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priest could not leave his profession after his initiation is clear from the information we possess: of the penalties we are ignorant, but they must, doubtless, have been severe. It must have, moreover, been impossible from the prejudice of the people at large, and the inaptitude on the part of the recipients, to understand, without years of study, the elaborate system of the priesthood, which none but the higher orders could have perfectly comprehended. The kings appear to have been initiate priests--nay, sometimes the priests obtained the office : both may be inferred from the titles attributed to them in the hieroglyphs. The frauds were all that a renegade priest could have divulged, and in doing so he would have had to struggle with the prejudice and ancient reverence of the people, who ever like the marvellous and are content to be deceived. “ A little jargon (says Gregory Naziansen to St. Jerome-Hieron. ad Nep.) is all that is necessary to impose on the people.” Few, even in the present high state of civilization, like the trouble of thinking; and there are, perhaps, few among us who do not willingly pay another to save us from that most intolerable of all labour, especially when it belongeth not to our peculiar profession. The cuique in suả arte credendum est, is a very wholesome maxim. The priest will comfort the sick mind as the physician the sick body, and the lawyer the declining or involved estate; the soldier will fight professionally, the agriculturist produce, and the merchant exchange. “We do not gather grapes of thistles.” Maimonoides tells us, " The ancients, directing all their attention to agriculture, gave names to the stars derived from their occupation during the year." The same learned Jew informed us that the ancients, having assigned to each planet a colour, an animal, a tree, a metal, a fruit, a plant, formed from them all a figure or representation of the star; taking care to select a proper moment, a fortunate day, or some other favourable aspect. They conceived that, by their magic ceremonies, they could introduce into those figures or idols the influences of the superior beings after which they were modelled; and these were the idols adored by the Chaldean Sabeans, who were obliged when performing their worship to be dressed in the proper colour. The astrologers by this practice introduced idolatry, assuming the position of dispensers of heavenly favours, and persuaded the simple agriculturists that they were the dispensers of rain and other blessings of the seasons : thus, agriculture was regulated by the priesthood, who made their gains by the dispensations of talismans and charms against locusts and the like plagues. The sun was supposed to assume the forms of twelve animals according to Jamblicus de Symbolis Egyptiorum, and in this capacity was the Proteus or grand Metamorphist. Herodotus tells us the Arabs of his day shaved their heads about their temples, in imitation of the disk of the sun, represented under the type of Bacchus; and Jeremiah confirms Herodotus on this point. The Mahominedans have preserved this pagan custom, borrowed from the Egyptians, who represented the sun in the winter solstice as having but a single hair on his head. It is true they give it another interpretation, asserting that it is by this tuft that the angel of the resurrection will draw them up to heaven; for it must be remembered that the Mahommedans and Christians adopt the resurrection of soul and body, while ancient philosophers doubted whether both or either enjoyed immortality. The robes of the Goddess of Syria and the Diana of Ephesus, whence the sacerdotal robes, have the twelve animals of the Zodiac depicted upon them; rosaries, too, are found upon all Indian idols constructed upwards of four thousand years ago, and are still used by all nations of the East without reference to confession. Thus the Mohammedans use ninety-nine beads representing the ninety-nine names or attributes of the Deity: the hundredth, they maintain, will be revealed in the last day.