Thursday, December 31, 2015
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN AND OTHER LEGENDS OF THE SEA - PITTSBURG DISPATCH 1897
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Specter ships and the legend of the Flying Dutchman have always been standard traditions and favorite yarns with the old-time sailor. Every maritime country has its own phantom ship, and the legends of these specters of the deep are practically endless. The first assigned cause of the curse upon the ceaseless wandering of phantom ships is murder and piracy at sea, and the whole story is that of the Wandering Jew on land. The Dutch lay claim to the origin and authorship of the ghostly legend, although during the plague in Europe, in Justinian’s time, it was said that spectral brazen barks, with black and headless men as crews, were seen off infected ports. Thus was laid the foundation to the more elaborate story of the phantom ship.
With the old, deep-water seaman, Vanderdecken in his evil craft is still cruising, bringing disaster to every vessel he encounters, as he grapples with the gales in futile attempts to double the Cape of Good Hope. For so he had sworn to do, in spite of God or Satan, if he sailed till the crack of doom. He is usually sighted to leeward, making good weather under all sail in the teeth of a gale that is sufficient to cause other ships to run under bare poles. According to Sir Walter Scott the Flying Dutchman is seen off the Cape of Good Hope only in stormy weather, and always brings disaster of some kind. It is the specter of a vessel that was laden with the precious metals, and on board of which, after a mutiny and murder had been committed, the plague broke out and attacked all the crew. The ship was therefore refused entry to any port, and has since been doomed to cruise as a ghost, and never to reach its destination. Marryat, facile principes in nautical romances, has constructed out of the legend his plot of the phantom ship, in which the Dutch captain, when homeward bound from the East Indies, met with continuous headwinds and could not round the Cape; whereupon he swore a terrible oath that he would round it, and would not put back, even if he had to strive till the day of judgment. He is striving yet, and although constantly beating makes no headway. The Flying Dutchman is the evil genius of the sea, and to sight the vessel is the forerunner of disaster. Nothing must be taken from Vanderdecker, not even a letter, for the person who touches anything he has touched is lost.
A phantom ship is known to Baltic sailors as the Carmillian, and the captain of her is called Klabatermann. This ship has her cruising ground off the Cape, which it is destined never to round. When the sinister craft heaves in sight with Klabatermann sitting on the knight—heads, dressed in yellow,wearing a night-cap and smoking a short pipe, the fate of the vessel to which it appears is sealed. Scotland has her haunted ships of the Firth of Solway. Two Danish pirates were seen coming in one clear night, one crowded with people, the other only having on its upper deck a dog barking on the bow. When near the shore two young men put off in a boat to join the first ship. When it was reached, both vessels sank. If boats approach too near, fishermen say they will be drawn down to join the reveling crews. A Chinese legend runs as follows: A party of tiger hunters found a horned serpent in a tiger's cave, near Foochow. They shipped it to Canton, but during the voyage it escaped from the cage. It rapidly consumed the cargo of rice, and the master offered a reward to any one who would kill the monster, but without avail, and the junk was abandoned. It is still seen cruising off the coast, and Chinese sailors can not be brought to board the derelict junk under any circumstances.
The old Venetian legend of the ring had its origin in the following manner: During a storm in the Adriatic a fisherman was called upon to row three men out to sea. A huge spectral galley bore down upon them, manned by demons. But the fisherman’s craft ran it down, and the sailors were then presented by the passengers with a ring. By that token they were known to be St. Nicholas,— the medieval patron saint of sailors and fishermen,— St. Mark, and St. George, and it was because the city was thus miraculously saved from destruction that the Doge of Venice went annually through the ceremony of wedding the Adriatic with a ring. In the Venetian Academy is a painting of this demon craft, the demon sailors of which, in terror of the saints, jump overboard, while spars and sails flame with fire, casting a lurid glare upon the water.
An English version of the phantom ship had its origin with a man-of-war. The crew had mutinied and rigged her so as to resemble the ghost ship. The plan was to terrify the vessels met with, in order to facilitate capture, for the decision was to engage in piracy. In the early part of the ship’s career the real specter ship was fallen in with, which so terrified the guilty crew that they sought the nearest English port and gave themselves up to justice. Queen Victoria’s two grandsons, Prince Albert Victor and Prince George, in their cruise on board the Bacchante, 1879-1882, give an account in their private journal of their experience with the Flying Dutchman, which they encountered near Sydney. “July 11, 1881, at 4 A.M., the Flying Dutchman crossed our bows. A strange red light, as of a phantom ship, all aglow, in the midst of which light the masts, spars, and sails of the brig. 200 yards distant, stood out in strong relief. As she came up, the lookout man on the forecastle reported her as close on the port bow, where also the officer of the watch from the bridge elearlysaw her, as did also the quarterdeck midshipman, who was sent forward at once to the forecastle. But on arriving there no vestige nor any sign whatever of any material ship was to be seen, either near or right away to the horizon. The night being clear and the sea calm, thirteen persons altogether saw her, but whether it was Van Dieman, or the Flying Dutchman, or who else, must remain unknown. The Tourmaline and Cleopatra, who were sailing on our starboard bow, flashed to ask whether we had seen the strange red light at a quarter of eleven A. M. The ordinary seaman who had this morning reported the Flying Dutchman fell from the fore-top-mast cross-trees and was smashed to atoms. At a quarter past four P. M., after quarters. we hove to, with head-yards aback, and he was buried in the sea. He was a smart royal-yard man and one of the most promising young hands in the ship, and everyone feels quite sad at his loss. At the next port we came to the Admiral also was smitten down.”
There is also a Spanish specter ship. The crew of a stately treasure galleon mutinied and murdered the Captain, Don Sandovatte. He was dying with loss of blood and thirst; but when he feebly moaned for water, they mocked him by holding it just beyond his reach. So they were doomed to roam the seas forever; and those who have seen the phantom galleon say that it is manned by a black Captain and a crew of skeletons, who cry out for water incessantly. The rugged coast of Kerry has its legend of a huge mastless ship that was seen on the dawn of a winter’s morning, broadside to, against a cliff, with every appearance of having been deserted by its crew. A number of the inhabitants soon board— ed the strange craft and were amazed by the value of the cargo, which was largely composed of the precious metals. The precious booty was quickly transferred to the shallops, when the sea, which had been smooth and calm as a lake, suddenly arose and a storm of great violence swept down upon the doomed wreckers. The heavy—laden boats were capsized, the crews swallowed up in the thundering billows, and the mastless ship, moving from its resting place, forged ahead, disappearing in the gathering gloom, the men on board waving a last farewell to the horrified spectators lining the cliff. Neither the ship nor the unfortunate wreckers were ever heard of more. It is firmly believed to this day along the Irish coast that the mysterious craft, without mast or crew, was a phantom of Tir-naNoag, the land of youth and eternal happiness.
The coast of New England has numerous legends concerning specter ships, firmly believed by the rugged fishermen, who assert stoutly that on various occasions glimpses of the shadowy crafts have been seen, followed invariably by fatal disaster. The specter of the Palatine is occasionally seen on the Sound, and is the forerunner of a gale of wind. She was a Dutch trading vessel, and was wrecked on Block Island in 1752. The wreckers, it is said, made short work of her, stripping her fore and aft and setting fire to the hull. As she drifted blazing off the coast, a human form was visible amid the flames, the form of a female passenger, left to perish on the doomed craft. Since, and generally upon the anniversary of the wreck, a phantom ship with blazing hull, charred spars, and scorched sails and rigging has been seen cruising off Block Island, when——
Behold! again with shimmer and shine,
Over the rocks and the seething brine,
The flaming wreck of the Palatine.
Whittier recorded the legend in graceful verse, as well as that of a ghostly cruiser that sailed from a New England port on her last voyage, which he termed The Dead Ship of Salem. In the seventeenth century a ship was about to sail from Salem for England. Her cargo was on board, sails bent, and passengers on deck, when two passengers came hurriedly off and engaged passage. The couple were a young man and woman who, so tradition records. were remarkable for their bearing and beauty. Who they were, or whence they came, no one in Salem town could tell. The ship being detained by adverse winds. the mysterious couple excited the suspicions of the towns-people, who viewed them as uncanny, and prophesied disaster to the vessel if allowed to sail in her. But the master, a bluff and stem sailor, refused to listen, and finally departed on a Friday. The vessel never reached her destination, and was never spoken. But later in the year incoming vessels reported sighting a craft with luminous rigging and sails, and shining hull and spars. She was sailing with all canvas set against the wind, with a crew of dead men standing in the shrouds and leaning over the rail, while upon the quarter-deck stood a young and beautiful couple. Occasionally, on the eve of a storm, looming up through the sea fog, is seen
The specter ship of Salem,
With the dead men in her shrouds,
Sailing sheer above the water in
The loom of morning clouds.
