« ForrigeFortsett »
this will account for the striking semblance that is to be found in the remains of ancient days still extant, in places so widely remote from each other; and, at the same time, these remains attest the wide range that commerce had taken but a very few centuries after the Deluge.
We have just previously remarked that these Phænicians were worshippers of Baal or the sun, as also, were the Egyptians, with whom the principal part of their commerce lay. Under these circumstances, before forging the next connecting link in our - chain of circumstances,” it may not be either uninteresting or out of place, to inform our readers respecting the veneration in which this deity was held.
We are informed by an ancient author that a certain King was ordered in a dream to erect obelisks wh. ? he was reigning in the City of the Sun, and that other kings in the same city followed his example. The City of the Sun, called in Greek Heliopolis, took its name from the fact that it was the first city in Egypt which witnessed the introduction of the worship of the " Sun God.” “Instead of statues and images, the Egyptians principally used obelisks, and the use of them appears to have been primarily, to serve as a sort of a representation of the solar ray. Those who are learned in the ancient worship of images are well aware that stone pillars, and stones of every kind, were objects of the first importance among most nations."
“ The very form of an obelisk favours my opinion, being such as to present a likeness of a solar ray.”
Knox, in writing upon this particular Monolith, says:
" This is the tallest of all Briton's ancient pillars; like the pointed obelisks in Egypt, it would seem erected for the same purpose of thankfulness to the sun (the chief deity of all people on both continents in earliest times) for benefits bestowed upon them; in this particular case, for a copious and permanent issue of water at the foot of the hill on which the pillar stands, having run a subterranean rill for nine or ten miles through the valley Westward." In the poems of Ossian, is the following :
“Oozy daughter of the streams !
It must be borne in mind that the Pagan religion was founded on the movement of the heavenly bodies, and that when the Christian missionaries began to propound the glorious doctrines of Christianity to the Neophytes they were careful not to offend their prejudices. It was the custom with the heathen to lay the foundation stone of any, or rather every, temple at the Northeast corner. Their reason for doing so was that the Egyptian astronomers taught that at the creation of the world, the sun rose in Leo, and admitting this notion was got up when the constellation was situated in the North-east at the rising of the sun, this circumstance would, naturally, in accordance with the Egyptian mode of worship induce the custom of commencing magnificent edifices at the North-east corner, in imitation of that glorious luminary believed by the Egyptians to be the supreme architect of the world.
In reference to the Pointer stone, at Stonehenge, I am credibly informed that, on the 21st June, a group, more or less in number, assemble on Salisbury Plain, to watch for the rising of the sun, at 3-0 a.m. As the hour draws nigh they congregate in
the centre of those wondrous megalithic remains, from which, looking North-east, a block of stone some distance from the main group is so seen that its top coincides with the lines of the horizon; and if no fog, mist, or cloud prevent, the sun, as it rises on this the morning of the longest day in the year, will be seen coming up exactly over the centre of this stone, known, from this circumstance, as the “ Pointer.”
In tracing out the history of this Rudston pillar, we come back to a period posterior to that of which we have been speaking, viz., the Druidical. From the remains* scattered throughout the country,
there is abundant proof that they mark a period in which the occupations of the people were principally of the pastoral kind, and in which their religious ceremonies were performed in the open air, in the vicinity of stone circles and massy pillars.
Perhaps the most advisable course to adopt, instead of attempting any description of my own, in reference to the “Temples" of the Druids, will be to give Stukely's description
* Stonehenge, Ambresbury, Gurnsey, &c., &c.
of Stonehenge. He says: “The ruins of of this temple are on a slight elevation, about two miles Westward of Ambresbury. It consisted of one circle of vast stones, sixty cubits in diameter, within this was a concentric circle of smaller stones, leaving a noble circular promenade of three yards wide, and a circumference of more than one hundred yards; within this second circle, at a still greater distance, was an ellipsis formed of five Trilithons, that is, a pair of uprights and a cross-stone at the top. The uprights of these were from seventeen to eighteen feet and a half high ; the middle trilithon, or that farthest from the
eye, being the highest. Within the ellipsis, leaving a moderate space between it and the trilithons, was a concentric ellipsis of single stones or pillars, about half as high as the trilithons.
The pillars forming the concentric circle was also half the height of the colonnade which enclosed it; the external uprights were bound together by a circular coping or cornice, of heavy stones, well fastened together by mortices and tenons; within the adytum, and facing the the entrance, was a large stone of hard blue marble, sixteen feet long, four broad, and