits of the harvest, and

returned thanks. In China, these religious solemnities are called

"Festivals of gratitude to Tien."[392:2] The last named corresponds to

our "Thanksgiving" celebration.



One of the most considerable festivals held by the ancient

Scandinavians was the spring celebration. This was held in honor of

Odin, at the beginning of spring, in order to welcome in that pleasant

season, and to obtain of their god happy success in their projected

expeditions.



Another festival was held toward the autumn equinox, when they were

accustomed to kill all their cattle in good condition, and lay in a

store of provision for the winter. This festival was also attended with

religious ceremonies, when Odin, the supreme god, was thanked for what

he had given them, by having his altar loaded with the fruits of their

crops, and the choicest products of the earth.[392:3]



There was a grand celebration in Egypt, called the "Feast of Lamps,"

held at Sais, in honor of the goddess Neith. Those who did not attend

the ceremony, as well as those who did, burned lamps before their houses

all night, filled with oil and salt: thus all Egypt was illuminated. It

was deemed a great irreverence to the goddess for any one to omit this

ceremony.[392:4]



The Hindoos also held a festival in honor of the goddesses Lakshmi and

Bhavanti, called "The feast of Lamps."[392:5] This festival has been

handed down to the present time in what is called "Candlemas day," or

the purification of the Virgin Mary.



The most celebrated Pagan festival held by modern Christians is that

known as "Sunday," or the "Lord's day."



All the principal nations of antiquity kept the seventh day of the

week as a "holy day," just as the ancient Israelites did. This was owing

to the fact that they consecrated the days of the week to the Sun, the

Moon, and the five planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.

The seventh day was sacred to Saturn from time immemorial. Homer and

Hesiod call it the "Holy Day."[393:1] The people generally visited the

temples of the gods, on that day, and offered up their prayers and

supplications.[393:2] The Acadians, thousands of years ago, kept holy

the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th of each month as Salum (rest), on which

certain works were forbidden.[393:3] The Arabs anciently worshiped

Saturn under the name of Hobal. In his hands he held seven arrows,

symbols of the planets that preside over the seven days of the

week.[393:4] The Egyptians assigned a day of the week to the sun,

moon, and five planets, and the number seven was held there in great

reverence.[393:5]



The planet Saturn very early became the chief deity of Semitic

religion. Moses consecrated the number seven to him.[393:6]



In the old conception, which finds expression in the Decalogue in

Deuteronomy (v. 15), the Sabbath has a purely theocratic significance,

and is intended to remind the Hebrews of their miraculous deliverance

from the land of Egypt and bondage. When the story of Creation was

borrowed from the Babylonians, the celebration of the Sabbath was

established on entirely new grounds (Ex. xx. 11), for we find it is

because the "Creator," after his six days of work, rested on the

seventh, that the day should be kept holy.



The Assyrians kept this day holy. Mr. George Smith says:



"In the year 1869, I discovered among other things a curious

religious calendar of the Assyrians, in which every month is

divided into four weeks, and the seventh days or

'Sabbaths,' are marked out as days on which no work should

be undertaken."[393:7]



The ancient Scandinavians consecrated one day in the week to their

Supreme God, Odin or Wodin.[393:8] Even at the present time we call

this day Odin's-day.[393:9]



The question now arises, how was the great festival day changed from

the seventh--Saturn's day--to the first--Sun-day--among the

Christians?



"If we go back to the founding of the church, we find that the most

marked feature of that age, so far as the church itself is concerned, is

the grand division between the 'Jewish faction,' as it was called, and

the followers of Paul. This division was so deep, so marked, so

characteristic, that it has left its traces all through the New

Testament itself. It was one of the grand aspects of the time, and the

point on which they were divided was simply this: the followers of

Peter, those who adhered to the teachings of the central church in

Jerusalem, held that all Christians, both converted Jews and Gentiles,

were under obligation to keep the Mosaic law, ordinances, and

traditions. That is, a Christian, according to their definition, was

first a Jew; Christianity was something added to that, not something

taking the place of it.



"We find this controversy raging violently all through the early

churches, and splitting them into factions, so that they were the

occasion of prayer and counsel. Paul took the ground distinctly that

Christianity, while it might be spiritually the lineal successor of

Judaism, was not Judaism; and that he who became a Christian, whether a

converted Jew or Gentile, was under no obligation whatever to keep the

Jewish law, so far as it was separate from practical matters of life and

character. We find this intimated in the writings of Paul; for we have

to go to the New Testament for the origin of that which, we find,

existed immediately after the New Testament was written. Paul says: 'One

man esteemeth one day above another: another man esteemeth every day

alike' (Rom. xiv. 5-9). He leaves it an open question; they can do as

they please. Then: 'Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I

am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain' (Gal. iv.