Whittier tells of two other New England phantom ships, and- Bret Harte has made familiar in verse the Greyport legend.
Cotton Mather tells how a new ship sailed from New Haven in January, 1647, and was never heard from. In June of the same year, about an hour before sunset, a ship, the very twin of the ship that had sailed in January, was seen to sail up the river against the wind and current. As she came nearer the outlines slowly faded from view, until all was merged inthe gathering gloom of approaching night.
The fishermen of Casper, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, believe firmly in a specter often seen off Cape d’Espair. She is of strange and ancient build, with high poop and forecastle, and quaintly rigged aloft. Her deck is covered with soldiers, and from her ports and cabin windows bright rays of light stream forth into the darkness. At the head of the bowsprit stands an officer, in scarlet coat, richly laced, with feathered hat and sword buckled by his side, who points to shore as though showing the place of landing to a lady who is leaning on his arm. Then the lights suddenly go out, a scream is heard, and the ship, with a heavy lurch, sinks beneath the surf. This is said to be the specter of the flagship of a fleet sent by command of Queen Anne to reduce the French forts. The fleet was wrecked off this Cape, and all hands lost. There is a legend connected with the Dismal Swamp that carries with it a horrible vision of a pirate ship sailing amid the solitudes and weird vistas of that grim locality. During the period when the Southern coast and adjacent ports were the favorite haunts of buccaneers, a piratical craft fell in with a British merchant vessel laden with a valuable cargo. She was captured during the prevalence of a storm, the crew murdered and rich booty secured. The pirate vessel, almost dismantled, drove shoreward before the gale which momentarily increased, culminating in a tremendous tidal wave, that swept the vessel through the reaches of the swamp, over the tree tops, leaving her in the midst of the vast morass when the waters receded. Since that period, during the raging of great storms, the ghostly craft is seen, a rotten, crumbling wreck, flitting about the swamp, amid the sluggish waters of the bayous, with scant room for her masts to pass clear of the overhanging trees.
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Wednesday, December 30, 2015
This Kindle book, The Dark History of the Trinity, is now available on Amazon by clicking here...and it is only $1.99
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German theological circles have lately been agitated by a controversy that concerns the doctrine of the Trinity. The debate was started by representatives of the new and radical "historico-religious" school, who claim that this doctrine did not constitute a part of Christ's original teaching, but was introduced by later religious speculations, chiefly through Paul. The conservatives, on their side, lay stress on the baptismal command in Matthew (28:19) as proof absolute that Christ himself actually taught the doctrine. The Church historian of Giessen, Prof. Gustav Krtiger, has published a special work on the subject,* in which he argues as follows:
The literary history of the baptismal command is by no means settled. The linking together of the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is found only in the passage in Matthew in the entire literature of Christianity up to the middle of the second century, a single exception in the "Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" being copied from Matthew. Mark and Luke contain no such command. The present conclusion of Mark, which is not even genuine, contains nothing Trinitarian. Indeed, there are excellent reasons for believing that originally the command in Matthew did not read as it does now. Up to the fourth century there are traces of a simpler form, according to which Christians were baptized only in the name of Christ.
This would be in perfect agreement with the Apostolic practise of baptizing in the name of Christ only. Such was the method of Peter from the outset (see Acts 2, 38). That baptism and the reception of the Holy Spirit did not necessarily go together is clear from such passages as Acts 8. 16 and 10, 18. In Ephesus Paul baptizes only in the name of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19, 5); and his own words at the beginning of his Epistle to the Corinthians (1, 13) admit of no other interpretation. The same doctrine is clearly taught in Rom. 6, 31.
The reason for baptism in the name of Christ becomes all the clearer when the significance of this formula is understood. Recent researches have shown that the Jews, who had believed strongly in the power of demons, came to believe that the name of God as such would have the power to heal diseases and effect other good results. In other words, the formula was used as a form of incantation and almost sorcery. Passages in the New Testament in which this spirit is reflected abound, e. g., Mark 16, 17-18; Luke 10, 17; Mark 9, 38-39; Mark 7, 22.
That such incantation in the name of Jesus was common in the early church is attested by Justin Martyr, who declares, in his Apology, that the Christians of his day, merely by the appeal to the name of Jesus, expelled many demons, which other sorcerers and magic physicians had been unable to influence. The same church father, in his Dialogue with Trypho, says that through the name of Christ Christians had power to make the demons tremble.
The old custom of baptizing in the name of Christ disappeared only slowly from the usages of the church. In the "Shepherd of Hermas," which dates from about 100 A. D., mention is repeatedly made of baptism in the one name, but there is not a trace of any baptism in the name of the Trinity. And even a century later lively discussions were carried on in the church as to whether baptism in the one name of Christ should be recognized by the church or not.
At what time the enlarged formula of baptism in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, was introduced, it cannot be definitely determined; but probably it was about the period when the doctrine of the Trinity became the subject of debate in the churches. At any rate, it is more than probable that this Trinitarian formula is not a part of original Christianity, but a later development.
["The Church of the first days did not observe this world-wide command, even if they knew it. The command to baptise into the threefold name is a late doctrinal expansion, in place of the words 'baptizing . . . Spirit' we should probably read simply 'into my name.'" ~Arthur S. Peake's Bible Commentary 1920; See also Gospel Fictions By Randel Helms]
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The Bibles of England: a Plain Account for Plain People of the Principal Versions of the Bible in English. By Andrew Edgar, D.D. 1889
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Dr. Edgar tells us that his work is not intended for scholastic readers. His object is to exhibit "the differentiations of successive versions and the literary peculiarities that in each translation maybe supposed most readily to attract the notice of common English readers." He tries to show how the dissatisfaction with one version led to the publication of another. He accordingly divides his treatise into eight chapters, discussing in chapter i. "The Lollards' Bible," commonly called Wyclif's Bible, 1380, as well as the revision of it by John Purvey about 1388; chaps, ii. and iii., "The Reformers' Bibles," viz. Tyndale's Testament, 1526; revised, 1534; Coverdale's Bible, 1535; Matthew's Bible, 1537; Taverner's Bible, 1539; the Great Bible or Cromwell's Bible, 1539; revised edition with prologue by Cranmer, and therefore called Cranmer's Bible, 1540; chap, iv., "The Puritans' and People's Bible," otherwise termed the Geneva or Breeches Bible, comprising under this heading, first the New Testament, 1557; second, the Geneva translation of the New Testament with the translation of the Old Testament, 1560; and third, Tomson's revised translation of the New Testament, 1576; chaps, v. and vi., "The Bibles of the Churches," No. 1 being the Bible of the Church of England commonly called the Bishops' Bible, first translation, 1568; revised translation, 1572; and No. 2 the Bible of the Catholic Church, New Testament printed at Rhemes, 1582, Old Testament printed at Douay, 1609-10; chap, vii., "The National Bible," sometimes called the King's Translation, more commonly termed the Authorized Version, 1611; and lastly chap, viii., "The International Bible," commonly called the Revised Version, New Testament, 1881; the Old Testament, 1885. This is followed by an appendix in which are discussed (a) "Early Scottish Renderings of Scripture"; (b) "Modern Scottish Versions of Scripture"; (e) "Theocracy in Geneva and Scotland," in explanation of a statement on p. 187; and (d) "The Word Mass."
Dr. Edgar still repeats the oft-exploded notion that the Catholic Church had "a widespread horror of Scripture translations, whether accompanied with notes or not and however faultlessly executed." He does not seem to know that long before the Reformation every Catholic nation all over Europe had versions of the Bible in the vernacular of the country. Between 1477, when the first edition of the French New Testament was published at Lyons, and 1535, when the first French Protestant Bible was published, upwards of twenty editions of the Bible in the French vernacular issued from the Catholic press. In Germany prior to the publication of the first edition of Luther's Bible, 1534, no fewer than thirty Catholic editions of the entire Scriptures and parts of the Bible appeared in the German vernacular. In Italy, the very seat of the Papacy, two editions of an Italian translation of the whole Bible appeared in 1471, and several other editions appeared prior to the Reformation. These facts any student can verify by a visit to the British Museum, where most of the Bibles are to be seen. The proscription and burning of the Bible in England were therefore not due to "a widespread horror of Scripture translations," but were owing to the man who translated it and to the nature of the version.
It was the greatest hindrance to the circulation of the Scriptures in the vernacular in England that the man who first undertook to translate the Bible at the beginning of the sixteenth century was not only an obscure individual who had neither distinguished himself at the university nor held any responsible position in the Church, but was simply a private chaplain who was exceedingly insulting in his manner, of a most violent temper, and unscrupulous in the defence of what he believed to be the truth. In the post-prandial discussions at the common table of his master he repeatedly insulted and abused the great beneficed dignitaries who were guests in the house. The Pope with him was Antichrist and the whore of Babylon, whilst the monks and the friars were caterpillars, horse-leeches, drone-bees, and draff.
