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the Pentateuch alone, might not perhaps be perfectly obvious. We can thus clearly discern the proper signification of the phrases, " Moses speaks to all the people," or, "the congregation of Israel." We thus perceive the object of the "Tabernacle of the congregation." The patriarcho-democratic constitution thus appears, not only sanctioned by the narrative and civil polity of Moses, but also really efficient, in all times, as an essential element of national life.
§ 11. We have applied the term patriarcho-democratic to the Hebrew Constitution. On the use of this term we have a few more remarks to make. Heeren1 has clearly shown how inadequately the ordinary division of governments into monarchies, democracies, and aristocracies, determines their real essential difference. For the difference depends, not on the number of the rulers, but on the relation existing between the latter and the people. Despotic elements may enter into a democracy; just as on the other hand, a monarchy may, by means of constitutional forms, become republican. Heeren, accordingly, divides government into despotic (where the people are in a state of involuntary subjection), autocratic (where the people are indeed free, but have no share in the administration of the government), and republican (where the administration of government is subjeet to the people). Welcker 2 regards even this division as not sufficiently comprehensive and discriminating; since, in his opinion, it does not embrace a Theocracy. His division is as follows: 1st, the period of childhood (Despotism); 2nd, the period of youth (Theocracy); 3d, the period of manhood (Constitutional Government). Against this division, too, weighty objections might be raised. The result, however, at which he arrives (I. c. p. 101) is indeed worthy of remark: "The principle of a government is, after all, nothing more nor less than the voice of conscience, the sense of moral obligation common to all. This voice, however, must declare itself, first of all, in favor of objective law; thus expressing its regard for its own dignity and that of others, by
1 Idcen I. (Appendix 6). * Recht, Staat mid Strafe, p. 11 et seq.
which means a firm basis is to be given to the laws." That these words indicate the very element which is the most essential in the Mosaic Theocracy, will appear evident from our remarks relative to that institution (chap. 1.). That the principle above mentioned may obtain in all forms of government— even in a despotism, where, as "Welcker and Heeren remark, the monocrat is the wisest and noblest man — cannot admit of a doubt. Much depends accordingly on the spirit of the law, and the power which the latter exercises over the consciences of the people. It will not, however, on the other hand, be a matter of indifference, in what degree the joint national sense of right exercises, in the spirit of that law, an influence on the administration, resolutions, and undertakings of the State. Now, even if all the people do not en masse take part in the administration of government, but only their proper delegates and representatives, it is of the utmost importance that the measures resolved upon by the latter, have their origin in the mind of the people. In this respect, now, the form of a patriarchal democracy, as established by Moses, vindicates its preeminent worth. The elder of the house, of the family, stands most intimately related to those whom he represents in the national assembly. His interests are essentially those of his constituents; what he has resolved and deliberated upon has binding force to them. Such was the constitution of the Hebrews — a constitution which existed in some of its elements, even before Moses, but which the latter regulated and amply developed. Through such a mechanism the prophet, who had not in those times the means which in our day are so well adapted to the diffusion of knowledge, was enabled to cause his voice to be heard among the most distant masses of the people. What the fathers, fired with enthusiasm, once resolved, became a duty sacred to the whole people. These relations are yet far from being properly appreciated. The law, according to the institutions of the lawgiver, had its broadest foundation in the body of the people; and through the peculiar organism of the constitution, whatever the latter desired, could, when the thought had been once expressed and approved, soon became a universal reality. That the law be founded on the conscience — on which Welcker lays such stress — is the very thing which Moses aims at, when he says: "What I command thee this day is not hidden from thee, nor is it far away; but it is near unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart" (Deut. 30: 11—14). How this universal conscience of the people passes over into action may be seen among other things, from an incident—worthy of note in this connection — related in the book of Judges (19: 25 sq. and 20: 1 sq.). A scandalous deed, perpetrated on the person of a concubine belonging to an obscure and insignificant individual, impels the whole nation, as one man, to bring the criminal to justice. Such, moreover, was the nature of this form of the constitution, that its essential elements could be but little affected by a change in the person of the chief magistrate of the nation. Never, even when there was no common head, did the organic movement of the whole come to a stand-still, or become a wild confusion of unbridled passions. On the contrary, the tribes, the families, ever remained well regulated, each forming a unit in itself; and through the patriarchal power of the elders and princes these units were easily managed, and just as easily enabled to combine with one another, forming one great united whole. What Montesquieu (Esprit de Loix, 1. 9, c. 1.) says in praise of federal republics, as well as his remarks (ibid. c. 2) in regard to the disunited monarchies of Canaan, whose decline and fall were occasioned by the very fact of their disunion —is thus in some measure applicable also in the case of the Hebrews.
