(Volume I [867 pages], Volume II [525 pages])
Having exhibited proofs innumerable of the reality of a general mythos, it now seems to be necessary, in order to complete the whole, that I should exhibit the object for which the mythos was formed. We shall find that this was invented, as might be expected, for the support of the dominant priesthood; and that for this purpose circumstances were made subservient. When favourable circumstances were not to be found in true history, they were invented. Thus the Jews tell of Noah and Tibe, the Egyptians of Menu (which is Noë) and Tibe, and both describe their three sons, followed by a train of lineal successors. I think I shall not be accused of giving way to idle superstition; but, despite of incurring this accusation, I must say, that there appear to me, when all the circumstances which I have laid before my reader are considered, much truth and very great plausibility in a passage of Dr. Woodward’s discourse on the Ancient Egyptians : “The colonies all carried these customs along with them to their several abodes : and there were from the very beginning priests, sacrifices, temples, festivals, and lustrations, as well among the ancient Germans and Gauls, in Peru and Mexico, in Siam, China, and Japan, as in Egypt.” What can be more striking than the custom of circumcision among the Tamuls, in Mexico, in Colchis of Armenia, in Egypt, and in Guinea and the kingdom of Congo, on the coast of Africa ?1 It is also very remarkable that this rite is found in all these places to prevail only among the Priests. This tends strongly to support the opinion which I entertain, that the order of Chaldei, a learned order, did escape from a flood, and, by means of their superior intelligence, did establish an universal pontifical empire, getting the command of the Aborigines all over the world, who were unarmed Buddhist barbarians, who also had escaped the flood; and, that the rite of circumcision, or initiation, as it was called, was invented before the art of writing was known, in order to distinguish that order from the rest of mankind. I think the knowledge of the art of writing and reading succeeded to it as a test in later ages. The fact that circumcision and initiation had the same meaning is very striking.2 The universality of the practice also tends to support my idea. When we look into the Jewish books we find that the Jews occupied Western Syria, precisely as the noble class of Romans did Italy, and as the Turks have done Greece—that is, as a separate and superior class or caste—the great mass of the ancient natives being left, as a species of Helots. The whole of the Jews were circumcised, because they are said to have been a priestly nation; and, if the history of Abraham can be believed, the Jews, properly so called, were all descendants of that Chaldæan Brahmin, and of the 318 persons said to be bred in his own house, who probably constituted the whole of the tribe, or of the high caste of the tribe, who had come with him from India. Though, for particular historical knowledge, memory, without writing, would reach but a very small space, yet for a simple story, or for a small collection of simple stories, closely connected with religion, or for any single, grand event, I think it would reach a long way back.3 Such for instance as a great flood—like that of Noah—concerning which I must now make some observations.
1 O. Lopez, Hist. de Congo, ch. v.; Woodward on Wisd. of Egypt, p.82. 2 See Vol. I. pp. 304, 305, note.
3 It was to remedy this defect that such great numbers of the Druidical temples were built, with their pillars in cyclic numbers, and that the arts of epic and dramatic poetry, music, and dancing, were invented.
We are told in the book of Enoch, that “the earth laboured and was shaken violently;” and in Chapter lxiv. Sect. xi, that “Noah saw that the earth became inclined, and that in consequence destruction approached.” I think few persons who have read the book of Enoch will deny, that this is a most curious and striking tradition.—It is a tradition of common sense, supported by all the outward natural appearances of the earth. Enoch afterward says, verse 11, that the earth was destroyed because hidden secrets had been discovered; and in chap. lxvii. he makes Noah say, that he, Enoch, gave Noah the characteristical marks or signs of the secret things inscribed in his book, and concealed in the parables. I think it will not be denied, that I could scarcely have wished for any thing more to my purpose than all this, which is evidently no copy from the Bible. It directly admits the existence of symbolic (or numeral) writing, and that it had been kept secret. I ask, is it not possible that, from some cause, the axis of the earth may have been suddenly changed, as Enoch says in Book ix. Chap. x. ? Every natural appearance strongly supports the doctrine, that the change has been sudden; and a sudden large change no more operates against the fact of the earth being governed by general laws, than a breaking out of a volcano so operates. And I am of the opinion that the diminution of the angle of the planes of the two axes is not the effect of a periodical oscillation, but is the effect of the conservative power which we every where see around us, operating to restore the globe to the first state from which it has been moved. …
All the traditions maintain, that a person whom we call Noah, by some means, no matter were they were, foresaw that destruction approached. Tradition says, that he erected pillars with inscriptions in the land of Syriad or the holy Sura. This might be the Syria of India or of Palestine or of Egypt, which was meant. It also says, that he buried the sacred books in the city of the book Sephora. We have a Biblos in Palestine, and the city of Boc-hara in North India, both meaning city of the book. … Now, if we suppose that the ruin did not happen in a moment, but that a year, or even more time, was required to effect the whole by successive earthquakes, is it not possible, if such a scientific and sacerdotal government existed as I have contemplated, that the supreme Pontiff and his court may have saved themselves and their secret literature in a ship or floating house ? … And if by this, or any similar contrivance, they saved themselves, and they never moved far from the ruins of the city they previously occupied, why should it not be the city of Boc-hara—the city of letters or of the book ? No person who has read the essay of Governor Pownal on the ships of the ancients, will doubt that they had ships nearly as large and nearly as sea-worthy against a rushing flood, as ours. Suppose there were several or many of these ships, and that only one or two were saved; the probability is, that the Pontiff or Patriarch would be in one of them, because he would secure the best. Why should not this have been built upon the Caspian Sea ? It was the best situated of any place to preserve the ship in a flood.—But why should not the axis of the earth have become changed to its utmost extreme by various shocks ? Why should not some of the earliest and most violent shocks have taken place hundreds of thousands or years before ? and why should not the last shock have been only a moderate one, just enough to sink Atlantis, or to break the banks of the Euxine, though lasting, at intervals, for a year or more ? If religious prejudice did not stand in the way, I am quite certain that some theory, not very dissimilar to this, would be universally thought probable. …
Such persons as may feel disposed to take offence at my doctrine, that the flood may not have been universal, or think the theory which I have proposed in Volume I. pp. 293, 294 of this work unsatisfactory, I refer to Diss. of Vol. III. of the Morsels of Criticism, by Mr. Edward King, who will not be accused of want of piety and orthodox religion. Mr. King shews very satisfactorily, that, in the flood of Noah, according to the fair construction of the Mosaic text, the whole surface of the world was not covered with water, nor the whole of mankind drowned. … We might speculate to eternity, but it is impossible for us to know how a sudden change in the earth’s axis would operate, or what would be its effects. … It may be that most anciently the planes of the equator and the ecliptic coincided, that they were placed at an angle by a convulsion, that this angle was considerably larger than it is at this moment, and that it is gradually decreasing. In that case the polar regions must have formerly been much warmer than they are now, and in consequence, may have been fit for the residence of plants which we now find only in warmer climates. For any thing we know, the reduction of this angle may have proceeded more rapidly at first than it has done in later ages, and this would account for the remains of plants which we now find only in warmer climates. No doubt the change in the earth’s axis would cause very great mischief; but the assertion, that the least check to the motion of the earth would cause infinite mischief, is but a gratuitous, dogmatical assertion, necessarily made in ignorance. …
An ingenious writer in an American journal has made some striking observations on the Deluge. He says, “There are many indications that a powerful current has passed over the continent of America from north to south, and the author of this article accounts for these appearances, by supposing that a change has at some period taken place in the velocity of the earth’s motion on her axis. The surface of the earth at the equator revolves at the rate of more than 1,000 miles per hour, or 1500 feet per second, which is about the velocity of a cannon ball. We have no idea of circular motion like this. A wheel of wrought iron, of three feet in diameter, will fly in pieces before it reaches a velocity of 400 hundred feet per second. Supposing the earth should be slightly checked in her daily motion—the Pacific Ocean would in a moment rush over the Andes and Alleganies into the Atlantic—the Atlantic would sweep over Europe, Asia, and Africa—and in a few hours the entire surface of the earth would be covered with rushing torrents, excepting the vicinity of the Poles. The appearances presented on the surface of the earth are precisely such as we would [might] expect after such a catastrophe.”—Silliman’s Journal. The probability is, I think, that a great flood did take place more than two thousand, but not more than about three thousand, years before Christ, which destroyed the greatest part of mankind, leaving only a few persons in different places. I am very much inclined to believe that, at the bottom of perhaps every mythic history, there exists some truths. … It is possible that the inhabitants of the world, at the time of the last flood, may have had traditions of former floods having taken place a few, perhaps four or five, hundred years previously, which may have served to warn them, together with some symptoms of which we know nothing, that another concussion was likely to happen. If the change were caused by a comet, is it not possible that the persons who were so profoundly skilled in astronomy, as to be the inventors of the Neros, may have been able to calculate the period of one, and to foresee that it would come near enough to the earth to cause the mischief ? Enoch says, “Respecting the Moons have they inquired, and they have known that the earth will perish with those who dwell upon it.” Again, “They have discovered secrets, but thou art free from the reproach of discovering secrets.” Chap. lxiv. Sect. xi. If the word translated moons had been planetary bodies, it would have been instantly applicable to the knowledge of comets; and I think there is a strong probability that such ought to be the translation. In numbers of places the book of Enoch shews a knowledge of judicial astrology, and speaks of reading the course of events in the stars, similar to the expression of Jacob and his children. All these expressions might really, though perhaps secretly, be meant to apply only to the future planetary motions. Under all the circumstances I cannot think it improbable that the change in the axis of the earth should have been caused by a comet, nor that its approach to the earth and the mischief which it was likely to cause, should have been known to the antediluvians—persons learned enough in astronomy to be the inventors of the cycle of the Neros. Reason, natural philosophy, and sacred and profane tradition, all support the justness of this conclusion. In aid of history and astronomy we can also cite the opinion of some of the first geologists : MM. Cuvier, Deluc, and Dolomieu, affirm, “that, if there is any circumstance thoroughly established in geology, it is, that the crust of our globe has been subjected to a great and sudden revolution—not farther back than five or six thousand years ago;” …
The assertion of the book of Enoch, that the axis of the earth was changed, was supported by Plato, and the inclination of the earth’s axis was well known to the Greeks, and was called Loxiaj. This inclination was well known to the Indians. There is a very remarkable passage in Plutarch : “It was a doctrine both of Diogenes and Anaxagoras, that after the creation or primary constitution of the world, and the production of animals out of the earth, the world, as it were of its own accord, was bent or inclined towards the South. And truly it is probable this inclination was the effect of Providence, on purpose that some parts of the world might become habitable, and others uninhabitable, by reason of the difference of the frigid, torrid, and temperate climates thereof.”*
* De Pacitis Philos. Lib. ii. Cap. viii. apud Whiston’s Theory, B. II. p.107; where, in pp. 102, 103, may be seen the confirmatory opinions of Leucippus, Laertius, Democritus, and Empedocles.
“Varro places the deluge of Orgyges, which he calls the first deluge, 400 years before Inachus, (à priore cataclysmo quem Ogygium, ad Inachi regnum,) and consequently before the first Olympiad. This would refer it to a period of 2376 years before Christ, and the deluge of Noah, according to the Hebrew text, is 2349—only twenty-seven years of difference. This testimony of Varro is substantiated by Censorinus de Die Natali, cap. xxi.”* Here we have a most important Gentile confirmation of the Mosaic record, affording a very strong probability, indeed, when united to the singular circumstance of a comet which I shall presently notice, a proof of its truth. The dates are as nearly identical as can be expected by any one who pays due attention to the difficulty of keeping a record of time in those remote ages, and this without any allowance for disturbing forces, which may be expected to have operated. This western evidence is again confirmed by evidence in the East. But those who have read what I have stated of the Mosaic mythos in China, will not be surprised to learn, that the time of its first king or emperor, Yao, who drained and rendered the country habitable, is placed about the year 2333 B.C. Here we have, evidently, the flood and the God Iao of the Jews.**
* Jameson’s Cuvier, p.205, 4th Ed. ** Ibid. p.239.
Aristotle says,1 “that the Pythagoreans held that a comet to be one of the planets which appears after a long interval of time, and which, at the apex of its very elliptical orbit, is at as small a distance from the sun as the planet Mercury. Now the Chaldæans held comets to be planets;2 and the Egyptians predicted their returns.”3 We must not forget this observation of Sir William Drummond’s, that the Egyptians predicted the returns of comets, and for a reason which my reader will find hereafter, I think it right to remind him, that it was a Chaldæan astronomer, called Sosigenes, from Egypt, who corrected the calendar for Julius Cæsar. Professor Anthom, in his Lempriere, says, “Plato informs us, that in the time of Atreus the motion of the firmament had changed in such a manner, that the sun and all the stars had begun to rise where formerly they had set, and to set where they had been accustomed to rise; in a word, the machine of the world was moved in a way contrary to that in which it had been before. It is evident, from the several parts of his relation, that he speaks of a confused and perplexed, and consequently a very ancient tradition. In his Timæus, however, he makes the Athenians to have first learned it from Solon; which would seem to favour the idea that the latter had, like Heredotus, received it from the priests of Egypt. Pomponius Mela speaks of the same tradition, as also Plutarch, Achilles Tatius, Solinus, and many other writers. Astronomers, however, insist, that the idea of such an interruption of the regular motion of the earth, as this phenomenon would have required, is not for a moment to be entertained, and that if it had taken place, it would have left physical traces behind; besides, the figure of the earth shews, they maintain, that its revolutions have been uniform since the flood. We leave the present subject with them and the ancients.”4—With whom I will not leave it. Very true it is that the motion has probably been uniform since the catastrophe of the flood was finished; but this, the flood, is the very thing which we are talking about. It by no means follows, that there has been no flood since the throwing up of Chimborazo. Again I repeat, it is clear that there have been different floods, and we can never know, at least we do not know, whether the last flood did or did not throw up Chimborazo, although there may exist circumstances enough to decide our opinion. The author says, that if the motion of the earth had been interrupted, it would have left physical traces behind. Good God ! what can this gentleman mean ? Are there not physical traces every where ? Are not Chimborazo and Mount Blanc physical traces ? Can we take a single step without treading on them ? The difficulty is not in finding no traces, but in finding too large ones, and too many of them. I speak not now of the processes by which the strata of the earth were deposited; but every thing tends to shew that the last change has been sudden and violent.
1 Meteorolog. Lib. 1. 2 Senec. Quæst. Nat.
3 Diodor. Lib. i., Drummond, Class. Journ. Vol. XVI. p.157. 4 Lempriere, in voce Ph~eton.
… to consider the universal tradition that it was caused by the sudden change in the direction of the earth’s axis, as I stated in the note, in Vol. I. pp.29, 30; and that, in conesequence, the length of the year was changed from 360 to 365 days, and the length of the months shortened from 30 to 28 and 27 days. Now it is remarkable that, in Mexico, they have two weeks, one of 3 and one of 5 days, but not one of 7 days. This seems to shew that they separated from the old world before the change of the axis took place. This will make no material difference in my theory of the invention of figures and letters; because, instead of dividing the moon’s period into fourteen and seven, they would act precisely on the same principle, and divide it into fifteen, and three fives, and ten threes.* The Javanese have the week of five days : on every first, they have their market, as was anciently the case with our Sunday; and they say, that the origin and names of the days of their week are unknown; but they have a tradition, that they that they were taken from colours and the division of the horizon. This is evidently the zodiac, when the two planes coincide. The evidence concerning this question of the change in the earth’s axis is one thing, the belief of most persons respecting it is another. With the latter I do not concern myself; to the former, the evidence is clearly in favour of a sudden and violent change having taken place, which caused a very great flood; but this must have been before the building of the Pyramids, and must also have been before the flood that destroyed Maha-balipore; and yet, of course, it must have been since the creation of man. I can readily imagine an overflowing so great as, in a very small space of time, to have rushed over nearly the whole earth, in successive waves, so as not to have destroyed every individual, but to have left alive a very few persons, and that few to have perpetuated the race. … There requires no miraculous interposition, if we suppose that in the intervals between the shocks of earthquakes, when the face of the globe might indicate renewed convulsions, a few of the more easily frightened inhabitants might be able to save themselves in boats or on rafts. Perhaps a few of them, cast on elevated lands by the wave and left there on its recession, might be able to save themselves in several parts of the world; and, in the same manner, a certain number of the animals might be preserved, and others lost, of which we now have only the remains. And the same effects may have been produced if we suppose the crust of the earth to have been burst by the irruption of the central water from below, which may have been occasioned by the conjunction of a body with the moon, thus causing an immense tide. …
* Crawford, Hist. Ind. Archipel. Vol. I. p.289.
