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would early lead him to invent armour, defensive and offensive. Journeys or marches would be impossible for any considerable distance, without means for crossing deep rivers and narrow seas. Civilization, in any proper sense of that word, would imply a considerable knowledge of house architecture, if not of such contrivances as chimneys and glass windows, yet some substitute for them.

Now, we can conceive of few things more necessary, where there was any degree of refinement, where the sciences were at all cultivated, or where there was any measure of commercial activity, than the art of writing. A patriarch burying a beloved wife among strangers in a strange land, would feel desirous to erect something more than a heap of stones, and to affix something more than a rude portrait or hieroglyphic. He would wish to write her name on the rock for ever. Among all nations, particularly the oriental, there is a strong disposition for constructing and handing down genealogical tables and family registers. The practice has its origin in one of the deepest feelings of our nature. Yet this would be hardly possible in the absence of an alphabet. A long list of proper names might be engraven on the memory of a single person. But how could it thus be accurately propagated through a number of centuries? We have abundant proof that the Chaldeans were early engaged in some kind of astronomical calculations. But how could these be carried on without the use of letters or figures? and would this skill in astronomy be any less difficult than the invention of an alphabet? would it not be much further from the wants of common life? Again, we learn from many unquestionable sources that the Phoenicians were, in very early times, engaged in an extensive commerce, embracing at least all the shores and the principal islands of the Mediterranean. Now, these marine adventurers presuppose a sufficient degree of activity of mind in the Phonicians to invent an alphabetic system, if they did not before possess one. Besides, how extremely difficult, if not impossible, to conduct an extensive system of barter, to transport into distant regions a great variety of goods, as we know the Phonicians did, to commission agencies or something equivalent to them, and to carry home the proceeds or the exchanged articles, and distribute them to a variety of owners, without any written record whatever, in dependence merely on the memory, or on some rude visible signs. For these purposes, no Mexican painting or Chaldean symbols would be sufficient. The Egyptian hieroglyphics did not render a contemporaneous alphabetic writing unnecessary. For some of the most important purposes of a civilised people, hardly any invention could be more clumsy than the hieroglyphics. How could the deed of

a piece of land, the forms and inflections of grammar, thousands of foreign names and terms, and the numerous commercial and statistical details which would be indispensable in a kingdom like Egypt, be expressed by pictures, by the representations of visible objects, however ingenious?

3. The perception of historical truth exists in such close connection with the knowledge and extension of the art of writing, that where the latter is wanting, the former is never found, not even among those nations which have certain elements of it. This is strikingly illustrated by the example of the Arabians before the age of Mahomet. All which we know of their history, says De Sacy, was found in the midst of oral traditions, and showed every where that entire lack of chronological order, that mixture of fables and marvels which characterise the period when a nation has no other historians than the poets, and no other archives than the memory of succeeding generations. Now the Pentateuch, according to the unanimous opinion of men engaged in the same department of literature-the historians, with whom, to a certain extent, agree the most prejudiced among the theologians, has a truly historical character. In this respect, it is totally unlike the Arabian traditions referred to. It may be said, indeed, that the Pentateuch was composed at a period much later than Moses, and thus acquired its historical character when the art of writing was generally practised by the Israelites. But according to the theory generally entertained by those who hold to the late origin of the Pentateuch as a whole, there are fragments, portions larger or smaller, which must have been written at or before the time of Moses. Now these fragments have the genuine historical stamp as clearly as the supposed later portions; and in them, also, are references to historical works, like the "Book of the Wars of the Lord," which have perished.

4. The theory of the early discovery of the art of writing derives strong confirmation from the fact of the very high antiquity of many of the arts in Egypt, and especially of such as are necessary to the art of writing. If arts, requiring great skill and strong powers of invention, were in use at a very early period, then we may suppose that the art of writing, requiring no higher, perhaps less, powers of invention, might have been discovered.

