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prove the correspondence of Caius Julius Cæsar, the first of the Roman emperors, with the same sign. The steps of his demonstration are first, the assumed etymologies of the names of that monarch and his parents, from which the allusion to his real astronomical import is clearly deduced; secondly, several coincidences of meaning between events in his life and the order andcircumstances of the sign of the Ram; and, thirdly, the facility of interpreting some predictions respecting him, especially the story of his assassination, and his dying exclamation to Brutus, by the supposition of an astronomical fact being thereby denoted! For similar reasons, and with like force, Augustus is there shewn to be Taurus; Tiberius, Gemini; Caligula, Cancer; Claudius, Leo; Nero, Virgo; Galba, Libra: Otho, Scorpio; Vitellius, Sagittarius; Vespasian, Capricorn; Titus, Aquarius; and Domitian, Pisces. We prefer for our specimens, the cases of Tiberius and Nero, which we shall give entire.
“Benjamin is described ravening as a wolf: if this alone would prove him to be the sign Gemini, we might apply, even with more propriety, this argument to identify Tiberius with the same sign.
"The word Tiberius is derived either from 28 a wolf, or 720, oμpaλos, the higher, or elevated part of the land, or the Zodiac; (vide the meaning of quṣuλos, Bryant's Analysis, Faber's Origin of Pagan Idolatry, &c. &c. &c.) or from 72, excellence, either of which will prove him to have been the sign Gemini.
"He was evidently a wolf to the Roman people. He might be called 2, from his unexpected elevation to the supreme power; that is, the Twins appear to have attained their greatest height in the summer solstice. He might be called & from the splendour of his station; the word appears to me to allude to the beauty, and splendour of the summer months. I incline to the first derivation, though it is not the most accurate; Suetonius represents Tiberias ravening as a wolf, in a fine strain of allegory.
"I was fearful of meeting with some difficulty in proving that one individual could be considered as a double constellation. This objection is removed by the recollection, that Tiberius is said to have reigned some years with Augustus, on which account they were partly united in the imaginations of the astronomers.' Pp. 73, 74.
"Sir William proves Naphthali to be the sign Virgo by a curious syllogism. A tree was represented by the Egyptians beside the sign Virgo. The words Naphthali is a hind let loose, he giveth goodly words,' our author conceives to be wrongly translated; and agrees with Bochart in rendering the passage, Naphthali is a tree shooting forth, producing goodly branches: from whence he argues that Virgo is a tree, and Naphthali is a tree, therefore valet consequentia.
"It is a peculiar excellence of Sir William Drummond's system, that it not only discovers new interpretations, but it makes those interpretations of general and useful application. In the passage before us, however, my hypothesis is equally confirmed by the old and new translation. We are informed, that Nero, in the beginning of his reign, gave many fair promises of future excellence. Like a tree which produces goodly branches, he gave expectations of fruit in its season: like a fair and beautiful hind, he excited admiration by the youth and beauty of his person; he gave goodly words to the soldiers and to the people, he wished to deserve, rather than to receive the praises of the senate, and regretted his ability of signing his name to a list of malefac
"The mysterious and enigmatical writers who have related these circumstances of Nero, proceed in the most strange and inconsistent manner to relate a pretended change of conduct. He is said to have become debauched and profligate; effeminate, cruel,
infamous, and lascivious, incurring the public hatred: the murderer of his mother, lis tutor, and his friends; and at length dying miserably in the gardens of Phaon. The whole of these Apocryphal stories are a collection of emblems, referring to astronomy, and identifying Nero with the sign Virgo.
Virgo once filled in the Zodiac the place which is now occupied by Libra. It was therefore the first of the descending signs. The ancients, as the arch Volney has demonstrated, considered the six last signs as the reign of Ahriman, winter, and desolation: and were accustomed to express their dread of the approaching dreariness, by every appellation of contempt and detestation. The change of seasons is imperceptible; and the hopes in which they indulged, that the sun, though he had begun to descend, would still continue his auspicious influences, prompted them to consider the commencement of his decline with complacency. Hence they represented in their histories the sign Virgo, as giving fair promises, which were never fulfilled; as a tree full of branches, but without fruit: as holding ears of corn in her hand to signify that the joy of harvest was past, though the harvest weather was not entirely gone by. When all these fair promises were disappointed, when storms and rain, and the melancholy changes of the season actually approached, they spoke of this sign in the most contemptuous language, as the murderess of a mother, and the enemy of mankind. The mysterious allusions of this part of the Roman history are thus fully developed. As the sign Virgo began with fine weather, and ended with storms, so Nero is typically described as commencing his career in virtue, and closing it in vice.
