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An objection of some apparent force has, however, been raised against this conclusion, of a chronological nature. Mrs. Somerville, in her admirable work on “Physical Geography, states the following fact: The national appearance of the · Ethiopians, Persians, and Jews, has not varied for more than

three thousand years, as appears from the ancient Egyptian paintings in the tomb of Rhameses the Great, discovered at "Thebes by Belzoni.'— Vol. ii. p. 255. An inference from this fact is thus expressed in Gliddon's · Ancient Egypt:- Shall not the ethnographer, versed in Egyptian lore, proclaim the fact, (f) that the physiological, craniological, capillary, and cuticular distinctions of the human race existed on the first • distribution of mankind throughout the earth?'*-page 31. That distinctions of colour have prevailed among mankind for thousands of years must be conceded, but from this it by no means follows that they have always existed. Neither is time specified by us as a cause of colour, although such is assumed to have been the case in these words of Gliddon:"Four thousand years have not had the slightest effect in whitening Negroes.' That colour remains the same during the continuance of the same physical condition, accords exactly with our view; and the instance referred to is, therefore, its confirmation. There appears, however, to be much misconception about the period of time absolutely necessary for the full operation of external influences on the human frame. Changes of conformation and complexion are not effected in one or two generations; nevertheless, the lapse of a few centuries affords time enough for physical causes to exhibit their effects on a race of men. We have already enumerated the changes that resulted from altered circumstances, in the course of some centuries, among the Turks, Hungarian nobility, Jews, Berberines, and Irish. Lyell even observed a perceptible improvement in the domestic Negro slaves of America, indicative of the influence of climate and civilization on the great-grandchildren of the natives of Africa.

But the objection is directed chiefly against Biblical chronology, which is affirmed to be irreconcileable with the existence of black men four thousand years ago, except on the hypothesis of the original distinctness of stocks. Certainly, the 4197 years that appear in our English version to have intervened between the Deluge and the present moment, are an insufficient period for the migrations and changes to which reference has been made. But has the chronology appended to our Bible the authority of revelation, or is it merely the result of human reckoning? Bunsen says: “As regards the

* Similar sentiments subversive of the truthfulness of the Mosaic records we regret to find in the following recent work by the same author :-Otia Ægyptiaca, or Discourses on Egyptian Archæology and Hieroglyphical Discoveries, by George R. Gliddon,' 1849. The interesting facts with which this book abounds, and the undoubted ability of the writer, increase our regret at his hasty and unsound inferences.

Jewish computation of time, the study of scripture had long convinced me that there is in the Old Testament no con

nected chronology prior to Solomon. All that now passes for a system of ancient chronology, beyond that fixed point, is the melancholy legacy of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; a compound of intentional deceit and utter miscon'ception of the principles of historical research.'—Egypt, vol. i., Pref. viii.) Archbishop Usher is the author of that chronology which appears in the English Bible, and which long since was proved incorrect by the learned Dr. Hales, who adopted the more extended periods of the Septuagint, in preference to the computation from the Hebrew Scriptures. As the dates of the Deluge in these authorities are respectively 3200 B.C., and 2348 B.C., by adopting the former, or Septuagint date, Dr. Hales gained 852 years for the dispersion of mankind, and the rise of the primitive empires.

More time, however, than this may have elapsed, for there are existing monuments in Egypt, whose age would seem to date from a much earlier time. Chinese historical books and Indian monuments have, in the present century, been successively the subject of study to chronologers. But Egyptian papyri and hieroglyphical inscriptions, with the Cuneiform records, recently found by Layard at Nineveh, seem destined to furnish us with a system of chronology that will completely harmonize every result of modern research with the volume of revelation. It has been well said by Goethe, that chronology is one of the ' most difficult sciences, requiring a combination of distinct branches of knowledge, and the application of an extensive variety of mental faculties. Only recently has it been possible to pursue this science with any prospect of success in its bearing on the primeval history of man, although each year

has added to the mass of facts that required an extension of the received chronology. In the unsettled state of this science, no precise date can yet be assigned for the Deluge ; but all testimony is in favour of a more remote period than that founded on the Masorete Hebrew text, the Samaritan, the Septuagint, and on the Jewish chronicler Josephus—so that the chronological objection to our statements is pointless, being based on the assumption of the correctness of Archbishop Usher's calculation.

It is in the highest degree satisfactory to know that the chronological data of scripture do not demand such a limitation of post-diluvian time as the figures affixed to the pages of our · Authorized Version' denote. The scriptural data give all the latitude that modern scientific investigations can require, so as to remove from the Christian church all ground for fear about the results to which such researches may lead. Ethnology is passing through the same ordeal as Astronomy in former days, and Geology more recently. Knowledge of any kind that approaches the limits of revealed truth, seems destined, for a time at least, to be abused both by the friends and the foes of the latter. The believing part of the community frown on a newborn science, as an unwelcome intruder bent on defiling the temple of truth; while unbelievers greet her with a smile indicative of the hope that a fresh ally to their cause has appeared. But intelligent Christians will ever cherish too strong a confidence in the infallibility of biblical statements, to be alarmed at the progress of inquiry in any direction. The Bible repels not, but invites inquiry, for it declares the Creator of all things and the Author of Revelation to be one and the same Being. Consistency the most complete is therefore to be expected between the word and the works of God; and science after science has ranged itself on the side of scripture, forming a guard of honour to revealed religion. Ethnology takes not the lowest rank among these, having already testified to the truth of no unimportant part of Holy Writ.

