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J.-Perceiving men of the most oppositely asserted sentiments to call themselves Christians, I must also ask your definition of the terms which constitute a Christian.
R.-In a thought:-“ God damn this fellow for a bore.") As all Christians must rest upon the Gospels, as they are found in the New Testament, I demand, if you believe in those Gospels ?
J.-Not in both points of a coutradiction.
R.-(Muttering lo himself:—“Curse this fellow") But do you believe in the general outline of the bistory of those Gospels?
J.-Does your question apply to the allegorical or to the literal sense of that history?
R.-Confound your evasions.
J.-Nay, Sir, mine are not evasions. I wish to to understand you so clearly, as not to evade a particle of any question wbich you can put to me.
R.– Will you condescend to change positions and take upon yourself to define what you distinguish by the allegorical and the literal sense of the history of the Gospels? J.-Well, as we can get no definitions from
you, we cannot proceed without them, I will assist you through tbe dilemma.
If you ask me, whether I believe that the statements of the Gospels, as to things said and done at a time and place, are literally founded in truth, my answer is, that I have no corroborating evidence of the facts in any other books; but, as I have the most convincing negative evidence, in other books, that such things were not so said and done at such a time and place, and as I know that fables and allegories can be and have been written, I demur to the question of being a Christian on that ground. Still, as I believe, that the Gos. pels of the New Testament are correct allegorical pieces of history, relating to the character of mankind at all times, in tbe persecution of the Logos or Reason, and the continued Resurrection and Ascension of that Logos or Reason over tbat persecution, I am a Christian in the very best sense of the word, in the only well founded sense of the word.
R.-Well, wbat do you say to a future state of rewards and punishments ?
J.--Here, again, I must have a definition ; for, taking your question as it now stands, I can only answer, that, I believe,
from experience, that rewards and punishments will be the same hereafter as they now are and always have been.
R.-Well, but do you believe that there is an immortal principle in mankind subject to a future state of rewards and punishments ?
J.-Again, there is an obscurity in your question. Do you mean one individual man or the successive aggregate of mankind?
R.- Take one, take yourself for an instance. Are you conscious of a future state of rewards and punishments ?
J.-Not as an identity, not in the character in which I now stand before this court, not in any character wbicb I have exhibited from my birth to my present age as an identity, nor in any age or character to come during my life; but I am conscious of continued existence as a part of the aggregate of matter.
R.-Theo, you do not believe that you bave an immortal soul or spirit, which is to be nursed in heaven or punished in hell, according to your actions in this life?
J.-Here we must come to definitions again about soul, spirit, heaven and hell, as my experience has not yet taught me to understand the definition or meaning or applicatiou of those words.
R.--No, no, no, for God's sake, let us have no more definitions. You may go down. I will ask you no more questions.
If I can reach the author, or even an admirer of the dia. logue of “Tremaine or the Man of Refinement; I would have it observed bow easy it is in framing such a dialogue, to make all the conclusions meet the writer's wishes. These fictitious dialogues do not constitute free discussion; though they may be very instructive, as I think mine above is, and as I think that between Tremaine and Evelyn to be ; but that instruction is no proof that they are conclusive of their subject.
W. W. R. to R. C.
In reply to your question about the Triple Tau, I will begin by translating for you a passage of Court de Gebelin (Monde Paimitif. Tom. 4. p 496).
The Dove was therefore, throughout all antiquity, the symbol of the fecundated Principle, which constitutes so considerable a portion of Nature; while the Cross or the Thau Pallisé, denoted the fecundating Principle. One was the Moon, the other the Sun, Isis and Osiris. These Symbols became marks of honour, of dignity, of belief. The Egyptian Priests carried the Cross; the Assyrians adorned their standards with a Dove. Similar Symbols existed in the West; they still exist there, and in splendour: the women append them to their necklaces, and many orders are honoured with them.” (This was one of the principal passages that induced me to put down Court de Gebelin among the Anti-Superstitionists; but I have since scratched him out, as not having spoken clearly enough.) Again, in Tom. 8. p. 370, C. de G., in explaining the cards used in the Jeu de Tarots, which he affirms to be an Egyptian game, says, with regard to the personage called the Father, [he is holding the Sceptre in his hand ;] As to the Sceptre surinounted by a triple cross, it is a perfectly Egyptian monument, It is seen on the Table of Isis*. It refers to the Triple Phallus which was carried about at the famous festival of the Pamylia, when the people rejoiced at the discovery of Osiris, and where it was the symbol of the regeneration of Plants and of the whole of Nature." We know that the Phallus entered into many of the religious ceremonies of the ancients. The Egyptian Women carried in procession images with enormous privities, which were moved by strings (vi Herodot. B. 2. ch. 48. et conf. Lucian. de Syr. D. ch. 16.) Thus also St. Augustin, (quoted by C. de G. Tom. 4. p. 376.) says, that, at Lavinium (in Italy) the symbols of fecundation were publicly crowned by the most respectable and virtuous of the women.
But perhaps you will think, that C. de G. is one of those writers, who will unfortunately now and then distort a fact in order to suit a theory; I will therefore support his authority by that of Jablonski, who, after quoting Plutarch (de Isid. ch. 36) about the Triple Phallus carried about at the Pamylia, also refers to the Isiac Table, and particularly to the triple Crux Ansata which is represented at the top of the spear which the new born child Harpocrates holds in both his hands.
But I think I have read somewhere that the Isiac table is a forgery, No. 12, Vol. XII.
