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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Eurchrist or Lord's Supper

We are informed by the Matthew narrator that when Jesus was eating his last supper with the disciples,
"He took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."[305:1]
According to Christian belief, Jesus instituted this "Sacrament"[305:2]—as it is called—and it was observed by the primitive Christians, as he had enjoined them; but we shall find that this breaking of bread, and drinking of wine,—supposed to be the body and blood of a god[305:3]—is simply another piece of Paganism imbibed by the Christians.
The Eucharist was instituted many hundreds of years before the time assigned for the birth of Christ Jesus. Cicero, the greatest orator of Rome, and one of the most illustrious of her statesmen, born in the year 106 B. C., mentions it in his works, and wonders at the strangeness of the rite. "How can a man be so stupid," says he, "as to imagine that which he eats to be a God?" There had been an esoteric meaning attached to it from the first establishment of themysteries among the Pagans, and the Eucharistia is one of the oldest rites of antiquity.
The adherents of the Grand Lama in Thibet and Tartary offer to their god a sacrament of bread and wine.[305:4]
P. Andrada La Crozius, a French missionary, and one of the first Christians who went to Nepaul and Thibet, says in his "History of India:"
"Their Grand Lama celebrates a species of sacrifice with bread and wine, in which, after taking a small quantity himself, he distributes the rest among the Lamas present at this ceremony."[306:1]
In certain rites both in the Indian and the Parsee religions, the devotees drink the juice of the Soma, or Haoma plant. They consider it a god as well as a plant, just as the wine of the Christian sacrament is considered both the juice of the grape, and the blood of the Redeemer.[306:2] Says Mr. Baring-Gould:
"Among the ancient Hindoos, Soma was a chief deity; he is called 'the Giver of Life and of health,' the 'Protector,' he who is 'the Guide to Immortality.' He became incarnate among men, was taken by them and slain, and brayed in a mortar. But he rose in flame to heaven, to be the 'Benefactor of the World,' and the 'Mediator between God and Man.' Through communion with him in his sacrifice, man, (who partook of this god), has an assurance of immortality, for by that sacrament he obtains union with his divinity."[306:3]
The ancient Egyptians—as we have seen—annually celebrated the Resurrection of their God and Saviour Osiris, at which time they commemorated his death by the Eucharist, eating the sacred cake, or wafer, after it had been consecrated by the priest, and become veritable flesh of his flesh.[306:4] The bread, after sacerdotal rites, became mystically the body of Osiris, and, in such a manner, they ate their god.[306:5] Bread and wine were brought to the temples by the worshipers, as offerings.[306:6]
The Therapeutes or Essenes, whom we believe to be of Buddhist origin, and who lived in large numbers in Egypt, also had the ceremony of the sacrament among them.[306:7] Most of them, however, being temperate, substituted water for wine, while others drank a mixture of water and wine.
Pythagoras, the celebrated Grecian philosopher, who was born about the year 570 B. C., performed this ceremony of the sacrament.[306:8] He is supposed to have visited Egypt, and there availed himself of all such mysterious lore as the priests could be induced to impart. He and his followers practiced asceticism, and peculiarities of diet and clothing, similar to the Essenes, which has led some scholars to believe that he instituted the order, but this is evidently not the case.
The Kenite "King of Righteousness," Melchizedek, "a priest of the Most High God," brought out BREAD and WINE as a sign or symbol of worship; as the mystic elements of Divine presence. In the visible symbol of bread and wine they worshiped the invisible presence of the Creator of heaven and earth.[307:1]
To account for this, Christian divines have been much puzzled. The Rev. Dr. Milner says, in speaking of this passage:
"It was in offering up a sacrifice of bread and wine, instead of slaughtered animals, that Melchizedek's sacrifice differed from the generality of those in the old law, and that he prefigured the sacrifice which Christ was to institute in the new law from the same elements. No other sense than this can be elicited from the Scripture as to this matter; and accordingly the holy fathers unanimously adhere to this meaning."[307:2]
This style of reasoning is in accord with the TYPE theory concerning the Virgin-born, Crucified and Resurrected Saviours, but it is not altogether satisfactory. If it had been said that the religion of Melchizedek, and the religion of the Persians, were the same, there would be no difficulty in explaining the passage.
