Frank Stockton Dobbins.

False gods, or, The idol worship of the world : a complete history of idolatrous worship throughout the world, ancient and modern : describing the strange beliefs, practices, superstitions, temples, idols, shrines, sacrifices, domestic peculiarities, etc., etc., connected therewith online

. (page 1 of 40)
Online LibraryFrank Stockton DobbinsFalse gods, or, The idol worship of the world : a complete history of idolatrous worship throughout the world, ancient and modern : describing the strange beliefs, practices, superstitions, temples, idols, shrines, sacrifices, domestic peculiarities, etc., etc., connected therewith → online text (page 1 of 40)
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Sixty-five feet high, thirty feet across the shoulders, six hundred years old ; covered with bronze plates, its
interior forming a temple. From an original photograph.



Idol Worship of the World.



Late of Yokohama, Japan.


Hon. S. Wells Williams, LL.D., and Prof. Isaac Hall, LL.B., Ph.D.,

The /ormer Forty years resident in China, now Pr^. in Yale College, Conn,, Pres-
ident of the American Bible Society, etc.: the latter an eminent Orient'
alist and iate Pro/essor o/ the College at Beirut, Syria.


HUBBARD BROS., Publishers,

Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati, Chicago, Kansas City

AND Atlanta : C. R. Blackall & Co., New York :

F. Dewing & Bro., San Francisco, Cal.






THE story of the world's worship is a story of absorbing interest.
The odd and the curious, the enchanting and the revolting are
each factors of heathen devotion. We well remember with what
exhaustless interest we looked in childhood at strange pictures of idols
and temples, and listened to the reading of tales about the heathen.
When the celebrated Dr. Alexander Duff was a little boy, his father
was accustomed on Sabbath afternoons to show him pictures of idols,
and to explain their histories. So vividly did the pictures and their
stories impress the boy, that when he became a man he left Scotland
and went to labor for the heathen of India.

The subject is indeed intensely interesting. Every nation has its
God, or gods, and its corresponding forms of worship. Nothing lies
so close to the heart of mankind as its religious faith. Religion in
some form is interwoven with the entire fabric of human history. It
concerns man's dearest pleasures, his fondest hopes, and his highest
aspirations. Man must worship. It is part of his nature to worship.
Hence, from the most civilized European to the half-civilized China-
man, and even down to the degraded Hottentot; in all stages of man's
existence, among all races and classes, some form of worship is found.
Nothing surely can interest us more than the story of that faith in
which our fellow-creatures have lived and died.

It is because the author believes that the subject of False Gods and
Idol Worship is so interesting, and because he hopes to furnish some
much-needed information on this topic, that he has undertaken the
present work. There is no one book that covers this ground. There
are many volumes covering various phases of the religious systems of
heathendom, but there is not one that deals comprehensively with all
religions, extinct or existing, except indeed it be those suited only to
students and to learned men.

The aim in this volume is to present the subject in a popular style,
suited to the average reader of our land. It is proposed to make a



book to be read in the family and by the fireside. The very best
works of the most thorough students of the non-Christian religious
systems have been consulted, and the author has freely availed him-
self of the results of their labors. If due acknowledgment is not
always made of the aid thus received, it is because he deemed it best not
to multiply references and because he has so frequently found it neces-
sary to translate scholastic and technical phrases used by these authors
into language familiar to the general reader.

Among those whose works the author has consulted are, Max Miiller
and Hardwicke on Comparative Mythology j Wilkinson on the Ancient
Egyptians; Lenormant on Assyria and Babylon; Haug on the Parsees;
Monier Williams on Hinduism; Rhys-Davids, and Barthelemy St.
Hilaire on Buddhism, and Edwin Arnold's paraphrase of Buddha's
life in his "Light of Asia;" Humboldt on Central America; School-
craft on the American Indians ; Wyatt Gill and Lord Grey on the Pacific
Islands; Legge, Edkins and S. Wells Williams on the Chinese ; Grifi&s
and Sir Edward Reed on Japan ; and Stanley and Livingstone on
Africa. Beside these he has derived great help from "The Tour of
the World with General Grant," and Dr. H. M. Field's "From'
Egypt to Japan." In addition he has consulted quite a host of other
authors 'in works of travel, and in the translations of various sacred

