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A Miracle in Stone: The Great Pyramid, by Joesph A. Seiss, [1877], at

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  As wards, who long suppose
    All that they spend to be
    Their guardian's liberality,
  Not what inheritance bestows,
Their thanks to others ignorantly pay
             For that which they
  At last perceive to be their own,
To their rich ancestors obliged alone;—
  So we vainly thought
    Ourselves to Greece much bound
    For arts which we have found
  To be from higher ages brought,
By their as well as our forefathers taught.
               Gale's "Court of the Gentiles."

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Lecture First


NE of the ablest of England's Egyptological writers has said that Egypt is the anomaly of the earth's present surface. The very adaptations and adjustments of the air and solar distances, by which vegetable life is sustained in other countries, here give place to another code, framed expressly for the Nile. The same may be said of it with regard to its place in history. It has always been somewhat aside from the general current of affairs, having its own unique constitution and life, and yet closely related to all civilized humanity. Through whatever path, sacred or profane, we propose to go back to the beginnings, Egypt is never entirely out of view. Closely secluded from

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all the rest of the world—the Japan of the ages—it still lies at the gateway of the traditions of Judea, Greece and Rome; intermingles with all the Divine administrations, and connects, in one way or another, with some of the most famous names and events in the annals of time.

It is a land which has been reclaimed and created by the Nile, that "High Priest of streams,"

                      Whose waves have cast
More riches round them, as the current rolled
Through many climes its solitary flood,
Than if they surged with gold.

[paragraph continues] The shoreline, around the several mouths of this mysterious river, describes a large semicircle, to which the emptying streams run out like the ribs of a spread fan, or like so many spokes of a wheel. The centre of this arc is the first rocky elevation on the south, about ten miles west of Cairo. And, strange to say, that centre is artificially and indelibly marked by a massive stone structure, of almost solid cyclopean masonry, of a form found in no other country, and at once the largest and oldest building now standing on the face of the earth. This hoary monumental pile is The Great Pyramid of Gizeh, of which it is my purpose to present some account.

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In order to aid the mind by means of the eye, I have caused a diagram of the Great Pyramid to be prepared, which, if first carefully examined, will materially contribute to a clear understanding of what is to be said. A few explanations may be necessary, and hence are here given.

The large square, marked by heavy black lines, indicates the base of the edifice, which covers about thirteen acres of ground, equal to about four ordinary blocks of our city, including their streets. The darkened triangular mass represents the body of the pyramid, showing the slopes of the sides as they rise to a point at the summit. The lines on the outside mark the original size, as covered with polished casing-stones, all of which have been quarried off by the Moslems, to build and ornament the mosques and houses of Cairo, or to be burnt for lime. About thirty feet of the original edifice has also disappeared from the top, leaving perhaps twenty-four feet square of level space, from which the strongest man cannot throw a stone, or shoot an arrow, far enough to fall clear of the base. Even with so much of the summit gone, it is still more than double the height of

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the highest steeple or tower in Philadelphia, and higher than the highest known steeple or tower in the world.

The elevation shows the pyramid cut in half, from north to south, in order to give a view of the interior. As here seen, the spectator is looking from east to west. There are no known openings but those which appear in these open and unshaded spaces. The dark square toward the top (U) indicates an imaginary room which is believed to exist, but not yet discovered.

The only entrance into the edifice, as left by the builders, is that low and narrow square tube, which begins high up on the north side, and runs obliquely down to an unfinished room in the solid rock, about one hundred feet below the levelled surface on which the pyramid stands. The size of this entrance passage is not quite four feet high, and a little over three feet five inches wide. A man needs to stoop considerably to pass through it, and to take heed to his steps on account of the steep incline, originally finished as smooth as a slate, from top to bottom.

The first upward passage is directly over the entrance-tube, and is of the same general size and character. It follows the same direction

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from north to south, and conducts to a high, long and beautifully finished opening, whose floor-line is continuous with the passage of ascent to it. This is the Grand Gallery, twenty-eight feet high, each of whose sides is built of seven courses of overlapping stones. It is covered by thirty-six large stones stretching across the top. It is a little over eighteen hundred and eighty-two inches long, and suddenly terminates against an end wall, which leans inward. The further opening is low and small again, leading into a sort of narrow anteroom, in which a double and heavy granite block hangs from grooves in the side walls.

Then follows another low entrance leading into what is called the King's Chamber, the highest and largest known room in the edifice. In this chamber stands the only article of furniture in the pyramid, the celebrated granite Coffer. Above this room are shown what are called the chambers of construction, indicating how the builders arranged to keep the weight of the superincumbent mass from crushing in the ceiling of the King's Chamber, which ceiling consists of nine powerful blocks of granite, stretching from one side to the other. The dark or crossed shadings about this chamber indicate the stones to be granite, all the rest of the building not so marked is of light

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limestone. This room is an oblong square, four hundred and twelve inches long, two hundred and six broad and two hundred and thirty high. It is ventilated by two tubes, running from it to the outer surface.

Directly under the Grand Gallery, and running in the same direction from north to south, is a horizontal passage, which starts on a level with the entrance into the Grand Gallery, and leads to what is called the Queen's Chamber. The floor of this room, if floor it may be called, measures two hundred and five by two hundred and twenty-six inches, and stands on the twenty-fifth course of masonry, as the King's Chamber stands on the fiftieth course. It has a pointed arch ceiling. Though excellently finished, this room has neither ornament nor furniture. There is a line marked evenly around its sides at the height of the passage of entrance, and a remarkable niche in its east wall, the top of which is twenty-five inches across and twenty-five inches south from the vertical centre of the wall into which it is cut. This room also has two tubes leading from it, only recently discovered, which the builders left concealed by a thin scale over each. They are cut regularly, and approach inward through the walls to within one inch of the inner surface, which was left as though

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no such openings existed back of it. Whether these tubes extend to the outer surface has not been ascertained.

Nearly three feet from the beginning of the Grand Gallery, on the west side, is a torn and ragged opening, in which is the gaping mouth of a strange well, running irregularly and somewhat tortuously down through the masonry and original rock, till it strikes the main entrance a short way above the subterranean chamber. Nearly half the way down it expands into a rough grotto or wide bulge in the opening, making a large irregular subterranean bowl.

Below the entrance passage, and a little to the west of it, the dark and rugged opening shown represents the hole made by one of the Mohammedan caliphs, about A.D. 825, who thus cut into the pyramid in search of treasures, not knowing that there was an open passage not far above.

The small black squares represented at the corners of the base indicate the peculiar sockets, cut eight inches into the living rock, into which the foundation corner-stones were set. These are characteristics of the Great Pyramid, in which it differs from all others, and are of special value, in the present ruinous condition

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of the edifice, in ascertaining the exact original corners and the precise lengths of the sides.

The encompassing circle, drawn to the radius of the pyramid's height, indicates the mathematical idea to which the whole building is constructed; the length of the four sides of the square base being the same as the circumference described by a sphere, of which the vertical height is the radius. It shows the edifice in that remarkable feature, to wit, a practical squaring of the circle.

The smaller pyramids below represent the next in size and age to the Great Pyramid. They are introduced for no other purpose than to show the difference of interior between them and it; on which difference an argument is founded to prove them mere ignorant imitations of the Great Pyramid, and not at all to be classed with it in intellectuality and design.

The hieroglyphics are reproductions of the cartouches of the two kings, Shufu and Nem-Shufu, who occupied the throne at the time the Great Pyramid was built. They were discovered by Colonel Howard Vyse, in 1837, roughly painted on the undressed sides of the stones in the upper chambers of construction, which were never opened until he forced a way up to them.

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There is no known time within our historic periods when this pyramid was not famous. Herodotus, the so-called Father of History, as early as 445 B.C., made a personal examination of it, and devoted some most interesting paragraphs to it. It was then already considered very ancient. Traditional accounts of its erection he gathered through an interpreter from an Egyptian priest, and these he has recorded with much particularity. His own appreciation of the structure, and of the causeway over which the materials were conveyed, was that of wonder and admiration. *

Homer does not seem to make any allusion to it, perhaps for the reason that it had no connection with mythology, or with any of his heroes.

Eratosthenes (236 B.C.), Diodorus Siculus (60 B.C.), and Strabo and Pliny (about the beginning of our era), all wrote of it. The latter, in referring to the Pyramids, also says, "The authors who have written upon them are Herodotus, Euhemerus, Durius Samius, Aristagoras, Dionysius, Artemedorus, Alexander,

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[paragraph continues] Polyhistor, Butorides, Autisthenes, Demetrius, Demoteles, and Apion." *

But though the Great Pyramid has been standing in its place for 4000 years, it is only within a very recent period that there has been any rational appreciation of it. For 3000 years of its existence, up to the time of the mediæval Caliph Al Mamoun, no mortal man, perhaps, ever penetrated into its upper passages and main openings. Certainly, for many centuries before him, it was completely closed up, no entrance to it being known any more to any human being.

This son of Haroun Al Raschid of the "Arabian Nights," flattered and almost worshipped as a god, was so wrought upon by the romancers and fabulists of his court that he was led to believe the Great Pyramid crowded full of precious treasures. All the dazzling riches, jewels, medicines, charms, and sciences of Sheddad Ben Ad, the Mussulman's great antediluvian king of the earth, were made to glitter before the avaricious fancy of Al Mamoun. He therefore set his hosts at work to quarry out an opening into the wonderful treasure-house, full of astonishing riches indeed,

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but not of the sort of which he was dreaming.