§ 12. The circumstance that the representatives were at the same time the judges and officers of the people, must have greatly contributed to interweave the constitution, as thus far represented, with the innermost life of the nation. The representatives thus continually, even in ordinary times, occupied a sphere of activity, which, essentially dependent as it was, on the confidence and patriarchal influence they inspired, at the same time served ever to maintain the most intimate intercourse between them and the people. Yea, it is a most remarkable feature of the constitution, that the judicature and police proceeded, strictly speaking, from the midst of the people (Deut. 1: 13). The people thus, as it were, guided and judged themselves through the agency of men whom — the Supreme Suffetes [Judges] not even excepted — their confidence elected. They had no functionaries appointed, according to rank or tvealtit, by some central power of the government. Nor did their officers serve for pay; but free, without emolument, unapproachable by bribes, venerable with age and patriarchal influence, they were selected from among the people, to administer the judicial and other functions.1
BY REV. E. BURGESS, RECENTLY MISSIONARY OF THE A. B. C. T. M.
Among all the people of the earth, the religious sentiment appears to be stronger in none, than it is with the adherents of Brahmanism. At least, there is no people with whom religion is more connected with all the affairs of life, than it is with them. From the moment of birth, till death, and after death, the Hindu is subjected to religious ceremony. Probably no language, previous to the invention of printing, possessed so large an amount of literature, as the Sanskrit: and that literature was almost all religious. The most important of the Sacred writings of the Hindus, are among the most ancient,- if they are not the most ancient, writings extant at the present day. Sanskrit scholars make the first of the Vedas to be at least as ancient as the books of Moses, and
1 The statements made in this paragraph are made more manifest in the succeeding chapters of the work. •
admit the strong probability, that they were at least parts of them, written some centuries earlier. And from the time of the Vedas, some 1400 or 1500 years B. C, to the last of the Puranas, some 1000 years after, there originated in India, a vast amount of literature, mythological, scientific, and religions. In some respects the literature of the Sanskrit Language surpasses that of the Greeks. Its Mythology is more exiensive, and not much more absurd. If its science is not as correct, it is more volumnious. Its poetry is equally elaborate. It enumerates some 150 kinds of verse; some of its poems are said to consist of 100,000 stanzas. Its schools of philosophy outnumber those of the Greeks, and for subtlety and refined analysis, some of the works of the Brahmans are not a whit behind the most subtle and refined productions of Plato and Aristotle.
A mere statement of the names and number of works in the principal departments of literature and science is somewhat formidable. There are the four Vedas written some 1200 or 1800 years B. C.; the Laws of Manu dating some five or six centuries later; the Epic poems,the Mah&bharata and Ramayana, written probably five or six centuries before our era ;1 then after Christ, there are the eighteen Puranas, or modern mythological religious systems; the eighteen or twenty SiethfLhantas or astronomical treatises, with treatises on logic, grammar and philosophy, all constituting a body of literature, probably not surpassed in extent before the revival of learning in Europe, by the literature of any language on earth. And it is not, likewise, surpassed by any other literature in that which is absurd, and which indicates a degraded state of mind among the people to whom it belongs; yet there are some redeeming qualities.
The religion and literature of the Hindus are interesting
1 In reference to some Hindu books it is evident that a portion of the mate-' rials of which they are composed existed centuries before they were collected and put together as we now have them. Prof. Wilson remarks respecting one of those above mentioned: "The weight of authority is in favor of the thirteenth or fourteenth century B. C. for the war of the Mahabharuta."— Vish. Pu. p. 485, note. Yet the present compilation may have been later, and some of its materials may be of comparatively modern origin.