Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

That it was SAMUEL himself that appeared, to Sunl is evident from all cireum. stances; and the reasons that God should appoint him to appear on this occasion might be to reprove the practice of witchcraft, and to establish the truth of the , immortality of the soul upon the foot of sensible evidence. Delany's Life of David. Sce Poole, also, and Univ. Hist.

[ocr errors]

First Epistle of Joho, c. v. 16. If any man sec his (sick) brother SIN A SIN, which is not unto death, (i. e. for which God hath not peremptorily threatened and required that he should die for it, as he did to them who were guilty of murder, Gen. ix..5, 6,1 and for Idolatry, Deut. xvii. 2, 3, 4, 5,) he shall ask (of God restoration of his life and health,) and he shall give him life for them that sin'not (thus) into death. There is a sin unto death (of which God hath denounced that he that doth it shall die for it.): I do not say that he shall pray for it, (i. e. for deliverance of the person guilty of it from death.). Whitby's Parap.

It must be owned, that if that festival, the SABBATI, had been instituted and kept from the beginning, we cannot see why Moses should be so exact and cautious in the particulars he gives about the institution and observance of it, especially in his probi, bition of gathering manna on that day, unless we suppose, with Philo, that the Israelites had quite lost the memory of it. Univ. Hist. vol. iii.

This might perhaps be the case, or the Israelites might have relaxed so inuch in the religious observance of it as to make the re-institution of it necessary; and the prohibition of gathering manna on the Sabbath, which was a miraculous provision for them, was to instruct the Israelites that the Sabbath, or one day in seven, after the example of God in the creation of the world, was to be observed as a religious rest throughout all generations.

[ocr errors]

By the sun's standing still, Josh. x. 12, 13, the whole land of Canaan was made sensible that a mightier God was on Israel's side than any that was worshipped there, by stopping the course of the sun and moon, the two grand deities of these idolatrous nations. Had Israel's sword alone gained the conquest, it would have been imputed to: their strength; had nothing happened but the storm of hail-stones, to chance; where as the stopping the two great luminaries in their career, thus universally felt, must convince those unhappy people that their Gods were subject to that of Israel, as well as preserve the latter from falling into the Idòlatries of the former, Univ. Hist. vol. iii....

i The Canaanites worshipped the sun by the name of Baal and Moloch, and the moon by the name of Ashtoreth. God, therefore, wrought this miracle that he might teach them, as well as the Jews, that Jehovah, the God of Israel, created and govemed : these. Owen's Serm.

Verisimile

* Verisimile est Josuam utrumque astrum vidisse; nam luna tunc nova fuit; nec procul Ta sole meavit. - Vates Habbakkuk inter alia Dei miracula, solem lunamque substitisse memorat, c. iii. 11. Sic Siracides, c. xlvi. 5, 6. Nec est quod miretur aliquis rem tantam non esse gentium literis proditam memoriæ; nihil enim in illis commemoratur ex iis, quæ ante bellum Trojanum acciderunt, quo vetustiores erant res a Josue gestæ mille circiter annis. Masius, &c. in Polo.

Et redurit umbram decem gradibus, &c. 2 Reg. xx. 11. Quid retrocessit? Num sol? An vero umbra tantum? Ipse sol retroactus fuit, ut patres communiter docent. Reduxit umbram, et ex consequenti solemn, a quo umbra dependebat. Probatur, 1. Ex Is. xxxviii. 8, ubi dicitur reversus est sol; et idem Ecclesiast. xlviii. 26. 2. Umbra horologii nequivit retrocedere, nisi sole retrocedente, &c. 3. Cur alioqui a Babylone submissi legati inquirerent de hoc portento, si istud umbratile tantum, nec nisi Jerosolymis in unico regis horologio spectatum fuisset, 2 Chron. xxxii. 31. Non penitus id nesciverunt Ethnici. Hinc, vel ex miraculo Josuæ, desumptum, quod finxerunt poetæ de nocte à Jove duplicata, ut Alcmenà frueretur: de quo vide quæ loquitur Sos. in Plaut. Amphit. Certe wdepoi scio, &c. Herod. etiam in Euterpe meminit tum cædis Sennacheribi, tum solan is hujus prodigii, sed veris multa falsa periniscens, ut ait Josephus. Persæ in meinoriam hujus prodigii soliti triplicem solem 'celebrare, pata progredientem, regredientem, ac iursum progredientem. Masius, Tirinus, &c. in Polo. : . The best method to account for the miracle is to suppose that it consisted in the bare reversion or inflexion of the sun-beams. Univ. Hist. vol. iv. • The worship of Ham, or the sun, as it was the most antient, so it was the most universal, of any in the world. It was at first the prevailing religion of Greece, and was propagated over all the sca-coast of Europe, from whence it extended itself into the inland provinces. It was established in Gaul and Britain, and was the original religion of this island, which the druids in after timnès adopted. Bryant's Mythol. vol. i. p. 284. i

