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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

The Chinese adored the heavens under the name of great Tien

Pliny, the historian and naturalist, writes: "The world, or what we call the heaven, which, in its vast embrace, encircles all beings, is a God eternal, immense, uncreated and immortal. To seek any thing beyond it is beyond man's reach, and is vain labor. Behold, the universe is the Being truly sacred, the Being eternal, immense, comprising all in himself: he is all in all, or rather he is himself all. He is the work of nature, and nature itself."

We read in the sixth book of Eneida, by Virgil: "Know, O my son! that the heavens and the earth, the deep, the bright globe of the moon, and all stars are moved by a principle of inly life, which perpetuates its existence; that it is a great intelligent soul, extending to all the parts of the vast body of the universe; and which, connected with all, impresses to all an eternal movement. This soul is the source of the life of man, of that of flocks, birds, and of all the monsters of the deep. The bright force that animates them emanates from that eternal fire that shines in the sky, and which, a captive in the gross matter of bodies, develops itself only as permitted by the divers mortal organizations that blunt its force and activity. At the death of each animal those germs of particular life return to their source, and to the principle of life that circulates in the starry sphere."

This belief led men to the worship of the universe, or nature, and became the basis of their mythology. They adored the vast body of nature, and its great soul, under the name of Supreme Being, of Jupiter, of Vichnou, of Pan, etc. They adored the earth, the sun, the planets and the stars under other names. They erected temples, altars, statues and chapels to those deities, and worshiped them--not the wood, stone, or marble, as they are unjustly accused of, but the emanations of the great soul of the universe, which animated all those principal members of the vast body of nature, whose might and influence impressed them with wonder, terror or gratitude, and thus attracted their adoration.

The Chinese adored the heavens under the name of great Tien. The Supreme Being in the Chou-King is designated by the name of Tien, which means from heaven, and of Chang-Tien, supreme heaven. They had reared temples to the sun, to the moon, and to the stars; and also one to the great being formed of the sky, of the earth and of the elements,--being which is the universe named by them Tay-ki. They worshiped the heavens at the time of the two solstices. The Japanese adored the stars and planets which they supposed to be animated by geniuses or gods. They had a temple dedicated to the splendor of the sun. They celebrated the feast of the moon on the 7th of September, and spent the whole night in rejoicing by her light. The Chinese and the Japanese practice the same worship even in our days.

The Egyptians adored the sun under the name of Osiris, and the moon under the name of Iris. To them both they ascribed the government of the world. They built, to honor Osiris, the City of the Sun, or Heliopolis, and also a splendid temple in which they placed his statue. They worshiped all the stars and planets which compose the Zodiac. The animals consecrated in the Egyptian temples, and religiously revered, represented the various functions of the supreme cause; and they referred to the sky, to the sun, to the moon, and to the constellations.

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