With the crude instruments and poor knowledge which his hordes possessed, it proved no easy task to cut through that grand masonry. Again and again the thing was pronounced impossible. But Mohammedan fanaticism and tyranny proved equal to the undertaking; not, however, without straining everything to the very utmost, and Al Mamoun's own power to the point of revolution. The excavation was driven in full one hundred feet, with everything solid up to that point. Having expended all this labor to no effect, all further effort was about to be abandoned, when a singular, perhaps providential, occurrence served to reanimate exertion. The sound of a falling stone in some open space not far beyond them was heard, which incited them to dig and bore on, till presently they broke through into the regular passage-way. They struck this tube just where the first ascending passage forks off from the descending one. The stone which had fallen was one which hung in the top of the entrance passage, quite concealing the fact of another and upward way. But the newly uncovered passage they found stopped by a heavy stone portcullis, fitted into it from

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above as tight as a cork in the mouth of a bottle. It was impossible to remove it. It remains there still. Al Mamoun caused his men to dig and blast around it. But even beyond the portcullis, the whole passage was filled up with great stones from top to bottom. Removing one, the next slid down in its place; and so another and another, each of which was removed, till at length the entire upward avenue was freed from obstructions. Up went the bearded crew, shouting the name of Allah, in full confidence that the promised treasures were now within their grasp. "Up," as Prof. Smyth describes it, "up no less than one hundred and ten feet of the steep incline, crouched hands and knees and chin together, through a passage of royally polished limestone, but only forty-seven inches high and forty-one broad, they had painfully to crawl, with their torches burning low." Thence they emerged into the Grand Gallery, long and tall, seven times as high as the passage through which they came, empty, however, and darker than night. Still the way was narrow and steep, only six feet wide at any point, and contracted to three at the floor, though too high for the power of their smoky lights to illuminate. Up and up the smooth and long ascending floor-line the marauders pushed

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their slippery and doubtful way, till near the end of the Grand Gallery. Then they clambered over a three-foot step; then bowed their heads beneath a low doorway, bounded on all sides with awful blocks of frowning red granite; and then leaped without further hindrance into the Grand Chamber, the first to enter since the Great Pyramid was built. *

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A noble chamber did these maddened Moslems also find it, clean and garnished, every surface of polished red granite, and everything indicative of master builders. But the coveted gold and treasures were not there. Nothing was there but black and solemn emptiness. There stood a solitary stone chest, indeed, fashioned out of a single block, polished within and without, and sonorous as a bell, but open, lidless, and empty as the space around it. The caliph was astounded. His quarriers muttered their anathemas over their deception into such enormous, unrequited, and fruitless labors. Nor could Al Mamoun quiet the outbreaking indignation toward him and his courtiers, except by one of those saintly frauds in which Mohammedanism is so facile. He commanded the discontents to go dig at a spot which he indicated, where they soon came upon a sum of gold, exactly equal to the wages claimed for their work, which gold he had himself secretly deposited at the place. When it was found, he could not repress his astonishment that those mighty kings before the flood were so full of inspiration as to be able to count so

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truly what it would cost in Arab labor to break open their pyramid!

But the great mysterious structure was now open. Henceforward any one with interest and courage enough to attempt it might enter, examine, study, and find out what he could.

For centuries the Arabians went in and out betimes, when able to overcome their superstitious fears. Some of their marvellous tales of small miracles and vulgar wonders have been put on record. But apart from the mere fact of the forcible entrance by Al Mamoun, it is agreed that scarcely a shred of their testimony is at all credible. *

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We must therefore depend on the explorations and accounts of the more observant, appreciative, and philosophic European mind for our knowledge of the Great Pyramid. In some instances, however, the case is not much improved. Sir John Mandeville, perhaps the greatest English traveller of the middle ages, who spent thirty-three years in wanderings through the East, visited Egypt and the Pyramids about A.D. 1350, and has left us a theory concerning them, but confesses that he was afraid to enter them, because they were reputed to be full of serpents! *

The earliest writer of modern times from whom we have any scientific data with regard to the Great Pyramid is Mr. John Greaves, Savilian Professor of Astronomy in the University

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of Oxford. At his own private expense he left London in the spring of 1637 for the special purpose of thoroughly exploring these ancient edifices, and in 1646 published his Pyramidographia, giving the results of his laborious observations and measurements, which are of particular worth in obtaining an accurate knowledge of this subject. But he was soon followed by other explorers, French, English, Dutch, Germans, and Italians. *

Special additions were made to the stock of Pyramid information by Nathaniel Davison, British Consul at Algiers (1763), who resided three years in Egypt, frequently visited the Great Pyramid, discovered the first of those chambers of construction above the so-called King's Chamber, drew a profile of the original casing-stones, and made the first diagram of the supposed appearance of this pillar when it stood complete. 

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When Napoleon was engaged with his military operations in Egypt (1799), the French savants who accompanied his expedition also did important service in furnishing a knowledge of the Great Pyramid. They surveyed the ground. They determined the value of the location in trigonometrical relations. They found two of the "encastrements," or incisions in the rock, meant to serve as sockets for the original corner-stones of the foundation. Their observations and mostly very accurate measurements, with cuts, engravings, and descriptions of the Great Pyramid, were subsequently published, in large and elegant form. *

Very splendid contributions to our knowledge of the subject were made by Colonel (afterwards General) Howard Vyse in his three large royal octavo volumes, containing the results of seven months' labor, with a hundred or more assistants, in exploring and measuring the

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[paragraph continues] Pyramids, in 1837. It is he especially who, at the expense of a large fortune, laid the foundations for some of the most brilliant and important developments to be found in all the scientific world of our century. He reopened the ragged hole driven into the stupendous edifice by the semi-savages of Al Mamoun, and made some others himself, part of which were equally fruitless. He uncovered again the two indented sockets of the north base corners. He discovered and reopened the remarkable ventilating tubes of the King's Chamber. He cut a way through the masonry above that chamber, and found four other openings besides the one discovered by Davison. He found in those recesses various quarry-marks in red paint, proving that writing was known and practiced in the fourth Egyptian dynasty. Among these marks were the cartouches of the co-sovereign brothers who reigned at the time the Great Pyramid was built. He also found some of the original casing stones still fast in their places, as well as portions of a splendid pavement which once surrounded the edifice. In addition to these new discoveries he fully confirmed what had been ascertained before, and served to bring this marvellous structure within the sphere of modern scientific investigation.

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[paragraph continues] Through him, Sir John Herschel espoused the belief that the Great Pyramid possesses a truly astronomical character, and that its narrow tubic entrance pointed to some polar star, from which the date of the building is determinable. At Vyse's instance this astronomer made the calculation, and found the pointing to indicate the same period of time which, on other and independent data, had been concluded as the period of the-Great Pyramid's building. And thus was laid the basis from which a new theory of this marvellous pillar has sprung.


Taking what had thus been produced with regard to the Great Pyramid, John Taylor (one of the firm of Taylor & Hessey, publishers of the London Magazine, and subsequently of the firm of Taylor & Wallace, publishers to the University of London), undertook to wrestle with the questions: Why was this pyramid built? And who built it? Canvassing the whole problem in the light of history, religion, and science, he came to some very surprising conclusions, involving an altogether new departure in Pyramid investigations, and enunciating a number of facts with regard to

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the mathematical features of the Great Pyramid, which once were ridiculed, but are now generally admitted as demonstrably true. In 1859 he published a small volume, in which he proposed "to recover a lost leaf in the world's history," and gave his processes and the results. Without having seen the Great Pyramid, but on the basis of the facts recorded by others, he gave it as his theory and conviction that the real architects of this edifice were not Egyptians, but men of quite another faith and branch of the human family, who, by an impulse and commission from heaven, and by the special aid of the Most High, induced and superintended the erection of that mighty structure, as a memorial for long after times, to serve as a witness of inspiration, and of the truth and purposes of God, over against the falsities and corruptions of a degenerate and ever degenerating world. In other words, he claimed to find, in the shape, arrangements, measures, and various indications of the Great Pyramid, an intellectuality and numerical knowledge of grand cosmical phenomena of earth and heavens, which neither Egypt nor any of the nations possessed, or could even understand, from a thousand years ago, back to the origin of nations,

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This was a bold, striking, and far-reaching presentation, and one well worthy of the attention of the thinkers of our age, both religious and philosophical. Very few, however, paid much attention to his vigorous little book. Yet the grounds on which he proceeded and the processes employed, were so purely within the domain of science, and hence so easy of decisive refutation if not true, that scientists could hardly be fair to their profession without some investigation of the matter. Sir John Herschel was certainly much impressed with some of the results and conclusions brought out by Mr. Taylor, and also very powerfully used them in his papers on the standard of British measures, over against the falsely founded system of metres, originated by the French infidels and communists.

A few years after the appearance of Mr. Taylor's book, it arrested the attention and enlisted the interest of Prof. C. Piazzi Smyth, of Edinburgh, Astronomer Royal for Scotland. Having investigated the subject to some extent, he presented a paper to the Royal Society of Edinburgh, in 1864, giving the results of his researches and calculations to test the truth of some of Mr. Taylor's startling presentations, and setting forth his acquiescence in many of

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the details, though on somewhat different grounds. These investigations and conclusions of Prof. Smyth were published the same year, in his book, Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid, a new, revised, and enlarged edition of which was published in 1874. This book, in its revised form, is perhaps the best from which to get a full impression, within a limited space, of the nature and grounds of the modern scientific theory on the subject.

The better to satisfy himself; and in order to clear up some matters of uncertainty in the case, Prof. Smyth, at his own expense, went to Egypt, and spent the winter and spring of 1865, devoting the time to the work of testing, by the best modern scientific appliances, what others had recorded concerning this pyramid. To facilitate his operations, he and his brave wife took up their abode in some of the tombs in the vicinity, where they lived and worked from the first of January to the end of April. The results of these self-denying labors were given to the public in three brilliant volumes, in 1867, entitled, Life and Work at the Great Pyramid, with a sequel in the year following, On the Antiquity of Intellectual Man.

From the publication of these very valuable books, various discussions in learned societies

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and the public prints followed; new investigators entered upon the subject; and many converts to the new theory were made. A number of able papers appeared, confirming and enlarging what had previously been deduced, and fully supporting the scientifically grounded and growing belief that this venerable pillar has about it something more than a mere tomb for some rich and ambitious old Pharaoh, and something infinitely more than was ever in the power of the Egyptians to originate, or even to understand. In other words, that it was designed and erected under the special guidance and direction of God, and bears a somewhat similar relation to the physical universe which the Bible bears to the spiritual.

Upon first blush such a theory would seem to be the very height of fanaticism and nonsense. And so a few, in their offended conceit and prejudice, rather than from any solid scientific reasons, have regarded it. As commonly, in all such cases, the power of coarse ridicule has been brought to bear against it; but thus far no candid and thorough attempt has been made to overcome the many solid and outstanding evidences on which it rests. Goodsir, in his volume on Ethnic Inspiration, has

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justly said, "The scientific symbolism of that world's wonder now stands nearly disclosed to view, resting on its own independent basis of proof, which is not only vouched for, but defended by advocates undeniably competent to their work, and as yet occupying inexpugnably their ground." Every attack upon it thus far has resulted in such signal failure as the more to confirm it.

It is of course impossible here to go into all the particulars, processes, and scientific inductions on which this theory rests. These are given, in all their surprising force, in the able original works to which I have referred, and to which I direct all who wish to sift the matter thoroughly or inform themselves fully. Mathematicians and scientists will find enough there to call all their knowledge into play, and to occupy their inquiries and skill for as much time as they may have to give. My office is of a much simpler and easier sort. A brief résumé of the principal facts, to enable those who hear me to form some fair opinion of the matter, is all that I propose, feeling that if I can succeed in this, I shall have done something of worth in making known the wonders of wisdom so long ago treasured up in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh.

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There are numerous pyramids in Egypt. Including all sizes and forms, perhaps three dozen may still be found. They belong to different ages, from B.C. 2170 down to B.C. 1800. Externally, they all are more or less of the same general form. A few are not much inferior in dimensions, materials, and outward finish to the Great Pyramid itself. But there is one, the northernmost of the line, which has ever held the pre-eminence, and which has always been regarded with the greatest interest. The sacred books of the Hindoos speak of three pyramids in Egypt, and they describe this as "the golden mountain," and the other two as mountains of silver and less valuable material. By a sort of intuition, all nations and tongues unite in recognizing this one as The Great Pyramid. It covers the most space. It occupies the most commanding position. It is built with most skill and perfection of workmanship. And its summit rises higher heavenward than that of any other.