In all parts of his work the author has sought to present definite in-
formation, carefully arranged, truthfully told, and clearly and inter-
estingly stated. He has aimed to show the origin, development and
spread of each non-Christian religious system; and to give an ac-
count of their gods and goddesses, temples, shrines, idols, sacred
places, superstitious customs, legends, myths, domestic worship and
the innumerable peculiarities of their daily religious life.

The work is fully illustrated by accurate, and in many cases, expen-
sive engravings. The book is not made merely to sell. Sensational
statements and mere padding have been neither added nor borrowed.
The author has not drawn upon his imagination in the least. He has
told a story which, though sometimes stranger than fiction, is never-
theless solid fact and not baseless fancy. Let it be remembered that
this is a pioneer work. The author has had to blaze his pathway
through a trackless forest. He has had no guide. He sincerely
hopes that by its perusal his readers will be led to an increased ap-
preciation of the infinite superiority of Christianity to all other re-
ligions; and that they may find a deepened interest in the welfare of
the heathen world.



It has been the purpose of ihe author and the publishers to place the
subject-matter of this volume within the ready reach of all who con-
sult it. An exhaustive Table of Contents has been given therefore,
in which the chapter titles and all the sub-headings of the chapters
will be found. A full index of the proper names and principal topics
of the book is also added, by means of which it is believed any desired
subject treated in the volume can readily be found. By such means
as these the book has been made as complete and as useful as patient
labor can make it.

Thanks are specially due to Professor Isaac H. Hall, who not only gave
careful consideration to the subjects specially under his care, but who in
addition read all the MS., and gave the benefit of his extended learn-
ing and excellent judgment at every point. To Professor S. Wells
Williams also, the author desires to make public acknowledgment.
Though burdened with many onerous duties, yet he gave his closest
attention to the chapters on those much misunderstood nations, China
and Japan, and from the rich stores of his own extensive and well-
digested knowledge, he made such suggestions as proved of inesti-
mable value.

To the Publishers, who were ever ready to meet the author's largest
desires, his thanks are especially due. Without such generous sup-
port the volume must have fallen far below its present excellenc?. In-
deed, all concerned in the production of the book have proved them-
selves true helpers, to whom author and readers alike will be largely

F. S. Dobbins.







List of Illustrations,


The World's First Worship.

Testimony of an old record and of language — Another witness : comparative
religion — The story of the master thief — The story of Rhampsinitos — The story
of the poor mason — The story of the shifty lad — Exodus of the nations, . ^3


Whence came the many Gods and Idols?

Sources of information — The transition — The first h)Tnns and prayers — \\Tiere did
idol-worship come from, .......... 47


Sacred and Heathen Traditions.

Traditions of Creation — Traditions of the Deluge — The Chaldean storj' — The
Hindu tradition — The Chinese tradition — The Mexican legend — The Fiji-
Islander's tradition — American Indian traditions — The Greek story — Chaldean
story of the Tower of Babel — What has the Bible to say about idolatry ? . 63


The Subject in a Nutshell.

Methods of grouping religions — Dead religions and living religions — Original
religions and reformed religions — Dead religions — Living worships — The pro-
posed treatment — A concise view — Parseeism — African religion — Western Eu-
rope — The Southern migration — Buddhism — China'sNreligions — Shintoism in
Japan — Mohammedanism — Christianity's conquests, \ • • • -77


The Land of the Sphinx.


Hidden history — The hieroglyphics — Some Egj'ptian gods — Animal worship —
Mummies — The celebrated book of the dead — Egyptian worship, . . -93


Religion of the Chaldeans.

