Having thus created for themselves a number of gods, their own feelings, and what they saw around them, would naturally lead them to create an equal number of goddesses. Of these Neith, the Heavens, was one.
She is often drawn with wings stretched out as if covering the whole earth. At other times she is formed into an arch, with her feet and fingers on the ground, while her body forms the blue vault overhead and is spangled with stars. At other times she is simply a woman, with the hieroglyphical character for her name as the ornament on top of her head.
Kneph, the Wind or Air, or Breath of our bodies, was supposed to be the god of Animal and Spiritual Life. He has the head and horns of a ram.
Pthah, the god of Fire, was more particularly the god of Memphis, as Amun-Ra of Thebes; and the kings in that city were said to the "Beloved by Pthah." His figure is bandages like a mummy and his head shaven like a priest.
Another great god was their narrow valley, the country in which they lived, clearly divided from the yellow desert by the black Nile-mud, y which it is covered and made fertile, and hence called Chemi, the Black Land, or when made into a person, Chem, or Ham. He was the father of their race, called in the Bible, one of the sons of Noah, and considered by themselves the god of increase, the Priapus of the Greeks.
Chem has a cap with two tall feathers like that of Amun-Ra, so large that it was necessary to give him a metal support to hold it on the head. His right arm is raises and holds a whip, his left arm is hid under his dress, which is the tight garment of the Egyptian women.
Next was Hapimou, the Nile, whose waters were the chief source of their food, whose overflow marked the limits between the cultivated land and the desert; to him they owed nothing but grateful thanks. He is a figure of both sexes, having the beard of a man and the breastes of a child-bearing woman. He carries in his arms fruits and flowers and sometimes waterfowls.
In the Western half of the Delta, the Sun is worshipped as Mando-Ra. Like Amun-Ra, he wears the two tall feathers and the Sun on his head, but he differs from him in having a hawk's face.
First among these gods of the Egyptians was Ra, the Sun, or Amun-Ra, the Great Sun, whose warmth ripened their harvests, but whose scorching rays made his power felt as much as an enemy as a friend.
Sainte-Geneviève, the patron saint of the Parisians, also perpetuated with her legend on the walls of the Panthéon, originally her church but now dedicated to the Grands Hommes of the nation, was born at Nanterre, near Paris, in 422, and guarded in the fields the flocks of her parents, Sévère and Gérontia.
On the other side of High Street stands St. John's Episcopal Church, the lot for which was given in 1796 by the Deakins' family. Reverend Walter Addison of Prince Georges County, Maryland, had visited George Town in 1794 and 1795 and held occasional services, so a movement was started to build a church. Among the subscribers were Thomas Jefferson and Dr. Balch.
The priests of Fo in China are the same as the priests of Boudh are in India, from whence their religion passed into China in the first century of the Christian æra. The temples and the monasteries of China swarm with them; and they practice, ostensibly at least, all the austerities and mortifications of the several orders of monks in Europe, and inflict on themselves the same painful, laborious, and disgusting punishments which the faquirs of India undergo, either for the love of God, as they would have it supposed, or to impose on the multitude, as is most probably the real motive. In China, however, they are generally esteemed as men of correct morals: and there is reason to believe, that the calumnies heaped upon them by the Catholic missionaries are for the most part unfounded, and were occasioned by the mortification they experienced in finding their ceremonies, their altars, their images, their dress, to resemble so very nearly their own
Filial piety in China extends beyond the grave. Every year at certain periods dutiful children assemble at the tomb of their parents or ancestors, to make oblations of flowers, or fruit, or pieces of gilt paper, or whatever else they consider as likely to be acceptable to the manes of the departed. Their mourning dress consists of a garment of Nanquin cotton, or canvas, of the coarsest kind. Some of the monuments erected over the dead are by no means inelegant; like their bridges and triumphal arches, they are very much varied, and made apparently without any fixed design or proportion. The semicircular or the horse-shoe form, like that in the print before which the mourner is kneeling, appeared to be the most common.
The figure kneeling before the deities mounted on pedestals is a priest of the sect of Fo. He is burning incense, or rather paper that is covered over with some liquid that resembles gold. Sometimes, in lieu of this, tin foil is burnt before the altars of China, and this is the principal use to which the large quantities of tin sent from this country is applied. On the four-legged stool is the pot containing the sticks of fate, and other paraphernalia belonging to the temple, and behind it is the tripod in which incense is sometimes burned. These superstitious rites are performed several times by the priests every day, but there is no kind of congregational worship in China. The people pay the priests for taking care of their present and future fate.
At the end of the bay stands the Far Village church in all her kindly, simple seriousness. Her bells ring out the angelus over the waters of the bay, along the shores, and back into the uplands, proclaiming that she is ready, like a hen gathering her chickens under her wings, to receive and comfort all the faithful.
Cross with rays
The God Osiris
Jewish Ceremony before the Ark
Fac-simile of a woodcut printed at Troyes.
Costume of an Italian Jew of the Fourteenth Century.--From a Painting by Sano di Pietro, preserved in the Academy of the Fine Arts, at Sienna.
From an Engraving of the "Solemn Entry of Charles V. and Clement VII. into Bologna," by L. de Cranach, from a Fresco by Brusasorci, of Verona.
Costume of a Bishop or Abbot.
Standards of the Church and the Empire.--Reduced from an Engraving of the "Entry of Charles V. and Clement VII. into Bologna," by Lucas de Cranach, from a Fresco by Brusasorci, of Verona.
The illustration shows a priest wearing nothing but a loin cloth and a leopard skin.