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sides, their knowledge of geology, But while I thus speak of two astronomy, natural history,chronology, persons, I would not be understood and general physics, was much more as making them the sole depositories extensive than we imagine. . of all the learning and knowledge of
Enoch, the father of Methuselah, twenty generations of men. In keepthe most enlightened and perfect man ing the chronicles of the world, Adam that lived during the first two thou- was aided eight hundred years by his sand years of human history, was a son Seth ; almost seven hundred by most gifted teacher of the science of his grand-son Enos ; six hundred by morals. He taught a future judgment, Cainan ; five hundred by Mahalaleel ; the coming of the Lord, with ten four hundred by Jared ; three hunthousand of his saints, to punish the dred by Enoch ; two hundred by wicked ; and in his translation to Methuselah ; and sixty-four by Laheaven, body, soul, and spirit, forty- mech, the father of Noah, and grandfour years before Seth, the immediate father of Shem. Shem also, after son of Adam, died, gave an exempli- the deluge, was aided by ten generafication of the immortality of the tions of men with whom he conversed ; saints to all his contemporaries, and for of the twenty generations of our to posterity through all generations. Lord's ancestors whose history he At the time of his translation, Seth, could give, he had seen with his own Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Me- eyes, twelve of them. How vast and thuselah, and Lamech, were all of varied, then, were the stores of tramature age and reason ; so that all dition, and of personal experience, the generations between Adam and possessed by this most learned of all Noah had the advantage of the doc- the sages of mankind! A fit person, trine, manner of life, and translation indeed, in the character of the King of Enoch. The origin of the universe of Salem and Priest of the Most High and of man, his nature, relations, God, to bless the patriarch Abraham, obligations, and destiny, were, there- the holder of the promises. fore, matters of fact, or direct testi- But to trace the history of tradition mony amongst the antedilurians, and down to Moses : Isaac, it will be refaithfully communicated from the membered, lived long enough with mouth of one individual, corroborated Shem to have learned it all from him. by many concurrent witnesses, into He also conversed not only with the ears of Shem. Shem, too, became Jacob, but for more than fifty years an oracle of the postdiluvians for five with Levi. Levi told the story to his hundred years ; spending one hundred son Kohath ; Kohath told his son and fifty years of his life with Abra- | Amram; Amram to his son Moses. ham, and fifty with Isaac, his son. So that all ancient knowledge reached Thus the entire experience of Adam Moses from Adam down to his own came to Shem through one individual, times, a period of two thousand four and passed through him to Isaac ; so hundred and thirty-three years, by that from the tongue of Methuselah only six persons ! the words of Adam fell upon the ears Meanwhile, the knowledge of the of Shem, and from the tongue of true and only God, and of these carShem may have fallen upon the ears | dinal points, was in Egypt from other of Abraham and Isaac.
sources of tradition, when Abraham The vast knowledge of ten antedi- first reached it. Other branches of luvian generations, with the subse- the human family took notes of facts quent details of four hundred years, a and events besides that of Shem. period of two thousand one hundred And we know that all the knowledge and fifty-six years, is transferred to of Shem, communicated to Jacob, Isaac through two persons.
Joseph, and Levi, went down into
Egypt with these persons so early as go? Would not the venerable pair the year of the world 2298.
most cheerfully and faithfully narrate Now we learn from profane history their experience to their own offspring that Cadmus, with his Phenician -give a clear and full record of the colony, founded Thebes ; and Cecrops past and intimate all their anticiand Danus, with their Egyptian pations of the future? With what relations, founded Athens and Argos thrilling interest would they detail about the time of Moses. Carrying the incidents of the patriarchal state, with them the science and learning and the sad series of events accomof Egypt into these new states, we panying and subsequent to their can easily discover how the know-eventful catastrophe ! ledge of the East came into Europe, Or can any one suppose that during and the traditionary revelation in the latter centuries of this chief paAbraham's family became a common triarch, when his progeny had grown fountain of knowledge to the whole up into nations, multitudes of the human race.
| most virtuous of them, even from the With regard to the correctness and remotest settlements, would not conauthority of these traditions, moderns tinually visit him as an oracle, and generally entertain a very erroneous learn from his own lips the whole conception. We suppose them to be history of time, the origin of the race, of no higher authority than many of and the antiquities of nature herself ? the legendary tales of more modern Who of us moderns would not times. But this is owing to our want make a pilgrimage half round the of a little philosophy, and to our globe to see the first man ; to look in confounding the character of the the face, and to hear the voice of the traditions after the confusion of speech great prototype of humanity ; and to and the dispersion of mankind, with listen to his narration, not only of that. of tradition, while the world was what he had seen and heard of the all of one language and one speech. Creator himself, or learned in latter
Could we place ourselves among days of his works and will ; but to the antediluvians while all mankind hear him relate his conceptions and spoke one language, and then among ecstacies when first the breath of life the postdiluvians, after the confusion swelled the purple current in his veins of speech, the contraction of human —when wonder, love, and praise life, and the wide dispersion of man- struggled within him for utterance, kind over the earth, we should find while he gazed upon the Father of some data by which to appreciate the his spirit, and the new-born glories all-important difference between the of a universe smiling upon him with ancient and the most ancient tradi- brighter beams of joy and bliss than tions.