The conclusions arrived at in this article, are of deepest interest to the philanthropist. He feels the obligation to alleviate the miseries of mankind; seeking freedom for the slave, education for the ignorant, and moral teaching for the depraved. Community of nature proclaims the relationship subsisting between man and man, awakening sympathy for the needy and destitute, and suggesting plans for their relief. And great is the encouragement to be gathered from the capacity of man, even the most degraded, for improvement. His animal may have subdued and almost annihilated his rational nature, but the latter is not extinct even in the Bushman and Australian. The fostering care of the friend of man will gradually elevate the receding forehead, removing from the face the signs of sensuality, and restoring the lineaments of civilization. Moral means thus manifest their power to effect physical changes, while these are indicative of the triumph of reason over the material building in which it dwells.

441

Art. VI. (1.) Notes and Lectures upon Shakespeare and some of the

old Poets and Dramatists, with other Literary Remains of S. T. Coleridge. Edited by Mrs. H. N. COLERIDGE. 2 vols.

London, 1849. 12mo. (2.) Lives of the Italian Painters. Michael Angelo, by R. DUPPA, LL.B.

Raffaello, by QUATREMERE DE Quincy. London, 1846. 8vo. (3.) The Æsthetic and Miscellaneous Works of Frederick von Schlegel.

Translated from the German, by E. J. MILLINGTON. London,

1849. 8vo. (4.) An Inquiry into the Philosophy and Religion of Shakespeare.

By W. J. BIRCH. London, 1848. 12mo. (5.) The Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth. By WILLIAM

Roscoe. London, 1846. 8vo. CONSIDERABLE interest begins to attach itself to the subject of the ethics of art; and it is high time that it should be so. Art has suffered, and, in a less degree, religion and morality have suffered, for want of some settled understanding concerning their relationships. That such deficiency does really exist, and to an extent which is very surprising, for times when few things are esteemed too slight to merit learned investigation, may be inferred from the confession of Mr. Ruskin, who, although he knows more of the matter than most people, admits that he is in almost total darkness concerning the practical result of art upon the moral and religious condition of men and nations. We trust, before long, to welcome some carefully-considered treatise upon this magnificent theme: may we not hope that Mr. Ruskin himself will be induced to take up and thoroughly sift a question, the importance of which it is evident he very deeply feels? No other living writer could so well perform the task. It demands for its fulfilment much general learning, a highly educated taste for, and a technical knowledge of, art; genius to perceive, and courage to state new truth; and (what, in combination with these qualities, has of late times been rare) a devout and humble soul. The author of Modern Painters, and the Seven Lamps of Architecture,' is the man for the work. But, whoever does it, let us hope that it will be done in an uncompromising manner; in authorship, as in all else, absolute honesty is infinitely the best policy. No doctrine, however true, can prosper if it be propounded timidly; half-statements are like half-measures, they are lost themselves, and lose the makers of them. man, who is afraid to be laughed at by fools and knaves undertake to define the relationships of art and religion. NO. XX.

G G

Let 10

In the absence of anything more satisfactory, our readers may find a few random thoughts of our own upon the ethics of art not unacceptable. These thoughts fall under the following heads: first, the nature of art, and its à priori aptitude or inaptitude for the true service of the soul; secondly, the history of art, and of what we can gather concerning its effects; thirdly, the characters of artists; and, lastly, the future prospects and possibilities of art as a teacher.

Before we inquire into the influence of art, let us determine what we mean by the word. All, save some small party of sensualists, agree that art is something which ought to have an elevating power; and it is now generally believed that many works, which centuries have stamped with fame, were intended to exert such power. It is also very commonly held, that works which all persons of authoritative taste agree to call works of art, do actually elevate and benefit the student of them: of this, however, there are certain doubts, which are plausible enough to deserve attention, and to demand confutation or confirmation; to these we shall attend by-and-by.

It follows, from the general admission that art must have, for one of its conditions, a tendency to elevate (whether it does so or not is another question), that that which is literally imitative of what men ordinarily see in things around them is not art, since, as a rule, such imitation can have no such tendency. And historically we know, that the best kinds of art have not been literally imitative; that is to say, literal imitation has generally been so far subordinated to something else as to allow, upon occasion, of its very manifest abandonment and sacrifice. Edward Dodwell, in his Tour in Greece,' remarks that the modern Greeks hold in abomination the statues and paintings resembling life which adorn the churches of other countries. When he endeavoured to convince them that there was no more harm in good paintings than in the wretched daubs which they admired in their own churches, they endeavoured to convince him that the unlikeness to reality constituted the excellence of these representations. Now, although such an absence of literal imitation can never constitute the merit of a work of art, it may

be

questioned whether, in the presence of other attributes of art, it may not add to and purify the effect. There is a peculiar charm in the works of Cimabue, Giotti, and others, prior to what is commonly regarded as the best Italian era, for which we can only account, by attributing it to the open disavowal, by those painters, of any attempt at imitating external nature, farther than was needful for the conveyance of their thought. In the subsequent styles of painting, which, while they were the

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