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carrying us back to the plains of Shinar for the fountain-head of civilization and learning. We have already remarked that the Egyptians and Chinese do not date the period of authentic history back of B. C. 2350. And there remains yet, near five hundred years of this period not filled up by the monuments of Egypt; while an important conjunction of planets, which the Chinese historians place in the reign of their fifth monarch, Chuenhio, occurred, by the computation of Cassini, B. C. 2012. The Veda hymns are the most ancient of Indian remains, and these, according to astronomical data, furnished by a calendar preserved in them, cannot be more ancient than about B. C. 1400, in the present form; and there is internal evidence in the sacred calendar of the Egyptians, as delineated on the walls of the palace of Rameses-Meiamun, at Medinet-Habou, that the Canicular or Sothiac period of the Egyptians, by which the erratic and solar years ever harmonized, must have originated somewhere between B. C. 1400 and B. C. 1300.
There is not, therefore, any solid ground for that opinion of infidels and unbelieving Christians, which would antedate the Mosaic account of the dispersion of mankind by a thousand years; or which would assign to the several nations of antiquity, an independent origin. The argument, based upon the difference between the Chinese and other languages of Europe and Asia, to our mind proves nothing, for after careful examination and comparison, we are fully persuaded that there is not a primitive element of the Chinese that has not a corresponding root in Sanscrit or Hebrew, agreeing both in sound and sense; and, also, that the influence of the laws governing the derivation of ideas in those languages, may be clearly traced in the Chinese.
Another important thought suggested by this subject, is, that the first nations after the flood were not such ignorant barbarians as many would have us believe, destitute alike of science and the arts, useful and ornamental, but that, at the earliest period of which we have any knowledge of them, they had attained a high degree of perfection in both. The earliest palaces of Nineveh were never equaled in any subsequent age, and the magnificence of the earliest monuments of Egypt were never matched at any later period. No stronger confirmation of Holy Writ could have been furnished, than is afforded by these remains of antiquity. Where a superficial science had boasted of its ability to convict the Bible of inconsistency or falsehood, a deeper and truer science has been its protector and defender.
Without committing ourselves to every position of our au
thor, or assenting to every conclusion, we regard his book as a work of immense value, as the most important contribution that has been made to ancient history for a long time, and we cheerfully commend it to the attention of our readers. In its account of Assyrian arts, customs, manners, and indirectly of its history, it stands alone in the language; while its account of the Chaldean Christians is at once authentic and interesting,—its narrative of the Yezidis more reliable and satisfactory than any thing we have seen, and its picture of the customs and manners of the East, more true and faithful than most works devoted exclusively to the subject. It is no hasty sketch of the passing traveler, but the life-like picture of one who had entered into their feelings and sympathized in all their wants and wishes. An introductory note, by Rev. Dr. Robinson, is prefixed to the American edition, which points out some of the benefits which may be derived by these discoveries.
ART. VIII.-The Encyclical Letter of Pius IX. Gaeta, 1849.
MARIOLATRY, like Islamism, has its Hegira. Gaeta is henceforth its Medina al Nabi. From the accession of the present pontiff, there were symptoms of an important movement in Tridentine theology, under his counsel and patronage. As in rank ground, the seeds of plants lie buried for ages, till some disturbance in the soil causes them to sprout into wild luxuriance, so have the principles of this last development been long embedded in Romanism, and so have recent events disposed them to shoot forth. The apostacy of Newman and his sophistical argument for the "Deification of St. Mary," seem to have had a share in producing the ferment at Rome. What Newman talked, and Father Ventura preached, like a brace of fanatics, took the shape of sober learning in a disquisition concerning the conception of the Virgin, by Cardinal Perrone, of which even the title-page was designed as a feeler-an dogmatico decreto definiri potest. To feel a little closer, the Pope, to whom this essay was dedicated, published his acknowledgment to its author, thanking him extravagantly for the effort, and expressing his disposition to make the proposed decree, and elevate the doctrine into an Article of Faith. Simultaneously, in France, the organ of the Jesuits responded to the call from Rome, and undertook to gain such an expression from that quarter, as might help Infallibility to make up its mind. It was evident that ubiquitous Jesuitism was to stand sponsor for Christendom, and by lifting its own voice, in every place, was to give the semblance of universal suffrage to the proposal. This was all that was wanting to complete the Mariolatrous system of modern Rome, and we fear we might add, to perfect the apostacy of its representative head, the Roman Pontiff. An opined Assumption lacked but a defined and decreed Conception to make entire that "Deification of the Virgin," which among papists has become the grand idea of the Christian religion. And now that which was lacking has been virtually supplied. All but the decree itself has gone forth. Mariolatry has become a religion by itself, in circumstances quite striking enough to define an era, and to give it the title of the New Hegira.
