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ETHNIC TESTIMONIES TO THE PENTATEUCH
By the Rev. J. H. Titcomb, M.A., M.V.I.
(Journal of 1872-73 -- pages 233 to 270)
1. IN order that I may encumber this Paper with as little preface as possible, I shall at once commence by stating the principle upon which it will be constructed.
2. (i.) Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the facts recorded by Moses in the first eleven chapters of Genesis are true, it is obvious that certain recollections and traditions of them must have been carried about by all the tribes which were dispersed from Babel. Now, as the latest deductions of comparative philology declare the Turanian family of nations to exhibit most of the elements of that primeval form of speech out of which, at some very early period, the Hamitic the Semitic, and Aryan tongues were gradually evolved,* I shall begin by stating certain traditional recollections of the Mosaic narrative which have been preserved in the Turanian group.
3. (ii.) For the sake of adhering as much as possible to an orderly and scientific course, I shall next take the Hamitic family of nations, and chiefly that of Egypt; in which family we may expect to find evidence, not only of the earlier facts recorded by Moses, but of those also which relate to the residence of Israel in Egypt.
4. (iii.) Our next line of investigation will be that of the Semitic family of nations; which will bring us to the Assyrians and Phoenicians.
5. (iv.) Our last field of inquiry will be the Aryan family of nations; which will first carry us to India, and afterwards to Greece and Scandinavia.
6. By this method I think we shall fairly cover the whole area of ethnic testimony to the Pentateuch. Let us see what such a field of investigation produces.
7. Commencing, then, with the turanian nations, and assuming that some of the first waves of human life during the progressive dispersion of mankind must have flowed in that channel across Central Asia to China, and so onward, under modified forms, through the islands of the Pacific to the New World, I will first take you to
I. The Nations of America.
8. When the Spaniards discovered Mexico, we are told that they amused themselves by endeavouring to trace all sorts of fanciful proofs of a traditional connection between the inhabitants of that country and those of the Old World, and especially of their connection with the Scripture records. Many of these were ridiculous. Some, however, are too striking and important to be overlooked.
9. They found (e.g.) in the midst of the Mexican Pantheon, a goddess whom the Aztecs venerated with the greatest devotion, and whose personal identity with the Mosaic Eve seems beyond dispute. This goddess was described as " the first brought forth," who " bequeathed the sufferings of childbirth to women,'' and " by whom sin came into the world." Moreover, she was usually represented with a serpent near her; and her very name (Cioactl) signified "serpent woman." * Humboldt, too, in his Researches, describes an Aztec hieroglyphic painting of this goddess still preserved in the Vatican, which represents her in actual conversation with a serpent; that serpent, moreover, being drawn erect, as if in its state before the curse.†
10. This recollection of the Fall of man seems to have been universally stamped upon the human mind. It meets us everywhere. So does the recollection of Noah's Deluge. I am quite aware of the possibility of the occurrence of great local inundations. Sir Charles Lyell gives accounts of such,‡ and shows how frequent they are in countries subject to the incursions of great earthquake waves. Recollections of these local floods, however, by no means invalidate that older tradition of a more general deluge of which I am going to speak,-- a tradition which is based upon minute details so exactly corresponding with those presented to us in the first part of the Pentateuch, that it is next to impossible not to identify it with them. For example, on the discovery of the island of Cuba, when the natives were questioned as to their origin, they replied, among other things, that they had heard from their ancestors how " an old man having foreseen a deluge with which God designed to chastise the sins of men, built a large canoe and embarked in it with his family and many animals ; that when the floods ceased he sent out a raven which, because it found food suited to its nature, never returned; that then he sent out a pigeon, which soon returned bearing the branch of the hoba tree; and that when the old man saw the earth dry he disembarked." * The ancient Peruvians related a somewhat similar story to the Spaniards. They said that it had "once rained so violently as to deluge all the lower parts of the country, in consequence of which an universal destruction of human life took place, seven persons only excepted, who escaped into caves on the tops of mountains. Into these elevated retirements they had conveyed a stock of provisions and a number of living animals. As soon as the rain ceased they sent out two dogs which returned to them smeared with mud and slime. Hence they concluded that the flood had not yet subsided. After a certain interval, they sent out more dogs, which coming back, convinced them that the earth was now habitable. Upon this they left the places into which they had retired, and became the progenitors of the present race of men."† Many other very similar recollections of a general deluge have been found among the various tribes of North and South America. But of all these the most satisfactory is that which belonged to the ancient Aztecs of Mexico. When America was discovered, this people were found in possession of a method of picture-writing somewhat analogous to the manner of Egyptian hieroglyphics. In this rude state of civilization they were enabled to keep up records of their past history, and preserve their mythological creed with tolerable accuracy. Thus the recollection of a deluge, which in its main points is unmistakably that of Noah's, was visibly presented in books made of the buffalo and deer skin. This painting represented a man (Coxcox) and his wife, on a raft, which rested at the foot of a mountain. A dove, too, from the top of a tree was distributing languages to the men born after the deluge, because they were dumb.‡ Humboldt says that of the different nations which inhabited Mexico five had paintings representing this deluge of Coxcox; the tradition being that " Coxcox embarked in a spacious canoe with his wife and children, several animals and grain. When the great spirit ordered the waters to withdraw, Coxcox sent out a vulture. This bird did not return, on account of the carcases with which the earth was strewed. He then sent out other birds, one of which, the humming-bird, alone returned, holding in its beak a branch with leaves. Then, seeing that fresh verdure covered the soil, he quitted the bark near the mountain of Colluacan."*
11. Regarding these traditions as anterior to the contact of modern civilization with the native American race, I venture to adduce them as a reasonable testimony, however distorted in some respects, to the main outline of history recorded by the pen of Moses. I am aware that doubts have been thrown upon their authenticity, as being inventions of the Spanish priests. Humboldt, however, no mean authority, having fully examined the question, and credited their aboriginal character, I offer no apology here for presenting them as part of my present argument.
12. Whether the following is equally trustworthy, it is, perhaps, impossible to say. A Spanish Dominican priest, at any rate, affirms that he committed it to writing from the natives of Mexico, in 1566 ; and it is certainly by no means an impossible recollection of the ancient Asiatic record imported from the plains of Babel. "Before the great inundation, the country of Anahuac was inhabited by giants. All those who did not perish were transformed to fishes, except seven, who fled into a cavern. When the waters subsided, one of the giants, Xelhua, went to Cholula, where, as a memorial of the mountain which had served for an asylum, he built an artificial hill in the form of a pyramid. The gods beheld with wrath this edifice, the top of which was to reach the clouds. They hurled fire upon it. Numbers of the workmen perished; the work was discontinued, and the monument was afterwards dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the god of the air."† It is worthy of notice, also, that this pyramid of Cholula was constructed in the direction of the four cardinal points, and is still called " the mountain of unbaked bricks." ‡ Much might be said also of the more modern tribes--of the unfortunate Mandans, for instance, who celebrated an annual festival in honour of the deluge, when they used to assemble round a large canoe, one man dramatically running from the mountains, and personating the last man of the old world ;§ and of the Cree Indians and others, who believe that the great spirit created man from clay. But time forbidding us to linger any longer in America, our proper course would now be to sail through
(2.) The Islands of Polynesia.
13. As the inexorable laws of space forbid my entering into details, I only observe that with relation to the Pall of man, Marsden, the great New Zealand missionary, found a tradition in those islands that the serpent once spoke with a human voice,* and that, with regard to the Deluge of Noah, the Fiji Islanders preserve a recollection of eight saved persons, † while the inhabitants of the Leeward Islands chronicle a rescue of two people in the midst of universal destruction, who afterwards became the progenitors of the present inhabitants of the world. ‡ An interesting chapter of thought might easily be written under this section of the subject. But we must pass on to
(3.) The Countries of Mongolia Proper.
14. From evidence furnished us by Chevalier Ramsay on the Mythology of the Pagans,§ we learn that the ancient Chinese cosmogony taught the existence of a state in which " pure pleasure and perfect tranquillity reigned everywhere. There was neither labour, nor pain, nor sorrow. The heart rejoiced in truth; and there was no mixture of falsehood." Afterwards there came a dreadful convulsion of nature, in which " the pillars of heaven were broken. The earth shook to its foundations, and fell to pieces; and the waters inclosed within its bosom burst forth with violence, and overflowed it. The sun was eclipsed, the planets altered their courses, and the grand harmony of nature was disturbed." Moreover, " all these evils," says the Book Liki, " arose from man's despising the supreme monarch of the universe. He would needs dispute about truth and falsehood; and these disputes banished the eternal reason."
15. Martinius,|| too, in his History of China, relates of Fo-hi, the first emperor, that, according to ancient tradition, he was produced supernaturally from a rainbow. He is alsosaid to have bred seven sorts of animals for sacrifice; and to have come from the western districts of the empire, where he appeared immediately after that convulsion of the earth just described, and where he is attended by seven companions, his wife, and his three sons and daughters, by whose intermarriage the whole circle of the earth was completed.*
16. It is almost impossible to read these statements without referring them to dim and distorted recollections of the Fall of man and paradise, of Noah and the Deluge. As to the latter, there is an additional item of most singular ethnic evidence, in the hieroglyphical or picture character by which, from time immemorial, the Chinese have expressed the word "ship." Bryant † first brought the circumstance before me ; but I have since tested it for myself, and found it perfectly correct. The fact is this. The sign for a large ship is composed of three separate picture characters, all grouped together into one; viz. a boat, a mouth, and the number eight; which if read as a sentence would mean, " eight persons in a boat." How it came to pass that the elementary idea of a large first-class vessel should have been thus anciently connected with eight persons in a boat, I cannot say; but, as a matter of subsidiary, and an increase of cumulative evidence, it is certainly not unreasonable to refer it to a traditionary remembrance of the time of Noah.
