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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

In being mutilated under the names of Atys and of Adonis


the four heads of convincing historical proofs brought forth in this _confirmatur_, we draw once more the conclusion:

1st. Then the Church of Rome, from which the self-called Orthodox Protestant Churches, in the sixteenth century, borrowed the doctrine of the divinity of Jesus Christ, did not hold it from the apostles of Jesus Christ.

2d. We prove the second proposition of the argument of this chapter, namely, that the Church of Rome uses, in her adoration to Jesus Christ, rites and ceremonies of a striking similarity with those used by the Pagans in their adoration to the sun, under the names of Bacchus, Hercules, Osiris, Mithra, Atys, etc.

Every year the Pagans celebrated with pomp the death of Bacchus. Those celebrations were called Titanical, and celebrations of the perfect night. They supposed that this god had been slain by the Giants; but that his mother, or Ceres, had reunited his bones. To retrace his death they killed a bull, whose raw flesh they ate, because Bacchus, represented with the horns of an ox, had been thus torn by the Titans. Julius-Firmicus, an orthodox author of the fourth century, who wrote about the legend of Bacchus, says that the Pagans considered those fictions as solar fables. He adds that the sun was irritated at being thus worshiped: here, in being immersed into the Nile river, under the names of Osiris and of Horus; there, in being mutilated

under the names of Atys and of Adonis; and in other places, in being boiled or roasted, like Bacchus. The Bacchanals, or disorderly, noisy, tumultuous, and frantic scenes took place.

St. Athanase, St. Augustine, Theophile, Athenagoras, Minutius-Felix, Lactance, Firmicus, and other Christian writers of the first centuries, as well as more ancient authors, describe the general mourning of the Egyptians in the anniversary day of the death of Osiris. They describe the ceremonies practiced on his tomb, and the tears shed thereon during several days. The mysteries in which the representation of his death was exhibited, and which took place during the night, were called mysteries of night.

Likewise the death of Mithra was celebrated. To the usual magnificence of his temples succeeded a gloomy sight. The priests, during the night, carried his image in a tomb, and laid it on a litter, in the same manner as the Phoenicians laid the image of Adonis. This ceremony was accompanied with dismal songs, and with groans. The priests, after this feigned expression of grief, kindled a flambeau, called sacred; anointed the image of Mithra with chrisma, or with perfumes; and then one of them, in a solemn and loud voice, pronounced these words: "Cheer up, holy mourners, your god is come again to life; his sorrows and his sufferings will save you."

Julius Firmicus, who relates this, exclaims: "Why do you exhort those unfortunate to rejoice? Why do you deceive them with false promises? The death of your god is known; but his new life is not proved. There is no oracle that ascertains his resurrection; he has not appeared to men after his resurrection to prove his divinity. An idol you bury; upon an idol you mourn; an idol you lift up from the tomb, and having expressed your grief you rejoice," etc.

The Church of Rome practices alike ceremonies in celebrating the anniversary day of the death of Jesus Christ. All the ornaments of each church, the statues and images of saints, etc., are clothed in black. In one of the chapels of the church a tomb is prepared, in which, on the Holy Thursday morning, Jesus Christ--namely, a wafer which has been consecrated--is laid, shut up, not in the ostensorium, but in a ciborium, as a sign of mourning. The priests perform this ceremony. During the whole day the church is thronged with people, who come to express to Jesus Christ their sympathy in his sufferings. At about eight o'clock in the evening, a gloomy procession, composed of the priests and the people, march along the streets in the dark (this procession takes place only in Catholic countries,) now and then reciting in a low and dismal tone a verse of the psalm, _Miserere mei Deus_, [translation,] Lord have mercy on me. When this procession has taken place, hymns of suffering and of death are sung in the church, around the tomb in which Jesus Christ lays. At eleven o'clock a priest goes to the pulpit, and in an affecting manner relates to the sobbing and weeping multitude the sufferings and death of Jesus Christ. This address is called Passion's sermon.

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