I had collected a variety of authorities to prove that the ancients held, that both the civil and tropical year consisted of 360 days, and the month of 30 days, when I obtained Whiston’s Theory of the Earth,* in which I discovered that this had been proved by Newton,** and that he had already demonstrated the truth of my doctrine. …
Hypotheses, Book II. pp. 144-181
** Vide Rev. Dr. Barret’s Enquiry into the Constellations, pp. 8, &c.
Almost innumerable references to, and many passages from, the original authors are given by Mr. Whiston, but I have not thought it necessary to reprint them. I now apprehend that the opinion of the ancients cannot be a matter of doubt. After shewing this, Whiston, undertakes to prove that their opinion arose from a knowledge of the fact handed down to them by tradition, and which was really a fact, that the change in the length of the year and month was caused by the near approach of the comet which last appeared in the year 1680, and whose period is about 575½ years. Treating of this comet he says,
11. “The period of this comet most exactly agrees to the same time, I mean to 7 revolutions in 4028 years, the interval from the deluge till its last appearance, 1680. For, as Sir Isaac Newton first observed, from its elliptic curvature before it disappeared, that its period must be in general above 500 years; so as he and Dr. Halley since observed, that the same comet has been seen four times, viz. the 44th year before Christ, A.D. 531 or 532, A.D. 1106, and A.D. 1680, and that by consequence it makes a revolution in about 575 years. Now if we make but a very small allowance for the old periods before Christ, and suppose that, one with another, it has revolved in 575½ years, we shall find that 7 such periods amount to 4028 years, exactly, according to that number since the deluge. This is so remarkable an observation, and so surprising, that it will deserve a particular demonstration from the original authors themselves.”* He then proceeds to give authorities which prove that the comet was first noticed on the death of Cæsar, 44 years B.C., and has been correctly noted three times since. But for his proofs I must refer my reader to his work, and this does not seem so very material, because the mere facts cannot be disputed.
* Whiston’s Theory, 3d ed. p.191.
The flood of Noah is stated, by Usher and the Hebrew version, to have taken place in the year B.C. 2348; this added to A.D. 1680, gives 4028, the number required for the last appearance of the comet. Now, I apprehend, this coincidence is of such a nature as to raise the highest probability of the influence of that comet in causing the flood. But there are several other circumstances relating to this matter of the greatest importance. It is surely another very striking circumstance, that if we take eight revolutions of the comet, of 575½ years each, they bring us to the commencement of the system—to the entrance of the Sun into Taurus, at the Vernal Equinox; the 44 years before Christ (the time when the comet appeared) being added, as of course they ought to be—
575½ x 8 = 4604 + 44 = 4648
Now, I contend, that this renders it probable that, at the time when the Sun entered Taurus, one of the violent revolutions or catastrophes took place which have manifestly happened to the globe at different times. It also raises a probability that this very comet is the agent which has produced these effects. Again, every one knows the fact, that a great discrepancy exists between the Samaritan and the Hebrew chronology. Mr. Whiston contends,* that the more exact Hebrew chronology,** by which he means the more exact chronology of the children of Israel, placed the flood in the 2926th year B.C., which was the very year in which the comet must, in its proper period, have arrived in our system; and that by its appulse to the earth, at that time, it must have caused the deluge. …
* New Theory, &c., Book II. pp. 217, 218. **True Text of the Old Testament, p. 214.
From the autumnal equinox next after the creation of Adam to that at the end of the deluge
Thence to the departure of Abraham out of Haran
Thence to the Exodus out of Egypt
Thence to the foundation of Solomon’s temple
Thence to the conflagration
Thence to the beginning of the Christian era
Deduct 1556 and we shall have the space from the flood to the Christian æra
Then multiply the period of the comet 575½ by 5, and add 44, the year B.C., in which it appeared, and it gives 2921½
… If we give Noah and his Chaldæans credit for as much knowledge as Mr. Whiston, and gained like this, by observation, or rather, I should say, by reasonings on recorded observations, we may very readily give him credit for knowing, as Enoch says he did know, by a calculation of moons or by a calculation by lunar periods, that the flood would come. I shall shew in a subsequent part, that the ancients knew the moon’s period to within half a second of time. If the man we call Noah, were a great and powerful prince, living near the Caspian sea, and possessing this knowledge, there is nothing improbable in his having built a great ship or floating house, and in his having saved in it his family and a few domestic animals. We know from experience that this would be quite sufficient upon which to ground the fable, and that it was perfectly in keeping with the character of the ancients to have founded a fable upon it. The division of the zodiac being artificial, it is evident that the formers of it could make it begin where they pleased; and it is evident also, that they made it begin with the Bull—fixing it as near as they could to the time of the comet. It is probable that they arbitrarily fixed it to a certain point in the circle, which they called Taurus, and it followed of course, that the precession would make the post time correspond (as it does) to it. … As comets move in different planes, this comet may, by moving in a different plane, have been made to come in contact with the earth. Its plane may have been altered, without any material alteration of its period, by some body coming in collision with it in the further part of its orbit, as it came into collision with our earth. …
… The comets are of various kinds; some have atmospheres, some have not; some have tails, some have not; some are all transparent, some are only partly so. They are of different colours, and they move in different planes, and in reality our astronomers know very little about them. The ancients may have discovered the laws which rule that of 575½ years’ period, and not the others. The knowledge of this and the recurring Neros, would be quite enough to have given to a fraternity like the Chaldæans the empire of the world, which, under one name or other, Brahmins, Magi, &c., they obtained. I am sometimes induced to ask, may not the ancients, availing themselves of this knowledge, have made up a system ? But they cannot have made the equinox to precede neither more nor less than about 71½ in a degree. They cannot have made the arrival of the comet, in its proper period, to have arrived exactly when the Sun entered Taurus at the equinox. According to our astronomers, they know all these matters perfectly—all the laws of gravitation are perfectly understood by them; but when I go back to the Ptolemaic system, I find its professors exactly like our present astronomers, foretelling the eclipses, &c., &c., and teaching that their system was demonstrated by the clearest proofs. …
Dr. Keill, who was an adversary of Mr. Whiston’s work and doctrines, gives the following testimony : “I cannot but acknowledge that the author of the New Theory of the Earth has made greater discoveries, and proceeded on more philosophical principles, than all the theorists before him have done. In his Theory there are some very strange coincidents, which make it indeed probable, that a comet at the time of the deluge passed by the earth. It is surprising to observe the exact correspondence between the lunar and solar year, upon the supposition of a circular orbit, in which the earth moved before the deluge. It cannot but raise admiration in us, when we consider, that the earth at the time of the deluge was in its perihelion, which would be the necessary effect of a comet that passed by at that time, in drawing it from a circular to an elliptical orbit. This, together with the consideration that the moon was exactly in such a place of its orbit at that time, as equally attracted with the earth, when the comet passed by, seems to be a convincing argument that a comet really came very near, and passed by the earth, on the day the deluge began.”*
* Whiston’s Theory, p.445.
I do not pretend to answer for the validity of the proof of all the other matters which Mr. Whiston professes to have proved; but I believe it will not be denied he has proved, that the comet of 1680 has a period of about 575 years, and was seen in 44 years B.C.; and it is of great importance to observe, that the learned Dr. Keill appears to have examined, and to have admitted the truth of, the part of Mr. Whiston’s theory the most essential to my system. Then, if the reader admits this, and calculates backwards, he will find that the comet must have come, as I have already remarked, in its 4th revolution B.C., in the year 2349, and its 5th revolution, which Whiston says was the year of the flood according to the more correct chronology, in the year 2926. … I have no hesitation in saying, that if Mr. Whiston be correct in his calculations, which I cannot controvert, but of which I do not profess to be a judge, the flood must have taken place really in the year B.C. 2926. … I think we have three well-marked floods; the last is the flood of Deucalion, or the Deus-Cali or holy Cali, and it took place, 2348 years before Christ. The preceding one was really our flood of Noah, and it took place, as pointed out by Mr. Whiston, 2926 B.C.; and the first, or the flood of Ogyges, took place 4648 years B.C. This, perhaps, might be the flood which threw up Mont Blanc, Chimborazo, &c. The last mentioned year, 4648, was the time of the entrance of the Sun into Taurus : but I think the middle flood, in 2926, was that which altered the axis of the earth. …
… Let us speculate briefly upon the traditions which have come down to us. Suppose, instead of knowing that the comet would not come, our astronomers had known that it would come, and that they had been dwelling in Asia, as I suppose the ancients dwelling in Asia knew of the coming of the comet of 2926; is it absurd to suppose that the learned in the secret science, spoken of by Enoch, should have betaken themselves to the highest mountains of their country, should have built a ship, should have fastened it to the side of the a mountain opposite to that in the direction in which the flood was expected to come, with a long cable, to let it rise as the water rose, and that this mountain should, from the circumstances, have acquired in later times the name of Naubanda or ship-cabled-mount ? If I am not mistaken we are most of us in the habit of believing much more improbable things than this. Is it absurd to suppose that the people in possession of power at that time should care for themselves, should do as the governors of Paris did last year, in their endeavours to calm the fears of the inhabitants, and secrete from them their danger ? Is it absurd to suppose that they would be careful about their own security by fleeing to the highest mountain and providing their great floating house and fastening it to Naubanda ? We are told, in substance, that, by calculation, they knew that a great catastrophe would happen to the earth; and we known, by astronomical calculation, that the comet which alone was capable of effecting any catastrophe did come. I should think, that persons who believe the To On walked in the garden, ought not to find a difficulty in believing this history. I ask my reader no belief in any miracle—in any thing contrary to the laws of nature, to reason or probability. I ask of my reader, only to treat the histories of Genesis and of Enoch as Niebuhr does the history of Rome, and as every reader does the history of Vespasian by Tacitus—that is, to believe the credible and to disbelieve the incredible. It is perfectly clear to me that before the time of Heredotus every history was a mythos or mystery or sacred history, the intention of which was to perpetuate, but to conceal the truth, to mean one thing, and to say another, that the mass of mankind seeing might not perceive, and hearing might not understand. We are told so in the Gospel. …
No person, I think, looks at the question of the genuineness of Genesis correctly, or takes a correct view of the character of that book. It is very clear that it is in substance to be found, whether mythos or not, in almost every country, and that, as might be expected, the priests and people have accommodated it to their own purposes. It is impossible to deny that, stripping it of its nonsense, (which is a sort of thing found in every ancient history,) as we should strip the history of Vespasian if its miracles, the evidence is decidedly in favour of its authenticity. I contend that it is highly probable that a flood did take place, and that a man and his family were saved in a ship. If this were not the fact, then there must have been an universal mythos, or there must have been the fact, and it must have been accommodated to the universal mythos. That is, there must have been both true history and mythos. The peculiarity of the coincidences of the comet and the Mosaic chronology of the flood, almost put the fact of the man saved out of doubt. The strong proofs of the actual division of the world into three, and of its having been ruled by three potentates under one, as a supreme head, cannot be denied. It is quite impossible that so many traces of this system should remain without its having once existed. …
I apprehend that, in the primeval state of our system, the sun was in the centre, and the planetary bodies revolved around it in the same plane in concentric circles, in equal times, in the most perfect harmony and order, and that, including the earth, the primary planets were eight in number,—one probably being now slit into the four new ones, called Asteroids. The system would then be very like a wheel, and exactly answer to the Mercavah or wheel of Ezechiel, which I shall presently notice. I see around me the ruins of a world. How is this ? Can it be believed that the work of Wisdom is to go to decay ? No, indeed ! this I cannot believe. I must, therefore, form some theory to account for these ruins—to render them consistent with Omnipotent Wisdom. I suppose that the comets may be the agents which have already effected great changes in all the planets, and that they may be destined to effect many others—till, in defined periods, the planets, by means of these agents, may be all reduced to a state of fusion or gas, and be at last reabsorbed into the To On, or be renewed again in some way unknown to us—in some way not to be understood by our limited faculties.
I know that in the following observations, (a digression from my subject,) which I will take the liberty to make, I shall venture upon very slippery ground; and, therefore, I beg they may be considered to be only conditional, and more for the sake of argument than for the delivery of an opinion. But before I proceed, I would observe to such philosophers as believe the universe or matter to be God, that if they be right, he must exist in his more refined, as well as in his less refined state; then my argument will apply. To such philosophers as think that the universe is idea, and does not exist in reality, I do not at present address myself. Gas is defined, a substance reduced to the state of an aeriform fluid by its permanent combination with caloric. Then, pray what was it before it combined with caloric ? Was it hydrogen ? This Gas, I think, is what the ancient materialists (and all the fathers and Moses were materialists) considered to be the substance of the First Cause. I am forcibly impressed with the idea that the substance which we call hydrogen, by which is meant a substance which is the base of both water and fire, constituted that which the ancients called spiritual fire, and that from this arise the apparent contradictions in the designations of water, fire, and air, as the origin of things—for air the third (gas) is the first product, perhaps, of the union of the two former. Then in what will hydrogen differ from the To On ? It is not water, though the base of water,—it is not fire, though the base of fire. It is not air, though air or gas arises from the union of its two products—shall I say, from the union of the two emanations from it ? But here we may perceive the corporeal trinity of Plato. Whence came the baptism of water, fire, and air ? From the first (the To On, Illusion) emanated the base of hydrogen, which base was Maia; from Maia, or the base of hydrogen, emanated hydrogen, the base of fire and water. These first three constituted the first Trinity. From these, three in one, one in three—and from these emanated all beings in existence known to us,—all the beings of this our world, perhaps of the universe, perceptible to us. All this is ancient doctrine only put into modern words—Gas and Hydrogen : it is the doctrine of Macrobius. I greatly suspect that the electric, the galvanic, the magnetic, fluids and hydrogen, are all one substance; that the first three are one, is, I believe, a doctrine now scarcely doubted. Every thing in nature was supposed to be microcosmic : thus the second Trinity was a microcosm of the first. And now we come to the most refined of all refinements. As the hypostatic universe was a microcosm of the immense To On, so the minutest animalcule imaginable was a microcosm of the one above it : and thus, when we get to the least perceptible by sense, or even in imagination, how can we imagine any thing of this kind but by a circle, symbolised by a snake, with the tail in its mouth ? What were the second or third of the first Trinity, but a picture, a reflection in a mirror, an idea, of the universe ? All nature was a chain of trinities : the third person of the first, was the first person of the second; and so on, ad infinitum. Thus all nature was God; thus God was nature. Thus all matter at last was supposed to be resolved into the To On, and thus to be eternal. All nature was a ladder or a chain, the ladder of Jacob, with its 72 angels or æons, each a step, I doubt not—a ladder aiwn twn aiwnwn, revolving like the period or number 432 for millions of millions of years. … When I recollect that Wisdom is the second person of the Trinity, that Isis and Neith are Wisdom, I think I can, … , discover how Isis became identified with the moon, and why the moon constantly bore the same name as the female, or rather androgynous, generative power. I think we here also discover how the Holy Ghost or third person of the Trinity, came to be described as breath or air in motion, which we have never been able to ascertain before. I think it is probable that the Indians considered air in its most attenuated state, or hydrogen, or some similar fluid, to fill all space; and it seems not improbable, when we consider how their refined igneous matter was always combined with air, that they understood what we call hydrogen. However, whether or not they understood what we call hydrogen, they certainly understood that there was a principle of water, fire, and air, which answers to all our properties of hydrogen, and this they called Gas or Gast or Ghost. …
I have formerly said that there was originally one history, that history a mythos or a doctrine, and that the doctrine consisted of the arrival of a divine incarnation in each age, which the priests of each country persuaded the people must be renovated in their peculiar country, by exhibiting to them their former history, which, with a new cycle, would be renewed. The system of the renovation of cycles was an integral part of the mythos. The doctrine of the renewed incarnation is very distinctly visible in India, Persia, Syria, Greece, Italy, and even in China and Mexico. In consequence of the friendly intercourse which in the later times of antiquity existed among all nations with respect to their religious concerns, I am induced to believe that it was a part of the doctrine, that there might be more divine incarnations than one for each cycle—that more nations than one might be favoured with the interposition of the Deity in its behalf. I think if this had not been the case they would have quarreled about them, which they no where did, until the secret meaning of the mythos was lost. However, whether one nation allowed another to have it or not, it is certain that each nation claimed to have it. … This affords a satisfactory reason for all the histories being the same in some respects, and also having their considerable differences. It also furnishes a satisfactory reason for each country having the same name of places. If it be said, that the tribes might have brought the names of places from the East, as our emigrants have carried our names of places to America, I reply, Not only are the names of places, but the mythos also, visible, where there are new names for the same thing. The identity is much too extensive to be the unintentional produce of tribes merely settling. The system is uniform in all countries. … In every country which had any pretensions to have a Saviour, there was a Mount Meru or Olympus or Acropolis, with all its accompanying little superstitions. …
I shall now proceed to shew more fully, that there have been many persons who have aspired to be divine incarnations.—Buddha, Cristna, Salivahana, Moses, Cyrus, Alexander, Juilius Cæsar, Gengis Khan, Timur, Mohamed, Gregory, and Hakem Bemrillah, were all believed to be divine incarnations, as well as Jesus Christ, each opening a new age. Few persons who have read this work will doubt that the word Cæsar must have some mystical meaning, and that meaning connected with the mysterious system which I have developed. I think the word in the first numeral letters has been, as the Pope of Rome calls himself, CRS=600. Having found from St. Barnabas, that X means 300 as well as 400, and from other circumstances which I need not repeat, that the last three letters R, S, T, had each two meanings in common, and also that the last letter of almost all the alphabets, the Tau, was written indiscriminately with a cross, in fact, in any form of a cross; considering also, that we find the doctrine of Wisdom, or rather of the incarnation of Wisdom, to have been the secret doctrine of all nations; remembering also, that we are told, it was a common practice with the mystics of all nations to insert the letter I, the name of God, into words, for the sake of a mystery,—I think it probable that the word Cæsar is the Hebrew word Rst or Rasit; or rather that, originally, the word Rasit has been X or T. S. R., read from right to left, TSR., and that from this, the Tzr of Muscovy has, by a little corruption, been derived. …
… We are all educated at this day with the impression that the Amid or desire of all nations was to be the actual God, or a person of the Godhead, and in consequence we can scarcely understand the situation or the feelings of a person who only looked for a man like himself, but endowed with a superior degree of the divine attribute of wisdom. I think this prevents us from entering properly into the feelings, and making a proper allowance for the natural and almost necessary weakness, of men placed in such situations as Cyrus, Alexander, Cæsar, Alaric, Mohamed, and Gengis Khan. I am convinced that every one of these believed himself to be the foretold person; in several instances they were generally believed to be so by their followers; and in several instances, also, I have no doubt, that this was the chief cause of their victories. We will now return to one circumstance of the mythos of Julius Cæsar, to which I think, in Volume I. pp. 616-620, I have not done sufficient justice. It has always been understood that this mother underwent the operation, from her, denominated Cæsarean, and that her son Julius was extracted from her side. Now, when I consider that it was clearly a part of the mythos, both of the East and the west, of that mythos, in fact, alluded to by Virgil, that the expected one, the desire of all nations, was to be born from the side of his mother, and not in the usual course of nature,—and when I consider the extraordinary circumstances of the connexion of his mother with the God in the form of a serpent in the temple of Apollo, and the aphanasia or darkness at his death, &c., &c., I cannot believe in the operation, or attribute to accident the story of Cæsar’s unnatural birth. I recur to the doctrine of probability—and I contend, that, under all the circumstances, the probabilities are as a hundred to one, that the story is a made-up one, to advance the claim of Cæsar to the sovereignty of the world—to support his claim of right by the book as well as by the sword. But I think the contrivance of the Cæsarean operation conveys with it a proof, that, though the doctrine of an unnatural or preternatural birth was meant to be taught, it was meant to be kept a secret. … We must remember that we found Cæsars in India; and all the princes of the Persian dynasty, who were overthrown by the Saracens, were Khosrus, which word was but a corruption of the word Cæsar. The popular belief that a great one was to come, must have been greatly aided by the uncertainty of the periods, from the difficulty of keeping a correct register of time. I think it very possible that Sosigenes persuaded Julius Cæsar to correct the calendar, by shewing him that he was born, if its errors were corrected, and it were put right, at exactly the proper time. … I am quite satisfied that the opinion generally prevailed, that the world was to be divided into three parts, one of which was to have supremacy over the other two. The account of Antony shews the same mythos. These great men, dazzled, like Antony and Julian, drunk with prosperity, were easily taught the secret doctrines, and that each, in his own person, was the promised one : hence all the casting of nativities, the calculating of pedigrees, and making of Janam-patri. These men were of the highest order of Patres Conscripti or Lucumones, and any one of them might have been the lineal descendant of the first Japetus. I go so far as to suspect that, after the world was divided into three by them, their quarrel was for the nominal superiority.