10, 11). And if you will note this Epistle of Paul to the Galatians, you

will find that the whole purpose of his writing it was to protest

against what he believed to be the viciousness of the Judaizing

influences. That is, he says: 'I have come to preach to you the perfect

truth, that Christ hath made us free; and you are going back and taking

upon yourselves this yoke of bondage. My labor is being thrown away; my

efforts have been in vain.' Then he says, in his celebrated Epistle to

the Colossians, that has never yet been explained away or met: 'Let no

man therefore judge you any more in meat, or in drink, or in respect of

an holy day, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath days' (Col. ii. 16,

17), distinctly abrogating the binding authority of the Sabbath on the

Christian church. So that, if Paul's word anywhere means anything--if

his authority is to be taken as of binding force on any point

whatever--then Paul is to be regarded as authoritatively and distinctly

abrogating the Sabbath, and declaring that it is no longer binding on

the Christian church."[395:1]



This breach in the early church, this controversy, resulted at last in

Paul's going up to Jerusalem "to meet James and the representatives of

the Jerusalem church, to see if they could find any common platform of

agreement--if they could come together so that they could work with

mutual respect and without any further bickering. What is the platform

that they met upon? It was distinctly understood that those who wished

to keep up the observance of Judaism should do so; and the church at

Jerusalem gave Paul this grand freedom, substantially saying to him: 'Go

back to your missionary work, found churches, and teach them that they

are perfectly free in regard to all Mosaic and Jewish observances, save

only these four: Abstain from pollutions of idols, from fornication,

from things strangled, and from blood."[395:2]



The point to which our attention is forcibly drawn is, that the question

of Sabbath-keeping is one of those that is left out. The point that Paul

had been fighting for was conceded by the central church at Jerusalem,

and he was to go out thenceforth free, so far as that was concerned, in

his teaching of the churches that he should found.



There is no mention of the Sabbath, or the Lord's day, as binding in the

New Testament. What, then, was the actual condition of affairs? What did

the churches do in the first three hundred years of their existence?

Why, they did just what Paul and the Jerusalem church had agreed upon.

Those who wished to keep the Jewish Sabbath did so; and those who did

not wish to, did not do so. This is seen from the fact that Justin

Martyr, a Christian Father who flourished about A. D. 140, did not

observe the day. In his "Dialogue" with Typho, the Jew reproaches the

Christians for not keeping the "Sabbath." Justin admits the charge by

saying:



"Do you not see that the Elements keep no Sabbaths and are

never idle? Continue as you were created. If there was no need

of circumcision before Abraham's time, and no need of the

Sabbath, of festivals and oblations, before the time of Moses,

neither of them are necessary after the coming of Christ. If

any among you is guilty of perjury, fraud, or other crimes,

let him cease from them and repent, and he will have kept

the kind of Sabbath pleasing to God."



There was no binding authority then, among the Christians, as to

whether they should keep the first or the seventh day of the week holy,

or not, until the time of the first Christian Roman Emperor.

"Constantine, a Sun worshiper, who had, as other Heathen, kept the

Sun-day, publicly ordered this to supplant the Jewish Sabbath."[396:1]

He commanded that this day should be kept holy, throughout the whole

Roman empire, and sent an edict to all governors of provinces to this

effect.[396:2] Thus we see how the great Pagan festival, in honor of

Sol the invincible, was transformed into a Christian holy-day.



Not only were Pagan festival days changed into Christian holy-days, but

Pagan idols were converted into Christian saints, and Pagan temples into

Christian churches.



A Pagan temple at Rome, formerly sacred to the "Bona Dea" (the "Good

Goddess"), was Christianized and dedicated to the Virgin Mary. In a

place formerly sacred to Apollo, there now stands the church of Saint

Apollinaris. Where there anciently stood the temple of Mars, may now be

seen the church of Saint Martine.[396:3] A Pagan temple, originally

dedicated to "Caelestis Dea" (the "Heavenly Goddess"), by one Aurelius,

a Pagan high-priest, was converted into a Christian church by another

Aurelius, created Bishop of Carthage in the year 390 of Christ. He

placed his episcopal chair in the very place where the statue of the

Heavenly Goddess had stood.[396:4]



The noblest heathen temple now remaining in the world, is the Pantheon

or Rotunda, which, as the inscription over the portico informs us,

having been impiously dedicated of old by Agrippa to "Jove and all the

gods," was piously reconsecrated by Pope Boniface the Fourth, to "The

Mother of God and all the Saints."[396:5]



The church of Saint Reparatae, at Florence, was formerly a Pagan temple.