* The Roman Catholic Christians use seven times ten beads with seven stops: the first ten represent Ave Marias, the eleventh Pater-posters, with three pendant for the Trivity, and the long bead the Creed; thus the total number is seventy-seven—the mystic number twice written. Egyptian mummies, supposed to be those of the initiated, hold in their hands a cross without the upper limb, the signification of which has not been determined; and for want of a better denomination has been termed the “Nile Key” (vide the statues in the British Museum passim). Bootes or Osiris hold the episcopal crosier, and the Lamas wear the mitre or conical cap, a type of the sun or the flame of fire. The Egyptians represented eternity by the figures of the sun and moon: hence a circle, or a serpent with a tail in its mouth. The world is typified by a blue serpent with vellow scales, which is the starry Chinese dragon. The figure of Isis, called Sothis, designated the year. Isis or Sothis was the Syrius or Dog-star, which rises in the beginning of the
and its inscription found at Sais, is, “I rise in the constellation of the dog." Following the principle first enunciated, the year is also typified by the palm-tree—the tree which affords everything necessary for man from food to raiment and architecture; a branch represents a month, for it throws a new one every month. The writing is from right to left, for such is the movement of the stars; and this, oriental nations have, with very few exceptions (the Malays), preserved. As the Nile rose when the Dog-star, Anubis, appeared, so a dog represents a prophet, for which the Hebrew is Nubi (Al Nubi). The inundation was at its height under Leo: therefore a lion is put for inundation; this is the origin of this animal being used for fountains with water issuing from its mouth. God is represented by a black stone, because his ways are inscrutable: hence, destiny. The stone of the Caaba at Mecca, worshipped by the Pagan Arabs and adopted by Mohammed as the Kebla, or point of union and attraction, not to offend their deep-rooted prejudices, is black. All white things represent the celestial or luminous gods: all circular ones, the moon, the sun, the world. Fire and the Olympic gods are represented by obelisks and pyramids from the natural form of Aame, and the word “Baal” is found in the Egyptian word for a pyramid—(Baal signifies fire or the sun, so the Greek trup in pyramids). Air was considered the generative power. The lotus (Nenuphar) is the moving spirit of the sun; for the lotus swims on the water without connexion with earth, and is round in all its parts, whether leaves, fruit, or flower. A helmsman, as governing all, is the type also of the sun.
* Some maintain it is Al Hou, The He,
The worship of the sitting figure to be found at Elephantina, painted blue, with the head of a ram and the horns of a goat encompassing a disk, represented the conjunction of the sun and moon in the sign of the ram, the colour denoting the power of the moon at that time to raise water into clouds (“ Euseb. Proeceps. Evang.," p. 160). The hawk is also an emblem of the sun from its soaring power.
A fish denotes aversion, and the hippopotamus violence, because it is said to kill its father. As the heaven of the fixed stars causes the revolution of the sun (supposed to revolve) in a direction opposite to its own, hence the Scarabæus is found with the mortal remains of man returned to earth. The number five also represents the earth by the elements which Diodorus Siculus enumerates, as earth, fire, air, water, and spirit. The Indians have five elements; and Macrobius, in his “ Mystics," asserts God to be the primum mobile, the intelligence or mens born of him, the soul of the world which proceeds from him, the celestial spheres and all things terrestrial : hence, Plutarch derives the word Trévte from mâv, all: the Persians have the same word, Penge for five.
The ass represents Typhon, clay or clayey, from its simularity of colour; and in Hebrew, clay, red, ass, have the same root, hanır. We term mortals clay, and Jamblicus, too, says clay is the emblem of matter, and perhaps the phrase of Macrobius,
« all is perishable,” gives the theory, first physical, and then moral, of the system of good and evil of the ancients.