Not only were bread and wine brought forth by Melchizedek when he blessed Abraham, but it was offered to God and eaten before him by Jethro and the elders of Israel, and some, at least, of the mourning Israelites broke bread and drank "the cup of consolation," in remembrance of the departed, "to comfort them for the dead."[307:3]
It is in the ancient religion of Persia—the religion of Mithra, the Mediator, the Redeemer and Saviour—that we find the nearest resemblance to the sacrament of the Christians, and from which it was evidently borrowed. Those who were initiated into the mysteries of Mithra, or became members, took the sacrament of bread and wine.[307:4]
M. Renan, speaking of Mithraicism, says:
"It had its mysterious meetings: its chapels, which bore a strong resemblance to little churches. It forged a very lasting bond of brotherhood between its initiates: it had a Eucharist, a Supper so like the Christian Mysteries, that good Justin Martyr, the Apologist, can find only one explanation of the apparent identity, namely, that Satan, in order to deceive the human race, determined to imitate the Christian ceremonies, and so stole them."[307:5]
The words of St. Justin, wherein he alludes to this ceremony, are as follows:
"The apostles, in the commentaries written by themselves, which we call Gospels, have delivered down to us how that Jesus thus commanded them: He having taken bread, after he had given thanks,[308:1] said, Do this in commemoration of me; this is my body. And having taken a cup, and returned thanks, he said: This is my blood, and delivered it to them alone. Which thing indeed the evil spirits have taught to be done out of mimicry in the Mysteries and Initiatory rites of Mithra.
"For you either know, or can know, that bread and a cup of water (or wine) are given out, with certain incantations, in the consecration of the person who is being initiated in the Mysteries of Mithra."[308:2]
This food they called the Eucharist, of which no one was allowed to partake but the persons who believed that the things they taught were true, and who had been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sin.[308:3] Tertullian, who flourished from 193 to 220 A. D., also speaks of the Mithraic devotees celebrating the Eucharist.[308:4]
The Eucharist of the Lord and Saviour, as the Magi called Mithra, the second person in their Trinity, or their Eucharistic sacrifice, was always made exactly and in every respect the same as that of the orthodox Christians, for both sometimes used water instead of wine, or a mixture of the two.[308:5]
The Christian Fathers often liken their rites to those of the Therapeuts (Essenes) and worshipers of Mithra. Here is Justin Martyr's account of Christian initiation:
"But we, after we have thus washed him who has been convinced and assented to our teachings, bring him to the place where those who are called brethren are assembled, in order that we may offer hearty prayers in common for ourselves and the illuminatedperson. Having ended our prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. There is then brought to the president of the brethren bread and a cup of wine mixed with water. When the president has given thanks, and all the people have expressed their assent, those that are called by us deacons give to each of those present to partake of the bread and wine mixed with water."[308:6]
In the service of Edward the Sixth of England, water is directed to be mixed with the wine.[309:1] This is a union of the two; not a half measure, but a double one. If it be correct to take it with wine, then they were right; if with water, they still were right; as they took both, they could not be wrong.
The bread, used in these Pagan Mysteries, was carried in baskets, which practice was also adopted by the Christians. St. Jerome, speaking of it, says:
"Nothing can be richer than one who carries the body of Christ (viz.: the bread) in a basket made of twigs."[309:2]
The Persian Magi introduced the worship of Mithra into Rome, and his mysteries were solemnized in a cave. In the process of initiation there, candidates were also administered the sacrament of bread and wine, and were marked on the forehead with the sign of the cross.[309:3]
The ancient Greeks also had their "Mysteries," wherein they celebrated the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. The Rev. Robert Taylor, speaking of this, says:
"The Eleusinian Mysteries, or, Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, was the most august of all the Pagan ceremonies celebrated, more especially by the Athenians, every fifth year,[309:4] in honor of Ceres, the goddess of corn, who, in allegorical language, had given us her flesh to eat; as Bacchus, the god of wine, in like sense, had given us his blood to drink. . . .
