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Easter he went to Tell-Hesy, which his trained eye saw instantly to be “ worth a dozen of all the other places put together.” Here was a lofty mound, with the only spring for miles around. Was it Lachish? Certainly Umm Lâkis was not. Only Roman remains were there. Lachish was one of the five strongholds of the Amorites. Jerusalem, Hebron, Jarmuth, and Eglon were the others. According to Eusebius, Lachish lay in the low country of this very district. Tell-Hesy's natural advantages and geographical site, and the juxtaposition of Tell Nejileh of the same apparent age, gave to Petrie the idea from the start that Lachish and Egion were before him. At great discomfort from heat, noise, influenza, and inefficient laborers he attacked this mound, in which town after town rose in strata. On the top he struck the peculiar pottery of Naukratis. This was known to be about 600 B. C. Just outside the circuit of the town was a sandhill cemetery full of little brown flasks. These were the facsimiles of those found at Ilahun, dated say 1100 B. C. The place, then, must be old as the Judges, and was destroyed at Nebuchadnezzar's invasion, was the swift conclusion.
By the end of May, the sagacious excavator and savant had reached far more definite and startling results. He had become familiar with the Amorite pottery, with its peculiar comb-streaking on the surface, wavy ledges for handles, and polished, red-faced bowls, dating from 1500 to 1100 B. C. This was rendered possible by the winter torrents haring eaten away the whole east side of the town. From top to bottom a grand section lay exposed, giving at a stroke a series of all the varieties of pottery consecutively for a thousand years. The absolute point of date was assured him by the position in the gashed and ragged Tell, some distance from the bottom, of the thin black Phænician pottery, which was known in Egyptian remains as belonging to about 1100 B. c!
The earliest town was of enormous strength, for the lowest wall was nearly thirty feet thick, of unburnt bricks. Mr. Petrie well says it agrees with the account in Numbers that the cities were walled and very great, and in Deuteronomy that they were great and walled to heaven. The Karnak sculptures of Rameses' conquests furthermore match this trait by the massive fortifications they uniformly assign to the Amorite cities. The next period was marked by a stratum of five feet of dust and rolled stones out of the valley below, lying in confusion on the ruins of the great Amorite wall. This accords with what we glean as to the barbaric period of the Judges. Above we meet a period of wall-building, which goes on with intermissions to the end of the history. On the north and west is the first of these walls, thirteen feet thick. This probably belonged to Rehoboam's re-fortification of Lachish, mentioned in 2 Chron. xi. 9, under his new relations to Israel and Egypt. Four rebuildings are traceable on the eastern face. Who can help recalling the fortifications recorded in the sacred narrative under Asa, Jehoshaphat, Uzziah, Jotham, and Manasseh ?
On the south a different character of walls appears. One of the latest is a massive brick wall twenty-five feet thick, and still of a considerable height. We may suppose this the work of King Manasseh. Under it was a great sloping glacis, of stone blocks faced with plaster. Perhaps this was due to Hezekiah's hasty defenses against the Assyrian invader, Sennacherib. Ten feet lower down came a large building almost ninety feet in length, with walls of brick over four feet in thickness. This can hardly be earlier than Uzziah, the royal builder. Go down ten feet lower and you strike another clay-brick structure. It has been ruined, burned, and rudely rebuilt. One can scarcely date it later than 900 B. C. — perhaps 1000 B. C. Here we are at last facing a work of the early Jewish kings, it may be executed by the same school of masons who built and adorned the Temple of Solomon. There are doorways of fine white limestone, and pilasters with sloping sides resting on a low cushion base, and with a volute at the top. This volute seems to have relations to the Ionic capital, and possibly reveals its evolution from a ram's horn. Where, in Jerusalem, masonry everywhere exhibits the marginal draft, and shows the usage of the claw-tool, the latter is conspicuously absent from these regal structures of so many generations.
Tell-Hesy was described by a visitor as “a hurt creature of the geologic ages fallen in its dying agonies.” It was well that it was hurt by a hunter who was also a healer, and out of its very wounds was able to draw such varied, unerring, and vital archæological oracles. No man living had been in a better school, or seized a nobler occasion to lay down a scientific chronology for future excavations in the Holy Land.