An inscription was found in the foundation of this church, of these

words: "To the Great Goddess Nutria."[396:6] The church of St. Stephen,

at Bologna, was formed from heathen temples, one of which was a temple

of Isis.[396:7]



At the southern extremity of the present Forum at Rome, and just under

the Palatine hill--where the noble babes, who, miraculously preserved,

became the founders of a state that was to command the world, were

exposed--stands the church of St. Theodore.



This temple was built in honor of Romulus, and the brazen

wolf--commemorating the curious manner in which the founders of Rome

were nurtured--occupied a place here till the sixteenth century. And, as

the Roman matrons of old used to carry their children, when ill, to the

temple of Romulus, so too, the women still carry their children to St.

Theodore on the same occasions.



In Christianizing these Pagan temples, free use was made of the

sculptured and painted stones of heathen monuments. In some cases they

evidently painted over one name, and inserted another. This may be seen

from the following



INSCRIPTIONS FORMERLY IN PAGAN TEMPLES.



1. To Mercury and Minerva, Tutelary Gods.



and



INSCRIPTIONS NOW IN CHRISTIAN CHURCHES.



1. To St. Mary and St. Francis, My Tutelaries.



2. To the Gods who preside over this Temple.



2. To the Divine Eustrogius, who presides over this Temple.



3. To the Divinity of Mercury the Availing, the Powerful, the

Unconquered.



3. To the Divinity of St. George the Availing, the Powerful,

the Unconquered.



4. Sacred to the Gods and Goddesses, with Jove the best and greatest.



4. Sacred to the presiding helpers, St. George and St.

Stephen, with God the best and greatest.



5. Venus' Pigeon.



5. The Holy Ghost represented as a Pigeon.



6. The Mystical Letters I. H. S.[397:1]



6. The Mystical Letters I. H. S.[397:2]



In many cases the Images of the Pagan gods were allowed to remain in

these temples, and, after being Christianized, continued to receive

divine honors.[397:3]



"In St. Peter's, Rome, is a statue of Jupiter, deprived of his

thunderbolt, which is replaced by the emblematic keys. In like manner,

much of the religion of the lower orders, which we regard as essentially

Christian, is ancient heathenism, refitted with Christian

symbols."[397:4] We find that as early as the time of St. Gregory,

Bishop of Neo-Cesarea (A. D. 243), the "simple" and "unskilled"

multitudes of Christians were allowed to pay divine honors to these

images, hoping that in the process of time they would learn

better.[398:1] In fact, as Prof. Draper says:



"Olympus was restored, but the divinities passed under other

names. The more powerful provinces insisted upon the adoption

of their time-honored conceptions. . . . Not only was the

adoration of ISIS under a new name restored, but even her

image, standing on the crescent moon, reappeared. The

well-known effigy of that goddess with the infant Horus in her

arms, has descended to our days in the beautiful, artistic

creations of the Madonna and child. Such restorations of old

conceptions under novel forms were everywhere received with

delight. When it was announced to the Ephesians, that the

Council of that place, headed by Cyril, had declared that the

Virgin (Mary) should be called the 'Mother of God,' with

tears of joy they embraced the knees of their bishop; it was

the old instinct cropping out; their ancestors would have done

the same for Diana."[398:2]



"O bright goddess; once again

Fix on earth thy heav'nly reign;

Be thy sacred name ador'd,

Altars rais'd, and rites restor'd."



Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople from 428 A. D., refused to call Mary

"the mother of God," on the ground that she could be the mother of the

human nature only, which the divine Logos used as its organ. Cyril,

Bishop of Alexandria, did all in his power to stir up the minds of the

people against Nestorius; the consequence was that, both at Rome and at

Alexandria, Nestorius was accused of heresy. The dispute grew more

bitter, and Theodosius II. thought it necessary to convoke an

OEcumenical Council at Ephesus in 431. On this, as on former occasions,

the affirmative party overruled the negative. The person of Mary began

to rise in the new empyrean. The paradoxical name of "Mother of God"

pleased the popular piety. Nestorius was condemned, and died in exile.



The shrine of many an old hero was filled by the statue of some

imaginary saint.



