Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

An interesting account, respecting the discovery of Shushan, the palace, between Turkey and Persia, and also the tomb of the prophet Daniel, have recently been going the rounds of the newspapers. If true, these statements serve, in a most wonderful manner, to confirm the histories given in Esther and Daniel. There being nothing improbable in them, and as they appear to come from good authority, we shall venture to lay the substance of them before our readers. It is said that a gentleman in Boston, has received a letter from a scientific American gentleman, residing in Persia, stating that Col. Williams, the English Commissioner, had discovered the remains of the ancient palace Shushan. The location was confirmed beyond all doubt, and in the "pavement of red, and blue, and white, and black marble,” (Esther 1: 5, 6,) the marble columns and dilapidated ruins Col. W. and his men were able to read the truth of the inspired history. At a little distance, was a tomb upon which was sculptured the figure of a man, bound hand and foot, with a monstrous lion about to bound upon him. No one could doubt the historic allusion of these graphic figures. Thus, after the lapse of more than twenty-three hundred years since the books of Esther and Daniel were written, their duplicate is found engraven upon these ancient relics.

Another account of equally thrilling interest, we gather from a similar source. It is said that certain characters written upon the summits of the craggy rocks of Sinai, have recently been deciphered, by certain learned men of Europe, who, after much labor, succeeded in constructing an alphabet from several ancient languages. Many of the writings were at such heights as to be accessible only by

the assistance of ladders or stagings, and must have been made by persons residing for a long time in the wilderness. The astonishment was great when satisfactory evidence was obtained that these rude characters, which had for so long time, attracted the curious gaze of travelers, were really written by the children of Israel, commemorative of events that took place on their way through the wilderness.

Some of the sentences read as follows:

“The people, the hard stone satiates with water, thirsting."

“The hard rock water, a great miracle.”

“ Destroy, springing on the people, the fiery serpents. Hissing, injecting venom, heralds of death, they kill. The people prostrating on their back, curling in folds. They wind round, descending on bearing destruction."

“The people sustain on a pole, erecting a stardard the male serpent fiery as molten brass.''

Thus, these writings, supposed to have been written more than three thousand years ago, are now called forth by the Christian erudition of the present age, to give their testimony in favor of the inspired volume.

We shall wait with anxiety for the full confirmation of the above accounts.

IV. It may be asked, why do we not find more in reliable historians, of ancient times, corroborative of the truth of the Bible? We reply by the interrogation who are the reliable historians among the heathen, as far back as the days of Moses, or even in the times of the prophets ? Greece and Rome, with all their refinement in literature, and skill in art, were incapable of recording their own history, with any degree of exactness, till within three or four

centuries before the Christian era. But here are the Jews, a people naturally inferior to the Greeks and Romans, who have a history of the world, dating from the creation, or, at least, thirty-six hundred years before the dawn of any other reliable history on earth. Since history has become a science, it has been found that that of the Bible, will stand all those tests, which are applied to true history of the most modern date. Could the Hebrews have prepared such a history without Divine aid ? All must acknowledge that, upon the hypothesis, that the record is merely human, it is without a parallel on earth. Let the case be as it may, it is an event that stands alone, and hence we think savors much of a miracle.

But when the day of reliable history does dawn upon the Gentile world, there is no lack of testimony corroborative of Biblical history. Longinus, who lived about 250 B. C. ; Manetho, 180 B. C. ; Strabo, 54 B. C.; Diodorus Siculus, 44 B. C.; Juvenal, 40 A. D.; Porphyry, 233 A. D.; and Julian, 331 A. D. with many others, speak of Moses, as the leader of the Jews, and the giver of their laws. This was never denied in the primitive age of Christianity.

The departure of the Israelites from Egypt, and their passage through the Red Sea, are mentioned by Berosus, the Babylonian historian, who lived about 260 B. C., by Strabo, Diodonus Siculus, Numerius, Justin and Tacitus. *

* The testimony of the above authors, are given in full in Faber's: Horæ Mosaicæ, volume 1: pages 146–170; and in Bishop New-ton's Dissertation on Moses and his writings. Works, volume 1 :: pages 32—40: 8 vo. edition.

The testimonies of Jewish adversaries show that Jesu s Christ was no myth, but had a real existence. The genuineness of the important passage in Josephus, will be found ably vindicated in the appendix of Horne's Introduction. *

The TALMUDS, though full of falsehood and invectives against Jesus Christ, still admit his existence; say that he was the son of Mary; that he could work miracles, which they ascribe to his knowledge of Egyptian magic; that two witnesses were suborned to swear against him; that he was crucified on the eve of the passover; and some of his disciples are called by name. These accounts of the Talmuds are blended with the most violent and manifestly false accusations against Jesus and his mother Mary. They prove, however, that such a person existed.

The testimonies of heathen adversaries to the reality of our Saviour's existence, are no less striking. According to Eusebius, PONTIUS PILATE informed the Roman Emperor of the resurrection and miracles of Christ.

Of the historians who mention him, we may refer to Suetonius who flourished A. D. 116, Tacitus A. D. 110, The Younger Pliney A. D. 107, Ælius Lampridus, A. D. 222, Celsus A. D. 290, Porphyry A. D. 390, Julian A. D. 350.t All these were violent enemies to our Saviour, and express themselves with the greatest bitterness.

They prove, however, all we were anxious to prove at present—the reality of his being, -and hence the truthfulness of New Testament history. They write just as we

*Josephus Ant. Book XVIII. chap. 3, sec. 3.
# For their testimony in full, see Horne, pages 81-83.

should suppose enemies would write, but in giving vent to their malevolence, God causes “the wrath of man to praise him."

Thus traditions, antiquities and history, confirm the truth of God's word. We do not suppose the Bible absolutely needs such witnesses, though it is a pleasing fact that every new discovery in nature, searching from “one side of heaven unto the other," voluntarily adds its voice to natures ten thousand tongues, that God's Word is TRUTH.

« AnteriorContinuar »