"From these ceremonies is derived the very name attached to our Christian sacrament of the Lord's Supper,—'those holy Mysteries;'—and not one or two, but absolutely all and every one of the observances used in our Christian solemnity. Very many of our forms of expression in that solemnity are precisely the same as those that appertained to the Pagan rite."[309:5]
Prodicus (a Greek sophist of the 5th century B. C.) says that, the ancients worshiped bread as Demeter (Ceres) and wine as Dionysos (Bacchus);[309:6]therefore, when they ate the bread, and drank the wine, after it had been consecrated, they were doing as the Romanists claim to do at the present day, i. e.,eating the flesh and drinking the blood of their god.[309:7]
Mosheim, the celebrated ecclesiastical historian, acknowledges that:
"The profound respect that was paid to the Greek and Roman Mysteries, and the extraordinary sanctity that was attributed to them, induced the Christians of the second century, to give their religion a mystic air, in order to put it upon an equal footing in point of dignity, with that of the Pagans. For this purpose they gave the name of Mysteries to the institutions of the Gospels, and decorated particularly the 'Holy Sacrament' with that title; they used the very terms employed in the Heathen Mysteries, and adopted some of the rites and ceremonies of which those renowned mysteries consisted. This imitation began in the eastern provinces; but, after the time of Adrian, who first introduced the mysteries among the Latins, it was followed by the Christians who dwelt in the western part of the empire. A great part, therefore, of the service of the Church in this—the second—century, had a certain air of the Heathen Mysteries, and resembled them considerably in many particulars."[310:1]


Eleusinian Mysteries and Christian Sacraments Compared

1. "But as the benefit of Initiation was great, such as were convicted of witchcraft, murder, even though unintentional, or any other heinous crimes, were debarred from those mysteries."[310:2]

1. "For as the benefit is great, if, with a true penitent heart and lively faith, we receive that holy sacrament, &c., if any be an open and notorious evil-liver, or hath done wrong to his neighbor, &c., that he presume not to come to the Lord's table."[310:3]
2. "At their entrance, purifying themselves, by washing their hands in holy water, they were at the same time admonished to present themselves with pure minds, without which the external cleanness of the body would by no means be accepted."[310:4]

2. See the fonts of holy water at the entrance of every Catholic chapel in Christendom for the same purpose.

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water."[310:5]
3. "The priests who officiated in these sacred solemnities, were called Hierophants, or 'revealers of holy things.'"[310:6]

3. The priests who officiate at these Christian solemnities are supposed to be 'revealers of holy things.'
4. The Pagan Priest dismissed their congregation with these words:
"The Lord be with you."[310:7]

4. The Christian priests dismiss their congregation with these words:
"The Lord be with you."
These Eleusinian Mysteries were accompanied with various rites, expressive of the purity and self-denial of the worshiper, and were therefore considered to be an expiation of past sins, and to place the initiated under the special protection of the awful and potent goddess who presided over them.[310:8]
These mysteries were, as we have said, also celebrated in honor of Bacchus as well as Ceres. A consecrated cup of wine was handed around after supper, called the "Cup of the Agathodaemon"—the Good Divinity.[311:1] Throughout the whole ceremony, the name of the Lord was many times repeated, and his brightness or glory not only exhibited to the eye by the rays which surrounded his name (or his monogram, I. H. S.), but was made the peculiar theme or subject of their triumphant exultation.[311:2]
The mystical wine and bread were used during the Mysteries of Adonis, the Lord and Saviour.[311:3] In fact, the communion of bread and wine was used in the worship of nearly every important deity.[311:4]
The rites of Bacchus were celebrated in the British Islands in heathen times,[311:5] and so were those of Mithra, which were spread over Gaul and Great Britain.[311:6] We therefore find that the ancient Druids offered the sacrament of bread and wine, during which ceremony they were dressed in white robes,[311:7] just as the Egyptian priests of Isis were in the habit of dressing, and as the priests of many Christian sects dress at the present day.
Among some negro tribes in Africa there is a belief that "on eating and drinking consecrated food they eat and drink the god himself."[311:8]
The ancient Mexicans celebrated the mysterious sacrament of the Eucharist, called the "most holy supper," during which they ate the flesh of their god. The bread used at their Eucharist was made of corn meal, which they mixed with blood, instead of wine. This was consecrated by the priest, and given to the people, who ate it with humility and penitence, as the flesh of their god.[311:9]
Lord Kingsborough, in his "Mexican Antiquities," speaks of the ancient Mexicans as performing this sacrament; when they made a cake, which they calledTzoalia. The high priest blessed it in his manner, after which he broke it into pieces, and put it into certain very clean vessels. He then took a thorn ofmaguery, which resembles a thick needle, with which he took up with the utmost reverence single morsels, which he put into the mouth of each individual, after the manner of a communion.[311:10]
The writer of the "Explanation of Plates of the Codex Vaticanus,"—which are copies of Mexican hieroglyphics—says:
"I am disposed to believe that these poor people have had the knowledge of our mode of communion, or of the annunciation of the gospel; or perhaps the devil, most envious of the honor of God, may have led them into this superstition, in order that by this ceremony he might be adored and served as Christ our Lord."[312:1]
The Rev. Father Acosta says:
"That which is most admirable in the hatred and presumption of Satan is, that he hath not only counterfeited in idolatry and sacrifice, but also in certain ceremonies, our Sacraments, which Jesus Christ our Lord hath instituted and the holy Church doth use, having especially pretended to imitate in some sort the Sacrament of the Communion, which is the most high and divine of all others."
