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Author: Hill, J. H.
Title: Astral Worship
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Title: Astral Worship

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Astral Worship

by

J. H. Hill, M. D.







"Now, what I want is--facts."--_Boz._





                    CONTENTS.
INTRODUCTION                                   5
THE GEOCENTRIC SYSTEM OF NATURE               13
   The Earth                                  13
   The Firmament                              13
   The Planets                                14
   The Constellations                         15
   The Zodiac                                 15
THE SACRED NUMBERS 7 AND 12                   17
THE TWELVE THOUSAND YEAR CYCLE                18
THE ANCIENT TRIAD                             19
GOD SOL                                       22
THE ANCIENT COSMOGONY                         30
FALL AND REDEMPTION OF MAN                    31
INCARNATIONS OF GOD SOL                       33
FABLE OF THE TWELVE LABORS                    36
ANNIVERSARIES OF SOLAR WORSHIP                40
   The Nativity                               40
   Epiphany or Twelfth Day                    41
   Lent or Lenten Season                      42
   Passion Week                               44
   Passion Plays                              45
   Resurrection and Easter Festival           46
   Annunciation                               48
   Ascension                                  49
   Assumption                                 49
   The Lord's Supper                          50
   Transubstantiation                         50
   Autumnal Crucifixion                       51
   Michaelmas                                 56
PERSONIFICATIONS OF THE DIVISIONS OF TIME     57
   The Hours                                  57
   The Days                                   57
   The Months                                 58
   The Seasons                                60
   Half Year of Increasing Days               63
   Half Year of Decreasing Days               63
   Last Quarter of the Year                   64
ZODIACAL SYMBOLS OF SOLAR WORSHIP             64
   The Sphinx                                 65
   The Dragon                                 66
   The Bull                                   67
   The Ram                                    68
   The Lamb                                   68
   The Fish                                   71
SIGNS OF THE CROSS                            72
FUTURE REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS                74
   The Oriental System                        75
   The Occidental System                      75
   The Second or General Judgment             77
JEWISH, OR ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY               79
THE PROPHECIES                                83
ROMAN OR MODERN CHRISTIANITY                  88
FREEMASONRY AND DRUIDISM                     109
THE SABBATH                                  117
PIOUS FRAUDS                                 121
CONCLUSION                                   125




INTRODUCTION.

In an article, entitled "Then and Now," published in the December
number, 1890, of "The Arena," its author, a distinguished Unitarian
D.D. of Boston, Mass., says. "Astronomy has shattered the fallacies of
Astrology; and people have found out that the stars are minding their
own business instead of meddling with theirs." Now, while it is true
that modern Astronomy has superseded the ancient system, and people
have ceased to believe that the stars are intervening in mundane
affairs, nothing could be further from the truth than the assertion
that "Astronomy has shattered the fallacies of Astrology;" and those of
our readers who will accord to this work an unprejudiced perusal can
hardly fail to be convinced that a large majority of the people of
Christendom are dominated as much by these fallacies as were our Pagan
ancestry--the only difference being a change of name. The dogmatic
element of religion, which was anciently designated as Astrology, is
now known as Theology.

All the evidences bearing upon the subject indicate that the founders
of the primary form of religion were a sect of philosophers, known as
Magi, or wise men, of the Aryan race of Central Asia, who, having lived
ages before any conceptions of the supernatural had obtained in the
world, and speculating relative to the "beginnings of things," were
necessarily confined to the contemplation and study of nature, the
elements of which they believed to be self-existent and endless in
duration; but, being wholly without knowledge of her inherent forces,
they explained her manifold processes by conceiving the idea that she
was animated by a great and inherent soul or spirit, emanations from
which impressed all her parts with life and motion. Thus, endowing man,
and other animals, with souls emanating alike from the imaginary great
soul of nature, they believed, and taught, that immediately after death
all souls were absorbed into their source, where, as "the dewdrop slips
into the shining sea," all personal identity was forever lost. Hence we
see that although recognizing the soul as immortal, considering it, not
as an entity existing independent of matter, but as the spirit of
matter itself, the primary religion was the exponent of the purest form
of Materialism.

Being the Astronomers of their day, and mistaking the apparent for the
real, the ancient Magi constructed that erroneous system of nature
known as the Geocentric, and, in conformity thereto, composed a
collection of Astronomical Allegories, in which the emanations from the
imaginary great soul of nature, by which they believed all
materialities we're impressed with life and motion, were personified
and made to play their respective parts. Basing the religion they
instituted upon their system of Allegorical Astronomy, and making its
personifications the objects of worship, they thus originated the
anthropomorphic or man-like Gods, and, claiming to have composed them
under the inspiration of these self same divinities, they designated
them as sacred records, or Scriptures, and taught the ignorant masses
that they were literal histories, and their personifications real
personages, who, having once lived upon earth, and; for the good of
mankind, performed the wondrous works imputed to them, were then in
heaven whence they came.

Thus we see that the primary religion, which is popularly known as
Paganism, was founded in the worship of personified nature; that,
according special homage to the imaginary genii of the stars, and
inculcating supreme adoration to the divinity supposed to reside in the
sun, it was anciently known by the general name of Astrolatry, and by
the more specific one of solar worship; and that its founders,
arrogating to themselves the title of Astrologers, gave to its dogmatic
element the name of Astrology.

In studying the primitive forms of religion it will be found that none
of them taught anything relative to a future life, for the simple
reason that their founders had no conceptions of such a state. Hence it
follows that the laws they enacted were intended solely for the
regulation of their social relations, and, to secure their observance,
they were embodied into their sacred records and made part of their
religion. One form of that most ancient worship was known as Sabaism,
or Sabism. Another form of the same religion was the Ancient Judaism,
as portrayed in the Old Testament, and more especially in the
Pentateuch, or first five books; in the Decalogue of which the only
promise made for the observance of one of the Commandments is length of
days on earth; and, in a general summing up of the blessings and curses
to be enjoyed or suffered, for the observance or violation of the laws,
as recorded in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, it will be seen they
are all of a temporal character only. At the beginning of the Christian
era there were still in existence a sect of Jews known as Sadducees,
who were strict adherents to the primitive form of worship, and their
belief relative to the state of the dead we find recorded in
Ecclesiastes xii., 7, which reads: "Then shall the dust return to earth
as it was, and the spirit shall return to God who gave it."

For ages the doctrine of soul absorption, immediately after death,
constituted the belief of mankind; but ultimately recognizing the fact
that the temporal punishments of the existing laws were wholly
inadequate to the prevention of crime, and conceiving the idea that the
ignorant and vicious masses could be governed with a surer hand by
appealing to the sentiments of hope and fear in relation to the rewards
and punishments of an imaginary future life, the ancient Astrologers
resolved to remodel the dogmatic elements of religion so as to include
that doctrine. But realizing the necessity, of suppressing the belief
in the absorption of all souls, immediately after death, they ceased to
teach it, and ultimately it was embodied in that secret and unwritten
system known as the Esoteric philosophy, in which the Astrologers
formulated their own private belief, and which for many centuries was
kept from the knowledge of the uninitiated by their successors in the
priestly office. As they were the sole custodians of the Scriptures,
they made do change in their verbiage, but, adding the doctrine of
future rewards and punishments to that written and openly taught system
of faith known as the Exoteric creed, they made it the more impressive
by instituting a system of imposing rites and ceremonies, which they
designated as Mysteries, into which they initiated the neophytes, and
in which were portrayed, in the most vivid manner, the rewards and
punishments of the imaginary future life, which they taught were the
awards of the Gods for the observance or violation of the laws. These
teachings were inculcated in the lesser degrees only, but those who
were found worthy of so great a distinction were also inducted into the
higher degrees, in which was imparted the knowledge of the Esoteric
philosophy. In both the lesser and higher degrees the initiates
received instruction in an oral manner only; and all were bound by the
most fearful oaths not to reveal the secrets imparted to them.

Thus were the votaries of the ancient Astral worship divided into two
distinct classes, the Esoterics, or Gnostics; and the Exoterics, or
Agnostics; the former comprising those who knew that the Gods were
mythical and the scriptures allegorical; and the latter, those who were
taught that the Gods were real, and the scriptures historical; or, in
other words, it was philosophy for the cultured few, and religion for
the ignorant multitude. The initiates into the secrets of these two
systems recognized them as the two Gospels; and Paul must have had
reference to them in his Epistle to the Galatians ii., 2, where he
distinguishes the Gospel which he preached on ordinary occasions from
that Gospel which he preached "privately to them which were of
reputation."

Such was the system of Astrolatry, which, originating in the Orient,
and becoming, after being remodelled in Egypt, the prototype of all
Occidental forms of worship, was recognized, successively, as the state
religion of the Grecian and Roman Empires; and we propose to describe
the erroneous system of nature upon which it was based, and to develop
the origins of its cycles, dogmas, ordinances, anniversaries,
personifications and symbols, with the view to proving that it was the
very same system which was ultimately perpetuated under the name of
Christianity. We also propose to present the origins and abridged
histories of its two forms, the Jewish, or ancient, and the Roman, or
modern; and to give an account of the conflict between the votaries of
the latter, and the adherents to the established form of worship, which
culminated in the fourth century in the substitution of Christianity as
the state religion of the Roman Empire. We furthermore propose to show
the changes to which the creed and scriptures were subjected during the
Middle Ages, and at the Reformation in the sixteenth century, through
which they assumed the phases as now taught in the theologies,
respectively of Catholicism and Orthodox Protestantism. We also present
an article relative to Freemasonry and Druidism, for the purpose of
showing that, primarily, they were but different forms of the ancient
Astrolatry. We also devote a few pages to the subjects of the Sabbath,
and to that of "Pious Frauds."


Note.--For the matter published in this work, we are principally
indebted to the writings of Robert Taylor, an erudite but recusant
minister of the church of England, who flourished about seventy years
ago, and who, being too honest to continue to preach what, after
thorough investigation, he did not believe, began to give expression to
his doubts by writing and lecturing. Not being able to cope with his
arguments, the clergy, under the charge of the impossible crime of
blasphemy, had him imprisoned for more than two years, during which
time he wrote his great work entitled "The Diegesis," which should be
read by all persons who are investigating the claim of the Christian
religion to Divine authenticity.



THE GEOCENTRIC SYSTEM OF NATURE.

In constructing their system of nature, the ancient Astronomers
constituted it of the Earth, the Firmament, the Planets, the
Constellations and the Zodiac, and we will refer to them in the order
named.


The Earth.

Believing that the earth was the only world, that it was a vast
circular plane, and that it was the fixed and immovable center around
which revolved the celestial luminaries, the ancient Astronomers, in
conformity to the requirement of the doctrine of future rewards and
punishments, as inculcated in the Egyptian Version of the Exoteric
Creed, divided it into an upper and an under, or nether world, which
they connected by a sinuous and tenebrious passage.


The Firmament.

The azure dome, called the firmament in the book of Genesis, was
believed to be a solid transparency, which we find described, in the
fourth chapter and sixth verse, of that collection of Astronomical
Allegories, called the Apocalypse, or Book of Revelation, "as a sea of
glass like unto crystal." It was represented as being supported by four
pillars, resting upon the earth, one at each of the cardinal points,
which were designated as "the pillars of heaven." Conceiving the idea
that there were windows in the firmament, the ancient Astronomers
called them "the windows of heaven" and taught that they were opened
when it rained, and closed when it ceased to rain. Hence it is evident
that the ancient Astronomers did not refer to these pillars and windows
in a figurative sense, but as real appurtenances to a solid firmament,
as will be seen by reference to Gen. vii. 11, and viii. 2, Job xxvi.
11, and Malachi iii. 10.


The Planets.

Believing that the stars were but mere flambeaux, suspended beneath the
firmament, and revolving round the earth, for the sole purpose of
giving it light and heat; and observing that seven of these, answering
to the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, had
perceptible movements, in relation to the other luminaries, the ancient
astronomers designated them as planets or wandering stars.


The Constellations.

Perceiving that the other celestial luminaries maintained the same
relation to each other, and designating them as fixed stars, the
ancient astronomers grouped those visible to them into forty-eight
Constellations; and giving names to these, they also attached names to
the stars of larger magnitude, which was done for the purpose of
locating and distinguishing them with greater ease.


The Zodiac.

Through twelve of these Constellations, mostly contained within a belt
of 16 degrees in width, and within which the planets appeared to
revolve, the ancient astronomers inscribed a central line representing
the Ecliptic, or apparent orbit of the sun, which they divided into 360
degrees; and quartering these to denote the seasons, they named the
cardinal points the Summer and Winter Solstices, and the Vernal and
Autumnal Equinoxes; the former referring to the longest and shortest
days of the year; and the latter to the two periods when the days and
nights are equal. An abbreviatory sign having been attached to each of
these constellations, the great celestial belt containing them was
called "the wheel of the signs," or "a wheel in the middle of a wheel,"
as designated by that old Astrologer, Ezekiel the Prophet, in chap. i.
and 16th verse. But for the reason that, with only one exception, the
forms of living things, either real or mythical, were given to them,
this belt, ultimately, wad designated as the Zodiac; or Circle of
living Creatures, see Ezekiel, chap. i. Constituting the essential
feature of the ancient Astronomy, we present, in our frontispiece, a
diagram of the Zodiac, as anciently represented, to which, as well as
to Burritts' Celestial Atlas, our readers will be necessitated to make
frequent reference.

[See plate1.gif]

Recent researches among the ruins of ancient cities have developed the
fact that several centuries before the beginning of our era the
astronomers had invented the telescope, and discovered the true or
heliocentric system of nature; but for the reason that religion had
been based upon the false, or geocentric system, it was deemed prudent
not to teach it to the masses. Hence, hiding it away among the other
secrets of the Esoteric philosophy, the knowledge of it was lost during
the Middle Ages; and when rediscovered, the hierarchy of the Church of
Rome, upon the plea that it was contrary to the teachings of Scripture,
resorted to inquisitorial tortures to suppress its promulgation; but,
in spite of all their efforts, it has been universally accepted; and,
in this otherwise enlightened age, we have presented to us the anomaly
of a religion based upon a false system of Astronomy, while its
votaries believe in the true system.



THE SACRED NUMBERS 7 AND 12.

