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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

There were nearly among all nations expiatory rites


There

were nearly among all nations expiatory rites, to purify infants when they were born. Usually this ceremony was done in the day when the child was named. Macrob informs us, in his Saturn, book 1, that "that day, among the Romans, was the ninth for the boys and the eighth for the girls. That day was called lustricus, because of the lustral water used to purify the new born child." In the Analysis of the Insc. of Rosette, page 145, we read that the Egyptians, the Persians, and the Greeks had a similar practice. In Yucatan the new born child was brought in the temple, where the priest poured on his head the waters destined to this use; and then he gave him a name. In the Canary islands the women performed this priestly function. Caril, in his American Letters, tome 1, pages 146, and 147, speaks of these ceremonies. A law prescribed these expiatory rites among the Mexicans.

M. de Humboldt, Views of the Cordilleras, and of the Monuments of America, tome 1, page 223, writes: "The midwife, in invoking the god Ometeuctly, (the god of celestial paradise,) and the goddess Omecihuatl, who live in the abode of the blessed, poured water on the forehead and on the breast of the new-born child. After pronouncing several prayers, in which water was considered as the symbol of the purification of the soul, the midwife called near her the children who had been invited to give a name to the new-born child. In some provinces a fire was kindled at the same time,

and they did as if really the child was passed through the flame to purify him both with water and fire. This ceremony reminds the practices whose origin, in Asia, seems to be immemorial."

Likewise, the Thibetans have similar expiatory rites: this we find in the thirty-first page of the preface of the Thibetan Alphabet. We extract the following from the Works of the Society of Calcutta: "In India, when a name is given to a child, his name is written on his forehead, and he is plunged three times into the water of the river. Then the Brama exclaims, 'O God, pure, one, invisible and perfect! to thee we offer this offspring of a holy tribe, anointed with an incorruptible oil, and purified with water.'"

In the mysteries, the Hierophant taught the doctrine that our nature had been corrupted by a first sin. The sixth book of the poem Eneida is nothing but a brilliant exposition of this doctrine; and perhaps antiquity offers nothing that proves more the power of tradition on the human mind, than the passage in which the poet, following Eneas in the abode of the dead, describes in magnificent verses the dismal spectacle which first strikes his gaze. If there is any thing in the world that wakes up in our mind the idea of innocence, assuredly it is a child who has been unable neither to know nor to commit sin; and the supposition that he is subject to punishment and to suffering, is a thought which our soul abhors. However, Virgil, in the 6th book, verses 426, and 429, places the children dead when yet nursing, at the entry of the sad kingdoms, where he represents them in a state of pain, weeping and moaning--vagitus ingens. Why those tears, those cries of sufferings? Which faults do those children, to whom their mothers had not smiled, expiate? (Virgil, Ecloga 4, verse 62.) What has inspired the poet with this surprising fiction? On what does it rest? Whence does it originate, if not from the ancient belief that man was born in sin?


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