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The historian Josephus confesses, in his answer to Appian, that the Jews had not long had any intern course with other nations :- :-“We inhabit,” says he,
a country distant from the sea; we do not apply ourselves to commerce, nor have we any communication with other nations. Is it to be wondered at that our people, dwelling so far from the sea, and affecting never to write, have been so little known?”*
Here it will probably be asked, how Josephus could say that his nation affected never to write anything, when they had twenty-two canonical books, without reckoning the Targum by Onkelos. But it must be considered that twenty-two small volumes were very little when compared with the multitude of books preserved in the library of Alexandria, half of which were burned in Cæsar's war. It is certain that the Jews had written and read
very little; that they were profoundly ignorant of astroe pomy, geometry, geography, and physics; that they knew nothing of the history of other nations; and that in Alexandria they first began to learn. Their language was a barbarous mixture of ancient Phoenician and corrupted Chaldee; it was so poor, that se, veral moods were wanting in the conjugation of their verbs.
Moreover, as they communicated neither their books nor the titles of them to any foreigner, no one on earth except themselves had ever heard of Adam or Eve, or Abel, or Cain, or Noah. Abraham alone was, in course of time, known to the Oriental nations; but no ancient people allowed that Abraham was the root of the Jewish nation.
Such are the secrets of Providence, that the father and mother of the human race have ever been totally
* The Jews were well known to the Persiansfor they formed part of their empire; afterwards to the Egyptians, for they carried on all the commerce of Alexandria; and to the Ruinans, for they had synagogues at Rome. But though in the inidst of the nations, they were always separated from them by their institutions; they did not eat with strangers, nor did they communicate their books until a very late periode
unknown to their descendants; so that the names of Adam and Eve are to be found in no ancient author either of Greece, of Rome, of Persia, or of Syria, nor even amongst the Arabs until near the time of Mahomet. It was God's pleasure that the origin of the great family of the world should be concealed from all but the smallest and most unfortunate part of that family.
How is it that Adam and Eve have been unknown to all their children? How could it be, that neither in Egypt nor in Babylon was any trace-any tradition of our first parents to be found? Why were they not mentioned by Orpheus, by Linus, or by Thamyris ?--for if they had said but one word of them, it would undoubtedly have been caught by Hesiod, and especially by Homer, who speak of everything except the authors of the human race. Clement of Alexandria, who collected so many ancient testimonies, would not failed to quote any passage in which mention had been made of Adam and Eve. Eusebius, in his Universal History, has examined even the most doubtful testimonies, and would assuredly have made the most of the smallest allusion, or appearance of an allusion, to our first parents. It is, then, sufficiently clear that they were always utterly unknown to the nations.
We do, it is true, find among the Brahmins, in the book entitled the Ezourveidam, the names of Adimo and of Procriti his wife. But though Adimo has some little resemblance to our Adam, the Indians reply “We were a great people established on the banks of the Indus and the Ganges many ages before thọ Hebrew horde moved towards the Jordan. The Egyptians, the Persians, and the Arabs, came to us for wisdom and spices when the Jews were unknown to the rest of mankind. We cannot have taken our Adimo from their Adam ; our Procriti does not in the least resemble Eve; besides, their history and ours are entirely different.
“ Moreover, the Veidam, on which the Ezourveidam is a commentary, is believed by us to have been com posed at a more remote period of antiquity than the
Jewish books; and the Veidam itself is a newer law given to the Brahmins, fifteen hundred years after their first law, called Shasta or Shasta-bad.
Such, or nearly such, are the answers which the Brahmins of the present day have often made to the chaplains of merchant vessels who have talked to them of Adam and Eve, and Cain and Abel, when the traders of Europe have gone, with arms in their hands, to buy their spices and lay waste their country.
The Phænician Sanchoniathon, who certainly lived before the period at which we place Moses,* and who is quoted by Eusebius as an authentic author, gives ten generations to the human race, as does Moses down to the time of Noah; but, in these ten generations, he mentions neither Adam nor Eve, nor any of their descendants, not even Noah himself. The names, according to the Greek translation by Philo of Biblos, are Æon, Genos, Phox, Liban, Usou, Halieus, Chrisor, Tecnites, Agrove, Amine ; these are the first ten gene, rations.
