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Title: Evolution and creation
Author: Hardwicke, Herbert Junius
Language: English
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                        EVOLUTION AND CREATION.



[Illustration: CHIMPANZEES (Troglodytes).]


[Illustration: GORILLAS (Troglodytes).]



                        EVOLUTION AND CREATION:

                                  BY

                    HERBERT JUNIUS HARDWICKE, M.D.,

        FELLOW OF THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF SURGEONS, AND MEMBER OF
      THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS OF EDINBURGH; FELLOW OF THE
    LONDON MEDICAL SOCIETY; HONORARY FELLOW OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL
SOCIETY OF LIVERPOOL, THE SOCIETY OF MEDICINE OF ATHENS, AND THE SOCIETIES
 OF DOSIM. MEDICINE OF PARIS AND MADRID; VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE MEDICAL
   BRANCH OF THE MALTHUSIAN LEAGUE; LATE EDITOR OF “THE SPECIALIST.”
    HON. PHYSICIAN TO SHEFFIELD PUBLIC HOSPITAL FOR SKIN DISEASES,
     AND TO SHEFFIELD AND SOUTH YORKSHIRE EAR AND THROAT HOSPITAL;
 HON. CONSULTING PHYSICIAN TO LEEDS PUBLIC HOSPITAL FOR SKIN DISEASES;
             AUTHOR OF “THE POPULAR FAITH UNVEILED,” ETC.

  [Illustration: Decoration]

    “‘Learn what is true in order to do what is right’ is the summing
  up of the whole duty of man for all who are unable to satisfy their
  mental hunger with the east wind of authority.”—Huxley.

  [Illustration: Decoration]

                       PUBLISHED BY THE AUTHOR.

                                 1887.



PREFACE.


Many imperfections, as I anticipated, have been discovered in my
“Popular Faith Unveiled,” some of importance and others of little
consequence; and many suggestions have been offered in all kindness by
those who have done me the honour of reading my work, for consideration
in case I should issue another edition. The strongest of all the
arguments urged in favour of the real necessity for a second and
revised edition is that that part of the subject treated upon which
related more particularly to the true origin of man was not dealt
with in a sufficiently exhaustive manner in the last work. This, of
course, is a true charge: but it should be borne in mind that the
main object of the book was to expose the real nature of the popular
superstition, and not to trace out the pedigree of man; and, moreover,
to have entered fully into such subjects as the evolution of mind and
matter would have considerably augmented the bulk of the work, and
consequently have necessitated such an increase in the price as to have
made it prohibitory to a large number of thinkers, who have not too
much spare cash to throw away. I therefore determined not to re-issue
the work in an amplified form, but to supplement it with a number of
published lectures (delivered here and in various other large towns)
and articles, which should be ultimately brought out as an illustrated
volume.

These lectures, etc., some of which are re-prints from journals and
some of which I have myself printed in my leisure moments, I now
offer to the public in book form, together with a number of figures,
maps, etc., illustrative of the subjects treated upon. “Man—Whence
and Whither” and “Evolution of the God-idea” are re-printed from
_The Agnostic_; “Man’s Antiquity,” “Evolution of Mind,” “Zodiacal
Mythology,” “Intellectual Progress in Europe” and “The Annals of
Tacitus” from the _Secular Review_; and “The Special Senses” and “The
Bible” from _The Agnostic Annual_: the remainder of the text, as before
stated, has been printed by myself.

I must acknowledge with gratitude my indebtedness to Mr. John Bennett,
of Prince’s Buildings, Dronfield, who has been kind enough to assist
me by drawing the zodiacal signs, the Bacchanalian insignia, the
oriental and Egyptian zodiacs, Amen-Ra, Mafuca, Aidanill and the negro
head, the two hands, the Fuegans, the Australian (2), African and
European skulls, and Boötes, Virgo, Cetus, Aquarius and Sagittarius;
and also to Mr. Wm. Gill Hall, of 66 Cecil Road, Sheffield, who has
kindly drawn for me the single chimpanzee, the orang, the lemur, the
face of the proboscis monkey, the moor monkey, the hairy couple from
Burmah, the genealogy of man, the earth’s section, and the ascent of
mind. The remainder of the illustrations, with the exception of the
two zincographs of the gorillas and chimpanzees (the frontispiece),
have been drawn by myself; and I must trust to the generosity of my
readers to overlook the amateur style of my productions, which, it is
hoped, will be found sufficiently well done to serve the purpose for
which they are intended. However amateur the illustrations may be in
appearance, this I can truthfully say, that every sketch in the book
is a faithful reproduction of the original. Some of the illustrations,
however, have been derived from such gross originals that it has not
been considered advisable, for many reasons, to reproduce the figures
in their entirety; but wherever part of a figure has been modified by
the substitution of a symbolical or other device the fact has been
notified to the reader at the foot of the illustration.

In the course of the following lectures the opportunity has been seized
to rectify some of the mistakes inadvertently committed in my “Popular
Faith Unveiled;” but there are two errors in printing that have not yet
been set right, and to which, therefore, I should now like to call
attention. The first occurs on page 102, lines 9 & 10 from the bottom,
where אלהי—_A.L.E.I._ should have been written אליה—_A.L.Y (or.I.)E.
(El Yah), or_ אלוה—_A.L.OU.E. (Eloh)_, etc. The next occurs on page
109, line 6 from bottom, where _millions_ should read _thousands_.

I have only now to frankly admit that during the last few years my
views as regards the theories of ultimate causation and the future
state have undergone some modification; that consequently I now regard
the line of argument adopted in support of the theory of a future state
of consciousness on pages 5 & 6 of my above named work as a false one
and the conclusions arrived at as consequently false also; and that
respecting the existence of a ruling power in the universe, I neither
affirm nor deny such a condition, being contented with the knowledge
that I neither know nor apparently can ever know anything at all about
the matter, and recognizing, with Moleschott, the incontrovertible
truth that “there is nothing in our intellect which has not entered by
the gate of the senses.”

  H. J. H.

  Purton Lodge, Sheffield.
  January 1887.



CONTENTS.


  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

  EXPLANATORY NOTES.

  ERRATA.

  MAN—WHENCE AND WHITHER?—Nebular Hypothesis—Formation of Earth’s
  crust—Fossil remains in stratified rocks—Pedigree of Man—Pleistocene
  and Neolithic Ages—Spontaneous evolution of life—Theories of existence
  and ultimate causation—Man’s future state.

  MAN’S ANTIQUITY.—Cave explorations—British and continental
  discoveries—Glacial periods—Tertiary upheaval and submergence in
  Europe—Tertiary fauna and flora—Pleistocene ice age—Palæolithic
  age—Tropical origin of Man—Neolithic age—Shell-mounds and remains of
  lake-dwellings—Bronze and Iron ages—Aryan invasion of Europe—Historic
  era.

  EVOLUTION OF MIND.—Universal life or motion—Protoplasmic life—Cell
  life—Origin of organs of sense—Embryonic development—Dawn of
  infantile intellect—Intellectual and emotional evolution in the
  individual—Corresponding development in the race—Animals reflective
  and emotional—Language in man and animals.

  THE SPECIAL SENSES.—Evolution of.

  EVOLUTION OF THE GOD IDEA.—Dawn of intellect—Earliest conception
  of Deity—Sun worship—First human tribes—Aryan mythology—Vedic
  system—Brahmanism—Hindu virgin and child-saviour—Boodhism—Western
  Aryan mythology—Zeus, Apollo, Prometheus, Hercules, Dionysos, &
  Yao—Central Aryan mythology—Mazdeism—Mithra—Egyptian mythology—Osiris,
  Isis & Horus—Amen-Ra, Mises—Chinese mythology—Semitic
  mythology—Akkadian and Chaldean myths—Adonis, El, Yahouh—Jewish
  origin—Bible gods—Confucianism—Mohammedanism—Christianism.

  ZODIACAL MYTHOLOGY.—Ancient and modern zodiacs—Precession of
  equinoxes—Deification of zodiacal signs and other celestial
  bodies—Savior-sun-god dramas—Sacred numbers & symbols—Ancient and
  modern phallic worship—Dionysia, Adonia & Agapæ.

  INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS IN EUROPE.—Egypto-Greek or classic
  era—Alexander the Great—The Alexandrian Ptolemies—Essenian
  revivalism—Destruction of the Serapion—Murder of Hypatia—Christian
  annihilation of science—Birth of Mohammed—The Koran—Saracen
  learning—Tenth century scare—Crusades—Averroism—Annihilation of
  Saracen power—Establishment of Inquisition—Discovery of America—Martin
  Luther—The Reformation—Copernicus—Revival of Arianism—Murder of
  Servetus—Index Expurgatorius—First newspaper—Murder of Bruno—Kepler’s
  laws—Galileo—Newton’s theory of gravitation—Discovery of Oxygen—First
  locomotive engine and screw steamer—Telegraphy—Christian Church
  opposed to progress.

  THE BIBLE—Origin of Authorised Version—List of Bible books—Description
  of MSS—Ancient Hebrew language—Invention of vowel-points—Dates of
  earliest Hebrew and Greek MSS.

  ANNALS OF TACITUS.—Abelard—Arnold of Brescia—Wicliffe’s heresy and
  trials—Papal schism—Jerome of Prague—John Huss—Triple Popedom—Council
  of Constance—Search for old MSS—Boggio Bracciolini, Niccolo Niccoli
  & Lamberteschi—The forgery—Extracts from letters—Discovery of “The
  Annals.”

  CREATION AND FALL.—Faith and reason—Mosaic narratives—Creation
  opposed to science—Genesis absurd and immoral—Authorship of
  Pentateuch—Christianity a failure—The real trinity—Religious
  hypocrites—Morality not Christianity.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


  _Frontispiece_—Chimpanzees and gorillas.

  Lemur and face of Proboscis Monkey (after Mivart).

  Moor Monkey (after Mivart).

  Chimpanzee (after Mivart).

  Adult male Orang (after Mivart).

  Mafuca and Aidanill (after Mivart), and Swaheli Negro (after Tylor).

  Hands of Gorilla and Hammegh man (after Hartmann).

  Natives of Tierra del Fuego.

  The hairy family of Burmah.


  _Man—Whence and Whither?_

  Genealogy of Man.

  Section of Earth’s crust.

  Tertiary period in Europe.

  Eocene seas.

  Pleiocene seas.

  Pleistocene submergence during temperate inter-glacial epoch.

  Pleistocene Europe during post-glacial continental condition.

  Skeleton of man.

  Skeletons of gorilla and chimpanzee.

  Outlines of the skulls of a chimpanzee, the Neanderthal man and a
  modern European.

  Outlines of the skulls of the Neanderthal man, a modern Australian
  and the Engis man.

  Australian, African and European skulls (after Tylor and Hartmann).


  _Man’s Antiquity._

  Evolution of mind in man.

  Amœba and Gasteropoda.


  _Evolution of Mind._


  _The Special Senses._

  Androgynous Brahm.

  Isis, Horus and fish.

  Indranee and Indra; and Lakshmi and Vishnu.

  Devaki and Kristna: and Parvati and Siva.

  Amen-Ra (after Drummond).

  Crucifixion of Kristna; Crux Ansata; Assyrian virgin Ishtar; Cyprian
  virgin and child; Isis and Horus.


  _Evolution of the God Idea._

  Zodiacal Signs, showing the precession of the equinoxes.

  Bacchanalian insignia.

  Oriental Zodiac (after Sir Wm. Jones).

  Egyptian Zodiac (after Sir Wm. Drummond).

  Northern signs and extra-zodiacal constellations.

  Southern signs and extra-zodiacal constellations.

  Zodiacal line, or Ecliptic, showing the precession of the equinoxes.

  Boötes, Adam, Joseph—Virgo, Eve, Mary—Cetus, Blasphemy.

  Aquarius, John Baptist, Peter—Sagittarius, Joseph, Philip.

  God incarnate with man.

  Phallic amulet and phallic lamp.

  Votive offerings to god Priapus.

  Phallic crux ansata and amulet.


  _Zodiacal Mythology._

  Vedic and Hindu Earths.

  Greek Earth, and Pomponius Mela’s cosmography.

  Eighth and tenth century maps.

  Fourteenth century maps.

  Egyptian and Ptolemaic planetary system.

  Planetary systems of Tycho Brahe and Copernicus.

  The Iron Virgin—inside view.

  Ditto—outside view.


  _Intellectual Progress in Europe._

  Sixth century MS. of Luke xx. 9, 10.

  Fragmentary MS. from John’s gospel.


  _The Bible._



EXPLANATORY NOTES.


The illustration of Brahm, the androgynous creator of the Hindus,
“is a copy of an original drawing made by a learned Hindu pundit for
Wm. Simpson, Esq., of London, whilst he was in India studying its
mythology. It represents Brahm supreme, who in the act of creation made
himself double, _i.e._, male and female. In the original the central
part of the figure is occupied by the triad and the unit, but far too
grossly shown for reproduction here. They are replaced by the _Crux
Ansata_ [a cross and circle representing the male and female elements
in nature]. The reader will notice the triad and the serpent in the
male hand, whilst in the female is to be seen a germinating seed,
indicative of the relative duties of father and mother. The whole
stands upon a lotus, the symbol of androgyneity. The technical word for
this incarnation is _Arddha Nari_.” (Inman’s “Ancient Faiths.”)

The illustration of the god Siva, nursed by his virgin-wife-mother,
Parvati, requires some explanation. The right hand of the virgin makes
the symbol of the yoni (female principle) with the forefinger and
thumb, the rest of the fingers typifying the triad. In the palm and on
the navel is a lozenge, emblematic of woman. In the infant’s hand is
one of the many emblems of the linga (male principle), whilst under his
feet a lotus supports his body. The monkey is emblematic of the carnal
desire. The relationship existing between the mother and child was of a
twofold nature. The deities of the ancients were usually androgynous,
and thus each of the members of the Hindu triad possessed two parts, a
male half and a female half, which he inherited from his androgynous
parent Brahm, whose female principle brought forth the three essences,
Brahma, Vishnu and Siva. Thus each god became the husband as well as
the son of the divine female principle, just as _Virgo_ of the zodiac
was both mother and wife of the sun-god of the annual revolution,
mother at his birth at the winter solstice and wife at his ascension
at the summer solstice. The female part or wife-mother of Siva was the
virgin goddess Parvati; of Vishnu, Lakshmi; of Krishna, Devaki; of
Indra, Indranee; of Horus, Isis; etc.

The illustration of the amulet of the double _Crux Ansata_, represents
the female principle at the top in the shape of a ring (which has the
same meaning as the winged disc, cup, and shell, or _Concha Veneris_);
the male principle in full vigour on the right side in the shape of a
cross (male organ of generation in the original); the unprolific male
principle of infancy on the underneath side, also in the shape of a
cross (infantine male organ in the original); and the act of generation
on the left side, in the shape of a clenched hand, with the thumb bent
across the back of the first finger.

The illustration of god incarnate with man represents the saviour of
the world—ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥSÔTÊR KOSMOU—as a cross, or phallic symbol (an
erect male organ in the original), which forms the beak on the head
of a cock, the symbol of the rising sun, the whole resting on the
shoulders of a man, symbolical of the incarnation of god and man.

The illustration of the amulet in Mr. Townley’s museum represents the
female principle at the top, in the form of a circle, under which
is the victorious sun-god of the vernal equinox, in the shape of a
bull’s head with a cross or phallic symbol (erect male organ in the
original) on either side of the mouth, the whole being emblematic of
the sexual union of the powers of heaven and earth, and the consequent
regeneration of nature at the spring equinox.

Mafuca, whose portrait is given in the following pages, was a female
ape from the Loango coast, placed in the Dresden Zoological Gardens.
Hartmann, in his “Anthropoid Apes,” describes her as being “120 cm.
in height, reminding us in many respects of the gorilla. The face was
prognathous; the ears were comparatively small, placed high on the
skull, and projecting outwards; the supra-orbital arch was strongly
developed; the end of the nose was broad; and there were rolls of fat
on the cheeks.” K. Th. von Siebold also classed her as a gorilla; but
Bolau and A. B. Meyer opposed this view; while Bischoff, judging by the
structure of the brain, thought she was a chimpanzee. Now it is pretty
generally believed that she was either a cross between the gorilla and
the chimpanzee, or else a member of a distinct species of anthropoids
intermediate between the gorilla and the chimpanzee. In Hartmann’s
account of Mafuca we read that she was “a remarkable creature, not
only in her external habits, but in her disposition.... She hardly
obeyed anyone except Schöpf, the director of the gardens, and when
in a good humour she would sit on his knee and put her muscular arms
round his neck with a caressing gesture.... Mafuca was able to use a
spoon, although somewhat awkwardly; and she could pour from larger
vessels into smaller ones without spilling the liquor. She took tea
and cocoa in the morning and evening, and a mixed diet between whiles,
such as fruit, sweetmeats, red wine and water, and sugar.... If she
was left alone for any time she tried to open the lock of her cage
without having the key, and she once succeeded in doing so. On that
occasion she stole the key, which was hanging on the wall, hid it in
her axilla [arm-pit], and crept quietly back to her cage. With the key
she easily opened the lock; and she also knew how to use a gimlet. She
would draw off the keeper’s boots, scramble up to some place out of
reach with them, and throw them at his head when asked for them. She
could wring out wet cloths, and blow her nose with a handkerchief.
When her illness began, she became apathetic, and looked about with a
vacant, unobservant stare. Just before her death, from consumption, she
put her arms round Schöpf’s neck when he came to visit her, looked at
him placidly, kissed him three times, stretched out her hand to him,
and died.” It may be added to this that Mafuca exhibited the greatest
decorum and modesty in the performance of all her daily and other
natural functions.

Aidanill, the hairless Australian, is a good specimen of a low type of
human being; having a superciliary prominence greater than is usually
found amongst races of men, with a remarkably small cranial capacity
and almost entire absence of frontal development. The skull, in fact,
differs but little from that of Mafuca, given beneath it; and its owner
belonged to those races described on p. 14 of “Evolution of Mind.”

The Swaheli Negro is a good specimen of the dolichocephalic prognathous
type of head, considerably higher in intellectual capacity than that of
Aidanill.

The hands are intended to illustrate the close resemblance between
the hand of a gorilla and that of a man belonging to the Hammeghs
of the Nubian Soudan. It will be observed that while the fingers of
the gorilla are webbed, the second and third fingers of the man are
slightly webbed and his thumb and first finger very considerably
webbed.



ERRATA.


MAN—WHENCE AND WHITHER?—Page 12, line 11 from top, for “Palæolithic”
read “Pleistocene;” and line 12 from top, for “on the earth” read “in
Europe, for the human remains found in France clearly testify to the
fact; and even in America his antiquity must be very great indeed,” etc.

EVOLUTION OF MIND—Page 1, line 6 from top, for “Protamnia” read
“Protista.”

EVOLUTION OF THE GOD IDEA—Page 25, line 17 from top, for Σευς read Ζευς.

INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS IN EUROPE—Page 17, line 9 from top and line 7
from bottom for “Purgatorious” read “Expurgatorious.”

ANNALS OF TACITUS—Page 15, line 13 from top, for “that religion” read
“that the religion.”

CREATION AND FALL—Page 6, last line, and page 7, last line but one, for
“mammals” read “placental mammals.”


[Illustration: _LEMUR_—_Half Ape_—(_After Mivart_)]

[Illustration: _FACE OF PROBOSCIS MONKEY_ (_After Mivart_)]


[Illustration: _THE MOOR MONKEY_ (_After Mivart_)]


[Illustration: _CHIMPANZEE_ (_Troglodytes_) (_After Mivart_)]


[Illustration: _ADULT MALE ORANG_ (_After Mivart_)]


[Illustration: SWAHELI NEGRO (_After Tyler_)]

[Illustration: AIDANILL. HAIRLESS AUSTRALIAN. (_After Hartmann_)]

[Illustration: MAFUCA
_The Anthropoid Ape at Dresden_ (_After Hartmann_)]


[Illustration: _Hand of a very aged male gorilla._ (_After Hartmann_)]

[Illustration: _Hand of a Hammegh man from Roseres, Blue Nile._ (_After
Hartmann_)]


[Illustration: NATIVES OF TIERRA DEL FUEGO.]


[Illustration:
   _Moung-Phoset The Son_
   _Mahphoon The Mother_
 _THE HAIRY FAMILY OF BURMAH_
 _Exhibited at the Piccadilly Hall London in 1886_]



MAN: WHENCE AND WHITHER?


The fables of the creation of nature and man by various fantastic and
ridiculous means, which have, for thousands of years, found favour with
the unthinking multitudes inhabiting the earth, and which even now
are, one or other, firmly believed by the large majority of both the
Eastern and Western populations, must, ere long, gradually give way to
the truer and grander theory of Evolution, resulting from the study
of the natural sciences. Priests, monks, and other interested people,
backed up by the enormous wealth which has accumulated to the various
religious creeds during the past centuries of darkness, ignorance, and
gross credulity, will, no doubt, oppose all their tremendous forces
against the new philosophy, thus, for a while, delaying the inevitable
result. But this condition of things cannot last long. Education is
doing, and will continue to do, its work, until, at length, falsehood
and slavery will give place to truth and liberty.

In order to discover the origin of man, it is necessary to carry the
mind back to a very remote period, and observe the mode of development
of our planetary system; for, according to the theory of Evolution,
there were no starting points for particular forms in nature, the whole
universe consisting of one continuous unfolding of phenomena.

The modern theory of the mode of development of our earth, as also
of all other planets and suns, is the one known as the “Nebular
Hypothesis,” which is the prelude to the great theory of Evolution, and
which teaches us that the earth, the sun, the moon, the planets, and
all the heavenly host are the effects or results of the condensation of
a nebulous vapour, which took place many millions of years ago, after
having been diffused for an incalculable period of time throughout
the illimitable expanse of space. The cause of this nebulous vapour,
or attenuated matter, is unknown to us, and will probably ever remain
enshrouded in the profound mystery which at present envelopes it.
Beyond this limit all is mere speculation or hypothesis; and the
Agnostic philosopher and the man of science, humbly acknowledging
their complete inability to solve this mighty problem of ultimate
causation, are content to leave further speculation in this direction
to metaphysicians and poets.

During many long ages this process of condensation of the nebulous
vapour steadily continued, being controlled by the laws of gravitation
and transformation, until, at length, a number of rotating spherical
nebular masses were formed, in a state of high heat from the shock
of their recently-united atoms, which spheres gradually cooled by
radiation, consequently contracting and becoming possessed of a more
rapid rotary motion, giving off from their equatorial regions large
rings of vapour, which, in their turn, condensed and, under the
influence of the same two laws, formed separate spheres for themselves.
This is the mode by which our planetary system was formed, as taught by
Laplace and accepted by the scientists of to-day.

The earth, then, in common with other planets, may be said to have
passed from the condition of a gaseous to a highly-heated fluid mass,
and to have gradually become plastic, and moulded by revolution on its
own axis to its present shape—_i.e._, an oblate spheroid, or globe,
flatter at the poles than at the equator, with a polar diameter about
twenty-six miles shorter than the equatorial diameter. This is the
shape that all plastic bodies which rotate on their axes must assume,
as we are clearly taught by mathematics.

Assuming, then, that the earth was in a state of incandescence when it
began to take a definite form, we shall at once see that the denser
materials composing it would gravitate towards the centre, forming
a semi-plastic mass surrounded by an envelope of gases and watery
vapour. The gases would be quickly disposed of in various chemical
combinations, and the watery vapour would be condensed and deposited in
depressions on the surface of the central mass as soon as it had become
cooled sufficiently. The outer crust of this central, semi-solid mass
was soon converted, under the intense heat, into a hard, granite-like
rock, which was continually subject to sudden upheavals, resulting
partly from the violent escape of gases, and partly from water passing
through fissures on the surface to the heated interior and giving rise
to steam of great expansive power. In this manner great inequalities
of the surface were, no doubt, produced, whose rugged edges, after
the lapse of a vast period of time, were gradually softened down by
the subsequent action upon them of air and water. This first rock
formation is termed by geologists the Plutonic (from Pluto, monarch of
hell), on account of its being the result of intense heat, and not,
as is the case with all other rock formations, laid down in layers by
water. Whether the Plutonic rock forms a solid centre to our earth is
matter of uncertainty; but all are agreed that the internal heat of
our planet, whether caused by the friction of the particles of a solid
substance or by a molten fluid, is still, even in these later times,
intense. In boring through the earth’s crust, the average increase in
temperature for every fifty feet of descent, after the first hundred
feet from the surface, is one degree Fahr., which would give us, at a
depth of 125 miles, sufficient heat to melt most of the rocks. This
intense internal heat has generated, in times long gone by, enormous
forces, by which rocks of all ages have been raised and depressed,
twisted and distorted, broken and forced out of position, and forcibly
compressed, so as to eventually cause most important changes of surface
level.

The next class of rock-formation is totally different from the
Plutonic, or unstratified series, in that it is the result of the
wear and tear of the surface when acted upon by air and water, and is
laid down, in the first instance, by water, as sediment. Water, in
the forms of seas, rivers, rain, and ice, has been the chief agent
in the arrangement of all the stratified rocks, the determination
of the earth’s contour, the direction of valleys, and, in fact, the
regulation of the whole physical geography of the visible portion of
the earth. With the help of this mighty agent, so soon as the earth
had become sufficiently cool to permit condensation to take place in
its vapoury envelope, the ceaseless wear and tear of the Plutonic—and,
subsequently, of all other—rocks, which has accumulated so vast a
mass of material, commenced. Large volumes of water were gradually
deposited, without intermission, until permanent seas and rivers had
become established, and the new process of stratification, which was
henceforth destined to shape the crust of the earth and to provide the
conditions of life, commenced to operate. This action is taking place
daily in rivers and seas, as we may observe at any time. On the tops
of mountains the same action is in operation, though under different
conditions, snow and ice splitting fragments from the rocks to be borne
away as grit into the valleys by impetuous torrents and deposited
in other places. Within the Polar circles ice on a grander scale is
levelling down the land; glaciers, covering thousands of square miles,
are slowly sliding down the valleys, grinding their surfaces still
deeper—forming sands, clays, and gravels, and forcing these down to the
sea-shore; and icebergs, many miles in circumference, are carried by
currents along coasts and against cliffs like huge ploughs, completely
altering the face of the rocks beneath. This wear and tear results in
the formation of immense quantities of detritus, which is deposited in
layers at the bottom of seas and rivers, and consolidated by pressure,
being frequently assisted by lime, iron, or silica as a cement. The
coarser-textured rock has been laid down in rapidly-moving, shallow
water; and the finer-textured in still, deep water. Thus, through many
long ages—probably millions of years—the surface of the earth underwent
continual change from the constant deposition of stratified rock, each
layer of which completely buried beneath it the various life forms
of the previous period, which circumstance enables us to ascribe to
the various members of the animal and vegetable kingdoms particular
geological periods; for fossilised remains of animals and vegetables
have been unearthed in the different layers of the stratified rocks,
conclusively proving their existence on the earth at those periods.

In the Plutonic or unstratified rock-formation period there was,
of course, no life upon the earth, the conditions necessary for
such development not being present; but in the very earliest of the
stratified formations we find evidence of the dawn of marine life,
both vegetable and animal. Geologists have divided the stratified rock
into three chief divisions, the Palæozoic (ancient life), or Primary;
the Mesozoic (middle life), or Secondary; and the Kainozoic (latest
life), or Tertiary. Each of these, again, has been subdivided into
smaller sections, according to the particular kind of deposit met with,
the particular places where the best examples are to be found, or the
particular life-forms existing. The Primary, the depth of which is
unknown, is subdivided into seven periods—viz.:—

Laurentian, consisting of highly metamorphosed (that is, changed in
appearance from the original stratified rock character, owing to its
proximity to the molten Plutonic rock) limestone, containing fossil
remains of the Foraminifera, some of the first living organisms.

Huronian, consisting of less highly metamorphosed sandstone, limestone,
etc., and containing fossil remains of lowly-organised molluscs
(soft-bodied organisms).

Cambrian, consisting of slates, sandstones, and conglomerates,
and containing fossil remains of sponges, sea-weeds, star-fishes,
sea-lilies, lowly shell-fish, marine worms, and the first land plants.

Silurian, consisting of slates, limestones, etc., and containing fossil
remains of corals, chambered spiral shell-fish, crabs, sea-worms, and
bony plates and scales of a low form of fish.

Devonian, consisting of old red sandstone, shales, and coralline
limestone, and containing fossil land plants, fishes, belonging to
shark, ray, and sturgeon families, and first fossil insect.

Carboniferous, consisting of mountain limestone, coal, sandstone,
ironstone, clays, etc., and containing fossil scorpions, beetles, and
amphibians.

Permian, consisting of new red sandstone, marls, magnesian limestones,
etc., and containing fossils of true reptiles.

The Secondary division is subdivided into three periods, viz.:—

Triassic, consisting of sandstone, limestone, and clays, and containing
fossils of gigantic reptiles and first mammals (small marsupials).

Jurassic, or Oölitic, consisting of limestones, coral rags, clays, and
marls, and containing fossils of bird-reptiles and several species of
marsupials.

Cretaceous, consisting of clays, sands, soft limestone, and lignites,
and containing fossils of new bird-reptiles.

The Tertiary division is subdivided into four periods—viz.:—

Eocene (dawn of recent life), consisting of sandstone, limestone,
sands, clays, marls, coral rags, and lignites, and containing fossil
equine forms, birds, reptiles, bats, and marsupials.

Meiocene (less recent life), consisting of arctic coal, limestone,
sands, clays, and lignites, and containing fossil apes and marsupials.

Pleiocene (more recent life), the white and red crags of Britain,
containing fossil apes, bears, and hyenas.

Pleistocene (most recent life), consisting of glacial accumulations of
all kinds of earths, and containing fossil remains of apes and men,
and implements of stone, bone, and horn, and later still of remains of
lake-dwellings, shell-mounds, etc.

These different layers of stratified rocks have not always kept
their proper positions with regard to each other in the order they
were originally laid down; but, owing to volcanic eruption, have
frequently intruded upon each other, so that, at first sight, it would
sometimes appear as though the regular order of deposition had not
been adhered to; but that this is not so has been made apparent by
careful investigation over large areas. The depth of the Secondary and
Tertiary is from twenty to twenty-five miles. We see, therefore, that
the first life-forms made their appearance as marine organisms in the
Laurentian, or first stratified rock period; but whether the animal
or the vegetable form first appeared, or whether both were developed
from one primordial organism, it is impossible at present to say. In
each successive layer of rock we meet with fossil remains of animal
and vegetable life, which steadily develop into more highly organised
forms, through the different periods, until, at last, they assume the
exquisite phases we now behold around us. The vegetable kingdom was the
first to exist upon the land, the first land-plant being found in the
fossil state in the Cambrian layer, at the same time that marine animal
life was assuming the forms of worms, shell-fish, and star-fishes. In
the Silurian period the first vertebrate animals made their appearance
in the form of lowly-organised fishes, from which, in the Carboniferous
age, developed amphibious creatures, the first breathing animals,
living both in and out of water, and the progenitors of the large
kingdom of land animals, including man.

Now, if we take the pedigree of man, as arranged by Darwin and Haeckel,
and compare it with this geological tree, we shall see how perfectly
the sister sciences of Paleontology and Biology corroborate each other.
The first form of life, says Haeckel, was the Moneron, a structureless
albuminous atom of bioplasm, not even possessing the structure of
a mere cell. We place this, which belongs to the primitive order
Protozoa, in the Laurentian period, where we are told by geologists
that fossil foraminifera have been found. This promordial organism
gradually developed into single nucleated cells, called Amœbæ, and
these again into masses of nucleated cells, called Synamœbæ. These
simple and multiple cell organisms we place in the next period,
Huronian, in the strata of which geologists tell us have been found
fossil remains of lowly organised molluscs, or soft-bodied animals.
Ciliata are the next forms of life, which consist of Synamœbæ, covered
with vibratile cilia. These gradually developed a mouth, becoming
Gastrœada, and afterwards Turbellaria, a low form of worm (Vermes),
with a mouth and alimentary canal; and are placed in the Cambrian
period, in which stratum have been found remains of this kind of life.
The ascent continues through the transition stage of Scolecida to
Himatega, or sack-worms, with their rudimentary spinal cords; from
which gradually evolved Acrania, or the first vertebrate animals,
without skulls, brains, central heart, jaws, or limbs; but with a true
vertebral cord. This peculiar little animal was a lancet-shaped marine
worm, akin to the lancelet or amphioxus of to-day. From these developed
Monorrhini, or vertebrate hybrid worms and fishes, with skull, brain,
and central heart, but no sympathetic system, jaws, or limbs, and with
a single nasal cavity (lampreys). These three forms are placed in the
Silurian period, in which stratum have been found fossilised bony
plates and scales of fishes and Annelides, or sea-worms.

The next forms of life to be developed, from the Monorrhini, were the
Selachii (Amphirrhini), or true fishes, of the shark family, with two
nasal cavities, swim-bladder, two pairs of fins, and jaws. From these
evolved the Ganoidei, and thence all osseous fishes; and Dipnoi (mud
fish), or hybrid fishes and amphibians, with both gills and lungs.
These little animals live during winter in water, when they breathe
air dissolved in water through their gills; and during the summer in
mud, when they breathe with their lungs. Both these are placed in the
Devonian period, in which have been found fossil sharks, etc. The next
forms are Sozobranchii, or amphibians with persistent gills, from which
evolved Urodela, or amphibians with transitory gills, but persistent
tails, and legs; allied to the salamander. These are placed in the
Carboniferous period, in which have been found fossilised amphibians.
We next get Protamnia, or hybrid salamanders and lizards (frogs and
toads), with no gills or tails, but possessing an amnion and cloaca.
These represent the parent forms of the three great higher branches of
vertebrates—Reptilia, Aves (which evolved from reptiles), and Mammalia,
and are placed in the Permian period, in which have been found
fossilised amphibians and true reptiles. Monotremata (Promammalia) are
the next forms developed in our pedigree, the parent forms of the class
Mammalia; with cloaca, amnion, and marsupial bones; which are placed in
the Triassic period; and from which evolved Marsupialia, mammals with
amnion and marsupial bones, but no cloaca; allied to the kangaroo and
opossum of to-day. This species we place in the Jurassic and Cretaceous
periods. From Marsupialia developed the large kingdom of Placentalia,
which lose the marsupial bones and cloaca, and acquire a placenta, and
which we divide into three main branches, according to the particular
placental formation. The first division we call Villiplacentalia (tufty
placenta), from which evolved Edentata (sloth, ant-eaters, and tertiary
monsters), Cetacea (marine placental mammals, such as whale, dolphin,
porpoise, and sea-cow), and Ungulata (horse, cow, pig, rhinoceros, and
hippopotamus). The second division we term Zenoplacentalia (ring-like
placenta), the earliest forms of which were Carnaria, or flesh-eaters,
from which came Carnivora, or land beasts of prey (cats, dogs, bears,
etc.), and Pinnipedia, or marine beasts of prey (seal and walrus). The
third division we name Discoplacentalia (discoid placenta); and here
we find, as the first development, the Prosimiæ, or tailed lemurs,
quadrupeds with claws, and having the appearance of hybrid cats and
monkeys. All these are placed in the Eocene period, in which stratum
geologists have found fossilised placentals.

From the discoplacental-mammal Prosimiæ evolved the following
species—viz., Prosimiæ of Madagascar (lemurs of to-day), with four feet
and claws; Cheiroptera (bats); Rodentia (squirrels, mice, porcupines,
hares); Insectivora (moles, shrew-mice, and hedgehogs); and Simiæ,
or quadruped monkeys, with two feet, two hands, nails, and tails. We
divide Simiæ into two classes, the Platyrrhini, or New World apes, with
thirty-six teeth, tails, no cheek-pouches or callosities, and nasal
cavities pointing outwards and divided by a thick septum (from which
came the American howlers, weepers, capuchins, and squirrel-monkeys);
and the Catarrhini (Menocerca), or Old World apes, with thirty-two
teeth (like man), tails, cheek-pouches, callosities, and nasal cavities
pointing downwards and divided by a thin septum (like man). These are
placed in the Meiocene period, in which have been discovered the first
fossil apes. From the Catarrhini developed the tailed baboons and
macaques, with thirty-two teeth, cheek-pouches, and callosities; and
the Anthropoidæ, with thirty-two teeth, but no tails, cheek-pouches,
or callosities. These were evolved during the Pleiocene period. From
the anthropoid (man-like) apes we get three distinct divisions—viz.,
the gibbon and orang families, with no tails or cheek-pouches,
walking partly on hind legs, and wandering in companies in India;
the chimpanzee and gorilla families of Africa, with no tails or
cheek-pouches, no articulate speech, walking on hind legs only, living
in companies in caves, and carrying their babes in their arms; and
Alali, or ape-like men, commonly called the “missing links,” who
were probably developed, during the Pleiocene period, in Lemuria, a
submerged continent which formerly occupied the position of the Indian
Ocean; or in the districts of the Nile and Ganges.

These primitive ape-like men were the connecting links between men and
the apes, and are divided into two main branches—viz., woolly-haired
Alali, who migrated from Lemuria, west and south; and straight-haired
Alali, who migrated from Lemuria, north, east, and south. Both
these branches had skulls of the same character as those of the
chimpanzee and gorilla—that is, they were dolichocephalic (long-headed)
prognathous (prominent jaws), and also, like their ape brethren, were
troglodytes, or cave-dwellers. From the woolly-haired Alali evolved the
Papuans of New Guinea and Tasmania, and the Hottentots of Africa, whose
descendants of to-day are but little removed in brain development from
the higher apes. They are dolichocephalic prognathous savages, with
black, hairy skins, long arms, and short, thin legs, with ill-developed
calves; are semi-erect, walk on hind legs, and have no true articulate
speech. A higher development of the woolly-haired Alali is the
Negro, and higher still the Caffre, both of whom are dolichocephalic
prognathous savages, with black, semi-hairy skins, and imperfect
articulation. From the straight-haired Alali are derived the Australian
natives and the large family of Malays or Polynesians. The Australians
migrated south, and were dolichocephalic prognathous savages, with
smooth, dirty brown skins, and straight black hair. The lowest tribes
of the present day have no true articulate speech. The Polynesians
migrated north and east, and were dolichocephalic prognathous
troglodytes (as the gorilla and chimpanzee), with clear, smooth brown
skins, and true articulate speech. This branch split up into two large
families, the Mongolian or Turanian, and the Caucasian or Iranian.
The former covered Northern and Eastern Asia, Polynesia, and America,
and were originally brachycephalic (broad-headed) prognathous men.
They subdivided into two distinct species, the Mongols of China,
Japan, Lapland, Finland, and Hungary, who are brachycephalic, but not
prognathous, with smooth, brownish yellow skin, and straight black
hair; and the Mongols of America, who are mesocephalic (round-headed),
but not prognathous, with smooth red skins and straight black hair.
The Caucasian family covered Western Asia and most of Europe, being
mesocephalic prognathous troglodytes (afterwards agriculturalists)
with smooth dark skins and long straight hair; and subdivided into
two branches, the Semitic, of Arabia and Syria, and the Aryan or
Indo-European; both of whom are mesocephalic, but not prognathous.

It is true that, so far, no fossil remains of Alali have been found,
with the exception of the Neanderthal skull; but it is equally true
that they may soon be discovered. It is only comparatively recently
that the other species have been found fossilised; and it must be
recollected that only a very small portion of the earth’s crust has yet
been explored, and that not the most likely for finding. No attempts
have been yet made to unearth the life-remains in the neighbourhood
of the Indian Ocean, where it is believed man first evolved from his
ape-like ancestors. It does not, however, seem to me to be essentially
necessary that the “missing link” be found in order to substantiate
the Evolution theory. There is so little difference between the higher
anthropoid apes and man, compared with the enormous differences
observed between the earlier forms of life and the ape species, that
the sequence and continuity appear now conclusively settled to any
reasonable observer. Comparative anatomists and embryologists both
declare in favour of the theory of development of Darwin and Haeckel.
It is a fact beyond dispute that every human being commences his
individual existence as a tiny piece of structureless bioplasm, from
which condition he passes through the Amœba stage to the Synamœba, and
thence in regular order through each successive stage of development
marked in the genealogy given above, becoming worm, fish, and mammal
in turn, and finally being born into the world as a member of the
human family. Each of these lower forms also passes through all the
species preceding it in precisely the same manner. This is one of the
strongest arguments in favour of Evolution. It is said that the power
of speech possessed by man opposes a strong barrier to the theory;
but it has been shown clearly that other animals besides man can
use articulate sounds, which convey meanings to each other. Monkeys
certainly understand each other’s chattering, and it is highly probable
that birds also understand each other’s cries. It is true that the
sounds made by animals are chiefly monosyllabic; but philologists
now tell us that the languages spoken by primitive races of men are
compounded of quite simple elements, perfectly within the grasp of an
ape’s voice. Travellers, whose veracity and ability cannot be impugned,
have described long conferences held by monkeys, where one individual
addressed the assembly at great length, fixing the attention of all
upon himself, and quelling every disturbance by a loud and harsh
cry, which was at once recognised and obeyed by the multitude. Is
it credible that this should be purposeless? Is it not actually the
exercise of speech?

Is it not possible—nay, even extremely probable—that, under the
irresistible pressure of civilised man, his immediate precursor may
have become extinct? All the human races that now tend to bridge the
interval between the highest man and the highest ape are fast becoming
extinct under this very pressure. The gulf widens, and will widen.
The Caribs and Tasmanians have passed away, while the Australians,
New Zealanders, aboriginal Americans, Eskimo, and others, are fast
following in their wake, and this all in a comparatively short space
of time. There is undoubtedly now a far greater physical and mental
interval between the Hottentot woman and such men as Gladstone and
Darwin than between the Hottentot and an ape. It is a fact beyond
dispute that man was not in such a high state of development ages gone
by as at present. The earliest traces of man exhibit him to us in the
Palæolithic, or old stone, age, as wild and living in caves, using only
the rudest stone implements with which to battle with the ferocious
monsters around him. His jaw was then prognathous, like the ape, and
his body large and powerful.

In the limestone caverns of France have been discovered the fossil
remains of men who inhabited caves and belonged to the Palæolithic,
or early Pleistocene, period. Together with these troglodytes, or
cave-dwellers, were rough, unpolished stone implements and weapons,
denoting a low state of civilisation. Other caves, in later strata,
give us lighter stone weapons, of better finish, and occasionally horn
dart-points, such as would be used for catching smaller game. Numbers
of skin-scrapers also were found, suggesting the idea that the people
used the hides of animals for clothing, instead of going naked, as
their ancestors. The hairy character of the body would be probably
giving place to a finer, smoother, and more delicate outer skin,
which would necessitate clothing of some kind. Still later we find
implements altogether of flint, lancet-shaped, admirably-proportioned,
and of three sizes, adapted for arrow, javeline, and lance points
respectively, and designed to be fitted to wooden and bone shafts.
After these appear arrows and darts of deer’s horn and bone, and stone
and flint tools, which were used for making these arrows. We also find
such implements as bone awls and needles for piercing and sewing skins,
arrow-heads furnished with barbs on each side, and harpoons barbed on
one side only.

Now was man’s intellect fairly on the swing; but still he was, as yet,
only in the Palæolithic period, for not one polished implement nor
fragment of pottery is found in their stations. They were surrounded
by ferocious carnivora, which sometimes fell victims to their weapons.
The mammoth still tenanted the valleys, and the reindeer was the common
article of food. They were hunters, possessed of the rudest modes of
existence, and with but little of what is now called civilisation.

In Britain the troglodyte man was contemporary with the mammoth,
rhinoceros, lion, and hyena, none of which existed in the later
Pleistocene era; but there have been no perfect skeletons found here
like those in France. Human _bones_, however, have been discovered in
various deposits, together with the skeletons of long-extinct animals.
The best British human fossil is the portion of an upper jaw containing
four teeth, from Kent’s Cavern. Hermetically sealed in stalagmite,
deposited on the floor of the cavern by water dropping from the roof,
this jaw lay _below_ the remains of extinct mammals; while beneath all
were bone and stone implements of human workmanship, equally firmly
fixed in a natural limestone cement. Geology fixes the date of this
troglodyte at the early Pleistocene period, and it is beyond doubt that
man existed at this remote period, or even earlier, in Europe, for the
human remains found in France clearly testify to the fact; and even in
America his antiquity must be very great indeed, for a human skull was
found in the delta of the Mississippi beneath _four_ different layers
of forest growth, which must have formed part of a living human being
50,000 years since. The celebrated Neanderthal skull, of which so much
has been heard, certainly belongs to the mammoth age, if not earlier;
and, if it represent a race, and not merely an individual, that race
would lie in a position intermediate between the lowest man and the
highest ape. It _may_ only represent a man of peculiar formation, as we
often see men in the present day deformed or of eccentric build; and,
therefore, we cannot look upon it _positively_ as the “missing link.”
One other similar find, however, would for ever settle the question,
and proclaim to the world that the “missing link” was, at last, found.
In capacity, the cranium is human, while the superciliary arches
and the brow are distinctly ape-like. Professor Huxley sums up his
examination of this skull with the remark that “the Neanderthal skull
is, of human remains, that which presents the most marked and definite
characters of a lower type.”

Following the Palæolithic era, or rude stone age, is the Neolithic,
or new stone, age; and now we find man using polished weapons, making
pottery, using fire to warm himself with, and developing social
manners. Instead of living in caves, he lived in lake dwellings, with
others of his species, and gradually developed agricultural tastes.
This metamorphosis, we know from the fossil remains found deposited
in various strata, occupied a long period of time, probably thousands
of years; and even then we are left thousands of years before the
historical era, which followed the bronze and iron ages. Compare these
men with those who lived in the Grecian and Egyptian eras, and again
compare these latter with ourselves, and the record is one of trial
and failure through long ages, and of experiment crowned at last by
attainment. Has not the invention of the steam-engine alone been a
means of extending man’s dominion in a marvellous manner? Think what
has been achieved through electricity! There has, undoubtedly, been a
continued struggle from barbarism to civilisation, and the little we
know of the early history of man tells us that he lived the life of a
wild beast, leaving no impression on the earth save one of the victims
of his well-aimed stone or flint-pointed spear.

So much for the “missing link.” There is one other point to be settled
before we have completed the sequence of evolution, which commences
with the condensation of the nebulous vapour and terminates with the
development of man; and that is the question of how life originated.
We have found that the first dawn of life was in the form of a simple
speck of bioplasm, void of any structure; and that this primordial
germ, which we call a Moneron, was developed in the earliest period
of deposition of stratified rock at the bottom of the sea, and is now
being constantly developed as of old. Now, if the theory of evolution
be not mere talk, this primordial germ must have been spontaneously
evolved from inanimate matter, for the theory allows of no break,
being a gradual unfolding of phenomena. We are told that there is no
experience in nature of such a development. Perhaps so; but that is no
argument against it. There is no experience in nature of any special
creation either; so why fly to this alternative, which is the only
one presented to us, instead of adopting the theory which agrees so
harmoniously with the whole evolutionary process? Why make this abrupt
break in the chain of sequence? Does it not annihilate completely the
whole theory of evolution? It is not more wonderful that life should
be evolved from inanimate nature than that man should be evolved from
a structureless bioplasm. The continuity of evolution once broken, why
may it not be broken again and again?

If we are to accept the theory of evolution, we are bound to admit
that animate was evolved from inanimate matter. And the difficulty of
this admission is not, after all, so great as appears at first sight;
for who is to say whether such a condition really exists as inanimate
matter? It is a fact that every particle of matter in nature is in a
state of active motion; every molecule and atom is constantly active.
And why is this not life as much as the animal or vegetable, though
in a modified degree of development? Evolution, if it mean anything,
should admit this; and I will show you that it does not admit it
only, but absolutely declares that it is so. In the first place, it
must be recollected that Balfour Stewart, and all other physical and
chemical scientists, declare that every thing in nature is composed of
molecules and atoms. The molecules are the smallest quantities into
which any individual body or substance can be divided without losing
its individuality. For instance, table-salt, or chloride of sodium, can
be divided and subdivided, until you get to the limit of subdivision,
which is a molecule composed of chlorine and sodium in chemical
combination. Further subdivision annihilates its individuality as salt,
and leaves us with the two elementary chemical atoms, chlorine and
sodium, existing independently of each other. These atoms are incapable
of further subdivision. In the same manner, the whole matter of the
universe may be subdivided into molecules, which consist of atoms of
some two or more of about sixty-seven chemical elements in various
combinations. These atoms are the smallest separate particles of
masses of matter, and are separated from each other by what is termed
hypothetical ether—that is, the fluid ether we believe to be pervading
every portion of space. Each atom possesses an inherent sum of force,
or energy. The well-established and universally-admitted theory of
chemical affinity teaches us that these atoms are capable of attracting
and repelling each other, and, therefore, also teaches us, by
implication, that they are possessed with definite inclinations, follow
these sensations or impulses, and have also the will and ability to
move to and from one another. This we are clearly taught by chemistry.
Thus every atom in the universe possesses sensation and will, pleasure
and displeasure, desire and loathing, attraction and repulsion; and
its mass is, moreover, indestructible and unchangeable, and its energy
eternal, as we are again taught by the theory of conservation of
energy and matter. These sentient atoms of universal matter, whose
aggregate energy is the great animating spirit of the universe, have
the power of uniting together in various chemical combinations to
form molecules, or chemical unities, developing fresh properties in
the process, and forming the lowest conceivable division of compound
material substances, some atoms uniting to build up crystals and
other inorganic masses, and others to develop the various organic or
life forms. The atoms of the ultimate molecules of both organic and
inorganic bodies are identically the same. It depends entirely upon
what particular combination of atoms takes place whether an organic or
inorganic form is developed. The primordial life-form we have found
to be simple homogeneous plasm, consisting of molecules, each of
which is composed of atoms of five elements—carbon, oxygen, nitrogen,
hydrogen, and sulphur, differing not one iota from the molecules
of inorganic bodies, except that it acquires the special power of
reproduction, by virtue of the peculiar combination of its atoms, which
power is wanting in the inorganic world, whose molecules are composed
of similar atoms, but in different combinations. This is the only
difference between the organic, or life, world, and the inorganic, or
lifeless, world—life being, as compared with unlife, but the power
of reproduction. As examples of this, we may take crystals, the most
perfect development of inorganic nature, and the moneron, the least
perfect development of organic nature; and the difference between them
is almost _nil_, certainly less than between the parents and offspring
in many life-forms. The crystal molecules are composed of elementary
chemical atoms, as are the moneron molecules; but the former grow by
particles being deposited on particles externally, while the latter
grow by particles penetrating from without, or being absorbed into
the interior and becoming assimilated by the plasm, fresh molecules
being evolved in the process, this special power of reproduction being
generated by the peculiar combination of the atoms. This argument
appears to me to be logically and scientifically sound, and disposes
altogether of the notion of a break of continuity between the living
and the unliving worlds, which is such a formidable difficulty to many
minds. The plasm thus formed by the aggregation of life molecules
gradually differentiates into protoplasm and nucleus, which together
form a simple cell; and this cell partakes, by heredity, of the nature
and properties of its parent form, and also, by adaptation to different
circumstances surrounding its existence, acquires fresh properties,
which, together with the inherited properties, it transmits to its
progeny, thus evolving a still more complex form, inheriting the
acquired and inherited properties of its parent, and again acquiring
fresh properties; and so on, _ad infinitum_, through the various
life-forms we know have been developed in the pedigree of man and
animals, through Amœbæ, Synamœbæ, etc., as in the genealogy given above.

