The Two Babylons Lamps and Wax-Candles Alexander Hislop
Another peculiarity of the Papal worship is the use of lamps and wax-candles. If the Madonna and child are set up in a niche, they must have a lamp to burn before them;
if mass is to be celebrated, though in broad daylight, there must be wax-candles lighted on the altar; if a grand procession is to be formed, it cannot be thorough and complete without lighted tapers to grace the goodly show.
"The word candle (candela, from candeo, to burn) was introduced into the English language as an ecclesiastical term, probably as early as the eighth century. It was known in classical times and dennoted any kind of taper in which a wick, not uncommonly made of a strip of papyrus, was encased in wax or animal fat.
We need not shrink from admitting that candles, like incense and lustral water, were commonly employed in pagan worship and in the rites paid to the dead.
But the Church from a very early period took them into her service, just as she adopted many other things indifferent in themselves,
which seemed proper to enhance the splendour of religious ceremonial.
We must not forget that most of these adjuncts to worship, like music, lights, perfumes, ablutions, floral decorations, canopies, fans, screens, bells, vestments, etc.
were not identified with any idolatrous cult in particular;
they were common to almost all cults. The Catholic Encyclopedia
The use of these lamps and tapers comes from the same source as all the rest of the Papal superstition.
That which caused the "Heart," when it became an emblem of the incarnate Son, to be represented as a heart on fire, required also that burning lamps and LIGHTED CANDLES should form part of the worship of that Son;
for so, according to the established rites of Zoroaster,
was the sun-god worshipped. When every Egyptian on the same night was required to light a lamp before his house in the open air, this was an act of homage to the sun, that had veiled its glory by enshrouding itself in a human form.
When the Yezidis (See Note Below) of Koordistan, at this day, once a year celebrate their festival of "burning lamps," that, too, is to the honour of Sheikh Shems, or the Sun. Now, what on these high occasions was done on a grand scale was also done on a smaller scale, in the individual acts of worship to their god, by the lighting of lamps and TAPERS before the favourite divinity.
In Babylon, this practice had been exceedingly prevalent,
as we learn from the Apocryphal writer of the Book of Baruch.
"They (the Babylonians)," says he, "light up lamps to their gods, and that in greater numbers, too, than they do for themselves,
although the gods cannot see one of them, and are senseless as the beams of their houses."
[Note: all ancient praise worship and still the claim of singing praise hymns is that they AID THE LAZY or INCOMPETENT gods to accomplish their work. Often, since ALL MUSICAL TERMS in the Bible are related to abrading or even weapons of war, praise singing was also a way to THREATEN the gods that if they didn't produce you might quit worshiping them]
In Pagan Rome, the same practice was observed. Thus we find Licinius, the Pagan Emperor, before joining battle with Constantine, his rival, calling a council of his friends in a thick wood, and there offering sacrifices to his gods, "lighting up wax-TAPERS" before them, and at the same time, in his speech,
giving his gods a hint, that if they did not give him the victory against Constantine, his enemy and theirs,
he would be under the necessity of abandoning their worship, and lighting up no more "wax-tapers to their honour."
In the Pagan processions, also, at Rome, the wax-candles largely figured. "At these solemnities," says Dr. Middleton, referring to Apuleius as his authority, "at these solemnities,
the chief magistrate used frequently to assist, in robes of ceremony, attended by the priests in surplices, with wax-candles in their hands, carrying upon a pageant or thensa,
the images of their gods, dressed out in their best clothes;
these were usually followed by the principal youth of the place, in white linen vestments or surplices, singing hymns in honour of the gods whose festivals they were celebrating,
accompanied by crowds of all sorts that were initiated in the same religion, all with flambeaux or wax-candles in their hands."
See Amos 5.
Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon. Acts 7:43
Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he should make it according to the fashion that he had seen. Ac.7:44
Now, so thoroughly and exclusively PAGAN was this custom of lighting up lamps and CANDLES in daylight, that we find Christian writers, such as Lactantius, in the fourth century, exposing the absurdity of the practice,
and deriding the Romans "for lighting up candles to God,
as if He lived in the dark."
