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DISCORDANT DEITIES.

ledge of good and evil has not yet been tasted. In some of the earlier hymns of the Rig Veda, the Maruts, the storm-deities, are praised along with Indra, the sun; Yama, king of Death, is equally adored with the goddess of Dawn. “No real foe of yours is known in heaven, nor in earth.' “The storms are thy allies.' Such is the high optimism of sentences found even in sacred books which elsewhere mask the dawn of the Dualism which ultimately superseded the harmony of the elemental Powers. 'I create light and I create darkness, I create good and I create evil.' 'Look unto Yezdan, who causeth the shadow to fall. But it is easy to see what must be the result when this happy family of sun-god and storm-god and fire-god, and their innumerable co-ordinate divinities, shall be divided by discord. When each shall have become associated with some earthly object or fact, he or she will appear as friend or foe, and their connection with the sources of human pleasure and pain will be reflected in collisions and wars in the heavens. The rebel clouds will be transformed to Titans and Dragons. The adored Maruts will be no longer storm-heroes with unsheathed swords of lightning, marching as the retinue of Indra, but fire-breathing monsters-Vritras and Ahis,-and the morning and evening shadows from faithful watch-dogs become the treacherous hell-hounds, like Orthros and Cerberus. The vehement antagonisms between animals and men, and of tribe against tribe, will be expressed in the conception of struggles among gods, who will thus be classified as good or evil deities.

This was precisely what did occur. The primitive pantheism was broken up: in its place the later ages beheld the universe as the arena of a tremendous conflict between good and evil Powers, who severally, in the process of time, marshalled each and everything, from a world to a worm, under their flaming banners.

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CHAPTER II.

THE GENESIS OF DEMONS.

Their good names euphemistic— Their mixed character-Illustrations:

Beelzebub, Loki-Demon-germs—The knowledge of good and evil-Distinction between Demon and Devil.

THE first pantheon of each race was built of intellectual speculations. In a moral sense, each form in it might be described as more or less demonic; and, indeed, it may almost be affirmed that religion, considered as a service rendered to superhuman beings, began with the propitiation of demons, albeit they might be called gods. Man found that in the earth good things came with difficulty, while thorns and weeds sprang up everywhere. The evil powers seemed to be the strongest. The best deity had a touch of the demon in him. The sun is the most beneficent, yet he bears the sunstroke along with the sunbeam, and withers the blooms he calls forth. The splendour, the might, the majesty, the menace, the grandeur and wrath of the heavens and the elements were blended in these personifications, and reflected in the trembling adoration paid to them. The flattering names given to these powers by their worshippers must be interpreted by the costly sacrifices with which men sought to propitiate them. No sacrifice would have been offered originally to a purely benevolent power. The Furies were called the Eumenides, 'the well-meaning,' and there arises a temptation to regard

EUPHEMISTIC TITLES.

the name as preserving the primitive meaning of the Sanskrit original of Erinys, namely, Saranyu, which signifies the morning light stealing over the sky. But the descriptions of the Erinyes by the Greek poets-especially of Æschylus, who pictures them as black, serpent-locked, with eyes dropping blood, and calls them hounds-show that Saranyu as morning light, and thus the revealer of deeds of darkness, had gradually been degraded into a personification of the Curse. And yet, while recognising the name Eumenides as euphemistic, we may admire none the less the growth of that rationalism which ultimately found in the epithet a suggestion of the soul of good in things evil, and almost restored the beneficent sense of Saranyu. 'I have settled in this place,' says Athene in the ' Eumenides' of Æschylus, 'these mighty deities, hard to be appeased ; they have obtained by lot to administer all things concerning men. But he who has not found them gentle knows not whence come the ills of life. But before the dread Erinyes of Homer's age had become the 'venerable goddesses' (oeuvai Deal) of popular phrase in Athens, or the Eumenides of the later poet's high insight, piercing their Gorgon form as portrayed by himself, they had passed through all the phases of human terror. Cowering generations had tried to soothe the remorseless avengers by complimentary phrases. The worship of the serpent, originating in the same fear, similarly raised that animal into the region where poets could invest it with many profound and beautiful significances. But these more distinctly terrible deities are found in the shadowy border-land of mythology, from which we may look back into ages when the fear in which worship is born had not yet been separated into its elements of awe and admiration, nor the heaven of supreme forces divided into ranks of benevolent and SOLAR ANTAGONISMS.

malevolent beings; and, on the other hand, we may look forward to the ages in which the moral consciousness of man begins to form the distinctions between good and evil, right and wrong, which changes cosmogony into religion, and impresses every deity of the mind's creation to do his or her part in reflecting the physical and moral struggles of mankind.

The intermediate processes by which the good and evil were detached, and advanced to separate personification,

Fig. 1.-BEELZEBUB (Calmet).

cannot always be traced, but the indications of their work are in most cases sufficiently clear. The relationship, for instance, between Baal and Baal-zebub cannot be doubted. The one represents the Sun in his glory as quickener of Nature and painter of its beauty, the other the insectbreeding power of the Sun. Baal-zebub is the Fly-god. Only at a comparatively recent period did the deity of

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the Philistines, whose oracle was consulted by Ahaziah (2 Kings i.), suffer under the reputation of being the Prince of Devils,' his name being changed by a mere pun to Beelzebul (dung-god). It is not impossible that the modern Egyptian mother's hesitation to disturb flies settling on her sleeping child, and the sanctity attributed to various insects, originated in the awe felt for him. The title Fly-god is parallelled by the reverent epithet ámróuvios, applied to Zeus as worshipped at Elis, the Myiagrus deus of the Romans,” and the Myiodes mentioned by Pliny3 Our picture is probably from a protecting charm, and evidently by the god's believers. There is a story of a peasant woman in a French church who was found kneeling before a marble group, and was warned by a priest that she was worshipping the wrong figure-namely, Beelzebub. • Never mind,' she replied, “it is well enough to have friends on both sides.' The story, though now only ben trovato, would represent the actual state of mind in many a Babylonian invoking the protection of the Fly-god against formidable swarms of his venomous subjects.

Not less clear is the illustration supplied by Scandinavian mythology. In Sæmund's Edda the evil-minded Loki says:

Odin ! dost thou remember
When we in early days

Blended our blood together ? The two becaine detached very slowly; for their separation implied the crumbling away of a great religion, and its distribution into new forms; and a religion requires, relatively, as long to decay as it does to grow, as we who live under a crumbling religion have good reason to know. Protap Chunder Mozoomdar, of the Brahmo-Somaj, in an address in London, said, “The Indian Pantheon has

* Pausan. v. 14, 2.

• Solin. Polyhistor, i.

3 Pliny, xxix. 6, 34, init.

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