He then relates how the Mexicans and Peruvians, in certain ceremonies, ate the flesh of their god, and called certain morsels of paste, "the flesh and bones of Vitzilipuzlti."
"After putting themselves in order about these morsels and pieces of paste, they used certain ceremonies with singing, by means whereof they (the pieces of paste) were blessed and consecrated for the flesh and bones of this idol."[312:2]
These facts show that the Eucharist is another piece of Paganism adopted by the Christians. The story of Jesus and his disciples being at supper, where the Master did break bread, may be true, but the statement that he said, "Do this in remembrance of me,"—"this is my body," and "this is my blood," was undoubtedly invented to give authority to the mystic ceremony, which had been borrowed from Paganism.
Why should they do this in remembrance of Jesus? Provided he took this supper with his disciples—which the John narrator denies[312:3]—he did not do anything on that occasion new or unusual among Jews. To pronounce the benediction, break the bread, and distribute pieces thereof to the persons at table, was, and is now, a common usage of the Hebrews. Jesus could not have commanded born Jews to do in remembrance of him what they already practiced, and what every religious Jew does to this day. The whole story is evidently a myth, as a perusal of it with the eye of a critic clearly demonstrates.
The Mark narrator informs us that Jesus sent two of his disciples to the city, and told them this:
"Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water; follow him. And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will show you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover."[313:1]
The story of the passover or the last supper, seems to be introduced in this unusual manner to make it manifest that a divine power is interested in, and conducting the whole affair, parallels of which we find in the story of Elieser and Rebecca, where Rebecca is to identify herself in a manner pre-arranged by Elieser with God;[313:2] and also in the story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath, where by God's directions a journey is made, and the widow is found.[313:3]
It suggests itself to our mind that this style of connecting a supernatural interest with human affairs was not entirely original with the Mark narrator. In this connection it is interesting to note that a man in Jerusalem should have had an unoccupied and properly furnished room just at that time, when two millions of pilgrims sojourned in and around the city. The man, it appears, was not distinguished either for wealth or piety, for his name is not mentioned; he was not present at the supper, and no further reference is made to him. It appears rather that the Mark narrator imagined an ordinary man who had a furnished room to let for such purposes, and would imply that Jesus knew it prophetically. He had only to pass in his mind from Elijah to his disciple Elisha, for whom the great woman of Shunem had so richly furnished an upper chamber, to find a like instance.[313:4] Why should not somebody have furnished also an upper chamber for the Messiah?
The Matthew narrator's account is free from these embellishments, and simply runs thus: Jesus said to some of his disciples—the number is not given—
"Go into the city to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at thy house with my disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the passover."[313:5]
In this account, no pitcher, no water, no prophecy is mentioned.[313:6]
It was many centuries before the genuine heathen doctrine of Transubstantiation—a change of the elements of the Eucharist into the real body and blood of Christ Jesus—became a tenet of the Christian faith. This greatest of mysteries was developed gradually. As early as the second century, however, the seeds were planted, when we find Ignatius, Justin Martyr, and Irenæus advancing the opinion, that the mere bread and wine became, in the Eucharist, something higher—the earthly, something heavenly—without, however, ceasing to be bread and wine. Though these views were opposed by some eminent individual Christian teachers, yet both among the people and in the ritual of the Church, the miraculous or supernatural view of the Lord's Supper gained ground. After the third century the office of presenting the bread and wine came to be confined to the ministers or priests. This practice arose from, and in turn strengthened, the notion which was gaining ground, that in this act of presentation by the priest, a sacrifice, similar to that once offered up in the death of Christ Jesus, though bloodless, was ever anew presented to God. This still deepened the feeling of mysterious significance and importance with which the rite of the Lord's Supper was viewed, and led to that gradually increasing splendor of celebration which took the form of the Mass. As in Christ Jesus two distinct natures, the divine and the human, were wonderfully combined, so in the Eucharist there was a corresponding union of the earthly and the heavenly.
