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Pagan Christs, by John M. Robertson, [1911], at

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§ 1. General Opposition: The Hibbert Journal.

As has been remarked in the preface, the most notable aspect of the body of criticism passed upon the first edition of the foregoing work is the almost complete abstention from challenge of the theses upon which challenge was specially invited by the writer—"that the Gospel story of the Last Supper, Passion, Betrayal, Trial, Crucifixion, and Resurrection, is visibly a transcript of a Mystery-Drama, and not originally a narrative; and that that drama is demonstrably (as historic demonstration goes) a symbolic modification of an original rite of human sacrifice, of which it preserves certain verifiable details." The only attempt I have seen to counter these positions—an attempt made only incidentally by Dr. J. E. Carpenter—was, as I have elsewhere shown, cancelled by the critic himself. For the rest, critic after critic has impugned this or that analogy between Christian and pagan systems, this or that item of historic assertion; and many have broadly flouted the general thesis of the non-historicity of Jesus; but no one, so far as I am aware, has attempted to gainsay the central argument upon which attack was specially invited. I am therefore entitled to infer, so far, that that argument has some validity; though, for sheer lack of debate, I cannot yet count it inexpugnable.

That there should be found no flaws of statement or obscurities of argument in a treatise covering so many fields, I was never foolish enough to expect; and to one or two hostile critics I am indebted for corrections of errors of detail. It is to be regretted that critics capable of discovering such errors should put themselves in the wrong by gratuitous misstatements of their own concerning the case they dealt with. Dr. Margoliouth, for instance, pointed out that the legend which makes Joshua the son of Miriam, ascribed by me to the Arabic chronicle of Tabari, occurs only in the Persian version—a correction of some importance. Dr. Margoliouth, however, saw fit to allege that my long argument for the existence of a pre-Christian cult of Joshua (Jesus) son of Miriam turned wholly on the reference of the Moslem legend to Tabari, whereas it was only after putting my main case on other grounds that I wrote: "Finally, we have to note (a) the remarkable Arab tradition which makes Joshua the Son of Miriam."

This want of critical rectitude marks nearly the whole of the polemic directed against Pagan Christs, and even where some sense of critical principle has been exhibited, theological animus usually deflects the reasoning in an unprofitable fashion. A lady reviewer

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in the Hibbert Journal, who certainly showed more concern for argument than most of the other critics of the book, embodied her case in such propositions as these:—

1. "Mr. Robertson, as we have seen, proceeds on the assumption that the historicity of Christ is a myth."

2. "His reasons......practically reduce themselves to this......that Paul......shows total ignorance of the teachings and miracles ascribed to Jesus in the Gospels."

3. "He admits what they [the Epistles] imply—the hostility, for instance, to their writer of the Jews throughout the Mediterranean. But if this is granted, the historicity of Christ must necessarily follow. We can hardly believe that the Jews would have been hostile to a myth: they would have retorted that Jesus never even existed."

4. "Our author, indeed, refuses to admit the historicity of the disciples: he is clearly inconsistent in so doing, for the Epistles imply it, and he admits the Epistles."

5. "He explains away the reference to the Eucharist in 1 Cor. xi by assuming that the passage is interpolated. For the rest, he assures us that Paul or the 'forger' believed in a crucified Jesus as to whom he had no biographical record, and he finds him (!) in the person of a certain Jesus ben Pandira......We shall scarcely be guilty of scepticism if we refuse to accept this solution."

6. "His [the author's] theological position requires that he should deny the historicity of the Crucifixion."

The "assumptions" in this debate are wholly on the side of the critic. So far from being led by my "theological position" to deny the historicity of Jesus or the Crucifixion, I had come to my present theological conclusions long before doubting the historicity of either; and only after striving for many years, on the normal assumptions, to construct a tenable historical conception of the rise of Christianity, did I find myself reluctantly driven, by purely historical considerations, to give them up.

I had in the same way taken for granted the historicity of the twelve apostles; and in abandoning that after an analysis made in the light of the Didachê I still held by the historicity of the Founder. Even that I only abandoned after an attempt to construct a theorem of a succession of Jesuses.

So far, again, from "finding" Paul's Jesus in the Talmudic Jesus ben Pandira, I have expressly shown that, while bound as historical students to take full account of the apparent possibilities in that direction, we can finally find there no standing-ground. I had in fact anticipated the now common conclusion that the Talmudic Jesus, if not in the main mythical, is little more than a name, historically speaking; and I finally "found" Paul's Jesus in the abstraction of the human sacrifice, named by the name of the ancient Jesus-God.

There, I should have supposed, was the likely point of attack for

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negative criticism. But the attacks made at that point, so far as I have seen, take the shape of mere rejection of the thesis. The Hibbert Journal reviewer indeed contended that there is "no trace of such a rite" as human sacrifice "among Palestinian Jews of the later period." I leave the reader to decide for himself, after noting the fuller exposition in the present edition, whether that statement can hold. For the rest, my thesis of the Pre-Christian Jesus-God has received a remarkable and quite independent corroboration in the work of Professor W. Benjamin Smith, Der Vorchristliche Jesus (1906); and in the recent discussions in Germany over Professor Arthur Drews’s Die Christusmythe, that problem has naturally come in for much discussion. So far, I have seen no rebuttal of my own position.

The other positions taken up by the Hibbert Journal reviewer are only too easily turned. My "reasons" certainly do not "practically reduce themselves" to the silence of "Paul." That is indeed a fatal crux, of which the orthodox defence has vainly striven to dispose. But the bulk of the cumulative argument of the examination of "The Gospel Myths" in Christianity and Mythology remains to be dealt with even if the problem of the Pauline Epistles be put aside; and the further argument in Pagan Christs as to the non-historicity of the whole matter of the mystery-drama is independent of the Pauline problem. Even if we accept "the four" epistles as genuine, and pass the passages which I challenged as interpolations, my central theses are in no way invalidated. The acceptance of the tradition by "Paul" would not establish the historicity of the tradition.

As regards the whole problem of the epistles, the Hibbert Journal reviewer proceeds upon untenable premises. Her assertion that the epistles imply the historicity of the disciples is an error which comes of failure to realise the issue. The epistles never speak of disciples: they speak of apostles, never alleging or suggesting that those apostles were taught by "the Lord." They tell only of a going cultus. And other errors follow. To say that I "accept the epistles," and at the same time to admit that I charge upon them capital interpolations, is to break down at the start. The question of the general genuineness of "the four" epistles I have left open, while leaning more and more, though always with some reserves, to Van Manen's conclusions. But my case was and is that, whether the epistles to the Corinthians be genuine or spurious, they betray a general ignorance of the purport of the gospel narratives. As thus: (a) the passage 1 Cor. xv, 3-9, cannot well have been current as it stands before the gospels, else they would surely have given the "five hundred" story; though (b) verse 5 must have been written before the Judas story was added to the gospels, since it speaks of Jesus as appearing to the whole "twelve," where the synoptics say "the eleven"; (c) the non-mention of the women also infers ignorance of the gospel story; (d) the specification of "all the apostles" tells of an

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interpolation either of that phrase or of "the twelve"; and (e) the specification of James is again independent of the gospel story. Now, some of these items clearly tell in favour of an early and independent narrative; but others as clearly tell of interpolation; and all, taken together, impeach either the gospel narrative or themselves. The two sets are irreconcilable.

If the writer of the epistle knew the facts, and if the gospels give the facts, how came he to ignore the central episode of Judas? If he drew on a current report concerning the "five hundred," how came the gospels to ignore that? Assume the bulk of the passage to antedate the gospels, what is to be inferred as to their composition? On the other hand, of what evidential value is a series of assertions of supernatural appearances, which further diverge markedly from the assertions in the gospels? Be the epistle genuine or spurious, how can it be held to show knowledge of the gospel story?

When, again, we turn to the passage 1 Cor. xi, 23 sq., we find the formula "For I delivered unto you......that which also I received" developed into "For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you"; and here, under profession of supernatural knowledge, we have an express allusion to the betrayal, of which the other passage shows no knowledge—nay, excludes any inference of knowledge. That this passage is an interpolation is no "assumption," but an irresistible inference from (a) the context and (b) the whole purport of that in ch. xv. It ruptures the context; and it tells of what the writer of the other chapter knew nothing. So far from being an arbitrary step on my part, the inference of interpolation has been latterly made by a series of German critics who probably had no knowledge of my argument, first penned more than twenty years ago.

What then is left of "the apostles" in the Pauline Epistles? A plainly valueless allusion to the twelve and one to "all the apostles"—allusions which form part of a set of incredible assertions—the mention of "the brethren of the Lord" (1 Cor. ix, 5), and the further allusions to "the apostles" in Galatians, where the exordium has plain reference to the claims of the Judaic apostles of the High-Priest or the Patriarch. If this epistle be "genuine," it tells only of "apostles" of the Jesuist cult, naming "James and Cephas and John," with a separate mention of "Peter," and a description of James as "the brother of the Lord." This, with 1 Cor. ix, 5, is of course one of the holdfasts of the orthodox defence, being in fact the sole quasi-biographical detail as to Jesus in the epistles. But (1) neither this nor any other epistle tells of the parents of Jesus; and (2) in Acts xii, 2, we have "James, the brother of John," killed by Herod before Paul joins the new sect. So that if "James the brother of the Lord" were a brother of the Gospel Jesus and a "pillar," he was so in supersession of the claims of the survivors of "the twelve," since the two Jameses in the gospel list are sons of

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[paragraph continues] Zebedee and Alphæus; and there is no gospel mention of any discipleship on the part of James the son of Joseph and Mary, any more than of the other brothers named and sisters mentioned in Matthew xiii and Mark vi. Among these are James and Joses; and in Matt. xxvii, 56, we have mention of "Mary the mother of James and Joses," without specification of her or their relationship to Jesus. Of what historical value, then, is the reference to "James the brother of the Lord" in the epistle to the Galatians, even supposing it to be genuine? In epistles so often interpolated—by the admission of the revisers who have excised so many later interpolations—such a phrase as "the brother of the Lord" was the easiest of insertions; and even were the phrase primordial, the inference that "brethren of the Lord" in 1 Cor. ix, 5, was a late group-name is far more tenable than the exorbitant assumption that an actual brother of the Gospel Jesus, who never figures as his supporter in the records, had suddenly become a "pillar" of the cult; and that other brothers had also become propagandists. If these were actual brothers of Jesus, so acting in Paul's day, how comes it that there is no hint of them in the Acts? The whole apostolic list of names and the list of the "holy family" are alike hopeless imbroglios for any reader concerned about historical truth. And if Galatians be not genuine—as even many theologians are fain to surmise, in view of its pretensions to supernaturally acquired knowledge of the Christian doctrine and its wide divergence from the narrative of the Acts—it may still be interpolated at any point. The separate allusions to "Cephas" and "Petros" are a stumbling-block for any exegesis. Finally, as I have shown in the Preface, the passage in which "brethren of the Lord" are mentioned in 1 Cor. ix is utterly incompatible with the passage on marriage in ch. vii, so that the main mention of the "brethren" in the epistles must go by the board.

It is hardly necessary to argue, in conclusion, against the assumption that the Jews could not be "hostile to a myth." Does the reviewer believe that the Gods of the heathen were not myths? When the Jews denounced such Gods as daimons, did they deny the existence of daimons? Were not the Christians hostile to Mithra? If Jesuist Jews could start a circumstantial Jesus myth in an age of universal credulity, the Jews as a matter of course would in the end take the line of denying, not the existence of the alleged Founder, but the genuineness of his mission and his claims. On Van Manen's theory, the epistles belong to the second century. But, on any view of their date, they offered no point of contact to historical criticism. Their Jesus is dateless, speechless, homeless, without a biography. They locate neither his death nor his birth, assign to him no period, quote from him no teaching, specify no miracle. They do but name a crucified Jesus; and there may have been many crucified Jesuses in Jewish history. The Talmudic Jesus would fit that case, to say nothing of the presumptive sacrificial

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victim called "Jesus Barabbas." The very interpolation which tells of the betrayal and the Last Supper names no place and suggests no date. Supposing even the string of assertions concerning the reappearances after the resurrection to have been current in the first century, it names neither place nor time; and it cites mainly unnamed Christian witnesses. Even if the "five hundred" story were not a late interpolation, it was open to no refutation. A number of Christians could doubtless be got to say they had seen the Lord after his death; and the "twelve," Cephas, and James were mere partisans, whether dead or alleged to be alive. They too are dateless: the epistles never say whether or not they survive.