"They have not always" (says Dr. Conyers Middleton), "as I am

well informed, given themselves the trouble of making even

this change, but have been contented sometimes to take up with

the old image, just as they found it; after baptizing it

only, as it were, or consecrating it anew, by the imposition

of a Christian name. This their antiquaries do not scruple to

put strangers in mind of, in showing their churches, as it

was, I think, in that of St. Agnes, where they showed me an

antique statue of a young BACCHUS, which, with a new name,

and some little change of drapery, stands now worshiped under

the title of a female saint."[398:3]



In many parts of Italy are to be seen pictures of the "Holy Family," of

extreme antiquity, the grounds of them often of gold.



These pictures represent the mother with a child on her knee, and a

little boy standing close by her side; the Lamb is generally seen in

the picture. They are inscribed "Deo Soli," and are simply ancient

representations of Isis and Horus. The Lamb is "The Lamb that taketh

away the sins of the world," which, as we have already seen, was

believed on in the Pagan world centuries before the time of Christ

Jesus.[399:1] Some half-pagan Christian went so far as to forge a book,

which he attributed to Christ Jesus himself, which was for the purpose

of showing that he--Christ Jesus--was in no way against these heathen

gods.[399:2]



The Icelanders were induced to embrace Christianity, with its legends

and miracles, and sainted divinities, as the Christian monks were ready

to substitute for Thor, their warrior-god, Michael, the warrior-angel;

for Freyja, their goddess, the Virgin Mary; and for the god Vila, a St.

Valentine--probably manufactured for the occasion.



"The statues of Jupiter, Apollo, Mercury, Orpheus, did duty for The

Christ.[399:3] The Thames River god officiates at the baptism of Jesus

in the Jordan. Peter holds the keys of Janus.[399:4] Moses wears the

horns of Jove. Ceres, Cybele, Demeter assume new names, as 'Queen of

Heaven,' 'Star of the Sea,' 'Maria Illuminatrix;' Dionysius is St.

Denis; Cosmos is St. Cosmo; Pluto and Proserpine resign their seats in

the hall of final judgment to the Christ and his mother. The Parcae

depute one of their number, Lachesis, the disposer of lots, to set the

stamp of destiny upon the deaths of Christian believers. The aura

placida of the poets, the gentle breeze, is personified as Aura and

Placida. The perpetua felicitas of the devotee becomes a lovely

presence in the forms of St. Perpetua and St. Felicitas, guardian angels

of the pious soul. No relic of Paganism was permitted to remain in its

casket. The depositories were all ransacked. The shadowy hands of

Egyptian priests placed the urn of holy water at the porch of the

basilica, which stood ready to be converted into a temple. Priests of

the most ancient faiths of Palestine, Assyria, Babylon, Thebes, Persia

were permitted to erect the altar at the point where the transverse beam

of the cross meets the main stem. The hands that constructed the temple

in cruciform shape had long become too attenuated to cast the faintest

shadow. There Devaki with the infant Crishna, Maya with the babe Buddha,

Juno with the child Mars, represent Mary with Jesus in her arms. Coarse

emblems are not rejected; the Assyrian dove is a tender symbol of the

Holy Ghost. The rag-bags and toy boxes were explored. A bauble which the

Roman schoolboy had thrown away was picked up, and called an 'agnus

dei.' The musty wardrobes of forgotten hierarchies furnished costumes

for the officers of the new prince. Alb and chasuble recalled the

fashions of Numa's day. The cast-off purple habits and shoes of Pagan

emperors beautified the august persons of Christian popes. The cardinals

must be contented with the robes once worn by senators. Zoroaster bound

about the monks the girdle he invented as a protection against evil

spirits, and clothed them in the frocks he had found convenient for his

ritual. The pope thrust out his foot to be kissed, as Caligula,

Heliogabalus, and Julius Cesar had thrust out theirs. Nothing came amiss

to the faith that was to discharge henceforth the offices of spiritual

impression."[400:1]



The ascetic and monastic life practiced by some Christians of the

present day, is of great antiquity. Among the Buddhists there are

priests who are ordained, tonsured, live in monasteries, and make vows

of celibacy. There are also nuns among them, whose vows and discipline

are the same as the priests.[400:2]



The close resemblance between the ancient religion of Thibet and

Nepaul--where the worship of a crucified God was found--and the Roman

Catholic religion of the present day, is very striking. In Thibet was

found the pope, or head of the religion, whom they called the "Dalai

Lama;"[400:3] they use holy water, they celebrate a sacrifice with bread

and wine; they give extreme unction, pray for the sick; they have

monasteries, and convents for women; they chant in their services, have

fasts; they worship one God in a trinity, believe in a hell, heaven, and

a half-way place or purgatory; they make prayers and sacrifices for the

dead, have confession, adore the cross; have chaplets, or strings of

beads to count their prayers, and many other practices common to the

Roman Catholic Church.[400:4]



The resemblance between Buddhism and Christianity has been remarked by

many travelers in the eastern countries. Sir John Francis Davis, in his

"History of China," speaking of Buddhism in that country, says:



"Certain it is--and the observance may be daily made even at

Canton--that they (the Buddhist priests) practice the

ordinances of celibacy, fasting, and prayers for the dead;

they have holy water, rosaries of beads, which they count with

their prayers, the worship of relics, and a monastic habit

resembling that of the Franciscans" (an order of Roman

Catholic monks).