"We have been enabled," says Sir J. G. Wilkinson, "to fix, with a sufficient degree of precision, the bondage of the Israelites and the arrival of Joseph; and though these events took place at an age when nations are generally supposed to have been in their infancy, and in a state of barbarism; yet we per

* Hengstenberg's Authentie, i. 409.


ceive that the Egyptians had then arrived at as perfect a degree of civilization as at any subsequent period of their history. They had the same arts, the same manners and customs, the same style of architecture, and were in the same advanced state of refinement, as in the reign of Remeses II. The most remote point to which we can see, opens with a nation possessing all the arts of civilised life already matured. The same customs and inventions that prevailed in the Augustan age of that people after the accession of the eighteenth dynasty, are found in the remote age of Osirtasen I.; and there is no doubt that they were in the same civilised state when Abraham visited the country. Many obelisks, each of a single block of granite, had been hewn and transported twelve miles from the quarries at the cataracts of Syene, as early, at least, as the time of Joseph; and the same mechanical skill had already existed even before that period, as is shown from the construction of the pyramids near Memphis, which, in the size of the blocks and the style of building, evince a degree of architectural knowledge, perhaps inferior to none possessed at a subsequent period. The wonderful skill the Egyptians evinced in sculpturing or engraving hard stones,† is still more surprising than their ability to hew and transport blocks of granite. We wonder at the means employed for cutting hieroglyphics, frequently to the depth of more than two inches, on basalt, or sienite, and other stones of the hardest quality. Their taste, too, was not deficient in originality, while it is universally allowed to have been the parent of much that was afterwards perfected with such wonderful success, by the ancient Greeks.‡

The Egyptians appear to have been acquainted with glassblowing as early as the reign of Osirtasen I., 1700 B. C. The process is represented in the paintings of Beni Hassan, executed during the reign of that monarch and his immediate successors. A bead, bearing a king's name, who lived 1500 B. C., has been found at Thebes, the specific gravity of which is precisely the same as that of crown glass, now manufactured in England. Glass vases for holding wine appear to have been used as early as the Exodus. The colours of some Egyptian opaque glass not only present the most varied devices on the exterior, but the same hue and the same device pass, in right lines, directly through the substance; so that in whatever part it is broken, or wherever a section may chance to be made of it, the same appearance, the same colours, and the same device present themselves, without any deviation from the direction of a

* Wilkinson, Manners and Customs of the Ancient Egyptians, 2d ed. vol. i., Preface, vol. iii. p. 260.

+"To devise cunning works, to work in gold, and in silver, and in brass, and in cutting of stones, to set them," &c.—(Exod. xxxi. 4, 5.)

Wilkinson, iii. 85.

straight line, a mode of workmanship which Europeans are still unable to imitate.

"It is not from the Scriptures alone that the skill of the Egyptian goldsmiths may be inferred; the sculptures of Thebes and Beni Hassan afford their additional testimony; and the numerous gold and silver vases, inlaid-work and jewellery, represented in common use, show the great advancement they had already made, at a remote period, in this branch of art. The engraving of gold, the mode of casting it, and inlaying it with stones,* were evidently known at the same time; numerous specimens of this kind of work have been found in Egypt."+

The ornaments of gold, found in that country, consist of rings, bracelets, armlets, necklaces, earrings, and numerous trinkets belonging to the toilet; many of which are of the early times of Osirtasen I. and Thothmes III., the contemporaries of Joseph and of Moses. Gold and silver vases, statues, and other objects of gold and silver, of silver inlaid with gold, and of bronze inlaid with the precious metals, were also common at the same time. Substances of various kinds were overlaid with fine gold leaf, at the earliest periods of which the monuments remain, even in the time of Osirtasen I. Silver rings have been found of the age of Thothmes III. The paintings of Thebes frequently represent persons in the act of weighing gold on the purchase of articles in the market. The arch of brick existed as early as the reign of Amunoph I., 1540 B. C. It would appear from the paintings at Beni Hassan, that vaulted buildings were constructed as early as the time of Joseph. Harps of fourteen and lyres of seventeen strings, are found to have been used by the ordinary Egyptian musicians, in the reign of Amosis, about 1500 B. c. "Stone-workers were accustomed," says Rosellini, "to engrave upon each square block an inscription in hieroglyphics; an impression was made upon the bricks, which besides very frequently bore inscriptions; even oxen were represented; the steward of the house kept a written register. They probably wrote more in ancient Egypt, and on more ordinary occasions, than among us." "The Egyptians," says the same author, "differ specially from all other people, in that they constantly cover the interior and exterior of their houses, and the walls of all the innumerable apartments of their subterranean burial-places, with images and writing."§

