Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

1816.] On the supposed Antiquity of the Globe.

23 sideration of the country which gave Europe, on the other hand, are of opithem birth. Should this design be car nion that their origin dates from a comried into execution, it will be a monu- paratively recent period,”—proposes to ment erected by the Genius of Sculp- “ consult different sciences, and comlure to that of Patriotic Valour, and pare their data,” in order to “ decide thus united, perpetuate their names between the discordant opinions of Euthrough succeeding ages.

rope and Asia,-between the calculation Liverpool, Dec. 30, 1815. W. S. of the Bramins and that of the Levites !"

In the prosecution of his design, he YR. EDITOR,

begins by " inquiring of ASTRONOMY, AFTER the many and just animad- the science wbich embraces the universe versions on the “Magazine of Infidelity," with all its spheres, and wbich is acwhich bave appeared in your pages, it is quainted with the longest epochs,--such rather surprising to find in them a paper as the precession of the equinoxes,calculated to support the same unhallow a space of 25,000 years and more.” But ed cause. Such is the communication in finding that “ Astronomy says nothing your number for Deceinber last, con decisive respecting the creation of the taining Arguments tending to prove earth,” he proceeds to “ interrogate His-, the high Antiquity of the Globe.” These TORY,---which, in the shape of tradi“ arguments," as your correspondent tion, seems to go back into the origin of terms them, are nothing less than a bold, things.". He finds that, " as a science, though feeble attempt, to overthrow the History is one of the latest date;" and whole system of revelation, by calling in that CHRONOLOGY " is so new, that no question the divine inspiration and cre use has been made of it by Herodotus." dibility of the Sacred Writings! Your “ The Hebrews, however," he observes, insertion of such'a paper can only be “either at Babylon or in Egypt, invented attributed to those liberal and impartial the method of arranging occurrences in sentiments you have invariably 'mani- a kind of chronological order. They fested; while the principles oa wbich adopted it in their annals, which were in your work is conducted induce the hope, consequence less confused than the chrothat any thing tending to check the pro- nicles of several other nations." Yet, gress of error, and subserve the interests such is his partiality for these “ other of religion, will meet with early attention. nations," who were strangers to chrono

The means en ployed by INVESTIGA- logy, and could fix the date of no event TOR to depreciate the Word of God are much prior to the Babylonish captivity similar to those adopted by infidels in with any degree of certainty, that he general, who mostly assume an air of prefers their vain conjectures to the sure discernment, and affect to be very learn- chronology of the Jewish Scriptures. He ed. With respect to the age of our tells us that, “ according to the Egypworld he tells us, that “ there is not a tians, their kingdom had subsisted fifty priest, not a lama, not a bonze, not a thousund years”--that “Plato, who lived talapoin, but is perfectly satisfied;" while four hundred years before the Christian there is “ not a philosopher but confesses era, åssures us that for more than ten his total ignorance." But did those thousand years painting had made no prodigies of universal science, Bacon,. progress in Egypt”--that “the magi of Locke, and Newton, confess their igno-' the Chaldeans boasted that they posrance on this head?-or were they not sessed an uninterrupted series of astrorather perfectly satisfied with the Mo-nomical observations during a period of saic account of the Creation, and the 4,730 centuries”-that “ the Indians to chronology of Scripture? This we have this day assure us, that they have had from undoubted authority,—that they kings in their country for more than considered the Sacred Volume as having 4,320,000 years.” Pretty fair calcula“God for its author, and TRUT” with- tions, truly, for a boasting people, who out any mixture of error for its matter. confessedly made them all at random ! Yet, without the least deference to such However, on the authority of these philosophers as these, your correspond- boasting assurances, made by a people ent places the inspired penmen on a

who had no method of arranging occur level with the sages of Hindostan; and rences in order of time, we are gravely finding that“ the nations of Asia believe told that, “as the Hebrew chronology that their existence commenced innu- ascribes so short a duration to the existe merable centuries ago,--while those of ence of the earth, it seems to hare been

set up only to contradict the Egyptian Locke's Works, 10th edit, vol. x. p. 306. and Chaldean calculations, as well as

