« EelmineJätka »
were. He formed them partly of his own essence, ca pable of perfection or imperfection, according to their will,
The Eternal first created Brahma, Vishna, and Siva, then Mozazor, and all the multitude of the angels. The Eternal gave the pre-eminence to Brahma, Vishna, and Siva. Brahma was the prince of the angelic army; Vishna and Siva were his coadjutors. The Eternal dis vided the angelic army into several bands, and gave to each a chief. They adored the Eternal, ranged around his throne, each in the degree assigned him. There was harmony in heaven. Mozazor, chief of the first band, led the canticle of praise and adoration to the Creator, and the song of obedience to Brahma, his first creature; and the Eternal rejoiced in his new creation.
Chapter III.-The Fall of a Part of the Angels.
From the creation of the celestial army, joy and har mony surrounded the throne of the Eternal for a thou sand years multiplied by a thousand; and would have lasted until the end of time, had not envy seized Moza zor and other princes of the angelic bands, amongst whom was Raabon, the next in dignity to Mozazor. Forgetful of the blessing of their creation, and of their duty, they rejected the power of perfection and exerci sed the power of imperfection. They did evil in the sight of the Eternal; they disobeyed him; they refused to submit to God's lieutenant and his coadjutors Vishna and Siva, saying, We will govern! and, without fearing the power and the anger of their Creator, disseminated their seditious principles in the celestial army. They seduced the angels, and persuaded a great multitude of them to rebel; and they forsook the throne of the Eternal; and sorrow came upon the faithful angelic spirits; and, for the first time, grief was known in heaven.
Chapter IV-Punishment of the Guilty Angels.
The Eternal, whose omniscience, prescience, and influence extend over all things, except the action of the
beings whom he has created free, beheld with grief and anger the defection of Mozazor, Raabou, and the other chiefs of the angels.
Merciful in his wrath, he sent Brahma, Vishna, and Siva, to reproach them with their crime, and bring them back to their duty; but, confirmed in their spirit of independence, they persisted in their revolt. The Eternal then commanded Siva to march against them, armed with almighty power, and hurl them down from the high place to the place of darkness, into the Ondera, there to be punished for a thousand years multiplied by a thousand.
Abstract of the Fifth Chapter.
At the end of a thousand years, Brahma, Vishna, and Siva, implored the clemency of the Eternal in favour of the delinquents. The Eternal vouchsafed to deliver them from the prison of the Ondera, and place them in a state of probation during a great number of solar revolutions. There were other rebellions against God, during this time of penitence.
It was at one of these periods that God created the earth; where the penitent angels underwent several metempsychoses, one of the last of which was their transformation into cows. Hence it was that cows bécame sacred in India. Lastly, they were metamorphosed into men. So that the Indian system of angels is precisely that of the Jesuit Bougeant, who asserts, that the bodies of beasts are inhabited by sinful angels. What the Brahmins had invented seriously, Bougeant, more than four thousand years after, imagined in jest if, indeed, this pleasantry of his was not a remnant of superstition, combined with the spirit of system-making, as is often the case.
Such is the history of the angels among the ancient Brahmins, which, after the lapse of about fifty centuries, they still continue to teach. Neither our merchants who have traded to India, nor our missionaries, have ever been informed of it; for the Brahmins, having never been edified by their science or their manners, have not communicated to them their secrets. It was left for an Englishman, na med Holwell, to reside for
thirty years at Benares, on the Ganges, an ancient school of the Brahmins, to learn the ancient sacred Sanscrit tongue, and read the ancient books of the Indian religion, in order at length to enrich our Europe with this singular knowledge; just as Mr. Sale lived a long time in Arabia, to give us a faithful translation of the Koran, and information relative to ancient Sabaism, which has been succeeded by the Mussulman religion; and as Dr. Hyde continued for twenty years his researches into every thing concerning the religion of the Magi.
Angels of the Persians.
The Persians had thirty-one angels. The first of all, who is served by four other angels, is named Bahaman; he has the inspection of all animals except man, over whom God has reserved to himself an immediate jurisdiction.
