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Cabala,

and we cannot but think, that its importance in early Christian history, which has usually been traced almost exclusively in the West, has been much underrated. Hence came the mystic Cabala (1) of the Jews, ihe chief parent of those gnostic opinions, out of which grew lhe heresies of the early Church : here the Jews, under the Prince of the captivity, held their most famous schools, where learning was embodied in the Babylonian Talmud; and here the most influential heresiarch, Manes, attempted to fuse into one system the elements of Magianism, Cabalism, and Christianity. Having thus rapidly traced the fortunes of this great Jewish colony, we must reascend to the time of its first establishment.

From a very early period the Jews seem to have possessed a Cabala, a traditionary comment or interpretation of the sacred writings. Whether it existed before the Captivity, it is impossible to ascertain; it is certain that many of their books, even those written by distinguished prophets, Gad and Iddo, were lost at that disastrous time. But whether they carried any accredited tradition to Babylonia, it seems evident, from the Oriental cast which it assumed, that they either brought it from thence on their relurn to their native land, or received it subsequently during their intercourse with their Eastern brethren (2). Down to the Captivity the Jews of Palestine had been in contact only with the religions of the neighbouring nations, which, however differently modified, appear to have been essentially the same, a sort of Nature-worship,

in which the host of Heaven, especially the sun and moon, under Syrian

different names, Baal and Moloch, Astarte and Mylitta, and proReligions. bably as symbols or representatives of the active and passive powers

of nature, no doubt with some distinction of their attributes, were the predominant objects. These religions had long degenerated into cruel or licentious superstitions ; and the Jews, in falling off to the idolatry of their neighbours, or introducing foreign rites into their own religious system, not merely offended against the great primal distinction of their faith, the unily of the godhead, but sunk from the pure, humane, and comparatively civilised institutes of their lawgiver, to the loose and sanguinary usages of

barbarism. In the East, however, they encountered a religion of Religion of Persia. a far nobler and more regular structure (3): a religion which offered

no templation to idolatrous practices; for the Magian rejected, with the devout abhorrence of the followers of Moses, the exhibilion of the Deity in the human form; though it possessed a rich store of mythological and symbolical figures, singularly analogous to those which may be considered the poetic machinery of the later seems peculiarly appropriate if written in that

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(1) Cabala is used here in its most extensive region.

sense. See Chiarini, p. 97. Lucan's “Cumque superba foret Babylon spo- (2) Mosheim, De Rebus Christ, ii. 18. lianda" may indeed be mere poetic licence, or (3) In Asiâ Persarum religionem cæteris esse may allude to Seleucia,

nobiliorem. Mosheim, Inst. p. 58., and Grot, de

Ver. ii. 10.

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Hebrew prophets (1). The religion of Persia seems to have held an intermediate rank belween the Pantheism of India, where the whole universe emanated from the Deity, and was finally to be reabsorbed into the Deity, and the purer Theism of the Jews, which asserted the one omnific Jehovah, and seemed to place a wide and impassable interval between the nature of the Creator and that of the crealed being. In the Persian system, the Creation owed its existence to the conflicting powers of evil and good. These were subordinate to, or proceeding from, the Great Primal Cause (Zeruane Akerene), Time without bounds (2), which in fact appears, as Gibbon observes, ralher as a metaphysical abstraction, than as an active and presiding deity. The Creation was at once the work and the dominion of the two antagonist creators, who had balanced against each other in perpetual conflict a race of spiritual and material beings, light and darkness, good and evil. This Magianism, subsequent to the Jewish Captivity (3), and during the residence of the caplives in Mesopotamia, either spread with the conquests of the Persians, from the régions farther to the east, Aderbijan and Bactria, or was first promulgated by Zoroaster, who is differently represenled as the author or as the reformer of the faith. From the remarkable allusions or points of coincidence belween some of the Magian tenets and the Sacred Writings (4), Hide and Prideaux laboured to prove that Zoroaster (5) had been a pupil of Daniel, and derived [hose nolions, which seem more nearly allied to the purer Jewish failh, from his intercourse with the Hebrew prophel, who held a high station under the victorious MedoPersian monarchy (6). But, in fact, there is such an originality Complete6)

ness of

Zoroastri. (1) This, it may be observed, has no connec- of gold,” or “the star of splendour," and may

an system, tion whatever with the originality or authority have been a litle or appellative. of these predictions. It should be borue in mind, (6) The bypotbesis which places Zoroaster that in these visions. it is the moral or religious under the reign of Darius Hystaspes, identified meaning alone which can be the object of faith, with the Gushtasp of Persian mythological hisnot the figures through which that meaning is tory, is maintained by Hyde, Prideaux, Anquetil conveyed. There is no reason why the images of du Perron, Kleuker, Herder, Goerres, Malcolm, Daniel and Ezekiel should not be derived from, Von Hammer, and apparently by De Guignaut. or assimilate to, the prevalent förins around The silence of Herodotus appears to me among them, as well as those of the rustic Amoz be the strongest objections to this view. chiefly drawn from pastoral or rural life. See, e. Foucher, Tychsen, Heeren, and recently Holty, 8., Chiarini's curious theory about the chariot identify Gushtasp with Cyaxares I., and place the of Ezekiel. Preface to Talmud, p. 90. and 101. religious revolution under the previous Median

