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we have rarely read a book which seems to us more unsatisfactory. We can scarcely find a single difficulty that has been urged by modern criticism which meets with a satisfactory solution; nor can we give greater praise to the mode adopted in dealing with the history. One new idea we have certainly met with. “The calamities of the Jews in Egypt,” says the author, "are a striking instance of historic justice. It was in reality an Israelite who prepared the way for their oppression. In the interest of Pharaoh, Joseph reduced the Egyptians to the position of Crown serfs. His own race were very properly the first to feel the blunder. The Israelites were not domestic slaves, but public property. . . . . To-day Egypt is the only civilized country in the world whose rulers command the unrequited labour of the whole people. In Egypt Joseph is a living fact” (pp. 153, 154). We always thought that Joseph's policy was an extremely questionable one; but that the calamities of the Israelites in Egypt are a striking example of historic justice that is to say, were a just tit-for-tat-is to us a new idea.
“The Gospel and the Age"* is a collection of sermons preached at intervals extending over a period of more than twenty years, the first having been delivered in 1860 and the last in 1882. They were all delivered extemporaneously, and have been put together by the author from a set of imperfect reports during a time of enforced leisure consequent on his late illness. “A sermon," says the author, “thus patched and mended has neither the freshness and point of an extempore, nor the smoothness nor the sustained weight of a written, composition. . . . . It runs the risk of uniting the defects of both styles with the merits of neither” (Preface, p. vi.). We think that there is a great deal of truth in this opinion. The volume consists of fifteen sermons, of which the latter half are decidedly the best; and it is among these that the evidential ones are chiefly to be found. These also seem to us to present an enlargemeut of view compared with the earlier ones. One evidential discourse wh we ourselves heard, and which was delivered a short time before the Bishop's illness, we eagerly sought for, but it is not in the present volume. At the time of its delivery we considered it the most powerful thing of the kind we had ever heard. We can only account for its absence because the report of it was so imperfect that the Bishop has been unable to reconstruct it. We sincerely wish that he had rewritten it, as it was scarcely possible to have put forth a more powerful defence of Theism and Christianity in a discourse of little more than an hour's duration.
Bishop Barry's sermonst are not directly, but yet in a high degree indirectly, evidential. The author makes no direct attempt to combat any of the positions which are taken by modern unbelief; but he does better, and presents a Christianity to his hearers which is adequate to meet all the requirements of the various fornis of modern thought. As might be expected, he cordially accepts all really established scientific truths, which he justly views as throwing additional light on the character of the Creator, and he deeply sympathizes with the efforts of
“ The Gospel an, the Age; Sermons on Special Occasions." By H. C. Magee, D.D., Lord Bishop of Peterborough. London : Isbister.
"Sermons preached in Westminster Abbey." By Alfred Barry, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of Sydney. Cassell & Co. 1884.
the students of science, to extend its boundaries, and with every effort which workers in other fields are making for the humanizing and enlightenment of mankind. The author justly considers that the essence of Christianity 'consists in the person, work, and teaching of Jesus Christ our Lord, as they are depicted in the Gospels, and throughout these sermons he proceeds to apply this Christianity to “Business," to “Politics,” to “Science,” to “ Art,” in a word, to the whole course of modern life, and to explain its bearing on it. We think the sermons which directly treat on these five subjects to be extremely able, as well as highly necessary in the present aspects of religious thought. After these follow five sermons no less important, unfolding different aspects of Christianity, as exhibited in our Lord's divine Person. The remaining sermons all carry out the same leading ideas, and are excellent in their kind. The entire volume also has the merit of being thoroughly intelligible. The whole subject is viewed on its positive and practical side; and we think that the positive exhibition of Christianity which it contains will be far more persuasive to doubters and unbelievers, and certainly more edifying to believers, than many of the treatises which are from time to time put forth as evidential. In conclusion, we strongly recommend the perusal of this work to our readers.
We think that the title of “ Modern Egypt”* is a misnomer; we fail to see in it any real witness to Christ. It contains a certain amount of Egyptology, not a very large one, illustrated by pictures; and all that can be said of it is, that it bears witness to the accuracy of certain historical statements of the Old Testament; but this goes but a short way to prove the supernatural character of various facts recorded there, or that it is a record of supernatural revelations, which is the real point at issue between believers and unbelievers at the present day. We much question the wisdom of the committee in publishing a work entitled “Modern Egypt: its Witness to Christ,” when the reader will find little or no witness to Christ from one end of the book to the other ; certainly none of any value. Faith which can be strengthened by this kind of evidence, by a work of this kind, must be easily satisfied.