In reference to the planets, and the signs of the Zodiac, the numbers
seven and twelve were recognized as sacred by the ancient Astrologers,
and dedications were made to them in all kinds and sorts of forms. In
the allegories, the genii of the planets were designated as spirits or
messengers to the Supreme Deity, imaginarily enthroned above the
firmament, which we find described in Revelations iv. 5, as "Seven
lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of
God;" and which were represented by lights burning in seven branched
candlesticks set before the altars in the temples; the central light
for the Sun; the Moon, Mercury and Venus on one side; and Mars, Jupiter
and Saturn on the other. The seven branched candlesticks seen in all
Catholic churches, and in some Protestant ones, are intended to
represent the same planetary system.

Among the numerous dedications to the genii of the planets we mention
the seven days of the week, the seven stories of the tower of Babylon,
the seven gates of Thebes, the seven piped flute of Pan, the seven
stringed lyre of Apollo, the seven books of fate, the book of seven
seals, the seven castes into which the Egyptians and East Indians were
divided, and the jubilee of seven times seven years. Among the
dedications to the twelve signs we mention the twelve months of the
year, the grand cycle of 12,000 years, the twelve altars of James, the
twelve labors of Hercules, the twelve divisions of the Egyptian
Labyrinth, the twelve shields of Mars, the twelve precious stones,
ranged in threes to denote the seasons, in the breastplate of High
Priest, the twelve foundations of the Sacred City, referred to in the
Book of Revelation, the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve tribes of
Israel, and the twelve Disciples. In the Book of Revelation alone the
number 7 is repeated twenty-four times, and the number 12 fourteen
times.



THE TWELVE THOUSAND YEAR CYCLE.

In determining the duration of the period within which were to occur
the events taught in the doctrines of the Exoteric Creed, the ancient
Astrologers dedicated a thousand years to each of the signs of the
Zodiac, and thus inaugurating the cycle of twelve thousand years,
taught that, at its conclusion, the heaven and the earth, which they
believed to be composed of the indestructible elements of fire, air,
earth and water, would, through the agency of the first of these, be
reduced to chaos, as a preliminary to the reorganization of a new
heaven and a new earth at the beginning of the succeeding cycle. Such
was the origin of the grand cycle of the ancient Astrolatry, and it
must be borne in mind that its authors made its conclusion to
correspond in time and circumstance to the doctrines relating to the
finale of the plan of redemption.



THE ANCIENT TRIAD.

After conceiving the idea of a primeval chaos, constituted of four
indestructible elements of which fire was the leading one, the Oriental
astrologers began to indulge in speculations relative to the agencies
which were engaged in its organization. Having no knowledge of the
forces inherent in nature, they imputed this work to three
intelligences, which, embodying the All in All, they personified by the
figure of a man with three heads, and to this trinity gave the names of
Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Such a figure, carved in stone, may be seen in
the island Cave of Elephanta, near Bombay, India, and is popularly
believed to represent the Creator, Preserver and Destroyer; but, in
determining their true signification, we must be governed by the
ancient teachings that "All things were made by one god-head with three
names, and this God is all things." Hence the conclusion is
irresistible that the first person represents neither the creator nor
organizer of chaos, but chaos itself; the second person, its organizer
and governor; and the third person, the agent in nature which impresses
all her parts with life and motion; the latter being the imaginary
great soul or spirit inculcated in the Esoteric philosophy. In support
of this opinion it will be found that the Egyptian Triad of Father, Son
and Spirit is virtually the same we have assigned to its Oriental
prototype. Thus we see that to the ancient Astrolatry Christendom is
indebted for the Trinity of

            "God the Father, God the Son,
             God the Spirit--three in one."

But, having ascribed supreme intelligence or reason to its second
person, under the name of the Logos, or Word, and designating its third
person as the Holy Ghost, the ancient Triad was usually formulated as
the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, as may be seen by reference to
the text in the allegories which we find recorded in I John v. 7, which
reads that "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the
Word and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one."

Considered in some forms of Astrolatry as too sacred to attach a name
to the triune Deity, he was called "the One," and we find him thus
designated in the 4th chapter of Revelation, where, like Zeus and
Jupiter, of the Grecian and Roman mythologies, he is represented as
seated above the firmament, upon a throne from which "proceeded
lightnings and thunderings," and to whom all, the subordinate
divinities were made to pay homage. As the hurler of thunderbolts he
was called "the Thunderer," and as the opener of the windows of heaven,
when it rained, he was designated "Jupiter Pluvius." Such was the
ancient Triad made to say of himself, in an inscription found in the
ruins of the temple at Sais in Egypt, "I am all that has been, all that
is, and all that shall be, and no mortal has lifted yet the veil that
covers me;" and such was the Triunity referred to as the God Universe
by Pliny, the Roman philosopher and naturalist, who, flourishing in the
first century of the Christian era, wrote that he is "An infinite God
which has never been created, and which shall never come to an end. To
look for something else beyond it is useless labor for man and out of
his reach. Behold that truly sacred Being, eternal and immense, which
includes within itself everything; it is All in All, or rather itself
is All. It is the work of nature, and itself is nature."

Thus we see that, although inculcating homage to a multitude of
subordinate divinities, the ancient Astrolatry was only an apparent
Polytheism; its enlightened votaries, recognizing the dogma of the
unity of God, were in reality Monotheists, paying supreme adoration to
the mythical genius of the Sun, to whom we will now direct attention.



GOD SOL.

In determining the characteristics of the supreme divinity of astral
worship, it must be borne in mind that its founders taught that he was
evolved or engendered by the Father, or first person in the sacred
Triad, from his pure substance, which as we have shown was constituted
of chaos or the primeval fire into which they supposed all things were
reduced through the agency of that element at the conclusion of 12,000
year cycles. Hence, designating that mythical being as the only
begotten of the Father, they personified him as God the Son, or second
person in the sacred Triad; and recognizing the Sun as the ruling star,
very appropriately made him the presiding genius of that luminary,
under the title of God Sol. According homage to light as his chief
attribute, he is referred to in the allegories as "The true Light,
which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," John i., 9; and,
although designated as the only begotten of the Father, his
co-existence with him, under the title of the Logos or Word, is shown
in the text which reads, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word
was with God, and the Word was God," John i., 1.

Personifying the principles of Good and Evil in God Sol, the ancient
Astrologers consecrated the six divisions of the 12,000 year cycle,
corresponding to the reproductive months of Spring and Summer, to him
as Lord of Good, and symbolizing him by the constellation of the Zodiac
in which the Vernal Equinox successively occurred, as explained
hereafter, they dedicated the six divisions of that cycle,
corresponding to the destructive months of Autumn and Winter, to him as
Lord of Evil, and as such, symbolizing him by the serpent, marked the
beginning of his reign by the constellation "Serpens," placed in
conjunction with the Autumnal Equinox. Personifying in him the opposing
principles of Good and Evil, he was to the ancients both God and Devil,
or the varied God, who, in relation to the seasons, was described as
beautiful in Spring, powerful in Summer, beneficent in Autumn and
terrible in Winter. Thus under various names, intended to represent God
Sol in relation to the diversified seasons, we find recorded in the
Scriptures, or solar fables, numerous portrayals of imaginary
conflicts, in which the Evil principle, triumphing during Autumn and
Winter, is conquered at the Vernal Equinox by the Good principle, who,
bringing back equal days and nights, restores the harmony of nature.

The eternal enmity between the principles of Good and Evil, as
manifested in the diversity of the seasons, we find portrayed in the
Constellations Hercules and Draco, placed in the northern heavens, in
which the heel of the former, representing one of the most ancient of
the imaginary incarnations of God Sol, to which we will refer
hereafter, is resting upon the head of the latter, as referred to in
Genesis iii., 15, which makes God Sol, or the Lord God, say to the
serpent, "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his
heel." The woman alluded to in this text is the Virgo of the Zodiac, as
will be made apparent hereafter.

[See plate2.gif]

Of all the divinities of the ancient mythology God Sol was the only one
distinguished by the exalted title of Lord or Lord God, for the reason
that he was made the organizer of chaos and governor of heaven and
earth. Hence, having constituted him the lord of light and darkness, as
well as good and evil, the ancient astrologers in composing the solar
fables made him say of himself, "I form the light and create darkness;
I make peace and create evil, I the Lord do all these things," Isaiah
xlv., 7. "Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done
it?" Amos iii., 6. Besides the title of Lord or Lord God, the solar
divinity is also designated in the allegories as the Lord of Lords and
the King of Kings, the Invincible, the Mighty God, etc.

Subjecting the mythical genius of the sun, in his apparent annual
revolution round the earth, to the four stages of human life from
infancy to old age, the ancient Magi fixed the natal day of the young
God Sol at the winter solstice, the Virgo of the Zodiac was made his
mother, and the constellation in conjunction with her, which is now
known as Bootes, but anciently called Arcturus, his foster father. He
is represented as holding in leash two hunting dogs and driving Ursa
Major, or the Great Bear, around the north pole, thus showing that the
original occupation of the celestial foster father of the young God Sol
was that of a bear driver, and that his sons, referred to in job
xxxviii., 32, are the dogs Asterion and Chara. It will be observed that
Virgo is represented in our illustration with a child in her arms, for
the reason that she is so represented in the ancient Zodiacs, and the
fact will be readily conceded that she is the only Virgin who could
give birth to a child and be a virgin still.

[See plate3.gif]



THE ANCIENT COSMOGONY.

Speculating relative to the order in which chaos had been organized,
the ancient Astrologers constructed a Cosmogony, which divided the
labors of God the Son, or second person in the Trinity, into six
periods of a thousand years each; and which, answering to the six
divisions of the 12,000 year cycle corresponding to the reproductive
months of Spring and Summer, taught that in the first period he made
the earth; in the second, the firmament; in the third, vegetation; in
the fourth, the Sun and Moon and "the stars also;" in the fifth, the
animals, fishes, birds, etc., and in the sixth, Man.

That vegetation was made before the Sun was not an inconsistent idea to
the originators of the ancient Cosmogony. They imagined that the heat
and light, emanating from the elementary fire, were sufficient to
stimulate its growth, after which God the Son gathered it together and
made the Celestial luminaries. In the solar fables this imaginary
element is called the fire-ether, or sacred fire of the stars.



FALL AND REDEMPTION OF MAN.

Religion having been based upon the worship of personified nature, it
is evident that its founders fabricated its dogmatic element from their
conceptions of her destructive and reproductive processes as manifested
in the rotation and diversity of the seasons. The apparent retreat of
the sun from the earth, in winter, and his return in the spring,
suggesting the idea of a figurative death and resurrection of the
genius of that luminary, they applied these phenomena of the year to
man, and composed the allegories relative to his fall and redemption,
as inculcated in the Exoteric Creed. In the allegory relating to the
fall, it was taught that, after making the first human pair, the Lord
of Good or the Lord God placed them in a beautiful garden--corresponding
to the seasons of fruits and flowers or months of Spring and Summer,
with the injunction, under a, penalty, not to eat of the fruit of a
certain tree. When the Lord of Evil, or Devil, symbolized by the serpent
and represented by the constellation "Serpens" placed in conjunction
with the Autumnal Equinox, meeting them on the confines of his dominion,
and tempting the woman, and she the man, they ate of the forbidden
fruit; thus, falling from their first estate, and committing the
original sin, they involved the whole human race in the consequences
of their disobedience. Then the Lord God, pronouncing a curse against
the serpent, clothed the man and woman with skins to protect them
against the inclemency of his, dominion as Lord of Evil, and drove them
from the garden; after which they were necessitated to earn their bread
by tilling the ground.

In, reference to the plan of redemption, the ancient Astrologers
divided the 6,000 years appropriated to man, as the duration of his
race on earth, into ten equal cycles, and taught that at the conclusion
of each God Sol, as Lord of Good, would manifest himself in the flesh,
to destroy his works as Lord of Evil, and through suffering and death
make an atonement for sin. Thus having originated the doctrines of
original sin, incarnation and vicarious atonement, as parts of the plan
of redemption, and making its finale correspond, in point of time, to
the conclusion of the 12,000 year cycle, their successors in the
priestly office ultimately inculcated the additional dogmas of the
general judgment and future rewards and punishments, as we have shown
in our introduction.

Having based the fables of the fall and redemption of man upon the idea
that he was impelled, without his volition, to pass from the dominion
of God to that of the Devil, or in other words, upon his subjection to
the inexorable necessity which makes the inclement seasons of Autumn
and Winter succeed the beneficent ones of Spring and Summer, its
authors composed the original of the text which, found in Romans viii.,
20, reads that "The creature was made subject to vanity (Evil), not
willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope."

But for the popular teaching in favor of its being literal history, no
one could read the account of the fall of man, as recorded in the third
chapter of Genesis, without recognizing it as simply an allegory; or
fail to realize, the force of the argument of no fall, no redemption,
and if no redemption, no God to reward or Devil to punish; no hell to
suffer, or heaven to enjoy. The fact is that these are but antithetical
ideas which came in together, and must survive or perish together. They
cannot be separated without destroying the whole theological fabric.



INCARNATIONS OF GOD SOL.

Believing that God Sol was necessitated to remain at his post to direct
the course of the sun, the ancient astrologers conceived the idea of
teaching that, attended by a retinue of subordinate genii, he descended
to earth through the medium of incarnations at the end of 600 year
cycles, to perform the work of man's redemption and, having made Virgo
of the Zodiac the mother of the Solar divinity, they taught in their
allegorical Astronomy, or scriptures, that his incarnations were born
of a Virgin. Hence we find that God Sol, usually designated by the
title of the Word, "was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John i., 14.

In a discourse upon this text delivered by Tillotson, Archbishop of
Canterbury, in the year 1680, published in the fourth volume of
Woodhouse's edition of his Grace's sermons, in the year 1744,
concerning the Incarnation of our blessed Saviour, he explains the
necessity of incarnation by saying that "There was likewise a great
inclination in mankind to the worship of a visible Deity, so God was
pleased to appear in our nature, that they, who were so fond of a
visible Deity, might have one, even a true and natural image of God the
Father, the express image of his person." It only requires a little
reflection to appreciate the Prelate's covert irony and want of faith.

Having ascribed to the imaginary incarnations of God Sol the
characteristics of heaven-descending, virgin-born, earth-walking,
wonder-working, dying, resuscitated and ascending sons of God, the
ancient Astrologers attached to them the several titles of Saviour,
Redeemer, Avatar, Divine-Helper, Shiloh, Messiah, Christ; and, in
reference to their foster-father, that of Son of Man. Teaching that
they continued to make intercession for sin, after their ascension to
the right hand of the Father, they were also called Intercessors,
Mediators or Advocates with the Father. From teaching their appearance
every 600 years originated the Egyptian legend of the Phoenix, a bird
said to descend from the sun at these intervals, and, after being
consumed upon the altar in the temple of On, or city of the sun--called
Heliopolis by the Greeks--would rise from its ashes and ascend to its
source. According to the civil laws of Egypt, manhood was not attained
until the age of thirty years. Hence the earthly mission of incarnate
Saviours was made to begin at that age; and for the reason that,
relating to the apparent transit of the sun through the twelve signs of
the Zodiac, it was completed during the period of one year.

