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RETIREMENT AND FORTY DAYS’ FASTING
CHRIST taught, “My kingdom is not of this world.”
And we find that most of the other Saviors virtually and practically taught the same doctrine.
The first practical evincement of it was exhibited by retiring from the world; that is, they retired from the noise and commotion, from the busy scenes of life, into some sequestered spot excluded from human observation. Christ is reported to have withdrawn from society, and to have spent some forty days in the wilderness fasting and being tempted by Satan — a man of straw conjured up in order to furnish the hero God something to combat with, that he might thereby exhibit practical proof of his divine power and prowess. It was simply the two kings or rulers of two hostile kingdoms (heaven and hell) contending for the mastery.
Lord Kingsborough tells us, “The ancient Mexicans had a forty days’ fast in honor and memory of one of their demigods or Saviors, who was tempted forty days on a mountain. He is called “the Morning Star.” Mr. Kingsborough (being a Christian) remarks, “These thins are very curious and mysterious.”
It is said of “the Son of God” and Savior Chrishna that “he imparted his doctrines and precepts in the silent depths of the forest.” Of the Egyptian God Osiris, we are informed in his sacred legends, that “he observed both fasting and penance,” while Pythagoras of Greece spent several years in meditation and retirement in a cave, and was much given to fasting, and often inculcated the doctrine of “forsaking the world” and “the things thereof.” He taught these things both by precept and example, even to “the forsaking of relations.” Both Confucius and the Divine Savior Chang-ti of China, “in order to attain to a more perfect state of holiness,” spent several years in retirement and “divine meditation,” the former in a wilderness, the latter on a mountain, and fasted, and their disciples after them often fasted in a very devout manner. The Persian Zoroaster also spent several years in retirement and “contemplation on true holiness” — partly in a wilderness and partly on a “holy mountain,” “holy mountains” being the favorite places of resort of most of the holy Saviors, holy Gods, and holy men of antiquity. One of the most ancient Saviors, Thammuz, is reported to have spent twelve years in devout and contemplative retirement from the busy world.” According to the Christian bible, Moses, Elijah, and Christ, each fasted forty days, and a Mexican Savior, too (Quexalcote), spent forty days in a similar manner, and other cases are so reported.
We may institute the inquiry here, “How happens this coincidence?”
The answer is indicated by “the Hierophant,” which says, “Jesus in his baptism and forty days’ fast imitated the passage of the sun through the constellation Aquarius, where John, Joannes, or Janus the baptizer had his domicile, and baptized the earth with his yearly rains.” Having been baptized in Jordan, he fasted forty days in the wilderness, in imitation of the passage of the sun from the constellation Aqtlaritis through the Fishes to the Lamb or Ram of March. During the forty days when the sun is among the Fishes (in the sign of the Fish) the faithful Catholics, Episcopalians and Mahommedans abstain from meat and live upon the fishes during the season of Lent, as did the Jews and pagans, and did also Jesus, to fulfill all righteousness.”