Pere Premere, a Jesuit missionary to China, was driven to conclude that

the devil had practiced a trick to perplex his friends, the Jesuits. To

others, however, it is not so difficult to account for these things as

it seemed for the good Father. Sir John continues his account as

follows:



"These priests are associated in monasteries attached to the

temples of Fo. They are in China precisely a society of

mendicants, and go about, like monks of that description in

the Romish Church, asking alms for the support of their

establishment. Their tonsure extends to the hair of the whole

head. There is a regular gradation among the priesthood; and

according to his reputation for sanctity, his length of

service and other claims, each priest may rise from the lowest

rank of servitor--whose duty it is to perform the menial

offices of the temple--to that of officiating priest--and

ultimately of 'Tae Hoepang,' Abbot or head of the

establishment."



The five principal precepts, or rather interdicts, addressed to the

Buddhist priests are:



1. Do not kill.

2. Do not steal.

3. Do not marry.

4. Speak not falsely.

5. Drink no wine.



Poo-ta-la is the name of a monastery, described in Lord Macartney's

mission, and is an extensive establishment, which was found in

Manchow-Tartary, beyond the great wall. This building offered shelter to

no less than eight hundred Chinese Buddhist priests.[401:1]



The Rev. Mr. Gutzlaff, in his "Journal of Voyages along the coast of

China," tells us that he found the Buddhist "Monasteries, nuns, and

friars very numerous;" and adds that: "their priests are generally very

ignorant."[401:2]



This reminds us of the fact that, for centuries during the "dark ages"

of Christianity, Christian bishops and prelates, the teachers, spiritual

pastors and masters, were mostly marksmen, that is, they supplied, by

the sign of the cross, their inability to write their own name.[402:1]

Many of the bishops in the Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon, it is

said, could not write their names. Ignorance was not considered a

disqualification for ordination. A cloud of ignorance overspread the

whole face of the Church, hardly broken by a few glimmering lights, who

owe almost the whole of their distinction to the surrounding

darkness.[402:2]



One of the principal objects of curiosity to the Europeans who first

went to China, was a large monastery at Canton. This monastery, which

was dedicated to Fo, or Buddha, and which is on a very large scale, is

situated upon the southern side of the river. There are extensive

grounds surrounding the building, planted with trees, in the center of

which is a broad pavement of granite, which is kept very clean. An

English gentleman, Mr. Bennett, entered this establishment, which he

fully describes. He says that after walking along this granite pavement,

they entered a temple, where the priesthood happened to be assembled,

worshiping. They were arranged in rows, chanting, striking gongs, &c.

These priests, with their shaven crowns, and arrayed in the yellow robes

of the religion, appeared to go through the mummery with devotion. As

soon as the mummery had ceased, the priests all flocked out of the

temple, adjourned to their respective rooms, divested themselves of

their official robes, and the images--among which were evidently

representations of Shin-moo, the "Holy Mother," and "Queen of Heaven,"

and "The Three Pure Ones,"--were left to themselves, with lamps burning

before them.



To expiate sin, offerings made to these priests are--according to the

Buddhist idea--sufficient. To facilitate the release of some unfortunate

from purgatory, they said masses. Their prayers are counted by means of

a rosary, and they live in a state of celibacy.



Mr. Gutzlaff, in describing a temple dedicated to Buddha, situated on

the island of Poo-ta-la, says:



"We were present at the vespers of the priests, which they

chanted in the Pali language, not unlike the Latin service of

the Romish church. They held their rosaries in their hands,

which rested folded upon their breasts. One of them had a

small bell, by the tingling of which the service was

regulated."



The Buddhists in India have similar institutions. The French

missionary, M. L'Abbe Huc, says of them:



"The Buddhist ascetic not aspiring to elevate himself only, he

practiced virtue and applied himself to perfection to make

other men share in its belief; and by the institution of an

order of religious mendicants, which increased to an immense

extent, he attached towards him, and restored to society, the

poor and unfortunate. It was, indeed, precisely because Buddha

received among his disciples miserable creatures who were

outcasts from the respectable class of India, that he became

an object of mockery to the Brahmins. But he merely replied to

their taunts, 'My law is a law of mercy for all.'"[403:1]



In the words of Viscount Amberly, we can say that, "Monasticism, in

countries where Buddhism reigns supreme, is a vast and powerful

institution."



