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by stoning, and, by faith in this illustrious reporter, the penalty was inflicted. But we all say nothing of the sort inheres in the need of human society, and, by precept and practice, we repudiate that report. But the general command to "remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy," so paraphrased as to say, "In your use of every seventh day, separate it from all the others, making it serve you wherein they have failed, for rest from that which has wearied you, and for the recuperation of that which has been impaired, and specially for spiritual improvement," we think we do find written by God in the need of every body and soul, and in human society. And the same we think is true in each of the other nine commandments that, space permitting, ample detailed proof of this could be pointed out. If not, or whenever this fails to be true, they must fail of approval, and fall dead.
So of the summary of them all the two great commandments, on which "hang all the law and the prophets." If, as the Gospel reports, God is more than a force, more than our Creator, if He be indeed Our Father, it inheres in His nature to hunger for our love. Mere force as expansion, contraction, gravity, evolution, as we know them or conceive of them, must be destitute of all desire. One may create either of countless things with no expectation or desire of love from his production. But a true, natural father cannot be destitute of this. By no acquisition of wealth of any or all forms, of exaltation or power, keeping the consciousness of paternity, can he divest himself of this desire for the love of his children. So we can conceive of God as having all besides the entire universe, with its countless forces, forms, treasures, creatures below man, yet without man spiritually alone, and, without love, discontented, as one upon a fertile, fruitful island, matchless in abundance and variety, but without human companionship, love. This we easily conceive to have been the crowning desire of God's heart. And Christ reporting this requisition in the form of a command, not merely on this authority, but from the nature of the case, we accept the report, and confess that it must be "the first and great commandment." Then, if we take the fruit obedience to this must bear as a test, the same
NEW SERIES. VOL. XVII
conclusion is inevitable. He who supremely loves supreme perfection must love all approaches to that perfection in thought, feeling, life. This love is inclusive of all true loves, as the sea holds all the streams, the heavens all the stars. And he who supremely loves the Perfect God complaisantly must love all whom He loves, benevolently. We say must, for the first command contains the second, as absolutely as one mathematical proposition involves another. And just as absolutely the benevolent love contemplated contains every possible benefit our neighbor needs. If we love him as ourselves we shall, in all requisite ways, exhaust our ability to bless him. So not merely the existence but the supreme greatness of these two commandments are inherent.
From all which it follows that till one fully obeys the commandments of God, he is either incomplete-in process of production, or God in him has failed. As we have seen, the commandments are the requirements of God, clearly indicated and involved in God's nature and man's nature. Both these natures contemplate and require obedience. He who desires a perfect time-keeper, and expresses that desire in his production declares his work incomplete or himself defeated till perfect time is kept. In the watch he makes he does not merely declare the comparative worthlessness of the watch, and the comparative contempt in which it will be held till it keeps good time, but he declares his own intention, and his own liability to contempt if he fail to accomplish it, or affirm his work unfinished. So the commandments appearing in God's nature and man's nature are not mere assertions of the penal fruits of disobedience, but rather of the desire and purpose of God. And ultimate disobedience would not involve merely man in "shame and everlasting contempt," but God. And the fact that a man is a man and not a watch a moral being and rot a mere material thing in no way affects the issue. The commandments remain, all the same, the inherent requisitions of God, and, as they relate to man's moral life, they must remain as long as man endures, binding him to obedience and God to secure that obedience. So, if God be indeed God, His commandments are to be obeyed-will be obeyed.
Egyptian History and Religion.
The Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by the Religion of Ancient Egypt. By P. Le Page Renouf. The Hibbert Lectures for 1879. Charles Scribner's Sons. $1.50.
What is the thing we call History? Myth, fiction, a child's storybook, the product of ignorance, or of intentional falsehood? And the question concerns not only ancient but modern history. Look at the repeated examples of flat contradiction, to say nothing of irreconcilable differences, in the statement of facts, among modern historians. Read the Catholic and the Protestant narratives of the Reformation, of the characters and motives and actions of the leading personages, and make consistent history out of them who can; or decide in some cases which party falsifies, or in other words, what is the truthful history of the men and the events. And what of the story of Wm. Tell— is it history, or legend? an importation, or of home growth? And what conflict of historic authorities even as to who commanded at Bunker Hill.
In ancient history what different readings are given to many of its most important passages, and how impossible in some of them to get at the truth. What a complete overthrow of the record of the Greek historians, Xenophon and Herodotus, regarding the capture of Babylon is found in the recently discovered cylinder and tablets of Cyrus as given in the article in this number of the QUARTERLY on the Book of Daniel-provided always that the Assyriologists are correct in their reading of the cuneiform text. Instead of the siege, and the turning of the Euphrates from its channel, and his army entering the city through the bed of the river, and capturing it by assault, Cyrus tells us that the city was surrendered without a struggle, and the whole country readily yielded to his authority — and surely he ought to know. And so the record which has been accepted for ages without question, is shown to be mere romance, without the semblance of truth.
