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people of Egypt must have been Hindoos Whether the aborigines of Egypt borrowed their mythological characters from the plains of Hindõstan, or the Hindoos from the country of Osiris, it is, at least, certain that both must have had a common origin ; and we have just seen what degree of credit is to be placed in the high antiquity once claimed for Egypt:-her pyramids and temples,- her tombs and obelisks. The same reasoning applies to the obelisks of Axum, and the most ancient pagodas of India. Dr. Grotefend, of Frankfort, has succeeded in translating some of the cuneiform, (nailheaded, or arrow-headed) characters, from the ruins of Persepolis, and one from those of Pasargadæ. These characters seem to be very ancient, and by .comparing their form and arrangement, with those of the quartz crystals, in the feldspar ground of graphic granite, in some specimens in our cabinet, we have been much struck with their resemblance. There is a specimen of Persepolitan characters on a fragment of stone, brought from the ruins of Persepolis, in the British Museum :they are precisely similar to those of Nineveh and Babylon. A specimen of the cuneiform letters found among the ruins of Nineveh, has been described by Mr. Rich ; and specimens of Babylonian bricks are in the British Museum. There is also a beautiful cylinder from the ruins of Babylon, in Trinity College Library, Cambridge, where we have examined it with interest. According to the interesting researches of Dr. Grotefend, what had been considered three species of Babylonian writing, are only varieties of writing the same characters; there being, in reality, only one distinct kind of Babylonian cuneiform writing. It is, we think, worthy of particular remark, that the inscriptions deciphered by Dr. Grotefend, are of the times of Cyrus, Darius Hystaspis, and Xerxes. We believe M. Champollion is engaged in the same interesting question, which we cannot doubt will, in its solution, cast a new light over the Scripture Chronicles.
As to the legends of Indian deities, and pretensions to antiquity, the entire routine is a mass of fable, with
a faint combination of truth, rendered almost ODABUTO by the tissue of absurdities with which it is perplexed. Mr. Seely makes the following remarks on the adventures of the deities, which compose that interminable theme, the Hindoo Pantheon. “ It is one of those, that, after the deepest research and closest investigation, produces neither amusement nor information, being monstrous lies and fabled impostures from beginning to end, as I know by the experience of many a weary
and ill-spent day of study.”* 'We may yet refer, by way of corroboration, in the sequel of this work, to some of the ancient books of the Hindoos; but we feel surprised that Mr. Lyell, after passing sentence of condemnation on cosmogonies, and protesting against the identification of the objects of geology with those of cosmogony, should, immediately enter on the cosmogonies of India and Egypt, and quote some extracts from the institutes of Menù, as translated from the sanscrit by Sir W. Jones, to which that distinguished oriental scholar had assigned an antiquity of about 880 years A. C. These extracts seem to have been made with some complacency, because they treat of a vast succession of periods, each of which is composed of an interminable length, “and creations and destructions of worlds innumerable.” Some of these passages, though “mysterious," possess, it would appear, “much grandeur of conception and sublimity of diction ;" but it is admitted there are
puerile conceits and monstrous absurdities." Were we in search of sublimity and grandeur, truth and beauty, we should at once abandon these fabulous sources of error and romance, and proudly appeal to the BIBLE ; in the full radiance of which the most splendid rays of poetry and pagan literature, with all their romance and fiction, suffer an overwhelming eclipse; but that Volume of Truth amuses not our fancy with “ a long succession of periods, each of the duration of many thousand ages,” and “creations also and destructions of worlds innumerable.” We by no means suppose that
* Wonders of Elora.- London, 1825, 8vo p. 132.
this is a reason for Mr. Lyells omission in regard to the Sacred Volume, which seems, however, by some accident, to have been overlooked. It does not, indeed, propound
a system of geology,” as has been stated, but it certainly records facts which cannot be separated from the annals of legitimate geological science. The data we possess are altogether insufficient for the construction of a system of geology-and such an attempt, is just as absurd, in the present state of our knowledge, as an endeavour to make a rope of sand.
“ The connection,” says Sir Wm. Jones, “ of Mosaic history with that of the Gospel, by a chain of sublime predictions, unquestionably ancient, and apparently fulfilled, must induce us to think the Hebrew narrative more than human in its origin, and consequently true in every substantial part of it.”
THE FALL OF MAN-REMARKS ON PHRENOLOGY-THE
MYTHOLOGY OF PAGANISM.
THERE is no Biblical evidence of Rain having ever fallen to water the earth, in antediluvian history, nor is there the least necessity to suppose it indispensible. There are many parts of the earth which are never visited by a shower, and the abbreviation of human life, may be partly dependant on a change in the hygrometric character of the circumfused atmosphere. The Hebrew prophet informs us, “ There went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground;”—a simple and beautiful solution of the phenomena of evaporation, and the formation of dew : the latter reserved for the genius of Dr. Wells to demonstrate, though the fact had already been unequivocally recorded in the Volume of Truth. We have been delighted with the various gems of scientific truth, which we have met with, scattered up and down the Volume of Inspiration; but our limits do not permit the digression, else we presume the evidence that could be collected from this source alone, would put the infidel to the blush,-if, indeed, the infidel be a man of science. In illustration we might adduce the following paragraph: “ The rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place whence they came, thither they return again.” It requires some skill in science to yield a ready assent to the truth,—the literal truth, which this beautiful description implies. Thus, too, is it with the sublime
expression: "He weighed the hills in scales, and the the dust in a balance, -“ and measureth the seas in the hollow of his hand;" but, who does not now see embodied in that language, the theory of definite proportions, on which is founded the scale of chemical equivalents? It has been proved beyond doubt, that all material forms are constituted by weight and measure, and aggregated and adjusted according to fixed and determinate laws.
The fall of man is a terrible event in the history of the species. It is related with affecting brevity, and with all the simple emphasis of truth. The inspired historian informs us that “ The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden ; and there he put the man he had formed.” The CREATOR, by a mysterious process, created Eve to be the partner of the prototype of our species, and share with him in the delights of “the garden of the LORD.” The Deity held converse with his creature, man; and man rejoiced in his heavenly Friend, and walked with his MAKER amid the flowery scenes of creation, and all the varied blessings which a beneficent and bountiful Providence had profusely bestowed. The precise situation of this lovely spot cannot now be ascertained. The waters of the deluge have, it is probable, obliterated all traces of Eden's beauties; and the ocean may now roll over the place where Eden was. So long as the crown of innocence was seated on his brow, and "Holiness to the LORD" was the sacred motto which sparkled in the halo that encircled it—"it was well with him.” The range of enjoyment was ample, and the cup of blessing full.
Pæna metusque aberant :-
natos sine semine flores. Man was a free agent, and a test of fidelity was propounded :—the duty of obedience to the acts of a heavenly legislation would be crowned with immortal life ; “hope blooming with immortality" was the price of his obedience. Disobedience would be followed by the forfeiture of the friendship of God, and all communica