Origines sacræ, or, A rational account of the grounds of Christian faith, as to the truth and divine authority of the Scriptures and the matters therein contained by Edward Stillingfleet ...
Stillingfleet, Edward, 1635-1699.
Page  577

CHAP. V. Of the Origine of the Heathen Mythology.

That there were some remainders of the ancient history of the world preserved in the several Nations after the dispersion. How it came to be corrupted: by decay of knowledge, in∣crease of Idolatry, confusion of languages. An enquiry into the cause of that. Difficulties against the common opinion that languages were confounded at Babel. Those difficul∣ties cleared. Of the fabulousness of Poets. The particular wayes whereby the Heathen Mythology arose. Attributing the general history of the world to their own Nation. The corruption of Hebraisms. Alteration of names. Ambi∣guity of sense in the Oriental languages. Attributing the actions of many to one person, as in Jupiter, Bacchus, &c. The remainders of Scripture history among the Heathens. The names of God, Chaos, formation of man among the Phaenicians. Of Adam among the Germans; Aegyptians, Cilicians. Adam under Saturn. Cain among the Phae∣nicians. Tubalcain and Jubal under Vulcan and Apollo. Naamah under Minerva. Noah under Saturn, Janus, Pro∣metheus and Bacchus. Noahs three sons under Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto. Canaan under Mercury, Nimrod under Bacchus, Magog under Prometheus. Of Abraham and Isaac among the Phaenicians. Jacobs service under Apollo's. The〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉a from Bethel. Joseph under Apis▪ Moses under Bacchus. Joshua under Hercules. Balaam under the ol Siolenus.

THE main particulars contained in the Scriptures con∣cerning the history of Ancient Times being thus far * cleared, there remains only that evidence which there is of the truth of the historical part of those eldest times, in those footsteps of it which are contained in the Heathen Mytholo∣gy. For we cannot conceive, that since we have manifested that all mankind did come from the posterity of Noah, that all those passages which concerned the history of the world▪ Page  578 should be presently obliterated and extinguished among them, but some kind of tradition would be still preserved, although by degrees it would be so much altered for want of certain records to preserve it in, that it would be a hard matter to discover its original without an exact comparing it with the true history its self from whence it was first taken. For it fared with this Tradition of the first ages of the world, as with a person who hath a long time travelled in forraign parts, who by the variety of Climes and Countries may be so far altered from what he was, that his own relations may not know him upon his return, but only by some certain marks which he hath in his body, by which they are assured, that however his complexion and visage may be altered, yet the person is the same still. Thus it was in this original tra∣dition of the world through its continual passing from one age to another, and the various humours, tempers, and designs of men, it received strange disguises and alterations as to its outward favour and complextion; but yet there are some such certain marks remaining on it, by which we find out its true original. Two things then will be the main subject of our enquiry here. 1. By what means the original tradition came to be altered and corrupted. 2. By what marks we may discern its true original, or what evidences we have of the remainders of Scripture history in the Heathen Mythology.

1. Concerning the means whereby the Tradition by degrees came to be corrupted. There may be some more * general, and others more particular. The general causes of it were.

1. The gradual decay of knowledge and increase of Barba∣rism in the world; occasioned by the want of certain records to preserve the ancient history of the world in. Which we at large discoursed of in our entrance on this subject. Now * in the decay of knowledge, there must needs follow a sudden and strange alteration of the memory of former times, which hath then nothing to preserve it, but the most uncertain re∣port of fame, which alters and disguiseth things according to the humours, and inclinations, and judgements of those whose hands it passeth through.

Page  579 2. The gradual increase of Idolatry in the world: which began soon after the dispersion of Nations, and in whose age, we cannot at so great a distance and in so great obscuri∣ty precisely determine; but assoon as Idolatry came in, all the ancient tradition was made subservient in order to that end; and those persons whose memories were preserved in several Nations, by degrees came to be worshipped under diversities of names; and such things were annexed to the former traditions as would tend most to advance the greatest superstition in the world.

3. The Confusion of Languages at Babel, was one great reason of corrupting the ancient tradition of the world. For in so great variety (as suddenly happened) of languages in the world, it cannot be conceived but such things which might be preserved in some uniform manner, had all Nati∣ons used the same language, would through the diversity of Idiomes and properties of several tongues be strangely altered and disguised, as will appear afterwards. This alteratisn of languages in the world upon the confusion of tongues at Babel, brought as great a confusion into the original tradi∣tion, as it did among those who were the designers of that work.