ever the rapt vision of the most inCan any one, the least acquainted spired of human bards has yet conwith human nature, possessing a little ceived ! of the philosophy of himself, imagine I say, who of us would not have that Adam and Eve would not freely curiosity enough to encounter toils communicate to every son and daugh- and dangers of the first magnitude, ter, to the tenth generation who to have it to tell to our children that visited them, all they had orally we had seen and heard the unborn learned from their Creator, or by man— the father of a world — the subsequent revelation, on the three origin of mankind—and his divinely great questions which human reason formed wife-the mother of all loveand human philosophy frankly confess liness and beauty, of all the grace and they cannot answer, viz. What am I ? excellency, of all the intelligence and Whence came I ? and Whither do I taste, of all the delicacy and sensi
bility which have adorned the untold tions of the sane and rational of millions of her deceased and living mankind. daughters.
Some of the events of the first age We have only to bring the matter of the world were, moreover, of such home to ourselves to be assured that a nature as to attract extraordinary the whole history of the first nine attention ; to occasion more reflection centuries, which had in it the elements and elicit more light than we can fully not only of society, but of religion, appreciate. The martydom of Abel, morality, and all natural science, so the death of Adam, and the translafar as Adam was concerned (and no tion of Enoch were of this class. man's experience ever equalled his), | Hence many conversations on the would have been told by him ten questions, Whither went Enoch? thousand times, and as often repeated What became of Abel ? Why was he by his faithful sons and daughters. slain ? Where now is Adam ? Of This would also be true of Shem and what use is an altar ?-a priest ?-a his wife, who stood in a similar re- victim ? Why count time by weeks? lation to the postdiluvian world. What means the promised seed ? They had to tell not only what they What means the threatened bruising heard from Methuselah, Lamech, of the serpent's head ? &c. &c. Among and a thousand others of the old the faithful line of the ancestry of our world, but had the marvellous re- Lord these were the topics familiar cord of the deluge, by which a world and often discussed. was lost, and a new order of things Hitherto we have spoken of but one begun.
line of tradition—that which has * Now can there be any thing more given all true light, civilization, and obvious than that narrations so often refinement to human nature. But delivered by the same persons, should there was, and still is, another line, be engraved upon their memories whence came hypothetical philosophy, with the clearness and fidelity of ignorance, and barbarity. Cain was words deep cut in marble, or 'engraved the head of his line. Of him it is on plates of brass ! No translations said, after he had slain his brother or spurious readings could vitiate or Abel, he went out from the presence corrupt that text, written on the of the Lord, or from the dwellings of tablets of hale and undegenerate the righteous, and east of Eden setmemories, and kept within the ark |tled in the land of Nod. His line is of the covenant, in the sanctum heard through his descendants, Enoch, sanctorum of their hearts. . | Jared, Mehujael, Methusael, Lamech,
We need no oracle to declare or to and his sons Jabal, and Jubal, and decide, that men walked by faith be- | Tubal-Cain, seven generations. Cain fore philosophy, or that there was no founded the first city on earth, called place for speculation or hypothesis after his son, the city of Enoch. during the first two thousand years Having gone away from the presence of time ; for who could have been so of the Lord, and busied himself in crazy as to state a hypothesis about worldly employments to drown rethe origin or nature, the relations or flection, and his descendants all folobligations of man ; or about the lowing his example, it is not likely origin of the universe while Adam that he would often visit the parental lived ! or about the deluge or ante- | dwelling. The blood of Abel still diluvian state of our planet, while haunted him, and rendered him in Noah, Shem, or Japhet yet lived ! fact a fugitive and vagabond on the Such a speculation would have been earth. His descendants also giving laughed out of society, and ex- themselves up to animal and temporal communicated from the habita- pursuits, became distinguished for
their inventions in tent-building, Hesiod, Homer, and, I might say, to musical instruments, in brazen and the time of Pherecydes of Scyros, the iron implements and weapons, and preceptor of Pythagoras-himself the for introducing polygamy and war. I pupil of Pittacus and the oldest of
The destiny of man is never a the Greek prose writers. But as the pleasant theme to such spirits ; and history of the Greeks consisted of as guilt is the natural parent of fear oral and incoherent traditions, kept and the immediate progenitor of a for thirteen centuries before they had refuge of lies and hatred of the light, / a written history of themselves, little such persons would be at more pains or nothing certain can be known of to vitiate the ancient traditions than them, except their original extraction to preserve them pure and incorrupt. and their plagiarisms on Egypt and Intermarrying with those on the part the posterity of Shem ; for, of all of the other line, superinduced the people that ever lived, the Greeks deluge.
