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But for their number of years nothing is more certain 59 than their forgery; for the Egyptians did preserve the antiquities of other nations as well as their own, and by the evident fallacy in others have betrayed their own vanity. When Alexander entered Egypt with his victorious army, the priests could shew him out of their sacred histories an account of the Persian empire, which he gained by conquest, and the Macedonian, which he received by birth, of each for eight thousand years'; whereas nothing can be more certain, out of the best historical account, than that the Persian empire, whether begun in Cyrus or in Medus, was not then three hundred years old, and the Macedonian, begun in Coranus, not five hundred. They then which made so large additions to advance the antiquity of other nations, and were so bold as to present them to those which so easily might refute them (had they not delighted to be deceived to their own advantage, and took much pleasure in an honourable cheat), may without any breach of charity be suspected to have extended the account much higher for the honour of their own country. Beside, their catalogues must needs be ridiculously incredible, when the Egyptians make their first kings' reigns above one thousand two hundred years a-piece*; and the Assyrians theirs λήνης δε οκτακοσίους τριάκοντα δύο.
. takes notice of the Egyptians, and Diog. Laert. Procem. $ 2.
Abydenus of the Chaldæans, whose ten 1 This fallacy appeareth by an first kings reigned one hundred and epistle which Alexander wrote to his twenty Sari. Ως τους πάντας είναι βασιmother Olympias, mentioned by Athe λείς δέκα ών ο χρόνος της βασιλείας συνήnagoras (Legatio pro Christianis, c. te odpous ékatov eľkool. [ap. Syncell. 28.], Minucius Felix [Octavius, c. 21.), Chronograph. p. 69. Dind.] Now this St Cyprian (quod Idola dii non sunt, word cápos was proper to the Babylon$ 3, p. 20. where Bp Fell refers to the ian or Chaldæan account. Hesych. Eétestimony of Plutarch, in his life of ρος αριθμός τις παρά Βαβυλωνίοις· but Alexander, c. 27.], and St Augustin: what this number was he tells us not. *Persarum autem et Macedonum im In the fragmentof Abydenus preserved perium usque ad ipsum Alexandrum, by Eusebius, [Chron. Lib. I. c. 6.] cui loquebatur, plus quam octo mil Σάρος δέ έστιν εξακόσια και τρισχίλια lium annorum (octo et annorum mil. έτεα, every Σάρος is three thousand lium, ed. Bened.] ille constituit; six hundred years, and consequently cum apud Græcos Macedonum usque
the one hundred and twenty oápou ad mortem Alexandri quadringenti belonging to the reign of the ten octoginta quinque reperiantur; Per kings, four hundred and thirty-two sarum vero, donec ipsius Alexandri thousand years. Neither was this the victoria finiretur, ducenti et triginta account only of Abydenus, but also tres computentur.' S. August. de of Berosus; neither was it the interCiv. Dei, 1. xii. c. 10. [Vol. vii. p. pretation only of Eusebius, but also 309 c.)
of Alexander Polyhistor, (ap. Euseb. ? As Diodorus Siculus, [1. i. 26) Chron. Lib. i. c. 2. $ 6.] who likewise
above forty thousand: except we take the Egyptian years for months', the Assyrians for days; and then the account will not seem so formidable.
Again, for the calculation of eclipses, as it may be made for many thousand years to come, and be exactly true, and yet the World may end to-morrow; because the calculation must be made with this tacit condition, if the bodies of the earth, and sun, and moon, do continue in their substance and constant motion so long : so may it also be made for many millions of years past, and all be true, if the World have been so old; which the calculating doth not prove, but suppose. He then which should in the Egyptian temples see the description of so many eclipses of the sun and moon, could not be assured that they were all taken from real observation, when they might be as well described out of proleptical supposition.
