Page images
PDF
EPUB

647 Review. The History of Initration, in three Lectures. 1648 tiation have been drawn from a vast variety | In the disquisitions on Persia much reof sources, as they prevailed respectively search has been used ; but we do not agree in India, China, and Japan; Persia and with the reverend author on the point of Greece; Britain, Scandinavia, Mexico, and Zoroaster's Jewish education, which we Peru; for it is a well-known fact, that the think improbable and fabulous. There mysterious' celebrations of idolatry were is something picturesque in the description spread over every part of the world. of the Mithriac cave, which was made par** at the dispersion, the impious architects of ticularly attractive, to favour the impostor's Babel travelled into distant countries, each tribe views. It appears that, under its ostensible leader, bearing the sacred Ark of the favourite deity, under whose protec.

“He retired to a circular cave or grotto in the tion they penetrated into unknown climes with. mountains of Bokbara, wbich he ornamented out dread or dismay. The surreptitious initia

with a profusion of symbolical and astronomical tions of idolatrous observance swept through

decorations, and solemnly consecrated it to the the world with the force and vigour of a mighty

Middle-god or Mediator-Mithr-As, or, as he was whirlwind, involving nation after nation in their

elsewhere denominated, the invisible' deity, the gigantic focus, until they literally covered the parent of the universe, who was himself said to earth as the waters cover the sea. They sprang

be born, or produced, from a cave hewn out of a up in the East like some insignificant plant, but

rock. Here the Sun, represented by a burning grew and enlarged with such prodigious rapi

gem, which beamed forth a lustre insupportably dity and strength, that soon their vigorous

splendid and powerful, Occupied a conspicuous branches spread from east to west, from north to

situation in the centre of the roof; the planets south. The continent of Asia was pervaded in

were displayed in order around him, in studs of every part of its vast and spacious surface; the gold glittering on a rich ground of azure: the shores of Africa basked under their sbade, and zodiac was splendidly represented in embossed disseminated their abominations; they imparted

gold, in which the constellations « Leo, or Leo activity to the adventurous designs of the Pheni. Mithriaca, and Taurus with the Sun and Lunette cian merchants, and gave distinction to the Greek emerging from his head or back in beaten gold, and Roman name; the distant isles of Britain as emblematical of the diluvian father and mother and Hibernia: the cold and inhospitable regions issuing from the ark, bore a distinguisbed cba. of Scandinavia and Iceland, alike yielded sub racter. The four ages of the world were represerviency to their imperious sway; and even sented by so many globes of gold, silver, brass, the distant and unknown colonies which peopled

and iron. Thus bedecked with gems and prethe woods and forests of the new world, felt and cious stones, and knobs of burnished gold ; the acknowledged their utility in enslaving and reduc. cave appeared to the enraptured aspirant, during ing to abject submission the savage nature of their the celebration of the mysteries, illuminated, as fierce inbabitants."-P. 6, 7.

it was, by innumerable lamps which reflected a

thousand different colours and shades of colour, - The Indian initiations are first described,

like the enchanting vision of a celestial palace.

In the centre of the cave was a marble fountain of the highest antiquity; and are curious, in

of water, transparent as crystal, to supply the

numerous basons with which the grotto was furproportion, with the fanciful construction nished for the purpose of ablution and cereof the Hindu mythology; and we have been monial purifications. The cavern, thus orna

mented, furnished, and disposed, was an emblem much pleased with the winding up of some of the widely extended universe, supported by the very terrific ceremonies which accompanied three grand pillars of Eternity, Fecundity, and

Authority; and the symbols with which it was the fearful process.

profusely adorned referred to every element and "The awful moment was now arrived when principle in nature.”-p.71 to 73. the ceremony of initiation had attained its highest degree of interest; the pealing Conch was

We have not space to enter at large on blown, the folding doors were suddenly thrown the peculiar ceremonies of Persia, although open, and the candidate was introduced into Cai. lasa or Paradise, whieh was a spacious apart

they are enumerated with some degree of ment blazing with a thousand brilliant lights: ornamented with statues and emblematical figures.

