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Pagan Origin of Partialist Doctrines by Pitrat

From which those of Bacchus and Ceres were mostly copied


From

this exposition of the religious and political monuments of ancient peoples, of their celebrations, and of the opinions of their philosophers; and also of the historical facts brought forth before, we draw these two logical and vital conclusions:--

1st. Therefore the adoration of the vast body of nature, together with the great soul which was supposed to animate it; and of its principal parts and members, together with the multifarious emanations of the great soul which was supposed to animate them, was the former and universal religion of mankind (excepting the Hebrews) before the coming of Jesus Christ.

2d. Therefore the heathens did not worship the idols themselves, to which they had given such and such forms to represent the objects of their adorations, but they worshiped what in their mind they represented, the universe taken collectively, as in the idol of Pan; and the universe taken separately, namely, the important parts of the universe, as in their innumerable idols of the planets, stars, rivers, etc.

CHAPTER II.

PAGAN ORIGIN OF MYSTERIES.

WHETHER the word mystery is derived from the Greek _muo_, I close, or from _mueo_, I teach, is not an important question, for the word mystery has always implied the double idea of secrecy and of instruction. Kings, emperors,

and even the most liberal of the legislators, seem to have believed, from the very cradle of nations, that people ought to be governed with fables, because they are too weak minded, and too ignorant to understand and bear the truth. Of all the errors which have enshrouded the human race, none has been more injurious to progress, virtue, and happiness among men. Even in our days, of all the existing governments, there is but one, if any at all, which does not place its strength upon the erroneous basis that the people, being not able to understand and bear the truth, are more easily ruled by being kept in their ignorance and superstition. This great error gave birth to mysteries.

When men constituted themselves into national bodies, they chose men, and vested them with the power of administering their interests. Those men forfeited their mandate, and became the tyrants of their constituents. In order to secure and perpetuate their sway, they associated to their personal interests hierophants, priests of all kinds, astronomers, philosophers, and poets, who composed fables, intended to have a moral bearing upon the people, and to make their masses believe them as being the truth. Those fables they called mysteries.

Egypt had her initiations, known under the name of mysteries of Osiris and Isis; from which those of Bacchus and Ceres were mostly copied. When we compare the courses and adventures of the Ceres of the Greek, with those of the Egyptian Isis, we can not but see the filiation of these two fables. The poems whose Bacchus is the hero, and the history of the Osiris, the ceremonies practiced to honor these two deities, and the identity of both acknowledged by the ancients, evidently prove that the mysteries of the latter have given birth to the former. Cybele and Atys had their initiations, and the Cabires also.


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