Open main menu

Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 10.djvu/779

This page needs to be proofread.


NATAL


707


NATAL


This female monster of chaos Nasorseans called the Holy Ghost, the Deceiver (spirit is feminine in Ara- maic) or Ruha, no doubt In si)ite the Cliristians. This Ruha has a son ciJled Ur, the prince of devils. Manda de Hayye conquers him and throws him into chains. Unfortunately while (iabricl the Apostle and Petahiel are beginning to create a good workl, Ur escapes and begets with Ruha the seven planets, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and the five elements. A truce is called and Petahiel amicably shares the crea- tion of the world with the sons of Ur and Ruha. The lifeless body of Adam is created, but the "Image of God" is without motion. With the help of Abel, Seth, Enos, and Adakas there is breathed into him the spirit of life. The seven planets, however, and the twelve signs of the Zodiac constitute an evil influence in the world, which is continually being overcome by the Manda de Hayye. With the doctrine of the Light-King a considerable modification of aeonology was introduced, but the main outline remained the same. The Light-King, the Father of the aeons, be- gets Manda de Hayye or Protanthropos, Adam as the First man. This Manda de Hayye becomes in- carnate in Hibil the Glorious or Hibil Ziva (KVT ?"3'n). Kessler pointedly remarks that if Manda is the Christ then Hibil is the Jesus Christ of Nasorajanism. Hibil's descents into Hades play a great role in their theology. Hibil is the Saviour and the Prophet of man. He is Marduk attempting to displace Jesus of Nazareth. A last emanation of the Light-King was John the Baptist, who with Hibil, Seth, and Enos are brethren of the Manda de Hayye. Frequent mention is made of heavenly Jordans, being streams of living waters from the transcendental realm of light. Hibil Ziva was baptized in 360,000 of them before his descent to the nether world.

111. Discipline and Ritual. — The Nasorsans strongly repudiate all ideas of cehbacy and asceti- cism; they have a true Semitic contempt for the unmarried and repeatedly inculcate the precept "in- crease and multiply". They reject all fasting and self- denial as useless and unnatural, and if they observed the Mohammedan fasts at least in outward appearance it was only to avoid trouble and persecutions. They are the reverse of Manichaeans; there may be much evil in this world but man is bound to make the best of it. No wonder Mani left them. They observe no distinctions of food, except that blood and things strangled are forbidden them, also all food prepared by strangers, and even food bought in the market, must be washed. They have no special hours for prayer except that they must only pray when it is light, no prayer is heard as long as it is dark. Not the Mohammedan Friday, or the Jewish Sabbath, but the Christian Sunday is their weekly holyday. This, however, is not a conscious imitation of the Christians, whose ' ' Carpenter-god "they hate as a son of the devil . The religious observance of other holidays seems of more recent origin, though no doubt their civil observ- ance, as in the case of New Year's day (first day of Wintermonth; their months have thirty days with five intercalary days to make a solar year), is ancient enough, being a festival of ancient Babylonia. They observe Ascension day (of Hibil Ziva returning from Hades) on the eighteenth of first Springmonth. the Great Baptismal Festival on the intercalary days, the Feast of the Egyptians apparently drowned in the Red Sea under Pharaoh (they were not really drowned, but escaped and were the forefathers of the Naso- rseans) , and a few other feasts. They possessed a hierarchical priesthood to whom they paid a profound veneration. Their patriarch is the Rash Amma, chief of the people, but they seem but rarely to have had such a dignitary; legend says only one before and one after John the Baptist. A kind of bishops, priests, and deacons form the hierarchy; they are called Ganzivra, TarmidhS,, and Shecanda, or Treas-


urer, Disciple, and Messenger. The ordination to the priesthood is preceded by a so-called retreat of sixty days during which the candidate submits to many quaint rules and baptisms. The Shecanda is only an assistant, but the priest's privilege is the power to baptize; the bishop is the administrator of the community. They possess three great sacra- mental rites, Masbutha or baptism; Pehta and Mabuha or communion, really morsel (bread) and draught (water); and Kusta or troth, a handshake and plighting of troth. Baptism, always in flowing or living water of rivers and brooks, is the greatest of all the rites. Children are baptized as soon as they can bear total immersion. Self-baptism is frequent; the priest when baptizing used originally the formula: Thou art signed with the sign of life: The Name of the Life and the Manda de Hayye is named over thee. Baptism takes place on Sunday and on many other occasions when forgiveness of sin is required. It is followed by a kind of anointing with moist sesame. Communion is given in thin unleavened cakes kept in the priest's house and a handful of water. Kushta is a solemn sign of fellowship with brother Nasora>ans. "Brethren of the flesh pass away, Kushta brethren remain forever", says the proverb. The history of Nasoraeanism is practically unknown. The Genza contains a Book of Kings of a pseudo-historical character, but the utter confusion of their historical reminiscences makes it difficult to find a kernel of truth. The Nasora;ans were lo.st to history till Ignatius a Jesu brought the news of their existence. They have been a prominent religion, as they were classed with Christians and Jews by the Mohammedans. It is often held that they once ac- tually dwelt in Palestine near the Jordan and immi- grated into Chaldea. Their bitter hatred of all that is Jewish or Christian (for Moses is a false prophet, Jesus, the Great Deceiver, whom Enos justly brings to the cross), together with their extensive use of Biblical names, would lead one to believe that though their "theology" is Indian-Babylonian they were once historically connected with Jewish Christians.

Brandt, Die manddische Religion (Leipzig. 1889): Idem, Das Schicksal der Seete nach dem Tode e(c. in JahrbUch. der prot. Theol. (1892); Idem, il/anddisc/ie -Sc/^^i/ien (Gottingen, 1893); Kessler, an extensive article in Realencykl. fiir pTot. Theolog. (1903), s. v. Mand&er; Idem. Mandaans in Encyclopad. Britan.; Ochser, Sidra d' Nismata (Book of Souls), tr. ; Zeitschrift d. deut. morgent. Gesell. (1907) ; DE Morgan, Textes Mandaites in Missions Scientifiques en Perse, V (Paris, 1904) ; Siouffi, Etudes sur la religion des Soubbas (Paris, 1880); Babelon, Les Mendaites in Annates de Philos. Chret, (1881) ; Petermann, Reisen im Orient (Leipzig. 1861) ; NoLDEKE, Manddische Grammatik (Leipzig, 1875).

J. P. Arendzen.

Natal, Vicariate Apostolic of. — The history of the Catholic Church in South Africa goes back to 1660, when a French bishop and a few priests were saved from the wreck of the Marichal near the Cape of Good Hope. But they were only allowed to land, and no permission was given them to minister to the few Catholics who were already in Cape Town. It was not until 1803 that a Catholic priest was per- mitted to say Mass in Cape Colony. Fathers Joannes Lansink, Jacobus Melissen, and Lambertus Prinsen landed at Cape Town in 1803; the following year they were expelled. Pius VII by letters Apos- tolic dated 8 June, 1818, appointed the Rt. Rev. Ed- ward Bede Slater, O.S.B., the first vicar Apostolic of the Cape of Good Hope and the neighbouring is- lands, Mauritius included. Bishop Slater on his way to Mauritius in 1820, left Rev. Fr. Scully at Cape Town in charge of the Catholics. In 1826 Rev. Theodore Wagner became resident priest. He was succeeded by Rev. E. Rishton in 1827. On 6 June, 1837, Gregory XVI established the Vicariate of the Cape of Good Hope, separate from Mauritius, and from that time Cape Colony has had its own bishops.

South Africa, comprising the country between Cape Agulhas and the tenth degree of south latitude, and