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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

And since that Ahriman was their master


_Therefore

the doctrine of a Personal Devil is of Pagan origin._

CHAPTER IV.

PAGAN ORIGIN OF THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN.

THE Roman Catholic writers are unanimous in the opinion that it was the belief of a large number of Pagans that man had fallen from a higher state of existence. St. Augustine, more especially, lengthily and emphatically insists upon the general belief of the Pagans in original sin, when he writes against Pelage. However, we shall bring forth other testimonies, which will not leave, in the mind of the reader, any doubt that the Pagans generally believed in original sin.

Cicero, in his work De Republica, book third, after painting the grandeur of the human nature, and then contrasting its subjection to miseries, to diseases, to sorrow, to fear, and to the most degrading passions, was at a loss to define man. He called him _a soul in ruins_. It was for the same reason that, in Plato, Socrates reminds to his disciples that those who had established mysteries, and who, he said, were not to be despised, taught that according to their ancestors, any one who dies without having been purified is plunged into the mire of the Tartarus; whereas, he who has been purified dwells with the gods. Clement of Alexandria, in his Stromata, book third, writes, that, according to the testimony of Philolaues, the Pythagorician,

all the ancient theologians and poets said that the soul was buried in the body, as in a grave, as a punishment for some sin. It was also the doctrine of the Orphics, as can be seen in Plat., Cratyl., Opera, tome third.

In the pages 48, 50, and 51, of the treatise of Plutarch, on the Delays of Divine Justice, we read: "A State, for instance, is one same thing continued, a whole, alike to an animal which is ever the same, and the age thereof does not change the identity. The State then being one, as long as the association maintains the unity, the merit and the demerit, the reward and the punishment for all that is done in common are justly ascribed to it, as they are to a single individual. But if a State is to be considered in this point of view, it ought to be the same with a family proceeding from the same stock, from which it holds I do not know what sort of hidden strength; I do not know what sort of communication of essence and qualities, which extend to all the individuals of the race. Beings produced through the medium of generation are not similar to the productions of arts. In regard to the latter, when the work is completed it is immediately separated from the hand of the workman, and it no longer belongs to him: true it is done by him, but not from him. On the contrary, what is engendered proceeds from the substance itself of the generating being; so that it holds from him something which is justly rewarded or punished in his stead, for that something is himself."

According to the doctrine of the Persians, Meshia and Meshiane, or the first man and first woman, were first pure, and submitted to Ormuzd, their maker. Ahriman saw them and envied their happiness. He approached them under the form of a serpent, presented fruits to them, and persuaded them that he was the maker of man, of animals, of plants, and of the beautiful universe in which they dwelled. They believed it; and since that Ahriman was their master. Their nature became corrupt, and this corruption infected their whole posterity. This we find in Vendidat-Sade, pages 305, and 428.


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