« AnteriorContinuar »
upon their escape from the ark, and the perpetual influence of prophecy, remaining among, and exerted by, the heads of the patriarchal tribes for more than three hundred years after the deluge, would have been sufficient to preserve some remembrance of the true God among mankind till the æra of the dispersion. The call of Abraham and his subsequent journey, were wonderful events; but those which I have enumerated were not less wonderful : and were equally capable of compelling astonishment, and preserving the fear of Jehovah among the early postdiluvians. It is not probable therefore that the apostasy was universal; and if so, Mr. Faber's hypothesis is no longer tenable.
6. If we could ascertain who Melchizedek really was, much light would be thrown on this question. Both Witsius and Heidegger discuss the point, but neither of them satisfactorily. Mr. Fab believes him to be an incarnation of the Son of God; but do not think he has proved the position. The general opinion is that he was either Shem, or a son of Peleg, or a patriarchal prince, and priest of the town of Salem. If the latter opinion be correct, the apostasy could not have been universal.
7. Accumulative evidence is not decisive, unless additional arguments are adduced on the controverted questions by the successive authors; or I could mention many who have supported the hypothesis of a double dispersion, before Mr. Bryant: Marsham, Sheringham, Sulpitius Severus, (Heid. Exerc. 21. § 1.) and others, into whose inquiries I have no time to examine. Plerique veteres, (says Heidegger, Exerc. 22. $ 9.) opinati sunt, omnino Noe filiis suis orbem divisisse, antea quam in campum Senaar proficiscerentur, &c.
8. Many authors have asserted that neither Shem, (who died before the dispersion, according to Mr. Faber,) nor his family were engaged in the building of the tower. Among these are Eutychius Alexandrinus, Glycas, quoted by Epiphanius, and Constantine Manasses. (Vide Heid. Exerc. 21.8 5.) If these authorities have any weight, the apostasy was not universal.
9. Mr. Faber contends with great justice that the institution of castes was once universal; and that the institution itself implies conquest. Does not this opinion rather confirm Mr. Bryant's theory, that the Cuthites conquered their brethren and imposed the dominion of the military tribe which very possibly, as Mr. F. asserts, originated at Sbinar?
10. Buddhism seems to have differed very little from Patriarchism, when the innovations gradually commenced. The Jews interpret the expression DW Toys by, let us make an idol or set up a God. The word does not merely signify token, tower, &c. &c. If they are right in this interpretation, and the image of the
great Father was erected at Babel for the first time, we may be certain that this was the origin of Brahmanism; and the idolators intruded alike on the worshippers of the true God, and the speculating Buddhists. But the apostasy could not in that case be universal.
11. Can we suppose it possible that there were no chiefs of the Shemite or Japhetic families to resist the march to Shinar? If we adopt Mr. Bryant's theory, and dispose of these to their respective settlements, no interruption would have been given to the Hamite apostates, and the difficulty vanishes.
12. Though Mr. Faber has collected many arguments on the phrase in Gen. 11.5.“the children of men,” and attempts to prove that the inhabitants of the whole world are meant; I think as the expression in other passages denotes the wicked, in opposition to the good, so it is to be understood in this place. The first verse in that chapter is a separate paragraph. The pronoun they, is to be referred to the suns of men in the 5th verse, as no other nominative is given; the children of men therefore are considered as distinct from the rest of the world, instead of including them. The words may be thus paraphrased.
V. 1. One language was common to all the descendants of Noah, who had retired to their several settlements.
2. And it came to pass, as those who had openly abandoned the worship of Jehovali journeyed from the East; to which they had been directed by the command of God, but which they left to intrude upon their brethren; that they came to the plain of Shinar, following the course of the Euphrates. (Vide Faber, and the criticism in the note on the origin of the name Euphrates.)
Then follows the narrative of the confusion of tongues; and it is very possible that the several languages and dialects which commenced at Shinar, would supersede the original language, in every part of the world; leaving only the radicals, which in all countries are the same. If this interpretation of the expression, “ the children of men,” be correct, Mr. Bryant's hypothesis is more entitled to our favorable reception than Mr. Faber's.
13. An objection is raised to Mr. Bryant's theory from the circumstance of Abraham's successful resistance to Chedorlaomer. It is argued that the Cuthites could not have been so powerful if Abraham with only 318 men could have conquered a victorious army. I should answer this difficulty by suggesting, that it is very possible Abraham was miraculously enabled to conquer the five kings; to prove the superiority of the power of Jehovah above the idols, so lately set up in Chaldea.
