It is observable in all modern religions, that men are superstitious in proportion as they are ignorant, and that those who know least of the principles of religion are the most earnest and fervent in the practice of its exterior rites and ceremonies. We may suppose from analogy, that this was the case with the Egyptians. The learned and rational merely respected and revered the sacred animals, whilst the vulgar worshipped and adored them. The greatest part of the former being, as is natural to suppose, destroyed by the persecution of the Persians, this worship and adoration became general; different cities adopting different animals as their tutelar deities, in the same manner as the Catholics now put themselves under the protection of different saints and martyrs. Like them, too, in the fervency of their devotion for the imaginary agent, they forgot the original cause.
The custom of keeping sacred animals as images of the Divine attributes, seems once to have prevailed in Greece as well as Egypt; for the God of Health was represented by a living serpent at Epidaurus, even in the last stage of their religion. 1 In
general, however, they preferred wrought images, not from their superiority in art, which they did not acquire until after the time of Homer, 1 when their theology was entirely corrupted; but because they had thus the means of expressing their ideas more fully, by combining several forms together, and showing, not only the Divine attribute, but the mode and purpose of its operation. For instance; the celebrated bronze in the Vatican has the male organs of generation placed upon the head of a cock, the emblem of the sun, supported by the neck and shoulders of a man. In this composition they represented the generative power of the Ερως, the Osiris, Mithras, or Bacchus, whose centre is the sun, incarnate with man. By the inscription on the pedestal, the attribute this personified, is styled The Saviour of the World (Σωτηζ κοσμψ); a title always venerable, under whatever image it be represented. 2
The Egyptians showed this incarnation of the Deity by a less permanent, though equally expressive symbol. At Mendes a living goat was kept as the image of the generative power, to whom the women presented themselves naked, and had the honour of being publicly enjoyed by him. Herodotus saw the act
openly performed (ec epideiksin anðrwpwn), and calls it a prodigy. But the Egyptians had no such horror of it; for it was to them a representation of the incarnation of the Deity, and the communication of his creative spirit to man. It was one of the sacraments of that ancient church, and was, without doubt, beheld with that pious awe and reverence with which devout persons always contemplate the mysteries of their faith, whatever they happen to be; for, as the learned and orthodox Bishop Warburton, whose authority it is not for me to dispute, says, from the nature of any action morality cannot arise, nor from its effects; 1 therefore, for aught we can tell, this ceremony, however shocking it may appear to modern manners and opinions, might have been intrinsically meritorious at the time of its celebration, and afforded a truly edifying spectacle to the saints of ancient Egypt. Indeed, the Greeks do not seem to have felt much horror or disgust at the imitative representation of it, whatever the historian might have thought proper to express at the real celebration. Several specimens of their sculpture in this way have escaped the fury of the reformers, and remained for the instruction of later times. One of these, found among the ruins of Herculaneum, and
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PHALLIC FIGURES FOUND IN ENGLAND
kept concealed in the Royal Museum of Portici, is well known. Another exists in the collection of Mr. Townley, which I have thought proper to have engraved for the benefit of the learned. 1 It may be remarked, that in these monuments the goat is passive instead of active; and that the human symbol is represented as incarnate with the divine, instead of the divine with the human: but this is in fact no difference; for the Creator, being of both sexes, is represented indifferently of either. In the other symbol of the bull, the sex is equally varied; the Greek medals having sometimes a bull, and sometimes a cow, 2 which, Strabo tells us, was employed as the symbol of Venus, the passive generative power, at Momemphis, in Egypt. 3 Both the bull and the cow are also worshipped at present by the Hindoos, as symbols of the male and female, or generative and nutritive, powers of the Deity. The cow is in almost all their pagodas; but the bull is revered with superior solemnity and devotion. At Tanjour is a monument of their piety to him, which even the inflexible perseverance, and habitual industry of the natives of that country, could scarcely have erected
without greater knowledge in practical mechanics than they now possess. It is a statue of a bull lying down, hewn, with great accuracy, out of a single piece of hard granite, which has been conveyed by land from the distance of one hundred miles, although its weight, in its present reduced state, must be at least one hundred tons. 1 The Greeks sometimes made their Taurine Bacchus, or bull, with a human face, to express both sexes, which they signified by the initial of the epithet Λιφνης placed under him. 2 Over him they frequently put the radiated asterisk, which represents the sun, to show the Deity, whose attribute he was intended to express. 3 Hence we may perceive the reason why the Germans, who, according to Cæsar, 4 worshipped the sun, carried a brazen bull, as the image of their God, when they invaded the Roman dominions in the time of Marius; 5 and even the chosen people of Providence, when they made unto themselves an image of the God who was to conduct them through the desert,
and cast out the ungodly, from before them, made it in the shape of a young bull, or calf. 1
The Greeks, as they advanced in the cultivation of the imitative arts, gradually changed the animal for the human form, preserving still the original character. The human head was at first added to the body of the bull; 2 but afterwards the whole figure was made human, with some of the features, and general character of the animal, blended with it. 3 Oftentimes, however, these mixed figures had a peculiar and proper meaning, like that of the Vatican Bronze; and were not intended as mere refinements of art. Such are the fawns and satyrs, who represent the emanations of the Creator, incarnate with man, acting as his angels and ministers in the work of universal generation. In copulation with the goat, they represent the reciprocal incarnation of man with the deity, when incorporated with universal matter: for Deity, being both male and female, was both act and passive in procreation; first animating man by an emanation from his own essence, and then employing that emanation to reproduce, in conjunction with the common productive powers of nature,
which are no other than his own prolific spirit transfused through matter.