And because this subject of the Original and cause of this diversity of languages among men, doth both tend to ex∣plain * the present subject, and to clear the truth of Scripture history, I shall a little further enquire into it. Chiefly on this account, because it is pretended that such a confusion is needless which is delivered in Scripture, for the producing such diversities of languages, which would arise through meer length of time, & the varieties of Climes and customs in the world. But if we only speak concerning the sense of Mo∣ses about it, the enquiry is of greater difficulty then at first view it seems to be. For it is pretended that Moses nowhere speaks of a diversity of languages, as we understand it, but * only of a confusion of their speech who were at Babel, which might well be although they all used the same language; that is, there might be a confusion raised in their minds, that they could not understand one another; their notions of things being disturbed, so that though they heard one word, Page  580 they had different apprehensions of it: some thinking it sig∣nified one thing and some another: as Iulius Saliger tells us that the Iews he had conversed with, did not understand * by it a multiplication of tongues; but only by that confusion their former notions of things by the same words were al∣tered. As if one called for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a stone, one by that word understands lime, another water, another sand, &c. this must needs produce a strange confusion among them, and enough to make them desist from their work. But supposing no such division of languages there, yet after their dispersion, which might be caused by the former confusion, by the different Laws, rites, and customs, commerce, and trading, and tract of time, there would have risen a division of their several tongues. But if there were such a division of tongues miraculously caused there (that as it is commonly said, all those who were of the same language, went together in their several companies) whence comes it to pass, that in their dispersisn we read of several families dispersed, which used the same language after their dispersion? as all the sons of Canaan mentioned, Gen. 10. 15, 16, 17, 18. used the Ca∣naanitish tongue: in Greece, Iavan and Elisa had the same language. In Aegypt Misraim and Pathrusim; in Arabia the sons of Ioctan and Chus; in Chaldaea Aram and Uz the inhabitants of Syria, Mash of Mesopotamia, Nimrod of Babylon, Assur of Assyria: whence comes it to pass if their several tongues were the cause of their dispersion, that these several heads of families should use the same tongue? An∣other reason against the common opinion, is this, whch seems to have a great deal of force in it. If tongues were divided at Babel, as it is imagined; whence was it, that the nearer any Nation lay to those who had the primitive lan∣guage the Ebrew, they did participate more of that tongue then those who were more remote, as is plain in the Chal∣deans, Canaanites, Greeks, and others? whereas if their lan∣guages were divided at Babel, they would have retained their own language as well as others. This very argument pre∣vailed so far with the learned Is. Casaubon, as appears by his adversaria on this subject (published by the learned Dr. * his son) as to make him leave the common opinion, and to Page  581 conclude the several tongues to be only some variations from the Ebrew, but yet so as many new words were invented too. Hence he observes that the Asiatick Greeks came nearer to the Ebrew then the European. And if this opinion hold true, it is the best foundation for deriving other languages from * the Ebrew: a thing attempted by the same learned person, as you may see in the book forecited, and endeavoured by Guichardus, Avenarius and others. Thus we see there is no agreement in mens minds concerning the division of tongues at Babel.