The great Chaldean historian — Ruined monuments — A library of brick books —
Manners and customs — The religion of Assyria — The supreme god, Ilu — The
Assyrian triad — The gods of the planets — The great goddess Ishtar — The
Genii of Assyria — ^^Worship of the gods at Babylon, . . . . .119


Idolatry among the Jews.

The plagues and Egyptian idolatry — The golden calf — Baal-worship, » .138


The Gods of Greece.

Origin of the world and of the gods — The generations of the gods — Gods of the
Grecians — Specimen stories from Greek mythology — Hermes and Apollo —
The Lotus-eaters and the Cyclops — Hercules' twelve tasks — The Phidian
Jupiter — Grecian temples and worship of Paul's day — The city crowded with
idols — Diana of the Ephesians, . . . . . . . . .150


The Worship and Gods of Rome.

The Etruscan religion — The Sahellian religion — The gods of the Romans —
Father Jove — The Matron goddess — The goddess of schools — The goddess of
the hearth — Ceres and Tiber — The gods of beginnings — Rome's lesser gods —
The Roman empire, 173,


Our Heathen Ancestors.

Ancient Britain — The Druids— Wonderful resemblance — Worship of the Diniids
— Temple of the Hanging Stones — Human sacrifices — The destruction of
Druidism — Who first brought Christianity to Britain — Paganism of the Saxons
— Saxon gods — Saxon sacrifices — Fairy-lore of Western Europe — An Elfin
Story — The penitent Nis — Nixes — The Peasant and the W^aterman — The won-
derful little pouch — Christianizing the Saxons, . . . . . .185


Brahmimsm, the Religion of the Hindus.


Sketch of Brahminism — The gods of Hinduism — Story of the Sages' search

Can the gods die? — Sects of Hinduism — Principles of Hinduism — Human
beings killed in sacrifice — How Hinduism regards woman, .... 210


Hindu Temples, Idols and Worship.

Idols and temples of Juggernaut — Kali, the Goddess of Blood — Temple Decora-
tions — Benares — The sacred city of the Sikhs— Cave-temples of Elephanta and
Gwalior — Ganesha, God of Wisdom — Pagodas — Hindu washings for sin —
Hindu holy men, devotees and fakirs, . . . . • . . . . 232


Hindu Sacred Books, Fairy Stories and Fireside Tales.

The Vedic hymns — The law-book of Manu — Degradation of women according to
Manu's laws— The burning of widows commanded by Manu — The god Vishnu
made man — A Sanskit story-book — The story of the terrible bell — The story of
the lion and the old hare — The story of the Brahmin and the pans — The story
of the recluse and the mouse, 288


Shintoism, the X'ature-worship of Japan.

The sacred books of Japan — Japanese story of creation — The emperors descended
from the gods — The sun-goddess enticed from the cave — Shinto worship, . 305


Popular Gods and Shrines of Shintoism.

The seven household gods — The sacred mountain — Shinto temples and gate-ways
— The sacred shrines of Ise, . . . . . . . . . .321


The Religions of Africa, the Dark Continent.

African belief in a god or gods — Praying for rain — The Hottentots' god, Gounja-
Gounja — The Bushmen's god — Zulu tradition of the origin of men — Good and
bad spirits — The spirit in the insect — Fetich worship — A horrible fetich —
Stanley and the Africans' fear of fetich — Witchcraft, . . . . -341


Religions of the Aborigines of America,.


The Indians of North America — The Great Spirit — Worship of ancestors — Indian
legends — The "Song of Hiawatha" — Indian allegory of winter and spring —
Alaskans' worship of evil spirits — Indian sun-worship — Amazon sun-worship
— The Araucanians — Patagonia — The Aztecs — Ancient Aztec idol — The
Incas 362


Religion of Oceanica.

The depraved condition of the Papuans — The pagan Polynesians — Traditionary
origin of human priesthood — Polynesian notion of the sun and moon — The
fire -god's song, ............ 387


The Karens and their Religion.

The Karens not idolaters — Worship of Yuak — A singular tradition — The dog
who ate the book — Funeral services — Mrs. Vinton's letter, .... 401

The Fire-worshipers.

