Page images
PDF
EPUB

ADDRESS.

The objects of this work will be the fair investigation of the Truths of Natural Philosophy, more especially with reference to the furtherance of the seiences named in our title.

In carrying out these objects, we shall “ shoot folly as it flies," and, wherever detected, bring it down by the withering touch of the finger of Truth. The intolerable humbng of our public writers as to all matters concerning the Philosophy of Nature, founded on observed facts, shall be unflinchingly exposed; and the niaseries and noodleisms of many socalled philosophers shall be held up to the world for its scorn, contempt, or ridicule, as they may severally deserve. We feel the solid ground of reality under our feet; and shall take our stand with a firm resolve that the world shall see the mighty operations of Nature in harmony with those celestial causes the philosophers of old witnessed, and admired, and taught their disciples as that which it pleased the Deity to create. Yes, month after month we will shew the tempests of our own land, the hurricanes of the tropics, and the earthquakes of the mountainous countries of the South ; all found to accompany the fact of the Earth being placed in peculiar situations with the other bodies of the system of which it is a minute portion. We shall demonstrate that the electric fluid is a constituent part of the principle of solar, stellar, and cometary light; and that the action of this principle on the magnets of our observatories coincides with the Earth's motion among, and relative position to, the Planets, with a regularity impossible by the doctrine of chances, and, therefore, the result of laws hitherto undiscovered. Also, that the derangement of its regular flow is as destructive as that of the tide of the ocean in a storm, bringing

“Disease and death to scourge the neighbouring shores ;" failure of herbage and vegetation; pestilential air, irritating the systems and exciting the brains of mankind; who are thence hurried away to violence, quarrels, insurrections, and wars.

On this principle the sole one that enables man to penetrate the dark veil of the future—were foretold the earthquakes at Lisbon at the end of 1847, in Italy in June, and in the West Indies in August 1818. Here are three distinct instances of the fore-knowledge of these fearful phenomena, to the exact time and place, full twelve months beforehand. Let the reader conceive the uproar that even one such fulfilled prediotion would have made in the world, if it came from one of our great philosophers. Alas! they are innocent of any such knowledge, because they allow the leaden fingers of prejudice to close their eyes. The hurricane may roar, the earthquake destroy, but mankind have no intimation of the danger until it arrive; because modern philosophy is pleased to deny (what it dares not attempt by reference to facts to disprove) all that knowledge of the influence of the Stars which the wise men of Greece, India, China, Persia, Egypt, and Chaldea, could reverence as the choicest gift of a benevolent Creator.

N.B.- All Letters and Contributions, and Advertisements for the Cover, to be sent to the Editor (post free), addressed exactly as follows:“ SAMUEL SMITH, Esq., ACRE LANE,

BRIXTON, near London."

ZADKIEL'S MAGAZINE.

Vol. I.]

JANUARY, 1849.

[No. 1.

ON THE PRESENT STATE AND FUTURE PROSPECTS OF ASTROLOLY, WITH SOME ACCOUNT

OF ITS ORIGIN, &c.

CHAPTER I.

“The Pharisees attributed all to fate ; or, as some of them expressed it, to the heavens, i. e. to that chain of natural causes of which the heavens were the chief, and to which, according to them, the Creator had, at the beginning, subjected all things."-Bishop BULL.

IT cannot fail to interest the readers of a new work, intended mainly to uphold the doctrines of astrology, to consider the actual condition of that ancient science, and to throw a cursory glance at the probabilities of its future march; so far as they may be judged of by the circumstances of society, in the new phasis it is obviously about to enter, after passing through its present transition state of ignorance, turmoil, and discontent.

But, before we say a word on these matters, let us endeavour to define clearly what we intend by “the doctrines of astrology;" and let us shew, also, what it is that those doctrines are capable of effecting for the benefit of society, in its physical, moral, and intellectual condition. This is the more necessary, as one of the great weapons of its opponents is misrepresentation; by which astrology has been held up to the world as not only a delusion, but a cheat, a fraud, a deception; in brief, a species of treason towards man, and blasphemy against God.

