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second book of Esdras, who is evi. founded on the ancient conception dently under Babylonian influences of Parô-asti, or pre-existence. “The that the world reverts to an archaic parô-asti is not the life in the other state of silence and lifelessness world, as we understand it, but it between period and period of life. signifies the primary state of the
To each of these Eonic periods soul, to which it returns after its a divine messenger is ascribed, and separation from the body; this state each messenger seems in a sense to is then identified with that of everbe regarded as identical with the lasting life.* In the Dabistan the others, just as John the Baptist same belief is found, without which, was regarded as a re-appearance of it may be named, it is impossible to Elijah. The key to this is that understand the Kabbalah, Buddeach supernal man is regarded as hism, the doctrines of Pythagoras, but the missionary manifestation and certain sayings even of the of the One Supreme Being; and Pharisees of the time when our era the idea, if pantheistic in excess, begins. The noblest modern exis not altogether an unworthy one. pression of the doctrine may be
We have alluded to the Principle found in Wordsworth's “Intimaof Evil in the Zoroastrian creed. tions of Immortality from the There he appears personified as Recollections of Early Childhood.” Âharman (Anrô-mainyus), but his The Persian faith is that souls are existence is only permitted for a eternal and limitless, that they limited period by Ahura Masda proceed from above, and are spirits (Hôrmezd), the Creator of all Good. of the upper sphere. Those who The sway of the Evil One extends are imperfectly developed migrate only over the mortal life. In one from one body to another, until by of the oldest Gathas, or original the efficacy of good thoughts, good hymns of the Avesta, some of which words, and good actions, they are are considered to date from the fully and finally emancipated from veritable time of the Prophet, the corporeal condition, and gain we find “Let not the mischief. their higher rank. They are also, maker destroy the second life ;” according to the quality of their meaning, according to the Parsi good works, more or less in affinity commentators, that in the second with a particular star, and belong period his power to destroy ceases. to the sphere assigned to that star. This faith is more fully developed The regaining of this primitive in expression in the Desatir, where state with all the added gains of we find : “Amongst the most re. mortal experience, may well be splendent, powerful, and glorious deemed as difficult a process as of the servants who are free from that of birth as we know it. The inferior bodies and matter, there is resurrection is regarded as the none God's enemy or rival, or dis great deed; in a very old part of obedient, or cast down, or annihi. the Avesta it is designated “the lated.”
greatest business.” As the crowing It is necessary to understand of the cock awakes us and consomething of this before turning to vinces us that what we saw in sleep the completion of the myth of was but a dream, so in like manner Kaiômart. And it may be well to after death we shall realise that convey more distinctly the basis of the corporeal world itself was but the Parsi doctrines. They are a dream that is passed away. The
* Haug. Hadokht Nask. Notes.
cock is with the Parsis the re adoration to the Supreme. As surrection symbol.
they began to corporealise themIn this difficult business of selves by feeding first upon water, revival man is not without a helper. and in succession upon fruit, milk, There is Sosiosh (Saoshyâs) the and flesh, so now they will reverse kindler, the victorious, the uplifted the process. They will cease to amid the corporeal. “He is so help- take flesh, then milk, then fruit, ful that he will save the whole and finally will drink water only. corporeal world; he is so high Then will appear the Helper, and amongst the corporeal, that he man will feed no more, and yet endowed with body and vital powers, will withstand the destroyer The account of the process of of the corporeal.” He has a double resurrection we must leave for a attribute, probably owing to modi. succeeding paper, as also sundry fications of doctrine by lapse of parallelisms to be shown between time. He is a prophet appearing the Aryan tradition and that most before the close of a millenium to familiar to ourselves. rearrange the world, and prepare Our Aryan progenitor would for the resurrection. He is the appear to be rather a spectral being, victorious dead-restorer, who raises but if we follow the creed of our the dead or causes the resurrection Zoroastrian cousins, that on awaby means of the power and kening from the sleep of heedlessassistance of wisdom. * In the ness, we shall recognise that the former sense he is a successor to earth life has been but an instrucKaiômart; in the later he would tive dream, we ourselves, being yet. seem to be almost identical with within that dream, must now him in function.
appear even more shadowy still As the millennium draws near, before that reverend ancestor who the force of nature weakens. Men so long ago rubbed away the heavy will pass three days and nights in mist from his eyes.