Aaron "fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf."— (Exod. xxxii. 4.)

Wilkinson, iii. 223.

The ark of acacia wood, made by Moses, was overlaid with pure gold.—(Exod. xxv. 11, 12.)

§ Robbin's Translation of Hengstenberg's Egypt and the Books of Moses, p. 89.

In the infancy of society, various materials were employed for writing, as stones, bricks, tiles, plates of bronze, lead and other metals, wooden tablets, the leaves and bark of trees, and the shoulder-bones of animals. *

The Egyptians were not less celebrated for their manufacture of paper than for the delicate texture of their linen. The plant from which it was made, the papyrus, mostly grew in Lower Egypt. "Pliny is greatly in error," says Wilkinson, "when he supposes that the papyrus was not used for making paper before the time of Alexander the Great, since we meet with papyri of the most remote Pharaonic periods; and the same mode of writing on them is shown, from the sculptures, to have been common in the age of Suphis or Cheops, the builder of the great pyramid, more than 2000 years before our era." †

From the facts above quoted, and which might be greatly enlarged, all antecedent improbability in respect to the discovery of the art of writing is taken away. Rather, the contemporaneous existence of an art so necessary is strongly presupposed. ‡

5. Letters were introduced into Greece from Phoenicia, and at a very early period. In respect to the first of these positions, there is no longer any doubt. The claims of the Phoenicians rest, not only on historical notices, but on the essential unity which appears in the names and forms of the oriental and Greek letters. "That the Greeks," says Professor Böckh, "received their alphabetic writing from the Phoenicians, is an undeniable fact." §

In proof of the very early existence of alphabetic writing among the Greeks, the following considerations may be ad

The Koran, which much exceeds the Pentateuch in extent, was first inscribed on the most inconvenient materials. Fragments of it, written in the time of Mahomet, and subsequently incorporated into the work, were written not only on pieces of skin or parchment, but to a greater extent on leaves of the palm, on white and flat stones, on bones, such as shoulder-blades and ribs.

+ Wilkinson, iii. 149, 150.

The question may possibly be asked, How can the very early existence of the arts in Egypt be asserted so positively? On what grounds can the exact period of the existence of a particular art be assumed? In other words, on what do the hieroglyphical discoveries rest? One answer is, that all who have examined the monuments, in accordance with the method of deciphering the hieroglyphics discovered by Young and Champollion, are substantially agreed. Coincidence of views in men, differing in many respects so widely as is the case with Young, Champollion, Salvolini, Gesenius, Rosellini, Lepsius, Prudhoe, Wilkinson, Letronne, Leemans, and many others, is satisfactory proof of the correctness of the results to which they have arrived. Examinations so thorough and long-continued, by men so competent, taken in connection with the almost perfect preservation of many of the paintings and monuments, justify the confidence which is now universally accorded. Another answer is, that the results of the deciphering agree substantially with the notices respecting the subject in Diodorus, Herodotus, Manetho, Clement, &c. The monuments, in many essential points, confirm the historians There is often a circumstantial agreement in a number of independent witnesses. Between the Bible and the monuments no instance of contradiction has yet been found.

§ Metrologische Untersuchungen, 1838, p. 41.

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