those who have a taste for such discusScented with the rich fragrance of odorous flow. ers, aromatic gums, and costly drugs; decorated

sions; because we intend to favour our profusely with gems and jewels; the unsubstantial figures of the airy inhabitants of unknown worlds carved on the roof in the act of volitation :

ritual of Greece, as exhibited in the Dionyand the splendid sacellum thronged with priests siaca; and its importance and high degree and hierophants arrayed in gorgeous vestments

of interest will be a sufficient apology for and crowned with mitres and tiaras of burnished / gold. With eves riveted on the altar, he was taught to expect the descent of the deity in the

The first actual ceremony among the Greeks bright pyramidal fire that blazed upon it. The

was to purify the aspirant" with water, and to sudden sound of this shell or trumpet, to which

crown him with myrtle, because the myrtle tree the hollow caverng reverberated long and continued echoes; the expansion of the folding

was sacred to Proserpine. He was then intro.

duced into a small cave or vestibule, to be invested doors; the brilliant display so unexpectedly exhibited before bio ; the instantaneous prostration

with the sacred babiliments; after which bis

conductor delivered him over to the mystagogue, of the priests, and the profound silence which followed this ceremony, filled the mind of the

who then commenced the initiation with the preaspirant with admiration, and lighted up the

scribed formula, Ekas, Ekas, EOTÉ ßeonloi, holy feryour of devotion in his heart ; so that Depart hence, all ye profane; and the guide ad in the moment of enthusiasm, he could almost per. dressed the aspirant by exborting him to call suade bimself that he actually beheld the expected forth all his courage and fortitude, as the process descent of the great Brahma seated on the lotos, on which he was now about to enter, was of the with his four heads and arms, and bearing in most appalling nature. And being led forward bis bands the usual emblems of eternity and through a series of dark passages and dismal uncontrollable power, the circle and, fire." caverns, to represent the erratic state of the ark P. 45 to 48.

I while floating on the troubled surface of the di

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Juvian waters, the machinery opens upon him. j feelings and expressions of the Mystæ ; their He first hears the distant thunder pealing through mourning was changed into joy, and the aspirant the vault of heaven, accompanied by the howling was emancipated from his confinement amidst of dogs and wild beasts; an apt representation peals of: laughter and deafening shouts of

of the confusion which prevailed amongst the Evonkauev, Evyxaipowev, We have found it! · multiplicity of domestic and ferocions animals

Let us rejoice together for now the Euresis, or during the period of Noah's continement in the

discovery, was celebrated, and it was announced Ark. These terrific noises rapidly approach, and

that the mangled corpse was found, and restored the din becomes tremendous, reverberated, as it

from the darkness of death to life and hope. 1 doubtless was, in endless repetitions, from the

A living serpent was inserted into the bosom of echoing vaults and lofty caverns, within whose

the affrighted candidate, which passing tbrough inextricable mazes he was now immured. Flashes

his garments was taken out at the skirts of his of vivid light now broke in upon him, and ren

robe; and being conducted onwards, without time dered the prevailing darkness more visible; and

to reflect, the descent into the infernal regions by the momentary illumination he beheld the

was the next adventure he was fated to accomappearances by which he was surrounded. Mon

plish. On the banks of a sluggish stream he was strous shapes and apparitions, demoniacal figures,

shewn a multitude of disembodied spirits, thronggriõping defiance at the intruder; mystical visions

ing to procure a passage over the river, and and fitting shadows, unreal phantoms of a dog.

clamorous at being refused; which represented like form, overwhelm him with terror. In this

the turbulent race of antediluvians who perished state of horrible apprehension and darkness, he

in the flood. Then the aspirant, having crossed was kept three days and nights. W i nese the river in a boat, was shewn the torments of vidare With passions thas excited, the aspirant was those miserable wretches, who, for their vices, i now made to perform the aphanism, or ceremonies had been committed to the destiny of everlasting

commemorative of the mystical death of Bacchus. punishment. Here, during the intervals of howl

He was covered with the Pastos or Bed : or in ing and lamentation, the wild and furious shrieks + other words he was subjected to confinement in of wo by which those lost creatures vented the

a close cell, that he might reflect seriously, in unavailing sorrows of bitter repentance, his at.

