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extent, ceremonies are a necessity now; for man cannot worship God decently and reverently without some outward ceremony. It may, and should be, made expressive and significant; but to carry it to the excess of gorgeous display or multiplied forms, would seem to be going back to a period when men in their weakness required such things. Under the light of the Gospel, it is not difficult in this matter to attain to a medium that is reasonable, appropriate and significant. But to proceed with our resemblances.
All the priestly garments were to be of linen. This was exactly the Egyptian practice.
The priests wore the ephod. From the best accounts we can get of this dress, it was similar in shape to one worn by Egyptian priests of the highest rank when they discharged their most solemn functions.
There was a rich embroidered girdle worn by the priests, with the ephod. The same was the case in Egypt.
The breastplate was another part of the priest's official dress. It bore twelve jewels, on each of which was engraved the name of one of the tribes. This, while it adopted an Egyptian custom, corrected Egyptian idolatry; for on the breastplate of the Egyptian priests, was worn an idolatrous symbol; most commonly the winged scarabaeus, the emblem of the sun.
The Urim and the Thummim. In the Septuagint JiJImais xai dliTJdeia. Here is evidence of Egyptian connection. The words mean light and truth, or justice; and they were used to indicate the breastplate which Aaron wore at certain times, on occasions connected with giving judgments. Wilkinson thus writes: "When a case was brought for trial, it was customary for the arch judge to put a golden chain around his neck, to which was suspended a small figure of Truth, ornamented with precious stones. This was in fact a representation of the goddess who was worshipped under the double character of truth and justice, and whose name Thmei (the Egyptian or Coptic name of justice or truth; hence the Oe'nu of the Greeks) appears to have been the origin of the Hebrew Thummim, a word implying truth."
JElian informs us, that the high priest among the Egyptians wore around his neck an image of sapphire, which was called Truth. Diodorus says the same thing. Wilkinson gives an engraving of the goddess, with closed eyes, as symbolical of impartiality.
We proceed still further briefly to trace resemblances in some of the usages of the Hebrews and those of Egypt. To indicate a few of these only is all that our space permits, and all that is required for our purpose of establishing that intimate relationship which must have existed between the Hebrews and the Egyptians, to afford any satisfactory explanation of the correspondence between them, certainly remarkable, in modes of feeling and habits of life. The history of this intimate relationship is written nowhere but in the Bible. All, therefore,
tending to establish it as a fact, tends to establish the truth of the Bible, at least in that particular. We remark, then, that the Egyptians were accustomed to put inscriptions on their houses, both inside and out.
From this circumstance the Jews were prepared for the command which bade them write the words of their law upon their door-posts and their gates.
When they made the ark, the size of it was particularly given. It is precisely the size of an ark carried after the statue of the god Chem, in a painting of the time of Rameses III.
The mode in which the Egyptians carried an ark or shrine in their processions is delineated often on the monuments. It is precisely the mode adopted by the Hebrews.
But, further, the very customs which were forbidden to the Hebrews seem to confirm their intimate relation with Egypt, for they are all ancient customs on the Nile. God's purpose, we are told, was to preserve, by means of the Jews, the great truth, that there was one God the creator of the world. Moses, therefore, did not hesitate to proclaim that the gods of Egypt were false, and to forbid all worship of them. Thus the Egyptians worshipped the sun, moon and stars: among the Jews, whoever worshipped any one of the heavenly host was to be stoned to death.
The Egyptians worshipped statues of men, beasts, birds, and fishes: the Jews were forbidden to bow before any carved image.
The people of Lower Egypt marked their bodies with wounds in honor of their gods: the Jews were forbidden thus to cut their flesh or make any mark upon it.
The Egyptians buried food in the tombs with their friends: the Jews were forbidden to set apart any fruit for the dead.
The Egyptians planted groves of trees within the courtyards of their temples: Moses forbade the Jews to plant any trees near the altar of the Lord.
Who can doubt that the very nature of these prohibitions indicates that they were specifically directed against Egyptian usages 1 If they were, the prohibition furnishes evidence of the intimate relation recorded in the Bible between the Hebrews and Israel.
We have now finished what we have here to say of Egypt's evidences to the Pentateuch. We have, we are well aware, done but little more than furnish a few items, and those of a general nature, of the mass of testimony which might easily be adduced. We are not without the hope, however, that enough has been presented to show that the boast is premature which proclaims that Egyptian discoveries have proved the Bible to be false. The geology and chronology which are established (as it is said) by the soil and monuments of Egypt, are the strong grounds on which those rely who would condemn the Scriptures: but, to our minds, we are free to confess, were both these grounds much stronger than they are, the conclusion would be most unphilosophic that the sacred history is untrue. For what are the facts? We have shown a great many particulars in which undeniably, the testimony afforded by Egypt to our narrative, is too marked to be accidental. Hundreds of circumstances, some of them singly of small importance, and all casually introduced, without being intended as evidence when they were penned, are found on being brought together, to harmonize in a wonderful manner with the story which (as far as that story has been interpreted or understood) Egypt is telling of herself. Under such circumstances, what says the enlightened and truly philosophic mind? Certainly this: that even granting, in the present imperfect condition of science, there may be much in the geology of Egypt which indicates an extreme age, and presents a seeming difficulty in reconciling that age with received opinions as to the date of events; granting that the chronology, supposed to be gathered from cartouches interpreted by the guidance of a supposed Egyptian historian, whose very existence even is to some of the learned doubtful; granting that such chronology may not appear to synchronize with any received system of Scripture chronology; yet there is so much plain and palpable in Egypt that, in the shape of undoubted facts, does rise up to support the Bible story; so much of the Book is thus proved to be true; that real science will pause ere it too hastily concludes to reject, as entirely false, a witness clearly sustained in part, and that an important part; and will modestly conclude, that when more is fully known that science may possibly hereafter reveal, it will be found, that as the Bible and science are alike from God, they will prove, when investigation is finished, to be in entire harmony.
The Bible, so far as the testimony of Egypt is concerned, has established a claim that is undoubtedly to be, in part at least, believed. Let her then have credit for that part, and let it create the reasonable presumption that all she says, if properly understood, will be found true; let her have the benefit of this at least, until the science of man, now confessedly imperfect, shall have produced from Egypt what the Bible has, viz., equally undoubted evidence: it certainly has not yet done it, in contradiction of the Bible.
And now, in concluding this part of our subject, we think