17. Passing away from China, we find little which throws further light on this subject. Among the Mantshu Tartars there is a mythological story to the effect that they had originally sprung from a woman, who, having come down from heaven, had been detained on earth by eating beautiful fruits ; ‡ --a story which may not be without some bearing on a traditional remembrance of the Fall. Among the Mongols proper I read of the sacrifices of rams, sheep, and lambs a year old; while, in their prayers and songs of invocation, the " life " so offered is called " a compensation," and the " body" is described as " a gift." § Among the same people, there is also an old mythological story of the first man and woman who made the rest of the human race out of paper; which race, while they slept, were all maimed and defiled by the Evil Spirit. ||
18. I am fully aware that testimonies like these, taken singly, are very loose and vague. They are, nevertheless, of great interest and value, when grouped together into cumulative evidence; and, were they pursued by a more painstaking and exhaustive research into the nations of Central and Northern Asia, and of Lapland, they would be still more satisfactory. Let us turn now to
II. The Hamitic Nations.
19. Of which group, as the ancient Egyptian is the most important, I propose chiefly to confine my remarks to it.
(1.) Ancient Egypt,
20. Studying the maps of Asia and Africa, it is obvious that the earliest migrations of mankind into the latter country must, by the teaching of Genesis, have taken a south-western course. Accordingly we should expect the first settlers in Egypt to arrive from the north, and then proceed southward; and we should be obliged to allow the enemies of the Bible some just cause for triumph, if they could show that the oldest existing monuments lay along an opposite line. But the very reverse of this is the case. The northern part of Egypt, with the pyramids of Memphis, represents the empire of Menes and the earliest kings; while central Egypt chiefly represents the remaining period of the old empire; Thebes, with the country southward, displays evidence of the more splendid dynasties coeval with Moses and the Israelites; and Nubia, the latest dynasties of all. Thus departed Egypt, so far as she can speak of her silent remains, bears the strongest testimony to the truth of the Pentateuch in relation to the dispersion of mankind.
21. Light, too, is thrown by the Egyptian monuments upon certain important names which appear in the early part of Genesis. Thus Khem, or Chemi, signifying the land of Egypt, is obviously the same as Ham; Seb, one of the greater gods, may naturally be identical with Seba, one of the sons of Cush (Gen. x. 7); Kheta, a people over whom Sethos is painted as triumphing, on one of the monuments of Karnak, were doubtless the sons of Heth (Gen. x. 15); and the Caphtorim, named also at Karnak among the nations which Thothmes III. subdued, were undoubtedly the people whom Moses described by that name in Gen. x. 14 and Deut. ii. 23. Among other illustrations which might be adduced, I select the title which was bestowed upon the chief priest of the Egyptian temples, i.e. Sem ;* bearing testimony to a traditional remembrance of Shem, who, as the eldest son of Noah, was, on patriarchal principles, high priest over his brethren after his father's death. Speaking of Noah, it is worthy of remark also, that some of the hieroglyphic inscriptions represent the " god of water," under the name of Noh, or No. This was the deity who presided over the annual overflow of the Nile; a title which plainly relates to some traditional recollection of Noah presiding triumphantly over the Flood. I think it impossible to review these strong affinities between old Egyptian names, and some of the earliest and most important names of the Bible, without admitting the value of their testimony.†
22. If this kind of testimony, however, be thought insufficient, and an examination of the tombs and monuments, in relation to the manners and customs of Egypt, be considered more to the point, we have only to set ourselves to the task, in order to become equally convinced of the truly historical character of the Pentateuch. I mean to say there are paintings found on these monuments which no less verify the statements of Moses. For example, does the Egyptian Ishmael become " an archer," when thrown upon his own resources in the desert? The monuments show that archery was everywhere common in Egypt. Did Hagar live as a bondwoman with Abraham, after his visit to Egypt? What wonder? The monuments portray domestic slavery as everywhere practised in that nation. Was Joseph sold to Arabian merchants on their way to Egypt? The monuments depict such Arabian merchants as in the habit of bringing balsam and myrrh to Egypt for embalming the dead. Were the Israelites persecuted in brickmaking? There is one monument which exhibits a number of slaves in the act of making bricks under cruel taskmasters. To pursue these monumental confirmations of the Pentateuch, however, would be too long and tedious for the present paper, which aims rather at being comprehensive than exhaustive. Nor is it needful after the valuable facts brought out in the discussion on Mr. Saville's paper in an earlier period of this session, when we heard that the Anastasian papyri exhibited written testimony to the historical names of " Jannes and Jambres," of " Balak, the son of Zippor," and of " Phinehas." And yet I cannot leave this part of the subject without touching on one more point; I mean the evident traditionary recollections of Paradise which are exhibited in some of the Egyptian monuments. I refer you, for example, to the 52nd plate in Denon's first work on Egypt, in which a snake is drawn with the branch of a tree springing from its back, and having two human heads. Also to a painting in the temple of Osiris at Philæ, where a man and woman are standing by a tree, from which one has plucked, some fruit and given it to the other, while a serpent stands erect by their side. I do not, of course, mean to say that such emblematic devices could not have been invented by the Egyptians apart from any remembrance of the primeval event recorded in the Pentateuch by Moses. Nevertheless the coincidence is most remarkable. The combination of a tree, or the foliage of a tree, with a serpent in an erect position, and a man and woman, are all singularly suggestive; and convey, I think, to any candid mind, some antecedent probability of their having been derived from a tradition of the old story of Eden.
23. I shall close this part of my subject with a brief notice of a passage in Egyptian history which, in the judgment of Lepsius (as, indeed, of all candid thinkers) bears unmistakable evidence of identity with the Hebrew exodus. I allude to the expulsion of the lepers. This is made the more remarkable by the chronology which Lepsius adopts, and by which he shows that the expulsion happened in the reign of Me-neptheh, or Amenophis II., the very king under whom the exodus took place ! The account is given by Manetho, of which the salient points are as follows :--
" Amenophis, having determined to expel from Egypt a large number of lepers, first set them to work in the stone quarries on the east of the Nile, for the purpose of separating them from the rest of the people ; after having made them suffer in which, he removed them to a deserted town, named Abaris. Here they were led into revolt by one named Osarsiph, who established, as their first law, that they should worship none of the Egyptian gods, and that they might eat and sacrifice animals which were deemed most sacred by the Egyptians. The leader of this revolt afterwards changed his name, and was called Moses, to whom Amenophis gave battle, pursuing them to the borders of Syria."*
24. Lepsius shows, † I think, most fully, the various reasons which justify us in considering this account to be none other than that of Israel's exodus from Egypt, commenting chiefly upon two things; first, that these persecuted and expelled people differed in religious faith from the Egyptians; and, secondly, that, as charged with the plague of leprosy, there is much which corroborates the testimony of the Pentateuch to the prevalence of that disease among the Jews, after they had left Egypt and gone into the wilderness of Sinai. (See such passages as Ex. iv. 6; ix. 3, 9; Levit. xiv.; Numb. xii. 10.) Manetho, it must be remembered, is an Egyptian witness, and may, therefore, be fairly included as part of our ethnic testimony under this division of the subject.
25. There remains another field of inquiry upon which I have only time to speak slightly. I refer to the archaic stock of Chaldæans, Canaanites, and Elamites, of whom I must now say a few brief words in order.
(2.) Chaldæa, before Abraham.
26. Until lately the whole Chaldæan empire was considered so essentially Semitic, that it almost appeared impossible to reconcile it with the fact of its origination by the Hamitic family, as related in Gen. x. 8. Yet it is now shown, by the lately discovered cuneiform inscriptions, that the earliest inhabitants of Babylon spoke some sort of Hamitic tongue, which was not only allied to the ancient Egyptian, but even to the language still found in Africa among the Galla tribes. For example, in the excavations conducted by Mr. Loftus, at Mugheir, many bricks have been exhumed bearing the name of a king whose title is everywhere read, " king of Ur, and king of Accad," thus confirming Moses in two distinct points of topography (Gen. x. 10). Moreover, one of these bricks was discovered, having stamped upon it the words--"The signet of Urukh king of Ur," and that in language essentially Hamitic rather than Semitic.
27. I respectfully submit that these observations offer an important ethnic testimony to the historical value of the writings of Moses. Much more might be added in the direction of verified topography, as (e. g.) the appearance of the names "Erech" and "Calneh" (Gen. x. 10), but space forbids.
(3.) Canaan, before Abraham.
28. There is exactly a similar difficulty in relation to this country; for at the earliest dawn of history the Canaanites are essentially Semitic. Yet Moses, in Gen. x. 6, gives them an Hamitic origin; and, in the absence of all monuments and historical records, we seem to be without the slightest means of accounting for this apparent discrepancy. One thing, however, indirectly bears witness to the Mosaic account, viz., the now generally conceded truth of Semitism having been a gradual philological development from the older forms of the Turanian and Hamitic tongues.* Assuming that, in the confusion of tongues at Babel, certain germinal vocabular differences of four great parent stocks of language were first evolved, and that out of these -- the Turanian being the primal fount -- the Hamitic was first most rapidly crystallized, and that the Semitic and Aryan branches took a longer time for more completed evolution, we should then be in a position to understand how some of the Hamitic family might not only have gone forth from the dispersion of Babel into Canaan before the appearance of any grammatical Semitism, but afterwards have assisted themselves to evolve and establish it, even anterior to Abraham's arrival among them.
(4.) Ancient Susiana, or Elam, before Abraham.
29. There is a similar difficulty also in relation to this country. For, whereas Moses, in Gen. x. 22, derives Elam from Shem, the language spoken by the Elamites in the days of Abraham indicated a Scythico-Hamitic origin. It is true that, some centuries later, as every student of history knows, these ethnic elements disappeared under the Aryan conquests from Persia proper ; but at the period of which I have just spoken, there can be no doubt, from the monuments of Susa, that the language spoken in Elam was Hamitic. † It will be remembered that Chedorlaomer (Gen. xiv.), whom Sir H. Rawlinson has identified with Kudu-Mapula, " the ravager of Syria," was king of Elam ; beside which, the name Tirkhak occurs on the Susa records, a name identical with Tirhakah, king of Ethiopia (spoken of in 2 Kings xix. 9), and therefore Hamitic.
