Religion having been based upon the worship of personified nature, it is evident that its founders fabricated its dogmatic element from their conceptions of her destructive and reproductive processes as manifested in the rotation and diversity of the seasons. The apparent retreat of the sun from the earth, in winter, and his return in the spring, suggesting the idea of a figurative death and resurrection of the genius of that luminary, they applied these phenomena of the year to man, and composed the allegories relative to his fall and redemption, as inculcated in the Exoteric Creed. In the allegory relating to the fall, it was taught that, after making the first human pair, the Lord of Good or the Lord God placed them in a beautiful garden–corresponding to the seasons of fruits and flowers or months of Spring and Summer, with the injunction, under a, penalty, not to eat of the fruit of a certain tree. When the Lord of Evil, or Devil, symbolized by the serpent and represented by the constellation “Serpens” placed in conjunction with the Autumnal Equinox, meeting them on the confines of his dominion, and tempting the woman, and she the man, they ate of the forbidden fruit; thus, falling from their first estate, and committing the original sin, they involved the whole human race in the consequences of their disobedience. Then the Lord God, pronouncing a curse against the serpent, clothed the man and woman with skins to protect them against the inclemency of his, dominion as Lord of Evil, and drove them from the garden; after which they were necessitated to earn their bread by tilling the ground.
In, reference to the plan of redemption, the ancient Astrologers divided the 6,000 years appropriated to man, as the duration of his race on earth, into ten equal cycles, and taught that at the conclusion of each God Sol, as Lord of Good, would manifest himself in the flesh, to destroy his works as Lord of Evil, and through suffering and death make an atonement for sin. Thus having originated the doctrines of original sin, incarnation and vicarious atonement, as parts of the plan of redemption, and making its finale correspond, in point of time, to the conclusion of the 12,000 year cycle, their successors in the priestly office ultimately inculcated the additional dogmas of the general judgment and future rewards and punishments, as we have shown in our introduction.
Having based the fables of the fall and redemption of man upon the idea that he was impelled, without his volition, to pass from the dominion of God to that of the Devil, or in other words, upon his subjection to the inexorable necessity which makes the inclement seasons of Autumn and Winter succeed the beneficent ones of Spring and Summer, its authors composed the original of the text which, found in Romans viii., 20, reads that “The creature was made subject to vanity (Evil), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope.”
But for the popular teaching in favor of its being literal history, no one could read the account of the fall of man, as recorded in the third chapter of Genesis, without recognizing it as simply an allegory; or fail to realize, the force of the argument of no fall, no redemption, and if no redemption, no God to reward or Devil to punish; no hell to suffer, or heaven to enjoy. The fact is that these are but antithetical ideas which came in together, and must survive or perish together. They cannot be separated without destroying the whole theological fabric.