The writer of the fourth Gospel says:
"All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made that was made."[247:1]
"He was in the world and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not."[247:2]
In the "Epistle to the Colossians," we read that:
"By him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers; all things were created by him."[247:3]
Again, in the "Epistle to the Hebrews," we are told that:
"God hath spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world."[247:4]
Samuel Johnson, D. O. Allen,[247:5] and Thomas Maurice,[247:6] tell us that, according to the religion of the Hindoos, it is Crishna, the Son, and the second person in the ever blessed Trinity,[247:7] "who is the origin and end of all the worlds; all this universe, came into being through him, the eternal maker."[247:8]
In the holy book of the Hindoos, called the "Bhagvat Geeta," may be found the following words of Crishna, addressed to his "beloved disciple" Ar-jouan:
"I am the Lord of all created beings."[247:9] "Mankind was created by me of four kinds, distinct in their principles and in their duties; know me then to be the Creator of mankind, uncreated, and without decay."[247:10]
In Lecture VII., entitled: "Of the Principles of Nature, and the Vital Spirit," he also says:
"I am the creation and the dissolution of the whole universe. There is not anything greater than I, and all things hang on me."
Again, in Lecture IX., entitled, "Of the Chief of Secrets and Prince of Science," Crishna says:
"The whole world was spread abroad by me in my invisible form. All things are dependent on me." "I am the Father and the Mother of this world, the Grandsire and the Preserver. I am the Holy One worthy to be known; the mystic figure OM.[248:1] . . . I am the journey of the good; the Comforter; the Creator; the Witness; the Resting-place; the Asylum and the Friend."[248:2]
In Lecture X., entitled, "Of the diversity of the Divine Nature," he says:
"I am the Creator of all things, and all things proceed from me. Those who are endued with spiritual wisdom, believe this and worship me; their very hearts and minds are in me; they rejoice amongst themselves, and delight in speaking of my name, and teaching one another my doctrine."[248:3]
Innumerable texts, similar to these, might be produced from the Hindoo Scriptures, but these we deem sufficient to show, in the words of Samuel Johnson quoted above, that, "According to the religion of the Hindoos, it is Crishna who is the origin and the end of all the worlds;" and that "all this universe came into being through him, the Eternal Maker." The Chinese believed in One Supreme God, to whose honor they burnt incense, but of whom they had no image. This "God the Father" was not the Creator, according to their theology or mythology; but they had another god, of whom they had statues or idols, called Natigai, who was the god of all terrestrial things; in fact, God, the Creator of this world—inferior or subordinate to the Supreme Being—from whom they petition for fine weather, or whatever else they want—a sort of mediator.[248:4]
Lanthu, who was born of a "pure, spotless virgin," is believed by his followers or disciples to be the Creator of all things;[248:5] and Taou, a deified hero, who is mentioned about 560 B. C., is believed by some sects and affirmed by their books, to be "the original source and first productive cause of all things."[248:6]
In the Chaldean oracles, the doctrine of the "Only Begotten Son," I A O, as Creator, is plainly taught.
