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Tyrians, and was worshipped by the Mexican Aborigines. Dr. Robertson distinctly states that the natives of Bogota and Natchez worshipped Apollo and Astarté, but in so stating he did not attempt to establish any National Theory. The fact is, however, given, as will be seen in the following quotation,-viz.,
“Among the people of Bogota (South America) the Sun and Moon were, likewise, the chief objects of vene
ration.” “The Sun was the chief object of religious worship among the Natchez,” &c. [Vol. v. b. iv. p. 373-4.]
The latter, perhaps, were located upon the Missisippi, when the Tyrian-Americans coasted the Gulf of Mexico, as the Tribe of Natchez was the only one in that part of the Continent, that practised the Tyrian Customs.
Upon an emblem of this Goddess, will be established one of the strongest analogies. The reader will be startled at the following proposition,--but it is no less the fact, and it is given with peculiar force to sustain identity—viz., that the emblem of the CRoss (as seen at Palenque) proves the Merican Aborigines to have been Tyrians !
In the first book of Kings [ch. xi.] it is recorded that SolomoN among his wives, had many Sidonians,—that they “turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not perfect with the LORD his GoD, as was the heart of DAVID his father.—For SOLOMON went after [worshipped] Ashtoreth, the Goddess of the
Sidonians.” (i. e. Tyrians.)
It was in consequence of this departure from THE GoD of Israel, that Ahijah prophecied to Jeroboam, that he should have Ten of the Tribes of Abraham for his kingdom, in the time of Solomon's Son and successor-Rehoboam. Ashtoreth is Astarte: the Goddess of the Sidonians and Tyrians,—they are one and the same. Without attempting here a refutation of the assertion by atheistical or deistical writers, that the monogram of CHRIST (; ) was known sir centuries before The Nativity, it will be sufficient for our present purpose to establish, that the Cross was a Tyrian emblem, more than three hundred years anterior to the time of Tiberius-for of that period (332 B.C.) we must again remark, we are illustrating. It was, also, known in the time of Solomon, for he worshipped the Tyrian Astarte, whose symbol was the Cross-and this was more than one thousand years before the Crucifirion / Here then is a more remote period for a knowledge of the Cross, as an emblem, than that assumed by sceptics;–it is brought forward because it is the truth, and why did not deistical writers trace it to the time of Solomon 2–they knew, if they did, that it would prove a strong link in the chain of Christianity, and therefore, for their own purposes they avoided it ! We will shew this as we proceed. In Calmet's Dictionary of the Bible, is found a pictorial representation of the Coins of ancient nations. In the plates giving those of Sidon and Tyrus (both must be viewed as one) is the figure of Astarte, surrounded by the words “The Sidonian Goddess” in the old Phoenician characters. She is standing on the fore part of a galley (emblem of Tyrian navigation)—full robed,— the classic measure on her head, a branch in her right hand (emblem of peace and reward)—and in her left hand a long Cross (emblem of war and punishment)—the proportions are the same as the sacred one used at Mount Calvary:-it is upright, and slightly inclines, like a sceptre, across the inner part of the upper arm of the Goddess. The following are Calmet's remarks on the Coins. “No. 4. ASTARTE,-holding the Cross ;-standing on a Ship (galley): the measure on her head,” &c. “No. 12. ASTARTE standing in her Temple, holding the long Cross in her hand—the shell, supposed to allude to the Tyrian dye;—in the exergue, An Altar (i.e. of perpetual fire) burning before the Temple,” &c It will be observed that the above manner of alluding to the Cross of the Tyrian Goddess, is too positive (and with the coins as witnesses) to admit even of a doubt of its being an emblem of the Tyrians, and many centuries before the period contemplated by this volume, viz. 332 B.C. They then possessed the Cross, and among the ancients they appear to have been the only people, with the exception of the Egyptians, who probably copied it from the Phoenicians, to illustrate their own worship of the Moon,_the Egyptian emblem was thus—(?)—and this has been falsely called the sacred monogram, for the Moon is shewn by the circle—and the Cross was her general emblem. Astarte carried a Cross merely as an emblem of punishment, as her olive, or palm-branch was emblematical of reward-Solomon worshipped her, and her attributes, upon his leaving the ONE God:—from David descended the husband of The Saviour's Mother, as, also, the Virgin herself, and after the Crucifixion, the Cross became the emblem of Salvation 1—and was no more viewed as a Symbol of Idolatry, as in the time of David's Son, or of a degraded death as in the time of Tyberius:—may there not, in this very change of the character of the emblem, in regard to its attribute of worship, from punishment to atonement, and by the converted disciples from the same “chosen people,” be a mysterious token of the great precept by the Divine GOD,--that from Evil cometh Good 2 We believe every thing tending to the Glory of the CREATOR: and even if the monogram used by Constantine did exist centuries before the time of CHRIST-but which we deny-yet viewing that subject with an eye of faith it would be found to illustrate the Prophets, and not detract from them or their Prophecies. We have digressed, the reader requires no apology, the subject will speak for us. In the Mexican Ruins numerous instances are found of the Cross-it is in Sculpture and Stucco:--some small apertures bear the same form, as thus, +:—the lower part being inconvenient for its specific adaptation,--it was not, therefore, used. In one of the minor temples at Palenque, the Cross with the lower part is distinct, and in full proportion,-thus proving the “long Cross” of Astarte, the Tyrian Goddess, to be upon those Ruins. But without that—(for we desire to reserve the sculpture containing the long Cross for a future application)—the numerous Crosses, of a minor character upon other Ruins are sufficient to testify to the worship, or knowledge of Astarte, and her symbolical attributes being known to the Mexican Aborigines.
Another analogy is in the Altars of perpetual fireand their being watched by the Virgins of the Sun. This was practised by the Tyrians as a branch of their worship of the God of Fire—Apollo. The Roman Vestals were copied from those of Phoenicia. The same horrid punishment attended the loss of virtue by a Virgin of the Sun, both in Tyrus and Mexico, this was also imitated by the Romans.
We have no history tracing the (to us) obscene worship of PRIXPUs (i. e. Baal-peor) to the Tyrians,— nor was it found among the Mericans,—though it was practised by the Egyptians,—and even by the all-accomplished Greeks,—this was over 2000 years ago.”
The non-existence of this generative and religious worship by both Tyrians and Mexicans,—although practised by other ancient nations,—must be regarded as another proofofidentity:—for identity can be proved by a negative, with equal power to an affirmative custom. The strong analogies in Religion must be apparent to the reader.
* It will scarcely be believed that so late as 1780 A. D., the votive worship was practised at Isernia, only fifty miles from Naples;–and (upon the authority of Sir Wm. Hamilton) that three days in September were given to this worship, which the Priests called the fête of St. Cosmo ; and at which, Maids, Wives, and Widows, publicly joined in devotion. The King of Naples abolished it, upon the proof by Sir William Hamilton.—G. J.