A Miracle in Stone: The Great Pyramid, by Joesph A. Seiss, , at sacred-texts.com
As a sequel to the preceding lectures, it may be proper, and may give satisfaction to many readers, to present the opinions and statements of some others, in their own words, with regard to this interesting subject. A few such extracts are accordingly inserted here by way of appendix.
REV. JOSEPH TAYLOR GOODSIR, F.R.S.E.
"I believe that several important things fully warrant us in maintaining that there was, when the Great Pyramid was builded, and that there is now, a very sufficient final cause for the rearing of such a scientific symbol as it has the best claim to be considered. The urgency of this final cause may be seen to have been great at first, because in spite of all that had occurred at Babel, the two chief nations of earliest antiquity, Chaldea and Egypt, had determinedly adopted sabaism as their worship, either by itself or mixed with other superstitions; and secondly, it is great in these times when a lamentable number doubt or avowedly disbelieve, and even laugh at, that Biblical record to which the world owes its present freedom from sabaism and innumerable other evils, and when many would ask us to take Lucretius as our Bible, and a Lucretius, too, expurgated even of the pagan's allusion to a remote region in which he allowed there might be gods, but gods who cared not for man or his affairs.
"At the earlier of the two periods referred to, the Great Pyramid, possessing the character proven to belong to it,
would act as a standard protest against sabaism and other idolatries, and also against the injustice which invariably asserts predominance over the mass of mankind, when they enlist themselves in the service of falsehood. Certain scientific and physical conditions required that the magnificent protesting fabric should be placed in Egypt rather than in Babylonia, the seat of the undivided sway of sabaism. But there is no reason to believe that intercourse between the primeval nations was so limited that the religious and moral lessons intended to be taught by the chief wonder of the world at that time could not reach from Egypt to Babylon. Doubtless it would be treated by the followers of sabaism in Babylon just as it appears to have been by those in Egypt. That is to say, there would be continuance in sabaism in Babylon just as there was in Egypt after the strong hands of the royal builder, who trod under his feet Egyptian gods, were powerless in death. At the same time the Egyptians would appear to have retained and handed down a partial knowledge of the true character of the pyramid, until it became gradually obscured, and was at last quite lost. But amongst the worshippers of the Lord God the knowledge of its true character was long preserved, as would appear from the symbolic use of it made in the Book of Job, and elsewhere in Scripture. The traditional knowledge of it, or of the science symbolized by it, preserved among the people of God, was one means we believe of saving them from that worship of the sun, moon, and stars which Job declared to deserve, even on its first appearance, death at the hands of the magistrate. And I may state that for my own part I trace the fountain of physical knowledge which was opened by God for primeval man, and which was symbolized by the Great Pyramid, certain approaches made by some Greek philosophers to some cosmical views deemed to belong purely to modern times. These philosophers themselves ascribe their knowledge of these things to Eastern and Egyptian sources. Thus, Thales held all things to have originated in a fluid
substance; Lucippus, the earliest Greek teacher of the atomic theory, held, as Aristotle tells us Pythagoras did, that the heavenly bodies revolve about each other, committing the error indeed of making the sun revolve about the moon, but still teaching truly that the earth revolves about the sun, and also about its own axis, by which last the alternation of day and night is caused. It appears to me that what is true in this early astronomical view is so far removed from the obvious and common conception of the subject, as to warrant the idea that the erroneous portion of the statement was mans corruption of the pure primeval knowledge symbolized by the Great Pyramid, for this among other reasons, that it might show us in these last days how God supplied physical knowledge to primeval man that he might be warned against such monstrous superstitions as sabaism, and that the possession of a measure of such knowledge might preserve his true worshippers from many destructive errors.
