Tracing the history of the Cross will help us to see its moral meanings and feel its spiritual power. It was a significant token for ages before Christianity adopted and sanctified it. It was sometimes viewed in antiquity as the sign of a man standing with outstretched arms. More than one ancient nation honored it as a symbol of the Universe, on account of its pointing to the four quarters of the compass. The Druids were accustomed to consecrate to the object of their worship the most majestic oak of the grove, which they stripped of all its limbs, except the two largest so left as to form a gigantic Cross towering in the mystic ring at high moon, with a meaning unknown to us. It is singular that the earliest use of theCross made known to us, was a symbol of immortality. The crux ansatawas thus employed in the temples and religious rites of the Egyptians. It was also used as a sacred emblem by some of the Hindoo sects, independently of the establishment of Christianity, as was discovered, totheir great astonishment, by the firstChristians who visited the East for missionary purposes.
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