But having set down this opinion with its reasons, I shall * not so leave the received opinion, but shall first see what may be said for that, and leave the judgement concerning the probability of either to the understanding reader. And it seems to be grounded on these reasons. 1. That had it been left to mens own choice, there cannot be a sufficient reason assigned of the diversity of languages in the world. For there being one language originally in the world, whereby men did represent their conceptions to one another; we can∣not imagine that men should of themselves introduce so great an alteration, as whereby to take off that necessary society and converse with each other, which even nature it self did put men upon. Hence Calvin and others conclude * that prodigii loo habenda est linguarum diversitas; because there having been that freedom of converse among men, it is not to be supposed they should of themselves cut it off to their mutual disadvantage. But to this it is said, that the long tract of time and diversity of customs might alter the language. I grant it much, but not wholly; and they would only therein differ in their languages, wherein their customs differed; so that there would remain still such an agreement as whereby they might understand each other; which it will be hard to find in many of the eldest languages. As for the length of time, though that doth alter much in reference to words and phrases, in which that of Horace holds true, Multa renascentur quae jam cecidere, &c. Yet it will be yet more difficult to find where meer length of time hath brought a whole language out of use, and another in the room of it. But that which I think deserves well to be con∣fidered Page  582 is this, that the greatest alteration of languages in the world hath risen from Colonyes of Nations that used another language; and so by the mixture of both together the language might be much altered; as the Hebrew by the Chaldees in Babylon; the Spanish, Italian and others by te *Latin, as Breerwood shews; our own by the Normans and others. So that were there not a diversity of languages supposed, this enterfereing of people would bring no con∣siderable alteration along with it, no more then a Colony from New England would alter our language here. And as for another cause assigned of the change of languages, the difference of climates, which Bodin gives as the reason why the Northern people use consonants and aspirates so much, * especially the Saxns, and those that live by the Baltick sea who pronounce thus, Per theum ferum pibimus ponum finum. And so R. D. Kimchi observes of the Ephraimites, Judg. 12. 6. that it was the air was the cause of their lisping, and calling it Sibboleth, as he there observes of the men of Sar∣phath,* that is the French, that they could not pronounce Schin, but pronounced like Thau Raphe. But by these examples we see that this would cause only an alteration as to some letters and syllables, and rather as to the pronunciation then any variety of the language. So that we see that set∣ing aside the confusion of languages at Babel, there can be no reason sufficient assigned for the variety of languages in the world. 2. Though it be granted, that a confusion in their minds without distinct languages were enough to make them desist from their work, yet the context in that place, Gen. 11. doth infer a diversity of tongues, as will appear from the antedents and consequents; as from the first verse, where it is not conceivable why it should be there taken notice of as such a remarkable circumstance, that then they had but one language before they set upon this work, if there was not a diversity of tongues caused by the work they went about; but especially ver. 6. where God takes such notice of this very thing, that they had but one language, wherein they were so confident to carry on their work: therefore, ver. 7. when he would destroy their work by confounding their language, it must be by multiplying that language into Page  583 many more; for it must be taken in opposition to what is said in the other verse. And what is there added, their not un∣derstanding one anothers speech, seems to refer not to the in∣ward conceptions, as though they did not understand one anothers minds, but to the outward expressions, as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 doth apparently relate to them further in ver. 8. this is set down as the cause of their dispersion, which had the tongue been the same afterwards as it was before, could have been no reason for it. Again some argue from the name Babel given to the place from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which signifies to confound and mingle things of several kinds together. So used Iudg. 19. 21. Esay 30 24. Iob 6. 5. &c. thence the name 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the middle 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 left out, as in Golgotha for Golgoltha, Kikal∣tha for Kilkaltha and others of a like nature. Besides, there seems to be somewhat in what is said, that the families were divided according to their tongues, Gen. 10. 5, 20, 31. which doth at least imply a diversity of tongues among them, the cause of which must be assigned by them who will not allow of the confusion and division of languages at Babel. Further, this seems most agreeable to Gods nd in making of them thus leave off their work, that there might be not only a present judgement upon them, but that which might remain to postrity as a note of the folly of their Ancestors. Those who recede from the common opinion lest they should give advantage to Infidels by attributing that to a miracle, which might be done without, seem to be more wary then wise in it. For besides that it is certain that miracles may be in those things which might be effected otherwise by natural causes; when they are produced without the help of those causes, and in a space of time impossible to nature, and that it hath not been as yet proved how such diversity of tongues as is in the world would have been effected without such a miracle; it must be granted by them that there was a mi∣racle in it; and what greater difficulty there should be in the variety of languages, then in the signification of the same words, I understand not. But I see no necessity of asserting that every one of the families had a distinct language, and the common opinion of 70. or 72. as the Gr. families and as many languages, is now taken for a groundless fancy by Page  584 learned men; as is easily proved from the dividing Father and Children, whose families could not certainly be without * them; and some supposed to be unborn then as Ioctans 13. Children; especially if we say as many do, that the Confusion was at the birth of Phaleg, and Ioctan was his younger brother, as the Iews generally do. To the last objection it may be replyed, that the agreement of languages in some radical words doth not infer the deriva∣tion of the one from the other, as is plain in the Persian and German in which learned men have observed so many words alike. And so by Busbequius of the inhabitants about *Taunche Cheelsonese; and so in most of our modern tongues there may be some words alike without any such dependence or derivation. Again, though it be granted that the lan∣guages of them who were at Babel were confounded, yet it is not necessary we should say that all Noahs posterity were there. It is thought by some that they were chiefly Cham* and his company; if so, then Sem and his posterity might re∣tain the language they had before, only with some variations. But this is very uncertain, unless we take it for Heber and Peleg, from whose vicinity other bordering Nations might make use of many of their primitive words; and for the Greeks, it will be granted that many of their words, especially the old Baeotick had affinity with the Hebrew; but it was from the Pelasgi at first and Cadmus the Phaenician after∣wards; the old Canaanitish language, being if not the pure Hebrew, yet a dialect of that tongue, as is proved by many learned men. But however these things be, it is not necessa∣ry to say that all Mother tongues so called, were then ex∣istent at that confusion; but the present curse did divide their languages who were there, and that all division of languages since, is to be looked upon as the effect of that curse.

It being thus manifested what a strange confusion of lan∣guages was caused in the world, we may thereby easily un∣derstand how the ancient tradition came to be corrupted and altered in the world.

Another reason of the alteration of the ancient tradition,* was, the fabulousness of the Poets; for these made it their design to disguise all their ancient stories under Fables, in Page  585 which they were so lost, that they could never recover them afterwards. For the elder Poets of Greece being men of greater learning then generally the people were of, and be∣ing conversant in Aegypt and other parts, did bring in new reports of the ancient times which they received from the Nations they went to; and by mixing their own traditi∣ons and others together, and by suiting what was remaining of the ancient tradition to these, they must needs make a strange confusion of things together, and leave them much more obscure and fabulous then they found them. And here∣in all their cunning and subtilty lay in putting a new face on whatever they borrowed from other Nations, and making them appear among themselves in a Greek habit, that the former owners of those traditions could scarce challenge them as theirs under so strange a Metamorphosis. For those things which were most plain and historical in the Foun∣tains whence they derived them, they did so 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 as Cle∣mens Alexandrinus speaks (or as Origen,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉) * wrap them up under so great Mythology that the Original Truths can hardly be discerned, because of that multitude of prodigious fables, with which they have inlaid them. But as great as their artifice was in the doing this, we may yet discern apparently many of those particular courses which were taken by them to disguise and alter the primitive tradition.

