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points. Such accumulation of guilt would sink the strongest constitution, and terrify the most hardy conscience. Such universal abandonment of virtue would rouse a tempest of public disgrace and indignation, strong enough to shake the boldest resolution. It would not, therefore, be wise in the tempter to startle his votaries, by requiring such arbitrary and alarming sacrifices. No: he proceeds in a gentler course. He is satisfied, if in any one instance they obey his suggestions, acknowledge his authority, renounce their conscience, and rebel against their God. And this most effectually secures his right and dominion. For our God is a jealous God. He will not admit of any rival in our affections, or any division in our allegiance. No interest, no passion, however powerful, must set up its reign in your hearts, or dispute his supreme authority. No: you must love your God with your whole heart, and mind, and strength; and your neighbour as yourself. The divine will must not be occasionally consulted as a temporary counsellor, but steadily followed as a perpetual guide; and benevolence must regulate your conduct to others, as constantly as the desire of selfpreservation and happiness directs your own pursuits.”—Þ. 92.
But our limits admonish us to take leave of Dr. Graves; and yet we cannot resist the temptation of making an extract from his sermon on the Sabbath, as it affords us a welcome confirmation of the view which ourselves took of the subject, when, in our critique upon Dr. Whately's Essays, we rejected that learned writer's hypothesis as altogether untenable.* We quote the exordium, and beg our readers to mark the perspicuity, the simplicity, and the sound sense, of which it is so beautiful an example.
It requires no laboured argument to prove the high and universal obligation of this sacred precept. (Exod. xx. 28.) To the Jews it was enjoined, not merely as part of their ceremonial law,—which was only designed for a temporary purpose, even to prepare for the introduction of the perfect law of the Gospel, but as a part of that moral law, which was to bind all mankind in every period and climate of the world. It was communicated to them, not by the intervention of their legislator, but directly from the Divine presence itself, when the Lord spoke unto all the assembled nation from the mount, out of the midst of the fire of the cloud, and of the thick darkness, with a great voice; and afterwards on the same tables which contained the rest of the ten commandments, it was engraven by the finger of God. It assigns as the reason, on which the Divine wisdom founded the institution, an event in which the entire human race are equally interested, even the creation of this world and of man, to whose dominion the world was submitted, because he alone of all its inhabitants was capable of contemplating the perfections and glorifying the majesty of his God. It was designed to preserve a lively and grateful remembrance of their Creator amongst the children of men; and it scarcely admits of a doubt, but that from the beginning of the world to the manifestation of the Divine presence on mount Sinai, the observance of the Sabbath was enforced on all the faithful followers of the great Jehovah.”—Pp. 303, 304,
We lay down this posthumous volume with regret, assuring our readers, that for the family and the closet, the sermons before us may prove equally serviceable. The parent may read them with profit to his children; the scholar may peruse them with delight in his study. They are spirit-stirring appeals, which the sinner will find it difficult to resist, and the saint impossible to condemn.
* Christian Remembrancer, December, 1829, p. 722.
Art. II.- The Worship of the Serpent traced throughout the World,
and its Traditions referred to the Events in Paradise : proving the Temptation and Fall of Man by the Instrumentality of a Serpent Tempter. By the Rev. John BATHURST DEANE, M. A. late of Pembroke College, Cambridge; Curate of St. Benedict Finck; and Evening Preacher at the Chapel of the Philanthropic Society. London: Hatchard and Rivingtons. 1830.
1 vol. 8vo. Pp. xiv. 391. Price 12s.
ALTHOUGH the ribald revilings of the infidel Paine have long since sunk into merited insignificance, there still arise, from time to time, certain striplings in theology, who affect to underrate the writings of Moses, to reduce his miracles to mere ordinary occurrences, and involve his plainest statements in the mists of allegorical interpretation. Professor Milman's “ History of the Jews" is a recent and lamentable instance of this liberalizing spirit, which, in the attempt to make Moses look fashionable, would rob him of those characteristic qualifications, which raise him above the level of ordinary historians. It would here be somewhat irrelevant, and, at the same time, superfluous,- for the task has been already performed,-to point out the insufficiency of the causes for the production of their corresponding effects which this system exhibits, and to expose the absurd consequences which are necessarily derived from the inadequate premises which it assumes. No candid inquirer, who comes to the perusal of the Mosaic narrative with a mind unbiassed by the seductive tenets of the Neologian school, will be persuaded to deny, that, if the authenticity of the facts there recorded can be fully established, the power which produced them must have been extraordinary, and the historian who records them an inspired teacher from above.