30. It would be perplexing to account for this apparent discrepancy, were it not for the now recognized fact that the Hamitic speech was most closely allied to the original Turanian or Scythic, and that its evolution was made with comparative quickness, while it required a longer time for the evolution of Semitic. That Semitism should, therefore, have crystallized itself in Canaan on Abraham's arrival there, and at the same time that Hamitism should have been retained in Elam, presents us, in reality, with no contradiction.
31. I might take you also among the modern Hamitic races--to Congo, to Dahomey, and to other parts of Africa, where (as far as the argument drawn from serpent deification is concerned) much might be produced of an interesting character. But I am not disposed to lay so much stress on this point as many persons do, excepting only those pictorial traditions which I have noted in sections 9, 22, 37, 38, 46, and 47; consequently I now pass on to
III. The Semitic Nations.
(1.) Pre-Assyrian Chaldæa.
32. Berosus, a native of Babylon, whose works are unfortunately lost, save a few small fragments preserved in Eusebius, wrote an elaborate history of Chaldæa from its earliest times, chronicling the most primitive records of his country. Now, it is a very singular fact that, in apparent contradiction to all other historical testimony, this writer introduces a Median dynasty of kings, who ruled for 224 years as conquerors of Chaldæa, ending b.c. 2234.* The circumstance of this early mention of the Medes, however (when usually they are not introduced into history till b.c. 647), furnishes us with a most remarkable ethnic testimony to the truth of Gen. x. 2, where Madai (the word used elsewhere for the Medes) is expressly named in the very earliest period after the Flood, and may therefore naturally have represented a primeval Median people.†
33. It was at this period, viz. b.c. 2234, that Berosus represented the first Chaldæan kingdom to be really established; and although, as I have already remarked, the Hamitic element was then to be found in it, yet it would be a mistake to divorce the Semitic element from it. Indeed, there is strong ground for supposing that this kingdom was, at a very early period, composed of a mixed people, representing the four constituent elements of human speech, viz., the Scythic or Turanian, the Hamitic, Semitic, and Aryan, about the gradual evolution of which I have already spoken. For, " the early kings," says Rawlinson, " are continually represented on the monuments as sovereigns over the 'four tongues;' whence we may conclude that the people were distinguished from one another by a variety in their forms of speech." ‡ Does not this throw light upon the league of the four kings described in Gen. xiv., who united, in Abraham's time, to make war with the kings of Canaan?
34. Be that as it may, the Semitic elements of ancient Chaldæa are very obvious. Indeed, Babel itself, the very name of the capital, is Semitic, signifying " the gate of God." For as in Hebrew, El is the well-known root of Elohim, and of the Arabic Allah, so Il, or Ilus, is the emphatic Babylonian name for God.
35. Let us, then, take our ethnic testimony, gathered out of early Semitism, in favour of the Mosaic narrative. Who that is accustomed to trace analogies and sift evidence, can fail to acknowledge this in the primitive tradition of the Flood of Xisithrus--a tradition which even Baron Bunsen, with all his unsparing criticism, allowed to be common with that of the Hebrews. * I will not occupy my precious space by relating this story; but will simply sum up its main points of harmony with the Mosaic account, by quoting the words of Professor Rawlinson. This writer reminds us that the Babylonians were acquainted, not merely with the main facts of Noah's deluge, but even with its minutest points. "They know," says he, "of the Divine warning to a single man (Gen. vi. 13), the direction to construct a huge ship (vv. 14-16), the command to take into it a chosen few of mankind only (v. 18), and to devote the chief space to winged fowl and four-footed beasts (v. 20). They are aware of the tentative sending out of birds from it (Gen. viii. 7), and of their returning twice (vv. 9-11), but when sent out a third time returning no more (v. 12). They knew of the egress from the ark by removal of some of its covering (v. 13), and of the altar built and sacrifice offered immediately afterwards (v. 20). They knew that the ark rested in Armenia (v. 8), that those who escaped, or their descendants, journeyed towards Babylon (xi. 2), and that there a town was begun, but not completed, the building being stopped by Divine interposition, and a confusion of tongues " (vv. 4--9).
36. Speaking of Xisithrus, who is thus shown plainly to have been the Chaldæan Noah, it is remarkable also, that whereas Holy Scripture gives ten generations from Adam to Noah, Berosus makes exactly the same statement in reference to the antediluvian condition of Chaldæa, i. e. from Alorus to Xisithrus. The names are, of course, very different, and the recollection of them is localized; yet is it not wonderful that the proper number of links should have been exactly preserved?
37. Discoveries recently made among slabs, bricks, cylinders, and clay tablets belonging to the ruined cities of Upper and Lower Mesopotamia, have had the effect of so strongly confirming Scripture as almost to create a new science, viz., biblical archaeology. It was not to be expected that many of these discoveries would bear upon facts so early as those contained in the Pentateuch. Such, however, as do so, afford the greatest witness to it, and this is all we can expect. When the book of Genesis, for example, says that Asshur, the son of Shem, " went forth and built Nineveh and Calah" (x. 11), we should naturally expect two things--first, to find Asshur, the founder of those ancient cities, deified in the national Pantheon; and, secondly, that both those cities would be distinct seats of empire at different periods of the national history. Well, such is exactly the case. Asshur, "the great God," stands everywhere at the head of Assyrian polytheism. He is sometimes called " Father of the Gods." He is always put first in invocations, and is regarded in all the inscriptions as the tutelary deity of the kings. In like manner, we find the monuments not only speaking of Nineveh and Calah separately, but Calah is evidently for a long time the capital, while Nineveh is only mentioned as a provincial town.*
38. In the Assyrian Pantheon we find also another god named Héa, the presiding deity of " the great deep," and the source of " knowledge and science." There is no means at present of determining the precise meaning of the cuneiform Héa, says Rawlinson; but "it may reasonably be supposed to be connected with the Arabic Hiya, which equally signifies ' life,' and 'a serpent'; for Héa is not only the god of ' knowledge,' but also of ' life '; and there are very strong grounds for connecting him with the serpent of Scripture, and the paradisaical tradition of the tree of knowledge and tree of life."† A further proof of this is given in Fergusson's History of Tree and Serpent Worship, ‡ where we have a Babylonian cylinder presented to us, on which there is the portrait of a man and woman seated on each side of a fruit-tree, both in the act of plucking the fruit; while, behind the woman, and with its head close to the woman's ear, stands a serpent on its tail.
(3.) Phśnician Settlements.
39. Without asking whether there was any identity between ancient Canaan and Phśnicia proper, we cannot omit to notice that there were various Phoenician settlements along the Mediterranean Sea. Of these, the isle of Cyprus was one. It is mentioned in Scripture under the name of Kittim,* the historical accuracy of which is preserved in Citium, the principal ancient city of that island. It is true that Chittim is first mentioned in Gen. x. 4, as a people descended from Japhet; but this no doubt speaks of the aboriginal race, and in no way disproves their subsequent displacement by Semitic colonization. A similar remark applies to the island of Rhodes; the inhabitants of which seem referred to by Moses in the same verse, where the margin reads Rodanim. And, again, to the Libyans, who may aboriginally be identified with the Lehabim in Gen. x. 13.
40. Every one has heard of the Tyrian or Phśnician purple dye, prepared from the shell of the murex. Does not this throw light on Deut. xxxiii. 19,--" Of the treasures hid in the sand shall they suck "?
41. Again, the only Phoenician writer, even the barest fragment of whose remains are extant, is Sanchoniathon, according to whom we have an interesting testimony to the Mosaic cosmogony. He tells us that the beginning of all things was a gloomy air and thick dark chaos existing without ages (comp. Gen. i. 1, 2). The beginning of the creation of all things was the agitation of this air, which produced a watery, muddy mixture (comp. Gen. i. 1-3). From this shone forth the sun, moon, planets, and stars; and the air being illuminated, and the earth and sea violently heated, clouds and winds arose. Hence storms of thunder and lightning, at the sound of which intelligent creatures awoke and moved by land and sea. And lastly two mortals were formed, the progenitors of all mankind.† The similarity between this and the Mosaic cosmogony cannot be overlooked. Again, this writer states that the Supreme God of the Phśnicians was Eliun, which is the very name Moses gives in Genesis (xiv. 18) as that by which Melchisedec served Jehovah. This testimony is very remarkable.
We must now turn to the last section of our subject, viz.--
IV. The Aryan Nations.
42. These nations having had their ethnological centre in the East, around the banks of the river Indus, I begin with--
43. Nothing is clearer, in the study of this portion of Aryan ethnology, than that the farther we recede, chronologically, the purer and more monotheistic becomes its religious faith. How striking, for example, is the following extract from one of the most ancient of its sacred books, the Geeta, written at least b.c. 2000, when put in contrast with the later forms of Brah-minism. It is an invocation to the Supreme Deity :--" Thou, 0 mighty Being, greater than Brahma, art the prime Creator, eternal God of Gods, Thou art the Incorruptible, distinct from all things transient. Thou art before all gods. By Thee, O infinite Form, the universe was spread abroad." Is it not a presumable inference that notions such as these were carried away eastward by some of the first descendants of the Noachic family, and cherished in all their freshness for a few centuries by the earliest settlers? At all events, does not an ancient monotheistic creed such as this witness to the monotheism of the Pentateuch, with which it was certainly coeval?
