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Similar stories of the murder and mangling of a body, its deposition in a coffin, and resurrection, were related of many gods besides Osiris, and entered into the rites of many institutions. Thús one of the Cabiri was murdered and conmemorated with similar dreadful rites. Adonis was torn by a boar, the Egyptian image of Typhon, sought, mourned, and restored to immortality by Venus. One of the Cabiri was to live half a year in heaven and half in hell; so was Persephone, and so was Adonis. A siinilar condition seems to have been imposed upon Osiris.
Bacchus was cut in pieces by the Titans, committed by Cadmus with his mother Semele to an ark, and restored to life by Minerva: it was also said that he was sewn into Jove's thigh; and the same account is given of Erechthonius and Minerva. Bryant argues that the thigh was a symbol of the ark, which is possible; but I rather incline to think, for reasons to be stated hereafter, that it was the type of a lost golden age. Certainly, the thigh of Apis seems to have been consecrated to Osiris. It is offered to him amidst the Hieroglyphics, and forms the central figure of the Tentyrian Planisphere. It was evidently an ima portant feature of the mysteries. Perseus and bis mother Danaë were also committed to an ark. To this god, as Sagittarius or Apollo, the thigh was consecrated, and this perhaps explains the mystery of the GOLDEN thigh of Pythagoras, and the reason why Abaris on that account pronounced bim to be Apollo. Of the 14 worlds, the Tenth, of agriculturists, is seated by the Brahmins in the thigh of Brahma. "It appears from Homer and Pausanias that the thigh was devoted to the gods at sacrifices. Among the Jews it was sworn by, and one of its sinews held sacred. The solar tripods were sometimes supported by three animal, and the great deity is often represented on Basilidian talismans by three human, thighs. Among the dismembered deities, Jupiter is reported to have been cut in pieces by the giants, and subsequently revived, as Jason's father was cut in pieces and restored to existence by Medea.
The Manicheans and Rosicrucians perpetuated these mysteries. Manes is clearly the funereal Maneros of the Egyptians. He also was deposited in a coffin, his bloody murder wept, and his resurrection affirmed; nor is it unlikely that the Persian heretics derived the Manichean story from the Magian mysteries of fire. The funereal rites of Hossein in Persia are apparently a relic of Magianism,
The mysteries of Freemasonry are derived from the same source-the murder of Hiram- the conspirators--the coffin, and the initiatory secret. Nor can it escape reflection where to look for the fountain-head, in the earliest and most audacious MASONIC structures of the world, where theology was certainly
typified by the MASONIC emblems of the triangle and the square. The Great Pyramid was perhaps the first great Lodge, Even now the sun rising behind a pyramid is a symbol of Freemasonry: and the motto “Let there be light, and there was light," derived from Moses, was that of the Rosicrucians and Hermetic philosophers, and evidently applied to the secrets of the old fire-worship. A similar society to these, the tribunal of the Purrah, is still in existence in Africa, and evidently a remnant of Egyptian freemasonry.
My opinion, therefore, is that the stone coffer in the central room was not the coffin of a really buried personage, as Strabo and Diodorus, Pauw, and others imagine, but an ark or taberpacle, used (like the coffin of Hiram and “Sarcophagus of Hossein”) in the mysteries of the Egyptian Pluto, thence called Serapis and Busiris (house of Osiris). Nor is it unlikely that tradition has reported truly of the last, and that the mysterious chest has streamed with the blood of human sacrifices, and the gloomy chamber where it stands resounded with the thrilling shriek of dying agony.
