Page images
PDF
EPUB

the influence of the cool breezes and pure water flowing from the fountains, the plague was stayed. The place where Dionusos thus saved his army from the plague was called Meros. Hence the Greeks have a tradition respecting Dionusos, that he was nourished in the thigh (urpos).* In addition to these things, he imparted to the Indians a knowledge of the cultivation of fruits, and gave them the invention of the wine, and other things useful to life. He founded cities and villages in healthy places, taught the people to worship the gods, and gave them laws. He established justice among them, and by his favors merited the appellation of a deity, and obtained divine honors. They add that a great number of women accompanied his army, . . . and that at last he died an old man, having reigned over all India fifty-two years.” (Diod. ii. xxvii.)

M. Page 280.

CHINESE THEOLOGY.

THE following extracts from an able article, entitled 6. The Chinese on the Plains of Shinar, or a Connection established between the Chinese and all other Nations, through their Theology,” by the Rev. T. M'Clatchie, M. A., missionary to the Chinese from the Church Mis

* " Zeus, or, according to others, Hermes (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1137), saved the child (Dionusos) from the flames. It was sewed up in the thigh of Zeus, and thus came to maturity.” — Smith's Dict., article Dionusos, p. 1046.)

The coincidence in, or rather the sameness of, the name of the place where Dionusos saved his army, with that of the famous sacred mountain of the Hindus, Meru, is truly remarkable.

sionary Society, * are directly to my purpose, as connecting the Chinese in their origin with other nations, especially with the Hindus.

In his prefatory remarks, the author makes the two following general declarations : "1. The chief god of every pagan system, without exception, is designated · Mind' (Novs, or Mens); 2. This chief god, whose body is the universe, triplicates, and also divides into eight portions in each system.” — p. 369.

He then gives numerous extracts from various Chinese writers, and the Greek and Roman classics, showing the resemblances between the theology of the Chinese and that of other nations. These resemblances are perhaps sometimes a little fanciful, while they are often striking and convincing, especially in reference to the Triads and Ogdoads. And in the doctrine of Shang-ti, — Deity, the Soul of the World, and Mind, — there is a remarkable identity with the pantheism of the Hindus and more western nations of antiquity. The author claims for the outlines of these doctrines a common origin on the plain of Shinar, before the ancestors of these nations separated from each other, after the confusion of tongues.

The following sentences indicate remarkable coincidences :

- The first man was Pwan-kou. ...

“ Thus we have in this family of the first man (Pwan-kou, and his hermaphrodite successors) in reality eight persons, viz.,' Pwan-kou, or Shang-ti, or Mind, the Great Father, his wife, three sons, and their three wives; and these eight individuals issue

* In the Journal of the Royal As. Soc. of Great Britain and Ireland, vol. xvi. pp. 368-435.)

forth from chaos, or the ovum mundi, and correspond to the prominent characters in the family of Adam.

“Shang-ti is also Fuh-hi.

“It is plain, from what has been already stated, that the first man in his human form is in reality but a reappearance of a former first man, viz., animated Chaos; and between these two individuals intervenes a universal deluge, from which the second first man (if I may so designate him) escapes. Now, this first man, who escapes the deluge, and reappears at the commencement of each new world, is Fuh-hi, e. g. :

“Fuh-hi is the first (who appears) at each opening and spreading out (of the universe.)' Sing-le, etc., xxvi. 19.)”

" This Fuh-hi, who is but a reappearance of Pwan-kou, or Adam, escapes from the deluge with seven companions, 'and hence, in this material system of the universe, is not only divided into three, but also into eight. .

" Here we have a family of eight persons, who issue from the sacred circle, viz., Shang-ti, or Fuh-hi, his wife, and their six children. These six children'we find, on reference to the Yihking, vol. xii. chap. xvii. p. 18, are three sons and three daughters; and these brothers, uniting in marriage with their three sisters, complete the universe.

“In this Fuh-hi and his family, then, we have the prominent characters in Noah's family, who escaped from a general deluge, which destroyed the rest of the human race.

"By the constant succession of similar worlds, the two periods of the world's history, viz., Chaos (or creation) and the deluge are blended together, and consequently the families of Pwan-kou (or Adam) and Fuh-hi (or Noah) are also blended together, the latter being merely a reappearance of the former. i . (ii. 9.) ." As the deluge occupies so prominent a position in Chinese cosmogony, the first man, or Shang-ti, is rather Fuh-hi than Pwan-kou; yet it is plain that the former is only a reappearance of the latter, or, in other words, the Chinese classical Shang-ti is the same being as the “Great Father,' worshiped by the whole

pagan world, under the different designations of Jupiter, Baal, Osiris, Brahm, &c., Adam reappearing in Noak.

** The above system of theology will be found, on examination, to correspond with remarkable accuracy to the general system adopted by the subjects of Nimrod's kingdom before their dispersion, and which was afterward carried by them into the various countries where they settled.

* The Yih-king is the Chinese authority on cosmogony, and the doctrines of the Chinese philosophers are derived from this source. The doctrine of the endless succession of worlds, as drawn from ancient classics, by Choo-foo-tsze (ii. 1), has striking points of resemblance to that taught by the Stoics. Choo-tsye attributes the destruction of each universe to the degeneracy of the kuman race, and also states that each return to chaos is caused by a general deluge.

* These rounds of nature are designated “Great Revolutions,' or + Years' of the world. The circle in which the universe is supposed to revolve is divided into twelve portions. — Pp. 404, 405

** Each complete revolution of this circle is called a Yuen, and each subdivision a Hwny. A Hwuy is generally supposed to consist of 10,800 years. On this point, however, pbilosophers differ. In the first Hwuy, which answers to the Fuh diagram of the Yih-king, Heaven (Shang-ti) emerges from the ovum mundi, or chaos; in the second, Earth; in the third, Man – each world commencing with this triad. The deluge prevails during the twelfth and last Hwuy, - that is, the ninth period from the formation of the first man,* - and on the return to the firs!

• Or the textk, including the period of the first man. Noah was the tenth generation from the first, or Adam; and can there be a reasonable doubt but that the name mentioned in the next sentence of the inventor of the cycle of sixty is that of the patriarch of the Hebrew Scriptures? Let it be noted how the word

Y resembles the Greek dier, to which it corresponds in meaning

Hwuy, the universe is again generated from chaos, as before. The cycle, which is formed by the combination of this circle with another of ten divisions, is said to have been invented by .Naou the Great, after the deluge. - See Kae-peik-yeu-e, vol. i. pp. 1, 2; also Kang-keen, etc., p. 11."

[blocks in formation]

The following remarks of the translator of Dr. Keller's work are worthy of notice:

“With respect to the name and ethnographical determination of the people who lived partly in lake dwellings and partly on the main land, and who at first made use of stone implenients, and consequently are considered as aborigines, any one who has a fancy may object to their having any relationship with the Celtic element, and attribute to them a Finnish or Iberian origin, or connect them with the race of men discovered by Boucher de Perthes. Thus far it is certain that they do not differ in the smallest degree, either in their abilities, their manner of life, or their industrial attainments, from the people who were provided with metals, but that in the whole phenomena of lake dwellings, from their very beginning to the end of their existence, a gradual, quiet, peaceful development may be observed.

“ From what has been said, it appears certain that there is no foundation for the hypothesis that the inhabitants of the lake dwellings are to be separated into distinct races, because, in the earliest times, they had no metal instruments, and in later times they possessed them. Nothing can be more true than the remark of Lindenschmidt respecting such suppositions as to the change of nationalities, based simply on a difference in implements. “The simple exchange of material,' he says, 'the transition from

« PreviousContinue »