THE ROMANCE OF THE PLURALITY OF WORLDS.
THAT strange perversity of the Christian father treats with so human understanding, by which much scorn has been affirmed in the most absurd and monstrous our day by no less authorities than dogmas, religious and other, have the elder Herschel and Arago. been unhesitatingly received, while At the establishment of Chrisa belief in the general habitability tianity, to deny the Earth to be the of the universe, a belief agreeable sole habitat of rational, or indeed to reason as well as to analogy, has of any sort of existences, was been scouted as at best an idle naturally a highly heretical and fancy, is not the least curious of anti-Biblical proposition ; and durphenomena in the history of specu ing the mediæval ages orthodoxy
on this point was pretty well unIn antiquity, the Greek philo. disturbed. Down to the middle of sophy, which was not bound by the seventeenth century the subany particular religious creeds, ject was abandoned for the most regarded the question much more part to the romancists, or if it was independently than was possible referred to at all by the learned, it in later Christian times. The was only with the purpose of coverGreeks, however, seldom ventured ing it with ridicule. Even the to speculate beyond the Moon. For philosophic Lucian had classed the sort of arguments which may those who assigned inhabitants to be supposed to have been current in the Moon amongst the wildest the second century, on both sides, dreamers, although in his “ True we are indebted to the author of History” (the original and enterthe “Parallel Lives,” by his treatise taining source of the modern comic “ On the Face which appears in romance, and written in ridicule of the Moon.” Lactantius (tutor to the travellers' tales of the day) he the sons of Constantine), as cham- is at the pains of inventing some pion of the orthodox faith, with beings of very mongrel breeds for à special reference, no doubt, to both the Sun and Moon. In this, Plutarch, ridicules those of the the first romance connected with pagan theorists who ventured to the plurality of worlds, the author indulge in such speculation, and pretends, while on a voyage of demands, with some reason, why discovery into the Western Ocean, they don't go a little further, and to have been whirled upwards, with people the Sun as well as the Moon his ship and companions, into the is Why not?” asks the bishop. celestial regions. They are landed “What would it cost you when upon the Moon, and there find the you have gone so far? But I Selenites on the point of setting suppose you were afraid they (the out on a campaign against their solar people] would be burned to enemies the Heliots—the people of cinders, and the mischief might be the sun,-the casus belli being the laid at your doors.” What the opposition of the latter to the Selenite colonisation of the Morning thing really worth looking at. Star. The earth-born adventurers Such as chance to lose their own, are invited to join in the expedi. borrow eyes from a neighbour. So tion. The Selenite allies are of the much for the natives of our satel. most heterogeneous and nondescript lite. Between the Pleiades and species that could well be imagined, Hyades, Lucian afterwards arrives e.g., the Psyllotoxoto (flea-archers, at a city called Lychnopolis, where each magnificent steed being equal nothing in the way of life but in size to a dozen elephants) and ambulatory lamps are visible_all the Anemodromi, who, instead of hurrying from place to place. wings, use their long robes, which These highly-illuminated people they tuck up and make into sails. are for the most part very dimi. By means of web bridges, con nutive beings, but some are very structed by enormous spiders, one bright and shining lights. By a spider having the bulk of all the favourable change in the wind, Cyclades put together, they cross Lucian is at length able to descend over into the enemy's territory. upon the terrestrial seas, where, It must be enough to state that the we may just state, he and his comSelenites, at first victorious, suffer panions are swallowed, ship and a terrible reverse; and a treaty, all, by an enormous whale capable with the most exact stipulations of holding 10,000 inhabitants, beis concluded between the contend. sides hills, forests, &c. After a ing powers.
