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PARALLEL MYTHS,

WE must even go further. We must claim divine inspiration for nearly all the cosmical myths of antiquity, for they all contain some of the elements of the

Cosmogony of Hebrew legends. Thus, to commence with the Greeks, the Greeks. their account begins with Chaos, out of which sprang Gea, the earth, and Uranus, the heaven. Preceding this separation was the creation of Nyx, night, and Hemera, day, as well as Tartarus. The myth of Prometheus is well known, in which it is stated that he formed men of clay and gave them life with fire from heaven. In the Greek traditions we have also the myth of the Deluge with the one pair saved. Among Hindu version the Hindus we find the following version of the story of man. of Adam and Eve. The Brahma created a man and a woman, Adima and Heva, and placed them on the beautiful island of Ceylon, surrounding them with all the splendor that the luxuriant tropical soil is capable of producing. He gave them the command to love each other, to multiply and never to leave the island. Then the devil invited the man to ascend a high cliff near the sea, and there he showed him a peninsula connected with the island by a narrow neck of land, and the magnificence of that place far surpassed the

of the creation

splendor of his own island. Adima and Heva were thus induced to leave their destined abode and proceed to the new land. But when they were on the neck of land, all disappeared. The land, in front of them, dissolved as a mirage, and the land behind them sank with a crash, and they were left on a bare rock.

Brahma then cursed Man on account of his disobediPhae nicia*

ence. In fragments of the Phænician writer Sanchoniaccount of Crea- athon, we find that all things began with Erebus (the

Hebrew Erebh, mixture) or Chaos, and a dark and condensed wind-air (“the spirit of Elohim hovered over the water,” Gen. 1, 2; the Hebrew ruach" means both spirit and the wind). They were for a long series of ages destitute of form. The union of this wind at last with Chaos produced all creation. First came Mot (the Hebrew Muttah, expanse, Isaiah VIII. 8), and from him the seed of all creation. He shone out with the sun and the moon and the greater and lesser stars. Then came the generation of animals, “ and male and female moved on the earth and in the sea." Farther on we find the enmity of Hypsuranius towards his brother Usous, who first invented a covering for the body of the skins of wild beasts. Unmistakably a jumbling together of Cain and Abel and the covering of skins, provided for Man in the Bible. We find, among the first men there, the inventors of smithcraft and other useful arts. In a fragment of the same writer, preserved by Eusebius, serpent-worship is accounted for, because “this animal was held to be the most spirit-like of all the reptiles.”

The myths which Berosus, the Babylonian, narrated, are essentially the same as found in the clay-tablets at Kouyunjik, and we need not dwell upon them. The

Persian ac

following is the story of the first man and woman according to the Persian accounts: “ Mashia and Mashianeh (that is “man and woman ") were created in count of Creaholiness, and had received commandment from the tion. Supreme God, Ahura, to cherish good thoughts, to speak good words, to do good deeds, and not to sacrifice to the evil spirits. But after some time their thoughts were polluted by the Evil One, and they began to worship him. After that they wandered about for thirty days without food, and in black clothes, and then they caught a white goat and drank some of its milk. This sin was followed by a still greater one, the eating of flesh, and by another still heavier yet, for when they had discovered iron they felled trees. At last they worshipped the evil spirits.” The Persian mythology contains the account of the beautiful garden (Paradeisos, hence our Paradise, with the tree of life, where mighty rivers rise. Passing from Asia to the north of Europe, we find the following strange myth. Ymir, the aboriginal giant, fell asleep and began to perspire; there grew out from behind his left arm a man and woman, and out of his feet came the six-headed giant. The children killed their father Ymir, and his blood submerged the whole earth, so that all were drowned but one.

This one entered with his wife into a boat and gave rise to a new generation. The place: assigned to man for his dwelling in the Edda is called Midgard or Middelgarden, which was created out of the eyebrows of Ymir. The eyebrows undoubtedly refer

Developments to vegetation. However, these must suffice. They of primitive As

iatic Myths. will, I hope, at least show that a body of tradition belonging to the primitive Asiatic world, was developed by each stock separately according to its mode of life

and the moral conditions produced in the course of its social development. The Aryan world worked its store of myths into heroic forms, the Mahabharatta, the Ramayana, the Iliad and Odyssey, and Shab Nahmeh of Firdusi, the Edda and the Nibelungenlied. The Semitic world developed systems of theology to suit the bent of its mind and the impressions from the objects of nature, which became Indra, Herakles, Baldur and Rustem, grew with the Semites into gods on one hand and into attributes of the national gods on the other. The solar myths, which became heroic fables among the Hindoos and Greeks, became accounts of Genesis among the Chaldees and Hebrews. The idea that the account of Genesis is a solar myth, or rather a myth of the dawn, was advanced as early as the end of the last century by the celebrated German poet and philosopher Herder. In Germany, Herder is considered as one of the first who divined, as it were, the theory of Evolution. Herder suggested that this account was simply the description of awakening nature at the dawn of the day, when the darkness of night yields to morning

twilight, and nature gradually awakes from herslumber. Origin of And, typically, this is correct, not only so far as the Myths and Legends. : story of Genesis is concerned, but as including all

legends. They are all petrified descriptions of natural processes, expressed in the figurative language of undeveloped minds lacking the power of abstraction. Thus the Greek mythology is explained and the Hindoo and the rest of the Aryan legends. Why not likewise the Semitic legends? Because they contain scientific facts ? Let us examine into the statements of Genesis.

THE TESTIMONY OF FACTS.

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