According to ancient Persian mythology, there is one supreme essence, invisible and incomprehensible, named "Zeruâné Akeréné" which signifies "unlimited time," or "the eternal." From him emanated Ormuzd, the "King of Light," the "First-born of the Eternal One," &c. Now, this "First-born of the Eternal One" is he by whom all things were made, all things came into being through him; he is the Creator.[249:1]
A large portion of the Zend-Avesta—the Persian Sacred Book or Bible—is filled with prayers to Ormuzd, God's First-Born. The following are samples:
"I address my prayer to Ormuzd, Creator of all things; who always has been, who is, and who will be forever; who is wise and powerful; who made the great arch of heaven, the sun, the moon, stars, winds, clouds, waters, earth, fire, trees, animals and men, whom Zoroaster adored. Zoroaster, who brought to the world knowledge of the law, who knew by natural intelligence, and by the ear, what ought to be done, all that has been, all that is, and all that will be; the science of sciences, the excellent word, by which souls pass the luminous and radiant bridge, separate themselves from the evil regions, and go to light and holy dwellings, full of fragrance. O Creator, I obey thy laws, I think, act, speak, according to thy orders. I separate myself from all sin. I do good works according to my power. I adore thee with purity of thought, word, and action. I pray to Ormuzd, who recompenses good works, who delivers unto the end all those who obey his laws. Grant that I may arrive at paradise, where all is fragrance, light, and happiness."[249:2]
According to the religion of the ancient Assyrians, it was Narduk, the Logos, the WORD, "the eldest son of Hea," "the Merciful One," "the Life-giver," &c., who created the heavens, the earth, and all that therein is.[249:3]
Adonis, the Lord and Saviour, was believed to be the Creator of men, and god of the resurrection of the dead.[249:4]
Prometheus, the Crucified Saviour, is the divine forethought, existing before the souls of men, and the creator Hominium.[249:5]
The writer of "The Gospel according to St. John," has made Christ Jesus co-eternal with God, as well as Creator, in these words:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God." "The same was in the beginning with God."[249:6]
Again, in praying to his Father, he makes Jesus say:
"And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was."[249:7]
Paul is made to say:
"And he (Christ) is before all things."[250:1]
"Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever."[250:2]
St. John the Divine, in his "Revelation," has made Christ Jesus say:
"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end"—"which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty,"[250:3] "the first and the last."[250:4]
Hindoo scripture also makes Crishna "the first and the last," "the beginning and the end." We read in the "Geeta," where Crishna is reported to have said:
"I myself never was not."[250:5] "Learn that he by whom all things were formed" (meaning himself) "is incorruptible."[250:6] "I am eternity and non-eternity."[250:7] "I am before all things, and the mighty ruler of the universe."[250:8] "I am the beginning, the middle and the end of all things."[250:9]
Arjouan, his disciple, addresses him thus:
"Thou art the Supreme Being, incorruptible, worthy to be known; thou art prime supporter of the universal orb; thou art the never-failing and eternal guardian of religion; thou art from all beginning, and I esteem thee."[250:10] Thou art "the Divine Being, before all other gods."[250:11]
Again he says:
"Reverence! Reverence be unto thee, before and behind! Reverence be unto thee on all sides, O thou who art all in all! Infinite in thy power and thy glory! Thou includest all things, wherefore thou art all things."[250:12]
In another Holy Book of the Hindoos, called the "Vishnu Purana," we also read that Vishnu—in the form of Crishna—"who descended into the womb of the (virgin) Devaki, and was born as her son" was "without beginning, middle or end."[250:13]
Buddha is also Alpha and Omega, without beginning or end, "The Lord," "the Possessor of All," "He who is Omnipotent and Everlastingly to be Contemplated," "the Supreme Being, the Eternal One."[250:14]
Lao-kiun, the Chinese virgin-born God, who came upon earth about six hundred years before Jesus, was without beginning. It was said that he had existed from all eternity.[250:15]
The legends of the Taou-tsze sect in China declare their founder to have existed antecedent to the birth of the elements, in the Great Absolute; that he is the "pure essence of the tëen;" that he is the original ancestor of the prime breath of life; that he gave form to the heavens and the earth, and caused creations and annihilations to succeed each other, in an endless series, during innumerable periods of the world. He himself is made to say:
"I was in existence prior to the manifestation of any corporeal shape; I appeared anterior to the supreme being, or first motion of creation."[251:1]
According to the Zend Avesta, Ormuzd, the first-born of the Eternal One, is he "who is, always has been, and who will be forever."[251:2]
Zeus was Alpha and Omega. An Orphic line runs thus:
"Zeus is the beginning, Zeus is the middle, out of Zeus all things have been made."[251:3]
Bacchus was without beginning or end. An inscription on an ancient medal, referring to him, reads thus:
"It is I who leads you; it is I who protects you, and who saves you, I am Alpha and Omega."