44. If this be true, we should expect to find from the same source some form of mythological or traditional representation of the destruction of mankind by a deluge. Nor are we disappointed. For in what is called the Bhagvat Geeta we read of the incarnation of Vishnu, in which the god is described as saying--"As often as there is a decline of virtue, and an insurrection of vice in the world, I make myself evident. And thus I appear from age to age for the preservation of the just, the destruction of the wicked, and the establishment of virtue." These books describe several such incarnations. One of them, the Matsya Axatar, translated by the late Sir William Jones in his Asiatic Researches, is so singularly confirmatory of the Deluge of Noah, that it almost seems impossible, with anything like candour, to refuse belief in their identity. It begins by stating that there was once a " general destruction occasioned by the sleep of Brahma, by which his creatures were drowned in a vast ocean." It arose from the circumstance of Hayagriva, a strong demon, stealing the sacred Vedas ; on the discovery of which Vishnu assumed the shape of a fish. It then goes on to say that, " A holy king, Satyau-rata, then reigned. As this pious king was making a libation, Vishnu, under the form of this fish, appeared to him, gradually assuming a larger -bulk. When Satyaurata beheld this he addressed the deity in a sublime prayer, who, out of purecompassion to him, intending to preserve him from the sea of destruction caused by the depravity of the age, answered,--'In seven days the three worlds will be plunged in an ocean of death; but in the midst of the waves a large vessel, sent by me for thy use, shall stand before thee. Then shalt thou take all medicinal herbs and a variety of seeds, and, accompanied by seven saints, encircled by pairs of all brute animals, thou shalt enter the vessel, and continue in it secure.' He spake and vanished. Satyaurata waited the awful event; and while he was performing grateful sacrifices the sea deluged the earth, augmented by showers from immense clouds. Alarmed at the violence of the waves the pious king invoked assistance, when the god again appeared in the form of a fish, now of blazing gold, extending a million of leagues, with one stupendous horn, on to which the king fastened the ship with a cable made of a serpent."*
45. Comment upon this is superfluous. The italics are surely enough to exhibit its identity with the account given in the Pentateuch.
46. The mention of the word serpent in the preceding story, reminds me of a tradition of the Brahmins respecting Krishna, who defeated Kalli Naga, the serpent with a thousand heads, after he had poisoned the river Jumna, tearing off his heads one after another and trampling them under his feet, after which the poisoned waters became pure.† This Krishna was vulnerable only in the sole of his foot. ‡ Nay, there are actually two sculptures of this god which approach to an exact verification of Gen. iii. 15; one of Krishna suffering, in which he is represented as enfolded by an enormous serpent biting his heel; the other of Krishna triumphant, in which he is represented as trampling on the serpent's head.§ Can any analogies be more striking than these?
47. Sir William Jones, in his preface to the Institutes of Menu, which he assigns to b.c. 1280, tells us that, in the first chapter of that work, the Deity is represented as first creating waters, called nara, because they were the product of Nara, or the spirit of God; and that because they were His first ayana, or place of motion, He is called Narayana, or " moving on the waters." The same author, together with Lieut. Wilford, in Asiatic Researches, informs us of several other most wonderful testimonies to the Mosaic writings. Mount Meru, for instance, is believed to be a celestial earth, and the abode of the immortals, upon the top of which a vast river falls out of the feet of Vishnu, dividing into four streams, which streams rush up from an enormous tree that is thought to convey knowledge.* The same volume states that Brahma becoming incarnate, produced the first woman, Satarupa or Iva, out of one-half of his body, and the first man, Swayambhuva or Adima, out of the other half. This pair had three sons, one of whom slew his brother with a club while performing a sacrifice.† Another volume gives the Hindu belief of a patriarch named Dhruva, who lived on the banks of the Jumna, devoting himself to divine contemplation and religious austerities; and who, on account of his extraordinary holiness, did not die, but was translated to heaven, where he now shines as the polar star.‡ And the same volume tells us, from the Padma-Parana, that Satyaurata (whose preservation from the deluge I have before recounted) had three sons, the eldest of whom was named Jýapeti. The others were Sharma and C'harma. To the first of these he allotted all the regions north of Himalaya, and to Sharma he gave the country on the south. But he cursed C'harma, because when the old monarch was accidentally inebriated with a strong liquor made of fermented rice, C'harma laughed.§ Whatever the exact date of these Puranas may be, they are unquestionably both ancient and indigenous. Hence the testimony which Hindustan furnishes to the Pentateuch becomes irresistible.
48. The same remark applies with still more force to another and more celebrated composition of purely indigenous growth, viz., the great epic poem named the Mahâbhârata, the chief topic of which is the history of the Naga, or Serpent race, and which opens, exactly like the Pentateuch, with a curse upon the serpent. It is even still more curious that in both instances the same form of expression is used. For, whereas, in the Pentateuch the serpent itself is cursed as the representative of the Evil Spirit which lay behind it, so in the Mahâbhârata the curse is on the reptile itself, instead of being on its worshippers. This is noticed by Fergusson as a remarkable coincidence. || Yet it really is no more so than many other coincidences' which are chronicled in this paper.
(2.) Greece and Rome.
49. Was it mere poetic fancy which led Hesiod to sing of that golden age--
" When gods alike, and mortals rose to birth ; The immortals formed a golden race on earth?"
It was certainly not deemed mere mythological fable by the ancient Greeks and Romans, for the deepest philosophers and best historians refer to it as an old traditional truth. Plato says, " The men of that time (yijyevie, i. e. ' earthborn') were ten thousandfold happier than those of the present."* Tacitus writes, " The first race of men, free as yet from every depraved passion, lived without guile and crime, and therefore without chastisements ; nor was there need of rewards, when of themselves they followed righteousness."†
50. Was it a mere accident which led Plato to describe man's origin in words which were the very echo of the language of Moses? " Our nature of old was not the same as now. It was then one man-woman, whose form and name were common both to male and female. Then, said Jupiter, 'I will divide them into two parts'"‡ (comp. Gen. ii. 22). Was it a mere coincidence which made Hesiod's genius fall in with that of Moses in relation to the garden of the Hesperides, and to the serpent which guarded its golden apples?§ (comp. Gen. iii. 1-3). Who forgets Pandora, the first created woman, made of clay, and endowed by the gods with every personal charm, who, by looking into a casket which Jupiter had forbidden her to open, brought into the world evils, diseases, and sorrows--hope alone remaining? Was this a lucky hit of independent fancy, by which the Greeks, in utter ignorance of any primitive tradition, mysteriously painted almost the selfsame picture as Moses? In that case the credulity of the sceptic is certainly stronger than the faith of the Christian. And yet how much more might be added of the same kind ! Why, for example, did Homer make Neptune say--
" We are from Cronus and from Rhea sprung, Three brothers ; who the world have parted out Into three lots." ||
Or, why did the Greeks regard Japetus as the ancestor of the human race ? or make Vulcan the originator of working in iron and brass? Was it accident which thus reproduced the Tubal Cain of Gen. iv. 22 ; and the Japhet of Noah; and the threefold parentage of states through his three sons? I can only say, that if blind chance produced these most singular analogies (although they are no more singular than those adduced from Hindustan), then all the laws which govern inference and evidence must be completely shaken, if not shattered.
51. But I proceed. The Jews were known to the heathen by their reverence for clouds. Thus, Juvenal says, " They worship nothing but clouds, and the divinity of heaven." * This is in accordance with such passages of the Pentateuch as Exod. xiii. 21, Lev. xvi. 21, Numb. x. 34, Deut. iv. 16. Again, Moses, in Leviticus xiii. 22, permits the Israelites in the Arabian desert to eat locusts. That this was historically probable, many ancient authors, both Greek and Roman, bear witness. Strabo says, " There is a people of Arabia whose food consists of locusts. . . . They are pounded with salt, made into cakes, and eaten." † Moses also speaks in Numb. xi. 5, of the onions and garlic which Israel freely ate in Egypt. The historical accuracy of this is vouched for by Herodotus; who says, " On the outside of the pyramid of Cheops were inscribed in Egyptian characters the various sums of money expended in the progress of the work, for radishes, onions, and garlic consumed by the workmen." ‡ Pliny also says, " Garlic and onions are invoked by the Egyptians when, taking an oath. § Of the testimony which this race of writers bears to the passage of the Red Sea by Israel, the following remarkable passage may not be deemed without interest. Strabo says, " The people of Ptolemais had engaged in battle with Sarpedon, and after a signal defeat were left in this place, when a wave from the sea, like the rising tide, overwhelmed the fugitives; some were carried out to sea and drowned; others perished in hollow places; then again, the ebb succeeding, uncovered and displayed to sight the bodies lying in confusion among dead fish." || To the exodus of Israel out of Egypt there are several testimonies, although some of them are bungled and blemished by admixture with extraneous circumstances.
52. Thus Herodotus says of the people of Palestine, " They once inhabited (according to their own account) the coasts of the Red Sea; but migrated thence to the maritime parts of Syria." ¶ Diodorus Siculus says, " In ancient times there happened a great plague in Egypt, and many ascribed the cause of it to God, who was angry with them, because of strangers in the land, by whom foreign ceremonies were employed in religious worship." He then describes, as a consequence, the expulsion of these strangers; first naming the colonization of Greece by Danaus and Cadmus, and then the settlement of the Jews in Canaan;--adding, " These emigrants were led by Moses; who was superior to all in wisdom and prowess. He gave them laws, and ordained that they should have no images of the gods, because there was only one Deity." * Of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, we have a curious passage from the pen of Tacitus, which witnesses that, in his judgment, the facts of the Mosaic narrative were true. " Not far from the Red Sea lie desert plains, such as they report to have been of old, a fruitful country, full of populous cities, which were consumed by lightnings and thunderbolts." He then adds, " To speak my own sentiments, I must allow that cities, once great and important, were here burnt by fire from heaven, and that the soil is infected by exhalations from the lake." †
53. Let me now add a few words, about the tradition of the Greeks respecting the Deluge ; a tradition which, like all others, is primarily local (belonging probably to Thessaly), yet is so mixed up with elements which are peculiar to the Deluge of Noah, that it is impossible not to perceive their original source. I take it from the pen of Lucian, who, as a bitter enemy of the Jews, would not have recorded it out of any conscious desire to bear testimony to their authority. He gives it as a purely Greek tradition. " Concerning the first race of men, they relate that they were very obstinate and did very wicked things, and had no regard to oaths, had no hospitality or charity, upon which account many calamities befell them. For, on a sudden, the earth sent forth abundance of water [Gen. viii. 2], great showers of rain fell [Gen. viii. 2], and the sea overflowed the earth [Gen. vii. 19], so that all was turned into water, and every man perished [Gen. vii. 23]. Deucalion only was saved alive to raise up another generation, because of his prudence and piety [Gen. vi. 9]. He was preserved thus : -- he, his wife, and children entered into a large vessel which he had prepared [Gen. vii. 7]. After him went in bears, horses, lions, serpents, and all other kinds of living creatures, two and two [Gen. vi. 19; vii. 9]. This is the account the Greeks give of Deucalion." ‡ Plutarch, another Greek writer, speaking of the same tradition, says that Deucalion sent a dove out of the vessel" § (Gen. viii. 8). Now in this particular deluge of Thessaly, it is very improbable that any such precise analogies with those of Noah's Deluge should have occurred. But if the Greeks had received the Hebrew tradition through the dispersion from Babel, nothing would be more natural than that they should have blindly mingled the two stories, just as we had reason to suppose the Chaldeans did in the account they did of Xisithrus, and as the Mexicans did in the account of Coxcox.