In the course of the development of different life-forms
heredity—which, in plain English, is unconscious memory generated
in the first life-form and transmitted through all the different
species—is the sole factor in the preservation of the parent
properties; while adaptation to surrounding conditions and
circumstances, natural selection in the struggle for existence, and
sexual selection in the struggle of the males for females are the
principal factors in the differentiation of species.

Having traced man’s pedigree according to the Evolution theory, from
primitive nebulous matter to his present commanding position, and found
him possessed with reason and the power of controlling and regulating
the forces of nature, our next inquiry is naturally for what purpose
is he here and what will become of him eventually. Here we come to
the most difficult problem of all ages, which has baffled learned men
of all nationalities, and which will probably never be satisfactorily
solved. Intimately connected with it is the almost as difficult
problem, How was the universe caused at all? There are eminent
scientific men who think they can conclusively show that the universe
existed from eternity; others as positively assert that it must have
been caused by a power outside and independent of itself; while others
are equally convinced that it was self-created. But when we examine
their arguments we find ourselves unable logically to accept any of
their conclusions.

The Atheist declares that the universe has existed from eternity, not
having been produced by any other agency, and, therefore, without
any beginning; which necessarily implies the conception of infinite
past time—an effort of which the human mind is quite incapable. The
Pantheist declares that the universe evolved out of potential existence
into actual existence by virtue of some inherent necessity; which
is as unthinkable as the previous one, for potential existence must
be either something, in which case it would be actual existence,
or nothing, which it could not possibly be. But admitting, for the
sake of argument, the possibility of potential existence as nothing,
still we should have to account for its origin, which would involve
us in an infinity of still more remote potentialities. The Theistic
theory of creation by external agency implies either formation of
matter out of nothing, which is inconceivable, or out of pre-existing
materials, which leaves us under the necessity of showing the origin
of the pre-existing elements, and, like the preceding theory, would
involve us in an infinity of remote pre-existences. It also involves
the existence of a potentiality outside matter, which must either be
caused, which involves a prior cause, or uncaused, in which case it
must be either finite or infinite. If it be finite, it must be limited,
and, consequently, there must exist something outside its limits, which
destroys the notion of its being a first cause. Therefore, it must be
infinite. Also, as first cause, it must be independent; for dependency
would imply a more remote cause. The first cause must, therefore, be
both infinite and absolute, which is an absurdity; for a cause can only
exist in relation to its effect, and therefore cannot be absolute; and
the fact of its being infinite deprives us of the only means of escape
from the difficulty, by showing the impossibility of its being first of
all absolute and afterwards cause; for the infinite cannot become what
it once was not.

Thus, then, we are driven to the conclusion that logic shows the
Theistic conception of the origin of nature, equally as much as the
Pantheistic and the Atheistic, to be utterly impossible; but it must
be admitted that if, instead of matter, we substitute time and space
in our consideration of this most important matter, the Atheistic
theory more nearly approaches the conceivable than either of the other
two; for by no mental effort can we conceive the formation of time and
space either by external agency or inherent necessity. It is absolutely
impossible for us to conceive the idea of the non-existence of either
time or space.

Because the human mind cannot conceive the possibility of nature
being produced by external agency, it does not follow that we are
bound to admit the impossibility of the existence of an intelligence
controlling nature’s laws; for it is quite possible that such an
existence may be, though our finite minds cannot comprehend it. The
Agnostic philosopher, although he cannot logically demonstrate the
existence of the Divine Being, yet declares that, inasmuch as this
universe consists of existing phenomena, it is absolutely necessary
that there should be some cause adequate for the production of the
effects manifested. By this process of reasoning he arrives at the
conclusion that there exists a something controlling nature, which is
utterly incomprehensible—an ultimate reality, of which force and matter
are alike merely the phenomenal manifestations. This ultimate reality,
moreover, is intelligent.

We cannot recall the wonders of the evolutionary development of the
universe without at once seeing that there is purpose at the bottom of
all, and that chance is no factor in the process. We cannot believe
that man is but a fortuitous concourse of atoms. Reason tells us
clearly that we are here for a well-ordained purpose; but what that
purpose is we cannot tell. The old notion that our destiny is to
prepare ourselves here, to live again in our bodily forms, play harps,
and sing halleluyah to all eternity, I regard as mere moonshine. Such
a fate would be to me far worse than annihilation. But that we have a
future destiny of some sort I have no doubt. We know we must die, and
that when we die our bodily functions, including brain functions,
will cease to be performed. Are we, then, annihilated? The answer of
scientists is decisively “Yes, so far as we are concerned as sentient
individual beings.” Science teaches us that the three things which
make up consciousness, or man’s mental side, are thought, emotion,
and volition; that they are inseparably bound up with the brain and
the nervous system, whose functions they are; and that when the brain
dies these functions cease. This is undeniable. Therefore, if there
is any future existence, it is not one of consciousness. The power of
muscular movement is arrested at death, and, therefore, we must admit
that the power of thought, emotion, and volition ceases at death. Why
should the appearance be deceptive in one case and not in the other?
It is not the case of a separate entity in the body, but of a distinct
function—an effect which ceases with its proper cause. It is absolutely
certain, from the teaching of science, that the consciousness grows as
the brain and body grow, varies according to the standard of health in
the brain, and declines as the general vigour of the brain declines;
and, therefore, we can but admit that it dies with the brain. We also
learn from Embryology that consciousness evolved by slow degrees from
unconsciousness, and that once there was no thought in any of us. Even
if science were to admit that man’s consciousness continued after
death, it would be equally rational to admit that animals also had a
future consciousness; for it is quite clear we have slowly evolved
from the lowest germ of animal life. Man’s very attributes are found
in a lower degree in animals, and yet it is the possession of his
lofty attributes which he says entitles him to conscious immortality.
The intellectual qualities in animals differ from those in man only
in degree, while in the possession of some of the highest moral
attributes—such as courage, fidelity, patience, self-sacrifice, and
affection—some of the lower animals, as the dog, the horse, and the
ant, far surpass him. Even among human beings themselves these higher
qualities, mental and moral, exist in all degrees, from their almost
total absence in the savage up to the mental and moral splendour of a
Buddha, a Socrates, a Disraeli, or a Gladstone. Are all these lower
animals, savage men, and intellectual and moral geniuses, to have
individual conscious immortality? If, as some say, man only and not
animals are immortal, then the question naturally arises, When and how
came man so? If he was always immortal, so were animals. If he became
immortal later on, he must either have slowly acquired the gift, or it
must have been suddenly conferred upon him. In either case there must
have been a particular moment when he became immortal. Can we conceive
of such a thing as the species being mortal one moment and immortal the
next? The question of _how_ he became immortal is still more difficult,
as the question _why_, or for what merit, is wholly unanswerable.
Then, again, science teaches us that animal life, of whatever form,
will vanish from the earth long before the inevitable decay of the
planet itself. Geologists tell us that, in obedience to a general law,
all species have their term of living. They appear, and after a time
disappear. How absurd, then, to raise a question as to the conscious
individual immortality of the countless myriads of a species that shall
itself have utterly vanished without leaving a trace!

Are we, then, annihilated at death? Yes, as conscious individuals. We
are bound to admit the force of all the arguments brought forward by
science against the theory of a future conscious existence; but these
arguments in no way affect the great problem of the “ego,” or “self,”
which exists in all of us, irrespective of consciousness, memory, or
other brain function. A man may be unconscious, and yet live; therefore
consciousness is not necessary to life. When we ask ourselves whether
we shall be annihilated at death, we should first of all have a clear
definition of the word “we” before we reply. What are we? What am I?
I am not consciousness, which is but a function of one of my organs,
the brain, and which merely enables me to know myself. Then what am
I? I cannot conceive that I am anything but the energy or life-power
developed by the aggregation of my life-particles, which causes the
various organs of my body to perform their functions, as cerebrating,
etc. The primordial germ of my body was a simple bioplasm, consisting
of a combination of life-molecules, composed of energetic atoms.
From these molecules evolved fresh molecules, which, under the laws
of heredity and variation, acquired new properties; until, at last,
a complex organism became developed, possessing far higher powers
than those belonging to the primordial germ. As the development of
species continued, higher forces became manifested; until, at last,
the condition of man was reached, and a life-power developed of a much
higher order than any previously known. This life-power, or human
energy, is the “ego,” the “self,” the cause of the bodily functions,
and is eternal. Kant declared there was a world unknown, independent
of our conscious phenomenal world; and this we must admit to be true,
for we have already granted the existence of an unknown cause, of
which force and matter are merely the phenomenal manifestations. It is
this outer world of unknown and invisible energy that the scientist
finds himself unable to deal with. The death of the body is simply
the cessation of cohesion, or dissolution of partnership, between the
ultimate atoms of the plasm life-molecules, by which dissolution the
property called life ceases, and the atoms of the body assume their
original condition, again containing their original sum of force. But
what becomes of the huge force developed during the lifetime of the
bodily organism? Does that vanish and become a thing of naught? My
opinion is that this human force, which is the outcome of the complex
union of the ultimate atoms of the plasm life-molecules, and which is
but a phenomenal manifestation of the great incomprehensible cause of
all phenomena, will, at the death of the body, be re-absorbed into the
great animating spirit of the universe, and partake of the nature and
properties of the Unknown. This is but my opinion, from which many may
differ. I merely offer it as an opinion, and in no way shut my eyes to
the great fact that man’s destiny is a riddle as yet unsolved. We may
safely leave the matter to be dealt with according to the wisdom of
that unknown cause of all things, resting quite assured that we shall
be far better disposed of than we could possibly dispose of ourselves,
even if we had the power. We must bow the head in a truly scientific
spirit, and reply to the great question, “I cannot tell.”

“To be or not to be? that is the question,” says the immortal
Shakespeare; after which he sums up the whole argument in two short
lines:—

    “To die, to sleep. To sleep? perchance to dream—
    Aye, there’s the rub.”


PRINTED BY WATTS & CO., 17, JOHNSON’S COURT, FLEET STREET, LONDON.



                           GENEALOGY OF MAN

                            Monera (Plasm)
                                  │
                            Amœbæ (Cells)
                                  │
                            Synamœbæ (Multiple cell-forms)
                                  │
                            Ciliata
                                  │
                            Gastrœada
                                  │
                            Turbellaria (Vermes)
                                  │
                            Scolecida
                                  │
                            Himatega (Sack-worm)
                                  │
                            Acrania (Vertebrata)
                                  │
                            Monorrhini
                                  │
                            Selachii (Pisces)
                                  │
                   ┌──────────────┴─────────┐
                   │                        │
               Dipnoi                    Ganoidei
                   │                        │
             Sozobranchii                Teleostei
                   │
             Urodela
                   │
             Protamnia
                   │
             ┌─────┴────────────────────┐
        Reptilia                   Monotremata (Mammalia)
             │                          │
    ┌────────┴───────┐             Marsupialia
  Aves         Reptilia                 │
                                   Placentalia


                              Placentalia
                                   │
          ┌────────────────────────┼───────────────────────┐
          │                        │                       │
  Villiplacentalia            Zenoplacentalia      Discoplacentalia
          │                      Carnaria             Prosimiæ
          │                 _______│_____________          │
      ┌───┴────┬───────┐   |Carnivora  Pinnipedia|         │
      │        │       │                                   │
  Edentata  Ungulata  Cetacea      ┌────────┬──────────┬───┴─────┬──────┐
               │                   │        │          │         │      │
               │                Simiæ   Prosimiæ  Insectivora  Rodentia │
               │                (Apes)  (Lemurs)                        │
               │                   │                            Cheiroptera
               │                   └──────────┬───────────────┐
       ┌───────┴─────┬──────────┐             │               │
  Solidungula   Ruminantia  Pachydermata    Catarrhini   Platyrrhini
                                            Menocerca
                                                │
                                          ┌─────┴───────────┐
                                     Tailed Baboons    Authropoidæ
                                       + Macaques     Man-like Apes
                                                             │
                        ┌────────────────┬─────────────┬─────┘
                     Gibbon and     Chimpanzee       Alali
                        Orang        Gorilla       (Ape-like Men)
                                                       │
                                             ┌─────────┴───────┐
                                     Woolly-haired      Straight-haired
                                           Alali             Alali
                                             │                 │
               ┌──────────┬──────────┬───────┤          ┌──────┴───────┐
             Papuan   Hottentot    Negro   Caffre   Polynesian   Australian
                                  or Malay              │
                                                        │
                                 ┌──────────────────────┴─────┐
                            Caucasian                      Mongolian
                            or Iranian                    or Turanian
                                 │                            │
                           ┌─────┴─────┐          ┌───────────┴────┐
                        Aryan or    Semitic    Mongols          Mongols
                    Indo-European             of China         of America


                       SECTION OF EARTH’S CRUST

Showing the different Geological Strata and Biological Ascent

  ————————-+——————————-+——————+—————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |           |      |    Strata    | Fossils, Bones,    | Man’s
           |           |      |   Deposits   |    etc Found       |Ascent
           |           |      +—————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |           | IRON | Recent Earth |Historic Era        |
           |  RECENT   | AGE  |  Deposits    |Manufacture of Iron |Homo
           |           |      |              | Articles           |Sapiens
           |           +——————+—————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |           |BRONZE|Recent Earth  |Considerable advance|Homo
           |           |AGE   |  Deposits    |in civilization.    |Cultus
           |           |      |              |Manufactureof Bronze|
           |           |      |              |  implements       |
           +——————————-+——————+—————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |POST-      |NEO-  |   Glacial    |Remains of Lake     |Homo
           |PLEIOCENE  |LITHIC|   Deposits   |Dwellings. Manu-    |Semi-
           |           |      |              |facture of Pottery |ferox
  KAINOZOIC|QUATERNARY +——————+—————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
  OR       |    OR     |PALÆO-|   Glacial    |Fossil Cave-men,    |Homo
  TERTIARY |PLEISTOCENE|LITHIC|   Deposits   |Stone, bone, + horn |Ferox
           |           |      |              |implements. Mammoth |
           |           |      |              |Reindeer, Hyœna, etc.|
           +——————————-+——————+—————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |PLEIOCENE  |White and Red Crags  |Apes, Bears & Hyœnas|Alali
           |           | of Britain          |                    |Anthro-
           |           |                     |                    | pœdæ
           +——————————-+—————————————————————+———————————————————-+——————
           |MEIOCENE   |Arctic Coal,         |Marsupials,         |
           |           |Limestone, Sands,    |Squirrels, Mastodon,|Meno-
           |           |Clays, and Lignites  |Rhinoceros,         | cerca
           |           |                     |Anthropomorphous    |Simiæ
           |           |                     |Apes                |
           +——————————-+—————————————————————+———————————————————-+——————
           |EOCENE     |Sandstone, Limestone,|Equine forms, Bats, |Prosimiæ
           |           |Sands, Clays, Marls, |Lemurs, Marsupials  |Placent-
           |           |Lignites, Coral, Rag |                    |alia
  ————————-+——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |CRETACEOUS |Clays, Sands, Soft   |Birds, Reptiles and |Marsup-
           |           |Limestones, Lignites |Marsupials          |ialia
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
  MESOZOIC |JURASSIC   |Limestones, Coral    |Bird-reptiles,      |Marsup-
  OR       |  OR       |rags, Clays, Marls,  |several Marsupial   |ialia
  SECONDARY|OÖLITIC    |Coal Lies at base    |species             |
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |TRIASSIC   |Sandstones,          |Gigantic Reptiles,  |Promamm
           |           |Limestones, Clays    |Small Marsupials    |alia
  ————————-+——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |PERMIAN    |Marls, Magnesian     |    Reptiles        |Protam-
           |           |limestones, Conglomerates.|               |nia
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |CARBONI-   |Carboniferous limestone,|Scorpions,       |Urodela
           |  FEROUS   |Coal, Ironstone,        |Spiders, Beetles,|Sozo-
           |           |Sandstone, Clay, Shales |Flies, Amphibia  |branchii
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |DEVONIAN   |Old Red Sandstone,   |Fossil land plants, |Dipnoi
           |           |Shales, Coralline    |Fishes, First       |Selachii
           |           |Limestone            |fossil insect       |
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |SILURIAN   |Slates, Limestone,   |Corals, Spiral      |Monorrh-
  PALÆOZOIC|           |Conglomerates,       |Shells, King-Crabs, |ini
  OR       |           |Shales, Sandstones   |Plates & Scales of  |Acrania
  PRIMARY  |           |                     |Fishes, Annelides   |
           |           |                     |(sea-worms)         |
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |CAMBRIAN   |Slates, Limestone,   |Sea-weeds, Sponges, |Himatega
           |           |Conglomerates,       |Star-fishes Sea-    |Turbell-
           |           |                     |lilies, Shell-fish, |aria
           |           |                     |First land plant   |Gastrœada
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |HURONIAN   |Partially Metamorphosed|Lowly organized   |Ciliata
           |           |Limestone, Sandstone,  |Molluscs          |Synamœbæ
           |           |Slates, and Conglomerates|                |Amœbæ
           +——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
           |LAURENTIAN |Highly Metamorphosed |Fossil Foraminifera |Monera
           |           |Limestone            | (Protozoa)       |(Bioplasm)
  ————————-+——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————
  AZOIC    |PLUTONIC   |Molten Granite & Quartz |No life remains  |No life
           |           |Partially or Wholly     |                 |
           |           |Igneous. Base of all rocks|               |
  ————————-+——————————-+————————————————————-+———————————————————-+——————


                      TERTIARY PERIOD IN EUROPE.

  +————————-+————————————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         | IRON AGE & HISTORIC ERA                 | BRITAIN
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+
  | RECENT  | BRONZE AGE—Homo Semi-cultus             |AN ISLAND
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         | CLIMATE TEMPERATE—Neolithic man         | LAND SINKING
  +————————-+————————————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         | CLIMATE COLD-TEMPERATE—Palæolithic man  | CONTINENTAL
  |         |                       & Neolithic man   | CONDITION
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         | CLIMATE SLIGHTLY MILDER                 | LAND RISING
  |         |   Palæolithic and Neolithic man.        |
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         | GLACIAL EPOCH OF MODERATE INTENSITY     |
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+
  | PLEISTO-| CLIMATE TEMPERATE—Palæolithic man       | BRITISH
  |  CENE   +————————————————————————————————————————-+
  |         | CLIMATE SUB-TROPICAL—Palæolithic man    | ARCHIPELAGO
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+
  |         | CLIMATE TEMPERATE—Palæolithic man       |
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         | CLIMATE COLD-TEMPERATE                  | CONTINENT
  |         |                                         | SINKING
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         | GLACIAL EPOCH OF GREAT INTENSITY        |
  |         +————————————————————————————————————————-+
  |         | CLIMATE COLD-TEMPERATE—Palæolithic      | LAND RISING
  |         |  men or Ape-men                         | IN NORTH
  +————————-+——————+—————-+———————————————————————————+ ENGLAND,
  |         |      | WEY- | CLIMATE COLD-TEMPERATE.   | FRANCE,
  |         |      |BOURNE| Existence of Cromer       | SCOTLAND AND
  |         |      |SANDS | Forest, Palæolithic       | NORWAY
  |         |      |      |  men or ape-men.          | UNITED
  |         |NEWER +——————+———————————————————————————+
  |         |      |NORWICH| CLIMATE WARM-TEMPERATE.  |
  |         |      | CRAG | Sub-tropical fauna & flora|
  |PLEIOCENE+——————+———-——+———————————————————————————+————————————————+
  |         |      |      |                           | CONTINENT
  |         |      | RED  |CLIMATE SUB-TROPICAL       | SINKING IN NORTH
  |         |      | CRAG |                           | & WEST. EUROPE
  |         |OLDER +——————+——————————————————————————-+ SEPARATED FROM
  |         |      |CORAL-| Apes. Bears. Hyænas.      | AMERICA & BRITAIN
  |         |      |LINE  |   Sub-tropical flora.     | FROM NORWAY.
  |         |      |CRAG  |                           | ENGLAND, IRELAND
  |         |      |      |                           | & FRANCE UNITED
  +————————-+——————+—————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         |      | CLIMATE SUB-TROPICAL             | CONTINENT
  |         |UPPER | Antelopes. Gazelles. Tropical &  | RISING ON
  |         |      |    Sub-tropical flora.           | SOUTH-EAST
  |         +——————+——————————————————————————————————+
  | MEIOCENE|MIDDLE| Mastodon. Rhinoceros. Anthropo-  | OF BRITAIN
  |         |      | morphous Apes. Sloths. Anteaters.| DENMARK &
  |         +——————+——————————————————————————————————+ ENGLAND
  |         |LOWER | Placental mammals. Very few      | UNITED
  |         |      | Marsupials. Tropical flora.      |
  +————————-+————+———————————————————————————————————-+————————————————+
  |         |      | CLIMATE TROPICAL                 |
  |         |UPPER |    Anehitheres. Hyænodon. Lemur. | EUROPO-
  |         |      |   Tapir-like beasts.             | AMERICAN
  |         +——————+——————————————————————————————————+
  | EOCENE  |MIDDLE| Lion-like Carnivora.             | CONTINENTAL
  |         +——————+——————————————————————————————————+ CONDITION.
  |         |LOWER | Marsupials. Reptiles. Birds.     |
  +————————-+——————+——————————————————————————————————+————————————————+


[Illustration: EOCENE SEAS After Dawkins]


[Illustration: PLEIOCENE SEAS After Dawkins]


[Illustration: (After Lyell)
PLEISTOCENE SUBMERGENCE DURING TEMPERATE INTER-GLACIAL EPOCH
(South of England and France only submerged during the
—GLACIAL PERIOD OF SUBMERGENCE)]


[Illustration: PLEISTOCENE EUROPE
DURING POST-GLACIAL CONTINENTAL CONDITION After Dawkins]


[Illustration: SKELETON OF MAN]

[Illustration: SKELETON OF GORILLA]

[Illustration: SKELETON OF CHIMPANZEE]


[Illustration: Outlines of the skulls of a Chimpanzee, the Neanderthal
man, and a modern European. After Lyell.]


[Illustration: Outline of the skulls of the Neanderthal man, a modern
Australian, and the Engis man. After Lyell.]


[Illustration: SIDE VIEW OF SKULLS (After Tyler)

 A. AUSTRALIAN (PROGNATHOUS).
 B. AFRICAN (PROGNATHOUS).
 C. EUROPEAN (ORTHOGNATHOUS).]

[Illustration: AUSTRALIAN TYPE OF SKULL. (After Topinard.)]



MAN’S ANTIQUITY.


When we reflect on the magnitude of the pre-Christian Alexandrian
libraries, as well as the magnificent appointments attaching to and
lavish wealth expended upon the ancient University of the capital of
the Ptolemies, we seem almost unable to realise the fact that people
of education and intellect, until quite lately, believed that all
this intellectual and literary magnificence had reached that pitch
of excellence in the short space of less than four thousand years.
In this period of time it was believed that man had so far risen in
intellectual capacity from the absolutely ignorant condition of the
first pair as described in Genesis as to have reached that state of
mental perfection possessed by the professors in the Alexandrian,
Athenian, and Sicilian schools. We can see Professor Euclid pointing
out on the blackboard how, the sides of a rectilinear polygon all
touching a circle, the area of the polygon is equal to the rectangle
contained by the radius of the circle and the semi-perimeter of the
polygon; Professor Archimedes would be explaining the theory that, if
a force act upon a body, the measure of the force in absolute units
is numerically equal to the time-rate of change of momentum and to
the space-rate of change of kinetic energy; Professor Eratosthenes
would be impressing upon his class the importance of the knowledge
of the globular shape of the earth; and Professor Hipparchus would
be startling his hearers by stating that he would show them how the
failure of the sun to reach the same point in the same time in his
annual circuit (according to the old geocentric theory) caused the
vernal equinoxial sign to give place to the next zodiacal sign every
2,152 years.

Here was a galaxy of intellectual attainments indeed! With such
a picture before our eyes we are calmly asked to believe that so
little time as less than four thousand years had been sufficient
for the building up of this vast intellectual edifice out of such
rude materials as the man and woman of Eden, when the two thousand
years following have been productive of so little advancement,
notwithstanding the exquisite materials upon which to work that were
left for us by the Alexandrian and Athenian sages. We cannot believe
so evident an absurdity to-day; and yet it is little more than half
a century since the whole of Christendom accepted without any doubt
whatever the old traditional statement of the Church that man had only
inhabited this earth for rather less than six thousand years.

How is it, then, that we have believed the traditionary story for so
long and now reject it as absurd? People have believed the story of
the creation according to Genesis partly because it was dangerous
to do otherwise and partly because there was no absolute proof to
the contrary. In 1774, however, a German of the name of Esper made a
discovery which gave the finishing touch to the mortal wound inflicted
upon the Christian and Jewish superstitions by the previous adoption
of the Copernican system of astronomy; and, just as Copernicus, Bruno,
Kepler, Galileo, Descartes, and Newton drove the first half-dozen
nails into the coffin of the Bible, so did this discovery of Esper
drive into it the first of the last half-dozen, the remaining five
to be subsequently added by Darwin, Huxley, Lyell, Spencer, and
Carpenter. The discovery made by J. F. Esper consisted of some human
bones, mingled with remains of the Northern bear and other species
then unknown, which were lying in the famous cavern of Gailenreuth, in
Bavaria; and this was soon followed by the discovery, in 1797, by John
Frere, at Hoxne, in Suffolk, of a number of flint weapons, mixed up
with bones of extinct animals, the whole being embedded in rocks. These
and other similar discoveries made some sensation among scientific men,
which resulted in the publication, in 1823, of Dr. Buckland’s “Reliquiæ
Diluvianæ,” in which the author summed up all the facts then known
tending to the establishment of the truth that man co-existed with
animals long since extinct. Immediately after this, in 1826, Tournal,
of Narbonne, gave to the world an account of some discoveries he had
made in a cave in Aude (France), where he had found bones of the bison
and reindeer, cut and carved by the hand of man, together with remains
of edible shell-fish, which must have been brought there by some one
who dwelt there. A few years afterwards De Christol, of Montpellier,
discovered human bones and fragments of pottery, mixed with the remains
of the Northern bear, hyæna, and rhinoceros, in the caverns of Pondres
and Souvignargues. In 1833 Schmerling found in the caverns of Engis and
Enghihoul, in Belgium, two human skulls, surrounded by teeth of the
rhinoceros, elephant, bear, and hyæna, on some of which were marks of
human workmanship, and under which were flint knives and arrow-heads.
Two years afterwards Joly, a Montpellier professor, found in the cave
of Nabrigas (Lozère) the skull of a cave-bear, having upon it marks
made by an arrow, beside which were scattered fragments of pottery
bearing the imprints of human fingers. Following upon these discoveries
were those made in 1842 by Godwin Austen at Kent’s Cavern, near
Torquay, consisting of animal remains and results of man’s handiwork;
and those made in 1844, by Lund, in the caves of Brazil, consisting of
skeletons of thirty human beings, an ape, various carnivora, rodents,
pachyderms, sloths, etc. Kent’s Cavern, in 1847, was again the spot to
which all eyes were turned; for there McEnery had found, under a layer
of stalagmite, the remains of men and extinct animals. This remarkable
discovery was followed, in the same year, by the appearance of a work
by Boucher de Perthes, of Abbeville, in which he described the flint
tools, etc., found in the excavations made there and in the Somme
valley as far as Amiens. In 1857 the celebrated Neanderthal skull was
discovered; and in 1858 Prestwich, Falconer, and Pengelly (Englishmen)
found more flint implements in the lower strata of the Baumann cave,
in the Hartz mountains, at the same time that Gosse _fils_ obtained
from the sand-pits of Grenelle various flint implements and bones of
the mammoth; while in the following year Fontan discovered in the cave
of Massat (Ariége) utensils, human teeth, and bones of the cave-bear,
hyæna, and cave-lion. Near Bedford, about the same time, Wyatt found,
in the gravel-beds, flints similar to those found at Abbeville, and
bones of the mammoth, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, ox, horse, and deer;
which discovery was soon followed by that of the celebrated human
burial place at Aurignac, by Lartet, in 1860, in which were found human
remains, together with bones of the bear, reindeer, bison, hyæna, wolf,
mammoth, and rhinoceros, a number of flint and horn implements, and
the remaining ashes of fires. The world was at last induced to give
some heed to the new cry of man’s extreme antiquity when Boucher de
Perthes, of Abbeville, in 1863, discovered at Moulin-Quignon, at a
depth of fifteen feet, in a virgin argilo-ferruginous bed belonging to
the later Pleiocene or early Pleistocene period, the half of a human
lower jaw-bone (which had belonged to an aged person of small stature),
covered with an earthy crust, by the side of which lay a flint hatchet,
covered with the same kind of crust; and not far from which were also
buried, in the same bed, two mammoths’ teeth. After this discovery
scientific men generally subscribed to the new theory of the antiquity
of man, and all seemed eager to pursue their investigations without
delay, the result being that we are now receiving, almost day by day,
fresh evidence on the subject, and hope soon to arrive at a tolerably
accurate conclusion as to the earliest date of man’s appearance upon
earth.

Let us now look more closely at the discoveries made in the various
caves referred to above, and also see what advances had been made by
geologists in other directions during the same period, as well as what
amount of progress has been made during the last twenty years. Dr.
Schmerling, the Belgian geologist and comparative anatomist, after
exploring the Engis and other caves in the province of Liège, published
an illustrated work, giving the results of his investigations, which
were highly interesting, and contributed largely to the establishment
of the theory of man’s antiquity. In these caves Schmerling found the
bones of the cave-bear, hyæna, elephant, and rhinoceros, together with
human bones, none of which gave any evidence of having been gnawed,
from which circumstance it was inferred that these caves had not
been the dwelling-places of wild beasts; and the fact that the bones
were scattered about without any order having been observed in their
distribution pointed to the conclusion that the caves had not been used
as burying-places. Probably, therefore, these remains had been washed
into the caves from time to time, and had gradually become covered
with deposit, and thus protected and preserved. There were no complete
skeletons found; but in the Engis cave were discovered the remains of
at least three human beings, the skull of one being embedded by the
side of a mammoth’s tooth, and in such a state of disintegration that
it fell to pieces on being moved; while the skull of another, an adult,
was buried, five feet deep, by the side of a tooth of a rhinoceros,
several bones of a horse, and some reindeer bones. Besides the bones,
there were also discovered some rude flint implements, a polished bone
needle, and other products of man’s industry, all embedded in the same
layer as the bones. It follows from these facts that man lived on the
banks of the Meuse at the same time as the rhinoceros, mammoth, hyæna,
and cave-bear, extinct animals of the Pleiocene and early Pleistocene
era.

Not far from these caves are those of the Lesse Valley, in which Dupont
discovered, in 1864, three different layers of human and other remains,
the lowest of which contained the bones of the mammoth, rhinoceros, and
other extinct animals, together with flint instruments of the rudest
type, instruments of reindeer horn, and a human lower jaw with a marked
resemblance to the lower jaw of the higher apes. Another discovery at
some little distance away from these caves was made in 1857 in what
is called the Neanderthal Cave, in the valley of the Düssel, between
Düsseldorf and Elberfeld, which is important, not so much as an
indication of the length of time that man has lived on the earth, as
of the close resemblance existing between the skulls of human beings
in the early Pleistocene era and the skulls of apes. The discovery
consisted of a human skull and a number of human bones, together with
the bones of the rhinoceros, which latter were subsequently unearthed.
The skull was of such a character as to raise the question of whether
it was human or not, the forehead being narrow and very low and the
projection of the supra-orbital ridges enormously great. The long bones
of the skeleton agreed with those of men of the present day in respect
to length, but were of extraordinary thickness, and the ridges for the
attachment of muscles were developed in an unusual degree, showing that
the individual was possessed of great muscular strength, especially
in the thoracic neighbourhood. Drs. Schaafhausen and Fuhlrott pointed
out that the depression of the forehead was not due to any artificial
pressure, as the whole skull was symmetrical, and that the individual
must have been distinguished by an extraordinarily small cerebral
development as well as uncommon corporeal strength. Professor Huxley
considers this Neanderthal skull to be the most ape-like one he ever
beheld, and Busk, a great authority, gives valuable reasons for
supposing it to be the skull of an individual occupying a position
midway between the man and the gorilla or chimpanzee. Huxley has
carefully compared the Engis and Neanderthal skulls, and his remarks
upon them are given in their entirety in Lyell’s “Antiquity of Man.”
From these remarks we gather that the Engis skull was dolichocephalic
in form, extreme length 7.7 inches, extreme breadth not more than 5.25
inches, forehead well arched, superciliary prominences well but not
abnormally developed, horizontal circumference 20½ inches, longitudinal
arc from nasal spine to occipital protuberance 13¾ inches, transverse
arc from one auditory foramen to the other, across the middle of the
sagittal suture, 13 inches. The Neanderthal skull is so different
from the Engis skull that Huxley says “it [Neanderthal] might well
be supposed to belong to a distinct race of mankind.” It is 8 inches
in extreme length, 5.75 inches in breadth, and only 3.4 inches from
the glabello-occipital line to the vertex; the longitudinal arc is 12
inches, and the transverse arc probably about 10¼ inches, but, owing
to incompleteness of temporal bones, this could not be correctly
ascertained; the horizontal circumference is 23 inches, which high
figure is due to the vast development of the superciliary ridges; and
the sagittal suture, notwithstanding the great length of the skull,
only 4½ inches. Huxley sums up his examination of the Neanderthal
skull in these words: “There can be no doubt that, as Professor
Schaafhausen and Mr. Busk have stated, this skull is the most brutal of
all known human skulls, resembling those of the apes, not only in the
prodigious development of the superciliary prominences and the forward
extension of the orbits, but still more in the depressed form of the
brain-case, in the straightness of the squamosal suture, and in the
complete retreat of the occiput forward and upward from the superior
occipital ridges;” and he then proceeds to clearly show that the skull
could not have belonged to an idiot. On the whole, the Engis skull more
clearly approaches the Caucasian type, while the Neanderthal differs
entirely from all known human skulls, being more nearly allied to the
chimpanzee than to the human. Both these skulls belonged to individuals
who lived in the early Pleistocene era, the Engis being probably
the older of the two, and yet the Engis is the most like the modern
European skull, which tells us plainly that in those remote times there
were existing in Belgium and the surrounding districts two different
races of men, one highly advanced in brain evolution and the other in a
wretchedly low condition of intellectual development. The Neanderthal
skull probably formed part of an individual belonging to the tail-end
of a semi-human race, while the Engis skull, in all probability,
belonged to an oriental immigrant belonging to a more advanced race. It
must be always remembered that scientific men have long since admitted
the truth of the theory that the differences in character between the
brain of the highest races of men and that of the lowest, though less
in degree, are of the same order as those which separate the human from
the ape brain, the same rule holding good in regard to the shape of the
skull.

The discoveries made in Kent’s Cavern, in the year 1842 and again
in 1847, led to a thorough investigation of the series of galleries
forming the now celebrated Brixham Caves, near Torquay, and as early as
1859 the labours of the explorers were rewarded by the discovery of a
number of flint implements in the cave-earth or loam, _underneath_ the
layer of stalagmite, which were the work of men living in Palæolithic
times, prior to the existence of the reindeer, whose antlers were found
deposited _in_ the layer of stalagmite. Previous to this time, when
McEnery, in 1826, examined Kent’s Cavern, he had stated that he had
found several teeth of _Ursus cultridens_, a huge carnivore belonging
to Tertiary formations, but now extinct; and as this monster was first
known in Meiocene deposits in France, but had never been traced in any
cavern or fluviatile Pleistocene deposits, although it had occurred in
Pleiocene formations, considerable excitement was caused on the score
that the flint implements lately found might possibly have belonged
to Meiocene, or at latest early Pleiocene men. Further investigations
were accordingly commenced for the purpose of solving this problem,
the explorations being under the superintendence of Messrs. Vivian and
Pengelley; and in 1872 they at last came upon a fine incisor of _Ursus
cultridens_ in the uppermost part of the cave-earth, which settled the
point as to man’s existence at the same time with the extinct bear
in England. The Kent’s Cavern deposits are as follows:—1. Limestone.
2. Black mould, containing articles of mediæval, Romano-British, and
pre-Roman date. 3. Stalagmite floor, from 16 to 20 inches thick,
containing a human jaw and remains of extinct animals. 4. Black
earth, containing charcoal and other evidence of fire, and also bone
and flint instruments. 5. Red cave-earth, containing Palæolithic
implements and bones and teeth of extinct animals, such as cave-lion,
mammoth, rhinoceros, and hyæna, and including the tooth of the _Ursus
cultridens_, or _Machairodus latidens_. 6. Second stalagmite floor,
from 3 to 12 feet thick, covering bones of bears only. 7. Dark red
sandy loam, containing bones of bears, three flint implements, and
one flint chip. The fact of the _Ursus cultridens_ being contemporary
in England with man is of enormous interest to geologists and
anthropologists, for it places the date of Palæolithic man as far back
as the Pleiocene age, instead of, as heretofore, in the Pleistocene.

The caves of the Dordogne Valley in south-western France have supplied
us with some very good relics of a very remote period. They are
situated in rocks of Cretaceous age, and form shelters in which
ancient huntsmen used to find dwelling-places, leaving behind them
refuse-heaps and instruments of various kinds. In the Vezère Caves,
which are included in the Dordogne series, there is one of very
ancient date, Le Moustier, in which is a bed of sand having both above
and below floors of a similar character, containing charcoal, flint
instruments, and other remains. The depth of this sandy bed is about 10
inches, having the appearance of a river deposit; and, although many
flint instruments have been found in it of a more ancient date than
those unearthed in the other caves, yet no worked bone instruments have
been discovered. In another cave, the Langerie, bronze and polished
stone objects have been found, together with various kinds of pottery,
below which, and under masses of fallen rock, covered with Palæolithic
flints and sculptured bones and antlers of reindeer, a human skeleton
was discovered lying under a block of stone. In another cave, La
Madeleine, was found a mammoth tusk, on which was rudely carved a
picture of the animal itself, proving incontestably that cave-men
lived here in mammoth times. In the Mentone cave Dr. Rivière, in 1872,
suddenly came upon the bones of a human foot, which caused him to make
a very careful examination of the deposit, the result being that he
unearthed an entire human skeleton at a depth of 20 feet, surrounded by
a large number of unpolished flint flakes and scrapers, and a fragment
of a skewer, about six inches long. No metal, pottery, or polished
flint was found; but bones of extinct mammals were scattered about,
thus suggesting a remote Palæolithic antiquity. The skeleton is 5 feet
9 inches high, the skull dolichocephalic, forehead narrow, temple
flattened, and facial angle measuring 80 to 85 degrees; the teeth
were worn flat by eating hard food, and the long bones are strong and
flattened.

No human bones have as yet been discovered in the deposit of the Somme
valley, where so many Palæolithic flints have been found; but in the
valley of the Seine, at Clichy, Messrs. Bertrand and Reboux found, in
1868, portions of human skeletons in the same beds where Palæolithic
implements had been embedded. These bones were found at a depth of
seventeen feet, and included a female skull of very inferior type,
having enormously thick frontal bone and a low, narrow roof, slanting
from before backwards. A very good specimen of human fossil is that
known as the “Denise Fossil Man,” comprising the remains of more
than one skeleton found in a volcanic breccia near Le Puy-en-Velay,
in Central France. These bones have been very carefully examined by
the members of the French Scientific Congress, as also the deposit
in which they were found, and the opinion arrived at is that the
fossils are genuine and their age early Pleistocene. Another most
interesting specimen of ancient human remains is the skeleton found
buried under four Cypress forests, superimposed one upon the other, in
the delta of the Mississippi, near New Orleans, at a depth of sixteen
feet. Dr. Dowler ascribes to this skeleton an antiquity of at least
50,000 years, reckoning by the minimum length of time that must have
elapsed during the formation of the deposits found and the sinking of
the four successive forest beds. In another part of the same delta,
near Natchez, a human bone, _os innominatum_, accompanied by bones
of the mastodon and megalonyx, was washed out of what is believed
to be a still more ancient alluvial deposit. Dr. Dickeson, in whose
possession the said bone is now, states that it was buried at a depth
of thirty feet, and geologists agree that its date is very early, some
maintaining that it is probably of a higher antiquity than any yet
discovered.

From these discoveries it is abundantly evident that man existed
on the earth contemporaneously with the mastodon and other extinct
mammals belonging to the Pleiocene and early Pleistocene eras. There
are, however, people who stoutly deny that this can be so—at any rate,
as regards Northern and Central Europe—and who rank the discoveries
at Moulin Quignon, Engis, Kent’s Cavern, etc., with late Pleistocene
remains. They maintain that the beds in which these relics were found
could not have been of Pleiocene or early Pleistocene formation,
inasmuch as they lie _above_ the till and boulder-clay which form the
glacial deposits of the time when Europe was an Arctic region—that
is to say, of late Pleistocene times. Therefore, they say, man’s
earliest existence in Europe was post-glacial or late Pleistocene.
But while the fact of the human remains having been discovered above
the boulder-clay appears to point to a post-glacial date, still
there is confronting us the perplexing anomaly of the contemporary
existence of extinct mammals belonging to a tropical fauna, which,
if we accept this theory, involves the necessity of admitting that a
tropical climate followed the last glacial epoch—a condition of things
that we know never existed at all. The fact is there have been more
periods of glaciation than one, each being followed by the deposition
of boulder-clays; and between the periods of intense Arctic cold
there were intervals of tropical or sub-tropical heat, when mammals
belonging to and requiring a tropical climate ventured as far north as
the north of England, to become extinct when the period of glaciation
supervened. The last glacial period, we know, extended its area of
influence as far as the high peaks of Switzerland and Northern Italy,
completely overwhelming the whole of Northern Europe as far south as
the latitude of 45º, and the whole of North America as far south as
the latitude of 40º; since when there has been a gradual diminution
of cold until the present temperate climate supervened. Now, if it
can be positively ascertained that all the boulder-clays found in
England and Northern Europe were deposited during and immediately
after this last glacial period, the date of man’s first appearance
in those districts, as far as we have as yet any evidence, must be
post-glacial; but in such a case it would have been impossible that a
tropical fauna and flora could have existed in the same localities,
whereas their remains have been abundantly found lying side by side
with the remains of Palæolithic man. The conclusion we must draw is
that the boulder-clays found below the remains of Palæolithic man could
not have been deposited after the last period of glaciation, but must
have followed some prior glacial condition, and that man existed in
England and Northern Europe contemporaneously with extinct mammalia
during inter-glacial or pre-glacial times, when the climate of England
was tropical or sub-tropical—that is to say, in middle Pleistocene or
late Pleiocene times. If man really existed in England in Pleiocene
times, in favour of which view there appears to be strong evidence,
he would have been in all probability the companion of the extinct
tropical mammalia found deposited in the Cromer Forest beds, and some
of which belonged to Meiocene times. This forest was in existence at
the close of the Pleiocene era, and stretched from Cromer far away into
what is now the German Ocean, uniting Norfolk and Suffolk to Holland
and Belgium; but soon after the commencement of the Pleistocene period
the North Sea gradually swept over the old continent between Britain
on the west and Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands on the east, thus
converting the old forest at Cromer into the bed of the ocean, where
the stumps of the trees may now be seen embedded in deposit at very
low tide. Immediately after the disappearance of this forest the first
period of glaciation commenced, from which moment until the close of
the glacial periods the alternations in temperature and surface level
were frequent and of enormous magnitude, the correct sequence of which
changes we have as yet no proper conception.

If we go back to the commencement of the Tertiary great division of the
geological periods, we shall find that, at the beginning of the Eocene
deposits, the Secondary cretaceous rocks had been upheaved from the
bottom of the sea, and had become the dry ground of a large continent,
of which the British Islands formed a part; so that Eocene fauna and
flora in England had free communication with continental life. The
relative positions of land and water during this first Tertiary period
were as follows: The great continent spread from North America to
Europe, uniting Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Faroes, Shetlands, Orkneys,
Ireland, and Britain (except south-east portion), with Scandinavia
and Spitzbergen on the north-east, and with France (Brittany) and
Spain on the south. There were three seas—the North Sea, which, like
a wedge with its point downwards, separated Greenland, Iceland, and
Faroes from Spitzbergen and Scandinavia; the South-Eastern Sea, which
stretched from the top of Denmark to Boston in Lincolnshire, thence
to Lyme Regis in Dorsetshire, and on to Cherbourg, covering the whole
of the east and south-east of England; and the Atlantic, which was
separated from the North Sea by Iceland, Faroes, and intermediate
lands, and from the South-Eastern Sea by the British Islands, Western
France, and intermediate lands. These Eocene seas teemed with fish
now only found in more Southern latitudes; while the inland lakes and
rivers abounded with reptilian life. On the land tropical flora and
fauna flourished, among the former being palms, cypresses, and giant
cacti, and among the latter, in Lower Eocene times, large numbers of
marsupial species, in the Middle Eocene also lion-like carnivora, and
in Upper Eocene tapir-like animals, herds of Anchitheres (ancestors
of the horse), Hyænodon (ancestors of hyæna), and Lemurs. The Miocene
period opened with a lower temperature than that of the Eocene, and
with a considerable difference of surface level in Denmark and on the
South of England, the land having been upheaved to such an extent as
to leave no part of the country under water, uniting Yorkshire with
Denmark, and dividing the South-Eastern Sea into two portions, the
Northern one stretching from Schleswig as far as a few miles from
the present Lincolnshire coast and then back to the present mouth
of the Scheldt; and the latter stretching from Boulogne-sur-Mer to
Hastings and Portland Bill, and back to Cherbourg. Otherwise the
relationship between land and water was much the same as in Eocene
times. The climate of the Meiocene period was sub-tropical, and in
the lower strata were found placental mammals, but few marsupials; in
the middle beds remains of the mastodon, rhinoceros, anthropomorphous
apes, sloths, and ant-eaters; and in the upper layers antelopes
and gazelles; but no mammalian species in any Meiocene deposit has
continued to present times, all having become extinct. When we arrive
at the Pleiocene age we have quite a different state of things; the
Atlantic and North Seas gradually united together, thus separating
Europe from Faroes, Iceland, Greenland, and North America; and on the
east of Britain the North Sea slowly descended as far as the present
mouth of the Thames, thus separating Britain from Norway, Denmark, and
the Netherlands; while the two Southern seas disappeared altogether,
leaving a huge continent, the borders of which stretched from the
present west coast of Norway to Denmark, the Netherlands, across to
Essex, central Norfolk (east Norfolk and Suffolk being part of North
Sea), and up to the Shetlands, at which point a turn was made south
to a few miles west of present west coast of Ireland, and thence
southward to a few miles west of present coast of Brittany, in France,
thus leaving the British Isles, France, and the rest of Europe as one
large continent. To accomplish these enormous changes, a very long
time was required, during which the climate was gradually becoming
more temperate, being in older Pleiocene times sub-tropical and in
newer Pleiocene warm-temperate; while the fauna and flora gradually
became less tropical in kind. The older Pleiocene deposits are divided
into coralline crag and reg crag, while the newer Pleiocene consist
of Norwich crags and Weybourne sands, on a level with which latter
was the Cromer forest, submerged by the North Sea during the earlier
Pleistocene period.

At this point commence those enormous alterations in the surface level
and climate of this part of the world which produced such extraordinary
results, and during which man made his first appearance in Britain. At
the very commencement of the Pleistocene era the temperature in Britain
was lowered to such an extent as to produce a sudden disappearance
of the semi-tropical fauna and flora: the land had reached the high
elevation of 500 feet above the present level, joining Scotland and
Scandinavia, and there had appeared in the North Sea large blocks of
ice, which rapidly increased in size and quantity, and continually
pushed farther south, until at length, after a long lapse of time, the
whole of Northern Europe, Asia, and America as far as the latitude
of about 45° became like a huge ice-house, the Arctic cold driving
all life before it to a more southern latitude, those forms which had
lived in Britain during Meiocene and Pleiocene times being the first to
disappear on the earliest sign of the approaching cold, and the Arctic
flora and fauna which took their place being afterwards compelled also
to move southward, owing to the intense severity of the glaciation.

When this state of things had lasted a very considerable time the
climate became milder, the melting ice deposited its boulder-clay, and
the high continent commenced to sink again to its former level, during
which gradual submergence the climate became still warmer, until it
at length reached a more than temperate mildness, at one time being
almost tropical. Still the land continued to sink, and this submergence
lasted until the British part of the great continent had become a large
archipelago of small islands, the surface of the land being upwards
of one thousand feet below the present level. It has been calculated
that such a submergence would require at the least 88,000 years to
be completed; so that a general idea may be formed of the enormous
periods of time occupied by these glacial and inter-glacial epochs.
While the British archipelago existed, another change of climate
took place, resulting in another glacial period, but probably not of
such intensity as the previous one. At this period the upper boulder
clay was deposited in the sea, to be afterwards upheaved above the
sea level in Yorkshire and other places. After a long continuance of
this glaciation the land commenced to rise again and the climate to
improve, until, after a period of about 136,000 years (according to
careful computation), there was produced another continental condition,
the ground reaching about 600 feet higher than now, and the climate
becoming temperate once more. England, Ireland, Scotland, Scandinavia,
Denmark, the Netherlands, France, and Spain once again formed a mighty
continent, the climate of which was cold-temperate, becoming milder
year by year, and the elevation of which was gradually declining, as it
has continued to do until the present time, the British islands slowly
becoming once more separated from the continent of Europe. During the
last temperate continental condition Palæolithic and Neolithic man
lived in Britain, as is clearly proved by the evidence brought forward
by various authors in support of the contention; but, as we have seen,
Palæolithic man’s remains discovered in the various deposits were
often in the company of the bones of extinct mammals belonging to a
tropical fauna, which species could not have existed in Britain with
such a climate as that which followed the last period of glaciation,
but must have lived either in pre-glacial times, or, in other words, at
the end of Pleiocene or very beginning of Pleistocene times, or else
in inter-glacial or mid-Pleistocene times; and whichever alternative
be adopted we are bound to fix the date of the Palæolithic remains at
the same period. To fix their date in the very earliest of Pleistocene,
or latest of Pleiocene times, would give them an antiquity of nearly
300,000 years; to fix it in mid-Pleistocene times, during the temperate
or inter-glacial period of submergence, would give them an antiquity
of upwards of 170,000 years; and to fix it in post-glacial times would
give them an antiquity of probably 70,000 or 80,000 years at most. The
inter-glacial theory would, on the whole, appear most likely to be the
correct one, were it not for the fact that, during the inter-glacial
period, this country was partially submerged, which would probably have
prevented any communication in those times between the islands and
the mainland. We must, however, not forget that the great submergence
commenced during the first period of glaciation, and did not cease
until the second period had been reached, so that the inter-glacial
period of warmth would take place when England and Scotland were but
little different from now in their relationship to the continent, and
long before the archipelago was formed. Whether it would have been
possible under these conditions for Palæolithic man to cross from the
continent to the British islands we cannot say; but the probability is
that the distance to travel by water would have been far too great in
such early times; in which case we have no alternative but to place the
date of man’s earliest existence in England at the latest Pleiocene
age, as indeed we are compelled to do by the fact that Palæolithic
implements have been found in Kent’s cavern side by side with teeth of
the extinct bear of that period, as well as by the discoveries made in
the Engis and other caves.

