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well-authenticated facts; we notwithstanding offer CHAP. violence to all the probabilities of the question by supposing that Hebrew doctors, such as Daniel or Ezekiel, in whose eyes the exile was itself a penalty provoked by heathenish tendencies, should slide away into the superstitions either of their patrons or their taskmasters. The sentiment possessing them had always been: 'How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning;' and notable instances may be adduced where men of constancy like theirs could brave the fiercest rage of Babylon, the lions' den, the blazing furnace, rather than renounce their sacred nationality or 'worship any other god.'
sions to be
But with the view of justifying this main infer- Conclu ence more completely, I propose to shew, by strict established. examination of particulars, that where a truly old relationship exists between the Hebrew and Persian systems, it is naturally explained on the hypothesis of aboriginal unity; and that in other cases there is either no true parallelism at all, or else that points of doctrine said to be imported by the later class of sacred writers, had been actually current in the Hebrew Church for centuries anterior to the Babylonish exile.
§ 1. The Fall of Man.
According to the 'Persian Genesis' (the Bun- The primi dehesh), the earliest representative of animal creation' was the primitive Bull (Goshurun), from
1 The different passages of the Bundehesh relating to this point are brought together in Rhode, Die hei
C. A. E. IV.
lige Sage, etc. pp. 383 sq.: cf. Döl-
CHAP. whose right shoulder, as he fell beneath the stroke of the malignant Ahriman, proceeded Kaiomorts, the first of human beings. This grand prototype of men, including in himself the properties of both the sexes, was in turn assaulted by the Evil One and finally destroyed by machinations of the devs; Meshia and but from the vital force inherent in him there Meshiane; sprang up a plant which yielded as its fruit the true progenitors of the human family (Meshia and Meshiane'), or at least became the author of their bodily framework; for the soul itself was held to draw its origin directly from nothing short of heaEndowed with noble qualities, man was bidden to approve himself the lord of this lower world, their tempt by cultivating 'purity' in thought, in word, in
action, and by keeping up a constant warfare with his enemies the devs. At first the parents of mankind were humble, and, devoted to the service of Ormazd, were innocent and happy; they were destined also to enjoy more perfect happiness; but Ahriman, the sleepless enemy of man and 'purity,' descending earthwards in the fashion of a serpent,
account of man's fall is intimately
3000 years. At the expiration of this time, Ahriman becomes more bold and active; and in the fourth period of 3000 years, completing the 'magnus annus' of the later Persians, Ahriman is, on the whole, ascendant and predominant.
· 1 With these names compare the Sansk. mánusha, the Germ. mensch, and the mannus of Tacitus, German. c. 2 ("Tuisconem deum, terra editum, et filium Mannum'). On the Egyptian Menes, and other similar forms, see above, p. 17, n. 2, and Diefenbach, Vergl. Wörterbuch der goth. Spr. II. 32, 33, Frankfurt, 1851.
plotted their corruption, and ere long by means of CHAP. fruit derived from his own province of creation, he seduced them from their true allegiance: they de- and fall. clared that all they saw was Ahriman's, and therefore grew, it is narrated, as wicked as himself.
Without dwelling on the obvious kinship The form which exists between this story and the sacred Tempter. narrative, it is worthy of especial notice that one form attributed in Persia to the Evil Principle, or at least one favourite organ used by him for man's undoing, is the serpent, of whose guile and malice traces are continually recurring in the farthest wilds of gentilism. Nor is this representation only to be met with in chapters of the Bundehesh: in genuine works of the Avesta also, the great 'homicidal serpent' is the object of men's dread and horror: while the Evil One himself is sometimes called 'the Serpent,' in direct allusion to his power of counteracting the Good Principle. Thus, Ormazd is heard declaring in the Vendidád*: 'I am Ahura-mazda, I am the giver of good things. When I formed this dwelling-place, the beautiful, the brilliant, the
1 I deem it quite superfluous, now that we can speak more positively about the age and origin of the Bundehesh, to answer such objections as those of Rhode and the older Rationalists, who used to affirm not only that the Mosaic version of the Fall was unintelligible without the Persian commentary, but also that the Hebrews had derived their knowledge of the whole tradition from a Persian source. Precisely the same kind of hardihood was shewn by Holwell and other sceptics, when they ventured to derive both Hebraism
and Christianity from the 'Hindú
2 See, for instance, the Prose Edda,
3 Above, p. 173.
4 Farg. XXII. §§ 1-6, where Spiegel's note is: Dass Agra-mainyus eine Schlange genannt wird, kann nicht befremden, da er ja bekanntlich auch im Bundehesh unter dieser Form erscheint.'
CHAP. note-worthy, saying, I will go forth, I will go over, then the Serpent beheld me. Thereupon the Serpent Agra-mainyus, who is full of death, created, with an eye to my creation, nine sicknesses, and ninety, and nine hundred, and nine thousand and ninety thousand.'
$ 2. Doctrine of the Evil One.
This extract brings us to a question of very grave importance: Is the doctrine of a personal, superhuman, Tempter as now current in all branches of the Christian Church the product of religious intercourse which Hebrews had maintained with their enslavers at the time of the Captivity? Is the Satan of the Old and New Testament, in other words, a modern copy of the Ahriman of the Avesta? In replying to this question I shall not survey afresh the main historical probabilities arising on the one side from the nature of the Babylonic (as distinguished from the Medo-Persian) creed, and on the other from the stern, uncompromising spirit of the Hebrew worthies who were sharers in the exile of their nation. On internal grounds alone I hold it to be far more likely that the Persian dogma, as it stands conspicuous in the Vendidád, was the corruption and distortion of a primitive truth bequeathed by the first parents of the human family. For no one who is able to discriminate at all, will question that under the more obvious features of resemblance there is lying also a most vital contrariety between the Hebrew and Old Persian theories on the nature of the Evil One.
As Satan in our sacred books is far from being
the seductive spirit of the world, or of man's lower CHAP. nature, 'conceived of in concrete personality';' so neither is he there esteemed an absolutely evil how differbeing, like the Ahriman of the Avesta, coeternal each other. and coequal with the Good, and like the Good an independent centre of creative energy. Satan is a fallen creature, his fall involved like man's fall in impenetrable mystery, and yet a fall which in results which it entailed on the creation has its dark analogy in the first great fall of man, as well as in that fiendish satisfaction which the fallen still experience in communicating their own misery to others. In neither case, however, is the sovereignty of God at all impugned by the existence of ungodlike passions in the creature, and the partial triumph of the powers of evil. Jew and Christian, equally possessed by a belief that there is One, and only one, true Principle of Existence, would alike recoil with horror from the notion which exalted the arch-demon to equality with the supreme and unapproachable Jehovah. The feeling of them both, in later as in earlier times, has been, that Satan is a 'murderer' and a 'liar,' not because he
1 See Dr Mill's masterly sermons 'On the Temptation' (Camb. 1844), especially Serm. III. Of late years Cambridge has been also fostering in her bosom the main champion of the heterodox belief. Dr Donaldson's work, entitled Christian Orthodoxy, is devoted in no small measure to the maintenance of a theory, which involves our Lord Himself, and with Him the whole Christian community of every period, in the charge of swerving from the old (or ante-Babylonic) doctrine of the He
brew Church in reference both to