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ASSYRIA, BABYLONIA, AND PERSIA:
A NEW KEY
RECOVERY OF THE LOST TEN TRIBES.
BY THE REV. CHARLES FORSTER, B.D.,
ONE OF THE SIX PREACHERS OF THE CATHEDRAL OP CANTERBURY,
AND RECTOR OF STISTED, ESSEX
“ MAHOMETANISM UNVEILED,”
“ THE HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF ARABIA."
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech.
1885. may 19
“Rude societies have language, and often copious and energetic language; but they have no scientific grammar, no definitions of nouns and verbs, no names for declensions, moods, tenses, and voices.”-MACAULAY's History of England.
ASSYRIA, BABYLONIA, AND PERSIA.
In the First and Second Parts of the present work, its principle, namely, the dialectic character of the Confusion of Tongues at Babel, and the consequent reducibleness of all the original post-diluvian dialects to the one primeval language, has been experimentally tested and verified at Sinai and in Egypt: fields of inquiry, in which the antecedent presumptions, and the actual phenomena, meet together to establish the proof of this principle, in ways, and with a completeness, without parallel in any third example. For, while the whole antecedent circumstances, not merely justify, but force upon all unbiassed minds, the conviction, that “ Israel in Egypt” would speak in the language, and, if she wrote, would write in the characters, of the country of her adoption and abode*; the facts of the case, on comparing its phenomena, present physical proof, and ocular demonstration, of the soundness of this conviction. To those facts I would briefly revert, before entering upon another field.
1. In the traced alphabetical synopsis, Plate I. Part I. of this work, the popular or cursive alphabets of Egypt and Sinai, technically denominated “enchorial,” exhibit, to a large extent, not only close resemblance, but absolute identity of forms. 2. The powers of these forms, as tested experimentally, first at Sinai, and then in Egypt, prove, as might reasonably be foreseen, to be also identical : the twofold train of experimental decypherments uniformly evincing the common forms to possess common powers. 3. But this identity of form and power is not limited to the enchorial characters; it embraces, also, to a considerable extent, the hieroglyphic alphabet of Egypt; many of whose characters are homogeneous, and some identical, in their forms, with the enchorial.
* Upon no one point, perhaps, connected with Israel in Egypt, has the spirit of special pleading been more busy than upon this; yet the New Testament supplies an exemplification of the only true principle, which ought to put all special pleading, on this subject, to silence. The Day of Pentecost affords amplest evidence to confute, if not “ to convince, the gainsayer.” “ How hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born, Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judea and Cappadocia, in Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak, in our tongues, the wonderful works of God."
Here are Jews, “ out of every nation under heaven," all speaking, not Hebrew, but “ their own tongues, the tongues wherein they were born ;.” and all thereby bearing witness to the self-evincing fact, that Israel in Egypt used the Egyptian tongue, “their own tongue, wherein they were
With regard to Egypt, what is here briefly stated, has been already largely established (Part II.), on the sure principle of legend and device, throughout a series of experimental decypherments from her pictorial monuments.*
* The need of pictorial illustrations, or hieroglyphic symbols, in all the primitive tongues, can be demonstrated from the Hebrew of the Old Testament itself, in the uncertainty as to its interpretation so often disclosed by our own authorized version, and its marginal readings. For example, it was found impossible, in many instances, to decide with any certainty, whether one or another given Hebrew word, was, or was not, a proper name. Accordingly, all such doubtful terms are doubly rendered. Now, had pictures accompanied the Hebrew text, as in Egypt, and sometimes at Sinai, all doubt and difficulty would have disappeared. The picture would settle the question. Again, in the Hebrew Bible, doubt has often arisen, as in the instances of the terms Dinn), Behemoth 550, Salu, and many more, as to the kind of creature so designated. How instantly would this have been obviated by the device placed beside the legend.
The name Diana, Behemoth, and the species of animal designed by this much-disputed term of the book of Job, will supply an exemplification of this last remark singularly in point. The arguments of Bochart in favour of the hippopotamus, and of Schultens in favour of the elephant, have been impartially balanced by Mr. Parkhurst; who justly observes, “ that most of the characters given of the Behemoth will correspond also