"But again, this primeval monument, after the lapse of more than four millenniums since its construction, is sub-serving at this very day most important purposes as respects wisdom and knowledge. The gradual disclosure of its scientific mysteries is a result in a great measure of the partial dilapidation it has suffered, especially during the times of the barbarous Mohammedan rule. The number and importance of the lessons which its disclosed mystery teaches is indeed very striking. Thus it testifies to the state of the stellar heavens at the time of its building, and teaches at the same time its own age. It helps also to determine the date of the flood, and to give consistency to the chronology and history of diluvian and post-diluvian times. It testifies to the importance of the exact and of the physical sciences—terrestrial and cosmical—not merely from the utilitarian, but from the religious point of view. It shows that some unidolatrous men possessed extraordinary knowledge in these sciences just when the whole world was going widely astray in the worship of sun, moon
and stars, and it thus seals, as with a divine impress left on adamantine materials, the truth that sound science is not only a handmaid but a defender of sound religion. Moreover, it shows the symbols of just weights builded into a most durable repertory, as they were afterwards laid up in the temple of Jerusalem, at the very time when a brutal tyranny was gradually overspreading the idolatrous world, which may be said to have had its chief seats in Egypt, and in Babel, the capitol of Nimrod, that mighty hunter before the Lord—a tyranny which, instead of revering a justice determined scientifically according to the measures and weights employed by Opifex Mundi himself when he 'fetched a compass round the universe,' and 'weighed the hills in a balance,' despised all justice, and crushed the body of mankind down into beasts of burden.
"Such are the things taught us at this day by the Great Pyramid, as there are noble men of science sufficiently animated with Christian truthfulness and courage manfully to proclaim. We thus see a united science, righteousness, and religion testifying from the Great Pyramid with a reawakened mien, just as they were intended to do more than four thousand years ago. The oldest and noblest building is thus seen to be at one in testimony and in spirit with the oldest and noblest book. God is making that great name for himself, I believe, by the Great Pyramid at this day, which the builders of the tower of Babel sought to make for themselves. If there be any truth in the opinion of those who believe that they can point to some of the remains of the tower of Babel, then these now present only a mass of rubbish, blasted and vitrified by the wrathful fires of heaven, though the chief part of the buildings has undoubtedly sunk out of human sight into the soft alluvial soil on which they were so unwisely erected. Their only lesson is that of desolation wrought by a just divine vengeance, and the shortcomings of human ideas. The Great Pyramid, on the other hand, is lasting as the hills, even as the rocky hill on which it is so securely
founded, while the very denudations it has experienced by the torrents of barbarism rather than of the elements, have only furthered God's plan of making it his witness to scientific truth in its relations with justice and religion in these last days.
"Putting together then the various things we have insisted on, I ask whether it is after all so wild and chimerical an idea that God should have stirred up, in the primeval age of the world, men who knew him, and who inherited or had imparted to them a divinely taught science to construct this greatest of all builded monument? Is not this rather the rational view to take of it? here, for one thing, is a scientific symbol, as measurements, calculations, and reasonings of an incontrovertible kind prove it to be. This matter stands on its own basis. Again, Scripture contains a number of allusions and symbolic expressions which find no object so exactly and completely suitable as this confessed 'wonder' of the ancient world. This also stands on its own basis. Still further, some such sufficient reason as the symbolism of the Great Pyramid presents is required to account for the wise and sensible views of the Cosmos entertained by the true worshippers of God from the earliest ages. This is certainly a consideration of weight not easily cast aside. In this last consideration is also seen one part of the final cause for the construction of a symbol like the Great Pyramid shortly after the arrangement of the building of the tower of Babel, while another portion of this final ca use is seen in the inestimable benefits, historical, economic, moral, and religious, conferred on us by the scientific character of the Great Pyramid at this day.
"Here, then, are four firmly grounded, quite independent reasons, which unite in supporting the beautiful and no less valuable theory as to the divine authorship of the Great Pyramid. We can discern clearly in our subject also the illustration and confirmation of this grand moral truth: Man's ambitions and wicked designs for making a name to himself, as a power without God, are invariably blasted
and end in shame, but God's works endure and testify to the glory of that name which will outlast the sun, moon, and stars."—Seven Homilies on Ethnic Inspiration, 1871, pp. 59-64.
