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WRITINGS AND BOOKS.
Babel, without conviction, that those employed in as we shall now proceed to notice more parthe work must have derived their knowledge, ticularly those branches immediately bearing upon through the sons of Noah, from the antediluvians. the interpretation of the sacred volume. In metallurgy, they had made considerable advances ; they wrought in brass and iron (Gen. iv.
SECTION I. 22). The art of constructing musical instruments was understood, for Jubal was the father of those who played upon the kinner and the hugab—the lyre and the ancient organ, or pandean pipes (Gen. Origin of Writing-Materials and Forms of Books– Illustra
tions of Scripture Phraseology-Epistolary Letters. iv. 21). The antediluvians also possessed the means of communicating their ideas and of re- 1. The origin of writing is involved in impenecording facts by writing, or hieroglyphics. The trable obscurity. Some believe it to have been in story of Lamech and his wives—the oldest speci- use amongst the antediluvians, while others supmen of poetry extant-bears all the evidences of pose it not to have been known until it was rehaving been an existing document which Moses quired to take down the law delivered upon Mount incorporated into his narrative; as do also the Sinai.t We believe that the arguments in supgenealogies, &c. of the antediluvian patriarchs.* port of the former of these hypotheses greatly preTouching the manufacture of cloth, by weaving, ponderate; but our limits forbid discussion. We or some such process, Jabal was the first of those must refer to those writers who have professedly who dwelt in tents, and Noah adopted the same treated on the subject. I kind of dwelling-place (Gen. iv. 20, ix. 21); at the 2. Various materials were anciently used for same time we must admit, that these might have writing upon. Plates of lead or copper, barks of been constructed of the skins of beasts.
trees, bricks, stones, and wood, were originally 3. Soon after the flood, we find numerous re-employed for engraving such things upon as men ferences to the advanced state of the arts (see desired to transmit to posterity. Josephus speaks Gen. xviii. 4—6, xxi. 14, xxiv. 22, xxiv. 53, &c.). of two columns, one of stone, the other of brick, In the time of Moses, the knowledge of the arts on which the children of Seth wrote their invenof architecture, metallurgy, cabinet-making, ma- tions and astronomical discoveries ; and Porphyry sonry, spinning, embroidery, must have attained mentions pillars preserved in Crete, on which to a high degree of perfection. Indeed, the sacred were recorded the ceremonies practised by the writer expressly states, that the Lord filled certain Corybantes in their sacrifices. Hesiod's works persons with the spirit of God “in wisdom, in un- were at first written on tablets of lead, in the derstanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner temple of the Muses in Bæotia ; God's laws were of workmanship, to devise curious works, to work written on tablets of stone, and Solon's laws on in gold, and in silver, and in brass ; and in the wooden planks. In Job xix. 23, 24, mention is cutting of stones to set them, and in carving of made of writing in a book, engraving on lead, and wood, to make any manner of cunning work; as cutting on a rock. In Ezek. xxxvii. 16, 17, we also to engrave and embroider” (see Exod. xxxvi. read of writing upon a stick, a practice much in 30—35). Agriculture and pasturage was specially use among the Greeks and other ancient nations! cultivated by the Hebrews, these being the par- Tablets of box and of ivory were common amongst ticular pursuits encouraged by the polity to which the ancients; when they were of wood only, they they became subject. In 1 Chron. iv. 14, were oftentimes coated over with wax, and revalley of craftsmen,” or “ artisans,” are spoken of; ceived the writing with the point of a style or and in verse 21 we find “ female workers of fine linen;" as in Exod. xxxvi. 25, 26. In 1 Chron.