[Sacrifices were to feed the hungry gods, incense was to allow the gods to smell, candles were to give them light and music was to entertain them. Musical worship teams were always "the harem of the gods.]
"Therefore they sacrifice fine and fat victims to God, as though He were hungry; they pour forth wine to Him, as though He were thirsty they kindle lights to Him, as though He were in darkness. But if they were able to conjecture or to conceive in their mind what those heavenly goods are, the greatness of which we cannot imagine, while we are still encompassed with an earthly body, they would at once know that they are most foolish with their empty offices. Or if they would contemplate that heavenly light which we call the sun, they will at once perceive how God has no need of their candles, who has Himself given so clear and bright a light for the use of man.
Had such a custom at that time gained the least footing among Christians, Lactantius could never have ridiculed it as he does,
as a practice peculiar to Paganism.
But what was unknown to the Christian Church in the beginning of the fourth century, soon thereafter began to creep in,
and now forms one of the most marked peculiarities of that community that boasts that it is the "Mother and mistress of all Churches."
While Rome uses both lamps and wax-candles in her sacred rites, it is evident, however, that she attributes some pre-eminent virtue to the latter above all other lights. Up to the time of the Council of Trent,
she thus prayed on Easter Eve, at the blessing of the Easter candles:
"Calling upon thee in thy works, this holy Eve (ZOE) of Easter, we offer most humbly unto thy Majesty this sacrifice; namely, a fire not defiled with the fat of flesh, nor polluted with unholy oil or ointment, nor attained with any profane fire;
but we offer unto thee with obedience, proceeding from perfect devotion, a fire of wrought WAX and wick, kindled and made to burn in honour of thy name. This so great a MYSTERY therefore, and the marvellous sacrament of this holy eve, must needs be extolled with due and deserved praises."
who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: Is.43:17
They also took away the pots, shovels, wick trimmers, sprinkling bowls, dishes and all the bronze articles used in the temple service. Je.52:18
A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out, till he leads justice to victory. Mt.12:20
That there was some occult "Mystery," as is here declared, couched under the "wax-candles," in the original system of idolatry, from which Rome derived its ritual, may be well believed, when it is observed with what unanimity nations the most remote have agreed to use wax-candles in their sacred rites. Among the Tungusians, near the Lake Baikal in Siberia, "wax-tapers are placed before the Burchans" the gods or idols of that country.
In the Molucca Islands,
wax-tapers are used in the worship of Nito, or Devil, whom these islanders adore. "Twenty or thirty persons having assembled," says Hurd,
- "they summon the Nito,
- by beating a small consecrated drum,
whilst two or more of the company light up wax-tapers, and pronounce several mysterious words,
which they consider as able to conjure him up."
In the worship of Ceylon, the use of wax-candles is an indispensable requisite. "In Ceylon," says the same author, "some devotees, who are not priests, erect chapels for themselves, but in each of them they are obliged to have an image of Buddha, and light up tapers or wax-candles before it, and adorn it with flowers." A practice thus so general must have come from some primeval source, and must have originally had some mystic reason at the bottom of it.
and was intended to exhibit the Babylonian god in one of the essential characters of the Great Mediator.
The classic reader may remember that one of the gods of primeval antiquity was called Ouranos, * that is, "The Enlightener." (Lucifer who came equipped with pipes and tabrets) See Section225.