To impress the ignorant masses with the belief that the scriptures were
literal histories, and the incarnate Saviours real personages, the
ancient Astrologers caused tombs to be erected in which it was claimed
they were buried. Such sepulchres were erected to Hercules at Cadiz, to
Apollo at Delphi, and to other Saviours at many other places, to which
their respective votaries were induced to perform pilgrimages. In Egypt
the pyramids were built, partly for astronomical purposes, and partly
as tombs for Saviours, claimed to have been kings, who had once ruled
over the country; and why should we not recognize that magnificent
structure known as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, at Jerusalem, as
but another of those tombs of Saviours in which no Saviour was ever
entombed?

Thus we have shown that it was God Sol, the only begotten of the
Father, or second person in the sacred Triad, to whom supreme adoration
was inculcated in all forms of the ancient Astrolatry; and that its
cultured votaries, understanding that the doctrines pertaining to the
fall and redemption of man were evolved from the figurative death and
resurrection of the solar divinity, recognized the doctrine of
incarnation as a priestly invention intended only for the ignorant
masses.



FABLE OF THE TWELVE LABORS.

The authors of the original solar fables, having lived in that remote
age in which physical prowess was recognized as the highest attribute
of humanity, conceived the idea that God Sol, while passing through his
apparent orbit, had to fight his way with the animals of the Zodiac,
and with others in conjunction with them. Hence, designating him as the
Mighty Hunter, and calling his exploits the twelve labors, they made
the incarnate Saviours the heroes of similar ones on earth, which they
taught were performed for the good of mankind; and that, after
fulfilling their earthly mission, they were exhaled to heaven through
the agency of fire. When these fables were composed the Summer Solstice
was in the sign of Leo, and making the twelve labors begin in it, the
first consisted in the killing of a lion, and the second, in rescuing a
virgin (Virgo) by the destruction of a Hydra, the constellation in
conjunction with her. Upon one of the Assyrian marbles on exhibition in
the British Museum these two labors are represented as having been
performed by a saviour by the name of Nimroud. In the constellations of
Taurus, the bull of the Zodiac, and of Orion, originally known as
Horns, in conjunction therewith, we have groupings of stars
representing the latter as one of the mighty hunters of the ancient
Astrolatry, supporting on his left arm the shield of the lion's skin,
the trophy of the first labor, and holding a club in his uplifted right
hand, is engaged in performing the tenth labor by a conflict with the
former.

[See plate4.gif]

The fable of the twelve labors constituted the sacred records or
scriptures of the older forms of Astrolatry, one version of which,
written with the cuneiform character upon twelve tablets of burnt clay,
exhumed from the ruins of an Assyrian city, and now on exhibition in
the British Museum, is ascribed to Nimroud, the prototype of the
Grecian Hercules, and of Nimrod, the Mighty Hunter of the Old
Testament.



ANNIVERSARIES OF SOLAR WORSHIP.

The Nativity.

Applying the anniversaries inculcated in the worship of God Sol to his
imaginary incarnations, the founders of the ancient Astrolatry made
them refer to the several stages of human existence from infancy to
mature age. Hence, comparing the first day of infantile life to the
shortest day of the year, it would naturally be expected that they
would have placed the anniversary of the Nativity exactly at the Winter
solstice; but, having conceived the idea that the sun stood still for
the space of three days at each of the cardinal points, and making it
represent the figurative death of the genius of that luminary, they
fixed the date for its observance three days later, or on the 25th of
December. The Gnostic adherents to the ancient solar worship, or those
who were conversant with the teachings of the Esoteric philosophy,
knowing that the dramatis personae of the fable of incarnation were
pictured with stars upon the azure vault, recognized the woman "clothed
with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of
twelve stars," referred to in Revelations xii. 1, as the Virgo of the
Zodiac; they also knew that she was the true queen of heaven and mother
of God; and that the infant, anciently represented in her arms, and
with whom, in their day, she arose on the Eastern horizon at midnight
on the 24th of December, was the same of whom the people were taught to
sing at Christmas "Unto us a child is born this day."

With the knowledge of these facts we can readily see that this is the
Virgin and child which constituted the originals of those exquisite
paintings, by the old masters, known as the Madonna and Child.


Epiphany or Twelfth Day.

In reference to the twelve signs through which the sun makes his
apparent annual revolution, the twelfth day after Christmas, answering
to the 6th of January, was observed by the votaries of the ancient
Astrolatry as the anniversary of the Epiphany or Twelfth Day. In the
solar fables, it was taught that a star appeared in the heavens on that
day to manifest the birthplace of the infant Saviour to the Magi or
Wise Men of the East, who came to pay him homage, and to present him
with the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, as related in Matthew
ii. 11.

The reason for presenting these gifts is explained by the facts that of
the seven metals dedicated to the genii of the planets, gold was the
one consecrated to God Sol; and frankincense and myrrh were the gums
burned in censers in his worship.

In reading the account of the Magi's visit to the infant Saviour, we
have but to exercise our thinking faculties to realize that it is
allegory instead of literal history.


Lent or Lenten Season.

In the ancient solar fables it was taught that the persecutions to
which the incarnate Saviours were subjected while passing through the
dominion of God Sol as Lord of Evil, raged with greatest fury during
the forty days preceding the festival of Easter, which period,
beginning when the days were perceptibly lengthening, was called Lent,
or the Lenten season. It was during this season that the votaries of
the ancient religion were taught to manifest their sympathy for the
Saviour in his imaginary conflict with the Devil by abstaining from all
festivities, and by fasting and prayer; and, as that was the season in
which the flocks and herds were poor in flesh, while the seas and
rivers abounded with fish in good condition, the ancient priests,
making a virtue of necessity, enjoined a diet principally of fish, and
for that reason placed the constellation Pisces at the point in the
Zodiac in which the Lenten season anciently began; which, without
regard to the day of the week, was always observed on the 15th day of
February, the name of that month having been derived from the Februa,
or feast of purification and expiation of the old Roman calendar.

At the council of Nice the Lenten season was made to begin on the
fourth day of the week, and in reference to the ancient custom of the
more devout sprinkling ashes upon their heads at the feast of the
Februa, it is called Ash Wednesday.

Hence we see that all years in which Ash Wednesday does not come on the
15th of February, the Lenten season must necessarily contain a greater
or lesser number than the original assignment of forty days.


Passion Week.

The last seven days of Lent is called Passion Week, in reference to the
apparent passage of the sun across the Celestial equator at the Vernal
Equinox or 21st of March; the ancient astrologers having conceived the
idea that the sun stood still for the space of three days at each of
the cardinal points, and making it represent the figurative death of
the genius of that luminary, it was observed as the anniversary of the
Vernal crucifixion or passion of the incarnate Saviours; and in
commemoration of their imaginary sufferings and death it was the custom
to expose in the temples during the last three days of Passion Week
figures representing their dead bodies, over which the votaries of
solar worship, especially the women, made great lamentation. It was in
reference to one of these images, laid out in the temple at Jerusalem,
to which the jealous Jehovah, considering it a great abomination in his
own house, is made to direct the attention of Ezekiel, the prophet,
who, looking, beheld "Women weeping for Tammuz" as recorded in the
eighth chapter. This divinity was the Phoenician prototype of the
Grecian Adonis, to whom the women of Judea preferred to pay homage.

It was during the last three days of Passion Week that the votaries of
solar worship performed their severest penance. Besides fasting and
prayer, the more devout flagellated and slashed themselves and others
with knives and thongs, and carried heavy crosses up steep acclivities.
In all ultra-Catholic countries the priests, in imitation of the
ancient custom, expose in the churches figures representing the dead
Saviour, over which the laity, especially the women, weep and mourn;
and the more devout men cut and slash themselves, and each other, with
knives and thongs; and, in imitation of the imaginary tramp of Jesus
with his cross up Calvary's rugged side, bear heavy crosses up steep
acclivities.


Passion Plays.

Anciently dramas representing the passion of incarnate saviours, called
Passion plays, were enacted upon the stage. The most celebrated of
these divine tragedies, known as Prometheus Bound, and composed by the
Greek poet AEschylus, was played at Athens 500 years before the
beginning of the Christian era. To show that this sin-atoning saviour
was not chained to a rock, while vultures preyed upon his vitals, as
popularly taught, but was nailed to a tree; we quote front Potter's
translation of the play, that passage which, readily recognized as the
original of a Christian song, reads as follows:

            "Lo, streaming from the fatal tree,
               His all atoning blood:
             Is this the infinite? 'Tis he--
               Prometheus and a God.
             Well might the sun in darkness hide,
               And veil his glories in,
             When God the great Prometheus died
               For man, the creature's sin."

The veiling of the sun, as represented in these plays, having reference
to the imaginary sympathy expressed by God Sol for the sufferings of
his incarnate son, was shown upon the stage by shading the lights. The
monks of the Middle Ages enacted plays representing the passion of the
Christian Saviour, and the Bavarian peasantry, perpetuating this
custom, perform the play every tenth year.


Resurrection and Easter Festival.

In conformity to the ancient teachings, the incarnate saviours,
considered as figuratively dead for the space of three days at the
Vernal Equinox, or 21st of March, were raised to newness of life after
the expiration of that time. Hence, the 25th of March, without regard
to the day of the week, was celebrated as the anniversary of the Vernal
resurrection. On the morning of this day it was the custom of the
astrologers to say to the mourners assembled in the temples, "Be of
good cheer, sacred band of initiates; your God has risen from the dead,
his pains and his sufferings shall be your salvation." Another form of
this admonition, quoted from an ancient poem in reference to the
Phoenician Tammuz, reads as follows:

            "Trust ye saints, your God restored,
             Trust ye in your risen Lord,
             For the pains which he endured,
             Your salvation hath procured."

Then would begin the festivities of Easter, which corrupted from
Eostre, and derived from the Teutonic mythology, was one of the many
names given to the goddess of Spring. In the observance of this
festival the temples were adorned with floral offerings; the Hilaries
sang their joyful lays; the fires upon the pyres, or the fire-altars,
were extinguished and rekindled with new fire, or sacred fire of the
stars, which the Astrologers taught was brought down from heaven by the
winged genius Perseus, the constellation which, anciently, was in
conjunction with the Vernal Equinox; Paschal candles, lit from the new
fire, were distributed to the faithful and the Paschal feast, Easter
feast, or the feast of the passover, was eaten in commemoration of the
passion of the incarnate saviours, or, in other words, of the passage
of the sun across the celestial equator. In ultra-Catholic countries
the descent of the sacred fire is represented by some secretly arranged
pyrotechny, and the credulous laity, believing they have witnessed a
miraculous display, eagerly solicit Paschal candles lit from it; and in
imitation of the ancient festivities in honor of the return of spring,
all Catholic churches, and most of Protestant ones, are adorned with
flowers, the bells ring out their merriest peals, and "Gloria in
Excelsis" and other jubilant songs, similar to the lays of the ancient
Hilaries, are sung.


Annunciation.

The anniversary of the Nativity having been placed on the 25th of
December, according to the course of nature, the 25th of March was
anciently celebrated as the anniversary of the annunciation, and is
still observed on that day, and the duty of saluting the Virgin (Virgo)
and announcing her conception by the Holy Ghost or third person in the
Trinity was assigned to the genius of Spring. In the Chaldean version
of the Gospel story the name of Gabriel was given to this
personification, and in the Christian version of that story he is made
to perform the same office; see Luke i. 26-35.


Ascension.

Celebrating the anniversary of the ascension forty days after Easter,
it was anciently observed on the 4th of May, and it was taught that the
incarnate saviours ascended bodily into heaven, in a golden chariot
drawn by four horses caparisoned with gilded trappings, all glittering
like fire in the fervid sunlight. Hence when we read in II. Kings ii.
11, that "There appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire, . . .
and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven," we must accept this
text as descriptive of the imaginary ascension of one of the incarnate
saviours of ancient Judaism.


Assumption.

When the Summer solstice was in the sign of Cancer, the sun was in that
of Virgo in the month of August, and the anniversary of the Assumption
was observed on the 15th of that month, and is so observed at the
present time. The fact that the anniversary of the Ascension precedes
that of the Assumption explains why Jesus is made to say to his mother
(Virgo) soon after his resurrection, "Touch me not: for I am not yet
ascended to my Father." John xx. 17.


The Lord's Supper.

In the ancient solar worship the so-called ordinance of the Lord's
Supper was observed just before the anniversary of the autumnal
crucifixion; and consisting of bread and wine, in reference to the
maturing of the crops and completion of the vintage, was, like the
modern festival of the hardest home, a season of thankfulness to the
Lord (God Sol) as the giver of all good gifts. Hence being observed but
once a year, it was in reality not an ordinance but an anniversary; and
the fact that Christians partake of these emblems so frequently during
the year indicates that the original signification of the Lord's Supper
has been lost.


Transubstantiation,

or the conversion of the bread and wine into the veritable blood and
body of Christ, is a doctrine of the Catholic church which was derived
from the ritual of the ancient solar worship.

In the 26th chapter of Matthew we have an account of the Lord
administering the last supper to his Disciples on the eve of the
autumnal crucifixion, and in verse 27 it reads that "he took the cup,
and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it." The
compilers of the modern version of the Gospel story must surely have
inadvertently copied this text as it read in the ancient versions of
that old, old story, which, when observed in remembrance of "Our Lord
and Saviour Bacchus," was called the Bacchanalia, or feast, of Bacchus.
At these orgies the participants give thanks for the wine by not only
drinking all of one cup, but many more; in fact they kept on drinking
until they fell under the table.


Autumnal Crucifixion.