The Essenes, of whom we shall speak more fully anon, were an order of

ascetics, dwelling in monasteries. Among the order of Pythagoras, which

was very similar to the Essenes, there was an order of nuns.[403:2] The

ancient Druids admitted females into their sacred order, and initiated

them into the mysteries of their religion.[403:3] The priestesses of the

Saxon Frigga devoted themselves to perpetual virginity.[403:4] The

vestal virgins[403:5] were bound by a solemn vow to preserve their

chastity for a space of thirty years.[403:6]



The Egyptian priests of Isis were obliged to observe perpetual

chastity.[403:7] They were also tonsured like the Buddhist

priests.[403:8] The Assyrian, Arabian, Persian and Egyptian priests wore

white surplices,[403:9] and so did the ancient Druids. The Corinthian

Aphrodite had her Hierodoulio, the pure Gerairai ministered to the

goddess of the Parthenon, the altar of the Latin Vesta was tended by her

chosen virgins, and the Romish "Queen of Heaven" has her nuns.



When the Spaniards had established themselves in Mexico and Peru, they

were astonished to find, among other things which closely resembled

their religion, monastic institutions on a large scale.



The Rev. Father Acosta, in his "Natural and Moral History of the

Indies," says:



"There is one thing worthy of special regard, the which is,

how the Devil, by his pride, hath opposed himself to God; and

that which God, by his wisdom, hath decreed for his honor and

service, and for the good and health of man, the devil strives

to imitate and pervert, to be honored, and to cause men to be

damned: for as we see the great God hath Sacrifices, Priests,

Sacraments, Religious Prophets, and Ministers, dedicated to

his divine service and holy ceremonies, so likewise the devil

hath his Sacrifices, Priests, his kinds of Sacraments, his

Ministers appointed, his secluded and feigned holiness, with a

thousand sorts of false prophets."[403:10]



"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 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.



The "Sacred Heart," was a great mystery with the ancients.



Horus, the Egyptian virgin-born Saviour, was represented carrying the

sacred heart outside on his breast. Vishnu, the Mediator and Preserver

of the Hindoos, was also represented in that manner. So was it with

Bel of Babylon.[405:1] In like manner, Christ Jesus, the Christian

Saviour, is represented at the present day.



The amulets or charms which the Roman Christians wear, to drive away

diseases, and to protect them from harm, are other relics of paganism.

The ancient pagans wore these charms for the same purpose. The name of

their favorite god was generally inscribed upon them, and we learn by a

quotation from Chrysostom that the Christians at Antioch used to bind

brass coins of Alexander the Great about their heads, to keep off or

drive away diseases.[405:2] The Christians also used amulets with the

name or monogram of the god Serapis engraved thereon, which show that

it made no difference whether the god was their own or that of another.

Even the charm which is worn by the Christians at the present day, has

none other than the monogram of Bacchus engraved thereon, i. e., I.

H. S.[405:3]



The ancient Roman children carried around their necks a small ornament

in the form of a heart, called Bulla. This was imitated by the early

Christians. Upon their ancient monuments in the Vatican, the heart is

very common, and it may be seen in numbers of old pictures. After some

time it was succeeded by the Agnus Dei, which, like the ancient

Bulla, was supposed to avert dangers from the children and the wearers

of them. Cardinal Baronius (an eminent Roman Catholic ecclesiastical

historian, born at Sora, in Naples, A. D. 1538) says, that those who

have been baptized carry pendent from their neck an Agnus Dei, in

imitation of a devotion of the Pagans, who hung to the neck of their

children little bottles in the form of a heart, which served as

preservatives against charms and enchantments. Says Mr. Cox:



"That ornaments in the shape of a vesica have been popular

in all countries as preservatives against dangers, and

especially from evil spirits, can as little be questioned as

the fact that they still retain some measure of their ancient

popularity in England, where horse-shoes are nailed to walls

as a safeguard against unknown perils, where a shoe is thrown

by way of good-luck after newly-married couples, and where the

villagers have not yet ceased to dance round the May-pole on

the green."[405:4]



All of these are emblems of either the Linga or Yoni.