In Southern Europe and the Southern States of North America the glacial
epoch had little effect, so that man’s age upon the earth in those
districts will be better calculated than it can ever be here or in
France and Belgium; and it will not be surprising if we learn before
long that man lived in the districts surrounding the Mediterranean
Sea in early Pleiocene times. This sea, it must be recollected, was
almost dried up during the early and middle Pleistocene periods, and
there was no communication between it and the Atlantic Ocean, so that
Europe was connected both on the east and west with Africa, and was
also one continuous continent with Asia, there being then no Black
Sea and no Caspian Sea. The probability, therefore, is that man first
became a rational being, parting with his ape-like characteristics,
somewhere in Southern Asia or Northern Africa, or, more probably still,
in the now submerged continent of Lemuria, which once joined China,
India, and Africa in one continental system; after which he emigrated
in different directions, finding his way north-westwards over the
European continent as far as the very limit of the Franco-British
continental system. At what period man first existed in the districts
around the Mexican Gulf it is at present impossible to say; but the
skull found in the Mississippi beds is calculated to be at least
50,000 years old, and by some the date is fixed at 100,000 years,
which would carry us back to middle Pleistocene times at least. Man,
therefore, most probably existed in Europe long before he had made
his appearance in the new world, although it is quite possible that
further investigation may lead to the discovery of a still more
ancient stock than that to which the Mississippi skull belonged. How
long a time elapsed between the first appearance of Palæolithic man
in Northern Europe, and the subsequent advent of Neolithic man, it is
at present impossible to say with any degree of certainty; but the
interval must have been of enormous length, for we find no traces of
polished stone implements until the very close of the Pleistocene era
during the last Franco-British continental system. At this period man
had become much more civilised than his ancestors of the Palæolithic
age; his implements were more ornamental and better fitted for the
purposes for which they were intended; his mode of life had become more
settled; and he had developed primitive industries. In the ancient “hut
circles” found at Standlake and at Fisherton, near Salisbury, have
been found instruments used for spinning and weaving, which date back
to Neolithic times, also fragments of pottery and stones used for
grinding corn, side by side with the remains of domestic animals. From
this we conclude that Neolithic man was at this time a companion of
domestic animals, a keeper of flocks and herds, and an agriculturalist.
He very soon became, in addition to this, a miner, as is evident from
the remains found at Cissbury, on the South Downs, and at Grimes
Graves, near Bandon, in Suffolk. Shafts had been sunk and galleries
dug out of the ground in order to unearth a better kind of flint for
manufacturing useful implements; and in some of these galleries the
tools of the workmen have been discovered, consisting of picks made out
of stags’ antlers, polished stone celts, chisels of bone and antler,
and small cups made of chalk. With these and other primitive tools the
flint had been worked out in several places, forming deep hollows in
and near which were the remains of birds, sheep, goats, horses, pigs,
and dogs, which evidently had served as companions to and food for
the miners. Canoes, hollowed out of large trees by the use of fire
and axes, have also been discovered, together with huge paddles for
propelling them; and numerous have been the discoveries of heads of
javelins, arrows, and spears, which were probably used as weapons of
warfare, the population by this time having grown large and divided
itself into small communities more or less at enmity with each other.

Similar progress was made by Neolithic man on the continent of Europe,
as we know from the discoveries made in Switzerland. As early as 1829
very ancient piles had been discovered in the lake of Zürich, which
have since been found to be the remains of primitive lake-dwellings,
dating from Neolithic times. These peculiar habitations consisted of
wooden houses built on platforms erected on a number of wooden piles
driven into the bottom of the lake, and were, no doubt, so constructed
with the view of protecting the small colony from the raids of wild
beasts and warlike people from other parts of the country. Most of
these lake-dwellings were burnt down, their charred remains sinking
to the bottom of the lake, where they have been discovered together
with heaps of corn, pieces of woven and plaited cloth, mealing or
grinding stones, earthenware implements, nets and mats, and implements
of stone, antler, and bone. Numbers of domestic and other animals
were kept in these dwellings, such as the dog, horse, pig, sheep, and
cow; and fish appears to have been a regular article of consumption.
Similar discoveries have been made in Denmark by Professor Steenstrup
and others, which show an equal advance in civilisation and culture
during early Neolithic times. Vast accumulations of refuse matter, in
the form of oyster-shells, fish-bones, and animal remains, have been
found near the shores of the Baltic, the whole being heaped up into
mounds, evidently having formed public refuse-heaps for communities
of settlers. Scattered about were also found polished stone axes, but
no metal implements; while upon some of the stones were well-drawn
engravings, pointing to a considerable advance in culture; and the fact
that the remains of the domestic animals prove them to be of southern
and eastern origin suggests the probability that these settlers were
immigrants from the south-east of Europe, where we should expect
considerable advance to have been effected in civilisation.

It is extremely probable and generally admitted that man became
civilised in oriental countries, and made his way northwards and
westwards, gradually covering the whole of Europe; so that we should
expect the races of Egypt, Persia, and India to be far more highly
cultured than those who were establishing themselves in the west at
the same time. It would take a very long time indeed for people to
spread themselves from Egypt and Persia over the whole of Europe, and
during all this time they would naturally, owing to their wandering
habits, advance in civilisation far more slowly than those who remained
in their original homes. At the time, therefore, that Neolithic man
had become a settler in Europe and Britain we may fairly suppose that
Egypt, Persia, and India were great, powerful, and prosperous states,
well advanced in civilisation and art, and, perhaps, even the tail-end
of a mighty and prosperous civilisation that had preceded them long
ages before. It was probably from these highly-civilised centres that
the discovery of bronze was carried into Europe, which marked the
commencement of what is called the Bronze or Prehistoric Age, during
which period the use of bronze implements almost entirely superseded
that of polished stone weapons.

Before the Bronze Age had fairly commenced the last of the Pleistocene
deposits had taken place, and the recent layers of earth had begun to
distribute themselves upon the older strata; but how long a time has
actually elapsed since the completion of the Pleistocene stratification
has not been accurately ascertained. A rough approximation to the
relative length of the Pleistocene and Prehistoric periods may be
obtained from the fact that the valleys were cut down by streams
flowing through them as much as a hundred feet deep in the former
period, while the work done by the rivers during the latter period is
measured by the insignificant fluviatile deposits close to the adjacent
streams. We may, therefore, conclude that the Pleistocene era was,
beyond all calculation, of longer duration than the Prehistoric. It
must not be imagined from this that the Prehistoric period was a short
one, for there have been a series of changes in the fauna, and a series
of invasions of different races of men into Europe, which must have
required a very long time to have been brought about, judging from
similar changes recorded in history.

It is believed that, soon after the commencement of the Bronze Age, an
Aryan stream of life poured over Europe from Central Asia, and finally
invaded England, driving out the old inhabitants and re-stocking the
country with a host of Aryan Celts, who brought with them the knowledge
of bronze manufacture. The defeated natives retreated to Ireland
and the west of England and Scotland, and finally gave themselves
up to their conquerors, whom they in future served as slaves. Thus
were annihilated the Neolithic men of Britain, and thus was the use
of polished stone weapons superseded by that of bronze implements.
These Celtic invaders, like their conquered predecessors, lived upon
the flesh both of wild and domestic animals, as is evident from the
discovery made in 1867 at Barton Mere, near Bury St. Edmunds, where
bronze spear-heads were found in and around large piles and blocks
of stone, together with vast quantities of the broken bones of the
stag, roe, wild boar, hare, urus, horse, ox, hog, and dog, as well
as fragments of pottery. Fire was produced by these men by striking a
flint flake against a piece of iron pyrites, as is evident from the
discovery of these articles in and around charred remains of fires;
thus a great advance was made in this direction upon the habits of the
older inhabitants, who had only been able to procure fire by rapidly
turning a piece of wood between their two hands, the point being fixed
in a hollow on another piece of wood, so that the great friction which
resulted produced heat sufficient to generate flame.

Following the Bronze Age was the Iron Age, during which period the
historic era commenced; and thus we have not only various discoveries
to prove that iron gradually supplanted bronze, but history bears
witness to the same truth. The Homeric legends abound with feats
performed by heroes who wielded bronze and iron weapons; and from
Hesiod, who wrote nearly five hundred years before Herodotus, we learn
that iron had already superseded bronze among the Greeks, and that the
archæologists of his day recognised a distinct era of the past as the
Age of Bronze. The probability is that the discovery of the mode of
separating iron from its ore and turning it into useful articles was
made in Asia, from whence it was afterwards introduced into Europe;
for we find that at the very first appearance of iron in Britain and
France there were iron coins and iron ornaments in regular use among
the people, which articles were no doubt brought by invading tribes of
oriental people. In the early or prehistoric portion of the Iron Age
the practice of burying the dead at full length first became known in
Britain, cremation having always been practised previously.

Having now arrived at historic times, our inquiry into man’s antiquity
need not be further continued. For the searcher after truth there only
now remains the task of carefully considering the facts here brought
forward and comparing the conclusions arrived at with the old orthodox
story of the creation of the world and man as found in the Bible. If
the story read in the Book of Nature be a true one, then man has lived
upon the earth several hundred thousand years, and has passed from
a state of unconscious animal existence, through innumerable stages
of savage, semi-savage, and civilised conditions, to his present
commanding position. If the story read in the so-called Book of God be
a true one, then the world and man were created less than six thousand
years ago. The reader must judge for himself which is the truth.



                   PLAN OF EVOLUTION OF MIND IN MAN

   INDIVIDUAL    INTELLECTUAL                                RACE
   ASCENT        PRODUCTS            EMOTIONAL PRODUCTS      ASCENT
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 15 Yrs.    | Science           | Rational Emotion      | Homo Sapiens|
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 10 Yrs.    | Monotheism        | Melancholy & Ecstasy  | Homo Cultus |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 5 Yrs.     | Polytheism        | Reverence, Remorse    | Homo        |
  |            |                   | & Courtesy            | Semi-Cultus |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 3-1/2 Yrs. | Fetishism         | Awe and               | Homo        |
  |            |                   | Appreciation of Art   | Semi-Ferox  |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 3 Yrs.     | Superstition      | Avarice, Envy, Hate,  |             |
  |            |                   | Hope, Vanity,         |             |
  |            |                   | Mirth, Love of Beauty |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 2-1/2 Yrs. | Definite Morality |                       | Homo Ferox  |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 26 Mos.    | Judgment,         |                       | Alali       |
  |            | Recollection &    |                       |             |
  |            | Self Consciousness|                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 22 Mos.    | Speech            |                       | Semi-Human  |
  |            |                   |                       |   Apes      |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 20 Mos.    | Concerted Action  |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 16 Mos.    | Knowledge of the  |                       |             |
  |            | use of Simple     |                       |             |
  |            | Instruments       |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 14 Mos.    | Articulation      |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 13 Mos.    | Indefinite        |                       | Anthropoid  |
  |            | Morality          |                       | Apes        |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 8 Mos.     | True Reason       | Pride, Shame, Deceit, |Monkeys, Dogs|
  |            |                   | Passion, Cruelty &    |             |
  |            |                   | Ludicrousness         | & Elephants |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 6 Mos.     | Understanding     | Sympathy, Curiosity,  |Horses, Pigs |
  |            |   of Words        | Revenge & Gratitude   | & Cats      |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 5 Mos.     | Dreaming          | Emulation,            | Birds       |
  |            |                   | Jealousy, Joy, Grief. |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 4 Mos.     | Recognition       | Anger                 | Reptiles    |
  |            |   of Persons      |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 15 Wks.    | Recognition       | Play                  | Insects     |
  |            |   of Places       |                       | and Fishes  |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 14 Wks.    | Association       | Pugnacity             | Crustaceans |
  |            |   of Ideas        |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 13 Wks.    | Conscious Memory  | Fear                  | Crustaceans |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 1 to 2     | Pain and Pleasure |                       | Vermes      |
  | Mos.       |                   |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | 3 Wks.     | Consciousness     |                       | Higher      |
  |            |                   |                       | Molluscs    |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | Birth      | Imperfect Sense   |                       | Lower       |
  |            |   organs          |                       | Molluscs    |
  |            | Primary Instincts |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | Embryo     | Non-Nervous       |                       | Amœbæ       |
  |            |   Adjustment      |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+
  | Germ       | Protoplasmic      |                       | Protoplasm  |
  |            |   Motion          |                       |             |
  +————————————+——————————————————-+——————————————————————-+————————————-+


[Illustration: A creeping Amœba, or unicellular Protist that changes
its form continually; with cell-nucleus in the middle, within which is
the nucleolus. After Haeckel.]

[Illustration: Gastrula of a Gasteropoda (Gastrœada) After Haeckel.
A. Ectoderm. B. Endoderm. C. Mouth. D. Gastric cavity.]



EVOLUTION OF MIND.


It seems hardly credible that there should exist people who profess
to accept the Darwinian theory of development of species in all
its fulness, and yet reject the idea of the human mind having been
evolved by slow stages from the primitive sense-organ of our lowliest
ancestors, the Protista. Such inconsistency seems almost puerile, and,
were it not for the fact that the admission of this truth would be the
final blow at the various faiths of the world, we should not be called
upon to-day to defend a position so utterly impregnable as that assumed
by Haeckel and others in regard to the evolution of the human mind.
When education has advanced further there will, we must hope, be less
of this shutting of the eyes to obvious truths for the mere sake of
propping up for a little while longer the belief in a batch of fairy
tales and preposterous legends. As we look around us upon the wonderful
objects of nature we see everywhere animation and law; the heavens
above are full of life—suns, planets, moons, and other celestial
bodies incessantly moving to and fro, all bound in their courses by
the immutable laws of nature; the vast ocean, teeming with myriads
of living beings, is incessantly rolling and roaring like some great
monster, but never exceeds the limits which nature has assigned to
its action; and the whole face of the earth presents a constant scene
of activity of some kind or other—volcanoes discharging their molten
fluid, huge glaciers grinding along the ground, monster rivers rushing
forward with incessant roar, and the vegetable and animal kingdoms
increasing and multiplying at a marvellous pace. All this is life—in
fact, everything we see around us, of whatever form or shape, is life
of some sort. The very ground upon which we stand is full of life,
each particle of dust being held to its fellow particles by mutual
attraction; and there is not a single atom of the earth’s substance or
of the whole universe that we can say is minus this property of life
or activity; nothing in the universe that we know of ever remains for
one moment in a state of rest; everything is constantly moving, and
every particle of the whole contributes its own share to the general
activity which we term motion or life. The whole universe is a huge
manifestation of phenomena, which make up the sum-total of life or
activity. The sun rotating on its axis is one form of life; the moon
silently wandering round our planet is another form of life; the trees
and animals growing and multiplying on the land are other forms; and
every lump of ore taken out of the ground and every paving stone in
our streets are other forms of life. Every particle of every substance
whatever is in a state of continual motion, and therefore full of life.
In fact, it is this very motion or life that sustains matter; for
matter could not exist—that is, its particles could not hold together,
and thus form substance—without the life, motion, activity, or whatever
we like to term the property which operates upon them and produces
mutual cohesion.

Life has always, therefore, been active in matter, and always will be,
for life or motion cannot be separated from matter; and, just as matter
has passed from a condition of homogeneity to one of heterogeneity,
so has life done likewise. Life possesses infinite potentiality, and
manifests itself in an infinite variety of ways by means of different
combinations, which it brings about in the molecular atoms of universal
matter. It acts, for instance, upon a planet by causing its particles
to hold together in one mass apart from other bodies of a similar or
dissimilar character; it also acts upon what we unscientifically call
inanimate nature by causing its particles to hold together, forming in
one case a stone, in another a metal, etc.; and it acts upon what we
term animated nature by causing its molecules to combine and procreate.
This power of attraction and cohesion of particles of universal matter
is life, and it depends entirely upon what particular combination of
the molecular atoms of universal matter takes place whether a sun, a
moon, a planet, a stone, a crystal, a sponge, a tree, or a man be the
result. This much is certain, however, that not one of these bodies
can ever be produced except by an evolutionary process subject to the
universal and unchangeable law which fixes the sequence.

Animal life, as distinct from all other life, is a comparatively late
development or manifestation in the sequence of universal phenomena.
This world on which we live had existed as a compact body for millions
of ages before life assumed the character of animal life; and so
gradual was the process of evolution from the primal condition of
homogeneity, through all the manifold stages of life, until the
condition of animal life was reached, that it is impossible to fix
a particular moment when such life became manifest. So it is with
every stage of the evolutionary process; there are no starting-places
for particular species, the whole being one continuous unfolding of
phenomena, without arrest of any kind.

It is equally impossible to fix a particular point or moment for the
manifestation of the crystal life as it is for that of the animal or
the vegetable life. All are but gradual unfoldings of the universal
potentiality. Crystal life is the highest development of what is
popularly but erroneously termed inanimate nature, and differs not one
iota from Moneron life, which is the lowest form of animal life, in
its constituent elements, the only difference between the two being in
the mode of combination of the elementary particles composing each.
The crystal elements combine in such proportions as to cause the mass
to hold together like other solid bodies, its bulk being increased by
the deposition of fresh particles upon its outer surface; while the
Moneron elements combine in such a manner as to render the body soft
and yielding, so that it can absorb nutriment from without to within
and multiply by fission. The elements of both are identically the same:
the manner of combination causes the differences between them. Many
learned men declare that, if this were true, we ought to be able to
take the five elements—viz., Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Carbon, and
Sulphur—in the necessary proportions, and, by uniting them, form animal
life. This, they say, has been attempted, and the result has been
failure; therefore, animal life could not have been generated in that
manner, but must have been specially created at some particular moment.
This argument is absurdly unsound. These persons might just as well
say that, to substantiate the assertion that crystals are formed of a
combination of elementary molecules, we ought to be able to take the
necessary quantity of these elements, and, by uniting them together,
form a crystal; and that, if this cannot be done, then crystals also
require a special creation. The same argument for a special creation
will apply to every species of the animal, vegetable, and mineral
kingdoms. Protoplasm is the lowest form of animal life, differing from
the highest form of mineral life only in the mode of combination of
its elementary particles; but this difference causes the manifestation
of fresh phenomena, in this case as in every other modification of a
previous state of nature, which gives it the appearance of possessing
a property that had not been possessed by any substance previously,
whereas, in truth, the apparently new property is but a further
development of that previously possessed by inorganic bodies. In short,
the power of absorption possessed by the Moneron is simply one of the
many manifestations of that universal life or energy that is inherent
in all matter, and has been so from all time; but it is a comparatively
late development, occurring at a particular period in the world’s
history, when the conditions necessary for such a development were
present. Before this period no such combination of molecular atoms took
place with the same result, simply because the necessary conditions of
development were absent. In the same manner precisely there was a prior
period when no such substance as a crystal existed, the conditions
requisite for the peculiar combination of molecular atoms to result in
the formation of a crystal having been absent.

When the world had undergone sufficient evolutionary development there
came a time when such atmospheric and other conditions were present
as to permit of a modification of the then existing substances and
properties, which resulted in the formation of the crystal; and,
precisely in the same manner, and for the same reason, a further and
later modification resulted in the formation of Protoplasm, which is
the earliest form of animal life. This little substance gradually
differentiated into two distinct parts, by a nucleus being formed
in the centre of the protoplasmic mass, and became possessed with a
peculiar power of locomotion, which caused a still greater difference
to exist between itself and its ancestral stock. This power of
locomotion, again, is but a modification of that life-power of which we
have spoken, and forms a stepping-stone between the molecular action
of mineral substances and the mental wonders of the human being. The
crystal, in common with all other bodies in the mineral kingdom, always
possessed this power of locomotion to a limited extent; every one of
the individual atoms which make up the whole substance has always had
the power of locomotion, for they all attract and repel each other and
effect cohesions by their mutual attraction. This locomotive power
underwent such a modification when cell-life (Protozoa) was manifested
that not only were the constituent molecular atoms individually
possessed of this power, as before, but the whole mass of the cell
became endowed with the same property, just as a whole continent of
free people who have been in the habit of defending themselves singly
against their enemies sometimes combine and co-operate with each
other in the form of a republic, the function of the individual being
assumed by the body as a whole. The little cellular organisms, which
are called Amœbæ, possess this extended power of locomotion, and may be
seen constantly moving about in the endeavour to locate themselves in
the brightest part of their dwelling place, frequently a little pond.
They are attracted by light, which clearly proves that they possess
a degree of sensory perception, although special sense-organs are of
course wanting, the whole mass of the body being nothing more than a
single cell composed of protoplasm and nucleus. These little cellular
organisms soon unite with each other, forming small bodies composed of
several cells in a state of cohesion (Synamœbæ), and on the surface of
these multicellular organisms are shortly afterwards thrown out minute
threads or ciliae, the first attempt at separation of sense-organs
from the surface of the body. In these tiny Protozoa, those organisms
which consist of one single cell only, the Amœbæ, as well as those
consisting of several cells in a state of union, the Synamœbæ, are
able to perform all the functions of animal life—cohesion, sensation,
motion, digestion, and reproduction; but, as the organism becomes more
and more complex, these different functions are shared among several
groups of cells. This differentiation proceeds steadily stage by stage,
until at last different senses are located in different parts of the
body, and we find animals possessing eyes, ears, noses, and mouths, one
organ performing the function of sight, another that of hearing, and
so on. All these organs of sense are but parts of the general nervous
organisation of the body, which is _apparently_ absent in the Protista,
but existing potentially in the protoplasmic substance, as it also does
in every other substance in the universe.

The ciliated multiple cell-organism, in course of time, becomes
transformed into a hollow body, having a wall composed of a single
layer of cells, and this again, by invagination, or folding of itself
within itself, forms a double-walled cavity, or Gastrula, having an
external opening like a mouth. These little animals, the Gastrœada,
having an inner layer of cells (the endoderm), which carries on the
nutritive and assimilative functions of the organism, and an outer
layer (the ectoderm), which forms the general motor and sense-organ of
the body, are the first animal organisms to possess a real sense-organ
separate and distinct from other parts of the body. From this epidermal
organ of sense are developed, as higher forms of animal life make
their appearance, the nerve-cells and sense-cells which form the whole
nervous system.

In the fresh-water polyp, or Hydra, which is wanting in distinct
organs of sense and nervous system, we find a remarkable sensitiveness
to touch, warmth, and light, individual ectodermic neuro-muscular
cells performing these functions, but a far greater sensibility being
exhibited in the circle of fine prehensible tentacles surrounding the
mouth than elsewhere. Here we have a marked attempt at localisation of
sense-organs, and a manifestation of instinct, which makes the little
animal shrink from the touch.

From the Hydræ evolved the Medusæ, which, instead of being dependent
entirely on neuro-muscular cells like the parent forms, developed
minute sets of nerves and muscles, by the use of which they became
enabled to swim about easily and at their own will and pleasure. We get
in this little animal the first appearance of real nerve function, or
conductibility of stimulus along the nervous fibre to a muscle which it
causes to contract—a totally different function to the contraction of
the whole body upon a stimulus being applied to it, as in the case of
the Hydræ.

In the worm forms, which evolve from the Gastrœada, we come across
the first attempt at special sense-organ formation, in the shape of
depressions on the integument of the body. The Himatega, or sack-worms,
possess a rudimentary spinal cord, and were the parents of the first
true vertebrates, organisms without skulls or brains, but with a true
vertebral cord. These little vermiform animals, in addition to their
rudimentary spinal cords, exhibited upon the surface of the body
several small depressions, which answered the purpose of a set of
special sense-organs, one tiny depression being set apart especially
for the perception of light waves, another for the perception of sound
waves, another for the perception of odours, etc.; and thus gradually
came about that wonderful evolutionary process by which bodies became
endowed with more or less perfect special sense-organs.

As the animal kingdom developed into higher and higher forms of
life, and skulls and brains became the order of the day, the special
sense-organs became possessed of larger powers, at the same time
that the whole nervous organisation assumed higher and more complex
functions, resulting eventually in a very gradual unfolding of the most
wonderful of all the latent potentialities of universal life—the marvel
of consciousness. This is the present climax of Nature’s evolution, the
grandest and most awful achievement of that hidden and mysterious force
which baffles comprehension, and beside which all things seen, heard,
or felt pale into insignificance.

To point out the precise method of the evolution of mind, step by step,
until the final climax of consciousness was reached, would require an
abler pen than mine; therefore I shall be content to briefly notice
the different products of intellectual development in the order in
which they are unfolded, showing the analogy between ontogenesis, or
the life-history of the individual, and phylogenesis, or that of the
whole race, not now as regards bodily, but only mental, evolution. We
must ever remember that the biogenetic law insists that the process
of development in the race is reflected in miniature in the embryonic
history of every individual. In other words, it is, beyond doubt, an
accepted article of faith with biologists that the development of the
individual from the embryo _in utero_ to the full-grown man is an exact
counterpart of the development of the whole race from the primitive
protoplasmic atom, the lowly Moneron, to _homo sapiens_, equally in
regard to mental as to bodily evolution.

Every human individual commences his term of separate existence
as a tiny speck of protoplasm, and slowly advances through the
phases of separate cell-life, multicellular existence, and the
gastrula, vermiform, and pisciform stages, being finally born as a
partially-developed member of the human family, from which moment
he grows rapidly to the perfection of the adult state, having
accomplished, in the short period of about a score of years, precisely
what his counterpart, the race, effected in many millions of years.
During the period in which the individual dwells _in utero_ great
and rapid modifications take place in the general construction of
the fœtus; sensory perception makes its appearance very early, being
followed quickly by the first attempt at differentiation of special
sense-organs in the form of tiny surface depressions; the brain and
spinal system gradually take shape and make ready for future action;
and the little body slowly assumes a form suitable for separate
extra-uterine existence. At the moment of birth the brain and special
sense-organs are not yet developed to such a degree that they can
properly discharge the functions they are called upon to perform in the
mature state; they have to advance gradually to perfection in harmony
with the growth of the whole body; and thus it is that a newly-born
individual does not see, hear, or exhibit signs of consciousness until
some time has elapsed from birth, although it is, at first, quite
sensitive to cold and heat. If a lighted candle be held in front of
the eyes of a newly-born infant, and moved to and fro, it will be
at once observed that the child is totally unconscious of it; and,
if a gun be fired off in the room occupied by the child, the effect
upon the infantile organism is _nil_; but, if the air of the room be
allowed to cool, the effect will be at once perceived, for the muscles
of the child will soon begin to contract, and his vocal bellows to
act vigorously. Gradually, however, the sight, hearing, etc., become
adjusted, and the infant begins to take notice of surrounding objects,
until at about a month after birth pain and pleasure, the first
indications of the dawn of the mental powers, manifest themselves.
Conscious, as distinguished from instinctive or non-conscious, memory
appears to be exercised at about the thirteenth week, and to be
immediately followed by association of ideas, the recognition of places
and persons, and dreaming. At the same time that these indications of
intellectual development are manifesting themselves, a corresponding
unfolding of the emotions is observed. Side by side with memory appears
fear, followed by pugnacity, play, and, later, anger; while, still
later, about on a par with the first period of dreaming, or at about
the age of five months, are manifested emulation, jealousy, joy, and
grief. In about another month we notice that the child begins to
understand words, while, on the emotional side, he evinces signs of
awakening sympathy, curiosity, revenge, and gratitude, followed within
a couple of months by pride, shame, deceitfulness, passionateness,
cruelty, and ludicrousness, which show themselves at the moment the
child appears to first exercise what we term true reason. From this
point we see rapidly unfolded the higher products of intellectual
development, the first of which is morality of a very indefinite kind,
which immediately precedes articulation at the age of about fourteen
months, being closely followed by knowledge of the use of various
simple instruments, afterwards at the age of twenty months by concerted
action, and still later by speech, which generally is effected at the
age of two years, or rather earlier. Following quickly upon speech we
observe judgment, recollection, and self-consciousness manifesting
themselves, and, by the time the child has attained the age of two
years and a half, morality of a definite kind makes its appearance.

Tracing the child’s development still further, we find the next
important intellectual manifestation—viz., superstition—to take place
at about three years of age, while concurrently the following emotional
products appear—avarice, envy, hate, hope, vanity, mirth, and a love of
the beautiful, which are followed, in the course of a few months, by
awe and an appreciation of art. From this age to the condition of adult
life, the intellectual faculties develop according to the surroundings
of the individual, while, on the emotional side, reverence, remorse,
and courtesy make their appearance at about the age of five years, and
melancholy and ecstasy at about the tenth year.

In the foregoing ontogenetic mirror will be found the key to the
unfolding of the great mystery of the evolution of mind in the animal
kingdom. We have only to take the geological periods one after the
other, and study the various life-forms found in each to see at once
that, with the race, the order of sequence in the appearance of the
intellectual and emotional faculties is precisely the same as with the
individual. We may place the new-born infant intellectually on a par
with the lowly molluscs or the vermiform little animals which existed
in the Cambrian period, in which little organisms probably pain first
made its entry upon the earth, followed by the appearance of pleasure,
memory (conscious), and association of ideas in the lowly crustaceans
of the later Cambrian and early Silurian periods. With the spiders,
fishes, and crabs of the later Silurian and Devonian periods we have
brought before us the faculty of recognising places of which these
animals are capable, which places them intellectually on a level with a
child of four or five months old.

The recognition of individuals next made its appearance in the reptiles
of the Carboniferous and Permian epochs; while the birds of the Oölitic
and Cretaceous periods were the first to dream, and are thus placed on
an intellectual level with a child of five or six months. The emotional
development coincides with the intellectual, just as in the case of the
infant, for we find fear manifesting itself among the lower molluscs,
pugnacity among the crustaceans, play among spiders and crabs, anger
among reptiles, and emulation, jealousy, joy, and grief among birds. We
now rise in the palæontological scale to the Tertiary period, and find
in the Eocene age equine and other mammal forms, such as cats and pigs,
which are capable of understanding words and signs, and among which we
notice a manifestation of sympathy, curiosity, revenge, and gratitude.
In the early Meiocene age we have monkeys, dogs, and elephants
exhibiting the clearest signs of true reason, as may be observed at
the present day, and at the same time manifesting such emotional
signs as pride, shame, deceitfulness, passionateness, cruelty, and
ludicrousness, which places them on an intellectual par with the infant
of less than a year old.

In the later Meiocene age we have anthropoid apes, which may be placed
on a level with one-year-old infants, and from which evolved apes
of a higher order, which acquired the faculty of articulation, and,
afterwards becoming more human, the knowledge of the use of simple
instruments, thus reaching the intellectual level of the child of
fifteen months old. As the apes became more and more human in the
later Meiocene and early Pleistocene ages, they gradually acquired
the faculty of acting in concert and of speech; and when, having
arrived at that stage of development in which they partook more of
the character of savage man than human ape, judgment, recollection,
self-consciousness, and, lastly, definite morality manifested
themselves, thus raising the ape-like man to the level of the child of
two and a half years. In the lowest savages of to-day, as well as in
the old descendants of the ape-like men, superstition developed to a
large extent at the same time that the emotional unfolding proceeded
in the direction of avarice, envy, hate, hope, vanity, mirth, a love
of the beautiful, and afterwards art appreciation, awe, reverence,
remorse, courtesy, melancholy, and ecstasy, precisely as with the
child of from five to ten years of age. As the race improved,
becoming in turn semi-savage, semi-civilised, civilised, and cultured,
the intellectual powers, of course, developed similarly, until, at
the present day, we find men possessed of the most wonderful mental
grandeur, we might almost say, conceivable. But this would be saying
too much, for we must not forget that, just as evolution has continued
in the past from eternity, so will it continue in the future to
eternity; and who can tell to what heights the human mind may soar in
the future?

Lofty as is the human intellect at the present time, as compared with
the mental powers of those we have left far behind in the march of
evolution, it is yet very far from being able to grasp many of the
great problems of the universe, such as that of existence. Perhaps at
some future time, in millions of ages to come, these great questions
may be answered; but at present we know they baffle the wisest men,
and continually remind us of the finite and limited character of our
intellectual faculties.

This comparison of the mental development of the individual with that
of the whole race is extremely interesting, and provides ample material
for thought. By such comparison, and by it alone, can the science of
psychology ever be based on a sure and enduring foundation. It is all
very well for theologians and other biased people to declare that
animal intelligence has nothing in common with the reasoning powers
of man; but let them honestly look at the facts as they are, thanks
to the indefatigable energy and indomitable perseverance of lovers
of science and truth, now presented to us. Candid observers cannot
fail to notice that the difference between the intelligence of man
and that of the lower animals is one only of degree, and not of kind.
When we see the order of sequence being followed in the development
of the individual so like that of the whole race, not only as regards
the bodily structure, but also as regards the mental functions, can
we help arriving at the conclusion that the one is but the epitome
of the other, and that the superior intellect of man is but a higher
development of the so-called instincts of the lower animals? Have we
not at the present day, among members of the human family itself,
various degrees of intelligence, from the almost barren brains of the
lowest races of savages to the brilliant mental achievements of a
Newton or a Spencer?

It is beyond doubt that the intellectual superiority of civilised man
over his savage brethren is due to the greater multiplicity of his
objects of thought, and it follows that savage man’s intellectual
superiority over the lower animals is due to the same cause. The
actions of both have the same aim—viz., the supplying of the wants
of the physical nature and the gratifying of the desires aroused in
the mind. It is frequently asserted that man differs from the lower
animals in possessing the power of reflection; but this I hold to
be an exploded argument, and at variance with all recent teaching.
Dogs, elephants, and monkeys most certainly possess the faculty of
reflection, and it is not difficult to find races belonging to the
human family whose powers of reflection transcend hardly in the least
degree those possessed by the higher apes; while the difference
between the reflective capacity of the lowest savage, which is of the
simplest conceivable kind, and that of the civilised European, which
has developed into genius, is enormous. Then, again, it is often
said that only man is emotional; but one need only have an ordinary
acquaintanceship with domestic animals to at once see the absurdity of
this argument, for dogs are frequently observed to laugh, to cry, to
express joy and gratitude by their actions, and to betray feelings of
shame and remorse; while horses and elephants have been observed to
punish their cruel keepers in the most cunning manner and then to laugh
at the poor fellows’ discomfiture. As to the “conscience argument,”
so frequently brought forward, by religionists especially, all I have
to say here is that conscience, or the knowledge of the distinction
between right and wrong, is not an inherent quality of the human mind,
being merely a result of the operation of the reflective faculty aided
by experience, as is quite evident from the fact that the ideas of
morality vary according to the age in which we live. The same may be
said about the greatest of all the arguments against evolution—viz.,
that of language; for, just as conscience is but a product of
reflection and experience, so is language also. It is a mistake to
imagine that the power of speech is possessed by man alone, and that
his language differs altogether from the cries and signals of the lower
animals, for such is not the case. Many animals possess the faculty of
speech, and human language differs from that of the lower animals only
in its degree of development, and in no sense in its origin. Probably
all language originated in interjection, or the “instinctive expression
of the subjective impressions derived from external nature,” as Mr.
Farrar puts it. And, just as the reflective powers of the race were
developed and shone more brilliantly as each stage in the evolutionary
march of intellect was passed, so did language pass from the simple
monosyllabic cries to the complex dialects of modern civilisation; and
it is worthy of notice that, at the present day, or at any rate very
recently, there were races of savage men inhabiting this earth who
possessed no language at all, and could not, on account of their mode
of living, be placed on a higher intellectual level than the higher
apes; while we have the authority of the leading philologists of the
times in support of the fact that the monosyllabic cries of some of the
lower human tribes are quite within the grasp of the ape’s voice.

Human beings have been discovered in wild and hitherto unexplored
regions who have not the remotest idea of what we should term
civilisation. They lead a wandering and useless life, sleeping at
nights, not in huts, nor in caves, but squatting among the branches of
tall trees, where they are placed out of the reach of savage animals.
They do not appear capable of expressing their thoughts in sentences,
but make use of exclamatory grunts, which serve the purposes of speech
quite sufficiently for their limited requirements; and their general
appearance approaches to a remarkable extent that of the higher apes,
in that they are almost completely covered with hair, possess a dirty
brown skin, short legs, long arms, and full abdomens, can pick up
stones, sticks, etc., with their toes as well as their fingers, and
show few if any signs of intellectual powers. Let any one visit the
Zoological Gardens, in London, and carefully observe the apes exhibited
there, and then say whether there is a vast difference between some
of them and the human beings who answer to the above description. One
need but visit the travelling menagerie of Messrs. Edmunds, and view
their “missing link,” an excellent sample of the chimpanzee troglodyte,
to see that the difference between man and the lower animals is one
only of degree, quite as much as regards intellect as bodily form. I
once saw exhibited in the _Jardin d’Acclimatation_, in Paris, a lot of
Patagonian or Fuegan (I forget which) natives, who were very little
superior intellectually to the chimpanzee. They were stark naked, in a
wretchedly dirty condition, and appeared quite incapable of anything
like sustained mental effort. But these are by no means the lowest
among the human species.

In conclusion, I need only re-state my opinion that all so-called
living things are but products of the development of protoplasm,
whether belonging to the animal or vegetable kingdoms; that this
protoplasm possesses the property of vitality, or the power of
perceiving stimuli of various kinds and responding to them by definite
movements; that the phenomena of mind are but functional manifestations
of this protoplasmic development; and that the highest intellectual
product of the human mind exists and has existed from eternity in a
state of latent potentiality in every atom of protoplasm, as well as in
every particle of matter in the universe.



THE SPECIAL SENSES.


According to the now almost universally (that is, among educated
scientific people) accepted theory of Evolution, each living being upon
this earth is a result of a very slow process of development, which
commenced with a low form of life many millions of years ago, and has
since been operating continuously, becoming more and more complex, and
imperceptibly attaining greater perfection as each fresh stage was
accomplished. From the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, from inorganic
to organic, from Amœba to man, the evolutionary development has slowly,
steadily, and surely advanced step by step, in obedience to certain
well-defined laws. Yet it is impossible to discern in this slow process
of evolution any well-marked difference between one particular species
and the next of kin, although the difference becomes clearly apparent
if we take two species separated from each other by considerable
time; just as it is impossible to detect any alteration in form and
feature between a child of six days old and the same child of seven
days old, while the change is very evident after the lapse of several
weeks or months. If we were to photograph a human being regularly
each day from the moment of its birth to the time of its decease at
the age of eighty, we should be unable to detect any real difference
between the portraits on any two consecutive days; but the difference
between the child of a week old and the young man of twenty years would
be enormous, as would be that between the full-grown youth and the
tottering old man. As the human individual in its earliest condition
of existence is not possessed of the same faculties as it afterwards
enjoys as a more perfect development, so, in like manner, the species
in its primal condition was wanting in the loftier qualities now
possessed by the higher animals, such as consciousness, sight, hearing,
taste, smell, and touch, all of which have been gradually evolved
as the various life-forms developed from lower and more simple to
higher and more complex kind. For instance, at a very early period of
man’s individual existence he possessed no brain, eyes, ears, mouth,
or nose, and, therefore, was quite incapable of mentating, seeing,
hearing, tasting, or smelling; but, as the organism very gradually
developed into a higher and more complex kind, these various organs
manifested themselves, and slowly arrived at such perfection as we
find in the human infant at birth. Precisely so was it with the race.
The lowly Moneron was of homogeneous structure, possessing neither
parts nor kind, but gradually differentiating into nucleus and cell;
its descendants, the Gastrœada, becoming possessed, by a process of
invagination, of an external layer of nucleated cells and an internal
and more delicate layer, thus forming a hollow organism, or Gastrula.
This external cellular integument was the original sense-organ of the
animal kingdom, from which developed the organs of special sense.
Though without nerve and special sense-organs, yet these little hollow
Gastrœada, and, in fact, their ancestors, the Amœbæ, which consisted
of simple protoplasmic cells, each enclosing a nucleus, were possessed
with sensory perception, being influenced by light, and by variations
of pressure and temperature. As the evolutionary process continued, and
the animal kingdom assumed higher forms, the original epidermal general
sense-organ became converted into several special organs of sense, each
specialisation commencing with a simple depression upon the integument
of the organism; numerous little epidermal nerves of perception were
formed, which could perceive changes of pressure and of temperature,
and some of which gradually became enabled to understand particular
influences affecting them, such as those produced by a strong odour,
light-waves, and sound-waves. By adaptation, the extremities of these
sense-nerves became expanded and enlarged, so as to enable them the
better to understand the particular influences; and this expansion was
accompanied by a corresponding depression on the integument, which
cup-like formation afterwards became converted into an eye, or other
organ of special sense, very imperfect in the invertebrate forms of
life, imperfect in the fish, more perfect in the amphibian, and still
more perfect in the mammal forms, such as apes and men. In short, the
life-history of the individual is an exact counterpart in miniature of
the life-history of the species up to the particular point reached by
the particular individual.

The order and mode of development is precisely the same in all animal
organisms, and may be conveniently studied by placing a hen’s egg in
an incubating machine, and carefully watching it for the space of
three weeks. It will be observed that the eye, ear, nose, and mouth
are not present at the commencement of the process, but make their
appearance later on, about the third or fourth day of incubation, as
tiny depressions on the integument, from which condition they gradually
develop into perfect organs of special sense, as possessed by the
full-grown chicken; the eyes, which receive the impressions caused
by light-waves; the ears, which receive those made by sound-waves;
the nose, by which odours are discerned; the mouth, which holds the
taste-organ; and the skin, which remains the organ of touch and
perception of temperature. Now, when we consider for a moment these
wonderful phenomena, we cannot help being struck by the remarkable
manner in which the animal kingdom has been slowly and steadily
progressing towards perfection, in spite of the enormous physical
difficulties encountered; and we cannot help coming to the conclusion
that, inasmuch as there was once a time when no animal existed having
eyes, ears, nose, or mouth, and, still later, a period when these
special sense-organs existed in a very imperfect condition, it is
highly probable that in the future ages man, who now possesses special
senses of a high order, will acquire even still more highly-developed
faculties.

In congratulating ourselves upon the advance made by our own particular
species over other members of the animal kingdom, we must never forget
that, although we can mentate, see, hear, smell, taste, and feel,
while myriads of our lowly brethren can do none of these, we yet are
incapable of solving the mighty problems of the universe with any
or all of these organs without artificial aid. No man on earth has
ever yet been able to solve the mighty problem of existence, in spite
of his great intellectual powers. No man has ever yet been able to
see a millionth part of the wonders in the heavens above, or in the
earth beneath, with his own unaided eye; but with the telescope and
microscope new worlds have been opened out to him. We are as yet,
undoubtedly, in but a transitory condition, the victims of an imperfect
organisation, subject to a partially-developed brain and nervous
system, and to five imperfect special senses. We must accept the
situation philosophically, and without grumbling, and do our best to
make good use of the senses we have, and leave the solution of problems
we are unable to solve to future races of men, who will be possessed of
better materials with which to operate.



[Illustration: “THE SUPREME SPIRIT IN THE ACT OF CREATION BECAME BY
VOGA, TWO-FOLD, THE RIGHT SIDE WAS MALE, THE LEFT WAS PRAKRITI.”
(Brahma Vaivartta Puranu.)

BRAHM THE HINDU ANDROGYNOUS CREATOR
Copied from Inman’s “Ancient Faiths”.]


[Illustration: ISIS, HORUS AND FISH

From a photograph of a small bronze image in the Mayor collection
of Browne’s Museum, Liverpool. Copied from D^(r) Inman’s “Ancient
Faiths”.]


[Illustration: THE VEDIC VIRGIN, INDRANEE, WIFE-MOTHER OF SAVIOUR-GOD,
INDRA. From Hislop’s “Two Babylons”.]

[Illustration: THE HINDU GOD VISHNU, NURSED BY HIS VIRGIN WIFE-MOTHER,
LAKSHMI. From Moore’s “Hindu Pantheon”.]

[Illustration: DEVAKI AND CHRISTNA From Moore’s “Hindu Pantheon”.]

[Illustration: THE HINDU GOD SIVA, NURSED BY HIS VIRGIN WIFE-MOTHER,
PARVATI.   Copied from statuette in Liverpool museum.]


[Illustration: AMEN-RA (After Drummond.)]


[Illustration: CRUX ANSATA
Found marked on the breast of an Egyptian mummy in the University
College Museum, London.]

[Illustration: THE ASSYRIAN VIRGIN ISHTAR
From Rawlinson’s “Ancient Monarchies”.]

[Illustration: CRUCIFIXION OF CHRISTNA
From old Hindu engraving. After Higgins.]

[Illustration: VIRGIN AND CHILD AT IDALIUM IN CYPRUS
  After Rawlinson
  (“Herodotus”)]

[Illustration: ISIS AND HORUS THE EGYPTIAN VIRGIN AND SAVIOUR-GOD
  From Rawlinson’s “Herodotus”.]



EVOLUTION OF THE GOD IDEA.


“Knowing his adopted land well, the Eastern does not require recondite
volumes to explain ‘Dionysiak myths’ or ‘solar theories,’ as the old
faiths are now called in the West. He sees these pervading the tales
and epiks of East and West alike, just as Yahvism or Yahu-ism pervades
the Scriptures of Jews or Yahus—that ever-familiar and expressive
faith-term by which alone Asia knows the ‘Yahudean’ race.” While fully
admitting the true character of the old faith as here expressed, yet,
with all due deference to one of such acknowledged repute in the
literary world as Major-General Forlong, whose splendid work, entitled
“Rivers of Faith” (Preface, p. xxi.) contains the above paragraph, it
may be fairly urged that the educated few only, both among Easterns and
Westerns, have hitherto been capable of discerning the vein of solar
myth which pervades all systems of religion; while the vast multitude
of ignorant and credulous people even yet perceive, or think they
perceive, the Divine handiwork in the particular sacred oracle to which
they firmly pin their faith. The Hindu supreme deity is known as Brahm,
the Persian as Ormuzd, the Mohammedan as Allah, and the Jewish and
Christian as El, Elohim, Yahouh (or Jehovah), God, etc. Probably few
among the many millions who worship these various deities know much or
anything about their origin, innocently imagining that the Deity they
bow allegiance to once manifested itself to some chosen individual,
to whom it gave a revelation, the facts of which were handed down to
posterity. They little dream of the vast cycles of time that have
rolled past since the brain of man attained such a state of perfection
as to enable it to evolve the idea of Deity. It is utterly impossible
for the human mind to grasp the enormous interval of time that has
elapsed since primeval man emerged from the condition of unreasoning
existence to enter upon the bright dawn of intellectual activity, which
has developed into such mighty proportions as we behold to-day. Let
us carry the mind back far beyond the Dark Ages, through the classic
era, as far even as the very commencement of Egyptian history; and even
then we find ourselves but little nearer that remote period in which
the first spark of intelligence made its _debût_ upon the platform of
life. In imagination we may go still further back, and view the wonders
of that ancient Asian civilisation which preceded that of the ancient
Egyptians and Greeks, and which was probably derived very gradually
from the earliest social conceptions of the Caucasian branch of the
Polynesian primitive man. Still we are ages away from the period we
desire to arrive at; and even were we able to trace the human family
back to that remote time when man could not be said to partake more of
the character of the human than the ape species, still we should even
then be unable to point to the precise moment when intellect shed its
glorious rays upon the race, making bright, clear, and beautiful what
before was dark, misty, and unmeaning. The ancient Prosimiæ gradually
became Catarrhine apes, which, in their turn, as slowly assumed the
characters of the Anthropoidæ, and afterwards of ape-like men; but
the time required for this imperceptibly gradual process of evolution
was probably many hundred thousands of years, during which period,
or perhaps even at a prior time the first intellectual spark became
manifest: how, when, or for what ultimate purpose it is apparently
beyond our power to devise.

How soon after the dawn of intellect the conception of Deity was
evolved in the human brain it is equally impossible to say; but the
probability is that the date was a very early one, for it seems
highly probable that such a conception would be among the very first
efforts of the mind, the materials necessary for the stimulation of
such an effort being at hand at any moment. We can imagine our early
fathers groping in the darkness of ignorance, with mental powers on
a par with those of the awakening minds of our own children, seeing
bogies in every natural phenomenon, and tremblingly glowering at the
spectra of their own imaginations. Having no experience of the past
or knowledge of the future, they would indeed be in a most helpless
condition, relying entirely upon the instinctive capabilities they had
inherited from their ancestors. By degrees, however, their various
faculties would be further awakened by impressions received from
external objects; their wants would be multiplied in proportion to
their intellectual development, causing them to manifest a desire
for industry; and their self-consciousness would arouse within them
a feeling of dignity and importance to which they had hitherto been
strangers. Thus gradually would the race cast off its animal and put
on its human clothes. The old plan of hand-to-mouth existence would be
abolished by the newly-developed reason of man; the innumerable dangers
which confronted him would undoubtedly stimulate him to approach his
fellows with the object of establishing mutual aid and of co-operating
for their common welfare; and a feeling of confident superiority over
others of the animal kingdom would become apparent among them. Not only
would man’s attention be arrested by the impending dangers of each
day, the necessity of procuring sustenance for himself and family, and
the obvious advantages accruing from co-operation, but also by the
constantly-recurring natural phenomena, such as the rising and setting
of the sun, moon and stars, the never-ending succession of day and
night, etc., as well as by the no less wonderful, and certainly more
awful, occasional natural occurrences, such as lightning, thunder, and
earthquake. He would be as much struck with wonder and amazement at the
one set of phenomena as with awe at the other. The returning sun-light
would each morning produce joy in his heart equally as much as the
inevitable recurrence each night of darkness would produce a feeling of
sadness, dread, and despair. We can easily imagine the long hours of
horror our first fathers must have passed through each night among the
yells and howls of the savage monsters by which they were surrounded,
and how they anxiously looked forward to the return of that glorious
orb which would bring back to them daylight, sunshine, warmth, and
happiness. What a boon it must have been to them! Can we wonder that
they should have regarded the sun with particular affection? It would
have been remarkable, indeed, had they not done so; and it is more
than probable that this daily re-appearance of the sun on the eastern
horizon was actually what prompted the first conception of deity. The
very oldest mythology with which we are acquainted appears strongly
to bear out this theory, and, indeed, in every other mythological
system we find the re-appearing sun to be one of the principal objects
of devotion and affection. If we turn our gaze to that part of Asia,
along the banks of the Oxus, over which our Aryan ancestors wandered
thousands of years before the time of the earliest Egyptian dynasty, we
find there a clue to the origin of the original conception of deity.
Among these early people were composed the hymns of the _Rig-Veda_,
which are probably the earliest records of any race, and in which we
find personified the phenomena of the heavens and earth, the storm, the
wind, the rain, the stars, etc. The earth is represented as a flat,
indefinite surface, existing passively, and forming the foundation of
the whole universe; while above it the luminous vault of heaven forms a
dwelling place for the fertile and life-giving light and a covering for
the earth below. To the earth the Aryans gave the name of Prihovi, “the
wide expanse;” the vault of heaven they called Varuna, “the vault;”
while the light between the two, in the cloud region, they named Dyaus,
“the luminous air,” “the dawn.” Varuna and Prihovi, in space, together
begat Agni, the fire-god, the sun in heaven and life-giver of the
universe; and Soma, the ambrosial deity of earth, god of immortality,
fertiliser of the waters, nourisher of plants, and quickener of the
semen of men and animals. In these hymns frequent mention is made of
the joy experienced at the return of dawn, and of the saddening effect
produced upon the mind by the ever-recurring twilight which ushered
in the dark and dreary night. We meet with incantations expressive
of the wildest excitement at the welcome appearance of the dawn-god,
Dyaus, which heralded the approach of the sun-god, Agni, who is led up
to the summit of his ascension, or bosom of Varuna, by the conquering
god of battle, Indra, the defeater of the evil powers of darkness;
and we find the most pathetical appeals both to Agni and Indra to
remain longer over the earth, and co-operate with Soma in replenishing
nature, instead of sinking into the twilight, or shades of evening, to
be slain by Vritra, “the coverer,” and tormented in the darkness of
night by Ahi, the dragon, and other cruel monsters. This is precisely
the drama we should expect to find depicted in the earliest writings
of man; is the root of all future religious ideas; and is still to be
found pervading almost every modern religious faith. It is a beautiful
representation of the earliest yearnings and fears of our forefathers;
and, though the picture is now and then almost effaced by numerous
subsequent additions of mythological lore, yet the original conception
remains indelibly depicted in the religions of the present day,
furnishing us with the key to the study of comparative mythology.

