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uninstructed mind. The most calculations, many of which have venerable of the Hebrew scrip- been verified in an absolute mantures, the Law, or Pentateuch, is ner by the inscriptions on the proved to have existed substan- Apis tombs, but is also verified by tially in its present form for 2150 the rate of the slow secular years by the Greek translation formation of the delta of the Nile, known by the name of the to the north of the ancient port of Septuagint. It is shown, with Memphis. extreme probability, to have under- This exact determination of dates gone but little alteration for a encounters no difficulty according further and more remote period of to the traditional sense attributed 680 years by the existence of the to the second section of Genesis by Samaritan version. Its authorship the natural guardians of the sacred is attributed, in the Mishna, to law. Nor can it be denied that the the Prophet Moses, which would simple grammatical sense of the bring back its date to 3580 years whole passage is fully accordant from the present time. It includes with the Jewish creeds; while it portions of earlier documents, on presents an insuperable difficulty the nature of some of which
to those of their opponents. The extraordinary light has been re- Jewish doctors hold that this book cently thrown by the discovery of traces the descent of their nation corresponding legends, written from its first progenitor.
The from a polytheistic point of view, Christian doctors insist on the in the burnt clay records of tracing to this progenitor the pediAssyria. In the earliest, or at all gree of the whole human race. Not events the second of these canon- only the utterers of the hundred ical sections, the pedigree of tongues of Aryan speech, those of the Hebrew people is traced to an the two hundred Turanian lan. ancestor in the nineteenth genera- guages,
the black, woolly negro, the tion before Abraham,
the common long-eyed Egyptian, the squat progenitor of the Jews and of Esquimaux, the yellow Calmuck, certain other Semitic tribes. The with all other varieties of mankind, attached chronology attributes presenting differences which in extraordinary longevity to the first other parts of the animal kingdom ten patriarchs of this line. The are termed specific, are asserted to Chinese records, indeed, attribute be the progeny of one pair, but a reign of 100 years to Yu (the that of a pair who lived 6660 years contemporary of Noah), and we
It is not too much to say are not in a position to deny the that such a supposition is absopossibility of a very great length lutely inadmissible. Not only was of life at a remote period of the Egypt a mighty empire at the time history of man. But, allowing the when this peopling of the whole full measure, not by the ordinary earth from one centre is said to length of generations, but accord- have commenced ; but we have proof ing to the chronological statements that it must even then have been a of the Book of Genesis, we arrive very ancient people. As to the at an epoch only about 350 years Assyrian races, their written records before the founding of Memphis, are not as yet deciphered to a date for the date of the proto-patriarch much anterior to that of Abraham; of the Semitic people. The date but mighty nations at that period of Menes, the founder of Mem- made war with one another, and phis, is not only matter of monu- each new discovery rolls back the mental inscription, and of dynastic curtain that hangs over the history
of the past. Geology lifts a yet tions, or that of 2800 years, or the more impenetrable veil, and shows determination of a period contempothat human footsteps are to be rary with the building of Memphis, traced on the surface of our planet gives an impossible date for the for hundreds of thousands, and origin of the Aryan, Turanian, and probably for millions of years. African
from Semitic All this material evidence is stock, that at ten times perfectly consistent with the Jewish hundred times that distance of interpretation of the Book of times such a descent might have Genesis. We omit, at present, the commenced. And what if so? It discussion of the question of the is of the parents of Seth, the mode of the creation or birth of eighteenth progenitor of Abraham, Adam. The passage was forbidden that the incidents relied on for to be studied by the Jews, except theological argument are related. under special conditions; and the Destroy the individual identity, and idea that it was a simple bit of the question of common ancestorliteral history, intelligible to any ship becomes entirely irrelevant. reader, is one of the last that could The question, indeed, is one have occurred to any student of within much narrower limits than the law of Moses. The point to above stated, although it has been remark is, that while the Jewish thus brought forward in anticiexplanation of the Jewish Scripture, pation of the abandonment of a to the effect that it traces the his- position, if possible, yet more tory of the Jewish people to its untenable. Not only does the first ancestor, is uncontradicted by formalisation of Christian dogma any facts of history or of science, demand the acceptance of the belief either ethnological or chronologi- of the descent of the human races cal, the assumption that the whole from the nineteenth ancestor of race of man descended from the
Abraham, but it brings down the nineteenth progenitor of Abraham, period of primary division for ten or from a human pair who lived more generations. The whole earth, 6660 years ago, is utterly, demon- theology asserts, was submerged stratively, and ridiculously false. by a flood in the time of Noah; a
Nor is it any escape from this date which the chronology of the conclusion to endeavour to fritter Hebrew Scriptures shows to have away the difficulty by quibbling as been a thousand years later than to details. The position at which the building of the pyramid of history and science have enabled Cheops. The accumulated impossi. to arrive is this : The definite bilities attending on any attempt interpretation of a Jewish book to at a literal interpretation of the which Christian theologians have ancient allegory of the flood-an pinned their general scheme of allegory told in cuneiform legends theology is demonstrably false. to the worshippers of Bel and of Whether the Jewish interpretation Ishtar, in language appropriate to be right or wrong is beside the ques- their different mode of faith and tion. It is, at all events, free from of worship-are so great, that the the unsurmountable difficulties that attempt to maintain the orthodox accompany the Christian interpre- view of the subject is becoming tation ; and it must be remem- tacitly abandoned. But it should bered that the doctrine must be be remembered that it is this taken in its entirety, or not at all. exaggerated impossibility which is It is no reply to say that, although consecrated by dogmatic teaching, either the lapse of nineteen genera- and that, although the consequence drawn from the assumption is not before honest investigation the so fundamental as that with re- whole edifice remains “in the gard to the original pedigree, it air.” yet plays an important part in the It is not impossible to ascertain formalisation of dogma.
