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change, as living in the last days of the present“mundane system, and as being destined to be witnesses and partakers of its final consumma: tion ? Whatever may have been the precise import or extent of this persuasion, there is no doubt that "it was entertained by many indivia duals in Judea, both while they adhered to the ritual of Moses, and after they had transferred their belief to the more reasonable doctrines of Christiaoity; and as we know the traditional tenet on which their expectation of the end of the world was founded, we may thence conclude that, in the first age of the Gospel, the Jewish chronologers were perfectly aware that the sixth millennary term of creation had made 'considerable progress.
This Dissertatioy contains the substance of all that has been written on sacred chronology by Isaac Vossius, Pezron, J. Scaliger, Patavius, Marsham, Usher, Hayes, Capellus, Baillie, Newton, Lloyd, Bedford, Blair, Jackson, Vignoles, Freret, Faber, Hales, and is very valuable as a luminous compend of a most intricate science. The “ Connection” itself is divided into two books, containing the following chapters: Book ļ. 1. On the Civil and Political Constitution of the Ancient
Hebrews. 2. On the Religious Belief and Practices of the Ancient
Hebrews. 3, On the General History of the Hebrews from the death of
Joshua to the reign of Saul. Book Il. 1. On the Ancient History of the Babylonians and Assyrians,
as connected with that of the Hebrews, between 1543
and 1099 B. C. 2. Containing an Outline of such parts of the Ancient History
of įhe Hebrews as may appear to have been affected
by the power or character of the neighboring nations. 3. On the Iranian or Ancient Persian Monarchy. 4. On the Origin of the more remarkable States and King
doms of Ancient Greece. 5. On the Argonautic Expedition; the Capture of Troy; and
the Return of the Heraclidæ. In the chapter on the civil and political institutions of the Hebrews, there is a great deal of information well deserving the study of every young divine. In the next section, which respects the religious belief of the ancient Hebrews, the author crosses the path of Bishop Warburton, on the question which applies to the comparative antiquity of the book of Job. This learned prelate connected the inquiry now mentioned with a peculiar doctrine supposed to prevail among the Jews at the time when it was written, on the mysterious subject of diabolical influence. He imagined that the Israelites knew nothing of what he calls the “history of the devil,” before they were carried captive into Assyria; and assuming this supposed fact as the ground of liis hypothesis, he concludes that as Satan is actually mentioned in the tract which bears the name of Job, it must have been composed after the return from Babylon.
VOL, XL. Cl, Jl. NO. LXXIX. I
In opposition to the views of Warburton, I have (says Dr. Russell) endeavored to prove, not only that the Hebrews were well acquainted with the name and offices of Satan long before the conquest of this country by Nebuchadnezzar, but also that the notions concerning the character of the evil one contained in the book of Job are quite inconsistent with those which the people of God learned in the East; and consequently that the ork just mentioned must be older than the Babylonian captivity. It will be found that in the earlier periods of their history, the descendants of Jacob believed in the existence of evil spirits as well as of good; but so far from holding, as they did subsequently to the times of Cyrus, that the former were the subjects and agents of a great malevolent demon who had upposed himself to the counsels of the Most High, they regarded them all, good and bad, as the ministers of Jehovah; accustomed to appear in his presence, to receive his commands, to go forth in order to execute his will, and to take their place again among the sons of God, when they came back to render an account of the services which they had performed. The Satan who is introduced into the scene in the book of Job is clearly not the evil principle recognised among the Persians, and adopted in some measure by the Jews of a later age. He appears there as the servant, not as the opposer of the Divine Will; and preseots not in fact, either in his character or in his attributes, any resemblance to that malignant spirit, whose imaginary history, as one of the two principles, filled so large a portion of the theological institutes of Asiatic writers.