54. As another Greek testimony on this point, I may mention that the Apameans living in Armenia possessed coins in honour of the Emperor Septimius Severus, having on the reverse the figure of a chest, with a man and woman standing before it, and two doves above it, one of which is flying with a branch of a tree in its mouth. Which money, though it was coined long after the birth of Christ, yet being the work of a heathen empire, plainly shows that the same tradition as that just narrated was well known and believed. *
(3.) Scandinavia and Britain.
55. That the great Keltic and Teutonic races came originally from the Bast, is a fact so abundantly proved, and now so universally acknowledged, that I need not do more than allude to it. Under such circumstances we may naturally expect to find their mythology and traditional beliefs, though moulded differently in various places, by means of climatic or other influences, to be yet substantially primeval. And so we do. Like the Persian system (of which I have not had time to speak) the Scandinavians believed in the existence both of an evil and a good principle acting in perpetual antagonism. The former, named Loki, is called in the Prose Edda of Iceland, "calumniator of the gods, the grand contriver of deceit and frauds, the reproach of gods and men." One of his children was Midgard, the Serpent, whom the All-Father threw to the bottom of the ocean; and who, having grown to an enormous size, wound himself round the earth,"† This evil was symbolized by the old dragon or serpent power, which first came from the primitive recollections of paradise. The latter (called Alfadir, "All-Father") is the subject of the following interesting discourse in the first part of the Icelandic Prose Edda :--
" Gangler began--' Who is the first or oldest of the gods?' 'In our language,' replied Har, ' he is called Alfadir ; but in the old Asgard he had twelve names.' ' Where is this God?' said Gangler. ' What is his power, and what hath he d,one to display his glory?' ' He liveth,' replied Har,' from all ages ; he governeth all realms, and swayeth all things, great and small.' ' He hath formed,' added Jafnah, ' heaven and earth, and the air, and all things thereunto belonging.' 'And what is more,' continued Thridi, 'he hath made man, and given him a soul which shall live and never perish, though the body shall have mouldered away.' " *
56. In the same book we find various other confirmations of primitive tradition. There is one (e. g.) which looks exactly like a compendium of the antediluvian history of the Pentateuch, describing a first race of men, and their working in metals, in an age called " The Golden;" but which was afterwards corrupted by the arrival of women out of Jötunheim (comp. Gen. vi.). Of the creation of the first man and woman, it says, " One day, as the sons of Bör were walking along the sea beach, they found two stems of wood, out of which they shaped a man and woman. From these two descend the whole human race." In another account we get quite as decided, though equally as distorted, a view. The elements, in a chaotic state of gloom and frost, are described as melting into drops under vivifying heat, which gradually assumed a human semblance (comp. Gen. ii. 7), and produced the giant Ymir. Immediately after this was found the cow Audhumla, from whom ran four streams of milk, to feed Ymir (comp. Gen. ii.). As the cow licked the stones round about her, other beings were formed ; whence came Bör, Odin, Thor, &c. Connected with the history of the sons of Bör stands the Scandinavian account of the Deluge; for they are said to have slain the giant Ymir, whose blood, pouring forth, drowned the whole world except one, who saved himself with his household. Thor's exploits, too, remind one of the hoped-for Mediator; for he is said to have wrestled with Death (one of Loki's children) and to have fought the Serpent, Midgard, both of whom were the direct impersonations of evil.
57. Of ancient Britain, which will be my last witness, I can only let the Druidical Triads speak, taken from the second volume of the Welsh Archaeology, and translated from the oldest Welsh MSS. They are extracted from the book of Caradoc of Nantgarvan, and from the book of Jevan Brechva in 1601. † Strange to say, we have the same testimony to an universal deluge in these Triads; one of which speaks of " the bursting of the lake of waters, and the overwhelming all lands; so that all mankind were drowned, excepting Dwyvan and Dwyvach, who escaped in a naked vessel without sails ; and of them the island of Britain was repeopled." In another of these Triads, on the three chief master-works of Britain, we have first on the list, " the ship which carried in it a male and female of all living, when the lake of waters burst forth."
58. Davies, in his Mythology of the British Druids,* gives the whole legend as follows :--" The profligacy of mankind provoked the Great Supreme to send a pestilential wind upon the earth [Gen. vi. 5]. At this time the patriarch, distinguished for his integrity [Gen. vi. 8, 9], was shut up together with his select company in the enclosure with the strong door [Gen. vii. 16]. Here the just ones were safe from injury. Presently a tempest of fire arose. It split the earth asunder to the great deep. The lake Llion burst its bounds [Gen. viii. 2] ; the waves of the sea lifted themselves on high; the rain poured down from heaven and the water covered the whole earth [Gen. viii. 2]. This flood, which swept away from the earth the expiring remains of the patriarch's contemporaries, raised his vessel from the ground, bore it safe on the summit of the waves, and proved to him and his associates as the water of life and renovation."
59. I could, of course, on a theme so vast as this, have easily amplified the treatment of it. I have purposely omitted much : such as the existence of analogues to the Hebrew " cities of refuge " (Deut. iv. 41-43) among the Affghans, and some of the North-west American Indians ; the very common practice of " circumcision" in different parts of the globe (Gen. xvii. 10); and the custom of "divination by rods" (Exod. vii. 20-22, Numb. xvii. 1-10, &c.), as found in usage by the Greeks and Scandinavians. I should like also to have adduced evidences of a great underlying principle of primitive monotheism which pervades almost every nation, ancient and modern, however sunk in idolatry; but that being too important to be hurried over, I must leave as a totally distinct branch of evidence upon the subject, and take it up, if spared, on some other occasion.
(30. For the present I must cease. All these ethnic testimonies, when accumulated, form, in my judgment, a strong and powerful argument. They are like the fossil bones of some old ichthyosaurus, many of which may be broken and disjointed, part being found in one spot and part in another, but which, when compared together and classified, and as far as possible reconstructed, are quite sufficient to convince the skilful palaeontologist that they are segments of one great original. In like manner all the traditions, mythologies, writings, inscriptions, paintings, &c., are so many excavated relics of primeval history, which, though often broken up and disfigured, and found among a vast variety of nations, yet when carefully examined and scientifically arranged, become capable of such reconstruction as to satisfy the ethnologist that they are parts of one authentic original. Assuming, then, as I hinted at first, that the Pentateuch is both authentic and genuine,--facts which I trust none of you dispute,--we have in this line of argument an ethnic testimony to its accuracy which cannot but confirm and consolidate our faith, and which at a time like the present, when the Pentateuch is assailed both by critical and scientific scepticism, must be very consolatory to timid and doubting hearts.
The chairman.--Ladies and Gentlemen, it is my duty as Chairman--and I do it from my heart--to move a vote of thanks to Mr. Titcomb for his most excellent lecture. If our cumulative votes could be brought to bear on him as his cumulative evidence has been brought to bear upon the subject before us, I think he would stand very high indeed. (Cheers.)
Captain F. petrie, Hon. Sec.--Before the discussion commences, I have to state that Mr. Gosse, one of our Vice-Presidents, has sent me a communication with regard to the subject of the paper just read, and, with your permission, I will read it.
" I regret that I shall not have the opportunity of hearing this paper read. I hail it with great satisfaction : it is most admirable and most valuable ; its only fault is its shortness. But I venture to express an earnest hope that the esteemed author will dig still deeper in this rich mine, and lay before the Victoria Institute more of these treasures of ancient lore, which I believe are almost exhaustless ; treasures of historic confirmation of the Word of God, of great value, because of their absolute freedom from all suspicion of collusion with Hebrew authorities. The force of this sort of evidence is cumula-lative : therefore, the more we can accumulate, the better. I venture to ask a few questions on some points of detail.
" In section 4, and passim, the author reckons the Phoenicians in ' the Semitic family.' But if the Bible is true, the Phoenicians were not descended from Shem, but from Ham ; for Sidon was the first-born son of Canaan (Gen. x. 15, 19). Perhaps the affinity of the Phoenician language to the Hebrew is intended ; but language is one thing, family another. That language is meant, I gather from sections 28 and 29 ; where it is stated, as ' a generally conceded truth, that Semitism was a gradual philological development from the older forms of the Turanian and Hamitic tongues.' It is not the truth of what is the predicate here (the priority of other tongues to the Shemitic) that I am mooting ;--perhaps something might be said on the other side ;--but the propriety of the terminology. In Elam we have a people of Shemite lineage (x. 22) speaking a 'Hamite' tongue (section 29) ; as, in Sidon, a race of Hamite lineage (ver. 15) speaking Shemite. This is a matter well worthy of elucidation; and loudly calling for it; because, else, to believers in Revelation, there seems confusion between lineage and language. I am aware that facts appear to warrant such appropriations of language to nations ; but it is desirable that a nomenclature of scientific philology be adopted, which would avoid the use of the names of Noah's sons,--' Shemitic,' ' Hamitic, --while it would leave the field open for proof of the appropriation of certain linguistic branches to them. If however, the Pentateuch is true (and this Mr. Titcomb assumes at outset, while his whole scope is to confirm it), diversities of language did not originate with those antediluvian patriarchs ; for, after the Deluge (and long after, I presume from the phrase,' the whole earth,' xi. 1,6), there was still but one language.