Bụt let us proceed to the proofs. I have before inferred from many corroborating circumstances that the stone cbest was pot the sarcophagus of any deceased monarch. The alternative is, that it was an ark or cista employed in the initiatory rites. Such chests, in short, appertained to almost all the ancient mysteries,
The form of this chest is itself mysterious; it is composed of two cubes, which symbolised the Gemini or Dioscuri," those conflicting principles of light and darkness which sprụng from the egg of Chaos. Cubic stones were dedicated to Baal and Astarte, and Pluto and Proserpine, and, according to Proclus, to the mundane gods. The sbrine of Butis was a cube of 60 feet: the temple of Mecca is a hollow cube, and, as Bryant affirms, the Arabians of Petræa worshipped a black cubic stone, At all events the cube is adored by the Javanese and Chinese, and generally devoted to tricipital deities. Nor is it unlikely that the phrase used in the Sibylline oracles (lib. 5. ad fin.) “ Kalou, Σέραπι, λίθοις επικείμενε,” referred to some similar representation: moreover, the chest is placed in a mystic manner, that is, if the containing chamber were divided by three lines, it occupies the farthest line east and west, which is precisely that of the ancient tabernacles and Holy of Holies; so, another line drawn from the lateral holes in the chamber completes the tripartite division. We
' Agreeing with the Urim and Thummim (perhaps from Horus and Thummuz) in the Mosaic ark.
are informed that the Mosaic tabernacle was of dimensions not unlike, and shape exactly similar :' and was supposed to contain the Sephyroth or spheric lights, and the two stones of the law. Now we learn from Plutarch that a chest containing a golden ark, was used in the mysteries of Osiris. Synesius informs us that these arks, according to the priests, contained the hemispheres, whịch agree both with the Sephyroth and Dioscuri. The two cherubim placed over the Jewish tabernacle had perhaps a not dissimilar interpretation. At all events those of Ezekiel coincide closely with the attendant masques of Serapis, the calf alone being substituted for the dog.
In the Bacchanalian mysteries a coffer was used, containing the secret symbols of the deity. These are of Egyptian extraction; (perhaps deposited with Osiris), consisted of the phallus, grains of sesame, heads of poppies, pomegranates, dry ştems, cakes, salt, carded wool, rolls of honey and cheese ; a child, a serpent, and a fan, In the mysteries of Ceres there was a similar coffer called the mundus Cereris,” which contained phalli, grains of wheat and barley, a comb, a mirror, and a serpent. We are told, moreover, by Suidas and Eusebius, that arks were devoted to the mysteries of fire and the three Cabiri, and more particularly to the great triple deity of Eleusis, Bacchus, Proserpine, and Ceres. But that no link of affinity may be wanting in order to identify such arks with the pyramids and the sarcophagus, Pausapias informs us that the image of Bacchus or Osiris was found in an ark, which was said to be the work of Vulcan-that Vulcan of wbom the pyramid is a symbol. He adds that the king who opened the coffer went mad on seeing him; and a similar story is told of Maneros in Egypt; the same author also informs us that the triple-headed palladium of Troy was deposited in a sacred chest. To a similar source may be attributed the fable of the chest in which Minerva deposited Erechthonius, consigning him to the care of three virgins. The curiosity of one, it seems, got the better of her obedience; and her fright at seeing his serpent limbs, and her subsequent punishment, are circumstances which clearly
'Exodus xxxvii, ver. 1. Two exact cubes. So is the incense-altar, ibid. ver. 25.; but it is worthy remark in this place, that as the coffers agree, so do the tabernacle and its enclosing chamber, there is scarcely any difference on this latter point, and the internal arrangement must have been as like as wooden and marble layers could be.
2 Clem. Alex. Cohort. ad Gent, p. 19.
3 Pausanias. It was made of the bones of Pelops, in which sense it agrees with the talismanic figures of Osiris made by Isis, and Sesostris.
harmonise with the prohibition to Adam, and perhaps are coita nected with the fabled coffers of Psyche and Pandora. Lastly, to sum up the evidence, we learn that the image of Osiris was consigned to a sepulchre for three days; and that, on the fourth, the priests opened it and brought forth a heifer to the people, as the deity restored to life. Other authority proves that it was in the immediate vicinity of the Pyramids, and near a temple of Vulcan who made the coffer of Osiris, that this apparition took place. Now it is not a little singular that Arabians, 3 most likely ignorant of these rites, should assert the finding of a statue, in the coffer of the great Pyranid. But, lest historical testimony should appear insufficient, there are ocular and pictorial evidences now extant of the great leading fact here assumed.