The Fellahin, however, robbed Mr. Petrie on the way to Jaffa. The forgers of ancient stones have lately robbed the Tunnel of Siloam of its famous inscription. In the one case they missed the large sum in gold which was in the bottom of a tin box full of photographic plates. In the other they missed the paper squeezes, and the casts of the original before it was treated with hydrochloric acid. A correspondent of Prof. J. Rendel Harris visited last October the wealthy Greek who was said to possess the new Hebrew inscription in the Phænician character. His wife, in her husband's absence, unwittingly showed him first the Great Inscription of Siloam. Then she brought out the novelty. It read : “ This drain was made at the command of ninety and laborers ninety, and the outlay ninety ; remember thou wilt find before thee ninety and behind thee ninety ; take it and thou shalt raise it to a river, and the work is strengthened from Mount Qarhu, from thy work to the place which men will call, and thou shalt remember it, Shiloah.” These numerical details aimed to complete the Siloam inscription after kidnapping the original witress. In vain. The Arab B for the Hebrew P at once laid bare the fraud. The correspondent hurried back to the Tunnel to find the vandalism an accomplished fact. Professor Harris tells us this story most charmingly and instructively in the “Sunday School Times” of December 6.
Another savant in Greek, Professor Mahaffy, has been translating, not a loss, but a find, to wit, the Petrie papyri. They came from Kurob, in the Fayoum, near Crocodilopolis. These Greek MSS., of the third century before Christ at the latest, almost take away the breath of the translator by their unprecedented antiquity. They include portions of the Phædo of Plato, beautifully written in an edition de luxe, and the concluding scenes of the Antiope of Euripides, containing parts of the play hitherto unknown. These papyri were in layers, glued together so as to make the thick cartonnage of mummy cases, when the native revolt against the foreigner made Greek literature of little worth. Another class of papers consisted of wills. Some are dated in the exact formula of the reign of the third Ptolemy, which is known from the Canopus inscription. Not a single Egyptian name occurs among the testators. All are Greeks and Macedonians, who by their scars and regiments are evidently members of a military colony. It is extremely interesting to see that the wills uniformly affirm the sound mind and good understanding of the testator, and name as executors the reigning king and queen. The brief physical descriptions remind one of a modern passport. Some words are unknown to us save in the Septuagint. Among them may be cited åvabálavtos, bald on the top of the head ; Únog kvíarns, short-sighted ; it uppákys, ruddy or red-haired, all used in descriptions of persons. In the “ Athenæums” of October 25 and December 6 may be read a much fuller account of these treasures, rivaling the Ranier papyri made known by Karabacek. Could we ask for more? The “ London Times” of January 19 announces the discovery by the authorities of the British Museum, among their new Egyptian papyri, of the text of Aristotle's treatise on the Constitution of Athens !
On the whole, however, no publication at home or abroad furnishes so complete a chronicle of archæological news as the “ American Journal of Archæology," of which the accomplished managing editor, Professor A. L. Frothingham, Jr., is a member of the faculty of Princeton. In September, 1890, it told its readers of the opening of the tumulus of Marathon. The name was ambiguous, – Soros. Was it Lopós, a heap? or was it Lopós, a coffin ? Was it prehistoric, as the obsidian arrowheads intimated ? Not necessarily. For the reed spears of the Ethiopian troops of Xerxes were tipped with heads of hard stone, if like those described by Herodotus. The man Schliemann found nothing historic there in 1884. Schliemann's method in the hands of the Ephorate of Antiquities in 1890 reached the grave of the one hundred and ninety-two Athenians who fell at Marathon, and whose bodies were burned by their fellow citizens. The vases date the cremation absolutely at the beginning of the fifth century. How the naturalized American — now, too, alas! among the dead — who had made Greece his passion and his home, must have rejoiced !
Delphi in the market! was the cry two years ago. The sum of $80,000, to be raised by America to compensate the villagers of Castri, has been the appeal to men of wealth and culture up to within a few months. When the great concession was on the eve of realization, the last penny having been raised, the Greek ministry fell. The message of the Archæological Institute announcing the raising of the stipulated price reached Athens two days after Tricoupi's retirement. It is feared his successor favors the French claim to excavate the religious centre of Hellas. “What is the prospect about Delphi ?” cabled President Low of Columbia. “Critical, but not desperate,” flashed back the answer from Dr. Waldstein, Director of the American School. Let us hope that the nation of Schliemann, of Sterrett, of Goodwin, of Norton, of Merriam, of Gildersleeve, of Potter, of Marquand, will not have the door of the hall in which the Amphyctyonic Council sat shut in its face, and be robbed by a rival of the glory of uncovering the foundations of the Temple of Apollo.
John Phelps Taylor.
THEOLOGICAL AND RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
A GENERAL VIEW OF MISSIONS. SECOND SERIES.
XI. JAPAN (continued). We have to get used to many changes of nomenclature in Japan. The city of Yedo is now Tokyo (or, as others write it, Tokio), and the great northern island of Yezo must henceforth, it appears, be known as Hokkaido. The American Board has not yet taken up any direct labor in the island, but its missionaries frequently visit it, and various Japanese Christians from the greater island have settled there. It is becoming a good health resort for missionaries living farther south. Dr. Berry, of Kyoto, writes, in the “ Missionary Herald” for January, 1889, from Sapporo, the capital : “ The history of the work there well illustrates what a Christian teacher may do in a government school in Japan. The early influence of President Clark, when at the head of the Agricultural College at Sapporo, has steadily grown, until now we find there an independent, self-sustaining, and self-propagating church of one hundred and thirty members, and embracing those of the very best families in the city," At Mombetsu, also, a church of one hundred is mentioned, of like character. “At Hokadate, too, it was pleasant to be welcomed by young men, strong, influential, educated, — men who will be a power in moulding public opinion and in shaping the future of the island.”