" In section 34, Babel is given as Bab El:--this is ingenious ; but it is one of those etymologies, which every language knows, wonderfully striking and plausible, yet on severe examination demonstrably false. In this case it is not an open question,-- if we accept the inspiration of the narrative, which the author grants; for another derivation is authoritatively given,--'because Jehovah did there confound ' (mingle, ) the language of all the earth (xi. 9). The ' Gate of God,' moreover, seems an unmeaning term : why a Gate on the plain of Shinar? Gate, to what 1
" The fact given by Prof. Rawlinson (section 38) that there is in the Assyrian mythology a god named Héa, with the characters mentioned, is one of high interest; like so many of those which Mr. Titcomb has gathered. Is not, however, the allusion, in Héa, a little misread? Is not the origin of this word (=Hiya in Arabic), not the serpent, but Eve, , connected as the latter word is with , to live--'because she was the mother of all living?' She, too, was the first human possessor of that ' knowledge and science' (Gen. iii. 5) which was so fatal a purchase.
" I remain, yours,
" P. H. Gosse."
Mr. A. V. Newton.--In the able paper which Mr. Titcomb has just read to us I do not find any reference to the Runic Crosses of Ireland. Mr. Fergusson, I understand, holds that these crosses are curious relics of antiquity, and of very ancient date ; if this be so, I think they will serve as still further illustrations for this paper. A friend of mine, who has lately given considerable attention to these crosses, and studied them with the view of pointing out their peculiar features, agrees with Mr. Fergusson in considering that they are of very ancient date. In a very rare and costly work on them, there are, if I mistake not, three instances of Adam and Eve (on the panels of those crosses) represented as eating the forbidden fruit. There is also a representation of Cain striking down Abel, adjoining Adam and Eve, in the same panel. There are likewise on two of the crosses, representations of the children in the fiery furnace. Now, if these be really ancient crosses, they form a very curious illustration of Mr. Titcomb's text. But then comes something else which is also very curious. If they be crosses erected before the Christian era, we have some puzzling things to get over: there is evidently a last judgment depicted on more than one of them, and there is also a crucifixion on three or four; and so clearly is the crucifixion represented on one of them that I fancy I can detect the sponge offered, and also a spear in the hands of an attendant. If the age of these crosses were certainly an age anterior to Christianity, there would then be an argument which would go greatly against much of the evidence which Mr. Titcomb has so industriously brought together. I merely throw out these remarks for discussion.
The following are some of the Scriptural Subjects illustrated on the Runic Crosses :--
"On east side of S.E. cross Monasterboice (about 34 miles from Dublin, in county Louth) is shown in one panel Adam and Eve, and in another the last judgment; and on west side of same cross is a crucifixion.
"Tuam cross has a panel illustrating a crucifixion. " Termonfeckin cross (county Louth) shows a crucifixion (very rude). " Cross in churchyard at Kells (county Meath) shows in one panel Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel, and above this panel the children in the fiery furnace.
"East side of Arboe cross (county Tyrone), Adam and Eve, Abraham's sacrifice, and the children in the fiery furnace. " The east side of the cross at Drumcliff (four miles from Sligo), Adam and Eve, the serpent, and the tree, finely sculptured. Also the last judgment. On the west side a crucifixion."
Mr. Titcomb.--May I ask in what way the crosses you mention would go against the main body of my paper? I do not see how they can affect my evidence at all.
Mr. Newton.--The evidence of these Runic Crosses might go thus far, we should find on crosses erected before Christianity that there existed pictures or representations of scenes which are to be found in the New Testament.
Mr. Titcomb.--But that is assuming that the crosses were erected before Christianity existed.
Mr. Newton.--Precisely so ; I only build up my argument upon that. But I believe I have Mr. Fergusson's evidence, and also the evidence of that other gentleman of whose judgment I have the highest opinion. I have their belief that these are very ancient crosses ; and if we find that they are pre-Christian crosses, and that they contain clear illustrations of the last judgment and of the crucifixion, then it is possible that many of the illustrations given in the paper before us may bear another and a very different interpretation from that which we are now inclined to put upon them.
The Rev. C. Graham.--I should like to make one or two observations upon this subject. As to what has fallen from Mr. Newton I would say that a cross is now generally a thing connected with Christianity. Christianity has suggested the making and setting up of crosses. I think that you will find, in Ireland, these crosses are all venerated, and in some instances worshipped, by the Roman Catholics, who claim them as their property. If it be true that you find a sponge and a spear upon them, that is decisive.
Mr. Newton.--On one of them?
Mr. Graham.--Well, if they be found on one, it is rather presumptive evidence that they are all of the same character, and they are not calculated to invalidate the testimony adduced by Mr. Titcomb, whom I thank very much, for his excellent paper, for there is a vast amount of information concentred in it: though short, it is a very instructive paper. Mr. Titcomb did not intend to make it exhaustive, but comprehensive. Now I must say that I thoroughly go with Mr. Gosse in his criticism on the word Babel. I do not think we can admit the derivation of "Gate of God." There are some who derive it from the Gate of Belus, but Mr. Gosse points out that you have its true derivation in Genesis itself, where we are told that God confounded the language of man, and so the place they were building was called Babel, as Gesenius says, for Balbel, or the confounded. This seems to me to be quite sufficient. Then have we not many scriptural words reproduced in mythology? For instance, take the name of Jehovah, the Supreme God. What is Jove but a corruption of Jehovah--Jehovah in another form? If you take it in Greek in another form, you get Zettf, from Zun, life, which gives you the radical idea of Jehovah, or the one who is, who was, and who is to come, on which account the Jews tell us that the three ideas of past, present, and future are contained in the word Jehovah. Then take another word, Erebus, which the poets tell us is that state or place between Tartarus and Elysium, where there is a sort of mixture of light and darkness. Ereb, evening or twilight, a flickering of light, from which comes Arab. Then take another word, the derivation of which is not so clear, t/<Wr), sweetness, but which seems to be taken from Eden. Apollonius tells us that the name of the serpent that guarded the apples of the Hesperides was Ladon, or El Adon, the God of the Garden of Eden, and Apollonius has written some very beautiful lines on that subject. As to the Hesperides themselves, many derive them from two Hebrew words, ets peri, a tree of fruit, which gives you the idea at once of the tree of apples guarded by the serpent Ladon. There are many other interesting matters which might be pointed out in connection with this subject, and it is very desirable that strangers interested therein, and able to give us a little light, should take part in our discussion. I now come to the expulsion of Adam from Paradise. After he was expelled, " Cherubims and a flaming sword " there were placed at the east of the Garden. Now have we not the reproduction of "Cherubim" in classical mythology, and in Egypt and Assyria? In one instance we have the Egyptian god Kneph, the exact name for the wing of a cherub--the Hebrew Keneph. With regard to Japetus, I agree with Mr. Titcomb, that there we have the Japhet of Noah. He was the father of mankind according to the Greeks, and we all believe that Europe was chiefly peopled by the descendants of Japhet.
There are also one or two other points which I should like to notice. Take Pandora. It means, as you know, every gift--vav 3<apoi>. Pandora is a representative of Eve, and we are all of opinion that Eve was the most beautiful of women. Milton tells us, and we agree with his thought, that she was "the fairest of her daughters." It is a strange expression to make Eve one of her own daughters. (Laughter.) You have the Greek idea of Eve in Pandora, But here is a point which is very remarkable. Any one who remembers Ovid's description of the creation of man, will recollect that he states that man was made in the image of God. That is precisely a reproduction of the very language that you find in the book of Genesis. Now in relation to the Flood, let me refer again to Ovid; for this is very interesting--it is a grand moral fact which Mr. Titcomb has very forcibly brought out. The Flood generally is represented as coming on account of man's wickedness. You have the moral idea contained in Genesis. God destroys man from the face of the earth by the waters of the flood because " all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." Now when Jupiter is represented as calling a council of the gods, this is what he insists on, that man had become so corrupt that he must be destroyed from the face of the earth. Jupiter's first idea is to destroy him by lightning, and he seizes his thunderbolts and is ready to hurl them and consume mankind, but he remembers that it is written in the records of the fates that a day will come when, the heavens taking fire, and the earth catching the flame, both will be dissolved. Then he lays down his dread thunderbolts and destroys the earth by a flood of waters. Now can this be a mere matter of chance coincidence ? I think you will say that the coincidence is quite of another character, and that the poet really borrows matter which, whether it came to him traditionally or still more directly, is from the revelation of God. Just let me point out one other fact which I wish to commend to Mr. Titcomb's notice. It is with regard to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Though the testimony quoted from Tacitus by Mr. Titcomb is forcible, yet Tacitus tries to account for the destruction of the cities in a fruitful country, near the Dead Sea, on natural principles. But this fact is very remarkable : in the 8th book of Ovid's " Metamorphoses " you find the account of the destruction of a rich and populous country in Phrygia, and you have almost all the circumstances as given in Genesis, repeated by Ovid. You have Jupiter and Mercury disguising themselves, and coming down to earth in the form of men. They inquire as to the condition of mankind in that region, and they find that the people despise the gods, and that evil has increased among them to such an extent that it is not suitable that they should be allowed to live any longer. Jupiter and Mercury go to the house of two devout persons, worshippers of the gods--Philemon, and Baucis his wife. They spend there that length of time which just accords with the time spent by the angels in the house of Lot at Sodom ; and they say that that region is about to be destroyed on account of its wickedness, and recommend Philemon and Baucis to repair to an adjoining mount. They help them away from the place, and when they come within a bowshot of the summit of the mountain, Philemon and Baucis look back and see the whole region round sunk in a morass. This morass answers to the Dead Sea. But the more this subject is pursued the more the evidence accumulates, and the more we shall find that the foundations of Divine truth are stable and indestructible. (Cheers.)