The use of amulets was carried to the most extravagant excess in

ancient Egypt, and their Sacred Book of the Dead, even in its earliest

form, shows the importance attached to such things.[406:1]



We can say with M. Renan that:



"Almost all our superstitions are the remains of a religion

anterior to Christianity, and which Christianity has not been

able entirely to root out."[406:2]



Baptismal fonts were used by the pagans, as well as the little cisterns

which are to be seen at the entrance of Catholic churches. In the temple

of Apollo, at Delphi, there were two of these; one of silver, and the

other of gold.[406:3]



Temples always faced the east, to receive the rays of the rising sun.

They contained an outer court for the public, and an inner sanctuary for

the priests, called the "Adytum." Near the entrance was a large

vessel, of stone or brass, filled with water, made holy by plunging into

it a burning torch from the altar. All who were admitted to the

sacrifices were sprinkled with this water, and none but the unpolluted

were allowed to pass beyond it. In the center of the building stood the

statue of the god, on a pedestal raised above the altar and enclosed by

a railing. On festival occasions, the people brought laurel, olive, or

ivy, to decorate the pillars and walls. Before they entered they always

washed their hands, as a type of purification from sin.[406:4] A story

is told of a man who was struck dead by a thunderbolt because he omitted

this ceremony when entering a temple of Jupiter. Sometimes they crawled

up the steps on their knees, and bowing their heads to the ground,

kissed the threshold. Always when they passed one of these sacred

edifices they kissed their right hand to it, in token of veneration.



In all the temples of Vishnu, Crishna, Rama, Durga, and Kali, in India,

there are to be seen idols before which lights and incense are burned.

Moreover, the idols of these gods are constantly decorated with flowers

and costly ornaments, especially on festive occasions.[406:5] The

ancient Egyptian worship had a great splendor of ritual. There was a

morning service, a kind of mass, celebrated by a priest, shorn and

beardless; there were sprinklings of holy water, &c., &c.[406:6] All of

this kind of worship was finally adopted by the Christians.



The sublime and simple theology of the primitive Christians was

gradually corrupted and degraded by the introduction of a popular

mythology, which tended to restore the reign of polytheism.



As the objects of religion were gradually reduced to the standard of the

imagination, the rites and ceremonies were introduced that seemed most

powerfully to affect the senses of the vulgar. If, in the beginning of

the fifth century, Tertullian, or Lactantius, had been suddenly raised

from the dead, to assist at the festival of some popular saint or

martyr, they would have gazed with astonishment and indignation on the

profane spectacle, which had succeeded to the pure and spiritual worship

of a Christian congregation.[407:1]



Dr. Draper, in speaking of the early Christian Church, says:



"Great is the difference between Christianity under Severus

(born 146) and Christianity under Constantine (born 274). Many

of the doctrines which at the latter period were pre-eminent,

in the former were unknown. Two causes led to the amalgamation

of Christianity with Paganism. 1. The political necessities of

the new dynasty: 2. The policy adopted by the new religion to

insure its spread.



"Though the Christian party had proved itself sufficiently

strong to give a master to the empire, it was never

sufficiently strong to destroy its antagonist, Paganism. The

issue of the struggle between them was an amalgamation of the

principles of both. In this, Christianity differed from

Mohammedanism, which absolutely annihilated its antagonist,

and spread its own doctrines without adulteration.



"Constantine continually showed by his acts that he felt he

must be the impartial sovereign of all his people, not merely

the representative of a successful faction. Hence, if he built

Christian churches, he also restored Pagan temples; if he

listened to the clergy, he also consulted the haruspices; if

he summoned the Council of Nicea, he also honored the statue

of Fortune; if he accepted the rite of Baptism, he also struck

a medal bearing his title of 'God.' His statue, on top of the

great porphyry pillar at Constantinople, consisted of an

ancient image of Apollo, whose features were replaced by those

of the emperor, and its head surrounded by the nails feigned

to have been used at the crucifixion of Christ, arranged so as

to form a crown of glory.



"Feeling that there must be concessions to the defeated Pagan

party, in accordance with its ideas, he looked with favor on

the idolatrous movements of his court. In fact, the leaders of

these movements were persons of his own family.



"To the emperor,--a mere worldling--a man without any

religious convictions, doubtless it appeared best for himself,

best for the empire, and best for the contending parties,

Christian and Pagan, to promote their union or amalgamation

as much as possible. Even sincere Christians do not seem to

have been averse to this; perhaps they believed that the new

doctrines would diffuse most thoroughly by incorporating in

themselves ideas borrowed from the old; that Truth would

assert herself in the end, and the impurities be cast off. In

accomplishing this amalgamation, Helen, the Empress-mother,

aided by the court ladies, led the way.



"As years passed on, the faith described by Tertullian (A. D.

150-195) was transformed into one more fashionable and more

debased. It was incorporated with the old Greek mythology.

