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LEC. IX.]

ISRAEL'S GRAVE THE SAXON'S BIRTHPLACE.

particulars, the destiny of Israel fulfilled in them? Is this likely? Is it consistent with the wisdom, and truth, and faithfulness of God? It is not. It has nothing, either in or out of Scripture, to support it; and might at once be rejected. Yet we proceed :

Speaking of the second, the Teutonic stock of the European population, Sharon Turner observes,

The

"It is peculiarly interesting to us, because, from its branches, not only our own immediate ancestors, but also those of the most celebrated nations of modern Europe, have unquestionably descended. Anglo-Saxons, Lowland Scotch, Normans, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, Germans, Dutch, Belgians, Lombards, and Franks, have all sprang from that great fountain of the human race, which we have distinguished by the terms Scythian, German or Gothic. The first appearance of the Scythian tribes in Europe, may be placed, according to Strabo and Homer, about the eighth, or, according to Herodotus, in the seventh century, before the Christian era.' --Even the former of these dates, it may be observed, is the same with that of the Assyrian captivity. "The first scenes of their civil existence, and of their progressive power, were in Asia, to the east of the Araxes; "--the very district into which Israel had been brought, by those whose purpose with regard to them was so very different from this, the purpose of God.

Here they multiplied, and extended their territorial limits, for some centuries, unknown to Europe." The account of Diodorus is, that "the Scythians, formerly inconsiderable and few, possessed a narrow region on the Araxes; but by degrees, they became more powerful in numbers and in courage. They extended their

boundaries on all sides; till, at last, they raised their nation to great empire, and glory." All this is most consistent with the promise made to the house of Joseph, whose very name means increase. "One of their kings becoming valiant and skilful in the art of war, they added to their territory, the mountainous regions about Caucasus; also the plains towards the ocean; and the Palus Mæotis, with the other regions near the Tanais;" the very quarter in which are to be found the Israelitish burying places we before pointed out. "In the course of time, they subdued many nations between the Caspian and Mæotis, and beyond the Tanais or Don. In the

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time of Herodotus, they had gained an important footing in Europe. They seem to have spread into it from the Tanais to the Danube; and to have then taken a westerly direction; but their kindred colonies, in Thrace, had extended also to the south. They have become best known to us, in recent periods, under the name of Getæ, or Goths, the most celebrated of their branches."

With regard to the Saxons in particular, Sharon Turner observes,

"They were a German or Teutonic, that is, a Gothic or Scythian tribe: and of the various Scythian nations which have been recorded, the Sakai or Sacae are the people from whom the descent of the Saxons may be inferred, with the least violation of probability. They were so celebrated, that the Persians called all the Scythians by the name of Sacae. They seized Bactriana, and the most fertile part of Armenia, which from them derived the name of Sakasina. They defeated Cyrus, and they reached That the Cappadoces on the Euxine. some of the divisions of this people were really called Sakasuna, (from which we have our word Saxon, or Sacson,) is obvious from Pliny; for he says, that the Sakai who settled in Armenia, were named Sacassani, which is but Saka-suna, spelt by a person who was unacquainted with the meaning of the combined words; and the name Sacasena, which they gave to the part of Armenia they occupied, is nearly the same sound as Saxonia. It is also important to remark, that Ptolemy mentions a Scythian people sprung from the Sakai, by the name of Saxons."

Many opinions have been given as to the origin of this name Saxon: we may mention one, which has not the less probability of truth, from the fact that every former one has proved unsatisfactory. We suppose it derived from Isaac, by which, we find, from Amos, this house of Israel had begun to denominate itself, just before the captivity. It was usual to contract the commencement of the name, especially when they combined it with any other word, or applied it in a familiar manner: Saxon is, literally or fully expressed, the son of Isaac. But our argument stands not in need of etymology.