(2) So translated by Du Perron and Kleuker. dynasty.
There is learned dissertation of Foucher on A theory which throws Zoroaster much higher
this subject. Acad. des Ins. vol. xxix. According up into antiquity is developed with great ability
to Boblen it is analogous to the Sanskrit Sarvam by Rhode, in his Heilige Sage. The earlier date
akaranam, the Uncreated Whole; according to of the Persian prophet has likewise been main.
Fred. Schlegel, Sarvam akharyam, the Unnm in- tained by Moyle, Gibbon, and Volney. ,
divisibile.

These views may in some degree be reconciled (3) The appearance of the Magian order, be. by the supposition that it was a reformation, not fore the conquest of Babylon by the Medo-Per- a primary development of the religion which sian Kings, is an extremely difficult question. took place under the Medo-Persian, or the Persian Nebuchadnezzar's arıny was attended (Jer. xxxix monarchy. The elements of the faith and the 3.) by Nergal-sharezer, the Rab-mag, 22 27 caste of the Magi were, I should conceive, earlier. (Archimagus). Compare Bertholdt, Daniel Ex

The inculcation of agricultural habits on a peo

ple emerging from the pastoral life, so well decurs, iii. (4) Isaiah, xlvii. 7.

veloped by Heeren, seems to indicate a more an

cient date, Consult also Gesenius on Isaiah, Ixv. (5) The name of Zoroaster (Zerotoash), has been deduced from works signifying

5. Constant, sur la Religion, ii. 187. “the star

and completeness in the Zoroastrian system, and in its leading
principles, especially that of the antagonist powers of good and
evil, it departs so widely from the ancient and simple Theism of
the Jews, as clearly to indicate an independent and peculiar source,
at least in its more perfect development; if it is not, as we are
inclined to believe, of much more ancient date, and native to a
region much further to the east than the Persian court, where
Zoroaster, according to one tradition, might have had intercourse,
in his youth, with the prophet Daniel.

Is, as appears to be the general opinion of the continental wridavesta. ters, who have most profoundly investigated the subject, we have

authentic remains, or at least records which, if of later dale, con-
tain the true principles of Magianism, in the Liturgies and Institutes
of the Zendavesta (1); il is by no means an improbable source.
in which we migh! discover the origin of those traditional notions
of the Jews, which were extraneous to their earlier system, and
which do not appear to rest on their sacred records (2). It is un-
doubledly remarkable, that among the Magian tenets, we find so

The Zen

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(1) It may be necessary, in this country, briefly afford sufficient ground for supposing that they
to state the question as to the authenticity or contain the genuine and unadulterated elements
value of these documents. They were brought of the Zoroastrian faith, and, if not of primitive,
from the East by that singular adventurer, An- are of very high antiquity. The traces of Maho-
quetil du Perron. Sir W. Jones, in a letter, not the metanism, which Brucker ( vol. vi. p. 68 ) sap-
most successful of the writings of that excellent posed that he had detected, and which are
and accoinplished inan, being a somewhat stiff apparent in the Sadder, are rather notions bor-
and laboured imitation of the easy irony of Vol- rowed by Mahomet from the Jews; but whence
taire, threw a shade of suspicion over the charac- obtained by the Jews, is the question. Mr. Ers-
ter of Du Perron, which in England has never kine, the highest authority on such subjects,
been dispelled, and, except among Oriental scho- considers the existing Zendavesta to have been
lars, has attached to all his publications. Abroad, compiled in the age of Ardeshir Babhegan, the
however, the antiquity of the Zendavesta, at great restorer of the Magian faith. (Bombay
least its value as a trustworthy record of the Zo- Transactions.) In Professor Neuman's translation
roastrian tenets, has been generally acknow- of Vartan there is a curious sentence, which
ledged. If altogether spurious, those works must seems to intimate that the books of the Magian
be considered as forgeries of Du Perron. But, I., faith either did not exist at that time, or were
they are too incomplete and imperfect for forge. inaccessible to the generality.
ries; if it had been worth Du Perron's while to IV. A thought has sometimes crossed my own
fabricate the Institutes of Zoroaster, we should, mind (it has been anticipated by Du Perron),
no doubt, have had something more elaborate whether they can be the sacred books of a sect
than several books of prayers, and treatises of formed from an union of Gnostic or Manichæan
different ages, from which it required his own Christianity with the ancient Persian religion.
industry, and that of his German translator, But there is no vestige of purely Christian tradi-