« What

1

men.

very

24

On the supposed Antiquity of the Globe. [Feb. 1, the Phæniciun, which numbered 30,000 than 529 years before Christ. * years !!!” But shocking as this must be dependence," says President Gagnet, to the mind of every sincere believer in can we place upon the certainty of Rerelation, we are further told respect- Chinese chronology for the early times, ing the history and chronology of Scrip- when we see those people unanimously ture, that “ it is connected with the avow, that one of their greatest mogeneral system of the legislator of the narchs, interested in the destruction of Hebrews, whose chief aim it wus to sepa- the ancient traditions, and of those who rate his people from other nations, and preserved them, caused all the books to inspire them with prejudices against which did not treat of agriculture, or of the two powerful states by which they medicine, or of divination, to be burnt; had been successively enslaved !!!" Aud and applied bimself for many years to after having thus aimed his shafts at the destroy whatever could recal the knowveracity of Scripture, and the integrity ledge of the times anterior to his reign? of a sacred writer, he would persuade us About forty years after bis death they to conclude, that “the whole Mosaic his wanted to re-establish the historical dos tory of the Creation may perhaps be, cuments; for that purpose they gathered like the name of the first man recorded together (say they) the hear-says of old by Moses, merely mythological!!. And They discovered it is added) thus, if we can digest this view of the some fragments of books which bad subject, the Pentateuch is not only a escaped the general conflagration: they production entirely human, but the most joined these various scraps together as important part of its bistory a fable! they could, and vainly endeavoured to

The slender and insufficient compose of them a regular history. It grounds, however, on which this mon- was not, however, till more than 150 strous hypothesis depends, are easily years after the destruction of all the exposed. It is well known that " the monuments (that is to say, till the year commencement of authentic profane 37 before Christ) that a complete body history is judged to be about a hundred of the ancient history appeared. The years before Nebuchadnezzar's time. author himself who composed it, SseThe learned Greeks and Romans used to Ma-tsiene, had the candour to own, that call the ages before that the fabulous he had not found it possible to ascend age; but the times after that period with certainty 800 years beyond the they called the historical age.* And as times in which he wrote. Such is the chronology," a science so new that no unanimous confession of the Chinese.t" use has been made of it by Herodotus," Besides, their pretensions to high antiis acknowledged to be of Hebrew origin, quity, founded on the report of astronowhat dependence can we place on the mical science, have been found inconboasted antiquity of other Eastern na- sistent with themselves. It has been tions? Very properly does Lucretius proved that the earliest Chinese obserinquire, if the globe be of such antiquity, vations are those of two fixed stars (one “ Cur supra bellum Thebanum, et funera in the winter solstice, the other in the Troja,

vernal equinox) in the reign of their Non alias alii quoque res cecinêre Poëtæ?

king Yao, who lived after the Mosaic Quò tot facta virûm toties cecidêre, nec usque date of the General Deluge, that is, Æternis famæ monimentis insita florent ?

2,357 years before Christ. Cassini asAnd though it certainly “ would be very signed the date of another of their most easy to assert, that the schoen of the early observations to be only 2,019 years Egyptians, the magi of the Chaldeans, before Christ. § And since, according the colao of the Chinese, and the bonzes to the testiinony of Mr. Morrison, our of Tibet, are inistaken in regard of the English missionary at Canton, “ insinantiquities of their respective countries, cerity and want of truth are vices which and that the Lediles and monks alone cling to the Chinese character, surely were possessed of sound sober under.

no impartial inquirer after truth would standing," with respect to the Chinese, lay much stress on any thing coming who may be taken as a fair specimen of from that quarter; much less could any the rest in this matter, something more virtuous mind place their accounts in than assertion has already been pro- Voyage à Peking, &c. tom. i. duced. Monsieur de Guignes bas re

+ Origin of Laws, Dr. Henry's translat. cently shewn in a most satisfactory man- vol. iii. ner, that the existence of the Chinese Bianchini Histor. Univers. c. 17. empire cannot be traced farther back Burn's Officer's Complete Armour.