J. RALSTON SKINNER.
"To a mind unbiassed by the prepossession of a theory, the assertion that the Great Pyramid of Egypt was built to perpetuate a series of measures, astronomical and otherwise, and to contain a mathematical and geometrical system of calculation and admeasurement, cannot be received with incredulity. . . .
"As to the objects of its construction, one may be taken as astronomical, for the facts that the north base side coincides with the parallel of 30° north latitude, and that the mass, as to its sides, evidenced by its corner socket lines, is oriented as perfectly as could be expected of human ability. Another may be taken as geometrical, as it was so built that its height should be to one-half its circumference as diameter to circumference of a circle. . . .
"Hence it exhibits itself as one not only monumenting a method of quadrature, the elements of which we possess, but also a measure of the sun's time, and also the inch and foot values.. . .
"This measure is just that one that, with the ancients, seems to have stamped the whole system as natural or divine, i.e., showing that man was but dealing in measures in some sort, shadowing forth mechanical principles of construction, which it had pleased the Creator of all things to adopt as the law of creation.
"The original (ideal) pyramid, whence the real pyramid of the Nile springs, is directly constructed from the original elements of relation of diameter to circumference of a circle. This is circular elements one. On the lines of this original pyramid springs another, whose elements are circle two. Out of the elements two another set of elements is obtainable, governing the interior work of the pyramid
proper; these elements are those of circle three. (Problems given in detail.)
"These are the circles whence the complete pyramid, as to its outside and as to its inside, is fitly framed and put together, giving the measures of the heavens and the earth.
"While the triangle represents the pyramid, the triangle and circle represent the elements from which the plane measure of the square of the base of the pyramid is derived. . . .
"The author believes it to be shown that the elements of construction of the pyramid, and their use, agreeably to the intention of the architect, have been proved, and that these are shown to be used as the foundation of the Bible structure from the first chapter of Genesis to the closing scenes of the New Testament.
"But while these elements are rational and scientific, and in the Bible rationally and scientifically used, let no man consider that with this discovery comes a cutting off of the spirituality of the Bible intention, or of man's relation to this spiritual foundation. No house was ever actually built with tangible material until first the architectural design of building had been accomplished, no matter whether the structure was palace or hovel. So with these elements and numbers. They are not of man, nor are they of his invention. They have been revealed to him to the extent of his ability to realize a system which is the creative system of the eternal God, open at all times to man for his advance into its knowledge, just in the measure of his application and brain ability, free to all as is the water we drink and the air we breathe. But spiritually to man the value of this matter is, that he can actually in contemplation bridge over all material construction of the Cosmos, and pass into the very thought and mind of God, to the extent of recognizing this system of design for cosmic creation—yea, even before the words went forth, Let there be! It is the realization of the existence and mental workings
of the Divine Mind, by means of the little primal cube and its circle, which to us are tangible realities, and goes to prove to man that his soul lives, and will continue to live, and thus he may take little heed for his body, which is, however exquisitely constructed, but a mask dulling the finer power of his mental whole.
"The best and most authentic vehicle of communication from God to man, though many exist, is to be found in the Hebrew Bible, the preservation of which in its exactitudes can only be ascribed to a spiritual supervision. A like preservation of a real monument of the practical application of the Bible secret stands to-day on the banks of the Nile."—Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery in the Source of Measures, 1875.
CHARLES CASEY, ESQ.