"The parson sheareth, the vicar shaveth, the parish-priest polleth, the friar scrapeth, and the pardoner pareth: we lack but a butcher to pull off the skin."
These insults to the highest dignitaries of the established Church of his country he embodied in the prologues and the margins of his translation as part of the Bible. Thus in the prologue to Jonah he says :—
"God now receaueth vs no moare to mercie, but of mercie receaueth vs to penaunce, that is to wete, holy dedes that make them [the prelates] fatt belies and vs their captiues, both in soule and body."
In the margin on Exodus xviii. 21 Tyndale inserts:—
"Oure prelates nethere fear God for they preach not his worde truely: ner are lesse covetouse the Judas: for they haue receaued of the devill the kyngdomes of the erth and the glorie thereof which christ refused, Mathe 4."
These are simply a few of many glosses of this nature.
Tyndale did not, however, confine his peculiar doctrines to the margin, but he tampered with the text itself. Thus he designedly discarded the ancient ecclesiastical terms, such as church, priest, confession, penance, charity, grace, idols, &c, and substituted for them congregation, senior, knowledging, repentance, love, favour, images, &c.; and he introduced these sacred terms where they are most inappropriate, to pour contempt upon the hallowed institutions. Thus Matt. xvi. 18 he translates, "Upon this rocke I wyll bylde my congregacion," whereas Acts xiv. 13 he renders, "The Jupiters priest brought oxen ad garlondes vnto the churche porche," instead of "unto the gates." Romans x. 10 he translates, "To knowledge with the mouth maketh a man safe," instead of "to confess." 2 Cor. vi. 16 he renders, "Howe agreeth the temple of god with ymages?" instead of idols. No wonder that the prelates resented this designed reproach against the established Catholic Church and charged Tyndale with handling the word of God deceitfully. "It is soknowen a treacherie of Heretikes," they declare (note on 1 John v. 21, Rhemes Testament),
"to traslate idola images they doe it of purpose to seduce the poore ignorant people, and to make them thinke that whatsoeuer in Scripture is spoken against the idols of the Gentiles is meant of pictures, sacred images, and holy memories of Christ and his Saints."
It is, therefore, not to be wondered at that the king, with the advice of his council and prelates, published an edict, May 25th, 1531,
"that the translation of the Scripture corrupted by William Tyndale should be utterly expelled, rejected, and put away out of the hands of the people, and not to be suffered to get abroad among his subjects.”
The same edict, however, adds “that the king would see to it that the New Testament should be faithfully and purely translated.” The burning of the copies was simply in accordance with the custom of those days to commit to the flames the works of opponents. Only a few years before Luther burnt the books of the canon law and the bull of Pope Leo outside the walls of Wittenberg; and Calvin in 1552 burnt all the copies of Servetus's Bible because he did not think that the marginal notes were orthodox. This is simply in accordance with the claims of the Church, whether Roman Catholic or Anglican, to rule over the consciences of men, and to prevent the dissemination of spiritual poison by heretics. This claim is distinctly set forth in the Authorized Version, where the heading to Psalm cxlix. ran as follows: “I The Prophet exhorteth to praise God for his loue to the Church, and for that power, which hee hath giuen to the Church to rule the consciences of men.” In accordance with this claim Bartholomew Leggat was burnt at Smithfield for holding Arian opinions, March 18th, 1611, the very year in which the Authorized Version was published, thus giving a practical explanation of the import of the heading to Psalm cxlix. The heading, however, was surreptitiously altered in later editions.
The bitter spirit of hostility and the insults to the established Church displayed in the margin of Tyndale's translation were continued in a still more intensified form in the so-called Matthew’s Bible, 1537, and in the Genevan or Breeches Bible, 1560. As the Genevan version became the Bible of the Puritans and of Scotland because of its predestinarian and democratic notes, the following specimens will show to what extent the English versions were used to vilify the established Church of the country.
2 Peter ii. 3, on the words “and through couetousnes shal they with fained wordes make marchandise of you,” the marginal note is:
“This is euidently sene in the Pope and his Priests which by lies and flatteries sel mens soules, so that it is certeine that he is not the successour of Simon Peter, but of Simon Magus.”
Rev. ix. 11: “And they haue a King ouer them which is the Angel of the bottomless pit,” “which is Antichrist, the Pope, king of hypocrities and Satans ambassadour.”
Rev. xiii. 15: “Worship the image of the beast,” that is, “Receiue the ordinances and decrees of the seat of Rome and kisse the vilens fote, if he were put thereunto.”
Rev. xvi. 2: “And there fell a noysome and a grieuous sore vpon the men, which had the marke of the beast.” “This was like the sixt plague of Egypt, which was sores, and boiles or pockes: and this reigneth comunly amóg Canons, monkes, friers, nonnes, Priests and suche filthie vermin which beare the marke of the beast.”
These indecent and insulting attacks upon the faith of the Roman Catholic Church in the Bible which professes to be a faithful translation of the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures account for the origin and nature of the marginal glosses in the Rhemes and Douay Bible, 1582–1610.
Though not so insulting, yet equally derisive are the attacks in the Geneva Bible upon the Episcopal Church. It does not scruple to adopt Tyndale's unfair rendering of Acts xiv. 23, viz., “and when they had ordeined the Elders by election in euerie Church,” and remarks in the margin against “election”:—
“The worde signifieth to elect by putting vp the hads which declareth that ministers were not made without the consent of the people.”
On Philip, i. 1, “with the Bisshops and Deacons,” the marginal gloss is:—
“By bishops here he meaneth them that had charge of the worde and gouerning, as pastours, doctors, elders: by deacons suche as had charge of the distribution, and of the poore and sicke.”
That the theological opinions exhibited in the Geneva Bible were derived from Calvin, who was the ruling spirit at Geneva at the time when this version was made, was well known; but that the translation itself is mainly due to a Huguenot French Bible which was published at Geneva a few years prior to the Geneva English Bible has escaped the notice of Dr. Edgar, simply because this fact was unknown to previous writers on the history of our English Bibles.
In 1553 there was published at Geneva a New Testament in French in duodecimo, which was revised by Calvin. This Testament exhibits the following peculiarities: (1) it is preceded by a long epistle by Calvin; (2) every book is broken up into chapters, each of which is numbered in Roman figures; (3) every chapter is preceded by a summary of contents; and (4) it is the first translation in a modern language in which the chapters are divided into verses, and in which each verse has prefixed to it its number in Arabic figures. Not only have all these features been adopted, but even the five parentheses which occur in the long and elaborate French epistle, and the very size of the book, have been copied by Whittingham, the English translator, yet Dr. Edgar assures us that “beyond all question Whittingham's version, 1557, is based either on the Great Bible or on Tyndale's Testament, or on both jointly.”
Three years later, viz., 1556, the entire Huguenot Bible appeared at Geneva with the same peculiarities. In this edition, however, Calvin's epistle is omitted, and the New Testament was thoroughly revised. Three years later, viz., 1560, the entire English Bible was published at Geneva. In this edition, too, Calvin’s epistle is omitted, the New Testament is also thoroughly revised, and all the other features of the Huguenot Bible are adopted.
For further evidence that the Geneva version derived its inspiration from the Huguenot Bible we refer to the very list given by Dr. Edgar on p. 169 for quite another purpose. Here Dr. Edgar gives in two parallel columns extracts to “illustrate the different meanings that verses of Scripture were represented to bear in the Great Bible (1540) and in the Geneva Bible respectively,” since it was the Great Bible which the Geneva translators made the basis of their revision. On carefully comparing this list it will be seen that in the majority of cases where the Geneva version differs from the Great Bible, it agrees with the Huguenot version.
But though Dr. Edgar has failed to point out the intimate connexion between the different English versions and the translations made by the Reformers on the Continent, he has produced a most useful, interesting, and readable treatise. His work is an important contribution to the history of the English Bible. Both students of our venerable versions and collectors of Bibles will find Dr. Edgar's work an indispensable manual.
The Legend of Pope Joan, article in The Nation 1873
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No tale ever established a better prima-facie case to be counted historical than the story of Pope Joan. About 850, so ran the tale, a woman came to Rome disguised as a man, and gained a high reputation as a professor. This teacher, on account of her irreproachable character and immense attainments, was, without any one even suspecting her sex, elevated to the Papacy. The Popess, to use Mr. Plummer's convenient term, reigned for rather more than two years. In the midst of a procession she gave birth to a child and expired. Her strange career left permanent traces on the ceremonies attending the installation of subsequent Popes, and was commemorated for all time by the fact that Papal processions always avoid the street in which she expired.
