By Sir Godfrey Higgins – From the circumstances related of Abaris, and from various particulars which have descended to us, we must see, I think, that the Druids were Pythagoreans. The Essenians, of whom Philo has written the history, were confessedly Pythagoreans, and I think we may see some traces of these people amongst the Druids. They existed before Christianity, and lived in buildings called Monasteria or Monasteries, and were called Koinobioi, or Coenobites.
They were of three kinds; some never married, others of them did. They are most highly spoken of by all the authors of antiquity who have named them. The cruelties of the later Druids cannot be pleaded against this, because we know how orders of men have changed in long periods of time ; and have, when in circumstances of extreme distress, given way to superstitions of a cruel, absurd, and almost incredible nature.
The pretty and fanciful doctrine of the harmony of the spheres, as held by Pythagoras, was held also by the Druids of Ireland. And it is remarkable that the word Pythagoras signifies literally in Welsh, explication of the universe, or cosmogony, from the verb pythagori, to explain the system of the universe.
The following is the account given by the Rev. Dr. Collyer of the opinions of Pythagoras, whom he makes to say, “ God is neither the object of sense, nor subject to passion; but invisible, only intelligible, and supremely intelligent. In his body, he is like the light, and in his soul he resembles truth. He is the universal spirit that pervades and diffuseth itself over all nature. All beings receive their life from him.
There is but one only God, who is not, as some are apt to imagine, seated above the world, beyond the orb of the universe ; but being himself all in all, he sees all the beings that fill his immensity, the only principle, the light of Heaven, the Father of all. He produces every thing, he orders and disposes every thing ; he is the reason, the life, and the motion of all beings.”
These are the notions which Pythagoras has left us of the Deity. How beautiful !
By Sir Godfrey Higgins from his book, Celtic Druids
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