how, in a period of great ignoOn this purely ethnological and rance, an assumption so wild as chronological question, as to the that of the derivation of all the decision of which there can be no families and dialects of mankind more doubt, in the present state of from a single stem within the human knowledge, than as to the historic period originated. It solution of a rule of three sum, the sprang, like so many other assumpentire scheme of formal dogma has tions to which it will be necessary been made to depend. The scheme to give some attention, from ignorof Christianity is based on the ance of the full meaning attached doctrine of original sin and to the Pentateuch by the Oral Law, ricarious sacrifice. “Original sin, and by the Synhedral legislation; says the Church of England (and although this was the only meanin this respect she is at one with ing which could have been familiar Rome and with Geneva), "standeth to the Evangelists or their connot in the following of Adam (as temporaries. The Oral Law dethe Pelagians do vainly talk); clares, in the plainest language, but it is the fault and corruption that every Israelite (with certain of the nature of every man, that specified exceptions) was an heir naturally is engendered of the of eternal life. This assertion, like offspring of Adam.” It is need- the greater part of the dogmas less to enter into the inventions of the Mishna, is only a developwith which Calvin and his followers ment of the doctrine literally to be have embellished a theory, the very deduced from the Pentateuch. The basis of which, in the face of expression that the Lord God history, entirely evaporates. Grant breathed life into the father of the literal meaning, and
and the Seth, and that he became a living historic truth, of the account of the soul, was held to mark the great garden and the apple—what inte- distinction between the Jew and rest has the record to any man of the other races of mankind, such non-Semitic blood ? It is no ques
as those whose daughters were tion of the infirmity of human married by Cain, and were the nature, of man's proneness to error, fair Mothers of the Giants. And or even to guilt. These are matters the remarkable distinction made in on which all philosophers and all the Pentateuch, and more elaboreligions are much at one. The rately specified in the Mishna, as point to keep in view is, that the to the defilement from the corpse stain of evil which, in theologic of a Jew or of a Gentile, was held formula, renders man liable to to be grounded on this essential eternal punishment, and demands difference. According to the fixed à vicarious sacrifice, descends by rules of interpretation, the ascripnatural generation in a certain tion of immortality to every human family, with which ninety- Israelite involves the denial of seven per cent. of the tribes of that gift to the non-Israelite. mankind have no blood relation Hence arose the wonder with which whatever. So precise and authori- the early disciples are represented tative has theology been in lay- as saying, “ Then hath God also to ing this first stone of the edifice, the Gentiles granted repentance that when that stone crumbles unto life.”
How far certain expressions in “Hear, oh Israel, the Lord thy the Epistles of Paul may be held God is one God,” was held to exto have any genealogical meaning press the absolute unity of God, may be matter of doubt. But the tinot one in genus, nor one in Jewish doctrine that immortality species, nor as one individual which was confined to the children of is divided into many unities, nor Adam, blended with the Pauline one as an extended body, which is doctrine that immortality was at- one in number, and can be divided tainable by the Gentiles, led to the to infinity; but the Blessed God is explanation that the Gentiles were one in simple unity, so that there the descendants of Adam. It was is no unity but His." To this idea useless for Jewish doctors to pro- that contained in the words, “ the test that this was not the meaning whole three persons are co-eternal of their Law. They were allowed together and co-equal,” is as no voice in the matter. Science formal a contradiction as can be had not then spoken with a certain predicated. The question is not utterance, and the science of the to whether of the two creeds we day was contemned by the early may hold it fit to adhere. Neither doctors of the church. Thus it is it how far either of them may came to pass that, for the very be an inadequate expression of a foundation stone of dogmatic truth beyond human conception, Christianity, an error of the gravest or without the pale of human knowhistoric magnitude was lightly and ledge. The point to grasp is that ignorantly adopted.