Rev. H. Moule.--I beg to express my grateful acknowledgments to Mr. Titcomb for the valuable testimony brought together in his paper in confirmation of the truth of the Pentateuch. At the very commencement of our proceedings, I stated more than once to our late lamented Honorary Secretary my conviction that something of this kind would be found needful. We must show, as in countless instances we can, not only that the facts of science and of history are not opposed to the facts and truths recorded in Scripture, but that they tend, when both are rightly understood, greatly to confirm them. At the same time, while long accustomed to investigate such subjects with thorough independence of mind, I have increasingly felt the need of caution, especially when one's information is to be derived either from the hieroglyphic language of Ancient Egypt, or from the complicated and difficult language of China. Under this feeling and for two reasons which I will adduce, I hesitate to accept the correctness of so apparently precise a statement from the book Liki, that " all these evils " (of a deluge) " arose from man's despising the Supreme Monarch of the Universe." First, in the writings of Confucius, scarcely any trace can be found of the idea of a personal God, " a Supreme Monarch of the Universe." Secondly, there is a remarkable inscription on the monastic buildings of the Roman Catholics, in the city of Hangchow, and set up by an Emperor, who for a time forcibly took possession of those buildings and dedicated them as a Palace of the Queen of Heaven; in which inscription, when setting the Chinese religion in contrast to the Roman Catholic faith, he distinctly asserts that in that religion there is no idea of a personal God.* In referring to the monuments of Egypt, Mr. Titcomb has recognized in the people depicted under the name Khita, the Hittites, or the sons of Heth or Cheth. If my memory serves me, the name Khita is by some pronounced Sh-ta, and the people of that name are, I think, identified by Mr. Osburn, in his work on Egypt, with the people of Sheth ; and these are made out by him to be the Moabites and Ammonites. The particulars which he states respecting this people are very remarkable. They appear on the monuments as not properly Canaanites, yet in many particulars closely resembling them. Like the Canaanites they had frequent wars with Egypt. Their country was not far from the Dead Sea, and apparently between Naharaim and the Hittites. They seem to have consisted of two confederate races, and there were in their country two places or cities known by the name of Rabbah. All these and several other particulars seem to mark them, then, as the Moabites and Ammonites, the descendants of Lot. This is confirmed also by a remarkable coincidence, which involves also another striking identification. The Hyksos of Manetho have been supposed to be the same as the Shos of the monumental pictures ; and with these Shos as with the Egyptians, the Sh-ta or Sh-tim are represented as warring. Moses informs us that the Rephaim, who had the name also of Zuzim, were driven out of their possession by the children of Lot. Mr. Osburn considers that these Sh-ta are intended in Numbers xxiv. 17, where Balaam says " There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth." " There is a parallelism of expression here which tends to confirm this view--Jacob and Israel--Moab and the Sh-ta, or the Ammonites." I had some years ago the privilege of corresponding with Mr. Birch, of the British Museum, on this subject. To his remark, that while there was much in the many points of coincidence adduced by Mr. Osburn, it was dangerous to rest the interpretation of a passage on a name (Sheth) occurring only once in Scripture, I replied, that in its plural form (Shittim) it occurs, and in connection with Moab, several times. I could have wished that Mr. Titcomb had adduced the testimony to the Deluge which is found in the constellations. Faber, in his Hone Mosaicś, makes great use of it. He points out the various aquatic animals, and water streaming in almost every direction. We have a ship, the Argo : we have a dove, a raven, a serpent, and a giant. All this, indeed, the Greeks have claimed and mixed up with their fables. But the very position of the Argo proves that its attached story was not of Grecian origin. No, there is something very mysterious both in the origin and in the universality of the whole sphere. And my conviction is, that the more carefully it is studied the clearer will be its testimony to events of a universal character, both in themselves and in their influence on mankind. In this as in so many other ways, " the heavens declare the glory of God."
Mr. T. Harriot.--I am about to furnish an illustration of the truth that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." I have no knowledge of this particular subject, but I do not see why we should refrain from expressing the convictions excited in us by the arguments we hear used on sacred subjects, any more than we should curb the freedom with which we discuss secular matters. It appears to me that the whole gist of Mr. Titcomb's paper is based upon this assumption--" granting the truth of the Pentateuch." Now, I am not a sceptic--for forty-five of my fifty-one years have I drunk at the fountain of living waters, and the older I grow the more convinced I am of the truth and beauty of our religion. I therefore trust that no one will imagine that I am a sceptic. But what a sceptic would say is this--that the whole of Mr. Titcomb's cumulative evidence would prove the very contrary of what the author wishes to prove, namely, that the works of creation, like the Creator Himself, had been eternal; that there was nothing new under the sun ; and that all things had been going on from generation to generation just as they go on now. Supposing, by way of argument, that the incidents narrated in the Pentateuch had occurred in some small commercial spot on the earth, and men going abroad had carried the legend with them--some being uneducated men who could not write, while others could,--the same spirit would manifest itself in all the various versions that would thus be promulgated, though the versions might differ very considerably. That is one impression that has been created in my mind by this paper, which does not seem to me to furnish any evidence of the truth of the Pentateuch. I must also confess to having an impression that the faith which must sustain us is not founded upon the evidence of things that have been seen. It brings us to God without evidence, and compels us to believe that He is God, and that He is the shelter of those who come to Him. It is to me a question whether any value at all is to be attached to the sort of evidence which is contained in Mr. Titcomb's paper.
The Rev. C. A. ROW.--I should not have made any remarks on this subject, for I have been too much occupied to be able to estimate this paper as a matter of evidence, but I was much surprised at the remark made by the last speaker, that we must believe without evidence. Now I enter my most emphatic protest against such an assertion, for if it were true it would make a large mass of thinking men unbelievers. With regard to what has fallen from Mr. Graham, I am afraid he will not be able to make out his position that the cross was never a pre-Christian symbol, and I am also afraid that learned men will not bear him out in some of his derivations. In fact a great number of Greek fables must be traced to Indian sources, and if it is shown that there is a similarity between them and the statements in the Pentateuch, they must have originated from common causes acting on the mind of man. The whole question of mythology is one where it is very difficult to arrive at a correct conclusion as to its nature and origin, but such works as Coxe's " Aryan Mythology " are very valuable for dealing with it on general principles. But I am ready to admit, and do admit, that certain causes can produce a similarity of result without one flowing from another, and I will quote a conclusive proof of that. Any one who knows anything of Tartary is aware that the Bhuddist religion has produced the most singular resemblances to certain rites in the Romish Church. The Jesuits, as we well know, have actually hinted that they thought Satan had been beforehand with them, and had invented there things to oppose the introduction of Christianity. That same idea is to be found in the writings of Huc, and others, who were astonished to find practices existing in China which much resembled the rites of their Church. I am satisfied that these things are not imitations of anything in Christianity, but that they all proceed from one common source--from certain laws of the human mind thinking under a peculiar aspect. No doubt they are essentially pantheistic in character, and I have no doubt that their origin is that pantheistic notions, migrating westward, have produced great movements, spreading down to our time. We see certain distinct resemblances between the religion of Thibet and of Europe, during the mediæval ages, and they have been elaborated from similar causes, acting on the human mind. I think this is important, because it shows plainly that we must have some hesitation in judging of these things, and that it will require considerable trouble to ascertain what are the real principles on which the great mass of mythology has been constructed. We have many instances in which the resemblances are of a close nature, and yet are not copied from one to another.
Mr. Harriot.--But is there anything of those regular and close imitations of Roman Catholic rites in the Bhuddism of India?
Mr. ROW.--I think so ; you will find the resemblance very close. Mr. moule.--Yes ; there are crosses, and beads, and monachism, and many other things which are close imitations of the Roman Catholics, including the repetition of prayer, and praying to a queen.
Mr. ROW.--And they even go further. There are the praying mills. Mr. C. godfrey.--May I make one or two observations? and first, on the subject of crosses. Crossed buns were found in Herculaneum. This is a matter that I do not know much about, but I should like to ask a question or two of a practical character. If the Turanian language was the language of man down to the confusion of tongues at Babel, it must stand to reason that all those who lived from Adam down to that time must have spoken it. But when you find all the names of people from Adam down to Noah having meanings in themselves, and self-explained, I want to know how that bears out your position? There is Adam, red man ; Eve, life, or the mother of all living ; and Cain, Seth, Abel, and the rest are all similarly capable of translation. Now, how did these names come to be used? We are told that woman is so called because she was taken out of man, but in no language, except the Semitic, is the equivalent for woman the feminine of the equivalent for man. In Latin you have mulier, woman ; fir, man ; and in Greek , woman, and , man. When you put these things together, I think you are not justified in considering the Semitic language to be a derived formation, and I think it must represent what, at one time, was the original language of the world, or else those so-called translations of the words Adam, Eve, Seth, Cain, &c., appear to me to be very little better than mere puns. Either those words must be the names of the people they are applied to, or they are translations, and I should like to have the point cleared up by any one who has studied the matter. (Cheers.)
The Rev. G. Henslow.--I would repeat a point which has already been referred to. This paper acts upon the assumption, throughout, that the facts of the Pentateuch are true. Now I have often heard talented men speak in this way--taking the case of the serpent, for instance :--" We all know that evidence of serpent-worship is ubiquitous, but that is not evidence in proof of the Bible ; it is the Bible that is simply an illustration of a universal fact." Such evidence, therefore, does not act on their minds as supporting the truth of Genesis at all. I should like to have that point fairly met.
Mr. Titcomb.--Crosses were not always connected with Christianity. When Roman Catholic missionaries visited India, they found crosses existing all over the country.
