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ated.” It was not among the heathen nations of the Greeks and Romans exclusively that the science of particular numbers was studied; for even the primitive Christians themselves carried it to as great, if not greater, extent than any other people, the Jews and Arabs alone excepted. There is scarcely a number in the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments which they did not imagine to have some great mystery concealed under it; and in the several passages where similar numbers are used, they have endeavoured to prove that there exists a strange coincidence of circumstances. To detail all that the Latin and Greek Fathers have written upon this subject would require a volume of no mean magnitude; and would add but little to the quantum of evidence already produced upon this . point. Those who desire to have fuller information may consult Canisius's Lectiones Antiquæ, where they will find dissertations upon the numbers 2, 3, 4, and 11. Very numerous examples of the meaning of particular numbers will also be found in the voluminous writings of Jerome. The mystery of number is also very largely considered in the Musurgia Universalis of Athanasius Kircher. We shall here give only one example from

*

Neque omittendum quod Kircherus, Tom. III. Edipi, p. 65. observat numeros Diis sacratos unarium summo Deo, binarium Palladi, ternarium Minervæ, quaternarium Apollini, quinarium Isidi, senarium Osiridi, septenarium Mercurio, octonarium Ammoni, &c. Hinc quot foliis herba vel flos gauderet, ei Deo fuisse consecratum.-SELDEN.

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the writings of the primitive Christians, which is that of Augustine concerning the number six. He says, that “God created all things in six days to denote that every thing was done in the most perfect manner; for six,” he observes, “is the least perfect number known; the sum of its aliquot parts being equal to itself.” *

Another mode of mystical numbering, of great antiquity, was by counting the number of letters in a person's name, or the number of letters in a particular phrase or set of words. · Thus Capella, who lived in the age of Julius Cæsar, calls Pallas Értàin numeris, † “ seven in number,” because Minerva, the name by which this heathen goddess was commonly known, consists of seven letters. It was also a custom among the young Romans to toast their mistresses at their meetings as often as there were letters in their names. Thus Martial, who flourished in the reign of Domitian, says,

Nævia sex cyathis, septem Justina bibatur. I « Let six cups be drunk to Nævia, seven to Justina.” Here it is evident that the former name contains six letters, and the latter seven, whence the meaning of Martial is clearly ascertained. In the first centuries of the Christian æra this species of numbering was in very great estimation, especially among the heretics.

The Marcosians placed a

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* Book xi. c. 30.

+ Martiani Minei Felicis Capellæ Carthaginiensis, Lib. vi. De Geometriâ.

Chambers' Dictionary on the word Onomantia.

great mystery in the number 21, on account of its being the number of letters in the Greek alphabet; and therefore they thought it remarkable that some quaternions of their æons should have each 24 let. ters: thus the quaternion "Apertos, Syn, Ilating, and ’Anately, consists of 24 letters, if Eizo be written Σειγή. And the quaternion Λόγος, Ζωή, "ΑνθρωTOS, and 'Exxa noia, has also the same number. The number of letters in the Greek alphabet added to the number of letters in the Greek name of Jesus ('Ingous) has been ridiculously imagined by the Marcosians to represent the age of Christ when he should first enter upon his public ministry. + The Valentinians invented thirty æons, which number they fancied our Saviour alluded to by not entering upon his public ministry till he was thirty years of age. They also imagined that he spoke in reference to their æons, when he delivered his parable of the labourers ; for, as some were sent out about the first hour, some at the third, and others at the sixth, ninth, and eleventh, hours, it is evident that if these hours be added together they make precisely thirty, thus 1, 3, 6, 9, ll=30.

We shall add to the evidences for this species of numbering one example more, which is from the Lexicon of Hesychius, who is supposed to have flourished about the close of the fourth century. This

* Irenæus adversus Hæreses, Lib. i. cap. 12, page 71, Edit. Oxon. 1702, à Grabe.

+ Ibid. page 73.
# Ibid. Lib. i. c. 1, § 1, page 9.

lexicographer on the word étraygájuato (sevenlettered) enumerates, among other words, the Egyptian god Serapis, as known by this appellative on account of the number of letters contained in his name. * And Albertus, in his note on this passage of Hesychius, produces the following ancient Greek epigram in illustration of it: t

Επτά με φωνήεντα θεόν μέγαν άφθιτον αινεί

Γράμματα, των πάντων ακάματον πάτερα, &c. Which may be translated as follows: “ He celebrates the great immortal god, calling me ÉTTÀ ngámata (seven letters) the indefatigable father of all."

A third mode of mystic numbering which was very common, not only among the Greeks, but also the Jews and Arabs, consisted in collecting the numerical values of the letters of a particular word or phrase into one sum, and substituting it in the place of the name : or two words or phrases were found which contain the same number; and, arguing from their numerical equality, a mystic reference to each other was most commonly imagined. This last kind of computation was called by the Greeks io obmpía, I from loos, equal, and unpigw, to compute, on account of the identity of number just spoken of. It is difficult to determine when the

* By the Greeks Serapis is written Eapatis.

+ Jos. Scal. ad Euseb. p. 122. [132] Sopingius, Vid. Henr. Vales, ad Socrat. Hist. Eccles. Lib. v. c. 17.

| Athanasii Kircheri, (Edipus Ægyptiacus, Tom. I. p. 218. Cabala Hebræorum, Edit. Romæ, 1652.

art of computing the number in words began to bé used among the Greeks; yet, notwithstanding oui lack of information on this point, it is certain that it was known among them before the commencement of the Christian æra; for Martianus Capella, who flourished about 50 years before Christ, represents Philology praying to the Sun in the following words:

Salve vera deûm facies, vultusque paterne,
Octo et sexcentis numeris, cui litera trina

Conformat sacrum nomen, cognomen, et omen. Ilail, true face and paternal look of the gods, whose sacred name, surname, and omen, are comprised in three letters, containing the number 608. Here it is evident, that the Greek epithet of the sun, fös, (good,) or üns, (the author of rain,) is intended ; t as either of these words contains the given number 608. I Basnage tells us, $ in his History of the Jews, “ that a poet satirizing Demagoras, found that the numeral letters of his name made a number equal to that of the plague. This number amounts to 420; from whence he inferred that his enemy was the plague."| It

* Martiani Minei Felicis Capellæ Africarthaginensis, De Nuptiis Philologiæ et Mercurii, Lib. ii.

+ Selden's Works, Vol. III. Part 11, col. 1402. Bishop Newton in Apoc. xiii. 18.

Thus 7, 8, u, 400, and s, 200,=608; and v, 400, 7, 8, and 5, 200,=608.

ş Book iii. c. 23, sect. 2.
|| Thus, A, 4, a, 1, My 40, a, 1, 7, 3, 0, 70, p, 100, 2, 1,

ar 5, 200,=420; and Roopòs (the plague) has the same number, for ng 30, 0, 70, 1, 10, H, 40, 0, 70, and s, 200,=420.

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