I could confirm this interpretation, by proving that Agrippina, Britannicus, Seneca, Lucan, and others, were Ammonian names, descriptive of the stars and constellations near Virgo: but I must proceed. I forgot to observe, that Nero is derived from the old word to divide; the Zodiac in the time of Nero being divided by Virgo." P. 89-94.
We have now endeavoured to give as plain and as popular an account of this ingenious little work, as its nature would admit; but we ought to remark, that its peculiar worth can be fully comprehended by those only who have some acquaintance with the languages to which it necessarily at times refers, and who are aware of the extravagancies to which etymological disquisitions are apt to be carried. In point of wit, its chief merit consists, we apprehend, in the first or general idea of the possibility of parodying the fantastic production of Sir William Drummond. We readily admit, however, that the argument is managed throughout with considerable dexterity, and that portions of it display a power and a facility of irony, which would not disgrace a page in the writings of Swift. The author, it is incumbent on us to add, seems to possess too much good sense and too great a regard to the solemn character of religion, not to be fully convinced that the cases are somewhat rare in which it is allowable to employ the sort of arguments in which he has indulged, for the defence of Christianity. He assigns reasons for his having recourse to it, which, for our own part, we conceive to be fectly justifiable. The reader may wish to see him in his serious mood, and, if we mistake not, will think he appears in it to great advantage, as, besides his liberal concessions to the character and attainments of Sir William Drummond, and his never deviating from the politeness of a gentleman, he manifests a decided and a warm affection for Revelation, which he very pro
perly considers as the true basis of social and personal happiness. It is no more than justice to quote his concluding reflections, which are no less important in their application than they are energetically delivered.
"All that is dear to man, every hope of happiness in this world, as well as in that which is to come, is derived from the literal interpretation of the text of Scripture. Shake but this foundation of our faith, and the whole fabric falls-man at once loses his strength and his support-misfortune has no refuge, sorrow no hope, affliction no friend-poverty has no consolation, and wealth no restraint-luxury may revel, passion indulge, profligacy reign uncontrolled, piety seek shelter in a mad-house, and pride alike forget God and despise man. Religion, that personal religion, I mean, which purifies the heart, and elevates the soul, becomes at once useless and ridiculous. The promises, the threatenings, the anticipations, and the precepts of Scripture, rest on no basis, and excite no longer either hope or fear.
• The wea
"Volumes might be filled with the detail of the fatal consequences to society, if the foundations of Christianity were thus removed; and in what terms ought the authors of so much misery to the whole race of man to be addressed? The use of strong language is deemed inconsistent with candour and liberality: we are not permitted, even by the very customs of society, to express the indignation which as Christians we must so deeply feel. If the friends of Revelation are clergymen, they are at once stigmatized as servile, interested, bigoted, venal, and suspicious advocates. pons,' says Sir William Drummond, with which they fight, are either borrowed from the armory of heaven, or forged in the fires of hell.' If the friends of Revelation are laymen, they are ignorant and incompetent. Are we grave, we are denominated dull. Are we serious and in earnest, we are declamatory and hypocritical. Have we recourse to argument, we are gravely told that our reasoning is antiquated, and our faith exploded. If we expostulate, we are pitied; if severe, we are uncharitable, uncandid, or prejudiced. Truth is to be found with none but the impartial, the wise, the learned infidel; with whom is neither sophistry, prejudice, nor contradiction. Instead of the Scriptures, we are presented with broken Zodiacs, and all the lumber of Eastern vanity; when we object to such a substitute, we are derided, insulted, and despised. You will not be surprised, then, that I have conde. scended to irony; that I have armed myself with that weapon which has been so long employed against the impregnable fortress of Christianity. I have pressed nonsensical reasonings to nonsensical conclusions. My object has been to shew, that the arguments of Sir William Drummond will apply with equal success to scripture and to history: I have chosen the ex-absurdo method of proving my position-it appeared to be alike necessary, justifiable, and conclusive: it has enabled me to expose the danger and folly of resting any system on coincidence, that fruitful parent of palmistry, physiognomy, craniology, astrology, and every other absurdity which has amused or astonished the world." Pp. 141-144.