And while orthodoxy dwells on such valueless "evidence," the Unitarian defenders of the historicity of Jesus do not believe in the event so evidenced. For them, there is nothing in the epistles that admits of either proof or disproof in a debate between Paulinists and Jews. Had the Jews, in terms of the argument of the Hibbert Journal reviewer, said that Paul's Jesus "never existed," there could be no debate, for there was no historical proposition for them to contest. A Jesus without date, home, parents, doctrine, or named disciples, a Jesus merely alleged to have been crucified, without mention of place or time, and to have "risen again" at no specified place or time, was not a subject for historical discussion. And if both Christian and non-Christian scholars, in our own day, in an age of historical criticism, are still in large numbers unable to see that the very absence of historical data from the epistles puts them outside of historical discussion, the Jews of the Pauline period could hardly be capable of so arguing.

To this, then, the case for the defence "reduces itself." The sole quasi-historical datum in the epistles which makes for the historicity of Jesus is the hopeless item concerning James and other "brethren of the Lord." The sole "events" historically posited concerning Jesus are that he was crucified and rose again, which last "event" the Unitarians admit to be myth. As to the crucifixion, their belief turns on the gospel narrative, the dramatic character of which they have not ventured to deny in detail. But the writer or writers of the first epistle to the Corinthians show in one passage vital ignorance of the gospel story of the betrayal, and give absolutely no historic data for the crucifixion; while the passage in which the betrayal is mentioned is on the face of the case an interpolation, since it imports knowledge which the other passage negates. Solvuntur tabulæ.

The Unitarian case is in fact only the orthodox case minus the supernatural. But even the orthodox case is a compromise. If the early Christians believed anything, they believed in the ascension. No educated Christian now believes in the ascension. Yet educated Christians believe in the resurrection on the testimony of an age which believed in the ascension, and call the legend "evidence."

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§ 2. The Rev. Alfred Ernest Crawley.

The work entitled The Tree of Life, by the Rev. A. E. Crawley, 1 author of The Mystic Rose, is an interesting development of modern Christian apologetics. As an anthropologist, Mr. Crawley is sufficiently familiar with the facts of comparative hierology to know that all the main features of the Christian creed and cultus—Divine Sonship, Virgin-birth, crucifixion, resurrection, salvation, baptism, and eucharist—are common features of pagan religion; and he takes the somewhat bold course of positing the facts in question. He is indeed somewhat imprudent in putting in the forefront of his exposition what he calls "The Rationalist Attack" and "The Anthropological Attack," admitting that so far as they go they are unanswerable. As to Biblical cosmology, he confesses (p. 141) that "the arguments of Huxley and Laing in this matter can no longer be resisted"; and he in effect says the same thing of the supernaturalism of the gospels. It is in the latter part of his book that he proffers his vindication of the faith, in the form of the theorem (1) that religion in general, howsoever mythical be its basis and content, is necessary to "human nature"—that is, to the nature of those who "need" it; (2) that it is the true bulwark of society against "Radicals and Socialists"; and (3) that the Church of England is the best Church because she keeps "to a via media which does more than represent the essence of Christian doctrine, for it also preserves the best elements of primitive religion." 2 Of this avowed compound of savagery and "progress," the essential value is declared to consist neither in truth or reasonableness nor in any inculcation of altruism, but in the "feeling of life" which it conveys, its substitution of egoism for altruism, its consecration of "individualism." I give his own words (italics mine):—

"Kidd is profoundly mistaken when he speaks of the intense altruism of the early Christians, and of the flood of altruistic emotion which Puritanism and the Reformation let loose upon the world. Gibbon rightly noted the intense egoism of the Christians; their altruism was confined to their own family, as it were; and Wakeman rightly speaks of the stern, uncompromising individualism of the Puritans. This increase of vitality is illustrated by the martyrs, both of the early Christian and Reformation times" (p. 275).

'Even the cruelties of the Inquisition, the tortures and the burnings, were really another expression of the same access of strength. The lesson of religious cruelty, like the lesson of martyrdom, is that if religion, the permanent expression of vitality, can show such invincible strength of cruelty on the one hand, and of endurance on the other, the fact is due to an increase of vitality. We inherit, to our inestimable gain, the spirit and strength of persecutor and

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martyr alike: the resource, the endurance, the zeal, and the power of our best men are due to that spirit and the human force which it revealed" (p. 277).

Our Anglican sophist, it will be seen, has determined to take the wind out of the sails of Nietzsche, whose doctrine he gravely pronounces to be a "paradox." Before we pass to his specific defence of the Christ myth, it would seem to be necessary to point out to his possible dupes the sociological implications of his thesis, to say nothing of its ethic. (For it is to be presumed that he makes converts, like his congeners, Mr. Kidd, Mr. Drummond, and Mr. Balfour.) The "invincible strength of cruelty" which he so devoutly admires was after all rather more fully evidenced by the American Native Americans than even by the Puritans who did their best to exterminate them; and, religion for religion, the Choctaw religion would seem on his own principles to be superior even to the Christian. As for the "vitality" imparted to the Native Americans by their late conversion to Christianity, the concept is one which must entertain the American Bureau of Ethnology. Of course, the Choctaws cannot pretend to have done much in the way of religious persecution—that is indeed a Jewish and Christian specialty; and it must be admitted that when the Boxers have attempted something in that line the Christians have certainly been able to outdo them in massacre. But then on Mr. Crawley's principles it must surely have been a great "increase of vitality" that enabled the Moslems to overrun all the early centres of Christianity, and the Turks later to conquer Christian Greece. Which makes a difficulty for the Neo-Christian.

As regards the services rendered by Christianity to States, again, the would-be believer would do well to note (1) the "vitalising" effect of the spirit of religious cruelty on Spain, which had so many more persecutors and so many more martyrs than England; (2) the operation of the same saving virtue in imperial Rome, where Christians are wont to point to the abolition of the gladiatorial combats as the beneficent work of their creed, but have not yet succeeded in demonstrating any access of vitality to the empire from the first century onwards. It is only fair to admit that the Spaniards contrived to destroy the civilisations of Mexico and Peru. But then the religion of Mexico was marked by an indurated and bloodthirsty cruelty which, on Mr. Crawley's principles, should have meant an adequate amount of "vitality." As for our own Anglo-Saxon ancestors, it remains for Mr. Crawley to demonstrate wherein they showed increase of "vitality" between their pagan conquest of Britain and their own conquest by their Norman fellow-Christians.

The nature of the thinking faculty which sustains Mr. Crawley in his social philosophy may be gathered from a few samples. 1. "It is one of the most noticeable of the discrepancies in the gospel narratives that Christ consistently refused to give a 'sign,' while his reporters tell us of so many" (p. 141). 2. "If ever a conviction seemed to be mortised in adamant, it is perhaps the belief

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that religion is essentially altruistic. But the facts unmistakably point to the exact opposite" (p. 273). 3. "Even the most self-sufficient of rationalists prays to something without knowing it" (p. 257). (In which case Mr. Crawley knows the fact without any testimony.)

The reader is now substantially prepared to understand and appraise Mr. Crawley's operations in Christian apologetics. He has a certain cynical candour, which is not without its charm; but with his natural gift for paralogism and his happy freedom from intellectual scruple, he yields some flights of ethic and of logic which will not readily be matched in modern controversy. On p. 125 he speaks of a "reaction against the scientific be seen in an altered Agnosticism, which is really religious, and is practically the old Christianity with all dogma and ritual omitted, and the supernatural element excluded." On p. 131 we learn that "the scientific Agnostic" is "ready to return by some rational path to the main beliefs of Christianity. This tendency was seen in Comte and Haeckel; and the inference is legitimate that, even where the cleavage between religion and science is apparently most marked, yet man cannot do without religion." Then on pp. 290-1 we have the assurance that in "the Ethical and Socialistic societies of to-day" "morality takes the place of religion. The failure of these systems to satisfy human nature is perhaps unexampled for completeness in the history of practical ethics. Positivism, as has been said, is Christianity with the Catholicism left out" [what was "said," as it happens, was the converse: "Catholicism with the Christianity left out"]: "the Ethical movement leaves out everything."

In Mr. Crawley's psychosis, moral, logical, and intellectual incoherence combined yield a rare range of tergiversation. On p. 243 he informs us that "Religious monism at once removes all false dualism from our metaphysics." On p. 295 he delightedly chimes with Bishop Gore to the effect that "It is common to all the anti-Christian views of sin that at the last resort they make sin natural, a part of nature. It is characteristic of Christ's view of sin—of the scriptural view of it—that it makes it unnatural."

[One cannot but linger in this connection over the further joint achievement of Bishop Gore and Mr. Crawley in the way of falsifying doctrinal history. "It is characteristic, again," says the Bishop, "of the non-Christian view that it makes the body, the material, the seat of sin. It is essential to the Christian view to find its seat and only source in the will." "Now," adds Mr. Crawley, "this account applies exactly to the primitive conception: the savage, like the Essene, regards sin as a transgression of nature. Sin breaks taboo......"It must be confessed that on the whole the Bishop contrives to get furthest from the truth. If there is one doctrine that stands out from the whole Christian and "scriptural" tradition, it is that sin entered the entire human race by Adam's fall; and if there is one moral assumption that dominates that tradition in the early, "dark,"

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and middle ages, it is that the body is by nature prone to evil. The simple doctrine, "if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out," might serve to decide the question for any save a Christian sophist. But Mr. Crawley's summary of the savage theory of "nature" runs the Bishop's formula close. The conception "transgression of nature" is simply not possible to a true savage, and was never formulated by one. Taboo is made and unmade by a word or a ceremony. Does the savage call either "nature"?]

I have spent some time over the main body of Mr. Crawley's doctrine, thinking it useful to exhibit the moral and mental cast of a writer who lays it down that "irreligion means deterioration," and who, knowing the substantial truth of the results of modern anthropology and hierology, professes to vindicate Christianity as "revelation." "The ordinary believer," he writes, "naïvely but justly, requires that Christianity shall be literally true, and its Founder both God and Man" (p. 144). So Mr. Crawley goes about to accommodate the ordinary believer. The critical argument of Pagan Christs he introduces to his readers in this summary (p. 148): "Dionysus and Apollo also have their religions, and precisely the same stories are told about founders as about the gods they served. Therefore Buddha, Zoroaster, Confucius, Laou-tze, Moses, and Christ must be mythical." Dr. J. E. Carpenter, I admit, could not have done the "therefore" better. My only wonder is that Mr. Crawley did not add Mohammed and Mrs. Eddy: the extras would have made still better reading, and Mr. Crawley's ethic could easily afford them. But there is no lack of completeness in his further proposition that "Dionysus and Apollo are never represented as founders of religions any more than is Jehovah." I leave comment to every adult who has read the Bacchae and the Pentateuch. Wondering why Mr. Crawley did not say "any more than Jesus," I proceed to transcribe his assertion (p. 149) that "Thus the evidence for the historicity of founders like Buddha and Zoroaster" [Quetzalcoatl, for instance?] "is as strong as for any historical fact, and this is admitted by the best students of the respective systems." The proposition and the proof of it I hope to help to preserve by this transcription, to which I add no comment.

I may be excused for adding this from the same page:—"Robertson, indeed, while arguing against the historicity of Jesus, stultifies his case by admitting the historicity of 'another person of the same name,' the Jesus ben Pandora of the Talmud." I ought here, perhaps, to make clear for Mr. Crawley's "naïve" readers the full force and scope of his argument. It means that if I deny the historicity of Moses, but admit that of Moses of Chorene, I have stultified myself; and that if I dispute the historicity of John Barleycorn I stultify my own signature. It is a trifle, but it may be worth adding, that I did not admit the historicity of Jesus ben Pandira, about which I expressed serious doubts. But it is true that I admit the more or less clear historicity of a number of the

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[paragraph continues] Jesuses mentioned by Josephus, even as I admit the historicity of Mr. Crawley while disputing that of his namesakes in Vanity Fair. Further, I have postulated the probable historicity of an annual human sacrifice of a victim ritually named Jesus Barabbas.

With that crushing syllogism ready to launch, Mr. Crawley had just before advanced the proposition that the beginning of the Christian era was a "period too late for the free formation either of divine or of historical personalities by the mythopœic imagination"—an inexpensive petitio principii which had often been put forward before. I might leave him to reckon with those Christian hierologists who affirm the post-Christian appearance of such deities as Balder and Krishna; but it may suffice, even for a "naïve" believer of moderate intelligence, to ask himself when and how or how "freely" were formed the "personalities" of King Arthur and his Knights, Prester John, William Tell, the Wandering Jew, Lohengrin, Tannhäuser, the Seven Sleepers, Saint George, Faustus, and Saint Christopher.

