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not comprehend - will satisfy the aspirations of his nature. The divine remoteness and insouciance of Epicurus and Lord Herbert of Cherbury can never be satisfactory to the general heart, which, out of a postulated God, will, as the Stoics recognized, by its own imperative logic, compel a Providence. Man will not deify law and statistics, but in a created universe demands to be placed en rapport with the Creator. If he has a father, he will not abdicate the privileges of being the recognized offspring of that father. He is no foundling, and declines to be nurtured on the lap of circumstance. “The wise may, indeed,” says Dio Chrysostom in his twelfth Oration, —“the wise may, indeed, adore the gods as being far from us; but there exists in all men an eager longing to adore and worship the gods as nigh. For as children, torn from father and mother, feel a powerful and affectionate longing, often stretch out their hands after their absent parents, and often dream of them,-so the man who heartily loves the gods for their benevolence towards us and their relationship with us, desires to be continually near them, and to have intercourse with them; so that many barbarians, ignorant of the arts, have called the very mountains and trees gods, that they might recognize them as nearer to themselves.” We are aware that the particular office for which the Greek rhetorician used the pathetic assertion just quoted was one in extenuation or explanation of the popular tendency to stay the devout recognition of the gods through symbols and statues, at an idolatry which eonsisted in a worship that went no further than the divine representatives. But the truth is a general one, and to our purpose. The problem was to bring the gods nigh, within the ken and the habitude of the daily thought and experience of mankind; to realize their rule and governance ; to observe the facts of their interference, and inductively to discover the laws by which they manifested their will and purposes.
A solution of this problem had from the first been given to mankind; the intimacy in the beginning had been so close as
REVELATION AND ITS SUBSTITUTES.
to be described in our Holy Writings as a face-to-face communion. Later, after the cessation of this most intimate communion, a revelation had been accorded, which, dawning in cloud and mist, went on to the clearness and lustre of noontide, -a revelation which, at its source narrow and shallow, flowed on, ever increasing in breadth and profundity as the mind of man was educated, opened up and opened out, to receive it. The greater part of the ancient world, however, impatient of the moral restraints and penalties which were the conditions of its enjoyment, cast themselves adrift at once from its duties and its privileges. Still the necessity remained of keeping up, on some terms or other, the connection between heaven and earth. If the contemned celestial light were withdrawn, it must be approximately compensated by a Promethean theft of fire. If the ladder of angelic descent and ascent were folded up, tentative scaling-ladders, which the bitter experience of ages demonstrated to be too short by at least a hair's breadth, were to be planted in the direction of the sky. Thus, throughout the Gentile world, in the place of Revelation, which was God's method of exhibiting his plans from above, arose the art and practice of divination, which was man's method of peering into them from below.
But also with the people amongst whom, on account of a peculiar favour rather than a peculiar desert, the line of successive revelations was kept unbroken, there arose an impatience for indications more circumstantially minute and practical than were consistent with the terms of a revelation which had principally to do with things of principal interest; and which, laying down general laws and insisting upon general moral sequences, left particular cases to be solved, in the light of these and with the guidance of the individual conscience, by a less or more painful process of ratiocination. From this process the sluggish or stupid Jew recoiled; and as the Gentile had set up Divination as a succedaneous revelation, so the Jew erected it as a subsidiary or supplementary
Both Jew and Gentile agreed in this that it was con
PRINCIPAL CLASSES OF DIVINERS.
venient to have a hack Providence, which would work to order in imperial trappings, and not refuse to swink in any the most vulgar of hayband harness.
If a coop of consecrated chickens, martyrs to the pip or to neuralgia, were off their feed, it was divinely intimated that two impatient fleets were to ride au inactive burden on the weighted tide; or that the swords and spears of serried thousands were to rest upon the tented field inglorious and unstained. If a city were engulphed in the undistended maw of an earthquake, or the life of a district consigned to seething petrifaction by the hideous ruin and combustion of volcanic lava--if through the opened casements of Inferno strange fires flashed as lightning over half a cowering world; or if clouds of night, mutually defiant, crashed and bellowed forth a thundering remonstrance, it was divinely insinuated that it would be prudent for some snivelling goatherd and whimpering shepherdess to forego the day that should give them the right of tending, without scandel, their savoury cattle in common. Divination is easily recognized, in such examples as these, as a reductio ad absurdum of the doctrine of a particular providence.
