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RECORD IN WHICH THE NAME
RECORD IN WHICH THE WORD “JEHOVAH” IS USED.
“ELOHIM” IS USED. Genesis vi, 5. And Jehovah saw Genesis vi, 12. And the Elohim that the wickedness of man was looked upon the earth, and, begreat in the earth, and that every hold, it was corrupt; for all flesh imagination of the thoughts of his had corrupted his way upon the heart was only evil continually. earth.
Verse 7. And Jehovah said, I Verse 13. And the Elohim said will destroy man, whom I have cre unto Noah, The end of all flesh is ated, from the face of the earth; come before me; for the earth is bothman, and beast, and the filled with violence through them; creeping thing, and the fowls of and, behold, I will destroy them the air; for it repenteth me that I with the earth. have made them.
Chapter vii, 1. And Jehovah Verse 9. Noah was a just man said unto Noah, Because thee have and perfect in his generations, and I seen righteous before me in this Noah walked with the Elohim. generation.
Verse 2. Of every clean beast Verse 19. And of every living thou shalt take to thee by sevens, thing of all flesh, two of every sort the male and his female; and of shalt thou bring into the ark, to beasts unclean by two, the male keep them alive with thee; they and his female.
shall be male and female. Verse 3. Of fowls also of the air Verse 20. Of fowls after their by sevens, the male and the fe- kind, and of cattle after their kind, male; to keep seed alive upon the of every creeping thing upon the face of all the earth.
earth after his kind, two of every. sort shall come unto thee, to keep
them alive. Verse 4. For yet seven days,
Verse 17. And, behold, I, even and I will cause it to rain upon I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth forty days and forty the earth, to destroy all flesh nights ; and every living substance wherein is the breath of life, from that I have made will I destroy under heaven, and everything that from off the face of the earth. is in the earth shall die.
Verse 5. And Noah did accord Verse 22. Thus did Noah; acing to all that Jehovah commanded cording to all that the Elohim had him.
commanded him, so did he.
This, although less than half of the entire “ comparison,” will be sufficient to show the existence of a double narrative. Dr. Prichard, from whose valuable work this and some of the preceding remarks have been taken, observes: “The selection of the passages which are thus brought into comparison is, perhaps, in some instances, forced, and assumed without sufficient discrimination. Yet, after making all allowances for critical artifice, it seems impossible to deny that there is some foundation for the author's hypothesis."--Examination of Egyptian Chronology, p. 128.
If these references to Holy Scripture be taken together, and the inferences fairly deducible from them be allowed their just weight in the argument, it is not too much to say, that the existence of literature in the earliest ages is rendered very probable. This probability will, however, be greatly increased, if we collect the traditions which different parts of the ancient world afford us on this subject.
Before proceeding to other nations, it may be proper to call attention to the important fact, that all Jewish tradition is on the side of our argument. However men in modern times may choose to speculate on Moses having invented letters, or having been taught to write by the Almighty at Sinai, the Jewish rabbis, with all their veneration for that holy man, never entertained such an idea. They knew the original of the world, and the state of society in the early ages, so much better than those who draw their knowledge of antiquity from the Roman or Greek classics, that they were saved from so great an error. According to them, and the general current of their tradition, there never was a time, since the creation of man, in which their ancestors, in a direct line to the first pair, were not favored with the arts of civilized life, and with every means of mental and moral cultivation, which the boundless goodness of the Almighty has imparted to his earthly family. These are, indeed, recollections in which any people would glory.
This is the origin of all that is said about the Book of Adam, the studies of Seth, the writings of Enoch, the teaching of Shem, and the learning of Abraham. In reference to the latter eminent individual, his own descendants are not the only people who have preserved traditions of his knowledge.
According to Berosus, the Chaldean records state, that, “after the deluge, in the tenth generation, was a certain man among the Chaldeans, renowned for his justice and great exploits, and for his skill in the celestial sciences."-Cory's Fragments, p. 36.