golitude and darkness, on the business he was tendant explained the nature of the crimes which is engaged in: and be reduced to a proper state of led to this dreadful termination; amongst wbich,

mind for the reception of sublime and mysterious the highest degree of punishment was assigned

truths. This was the symbolical death of the to the impious race who either refused initiation, e mysteries; and the deliverance from confinement or betrayed the mysteries. Leaving this place of

was the act of regeneration or new-birth; and horror and despair, the aspirant was conducted hence the renovated aspirant was termed duguns

forward to the sound of heavenly music, and or twice born; once from the womb of his natural

soon entered on the plains of ravishing delight mother, and again from the Pastos of initiation.

which are the reward of the virtuous initiated. During the period of his imprisonment in the

The perturbation of his spirits was here allayed cell, he was alarmed by a crash resembling the

by scenes in which were depicted the ever-yer· rush of mighty waters bursting with sudden im.

dant plains of Elysium; and the souls of the just petcosity from a deep abyss, or the deafening

were exhibited in the enjoyment of those pure fall of a tremendous cataract; for now was the

delights which constitute the reward of piety representation displayed of the overwhelming

and virtue. The hero-gods passed in review waters of the deluge breaking forth from Hades

before him, and he enjoyed the exhilarating to inundate the globe. The monstrous Typhon,

vision, animated further by a hymn which was raging in quest of Osiris, discovered the ark in

chanted on the subject of the prevailing mytho* which he had been secreted, and violently rend

logy."-p. 107 to 115. ing it asunder, scattered the limbs of his victim From the extracts which we have already over the face of the earth amidst the din of dis. solving nature. The aspirant heard the lamen

made, an opinion may be formed of the tations which were instituted for the death of work before us; although we regret that our their god, whose representative he was, accom

limits altogether preclude a more extended panied with doleful cries and howlings of men, women, and animals, to symbolize the death

review. The remaining Lectures contain sbrieks, and exclamations of terror, consternation, some very curious usages of our forefathers, and despair, which prevailed througbout the world at the universal destruction of animated

the Britons and the Saxons; but we must nature, and which would unquestionably salute refer our readers to the work itself; from the ears of Noah while enclosed within the

which we do not doubt that they will derive yessel of safety. Then commenced the wander. ings of Rhea in search of the remains of Bac considerable amusement, and reap a prochus, her body begirt with a serpent, and a portionate degree of instruction. To faming torch in her hand, with lamentations for the loss ; accompanied with fran.

89177 Isii tic shrieks and furious gesticulations; which continued, accompanied by many minute cere Review-The Triumphs of Scriptural and monies, for a considerable period. The initiated,

Rational Truth, displayed in a complete whether males or females, some habited in splen. did attire, with crowns or mitres on their heads;

Refutation of the absurd Doctrines of others covered with very little clothing, now the Eternal Generation of the Divine mixed promiscuously, and danced to the sound

Logos, and the hypostatical Union of of musical instruments played by the Corybantes ; blended with the howlings of despair for the dis two Spiritual Natures in Jesus Christ. memberment of their god. The dance, progres By Samuel Tucker, V. D. M. 8vo. pp. sively increasing in, rapidity and wildness, soon degenerated into a miserable scene of dire con

112. Fisher and Co. London. 1829. fusion. The whole party, as if under the influ

The title of this book denotes that it is no ence of some supernatural fervour, incontinently threw off the remaining articles of their apparel, ordinary performance, and we are naturally rushed amongst each other as if they were dis

led from its perusal to expect something 'tracted ; and vociferating that their god had been murdered by the Titans, threw themselves into out of the common way. In this we are lascivious postures, and practised the most abomi.

| not disappointed. It is controversial in nable filthiness.

u its character, fearless in its design, and "In the midst of all this confusion, a signal from the hieroplant-gave a sudilen turn to the masculine in its, execution. The author

2 tot de

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Review.--Triumphs of Scriptural and Rational Truth.

