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In the sermon entitled “ What is Sin?” utilitarian morals are very plainly inculcated. Yet, looking only at what is practical, we can find little fault with Mr. Cranbrook's application of this ethical doctrine. The aim of all preaching should be to awaken the divine life in the soul. If a philosophy allied with Positivism can make God's presence felt, - create a healthful sense of the sinfulness there is in all transgression of the divine laws, and teach the sacred meanings of our common, every-day pursuits of business and study, of work and play, let us gladly accept the fruit of such preaching, and cease our foolish complaints about the shape of the tree. Positivism may be a poor philosophy wherewith to explain religion ; but, whenever any believer in this philosophy sets forth the facts of religious experience with the clearness and force which characterize Mr. Cranbrook's “ Credibilia,” we shall bid him God-speed. The Church of the Future,” so often projeried, so slow in building, will be a mighty cathedral, in whose construction many builders of many generations and of many beliefs shall labor. If we cannot agree with those who think that Positivism will be its Michael Angelo, we are yet willing to let the work go on as the Great Architect shall order, confident that he will accept every offering which is made “in spirit and in truth.”
H. G. s.
HISTORY AND ANTIQUITIES.
This book * has a certain interest in connection with the article which we publish this month, condensing the result of Bunsen's inquiry as to Egypt's place in history. Its main theory is, that the great pyramid at Ghizeh was built as a standard of mensuration, which standard was determined for the ancients by the diameter and circumference of the globe, the secret of its spherical shape baving been already discovered. The azimuth of the entrance-passage coincides with the astronomical meridian of the place; and, that the standard of dry-measure might never be lost, the porphyry coffer of Cheops was built in to the sealed structure. Mr. Taylor proceeds to his statements, without the least regard to the inscriptions already deciphered in the pyramids themselves, and apparently ignorant that a building, erected in conformity to the ritual of an astral faith, would of necessity preserve such measures, whether erected for the purpose or not! What
* The Great Pyramid : Why was it Built? By John TAYLOR. London Longman, Green, & Longman, 1859; 2d edition, 1864.
ever we may think of the theory, the book is full of original suggestion, which the favorable mention of Herschel and Piazzi Smith forbid the scholar to ignore. We proceed to extract the pith from his pages.
The early world bore traces of an antediluvian measure, in a certain sacred or double cubit, — the cubit of Karnak, estimated by Gardner Wilkinson, — and which Taylor finds to be the basis of every sort of mensuration in the great pyramid. A proof of the existence of the double cubit is preserved in Herodotus. The priests told him, that, in the reign of Moeris, the Nile overflowed all the land when it rose to the height of eight cubits; but, in the time of Herodotus, it had to rise to the height of sixteen cubits to overflow the same land. Eight cubits of Karnak, in use fifteen hundred years before Christ, were equal to sixteen cubits in use a thousand years later. Scripture is quoted (2 Chron. iii. 3) to show the use among the Hebrews of a double measure. The height of Solomon's temple, in 2 Chron. called a hundred and twenty, is represented in 1 Kings as equal to thirty cubits of the first measure. The fourth of the cubit of Karnak was a span. Taylor believes this cubic-measure, derived from the earth's belt, to have had a relation to the mensuration of time. “There was signified on the pyramid,” says Herodotus,“ by means of Egyptian characters, “ how much was expended on radishes, onions, and garlic for the laborers; and, as I well remember, the interpreter, reading over, said it amounted to sixteen hundred talents of silver.” Egyptian characters were generally pictorial, and he believes the inscription to have been a measure of the earth’s radius or diameter, indicated by the signs still in use, — as degrees (o), minutes (1), and seconds ("); these, cut in the stone, being not unlike vegetables. “ The second of the diameter,” he says, “is sixteen inches, of which measure there are three hundred and sixty in the 5,760 inches at present called a second.”
“ When the new earth was first measured after the Deluge (or Edenic convulsions, as Bunsen would say], it was found that it exceeded the diameter of the old earth by a distance equal to 36.868 miles.” This change produced a change in all measures.
The porphyry coffer, or “tomb of Cheops,” - the pyramid having been built to preserve the sacred antediluvian measure, — is then considered. The coffer stands in the chamber, in the meridian, north and south, but only half the distance from the east wall that it is from the west. In this coffer we find the old measure of the chaldron (Latin, caldarium, or hot-bath), not used by us as a liquid measure, but naturally enough taking that name if measures were shaped like this coffer or the Hebrew laver, both precisely like a bath. He then shows the extraordinary coincidence of English measures with those of the coffer. Its contents are equal to 4 quarters of wheat = 128 pecks = 32 bushels = 4 Hebrew chomers = 128 Greek hecters = 128 Roman modii. Now a pint is equal to a pound; so, if our original chaldron were shaped like a trough (tră), from that would come Troy weight, or " trough weight,” for solids.*
There is no doubt, we suppose, that wheat originally determined all measures; but 8 lbs. of wheat Troy was equal in bulk to 10 lbs. of water, Troy weight. So any vessel that would hold 10 lbs. of water, only held 8 lbs. of corn. Before the phrase “ Avoirdupois" came into use, the water-measure was expressed by the phrase "merchants' pound.” All profits of sales were made by buying pounds of 16 ounces, to sell pounds of 12. The bakers' dozen of 13, sold out at 12, had a similar antiquity. The same base — i.e., the cubit of Karnak — controlled the pyramid, Solomon's temple, the coffer of Cheops, and the chaldron of Henry III. The proportion of the diameter of a circle to its circumference is now represented by 1 to 3.1415927. When the pyramid was built, it was as 1 to 3.141792. This measure allows to the diameter 500 millions of inches, but these were English inches !