+ The Hindoos ascribe the invention of writing to Brahma or iv. 23, “ the potters,” or “ formers," are spoken of; Siva. . They say that those zigzag marks on the skull called and from 2 Kings xxiv. 14, we find that “ smiths” the sulures), are characters written by the divine hand, descrip found occupation in Jerusalem. There are nu-tive of every man's fate. Thus men, in excuse for their crimes, merous other passages in the historical and pro- Sir Walter Scott, in his Life of Napoleon (vol. iv., p. 95), says of
say, “It was written on our foreheads; what could we do ** phetical books of the Old and New Testaments, the wounded Torks, after the battle, “ Some of them, of higher from which it is evident that many of the arts were rank, seemed to exhort the others to submit, like servants of the cultivated and well understood by the Jewish prophet, to the decree, which, according to their belief, was people, especially after their return from Babylon,
written on their foreheads." See Roberts's Oriental Illustra
tions, 109. and under the dominion of the Romans ; but a See Fragments to Calmet, Nos, 134, 709–711 ; Magee en particular reference to them is unnecessary here, the Atonement. Ilust. 54; Horne's Introd. to Bibliography,
vol. i., pp. 72–100; Townley's Illustrations of Biblical Litera
ture, vol. i., chap. 1. * See Fragments to Calmet, No. 709-71).
|| See Townley's Illustrations, vol. i., pp. 28-30.
iron pen ; so that what was written might be 3. These descriptions will throw light upon effaced by the broad end of the style. After several passages of Scripture, which must appear wards, the leaves of the palm-tree were used, in- strange to persons unacquainted with the forms of stead of slips of wood; and also the finest and ancient books. thinnest bark of trees, such as the lime, the ash, (1) Isaiah says, “ The heavens shall be folded the maple, and the elm. Hence the word liber, up like a book," or scroll, chap. xxxiv. 4. Here which signifies the inner bark of a tree, signifies is an allusion to the method of rolling up books also a book. As these barks were rolled up to be amongst the ancients, as described above. Thus the more conveniently carried about, they were the heavens should shrink into themselves, and called volumen, “a volume;" a name also given disappear from the eyes of God, when his wrath to rolls of paper, or of parchment. Papyrus, from should be kindled. Zechariah speaks of “ a flying which comes our word paper, is a description of roll,” twenty cubits long and ten wide ; which was seed that grows in the hill. Its stem is composed probably made of skins connected together; a of several layers, which are taken off with a needle, practice sometimes resorted to, as appears from and afterwards spread out upon a table, where so Josephus, where he speaks of the introduction of much is moistened as is equal to the size intended the translators of the Septuagint to Ptolemy Phifor the leaves of papyrus. It subsequently un- ladelphus. || These rolls were generally written dergoes another process, and is then fit for use only on one side ; but that of Ezekiel (chap. ii. Varro and Pliny observe that papyrus, as a mate-10), was written within and without; i. e., on rial for writing upon, was first discovered in Egypt, both sides, to show the abundance of matter conat the time when Alexander built Alexandria.* tained in it. Of the same kind, probably, was The manufacture of parchment was discovered at that of John (Rev. v. 1), which as a book" Pergamus, whence it was called pergamenum. It written within and without is unintelligible. was also called membrana, because made of the (2) In Isaiah xxx. 8, the Lord says to the proskin with which the members of beasts were phet, concerning a prediction relative to the Jews, covered. Of these leaves of parchment or vellum,
“Now go, write it before them in a table ;” and books of two descriptions were made; one in the the father of John Baptist (Luke i. 63) called form of rolls, composed of many leaves, sewed or for “a writing table ;" both of which passages glued together end by end, and written upon one
refer to the tablets of wood or other materials of side only. The other description of books were which we have already spoken. The commensimilar to those now in use, and written on both tator on Varro, describing one of these tabulæ litesides of the leaf. The ancients wrote also
“It is of a square oblong form, like linen. Pliny says that the Parthians, even in his those tablets for letters on which children learn to time, wrote upon their clothes ; and Livy speaks read and write, having on the upper part a round of certain books made of linen, lintei libri, on appendix, called the capitulum. One of these which the names of magistrates, with the history tablets will be found hanging up in the engraving of the Roman commonwealth, was written, and given in the next page. which were preserved in the temple of the goddess (3) There is an expression in Psalm xl. 7, Moneta.† The instrument for writing with was which has been ingeniously illustrated by the suited to the material upon which the writing was editor of Calmet—“ In the volume of the book it to be done. For harder substances, they used a is written of me,” which is rendered by the LXX. bodkin or iron style; but when they wrote upon“ in the head (cephalis) of the book.” Chrysoslinen or parchment, they used a reed (calamus) tom has described this cephalis as a wrapper formed into a pen, and some colouring substance (eilema), and supposes that on it was written a equivalent to ink; like Isaiah, when he wrote his word or words, which imported "about the coming prophecy, in chap. viii. 1. In Ezek. ix. 2, 3, 11, of the Messiah ;” and Aquila uses the word eilema we read of persons carrying ink-horns at their to express the Hebrew word, which we render sides. The same is done at the present day among
volume. “On this,” Mr. Harmer says, “ the the Moors in Barbary, and also among the Per- thought is not only clear and distinct, but very sians.t
energetic; amounting to this, that the sum and
* This is very questionable, however ; for Pliny hints at an || Antiquities, b. xii., c. 2. To account for the transpositions assertion of Cassius Hemina, an ancient annalist, that paper that appear to have taken place in some parts of the Pentateuch, books were found inclosed in the tomb of Numa, who lived Dr. Kennicott ingeniously conjectures that some of the skins on above 300 years before Alexander.