It will be necessary, in order to compare, with any degree of accuracy,
the mythological systems which subsequently developed from this
primitive conception of a ruling power, to glance at the mode of
distribution of the various branches of the earliest human family;
and in doing so we must ever keep in mind the more than probable fact
that that portion of the earth’s surface which is now covered by
the Indian Ocean once formed a large equatorial continent, uniting
the east coast of Africa with Arabia, India, Ceylon, and the Malay
Peninsula. Instead of the rivers Tigris and Euphrates emptying their
waters into the Persian Gulf, and the Indus into the Arabian Sea, it
is highly probable that these rivers united to form one large estuary,
which emptied itself into the ocean on the south of the now submerged
continent of Lemuria. It is equally probable that the large rivers,
Ganges and Brahmapootra, likewise found an outlet south of a line drawn
from Point de Gall to Singapore. On this submerged continent, and on
the shores of these long-lost streams, it is supposed man evolved
from the anthropoid apes, in the early Pleiocene, or perhaps even in
the later Meiocene, geological period of the world’s history. The
transition stage in the pedigree of man between the Anthropoidæ and
true men—that is to say, between man-like Catarrhine apes and beings
possessing a larger proportion of the characteristics of the human
than of the ape species—is known to Anthropologists by the name of
Alali, or ape-like men. These wild and ill-formed savages wandered
about in bands along the banks of these monster rivers, passing their
time in hunting their less fortunate brethren of the animal kind. In
course of time they multiplied and spread over the entire continent,
killing all such monsters as interfered with their safety or comfort,
and gradually dividing and sub-dividing into families and races,
each acquiring, under the influence of the two laws of selection
and adaptation, peculiarities and characteristics not common to the
remainder. One branch wandered away to the west and south, becoming the
progenitors of the South African races; another found its way to the
east and south, to people Australasia; while a third struck out towards
the north, overrunning Malaya, Burmah, and Southern India. This last
branch, which we term the Malay, or Polynesian, subdivided into two
distinct families—the Mongolian, or Turanian, the progenitors of the
ancient Chinese, Ural Turks, Akkadians, and Finns; and the Caucasian,
or Iranian, the first human inhabitants of South-Western Asia. Of these
Iranians one stream, it is supposed, found its way to the banks of the
Nile, and became, in course of time, a distinct and powerful Egyptian
race; another, the Semitic, followed the direction of the Persian
Gulf, and settled in Arabia and along the banks of the Euphrates;
while a third, which we call the Aryan or Indo-Germanic, covered
India, Afghanistan, and Northern Persia, gradually extending along the
northern shores of the Black Sea into Europe.

Now, as already stated, the earliest known records of any race are the
hymns of the _Rig-Veda_, composed among the Aryans of Northern Persia,
probably from earlier traditions handed down to them from the older
Iranian stock, or even from the still earlier Polynesians; and it is
remarkable that in all ancient mythological records, as well as on
monumental inscriptions, the same vein of solar myth as is found in the
_Rig-Veda_ is clearly traceable beneath the accumulated mythological
lore of future ages. The main idea in all mythologies seems to have
been that of a saviour-deity conquering the evil genius of night, or
winter, and bringing back the day, or summer, to replenish the earth.
As already stated, Indra was to the Aryans of the early Vedic period
the saviour-god who, with his companions, Vishnu and Rudra, leads
forth Agni, the god of celestial and terrestrial fire, to the bosom
of Varuna, where his influence operates upon Soma, the fertilizer of
earth. A conqueror from early morn to mid-day, Indra’s power grows
weaker as the evening approaches, until at last the twilight yields him
up to Vritra, who slays him, after which he is tormented by Ahi, the
dragon, for the remainder of the night. This drama was probably derived
from the original Iranian stock, and as probably underwent considerable
modification before being finally committed to writing as a cultus by
the Aryans; and, therefore, we should expect to find some resemblance
between the Aryan, Semitic, and Egyptian mythological systems. This is
precisely what we do find on carefully comparing these three oldest
of all known mythologies, though, as will be seen further on, each
accumulates such a vast quantity of fresh mythological matter that the
original conception is considerably obscured, and in each the original
deities become in course of time so mixed up with one another that it
is almost impossible to separate their individual characteristics.

Although Agni was said to have been begotten by the conjunction in the
air of Varuna and Prihovi (Prithivi), all the principal gods, or Devas,
originally conceived as the phenomena and power of heaven, were called
the children of Dyaus and Prihovi, Agni and Indra being considered
the two chief of the twelve Devas. Dyaus, Prihovi, and their progeny
afterwards became endowed with moral qualities, and were looked upon as
creators and governors of the world; and as time wore on the original
Vedic deities gradually gave place to purely solar deities: the sun
was called Surya, and differed from Agni, who was god of terrestrial
and celestial fire—sun, lightning, and altar fire in one, the soul
of universe, and mediator between the gods and men; Surya was also
Savitri, the quickener, who in the early morn rouses the sleepers, and
in the evening twilight buries them again in sleep; he is also Vishnu,
the companion of Indra, who traverses the celestial space in three long
strides; he is Pushan, the nourisher and faithful guide of men and
animals; and he is Yama, who traverses the steep road to death and the
shades. Thus the gods multiplied—the original supreme deity, Varuna,
who was one with Indra, though different from him, giving place to a
multitude of solar deities, children of Dyaus, the great dawn-god or
day-father.

As the old Vedic language became lost to the people there arose a
custom of setting apart certain individuals to faithfully preserve the
old and sacred records, and thus arose the priestly caste of Brahmans,
whose duties consisted in transcribing the sacred hymns of the
_Rig-Veda_ and preserving the knowledge of the sacred language in which
they were first written. The great day-father, Dyaus, now received the
name of Brahma, the magic power, and Prajapeti, the lord of creatures,
and was endowed with three divine energies—Agni (fire), Vayu (air),
and Surya (the sun), which together formed a subordinate triad. Soma
became associated with the moon; Asura became the demon of hell, which
was peopled with tormenting monsters; Indra and Vishnu became blended
with Surya; and Rudra was converted into Siva and identified with
Agni. As Brahmanism progressed the principal worship on the shores
of the Ganges gradually centred round Vishnu, who was supposed to
undergo periodically a number of Avataras, or incarnations, by means
of which he rescued fallen man from the fate awaiting him. These
descents to the lower world were very frequent, and appear to have
had some connection with the zodiacal constellations; for we find the
incarnation at one time taking place as a man, at another as a fish, at
another as a lion, and so on.

The most ancient of the Avataras was probably the incarnation of
Krishna, the Indian Hercules, who was mentioned in the Vedic writings
as “Krishna, the son of Devaki,” and in whose honour festivals were
kept, at a very early period, similar to those connected with the
cultus of Bacchus. Megasthenes found the worship of Krishna prevailing
along the shores of the Ganges at the beginning of the third century
before our era, and described it as the worship of Hercules. This
incarnate offspring of the ancient sun-god, Vishnu, was said to have
been born at Mathura, a place situated between Delhi and Agra, and to
have acted the part of a saviour of the world and a mediator between
the gods and men. Soon after his birth his life was sought by the
reigning tyrant, Kamsa, who feared for the safety of his throne, which
necessitated the removal of Krishna to a place of safety. Arriving
at manhood, this young divinity slew the serpent Kaliya, and sported
with the Gopîs, or female cowherds, among whom he had been brought up.
He was fond of wine, Bacchanalian revels, and sensualities, though
considered to be immaculately holy, and resigned to his fate, which was
to suffer death in order to relieve the earth of the burden of a proud
race. For this purpose he was incarnated in the womb of his mother,
Devaki, and for this purpose he lived and died.

In the mountainous regions away from the Ganges the cultus of Siva was
the more prevalent, Vishnu being considered of secondary importance;
but, as sects gradually were formed out of the ancient religion, one
party preferring this deity and another that, an attempt was made,
which eventually proved successful, to re-unite the various religious
parties and re-instate the principal gods in their original places.
The ancient orthodoxy was brought into sympathy with the new religion
in a very curious manner, by making Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva a trinity
of essences or attributes of the supreme Brahm, each a supreme god in
itself, and each equal with the others in importance; Brahma being
specially the creator, Vishnu the redeemer or preserver, and Siva the
destroyer. At times Krishna was added to the new trinity as a fourth
figure; but this was an innovation which found little favour, inasmuch
as Vishnu and Krishna were the same god, the one but the incarnation of
the other. Thus the old idea of Prajapeti, or Brahma, with the three
divine energies—Agni (fire), Vayu (air), and Surya (the sun)—were
revived in a manner as a new trinity of essences of the supreme deity,
under other names; and the arrangement thus concluded has continued
in use to this day with the orthodox Hindus. We find, therefore,
that, despite the accumulation of fresh myths, which grew larger as
time wore on, the original conception of the constant necessity for
a divine saviour was never lost, and that, as the approach of night
in the Vedic system was followed by the torments of the shades, and
the powers of darkness were destroyed by the re-appearance of the
dawn-god, so also the approaching extinction of the people under a
wicked tyrant was followed by the misery which preceded the appearance
of the saviour-god, Krishna. In fact, every myth that occurs in the
religions of India is built out of this original idea of the powers of
light being overcome by the powers of darkness and finally rescued by a
redeeming god. In later times, as the science of astronomy became more
popular and better understood, not only was the daily apparent course
of the sun the source from which myths were fabricated, but his annual
apparent march through the zodiacal signs was also drawn upon for the
creation of more imposing and elaborate dramas; and in this manner
were produced the fables containing allusions to the two crucifixions,
or passage of the sun across the equator at the vernal and autumnal
equinoxes, and the rites of baptism when the sun was passing through
the sign Aquarius, and fasting during the period of the sun’s transit
through Pisces, etc.

The religion of Boodhism is an offshoot of the Brahman system, having
originated in the so-called incarnation of Vishnu, Gautama Boodha,
whose powerful personality has left an indelible impress upon the
religion. This remarkable man lived about the end of the sixth century;
but the real history of Boodhism does not commence until about the
middle of the third century before our era. The doctrines taught
by this great reformer were brotherly love, self-sacrifice, and an
eternal Nirvana as the consummation of all bliss. The doctrine of
the transmigration of the soul was still maintained; but a state of
Nirvana, or absolute non-existence, was declared to be the deliverance
from the endless succession of re-births for those who, by their
purity of life and heart, merit such a blissful end. Admitting that
men were born in different castes, determined by their good or evil
deeds in a prior existence, Boodha yet declared that all might attain
the highest salvation, and that none, not even those of the highest
caste and most sacred offices, could do this without having regard
to the well-being of all his fellow creatures. The authority of the
Vedas was rejected by the Boodhists, as also the whole dogmatic system
of the Brahmans; and in their place was substituted a higher moral
teaching, a more equitable relationship of men, and a wide-spreading
system of communism. This reformation of ancient dogmatic faith was not
destined to last long uncorrupted, for the monasteries established by
the Boodhists for the purpose of affording an asylum to the poor and
destitute soon became infested with religious fanatics—Jainas, as they
were called, some of whom went naked, while others robed themselves in
white linen. These ascetic monks looked forward to Nirvana as their
final goal, practised the most severe austerities, received confession,
administered priestly absolution, and kept regular feast and fast days;
but they discountenanced the growing custom of worshipping relics
which was finding favour with other Boodhist sects. Thus gradually the
primitive Aryan conception of a ruling power developed into a huge
system of dogmatism, monachism, and ritual in the countries south and
east of the Indus, as far even as the confines of the country of the
great Mongol race, whose religion is as yet but little known to us,
although it bears strong marks of having been originally derived from
the same source as that from which came the Vedic system.

Having glanced somewhat cursorily at the religious development of
the Eastern Aryan peoples, we will now turn to the Western Aryans,
and observe the manner in which the old Vedic myth was perpetuated
in Western Europe, leaving the Central Aryans, or that branch which
remained in and around Persia and Western Afghanistan, for subsequent
consideration; for, in this central district, the Mongol Akkadians and
the Semites intermingled so frequently with the Aryans that a very
intricate mythological system gradually came into operation in some
districts, bearing resemblance to the Vedic, the Semitic, and the
Mongolian mythologies.

The Western branch of the great Aryan family, after penetrating into
Southern Europe, became the progenitors of the ancient Pelasgi, the
earliest known inhabitants of Greece, and through them transmitted
the original Aryan myth to their successors, the Hellenes. Homer, in
his “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” written at latest B.C. 900, well describes
the religion of the Acheans, who inhabited Hellas for centuries prior
to B.C. 1000, and long before the supremacy of the Dorians; and, in
this description, as well as in that of Hesiod’s “Theogony,” written
immediately afterwards, there is exhibited a remarkable similarity
to the old Vedic system, the very name of the supreme deity being
clearly derived from an Aryan source, and that root being the identical
expression used to designate the Vedic Dawn God. From Dyaus Pitar,
the Day Father or Dawn God of the Aryans, the Greeks derived their
Zeus Pater, from whence we get Dios, Theos, the Latin _Deus Pater_,
_Dies Pater_ and Jupiter, and the French _Dieu_. Zeus was supreme
god, high above all others, having unlimited power, and living up
in the vault of heaven, surrounded by the inferior and subordinate
deities, who together formed his Olympian court. Instead of being
nature powers, these gods were endowed with freedom of action, subject
to pain and pleasure, and depended for their sustenance upon food.
The supremacy of King Zeus was firmly established; he presided over
councils of the gods to deliberate great matters, and was not bound
or fettered by any recognised restraint. With Athena and Apollo, he
formed a supreme triad, himself being the head, Athena the reason or
wisdom of the Divine Father, and Apollo the mouth, revealer of his
counsel, and loving son, who is always of one will with his father.
With Apollo was closely associated Prometheus, the great benefactor and
liberator of the race of man, who, according to that beautiful tragedy
of “Æschylus,” brought salvation to the world in spite of Jupiter,
his father and torturer, by whom he was crucified on a rock, where
he remained in fearful anguish until liberated by Hercules. Here we
find the old Vedic saviour redeeming the world from the darkness and
misery of night or winter, the same drama precisely as that described
in connection with the Eastern Aryan mythology. In both instances the
apparent daily and annual ascension and decline of the sun is depicted:
in the one case it rises again after its period of defeat in winter, or
night, as the sun-god Indra, afterwards Surya, and still later Krishna;
while in the other case it resuscitates the earth as Prometheus, the
benefactor of mankind. Just as Prometheus was but the Greek counterpart
of the Hindu Krishna, so also were Apollo, Hercules, Iao, and Dionysos
precisely the same. Each was the new-born sun, bringing back light and
glory to suffering humanity; and each passed through the very same
periods of power, decline, and misery before being born again.

Zeus was the sun-god _par excellence_, residing on the summit of
Olympus, or in the highest part of the heavenly vault, during the
summer months, when he was called Olympian Zeus, and down in Hades
during the winter period, when he was known as the Stygian Zeus; and
thus the oracle of the Klarion Apollon taught that the supreme God was
called, according to the seasons of the year, Hades, Zeus, Helios, and
Iao. Apollo and Prometheus, although saviour sun-gods, representing
the new-born sun victorious over death and winter, were yet one with
Zeus, and merely repetitions of the same character under different
names. So, in like manner, Hercules was not only son of Zeus, but Zeus
himself, and may be traced right through the complete annual circuit
in his twelve labours, from Hades to Olympus, and from Olympus to
Hades again. Dionysos was, in reality, not an Aryan deity, but of
Egyptian origin, having been introduced into Greece at a very early
time, either from Egypt, where he was worshipped as Mises, or, more
probably, from Phœnicia, where he was worshipped under the name of Iēs,
which accounts for the fact that hero personifications of Dionysos in
later times were accorded the designation of Iesous, (Ιησους, or in
capitals ΙΗΣΟΥΣ—Latin _Jesus_), the Greek form of Iēs (Ιης, or in
capitals ΙΗΣ). This Egyptian saviour sun-god became later the popular
god Bacchus of the Romans, just as Apollo had been the popular Greek
divinity, and was thus described by Macrobius: “The images or statues
of Bacchus represent him sometimes under the form of a child, sometimes
under that of a young man, at other times with a beard of a mature man,
and, lastly, with the wrinkles of old age, as the Greeks represent
the god whom they call Baccapee and Briseis, and as the Neapolitans
in Campania paint the god whom they honour under the name of Hebon.
These differences of age relate to the sun, who seems to be a tender
child at the winter solstice, such as the Egyptians represent him on
a certain day [December 25th], when they bring forth from an obscure
nook of their sanctuary his infantine image, because, the day being
then at the shortest, the god seems yet to be but a feeble infant:
gradually growing from this moment, he arrives, by degrees, at the
vernal equinox, under the form of a young man, of which his images
at that time bear the appearance; then he arrives at his maturity,
indicated by the tufted beard with which the images which represent him
at the summer solstice are adorned, the day having then taken all the
increase of which it is susceptible. Lastly, he decreases insensibly,
and arrives at his old age, pictured by the state of decrepitude in
which he is portrayed in the images.”

Yao, Iao, or Adonis was of Semitic origin, although widely worshipped
in Greece, and generally identified with Zeus, whose Semitic
counterpart he really was, although himself a saviour sun-god. Yao,
to the Phœnicians and Chaldeans, was as Zeus and Prometheus to the
Greeks, and represented the whole annual circuit, though he was always
called by the Greeks specially the god of the autumn, on account of his
having, at that period, to part from his lover, Aphrodite (Venus), for
six months; and thus there was usually a certain melancholy attached to
his worship, the oracle of the Klarion Apollon terming him the darling
or tender Yao (Ιαω), god of the autumn.

As the Greek power and civilisation declined and the Roman advanced,
the god Yao, like his counterpart Iēs, became one of the most popular
of the Roman deities, being worshipped under the name Adonis in every
city of Italy; and the mythological horizon became crowded with gods
and demi-gods of every description, until, at length, it became a very
difficult matter to determine who was a god and who was not worthy
of that distinction; for the Roman Emperors were invariably deified,
as well as others of less degree. The old Aryan drama, however, was
preserved throughout in the worship of the principal gods, and has even
been perpetuated in the reformed religion of the Semitic communistic
enthusiast, Yahoshua, which became, soon after the commencement of our
era, the popular religious system of the whole of Europe.

We have now to deal with the Central Aryans, or Eranians; and, in doing
so, must bear in mind that, while the Eastern Aryans, or Hindus, and
the Western Aryans of Europe, were almost altogether uninfluenced for
many centuries by the mythologies of surrounding tribes of other and
distinct families of the human race, this was far from being the case
with the Eranians, who were almost entirely cut off from their Western
brethren; and, although still in comparatively close contact with the
Eastern Aryans, were yet completely wedged in between the Turanian
Urals on the north, and the great Semitic stream of life on the south
and west. Such being the case, it is at once apparent that the religion
of the Eranian people would quickly lose many of its distinctive
Aryan marks and acquire many Turanian and Semitic characteristics.
Bactria, in Eastern Eran (Persia), appears to have been the ancient
birth-place of this semi-Aryan religion, which afterwards developed,
under the influence of that great reformer, Zoroaster (Zarathustra),
into the cultus called Mazdeism, or Parsism. From the Avesta, the
sacred writings of the Parsis, written in the old Zend language, we
derive considerable knowledge of Mazdeism. Ahura Mazdao (Ormazd), the
all-wise spirit, is supreme god, far above all gods, being creator of
the world, god of light and truth, existing from the beginning, and
eternal. Inferior to him are Mithra, god of light; Nairyo Sanha, god of
fire; Apan Napat, god of water; Haoma, god of the drink of immortality;
and Tistrya, the dog-star god. The chief goddess of fruitfulness was
Anahita, who in later time became an important deity in association
with the worship of Mithra, the son of Ormuzd. Mazdeism also recognised
a god of evil, Ahro Mainyus (Ahriman), who, with the evil Devas,
inhabit the under-world, and oppose Ormuzd on every occasion; the world
lying between the two kingdoms of righteousness and evil, ruled over
respectively by Ormuzd and Ahriman. This dualism is the most marked
feature of Mazdeism, and runs through the whole religion, being found
in every myth, and giving rise to the most hideous conceptions of
morality. In the cosmogony of the Parsis the great creator, Ormuzd,
after making a perfect world and introducing a perfect pair of human
beings, is defeated by the wicked Ahriman, who creates evil, and
seduces the man and woman to sin, thus placing in opposition to each
other upon this earth the two forces, good and evil. To avoid the
influence of this evil force, and to gain that of the good power, was
the great aim of all true Mazda-worshippers; and the means whereby
this much-desired end could be attained was the fire-god, Nairyo
Sanha, to whom constant supplications were made for this purpose. So
great was the influence of Ahriman upon human beings that the god of
light, Mithra, was promised as a saviour to come upon the earth and
rescue his people from the power of evil, his mission being to avenge
his father’s defeat by the god of the under-world, after doing which
he would ascend to his father and become one with him for ever. The
Magi, or Mithraitic priests of the “black art,” or “hidden science of
astrology,” are thus addressed in the “Zend-Avesta”:—”You, my children,
shall be first honoured by that divine person who is to appear in the
world; a star shall be before you to conduct you to the place of his
nativity; and when you have found him, present to him your oblations
and sacrifices, for he is indeed your lord and an everlasting king,”
meaning that after the constellation of the virgin came to the eastern
line of the horizon, as it did at twelve o’clock at midnight, between
December 24th and December 25th, in the period immediately following
that in which the words were written, the great star, _Vindemiatrix_,
in the virgin’s elbow, would, on January 6th, begin to shine, pointing
out to the astrologers, or Magi, her exact situation, who would then
know that the birth of the god-light of the new revolution had taken
place, and that by his re-appearance he would declare himself to be
the everlasting ruler of the universe. Consequently, for centuries
after this time the image of the god-light Mithra was presented to the
people for adoration every year on December 25th, soon after midnight,
in the shape of a newly-born male child, brought from the recesses of
the sacred grotto, or mystic cave of Mithra. Another image, supposed
to be the same deity fully grown, was said to die, and was carried
to the tomb after death by the priests, who chanted solemn hymns and
groaned. After pretending to mourn for three days, the sacred torch, or
emblem of new life, was lighted, and the priests exclaimed, “Reassure
yourselves, sacred bands of initiated; your god is restored to life;
his pains and sufferings procure your salvation.” This took place at
the vernal equinox, and the people responded: “I salute you, new light;
I salute you, young bridegroom and new light.”

Like the old Aryan scheme, this Mithra myth was derived from the
constellations, having reference to the decline of the year in autumn,
the defeat of the sun by the powers of darkness (or winter), and the
rebirth and ascension of that grand luminary in the spring of the
year. Mithra was “spiritual life contending with spiritual darkness,
and through his labours the kingdom of darkness will be lit with
heaven’s own light: the eternal will receive all things back into his
favour; and the world will be redeemed to God. The impure are to be
purified, and the evil made good, through the mediation of Mithras,
the reconciler of Ormuzd and Ahriman. Mithras is the good; his name is
Love. In relation to the Eternal he is the source of grace; in relation
to men he is the life-giver and mediator. He brings the Word, as Brahma
brings the Vedas from the mouth of the Eternal” (Plutarch, “De Iside
et Osiride ”). The close connection of the later Eranians with the
Chaldeans no doubt gave the former facilities for studying the Akkadian
astronomy; and, therefore, it is fair to presume that the phenomenon
of the precession of the equinoxes was well understood by them, which
would account for the fact that Mithra is always represented in
earlier times under the figure of a bull, and afterwards under that
of a lamb. The reason of this is that, prior to about B.C. 2,200, the
vernal equinoxial sign was the zodiacal figure of the bull (_Taurus_);
while, after that period, the figure of the lamb or ram (_Aries_) took
its place; and as the saviour sun-god Mithra was the personification
of the new annual sun, born in the December constellation, crossing
the equator in March, and thereby conquering the powers of evil or
darkness, he was invariably represented by the figure of that zodiacal
constellation which happened to be at the vernal equinoxial point at
the time.[1]

Having thus briefly glanced at the religious cults of the three
branches of the great Aryan family, and found the very same religious
conception of a divine and incarnate saviour, redeeming the universe
from the powers of darkness and evil, running through each mythological
system, we cannot help coming to the conclusion that, inasmuch as the
saviour-myth was developed into its full proportions long after the
separation of the families took place, and inasmuch as the development
followed similar lines in each separate case, there must have been
some common guide, and that guide was the unwritten word of nature as
expressed in the heavens above.

[1] _Vide_ my “Popular Faith Unveiled.”

Leaving the Aryan stream, and turning back to that division of the
great Iranian family which migrated to the valley of the Nile, and
which we call the Egyptian, we find a very similar religious system
in vogue among them from the very earliest times, as existed among
the Aryans. The first settlers in Egypt carried with them, no doubt,
the primitive religious conceptions of their Iranian fathers, which
were derived from a contemplation of the various phenomena of nature,
as previously stated; and it is highly probable that, at a very
early period, they gave considerable attention to the movements of
the heavenly bodies, for from monumental inscriptions, unearthed in
modern times, which geologists inform us must have lain _sub terra_
for several thousands of years, we learn that the Egyptians, at that
remote time, well understood the theory of the precession of the
equinoxes, placing the zodiacal constellation of the bull at the vernal
equinoxial point in the period prior to about B.C. 4300, and that of
the ram in the period immediately following. It is probable, therefore,
that hundreds of years before this time these primitive men of the
Nile were engaging themselves with the study of astronomy, and using
effective astronomical instruments, which indicates a high state of
civilisation; and this is further borne out by the fact that, at the
commencement of the first Egyptian dynasty, about the year B.C. 5000,
when Menes reigned over Egypt, there was every appearance of a very
advanced civilisation that had lasted for centuries. From the “Book
of the Dead” and the Prisse Papyrus (most of the former written at
latest prior to B.C. 4000, and the latter very soon after) we derive a
tolerably accurate notion of the mythological system of the Egyptians
during the first portion of the Old Empire, and probably many hundreds
of years previously; while, from the writings of Herodotus, Diodorus,
Plutarch, and Manetho, we learn the progress the religion made during
the 4,000 following years.

The “Book of the Dead” treats principally of the refining processes
through which the spirits of dead people passed in the under-world,
or Cher Nuter, before being purified sufficiently to inherit a state
of bliss and become spirits of light (Chu) to be absorbed into the
sun at the point where it is born, and taken within it to An, the
celestial Heliopolis. Before the time of Menes the religion of Egypt
was animistic, blended with a vague kind of sun-worship, the supreme
deity being, at Thinis-Abydos, the ancient capital, called Osiris, the
god of gods, son of Seb, god of earth, and Nu, goddess of the heavenly
ocean, and grandson of Ra. Osiris was the sun-god of the daily and
annual circle, who enjoyed his spouse, Isis, the great mother, during
the summer months and the daytime, after which he was overcome by the
evil Set-Typhon and his wife Nephthys, and tortured in the under-world,
until released by his son Horus, the conqueror sun-god, who rose into
the upper world as the avenger of his father’s defeat, and liberated
the soul of Osiris from torture, to be absorbed by, and for ever shine
forth in the constellation _Orion_, as the soul of Isis shines for
ever in _Sirius_. At Heliopolis, An, On, or Para, the city of the sun,
Ra was worshipped as supreme god, who as Tum, the hidden god, fought
the demon of darkness, the serpent Apap, in Amenti, and who rose
again from the under-world as Harmachis. Later, when Menes reigned as
the first monarch of the Old Empire (_circa_ B.C. 5000), Memphis, or
Mennefer, was the capital city, in which Phtah was worshipped as the
supreme god or creator of the world (called Sekru, the slain god, when
in the lower world), together with Ma, goddess of righteousness, and
Imhotep, the chief of priests, whose name signified “I come in peace,”
and who formed the third part of a kind of trinity, with Phtah and
Ma. All these, and other minor deities, such as deified kings, etc.,
were represented on earth by incarnations in the shape of animals, Ra,
Osiris, and Phtah, the supreme gods, being manifested in the sacred
bull Apis, representing the sun at the vernal equinoctial point in
the zodiacal constellation _Taurus_. During six dynasties these gods
were worshipped peacefully, their incarnations and religious rites
being protected by the kings; but about the year B.C. 3800 the kingdom
appears to have dropped to bits, its religion to have been mixed up in
a most confused manner, and its people divided into a number of small
nationalities, with separate kings and separate laws; until, at length,
the whole country was once more united under the reigning monarchs of
the eleventh dynasty (Second Empire), whose capital was Thebes, and
whose popular deity was Amen, the hidden god, called also Amen-Ra, to
signify that he was not only the sun-god in the under-world, but also
the rising and conquering sun-god of the early morn and spring of the
year. In fact, Amen was the sun-god of the whole revolution, the Theban
Yao, one with his father Osiris in the mid-day and mid-summer, one
with his counterpart Horus at the early morn and spring of the year,
and one with Tum in the darkness of night and winter; just as Zeus of
the Greeks was Zeus Amen (Jupiter Ammon), Olympian Zeus, Zeus Yao, and
Stygian Zeus, according to the season of the year.

Between the Middle Empire and the New Empire another catastrophe
occurred to the Egyptians, in the form of an invasion of the Hyksos, or
shepherd kings of Arabia, who overran the whole country, destroyed the
temples, and levied heavy tribute on the people, eventually settling
down for four centuries as Kings of Egypt, adopting many of the native
customs, and introducing many Semitic deities and observances. At
last the Hyksos were driven forth, and the New Empire commenced with
the eighteenth dynasty; but a considerable difference was now found
to exist in the religion of the country, partly on account of the
introduction of Semitic rites, and partly owing to the change that
had taken place at the vernal equinoctial point, by the precessional
movement of the zodiacal constellation _Taurus_. The vernal equinoctial
point was now (B.C. 2000) in the sign _Aries_, and therefore the
principal deities should be no longer represented as incarnate bulls,
but as incarnate rams. Accordingly, we find that after this date the
bull-god Apis, or Serapis, gradually fell into disrepute; and Amen,
who was now the supreme and representative god, was worshipped as an
incarnate ram, being depicted as a man wearing ram’s horns.

Another mode of worshipping the young sun-god, born at the winter
solstice, December 25th, was that known as the Mysteries of the
Night, or Passion of Osiris, at which an idol of the infant Horus, or
Amen, called also the Holy Word, was presented to the people in its
mother’s arms, or exposed to view in a crib for the adoration of the
people by the priests, who were, according to Adrian, called Bishops
of Christ (χριστος, the anointed one); and when King Ptolemy, B.C.
350, asked the meaning of the custom, he was informed that it was a
sacred mystery. During these mysteries, which took place annually,
bread, after sacerdotal rites, was mystically converted into the body
of Osiris, to be partaken of by all the faithful, who were called
Christians; and an idol representing the body of the god, stretched on
a cross within a circle, was placed upon the mystic table for adoration
and praise.

The winter solstitial point is really December 21st; but the ancients
always kept the festival of the birth of the sun-god on December 25th,
because at twelve o’clock, midnight between December 24th and 25th the
uppermost stars in the constellation _Virgo_ made their appearance
above the horizon, being the first indication of the birth of the
new sun, which had taken place exactly three days and three nights
previously. This gave rise to the popular superstition that the new
sun-god was born of a virgin, from whose womb he had been trying to
extricate himself for the space of three days and three nights. From
this the idea prevailed that the sun-god underwent similar periods of
struggle also at the summer solstice and the two equinoctial points;
and thus arose the legend of the two crucifixions, the one at the
vernal equinox, when the sun in _Aries_ crossed the Equator and was
crucified as the “Lamb of God” on March 21st, commencing the ascension
to heaven on March 25th; and the other at the autumnal equinox, when
the sun in _Libra_ (the balance of justice) crossed the Equator and was
crucified as the “Just Man” on September 23rd, descending to hell for
three days and three nights, after which he emerged into the shades
until born again at the winter solstice.

A very popular deity of the Lower Nile was Mises (drawn from water),
the sun-god of wine and mirth, who was born on Mount Nyssa (Sinai),
and was found as a babe in a box floating on the Red Sea, and who, by
means of his magic wand, took his army dry-shod through the Sea and
the rivers Orontes and Hydaspes, drew water from rocks, and caused the
land through which he passed to flow with milk, wine, and honey. He was
depicted with a ram’s horn on his forehead, being the personification
of the new-born sun delivering the world from the powers of darkness,
and was afterwards worshipped in Phœnicia as Iēs, in Greece as Dionysos
(Διονυσος], God of Nyssa), son of Zeus, and in Rome as Bacchus. The
temples dedicated to this sun-god were, in the time of the Greek kings
of Egypt, very gorgeous, the mystic table having upon it, not only the
infant in its cradle, the transubstantiated bread, and the Osirian
crucifix, but also a bleeding lamb, the emblem of the sun-god at the
vernal equinox, over which was placed the Phœnician name of Mises, Iēs,
in Greek capitals (ΙΗΣ]), surrounded by the rays of glory, to signify
that he was the risen and crucified sun-god, and one with Horus and
Amen-Ra.

Turning to the third great division of the Iranians—viz., the Semites,
who migrated to the Valley of the Euphrates, we find a more or less
complicated religious system, varying in accordance with the amount of
intercommunication which took place between the Semites and the tribes
belonging to the Aryan, Mongolian, and Egyptian families. The earliest
Semitic settlement was in the district stretching from the Euphrates to
the Red Sea and Mediterranean, and their religion was, at first, one of
pure animistic polydæmonism, varying enormously in details of drama in
the different tribes, but exhibiting in all common characteristics.

All early Semitic peoples worshipped the sun-god, Shamsh, and all
were moon, planet, and star-worshippers to a very large extent; but,
as the race became divided into Northern and Southern Semites, a
distinct difference gradually arose between the religious cults of
the two branches. The Southern, or Arab, tribes, on account of their
more isolated situation, retained the original Semitic mythology,
worshipping the sun as their chief god, Shamsh, the moon as his
consort, and the stars and planets as inferior gods and goddesses, the
_Pleiades_ being objects of special homage. Shamsh was father of all,
and disappeared to the under-world at night to rest in slumber until
awakened into activity in the morning as Yachavah, his son, who became
one with his father.

The Northern Semites, on penetrating, at a later period, the borders of
Mesopotamia, came in contact with a powerful and advanced civilisation,
which had been already established by the Akkadian branch of the
Northern Mongolian family, and thus the original Semitic religion
became very much modified by the introduction into it of many of the
Mongol, as well as some also of the Aryan, myths.

Very little is known of the Akkadian mythology; but it is pretty
certain that they were, at a very early period, acquainted with the
science of astronomy, and that the Chaldeans, their successors, who
were a mongrel race, partly Akkadian and partly Semitic, invented the
cuneiform writing to take the place of the old Mongolian hieroglyphic
characters. From what we know of the religion of the old Mongol
Chinese empire prior to 1200 B.C., it was a kind of spirit-worship,
the Shang-ti, or supreme spirit, being Thian (Heaven), who, in
co-operation with Heu-thu (earth), produced everything. Man, according
to this cultus, had two souls, one of which ascended after death to
heaven, while the other descended into the earth, both being absorbed
respectively into Thian and Heu-thu.

The Akkadians, who were but a branch of the same race as the
progenitors of the ancient Chinese, also worshipped spirits, the
greatest of whom was Ana (the highest heaven), the next Mulge (the
hidden heaven in the interior of the earth), and the third Ea, the
god of the atmosphere and of moisture. After these came an inferior
group—Uru-ki, the moon-god; Ud, the sun-god; and Im, the wind-god.
The spirits were divided into good and bad, which were constantly at
war with each other; and thus was introduced into the religion of the
semi-Semitic Chaldeans the dualistic notion of good and evil existing
in conflict throughout all time.

The Northern Semites may be conveniently divided into four distinct
nations—viz., the Chaldeans (Babylonians and Assyrians), who were
partly Semitic and partly Akkadian, the Aramæans, the Canaanites,
and the Phœnicians. These peoples soon became acquainted with the
astronomical learning of the Akkadians, and were taught the wonderful
phenomenon of the precession of the equinoxes; and it is highly
probable that the fact of the vernal equinoctial sign having changed
shortly before B.C. 2000 from that of the Bull to that of the Ram or
Lamb had much to do with the changing of the old Semitic name Shamsh
to that of El, as a designation of the sun-god, El (אל) being the old
Chaldean word for Ram.

Owing to the mixed character of the Chaldean nation, their religion was
a peculiar blending of the Akkadian and Semitic mythologies, El Ilu, or
Ilah, being their chief deity; but, instead of sinking into the lower
world each night for peaceful slumber, as the older Shamsh had done, he
became the victim of the wicked demons, who tormented him all through
the dark hours, until he was avenged by his son Yachavah, who thereby
became the conqueror and saviour god, one with his father Ilu, and yet
different. To a great extent the religion of the purely Semitic tribes
of the north was affected by this Chaldean myth; but there arose many
points of difference between them. The Assyrians worshipped El under
the name of Asur, their national deity, the Babylonians converting the
name into Bel; while the pure Semites worshipped him as Bel and Baal in
the west, and as Al in the south. Out of the story of El and Yachavah
was fabricated the great Adonis myth of the Chaldeans, which became
so popular in future times among all the Semites except the Arabs of
the south, who retained the original character of the supreme Shamsh,
El or Al (afterwards Allah), and his son Yachavah, afterwards Yahouh.
This Adonis drama, as originally conceived, was that El reigned in
supreme power and glory in the highest heaven, enjoying the delights
of his spouse Istar, but that in the autumn the wicked gods of winter
overcame him, separating him from his lover, and tormenting him all
through the winter months, until in the spring he conquered the evil
demons as Adon, the beautiful youth, who is restored to his mourning
Istar. The worship of Adonis, or Adon was generally adopted by all
the Northern Semites, the god becoming eventually the most popular
deity of the Semitic people, being known as Yao (ΙΑΟ of the Greeks)
to the Phoenicians, Yahoo (יהו) to the Canaanites, and Tammuz to the
Aramæans, while his lover Istar became the Phoenician Ashtoreth. Iēs,
the god of wine, and Greek Dionysos, was another saviour sun-god
worshipped largely by the Phœnicians; but was most probably of Egyptian
origin, being identical with Mises, the Egyptian Bacchus. As already
stated, the Southern Semites of Arabia retained, in common with their
Ethiopian brethren, the old and simpler worship of the supreme god El
and his son Yahouh, although, owing to their propinquity to Egypt,
many strange inferior deities had been introduced into Arabia from
that country, which resulted, in much later times, in the formation
of various religious sects, each having a particular tribal deity, or
patron god, though all recognising El as supreme. One of these tribes,
with Yahouh as their tribal god, on which account they were called
Yahoudi, having left their native Arabian home, penetrated far into
the country of the Northern Semites, learning from the Canaanites,
Phœnicians, and Babylonians the strange legends of the Northern Semitic
deities, including the Adonis myth; and, after wandering about for many
years, one large portion of their tribe settled in the delta of the
Nile, while the remainder crossed the desert of Syria and approached
the confines of Babylonia, finally settling in the barren and rocky
interior of Syria, and making the spot where now stands the small
town of El-Khuds (Jerusalem) their headquarters. During their long
wanderings they became acquainted not only with the various Semitic
myths of the north, but also with the Babylonian and Persian legends,
and incorporated a quantity of strange deities and customs into their
own rude and primitive religion, thus manufacturing a very complicated
and weird system of mythology.

The date of the Yahudean migration into Syria was certainly not earlier
than about B.C. 250, despite the declaration of interested parties
that these people were known as Israelites and Jews for centuries
before that time. The following quotation from Major-General Forlong’s
“Rivers of Faith” is worth reproducing on this point:—“The first
notice of the Jews is, _possibly_, that of certain Shemitic rulers of
the Aram, paying tribute about 850 B.C. to Vool-Nirari, the successor
of Shalmaneser of Syria, regarding which, however, much more is made
by Biblicists than the simple record warrants. This is the case also
where Champollion affirms that mention is made on the Theban temples
of the capture of certain towns of the land we call Judea, this being
thought to prove the existence of Jews. Similar assumption takes
place in regard to the hieratic papyri of the Leyden Museum, held to
belong to the time of Rameses II.; an inscription read on the rocks
of El-Hamamat, and the discovery of some names like Chedorlaomer in
the records of Babylonia; but this is all the ‘evidence’ as to the
existence of ancient Jews which has been advanced, and the most is
made of it in Dr. Birch’s opening address on ‘The Progress of Biblical
Archæology,’ at the inauguration of that Society. The only _logical_
conclusion justifiable, when we give up the _inspiration_ theory, is
that Arabs and Syro-Phenicians were known to Assyrians and Egyptians,
and this none would deny. Indeed, we readily grant with Dr. Birch that,
‘under the nineteenth and twentieth Egyptian dynasties, the influence
of the Armenœan nations is distinctly marked; that not only, by blood
and alliances, had the Pharaohs been closely united with the princes
of Palestine and Syria, but that the language of the period abounds
in Semitic words, quite different from the Egyptian, with which they
were embroidered and intermingled.’ Could it possibly be otherwise? Is
it not so this day? Is a vast and rapidly-spawning Shemitic continent
like Arabia not to influence the narrow delta of a river adjoining
it, or the wild highlands of Syria to its north? Of course, Arabs, or
Shemites, were everywhere spread over Egypt, Syria, and Phenicia, as
well as in their ancient seats of empire in Arabi Irak (Kaldia), and on
the imperial mounds of Kalneh and Kouyunjik, _but not necessarily as
Jews_. I cannot find that these last were anything more than possibly a
peculiar religious sect of Arabs, who settled down from their pristine
nomadic habits, and obtained a _quasi_ government under petty princes
or sheks, such as we have seen take place in the case of numerous
Arabian and Indian sects.”

Again, the author of “Rivers of Faith” remarks: “No efforts, say the
leaders of the Biblical Archæological Society, have been able to find,
either amid the numerous engravings on the rocks of Arabia Petrea or
Palestine, _any save Phenician inscriptions_—not even a record of
the Syro-Hebrew character, which was once thought to be the peculiar
property of Hebrews. ‘_Most of those inscriptions hitherto discovered
do not date anterior to the Roman Empire_’ (Dr. Birch, President of
Soc, op. cit., p. 9). ‘Few, if any, monuments (of Jews) have been
obtained in Palestine’ or the neighbouring countries of any useful
antiquity, save the Moabite Stone, and the value of this last is all
in favour of my previous arguments on these points. At the pool of
Siloam we have an ‘inscription, _in the Phenician character_, as old
as the time of the kings.... It is incised upon the walls of a rock
chamber, apparently _dedicated to Baal, who is mentioned on it_.’ So
that here, in a most holy place of this ‘peculiar people,’ we find
only Phenicians, and these worshipping the Sun-God of Fertility, as
was customary on every coast of Europe, from unknown times down to the
rise of Christianity. The Biblical Archæological Society and British
Museum authorities tell us frankly and clearly that no Hebrew square
character can be proved to exist till after the Babylonian captivity,
and that, ‘at all events, _this inscription of Siloam shows that the
curved or Phenician character was in use in Jerusalem itself under the
Hebrew Monarchy, as well as the conterminous Phenicia, Moabitis_, and
the more distant Assyria. No monument, indeed,’ continues Dr. Birch,
‘of greater antiquity, inscribed in the square character (Hebrew), has
been found, _as yet, older than the fifth century_, A.D.; and the coins
of the Maccabean princes, as well as those of the revolter Barcochab,
are impressed with _Samaritan_ characters.’” As to the Moabite Stone,
I would refer my readers to a little work entitled “An Inquiry into
the Age of the Moabite Stone,” by Samuel Sharpe, the celebrated author
of “The History of Egypt,” in which will be found abundant evidence to
prove that the inscription on the Stone is a forgery of about the year
A.D. 260.

Apart from the history contained in the books of the Old Testament,
there is absolutely no record of the Jews as an independent people,
except that contained in the writings of Josephus (about A.D.
100); and, although that author may be tolerably trustworthy when
relating matters near to his own time, yet in his description of
Jewish antiquities he evidently, as he himself asserts, rests only
on tradition. For instance, he alone records the story of Alexander
entering the holy place at Jerusalem and offering sacrifice on the
altar; but Arrian, in his “Anabasis of Alexander the Great,” where he
specially treats of the life and actions of this great conqueror, says
not one word about such a place as Jerusalem, or about such a story
as that recorded by Josephus. Curtius, who wrote a far more detailed
account of the life and conquests of Alexander, mentions neither
Jerusalem nor the story of Alexander and the holy place. Herodotus,
about B.C. 430, when narrating the two raids of the Scythians through
Syria, as far as Egypt, says not a word about any Jews. Xenophon, who
wrote 150 years after they were said to have returned from Babylon, or
about B.C. 386, appears to have been unconscious of their existence,
only mentioning the Syrians of Palestine. Neither did Sanchoniathon,
Ctesias, Berosus, nor Manetho even once mention them as a nation.
Diodorus also, when writing of the siege of Tyre by the soldiers of
Alexander, neither mentions the Jews as a nation nor Jerusalem as
their chief town. In fact, we have no account of them at all, except
that contained in the Old Testament and that in the writings of
Josephus, until we find them subject to the Romans, under Antiochus
Epiphanes, about B.C. 165, when in all probability they had just
settled down into a dependent nation, having been driven into Syria
by the Babylonians, whose fertile valleys these Arabian nomads had
attempted to colonise. Being surrounded on all sides by nations whose
religions so very far surpassed their own in development, it did not
take long for the Yahoudi (afterwards called Jews) to become affected
by the mythological dramas of their neighbours; and, in carefully
examining the mythical records of their tribe, we find that they very
soon became acquainted with, and in some cases offered worship to,
almost all the purely Semitic and Chaldean, as well as to a few of
the Egyptian, deities. Their principal god always remained as before,
El (אל) signifying the zodiacal sign _Aries_, the heavenly ram and
first of the twelve zodiacal figures. Combined with Yah (יה), the
abbreviation of Yahouh (יהוה), their tribal deity, it formed a compound
word, Eloh (אלוה), or Elyah (אליה, the ו and י being interchangeable),
the plural of which was Elohim (אלהים), a word used frequently in the
Bible to signify the supreme God. Bearing in mind the fact that the
fables of the Bible are not actual history, but merely so many accounts
of the ever-recurring phenomena of the sidereal heavens, and that in
the various saviour myths the vernal equinoxial sign, or saviour sign,
_Aries_, was looked upon as the supreme god, who housed the new-born
sun on his first appearance in the upper world, just as in the present
day the song of praise on Easterday is “Worthy is the lamb who was
slain (crucified) to receive the power and bring back salvation to
the world,” the meanings of these names of the supreme deity become
apparent at once. All the words—and, in fact, almost every divine
name found in every divine record—signify the sun in one or other of
the divisions of his annual or daily apparent march, or else one of
the divisions itself. El signifies the first and saviour sign of the
zodiac, the celestial ram, and is always used when the winter period
is referred to, because from the autumnal to the vernal equinox the
sun-god, Yahouh, is separated from the ram, El, which remains god of
the lower world, until again united with its spouse, the sun, at the
vernal equinox, becoming the ram-sun-god, El-Yah or Eloh, whose plural
is Elohim, the ram-sun-gods, from the vernal to the autumnal equinox,
when the sun and _Aries_ are together for six months. At a later time,
when the old Bacchus worship was revived at Alexandria in the person
of the young Semitic Yahoshua, who was named Iesous, we have a good
illustration of this when the sun-god, in his agony at being separated
from the ram at the autumnal equinox or crucifixion, exclaimed: “Eloi,
Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—“My ram, my ram, why hast thou forsaken me?”
In, I believe, every instance in which the plural word, Elohim, is used
in the Bible the reference is to the summer half of the year, from the
vernal to the autumnal equinox, when El and Yah are together. We meet
with El—in its Babylonian form, Bel; in its Aramæan forms, Bel and
Belus; and in its Phenician form, Baal—frequently in the Bible, and
often in combination with other deities, as El-Shaddai and Bel-Shaddai
(בעלשדי), signifying the “breasted ram,” or the ram at the vernal
equinox, the period of suckling.[2] Other forms of the same divine name
were Baal-Berith, god of the equinox or covenant (_co-venire_, to come
together, as when the ecliptic crosses the equator at the two equinoxes
or crucifixions); Baal-Yah and El-Yah, rendered in the authorised
version respectively Bealiah and Elijah, when in reality they signify
the god Yahouh, or ram-sun-god; El-Yah also does duty for Joel; Elishah
signifies the saviour ram; Eliakim, the setting ram; Eleazar, the
creating ram; Samuel, the god of fame, or famous ram; Daniel, the
ram judge; and Israel, the struggle with El. The Phenician Hercules
wrestled with Typhon (the sun at the meridian) in the sand, just as
Israel or Jacob wrestled with Elohim in the dust—Hercules, like Jacob,
being wounded in the thigh; and the Canaanites knew the Greek Hercules,
who wrestled with Zeus, by the name of Ysrael.

[2] El not only signified a ram, but also a lamb, or any other kind of
sheep. The vernal equinoxial sign, for instance, of the Persians was a
lamb, while that of the Egyptians was a ram.