few astonishing adventures, our As for the nature of the Selenites, involuntary colonists escape from they have at least one or two little their cetacean prison by setting advantages, as compared with us, fire to the interior and hoisting although they are only our satel. sail, first taking the precaution of lites. When the inevitable hour propping up the huge jaws of the of dissolution arrives, the Selenite whale to secure their exit. Of has not to submit to the trying their experiences in the Islands of ordeal of death: he simply dis- the Blessed, the meeting with solves into particles of air in which Homer and with Helen (who mainhe mixes, as it were, like smoke. tains in those regions her character Of that element his beverage is for levity by running away from composed, which, strained through her heroic husband again) and the a vessel, becomes a sort of dew. Onoscelece, seductive ladies of the Their stomachs open and shut at Sea, highly interesting as they are, pleasure, and serve them for con- we have no space here to repeat venient sacks; and, as they are the history.* not incommoded with all the gross In the 16th century, after the internal apparatus of the terrestrial revolution effected by the disstomach, they use them, like the coveries of Copernik, Kepler, and Marsupials, as a vehicle and pro others, the ice of orthodoxy tection for their children. Their having been broken, it was a eyes are made to take out, which, natural result that speculation as Lucian justly remarks, is an began to be indulged in by the excellent way of preserving their philosophic portion of the learned sight; and there are many so con- world. An authoritative name on siderate as never to place an eye the heterodox side was that of in its socket, unless there is any. Kepler, who translated the treatise
* See 'Aahons 'IoTogía (the True History, I. & II.)
of Plutarch; but, possibly as much lot to migrate to our Earth. But from timidity as from want of con- he afterwards preferred the Moon viction, he employs in the dialogue as a residence; “for men are there the doubtful medium of a Lapland lovers of truth - one sees no witch. For much the same reason pedants there ; the philosophers it was that the speculative minds allow themselves to be persuaded of that age chose to display their by reason alone; the authority of opinions on the subject in the a savan or of the greater number disguise of romance, half serious has no advantage, on a question of and half comic. The best known opinion, over a thresher of corn and most clever is that of Cyrano when he reasons as strongly ... Bergerac, under the title of “His. There are the Vulgar here as there, toire Comique des Etats et des who cannot endure thought upon Empires de la Lune;" which was those subjects to which they are not followed by his “ Les Etats et les accustomed. But know that they Empires du Soleil.” They bear treat you on equal terms, and that evident traces of their origin from if anyone from this Earth had the “ True History ;” and, as the ascended into yours having the celebrated Greek writer's purpose hardihood to call himself a man, was to ridicule the absurd fictions of your savans would have caused him historians and travellers, such as to be suffocated as a monster.” those of Ctesias and Pliny, that of Bergerac finds himself regarded Bergerac was chiefly to satirize the as a species of monkey. That he pedantry and deference to authority comes to be classified with the prevalent in the 17th century. The Simian tribe arose from the follow. * Histoire Comique," we may add, ing circumstance. A Spaniard of has a special interest for us, as one the name of Gonzales (who had of the originals of Swift's “Gulli. written on the same subject as ver's Travels."
Bergerac) had previously reached Lucian's Icaro - Menippus as the Lunarians, and upon his arrival cends to the Moon by the simple had at once been set down in the addition to his person of an eagle's monkey class from his wearing the and a vulture's wing. Bergerac Spanish dress, &c., which the people, contrives a special elastic machine had decided was the proper fashion in which, after long travelling for their monkeys, as the most between the two globes, he at ridiculous which, after long medilength arrives upon our satellite tation, they had found it possible by getting within the sphere of its to devise. As the new arrival attraction. He soon falls in with is dressed in a somewhat different some of the inhabitants, who are style, they jump to the conclusion huge men twelve cubits high, and that he is the female of the same walk on all fours. They take him species; and in consequence they to be some curious and strange are shut up together by the Savans animal, and determine to exhibit for the purpose of obtaining the him for show. In the course breed. In an unlucky moment, of his wanderings in this con- also, our terrestrial resolves to dition he is astonished one day learn the Lunar language. We by hearing the voice of a person say unlucky, for, “Some freespeaking in the Greek language. thinkers began to allege that he This individual is a native of the was endued with reason.” The Sun, which, to relieve a surplus orthodox world opposed this new population, occasionally sends out extravagant notion with the greatest colonies; and it had fallen to his furore, and treated it as a most