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came to the conclusion that “a closer connection must have formerly existed among the nations of the East, when they were yet united by the same worship.” The Hindoo soldiers who accompanied him were filled with awe and amazement. They believed themselves to be in the presence of their own ancient deities, and were indignant at the neglect into which their worship had fallen. They exclaimed: “Surely Hindoos must have lived in this country!" Some thought the wonderful edifice might have been built by Rakshasas, or Evil Spirits; that being the usual account given of Buddhist temples by the Bramins.
The ancient Egyptian temples were always of solid massive stone, without cement, and enclosed by thick walls. In time of war they were used as fortifications, and places of refuge for the inhabitants. Vestiges of tanks, or ponds, for ablution, are generally found near them, and many of them have deep sockets, apparently used for flags on festival occasions. The entrance was a porch in form of a truncated pyramid, very grand and massive. Through this they passed into an open court surrounded with columns, with partition walls about half of their height. This outer court was probably intended for the people, where they might see the ceremonies and processions from a certain distance. Next to this came a portico, supported by rows of immense pillars. Through this they passed into vast saloons, three or four in succession, supposed to be intended for the religious processions and ceremonies which are pictured on the walls. At the extremity was a niche of granite or porphyry. This was the sanctuary, approached by none but the priests. Sometimes it contained the statue of the deity to whom the temple was dedicated; sometimes an image of the Bull, Apis, or some other sacred animal; sometimes the Oracle Ship of Amun, in its shrine. In the great temples this Sacred Ship was often very magnificent. Sesostris presented one to the temple of Amun at Thebes, made of cedar, the inside lined with silver, and the outside covered with gold. Sometimes the sanctuary contained a shrine or Ark, surmounted by a small image overshadowed with wings; sometimes the wings of Isis, sometimes of the Goddess of Truth, sometimes of the sacred bird Ibis. On each side of the saloons were corridors, which led into apartments where the priests lived. The walls, columns, and ceilings, were covered with sculpture. The capitals of the pillars were generally composed of native plants; Lotus leaves, and Palm branches, arranged in endless variety. The figures on the walls were usually in bold relief, representing deities and their worshippers engaged in some religious ceremony. Near them were long explanatory inscriptions in hieroglyphics. All these sculptures were painted yellow, red, blue, green, and white. The colour of each deity, and of every other object, was established by rules, which admitted of no deviation. Denon says: “An Egyptian temple is, as it were, an open book, where science unfolds, where morality teaches, where the useful arts are set forth. Everything seems to speak; all seems animated, and all in the same spirit. The doorposts, the most secret corners, give a lesson, or a rule; and the whole is in most wonderful harmony."
The Oracle Ship in its shrine, or the Ark overshadowed with wings, occur very frequently in all the sculptured representations of religious ceremonies. Sometimes the king is kneeling before it at his devotions; sometimes he is coming toward it with an offering of frankincense. More frequently the priests carry it resting on long poles, supported by their shoulders. They are followed by bands of men and women, dancing, singing, playing on musical instruments, and clapping their hands in cadence, as they approach the temple. Everywhere are emblems to remind the traveller of similar buildings on the banks of the Ganges. The beautiful water-lily called Lotus is represented in every stage of growth. Deities are seated on a Lotus, crowned with Lotus, and carry a Lotus stem for a sceptre. In both countries it was an emblem of the generative power, and of the creation of the world from water. Serpents are winding about the ceilings, or interwoven in rings, to represent vast astronomical cycles. There are serpents with the heads of deities, and serpents with the legs of human beings; serpents winged, and serpents crowned. In both countries, this creature was the symbol of wisdom and immortality. Three was a mystical and significant number, and the Triangle is found in all their sacred places. Perhaps its three sides were a type of their Divine Triad, or Trinity, consisting of the masculine principle of the universe, the feminine principle, and the offspring, or result, of the two. The Emblem of Life, so often found on Egyptian monuments, is explained by Sir J. G. Wilkinson as the union of the perpendicular line and the horizontal line, already mentioned as in use among Hindoos; one being a representative of the masculine emblem of generation, the other of the feminine; both together signifying the reproduction of life, or birth. It is surmounted by a ring, which is sometimes formed of eggs. This cross of Hermes, as it is called, is in various ways connected with the hieroglyphics of the planets, and is everywhere placed in the hands of deities, especially of Osiris. The sculptures often represent them offering it, with a cornucopia of fruit and grain, to kings at their inauguration ; perhaps to signify the bestowal of abundant harvests, numerous flocks, and many children. It was generally worn by the devout, and was considered an amulet of great virtue, a protection from Evil Spirits. When this Cross was twined with a Serpent, it was the emblem of Immortal Life. The Mundane Egg occurs often among the sculptures; and so does an Eye to represent the all-seeing Osiris, and the Sun. There are apes and dwarfs looking pigmy and strange in the presence of colossal companions. The mysterious emblem called the Sphinx was much more frequently introduced in Egypt than in India. It is supposed to have been a royal emblem, manifesting their ideas of what a king ought to be. It bad a lion's body with a man's head, or a ram's head; perhaps to signify the union of physical strength with
intellect in one case, and with innocence in the other.