If the reader refer to Volume I. pp. 380, 381, he will see an account of the immaculate conception of various great men, and among them, of Alexander the Great, whose father was Jupiter Ammon, in the form of a Dragon. By the Persian historians he is called Ischander, thus shewing that the Al is merely the emphatic article : then we have a compound of Arabic and Greek—the Al, and Ischa, (the latter the Arabic name of Jesus, meaning the Saviour, and of Sarah, the wife of Abraham, of Eva,) and Anhr or Androj the Greek for man. Mirkond1 says, that, “in the Ionian language, Iskander signifies Aksheed Roos, that is, Fílusúf : which word is abbreviated from Fíla Súfa : as the Ionians call love Fílá, and wisdom Súfá; according to which etymology, Iskander means A lover of wisdom.” That is, we may see among other matters, that he was of the sect of the Sofees or the Gnosis. The Fíla Súfá is nothing but Filoj Sofiaj. He was sometimes called a Roomite.2 He by force made himself master of Ros-heng3 and married her. His mother is said to have been delivered of him on a journey, and to have exposed him to perish in a desert, where sheep were fed. An ewe came and suckled him. The shepherd’s wife, following the ewe, found him and brought him up. After a time, as usual in all these cases, his mother discovered him, brought him to the king, his father, &c., &c., &c. Here we have the usual mythos. In the account of the great battle with Dárá or Darius, Mirkond says, “the blood ascended from the back of the terrestrial Fish, to the face of the celestial Pisces;” and, again, “Streams descended and ascended to Earth-supporting Piscis.”4 (I refer my reader to Vol. I. pp.558, 559, and 635-637.) Alexander was said to be born in the year 360 before Christ, the year the Sun entered Pisces, at the Vernal Equinox.5 According to Mr. Shea’s translation, Mirkond makes Alexander declare, again and again, that his is a religious war for the glory of God, and to display the true faith.6 … I believe Alexander alluded to his claim to the legal sovereignty of the world, as the head of the descendants of Noah. We must not forget that Clemens Alexandrinus was initiated into the mysteries of Eleusis, and he let out that he found the Mosaic mythos therel from this, probably, Alexander learned that the kings of Macedon, that is, Scythia, were the descedants of Japetus, so well known to Grecian story. … I think no one who reads Pownal’s treatise on the Study of Antiquities, pp. 91, 92, can well doubt that, had Alexander lived to old age, he would have established the finest commercial empire in the world. His views seem to have been guided by the most liberal policy; and I have no doubt that his conquests were as much the effect of a general belief that he was the promised one as of his arms. We must not forget that he was said to be born in the year the vernal equinox ceased to be Aries, and a new sign commenced, viz. 360, B.C.; and that he was the produce of a connexion between his mother and the God Apollo, in the temple. Alexander, like Moses, was said to be horned, and indeed I believe he appears with horns on some of his coins. This proves either that he claimed to be a divine incarnation, or the belief of his followers that he was one. But I think the Ram’s horns must have been given him by persons who did not understand the mythos, for he was Pisces, which had nothing to do with horns. His name Ischa, in Irish Celtic, meant a fish, the same word in Arabic meant Saviour. From the Pisces being the emblem of the Saviour, the word ischa came to mean fish. …
1 Translation by Shea, p.366.
2 Upon this word I must refer to the Index of Vol. I. for what is said in several places under the words Roma and Rama. Does this refer to the island of Roma, in Lat. 7.35, Lon. 127.20, and point to Romelia or Roma of Asia Minor, or of Italy, or of Rama of Western Syria ?
3 Tanslation by Shea, p.369. 4 Ib. p.391.
5 The mother of Alexander is called by the Greeks Olympias. We all know how Mount Olympus is said to be the residence of the Gods, and that it is figuratively used for the heavens. The Persians call Olympias Rukia; (Translation by Shea, p.396;) this is the Hebrew 3*89 rqio, which we translate firmament, and the “rack” or flying clouds of Shakspeare—shall leave not a rack behind. See Vol. I. p.335, note.
6 Ib. p.405.
… When we consider the story of the connexion between the siege of Troy and the Gorgon’s head of the Greeks, and all the mythos of immaculate conceptions in Alexander, Cæsar, and the Troya Nova of king Brute, &c., &c., we shall have no difficulty in seeing here the continuation of the mythos in Merlin, and in Arthur, with his round table and twelve knights—the secret mythos existing in Britain before the arrival of Cæsar, and passing down through the rule of the Romans to Arthur, to Alfred, and, at last, to Geoffry of Monmouth, who has fortunately preserved to us a remnant of it,—a remnant, which, instead of using, our short-sighted historians take all the pains in their power to destroy,—a remnant of a most important system, which yet continues to exert its secret influence upon all our institutions, both civil and religious. … When my reader has well considered the above passages of Nimrod (Mr. Herbert), stripping them of the false colouring given by that gentleman, who can see nothing but devil machinations in the simplest and most innocent matters, he, my reader, must be obliged to confess, that it is quite clear, that, in all our histories, we have in fact any thing but a real history of Alexander the Great. We have it just named, by Nimrod, to be ridiculed, that he said he was the son of Ammon. Just so far is said as will serve to justify the historian from a charge of fraudulent suppression; but, in reality, all the secret moving causes of Alexander’s conduct and of that of his followers, is kept out of sight. The circumstance that an æra arose from him in Asia, shews how extensive the mythos must have been. … I believe the claims of all the persons entitled great, and called emperors, were founded upon the system of Avatarism—of a believed descent from the eldest of the sons of Noah; or, if this plea could not be set up, upon the reception of the ceirotonia from the lineal descendant, who was always believed to be known. In aid of this came the impregnation by the Python, or the Holy Ghost, in the form of a snake. Thus Alexander had, mystically, two fathers. The case was precisely the same in this respect with Jesus, of Bethlehem, and Alexander. They each had two fathers. Jesus was the son of the Holy Ghost, but still in the line of Abraham; Alexander also was the son of the Holy Ghost, or the Ghost of Ammon, but yet of the line of Japhet. …
… It is evident that the Mogul, the King of Siam, the Emperor of China, all claim to be the descendant of the eldest son of the first Patriarch, and from him to have a right to the empire of the world. From this we may see, that their titles of king of kings, &c., &c., are not examples of mere empty, fulsome adulation, but that they have a basis. On this rests their claim or title of son of the Sun and Moon, which at first appears to us so monstrously ridiculous. The empire of Gengis Khan was called the wise government or the government of wisdom, and his name was Zin.* Respecting this prince see, in the Ency. Brit. art. Mogul, pp.299, &c., the pedigree from Japhet, the romantic account of his ancestors for 400 years, his inauguration by a prophet, the change of his name from Teninjin, and the belief of his subjects that he was entitled to possess the whole world. This inauguration of Gengis took place in the 13th century, when in Europe the Millenium was expected, when all men were looking out for some one to come. Genhis Khan marched into China in A.D. 122.**
* Ranking’s History of the Mongols, pp. 18, 65.
** The Christian æra is the best of all periods to make the fixed one, or the pivot of ancient and modern times, because being settled by the Chaldæan Sosigenes, it is a fixed epoch for all the ancient Eastern nations as well as for those of the West. Ptolemy fixed the precession of the Equinox at 36 seconds a year, the same as it was once fixed by the Indians.
Ranking, in his history of Mexico, says, “Those who were most interested in the advancement of Gengis Khan, have had the insolence to make him pass for the son of God : but his mother, more modest, said only that he was the Son of the Sun. But not being bold enough to aver, that she was personally beloved by that glorious luminary, she pretended to derive this honour from Buzengir, his ninth predecessor : and his partisans reported, that Buzengir was the son of the Sun.” (This manifestly makes Gengis the tenth Avatar.) “His mother having been left a widow, lived a retired life : but some time after the death of her husband, Douyan-Byan, she was suspected to be pregnant. The deceased husband’s relations forced her to appear before the chief judge of the tribe, for this crime. She boldly defended herself, by declaring that no man had known her : but that one day lying negligently on her bed, a light appeared in her dark room, the brightness of which blinded her, and that it penetrated three times into her body, and that if she brought not three sons into the world, she would submit to the most cruel torments. The three sons were born, and the princess was esteemed a saint.” The Moguls believe Gengis Khan to be the produce of this miracle, that God might punish mankind for the injustice they committed.* The same mythos was applied to Tamerlane, whose mother was said to have had connexion with the God of day.** All this satisfactorily accounts for the wish of the native princes of India to receive investiture at the hand of the Great Mogul. … The Moguls trace their pedigree, with each particular ancestor specified, from Japhet. I have little doubt that the Emperor who was descended or who claimed to be descended from each of the three sons of Noah—Shem, Ham, and Japhet—would claim for his ancestor to be the eldest son of Noah, and of course to be like Noah—Emperor of the whole world. This is confirmed by the doubtful state of the text of Genesis, which, though doubtful, evidently inclines to Shem. I have little doubt that the Tzar of Muscovy maintains, that neither the Emperor of China, nor the Emperor of India, is the legal successor of Noah, but that he is the man. In the story of the mother of Gengis and her three sons, we have a confused account of the incarnation of the triune God—the expected and promised one—one who was to rule over the earth. I have come to a perfect conviction that this mythos has given rise to the pretensions of several of the great conquerors of the world, if not of every one of them; and I suspect that it secretly actuates the present Emperors of both Austria and Russia. This mythos is the foundation on which the divine right of kings, of which we have heard so much, is built. …
* Petis [Petit ?] de la Croix, Book i. Ch. i. ** Hist. Res. into Mexico, by Ranking, pp. 177, 178.
Every thing which I said respecting the tenuency of the doctrine of expected or foretold Messiahs, or Avatars, or renewed Incarnations, in December 1832, after I had written what my reader has seen, I found confirmed in a very curious account, given in the Bombay Transactions,* by Col. Van Kennedy, of an attempt of Akbar, in the latter part of the sixteenth century, to establish what the Colonel calls a new religion. If we make allowance for the unquestionable fact, that, although the Colonel knew of the ten Avatars of India, yet that he was entirely ignorant of the real origin or nature of the mythos which I have been describing, and how they applied to modern times, and thus, for want of information, was deceived—we shall at once perceive, that Akbar probably believed himself to be the last Avatar—that Avatar which all the present Hindoos say is yet to come, and in which assertion they are still supported by the followers of Brothers, Southcote, &c., in the West. It appears that Akbar was called the imperial wisdom, the accomplished apostle, and the perfect messenger of God, perfectly skilled from the divine essence in all knowledge. Abul Fazl says, “When, through the good fortune of mankind, the season arrives for the revelation of the truth, a person is endowed with knowledge, upon whom God bestows the robes of royalty, in order that he may lead men in the right way with absolute dominion : such is the Emperor of our time.” This shews that Abul Fazl either was, or pretended to be, a believer in him. After the above, Col. Van Kennedy goes on to observe, that Akbar was believed to have some peculiar and immediate communication with the Supreme Being;** but the mode in which this was effected was considered a mystery, only confided to the higher orders of the initiated. Here we have the gradations of the Sophees. … It is a remarkable circumstance, that Akbar wished to abolish the slaying of animals, and he made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Hadji, at Ajmir, barefoot. This does not look like policy, but fanaticism,—a return to the Buddhist system. But he was tolerant in the highest degree, permitting all sects to follow their own laws and customs, and on no account suffering them to be interfered with in religion, in any manner whatever. … The thing lasted its little day, but various circumstances combined to prevent its continuance, as various circumstances, in a similar manner, had formerly aided the continuance of the Avatars of Cristna, Christ, and Mohamed. The first two of these were only required by the system of the mythos to be great men, bringing peace and happiness, each in his peculiar cycle,—and after the death, resurrection, and ascension of each, another was expected to come to complete the system. We may easily suppose in the case of Cristna, and we know in the case of Christ, that the mythos did not rise to its highest prosperity till an age of ignorance arrived. Though Christ may be said to have arisen in a time of high civilization, and in an improved state of the human mind, yet his doctrines did not make any great progress in the world till the human mind was in a rapid state of deterioration—till after the Council of Nice. … the circumstances of a rapid decline in the state of the human mind aided in converting Christ into a God; the present rapid improvement in the state of the human mind most powerfully operates against the mythos. The establishment of a priesthood by Constantine, so constituted as to be in a pecuniary manner greatly interested in its success, and who, as might be expected, left no stone unturned, and never stopped at any fraud to serve its purpose, favoured the mythos. The case might have been different had the Millenium been fixed at the end of ten thousand instead of the six thousand years. All these religions are the children of accident and circumstance. They all had their origin in the peculiar circumstance that the cycle of the Neros should form the cycle of the six thousand years, and the two again the cycle of 21,600, and 432,000. In the time of Christ, all persons were on the look-out for some one to come; such also was the state of the world in the time of Mohamed, and again, in the time of the Crusades. In the last case, however, the Millenium being expected to follow immediately on the appearance of the promised one, and this not arriving, the general expectation was disappointed, and the bubble burst. … My reader must have observed a difficulty in my explanation of the universal system, arising from the probability that the Gods Buddha and Cristna both describe the Sun; in fact, I think I may say not the probability only, but the certainty that they are meant to be either actually the Sun or that Higher Principle of which the Sun is the Shekinah, and the emblem. At the same time, we have almost as good proofs that these Gods were actually men, exercising the functions of royalty and governing large nations. Still they were supposed to be men in whom a portion of the God was incarnated. I think, from a consideration of the history of Akbar, we may find how this arose. …
* Vol. II. pp. 242, &c. ** Bomb. Trans. Vol. II. pp. 258, 259.
To what I have said in Vol. I. p. 688, respecting Napoleon, I think it expedient to add a well-known anecdote of him. When his uncle, Cardinal Fesch, once expostulated with him, and expressed his belief that he must one day sink beneath that universal hatred with which his actions were surrounding his throne, he led his uncle to the window, and, pointing upwards, said, “Do you see yonder star ?” “No sire,” was the reply. “But I see it,” answered Napoleon, and abruptly dismissed him.* What are we to make of this ? Here we have the star of Jacob, of Abraham, of Cæsar. Here we have a star, probably from the East. The whole of Napoleon’s actions in the latter part of his life bespeak mental alienation. I believe that he continued to retain expectations and hopes of restoration to the empire of the world, till the day of his death. Many circumstances unite to persuade me that he was latterly the victim of monomania. I cannot help suspecting that Napoleon was tainted with a belief that he was the promised one. … Victor Cousin says, “You will remark, that all great men have, in a greater or less degree, been fatalists : the error is in the form, not at the foundation of the thought. They feel that, in fact, they do not exist on their own account : they possess the consciousness of an immense power, and being unable to ascribe the honour of it to themselves, they refer it to a higher power which uses them as its instruments, in accordance with its own ends.”** With the exception of the words in Italics, which I do not understand, I quite agree with M. Cousin. But how completely it bears me out in the assertion I have made, that the belief in each person that he was the great one that was for to come has led either to his success or to his destruction ! It led Julian into the dessert—Napoleon to Moscow. …
* J. T. Baker, of Deptford, to Ed. of Morn. Chron., Oct. 12, 1832.