The beneficent seasons of Spring and Summer coming to an end at the
Autumnal Equinox, the 22d of September was made the anniversary of the
Autumnal Crucifixion. The vernal resurrection and Autumnal Crucifixion,
representing the alternate triumph of the personified principles of
Good and Evil, as manifested in the diversity of the seasons; we find
appropriately expressed in two religious pictures. In the one, the
Saviour, appealing as a vigorous young man, surrounded by a brilliant
halo, representing the rays of the all-conquering Sun of Spring, is
rising triumphantly from the tomb, before whom the demon of Winter, or
Devil, is seen retreating in the background. In the other, the
vanquished Saviour, represented by the figure of a lean and haggard
man, with a crown of thorns upon his head, around which appears a faint
halo of the Sun's declining rays, and above which is placarded the
letters I. N. R. I., the initial letters of Latin words, signifying the
life to come, or the eternal life, is suspended upon the cross, at the
foot of which his mother Mary (Virgo) is represented as kneeling in a
mourning attitude, and by her side is seen a serpent and a skull, the
emblems of Evil and of Death.

[See plate5.gif & plate6.gif]


Michaelmas.

In the calendar of the ancient Astral Worship, the fourth day after the
Autumnal Equinox was dedicated to the genius of Autumn. In the Chaldean
allegories the name of Michael was given to this personification, and
called Michaelmas, or feast of Michael. In the Catholic calendar this
anniversary is placed an the 29th of September, instead of the 26th of
that month, while that of St. Matthew, the Christian genius of Autumn,
which should be placed on the 26th of that month, is observed on the
21st.

Thus we have shown that the anniversaries of the ancient Astral Worship
were all fixed, and from church history we learn that they were so
observed by the Christians until the Council of Nice in the year 325,
when the Bishops assembled at that celebrated convocation, desiring to
have the festival of Easter celebrated on Sunday, which had been made
the Sabbath by the edict of Constantine, in the year 321, ordered that
it should be observed on the Sunday of the full moon, which comes on or
next after the Vernal Equinox. Hence, converting it into a movable
festival, its allied feasts and fast days were also made movable.



PERSONIFICATIONS OF THE DIVISIONS OF TIME.

In the ancient solar fables the several divisions of time were
personified and made to pay homage to the Triune Deity, supposed to be
enthroned above the firmament.


The Hours.

The genii of the hours were designated as Elders, and we find them
described in the 4th chapter of Revelation as sitting round about the
throne upon four and twenty seats, clothed in white raiment, and crowns
of gold upon their heads.


The Days.

Each day of the year was appropriately personified, and these genii of
the days constitute the saints of the Christian calendar. Of these we
will refer to but one. According to the ancient belief that the sun
stood still for the space of three days at each of the cardinal points,
the 24th of June was made the first of the decreasing days; and
dedicating it to St. John the Baptist, he is made to say in reference
to his opposite, (the genius of the 25th of December, and first of the
increasing days,) "He must increase, but I must decrease." This text,
found in John iii. 30, simply means that the days of the one must
increase in length, while the days of the other must decrease.


The Months.

The fable of the twelve labors having been superseded by others, in
which the genii of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, corresponding to the
months, were designated as angels, and made to minister to God Sol
while making his apparent annual revolution; but, when constituted the
attendants of the incarnate saviours during their imaginary earth life,
they were personified as men and called Disciples. Of these genii of
the months we will refer only to the first and the last. The first
month, dedicated to the genius known in the mythology as Janus, and
from which was derived the name January, was portrayed with two faces,
the one of an old man looking mournfully backward over the old year,
and the other of a young man looking joyfully forward to the new year.
This personification, made the opener of the year, and represented as
holding a pair of cross-keys, was called "The carrier of the keys of
the kingdom of heaven." Hence, the Popes of Rome, claiming apostolic
succession from Peter, the Janus of the Christian twelve, wear
cross-keys as the insignia of their office. Sometimes a crosier, or
shepherd's crook, is substituted for one of the keys, in reference to
his arrogated office of the leader of the sheep! The authority for the
assumption that the Popes are Peter's successors is found in Matthew
xvi. 18, 19; but its fallacy becomes apparent when we bear in mind that
the scriptures are but collections of astronomical allegories, and that
the Peter referred to in the text was not a man, but the mythical
genius of the month of January.

In reference to the last month, we find that the authors of the ancient
solar fables, ever doubting whether God Sol, after inaugurating Winter
by his supposed retreat from the earth, would return to revivify nature
with his life-giving rays, gave to the genius of the twelfth month the
title of the Doubter. In the Christian calendar this personification is
known as Thomas, and a more specific dedication of the shortest day of
the year having been made to him, the 21st day of December is called
St. Thomas day.


The Seasons.

When the cardinal points were in the constellations Leo, Taurus,
Aquarius and Scorpio, the astrologers, objecting to the signification
of the latter, substituted the constellation in conjunction therewith,
which is known as Aquila (Ak-we-la) or Flying Eagle. In the allegorical
astronomy of that remote period these genii of the seasons were
designated as beasts, and as such we find them referred to in
Revelation iv. 7, which reads as follows: "And the first beast was like
a lion (Leo), and the second beast like a calf (Taurus, the bull calf),
and the third beast had a face as a man, (Aquarius, the waterman) and
the fourth beast was like a flying eagle (Aquila)." In the first chapter
of Ezekiel, the prophet, the genii of the seasons are referred to in
the same manner.

These genii of the seasons, standing, imaginarily, at the four corners
of the heavens, were called corner-keepers, and making them witnesses
to God Sol in his apparent annual revolution, the founders of the
Astral Worship designated them as Archangels, Evangelists, God-Spellers
or Gospel-Bearers, and claiming inspiration from them, composed four
different histories of the birth and earth-life of the incarnate
saviour, to each of which they attached a name, and called these
records the Gospel story. In its Chaldean version, the names of
Gabriel, Michael, Raphael and Uriel were given them; but while the
first two of these are mentioned in the Christian Gospel story, its
authors gave to the Evangelists the names of Matthew, Mark, Luke and
John. Thus knowing the true signification of the Disciples and
Evangelists, the very pertinent question presents itself: If they are
not the genii of the months and the seasons, why are there just twelve
of the one and four of the other?

[See plate7.gif]


Half Year of Increasing Days.

In the ancient astrolatry, the half year of increasing days, extending
from the Winter to the Summer Solstice, was personified by the
composite figure representing the constellations of Taurus and
Aquarius, which, constituted of the winged body of a bull and the head
and beard of a man, was called the Cherubim. This personification we
find portrayed upon the Assyrian marbles on exhibition in the British
Museum.


Half Year of Decreasing Days.

The half year of decreasing days, extending from the Summer to the
Winter Solstice, was personified by the figure, which, representing the
constellations of Leo and Aquila, and composed of the winged body and
limbs of a lion, with the head of an eagle, was called the Seraphim.
These last two personifications constituted the Archangels of the
ancient Astral Worship.


Last Quarter of the Year.

The last quarter of the year was personified in the ancient allegories
as a decrepit old man, who, stung by a Scorpion (Scorpio), and fatally
wounded by an arrow from the quiver of an archer (Saggitarius) dies at
the Winter Solstice; and, after lying in the grave for the space of
three days, is brought to life again. Such was the personification
referred to in the Christian Gospel-story as having been raised from
the grave by the mandate, "Come forth, Lazarus." Thus have we shown
that the elders and the saints; the angels, and the Archangels; the
Cherubim and Seraphim; and also poor old Lazarus, are but
personifications of the several divisions of time.



ZODIACAL SYMBOLS OF SOLAR WORSHIP.

Having shown that the founders of the ancient astrolatry accorded
homage to God Sol as Lord of Evil, under the symbol of the serpent, and
marked the beginning of his reign, as such, by the constellation
"Serpens" placed in conjunction with the Autumnal Equinox; we will now
direct attention to the symbols under which he was worshipped as Lord
of Good, which, corresponding to the form of the constellation in which
occurred the Vernal Equinox, and which was changed to correspond to the
form of the succeeding constellation as that Cardinal point passed into
it, by that process, known in Astronomy, as the precession of the
Equinoxes, its explanation becomes essential to a correct understanding
of our subject.

After long observation, aided by the telescope, of which they were
undoubtedly the original inventors, the ancient Astrologers discovered
that the Sun, in making his apparent annual revolution, did not return
to the same point in the heavens, but fell behind that of the preceding
year, at the, rate of 50 1/4 seconds of a degree annually. At this rate
of precession, which modern, calculation has confirmed, it requires 71
2-3 years for the Cardinal points to pass through one degree on the
Ecliptic, and 2150 years through thirty degrees, or one sign of the
Zodiac. The knowledge of this process affording an exact chronology, we
are enabled, not only to determine the origin of these symbols, but to
approximate, very nearly, to the respective dates of their adoption.


The Sphinx.

From the teachings of Astronomy we learn that the Summer Solstice is
now occupying the point between the signs of Taurus and Gemini, from
which we know that that Cardinal point has passed through three whole
signs since it was between the signs of Leo and Virgo, and we have but
to multiply 2,150 by 3 to determine that it has been about 6,450 years
ago. Hence, the tourist to the Nile valley, when viewing, near the base
of old Cheops, the great Egyptian pyramid, a colossal head and bust of
a woman, carved in stone, and learns that it is attached to a body, in
the form of a lion in a crouching attitude 146 feet long, hidden
beneath the shifting sands of the Libyan desert; if possessed of the
knowledge of the precession of the Equinoxes, he will be enabled to
solve the riddle of the Sphinx by recognizing in that grotesque
monument the mid-summer symbol of solar worship, when the Summer
Solstice was between the signs of Leo and Virgo.


The Dragon.

When the Summer Solstice was between the signs of Leo and Virgo, the
Winter Solstice was between those of Aquarius and Pisces, and the
figure composed of the body of a man with the tail of a fish became the
mid-winter symbol of solar worship. Such was the form of this symbol to
which the ancient Phoenicians paid homage to the Lord under the name of
Dagon.


The Bull.

At the same time the Summer Solstice entered the sign of Leo, the
Vernal Equinox entered that of Taurus, and the bull becoming the spring
symbol of solar worship--the Lord was designated in the ancient
allegories as the bull of God which taketh away the sin of the world;
which, shorn of its allegorical sense, signifies the sun in Taurus, or
sun of spring, which taketh away the evil of Winter. Such is the
purport of hieroglyphical inscriptions upon papyrus rolls found in
Egypt, and engraved upon obelisks erected in the Nile valley, one of
which has been recently brought to the City of New York and set up in
Central Park. In the East Indies this symbol was represented by the
figure of a bull with the solar disk between his horns; and the
Egyptians, who were of Hindoo origin, perpetuating it in their "Apis,"
it was reproduced in the golden calf of the ancient Israelites. The
Assyrians represented this symbol by the figure of a winged bull with
the face and beard of a man; the Phoenicians, in their "Baal," by the
figure of a man with a bull's head and horns; and the small silver
bull's heads with golden horns, recently discovered by Dr. Schliemann
in the ruins of Mycenae, were jewels worn by the women of that ancient
city, when the Vernal Equinox was in the sign of Taurus.


The Ram.

By deducting 2,150 years from 6,450, we determine that about 4,300
years; ago the Vernal Equinox entered the sign of Aries, and the spring
symbol of solar worship, changing from the bull to the ram, was
represented by ram-headed figures, two of which, found in Egypt, are on
exhibition in the British Museum. Then the text which read the bull of
God, was changed to the Ram of God which taketh away the sins of the
world.


The Lamb.

Ultimately attaching a meek and lowly disposition to the imaginary
incarnations of the mythical genius of the sun, the symbol of the ram
was changed to that of the lamb, and the text in the allegories, which
read the Ram of God, was changed to read "The Lamb of God which taketh
away the sin of the World," John i, 29. The explanation we have given
relative to the Zodiacal Symbols of solar worship makes the assurance
doubly sure that the originals of the New Testament were composed when
the Vernal Equinox was in the sign of Aries, as will be shown
hereafter. Having adopted the symbol of the lamb, it was represented by
several forms of what is known as Agnus Dei, or Lamb of God, one of
which was in the form of a bleeding lamb with a vase attached into
which blood is flowing, which originated in reference to the shedding
of blood as a vicarious atonement for sin. But the most comprehensive
form of this symbol in its astronomical signification, was represented
by the figure of a lamb in a standing attitude, supporting the circle
of the Zodiac, divided into quarters to denote the seasons. At each of
the cardinal points there was a small cross, and the lamb held in its
uplifted fore-foot a larger cross, the long arm of which was made to
cut the celestial equator at the angle of 23 1/2 degrees, the true
angle of obliquity of the Ecliptic. This symbol is still retained in
the Catholic Church.

[See plate8.gif]


The Fish.

By deducting 2,150 years from 4,300 we determine that about 2,150 years
ago the Vernal Equinox entered the sign of Pisces; and although the
original version of the New Testament was founded upon the symbol of
the lamb, it is a historical fact that for centuries after the
beginning of our era, the Christians paid homage to the Lord under the
symbol of the fish; but ultimately going into desuetude, the lamb was
retained as the distinguishing symbol of the Christian religion until
the year 680, at which date another was substituted, as will be shown
under our next heading.



SIGNS OP THE CROSS.

Among the numerous symbols of solar worship, besides those we have
already referred to, there are three to which we will direct attention.
Two of these were of astronomical signification: the one adopted when
the Spring Equinox was in the sign of Taurus and shaped like the letter
T, was the model after which the ancient temples were built; and the
other, shaped like the letter X, in reference to the angle of 23 1/2
degrees made by the crossing of the Ecliptic and the Celestial equator,
is known as St. Andrew's Cross. The third, and most important of all
the symbols of solar worship, in its relation to the Christian
religion, which, having no astronomical signification, originated in
Egypt, in reference to the annual inundation of the river Nile. To mark
the height to which the water should rise to secure an abundant
harvest, posts were planted upon its banks to which cross beams were
attached thus +. If the water should rise to the designated height, it
was called "the waters of life," or "river of life;" and, ultimately,
this form of the cross was adopted as the symbol of the life to come,
or eternal life; and the ancient astrologers had it engraved upon
stone, encircled with a hieroglyphical inscription to that effect, one
of which was discovered in the ruins of the temple erected at
Alexandria, and dedicated to "our Lord and Saviour Serapis."

But, if the water failed to rise to the required height, and the
horrors of starvation becoming the inevitable result, it was the custom
of the people to nail to these crosses symbolical personifications of
the Demon of Famine. To indicate the sterility of the domain over which
he reigned, he was represented by the figure of a lean and haggard man,
with a crown of thorns upon his head; a reed cut from the river's bank
was placed in his hands, as his unreal sceptre; and, considering the
inhabitants of Judea as the most slavish and mean-spirited race in
their knowledge, they placarded this figure with the inscription: "This
is the King of the Jews." Thus, to the ancient Egyptians, this sign of
the cross was blessed or accursed as it was represented with, or
without, this figure suspended upon it.

