Page images

statues; viz, Jupiter, Diana, Minerva, Vulcan, and Venus. The latter was also called Anaites, and her most splendid temple, at this period, was at Erzingan, a city situated upon the Euphrates.

The king gave his daughter, Artashama, in marriage to Mithridates, the great and valiant chief of the Georgians, descendant of Mithridates, the first minister of Darius.

The successor of Artaces was Tigranes II., his son, who, immediately on coming to the throne, nominated his brother-inlaw, Mithridates, prime minister. The first year of his reign he was invaded by the Greeks, who were repulsed with great loss, giving him possession of nearly all Asia Minor. Returning to Armenia, he placed this portion of Asia in charge of Mithridates, appointing him king of Pontus and the regions about the Mediterranean. Many countries are said to have been subdued by this Tigranes, and their kings were kept captive at his court, to render more splendid the daily state in which he lived. This fact is authenticated by various historians. "We are informed," says the historian, "that many unfortunate kings, prisoners at his court, were obliged to stand in his presence with their arms folded on their breasts, in token of the absolute power he had over them." Four of these wretched monarchs were in constant attendance upon him, dressed in their regal robes, and, when he went forth in public on horseback, these kings were compelled to precede him on foot. Mithridates' court and kingdom were no less splendid; he is said to have ruled over twenty-two distinct nations, all the different languages of which he spoke with fluency, so as never to need the aid of an interpreter. His wars with the Romans are well known to the readers of ancient history.

Tigranes, at one time, marched to meet Lucullus, the Roman general, with 360,000 men, all clad in iron armor. He conquered Assyria, Phenicia, and Cappadocia. When he made peace with Pompey, to each soldier of the Roman army "he gave one hundred and fifty pieces of silver, to every lieutenant one thousand, and to the captains ten thousand each." In alliance with the Persian King Bacur, he is said to have taken

Jerusalem, where he found immense treasures, and took a multitude of the Jews captive. Many of these he placed in the city of Van, others in Armavir and the region around. The posterity of these captives in Van became so numerous, that, when the city was taken by Sapor II., about the middle of the fourth century, he destroyed eighteen thousand houses of Jews.

Tigranes made Nisibis his capital, which was then one of the largest and most strongly fortified cities in the East. Strabo says that, having attained the height of his prosperity, he founded a city which he named Tigranocerta, and peopled it with the inhabitants which he had collected out of twelve Grecian cities. There is much confusion among ancient writers with respect to the situation of this city, and it prob ably arises from confounding two cities of the same name, the one built by Tigranes I., on the Tigris, and now called Diarbekir, and the other on the Nymphius, a branch of the Tigris, and built by Tigranes II. The latter king is, however, said to have rebuilt the city of his predecessor, so that which of the two was the Tigranocerta of the Greeks, it is difficult to determine.

Tigranes the Second, or Tigranes the Great, as he is sometimes called, was succeeded by his son, Ardavast, about fifty years before Christ. This ruler is said to have been the author of some tragedies and of a history in Greek. He had a prosperous reign of about twenty-five years, when, on account of his friendship towards the Parthians, he was regarded by the Romans as an enemy. Not wishing to hazard a war with the Armenian king, the Roman general, Mark Antony, deter mined to get possession of his person by strategy. Wherefore, on the return of the latter to Egypt, he invited Ardavast to visit him, but, there being some suspicion of treachery, the proposal was declined. Antony next asked the daughter of the king in marriage for his son. This was also refused. Antony then marched towards Armenia, circulating the rumor that he had undertaken an expedition into Persia, and wished to meet the Armenian king in consultation, but the suspicions of the latter could not be overcome. Finally, however, after the

most solemn assurances of safety had been given, he consented to a conference, but no sooner had he arrived than he was arrested and fettered with golden chains. The sons of the king were also seized, chains put upon them, and the whole family were carried to Egypt and presented to the queen Cleopatra. They were here obliged to suffer many indignities, being led as trophies in the Roman processions of triumph, and forced to prostrate themselves in doing homage to Cleopatra herself. As they manifested some reluctance in performing these humiliating ceremonies, they were threatened with great severities, and, after some time, were put to death.