If Mr. Crawley believed in the worthless argument he has hero used, he obviously needed no other. If Jesus cannot be non-historical, the case is at an end. He shows his sense of the futility of his own plea by using a number of others—the argument from the Chrestus of Suetonius, which clearly tells in favour of a Christ myth; the argument from Tacitus, who, if he wrote the passage in his History, only repeated what Christians said; and the argument from the passage in Josephus, given up as spurious by most Christian scholars. Then, in utter disregard of the Pauline epistles, he affirms that the Christian tradition itself "mentions the humanity of Christ first"; and proceeds to found on the hostile Jewish tradition of the "Sepher Toldoth Jeschu," concerning which he expressly argues that it is plainly framed by way of countering the gospel story. Then it has no evidential value whatever, and his case for the historicity of Jesus is at an end. The assertion that the story of the Talmudic Jesus ben Pandira is "of supreme value" as "tending to prove the historicity of Christ" could come only from the writer who asserts that the Gospel Jesus consistently refuses to work wonders while the same gospels tell that he worked many.

Mr. Crawley has nothing more to say beyond accusing non-sacramentalist Christians of "stultifying the Incarnation"—the Incarnation in which he himself does not believe, since he insists on the historicity of Jesus and the lateness of the Incarnation story. Against the thesis of Pagan Christs that the gospel tragedy is a mystery-drama he offers no argument whatever. He is content to say in a footnote that Dupuis’s derivation of the legend of St. Peter from the Janus myth "is worth noting as a type of the extravagant inferences which are so conspicuous in the work of G. W. Cox and J. M. Robertson." Of the charge of extravagance he does not offer a hint of proof.

I do not propose to make a counter charge of "extravagance." The scientific charge against Mr. Crawley, in its most charitable

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form, would be that of intellectual antinomianism. He has simply no intellectual ethic whatever, and he is evidently satisfied that religion needs none, since he declares that religion in general, and Christianity in particular, deals only with "the elemental" (pp. 209, 265). Which means that if you feel you like to believe religion, and you think that it is socially useful, you do well to profess it in disregard of all argument (p. 296). He proceeds to explain in this connection (p. 265) that "In the elemental view of life, every scientific error of the Bible may be regarded as a truth. It is true, for instance, that the sun rises; and not even the most pedantic rationalist will employ a more scientific phrase." Observe the logical morality of the phrase "for instance," which is made to cover every myth and every forgery in the Bible.

Mr. Crawley, like most latter-day Christian priests, scouts the doctrine of the "French deists" that religion in general has been a matter of priestly imposture; thoughtfully omitting to tell the "naïve but just" Christian reader that this was the verdict habitually pronounced by the Christian priesthood upon all non-Christian religions during many centuries. The deists, finding as much priest-craft in Christianity as anywhere else, made a fairly reasonable extension of the doctrine. It certainly needs qualification; though Mr. Crawley, with his usual logical incoherence, offers a hopelessly fallacious argument against it. Among the Australian Aruntas, as Messrs. Spencer and Gillen have shown, certain myths propounded to the boys and women are perfectly well known by the adult men to be frauds. This, in Mr. Crawley's opinion (pp. 195-6), proves that religious beliefs can never have been set up by fraud. It is really a rather strong argument for the priestcraft theory. For the Aruntas have no priests; and the old argument was that priests were able to carry off impostures which among laymen without priests would have been treated as such by adults.

Whatever may be the final verdict of hierology on that score, no careful student will dispute the actuality of priestcraft among either savages or civilised men. Of its existence among savages the proofs are innumerable. Of its existence among educated Christians the latest proof is Mr. Crawley's book. He helps us to understand the spirit and the procedure of priestcraft in all ages. In the course of one of his professional appeals to pious and other prejudice he writes:—"Theistic and Christian prepossessions are often derided by rationalists; but there is sound human nature behind the instinct, as we may properly call it, which leads men to distrust an 'atheist'" (p. 297). "Human nature," from the point of view of Mr. Crawley's tribe, is notoriously a monopoly of those who hold the beliefs which he inculcates; but, in spite of that naïve claim, rationalists contrive to possess some. And after they read Mr. Crawley it will probably reinforce their instinct, if we may dare so to call it, that there is something profoundly untrustworthy about a temporising priest who champions primitive superstition.'

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§ 3. The Rev. Dr. St. Clair Tisdall.

Dr. Tisdall illustrates at once the difficulty for orthodox theologians of keeping their tempers when their faith is challenged, and the havoc which passion can work in an argument, not to say in the reasoning faculty itself. His animus disorders his enterprise from the start. In the opening chapter of his work on Mythic Christs and the True1 dealing with the question of Mithraism, he refers to me as "a modern writer on the subject, who tells us that his book 'challenges criticism above all by its thesis.'" Pausing at that word, he goes on to charge me with first asserting that we know very little of Mithraism, and then proceeding, "as do others, to afford a complete account of the legends and the inmost theology of the Mithraists, together with details of its origin."

It will be seen that the phrase first quoted by him is from the introduction to this work (preface in first edition), where the phrasing is not "its thesis," but "its theses," the reference being not to any general thesis, but to two immediately specified propositions concerning the Christian mystery-play. Having quoted "its thesis," Dr. Tisdall burkes the rest of the passage, thus either wilfully garbling the whole or failing in his anger to understand what he reads. To the "theses" specified he makes not even an attempt to reply. The attack which he goes on to make on me concerning Mithraism is, as the reader will see from its statement, nugatory. Upon that subject neither I nor any one else can give "a complete account of the legends and the inmost theology." "If we know all this about Mithra," says Dr. Tisdall, quoting some details from another writer and from me, "we know a great deal." And he goes on to propound the crushing counter-thesis, "There are no Mithraic Scriptures extant," as if that settled the question. It is idle to discuss with such a writer what constitutes "a great deal." It may suffice, however, to point out that what contemporary documentary evidence we have concerning Mithraism, apart from the Zendavesta, comes from Plutarch, Strabo, Athenæus, Herodotus, Porphyry, Commodianus, Macrobius, and Julian; the Fathers Julius Firmicus Maternus, Tertullian, Jerome, Justin Martyr, and Gregory Nazianzen; and the historian Elisæus of Armenia. Whether we call their information little or much, there it is. When he proceeds to charge me with eliciting from my "fancy" statements which I quote from the Fathers of his own Church, he merely raises the question whether it is his scholarship or his ethic that is at fault.

Accusing me further (p. 7) of dishonestly "reading Christian doctrines into Mithraism," Dr. Tisdall begins by vilifying that creed as "debased." He then sets about proving his charge against me (1) by citing from me a reference to the Khorda Avesta, xxvi, 107, whereafter he declares in italics, "There is no such chapter in 

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existence......But possibly this is merely a printer's error, though an unfortunate one." If Dr. Tisdall knows the texts as he professes to do, he must be perfectly well aware that xxvi—with the alternative "(10)"—is Spiegel's chapter-number for the Mihir Yasht in the Khorda Avesta. To say that "there is no such chapter in existence" is again to raise questions not only of scholarship, but of intellectual ethic. True, I have usually cited the Mihir Yasht by that title, and from Darmesteter: the "error" consisted solely in not giving Spiegel's name, with his rendering: "as the heavenly understanding allies itself to the heavenly Mithra." All errors of reference, printers’ or writers’, doubtless, are unfortunate, though for candid readers they are usually soluble; but doubly unfortunate is the arrogance of a writer who, making an attack such as the above, thrice prints "Fargand" for "Fargard" in his own text; twice prints "Principal" for "Principle"; prints "Iride" for "Iside"; prints "Pyramids" as a French word; and cites Jerome's "Contra Jovinianum" as "Contra Jovianum." A writer who grounds his attacks upon supposed printer's errors should be more careful about his own proofs.

On the real issue, Dr. Tisdall is careful not to mention that in the Mihir Yasht (= Khorda Avesta, xxvi, 107: Spiegel) the "heavenly understanding" is declared to be allied with Mithra. He goes on professedly to cite from Geldner's text of the Zendavesta a passage which is not that referred to by me, laboriously and uselessly proving that it does not speak of the "Word"; and then, turning to Vendidâd, Fargard xix, 14, 15 (48, 54), stakes his credit on his own declaration that I "may have been misled" by a translation "impossible for a person at all acquainted with the original language." I fancy that most readers will prefer to the smatterings of Dr. Tisdall the expert scholarship of Darmesteter, who reads "the Word Incarnate" in Mihir Yasht xxxii, 137 (where Spiegel has simply "the Manthra"), or even that of Spiegel, who reads "the holy Word" where Dr. Tisdall says no scholar could.

F'. Dr. Tisdall's case on this head substantially amounts to denying that "sacred text" has any possible community of meaning with the idea of the Logos. He thereby shows his general ignorance of the evolution of the idea in question. (Both in Islam and in Brahmanism the Sacred Book is theologically abstracted to an eternal and untreated existence; and the psychic process is fundamentally the same as in the Hindu hypostatising of Speech, which is the type of the Græcised doctrine. "Speech is the Rig Veda," and "the 'word' is Brahma.")

Offering such proofs as that above noticed for his charge of dishonesty against me, Dr. Tisdall (2) represents me (p. 12) as giving the Mithraic case in proof of my allegation that the Christian doctrine of the Logos comes from a pagan source. To realise the dishonesty of that assertion, the reader need but peruse §§ 2, 3 of Ch. ii of Part II of the foregoing volume, where the Logos idea is

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traced to a probable Babylonian source. I have expressly represented the idea of the Logos as late in Mithraism.

When, further, my reverend critic in this connection zealously contends that even to prove that Mithra was "associated with" the Word would not be to identify him with it, he raises the question whether he is aware of the history of his own creed. If he knew that in early Christian literature "it is common to find the titles of the Holy Ghost assigned to the Logos," and if he could realise the fact that in ordinary Christian conception the Logos performs the function of the Holy Spirit, even he would hardly have flouted the suggestion that association of that kind can easily lead to assimilation in a fluid system. For the rest, he makes no attempt to deny that Sraosha, who was latterly bracketed with Mithra, was "the Word"; and he does not even mention my reasons for inferring that in one worship Mithra was practically identified with Vohumano—Sraosha, the latter being worshipped, like Mithra, along with Anaitis.

The gist of Dr. Tisdall's claim appears to be that no Eastern creed save the Christian had either a Logos or a Mediator or a Virgin Mother, and that Mithraism could have had no moral value. On all three heads he writes as the merest Christian partisan. He is aware (p. 18) that in Armenia the Christians professed to quote from Persians the statement that "the God Mithra was born of a woman"; and still he professes to see no trace of the idea of a virgin-birth. Yet in his own creed the God-Man is declared to be born of a woman; and he does not for a moment pretend that the Persians declared Mithra to be the son of a mortal father. Confusing another text, he makes it assert that Mithra was "incestuously born of a mortal mother," when the assertion really was (see above, p. 322, note) that the God was born of the incest of Ahura Mazda with his mother. Any candid scholar would admit that on the face of such references Mithra was reputed supernaturally born of God and a mortal mother. When Dr. Tisdall argues further that the conception of the Petra Genetrix, the Rock from which Mithra was born, excludes the idea of any mother, he merely sets us asking whether he is unaware that in ancient mythology the Earth, constantly personified, is the mother par excellence.

On the general mythological topic of virgin-birth, Dr. Tisdall writes in the childish strain of Canon McCulloch. Where a supernaturally impregnated mother is not expressly called a virgin, he protests, there is no analogy to the Christian story. Both reverend gentlemen seem to be unaware that the title of "Virgin" was categorically given in antiquity to Mother-Goddesses and Goddesses of many amours. They cannot see that the essence of the idea under challenge lies in the item of supernatural birth—birth without male congress, which is asserted by Hesiod in the case of Hêrê. In the heat of his partisanship, Dr. Tisdall angrily attacks Dr. Frazer for accepting the overwhelmingly strong testimony of Messrs. Spencer and Gillen as to the belief of certain Australian tribes that all births

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are caused by the entrance of ancestral spirits, and that male congress is not the cause of conception. On this head he advances the futile argument that the tribes in question have strict marriage laws—as if these were not intelligible in terms of mere sex instinct and property; and he has the hardihood to affirm (p. 89) that "there is no proof that savages hold or have ever held" the doctrine of spiritual conception. After this, it matters little that, without an attempt at proof, he declares me (p. 87) to have confounded

f Saoshyant with Sraosha in the Zoroastrian lore; and further flatly denies that in that lore Saoshyant is virgin-born. Knowing nothing of the life of Australian Aborigines, he insolently negates the whole profound research of Messrs. Spencer and Gillen; and on the strength of his private definition he overrules the verdict of Tiele, Cumont, Haug, and Darmesteter concerning Saoshyant. When, however, a Sayce, turned champion of orthodoxy, argues that the human race has not evolved from savagery at all, that ineptitude is for Dr. Tisdall a sufficient ground for refusing to admit that "men were originally savages"; and the youthful folly of Renan's deliverance on the same subject—a deliverance never repeated, in a book never completed—serves equally, with him, to outweigh the whole mass of modern biological science. It does not occur to Dr. Tisdall to ask whether even in 1854 Renan believed in the Virgin-birth.