To the measures before the Flood, we owe the sacred cubit attributed to the Ark, — the Karnak cubit of the pyramid, and the primitive English mile of 5,760 feet, an eleventh part greater than the present mile. The coffer contains 256 gallons of water, each gallon weighing 10 lbs. merchants', or Avoirdupois, weight; also 256 gallons of wheat, each gallon weighing 10 lbs. Troy.
In England, by law, 32 grains of middle-sized wheat are equal to 24 grains Troy. He shows, in this connection, the origin of the English word mud, in the Mut or Mor of the San-Chun-Iath.
In commenting with interest on this book, Sir John Herschel says, “Mr. Taylor has the merit of pointing out, that the same slope belongs to any pyramid which has each of its faces superficially equal to the square described upon its height;" also, “that a belt as broad as the base of the Great Pyramid, passing round the earth, would contain one thousand millions of square feet.” On his own account, he continues :
“The height of the pyramid, casing inclusive, from base to apex, is 1-270,000th of the earth's circumference. Taking the equatorial circumference as unity, the
error of this aliquot is one part in 736 ; but, if the polar be assumed, it is only one part in 3,506, — the former error in defect, the latter in excess. So there exists somewhere a diametral section whose circumference is exactly 270,000 times the height of the Great Pyramid. Though not a meridian, it is not very remote from one."
We believe we have indicated all the salient points of this book, certainly all those of interest,
C. H. D.
Since the time of Dr. Arnold, the history of Rome has been less studied in England than that of Greece, or at least the study has produced less fruits. Even to this day, Arnold's work continues, on the whole, the best for the ground it covers; and Liddell's - the best for the whole period of the republic — is only a brief compend, constructed from partial materials. For no one ventures to repeat what Arnold did, — transplant the ripest results of German scholarship into English soil, and recast them in a shape better adapted to the needs of the English mind. They seem hardly to know any authority later than Niebuhr, and to cling superstitiously to theories of his which bave long since been exploded. With all these defects, Liddell's is a very readable and, in the main, accurate work, - a very serviceable abridgment of Roman history.
The last two or three years have shown a greater activity in this field; and, besides Merivale’s great work, which has already been noticed at length in these pages, we are glad to announce a new edition of his earlier work, which serves in some degree as an introduction to the later and larger one.* It is not strictly an introduction to it; for it covers much of the same ground, and, indeed, many pages in the larger work are taken almost verbally from this. On the other hand, it is not a mere abridgment, even of the period embraced by both works; for on some points this work is fuller than the other. Written independently, as it was, and for the general reader rather than the student, it is, no doubt, better suited to those who wish only to get the leading, essential facts of the great historical subject it treats of, in all its philosophical bearings.
W. F. A. MR. UPHAM's monograph on the witchcraft delusion of 1692 † is one of the most thorough, elaborate, and satisfactory works of the kind ever written. There is no part of the subject which he has not studied in an exhaustive manner, and no collateral source of information which he has not carefully explored. No one who had not spent years in the investigation, and brought to the task special aptitudes for the work, could have produced two volumes on such a subject, in which it is scarcely possible for the most searching criticism to point out a single omission or misstatement or mark of carelessness, and which literally leave nothing to be desired in respect of breadth of view, minuteness of detail, or candor of statement. Nearly an entire generation has passed away since Mr. Upham's “Lectures on Witchcraft” were first given to the public; and the work has long been out of print, though it has always stood high in the public estimation. In reverting, after the lapse of so many years, to a subject which he had thus made his own, he has not contented himself with reproducing his earlier work; but he has retraced every step trodden before, and has extended his inquiries into new fields, so that scarcely any part of his former work can be discovered in his new volumes.
* The Fall of the Roman Republic; a Short History of the Last Century of the Commonwealth. By CHARLES MERIVALE, B.D. London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green, 1865. 12mo, pp. 564.
† Salem Witchcraft; with an Account of Salem Village, and a History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Subjects. By CHARLES W. UPHAM. Boston: Wiggin & Lunt, 1867. 2 vols. post 8vo, pp. xl. and 469, 553.
He has divided his work into three parts of unequal length, but of Dearly equal merit. The first is devoted to a preliminary sketch of the history of Salem Village, and to an account of the various families living there, and of the state of society among them previous to the witchcraft prosecutions. This part fills more than twothirds of the first volume, and is not surpassed by any similar sketch which we have found in any of our local histories. It is a monument of the unwearied diligence and perseverance of the author, and a needed introduction to the narrative which follows.
The second part, which covers the remaining pages of the first volume, is a scarcely less thorough and satisfactory history of opinions on the general subject of witchcraft, from the earliest times to the close of the seventeenth century, with the special design of illustrating the origin and character of the superstitions commonly accredited in New England in the period to which his work relates. In this part of his inquiry, Mr. Upham traverses ground not unfamiliar to cultivated persons : but he does not exhibit less breadth and minuteness of research ; and he brings to light many details which will be new to the larger proportion of his readers.
The second volume is mainly devoted to a full and circumstantial history of the delusion, from the first sitting of the circle of " afflicted