Whatever may be the issue of that flight of Pio Nono from
Rome to Gaeta, it will be a memorable epoch forever. There are also some coincidences which invest it with ominous importance. On the 24th of November, A. D. 800, Charlemagne entered Rome in the midst of a great commotion, in which the pope had nearly lost his life, and introduced him to the basilica of St. Peter, with a grand Te Deum, amid the acclamations of the people. This was preliminary to the renewal of the Empire at Christmas, when the pope crowned him as the new Augustus, omni plebe adstante, and the Roman people vociferously shouted at the restoration of their ancient polity. It was on the same 24th of November, in 1848, that Pius Ninth fled from the Roman people, who had shed the blood of his chief minister, and were threatening his person, while they clamored for the renewal of the Republic. Hiding his tonsure under a peruke, and assuming the livery of a lacquey of the Bavarian Minister, this successor of Hildebrand and Charlemagne together, this democratic pretender to Universal Empire and the representative dignities of God himself, descended from the chambers of the Vatican, and mounting a coachman's box drove out of his capital:
Tum se ad Caïetæ recto fert litore portum.
Like Pius Æneas, came this Pius to Gaeta, and we must be pardoned for suggesting that like the original "bringer of gods to Latium," he appears to have been lately dismissed from the same Ivory gate:—
Altera, candenti perfecta nitens elephanto,
At Christmas, guns were fired in Rome, from the castle of St. Angelo, and the great bell of the Capitol tolled solemnly for his political demise. Being thus freed from the cares of State, and having nothing to do but to make the most of his spiritualities, he devotes himself, (bating some subsidiary intrigue with crowned heads,) to his darling Mariolatry, and takes the last measures preliminary to imposing upon the Church a fiction which the stoutest of his predecessors, for seven hundred years, has not ventured to elevate into an article of faith, nor even to define as a Catholic persuasion. That such a moment should have been chosen for so startling a development is significant of anything but self-respect, or confidence in pretended security. A bankrupt will often set up a coach on the eve of his ruin, who during his better days had been content to go afoot. The papacy in its imbecility and degradation, holding its hat to the Universe for eleemosynary pence, talks loudly, like any other proud beggar, of the
great things to which it has a claim, and the vast estates which, by good right, belong to it alone. The last of the Stuarts died in imaginary possession of all that the three crowns of Britain could bestow, and was laid in his grave with a tinsel diadem, and a pinchbeck George, and a painted garter, and all the show of royalty with which Rome could console a prodigal, for the husks which she gave him, instead of his fathers' bread. In the same manner the last of the popes buries himself at Gaeta, and while he reluctantly sees the rent shreds of his power torn from his grasp, still talks like Hildebrand, and sets foot again upon the necks of imaginary potentates, and a universe of fancied subjects and slaves. Nay, this time of his impotence, is the time to confer honors upon the "Queen of Angels," of which, for 1800 years, she has been wronged; to patronize, with the patent dignities of the Court of Gaeta, her who sits "enthroned above celestial choirs," and to do tardy justice to the doctrine which two hundred and fifty successors of St. Peter have died without confessing!
We have endeavored, in vain, to obtain from a Romish source, the original Latin of the celebrated Encyclical Letter of 1849, and therefore must content ourselves with borrowing a translation from one of our Church journals, which we have every reason to suppose correct, and which agrees with such extracts from the original, as we have seen elsewhere. We give it as follows:
TO OUR VENERABLE BRETHREN, THE PATRIARCHS, PRIMATES, ARCHBISHOPS, AND BISHOPS OF THE WHOLE CATHOLIC UNIVERSE.-The Pope Pius IX, to the Venerable Brethren. Apostolic Salutation and Benediction :
From the first days when, elevated, without any merit on our part, but by a secret design of Divine Providence, to the chair of the supreme Prince of the Apostles, we took in hand the helm of the entire Church, we were touched with a sovereign consolation, Venerable Brethren, when we learned in what marvelous manner, under the pontificate of our predecessor, Gregory XVI, of venerable memory, an ardent desire had been awakened, throughout the whole Catholic universe, to see it at last decreed by a solemn judgment of the Holy See, that the thrice Holy Mother of God, who is also the tender Mother of us all, the Immaculate Virgin Mary, was conceived without the original stain. This very pious desire is clearly and manifestly attested and demonstrated, by the incessant demands addressed both to our predecessor and to ourselves; and in which the most illustrious Prelates, the most venerable Canonical Chapters, the religious congregations, especially the distinguished order of the Preaching Brothers, have solicited with desire that they should be