When the Roman, or modern, form of Christianity was instituted, the
hieroglyphical inscription signifying the life to come or eternal life
was substituted by a placard nailed to the cross with the letters I. N.
R. I. inscribed upon it, which are the initials of the Latin words
conveying the same meaning. But if we would learn how the figure of a
man came to be suspended upon this form of the cross, we must refer to
Mediaeval History, which teaches that in the year 680, under the
Pontificate of Agathon, and during the reign of Constantine Pogonat, at
the sixth council of the church, and third at Constantinople, it was
ordered in Canon 82 that "Instead of a lamb, the figure of a man nailed
to a cross should be the distinguishing symbol of the Christian
religion." Now, as this figure is represented by that of a lean and
haggard man, with a crown of thorns upon his head, does it not look as
if the old Egyptian Demon of Famine was the model after which it was
constructed?



FUTURE REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS.

In the ancient Astrolatry, two different systems of future rewards and
punishments were inculcated; the Oriental or East Indian, and the
Occidental or Egyptian; the former, ignoring the resurrection of the
body, taught but one judgment immediately after death, and the latter
inculcated an individual judgment immediately after death, the
resurrection of the body, and a general judgment at the end of the
world, or conclusion of the 12,000 year cycle.


The Oriental System.

Considering perfect happiness to consist in absolute rest, the Oriental
astrologers conceived a state of eternal and unconscious repose,
equivalent to soul absorption, to which they gave the name of Nirvana,
into which they taught that, by the awards of the gods, the souls of
the righteous, or those who had lived what they called "the
contemplative life," would be permitted to enter immediately after
death. But, for the souls of sinners, they invented a system of
expiatory punishments which, known as the Metempsychosis, or
transmigration of souls, taught that they would be compelled to
successively animate the bodies of beasts, birds, fishes, etc., for a
thousand years before being permitted to enter the Nirvana.


The Occidental System.

In concocting the doctrine of the first judgment the Egyptian
astrologers, ignoring the Nirvana, inculcated the future sentient
existence of the soul; and, while retaining the Metempsychotial
expiations of the Oriental system, taught that its rewards, and
principal punishments, would be enjoyed or suffered in the under or
nether world, the existence of which they had conceived in constructing
their system of nature. This imaginary region, known to the Egyptians
as the Amenti, to the Greeks as Hades, and to the Hebrews as Sheol, was
divided by an impassable gulf into the two states of happiness and
misery which were designated in the Grecian mythology as the Elysium,
or Elysian Fields, and the Tartarus. In the lower part of the latter
was located the Phlegethon, or lake of fire and brimstone, the smoke
from which ascended into an upper apartment.

In this system it was taught that the souls of the two extremes of
society, constituted of the righteous and the great sinners, would be
consigned immediately after the first judgment, the one to the Elysium,
and the other to the Phlegethon, where they were to remain until the
second or general judgment; while the souls of less venial sinners,
constituting the greater mass of mankind, before being permitted to
enter the Elysium would be compelled to suffer the expiatory
punishments of the Metempsychosis, or in the upper region, or "smoky
row" of the Tartarus. Such was the Egyptian purgatory, and its denizens
constituted "the spirits in prison" referred to in I. Peter iii. 19,
from which the astrologers claimed to have the power to release,
provided their surviving friends paid liberally for their propitiatory
offices; and, from this assumption, the clergy of the Catholic church
derived the idea of saying masses for the repose of the soul. These
doctrines were carried by Pythagoras from Egypt to Greece about 550
years before the beginning of our era; and passing from thence to Rome,
the Greek and Latin poets vied with each other in portraying Hades and
the joys and terrors of its two states.


The Second or General Judgment.

The Egyptian Astrologers, recognizing the soul as a material entity,
and conceiving the idea that in the future life it would require a
material organization for its perfect action, taught that at the
general judgment it would be re-united to its resurrected body. In
conformity to this belief, Job is made to say in chapter xix. 25, 26,
"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter
day upon the earth; and though worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh
shall I see God." The higher class Egyptians, however, fearing that
their existence would continue to be of the same shadowy and intangible
character after the second judgment, as they believed it would be in
the Amenti, if worms were allowed to destroy their bodies, hoped to
preserve them until that time by the process of embalming.

The imaginary events to occur in connection with the second judgment,
which, constituting the finale of the plan of redemption, and
inculcated in what are known as the doctrines of Second Adventism, were
to be inaugurated by an archangel sounding a trumpet summoning the
quick and the dead to appear before the bar of the gods to receive
their final awards. At the second judgment, designated in the
allegories as "the last day," "day of judgment," "great and terrible
day of the Lord," etc., it was taught that the tenth and last saviour
would make his second advent by descending upon the clouds, and after
the final awards, the elect being caught up "to meet the Lord in the
air" (I. Thes. iv. 17), the heaven and the earth would be reduced to
chaos through the agency of fire. In reference to that grand
catastrophe we find it recorded in II. Peter iii. 10, that "the heavens
shall pass away with a great noise and the elements shall melt with
fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be
burned up."

After the organization of a new heaven and a new earth it was taught
that upon the latter would descend a beautiful city, with pearly gates
and golden streets, called the City of God, the Kingdom of God, the
Kingdom of Heaven or New Jerusalem, in which the host of the redeemed
would, with their Lord and Saviour, enjoy the Millennium, or thousand
years of happiness unalloyed with evil; and such was the Kingdom for
the speedy coming of which the votaries of Astral worship were taught
to pray in what is known as the Lord's Prayer.

According to the teachings of the Allegories, there were to be no sun,
moon or stars during the Millennium, their authors having arranged it
so that the light of those luminaries would not be needed, as we find
recorded in Rev. xxi. 23, and xxii. 5: "The city had no need of the
sun, neither of the moon to shine in it; for the glory of God did
lighten it," and "there shall be no night there; and they need no
candle, neither the light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them
light." It must be remembered, when reading the fanciful ideas relative
to the City of God, that they were composed by men who, living in a
very ignorant age, gave free rein to fervid imaginations.



JEWISH OR ANCIENT CHRISTIANITY.

It is our purpose to present the evidences showing that a system of
Astral worship, which we designate as Jewish Christianity, was in
existence more than two centuries and a half before the institution of
its modern form. In verification of this assertion we must find the
initial point of our inquiry in ancient history, which teaches that in
the division of the Grecian Empire among his generals, after the death
of Alexander the Great, who died 332 years before the beginning of our
era, the governorship of Egypt and adjacent provinces was secured by
Ptolemy Lagus, or Soter, who, having subsequently suppressed a revolt
in Judea, removed from that country a large body of its inhabitants to
people the new city of Alexandria, which had been laid out by order of
and named after the great Conqueror.

The Egyptian version of the Gospel story, being more appropriate to the
Nile Valley than to the region from whence they came, the Greek
colonists of Alexandria adopted it, but preferring to pay homage to
Serapis, one of the ninth incarnations of God Sol, which they imported
from Pontus, a Greek province of Asia Minor, they erected to his
worship that celebrated temple known as the Grand Serapium; and,
transferring the culture and refinement of Greece to the new city, it
became, under the Ptolemian dynasty, a great seat of learning; the arts
and sciences flourished, an immense library was collected, the various
forms of Astral worship were represented and schools for the
dissemination of the several phases of Grecian philosophy and Oriental
Gnosticism were founded.

Such being the environment of the Jewish residents of Alexandria, they
soon acquired the vernacular and adopted the religion of the Greeks,
who, having ever attached to their incarnate saviours the title
signifying the Christ, or the anointed, were known as Christians.
Encouraged by the liberal policy of Philadelphus, the second Ptolemy, a
body of their learned men, who had been educated in the Greek schools,
founded a college for the education of their own people, which
institution was ultimately known as the University of Alexandria. Under
the auspices of Philadelphus the professors of that institution
rendered their Hebrew sacred records into the Greek language, which
translation is known as the Septuagint, or Alexandrian version of the
Old Testament.

Having acquired from the Egyptian astrologers the arts of healing,
thaumaturgy and necromancy, and teaching them in their school, the
professors of the Jewish college of Alexandria assumed the title of
Essenes, or Therapeutae, the Egyptian and Greek words signifying
Doctors, Healers or Wonder Workers. Possessed of the sad and gloomy
characteristics of their race, they adopted the "Contemplative Life,"
or asceticism of the Oriental Gnosticism, from which they derived the
name of Ascetics. Founding a church for the propagation of their
peculiar tenets, those who were set apart for the ministry assumed the
title of Ecclesiastics. Inculcating rigid temperance and self-denial
among their people, they were known as Enchratites, Nazarites or
Abstainers; and the more devout among them retiring to monasteries, or
to the solitude of caves and other secluded places, were also
designated as Monks, Cenobites, Friars, Eremites, Hermits or
Solitaries.

The time having arrived, according to the cyclic teachings of Astral
worship, for the manifestation of the tenth and last incarnation of God
Sol, or, in other words, to, give a new name to the mythical genius of
the sun, the professors of the Jewish school of Alexandria is resolved
to inaugurate their own form of worship. While retaining the same title
under which they had paid homage to Serapis and known as Christians,
Essenes or Therapeutae, they substituted for their Christ the name of
the Grecian Bacchus, which, composed of the letters {Greek:
IOTA,ETA,SIGMA}, signifies Yes, Ies or Jes. In composing their version
of the Gospel story, having, like their race, no inventive genius, they
appropriated that of Serapis as its basis and laid its scene in the
land of their ancestry, but inconsistently retained the sign of the
cross and the phraseology connected there with, which, having special
reference to the Nile River and its annual inundation, had no
application whatever to the sterile land of Judea. Selecting what they
conceived to be the best from other versions of the Gospel story, and
assuming the title of Eclectics, they designated their system as the
Eclectic Philosophy. In proof of the eclectic character of the Gospel
and Epistles of ancient Christianity, we refer to the Asceticism
inculcated therein, which, derived from the Oriental Gnosticism, we
find perpetuated in the scriptures of modern Christianity; we also
refer to the miracle of converting water into wine, taken from the
Gospel story of Bacchus, and to the statements that the Saviour was the
son of a carpenter and was hung between two thieves, copied from the
story of Christna, the Eighth, Avatar of the East Indian astrolatry.
Thus we see that, although the scene of the Gospel story of ancient
Christianity was laid in the land of Judea, its authors having adopted
a Greek version of that story as its basis, given a Greek title and
name to their Messiah, perpetuated a Greek name for their sect and
quoted exclusively from the Septuagint, or Greek version of the Old
Testament, the facts show conclusively that it was not Jews of Judea,
but Hellenized Jews of Alexandria, who were the real authors of the
ancient Christianity.



THE PROPHECIES.

The clergy having ever claimed that the prophecies are Divine
revelations of events yet to occur, and having incessantly agitated
society by preaching their speedy fulfillment, we propose to expose the
fallacy of their teachings by showing that these scriptures are not the
records of future events, Divinely reavealed, but that they originated
with the founders of Astral worship, who predicated them upon
predetermined events of their own concoction, relative to the general
judgment, and setting up of the kingdom of heaven, which were to occur
as the finale of the plan of redemption and from which were derived the
doctrines of second adventism; and, in determining the exact time when
then were to occur, we have but to prove that it was coincident with
the conclusion of the last half of the grand cycle of 12,000 years,
which, as we have shown, was dedicated to man as the duration of his
race on earth.

As evidence that the founders of the Jewish or ancient Christianity
believed, like the votaries of other forms of Astral worship, that the
prophecies were soon to be fulfilled, we find that the New Testament,
of the original version of which they were the authors, is replete with
such texts as "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," Matt. iv.
17; "There be some standing here which shall not taste death till they
see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom," Matt. xxi. 28; "The time is
fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand," Mark i. 15. That the
original version of the New Testament was composed when the Vernal
Equinox was in the sign of Aries we are assured by reason of the fact
that it inculcates homage to the Lord under the symbol of the Lamb; and
that it was during the last, or 30th degree of that sign, can readily
be proven by appealing to history and to astronomy, the former of which
teaches that the Jews were removed from Judea to Alexandria twenty-five
years before the accession to the throne of Philadelphus, the Second
Ptolemy, to whom we have referred in our preceding article, and who,
after reigning thirty-nine years, died 246 years before the beginning
of our era. By reference to the Celestial atlas we will find that the
Vernal Equinox will pass out of the sign of Pisces into that of
Aquarius, or in the year 1900, and we have but to deduct that period of
time from 2150, the number of years required for the cardinal points to
pass through one whole sign, to determine that the Spring Equinox
passed out of the sign of Aries into that of Pisces 250 years before
the beginning of our era, or about 2,100 years ago. Now, from the
projections of the astrological science, we are assured that the last
half of the grand cycle of 12,000 years, which was allotted to man as
the duration of his race on earth, was made to begin at a time
corresponding to the Autumnal Equinox, when that cardinal point was
passing out of the sign of Virgo, and that of necessity it had to come
to an end at a time corresponding to the Vernal Equinox, when that
cardinal point was passing out of the sign of Aries; from which we know
why, at the last judgment, the office of trumpeter was assigned to the
Archangel Gabriel, the genius of Spring, and why it was a ram's horn
with which he was to "toot the crack o' doom"

When the time arrived for the fulfillment of the prophecies we can well
imagine that, fearing the wrath of the Lamb, there were weeping,
wailing and gnashing of teeth among the terror-stricken sinners, while
those who believed they had made their calling and election sure were
looking with feverish expectancy for the second advent of their Lord
and Saviour; and, doubtless, clothed with their ascension robes, they
watched and waited, with ears alert, to hear the sound of Gabriel's
trumpet, summoning the quick, and the dead to the general judgment. But
not a blast from the archangel's ram's horn was heard reverberating
along the skies, no Lord appeared descending upon the clouds to meet
the elect in the air, and, in the last act of the fearful drama of
"judgment day," the curtain refused to be rung down upon a burning
world.

With the non-fulfillment of the prophecies, the more enlightened
elements of society began to scoff at the priests, who were temporarily
demoralized, but true to their deceptive instincts, soon rallying with
the plea of a mistake having been made in the calculations based upon
the prophecies, they undoubtedly concocted scripture to meet that very
emergency, for, to the taunts of the scoffers who, in reference to the
second advent of the Lord, enquired "Where is the sign of His coming?
for, since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were
from the beginning of creation," they answered that "The Lord is not
slack concerning His promise," but "as a thief in the night" he would
soon come and all things be fulfilled. See II. Peter, chapter iii.