* For Aor or our, "light," and an, "to act upon" or produce, the same as our English particle en, "to make." Ouranos, then, is "The Enlightener." This Ouranos is, by Sanchuniathon, the Phoenician, called the son of Elioun--i.e., as he himself, or Philo-Byblius, interprets the name, "The Most High." (SANCH) Ouranos, in the physical sense, is "The Shiner"; and by Hesychius it is made equivalent to Kronos, which also has the same meaning, for Krn, the verb from which it comes, signifies either "to put forth horns," or "to send forth rays of light"; and, therefore, while the epithet Kronos, or "The Horned One," had primarily reference to the physical power of Nimrod as a "mighty" king; when that king was deified, and made "Lord of Heaven," that name, Kronos, was still applied to him in his new character as "The Shiner or Lightgiver." The distinction made by Hesiod between Ouranos and Kronos, is no argument against the real substantial identity of these divinities originally as Pagan divinities; for Herodotus states that Hesiod had a hand in "inventing a theogony" for the Greeks, which implies that some at least of the details of that theogony must have come from his own fancy; and, on examination, it will be found, when the veil of allegory is removed, that Hesiod's "Ouranos," though introduced as one of the Pagan gods, was really at bottom the "God of Heaven," the living and true God. For the worship of Nimrod Click Here
In this very character was Nimrod worshipped when he was deified. As the Sun-god he was regarded not only as the illuminator of the material world, but as the enlightener of the souls of men, for he was recognised as the revealer of "goodness and truth." It is evident, from the Old Testament, not less than the New, that the proper and personal name of our Lord Jesus Christ is, "The Word of God," as the Revealer of the heart and counsels of the Godhead. Now, to identify the Sun-god with the Great Revealer of the Godhead, while under the name of Mithra, he was exhibited in sculpture as a Lion; that Lion had a Bee represented between his lips. (Fig 42)
Lion at Ishtar Gate in Babylon
And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. Re.13:2
And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. Rev 13:3
And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? Rev 13:4
In Gnosticism, Sophia is the serpent and her daughter, Zoe, is called the "beast" or the female instructing principle. Her role is much like that of Lucifer as the false "enlightener."
"This is the body of God for healing the bitterness of the human heart ..." declared Rev. Hill as women passed the milk and honey mixture around their tables. "We have seen the power, rising from the earth ... Together we have given birth to a Re-Imagining Community which extends to every corner of our world!" Resource Quoted from a fuller end-time new vision.
And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. Rev 13:5
And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. Rev 13:6
And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. Rev 13:7
And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Rev 13:8
If any man have an ear, let him hear. Rev 13:9
We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 1Jn.4:6
"and attract other rings; so that sometimes there is formed quite a long chain of bits of iron and rings, suspended one from another; and they all depend for this power on that one stone.
In the same manner also the Muse inspires men herself, and then by means of these inspired persons the inspiration spreads to others, and holds them in a connected chain. For all the good epic poets utter all those fine poems not from art, but as inspired and possessed, and the good lyric poets likewise; [534a] just as
.... the Corybantian worshippers do not dance when in their senses,
... so the lyric poets do not indite those fine songs in their senses, but when they have started on the melody and rhythm they begin to be frantic, and it is under possession--as the bacchants are possessed, and not in their senses, when they draw honey and milk from the rivers--that the soul of the lyric poets does the same thing, by their own report.
For the poets tell us, I believe, that the songs they bring us are the sweets they cull from honey-dropping founts [534b] in certain gardens and glades of the Muses--
like the bees, and winging the air as these do.1 And what they tell is true. (Plato then explains a lot of musical worship and even preaching)
"For a poet is a light and winged and sacred thing, and is unable ever to indite until he has been inspired and put out of his senses, and his mind is no longer in him: every man, whilst he retains possession of that, is powerless to indite a verse or chant an oracle. Seeing then that it is not by art that they compose and utter so many fine things about the deeds of men--
Demosthenes Against Midias describes what the clergy tried to excite Jesus to do:
"[21.52] Please take and read the actual oracles. Oracles You I address, Pandion's townsmen and sons of Erechtheus,
who appoint your feasts by the ancient rites of your fathers.
See you forget not Bacchus, and joining all in the dances Down your broad-spaced streets, in thanks for the gifts of the season, Crown each head with a wreath, while incense reeks on the altars. For health sacrifice and pray to Zeus Most High, to Heracles, and to Apollo the Protector; for good fortune to Apollo, god of the streets, to Leto, and to Artemis; and along the streets set wine-bowls and dances, and wear garlands after the manner of your fathers in honor of all gods and all goddesses of Olympus, raising right hands and left in supplication."