The reader will be able to realise Dr. Tisdall's philosophic standpoint and logical faculty from his concluding deliverance (p. 91) that "if we suppose that popular fancy, quite independently and with no apparent reason (!), evolved the idea of supernatural—nay, even, of Virgin—birth, then we must conclude one of two things: either (1) that it is an unmeaning delusion, or (2) that it was developed under Divine guidance." Deciding as a matter of course on the latter verdict, Dr. Tisdall proceeds to explain that through all religion "'one unceasing (sic) purpose runs' a Divine plan for the education of the human race." On his own view, then, Mithraism was divinely superintended; and the fatigued reader is moved to ask why the reverend critic took all his previous pains to prove that the Mithraists cannot have had a notion of Virgin-birth, or of a Logos, and must have been a licentious crew? Given a Divine plan through all, are we not invited to credit Deity with all the religious misconduct of all paganism?

Putting Dr. Tisdall's philosophic puerilities aside, I have to point out, further, the bad faith of a citation by him (p. 21) from me (Pagan Christs, 1st ed. p. 345: this ed. p. 326) as to the inscription on a picture in a Mithraic catacomb of "phrases of the 'Eat and drink for to-morrow we die' order." Dr. Tisdall is careful not to mention (a) my remark that, if original, such phrases might stand for an antinomian tendency such as Paul imputed to his Corinthian converts; or (b) my further suggestion that they may very well have been inscribed by Christian hands after the fall of Mithraism; or (c) my further comment that there is no evidence whatever that

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[paragraph continues] Mithraism ever developed such disorders as compelled the suppression of the Christian agapæ. Needless to add, he does not tell that some declare the picture to represent the Christian "Banquet of Seven." With his professed faith in the Divine plan running through all religion, he is determined at any cost to prove that the Deity led Mithraists by wholly evil paths. Where Hausrath ascribes to their cult a purity which "won many hearts from sin-stained Olympus" and attracted some of the best emperors, Dr. Tisdall affirms that it won "generally the worst of them" (p. 17), naming "Aurelian, Diocletian, Galerius, and Licinius, as well as Julian the Apostate." Hausrath names Antoninus Pius, Constantius Chlorus, and Julian—without thinking it necessary to add "the Apostate." Such are the differences of method and result as between the sectarian and the historian. If one were to comment on the charges brought by Paul the Apostate against his Corinthian converts, or on the characters of the common run of the Christian Emperors from Constantine the Apostate onwards, Dr. Tisdall would presumably fall back either on his candid theorem (p. 70, note) that Christian precept is not responsible for Christian practice—a principle reserved by him for Christian use—or his equally flexible doctrine that all religious history is under divine supervision.

At that point we may leave the moral question save in so far as we are forced still to question the moral spirit of the Christian champion. He does not scruple to repel the assertion that Mithra was a Mediator by declaring that it is founded solely on Plutarch's statement that "Mithra was called μεσίτησ because he stood midway between the Good Principal [sic] Ormazd, and the Evil Principal [!] Ahriman." The assertion that he was a Mediator between man and God is accordingly declared not to be "scholarly, or even honest." The suggestion here is that μεσίτησ does not really mean Mediator; whereas that is the normal and standing force of the term. The honest critic would have us believe that the regular Greek word for "intercessor" could have no such connotation for Mithraists when applied to Mithra, because Plutarch said he got the name from being midway between Ormazd and Ahriman; and that whereas Christians by his own account felt the need of a Mediator, Zoroastrians and Mithraists would not. He does not scruple to write:—"If his worshippers really held him [Mithra] to be a middle-man between Ormazd and Ahriman, we can the better understand Mithra's undoubted association with Cybele, Baal, and such immoral deities." Thus can hierology be written by a Christian priest. If a heretic should ask whether Christ is not practically a mid-way Power between God and Devil, saving his worshippers from both, he would be a good deal nearer the truth; but we can imagine the epithets with which Dr. Tisdall would greet him. The reader will not be surprised to learn that, perverting to his purpose a passage of Darmesteter, he represents ancient society (albeit under the Divine Plan) in the last years B.C. to have attained merely to

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[paragraph continues] "the unbridling of the human brute," adding that "so it is in France now."

It is on a basis of such sociology and psychology as this that Dr. Tisdall reaches the conclusion that the belief of pagans in supernatural births proves the reality of the gospel story. "The false coin," he sums up, in the manner and on the plane of Justin Martyr, "pre-supposes the genuine......The very existence of so many varied forms of legends of births of this kind shows that such a thing is not 'unthinkable.'" So that the currency of a multitude of narratives declared to be false (but divinely inspired) proves the inherent credibility of one other narrative of the same order. Such is the logic of official Christian theology in England in 1909.

I have not taken the trouble to answer all of Dr. Tisdall's minor criticisms. It may suffice to cite one more, as a sample of their validity. On p. 24 he writes (italics mine):—"Though Mr. Robertson says, 'Mithraism was, in point of range, the most nearly universal religion of the Western world, in the early centuries of the Christian era,' yet this statement requires modification. Cumont informs us that, at first at least, 'The influence of this small band of sectaries on the great mass of the Roman population was virtually as infinitesimal as is to-day the influence of Buddhist societies in modern Europe." That is to say, my statement must be modified because it does not apply to the period before that to which I specifically applied it. I spoke of Mithraism "in the early centuries of the Christian era." Professor Cumont's phrase refers expressly to the time of the beginnings, "towards the end of the Republic." Dr. Tisdall has penned sheer nullity.

An excuse is perhaps needed for dealing at any length with a writer capable of such dialectic. Mine is, that it is necessary at least to let laymen know the nature of the minds which now seek to impose faith upon them.

§ 4. The Rev. Father Martindale.

In the Roman Catholic periodical The Month, for December, 1908, there appeared an article by the Rev. Father Martindale under the title "The Religion of Mithra: Third Article: VI. A Modern Apostle." It was devoted to an attack on Part III of Pagan Christs; and as the title appears to convey the belief that I am a Mithraist, it might seem negligible in a serious discussion. The reverend author, however, has made so many charges of bad faith, with so much revelation of bad faith on his own part, that I have thought it advisable to deal with them in detail, putting succinctly his misrepresentations, errors, and aspersions, and my rebuttals.

1. In his first paragraph, the rev. critic ascribes to me the thesis that "the dwindling intelligence of the earlier Christian generations misinterpreted a kind of mystery-play—such as were those of the 'death and restoring to life' of Attis and Adonis and Osiris—as the

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representation of actual events, and, by a coarse realism, transformed the libretto of this play into the Gospels." Having posited this falsification, he goes on: "We have no intention of touching even lightly on Mr. Robertson's general theory."

Comment.—My thesis was that the mystery-play was closely transcribed, and added to the gospels—an extremely different statement. The refusal to face the theory was to be expected. It is normal among defenders of the faith.

2. Before dealing even with Mithraism, the rev. critic seeks to inflame his fellow-Catholics by describing me as having made an "attack upon that which is the spiritual life of so many millions, and from which they draw comfort in sorrow and strength in moral stress."

Comment.—The critic ought really to have added that my "attack" endangered his own income. In that way, the question of the truth or untruth of the statements under discussion might have been still further obscured. A picture of the happy state of human life under the Inquisition might further have helped his polemic.

3. Dealing with my section on Mithraism, the Rev. Father proclaims that "the list of Mr. Robertson's authorities astonishes us." He goes on: "After the respectable names of Tiele and Boissier we find cited, without discrimination, H. Seel's Mithrasgeheimnisse (1823), of the first part of which work M. Cumont says that it has but the remotest connection with the cult of Mithra," etc. "Sainte-Croix's Recherches, etc., are next cited," he continues, and Sainte-Croix also is little valued by M. Cumont. "Sainte-Croix makes no use of the monuments, nor does Windischmann, an author of far higher merit, however, whom Mr. Robertson also quotes. Creuzer and Lajard constantly recur as authorities"; and M. Cumont dismisses these likewise as valueless.

Comment.—Any reader of this paragraph, not having seen my essay on Mithraism, would be nearly sure to take it for granted—unless he knew something of the controversial methods of Father Martindale—that the disparaged authors in question were cited by me as authorities for my facts and theories. True, the underlined passage about Lajard and Creuzer might puzzle him; for why should the critic now say "constantly," after asserting generally that I cited the authors as my "authorities"? But he concludes the passage by asserting that "Mr. Robertson's imposing list of authorities is singularly diminished in impressiveness when we see that it includes names like these." A careful student, of course, might detect in the "includes" a sign of consciousness that the critic had been playing fast and loose with his readers, but the general impression conveyed to most readers of The Month would be that I relied on exploded "authorities."

It is my disagreeable duty to point out that Father Martindale knew he was deceiving his readers. The list of "authorities" of

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which he speaks is not truthfully to be described as a list of authorities at all. It is given as a footnote in support of one sentence: "As to this, students are agreed"—''this" being the proposition that "Mithraism was in point of range the most nearly universal religion of the Western world in the early centuries of the Christian era." The list of references from which he cites a few names is compiled solely to bear out this assertion. I call Seel and Sainte-Croix and Creuzer and Lajard "students," whatever be their shortcomings; if they are not so describable, what, I wonder, is Father Martindale? Besides those named I cite Beugnot, Ozanam, E. Meyer, Roscher, Quinet, Renan, Jean Réville, Hertzberg, Gardner, Hausrath, and Smith and Chatham's Dictionary—all which "authorities" he is careful not to name; but I cite them only to show how well founded was my general historic assertion concerning the vogue of Mithraism.

Even after categorically representing me as resting my case upon untrustworthy "authorities," the Rev. Father writes: "Yet, even when he quotes these authorities only to deny their worth, we are often left with the curious impression that, be they right or wrong, the quoting of them should be held to have somehow damaged the Christian tradition." That is to say, the Rev. Father knew that the "imposing list of authorities" was not a list of authorities at all. He knew that I did not rely for my conclusions on the writers he disparaged; he knew that I repeatedly dissented from their views, and that more than once I censured their misstatements. And still he elected to leave standing the original untruth.

If the Rev. Father had censured me for putting together such a list of references at all, on the score that the assertion they are offered to prove is one which probably no competent scholar would now dispute, I should have admitted that his blame had some colour, and merely replied that my essay was first written twenty years ago, when, so far as I knew, there was no treatise on the subject in English, and I had to acquire my information from many sources. Had M. Cumont's great work been then in existence, I should probably never have planned my sketch. Even when it was republished in Pagan Christs, so far as I knew, no English study of the subject had appeared. I wrote for an uninformed public. But at least my list has served to elicit a not unmemorable exhibition of what a Christian priest will stoop to in the way of prevarication against one whom he ostensibly supposes to be an "apostle" of a non-Christian cult.

4. After recounting his "curious impression" as above cited, the Rev. Father proceeds as follows:—

"Thus, on p. 322 seq., the degrees of Mithraic initiation are discussed. Mr. Robertson believes them to have numbered twelve. He relies for proof upon a mutilated and incomprehensible text of Porphyry, who is quoting Pallas; and upon an 'important citation' from Elias of Crete, who, with Nicetas, asserts the degrees to have

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been twelve. But Mr. Robertson does not notice that Elias and Nicetas (whom, indeed, he does not mention) (!) are both of them using Nonnus, a fantastic mythographer of the sixth or seventh century, whose witness Mr. Robertson has himself, just above, abandoned."

Comment.—The Rev. Father makes "more mistakes than the thing admits of." He puts Nonnus in the sixth or seventh century, when he would have been impossible. The universal voice of history assigns him to the fifth. With his customary good sense, further, the Rev. Father censures me for not noting the inutility of an authority whom, as he admits, I did not even name. Then he represents me as citing Porphyry for a list of twelve "degrees of initiation," when I do not cite him for twelve of anything. But these are trifles compared with the dimensions of the mare's nest which is the chief content of the paragraph under notice. The sentences which the Rev. Father attacks in my essay have nothing to do with the Mithraic "degrees." They refer to the trials of initiation—a totally different thing. A glance at the context might have saved him had he been concerned for anything better than aspersing a heretic: I refer twice over to the "austerities," the "elaborate and painful process," which a Mithraic initiate had to undergo. I need not therefore take the trouble to inquire whether his assertions as to Elias of Crete and Nicetas are any more accurate than his dating of Nonnus. The residual fact is that he has made a ridiculous mistake. His very phrase "degrees of initiation" is a triumph of confusion.

5. All the before-mentioned exploits occur within the space of two pages of The Month. And still the exhibition continues. After confusing the trials with the degrees of Mithraism, the rev. critic goes on:—

"M. Cumont, however, makes it quite clear that we may trust St. Jerome's formal evidence that the degrees of initiation" [italics mine] "numbered seven. Monuments and inscriptions amply bear this out. Assuming, however, that they were twelve, Mr. Robertson thus proceeds: 'Out of the various notices [i.e., the contradictory data of Jerome, Porphyry, and irresponsible medieval writers], partly by hypothesis, M. Lajard has constructed a not quite trustworthy scheme, representing twelve Mithraic degrees.'"

