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were altogether too thin and nebulous for the rough grasp of the Jew. Hence the result of our inquiry is, that it is not proved that our Old Testament contains any thing adopted from the creed of Zoroaster.

Yet those Jews who remained in Babylon did not invariably set their faces against all Gentile culture and foreign belief. They united with their neighbors to celebrate the religious festivals of the Persians; they studied their jurisprudence, and, to some extent at least, adopted their superstitions. Among the recent Babylonian discoveries might be named four cuneiform monuments, known to be Jewish, from the names of persons and things, and proving the adoption of gentile customs.24 But the most curious relic of this kind which has come to our knowledge is a saucer, or platter, described in Mr. Layard's second work, and bearing a long Chaldee inscription. It is, however, unquestionably a Jewish relic. The inscription is an exorcism for the banishment of evil spirits, and is as follows, according to the decyphering of Dr. M. A. Levy of Breslau:

"This is a bill of divorce to the Devil, (Shed) to the spirits, to Satan, to Nirich, to Sariah, to Abatur Tura, to Dan.. and may the Lilith disappear from the place of Behran, the place of Beth-najun, from Balir of the wilderness at Espandarmid, and from my whole house. Good Lord God (Jah Elohim tob) destroy the king of the devils (shedin); of the deevs; the dominion of the Lilith. I adjure thee... Lilith, grand-child of the beautiful Lilith, whether male or female. I adjure thee . . . May your heart fail before the mighty man who has dominion over the shedin. Go forth Lilith! See, remain in the darkness. See, beware! I drive you hence, and from my house in the place of Behran, the place of Beth-najun, and from the region around. As the shedin write bills of divorce and give to their wives, and then visit them no more, so take your bill of divorce, and receive your writing, and go hence, flee, haste, and go from the house in the place of Behran, the place of Beth-najun; in the name of NN go into darkness before the mighty man, and sealed with his seal, that it may be known that you return there no more. In the name of the Good Light, Amen, amen, amen, selah.”

It is impossible to make a very close approximation to the date of this relic; but from several peculiarities in the forms

24 Zeitschrift D. M. G., viii. 229, and Lassen's Zeitschrift für die Kunde des Morgenlandes.

of the names, we are fully satisfied that it is several centuries later than the Christian era. Some of the names here occurring require a word of explanation. Shedin is Chaldee for Shedim, the most frequent and proper word for devils or demons both in the Old Testament and the Talmud :— of which more hereafter. Nirich and Sariah are Parsee names for two of the chief deevs, as they are enumerated in the Ulema-i-Islam. Abatur is the good genius of the Mendaeans, but is probably a fiend here, according to the general principle that the gods of one people become the devils of another. Tura is a satyr, or goat-formed demon of the Mendacans. Abatur and Tura seem here to be confounded together and taken for one. Lilith is a Hebrew word, occurring only once in the Old Testament, (Isa. xxxiv. 14,) and there translated screech-owl in our version. It is impossible to say with certainty what kind of creature, actual or fabulous, was intended by the writer. The marginal reading in our Bible is “a night monster;" and the Rabbins who have much to say respecting the Lilith, understand by the word a female demon of great beauty, with a profusion of flowing hair and rich apparel, and whose peculiar vocation was to entice men to unchastity. This is precisely the character of the pairiki, or pari, already known to the Vendidad. The question here, as elsewhere is, which people first had the idea? If Isaiah used the word in nearly the same sense as the later Jews did, which is certainly to be presumed in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, then the Hebrew lilith is, so far as we can know, the original of which the Persian pari may be a copy, but can not possibly be the prototype.

We have in this amulet a Hebrew groundwork filled up to considerable extent with details of Eastern superstition. The mention of the deevs, of Nirich and Sariah, and of the Good Light, are instances of Magian ideas, as is also the command to the evil spirits to depart into darkness.

The demonology of the Jews has strong general resemblances to that of the Persians; but it would be very hasty and uncritical to assume that in all cases of coincidence the former had borrowed from the latter. Doubtless each people contributed to modify the ideas of the other; but we shall be able generally to trace the common doctrines to a higher antiquity among the Hebrews than among the people of Ormazd.