The word Astrology is derived from AT15, a star, and Ayos, reason or logic; thus implying the logic of the stars, or that which we reason from them. If we trace the origin of the Greek term Aster, a star, it is obviously formed of the two Hebrew words ash, “ fire” (the stars being called originally the fires of heaven), and

round;" because the stars were seen to go round the earth. Among the Hebrews, the word for an astrologer was Ash-Phe, literally “the mouth-piece of the star;" because he interpreted what the star imported.

Astrology, then, is “the logic of the stars,” that which we

TER,

is to go

[blocks in formation]

2

STATE AND PROSPECTS OF ASTROLOGY.

reason from them; or “the doctrines of astrology" may be defined as all that which the stars shew or import, Katà nóyov, agreeably to reason. Now reason itself must be, and is, founded on observed facts; for if we have no known facts, we cannot reason on any subject whatever : and certain facts being observed, touching the motions and situations of the stars, to be invariably accompanied or followed by certain events on earth, mankind, by the purest exercise of reason, came speedily to conclude that, of the two things, one was the cause and the other the effect : the stars the former, the events the latter. True, the two things might not be related as cause and effect, but then their invariable concurrence compelled the conclusion that they were both the effect of a common cause. And this conclusion embraced the idea that the stars were merely the type, sign, or signal of the concurring event; and that led to the farther conclusion, that the common cause of both, the stars of heaven and the events on earth that accompanied their motions, &c., was no other than the great First Cause of all things. So that the first astrologers, the first men who reasoned of the stars, were the first divines; the first, in fact, who taught by irresistible logic, founded on the combined observations of celestial and terrestrial facts, the all-important doctrine, that there was ONE GOD, “above all, and before all things.” Such has ever been the case in all nations who have emerged from barbarism in the slightest degree : the divines, or priests, have ever been Astrologers.

The fact of the priests of oriental nations having been Astrologers (as they still are among the Buddhists, whose numbers are equal to the whole population of Europe), among the Indians, Phænicians, Persians, Chaldeans, Egyptians, &c., is so patent, so undeniable, that we shall not stop to quote the evidence. But we will shew how they came to be called WISE men; a term not yet entirely out of use. It was the custom of the ancient priests or astrologers to hie themselves to a hill or “high place," that they might conveniently observe the stars, watch their motions, and contemplate their positions, thereby to judge of their effects. In plain countries, where no natural elevations offered, towers were erected for this purpose. And although the word to watch or contemplate, to survey carefully by the eye, came to be applied figuratively to a tower, among the Hebrews and subsequently among the Greeks, as it is at this day with us, who call some kinds of towers “look-outs," or watch-towers, the Hebrew term qUX, ASH-Phe, an astrologer, came to be corrupted to, or to be equivalent to now, or ETZ-PHE*, a watch

. From this is derived the English word espy.

STATE AND PROSPECTS OF ASTROLOGY.

3

man. In numerous words of that language the initial letter was dropped, as in this case, and hence the word was sounded zephe, or 20-PHE, or in the plural, zoPHIM (see Numb. xxiii, 14), the watchmen; signifying the astrologers, or WISE MEN, originally; as is clearly shewn by the Greek corruption of the term into como1, SOPHO1, the wisE MEN (being the same word with a Greek ending), who " were wont, on such high hills (as Numb. xxiii, 14), to observe the course and motions of the heavens*.”

In course of time the pure practice of astrology, observing the heavens and judging their effects, was corrupted into the worship of the heavens, or ZABAISM; and eventually into idolatry, or the worship of images, which were made to resemble some of the qualities of the particular planets, &c., in honour of which they were set up. At first, men began to attribute the effects they saw the stars produce to their, the stars' powers, as gods or demons of an inferior rank to the great Creator himself, whose majesty was soon lost sight of; and thence arose, eventually, a multitude of idols and unspeakable absurdities. One of the strangest of these seems to have been the worship of a large black stone, which prevailed in many parts of the eastern world, and still does prevail. We conceive that this was connected with the worship of HERMES (Mercury, who derived his Greek name from the Hebrew EREM, to cheat), to whom we find a temple erected, named Bith EREM (Josh, xiii, 27), i. e., to the god of fraud and cheatery; such being the character of persons born under his influence: whence the Greeks afterwards called him the god of thieves. The same word signified to cast or throw stones, &c.; and it was reckoned a piece of honour done him to cast or throw a stone at the foot of his statue. Now, as Mercury rules over and influences all the mental operations, and as arithmetic was carried on by the aid of small stones, whence the Latin word for a pebble stone, calculus, gave a name to calculator, a caster-up of accounts, we may easily perceive how the worship of the stone had originally reference to the planet Mercuryt.