This greatest of the pyramids is also the oldest of them. Lepsius says, "The builders of the Great Pyramid seem to assert their right to form the commencement of monumental

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history." "To the Pyramid of Cheops the first link of our whole monumental history is fastened immovably, not for Egyptian, but for universal history." Prof. Smyth holds that "the world has no material and contemporary record of intellectual man earlier than the Great Pyramid." Beckett Denison agrees that this is "the earliest and largest of all the pyramids." Hales in his Analysis, Sharpe in his History of Egypt, Bunsen in his Egypt's Place in History, and the best authors in general, make the same representations. There is no evidence on earth, known to man, that ever a true pyramid was built before the erection of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh.

Here, then, is a fact to start with which utterly confounds the ordinary laws in human affairs. The arts of man left to himself, never attain perfection at once. At all times and in all countries, there is invariably a series of crude attempts and imperfect beginnings first, and thence a gradual advance from a less perfect to a more complete. Styles of architecture do not spring into existence like Minerva from the brain of Jupiter, full-grown and perfect from the start. But here all ordinary laws are reversed, and the classic dream finds reality. As with the beginning of our race,

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so with the pyramids, the most perfect is first and what comes after is deteriorate. The Great Pyramid comes upon the scene and maintains its grand superiority forever, without any preceding type of its class whence the idea was evolved. Renan says, "It has no archaic epoch." Osburn says, "It bursts upon us at once in the flower of its highest perfection." It suddenly takes its place in the world in all its matchless magnificence, "without father, without mother," and as clean apart from all evolution as if it had dropped down from the unknown heavens. We can no more account for its appearance in this fashion on ordinary principles than we can account for the being of Adam without a special Divine intervention.

This pyramid once in existence, it is not difficult to account for all the rest. Having been taught how to build it, and with the grand model ever before them, men could easily build more. But how to get the original with its transcendent superiority to all others is the trouble. The theory of Mr. Taylor and Prof. Smyth would admirably solve the riddle; but apart from that, there is no knowledge of man by which it can be solved. People may guess and suppose; but they can tell us nothing.

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The evidences also are, that the whole family of Egyptian pyramids, and there are no others, is made up of mere blind and bungling imitations of the Great Pyramid. They take its general form, but they every one miss its intellectuality and take on none of their own. None of them has any upper openings or chambers; and the reason is furnished in what Al Mamoun on making his forced entrance found in the Great Pyramid, to wit, the fact that its upward passage-way was stopped by its builders, filled up, hidden, and then for the first time discovered. These upper openings, though the main features of the Great Pyramid's interior, were wholly unknown to the copyists, and hence were not copied. The downward passage and the subterranean chamber were known, and could be inspected; hence these features appear in all the pyramids. It would be difficult to conceive more conclusive internal evidences of mere imitation, or of the certainty that the Great Pyramid is the real original of all pyramids. All the rest are but vulgar and unmeaning piles of stones in comparison with it.


A building having a square base and its four

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sides equally sloped inwards to a single point at the top is a pyramid. There may be other and various pyramidal forms, but they are not true pyramids. In stone architecture such a figure requires the edifice to be solid, or mainly so, and can furnish very little internal space for any practical use. It is therefore a style of building which is itself something peculiar and quite unfitted to any of the ordinary purposes for which man erects edifices.

But not all pyramids have the same relative proportions or degree of slope in their sides. In this respect the Great Pyramid stands alone among all other pyramids or buildings on earth. Plato says, that "God perpetually geometrizes," and this pyramid presents a clear and solid geometric figure with all its proportions conformed to each other.

Science has frequently alluded to a certain triplicity or triunity of nature, assuming something of the character of a law of creation, and traceable as a sort of pervading analogy of Providence. Poets, those close observers and portrayers of nature, have likewise referred to it. The crust of the earth is composed of a grand triplicity of primary, secondary, and tertiary stratifications. Compte beheld the laws of mind as made up of supernatural,

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metaphysical, and positive stages in mental evolution. Burke thought he saw a parallel between mythology and geology, and classified the former according to the three stages of the earth's formation. A modern chemist reduces all the properties of matter to attraction, repulsion, and vitality. And a late attempt to give "a basic outline of universology," comprises all things in unism, duism, and trinism. Without accepting these things as settled truths, they yet serve to show a primary something, which, to the most observant minds, bespeaks an original triplicity, putting itself forth as a rudimental law. And if the Great Pyramid was really intended to symbolize the universe, we would also expect to find in it some recognition of this triplicity or triunity. Accordingly we do find this to be the fundamental figure of the Great Pyramid, which is at the same time the geometrical skeleton of the earth, if not also of the whole physical and spiritual universe.

It was a great achievement of our science to ascertain that the earth is a revolving globe. But this spherity is the mere clothing of a mathematical figure to which it is formed. As a revolving body, the earth has an axis of rotation, that is, it makes all its revolutions in

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one and the same unvarying direction, indicating a primary straight line through its centre to its poles. Using this as a base line, which it is in fact, and drawing two equal lines from the surface at the poles to the highest point of surface at the equator, the result is one of the simplest compound figures in geometry—a triangle just what we have in the outline figure of the Great Pyramid, and in each of its four faces.

Examining this figure more closely, still other remarkable properties appear. Viewed as a triangle, if we square its base line, as squared in fact in the Great Pyramid, and add together the lengths of the four sides, we have the exact equal of a circle drawn with the vertical height for a radius. In other words, we have here a figure of the framework of the earth, and that figure possessed of the proportion which is known to mathematicians as the π proportion,—thus presenting a practical solution of that puzzling problem which has cracked so many mediæval and modern brains, to wit, the quadrature of the circle. Hence John Taylor says of the builders of the Great Pyramid, that "they imagined the earth to be a sphere, and as they knew that the radius of a circle must bear a certain proportion to its

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circumference, they built a four-sided pyramid of such a height in proportion to its base, that its perpendicular would be the radius of a sphere equal to the perimeter of the base."

The other pyramids have the same general form copied after this, but these mathematical proportions and signs of high intellectuality appear nowhere but in the Great Pyramid. And when Jomard says, "The pyramids have preserved to us the certain type of the size of the terrestrial globe," he utters a great truth, but what is not true in any definite measure save of the Great Pyramid.


The peculiar figure and shape of the Great Pyramid fixes a certain system of numbers. It has five corners: four equal corners at the base and one unique corner at the summit. Hence it has five sides; four equal triangular sides and the square under-side on which it stands. Here is an emphatic count of fives doubled into the convenient decimal. This count is so inherent and marked as to be a strong characteristic, calling for the number five, and multiples, powers and geometrical proportions of it, as loudly as stones can be made to speak.

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From this also it would seem to have its name. Though different authors have sought to derive this word from the Greek, Arabic, and other sources, the evidence is rather that it came direct from the builders of the edifice, and was meant to describe it in the common language then used in the country. The nearest to that language is the Coptic. And in the ancient Coptic, pyr means division, the same as peres in Daniel's interpretation of the handwriting on the wall; and met means ten. Chevalier Bunsen, without thought of combining them for the derivation of the word pyramid, gives these words separately and affixes to them these significations. * And putting them together—pyr-met—we have the name given to this structure. Arid that name, in the language of the ancient Egyptians, means the division of ten.

Accordingly a system of fiveness runs through the Great Pyramid and its measure references. Counting five times five courses of the masonry from the base upwards we are brought to the floor of the so-called Queen's Chamber. The measures of that chamber all answer to a standard of five times five inches.

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[paragraph continues] It is characterized by a deep sunken niche in one of its walls, which niche is three times five feet high, consisting of five strongly marked stories, the topmost five times five inches across, and its inner edge just five times five inches from the perpendicular centre of the wall into which it is cut. So if we count five times five courses higher, or ten times five from the base, the last brings us on the floor of the King's Chamber. That chamber contains just ten fives of cubic space and is just ten five times the size of the mysterious granite Coffer which stands in it. Each of its walls is finished with five horizontal courses of polished granite stones. The number of these stones in all is four fives multiplied by five. Above it are five chambers of construction; and the Coffer itself has five solid external sides.

This intense fiveness could not have been accidental, and likewise corresponds with the arrangements of God, both in nature and revelation. Note the fiveness of termination to each limb of the human body, the five senses, the five books of Moses, the twice five precepts of the Decalogue. But this is not all. Science now tells us that the diameter of the earth at the poles is five hundred millions of units, about the length of our inches. Five times

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five of these units or inches is the twice ten millionth part of the earth's axis of rotation. Ten times ten of these units or inches counted for a day, when divided into the united lengths of the Great Pyramid's four sides, give the exact number of days in the true year. As near as science has been able to determine the mean density of the earth (5.70), five cubic inches of it weighs just the fifty times fiftieth part of the Coffer's contents of water at a temperature of one-fifth of the distance which the mercury rises from the freezing to the boiling-point.

Nine is another number very specially marked in the Great Pyramid, particularly in its sunward portions and tendencies. Its practical shaping is nine to ten. For every ten feet that its corners retreat diagonally inwards in the process of building they rise upward or sunward nine feet. * At high noon the sun shines

p. 49

on all five of its corners and four of its sides, counting nine of its most characteristic parts. The Grand Gallery is roofed with four times nine stones, and the main chamber with exactly nine. And here again we have a nature reference which nations have expended millions to ascertain. The vertical height of the Great Pyramid multiplied by 10 to the 9th power (109) tells the mean distance of the sun from the earth, that is one thousand million times the pyramid's height, or 91,840,000 miles.

The sun-distance used to be put down by astronomy at nearly 96,000,000 miles. Later computations, at the opposition of Mars in 1862, reduced this estimate to between ninety-one and ninety-three millions. The results of

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the observations of the transit of Venus in 1874 have confirmed these lower figures, making the limit of uncertainty to lie between ninety-one and ninety-two and a half millions. Taking the mean of the estimates as the best that modern science has been able to present, I we have a very close agreement with the Great Pyramid's symbolizations. And when science has once definitely settled the point, there is now every indication that the figures will agree precisely with what was not only known to the architects of this pyramid, but was by them imperishably memorialized in stone more than 4000 years ago!

All this proves not only intelligent design on the part of these builders, but an acquaintance with nature, and a genius for the expression of nature's truths in the forms and measures of a plain, simple, and enduring structure, which any less attainment than that of our greatest living astronomers and savants could not so much as understand.