Eupolemus says, that “in the tenth generation, in the city Camarina, of Babylonia, which some called Urie, and which signifies 'a city of the Chaldeans,' the thirteenth in descent, lived Abraham, of a noble race, and superior to all others in wisdom; of whom they relate that he was the inventor of astrology and the Chaldean magic; and that, on account of his eminent piety, he was esteemed by God. It is further said, that, under the direction of God, he removed and lived in Phenicia, and there taught the Phenicians the motion of the sun and moon, and all other things; for which reason he was held in great reverence by their king."-Ibid., p. 57. .
In addition to the above, Jackson refers to Artapanus, Philo Judæus, the Recognitions of Clement, Eusebius, and others, as bearing witness to the learning of Abraham. (See Chron. Ant., vol. I, p. 221.)
The Chaldean records, preserved by Berosus, are equally explicit as to the existence of books in the early ages. He says, referring to the time before the deluge, that “Oannes wrote concerning the generation of mankind, and their civil polity.” Berosus then proceeds to record a part of what had been thus written, which extends to some length, and is a fabulous history of the creation, &c. The same authority, in an account of the deluge, having referred to Xisuthrus, (Noah) proceeds to say: “ In his time happened a great deluge, the history of which is thus described : The Deity, Cronus, appeared to him in a vision, and warned him, that upon the fifteenth day of the month Daesius, there would be a flood, by which mankind would be destroyed. He, therefore, enjoined him to write a history of the beginning, procedure, and conclusion of all things; and to bury it in the City of the Sun, at Sip
The account, having detailed the circumstances of the deluge, states that afterward “the writings were sought for and found at Sippara, and ordered to be made known to all mankind.”—Cory's Fragments, pp. 27–29.
Sir William Jones informs us, that the Persians also have traditions of the existence of books in the earliest ages. He says: “Moshan assures us, that, in the opinion of the best-informed Persians, who professed the faith of Hushang, the first monarch of Iran, and of the whole earth, was Mahabad; that he received from the Creator, and promulgated among men, a sacred book in a heavenly language, to which the Musselman author gives the Arabic title of Desatir, or Regulations.'”Sixth Discourse, Of the Persians. And Sir J. Malcolm states, that this Mahabad was, in the estimation of the ancient Persians, “the person left at the end of the last great cycle; and, consequently, the father of this present world. He and his wife, having survived the former cycle, were blessed with a numerous progeny: to improve their condition, he planted gardens, invented ornaments, and forged weapons. He also taught men to take the fleece from the sheep, and to make clothing; he built cities, constructed palaces, fortified towns, and introduced among
his descendants all the benefits of art and commerce.”Persia, vol. I, p. 9.
Here is an evident allusion to Adam or Noah, possibly to both; as, according to the doctrine of the East, the same great father is said to appear at the end of each cycle.
The ancient mythology of India contains similar traditions. “In the days of Buddha Guatama, [Noah,) when the earth poured forth an inundation of waters, to assist him against the Assurs, or impenitent antediluvians, five holy scriptures descended from above, which confer powers of knowledge and retrospection; and respecting which it is said, "Whoever shall read and study them, his soul shall not undergo trans
migration ; and whoever shall have faith therein, heaven and bliss shall be the reward of his piety.'”-Asiatic Researches, vol. ii, pp. 386, 387.
Again : in the first Avatar of Vishnu, we are told, that the divine ordinances which flowed from the lips of Bramah were stolen by the demon Hayagriva, while he slumbered at the close of a prior world. For the purpose of recovering them, Vishnu became incarnate, in the form of a fish. Under that form he preserved Menu in an ark, while the whole world was inundated by a deluge; and, when the waters retired, he slew the demon, and recovered the holy books from the bottom of the ocean. (See Faber's Pagan Idolatry, vol. ii, p. 150.) We are further informed, that the first Menu left a book of regulations, or divine ordinances. (See Asiatic Researches, vol. ii, p. 59.)