The Saxons having reached the western extremity of the European continent, the Cimbric Chersonesus,

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THE SAXONS INVITED INTO BRITAIN.

now called Jutland, and having spread out to the three smaller islands, North Strandt, Busen, and Helig-land, betook themselves much to a seafaring life; and gave considerable trouble to their enemies the Romans, by the skilfulness and courage of their attacks upon the western provinces of the empire. They early made descents on Britain; so that, even while the Romans held possession of the island, an officer had to be appointed to guard from their attacks the eastern coast, which began now to get the name of the Saxon shore. When what were called the Barbarians, began in earnest to avenge themselves on Rome, (which certainly had, upon the whole, shown but little mercy to them,) then were the Romans obliged to contract their empire; to withdraw their forces from the more remote provinces, in order to defend those that were nearer the centre, and more valuable. They left the Britons to manage matters for themselves. These had, through disuse, it is said, become incapacitated either for counsel or for war, so that, when left by the Romans, -who had previously kept all, as it were, in their own hands, they felt themselves quite unable, single-handed, to meet the dangers that surrounded them. The Scots and Picts came pouring in upon them from the north; whilst the Saxons renewed their descents upon the eastern coast. The idea seems to have struck the Britons, of playing off these enemies the one against the other, and they were so far successful. The Saxons came into the pay of the Britons. Some say that it was at the earnest request of the Britons, that the Saxons now visited South Britain, to defend it against then- brethren of the Pictish line, who had already come into the possession of the eastern coast of Scotland. However this may be, certain it is, that they did come, and fight successfully for the Britons. They were given the isle of Thanet;—afterwards they obtained the county of Kent, and so onward they proceeded, until the far greater part of the island came into their possession. The origi

[LEC. IX.

nal inhabitants were, by one means and another, excluded: so that Saxon laws, religion, and language, were universally established. These people had come over in different bodies, at different times, and planted a number of independent kingdoms, generally called the Heptarchy. These gradually merged into one kingdom; and, in the mean time, they adopted the profession of Christianity. The nation was fast degenerating into monkish sloth and superstition, when they were fearfully aroused by the rude incursions of the Danes; who were of the same origin with the Saxons, professed the same religion which the Saxons professed, at the time of their coming into Britain; they also spoke a dialect of the same language. The Danes bore sway, for some time, in the island; and, at length, became one nation with the Saxons; apparently throwing them back into partial barbarism, but really invigorating the English stock; and the more fitting this people for future greatness. After a time, the Normans came next; and produced another revolution in England; and another renewal of the northern blood: the Normans being a colony of the same people, who had settled in that part of France, which was after them called Normandy. These three great immigrations into England, have been all from the same source. We might take either the Anglo-Saxons, the Danes, or the Normans, as the particular subject of our enquiry; but, independent of other considerations, the Saxons seem to claim our principal attention, as having been the first comers, and the Angles as having given birth to the greatest body of the people.

One of the very first things to which our attention was drawn, in considering the case of ancient Israel, was their physical appearance, their personal beauty and this we saw was recorded, not merely of the mothers of the race, but specially of Joseph, whose posterity we seek to identify. The modern Jews, are many of them very dark complexioned, chiefly perhaps, as having become so intimately

LEC. IX.]

PERSONAL APPEARANCE OF THE ENGLISH.

blended with the children of Ham; but as to ancient Israel, much is said of their fairness. Correspondent to all this, is the description of the Anglo-Saxons, upon eir coming into Britain. They are described as being "fair of complexion, cheerful of countenance, very comely of stature, and their limbs to their bodies well proportioned." Two most remarkable events, in the history of this people, are connected with their beauty: these are, their first settlement in the country, and their conversion to Christianity. As to the former, we read that the kinswoman of Hengist, one of their first leaders, so won the heart of the British monarch, that he delivered himself over to her counsels; and so left the greatest and most valuable part of the island to be possessed by her countrymen; whilst he retired, and began to build for himself in Wales.

We are also told, that when, after the settlement in Britain, some of their youths were exposed as slaves, in the markets at Rome, they so attracted the attention of Gregory, afterwards Pope, that he stopped to ascertain what they were, and whence they had come; and upon being told they were Angles, he said they were rightly called angels. "It suits them well," said he, "they have angel faces, and ought to be co-heirs of the angels in heaven." So powerfully did the sight of these youths impress his imagination, that he ceased not until he procured a mission from Rome, consisting of Austin and other monks, for the conversion of their countrymen. There are examples, at that period, of English youths being, because of their beauty, preserved from execution, even after having been sentenced to death.

