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lofty propylon towers at its front; and when entered opened on the right and left of the spectator, to an extent altogether of three hundred and twenty-nine feet, with one hundred and seventy feet in his front: directly before him was the avenue here presented, consisting of twelve columns, each
column twelve feet in diameter and sixty-six high, without including the base and capital,—with these, ninety feet in height. On the right and left were two hundred and two other columns, each nine feet in diameter, and forty-one feet nine inches high, not including base and capital. All the
central columns yet remain, and of the others one hundred and two are standing; and says Lepsius, “It is impossible to describe the overwhelming impression which is experienced upon entering for the first time into this forest of columns and wandering from one range into another, between lofty figures of gods and kings on every side, represented on them, projecting sometimes entirely, sometimes only in part. Every surface is covered with various sculptures, now in relief, now sunk, which were, however, only completed under the successors of the builder; most of them indeed by his son, Ramses Miamun.”
Advancing across this magnificent hall, we come next to another propylon or gateway, formed by two lofty towers; then to where was another court, in which were two obelisks—one of them yet standing, the other prostrate; then by another propylon, now in ruins, to another court, where stands an obelisk ninety-two feet high and eight feet square at its base,—its companion prostrate by its side; next to other propylon towers; then to another court; then another court; then a granite gateway; and then another broad area which led to the holy place; beyond which the ruins of sacred buildings extend to the eastward over a space even greater than that by which we have yet come. “All these vast courts and areas, obelisks, towers and halls,” says a traveller, “are, or were, surrounded with columns, sphinxes and statues, and every stone is covered with carving and brilliantly painted. Not only was the temple colossal in its proportions, but it was gorgeous beyond all description in its furniture and adornments.” The extent of the holy place, with its approaches, is estimated by Lepsius at two thousand feet.
It may be well, in order to show the full magnificence of this Egyptian worship and its adornments, to add that the successor of Sethos I., in the time of Moses, placed before this hall of columns, and, as an entrance to it, another hall two hundred and seventy-five by three hundred and thirty feet, with a corridor on each side and a double row of columns across the centre; and that this was approached from the river by a long avenue of sphinxes of colossal size, facing each other. Amenophis III., the Pharaoh immediately preceding Horus I., had also connected his palace at Luxor with the temple of Chunsu at Karnak, by a double row of beautifully sculptured colossal Ammonsphinxes int sandstone (having the body of a lion and the head of a ram), this avenue being above a mile in length. Rosselini counted them for two hundred and forty paces, and found sixty on each side. This in a mile would make five hundred on each side. That sovereign seems to have constructed also at Thebes an avenue lined with colossal sitting statues of the lion or cat-headed goddess; and the ground in this region is covered with fragments of sphinxes, on which the name of Amenophis may be read, some of them having a human face. There has never been a religion in which such refinements of mysticisms have been, combined with such a wonderful architectural impressiveness as in that of Egypt.
MO-USES—"SAVED FROM WATER.” M HE close of the last chapter will show the grandeur and
1 gorgeousness of idolatrous worship, and the nature of the influences to which the mother of Moses had to surrender her child, when, in due time, he was sent for and taken to the palace by the daughter of the king. The mother gave him up with many tears, and doubtless also with many
prayers; and then retired to her lowly home with corroding apprehensions that he was probably lost to her and to God. He was adopted as a son by the princess, Thermuthis by name, and was installed into the luxuries of the Egyptian court amid its marble halls, its gorgeous draperies, its sculptured gods, and the servility and flattery of its attending servants, all of whom were of the nobles of the land. It was indeed a place adapted to enchant and win the heart of the Hebrew boy. In costume and manners he soon could not be distinguished from the Egyptians themselves.
Lock of hair worn by
Head-dress of an Egyptian
According to our computation, Moses was born about the fourth year of the reign of Sethos I.; and at the death of that monarch he was about eight years of age. The successor on the throne was Ramesses II., surnamed “the Great," whose rule of sixty-six years is considered the most splendid in the Egyptian annals, although it was the most oppressive of all to his subjects, and was especially so to the Hebrews.
But the Hebrew child in the palace had little consciousness of changes without, sheltered as he was, and petted by the princess and attendants, and under such sunshine of royal favor unfolding constantly in additional beauty and strength. The new monarch soon entered upon a brilliant career of foreign conquests; and then after his return, commenced those architectural designs which have filled all
1 Josephus, II. 9, 5.
Egypt with splendid halls and temples ; the enslaved Israelites meanwhile sinking lower and lower in degradation, and groaning in the abjectness of utmost misery; and the royal protegé, Mo-uses, the “saved from water,” every day becoming more a favorite, as he grew into being a bright, happy lad, making the home of his foster-mother lively through his enjoyment of his young life. Soon, however, as he grew older, he commenced taking cognizance of the realities around him; and then the iron began to enter into his soul. People and events were assuming their true character before him : doubts, disgusts, horror swept in succession through him, and at last he felt that such a life as his was a mockery and a disgrace. All this came upon him by degrees, but yet fearful was the awaking from his child-dream; for the heart at that age is more keenly sensitive than afterward, when we learn to harden or control our natures.
During this time the boy, and then as he grew, the man, was initiated into the Egyptian learning, of which he finally gained the complete mastery ;' and in this at least had something to drive away bitter thoughts.
The Egyptian learning was vast, and very often profound. We have a notice of their forty-two Hermetic books, described to us by Clemens Alexandrinus from genuine ancient authority; and we learn that of these, ten treated of the laws and the gods, namely, of the highest theological education, which embraced at once divine and human laws and philosophy; ten were liturgical, about sacrifices, hymns, prayers, processions, feasts &c.; fourteen were on the exact sciences, which were also indispensable to the priests. Of these fourteen, ten embraced the science of writing and drawing, and also all that fell within the department of the measurement of space and of geometry, commencing with cosmography, universal geography, the
1 See Acts vii. 20.