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assertion. M. Anquetil and Sir William Jones have contributed something of information concerning them ; Meninski and Richardson nothing historically: nor so far as we know have the German orientalists; we are yet in the dark. Mr. Higgins proceeds—"I am inclined also to think that the first system of arithmetic was that now possessed by the Arabians, though not invented by them in their present country at least; and that the inventors of the first alphabet made it of right lines at angles, and called it after certain names of its numbers; which in that time, probably in the first lost language, had the names of trees; and from this came all the allegories of Gnosticism respecting the trees in the Garden of Eden, held by the Valentinians, Basilidians, Bardesanians, &c. Allegories of Gnosticism, the produce of a very ancient oriental system, in existence long previous to the birth of Christ-the tree bearing twelve fruits, one in each month, &c. The alphabet was the wood or forest ; the tree was the Beth-luis-nion Ogham system; the upright stem was the sex alpa the Chaldee name for the trunk of a tree. The letters were the leaves growing out of the stem; and the fruits were the doctrines or knowledge of good and evil, learned by means of receiving these doctrines from letters. The allegory may be nonsensical enough, but it is pretty and ingenious; and is precisely the gnostic allegory, with the Irish words Bethluisnion Ogham inserted into it. It is the allegory alluded to in ch. 1, \ 30, in the Welsh poem of Taliessin of the battle of the Trees; the battle between Good and Evil, Light and Darkness, Oromasdes and Arimanes. The dance of the trees to the Orphic Lyre, noticed in the same section, is a Grecian allegory from the same source : and so is the Elm-tree which Æneas found loaded with dreams at the side of the road to the infernal regions; the tree called by the name of the first letter of the alphabet, the Alpa, the trunk which bears all the rest, the Ailm loaded with science, histories, sermons, poems, theories of philosophers, and this book among the rest, in a very conspicuous part a heavy dream I fear, which, like the baseless fabric of a vision (a dream) shall leave not a wreck behind."
All this is very doubtful, but very ingenious and amusing speculation. That the first attempt at writing would be picturedelineation, and the first regular attempt at alphabetic writing would be the different positions and angular junctions of right lines, is, in our opinion, in itself so probable, as to be at first sight admissible. The Ogham character, therefore, is probably the alphabetical character of an ancient but uninstructed people; a people at the commencement of civilization, and it is by no
means indicative of the quantity of knowledge once possessed by that ancient nation we are in search of, and which is irretrievably lost in the stream of timne.
Sir William Jones labours to establish an ancient monarchy in Iran or Persia, .long before the Assyrian monarchy. You may call the people of this ancient monarchy as you please, Hindus, Cuscans, Culdees, or Scythians.
The language of this first Persian monarchy, was the parent of the Sanscrit, the Zerd and the Parsi, as well as of Greek, Latin and Gothic. The Chaldaic and the Pahlivi are offsprings not of the more ancient language directly, but of the Assyrian empire, wherein the primary Tartarian language also prevailed.
That there were three distinct races of men who peopled India, Arabia and Tartary, and who migrated from Iran as their common country. Hence, the first inhabitants of Britain came froin Armenia; or possibly the Irish and the old Britons came originally from the Caspian. Iran, therefore, was the original cradle of languages, of science, of art, and of population, which proceeded thence by streams, not westward merely, but in every direction.
To all this hypothesis of Sir William Jones, Mr. Higgins opposes the astronomical considerations advanced by Baillie, in favour of latitudes 50–40°, and in or in the vicinity of Bactriana. These are, that the mythological, astronomical, Hindoo allegories are applicable to the state of the heavens in and near those latitudes, but are perfect nonsense in Bengal, or even at Be
No astronomers, priests or poets would form their mythoi, allegories, &c. from celestial appearances nearly invisible to them, and neglect the stars immediately over their heads.
Mr. Higgins supposes the modern writlen Sanscrit to be the work of the Buddists, or of the Bramins. Sanscrit is holy writ: sanctum scriptum. It is later than the seventeen letter system, which was common to the Celts, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, Etruscans, (or Umbri) and Romans. In pages 56 and 304, of this work, the instances given of similarity in meaning, in sound, and in grammar, between very many words of the Celtic, Sanscrit and Roman, is too obvious to be doubted. See also the alphabets in p. 257, which shew, beyond controversy, the Phænician, Cadmean, Etruscan and old Latin alphabetical characters to be the same.
The quotation from Mr. Huddlestone deserves notice. (p. 255.) “Of all the post diluvian languages, the Chaldaic has the fairest claim to antiquity : Abraham was called from Ur of the Chaldees, and must have carried that language along with him.
That the Celtic is a dialect of the same language, is highly probable. Nations have, in all ages, been extremely solicitous to preserve their own names, and the names of their Gods. The Chaldaic, Chaldach and the Gaelic Caltach, (a Celt) are exactly the same. That the same God BEL was the chief object of worship in both nations, is beyond dispute. From the same source, the Brahmins, the Phænicians, the Hebrews, &c. borrowed their language and their God, Bel or Baal. The most probable etymon of the word Celt or Caltach is Cealtach, (Cælestes) men addicted to the study of the heavens. Ceal or Cal, in the Celtic, signifies heaven, and its regular adjective is Cealtach or Caltach. The Chaldeans, froin the most remote ages, have been famed for judicial astrology, and the Celts, while their Druids remained, were equally so.”
We would submit in corroboration, that Ceal or Cal, may be the parent of Cælum, Ciel.