The story sounds to modern ears incredible enough, and a suspicion suggests itself that the tale owes its origin to Protestant malignity. But the legend, whatever its worth, is long anterior to the days of the Reformation. The history was apparently at least recorded in 1278 by Martinus Polonus, who lived at the Papal Court, and whose annals of the popes have some title to be considered an official history issuing from the Curia itself.
"Quite at the beginning of the fifteenth century, the bust of Pope Joan was placed in the Cathedral at Sienna along with the busts of the other popes, and no one took any offence at it."
Not one of the three popes whom that city produced thought of having the bust removed. At the Council of Constance, Huss supported his argument by appealing to the case of Pope Joan, and Chancellor Gerson proved from the history of the woman-pope that the church could err in matters of fact. No one dreamt of denying the fact on which the Reformer and Gerson relied. It will further be found that the history of Pope Joan was spread far and wide by the Dominican order, and was, in short, for ages looked upon as on historical fact as certain as the martyrdom of St. Thomas of Canterbury. If it is urged that the tale bears its own falsehood on its face, the strangeness of the story cuts two ways, and it might well be argued that a legend so improbable could never be invented, but must at any rate have been suggested by some real event. Who, it may be said, could believe that from Rome itself, from the very mouth, so to speak, of the popes, would issue a lie which covers the whole Papacy with discredit? This is precisely the argument on which the German writer, Ludeu, relies:
"It is inconceivable," he says, "how it could ever enter into any man's head to invent such an insane falsehood. He must either have invented the lie out of sheer wantonness, in order to scoff at the Papacy, or he must have intended to gain some other object by means of it. But of all the dozens of writers who mention Pope Joan and her mishap, there is not a single one who can be called an enemy of the Papacy. . . . Moreover," he adds, "it is inconceivable how people in general could have believed in the story, and that without the slightest doubt, for nearly five hundred years from the eleventh century onwards, if it had not been true."
Dr. Hoefer, in a French work published in 1858, treats the belief in Pope Joan as one which had "reigned in the Christian world from the ninth century to the Renaissance"; and Mosheim has added his weighty authority to the support of this astounding tale. After narrating the history of the Popess, he remarks:
"During the five subsequent centuries the witnesses to this extraordinary event are without number; nor did anyone prior to the Reformation by Luther regard the thing as either incredible or disgraceful to the church. But in the seventeenth century learned men, not only among the Roman Catholics, but others also, exerted all the powers of their ingenuity both to invalidate the testimony on which the story rests, and to confute it by an accurate computation of dates. . . . Something must necessarily have taken place at Rome to give rise to this most uniform report of so many ages; but even yet it is not clear what that something was."
In short, every a priori argument which can be urged in favor of the credibility of a myth has been urged, and that by men of undoubted ability and learning, in support of the legend of the woman-pope. The prevalence of the belief, the existence of ceremonies supposed to have their rise in the facts handed down by the tradition, the improbability of error, the absence of any temptation to fraud on the part of those who propagated the report of this papal scandal, the very improbability of the tale, have all been urged with prodigious force to prove it true, and are exactly the considerations which suggest themselves to every one unacquainted with early history when attempting to estimate the value of mythical narratives. Yet we venture to say that no intelligent man can read Dr. Dollinger's essay without coming to the conclusion that there is no more reason to believe in the existence of Pope Joan than the existence of a centaur or a chimera.
Our space does not allow us to trace out minutely the course of Dr. Dollinger's argument. The lines of reasoning by which he assaults the credibility of the tradition are, speaking generally, as follows: He shows, in the first place, and this point he may be said absolutely to demonstrate, that the tale, despite a prima-facie appearance to the contrary, cannot be traced to any date earlier than 1278, and that there is every reason for supposing that it did not circulate even as a popular tradition till three or four centuries after the date assigned to Pope Joan's death. He again shows that, as is the way with legendary tales, the tradition becomes more and more circumstantial the further it removes from the time of the events to which it refers. He lastly takes the ceremonies aud other circumstances which are supposed to bear witness to Pope Joan's death, and shows that each of them has in reality no reference to her, but that, collectively they probably afford the basis, slender as it is, on which popular imagination built up the legend. The avoidance by the Papal cortege of a particular street because it was too narrow for a procession to pass through it; the existence of a strange statue which seemed to the populace to resemble a woman; the fact that a pope at his installation seated himself on an oddly-shaped seat, seem to have been the materials which suggested to the fancy of the ignorant and imaginative inhabitants of Rome the marvellous legend which was created by the people, caught up by annalists and preachers, and at last intruded into the records of history.
As Dr. Dollinger treats the legend of Pope Joan so he treats the Donation of Constantine and the myths which have grown up round Sylvester II., and turned a pope held in great honor by his contemporaries into a necromancer who entered into a league with the devil, aud exercised his pontifical office in the devil's service. The tales he deals with are of various degrees of interest, but his mode of treatment is unvarying, and the result of his careful analysis is always the same. Be invariably establishes the one great and important result, that in certain stages of civilization, and under certain conditions, myths spring up with the rapidity and exuberance with which weeds arise in a rich but uncultivated soil. It is of course perfectly true that to prove one tradition false or uncertain, is very far from proving, what no competent critic would maintain, that traditions never embody popular reminiscences of real transactions. The immediate effect of such speculations as Dr. Dollinger's is merely negative. They show that the mere fact that narratives have been for ages received as history does not of itself afford any strong presumption that they are historical. But if once this be granted, the groundwork of the argument in favor of the credibility of, e.g., the early history of Rome is knockod away, and the person who makes the concession is prepared to commence historical investigations at the right end, by asking not why should we disbelieve, but why should we believe, the facts of so-called mythical history? This enquiry suggests the further aud most interesting question. Is it possible to lay down any rules or canons by which to discriminate the mythical aud historical elements of tradition? This is an enquiry to which we may at some future day return, but which is not directly proposed or answered in Dr. Dollinger's beautiful analysis of 'Papal Fables.'
THE OCCULT IN FICTION. article in the Theosophical Outlook 1917
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The supernatural is an ever-present force in literature, says Dr. Dorothy Scarborough, Ph. D., of Columbia University, in her preface to "The Supernatural in Modern English Fiction," just published by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It colors our poetry, shapes our epics and dramas, and fashions our prose till we are so wonted to it that we lose sense of its wonder and magic.
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The work is a remarkable one both for its scope and its sympathy. There seem to be no omissions, and it is with a sense almost of surprise that we realize to what an extent the novelist has called upon the occult and the extent to which it has received the approbation of readers. But it in the preface that Dr. Scarborough reveals her own commendable standpoint. There is a popular demand, she says, for the occult literature, and it must have some basis in human psychosis:
"The night side of the soul attracts us all. The spirit feeds on mystery. It lives, not by fact alone, but by the unknowable, and there is no highest mystery without the supernatural. Man loves the frozen touch of fear, and realizes pure terror only when touched by the unmortal. The hint of spectral sounds or presences quickens the imagination as no other suggestion can do, and no human shapes of fear can awe the soul as those from beyond the grave. Man's varying moods create heaven, hell, and faery wonder lands for him, and people them with strange beings."
Man loves the supernatural because it dignifies him, because it raises him beyond the limitations of his personal self. By it the universe becomes his companion and its unseen denizens his servants:
"Literature, always a little ahead of life, has formed our beliefs for us, made us free with spirits, and given us entrance to immortal countries. The sense of the unearthly is ever with us, even in the most commonplace situations—and there is nothing so natural to us as the supernatural. Our imagination, colored by our reading, reveals and transforms the world we live in. We are aware of unbodied emotions about us, of discarnate moods that mock or invite us. We go aghosting now in public places, and a spectre may glide up to give us an apologia pro sua vita any day in Grand Central, or on Main Street of Our Town. . . . We may pass at will the guardian of the narrow gate and traverse the regions of the underworld. True, the materialist may argue that the actual is more marvelous than the imagined, that the aeroplane is more a thing of wonder than was the hippogriff, that the ferry is really the enchanted boat, after all, and that Dante could write a new Inferno if he could see the subway at the rush hour, but that is another issue."
We might have more psychical experiences than we do, says the author, if we would only keep our eyes open, but most of us do have more than we admit to our neighbors. We have an early-Victorian reticence concerning ghostly things as if it were scandalous to be associated with them.
Contrary to usual assurances that the mists of "superstition" have been cleared away by the sun of science, the author tells us that she has devoted more space to the supernatural in the last thirty years or so, because there has been much more of it in that time than before:
There is now more interest in the occult, more literature produced dealing with psychal powers than ever before in our history. It is apparent in poetry, in the drama, the novel, and the short story. . . . Much of our material of the weird has been rationalized, yet without losing its effect of wonder for us in fact or in fiction. If now we study a science where once men believed blindly in a Black Art, is the result really less mysterious?