Following up the history of this interesting subject, we find that the
founders of modern Christianity, to which we will refer in our next
article, in composing their version of the New Testament from that of
the Jewish, or ancient Christians, made no change in its verbiage
relative to the prophecies; but when Constantine I., Emperor of Rome,
became the patron of the church, her hierarchy, tired of figuring upon
them, secured a long respite from that troublesome subject by claiming
to have made other calculations, which put off the time of fulfillment
to the year 1000; and from history we learn when the time arrived the
whole of Christendom was fearfully agitated upon the subject: Since
then every generation has been vexed with the fallacies of second
adventism; and the facts of the case justify the charge that the
clergy, by teaching that the prophecies refer to events yet to occur,
are perpetuating a most stupendous fraud upon Christendom, and an
earnest and efficient protest should be inaugurated against the further
agitation of the monstrous delusion of second adventism, which is
frightening thousands of weak-minded people into insanity and causing a
vast amount of social distress.



ROMAN OR MODERN CHRISTIANITY.

Having presented the evidences that the Jewish, or ancient
Christianity, originated at the University of Alexandria, under Greek
rule, we now propose to show that its modern form emanated from the
same source, under Roman rule; but, before entering upon this
investigation, it is important to become conversant with the sentiments
manifested towards religion by the cultured element of Roman society in
that enlightened era, which, designated as the golden age of
literature, was adorned by such distinguished orators, philosophers,
historians, poets and naturalists as Cicero, Tacitus, Pliny, Horace and
Virgil. In reference to this subject, Gibbon, in his history of The
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol. I., chapter 2, says: "The
various modes of worship which prevailed in the Roman world were all
considered by the people as equally true, by the philosophers as
equally false and by the magistrate as equally useful. Both the
interests of the priests and the credulity of the people were
sufficiently respected. In their writings and conversation the
philosophers of antiquity asserted the independent dignity of reason,
but they resigned their actions to the commands of law and custom.
Viewing with a smile of pity and indulgence the various errors of the
vulgar, they diligently practiced the ceremonies of their fathers,
devoutly frequented the temples of the gods, and sometimes
condescending to act a part on the theatre of superstition, they
concealed the sentiments of an atheist under the sacerdotal robe.
Reasoners of such a temper were scarcely inclined to wrangle about
their respective modes of faith or of worship. It was indifferent to
them what shape the folly of the multitude might choose to assume, and
they approached with the same inward contempt and the same external
reverence to the altars of the Lybian, the Olympian or the Capitoline
Jupiter." Upon the same subject Mosheim, in his church history, Book
I., chapter 1, says that "The wiser part of mankind, about the time of
Christ's birth, looked upon the whole system of religion as a just
object of contempt and ridicule."

In determining why such adverse sentiments were entertained towards
religion by "the wiser part of mankind," about the time referred to in
the foregoing quotations, it will be found to have been owing to the
extensive spread of the Esoteric philosophy, which taught, as
previously stated, that the gods were mythical and the scriptures
allegorical. While attainable only through initiation, it was
necessarily confined to a limited number, but, ultimately getting
beyond the control of the priests and vast numbers acquiring the
knowledge of its secrets without initiation, it became evident that it
was but a question of time when there would be no respectable element
left to sustain religion. At this juncture our attention is directed to
the University of Alexandria, which, at that time, was in a flourishing
condition. Having ceased to be an exclusively Jewish school, students
from all parts of the Roman Empire, without regard to nationality, were
attending it, and its professors were drawn from the ranks of both
Jewish and Gentile scholars. Realizing the hopelessness of reviving the
ancient faith among the enlightened clement of society, and the
impossibility of proselyting them to a new form of superstition, these
professors resolved to institute a system of worship exclusively for
the Jews and the lower and neglected classes of Gentiles, including the
slaves and criminals. To that end they rewrote the scriptures of the
Jewish or ancient Christianity, which had been preserved among the
secret archives of the University. Retaining their teachings relative
to the finale of the plan of redemption, and its monasticism; also the
land of Judea as the scene of its version of the Gospel story, and the
name of its saviour, to which they added the Latin terminal "us," thus
making it Iesus or Jesus, they perpetuated the Greek name of
Bacchus--the same that was ultimately perverted into the monogram
which, consisting of the Roman letters I. H. S., is found in all
Catholic churches, and in some Protestant ones, is falsely supposed to
stand for Jesus Hominum Salvator, or Jesus, Saviour of Men. Conforming
their version of the Gospel story to the lowly condition of its
expected votaries, they attached to the saviour the characteristics of
poverty, and made it teach that he was born in a manger, that his
disciples were but humble fishermen and that the poor would be the only
elect in the kingdom of heaven. Dropping the name of Essenes or
Therapeutae, and retaining that of Christian, they incorporated a
thread of real history corresponding to the reign of Augustus, and
arbitrarily made the Christian era begin at that time. Having thus
completed their scheme, they prudently destroyed the original from
which they compiled their scriptures, and sending out missionaries to
all parts of the Empire commissioned them to preach salvation only to
the Gentile rabblement and to the Jews.

That the sacred records of the ancient Essenes or Therapeutae
constituted the basis of the scriptures of modern Christianity we have
the authority of Eusebius, the church historian of the fourth century,
from whom we learn nearly all that is reliable of its history during
the first three centuries.  In his Ecclesiastical History, Book II.
chapter 17, he makes the important admission that "Those ancient
Therapeutae were Christians, and that their writtings are our Gospels
and Epistles." As further evidence that modern Christianity is but a
survival of the Eclectic philosophy of the ancient Therapeutae, we have
another important admission by the same historian, who, in quoting from
an apology addressed to the Roman Emperor, Marcus Antoninus, in the
year 171, by Melito, Bishop of Sardis, in Lydia, a province of Asia
Minor, makes that apologist say, in reference to certain grievances to
which the Christians were subjected, that "the philosophy which we
profess truly flourished aforetime among the barbarous nations; but
having blossomed again in the great reign of thy ancestor, Augustus, it
proved to be, above all things, ominous of good fortune to thy
kingdom." Thus we have indubitable evidence that it was the Eclectic
philosophy of the Jewish, or ancient Christianity, which "blossomed
again," in its modern form, during the reign of Augustus.

From the testimony of Philo, as referred to by Eusebius, and from the
writings of Josephus, the Jewish historian, we learn that, at the
beginning of our era, the descendants of the ancient Essenes were still
observing the practices and customs of monasticism. But as Josephus
refers to them only as descendants of the ancient Essenes, and makes no
mention of Christ or Christians--except in one paragraph which has been
conceded by the best authorities to be an interpolation it is evident
that, at that time, they had no connection with the University of
Alexandria, and nothing whatever to do with the institution of modern
Christianity. It is also apparent that the Jews of Judea had no hand in
its organization, for, if they had instituted it, they would not have
attached to the Messiah the Greek title signifying the Christ, but,
writing their version of the Gospel story in their own dialect, would
have used the Hebrew word signifying the Shiloh (see Gen. xlix. 10);
and furthermore, having conceived the idea that he would manifest
himself as a great temporal prince, who would re-establish the throne
of David, and deliver them from the oppression of foreign rulers, they
would not have attached to him the humble characteristics of the Christ
of the new Testament. Again, if they had been the authors of modern
Christianity, it would have been a most surprising inconsistency for
them to turn right about and reject its conceptions of a savior,
especially when that rejection resulted in the dire persecutions to
which their race has ever been subjected by the Christians. But the
Gentile riffraff, attracted by the gracious promises of enjoying in the
world to come the felicities denied them in this, eagerly attached
themselves to the new sect, which rapidly increased in numbers, and its
votaries, glorying in the opprobrious epithet of Ebionites, or needy
ones, made themselves so obnoxious by their aggression and turbulent
dispositions that, barely tolerated by the Government and condemned by
the cultured adherents to the established religion, many of them,
courting the crown of martyrdom, suffered death at the hands of the
civil authorities; and thus was engendered that spirit of hatred
against their fancied oppressors which only awaited the opportunity to
manifest itself in deeds of rapine and-bloodshed.

The fanacticism which prevailed among the earlier Christians was the
direct result of their dense ignorance, and to this sole cause we may
ascribe all the trouble which the Roman Government had with them, and
to become convinced of this fact we have but to study church history.
In reference to this subject Mosheim, in his Ecclesiastical History;
Vol. 4, part 2, chap. 1, says: "It is certain that the greatest part
both of the bishops and presbyters were men entirely destitute of
learning and education. Besides, that savage and illiterate party, who
looked upon all sorts of erudition, particularly that of a
philosophical kind, as pernicious, and even destructive of true piety
and religion, increased both in number and authority. The ascetics,
monks and hermits augmented the strength of this barbarous faction, and
not only the women, but also all who took solemn looks, sordid
garments, and a love of solitude, for real piety, were vehemently
prepossessed in their favor." In almost any history of England we will
find it recorded that, even in the ninth century, King Alfred lamented
that there was at that time not a priest in his dominions who
understood Latin; and even for some centuries after the bishops and
prelates of the whole Christian community were marksmen, i. e., they
supplied by the sign of the cross the inability to write their own
names. If the bishops and priests were so supremely ignorant what can
he said in reference to the literary attainments of the laity?

The Christians were alternately persecuted and tolerated by the Roman
Emperors until the first quarter of the fourth century, when certain
events occurred through which the Church of Rome became the recipient
of Imperial Patronage. Constantine I., called the Great, having made
himself sole Emperor by destroying all other claimants to the throne,
applied to Sopater, one of the priests of the established religion, for
absolution, and was informed that his crimes were of such an atrocious
character that there was no absolution for him. Believing that the
Phlegethon, or lake of fire and brimstone, awaited him in the future
life, unless he could obtain absolution, he became very much distressed
when one of his courtiers, learning the cause and referring him to the
Church of Rome, he at once applied to her Bishop, Silvester, who,
readily granting the desired absolution, he added another victim to his
butcher bill by ordering the death of the honest priest who had refused
to grant him absolution. The Christian sect having become a powerful
and dangerous faction, Constantine conceived the idea of strengthening
his usurped and precarious position by attaching it to his interest,
and to that end he professed himself a convert to its tenets, and,
taking the Church of Rome under his especial patronage, elevated her
Bishop to the rank of a prince of the Empire and gave him one of his
palaces for a residence.

The Christian hierarchy, knowing that it would be a potent means of
confirming the faith of the laity in the Gospel story as a literal
history to have a tomb of the Saviour to which pilgrimages could be
made, and appealing to Constantine to provide one, he sent his mother,
Helena, to Judea to find the place and, of course, discovering what she
went to look for, he had erected, under her supervision, over the
designated spot, that splendid edifice which, known as the church of
the Holy Sepulchre, remains to this day. Helena, good at finding lost
things, also claimed to have discovered the veritable cross upon which
the Saviour had been crucified; and her son, worthy of such a mother,
claimed, as recorded by Eusebius, that he had seen with his own eyes
the trophy of a cross of light in the heavens, above the sun, bearing
the inscription: "In Hoc Signo Vinces," signifying "Under this sign,
conquer." Those were times of remarkable and supernatural occurrences.

At the time Constantine became the patron of Christianity the bishops
and presbyters of the several churches, seemingly ignorant of the
teachings of the Esoteric philosophy relative to the origin of the
Trinity, were divided into two factions in discussing the relation
between the Father and the Son. One party, headed by Athanasius, a
presbyter of Alexandria, and afterwards bishop of that see, advocated
the ancient belief that the three persons in the godhead of Father, Son
and Holy Ghost is but one God, that Christ is consubstantial or
co-eternal with the Father, and that he became man to perform his
mission of redemption. Such, in brief, is what is known as the
Athanasian or Trinitarian Creed. The other party, headed, by Arius,
another presbyter of Alexandria, advocated the belief in one God alone
and that Christ, having no existence until begotten of the Father, is
not consubstantial or co-eternal with him. Such, in substance,
constitutes what is known to the Trinitarian or Orthodox Christians as
the Arian or Unitarian heresy. Could stronger evidence be adduced that
this controversy was the result of ignorantly making a distinction
where there is no difference, for whether Trinitarian or Unitarian the
mythical genius of the sun is the God to whom they all paid supreme
adoration, although the Christians of to-day would deny it most
emphatically.

The faction, advocating the Trinitarian creed having converted the
Emperor to their belief, and influencing him to enforce it as a
fundamental doctrine of the Christian theology, he, in the year 325,
summoned, at his own expense, a general council of bishops and priests
to meet at Nice, in Bithynia, a province of Asia Minor. When they had
assembled he appeared among them, clad in gorgeous attire, with a
jewel-studded diadem upon his royal brow, and, seated upon a gilded
chair, presided over their deliberations. A minority of them, holding
"most contumaciously" to the Arian heresy, and refusing to change their
views at the bidding of the Emperor, he banished them from their
respective bishoprics, while the majority adopted the Trinitarian
creed, and appealing to Constantine to suppress the writings of Arius
he issued an edict for that purpose, which we present as follows:
"Moreover we thought that if there can be found extant any work or book
compiled by Arius the same should be burned to ashes, so that not only
his damnable doctrine may thereby be wholly rooted out, but also that
no relic thereof may remain unto posterity. This we also straightway
command and charge, that if any man be found to hide or conceal any
book made by Arius, and not immediately bring forth such book, and
deliver it up to be burned, that the said offender for so doing shall
die the death. For as soon as he is taken our pleasure is that his head
shall be stricken off from his shoulders." Rather a blood-thirsty,
edict to be issued by the "puissant, the mighty and noble Emperor," and
a very inconsistent one, considering that he soon afterwards readopted
the Unitarian faith and restored the banished bishops to their
respective sees; but, regardless of his action, the Church of Rome
sustained the Trinitarian creed and enforced the dogma of the supreme
divinity of Christ.

Thus we see that the history of Christianity, in the first half of the
fourth century, cannot be written without incorporating considerable
from the life of Constantine, whose ensanguined record before his
pretended conversion marks him as the most brutal tyrant that ever
disgraced the imperial purple; but the appalling crimes he perpetrated
afterwards, among which were the scalding his inoffending wife to death
in a bath of boiling water, and the murdering, without cause, of six
members of his family, one of which was his own son, justify what a
learned writer said of him, that "The most unfortunate event that ever
befell the human race was the adoption of Christianity by the
crimson-handed cut-throat in the possession of unlimited power," and
yet Constantine was canonized by the Eastern church.