1. Attributing what was done by the great Ancestors of mankind to some persons of their own Nations. Thus the Thessalians make Deucalion to be the person who escaped the flood, and from whom the world was peopled after it. And whoever compares the relation of the flood of Deucalion in Apollodorus with that in the Scripture, might easily ren∣der Apollodorus his Greek in the language of the Scriptures, only changing Greece into the whole earth, and Deucalion* into Noah, Parnassus into Ararat, and Iupiter into Iehova. On the same account the Athenians attribute the flood to Ogyges, not that the flood of Ogyges and Deucalion were particular and distinct deluges, which many have taken a great deal of needless pains to place in their several ages: But as Deucalion was of the eldest memory in Thessaly, so Page  586 was Ogyges at Athens, and so the flood as being a matter of remotest antiquity, was on the same account in both places attributed to both these. Because as mankind was sup∣posed to begin again after the flood, so they had among them no memory extant of any elder then these two, from whom on that account they supposed mankind derived. And on the same reason it may be supposed that the Assyrians at∣tribute the lood to Xisuthrus, whom they supposed to be a King of Assyria; but the circumstances of the story as deli∣vered by Alexander, Polyhistor, and Abydenus, are such as * make it clear to be only a remainder of the universal flood which happened in the time of Noah. So the Thessalians make Prometheus to be the Protoplast; the Pelopponesians Phoroneus, as Clemens Alexandrinus tells us, whom Pho∣ronides the Poet calls 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Father of man∣kind.* This may be now the first way of corrupting the an∣cient tradition, by supposing all that was conveyed by it to have been acted among themselves. Which may be imputed partly to their ignorance of the state of their ancient times, and partly to their pride, lest they should seem to come be∣hind others in matters of Antiquity.

2. Another fountain of Heathen Mythology, was, the taking the Idiome of the Oriental languages in a proper sense. For whether we suppose the ancient traditions were conveyed to them in the ancient Hebrew by the Pelasgi, or were delivered to them by the Phaenicians, or were fetched out of the Scriptures themselves (as some suppose, though improbably of Homer and some ancient Poets) yet all these several wayes agreeing in this, that the traditions were Ori∣ental, we thereby understand how much of their Mythology came by taking the Hebrew in a proper and literal sense without attending to the Idiome of the tongue. From hence Bochartus hath ingeniously fetched many Heathen Fables. Thus when Noah is said to be 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Gen. 9. 20. which in the Idiome of the Hebrew only signifies a husbandman, they took it in the proper sense for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and thence Saturne who was the same with Noah (as will ap∣pear afterwards) is made by Mythologists the husband of Rhea which was the same with the Earth. So the GyantsPage  587 making war against Heaven, was only a Poetital adumbra∣tion of the design at the building of Babel, whose top in the Scripture is said to reach 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which in the Hebrew signi∣fies * only a great height; but to aggrandize the Story, was taken in the literal interpretation, that they attempted Heaven. So when they are said to fight against the Gods, Bochartus thinks it might be taken from that phrase of Nimrod, that he was a mighty hunter〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉before the Lord we ren∣der it, but it sometimes signifies against the Lord. So what Abydnus saith of the Gyants, that they were 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, *those that came out of the earth, is supposed to be ta∣ken from that phrase Gen. 10. 11. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉è terra ipsa exiit. But far more likely and probable is that which learned men are generally agreed in concerning Bacchus his being born of Iupiters thigh, which is only an expression of that Hebraism〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 wherein coming out of the thigh* i a phrase for ordinary procreation.

3. A third way observable, is, the alteration of the names in the ancient tradition, and putting names of like importance* to them in their own language. Thus Iupiter, who was the same with Cham, was calld 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉fervere, incalescere.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, saith Herodotus, him whom the Greeks call 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the Aegyptians call Cham. So Iapheth, whose memory was preserved under Neptune, to whose portion the Islands in the Sea fell, was calld by the Greeks〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which comes (saith Bochartus) from the Punick〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which signifies *large and broad, which is the very importance of the He∣brew〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 thence in allusion to the name, it is said, Gen. 9. 27. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉God shall enlarge Iaphet. Thence the Epithetes of Neptune are 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, all equally alluding to the name Iaphet. So 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in the Greek is of the same importance with the Heb.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Daemen, from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉to destroy. Thence we read, Deut. 32. 17. they sacrificed〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉to Devils. Canaan in the Hebrew signi∣fies a Merchant; thence Mercury, under whom the memory of Canaan the son of Cham was preserved, is derived by many from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉to sell. Ceres, which was the Inventress of Agriculture, from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which imports Page  588bread-corn. These and many others are produced by Vossius, Heinsius, Bochartus, and other learned men, which I insist not on, because my design is only digitos ad fontes intendere, and to make these handsome and probable conjectures, argumentative to our purpose, and to bind up those loose and scattering observations into some order and method, in which they have not yet appeared, nor been im∣proved to that end which I make use of them for.