Beside, the motions of the sun, which they mention toge. ther and with authority equal to that of their other observaexpresseth : Tov xpbvov Tas Bao lelas might he fix his N. L., or, non liquet, αυτών σάρους εκατόν είκοσι, ήτοι ετων to these words; for, as they are in μυριάδας τεσσαράκοντα τρείς και δύο the printed books, there is no sense Xlcáðas. This seemed so highly in to be made of them; but by the credible, that two ancient monks, help of the MS. in the Vatican Anianus and Panodorus, interpreted library, we shall both supply the dethose Chaldæan years to be but days, fect in Suidas, and find a third valueso that every cápos should consist tion of the oápol. Thus then that MS. of three thousand six hundred days, represents the words : Oi ydp pk' oápol that is, nine years, ten months and ποιούσιν ενιαυτούς βσκβ' κατά την Χαλ. a half, and the whole one hundred δαίων ψήφων, είπερ ο σάρος ποιεί μήνας and twenty oápou for the ten kings, σεληνιακών σκβ,οίοι γίνονται ιη ενιαυτοί eleven hundred and eighty-threeyears, kai uñves . And so the sense is six months, and odd days. This is all clear. Eápos, according to the Chaldeo which Jos. Scaliger, or Jacobus Goar account, comprehends two hundred of late, could find concerning this and twenty-two months, which como Chaldæan computation: and the first to eighteen years and six months; of these complains that none but He therefore one hundred and twenty oásychiusmakes mention of thisaccount. pou make two thousand two hundred I shall therefore supply them not only and twenty years; and therefore for with another author [Suidas), but Boxß', I read, leaving out the last B, also with a diverse and distinct inter Bok, that is, two thousand two hunpretation. Σάροι μέτρον και αριθμός dred and twenty. ταρά Χαλδαίοις· οι γάρ ρκ' σάροι ποιού 1 Ει δε και ό φησιν Εύδοξος αλησυνένιαυτούς βσκβ, οΐγίνονταιιη ενιαυτοι θές, ότι Αιγύπτιοι τον μήνα ενιαυτόν Kal uwves égo that is, according to the εκάλουν, ούκ άν ή των πολλών τούτων translation of Portus: Sari apud ενιαυτών απαρίθμησις έχοι τι θαυμαστόν. . Chaldæos est mensura et numerus : Proclus in Timæum, Lib. i. p. 31. nam 120 Sari faciunt annos 2222, qui 1. 50. sunt anni 18 et sex menses. Well PEARSON.
tions, are so incredible and palpably fabulous, that they take off all credit and esteem from the rest of their narrations. For with this wild account of years, and seemingly accurate observations of the heavens, they left it written to posterity, that the whole course of the celestial motions were four times changed; so that 'the sun hath twice risen in the east and 60 set in the west, as now it does; and, on the contrary, twice risen in the west and set in the east. And thus these prodigious antiquaries confute themselves.
What then are these feigned observations and fabulous descriptions for the World's antiquity, in respect not only of the infallible annals of the Spirit of God, but even of the constant testimonies of more sober men, and the real appearances and face of things, which speak them of a far shorter date?
If we look into the historians which give account of ancient times, nay, if we peruse the fictions of the poets, we shall find the first to have no footsteps, the last to feign no actions of so great antiquity. 'If the race of men had been eternal, or as
1 'Εν τοίνυν τούτο το χρόνο τετράκις έλεγον εξ ηθέων τον ήλιον ανατείλαι: ένθα τε νύν καταδύεται, ενθεύτεν δις έπαντεϊλαι» και ένθεν νυν ανατέλλει, , ¿vaūta Ols kataðūval. Herod Euterp. [c. 142.] Mandatumque literis servant, dum Ægyptii sunt, quater cursus suos vertisse sidera, ac Solem bis jam occidisse unde nunc oritur.' Pompon. Mela, 1. i. c. 9. & 8. Whereas Aristotle more soberly: 'Ev änavti γάρ το παρεληλυθότι χρόνο κατά την παραδεδομένην αλλήλοις μνήμην ουθεν φαίνεται μεταβεβληκός, ούτε καθ' όλον τον έσχατον ουρανόν, ούτε κατά μόριον AÚTOÛ TÛV olkelwv oứdév. De Cælo, Lib. i. cap. 3. Vide Simplic, ad loc.