Zoroaster, the Prophet of Ormazd — Zoroaster's worship of one God — Ormazd and
Ahriman — Finding of the Zend-Avesta — The Parsee Bible — Parsee worship,. . 407


j The Religion of the Chinese Philosopher, Lao-Tsze.

Chinese contrarieties and language — The thrse Chinese religions — The old boy —
The talisman of long life — The visit of Confucius to Lao-Tsze — The voyage
in search of the talisman of long life, . . . . . . . .416


The Taoist Sacred Books and Gods.

The book of rewards and punisliments — Some selections from the book of rewards
and punishments — The book of secret blessings — The gods of the Taoists —
The god of letters — Charms — Kwan-te, God of War — Tsai-shin, the God of
Riches — Taoist superstitions, ......... 428

CONTENTS. ,^^ijj


Confucius and thp: Classics.


The background of the picture — The story of the sage's life — Teachings and
writings of the Chinese sage — The wisdom of the sage, 445

Confucian Temples and Worship.

The worship of Shang-te, at Peking — Temple of Confucius — Examinations in the
sacred books — Anecdotes of students — How Mencius's mother incited her son
to study — How a tired student was led back to his studies — The little sage who
hid fire to light his lamp — An example of a studious ancestor — The student
with a round stick for a pillow, 460

Religion of Home-life.

Ceremony of turning the bridge-ladder — Worship of ancestors at a wedding —
Mother, Goddess of Children — Teaching a child to worship idols — The story
of Ma-chu, Goddess of the Sailors, 478


Buddha, the " Light of Asia."

The story of Gautama, the founder of Buddhism — Gautama's four visions — The
great renunciation — Gautama becomes an ascetic — The "Light of Asia" and
the "Light of the World," 498


The Buddhist Bible, the " Three Baskets," and its Teachings,

The Buddhist way of salvation — ^Vhat is Nirvana ? — Buddhist morals — Some of
the " footsteps of the law " — Buddhist beatitudes, . . . . • 513


The Growth of Buddhism — the Buddist Order of Mendicants.

The Sangha, or Buddhist Brotherhood — The initiation ceremony — Rules of the
Order — Daily life of a monk — The three great Buddhist councils — Buddha-
ghosha, the famous monk and missionary — The story of King Kakavanna —
Buddhist courtesies of the present day, 522



Buddhism in India and Ceylon.


The famous Topes — The great Sanchi Tope — Ceylonese Buddhism — The sacred
Bo-tree of Ceylon — Reducing the Tripitaka to writing — Buddhaghosha in Cey-
lon — A Buddhist temple in Ceylon — The sacred Ceylonese books, . . . 532


Buddhism in Bur.mah.

The Shway-da-gong pagoda — The story of Shway-da-gong — Other pagodas —
Worship of nats — -A nat stoiy — Superstitions of the Burmese — The funeral of
a pongyee or monk, . . ... . . . . . . . 555


Buddhism in S i a m .

The celebrated Wat Cliang pagoda — Temple of the Emerald Idol — Worship of
the white elephant — Ruins of the great temple of Nagkon Wat — Some other
temples, 575


L.amaism, the Buddhism of Thibet.

Sketch of the history of Lamaism — Monks and monasteries — Temple at Teshu
Lumbo monastery — Services at the H'Lassa cathedral — Praying-wheels — The
mystic sentence of Thibet — The incarnation of Buddha in the Grand Lama —
The Lamaist Bible, ........... 598


Foism, the Buddhism of China.

Pagodas — Chinese Buddhist temples — The worship of Kwan-yin — The worship
of Kum-Fa — Idols — The Temple of Horrors — Monasteries — A Monk's Mon-
ument — Chinese Buddhist Bonzes — Buddhist devotees — Ceremony of the
Water-lamps — The Do-nothing sect of Reformed Buddhists — Booldo, the
Buddhism of the Corens, . . . . . . . . . .611


Japanese Buddhism.