President Edwards' Works, vol. v, p. 105. # Evangel. Mag. vol. xxiii, p. 427.

1816.] On the supposed Antiquity of the Globe.

25 competition with those of the Hebrew their country--or in what way this could Scriptures.

prevent their advancement in 6 learnThe condact of INVESTIGATOR and ing and magnificence”-is left for your M. Langlès, in placing the fabulous his. readers to conjecture; but surely there tory of Grecce on a par with authentic can be no difficulıy in conceiving that history and chronology, building their “five or six centuries” were sufficient calculations on " the expedition of Bac- for the acquisition of all that was ever chus, according to the conjectural dates attributed to them. The advancement of Pliny and Arrian, and thence main. of national character does not depend taining that the said expedition “must so much on time, as on natural genius have happened 2,724 years earlier than the and other circumstances under the direcperiod at which the Jews and Christians tion of Providence; by whose decrees place the creation of the world"—is truly nations flourish or decline, and by which ridiculous and trifling. If the age of we are made to know that there is a authentic history did not commence until God whose kingdom "ruleth over all.” * about 100 years before Nebuchadnez- - The " prodigious grottoes,” therefore, zar's time," and if the Greeks and Ro- " and sculptural figures in the mountains mans considered all as fabulous and un- of Ellora,” are no such “ manifest proof certain before that period, how could that the arts must have been cultivated Pliny or Arrian say any thing decisive for a long series of ages before the bold on the expedition of Bacchus?.“ Ex plan of such an enterprise could have bibilo nihil fit.". But if your correspond- been projected;" for "if improvements ent can be satisfied with any date as- in the arts have any necessary dependsigned to a supposed event, which he ence on time, how is it that the modern's first inentions as "a real fact," and then are so generally inferior to the ancients ? as “ an expedition which can scurcely Of Bramin fables enough has been said be doubted,"-perhaps most of your read to shew that no confidence can be placed ers will be of a different mind. And in the alleged antiquity of these grotwhereas he supposes “the Bramins toes; and though it is asserted, that the would be highly diverted if we were to work is such as even at the present adduce the Hebrew or the Samaritan day we should be incapable of accomchronology as an irrefragable proof that plishing in Europe," we may venture to the world is not older than about 6,000 say, that British workmen need only be years," we can assure him, that if he engaged, and every obstacle would vanish finds cause to be diverted with them, it before them. cannot be for 'want of faith that he Your correspondent seems to imagine rejects the authority of Scripture. If a great difficulty in affording an explanahis heart were as easily gained as the tion how, at the time of Herodotus, the assent of his understanding, we might Egyptian pyramids could have been só surely be induced to bope, that a man old, that the time of their construction who entertains such implicit belief in was already buried in total obscurity." Hindoo fables, would easily be made a But it seems less difficult to account for convert to the religion of the Bible, as such a fact among a people unacquainted soon as its evidence should be laid be- with the art of writing, thau to account fore him.

for a similar fact more nearly allied to It is observed by INVESTIGATOR, that our own times. Every circumstance " the Hebrews represent the period connected with the erection of our cas- which elapsed between the Deluge and tles in Haverfordwest and Pembroke is their departure from Egypt to have been actually buried in oblivion; so that the no more than 857 years ;" so that, inhabitants of these places can give no cording to this calculation, Egypt, so ce- account their early bistory. It is only lebrated for learning and magnificence, while such objects are new that mankind could not have existed longer than five feel interested about them; in the course or six centuries at the above-mentioned of a few generations inquiry naturally epoch." This, be maintains, " is evi- ceases; with other old things they bedently impossible, especially for a coun come neglected, until their memorial intry that is annually overflowed, and that evitably perishes, unless preserved by could only be inhabited by colonists pos some faithful monument.--As to the sessing sufficient skill to be able to keep wonderful story of the “ two zodiacs the river within due bounds!" The na- very curiously carved in stone, found by ture of this “ skill-how it enabled the French saduns who accompanied the Egyptians to keep a “river within Buonaparte in his expedition to Egypt due bounds" while it annually overflowed it is so Jame, and savours so much of New MONTHLY MAG.-No, 25, Vol. V.