There is one particular in which both peoples were common pupils of the same teachers. The subject of study was Astronomy, which with them meant Astrology, if it meant anything. The Chaldee priests were early distinguished for their diligence and success in the study of celestial phenomena. Callisthenes, who accompanied Alexander, is said to have found at Babylon astronomical observations for a period of 1903 years. It is more certain, however, that Ptolemy had access to a series of Chaldean observations, sufficiently accurate to have a scientific value, extending back 721 years before the birth of Christ. It is from this source that the Magi derived the astronomical and astrological notions that abound in their later books. The Jewish doctors were equally fascinated with the science of the Chaldees, and turned it to a very similar account. The Talmuds abound with this recondite learning, which has for us little scientific value. The rabbins taught that were it not for the heat of Orion, the world would be congealed by the cold of Scorpio, and vice versa; and were it not that the tail of Scorpio is in the milky way, no one stung by a scorpion could live. This is a not unfair sample of their Astronomy, and many things might be taken indifferently from a Jewish or a Parsee book, bearing no internal marks to distinguish their source.25

S. R.

[To be continued.]


Sin and its Sequences, Immediate and Remote.

SIN is comprehensively defined by an apostle, as "the transgression of the law."1 Law is "a rule of action."2 Any acknowledged standard of right becomes a law to those who recognize it, and are rightfully it subjects. The foun

25 Fürst, Culturgeschichte i. 40-100–122.

11 John, iii. 4. 2 Blackstone, v. 1, ¶ 2.

tain of right, and the original source of law, is the divine equity.

The principle in man's nature to which the law of rectitude appeals, is the moral sense, or conscience. This principle is co-extensive with human sanity, a moral light "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world." 3 It is this inward, moral function which occasions disquitude on the violation of what we regard as right, and complacency of feeling on compliance with known duty.

The conscience does not, of itself, decide between right and wrong. This is the office of the judgment. Neither does the conscience choose between right and wrong. This is the function of the will. But the judgment having prescribed the path of duty, and the will decided to follow in, or deviate from, that path, the conscience gives the music for the march, either the harmony of approval, or the discord of condemnation. Conscience is the moral sensorium which responds with pain or pleasure to every act of obedience or transgression.

Human reason being finite, the judgment, however enlightened by human wisdom, is an insufficient guide. Hence the necessity of revelation. Revelation elevates the standard of human duty, and this elevation brings an increase of human responsibility. Given a revelation, it becomes a moral chart for the guidance of the judgment in all moral discrimination, and to this standard the will and the conscience must also be amenable.

Among the Hebrews, sin was the violation of the Mosaic code. The rules of duty recognized in that moral system were, to reverence and worship the living God; to avoid idolatry and polytheism; to observe the seventh day as sacred to physical repose and religious meditation; to honor parents; and to abstain from coveteousness and lust, from theft and perjury and murder. These principles of right, embodied in the decalogue, are eternal and universal, retained in Christianity, obligatory through all time, and most of them interwoven with the civil codes of all enlightened communities.

The Gentiles had no revealed standard of moral duty. They had, in the more enlightened portions of the world,

3 John, i. 9.

statute laws of human origin, for the regulation of their secular relations. They had also treatises on morals, written by meditative and observing, but uninspired and erring minds, of their own respective nations. With these, they had the aids of common sense, experience, observation and conscience. And so far as these lights, in connection with individual capacities, defined the path of duty, they were morally responsible to the great Heart-scër and Heartsearcher whom they but dimly recognize as the "unknown God." Though unrevealed by oracle, or prophet, or by written word, he still impressed a shadowing of his being, by the light of outward nature and the inner capacities of man, even upon the pagan mind. Thus, the great missionary of Christianity to the Gentile world: "For when the Gentiles which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves; which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing, or else excusing one another." 5

Though the element of conscienciousness seems to inhere in all men, its manifestations differ in different individuals and communities, according to their different modes of moral training, and the differing laws and usages of society. In this respect, the moral sense is analogous to the natural senses. Thus, the sense of flavor is innate and universal, and is at birth, perhaps, nearly uniform in all men. Yet, by the different cultivation of this sense, one comes to disrelish milk, the first and natural food of all men, and to enjoy tobacco which all men naturally loathe. So conscience is universal; and if men could grow up in a state of society perfectly natural and primitive, such as society would have been in Eden if our first parents had not sinned, its manifestations would probably be uniform. But by differ ent modes of culture, the conscience of the savage sees a virtue in revenge, while the Christian conscience owns the duty of forgiveness.

Conscience being thus subject to artificial circumstances as to the manner of its action, the things it condemns or approbates depending on the manner in which the reason

4 Acts, xviii. 23.

5 Rom. ii. 14, 15.

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