Bodhidharma in Japan — The Sun-child and his miraculous deliverance — Further
history of Japan — Buddhist sects in Japan — The Protestants of Buddhism —
Kwanon's Temple at Asakusa, Tokio — Temple of Shiba, in Tokio — Temple
of five hundred gods — The casting of a Temple Bell — The Colossal Idol, the
Kamkura Dai Butsu — Some Japanese gods — Japanese Festivals — Mount Fuji-
yama — Customs concerning birth, marriage and death — Some Japanese super-
stitions — Religion of the Ainos, ......,,. 656



Extent of Mohammedanism — The Arabian camel-driver who founded a great
religion — The . Prophet's youth and early manhood — Gabriel's message to
Mohammed — The flight of Mohammed — Converts made at the sword's point —
Mohammed's successors, the Caliphs — Caliph Omar — The Crusades — The
writing of the Koran — The teaching of the Koran — Some selections from the
Koran — Mohammed's Paradise — The Koran on the judgment, . . .719


Mohammedan Mosques and Worship.

Worship in the Mosques — The dancing and howling Dervishes — The smart and
smarting answer of a Dervish — Daily worship — The Mosque of St. Sophia —
The Jummah Musjid at Delhi, India — The Taj Mahal, the "jewel of India " — ■
Pilgrimages and festivals — Conclusion, ........ 74^

Winning the World to the Worship of the one God.

Comparison of heathen religions and Christianity — ^^Tly shall we give Christ-
ianity to the world — A flight over the battle-field — Position of the Christian
army, .............. 767

Index, 779



Bronze Idol of Dai Butz Frontispiece

Colored Map of World Full Page 32

Ancient Serpent Idol 48

Teraphim 57

Dagon, the Fish-god 58

Ancient Serpent Idol 59

Group of Altars 60

Idol from Hindustan Full Page 61

Coin Representing the Deluge 66

Comparative Chart of all Religions Full Page 91

Ruined Temples 93

Rock Temple of Ibsambul, Restored 95

Song of the Threshers 96

Egyptian Hieroglyphics 97

Pasht, the Cat-headed God 98

One of the forms of Isis 99

Crocodile God 100

Scarabaeus loi

Shrouding of the Dead 103

Mummy Case 103

Forms of Mummy Cases 104

Egyptian Priestess 107

Avenue of Sphinxes leading to a Temple 112

Gate-way of the Ancient Egyptian Temple of Karnak 1 13

The Singing Memnon 114

Ruins of Thebes Full Page 1 1 5

The Sphinx and the Pyramids 117

Star Worshipers 1 20

Babylonish Coffin and Lid of Green Glazed Pottery 122

Assyrian Cuneiform Letters 124

Robed Statue 125

Statue of Cannes, the King 129

Adar Strangling the Lion 130

Sargon's Palace, Restored Full Page 133

Human-headed Eagle-winged Assyrian Bull 135

Sculptured Locust I39

Goddess Ashtoreth, Ishtar 141

Phoenician Goddess Astarte 142

The Ammonite Fire God Moloch 143





Jehovah's Triumph over Baal 147

Image of Jupiter, by Phidias Full Page 165

Temple of Diana of Ephesus Full Page 1 70

Medal of Diana 171

Jupiter Tonans 177

Janus 180

Ancient Druidic Worship at Stonehenge, England 191

Gods of our Saxon Ancestors 198

Sacrificial Rites of the Ancient British Druids . 202

Ancient Hindu Idol 2H

Devil Worshiped in Tennevelly 213

Indra, God of the Atmosphere 214

The Three Chief Hindu Gods 215

Bird's-eye view of the Hindu Temple at Cawnpore 219

Sculptured Idols on a Pillar 221

Dying Brahmin holding the tail of the Sacred Cow, so as to enter Heaven . . . 223

