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sterner Egyptian and Etruscan dogmas. Respect for the gods, beauty, heroism, enjoyment, leaving the hereafter to expound itself, or viewing it fancifully ; these were in the main the sentiments and feelings at the bottom of Greek theology. But the Etruscan was far more practical and positive, notwithstanding the large admixture of Oriental mysticism in his belief. Indeed this positiveness may be traced back to a strong element of unquestioning faith in Asiatic ancestors, whose imaginations were extremely susceptible to the spiritual influences of unseen powers, and were also opposed to the pantheistic ideas of the more intellectual Greeks. None had it stronger than the Persians, and Jews. Descending from them, it rooted itself deeply in the creeds of Christendom— firmest and severest in Protestantism. As all know, whenever it has come in collision with science, religion is apt to require the latter to give way, or be denounced as heretical. In this connection it is interesting to note how far the Etruscan idea of the future coincides with Christian ethics. The joyous reliance on his fancy which contented his neighbour, evidently did not satisfy the conscience of the Etruscan. Like the more northern races, whose harshest doctrines find speech in the diabolism of Calvinistic theology, he, too, must have a , positive, material hell, with suitable demons, but with the special and noteworthy difference that his final doom was not a question of faith only, but of works. His good and evil deeds were accurately weighed by the infallible judges, and he was sentenced accordingly. Etruscan tomb-sculpture is much taken up by these solemn scenes. A t the door leading to eternal torment sits an expectant fiend, and directly opposite is the entrance to the regions o f happiness, guarded by a good angel. These await the decision of the fate of the soul on trial, which is attended by the good and evil genii, supposed to be ever present with the living. The demonism of Etruria is sterner and less mystical than the Egyptian, although not as frightful as that of mediaeval Christendom. Images of terror, however, are common, and made as ugly and repulsive as those of an opposite character are made handsome and attractive. Still Typhon, one of the angels of death, is a beauty in comparison with his more modern namesake, and even big-eared, heavy-limbed Vulcan, with his fatal hammer, is mild and pleasing beside Spinello’s Beelzebub. Their most successful attempts at ferocious ugliness arrive only at a grotesque exaggeration of the negro physiognomy in a form of the ordinary human shape. Serpents figure largely in these paintings, but as often in a good as a bad sense, as the symbol of eternity. The important truth that we find in them is the recognition of an immediate judgment passed on the soul after death, and the substantiality of the rewards or punishment awaiting it. The Etruscans were eminently a domestic people of warm, social

13H.P. Blavatsky & M. Collins, editors - Lucifer Vol. III, No. 13 September, 1888  

Source : The International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals (IAPSOP, www.iapsop.com), digitized by Go...

13H.P. Blavatsky & M. Collins, editors - Lucifer Vol. III, No. 13 September, 1888  

Source : The International Association for the Preservation of Spiritualist and Occult Periodicals (IAPSOP, www.iapsop.com), digitized by Go...

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