During the first three centuries, when Christianity was but a weak
sect, her bishops addressed numerous apologies to the Roman Emperors,
in which they claimed tolerance from the government on the ground that
their form of worship was virtually the same as the established
religion. But after Constantine's pretended conversion its hierarchy
began to labor for the recognition of Christianity as the state
religion, and to give to their demand some show of consistency they
insisted that their scriptures were really historical, and that there
was no resemblance whatever between the two forms of worship; while
theirs was of Divine authenticity the Pagans was purely a human
institution.

For centuries after the convocation of the council of Nice the peace
and harmony of the several churches were disturbed by the rancorous
discussion of the same old questions of Trintarianism and Unitarianism,
the Western church adhering to the former while a majority of the
Eastern congregations maintained their faith in the latter; but
ultimately the Trinitarian party, gaining the ascendency, and
persecuting the adherents of the Unitarian faith, the greater part of
them retired into northern Arabia where they founded numerous
monasteries; and from history we learn that, having impressed their
Unitarian faith upon the populace of that country, it was ultimately
incorporated into the Koran, the sacred book of Mohammedanism; and,
while becoming votaries of that form of worship, still retained the
belief that Christ was but one of the prophets.

The cultured adherents to the established form of worship, becoming
alarmed at the growing power and influence of the Christians and at the
prospect of such an ignorant and vicious rabble obtaining control of
the government, regardless of their pledge to keep the Gnosis secret,
publicly announced that the Gods were mythical and the scriptures
allegorical, and engaged in a heated controversy with the Christians
upon the subjects. The character of their discussions is well, although
supposititiously, expressed by Gerald Massey, in his work entitled,
"The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ;" page 179, American
edition, where he makes the Gnostics say to the Christians, "You poor
ignorant idiots; you have mistaken the mysteries of old for modern
history, and accepted literally all that was only meant mystically." To
which the Christians responded, "You spawn of Satan, you are making the
mystery by converting our accomplished facts into your miserable
fables; you are dissipating and dispersing into thin air our only bit
of solid foothold in the world, stained with the red drops of Calvary.
You are giving a satanic interpretation of the word of revelation and
falsifying the oracles of God. You are converting the solid facts of
our history into your newfangled allegories;" to which the Gnostics
replied, "Nay, it is you who have taken the allegories of Mythology for
historical facts."

But it was impossible to stem the rising tide; the lessons which the
priesthood had taught the ignorant masses had been too well learned.
They were sure that their scriptures were historical; that Jesus Christ
was truly the incarnate saviour who had died and rose again for the
salvation of the elect, and that being the elect it would be
pre-eminently just and proper that the old Pagan form of worship should
be abrogated and theirs recognized as the state religion. Thus the
conflict raged until the year 381, when, under the reign of the Emperor
Theodosius the Great, this demand having been formally made, and the
Senate, fearing the tumult a refusal would excite, with a show of fair
dealing ordered the presentation, before that body, of the respective
merits of the two forms of worship. In that memorable discussion, which
lasted a whole week, Symmachus, a senator, advocated the old system,
and Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, the new, which resulting, as a foregone
conclusion, in the triumph of Christianity, a decree to that effect was
promulgated.

Then the long deferred opportunity having arrived, the vengeful
bishops, hounding on a no less vengeful laity, ruthlessly murdered the
priests of the old religion, and, appropriating its emoluments to their
own use, they seized upon its temples, and demolishing some, converted
others into churches. With iconoclastic hands they destroyed some of
the statues representing the ancient divinities, or after mutilation
exposed others in public places to the derision of the populace.
Subjecting the adherents to the older form of worship, whom they
designated as infidels, to the most diabolical indignities and
persecutions, they destroyed their works of art, burned their
libraries, suppressed their schools of learning, and either killed or
exiled their professors. Among the atrocious acts perpetrated by these
fiends in human shape none was more barbarous than the one committed in
Alexandria, in the year 415, when Hypatia, the beautiful and
accomplished daughter of Theon, who had succeeded her father as
professor of mathematics and philosophy in the Alexandrian University,
while on her way to deliver a lecture, was, by order of Bishop Cyril,
dragged from her chariot and murdered in a most revolting manner.

One of the successors of Theodosius justified himself in decreeing the
spoliation of the old religion upon the grounds that "It was unbecoming
a Christian government to supply the infidels with the means of
persevering in their errors." Another one of the Emperors, more zealous
than his predecessors, decreed the death penalty against all persons
discovered practicing any of the rites and ceremonies of the old
religion. Thus the onslaught of Christian savagery obliterated the
civilization of Greece and Rome, and inaugurated that long reign of
intellectual night known as the Dark Ages, which, materially aiding in
effecting the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, made it possible to
erect upon its ruins that Italian Oligarchy, which, since then, has
ruled the greater part of Christendom.

The dogmatic element of the ancient astrolatry, as incorporated into
the Christian creed, underwent no material change until the
inauguration of the dark ages, when the bishops of the several
churches, in the delirium of metaphysical speculation, concocted the
previously unheard of doctrine of pre-existence of spirit, in
conformity to which God was declared to be purely a spiritual deity,
who, existing before matter, created the universe of nothing. Being the
sole custodians of the scriptures; and changing the six periods of a
thousand years each to the six days of creation, they altered Gen. i,
1, to read, "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,"
which in the original read: "In the beginning, when the Gods (Elohim or
Alehim) had made (shaped or formed) this heaven and this earth." These
radical changes necessitating others, they made two distinct and
independent beings of the principles of Good and Evil personified in
the God Sol; the former they embodied in Jesus the Christ and the
latter in the Christian Devil, thus supplanting old Pluto; the
presiding genius of the under world.

Rejecting the ancient doctrines relative to the soul, and teaching
that, having proceeded from a purely spiritual deity, it would exist
eternally as an independent spiritual entity, they substituted for the
ancient system of limited rewards and punishments the one inculcating
their endless duration. These changes in the creed, which were
confirmed at the general council of Constantinople, in the year 553,
necessitating further alterations of the scriptures, the righteous were
promised "eternal life" in the Paradise of God beyond the stars; and,
While consigning great sinners to "everlasting punishment" in the
Tartarian fires of the under world, the less venial were to expiate
their crimes in the same old Purgatory. Thus, having invented an
endless heaven and an endless hell for purely spiritual souls, and
neglecting to expunge the doctrines of the resurrection of the body,
the setting up of the kingdom of heaven upon a reorganized earth and
other materialistic teachings of the ancient religion, they made of the
creed and scriptures such a conglomeration of "things new and old"
that, without the Astrological key, it would be impossible to determine
what they originally taught.

At the Reformation in the 16th century Luther and his coadjutors, while
projecting into the Protestant creed all the cardinal tenets of
Catholicism, excepting that of Purgatory, made no change in the
verbiage of the scriptures. Thus retaining the awful doctrine of
endless hell, the reformers constructed a creed which they intended for
the government of Protestants for all time; but, doing what had never
been done before in the history of the world, they gave the scriptures
to the laity, and, whether or not they secured the right of private
judgment or individual interpretation, it has been taken all the same;
and thus opening the door to investigation, it must ultimately result
not only in the abrogation of hell, but in the relegation to the limbo
of oblivion of the whole dogmatic element of religion.

As a fitting conclusion to this article, we again direct the attention
of our readers to the subject of the primary source of religious
dogmas. Prior to the establishment of Christianity as the state
religion of the Roman Empire, the philosophers who wrote against it
invariably made the charge that its theology was derived from the
ancient Paganism. After its establishment as the state religion of the
Empire, the hierarchy of the church, knowing that this charge was
unanswerable, instigated the Emperor Theodosius I. to promulgate an
edict decreeing the destruction of all books antagonistic to
Christianity. This edict, directed more particularly against the
writings of Celsus, was carried out so effectually that we know nothing
of what he wrote, only as quoted by Origen, the distinguished church
father of the third century, who attempted to answer in eight books
what Celsus had written in one, entitled "The True Discourse." In one
of his quotations from Celsus' work he makes that philosopher say "that
the Christian religion contains nothing but what Christians held in
common with heathens, nothing that was new or truly great." See
Bellamy's translation, chapter 4. During the earlier centuries the
Christians were divided into numerous sects, entertaining very
divergent views, and each faction, holding all others to be heretical,
charged them with having derived their doctrines from the Pagan
religion. Upon this subject we find that Epiphanius, a celebrated
church father of the 4th century, freely admits that all that differed
from his own were derived from the heathen mythology. Such was the
position of all orthodox writers during the Middle Ages, and since the
Reformation the Protestant clergy have uniformly made the same charge
against the Catholic; a few quotations from their writings we present
for the edification of our readers.

Jean Daille, a French Protestant minister of the 17th century, in his
treatise entitled La Religion Catholique Romaine Institute par Nama
Pompile, demonstrates that "the Papists took their idolatrous worship
of images, as well as all their ceremonies, from the old heathen
religion." Bishop Stillingfleet of the English church and a writer of
considerable eminence in the 17th century, said, in reference to the
complaisant spirit of the early church towards the Pagans, that "it was
attended by very bad consequences, since Christianity became at last,
by that means, nothing else but reformed Paganism, as to its divine
worship." See Stillingfleet's defense of the charge of idolatry against
the Romanists, vol. 5, page 459. M. Turrentin, of Geneva, Switzerland,
a learned Protestant writer of the 17th century, in one of his orations
describing the state of Christianity in the 4th century, says "that it
was not so much the Empire that was brought over to the faith, as the
faith that was brought over to the Empire; not the Pagans who were
converted to Christianity, but the Christians who were converted to
Paganism." Thus, having shown that the Catholics derived all their
cardinal tenets from the Pagan mythology, the Protestants must surely
have obtained theirs from the Catholics, for they teach all of them
except that of Purgatory.



FREEMASONRY AND DRUIDISM.

The rites and ceremonies of Astral worship, under the name of Druidism,
were primarily observed in consecrated groves by all peoples; which
custom was retained by the Scandinavian and Germanic races, and by the
inhabitants of Gaul and the British Islands; while the East Indians,
Assyrians, Egyptians, Grecians, Romans, and other adjacent nations,
ultimately observed their religious services in temples; and we propose
to show that the modern societies of Freemasonry, and ancient order of
Druids, are but perpetuations of the grove and temple forms of the
ancient astrolatry. In determining the fact that Freemasonry finds its
prototype in the temple worship of ancient Egypt, we have but to study
the Masonic arms, as illustrated in Fellows' chart, in which are
pictured, as its objects of adoration, the sun and moon, the seven
stars, known as Pleiades in the sign of Taurus; the blazing star
Sirius, or Dog-star, worshipped by the Egyptians under the name of
Anubis, and whose rising forewarned those people of the rising of the
Nile River; the seven signs of the Zodiac from Aries to Libra,
inclusive, through which the sun was supposed to pass in making his
apparent annual revolution, and which constitutes the Royal arch from
which was derived the name of one of its higher degrees; and its
armorial bearings, consisting of pictures of the Lion, the Bull, the
Waterman, and the Flying Eagle, which representing the signs at the
cardinal points, constituted the genii of the seasons. Besides these,
we have the checkered flooring or mosaic work, representing the earth
and its variegated face, which was introduced when temple worship
succeeded its grove form; the two columns representing the imaginary
pillars of heaven resting upon the earth at Equinoctial points, and
supporting the Royal arch; also the letter "G" standing for Geometry,
the knowledge of which was of great importance to the natives of Egypt
in establishing the boundaries of their lands removed by the
inundations of the Nile, the square and compass, being the instruments
through which the old landmarks were restored, and which ultimately
became the symbols of justice. The cornucopia, or horn of plenty,
denoted the sun in the sign of Capricorn, and indicated the season when
the harvest was gathered and provisions laid up for Winter use; the
cenotaph or mock coffin with the sign of the cross upon its lid,
referred to the sun's crossing of the celestial equator at the Autumnal
Equinox, and to the figurative death of the genius of that luminary in
the lower hemisphere; whose resurrection at the Vernal Equinox is
typified by the sprig of acacia sprouting near the head of the coffin.
The serpent, issuing from the small vessel to the left, represented the
symbol of the Lord of Evil under whose dominion was placed the seasons
of Autumn and Winter; and the figure of a box at the right hand,
represented the sacred ark in which, anciently, the symbols of solar
worship were deposited; but which is now used by the masons as a
receptacle for their papers.

[See plate9.gif]

After, the promulgation, in the fifth century, of the edict by one of
the Emperors of Rome, decreeing the death penalty against all persons
discovered practicing any of the rites and ceremonies of the ancient
religion, a body of its cultured adherents, determining to observe them
secretly, banded themselves together into a society for that purpose.
With the view to masking their real object, they took advantage of the
fact that the square and compass, the plumbline, etc., were symbols of
speculative masonry in the temple form of Astral worship, they publicly
claimed to be only a trades-union for the prosecution of the arts of
architecture and operative masonry; but, among themselves, were known
as Free and Accepted Masons or Freemasons. In imitation of the ancient
mysteries they instituted lower and higher degrees; in the former they
taught the Exoteric creed, and in the latter the Esoteric philosophy,
as explained in our introduction. Inculcating supreme adoration to the
solar divinity the candidates for initiation were made to personate
that mythical being and subjected to the ceremonies representing his
figurative death and resurrection, were required to take fearful oaths
not to reveal the secrets of the order. To enable them to recognize
each other, and to render aid to a brother in emergencies, they adopted
a system of grips, signs and calls; and to guard against the intrusion
of their Christian enemies they stationed watchmen outside of their
lodges to give timely warning of their approach. Thus was instituted
the original Grand Lodge of Freemasonry, from which charters were
issued for the organization of subordinate lodges in all the principal
cities throughout the Roman Empire.

Becoming cognizant of the true object of Freemasonry, the Hierarchy of
the Church of Rome resolved to suppress the order, and to that end
maintained such a strict espionage upon its members that, no longer
able to assemble in their lodges, they determined to defend themselves
by an appeal to arms, and gathering together in strongholds, for a long
time successfully resisted the armies of the church; but ultimately,
being almost exterminated, the residue disbanded, and we hear no more
of Freemasonry, as a secret order, until the conclusion of the Dark
Ages, when the Reformation, making it possible, a form of the order,
recognizing Christianity, was revived among the Protestants; but the
Church of Rome, true to her traditions, has never ceased to hurl
anathemas against it and all other secret societies outside of her own
body. Thus, having made it apparent that Freemasonry, as primarily
instituted, was but a perpetuation of the temple form of Astral
worship, we can readily see that, while some of its symbols are as old
as the ancient Egyptian religion, it did not, as a secret order, take
its rise until Christian persecution made it necessary. Hence it cannot
justly lay claim to a greater antiquity than the fifth century of the
Christian era.