"There is scarcely any great author in European literature, old or new, who has not distinguished himself in his treatment of the supernatural. In English literature I believe there is no exception from the time of the Anglo-Saxon poets to Shakespeare, and from Shakespeare to our own day. And this introduces us to the consideration of a general and remarkable fact, a fact that I do not remember to have seen in any books, but which is of very great philosophical importance: there is something ghostly in all great art, whether of literature, music, sculpture, or architecture. It touches something within us that relates to infinity." ~ Interpretations of Literature by Lafcadio Hearn 1915
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Tuesday, December 29, 2015
ALFRED T. MAHAN, INTERPRETER OF NAVAL HISTORY, article in the The American Monthly Review of Reviews 1899
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There are several distinct reasons why the people of the United States must congratulate themselves on the presence of Captain Mahan, the naval strategist and scholar, in the commission to the peace congress. In the first place, it is very necessary that there should be members of this congress who have, in a broad sense, actual technical knowledge, and it is needless to say that Captain Mahan is probably the most eminent living expert in naval strategy. Then Captain Mahan has consistently advocated strong navies and preparedness for war with a special reference to their influence in making for peace. The temperamental rhythm and the scope of Captain Mahan‘s intellect, his unusual ability to grasp quickly and accurately a broad problem, complete the qualities which make him an ideal representative at The Hague.
To this summing up of Captain Mahan’s equipment as a diplomat in the delicate and complex task before the peace commission might be added his experience as a public man during the past few years, when he has been feted by the world as the first great exponent of the philosophy of sea power. We say few years, because it was in 1890, after thirty years of service in our navy, that his first book of international importance, “The Influence of Sea Power Upon History,” was published in Boston and made the author known all over the globe.
Captain Mahan had worked steadily and patiently through the necessarily slow stages of a United States naval officer‘s career. He was born in New York City, and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1859 when he was twenty-nine years of age. He came from duty in Brazilian waters when the Civil War broke out, and served on the Congress and the Pocahontas, gaining his lieutenancy in 1861, acting as instructor at the Naval Academy for a year, and then continuing his sea duty on the Seminole and the James Adger until the close of the war, which brought him promotion to the grade of lieutenant-commander. In the years succeeding the war Captain Mahan saw a vast amount of routine service in varied fields; in the Gulf squadron, the Asiatic fleet, the south Atlantic fleet, the vessels of the Pacific station, shore duty at the New York Navy Yard, the Boston Navy Yard, and the Naval Academy at Annapolis. In 1885 he was appointed captain, and next year was made president of the Naval War College. After acting as president of the commission for selecting the site for a navy yard on the northwest coast, doing special duty for the Bureau of Navigation from 1889 to 1892, and presiding for another year over the Naval War College at Newport, Captain Mahan was in 1893 placed in command of the Chicago, of the European squadron. After forty years of service he was retired in 1896 at his own request, in order that he might devote himself to the literary productions which, it was then clear, would constitute his great life-work. In May last he returned to the naval board of strategy at his country’s call until peace was made with Spain.
These detailed items in the long road to a naval captaincy are very interesting in a consideration of Captain Mahan’s final significant work for his profession. It may seem somewhat strange that over thirty years of assiduous attention to such duties as those of a ship officer in time of peace should leave a mind so fresh to evolve a new philosophy of naval history. The long training seems to have merely added a calm and orderly method and a valuable technical experience to Captain Mahan's equipment, without dulling in the least his strong initiative faculties.
“The Influence of Sea Power Upon History" was not the beginning of Captain Mahan‘s literary career. He had written, at the suggestion of a publishing firm, a volume on the navy in the Civil War and a “Life of Admiral Farragut," both comparatively perfunctory tasks. He himself has told the world how it was that he came into the greater work; how, when reading Mommsen in the English club at Lima, he was struck with the historian's failure to recognize the all-important influence of sea power on Hannibal's career. He wrote out the whole outline of “The Influence of Sea Power," discussed it with Admiral Luce, and then set to work with the most painstaking method. He selected the term "sea power" with the deliberate purpose of challenging attention. “Purists, I said to myself, may criticise me for marrying a Teutonic word to one of Latin origin, but I deliberately discarded the adjective ‘maritime,’ being too smooth to arrest men's attention or stick in their minds. I do not know how far this is usually the case with phrases that obtain currency; my impression is that the originator is himself generally surprised at their taking hold. I was not surprised in that sense. The effect produced was that which I fully purposed; but I was surprised at the extent of my success. ‘Sea power,‘ in English at least, seems to have come to stay, in the sense I used it. ‘The sea powers’ were often spoken of before, but in an entirely different manner—not to express, as I meant to, at once an abstract conception and a concrete fact." At first there was difficulty in finding a publisher, but Messrs. Little, Brown & Co. had the acumen to see the force of the work, and “The Influence of Sea Power Upon History" came out in 1890, to an instant success. Two years later appeared “The Influence of Sea Power Upon the French Revolution and Empire;” in the spring of 1897 "The Life of Nelson, the Embodiment of the Sea Power of Great Britain;” and in December of the same year Captain Mahan's latest work to be published in book form, “The Interest of America in Sea Power, Present and Future.”
Just after “The Life of Nelson” appeared in London, Harold Frederic cabled that the reviewers of the London dailies sat up all night with the advance copies of the work and rushed into print the next morning long reviews, in every case almost extravagantly eulogistic. As a sample of the commentary, the Times said . “Captain Mahan's work will become one of the greatest of English classics "—surely a good deal for the Times to say of an American captain writing on the English Nelson and his navy. The English publishers had frequently to cable their American connections for further supplies of the book. The American publishers alone have sold more than 50,000 copies of his books— an extraordinary number for works of that class. The “sea-power” volumes have been translated into French, German, and Japanese. Degrees came to the author from Oxford and Cambridge, and he is an LL.D. of Harvard and Yale. But merely a category of the honors won by the sailor-scholar would be too extensive for a brief sketch. Captain Mahan protests that he does not understand the magnitude of his success. Personally he is a reserved man of polished manners, with a scholarly, almost academic, dignity, which curiously distinguishes him from the traditional character of the bluff and rugged sea-captain.
[The _The Influence of Sea Power Upon History_ arguments influenced naval policies of governments for decades. In the United States, it encouraged Secretary of the Navy Teddy Roosevelt to support a greater navy; Mahan and Roosevelt became friends after Roosevelt published his own naval histories in the 1880s. It also motivated the U.S. government to project American power through its navy, thus contributing to American Imperialism. The treatise's influence was not limited to the United States. Mahan's work encouraged enlargement of the German and Japanese navies (Kaiser Wilhelm II ordered a copy aboard every ship of the Imperial German Navy) contributing to the naval arms race between Britain and Germany. The resulting tension was a major factor in the development of World War I.]
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The Literature of the American Revolution by By Moses Coit Tyler 1897
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The chief trait of American literature during the [Revolution] now under view is this: its concern with the problems of American society, and of American society in a peculiar condition—aroused, inflammable, in a state of alarm for its own existence, but also in a state of resolute combat for it. The literature which were are not to inspect is not, then, a literature of tranquility, but chiefly a literature of strife, or, as the Greeks would have said, of agony, and of course, it must take those forms in which intellectual and impassioned debate can be most effectually carried on. The literature of our Revolution has almost everywhere the combative note; its habitual method is argumentative, persuasive, appealing, rasping, retaliatory; the very brain of man seems to be in armor; his wit is in the gladiator's attitude of offense and defense. It is a literature indulging itself in grimaces, in mockery, in scowls: a literature accented by earnest gestures meant to convince people, or by fierce blows meant to smite them down. In this literature we must not expect to find art used for art's sake. Nay, art itself, so far as it is here at all, is swept into the universal conscription, and enrolled for the service of the one party or of the other in the imperiled young Republic. No man is likely to be in the mood for aesthetics who has an assassin's pistol at his head. Even the passion for the beautiful has been known to yield to the instinct for self-preservation.
Looking, then, into this period of great civic trouble, and being content that the authentic literary product of it should also have a troubled look—a look of anxiety and wrath and combat—our next discovery is the rather notable one that such a period actually had a literary product very considerable in amount. Even in those perturbed years between 1763 and 1783, there was a large mass of literature produced in America. This fact will perhaps bring to us a surprise, almost a perplexity. Is it credible? How can this be? Certainly, great deeds were done in those years, and great words spoken—words that had the quality of great deeds; and yet, as we shall be tempted to say, that was a time for fighting, not for writing: it was a time for a game of politics astute, robust, unrelenting; for the courage of a creative statesmanship, for a diplomacy with wit enough to confront and conciliate a world; for a generalship that could make an army look military, though dressed in rags, that could make that army march though it had no shoes, that could make it formidable though destitute of gunpowder; for a daily and a nightly warfare, on the part of two or three millions of people, against starvation, and rags, and bankruptcy; and it may well seem incredible that, under such circumstances, any people could produce writings which should have any quality that now entitles them to literary remembrance, or which it would not be a barbarous ingratitude for us to subject to criticism.