Without referring to the internal evidence of the truth of the Mosaic records, the support which they derive from the concurrent testimony of Pagan history is amply sufficient to substantiate their truth. The striking marks of similarity between the Hindoo, the Phoenician, the Egyptian, and the Grecian cosmogonies, and the Mosaic account of the creation ;-as, for instance, in their description of the incumbent Spirit agitating the abyss; of water being the primeval element; of the work being finished in six different periods of time; and other minute points of resemblance ;-sufficiently show that they must have originated in one common source; while the air of fable which pervades the Pagan systems, indicates their derivation from corrupted traditions of scripture truth. Proceeding onwards from the beginning of time to the deliverance of Israel out of Egypt, a variety of traditions, relative to persons and events mentioned and recorded in the Pentateuch, are scattered throughout the primitive records of Pagan antiquity. Eusebius, in the ninth book of his Præparatio Evangelica, produces a variety of testimonies, from Grecian writers, to the futile attempts of the Egyptian magicians in opposition to Moses; a tradition of the deluge and the tower of Babel from Abydenus; and the testimony of Eupolemus to the history of Abraham. To these he has added confirmations of the histories of Jacob and Joseph, preserved by Alexander Polyhistor, from Theodotus and Artapanes; and from Demetrius, and the tragic poet Ezekiel, of the plagues of Egypt and the passage of the Red Sea. It may also be remarked, that the Grecian mythology, and the legends of the early eastern nations, are full of traditions, evidently founded upon the Mosaic history. In the classical golden age, and in the garden of the Hesperides, we recognize at once the pristine state of innocence in Paradise ; and in the subsequent ages of silver, brass, and iron, as well as in the fable of Pandora, may be traced the features of the fall of man, and the gradual spread of corruption and wickedness through the world. The Gothic Thor, and the Grecian Hercules, are represented in the character of a Mediator and a great Deliverer; and Virgil, in his Pollio, announces the birth of a child, in whose person were to be combined a series of perfections, evidently founded upon the generally prevailing expectation of a promised Messiah. We meet also with numerous traditions relating to Cain and Abel, to Enoch, to antediluvian longevity, and to the primeval giants ; nor is there a nation, whether in the eastern or the western hemisphere, which has not its tradition of a universal deluge, sometimes agreeing, with wonderful precision, in the particulars of the Mosaic narrative. In the ages subsequent to the flood, the history of Noah and his family, of the confusion of Babel, of the patriarchs, of Moses, of the miracles in Egypt, and of the Exodus, are strikingly coincident with the traditional records of the Gentile world ; nor in any
instance is the original so entirely disfigured, as to preclude the possibility of detecting it, amid the corruption with which it is defaced.
In the rapid sketch which we have given of the testimony which Pagan antiquity affords to the authenticity of the Mosaic records, the confined limits of a review have necessarily prevented us from exhibiting the authorities at length. At the same time, not only will the theological student find them of the highest value and importance in settling the credibility of the Pentateuch, but the general reader will meet with an amusing, no less than a profitable employment, in perusing them. A great variety will be found in Bryant's Ancient Mythology; and for a complete course of reading on this interesting topic, we would also recommend Faber's “ Horæ Mosaicæ;" Maurice's “ History of Hindostan;" Jones, in the “ Asiatic Researches;”
Bochart's “ Phaleg;" and Stillingfleet's “ Origines Sacræ," especially Book III. chap. 4.
Among the more remarkable circumstances by which the Mosaic history is confirmed by a reference to Pagan mythology, is the almost universal prevalence of serpent worship. That this disgusting species of idolatry originated in a traditional remembrance of the fall of man, as recorded in the Book of Genesis, cannot reasonably be questioned; and so strong is the evidence which it affords in favour of the authenticity of the scripture narrative, that the proofs and vestiges which remain of its existence, in the different kingdoms of the ancient world, are well worthy of being collected into a single point of view. Such is the object of Mr. Deane in the volume before us, and we congratulate him in having performed his task in a manner which will prove no less creditable to himself, than pleasing and instructive to his readers. After some introductory remarks on the fall of man, and a lucid refutation of the objection against a literal acceptation of the scripture account of it, the main subject of the treatise is introduced by the following remarks on the origin of serpent worship, and the inference to be deduced from its extensive reception :
THE WORSHIP OF THE SERPENT may be traced in almost every religion through ancient Asia, Europe, Africa, and America. The progress of the sacred serpent from Paradise to Peru, is one of the most remarkable phenomena in mythological history; and to be accounted for only upon the supposition that a corrupted tradition of the serpent in Paradise had been handed down from generation to generation. But how an object of abhorrence could have been exalted into an object of veneration, must be referred to the subtilty of the arch enemy himself, whose constant endeavour has been rather to corrupt than obliterate the true faith, that in the perpetual conflict between truth and error, the mind of man might be more surely confounded and debased. Among other devices, that of elevating himself into an object of adoration, has ever been the most cherished. It was that which he proposed to our LORD: “ All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." We cannot therefore wonder that the same being who had the presumption to make this proposal to the Son of God, should have had the address to insinuate hirnself into the worship of the children of men.