which it was originally written were separated from each other, + Calmets Biblical Ency., art, “ Book.”
and afterwards misplaced. See Shaw's Travels, p. 227 ; and Hanway's Travels, vol. i., ộ The editor of Calmet bas attempted to prove the contrary, p. 332.
but not with success. See Fragments, No. 74.
substance of the sacred books is, “The Messiah | kind known to the Romans by the name of scricometh ;' and that those words, accordingly, might niarii. It is filled with ruled books, each of be written or embroidered, with great propriety, which has a ticket or label appended to it-proon the wrapper or case wherein they were kept.* bably the genuine capitulum, or argument of the Admitting this conclusion to be just, Mr. Taylor book, for the purpose of directing the person who thinks he has found better premises than Harmer was about to draw out a roll, to that which conhas collected for it, in a picture discovered at tained the treatise he wanted. We have introHerculaneum, and which represents a portable duced this book-case in the back-ground of the book-case, apparently made of leather, and of the engraving.
It is obvious that rolls of linen, silk, or parch-| long, and that a bit of paper is fastened round it ment were very liable to the injuries of time, with gum, and sealed with an impression of ink, both as to their texture and writing; and they which resembles our printers' ink, but not so seem, therefore, to have been preserved in chests thick.” When letters were written to inferiors, of wood, or some other durable material. Jere- they were often sent open, or in the form of an miah's roll was preserved in an earthen pitcher unsealed roll; but when addressed to equals or (chap. xxxii. 14); and with respect to deeds of superiors, they were inclosed in a bag of silk or no great length, but of much importance, they satin, sealed and addressed. Hence we perceive seem to have been engraved on sheets of lead the insult of Sanballat to Nehemiah, in sending rolled up. For Pliny informs us that “writing on his letter to him by his servant open, Neh. vi. 5. lead (plumbeis voluminibus, rolls of lead) was of It was just now said that these letters were high antiquity, following writing on the bark and sealed; we may remark, as an additional circumleaves of trees, and that it was used in recording stance, that the very ancient custom of sealing public transactions.” Josephus frequently speaks them (see Gen. xli. 42; Esth. iï. 10–12, viii. of decrees of states being written on brass. 2, 8, 10; Jer. xxii. 24), with a seal or signet set
(4) Besides books in the form of rolls, we also in a ring, is still retained in the East. “In read in Scripture of letters being sent from one Egypt,” says Dr. Pococke, “they make the imperson to another. These were in general in the pression of their name with their seal, generally of form of rolls also, and resembling probably those cornelian, which they wear on their finger, and in the East at this day. Thus Niebuhr tells us which is blacked when they have occasion to seal that “ the Arabs roll up their letters, and then with it.” And Mr. Hanway remarks that the flatten them to the breadth of an inch, and paste Persian ink “serves not only for writing, but for up the end of them, instead of sealing them. subscribing with their seal ; indeed many of the And Hanway tells us that “the Persians make Persians in high office, he adds, could not write : up a letter in the form of a roll, about six inches but in their rings they wear agates, which serve
for a seal, on which is frequently engraven their
name and some verse of the Koran." Dr. Shaw Observations, vol. iv.,
also says, that “as few or none either of the Arab
sheikhs, or of Turkish and eastern kings, princes, / were then common, and in well-known use. The or bashaws, know how to write their own names; onyxes for the sacred ephod, the plate of gold for all their letters and decrees are stamped with their the mitre of the high-priest, and the precious proper rings, seals, or signets (see 1 Kings xxi. stones for his breast-plate, were all expressly or3; Esth. ii. 12; Dan. vi. 17; Ecclus. xlix. 11), dered to be engraven “like the engravings of a which are usually of silver or cornelian, with signet;" that is to say, being effected by direct their respective names engraven upon them on one incision with a tool, by the Italians termed inside, and