E

ac

26
Account of the Bazaar, Soho-squarc.

[Feb. 1, French infidelity, as to lay it open, prima widely-circulated magazine. Sublime facie, to strong suspicion. One of these conceptions may be augmented in effect zodiacs." proves," as we are told,“ that, by obscurity, but projects for the benefit at the time of its execution the summer of mankind require to be brought into solstice was seen in the sign of Virgo." the clearest light; and while I do not We are informed that “the other placed reject the omne ignotum pro magnifico, in Leo;" that these sadans were con it

may

be expedient to adopt a different vinced, that this zodiac belonged to a motto in the present instance, and say, solar year; and that, at the time of its Omne notum pro bono. In truth it apformation, the sun was in the sigo Ca- pears to ine, that the admirable scheme pricorn.” We are further assured, that which I am about to unfold to you re

they shewed that this formation dated quires only to be generally understood at least 15,000 years back; because, in order to be generally approved ;-at since that period, the summer solstice least I can answer for myself, that when had retrograded seven signs, from Capri- first explained to me, I was delighted corn to Taurus!!!" But if the veracity alike with the novelty of its invention, aud ability of these savans were admit- the excellency of its plan, the charity of ted, and their calculations ever so accu its design, and the sound moral and rate, who does not perceive that all this practical usefulness of all its dispositions; depends entirely on the previous ques- --and since that period, the more I have tion, whether these zodiacs were made considered the matter, the more have I according to any astronomical observa- become convinced of 'the immediate va tions, or merely as architectural orna- lue of the institution, even limited to merts, without any particular regard to one establishment, and still more of the the real place of the sun? The difference incalculable advantages which may here between them renders it probable that after accrue to society should it happily they were not made with any scientific flourish and spread its branches over the nicety. To fix their respective ages by land. the place of the sun, as represented in It would be a waste of time, and a them, is evidently begging the question. prostitution of reasoning, were I to enter The whole affair shews how easily upon the painful task of demonstrating Frenchmen are convinced," when they the actual existence of the wretchedness find an opportunity of devising any means which it is part of the object of the to bring the Scriptures into disrepute. BAZAAR to relieve. Alas, sir! the miseIt is not truth, but the subversion of re- ries of mankind are too certain, too ligion, which they seek; and bence, while universal, too obvious, to admit of doubts your correspondent, and the savans to either as to their reality, their extent, or whom he refers, plead for the bigh anti- their afflictiveness. Where can we turn quity of the globe, Laplace insinuates our eyes without witnessing their preponthat the world cannot be above half as derance? Into what rank of society can old as Moses makes it !

we penetrate without gathering the sad To be coneluded in our next.) conviction that there is no class free

from its share in the common lot of buMR. EDITOR,

manity? Well may we generalize the TO a work devoted to patriotic, use- poet's expression, and exclaim after this ful, and benevolent purposes--to such survey. a publication as the New Monthly Ma Suffering is the lot of all our tribe!" gazine~no apology is necessary for the it is the birth-right of our species, the following communication on a subject inseparable companion of our being. involving all these recommendatory qua

What then is the philanthropist's and lities. Deeply imbued with the convic. Christian's office? Is it to murmur at tion of the utility of the BAZAAR, and the dispensations of Providence, or to sit of the great advantages which the exten- down in actionless despair? Assuredly sion of it promises to the country, though it is not. The feelings of the heart, and I have already employed my pen in the precepts and the example of the bringing it before the public, I cannot

divine teacher of our faith, point all to refuse myself the satisfaction of obtain- another course :-to alleviate the wocs ing for it further notice by requesting a

of our fellow.creatures, to relieve the place (where a place is so peculiarly wants of the destitute,—to succour those appropriate) in your well-conducted and who are ready lo perish. Such is the

object of the Bazaak ! Expos. du Système du Monde, liv, iv. But though there is not one living soul

who would question the expediency of

* chap 4

1816.)
Account of the Basaar, Soho-square.