The opinion was given by Lepsius, and from him has been largely accepted as a law in Egyptian pyramid building, that each king, when he came to the throne, began to excavate

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a subterranean chamber with an inclined passage, which chamber was meant for his tomb; the first year he covered it with a few squared blocks of stone, the next added more, and so continued till he died, leaving it to his successor to finish and close the edifice. Hence the size of each pyramid would depend upon the accident of the duration of the king's life. Perhaps it was so after pyramids came to be a fashion, though some long-lived kings have only small pyramids. But it is very certain that the Great Pyramid did not grow in this way. Its whole character was calculated and determined beforehand. The drafts of its architects still exist, graven in the rocks, as Job wished that his words might be in order to last forever. There they are in the immediate vicinity of the great building, the projection of whose shape and features, without and within, they still show to every one who wishes to examine them. By them it is proven that the whole structure in its angles and mathematical proportions was contemplated and designed from the start. * Besides, the subterranean

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chamber of the Great Pyramid which this "law" would require to be finished first

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is just that part which never was finished at all. It is only half cut out,—a mere pit without a bottom. Herodotus also gathered from the Egyptians themselves that ten years were spent in building preparatory works, which are hardly less remarkable and elaborate than the pyramid itself, and that everything was organized on an immense scale, keeping 100,000 men continually at work, relaying them every three months. Furthermore, all the searchings into this pyramid have failed to reveal any signs of the patching of one year's work to that of another, or any arrangements for such a contingency as the possible death of the king before the work was complete. On the contrary, everything argues one continuous

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and fore-calculated job, evenly carried through from beginning to end, just as a farmer would build his barn or a baker his oven. Hence if there is anything in Lepsius's "law of pyramid building," the Great Pyramid never came under it, but received its being and dimensions from a foregoing plan of the whole, pursued from commencement to completion without interruption or any thought of it.

An immense amount of careful endeavor has been expended by different men at different periods to ascertain the precise measurements of the Great Pyramid's base sides. And since the discovery of the corner sockets it would seem as if there should be no difficulty in arriving at exact data on that point. But the length to be measured is so great, and the mounds of rubbish lying between the points from which the measure is to be taken are so immense and irregular, that absolute certainty has not been reached and cannot be till some rich man, society, or government performs the work of removing the impediments and opens a clear way from corner to corner. The measurements thus far made from these sockets by scientific men give us a mean of nine thousand one hundred and forty of our inches as the length of either of the Great Pyramid's

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four sides, that is, a fraction over seven hundred and sixty-one and a half feet, or nearly one-sixth of a mile. *

With this measure for the base of the sides, and the angle of 51° 51´ 14″ for their slope, the lines intersect in a point of perpendicular altitude five thousand eight hundred and nineteen inches from the level of the pavement discovered by Colonel Vyse. But there are other ways of ascertaining the height. By the barometer, by trigonometry, and by the actual measurement of the heights of the two hundred

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and two remaining courses of the masonry, the elevation to the present plateau at the top can be taken. And by eight of the most distinguished measurers who have performed the operation, from Jomard and Cecile to Aiton and Inglis, the mean comes out five thousand four hundred and forty inches. Prof. Smyth makes it five thousand four hundred and forty-five. Each side of the present summit area is four hundred inches. Adding one hundred inches, the thickness of the casing stones, to each side, the square would be six hundred inches on each outer line. At the angle of 51° 51´ 14″ this would give a vertical height of three hundred and eighty-two inches, yielding 5440 + 382 = 5822 of our inches as the full original height of the Great Pyramid. The same estimate is confirmed on other and independent methods of computation; thus also confirming the estimate of the length of the base sides, the one process yielding within three inches of what is reached by the other.

Within a narrow margin of uncertainty in which actual measurement always differs from absolute mathematical exactness, we may therefore take it as reasonably settled that the Great Pyramid's sides are each nine thousand one hundred and forty of our inches long, and

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slope upward to a point originally five thousand eight hundred and twenty of the same inches in perpendicular height above the line of the pavement below. This gives us the vastest and highest stone building ever erected by human hands. *

Osburn says, "its long shadow darkens the fields of Gizeh as the day declines," and that "when the spectator can obtain a distinct conception of its vastness no words can describe the overwhelming sense of it which rushes upon his mind. He feels oppressed and staggers beneath a load," to think that such a mountain was piled by the handiwork of man.


From these measurements of size result the n proportion which is now admitted to be practically exhibited in this pyramid, whether

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there by accident or by intention. The width is π/2 or 11/7 of the height, and each face is almost exactly the square of the height.

From such high science we are also led to expect the record of some definite standard of measure, which every one would naturally wish to learn of from such wonderful architects and geometricians. Standards of measure are also just now a subject of special interest. There has come a singular disturbance and doubt on the part of legislators and savants as to what, ought to be the ultimate reference or basis for all measures of length. The nations are inquiring, and nobody seems to know on what to rest. The French metres are unfortunately being urged by many as the most scientific known.

Nearly one hundred years ago the French people, in their first revolution, made an attempt to abolish alike the Christian religion and the hereditary weights and measures of all nations, seeking to supplant the former by a worship of philosophy and liberty, and the latter by a new scheme of metres. For their unit and standard of length they took the quadrant of the earth's surface at the particular meridian of Paris, divided it into ten million parts and so obtained the metre of 39.371 inches now

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so highly eulogized. To say nothing of the origin and motive of such a standard, the science that is claimed for it is of no high character. It has the misfortune of taking a curved line drawn on the earth's surface, and that at a particular meridian no more fitting than any other, instead of some straight line invariable for all the earth. Besides, in estimating for the earth's elliptic meridian at Paris these atheistic savants, as now proven, miscalculated to the extent of one part in every five thousand three hundred too little, and so on their own basis their lauded unit of length is not scientifically true. Sir John Herschel rightfully pronounces it "the newest and worst measure in the world," and Beckett Denison justly regards it as an "inconvenient, inaccurate, and unstridable measure." What men need is a universal standard afforded by nature, and serving alike for all mankind. For such a standard M. Callet, in 1795, in his book on Logarithms, suggested the axis of the earth, the even ten millionth to be taken as the standard with which to compare all distances and lengths. It was a grand thought, far in advance of all modern science on the subject. The axis of the earth has every philosophic and æsthetic reason in its favor as the great

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terrestrial reference for all our linear measurements. It is a straight line, the only unvarying straight line which terrestrial nature affords, and the same for all localities and all time. It is the base line to which the earth itself is framed. And as remarked by Sir John Herschel, so long as the human mind continues human and retains a power of geometry, such a line will be held of far superior importance to any part or degree of a circumference. And if any axis is to be chosen on which to found a scientific unit, the nature of things gives an absolute and indefeasible preference to the polar axis. Now this is precisely the standard of reference for linear measure which the Great Pyramid places before us.

The polar diameter of the earth, according to the best science, is 500,500,000 of our inches, within so small a limit of possible error as to make but little difference in so multitudinous a subdivision. The British ordnance survey gives the results of two methods of computation, one of which makes it 500,428,296, and the other 500,522,904 of our inches, the former being considered as having the preponderance in weight. The mean of the two

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would therefore be close about five hundred millions five hundred thousand of our inches; and this is what Beckett Denison in his Astronomy gives as the result of the most reliable modern calculations.

Taking the even five hundred millionth part of this, we would have 1.001 of our inches. Suppose, then, that we free this even division of the earth's polar diameter from all fractions, and call the five hundred millionth part of that axis one inch. We would thus have a low and convenient unit of length, about half a fine hair's breadth longer than our present inch. So complete and even a deduction from the polar axis of the whole earth would certainly be the grandest, the most rational, and the most natural standard of length to be found in or on our globe. Twenty-five of these inches, that is, 25.025 of our inches, would then serve for a cubit or longer standard, evenly deduced, which, multiplied by 107, would tell the exact distance from the centre of the earth to either pole. It would be the ten millionth part of the semi-axis of the globe we inhabit. And what is more, it would be the exact sacred cubit which God himself gave to His people of old, and

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by which He directed all the sacred constructions and their appurtenances to be formed. *

And these sublime earth commensurating standards of length are precisely the ones set forth in the Great Pyramid. Whether the practical working measure was in general the Egypto-Babylonian cubit of about twenty to twenty-one of our inches or any other makes no difference. The evidences are clear that a cubit of 25.025 of our inches, or one within a very slight fraction of that length, and an inch which is the five hundred millionth part of the earth's polar diameter, were in the minds of the architects, and meant by them to be most significantly emphasized.

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It is a noble and fitting thought that as the existence of an axis of rotation in the earth makes the days, the grand standard of length founded on that axis should count them. And so it is in the Great Pyramid. This nature-derived cubit is contained in each side of this edifice just as many times as there are days in a year! This simple fact is of itself an invincible demonstration that these builders had such a length in mind as their greatest and most sacred standard and enumerator of linear measure. But it is also specially singled out and recorded elsewhere in the edifice. It is the top width of the grand niche in the Queen's Chamber, and the distance between the highest inner edge of that niche and the vertical centre of the chamber. It is thus set before the eye as if to teach all to note its existence and to search for its hidden use and meaning in the symbolizations.

As to the inch or the one-twenty-fifth of this measure, being an integer of the grand day counter, it, too, is indicated in the right place and in the right way. It is contained separately and independently in the entire perimeter of the Grand Pyramid's base, just one hundred times for each day of the year. As the low unit of count in measure, it is also the representative

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of a year in the reckoning of the passage floor-lines as charts of history, as also in the diagonals of the pyramid's base taken as a measure of the precessional cycle. It is likewise specially exhibited in connection with the cubit in the singular boss of the suspended "granite leaf" in the anteroom to the King's Chamber. * Besides, when multiplied by 107+4 it serves to tell in round decimals the distance through space which the earth travels in each complete revolution on its axis, that is 100,000,000,000 inches.

A standard of length measure is thus exhibited which fits with grand evenness to nature in her great facts, but no less beautifully with what is common and homely. We used to be taught that the inch is made up of so many

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barleycorns. That reference, I believe, has been expunged from our arithmetic tables, because our mathematicians have lost the knowledge and meaning of our hereditary unit of length. But such is the fact, which any one can test for himself, that if we start with the average length of the grains from which man gets his bread, or with the average breadth of a man's thumb, length of arm, or reach of step in easy walking, everything comes out closely even with these earth commensurated and Divinely approved standards of length, and with these alone.


And as these great old architects measured the earth, so they also weighed it. As nearly as can be computed, their pyramid is the even one thousand billionth part of the weight of this whole earth-ball of land and sea. The gravity of the entire mass of what they built needs only to be multiplied by 105×3 to indicate the sum of the gravity of the entire mass of the globe we inhabit.

There has been much effort expended by modern science to find out the mean density or specific gravity of the earth, without exactly settling the problem. The best experiments

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make it between 5.316 and 6.565 times the weight of water at the medium temperature of 68° Fahrenheit. The Great Pyramid makes it 5.70, which is almost exactly the mean of the best five experiments ever made. *

A further memorial of the same is furnished in the Coffer of the King's Chamber, in whose structure the same it proportions of the pyramid itself reappear in another form. The

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internal capacity of that Coffer by the nicest possible computations is seventy-one thousand two hundred and fifty cubic pyramid or earth-commensurated inches. The only intelligible reason for that particular capacity is to be found in the combination of a capacity and weight measure standard, having reference to the size and gravity of the earth, with that gravity computed at 5.7. Even the long-unobserved little irregularities of that Coffer come in as a necessary modifying element to meet precisely the earth reference formula. On the pyramid system of fives, 503 earth-commensurated inches multiplied by the earth's specific gravity and divided by 10, represent with close exactness the Coffer's interior space.