. As the Chaldees did affirm that they had taken observations of the celestial motions for four hundred and seventy thousand years; and withal they also affirmed, that for the same space of time they had calculated the nativity of all the children which were born. Which last is certainly false. Nam quod aiunt, quadringenta septuaginta millia annorum in periclitandis experiendisque pueris, quicunque essent nati, Babylonios posuisse,
fallunt: si enim esset factitatum, non esset desitum. Neminem autem habemus auctorem qui aut fieri licat, aut factum sciat.' Cicero, 1. ii. de Divinat. c. 46. § 97. And if the last be false, we have no reason to believe the first is true; but rather to deny their astronomical observations by their vain ambition in astrological predictions. And indeed those observations of the Chaldees being curiously searched into by Callisthenes, appointed by Aristotle for that purpose, were found really to go no farther than one thousand nine hundred and three years before Alexander, as Porphyrius hath declared, who was no friend to the account of Moses. Aid το μήπω τας υπό Καλλισθένους εκ Βαβυλώνος πεμφθείσας παρατηρήσεις αφικέσθαι εις την Ελλάδα του Αριστοτέλους τούτο επισκήψαντος, αυτό άς τινας διηγείται ο Πορφύριος χιλίων ετών είναι και εννεακοσίων τριών μέχρι των . χρόνων Αλεξάνδρου του Μακεδόνος σωfouevas. Simplic. ad 2. Aristot. de Cælo, p. 123,
This argument is therefore to me the stronger, because made by him.
old as the Egyptians and the Chaldees fancy it, how should it come to pass that the poetical inventions should find no actions worthy their heroic verse before the Trojan or the Theban war, or that great adventure of the Argonauts ? For whatsoever all the Muses, the daughters of Memory, coulil rehearse before those times, is nothing but the creation of the World, and the nativity of their gods.
If we consider the necessaries of life', the ways of freedom and commerce amongst men, and the inventions of all arts and sciences, the letters which we use, and languages which we speak, they have all known originals, and may be traced to their first authors. The first beginnings were then so known and acknowledged by all, that the inventors and authors of them were reckoned amongst their gods, and worshipped by those to whom they had been so highly beneficial: which honour and adoration they could not have obtained, but from such as were really sensible of their former want, and had experience of a present advantage by their means.
If we search into the nations themselves, we shall see none without some original: and were those authors extant which have written of the first plantations and migrations of people, the foundations and inhabiting of cities and countries, their first rudiments would appear as evident as their later growth and present condition. We know what ways within
two thousand years people have made through vast and thick 61 woods for their habitations, now as fertile, as populous, as
who cannot be thought a favourer of our religion, because he was a countenancer of none, Epicurus, whose mind is thus delivered by Lucretius, 1. v. 324. * Præterea, si nulla fuit genitalis origo · Terrarum et Cæli, semperque æterna fuere; Cur supera bellum Thebanum et funera Troja, Non alias alii quoque res cecinere Poetæ ? Quo tot facta virum totiens cecidere neque
usquam Æternis fama monimentis insita florent ?"
1 Pliny gives a large account of these, 1. vii. c. 56, and Lucretius makes use of this argument, 1. v. 332. • Quare etiam quædam nunc artes expoliuntur, Nunc etiam augescunt, nunc addita navig.is
Denique natura hæc rerum ratioque repertast
? I mean, not only such as wrote the building of particular cities, as Apollonius Rhodius Καύνου κτίσιν, Xenophanes Κολοφώνος κτίσιν, Crito Συρακουσών κτίσιν, and Philochorus Σαλαμίνος κτίσιν: but those more general, as Aristotle Krioels kal moλιτείας, Polemό Κτίσεις πόλεων εν Φωκίδι, Charon Πόλεων κτίσεις, Callimachus Kτίσεις νήσων και πόλεων, , Hellenicus Kτίσεις εθνων και πόλεων, and the indefinite Koloes written by Dercyllus, Dionysius, Hippys, Clitophon, Trisimachus, and others.