4. When the Oriental phrases were ambiguous and equi∣vocal, they omitted that sense which was plain and obvious, and took that which was more strange and fabulous. From hence the learned Bochartus hath fetchd the Fable of the golden Fleece, which was nothing else but the robbing the Treasury of the King of Colchis; but it was disguised un∣der the name of the golden Fleece, because the Syriack word〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifies both a Fleece and a Treasury. So the Bulls and Dragons which kept it, were nothing but the walls and brass gates; for 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 signifies both a Bull and a Wall, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Brass and a Dragon. And so the Fable of the Brass-Bull in the mountain Atabyrius which foretold calamities, arose from the aequivocation of the Phoenician or Hebrew words 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which signifie either Doctor augur, or bos ex are, a foreteller of events, or a brazen-Bull. From the like ambiguity of the word 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 arose the Fable of Iupiters stealing Europa in the form of a Bull, because the word ei∣ther signifies a Ship, in which he cnveyed her away, or a Bull; or it may be the Ship had 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 bovis, as the ship St. Paul sailed in had Castor and Pollux, it being usual to call their Ships by the names of the signs they carried. From the like aequivocation in the Phoenician language doth Bo∣chartus fetch many other Heathen Fables, in his excellent piece de Phoenicum Coloniis, as particularly that of Arethu∣sa coming from Alpheus, which was from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 a Ship, be∣cause * it was not far from an excellent Haven. And so he makes the Chimaera to be more then a meer ens rationis; for he takes the Chimaera which Bellerophon conquerd, to be on∣ly the people of Solymi, under their three Generals, Aryus, Trosibis, and Arsalus,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 that signifies a Lion. Trosibis was 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the head of a serpent: Arsalus was 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉*Page  589 a young kid, and so the Chimaera consisted of the form of a Lion, a Goat, and a Serpent. Thus we see how easie a matter it was to advance the Heathen Mythology from the aequivo∣cation of the Oriental Languages, in which their Traditions were conveyed to them.

But yet a more prolifick principle of Mythology was by attributing the actions of several persons to one who was the *first or the chief of them. Thus it was in their stories of Jupiter, Neptune, Mars, Mercury, Minerva, Iuno, Bac∣chus, and Hercules, which were a collection of the actions done by a multitude of persons, which are all attributed to one person. So Vossius tells us before the time of the Tro∣jan Wars, most of their Kings, who were renowned and * powerful, were calld Ioves. Now when the actions of all these are attributed to one Iupiter of Crete, they must needs swell his story up with abundance of Fables. Vossius hath taken a great deal of pains to digest in an historical manner the stories of the several Iupiters, whereof he reckons two Argives, a third the Father of Hercules, a fourth a King of Phrygia, and two more of Crete; to one of which, without any distinction, the actions of all the rest were ascribed, and who was worshipped under the name of Iupiter. And so be∣sides the ancient Neptune, who was the same with Iaphet, they sometimes understood any Insular Prince, or one that had great power at Sea; but besides these, there were two fa∣mous Neptunes among the Greeks, the one of Athens, the other the builder of the walls of Troy: Now the stories of all these being mixed together, must needs make a strange con∣fusion. So for Mars, besides that ancient one they had by the Oriental tradition, they had a Spartan, Thracian, and Arcadian Mars. What abundance of Mercuries are we told of by Tully? and of no less then five Minerva's. Eve∣ry * angry, scornful jealous Queen would fill up the Fables of Iuno, who was equally claimed by the Argives and Samians. What contests were there between the Greeks and Aegypti∣ans concerning the Country of Bacchus, or Liber Pater, whose story was made up of many patches of the Oriental story, as will appear afterwards. he same may be said of Hercules. Now what a strange way was this to increase the Page  590 number of Fables? when they had one whose memory was anciently preserved among them, they attributed the acti∣ons of all such to him, who came near him in that which his memory was most remarkable for: And in those things which they did retain of the Eastern tradition, it was an usual thing to confound persons, places, and actions toge∣ther. So the story of Enoch and Methuselah is joyned to∣gether by Stephanus de Urbibus, under the name of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, * who is said there to live above 300 years (which agrees with Enoch as the name doth) and that at his death the world should be destroyed by a Flood.; which agrees with Methuselah. So Abraham by Orpheus is calld 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which belongs to Isaac his Son; so the actions of Nimrod, Ninus, and Cham, are confounded together in their My∣thology. By these several wayes now we understand how the original tradition was by degrees corrupted and alterd in the Heathen Mythology.