For a long time there was no formal declaration of the mind of the Church on the real presence of Christ Jesus in the Eucharist. At length a discussion on the point was raised, and the most distinguished men of the time took part in it. One party maintained that "the bread and wine are, in the act of consecration, transformed by the omnipotence of God into the very body of Christ which was once born of Mary, nailed to the cross, and raised from the dead." According to this conception, nothing remains of the bread and wine but the outward form, the taste and the smell; while the other party would only allow that there issome change in the bread and wine themselves, but granted that an actual transformation of their power and efficacy takes place.
The greater accordance of the first view with the credulity of the age, its love for the wonderful and magical, the interest of the priesthood to add lustre, in accordance with the heathens, to a rite which enhanced their own office, resulted in the doctrine of Transubstantiation being declared an article of faith of the Christian Church.
Transubstantiation, the invisible change of the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, is a tenet that may defy the powers of argument and pleasantry; but instead of consulting the evidence of their senses, of their sight, their feeling, and their taste, the first Protestants were entangled in their own scruples, and awed by the reputed words of Jesus in the institution of the sacrament. Luther maintained a corporeal, and Calvin a real presence of Christ in the Eucharist; and the opinion of Zuinglius, that it is no more than a spiritual communion, a simple memorial, has slowly prevailed in the reformed churches.[315:1]
Under Edward VI. the reformation was more bold and perfect, but in the fundamental articles of the Church of England, a strong and explicit declaration against the real presence was obliterated in the original copy, to please the people, or the Lutherans, or Queen Elizabeth. At the present day, the Greek and Roman Catholics alone hold to the original doctrine of the real presence.
Of all the religious observances among heathens, Jews, or Turks, none has been the cause of more hatred, persecution, outrage, and bloodshed, than the Eucharist. Christians persecuted one another like relentless foes, and thousands of Jews were slaughtered on account of the Eucharist and the Host.


FOOTNOTES:
[305:1]Matt. xxvi. 26. See also, Mark, xiv. 22.
[305:2]At the heading of the chapters named in the above note may be seen the words: "Jesus keepeth the Passover (and) instituteth the Lord's Supper."
[305:3]According to the Roman Christians, the Eucharist is the natural body and blood of Christ Jesus verè et realiter, but the Protestant sophistically explains away these two plain words verily and indeed, and by the grossest abuse of language, makes them to meanspiritually by grace and efficacy. "In the sacrament of the altar," says the Protestant divine, "is the natural body and blood of Christ verè et realiter, verily and indeed, if you take these terms for spiritually by grace and efficacy; but if you mean really and indeed, so that thereby you would include a lively and movable body under the form of bread and wine, then in that sense it is not Christ's body in the sacrament really and indeed."
[305:4]See Inman's Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 203, and Anacalypsis, i. 232.
[306:1]"Leur grand Lama célèbre une espèce de sacrifice avec du pain et du vin dont il prend une petite quantité, et distribue le reste aux Lamas presens à cette cérémonie." (Quoted in Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 118.)
[306:2]Viscount Amberly's Analysis, p. 46.
[306:3]Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 401.
[306:4]See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 163.
[306:5]See Ibid. p. 417.
[306:6]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 179.
[306:7]See Bunsen's Keys of St. Peter, p. 199; Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 60, and Lillie's Buddhism, p. 136.
[306:8]See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 60.
[307:1]See Bunsen's Keys of St. Peter, p. 55, and Genesis, xiv. 18, 19.
[307:2]St. Jerome says: "Melchizédek in typo Christi panem et vinum obtulit: et mysterium Christianum in Salvatoris sanguine et corpore dedicavit."
[307:3]See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 227.
[307:4]See King's Gnostics and their Remains, p. xxv., and Higgins' Anacalypsis, vol. ii. pp. 58, 59.
[307:5]Renan's Hibbert Lectures, p. 35.
[308:1]In the words of Mr. King: "This expression shows that the notion of blessing or consecrating the elements was as yet unknown to the Christians."
[308:2]Apol. 1. ch. lxvi.
[308:3]Ibid.
[308:4]De Præscriptione Hæreticorum, ch. xl. Tertullian explains this conformity between Christianity and Paganism, by asserting that the devil copied the Christian mysteries.
