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The second coming of Jesus is also an astronomical allegory, with that of Vishnu (Krishna) and other sun-gods. The “white horse” which figures so conspicuously in legend and in Revelation was the universal symbol of the sun with oriental nations.
“The sacred legends abound with such expressions as can have no possible application to any other than to the 'god of day.' He is the light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory (or brightness) of his people. He is come ' a light into the world, that whosoever believeth in him should not abide in darkness. He is the light of the world'; and is light, and in him no darkness is.' 'Lighten our darkness, O Adonai, and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night. “God of god, light of light, very god of very god' (Creed). “Merciful Adonai, we beseech thee to cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church' (Catholic Collect St. John). “To thee all angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all the powers therein. Heaven and earth are full of the majesty of thy glory (or brightness). The glorious company of the (twelve months or) apostles praise thee. Thou art the king of glory (brightness), O Christ! When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou passest through the constellation or zodiacal sign—the virgin. When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of winter, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven (i.e., bring on the reign of the summer months), to all believers."
We see, then, that “ Christ” Jesus, like the “ Christs” Buddha, Krishna, Mithra, Osiris, Horus, Apollo, Hercules, and others, is none other than a personification of the sun, and that the Christians, like their predecessors, the Pagans, are really sun-worshippers.
Though Sakya Muni-Prince Buddha, Cyrus King of Persia, Alexander King of Macedonia, and Joshua-benPandira (Jesus) may have lived and been historical personages, the mythical characters to whom the above names are attached never lived in the flesh.
“The sun myth has been added to the histories of these personages in a greater or less degree, just as it has been added to the history of many other real personages. After the Jews had been taken captives to Babylon, around the history of their King Solomon accumulated the fables which
were related of Persian heroes...... When the fame of Cyrus and Alexander became known over the then known world, the popular sun-myth was interwoven with their true history."
That the biography of Jesus as recorded in the N. T. “contains some few grains of actual history is all that the historian or philosopher can rationally venture to urge. But the very process which has stripped these legends of the birth, life, and death of the sun, of all value as a chronicle of actual events, has invested them with a new interest. They present to us a form of society and a condition of thought through which all mankind had to pass before the dawn of history. Yet that state of things was as real as the time in which we live. They who spoke the language of these early tales were men and women with joys and sorrows not unlike our own."*
* T. W. Doane, Bible Myths.
THE TEACHINGS OF JESUS NOT ORIGINAL—THE NON
FULFILMENT OF HIS CHIEF PROPHECY, AND THE CONSEQUENT RISE OF MODERN RELIGIOUS CHARLATANISM.
We often hear of the beauty and charm of the teachings of the Christian Messiah, and of how self-evident is their divine source. But, on investigation, we find that his doctrines do not bear the stamp of originality. Nor did he so far value them himself as to put them consistently into practice-e.8, having taught his followers that whosoever should call his brother a fool should be in danger of hellfire, he himself called the Pharisees fools, and so unconsciously pronounced his own sentence. His teachings were at variance with justice, self-respect, industry, prudence, wisdom, and knowledge of the world; and, in many instances, distinctly immoral ; consisting of nonsensical platitudes, impossible advice, and ignorance of scientific knowledge. What there was good in his teaching he learned in his early youth from his ascetic teachers—the moral precepts taught by all the old Pagan religions.
If he had been a true Messiah, he would surely have utilized the opportunity afforded him when the lawyer came and asked him, before a large crowd, what he should do to inherit eternal life. Yet what happened? Did he adduce any striking proof of his divinity by enunciating new and wonderful precepts of wisdom and morality ? No; he repeated, nearly word for word, certain maxims which he had culled from the books of Deuteronomy and Leviticus. The commands given in Matt. vii. 22 and xxiii. 37-46 simply echo the teachings of previous sages.
In the Egyptian “Book of the Dead,” the oldest scriptures in the world, we find the following : “ To feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, bury the dead, loyally serve the king, forms the duty of the pious man and faithful subject.” Confucius, who lived some 550 years B.C., uttered the words : “ Love your neighbour as yourself; do not to another what you would not want done to yourself; thou hast need of this law alone; it is the foundation and principle of all the rest”; and “Acknowledge thy benefits by return of other benefits, but never avenge injuries."
In the Indian Epic Poem, “The Mahabharata," written in the sixth century B.C., we find : “ This is the sum of all true righteousness—Treat others as thou wouldst thyself be treated. Do nothing to thy neighbours which hereafter thou wouldst not have thy neighbour do to thee. In causing pleasure, or in giving pain, in doing good or injury to others, in wanting or refusing a request, a man obtains a proper rule of action by looking on his neighbour as himself.” Again : “To injure none by thought, word, or deed, to give to others and be kind to all—this is the constant duty of the good. High-minded men delight in doing good, without a thought of their own interest; when they confer a benefit on others, they reckon not on favours in return." What could be more beautiful than the ethical principles enunciated by these people called Pagans ? Compare them with the immoral and ridiculous teachings of the Christian Messiah. Take the story of the unjust steward in Luke (xvi.), whom the Messiah “commended ”; his advice to “resist not evil”; his advice to offer the other cheek when smitten-an insult to the dignity of humanity ; his advice to hand over a second coat when robbed of the first-a direct incentive to steal ; his advice to “turn not away" from borrowers (Matt. v. 38–44); his teaching of improvidence by the precept that no thought is to be taken for the morrow as to food or clothing-an injunction which is at variance with all economic wisdom ; his advice to “labour not for the meat which perisheth” (John xi. 27)—a direct incentive to idleness; his cursing of the fig-tree for not producing fruit out of season, which can only be described as a display of childish folly and petulance; and his taking part in encouraging the ignorant and cruel method of treating disease as the work of demons, and pretending to drive “ unclean spirits ” out of the poor lunatic who spent his life among the tombs, and whom no man could bind with chains. We are expected to believe that the devils asked
to be sent into a herd of swine, after which they ran violently down the hill into the sea and were drowned. No mention is made of any recompense having been made to the owner of the herd (numbering about 2,000), and, as Jesus preached the blessedness of poverty, and may be assumed to have been in a chronically impecunious state, we may conclude that none was made. Another example of injustice is exemplified in the statement, “Whosoever hath to him shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.”
The conversation between Jesus and Nicodemus echoes the teaching of Krishna in the Hindu poem of the BhagavatGita. The doctrine of the water that removes thirst for ever has its parallel in Hindu mythology, and Philo had already taught it as follows: “The Word (Logos) is the fountain of life...... It is of the greatest consequence to every person to strive without remission to approach the divine Word of God above, who is the fountain of all wisdom, that, by drinking largely of that sacred spring, instead of death, he may be rewarded with everlasting life.” Many other passages in the Fourth Gospel show dependence on the non-Christian works of the philosopher Philo, who wrote about half a century before the books which form the N. T. made their appearance. The so-called “ Lord's Prayer” was learned by the Messiah as the “ Kadish” from the Talmud ; there was nothing original in his version of it; and there were no sound ethical principles in it. The only part which has the least pretension to this is (literally) “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors ”—a pleading request, upon the strength of a false assertion about themselves which Christians do not carry out, and have not the least intention of carrying out; and a principle which is impossible, for, were it carried out, it would take away all inducement to work, and would result in robbery, spoliation, and, in fact, chaos. Christian children are taught that their father is in a heaven somewhere up in the clouds, and to pray for their daily bread from him, when he is all the while probably at work earning the money to pay for their meals, which would never come from heaven if they prayed to all ? eternity; they are also taught that he who, their Bible tells them, “ tempteth no man” will “ lead them not into temptation !” (Jas. i. 13).