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King the Gnostics 2

King the Gnostics 2

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42
THE GNOSTICS
AND
THEIR REMAINS.
INDIAN SOUKCES OF
GNOSTICISM.
MANES.
The
Per&x&n-
origin
of so
considerable
a
portion
of the
GnosisLaving been
set
forth
in the
foregoing
pages,
it
remains
to
show what portion
is due to a
purely
Indian
source,
and to
mdicate
the
channels through which
a
direct intercourse
was
carried
on
between
the
farthest east
and the
foci
of
Gnosticism,Alexandria andEphesus.
For
the Christian Gnosis was indirectlythe daughter
of
the Hindoo
Gnosis,
such
as
it
was
taught
m
the
various mysteries
;
possibly in the Eleusmian
and the
Phrygian.
I
1
oruniversal tradition made
the
first founder
of
mysteries,
Bacchus,
bring them direct from India;
and
Jove's
/J%>OS,
the
fabled birth-place
of the god, may
have been
no
other thanMount
Merit,
the
Olympus of the Hindoo Pantheon.*Certain Gnostic tenets concerning
the
duality
of the
Divmoemanations, absorption into
tnc
god-noad, asceticism, penance,and self-collection,
are
identical with
the
Buddhistic teachingupon
the
same points
;
of
which agreement several remarkableexamples will
be
adduced
m
their fitting place.
But we are
not left
to
mere conjecture
on
this
point,
for the
actual circumstances
of
their importation from India,
are
minutely detailed,in
one
case that doubtless
had
many
parallels,
by the
laboriousIjpiphanius
in ms
^
e
,
(
<
.
.).
f
This celebrated heresiarch, equally abhorrent
to
Zoroastrianand Christian orthodoxy,
was by
birth
a
Persian, namedCubricus
;
but who
upon commencing
his
mission assumed
the
title
of
Manes,
signifym
0
m xne
x>aojioiiian
tongue
xno
Vessel,"
for the
samereason,
we may
suppose,that Dante givesto
St.
Paul
the
epithet
Vas
lidectioms.
This Cubricus
had
*
The bearer of
tno
phallus (lin- (drawn upon by l^piphamus
also),
gam) in the grand Dionysism pro- is the
"Disputation
of Archelauscession celebrated by Ptolemy Phila- and
Maues,"
held at Charrae indelphus was blackened all over with
A.D.
275-9.
This book was written
soot,
doubtless to indicate the native in Syriac, but is only extant in acountry of that very equivocal
symbol.
Latin version.f Tile earliest authority, however,
 
GNOSTICS AND THEIR
43
been slave, and subsequently sole
heir,
to a certain wealthywidow who had inherited all the effects belonging to one
1
ormmthus,
surnamed in
Assyrian
" Buddas.
This Icrmm-thus hacl similarly been the slave of a ricli Saracen merchant,Scytliicus, who had studied
tiio
Greek language and literature
m
some place on the borders of Palestme (perhaps the school of
fc
almyra),
and who
' had
there attained to eminence
m
theempty learning of this
world."
By constant journeys betweenhis home and
India,
this Scythicus had amassed a large fortune.With this he settled down
m
llypsele
m
the lhobaid, whereho married a beautiful courtezan, whom ho had bought andemancipated.
"
Here,
out of sheer idleness and licentiousness,he set up to preach new
doctrines,
not derived from Scripturebut from mere humanThese
doctrines,
from the nature of the
case,
can hardly havebeen of his own concoction,
but,
m
all probability, things thathe had picked up in India, where all the ancient emporia layon the Guzerat
Coast,
the seat of the powerful Jama (Buddhist)monarchy. A mere Eastern trader, a common Arab merchant
who,
after making his fortune by long and dangerous travels
m
the
Jliast,
who could afterwards
m
advanced life set himselfdown to study, nay more, to attain
proficiency 
in the Greekphilosophy, must have been a man of no ordinary intellect.Assuredly it was not the mere want of anything better to do,(as his malicious biographer
asserts),
that made him turnpreacher of a new religion. His marriage with the enfranchisedcourtezan looks like a theological addition, added to the portraitfor the sake of so completing his resemblance to Simon Magus.The nature of the doctrines he was likely
to
imbibe in the greatIndian marts, rsarocno, Bsareeiiore, Pultaneii, or
m
the
semi-
Grecian cities of Bactria,
is
attested to tins day by the innumerable
Buddhist
temples and
topes,
with their deposit of relics yetstudding the provinces this side of the Indus; and whosecontents declare the flourishing state of that religion even•when the country had passed tinder the rule of the SassaniaiiKings of Persia.
l>\\t 
to return to Scythicus
m Ins
retirement:
"
TakingPythagoras
101
0
UKIC,
no
composed foiu books, namely,
Tiio
 
4i
THE GNOSTICS AND THEIR REMAINS.
Mysteries,'
'The Summary,' 'The Gospel,' and 'The Trea
suries.'
"
(Pythagoras was then universally believed to havevisited India, and there to have obtained the elements of hisphilosophy, which has a certain Brahmimcal
character.)
"
After
this,
Scythicus made a journey to Jerusalem
m
the very times ofthe
Apostles,
and held conferences with the elders of the churchupon the Origin of
Evil,
and such like points. But not beingsatisfied by their explanations,
no
took to preaching
magic,
theknowledge of which he had gotten along with his other waresfrom the
Indians
and
Egyptians.
But as he was showing on amiracle upon the roof of his
house,
he fell down and was killed.Upon
this,
his servant and sole disciple, Termmtnus, instead
01
returning to his mistress at Hypsele, ran off with his moneyinto Persia, where, in order to escape detection,
lie
assumed thename of
Buddas,
which signifies
""Wise."
(This last factproves incontestably the nature of the doctrines he and hismaster had been gathering up in their Indian
travels;
and thetruth lying at the bottom of this story seems to be that he gavehimself out for a
fresit incarnation of 
Buddha,
01
wlnch there hadbeen
seven
before his date.)
"
This Terminthus was himself a man
01
learning and conversant with his master
s
four treatises.
lie
lodged
m
thehouse of a widow, where he used to hold conferences with thepriests of Mithras, especially with two, Parcus and Labdacus,upon the Two Principles, and1s-imilar
subjects.
lie,
too,
havingbeen killed by
accident,
like his master, his lanuiady keptpossession of all his baggage, religious books included
;
and inher turn bequeathed them to her servant Cubncus, the afterwards so celebrated
i\ianes.
It is
necessary here to point out a certain violent anachronismin the story as told by -bpiphamus. If fecythicus visitedJerusalem at
all,
he must have done so
before
the year of itsdestruction,
A.D.
70. His disciple, Terminthus, could thereforenot have survived far into the second century. The landladyof the latter could for this reason have hardly had for slave
Manes,
who flourished about two hundred years later. It is,* The seventh having been that gakyal who, from Benares, diffusedBuddhism
all
over
the
peninsula.

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