To the reality of these earth references at the valuations given, this Coffer comes in as a seal, and at the same time furnishes a grand standard of united weight and capacity measure. At the rate of 5.7 for the mean density of the earth, the Coffer's contents of water at 68° Fahrenheit would be equal to twelve thousand five hundred cubic inches of the body of the earth. Dividing this into two thousand five hundred equal parts for a small fraction in the dominant pyramid number we have an even result equal to five cubic inches

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of the earth's mean density, which would be the pyramid or earth-commensurated pound, which is, within a small fraction, the same as our common avoirdupois pound, equal in weight to a pint, 5 × 5.7 cubic inches of water at a temperature of 68° Fahrenheit.


The only article of furniture in all the Great Pyramid is this Coffer in the King's Chamber. Al Mamoun found it a lidless, empty box, cut from a solid block of red granite, and polished within and without. In shape it is an oblong rectangular trough, without inscription or ornament, and of such size that it could not possibly have been taken in or out of its place since the pyramid was built. Its proportions are all geometrical. Its sides and bottom are cubically identical with its internal space. The length of its two sides to its height is as a circle to its diameter. Its exterior volume is just twice the dimensions of its bottom, and its whole measure is just the fiftieth part of the size of the chamber in which it stands. Its internal space is just four times the measure of an English "quarter" of wheat. By its contents measure it also confirms Sir Isaac Newton's determination of the length of the

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sacred cubit of twenty-five earth-commensurated inches. The holy Ark of the Tabernacle and the Temple, according to the Scriptures, was two and a half cubits long, and one and a half broad and high. This must be outside measure, as the records speak of height and not of depth. With twenty-five earth-commensurated inches to a cubit, and allowing 1.8 of these inches for the thickness of the boards, its internal space would be seventy-one thousand two hundred and eighty-two of the same cubic inches, or within thirty-two of the number of such cubic inches in the capacity measure of the pyramid Coffer. Or allowing 1.75 inches for the thickness of the sides and ends and two inches for the bottom, the inner cubical contents would be seventy-one thousand two hundred and thirteen inches, or within thirty-seven of the Coffer. The mean of these two estimates, which must include all reasonable suppositions for the carpentry of the ark, would be seventy-one thousand two hundred and forty-eight cubic inches, which is within two inches of the best computation of the internal dimensions of the pyramid Coffer. That they should be thus alike in internal measure, the dimensions of the one having been specially laid down by God himself, is very remarkable,

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and that the two should thus mutually sustain each other in the recognition of one and the same earth-commensurated cubit, is both striking and significant. Nay, using this same earth-commensurated cubit as identical with the sacred cubit, the further result appears that the Jewish laver and the Ark of the Tabernacle were the same in capacity measure with the pyramid's Coffer, and that Solomon's molten sea was just fifty times the capacity of either of these and exactly equal in interior cubic space with the King's Chamber itself.


As the Great Pyramid stands on the line which equally divides the surface of the northern hemisphere, there is at once a close approach of its climate to the mean temperature of all the earth's surface, at least of every habitable land and navigable sea. According to the French savants, by observations both in and outside of the Great Pyramid, that temperature is about 68° Fahrenheit. A permanent and unvarying record of this temperature is maintained in the pyramid's granite chamber, which is so buried in masonry as not to be affected by external changes, and furnished with a system of ventilating tubes to keep everything

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exactly normal within. This degree of temperature is exactly one-fifth of the distance which mercury rises in the tube between the freezing and boiling-points of water, and furnishes the basis for a complete nature-adjusted pyramid system of thermal measure. Dividing this one-fifth by the standard of fifty (the room in which the index of temperature is arranged being the chamber of fifty), we have the even two hundred and fifty for the degrees between the two notable points of nature marked by the freezing and boiling of common water. Multiplying this by four, say the pyramid's four sides, we are brought to another great natural heat-mark, namely, that at which heat begins to give forth light, and iron, the commonest of metals, becomes red. Then multiplying again by five, say by the number of the pyramid's five corners, the result comes out evenly at another grand nature-marked point of thermal measure, namely, that at which heat shows whiteness, and platinum, the densest and most refractory of metals, melts.


Thus the Great Pyramid proves itself abundantly competent to determine on a natural and most scientific basis all measures of length,

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weight, capacity, and heat. Even the degrees in the circle if arranged on the pyramid numbers, say one thousand degrees instead of the fractional Babylonian three hundred and sixty, some think, would be vastly more natural and easy than it is. This would divide the quadrant into the convenient two hundred and fifty with even tenths for minutes and seconds, whilst it would at the same time harmoniously commensurate with navigation and itinerary measures of knots and miles, into which it is now so troublesome to translate from the indications of the sextant.

There would seem, therefore, to be nothing wanting in this mighty monument of hoar antiquity for the formation of a metrical system the most universal in its scope, the most scientifically founded in its standards, the most happily interrelated, and the most easy in its common use that ever was presented to the contemplation of man or that can be employed for our earth purposes. And it is devoutly to be wished, if the present agitation of the human mind with regard to standards and systems of measure is to result in any changes for the nations, that they should be in the lisle of what Providence has thus set before mankind. Great Britain, the United States,

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the German Empire, the Scandinavian Kingdoms, and other principalities and countries, have this system already almost exact in some departments, descended to them they know not from whence, and the correction of what is faulty would be attended with infinitely less discomfort than the introduction of French metres, conceived in rebellion against the common faith and order of the Christian world. We would then have the high consciousness of possessing a system of metrology the most ancient and the most self-consistent in the world, and one in most profound accord with nature as God made it, if not communicated by the great God of nature by direct inspiration from His eternal wisdom. *

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Nor are we any less impressed with the singular wonderfulness of this ancient pillar, when we come to look more directly at its astronomy.

Figuring the framework of the earth as a triangle formed from a line of diameter, and referring to an axis for a basis for this triangle as well as a grand standard of measure, and that triangle being greater in vertical height by

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duplication than would equal the width of its base, the earth is necessarily contemplated as a spheroid—a globe thicker at the equator than at the poles just as all correct astronomy now represents it. Modern science ascribes the discovery of this spherity of the earth to Thales, six hundred years before Christ; but here it is more perfectly represented than Thales ever knew, more than fifteen hundred years before Thales was born.

A fixed axis would also seem to imply the idea of rotatory motion. And the making of the sides of the pyramid to record an even fraction of the earth's axis of rotation just as many times as there are days in the year, proves that these builders had an idea of both motions of the earth, and a knowledge of the number of times it revolves on its own axis in making its annual revolution around the sun. This latter motion they also further symbolized by the inches or fractions of twenty-five in their great standard of length, just one hundred of which to a day, for the number of days in the year, are contained in the perimeter of the pyramid's base. If any one within historic times prior to Copernicus and Galileo really understood this feature of our globe, it. certainly was not well known nor much believed

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till after these men had lived; and yet, here it is distinctly and truly symbolized more than thirty-five hundred years before their time.

These ancient architects also knew where to find the poles of the earth, since they were able to determine latitude and what degree of latitude marks the half-way of the world's surface between the equator and the poles. This they prove to us by having built their pyramid on that line of latitude, namely, on the thirtieth north. It is, in fact, a slight fraction south of that line as now estimated, but obviously intended to indicate that degree, since they built as closely to the northern brink of the hill as it was possible to go and yet secure a permanent foundation for their work. Nor is it much further from that line than the ranges of probable error in the best scientific calculations. By three distinct processes (by differences of zenith distance, by absolute zenith distances, and by transits in prime verticle) lately made to determine precisely the latitude of Mt. Agamenticus Station in Maine, each differed from the others, and the determination could not be made any nearer than somewhere within the fourth of a hundred parts of a second. This was close

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enough for all practical purposes, but shows that the best science cannot be precisely exact on the subject. And yet, here we have a determination made more than four thousand years ago, in fact almost within the limit of error of the best scientific possibilities, and with the plain intimation of a better knowledge which had to be sacrificed to the requirements for a fitting basis to a building intended to last to the end of time.

These men have thus left us the memorial of a remarkable geodesy, which is further exhibited in the fact that they not only put their pillar in the very centre of Egypt, but on the pivotal balance-point of the entire land distribution over the face of the whole earth. A glance at any universal map makes this apparent, whilst we look in vain for another point on all the globe which so naturally and evenly marks the centre of equation for all inhabited land surface. There is here a measurement or consciousness of the extent and proportional relations and distribution of the earth's continents and islands, such as modern science has not yet furnished or even attempted to give.

There is perhaps no much better test of a sound, practical astronomy, than to be able to determine truly the four cardinal points. A

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very simple and easy thing most persons would think it, but not so easy when brought to the test. The compass alone never can be depended on, except in a general way. The attempts of j men to orient truly, even with the aid of science, have shown constant inaccuracy. It used to be thought a great matter to have churches and cathedrals built exactly east and west; but of all so intended scarcely one has been found that does not incline either to the north or the south of the line meant to be followed. It is the same even with buildings erected specially for astronomical purpose. Tycho Brahe's celebrated Uranibourg observatory is faulty in orientation to five minutes of a degree. The Greeks in the height of their glory could not find the cardinal points astronomically within eight degrees. But the builders of the Great Pyramid, out in the Lybian desert, with no guide or landmark but the naked stars, were able to orient their structure so exactly that the science of the wisest Athenian sages, eighteen hundred years afterwards, was seventy times, and the observatory of Uranibourg nearly four times, further out of the way than it is.

One of the most curious and important problems of astronomy is the sun distance, at

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which men have labored so long and so earnestly without being able to solve it closer than within a limit of error embracing a million and a half of miles. That distance, however, is emphatically and definitely pronounced in the Great Pyramid, by its 10 and 9 of practical erection, as the even 109 times its own height, which is about the mean between the highest and lowest figures which the most recent observations have set down as the best results science has reached on this point.


Time reckonings belong to the same subject. Things can have no place or being without time. And as measures of time are mere notations of motions in the clockwork of the universe, chronology and astronomy necessarily go together. And as the Great Pyramid memorializes the one, the other must also be embraced. Memorializing the revolutions of the earth on its own axis and around the sun, it thus at the same time fixes its notation of days and the year.

But there is another observable movement going on in the universe of a much grander and wider range, and of special importance with regard to chronology. It forms a sacred

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clock, whose face is the sky, and from which we may read backwards or forwards for thousands on thousands of years without the possibility of confusion, the same as we read the hours and minutes on a timepiece. It is what astronomers call "the precession of the equinoxes."