Beneath this inscription is a serpent, with his tail in his mouth, thus forming a circle, which was an emblem of eternity among the ancients.[251:4]
Without enumerating them, we may say that the majority of the virgin-born gods spoken of in Chapter XII. were like Christ Jesus—without beginning or end—and that many of them were considered Creators of all things. This has led M. Dridon to remark (in his Hist. de Dieu), that in early works of art, Christ Jesus is made to take the place of his Father in creation and in similar labors, just as in heathen religions an inferior deity does the work under a superior one.
[247:1] John, i. 3.
[247:2] John, i. 10.
[247:3] Colossians, i.
[247:4] Hebrews, i. 2.
[247:5] Allen's India, pp. 137 and 380.
[247:6] Indian Antiq., vol. ii. p. 288.
[247:7] See the chapter on the Trinity.
[247:8] Oriental Religions, p. 502.
[247:9] Lecture iv. p. 51.
[247:10] Geeta, p. 52.
[248:1] O. M. or A. U. M. is the Hindoo ineffable name; the mystic emblem of the deity. It is never uttered aloud, but only mentally by the devout. It signifies Brahma, Vishnou, and Siva, the Hindoo Trinity. (See Charles Wilkes in Geeta, p. 142, and King's Gnostics and their Remains, p. 163.)
[248:2] Geeta, p. 80.
[248:3] Geeta, p. 84.
[248:4] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 48.
[248:5] See Bell's Pantheon, vol. ii. p. 35.
[248:6] See Davis: Hist. China, vol. ii. pp. 109 and 113, and Thornton, vol. i. p. 137.
[249:1] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 259. In the most ancient parts of the Zend-Avesta, Ormuzd is said to have created the world by his WORD. (See Bunsen's Angel-Messiah, p. 104, and Gibbon's Rome, vol. ii. p. 302, Note by Guizot.) "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God, and the WORD was God." (John, i. 1.)
[249:2] Quoted in Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 267.
[249:3] See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 404.
[249:4] See Dunlap's Mysteries of Adoni, p. 156.
[249:5] See Ibid. p. 156, and Bulfinch, Age of Fable.
[249:6] John, i. 1, 2.
[249:7] John, xvii. 5.
[250:1] Col. i. 17.
[250:2] Hebrews, xiii. 8.
[250:3] Rev. i. 8, 23, 13.
[250:4] Rev. i. 17; xii. 13.
[250:5] Geeta, p. 35.
[250:6] Geeta, p. 36.
[250:7] Lecture ix. p. 80.
[250:8] Lecture x. p. 83.
[250:9] Lecture x. p. 85.
[250:10] Lecture ix. p. 91.
[250:11] Lecture x. p. 84.
[250:12] Lecture xi. p. 95.
[250:13] See Vishnu Purana, p. 440.
[250:14] See chapter xii.
[250:15] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 200.
[251:1] Thornton: Hist. China, vol. i. p. 137.
[251:2] Prog. Relig. Ideas, ii. p. 267.
[251:3] Müller's Chips, vol. ii. p. 15.
[251:4] "C'est moi qui vous conduis, vous et tout ce qui vous regarde. C'est moi, qui vous conserve, on qui vous sauve. Je suis Alpha et Omega. Il y a au dessous de l'inscription un serpent qui tient sa queue dans sa gueule et dans la cercle qu'il décrit, cest trois lettre Greques ΤΞΕ, qui sont le nombre 365. Le serpent, qui est'ordinaire un emblème de l'éternité est ici celui de soleil et de ses revolutions." Beausobre: Hist. de Manichee, Tom. ii. p. 56.
"I say that I am immortal, Dionysus (Bacchus), son of Deus." Aristophanes, in Myst. Of Adoni, pp. 80, and 105.