Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

God will not him forsake although he bow
To icy death, no fears can him appal,

He, dying, clasps his Bible !

"The man of mighty intellect, who seeks

With giant soul, for knowledge, vast and highi, He, like the “ wise mon from the E:1st,” the meek, Bows to the Saviour, looks beyond the sky,

He loves to read his Bible !

The wise, the ignorant, the weak, the strong,

The poor, the rich, the noble and despised, Taught by the Bible, learn to sing the song, Of the redeemed in Heaven, beyond the skies,

All, taught it from the Bible !

LECTURE XXI.

THE BIBLE CONFIRMED BY TRADITIONS, ANTIQUITIES AND

HISTORY

For ASK NOW OF THE DAYS THAT ARE PAST, WHICH WERE BEFORE THEE, SINCE THE DAY THAT GOD CREATED MAN UPON THE EARTH, AND ASK FROM THE ONE SIDE OF HEAVEN UNTO THE OTHER, WHETHER THERE HATH BEEN ANY SUCH THING AS THIS GREAT THING IS, OR HATH BEEN HEARD LIKE IT! Deuteronomy 4:32.

There is much common sense in the Bible. It is not all mystery-prodigy-miracle. There, are, indeed, miracles in that book, as we have shown in succeeding lectures, and if we inquire throughout all nations and ages "since God created man upon the earth,” we shall find that God has never given to any other nation a miraculous revelation, as he gave the Jews. It was, indeed, a “great thing," for the people to hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, (verse 33,) and nothing had ever been heard like it."

But in interrogating the past and the present, we not only learn wherein the Bible differs from all other histories, but we learn that in all common-sense characteristics, it is corroborated by numerous traditions, monuments,

and histories. God has not only given us a history of our world in the Bible, but he has given us a duplicate of that history written in the traditions of men, and in the ruins of decayed cities and empires.

Now, the text intimates that such witness is valid. We may rely upon these fragments of history, written upon the human mind and upon the earth's surface, as well as on much written upon paper, by uninspired authors.

Traditions, monuments of art, and written history, are the foot-prints of humanity, marking the progress of the race from the beginning.

I. In the prosecution of our subject, let us notice some points of autidiluvian history.

1. The Creation first claims our attention. Though, in Genesis, we find the only authentic record of the creation, yet, in the cosmogony of all other nations, we find much that corroborates the Mosaic account.

The oldest treatise on this subject, next to the account of Moses, is that of Sanchoniatho. He wrote respecting the cosmogony of the Phenicians, and a few fragments of his work, are preserved by Eusebius. According to this author, the PHENICIANS believed that the beginning of all things was a dark, windy air, or a breeze of thick air, and a chaos turbid and black Erebus; and that these were unbounded, and for a long series of ages, destitute of form.”

The CHALDEANS belived that there was a time when all things were darkness and water, from which various horrible monsters received life and light. The demon Omorica, presided over this chaotic mass. When the destined hour of creation arrived, Belus slew this monster, and the world

was formed out of her substance. Matter having been created, Belus divided the darkness from the light, separated the earth from the heavens and called the starry host into being

The EGYPTIANS maintained that the beginning of all things, was darkness beyond all conception ; an unknown darkness.

HESIOD mentions :-"A chaos as first existing. Next was produced the spacious earth, the seat of the immortals ; Tartarus hid within the recesses of the ample globe; and divine love, the most beautiful of the deities. From chaos, sprung Erebus and black night; and from the union of Erebus and night were born ether and the day.”

ARISTOPHANES says :-"Chaos and night, and black Erebus, and wide Tartarus, first existed ; at that time, there was neither earth, air, nor heaven. But in the bosom of Erebus, a black-winged night produced an ærial egg; from which in due season beautiful Love, decked with golden wings was born. Out of dark chaos, in the midst of wide spreading Tartarus, he begat our race, and called us forth into the light.”

OVID, as translated by Dryden, says :

· Before the seas and this terrestrial ball,
And heaven's high canopy that covers all ;
One was the face of nature, if a face;
Rather a rude and indigested mass ;
A lifeless lump, unfashioned and unframed,
Of jarring seeds, and justly chaos named.”

But the cosmogony

of the Hindoos makes the nearest approach to that of Moses. The Sanscrit word Brum

handa, earth, signifies the egg of Brumha, in allusion to the earth's spherical form. Amongst the numerous Hindoo accounts of the origin of this world we select the following from the sage Menu, who says, “that this world was all darkness, and undiscoverable, undistinguishable, altogether as in profound sleep; till the self-existent and invisible God, making it manifest with five elements, and other glorious forms, perfectly dispelled the gloom. Desiring to raise up creatures by an emanation from his own essence, he first created the waters, and impressed them with the power of motion; by that power was produced a golden egg blazing like a thousand stars, in which was born BRUMHA, the great parent of all rational beings—THAT WHICH IS the invisible cause, self-existent, but unperceived! That divinity, having dwelt in the egg through revolving years, HIMSELF meditating upon HIMSELF, divided it into two equal parts; and from the halves he formed the heavens and the earth, placing in the midst of the subtle æther, the eight points of the world, and the permanent receptacle of the waters.'

From the above extracts, it will be seen, that darkness, water, chaos and an impulsive wind, agitating the abyss and brooding over the mundane egg, are circumstances that enter into almost all heathen systems of cosmogony. These circumstances do not materially differ from the Mosaic record. The Hebrew words tohu, vabohu, emptiness and desolation, are just what the Greeks meant by chaos. The Hebrew reads, “the Spirit of God was Mararkhafat, brooding upon the face of the waters.” From this expression, the ancients may have derived the idea of a mun

.

dane egg

« AnteriorContinuar »