There is a twofold year, one called the siderial year, or year of the stars, and the other the year of the sun or seasons, the equinoctial year. The former is a fraction longer than the latter. That is to say, the equinoxes in our ordinary practical year come a little earlier every time than the siderial time. This precedence in the equinoctial presentations amounts to about fifty seconds each year, and is hence called the precession of the equinoxes. It is really a retardation in the time of the rising and setting of the stars, by which they come about fifty seconds later every year. It was Hipparchus, about one hundred and fifty years before Christ, who first noted this within historic times; and since his day the rising and setting of the stars, as compared with the equinoctial or common year, has fallen back about thirty degrees from what their time then was. At this rate of retardation it takes about nine and a half millions of our days or about

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twenty-five thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight of our years for this rising and setting to come back again to the exact point at which we begin the calculation. We thus have a great astronomical cycle, less than a fourth of which has passed since man was placed upon the earth. It furnishes a singularly valuable means of noting and determining remote dates. Knowing the relative places of the stars which most plainly mark this cycle, we can tell exactly how they stood in any year or date since time began; and knowing how they stood at the time of any given event, we can thus calculate the precise year almost to the day and hour in which that event took place.

Now if the Great Pyramid was meant to give us a symbolization of the physical universe, this grand year could not be overlooked, though science has been so long in finding it out. Nor has it been overlooked. It is all here plainly enough to be traced, just at the place and in the forms which we might expect. It is the greatest of nature's time-cycles, and its years would naturally be signified in the pyramid's lowest units of measure in the longest lines within the circle of its perimeter on which we read the days and years. The two diagonals of the Great Pyramid's base, taken

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together, measure just as many inches as this cycle has years. *

It has only been since the times of Tycho Brahe that astronomers began to have any assurance in determining the length of this period. The latest and closest calculations by Bessel make it twenty-five thousand eight hundred and sixty-eight years, which is the sum of inches in the diagonal measures of this pyramid's base, more accurately given than it was known when Newton and Hutton wrote. It has been thought to weaken the idea of intention on the part of the architects thus to symbolize this cycle, since the measure of the diagonals is necessarily resultant from the lengths of the sides. But this interdependence of the diagonals and square in the pyramid's count of days, years, and the grand cycle of years, only proves that God has so constituted the motions of the heavenly bodies that a correct symbolization of one true count of nature involves the other, and that the

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mind which governed in the framing of the symbol was conscious of the fact.

It is by means of this cycle, in connection with its star-pointings, that the Great Pyramid also tells the date of its erection. Sir John Herschel in 1839, assuming that its long, narrow, polished tubular entrance passage was meant to be levelled at a polar star, began to calculate back with what data he had to find the time when such a star was looking down that tube from the northern heavens. Nor did he fail to find one answering the conditions near about the time assigned by other methods as the probable date at which the Great Pyramid was built. Closer determinations of the exact pointings of the grand tube, along with other data, enabled other astronomers to repeat the calculation with more determinate results, fixing upon the year two thousand one hundred and seventy before Christ, as that in which this tube pointed to α Draconis, the then pole star, at its lower culmination, at the same time that the Pleiades, particularly Alcyone, the centre of the group, were on the same meridian above. And as this was a mark in the heavens which could not occur again for more than twenty-five thousand years from that time, and was itself very extraordinary, it has been

p. 84

accepted as meant to be the sign of the date of the building of the Great Pyramid.

But what is thus astronomically made out is surprisingly corroborated in another way. These low tubular passage-ways prove themselves to be time charts also. They symbolize scrolls of human history as well as point out stars, and the notations in the one answer exactly to the other. The inch as a unit for a year also appears in these avenues. The entrance tube begins a record with the dispersion after the flood, and dates from the formation of nations. The history is a downward one under a dragon star toward a bottomless pit. Following this decline for about one thousand inches, which denote years, we reach the first upward passage. At that date the children of Israel, by special interposition of God, began their national economy and history. Following this ascending passage fifteen hundred and forty-two inches, the number of years from the Exodus of Israel to the birth of Christ, the last inch brings us to the beginning of the Grand Gallery, which sublimely symbolizes our Christian dispensation. Counting back, then, from the beginning of this gallery, that is, from the birth of Christ, 1542 inches to the entrance passage, and then

p. 85

up the entrance passage 628 inches more (1542 + 628 making 2170, the astronomical date of the pyramid's building), at the precise point we find a distinct and beautifully cut line ruled into the stone sides of the passage from top to bottom, put there by the builders of the edifice. *

And that these lines were meant to mark the time of the Great Pyramid's erection, the indication is distinctly given. The joinings of the stones of which the sides of this passage are built are all at right angles with its incline, except in two instances. The exceptions are the first two joints preceding these lines.

p. 86

These, instead of being at right angles with the passage, are vertical, a figure of speech in stone plainly indicative of lifting up or building. And immediately after this signifying of the process of erection, comes these thin, fine, and beautiful lines, just two thousand one hundred and seventy inches from the beginning of the Grand Gallery, which, as the beginning of our dispensation would be the time of Christ's birth.

Thus, then, by a double method, each equally verifiable and distinct, and the one answering exactly to the other, the Great Pyramid tells its own age in time-marks as unmistakable as they are true to the mysteries of the sky and to the succession of events and dispensations on the earth.

And in the same way this remarkable pillar seems also to indicate the true date of the flood. If we count back from the date of its erection six hundred and thirty years, and inquire into the star-markings with regard to the precessional cycle at that period, we find the same pole star α Draconis looking down that same entrance passage as at the time of the building, but then Aquarius, the waterman, instead of the Pleiades is on the meridian above, the line crossing the very mouth of the vessel

p. 87

whence the mighty stream is issuing. This could hardly have been without the knowledge of the designer of this edifice, and presents a very grand and remarkable time-mark. Can any one fail to have suggested to him what it indicates? All nations have preserved the tradition of it. The Scriptures refer to it again and again in the Old Testament and in the New. And the names and pictures of the constellations, as they still stand in our almanacs, unalterably point back to it. It is the great deluge of Noah's time, which the Great Pyramid thus locates chronologically at a point within a few years of the mean of the dates given for that event in the two different versions of the Scriptures, the Hebrew and the Septuagint, to wit, two thousand eight hundred years before Christ, and six hundred and thirty years before the building of the pyramid itself.


But time reckonings demand some special system of smaller fractions which cannot be made by mere decades, tens, or hundreds. The year and the day are such distinct and emphatic units of nature that man is compelled to observe them in his notations, and they will

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not subdivide or multiply into each other by even decimals. The French savants tried it, but utterly failed, and after all their efforts were compelled to fall back upon the old week of seven days, which God himself ordained from the beginning of the world as the easiest and most practical system of ordinary time commensuration. We would therefore expect the Great Pyramid as a great symbol of nature to have some reference to this also. And in spite of its intense fiveness, it does not fail to present this easier and sacredly approved division of days into weeks of sevens. Having made so grand a reference to the Pleiades, or the seven stars, the elemental grouping of sevens at once comes in. Hence, the Grand Gallery is seven times the average height of the other passages, and its sides are built of seven overlapping stone courses on either side. So the passage which leads under it to the so-called Queen's Chamber has a section distinctly though differently marked off at its ends, either of which is the one-seventh of that passage's entire length. A septenary system is thus recognized and indicated.

But it is not simply septenary, but likewise sabbatic, at least as respects the Queen's Chamber and the way to it. There is a seventh

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marked off from the six, and specially emphasized. The last seventh of the horizontal way to that chamber is deeply indented in the floor, so as to make the passage there about one-third higher than anywhere else. This alone would be decisive. But the chamber thus approached through a sabbatic avenue is itself the culmination of a sabbatic system. By reason of its peaked and two-sided ceiling it is a seven-sided room; and the amount of cubic space thus divided off above the square at the top is the high seventh of the cubic space contained above the distinctly marked base line which runs around the room at the height of the passage conducting into it. It is thus a completed sabbatism founded on a sabbatism in the way by which it is approached. We thus have all the features of the Hebrew sabbatic system emphatically pronounced and most remarkably built into the rocky structure of this pyramid more than six hundred years before Moses and the giving of the law,—a system of which the Gentiles as such knew little or nothing, though practically observed by the Creator himself in the great week in which the world was made. And by this intense sabbatism we are doubtless to identify this part of the pyramid with the Jew, the

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same as we identify the Grand Gallery with the Christian dispensation.


But there is a yet grander thought embodied in this wonderful structure. Of its five points, there is one of special pre-eminence, in which all its sides and upward exterior lines terminate. It is the summit corner, which lifts its solemn index-finger to the sun at midday, and by its distance from the base tells the mean distance of that sun from the earth. And if we go back to the date which the pyramid gives itself, and look for what that finger pointed to at midnight, we find a far sublimer indication.

Science has at last discovered that the sun is not a dead centre, with planets and comets wheeling about it but itself stationary. It is now ascertained that the sun also is in motion, carrying with it its splendid retinue of comets, planets, its satellites and theirs, around some other and vastly mightier centre. Astronomers are not yet fully agreed as to what or where that centre is. Some, however, believe that they have found the direction of it to be the Pleiades, and particularly Alcyone, the central one of the renowned Pleiadic stars. To the distinguished German astronomer, Prof. J. H.

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[paragraph continues] Maedler, belongs the honor of having made this discovery. Alcyone, then, as far as science has been able to perceive, would seem to be "the midnight throne" in which the whole system of gravitation has its central seat, and from which the Almighty governs His universe. And here is the wonderful corresponding fact, that at the date of the Great Pyramid's completion, at midnight of the autumnal equinox, and hence the true beginning of the year as still preserved in the traditions of many nations, the Pleiades were distributed over the meridian of this pyramid, with Alcyone (η Tauri) precisely on the line.

Here, then, is a pointing of the highest and sublimest character that mere human science has ever been able so much as to hint, and which would seem to breathe an unsuspected and mighty meaning into that speech of God to Job when He demanded, "Cant thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades?"


Could all these things have been mere coincidences? Is it possible that they just happened so out of blind chance? Then what is the reason that nothing of the sort has happened in the scores of other Egyptian pyramids?

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[paragraph continues] And if they were really designed by the builders, whence then came this surprising intelligence, unsurpassed and uncontradictable by the best scientific attainments of modern man?

Shall we credit it all to old Egypt? We find it memorialized in Egypt, but could it have been of Egypt? Not far can we go in such an inquiry till we find the way impassably choked up against any such conclusion. The old Egyptians never were a highly scientific people. Bunsen says, "Their astronomy was strictly provincial, calculated only for the meridian of Egypt;" and that "the signs of the zodiac were wholly unknown to them till the reign of Trajan." Brugsch says, "It was based on empiricism, and not on that mathematical science which calculates the movements of the stars." Strabo admits that the Egyptians of his day were destitute of scientific astronomical knowledge. Renan asserts, and Edward Everett had said before him, that "Not a reformer, not a great poet, not a great artist, not a savant, not a philosopher, is to be met with in all their history." Never, therefore, was it in their power to understand, much less originate and enunciate, the sublime science found in the Great Pyramid. The other

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pyramids were of Egypt, but they are totally wanting in all these elements of intellectuality. We look in vain for any traces that the old Egyptians ever understood the mathematical π, much less construct so original a symbol of it. There is no proof that they ever had any appreciation of the pyramid's system of numbers, or knew anything of the sun's distance or the earth's form or weight. There is no sign that they ever used the pyramid inch, or the cubit of twenty-five inches, or any measure founded on intelligent earth commensuration. There is nothing to show that they comprehended the precessional cycle, or ever made use of it. They computed by the short and confusing Sothic cycle of one thousand four hundred and sixty-one years, and mistook even that, making it a day in every four years shorter than it really is. Their governing star was not Alcyone, the happy star of celestial tranquillity and peace, but Sirius, the fiery dogstar, whose rising and setting with the sun marks "the dog days,"—the most pestilential days of all the year. It is a bright and flaring star, indeed, but of ill omen to the northern and more classic peoples—a star of which Homer sung as one

                     Whose burning breath
Taints the red air with fevers, plagues, and death.

