Joseph McCabe (1867-1955) was one of the most prolific authors of all time. He was brought up as a Roman Catholic, worked on Latin documents, and made himself very well-informed about Christianity, but turned against it. But he was extremely naive about Jews; bear this in mind.

Click for Detailed notes on McCabe - scroll down for selections from A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (1948).

Here's the full A Rationalist Encyclopaedia (about 1.3 MBytes; Word format; includes notes on some of its limits)

Aztecs, The.

J. McCabe, Rationalists Encyclopaedia

Aztecs, The. They were the last branch of the Amerinds [see] to attain the level of civilization, with Mexico City as their capital, before the Spaniards arrived. It is therefore not unnatural that crude relics of their recent barbaric years should have lingered among them, though the worst of these (human sacrifices) were due to the conservatism of the priests and were opposed by some of the princes. On the other hand, the leading Spanish missionary, B. de Sahagun, not only gives the people a fine character in his Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva Espana (Spanish trans. 1829), but records with astonishment that in many features the Aztec religion resembled Catholicism. Hymns and prayers which he gives are of a high type, and the people made offerings in the temples of food and flowers and burned aromatic herbs on the altars. They fasted much (one meal a day and no spices), confessed their sins to and received penances from the priests, and on certain festivals used to meet in groups for "holy communion." They made an image of the god from paste, and the priest blessed it and distributed portions of it to the Indians to eat, with great reverence. Prescott gives many details in his Conquest of Mexico (last ed. 1915), and see H. J. Spinden, Ancient Civilizations of Mexico and Central America (1922).

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