Comment.—That is to say, I assumed the degrees were twelve, though I represent as not quite trustworthy the only list which gives that number! I do not know whether the Rev. Father can yet realise that I never did "assume" that the degrees were twelve, though I thought the trials were probably of that number. The fact remains that Jerome's list of seven lay before him in my essay, and that he suppresses the fact of my having given it, suppressing also the fact that in a footnote I have remarked as to one of Lajard's degrees being "particularly ill made out." Having thus, by suppression and confusion, reduced the matter to chaos, the Rev. Father

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proceeds to assert that I make out the "hypothetical and untrustworthy" Mithraic scheme "somehow responsible for Christian emblems." This is a sample of what his state of mind can produce in the way of blundering. My footnote, to which he furiously refers, speaks of a "curious correspondence" between Lajard's four grades (which, in his usual way, the critic confuses with his twelve degrees) and the emblems of the four evangelists, adding, "these, however, were introduced into Judaism from Assyrian sources at the exile." These words, expressly inserted to guard against the notion that the emblems in question were taken from Mithraism, the Rev. Father represents as setting up one of his "impressions" to the exact contrary.

Those "curious impressions" I am content to leave to the psychologists as data; but I will take the opportunity to explain to other readers that the purport of the note in question is to suggest a widespread use, dating back very far in religious history, of either the four gospel-emblems or four emblems of a similar character. Apparently the Rev. Father is exasperated by the suggestion that those emblems were not originated as such by Christians, though he does not overtly dispute my assertion that they existed in Judaism. The point as to Lajard's grades is that they resolve his list of degrees into four—terrestrial, aërial, igneous (or, rather, solar), and divine; while the Judæo-Christian gospel-emblems of ox, eagle, lion, and man (and similar uses of emblems among Assyrians and Arabs) seem to imply a similar symbolical division. It is a matter of small importance; and, if I could have foreseen such readers and critics as Father Martindale, I might have made the note more elaborate. Such prevision, however, was beyond me. He calls the list of degrees in Lajard "preposterous." I had already called it "grotesque." But it is not more grotesque than his blunders, his "curious impressions," and his misrepresentations.

6. And still the Rev. Father contrives to continue blundering. Up to his fourth page he has not once deviated into accuracy, and in the paragraph following on that last quoted he asserts that on pp. 302-3 I "wrongly identify Kronos-Zervan with Mithra."

Comment.—Knowing that I never for one moment did any such thing, I re-read in blank astonishment the pages to which he refers. Only on the first is Kronos-Zervan referred to; and the statement is that from Armenian Mazdeism Mithraism borrowed "its enigmatic 'Supreme God,' Kronos-Zervan, the Time Spirit, a Babylonian conception, represented in the mysteries by the lion-headed or demon-headed and serpent-encircled figure which bears the two keys. And this deity, in turn, tells of Babylonian influence......"

With a sense of moral relief, I surmise that the critic actually did get his idea from the elliptical beginning of the next paragraph, which runs: "Of the deity thus shaped through many centuries, by many forces, it seems warrantable to say that his cult was normally in an ethically advanced stage "I suppose his intelligence could infer that by this deity was meant the "enigmatic" Kronos-Zervan;

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but I fancy I need not explain to any other reader that, as the whole sequel shows, the reference is just to Mithra. Any reader not primed by malice would realise this in a moment, even if for a moment he had been misled.

7. In the next paragraph the Rev. Father asserts that in my essay monuments are declared to "prove the identification" of Mithra with Anahita in a twy-sexed personality.

Comment.—Once more he has blundered. What I have said is that Herodotus is "accused of blundering in combining Mithra with Mylitta, it being shown" [that is, by M. Cumont] "from monuments that the goddess identified with Mithra was Anaitis or Tanat." "But," I add, "that the Armenian Anaitis and Mylitta were regarded as the same deity seems clear." As usual, the Rev. Father has misunderstood the argument. And when he goes on to say that "Mr. Robertson next identifies Mithra with Strabo's Omanos" [ = Vohu Manô, = Good Thought], he as usual distorts my words. What I have written is that "there is reason to suppose that Omanus (or the Persian form of the word) was a name of Mithra, and that it is an adaptation of Vohumano (Bahman) = Good Mind—a divine name with a very fluctuating connotation." I am not concerned to discuss the problem of the sexual duality of Mithra, as to which the Rev. Father, as usual, is careful to conceal from his readers the relevant data—such as the case of Men, the Moon-god, and the parallels in the Babylonian pantheon. It is a matter on which his opinion counts for nothing; and he seems never to have reflected upon the phenomena upon which the issue turns.

8. After significantly aspersing the Christian Father Julius Firmicus Maternus because even the anti-pagan testimony of that writer does not suit him, Father Martindale continues:—

"The other author quoted as 'making Mithra two-sexed and threefold, or three formed,' is Dionysius.' The pseudo-Areopagite really says: 'This incident [i.e., the miraculous tripling of a certain day] is especially inserted into the Persian sacerdotal traditions, and the Magi still commemorate the "triple Mithra" [ = the tripled length of Day-light].' There is here no mention of sex nor of form."

Comment.—There is here a preliminary falsification, followed by a memorable revelation of credulity. By writing in quotation marks "Dionysius," and proceeding to cite "the pseudo-Areopagite" on his own account, the Rev. Father deliberately suggests to his readers that I cited "Dionysius" without any characterisation. My reference is actually to "Dionysius the pseudo-Areopagite"—the usual way of referring to the writer in question. Not content with such a perversion, he adds another. He explicitly asserts that I quoted "Dionysius" as "making Mithra two-sexed and threefold or three-formed." I did no such thing. I expressly speak of the statement of Julius Firmicus (i.e., Maternus) "and later writers, that the Persians make Mithra both two-sexed and threefold or three-formed"; and, giving a reference specifically to Maternus, add

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[paragraph continues] "Compare Dionysius the pseudo-Areopagite," etc. The Rev. Father professes to be correcting me when he had to falsify my words in order to make them seem to need correction.

As for the use he makes of Dionysius’ testimony, I could not have believed, until I read him, that even in his Church there could be found at the present day such medieval credulity. Not for two hundred years, I should think, has any English scholar been found to attach the slightest credit to the absurd proposition that Mithra's epithet of triplasios referred to the miracle-story of the turning back of the shadow on the dial for Hezekiah, whereby the day was "almost triplicated." Over two hundred years ago, Cudworth could write that "learned men [Vossius and Selden to wit] have already shown the foolery of this conceit." It has been reserved for Father Martindale to reincarnate the credulity of the pseudo-Areopagite and his scholiasts. He evidently takes the Hezekiah legend as a historical fact, recorded by the Persians; though the very text he accepts tells how Apollophanes the sophist denied all such assertions. Selden, after quoting the comment of Georgius Pachymerius about the triple extension of the day, adds: Ita et Maximus Scholiastes; and for himself, Nec in Græculorum verba juravi. But such verba seems to be Father Martindale's "authorities."

The Rev. Father had set out with a flourish against me as one who might be expected, in an "attack" on the Christian religion, "whether from respect for his adversary or from fears for himself," to be "very careful in his choice of weapons." He is truly a precious authority upon choice of weapons. But his textual escapades are hardly more amazing than his hierological ideas. I have still a difficulty in conceiving that any man who pretends to write upon Mithraism could seriously assert that triplasios means triple-lengthed, thereby making the Magi identify Mithra with one case of protracted daylight; or could allege that the word tells nothing of "form." I suppose it is in all seriousness possible to him; though even among Christian priests and scholars, and in his own Church, there have been many with more insight into the symbolism of alien faiths. Such scholars as Vossius, Selden, Schedius, Huet, and Cudworth could all see that "the triple Mithra" meant something more than three-days-on-end! Huet, a Catholic bishop, could avow that "The triple Mithras of the Persians, spoken of by Dionysius, seems to be a certain image of the Trinity." Mosheim, balking at such speculation, despite Julian's phrase on "the triple function of the God," prefers reasonably to say with Macrobius that "the three faces of the sun and moon denoted the threefold relation of time, present, past, and future." That simple conception, had Father Martindale considered it, might have withheld him from translating triplasios as triple-lengthed, and from his added nonsense to the effect that the phrase "may indeed have applied to the twin torchbearers who flank Mithra Tauroktonos." But enough of his interpretations: it is sufficient to deal with his textual exploits.

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9. Coming at last to some central issues, he says, concerning my thesis that Mithra was virgin-born:—

"Mr. Robertson would prefer to assert, in view of a 'primary tendency,' that such a myth must have developed. He recurs, however, to positive argument. Mithra, he says, is identical with Sabazios; Strabo says Sabazios is as it were the child of the mother; Mithra must therefore have had the same relation to a mother. But Anâhita (as Goddess of Fertilising Waters) would 'necessarily figure in her cultus as a mother,' and as Mithra (who was 'paired' with her) never appears (save in worshipful metaphor) as a father, he would perforce rank as her son."

Comment.—To the words, "primary tendency," in quotation marks, he appends the reference "P. 96." No such words occur on p. 96 of my book; they occur on p. 338. [I here refer, of course, to the first edition.] For the closing words in the above-cited passage, again, he refers to p. 337, whereas they occur on p. 339. I should not have dreamt of noting such slips were it not that, finding in one place a wrong figure in one of my references—a 7 turned by the printer into a 9—the Rev. Father says that "such correction is too often necessary in reading this book." Felicitous and scrupulous to the last, he attempts to fasten discredit upon me for a kind of error that occurs twice upon one of his own pages.

Turning to more serious matters, I have to note that his reference to my thesis of a "primary tendency" is one more misrepresentation: the tendency in question is explicitly indicated both on p. 96 and on p. 338 as that to "make the young God the son of the Supreme God." Then I add that "when Mithra became specially identified, like Dionysos, with the Phrygian God Sabazios, who was [for Strabo] the 'child as it were of the [great] mother,' he necessarily came to hold the same relation to the Mother-Goddess." There is nothing "primary" here: the process is specifically secondary. Only thereafter do I argue that in all likelihood—judging from the legend of the birth of Cyrus—there were ancient Persian forms of the Virgin-birth myth. Having duly obscured the argument here, the Rev. Father proceeds to allege that I "identify" the miraculously born Saoshyant with Mithra, which is one more falsification. My statement is that as "Sraosha (= Vohumano) came to be identified with Mithra, so would there be a blending or assimilation of Mithra with Saoshyas or Saoshyant, the Saviour and Raiser of the Dead." This he calls "identifying." And then where I wrote: "As a result of all these myth motives we find," etc., he drops out the words I have italicised, and quotes me as saying "As a result.....we find," etc., thus sedulously garbling and perverting still.

10. I shall not occupy myself in discussing with such a critic the question of the Virgin-birth in the legend of Mithra. With M. Cumont I might argue it—with due diffidence: with a cultist who cannot get into a scientific relation with such a problem, it were trifling to reason upon it. I have simply to note that when

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[paragraph continues] Father Martindale devotes a paragraph to explaining that "some παρθένος divinities were anything but virgin" he is again throwing dust in the eyes of his readers, inasmuch as he implies that my argument does not recognise all this. I have repeatedly pointed to the duality of the Asiatic and other Goddesses, "who were on the one side virgins and on the other mothers." The Rev. Father garbles to no purpose; he simply does not understand the problem he is discussing.

11. It remains to notice the Rev. Father's characteristic handling of my thesis concerning a "Descent into Hell" in Mithraism:—

"With equal pluck Mr. Robertson determines to show that Mithra died, descended into Hell, and rose again. He has but one piece of evidence. It is a long passage from Firmicus Maternus, which relates a mystic representation of a divine death, followed by an exultant return to life."

Comment.—The unfailing inaccuracy of Father Martindale might almost suggest among his fellow-believers a theory of obsession. To the first sentence in this passage he appends a reference, "Pp. 319 sq." That section is a discussion of the ceremonial death and resurrection of Mithra; and when, on p. 321, I have remarked upon the Descent into Hades of Herakles and Apollo, I go on to allude to the astronomical explanation in these cases "and in the case of the Descent of Mithra to Hades, noticed later." If he had taken the slightest pains to do anything worthier than raise reckless cavils, he would have found on pp. 340-1 the full account of the Persian legend upon which—without the slightest reference to Firmicus Maternus, who knows nothing of it—I found my thesis. As usual, he has blundered hopelessly.

At the close of the paragraph under notice he proclaims that he is "left wondering at the conclusions to which the 'will to disbelieve' can guide an argument." Any reader of these pages, I fancy, will be left wondering more profoundly at the tissue of error, absurdity, and prevarication through which the passion to defend the faith can conduct a Christian priest. In a footnote to the sentence last quoted he contrives to insert yet another falsity.