God presides over the day on which the sun enters the Ram; and this day is a sabbath, which proves that the feast of the sabbath was observed among the Persians in the most ancient times,
The second angel presides over the seventh day, and is called Debadur.
The third is Kur, which probably was afterwards converted into Cyrus. He is the angel of the sun.
The fourth is called Mah, and presides over the moon. Thus each angel has his province. It was among the Persians that the doctrine of the guardian angel and the evil angel was first adopted. It is believed that Raphael was the guardian angel of the Persian empire.
Angels of the Hebrews.
The Hebrews knew nothing of the fall of the angels, until the commencement of the Christian era. This secret doctrine of the ancient. Brahmins must have reached them at that time; for it was then that the book attributed to Enoch, relative to the sinful angels driven from heaven, was fabricated.
Enoch must have been a very ancient writer; since,
according to the Jews, he lived in the seventh genera tion before the Deluge: but as Seth, still more ancient than he, had left books to the Hebrews, they might boast of having some from Enoch also. According to them, Enoch wrote as follows:
"It happened, after the sons of men had multiplied in those days, that daughters were born to them, elegant and beautiful.
"And when the angels, the sons of heaven, beheld them, they became enamoured of them, saying to each other, Come, let us select for ourselves wives from the progeny of men, and let us beget children.
"Then their leader Samyaza said to them-I fear that you may perhaps be indisposed to the performance of this enterprise;
"And that I alone shall suffer for so grievous a crime.
"But they answered him and said-We all swear; "And bind ourselves by mutual execrations, that we will not change our intention, but execute our projected undertaking.
"Then they swore all together, and all bound themselves by mutual execrations. Their whole number was two hundred, who descended upon Ardis, which is the top of Mount Armon.
"That mountain, therefore, was called Armon, because they had sworn upon it, and bound themselves by mutual execrations.
"These are the names of their chiefs: Samyaza, who was their leader, Urakabarameel, Akabeel, Tamiel, Ramuel, Danel, Azkeel, Sarakuyal, Asael, Armers, Batraal, Anane, Zavebe, Samsaveel, Ertael, Turel, Yomyael, Arazyal. These were the prefects of the two hundred angels, and the remainder were all with them.
"Then they took wives, each choosing for himself; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees.
"And the women, conceiving, brought forth giants; "Whose stature was each three hundred cubits," &e. The author of this fragment writes in the style which
seems to belong to the primitive ages. He has the same simplicity. He does not fail to name the persons, nor does he forget the dates; here are no reflections, no maxims. It is the ancient Oriental manner.
It is evident that this story is founded on the sixth chapter of Genesis: "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.' Genesis and the book of Enoch perfectly agree respecting the coupling of the angels with the daughters of men, and the race of giants which sprung from this union; but neither this Enoch, nor any book of the Old Testament, speaks of the war of the angels against God, or of their defeat, or of their fall into hell, or of their hatred to mankind.
Nearly all the commentators on the Old Testament unanimously say, that before the Babylonian captivity, the Jews knew not the name of any angel. The one that appeared to Manoah, father of Sampson, would not tell his name.
When the three angels appeared to Abraham, and he had a whole calf dressed to regale them, they did not tell him their names. One of them said, "I will come to see thee next year, if God grant me life; and Sarah thy wife shall have a son.'
Calmet discovers a great affinity between this story and the fable which Ovid relates in his Fasti, of Jupiter, Neptune and Mercury, who, having supped with old Hyreus, and finding that he was afflicted with impotence, urined upon the skin of a calf which he had served up to them, and ordered him to bury this hide watered with celestial urine in the ground, and leave it there for nine months. At the end of the nine months, Hyreus uncovered his hide, and found in it a child, which was named Orion, and is now in the heavens. Calmet moreover says, that the words which the angels used to Abraham may be rendered thus: A child shall be born of your calf.
Be this as it may, the angels did not tell Abraham their names; they did not even tell them to Moses;