I have shewn that the Telchinian and Cabiritic rites consisted in Arkite memorials.The like mysteries, according to Artemidorus, prevailed in one of the British isles, in which he says that the worship of Damater was carried on with the same rites as in Samothracia. I make no doubt but that this history was true, and that the Arkite rites prevailed in many parts of Britain, especially in the isle of Mona, where in after times was the chief seat of the Saronides, or druids.' Monai signifies insula Selenitis, vel Arkitis." It was sometimes expressed Menai, as is evident from the frith between the island and the main land being styled Aber Menai at this day. Aber Menai signifies fretum 'insulæ, dei luni, which island undoubtedly had this name from its rites. The same worship was probably farther introduced into some of the Scottish Isles, the Hebrides of the antients, and particularly into that called Columbkil, or Columba. 1 li2

This

[This island is said to have been in old time a seminary, and was reputed of the highest sanctity; so that there is a tradition of above fifty Irish and Scottish kings being there buried. Columb-kil is plainly a contraction of Columba-kil, which was not originally the name of the island; but of the temple there constructed. The island was simply called Columba. When there was a change made in religion, people corverted the heathenish temples to sanctuaries of another nature; and, out of the antiént names of places, they formed saints and holy men. Hence we meet with St Agnes, St Allan, St Earth, St Enador, St Herm, St Levan, St Ith, St Sancreta in Cornwall; and from the Caledonian Columba there has been made a St Columbus, This last was certainly a name given to the island from its worship; and, what is truly remarkable, it was also called löna, a name exactly synonymous, which it retains to this day. But out of Columbus they have made a saint, and of löna a bishop. See Camden, p. 1462. Bryant, vol. ii. p. 473. '

STONEHENGE, and works of the same nature, we generally refer to the Celts and the druids, under the sanction of which names we shelter ourselves. whenever we are ignotant and bewildered. But they were the operations of a very remote age, probably before the time when the druids and Celtæ were first known. I question whether there be in the world a monument which is much prior to the celebrated Stonehenge. There is reason to think that it was erected by a foreign colony, 'one of the first which eaine into the island. Here is extant at this day one of those rocking-stones, of which I have been speaking: the antients distinguished stones, erected with a religious view, by the name of umber, by which was signified any thing solar and divine. The Grecians called them petræ ambrosie, and there are représentations of such upon coins, Stonehenge is composed of these amber stones; hence the next town is denominated Ambrosbury, not from a Roman Ambrosius, for no such person existed, but from the ambrosia pétre, in whose vicinity it stands. Some of these, I have taken notice, were rocking-stones, and there was a wonderful monument of this sort near Penzance, in Cornwall.' It still retains the name of Main-Amber, by which is signified the sacred stonesmain, whénice comes mænia, signified, in the primitive language, a store. Bryant's Myth. vol. iii, p. 33.

Choir Ghauz, the British name of Stonehenge, may be properly rendered the Grand, Choir, as it exceeded all other works of this kind in bigness and dignity, on account of the Arch Druid, or of his holding his grand assembly of all the inferior ones in this place. The most probable conjecture concerning Stonehenge, from the relation which the barrou's, or burying-places, bear to the building, is, that this last was the centre.or. Kebla, that is in other words the point of view, or distance to all the rest, and might be erected at the charge of the whole nation, and be designed, not only as a magnifieent: monument, or father an open and majestie edifice for the performance of funeral rites to the whole people, and inore especially to those of superior rank and merit; but like

[ocr errors]

wise to ascertain dlíc property o cach barrdy co its respective family, by the lumber of cubits or furlongs they stogd east or west from it. Cuivo Histo: stand

Rowley, in his poems, has pointed out the origin and use of that famous monument of antiquity, Stonehenge, so little noticed by: our antient writers. He asserts, with great truth, that it was a temple erected by the Britons to Thuri.or:Taurari

, the Celtic Jupiter; for, according to Keysler, Thor, Celtis, est Taran, vel Taram. Now Taran, pr Taram, in the lech, or Irisli languages, sigtrify thuigder. Hence: Jupiter Tonans fias worshipped in Britain under the title of I'ananus, and jau altar dedicated to him by that appellation 1.0. M.:Tanaro, Javi, Optimo, Marind, was dug up at Chester, 1658 and is still preserved ainong the Arundelian marbles at Oxford : Lucan, lib.ii..p: 446) inentions the same deity. Milles's notes on Rowley's Poems, p. 71,