It may be thought, perhaps, that we have in our introductory remarks departed from the province of fair criticism, by assigning evil motives to the learned author whose work has called forth this amusing production; and that we have still farther transgressed, by calling up a departed shade in order to abuse it. Our answer is short, and we conceive perfectly conclusive. The publication of Mr. Townsend, which we esteemed too meritorious to be allowed to escape our notice, necessarily induced us to characterize the production to which it was intended to serve as an antidote; and we found it impossible to discharge this part of our duty, without forming and stating our judgment as to the probable object which Sir William Drum
mond had in view. This we do not hesitate to affirm could not have been any thing else than the weakening the authority and the value of our religion, by explaining away, or absolutely stultifying, one of the sacred foundations on which it rests. No man of sense, we are confident, can read his book without perceiving, that if the opinion which it broaches were true, the writings of the Old Testament, in the first instance, and eventually those of the New, could necessarily be proved to be unworthy of any veneration save what their antiquity would naturally create in the most dissolute mind; and, on the other hand, we deem it equally clear, that the individual who, for any purpose whatever, used such arguments and expressions as Sir William has used, would not scruple to push his inventions to the very acme of their import. Have we then been either unjust or unnecessarily severe?
ART. IV. Remarks on Scepticism, especially as it is connected with the Subjects of Organization and Life, being an answer to the Views of M. Bichat, Sir T. C. Morgan, and Mr. Lawrence, upon these points. By the Rev. THOMAS RENNELL, A.M. Vicar of Kensington, and Christian Advocate in the University of Cambridge. London. Rivingtons. Pp. 141.
HERE is much absolute merit in this pamphlet. This we say solely of its qualities as a literary composition-the soundness of its logic-and the general acuteness of intellect which it displays. In all other respects, our praise of it must be unqualified. The moral and religious principles which pervade it, are of the most pure and most rational and therefore of the most excellent kind. The opinions against which it is directed are indeed of such a sort, that a very satisfactory refutation of them might be wrought out by any man of ordinary intellect― for we can think no better of them than as of the most common and obvious errors which the youngest proficients in the intellectual sciences can correct. It may therefore be thought that it is no great exploit for a man of such standing as Mr. Rennell to have beat down the advocates of such doctrines. The wonder is, not that they have been refuted, but that they have really been seriously avowed.
Such would be the first impression on the mind of every sound philosopher on the subject of this pamphlet. But there are
other considerations of vast importance in estimating the merit of such a work. It is true, that to every man of an enlightened mind, the attempt to revive such opinions may seem almost too absurd and contemptible to deserve any new refutation. But the effect upon the public is not to be judged on such grounds. The scepticisin or infidelity which is founded on the doctrine of a material and perishable soul, is too much calculated to delude the great body of narrow and superficial inquirers. When the doctrine is professed by a man of some reputation in any branch of science, it will more easily pass current under the sanction of his name. For though this be a very enlightened age, there are very few who form their opinions on so abstruse a subject from their own reasonings or inquiries; so they take up opinions at second hand, and, as it is always necessary to suppose that a great deal is true which is vouched by the authority of a distinguished name, by the most common error in reasoning, that name which is the highest authority in one branch of science, is taken to be a high authority in all. Thus, great weight is given to a system of metaphysics propounded by some eminent physician; and a physiologist of high reputation, most thoroughly skilled in all the functions of the human body, appears to the vulgar as entitled to equal authority when he writes to prove the mortality of the human soul. It is therefore a great benefit
to the public when the errors which are diffused from such quarters are thoroughly exposed.
Mr. Rennell then did well to undertake this work; and he has executed it in a manner the most serviceable to the public, and the most honourable to his own reputation. He has not merely given an answer to the strange views of M. Bichat and his disciples, but has accompanied it with many most excellent observations on the general causes of scepticism and infidelity. It may be thought that there is not much room for originality on that subject: nevertheless, the manner of Mr. Rennell's pamphlet is so very judicious--the observations are often so acute, and always so accurate the reasoning is so correct-the reproof so temperate and so just-and the principles of morality and religion are so sound, that we cannot but look upon the whole production as one of signal merit. That which has struck us most, is the great temperance and moderation with which he has treated his adversaries, considering, that to every learned and enlightened man, there must appear to be so much palpable ignorance -so much inaccurate and inconclusive reasoning in what they have advanced, that it would not be very easy to withhold all expressions of indignation and contempt. Mr. Rennell has the great merit of abstaining from all such; and has throughout