Mention is made in the Scriptures (Deuteronomy xviii. 10, 11, and elsewhere), of nine principal kinds of divination, against which the Jews-who had become tainted with the superstitions of Egypt, a country which served also as the school of the Western world in the abstruse and occult sciences-were especially to be upon their guard. (1.) The first of these was founded on the inspection of the planets, stars, and clouds. It is familiar to us as judicial or apotelesmatic astrology; and its professors were named by Moses meonen, from anan, a cloud. (2.) The practisers of the second are called by Moses menacheseh, a term for which the Vulgate and the generality of interpreters have given augur as an equivalent. (3.) The masters of the third are called mecascheph, a term of which the Septuagint and Vulgate equivalents bear that they were men given to evil practices. (4.) The
fourth kind of divination was professed by the hhober, or enchanters. (5.) The fifth class of diviners were those who interrogated the spirits called Python. (6.) The sixth were witches or magicians, and were called by Moses judeoni. (7.) The seventh were necromancers persons, that is, who consulted the dead. (8.) The eighth were those who were accustomed to ask council of stocks and staves, a species of divination know as rhabdomancy, and bitterly denounced by the prophet Hosea. (9.) The ninth and last principal kind of divination mentioned in the Bible (Ezekiel xxi. 21) is hepatascopy, or the inspection of the liver. Besides these, slighter or incidental allusion is made to divers and miscellaneous methods of evoking the spirit of the distant or the future, of inquiring into the unknown and the remote, whether of time or space, a practice to which not the Jews alone, but all men in all ages. have exhibited a clinamen.
The particular kinds of instruments of divination have varied with the varying aspects and forces of nature, the configuration of the earth's surface, and the character of its productions ; its altitude, flatness, or depression ; its heat or cold, barrenness or fertility; and also with the meteorological phenomena which
effect and interest to its daily or nocturnal heaven. Thus the Assyrians, as pointed out by Cicero, "as a natural consequence of the champaign country in which they lived, and of the vast extent of their territories, which led them to observe the heavens whieh lay open to their view in every direction, began to take notice of the paths and motions of the stars; and having taken these observations for some time, they handed down to their posterity information as to what was indicated by their various positions and revolutions. And among the Assyrians, the Chaidæans, a tribe who had this name not from any art which they professed, bat from the district which they inhabited, by a very long course of observation of the stars, are considered to have established a complete science, so that it became possible to predict what would happen to each individual, and with what destiny each
ANCIENT DIVISION OF DIVINATION.
separate person was born. The Egyptians, also, are believed to have acquired the knowledge of the same art by a continued practice of it, extending through countless ages. But the nations of the Cilicians and Pisidians, and the Pamphylians, who border on them, nations which we ourselves have had under our government, think that future events are pointed out by the flight and voices of birds as the surest of all indications. And when was there ever an instance of Greece sending any colony into Æolia, Ionia, Asia, Sicily, or Italy, without consulting the Pythian or Dodonæan oracle, or that of Jupiter Hammon? Or when did that nation ever undertake a war without first asking counsel of the gods ?"*
Divination was discriminated by the ancients as (1) Natural, and (2) Artificial. It suits our purpose to take up, first, the second of these divisions, as, with a summary notice, it may be dismissed and forgotten ; whilst the remainder of our pages must be narrative and illustrative of a mass of facts of a kind which the all but universal genius of antiquity referred at least to the first division, and which were frequently shown to be susceptible of such elaborate and quasi-scientific interpretations as sometimes—under the generalized name of oneiromancy-bore them well over into the marches of the second.
The whole superstructure of divination as an art is based upon that species of popular fallacy which, more than three centuries ago, made the sanding-up of Sandwich Haven confidently appear to local senility as the result of the erection of Tenterden steeple,—that popular fallacy which, eternally confounding the post hoc with the propter hoc, doggedly refuses to separate or distinguish between sequences and consequences, causes and antecedents. The science was a violent codification, a forcible linking together of facts coincident but independent and irrelevant. The circumstance of its being an aircastle did not, however, hinder its halls and closets, galleries and passages, from being planned with precision ; so that the principles of specific sciences of the genus divination were less or
* Cicero, “De Divinatione."