the name of their kingdom or princi- taglio, which is now become in all the languages pality, or else some sentence of the Koran, on the of Europe a technical word, distinguishing this other.” It is, perhaps, to this that the apostle mode of art from engraving in cameo, from sculpalludes, when he says (2 Tim. ii. 19), “ The foun- ture by excision, and from that species of low dation of God standeth sure, having this seal or relief bedded in the stone, which was, at the time impression, on the one side, The Lord knoweth of the Hebrew exode, so much in use among the them that are his; and on the other, Let every engravers of Egyptian hieroglyphics. “ Like the one that nameth the name of Christ depart from engravings of a signet," are only other and more iniquity.” Dr. Brown states that he saw a letter familiar words for saying, such engraving as is addressed from a governor-general of India to the performed with the view and for the
purposes king of Persia, in Persic, on beautifully glazed yielding impressions in relief. And these words white paper, fifty inches long, and twenty inches are used no fewer than three times in Exodus broad. The written part, however, was only two xviii. ; are again repeated, twice, in chap. xxxix. ; feet long, and one foot broad ; the rest being filled and in this latter chapter it is also said, that “ they with a beautiful ornamental painting at the head wrought onyx-stones inclosed in ouches of gold, of the letter, and a very elegantly painted border graven as signets are graven." round the whole sheet. The bag in which it was 2. From these passages in the book of Exodus, to have been sent, and which the author also saw, Mr. John Landseer, to whom alone we are inwas a cloth composed of gold threads and crim- debted for much curious and original matter on son silk. It was tied at the neck with a gold lace, the subject,argues the frequency of signets in which, after being knotted, passed through an the time of Moses, and, of course, the commonness immense seal, four inches in diameter, and about of the art of engraving. Josephus, too, as he rean inch thick, of red wax; which seal of office marks, informs us that, some ages before this, was entirely covered with Persic characters, con- when Pharaoh invested the youthful Joseph with taining the titles of the company; those of the power over the land and people of Egypt, he inking being at the beginning of the letter. In trusted to his direction the use of the royal signet, order to preserve the seal and lace entire, the bag along with, and as the ostensible mark of, the was opened at bottom, to extract the letter, but royal authority. Yet we may not suppose, that the the natural way of opening it would be either Hebrews learned either the arts of the lapidary by melting the wax, or cutting the lace between and engraver, or the practice of sealing, during the wax and the bag. Mr. Wortley's courier, their Egyptian servitude ; for we read in Genesis whom he sent from Essek, returned with the xxxviii., that Judah, the elder brother of JoBassa's answer in a purse of scarlet satin.* seph, possessed a portable signet, which it would Whether the bag represented in our engraving appear that he carried about with him on ordinary was appropriated to such a purpose, we know not. occasions, and left as a pledge with his disguised
daughter-in-law, when on his way to the sheep
shearing at Timnath ; an event which must have SECTION II.
happened several years before the sons of Jacob
were driven into Egypt by famine. Landseer, ENGRAVING, SCULPTURE, AND PAINTING.
upon the authority of Cedrenus, thinks, indeed, Early Origin of Engraving-Signets and their Uses-Sculpture that Terah, the father of Abram, and the first artist and Painting.
whose name is any where upon record, was an enI.-1. The manner in which the engraver's art graver of signets, as well as a sculptor or modeller is spoken of in the Pentateuch, shows that in the of such small idols as Rachel, in three generations time of Moses it was an art of no recent invention ;
from Terah, is recorded to have hidden under the and that, among the surrounding nations, signets furniture of a camel. In the book of Job, cer
tainly one of the oldest, if not the very oldest,
Lady M. W. Montague's Letters, letter 23rd ; Brown's Jewish Antiquities, vol. ii., p. 94.
+ Sabæan Researches, passim.
Ibid., p. 6.