[308:5]"De Tinctione, de oblatione panis, et de imagine resurrectionis, videatur doctiss, de la Cerda ad ea Tertulliani loca ubi de hiscerebus agitur. Gentiles citra Christum, talia celébradant Mithriaca quæ videbantur cum doctrinâ eucharistæ et resurrectionis et aliis ritibus Christianis convenire, quæ fecerunt ex industria ad imitationem Christianismi: unde Tertulliani et Patres aiunt eos talia fecisse, duce diabolo, quo vult esse simia Christi, &c. Volunt itaque eos res suas ita compârasse, ut Mithræ mysteria essent eucharistiæ Christianæ imago. Sic Just. Martyr (p. 98), et Tertullianus et Chrysostomus. In suis etiam sacris habebant Mithriaci lavacra (quasi regenerationis) in quibus tingit et ipse (sc. sacerdos) quosdam utique credentes et fideles suos, et expiatoria delictorum de lavacro repromittit et sic adhuc initiat Mithræ." (Hyde: De Relig. Vet. Persian, p. 113.)
[308:6]Justin: 1st Apol., ch. lvi.
[309:1]Dr. Grabes' Notes on Irenæus, lib. v. c. 2, in Anac., vol. i. p. 60.
[309:2]Quoted in Monumental Christianity, p. 370.
[309:3]See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 369.
"The Divine Presence called his angel of mercy and said unto him: 'Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set the mark of Tau (Τ, the headless cross) upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that are done in the midst thereof.'" Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, p. 305.
[309:4]They were celebrated every fifth year at Eleusis, a town of Attica, from whence their name.
[309:5]Taylor's Diegesis, p. 212.
[309:6]Müller: Origin of Religion, p. 181.
[309:7]"In the Bacchic Mysteries a consecrated cup (of wine) was handed around after supper, called the cup of the Agathodaemon." (Cousin: Lec. on Modn. Phil. Quoted in Isis Unveiled, ii. 513. See also, Dunlap's Spirit Hist., p. 217.)
[310:1]Eccl. Hist. cent. ii. pt. 2, sec. v.
[310:2]Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 282.
[310:3]Episcopal Communion Service.
[310:4]Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 282.
[310:5]Hebrews, x. 22.
[310:6]See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 213.
[310:7]See Ibid.
[310:8]Kenrick's Egypt, vol. i. p. 471.
[311:1]See Dunlap's Spirit Hist., p. 217, and Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 513.
[311:2]See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 214.
[311:3]See Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 139.
[311:4]See Ibid. p. 513.
[311:5]See Myths of the British Druids, p. 89.
[311:6]See Dupuis: Origin of Relig. Belief, p. 238.
[311:7]See Myths of the British Druids, p. 280, and Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 376.
[311:8]Herbert Spencer: Principles of Sociology, vol. i. p. 299.
[311:9]See Monumental Christianity, pp. 390 and 393.
[311:10]Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 220.
[312:1]Quoted In Mexican Antiquities, vol. vi. p. 221.
[312:2]Acosta: Hist. Indies, vol. ii. chs. xiii. and xiv.
[312:3]According to the "John" narrator, Jesus ate no Paschal meal, but was captured the evening before Passover, and was crucified before the feast opened. According to the Synoptics, Jesus partook of the Paschal supper, was captured the first night of the feast, and executed on the first day thereof, which was on a Friday. If the John narrator's account is true, that of the Synoptics is not, or vice versa.
[313:1]Mark, xiv. 13-16.
[313:2]Gen. xxiv.
[313:3]I. Kings, xvii. 8.
[313:4]II. Kings, iv. 8.
[313:5]Matt. xxvi. 18, 19.
[313:6]For further observations on this subject, see Dr. Isaac M. Wise's "Martyrdom of Jesus of Nazareth," a valuable little work, published at the office of the American Israelite, Cincinnati, Ohio.
[315:1]See Gibbon's Rome, vol. v. pp. 399, 400. Calvin, after quoting Matt. xxvi. 26, 27, says: "There is no doubt that as soon as these words are added to the bread and the wine, the bread and the wine become the true body and the true blood of Christ, so that the substance of bread and wine is transmuted into the true body and blood of Christ. He who denies this calls the omnipotence of Christ in question, and charges Christ himself with foolishness." (Calvin's Tracts, p. 214. Translated by Henry Beveridge, Edinburgh, 1851.) In other parts of his writings, Calvin seems to contradict this statement, and speaks of the bread and wine in the Eucharist as being symbolical. Gibbon evidently refers to the passage quoted above.

Extract from CHAPTER XXX, Eurchrist or  Lord's Supper "BIBLE MYTHS AND THEIR PARALLELS IN OTHER RELIGIONS" By T. W. DOANE,  1882. Produced by Marilynda Fraser-Cunliffe, Lisa Reigel, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net  http://www.gutenberg.org/files/31885/31885-h/31885-h.htm#Page_36