12. On the question as to Justin's view of the Mithraic Eucharist, the Rev. Father writes, referring first to Justin's passage (Tryph. 70) as to the devils imitating the prophecy of Daniel in the Mithraic doctrine:—

"Notice, first, that Justin does not say this diabolic travesty of prophecy was pre-Christian in date; and that he does positively say (Apol. i., 66) that the devils imitate the Eucharist itself in the Mithraic mysteries. Mr. Robertson should have quoted that passage. 'If the Mithraists had simply imitated the historic Christians,' he argues, 'the obvious course for the latter would be simply to say so.' And that, indeed, is simply what Justin, in this passage, does say."

Comment.—Then "devils," in Justin, means for the Rev. Father Martindale just Mithraists! If he could only understand things

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occasionally, my task would have been lighter. The passage he says I ought to have quoted I had quoted, textually, on pp. 321-2, giving the reference, and adding similar passages from Tertullian about the devil's doings. The Rev. Father has not even read through the essay he seeks to discredit. Not once can he contrive to pass an accurate censure. But on p. 331, from which he quotes, I explain my contention by quoting from Justin the further passage: "When I hear that Perseus was begotten of a virgin, I understand that the deceiving serpent counterfeited also this." And I add: "Nobody now pretends that the Perseus myth, or the Pagan virgin myth in general, is later than Christianity." Does the learned Father suggest that Justin thought it was? Had he read this passage? If so, why did he not at least try to meet the argument?

13. In the next paragraph he avows that in Justin's days "the historical sense was practically dormant"; and in the same breath he affirms that "the divergent pedigrees of the historic Mithraic and Christian meals are so well known as to render quite unnecessary and, in our day, perverse, any theory of borrowing on either side." "So well known"! Known, that is, in an age without the historic sense, as the Rev. Father "knows" the dogmas he has assimilated, with about as much "historical sense," relatively to the problems of his day, as Justin had for his. But though I have called Justin perhaps the most foolish of the Christian fathers," I never thought him so inane as to say "the devils have counterfeited" when in his own opinion he could truthfully say: "These tales and usages have all come into existence since the propagation of the religion of Christ."

Comment.—As usual, Father Martindale entirely misses the point of my estimate of Justin, which is that, foolish as he was, his line of argument is followed by Tertullian. That is to say, it may pass as common and typical. Upon my characterisation of Justin, Father Martindale makes an exquisitely pointless retort; but he thinks fit to abuse Maternus as "notoriously and constantly unreliable," and guilty of "grotesque" misdescription—this because he does not avail for the Rev. Father's polemic purposes.

14. I have but reached the tenth page of his essay, and still I am occupied with his misstatements. He represents me, in a hopelessly incoherent passage, as saying that "much of the Song of Moses and Zechariah's mystic stone prove the irremediably Mazdean character of ancient Judaism." Another falsity. On p. 382 I argued that the parallel between the arrow scene on the monuments and the story of Moses striking the rock "suggests rather a common source for both myths than a Persian borrowing from the Bible"; and that, "as the story of the babe Moses is found long before in that of Sargon, so, probably, does the rock story come from Central Asia." That is the implication on p. 333, when I speak of "the presence of such a God-symbol in Hebrew religion long before our era." Apparently, the Rev. Father puts the Song of

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[paragraph continues] Moses and the Book of Zechariah in one category, as belonging alike to "ancient Judaism." I can believe it of him; but I ascribe a Mazdean element only to the latter, not to the former.

15. The Rev. Father next ascribes to me the thesis of "the identity"—his favourite word—"of St. Peter with Mithra, and also with Janus," when I had spoken of "assimilation with."

Comment.—I suppose he knows nothing of the general phenomena of assimilation of deities in old cults—the addition of solar characteristics to Gods of Vegetation—and of the modes of worship of the latter in Sun-Cults, and so on. I will merely indicate to any of his readers who may see this reply that they must not suppose they gather from him any idea of my case.

16. Nor shall I spend more time over the rest of his garbled quotations—his citing me as saying "entitled to assume" when I wrote "conclude"; his dropping out of an "even" when it qualified the context, and so on. I must say a word, however, on one of his later futilities—his laboriously facetious attempt to demonstrate that my remarks on the probability of the "Chair of St. Peter" being a Mithraic relic amount to a self-contradiction. The Rev. Father writes that my argument amounts to this: "There is strong reason to suppose it is X. It may well be, however, Y. There is at least a possibility that it is Z."

Comment.—What the Rev. Father, with his strange gift of fallacy, calls Z, as any other reader will see, is just X; and the argument runs: "There is strong reason to suppose that it is X. It may well, however, be Y." Any reader but himself, or one of his type, would see that "a relic of a pre-Christian cult" means simply a relic of Mithraism. And he blunders even worse than usual when he argues that my phrase, "it may well be that the whole thing is a fortuitous importation, like so many other ecclesiastical relics," amounts to saying, "I may be quite wrong, but the Church shall have her slap." I need hardly point out to any other reader that, whether the chair be Mithraic or not, the Church stands convicted of a legendary imposture, not only by the verdict of every archæologist, but by the simplest application of common-sense. With his customary strategy, he evades making the acknowledgment which every honest inquirer has made—that, whatever it may have been, the chair can never have been constructed as the episcopal chair of St. Pester, or of any early Christian bishop.

17. Upon one point at least the Rev. Father might be expected to be right when he accused me of erring on it—the question of the wording of the litanies of his own Church. I stated that, in listening to the Roman litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, Mithraists who joined the Christian Church knew they were listening to the very epithets of the Sun-God, and I cited six—God of the Skies, Purity of the eternal light, King of glory, Sun of justice, Strong God, Father of the Ages to come, Angel of great counsel. Upon this the Rev. Father asserts first that the litany in question did not exist at

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that period. If this were true, it would be a valid rebuttal; but the Rev. Father offers no evidence whatever, and I will merely say that I believe the epithets cited by me, which are in the opening portion, are as old as the fourth century in Christian worship. Having made his historical assertion, however, the Rev. Father goes on to declare that the epithets cited are "not Mithraic," and that "some of them are not in the litany." That point may be easily settled. I have before me a Catholic Eucologe, in Latin and French, apparently published in the first half of last century. It gives the litany of the Holy Name of Jesus, beginning with Kyrie eleison—a pretty good sign of antiquity in a Roman litany—and among the earlier epithets are these:—Pater de cœlis, Deus; Candor lucis æternæ; Rex gloriæ; Sol Justitiæ, Deus fortis, Pater futuri seculi; Magni consilii Angele. I leave it to Catholic authorities to state whether they repudiate the manual of devotion from which I quote, or whether Father Martindale is here wrong as usual. On the significance of the epithets, my readers can judge for themselves.

18. I am willing now to leave Father Martindale's readers and mine to judge which of us has been guilty of the "mortal sins against history and good-sense "with which he so pretentiously charges me. If any of my errors approximate to some of his, they are grave indeed. He speaks of my work as a compilation of facts "tending to the destruction of the hated system." If I thought myself capable of hating any opinion in his fashion, I should indeed reconsider my work with concern. But he is of the tribe who, hating Galileo for presenting an unwelcome truth, accused him of hating Ptolemy and the Holy Ghost. Inspired always by either hate or hysteria, they can imagine no other kind of motive for scientific work. To the last, Father Martindale strives to envenom his readers by quoting me as disparaging the early Christians when I write that "an unwarlike population, for one thing, wants a sympathetic and emotional religion; and here, though Mithraism had many attractions, Christianity had more, having sedulously copied every one of its rivals, and developed special features of its own." This he calls malevolent disparagement. He simply cannot understand the mental processes of anyone who studies the history of his faith in a scientific spirit: his one thought is to cast aspersions at whatever conflicts with his fanaticism. A dozen ecclesiastical historians have avowed the wholesale adoption of pagan rites, symbols, and conceptions by the early Christian Church: he makes it his task to try to discredit, by bluster and misrepresentation, any rationalist who draws scientific inferences from the fact.

19. In that spirit he pens this passage:—

"'For the Dark Ages,' says Mr. Robertson, pityingly, 'the symbol of the Cross was much more plausibly appealing than that of the god slaying the Zodiacal bull.' Alas, poor Dark Ages! No more the 'mystically-figured Persian, beautiful as Apollo, triumphant as Ares, but.....the gibbeted Jew, in whose legend figured tax-gatherers

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and lepers, epileptics, and men blind from birth, domestic traitors and cowardly disciples'—that was all they could appreciate."

Then he quotes Isaiah about the despised and rejected of men—a passage which, with his ripe "historic sense," he evidently believes to have been written in anticipation of the coming of the Jesus of the Gospels—and adds:—

"With those despisers stand the critics of the Dark Ages; we with St. Bernard, who said, Tanto mihi carior, quanto pro me vilior! We are content to share the pessimism and barbarism of that great poet and Crusader."

Comment.—Thus, on his last page and his first, the Rev. Father falsifies the book he professes to criticise. He does, I suppose, seriously regard me as taking moral satisfaction in the symbol of a God knifing a bull. But whatever hallucinations he may harbour, he knew, unless he was beside himself, that he had grossly garbled, by an elision, the passage he professed to quote, wholly altering its application so as to suggest that I was expressing my own predilections when I sketched those of many pagans of the average pagan type. He knew also that I had expressly spoken of the Mithraists in question as ultimately going over in large numbers to Christianity. It would never do to let the readers of The Month get a glimpse of a scientific view of the process of transition.

20. As if all that were not enough, Father Martindale ends his essay, as he began it, with an explicit untruth. In the last sentence he speaks of "the derivation proposed by Mr. Robertson for the Mass."

Comment.—I have proposed no derivation. The sole derivations for "Mass" that are mentioned in my essay are indicated in the passage: "Their [the Mithraists’] mizd, or sacred cake, was preserved in the mass, which possibly copied the very name"; and in the footnote, after referring to King and Seel as the sources of the suggestion, I add that the word missa "might come, however, from the Greek maza, a name for barley cake." Thus I did not give my assent to the mizd derivation, and merely suggested a similar possibility for maza—doing this because, like many other people not gifted with his credulity, I have never been able to see plausibility in the traditional etymology of missa.

21. My critic speaks of some "eminent professor whose courtesy and erudition enabled us to speak with such conviction on the derivation proposed by Mr. Robertson for Mass," and who, he states, wrote of me: "I think that his books were calculated to strengthen the belief in revealed religion."

Comment.—I know not who the "eminent professor" is, nor where my critic discussed the derivation which he misrepresents me as proposing. I cannot find any discussion on the subject in his articles on Mithraism. If he misinformed the eminent professor as successfully upon my books in general as he has done on the point under notice, I doubt not he could elicit from him plenty of

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disparagement, especially if he be of Father Martindale's own creed and cast of mind. If, indeed, they both believe what the Rev. Father quotes him as saying, it is not clear why he is so anxious to denounce me. By adding, however, a footnote to the clause last cited, he contrives to suggest to his readers that the eminent professor is M. Cumont. The footnote runs: "We may be allowed to add that since this article was in print Professor Cumont has with great kindness written to us at some length, assuring us that the conclusions we have reached in it are fully justified." As most of the Rev. Father's article consists in perversions of my words and aspersions upon me, he here suggests that Professor Cumont backed him up in these. I therefore take the opportunity to inform any of his readers who may see this that Professor Cumont has not endorsed any of his attacks upon me, and wrote nothing whatever to him concerning the derivation he says I proposed for the word Missa. Thus he ends as he began in mystification.


I have no doubt that the Rev. Father will remain well content with his work, which he will justify to himself as a blow struck for his creed and its founder. He avowedly feels himself to be of the tribe of St. Bernard, "that great Crusader"; and of a surety he is. Like St. Bernard, he lashes himself into a passion against all the supposed enemies of a deity whom he represents as having taught him to love his enemies; like the Saint, he sees in a vast movement of hate, massacre, and destruction a fit expression of his devotion to a sacrificially slain God, of whom he says, truly enough, Tanto mihi carior, quanto pro me vilior. "Pro me vilior": the confession is memorable: the priest's very hysteria of devotion is rooted in egoism, like his antipathy.

The spectacle he presents is apt to cure any rationalist of the tendency to suppose that organised religion is a greater force for moralisation, in virtue of its ethical elements, than for demoralisation by reason of its stimulus to fanaticism and its intellectual misguidance. Those Hellenists and Jews who, long before Christianity took its historic shape, arrived at the doctrine of forgiveness for injuries, and preached love of enemies—those men, one often feels, had undergone a profound spiritual experience; and it was shared, presumably, by those who inserted the doctrine in the gospels. But how many of those who, in the past eighteen centuries, have hysterically professed to draw their "spiritual life" from those gospels—how many of them all have ever been turned from their primitive passions of resentment by the commandment they call divine?