I come now to the footsteps of Scripture-history which not withstanding these corruptions, may be discerned in the *Heathen Mythology; which I shall methodically enquire af∣ter according to the series of Scripture-history. That the names given to God in Scripture were preserved among the Phoenicians, appears sufficiently by the remainders of the Phoenician Theology, translated by Philo Byblius out of San∣choniathon; wherein we read of the God 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which hath * the same letters with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 besides which there we meet with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the same with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the most High, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the strong God; Beelsamen, which is 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉the God of Heaven, and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the very name of God used in the beginning of Genesis so often. Besides, in those frag∣ments we have express mention of the Chaos, and the even∣ing following it, or the darkness on the face of the Deep; the Creation of Angels under the 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 those beings which contemplate the Heavens; and the Creation of mankind〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, i. e. 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 saith Bochartus, the voice of the mouth of God, which is by Gods word and in∣spiration, when it is expressed that God said, Let us make man, and that he breathed into him the breath of life. Af∣ter we read of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 and 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which properly agree Page  591 to Adam, who was made out of the Earth. Vossius con∣ceives that the memory of Adam was preserved among the * old Germans, of whom Tacitus speaks, Celebrant antiquis carminibus Tuistonem Deum terra editum, & filium Man∣num, originem gentis, conditores{que}. Either by Tuisto Adam is understood, who was formed of the Earth, and by Man∣nus, Noah; or by Tuisto God may be understood, and by Mannus, Adam; to which conjecture may be added fur∣ther, that the same Author reports that some of the Ger∣mans sacrificed to Isis, which Vossius likewise conceives to be a remainder of the Hebrew Ischa. And so among the Aegy∣ptians it is with like probability conceived that Adam and Ischa were preserved under Osiris and Isis, as they were hi∣storically taken. In Cilicia, the City Adana is thought to have some remainder of the name of Adam; for the Greeks had no termination in M. therefore for Adam they pro∣nounced it Adan, and that from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and so the City Adana: Now that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 by Stephanus de Urbibus, is said to be the Son of Heaven and Earth.〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉. * This Adanus, he tells us, was otherwise calld 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or Saturn, under whom the Greeks preserved the memory of Adam; for Diodorus, Thallus, Cassius Severus, and Cornelius Nepos, do all (as Tertullian saith) confess *Saturn to have been a man; and according to their Fables, he must have been the first of men. Saturn was the Son of Heaven and Earth, and so was Adam; he taught men Husbandry, and was not Adam the first that tilled the ground? Besides, that power which Saturn had, and was deposed from, doth fitly set out the Dominion man had in the Golden Age of Innocency which he lost by his own folly. And Adams hiding himself from the presence of the Lord, gave occasion to the name of Saturn, from Satar to hide. We find something of Cain preserved in the Phoenician an∣tiquities, under the name of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 or 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the first Countryman or Husbandman, who with his brother 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 built houses, and the first foundation of a City is attributed to Cain: And on that account Vossius conjectures that the memory of Cains wife was preserved under Vesta, both be∣cause * she was the daughter of Saturn, i. e. of Adam, and Page  592 that she is said 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, to find out first the way of building houses. That Tubal-Cain gave first occa∣sion to the name and worship of Vulcan, hath been very probably conceived, both from the very great affinity of the names, and that Tubal-cain is expresly mentiond to be an*Instructer of every Artisicer in brass and iron; and as near relation as Apollo had to Vulcan. Iabal had to Tubal-Cain, who was the Inventer of Musick, or the Father of all such as handle the Harp and Organ, which the Greeks attribute to *Apollo. And if that be true which Genebrard and others ascribed to Naamah, the sister of Iubal and Tubal-Cain, viz. that she was the Inventer of spinning and weaving, then may she come in for Minerva. Thus we see there were some, though but obscure footsteps preserved, even of that part of Scripture-history which preceded the Flood.

The memory of the Deluge it self we have already found * to be preserved in the Heathen Mythology; we come there∣fore to Noah and his posterity. Many parcels of Noahs memory were preserved in the scatterd fragments of many Fables, under Saturn, Ianus, Prometheus, and Bacchus. Bo∣chartus insists on no fewer then 14 Parallels between Noah* and the Heathen Saturn, which he saith are so plain, that there is no doubt but under Saturn Noah was understood in the Heathen Mythology. Saturn was said to be the com∣mon Parent of Mankind, so was Noah; Saturn was a just King, Noah not only righteous himself, but a Preacher of righteousness: The golden Age of Saturn was between Noah and the dispersion of Nations. In Noahs time all mankind had but one Language, which the Heathens extend under Saturn, both to men and beasts: The plantation of Vines attributed to Saturn by the Heathens, as to Noah by the Scriptures: The Law of Saturn mentiond by the Poets, that none should see the nakedness of the Gods without punishment; seems to respect the fact and curse of Cham, in reference to Noah. Saturn, and Rhea, and those with them are said to be born of Thetis, or the Ocen, which plainly alludes to Noah and his company's escaping the Flood; thence a Ship was the symbol of Saturn, and that Saturn devoured all Page  593 his children seems to be nothing else but the destruction of the old world by Noahs flood. And not only under Saturn, but under Prometheus too was Noahs memory preserved. Diodo∣rus* speaks of the great flood under Prometheus; and Prome∣theus implyes one that hath forecast and wisdom, such as Noah had, wherby he foretold the flood and was saved in it, when others were Epimetheus's that had not wit to prevent their own destruction.

And no wonder if Promethus were Noah, that the forming mankind was attributed to him, when the world was peopled from him. Herodotus his saying that Asia was Prometheus his wife, might relate to the Country Noah lived in and our propagation from thence. Another part of Noahs memory was preserved under Ianus; the name of Ianus is most probably derived from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 because of Noahs planting a Vine, and Ianus was called Consivius, saith Macrobius à conserendo, boc est à propagine generis humani quae Iano autore conseritur;* now to whom can this be so properly applyed as to Noah from whom mankind was propagated? And Ianus his be∣ing bifrons or looking 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉forward and backward, is not so fit an embleme of any thing as of Noahs seeing those two ages before and after the flood. And it is fur∣ther observable which Plutarch speaks of in his Roman questions, that the ancient coines had on one side the image of Ianus with his two faces, on the other 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the fore or hinder part of a ship, by which the memory of the Ark of Noah seems to have been preserved. Thus we see what Anlogy there is in the story of Ianus with that of Noah, not that give credit to those fooleries which tell us of Noahs coming from Palestine with his son Iaphet into Italy and planting Colonies there, for which we are beholding to the spurious Ethruscan Antiquities; but all that I assert, is, that the story of Noah might be preserved in the eldest Colonyes, though disguised under other names as here in the case of Ianus. And on the same account that the name of Ianus is attributed to Noah, some likewise be∣lieve him to have been the most ancient Bacchus who was according to Diodorus〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, the first planter of*Vines and instructer of men in making Wines; and besides Page  594Bacchus his being twice born, seems only an adumbration of Noahs preservation after the flood, which might be account∣ed a second nativity when the rest of the world was de∣stroyed; and withall Philostratus in the life of Apollonius relates that the ancient Indian Bacchus came thither out of *Assyria, which yet more fully agrees with Noah. So that from these scattered members of Hippolytus and these bro∣ken fragments of traditions, we may gather almost an entire history of all the passages concerning Noah.