When religion, or the first acknowledgment of a God, had been corrupted into idolatry, the idea that the planets and stars were themselves a species of demons, or inferior gods, still prevailed very extensively. And we learn from the learned rabbi, Maimonides, that the general faith among the Hebrews was, that they were mediators between the Deity and his creatures

• Gale in the Court of the Gentiles, part ii, 2.

Vicentius Belovacensis tells of Indian nations who go round their idols and cast stones on a heap, at the vernal and autumnal cquinox. From them the Arabs seem to have derived the custom; for it is still observed, in some form, by the Hadgees, or pilgrims returning from Mecca.

STATE AND PROSPECTS OF ASTROLOGY.

was the

[ocr errors]

on earth. This learned Jew, Maimonides, declares that “the error of the first idolators consisted in maintaining that, as the stars and planets (cuocHalim and UGELAGELIM) were created by God to govern the world, so it was his pleasure that they should be honoured and worshipped as his ministers; and that, accordingly, men proceeded to adore them, in order to procure the good will of Him who created them ; thus making them mediators between man and God;” and “this,” says he, foundation of idolatry*.”

This doctrine of the ancient Hebrew learned men was that of all the principal philosophers of Greece also. Plato says, “every demon is a middle being between God and man.”

And 6

God is not approached immediately by man, but all the commerce and intercourse between gods and men is performed by the mediation of demons.Again; “ demons are reporters and carriers from men to the gods, and again from the gods to men; of the supplications and prayers of the one, and of the injunctions and rewards of devotion from the other.” Plutarch and Apuleius teach the same doctrine, which was the philosophy of the Apostles' times; and to it St. Paul alludes (1 Cor. x, 20) when he says that “the Gentiles sacrifice Sajmoviois, that is to demons; by which he certainly did not mean “ to devils,” as the words are translated, but to certain powers of the heavens, for such was the real meaning of Sampovia, demons ; as is plain from numerous passages in scripture, where the sePTUAGINT writers have used the word to signify not devils but powers or intelligences of material nature. Thus, Ps. xci, 6, they say the “mid-day demon ;" Ps. xcvi, 5, “all the gods of the Gentiles are demons :" given in our version as “idols.” And so we find Moses forbidding the Hebrews to continue to sacrifice to demons, Lev. xvii, v. 7. And again; Jeroboam ordained priests for the demons, 2 Chron. xi, v. 15. In our version the word is devils ; but the original word is sho!RIM, which the Septuagint generally render by Sæsuovia, i. e. demons, as they do in Isaiah xiii, v. 22, and xxxiv, v. 14, which our translators call “ dragons” and “satyrs." This word is thus called “idols," “ devils," "dragons," "satyrs," and "gods;" though the Septuagint translators adhere mostly to one term, demons, as they

* This idea of their being ministers is beautifully expressed Ps. ciii, v. 21, whence David evidently entertained it. “ Bless Jehovah all ZABAIU, his hosts [of stars], his servants, who do his pleasure.” And that “ hosts" did not signify “ angels," as some may say, is evident by David having in the previous verse said, “ Bless Jehovah, ye, his "mighty angels," where the word used is MELAKIU, who are said to "hearken unto the voice of Jehovah," indicating a superior office. We believe that MELAKIU, which signifies kings or leaders, applied to the "mighty ones,” viz. the sun, moon, and planets, and tbat zabalu meant the numerous hosts of fixed stars, who are treated as inferiors or servants, yet who do his will or PLEASURE.

« PreviousContinue »