According to Masonic annals a Grand Lodge was organized at York,
England, early in the tenth century, but, like the lodges of Southern
Europe, was suppressed by the Church of Rome. In 1717 a Grand Lodge was
organized at London, England, and soon afterwards the old Grand Lodge
at York was revived, and its members took the name of Free and Accepted
Ancient York Masons, from which emanated the charter of the Grand Lodge
in the United States, which was organized in Boston in 1733. In 1813
the rivalry between the Grand Lodges of York and London was
compromised, and the supremacy of the former was conceded.

From church history we learn that in the year 596 of our era Pope
Gregory I. dispatched Augustin, and forty other monks of the order of
St. Andrew, from Rome to Britain, to convert the natives to
Christianity; but, while the Anglo-Saxons embraced the new faith, the
Britons rejected it, and, being persecuted by the Christians, retired
to the fastnesses of the country known as Wales, where, for a long
period, they maintained the observance of the Druidical form of
worship; and although that country has long since become Christianized,
the society of the Ancient Order of Druids has existed with an
uninterrupted succession at Pout-y-prid, where the Arch-Druid resides,
and from, whence emanated the charter of the Grand Lodge of the order
in this country. In reference to the Druidism on the continent, history
records the fact that when one of the reigning kings became a convert
to Christianity the whole of his subjects were baptized into the Church
of Rome by Imperial decree.



THE SABBATH.

In determining the origin of the seventh day Sabbath, we must of
necessity refer to that source of all religious ordinances, the ancient
astrolatry, the founders of which, having taught that God Sol was
engaged in the reorganization of Chaos during the first six periods of
the twelve thousand year cycle, corresponding to the months of Spring
and Summer, they conceived the idea that he ceased to exert his
energies, or rested from his labors on the seventh period,
corresponding to the first of the Autumn months. Hence, deriving the
suggestion from the apparent septenary rest in nature, they taught that
God ordained the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath or rest day for
man.

In conformity to this ordinance the founders of ancient Judaism
enforced the observance of the seventh day Sabbath in the fourth
commandment of the Decalogue, which, found in Gen. xx. 8-11,[1] reads
as follows, viz: "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days
shalt thou labor and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the
Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shalt not do any work, thou,
nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man servant, nor thy maid servant,
nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; for in six
days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is,
and rested the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day
and hallowed it." Thus was the seventh day of the week made the Sabbath
of the Old Testament; but the authors of the Jewish or ancient
Christianity, looking for the immediate fulfillment of the prophecies
relative to the second judgment, ignored its observance, as may be seen
by reference to Mark ii. 23, 27; John v. 2-18; Romans xiv. 5; and Col.
ii. 16; and the founders of modern Christianity, perpetuating the
belief in the speedy fulfillment of those prophecies, made no change
relative to the Sabbath in their version of the New Testament.

After Constantine's pretended conversion to Christianity, and the time
for the fulfillment of the prophecies had been put off to the year
10000, as previously stated, the hierarchy of the church appealed to
the Emperor to give them a Sabbath, and although they knew that the
seventh day of the week was the Sabbath of the Old Testament, and that
Sunday was the first of the six working days, according to the fourth
commandment, their hatred to the Jews for refusing to accept their
Christ as the Saviour induced them to have it placed on the first day
of the week. Hence that obliging potentate, in the year 321,
promulgated the memorable edict, which, found in that Digest of Roman
law known as the Justinian Code, Book III., Title 12, Sec. 2 and 3,
reads as follows, viz.: "Let all judges and all people of the towns
rest and all the various trades be suspended on the venerable day of
the Sun. Those who live in the country, however, may freely and without
fault attend to the cultivation of their fields lest, with the loss of
favorable opportunity, the commodities offered by Divine Providence
shall be destroyed." Thus we see that the primary movement towards
enforcing the observance of Sunday, or Lord's Day, as the Sabbath, did
not originate in a Divine command, but in the edict of an earthly
potentate.

This edict was ratified at the third council of Orleans, in the year
538; and in order, "that the people might not be prevented from
attending church, and saying their prayers," a resolution was adopted
at the same time recommending the observance of the day by all classes.
From merely "recommending," the Church of Rome soon began to enforce
the observance of the day; but, in spite of all her efforts, it was not
until the 12th century that its observance had become so universal as
to receive the designation of "The Christian Sabbath."

Cognizant of the manner in which Sunday was made the Sabbath, Luther
issued for the government of the Protestant communion the following
mandate: "As for the Sabbath, or Sunday, there is no necessity for
keeping it;" see Michelet's Life of Luther, Book IV., chapter 2. Luther
also said, as recorded in Table Talk, "If anywhere the day (Sunday) is
made holy for the mere day's sake; if anywhere anyone sets up its
observance upon a Jewish foundation, then I order you to work on it, to
dance on it, to ride on it, to feast on it, and to do anything that
shall reprove this encroachment on the Christian spirit of liberty."
Melancthon, Luther's chief coadjutor in the work of Reformation,
denied, in the most emphatic language, that Sunday was made the Sabbath
by Divine ordainment; and in reference thereto John Milton, in reply to
the Sunday Sabbatarians, makes the pertinent inquiry: "If, on a plea of
Divine command, you impose upon us the observance of a particular day,
how do you presume, without the authority of a Divine command, to
substitute another in its place?"

During the reign of Elizabeth, Queen of England, a sect of fanatics,
known as Dissenters or Nonconformists, basing their action upon the
fallacious arguments derived from the fourth commandment, and upon the
plea that the Saviour was raised from the dead on the first day of the
week, inaugurated what is known as the Puritan Sabbath, which having
been transferred to our shores by the voyagers in the Mayflower, and
enforced by those statutory enactments known as Blue Laws, caused the
people of New England to have a blue time of it while the delusion
lasted; and now a large body of Protestant clergy perverting the
teachings of scripture, and, ignoring the authority of the Reformers,
are disturbing the peace of society by their efforts to enforce the
code of sundry laws, which were enacted through their connivance. Thus
have we shown that, originating with the Catholics and adopted by the
Protestants, the Sunday Sabbath is purely and entirely a human
institution, and, being such, we must recognize all Sunday laws as
grave encroachments upon constitutional liberty; and it behooves the
advocates of individual rights to demand their immediate repeal; for
unless a vigilant watch is kept upon the conspirators who secured their
enactment, our fair land will soon be cursed by a union of church and
State, the tendency in that direction having been indicated by the
unprecedented opinion recently handed down by one of the Justices of
the United States Supreme Court that this is a Christian Government.



PIOUS FRAUDS.

By claiming to be divinely appointed for the propagation of a divinely
authenticated religion, the priesthood of all forms of worship have
ever labored to deceive and enslave the ignorant multitude; and in
support of these fallacious assumptions have resorted to all manner of
pious frauds, in reference to which we quote from both Pagan and
Christian sources with the view to showing that the moderns have
faithfully followed the ancient example. Euripedes, an Athenian writer,
who flourished about 450 years before the beginning of our era,
maintained that, "in the early state of society, some wise men insisted
on the necessity of darkening truth with falsehood and of persuading
men that there is an immortal deity who hears and sees and understands
our actions, whatever we may think of that matter ourselves." Strabo,
the famous geographer and historian of Greek extraction, who flourished
about the beginning of the Christian era, wrote that "It is not
possible for a philosopher to conduct by reasoning a multitude of women
and the low vulgar, and thus to invite them to piety, holiness and
faith; but the philosopher must make use of superstition and not omit
the invention of fables and the performance of wonders. For the
lightning and the aegis and the trident are but fables, and so all
ancient theology. But the founders of states adopted them as bugbears
to frighten the weak-minded." Varro, a learned Roman scholar, who also
flourished about the beginning of our era, wrote that "There are many
truths which it is useless for the vulgar to know, and many falsehoods
which it is fit that the people should not know are falsehoods."

So much from Pagan authorities relative to the necessity of deceiving
the ignorant masses. We will now present some Christian authorities
upon the same subject; and first from Christ himself, who in addressing
his disciples is made to say, in Mark iv, 11, 12, "Unto you it is given
to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are
without all these things are done in parables, that seeing they may see
and not perceive; and hearing they may hear and not understand." Paul,
in his fourteen Epistles, inculcates and avows the principle of
deceiving the common people. He speaks of having been upbraided by his
own converts with being crafty and catching them with guile and of his
known and wilful lies abounding to the glory of God. See Romans iii. 7,
and II. Cor. xii. 16. If Christ and Paul were guilty of deception,
their followers had good excuse for the same course of conduct. Upon
this subject Beausobre, a very learned ecclesiastical writer, who
flourished about the beginning of the 18th century, says: "We see in
the history which I have related a sort of hypocrisy that has been,
perhaps, but too common at all times; that churchmen not only do not
say what they think, but they do say the direct contrary of what they
think. Philosophers in their cabinets; out of them they are content
with fables, though they well know that they are fables." Historie de
Manichee, vol. 2, page 568. Bishop Synesius, the distinguished author
of religious literature and Christian father of the 5th century, said:
"I shall be a philosopher only to myself, and I shall always be a
bishop to the people." Mosheim, the distinguished author of
Ecclesiastical History, Vol. I., page 120, says: "The authors who have
treated of the innocence and sanctity of the primitive Christians have
fallen into the error of supposing them to have been unspotted models
of piety and virtue, and a gross error indeed it is, as the strongest
testimonies too evidently prove." The same author, in Vol. I., page.
198, says in the fourth century "it was an almost universally adopted
maxim that it was an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by such
means the interest of the church might be promoted." In his
Ecclesiastical History, Vol. II., page 11, he says that "as regards the
fifth century, the simplicity and ignorance of the generality in those
times furnished the most favorable occasion for the exercise of fraud;
and the impudence of impostors in contriving false miracles was
artfully proportioned to the credulity of the vulgar; while the
sagacious and the wise, who perceived these cheats, were overawed into
silence by the dangers that threatened their lives and fortunes if they
should expose the artifice." Thomas Burnet, D.D., who flourished about
the beginning of the 18th century, in his treatise entitled De Statu
Mortuorum, purposely written in Latin that it might serve for the
instruction of the clergy only, and not come to the knowledge of the
laity, because, as he says, "too much light is hurtful for weak eyes,"
not only justifies, but recommends the practice of the most consummate
hypocrisy, and that, too, on the most awful of all subjects; and would
have his, clergy seriously preach and maintain the reality and eternity
of hell torments, even though they should believe nothing of the sort
themselves. See page 304. Hugo Grotius, the eminent writer of Holland
in the 17th century, says in his 22d Epistle: "He that reads
ecclesiastical history, reads nothing but the roguery and folly of
bishops, and churchmen." In the language of Robert Taylor, from whom we
have taken most of the quotations under this heading, we assert that
"no man could quote higher authorities," to prove "the roguery and
folly of bishops and churchmen."



CONCLUSION.

Having presented the evidences in support of the apparently untenable
assertion that, notwithstanding the numerous modes in which man has
manifested his devotional proclivities, the world has virtually had but
the one religion founded in the worship of personified nature, we are
necessitated to recognize the facts that the Christian Scriptures like
the sacred records of other forms of nature worship are, but a
collection of astronomical allegories; that the gospel story is truly
"the old, old story" which had been told of a thousand other Saviours
before it was applied to the Christian Messiah; that Jesus is but one
of the many names given to imaginary incarnations of the mythical
genius of the sun; and that the Disciples and Evangelists are but the
genii of the months and the seasons. Such being the facts, which cannot
be successfully refuted, we must believe that the Christian religion,
instead of being of Divine authenticity, as popularly claimed, is
purely and entirely of human origin, and that all its teachings
relative to a future state are but priestly inventions, concocted for
the purpose of enslaving the ignorant masses.

When we think of the thousand millions of dollars invested in church
properties, and estimate the cost of maintaining more than a hundred
thousand priests and ministers, in supporting foreign and domestic
missions and in publishing religious literature; besides the taxes
applied to the care of the religious insane, and realize the fact that
all of this vast sum of money is abstracted from the resources of the
people, we would not have to go outside of our own country to
appreciate the fact that religion is the burden of all burdens to
society; and when we contemplate the great disturbance to the social
relation, resulting from sectarian strife, and the almost universal
disposition of Christians to persecute and ostracize those who differ
with them in opinion, we can readily subscribe to the sentiment
accredited to one of our revolutionary sires, that "this would be a
good world to live in if there was no religion in it."

If the clergy had been laboring as faithfully to impress the observance
of ethical principles as they have to indoctrinate the people with the
superstitions of religion, we would not now be deploring the great
demoralization of society. It is a grave arraignment of the clericals
to charge them with being, indirectly, the cause of this lamentable
state of things; but it is a condition that might have been expected,
for, when entering the ministry, they engaged themselves, not so much
to teach ethics as to propagate faith in the doctrines of their
respective sects. Thus hampered they cannot do the good to society
their better natures might desire. Hence the only hope for improvement
is for the people to wholly ignore the dogmatic element of religion,
and refusing to longer support it, demand that moral training shall be
the grand essential of education. If this course were adopted and
persistently followed, it would be but a question of time when mankind
would come into being with such a benign heredity that crime would be
almost impossible.

Then, since religion inculcates a salvation that does not save, let us
rise superior to its false teachings and, accepting science as the true
saviour of mankind, find our whole duty in the code of natural
morality, the spirit of which is embodied in that comprehensive precept
known as the golden rule, which, being the outgrowth of the discovered
necessities of association, without which society could not exist, it
necessarily constituted man's sole rule and guide long before priest or
temple; and founded in the eternal principles of right, truth and
justice must remain as man's sole rule and guide when priest and church
are numbered among the things that were. Spirit of progress! speed the
day when all mankind, redeemed from the bondage of superstition, will
recognize the great truth that nature, governed by her own inherent
forces, is all that has been, all that is and all that shall be; and
that, ceasing to indulge in the vain hope of a blissful immortality in
a paradise beyond the stars, will make a real paradise of this old
earth of ours.


----------------------------
[1](Editorial note: the original text erroneously attributed this
quote to Genesis 20:8-11; actually it is from Exodus 20:8-11.)




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