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The Evil Eye, by Frederick Thomas Elworthy, [1895], at

p. 226


A VERY short excursion in the field of comparative religions will show how one idea seems to have come from the far East in the early days of mankind, and to have taken root in the minds of all races who came westward. We have already referred to the faith which led the Magi to follow the star to Bethlehem. Throughout the East it was the primæval instinct that a child was to be born of a celestial mother, who should destroy the spirit of evil and be the saviour of mankind. Not only so, but the mother was to conceive and to bring him forth from her own inherent power. 366 With the triune male deity we find a single female associated. "Her names are innumerable, 'Mother of all the Gods,' The Lady, The Queen, Mulita, Bilta, Ishtar, or the bright, pure being. She is also Ri, Alitta, Elissa, Beltis, Ashtoreth, Astarte, Saraha or Sara, Nana, Asurah, Tanith. All these and more are Babylonish, but elsewhere she is Athor, Dea, Syria, Artemis, Aphrodite, Rhea, Demeter, Ceres, Diana, Minerva, Juno, Venus, Isis, Cybele, Ge, Hera. As Anaitis she is 'The Mother of the Child'; reproduced again as Isis and Horus, Devaki and Christna, Aurora and Memnon. Even in ancient Mexico the mother and child were worshipped. In modern times she survives as the Virgin Mary and her Son. There were Ishtar of Nineveh and Ishtar of Arbela, just as there are now Maria di Loretto and Marie de la Garde."

Indranee (and her child), consort of Indur from the cave of Indur Subha, are again one and the same person. Fig. 74 367 really represents Mary, whose name is synonymous with maternity, but not with ordinary maternity occurring on earth, inasmuch as throughout the ancient mythologies

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the celestial mother was represented as a virgin 368--the same "woman who has replaced in Christendom the celestial virgin of Paganism."

The same author 369 records that in India, Christna, Chrishna, or Vishnu, is usually called "the saviour" or "preserver." "He, being a god, became incarnate in the flesh. As soon as he was born he was saluted by a chorus of angels or avators." "One of his names is 'the Good Shepherd.' Christna cured a leper, a woman poured on his head a box of ointment, and he cured her of disease. He washed the feet of Brahmins. Christna had a dreadful fight with the serpent Caluga. He astonished his tutor by his learning. He was crucified, went into hell, and afterwards into heaven. Christna and his mother are always represented as black. His statue in the temple at Mathura is black, and the temple is built in the form of a cross. As Vishnu he is painted with a Parthian coronet, when crucified. As Wittoba he has sometimes the stigmata in his hands, and sometimes in his feet, and one picture represents him with a round hole in his side: to his collar hangs a heart." 370

This account is so remarkable in its correspondence with our Gospel narrative that it seems almost incredible for it to be other than a paraphrase therefrom. Nevertheless, our author says "There is every reason to believe the legend to be more ancient than the Christian era." The various illustrations in other books fully support the foregoing. Chrishna is represented in Moor's Hindu Pantheon (p. 67) with a nimbus as shown in Fig. 72, while winged cherubs from above are sending down upon him rays of light, just as we are accustomed to see in pictures of the baptism of our Lord. He is also shown as crucified in precisely the same way, and with a crown of thorns and nimbus, just as we are accustomed to see in pictures of the Crucifixion. 371

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Isis and Horus were distinctly associated with a fish, for we find her represented as bearing a fish on her head
FIG. 90
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FIG. 90

instead of the usual disc and horns (Fig. 90). 372 Another author says: "The most obvious and ancient symbol of the reproductive power of water was a fish. 373 Derceto, goddess of the Phœnicians, had the body of a woman ending in a fish. We have already remarked that Diana was sovereign of humidity, and was symbolised in the aspect of the goddess of the fertilising power of water by a crab. We venture to suggest that these considerations offer another solution of the origin of the fish as a Christian symbol of Christ. The acrostic or rebus explanation of the Greek word for fish has always seemed speculative and far-fetched, when viewed by the light obtained from other well-understood objects, such as the cross, which have certainly been adopted from so-called heathenism. All these startling facts, so far from unsettling our weak minds upon the cardinal facts of our Christian belief, should but prove to us that they are founded upon an instinct planted in the breast of man as mysterious as his life, and just as inexplicable by his limited faculties. They do but point out the futility of what we in our pride call "knowledge," and suggest to us that the best motto modern savants could adopt would still be Quod scis nescis374

Further, we suggest that the celestial mother and child were not only objects of faith and worship, but representations

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of them were certainly used as amulets. In support of this we point to Fig. 91, a bronze
FIG. 91. From Author's Collection
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FIG. 91. From Author's Collection

arm from a larger figure, holding out a woman and child, in a manner which candour must admit to be conclusive. The bronze, of evident antiquity, was obtained by the writer from a native on the Nile. It is scarcely a likely object to have been forged. Another piece of convincing evidence is found in the woman and child in both representations of the Mano Pantea (Figs. 148, 156).


226:366 Inman, Ancient Faiths, Vol. i. p. 98 et seq.

226:367 From Asiatic Researches, Vol. vi. p. 393. I am quite aware that Lieutenant Wilford is said to have been imposed upon by stories invented for him. Into that controversy I need not enter, and merely give his statements for what they are worth. Prof. Max Müller refers to this in an article in Nineteenth Century, October 1894.

227:368 Inman, op. cit. Vol. i. p. 253.

227:369 Ib. vol. i. p. 400.

227:370 Ib. vol. i. pp. 400-403.

227:371 Much information on this subject may be found in Hislop's Two Babylons, pp. 30-90. It is needless to say that we have no sympathy with p. 228 the purpose of this book nor with the spirit in which it is written. Moreover, judging from some of those we have endeavoured to verify, the references cannot be wholly relied on.

228:372 Inman, Ancient Faiths, vol. i. Frontispiece; also p. 520.

228:373 Payne Knight, Symbolical Language, p. 111.

228:374 Upon this subject see Mr. Gladstone's remarks in a paper on Heresy in the Nineteenth Century, August 1894, p. 174.

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