We have, as I hinted, no regular detail from history of the Epoptic mysteries connected with the death of Osiris or Apis; but the gap is well supplied by sculpture and painting.
Thus on Alexander's Sarcophagus are portrayed the magnificent water spectacles of the lower mysteries, the search of Isis, and the boats that accompanied her, and the great torch transferred afterwards to Elensis. It is a remarkable confirmation of Bryant's hypothesis that the ship Baris, represented thereon, contains eight persons, the number in the ark. Among other appendages, are tumblers on their heads to represent perhaps the bouleversement of nature; and the plough-share and sickle are very conspicuous, as well as the crocodile Typhon. But our main business lies with the sculptured tomb of Osiris. He lies horizontally surrounded by the folds of a four-headed serpent, implying the four days of his sepulture, or the four great years during which the body was fated to attend its resurrection. At his head is a beetle, the type of the lower hemisphere, darkness and death; and that no doubt may remain that it was intended for bis tomb, the same peculiar symbol decorates the entrances to the tombs of the kings.
I have before me similar records arranged to accompany every stage of the same fabulous drama and every grade of initiation: but as my purpose chiefly lies with the funereal rites of Osiris and their application to the Pyramid, I shall not bur
1 Plutarch de Iside et Osir. Bacchus slept three nights with Proserpine. The word Orgies is derived from Argom, a chest or ark.
2 To the north and south of this temple, were personifications of Cancer and Capricorn, the two gates of the Sun.
3 Ebd Ibn Alhokm.
den the attention with too much unnecessary detail, however interesting. Let us proceed to a second representation of these rites, wbich is to be found in the Zodiac of Esne. On that remarkable monument we have not only the tomb of Osiris, but portions of his dismembered body. We have not only the triple symbols of the infernal deity on the coffin, but the pyramidal temple of solar fire to which it is conducted. The coffin is like that described by Plutarch in a scyphus, and resembles in shape the double cubic form of the chest in the great pyramid. The next historic picture in the series is from the subterranean crypt in the temple of Tentyra, and represents the four days' sepulture of Osiris. The first seems to signify his death and subterraneous place of sepulture. The second his tomb, the back of a lion, with the lamentations of the ancient Almehs. The scene in the third represents the same tomb, and an offering of that thigh of Apis, to which Horus as Bacchus Bugenes? owed his birth. The sphinx-like position of the god perhaps implied the day of his incarnation or new birth, in the figure of Apis, when the voice was heard proclaiming " the mighty Lord of all things is born.” In the fourth picture, representing the fourth day, the figure is resurgant, and the presentation of the Tau evidently means resurrection. That the above leonine couch meant a tomb has been sufficiently argued. Bochart says, that Orph means neck, and Aridaca a tame lion; thence the story of Orpheus, and the eastern banner of Sol in dorsa Leonis. There is a similar figure between two serpents, appositely placed on a mummy in the British Museum, with Anubis the barker, 3 waking the deceased from death.
Lastly, Denon furnishes a representation of a tomb with the image of the funereal Osiris, mentioned by Plutarch, reclined below, and the Ox Apis above, for such I conceive it to be, at the moment of apparition. The triple image of the globe, wing, and serpent, apparently dedicated to him, (see the Bembine table) is a circumstance deserving of remark. The re-appearance of Osiris in the form of Apis, was sometimes designated by a Sphinx with a hawk's head, and a bull's body.
The meaning of all this seems to be a typical representation
The two first verses of Hosea, ch. vi. express the same initiatory revival.
2 He also was cut in pieces, and slept three nights with Proserpine: Tauriformis was one of his titles.
3 Perhaps the harking of dogs and hissing of snakes at Eleusis may be referred to pictures like this.