Abury is a stupendous monument of druillism, first noticed by the inquisitive Mo Aubrey, and since accurately surveyed and commented on aby &beindefatiyable! De Stukeley. - Both this temple and Stonehenges were almost entire about the year 17 164 At present there only remain a few stones standing of this once magnificent and exi traordinary monument of druidical architecture. The stones employed in all, those works, from 50 to 70 tons weight, are the same as those at Stonehenge, brought from Marlborough Downs, where the country-people call them Sursens from a Phænician word for a rock. Although the disfigured plan and ruined state of this: yast druidical fane forbid us to speak with all that preciseness and decision necessary to the esta blishment of a new hypothesis, yet my conjecture of the stones being placed in, number and order, consonant to ideas founded in astronomy, borders nearly upon cer-> tainty, when we consider the various corroborating circumstances in the preceding ac-> count. The remarkable numbers, 100, 60, 80, and 18, constantly occurring unavoidably bring to our recollection the great periods of astronomical theology: the centuryu seragenàry cycle of India, the thirty years which formed the druid age, the twelve sigus. of the zodiac, and the number of years in which the revolutions of Saturn are per formed; of which, multiplied by fivé, it has been previously observed, the sexagenary.. cycle was originally fabricated. Thus the greater circle consists, we are told, of 100 stones, the whole temple is surrounded with a circular rampart 60 feet broad, and with a ditch of exactly the same breadth, and the two concentric circles inclosed within the greater : the outermost consists of 30, the inner of. 19 stones. Dr Stukeley comax putes that the two avenues, one leading to Kennet, the other to Beckhampton, were each formed of 190 ; stones; but; as of these so: very few remained for him.. to form a just computation by, we may, fairly, upon the ground of analogy, . and as having an 'equal reference to astronomical calculation,' state the number of each; to have been 180, which doubled, gives the total amount of the antient 1 year, before it was reformed by the superior correctness of modern astronomers. These are all plain vestiges of the solar devotion, as well as proofs of its universal in

i Anence, which.spread from the plains of Babylony. Where, it originated under Belus, to.. the rocks and forests of Britain, first tenanted by his posterity the Belida, that pri

mával colony, who instituted the bealtine; and who, according to Mr Bryant's and my own supposition, were the fabricators of Stonehenge and the designers of Abury. Maurice's Ind. Ant. Vol. vi. p. 137, &c.'..

Abury, or Abiry, is evidently dirived from 7'ax, abir, potens, validus; as Cabiri is from vaa, cabir, importing the same.

[ocr errors]

: Dr Secker (Archbishop of Canterbury) was a wise man, an edifying preacher,
and an exemplary bishop; but the course of his life and studies had not qualified him
to decide on such a work as that of the Divine Legation, . Even in the narrow walk of
literature he most affected, that of criticising the Hebrew text, it does not appear that
he attained to any great distinction. His chief merit (and surely it was a very great
one) lay in explaining clearly and popularly, in his sermons, the principles delivered
by his friend Bishop Butler in his famous book of the Analogy, and in shewing the
important use of them to religion. Bishop Hurd's Life of Warburton, 'p. 82; but bis
lordship had probably never seen the archbishop's interleaved bible, in four vol. folio,
now in the MSS, library at Lainbeth, which contaiús a vast fund of theological learn-
ing. See also Mr Wintle's vindication of the archbishop.
· The Scripture is not, indeed, a plan of Christianity, finished with minute accuracy, to
instruet men as in something altogether new to them, which it was not, or to excite a
vain admiration in thém; but it is somewhat unspeakably.nobler and more extensive,
comprehending in the grandest and most magnificent order, along with every essential
of that plan, the various dispensations of God to mankind, from the forming of this
earth to the consummation of all things. . It begins with the ground-work of natural
religion, the creation of the universe by one holy and good and wise Being; relating,
distinctly; kow all those parts of it, which the heathen' worshipped as gods, were in
truth-the work of God's hands. It proceeds to the origin of the Patriarchal, Jewish,
and Christian, religion, the introduction of sin by the fall of our first parents, of wbich
we experience the wretched effeet. It goes on to that amazing punishment of sin, the:
universal délugey proved to be as certain, as it was wonderful, by the remaining traces of
it throughout the globe. It then recites the second peopling of the world, the relapse
of mankind into wickedness, the choice of one family and people to preserve the..
knowledge of God, and to be as a light shining in a dark place for the benefit of all about !
them that would tum their eyes and feet to the way of peace. It lays before us the
laws given to this people. It recounts their history, chiefly with regard to their moral
and religious behaviour, and dwells on the characters and actions of their -inost re-
markable persons. It supplies us with admirable patterns of genuine piety in the ,
Psalms, most virtuous instructions for the prudent conduct of life in the book of Pro-
verbs, for bearing aillictions in that of Job, for thinking justly of wealth, honour,
pleasure, science, in Ecclesiastes. Then in the prophetical books it gives us, together
with the sublimest and wortbiest ideas of God and our duties towards him, the most

athecting

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »