Page:The Religion of Ancient Egypt.djvu/104

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89
THE GODS OF EGYPT.

except as simple names, and the unity of God is asserted in the noblest language of monotheistic religion. There are many very eminent scholars who, with full knowledge of all that can be said to the contrary, maintain that the Egyptian religion is essentially monotheistic, and that the multiplicity of gods is only due to the personification of "the attributes, characters and offices of the supreme God."


Is the Religion really Monotheistic?

No scholar is better entitled to be heard on this subject than the late M. Emmanuel Rougé, whose matured judgment is as follows:[1]

"No one has called in question the fundamental meaning of the principal passages by the help of which we are able to establish what ancient Egypt has taught concerning God, the world and man. I said God, not the gods. The first characteristic of the religion is the Unity [of God] most energetically expressed: God, One, Sole and Only; no others with Him.—He is the Only Being—living in truth.—Thou art One, and millions of beings proceed from thee.—He has made everything, and he alone has not been made. The clearest, the simplest, the most precise conception.

  1. "Conférence sur la religion des anciens Egyptiens, prononcée au Cercle Catholique, 14 avril, 1869," published in the ;;Annales de la Philosophie Chrétienne, tome XX. p. 327.