Klenker, to form a complete system. II. Du Per- tion; and those points in which Parseism seems • ron must have forged the language in which the to coincide with Christianity are integral and in

books are written, as well as the books them separable parts of their great system. And against selves. But the Zend is universally admitted by all such opinions must be weighed the learned the great Orientalists and historians of language paper of Professor Rask, who gives strong rea; to be a genuine and very curious branch of the sons for the antiquity both of the language and Eastern dialects. (See Bopp. Vergleichende Gram- of the books. The language he considers the vermatik.) It should be added, that the publication nacular tongue of ancient Media. (Trans, of of the Zendavesta, in the original, has been Asiatic Society, iii. 524.). Still, while I appeal to coinmenced by M. Bournonf in Paris, and by the Zendavesta as authority, I shall only adduce M. Olshausen in Germany.

the more general leading principles of the faitb, III. These documents may be considered as of which the antiquity appears certain ; and more rodern compilations, of little greater au- rarely any tenet for which we have not corrobothority than the Sadder, which Hyde translated rative authority in the Greek and Latin writers. from the modern Persian. That they are of the The testimonies of the latter have been collected age of Zoroaster, it may be difficult to prove; both by Du Perron and Kleuker. but their internal evidence, and their coinci- (2) Mosheim has traced with brevity, but with dence with the other notices of the Persian reli. his usual good sense and candour, this analogy givn, scattered among the writings of the Greeks between the traditional notions of the Jews and and Romans (see du Perron's and Kleuker's il- those of the Magians. De Reb. antè Const. M. ii. 7. lustrations, especially the Persica of the latter),

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many of those doctrines, about which the great schism in the Jewish popular creed, that of the traditionists and antitraditionists, conlended for several centuries. It has already been observed, that in the later prophetic writings, many allusions and much of what may be called the poetic language and machinery, is strikingly similar to the main principles of the Magian faith. Nor can it be necessary to suggest how completely such expressions as the " children of light," and the “ children of darkness," had become identified with the common language of the Jews, at the time of our Saviour: and when Jesus proclaimed himself" the Light of the world,” no doubt he employed a term familiar to the ears of the people, though, as usual, they might not clearly comprehend in what sense it was applicable to the Messiah, or to the purely moral character of the new religion.

It is generally admitled, that the Jewish notions about the an- The an. gels (1), one great subject of dispute in their synagogues, and what

gels. may be called their Dæmonology, received a strong foreign linge during their residence in Babylonia. The earliest books of the Old Testament fully recognize the ministration of angels; but in Babylonia (2) this simpler creed grew up into a regular hierarchy, in which the degrees of rank and subordination were arranged with almost heraldic precision. The seven great archangels of Jewish tradition correspond with the Amschaspands of the Zendavesta (3): and in strict mulual analogy, both systems arrayed against each other a separate host of spiritual beings, with distinct powers and functions. Each nation, each individual had in one case his Ferver, in the other his guardian angel (4); and was exposed to the malice of the hostile Dev or Dæmon. In apparent allusion to or coincidence with this system, the visions of Daniel represent Michael, the tutelar anget or intelligence of the Jewish people, in opposition to the four angels of the great monarchies; and even our Saviour seems to condescend to the popular language, when he represents the parental care of the Almighty over children under the significant and beautiful

(1) La doctrine de l'existence des anges, fondée (3) Jonathan, the Chaldean paraphrast, on
sur la révélation, a été beaucoup modifiée par les Gen. ii. 7. “The Lord said to the seven angels
opinions des peuples qui habitaient sur les riva. that stand before him." Drusius, on Luhe i. 19.
ges du fleuve Cobar, dans la Babylonie, et dans Seven, however, seems to have been the number
les autres pays de l'Orient, où les deux royaumes of perfection among the Jews from the earliest
d'Israël et de Juda furent dispersés. Sous ce period. Old Testament, passim.
point de vue on peut regarder les Mehestani , ou Six seems the sacred number with the Persians.
les sectateurs de Zoroastre, comme ceux qui ont The Amschaspands are usually reckoned six ; but
appris beaucoup de choses aux dépositaires de Oromasd is sometimes included to make up
la tradition, et dont les maximes se retrouvent seven. See the Yesht of the Seven Amschaspands,
aujourd'hui dans les deux Talmuds. Chiarini, in the Zendavesta of Du Perron or Kleuker.
Le Talmud de Babylone, tom. i. p. 101.