Baal-gad (בעלגד) was the god of Fortune, Gad being a Babylonian deity
representing fortune, which was placed at the foot of Hermon for public
worship. From this deity G D (גד) are derived the English words God
and Good, the German Gott and Gut, the Danish and Swedish Gud, and
the Wesleyan Methodist Gawd. Baal-Peor was the Phallic deity (_Deus
Vulvæ_), god of the opening, worshipped largely by the Hebrews, who, as
General Forlong points out, “had a strong solo-phalik fire-and-serpent
cult. They all had Baal, Nebu, and Peor on their high places; Yachavah
or Yahuê, the ‘Grove,’ or Asherah [Ashtoreth] and fire in their
central groves.” Baal Zephon was the god Typhon; Baal Hermon was
another name for Gad, god of Fortune; Baal Hazor was the god Hathor;
and Baal Hamon (בעלאמון) was the god Amen, or Jupiter Ammon. The word
Yahouh, in various terminal forms, was frequently used to designate
the sun at different times and seasons—as Joseph, the lamented Yah;
Jehu, Yahouh himself; and, according to Gesenius, Jehozabad, Yeho the
giver; Jehohanan, Yeho is good; Jehoiada, Yeho is knowing; Jehoshua,
or Joshua; Jehoshaphat; Jehoiakim; Hoshea; Zedekiyah, etc. Yahoshua
(Joshua) was the Canaanitish name for the Phoenician Yēs or Iēs, and
Egyptian Mises, and became in Latin Josue, or Jesus, according to
whether the Romans referred to the Phenician or Canaanitish Bacchus,
whose histories, though similar in the main, differed considerably
in details. The Egyptian Mises became also the Jewish law-giver and
leader, Moses, and is described in Ex. xxxiv. as being horned like
Bacchus (_vide_ my “Popular Faith Unveiled”). The Adonis myth occurs
over and over again in fragments throughout the Bible, the Babylonish
name Adon frequently being found in that form (אדן), in its Hebrew
rendering Adonai (אדני), and occasionally in its Aramæan form of
Tammuz. It occurs alone, as in Psalm cx. 1, “Yahouh said to Adonis, sit
at my right hand;” in Isaiah vii. 14, “Therefore our Adonis himself
shall give you a sign;” and in conjunction with Yahouh, as in Isaiah
vii. 7, “Thus saith Yahouh, our Adonis,” and numerous other places. It
also occurs with different terminations, to signify different forms and
positions of the sun-god—as Adoniyah or Adonijah, Adonis is Yahouh;
Adoni-zedek, the liberated Adonis; Adoni-bezek, the rising Adonis; etc.
The old Semitic sun-god Shamsh remained, as of old, the Hebrew שמש
(Shemosh), signifying the sun; and his Greek _alter ego_, Hercules, the
sun-hero, was not forgotten either, for we find a very poor attempt
to reproduce him in the history of Samson. Moloch, Dagon, and other
Semitic deities are also introduced into the Jewish Scriptures. There
is one other deity frequently met with which must now be named, and
that is the Egyptian Amen—the Zeus Amen (Ζευς Αμην·) of the Greeks,
and the Jupiter Ammon of the Romans. This god Ammon (אמן or אמון)
was worshipped by the Jews as the equal in power to, and the very
counterpart of, Yahouh, and was called by the very same names by which
he was known to the Egyptians—viz., the hidden god, true and faithful
witness (which epithet gave origin to the Greek adverb, Αμην, truly),
and saviour of the world, or regenerator of nature. In Isaiah xlv. 15
we read, “Truly thou art the hidden god of Israel, the saviour;” and,
again, in chapter lxv. 16, “He who blesses himself on earth shall bless
himself by his god Ammon (אלהיאמן); and he who sweareth in the earth
shall swear by the god Ammon, because the former troubles are delivered
to oblivion, and because they are hidden from mine eyes.” This hidden
or occult god, Ammon, or Amen, is frequently addressed in the Psalms
and other places, and is there identified with Yahouh and Adonis. In
Psalm xxvii. 8, 9, we read, “Seek ye my face. My heart said to thee,
Thy face, O Yahouh, will I seek. O hide not thy face from me;” and
Psalm x. 1, “And why standest thou so far off, Yahouh, and hidest thy
face in the needful time of trouble?” Psalm lxxxix. 46 says, “Yahouh,
how long wilt thou hide thyself?” Verses 49, 50, “O our Adonis, where
are thy loving kindnesses of old, which thou swearest to David in thy
truth?” and verse 52, “Blessed be Yahouh for evermore (who is) Ammon,
even Ammon.” In Isaiah i. 15 we also read, “When ye spread forth your
hands I will hide myself from you; yea, when ye make many prayers I
will not hear you.” We find the same god also in the New Testament
Scriptures of the later Christian sect of Eclectic Egyptian Jews. In
the Apocalypse, for instance, the word Αμην is rendered “Amen” in the
authorised version, and is sometimes met with as a Greek noun, Ὁ Αμην
(never heard of in the classics), when it is rendered “the Amen,”
which senseless rendering is no doubt intended to conceal the real
and obvious meaning. In Rev. i. 18 we read, “I am he that liveth and
was dead, and behold I, Ammon, am alive for evermore,” the word Αμην
being rendered “Amen;” and in chap. iii. 14, “These things saith Ammon
[“the Amen” in the authorised version], the true and faithful witness,
the beginning of the creation of God.” As the celestial ram or lamb,
_Aries_, Amen is again mentioned in chap. xiii. 8, “The lamb which has
been slain from the foundation of the world”—that is, each year at the
vernal equinox, when the occult god rose from his hiding-place in the
lower hemisphere to bring salvation to the world.

This concludes the examination of the old sun-myth religions; but there
are yet three very important religious systems to be dealt with—viz.,
Confucianism, Mohammedanism, and Christianism.

Confucianism took its birth in the sixth century B.C., at a time
when the old solar myth was very extensively believed in China and
the neighbouring countries, and was, strictly speaking, a system of
morality and conduct. Its author, Confucius (Kong-fu-tse), was born
B.C. 550, in Lu, a province of China, and at a very early age commenced
to preach a higher and purer morality among the Chinese people, many
of whom became regular followers of the young reformer, and followed
his good example by likewise teaching the people at every favourable
opportunity. He was strongly opposed to all false show, hypocrisy, and
deceit, and abhorred the life of a hermit as unnatural and mischievous.
He preferred not to speak of heaven as a personal being, as was the
habit of his countrymen, but was exceedingly fond of quoting its
example as the preserver of order, frequently alluding to its commands,
ordinances, and purposes. He attached no value to prayer, preached the
doctrine that good and evil are rewarded on the earth by prosperity and
adversity, and expressed his disbelief in special revelations to men.
The canonical books of the Confucians are known as the five _Kings_
(the historical _Shu-King_, the psalms of the _Shi-King_, and the
ritual of the _Li-ki_, the chronicles of the _Tshun-tsiew_, and the
magical _Yi-King_), and the three volumes containing the remarkable
and benevolent utterances of the master Confucius himself—viz., the
_Lun-yu_, the _Ta-hio_, and the _Tshung-yung_. In the _Ta-hio_ occur
those celebrated and beautiful moral passages which have so justly
immortalised the name of Confucius. The one is the 24th moral: “Do
unto another what you would he should do to you, and do not to another
what you would should not be done to you. Thou needest this law alone;
it is the foundation and principle of all the rest.” The other is the
53rd moral: “Acknowledge thy benefits by return of other benefits,
but never avenge injuries.” Notwithstanding the great persecution of
Confucians in b.c. 212, by the Ts’in rulers, and other smaller attempts
to destroy the new system of morality in favour of the sun-gods, the
moral code of Confucius was publicly permitted to be used in A.D. 57,
and since the seventh century has almost entirely taken the place of
god-worship, a few only of the more uneducated classes still professing
to worship Fo-hi.

Mohammedanism, or Islamism, the reformed faith of Arab polytheists,
arose in the sixth century of our era. Mahomet, or Mohammed, was a
young religious enthusiast, a camel-driver of Mecca, who determined
to uproot the idolatry and superstition of the Arab tribes, and was
singularly successful in his arduous undertaking. He had a powerful
aversion to all kinds of priestcraft, sacrifices, and superstitious
ordeals, and boldly preached the unity of God, declaring that “there
is but one God, and Mahomet is his prophet.” Of all the religions
of the world, perhaps none has been more successful than this; and,
certainly, not one ever spread so rapidly over the face of the earth.
In less than 100 years after the decease of the prophet the Khalifs
of Islamism were masters of the whole of Northern Africa, Spain, and
part of France, besides a great portion of Asia; which vast territories
they retained possession of for about 600 years, encouraging the while
philosophical and scientific studies, establishing libraries, schools,
and universities, and otherwise benefitting the human race. At the
present day upwards of 100,000,000 people embrace this faith, whose God
is Allah, the great unity, whose prophet is Mahomet, and whose Bible is
the Koran.

We now come to Christianism, that widely-spread faith, whose cradle was
Alexandria, whose nursery was Rome, and whose workshop was Europe. The
founder of this religion, if he ever lived at all, about which there is
considerable doubt, was a young ascetic monk belonging to the Essenes—a
Syrian branch of the large order of Therapeutæ—whose headquarters were
in Alexandria. His name was Yahoshua ben Pandira and Stada; he was born
about B.C. 120, in the reign of Alexander Jannæus; and he preached the
doctrines of Confucius, declaring publicly that the priests were liars
and hypocrites, and inculcating communistic and socialistic theories.
He gained many lowly followers, who followed him about preaching in the
open air, and begging their bread from day to day, and, at last, was
publicly executed for his seditious conduct.

At the same time a remarkable mental revolution was taking place in
Greece and Egypt, the natural homes of mythology; the University of
Alexandria and the Academic Groves of Athens were fast sending to the
right-about-face the old superstitions, much to the dismay of the
priests and religious fanatics, who were driven to their wits’ end to
know how to counteract this dangerous tendency of the age towards
infidelity and science. The idea struck them of utilising for their
purpose the new sect of religious reformers, who lived according to
the teaching of the young socialist, Yahoshua; they boldly declared
that this man was, when on earth, an incarnate deity, and proceeded
to attribute to him all the miraculous performances that had been
previously imputed to the sun-god Bacchus; and commenced forthwith
to prepare their documentary evidences ready for the ignorant and
credulous multitudes. A new sect of the Therapeut monks of Alexandria
came into existence, called Eclectics, whose mission was to collect
all that was good and useful in the religions of their neighbours, and
commit them to manuscript for the use of their monasteries and the
priestly class generally. It did not take long to fabricate a very
imposing story of the young man Yahoshua, whom they now called Iesous
(Ιησους, a name used by the Greeks to signify a hero personification
of the sun-god Bacchus, the Phœnician Ιης), Greek being at that time
the prevailing language of Lower Egypt. The performances of the ancient
sun-gods of Egypt, Persia, Arabia, India, Greece, Phœnicia, and Italy
were recalled to the minds of these Eclectic monks, by diligent search
among their old musty MSS., and, after carefully and judiciously
collating the fables, they were enabled to clothe their new Iesous, or
Jesus, with all the leading characteristics of these various deities.
He was born of a virgin at midnight between December 24th and December
25th, as were all the sun-gods: his birth, like that of Mithra and that
of Krishna, was foretold: a star pointed out the place of his nativity,
as in the case of Mithra: his birth-place was a manger in a stable, as
in the case of Hercules; or, according to another account, a cave, as
in the case of Mithra and Horus: he cured the sick, as did Æsculapius:
he fasted in the wilderness, as did Buddha: he performed miracles, as
did Bacchus, Hercules, and others: he turned water into wine, as did
the Egyptian Bacchus, and as was done at the Bacchanalian orgies: he
was crucified, as were also Krishna, Osiris, and Prometheus: he rose
from the dead after having been in the grave three days and three
nights, as did all the sun-gods: he descended to hell, as did all the
sun-gods: he was called Saviour (Σωτηρ, Gr., and Saotès, Egyp.) and
Lamb of God (_Agnus Dei_), as were all the sun-gods (Ζευς Σωτηρ, Mises
Saotès, etc.); Amen, as was Jupiter Ammon (Ζευς Αμην); Christ, or the
Anointed (χριστος), as was Osiris; Son of God, as were Plato’s Logos
(λογος), Bacchus, Mithra, and Horus; Holy Word (of Plato and Philo), as
also was Horus; God of Love, as were Adonis, Mithra, and Krishna; Light
of the World, as were all the sun-gods; and, like his _alter ego_,
Krishna, The Resurrection, The Incarnate, The Beginning and the End,
Existing before All Things, Chief of Prophets, and Messenger of Peace:
he was the incarnation of one third of a trinity, as were also Horus,
Krishna, and Plato’s Logos: his day was called the Day of the Sun: his
followers were called Christians, and his priests Bishops of Christ,
just as were those of Osiris: his priests absolved sins, received
confessions, and practised celibacy, as did the priests of Bacchus,
Adonis, Mithra, Krishna, Buddha, etc.: his feast was called the Lord’s
Supper and the Mystery of the Night, as were those of Bacchus, Adonis,
and Osiris: these suppers became, in course of time, obscene midnight
orgies, as did those of Bacchus and Adonis: at these suppers the
insignia over the table were the letters Ι Η Σ (the Phœnician name
of Bacchus, in Greek capitals), surrounded by the rays of light and
surmounted by a crucifix and a bleeding lamb, precisely as was the case
with the Bacchanalian orgies: at the Lord’s Supper bread and wine were
transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus, exactly as was done
in the case of Bacchus and Osiris: and lights were used at these feasts
just as they were at the Bacchanalian orgies.

These fables were carefully compiled together, attributed to various
imaginary authors, and finally issued to the people as an appendix,
or New Testament, to the volume of the old Jewish Scriptures, or Old
Testament. Thus were gathered together by the Alexandrian Eclectics
the principal essentials of all the old mythological cults, and thus
came into existence the huge and powerful system of religion called
Christianism, which has been the great curse of Europe for well nigh
two thousand years. From the brutal murder of Hypatia, in a Christian
church, by the fanatical mob of a Christian bishop, down to the last
poor wretch burnt alive at the stake by the orders of the Church of
Jesus, the story of Christian infamy is not relieved by one bright
spot. Humanity stands aghast, and shudders at the hideous tale of crime
which the history of Christian Europe unfolds. It is one long wail of
anguish, poured forth by suffering man, finding relief only in the
silence of the grave—that stronghold of peace within which neither
god, devil, priest, nor tyrant can wreak their diabolical vengeance
further. How terrible have been the sufferings of poor Humanity under
the ghastly shadow of the Cross is beautifully expressed in Shelley’s
“Queen Mab,” in the dialogue between the spirit of Ianthe and the Fairy
Queen:—

  SPIRIT.   I was an infant when my mother went
    To see an Atheist burned. She took me there:
    The dark-robed priests were met around the pile
    The multitude was gazing silently;
    And as the culprit passed with dauntless mien,
    Tempered disdain in his unaltering eye,
    Mixed with a quiet smile, shone calmly forth:
    The thirsty fire crept round his manly limbs;
    His resolute eyes were scorched to blindness soon;
    His death-pang rent my heart! the insensate mob
    Uttered a cry of triumph, and I wept.
    Weep not, child! cried my mother, for that man
    Has said, There is no God.

  FAIRY.   There is no God!
    Nature confirms the faith his death-groan seal’d:
    Let heaven and earth, let man’s revolving race,
    His ceaseless generations, tell their tale;
    Let every part depending on the chain
    That links it to the whole, point to the hand
    That grasps its term! Let every seed that falls,
    In silent eloquence unfold its store
    Of argument: infinity within,
    Infinity without, belie creation;
    The exterminable spirit it contains
    Is Nature’s only God; but human pride
    Is skilful to invent most serious names
    To hide its ignorance.
                              The name of God
    Has fenced about all crime with holiness,
    Himself the creature of his worshippers,
    Whose names and attributes and passions change,
    Seeva, Buddh, Foh, Jehovah, God, or Lord,
    Even with the human dupes who build his shrines,
    Still serving o’er the war-polluted world
    For desolation’s watchword; whether hosts
    Stain his death-blushing chariot wheels, as on
    Triumphantly they roll, whilst Brahmins raise
    A sacred hymn to mingle with the groans;
    Or countless partners of his power divide
    His tyranny to weakness; or the smoke
    Of burning towns, the cries of female helplessness,
    Unarmed old age, and youth, and infancy,
    Horribly massacred, ascend to heaven
    In honour of his name; or, last and worst,
    Earth groans beneath religion’s iron age,
    And priests dare babble of a God of peace,
    Even while their hands are red with guiltless blood,
    Murdering the while, uprooting every germ
    Of truth, exterminating, spoiling all,
    Making the earth a slaughter-house!

There is no God! What, then, caused this mighty universe? To be caused
implies a cause, certainly; and that cause must, in the very nature of
things, be adequate for the production of the effect manifested. But,
inasmuch as cause and effect are but relative terms, the cause could
not exist independently of the effect, and _vice versâ_. Therefore, as
far as the human mind is capable of mentating, the universe could not
have been caused. It is, therefore, eternal. What that inherent power
of matter is that hides itself so mysteriously behind the phenomena of
nature we cannot tell, farther than that, being the inherent property
of eternal matter, it also is eternal. This point is the limit of
the human understanding, beyond which it is apparently impossible
at present for the mind of man to soar. In the words of Mr. Herbert
Spencer, “there is a power behind humanity and behind all things; a
power of which humanity is but a small and fugitive product; a power
which was, in the course of ever-changing manifestations, before
humanity was, and will continue through all other manifestations when
humanity has ceased to be.” This power, of which matter and motion,
thought and volition, are but the phenomenal manifestations, and which
regulates the varied movements of those myriads of stellar systems
interspersed throughout the infinity of space—this exhaustless power
of life and energy is to the human mind, as at present constituted,
unknowable. Call it Law; call it Gravity; call it the Mysterious
Unknown; but call it not God, that word which has brought so much
bitter anguish to humanity, and which blighted the beauty of nature,
causing hate where love should be, and tears to fall where smiles
should gladden the heart of man. Whether or not the mind of man in
future ages will be able to lift the veil that at present lies between
him and the Great Unknown time alone can tell.

At present we are at the mercy of an imperfectly-developed nervous
organisation, with its five special senses, which, though very far
superior to the lowly nervous development of our remote ancestors
of millions of centuries back in the history of life, is perfectly
inadequate for the solution of the great problem of existence. But
a time will probably arrive in the dim and misty future when other
and more important senses will be evolved within the human frame,
which may bring man nearer the elucidation of this greatest of all
mysteries. Meanwhile let us apply ourselves boldly to the uprooting of
the old Upas tree of religious faith—that pernicious development of the
god-idea that has been the constant blight of all ages, stifling reason
by fostering blind faith and gross credulity, robbing the race of all
that is noble, manly, and honest, by the propagation of those canker
worms, hypocrisy and cant, and retarding the temporal salvation of man
by the substitution of the vain and foolish theory of future rewards
and punishments.


_Printed by Watts & Co., 17, Johnson’s Court, Fleet Street, London,
E.C._



[Illustration: ZODIACAL SIGNS

  LIBRA        A
  VIRGO        B
  LEO          C
  CANCER       D
  GEMINI       E
  TAURUS       F
  ARIES        G
  PISCES       H
  AQUARIUS     I
  CAPRICORNUS  J
  SAGITARIUS   K
  SCORPIO      L

  A  Earth’s position at Vernal Equinox B.C.      4340.
  B    "         "     "    "      "      "       2188.
  C    "         "     "    "      "      "         36.
  D    "         "     " Winter Solstice  "       4340.
  E    "         "     "    "      "      "       2188.
  F    "         "     "    "      "      "         36.
  G    "         "     " Autumnal Equinox "       4340.
  H    "         "     "    "        "    "       2188.
  I    "         "     "    "        "    "         36.
  J    "         "     " Summer Solstice  "       4340.
  K    "         "     "    "      "      "       2188.
  L    "         "     "    "      "      "         36.
]


[Illustration: INSIGNIA ON THE WALLS IN THE TEMPLES OF BACCHUS]


[Illustration: ORIENTAL ZODIAC. After Sir W^(m) Jones.]


[Illustration: ANCIENT EGYPTIAN ZODIAC FROM THE TEMPLE OF ISIS DENDERA
After Sir Wm. Drummond.]


[Illustration: NORTHERN SIGNS AND EXTRA-ZODIACAL CONSTELLATIONS.
B.C. 36 to A.D. 2116.]


[Illustration: SOUTHERN SIGNS AND EXTRA-ZODIACAL CONSTELLATIONS.
B.C. 36 to A.D. 2116.]

[Illustration: _B.C. 4340 TO B.C. 2188._]

[Illustration: _B.C. 36 TO A.D. 2116._]


[Illustration: _ZODIACAL LINE OR ECLIPTIC. B.C. 2188 TO B.C. 36._]


[Illustration: Boötes  Adam  Joseph the Carpenter

Virgo  Eve  V. Mary

Cetus  Blasphemy]


[Illustration: Aquarius  John the Baptist.  Peter.

Sagittarius.  Joseph son of Jacob.  Philip of Bethsaida.

J. BENNETT.]


[Illustration: ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ

GOD INCARNATE WITH MAN

COPY OF CELEBRATED BRONZE IN THE VATICAN ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ]—SAVIOUR OF THE
W0RLD

Taken from Payne Knight’s “Priapus Worship.”

A Cross, the Phallic symbol, has been substituted for the male organ
erect of the original.]


[Illustration: AMULET IN TOWNLEY’S MUSEUM

Representing the sexual union of the bull-sun-god, or Active principle
of generation, with the Passive, or female principle of nature or earth.

Crosses have been here substituted for the erect male organs of the
original.]

[Illustration: PHALLIC LAMP

Found buried in London.

Both figures are copied from “Priapus Worship”.]


[Illustration: VOTIVE OFFERINGS TO GOD PRIAPUS

I. The god’s assistance was sought on behalf of a couple, PRIMINUS and
MENTILA, who were probably childless. Found in Roman camp at Adel,
Yorkshire, and now in Leeds Philosophical Society’s museum.

II. Found in Roman camp at Westerford Fort, Scotland, upon the wall of
Antoninus.

III. Found on one of the gateways of Hadrian’s wall, in the Roman camp
at Homesteads, Northumberland.

The above are taken from “Priapus Worship”.]


[Illustration: AMULET FORMING DOUBLE CRUX ANSATA

From “Priapus Worship”. Two Crosses are here substituted for the male
organs of the original.]

[Illustration: ANCIENT AMULET

Copied from one in the British Museum.

A Cross is here substituted for the male organ of the original as shown
in “Priapus Worship”.]



ZODIACAL MYTHOLOGY.


To us of the nineteenth century, who have our national institutions for
the discovery and propagation of scientific truths, thus being saved
the trouble of investigating for ourselves, having only to open a book
to see when the next eclipse of the sun will take place, or whether
the Easter holidays fall later, or earlier than usual, it seems almost
incredible that there once existed races of men who devoted almost
all their time to the study of astronomy; but such is nevertheless
the fact; and when we consider the different conditions under which
society existed in very remote times from what we are now subject to,
we shall at once see that it was not altogether a pleasure, but in
fact a stern necessity, that impelled the people of those early times
to make themselves thoroughly acquainted with the various natural
phenomena taking place around them day after day, month after month,
and year after year. In those days, when writing was either altogether
unknown or limited entirely to a few, and when such things as almanacks
and encyclopedias were not the order of the day, people had to trust
to their own knowledge of the movements of the heavenly bodies and the
properties and uses of plants, etc., for the successful carrying on of
their daily pursuits, which were then principally of an agricultural
nature. Instead of watches and clocks, the people had only the sun in
heaven to tell them the hours of the day; instead of monthly almanacks,
they had the moon for their guide; and, instead of annual calendars to
mark the commencement of the seasons, they had only the stars above to
teach them the proper times to till their lands and sow their grain.
Consequently, it was absolutely necessary that they should be well
acquainted with all the movements of the heavenly bodies; and we need
only glance at the earliest records of the human race to find that
they were more or less full of astronomical allusions—in fact, that the
principal study which engaged the attention of primitive man was the
study of the starry heavens.

In my lecture on “The Evolution of the God Idea” I have already pointed
out how the earliest religious conceptions arose from this study; and
in my “Popular Faith Unveiled” I have endeavoured to show that, in
naming the constellations, the ancients adopted the wise device of
giving to groups of stars the names of the particular earth productions
or earth phenomena that happened to take place at the time when such
star groups made their appearance in the heavens. Now, it is a very
remarkable fact that in those ancient countries of which we have any
exact knowledge the heavenly bodies received very similar and, in many
instances, identical names, which is just what we should expect if the
above theory of the naming be correct. Take the zodiac, for example,
which is the line of the apparent annual circuit of the sun, and we
find that in Egypt, India, Persia, and Greece it was divided into
twelve portions of 30 degrees each, the whole circuit consisting of
360 degrees; and the equivalent signs bore a wonderful similarity to
each other. In the old Indian zodiac published in the “Philosophical
Transactions” of 1772 the signs are as follows, commencing at the
vernal equinoxial point:—Ram, Bull, Man with two shields, Crab, Lion,
Virgin, Balances, Scorpion, Bow and Arrow, Monster with goat’s head
and fish’s hindquarters, Urn, Fish. In the Indian zodiac published by
Sir W. Jones they are as follows:—Ram, Bull, Youth and Damsel, Crab,
Lion, Virgin in a boat, holding an ear of rice-corn, Man holding the
balances, Scorpion, Centaur shooting with a bow and arrow, Monster
with antelope’s head and fish’s hindquarters, Man carrying a water-pot
on his shoulder, Two Fishes. The ancient Persian zodiacal signs were:
Lamb, Bull, Twins, Crab, Lion, Ear of Corn, Balances, Scorpion, Bow,
Goat, Pitcher of Water, Two Fishes. In the zodiac depicted on the
ceiling of the Egyptian temple of Isis at Dendera the following are
the signs:—Ram, Bull, Twins, Beetle, Lion, Virgin holding an ear of
corn, Balances, Scorpion, Centaur shooting with bow and arrow, Monster
with goat’s head and fish’s hindquarters, Man pouring water from two
water-pots, Two Fishes. In Kircher’s Egyptian zodiac the signs are:—Man
with ram’s horns, Bull, Twins, Hermes with head of an Ibis, Lion,
Virgin holding an ear of corn, Man holding the balances, Man with
serpents for legs and having a serpent twisted round his body, Centaur
shooting with bow and arrow, Monster with goat’s head and fish’s
hindquarters, Man with an urn from which water was falling, Woman with
fish’s tail. Ancient Greek zodiacs had the following signs:—Ram, Bull,
Twins, Crab, Lion, Virgin, Balances, Scorpion, Centaur shooting with
bow and arrow, Goat with fish’s hindquarters, Canobus with his pitcher
of water, Two Fishes. The Romans followed the Greeks, and these signs
have since remained unchanged in all modern zodiacs, being now known
under the following names:—Aries, the ram; Taurus, the bull; Gemini,
the twins; Cancer, the crab; Leo, the lion; Virgo, the virgin; Libra,
the balances; Scorpio, the scorpion; Sagittarius, the centaur-archer;
Capricornus, the goat-fish; Aquarius, the water-bearer; Pisces, the
fishes.

Each of these signs corresponds with a particular portion of the year,
varying according to the slow movement known as the precession of the
equinoxes, by which all the signs are moved forward very slightly
year by year, at the rate of one degree in 71 or 72 years, until, at
the end of about 2,152 years, a whole sign has moved forward into the
position previously occupied by the sign immediately preceding it.
This is caused by the failure of the sun to reach the same point in
the same time in his apparent circuit each year; and thus it happens
that, in a period of rather less than 26,000 years, each sign will have
moved completely round the zodiacal band. Now, by careful calculation
it has been found that the vernal equinoxial point coincided with the
first degree of Aries about 28,000 years ago, with the first degree
of Libra about 17,000 years ago, with the first degree of Taurus B.C.
4,340, with that of Aries B.C. 2,188, and with that of Pisces B.C.
36; so that, at the present time, the vernal equinoxial point is
really occupied by the sign of the fishes, although, for astronomical
purposes, the sign of the ram is always placed in that position, and
will, for the future, always be considered as the first sign of the
zodiac, no matter what sign may really occupy that position. Thus there
is now what is called a fixed zodiac, which never changes, and which
is an arbitrary arrangement made for scientific purposes, and a real
zodiac whose figures move steadily and slowly year by year, until at
the end of rather more than two thousand years the vernal equinoxial
point is occupied by the sign immediately following the one which
occupied it during that period of time.

Although now the fixed zodiac is an established fact, such an
arrangement was undreamed of by the ancients, who regulated their
almanacks from the actual sign at the time occupying the vernal
equinoxial point; so that between the years 4340 B.C. and 2188 B.C.
the sign of the bull was the first and chief sign of the zodiac, while
during the two thousand years following—that is, until 36 B.C.—the
sign of the ram or lamb took its place. The vernal equinox falls on
March 21st each year, at which time the sun, having ascended from its
lowest point of declination (December 21st), arrives at that portion
of its annual course at which the equator and the ecliptic cross each
other; and thus during the period when the sign of the bull was the
vernal equinoxial sign the sun was said to be in _Taurus_, while in
the following period, when the sign of the ram took the place of that
of the bull, the sun was said to be in _Aries_. In order to understand
thoroughly the apparent annual march of the sun round our earth, it
will be necessary to observe the actual double motions of our earth
round the sun and upon its own axis. Let us suppose that we are again
in the period when the sun was in _Aries_ at the vernal equinox; on the
21st of March our earth, in travelling round the sun (annual motion),
has reached a point at which the sun is placed between us and the first
stars of _Aries_, which are then, of course, invisible, because when
the sun is visible it is daytime—that is, the part of the earth on
which we stand is opposed to the sun, which renders all the stars in
that part of the heavens invisible; but, as the earth continues to turn
upon its axis (daily motion), we gradually lose sight of the sun, and
as the darkness closes around us the stars upon the opposite side of
the heavens become visible; so that, when the sun is in _Aries_, or any
other sign, that sign is always invisible to us, and at night we see
the sign that occupies the opposite side of the zodiac. Day after day,
as the earth continues to move round the sun, a few more stars in the
sign _Aries_ are covered, until at the end of a month the sun reaches
the next sign, _Taurus_; and the opposite signs, which we see at night,
have also moved on to the same extent. Thus at noon on March 21st the
sun is at its highest daily ascension, south of the zenith, or highest
point of the heavens, obliterating by its effulgence the first stars
of the sign _Aries_, through which it is apparently about to pass, and
at midnight following the opposite sign, _Libra_, is seen at the same
distance from the nadir, or highest point of the darkened heavens;
while a month later, when the sun at noon is in _Taurus_, the sign
_Scorpio_ is seen at the opposite point at midnight; and so on through
all the signs, one month being occupied by the passing of the sun
through each sign, so that it passes through _Aries_ in March, _Taurus_
in April, _Gemini_ in May, _Cancer_ in June, _Leo_ in July, _Virgo_ in
August, _Libra_ in September, _Scorpio_ in October, _Sagittarius_ in
November, _Capricornus_ in December, _Aquarius_ in January, _Pisces_
in February. This was precisely what occurred in the zodiac during the
years from B.C. 2188 to B.C. 36; but in the period of two thousand
years immediately preceding this, owing to the precession of the
equinoxes, the order was changed, so that _Taurus_ was the sign of
March, _Gemini_ of April, and so on, each sign being a month earlier;
while at the present time _Pisces_ is the sign of March, and each other
sign one month later than when _Aries_ was at the vernal equinoxial
point. Each of these signs occupies 30 degrees of the zodiac, the
whole twelve making up 360 degrees, which is the total length of the
imaginary sphere of the heavenly vault; and the ancients again divided
each of these signs into three portions of ten degrees each, called
decans making 36 decans for the complete zodiacal circle. When the
sun was passing through a sign the astrologers publicly proclaimed
the exact moment of its entry upon the first decan, which they called
the upper room, the whole sign being called the house of the sun; the
second decan they called the middle or inner room, and the third the
lower room. On each side of the zodiacal band there are also a number
of what are called extra-zodiacal constellations, which never vary
their position with regard to the zodiacal signs, the constellations on
either side of _Aries_ always rising and setting at the same time with
that sign, those on each side of _Taurus_ doing likewise, and so on
through all the signs.

As the various astronomical figures became endowed by the ancients with
divine honours, each of these signs became associated with a number of
romantic stories, until at length the struggles, victories, and defeats
of the gods were told in such a variety of ways that sufficient lore
existed to fill, if written down, whole libraries. The zodiacal signs
were all gods of great importance; the planets were gods, the sun was
a god, the moon was a goddess, and the extra-zodiacal constellations
were either gods or heroes; but all were not of equal importance, and,
owing to the constant changing of positions, some were powerful and
victorious at one time and weak and dying at another. The chief deity,
which to the Aryans was Dyaus, the day-father, became in later times a
concentrated essence of all the gods, and was supposed to undergo all
the vicissitudes to which they were subjected; but, inasmuch as the
new-born sun was the life of the world, bringing back happiness, and
the vernal equinoxial sign was the one at which his influence began to
be felt, these two deities were looked upon as god _par excellence_, a
dual deity, separate yet conjoined, and of equal power and authority.
So, when the bull was the vernal equinoxial point, the sun-in-_Taurus_
was supreme god; and when the ram, or lamb, was the vernal equinoxial
point the sun-in-_Aries_ was supreme God; and, although it was only
in March that the sun was at the vernal equinoxial point, yet the
bull-god, for two thousand years prior to B.C. 2188, was always
supreme, and the ram-god (in Egypt) or lamb-god (in Persia) after that
date. On leaving the vernal equinoxial sign the sun passed into the
next in order; but, although then not actually in conjunction with
the chief sign, it yet was but slightly removed from it, the distance
growing larger as each fresh sign was occupied; and never were the
sun and the principal sign actually separated from each other in the
zodiac, so as to pass into opposite hemispheres, until the autumnal
equinoxial point was crossed, after which the sun passed successively
through all the winter constellations, being separated for the space
of six months from the sign of the vernal equinox. Therefore the six
summer signs were accounted specially bountiful and holy, the sign of
the vernal equinox being the head and chief of the six, while the six
winter signs were accounted less holy, but quite as powerful for evil
as the others were for good.

From this was formed the main drama of all subsequent mythological
systems, the groundwork of which was, briefly, as follows:—The
saviour-sun-god was born at the winter solstice, and ascended to
the vernal equinox, where he was united with the bull, becoming the
bull-god, and in aftertime with the ram or lamb, becoming the ram-god
or lamb-god: after crossing the equator at the spring covenant, or
coming together of the equator and ecliptic, he ascended to the summit
of the heavens, becoming the lion-god, at the height of his power, and
then descending again to the autumnal covenant, or equinox, to pass
through the winter or scorpion signs, alone, and mourning the loss of
the vernal equinoxial sign, which was torn from him at the autumnal
equinox. This simple narrative received numerous embellishments in
after times, according to the fancy of the astrologers and priests,
who, in many cases, contrived to make out of it a beautiful poem or a
sublime allegorical drama.

In describing the entry of the sun upon any particular sign the ancient
astrologers were in the habit of referring, not only to the sign
itself and to its decans, but also to the accompanying extra-zodiacal
constellations, as well as to the visible zodiacal signs and
extra-zodiacal constellations of the opposite hemisphere. For instance,
during the period of the lamb’s supremacy (B.C. 2188 to B.C. 36) the
position of the stars at the moment of the commencement of the annual
apparent march of the sun round the zodiac was as follows:—The first
stars of the zodiacal sign _Capricornus_ were at the winter solstitial
point, December 21st, and invisible to the eye, being directly south of
the zenith at noon, the extra-zodiacal constellations _Picis Australis_
on the south, and _Aquila_ on the north, being on either side of it,
and the zodiacal signs _Sagittarius_ in front and _Aquarius_ behind,
accompanying it in its march; while on the opposite side of the
zodiac, at midnight, was seen, directly to the south of the nadir, the
sign _Cancer_, in which were the _Præsepe_, or stable of Augias; the
_Io-sepe_, cradle of Jupiter or manger of Jao; and the _Aselli_, or two
asses; on the east the sign _Virgo_ was just about to appear above the
horizon; on the western horizon was the sign _Aries_, above which, and
crossing the equator, was the extra-zodiacal constellation _Orion_,
with the three large stars in his belt; and immediately below which was
the sea monster _Cetus_, just sinking below the horizon. In proclaiming
the birth of the sun at Christmas, therefore, the astrologers would
make mention of all these points; and, consequently, the more prominent
and interesting of them would become impressed more or less upon the
minds of the people, to be converted in after times into various
fantastic and romantic fables, as the manufacture of gods out of these
astronomical phenomena proceeded.

The principal astronomical features of this annual sun-birth were,
therefore, as follows:—The birth took place in the house of the goat,
exactly opposite to which were the manger of Jao and the stable of
Augias, between two asses; at the same moment the virgin was about to
appear above the eastern horizon; the lamb was, as it were, hurling
the sea monster _Cetus_ below the western horizon; and the three
brilliant stars, called the three kings, in the belt of _Orion_, were
shining above the lamb, on the opposite horizon to where, after the
lapse of sixteen days (January 6th), would appear that brilliant star
_Vindemiatrix_, the Virgin by that time having risen sufficiently high
above the horizon for that orb, which is situated in her elbow, to be
seen at midnight.

All the subsequent fables concerning the birth of a saviour-god were
but modifications of this. Mithra, Krishna, Horus, Bacchus, Jesus,
and, in fact, all the sun-gods, were born on December 25th, at
midnight; and the stories related of each bore a marked resemblance
to each other. The real birthday of the sun-god was December 22nd,
at the first hour; but it was always reckoned from the same time on
December 25th, because at that moment, and not before, the first stars
of _Virgo_ appeared above the horizon, which was the sign by which it
became known that the birth had actually taken place three days and
three nights previously. This gave rise to a popular notion that the
sun-god struggled for that length of time at each of the solstitial and
equinoxial points, and accounts for the fable of the two crucifixions
when the sun-god, in crossing the equator in March and September, was,
for three days and three nights, in torture before he finally ascended
to heaven in the one case, and descended to hell in the other.

The Christian myth of the birth and death of the saviour-god, although
now considerably amplified and converted into a long history, was
originally, no doubt, of a much simpler form, and, probably, of the
following nature:—Jesus, the sun-god, was born at midnight, between
December 24th and December 25th, his mother, _Virgo_, having been three
days and three nights in the agony of childbirth; the virgin, not
being allowed to enter the house of the goat, being on the opposite
side of the zodiac, was obliged to seek refuge in the stable of Augias
(_Cancer_), and place her baby in the manger of Jao, at which moment
the lamb of god, _Aries_, hurled into the abyss the great monster of
evil, or _Cetus_; the three kings in the belt of _Orion_, perceiving,
on January 6th, the great star _Vindemiatrix_ rise in the east,
which was their guiding star, made obeisance to the new-born god
and disappeared below the horizon, going down by the west, instead
of returning by the east, or way they had come. Growing from this
moment, the young sun-god commenced his journey towards the city of
god, the summer solstice, at the top of the hill, or height of annual
ascension, meeting at the outset _Aquarius_, the man with the pitcher
of water, or John the Baptist, with whom he remained for a time; after
which he entered upon the season of fasting, or the sign _Pisces_,
the fishes, and prepared by austerities for the coming feast of the
Passover, or coming together (covenant) of the ecliptic and equator,
when he would be crucified—that is, be placed cross-wise on the two
lines (ecliptic and equator). After this he entered into the sign,
_Aries_, the lamb, having been shown the way by the man with the
pitcher of water, _Aquarius_, and partook of the feast in the upper
room or first decan, immediately after which he was crucified as the
lamb of god—that is, passed the crossing of the equator and ecliptic
in the sign of the lamb. For three days and three nights he struggled
in the tomb, or suspense, and then ascended into heaven, accompanied
by the lamb, passing the signs _Taurus_ and _Gemini_, saying to the
twins that he could stay with them but a little while, and where he
was going they could not go (John xii.), and finally reaching the
city of heaven, Jerusalem, or _Cancer_, passing over the two asses
(_Aselli_) at the entrance to it. Here, on the top of the mount, or
at the height of his annual ascension, he had another three days and
three nights of tribulation, struggling with the devil, the heavenly
serpent, who had led or preceded him up the mount, but who left him as
soon as he arrived at the top; for _Serpens_, at this point, returns
while the sun commences his descent towards the autumnal crucifixion.
Passing into _Leo_, he was transfigured on the mount—that is, became
more resplendent than ever, after which he entered _Virgo_, where the
seductions of the lady sorely tempted him, for being offered the juice
of the autumn grape he drank copiously with the damsel until none was
left; whereupon she suggested that he should turn water into wine, but
he resisted further temptation, exclaiming, “Woman, what have I to do
with thee?” and pursued his course towards the autumnal equinox, where
he passed into _Libra_ and crossed the equator and ecliptic again,
or, in other words, was crucified in Egypt as the “just man,” being
at length separated from _Aries_ for six months, which caused him to
exclaim in grief, “My ram! my ram! why hast thou forsaken me?” After
three days’ and three nights’ struggle he descended into hell, the
tomb, or the dark regions, to be born again at the winter solstice
as before; after which he would reconquer the powers of evil, or the
winter signs, and again become the lamb of god, “slain from the
foundation of the world” (Rev. xiii. 8) the Amen, or Jupiter Ammon, of
the Apocalypse, at which moment he exclaims, “I am he that liveth and
was dead, and behold I, Amen, am alive for evermore” (Rev. i. 18), and
“These things saith Amen, the true and faithful witness, the beginning
of the creation of God” (Rev. iii. 14). The winter period, commencing
with _Libra_, was called by the ancients the period of scorpions,
because _Scorpio_ was the principal sign of the period, and next after
the equinoxial sign; Egypt (see Rev. xi. 8), because, that being the
most southerly country then known, the sun appeared to descend into it
at that time of the year; and Sodom, Gomorrah, etc., because it was a
period of evil. The sea-monster, _Cetus_, is the same that is referred
to in Rev. xiii. as blasphemy, with a mouth like a lion, feet like a
bear, and leopard-like marks on its forequarters, and whose number was
declared to be 666, which figure being made up of ס 60, ת 400, ו 6, and
ר 200, stands for the word סתור, Setur, the concealed one, the Latin
equivalent of which is _Cetus_. This was probably something like the
original Christian myth, which, as time wore on, became converted into
the absurd story presented to us in the four Gospels.

The story of Adonis being separated from his darling Venus for six
months, and being afterwards re-united to her in love for another six
months, was fabricated from the same source; as also were the legends
of Osiris and Horus, Vishnu and Krishna, Ormuzd and Mithras, Jupiter
and Apollo, Jupiter and Bacchus, and Jupiter and Hercules. The cult
of Bacchus, indeed, was almost a _fac simile_ of those of Jesus and
Adonis, the three being but representations in different countries of
the very same drama. The twelve labours of Hercules were no more than
the passage of the sun through the twelve signs of the zodiac, just as
the twelve patriarchs, the twelve tribes, the twelve stones, and the
twelve apostles were the twelve signs themselves. In my “Popular Faith
Unveiled” I have pointed out the reasons for thinking the twelve sons
of Jacob and the twelve apostles to be the twelve zodiacal signs; but I
may here state that, on re-consideration, I am inclined to modify the
order maintained there in regard to the twelve sons of Jacob (p. 122)
by changing the places of Benjamin and Zebulun, the former being, in
my present opinion, the sign _Gemini_, and the latter _Capricornus_;
and as to the twelve apostles, I may here supply an omission made in
the same work, by stating that Andrew (p. 198) represents _Aries_, of
March, being always depicted with a ×, which forms the angle made by
the crossing of the equator and ecliptic on March 21st. The mystic
number seven was derived from the summer signs of the zodiac, including
the two equinoxial signs, which were called the pillars of the temple,
the vault of the summer heavens being the temple itself. Thus arose
the allusions to the seven trumpets, the seven candlesticks, the seven
churches, and the seven seals in the Apocalypse, each of which was a
summer zodiacal sign; and here I may again supply an omission in my
“Popular Faith Unveiled” (p. 246) by stating that the church of Smyrna
represented _Virgo_, of August, in which month bundles of myrrh were
always offered to the sun, the word Σμυρνα signifying “myrrh.”

Besides mystic numbers, there were a number of mystic symbols in use
among the ancients, by which the great and important phenomena in
nature were kept constantly before the eyes of the people. The chief
and most widely known symbol is the cross, representing the ascending
sun bringing back fresh life to the world at the vernal equinox; but
the cross was by no means the only symbol of this important occurrence;
trees, torches, the male organs of generation, or phallus, and
various animals were frequently used for the same purpose—in fact,
the symbolical worship of the ancients assumed gigantic proportions,
almost every conceivable device being seized upon to render homage to
the great re-fertiliser of the earth. No one of the religious cults was
free from a large admixture of what is known as phallic worship—that
is, worship of the fertilising principle; and it was a common custom
for people to swear by their generative organs, as being the most
sacred things on earth, representing the divine energy in a state of
procreative activity. Thus we find in Psalm lxxxix. 49 the following
words (literally translated): “O my Adonis, where are thy endearments
of old, which thou swearedst for the sake of love by thy phallus, O
Ammon?” The Hebrew letter ת was the sign of the cross, or phallus,
which was also used by the Phœnicians, being derived from the Arabic
תױ], the sybol of the life-giver. This passage evidently had reference
to the violent death of Adonis, who, at the autumnal equinox, was
attacked by a wild boar, which tore away his generative organs and
rendered him consequently impotent, until he was born again, when he
acquired fresh powers and grew in beauty and stature, ready to re-unite
with Venus at the spring equinox.

On the mithraitic monuments the spring equinox is represented by
lighted and elevated torches, trees covered with leaves, entire bulls,
and young men holding lighted torches; while the autumnal equinox is
represented by a hydra, or long serpent, a scorpion, reversed and
extinguished torches, trees loaded with autumn fruits, a bull with
its generative organs torn away, and old men holding reversed and
extinguished torches. The Rev. G. W. Cox, M.A. and scholar of Trinity
College, Oxford, in his “Mythology of the Aryan Nations,” says: “The
male and female powers of nature were denoted respectively by an
upright and an oval emblem, and the conjunction of the two furnished
at once the altar and the ashera, or grove, against which the Hebrew
prophets lifted up their voice in earnest protest.... In the kingdom
both of Judah and Israel the rites connected with these emblems assumed
their most corrupting form. Even in the temple itself stood the Ashera,
or the upright emblem on the circular altar of Baal-Peor, the Priapos
of the Jews, thus reproducing the Linga and Yoni of the Hindu. For this
symbol the women wove hangings, as the Athenian maidens embroidered the
sacred peplos for the ship presented to Athene at the great Dionysiac
festival. Here, at the winter solstice, they wept and mourned for
Tammuz, the fair Adonis, done to death by the boar.... Here, also,
on the third day, they rejoiced at the resurrection of the lord of
light. Hence, as most intimately connected with the reproduction of
life on earth, it became the symbol under which the sun, invoked with
a thousand names, has been worshipped throughout the world as the
restorer of the powers of nature after the long sleep or death of
winter.”

This symbol was from the earliest times venerated as a protecting
power, and Jacob, on his journey to Laban, slept under its protecting
influence: placed erect—sometimes as a tree, at others as a cross, and
often as a phallus—and resting on a crescent, the modified form of the
yoni, this symbol set forth the marriage of heaven and earth; and in
the form of a serpent, representing life and healing, it was worshipped
by the Egyptians and Jews. In the book of Genesis the phallic tree is
introduced, where it is called the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
From Plutarch we learn that the Egyptians represented Osiris with the
organ of generation erect, to show his generative and prolific power,
and that he was the same deity as the Bacchus of the Greek mythology
and the first begotten love (Ερως πρωτογονος) of Orpheus and Hesiod.
In an excellent work entitled “Discourse on the Worship of Priapus,”
by Richard Payne Knight, there are a number of plates illustrating the
mode in which this phallic worship was carried on by the ancients,
some of which are very curious and well worth the trouble of studying
carefully. One plate represents a celebrated bronze in the Vatican,
with the male organs of generation placed on the head of a cock, the
emblem of the rising sun, supported by the neck and shoulders of a man,
the whole being emblematical of god incarnate with man, and on the
base of which are inscribed the words ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ, “Saviour of the
world.” Another figure on the same plate represents an ornament in the
British Museum, consisting of a male organ with wings and the foot of
a man suspended from a chain. Another plate shows two representations
of the god Pan, one with the organ erect, the symbol of power, or
spring, the other with the organ in a state of tumid languor, and
loaded with the productions of the earth, the symbol of the results of
prolific efforts. Both these last are copies of bronzes in the museum
of C. Townley. On another plate is a copy of another of Mr. Townley’s
treasures, representing the incarnation of deity, in the shape of a
man having sexual intercourse with a goat, the emblem of the new-born
deity at the winter solstice, to which is appended the following note
by Mr. Payne Knight: “At Mendes a living goat was kept as the image
of the generative power, to whom the women presented themselves naked,
and had the honour of being publicly enjoyed by him. Herodotus saw the
act openly performed (ες επιδειξεν ανθρωπων), and calls it a prodigy
(τερας). But the Egyptians had no such horror of it; for it was to them
a representation of the incarnation of the deity, and the communication
of his creative spirit to man. It was one of the sacraments of that
ancient church, and was, without doubt, beheld with that pious awe and
reverence with which devout persons always contemplate the mysteries of
their faith, whatever they happen to be.” This figure represented the
human male symbol as incarnate with the divine, instead of the divine
male incarnate with the human, as in the well-known one found among the
ruins of Herculaneum and kept concealed in the Royal Museum of Portici.
It is unnecessary to describe the whole of the interesting plates which
illustrate Mr. Knight’s work, copies of all of which I have carefully
taken.

There is abundant evidence in ancient authors as to the prevalence
of this worship of the generative organs, and all agree as to the
real meaning of the symbol. In every part of the then known world the
conquering sun bringing back life to the world at the spring equinox
was represented in some phallic form or other, either as a cross, a
phallus, a tree, a serpent, a goat, a bull, a torch, or some other
device emblematic of the sexual union of the powers of heaven with
mother earth. The cross was the most commonly used phallic symbol,
and was generally of the following form—☥, the о being the emblem of
the earth, or female organ, and the T that of the sun, or fecundating
principle, the combination forming a _crux ansata_, which was worn as
a charm by devout people. This was converted into a simple cross, in
which form, as well as in many others, it is found on ancient temples
of the most remote periods, as well as at the corners of roads, where
it evidently was used as a sign-post, as well as a religious symbol.
Among the paintings found at Pompeii there are some in which the god
Priapus is represented as a Hermes, on a square pedestal, with an
enormous phallus; and others in which he is represented with the usual
prominent feature, and, in addition, with a long stick in his hand to
point out the way to travellers. Herodotus thus describes a festival in
Egypt:—“The festival is celebrated almost exactly as Bacchic festivals
in Greece. They also use, instead of phalli, another invention,
consisting of images a cubit high, pulled by strings, which the women
carry round to the villages. The virile member of these figures is
scarcely less than the rest of the body, and this member they contrive
to move. A piper goes in front, and the women follow, singing hymns in
honour of Bacchus.”

Among the royal offerings to the god Amen by Rameses III. in the great
Harris Papyrus are loaves (called “Taenhannur”) in the form of the
phallus.[3] In the Pamelia the Egyptians exhibited a statue provided
with three phalli; and in the festivals of Bacchus, celebrated by
Ptolemy Philadelphus, a gilt phallus, 120 cubits high, was carried in
procession. St. Jerome tells us that, in Syria, Baal-Peor, the Hebrew
Priapus, was represented with a phallus in his mouth; and in Ezekiel
xvi. 17 we find the Jewish women manufacturing silver and golden phalli.

[3] “Primitive Symbolism,” by Hodder M. Westropp.

