Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

2563." The correction of the year was not until after the beginning of his reign ; in what time of it, we are not told; he reigned forty years;" we may well place it towards his death, perhaps about A. M. 2600,” which is about 47 years after the death of Moses ;' and 22 years after the death of Joshua."

The fable which is handed down to us, with the account of their correction of the year, very significantly points out that their mythology took its rise from this incident. They now found out, that there were five days in the year more than they had thought of;' and they mythologized, that five gods

* The reign of Janias, the intermediate king between Apophis and Assis or Aseth, brings us to begin the reign of Assis at this year.

lbid. • Connect. vol. ii. b. viii. p Assis died 2603, vide quæ sup.

Moses died 2553. · Joshua died A. M. 2578. Connect. vol. iii. b. xii.

• The Egyptian year was now first computed to be 365 days, being reckoned 360 only before. Syncellus ubi sup. Connect. Pref. to vol, i.

were now born, Osiris, Orus, Typho, Isis, and Nephe.' They could not mean that these personages now first began to be ; for they had been, ages before, mighty and renowned princes in their country; but they now first ascribed to them a rule and influence over all sublunary things, by supposing each to be the governing power in some star, thought to be animated by them. The dogstar was reputed the orb of Isis ;" to the others were allotted, in like manner, their respective spheres ;* and the philosophy of the Egyptians, at this time, seems to have been exerted in such a lustration of their

year,

εσκεματα wς ενιαυτου

"Asegas

ARATUS.

as to assign ruling influences of the stars over the several parts of it; and to suppose their ruling stars were animated by those

[ocr errors]

+ Connect. vol. ii. b. viii.

Upon the pillar of Isis was inscribed, 'ETw open tū "Asgw tū Kuvi imitinaroa. Diodor. Sic. lib. 1.

* Connect. vol. ii. b. viii.

who had been the early founders and supu porters of their cities and states. What their former theories had been, shall be mentioned presently. What I would here hint is, that they now fell into a way of thinking, which the Roman poet took up afterwards, to make his court to Germanicus Cæsar,

Cæsaris Arma canant alii, nos Cæsaris Aras,
Et quoscunque sacris addidit ille dies.

Ovid, Fast. lib. 1.

They consecrated, and placed over their times and seasons, the venerable personages of their most ancient ancestors, who had laid the early foundations of all the Egyptian glory and prosperity; and they hoped, that if they with proper rites worshipped gods so auspicious,

felix totus ut annus eat.

OVID, ubi sup.

that ages of all national happiness might be renewed to them.

What had been the more ancient Egyptian theology, the enquiries of Sanchoniatho declare to us. He having examined their

ancient records, and set aside all the mythom logy that had been brought in, gave us their true ancient dogmata ;* and what he has left us, evinces, that their doctrines were, that the origin of things happened from principles of nature effecting, without choice or intelligence, what blindly by a mechanical event of things arose from them. He talks indeed of a το πνευμα, what we might think to call a spirit; tells us that it was in love with its own principles ;* but his spirit was such an one, as a modern author exhibits to us: a spirit, “which, clothed with one set of mate rial

organs, is only capable of exerting its intelligence in the performance of attraction or repulsion ; and, when jarring elements meet, breaks forth in thunder and lightning, and earthquakes, or any other mechanical operations; but may, when united to a different set

* Ο δε συμβαλών τους από των αδύτων ευρεθεισιν αποκρύφους 'Αμμουνιων γραμμασι συΓκειμενοις, και δεν εκ ήν πάσι γνώριμα, την μαθησιν απαλων αυτός ? κησε και τέλος επιθεις τη πραγματεια, τον κατ' αρχάς μύθον και το αλληγοριας εκποδών ποιησαμενος, εξηνύσατο to spobreir. Euseb. Præp. Evang. lib. 1. c. 9. 'Id, ibid. c. 10. a impacta ad aveõpua tão ddiwr d'exãr. Id. ib.

of

organs of a more exquisite and delicate contexture, be capable of exercising voluntary motion, may be enabled to think and to reason, to operate in love or hatred, and, when provoked by opposition, may be agitated with

anger and resentment, and break forth in quarrels, contention, and war.”* The Egyptian to musuma, which generated all things, was an original, like this author's spirit; unto which, though Sanchoniatho ascribes operating principles, yet he expressly tells us, they were insensate, and sometimes caused jarring elements, and broke forth in lightning and thunders;' and what is very wonderful, he also supposed that these unintelligent operating powers produced some animal beings, which being

• Essay on Spirit, p. 24, 25.

5 έγευτα σύγκρισις ή πλοκή έκεινη εκληθη ποΘΟΣ: αυτη δε αρχή κλίσεως απαλω» αυτό δε ύκ εγίνωσκε την αυτά κλίσιν. If the reader consult the place, he will see that autò refers to sò avtõuc preceding. Euseb. Præp. Evang. c. 10. in principio.

• επειδάν διεκρίθη, και του ιδία τόπε δεχωρισθη δια την τέ ηλια πύρωσιν, , και πάντα συνηντησε πάλιν εν αίρι τάδε τοις δε και συνέρpatar, Egortaí to aniTSRío Inom zas áspatai. Euseb. ibid.

« EdellinenJatka »