In this he was, unhappily, but too well seconded by the natural tendency of human corruption. The unenlightened heathen, in obedience to the voice of nature, acknowledged his dependence upon a superior being. His reason assured him that there must be a God; his conscience assured him that God was good; but he felt and acknowledged the prevalence of evil, and attributed it, naturally, to an evil agent. But as the evil agent to his unillumined mind seemed as omnipotent as the good agent, he worshipped both; the one, that he might propitiate his kindness; the other, that he might avert his displeasure. The great point of devil-worship being gained-namely, the acknowledgment of the evil spirit as God--the transition to idolatry became easy. The mind once darkened by the admission of an allegiance divided between God and Satan, became gradually more feeble and superstitious, until at length
ensible objects were called to aid the weakness of degraded intellect; and from their first form as symbols, passed rapidly through the successive stages of apotheosis, until they were elevated unto Gods. Of these the most remarkable was THE SERPENT; upon the basis of tradition, regarded, first, as the symbol of the malignant being; subsequently, considered talismanic and oracular; and lastly, venerated and worshipped as divine.- -Pp. 32–34.
VOL. XII. NO, VI,
THE UNIVERSALITY of this worship, I propose to show in the subsequent pages : and having shown it, shall feel justified in drawing the conclusion, that the narrative of Moses is most powerfully corroborated by the prevalence of this singular and irrational, yet natural superstition. Irrational--for there is nothing in common between deity and a reptile, to suggest the notion of SERPENTWORSHIP; and natural, because allowing the truth of the events in Paradise, every probability is in favour of such a superstition springing up. For it is more than probable that Satan should erect as the standard of idolatry the stumbling-block ascertained to be fatal to man. By so doing, he would not only receive the homage which he so ardently desired from the beginning, but also be perpetually reminded of his victory over Adam, than which no gratification can be imagined more fascinating to his malignant mind. It was his device, therefore, that since by the temptation of the serpent man fell, by the adoration of the serpent he should continue to fall.— Pp. 35, 36.
The Ophiolatreia probably originated in Chaldea, and was intimately connected with the earliest Zabæan idolatry, in which the serpent was invariably the sacred symbol. Its spread, however, over all the ancient nations was wonderfully rapid ; and there were few, if any, which did not admit the serpent into their religion, either as an emblem of divinity, a charm, an oracle, or a god. Commencing with Asia, the mother country of mankind, it is evident, from the Apocryphal history of Bel and the Dragon, that serpents were an object of adoration in Babylon; and the Assyrians, who were subject to the King of Babylon, are said to have borne a dragon on the standard : the devices on standards being generally, among the ancients, descriptive of the deity they principally worshipped. Of serpent-worship in Persia, we have yet more perfect vestiges. Their gods Mithra and Aron are represented encircled by serpents. Eusebius affirms that they worshipped the first principles under this form; and Bryant has preserved a variety of hierograms, by which this species of idolatry is clearly indicated. In India, in China and Japan, and in Syria, vestiges of the same superstition are more or less discernible; and through the whole of Asia Minor, with its adjacent islands, abundant proofs of it are to be found.
The extent (says Mr. Deane) to which this worship prevailed, may be estimated by the fact of its surviving to the time of Hezekiah, when the Jews “ burned incense" to the brazen serpent which had been laid up among the sacred relics, as a memorial of their deliverance from the serpents in the wilderness. Hezekiah “removed the high places, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brazen serpent that Moses had made ; for unto THOSE DAYS the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehustan," i.e. a piece of brass, by way of contempt.
But the worship of the serpent was not so easily suppressed in Canaan. The Jewish polity being broken up, the lurking Ophites crept out of their obscurity; and in the second century brought dishonour on the Christian religion, by claiming an affinity of faith with the worshippers of Jesus.
These Christian heretics were exposed by Epiphanius, under the name of Οφίται. . Clemens Alexandrinus also mentions them; and Tertullian describes their tenets—“ Accesserunt his hæretici etiam qui ophitæ nuncupantur : nam serpentem magnificant in tantum, ut illum etiam ipsi Christo præferant. Ipse