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previously existing. They have shown that the Coptic was in the main the language of Egypt as far back as its monuments extend, corresponding in roots and grammatical structure with the literary remains still existing. What was left then for Mr. Forster, in order to prove the identity of his Primæval language with the old Egyptian? Nothing less could avail him than to deny the truth of the whole system of hieroglyphical interpretation, read the monuments of Egypt by his Sinaitic alphabet, and translate them by his Sinaitic vocabulary. According to him, not only is the alleged discovery of the phonetic value of the hieroglyphics a delusion, but the whole school of Champollionists are enemies of revealed religion; who impugn the truth of the Mosaic records, and even the Gospel history, and against whom it is necessary to make an appeal to the English public and the Christian world. The readers of this Journal are not uninformed respecting the evidence on which the discoveries of the school in question were founded. They began from the only safe starting point, a bilingual inscription; they were carried on by slow and cautious induction from the interpretation of the names of Ptolemy and Cleopatra to those of other Macedonian sovereigus, from these to the Roman emperors, and from these again backward to the Pharaohs in the remotest ages of the Monarchy. The charge of rashness and superficiality against the eminent men by whose labours this system has been established, comes with a singularly bad grace from Mr. Forster, of whose carelessness in alleging evidence and reasoning upon it, we have already exhibited such proofs. His knowledge of the system is very slight, and his objections to the process by which it bas been established would apply with tenfold force to every supposed discovery of his own. In its first stage it was an experiment, as every attempt at deciphering must be, but confirmed as it has been by success in subsequent stages, by collateral evidence, and especially by correspondence with the lists of Manetho, it is no longer a conjecture.
Having denied altogether the soundness of Champollion's discovery, that figures in the cartouches of kings stand for letters, or, indeed, that the cartouches contain names of kings at all, Mr. Forster gives us his own inter
pretation of them. According to him the figures stand for the objects denoted by them-a lion for a lion, a hawk for a hawk, and a goose for a goose, and the characters which are not pictorial are to be read by his Sinaitic alphabet. How little, however, he knows of the phonetic system, which he summarily sets aside, is evident from a ludicrous error into which he has fallen. The two volumes of the « Gallery of Egyptian Antiquities in the British Museum” have each an emblematic title-page, composed by the practised pencil of Mr. Bonomi. These Mr. Forster has been at the pains to copy and exhibit among the evidences of his doctrines, supposing them apparently to be genuine remains, though they contain an inscription in hieroglyphic characters and Pharaonic style, FOURTH YEAR OF THE BENEFICENT LADY VICTORIÀ, DAUGHTER OF THE SUN, RULING THE WAVES.* The following are some of the results of his method of explaining the cartouches of the Egyptian sovereigns :-That of Ptolemy, instead of Ptolemaios as read by Young and Champollion, becomes “the lion stretching out the paw rushing on one unawares ;" Cleopatra, “the lion assailing, rushing upon, wounding or breaking the head.” The most remarkable, and that which we think will satisfy our readers as to the value of his discoveries, is the cartouche of Amun-mei Rameses, which signifies according to him, “A stupid goose scolds." Zoologists are sometimes at a loss to identify animals by ancient descriptions, and may be thankful for this evidence that the vulpanser of Egypt corresponded exactly, iu understanding and good manners, with the inhabitant of our farm-yards and commons. Yet we cannot but wonder that the wise Egyptians should have put this record not under the figure of the goose, which occurs frequently in their paintings, but in everlasting granite on their temples and palaces.
The main purpose for which Mr. Forster has undertaken to demolish the system of Young and Champollion, is by means of his own interpretations of Egyptian monuments to show, that vestiges of patriarchal tradition were preserved among them. Our readers will perhaps be surprised to find that the resurrection of the body is one of these, and that a disclosure of it is contained on the wooden covering of the mummy of Mycerinus or Menkare, in the British Museum. He thus comments upon it:
* The discovery which Mr. Forster supposes himself to have made from this title-page, of the Egyptian, name of the basilisk, as confirmatory of his alphabet, is only another proof of his limited knowledge of Egyptian antiquities. The group of characters which he reads silkum, “the basilisk stands erect,” belongs not to the basilisk, but to the composite figure of a disk, vul
tures' wings and a basilisk, the emblem of the Horus of Apollinopolis. It is * found over the head of this god, where no basilisk appears, and never with the basilisk alone.