"It is unnecessary to multiply Eastern authority for the sacred and scientific character of the Pyramid as opposing and superior to the Western belief in the tombic theory, which, however, naturally arose and was confirmed by the erroneous conclusion that the use and character of the primary pyramid might be truly predicated from the unquestionable tombic pyramids of a later date. It strikes the writer that as far as argument goes touching the features claimed for the building, it would make no difference whatever if a massive mural tablet had been found set in the masonry of the exterior, a lid found on the Coffer, a mummy of Cheops in it, etc., etc., as the fact would still remain, that the mausoleum (if you will) and sarcophagus (if so insisted) were designed by an architect who embodied in their construction all the primary truths claimed and verified, while still leaving them suited to secondary and inferior uses, just as the Royal Scytale of the Spartan kings, while essential to translating a decree on which hung the fate of nations, might serve to be used for any secondary purpose.
"Therefore, the real and only question is, Whether the
[paragraph continues] Great Pyramid does or does not contain the metric features claimed for it? If it does, there remains no doubt that the architect who embodied the truths exhibited must have been superhumanly inspired, as in the age in which he lived no such knowledge existed among men [except from Revelation]. If it does not contain those metric features, demonstrative refutation is within reach of line and rule, and the Pyramid stands to be questioned of and reply for itself to all gainsayers.
"To those who reply, 'We admit the measures, but we deny the conclusions drawn from them,' the answer is, that if the measures, as in the instance of the base side length giving the length of the solar tropical year, exhibited but one instance of preconceived design, it might be said that such coincidence was accidental, but when a concatenated chain of design is shown of the highest order of scientific knowledge, the denial of such design in the mind of the architect is of that class which refutes itself by the absurdity of its assertion.
"Every dispassionate reader who has paid due attention to the argument advanced must be impressed with the conviction that in this our day and generation, no more important question or discovery has arisen or been made than the character and revelation of this Sethic monument, the Great Pyramid, in, but not of, Egypt."—Philitis, or the Solution of the Mystery, 1876, pp. 36, 37.
"When so many evidences of the scientific knowledge of the founders of the Great Pyramid present themselves, these facts cannot be disregarded. The difficulty may be great in supposing a people to have been in existence at that early period, who were capable of executing a work of so vast a magnitude on purely scientific principles, but is it not also probable, that to some individuals God may have given the knowledge, even at that early age of the world, for which we are now contending? How could Noah have built the
ark if he had not been divinely instructed as to its fabrication? And might he not have been equally instructed in the knowledge requisite to form the Great Pyramid? Both these wonderful works are based on measure, and the latter structure shows a knowledge of those measures which were in use before the flood, as well as of those which were afterwards established, implying therefore an acquaintance with antediluvian things. How could the Arabian numerals, and the knowledge by which they were so arranged as to increase tenfold in power by change of position, have been discovered so soon after the deluge, if the same system had not existed before, or if divine assistance had not been granted at so early a period after that event? Even after these figures had once been known, the majority of mankind for at least three thousand years remained ignorant of their use, and never again hit upon the arrangement as a discovery.
"Moses, we are told, was admonished of God when he was about to make the Tabernacle, which was to serve as the example and shadow of heavenly things, 'for see, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the Mount.' There is an orginality in the character of these early revelations, which shows them to have had a higher source than that of man's present intelligence, great as it may seem. Our modern discoveries are rather inferential, consisting chiefly in the application to things known to purposes previously unknown. Of this kind is the invention of the art of printing. I would not detract from the importance of modern discoveries, but I think they seem to benefit mankind less than the communication of the art of ship-building, of the Arabian system of enumeration, of geometry, or the means of measuring the earth, and of the art of alphabetic writing:
"In regard to the Great Pyramid, it was the happy discovery of the two casing stones, when all were thought to
be destroyed, which at once changed conjecture into certainty. We now probably know all that we shall ever know respecting the origin and purpose of the Great Pyramid, and all that we require to know. We now find that all the seemingly different measures, when properly understood, are equal to each other, and mean the same thing. By the knowledge derived from the angle of the casing stones, and the length of the base of the Great Pyramid, all those measures of proportion which seem arbitrary in the Table of Constants, are found to be no longer so. The measures of the earth are no less certainly established.