What the Vedas and the Institutes are to the Hindoos, the laws of Minos were to the ancient Cretans. I think, with Sir William Jones, that Menu and Minos are clearly the same person; consequently, in the laws of Minos we again recognize those holy books which the pagans deemed coeval with or prior to the deluge.
“Menu, or Buddha, under these precisely oriental titles, was equally venerated by the Celts of Britain : and here again we find the same belief in books no less ancient than the flood. The Druids styled them the 'Books of the Pheryllt,' and the Writings of Prydain or Hu;' and I hesitate not to denominate them the British Vedas.' Ceridwen consults them before she prepares the mysterious caldron which shadows out the awful catastrophe of the deluge; and Taliesin, while he speaks of them as the first object of anxiety to the bards, declares that, should the waves again disturb their foundation, he would again conceal them deep in the cell of the holy sanctuary, which represented the interior of the ark. Here he evidently alludes to a concealment of those sacred volumes during the prevalence of the flood, like that of the writings of the Chaldean Xisuthrus.
A similar belief in the existence of such books prevails also among the Mohammedans; and they, doubtless, I think, derived it from the same pagan source as the Jews. According to a Mussulman writer, cited by Stanley, Abraham found among the Sabians the long-lost chest of Adam, which contained the book of that patriarch, and likewise those of Seth and Edris, or Enoch. How the chest was supposed to have been preserved during the time of the deluge does not appear. The Mohammedans tell us that the books of Adam, Seth, Enoch, and Abraham, are now entirely lost; but the persuasion that they once existed serves to show how widely the notion which I am now considering had extended itself.”—Faber's Pagan Idolatry, vol. ii, pp. 150, 151.
Many may be disposed to esteem these traditions very lightly, on account of the fabulous matter with which they are mixed up. It should.
however, be considered, that this is, in reality, no valid objection against the tradition itself. We find numerous references to the creation and the deluge, associated with a mass of mythology and fable, which present to the eye of a careless observer nothing but a jargon of absurdities; yet, notwithstanding this, one point is clear and undeniable—the persons who wrote these, however ignorant, or imaginative, or disposed to allegorize, must have had an idea of both these great events. To deny this, is as unreasonable as to refuse to believe in the Trojan war, because of the celestial machinery introduced into the “Iliad."
It is on this principle that we value the traditions which have been given respecting early-written books. These traditions concur in teaching, that books existed prior to the deluge; and that some were preserved from destruction at that period. The persons who transmitted these to us, however ignorant in other respects, however mistaken in points of detail, must themseves have believed in the leading facts.
Another important consideration is the era to which these traditions must be ascribed. If an isolated reference to this circumstance had been found in any one or two of these countries, it might fairly be supposed that it had been devised in times comparatively recent, for the accomplishment of some local object, or for the gratification of national vanity. The
case, however, is widely different. These traditions are found to exist in countries the most distant, and separate from each other—Chaldea, Egypt, Phenicia, Persia, Hindostan, Crete, and Britain ; and found, too, among the earliest accounts of those nations. They come down to us through persons of almost all religions-Parsees, Hindoos, Greeks, Druids, Mohammedans, and Jews. May it not then be asked, At what time, under such circumstances, could these traditions have had their origin, except when all these different tribes made one people ? To suppose that nations so widely extended, so separated from each other, 80 strongly influenced by opposite religious systems, should all find it necessary to invent the fable of these ancient books, together with the circumstance of their preservation, is scarcely conceivable. The conclusion, then, to which Mr. Faber has come appears inevitable : "The same notion of certain sacred books ascribed to the great Father could not have prevailed in regions so widely separated from each other, unless the inhabitants of those regions had derived it, together with their system of theology, from a common centre.”-Pagan Idolatry, vol. ii,
If this be admitted, the origin of these traditions is carried up to the time of Nimrod, and to the Plains of Shinar. This invests them with very great importance. For, if it be believed that, before the dispersion, when the descendants of Noah yet remained as one family, and within a few centuries of the deluge, they held an opinion that books were