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have been lost for ever, had not the Arabians by their conquest, put an end to the jargon introduced by the Greeks, and protected and encouraged the vernacular language of their new subjects. Having at that time very little connexion with the Greeks and the Romans, feeling a sort of gratitude towards the Egyptians, who had assisted them in the conquest of their country, trusting to them the care of collecting the tributes which were to be levied on the different cities, and finding a great analogy between the pronunciation of the Egyptians and their own, the Arabs gave the preference to the Coptic denominations and names, and thus the changes introduced by the Greeks were for ever abolished. In this way the ancient names, being generally revived, were adopted even by the Arabians themselves, who have transmitted them to us with some slight modifications. What these alterations are, I do not think it necessary to mention. The account of them belongs more properly to the analysis of the Coptic and Arabian languages, with which we have nothing to do; our object is merely to ascertain the mode by which the ancient Egyptian names, and Egyptian language, have been preserved.
Statement of the subject—Difference in the chronology of the Hebrew text, and the Samaritan and Greek version of the Bible—Inadmissibility of the Hebrew computation, proved by Jacts mentioned by sacred as well as profane history— Ages of Nimrod, of Ninus, and of Abraham, ascertained— Foundation of the Egyptian monarchy by Misraim—Multiplication of mankind—Opinion of Bishop Cumberland conjuted—Alteration of the Hebrew chronology—Objections stated and resolved—Reasons why the genealogical tables recorded by the ancient historians are entitled to credit— Causes which produced the discrepancy in the names and number of the different sovereigns—Attempt at reducing to a reasonable computation the fabulous reckonings of the Oriental historians—System of M. Gibert—Explained—Eremplified—Babylonian, Egyptian, and Chinese chronology.
IN one of my Lectures, speaking of the origin of the city of Abydos, and indeed in most of the Lectures that I have given on the subject of hieroglyphics, I have mentioned so repeatedly the high antiquity of some of the Egyptian monuments, that I think it necessary, before I proceed any further, to prove to you that this antiquity is by no means improbable, nor does it contradict in the least the commanding authority of our holy Scrip
tures. On one occasion particularly, (page 203,) alluding to this antiquity, I made this same observation, and mentioned, that however startling the antiquity of some of the Egyptian monuments may appear at first sight, it is entitled to our belief, provided we adopt the chronology of the Seventy, that is, of the version which was made of our holy Scriptures from the Hebrew into the Greek language, at the desire as it is said, of Ptolemy Philadelphus, about three centuries before Christ. To make you understand this point, I will, in the best manner I can, call your attention to some facts which will render what I have to state, in regard to Egypt, more intelligible. You know we have three different texts of the Scriptures: the Hebrew, the Samaritan, and the Greek; or as it is commonly called, the Septuagint. As they inculcate the same doctrine, exhibit the same facts, record the same events, give the same history; in short as they agree together on all points, they are either three texts, or copies of the same original. Their authenticity therefore is indisputable. The only thing they differ upon, is the chronology of the primitive ages of the world. The Hebrew text shortens its period, and reckons about 4000 years from the Creation to the birth of our Saviour. The Septuagint carries the calculation between Adam and Christ to above 6000 years; and the Samaritan text adopts a third computation, which differs from the Hebrew and Septuagint. To give you a specimen of these different modes of chronological reckoning, I shall instance two or three dates. According to the Hebrew, we have, between Adam and the flood, 1656 years; according to the Samaritan, 1307; and according to the Septuagint, 2242. This difference becomes more striking, and by far more puzzling, in regard to the dates of the different events which are related to have come to pass after the deluge; for as we have no other mode for ascertaining the first establishment of the several monarchies, and the antiquity of the different nations, we find ourselves surrounded by almost insurmountable difficulties, whenever we try to reconcile the account of profane writers with the authority of the Bible. These difficulties however, principally exist in regard to the Hebrew text, which shortens the chronology so much, as physically to allow no time to mankind to become sufficiently numerous to fill a corner of the earth, much less to separate into different bodies, and perform the deeds which are recorded. For this reason, I am not in the least surprised at the incredulity of those who, never having turned their thoughts to this subject, deny the antiquity of ancient monuments in general, and of the Egyptian in particular, and in short the authority of most profane writers, merely because they exceed the reckoning of the Hebrew Bible. The object therefore, of the present Lecture will be twofold. In the first instance, I shall endeato shew that the computation of the Hebrew text is inadmissible, and that the chronology of the Septuagint is the only true reckoning. This I shall prove, first, by arguments of fact principally drawn from the sacred pages themselves; and afterwards by the authority of all writers, both sacred and profane, who, in giving the history of the several nations, have followed a computation which coincides with the chronology of the Septuagint, the only one known in the world, long before and after the birth of Christ. Having thus ascertained the truth of the reckoning established by the Septuagint, I will, in the next place, endeavour to prove, that the antiquity of the Egyptian monuments, as it is recorded by Manetho, by no means contradicts the authority of the sacred pages, according to the reckoning of the Greek version. Of the great many instances which might be adduced to prove the incongruity of the reckoning of the Hebrew text, I shall select two periods; one preceding and the other following the flood. The one preceding the deluge will be the date attached to the death of Methuselah; the other, following the flood, will be the birth of Abraham. The former I bring forward merely to shew the inconsistency of the reckoning of the Hebrew text; the latter, besides this general purport, will have another object, much more important to our present inquiry, and that is, to enable us to fix, with a degree of certainty, the antiquities of Egypt. In Genesis we are told that Methuselah lived 969 years; that he was 187 years old when he begat