In these antique records of deceased generations, the greatest discords occur, as they do everywhere else in the manifestations of our unharmonized nature. There are deities serenely majestic, and in their sublime presence priests are kneeling before a monkey or a beetle. In one place are pleasing pictures of domestic life, men, women, and children with countenances innocent and mild; in another are heaps of human hands and ears cut from enemies in battle. Sometimes a man is represented kneeling, with his hands bound, while a priest points a knife to his throat. Sometimes there are men with knives thrust through their foreheads, or with heads flying from their shoulders. These may signify the execution of criminals, or the immolation of human victims. Such sacrifices were offered in ancient times. The priest examined the victim and put his seal upon him, as he did to animals intended for the altar. It is said the custom was abolished in Upper Egypt before the time of Moses; but it remained in other parts of the empire till the time of Amasis, who reigned five or six hundred years before the Christian era. He ordained that wax images should be substituted for human beings.
Long pilgrimages to holy places were considered efficacious for the expiation of sin; but there are no records of such self-tortures as are practised by Hindoo derotees. Philostratus, a Greek writer, about two hundred years after Christ, describes an association of men who lived in a grove not far from the Nile. He calls them Gymnoso phists, which means naked philosophers. Perhaps they discarded clothing in sign of superior sanctity and indifference to the world. He says they worshipped the god of the Nile, and believed in the immortality of the soul. Each one lived by himself, and studied and sacrifical apart; but they sometimes met together in assemblies. If a man at Memphis had by any chance killed another, be was exiled till these Gymnosophists had absolved him br ceremonies of purification.
The laws of caste appear to have been less rigid in Egypt than in Hindostan. Solomon, though a foreigner, married a daughter of one of their kings; a degree of toleration which perhaps originated in the fact that Egyptians and Jews were both circumcised nations. The condition of women in Egypt was prodigiously in advance of their enslaved sisters in Hindostan. It was customary to marry but one wife. Trade was carried on by women. The sculptures represent them buying and selling in the markets, and meeting with men at feasts, apparently on terms of equality. When kings died without sons, daughters succeeded to the throne; and in some of the sculptured processions, queens take precedence of kings.
When Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, three hundred and thirty-two years before Christ, he founded a new city, and gave it his own name, Alexandria. Among its many splendid edifices for worship, the most magnificent was dedicated to Serapis, tutelary deity of the city. Sesostris, after his return from extensive conquests, is said to have introduced into Egypt the worship of this new god. It has been conjectured that he was the emblem of Pantheism, combining in himself the attributes of all the gods, and therefore considered by Sesostris a desirable point of unity for many nations, with distinct religions, all under the control of his government. For the same reason he was a peculiarly appropriate deity to preside over the great commercial city of Alexandria, where worshippers of various gods were wont to congregate. That he represented all things seems to be implied by the fact that his image was made of all metals fused together, and inlaid with all sorts of precious stones. A great variety of emblems were connected with the figure. A huge serpent entwined the whole, and rested his head in the hand of the gud. When Nicocreon, king of Cyprus, inquired who Serapis was, the god replied, through the voice of his oracle: "My head is heaven, my ears the air, my eyes the sunlight, my belly the sea, and my feet the earth.” Severe penalties were incurred by any one who ventured to say Serapis had ever been incarnated in a human form. This