** For. Quar. Review, No. XXIII. July 1833, p.202.
The Mohamedans of the East constantly call Constantinople Room, and, as we might expect, its monarch, emperor of the world. To the pretensions of the different kings or emperors to this power, we are in the habit of paying no attention, treating them as mere ebullitions of empty vanity : but I believe this is the result of our own vanity. We are too apt to suppose that we know every thing, and this makes us to proud to look beneath the superficies of things to which we are not accustomed. I believe every monarch who assumes the title of Emperor, assumes to be the successor of one of the three patriarchal descendants of Noah; and then, I doubt not, base adulation steps in to persuade each individual that his line is the eldest, and that, of course, he is, by right, supreme over all. And I suspect that wherever a man has got the title of Great, it has been given him, by the advocates of this doctrine, as a distinctive badge. They are always emperors,—not merely kings. For this reason Napoleon was Emperor, not merely a King. … I apprehend Noah was held to be the first divine incarnation, at or after the flood, or in the new world. He was the first Archierarch, the owner of the whole world, and from him descended three others, who were, after him, Archierarchs, and for this reason it is that this book of Genesis [third] gives a pedigree of his three sons, in a direct male line from him. …
There is great difficulty in settling the proper places, according to their seniority, of the three sons of Noah, as all divines have allowed. I think it probable that Japhet was the youngest, and Ham the eldest, and that the story of his uncovering his father was only contrived to justify the claims of Shem to the high-priesthood and archierarchical sway over the others. The whole history looks as if there had really been such persons as those named,—that the account of them was substantially true, but that it had been accommodated to the system and circumstances of the Jewish priests and government, claiming supremacy from their ancestors, flattering themselves that, however obscure they might then be, a great saviour would come, to place them in the command of the restored Pandæan kingdom. This has, to a very considerable degree, succeeded in placing the Pope at the head of Christianity or modern Judaism, as it is in reality, though it is lost to the children of Shem. I think if there had not been something in it, we should have had a straight-forward declaration that Shem was the eldest, and that his descendants, the Jews, claimed to rule in that right. …
However various the races of man may have been, it is totally impossible to deny that marks the most unequivocal of an universal language, and of an universal polity, of some kind, are every where apparent. The Judæan mythos, in which the histories of Adam, Noah, Moses, &c., are mixed with that of Cristna, &c., or of which I had better say, the histories of Moses, &c., and of Cristna, &c., are parts, is to be found, in China, Mexico, Peru, Ireland, and Scotland—to be found every where. The multiplicity of the Divi or Gods of the Indians and Greeks, who arose in later times, are no more an objection to this, than the multitude of the Angels, Dæmons, and Saints, of the Christians of the West. If the doctrine of chances laid down by Dr. Young be strictly applied to all nations, there will not one be found where there will not exist a number of Hebrew or oriental words much more than sufficient upon his theory to establish so high a probability of an universal language as to amount almost to mathematical certainty. … In compliance with, or rather in submission to, the superior judgment of Mr. Laurence and other physiologists, on a subject on which I could not be expected to form an opinion upon anatomical grounds, namely, on the question whether there were originally only one or more than one species of man, in my observations respecting the black Gods, I treated them as one genus and one species; I now think it expedient to make a few additional observations to shew how my theory may be affected, supposing there was only one genus, (which is a fact which cannot possibly be disputed,) but several species. If the latter should be the state of the case, as maintained by Mr. Ruish of Petersburg, who professes to exhibit the Rete-mucosum by which the blackness is produced in the Negro, then I should suppose that there have been various races of red and white as well as the black one; but, that the originals of all the Gods have been of the black race, of the class of the followers of Cristna, after the black race had become improved into the shape in which we find him—that, by the handsome black males constantly uniting with the most handsome black females, their progeny increased in beauty till it arrived at the degree of perfection which we find in Cristna; that the pontifical government did originally consist of this race, and that, in the East, the entire population consisting of this race, it continues black—still retains the rete-mucosum—though for the reasons before given by me, it is improved in shape : but that, in the West, to which it sent out numerous tribes, it mixed with the white races, the remains of the inhabitants before the flood, called aborigines, the rich and powerful gradually marrying with the handsomest of the white races, till the whole race of the worshipers of the black God became white. We have daily experience of the black races, by this process, becoming white; but we have no example of the white race going back to the black. I pretend not to shew the cause of this latter circumstance, which is a fact—but the mere fact itself. This seems to shew that the aborigines were more numerous than the black colonies from the East; but this is, perhaps, no more than might be expected. … That the Buddhists were Negroes, the icons of the God clearly prove.
The reason for the difference between the Ioudi of the West and of the East, is to be found in the circumstance, that the Afghan Brahmin who came with his tribe from the East, to Syria of the West, was an iconoclast : he was opposed to the use of images, just beginning to prevail (and now so much prevailing) when he left India. He was of the religion or sect of Persia, and of Melchizedek; and it is very evident that almost all the peculiarities found in the laws and manners of the Jews, are what arose from the anxiety of their lawgiver, Moses, to preserve this hatred of images—an anxiety of a sect well depicted in the history and book of Esther, and also in the conduct of Darius, Cyrus, Cambyses, &c., in destroying the images in Egypt, but leaving the lingas—and in restoring the Jews and their temple. And I think that is very likely to be true which is told by the Jews, namely, that they were not permitted to read Genesis for fear that it should, (i.e. that the Trinitarian doctrine found there should, for there is no other the least likely to do it,) draw them into idolatry, as it is pretty clear that it had done their ancestors in the East. I think, to the Trinitarian doctrine of several Persons or Gods, as it must always have appeared to the generality of mankind, and to the renewed avatars or divine incarnations, the numerous Gods, both of Greece and India, may be easily traced; and the influence of the doctrine among the illiterate part of mankind justifies the fear of the Jews, and may furnish a plausible reason for the care with which they concealed their cabala. No one can deny that the, at first perhaps innocent, adoration of images and emblems, had ended in the degradation of all nations. … The books which the Jews choose to call canonical bring the history no lower than about the year 400 B.C. Here ends what may be properly called their mythical history, and their real history begins in what is called the Apocrypha, the historical books of which I doubt not contain a real history, though perhaps full of exaggeration. The books of Ecclesiasticus and Wisdom are evidently intended for the purpose of containing and concealing their cabala, the secret doctrines of Wisdom. They are, in fact, a sort of paraphrase or commentary on the secret history of Genesis, and on the renewed incarnations, as is evident from the renewed incarnation in Jesus, the Son of Sirach, discovered and pointed out by me, supra, p. 124. …
I formerly stated, p. 264, that in Egypt, the power of the high-priest was such that, if he ordered the king to commit suicide, he would be obeyed; and that this is what is done by the Grand Seignior to the Pashas every day. In the following account, by Mr. Heeren, the supreme priesthood shews itself very clearly :—“The priests of Egypt were the principal landholders of the country, and besides them the right of holding lands was enjoyed only by the king and the military caste. Changes of course must have ensued, amid the various political revolutions to which the state has been subject, in this important branch of the sacerdotal power, yet none of such nature as materially to affect the right itself, and hence we find that a large, if not the largest and fairest, portion of the lands of Egypt, remained always in the hands of the priests. To each temple, as has already been remarked, were attached extensive domains, the common possession of the whole fraternity, and their original place of settlement. These lands were let out for a moderate sum, and their revenue derived from them went to the common treasury of the temple, over which a superintendant or treasurer was placed, who was also a member of the sacerdotal body. From this treasury were supplied the wants of the various families which composed the sacerdotal college. They had also a common table in their respective temples, which was daily provided with all the good things which their rules allowed : so that no part of their private property was required for their immediate support. For, that they possessed private property, is not only apparent from the circumstances of their marrying and having families, but it is expressly asserted by Herodotus. From all which has been said, then, it follows, that the sacerdotal families of Egypt were the richest and most distinguished in the land, and that the whole order formed, in fact, a highly privileged nobility.”* …
* Heeren’s Ideen, 2,, 2, 125; Barker’s Lempriere, in voce, Egypt.
We often read of Hilarion and others being the founders of monasteries or monastic orders. This is said either when a new order was founded, or when the member of an ancient Essenian monastery were admitted into the Romish church. Jortin1 states that there were more than ninety-six thousand monks in Egypt, in the fourth century. The Buddhists and Brahmins are well marked by Porphyry.2 He says, “There is one tribe of Indians divinely wise, whom the Greeks are accustomed to call Gymnosophists; but of these there are two sects, over one of which Brahmins preside, but over the other the Samanæans. The race of the Brahmins, however, receive divine wisdom of this kind by succession, in the same manner as the priesthood. But the Samanæans are elected, and consist of those who wish to possess divine knowledge.” Here, in the Samanæans we have the Essenes or Monks, and, I doubt not, also the Chaldæans. Originally the Sectaries of the Bull were followed by the Brahmins, the Sectaries of the Ram or Lamb; or I ought, perhaps, rather to say, they themselves, in many cases, changed and became Sectaries of the Ram or Lamb. The distinction between those who took by hereditary descent and those by election, well describes the two systems of the Buddhists and Brahmins. In the Archierarchy of the Buddhists we have the prototype of the Papacy. In the mixed system or democracy of the Brahmins, we have the prototype of the mixed system of the Protestants; and, in the innumerable sects of India, we have the prototype of the innumerable sects of Europe : in every case a similar cause producing a similar effect. It seems to me not improbable that, originally, Monachism might arise from a wish for retirement and the enjoyment of a contemplative life, which, by degree, grew into all the present austerities and absurdities with which we are well acquainted. Abstinence from the female, without which families must have arisen to disturb the pursuits of science, would be among the first effects of the abuse of this praiseworthy propensity; and the appointment of a head or superior to keep order would at last finish the establishment. That it should become religious was a necessary consequence—for philosophy was religion. The knowledge of the to otnwj on3 and his attributes was the religion, and the philosophy also. This knowledge was closely interwoven with the study of astronomy, as it has been frequently remarked in this work. After reading the account of the Essenes, of the Jews, and of the Samanæans, in Pophyry,4 and also the account of the Christian Essenes, as given by Philo, Josephus, and Eusebius, I cannot for a moment doubt, that they were all one, with such trifling variations as time and change of language and country must necessarily produce. The Chreestian religion, or the religion of the Crhj, evidently existed from the earliest time; and Jesus Christ was nothing but the ninth Avatar coming in his proper order—Salivahana in the East, Jesus Crhj in the West. And, as the Brahmins make their Cristna, not the ninth Avatar, but God himself, so the Christians do the same with their teacher of Samaria. And though Mohamed and St. Francis were thought to be the tenth Avatar by their followers, yet the followers of Cristna and Jesus would not consent to abandon their favourite object of adoration. … It is pretty clear that the Monks, the Regulars, are descendants of the Buddhists—the Seculars of the Brahmins. This is the reason why we find the Monks in many countries possessing the tithes. The feuds between the two are the last remnants of the expiring disputes of the sects, called wars of the Mahabarat in India.5 The Buddhists were the Hierists and Archierists, and the Pope became so, as I have said before, in consequence of the surrender of the book by Constantine. He was the follower of Cristna; and we have no Pope on India, because there did not happen to be a Constantine. … I believe the Papists were nothing but a sect of Paulites—followers of Cristna—and Paul such a man as Luther, Calvin, or Montanus, acquiring many followers, and his sect put into power by Constantine. The Monks of Europe were Buddhists, and came over to this sect, and united with it afterward. All the apparent anomalies and confused mixture of the orders arose from the going to pieces of the first Archierarchy, and the arising of the second. The Monks were the Samanæans or Gymnosophists. The same thing took place in Britain and Ireland in the West, as took place in India, or we should not have found the Buddha and the Cristna and the Callidei here. When Cæsar arrived in Britain, the first system had gone to pieces. The Buddhist government had been overthrown by that of Cristna, and the whole country had become divided among petty princes and tribes. Gaul was in the same state. All the oriental mythos is well marked in that country. I think it very likely that Cæsar conquered both Britain and Gaul as Cortes and Pizarro conquered Mexico and Peru; that he was thought to be the Æsar expected to come : for, as we have found other parts of the mythos, it is not unreasonable to expect to find this. The reason why we have no account of this in the Greek and Latin writers, is the same as that which prevents our having any account of this mythos in the historians of the conquest of Mexico and Peru; and yet no one can doubt that the mythos existed there, and that it aided their conquest. When the first Pontifical government went to decay, (perhaps its decay was caused by the rise of the sect of Cristna,) different effects would take place in different countries; yet remnants of it may be expected to be found in all. What we do find is exactly that which, under the circumstances, might be expected to be found. But the numerous remnants of the first system, religion, or mythos, prove its original existence beyond a doubt. This admitted, all the rest is a natural consequence.
1 Ecc. Hist. Vol. II. p.22. 2 De Abstin. Book IV. Sect. xvii., Taylor’s Trans.
3 Preface to Porphyry de Abstinentia. 4 De Abstinentia, pp.147, 148.
5 We constantly read of the Brahmins having come into India from the North, and of a Pandæan kingdom. I have no doubt that this was the kingdom founded when the sun entered Aries. The wars of the Mahabarat were the struggles to establish this kingdom. I think it probable that the sect of Cristna arose in Tartary, and, after a struggle with, and the defeat of, its countrymen, it advanced to the South and conquered India. This exactly was happened to Baber in a later day.
We will now return to Mr. Niebuhr, and to the Pontifical government in Italy, discovered by him, but not understood. Mr. Neibuhr says, “It is the more probable that the Roman kings, according to the general polity of states in the ancient world, levied a tenth off the lands, the property of which vested in the state, as it did with the princes of Asia; because even multiplied vassalage, without any considerable taxation, would have been inadequate to execute their enormous buildings.”* I have no doubt that over the whole world, wherever the Cyclopæan or Druidical buildings are found, and where are they not found ? a patriarchal system extended, and that it was supported by the tenths of the landed produce. In the account of the almost obsolete, at least much neglected, Agrimensores of Italy, and of the ancient Etruscans we have probably the only written remains of the financial polity of that ancient Patriarchal priesthood. … The whole world, I do not doubt, was divided into squares or parallelograms, and a cross was fixed at every intersection, as Italy is described, by Niebuhr, to have been. These crosses pointing to the four cardinal points could never be removed or mistaken, for they corrected each other. The object of this mensuration was the collection of the tenths for the priesthood. The Patriarch, the Pahr arch, Royal priest, as the Vicramaditya, the Vicar of God, was the owner of the soil of the whole world; the cultivators or consumers of the pasturage paid a tenth of the produce for the use of it. At first, with respect to the land, there were three persons concerned : first, the Arch-priest, who was the owner—Lord of the soil; secondly, the Cultivator or the Shepherd; and, thirdly, the Labouring Man, the Helot, the slave, adscriptus glebæ as he soon became; and, after a certain time, arose the Soldier. … Judging from the traditions of a Pandæan kingdom—from the remains of the mythos in every country, visible in the sacred names of places—judging also from the peculiar style of the Druidical buildings found in all parts of the world—the Cromlebs, the Carns, and the circular temples, I am induced to believe that the system was an archierarchy—that somewhere there was a Papa or grand Lama, a divine incarnation, who superintended the whole. It seems to me very natural for such an Archierarchy originally to arise; and as the colonies went out from a country which would flourish greatly under such a state of things as I have suggested, that it should extend its paternal influence over the whole world. It is also very natural, after it had attained its utmost limits, that it should endure a certain number of years and then, operated on by the eternal law of change—containing within itself, as all system do, the seeds of their own destruction—that it should go to decay and fall in pieces. But it was evidently a system very tenacious of life. After long depression we have seen it almost revive in Asia, under Akbar, and in Europe, under the Roman Papacy of the middle ages; and there is reason to believe, that it has never been entirely defunct at Lassa. … But yet the Pope holds in his poitrine the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and o supreme power over the whole globe. He never yields either to Emperor or King. …
* The Roman History, Vol. I. p.470. Walter’s Ed.