These mixed beings are derived from Pan, the principle of universal order; of whose personified image they partake. Pan is addressed in the Orphic Litanies as the first-begotten love, or creator incorporated in universal matter, and so forming the world. 1 The heaven, the earth, water, and fire are said to be members of him; and he is described as the origin and source of all things (πανοφνης γενετωζπατων), as representing matter animated by the Divine Spirit. Lycæan Pan was the most ancient and revered God of the Arcadians, 2 the most ancient people of Greece. The epithet Lycæan (Λυκαοις), is usually derived from λυκος, a wolf; though it is impossible to find any relation which this etymology can have with the deities to which it is applied; for the epithet Λυκαιος, or Λυκειοσ (which is only the different pronunciation of a different dialect), is occasionally applied to almost all the gods. I have therefore no doubt, but that it ought to be derived from the old word λυκος, or λυκη, light; from which came the Latin word lux. 3 In this sense it is a very proper epithet for the Divine Nature, of whose essence light was supposed
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BRONZE STATUE OF CERES
to be. I am confirmed in this conjecture by a word in the Electra of Sophocles, which seems hitherto to have been misunderstood. At the opening of the play, the old tutor of Orestes, entering Argos with his young pupil, points out to him the most celebrated public buildings, and amongst them the Lycæan Forum, τψ λυκοκτουψ Θεψ which the scholiast and translators interpret, of the wolf-killing God, though there is no reason whatever why this epithet should be applied to Apollo. But, if we derive the compound from λυκος, light, and εκτεινειν, to extend, instead of κτεινειν, to kill, the meaning will be perfectly just and natural; for light-extending, is of all others the properest epithet for the sun. Sophocles, as well as Virgil, is known to have been an admirer of ancient expressions, and to have imitated Homer more than any other Attic Poet; therefore, his employing an obsolete word is not to be wondered at. Taking this etymology as the true one, the Lycæan Pan of Arcadia is Pan the luminous; that is, the divine essence of light incorporated in universal matter. The Arcadians called him τον της υλης Κυριον, the lord of matter as Macrobius rightly translates it. 1 He was hence called Sylvanus by the Latins; Sylvus being, in the ancient Pelasgian and Æolian Greek, from which the
[paragraph continues] Latin is derived, the same as ἱλη for it is well known to all who have compared the two languages attentively, that the Sigma and Vau are letters, the one of which was partially, and the other generally omitted by the Greeks, in the refinement of their pronunciation and orthography which took place after the emigration of the Latian and Etruscan colonies. The Chorus in the Ajax of Sophocles address Pan by the title of Ἁλιπλαγκος, 1 probably because he was worshipped on the shores of the sea; water being reckoned the best and most prolific of the subordinate elements, 2 upon which the Spirit of God, according to Moses, or the Plastic Nature, according to the Platonics, operating, produced life and motion on earth. Hence the ocean is said by Homer to be the source of all things; 3 and hence the use of water in baptism, which was to regenerate, and, in a manner, new create the person baptised; for the soul, supposed by many of the primitive Christians to be naturally mortal, was then supposed to become immortal. 4 Upon the same principle, the figure of Pan, 5
is represented pouring water upon the organ of generation; that is, invigorating the active creative power by the prolific element upon which it acted; for water was considered as the essence of the passive principle, as fire was of the active; the one being of terrestrial, and the other of æthereal origin. Hence, St. John the Baptist, who might have acquired some knowledge of the ancient theology, through its revivers, the Eclectic Jews, says: I, indeed, baptise you in water to repentance; but he that cometh after me, who is more powerful than I am, shall baptise you in Holy Spirit, and in fire: 1 that is, I only purify and refresh the soul, by a communion with the terrestrial principle of life; but he that cometh after me, will regenerate and restore it, by a communion with the æthereal principle. 2 Pan is again addressed in Salaminian Chorus of the same tragedy of Sophocles, by the titles of author and director of the dances of the gods (Θεων χοροποἰ αναξ), as being the author and disposer of the regular motions of the universe, of which these divine dances were symbols, which are said in the same passage to be (αυτοδαη) self-taught