So far from "forgiving" a mere scientific opponent, who no more hates them or their creed than he hates the Ptolemaic system or the foes of his ancestors, they set out in a passion of resentment, not to get at the truth, but to get at the enemy. In a nobler temper,

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[paragraph continues] Father Martindale might have compassed something towards critical correction. In my essay, I am practically certain, à priori, there must be errors of theory or fact, or of both. I have never met with any similar treatise in which, after close study, I have not found something in the nature of error; and I would fain have my errors rectified, as I have already been able to do at some points for myself. But I do not find that my Catholic critic has ever come nearer exposing error in my case than to find a minor inexactitude of phraseology; and in the pursuit he has himself committed blunders beyond belief, and falsifications that for number and perversity outgo anything I have personally met with in controversy. In the hope of achieving a pious triumph he has selected some score of propositions from an essay containing hundreds; and, withal, what a fiasco he has achieved!

§ 5. Dr. J. Estlin, Carpenter.

In the Unitarian journal The Inquirer, about the end of 1903, there appeared a criticism of Pagan Christs over the initials "J. E. C." Shortly afterwards I criticised it on the assumption that the initials stood for the signature of Dr. J. E. Carpenter; and as this inference was not challenged, and the criticism in question was entirely in keeping with signed comments by Dr. Carpenter on this book and on Christianity and Mythology, to which I have replied in the Appendix to the second edition of the latter work, I here embody my rejoinder to the attack first mentioned.

It may be well to repeat one or two points from the other reply referred to. I there instanced (1), as an illustration of Dr. Carpenter's historical judgment, his proposition that Krishna is a historical character, arising within the Christian era; and (2), as illustrating his controversial methods, his dismissal of my thesis concerning the mystery-play added to the gospels with the decision that the "desolate cry," "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?", could not be put in the dying God's mouth in a mystery-play; after which contention he obliviously decided, in another connection, that the cry was not "desolate" at all, but a reference to the final note of triumph in the Psalm from which it was quoted.

It is this critic—the affirmer of the historicity of Krishna—who introduces a polemic against the present treatise with these sentences:—"The author is of course entitled to his opinions. But he is not entitled to claim support for them by constant inaccuracy, or by suppression of evidence, or by treating the wildest conjectures as historical facts." Dr. Carpenter's tone relieves me of any special concern for amenity in dealing with him; and the present rejoinder may thus be the more concise.

1. At the outset, after charging me with "treating the wildest conjectures as historical facts," my Unitarian critic asserts, by way of opening illustration, that my thesis of the pre-Christian Jesus-cult

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and ritual of human sacrifice is "justified" by me in a passage of three sentences (Pagan Christs, 1st ed. pp. 153-4; present ed. p. 162), which he quotes. Then he writes:—"Well may the author look on his work and find it very good; for he concludes, 'As a hypothesis the present solution must for the present stand.""

Thus by his own showing the "wild conjecture" is put, not as a proved historic fact, but as a hypothesis. Further on, I remarked (p. 158): "Beyond conjectures we cannot at present go." Dr. Carpenter has not taken the trouble to follow the argument he asperses. The three sentences which he represents as my sole "justification" of it are simply the broad preliminary indications of the nature of the hypothesis; and after the clause last quoted my text goes on: "But the grounds for surmising a pre-Christian cult of a Jesus or Joshua may here be noted." And here again the critic confusedly confesses that "the next step is to prove that there was a pre-Christian cult," etc. He appears to have written in a state of mind which precluded even the semblance of accuracy or consistency.

2. Of the eight paragraphs which constitute the alleged "step," the critic refers to two only, which he thus discusses:—

"This is done by identifying the successor of Moses with the 'Angel' of Exodus xxiii, 20, who is again identified in the Talmud with the mystic Metatron, who is in turn identifiable with the Logos; and the triumphant conclusion follows: 'Thus the name Joshua =Jesus is already in the Pentateuch associated with the conceptions of Logos, Son of God, and Messiah' (p. 155).

"No historical student needs to be warned against these preposterous assertions. But the unwary reader may easily be dazzled by the wide array of references (many of which are useful to the collector of critical curiosities), the legitimate product of extensive reading. The mischief is that Mr. Robertson does not understand what evidence is, and is the easy prey, therefore, of Talmudic vagaries."

The latter paragraph is truly interesting as a sample of logical chaos. In his passion, the critic, with his self-certified sense of "evidence," has lost all hold of the issue. He describes as a "preposterous assertion" (1) my statement that the Angel-leader is "in the Talmud identified with the mystic Metatron, who is in turn identifiable with the Logos." For this proposition I give references to Cahen and Hershon. As the critic offers for his angry language no excuse beyond the passage I have cited, it will be seen that, through sheer excitement of temper, he supposes himself to be convicting me of absurdity when he merely describes as a "Talmudic vagary" what I have represented as a Talmudic proposition. Unless the learned Professor supposes me to have considered the Angel-leader and Joshua historical characters, as he considers Krishna, his outbreak thus far does not even amount to a proposition. It is sheer verbal incoherence.

The other "assertion" specified as preposterous is my contention that the mythical successor of the mythical Moses is identified in the Pentateuch with the mythical Angel-leader. In "justification"

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of that statement I point to the parallelism of the texts, Exodus xx, 20-23, and Joshua xxiv, 11. In the former text it is promised that an Angel, in or on whom is the "name" of Yahweh, shall lead Israel to triumph against the hostile tribes. As Joshua in the other text claims to do this, he is pseudo-historically identified with the Angel. I should indeed have said "Hexateuch" instead of "Pentateuch"; but I cited the texts. Non-theological minds will probably see some plausibility in an argument so borne out; but the readers of The Inquirer will not gather from the article of Dr. Carpenter that any such justification was put forward. It is by such instinctive economies that he establishes his epithet "preposterous."

3. After this I may perhaps be pardoned if I meet with a simple rejection the critic's charge that in my estimate of the age of the bulk of Buddha-lore I am "flying in the face of the evidence gathered in recent years from inscriptions in different parts of India." I am content to say that, when he asserts the inscriptions of the third century B.C. to contain "the titles of the collections in which the teaching was grouped" (making no qualification), he shows himself unqualified to speak on the subject.

4. There is somewhat more semblance of scholarly circumspection in the critic's attack on my remark that "the first day of the week, Sunday, was apparently from time immemorial consecrated to Mithra by Mithraists; and as the Sun-God was pre-eminently 'the Lord,' Sunday was 'the Lord's day 'long before the Christian era." He contends that "Mr. Robertson's statements require him to show (1) that Mithra was called Kurios1 and (2) that his worshippers gave the name Kuriakê to the first day of the week before the Christian era." The first statement, he observes, I do not attempt to prove; and there is, he contends, no record of the application of the epithet Kurios to Mithra. In regard to the second statement, he alleges that I have misunderstood Deissmann's exposition as to the pre-Christian use of the word Kuriakos, since I cite him, though he

[paragraph continues] "cites no instance of its application to designate a day. That [continues my critic] is the unwarranted inference of our author, who ascribes its use to the Mithra-worshippers 'long before the Christian era,' without a shadow of justification. It is painful to write thus of a student who is undoubtedly in earnest. The general impression which his work produces is that his mythological combinations applied to Christianity are worthless and misleading, and that no single statement can be trusted without verification."

[paragraph continues] I confess to being astonished that even an angry theologian, making pretension to a competent knowledge of this question, should thus exhibit a complete ignorance of the decisive fact that the expression Kuriakên Kuriou, "Lord's-day of the Lord," in the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, proves the term Kuriakê to have had a pre-Christian application to a day. Either the reviewer knew this detail or he did not. I am not concerned to point the alternative inferences.

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It is true that I had not thought it necessary to cite this fact (long ago discussed by me) in my notes in Pagan Christs; I had in fact taken it for granted that the point was no longer contested—which was clearly a miscalculation on my part. But even Deissmann's demonstration of the normal use of the word is quite sufficient to show that it cannot have been spontaneously applied by Christians for the first time to their holy-day.

As to the epithets of Mithra, the reader will observe that I did not say that the title Kurios was applied to him on the monuments; the critic's own quotation shows as much. That "the Sun-God" was "the Lord" in the Roman Empire is admitted even by my critic. Cumont gives only three Greek inscriptions—there are no more to give. The War-God of the Persians was not likely to have shrines and devotees in Greece. But my study on Mithraism showed (1) that Mithra was in Latin inscriptions called Sanctus dominus, besides being separately styled Dominus; (2) that in the Zendavesta he is "Lord of all countries"; (3) that he was associated with Adonis and with Attis and with Dionysos, all of whom were called Kurios; (4) that, like them, he was called Father; (5) that in the Persian period he already had his "day"; (6) that his birthday was Christmas-day, associated with "Lord" Adonis and the Sun-Gods in general. Thus in such a syncretic cult, in such a syncretic age, when the first day of the week was habitually named "the day of the Sun," the popular ascription to Mithra of the title of Lord in the Greek-speaking places where he was worshipped would be a matter of course, even if it did not figure as one of his monumental titles in Greek. The title of Lord for the Sun-God was primarily Semitic in the Eastern world—e.g., Baal, Adon, and Marnas, all meaning "Lord"—and the Mithraic cult in the East might possibly abstain from an official adoption of Semitic usage, though we find Mithra called despotês in Porphyry. But popular usage could not be so restricted.

The view of my academic critic appears to be that while Jesus, described as among other things the son of a carpenter, was naturally and normally styled Kurios, the "Unconquered Sun-God" would not be; and that, while Latin-speaking worshippers called him Dominus, Greek-speaking worshippers never called him Kurios. I leave such "curiosities" of scholarship to "collectors." It may be worth while to inform lay readers, in passing, that Kurios is the normal New Testament word for "master," and is to-day the ordinary Greek equivalent for "Mr."

But the essential point is that, as I asserted, "Sun-day was 'the Lord's Day' long before the Christian era"; and that Sun-day had also been Mithra's day long before the Christian era, Mithra being chief of the seven planetary spirits associated with the days of the week. Where the term Kuriakê was current for the chief day of the week, it would be used by the Mithraists as by others. Cumont again and again affirms that "the dies Solis was evidently the most

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sacred of the week for the devotees of Mithra." But I did not assert that the term Kuriakê was used by them long before the Christian era. "That is the unwarranted inference of our" critic, proceeding "without a shadow of justification." The pain which he gave himself in discrediting me was thus quite pathetically gratuitous. And he himself commits another gross blunder "without a shadow of justification." In asserting that "the Sun-God (without Mithra's name) is called Dominus" he either suppresses or proves himself ignorant of the fact that one inscription reads "Sancto domino invicto Mithræ" (Cumont, ii, No. 60). This from an expert who "understands what evidence means."


And now I have to ask the reader to note that these blundering strictures, which come to absolutely nothing on examination, are the sole proofs offered by my Unitarian critic for his account of me as "claiming support" for my opinions "by constant inaccuracy, or by suppression of evidence, or by treating the wildest conjectures as historical facts." The great mass of my argument he has not even attempted to indicate, much less to answer. It would really not pain me particularly to say what I think of such criticism; but I forego the indulgence. What is worth noting is that Unitarianism should thus once more be exhibited as making a worse show in its criticism of new views of Christian origins than is made by almost any Trinitarian critics. The ill-supported pretension to comprehensive knowledge, the startling deficit of candour, the substitution of mere bluster and invective for argument, would almost seem out-of-date in the Rock. After all, there is something painful in this; and I regret it. In a book such as Pagan Christs, travelling over many obscure fields and raising many difficult issues, there must needs be oversights, inadequacies, and errors; and I take it as a matter of course that its central thesis in regard to the Christian cult should be regarded at first sight as extravagant. Any argument to that effect I should cheerfully examine; and when, as sometimes happens, a fellow-student sends me a note of questionable passages or errors of reference, I am sincerely grateful. It is a pity that the Unitarian Professor, for his part, should proffer hardly anything beyond mere futile aspersion.

I must not, however, omit to note one correction by Dr. Carpenter of a statistical statement of mine. At the beginning of my essay on Mithraism I had stated that the late Professor Robertson Smith wrote in the Encyclopædia Britannica "some hundreds of pages on certain books of the Bible." I did not possess a copy of the Encyclopædia; and I had written on the strength of recollection of early reading in libraries. My Unitarian critic has taken the trouble to count the pages of Professor Smith's articles, and finds that they amount only to forty-eight. I shall here take his word without checking him; and acknowledge that the passage should have run to the effect that the last edition of the Encyclopædia

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contained some hundreds of pages (about 300) on Biblical matters, as against the one half-page given to Mithraism. This statistical correction is almost the only one I have thus far received from any theological critic of my book, which counters the whole historical doctrine of the current religion. My Unitarian critic pronounces the error in question "a characteristic inaccuracy." I fear I must pronounce that a characteristic assertion. If he had done nothing worse, I should not have had to pen two exposures of his critical methods.