[PART VI. writing extant, the references to signets, engraved | he marketh it out with a line, he fitteth it with seals, and their uses in sealing, are frequent. But planes, and he marketh it out with a compass, and after these early times, the references to these maketh it after the figure of a man, according to engraved signets are very few; for it appears that the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the Moses suppressed the use of them in
He maketh a god, and worshippeth of their connexion with the Sabæan idolatry. Jeze- it: he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down bel appears to have signed her forged letters to the thereto." This is a very curious passage, and it is, elders with one of these (1 Kings xxi. 8); and in so far as we can recollect, the only passage in the the prophet Jeremiah very particular mention is Old Testament in which there is a distinct refermade of another signet, used as an instrument of ence to anything like the art of sculpture. legality in the purchase of a field (chap. xxxii. “Molten images” are spoken of again in chap. xli. 7, 8, &c.), from which it would appear to have 29, and other places. been the custom of the Hebrew conveyancers in the reign of Zedekiah, to deposit a sealed copy of
SECTION III. every deed of transfer of landed property in some public office. But the most important occasion of
ARCHITECTURE. Hebrew sealing that is any where upon record, is Tents-Villages-Houses-Furniture-Ships. that of the ratification of the new covenant, by
We have already noticed the general intima“ the princes, Levites, and priests,” which is par- tions that occur in the early Scriptures, especially ticularly detailed by Nehemiah (chap. ix. 38). in those parts relating to the antediluvian world
, Sealing is here obviously tantamount to signing, of the state and progress of architecture in those or rather is signing; and it seems pretty clear, times. We may now notice more particularly the from the specification of the names of the signing state of the art, and the manner in which it was priests and chiefs
, and from other circumstances, applied amongst the Hebrews, after the time of that among the Jews the astronomical signets of
Moses. the patriarchal ages had by this time been super
1. THERE is no doubt that the ancient Jews seded by signets bearing the respective names of lived in tents, similar to those now in use in the their proprietors. *
East. Dr. Shaw describes them as being of an 3. Having thus referred to the Scripture allu- oblong figure, not unlike the bottom of a ship sions to the art of engraving, and intimated the turned upside down. They vary in size according applications of it which those allusions indicate, to the number of their occupants, and are divided we must leave our readers to pursue the subject, by a hanging carpet into separate apartments. as they may have the means and the inclination They are kept firm and steady by bracing, or
stretching down their eaves with cords, tied to II. Neither sculpture nor painting appear to hooked wooden pins, well pointed, which are have made any noticeable progress amongst the driven firmly into the ground. They are covered Hebrews. The application of these arts to the with hair cloth, for the purpose of keeping out the purposes of idolatrous worship, was a sufficient wet. Some of these tents are very splendid; and reason for their discouragement amongst the hence the pious declaration of the Psalmist, “I chosen people of God, who were to be wholly un- had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my like the nations by which they were surrounded, God, than to dwell in the [splendid] tents of the both in their character and their pursuits. Their
wicked,” Ps. lxxxiv. 10.7 proneness to idolatry, however, occasionally led to
2. The villages of Judæa, which were situated the introduction of "graven images," which were, in the plains, were probably built of mud, or clay, no doubt, rude pieces of sculpture, fashioned after as they are to this day in the East. Through the various real or imaginary objects to which they these mud walls, it is no uncommon thing for the were dedicated. From Isa. xliv. 9—18, it seems thieves to dig; and hence the allusion of our that there were “artists” regularly and scientifi- Lord, “ Lay not up for yourselves treasures on cally employed in the manufacture of idols——the earth, where thieves break through and steal," smith, the carpenter, and the sculptor: The
Matt. vi. 19, 20. To the destruction of such smith with the tongs both worketh in the coals edifices, occasioned by violent rains, there is an and fashioneth it with hammers, and worketh it allusion in Matt. vii. 26, 27. See also Ps. Ixii. 3, with the strength of his arms: yea, he is hungry, and Isai. xxx. 13. Mr. Roberts says, that in and his strength faileth ; he drinketh no water, and is faint. The carpenter stretcheth out his rule,
+ Travels, vol. i., p. 298.
See Sir R. Wilson's Hist. of the Brit. Expedition inte * Landseer, p. 34.
Egypt, vol. i.,
so to do.