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[paragraph continues] —a star fittingly auspicious of the beast worship of the people who regulated their grand cycle by it. Ana when we further consider how perfectly clear and pure the Great Pyramid is from all marks or traces of old Egypt's super-abounding idolatry, which "changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things," defiling every object with this base harlotry of the human soul; it becomes utterly impossible to believe that this grand pillar, with its still grander scientific embodiments, could ever have sprung from Egypt, though "all the wisdom of the Egyptians" had been concentrated to produce it. Many pyramids did Egypt build before the costly fashion went out of vogue; but even with the great original before them, there was not genius and observation enough in all the land to make so much as a correct copy of it. Of all the enormous mounds of brick or stone which Egypt itself set up, there is not one to tell of aught but vaulting ambition and blundering imitation. From the least unto the greatest there is neither science nor sense in any of them. How then could Egypt have originated this great science-laden forerunner of them all?

p. 95

Whence then came this wisdom? Some direct us to Babylon as the fountain-head of science and astronomy. And the Chaldæans were, indeed, great builders and astrologers. They worshipped the heavenly bodies. Among them, if among any of the nations, may we best hope to find the primal treasure-house of the knowledge we have been deciphering, if it be at all of earth. To the planet temple of Nebo, at Borsippa, are we above all directed as the best memorial they have left us. But the Borsippa temple comes seventeen hundred years after the Great Pyramid, and yet sinks into insignificance beside it. Its orientation has been specially lauded as strikingly scientific for that remote age, and yet its builders missed it by six degrees! And so lopsided was that construction according to the best reproductions of its plan,—its surface so broken with corners of terraces, panelled walls, priests' dwellings, and flights of steps, that its warmest admirers do not pretend to find anything scientific in its form or shape. It was dedicated to the planets, and proposed to enumerate them in its diverse colored stages, and yet it knew nothing of Uranus, Neptune, or the planetoids, and counted in the earth's moon as one! With such an astronomy the

p. 96

[paragraph continues] Great Pyramid could not possibly have been made what it is. There is, indeed, a system of Babylonian metres which has penetrated more or less into all civilized countries, principally through Alexander and the Greeks; but it was a system of sixes and sevens, and not of fives and tens. Its cubit was between twenty and twenty-one inches, and not the twenty-five of the earth-commensurated cubit of the Great Pyramid and the sacred cubit of the Hebrews. And no more in Babylon's metrology than in Babylon's planet temple is there any real science worthy of the name. There is measure, but it is meaningless. There is grand building, but it is only fanciful piling up of bricks and stories which tells of nothing but the pride and idolatry of the builders and their blundering in the plain things of our planetary economy, beyond which there is nothing. Never from such a source could the Great Pyramid have come.

Whence, then, came this wisdom? Step by step we are being driven to the border line of the territory of miracle and inspiration. Nor do I know how we can honestly help ourselves against crossing it for an explanation. Prof. Proctor has recently undertaken to solve the whole matter on very easy human grounds,

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but the flippancy with which he disposes of some of the problems, while taking no account whatever of others, shows that, astronomer as he is, he has not fully taken in the case. The whole thing hears the impress of an intelligence so high, a wisdom so unaccountable, and a beneficence so genial toward the wants of man, that no one yet has even begun to show how it can be less than supernatural. And yet our presentations have followed but one line of inquiry, while there are others of still more striking character and importance. I have kept myself thus far to the department of science alone. But there remain sundry other fields full of wonder, on which I have not time now to touch.

Six hundred years had this pyramid been built before Moses began to write the Pentateuch. And what if passages should be found scattered through the Scriptures which will not intelligibly interpret without it? What if all the great doctrines of Revelation, and all the great characteristics of the ages, and all the mightiest facts in human history and God's administrations, should be found imbedded in its rocky symbolisms? What if we should find it prophesied of as a grand memorial of Jehovah, meant to be uncovered and read in

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these last evil times, in confutation of the degrading philosophies and vain conceits which men untaught of God would have us accept in place of the word of Revelation? What if we should hear from out its dark and long- hidden chambers and avenues just where we I are in the great calendar of time, what scenes are next to be expected in the affairs of our world and what unexampled changes presently await us? What if it should turn out to be a clear and manifest prophecy of man's constant native deterioration, of his redemption by miracle, and of his destiny forever, all written out beforehand in "the grandeur of immortal stone?" What if it should prove itself .an earlier and independent duplicate of God's volume of inspiration? What majesty and consequence would it then assume in the eyes of all right-thinking men! To what a crushing test would our modern scientists then be brought with their theories of creation without a. God and their doctrines of salvation without a Saviour!

Nor is it an extravagant anticipation to expect even thus much from this wonderful pillar. Once admit, as I believe it will yet have to be admitted, that superhuman intelligence is in it, and there is then every reason

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to count on finding the whole story. God never deals in fragments without making them symbols of the whole. And I shall be much mistaken if it does not turn out, without forcing of facts or dealing in fancies, that in these rocks and their emplacements are treasured up from hoar antiquity the whole plan of God in grace and miracle as well as in the universe of nature. Some other opportunity may be afforded for us to enter and survey this field and thus penetrate further into this glorious mountain of glorious thoughts.

Meanwhile, the mighty structure stands immortal in its greatness, lifting its brow the nearest to heaven of all earthly works, and asserting in every feature something more than human. With all of man's workmanship that went before it in utter ruin, it stands only the more readable from the damages of time, the grand and indestructible monument of the true primeval man. Upon its pedestal of rock, battered by the buffetings of forty centuries, it stands, upspringing like a tongue of fire kindled of God to light the course of time down to its final goal and consummation.


21:* See Rawlinson's Herodotus, Book II, chap. 124, vol. 2, pp. 169-176.

22:* Nat. Hist., tom. 36, sec. 16.

25:* It is barely possible that there was once a forced entrance into the upper parts of the Great Pyramid, long before the Mohammedan times. At the beginning of the Grand Gallery there is a missing ramp-stone, which once covered the mouth of the well. This ramp-stone seems to have been forced out from below upwards, as a fragment of it is still seen adhering to the next stone, held by the firm cement of the joint. Hence it is surmised that some fanatics of the dynasties of Ethiopic intruders, or the Persian conquerors after them, forcibly entered in search of treasures by means of the well, and then closed up the entrance again to conceal what they had done. This is thought the more probable, as the other pyramids, which were used as royal tombs, seem to have been entered and rifled at some remote period of the past. But when we consider some of the high prophetic meanings connected with the Grand Gallery, and of that well out of which it takes its beginning, we would rather infer that the builders themselves broke out that ramp-stone, or sealed on that fragment in a way indicative of violent bursting out from below, as part of the great intention and teaching of the mighty fabric. This is the more probable, (1) because no part of that missing ramp-stone has ever been found; (2) because of the extraordinary difficulty of breaking away such a stone from within the well; and (3) the difficulty of, and absence of motive for, a removal of the stone if broken in by the supposed marauders. Hence we conclude that the situation was intentionally so left by the p. 26 builders themselves, and that no one after them had entered the upper parts of the Great Pyramid prior to Al Mamoun's hordes.

27:* The principal Arab writers who give accounts of the Pyramids are Abou Ma Sher (died 272 of the Hegira), Ebn Khordadbeh (died about 300 of sane era), Abou Rihan Mohammed (about 430), Masoudi (died 345), Abou Abdullah Mohammed (died 454), Abd Alatif (born 557), Shehab Eddin Ahmed (died about 745). Ebn Abd Al Hokm Makizi (died about 845), Soyuti (died 911), etc. The dates given are those of the Hegira, to which add 622 to give the year of our era.

The worth of what these men have recorded, may be learned from the following testimonies:

"The authority of Arab writers is not always to be relied on."—SIR GARDINER WILKINSON, Murray's Handbook, 1867, p. 168.

"The only fact which seems to be established by the Eastern authors to whom we have now referred (the Arabians), is the opening of the Great Pyramid by Al Mamoun; and even of that, no distinct or rational account exists."—COL. HOWARD VYSE.

Prof. John Greaves (1637) quotes from some of these writers, p. 28 and adds, "Thus far the Arabians, which traditions of theirs are little better than a romance "

Professor Smyth, after trying and testing the whole body of accounts, says, "We find ourselves standing again just where Prof. Greaves stood in 1637, obliged to reject every rag of testimony from the followers of the false prophet."—Antiquity of Intellectual Man," p. 277.

28:* Other European authors who have given accounts of the Pyramids are Cyriacus, A.D. 1440; Breydenbach, 1486; Bellonius, 1553; Johannes Helfricus, 1565; Lawrence Aldersey, 1586; Jeane Palerma, 1581; Prosper Alpinus, 1591; Baumgarten, 1594; Sandys, 1610; Pietro Della Vale, 1616; De Villamont, 1618; Rabbi Benjamin, 1633; most of whom themselves visited the Pyramids.

29:* Among these may be mentioned De Monconys (1647), Thevenot (1655), Melton (1661), Vausleb (1664), Kircher (1666), Lebrun (1674), Maillet (1692-1708), De Careri (1693), Lucas (1699), Veryard (1701), Quatremere (1701), Egmont (1709), Perizonius (1711), Pere Sicard (1715), Shaw (1721), Norden (1737), Pococke (1743), Dr. Perry (1743), Fourmount (1755), Niebuhr (1761).

29:† The results of Davison's labors are contained in the Memoirs of Rev. Robert Walpole, and are alluded to at some length in vol. 19 of the Quarterly Review. Other writers on the p. 30 subject after him, were Bruce (1768), L’Abbe De Binos (1777), Savary (1777), Volney (1783), Browne (1792-98), Devon (1799).

30:* See Colonel Coutelle's remarks (1801), and particularly M. Jomard's descriptions (1801).

Other writers are Hamilton (1801), Dr. Whitman (1801), Dr. Wilson (1805), M. Caviglia (1817), M. Belzoni (1817), Signore Athanasi (1817), Dr. Richardson (1817), Mr. Webster (1827), Wilkinson (1831), Mr. St. John (1832), Captain Scott and Mr. Agnew (1837).

