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accuracy of the above-mentioned results, in reference to ages anterior to the true era of the origin of kingdoms, and even to that of the Deluge, may seem either to require the latitude afforded by the Greek and Samaritan computations, or to imply an antediluvian origin for the Chinese system-and thus to make it the original stem whence the analogous systems of the Hindoos, the Chaldeans, and the Egyptians, and in fact of all civilized antiquity, branched off about the time of the dispersion-yet neither of these alternatives is called for. For, although not stated in the text (the paramount importance of the actual epoch of construction not appearing so palpable at the date of the composition as subsequent and more general inquiries have rendered it), I found by calculation that the epoch of the Chinese system, or the age wherein the computed and the celestial phenomena agree, could not be dated earlier than the eighteenth century before the Christian era; and belongs to the early part of the second dynasty, Xam, which reigned between the years B. c. 1766 and 1123; the anterior phenomena of the system being calculated, and the recorded genealogies regulated by such calculation, in a manner analogous to the proleptical arrangement of the early Chaldean dynasties, and the Egyptian princes of the Cynic cycle, and partaking of a similar degree of accuracy. (See my papers on the Chaldean and Egyptian Systems, Morning Watch, Nos. XV. and XVI.). It seems to follow, that we possess the primitive Chinese history as it was understood by astronomers about the middle of the second millenary before the Christian era ; just as we possess the outline of the Chaldean and Egyptian records, with nearly the same limitation—a limitation which, however, brings about fifteen centuries of the disputed period of Chinese antiquities under the head of contemporary history. Although many historical critics question the authority of the records, so far as regards the first three dynasties, astronomers (including La Place), by adopting the observations of Tcheou Cong (who determined the obliquity of the ecliptic about B. c. 1123) as genuine, recognise the historical integrity of the annals from the epoch of the third dynasty downwards.
Under the head of proleptical calculation comes the first eclipse revealed in these annals, and the only one mentioned previously to that of the year B. c. 776, already adverted to. The former is said to have been observed at the autumnal equinox, anno 3, cycle 10, or B. c. 2155, in the reign of Chumcam, fourth emperor of the first dynasty. Modern calculation shews that a solar eclipse occurred at the time mentioned, but that it was not visible in China. There are, however, some other observations recorded, anterior to the epoch of the sexagenary system, although not necessarily connected with it, which carry self-evident proof of being real observations, common to the undivided human race, and adopted as parapegmata for the construction of the subsequent systems. Such were the solstitial and equinoctial observations in the patriarchal reign of Yao (Noah), b. c. 2357—2257 ; among which the intersection of
Pleiades by the equinoctial colure is the most important--a phenomenon noticed in the records or traditions of nearly every primitive nation, and giving its character to the year of the Poets, from the days of the patriarch Job until the age of the Antonines.
These observations are referred to the twentieth year of Yao in Chinese history—i. e. B.c. 2338;-and, what is very remarkable, this is the date assigned by Dr. Brinkley's calculations to the sphere of Job: “ Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades ......?" (xxxviii. 31.) But that Job flourished in the age in question no more follows, than that Hesiod, Aratus, Livy, Cicero, Virgil, Censorinus, who, like Job, recognised the Pleiades as the vernal harbingers of the year (Vergiliæ), were the contemporaries of the inspired patriarch, or of each other. Yet an assumed synchronism between the age of Job and the date of this first postdiluvian sphere, is, by the defenders of the Seventy, opposed to the integrity of the Hebrew numbers; because it “carries back the age of Job to a period which, though quite in harmony with the chronology of the Seventy, is not at all consistent with the Hebrew chronology.” (See Mr. Cuninghame's Dissertation, Morning Watch No. X. p. 422). It is however plain, that the same principle of argument might be applied to raise Censorinus, who wrote A. D. 238, to the age
of the vernal intersection of Pleiades. This first observed state of the postdiluvian sphere, is one of those common characters which not only binds the stems of all nations together, but operates as an imperishable record that mankind formed but a single community until after the twenty-fourth century before the Christian æra; it being in this and the subsequent century only that the coincidence of Pleiades with the equinox could have been observed. Let the advocates of the Greek and Samaritan eras of the separation of the human race, answer this. We accordingly learn from Duhalde, that the learned among the Chinese claim no higher limits for their authentic history than the reign of Yao.