It may be gathered from Scripture, that considerable attention was, among the Israelites, paid to the dressing the hair; and among the Anglo-Saxons and Danes, fine hair was considered one of the greatest ornaments; and they were at no little pains in setting it off to the best advantage. Now, fine and well-dressed hair is not readily found among a rude people;

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it rather indicates that the race possessing it, have, like Israel, been very long under mental training.

One of the very first things which struck me in this enquiry, and which indeed puzzled me exceedingly, before I knew how to solve the problem, was the great similarity of the Jewish head to the English. If, thought I, these are of two different sons of Noah, the one of Japhet, and the other of Shem, how is it that they are both reckoned of the same, the Caucasian, family, and of the same most improved branch of that family? Those who have looked at the heads of the different races, and diligently compared them; and seen them to be, in general, so strongly in contrast to the European head, far their superior in beauty and power—will readily acknowledge that this is no minor matter. The Jewish and English head, are of the same general form; and, what is far from being the case among the several branches of the Caucasian family, they are of the same size,—one of the largest, the very largest, possessing any pretension to beauty. The head is high, and has an ample anterior development; but is by no means deficient in the domestic propensities behind; so that it is rather elongated, than round, and the sides are perpendicular rather than sloping. The size and form of the head, serve, much more accurately than complexion, to identify a race. Even the difference that does exist of form, between the English and the Jewish head, serves to corroborate our view; correspondent as it is to the difference of character between the two families of Israel, as pointed out in Scripture.

One of the principal things in which Israel was educated,--and a strict attention to which was interwoven with all their private and national concerns, and which may be expected to distinguish the race,—was justice and a regard to truth, as averred in the presence of the heart-searching God. Their laws were not merely put upon public record; they were made familiar to the understandings of the people from

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MORAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ENGLISH.

infancy. And such was the case as to the ancestors of the English, of whom it is written, that " their laws were severe, and vices not laughed at; and good customs were of greater authority with them, than elsewhere were good laws; no temporizing for favour, nor usury for gain." It need not be remarked, with regard to their descendants, that their probity is remarked, and depended upon, all over the world. It may not, of course, have, in every instance, been so complete as is desirable; but still it is distinguished, and has greatly conduced to procure them influence both as individuals and as a nation. It is true, the Jews are represented as not being so strict in their observance of truth, as might he expected from the training they enjoyed. Supposing the accusation to be correct, something must be allowed for the deteriorating circumstances in which, as an oppressed people, they have long been placed whilst their brethren of the house of Israel, have been rather enjoying a kind of supremacy over other people. But even at an early period, the two houses were distinguished by different names, correspondent to their different character; the one being called treacherous Judah, and the other backsliding Israel. -(See Jer. chap, iii.)

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A wayward independent spirit; a stiff-neckedness of disposition; abuse of the tendency to exercise rule; is very much complained of in Scripture, as belonging to Israel; and the same self-esteem and firmness are no less remarkable among many of their English descendants. The independent spirit of the latter, in respect to government, has been such as to procure them, from Defoe, more than a century ago, the following character: "No government could ever please them long,

Could tie their hands, or rectify their tongue; In this to ancient Israel well compared, Eternal murmurs are among them heard."

This murmuring, however, seems in a great measure, to have risen, not merely from their self-will, but also

[LEC. IX.

from that prospectiveness so cultivated in ancient Israel, by the prophets, and by the whole tendency of their institutions. These looked forward, at least, as much as backward; not merely as serving as a chronicle or record of the Lord's past kindness to them; but as indicators of the far greater goodness he would yet bestow. Accustomed to occupy their minds upon future national events, and to form an opinion of what ought to be, they have been the more ready to find fault with the measures of government, these, of course, not always corresponding to then- individual anticipations. They may have been the more induced to take habitually an interest in national concerns, from the fact of its having been continually impressed upon them, that they were dealt with by Providence, not merely as individuals, but as a nation :—that the people were responsible for the conduct of the rulers, as well as the rulers for the conduct of the people. -Their interests were one, and the oversight mutual.