46:* See Egypt's Place in History, vol. i, p. 477, and vol. iv, p. 107.

48:* From this 10,9 shape of the Great Pyramid there results also important confirmation of the measurements of the base side and height. "The side angle computed from it amounts to 51° 50´ 39.1″; the π angle being 51° 51´ 14.3″; and the angle from Mr. Taylor's interpretation of Herodotus, or to the effect of the Great Pyramid having been built to represent an area on the side equal to the height squared 51° 49´ 25″. The vertical heights in pyramid (earth-commensurated) inches are at the same time, using the same base side length for them all by the 10,9 hypothesis, 5811; by the π hypothesis 5813; and by the p. 49 Herodotus-Taylor hypothesis 5807." The nearness to identity of the results of such diverse methods amply proves that the assumed measure of each base side, by taking the mean of all the practical measurements between the sockets, cannot be far front the true measure laid out by the architects, and hence a just foundation on which to proceed in any calculations or conclusions that may result. Those who are disposed to rid themselves of such conclusions on the ground that we do not know with sufficient accuracy what is the length of the pyramid's base sides, ought to consider these remarkable facts, and meet them in a fair and scientific way, or else admit that there is no such vitiating uncertainty as they too fondly assume without being able practically or by any process to prove that our figures are false.

51:* "These azimuth trenches are a sort of large open ditches spread about here and there on the surface of the hill, before the eastern face of the Great Pyramid, and not very noticeable except for their relative angles in a horizontal plane; for these gave me the idea at first sight of being strangely similar to the p. 52 dominant angles of the exterior of the Great Pyramid. To determine whether this idea was true or not, I determined to measure all the angles rather carefully." "Most happily, too, every part of them which has to enter into the measurement, still exist visibly and tangibly; so that good painstaking modern observation is perfectly able of itself, either to prove or disprove what has just been advanced," i.e., their correspondence to the angle of the foot of the Great Pyramid.—"Life and Work at Great Pyramid," vol. ii, p. 125, vol. iii, p. 28.

"For several reasons I consider these trenches have been originally incised for instructing the masons in the exact angular character of the very mathematically formed building they were engaged on, and while the work was in progress."—"Antiquity of Intellectual Man," p. 192.

"If you take the Great Pyramid as it was when in masonry progress or without its final casing film, and if from the centre of the then base you draw its proportion π circle, the conjoined axes of north and south azimuth trenches will form a tangent to that circle at its most protuberant point in front of the middle east side. And further, if from the points toward the north and south extremities of the east side of base where the π circle cuts into the area of the base you draw rectangular offsets from that side eastward, these offsets will be found to define the places of the admirably square cut outer ends of both north and south azimuth trenches with as much accuracy as the present standing and broken sides of the pyramid admit of in their measurement."—Ma. W. PETRIE, quoted by PROF. SMYTH.

Besides these trenches there is also a system of inclined tunnels cut into the rock of the hill, which some have taken to be the remains or the commencement of another pyramid of small size. But Prof. Smyth found them arranged on the same principles contained in the Great Pyramid, and only in it. He says of them: "There is a long descending entrance passage, an upward and opposite rising passage from the middle of that like the Great Pyramid's first ascending passage; then the p. 53 beginning of a horizontal passage like that to the Queen's Chamber, and finally the commencement of the upward rising of the Grand Gallery with its remarkable ramps on either side. The angles, heights, and breadths of all these are almost exactly the same as obtain in the Great Pyramid." They are evidently the experimental models, cut beforehand into an unneeded part of the bill, giving the plan to which the Great Pyramid was to be wrought, and to which the. builders have accurately conformed the mighty structure. Here, then, in these trenches and tubes we still find the plans and drawing to which these ancient masons worked, both of the outside angles and the inside arrangements. We cannot conceive that these vast and still enduring charts giving the features of the Great Pyramid in all its greatness would thus have been cut if the whole work had been conditioned to the uncertainty of the duration of the king's life. Osburn entirely repudiates Lepsius's "law of pyramid building."

55:* The following is a list of these measures:

The French savants in 1799,

north side only,


Eng. inches.

Colonel Howard Vyse in 1836,

  "    "     "


  "     "

Mahmoud Bey in 1862,

  "    "     "


  "     "

Aiton and Inglis in 1865,

mean of four sides,


  "     "

English Ordnance Surveyors in 1869,

mean of four sides,


  "     "

Mean of the five,



  "     "

The Aiton-Inglis measuring was repeated four times, and the mean given is that of the four measures, which would justly entitle this figure to more weight than simply as one of the five. Very moderately weighting it beyond the rest gives us the general mean of nine thousand one hundred and forty inches, with a small margin of possible error on either side. It is greatly to be regretted that we cannot refer to absolutely certain figures, and so shut out all possible cavil; but as the matter stands, the most reasonable and scientific way of estimating the truth is that of taking the properly weighted mean of the several very competent measurers, each anxious to be exact, and one as liable to be too high as the other too low.

57:* The highest cathedrals in the world are Strasburg, five thousand six hundred and sixteen inches; Rouen, five thousand five hundred and sixty-eight; St. Stephen's, Vienna, five thousand two hundred and ninety-two; St. Peter's, Rome, five thousand one hundred and eighty-four; Amiens, five thousand and eighty-eight; Salisbury, four thousand eight hundred and forty-eight; Freiburg, four thousand six hundred and twenty; St. Paul's, London, four thousand three hundred and thirty-two. The Cathedral at Cologne was meant to be higher, but never has reached this height, neither has any other known tower. The oldest standing edifice in the world is thus the highest by far.

62:* Some have doubted whether the Jews, either before or after the Exodus, ever had a special cubit of this kind. But that they had, and that the sane was a Divinely given and authorized length measure, is so clearly deducible from the Scriptures and the Jewish writings in general that there ought to be no question about it. Sir Isaac Newton, in his "Dissertation on Cubits," has brought this out so conclusively as to leave but little else to he desired. By five successive methods he also deduces the limit of its length as in no case less than 23.3 or more than 27.9 of our inches. The mean of all his numbers amounts to 25.07 of our inches, with a possible error on the one side or the other of one-tenth of an inch. That the Hebrews, then, had a peculiar and sacred cubit wholly separate from all other cubits, and that it was the even ten millionth part of the semi-axis of the earth, we may accept and hold on the authority of one of the greatest minds and one of the most thorough and competent investigators of such a matter that has illuminated cur modern times.

64:* Captain Tracy has pointed out that the pyramid's earth commensurated cubit is exhibited on this boss of the granite leaf divided into fives, for it is just one-fifth of that cubit broad, and the thickness of the boss is again just one-fifth of its width. We thus have the earth-commensurated inch and cubit exhibited together, five times five of the one constituting the other. This boss again is just one of these inches aside from the centre of the block on which it is, and the distance from its centre to the eastern end of that block in its groove is just one cubit of twenty-five of these inches. Rev. Glover re-examined the measures of this boss in 1874 and says; "I find it most fairly confirmatory of the entire of the sacred cubit and its divisions, giving the inch elevation and the five-inch span with an inch base for the side slope; on the boss itself there is no indication whatever of any irregularity of shape."—CASEY'S "Philitis," p. 40.

66:* These experiments as given in "Johnson's New Universal Cyclopædia" (Art. Density of the Earth), are the following:

Colonel James's Observations with Arthur's Seat,


Prof. Airy's Mine Experiments,


Cavendish Leaden Globe Experiment,


Reich's Experiments,


Baily's Experiments,


     Mean of all the results,


     Difference from pyramid,


     Pyramid expression,


It thus appears that the pyramid's figure for the earth's density is much nearer to the mean of the experiments than the experiments are to each other.

Computing the earth's bulk at a mean gravity 5.7 times that of water, according to the calculation made by Mr. Wm. Petrie, of London, the figures stand thus:

Pyramid's mass in tons,


Earth's mass in tons,


The accurate calculation of such immense masses of matter must necessarily be very rough; but the results come out evenly enough to show that 5.70 is the proper figure for the pyramidic estimate of the mean density of the earth, and that the pyramid was meant to be of such weight that it should be to the whole weight of the earth as 1 to 105×3.

73:* We subjoin a table of units and standards of this system the better to set it before the eyes and understandings of those disposed to investigate its elements.

I. LINEAR MEASURE. The grand standard for this is the earth's axis of rotation, the sacred cubit of Noah, Moses, Solomon, and the Great Pyramid, the shortest distance from the centre of the earth to either pole divided by 107, which is equal to 25.025 of our inches. The table would then run as follows:



= 1 inch or thumb-breadth.



= 1 cubit, arm-length, or pace.



= 1 acre side.


acre sides

= 1 mile.



= 1 league..

II. WEIGHT AND CAPACITY MEASURE. The grand standard for this is the mean density of the earth at 5.70 times the p. 74 weight of water at 68° Fahrenheit, weighing five cubic inches to the pound, which is 1.028 of the pound avoirdupois, or 1.050 old French "poids de marc," or one pint, 5 × 5.70 cubic inches of water 68° Fahrenheit (50° pyramid), barometrical pressure thirty inches of preceding table, dividing downward by ten and twenty for ounces, drachms, and grains, and multiplying upwards by ten for a stone, ten again for hundredweight, then by five for a quarter, and then by four for the ton, and the same for gallons, bushels, quarters, and chaldrons.

The interrelations would then be:


drop of water

= 1 grain.



= 1 pound.



= 1 hundredweight.



= 1 ton.

III. THERMAL MEASURE. The grand standard for this is the mean temperature of the earth in which man works with most ease and comfort, 68° Fahrenheit, 20° Centigrade.


zero, the freezing-point of water.


mean temperature of the whole earth.


boiling-point of water.


the point at which heat reddens iron.


white heat, at which platinum melts.

82:* A singular coincidence with this has been pointed out by R. A. Procter. If we take the pyramid's cubits instead of its inches, and multiply the number of these cubits in a base side of the pyramid by the number fifty, and increase the result in proportion as the base diagonal exceeds the measure of the side, the sum comes out in the number of years in the great precessional period.

85:* The existence of these lines, as first reported by Prof. Smyth, has now been amply verified. Rev. F. R. A. Glover, on his way to India, in 1874, visited the Great Pyramid with some four or five others, and subsequently wrote from Cairo, under date of November 12th, "One of our party having quoted the opinion expressed by Sir Nelson Pycroft, 'that the story of these lines was all bosh,' I took care to let the party have ocular demonstration of their existence, and thus see the folly of the honorable baronet in declaring that 'these lines were not there, whatever Prof Smyth or anybody else had said.' When I had showed the young gentlemen above named that the lines were there, I said to them, 'Now you see that however difficult it may be to distinguish them by superficial observers, the lines are there, and I shall ask you to confess now, and at all other times, that you have seen them.' To this they gladly consented; and so this story and this verification of the reality of the lines will be repeated as often as I shall be called on to speak of the matter."—Given in Casey's "Philitis," pp. 40, 41.

Next: Lecture Second. Modern Discoveries and Biblical Connections