Mr. Higgins thinks the Bethluisnion Irish alphabet was brought along lat. 45, from Bactria to Gaul, Britain, Wales and Ireland : and the same seventeen letter system and alphabet the BobeJoth by another colony through Asia to Phænicia, thence by Marinus to Ireland by the way of the Pillars of Hercules. As we cannot distinguish the Irish characters in the Phænician, we see no proof of this hypothesis. It may be so, and it may not
The Pelasgi, (p. 258,) were the colonists who came by sea from Phænicia to Greece. This name was given to them by the Greeks, who knew nothing of their origin, and is, therefore, not their original name. It is probable they came from Dora near to Libanus or Carmel, or elsewhere in Canaan ; they were Dorian, and spake the Cadmean or Doric dialect, yevos Awgixov. Concerning Dora, (see Josh. xii. 1 Chron. vii. 29. Judges i. 27.) The Thracian and Attic was yevos Iwvixov. These Thracian Pelasgi were Scythians or Hyperboreans. Bishop Marsh proves, according to many ancient authors, the Thracians extended to Scythia, All about them is obscure and uncertain, except their very early settlement in Thrace, and their being Dorians. Mr. Higgins' conjectures in pp. 262, 263, are conjectures and no more; nor can we give implicit credit to the positions from thence to p.
267. Hierarchy and power of the Druids. (pp. 270-275.) Druids, assertors of their country's rights. Celtæ and Druids in Germany, (p. 277.) The Celts and Germans were perfectly distinct people. (Cæsar de Bell. Gall. lib. ii. and lib. vi.)
All the instruction given by the Druids was like that of the Pytbagoreans, not written but oral. This thirst after a mono
poly of knowledge is the cause of its being lost. It is a monopoly connected with the ORDER.
The Celts generally, and the Druids particularly, held the same doctrines with Pythagoras, (p. 305.) The worship of one Supreme Being, a state of future rewards and punishments, the immortality of the soul, and a metempsychosis. Cæsar, who · knew them well, says, (lib. vi. De B. Gall.) “In primis hoc volunt persuadere, non interire animos, sed ab aliis post mortem ad alios transire putant.” This was the doctrine of the Chaldees also.
These doctrines, their hatred of images, their circular temples open at the top, their worship of fire as the emblem of the Sun, their observation of the most ancient Tauric festival, (when the Sun entered Taurus*) their seventeen-letter alphabet, and their system of oral instruction mark and characterize the Druid in every age and every country of the world, by whatever name the priests of the country may have been known.
Human sacrifices. (p. 291.) These were not unknown to the
Sidonians, Tyrians, Ammonites and Israelites. (Exod. xxii. 29, Trung
Judges xi. 30, 1 Kings xvi. 34, compared with Josh. vi. 26.) Nor are the Druids, by any means, exempt from the reproach. Indeed, this horrible practice may be found among the Egyptians, Phænicians, Scythotauri, Laodiceans, Lacedæmonians, Arcadians and Cretans : in Chios, Salamis and Sicily. The Romans offered human victims after the battle of Cannæ, nor, according to Dion. Halic., did they abandon the practice till one hundred years before our era. For the authorities on which these assertions are founded, see pp. 294, 295, 296.
The author ends his book by an opinion, that the institution of the priesthood, as a separate order of men, has, in all nations, been an evil; adopting, in this respect, the opinion of the Society of Friends, (p. 292,) that such an order is not necessary, and has not been of advantage to pure and practical Christianity. In this, as in other respects, the Society of Friends and Mr. Higgins have an undoubted right to entertain their own opinions, and our readers, a majority of whom are likely to think differently, have an equal right to theirs. It seems unnecessary, at this time, to enter into any controversy, to determine what, on this point, is the result of public or private expedience. Follow
According to Sir William Drummond, the sun entered Taurus at a period which
ing the dictates of our best information and our own conscience, we acknowledge in others the right to do the same.
The author has not touched on the connexion of his researches with the Mexican nation, except in one paragraph, (p. 252): a connexion briefly noticed by Niebuhr in two or three passages of the commencement of his Roman History. Nor has he mentioned the connexion betwcen the Basque (Armorican) and some of the North-American languages, discovered by Professor Vater. The open temples, the pyramids, the human sacrifices, the comparatively exact chronology of 18 months of 20 days each, with periodical intercalations for five days and six hours, are notable circumstances among the Mexicans. So are their new fires at the commencement of secular periods, and the immense Peruvian walls. (Niebuhr, vol. i. pp. 119, 215.)
A friend has furnished us with the following strange connexion between the eastern languages and the isles of the Pacific Ocean ; which, he says, was first suggested in the lectures of Professor Vater.
TATOOING. nieuw (tatoophet): does not occur as a verb. It is found twice only in the holy scriptures, and always in the same structure, expression and law. Exod. xii. 16. Deut. vi. 8. Deut. xi. 18. The two latter are mere repetitions of the former sentence. And they shall be as frontlets (or remembrances) between thy eyes.
The versions are various. The Syriac version is 1301 (doohhrono) memorial or remembrance. The Chaldee version on (tipheleen) from San (tophal) to adhere. The LXX. Symmachus and Theodotion, render it, Exod. xiii. 6, by acaheumov, immoveable. As a
As a noun feminine plural noun (frontlets,) or scrolls of parchment with portions of the law written upon them, which the Jews were enjoined to bind on their foreheads, as Matt. xxiii. 5, 23.
Niebuhr in his Description de l'Arabie, p. 55, speaking of the head-dress of the Arabs in Yemen, and particularly of their outermost cap, says, “I have seen upon those which my friends have shewn me, the words La allah illa allah Mahomoud resoul allah. There is no other God but God, and Mahomet is his prophet.”
Of the recent translations some have followed the Syriac, (Memorial) and some the Chaldee and Greek (frontlets.) But as no one knows the origin of this word, the interpretations cannot be uniform.
We find (Lev. xix. 28) that Moses prohibited marking or stigmatizing: referring either to those made on the body in mourning