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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 38.djvu/307

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NEW CHAPTERS IN THE WARFARE OF SCIENCE.

But naturally the version of the legend which most affected Christendom was that modification of the Chaldean form developed among the Jews and embodied in their sacred books. To a thinking man in these days it is very instructive. The coming down of the Almighty from heaven to see the tower and put an end to it by dispersing its builders, points to the time when his dwelling was supposed to be just above the firmament or solid vault above the earth; the time when he exercised his beneficent activity in such acts as opening "the windows of heaven" to give down rain upon the earth; in bringing out the sun every day and hanging up the stars every night to give light to the earth; in hurling comets, to give warning; in placing his bow in the cloud, to give hope; in coming down in the cool of the evening to walk in the garden of Eden and to talk with the man he had made; in meeting one chosen man upon a mountain to give him laws, and another in the desert to wrestle with him.

But closely connected in its effects with this Babel legend was that of the naming of the animals by Adam. It was written in one of our two accounts of the creation that Jehovah came down and brought all the animals before Adam, who gave them their names. This and other indications of language, together with the Chaldean legend, which, in passing through the Jewish mind, became monotheistic, supplied to Christian theology the germs of a sacred science of philology. These germs developed rapidly in the warm atmosphere of devotion and ignorance of natural law which pervaded the early Christian Church; and so there grew a great


    Discoveries, p. 59. For a different view, see Lenormant, Histoire Ancienne de l'Orient, vol. i, p. 118. For some of these inscriptions discovered and read by George Smith, see his Chaldean Account of Genesis, New York, 1876, pp. 160-162. For the statement regarding the origin of the word Babel, see Ersch and Griiber, article Babel; also, the Rev. Prof. A. H. Sayce, in the latest edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica; also Colenso, Pentateuch examined, vol. iv, p. 268; also John Fiske, Myths and Myth-makers, p. 72; also Lenormant, Histoire Ancienne de l'Orient, Paris, 1881, vol. i, pp. 115 et seq. As to the character and purpose of the great tower of the Temple of Belus, see Smith's Bible Dictionary, article Babel, quoting Diodorus; also Rawlinson, especially in Journal of the Asiatic Society for 1861; also Sayce, Religion of the Ancient Babylonians (Hibbert Lectures for 1887), London, 1877, chap. Hand elsewhere, especially pp. 96, 397, 407; also Max Duncker, History of Antiquity, Abbott's translation, vol. ii, chaps, ii and iii. For similar legends in other parts of the world, see Delitch; also Humboldt, American Researches; also Brinton, Myths of the New World; also Colenso, as above. The Tower of Choluia is well known, having been described by Humboldt and Lord Kingsborough. For superb engravings showing the view of Babel as developed by the theological imagination, see Kircher, Turris Babel, Amsterdam, 1679. For the Law of Wills and Causes, with deductions from it well stated, see Beattie Crozier, Civilization and Progress, London, 1888, pp. 112, 178, 179, 273. For Plato, see the Polit., 272, ed. Steph., and elsewhere cited in Ersch and Grüber, article Babylon. For a good general statement, see Bible Myths, New York, 1883, chap. iii. For Aristotle's strange want of interest in any classification of the varieties of human speech, see Max Müller, Lectures on the Science of Language, London, 1864, series i, chap, iv, pp. 123-125.