This is the first view of the situation. Let us now look a little deeper, and we shall see that, within the range of those literary forms capable of articulating the moods of a period of civil and military conflict, large literary production is the very result to be expected. For on what does any sort of literary production depend? Of course, it depends on the quickening of man's nature, especially of his intellect and his emotions. And what is a period of war, and especially of civil war, and more especially of revolutionary civil war, but an extraordinary quickening of the intellectual and emotional energies of man?
The turbulence of the time may, indeed, become so great as to drive out from the human spirit all sense of security; but in that case, the only certain result on literature will be to drive out the tranquil forms of literary expression, leaving all the forces of the quickened life of the people free to concentrate themselves upon those forms of literary expression which are not tranquil, that is, which are combative.
Moreover, in the case of the American Revolution, literary production within the special range thus indicated, was likely to be the greater for the reason that that Revolution was pre-eminently a revolution caused by ideas, and pivoted on ideas. Of course, all revolutions are in some sense caused by ideas and pivoted on them; but in the case of most revolutions, the ideal causes of them are not generally perceived, and therefore are not generally acted upon until those ideal causes become fully interpreted through real evils, generally through a long experience of real evils. This was the case, for example, with the French Revolution. But in the case of the American Revolution, the people did not wait until ideal evils had become real evils. With a political intelligence so alert and so sensitive as to discern those evils while still afar off, they made their stand, not against tyranny inflicted, but only against tyranny anticipated. They produced the Revolution, not because they were as yet actual sufferers, but because they were good logicians, and were able to prove that, without resistance, they or their children would some day become actual sufferers. As was said of them by a great contemporary statesman in England, they judged "of the pressure of the grievance by the badness of the principle." They augured "misgovernment at a distance." They snuffed "the approach of tyranny in every tainted breeze." Hence, more than with most other epochs of revolutionary strife, our epoch of revolutionary strife was a strife of ideas: a long warfare of political logic; a succession of annual campaigns in which the marshalling of arguments not only preceded the marshalling of armies, but often exceeded them in impression upon the final result.
An epoch like this, therefore,—an epoch in which nearly all that is great and dear in man's life on earth has to be argued for, as well as to be fought for, and in which ideas have a work to do quite as pertinent and quite as effective as that of bullets,—can hardly fail to be an epoch teeming with literature, with literature, of course, in the particular forms suited to the purposes of political co-operation and conflict.
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WHAT LANGUAGE DID CHRIST SPEAK? article in the Literary Digest 1897
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THIS much-discussed question has a deeper interest than that of mere curiosity. It has practical bearings on problems of biblical interpretation, and the verbal inspiration of Scriptures. It is an old question, but one that is constantly new in its interests, as is seen from the repeated discussions it has elicited in recent years. The latest and possibly the best of these is found in a small volume by Dr. Arnold Meyer, of the University of Bonn, entitled “Jesu Muttersprache" (Jesus's mother-tongue).
which is rich in historical and other data, and from which we condense the following facts:
The question as to the language spoken by Jesus did not particularly interest the earliest Church fathers. They confined themselves in this regard to the question as to the original language employed by Matthew in the preparation of his gospel, which, Papias declares, was “Hebrew." The current opinion was that the Lord had employed the “Syriac" as his vernacular, which term was used interchangeably with “Hebrew" and “Chaldee.” This became the settled tradition of the Church down to the Reformation and later, and when in 1555 Widmanstadt published the first edition of the New Testament in Syriac, this work was greeted with a warm welcome on the ground that now the Church possessed the very words of the Lord as He had spoken them. Only a few skeptical minds, such as Scaliger and Grotius, doubted the correctness of this conclusion, and claimed that the Savior had spoken a mixed dialect then current in Palestine. Among the Jesuits the idea early gained ground that the Lord's vernacular must have been the Latin, as this was the language spoken by the saints in heaven. This view was first promulgated by the Pater Inchofer in 1648. A century later another Jesuit scholar, Hardouin, assigned as a new reason for this view the fact that the Vulgate, or official Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, was also written in the Latin language. On the other hand Protestant scholars began to maintain that Jesus spoke Greek, the language of the New Testament. So good an authority as the late Professor Delitzsch believed that Christ spoke a relatively pure Hebrew, the study of this language having been rigidly taught in the schools of Palestine.
The facts in the case, especially as seen in the words of the New Testament other than Greek, show that the Lord spoke an Aramaic language, and of this language again a Galilean dialect. The Aramaic is a branch of the north Semitic and as such a sister tongue of the Hebrew. Long before the close of the Old Testament canon the Aramaic had supplanted Hebrew in popular use in Israel and had become the language of trade and business between the peoples of Syria and countries farther East. Already a Jeremiah and an Ezekiel show the influence of this tongue; the same is true of the later Psalms, Ecclesiastes, and especially Ezra and Daniel, both of which contain portions written in this dialect. During the Maccabean period the Aramaic had virtually supplanted Hebrew in Israel. It is used in the Talmud. and its general use is reported by Philo, a contemporary of St. Paul, and by the historian Josephus, who calls it the "language of the fatherland."
Only in one respect the old Hebrew maintained its hold. It was the language of the sacred writings of Israel and the official tongue of their Scriptures. In the synagogues these books were read in the original Hebrew. but were interpreted to the people through Aramaic paraphrases called Targumim. Testimonies abound and agree that such was the case regularly, so that the common people could no longer understand the sacred tongue of their fathers and of their Scriptures. The current language of the day was accordingly the Aramaic, and this language beyond any reasonable doubt was the tongue employed by Christ in His discourses with His disciples and with the people. The Hebrew as such was known well only to the learned, but was not understood thoroughly by the common people.
The correctness of this conclusion is attested by the words cited in the New Testament. The names of persons taken from other sources than the Greek are Aramaic in form and sound, as are also the terms found in I Cor. xvi. 22, and the citation from the Psalms spoken by Christ on the cross; also Mark iii. 17; vii. 34; v. 41, and others.
It is accordingly only fair to conclude that Christ spoke the language of His people. In fact it is even probable that we can conclude that of this Aramaic He spoke the Galilean dialect. At that time three dialects of this tongue were used in Palestine, namely, the Jerusalem, the Samaritan, and the Galilean. Peter, in the night when Christ was before Pilate, was betrayed by the fact that he spoke the "Galilean" tongue. It is well known that the Galilean was the mother-tongue of Jesus. Just what the exact form of this dialect was we know from the so-called "Jerusalem Talmud," written in the third and fourth centuries after Christ in the city of Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee. This work is written in the popular tongue of Galilee, and is the only work extant in the exact dialect spoken by our Lord during His career on earth. -Translated and Condensed for THE LITERARY DIGEST.
THE SUPERNATURAL IN LITERATURE 1880
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STUDENT.—Is there at the present time only an obsolescent public taste for literature tinged with the supernatural, or clothed with the breath of faery?
STUDENT.—Is there any treatise in English on the use, in prose fiction, or poetical, of the Supernatural, and the Weird? Kindly name some prose works—excluding Poe, Hawthorne, and Hoffmann—in which these two elements have been successfully employed. Your help at this point will be thankfully received by a coterie of literary students.
Of modern English writers, we should be inclined to say that the late Lord Lytton bears the palm for treatment of things supernatural, in 'A Strange Story.' A more weird and fantastic plot it would scarcely be possible to conceive. It is a perfect magazine of supernatural terrors, embracing, as it does, every variety of manifestation or communication from the unseen world, from mediaeval magic to modern mesmerism, with a liberal allowance of apparitions, and the elixir vita as its central point of interest. In reading this marvellous work, for it is nothing less, it is difficult to realise that almost every detail of its supernaturalism has practically been done to death in an endless series of stories, of various degrees of merit. In new combinations, under the hand of a great writer, and an accomplished man of the world, these stock devices, irradiated by a powerful and poetical imagination, are presented as a consistent whole of great, and almost terrible, fascination.
The chief living master of the artistically weird, we should, without hesitation, pronounce to be Wilkie Collins. It is not only that his leading idea is often of a weird nature, but that in numberless details, often of the most trifling description, he, with consummate skill, tones down, as though by a deftly-hung curtain, the too-cheerful light which enables us to withstand the effect of the main idea. 'The Woman in White' is an instance of this. There is, perhaps, not in all our literature, a book which is a less commendable companion for sleepless hours, while yet it is absolutely free from anything supernatural. It is almost more powerful in its effects from this very absence of the ghostly. Everything seems attuned to some terror. If such a terror had been introduced, the power of the surroundings which suggested it would have been destroyed, and the weird interest would have been destroyed also. 'The Moonstone' again illustrates this great power of Wilkie Collins, in suggesting a terror, which he never presses home. The shivering sand, the diamond—the legacy of hatred, the silence of that strange experiment in sleep-walking, the dogged determination of the Indians' quest after the sacred jewel, and, as in the case of 'The Strange Story' and 'The Woman in White,' the constant contrast of the cheery, every-day world, with the strange or sombre course of individual lives, a world which, with all its noise and bustle, is as useful to drown care or the oppression of supernatural visitations, as water is to keep oil out of sight—combine to make 'The Moonstone' a very masterpiece of weird fiction. Space forbids more than a passing mention of a work which is essentially more weird than any other, 'Wuthering Heights.' The ghost story in 'Wuthering Heights' is, in many respects, unrivalled for ghastly horror. 'Jane Eyre' again stands high in the ranks of this description of fiction, and all the writings of the Brontes demand careful study from any who are interested in this aspect of our literature.