The bee between the lips of the sun-god was intended to point him out as "the Word"; for Dabar, the expression which signifies in Chaldee a "Bee," signifies also a "Word"; and the position of that bee in the mouth leaves no doubt as to the idea intended to be conveyed. It was intended to impress the belief that Mithra (who, says Plutarch, was worshipped as Mesites, "The Mediator"), in his character as Ouranos, "The Enlightener," was no other than that glorious one of whom the Evangelist John says, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God...In Him was life; and the life was THE LIGHT OF MEN." The Lord Jesus Christ ever was the revealer of the Godhead, and must have been known to the patriarchs as such; for the same Evangelist says, "No man hath seen God at any time: the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared," that is, He hath revealed "Him."
Dabar (h1697) daw-bawr'; from 1696; a word; by impl. a matter (as spoken of) or thing... chronicles, commandment, * commune (-ication)... counse.. word, work
Dabar (h1696) daw-bar'; a prim. root; perh. prop. to arrange; but used fig. (of words) to speak; rarely (in a destructive sense) to subdue: - answer, appoint, bid, command, commune, declare, destroy, give, name, promise, pronounce, rehearse, say, speak, be spokesman, subdue, talk, teach, tell, think, use [entreaties], utter, * well, * work.
Before the Saviour came, the ancient Jews commonly spoke of the Messiah, or the Son of God, under the name of Dabar, or the "Word." This will appear from a consideration of what is stated in the 3rd chapter of 1st Samuel. In the first verse of that chapter it is said, "The WORD of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision," that is, in consequence of the sin of Eli, the Lord had not, for a long time, revealed Himself in vision to him, as He did to the prophets.
Dr. Rubel Shelly who suggests baptizing the S.U.N. god for the S.O.N. God also insists that John inwriting his account took old lost fragments of "scripture" and using the sieve of philosophy came up with the Word LOGOS to apply to Jesus based on "his own personal agenda." Of course, the result is a Greek Logos or Hermes or Mercury as the father of musical instruments, of liars and of thieves. He is much like the Lamech family who introduced musical instruments "without warrant" or without authority. This Gnostic view also introduces ZOE as the promoter of musical worship. It also gives rise for the Seeker-Center concept promoted by Apollo who represents Abaddon or Apollyon.
When the Lord had called Samuel, this "vision" of the God of Israel was restored (though not to Eli), for it is said in the last verse (v 21),
"And the Lord APPEARED again in Shiloh; for the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel by the WORD of the Lord."
Although the Lord spake to Samuel, this language implies more than speech, for it is said, "The LORD appeared"--i.e., was seen. When the Lord revealed Himself, or was seen by Samuel, it is said that it was "by (Dabar) the Word of the Lord." The "Word of the Lord" to be visible, must have been the personal "Word of God," that is, Christ. *
* After the Babylonish captivity, as the Chaldee Targums or Paraphrases of the Old Testament show, Christ was commonly called by the title "The Word of the Lord." In these Targums of later Chaldee, the term for "The Word" is "Mimra"; but this word, though a synonym for that which is used in the Hebrew Scriptures, is never used there. Dabar is the word employed. This is so well recognised that, in the Hebrew translation of John's Gospel in Bagster's Polyglott, the first verse runs thus: "In the beginning was the Word (Dabar)."
This had evidently been a primitive name by which He was known; and therefore it is not wonderful that Plato should speak of the second person of his Trinity under the name of the Logos, which is just a translation of "Dabar," or "the Word." Now, the light of the wax-candle, as the light from Dabar, "the Bee," was set up as the substitute of the light of Dabar, "the Word."
Thus the apostates turned away from the "True Light," and set up a shadow in His stead. That this was really the case is plain; for, says Crabb,
speaking of Saturn, (Satan, Molech)
"on his altars were placed wax-tapers lighted, because by Saturn men were reduced from the darkness of error to the light of truth."