"When we find in so complicated a series of figures as that which the measures of the Great Pyramid and of the earth require for their expression, round numbers present themselves, or such as leave no remainder, we may be sure we have arrived at primitive measures."—The Great Pyramid, Why was it Built? and Who Built It? 1864.
PIAZZI SMYTH, F.R.S.E., F.R.A.S.
ASTRONOMER ROYAL FOR SCOTLAND.
"What then is, or is to be, the end or use for which the Great Pyramid was built?
"The manner of that end appears—on putting facts together—to have been, to subserve in the fifth thousand of years of its existence certain preordained intentions of God's will in the government of this world of man.
"I presume not to speak to any other than such parts of the building as have already practically developed themselves. Herein, too, enough seems now to have shone forth to enable any one to state roundly that the message wherefor the Great Pyramid was built is largely of a duplicate character, or thus:
"(A) To convey a new proof to men in the present age as to the existence of the personal God of Scripture, and of his actual supranatural interferences in patriarchal times with. the physical and otherwise only natural experience
of men upon earth. Or to prove in spite, and yet by means, of modern science, which in too many cases denies miracles, the actual occurrence of an ancient miracle, and if of one, the possibility of all miracles recorded in the Scriptures.
"(B) In fulfilment of the first prophecy of Genesis, which teaches, together with all the prophets, that of the seed of the woman without the man, a truly Divine Saviour of mankind was to arise and appear amongst men, in poverty, too, and humility; in further fulfilment thereof, the Great Pyramid was to prove that precisely as that coming was a real historical event, and took place at a definite and long-preordained date, so his second coming, when he shall descend as the. Lord from heaven, with the view of reigning over all mankind, and ruling them all with one divine sceptre, and under one all-just, beneficent, omnipotent sway, that that great event will likewise be historical, and will take place at a definite and also a primevally prearranged date.
"Now let us look a little closer into the first of these.
"It would seem to be, that an omniscient mind which foresaw in the beginning the whole history of the world under man (especially the widespread science knowledge of our day), ordained that the message, arguments, proofs of the Great Pyramid should not be expressed in letters of any written language whatever, whether living or dead, but in terms of scientific facts, or features amenable to nothing but science, i.e., a medium for the communication of ideas to be humanly known and interpretable only in the latter day.
"Not in the day of the Great Pyramid at all, but rather since the revival of learning in Europe, no pure mathematical question has taken such extensive hold on the human mind as 'the squaring of the circle., Quite right that it should be so, for a time at least, seeing that it is the basis alike of practical mathematics or high astronomy. That quantity under the form of π proportion, given in almost
every text-book of mathematics to more decimal places than there is any practical occasion for, having been ascertained for one hundred or more years, men might rest content and go on to other subjects. But numbers of them do not and will not. Hardly a year passes but some new squarer of the circle appears, generally a self-educated man. But occasionally the most highly educated university mathematicians also enter the field, and bring out perchance some new algebraic series by which a more rapid conveyance to the true numbers of π may be obtained. That numerical expression is shown on all hands and in all countries to be one of the most wonderful lasting characteristics and necessary results of the growth of science for all kinds and degrees of intellectual man, and in an increasing proportion as they arrive at a high state of civilization, material progress, and practical development.
"Is it not then a little strange that the first aspect which catches the eye of a scientific man looking with science and power at the ancient Great Pyramid, is that its entire mass in its every separate particle, all goes to make up one grand and particular mathematical figure expressing the true value of π? If this was accident, it was a very rare accident, for none of the other thirty-seven known pyramids of Egypt contain it. But it was not accident in the Great Pyramid, for the minuter details of its interior, as shown, signally confirm the grand outlines of the exterior, and show again and again those peculiar proportions, both for line and area, which emphatically make the Great Pyramid to be, as to shape, a π-shaped and a π-memorializing pyramid,—the earliest demonstration known of the numerical value of that particular form of squaring the circle which men are still trying their hands and heads upon.