We have not been able to find any treatise of the kind desired, but the following books will be found very useful for Student's purpose:—Sir Walter Scott's 'Demonology and Witchcraft,' 'The Monastery,'' Marmion,'' Lay of the Last Minstrel,' 'The Fire King,' and the 'Grey Monk,' the old ballad of Clerk Saunders, the Clerk of Oxenford, and Thomas the Rhymer, Captain Marryatt's 'Phantom Ship,' and Coleridge's' Ancient Mariner.'—W. St. L.
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The Literature & Concept of Utopia by Adolph Franck 1899
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The Concept of Utopia (from the Greek, OU TOPOS, that which exists in no place, nowhere). The word is the invention of Thomas More; the title given by him to one of his works which soon became celebrated; but the thing is much older than the name. By utopia is meant a certain organization of society and of the state, to which imagination and the spirit of system contributes not most but everything, without examining whether it is realizable in a given place or time, and without investigating whether or not it is compatible, even in a general way, with the moral and physical conditions of human nature. It follows from this, that the utopia necessarily changes character according to the system which produces it. And, in fact, there are religious utopias and philosophical utopias; idealistic and sensualistic, sensual and even materialistic utopias. Lastly, there are utopias which have their origin in pantheism; and this is true of the greater number of utopias. The pretension of Gregory VII. to make christendom a republic entirely subject, in things temporal as well as spiritual, to the sovereign authority of the holy see; a pretension afterward developed in a systematic form by the great theologians of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, is a religious utopia. The republic of Plato is a philosophical, and, moreover, an idealistic utopia. On the other hand, we observe the inspiration of sensualism in the doctrine of Fourier, the inspiration of materialism in the “Leviathan” of Hobbes, and in the "Positivist Catechism" of Auguste Comte, and that of pantheism in the reveries of Campanella and Saint-Simon. The utopia is, therefore, different from the ideal, although the ideal may some times be found in the utopia. The ideal which applies to society, as well as to the individual, raises us above what we are, to show us what we should be, and, therefore, can be. The utopia deceives us in regard to both, by placing before our eyes a chimerical goal, which may at the same time be a type of debasement and servitude; for it is impossible to create a new form of society, without concerning ourselves with the government adapted to it, and the best suited to preserve it. We, therefore, can not admit the distinction made by some publicists between the social utopia and the political utopia. Every utopia is necessarily both political and social. — The age of utopias does not begin, as is generally supposed, with Plato; it is much more remote. It would not be difficult, for instance, to demonstrate that the republic of the Hebrews, such as we may represent it to ourselves in accordance with the institutions and the laws of the Pentateuch, was in great part a utopia which was never realized; that that sacerdotal race, a people of priests, who acknowledged no sovereign but God, never existed; that the periodical restoration of inheritances to their primitive boundaries and of slaves to liberty, any more than the perfect equality of fortunes, was never put in practice. But we are quite willing to accept as the extreme bound of antiquity the history of Greek philosophy. Even in that history Plato is not the first utopist. Aristotle ("Politics," book ii., ch. v., vi.) introduces us to two utopists, more ancient than Plato, one of whom, Phaleas of Chalcedon, gave social order, as its principle, the most perfect equality, and the other of whom, a celebrated architect called Hippodamus of Miletus, having introduced regularity and symmetry into the construction of cities, desired to impose these same qualities on the organization of the state. Thus he demanded that the citizens, to the number of ten thousand, should be invariably divided into three classes: artisans, laborers and warriors; or, according to other testimony, into magistrates, warriors and workmen; and that a distinct portion of the territory of the republic should be allotted to each of these three classes. The two probably belonged to the Pythagorean school, which both commanded and practiced a community of goods. But no one before Plato knew, as well as he did, how to give a body to these imaginary conceptions, and to make the most of them by the graces of poetry and the power of dialectics. We know that he has connected his name with two entirely distinct utopias, one of which is developed in the “Republic,” and the other in the dialogue on the “Laws.” Both, according to his own avowal, belong solely to the world of ideas, but the second is nearer to reality than the first. The first has for its object perfect unity, the unity which consists in entirely melting the existence of the individual into that of society, and the real person of the individual into the ideal person of the state; the second, in default of unity, is satisfied with equality, which is also a means, but an inferior means, to hold together, under the empire of a common law, the different parts of the body social. All the elements of which the two Platonic constitutions are composed are explained, and, to a certain extent, excused, in these two primary ideas. Thus, the three classes of citizens, or rather the three castes of the "Republic," answer to the three faculties of the human soul, the magistrates to the intellect, the warriors to the will or the sentiments, and the laborers to the appetite. And because the appetite should be subordinate to the sentiments, and the sentiments to the intellect, the same hierarchy should exist in the classes which represent them. The most important of these classes is, beyond contradiction, the class of warriors; for the role of the lowest class is reduced to obedience; and the magistrate or philosopher, once he has performed his task, once he has founded the city on the supreme laws of the intellect, has nothing more to do. This explains why it is that the warriors should afford us the expression of the ideal unity of which we have just spoken. Hence the community of goods and women which Plato, by restricting it to them, considers a sacrifice, and not a privilege. — It is evident that in this organization the human person and individual liberty count for nothing. They are not quite so entirely annihilated, but they are still oppressed under the regime of equality presented to us in the “Laws.” For instance, the division of the territory having to remain invariable, it is necessary that the number of citizens fixed by Plato at 5,040 should be invariable likewise. So much the worse for the children born in excess of that fatal figure. They will be forced to emigrate. Sterile families will be obliged to complete their number by adoption. The law will see to it that personal Wealth shall not disturb the equilibrium of fortunes. It will trammel industry, commerce and the increase of capital in such a way that industry, commerce and the increase of capital will become almost impossible. A fortiori, the burden of the law is felt in what concerns marriage, the education of children, and wills. It prescribes, as it did in Sparta, meals in common, prohibits travel, except in certain cases of necessity or of the public interest, subjects to the inspection of the authorities the most intimate relations of life, and lays down the most inflexible rules for all the occupations it is so good as to allow the citizens to engage in. Pagan antiquity affords no other examples of the utopian spirit; for we can attach no value to a few lost fragments like those of Hecatzeus of Abdera, of Evemerus and Theopompus, which are evidently only reminiscences of the ideas of Plato; and, as to the “republic” of Cicero, it is less a work of the imagination and spirit of system than of patriotism and the political passion; it contains only a partial apology for the old institutions of the Roman republic. The middle ages bring us to the religious utopias, of which the boldest and most brilliant is assuredly the utopia of Gregory VII. Universal theocracy never existed except in the ambition of that great pontiff. The condition of the world at the period in which it was produced, and the general state of society, have always made it an unrealizable dream. But after it had met with the resistance of facts, the idea of Gregory VII. entered the domain of speculation. It took possession of philosophy and theology through the works of Thomas Aquinas, of Giles of Rome, and notably through the De regimine principum and the treatise De ecclestica potestate. Another utopia, hatched at the same epoch, between the end of the twelfth and the beginning of the thirteenth century, but which savors perhaps as much of philosophy as of religion, is that which bears the name of the abbé Joachim, and which is described in the “Eternal Gospel". Joining the pantheistic principles of Amaury de Bone and of David de Dinant to some misconstrued texts of the Gospels, the adherents of this doctrine expected the reign of the Holy Ghost or of love to succeed the Son, as the Son had succeeded the Father. During this last period of our history, for which the two preceding periods had only paved the way, all differences and inequalities were to disappear from the earth, even the difference between vice and virtue; for all the passions were to be sanctified; the flesh and the spirit reconciled with one another, or rather, confounded together, were to cease their struggle for preeminence; and the suppression of war and a community of goods and of women were to make all men one family—With the renaissance the purely philosophical utopia reappeared; and it was the minister of a despot, the chancellor of Henry VIII., Thomas More, who, in calling it back to life, gave it its real name. Everything in Thomas More’s book is not chimerical. It contains an extremely profound and sensible criticism of the politics, the political economy and legislation of his time. And even when he seems to abandon himself to the caprice of his imagination, when with complaisance he gives us an exposition of the laws and institutions of the country of Utopia, there is a distinction to be made between its political conception and its social organization. The former is simply a representative government, with a leaning toward the republic, having a senate, an assembly of the people, a president appointed for life, and election to all the degrees of power, spiritual as well as temporal. The latter is summed up in communism, with some of the elements which subsequently served in the construction of the phalanstery system. This is sufficient to convince us that the communism of Thomas More does not flow from the same