There is another point in which our author differs with Warburton, namely, the belief of the ancient Hebrews in the proper immortality of the human soul, and of a future state of reward and punishment; but as this subject is, in some degree, the cornerstone of the bishop's system, and is besides extremely important in itself, we inust rest satisfied with a reference to the volumes now before us, where it is discussed with much learning and ingenuity. The reader will also find in the first chapter of the second book, which treats of the ancient history of the Babylonians and Assyrians, much interesting matter collected from a great variety of
The views which Dr. Russell recommends in regard to this portion of our primitive annals, remove all the difficulties which encumber the hypothesis of two Assyrian empires; one of which is supposed to have been erected on the ruins of the other., But (says he) whatever may be the degree of confidence which the reader shall think proper to place in the deductions relative to the Assyrian empire, which have arisen from the facts that I have endeavored to establish, it will not be lessened when he reflects that the argument has all along proceeded on a uniform principle, and without using any liberty with those ancient records whence the chronological data have been derived. I have carefully avoided the practice of that bold' criticism, which bends to its own objects the clearest statements of the authors whose works it examines : holding it as a first principle that the testimony of an ancient writer must be received in its literal meaning, and, with the exception of manifest corruptions and typographical errors, either be adopted in whole or rejected in whole.
We could have wished that the author had abridged his account
of the “ origin of the more remarkable states and kingdoms of ancient Greece,” both because this portion of his work has less connection than any other with sacred history, and also because the facts on which it rests are sufficiently accessible to the ordinary reader. From this stricture we readily except the Parian Chronicle, a copy of which is given at length, together with its history and a selection from the best commentators; because, although this document is to be found in other volumes, it is nevertheless comparatively rare, and is besides of the utmost value for illustrating the early annals of eastern Europe. We may add, tou, that there are in several parts of these two volumes certain conclusions and opinions in which we do uot entirely.concur,
and that there are others which appear open to misapprehension, and of course to uncandid inferences regarding matters of the weightiest import. We allude more especially to the judgment which may be formed respecting the plenary inspiration of the apostles, in connection with the statement that those holy men expected the end, or, at least, an alteration in the moral and physical condition of the world at the close of the sixth millennium. : But, on the whole, it is a work which we have read with much satisfaction, and can therefore heartily recommend to all who take an interest in the exactness of chronology, in the history of early opinions, in the origin of nations, and above all in those institutions, doctrines, and events, to which the religion even of the present day, now so much purified and enlightened, must be ultimately traced.
After the example of some learned antiquaries in London, Messrs. Dorow and Klaproth lately undertook, in Paris, the publication of more than eighteen hundred Egyptian gems, cameos, scarabæi, and pastes, faithfully represented on thirty-six folio plates, under the title of Collection d'Antiquités Egyptiennes, recueillies par M. le Baron de Palin; but this work comprehends, with the inestimable collection formed by M. de Palin (Swedish minister at Constantinople), many highly interesting Egyptian antiques belonging to the cabinet of M. Passalacqua, including also several cameos which, although they were found in Egypt, appear to be of foreigu origin : some probably illustrating the ancient Persian mythology; others Abraxas, and a few of which it is difficult to speak with any certainty. The plates are very neatly and accurately executed at the lithographic press of
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Engelmann; and to them are prefixed forty pages of Observations Critiques sur la Decouverte de l'Alphabet Hieroglyphique, faite par M. Champollion, le jeune. It is to these “ Observations that we now particularly direct the attention of our English reader; since their distinguished author, the learned M. Klaproth, unequivocally decides in favor of England the claims to a literary honor which has for some time been enjoyed by France.