"Again, in physics, as a further scientific advance on the foundations of pure mathematics, is there any question so replete with interest to all human kind as what supports the earth, when as Job truly remarked, it is hung from
nothing, suspended over empty space, and yet does not fall? As it regularly revolves around a bright central orb, and in such a manner as to obtain therefrom light and heat suitable to man, and day and night, what is the nature of that path which it so describes, and what is the distance of the physical life luminary round which it now revolves? As in squaring the circle, so in measuring the distance of the earth's central sun, both learned and unlearned have been working at the question for twenty-three hundred years, and are still employing themselves upon it. Nothing that nations can do is thought too much to devote to this question of questions in physics for the future behoof of a world grown scientific. Yet there is the numerical expression for that cosmical quantity nailed to the mast of the Great Pyramid from the earliest ages, for it is its mast or vertical height multiplied by its own factor, the ninth power of ten, which is the length all modern men are seeking, and struggling, and dying in order to get a tolerably close approach to the arithmetical figure of. And this accurate sun distance at the Pyramid is accompanied by an exhibition of the space travelled over during a whole circle of the earth's revolution, and the time in which it is performed.
"And if from solar system quantities we turn to matters of our own planet world in itself alone,—does not every inhabitant thereof yearn to known its size, and yet was not that impossible to all men of all the early ages to attain with any exactness? But precisely that thing which all mankind from the creation up to the day of Job had not accomplished, and had no idea or power how to set about to perform it, and did not make even any rude attempts in that direction during the following twenty-five hundred years—though they do know it now with tolerable accuracy—was not only well known to the author of the design of the Great Pyramid, but was there employed as that most useful standard in terms of which the base side length is laid out, or with accurate decimal reference to the earth's peculiar figure, its polar compression, the amount thereof,
and the most perfect method of preserving the record for all men. Who but the Lord could have done that wonder above man's power then to do? Who, indeed, but the God of Israel could have performed this last-mentioned still greater wonder than any mere linear measure, so far as its exceeding difficulty to men even in the present scientific generation is concerned, and could have actually introduced into the King's Chamber Coffer, and the said chamber itself, an expression for the next most important quality after size, of the earthball we live upon—viz., its 'mean density,' besides expressing in the base diagonals of the Pyramid the enormous cycle of years composing the earth's disturbed rotation or precession period of the equinoxes?
"Yet, with all this amount of science brought before us out of the Great Pyramid, yea, even with all this quintessence of scientific results, let us not be run away with by the notion of some, that to teach science was the beginning and end for which that building was erected. . . .
"The second part of the end wherefor the Great Pyramid was built, I have already said, appears to begin somewhat thus, viz., to show the reality and the settled as well as long preordained times and seasons for each of the two comings of Christ,—both for that one which has been (eighteen hundred and seventy-seven years ago), under whose then commenced spiritual dispensation we are still living, and also for that other one in kingly glory and power which is yet to beam upon us.
"When that second coining has been appointed to take place must be a most momentous question, and it is one to which I can only reply, that so far as the Great Pyramid seems to indicate at present in the Grand Gallery, the existing Christian dispensation must first close in some manner or degree, the saints be removed, and a period of trouble and darkness commence, for how long it is difficult to say, seeing that the scale of a pyramid inch to a year appears to change there. Very long the time can hardly be, if the pyramid standards of the metrology of that universal
kingdom, the only successful universal kingdom that there ever will be on earth, the kingdom of the Lord Christ, are already beginning to appear from out of the place of security where they were deposited in the beginning of the world."—Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, 1874, pp. 463-479.