Although we know very little of the internal economy of the Chinese empire, yet enough transpires from the persons who have written respecting it, to shew a high probability, that the universal feudal system and the payment of tithe prevailed there, as in other countries. As in all other countries the system has undergone great changes, so it has in China : but remains of the original may be perceived. The Rev. David Collie, principal of the College at Malacca, in a note on his translation of the Shang Mung, p. 75, has stated, that by the Kung plan in China, an average of several years’ produce was taken, and the tenth part of that average was fixed as the permanent tax on the land. … I frequently suspect that the Chinese empire was the seat of the first patriarchal government—the Officina Gentium. It must have been either in China or in the country of the thousand cities of Strabo, in North India, nearly all of which have now disappeared. … I have no doubt that the Chinese exhibit the remains of the first patriarchal government, almost in every thing. …
I think there is every reason to believe that Mohamed considered himself to be the tenth Avatar or the divine incarnation of the tenth age. I now address myself to philosophers, and not to Paulite devotees. We must not forget that if he were merely a hypocrite, he deceived his wife, his slave, and the first four Califs—not weak men like the followers of Brothers, Whitfield, Wesley, and Southcote—but men of the greatest talent, who conquered and ruled a great part of the world with consummate skill. But how did these men live ? Not in splendour, but in comparative poverty; walking on foot to the Mosque, without pomp or retinue, like the other citizens of Medina, and themselves performing, chaunting, every day the simple service to the Deity required by the Mohamedan law. The simplicity of life, and the total neglect of every thing like personal gratification, exhibited by the first Califs, persuade me that they believed themselves the locum tenentes of a divinely inspired, or divinely commissioned, person. What should induce all these four men in succession, in the possession of immense wealth, and in the command or large armies and of the finest empire on which the sun ever shone, to affect, and really to practise, extreme moderation, if not poverty ? But they farther, and by the establishment of the Ashera—that is, the restoration of the empire to the simple payment of the tenth of the produce, rents and all other taxes and Roman exactions being abandoned—they proved themselves a blessing to the whole of their world, which, from a state of great misery, they restored to great prosperity, and, as far as was in their power, to the happiness it had enjoyed under the rule of the first Hierarchy, in the golden age. Every thing tends to prove that their conduct was an attempt to return to the primeval state. Each Calif thought himself the successor of Adam and Noah, and the brilliant victories of their generals confirmed the delusion. I have little doubt that the belief, that Mohamed was the Vicar of God, ensured his victories much more than the sword; and it was this moderation in regard to taxation which secured his conquests. The armies of the Prophet, like all other armies, pillaged their conquered enemies in the moment of victory; but submission made and the sword sheathed, there was an end to oppression : peace succeeded to ceaseless civil war, and the tenth of the produce of the soil was substituted for endless and ruinous taxes, which the conquered countries had been subjected to under their former government. This was the state of the dominions of the first Califs, which lasted long enough to amalgamate their heterogeneous collection of materials into an uniform mass. The tenths, without any oppression of the people, enabled their later Califs, the patrons of arts, science, and literature, to support large armies and a regal state in the greatest splendour. This favourable state of things continued for five or six hundred years, till the Turkish barbarians arrived from the North, from Tartary, and overthrew it—once more plunging their fine countries into barbarism and misery. Every thing tends to shew that the first four Califs believed that they were destined to restore the golden age. With Othman, the third, this opinion probably began to die away. A very sensible and important article is given in the Foreign Quarterly Review, No. XXIII. July 1833, on Mohamed and Mohamedism. The author has come nearer the truth than any person who has treated on this subject. But he has, in a very surprising manner, omitted the notice of several hitherto extraordinary and unaccountable facts, which, in estimating the character of Mohamed, cannot reasonably be passed over. He never notices the fact, that the Koran, as it is admitted, was made up after his death, in a moment of confusion and civil strife, partly from papers in a state of rottenness, and partly from the memories of his followers; and that, twenty-two years afterwards, it was again made up or redacted by Othman. Thus it can be called no better than a forgery. But the learned Reviewer admits, that it contains evident marks of two religions, which he divides between the time previous too the flight to Medina, and the time posterior to that flight, while I think he ought to have allotted the first to the true Koran of Mohamed and the first four Califs—commanding, as I have stated above, immense armies, but walking on foot to the mosque, the chaunt the praises of God, in such simple ceremonies as might be expected from an “eclectic reformer : a reformer in the truest sense of that abused term.” The Reviewer says, “the Koran contains two very distinct religions : the first, a system of pure theism, as perfect as the age could produce, inculcating several morals and stoical submission. … The second teaches a sanguinary propagandism.” Here we have the Koran of Mohamed and the first four sincere and zealous patriarchs, and the Koran of the conquering and magnificent Saracens—puffed up with pride and vanity. The Koran of the eclectic philosopher was not likely to suit the conquerors of Asia. A new one must be grafted on the old, to find a justification for their enormities. I must make another observation upon the Reviewer’s rather unfair description of the vision of the passage of the Borak, or flash of lightning, through the seven heavens, to the throne of God. As Mohamed passes along the several heavens, the different patriarchs request him to intercede with God for them; but when he comes to that nearest the throne, where Jesus Christ was placed, the scene changes, and Mohamed begs Jesus to intercede for him—hereby, in a very marked manner, placing Jesus Christ above himself, and declaring himself a Christian. This is in perfect accordance with the Mohamedan doctrine—that through the excessive depravity of man, the mission of Jesus—of love—of peace—of benevolence—having failed, a strong one—that of the sword—must follow.
Most assuredly, in the sixth century, nothing could be farther from success as a mission of peace, than the mission of Jesus. It is quite inconceivable into what a state the whole eastern world had then fallen. One of the great causes of the rapid success of Mohamedism was the bringing into one body of peace all the jarring elements of that period. I shall be reminded of the accounts, in the Koran, of Mohamed’s violation of his own laws of morality with respect to women. But when was there ever great and unexpected success without its being attended with a species of intoxication ? Mohamed was just as liable to this falling as other men. But this does not make him an impostor. To have obviated the ill effects of these errors of conduct in the minds of the first four califs, &c., there must have been something very interesting in the character of Mohamed, if, indeed, the stories were not foisted into the second Koran to palliate some later Saracen outrage by the prophet’s example. But the stories might probably be true. They are in character with what we know of the human animal from experience. Whether we attribute the second Koran to a change in Mohamed, or to the knavery of the later Saracens, to justify the conquest of the world, they are both in character, and may be, in part, both true. The Reviewer, (p. 204,) says, “We have already said that the Koran contains two distinct religions, the one containing the germs of purity and illumination, the other fraught with maxims of bigotry and intolerance.” I doubt it not. One was the religion of Mohamed the Sophee, the follower of divine wisdom, (treated on at large by me, in Vol. I. pp. 678-685,) the other was, or might be, the doctrine of the conquering Califs. It is very certain that there is no effect without a cause; and it is no way surprising that with such a mind of Napoleon’s must have been, he was curious to know what could have been the cause of the wonderful success of Mohamed. It is easily to be pointed out; we will stop a moment to reconsider it. In the first place, Mohamed was believed to be the person promised by Jesus Christ, and also the promised one of the Jews. Besides, a great person was believed to have been promised, and was expected about his time by all the higher classes of Gentiles, that is, the initiated part of mankind, particularly in the eastern world, who should be the tenth incarnation; so that the minds of men were by this means prepared for the reception of him and his doctrines. This conduced to his success. Again his first success was the cause of a second; for success was very reasonably considered to be a proof of the truth of his mission. The next cause was the state of peace and security which was enjoyed by the nations under the Mohamedan sway. It appears that the occupiers of lands paid the Ashera or Zacal,1 as it is called by Ockley,2 to the Calif, who was the sole proprietor of the soil, exactly like the Egyptian Pontiff. Thus, as there were no persons to form a class like that of our gentlemen, the whole country was circumstanced as our country would be if, by an edict, all taxes were abolished and the occupier of every farm was declared the owner of the land he occupied—paying to the government the value of a tenth of the produce. In addition to this, every person who did not occupy land paid a poll tax; this was what I think, in the Romish church, was called Peter’s pence. It appears that this, in Egypt,3 was two ducats a year. What proportion this might bear to a man’s labour I know not; but it evidently must have been very small. When these circumstances are taken into account, and the peaceful and happy state of the countries under the Califs is considered, in comparison with the wretched state of the countries governed by the Greek emperors, it does not appear very wonderful that the temptation should have operated to the making of converts. That must never be forgotten, in considering these matters, which our priests always contrive to put out of sight, namely, that neither Jew nor Christian was required to give up a single iota of his faith when he turned Mussulman. The Mussulman religion was held to be the completion of both—the abolition, or, in fact, the changing, of neither. These were the causes which, at the death of Omar, in the twenty-third year of the Hegira, had given to the Saracens the empire of Arabia, Syria, Assyria, Persia, Egypt, and a considerable part of eastern Africa. These great conquests must have been made in less than fifteen years. After the death of Othman, the Califate became so split into parties that it is extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to make out any thing that can be received as certainly true. The bigotry and malice of the Christians render every assertion they make doubtful : and when they quote a Mohamedan writer they almost always do so, as a contrivance to convict the Mussulmans of some enormity on their own evidence. As the sects of Mohamedans, of one or other of which every writer was a member, had as much hatred for each other as the Christians had for the whole of them, there can be no difficulty in Christians’ finding a Mohamedan proof of what they want. And if we apply to any of the most respectable of the early historians, and consider them exempt from the failing of prejudice, it is impossible to avoid seeing that they have composed their histories without taking the circumstances above detailed into consideration, and without the exercise of any thing like critical acumen. Suppose an Arabian author was to write the history of Europe : would he want materials to blacken the Popes, if he went for his facts to Luther or Calvin ? But he could say, See what is admitted by Christian historians themselves ! Thus Christians and Mohamedans were equally liable to misrepresentation. In both cases, when there was a lack of true enormities, which I fear seldom happened, there was no lack of falsities. …
I think, obscure as is our view of early Mohamedism, we may see, besides the adoption of the Ashera, other signs which cannot be mistaken, of an attempt to return to the primeval patriarchal government. In the Imans of Persia we have the 12 Lucumones; in the 72 Ans~r or Helpers, who assisted the prophet on his arrival at Medina, I think we have the 72 of the Jewish Sanhedrim, the Amphictyons of Greece, and the Cardinales of Rome; and in the three Mohajee or Movers, who accompanied him when he fled from Mecca, we have the three sons of Adam and Noah, the three Flamens of Rome, and the three Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria, and Rome—imitators of the division of the kingdom of Saturn—and the three Archflamens or Archiepiscopates of Britain. … I think that there was in all countries a Pontifex, a cabinet of 12, and counsel of 72 Cardones or Cardinales, divided among the districts, each superintending one of them. We have this division already marked in Genesis. In the appointment of an Hierarch, the Cabinet would, at first, recommend to the Archierarch; at last they would elect; and of course the choice would generally be one from their own number. It is easy to imagine how all this would arise. By degrees, the 72 would begin to wish to have a voice in the election; and, after a time, the people occupying the lands and rendering the different feudal returns, whether they were in money or in services, would put in a claim. Of all this we see evident traces in Italy, Greece, and India. The process which I have here described, took place, I have no doubt, all over the Pandæan kingdom : but as the change arose from circumstances, it is also quite clear that it would occur in no two places in exactly the same manner. I have no doubt that the Cardinales and the Decumanni were attached in some way to the collection of the tithes, the Decumanni, particularly, as their name seems to imply—perhaps men of the tenths or tithes, the operatives under the Cardinales. All the receivers of the tenths were at first priests or initiated. By degrees, those only, who exercised the functions which arose and became the rites and ceremonies of the religion, would be, strictly speaking, priests. But the others would form a privileged or sacred caste—a caste more or less marked in different places, and more or less divided from the general mass of tithe takers, according to circumstances. It is not unlikely that these functionaries were monks, and that monks became, after a time, the sole and proper priests. In the sect of the Paulites we have a pretty clear account how its establishment arose—evidently in imitation of the Essenes of Egypt. It imitated the other old system, as closely as it could; but it did not unite with its advocates till several centuries had elapsed. Its early separation, its ultimate union wit the monks, are well marked.
… I cannot help considering the division into three, and into seventy-two sects, with the seventy-two helpers, and twelve advisers of Mohamed, and twelve Imans, to be similar to the Triumvirate of Rome, the twelve Cæsars, and the seventy-two free towns. These are odd accidental coincidences. I believe that the Ishmaelites were correctly the followers of Ham, and that is the reason we find them among the Fatémites of Egypt, who were all Ishmaelites. The Persians are the followers of Shem, and the Turks of Japhet. How the three connected themselves, whether in some way by descent or by the imposition of hands, with the three ancient patriarchs, I do not know; but the coincidence of circumstances is much too complicated to have been the effect of accident. The Ishmaelites were at war with the Califs and the Christians, because they both usurped a part of their dominions. Both Syria and Egypt were the domain of Ham; and the story of the uncovering of the patriarch by Ham, as indeed the book almost says, was invented to palliate or justify the usurpation or superiority of the other brothers. How the different Califs of Cairo, Bagdad, and Granada, made out their claims is very uncertain; but it appears that, in A.H. 402, and A.D. 1011, a great meeting was held in Bagdad, when the claims of the Fatémites to the Califate were declared to be null and void. … Here, in the secrecy of the meeting, the true character of the whole shews itself—escapes out of the crypt—to our view. What could be the reason for keeping secret this meeting held in Bagdad, the capital city of the enemies of the Ishmaelians or Famémites ? The circumstance of secrecy here is in perfect keeping with what I have maintained throughout the whole of my work, that there were originally an esoteric and an exoteric system.
I very much suspect that Mohamed, before he died, pretended to divide the world into three parts, or that his followers pretended that he had divided it anew, and that this was done in consequence of the lines of Ham and Japhet having failed, and that therefore he had made a new division, as survivor of the eldest line, through the son of Abraham, by the princess Hagar. We must not forget that the Mohamedans maintain, that Hagar was not a slave, but a princess. We make her a slave to obviate Mohamed’s claim. …
Mr. Niebuhr, speaking of the landed tenure of Italy, says, the “general characteristic was the principle that all landed property is derived from the State, and that the Conqueror acquires a title to it; so that the exercise of his acquired ownership depends entirely upon his own will and pleasure, whether he shall tolerate the original occupants or not, on condition of a rent.”1 Here, I apprehend, is the identical system of India and Europe, in its most simple form—the farmers or ryots or feudatories holding their lands by payment, a redditio, of part of the produce, and many facts unite to prove that part, a tenth. I have no doubt that the first great wars (Mahabarats) were between the sovereigns or High-priests or Pontiffs about the presidency over the whole world—as to which was the representative of the elder branch. With these the cultivators or feudatories would have little or no concern. In those early times there was no such thing as our land-holder or country gentleman. We see here the origin of the thirst after universal power. This gave rise, after some time, to what Mr. Niebuhr has noticed—that “it was a peculiar notion of this people, that every war conferred this right, though waged without any appearance of extermination, but on the ordinary grounds; and this right existed also between the nations of one stock.”2 It had been judiciously observed by a writer in the Philological Musæum,3 that Niebuhr has shewn, that “the primary and essential distinction between the patricians and plebeians, who were not an aristocracy and a rabble, as the writers of the Augustan age, and, as following in their wake, all the historians of modern times imagined, but two several nations—the domineering, the other dependent, like the Normans and Saxons, to take an instance, during the first centuries after the conquest, or like the English settlers and the native Irish.” Here we have exact picture of the Chaldæans or Druidical or Brahmin caste, with greatly and out-of-all proportion superior knowledge, and therefore superior power, coming from the East and taking possession of the countries occupied by the Aborigines—ignorant, naked, and defenceless; split, probably, into numbers of little, unconnected tribes, and, perhaps, after the first alarm, grateful to their conquerors for peace and security. This may remind us of Abraham and his 318, trained or initiated in his own house, who, in his war with the five kings, probably employed under their command thousands of mercenaries ! … The struggles between the Patricians and the Kings, the traditions of which, and nothing more, remain to us, were only the natural contest between the high-priests, as to who should be king and priest when the great pontifical government fell to pieces. The whole mythos—the immaculate conception, death, &c., is found in the history of Servius Tullius.4 Servius Tullius was the first who had the glory. Mr. Niebuhr has observed, that every city in the West, from Tyre to Gades, had a senate and general assembly, and that all the confederacies of early nations were based on religion. This is, no doubt, true, and for many generations this principle secured to the noble priesthood, the initiated or sacred caste of nobles, the empire over their fellow-creatures. … In Vol. VI. p. 111, of Lord Kingsborough’s Antiquities of Mexico, an account is given of a correspondence between Cortes and the Emperor, recommending him to get a grant of the tithes from the Pope, Alexander the Sixth, which was refused; but the Emperor hereby acknowledged the right of the Pope to the tithes. This shews the truth of the theory I advocate. The Pope is said to have given all the new-found countries to the Spaniards; but, in fact, he enfeoffed the king of Spain in them—reserving to himself the Vectigal or Ashera. Protestants never cease abusing the Pope for his arrogance in giving away those countries : the truth is, they have not the slightest idea of the nature of his claim. It is very certain that the vectigal was not a payment of rent : it was the rendering of a portion of the crop—and that Niebuhr has, over and over again, shewn to be the tenth. …
1 Roman Hist. Vol. I. p.122. Walter’s Ed. 2 Ib. 3 No. I. p.199. 4 Niebuhr, Vol. I. pp. 261, 262.
The confederated towns or states of Iona, of Attica, and of Etruria, being in the precise number twelve, sufficiently shew method and design, and therefore, probably that their confederation was formed under the superintendence of the Pontifical government, and not the effect of a few states confederating for mutual defence. System, not accident, is evident. Then arises the question, Where and what was the system ? and I think I have a right to reply, that it was part of the policy of the Pontifical government thus to form the nations under its sway, leaving them in the exercise of their municipal rights, but exercising a controul, so as to prevent wars : or, if wars arose, to make them speedily be at peace again. I think a careful examination will satisfy the reader, that none of the sovereigns aspiring to be the supreme Pontiff ever made peace. If the rebels to their authority did not submit, they only made a truce. This, as I have already remarked, is the practice of the Grand Seignior. Mr. Niebuhr has pointed out the same system of confederated states among the Celts of Gaul, as we have just noticed in Greece and Italy. Indeed, I think the system is plainly perceivable in the Druidical polity.* …
* See Rom. Hist. Vol. II pp. 258, 259. Walter’s Ed.