14. Tradition is not to be depended upon, unless it is supported by other authority. I shall not therefore insist on the tradition men
tioned by Epiphanius, that the earth was divided by lot among the sons of Noah; βαλόντα τους κλήρους εν Ρινοκορούροις: the existence of such a tradition proves that Mr. Faber's opinion was not universally that of antiquity : Mr. Bryant has some curious remarks
passage. 15. The last objection I shall mention to Mr. Faber's hypothesis is derived from the similarity between the Patriarchal, the Levitical, and the Egyptian modes of worship. Mr. Faber has most satisfactorily proved that it was not probable one nation would borrrow its religion from another. Neither the Jews, as many have suggested, are likely to have borrowed from the Egyptians, nor the Egyptians from the Jews, whom they hated and despised. Witsius in his Egyptiaca has shown the singular resemblance which existed between the Egyptian and Jewish ceremonies. It seems probable from his account, that the Levitical dispensation was a revival only of the Patriarchal, but with new laws, suited to the object of their Divine Lawgiver, and the existing circumstances of the chosen people. If the Egyptians therefore derived their religion from the common source of revelation, which appears likely from its similarity to Judaism, they must have derived it when it was in a state of purity, and not when it was already corrupted: that is, the ancient Misraim, who were favorable to the Jews, who treated with Abraham and Isaac, when Abimelek was their king, who received Jacob and his family with kindness, and submitted to the government of Joseph, preserved the ancient Patriarchal religion for many ages in its purity, and 'had most probably, if Bryant's theory be correct, occupied the territory originally assigned them. This happy state of things was altered by the Hucsos, the Palli, or Shepherd-kings, who introduced the idolatry from Shinar. We have no evidence that the worship of the Bull was introduced into Egypt in the days of Joseph; if the original religion of the Misraim had been altered, it must have merely been an incipient Buddhism : but at the time of the Exodus, the murrain, which affected the cattle, is ably represented by Mr. Bryant, in his treatise on the Plagues of Egypt, to be a severe punishment on the nation for their worship of the Bull. During the interval between the death of Joseph and the legation of Moses, a new king arose who knew not Joseph ; the Shepherd-kings bad resumed their dominion, though they had been formerly expelled, and introduced Brahmanism, and most probably built the pyramids to confirm ant perpetuate their dominion.
Such are some of the objections to Mr. Faber's hypothesis : the conclusions to which I have myself come, after a careful perusal of the works of the great authors in question, and many
of those quoted or referred to by Faber and Bryant, appear to me likely to reconcile their contending theories.
Every reasonable hypothesis, says Mr. Faber, quoting from Warburton, should be founded on a fact. No observation can be more just. But the fact must be well ascertained, and, if possible, indisputable. Mr. Faber's extensive and beautifully supported theory is founded on the assumption, that all mankind were united in one spot, the plain of Shinar. Mr. Bryant's theory in reality is founded on the same fact, that all mankind were originally assembled in one place, but that place he supposes to have been Nachshevan. Both authors agree in believing the same circumstance, differing only as to the place. If we adopt Mr. Bryant's theory, that mankind continued near the mountain where the ark rested, until their increasing numbers compelled emigration : and if on this foundation we build Mr. Faber's hypothesis, that Buddhism preceded Brahmanism, that Buddhism was probably the first deviation from Patriarchism, that the institution of castes was coeval with the total apostasy at Shinar, originating among, and supported by the sword and influence of the Cuthites; if we believe both as Mr. Faber and Mr. Bryant agree, that fierce and cruel wars took place at the time of the dispersion from Shinar, and that all the colonies of mankind, whether they proceeded from the one, or the other controverted central station, took with them memorials of the deluge, and emblems of the ark, which were perverted in after times to superstitious uses, together with all the elements of their future idolatrous worship; we shall then have a connected and intelligible hypothesis : Mr. Faber's system will be deducible from Mr. Bryant's premises, both authors will be reconciled, and by far the greater part of the difficulties, which perplex the unbiassed pursuit of information, immediately vanish.
G. T. R, M. College, Sandhurst.
PROFESSORS HERMANN AND BOTTIGER,
IN COMMEMORATION OF THE
KING OF SAXONY'S JUBILEE,
The Jubilee of the King of Saxony, on which he completed the fiftieth year of his reign, was, last September, celebrated with extraordinary enthusiasm by all his subjects, to whom the aged and revered monarch has become still more endeared from the fortitude and resignation with which he bears his misfortunes. The festivities were particularly grand and impressive in the two cities of Dresden and Leipzig, where, among many other foreigners, at least a hundred Englishmen witnessed them. Upwards of two hundred poems, in various dialects, were composed on the occasion, and several in the Latin language. Of the latter, two attracted more than usual notice : one from the pen of the celebrated Professor Hermann, which was presented to the King by four deputies from the University of Leipzig ; and the other, composed by that eminent antiquarian, Professor Bottiger of Dresden, which, being written on the model of Horace's Carmen Seculare, was set to music by Morlachi, first composer to the King, and performed in one of the churches of Dresden, by a numerous orchestra, and in the presence of the royal family. We have been induced both by the merit of the two poems, and the fame of their authors, to admit them into our publication. It will be observed, that Hermann, in some very spirited and pointed passages,
alludes to the nsruel, unprincipled, and unjustifiable dismemberment of that once happy country, or rather the robbery of its better half from his sovereign. The coincidence of these masterly passages with the popular feeling, we are assured by a correspondent, produced so extraordinary a sensation among the