Alexander, son of Antony and Cleopatra, was now made for a little time ruler in Armenia.

Thus we have briefly traced the ancient history of the Armenians, down to the time of Christ. The notices we have now given, however, of this interesting people, furnish only a glimpse of the treasures of their old records. These records, it is true, are a mixture of historical verity and fable, but they are worthy of a more attentive examination than they have yet met with in English literature.


A FEW years since a treatise appeared, bearing the honored name of Albert Barnes, on the relation between Reason, speculative and moral, and the word of God; in which it was maintained that truth and right are essential realities irrespective of any power ordaining them; that God is holy not because he is what he is, and chooses to call or make that holiness, but because he is actually conformed to those realities; that there is a faculty in the human soul that recognizes and responds to the true and the right; and that any attempt to father upon God, or upon revelation, that which absolutely contradicts this universal inward sense, can only result in weakening the confidence of men in the revelation, if not in the God from whom it is supposed to come. This work was received by many, even in that branch of the church in which its author stands "facile princeps," with no little distrust; while in some high quarters it was more than whispered that the principles therein involved pointed, via rationalism, along the highroad to infidelity.

This scrap from the theological history of the times will serve to introduce to our attention an idea, in the light of which the nature and object of the present essay will be understood, viz, the antagonism, real or supposed, expressed or implied, consciously or unconsciously felt, between Reason and the Moral Sense, and the authority of Divine revelation. That the eminently practical mind of Albert Barnes should take the trouble to discuss the subject, shows, that in his judgment it labors under some mal-adjustment. The distrust with which his views were received establishes the fact yet more conclusively. Indeed, the moral earthquake which has shaken the soil of England since the publication of "Essays and Reviews," is but the more open manifestation of forces which are already muttering and lifting the ground around us. The resolution of this antagonism will be sought by differ

ent minds in different directions. The following course of thought we beg to submit as the method which has proved most satisfactory to ourselves.

We have long wrestled over the respective claims of Reason and Revelation. Let it once be inquired whither Reason will bear us, if we trust ourselves confidingly to her guidance. Let us construct a system of religious doctrine, on the simple foundation of what is in the human soul.

Our work will necessarily be distinguished as rational, subjective, and as far as possible intuitional and absolute.

First, then, we seek a fundamental premise, simple, authoritative, and universal, one which must command the assent of every healthy mind. We find it in THE LAW OF RIGHT, as it is recognized universally in the human soul.

By the Law of Right we mean, the idea, cognition, and feeling, of the eternal distinction between right and wrong, and the beauty, sacredness, and obligation of the one, and the deformity, hatefulness, and curse of the other. The idea of right is given in the reason. In its full cognition, or the mental action arising upon it, there is involved a judgment pronouncing a given object right or wrong; a sense of obligation toward the one, and from the other; a consciousness of merit or demerit in the fulfillment, or otherwise, of the above; and the corresponding consciousness in the sensibility, comprising all that can be understood by the expressions, peace, or stings of conscience. Strictly speaking, there is here a law, and the machinery for its assertion, sanction, and enforcement. But let us gather the whole under the single term law. The Law of right, then, is one of the most grand and awful elements of the soul. In its primary stock in the reason, it is absolutely original and fundamental. In its cognition in the process of thinking, it is scarcely less so. The earlier judgments we form respecting it arise spontaneous and intuitive as the deepest the mind can render. The accompanying sense of obligation is absolutely involuntary, and inevitable; the consciousness of demerit, in its violation, springs from the very pulse of life, and clings like its shadow to the soul; while the gnawing tooth of conscience is whetted in silence, in the deepest chambers of be

« PreviousContinue »