According to Herodotus and Diodorus Siculus, the worship of Bacchus was
imported into Greece by Melampus, who taught the Greeks the mysteries
connected with phallic worship; and Plutarch says that “nothing, is
simpler than the manner in which they celebrated formerly in my country
the Dionysiaca. Two men walked at the head of the procession; one
carried an amphora of wine, the other a vine branch; a third led a
goat; a fourth bore a basket of figs; a figure of a phallus closed the
procession.”

Tertullian tells us that that which in the mysteries of Eleusis is
considered as most holy, concealed with most care, and only explained
to the initiated at the last moment, is the image of the virile member.
The festival of Venus, held at Rome in the beginning of April each
year, was in honour of the sexual union of the powers of heaven and
of earth. The Roman ladies led a cart, in which was a huge phallus,
to the temple of Venus, outside the Colline gate, and there presented
the member to the sexual part of the goddess. Spring was, indeed, the
special season for phallic processions, as we learn from a passage of
“Iamblichus de Mysteriis,” given by Mr. Westropp: “We say the erection
of the phalli is a certain sign of prolific power, which, through this,
is called forth to the generative energy of the world; on which account
many phalli are consecrated in the spring, because then the whole world
receives from the gods the power which is productive of all generation.”

It is sufficiently obvious that the return of the sun to the vernal
equinoxial sign each year, or the union of the active and passive
principles, formed the cornerstone of the various religious systems,
and that this marriage, as it were, of heaven with earth, occurring
each springtime, and bringing with it such a train of good results,
gave rise to the most sacred institutions and rites, which to us may
appear disgusting, but which, to the ancients, were looked upon with
the greatest awe and veneration.

It was not to the generative organs that the ancients offered
homage, but to the principles represented by them—to the active and
procreative power of the god of nature, the prolific ram-sun, at
the spring equinox, and to the passive and recipient mother-earth,
the womb of nature, from which we all emanate and to which we all
return. It is, however, reasonable to imagine, with the Rev. G. W.
Cox, that “it is clear that such a cultus as this would carry with
it a constantly-increasing danger, until the original character of
the emblem should be as thoroughly disguised as the names of some of
the Vedic deities when transferred to Hellenic soil.” Indeed, it is
matter of history that these rites, which were held so sacred by the
Egyptians, were turned to the basest and most wicked purposes in after
times by the worshippers of Bacchus, Adonis, and other deities. The
Bacchanalian mysteries and secret rites called _Dionysia_, or Supper
of the lord Dionysos, were publicly denounced by the Roman authorities
at the commencement of our era, as were also the _Adonia_, or Suppers
of the lord Adonis, and the Love Feasts, _Agapæ_, or Suppers of the
lord Jesus. From Gibbon we learn that the early Christians were in the
habit of committing at their Love Feasts the most unnatural crimes
with sisters, mothers, and others, as is also clearly testified by
Justin Martyr, Athenagoras, Tertullian, and Minucius Felix; and Livy’s
account of similar practices indulged in by the Bacchanalians at their
_Dionysia_ leaves no doubt as to their participation in these horrors.
So widely spread was this phallic worship that, within one hundred
years of the present time, it was openly followed in some parts of
Europe, as appears from a letter of Sir William Hamilton, K.B., British
Minister at the Court of Naples, to Sir Joseph Banks, Bart., President
of the Royal Society. Accompanying the letter the writer sends an
amulet worn by women and children of Naples and the neighbourhood as
ornaments of dress, which they imagine will be a preservative against
_mal occhii_ (“evil eyes”), or enchantment. It represents a hand
clenched, with the point of the thumb thrust between the index and
middle finger, on one side, and a male organ erect on the other side,
with a ring, or female organ, above, and a flaccid male organ and
scrotum beneath, the whole in the form of a cross. The letter is so
remarkable that it is worth while reproducing a considerable portion of
it, as it appears in Mr. Knight’s work.

“The following is the account of the Fête of St. Cosmo and Damiano,
as it was actually celebrated at Isernia, on the confines of Abruzzo,
in the kingdom of Naples, so late as in the year of our Lord 1780. On
the 27th of September, at Isernia, one of the most ancient cities of
the kingdom of Naples, situated in the province called the Contado di
Molise, and adjoining to Abruzzo, an annual fair is held, which lasts
three days. The situation of this fair is on a rising ground, between
two rivers, about half a mile from the town of Isernia; on the most
elevated part of which there is an ancient church, with a vestibule.
The architecture is of the style of the lower ages; and it is said
to have been a church and convent belonging to the Benedictine monks
in the time of their poverty. This church is dedicated to St. Cosmus
and Damianus. One of the days of the fair the relics of the saints
are exposed, and afterwards carried in procession from the cathedral
of the city to this church, attended by a prodigious concourse of
people. In the city, and at the fair, _ex-voti_ of wax, representing
the male parts of generation, of various dimensions, some even of the
length of a palm, are publicly offered to sale. There are also waxen
vows, that represent other parts of the body mixed with them; but of
these there are few in comparison of the number of Priapi. The devout
distributors of these vows carry a basket full of them in one hand,
and hold a plate in the other to receive the money, crying aloud, ‘St.
Cosmo and Damiano!’ If you ask the price of one, the answer is, _Più
ci metti, più meriti_—’The more you give, the more’s the merit.’ In
the vestibule are two tables, at each of which one of the canons of
the church presides, this crying out, _Oui si ricevina le Misse, e
Litanie_—’Here Masses and Litanies are received;’ and the other, _Oui
si riceveno li Voti_—’Here the Vows are received.’ The price of a mass
is fifteen Neapolitan grains, and of a litany five grains. On each
table is a large basin for the reception of the different offerings.
The vows are chiefly presented by the female sex; and they are seldom
such as represent legs, arms, &c., but most commonly the male parts
of generation. The person who was at this fête in the year 1780, and
who gave me this account (the authenticity of every article of which
has since been fully confirmed to me by the Governor of Isernia), told
me also that he heard a woman say, at the time she presented a vow,
like that which is represented in Plate I., Fig. I., _Santo Cosimo
benedetto, cosi lo voglio_—’Blessed St. Cosmo, let it be like this;’
another, _St. Cosimo, a te mi raccommendo_—’St. Cosmo, I recommend
myself to you;’ and a third, _St. Cosimo, ti ruigrazio_—’St. Cosmo, I
thank you.’ The vow is never presented without being accompanied by
a piece of money, and is always kissed by the devotee at the moment
of presentation. At the great altar in the church another of its
canons attends to give the holy unction, with the oil of St. Cosmo;
which is prepared by the same receipt as that of the Roman Ritual,
with the addition only of the prayer of the Holy Martyrs, St. Cosmus
and Damianus. Those who have an infirmity in any of their members
present themselves at the great altar, and uncover the member affected
(not even excepting that which is most frequently represented by
the _ex-voti_); and the reverend canon anoints it, saying, _Per
intercessionem beati Cosmi, liberet te ab omni malo, Amen_. The
ceremony finishes by the canons of the church dividing the spoils, both
money and wax, which must be to a very considerable amount, as the
concourse at this fête is said to be prodigiously numerous.”

At the present day phallic symbolism is perpetuated in our church
steeples, in the crosses and circles on our altars and prayer-books,
in the pictures of the lamb holding a cross within a circle on our
church windows, in the cross-buns eaten at the paschal feast, in the
Easter eggs, and in various other ways; while the Pyramids of Egypt
and the Luxor obelisks—one in London, one in Paris, and one in St.
Petersburg—form a connecting phallic link between the ancient Egyptians
and ourselves. The sphynx has been said by some to be a phallic figure;
but I do not subscribe to this view at all, holding the opinion that
it is simply a union of two zodiacal signs, July and August of the
fixed zodiac. It appears to me that at a very remote time, when the
sign _Virgo_ was about to be supplanted at the vernal equinox by the
next sign, _Leo_—somewhere about fifteen thousand years ago, or rather
later—the priests or astrologers hit upon the idea of placing the head
of _Virgo_ upon the shoulders of _Leo_, thus manufacturing a new kind
of figure, which, on account of its partaking of the dual nature of the
then most prominent of the gods, became very popular, and was depicted
in various forms and in many parts of the country. This may also have
been the _modus faciendi_ of _Capricornus_ and _Sagittarius_, if we
can imagine a still earlier period when the zodiac was so different
from the present form as to have signs represented by a fish, a goat, a
horse, and an archer respectively.

Next to the vernal equinoxial sign the ancients held the winter
solstitial sign in the greatest veneration, and consequently the
goat was a very sacred animal and occupied a prominent place in all
symbolical mythologies. It was from this point that the Egyptians
calculated their new year, although the Persians always reckoned theirs
from the vernal equinox; and it was on December 21st that the Egyptians
fixed the creation of the world, which gave origin to the fable of a
goat having been the creator, thus accounting for the fact of the
early copies of the Samaritan Pentateuch commencing with the following
words: “At the commencement the goat (העז) renovated the heavens and
the earth” (Genesis I. 1). Here we meet with a very good example of the
patchwork style in which the Bible was compiled. In Egypt the new year
reckoned from December 21st, and the creation was supposed to date from
the same time of the year, and consequently in all records emanating
from the Nile district the celestial goat was honoured for the occasion
with the chief godship; but in Persia the new year commenced on March
21st, the date of the creation being fixed at the same point of the
zodiac, so that the chief godship was assigned to the celestial lamb
or ram and its five fellow signs of the summer hemisphere. Therefore,
as the Hebrews derived their creation fable from the Persians, using
also the Egyptian mythology with which to embellish their newly-made
cosmogony, the two fables became mixed somewhat in the minds of these
ignorant wanderers, the consequence being that in some of their MSS.
the creation was said to have been the act of the goat (העז), while
in others it was attributed to the ram-sun, Elyah (אליה), or the six
summer signs commencing with the ram-sun, and called on that account
the Elohim (אלהים), this word being the plural form of Eloh (אלוה) or
Elyah (אליה), a compound word made up of Yah (יה), the Hebrew name for
the sun-god, and El (אל), the celestial lamb or ram.

Not only were the three principal signs—the bull, the ram, and the
goat—held in great veneration by the Egyptians, but all the zodiacal
signs were worshipped in various degrees; indeed, each figure of the
zodiac can be easily assigned to one of the principal gods of Egypt,
as they were known prior to B.C. 2188. The ram was Amen, the Egyptian
Jupiter, called Zeus Amen (Ζευς Αμην) by the Greeks and _Jupiter Ammon_
by the Romans, who was represented with a ram’s head and horns. The
bull was Apis, or Serapis, worshipped as a living bull, the incarnation
of the principal deity at the vernal equinox. The twins were the Greek
Castor and Pollux, who were worshipped by the Egyptians under similar
names. The crab was Anubis, the Egyptian Mercury. The lion was Osiris,
Ra, or Phthah, according to the district and age, the sun-god at the
height of his power at the summer solstitial point, June 24th. The
virgin was Isis, the beloved of Osiris. The balances were included
with the scorpion, the two being worshipped as Set-Typhon, Tum, or
Sekru, according to the district and age, the sun-god at the autumnal
equinox, suffering defeat at the hands of the powers of darkness.
The centaur-archer was the Egyptian Hercules. The goat was Pan, or
Mendes. The water-bearer was Horus, the avenger of his father’s defeat,
born December 21st, and a conqueror on March 21st; also Mises, the
Egyptian Bacchus, who, being the sign of the sun-god’s birth, leads the
twelve signs out of the land of bondage, and institutes the feast of
commemoration at the sign of the lamb, whose horns he wears; and also
Harmachis. The fishes are Oannes, the Egyptian saviour-fish, who, when
that sign was at the winter solstitial point, saved the world as the
new-born sun.

These twelve signs of the zodiac were, in fact, the twelve principal
gods of all races; the seven summer signs, including the two equinoxial
signs, being the seven specially sacred gods, inhabiting the upper
temple of the most high god, which was the vault of the summer
heavens, supported by the two pillars of the equinoxes or covenants.
Almost every race had temples divided into upper and lower courts or
rooms, the upper one being the residence of their chief gods; and
these temples were originally meant to represent the universe, having
an upper hemisphere, governed by the good principle, and a lower
hemisphere, governed by the bad principle, this idea being frequently
further represented by a closed ark or chest, representing the lower
or dark hemisphere, upon which sat the chief deity, representing the
good principle of the upper hemisphere. The Egyptians, according to
Plutarch, enclosed the body of Osiris in an ark every year at the
autumnal equinox, when the sun was in _Scorpio_, which was a rite
emblematical of the annual death of the sun-god of summer; and the
Jews, it will be remembered, suffered defeat at the hands of the
Philistines, immediately after they had taken the ark out of Shiloh,
where it had been deposited, the word Shiloh being the name of a
tiny group of stars in the sign _Scorpio_. The movable temple of the
Hebrews, or tabernacle, as described in Exodus, is the best example we
have of this representation of the universe, being described in such
minute detail as to betray its meaning to the dullest mind. It was
divided into two portions—the lower or outer portion, and the upper or
inner portion, the holy of holies, where dwelt the Hebrew chief tribal
god, Yahouh, or Yah, sitting upon the ark of the covenant, representing
the winter part of the heavens between the two covenants or equinoxes.
On each side of Yah was a cherub, or monster with four faces (or,
according to some, with four bodies)—one like a bull, another like a
man, a third like an eagle, and the last like a lion, as we find fully
described by Ezekiel (chap. i.). In my “Popular Faith Unveiled” (pp.
131, 174, and 247) I have attributed these heads (or bodies) to the
four zodiacal signs of ascension after the vernal equinox, that like
a bull to _Taurus_, that like a man to _Gemini_, that like an eagle
to _Cancer_, and that like a lion to _Leo_; but, according to Sir W.
Drummond, in his “Œdipus Judaicus,” they correspond with the signs
at the four quarters of the sphere—viz., the man to _Aquarius_, the
ox to _Taurus_, the lion to _Leo_, and the eagle to _Scorpio_, this
calculation being based on the supposition that the cherubim were
first introduced during the period prior to B.C. 2188, when _Taurus_
was the vernal equinoxial point, while mine supposes _Aries_ to have
been the chief zodiacal sign. Which calculation is right the reader
must decide for himself, after carefully studying the reasons given
for both conclusions. Clement of Alexandria, in his “Stromata,” says
of these cherubim: “Each of them has six wings, whether they typify
the two bears, as some will have it, or, which is better, the two
hemispheres.... Both have twelve wings, and thus through the circle of
the zodiac, and of self-marrying time, they typify the world perceived
by the senses.” The table in the temple was symbolical of the earth,
as we learn from Clement of Alexandria again, when he says: “The
table, as I think, signifies the image of the earth; it is sustained by
four feet, answering to the summer, autumn, spring, and winter.” The
shew-bread was placed on the table in front of Yah, and was divided
into twelve pieces, typical of the twelve signs, as we find stated in
Ex. xxv. 22 and 30 (literally translated): “And I will hang [or be
deposited] there, set [or sitting] before thee; and I will talk to thee
from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim, which are
upon the ark of the testimony ... and thou shalt set shew-bread always
upon the table in front of me.” The candlesticks, with three branches
on each side and one in the centre, having seven lamps burning on them,
represented the seven summer signs, including both the equinoxial ones.
Josephus tells us that the candlesticks were divided into seventy
parts, answering to the seventy decans of the seven signs. The veil
of the temple was of blue, purple, and scarlet, and represented the
atmospheric vault of heaven tinged, as it frequently is, by the sun’s
rays. The pomegranates represented the fixed stars. The dress of the
high priest was ornamented with 566 bells, corresponding with the days
of the sidereal year, with two bright emeralds and twelve precious
stones, which, according to Clement of Alexandria, represented the sun
and moon and the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Sufficient has been said to leave no doubt as to the real meaning of
the tabernacle and its appurtenances, and, I think, to establish the
truth of what I have previously stated—viz., that the ancient religions
were of astronomical origin and abounding in symbolical rites and
ceremonies. It only remains for me now to repeat what I have maintained
before in other essays—that the Christian religion of to-day,
although modified by time and circumstances, having been considerably
manipulated so as to be brought within touch of modern requirements, is
nothing more or less than a rehash of the Egyptian, Persian, Hindu, and
Phœnician mythologies—an old worn-out faith, in fact, dressed in gaudy
and attractive garments.


[Illustration: THE EARTH OF THE VEDIC PRIESTS.]

[Illustration: HINDU EARTH.]

[Illustration: THE EARTH OF THE LATER GREEKS. B.C.]

[Illustration: POMPONIUS MELA’S COSMOGRAPHY.
1^(st) Century. Heathen.]

[Illustration: CHRISTIAN MAPS OF THE WORLD IN the 10th. Century.]

[Illustration: CHRISTIAN MAP OF THE WORLD IN THE 8th. Century.]

[Illustration: MAP OF MARCO POLO End of 14th. Century.]

[Illustration: COSMOGRAPHY OF S^(t) DENIS Mid 14th. Century]

[Illustration: EGYPTIAN PLANETARY SYSTEM]

[Illustration: PTOLEMAIC SYSTEM]

[Illustration: TYCHO BRAHE’S PLANETARY SYSTEM]

[Illustration: COPERNICAN SYSTEM]

[Illustration: THE IRON VIRGIN. Inside View.

The unbeliever or heretic was placed upright inside the virgin, and
the doors were closed so that the spikes penetrated the victim’s eyes
& chest, after which the body was dropped through the floor into the
river Pegnitz.]

[Illustration: THE IRON VIRGIN. Outside View.

Fixed in a vault cut out of the rock beneath the Nuremberg Town Hall,
in Bavaria, and used as an instrument of torture by the Christian
Church.]



INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS

IN EUROPE.


No scientific student or observer of nature will have failed to notice
that all phenomena around him are ever in a condition of progressive
change, ever advancing from the simple to the complex, and ever
conforming to specific laws. Just as the world in which we live has
gradually developed from a condition of nebulous vapour to its present
complex form, and just as man has evolved from a simple molecule of
protoplasm by wonderful and manifold stages to his present commanding
position, so have civilisation, trade, politics, arts, literature, and
science all been slowly and gradually evolved from the primitive mind
of prehistoric man. A continual change has ever been going on from the
simple to the complex, from the homogeneous to the heterogeneous, from
the imperfect to the more perfect. This continual progress has been in
operation during all time, and will proceed in the future as of old,
leaving the present day far behind in its march, as the present day has
left behind it the past.

In considering the evolution of reform, or progress of civilisation,
we are necessarily limited to a comparatively late period in man’s
history, for many thousands of years had passed away, during which time
man had gradually established himself as a social animal, before any
trustworthy records appeared to throw light in future ages upon the
primitive condition and habits of the human family. From the patient
and persevering studies of scientific men, we are now in possession of
a number of facts which lead us to the conclusion that primitive man
first lived the life of a wild beast, inhabiting caves, and devoting
all his energies to battling with the ferocious monsters around him.
From this condition he developed into a more civilised being, becoming
an agriculturalist, afterwards a manufacturer of stuffs and hardware,
and still later a member of an organised state. These changes probably
occupied hundreds of thousands of years, compared to which enormous
lapse of time the period embraced between the Egypto-Greek or classic
era and the present moment is a mere speck on the face of time. We are
now tolerably well acquainted with the civilisation of the ancient
Egyptians and Greeks, which had existed for many centuries before
the time of Aristotle, and which some four or five centuries before
our era had commenced its entry upon the wide field of scientific
development which followed the conquest of Persia by Alexander the
Great. These civilisations, which for centuries had been bound up
with the vain superstitions connected with the legion of divinities
of Olympus, of Memphis, and of Thebes, were gradually casting off the
yoke of ignorance, and becoming more acquainted with the majesty of the
operations of nature. Philosophers began to publicly declaim against
the Olympian absurdities, and to ridicule the notion of miracles or
prodigies; traditions began to be doubted and were fast being cast
aside; Zeus and his court were ceasing to command respect; and the
priests were often publicly insulted. The Ionian gods of Homer, as well
as the Doric of Hesiod, appeared likely to be quickly committed to
the darkness of oblivion. Powerful and influential resistance was, of
course, opposed to the wave of progress and reason; the philosophers
were branded as Atheists and their followers persecuted rigorously;
Euripides was declared a heretic, and Æschylus narrowly escaped being
stoned to death for blasphemy. So great was the opposition offered
to the movement that the philosophers would undoubtedly have been
silenced for some time to come had it not been for the sudden military
expedition against the Persians. Alexander, with his 38,000 Macedonian
soldiers, having crossed the Hellespont, B.C. 334, proceeded to
subjugate the imperious monarch of Persia, and, after successfully
conquering Asia Minor and Syria, completely defeated the Persian army
led by King Darius, and took possession of the great city of Babylon.

This war engrossed the attention of all classes at home, so that the
philosophers were enabled to prosecute their studies unmolested. It
also in many other ways was a means of furthering the scientific
efforts of that and of future ages. For the first time the Macedonians
beheld the ebbing and flowing of the tides; they discovered and
examined the Chaldean astronomical instruments, and learnt their
calculations, extending over several thousand years; and they observed
the Chaldean division of the zodiac into twelve portions, and of
the day and night into twelve hours each. The particulars of these
they sent home to Aristotle. What a field was here opened out for
Greek speculation! The Chaldeans had detected the precession of the
equinoxes, and were well acquainted with the causes of eclipses; they
printed from a revolving roller, on which they had engraved cuneiform
letters; they possessed magnifying instruments; and were, in fact,
the tail-end of a mighty and advanced Accadian civilisation which
had been in existence for thousands of years. Not satisfied with
these achievements, the conquering Alexander next subdued the ancient
monarchy of Egypt, learnt the great feat of the Pharaohs—viz., the
circumnavigation of Africa by the Cape of Good Hope and the pillars of
Hercules, and founded the celebrated city of Alexandria. He died at
Babylon B.C. 323, after which his huge empire was divided among his
generals; his half brother, Ptolemy Soter, who had been governor of
Egypt during Alexander’s lifetime, taking possession of that country,
and establishing his seat of government at the new city of Alexandria.

This period marks the commencement of European civilisation. Owing to
the excellent government adopted by Ptolemy, large numbers of Arabians,
Jews, and Greeks were induced to take up their residence at Alexandria,
which quickly became the centre of learning and first commercial
city of the whole known world, and the resort of people of all
nationalities. The celebrated museum, which was commenced by Ptolemy
Soter and completed by his successor, Ptolemy Philadelphus, contained a
library, which grew so largely that 400,000 volumes were soon acquired
by it, and a daughter library, containing 300,000 volumes, built at the
Serapion, or Temple of Serapis. Books were freely bought, transcribers
engaged, apartments set aside, at the king’s expense, for the residence
of Greek philosophers and students, and four faculties established,
for literature, mathematics, astronomy, and medicine, including
natural history. There were also in connection with the university
botanical and zoological gardens, an astronomical observatory, with
spheres, globes, parallactic rules, etc., and an anatomical theatre
for the dissection of dead bodies. It was here that Euclid produced
his celebrated geometrical demonstrations, which are at this day used
in our schools. Here also Archimedes proclaimed his method for the
determination of specific gravities, and invented the theory of the
lever. Here Eratosthenes daily taught that the earth was a globe, and
determined the interval between the tropics. The earth was described
as possessing imaginary poles, axis, equator, arctic and antarctic
circles, equinoxial points, solstices, climate, etc. Hipparchus taught
the precession of the equinoxes, catalogued the stars, and adopted
lines of latitude and longitude in describing the situations of places.
Thus science progressed under the wise and beneficent rule of the
Ptolemies.

But a dark cloud was already looming in the distance, which was
destined to develop into a fierce storm, the effect of whose fury was
felt for centuries afterwards. Julius Cæsar, in B.C. 30, defeated
Cleopatra, then Queen of Egypt, and added that country to the Roman
dominions, the museum and larger library being entirely destroyed
during the siege of Alexandria. From this time learning and science
began to decline. Numerous religious sects arose around Alexandria,
the old mythologies were revived, and the priests once more gained
influence. The temples of Jupiter Ammon and Apollo in Egypt, of Adonis
and Ies in Phœnicia, of Dionysos in Greece, and of Bacchus in Rome,
were again filled to overflowing, and miracles were performed in
abundance. In the short space of about fifty years all the work of the
Ptolemies appeared to have been undone, and the world once more given
up to darkness, superstition, and ignorance, the popular frenzy being
kept up by a number of ascetic monks, called Therapeutæ, who inhabited
the hills around Alexandria, the desert and rocky plains of Arabia
Petræa, and the barren hills of Syria, and travelled about the country,
preaching in the open air to the ignorant and credulous multitudes.
Matters progressed favourably for the revivalists for a short time;
but there had shortly before occurred a circumstance which proved to
be, for us, the most important event in the world’s history, and which
considerably modified the Therapeut programme.

According to ancient records, it appears that a monk, of the ascetic
order of Essenes, called Yahoshuah (Joshua) ben Pandira, was born
in Syria, in the fourth year of the reign of Alexander Jannæus, or
about B.C. 120; and, being educated in Egypt, under the supervision
of Yahoshuah-ben Perachia, soon made himself specially obnoxious to
the priests by his heterodox teaching. From the exceedingly scanty
information to be obtained from the historical writers of the time,
it appears that this young man had, in addition to his knowledge of
Egyptian sorcery, a large acquaintance with the sublime and moral
teachings of Confucius, for whose memory he appears to have had a
profound respect. Observing the despicable manner in which the priests
manipulated their sacred offices for their own advantage, robbing the
poor and credulous people of their hard earnings and indulging in all
kinds of immoralities, this young man boldly attacked these human
parasites in the public places, calling them liars and hypocrites,
preaching Socialistic and Communistic doctrines, and declaring that
there was but one law necessary for man—viz., the golden rule of
Confucius, “Do unto another,” etc. The wrath of the priests knew no
bounds; a council was called to consider the matter, and the bold
reformer was, it is said, sentenced to death for his noble efforts on
behalf of suffering humanity. Whether or not this young man ever lived,
or whether he was merely an ideal creation of the fanatical minds of
these therapeut monks, suggested by necessity, it is impossible to say
positively; for there are no really trustworthy records from which a
safe conclusion can be deduced. It is, however, probable that such a
man did actually exist, for it is not likely that, had he been but
an idea, the fact of his having declared one law to be sufficient
for man’s moral guidance would have been included among the fabulous
performances afterwards attributed to him, as such a declaration was
destructive of all priestcraft; besides which, we are told in the
Babylonian Gemara to the Mishna that Yahoshua, “son of Pandira and
Stada,” was stoned to death as a wizard in the city of Ludd, or Lydia,
after which he was crucified on a tree on the eve of the Passover,
about B.C. 70, which was the punishment generally inflicted on
preachers of heresy and sedition. Whether he had an actual existence
or was but an idea, it is an undisputed fact that his name has been,
during the past eighteen hundred years, a household word, and that the
whole face of European history has been moulded by the various sayings
and doings fabulously attributed to him.

The reason of this is as follows. The therapeut monks of Alexandria,
who flourished in the first and second centuries of our era, in
attempting to revive the old mythological systems, and thus to deprive
scientists and philosophers of their late rapidly-increasing power,
were at a great disadvantage, owing to the length of time that had
elapsed since the wonderful feats of the gods had been performed. They
well understood the absolute necessity of keeping alive in the memories
of the people the older miraculous events by the performance of fresh
wonders in their own day; but the difficulty they had to encounter was
in finding suitable individuals for the occasion. The Syrian Essene
monk, who had infected a great number of the lower classes of society
by his heretical and revolutionary teachings, which, at first sight,
appeared likely to be damaging to the cause of the priesthood, was
quickly requisitioned by these astute monks for the great purpose
they had in view—viz., the reproduction on earth of the popular god
Bacchus, the Greek Dionysos, and Phœnician Ies. They boldly declared
that this man was, when on earth, an incarnate deity, and proceeded to
attribute to him all the wonderful performances that had previously
been imputed to the young sun-god Bacchus, such as miraculous birth
from a virgin, resurrection from the grave three days after death,
ascension to heaven, etc.; and, finally, gave him the Phœnician name
of Bacchus, Ies, in its Greek form Iesous—Greek being, at that time,
the prevailing language around Alexandria. The new religion gradually
spread from Egypt over the European provinces of the Roman empire,
and soon became such a great political power in the State that the
incarnate fiend and Emperor Constantine, in A.D. 312, was induced
to place himself at its head, and use its increasing influence to
further his own wicked projects. The new Church, by this act, gained an
enormous power; its priests became arrogant, the philosophers were even
more persecuted than before, and learning was fast approaching its end.
The only scientific work which the Church retained was the “Syntaxis”
of Ptolemy, the Alexandrian astronomer, which taught that the earth
was the fixed centre of the universe, around which all other heavenly
bodies rotated. It also treated of the precession of the equinoxes,
the milky way, and the distances of the various bodies in the heavens
from the earth; but, as the geocentric theory was clearly taught in
conformity with the Bible records and the religious convictions of the
people, this system was gradually adopted by all classes of society,
and became the recognised authority on astronomy.

A furious and important controversy about this time broke out between
Arius, the leader of those who retained the original belief in the
manhood of Jesus, and Athanasius, the leader of the Christians, who
declared him to be divine, which culminated in the celebrated Council
of Nicea, A.D. 325, at which it was decided that he was actually god.
From this moment not only Arians, but all others who refused to believe
in the god Jesus, were savagely persecuted, until, at last, science
and learning received their death-blow by the destruction of the
Serapion, under the order of the Emperor Theodosius, and the murder of
Hypatia at Alexandria. This philosopher was in the habit of lecturing
on mathematics at the university, and was so popular that the jealousy
of Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, was aroused; she was seized by his
fanatical followers as she was going to her lecture-room, stripped
naked, dragged into a Christian church, and there brained by the club
of Peter the Reader, in A.D. 414.

Justinian next ordered the teaching of philosophy to be discontinued
at Athens, and closed all the schools. The sciences were made to
conform to Genesis, which was declared to be the only true account of
the origin of nature; and the earth was declared to be flat, the sky
spreading over it like a dome—or, in the words of St. Augustine, like
a skin—in which all the bodies moved to give light to man. Lactantius
declared the globular theory to be heretical. “Is it possible,” he
said, “that man can be so absurd as to believe that the crops and the
trees on the other side of the earth hang downwards, and that men have
their feet higher than their heads? If you ask them how they defend
these monstrosities, how things do not fall away from the earth on
that side, they reply that the nature of things is such that heavy
bodies tend towards the centre, like the spokes of a wheel, while light
bodies, as clouds, smoke, fire, tend from the centre to the heavens
on all sides. Now, I am really at a loss what to say of those who,
when they have once gone wrong, steadily persevere in their folly,
and defend one absurd opinion by another.” St. Augustine also said
that “it is impossible there should be inhabitants on the opposite
side of the earth, since no such race is recorded by Scripture among
the descendants of Adam;” and again: “In the day of judgment men on
the other side of a globe could not see the Lord descending through
the air.” Thus perished all the grand work effected by the Ptolemies.
Science was annihilated, progress arrested, and the dark ages had
commenced, which lasted until the time of Luther and Copernicus,
in the commencement of the sixteenth century. Throughout this long
and dreary period the most cruel enormities were practised upon
unoffending people; the Church became gorged with wealth; the clergy
gave themselves up to all kinds of lust and debauchery; relics were
sold, dispensations bartered; and no one’s property or person was safe.
Progress was, however, only arrested for a time.

About the year 570 Mohammed was born in Arabia, and in 610 he declared
to the world that he had been commissioned by the angel Gabriel to
preach the unity of god. He appears to have been a very remarkable
religious enthusiast, who believed himself in his divine mission,
and was eminently successful in his arduous undertaking. Idolatry was
quickly abolished among the Arabs, and replaced by the religion of
Mohammed. On the death of the prophet his successors as vigorously
pursued the course he had entered upon. Ali, the general of Khalif
Omar’s army, in A.D. 637, captured Jerusalem and conquered Syria in the
name of the one true god and his prophet Mohammed. The Khalif rode from
Medina to Jerusalem upon a red camel, and, as he entered the conquered
city, issued the following proclamation: “In the name of the most
merciful God. From Omar Ebno’l Alchitâb to the inhabitants of Œlia.
They shall be protected and secured, both in their lives and their
fortunes; and their churches shall neither be pulled down nor made use
of by any but themselves.” Sophronius, the chief Christian priest,
having invited the conqueror to pray in a Christian church, received
a polite refusal, Omar contenting himself with kneeling on the steps
outside, so that his followers might not have any excuse for seizing
the edifice or otherwise annoying the conquered Christians. The Khalif
and his followers then pressed northwards, conquered the Roman Emperor
Heraclius, sent a fleet to the Hellespont, defeated the Roman fleet,
and laid siege to Constantinople, then called Byzantium. Egypt was
next conquered, the remnants of the Serapion destroyed, and the whole
of North Africa added to the dominions of the Khalif. Spain was then
seized upon, and the entire country, as far north as the Loire, annexed
to the growing empire. In 732 Charles Martel succeeded in stopping the
Saracen foe at Poictiers and driving him back to Spain, thus relieving
the anxiety of the Church, which was now becoming intense. In 846 a
Mussulman fleet sailed up the Tiber, menaced Rome, and carried away
St. Peter’s altar to Africa, the Christian empire being saved from
further trouble only by the Mohammedan power being divided into three
Khalifates.

According to the Koran, the earth was a square plane, on the edges of
which rested the heavenly vault, divided into seven stories, in the
topmost of which dwelt god in his omnipotence. This theory, however,
was quickly given up by the learned Saracens, Al-Mamun declaring it
to be unscientific, and asserting that the earth was globular, with
a circumference of about 24,000 miles, which was not far wrong. In
661 the Khalif Moawyah encouraged this new teaching, and ordered the
writings of the Greek philosophers to be translated into Arabic. In
753 the Khalif Almansar recommended the study of astronomy, medicine,
and law at Bagdad; and his grandson, Haroum-al-Raschid, ordered that
every mosque should have a school attached to it, and established
a large library at Bagdad for the use of learned men. The sciences
of chemistry and geometry were revived, and algebra invented by the
Saracens. At Cairo the Fatimist Library became the wonder of the
world; and the great library of the Spanish Khalifs had 600,000
vols., its catalogue alone occupying 44 vols. Gibbon tells us that
they “diffused the taste and the rewards of science from Samarcand
and Bokhara to Fez and Cordova, and that the vizier of a sultan
consecrated a sum of two hundred thousand pieces of gold to the
foundation of a college at Bagdad, which he endowed with an annual
revenue of fifteen thousand dinars.” The first medical college in
Europe was founded by the Saracens at Salerno in Italy, and the first
astronomical observatory was erected by them at Seville in Spain. The
streets in Spain were lighted, baths were erected, and total abstinence
universally practised. Thus we see that, while the power of the Church
was gradually steeping central Europe in darkness, ignorance, and
wretchedness, progress was on the march again in Western Asia, Africa,
and Spain. During this period, however, there were not wanting in
Europe bold men who attempted a revival of philosophy; but these were
quickly suppressed by the Church. In A.D. 800 there appeared a man
in Britain called John Erigena, who, having read Aristotle’s works,
adopted his views and attempted to reconcile them with the Christian
religion. There were also many Christian divines who had crossed the
Mediterranean to study philosophy secretly from Mohammedan doctors.
Erigena declared that every living thing evolved from something that
had previously lived; that each particular life-form was but a part of
general existence or mundane soul; and that all life must be eventually
re-absorbed in deity. The Church became infuriated and alarmed at this
heretical barbarian, who taught the pernicious doctrines of emanation
and absorption, and steps were immediately taken to suppress him.

During the period of quiet which followed a certain priest of
Thuringia, Bernhardt by name, created a great sensation in central
Europe by declaring that the end of the world was fast approaching;
that the prophecy contained in the twentieth chapter of Revelation
would be fulfilled on December 31st, in the year 1000—or possibly
immediately before that time—when the devil would be unbound; and that
unutterable calamity or annihilation would come upon the world. The
clergy quickly followed suit, and as the fearful day approached every
church and cloister in Europe resounded with the frantic appeals of
the monks and priests for their flocks to prepare for the awful doom.
Europe was turned upside down; business was suspended; kings, princes,
senators, nobles, and peasants all alike left their occupations to
seek refuge in some holy sanctuary against the coming event. As the
dread moment approached there was not a church or convent in Europe
that was not crowded to suffocation, the people imagining that, if
they were found at the last moment in some consecrated place, their
chances of being saved would be better. Hundreds and thousands of these
poor wretches never had opportunity of obtaining the coveted shelter,
having been bereft of their reason under the awful excitement of the
hour. Amid prayer, faintings, hysterical screaming, and chanting of
choirs—priests, monarchs, and beggars all huddled together anyhow—the
clock struck twelve, and dead silence prevailed. Gradually the people
roused themselves from their stupor to find themselves the victims of
a cruel hoax. Strange to say, not any attempt was made to punish those
who had produced such a melancholy state of things. Kings and nobles
had endowed monasteries and churches with lands and wealth, which they
believed would soon be of so little use to them, and became suddenly
penitent, assuming the monk’s shirt of hair, and otherwise showing
evidence of their piety and humility. William of the Long Sword, Duke
of Normandy, Hugh Duke of Burgundy, Hugh Count of Arles, the Emperor
Henry II., all renounced their wealth and position to become monks.
Nobles had left lands and castles to the Church, the deeds being drawn
up by monks and witnessed by prelates and sovereigns, as though no
day of reckoning was at hand, the form being invariably as follows:
“Seeing that the end of the world is now approaching, and that every
day accumulates fresh miseries, I, Baron —— (or King ——), for the
good of my soul, give to the monastery of ——,” etc. The Church, which
before was poor, now became gorged with wealth, and the ignorance and
credulity of the people secured the treasures to the now powerful
prelates.

During this period of excitement and terror the number of pilgrimages
to the Holy Land had enormously increased, so much so that the Saracen
masters of Jerusalem, with the view of putting a stop to the now
troublesome and inconvenient influx of Christians to the Holy City,
commenced to persecute the pilgrims, thus creating a very great
ill-feeling against themselves throughout Europe. Peter the Hermit,
a monk of Amiens, took up the cause of his ill-treated brethren, and
forthwith commenced to preach a holy war against the Saracens of
Syria, Pope Urban II. and his priests promising absolution from all
sin to those who took up arms against the Infidel. A vast multitude
of rabble from all parts of Europe soon started on their march to
the Holy Land, being divided into three large armies, one led by
Walter the Penniless, another by Peter the Hermit, and the third
by Gottschalk, a monk. The armies gave themselves up to unheard-of
iniquities, spreading poverty and misery on all sides in their march,
braining all who refused to give up their provisions and property to
them, and, at last, arriving in Constantinople footsore and diseased,
having left two-thirds of their comrades to die of starvation on the
road. Crossing over into Syria, they met the Saracen foe, who quickly
put an end to their sufferings by annihilating the whole lot. Seven
other Crusades followed, one composed altogether of children, who,
the priests declared, were to be the inheritors of the Holy Land, it
being now apparent that full-grown men were too sinful to conquer the
Infidel. The army of children was accordingly shipped off to destroy
the Saracen foe, but never reached Palestine, the boys having been
sold as slaves, and the girls drafted into Turkish harems. When, at
last, Acre surrendered to the Crusaders under Richard Cœur de Lion,
the leniency displayed by the Khalif Omar in his capture of Jerusalem
in 637 was repaid by 2,700 Saracen hostages being brutally beheaded
outside the city walls for the sport of the Christian soldiers. All
this time Europe was in a constant state of agitation and alarm, which
was further intensified by the revival in 1180 of the doctrines of John
Erigena by the Saracen philosopher Averroes, who boldly preached them
in Spain, making converts in all directions, among whom was the great
Jewish writer, Maimonides, who had been held by the Jews in the highest
esteem, and considered second only in wisdom to Moses.

Under the tolerant and liberal rule of the Saracens Averroism made
great progress in Spain, where Mohammedans, Christians, and Jews were
permitted to live peaceably together, and where philosophical theories
were openly and fearlessly taught; but a day of reckoning was at hand.
On the death of the Caliph Hakem, Almansor usurped the throne, and, in
order to secure his position, entered into a secret treaty with the
orthodox section of the Mohammedans, thus establishing a Church and
State party of enormous power, which culminated in the expulsion of
Averroes from Spain and the suppression of the study of philosophy.
Thus were crushed again philosophy and progress in 1198. The Christians
of Italy, Germany, and France followed suit, ordering all Averroists
to be seized and punished, and shortly afterwards extending the order
also to Jews and Mohammedans. From the accession of Almansor dates the
downfall of the Mohammedan power in Spain and the commencement of the
fearful persecutions of Infidels by the Christian Church, which has
left such a dark blot upon the pages of European history.

The Saracen power in Europe was annihilated by Ferdinand and Isabella,
and the Inquisition established by Pope Innocent IV. in 1243. For
two hundred years it seemed as though philosophy and progress were
indeed dead, so relentlessly did the Church persecute all heretics and
denounce all scientific studies. But an occurrence took place in 1440
which completely turned the tide of events. In that year the art of
printing was introduced into Europe by the Venetians, who had learnt
it from the Chinese; and in 1469 it was carried to France, and from
thence to all the great cities of the continent. At first the Church
paid little heed to the innovation; but it soon became apparent that
a dangerous medium had been introduced for intercommunication of the
people and their governments, which must lessen the need and importance
of a religious medium. Books were only allowed to be published under
the supervision of the ecclesiastical authority, and heavy penalties
inflicted upon all who attempted to circulate any heretical works. The
writings of Averroes, Maimonides, and other heretics, were ordered to
be burnt, the doctrines taught by them being declared blasphemous and
subversive of all good government. The leading and most learned Jews
and Mohammedans in Spain and Southern France were avowed Averroists,
and did not shrink from preaching their doctrines in the public
thoroughfares; and the infection was extending so rapidly that the
Church feared that a great calamity would overtake the orthodox
faith unless some steps were taken to put a stop to the heresy. The
Inquisition, which had been found so effective in silencing heretics
in France, was now utilised for dealing with the Jews and Moors. A cry
was made in Castile by the orthodox Christians for the establishment
of the Inquisition in Spain, which was immediately taken up by all
haters of progress; and so great was the influence brought to bear by
the Dominican monk and arch-fiend, Torquemada, upon the Queen Isabella
that the Pope was petitioned for a bull, which was issued in 1478,
for the detection and suppression of heresy in Spain. The Christian
monster, Torquemada, proved himself a worthy agent of the Inquisition,
burning at the stake in eighteen years about 10,220 persons of both
sexes. Dispensations from the operation of the Inquisition were sold
by the Pope to such as could afford to purchase them; and in 1492 all
unbaptised Jews, old or young, were ordered by Torquemada to leave
Spain within four months, and to leave behind them all those effects
they could not sell in the meantime. These poor wretches swarmed in
the roads in their thousands, rending the air with their piteous
cries, the Christian Spaniards being forbidden to render assistance
under penalty of torture. The consequence was that hundreds and
thousands of men, women, and children died by the wayside from hunger,
thirst, and fatigue. In 1502 a further order was issued at Seville
for the Spaniards to drive out of their country every Infidel they
could hear of, no matter what the nationality might be. The Moors
were particularly indicated in the document, one clause stating that
it was justifiable to kill Mohammedans on account of their shameless
infidelity. The consequence was that, in a marvellously short space
of time, there was not a Mohammedan to be found on the European side
of the Straits of Gibraltar. In spite of the precautions made use of
by the Christians for the prevention of the study of philosophy and
the acquirement of knowledge, the news of the discovery of America by
Columbus, in 1492, very soon found its way all over Europe, producing
the most intense sensation, for the discovery came as a terrific
blow to the Church and its inspired Bible. To make matters worse, in
1522 Magellan sailed completely round the world, thus demonstrating
conclusively that the earth was a globe.

Matters appeared to be going wrong with the Church, in spite of the
recent bloody triumphs of the Inquisition; and the clergy and laity
were not slow to notice the turn events were taking. Martin Luther,
a young Augustinian monk, in particular, took advantage of the
unsettled state of the mind of Europe to make a furious onslaught
against the Pope and the Church. Having been told by Cajetan that he
must “believe that one single drop of Christ’s blood is sufficient to
redeem the whole human race, and the remaining quantity that was shed
in the garden and on the cross was left as a legacy to the Pope, to
be a treasure from which indulgences were to be drawn,” this young
priest declared he never would accept such a doctrine, and commenced
forthwith to preach openly against the sale of indulgences, declaring
that the Church must stand or fall on the Bible, which taught no such
doctrine. The orthodox clergy, on the contrary, declared that the
Bible derived its authority from the Church, and not the Church from
the Bible, and demanded that Luther should be arrested for heresy. In
1520 the Pope excommunicated the bold monk, who, in return, defiantly
burnt the Papal bull, for which he was ordered to appear before the
Imperial Diet at Worms, when he deliberately refused to retract.
The views of the reformer quickly spread through Switzerland and
Germany, Pope Leo thundering forth his anathemas upon all who joined
the dangerous movement, until, at length, after many bloody wars and
horrible massacres, such as the slaughter of the Huguenots, etc.,
the Reformation was firmly established, and the Bible became, to the
Reformed Church, the only guide to morals and duty. At first, the Pope
sullenly submitted to what appeared to be the inevitable; but soon
it became apparent that, in order to keep any authority at all over
the people, some plan would have to be adopted to curtail the growing
influence of the Reformed Church. Accordingly, Pope Paul III., in 1540,
established the Society of Jesus, the members of which order were sent
abroad all over Europe for the purpose of secretly undermining the
influence of the Reformers. Three years afterwards, as if to counteract
the evil designs of the Jesuits, there appeared on the scene the
celebrated work of Copernicus, which was destined for ever to demolish
the geocentric theory of Ptolemy, and to establish the heliocentric
philosophy, which taught that the sun was the centre of our system,
and that all the planets, including our earth, revolved in regular
order round it, and which, of course, called forth a volley of abuse
from the Vatican, the theory being declared heretical and its author
anathematised. The effect of all this was to cause quite a revolution
in thought among the learned of Europe, which gave rise to another
schism in the Church, departure being this time from the ranks of the
Reformers.

Arianism was once more revived by a number of people, who maintained
that the doctrine of the Trinity was un-Scriptural, and that Jesus was
but a man like themselves, though endowed with great authority from
god. The orthodox and reformed Churches both alike were alarmed at this
turn of events, and co-operated to suppress the new heresy, denouncing
all philosophical studies, and branding the Unitarians as Infidels.
The upshot was that Servetus was burnt to death at the stake by the
order of the Trinitarian Calvin, and a check was thereby given to the
propagation of the Arian doctrines. It is satisfactory to note that
a Unitarian College now stands upon the very spot where Servetus was
murdered.

Again progress was arrested, and this time it seemed as though a mortal
blow had been dealt at all acquirement of knowledge, for shortly
afterwards, in 1559, Pope Paul IV. established the Congregation of
the Index Expurgatorius for the purpose of examining all books and
manuscripts intended for publication, and of deciding whether the
people should read them. The usual counterpoise, however, quickly made
its appearance, proving once more that progress cannot be arrested for
long.

In 1563 the first newspaper was produced in Venice, which again set the
ball of intellect rolling along, never more to be stopped by priest
or prince. The new Copernican philosophy was now accepted by many
learned men, among whom even were some of the priesthood. Giordano
Bruno, an Italian Dominican monk, among others, embraced these truths,
and was not afraid to openly teach them, for which daring act he
was soon obliged to seek refuge in Switzerland, where he prosecuted
his studies for some time in peace. The fiends of the Inquisition,
however, soon discovered his whereabouts and drove him into France,
then into England, and then back to Germany; in the end arresting him
at Venice. He was taken thence to Rome, publicly accused of teaching
the plurality of worlds, and burnt at the stake by the Inquisition in
1600. Eighteen years after the murder of this noble Italian, Kepler,
of Würtemberg, published his “Epitome of the Copernican System,” in
which he demonstrated for the first time that all the heavenly bodies
are bound in their courses by various laws. This work, like those
of Copernicus and Bruno, was prohibited by the Congregation of the
Index Purgatorius, and Kepler himself declared a dangerous infidel.
Still, in spite of the fury of the priesthood, Catholic and Reformer
alike, the study of the sciences made rapid strides, and in 1632 the
venerable Galileo published his “System of the World,” in which he
maintained the accuracy of the Copernican theory. For this daring
disregard of the Church’s warnings he was summoned to Rome and brought
before the Inquisition, accused of having taught that the earth moves
round the sun. The poor old man was compelled to kneel on the floor
of the court, place his hand on the Bible, and recant, after which he
was incarcerated in the prison of the Inquisition, where, ten years
afterwards, he died. Still science progressed, and was considerably
aided by the rapid increase in the number of newspapers throughout
Europe. In 1631 the _French Gazette_ was established, and, soon after,
newspapers appeared in all important cities, much to the discomfiture
of the Church, whose power was now more seriously imperilled than ever.
Confidence was gradually becoming established, and Descartes dared,
in 1680, to make an attempt to analyse the mind, declaring that the
necessity of universal doubt was the only starting-point of all true
philosophy. He was followed, six years later, by Newton, who published
his “Principia,” in which he demonstrated the grand truth which has
immortalised his name—viz., that all bodies attract each other with
forces jointly proportionate to their masses, varying universally as
the squares of their distances. Thus was established the great law
of universal gravitation, which marks an epoch in the intellectual
development of man. Owing to the constantly-recurring feuds between the
Lutherans, Calvinists, and Catholics, this great discovery passed for
a while almost unnoticed; but it soon became apparent that the final
blow had been given to the old theory of divine intervention in the
movements of the universe, and that learned men of all countries were
rapidly embracing the Newtonian theory of irreversible laws.

It was, however, now too late for the Church to interfere, for all
classes were quickly becoming impressed with the grand theory of
gravitation, which was destined for ever to remain the most wonderful
discovery of man; and, although the clergy still continued to
anathematise all scholars and scientists, the study of nature was
pursued with rapidly-increasing enthusiasm, as though to make up for
lost time. In 1690 Locke, the physician and philosopher, published his
“Essay on the Human Understanding,” in which he declared all human
knowledge to be the result of experience, thus entirely upsetting the
old theory of intuition. Twenty years later Leibnitz published his work
entitled “Theodicée,” in which he endeavoured to solve the difficult
problem of existence of evil in the world under the moral government
of Deity. These two rival philosophers soon became the leaders of
philosophic thought in their respective countries; but barely thirty
years had passed away before an iconoclast appeared, in the person
of David Hume, who cut away the ground ruthlessly from beneath their
feet. His “Treatise on Human Nature,” published in 1739, upset all
the philosophical systems of the past, replacing them by the great
theory of causation, which was soon accepted by every philosopher and
scientist. Kant followed in 1781 with his “Critique of Pure Reason,” in
which he submitted matter to analysis, and declared it to be possessed
of inherent force.

The other sciences were also joining in the march of progress.
Chemistry was fast becoming a settled science; Priestley’s discovery
of oxygen, in 1774, had created a great sensation; Cavendish shortly
afterwards, in 1783, discovered the constitution of water; and
Lavoisier, in 1789, summarised the combined researches of these two
chemists and himself in his “Elements of Chemistry,” which at once was
recognised as the standard work on the subject. Astronomy had, since
Newton’s discovery of gravitation, assumed a more settled condition,
but was destined to further modification by the enunciation of the
nebular hypothesis by Laplace, who commenced to publish his bulky work,
“ Mecanique Celeste,” in 1799.