We do not see the name of Noah or of Adam in any of the ancient dynasties of Egypt; they are not to be found among the Challeans; in a word, the whole earth has been silent respecting them.
It must be owned that such a silence is unparalleled, Every people has attributed to itself some imaginary origin, yet none has approached the true one. We cannot comprehend how the father of all nations has so
* What causes many of the learned to think that Sanchoniathon was anterior to Moses is, that he does not mention Moses. He wrote at Beytus, a town situated near the country in which the Jews established themselves. Had Sanchoniathon been cotemporary with or posterior to Muses, he would not have omitted to mention the terrible scourges with which the latter visited Egypt; and he would assuredly have related that the Jewish people had ravaged his country with fire and sword. Eusebius, Julius Africanus, St. Ephraini, and all the Greek and Syriac books, would bave cited a profane author who bad boruç testimony to the Hebrew legislator. Eusebius, in particular, wbo acknowledges the authenticity of Sanchoniathon, and translated fragmeuis of bim, would have quoted all wbich re: lated to Moses,
long been unknown, while, in the natural course of things, bis name should have been carried from mouth to mouth to the farthest corners of the earth.
Let us humble ourselves to the decrees of that Providence which has permitted so astonishing an oblivion. All was mysterious and concealed in the nation guided by God himself, which prepared the way for Christianity, and was the wild olive on which the fruitful one has been grafted. That the names of the authors of mankind should be unknown to mankind, is a mystery of the highest order.
I will venture to affirm, that it has required a miracle thus to shut the eyes and ears of all nations—to destroy every monument, every memorial of their first father. What would Cæsar, Anthony, Crassus, Pompey, Cicero, Marcellus, or Metellus have thought, if a poor Jew, while selling them balm, had said, " We all descend from one father, named Adam.” All the Roman senate would have cried,
“ Show us our genealogical tree.” Then the Jew would have displayed his ten generations, down to the time of Noah, and the secret of the universal deluge. The senate would have asked him, how many persons there were in the Ark, to feed all the animals for ten whole months, and during the following year, in which no food would be produced ? The pedlar would have said, “We were eight—Noah and his wife, their three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, and their wives. All this family descended in a right line from Adam."
Cicero would, doubtless, have enquired for the great monuments, the indisputable testimonies which Noah and his children had left of our common father. After the deluge, he would have said, the whole earth would have resounded with the names of Adam and Noah, one the father, the other the restorer of every race,
These names would have been in every mouth as soon as men could speak, on every parchment as soon as they could write, on the door of
every house as soɔn as they could build, on every temple, on every statue, and have you known so great a secret, yet concealed it from us! The Jew would have answered ---It is because we are pure and you are imi pure. The Roman senate would have laughed, and the Jew would have been whipped : so much are men attached to their prejudices !
The pious Madame de Bourignon* was sure that Adam was an hermaphrodite, like the first men of the divine Plato. God had revealed a great secret to her) but as I have not had the same revelation, I shall say nothing of the matter, The Jewish Rabbis have read Adam's books, and know the names of his preceptor and his second wife; but as I have not read our first parent's books, I shall remain silent. Some acute and very learned persons are quite astonished when they read the Veidam of the ancient Brahmins, to find that the first man was created in India, and called Adimo, which signifies the begetter, and his wife Procriti, signifying life. They say that the sect of the Brahmins is incontestably more ancient than that of the Jews; that it was not until a late period that the Jews could write in the Canaanitish language, since it was not until late that they'established themselves in the little country of Canaan. They say that the Indians were always inventors, and the Jews always imitators; the Indians always ingenious, and the Jews always rude. They say it is very hard to believe that Adam, who was fair and had hair on his head, was father to the Negroes, who are entirely black, and have black wool. What, indeed, do they not say? As for me, I say nothing ; I leave these researches to the reverend Father Berruyer, of the Society of Jesus. He is the most perfect Innocent I have ever known; the book has been burned, as that of a man who wished to turn the Bible into ridicule; but I am quite sure he had no such wicked end in view.t
* A female fanatic of the 17th century.-T.. * We have a great many English Innocents, like Father Berrayer, wbose object might seem to be the defathation of tbe deity whom they affect to adore. What a God is the God of the