Israel, we have said, were ever taught to look forward: they were ever in a course of instruction,—and a spirit of change was produced in them which has continued down, throughout all their wanderings, to these their remote posterity; in whom a restless spirit of improvement is most remarkable; and, of itself, distinguishes these, the Anglo-Saxon descendants, and their European brethren and American children generally, from all other people. The history of their constitution, their religion, their sciences, their arts, their literature, of all connected with them, is, almost without exception, an exemplification of this most important law of their nature. Every thing is, with them, progressive, and, at the same time, wonderfully continuous. All which is most consistent both with their origin, and the training which, in their fathers, they received; and also, with God's expressed design of making them the instructors of the world.

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LEC. IX.]

THEIR INTELLECTUAL CHARACTERISTICS.

the welfare of others, of strangers as well as of kindred, was especially needful for them to possess, as occupying this important relation to the other branches of the human family: and this important gift was bestowed. They were taught to look to each other's good to contribute systematically to the relief of the poor. When in devotion they looked up to the Most High, they were taught to look compassionately down upon the meanest around them; and, by liberality to the poor and needy, to express their thankfulness to God, the Giver of all good. They were given to see the claims their kindred had upon them; and they were also made to know the heart of a stranger: and so, with regard to the Anglo-Saxons, it is said, that they even received all comers into their houses, and entertained them in the best manner their circumstances would allow. This hospitality was, doubtless abused, when they became intermingled with strangers; and restrictions were necessarily adopted. The modern English, although not so extravagant, are still remarkable for their good will. They are, perhaps, the most genuinely benevolent people on the face of the globe. Their own poor they support systematically; and the poor of other countries they have frequently assisted in the most liberal manner. Not seldom have they a good deal embroiled themselves in the quarrels of their neighbours; as taking a hearty interest in their welfare, and as desirous of putting them to rights. Their benevolence has latterly been most delightfully exercised, in earnest endeavours to benefit the whole human race with the riches of divine truth, which have been so entrusted to their distribution. They have, at the same time, been endeavouring to break every bond, as in the case of the previously enslaved negroes; and they have done much to confer upon the nations the blessings of an enlightened education and a free constitution. Speaking thus, we do not speak of every individual of the English nation; but benevolence, a generous interest in the welfare of

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others, is undoubtedly a national characteristic, no less than the tendencies that dispose, and, in some measure, qualify, for rule.

This is the race who have shown that cultivation of the Reasoning Power which was so carefully bestowed upon Israel; that tendency to look to causes and effects, which is so useful, either as enquiring into the natural laws for the furtherance of Science, or as applying knowledge thus acquired, to the producing useful inventions, for the improvement of the Arts; for the lessening the evils, increasing the comforts, or gratifying the intellectual taste of man; and in no branch of the human family may we find the pleasing and the useful, so agreeably combined. They are well qualified to be the grand producers of good to man, as well as its most liberal distributors. It need scarcely be observed, that the other intellectual qualities that were more particularly cultivated in Israel;—such as the power of measuring distances, or judging of proportions; and also that of drawing analogies and contrasts, of readily judging, and clearly illustrating;—qualities of mind so necessary to a people who were to bear an important relation to man universally, that of instructors, administrators of the manifold wisdom of God: these were, and still are, equally the characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon race, with those we have already pointed out. And, as yet, their natural taste for symmetry, their extreme regard to order, their capacity for enjoying the Double (Job xi. 6.Is. lxi. 7.—Zech. ix. 12,) will receive abundant gratification from that word of God, that bread of life, which they have now, in truth, begun to deal out to others.

The words which the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, are not to be dealt with as if they were mere words. We are earnestly to seek to enjoy them for ourselves; and to deal them out, in all their richness of meaning, unto others."The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth others, shall be watered also himself."

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