If we carefully consider the first state of man, we shall find that he must have been in a situation peculiarly favourable for increase in numbers. Suppose, with Whiston,* that the eight persons in the Ark increased to about 2000 in one hundred years; and if we double them every twenty-five or thirty years, which I am convinced is not unreasonable, in 600 years there would be 100,000,000, in 650 years, 500,000,000 of people on the earth. In whatever state we choose to place the world when the numeral symbolic language, which I have proved to have existed, was invented, it is very certain that when once a close society had formed its system and assigned numeral symbols to a given number of words, as long as that society existed and used those symbols, the language would continue in a great degree fixed. I think there is every reason to believe that this system would be co-extensive and contemporary with those particular cyclic or Druidical buildings which we find all over the world. I suppose we may safely believe one language to have continue intelligible to the whole world for five or six hundred years, or until the population rose to two or three hundred millions. … The more I reflect on the subject, the more I am disposed to believe in a kingdom of Pandæa. …
* Univers. Hist. Vol. I. p.262.
I conclude this chapter with repeating, that I cannot help suspecting, if we could come at the truth, that we should find in China strong marks of the patriarchal government, and, perhaps, of the first government of man. I have little doubt that originally, the monarch of the celestial empire was thought to be an incarnation of the solar Ray; whence he is the brother of the Sun and Moon. The integrity or identity of its institutions has been preserved from the earliest time by the use of its symbolic alphabet. …
Among the ancient philosophers there was no superstition or doctrine more universal than that of the microcosm, though it is now nearly lost. The fragments of it lie scattered around us in the greatest abundance. We occasionally express our wonder at them, but we never think of inquiring into their cause or object. I must try whether I cannot, for a little time, arrest their progress towards oblivion.
The Microcosm is most intimately connected with the Cabalistic doctrines of the Trinity and of Emanations. It is seen every where, when once attention is drawn to it. The most ancient author, I believe, who has treated of it, is Plato, and he has named it only once to my knowledge, and that is in his Timæus. It is very remarkable that it has acquired so great an influence, that all nations, without being conscious of it, constantly act from the impulse given by it in former times. We every where find it in what the ancients called sacred numbers; but no one has ever been able to give a satisfactory reason for these numbers having the sacred character affixed to them. Magic has been assigned; but nobody can tell what Magic was or is; nor are the sacred numbers in any way connected with it, except some few of them with that branch of it called judicial astrology. The origin of the Microcosm may, perhaps, be found in Genesis, i. 27, God created man in his own image. Everything was supposed to be in the image of God; and thus man was created double—the male and the female in one person, or androgynous like God. …
… Thus Man or Mannus was in the image of God; and thus, after God—Om—he was called Hom-o. Every thing was microcosmic. In the Tauric cycle we have Adam and his wife, and Cain, Abel, and Seth. In the Arietic cycle we have Noah and his wife, and Shem, Ham, and Japhet—a new trinity every 1800 years at first, then every 2160. When the mystics could not make the number come right, they made Noah live in both worlds. The To On was supposed to be duplicate—then from the two to triplicate himself. From him proceeded the male Logos, and the female Aura or Anima or Holy Ghost—in ancient times always female. In microcosmical imitation of this, man, animals, and plants, and, in short, all animated nature, were believed to be formed of both sexes. Thus the To On was supposed, in himself, to possess the two principles of generation. Thus we have Adam and Eve; from them, Cain and his wife; Abel and his wife; and, afterward, Seth and his wife. Again, Noah and his wife; and Shem, ham, and Japhet, and their wives. Cain, the eldest, was supposed to have forfeited his right to supremacy, by his misconduct. And on the believed fact, that Noah really escaped from the flood, the mythos is contrived to shew, that, in consequence of the misconduct of Cain, he had a right to the supremacy; and, again, in consequence of the misconduct of the eldest son of Noah, that the second, Shem, inherited the right; that, in that line, the Pontificate should proceed; that, in that line, the Avatar saviours, kings, priests, should always be found; and that, in that line, should all mankind be blessed.
In all the speculations in which I have indulged, my reader must have observed that I have confined myself strictly to describing the doctrines or opinions of others, carefully retaining my own; but I cannot here resist the opportunity of observing, in what an extraordinary manner the probability of the truth of the ancient doctrine of the Microcosm is supported by the discovery of modern physiologists—that, when the seed of any animated being is examined in its minutest development, it seems to have the full and complete form of its parents, and that generation is, at last, but accretion. I suspect it was held, that the minutest atom was but a microcosm or miniature existence of some future being; and that, probably, every atom in its turn would be both the germ and the increment of other beings, till every atom had taken its turn.* The atomic doctrine of Pythagoras was learnt by him (as we are told) from the Phœnician or Judæan or Chaldæan, called Moses or Moschus, the name in both cases equally corrupted. The doctrines of Pythagoras and Moses, with very little exception, appear to have been identical. This was the philosophy revived, in a later day, by Des Cartes, with some additions, on the truth or falsity of which, I, as an expositor merely of the doctrines of the ancients, am not called upon to give an opinion. But this much I will say, the Cabalistical doctrines of Moses, of Pythagoras, and of Jesus, were the same : and the Sopheism of Mohamed, and the name of his temple Caaba or Caavah, the same as the Mercavah of the Jews, raise a strong probability that he held similar doctrines.
* Colonel Wilford says, “It is to be observed, that, in general, the Hindus believe that all living beings originate from an atom-like germ, endued, virtually, with life; but inert till placed in a proper medium; when it becomes actually a punctum saliens or an embryo. It is indivisible, and cannot be destroyed by any means whatever; but will remain till the end of the world. When a man dies, his body restores to the earth, and to the other elements, all that augmentation of substance, which it had received from them : but the atom-like germ remains the same. … This atom-like germ is called in Sanscrit atibahica, an is mentioned in the Garudapurana. It is called also vayaviyam, because it goes faster than the wind. They say, that it is exactly the sixth part of these atoms, which we see moving in the rays of the sun, when admitted into a dark room, through a small aperture.” (Asiat. Res. Vol. XIV. p.431.) The part which I have marked with italics, shews Col. Wilford has misunderstood his subject. It is a pity he had not gone deeper into it. …
An expression is dropped in a learned paper in the Asiatic Journal,* from which it appears, that the Chinese have among them the doctrine of the Microcosm : the author says, “By the Chinese, Man is considered a Microcosm : the universe is man, on a large scale : this is all we find positively stated on this subject. Human reason is the reason of the universe. The holy man, or the sage by eminence, is like the great pinnacle, and spirit as he is. He is the first of all beings. His spirit is one with the heavens, the master-work of the Supreme Reason, a being perfectly unique.” The Chinese system begins like all others; and, in this, it instantly displays its identity with all others. The doctrine of Taou Tsze says, “Taou or ‘Reason’ produced one; one produced two; two produced three; three produced all things.”** Here we have the doctrine correctly, as I have, in part, described it in Vol. I. pp. 594, 703, 757, &c. This last passage is taken from the work called Taou tih king, a Latin version of which is in the Library of the Royal Society, and which was executed by a missionary who had devoted his whole life to the study of it.
* No. XXXVI. New Series, Dec. 1832, p.306. Ib. p.303.
To return to our subject.—The world was divided among the descendants of Noah into three, and again into seventy-two. These were as follow : Japhet, the youngest, had twelve; Ham, the second, had twenty-four; and Shem, the eldest, had thirty-six.* This induces me to return to an observation in Volume I. p. 474, where I ridiculed Sir W. Jones’s division of the languages of the world into three, those of Shem, Han, and Japhet. I now think it right to observe, that it does seem unlikely, when the world came to be divided into three sovereignties, that the universal language should, in its grammatical forms, have run into three dialects, which would shew themselves in a marked manner. On this point, therefore, I may have been under a mistake. In similar microcosmic manner the period which I have formerly described of 21,600 years was divided into three. The libration of the planes of the Ecliptic and Equator was supposed to take place in 7200 years. It was thought to librate three times in the 21,600 years; seventy-two small cycles of 600 years, or 72 large cycles of 6000 years, in 432,000 years. In this manner all the cycles were microcosmic. Thus, microcosmically, also, the surface of the globe was arranged. From Adam proceeded Cain, Abel, and Seth; and from then proceeded all mankind : yet we know not how the first world was divided; but we shall, by and by, find circumstances which will lead us to believe that it must have been divided as the second was divided. After the flood, came Noah, and Shem, Ham, and Japhet. Their posterity was divided into three, and these were subdivided into seventy-two races. In like manner the world was divided into three parts—the portions of Shem, Ham, and Japhet; and these again, as appears from Genesis, into seventy-two districts, occupied by the seventy-two races spoken of above. In this way Noah was the patriarchal Archierarchal Pontiff while he lived, and, under him, his three sons, as Hierarchs, one for each division. After his death, they became three Archierarchs—one, perhaps, at Oude or Babylon, for Asia; one in Egypt, for Africa; and one, probably, at Rome, or at Thebes, in Bœotia, for Europe. In later times the heathen kingdom of Saturn was divided, in like manner, into three parts—one at Antioch, for Asia; one at Alexandria, for Africa; and one at Rome, for Europe. Now insulated facts and circumstances like the Amphictyon, scraps of records like Genesis and analogy, raise a probability that this was the foundation of the universal microcosmic mythos. Perhaps a religionist will say, It was a literal truth. We will now point out what will add to the probability of its existence, whether mythos or truth. I believe the above is chiefly mythos; but I believe that an Archierarch did arise, who was what was thought to be the first incarnation, and will represent Buddha and the Pandæan kingdom; and that, under him and his successors, the world was ruled in peace, till the equinoctial sun passed into Aries—till the festivals required correcting,—till, perhaps, a great flood happened—and that, during this time, the Druidical circles were erected—the microcosmic mythos was invented or renewed and acted one, as we shall presently find. I see no impossibility in the first Archierarchy having arisen before the sun entered Aries, in what we call the æra of Buddha; and if this were the case, I see no improbability in an archierarchy having succeeded by descent from the first King-priest who lived after the deluge, and in such Archierarchy having continued during many generations. I have just intimated that Buddha would represent Noah. There are a hundred circumstances, and, if my memory do not deceive me, some authorities, in favour of Buddha being Menu; but Menu was Noah, therefore Buddha would be Noah. Here I think we have the amalgam of the systems of Genesis in the East and West—Buddha, Divine Wisdom incarnate in Noah. Menu and Buddha are but qualities, appellatives personified.
* Genesis x. 21, ought to be rendered thus : “Unto Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, and the brother of Japhet, the elder to him, were children born.” Here, as we might expect, the sacred book not only makes the ancestor of the Jews the eldest, which would give him the tithes of the whole world, but it gives him as many kingdoms in domain as the other two put together.
… I suspect that the division of the world among his three sons, by Constantine, was a compliance with the mythos of Noah and Shem, Ham, and Japhet. I believe the Pope will allow that Cæsar held both by the book and the sword. When Christ came, the Emperors only held by right of the sword. The successor of Christ, the Pope, held by right of the book. When Constantine had given Italy to the Pope, he held it by right of both the book and the sword. He was king and priest of Italy. But he held all the remainder of the world by right of the book. He was not king of it, but he had a right to tithes of it, which his ancestor, Noah, retained, when he granted the land to his three sons. As heir of the eldest son, the Pope was Lord Paramount of the soil. The kings were his vice-gerents, his feudatories, bound to do him suit and service, and to pay him the tenths. The Emperor of Germany was successor of Constantine, and claimed all his rights. And, in like manner, I have no doubt that each country was divided. …
I mentioned, near the close of the first chapter of this book, that I should explain the microcosm of the word Mercavah. Maimonides and other learned Jews say, that the Mercavah refers to the chariot of Ezekiel, chap. 1 vers. 15-21, and chap. x. 9-16; now, what is this Hebrew word which is substituted for the word used by Ezekiel 04! apn, and alleged to mean chariot ? It is ",9/ mrkb, and is said to be derived from the root ",9 rkb, or Recab, meaning to ride, and a carriage. But here is the M unaccounted for. When I recollect that all this writing is invented to record and continue, but yet to conceal, that which ought not to be written, and which was originally preserved in verses unwritten, and that the intention is to make the meaning as difficult as possible to be discovered,—when I also recollect the context of the four animals of the cardinal points, and their connexion in the text with the wheel, and what we have seen of the Om of Isaiah, of the cabalistic meaning of the monogram M and the custom of using it as a monogram, I suspect that one part of the Mercavah refers to the cycle of the Om; that by the translated term Mercavah is meant, a vehicle or conveyor of the secret of the Om, of the doctrine of the renewal of cycles, with all its various concomitant mythoses. The word Caaba was derived from the last part of the word Mercavah or Mercaba—from the noun Recab. It was the temple* of the cabalistic cycle or circle of the sun or the heavens, the temple of Recab. For this reason it had a circle of 360 stones around it, and the black stone in the inside of the circle is still adored as the emblem of the sun, the generative principle. Originally it had a dove or Iune, as an object of adoration : this is said to have been destroyed by Mohamed himself. (The temple in the sacred island of Iune or Iona of the West, was surrounded with 360 stone crosses; but, within the larger circle, it had a smaller one of 60 crosses; and close to it is the island of Linga. Here is the same mythos in the East and West. After this, if there were no other reason, we should scarcely be surprised to find Mohamedism connected with the ancient mythology and modern Christianity.) …
* A Temple was the circle or wheel of the heavens. The Caaba, with its 360 pillars around it, was the temple of Mohamed (like the temple of Solomon) or circle or wheel of Mohamed, or of Om, the desire of all nations. Mercavah or ",9/ was the ",9 rkb of Om. To have called it temple of Mercaba would have been a tautology. All the oldest temples of Zoroaster and the Indians were caves, acknowledged to be in imitation of the vault or circle or wheel of heaven. From all these considerations I am induced to believe that the word Mercavah is formed of / M, 9% er (meaning chief or arch) ", cb, cav or cavah—the chief or head circular vault of M. The idea of wheel applied to the revolving planetary bodies is peculiarly appropriate. The Cavah is the origin of our word cave.
… The Pythagoreans, as well as the Platonists, (in fact, they were the same, only successors of each other,) held the doctrine of the microcosm; but I think it was a part of their secret system. Indeed, the whole of the system which I have developed contains innumerable facts which can be accounted for only from a desire of secrecy. The theory that Man was the centre of the animal or animated mundane system, is pregnant with many curious circumstances. It seems that the race of men was like the race of animals, which was thought to descend from the Ganesa, the Elephant, the wisest of animals, to the lowest, to the point where it connected with the race of animated plants, which in like manner descended. As the highest of the race of animals descended to the lowest, and thence the highest of the race of plants, so the highest of the race of man was thought to have descended to the lowest—from the Newtons and Lockes to the idiot—or rather, I should say, from the incarnation of divine wisdom in the Supreme Pontiff, in Noah and his successors; in fact, in the Chaldæans, who inherited the supremacy of the whole world. And from this, after the theory was lost, from the effect of custom or tradition not understood, all the claims of kings by divine right have descended. From this, too, the desire of all kings to trace their pedigree up to Noah has arisen. … The subject of ancient weights and measures is a very comprehensive one. At a future day I shall probably return to it, when I may be able to ascertain whether what I suspect is really true, viz. that the old temples in China, Mexico, India, Syria, Greece, Italy, and of Stonehenge and Abury, were all built by one measure, and were intended, each in its own peculiar way, to be a microcosm of the universe.
We will now return to the Etruscan Agrimensores, from which, indeed, we have made a very long digression. All the operations of the Tuscan Augurs or Agrimensores, for they were both one, were of a religious nature. Their first unit of measure of ager, our acre, was a microcosm of a greater. It was called a temple, and every temple was a microcosm of a greater, or a wheel within a wheel, till it became a microcosm of the globe, and the temple of the globe was a microcosm of the planetary system, and that of the universe. The Cardo, the Decumanus, and every part of the duty of an Agrimensor, was religious, and intended to regulate the collection of the tithe : this arose from circumstances and was continued by policy. The word Templum or Temple is a very important word, and may serve to throw some additional light on the origin and secret meaning of the Templars and their doctrines : indeed, I think a proper understanding of it will, in a great measure, open the door of their sanctuary. When an Etruscan Augur began his divinations, he “used to rise in the stillness of midnight to determine in his mind the limits of the celestial temple.”* This temple was evidently a something in the heavens, perhaps the hemisphere, and again shews that the word templum had some meaning much more sublime than a humanly-erected building. But the celestial vault was the Templum erected by the chief mason, the Megalistor Mundorum. Here I stop. Templars are nothing but masons, and there are some of their secrets I would not divulge if I could; but perhaps I do not know them. I may be I error, but this I will say, they are so closely connected with masonry, that it is very difficult to separate them. …
* Niebuhr, Hist. Home, Col. I. p.221. Thirlwall’s Ed.