Multa; modo organici melicos peperere sono.
any. The Hercynian trees, in the time of the Cæsars, occupying so great a space as to take up a journey of sixty days', were thought even then coeval with the world'. We read without any sbew of contradiction, how this western part of the world hath been peopled from the east: and all the pretence of the Babylonian antiquity is nothing else, but that we all came from thence. Those eight persons saved in the ark, descending from the Gordiæan mountains and multiplying to a large collection in the plain of Sinaar, made their first division at that place; and that dispersion, or rather dissemination, hath peopled all other parts of the world, either never before inhabited, or dispeopled by the flood.
These arguments have always seemed so clear and undeniable, that they have put not only those who make the world eternal, but them also who confess it made (but far more ancient than we believe it), to a strange answer, to themselves uncertain, to us irrational.
For to this they replied, that this world hath suffered
1 Silvarum, Hercynia,
dierum sexaginta iter occupans, ut major aliis, ita et notior.' Pompon. Mela, 1. iii. ο. 3. 8 3.
2 'Hercyniæ silvæ roborum vasti. tas intacta ævis et congenita mundo, prope immortali sorte miracula exce. dit. Plin. 1. ΧVi, C. 2.
3 Thus Ocellus, who maintained the World was never made, answers the argument brought from the Greek histories which began with Inachus, as the first subject, not author of his. tory (as Nogarola in his Annotations mistakes Ocellus): Διό και τους λέγουσι τήν της Ελληνικής ιστορίας αρχήν από Ινάχου είναι του 'Aργείου, προσεκτέον ούτως, ουχ ώς από τινος αρχής πρώτης, αλλά της γενομένης μεταβολής κατ' αυτήν, c. iii. 8 5. So that he will have Inachus to be the first not absolutely, but since the last great alteration made in Greece; and then he concludes that Greece hath often been, and will often be, barbarous, and lose the memory of all their actions: Πολλάκις γάρ και γέγονε και έσται βάρβαρος η Ελλάς, ουχ υπ' ανθρώπων μόνον γινομένη μετάνασ. τατος, αλλά και υπ' αυτής της φύσεως ου
μείζονος ουδε μείονος αυτής γινομένης, αλλά καινοτέρας αεί και προς ημάς αρχήν λαμβανούσης. Οcellus de Universo, ibid. Thus Plato, who asserted the creation of the World, but either from eternity, or such antiquity as does not much differ from it, brings in Solon inquiring the age of the Greek histories, as of Phoroneus, and Niobe, Deucalion and Pyrrha; and an Egyptian priest answering, that all the Greeks were boys, and not an old man amongst them, that is, they had no ancient monuments, or history of anyantiquity, but rested contented with the knowledge of the time, since the last great mutation of their own country: Πολλαι και κατά πολλά φθοραι γεγόνασιν ανθρώπων και έσονται, πυρί μεν και ύδατι μέγισται, μυρίοις δε άλλοις έτεραι βραχύτεραι. In Timæo, (p. 22 c.] Origen of Celsus: TO πολλάς εκ παντός αιώνος εκπυρώσεις γεγονέναι, πολλάς δ' επικλύσεις, και νεώτερον είναι τον επί Δευκαλίωνος κατακλυσμόν έναγχος γεγενημένον, σαφώς τους ακούειν αυτού δυναμένους παρίστησι το κατ' αυτόν του κόσμου αγένητων, 1. i $ 19. [Vol. 1. p. 337 c.] And Lucretius the Epicurean, who thought