philosophical system as that of Plato. The latter remains as much an idealist, even in its most deplorable applications, as the former inclines to sensualism. It is no longer with a view to their moral perfection, but in the interest of their common happiness, that men, according to the English philosopher, should renounce property. It is sufficient that this end he proposed to them for labor, grown both more pleasant and more fruitful, to satisfy all the wants of society. The day in this system was to consist of only six hours: three hours before dinner and three hours before supper. Fatigue was to be avoided by diversity of occupation; every citizen, exercising several professions at the same time, might alternatively pass from one to the other. He would, therefore, have leisure enough to give himself up to all the enjoyments of study and conversation, and to taste the pleasures procured by the fine arts. Thomas More, however, does not carry the illusion so far as to believe that all trades, without distinction, could lend themselves to this combination. He recognizes that there are rude and repulsive trades, which are carried on only from necessity. But these trades are to fall to the lot of the public slaves. reduced to that condition in expiation of their crimes, or purchased by the state in foreign countries. Thus we see the utopian spirit resuscitating, in the bosom of Christianity, the institution of the helots. We must remark, however, that the citizens themselves are not treated much better. The law, like the discipline of a barracks, or the rule of a monastery, intervenes in all the details of life. It prescribes what their clothing, their food, their work and relaxation shall be, and leaves not the least place for freedom or intellect. If Thomas More thinks little of liberty, he has at least some regard for morals. He respects marriage, and, to a certain extent, preserves the rights of conscience by basing the national religion on deism. No such consideration for them is to be found in the system of Campanella, which is easy to account for, since pantheism is its basis. Pantheism confounds man, nature and God; it does away with the individual, and recognizes only the collective existence of society. This is precisely what Campanella does in his famous “City of the Sun.” All the actions, and even the sentiments and thoughts, of its imaginary subjects, are submitted to an absolute authority. The chief of this solar people is something like the Supreme Father in the Saint-Simonian system, that is, he is both a monarch and an infallible pontiff, a man clothed with the attributes of God. Under him are three ministers in the departments of wisdom, of power, and of love; and under these three ministers are divers classes of magistrates set over all the virtues and all the faculties, who assign to each man his rank, his task, and, according to the manner in which he performs it, his share in the enjoyment of the common goods; the community is not here confounded with equality. And so, although women are in common, they can be enjoyed only in accordance with the rules established by the minister of love affairs, and only on the days, at the hours and under the circumstances most favorable to the improvement of the human race. Despotism was always dear to Campanella. In his “Discourse on the Spanish Monarchy," written many years before the “City of the Sun,” he reaches this conclusion: the only and the true monarch of the world will be the sovereign pontiff; all peoples will constitute only one flock under the staff of only one shepherd; the king of Spain will play the part of the dog charged to bring back to the fold the sheep which have strayed away, and to devour them if they resist! — At the same time that Campanella was taking up the ideas of Gregory VII., and paving the way for those of Saint-Simon, Bacon was writing his “New Atlantis”; but there is no reason why we should concern ourselves here with that work, since it relates more to the reformation and reorganization of learned societies than to the reorganization and reformation of the state. It offers, as it were, an anticipated plan of the institute of France. Hobbes and Harrington had another aim. It is laws and institutions which they pretended to make over from top to bottom, after a preconceived model which they present us with, Hobbes in the “Leviathan,” and Harrington in the “Oceans.” Although diametrically opposed to each other in their principles, since the former, in the name of materialism, invites us to servitude, whereas the latter, appealing to our moral dignity, urges us on to the conquest of liberty, these two writers have this in common, that their views do not extend beyond the domain of politics. Nevertheless, both are utopists; for the unity of power, as Hobbes conceives it, the absolute monarchy which disposes of men’s bodies and souls, of conscience and interests, of religion and of the state alike, is not more easy to realize than the perfect equilibrium between power and property which Harrington seeks to effect, and which he bases on the agrarian law, as if the agrarian law was not itself a source and instrument of oppression.— Histoire des Sevarambes, by Denis Vayrasse, containing only a mixture, without any consistency (being, so to speak, only a weakened echo of them), of the two systems of More and Campanella, it may' be said that the history of utopias in the seventeenth century closes with the two creations of Fenelon, the Bétique and the Republique de Salente. The first of these presents us not so much with a hope for the future as with a souvenir of the past. It is a classical reminiscence of the Arcadia of the poets. It transports us among a pastoral people like those who lived under the fabulous sceptre of Saturn. It introduces us to men who have none of the passions, and consequently none of the vices, of humanity; who have put everything in common, since they possess nothing, and have scarcely any wants; and to children, enjoying the peace and innocence of their tender years, while nature, like a kind mother, relieves them of all care and trouble. The Republique de Salente unveils to us much more clearly the real thought of the illustrious archbishop. It is the picture of a people, who, with no industry but agriculture, were able to attain the highest degree of perfection and happiness. Population is to that people the source of all wealth, and war the source of all misery. This is the very reverse of the maxims which guided the government of Louis XIV. But there is something more in Fenelon’s republic. It is, despite the simplicity of its life and customs, an aristocratic state, the citizens of which, divided into seven classes, are distinguished from one another by their conditions, their occupations, their rights, their clothing even, and in which the first rank belongs to birth. It is the ideal republic of Plato modified by Christian morals and by the prejudices of race borrowed from feudalism. The eighteenth century, independent and fruitful in every other matter, was only slightly inventive in social and even in political utopias. Rousseau and Mably confined themselves to reproducing, with some necessary development, the institutions of Lycurgus. Theirs was a retrospective utopia. Morelly, in his Code de la Nature, is only Rousseau's echo, while Baboeuf proposed to become Rousseau's testamentary executor. All, while they never tired talking of liberty, succeeded only in imagining a system of slavery on the foundation of demagogy and communism. —-The first half of the present century it is that witnessed the birth of the boldest, the most radical and the most brilliant utopias: Saint-Simonism, Fourierism, positivist socialism and the atheistic theocracy of Auguste Comte. Even a summary exposition of these different doctrines would carry us beyond the limits allotted to us here. But we must remark at least, that, while these doctrines are no less chimerical than the ideas of Plato, of Thomas More, Campanella, Hobbes and Rousseau, they are not, at bottom, more liberal. The tendency of Saint-Simonism is to re-establish, to the advantage of pantheism, the universal theocracy of Gregory VII. He hands over the destinies, not only of the state, but of humanity, to the discretion of one man, who is at once prince, pontiff and infallible arbiter of the works of human thought. There is no refuge from this universal despotism, since both property and the family have ceased to exist. Fourierism also destroys these two fundamental institutions: property and the family. The former it would replace by shares of stock delivered by the state to each in proportion to his labor, his talents and his capital. Of the latter, thanks to the consecration of free love, not a trace would be left. Nevertheless, it is not directly by the establishment of despotism, but indirectly by license in morals and the letting loose of all the passions, that Fourier annihilates liberty. To Fourier man is only a kind of machine, of which passion is the motive power, and which, putting itself in gear with an analogous machine, produces the effect desired without its knowledge. He reaches fatalism by the way of sensualism, and from sensualism he draws the most extravagant and unclean consequences that can present themselves to human thought. Lastly, in the materialistic Utopia of Auguste Comte, the priests of humanity, or rather of atheism, have a power no less exorbitant than the power of the Saint-Simonian Supreme Father. They have the right of life and death over all works of the mind, old and new, existing or to come into existence. They are the absolute masters of public education and of the state itself. They dispose, besides, of the honor of citizens, and regulate private life after their fancy, leaving to the lay power only the looking after of material interests. The proletariat Comte makes a public institution. Majorats and substitutions he re-establishes under another form, and extends them not only to landed but to commercial and industrial property. The conclusions to be drawn from this succession of chimeras are these: that the progress and perfecting of social institutions are not sudden creations, issuing full-fledged from a human brain, and governed by one single idea, but the fruit of experience and time, of the thoughts and the efforts of a long series of generations; that no society is lasting or perfectible except the society which is founded on the liberty which respects the rights of the individual, and leaves him responsible for his acts and for the government and use of his faculties; that liberty is inseparable from property, and that it is impossible to preserve or suppress the one without preserving or suppressing the other; that liberty and property, in turn, suppose the moral dignity and the inviolability of the human person. Utopias have this advantage, that they bring these truths into greater relief, and compel the human mind never again to separate the progress of the social order from the conquests of civil and political liberty.
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