… Thus, in the very oldest monuments of the Druids, we have the circle of stones, in the number 12, the signs in the circle—signs of the zodiacal circle, with the arch of heaven for the cupola; and, in fact, the divisions of the heavens marked in a great variety of ways. …
To return from this digression. Every thing was divided into two. The heaven was divided into two hemispheres, and the globe we inhabit into the North and the South—the Dark and the Light—the Good and the Evil. Man, in like manner, was originally believed to have been formed in two parts in one body—male and female—the higher and the lower—the good and the evil. In the same way time was divided—the day and night, the winter and summer. Thus we read much in the works of the Brahmins of the day of Brahma and of the night of Brahma. All the cycles were made up of the multiplication of the five and six together—the He and the Vau—the male and the female—from whom union and conjunction all the race of man descended. …
… The Gar of Gargarus, the Giri of India, the Gaur of Choir Gaur or Stonehenge, the Cor of the Mounts of Cordi or Kardu, or Ararat, and the Cardo of Italy, are all the same word and have the same meaning. They are all central points round which circles of some kind were built or supposed to be built, (and here we have the cir of circle,) and they were also acropolises or capitoliums, and had the meaning of Cor, heart, as the centre of measurements round which the 72 and 360 districts were laid out; as our system is placed round the sun. …
The division into castes may be observed in the very early history of almost all nations. It was an effect which naturally arose from the universal Pontifical Government. The same causes every where produced the same effects. Strabo says, the Iberians were divided into four ranks.1 The old Irish were divided in a similar manner.2 As the Lucumones of the Etruscans were twelve in number, so we find, in the oldest monastery of the world, of which we have any remains, that of Iona of the Culdees, that it had twelve and their Prior, by whom they were ordained.3 In the 360 Satrapes, into which Persia was divided; in the 72 Solumi, and in the three counsellors of Darius, named in the third, fourth, and fifth chapters of the first book of Esdras, when he ordered the Temple of Jerusalem to be rebuilt, I think we may see traces of the Microcosm in Persia. … The universal mythos shews itself in a very peculiar and striking manner in the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Japan. They are all called by the same name—Jabadios. This, as I have frequently remarked, is clearly the island of the Holy Ieue. …
1 Lib. XI. Univ. Hist. Vol. IX. p.609. 2 See Anonym. Diss. on Irish Hist. pp.29-54.
3 Jameson’s Hist. Clud. Chap. III.
I think there is a great probability that there was an Archierarch and a council of twelve, and a senate of seventy-two in every country—the governors under a Pope at Oude, Agra, Mundore, Samarcand, or some other great capital. We see remnants of this system in different places. We have them in the twelve Lucumones of Italy; in the twelve heads of Tribes and in the seventy-two of the Jewish Sanhedrim, and in the seventy-two Solumi of Persia; in the twelve states of Ionia; and in the council of the Amphictyons, who were evidently a religious assembly, sent from twelve states of Greece. I suspect that the three presidents did not impart all their secrets to the Council or Chapter, or Conclave of twelve, or the chapter of twelve all their secrets to the seventy-two. These would be formed in every great natural division of the world, or in every one of the seventy-two divisions, as we have them laid down in Genesis—a grand council to superintend each division, and, under it, as many subdivisions as would be required by localities and circumstances—each having its Flamens, Lucumones, and Sanhedrim; and each having its sacred Mount or Cardo or Acropolis or Olympus or stone circle or temenoj, around which the processions, the Deisuls, the voyages of salvation, were made, and the collection of the tithes would be paid, as at Delphi and Jerusalem. All this being strictly religious, all independent of any petty disputes which might take place between emigrating tribes, it would not be affected by them in the slightest degree. Thus we find the council of the Amphictyons unaffected even by the invasion of Xerxes. This superior Sanhedrim, originally, I suspect, filled up by itself, as vacancies occurred, would leave to the respective subdivisions the management of their domestic affairs. It would seldom interfere with its civil concerns; but yet, I think, each government would be a kind of subinfeudation of the great one. Every district would have its archpriest. Of this we have remnants in abundance in our hierarchy, in our municipalities—succeeding to the Roman Municipia—in our Mayors and Corporations, which, by degrees, came to be formed; and, in the country, in our Lords of Manors, (Lords of Minerva,) originally, I have no doubt, all ecclesiastics, sacerdotes beginning to lose their sacerdotal character. In the council of Amphictyons,* at Delphi and Eleusis, we have the origin of our College of Heralds—a sacred (i.e. also secret) college, with its cerux or messenger of peace; and in the Druidical colleges—our universities—we have the places where youth were educated for the different situations of the priesthood. But I must still be understood to mean, that all these divisions went on as subordinate to the three Archierarchs—the descendants of Shem, Ham, and Japhet. I think it is probable that the first Archierarchical Government left the towns and districts appertaining to them, generally, to the management of themselves; from which the various free states of Greece and Italy arose. They were held in feudal tenure of the God Phree. Their business was to preserve the supreme power of their Pontiff, wherever he happened to reside, and to arbitrate disputes among the tribes. At this time and under these circumstances it is evident, that there could be none of the wars and national enmities, or causes of them, which at present exist. Whenever differences arose the Amphictyons would be the disinterested mediators. This we see most clearly in the Amphictyons of Greece. There would be no interest in these early Amphictyons to do injustice; their tithes would be known and certain; but it would be most evidently their interest to preserve peace, for the sake of encouraging the increase of the produce of the land, and the consequent increase of their tithes. As this system began to decay, they would begin to increase rites and ceremonies of religion to intimidate the people. Magic and juggling tricks of every kind would begin to arise. In the little republics of Greece, and in the same, or nearly the same, description of little states in Italy, we have the formation of societies for their own governance in seculiar affairs : in Greece, under the council of the Amphictyons—in Italy not so clearly marked, but probably under a Pontifex Maximus somewhere, and under the Lucumodes and Cardinales. Remains of this system shew themselves every where, when ancient history is examined to the bottom; and the consentaneousness of the remains proves, that an universal system prevailed throughout the world. The traditions of the poets, are, in fact, in their foundations, true traditions—not as we have been accustomed to consider them, merely poetical effusions, for the sake of amusing idle people. The Golden Age was o figure of speech, but a reality. … When Alexander the Great aspired to the sovereignty of the world, he applied to the Amphictyons, who acknowledged him as their Lord, or who took themselves to appoint him to the sovereignty of all Greece. This seems to be nearly among the last exertions of their supreme power. But I have little doubt it was with the understanding, that he was the new incarnation; though this might be only secretly professed by the initiated. We must never forget, that the real system was kept a secret as much as possible. Amidst all the confusion in which the history is involved, it is very clear that Philip aspired to be chief of the Grecian states, only as general or officer of the Amphictyons. … I had nearly completed this work, in which I have so frequently expressed my surprise at the unaccountable union of ignorance and knowledge among the ancients, before it occurred to me, that many facts prove that science must have been, till a very little time before Christ, entirely confined to secret societies—each philosopher keeping his science as much as possible to his followers. We must recollect that the total absence of every thing like reviews, magazines, and newspapers, must have rendered this comparatively easy. This will account for the Callidei or Chaldæans being the possessors of science, to the exclusion of others. …
* The word Amphictyon is, Am-phi-iction or Ixion.
Dancing is looked on with contempt by philosophers at this day; but I have no doubt that the dance was among the ancients really of much greater importance than has been suspected. It was generally accompanied with both music and poetry, and the original intention was to keep in recollection the sacred mythoses before the invention of writing; and surely nothing could be better contrived for this purpose. All early sacred books are poetical. For the same purpose festivals, equally accompanied with dancing and poetry set to music, and sung to the dancing, were established to keep in recollection victories or other celebrated events. When this view is taken of those apparently frivolous arts, how surprisingly are they changed ! Instead of sciences contemptible and demoralizing, as they became after the art of writing was made public, we see that, when under the supervision of the first priesthood, they were originally most important, and must have been the firmest supports to patriotism, morality, and every generous virtue. We now see why they were patronized by the Socrateses and Pythagorases of antiquity. Although I give more credit than has been given by any one in modern times to the great change which must have been effected in the world by the knowledge of the art of writing having become general, yet I suspect I do not, by any means, give credit enough to it. To the knowledge of it I attribute, in a great measure, the conversion of those original moral and delightful arts into causes of every kind of vice and impurity. With their utility they lost their innocence and simplicity. Being no longer necessary to preserve the recollection of historical events or mythoses, they were abandoned to those who practiced them without understanding their meaning—merely for their sensual gratification. All the best feelings and refined sensations gave place to the gratification of the lowest passions, and the temples became no better than taverns and brothels, the places of resort for strumpets and bacchanals. That this was their state no one can deny. … I have no doubt that writing was originally used solely for the purposes of religion, and used only in the form of poetry, for the sake of aiding the memory,—prose being comparatively a late invention. This, I think, led to the universal degradation of the human character—of the human animal. In the first place, the memory deteriorated, and, in the next place, by the abuse of allegory, the minds of the uninitiated were brought, by degrees, to the reception of the most degrading puerilities. The common people finding such stories as those of Cristna believed by their superiors, the initiated, (but which, in fact, were not believed by them,) were also induced to believe them. Thus, in time, in all countries, arose the mythology, and in a similar manner the poems came to be considered to have divine authority, and to be, as inspired writings, infallible. … How all the notes of music were made useful to record the mythos, it may be impossible now to discover; but when I recollect all the Pythagorean doctrines and praises of music, I cannot doubt that they were converted to such use, and were of the very first importance too. It seems probable that the class of persons called Rhapsodists, in Greece, were correctly the bards of Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia, and India; and the rhapsodies which they sung were the cyclic poems, or poems to celebrate the renewal of Cycles or Avatars—in songs carrying a double meaning—an exoteric and an esoteric meaning,—which was clearly the case with their tragedies.
… I believe in every country the religious system, which included in it what might properly be called also the philosophic system, was concealed or conveyed in ballads or feigned adventures of a person, from which, when historians arose, they formed their respective histories. As in each country, from the lapse of time and other circumstances, small variations in the ancient story must have arisen, so, in the respective histories, variations would take place, yet the universal mythos would still occasionally shew itself.
We have seen much respecting the contention between the advocates of the male and of the female principles of generation for superiority. Besides this, there was another source of dissension, which was the produce of it, and which was of the most refined and abstruse nature; indeed, it was so refined a nature that, whoever has endeavoured to explain it has lost himself. The doctrine has agitated the schools as well in Europe as in India, from the most remote of times. It is the abyss in which deep thinkers and learned men have generally been shipwrecked. Their lucubrations have ended in illusion. This has arisen from their attempt to grasp what is evidently out of the reach of the mind of man. In Europe we have it, in modern times, under the names of Des Cartes on one side, and of Berkeley on the other : in India it has been discussed chiefly by Vyasa; and it is called the doctrine of the Vedanta philosophy in opposition to the Nyaya philosophy. The word Vedanta is evidently a formation from the word Ved, which I have shewn to be the same as Bud, and to mean wisdom, and it has acquired this name in India, because it was principally the doctrine of the ruling power, the Brahmins. This meant the doctrine of the external existence of matter or substance (the doctrine of Des Cartes); of which the First Cause, the %* ie, the I shall be what I have been was supposed to consist—the %*%* ieie chanted by the Brahmins in the word Yeye. The word Nyaya was the opposite of this, and is a formation, almost English, consisting of the negative ny, which is the English word Nys, (used, I believe, only by Spenser,) meaning, none is. It is the negative particle and the Hebrew :* is, which jointly mean not is or not wise, and the Hebrew word %* ie, existence. The two doctrines in common terms may be defined those of Matter and Spirit—of Materialism and Immaterialism—called also Atheism and Deism.
The followers of the Nyaya were also the followers of the female, Maia—those of the Vedanta were followers of the male, Brahme. I think, in the Mahabarat war, the Buddhists were followers of the Nyaya, and the Brahmins of the Vedanta; but the two sects in later times, after the whole became merely a matter of the idle speculation of philosophers, in short a logomachy, and the meaning of mythology was lost, were completely intermixed and so confounded one with the other, that they perpetually changed sides, and the followers of the Nyaya, the spiritualists, who were formerly considered the Atheists, are now considered the only Deists; and the materialists are considered the Atheists. The two doctrines are so nearly the same in principle, that it is very difficult to distinguish one principle from the other; and, if I understood Mr. [Sir] Greaves Haughton, the learned Secretary of the Asiatic Society, on the 2d of March, 1833, they are at the bottom the same. Under these circumstances I think I shall not be thought very paradoxical in thus stating my belief, that the modern Brahmins, in their endeavours to recover the lost learning of their ancestors, have done precisely what has been done by the Jews with the Barasit and Mercavah, in their Cabala, namely, they have substituted one for the other. … The %*%* ieie I am satisfied, was understood to be a spiritual fire, an emanation from the Supreme Being, and partaking of his nature—hereby making him into a material existence. …
We will now inquire farther into the nature of the microcosm. From the To On proceeded the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer—Brahma, Vishnu, and Seva; from them proceeded 72 Angels, and from them 360 others; these were the angels seen by Jacob, and these were the 360 Æons of the Valentinians, and the 360 tutelar saints of the Romish church, one for each day of the year, and the Divi of Macrobius. The seed of every living or animate being was believed to have been formed at the first creation, or to be a part of or an emanation from the To On, to have existed from eternity, to be a perfect animal in miniature, a microcosm of every animal above it, and at last, of course, of the first Great Cause. Every seed was a microcosm, i.e. a little world—was a world in miniature. Naturalists, by means of the microscope, perceive that the seed of every animate being, like the egg of the serpent waiting in the sand for the solar ray to develop its faculties, is a being complete, and only waits for the peculiar circumstances suitable to its nature to develop itself. It is evident that without the solar heat no animate being would ever come into existence. Hence we see how the sun came to be regarded as the Creator, and why the ancients adored that luminary : and the prayer of Cyrus, though he was an Iconoclast, and of Martianus Capella, notice in Vol. I. pp. 191, 192, shew that they reconcile the adoration of the solar power under his various names with the adoration of one Supreme Being, at the head of all. I consider it quite impossible for any one to have read this work with attention, and not to have seen that an universal mythos once prevailed; but I cannot help thinking that, if it had been a system regularly made out, and previously contrived in all its parts, we should have it clearly out step by step. On this account I am induced to suspect that the mythos arose from circumstances, and was founded on, or consisted of, the microcosmic principle; and that from this, when applied to the cyclic system, which is most clearly microcosmic, the mythic histories took their rise, in all nations having a certain degree of resemblance, but in all nations, from the peculiar circumstance that the facts of real history were used to describe the mythos. Real facts could not be bent quite to fit; but they were bent to do so as nearly as possible. The bending of the real facts would be aided by the natural uncertainty of tradition, by which only they were handed down, writing being, I suppose unknown. As story or a tale of facts was to be the vehicle, such leading facts as the native tradition preserved, must, of course, be used, and would be very easily made to bend. Thus we have, as observed by Nimrod, the Exodus or going out of all nations, probably the first migration of the tribe. We have this part of the mythos clearly in North India, South India, in Syria, Babylon, Troy, Rome, and in Mexico, perhaps the most remarkable of all.* In Genesis we have the microcosm of two worlds. We have the Patriarch, that is, the head father or Pontifex maximus, and his three vicars, dividing the world into three parts; and the four in each case are microcosms of the To On, and of the Creator, Preserver, and Destroyer. In the first case, Cain was the destroyer. In the second case, Ham was the wicked one, or the destroyer, the cursed one—the father of the Canaanites or followers of the female principle—Gunh, Cune. Julius Firmicus Maternus says, “It is necessary to know, in the first place, that the God, who is the fabricator of man, produced his form, his condition, and his whole essence, in the image and similitude of the world. … And thus the Demiurgus exhibited man by the artifice of a divine fabrication, in such a way, that, in a small body, he might bestow the power and essence of all the elements, nature for this purpose bringing them together; and also, so that from the divine spirit, which descended from a celestial intellect to the support of the mortal body, he might prepare an abode for man, which, though fragile, might be similar to the world.” Again, “So that the animal which was made in imitation of the world might be governed by an essence similarly divine.” He was endowed with a portion of the first attribute of God or of the divine idea—wisdom. He had a portion of the generative power; he had a portion of immortality. Every animal, as I have already remarked, was a microcosm of man—beginning, probably, with the wise elephant, and descending to the meanest reptile. A portion of the same mind or wisdom, the same generative power, is visible in all. Every plant was a microcosm of the animal, and possessed a portion of mind. The sun-flower turns itself to the God of day; the pimpernel opens to the sun, and shuts itself to the storm. The ash-tree planted on a bank, with one root hanging down, turns it inwards to the earth. The sensitive-plant, like a youthful maiden, at first shrinks from the touch of man. Every plant has the living principle and the organs of generation; and thus every thing descends, and the whole world, and each part, is an image of God. How curiously is this connected with the first principle of the To On, or Gnosticism or Wisdom, and how beautifully does all resolve itself into one system. !
* … Lord Kingsborough’s Mex. Ant., Vol. VI. p.237; and Nimrod, Vol. II. pp. 370-373.