As the story of Saturn and Noah do much agree, so the three sons of Noah and those of Saturn, Iupiter, Neptune,* and Pluto have their peculiar resemblances to each other. Of which Vossius and Bochartus have largely spoken, and we have touched on already. Besides which this latter author * hath carried the parallel lower, and finds Canaan the son of Cham the same with Mercury the son of Iupiter; as it was the curse of Canaan to be a servant of servants, so Mercury is alwayes described under servile employments; his wings seem to be the ships of the Phaenicians who were derived from Canaan, and his being the God of trade noting the great merchandize of the Phaenicians, and Mercuryes theevery noting the Pyracies, or at lest the subtilty and craft of the Phaenicians; he was the Father of eloquence and Astronomy, as letters and Astronomy came from the Phaenicians into Greece. The same author parallels Nimrod and Bacchus, and Magog and Prometheus together. The name of Bac∣chus is but a light variation of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Bar-chus, as Nimrod was the son of Chus, and Bacchus is called Nebrodes by the Greeks, which is the very name of Nimrod among them, and Bacchus is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which excellently interprets Nim∣rods being a mighty hunter, Bacchus his expeditions into India were the attempts of Nimrod and the Assyrian Em∣perors. On which account Vossius makes Nimrod or Belus the most ancient Mars; for Hestiaeus Milesius speaks of *Enyalius which is Mars, his being in Sennaar of Babylonia. That the memory of Magog was preserved under Promethe∣us, these things make it probable, that Magog was the son of Iaphet, as Prometheus of Iapetus, and that the posterity of Magog was placed about Cauasus, where Prometheus is Page  595 fained to lie: and the eating of Prometheus his heart, is only an interpretation of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which applyed to the heart signifies to wast away and be consumed. Thus far Bochartus.

The Phaenician antiquities seem to have preserved the memory of Abrahams sacrificing his son Isaac, by that place which Eusebius produceth out of Porphyries book concern∣ing the Iews; where he relates, how Saturn whom the Phae∣nicians call Israel, when he reigned in those parts, and had an only son called Jeoud of a Nymph called Anobret, being under some great calamity, did sacrifice that son of his being cloathed*with a royal habit. Here we have a royal person called Israel, and that Abraham should be accounted a King in those elder times, is nothing strange, considering his wealth, and what petty royalties there were in those times. But Gro∣tius, and from him Vossius, do not think that Abraham was * here called Israel, but that the transcriber of Eusebius meet∣ing with 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 supposed it to be a contraction of 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and so writ it at length; it must be acknowledged that 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 is used in the Phaenician Theology for Saturn, but yet the circum∣stances of the story make the ordinary reading not improb∣able; neither is it strange, that Abraham should be called by the name of the people which he was the Progenitor of. That Isaac should be meant by his only son called Ieoud is most likely; for when God bids Abraham go sacrifice him, he saith, Take thy son,〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉thy only son, Jhid is the same with * the Phaenician Ieoud. That Sara is meant by Anbret, the original of the name implyes, which is as Bochartus derives it 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉Annoberest, that is, ex gratiâ concipiens, which * the Apostle explains, Through faith Sara her self received strength to conceive seed. Now all the difference is, that which was only designed and intended by Abraham, was be∣lieved by the Phaenicians as really done, that it might be as a president to them for their 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉sacrificing of men, a thing so much in use among the Phaenicians, and all the Colonyes derived from them, as many learned men have at large shewed. But besides this, there are particular testi∣monies concerning Abraham, his age, wisdom and know∣ledge, his coming out of Chaldea, and the propagation of knowledge from him among the Chaldeans, Phaenicians, and Page  596Aegyptians, are extant out of Berosus, Eupolemus, and others * in Iosephus and Eusebius, and from thence transcribed by many learned men, which on that account I forbear tran∣scribing as being common and obvious.