Dr. Cox attempts to treat a very wide and important subject t in a very small space, the pages being few and small and the print large. The work, however, may be of some use to those who have no time for reading those in which the subject is more thoroughly and ably discussed.
C. A. Row.
* “ Modern Egypt : its Witness to Christ.” Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
† "Miracles : An Argument and a Challenge." By Samuel Cox, D.D. Kegan Paul, Trench & Co.
The most important work that has been accomplished during the last six months in the field of Oriental research has been what may be termed the disinterment of ancient Egyptian history by Mr. Flinders Petrie at Sân. Sân lies in the midst of pestiferous marshes in the eastern extremity of the Delta, covered with water during one part of the year, and swept by sand-storms during the other part. But it occupies the site of the ancient city of Tanis or Zoan, the capital of the Shepherd-kings and the favoured residence of Ramses II., the oppressor of the Israelites “in the field of Zoan." Mariette had already partially explored the great temple there, the foundations of which went back to the days of the sixth dynasty, but which had been adorned, enlarged, and restored by the Pharaolis of the twelfth and thirteenth dynasties, by the Hyksos chieftains, by the Ramses, the Shishaks, and the Ptolemies. What Mariette found indicated the treasures which still lie buried beneath the soil. Here, if anywhere, is hidden the key to the history of those mysterious Shepherd princes in whom some scholars have seen Hittite conquerors, and whom the latest theory would bring from the distant mountains of Elam. Here too, if anywhere, we shall discover the monumental record of the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, and of their hasty flight towards the eastern wilderness.
It was, therefore, a wise determination on the part of the Egypt Exploration Committee to direct their campaign of 1884 against the ruins of Sân, and an equally wise determination to entrust it to the well-tried command of Mr. Petrie. His work at Gizeh, of which an account has already been given in the CONTEMPORARY REVIEW, showed that he possessed all the qualifications of a successful excavator and careful explorer, while his mathematical knowledge and scientific training secured him against the illusions into which an enthusiastic discoverer may sometimes fall. The results he has obtained from what has necessarily been little more than a preliminary investigation of the site, have fully justified the choice of the Committee. During the past spring it has been impossible to do more than clear out a considerable part of the area of the great temple, trace the line of wall built round it by Pisebkhanu of the twenty-first dynasty, excavate a small Ptolemaic chapel, and open tombs in three cemeteries outside the ancient city, the discovery of which is due to Mr. Petrie. Two of these cemeteries belong to the Greek and Roman epochs, and the third is not older than the age of the twenty-sixth dynasty ; but some of the mummy-cases found in them are richly inlaid with mosaics, like the mummy-cases of the late Roman period disinterred in the Fayûm. One of the tombs contained a huge granite sarcophagus, fourteen and a half feet in length and eight feet in height, and therefore larger than the famous sarcophagi of the Serapeum in which the mummies of the Apis-bulls were enshrined.
While digging on the site of the temple area, Mr. Petrie came across
the remains of several private dwelling-houses, built, like all similar structures in both ancient and modern Egypt, of bricks baked in the
The houses were all of the Roman age, and in three of them were found baskets of papyri inscribed with Greek and demotic characters. Unfortunately, the papyri are not only in tatters, but have also been carbonized by a conflagration in which the houses of their owners perished, so that not more than about two hundred fragments are legible. In one of the houses a bas-relief in the Assyrian style was discovered ; in another a female bust of white marble and good workmanship; in a third, a large sheet of colourless glass, on which the Zodiac and the four seasons have been painted in gilding and colour. Outside the walls Mr. Petrie has brought to light other remarkable specimens of ancient glass, in the shape of bottles ornamented in relief, which must have been blown in a mould like modern glass vessels.
Within the area of the great temple the most interesting discovery is that of fragments belonging to what must once have been the most gigantic statue the world has ever seen. This colossus represented Ramses II. in a standing posture, and was carved out of the red granite of Assuan. From the foot to the crown it must have measured ninety-eight feet, or thirty-two feet more than the huge figures hewn out of the cliff at the entrance to the temple of Abu-Simbel. Mr. Petrie calculates that its weight was at least 1,200 tons—by no means a despicable mass of stone for the engineers of Sesostris to float down the Nile through the whole length of Egypt, and finally erect in its destined place in the great temple of Tanis, which hardly reached to the waist of the enormous image. It was, however, worthily supported by the gigantic granite sphinxes which formed an avenue of approach to the temple, and were as old as the age of the twelfth dynasty, that is, some 2,000 years before the time of Ramses-Sesostris himself.