Mr. Graham.--I do not say that crosses were exclusively connected with Christianity. I say that Christianity suggested the thought of the cross in Ireland, [and the Roman Catholics in Ireland claim the crosses as theirs, and are constantly setting them up, year by year]. Crosses were derived from the Romans, by the Jews, for crucifixion was introduced among the Jews from the Romans.*
Dr. J. A. Fraser.--There are still to be found, within the recollection of some present, instances in English, Scotch, and Irish counties, which bring to mind the fire-worshipping practices, and the Sacrifice of children to Moloch. Lady Baird mentions that on her own estate in Scotland it was the practice of the peasants on May Day to gather round a fire, and throw their children across from one to another through the fire. That is just a remnant of the old fire-worship still existing among us. Thorn-bury† mentions the same practice in very similar terms as existing in Devonshire, and Charlotte Elizabeth‡ in Ireland, where they assemble round fires which bear the name of Baal fires. Beltane is the name of the 1st of May in Scotland even now, commemorating the ancient name of Bel. The existence of such things bears testimony to the correctness of the description in the Bible, of the sacrifice of children to the god of fire. This is a curious illustration, which the fact of this being the 1st of May has just called to my mind. (Cheers.)
Mr. Godfrey.---We may consider Bel and Beltain to be rather Baal than Moloch.
Dr. Fraser.--I should have added Baal, as well as Bel, i.e. Moloch.
Mr. Titcomb.--I quite agree with Mr. Gosse's view as given in the first part of his letter. It would be a very desirable thing to have the nomenclature of the philological families of the earth so constructed as to avoid the use of the words " Hamitic " and " Semitic," but when words are so commonly used, it is next to impossible to upset them and invent anything fresh. You speak of things being Semitic or Hamitic and so on, philologically, and there seems to be a feeling that they should be the same ethnologically, but that is not so ; and it is that fact which has obliged me to insert the 28th and 29th sections in my paper. Mr. Gosse was the first to raise an objection as to the derivation of Babel. I do not dispute his remarks, or Mr. Graham's, but that does not interfere with the argument on which my criticism was founded, because I was merely showing that Chaldea had Semitic nations in it, and whether we take the word as " gate of God," or as " confusion," it is still identified with the Semitic tongue. It is merely a microscopical criticism, and if it be a blemish or defect it is only a small one. As to the Runic Crosses, I can only say that all Mr. Newton's arguments, which would otherwise invalidate a portion of my paper, must rest on the assumption he took that the Runic Crosses are so ancient as to date from a period prior to Christianity. We know the cross is seen before Christianity, because Christ was crucified on a cross, and those Runic Crosses may have been coincident with a very remote time. But when you come to the ornamentation you cannot decide, and the degree of elaboration on these crosses seems to be inconsistent with primitive times. It is possible that an old cross might have had a crucifixion engraved on it at a subsequent period, and so these Runic Crosses may have had crucifixions engraved on them subsequently, as in the case of the Egyptian monuments. Mr. Newton might say that persons connected with the Jewish religion might have had access to the Egyptian monuments, and engraved subjects upon them which seemed to indicate a knowledge of the Pentateuch.
Mr. Newton.--That is not my argument. My argument was this : that if the Runic Crosses exist now as they were originally made, and if they were made anterior to Christianity, they would tell by the figures upon them against your argument, because they represent certain scenes in the New Testament.
Mr. Titcomb.--But you could not expect that any power of production could have represented a crucifixion with a sponge and spear at a period anterior to Christianity?
Mr. Newton.--The interpretation of a picture may be changed according to the view of the interpreter.
Mr. Titcomb.--But a crucifixion with a sponge and spear is unique. Then with regard to what fell from Mr. Moule as to taking with caution the assertions of the Jesuits ; that no doubt, is very important, but I would call to his attention that Gutslaff, the great Chinese missionary, and others, quote them, and say with reference to one of the earliest Chinese books, in existence before the Jesuits came, and dealing with a period long anterior to Christianity, that it contains the history of Fo-hi and the Deluge, showing that Fo-hi came from western parts with seven companions--his wife, three sons, and three daughters. That thoroughly gets rid of the idea that there has been any manufacturing in the matter. Similar things are to be found throughout the world, and yet we are told that they arise from the constitution of the human mind, and that no just argument as to a common origin is to be drawn from them. No doubt that is logical and true to a certain extent, but yet it must be taken within certain limits.
Mr. Row.--Oh, of course.
Mr. Titcomb.--For instance, I have not taken the general idea of serpent-worship. It appears to me that naturally the serpent would have been taken as an embodiment of evil to be worshipped from dread, but I believe that the evidence which I have drawn from serpent-worship is not based upon that natural disposition of the human mind, but upon the concurrence of artificial and otherwise not natural ideas which appear and reappear here, there, and everywhere, and which I think indicate, from their general concurrence, a common origin. You find a serpent, a tree, fruit, a man and woman, and the serpent in an erect position. Will you tell me that it is a natural development of the human mind to make these representations in consequence of the general idea of serpent-worship from dread? I can imagine that such things may have nothing to do with Scripture, but when you come to the artificial combination of these various parts, the whole question is different. If we are candid, and reason without prejudgment for or against, it is à priori reasonable to suppose that there must have been a common origin. The general fact that all nations have a deluge would not prove the deluge of Noah ; but when you come to a multitude of these cases grouped together-- the deluge of Chaldea, the deluge related by Lucian, the deluge of Coxcox, and the deluge of Satyaurata--from different parts of the world and in different ages--not a bare deluge, but one in which people are preserved, and in which you have the division of two and two animals ; and a deluge caused, too, by the moral degeneracy of mankind, subsequent to which there is a dispersion of the new race over the world--all these things present peculiarities and specialties so diverse from the uninformed conception of the human mind, that I think they indicate a common origin. It is like the putting together of different bones on the principles of comparative anatomy and declaring that they all belonged to one animal. But this does not touch what Mr. Henslow has said. He says the sceptic might say " You have collected together an accumulation of facts all of which are agreeable to each other, but how can you prove that the Scripture is not part and parcel of the same congeries of events, and has not taken up the same tale?" But everything must have a beginning, and if these stories are not likely to have been invented out of the imaginative faculty independently exercised in different ages, and amongst different nations, there must at least have been a beginning in their origin. Mr. Harriot seemed to indicate that some commercial nation may have carried these stories abroad. Whether that is so or not does not much matter. Supposing that these things are found, we want, by scientific discovery and scholastic research, to know their origin--what has caused that general combination with its divergencies, but yet with such extremely particular agreements?
Mr. Henslow.--If it is an open question, is there any possibility of satisfying the sceptic upon the point?
Mr. Titcomb.--Well, I am not giving this as intended for the sceptic. My paper assumes the Scriptures to be correct, and does not attempt to prove that they are correct, and in that I think its basis is logical. This Society is intended to pursue science fairly and openly, but reverently. It is not for the purpose of proving the Scriptures to be true, but of so searching into science as not to be afraid to compare its results with the Scriptures. That is the only scientific basis on which we can hold our place. I take it that my paper does keep to that ground. It makes no attempt to bolster up the Scriptures, but, addressing Christian men and women, it says that everything goes to show, so far as we can gather from ethnological testimony, that what we believe is really confirmed and borne witness to by all that the paper contains, and I maintain that upon that basis, which is a logical and scientific basis, the paper has proved everything which it undertook to prove. I had no idea in writing the paper that it contained all the materials necessary to convince the sceptic. We do not wish to prove the Bible true, but, believing it to be true, we are not afraid of searching into scientific facts, and, with all the aid that research can give us, of comparing the results with the facts of revelation and the foundations of our belief. If that is the only result of this discussion, it does do what is most important. The words with which I closed my paper, I again repeat :--"Assuming, then, as I hinted at first, that the Pentateuch is both authentic and genuine,--facts which I trust none of you dispute,--we have in this line of argument an ethnic testimony to its accuracy which cannot but confirm and consolidate our faith, and which, at a time like the present, when the Pentateuch is assailed both by critical and scientific scepticism, must be very consolatory to timid and doubting hearts." We have found facts which do confirm and which do not invalidate those truths that are so dear to all our hearts. (Cheers.)
The Chairman.--I have not many remarks to offer on the subject which has been before us, except to say how heartily I concur in many of the observations that have been made, and how thankful we ought to be that these matters are discussed with temper and propriety, and with a sincere desire to arrive at the truth. My idea of the Society is that it should take care that facts are facts, and not mere discoveries for the moment to be used as a sort of battery against revealed religion. Our great object is " fact, fact, fact," and I should like to examine those produced by some at the British Association, and let them examine ours in the same way, and then we should arrive at the truth as to whether they are facts or not. Revelation has no more to fear from science and fact than the moon has to fear from my throwing a stone at it. All I want and ask for is " fact," and the only complaint I have to make is that many people, eager to assail revelation, seize hold of something that is held to be a fact directly it is discovered, and direct it like an Armstrong gun against Revelation, until it is found to be no better than a pop-gun. But what does it do? It shakes the faith of many people who never see the refutation and never know better. I was reading a paper the other day by a French author, M.Pouchaud, who makes this statement, "that since 1806 eighty-six distinct theories, all hostile to revelation, have been constructed upon geology, but that in 1863, when his paper was written, not one of them remained." Yet probably each of those theories made several infidels, who fell into doubt and difficulty from which they never recovered, through not hearing the refutation. Our great object, I repeat, is "fact." I would examine the most telling facts against the revealed word of God with the utmost minuteness and fairness, and take great care not to throw crude theories to the world, before we ascertained whether there is a foundation for them or not. I cannot agree with what fell from my admirable friend Mr. Row, who says that these things are human developments of similar thoughts in different parts of the world. It is true that there are developments of opinion in the mind ; but I never heard of similar developments of facts through which a simultaneous belief arose all of a sudden, and in all parts of the world, that there was a deluge, that eight persons were saved from it, and that such and such other things occurred, all going into minute details. Such things, I say, appear to have the character of truth.
Mr. ROW.--Take the monasteries that exist on the largest scale in Thibet, and other things that show a similarity to the observances of the Romish Church. Those are matters which I referred to.
The Chairman.--But I do not altogether rely on Huc. I think we must see that all this concurrent testimony from so many parts of the world, all bearing on those points contained in the first eleven chapters of Genesis, make us believe that they proceeded from a common origin, and could not have been the simultaneous and independent growth of many different nations at different periods.
The Meeting was then adjourned.