Porphyry states that sacrifices of blood were only offered to evil genii : the Egyptians, says Plutarch, offer to Typhon bloody sacrifices only: the red ox and the animal immolated was held in execration and loaded with the sins of the people. Typhon was supposed to war against the human species. Plutarch tells us that all the Egyptians had their animal gods painted at certain periods except the Thebans, who worship a god whose form cannot be represented-Strabo calls the God of Moses, Yaw. Yaw and Yahouh are manifestly the same words; and the word Jupiter, father of Yaw, or the father of Yaw (Yawpater), bas the same root : “ Praise him in the name Jah.” Jah is another root, written with djim, and means 66 Glorious. Now, the Syrian and Phenician alphabets possess neither I. nor V., which are of Tartar origin; and, therefore, subsequent corruptions. The English pronounce it Jay, but the Germans Yay, and the Arabs still call the God of Moses, Yaw, as in the time of Diodorus. The Turks pronounce the letter w as v, and possess in common with the Arabs the letter Djim, who, however, do not apply it in this word. That distinguished scholar, Colonel Rawlinson, is said to have read on a clay record, “The father of Yaw;" whence it would appear that the god of the Hebrews was known to the Assyrian or Mesopotamian nations. We may yet learn something of their religion. The Arab root of Yahouh is hih, to exist: hence “ I am what I am,” the ever existing principle of life. Virgil calls Jupiter “the sun himself;" he is then the author of life, and the idea of representing him with a thunderbolt in his hand is borrowed from the Orphic sect of Egypt in the age of Peisistratus, as typical of his being the beginning and end of all things, and Strabo, at once a philosopher and geographer, has the following remarkable passage :-
“ Moses, who was one of the Egyptian priests, taught his followers that it was an egregious error to represent the Deity under the form of animals, as the Egyptians did, or under the form of man, as was the practice of the Greeks and Africans. That alone is Deity (says he) which constitutes heaven, earth, and every living thing; that which we call the world, the sum of all things, nature ; and no reasonable person will think of representing such a being by the image of any one of the objects around us. It is for this reason that, rejecting every species of idols, Moses wished Deity to be worshipped without emblems and according to his proper nature ; and he accordingly ordered a temple worthy of him to be erected” (Georgr. lib. xii. p. 1104, ed. 1707).
Strabo must have passed as a free-thinker with his Pagan countrymen. Diodorus asserts that the Jews were driven out of Egypt in a time of dearth, when the country was full of foreigners; and that Moses, a man of extraordinary prudence and courage, seized this opportunity of establishing his religion in the mountains of Judea.” The Jews, therefore, probably belonged to the Orphic sect, which, being considered as injurious to the established religion, it was the interest of Government, instigated by the priests, to rid the country of them. That they were a turbulent, unruly, and warlike people, their own chronicles evidence; and, therefore, subjects most obnoxious to an absolute Government. Their frequent relapses into idolatry show how diffieult it was to hold them to the
doctrines promulgated by Moses, and that the old leaven of Isis and Osiris continually rose in them and was with difficulty quelled.
In Mr. Vaux's works the Greek antiquities are placed firstthe Egyptian near the end. We are inclined to find fault with this arrangement, and would ourselves have preferred an order founded on chronology to that based on the perfection of art, which the Greek certainly is. A most judicious abstract of the history of the country and of its art is prefixed, accompanied by some very useful remarks. These are necessarily short and render soine further illustration necessary. Egypt was divided into two sections, the Upper and Lower; and Volney sufficiently demonstrates that Upper Egypt formerly composed a distinct kingdom, known to the Hebrews by the name of Kous, to which the appellation of Ethiopia was specially given :
“In the extreme limits of Egypt, adjoining Nubia, are the ruins of Elephantina and the Island of Philoe, containing a wonderful collection of monuments, grouped together within a very limited space.
“ Passing Philoe, the traveller enters the province of Nubia, divided into Upper and Lower Nubia, and hardly less distinguished than Egypt itself for the magnificence and grandeur of its ruined temples. It has, indeed, been suspected that Egyptian arts and civilization descended the Nile from Nubia ; and there are not wanting indications confirmatory of this supposition in the peculiar character of the Nubian monuments, many of which are gigantic carvings upon the face of the rock itself, pointing to a very remote antiquity for their execution. The principal ruins in Lower Nubia are those of Wady Sivah (the Oasis of Ammon); the rock-cut temples of Ipsambul, Derri, and Girscheh ; and the singularly perfect and uninjured temples of Dandour. Of these the colossal works at Ipsambul may be considered to vie in magnificence with the grandest works at Karnak and Luxor.
Upper Nubia commences at the second cataract of the Nile, in lat. 21° 50', at a place called Wady Halfa, and contains many remains of the highest interest. Of these the principal are those at Semneh, Amara, Solob, Sesche or Sasef, on the Island of Tumbus,