They have certainly had no corrective influence so far as he is concerned, for in two recent reviews of the translation of the German work of Professor Arthur Drews on "The Christ Myth" Dr. Carpenter exhibits the old temper, the old unscrupulousness, the old incapacity for a broad view of a great problem. He has evidently sat down to the book with the sole object of finding errors of detail which may enable him to seem to discredit the whole, never once seeking to meet the main line of argument, or even to indicate it. No one could gather from his reviews the drift of the reasoning he professes to confute. He can never see the wood for the trees; and in hacking blindly at particular trees he oftentimes wounds himself. Where there is the faintest opening for a verbal misinterpretation, he ascribes the most irrational meaning the words could suggest. Where, for instance, Drews in the translation (p. 241) remarks that all the details in the Passion are mythologically "given"—from the derision and flagellation to the rock tomb and the women at the place of execution—and the sentence ends, "in just the same form in the worship of Adonis, Attis, Mithras, and Osiris," Professor Carpenter asks, in a review in the Christian Commonwealth: "Who has ever heard of the 'execution' of Adonis, or of the grave in a rock (in the Egyptian Delta!) of Osiris?" adding: "Page after page in this book are disfigured by these reckless assertions." Even an ordinary reader might, after one perusal of his criticism, be able to suggest to the infuriated Unitarian Professor that the passage in Drews must have meant, not that all the four cults and myths mentioned were exactly the same—a suggestion impossible to the most ignorant tyro—but that in one or other were to be found all the details in the Christian narrative. The critic himself indicated a suspicion that something had gone wrong in the translation; but he let his censure stand.

In a later review by Dr. Carpenter in the Unitarian Inquirer the same passage is thus handled in a footnote:—

"The reader may be directed to the amazing statement, p. 241: 'The derision, the flagellation, both the thieves, the crying out on the cross, the sponge with vinegar, the soldiers casting dice for the dead man's garments, also the women at the place of execution at the grave, the grave in a rock, are found in just the same form in the worship of Adonis, Attis, Mithras, and Osiris' (italics mine). Which of these deities was crucified?"

In this passage Dr. Carpenter has joined serious garbling of his

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own with an error on the part of the translator. The passage he cites from Drews is preceded in the text and translation by the words "Everything was given" (which he suppresses); and references are given to the Old Testament as regards three of the details. Any candid and competent reader would see at a glance that something was wrong with an interpretation which assigned to the Gentile cults named a series of details well known to be items of Jewish tradition and symbolism, and actually indicated as such by the references. Even without reference to the original, such a reader would divine the misconstruction on the part of the translator. Where he has written, after a comma, "also the women at the place of execution,......are found," the translation should have run, after a semi-colon, "further, the women,......who are found." Drews wrote "ferner, die Weiber,......die." The whole passage means, and can only mean, that in addition to the other "given" items in the crucifixion and burial scenes, most of which are Judaic, the mourning women are found in the pagan cults mentioned.

And the case against Dr. Carpenter is clear. He has mentioned in a footnote that he possesses only the first German edition of the Christusmythe, not the expanded third, from which the translation is made. But the first, had he examined it, would at once have enlightened him, had he wished to be enlightened. There the context is different: the Judaic items are not mentioned in the same sentence, and we have this: "ferner das 'Felsengrab' des Heilands, die Weiber am Grabe, die sich ganz ebenso auch im Kultus des Mithra and Adonis finden, usw." Even here he would doubtless exclaim that both rock-tomb and women are not found in both cults: that is his critical way. But between the first edition and the translation he could not fail to see that Drews was not asserting a fourfold crucifixion-myth, of which each form contained all the details specified. For the rest, he shows his own ignorance of hierology by scouting the "execution" of Adonis (concerning whom he might learn from Dr. Frazer that the Adonisian ritual originally centred round an annual human sacrifice to the Vegetation-God) and by denying all connection between the cross-myth and Osiris, who actually figures in a quasi-crucified form. But the essential point is his utterly disingenuous way of covering the real issue by mere Old Bailey cavils and misrepresentations, to the end of keeping it out of sight. In all his columns of splenetic cavilling there is not one argument which really affects the fundamental question.

Doubtless a reviewer can protest that he is not responsible for the slips of a translator. But the business of an honest reviewer, and surely of a theological teacher in the position of Dr. Carpenter, is, first and foremost, to bring out the main positions and arguments of a work which he professes to discuss and dismiss as a whole; and a reviewer who pretends to dispose of an elaborate theorem, supported on many historical lines, by alleging merely error of detail at subsidiary points, is not morally fitted to be a public teacher.

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[paragraph continues] Our Unitarian Professor, however, has done worse than this. In his first review, Dr. Carpenter showed that even in his malice he surmised at least an error of punctuation in the translation: in his second review, instead of clearing up the point, he suppresses not only his own surmise, but an essential part of the text, deliberately reducing it to a different syntactical construction, to make it carry an impossible assertion. If I, in a review of Dr. Carpenter's First Three Gospels, had simply cited his astonishing self-contradiction in regard to the cry on the cross, with some other self-contradictions only less flagrant, and had thereupon pronounced the whole book the work of a man who either did not believe what he said or chronically forgot what he had written, his more careful readers would certainly have pronounced the verdict grossly unfair as a general judgment. But Dr. Carpenter has himself gone further than this. He has taken a plainly involved passage of a translation, where the very references showed him that the meaning could not be that which seemed to lie on the surface, and, confessedly suspecting an error of construction on the translator's part, has in a second article positively aggravated the translator's slip by leaving out, in quotation, an essential clause.

Political debate notoriously abounds in misrepresentation and in unfair criticism. But I do not believe that such a process of perversion as Dr. Carpenter has indulged in would be successful on a political platform or in the House of Commons. Such trickery, once perceived, would there discredit the performer once for all. And, trickery apart, the spirit in which the theological defence is conducted by Dr. Carpenter and his friends would be felt to be scandalous in a serious debate among truth-seeking laymen. In the Christian Commonwealth, to which he contributed his first review, there appeared an editorial on Drews’s book, in which the sole rebutting arguments, as distinguished from blank declamation, were a pair of protests against (1) a passage in the translation in which the disciples of Jesus were spoken of as having known him through "many years of wandering," and (2) a passage which overstated the force of a proposition by Dr. Cheyne concerning Nazareth. Now, the first item in this case also turned on a slip of the translator. Drews had written "mehrjährig," which means "of several years," not "many." The critic, of course, was entitled to his cavil; but here again an honest critic would have dealt with the force of the argument as apart from the mere detail of the number of years. No such attempt was made: the theological journalist never hinted to his readers that Drews was putting a consideration which, with a mere substitution of "several" for "many," told very strongly in support of Drews’s case, and against the received tradition. In fine, an indictment of Drews’s treatise in a popular yet pretentious Christian journal offered no further confutation of his case than an outcry against a phrase which happened to be a mistranslation, and against one overstatement of another critic's opinion. A short letter

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by me to the journal in question, pointing out the facts and suggesting the moral, was suppressed, and a bare summary given, from which the moral was carefully excluded. These dialecticians do not want truth, do not want full and fair discussion, do not want elucidation. Their ideal is to discredit those who assail their beliefs, and there an end.

Thus the defence of tradition goes on. Neo-Unitarian theologians and journalists handle disturbing theses with as little concern for candour or for patient comprehension, as much reliance on aspersion and vituperation, as was ever shown by Trinitarian critics of Unitarianism. And the Unitarian Inquirer, I observe, indignantly resents any return of censure, apparently claiming for its own chief pundit a monopoly of that. I regret to be unable to comply with the requirement.

§ 6. Professor Carl Clemen.

The Religionsgeschichtliche Erklärung des Neuen Testaments of Professor Lic. Dr. Carl Clemen (Giessen, 1909) would probably not be certified as orthodox by theologians claiming to be such, inasmuch as it admits the non-historicity of the Virgin-Birth and the pagan derivation of a certain number of Christian doctrines. It strives, however, to do all that can be done without avowed renunciation of scholarly critical principles to minimise "die Abhängigkeit des ältesten Christentums von nicht jüdischen Religionen and philosophischen Systemen." The reader will note the "ältesten." Claiming to examine thoroughly the measure of dependence of the oldest Christianity upon non-Jewish religions and philosophic systems, Professor Clemen implicitly admits later pagan influences. His treatment of the data as to the primary influences, however, invites drastic criticism.

Undertaking to deal with Gentile influences not only upon the dogmas but upon the narratives of the gospels, Professor Clemen leaves absolutely unmentioned a whole series of explicitly posited precedents for gospel narratives, while dealing, often laboriously, with others, often of less importance. In his opening chapter he thinks fit to dismiss my volume on Christianity and Mythology with an extract from a querulous account of it given by Professor A. Réville. In the preface to the second edition of that work I have shown that Professor Réville cannot have given even a cursory attention to the bulk of it, else he would be open to a charge of simple false witness. And now Professor Clemen, not having seen the book himself, 1 disposes of it by a citation from another Professor who had not read it. He has thus by a wise economy of research taken no account of a score of the asserted parallelisms which it is the professed object of his book to deal with. At the

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same time, and on the same principles, he dismisses as exhibitions of Parallelomanie English writings which he admits he has not before him.

To the first edition of the present work he has, however, given some little attention. Inaccurately enough, he cites as the Grundgedanke of the book the two theses as to the mystery-drama on which criticism was specially challenged. They do not constitute the Grundgedanke. The Grundgedanke is the naturalness and interconnectedness of all religion: the two theses in question represent the central result of the investigation as regards Christian origins. But the real issue, of course, is as to whether they will stand scrutiny. At this point, again, Professor Clemen practises economy of effort. He takes some trouble, indeed (p. 143 sq.), to affirm in detail that the Asiatic and other analogies to the crucifixion are non-significant; but on the central thesis as to the mystery-drama he is satisfied to offer the single proposition: "That the Passion-story was originally composed as a mystery-play does not follow from its dramatic character: it is in essence certainly historical." The reader of the foregoing pages is aware that the contention thus ingenuously evaded is not merely that dramatic origin is to be inferred from a vaguely "dramatic character," but that the main story is historically incredible, and that a variety of details, material and literary, can be explained only on the drama hypothesis, their presence being unintelligible on any other. Upon this argument Professor Clemen has not a word to say: he simply falls back on a petitio principii, not even explaining what it is that he is denying.

This is of course in the ordinary way of orthodox and semi-orthodox apologetics; and I dwell on it here because Professor Clemen, in his Introduction (§ 2), professes to observe scrupulously a critical "method." As he states it, it is simply an adherence to the ordinary principles of historical argument and evidence. But we now see what such a profession of principle is worth. In the first place, Professor Clemen ignores a multitude of the data with which he ought to grapple. That is to say, he disparages a book which he has not read, but of which not only the title suggests but a cited description tells him that it affirms many myth-parallels between Christianity and other systems. After making that citation, in proceeding to describe his method, he remarks (p. 10) that it would be superfluous to disprove propositions which are seen to be "untenable," or to deal with "popular" works which do not once make the attempt to establish their astounding propositions. Either these two rules of exclusion are meant to include Christianity and Mythology or they are not. If not, he makes no excuse for evading its examination. If they are meant to exclude it, he has been unscrupulous enough to asperse and dismiss a book which he has not seen, and whereof he cites only one splenetic hostile description, which I have elsewhere shown to be written without perusal. Such are the ethic and character of Professor Clemen's real

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[paragraph continues] "method." When, finally, he does profess to deal with a capital thesis with which he is avowedly bound to reckon, he burkes the entire argument, assumes without discussion the point in dispute, and passes on to other issues. His profession of method is either a dialectical sham or an exhibition of failure to understand the nature of argument.

I have limited my criticism to Professor Clemen's handling of my own books; but anyone who follows up his handling of the positions (among others) of Gunkel and Jensen will there find a similar tactic of begging the question wherever that course is the most convenient. If this is the best that the professional theologian in Germany can do to meet the anthropological and hierological analysis of Christian origins—and I understand it is thought to be adequate by those who share its positions—there is nothing more to be said. The entire tactic is one of making small concessions (though even these are significantly numerous, compared with the general denials of a few years ago) and evading or suppressing vital issues. What Professor Clemen surrenders are the points already surrendered by many "liberal" theologians: his ostensible defence of other positions is mere asseveration.


402:1 The Tree of Life, by Ernest Crawley. Hutchinson and Co., 1905. Mr. Crawley does not put "Rev." on his title-page.

402:2 Pp. 263, 278.

408:1 Published by the North London Christian Evidence Society, 11 and 12 High Street, Hampstead, N.W. 1909.

429:1 The normal transliteration is Kyrios, but I here follow that of my critic.

435:1 This course is strangely common among even distinguished German theologians. I am surprised to note it in Dr. A. Schweitzer as well as in the late Professor Pfleiderer. See App. to Christianity and Mythology, 2nd ed. pp. 449, 456.

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