27 charity in the abstract, there may be the community, instead of converting many who entertain very different ideas them into useful inembers of society: as to the proper mode of applying the But the Bazaar has no such limita principle. The legislature has recently tion in its objects: it extends its views been most benevolently employed in in- of utility far beyond this sphere. Its vestigating the state of pauperism and grand design spreads into almost every mpendicity': its labours have shewn how rank of social life, and desires to benemuch aud how often men have been mis- fit them all; it invites indeed the humtaken when they imagined they were blest, but it also presents the most hoaffording aid to the miserable and the nourable means of employment to a unfortunate. In other quarters the ex- multitude of persons who have heretocellent institution of Savings Banks,- fore been condemned to penury and founded as it appears upon the purest hopelessness by the insuperable difficulmotives, and upon the best rules of po- ties and equally insuperable delicacies litical economy,--have met the sense of of their situation ;-in short, it is to enthe country; and, in spite of the objec- courage Female and DOMESTIC INDUStions to which they are liable in particu. TRY. lar instances of private erection and re

Before entering into a more detailed sponsibility, they are now so firmly esta- view of this branch of the plan, it may blished in public opinion, that there is be requisite to copy the brief outline every prospect of their becoming, what is which has been circulated. all they want to render them perfect, a

BAZAAR, great combined national concern, under Opened to encourage Femule and Domesá the guarantee of the Government.

tic Industry. On similar grounds with the Savings “ Shop counters, in an immense range Banks does the BAZAAR claim the ap- of premises eligibly situated, to be let to proval of the British peoplé.

persons of respectability, by the day, and It is not intended to be a gratuitous by the foot measure, according to their accharity; it has no view to administer tual wants. The expense of taxes, heating, pecuniary assistance to mendicants, who lighting, and watching, being borne by die s toil not, neither do they spin;" it is from, and charged, according to space and

landlord, the tenant will be exempted therenot an asylum for the utterly destitute çime, with daily rent alone ; which may be who cannot nor will not labour; of these for one day, or one foot, or to any greater places of refuge, and of funds sufficient extent, at the rate of three-pence per foot; for all good and charitable purposes, by which accommodation the industrithere is ample provision already,--and ous, though with slender means, may hope the BAZAAR, so far from a tendency to to thsive; reduced tradesmen may recover add to the nutr.ber of the former, or and retain their connexions ; beginners may augment the amount of the latter, is form friends, connexions, and habits, before calculated to accomplish a nobler end, they encounter more extensive speculations; in diminishing the mass of applicants for and artists, artisans, and whole families, empublic relief, by inculcating the neces- ployed at home, although infirm or in the sity, and putting into their power the country, may securely vend their labour to means of providing for their own wants

advantage by proxy. by their own industry.

“ By immense numbers selling under These remarks apply to the lowest obtained, equally and highly beneficial to all

the same roof, an attractive display may be order of society, to whom the Bazaar parties concerned ; and equally important to will open the road of usefulness and in- all are the advantages that may result from dependence; and, were it simply con

the exertions of each, to obtain for themfined to this class, I am free to affirm selves the patronage and farour of their parthat it must stand much higher in esti- ticular friends." mation than the foremost of our bene No. 5, Soho-square. volent associations, inasmuch as the with Who can look upon this project withdrawal of persons from a state of abject out being at once struck by its applicawant and dependance on casual bounty, bility to numerous cases of individual setting them upright, and teaching them and family difficulty or distress? Who how to attain comfort and respectability can give it a few minutes reflection withby reliance on their own exertions, is out perceiving into what an endless mulinfinitely superior to the administration titude of ramifications its usefulness die of mere unearned charity, which is verges? To strengthen this impression, speedily exhausted, and leaves the par- which every one must feel, though perties wretched as before, a burthen to haps not so vividly in the aggregate, I

« AnteriorContinuar »