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pendous work, by the comment of another writer, no less celebrated than himself in the annals of science, and whose memory will be for ever cherished, like his, by all the friends of Christianity. With a no less inquisitive than candid mind, Sir William Jones stands upon the very ground that Mr. Bryant had discovered; and from the various forms of Indian idolatry, from the deities, rites, and tenets of the earliest settlers upon the earth, he brings the recital of facts to corroborate, in many instances, the deductions of etymology. He supports the fabric of Christianity upon the same pillars which Mr. Bryant had reared; he investigates the corruptions of original revelation; traces them through all their impure streams from the fountain head; has brought the antiquity of those very writings, which modern infidelity had opposed to the Mosaic history, to corroborate and substantiate all its as.. sertions; has reduced their incomprehensible chronology to the scriptural periods of time, and confined their extended geography within the compass of the eastern hemisphere. In a word, he has enlightened our path through the mazes of the Pagan mythology, and shortened our way to those proofs which, however they might be deduced or illustrated from the fabulous records of Greece, might either be disputed from the scantiness of materials or the obscurity of the documents. If, therefore, we may think with the admirer of Mr. Bryant, whom we have just quoted, that there was a providence of God superintending his labours, surely we must also believe, that it
continued to be a guide in these researches; and when, after a course of the most laborious and minute investigation, we find it asserted by such a man, that the first eleven chapters of Genesis are true, or the whole fabric of our national religion is false, upon what ground will infidelity hold an argument? since what it might reject as matter of faith, is now submitted to rational determination; and they have no longer the easy task of ridiculing the revelations of Moses, but the difficult one of setting "aside the discoveries of Sir William Jones.*
* It is almost needless to refer the reader to the Analysis of Ancient Mythology, by Mr. Bryant, and to the Asiatic Researches, under the direction of Sir W. Jones. In the latter, I would particularly recommend to his perusal the Dissertation on the Gods of Greece, Italy, and India; and the President's third Annual Discourse on the Hindus, vol.i. octavo edition, p. 221 and 415. The three discourses of the President, vol. ï. on the Arabs, the Tartars, and the Persians; on the Descent of the Afghans from the Jews, p.6%; on the Indian Zodiac, p. 289; on the Astronomy of the Hindus, p. 225. In vol. ïïi. the 8th and 9th Discourses of the President, more especially the latter, on the Origin and Families of Nations, p. 479; on the Indian Cycle of sixty years, p. 209; and the Lunar Year of the Hindus, p. 257. In vol. iv. (though we can no longer quote the records of the Society as under the inspection of their late illustrious head, yet we can quote them as animated by the same soul and spirit of enquiry) the Discourse on the Philosophy of the Asiatics, p. 165; Dissertation on Semiramis, p. 376; Account of the Cave in the Island of Elephanta-contain much curious matter. In the 5th volume (we think the preface to it, in form of advertisement, had better been omitted, as suggesting doubts without leading to any direct concluSion) the Dissertations on the Chronology of the Hindus, p. 241; on the Names of the Cabirian Deities, &c. p. 297; and on the religious
Though I have dwelt so long upon this subject, I should feel unpardonable in passing by the Indian Antiquities of Mr. Maurice, a compilation that entitles him to the thanks of the Christian world, and which ought to, be even more abundant for his late History of Hindoostan
a work that carries with it its own reward, as defending, and nobly defending, that cause which, under every worldly disappointment, will bring peace and consolation to its supporters. I have not the pleasure of knowing him, but he will have the goodness to accept this acknowledgment of my obligations to him, and my warmest wishes for his welfare. No language, no assertion, na documents, could establish stronger proofs of the corruption of the grand primæval tradition, than the two extraordinary prints of Creeshna, which Mr. Maurice has given in the last part of his history; and once more we will speak of this work, as replete with the most useful and interesting information.*
We now come to consider Moses as a philosopher, and as a philosopher taught of God. Rolling on with its
ceremonies of the Hindus, and of the Brahmins especially—are ex. tremely interesting and curious. In short, with their little shades of difference, we consider the picture of nations, exhibited by these two great and learned men, as preserving those uniform features of religion which the Almighty stamped upon his work, and in which the deformity of idolatry only serves to set forth the beauties of the original.
* Vide Ancient History of Hindoostan, by the Rev. T. Maurice.
train of uniform effects, his system of the world still continues to diffuse life, and health, and comfort to man; who, instead of looking to the book* of God's word, has been employed in hunting for truth and science in the operations of nature, and at last brought back nothing but error, conceit, and ignorance. The fabulous theories of the universe, which have thus been raised, and for a time believed, with all the rubbish that filled the schools, and disgraced the name of philosophy, have long since been consigned to oblivion by the sagacious discoveries of Sir I. Newton. Of this great man I speak with the utmost veneration; I speak of him as of one who has pro- . duced a work which will always stand first in its kind, which the capacity of man ever did, or ever will produce; as of one, who, in a material point of view, might say with more justice than his ancient predecessor-A05 Ti slo xai Tay Tay Xuynga.
But when he carries me beyond the limits of this visible world; when his gigantic powers of genius projects the planets into boundless space, and then impels and
* It may be worthy of remark, and certainly comes in indirect proof of the inspiration of Moses, that although learned, as he is represented to be, in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, who were familiar with the motions of the heavenly bodies, and well versed in the calculations of astronomy, he makes no scientific remark, which he naturally would have done, had he invented the history of the creation, but simply relates, that God made the light, that he divided it from the darkness, that he made the sun to rule the day, and the moon to rule the night.
arrests their course; when, from their periodical revolutions, he not only measures, estimates, and computes the different distances, magnitudes, and motions of the heavenly bodies, but prescribes to them their motive force, and sustains them in their orbits; when, having freed them from every obstrution to their rotatory im. pulse, he approaches their central sun, and from thence darting forth a light to illuminate their hemisphere, he calculates the velocity of its luminous rays; I must confess I pause, whilst I wonder-I am not reading the book of revelation, and for that alone have I an implicit faith. It becomes a question, whether in some cases his cal. culations be not imaginary; whether he be not a com. puter of proportions which do not exist, and of forces, of which the positive existence, as well as agency, remains to be proved. I feel myself as unwilling, as I am unable, to set myself in opposition to opinions so long cherished and so ably supported; but the basis of many of them is surely hypothetical, and the only truth that I lay up in my mind as such, is a truth that can never be shaken. I know with what bitterness every occasional opposition to any part of the Newtonian Philosophy has been treated, and it might be safer and more prudent, as far as this world is concerned, to treat Moses with contempt, than to entertain the smallest doubt about the exemplified phænomena of Sir I. Newton. In the former case, one might be thought singular in the latter, one must be ignorant. But till they are reconciled, till scripture and