were the greatest literary thieves, After that catastrophe, either and had the best art of concealing through the wives of Ham and the theft. Japhet, or from the inherited de- The word philosophy, and the propravity and corruption of the old fession of philosopher, began with world, they again apostatized from Pythagoras, when tradition was inGod. Han immediately dishonored volved in doubt owing to the causes himself, and brought upon his family already mentioned the contraction of a paternal and prophetic malediction. human life to seventy or eighty years, Japhet, too, removed from the resi- the confusion of human speech, the dence of his father, and in their multiplications and wide dispersion of wanderings, and subsequently in the nations, and especially to that gigantic confusion and wide dispersion of their iniquity, violence, and crime which offspring, they lost both their venera- almost universally prevailed. Polytion for the paternal customs and theism, mythology, hypothesis, sceptitraditions concerning their relations, cism, and licentious manners, were moral obligations, and destiny. the legitimate fruits of departing from Among them the truth began to be the sacred traditions true and faithmixed up with fable, and so meta- fully kept in the line of Seth, Enoch, morphosed that it lost all its redeem- Noah, and Shem, down to Moses, the ing influence upon these two branches divine historian and lawgiver of the of the family of Noah.
Jews. The posterity of Japhet, called by Thus far the history of the most the Greeks Japetus, comprehended ancient traditions is placed in contrast the ancient Cimbrians, Phrygians, with the pretensions of hypothetical Scythians, Medes, Persians, Mace- philosophy. It remains that we cast donians, Iberians, Greeks, Romans a glance of the eye upon two or three
-indeed, all the ancient European points in the human constitution, to and northern tribes of Asia, and ascertain whether man was made to probably some of the American be led by philosophy or tradition in tribes ; while the posterity of Ham the matters pertaining to the science peopled some portions of Arabia, all of happiness ; for certain it is, if man Egypt and Canaan, Seba, Shebah, was not made to be led by philosophy, Shinar, much of Africa, and soine in vain she pretends to be his guide. parts of Asia.
The question now before us is, Among these, fable, mythology, How is man constituted as respects and hypothesis began. Oral tradi- the powers of acquiring knowledge ? tion, much corrupted indeed, conti- or with what powers of knowing the nued amongst them till the time of universe is he endowed ? for, as before observed, the universe must first be as is suited to its nature. So far it known before it can be enjoyed. I is a perfect and infallible rule of life ask not what are his powers of re- to it, in all that respects its nature taining knowledge, nor what are his and the end of its existence. It may powers of applying or of enjoying be impaired by physical disease ; it knowledge ; but what are his powers may also be deteriorated, but cannot of acquiring it ? With the most be improved by education. It is as liberal philosophers they are four perfect the first, as the last hour of Instinct, Sense, Reason, Faith. animal or vegetable existence. It Some philosophers, indeed, are not gains nothing by experience or obso generous ; none, however, give servation ; hence the swallow builds him more ; and we are willing that her nest, the beaver his dam, the bee its he should appear with all his armour cell, and the ant her cities and storeon—with all his intellectual apparatus houses, as they were wont to do six in full requisition, that we may de- thousand years ago. monstrate that he was made to be | Now man has little or no instinct; led, pre-eminently and supremely, by and, in this point, is more neglected a power that despoils speculative by his Creator than any other creaphilosophy of all its proud assump-ture ; and would, indeed, perish from tions, and gives to tradition, in its the earth the first day of his existence, broadest and fullest sense, a very ele if left to the guidance of all his invated standing amongst the sources stinctive powers an evident proof of intelligence accessible to man. that he was not made to be led by it,
Let us then briefly survey these as the law of his animal, intellectual, powers. Instinct has never been or moral existence. definitely and satisfactorily explained By sense we mean those external by any man. The theories on the organs, usually denominated the five subject are innumerable, but specula- senses, through which we become tion and inquiry are as rife as ever. acquainted with the sensible properNothing is decided except that it is a ties of all the objects around us. In law or rule of life conferred by the this endowment man is not singular. Creator on every animated existence, | All terrestrial beings of much importanimal or vegetable, by which such tance to man have as many senses as acts are performed as are essential to he. And if, in some of his senses, its existence and well-being. But it he is superior to some of them ; in is of a much higher order in the ani- | others, some of them are greatly mal than in the vegetable kingdom, superior to him. and in some animals it appears to be But he has intellect-he has reason ; so nearly assimilated and related to and this greatly compensates for those intelligence as to be with difficulty inferiorities ; and yet there are many distinguished from it. It is, however, creatures that seem to possess it in very different from sensation and some good degree ; still it is man's reason, for it is found to exist where great perfection, by which he rises there is neither of them.
far above the beasts that perish. In reference to my object, it is Some philosophers have almost deified enough to say, that by instinct we reason, and given to it a creative and mean that innate or natural rule of originating power. They have so life, which God has written upon, and eulogized the light of reason and the incorporated with the nature of every light of nature, that one would imaanimal ; by which it is enabled to gine reason to be a sun, rather than govern itself, in order to the full en- | an eye ; a revelation, rather than the joyment of all its powers and suscep- power of apprehending and enjoying tibilities, and so much of the universe' it. But when accurately defined, it