[blocks in formation]


Press of J. J. Little & Ives Co.

New York

F 5620


The title of this book indicates the substance of its contents that the story of Christ has been told by ancient classic poets, by Vergil and his fellows of the Augustan period, by Euripides and his brethren of an earlier date, by Hesiod and Homer in still earlier time, and by others who preceded them but whose names and works have vanished in the musty past.

And why should it not? The knowledge of a One Supreme Being survived through the ages; so did that of a first man and woman; so did that of the Deluge. Why, then, should the tradition of a promised Redeemer have been lost. That it was preserved among the Jews is conceded: that it was not confined to them is manifested by the words of Job, “I know that my Redeemer liveth"-and Job was not a Jew. If one Gentile was possessed of the tradition, why not others?

There is ample proof in the classics that there existed in every age, and scattered over the great countries of the world, a number of persons who preserved the knowledge of a One God and Saviour to come, who privately called themselves “Christians" and their cult "Christianity," who (while living and mixing with their infidel neighbors) had passwords of their own, and met secretly in conventicle where they practised the rites of their religion and received instruction from their priests and elders. The cult never died: it was handed down from father to son, and new accessions were received from the ranks of those whose reason revolted against polytheism, and whose souls lusted for better and higher things than a sensuous paganism proffered. Eleusis, while openly a pagan temple, exhibits strong proofs of having been really a propaganda for disseminating the cult's mysteries. The different Schools helped on the work, for, dealing as they did with such subjects as the infinite and finite, eternity, time and space, the True, the Beautiful and the Good, the philosophers were enabled to openly sow seed that overtopped the pagan cockle and made thinkers seek for further instruction.

« ForrigeFortsett »