In Asiatic Greece, the Babylonian god was evidently recognised as the Light-giving "Word," for there we find the Bee occupying such a position as makes it very clear that it was a symbol of the great Revealer.
Thus we find Muller referring to the symbols connected with the worship of the Ephesian Diana: "Her constant symbol is the bee, which is not otherwise attributed to Diana...The chief priest himself was called Essen, or the king-bee." The character of the chief priest shows the character of the god he represented. The contemplar divinity of Diana, the tower-bearing goddess, was of course the same divinity as invariably accompanied the Babylonian goddess: and this title of the priest shows that the Bee which appeared on her medals was just another symbol for her child, as the "Seed of the Woman," in his assumed character, as Dabar, "The Word" that enlightened the souls of men.
That this is the precise "Mystery" couched under the wax-candles burning on the altars of the Papacy, we have very remarkable evidence from its own formularies; for, in the very same place in which the "Mystery" of the wax-candle is spoken of, thus does Rome refer to the Bee, by which the wax is produced:
"Forasmuch as we do marvellously wonder, in considering the first beginning of this substance, to wit, wax-tapers, then must we of necessity greatly extol the original of Bees, for...they gather the flowers with their feet, yet the flowers are not injured thereby; they bring forth no young ones, but deliver their young swarms through their mouths, like as Christ (for a wonderful example) is proceeded from His Father's MOUTH." *
* Review of Epistle of DR. GENTIANUS HARVET of Louvaine. This work, which is commonly called The Beehive of the Roman Church, contains the original Latin of the passage translated above. The passage in question is to be found in at least two Roman Missals, which, however, are now very rare--viz., one printed at Vienna in 1506, with which the quotation in the text has been compared and verified; and one printed at Venice in 1522. These dates are antecedent to the establishment of the Reformation; and it appears that this passage was expunged from subsequent editions, as being unfit to stand the searching scrutiny to which everything in regard to religion was subjected in consequence of that great event. The ceremonial of blessing the candles, however, which has no place in the Pontificale Romanum in the Edinburgh Advocates' Library, is to be found in the Pontificale Romanum, Venice, 1542, and in Pontificale Romanum, Venice, 1572. In the ceremony of blessing the candles, given in the Roman Missal, printed at Paris, 1677, there is great praise of the Bee, strongly resembling the passage quoted in the text. The introduction of such an extraordinary formula into a religious ceremony is of very ancient date, and is distinctly traced to an Italian source; for, in the words of the Popish Bishop Ennodius, who occupied an Italian diocese in the sixth century, we find the counterpart of that under consideration.
Thus, in a prayer in regard to the "Easter Candle," the reason for offering up the wax-candle is expressly declared to be, because that through means of the bees that produce the wax of which it is made, "earth has an image of what is PECULIAR TO HEAVEN," and that in regard to the very subject of GENERATION; the bees being able, "through the virtue of herbs, to pour forth their young through their MOUTHS with less waste of time than all other creatures do in the ordinary way."
This prayer contains the precise idea of the prayer in the text; and there is only one way of accounting for the origin of such an idea.
It must have come from a Chaldean Liturgy.
Here it is evident that Christ is referred to as the "Word of God"; and how could any imagination ever have conceived such a parallel as is contained in this passage, had it not been for the equivoque [wordplay, double meaning] between "Dabar," "the Bee," and "Dabar," "The Word." In a Popish work already quoted, the Pancarpium Marianum, I find the Lord Jesus expressly called by the name of the Bee.
Referring to Mary (Eve, Sophia, ZOE), under the title of "The Paradise of Delight," the author thus speaks:
"In this Paradise that celestial Bee, that is, the incarnate Wisdom, did feed. Here it found that dropping honeycomb, with which the whole bitterness of the corrupted world has been turned into sweetness."
This blasphemously represents the Lord Jesus as having derived everything necessary to bless the world from His mother!
Could this ever have come from the Bible?