“ Observing below the wild ass an hieroglyphic which I mistook for a sweeping falcon, only the head appeared shapeless, I examined the word appended to it which read adzim. Not having met with it before, I consulted the Lexicon, and found in Treytag, adzam, 'os radixve caudæ equinæ,' and in Richardson adzam, the rumpbone or root of the tail of a mare.' Unenlightened by the definition, I returned to the plate; wheii to my great surprise I saw at once that the supposed hawk had every appearance of being some kind of bone. A surgical friend being at hand, I showed him the hieroglyphic, which he immediately pronounced to be the os coccygis or crupper bone. By the kindness of a trustee, I had subsequently the opportunity of examining this hieroglyphic upon the coffin lid of Mycerinus : when it proved to be the crupper bone, most perfectly delineated, so that it could not possibly be mistaken for a bird or for anything but what it is. This discovery recalled to my recollection the Mahometan doctrine concerning the resurrection, and the singular tenet inculcated by Mahomet in the Koran, that the crupper bone was the only part which should survive the decay of the body, as a nucleus round which the other parts were to gather in the day of the Resurrection. (Sale, Preliminary Diss. i. 104.) How wonderful that a notion seemingly so strange, and very naturally supposed to originate with the arch-impostor, or at farthest with the Jewish Rabbis, should have existed nearly 3000 years before in heathen Egypt, and be found, after the lapse of 1000 years, engraven on the coffin-lid of one of the earliest Pharaohs.”—P. ii. p. 62.
It is true that in Mr. Forster's drawing, the character in question has some resemblance to the os coccygis; but it has none at all in the engraving of the mummy case of Mycerinus in Colonel Vyse's work (2,94). Were it a crupper bone, what a leap to the doctrine of the resurrection ! The group of characters which our author supposes to be the name of Mycerinus is that which belongs to the goddess Netpe, and is found in hundreds of instances, with which Mycerinus can have nothing to do.
Waiving the question in what part of the Pentateuch the resurrection of the body is taught, we would ask, what advantage an advocate of Divine Revelation can propose to his cause, by showing that its most peculiar doctrines were kuown to the Egyptians ? When the sublime theology and the wise legislation of Moses is urged as a proof of the divine origin of Judaism, the answer is ready, he borrowed them from the Egyptians. Mr. Forster plays into the hands of these objectors, and concedes to them more than they had thought of claiming. His indiscretion resembles that of the injudicious advocates for the doctrine of the Trinity, who by tracing it among so many Heathen nations abundantly explain its appearance as a corruption of Christianity. Besides the doctrine of the Resurrection, he finds in the Egyptian monuments Satan, designated as a roaring lion, the Tree of Life, identified as a pomegranate, the Temptation and the Fall.
Had Mr. Forster merely failed in his attempt to solve a difficult historical problem, we should have passed a much less severe criticism upon his work. But the tone of arrogance and bigotry by which it is disfigured, rendered it desirable to show how superficial is his knowledge and how inconsequential his reasoning. There is a want of moral courage among the critics of our country, when they give an account to the public of works which are likely to be favourites with those who call themselves the religious world. They are fearful of bringing on themselves the imputation of irreligion by freely exposing their faults; the praise they bestow is circulated far and wide by the puffing publisher, and a false reputation is created for their authors. It becomes a duty, therefore, for writers who are not subject to these influences to speak plainly, and as Mr. Forster's appears to us to be decidedly one of these false reputations, we have not hesitated to say so, and to assign our reasons.
Phaethon : or, Loose Thoughts for Loose Thinkers. By
Rev. Charles Kingsley, Canon of Middleham and
We have few greater teachers than Mr. Kingsley; yet none more certain to go astray the moment he becomes didactic. The truths which move him most he reads off at a glance; and the attempt to exhibit them to others as the result of intellectual elaboration naturally fails. His genius is altogether that of the artist, for the apprehension of concrete reality, not that of the philosopher, for finding in thought the grounds and connexions of what he perceives. With rare qualifications for seeing, feeling, and believing right, were he to abstain from reasoning, he would not often be wrong. No living writer brings a quicker eye to catch the looks of nature, a humaner heart to interpret the tragedy of life, a devouter faith to hope for the good while contending with the ill. His descriptive passages have the very smell of a new-ploughed field : his insight into the secret sorrows of a sceptic and selfish age is evidently caught through the manly tears of pity and not by the dry stare of inquisitorial suspicion : and his aspirations after a nobler and juster society,-however ill-defended from objection,--are clearly the product of a healthful reverence for human nature and trust in the Living God. The very faults which attach to his productions as works of art arise from the intensity of his moral convictions and the obtrusiveness of generous sympathy, rushing in to disturb the dramatic impartiality of his representations. His ideal world, the type of character he loves, the spirit of life he sighs to create, the religious faiths to which he clings—we seldom find to be without deep truth and beauty: the admirations and aver. sions he awakens are essentially wholesome and ennobling; and if he errs, it is in fitting them on amiss to actual classes and persons little known to him by direct experience. True alike in direct observation and in pure conception, he is apt to mistake in the mixed region of
CHRISTIAN TEACHER. ---No. 59.