The calculations requisite to fix the Chinese epoch of construction I have not at hand, nor will time allow me to re-compute them on the present occasion. I hope, however, to lay them before the public at some future opportunity ; and for the present it may answer to notice some common characters, which bring down the general branching off, or constructing of systems, in which China, India, Chaldea, Persia, and Egypt, were common partakers, to about the middle of the second millenary B. c. as above.
1. To the patriarchal line of China the first imperial family, Hia, succeeded, and reigned 441 years; or from B.C. 2207 to B.c. 1766, after which falls the æra of the system.
2. To the patriarchal line of Chaldea the most ancient Chaldean and Arabian dynasties succeeded, and reigned 440 years, or from B. c. 2233 to 1793, the time when the arrow-head calendars of Babylon appear to have been brought to perfection; and followed in 1633 by the first Chaldean adjustment of the tropical year, and in 1576 by the arrival of the Egyptian Belus, with the scientific
improvements of his country. (See Morning Watch No. XV. ubi supra, and “ Tabular View
in No. XVI.) 3. To the gods and demi-gods, or ante- and post-diluvian patriarchs of Egypt, succeeded the first royal line of the Cynic cycle (or of the princes whose reigns and period were proleptically accommodated to the cycle so named), reigning 443 years, according to the Theban archives translated by Eratosthenes, or from B. C. 2188 to B. c. 1745, the age of the first addition of the Epagomena, or five intercalary days, to the end of the Egyptian year, and of the hieroglyphic calendar--B. C. 1769 to 1645-followed by the Hermaic system of time, and the discovery of the Egyptian tropical year, &c. in the sixteenth century B. C. (See Criteria, Morning Watch No. IX. and Hermaic Essay in No. XVI.)
4. To these may be added the Assyrian æra B. c. 2185 (Æmilius Sura, Castor Rhodius, Africanus); from which the ancient Persians deduced their empire (Hellanicus, Herodotus, Ctesias, Callisthenes), and the reformation of the calendar, and institution of the Persian embolismal period, by king Gjemschid, B. c. 1769 (see the authorities in Hyde)-an interval of 416 years.
5. Let us add the general epochs of the origin of primitive kingdoms, according to sacred and profane history.
I. B. c. 2247. The birth of Peleg, according to the Hebrew.
“ the isles of the Gentiles.”
IX. 2008. The death of Peleg, according to the Hebrew. Hence it appears, that the life-time of Peleg (“ in whose days the earth was divided”), according to the sacred Hebrew text, is, by the common consent of nations, from China to Peloponnesus, the chronological limit of the dispersion.
A comparison with the foregoing dates and periods will make it evident; first, that the same age, and nearly the same æra, for the origin of kingdoms, was common to the historians of all primitive nations, however widely separated : secondly, that the age when individual systems began to be framed, and the events of history digested and arranged on scientific principles, was likewise common to most, if not all of them : thirdly, that it was not until after the eighteenth century B. c. that the Chinese, Chaldean, Persian, and Egyptian systems were constructed; because we find the same period of about 440 years (being the interval between the first rude and common epoch of observation, and the second or proper and more refined epoch) engrafted on the history of each nation, and their previous individual history and genealogies regulated and chronologically measured by it.