We may now see what Pythagoras meant when he said, that all things arose from numbers. In the first place, numbers, as we have seen, constituted the symbolic letters in which all the natural and religious learning of the ancients was contained. The learning of languages was not considered as any part of science or education with them; none being dead, all were intelligible. Grammar, with all its complicated rules, was unknown to them; but they must have had enough to do to be able to repeat the meanings attached to the numeral symbols. The second sense in which the expression of Pythagoras is explainable, is most clearly found in the microcosmic numbers, and in the doctrine of emanations and cycles; from one proceeded two, from the two proceeded three—in all five; and from these proceeded the seven planets, the constellations divided into 12, 24, 72, 300, 432, and all the immense cycles of which we have been treating, and which ultimately brought up all the aberrations of the planetary system, when every thing was reabsorbed into the Deity.
It is not to be supposed that the philosophers who taught this system expected the world to be renewed every 600 or 6000 years. These were but little cycles to enable them to keep their time and their festivals in order; they were used as religious contrivances to delude the vulgar. Very different renewals of all things were looked for by the philosophers—various floods, and, perhaps, after a year of Brahma, 4,320,000,000 of years, a restoration of a perfect globe, of the planetary system, and the universe of fixed stars to their first state. Our globe is evidently an effect, in part perfected; the effect, perhaps, of a third or fourth or fifth internal or mundane revolution. Nobody can suppose the globe will go to ruin or decay. It will most assuredly all come again to some perfect state unknown to us. It is like a butterfly; it will pass through all its stages—return to its egg—and run its course again. If the reader look back to Vol. I. pp. 166, et seq., he will find that the system of cycles which I have unfolded, is founded on two numbers, the number five and the number six; that from them arose the numbers 360 and 432, and that from theses a cycle was formed which included them both, viz. 21,600. In many places I have observed that the first year of all nations was believed to have had only 360 days. … The 12 moons of 30 days each, and the 360 days, would make an exact Soli-lunar cycle, and the account of time would be kept regularly and without difficulty. And we may readily suppose this astronomical knowledge would be acquired without any profound science or skill in observation. Now we may easily imagine that after the catastrophe of the flood, as soon as man found the system thrown into disorder, he would begin to devise means to correct the evil, and then astronomy would be improved by making cycles, as I have supposed in Vol. I., and by experiments and observations, until he brought it to the perfection at which I have shewn that it finally arrived. Then it would be that the millennium system was formed by taking the period of time between the entrance of the equinoctial sun into Taurus and his entrance into Aries, and then carrying the cycles forward, as I have there explained. This seems to me to furnish a very satisfactory reason for the operation of first taking off the sum of 2160 for the precession in one sign. The existence of the fact I have there clearly proved. … When the ancient astronomers discovered that, in consequence of the flood, the circular motions of the heavenly bodies were completed in broken periods, they probably invented the cycles out of the two systems to obviate the inconvenience which the change had brought about. And this is the reason why we have the sacred numbers sometimes from the twelves, the old system—and sometimes from the tens, the new one. And thus we have the system of the cycles of 21,600, of 43,200, of 432,000, and of 4,320,000, to unite the two systems. Sir William Drummond says,* “If the priests of Ammon were right, the antediluvians may have been so likewise, for Plutarch tells us, that according to the former the annual period has been continually decreasing.” This, in no small degree, tends to confirm my theory, that the year was lengthened by the change in the direction of the earth’s axis, and that it is gradually returning to its former natural state.
* Class. Journ. Vol. XVI. p.156.
… And when at last the universal law of change began to operate upon the system, it would produce precisely what we read of in the rhapsodies or poetical works of the bards—first a Golden age, then an age of Silver, then one of Brass, and, at last, when the system went entirely to pieces, what has been very well called an age of Iron. The more I reflect, the more I become convinced that the theory, (a theory founded on innumerable facts,) which I have laid before my reader, will rationally account for all the hitherto anomalous circumstances in which the world is placed; and, as my theory is upon the whole, or perhaps with some trifling errors, the truth, it is the only theory which will ever do it. There is no subject of which we hear more than that of the sending out of colonies, from both Italy and Greece; but they are all described to have taken place in very remote times. The actual going out, in every case, seems to have been forgotten. It is very natural that the patriarchal government should have promoted this system, to relieve the overflow of the population, which, by causing a scarcity of food, would cause vice and misery to prevail, and, with vice and misery, make the people more difficult to be governed, and thus to endanger its rule. And every new colony would add to the wealth and power of the Patriarchate. … I think this celebrated system must have arisen by degrees, and have had its origin in various causes; but, perhaps, chiefly in the natural tendency of man to monopolise and secrete knowledge. And probably the institution of an order which should continue itself by descent, may have arisen from the going to pieces of the first system. We have the remains of the first of these in the monks of Tibet and Europe, and of the second in the Brahmins of India; we have the system also, in modern times, pretty nearly portrayed in the celibate Catholic, and the marrying Protestant, clergy. …
But to return to the Pythagorean philosophy of the generation of numbers. This was the generation of cycles, ending or beginning with the To On or One : for one is but on, and increasing or decreasing, as the case might be, like the coats of an Onion* ad infinitum, either way ending in illusion; for we are incapable of forming an idea of the least atom as of the greatest substance; and the idea of number cannot be separated from or formed without matter. In no part is the system more beautiful than in the doctrine of the microcosm. We have an abundance of theories to account for the adoration of animals by the Egyptians and others, but none of them satisfactory. I believe it arose from the names of animals being unintentionally formed of the numeral symbols which also formed certain cycles, when the numerals grew into letters. Thus the numeral letters clo, which meant 600 in Chaldee, meant a cat—k final = 500, l = 30, 0 = 70 = 600. Thus a cat came to be sacred. In the same manner the Onion, on account of the similarity of its coats to the planetary spheres, was called—from being sacred to the Father of Ages—aiwnwn—onion. It was also strikingly similar to the microcosmic principle. I much suspect that most of their sacred animals were adored for similar reasons. Thus every animal, the numeral letters of whose name described at once the animal and one of the planets or sacred cycles, came to be an object of adoration, and the animal was considered sacred to the God. … I am rather inclined to think the Onion was an emblem of the recurring cycles than of the planets; but as it would evidently suit for both, it probably was used for both. … I think it seems probable that the Patriarchal government or the Archierarchy continued until after the time when the sun entered Aries at the vernal equinox, when the religious revolution took place; this was about the time when the flood happened—the axis of the earth became changed or inclined, and almost all the ancient learning of the world was lost. If this event happened about two thousand five hundred years B.C., and only very few persons escaped, in five or six hundred years, as I have already shewn, they might readily have increased to five or six millions of people; and if the knowledge of symbolic writing and arithmetic remained with the heads only of the Pontifical government in the East, we may see a very probable reason why that body of men, by means of their colonies, became the rulers of the world, even long before the period of five or six hundred years had elapsed. If the Archierarchal system was established before the flood, it was very natural that it should have been revived after it. We have this well described in the histories of Adam and Noah. … If we consider every person who was admitted to the high mysteries of the religion as, by that privilege, admitted to the sacred caste, we have no longer any occasion to seek for the reason of the great anxiety to conceal the doctrines. As these doctrines became known, the mysteries would fall off by degrees, till, in fact, there would be scarcely any left. High arithmetic, literal writing, astronomy, and other sciences, were what originally constituted the mysteries. We have almost the last examples of this exclusiveness and spirit of monopoly in the concealment of algebra in Italy. In all countries we have well-marked traditions of tribes coming from the East, and of their finding and conquering the aborigines, who were often supposed to have been indigenous, as they knew nothing of their own origin, except a few vague traditions, of which one always was, that they had escaped from or arisen after the flood. … I have said above, that I think the Western Christians descended from the Buddhists, though we very often see traits of Brahminism in the West. I suspect that all the old Druidical monuments are antediluvian. I think this would not be thought improbable if persons could be brought to consider the fact of the flood divested of the mythic absurdities and mistranslations with which it is loaded in Genesis. These absurdities I have shewn were, in all ancient books, contrive to conceal under them, and to preserve for the use of the initiated, certain great truths.
* The Onion was adored (as the black stone in Westminster Abbey is by us) by the Egyptians for this property, as a type of eternal renewal of ages, and for this reason, probably, called aiwn twn aiwnwn, as our settle is so called from the Hebrew -;: stl, and our order from the Hebrew $93 ord. The Onion is adored in India, and is forbidden to be eaten. Forster’s Sketches of Hindoos, p.35. See Vol. I. pp. 193, 338, 449.
Before I venture upon another of what will be called, by persons of little minds, my bold speculations, I must beg my reader to recollect, that when the famous ancile came from heaven, sent by Pallas to Numa, five others were immediately made by the legislator, in order that the true one might not be known. This shield was to be the protector of the eternal city. Thus there were to be five records of the mythos, at least of the cyclic mythos. In the Tamul, in which we found the Mosaic mythos, we have an account that their sacred writing had five distinct meanings. Now what has happened to the ancient mythology of the Gentiles ? Various persons have attempted its explanation, and it cannot be denied that several of them have succeeded with a considerable show of probability : for instance, one class of persons, the followers of Euhemerus, have made it into the history of men; another class, the Stoics, have explained it by allegory; by which process they have deduced from it moral truths. Now, I ask, is there not a probability that the first ancient sacred writing, before it became corrupted, might have been constructed, like the lost writing of the Tamul, to contain several meanings—so constructed for the purpose of gratifying the prevailing attachment to secrecy, so that no person might be able to say certainly what was its real meaning ? May not Genesis have been this very Tamul book ? Clemens himself has been supposed to have been initiated into the mysteries of Eleusis;1 and this being admitted, he gives us a piece of information of the greatest importance to my whole system. He says,2 that the truths taught in the mysteries had been stolen by the philosophers from Moses and the prophets.3 That is, in other words, that they were the same, at least with some part of what is contained in the doctrines of those persons or in their writings. This is a piece of extraordinary confirmatory evidence of almost my whole system. In another place, speaking of the mysteries, he says, here is an end of all instruction. We behold nature and things.4 Here is the Mercavah, which, together with the Barasit, I have little doubt contained all the mysteries—that is, the Grecian Cabala. … It may be observed, that there is scarcely a single dogma or rite of the Romish church which I have not already shewn to have been equally in use among the Gentiles; therefore, on this account, it seems to follow, that there must have been something else : and what can this have been but the secret doctrines of Wisdom and the Gnosis, which I have shewn were the secret doctrines of all nations ? … There can be little doubt that the construction given by the fathers to the words of Jesus, that the Apostles should not throw their pearls before the swine, meant, that they should not reveal the secrets of the religion. Dr. De Vallemont has proved, by authorities of the ancient fathers, the most numerous and unquestionable, that the later fathers endeavoured to make the doctrines of the Trinity, Regeneration, and the Eucharist, among others, into secrets, the most sacred, and they attempted to preserve them from the vulgar and the Gentiles with the greatest possible care. He has abundantly proved the same thing of the Gentile mysteries. The secreting of the Christian mysteries was but an attempt to restore the secrets of Paganism, which had been, by degrees, revealed by unprincipled persons, and which will always happen when society comes to that unhappy state in which an oath is no longer considered binding. The Pagan religion in the fourth century, and indeed long before, had become virtually dead; most of its mysteries had become known or were forgotten among the mass of the people; and where they yet continued and were noticed by the Christians, the latter were deluded by a story which suited their capacities well enough, that the Devil had been at work, and had copied from the Christian rites. This was, I doubt not, quite sufficient to satisfy the scruples of the few who were able to inquire or desirous of inquiring. The Christian, that is, the Popish, mysteries were in every aspect similar to the ancient Gentile. I do not believe that they varied in any important particular. … And when we reflect upon the indisputable fact, that all the doctrines of modern Rome were the same as the open or secret doctrines of ancient Rome, we shall no longer be surprised at the Popes re-enacting all their rites and ceremonies. Nor shall we be surprised at finding Crhj-ianity at Rome, at Delphi, and in Malabar. The doctrine of the Crhj was the secret doctrine of the ancients which we have known by the name of Gnosis. It had ceased to be a secret, and the doctrine of the modern Crhj was precisely the same which Clemens, Origen, &c., endeavoured, but endeavoured in vain, to restore. The secrets once divulged could never be entirely concealed again; and the increasing number of sects, and the growing use of letters, all conspired to defeat the project. From this arose the heterogeneous mass which became modern Christianity, a motley mixture—every sect wearing a dress peculiar to itself. … The more I read, think, and inquire, the more I am convinced that Popery is nothing but reformed Paganism, as Protestantism is nothing but reformed Popery, but with this marked distinction, that Protestantism cut off and abolished many important parts of Popery, while Popery retained every part of Paganism which could be considered of any consequence.
1 Euseb. Præp. Evan. L. ii. Cap. ii. p.61, … 2 Strom. V. p.650.
3 Ouveroff on Myst. of Eleusis, transl. p.44. 4 Strom. V. p.2; Ouveroff, ib. p.42.
I beg my reader to recollect what has been said respecting the symbolic language of the Chinese, and the probability, indeed I may almost say the certainty, of its having originally been formed by numerals. Numerals offer themselves so readily as the symbols, and must be so well adapted to aid the memory and to fix the meaning, that I really cannot imagine how they could be overlooked. But I have no doubt that they were, in fact, the origin or cause of the written language being discovered—the language was an effect of them. If this numeral Chinese language were the written language of the Pontiff, we see how easily he would communicate with the most distant nations, long after their spoken languages had deviated from the original, (which was not far from the sixteen-letter Hebrew,) so far as not to be intelligible to one another. The knowledge of this would be confined, necessarily, to the sacred caste. Every thing tends to shew that the original of this language ought to be placed in Chinese Tartary, which Bailly, Buffon, Linné, and indeed all the most learned philosophers, agree in selecting as the birth-place of mankind. The symbolic language of which I have been treating is nothing but the language of China. About the beginning of the French Revolution, the celebrated philosopher Bailly published the history of ancient astronomy, in which he endeavoured to prove, that the first race of men, after the flood, had been situated on the East of the Caspian Sea, and thence had extended towards the South. In his treatise on the Origin of the Sciences in Asia, he has undertake to prove, that a nation possessed of profound wisdom, of elevated genius, and of an antiquity far superior even to that of the Egyptians or Indians, soon after the flood, inhabited a country to the North of India proper, between the latitudes of forty and fifty, or about fifty degrees of north latitude, the birth-place of the book of Enoch,—a country of about the latitude of London. He proves that some of the most celebrated observations and inventions relating to astronomy, from their peculiar character, could have taken place only in those latitudes; and he maintains, the arts and improvement gradually traveled thence to the Equator. The people to whom his description is the most applicable, are those near Mount Imaus and northern Tibet, a country in which very celebrated colleges of learned men were anciently established, particularly Nagracut, Cashmere, and Bocharia. … Astronomical calculations, tradition, and the evidence of old writers, all confirm the doctrine advanced by Bailly. … From a very close attention to the nature of the ancient mythologies, all which are intimately connected with astronomy, they imagined that man had been created, and that the arts and sciences had take their rise, not far from the Arctic Circle, where the earth had first cooled—and that they had extended southwards as it became by degrees more and more cold. Many sepulchers and some surprising remains of antiquity had been found in Upper Tartary, about the neighbourhood of Selinginskoi. These were supposed to be remains of an ancient people previous to the flood. … I suspect the great mythic-cyclic-microcosmic system, of which I have treated, was the foundation of the systems of all nations; but, as time advanced, and as heresies necessarily arose, the mythos would be made to bend in every new heresy to its dogmata. Every great sect or division had its book of wisdom; and, during the continuance of the division between the great sects of the Linga and Ioni, each sect would have had that book leaning to its paramount dogma. When the union took place, this would in some measure, be corrected, but probably not entirely. When the female was the favourite, as at Athens, we should find a leaning, even after the union, to the Minerva or Ceres; where the male, as in Jerusalem, the leaning would be to the Jupiter or Iao. The system of Cycles, an effect arising out of almost the first and most pressing wants of man, was in itself of a nature peculiarly proper to perpetuate this mythic system, and may be considered as the great cause which prevented, for a certain time, the divergence of the system, and of its present actual dispersion and disappearance. It lasted one period of ten ages, or 6000 years; it is now nearly dissipated and gone. It arose out of the wants of man; it was continued by those wants : it aided greatly in supplying or remedying those wants. Those wants being now supplied by the diffusion of great scientific knowledge, the system is gradually yielding to the law of change, of eternal regeneration—and to the law which forbids man to look too far either behind or before him. It is almost lost and forgotten. But a few ruins of the building—once beautiful—lie scattered around us. We have them distorted and corrupted in Papism, Grecism, in Sopheism, in Sonnneism, in Lutheranism, and in Calvinism. What will come next no one can tell; but, perhaps, Solomon was right, that there was nothing new under the sun. Perhaps man in near his end. What has happened before may happen again. The mastodon is dead. Perhaps the comet of 1680 may come again : the tops of mountains may be the bottom of the seas; and, in a thousand years more, philosophers, in some shape or other, may speculate respecting the properties of that extinct animal, the remains of which they will find, and which we call man ! In the doctrine of Pantheism the To On was every thing, and every thing the To On. In its monad, in its least of all possible quantities as well as in its circle, whose centre is every where, whose circumference is no where, all was To On : but what is this but illusion ?
END OF VOLUME II