The nineteenth century opened with progress, as it were, on the gallop.
In 1804 the first locomotive engine was started in England, at the same
time that the first screw steamer was run at New York. It is needless
to enumerate all the inventions of scientific men during the century,
which are so well known to every one. Suffice it to say that, in a
marvellously short space of time, the whole face of Europe has been
changed. Railways cross each other at all points, like a huge network;
telegraph wires link together as one place all important centres of
population; public buildings are protected from nature’s freaks by
lightning conductors; lighthouses dot the whole length of our coasts;
the penny postage conveys our thoughts to and fro throughout the
length and breadth of the land; a free press ventilates our grievances
and enlightens our minds; hospitals and dispensaries minister to the
sick and maimed wherever we go; and the Habeas Corpus Act endows each
well-disposed individual with freedom and liberty. What a metamorphosis
to be effected in so short a time!

The lesson we learn from such a cursory glance as this necessarily is
at the intellectual progress of Europe during the last two thousand
years is full of the deepest meaning. We cannot help being struck by
the dogged manner in which the Christian religion has opposed all
progress, ruthlessly murdering in cold blood any who dared to suggest
that the now-established and universally-accepted theories might
possibly possess some little of the truth. Every new scientific truth
or discovery has been denounced by the Church, every great benefactor
to the human race persecuted and hunted to death by the sleuth-hounds
of bigotry and intolerance, and every European war or massacre hatched
out of religious differences. To this very day the Church, though
robbed of all its old power to inflict evil and misery, persists in its
denunciation of all scientific discoveries; and not one of the numerous
sects which at present divide the Christian Church is exempt from
this charge. Hegel, Bunsen, John Stuart Mill, Rénan, Huxley, Darwin,
Tyndall, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Carpenter, Herbert Spencer, Emerson,
Haeckel, Schopenhauer, Victor Hugo, and, in short, all the leaders
of thought of our century, have incurred the bitter hostility of the
various Christian sects; and yet what a heirloom the works of these men
form for the coming generation!

The discovery of the power of chloroform and ether to relieve pain was
denounced by the Church because it was proposed to apply it to the
relief of the agony of childbirth, the natural inheritance of woman
under the divine curse of Eden; the abolition of slavery was also
opposed by these human parasites because the practice was ordered in
the Bible; and it is well known how the priests of the Church utilised
for their own purposes those abominable texts of the Old Testament,
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live,” and “Neither shalt thou
countenance a poor man in his own cause.”

The Middle Ages bear attestation to the fidelity of the priesthood to
their sacred oracles. Have not two honest citizens of London quite
lately undergone one whole year’s imprisonment for the grave sin of
ridiculing the notion of the Hebrew and Christian gods being other
than creations of man’s imagination? This very lecture will probably
be the means of bringing down the wrath of the priesthood—State Church
and Nonconformist alike—upon its author. And why? Are the facts
untrue? Just the reverse. The writer, historian, or pseudo-scientist
who writes volumes of falsehoods for the purpose of propping up for
a short time longer priestcraft and tyranny will assuredly fare well
at the hands of these insinuating gentlemen of the cloth; but let
the man who dares to write the honest, unvarnished truth beware!
His fair name, his business, and his social and family ties will be
undermined and destroyed in an incredibly short space of time. All
honor, therefore, be given to those brave ones who have dared to stand
before the world and speak out the truth in the cause of humanity! They
have done their share in helping forward the march of intellect, in
stifling superstition, and in uprooting ignorance. The state of Europe
to-day, as compared with its condition two thousand years since, is
overwhelming evidence of the continual progress of civilization, which,
in spite of the opposition from its old enemy, the Church, in the past
and, to a limited extent, in the present, has proved to the world that
it must, of necessity, continue for all time as one of the great and
immutable laws of Nature.



GENESIS I. 1, according to authorised Hebrew version, with final
letters, but without vowel points and breathings.

                     בראשיתבראאלהיםאתהשמיםואתהארץ

“In the beginning the ram (or lamb)-sun-gods (or the good gods)
renovated (reorganized or re-started) the heavens and the earth.”

This refers to the commencement of the Persian new-year, at the vernal
equinox, _Aries_, the ram or lamb.


GENESIS I. 1, according to the Samaritan Pentateuch, transcribed into
ante-Masoretic, or original Hebrew, as written before the invention of
the five final letters.

                      בראשיתבראהעזאתהשמימואתהארצ

“In the beginning the goat renovated the heavens and the earth.”

This refers to the commencement of the Egyptian new-year, at the winter
solstice, _Capricornus_, the goat.


[Illustration: Fac Simile of fragmentary MS. of sixth century (Luke
XX.9.10.), written in Greek and partially covered with Syrian writing
of 10^(th) century.
Copied from “Secular Review,” of March 27 1886.]


[Illustration: Small fragment from John’s Gospel, taken from the Cotton
Manuscript.]



THE BIBLE.


There is probably no book on earth that has ever had anything like
so large a circulation as that which is known as the Bible; and yet
few among the many millions who possess a copy ever think of asking
themselves the question, “Where and how did it originate?” They are
satisfied with the _ipse dixit_ of their parson that it “came from
God.” That may be sufficient to satisfy the unthinking multitude, but
it does not suffice for thinking people, who prefer to follow the
dictates of their reason rather than rest on the mere word of a man or
a number of men who are paid to preach that the Bible is the word of
God, and whose incomes would cease if their followers thought otherwise.

What is this Bible? Where did it come from? Let us see. As we now
have it, it consists of a number of books, which are divided into two
main portions, the Old and the New Testaments, the former being made
up of the five books said to have been written by Moses under God’s
inspiration, and called the Pentateuch, and a number of historical,
poetical, and prophetic writings; and the latter consisting of four
narratives of the life of Jesus, called the Gospels, a narrative of
the Acts of the Apostles, a number of letters, and the Vision or
Revelation of one John. The number of books which make up the Bible
has varied from time to time, according to the fancy of the age; but
about 360 years since a Council of Protestants determined that a number
of hitherto received sacred writings were not the “Word of God,” and
finally decided that only those now included in the authorised version
were of divine origin. Before that time the following books had formed
part of the Bible—viz., Tobit and Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus,
Baruch, Epistle of Jeremiah, Song of the Three Children, Susanna, Bel
and the Dragon, and Maccabees, all of which are considered canonical at
the present time by the Roman Catholic Church. Besides these writings
there are a large number of others that have, at different times,
occupied positions of honour in this ever-varying compilation, but
which are now almost forgotten by pious divines, and entirely unknown
by their credulous and ignorant dupes.

Dr. Dupin, Professor of Philosophy at the Paris University, and one of
the most pious and learned Christian writers of his time, gives a list
of over 150 books that have, from time to time, been held sacred, and
said to have formed part of the “Word of God,” as follows:—


 OLD TESTAMENT.

 _Books now Considered Canonical by Jews and Christians._

  The five Books of Moses.
  The Book of Joshua.
  The Book of Judges.
  The Book of Samuel, or the first and second Books of Kings.
  The third and fourth Books of Kings.
  Isaiah.
  Jeremiah.
  Ezekiel.
  The Twelve Minor Prophets.
  The Book of Job.
  The Hundred and Fifty Psalms.
  The Proverbs of Solomon.
  The Ecclesiastes.
  The Canticles.
  Daniel.
  The Chronicles.
  Esdras, divided into two Books.

 _Books Received as Canonical by some Jews and Rejected by Others._

 Esther, Ruth.

 _Books Excluded from the Jewish Canon, and Reckoned as Apocryphal by
 some of the Ancient Christians, but Allowed as Canonical of late by
 the Church of Rome._

 Baruch, Tobit, Judith, the Book of Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, the two
 Books of the Maccabees.
 The Song of the three Children in the Fiery Furnace.
 The History of Susanna.
 The History of Bel and the Dragon.

 _Books that are Excluded from the Canon without Apparent Reason._

 The Prayer of Manasseh, inserted in the Apocrypha.
 The third and fourth Books of Esdras (ibid).
 The third and fourth Books of Maccabees, in the Septuagint Bible.
 The Genealogy of Job, and his Wife’s Speech, at the end of the Greek
 text of the Book of Job.
 The 151st Psalm, at the end of the Greek Psalms.
 A Discourse of King Solomon, at the end of the Book of Wisdom.
 The Preface before the Lamentations of Jeremiah, in the vulgar Latin
 and Greek text.

 _Other Apocryphal Books of the same Nature, which are Lost._

  The Book of Enoch.
  The Book of the Assumption of Moses.
  The Assumption, Apocalypse, or Secrets of Elias.
  The Secrets of Jeremiah.

 _Books Full of Fables and Errors, which are Lost._

  The Generation, or the Creation of Adam.
  The Revelation of Adam.
  Of the Genealogy, or of the sons and daughters of Adam.
  Cham’s Book of Magic.
  A Treatise, entitled Seth.
  The Assumption of Abraham.
  Jetsira, or concerning the Creation ascribed to Abraham.
  The Book of the Twelve Patriarchs.
  The Discourses of Jacob and Joseph.
  The Prophecy of Habakkuk.
  A Collection of the Prophecies of Ezekiel.
  The Prophecy of Eldad and Medad.
  The Treatise of Jannes and Jambres.
  The Book of King Og.
  Jacob’s Ladder, and several other Tracts.


 NEW TESTAMENT.

 _Books Owned as Canonical at all times and by all Christians._

  The Four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
  The Acts of the Apostles.
  Thirteen Epistles of St. Paul.
  The First Epistle of St. Peter.
  The First Epistle of St. John.

 _Books Questioned, but afterwards Admitted by the Church as Canonical._

  The Epistle to the Hebrews.
  The Epistle of St. James.
  The Second Epistle of St. Peter.
  The Second and Third of St. John.
  The Epistle of St. Jude.
  The Apocalypse, or Revelations of St. John, which was a long time
  before it was admitted as Canonical.
  The history of the angel and the agony of our Saviour related (Luke
  xxii.).
  The end of the last chapter of St. Matthew’s Gospel.
  The history of the woman taken in adultery, related in the eighth
  chapter of St. John’s Gospel.
  The end of St. John’s Gospel.
  The passage concerning the Trinity, taken out of the fifth chapter of
  the First Epistle of St. John.

 _Apocryphal Writings which are not Full of Errors._

  The letter of Jesus Christ to Abgarus.
  The letter of the Blessed Virgin.
  The Gospel according to the Egyptians.
  The Gospel according to the Hebrews.
  Additions to the Gospel of St. Matthew and St. Luke, in the Cambridge
  Manuscript.
  The Proto-Evangelicum of St. James.
  The Gospel of Nicodemus.
  The Ancient Acts of Paul and Thecla.
  The Epistle of the Laodicæans.
  The Epistle of St. Paul to Seneca.
  The Epistle of St. Barnabas.
  The Liturgies of St. Peter.
  The Liturgies of St. Mark.
  The Liturgies of St. James.
  The Liturgies of St. Matthew.
  The Canons and Constitutions of the Apostles.
  The Treatise of Prochorus.
  The Books of St. Linus.
  The Treatise of Abdias.
  The Acts of the Passion of St. Andrew.


 _Books Full of Errors; almost all of them Lost._

  The Gospel of St. Peter.
  The Gospel of St. Thomas.
  The Gospel of St. Matthias.
  The Gospel of St. Bartholomew.
  The Gospel of St. Philip.
  The Gospel of Judas Iscariot.
  The Gospel of Thaddæus.
  The Gospel of Barnabas.
  The Gospel of Truth by the Valentinians.
  The Gospel of Perfection by the Gnostics.
  The Gospel of Eve by the Gnostics.
  A Book concerning the Infancy of Jesus Christ.
  A Treatise concerning the Birth of our Saviour, the Virgin Mary, and
  her Midwife.
  A Treatise concerning the Virgin’s Lying-in, and the questions she
  asked.
  A Treatise of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, cited by St. Jerome.
  The Apocryphal Treatise of the Life of the Virgin, cited by St.
  Gregory Nysene.
  Another Apocryphal Book on the Virgin, cited by Faustus.
  The Writings of Jesus Christ about Miracles.
  The Acts of St. Peter.
  The Acts of St. Paul.
  The Acts of St. Andrew.
  The Acts of St. John.
  The Acts of the Apostles.
  The Acts of St. Philip.
  The Acts of St. Thomas.
  The Doctrine, Preaching, and Itinerary of St. Peter.
  The Rapture of St. Paul.
  The Memoirs of the Apostles.
  The Lots of the Apostles.
  The Itinerary of the Apostles.
  The Treatise concerning the Priesthood of Jesus Christ.
  The Apostolical Tract.
  The Treatise of the Death and Assumption of the Virgin.
  The Apocalypses or Revelations of St. Peter.
  The Revelations of St. Paul.
  The Revelations of St. Thomas.
  The Revelations of St. Stephen.
  The Revelations of the Great Apostle.
  The Revelations of Abraham.
  The Revelations of Seth.
  The Revelations of Noriah.

In addition to those already named there were a number of lost books
referred to and quoted from by the authors of the various canonical
books, such as:—

  The Book of the Wars of the Lord (Numbers xxi. 14).
  The Book of the Covenant (Exodus xxiv. 7).
  The Book of Jasher, or the Upright (Joshua x. 13, 2 Samuel i. 18).
  The Book of the Acts of Solomon (1 Kings xi. 41).
  The Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel (1 Kings xiv. 19,
  and eighteen other places in the Books of Kings; also 2 Chron. xx. 34
  and xxxiii. 18).
  The Chronicles of the Kings of Judah (1 Kings xiv. 29, and twelve
  other places in the Books of Kings).
  The Book of Samuel the Seer (1 Chronicles xxix. 29).
  The Book of Nathan the Prophet (1 Chronicles xxix. 29).
  The Book of Gad the Seer (1 Chronicles xxix. 29).
  The Chronicles of King David (1 Chronicles xxvii. 24).
  The Book of Nathan the Prophet (2 Chronicles ix. 29).
  The Prophecy of Ahijah the Shilomite (2 Chronicles ix. 29).
  The Visions of Iddo the Seer against Jeroboam the son of Nebat (2
  Chron. ix. 29).
  The Book of Shemaiah the Prophet (2 Chronicles xii. 15).
  The Book of Iddo the Seer concerning Genealogies (2 Chronicles xii.
  15).
  The Story of the Prophet Iddo (2 Chronicles xiii. 22).
  The Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel (2 Chronicles xvi. 11, and
  six other places in the same Book).
  The Book of Jehu (2 Chronicles xx. 34).
  The Memoirs of Hircanus (mentioned in 1 Maccabees).
  The Books of Jason (mentioned in 2 Maccabees ii.).
  The Acts of Uriah (mentioned in 2 Chronicles xxvi. 22).
  Three thousand Proverbs of Solomon (mentioned in 1 Kings iv. 32).
  A thousand and five Songs (mentioned in ibid).
  Several other volumes by the same author (mentioned in ibid).
  The Prophecy of Jeremiah, torn in pieces by Jehoiakim (cited in
  Jeremiah xxxvi.).
  Another Prophecy of his upon the city of Babylon (mentioned in
  Jeremiah li.).
  Memoirs or descriptions of the same author (mentioned in 1 Maccabees
  ii.).
  The Prophecy of Jonah (mentioned in the Book of Jonah).

We can readily imagine what trouble our pious ancestors must have
experienced in deciding which of these writings really emanated from
the ghost of God and which were fraudulent productions, for the style
in which most of them were written rendered it almost impossible
to decipher them: written on rough skins, in ink which had become
obliterated by age, many of them had fallen into the hands of monks and
other rogues, who appeared to have suffered severely from _cacoëthes
scribendi_, and who recorded events connected with their own persons
or surroundings over the original writing, like a lady “crosses” her
letters, so that the whole manuscript became a complete jumble. In
most cases the original or ground language was Hebrew or Greek in
ill-formed and continuous capitals, undivided into words, and without
accents, points, or breathings, while the “crossing” was in Arabic,
Latin, or some other different dialect, badly written and accompanied
with ink spots and senseless dashes. Out of this heterogeneous mass of
scribblings the pious divines of the Reformation period compiled our
authorised version of the Bible, the translation into English being
made, in the case of the Old Testament, from the modern Hebrew text,
and in that of the New Testament from Beza’s fifth edition of the Greek
text.

There are three different versions of the complete Old Testament—viz.,
the Hebrew, the Greek Septuagint, and the Latin Vulgate, and two
Samaritan versions of the Pentateuch, one written in Aramæn and the
other in Arabic. The MSS. of the Hebrew version are all written in
modern or Masoretic Hebrew, which dates from about the year 1,000
A.D. The original language of the Hebrews, which was derived from the
Egyptians and afterwards modified by contact with the Chaldeans, was
very different from that we are accustomed to read to-day in Hebrew
Bibles: instead of each word being separated from its neighbour, and
vowel points being subscribed to assist in the reading, sentences,
paragraphs, and even pages were written as though the whole formed
but one long word; and, considering that the Hebrew alphabet consists
of consonants only, the absence of the vowel points and final letters
afterwards introduced rendered the meaning of the writer most
obscure. For instance, the first verse of Genesis would have been
written as follows in ancient Hebrew, but in letters more nearly
approaching the cuneiform type, בראשיתבראאלהימאתהשמימואתהארצ. The
equivalent letters in English are (reading from right to left, as in
Hebrew) TS.R.A.H.T.A.V.M.Y.M.SH.H.T.A.M.Y.H.L.A.A.R.B.T.Y.SH.A.R.B
and the translators tell us that they signify, “In the beginning God
created the heavens and the earth.” Now, as they stand, it is utterly
impossible to pronounce the words; and, even supposing that vowels
were added, this could be done in such a variety of ways that hundreds
of different pronunciations might result; so also might the sense
be varied by many different renderings. Suppose we wrote down the
authorised translation, using consonants only, and leaving entirely
out the vowels, the result would be as follows (reading from left to
right, as in English), NTHBGNNGGDCRTDTHHVNSNDTHRTH, which would be
entirely unpronounceable unless we added vowels; and, by adding vowels
indiscriminately, a variety of renderings would result. The absurdity
of a written language composed only of consonants is thus made very
apparent. This difficulty opposed itself to the Jewish priests, and
was obviated by the introduction of vowel points, the manufacture of
five final letters, and the division of sentences into words according
to the arbitrary rendering of the introducers of the vowel points; so
that now we possess a Hebrew language which may be, and probably is, as
unlike the ancient Hebrew dialect as chalk is unlike cheese.

By slightly altering the vowel points of a sentence or a word,
the whole sense may be entirely destroyed; and that this has been
frequently enough done requires no proof here, for it has been
abundantly shown elsewhere. Certain priests have attempted to prove
that the vowel points and final letters were in use in Ezra’s time;
but it is now generally admitted by scholars that they were inventions
of the middle ages. Hear what the learned Christian Dupin, Doctor of
the Sorbonne, says:—“The Hebrew alphabet is composed of twenty-two
letters, like those of the Samaritans, Chaldeans, and Syrians.
But, of these letters, _none are vowels_, and, in consequence, the
pronunciation cannot be determined. The Hebrews have invented _points_,
which, being put under the letters, answer the purpose of vowels.
Those vowel-points serve not only to fix the pronunciation, _but also
the signification of a word, because, many times, the word being
differently pointed and pronounced alters the meaning entirely_. This
is the consideration which has made the question as to the antiquity
of the points of so much importance, and has, consequently, had such
elaborate treatment. Some have pretended that these points are as
ancient as the Hebrew tongue, and that Abraham made use of them. Others
make Moses the author of them. But the most common opinion among the
Jews is that, Moses _having learnt of God the true pronunciation of
Hebrew words_, this science was preserved in the synagogue by oral
tradition till the time of Ezra, who invented the points and accents
to fix the meaning. Elias Levita, a German Jew of the last generation,
and deeply learned in Hebrew grammar, has rejected this opinion, and
contended that the invention of points took place in much more recent
times. He ascribes the invention to the Jews of Tiberias and to the
year 500 A.D., and alleges that the invention was not perfected till
about the year 1040 A.D., by two famous Maserites, Ben-Ascher and
Ben-Naphtali.”

Hear, also, what the learned and pious Dr. Prideaux says:—“The sacred
books made use of among the Jews in their synagogues have ever been,
and still are, _without the vowel-points_, which could not have
happened had they been placed there by Ezra, and had, consequently,
been of the same authority with the letters; for, had they been so,
they would certainly have been preserved in the synagogues with the
same care as the rest of the text.” He then goes on to say that no
mention is made of the points in either the Mishna or Gemara, and
continues: “Neither do we find the least hint of them in Philo-Judæus
or Josephus, who are the oldest writers of the Jews, or in any of the
ancient Christian writers for _several hundred years after Christ_.
And, although among them Origen and Jerome were well skilled in the
Hebrew language, yet in none of their writings do they speak the least
of them. Origen flourished in the third, and Jerome in the fifth,
century; and the latter, having lived a long while in Judæa, and there
more especially applied himself to the study of the Hebrew learning,
and much conversed with the Jewish rabbis for his improvement herein,
it is not likely that he could have missed making some mention of
them through all his voluminous works, if they had been either in
being among the Jews in his time, or in any credit or authority with
them, and that especially since, in his commentaries, there were so
many necessary occasions for taking notice of them.” The Doctor then
declares that after the Babylonish Captivity “the Hebrew language
ceased to be the mother tongue of the Jews,” Aramæn, as we know, being
the dialect of Judæa at the time of Herod.

We may, then, safely fix the date of our earliest Hebrew MS. at a
later period than 1000 A.D., for there does not exist one single
ante-Masoretic or unpointed Hebrew MS. of the Bible. The Greek
Septuagint was also written in Greek capitals, without accents and
breathings and without divisions between the words, and continued thus
until the eighth century, when accents and breathings came into use,
which were followed, in the tenth century, by small letters, as we have
them now in our Greek Bibles. The very same may be said about the New
Testament MSS., all of which are written in continuous Greek capitals.

The oldest MS. of the New Testament is the Codex Sinaiticus,
discovered by Tischendorf at the convent of St. Catherine, on Mount
Sinai, in 1859, and supposed to belong to the fourth century. The
Codex Vaticanus is also supposed to belong to the fourth century,
and was first published at Rome by Vercellone, in 1858. The Codex
Alexandrinus, containing both Old and New Testaments, is supposed
to belong to the fifth century, and was first published by Woide,
in 1786, and afterwards by Cowper, in 1860. Of the Old Testament it
contains, besides the canonical and most apocryphal books found in
our editions, the third and fourth books of the Maccabees, Epistle of
Athanasius to Marcellinus (prefixed to the Psalms), and fourteen hymns,
the eleventh in honour of the Virgin. Ecclesiasticus, the Song of the
Three Children, Susannah, and Bell and the Dragon do not appear. Of the
New Testament there is, in addition to the received books, the First
Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians and part of the Second. The Codex
Ephraemi is supposed to belong to the fifth century, and was published
by Tischendorf in 1843. The Codex Bezæ is a Græco-Latin MS., said to
belong to the sixth century, and first published by Kipling, in 1793,
and afterwards by Scrivener, in 1864. All these MSS. are written in
continuous capitals, so badly formed, and so jumbled together, as to be
almost illegible.

According to the showing of those most interested in proving the
antiquity of sacred writings, the very earliest MS. cannot lay claim
to an earlier date than the fourth century; and, if the authors to
whom the Church has attributed the various writings in the Bible wrote
the said records, it is clear that the latest originals must date
from the first century. But the originals do not anywhere exist, and
consequently it is utterly impossible for anybody to know who wrote
any one of the books of the Bible, which is, therefore, a compilation
of anonymous writings, and, as such, is of no authority whatever. So
far from being a divinely-inspired record, it is, as we have seen,
a product of the cunning and ingenuity of knaves and fanatics, who
deserve credit for only one thing, and that is that they managed to
make any sense whatever out of the wretched scribble and scrawl from
which they derived their information.



THE

“ANNALS” OF TACITUS.


One of the darkest epochs in the history of Christianity is that period
which commenced with the annihilation of the Saracen power in Europe
and the establishment of the Inquisition by Pope Innocent IV. in 1243,
and continued until about the end of the fifteenth century. The ghastly
horrors perpetrated by the Christian Church at this time against
unoffending people are too well known to need any reproduction here,
and may be found fully detailed in Rule’s “History of the Inquisition,”
Draper’s “Conflict,” and other similar works. My purpose just now is
not to follow in detail these wicked and cruel abominations connected
with the Christian superstition, but to study carefully the various
circumstances surrounding the sudden appearance, in the early part of
the fifteenth century, of so many MSS. purporting to have been written
by the ancients. Among these manuscripts were the so-called “Annals
of Tacitus,” which have since become so celebrated on account of the
reference made by the author in his fifteenth book to the persecution
of the early Christians by Nero. It has long been suspected by learned
scholars that these “Annals,” and in particular the passage relating
to Nero’s persecution of Christians, were never written by Tacitus;
but, owing to the danger usually incurred in giving expression to
opinions so detrimental to the interests of the Church, no one ventured
until quite lately publicly to state his doubts as to the genuineness
of these celebrated writings. It is now, however, pretty generally
admitted among such scholars as do not make their honour subservient to
their interests that the author of the “History” and the author of the
“Annals” were not the same person, and that the latter, moreover, were
not written until many centuries after the death of Tacitus.

To find out who was the real author of these “Annals,” and how they
became associated with the name of Tacitus, it will be necessary to
glance at the condition of the Christian Church during the period
referred to above; and in doing so none but authors of the highest
repute will be consulted.

For some time after the establishment of the Inquisition in 1243 the
Church had been able to suppress, to a very large extent, the growing
tendency of the age towards the acquirement of knowledge: by the rack,
the stake, and the gibbet, by torture, by fire, and by the knife, she
had relentlessly pursued her horrid and diabolical career, hoping by
these means to preserve the faith and silence her enemies. To a large
extent it is admitted she was successful; but in remote places the
spirit of inquiry lived and grew in spite of her: Abelard, the first
Freethinker, had well sown his seeds in France; Arnold of Brescia had
left to his brethren in Italy a scheme of reform which was destined to
take practical shape in the autumn of 1870; and Wicliffe had preached
from his chair at Oxford doctrines which could not fail ere long to
have their effect upon the intellect of England. This bold Yorkshireman
did not scruple to publicly declare that the mendicant friars who were
commissioned by the Pope to travel over England and grant absolution
and indulgences to the people were a pack of thieves and sensualists,
that the clergy were indulging in open wickedness, that the indulgences
of the Pope were a manifest blasphemy, and that the priesthood had no
right to deprive the people of the right to search the Bible. He even
went so far as to speak of the Pope as “Antichrist, the proud worldly
priest of Rome, and the most cursed of clippers and purse-kervers.”
From the pulpit of his little church at Lutterworth he openly preached
against the authority of the Pope in England, and declared that Christ
had given no temporal lordship to the popes and no supremacy over
kings. The Pope and the Sacred College very naturally resented this
behaviour, and ordered copies of Wicliffe’s works to be sent forthwith
to Rome for inspection, the result being that three bulls were drafted
on May 22nd, 1377, and despatched to England, one being addressed
to Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, and William Courtenay,
Bishop of London, another being addressed to the King, and the third
to the University of Oxford. These bulls expressed the surprise of his
Holiness that such a fearful heresy had not been at once suppressed,
and commanded that immediate steps should be taken for silencing the
author of it. He was to be apprehended and shut up in prison until the
further orders of the Pope arrived; and all proofs and evidence of his
heresy were to be sent by special messenger to Rome without delay.
These bulls, however, arrived too late to be of much use. Already
Wicliffe had been brought to trial before the Bishop of London and his
court at St. Paul’s, with a result not at all to the liking of his
Holiness or any of his pious followers, as he very soon discovered.

On February 19th, 1377, Courtenay sat in Our Lady’s Chapel in St.
Paul’s, surrounded by Church dignitaries, to hear the accusation
against the reformer, a large and excited crowd, favourably disposed
towards Wicliffe, howling outside the doors. Suddenly a disturbance
took place inside the chapel, caused by Lord Percy and John of Gaunt
forcing their way towards the reformer; the Bishop and his court were
scandalised, and immediately called upon the intruders to withdraw;
but, instead of doing so, Percy quietly turned to Wicliffe and politely
requested him to be seated, whereupon Courtenay became furious and
yelled out: “He must and shall stand; it is unreasonable that one on
his trial before his ordinary should sit.” High words followed; the
mob outside was in a state of fury, and the bishops and clergy were
terrified. The end soon came, for John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster,
stepping in front of the Bishop, shouted: “As for you, who are growing
so arrogant and proud, I will bring down the pride, not of you alone,
but that of all the prelacy in England,” and then declared that in a
few moments he would drag him out of the court by the hair of his head.
This brought matters to a climax; the mob burst into the chapel, the
Bishop and clergy fled, and the reformer was set free. The greatest
consternation prevailed among the clergy upon the news of this outrage
being carried through the country, and for several weeks secret
deliberations were carried on for the purpose of devising some good
plan for restoring the visibly decreasing prestige of the clerical
party.

At last the three bulls arrived from Rome, but were, as we have seen,
too late in the field; for not only had the trial of Wicliffe turned
out a failure, but the King had in the meantime died, and the Oxford
doctors had almost all sided with the reformer. Still, the Church
determined to punish Wicliffe, who was summoned to appear before
Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, in Lambeth Chapel, to answer charges
of heresy and insubordination; but this trial proved as unfortunate for
the clergy as the former one, for another angry mob besieged the chapel
and demanded the release of the reformer, in addition to which Sir
Lewis Clifford arrived in haste from the Queen to forbid the bishops
passing any sentence upon Wicliffe. This was indeed a surprise for
their reverences, who precipitately left the chapel and reached their
homes in the best way they could. All this had a great effect upon
the minds of the people both in England and on the Continent; for the
Pope and his satellites had not only been attacked, but, what was more
amazing, they had suffered an unparalleled defeat; and the probability
was that the discontented of France and Italy would follow the example
of the English reformer and attempt to put into practice the theories
of Arnold and Abelard. The times certainly looked black for the Church;
but an event happened shortly afterwards which added still more to the
general dismay of the clericals, and was near being the end of the
Papacy.

Pope Gregory XI. died on March 27th, 1378, at the Vatican, where he had
arrived shortly before from his beautiful residence at Avignon; and
the Italian clergy, fearing that the next pope would also take up his
residence in France, determined to exert every effort to place upon the
vacant chair of St. Peter an Italian who would be likely to remain at
the Vatican. At this time the sacred college consisted of twenty-two
cardinals, twelve of whom were French, so that it would have been
an easy matter for the French majority to elect a French pope; but
the clamour, not only of the clergy, but of the laity of Rome, was so
great that the majority did not avail themselves of their opportunity,
and allowed the Archbishop of Bari, a Neapolitan, to be nominated and
unanimously elected to the vacant see, under the title of Urban VI. Not
many weeks passed away before the French majority began to repent their
haste, and ended by publicly excommunicating Pope Urban VI., calling
him apostate and antichrist, and electing in his stead, on September
21st, Robert of Geneva, under the title of Clement VII. The Italian
bishops and clergy stood by the Pope of their choice, who resided at
the Vatican, while the French bishops and clergy bowed allegiance only
to their Pope, who took up his residence at the old papal palace at
Avignon; and thus it happened that for the first time in the history
of the Church there were two popes at the same time, each pouring
forth his anathemas at the other, and each declaring himself to be
the divinely-ordained vicar of Christ on earth. Owing to this schism,
Wicliffe was allowed to preach his heresy without let or hindrance, for
the whole of Europe was in a constant ferment, and the bishops could
ill bestow time upon such an insignificant person when two such lofty
individuals were attracting the attention of both clergy and laity.

For forty years these rival popes and their successors carried on a
perpetual warfare, both with the sword and the pen, Pope Urban being
succeeded in turn by Pope Boniface IX., Pope Innocent VII., and Pope
Gregory XII., and Pope Clement by Pope Benedict XIII. During this time
there were not wanting men who were bold enough to turn to account this
papal schism in the interest of reform. Wicliffe was working silently
but steadily in England, and actually had the audacity to render the
Bible in the vulgar tongue, so that the people could read it in the
churches, the thing of all others that the popes and the cardinals
dreaded, for they well knew that, as soon as the Bible was read and
understood, the authority of the Church would gradually wane, and
eventually cease to exist at all. In vain did the popes thunder forth
their curses upon Wicliffe’s venerable head, for was not the whole
of Europe at that very time discussing more or less fiercely the very
question as to which of the two holy ones was really Pope? Of what use
was it that he of Avignon denounced Wicliffe, when half of Christendom
denied his right to the papal chair? He of Rome was in precisely the
same position, so that the high-sounding anathemas fell but lightly on
the old reformer; but it was far otherwise with the heretical teachings
which called forth the papal curses; for they were carried into the
most remote corners of Europe, causing quite a sensation among the
hitherto loyal servants of the Church. Jerome of Prague, in the year
1400, just sixteen years after Wicliffe’s death, carried across the
channel a large assortment of Wicliffe’s writings, and immediately
commenced to carry on the work of the great reformer in Europe,
challenging the doctors of Paris and Vienna on his way home. Uniting
with John Huss, a Professor of Prague University, he attacked with
great violence the Papacy, declaring that the very fact of the head of
the Church being split into two was sufficient to destroy for ever the
notion of papal infallibility. Things had now arrived at such a pass
that the doctors of the Sorbonne in Paris made a desperate attempt to
settle the difficulty. For fifteen years past they had been urging
the two popes to resign simultaneously, so that one successor to both
could be unanimously elected, and the dispute thus settled; but neither
party would yield an inch. At last, in 1409, driven to desperation by
the effect produced by Wicliffe’s writings, and by the bold preaching
of Huss and Jerome, the Council of Pisa deposed both popes, and
elected a third—viz., Balthazar Corsa, who assumed the title of Pope
John XXIII. and took up his residence at Bologna. The two deposed
pontiffs, however, refused to recognise the decree of the Council, the
consequence being that, instead of there being two popes, there were
three. This strengthened the position of Huss and Jerome, who said: “If
we must obey, to whom is our obedience to be paid? If all three are
infallible, why does not their testimony agree? And if only one of them
is the most Holy Father, why is it that we cannot distinguish him from
the rest?” The Bolognan Pope declared the Roman Pope to be a heretic,
a demon, and antichrist; the Roman Pope entertained similar views about
his holy brother of Bologna; and both stigmatised the Avignon Pope as
an impostor and schismatic; while his Holiness of Avignon had as much
affection for his two holy brethren as they had for him.

Another Council was held at Constance in 1418, at which all three
Holinesses were deposed, excellent precautions being at the same
time taken to ensure the proper carrying out of the sentences. Otho
Colonna was then elected to the chair of St. Peter, as Martin V., and
the schism at last put an end to. But at what a cost had this schism
been kept up for forty years! People had begun to seriously question
the right of the popes to claim infallibility; many were now in the
habit of daily reading the Bible, and some had even dared to search
ancient authors for fuller information respecting the establishment of
Christianity. Unless these three ulcers were immediately cauterised and
effectively effaced, the Church must fall from its high position, as
the holy ones at the Vatican well knew. Accordingly, the Inquisition
was brought into service of the Pope, to put a stop to the insolence
of those who dared to assail the dogma of infallibility, and who had
been guilty of the blasphemy of reading the Bible. Huss and Jerome
had already been burnt at the stake. In addition to this, large sums
of money were offered for freshly-discovered MSS. of the ancients, in
order that all the evidence it was possible to collect together might
be available in case of emergency. These means were very effectual;
for troublesome people, who had inquiring minds or who had learnt to
read and write, were quickly despatched to a happier land by the agents
of the Inquisition, while the money offered for newly-discovered MSS.
acted like magic in causing old musty writings to turn up in every
direction.

While the Council of Constance was being held for the purpose of
electing one pope, and one only, to sit in the chair of St. Peter,
Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, second son of John of Gaunt, Duke
of Lancaster, happened to pass through the town, and took advantage
of the opportunity thus offered him to attend the sittings, where he
made the acquaintance of many, among whom was Boggio Bracciolini,
one of the Papal Secretaries. A friendship soon sprang up between
the two, which resulted in Bracciolini returning to England with
Bishop—afterwards Cardinal—Beaufort, in the autumn of 1418. After a
year or two spent with Beaufort, the late Secretary became dissatisfied
with his lot, complaining bitterly in his letters to his friend,
Niccolo Niccoli, of the many unfulfilled promises of the Cardinal. At
last he was offered, and duly accepted, a small living of 120 florins a
year, which he soon afterwards exchanged for one worth £40 a year, and
having fewer duties attached to it, which gave him more leisure time
for study, and, consequently, made him considerably happier, for his
passion for studying ancient authors was as intense as his knowledge of
the classic languages was profound.

In a very short time, however, he became again dissatisfied with his
lot, and begged the Cardinal to supply him with an honorary canonry, so
that he might visit Italy and prosecute his studies, at the same time
that he drew a snug little salary from England. He was not successful,
for the Cardinal probably had many such applications, and found more
suitable objects upon which to bestow his favours.

Just at this time the rage for finding old MSS. increased enormously,
owing to the large sums of money given by the Vatican to the lucky
finders, who, as a rule, were simply villains of the monk type and the
most impudent forgers. Bracciolini, whose passion for money was even
greater than his passion for knowledge, bitterly bewailed his fate,
and longed for an opportunity to turn his wits to account, and thus
secure some of the fine prizes which were being so lavishly bestowed
by his Holiness upon indigent Italian and Hungarian monks. While he
was despairing of any such good fortune turning up he unexpectedly
received from Piero Lamberteschi of Florence, agent to Cosmo de Medici,
an offer which greatly gratified him, and which he could plainly
see emanated in the first instance from his old friend Niccoli. The
nature of this offer was, for obvious reasons, kept strictly secret;
but, from a perusal of some of the letters which passed between
Bracciolini and Niccoli, no doubt now exists that it was really a
proposal that Bracciolini should enter into retirement and forge an
introduction to the “History” of Tacitus, for which work he would
be paid 500 gold sequins, equivalent to upwards of £10,000. Niccoli
strongly urged his friend to accept the offer, and Bracciolini, in
reply, “thinks he will follow his advice;” but the venture was such
a daring one that 500 sequins appeared to him insufficient; so he
wrote again to Niccoli about this “suggestion” and “offer” made by
Lamberteschi, who, he states, “will endeavour to procure for me in
three years 500 gold sequins. If he will make it 600, I will at once
close with his proposal. He holds forth sanguine hopes about several
future profitable contingencies, which, I am inclined to believe, may
probably be realised; yet it is more prudent to covenant for something
certain than to depend on hope alone.... I like the occupation to
which he has invited me, and hope I shall be able to produce something
_worth reading_; but for this purpose, as I tell him in my letters,
I require the retirement and leisure that are necessary for literary
work.” An arrangement was eventually arrived at, and it was definitely
settled that Bracciolini should leave England and go to Hungary, in
which country it was popularly believed were to be found lost literary
treasures. Still, Bracciolini had his doubts about the due payment of
the money, and, as he was about to give up a living in England, he was
anxious to have some security for the money promised by Lamberteschi,
for we find him writing to Niccoli as follows: “You know well how I
prefer liberty and literary leisure to the other things which the vast
majority hold in the highest estimation and make the objects of their
ambition.... If I were to see that I should get that which our friend
Piero expects, I would go not only to the end of Europe, but as far
as the wilds of Tartary, especially as I should have the opportunity
of paying attention to Greek literature, which it is my desire to
devour with avidity, were it but to avoid those wretched translations,
which so torment me that there is more pain in reading than pleasure
in acquiring knowledge.” He then wrote: “If I undertake a journey
to Hungary, it will be unknown to everybody but a few, and down the
throats of these I shall cram all sorts of speeches, since I will
pretend I have come from here [England].”

Apparently matters were soon satisfactorily arranged; for, from this
time, Bracciolini commenced to prepare for his forgery. He made good
use of the library of Cardinal Beaufort, and searched everywhere for
old writers from whom he could gather information respecting the old
Roman empire; and, finally, made arrangements for quitting England. In
a letter to Niccoli, dated London, July 17th, 1420, he says that he
has “skimmed over Aristotle during the spring of the year, not for the
purpose of studying him then, but reading and seeing what there was
in each of his works.” He had found that sort of “perusal not wholly
unprofitable, as he had learnt something every day, superficially
though it might be, from understanding Aristotle in his own language,
where he found him in the words of translators either incomprehensible
or nonsensical.” It was arranged between the three friends that
Bracciolini should repair at once to Italy, where consultations could
be held frequently, “to deliberate fully what was best to be done;” so,
after vainly attempting to dispose of his living, Bracciolini finally
departed for France, _en route_ for Italy. Before doing so, however,
he wrote to Niccoli, expressing his fear that the forgery he had
undertaken was too great a toil for him, but declaring his intention
to proceed at all hazards. He says: “I want you to have no distrust;
give me the leisure and the time for _writing that history_, and I
will do something you will approve. My heart is in the work, though I
question my powers ... I have not for four years devoted any attention
to literature, nor read a single book that can be considered well
written—as you may judge from these letters of mine, which are not what
they used to be; but I shall soon get back into my old manner. When I
reflect on the merits of the ancient writers of history, I recoil with
fear from the undertaking, though, when I consider what are writers
of the present day, I recover some confidence in the hope that, if I
strive with all my might, I shall be inferior to few of them.” A few
days afterwards he wrote his last letter from England to Niccoli on
June 25th, 1422, still expressing fear about the ultimate result, and
especially the payment: “If Lamberteschi would only place something
certain before us, which we could adopt or approve,” he wrote; and “How
heartily I hope that Lamberteschi will do what would be agreeable to us
both.”

Arrived in Rome, Bracciolini was offered and accepted the post of
Principal Secretary to the Pope, and, consequently, did not go, as
previously arranged, to Hungary, but set himself to work instead,
examining the old MSS. in the Vatican Library, for which he had ample
time, as his new post was almost a sinecure. He also wrote to his
friend Niccoli on May 15th, 1423, asking him to forward to him without
the least delay all his notes and extracts from the various books which
he had read; after receiving which he commenced in earnest his labour.
He had not worked long, however, before he discovered what an arduous
task he had undertaken, and again fear overcame him lest he should find
himself unequal to the effort; but, pulling himself together again, he
determined once more to keep up his courage and persevere to the end,
the gold sequins probably acting as a stimulus to him.

Writing to his friend Niccoli on October 8th, 1423, he says that “
beginnings of any kind are arduous and difficult;” and continues: “What
the ancients did pleasantly, quickly, and easily, is to me troublesome,
tedious, and burdensome.” In another letter to Niccoli, dated Rome,
November 6th, 1423, he begs his friend to make every effort to procure
for him some map of Ptolemy’s “Geography,” and not to forget Suetonius
and the other historians, above all Plutarch’s “Lives of Illustrious
Men.”

For upwards of three years after this period Bracciolini shut himself
up with his papers, extracts, maps, etc., and worked steadily and
laboriously at his task, and, at the end of that time, had completed
the first instalment of his forgery. The next part of the process was
to find a suitable place in which the forged MS. could be _discovered_;
consequently, Bracciolini and Niccoli put their heads together in
consultation, finally settling upon Hirschfeldt, a small Saxon town
on the borders of Bohemia, which was celebrated for an old abbey of
the Benedictine monks. Bracciolini had accidentally met with one of
the monks from this place in Rome, and had managed to place this man
under an obligation to him; so, finding that he was needy, ignorant,
and stupid, he determined to make use of him for producing his MS. to
the public. Speaking of this monk in one of his letters to Niccoli, he
says: “The good fellow, who has not our attainments, thought that we
were equally ignorant of what he found he did not know himself.” To
this ignorant fellow he gave a long list of books that he wished him
to hunt up in the Abbey library, including a copy of Tacitus, telling
him to send a full description of each as soon as found. The object
of this was to find out whether the Abbey possessed a copy of Tacitus
in the oldest writing possible, which could be used as a guide to the
transcriber of the forgery; and the reason of giving such a long list
was to throw the monk off the scent.

With all their precautions, however, their scheme was all but
discovered in the summer of 1427, for we find Bracciolini, on September
25th of that year, writing to Niccoli that, “when Tacitus came, he
would keep it a secret; that he knew all the tittle-tattle that was
going on—whence it came, through whom, and how it was got up; but that
he need have no fear, for that not a syllable should escape him....
I hear nothing of the Tacitus that is in Germany. I am expecting an
answer from the monk.” From this it would appear that the monk had not
yet supplied the information about the books; but, in the following
October, Niccoli had forwarded to Bracciolini an old copy of Tacitus
that he had become possessed of. Bracciolini, however, returned it at
once, saying that it was so badly damaged as to be illegible to an
ordinary transcriber, and continuing: “Take care, therefore, that I
have another, if it can be done; but you can do it, if you will strive
your utmost.... You have sent me the book without the parchment. I know
not the state of mind you were in when you did this, except that you
were as mad as a March hare. For what book can be transcribed if there
be not the parchment? Have a care to it, then, and also to a second
manuscript; but, above all, keep in mind the vellum.” After a while the
parchment arrived, together with an old copy of Tacitus that could be
easily read by a transcriber; and then all was silence again for about
a year. During this period the old monk was busily engaged transcribing
the forged writings into very ancient characters, using the old copy of
Tacitus supplied by Niccoli as an example of style, the forgery being
intended as an introduction to the “History.”

On September 11th, 1428, Bracciolini was evidently becoming impatient
with the work, for he wrote to Niccoli as follows: “Not a word of
Cornelius Tacitus from Germany; nor have I heard thence any further
news of his work.” Then, again, he writes February 26th, 1429: “The
Hirschfeldt monk has come without the book, and I gave him a sound
rating for it. He has given me his assurance that he will be back again
soon, for he is carrying on a suit about his abbey in the law courts,
and will bring the book. He made heavy demands upon me; but I told him
I would do nothing for him until I have the book; I am, therefore,
in hopes that I shall have it, as he is in need of my good offices.”
The book at length arrived, and Bracciolini wrote to Niccoli that, so
far as he was himself concerned, everything was “now complete with
respect to the _Little Work_, concerning which he would, on some future
opportunity, write to him; and, at the same time, send it to him to
read, in order to get his opinion of it.”

So the forgery was complete, and there can be no doubt that Bracciolini
from this date was a rich man, living in his own villa at Valdarno in
Tuscany. The forged writings were handed over to Cosmo de Medici in
return for 500 gold sequins, according to arrangement, and remained
in the Library at Florence ever after. It was not, however, published
before 1468, when Johannes de Spire produced what are now known as the
last six books of the “Annals” of Tacitus, which he declared had been
copied from an (imaginary) original in St. Mark’s, Venice, but which
we now know were really copied from the forgery of Bracciolini, in
possession of the Medicis at Florence.

What are now known as the first six books of the “Annals” did not make
their appearance until 1514, and most probably had also been forged
by Bracciolini immediately after he had finished the last six books.
The delight of the clergy at the sudden and unexpected discovery of
these hitherto altogether unknown writings knew no bounds; for they
now possessed the most precious heathen testimony to the sufferings
of the early Christians on account of their religion, which would
form a valuable addition to the evidence in course of collection by
pious monks intended to show forth clearly and indisputably the divine
origin of Christianity. The wily Pope knew well enough the enormous
value of such a record as this; for it was quite evident that a vein
of scepticism was permeating every class of society, in spite of the
vigilance of the Inquisitioners.

The reformers who succeeded Wicliffe, Jerome, and Huss had been waxing
bolder day by day, and had even repulsed a large army sent against
them by his Holiness and led by Cardinal Cesarini and a host of German
princes, since which they had boldly and openly preached against the
papal supremacy, and were in many districts publicly distributing
copies of the writings of Aristotle and Averroes. The Church and the
Papacy were thus in real and imminent danger, for hitherto the people
had believed whatever the priests had told them, whereas now they
appeared determined to investigate the whole matter themselves and
to dispense with the services of the priestly mediator. At such a
time the discovery of the “Annals” came as a windfall to the Church;
every one apparently accepting them as having been originally written
by Tacitus; and every author, from this time forward, quoted them
repeatedly. The strangest thing about the affair is that no one even
thought of questioning the genuineness of the writings, especially
when it must have been well known that not one historian or writer,
from the time of Tacitus, who lived in the first century, down to
the end of the fifteenth century, when the “Annals” (so-called for
the first time by Beatus Rhenanus in 1533) were discovered, had ever
once quoted or even referred to them; not even Christian writers had
as much as once noticed them, which they could not have failed to do
had such valuable evidence of the sufferings of their brethren really
existed. Besides the “Annals” other MSS. were produced by pious
monks and passed off as ancient writings, until at length the Vatican
and other papal libraries were literally swarming with them; but all
these writings paled into insignificance before such a record as the
“Annals,” which was destined henceforth to be the chief evidence in
support of Christianity. Together with the passages in the writings
of Josephus, which were forged beyond doubt by Eusebius, Bishop of
Cæsarea, and the doubtful letter of the younger Pliny to the Emperor
Trajan, which time most assuredly will prove to be as great a forgery
as the other two, the Church had now heathen testimony in abundance to
prove that the religion was divinely instituted and that many suffered
death in defence of it. Neither Averroism nor Arianism could shake this
testimony, which would be a powerful prop to the religion for centuries
to come. It remained for Dr. Lardner and others, in the commencement of
last century, to expose the forgery in Josephus; to the present century
has been reserved the honour of unveiling the real authorship of the
forged “Annals” of Tacitus; and to future searchers after truth is left
the duty of discovering the real perpetrator of the forged letter which
has hitherto been known as from Pliny to Trajan.

If any one should still doubt that Bracciolini forged the “Annals,”
let me recommend him to carefully read a work entitled “Tacitus and
Bracciolini,” and published by Messrs. Diprose & Bateman, of Lincoln’s
Inn Fields, London, in which will be found the most convincing proofs
that Bracciolini, and no other than he, was the real author of the
work. In that able indictment, from which I have drawn extensively
for this essay, the writings and peculiarities of both Tacitus and
Bracciolini have been most carefully detailed, with the result that
no one can help arriving at the conclusion that one person could
not have written both the “History” and the “Annals;” that Tacitus
could not possibly have written the “Annals,” owing to chronological
difficulties; and that suspicion points so forcibly to Bracciolini as
the author that it almost amounts to positive proof.

What I have endeavoured to show is (1) that, owing to the teachings of
Abelard, Arnold, Wicliffe, Jerome, Huss, and other fifteenth-century
reformers, the authority of the Church and the very existence of
Christianity were seriously menaced; (2) that, on account of the
failure of the Inquisition to stem the current of scepticism, large
sums of money were offered for the discovery of ancient writings which
would bear testimony to the divine authority of the Church and the
divine establishment of Christianity; (3) that, in consequence of this
bribe, shoals of writings were forged by needy monks and scholars,
and attributed to ancient authors; and (4) that among these forgeries
were the “Annals” of Tacitus, which were composed by Bracciolini and
re-written by the Hirschfeldt monk in a style as nearly as possible
like a very old copy of the “History” of Tacitus, which was supplied to
him as a guide.



CREATION AND FALL.