“I have already* remarked” says Jablonski “ that, according to the observation of the learned La Croze, this Crux Ansata, so often observed on Egyptian Monuments, is nothing but the Phallus, or a somewhat obscure image of the Penis.” As to the Phallus being Triple, Plutarch himself says, in the passage above referred to, that it is merely a certain number put for an uncertain, as the Poets say “ thrice happy": or that perhaps it may allude to the three first bodies, earth, air, and fire, which were created by the humid principle. And then for the Tau, I look to the plates at the end of the 3d. Vol. of C. de G., who considers that the primitive form of this letter was a cross; for, in Chinese, denotes "perfection” or “ten”. In the Hebrew Medals, and in the Phenician Alphabet used in Spain, it is thus, or, while in the Etruscan, Ethiopic, and Coptic, it remained thus · or Montfaucon, in his Palæographia Græca, gives specimens of the crucial form of the Tau. (vid. the Plates at pages 122 and 312). At pp. 133, 134, he quotes Origen, who says, that a certain Jewish Christian declared, that in the Old Alphabet, the Tau bore the form of the cross. “This, says Montfaucon, I have explained in my edition of the Hexapla.” Jerome says the same thing, when commenting on the same passage as occasioned the above mentioned remark of Origin. It is the 9th ch. Ezekiel, and the 4th verse, a passage which Tert ullian (adv. Marcion. B. 3 ch. 22. p. 173, and conf. adv. Judæos eh. 11. p. 322.) quotes thus : “Put the mark Thau upon the foreheads of the men." “For, (Tertullian immediately subjoins) the Greek letter Tau, our T, has the very form of the cross, which he (the prophet) foretold would be upon our foreheads, in that true and Catholic Jerusalem, in which, &c. &c.” Sir W. Drummond, in his “ Origenes" lately published, has, I believe, noticed this passage of Tertullian, and also the famous one of Barnabas, cap. 9. (ch. 8. v. 13. Hone's Edit.) on which Cotelerius has written a very useful and instructive notet. (Patr. Apost. not. p. 20). I think then, that the identity, or at any rate the close similarity, between the Tau, the Cross, and the Phallus, is pretty tolerably proved. I might indeed add, that as the Tau indicated the active Principle, so the cognate letter Teth might indicate the Passive Principle. If C. de Gébelin be right in his quotations (Tom. 1. p. 106, 120.) the letter of Toth was triangular, and so to a certain degree was the Teth of the Samaritans; and Eustathius says, that the Greek Comic Writers used the word Delta (a triangle) to express the pudendum muliebre (vid. Scapul. Lex.), perhaps as being the
* B. 2. ch 7. sect 8. where he considers the Phallus as much the same as the Lingam, or the Indian representation of the privities of the two
+ Beside a host of Christian writers be quotes Lucian, in whose “ Judg. ment of the Vowels"the letter Sigma pleads, that the letter Tau be crucified, as having, by its form, instructed Tyrants how to fornu crosses.
gate of Life (vid. C. de G. Tom. 9. p. 258). Perhaps also the cross was adoptect to express the Phallus, because* the intersection of the Equator and Ecliptic, at the sign of the celestial Lamb, was the point from whence physical generation, and perhaps also moral regeneration), might be said to be derived. Martianus Capella (B. 8. p. 284. edit. Grot.) says, that the Deltoton or Delta,t rises with the sign Aries; and sets with it, being placed above its head, says Hyginus (B. 3. ch. 18.), perhaps to indicate one of the gates of the Sun (vid. Isidor. quoted by Dup. Tom. 2. p. 2. p. 206) though Macrobius, &c, place the gates at Cancer and Capricornus. It is probably to some one of these celestial gates, or doors, that St. John alludes (Revel ch. 4. v. 1). But to return. Jablonski seems to consider the Phallic festival of the Pamylia as the origin of the Christian festival of “good tidings” celebrated now on the 21st of March by the Copis. The Pamylia were on the 25th of the month Phamenoth, and, on the new moon of that month, the Ancient Egyptians celebrated “the entrance of Osiris into the Moon”. (or Isis). “This says Plutarch (de Isid.ch. 43.) is the beginning of the spring ..
The Moon is impregnated by the Sun.' Nine Months after, at the winter Solstice Harpocrates is born. It is no wonder, therefore, that Dupuis (Tom. 1. p. 409) compares the Pamylia, a word which in Coptic according to Jablonski (B. 5. ch. 7. sect 5.) means annunciation” to the Annunciation of the B. V. M'., which is marked in our calenders on the 25th of March, four days after the Vernal Equinox, and nine months before the birth of Christ. I should suspect (though I have no authority for saying so) that most Phallic ceremonies took place about the beginning of spring, Lucian mentions that in the Propylæa of the Temple of Hierapolis (which, in other respects, though certainly not in this, reminds one of the temple of Jerusalem) there stood two Phalli each three hundred orgyies I high, a height so prodigious, that Guietus would
This, is Dupuis’ Idea. vid. Origine de tous les Cultes. Tom. 3. P. 2. p. 327, where there is given a latin translation of the famous passage of Socrates (Ilist. Eccl. B. 5. ch. 17. p. 689, related in almost the same words by Sozomen H. E. B. 7. ch. 15.) from which it appears that there was in the Temple of Serapis a cross (which could, I think, have been nothing else than a large crux ansata) which the Egyptians said meant in hieroglyphics “ life to come.” Dr. Young mentions, if I recollect right, that the crux ansata denotes “life,” though I think he adds, that he forgot any ancient had mentioned this circumstance. I may remark, that the idea of life is easily connected with that which gives life. A French reader would understand what I mean.
† Perhaps this is the triangular window of the Sun. vid. Beaus Manich,
Tom. 2. p. 314.
1 An orgyia was the space from the extremity of one middle finger to the other, and arms being extended. It was equal to more than six English teet.