THE nobler Mexican traditions entwine about Tezcatlicapa, the "Soul of the World," and "Benevolent God." This deity is believed to have been the creator of the world, and its worship runs back to the dawn of Mexican history. Long before human sacrifices were instituted among the rose-red teocalli or temples of the ancient Aztecs, the worship of Tezcatlicapa, purely primitive and simple, stood as rebuke to polytheism.

Those peoples, so far removed from this age of achievement, cherished traditions concerning the creation of man, the flood, and other human epochs, that are singularly similar to the Biblical accounts. They had a form of the eucharist, also baptism, confession, penance, fasting, prayer, and they emphasized the sacredness of matrimony and sobriety. Drunkenness and offenses against chastity were punishable with death. Among the idols of hewn basalt, mainly of black color, to be found in the National Museum, none is more noticeable than that of Tezcatlicapa. They were rescued from the burning teocalli of Mexico City in 1530 by the Aztec warriors. They fled with their idols, and when hard pressed by the Spaniards, threw them into the lakes. Recently one of these images of Tezcatlicapa was unearthed at the northwest corner of the Alameda, within a stone's throw of the site of the Spanish Inquisition of New Spain.

October 22, 1910

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