And now in the book, whose title is given above, we have some of the new readings of important passages in the history of Egypt. It has been until recently a universally received opinion that Greece was largely indebted to the land of the Pharaohs for its philosophy, its
science and its mythology. Every student knows how confidently tho classical dictionaries, and the histories of philosophy, talk of the travels of Pythagoras and others in Egypt, their initiation into the mysteries, and their instruction by the priests in the profound meanings of the names and offices of the multitudinous deities of the Egyptian Pantheon. But now the Egyptologist, so called, comes and scouts all these traditions, and wakes us from the pleasant delusion that we were learning something in our school-boy days, and makes us feel that we must begin the study anew. Says M. Le Page Renouf,
"The existence of Egyptian elements in Hellenic philosophy has long since been disproved. The supposed travels of Pythagoras and other ancient philosophers to Eastern climes, Chaldæa, Persia, India and Egypt, are fabulous inventions, the historical evidence of which does not begin till at least two centuries after the death of the philosopher, but continues increasing after this time. Internal evidence tells the same tale as the external. Every step in the history of Greek philosophy can be accounted for and explained from native sources, and it is not merely unnecessary, but impossible, ridiculously impossible to the historian of philosophy, to imagine a foreign teacher, to whom the Greeks would never have listened, as being the author of doctrines which, without his help, they would themselves have discovered, and at the very time that they did so."
So, too, this author will not permit us to believe any longer the historical (?) statement, so often repeated, that Alexandria was the channel through which Oriental thought and commerce found their way to the West; and informs us that the importance of this city “as a medium of interchange of ideas between the Eastern and Western worlds must also be considered as exploded." Nothing was more common forty or fifty years ago than to hear learned men insist that Alexandria was the seat of Oriental philosophy, and Philo, Origen, Porphyry, Plotinos and other great names, were imagined to be the representatives of the alliance between Greek and Oriental thought; but all this is now considered as unhistorical as the reign of Jupiter in Crete." We are now told that these Greek scholars had the utmost contempt for barbarians and their opinions, and were profoundly ignorant of the Egyptian language and literature! and that the greatest part of the information they profess to give is utterly erroneous. The Oriental works, like those attributed to Zoroaster, said to have been preserved in the famous Alexandrian Library, were Greek forgeries!
We can hardly understand how those who had such supreme contempt for Oriental philosophy, could have had any motive for such forgeries - and M. Renouf does not condescend to furnish his unlearned readers with any proof of his statements, though he cites M. Ampere as saying the same thing in the Revue des Deux Mondes, September, 1846.
But, as we said, he is not satisfied with repudiating Alexandria as the channel of Eastern ideas flowing West, he even robs her of her claims as the great mart of Oriental trade:
"It is an error to suppose that this city was on the chief line of traffic between Europe and Asia. During the whole period which followed the foundation of Alexandria down to the Roman times, there was no direct communication between this city and the distant East. Indian traffic was in the hands of the sea-faring Arabs of the Persian Gulf of Akaba. It came to the shores of the Mediterranean through Selucia, Antioch and Palmyra, or through Gaza, and Petra, the chief town of the Nabatæans."
Many of our readers certainly know that all this is in direct conflict with what has passed for centuries as authentic history regarding the relations of Alexandria to Eastern philosophy and commerce; and, accepted, will require that so much of the ancient records shall be re-written, and our supposed knowledge of Egypt re-adjusted to the new level.
In regard to the theory, so common among a certain class of critics and historiaus, that the Hebrews borrowed largely from Egypt both in their forms of worship and in their idolatrous practices, M. Renouf says it may be confidently asserted that they derived none of their ideas from Egyptian teachers, and thinks it matter of wonder that they left the country" without even having learned the length of the year."
"The most remarkable point of contact between the Hebrew and Egyptian religions is the identity of meaning between the Hebrew 'El Shaddai' and the Egyptian nutar nutra; but the notion expressed by these words is common to all religion, and is only alluded to as characterizing the religion of the patriarchs in contrast to the revelation made to Moses. But even this revelation is said to have been borrowed from Egypt. I have repeatedly seen it asserted that Moses borrowed his concept of God, and the sublime words, "I am that I am" from the Egyptian. I fear that some Egyptologist has to bear the responsibility of this illusion. It is quite true that the words