J. G., IN EDINBURGH EVENING COURANT, MAY 9th, 1868.
"In our opinion the idea of a Divine interposition in the planning and construction of the Great Pyramid, when closely contemplated as springing from all the facts and relations of the case, is perfectly rational and credible in the estimation of a rightly instructed mind. Rightly instructed mind, we say, for a man may be mighty in 'midden' philosophy, and ignorant as a child in that great mother science of catholic and revealed theology, based on the grand design argument uttered by the Cosmos, on the wide testimony of universal history and tradition, and on that testimony of human nature to religion which is so inextinguishable that it drives the very atheistic positivists into that ineffably sad idolatry of humanity itself. It is on this grand testimony that the astronomer royal for Scotland builds, and we rejoice to be of one mind with him. And this, not because we think the truth of religion, as the grandest historical element, is dependent on the truth of the theory as to the Great Pyramid, but because the principles involved in the full argumentation of this theory are among the principles of catholic theology according to our description of it, and accordingly, whether the case of the Great Pyramid be one to which these principles are rightly applied or not, the principles themselves dare not be pooh-poohed. The self-called 'advanced thinkers' of the archæological schools may scout them, but we hold, on the universal testimony of sacred and profane history, that man's story does not take its rise in a dunghill. Our creed in this matter is that blessed belief handed down in Scripture, and chanted by
the grand choir of historians and poets. The theory of the Pyramid, too, falls in completely with the grand strain. It points, on the ground of remarkable facts and coincidences, to the Great Pyramid as an instance of those divine interpositions which are known on the testimony of Scripture, corroborated by tradition, to have been made as occasion called for them, during the infant ages of the world.
"Moreover, the Great Pyramid, viewed in the light of this theory, is seen to be a peculiar one among other elements of prophecy, cast by Divine Providence as seed on the waters among the nations, to ripen in due time and serve most beneficent ends in the appointed season.
"There existed in the religious books of the ancient Persians, undoubted prophetic and apocalyptic elements, which certainly contributed along with other elements in the Magian system to form that character which fitted Cyrus and his Persians to punish the grossly idolatrous Babylonians, and free Gods ancient people. Again, if ever there was a clear case of divine interposition of the more ordinary kind employed for great moral and religious ends, it may be seen in the moral and religious revival, such as it was, that took its rise in pagan Greece in the person of Socrates, and all that sprang from the influence, example, and teaching cast into society by that noble martyr. Still again, it is a matter of notoriety that the Romans treasured in the Capitol certain Sibylline books, that can be shown not to have been favorable to polytheism, still less to pantheism, and that they not only fell in remarkably in certain prophetic statements with the Hebrew Scriptures, but influenced the conduct of leading Romans themselves. All these we devoutly believe to have been arranged and provided by God, even as we know from history that they formed powerful elements in forces that moved the cardinal events in human history. And is any one so blind as not to see that we live in times as momentous as any since those of the flood, excepting those years when the Lord of Glory himself dwelt upon earth? For how many are ready to
shout Ío Pæan! in the vain hope that at last the 'vile superstition,' as they call it, taught in the holy Scriptures, and so marvellously supported, is doomed to a speedy extinction? Others are busily helping on this sure consummation, as they believe it, by advancing and fostering a strange philosophy, which (whatever lip worship some of its sects may pay to revelation, yet in reality) takes man up at first as an ape-descended animal, reared in barbarism, and destined in the end (so far as their philosophy can show) only to make manure for the soil he sprang from.
"When forced to hearken to such degrading opinions, is it not a boon to be thankful for, when there is presented to our contemplation a most noble builded work, which proves how far removed from savageism its architects were, at a period when history and tradition alike testify that man and the world had just emerged from an awful catastrophe? For in saying this we stand well supported, and defy any one to disprove on the only valid and allowable ground—that of universal history and catholic theology—the reasonableness and credibility of God's interfering to instruct and guide an architect, who knew and worshipped him, in the rearing of a grand symbolic building, suited according to divine foreknowledge, at least to stagger, and suggest wiser views to, certain of the 'advanced thinkers,' and rather too pensive a priori philosophers, of these latter days."—Reprinted in Antiquity of Intellectual Man, 1868, pp. 476-485.