A Caste-marked Brahmin at his devotions 224

God of Hell, from a Hindu picture 225

Amadeo, God of Love 226

Teaching a child to worship Ganesha, the God of Wisdom 228

A child bringing an offering to the Idol of a Bull 229

Hindu Woman 231

The most Sacred Temple of Juggernaut at Puri 233

Worship in the Temple of Krishna, or Juggernaut 235

Hindu Devotees dragging Juggernaut's Car and immolating themselves .... 236

The Idol Juggernaut usually carried on the car 238

Disrobing and disjointing Juggernaut 239

The Goddess Kali 240

Idol of Kali Full Page 241

A Night Feast of the Bloody Goddess, Kali 244

Goddess Kali, from a Hindu Picture 245

Hindu Notion of the Universe 246

Golden Temple of the Hindus of Umritsur 247

Entablature from a Hindu Temple 248

Children Worshiping in Temple at Benares Full Page 249

Bas-relief from a Hindu Temple 251

Causeway of the Golden Temple Double Page 254-5

Great Idol of the Cave of Mandar, India 258

Scene from Cave of Elephanta Full Page 259

Cave of Elephanta Double Page 262-3

Image of Ganesha 265

Annual Boat-festival of Ganesha on the Ganges 266

Wayside Idol of Ganesha Full Page 267

Gate-way of Madura Temple ,. 270

Pagoda of Pondicherry, famed for its Sculpture • ■ 271

Disused Idols and sacred articles from Ongole, India 272

Bird's-eye view of Pagodas and Temple Grounds, Madras, India, Double Page 274-5



Hindus washing in the Sacred River Ganges at Benares . 277

Temple of the Sacred Fountain 278

Fakir of the Immovable Foot 279

The Holy Man with the Iron Collar 280

Fakir of the Long Hair 281

A Fakir, who never helps himself 282

A Hindu Holy Man torturing himself by hanging from a hook 283

Fakir hanging to a limb 2S4

Devotee enduring fire 28^

Fakir of the long nails Full Page 286

Hindu Festival of the New Moon 289

Guards of the Hindu Temple Ayenar 292

Hindu women rescued from their degradation Full Page 297

The ten incarnations of Vishnu 3°°

The God created from Izanagi's staff 3^°

Jimmu Tenno, first emperor of Japan ^i^

The Mikado's coat-of-arms 3^7

Raiden, God of Thunder, with his string of drums 318

Futen, God of Winds, with his huge sack 319

Daikoku, the Rice-god, on his throne of rice-bags 322

Fukoruku Jin, the god who can bestow long life ......... Full Page 323

Domestic Altar of the gods of daily food and of rice 326

Hotei, the God of Happiness 3^7

The Sacred Mountain, Fujl-Yama ZZ^

Shinto Shrine, near Yokohama, Japan, with worshipers, vessel of holy water, etc. 331

A Tento, or "Heavenly Lantern" oj-

Shrines of Ise, the most sacred place of Shintoism ZZZ

Interior of a Shinto Temple, showing the arrangements for worship . .. . . 335

Ceremonial dance of the Shinto Priests 2,3°

A. lawyer of Zululand 343

King Coffee's Protecting God 34"

The Priests' trick of raising an idol out of the earth 34^

A Cazembe Fetich Man 35'

Decorated Fetichist 35^

Juju House or Temple of Skulls . . . , , Full Page 353

Idols with mirrors in their bodies 35"

A Witch Doctor 357

Indian Medicine Man Z^^2>

Indian Burial Place 3^6

Indian Image - 3^7

Sun-worship on the Amazon Double Page 374-5

Ancient Aztec Idol 3^0

Sun-worship among the . Peruvians 3"3

Ancient Peruvian Temple of the Sun 3^5

A Papuan Fetich House 3^8

Online LibraryFrank Stockton DobbinsFalse gods, or, The idol worship of the world : a complete history of idolatrous worship throughout the world, ancient and modern : describing the strange beliefs, practices, superstitions, temples, idols, shrines, sacrifices, domestic peculiarities, etc., etc., connected therewith → online text (page 1 of 40)