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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

Animated by geniuses or intelligences also good and bad


The

Tartars of Katzchinzi adore a benevolent god, in kneeling towards the Orient; but they fear another god, Toues, to whom they pray to disarm his wrath; and to whom, in the spring, they sacrifice a stallion. The Ostiaks and the Vogouls name that evil god Koul; the Samoyedes name him Sjoudibe; the Motores, Huala; the Kargasses, Sedkyr. The Thibetans admit evil spirits which they place in the regions above. The religion of the Bonzes supposes two Principles. The Siamoeses sacrifice to an evil spirit, whom they consider as being the cause of all the misfortunes of mankind.

The Indians have their Ganga and their Gournatha, spirits whom they try to appease with prayer, sacrifices, and processions. The inhabitants of Tolgony, India, believe that two Principles govern the universe; the one good, he is light; and the other bad, he is darkness. The ancient Assyrians, as well as the Persians, admitted two Principles; and they honored, Augustine says, two gods, the one good, and the other bad. The Chaldeans also had their good and bad stars, animated by geniuses or intelligences also good and bad.

In America the dogma of two Principles, and of good and bad spirits, is also found. The Peruvians revered Pacha-Camac as being a good god, and Cupai as being a bad god. The Caraibs admitted two sorts of spirits; the one benevolent, who dwell in the heaven; and the other evil, who hover over us to lead us to temptation. The former,

on the contrary, invite us to do good, and each of us is guarded by one of them. Those of Terra-Firma think that there is a god in the heaven, namely, the sun. Besides they admit a bad Principle, who is the author of all evils; they present him with flowers, fruits, corn, and perfumes. The Tapayas, situated in America by about the same latitude as the Madegasses in Africa, believe also in two Principles.

The natives of Brazil believe in a bad genius: they call him Aguyan; and they have conjurors who can, they say, divert his wrath. The Indians of Florida and of Louisiana adored the sun, the moon, and the stars. They also believed in an evil spirit named Toia. The Canadians, and the savage tribes of the Bay of Hudson, revered the sun, the moon, the stars, and the thunder; but they more particularly prayed to the evil spirits. The Esquimaux believe in a god supremely good, whom they call Ukouma, and in another, Ouikan, who is the author of all evils; who causes the tempests, and who capsizes the boats. The savages of the strait of Davis believe in beneficent and malignant spirits.

This distinction of two Principles, of a god, and of geniuses or spirits, authors of good and light; and of a god and geniuses, authors of evil and darkness, is immemorial. This opinion has been so universally adopted for the only reason, that those who observed the opposite phenomena of nature could not account for them, and could not reconcile them with the existence of a single cause. As there are good and bad men, they believed that there were good and bad gods, the ones dispensers of good, and the others authors of evil.

Such was the universal belief when Jesus Christ came to the world. The Jews themselves, since the captivity of Babylon, generally believed in those two Principles. They went so far as to immolate their own children on the altars of evil deities, in order to appease them. Jesus preached his Gospel, died, and left on earth his apostles with the trust of continuing, among men, his saving mission. As in the writings of the Evangelists the word demon, or devil, was used figuratively, meaning lust, wrong desire, etc., some of the first Christians understood the true sense of these figurative words, and others did not. In the third century the Church of Rome, which had been tending to supremacy over other churches, and which, from policy, to gain more adepts, was compromising with Paganism, understood the word demon, or devil, literally, and preserved the heathen doctrine, which, as she grew, became widely spread, and afterwards an article of faith.


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