The aboriginal Ainos, whose physical type is rather Aryan than Mongolian, and who, although now barbarous, seem to have decided moral and religious susceptibilities, have as yet only one missionary among them, the Rev. Mr. Batchelor, of the Church of England. They are not diminishing in number, and are likely to be soon admitted to the full rights and responsibilities of citizenship.
Although the negotiations for corporate union between the Congregationalists and the Presbyterians of Japan have failed, for the present, yet the “ Missionary Herald” attests that the conferences have developed “a warm feeling of mutual attachment, interest, and brotherly.love.”
At Nagaoka, the chief justice and his wife have joined the Christians. The “ Japan Weekly Mail,” which is known as inclining to the denial of all supernatural claims of religion, takes issue with Canon Taylor's disparagement of missions. It declares that computations as to number and cost of converts are singularly inapplicable to Japan. “ The good done by missionaries in this country is not to be measured at all by the arithmetical gain they secure to Christendom. First among their eminently useful achievements is the quickening impulse their presence and propagandism impart to the general cause of religion.”
The rapidity with which the gospel has been diffused in Japan must not mislead us into supposing that the elements of a violent and even a persecuting reaction are not largely present in the nation, or that the mass of the Japanese are favorable. The “ Missionary Herald” for May, 1889, remarks : “Mr. C. H. Gulick reports from Kumamoto that, while the mission schools in that city are prospering, yet the best and largest school in the place, having some seven hundred pupils,
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has as its foundation-stone opposition to Christianity, and that the older generation and well-to-do classes manifest great hatred toward the new faith. Mr. Ebina says that few can appreciate the amount of scorn felt and expressed toward the Christians by the mass of their fellow-countrymen.” Buddhists are endeavoring to cast the stigma of disloyalty on the Christians. But this endeavor to emulate a policy which is too often adopted by Christians against Christians in the West is severely condemned by many Japanese journals.
The scandalous and slanderous attacks of Mr. E. H. House upon the missionaries of Japan, in his story of “Yone Santo,” are trenchantly dealt with by the “ Japan Weekly Mail,” which neither represents the partisanship of decided Christian belief, on the one hand, nor the inborn malignity of evil towards good on the other. It says : " He claims that he has thoroughly studied the subject for twenty-five years, and that he knows whereof he speaks; we affirm that for twentyfive years he has been strengthening a prejudiced opinion by partial observation, and that his light thereon is darkness, and we have had as good opportunities for judging, and for as long a time. The mass he depicts as rotten, with a rare individual fit to live; whereas, on the contrary, the bulk of the missionaries in Japan are intelligent, fairly well educated, some of them eminently so, as a whole doing indisputably good, moral, and elevating work for this people, though a rare individual may be open to a portion of Mr. House's terrific censures. The government and intelligent people of Japan recognize and appreciate the good which our author persistently ignores. The ladies' societies and schools have done more for the womanhood of Japan than any other force, and are more trusted and sought after by the Japanese authorities and people than any other elevating agency. The attitudes ascribed to representative missionary ladies in the story are simply impossible; the conversations on religious subjects have an utter woodenness that shows our author floundering out of his depths; they are absurdly untrue to life. The charges of bad food and unsanitary condition in the schools, and consequent attacks of cholera, are false. ... A practical refutation of the slander against these schools is that, though with the years they have rapidly increased both in size and number, they are crowded with students, and almost every town of any size in the empire seems anxious to have one established within reach of its daughters.”
The following communication of Mr. Pettee, of Okayama, is interesting and characteristic in various directions:
“I have just put in nine days of most interesting touring work, visiting seven places, most of them lying along the Inland Sea at one of its most charming points, owing to the large number of islands, the indentations of the coast, and the snow-capped mountains of Shikoku in the distance. My helpers visited place number eight, a hill-town in the interior, which lay outside the limits of my traveling pass.
“There were fourteen baptisms, including two children, in connection with two communion services, four theatre meetings, eleven other formal services, several delightful bits of personal work, and on the last night a grand disturbance which reminded one of old times, and which we fondly hoped was entirely a thing of the past, at least in this part of Japan. A few ardent Shintoists interrupted Pastor Abe while speaking, and though they quieted down at his request, they broke out again, as soon as the meeting closed, in angry abuse of Christianity, and heated debate among themselves.