[ocr errors]

without ceremony, lays his hands on prin- force that to admit any thing to be true, ciples that have long been cherished by a which contradicts human reason, is to large body of professing Christians, and, if banish all ground of rational certainty from we admit his reasonings and conclusions, the world, and to subject the human mind pulls the lofty fabric about their ears, with to shackles from which there can be no less trouble than Samson carried off the way of escaping. Mr. Watson admits, gates of Gaza, and demolished the temple that “there is no passage which expressly of the Philistines ; and like him, burying asserts that the three divine persons are thousands in the overwhelming ruin. In one God (excepting 1 John v. 7. which every place, intrepidity and argument stare is generally given up,) and no passage us in the face. The language is bold and which in so many words states the union nervous ; uncompromising resolution is of two natures in one person in Christ.” visible in every sentence; the defenders From this admission, in connexion with of the principles opposed, are arraigned discarded reason, our author argues as fol under a presumptive evidence of delin-| lows. “Hence these important doctrines, quency, tried, found guilty, sentenced, and about which the Christian world has been dismissed, amidst the complacencies of con- | literally fighting for so many ages, are, quest and the triumphs of victory,

according to Mr. Watson, supported only This “triumph of scriptural and rational by the interpretation which human reason truth" is presented to the world "In a series puts upon the indirect evidence of scrip. of Letters addressed to the President of the ture, while he confesses that that evidence Wesleyan conference; to which is added directly contradicts the testimony and con. an expostulatory address to that conference viction of reason itself. Out of the mouth as a body;" and the whole is “respect of his own witness therefore, Mr. Watson fully dedicated to the clergy and ministers has elicited the condemnation of the orthoof the gospel of every denomination." doxy for which he contends.” p. 7.

In these letters, and in this address, the In Mr. Tucker's first letter, these hostile two individuals against whom Mr. Tucker sentiments of Dr. Clarke and Mr. Watson has chiefly levelled his artillery, are, the are further contrasted. This is done with Rev. Richard Watson, and Dr. Adam a design to show that both cannot possibly Clarke ; two distinguished ministers in the be true, and to obtain ground for arguing, Wesleyan connexion, who, it is well from Mr. Watson's own language, conduct, known, have entertained different opinions and principles, that what contradicts reason on some points of speculative theology. can never become a legitimate 'article of Dr. Clarke has asserted that “the doctrine belief. Having this in view, our author which cannot stand the test of a rational proceeds as follows:investigation cannot be true;" and, that "Without the testimony of our reason, we can

have no infallible evidence of the truth or false

hood of any portion of what has come down to doctrine that contradicts reason, though

us as a system of divine revelation, as corres be may safely, credit (in any thing that sponding with or differing from the well-known

attributes of the Deity; nor can revelation be concerns the nature of God) what is above

understood through any other medium; and if his reason, and even this may be a reason not understood, it cannot be believed."-p. 7. meminta perto why he should believe it." Mr. Watson,

“ What, I ask, but the judgment of Mr. Wat.

son's reason has induced him to violate bis own on the contrary, affirms, with equal confi

rule in the rejection of the literal and unreasondence, that “the doctrines of the Trinity in able meaning of John vi. 53. 4 Except gereat

the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood. Unity, and of the union of two natures in

ye have no life in you," and to assert that it one person in Christ, not only transcend, must be taken in a sense that does appear rea. but contradict human reason.” Availing

sonable? And yet, if he does not adopt the latter,

and by him prohibited mode of interpretation, himself of this dissonance, our author draws

he must be a rank papist. And by what other from it the following conclusion. “Thus authority than that of his discarded reason, does

Mr. W. judge and decide that the predestination are these two fundamental articles of that

so literally and pointedly asserted on behalf of faith, the orthodoxy of which, it appears, “ God's elect," in Rom, vili, 33 to 39, and Ephes. i.