The nature of this claim will be most clearly explained by an extract from the first page of the “Observations.” years,” says M. Klaproth, “much bas been said respecting a 'bieroglyphical alphabet ;' the discovery of which incontestably be longs to Dr. Young. In 1818, he succeeded in ascertaining the alphabetical value of most of the hieroglypbics that compose the names of Ptolemy and Berenice. The celebrated Zoega had already suspected that many bieroglyphical signs might be employed alphabetically; but the honor of having demonstrated this fact is due to Dr. Young. Zoega's conjecture had not made any impression on those who applied themselves to the study of Egyptian writing: on the contrary, they persevered in regarding the whole mass of bieroglyphics as ideographic or symbolic signs. An ingenious and accomplished French savant, M. Champollion, the younger, endeavored, during a long time, to decipher the hieroglyphics; but that he failed does not surprise us, since he only trod in the steps of those who had before him devoted themselves to similar researches. It never once occurred to him that the hieroglyphics contained an alphabetical portion, as we learn from his own words in the essay De l'Ecriture Hieratique des anciens Egyptiens, published at Grenoble in 1821. Having mentioned some (bieratic) manuscripts which had attracted the attention of many eminent antiquaries, M. Champollion informs us that certain persons finding the writing of those rolls different from the hieroglyphic, considered it as the ancient Egyptian hieratic, others as epistolographic or popular ; but all agreed on one important circunstance, that the writing of this Egyptian Ms. was alphabetical; that is, composed of signs serving to recall the sounds of the spoken language. A long course of study, however, and an attentive comparison of the hieroglyphical text with those of the second sort regarded as alphabetical, induced M. Champollion to form a contrary conclusion; and be declares as the result of bis inquiries, that, ist. The writing of the Egyptian Mss. of the second sort is not alphabetical. 2nd. That the second system is but a simple modification of the hieroglyphic system, differing only in the form of the signs. . 3rd. That the second kind of writing is the hieratic of the Greek authors, and ought to be regarded as a hieroglyphical tachygraphy. 4th, and lastly, That the hieratic characters (and consequently those from which they are derived) are signs of things and not signs of sounds." From this we must be convinced that, in
the year 1821, M. Champollion did not believe in the existence of alphabetical signs among the hieroglyphics. It was in 1818 that Dr. Young communicated his discovery to the learned of Europe in a printed memoir; and this formed part of the supplement to the Encyclopedia Britannica, in the year immediately following, It cannot be doubted that this discovery induced M. Champollion to renounce the system which he had followed during the labors of ten years; he adopted the opinion of Dr. Young, and with very laudable zeal gave extensive development to the system which this learned Englishman had indicated : his researches have been crowned with brilliant success, and he was enabled in 1822) to present the learned world with a considerable series of bieroglypbic characters employed alphabetically in writing proper pames, The result of his labors appeared in a Lettre adressée à M. Dacier. The methodical process observed in this composition, and the bonne foi which pervades it, were approved by all disinterested persons; and it were to be wished that M. Champollion had not departed from that system in his subsequent researches on Egyptian antiquities. This letter, however, only mentions en passant his obligations to Dr. Young, although from him he borrowed the first idea of what he calls his discovery. The daily journals repeated his assertions, and Europe resounded with the praises due to M. Champollion for his immortal discovery. The public, but little conversant with researches of this kind, took all on credit, and began to imagine that henceforth it would be as easy to read off the hieroglyphic characters, as to translate a Greek or Latin inscription. Nevertheless, M. Champollion's discovery relates only to a very limited number of the hieroglyphic signs; that is, he only reads the proper names written with an alphabet, the system of which somewhat resembles that of the Semitic languages, where, although the consonants of a word are written, but a few, or perhaps none, of the vowels appear.
We learn from a note, (p. 1.) that M. Champollion's work abovementioned, (De l'Ecriture Hieratique, &c.) containing the assertion which he himself afterwards contradicted, (“that the bieroglyphic signs are sigus of things and not of sounds,") was withdrawn by the author, according to report, from public circulation and from the hands of his friends, as far as was possible. It cannot therefore be doubted, says M. Klaproth, that M. Champollion's discoveries have been grafted on those of Dr. Young, who is fully entitled to the praise of having first demonstrated that the Egyptian hieroglyphic signs were used to express the sounds of proper
To dispute the doctor's claim on this subject, would be as absurd as to deny the invention of powder to him who first mixed salt petre with sulphur and charcoal, and to call him the inventor who first employed that mixture in projection.
After some remarks, which our limits do not allow us to notice, M. Klaproth affirms that the discoveries of M. Champollion may