Olympus was restored, but the divinities passed under new

names. . . .



"Heathen rites were adopted, a pompous and splendid ritual,

gorgeous robes, mitres, tiaras, wax-tapers, processional

services, lustrations, gold and silver vases, were introduced.



"The festival of the Purification of the Virgin was invented

to remove the uneasiness of heathen converts on account of the

loss of their Lupercalia, or feasts of Pan.



"The apotheosis of the old Roman times was replaced by

canonization; tutelary saints succeeded to local

mythological divinities. Then came the mystery of

transubstantiation, or the conversion of bread and wine by

the priest into the flesh and blood of Christ. As centuries

passed, the paganization became more and more

complete."[408:1]



The early Christian saints, bishops, and fathers, confessedly adopted

the liturgies, rites, ceremonies, and terms of heathenism; making it

their boast, that the pagan religion, properly explained, really was

nothing else than Christianity; that the best and wisest of its

professors, in all ages, had been Christians all along; that

Christianity was but a name more recently acquired to a religion which

had previously existed, and had been known to the Greek philosophers, to

Plato, Socrates, and Heraclitus; and that "if the writings of Cicero had

been read as they ought to have been, there would have been no occasion

for the Christian Scriptures."



And our Protestant, and most orthodox Christian divines, the best

learned on ecclesiastical antiquity, and most entirely persuaded of the

truth of the Christian religion, unable to resist or to conflict with

the constraining demonstration of the data that prove the absolute

sameness and identity of Paganism and Christianity, and unable to point

out so much as one single idea or notion, of which they could show that

it was peculiar to Christianity, or that Christianity had it, and

Paganism had it not, have invented the apology of an hypothesis, that

the Pagan religion was typical, and that Crishna, Buddha, Bacchus,

Hercules, Adonis, Osiris, Horus, &c., were all of them types and

forerunners of the true and real Saviour, Christ Jesus. Those who

are satisfied with this kind of reasoning are certainly welcome to it.



That Christianity is nothing more than Paganism under a new name, has,

as we said above, been admitted over and over again by the Fathers of

the Church, and others. Aringhus (in his account of subterraneous Rome)

acknowledges the conformity between the Pagan and Christian form of

worship, and defends the admission of the ceremonies of heathenism into

the service of the Church, by the authority of the wisest prelates and

governors, whom, he says, found it necessary, in the conversion of the

Gentiles, to dissemble, and wink at many things, and yield to the times;

and not to use force against customs which the people were so

obstinately fond of.[409:1]



Melito (a Christian bishop of Sardis), in an apology delivered to the

Emperor Marcus Antoninus, in the year 170, claims the patronage of the

emperor, for the now called Christian religion, which he calls "our

philosophy," "on account of its high antiquity, as having been

imported from countries lying beyond the limits of the Roman empire,

in the region of his ancestor Augustus, who found its importation

ominous of good fortune to his government."[409:2] This is an absolute

demonstration that Christianity did not originate in Judea, which was

a Roman province, but really was an exotic oriental fable, imported

from India, and that Paul was doing as he claimed, viz.: preaching a God

manifest in the flesh who had been "believed on in the world" centuries

before his time, and a doctrine which had already been preached "unto

every creature under heaven."



Baronius (an eminent Catholic ecclesiastical historian) says:



"It is permitted to the Church to use, for the purpose of

piety, the ceremonies which the pagans used for the purpose

of impiety in a superstitious religion, after having first

expiated them by consecration--to the end, that the devil

might receive a greater affront from employing, in honor of

Jesus Christ, that which his enemy had destined for his own

service."[409:3]



Clarke, in his "Evidences of Revealed Religion," says:



"Some of the ancient writers of the church have not scrupled

expressly to call the Athenian Socrates, and some others of

the best of the heathen moralists, by the name of

Christians, and to affirm, as the law was as it were a

schoolmaster, to bring the Jews unto Christ, so true moral

philosophy was to the Gentiles a preparative to receive the

gospel."[409:4]



Clemens Alexandrinus says:



"Those who lived according to the Logos were really

Christians, though they have been thought to be atheists; as

Socrates and Heraclitus were among the Greeks, and such as

resembled them."[409:5]



And St. Augustine says:



"That, in our times, is the Christian religion, which to

know and follow is the most sure and certain health, called

according to that name, but not according to the thing

itself, of which it is the name; for the thing itself which is

now called the Christian religion, really was known to the

ancients, nor was wanting at any time from the beginning of

the human race, until the time when Christ came in the flesh,

from whence the true religion, which had previously existed,

began to be called Christian; and this in our days is the





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