Passing from history as it is being created by the spade of the excavator to history as it is digested for us in printed books, the first. that merits our attention is a new work on Egyptian history by Dr. Alfred Wiedemann.* So many histories of Egypt have appeared of late, that it might have been supposed there would be no room for a new one. Dr. Wiedemann's object, however, is different from that of his predecessors. Instead of entering into competition with the brilliant work of Brugsch or the serviceable volume of Sir Erasmus Wilson, he has devoted himself to collecting and recording the sources. of our present knowledge of ancient Egyptian history, and registering all the royal names which have hitherto been furnished to us by monuments of every kind. Even scarabs in private collections have not been neglected. The earlier part of his first volume is occupied with an exhaustive list of classical writers who in any way touched upon Egypt and Egyptian history, together with brief estimates of the value to be assigned to them. His judgment of Herodotos, it may be observed, is not more favourable than it was in his earlier critical work on the history of Egypt during the Saitic and Persian periods.
I may here, perhaps, be allowed to notice a reprint of the chapters on the “ Ancient Empires of the East " in my own edition of “Herodotos," which is accompanied by an introduction on the worth of the information handed down to us by Greek and Latin authors as regards things
Aegyptische Geschichte.” 2 vols. Perthes : Gotha. 1884.
Oriental.* It has been brought out for the special use of those who wish to know what is the exact state of our knowledge at the present time about the great nations of the ancient East, and who have no desire to have this bound up in the same volume with a Greek text. Lenormant's "Manual of Ancient History" has been long since outstripped by the rapid progress of Oriental research, and the premature death of its talented author prevented him from completing a new and revised edition of it, while even Maspero's charming "Histoire ancienne des Peuples de l'Orient” is—at all events as regards the purely Asiatic portion of it-already obsolete. It was therefore time that stock should ouce more be taken of that reconstruction of the history of the past which the monuments of the Egyptians, of the Assyrians and Babylonians, and of the Hittite tribes, have been effecting for us.
So rapid, however, is the advance of science, that even since the publication of this new edition of my work a discovery of high importance to the historian has been announced by Mr. Pinches.† This is nothing less than the originals of the Babylonian history—the socalled Canon of Ptolemy-contained in the Almagest, and of the dynastic tables used by the Chaldean historian Berossos. The first proves the remarkable exactitude of the Canon, and makes us more than ever deplore the loss of the work of Berossos from which it was extracted. It further shows that Schrader was right in holding that the Pul of the Old Testament, the Pôros of the Canon, was the Tiglath-Pileser II. of the Assyrian inscriptions, Tiglath-Pileser being the name the usurper assumed after one of the most famous monarchs of the dynasty he had displaced. But it further shows that the name of Shalmaneser, the besieger of Samaria and the successor of TiglathPileser, was also an assumed one. His original name was Ululai or Ilulæos, and under this name he continued to be known in Babylonia.
The second tablet discovered by Mr. Pinches contains a list of the dynasties which ruled over Babylonia from B.C. 2350 to the conquest of Cyrus. The length of each king's reign is given as well as that of the several dynasties. Unfortunately, a portion of the tablet has been destroyed, and Mr. Pinches, through overlooking certain synchronisms between Assyrian and Babylonian history, has dated the earlier kings a century too late. As few of the royal names known to us from the bricks of ancient Babylonian temples occur in the list, while one of them—that of the founder of the temple of the Moon-god at Mugheyer or Ur-is shown to have lived s.c. 2930, we need no longer feel much hesitation in accepting the statement of Nabonidos that Sargon I. of Accad, and his son, Naram-Sin, reigned 3,200 years before his time, or 3750 B.C. Naram-Sin carried his arms as far as the Sinaitic Peninsula, and bis father claims to have set up his image on the shores of the Mediterranean and to have penetrated into the island of Cyprus. Among the treasures found by General di Cesnola at Kurion was a cylinder bearing the name of Naram-Sin. Sargon was the founder of the great library at Accad, which was famous in later days for its works on astronomy and astrology. He marked the rise of the Semitic power in northern Babylonia ; the old Accadian
* “The Ancient Empires of the East." London and New York : Macmillan and Scribner. 1884.
+ In the “ Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archäology,” 1884, pp. 193-204.