Compare also Foucher's Disquisition, translated
(2) Even the traditionists among the Jews al. in Kleuker, Anhang. i. p. 294.
lowed that the names of the angels came from Ba- (4) In the LXX. the doctrine of guardian
bylon; they are nevertheless pure Hebrew or angels is interpolated into the translation of
Chaldean. Mich-a-el (who is as God), Gabri-el, Deut. xxxii. 8. Plato adopted the notion either
the Man of God. Gesen. Lex. in verb. Bellerman, mediately, or iminediately, from the East. Polit,
über die Essaer, p. 30. The transition from the et in Critiâ (in init.). Compare Max. Tyrius, xy.
primitive to the Babylonian belief may be traced 17. Hostanes the Magian held the same opi.
in the apocryphal book of Tobit, no doubt of nions. Cypr. de Van. Idol., Min. Fel.
Eastern origin. On the Notions of Dæmons, see
Jortin, Eccl, Hist. i. 161.

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image, that in Heaven their angels do always behold the face of

my Father which is in Heaven (1).” Principle

The great impersonated Principle of Evil appears to have assumed much of the character of the antagonist power of darkness. The name itself of Salan (2), which in the older poetical book of Job is assigned to a spirit of different attributes, one of the celestial ministers who assemble before the throne of the Almighty, and is used in the earlier books of the Old Testament in its simple sense of an adversary, became appropriated to the prince of the malignant spirits—the head and representative of the spiritual world, which ruled over physical as well as moral evil.

Even the notion of the one Supreme Deity had undergone some ity remov- inodification consonant to certain prevailing opinions of the time.

Wherever any approximation had been made to the sublime truth tion with of the one great First Cause, either awful religious reverence or

rial philosophic abstraction had removed the primal Deity entirely
world.

beyond the sphere of human sense, and supposed that the inter-
course of the Divinity with man, the moral government, and even
the original creation, had been carried on by the intermediate
agency, either in Oriental language of an Emanation, or in Platonic,
of the Wisdom, Reason, or Intelligence of the one Supreme. This
Being was more or less distinctly impersonated, according to the

more popular or more philosophie, the more material or more abMediator. stract notions of the age or people (3). This was the doctrine from

the Ganges, or even the shores of the Yellow Sea (4), to the Ilissus;
it was the fundamental principle of the Indian religion and Indian
philosophy (5); it was the basis of Zoroastrianism (6), it was pure
Platonism (7), it was the Platonic Judaism of the Alexandrian
school. Many fine passages might be quoted from Philo, on the
impossibility that the first self-existing Being should become cogniz-
able to the sense of man; and even in Palestine, no doubt, John the
Baptist, and our Lord himself, spoke no new doctrine, but rather
the common sentiment of the more enlightened, when they declared
that no man had seen God at any time (8).” In conformity with
(1) Matt. xviii. 10.

'(4) M. Abel Remusat says, of the three Chi-
(2) Schleusner, Lex. voc. Satan. Dr. Russell, nese religions, “Parmi leurs dogines fondamen-
in a Dissertation prefixed to his Connection of taux, enseignés six siècles avant notre ère par
Sacred and Profane History, has traced the gra- Lao-tseu, l'un de leurs maîtres, est celui de
dual development of this tenet. It is rather sin. l'existence de la raison primordiale, qui a créé le
gular that in the work of Theodorus of Mop- monde, le Logos des Platoniciens. Rech. Asiat. 2
saestia on Magianism (quoted Photii Bibliotheca, ser. i. 38.
num. 81.), Zeruan is said to have produced (5) In the Indian system Brahın, in the neuter,
τον Όρμίσδαν* * και τον Σαταναν. On is the great Primal Spirit. See Baron W. Von
the other side of this question may be consulted Humboldt, über den Bhagavat Gita. Compare
Rosenmuller on Job, ch. i., and Michaelis, Bopp. Conjugations System, 290.301.
Epimetron in Lowth, de sacra Poesi.

(6) See above.
(3) It is curious to trace the development of
this idea in the older and in the apocryphal Θεού και θνητού-Θεός δε ανθρώπω ου

(7) Πάν το δαιμονιών μεταξύ εστι
Proverbs, tle Wisdom is little more than the μίγνυται, άλλα διά τούτου πασά έστιν
great attribute of the Deity, an intellectual per. » ouíniu. Plato, in Symp.
sonification : in Ecclesiasticus it is a distinct and (8) John, i. 18. Coinpare John, i. 4. 18. vi.
separate being, and “stands up beautiful,” be-
fore the throne of God, xxv. 1,

66

books of the Old Testament. In the book of

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46.

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