5 to 11, must not be thus understood, but some has been consecrated and confirmed by the

other and more reasonable interpretation put upon united suffrages of many ages, placed in these passages ? And again, when our Lord jeopardy by the conflicting opinions of

literally recommends us to cut off our offending

right hand, and to pluck out our offending right these two leading and influential men in

eye, as the means of salvation, what authority the Wesleyan Methodist connexion.” p. 6. but that of reason, judging of the doctrine, On this controverted point, namely,

induces Mr. Watson to depart from the literal whether it is our duty to believe any thing I and to impose nnon them. fionratice

and to impose upon them a figurative and more that “not only transcends, but contradicts reasonable interpretation ?"-p.8. human reason," Mr. Tucker sides with . We have neither time, nor room, nor inDr. Clarke, and argues with considerable clination, to follow Mr. Tucker through the 653 Review. Triumphs of Scriptural and Rational Truth. 654 laborious process of his argumentation. The thing connected with the possible modes of preceding paragraphs will shew, the ground the Divine subsistence, the physical nature on which he takes his stand, and furnish of Christ, and on his incarnate character, fair specimens of his i mode of reasoning, and on every thing relating to the nature of and of his dexterity in handling the weapons | the human soul, and its union with the of the controversial field. On this point his body, similar questions may be proposed ; triumph is complete. The reasons assigned but these, though totally unanswerable by by Mr. Watson and others, why reason man, can never destroy or even invalidate should be discarded, furnish the most in the facts they were brought to disprove. dubitable proofs that we cannot do without His own theory is equally liable to bomits aid; and the efforts that are made to in- bardment from the same quarter, but nothing validate its testimony, only serve to prove decisive can be inferred from hence, that its importance, and our inability to proceed will amount to any thing more than clouds even a single step, unsanctioned by its of dust and smoke. authority, and unassisted by its dictates. But it is not against Mr. Watson alone . On the doctrine of the Trinity, which next that Mr. Tucker lifts his weapon; he brancomes under consideration, Mr. Tucker dishes it over the head of Di. Clarke with finds an ample field in which to expatiate. fearful menaces, and threatens castigation The doctrine, as it has been called, of the even where he inflicts no wound. On Eternal Sonship of Christ, but which might comparing various passages taken from with more propriety be denominated name- Dr. Clarke's Commentary, and other pubship,, he unequivocally explodes, pointing lications, he has found positions and expresout, with much force of argument and co- sions that seem to militate against each gency of reasoning, the absurdities which other; and on the inferences which he has the supposed fact involves. Against the drawn from the conflicting language, he dogmas of the Athanasian créed he erects | deals his blows with an unsparing hand. some formidable batteries, which shatter its | That Mr. Tucker possesses a gigantic outworks; and underneath its citadel he mind, no one who reads the publication springs his mines. We feel, however, at a before us can for a moment doubt. It is loss to comprehend why this is introduced equally obvious, that he can discerni, with on the present occasion, or why Mr. Watson an eagle eye, the vulnerable parts of the must be rendered amenable for all the para- doctrines and theories on which he lays doxes which it contains. We are not aware his unrelenting grasp. The atmosphere, that Mr. Watson has ever avowed himself however, with which he is surrounded, the champion of its intolerant peculiarities, sometimes appears insalubrious; and in or reiterated the anathemas with which it is proportion as this shall arrest attention, the guarded..Many embody in their creeds force of his reasoning, and the object of the belief of a Trinity in Unity, to whom his publication, will be defeated. * the dogmas of this ancient formulary ought From the President, to whom these letters not to be imputed. In this part of his | are addressed, it is not probable that any work we think the author has by no means reply will ever be elicited, nor is it likely been successful. ;

that the Wesleyan conference will deign to On the hypostatical union in the person notice the concluding expostulation. It of Christ, Mr. Tucker has advanced many may not, however, on this account be with strange positions. In attacking the senti out its influence through silent operation, ments of others, he appears more formidable With a formidable inspector 'marching in than in furnishing a substitute less assail- the rear of their proceedings, they may able. He can demolish with more dexterity learn a lesson of caution, and weigh with than he can build, and with more ease lead due deliberation the effects of their meahis forces to an attack, than establish forti- sures, before they introduce any innovafications that shall be invulnerable. Many tions, or enforce with coercion any thing a hand might demolish St. Paul's cathedral, that is not founded on the most unquestionwhich could not form one of its pillars. | able authority of the word of God.: ''s - During the progress of his work, the Events of recent occurrence in various author asks numerous questions on many quarters, are monitors that should not be important topics, to which, perhaps, no satis- disregarded. They furnish indications of factory answers can ever be given. This volcanic ground, and many have viewed may stagger, and confound some of his them as prognostics of a crisis we are unreaders ; but he must be well aware, that willing to anticipate. Vi While the results this foundation will never support a tria were lodged in futurity, few were disposed umphal arch. On every thing connected to predict that resistance would have the with Deity, infinity, and eternity, on every hardihood to defy authority. If this F

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

been foreseen, we feel persuaded that power of the mind, and the manner in which they would have chosen a less thorny path, and operate in relation to Christianity, with the investigation would have turned her face phrenological system, we can only view as towards another quarter. But although an attempt purely gratuitous.