the two conceptions are so opposed It is hardly necessary to proceed that the first cannot have been the beyond these two cardinal instances
parent of the second. To the of the adoption of a rite, and the Semitic mind the Trinitarian docenunciation of a dogma, con- trine is not simply heretical, it is temptuously opposed the one to inconceivable. To the Aryan mind the direct institution of Moses, and it is familiar, in many forms well the other to the only interpretation known in the temple worship of of the Book of Genesis which is India, and shadowed forth in the consistent with historic truth. But, mysteries of the triple Hecate. The in order to prove that the dog- Aryan idea prevailed in the Aryan matic system of theology requires Church, and the reading of the some re-consideration, it may be Hebrew Scriptures in that light well to glance at one or two other was as natural as it was erroneous. points of primary doctrinal import- So again, with regard to the atance, in which the attribution of tempt to explain away the whole an Aryan sense to Semitic lan- vigour and energy of the Law by guage veils the existence of the describing it as allegorical, symprofound and unbridged gulf that bolic, or prophetic. Nothing is lies between the teachings of the more emphatically condemned in Synoptic Evangelists and the the Oral Law than this method. Twelve Apostles on the one side, The invention of what is called the and the Christianity of Constan- "type" (a figure of thought at tine and of Sylvester on the other. once more specific and more arbi.
No conceptions can be more trary than poetic metaphor or opposed than the two ideas of the parabolic, or mythic symbol) may Divine Unity, the one expressed by be traced to the Alexandrian Jews; the formulæ framed by Moses, and who sought, by interpreting the the other by the writer who law in a non-natural sense, to excuse assumed the name of Athanasius. their permanent residence out of
the Holy Land, and other heresies the prediction of a future event of their community. The evasion, which fell out as predicted. This though pardonable in its origin, was very test limited the time of the fulcondemned by the Sanhedrim, and, filment. It must be within the according to the Judaic standard, life of the prophet—within the justly. Its own eternal permanence time during which the choice to was the very marrow of the law. obey or to disobey his counsel were As such it was accepted and de- possible. Otherwise this crucial clared by Jesus in plain words, if test of the value of his words would in an extended or or heightened
value. The contrast meaning. Even assignment of rea- between either of these kinds of sons for an injunction-such as prediction and the idea that events that not to take the bird with the in the long distant future were young peremptorily for- clearly indicated by prophetic bidden. The literal law, not the vision is palpable. The latter view intent or the philosophy of the law, is Aryan. The imposition of such was the study of the Jews of an interpretation on strained pasPalestine in the time of the writers sages of the ancient law is as conof the New Testament. The trary to the letter and to the spirit Philonic language of the author of of the injunctions of Moses, as is the Epistle to the Hebrews is as the explanation of the reference to opposed to Jewish orthodoxy as it the temporal welfare of the Jews, is possible to conceive. The ques- and the maintenance of the daily tion is not, again, whether of the sacrifices of the Temple, as being of two views is the nearest to the what is called a spiritual purport. truth. It is the representation of The undated, and so far as the the second as the development, literature of the subject goes, uninstead of as the mortal antagonist authorised, misapplication of the of the first, that is plainly impos- word Sabbath is another instance sible; and that has yet been taken of the break of the tradition of the as a standpoint of dogma.
apostles. The Church of Rome, The same change of standpoint indeed, has not gone to the extent has to be remarked with reference of that of Geneva, and does not to prophecy. Prediction plays a apply the Jewish name of the very different part in the Aryan seventh day of the week to the mind from that assigned to it in first. Easter Eve in the Italian the Law of Moses. There, two Church is called by its appropriate kinds of prediction only are to be historic name of Sabato Santo. found. One is the alternative or It is remarkable that the passages on conditional prediction, which is that which Calvin and his followers rely of a promise or of a threat. It is as showing that at all events Paul nothing absolute. This do, and had established a religious venerathou shalt live, and it shall be well tion for the first day of the week with thee all the days of thy life. among his converts, show exactly Thus not do, and the evil that has the reverse. In the first epistle to befallen other nations shall over- the Corinthians, the writer plainly take thee. The other kind of recommends his readers to make prediction is that which was men- the first day of the week a day of tioned by the Law as the authori- reckoning accounts, and of "laying sation of the message of a prophet.
by in store ” charitable offerings for His word was not to be obeyed,
the relief of the poor.
The latter, unless it was avouched by a sign,
if it involved carrying money, and of all signs the greatest was
would have been a direct violation