Some have not improbably conjctured, that the memory of Iacobs long peregrination and service with his Uncle La∣ban, was preserved under the story of Apollo his banishment and being a Shepherd under Admetus. For Callimachus reports that Love was the cause of Apollo's travails, as it was of Iacobs, and withall mentions a strange increase of Cattel* under Apollo's care, answerable to what the Scripture re∣ports concerning Iacob. But it is more certain, that the memory of Iacobs setting up the stone he had rested on for a pillar, and pouring oyle upon it, and calling the place Bethel,* was preserved under the annointed stones which the Phaeni∣cians from Bethel called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, as hath been frequently observed by learned men; from whence came the custome * of anointing stones among the Heathens, of which so very many have largely discoursed. Thence the proverb of a superstitious man, 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which Arno∣bius calls lubricatum lapidem & ex olivi unguine sordidatum. It seems the anointing the stones with oyle, was then the symbol of the consecration of them. The name 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 for such a stone occurres in Hesychius, the Greek Etymolo∣gist, Damascius in Photius and others. That the memory of Ioseph in Aegypt was preserved under the Aegyptian Apis, hath been shewed with a great deal of probability by the learned Vossius, in his often cited piece of Idolatry, from the testimonies of Iulius Maternus, Rufinus, and Suidas, and from these three arguments. 1. The greatness of the benefit which the Aegyptians received by Ioseph; which was of that nature that it could not easily be forgot, and that no symbol was so proper to set it out as the Aegyptian Apis; because the famine was portended by lean Kine, and the plenty by fat; and Minucius at Rome for relieving the people in a time of famine, had a statue of a golden bull erect∣ed to his memory. 2. The Aegyptians were not backward to testifie their respect to Ioseph, as appears by Pharoahs rewarding of him; now it was the custom of the AegyptiansPage  597 to preserve the memories of their great Benefactors by some symbols to posterity; which were at first intended only for a civil use, although they were after abused to Superstition and Idolatry. 3. From the names of Apis and Serapis. Apis he conceives to be the sacred name of Ioseph among the Aegyptians, and is as much as 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 Father; so Ioseph* himself saith he was as a Father to Pharoah. And Serapis, as Rufinus and Suidas both tell us, had a bushel upon his head, and Serapis is probably derived from 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉sor, which signifies a Bull, and Ais. So that by this means the story of Ioseph is attested by the Aegyptians superstitions, of which they can give no account so likely as this is.

Many things concerning Moses are preserved in the story of Bacchus, not that from thence we are to conclude that *Moses was the Bacchus of the Greeks, as Vossius thinks, but they took several parts of the Eastern traditions concerning him, which they might have from the Phaenicians who came with Cadmus into Greece, while the memory of Moses was yet fresh among the Canaanites. In the story of Bacchus as Vossius observes, it is expresly said that he was born in *Aegypt, and that soon after his birth he was put in an Ark, and exposed to the river, which tradition was preserved among the Brasiatae of Laconica: and Bacchus in Orpheus is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and by Plutarchde Iside & Osiride, Palaesti∣nus: and he is called 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 which agrees to Moses, who besides his own Mother was adopted by Pharoahs daughter: Bacchus was likewise commended for his beauty as Moses was, and was said to be educated in a mount of Arabia called Nysa, which agrees with Moses his residence in Arabia fourty years; so Plutarch mentions 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 the ba∣nishments of Bacchus, and Nonnus mentions Bacchus his flight into the red sea: who likewise mentions his battels in *Arabia and with the neighbouring Princes there. Diodorus saith, that Bacchus his army had not only men but women in it; which is most true of the company which Moses led. *Orpheus calls Bacchus〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, and attributes to him 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, whereby we understand Moses his being a Legislator, and that he delivered the Law in two tables Moses his fetching water out of a rock with his rod, is pre∣served Page  598 in the Orgia of Bacchus, in which Euripides relates that Agave and the rest of the Bacchae celebrating the Orgia, one of them touched a rock and the water came out: and in the same Orgia Euripides reports, how they were wont to crown their heads with Serpents, probably in memory of the cure of the siery Scrpents in the wilderness. A dog is made the companion of Bacchus, which is the signification of Caleb, who so faithfully adhered to Moses. To these and some other circumstances insisted on by Vossius, Bochartus* adds two more very considerable ones; which are, that Nonnus reports of Bacchus that he touched the two rivers Orontes and Hydaspes with his thyrsus or rod, and that the rivers dryed, and he passed through them: and that his Ivy-staffe being thrown upon the ground crept up and down like a Serpent, and that the Indians were in darkness while the Bacchae enjoyed light; which circumstances considered will make every one that hath judgement say as Bochartus doth; ex mirabili ill concentu vel coecis apparebit priscos fabularum architectos e scriptoribus sacris multa sse mutua∣tos. From this wonderful agreement of Heathen Mythology with the Scriptures, it cannot but appear that one is a cor∣ruption of the other. That the memory of Ishua and Sampson was preserved under Hercules Tyrius, is made * likewise very probable from several circumstances of the stories. Others have deduced the many rites of Heathen worship, from those used in the Tabernacle among the Iews. Several others might be insisted on as the Parallel between Og and Typho, and between the old Silenus and Balaam, both noted for their skill in divination, both taken by the water, Num. 22. 5. both noted for riding on an ass:〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, saith Lucian of the old Silenus; and that * which makes it yet more probable, is that of Pausanias〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which some learned men have been much puzled to find out the truth of; and this conjecture which I here propound, may pass at least for a probable account of it; but I shall no longer insist on these things, having I suppose, done what is sufficient to our pur∣pose, which is to make it appear what footsteps there are of the truth of Scripture-history amidst all the corruptions of Heathen Mythology,