! what is past cannot be recalled, those who The Second Essay proceeds much upon are interested in the portentous issue the same assumptions as the first. The should not forget, that what has already effects resulting from the operation of Chris' happened may again take place, and that tian principles upon the mental faculties we the same causes, still at work, may pro- can easily comprehend, except so far as duce similar effects; or, operating on a they are obscured by the nomenclature of more gigantic scale, may lead to a catas Gall and Spurzheim. . trophe more formidable in its nature, and The Third Essay certainly ranks the highmore disastrous in its consequences. est in our estimation. It contains many

nice, yet judicious, marks of discrimination

between the influence of genuine religion on Review.– Three Phrenological Essays : the mir

the mind, and mere animal excitement. 1. On Morality. 2. The Best Means

Outward devotion is justly delineated by its of obtaining Happiness. 3. On Vene

appropriate characteristics, which reach not ration. By John Epps, M.D. Lec

the heart, nor arise from propriety of motive turer on Materia Medica, Chemistry,

or purity of principle : while that which &c. &c. &c. 12mo. pp. 115. Simpkin.

emanates from the legitimate source of all London, 1829.

excellence supplies a power and an incen In this little work, the truth of phrenology is tive to action, which can no otherwise be assumed with nearly as much confidence as obtained. The former results from the if it had already taken its station among the operation of the mere animal faculties; but sciences, by the universal consent of man the latter calls into activity all the higher kind. Connected with this assumption, it energies of the soul. In this view, making “claims to itself the dignity of being that due allowance for the terms of designation, system which exhibits a true knowledge of this essay may be perused with much adthe human inind. Viewed as a science, it vantage by all who wish to know wherein embraces an acquaintance with the mental real religion differs from that which is nomipowers, their combinations, and the laws nal; and who are anxious to cherish a regulating their action; as an art, the prac. warmth of true religious feelings, without tice of ascertaining, by examination of the degenerating into enthusiasm and fanatihead, the powers of the mind, and the cism. means of improving the physical or material Throughout the whole we have uniformly constitution of the brain, and of the nervous observed, that the author has carefully avoidsystem.Preface. These, it must be con ed the dangerous undertaking of assigning fessed, are bold pretensions, in which it is cause and effect for the phenomena of mento be apprehended that the organ of pre- tal faculty and organic development. He sumption is more developed than that of merely notices the organs as indications modesty. .

of inward propensities, and turns immediIn the first of these Essays, the author ately to the moral advantages that may be moralizes upon the phrenological organs, gathered from this discovered association. and, with a little dexterity, contrives to Without attempting either to defend the arrange them under the banners of Chris- phrenological system, or to treat it with tianity, which we soon find is a system of contempt, it appears to have suffered no phrenology, only without the name. · No small injury from the zeal of its injudicious one, perhaps, will doubt that the faculties advocates; who, not satisfied with having which he enumerates, may reasonably be pointed out the organic indications which supposed to operate as he has described, they think they have discovered, proceed though we are rather at a loss to compre from these associations to trace the relation hend what advantage can be derived from of cause and effect. These attempts have the quaint and forensic terms by which subjected their system to many severe rethey are designated. Still less can we dis marks, which its most ardent admirers have cover the connexion which is presumed to never yet been able fairly to repel; and subsist between the mental faculty and the doubt, indecision, and scepticism have folexternal organ of development; and, for lowed as natural consequences. aught we perceive to the contrary, his book As containing three essays, which trace a would have been equally intelligible and relation between the mental faculties, moral instructive, if Phrenology had never been action, and the influence of religious prinborn, To identify, therefore, the faculties | ciple, this little volume is certainly entitled

« PreviousContinue »