It is less difficult to determine the fact, of this general interchange of system sixteen or seventeen centuries before the Christian æra, than to ascertain how it came about to so great an extent. The intercourse between the philosophers of Egypt, Chaldea, and Persia, about the period in question, may be traced and demonstrated, both from historical facts and common principles of science ; while the intercourse between these and the more remote nations, although not matter of history, may be inferred, without much danger of error, from the common characters already mentioned, as well as from common principles, which were necessarily of the growth of centuries. The Chinese sexagenary æra, for instance, falls in the same year (B. C. 2697) with the corrupted diluvian æra of the Egyptian records (see Criteria, Morning Watch No. IX)--a coincidence which cannot well be accidental. The sexagenary cycle, which is common to the Chinese and Hindoos (with this difference, that the Indian cycle is three years later in its epoch), is manifestly identical with the Chaldean sossus. So is the cycle of twelve, common to China, India, and Chaldea ; the cycle of ten, to China and Chaldea; while the cycle of five is Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman. The Nerus, or great lunar period of 600 years, to which Josephus assigns a patriarchal origin, forms the basis of the Chinese and Chaldean systems; and the great sidereal revolution of 432,000 or 438,300 years, which involves and reconciles all other cycles, was adopted in China, India, Chaldea, and Egypt, and formed the grand outline of system from the Mediterranean to the Yellow Sea. These nations, moreover, with one consent, estimated the solar year at a little less than 3654 days, in the age of which we are speaking. Even the fables invented to obscure the origin of science, and render its mysteries more mysterious, were co-extensive with science itself; and in the Chinese Fong Whang, whose appearance is referred in the annals to the time of Xao Hao, the successor of Hoamti, we can easily recognise the Musarus Oannes of the Chaldean patriarchal ages.
Des Guignes saw the chronological parallel of which I have spoken, as regards China and Egypt, and went so far as to infer that the history of the first 1085 years of the former empire was adopted from the Egyptian records; this being the period of the first and second Chinese dynasties (441 and 644 years, equal to 1085); while the period of the Theban catalogue of Eratosthenes, which the above writer supposes to have been adopted and translated by the historians of China, is 1076 years. It is evident, however, that both history and astronomy limit the parallel to the first 441 years of the one series, and the first 443 of the other, as above; and that it is but a chronological parallel, which may be clearly accounted for-not an historical identity.
I. CULLIMORE, Feb. 14, 1833.
The works of Lord Henley and others on Church Reform are the manifest enactment before our eyes of the part of the "foolish woman who pulls down her house with her own hands (Prov. xiv. 1). Their projects are without any check from the principles laid down in Scripture, or from custom, or from law; genuine examples of modern reform, which would in all former dictionaries have been called Revolutions. The plan for mending the Liturgy, is to reform the Church by unchristianizing it; to leave out every thing that can offend the Socinian, Jew, Turk, or Infidel; to make it as nearly as possible a church service for Deists. Without further notice of these speculators, we shall proceed to shew some points for which God has a controversy with the Church.
As all corruption begins at the head, we commence with the Congé d'elire of the Bishops. This is a mock election. The right to choose their bishops resides in the clergy of a certain district: the king sends them an order, in a shape which says he gives them leave to elect a particular person named by him, and no other : this person they forth with elect. They exercise no discretion whatever; and none is permitted then. The election therefore is no election : it is a wholesale lie, deliberately told, and continually persevered in, by king, bishop, and clergy: and this falsehood is the first aspect that is presented by the church which calls itself the peculiar assembly of the God of Truth; the God who hates deceit, dissimulation, and fraud. “ The church is the pillar and ground of the truth,” the representative of God to the world, the witness-bearer for God; so that every one who is called to look on the church, is called to look on the manifested character of God. The character mani. fested by the church in this particular, is one of lying, false pretensions, and trick : and the offence in the eyes of the Holy God, who is most jealous of His own character, must be more heinous than the sins of murder or adultery.
The next crime in order, consists in the nomination of parsons to the cure of souls. The right to appoint to the cure is vested in individuals of all classes, and bought and sold, like cattle in the market. By the help of legal subtleties, Jews, Papists, and Heretics of every description, may purchase this right, and actually appoint any person that has been ordained by a Bishop, to such a cure. These rights are matters of bargain and sale, and commonly purchased to make a provision for sons or other relatives, who are bred up to occupy those posts, as others are bred to ordinary trades. There was nothing in the worship of the VOL. VII.-NO. I.