to him. Both the Gnossian and Nysian dances are here included, 1 the former sacred to Jupiter, and the latter to Bacchus; for Pan, being the principle of universal order, partook of the nature of all the other gods. They were personifications of particular modes of acting of the great all-ruling principle; and he, of his general law and pre-established harmony by which he governs the universe. Hence he is often represented playing on a pipe; music being the natural emblem of this physical harmony. According to Plutarch, the Jupiter Ammon of the Africans was the same as the Pan of the Greeks. 2 This explains the reason why the Macedonian kings assumed the horns of that god; for, though Alexander pretended to be his son, his successors never pretended to any such honour; and yet they equally assumed the symbols, as appears from their medals. 3 The case is, that Pan, or Ammon, being the universe, and Jupiter a title of the Supreme God (as will be shown hereafter), the horns, the emblems of his power, seemed the properest symbols of that supreme and universal dominion to which they all, as well as Alexander,
had the ambition to aspire. The figure of Ammon was compounded of the forms of the ram, as that of Pan was of the goat; the reason of which is difficult to ascertain, unless we suppose that goats were unknown in the country where his worship arose, and that the ram expressed the same attribute. 1 In a gem in the Museum of Charles Townley, Esq., the head of the Greek Pan is joined to that of a ram, on the body of a cock, over whose head is the asterisk of the sun, and below it the head of an aquatic fowl, attached to the same body. 2 The cock is the symbol of the sun, probably from proclaiming his approach in the morning; and the aquatic fowl is the emblem of water; so that this composition, apparently so whimsical, represents the universe between the two great prolific elements, the one the active, and the other the passive cause of all things.
60:1 Liv. Hist. Epitom. lib. xi.
61:1 When Homer praises any work of art, he calls. It the work of Sidonians.
61:2 See Plate II, Fig. 3.
62:1 Div. Leg. book i. c. 4.
65:1 See Plate VII.
65:2 See Plate IV. Fig. 1, 2, 3, and Plate III. Fig. 4, engraved from medals belonging to me.
65:3 Lib. xvii.
66:1 See Plate XXII. with the measurements, as made by Capt. Patterson on the spot.
66:2 See Plate IV. Fig. 2, from a medal of Naples in the Hunter collection.
66:3 See Plate IV. Fig. 2, and Plate XIX. Fig. 4, from a medal of Cales, belonging to me.
66:4 De B. G., lib. vi.
66:5 Plut. in Mario.
67:1 Exod. c. xxxii., with Patrick's Commentary.
67:2 See the medals of Naples, Gels. &c. Plate IV. Fig. 2. and Plate IX. Fig. 11, are specimens; but the coins are in all collections.
67:3 see Bronzi d'Herculano, tom. V. Plate V.
68:1 Hymn. x.
68:2 Dionys. Antiq. Rom. lib. i. c. 32.
68:3 Macrob. Sat. xvii.
71:1 Sat. i. c. 22.
72:1 Ver. 703.
72:2 Pindar. Olymp. I. ver 1. Diodor. Sic. lib. i. p. II.
72:3 Il. Θ, ver. 246, and ζ, ver. 196.
72:4 Clementina, Hom. xii. Arnob. adv. Gentes, lib. ii.
72:5 See Plate V. Fig. I. The original is among the antiquities found in Herculaneum, now in the Museum of Portici.
73:1 Matth. c. iii.
73:2 It is the avowed intention of the learned and excellent work of Grotius, to prove that there is nothing new in Christianity. What I have here adduced, may serve to confirm and illustrate the discoveries of that great and good man. See de Veritate Relig. Christ. lib. iv, c. 12.
74:1 Ver. 708.
74:2 De Is. et Os.
74:3 See Plate IV. Fig 4, engraved from one of Lysimachus, of exquisite beauty, belonging to me. Antigonus put the head of Pan upon his coins, which. are not uncommon.