The one great differential mark between man and the brutes is
his higher development of brain power, by which he is enabled to
discriminate between right and wrong, or good and evil, and thus to
improve his bodily and social condition. The individual who obstinately
refuses to avail himself of the great mental power within him not only
deprives himself of the greatest pleasure in life, but also allows
himself to sink to the level of the brutes from which he evolved,
exhibiting at the same time a gross want of gratitude to the being
who endowed him with so lofty an attribute. On the other hand, he who
cultivates his mental faculties, and uses them for his own improvement
and advancement, and also that of his fellows, fulfils the highest
mission of man, and continually shows his deep gratitude to his
mysterious benefactor.

To think is the grandest faculty of man. To think logically and
well ought to be his noblest aspiration. To prevent, by any means
whatever, the individual from exercising his right to think, and from
giving expression to his thoughts, is a direct outrage upon the great
author of us all, upon the individual himself, and also upon the
whole human race. The greatest thinker of modern times, John Stuart
Mill, says, “The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an
opinion is that it is robbing the human race, posterity as well as the
existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion still more
than those who hold it. If the opinion is right they are deprived of
the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose
what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier
impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. No one can
be a great thinker who does not recognise that, as a thinker, it is
his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may
lead. Truth gains more even by the errors of one who with due study
and preparation thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those
who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think ...
complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion is the
very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of
action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any
rational assurance of being right.”

We claim the right to think upon any and every subject, and also to
express our thoughts before the world, in spite of the menace held out
to us by those whose interests conflict with any honest expression of
opinion. There is no tribunal but that of reason to which we possibly
can submit any theory or proposition. To talk of faith as opposed to
reason is to speak without seriously thinking. Such faith is but a
weird phantom that haunts the irresolute and credulous unthinker, but
which really has no existence at all. A man may say that he believes
something entirely opposed to reason, but he deceives himself, for it
is quite impossible to believe what does not appear to the mind to be
in accordance with reason. Such a man accepts, but does not believe.
We have faith in the existence of the island of Otaheite, although
we have never been there ourselves. Geographers tell us that such an
island exists on the other side of the world; and we have full faith
in such an existence, because it is in accordance with reason. But if
we were told that the king of Otaheite had never been born, but had,
like Topsy, ‘grow’d,’ or that he and his subjects, instead of talking,
crowed like cocks, or brayed like donkeys, we should not believe it,
because it would be contrary to reason. Sensible and thoughtful people
will, therefore, not accept anything as truth that does not accord with
reason and I ask you tonight to follow me in my endeavour to submit the
two important dogmas of my lecture to the test of reason, in the full
belief that you are as anxious as myself to arrive at a reasonable and
true conclusion regarding them.

The doctrines of the creation and fall are, as it were, the foundations
upon which the huge superstructure of Christianity has been founded.
Take away these fundamental doctrines, and the whole fabric totters
to the ground; for without a fall there can be no possible need for a
redemption, and the etceteras of the religion, such as the miraculous
conception and ascension, baptism, and the eucharistic feast, vanish
into thin air as vain imaginations and things of naught.

It cannot be too clearly and forcibly insisted upon that no fall
necessitates no redemption, for the proposition is self-evident, and
thus incapable of contradiction. If, therefore, we find the story of
the creation and fall, as given to us in the first three chapters
of Genesis, to be credible and reasonable, then our duty, upon
another occasion, will be to examine the evidence for and against the
subsequent theories of the religion, in order to discover whether they
also are credible and reasonable. If, on the other hand, we find the
story to be incredible and absurd, it will be our duty to reject the
whole Christian scheme that has emanated from it. Our business at the
present time is with these fundamental doctrines of creation and the
fall, and our sole object is the elucidation of the truth, no matter
whether it should be palatable or not to our minds. No sensible man
can desire to retain that which is not true, for no system that is not
founded on truth can be of any permanent service to the human race, but
must on the contrary produce most pernicious results.

Having thus clearly explained my premisses, I shall now proceed to the
examination of the first three chapters of Genesis, and shall divide
my text into the two natural divisions suggested in the authorised
version. The first chapter and first three verses of the second chapter
contain what is known as the Elohistic narrative, so called on account
of the deity being throughout designated Elohim—אלהים, the plural of
Eloh (אלוה), or Elyah (אליה), a compound word made up of El (אל), a
ram, and Yah (יה), an abbreviation of Yahouh (יהוה), the future tense
of the verb Hahouh (הוה), to be. Eloh literally means ‘the ram will
be,’ and is used to signify the ram-sun, the sun-god, or the sun in
the zodiacal sign _Aries_, at the vernal equinox; the plural form,
Elohim, being used to signify the ram-suns, or the six summer months of
the year, in which the ram and the sun are together, from equinox to
equinox. El signifies ram, or god, alone, or without the sun, in the
winter period, and is always used to designate the evil principle, the
wicked god, or the winter period, in contradistinction to Eloh, the
ram-sun of the vernal equinox, and Elohim, the ram-suns of the summer
months, the good principle, or the good gods. In this first narrative
of the creation Elohim is rendered ‘God’ in the authorised version,
though in other parts of the Bible it is rendered ‘gods,’ ‘men,’ or
‘angels.’ The remainder of the second and the third chapters contain
the second, or Jehovistic narrative, so called on account of the deity
being designated throughout, Yahouh, or Jehovah (so pronounced by
Christians) Elohim (יהוה אלהים), rendered in the authorised version
‘the Lord God.’ That these two accounts were not written by one person
will become clear enough as we proceed in our examination, in which the
rendering of the authorised version will be strictly adhered to.

According to the first narrative, god (Elohim) created the heavens and
the earth and all they contain in six ordinary days, and rested from
his work on the seventh day. It has been asserted by some zealous but
not over scrupulous Christians that days of twenty four hours’ duration
were not meant by the writer, but that the word יום (day) signifies an
enormous lapse of time; but it is quite clear to anyone with average
intelligence that an ordinary day was meant, or else there would have
been no use in saying that the evening and the morning were the first
day. Moreover, we are distinctly told in Exodus XX. 10, 11, that we
are to keep the seventh day as a holiday, “for in six days the Lord
made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the
seventh day.” We therefore have here the creation of the world, with
day and night, but no sun, in one day, which we must admit at once is
an absurdity, for it is beyond all doubt scientifically proved that
this world could never have existed for one moment without the sun
round which it revolves, and our common sense tells us plainly that
without a sun there could never have been days and nights, or evenings
and mornings.

On the second day we are told that god created the firmament, and
called it heaven, and that this firmament separated the waters above
from those below, which clearly proves that the writer had no other
conception of the universe than that it was limited above to the height
of the clouds, and bounded below by the earth itself. The third day
was set apart for the gathering together of the waters into seas and
rivers, and for the creation of the vegetable kingdom, which again is
contradictory of all known scientific facts, for there was still no
sun in existence. At last, on the fourth day, the sun was created, as
also the moon and stars, all being placed in the firmament, between
the clouds and the earth, for the sole purpose of acting as lamps and
marking time for this world. The writer evidently imagined that the
only object of the heavenly orbs is to light up this world, to divide
our day from our night, and to limit our seasons, being, apparently,
ignorant of the fact that our days and seasons are regulated by the
motions of the earth itself, quite irrespective of the movements of the
celestial bodies. He was also clearly under the impression that the sun
was, after our earth, the largest body in the universe, the moon being
next, and the stars the smallest; whereas the sun is five hundred times
larger than the earth and all the planets and their moons put together;
while the earth is about forty nine times larger in bulk than the moon;
and some of the stars are immensely larger than our sun, and all of
them, moreover, suns themselves.

It is sufficiently evident from this account that the world had been in
existence for three days and three nights before the sun was made, and
that vegetation had in the meantime been produced, which is, we know,
an absurdity. There are some ingenious individuals who have declared
that this is quite possible, for there are, they say, lights that are
unconnected with the sun, and that the writer evidently alluded to
these faint glimmerings; but I assert confidently that, leaving out of
the question the light derived from the stars, so far as we know from
science, there is no light known which is not either directly produced
from the sun, or a reflection of the sun’s light from some other object.

On the fifth day were created fishes, birds, and mammals in the form
of whales. Now there has been so far no creation of land animals
except birds, and yet the writer declares that whales were made, being
clearly quite ignorant of the fact that whales are not true fishes, but
mammals, belonging to the sub-kingdom Mammalia, to which belong also
horses, cows, apes and men. Whales were not evolved until long after
creeping animals, such as lizards, serpents, etc., and took to the
water again after having been, in the parent form, long accustomed to
dry land, just in the same manner as did the walrus, porpoise, sea-cow,
dolphin and seal, all of which are mammals. It was not until the next
(sixth) day that creeping animals were created, according to Genesis,
and yet we know well enough that they slowly evolved from molluscs, or
soft-bodied animals, at a very early period, ages before such species
as whales and cattle existed. On the very same day, according to the
narrative, god formed an androgynous, or hermaphrodite man, having two
sexes, and being the fac-simile of himself. Many ancient races believed
that their god was androgynous, and no doubt the writer of this account
held the same opinion, regarding the good principle of the summer
months, or Elohim, as a bi-sexual and reproductive deity. If this be
not the correct view of the matter, it would be interesting to know
which of the two sexes the god of Genesis partakes of.

On the seventh day god rested from his work; but we do not find any
record of his having done anything to cause fatigue, except giving
utterance to his fiat day by day.

This story is so palpably absurd as to need no argument to prove it so,
were it not for the fact that certain crafty persons, seeing the utter
impossibility of reconciling it with science and reason, have seen fit
to invent new interpretations of the original, in order to give it an
appearance of truth. One sect maintains that the days were epochs, and
not ordinary days, which, if it were true, would merely augment the
difficulty by making the earth to have existed, with vegetation, for
ages instead of days, without the sun; but we have already seen that
this theory will not hold ground for a moment.

Another more cunning class of religionists have propounded the
hypothesis that the whole story is meant to be an epitome of what
occurred at the origin of the universe and life, and that ordinary days
were really meant, and purposely utilised to epitomise long periods of
time, as was customary with ancient writers, who frequently availed
themselves of poets’ licence in this manner. This theory is _primâ
facie_ a plausible one, and has, no doubt, satisfied many restless and
thoughtless spirits amongst us; but in reality it differs but little,
if at all, from the preceding hypothesis, both leaving us in much the
same position. They declare that the very same order is maintained in
the narrative as that adopted by scientists; that both agree that the
earth was formed first, and then, in the following order, vegetation,
fishes, birds, beasts of the field, and man. We know well enough,
however, that the sun is absolutely necessary for the existence of the
vegetable kingdom; that birds did not appear before reptiles and worms,
but long after them; and that placental mammals made their appearance,
not before creeping animals, and kangaroos, opossums and others of the
marsupial species, but many ages after them.

In direct contradiction of this fable in Genesis, we learn from science
that our solar system once existed in a condition of highly attenuated
nebulous vapour; and that in the course of millions of years this huge
chaotic mass of matter, with its sum of force or energy, subject alike
to the laws of gravitation and transformation, gradually condensed, and
became moulded into cosmic order, forming in process of time a number
of rotating spherical nebular masses, in a state of intense heat, owing
to the shock of their recently united atoms. These spheres gradually
cooled by radiation, consequently contracting and becoming possessed
of a more rapid rotary movement, throwing off from their equatorial
regions large rings of vapour, which in their turn also condensed, and,
under the influence of the same two laws, formed separate spheres for
themselves. Thus gradually came into existence our sun, planets and
moons.

In the course of time, as our earth cooled down, large volumes of
water were precipitated on the surface, causing an enormous wear and
tear of the now solid rock of the earth’s crust, which eventually gave
rise to depositions of various kinds of earth grits, in layers, one
above the other; which strata have been divided by geologists into
periods, according to various peculiarities observed in the course
of their deposition. In the earliest of these periods, owing to the
gradual change that took place in the relative proportions of the
atmospheric gases, and to the great decrease in temperature, a peculiar
combination of the molecular atoms of the earth’s substance took place,
which resulted in the formation of an albuminous substance, called
protoplasm, possessing the power of absorption, assimilation, and
reproduction by fission, or, in other words, developing the property
called life. Under the influence of the laws of heredity and selection
this primordial germ of life gradually developed into higher and
still higher organic forms of existence, from Amœbæ to Gastrœada, or
molluscs with mouths; next to Vermes, or worm life; then to Vertebrata,
or back-boned animals; through fishes; amphibians, living both in
and out of water; reptiles, from which eventually evolved birds; and
marsupials; up to placental mammals, such as whales, quadrupeds, apes
and men. The gradual evolution of these species occupied many millions
of years before the date of the creation in Genesis (B.C. 4004),
during which period the face of the earth underwent manifold and great
changes.

Now, in the name of common sense and reason, does this hypothesis
agree with and corroborate, as it is said to do by some divines, the
1st Bible story of creation, in any manner at all? I maintain that the
man who replies in the affirmative does an injustice to his reasoning
faculties and outrages the common sense of his fellows. The theory of
creation is absolutely opposed to that of evolution on every point.

Now let us examine the second narrative, as given in the second and
third chapters of Genesis. Here we have a direct contradiction of the
story in the first chapter; for we are told that god created the earth,
the heavens, vegetation and man, but not woman, all in one day. We are
also told that there had been no rain upon the earth, and yet that
“there went up a mist from the earth,” which we know is impossible.
“But,” say the orthodox, “everything is possible with god.” The reply
of the evolutionist is, “Can god, then, make a stick with one end
only?” God next planted a garden, in which he placed his newly made
man, after giving him instructions to eat of every tree within it,
except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the fruit of which
was not to be touched, and the penalty of disobedience being instant
death. Then, in fresh contradiction of the first narrative, beasts of
the field and birds were created, after man; after which Adam, the
man, named them all; but how he acquired the power of speech necessary
for such a feat is not recorded. For absurdity the next part of the
narrative exceeds all that has preceded it. God created cattle and
birds in abundance, but yet could not manufacture a suitable partner
for the man; so he adopted the strange device of taking from Adam’s
body, while he slept, one of his ribs, with which he made a woman. Now
it must strike every thoughtful man and woman that this act was the
very acme of stupidity, for surely it would have been far easier to
have created the woman at once by another fiat, or to have created a
spare rib with which to make the woman. To attribute such conduct to
the great author is surely the height of irreverence.

It is quite evident that both these stories were not written by one
author, and that both cannot be true, for they totally contradict each
other, and are written in quite different styles, the deity himself
being differently designated in each. We are told by certain parties
that if we do not believe these stories we shall most certainly be
roasted for all eternity; and indeed the New Testament distinctly bears
out this fearful fiat. According to this, every man in the whole world
who has been unfortunate enough to hear these two accounts read, and
who is endowed with sufficient intelligence to discriminate between a
pop-gun and an elephant, will inevitably perish; for it is impossible
for any sane man to believe two such contradictory statements. It is
not within the power of any man to do so. You might just as well demand
of a man that he must believe that a brick and a pan-cake are identical
articles. He could not do so, no matter how hard he tried.

Compared with these fables, how ennobling, grand and sublime is the
theory of evolution. We behold the great and mysterious energy of
universe operating in a manner calculated to inspire our minds with
wonder, awe and admiration. The truly marvellous development of
ourselves from a chaotic nebula of attenuated matter, through all the
varied and manifold stages of existence, with their beautiful and
useful properties, is indeed an overwhelmingly convincing evidence of
the existence of an omniscient and omnipotent, although absolutely
inscrutable author; and I doubt much whether anyone ever approached
this subject with an honest desire to be guided by reason in his search
for truth, who did not experience this profound reverence for the
unknown author. Can we believe that these two narratives in Genesis are
also calculated to inspire such a sentiment in the minds of those who
are fairly well educated and amenable to reason? What kind of a deity,
think you, is this god of Genesis? The concluding portion of the 2nd
narrative will at once inform us.

This story is well known to all of us, and is a very remarkable one,
for we learn from it the startling fact that the serpent, or devil, was
the greatest benefactor to the human race, and, moreover, truthful;
while god was the greatest enemy the race ever had, and was guilty of
falsehood and treachery. God placed this man and woman in the garden,
in front of a very strong temptation, pointed out the temptation to
them, and threatened them with instant death if they yielded to it.
This god is supposed to be omniscient, and therefore knew well enough
before he placed them there that the poor creatures would fall on the
very first temptation. Can we conceive more glaring injustice and
diabolical cruelty than this? Now the serpent knew very well that they
would not die if they ate the fruit, but that, instead, they would
become wise; and eventually he persuaded them to eat. Who spoke the
truth, god or the devil? Did the man and woman die on the day they ate
the fruit? Far from it. That day, were there any truth at all in the
narrative, would have been the grandest day ever known to man; for by
the eating of that fruit was made known to him the difference between
good and evil, that he might be able to seek the one and avoid the
other; his benefactor being the serpent, or devil, the circumventor and
conqueror of god.

But notice further on how impotent this so-called almighty deity really
was. He exclaimed in fear, “Behold, the man is become as one of us
[which was precisely what the devil predicted] to know good and evil,
and now, lest he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life
and live for ever, therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the
garden.” Now how easy it would have been for an omnipotent creator to
have annihilated his own work, and thus cleared the way for a fresh
start. It would be interesting to know who the “we” were that the
writer refers to, if not an androgynous deity or a multitude of gods or
goddesses.

What was the consequence of this sin of Adam and Eve? Every man and
every woman ever born upon this earth is guilty of this sin, and will
eternally burn in hell fire, says the Christian church, unless they
believe that this circumvented god became a man, lived on this earth,
and died the death of a criminal, in order to give satisfaction to
himself for the outrage committed on his divine majesty by three
of his creatures. The countless myriads of human beings who have
inhabited this earth during the six thousand years (according to Bible
chronology) that the world has existed, are all and each under this
fearful curse, although they had no more to do with Adam’s sin than the
man in the moon, and had no power to prevent it. These people have been
brought into the world, whether they liked it or not, and are subject
to this penalty, the enormous majority of them being inevitably doomed
to eternal torment; for there have lived many millions of people who
never even heard of the Bible, its gods or its scheme of redemption.
We may go farther and declare that all are inevitably doomed, for
we cannot conceive that anyone can believe such a story as that of
the fall. No one will venture to assert that infants and idiots can
believe anything, therefore there is no hope for these unfortunates,
whatever chances there may be for others.

As the expression of the infantile imagination of primitive man, after
emerging from his brute ancestry, and commencing to exercise more fully
his reasoning faculties, these fables are easily understood; but as
the writings of men who had been inspired by the almighty power to
record a true account of the origin of nature and man for the use of
others, they must be at once rejected by all reasonable and thoughtful
people as gross absurdities. We can easily understand how the mind
of primitive man pondered over the strange mixture of good and evil
in the world, just as the awakening mind of a child would do to day;
how the mystery would be explained by the analogy of the celestial
movements; and how, as the result of the infantile reasoning, the good
principle became associated with the mental conception of a venerable
old gentleman, who planted a garden, and performed the principle part
in the drama just described from the third chapter of Genesis.

Tho whole story bears the strongest marks of being the production of
an infantile intellect. The simple manner in which the writer tells us
that the man and woman sewed fig leaves together and made aprons for
themselves is sufficient evidence of this. We cannot believe that Adam
and Eve went through the many processes necessary for the production
of the needles and thread, with which to sew their leaves together.
Then the conversation between god, as he took his stroll in the garden
in the cool of the evening, and Adam and Eve, is just what we should
expect from the crude imaginations of our early ancestors; as also is
the manner in which the man placed the blame on the woman, and she in
her turn upon the serpent. The curse, too, is precisely in the same
style; first the serpent, then the woman, afterwards the man, and
lastly the earth itself being brought under the divine anathema. No
less apparent is the absurdity of the writer stating that Adam called
his wife Eve “because she was the mother of all living,” when there
were then no other human beings in existence; and declaring that god
made coats and breeches (see “Breeches Bible”) of skins, when as yet
death had not entered into the world. Such fables cannot be accepted as
true history by the intellect of the nineteenth century.

That we suffer for the sins of our fathers is unfortunately too true;
but that we shall eternally frizzle for them I declare, without
the least hesitation, to be a vile falsehood and an insult to our
intellects. The vices and diseases of our ancestors are undoubtedly
reproduced in ourselves, as are their good deeds and lofty sentiments;
and we again transmit these properties to our offspring. We have, in
fact, the power of rendering happy or miserable those who follow us,
and making the general state of society somewhat better or worse.
Our great mental attributes were not surely evolved within us for no
purpose, and to lie dormant, but that we should exercise them and use
them for the moral and social improvement of ourselves and our fellows.
But to imagine that we shall suffer again in some other condition of
existence, because of our fathers’ sins, is the height of insanity.

Respecting the authorship of these fables, we are told that the book
which contains them, as well as the other four books of the Pentateuch,
were written by Moses, under the inspiration of what is called the holy
ghost; but when we examine these books we find that this is without
doubt false, for it is not possible for any man to record his own death
and burial, and the lives of a succession of prophets who lived after
him, as is done in the last chapter of Deuteronomy. Then, again, in the
seventh chapter of Genesis clean and unclean beasts are mentioned in
connexion with the ark fable, whereas, according to the Bible, clean
and unclean beasts were not declared such until 600 years after Moses
is said to have died; which proves that Genesis was not written before
that late period. The town of Dan is also mentioned in the fourteenth
chapter, which town had no existence until 331 years after the recorded
death of Moses. In chap. XXXVI. a list is given of all the kings that
reigned over Edom “before there reigned any king over the children of
Israel,” proving once more that this book was not written until long
after kings had reigned over Israel. Numerous other passages might be
quoted to show that Moses could not have written the books that are
ascribed to him. To cut the matter short, however, we are told in the
2nd apocryphal book of Ezra that he and his clerks wrote all the books
of Moses; and in Chronicles and Kings that Shaphan discovered the
writings in an old chest.

We find, therefore, not only that these fables of the creation and
fall are not true records, but that it is not known who wrote them,
although suspicion attaches to one Ezra; and yet we are expected to
hang our chances of salvation upon them. We are handed these books
and told by a priest that they were originally derived from god. Now
instead of believing the man, and taking no pains to find out what the
volume really contains, as is unfortunately the habit of most people,
our duty is clearly to investigate the matter, and try to find out
whether that priest speaks the truth or not, whether he has any sort
of interest in making us believe the volume to be the word of god, or,
assuming that he himself honestly believes it to be so, whether he is
a sufficient authority on the point. Let us, for instance, take the
case of a stranger to the Christian faith, one who never heard of the
Bible or its gods, and who meets a Christian priest in the backwoods
of America. The holy one informs the stranger that he possesses a book
which has been written by god, through the medium of the inspired
minds of a number of holy men. Would you consider the stranger to be a
man of sound mental faculties if he at once accepted the word of the
parasite, and shaped his whole career according to the teaching of that
book? Most assuredly not. The most natural thing for the stranger to
do would be to stare in amazement at the saint, and wonder whether he
was quite right in his mind. Observing that the priest was really in
earnest, and apparently of sane mind, he would parley with him, asking
where he procured his book from; who were the very holy parties who
had been inspired to write it; when and where they lived; and who knew
anything about them: in short he would demand from the unctions one his
credentials before believing such an astounding assertion as that god
wrote a book. The replies would be after this fashion. The book was
derived in the first instance from a publisher’s shop, where it had
been printed with lead type and black ink, from another printed copy,
which had been printed from another copy, and so on back to the first
printed edition, which was copied from a translation of various Hebrew
and Greek ‘originals.’ It was about two thousand years, he would say,
since some of these ‘originals’ were written, and the remainder were
supposed to be of much earlier date; but who the actual writers were
he could not tell, although it was beyond doubt they were guided by
god’s inspiration, for it was so declared in the writings themselves,
which had never yet been doubted, except by a few naughty men who were
now in hell. Do you think this would be good enough for the stranger?
Of course not. Then, in the name of common sense, why should we accept
these Bible books without enquiry? To accept any anonymous writings in
blind faith as being the production of particular individuals, without
corroborative evidence, is the act of a fool, not of a wise man. A
sensible person will make some enquiry about them before accepting them.

Unfortunately for ourselves it is only lately that people have been
wise or bold enough to use their reasoning faculties in these matters,
the consequence being that the ordinary mind is now almost unequal to
the task of unravelling the net which has been so cunningly spun around
society by the Christian church. A careful investigation of the matter,
however, leads to the inference that about B.C. 250 or 300 the Jewish
chief priest Ezra, assisted by a number of clerks, commenced to form
a national history out of the various legends they had picked up in
their long wanderings, soon producing what are now known as the books
of Judges (from the 3rd chap.), Samuel, Kings and Chronicles, which,
together with the poems and incantations of various men of the tribes,
they set forth as the divinely inspired history of their people. Not
long afterwards the Persian system of creation, and story of the fall
of man were committed to manuscript, and adapted to the requirements
of the Jewish people by the substitution of their race in place of the
Chaldeans as the chosen people of god; and thus were produced the books
of the Pentateuch, with Joshua, and the two first chapters of Judges.
This explains why the stories of the creation, fall, flood, tower of
Babel, etc., are never mentioned in any of the books of the Bible after
Genesis for the space of about a thousand years; why in all the books
from Joshua as far as II. Kings the name of Moses is never met with,
the most remarkable man in the whole Jewish history; and why such
names as Adam, Eve, Seth, Cain, Abel, Enoch, Noah, Shem, Ham, Japhet,
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob never occur again after Genesis till the time
of the so-called return from Babylon.

The real meaning of the Chaldean and Jewish stories of the creation and
fall, which were derived originally from the constellations above, it
would take too long here to unfold, but the riddle has been explained
in my “Popular Faith Unveiled,” to which those who desire to further
pursue the subject are referred.

For nearly two thousand years Christianity, based on these fables of
the creation and fall, has had an unfettered career throughout Europe,
its avowed object being to bring salvation to men in the next world,
and to teach the doctrines of love, forbearance, humility and charity
while in this world. Respecting the bringing of salvation to men in
the next world, we cannot well determine to what extent the religion
has been successful; but with regard to its earthly mission it has
signally and utterly failed. The two thousand years have passed away
and still the evils surrounding us continue, and are even intensified;
poverty, misery, immorality and tyranny exist as of old, in spite
of the promise to the church that she should be helped, even to the
end, by the divine power. So far from love, charity, forbearance
and humility being inculcated by the church, we find the followers
of the meek and lowly one occupying high and lucrative offices, one
declaring himself the vice-regent of god on earth, and others, in our
own country, being in receipt of salaries ranging from fifteen and
ten thousand pounds annually to two or three hundred, driving their
carriages, sporting livery servants and cockades, stiling themselves
as Reverend, Very Reverend, Venerable, Most Reverend Father in God,
Right Honorable and other titles expressive of superior quality of
make; and all in a constant state of warfare amongst themselves. One
cannot take up a daily paper without seeing an instance of clerical
intolerance, hatred, envy or malice. The Romanist damns the Protestant;
the churchman rides the high horse over the dissenter, and would like
to deprive him of what is vulgarly considered to be decent burial; the
evangelicals denounce the high church party; the nonconformist bodies
are all at constant war with each other on points of doctrine; and
while all are eaten up with pride, egotism, selfishness, greed and
mutual hatred, each sect declares itself to be the genuine teacher of
love, forbearance, humility and charity.

As a body the church has from the first opposed all progress. As early
as the year 414 Bishop Cyril’s mob brained the learned Hypatia in a
Christian church, for the heinous crime of teaching mathematics. The
Pope and his pious court attempted to prevent the art of printing
becoming known in Europe. Copernicus was excommunicated for the sin
of announcing the grand truth that the earth revolves round the sun.
Galileo rotted in the prison of the Inquisition for daring to say
that the earth rotates on its axis. Bruno was burnt at the stake for
declaring his belief in the Copernican philosophy. Newton’s theory of
gravitation was denounced by the church. Descartes, Kepler, Locke,
Laplace and Darwin all were abused and insulted by the holy ones for
their heretical writings, which have brought us such blessings. The
church opposed the abolition of slavery, both here and in America, the
bishops in the House of Lords applauding king George when he said that
slavery was a useful institution because it was taught in the holy
Bible, and the southern States of the Union appealing to the ‘word of
god’ in justification of their cruelty. The burning of witches, taught
in the Bible, was vigorously encouraged by the church; and the cruel
horrors of the Inquisition are too well known to need description. All
measures of reform in our own country have been opposed by bishops and
nobles together; the church and the state having aided each other in
trampling on the people’s rights, and enslaving both their minds and
bodies. In spite of the present very apparent poverty and misery, the
people are exhorted by the church to increase and multiply, being told
that it is a blessed thing to have one’s quiver full, and that it is
wicked to listen to those who preach conjugal prudence, small families,
and social thrift. In short the Christian religion has entirely failed
in its mission, being a standing menace to all progress, and a cause of
unceasing animosity all over Europe.

Do we imagine that all the priests and ministers of the Christian
church believe the fables of the creation and fall? I would stake my
existence on it that if we were to cut off their salaries there would
be barely half a dozen parsons in each denomination who would stick to
their soul-saving business. Their trinity is supposed to consist of god
the father, god the son, and god the holy ghost; but if we represent
the first by the letter l, the second by s, and the third by d, we
should be much nearer the mark. £. s. d. is the Christian trinity, and
pew rents, tithes, etc., the means by which the one thing needful is
kept up. Ten million pounds sterling are annually spent in supporting
the clergy of the established church alone, while poverty, wretchedness
and crime confront us at every turn. The struggling workers of this
country, not content with having to contribute towards the payment of
£29,000,000 annually, as interest on the national debt resulting from
accumulated religious war charges, are foolish enough to spend more
than a third of this amount in keeping a host of state-made drones,
who oppose all progress, drain the hard earnings from the workers,
and assume haughty airs towards their poor dupes. In the face of the
depressed state of our trade, and the poverty and misery around us, it
is appalling to think of the enormous quantity of money that annually
drifts into the pockets of these human parasites, both episcopalian and
nonconformist alike.

We know well enough that the large majority of those laymen who profess
to believe the fall and redemption scheme do not really believe it at
all, but play the part of the believer in order to serve their own
private interests. The laity may be divided into four classes:—1st,
those few honest and sincere men who deceive themselves by imagining
that they can really believe such unreasonable doctrines, and who
attempt by their means to do what could be done so very much better
without them. 2nd, those who are deficient in education and mental
power, and who will accept anything the priest tells them, no matter
how absurd. 3rd, those who have some little education but very little
brain power, and who consider themselves very important members of
society, when in reality the world does not know them even by name.
They resent in their little minds the silent affront offered to them
by their fellows, who, they think, ought to know their superior worth;
and they look around for a little church or chapel, where the stream of
intellect is sufficiently thin to allow of their feeble mental power
being perceived. They join, take a leading part in the performances,
carry the collecting box, open pew doors, hand hymn-books to strangers,
and are happy in the consciousness of their importance, being gazed
at Sunday after Sunday by an admiring congregation. Were these folk
obliged to do their religious work under cover of masks, their names
being at the same time studiously concealed from the congregation,
the race of pew openers, box carriers, etc., would soon die out; but
as it is, vanity, egotism and pomposity yet keep the race alive. The
fourth class consists of sharp business men, with plenty of brains and
fair average education, who join a church with a large congregation,
and adopt the particular creed in vogue there, as a means of pushing
their business, by assuming a mien of pious “respectability.” These
are the men, devoid of all honour, who forfeit their manhood at the
shrine of hypocrisy, and who ought more particularly to be shewn up
in their true colors. Without these four classes the religion of the
fall and redemption scheme would soon become a thing of the past. No
mention has been made of the ladies, who, according to some rude and
ungallant people, look forward to the lord’s day as one on which they
can display their new bonnets, procure food for another week’s gossip,
or hold sweet communion with the unmarried curate—all for Jesus. It is
unnecessary to say that this may not be true, and that a higher and
nobler motive may prompt the ardent zeal of the fair sex.

Do not believe the parsons when they tell you that your souls are in
jeopardy for rejecting the Christian doctrines; the truth is that
their incomes are in danger, not your souls. Take care not to follow
their evil advice that it is a blessed thing to have your quiver full,
and that the lord loves a cheerful giver. Have small families, being
careful to bring into the world only as many as you can decently
provide for, so as to give them a fair chance in the world; and let
your creditors and your saving-banks, and not your lord, have your
spare cash—your lord being but another name for your parson. When they
tell you that you must take no thought for the morrow, and must not lay
up treasure on earth, where moths and rust corrupt, and where thieves
break through and steal, give them the cold shoulder, insure your life
in some sound office, and leave the laws of the country in which you
live to take care of the thieves, and their reverences to look after
the moths and rust.

It will, no doubt, be urged that Christianity has done, and is doing
a great good in the world. This I emphatically deny. I readily admit
that some good has been effected in the name of Christianity, but deny
that the fall and redemption religion has been the cause. The same
amount of good would have resulted with any other religion, and much
more with no religion at all. All the good that has ever been effected
in the world has emanated from lofty individual minds; but as chance
has had it, the majority of these men in the past have been Christians,
simply because that religion has prevailed in Europe for nearly two
thousand years. In the present day this is not the case; and it is a
fact beyond contradiction that all the leaders of thought of our time
are men who have rejected the fables of the creation and fall as given
in Genesis, together with the consequent redemption scheme, as false
and vain. John Stuart Mill, Herbert Spencer, Charles Darwin, Tyndal,
Carpenter, Huxley, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Rénan,
Victor Hugo, Schopenhauer, Haeckel, and in fact every other modern
leader of thought, have rejected the orthodox faith; and yet we look
forward to the future with bright hope, expecting a steady progress
in man’s general welfare. Even when Christians themselves in days
long gone by, attempted to introduce any useful reform, their church
invariably persecuted them, as for instance Copernicus, Galileo,
Bruno, Luther, etc.; and the only Christian priest who ever propounded
any theory which was calculated to be a lasting boon to society was
Malthus, who declared that over population was the great cause of all
misery, and that until people were taught conjugal prudence it was
useless to attempt to ameliorate their social condition. This friend
of humanity was bitterly denounced by the church, and to this day his
followers are held in contempt, notwithstanding that the Malthusian
principles are now endorsed by the leading social scientists, and that
it is as clear as the sun at noon day that within the short space of 45
years the present population of this country—now about 36,000,000—will
have doubled itself. The people now cannot support themselves, so how
they will manage when the population is 72,000,000 it is hard to say.
What with over population and land monopoly the future has indeed some
terrible social evils in store for us.

Individual Christians undoubtedly have done something towards
making their fellows happy, but not so Christianity, as witness the
Inquisition and other enormities of the middle ages. But do the Jews,
Unitarians and Infidels of to day do nothing for their fellows? What
about Sir Moses Montefiore, who rejects the atonement? Have not the
Agnostics just founded the Whitminster College for purely secular
education? And what do we not owe to those heterodox scientists just
mentioned? It is the fashion with some people to give the name of
Christianity to the morality of this century; but this very ingenuous
attempt to clothe one of the most immoral of the world’s religions with
the garment of righteousness carries no weight for the scholar and the
historian. There is as much difference between the morality of to day
and the genuine Christian religion as there is between the north and
south poles. The two are the exact antitheses of each other. The real
reason that the human race has in the last hundred years so rapidly
advanced in intellectual qualities and moral progress is not because it
has become more Christian in its character but because it has gradually
shaken off the yoke of Christianity piece by piece. The whole Mosaic
cosmogony, with its flat earth theory, creation of man, etc., as taught
in Genesis, has been destroyed by Copernicus, Newton, Laplace and
Darwin; slavery has been abolished; witches are no longer burnt at
the stake; polygamy is discountenanced; and human sacrifice, murder,
rapine, theft and personal assaults are no longer justified. All these
immoralities are distinctly and prominently taught in the Christian
Bible, but have been expunged from the moral code of this century.
Were Christianity now dead instead of dying the same amount of good
would accrue to the race as before; and, judging from past history,
there would be a very vast decrease in the opposition that has for two
thousand years been offered to progress.

The question after all is not what Christianity has done, but whether
or not its story is a true one. As already stated, if the creation and
fall stories are not true the whole scheme of Christianity, with its
god-man and its sacraments, is a fraud and a delusion. No religion that
cannot bear the test of reason, and be maintained on a public platform
can be founded on truth. If the Christian story be true there is no
need for the holy ones to secure themselves behind the fortifications
of ’coward’s castle’ every Sunday to preach their doctrines; the open
platform being a more suitable place from which to propagate the truth.
But what are the facts? The man who dares to submit the religion to the
test of reason, or even to discourse publicly upon evolution or any
other scientific theory that is likely to interfere with the steady
flow of bullion into the collection box, is denounced from the pulpit,
the holy ones branding him as a dangerous infidel, and using all the
means in their power to blacken his character and to insidiously
undermine his business. The challenge to debate is never accepted.

The question before us is a momentous one. Creation or Evolution? Moses
or Darwin? We cannot follow both.



WORKS BY DR. H. J. HARDWICKE.


_Demy 8vo., pp. 202, price 10/-_

MEDICAL EDUCATION AND PRACTICE IN ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD.

“This book contains a fund of information.... The whole is preceded by
an introduction, which is worth the attention of all persons taking a
broad interest in medical education.... Some weaknesses in home and
foreign regulations are lightly passed over, and it may well be that
such a mass of statement will, on experience, be found to be defective
at points. But we accept it gratefully, as an attempt to supply a very
great want, and we commend some of the reflections of the author on the
defects of our own system to all whom it may concern.”—_Lancet._

“Here the reader will find information respecting the educational
bodies, examinations, and medical laws of every civilised state, and he
will also come to the humiliating confession that though there exist
a good many time-honoured institutions in the United States, and an
anxiety to put matters on a scientific footing in others, yet farther
south the condition of medicine is as bad as can possibly be imagined.’
... But the authorities, and not Dr. Hardwicke, are responsible for
this, and we cordially thank him for his decidedly useful addition to
our knowledge of medical education in other countries.”—_Medical Press
and Circular._

“A good deal of information will be found in a useful book entitled,
‘Medical Education and Practice in all Parts of the World,’ by Dr. H.
J. Hardwicke.”—_British Medical Journal._

“A book which ought to cut the ground from beneath all bogus
diploma-dealers.”—_Medical Times and Gazette._

“This volume, extending to 202 pages, with double columns, really
contains the information which the title-page promises. It must have
cost the author a great amount of trouble. It is a useful guide for all
entrants to the profession, those especially who contemplate settling
in foreign parts. It will do good also indirectly by letting those
schools whose education is defective see what other schools are doing,
and so be the means of stimulating them to aim at higher things. To
be informed, for example, that medical teaching in Japan is already
treading on the heels of some of our British schools cannot fail to do
good.”—_Edinburgh Medical Journal._

“Dr. Hardwicke’s book will prove a valuable source of information to
those who may desire to know the conditions upon which medical practice
is or may be pursued in any or every country of the world, even to the
remotest corners of the earth. The work has been compiled with great
care, and must have required a vast amount of labour and perseverance
on the part of its author.”—_Dublin Medical Journal._

“This work supplies a want long felt.... The chief value of Dr.
Hardwicke’s volume, to students, is in the information he gives
concerning the rules of practice in other countries, and the
possibilities opened up of making a livelihood in them.... To teachers
the manual will be invaluable; it will not only inform them of usages
abroad, but enable them to glean many useful hints to aid the conduct
of their own classes here. We commend the work as a most admirable
_resumé_ of the state of medical education and practice in the
world.”—_Students’ Journal._

“This opportune and very useful work ... gives exact and in some
instances complete information of the requirements, curriculum, &c.
for obtaining a diploma in every part of the world.... Some idea of
the labour undertaken by the author may be gathered from the fact that
the index contains nearly five hundred references.... The book will
be a mine of reference for medical legislators, and will doubtless
colour the provisions of the new Medical Act so clamorously demanded
in England, and of the Act to which we are about to commit ourselves
here.”—_Australian Medical Journal._

“A great deal of useful and convenient information is contained in this
work in regard to the subjects of which it treats, and the information,
as a rule, seems to be fairly accurate and reliable. The part devoted
to the United States opens with the Philadelphia _Record’s_ full
account of the bogus traffic in that city. The position assigned to
this narrative is, perhaps, unnecessarily prominent, but we do not
think the exposure of those vile practices can be too minute or widely
circulated. This diploma traffic, whether carried on in Pennsylvania,
New York, or Massachusetts, was and is a disgrace to us, and we may as
well acknowledge it.”—_Boston Medical and Surgical Journal_, U. S.

“The want of such a book has been long felt by all who take any
interest in medical education, and is specially needed at the
present time, when the attention of our government has been called
to certain abuses, and it is about to introduce reforms. The book is
a most exhaustive one, and deserving the attention of all who are
in any way interested in the advancement of medical education and
reform.”—_American Specialist._

“This book, which extends to 202 closely-printed pages, with double
columns, is undoubtedly the remarkably comprehensive treatise promised
by the title. The labour of the undertaking must have been indeed
great, and the author must possess a rare knowledge of his subject
to be able to condense such a huge mass of information into a single
volume of 202 pages. We can strongly recommend the work as being the
only complete treatise on the subject. No portion of the whole world
has been omitted, and the author is to be congratulated on the very
satisfactory result of his eminently difficult task.”—_Family Doctor._

“This work is a valuable manual, of interest not only to medical
men, but also to the literary public, who evince at the present day
so much enthusiasm in studying the intellectual condition of other
nations, chiefly, no doubt, from magazine articles. Medical legislation
is, as experience amply proves, one of the latest developments of
civilisation.... Let us, for instance, glean from Dr. Hardwicke’s
book facts as to the condition of medicine in some parts of the
Spanish-American republics.... Let us turn to civilised countries
where medical teachers keep step with ‘the march of intellect.’ ...
We have still much to learn from Paris, Berlin, and Vienna, yet it
is undeniable that the general social and intellectual position of
the medical profession is as high in these islands as abroad, where
technical education is in many respects better. It is by the young
doctor, who finds the profession over stocked in his own country, that
Dr. Hardwicke’s manual will be found particularly valuable.”—_Athenæum._

“Those who are about to engage in medical study will do well to consult
Dr. Hardwicke’s ‘Medical Education and Practice,’ as an exact knowledge
of the relative value of the innumerable medical qualifications would
often prevent much after annoyance.”—_Westminster Review._

“In this book, says the author, ‘will be contained the conditions under
which a medical practitioner may practise his profession, and the
requirements for the medical degree at the universities and medical
corporations in almost all the civilised countries of the world.’ This
promise is kept.... It contains much information not easily accessible,
and likely to be useful.”—_Chemist and Druggist._

J. & A. CHURCHILL, 11 New Burlington St., London, W.


_8vo. 192 pages, Price 2/6._

HEALTH RESORTS AND SPAS OF EUROPE.

“We have never yet seen anything that quite equalled the delicious
brevity of Dr. Hardwicke’s remarkably curt and incisive little
hand-book. In the brief space of 184 pages he introduces us to all
the health-resorts and spas of the entire eastern hemisphere, from
England to Egypt, and from Madeira to St. Moritz. We are bound to
admit that, so far as it is possible to test his information by the
light of personal experience, his short paragraphs are thoroughly
up to date, even as regards the smallest and most insignificant
watering-places.”—_Pall Mall Gazette._

“Contains, in addition to chapters on the climatic and hygienic
treatment of disease, and the properties and uses of various mineral
waters, succinct accounts, in alphabetical order, of the different
health-resorts and spas of Britain and of the continent of Europe.
The exposure, the elevation, the range and limit of temperature, and
other amenities of each watering-place, are briefly described; in many
cases also an analysis is given of the constituents and properties
of the various chalybeate and other springs. In short, a great mass
of information, such as invalids are most in quest of, is found in
condensed and handy form.”—_Scotsman._

“Contains some valuable knowledge of the climatic treatment of
diseases, of which all should avail themselves. The usefulness of such
a book must appear evident to those who experience the power of climate
over the human constitution. It should be bought and studied and will
doubtless give beneficial advice.”—_Brighton Gazette._

“Ought to be welcomed by the large number of invalids whose daily
avocation, as the author justly remarks, consists almost entirely in
battling against their formidable foes, ‘weather and insalubrity.’
Dr. Hardwicke has some highly useful observations on the different
stages of consumption.... The chapter on the properties and uses of
water is also full of excellent hints.... Spa life on the continent is
graphically described.... A carefully compiled index greatly enhances
the value of this work, which is not to be judged merely by its
size.”—_Liverpool Mercury._

“The author gives some very practical remarks on the properties and
uses of water, hygienic ablutions and baths, and treats of mineral
waters and spa life. Succeeding chapters give brief but evidently
careful and authentic accounts of the leading health resorts and spas
of Europe.”—_Yorkshire Post._

“The introductory chapters on the treatment of disease by climate,
the properties and uses of water, and on mineral waters and spa
life, contain some valuable advice, which invalids will do well to
take. Dr. Hardwicke’s work does really supply a want felt by many
persons.”—_Sheffield Independent._

“A great deal of information is conveyed, and the avoidance of
technicalities will be an additional recommendation.”—_Bristol Mirror._

“A very handy little manual ... stating clearly and concisely the
advantages and disadvantages of the various health resorts and
spas.”—_Sussex Daily News._

“The ordinary reader will find this little volume far more interesting
than is usually the case with books dealing with medicine or medical
matters. The subject is one of very great importance, and the author
deals with it in a way that will be fully appreciated by non-medical
readers. He avoids technicalities, and places before us the salient
points very clearly and concisely.”—_Rotherham Advertiser._

“This little volume will be welcomed as a guide to the many health
resorts in Europe.... The book should have a large demand, for it
contains a great deal of information in a little space.”—_Doncaster
Gazette._

“Will be found very useful by everyone whose health requires either
change of air or the use of mineral waters.”—_Barnsley Independent._

“As a hand-book to any sufferer desirous of knowing in a general way
which are the baths most likely to suit his particular complaint, this
volume will be useful.”—_Bradford Observer._

“Many useful hints may be derived from this little book, for which
valetudinarians will be thankful.”—_Christian World._

W. H. ALLEN & CO., 13 Waterloo Place, London, S.W.


_8vo., cloth bound, Price 5/-_

HISTORICAL SKETCH OF THE MANORS OF PATTINGHAM AND WORFIELD.

“Very complete, and must have been a work of very great
labour.”—_Salopian and West Midland Monthly Illustrated Journal._

Published by the author.


_Price 5/-8vo., cloth bound._

GUIDE TO EUROPEAN UNIVERSITIES.

“For those who contemplate studying abroad, this guide will prove of
great use.”—_Lancet._

“This little book is a guide to the medical department of the various
universities in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland,
Italy and Austria.... Most complete.... Those who intend visiting
any continental university should first of all read this very useful
guide.”—_Family Doctor._

Published by the author.


_8vo., price 3d._ (_post free 3½d._)

CREATION AND FALL.

Published by the author.


_8vo., price 3d._ (_post free 3½d._)

MAN—WHENCE AND WHITHER?

Published by the author.


_8vo., price 3d._ (_post free 3½d._)

INTELLECTUAL PROGRESS IN EUROPE

Published by the author.


_8vo., price 3d._ (_post free 3½d._)

EVOLUTION OF THE GOD IDEA

Published by the author.


_8vo., price 3d._ (_post free 3½d._)

GENUINE LIBERALISM.

Published by the author.


_Demy 8vo., pp. 274, price 5/6._

THE POPULAR FAITH UNVEILED.

“We cannot do better than recommend all friends of independent thought,
and, to use Milton’s phrase, ‘unlicensed printing,’ to repay the
author’s energy by writing to him for the volume, which they will find
intelligent and fearless in an eminent degree, while it evinces a by no
means common acquaintance with the science of comparative religion. The
basis of Dr. Hardwicke’s theory and arguments about the popular faith
is the zodiacal origin of religious myths, and there is no doubt he is
in agreement with the greatest authorities so far as the broad lines
go.”—_Westminster Review._

“Dr. Hardwicke treats the extensive and difficult subject of the
evolution of Christianity from preëxisting religions with great
boldness and candour from the purely theistic and anti-dogmatic
standpoint.”—_The Scotsman._

“It is an exceptionally valuable book to Freethinkers.... The work
affords evidence of scholarly attainment and well-directed research,
and should occupy a place in the library of every intelligent
anti-Christian.”—_Secular Review._

“The result of this bold measure is more than creditable ...
consists of a careful examination of the Biblical records, full of
suggestion.”—_The Freethinker._

“In a manner at once searching and succinct it proves the Bible to be
little else than an effete old almanack, conceived in the earliest
dawn of thought, when man glowered tremblingly at the spectra in his
own brain, naming them heaven or hell, god or devil, as they produced
pleasure or pain.”—_The Agnostic_, Dallas.

“A scholarly examination of the various legends that make up what is
called the Christian religion.... A very valuable contribution to the
historico-scientific freethought literature of the period.”—_Lucifer,
the Light-bearer_, Kansas.

“A better book than this we have scarcely noticed in our columns. It is
the result of laborious researches and a deep erudition on the part of
the author.”—_The Anti-Christian_, Calcutta.

Published by the Author, Sharrow, Sheffield.


_8vo., price 1/-_

VOX HUMANA;

OR THE ART OF SINGING FROM A MEDICAL POINT OF VIEW.

“This _multum in parvo_ is a remarkably cheap and thoroughly exhaustive
pamphlet.... The subject is well dealt with, and contains a large
amount of very valuable information.”—_Family Doctor._

“Contains a large amount of very valuable information and advice. Dr.
Hardwicke has treated his subject not only ably, but in a manner which
must interest all who peruse his pamphlet.”—_Rotherham and Masbrough
Advertiser._

“Just the kind of work to place in the hands of vocalists, or would-be
vocalists.”—_Sussex County Herald._

“A perusal of the doctor’s remarks, with reasonable attention thereto,
would result in a vast increase of really good voices.”—_Eastbourne
Gazette._

(Remainders only from the Author.)


_8vo., price 1/-_

SKIN ERUPTIONS;

THEIR CAUSES AND PREVENTION.

“Will be found very useful reading. It will be especially valuable to
those who have any family predisposition to skin disease, as there
are given a number of very useful hints concerning the preservation
of the skin in a healthy condition. There are also contained many
good suggestions for keeping school-children free from skin diseases
of an infectious or contagious nature. We recommend Dr. Hardwicke’s
production as a very cheap and useful treatise.”—_Family Doctor._

“Throws considerable light upon diseases of the skin, and points out
the general laws of health which should be observed to prevent such
diseases manifesting themselves.”—_Lincolnshire Chronicle._

“This recognised authority on skin diseases has produced a tractate
which appears to be the condensation and essence of much observation
and practical experience.”—_Sussex County Herald._

“Anyone may understand the treatise, and there is much in it that will
tend to correct many mistakes on the subject treated upon.”—_Eastbourne
Gazette._

(Remainders only from the Author.)


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

 Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
 in hyphenation and ligatures have been standardised but all other
 spelling and punctuation remains unchanged.

 The Errata have been implemented.

 Minor re-arrangement of the charts "GENEALOGY OF MAN" have been made
 to improve clarity and fit.

 Italics are represented thus _italic_.

 The following corrections have been made to the list of books in the
 chapter THE BIBLE:

 Books Excluded from the Jewish Canon, and Reckoned as Apocryphal by
 some of the Ancient Christians, but Allowed as Canonical of late by
 the Church of Rome. The from added.

 Books that are Excluded from the Canon without Apparent Reason. The
 from added.

 The Preface before the Lamentations of Jeremiah, in the vulgar Latin
 and Greek text The original read "The preace ..." changed to preface.





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this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
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