No. It must have come only from the source where the writer learned to call "the incarnate Wisdom" by the name of the Bee. Now, as the equivoque from which such a name applied to the Lord Jesus springs, is founded only on the Babylonian tongue, it shows whence his theology has come, and it proves also to demonstration that this whole prayer about the blessing of wax-candles must have been drawn from a Babylonian prayer-book.
Surely, at every step, the reader must see more and more the exactitude of the Divine name given to the woman on the seven mountains, "Mystery, Babylon the Great"!
Note from III-III
Among the Yezidis, or Devil-worshippers of Modern Chaldea, the same festival is celebrated at this day, with rites probably almost the same, so far as circumstances will allow, as thousands of years ago, when in the same regions the worship of Tammuz (Jewish women Eze 8:14) was in all its glory. Thus graphically does Mr. Layard describe a festival of this kind at which he himself had been present:
"As the twilight faded, the Fakirs, or lower orders of priests, dressed in brown garments of coarse cloth, closely fitting to their bodies, and wearing black turbans on their heads, issued from the tomb, each bearing a light in one hand, and a pot of oil, with a bundle of cotton wick in the other. They filled and trimmed lamps placed in niches in the walls of the courtyard and scattered over the buildings on the sides of the valley, and even on isolated rocks, and in the hollow trunks of trees.
Innumerable stars appeared to glitter on the black sides of the mountain and in the dark recesses of the forest. As the priests made their way through the crowd to perform their task, men and women passed their right hands through the flame; and after rubbing the right eyebrow with the part which had been purified by the sacred element, they devoutly carried it to their lips. Some who bore children in their arms anointed them in like manner, whilst others held out their hands to be touched by those who, less fortunate than themselves, could not reach the flame...
As night advanced, those who had assembled--they must now have amounted to nearly five thousand persons--lighted torches, which they carried with them as they wandered through the forest.
The effect was magical: the varied groups could be faintly distinguished through the darkness--men hurrying to and fro--women with their children seated on the house-tops--and crowds gathering round the pedlars, who exposed their wares for sale in the courtyard.
Thousands of lights were reflected in the fountains and streams, glimmered amongst the foliage of the trees, and danced in the distance. As I was gazing on this extraordinary scene, the hum of human voices was suddenly hushed,
and a strain, solemn and melancholy, arose from the valley. It resembled some majestic chant which years before I had listened to in the cathedral of a distant land.
Music so pathetic and so sweet I never before heard in the East. The voices of men and women were blended in harmony with the soft notes of many flutes.
At measured intervals the song was broken by the loud clash of cymbals and tambourines; and those who were within the precincts of the tomb then joined in the melody...
The tambourines, which were struck simultaneously, only interrupted at intervals the song of the priests. As the time quickened they broke in more frequently.
The chant gradually gave way to a lively melody, which, increasing in measure, was finally lost in a confusion of sounds. The tambourines were beaten with extraordinary energy--the flutes poured forth a rapid flood of notes--the voices were raised to the highest pitch--the men outside joined in the cry--whilst the women made the rocks resound with the shrilltahlehl.
"The musicians, giving way to the excitement, threw their instruments into the air,
and strained their limbs into every contortion, until they fell exhausted to the ground.
I never heard a more frightful yell than that which rose in the valley. It was midnight. I gazed with wonder upon the extraordinary scene around me.
Thus were probably celebrated ages ago the mysterious rites of the Corybantes, when they met in some consecrated grove." Layard does not state at what period of the year this festival occurred; but his language leaves little doubt that he regarded it as a festival of Bacchus; in other words, of the Babylonian Messiah, whose tragic death, and subsequent restoration to life and glory, formed the cornerstone of ancient Paganism.
The festival was avowedly held in honour at once of Sheikh Shems, or the Sun, and of the Sheik Adi, or "Prince of Eternity," around whose tomb nevertheless the solemnity took place, just as the lamp festival in Egypt, in honour of the sun-god Osiris, was celebrated in the precincts of the tomb of that god at Sais.
I'll bet that someone always has to clean up the dropped was which proves that the gods have been worshiped. But, the worship is of the Devil.